Hanna Barbera Toyline On The Way?
June 5, 2012

I cannot even begin to describe the hours of entertainment that came out of the famed Hanna Barbera animation studios over the years. The powerhouse teaming of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera produced a wealth of fantastic cartoons for kids of all ages since the studios inception in 1959.I was born in 1965, and grew up on a steady diet of The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Yogi Bear, Scooby Doo, not to mention licensed properties such as the Superfriends just to name but a few. I think out of all their many shows, it’s The Flintstones that holds the most special place in my nostalgic geek heart. I love The Flintstones. I think the show, while certainly dated, holds up pretty well today. But, then, I can’t help but view it through the lens of nostalgia. But, I’ve recently watched a few episodes with my 7 year old daughter and she enjoyed it…so, perhaps the show’s charm hasn’t been lost to time after all.

One of my toy dreams has always been a good, dare I say ‘definitive’, toyline based on The Flintstones. Yeah, we have the movie stuff from Mattel back in the early 90s. I still have a figure of Fred from the first movie, but it’s more of a John Goodman figure than a Fred Flintstone figure. There was the McFarlane stuff from a few years back. I didn’t pick any of it up as I was pretty anti-McFarlane at the time. I want my toys to be poseable, dadgummit! Now, I wish I had. I’ll track some down one of these days when finances permit.

But, now there are whispers on the wind of a Hanna Barbera line coming from Jazwares later this year! I know, I know. Jazwares doesn’t have the greatest reputation as of late after some missteps with their Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat lines. But, I’m a big fan of their Sonic the Hedgehog line and think they’ve done a great job with that.

In fact, in general, it seems Jazwares handles animated styled properties better than more realistic ones. So, I’ve got high hopes for this line.

This line hasn’t been announced. I’ve even dug around sites like License! Magazine and Playthings for any hint of the deal between Jazwares and Warner Bros. Consumer Products. All that seems to be out there is a thread in the General Toy Forum at The Fwoosh titled “Classic Hanna Barbera Figures” and a mention of Hanna Barbera in a freelance artist’s profile on LinkedIn. There looks to be 2″ figures (static, much like the 2″ Adventure Time figures), 3″ (think the 3″ Sonic line) and 5″ or 6″ figures of key characters.

If this all pans out, this line could really be amazing. Space Ghost? Jonny Quest? Birdman? Thundarr the Barbarian? This could be the ultimate in nostalgia lines. I can’t wait to see what these look like, and where this line goes. I really hope it does well. I admit I’m concerned, as someone posted on the forum thread at The Fwoosh, it’s a bit curious as to who this is being marketed to. Are kids today familiar enough with these properties to warrant a toyline? I know most of these shows are airing on Boomerang, and available through DVD, but who watches Boomarang? Kids or 40+ year olds like me catching a glimpse of their childhood on the TV. I honestly don’t know the answer to that. But, I so want this line to do well enough at retail to go on for at least a few years!

And, Jazwares, if you are reading this…I need 3″ poseable figures of the core Flinstones cast (that includes Dino, of course!) and the family car! Thank you! Well, that and The Jetsons! And Thundarr! And Jonny Quest! And Space Ghost! And….well, you get the idea…

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Jeff Cope
Jeff Cope has been collecting toys and action figures since he was a wee lad growing up in the 70s, and is still waiting to grow out of it. He's been involved in the online collecting community since he first started writing for Raving Toy Maniac in the mid-90s, and is proud to call AFi his online home.
Read other articles by Jeff Cope.

 

 

 

20 Comments »

  • BookPimp (@The_BookPimp) says:

    I would stop buying all other toylines in order to get a Hanna Babera Line

  • stewbacca says:

    I will be all over this– but I cant agree with your character choices– give me all the second stringers– before we move to figures already done (albeit it in different styles)– Thundar, Birdman, Dynomutt, Scooby, Flinstones, Yogi, Jetsons– all have had their chances– We need the likes of Squiddly Diddly, Secret Squirrel, Touche Turtle and Ricochet Rabbit to make this guy truly happy..

    • Jeff Cope Jeff Cope says:

      I hear what you are saying, but the reality is if such a line was to launch with the characters you mentioned it would die a quick death. Now, a balance between the more recognizable characters and the second and third stringers could be more viable. But, I find myself worried about how viable the first stringers are in today’s marketplace. I don’t know if you visited the Fwoosh forum I linked to, but Secret Squirrel is, apparently, amongst the first wave or two.

  • TRDouble says:

    I was so excited for the McFarlane H-B stuff, and subsequently, so let down. The statuesque nature of the figures wasn’t even the worst part; it was releasing Hot Rod Fred and Rock ‘N Roll Tom & Jerry in Series 1. That effectively killed the line, despite Series 2 doing traditional representations of the characters. It was too late. I have some of the TMP stuff and it’s not bad diorama stuff, but I have always wanted a small, poseable Flintstones line; The Jetsons too! I still watch them, especially The Flintstones, sometimes with my kids. Round 2 Corp finally got The Peanuts right. I hope someone can do the same for H-B!

  • Evil-Ryn says:

    A comprehensive Hanna-Barbera line has so very much potential. Jonny Quest, Thundarr the Barbarian, Herculoids, classic Scooby-Doo “ghosts”; I would invest in all of these guys in a heartbeat!!

  • Joe says:

    I for one would be so excited about this line but jazzwares has made an art out of making toys that suck. They just do not know how to make good toys or have no concept of sculpting, QC and paint app. This line would have more adult appeal then kid but parents might buy it for their kids to give them the experience they grew up with. This is a very lucrative venture like Mattel did with Barbie dolls bringing back a series of doll replicas from various years. Those flew off the shelves like a macy’s shoe sale.

    If neca, mcfarlane, or Mezco were doing this i would be the most exited person for this line on the planet. Especially mcfarlane.

    I would also like to see a muppets mini line, the likes of palisades started before they went under.

    But i hope they do a good job and keep it to 4″ as display space is a premium and allows you to have all of them.

  • demoncat says:

    hope Jayzwares manage to keep this line going a long time though think they would have trouble getting grape ape down in small scale. plus some of the properites are so old that they would be a hard sell like some of the yogi bear characters or stuff like frankenstein jr. plus they could not include hbs take on godzilla . but bring it on

  • Tanglevine says:

    I’d be very happy with a definitive Scooby-Doo crew with ghosts and mystery machine along with Speed Buggy and his cast. And throw a little Hong Kong Phooey in there just for good measure.

  • Julius Marx says:

    Sorry. Did I not report on that at Toy Fair? Yes. The H.B. line is coming from Jazwares. They had package mock ups in their booth but no pictures were allowed. If memory serves there were cards for Fred Flintstone, Harvey Birdman and Space Ghost… And maybe a few others. I’ll have to think about t a bit more.

  • Bill White says:

    I hope this line happens, too. I think “funny animal” action figures are a huge, untapped market, and collectors would go nuts for them, if they were made well. A Flintstone House playset is a must!

    One thing, though. Thundarr wasn’t a Hanna-Barbera show. It was produced by Ruby-Spears, the guys behind the Plastic Man cartoon. There WERE some decent Thundarr figure made awhile ago, though, but they are now pricey and tough to find.

    • Jeff Cope Jeff Cope says:

      Regarding Thundarr, yes, the show was produced by Ruby-Spears but over the years through a series of mergers and acquisitions both Ruby-Spears and Hanna Barbera ended up under Time Warner. Now you see Thundarr often represented as an HB property. The Toynami figures some years back were part of Toynami’s Hanna Barbera line. You can buy the complete series online ( sorta print on demand ) from WB Shop. It’s branded as a HB show.

      Given all that, I think Thundarr is possible under the Jazwares deal. Planned? Who knows. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  • jzachery says:

    Any idea about scale?
    Ideally 4 inch would be great. I want all of their hero characters…
    Teen Force
    Space Ghost, Jan and Jace
    Mightor
    Young Samson and Goliath
    Herculoids
    Galaxy Trio

  • Mario says:

    Why no one has mentioned (except Jeff, albeit briefly) the various Toynami H-B lines is beyond me. IMHO, it’s the stuff of legend, & a brutally underappreciated toy line.

    • Jeff Cope Jeff Cope says:

      Mario, I think no one has really talked about the Toynami stuff just because this was more about the Jazware possibilities. The Toynami product was fantastic, and it still pains me that I wasn’t able to pick up the Herculoids sets when they came out. Great, great stuff!

  • Ron says:

    I too grew up in the 1960′s with these great cartoon characters and therefore created my own collection of figures of them as best I could from what has been made, such as: “Flintstones In Action” (a line of 4.5″ figures patterned after the cartoon with all the main characters and the car); “Scooby Doo” 5″ line (the gang with the Mystery Machine plus the various monsters); Herculoids 4″ line (all 3 boxed sets with the creatures); Space Ghost Coast to Coast 6″ line by Toynami; Birdman + Blue Falcon & Dynomutt + Thundarr 6″ lines; Frankenstein Jr. 12″ bank with poseable arms; The Impossibles 3″ PVC figures from Japan; Super Friends 6″ line from DC Direct; Pirates of Dark Water 5″ line. So if you search you can find these characters as toy figures – but a definitive H-B Action Figure line would be awesome!

  • I hope this true. 4″ Scale would be ideal. The Character Options Scooby stuff is fantastic and will be tough to beat. But, as for the Flintstones, so far nothing beats the old 80′s line from D-Toys and Irwin. Check it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdjavD5luag

  • Brainlock says:

    I passed on all those movie Flintstones, yet bought the McF Fred on a bike, despite the fact I was a co-mod at Goodman’s former fansite. I thought the movie figs were “too goofy” at the time, but they were decent likenesses. (Except Betty. my RO’D hate/loathing was just beginning then.)

    I know some of these lines have been tried in plastic form over the years to varying success, as I still have the Space Ghost C2C figure, and 1-2 of other [as] figures. I never did get that “real” Jonny Quest “(in 3d)” thing, tho?

    I probably would buy a number of these, for nostalgia’s sake, but they’d definitely have to be bigger than 3″, maybe 5-6″?

  • demoncat says:

    also hope the license includes inch high and the seldom mention and talked about butch cassidy and the sundance kids with a mr socrates playset. but mostly . the flintons and jetsons to start off the line.

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