July 9, 2009




The fertile imagination of Tim Burton is one of the most interesting creative resources in pop culture today. While his many films are stamped with his unique vision, cinema is an inherently collaborative process. It was therefore with great excitement and pride that Dark Horse Deluxe brought forward a merchandise program based on Burton’s most personal work – the delightfully twisted characters who populate his book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories.

Springing from Burton’s sketchpads and notebooks, these charming little characters have taken on a life of their own. They are his strange little children, and although some have described them as twisted or odd, as Burton himself has observed: “One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.”

Dark Horse has collaborated closely with Burton in making many of these characters “real,” most notably in a series of faithfully sculpted miniature figures sold in boxed sets. After finding wide acceptance in the specialty market, these have been perennial sellers over the last several years.

Dark Horse Deluxe now proudly introduces large-size vinyl versions of these characters for the collector market. While the same faithful attention to detail is present, this new 6” and larger size brings forward the special nuance of each individual creation, and fits very nicely into the ever-growing popularity of “designer vinyl” collectible toys. Three releases are planned for the end of 2009: Oyster Boy, Stain Boy, and Toxic Boy.

In conjunction with this, Dark Horse is refreshing the packaging of the original boxed sets, giving the packaging a new graphic-design look and, in a reluctant bow to the increased cost of just about everything, a new suggested retail price.

The Tim Burton program is also bring updated with a variety of other new releases, including two heat-sensitive coffee mugs, a pull-tab journal that animates a Burton watercolor scene, a new light-up journal, playing cards, T-shirts and note cards in light-up boxes.


“Dark Horse Deluxe has been privileged to work with many of today’s popular-culture giants,” VP of Product Development David Scroggy remarked, “but there is no one who we get excited about more than Tim Burton. These characters are almost like his little children, and we are grateful that he trusts us with them. We have always told Tim that our mission with this program is to bring forward his artistic vision, and we take that responsibility seriously. The new items are a step forward on that journey, and while we don’t know exactly where it will lead us, we are certainly having some fun along the way.”

As a capstone to a storied, ongoing career, Tim Burton is to be recognized with a career retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibit will run from November 2009 through March 2010. Dark Horse Deluxe products will be available at the museum, and the original sculpture maquettes for the figures will be a part of the installation. With previously unseen characters being exhibited, it is likely that selected pieces will find their way into the merchandise line as Burton deems appropriate.


Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on,,, Boing-Boing,, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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