Zica Toys first came on my radar from conversations with the guys from SpyMonkey Collectibles. We were having one of our monthly "nerd lunches" and Jeremy aka SpyMonkey had brought one of the new Zica "Z-Body" base bodies. Spy was using that body to swap out the Mattel Retro-Action Superman so he would be bigger and beefier than the other characters in the line, like he should be. I saw the results a few weeks later and it was fantastic.
But, Zica isn’t just in the market for making base bodies for customizing. Owner/founder Craig Owen has started picking up licenses to apply to his 8" body. What sort of licenses you ask?
From their Website:
ZICA Toys is a company with two goals in mind; to make high quality, retro style toys and action figures…and to have a lot of fun doing it.
Craig Owen, the owner of ZICA Toys, grew up during the 70’s spending countless hours playing with some of the best toys of that era. Trying to recapture the fun and excitement from those days is the primary reason why ZICA Toys was created. We are KEEPIN’ IT RETRO!
RETRO Licenses! The first one out of the gate- Buck Rogers in the 25th Century based on the 1979 movie and TV show. Many fans have been following the progress of these figures, from when we were just shown head sculpts all the way until now, with the first two figures -Buck and The Tiger Man, available to buy.
The finished product looks fantastic and you can tell a lot of care and effort went into making these figures the best they could be. You may recall there was a very short lived Buck Rogers toyline back in the 80s that was based primarily on the film. With Zica we will now be able to get other fan favorite characters such as Hawk that we have never gotten before in plastic. All of the costume details and accessories have been lovingly, painstakingly recreated in the 8" scale. Many fans know that working in the 8" scale can be difficult and there is a lot of trial and error getting fabric to look right and making sure heads aren’t too large, but Zica has knocked it out of the park on their first try. Even a figure with a costume as complicated, and complex as The Tiger Man came out beautifully.
If you haven’t had the chance to see the awesome finished product of the first two figures see below for images and information on what you get with the first two figures in the line.
Buck Rogers Features:
- Gil Gerard Likeness
- Removable Helmet
- Belt & Holster
- Screen Accurate Laser Pistol
- Screen Accurate Costume
- 2 Sets of Hands
- Z-BODY w/ 22 POA
- Retro Style Packaging
- Detailed Head Sculpt & Paint
- Draconian Sword & Scabbard
- Screen Accurate Blaster Pistol
- Screen Accurate Costume
- 2 Sets of Hands
- Z-BODY w/ 22 POA
- Retro Style Packaging
Pretty impressive eh?
Zica owner Craig Owen took the time to answer some of our questions about starting your own toy company, what’s next for Zica and what license he’d love to get his hands on next! See below for AFi’s exclusive interview with Zica toys.
Action Figure Insider: We should start off with the question we ask everyone doing Retro-Mego-esque figures – Why retro? What about that appealed to you?
Craig from Zica: Well, as a kid growing up during the 70’s I spent a lot of time playing with Mego action figures so the nostalgia factor is pretty strong in regards to why I chose that format. Also, at the time it seemed like it was going to be the least expensive option for entering the action figure market due to the fact that other companies were already producing blank Mego-esque bodies.
AFi: What made you make the jump from toy fan to toy maker?
Zica Toys: I’ve always been a toy fanatic, especially when it comes to the vintage stuff. At some point I just finally decided that I was going to take the plunge and try my luck at making toys instead of simply collecting them. I started to notice smaller companies popping up here and there that were doing low production runs and I wanted to try something similar.
AFi: You took the retro thing one step farther and actually created your own base body. Can you talk about that decision and that process? What is different about your base body than the rest of what is out there?
Zica Toys: The reason I decided to make my own body was because I was never able to make a deal with the other companies who were making the blank ones. Being as I already had the Buck Rogers license at that point I pretty much had no choice but to go ahead and make my own. The process of getting that body made was undoubtedly the most horrific learning experience I’ve ever been through. Luckily I survived and in the end I was very happy with the final product. When the body was first released the primary differences compared to the others were how it was held together (no elastic bands) and improved articulation.
AFi: Your male base body is beefier than most of the other retro bodies out there on the market. Was that deliberate?
Zica Toys: Yes it was. I figured since I was going through the huge expense of having my own body made I wanted to make some improvements compared to what I saw with the 1/9 scale bodies that were currently available.
AFi: And now you are developing a female base body?
Zica Toys: Yes. The prototype is already finished and I hope to have it in production before the end of this year.
AFi: Your first license is the 80’s Gil Gerard Buck Rogers. What made you pursue that license?
Zica Toys: A good friend of mine, Steve Forde, already had access to the license through his company, Go Hero. He knew I was searching for a popular retro property from the 70’s or early 80’s and offered me the chance to get the license. I was a big fan of the show as a kid so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to make toys for it.
AFi: What are your plans for releases/waves?
Zica Toys: Wave 1 will be available this year. Buck and Tiger Man are already available and I hope to have Hawk, Killer Kane, and the Draconian guard out by the third quarter. Assuming wave 1 sells well I’m hoping to have wave 2 available in 2012. Characters currently planned for wave 2 are Twiki, Wilma, Princess Ardala, Dr. Huer, and the Vorvon space vampire.
AFi: Do you have the license for both the Buck Rogers movie and the TV show?
Zica Toys: Yes, I have both.
AFi: Do you have the license for classic Buck Rogers or any of the other media versions?
Zica Toys: No, only the 80’s version.
AFi: You can’t have Buck without Twiki. Do you have plans on how to do him for the line?
Zica Toys: Yes, Twiki is planned for wave 2 and he’ll have the same attention to detail as the other figures have gotten. He’ll even come with a removable Dr. Theopolis.
AFi: Why did you go with putting the figures in boxes when so many of the other companies doing 8" retro figures are doing cards?
Zica Toys: The main reason I chose a box over the blister card packing is primarily because I like boxes better. They’re also more collector friendly than blister card packaging which is an added bonus.
AFi: Who is does your head sculpts? They are fantastic!
Zica Toys: Two sculptors worked on the head sculpts, Alfred Paredes, and Joy & Tom Studios. I was extremely happy with the work that they did and I hope to use them again on future projects.
AFi: You also have a license for Logan’s Run. Is that just the classic version or does that include the upcoming big screen adaption?
Zica Toys: The license we have for Logan’s Run is actually the Bluewater Comics version. A lot of people are disappointed that it’s not the classic version but I really think they’ll be impressed with how the comic book version will look in action figure form.
AFi: Can you give us an idea of what you’d like to do with Logan’s Run?
Zica Toys: Naturally if the first figure sells well I’d like to look into the possibility of getting the license for the classic version. To my knowledge there’s never been any action figures made for Logan’s Run other than some Mego prototypes so I feel like the line would do very well.
AFi: What license would you love to get your hands on?
Zica Toys: That would have to be the classic Battlestar Galactica TV series.
AFi: Where do you see Zica in 5 years?
Zica Toys: First and foremost I hope I’m still in business. If so, I want ZICA Toys to be a name that’s synonymous with extremely cool retro style toys. I’ve got a lot of ideas for projects I’d like to tackle so hopefully in 5 years I will have been able to make some of them a reality.
AFi would like to say a big thank you to Craig Own from Zica Toys for taking the time to answer all of our questions.
You can place an order for the first two figures in the line, Buck and the Tiger Man, directly from the Zica website. And keep up with all of the latest Zica news on their website and on their Facebook page.
AFi will keep in touch with Zica and keep you posted on all of their news and developments!
Speaking of new developements click the "More" tag to see the other recently announced Go Hero/Zica licenses now in development