Shrek Makes a Toy Comeback

Posted by Jeff Cope (April 6, 2007, 8:50PM)

I love the Shrek movies. Love them. I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of Shrek the Third next month (man, what a good movie month! Shrek! Spidey! Pirates!) and I've been looking forward to seeing what new license holder, MGA Entertainment (makers of the Bratz dolls) would do with the license.

Three movies and three master toy licensees. McFarlane Toys held the Master license for the first Shrek movie back in 2001 and actually turned out some pretty nice product, some of my favorite McFarlane Toys to date. Hasbro held the license for 2004's Shrek 2 and dropped the ball (in my opinion, of course). A few figures, generally poorly done and some other items. Sad really. I had high hopes for Hasbro and Shrek. Shrek's universe is so vast, with all the fair tale references, background characters, etc that, if mangaged properly, Shrek really could become what's referred to as an "evergreen" property in the biz. It can exist on its own without a film to support it.

Now, for Shrek the Third, MGA Entertainment has picked up the license. The first series of action figures, consisting of Shrek, Sir Shrek the Brave, Donkey/Puss in Boots 2 pack and Prince Charming) have just begun hitting the shelves (they seem to be showing up at TRU first). I've been sick all this past week, and reading reports of these showing up at TRU. So, today - feeling better - I was anxious to hit up my local TRU. Sure enough they had the whole set.

Money's still tight for us, so I was only able to pick up the regular Shrek for now, but based on this figure I plan on going back when I can and getting the rest of the set. MGA has done a terrific job with these figures. The sculpts and scale are very well done. The sculpting on Shrek is great. Near McFarlane-level detail. He also has more articulation than the old McFarlane   figures (which should come as little surprise).Shrek has a cut neck, ball shoulders, hinge elbows, cut wrists and hinge knees. Not a lot of articulation, but certainly decent. I don't know how he compares to his Hasbro counterpart since I never picked those up.

He stands right at 6", making Shrek slightly smaller than the McFarlane line (as you can see in the image to the right). The McFarlane Shrek clocked in at 7".

The character selection is curious as it doesn't really represent the new movie much. I don't know if Shrek will don armor again, but Sir Shrek the Brave looks to be from the first movie. Donkey and Puss in Boots look the same in movies two and three as does Prince Charming. So, there's nothing uniquely "Shrek the Third" about this line.

I don't know what plans MGA has for Shrek, but based on the quality of this assortment I sure hope there is more to come. Like I said, if managed right, this property can go on for years. I really hope that MGA is the company to finally bring us a Fiona Ogre figure, and there's undoubtably many characters to mine from the movies to continue this series on for a good while.