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McFarlane Toys News and Updates

Find out all the latest news about Todd McFarlane Toys and all their future releases.

This page is constantly updated with all the latest news about the latest figures from McFarlane Toys.

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But Who is Todd McFarlane and when was McFarlane Toys created?

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Todd McFarlane was born in Calgary, Alberta in Canada on March 16, 1961 and has had a meteoritic rise to fame and fortune, all thanks to a comic book character.

Like many teenage boys he enjoyed reading comic books and despite being a talented young artist, even at an early age he often spent his spare time drawing comic book heroes, his real passion was baseball.

He was even awarded a baseball scholarship during his college years, but despite this he had to work as a janitor in a comic book shop in order to pay the fees. McFarlane's love of the game continued throughout high school, college and University.

He was even recruited by a local Seattle Mariners scout to play on a semi-professional summer team at Kamloops, British Columbia which is where he met met and became inseparable friends with Al Simmons (anyone recognize that name?).

However, despite this Todd was couldn't find any Major league teams willing to sign him so when his baseball college eligibility expired he naturally continued drawing comic book characters.

The young McFarlane was no quitter though and wasn't willingly to sit back and let fate deal him his hand and so determined to find work he submited his artwork to comic book editors across the USA and Canada, and in the process collected more than 700 rejection letters.

But Todd continued to submit his artwork and eventually his persistence paid of when he received an acceptance offer from Marvel/Epic comics in March of 1984 to pencil an11 page back up story in the Coyote comic titled "Scorpio Rose".

McFarlane he married his high school sweetheart Wanda in July 1985 and they moved to Washington so that Wanda could complete her biology degree then they moved to a suburb of Vancouver in Canada.

As well as continuing to do work for Marvel comics he also accepted assignments from DC Comics. Some of his work with DC Comics included penciling several issues of The Incredible Hulk, the Batman title Detective as well as two issues of Batman: Year Two.

As a result of his hard work and dedication, his unique style, meticulous attention to detail and quality he quickly rose to the top of Marvel's artist roster, but his big break came when he penciled the Amazing Spiderman, helping to take it from the number 9 spot to number 1.

Eventually, due to his success, Marvel gave him his own title to solely write, pencil and ink with Spider-Man. Issue 1 was released in September 1990 and much to everyone's surprise it became the biggest selling comic of all time, selling more than 2.5 million copies at the newsstand!

McFarlane took a well earnt, and much needed break in 1991 when his first daughter was born, during which time he and his family moved to Portland in Oregon.

McFarlane was also planning to create a publishing company with the ideal that artists would have more creative freedom and control over their own creations.

This resulted in McFarlane and six of Marvels top artists announcing their departure to create Comic Images which acted as the parent company and publisher for each the individual artists own comic book company which meant that although they published together under the parent companies name each retained the control of their own characters including all licensing and merchandising rights.. The seven artists who set up Comic Images included Todd, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Jim Valentino, Erik Larsen, Marc Silvestri and Whilce Portacio.

This in turn lead to McFarlane finally publishing the comic book he had created and penciled nearly 10 years previously.

And so Spawn was born.

The first issue of Spawn became the best selling independent comic book of all time in May 1992, selling more than 1.7 million copies.

Spawn's success has continued and still remains a top selling title in both the US and around the world. Spawn is now sold in 35 countries and is translated into 10 different languages.

Later McFarlane became keen on the idea of turning the Spawn character into an action figure, but one that would appeal to the older more mature fans and collectors.

He approached several companies with his proposals but was disappointed by their lack of forsight and willingness to grant him any control over the process.

Although frustrating for him at the time it was this that led Todd to form McFarlane Toys in order to retain creative control and ensure a quality product that he personally had approved.

Due to McFarlane's continued dedication and hardwork McFarlane Toys became a huge success renown for its quality, detail and value and has evolved from an independent toy company into one of the world's biggest and most highly regarded toy manufacturers, the benchmark by which many other companies and toys are judged so high is their reputation.

Then in 2001 McFarlane Toys took over the baton from Kenner to be THE exclusive manufacturer of Sports Figures, picking up the licenses for alto produce action figures for all four of the Major League sports.

Initially people were wary as to whether McFarlane could produce the goods at the price fans were willing to pay and give them the standards they demanded.

Not only did he achieve this, but he surpassed expectations by producing some of the most detailed and accurate sports figure sculpts to date.

With the use of all the advances in technology and 3-D body scans in order to create picture perfect figures that set that standard for action figures across the whole spectrum of the hobby.

There are three different "lines" that come under McFarlanes Sports Picks brand:

Basic Series: Each season there is generally one basic series of basketball action figures released based on the top players and/or rookies of that season.

Legends: The Legends series highlights those players who have achieved a high level of success within the NBA or have entered the Basketball Hall of Fame. This series represents the "Best of the Best".

Collectors Edition: The Collectors Edition series of basketball action figures consists of 'one of' releases to celebrate special events or occassions such as the All-Stars game.

Many collectors will leave their figures in their packaging as an "investment" but generally I prefer to take them out of the packaging and allow them to "breathe".

In recent years there has been a big debate on how much "articulation", i.e. moving parts, there should be as the trend since the 90's has been to keep articulation to a minimum, usually 5-6 points, but companies such as Hot Toys seems to be bucking this trend and pushing the "art" of articulation to its limits with some figures having as many as 30-40.

All in all McFarlane have created an excellent line of high quality, well produced and excellently sculpted sports figures that have captured the hearts and minds of fans and collectors alike and look likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

To sum up Todd says:

"My ability to deliver a good product is my strength, I'd like to be remembered as a guy who turned out some quality comics and toys, while doing a few different things even if it wasn't the easiest road to follow."

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