Requiem for Toy Biz- The SDCC Toy Biz Panel
July 30, 2008

I’ve seen quite a bit of feedback on the Toy Biz/Marvel Toys panel that I put together at Comic Con this year.   There’s a lot of misinformation floating around about it both from another site that was blogging live from the panel and posting inaccurate material and from people that have only seen the slides posted here and didn’t get to hear the stories behind them. 

 I saw a lot of people saying it was cruel and pointless to do this panel and show the fans what they WEREN’T getting, but that wasn’t the point of it.   I posted this on another forum earlier, but I think it bears repeating here as well what my, and the panelists thinking was is doing this:

I’ve been buddies with most of the Toy Biz/Marvel toys guys awhile.   Some of them I just see twice a year at Toy Fair and Comic Con, some of them more often.  In talking with them and seeing them in their post-"Toy Biz" lives … you can see that they are mourning the loss.   It’s a palpable thing.  They "lost" their dream job.  Sure, some of the are still making toys, but the team work, the collaboration, the family has split up.  And it’s had an effect on all of them.

Talking with Jesse, I had heard the things that up until now he hasn’t been able to say.   It was a decision by the Marvel board of directors to scuttle the toy making arm of the company, it was a business decision, and as much of a drag as it is, the way the world is now it’s maybe not such a bad decision from a stock holder point of view.

I didn’t put this panel together to rub it in anyone’s face the toys that we won’t get now.  I really did it to give my friends some closure.  Even though they saw it coming, the rug was pulled out from under them way too fast.

We loved this stuff, they loved this stuff.   These guys, Jesse, Damon, Eddie, Phil, Steve, Dave and several others… they aren’t marketing guys, or businessmen.. they were toy makers… and damn good ones.  And overseeing it all was Joanne.  She doesn’t get a lot of props or press like the other guys, but as they said at the panel, she was the heart and soul of Toy Biz and she had the vision to let these guys do amazing things. I wish she had made it to SDCC.  She deserved to see the fans, and hear the gasps.

These guys will do other amazing things, but it will be hard for them to do it all together again.  That was like catching lightning in a bottle.

Thanks to everyone that came out to the panel.   I hope it was entertaining and informative. We needed more time to cover everything we wanted to talk about (the panel before us ran long, which didn’t help) We’ll be posting a write up on it soon here at AFI, and will also have some audio and video from it.

Daniel/Julius
 

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 www.ActionFigureInsider.com. 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 MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, 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.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.

 

 

 

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