I brought the point up on the site earlier this morning, but unfortunately haven’t had much time today to follow up with keeping up with the new addition and all, so I poked around tonight, and discovered a very good article on Reuters talking about the very same concerns I had in regards to the Disney/Marvel merger and how it could end up affecting toy makers, Hasbro in particular.
Reuters brings up some good points, mentioning that current licensing deals will stay intact, “Hasbro’s agreement with Marvel to make toys and games based on the latter’s characters extends through 2017”. However, from there on out, things may get murky, “especially since Disney has a longer history with Hasbro’s arch-rival Mattel Inc.”
Where Hasbro might feel an even bigger pinch, however, is in their recently announced television deal with Discovery Kids. Apparently, thought in industry circles is that Hasbro intended to offer a slate of Marvel related programming on that channel, but obviously with this new move, those programs would more likely drift over to Disney XD instead. Lots of legalese, and a lot of stuff that many of us don’t care about, but regardless, this could get interesting, and even though Hasbro will be cranking out Marvel figures for at least the next 7 years, they may feel the pinch in other areas, and it might be a big one.
Via the New York Times and Topless Robot…
Damn. Long time readers of my site know that back in the day when G.I. Joe news was a bit less constant and frenetic than it is now know that I used to talk quite a bit about Marvel, but mostly in regards to their cartoon and movie endeavors, and not so much about the comics themselves. See, I was a Marvel Comics fan for nearly twenty years until repeated retcons, convoluted stories, and annual massive “EVENTS” took the luster off my love for the medium. But I never lost my love for the characters. Spider-Man, Wolverine, the X-Men, Captain America, Daredevil…they’re all timeless characters that I really love, even if I was growing a bit tired of what was being done to them in the series of 22 pages every month.
And then a funny thing happened…while I was a devout comic fan I laughed and scoffed at the various cartoons, TV elements and movies based on the comic characters. They didn’t match the stories I was reading, they were never mature enough, and often written for the average attention span of a 5 year-old. Recently, though, I’ve done an about-face. While I don’t have the time, energy or inclination to read the monthly Marvel titles, I am a huge fan of the films, the cartoons (Wolverine and the X-Men ROCKS!), the video games, and the characters still ring very true.
So immediately this news hit like a ton of bricks. Is it a good thing? Will some Disney backing ensure more Marvel animated fare or better quality movies? I dunno, Marvel’s been doing a pretty damn good job on their own these days. Will there be any shake up in the Films or Entertainment division? Let’s hope not.
This is an interesting move that could prove to be very good for the future of the Marvel Comics enterprise, or could it also suddenly offer a frustrating series of legal impasses similar to how Warner and DC go about their Hollywood endeavors?
How will this also impact the toy world? Mattel is a long-standing Disney licensee for many of their toy offerings, while Hasbro has the license for all Marvel related action figures and associated toys. Will this offer any sort of conflict between the two?
Time will tell.
Over on JoeCustoms.com, chrysophylax got a hold of Rise of COBRA Wave 4 Charbroil, and has posted a pretty neat mini-review with a nice handful of pictures. I’ve mirrored those pictures right below.
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This figure I’m pretty lukewarm on. There are some neat parts…I love the idea of the COBRA Commander chrome head underneath the helmet to make the goggles look reflective. That’s actually really neat, though it obviously affects the helmet removal. The Blowtorch vest over some of the Resolute parts works nicely, though, and gives the figure a somewhat unique new look. Vintage purists will rant that he looks nothing like Charbroil, but I’ve got no issues with that. The figure has grown on me somewhat, but is still probably one of my least favorite of Wave 4.
Notorious pre-production and prototype fanatic Gyre-Viper over at HissTank.com got his hands on some very early test shots for the upcoming Pursuit of COBRA Zartan and Ripcord (Desert Battle) figures. These figures are slated as early 2010 releases, but could see retail release during the holidays of 2009. And yeah, these images only serve to cement my excitement for the upcoming new direction of G.I. Joe.
While the anniversary was great for what it was, G.I. Joe needs a fresh take and a new “mythology” in my mind. I love and appreciate everything that was in the Real American Hero history, but at this point it’s gotta be considered history. Too many things just don’t translate into cool toys these days if you’re so married to how things were designed twenty-five years ago. Hasbro is taking the core of the Real American Hero mythos and really changing a lot of the elements to make it more 21st Century with a heavy injection of Metal Gear Solid, Ghost in the Shell, and other very cool semi-futuristic influences. The result is toy perfection. I really love these figures, and even without paint apps or much detail, these test shots only further that opinion.
Check out the thread on HissTank here, and mirrored images below.
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I love the Reactive Armor uniform below Ripcord’s flight suit, and the detail on his backpack and vest is just insane. I love how the Joe stuff looks a bit less streamlined here, and kind of more “cobbled together” as far as the technology goes. It’s crazy.
Zartan looks very “sorcerer” like and truly looks Aboriginal and mysterious, which is a great look, too.
I cannot WAIT for 2010. Awesome stuff in the wings, for sure.
HasbroToyShop’s G.I. Joe section has posted “Coming Soon” links for the upcoming Wave 4 G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA action figures. Check out the links below…these items are not currently in stock, but looks like they could be coming very soon! In fact, the estimated arrival date on the site is September 14th.
Even with a lot of reused parts, this is a pretty neat looking wave. Some new characters, some new ideas, and figures to look forward to. I especially dig Night Adder, that is one sick looking COBRA security guard! Thanks to The Terror Drome for the info, and don’t forget to use the gijoe10 code for 10% off!
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