One of the biggest announcements to come out of Toy Fair this year was the revelation that Todd McFarlane's McFarlane Toys will be taking on the DC Comics license, offering the veteran comics artist, publisher, and toy manufacturer his first shot at creating collectibles for some of the biggest characters in comics history. McFarlane has not been able to say much about the deal up to now -- although he did confirm that his line will include figures inspired by movies and TV as well as the classic comics looks -- but during a recent conversation with ComicBook.com's Jim Viscardi, McFarlane gave a few details about how his working relationship with DC and parent company Warner Bros. is working out.
"Well, the first part is Warner Bros., who owns the right obviously to all the DC characters, had Mattel handling both the master toy license and the collectible side," McFarlane explained. "They thought that, as that contract was coming up, that might not be the way they wanted to continue to move forward. They thought they wanted to divide those two pieces to two different people. When they got to the piece of, 'Hey who could do some really good collectible action figures that's been doing this a long time?' then, fortunately, our name was on that short list. We started having conversations with them and going back and forth and we were able to go in there and have the conversation and win the bid to get in there. Now we're knee deep into it. I think last week we sent off five or six figures that they're looking at right now. They've already given us approval on a couple other figures. We're doing some new designs for some new stuff too. At times, they're going like, 'Oh yeah! This is perfect.' Then other times they're going 'Oh, you know, we'd just like to see it this way.' So there's a little bit of collaboration that has to go on."
In spite of offering the guidance that keeps corporate happy and the toys on model, McFarlane told ComicBook.com that DC would not have come to him if they did not have faith in the McFarlane Toys style of doing things at least on some level. As with anything, he explained, it's about finding that sweet spot where all of the needs are met.
"That was always part of the big overarching conversation," McFarlane said. "Besides me doing it right -- and I can do it right -- how much McFarlane can I put into this? They seem to be pretty flexible so far and a lot of this is, 'Well, show us what you mean by that Todd. Bring it to us and we'll make our calls from there.' So far, like I said, they haven't said no, they've just said bring it. They're not saying they're going to say yes to everything. They're also saying 'Hey, you know what? We don't know what it is that you're talking about until we see it artistically.' I'm hoping that over the course of the next few years that that flexibility is there to have that kind of fun."
Fans can probably expect to see the first McFarlane Toys DC Comics collectibles rolling out in the next year or so -- and just think! With a little luck, the figures will be made to a dimension where you can create your own Batman/Spawn crossover diorama!