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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Freddy Krueger In Pop Culture Part 2

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Today, we are looking at how Freddy Krueger affected the action figure and collector doll market. The two main companies responsible were McFarlane and Sideshow toys.
McFarlane toys intially created action figures for Todd McFarlanes Spawn comic, but then branched out into the horror market. In 1998 McFarlane introduced the Movie Maniacs line of figures. Series one began as a line of horror and science fiction based figures that had been licensed from influential and financially successful horror films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th, as well as the upcoming (at that time) Species II. The second series of figures expanded the character base for the line into the realms of cult and action cinema with the a figure based on the title character to The Crow. Series three would further push the boundaries of character selection into fantasy, with Edward Scissorhands, straight action with Shaft, and back into cult/sci-fi with Escape from L.A.. These conventions would continue, with character selections in future series frequently containing a mix of many, or even all of these various film genres, much to the chagrin of a small section of fans and collectors who, incorrectly, saw the line as being meant to be horror specific. The line began as an annual release, with each of the first few series being released at, or around, October, however as years went on this tradition began to slip, initially as a factor of slipping release dates, and then, the tradition already broken, just as a matter of course. Although never officially confirmed by McFarlane Toys, the line is now considered defunct, and no new releases carrying the Movie Maniacs brand name have been created for quite some time. All of the characters were very popular, but the Freddy figures seemed to be the most highly regarded. Below are some pictures of a packaged and loose example of the Movie Maniacs Freddy Krueger, in the photo of the loose figure, take note of the detailed display base.


Sideshow toys brought us the first real collectors figures of Freddy with their stellar 12 inch line. They made 12 inch figures of Freddy from the original film, as well as a special edition Dream Warriors Freddy with chest of souls for the 2006 San Diego Comic Con, and a demon version from Freddy Vs Jason. Over the past couple of years, though, Sideshow has moved away from doing their own line and has been distributing for other companies. They just sold out of the New Line Horrors Freddy figure, but it was produced by Mezco. And while Mezco has good figures with the Cinema Of Fear line, the sculpting cannot hold up to Sideshow. Below are some pictures of the awesome figures Sideshow produced in the mid 2000's.




Mezco is about the only company that produces quality horror toys at this time. Sideshow still does some statues, but actual action figures are very limited right now. I have always hoped that McFarlane's Movie Maniacs line would come back but that looks less and less likely all the time. Tomorrow I will be looking at Freddy's involvement in music. No, really, music.