NECA Toys Interview With Randy Falk On Horror Toylines

NECA Toys Interview With Randy Falk On Horror Toylines

It’s no secret that when it comes to making realistic and super cool looking high end action figures, NECA Toys is at the top of the list for many adult fans and collectors. In recent years, NECA has been offering increased quality and great likenesses on all of their products, including updating some of their horror lines with more articulation. We’ve seen the company expand their licenses to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Crash Bandicoot, Golden Girls and even DC action figures just in the past few years alone. While we’re all in quarantine and following the announcement that San Diego Comic-Con has been cancelled this year, we caught up with our friend Randy Falk of NECA Toys to talk about some of the horror toylines that has fans eager to learn what’s coming.

Randy, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us and I hope you are safe and healthy out there. It’s a crazy time and so much has changed in the world since I last saw you at New York ToyFair. I’d imagine that working from home and not being in the studio every day has been an unusual experience for you. Hopefully things will get back to a more normal feeling by next year, and I for one cannot wait to see what you guys are working on.

1. I would like to start things off by asking about San Diego Comic-Con and to see if NECA will have some kind of Comic-Con at home experience that the show itself has mentioned, and it will include a live feed or anything like that?

Yes, we are in the planning stages now but we plan to do SDCC from the NECA studios, probably across 3 – 4 days/nights. Timed with when SDCC would have occurred. Doing live reveals and some Q&A

2. New York ToyFair has some great reveals this year and there is a lot to look forward too on many fronts. Sticking with horror–and yes for anyone wondering I have one Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles question that I have to ask you that you can read below–what is going on with A Nightmare on Elm Street? I’m personally missing the vibe of new Freddy Krueger figures and for me, it was noticeable that he wasn’t shown in the display. Do you have any updates at this time that you can share, and do you think that we’ll get a Freddy Vs. Jason – Ultimate Freddy figure sooner rather than later to go along with last years Jason figure?

Sadly due to licensing issues and restrictions on both NOES and F13th no new product is allowed to be licensed or created at this time

3. One franchise news that caught my eye back in February was that Hatchet‘s Victor Crowley will be offered as a 8″ Clothed Figure and in Toony Terrors Series 4. How excited are you to get your hands on Victor Crowley and is it safe to assume that we’ll see other figures for him such as in the Ultimate 7″ scale line and/or a 1/4″ scale figure?

it is exciting and fun to get some of the modern movies into the lineup like Hatchet and what we have been doing with The Conjuring Universe as well. If the sales and demand is there we will expand the offerings for sure.

 

4. It’s great to see that NECA will be offering Ghost Face from Scream this year and I know it’s been awhile since the company has offered him in the 7″ scale. I wanted to ask you if Ghost Face will come with multiple heads and what accessories will be offered with him? I checked back in my video interview with Stefan at New York ToyFair and the figure was not shown while I was there. How will he be different than the previous offering in the Cult Classics line?

 

Totally new sculpt w updated articulation, soft goods robe, and multiple heads and accessories that we will reveal during SDCC timing

5. It shouldn’t be any surprise to you or to anyone else that i’m very passionate over the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand and I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all you’re doing for the franchise. It’s an exciting time for the brand and I can’t wait for the next waves of figures that are coming. To keep this interview related to horror lines, I want to ask you a question that i’m not sure has not been covered as I know a lot has already been said about Turtles recently. There’s an image circulating on the internet of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover custom-made figures with horror icons, including Michelangelo as Michael Myers, Donatello as Freddy Krueger, Raphael as Jason Voorhees and Leonardo as Leatherface. Has there ever been a discussion at NECA about doing a crossover line such as this for the 7″ scale line, and do you think that it could eventually happen one day?

I know the image you refer to and those are fan made customs, I don’t think you’ll ever see licensed mash ups of those particular IPs for  variety of reasons. I do love the classic Universal Monsters mash-ups that were done w TMNT back in the mid 90s and I think something like that would be really fun to revisit

 

6. Speaking of Cult Classics, I took some time to refresh my memory of what NECA had put out back in the day and was amazed by all of the great characters and licenses that were introduced in that line. With today’s high quality figures and premium articulation, I feel that a lot of those characters would benefit greatly if they were updated in the Ultimate line. I’m looking at The Crow, Phantasm – The Tall Man, Evil Dead, Lost Boys and so many other characters and franchises that you could look at doing. We’ve already seen updates to Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Gremlins, Child’s Play, Hellraiser, Evil Dead and others in recent years, but what are your thoughts about updating at least some or most of the Cult Classics offerings and expanding the line to characters that NECA has not done before? Pumkinhead comes to my mind and I believe that’s been on the minds of the fanbase for years.

Well the thing about Cult Classics was we could mix up some lesser known characters because it was weighted by the A list stuff included at in the same assortment and costs to develop and manufacture were about half of what they are now so it is harder to take risks or include the lesser known movies or characters into the fold. The days of assortments have pretty much gone away and the success we have seen over the last 3-4 years has been maximizing under the ultimate banner and I’m sure you’ve noticed many other companies following suit with their presentation and nomenclature. We utilize the 8” clothed format do we can do stuff like Capt Blake and Candyman and others that don’t necessarily qualify for the Ultimate line and we have expanded w Toony Terrors as well so we have a few different avenues that allow us to play with the lesser known titles

All that being said we have lined up many new licenses for horror for 2021 and beyond and you will see a bunch of things we have never done before and in a few cases that no one else has ever done before. Major reveals and announcements timed for Toy Fair Feb 2021

 

7. The Starz Ash Vs. Evil Dead television series had some nice looking figures that came out of that, and while the last season or two didn’t live up to my personal expectations, I loved seeing Bruce Campbell return to his iconic role. I think that NECA offered some great and memorable figures and really wish that had continued. Do you think that NECA could revisit Ash Vs. Evil Dead anytime soon and do you think we’ll see something for the new Evil Dead movie that they are currently working on? It sounds as though it’s a sequel that won’t have Campbell as the lead, rather than another reboot.

Anything Ash is always a blast and Bruce Campbell is great. We are definitely doing more with him but I cant expand on what versions or which film(s) at this time

 

8. You can never have too many Chucky figures from Child’s Play and all of the sequels that followed. This year at ToyFair however I don’t recall seeing anything new, and I wanted to ask you about future possible plans for the franchise. Cult of Chucky was the last film and brought back both the original Andy from the ’88 film, Kyle from Child’s Play 2, and other original cast members. There is also supposed to be a new television series coming out, but it’s likely been further delayed in the state of the world right now. My question to you is this: when can we get more Chucky figures? I’m sure that there are variations from Cult of Chucky that you can use for both Chucky and Tiffany. Is there any chance of an Andy and Kyle figure from this film as well?

You will see some new Chucky related things come SDCC and no plans for any of the human characters from those films, sorry

9. Since NECA started the Ultimate line, you guys have hit heavily on many of the A-list characters such as Freddy, Jason, Chucky, Michael Myers and Leatherface just to name a few. This year another one of those heavy hitters jointed the line – Pinhead from Hellraiser. Pinhead was finally offered in this line and came out better than expected. He’s a character that fans have been waiting for and you guys really knocked this one out of the park. It feels as though Pinhead could use the Cenobites to back him up, and I was wondering if there was a chance of them joining Pinhead at some point down the road in the Ultimate line. I know these are probable C-listed characters, but they each have some great designs that will work well in this line.

 

I agree it would be great to see the core 4, to be able to do the other 3 to join Pinhead would be nice but I am not sure it will happen. We have a really full schedule and have to maximize on the licenses and programs we have in place with all sorts of different brands and anniversaries like Alien, BTTF, TMNT, and so on

10. Pennywise has had a lot of success for NECA Toys, and at New York ToyFair we only saw on new Pennywise figure that was based on It: Chapter 2. You guys have already done four versions for the first film (i’m not counting the GameStop bloody version and the SDCC 2019 exclusives), so I was wondering how many more versions can NECA do for It: Chapter 2? Any chance we’ll see a brand new sculpt as there were multiple versions of Pennywise seen from the final battle against as seen at the end of the film?

 

The Chapter 2 version of Pennywise may be the last version for a while, we have done a lot from all 3 films (including the 1990 original in this)

 

11. Toony Terrors is definitely a fun line and I love how these iconic characters can look far less frightening and given an animated look. We saw Wave 4 at New York ToyFair, such as Victor Crowley as mentioned above, as well as the Exorcist, Trick ‘r Treat Sam, and the ghost with the most Beetlejuice. I’m assuming that the response from the line has been strong, and I was wondering if there were possibilities of seeing more characters, especially in franchises we haven’t seen from NECA in quite sometime, or ever for that matter? How far do you guys plan to take this line?

Wave 5 is done and you’ll see some of that at SDCC and we have a special dedicated themed wave being sculpted right now that we are all really excited about, hoping we can get it all approved. We have a lot of concepts done for 2021 and beyond, just a matter of timing and how much we can sculpt and paint in a given year

 

12. One license that many fans would love to see is an Ultimate figure done for Leprechaun given the cult classic status and a pretty good sequel back in 2018. Are we any closer to getting a figure from this franchise?

Want to skip this one

13. Seeing Michael Myers return to store shelves in the Ultimate line has been a treat and he’s definitely long overdue. With all of the Jason Voorhees Ultimate figures done for each of the movies, Michael has been on the back burner it seems. Do you think we’ll see more variations of Michael in this line, such as from films like Halloween (1978), Halloween III-V, Halloween: H20, Halloween: Resurrection, and the other films over the years?

We do not have the license to those other films

 

14. Keeping the same question about Michael Myers, what about the 8″ Clothed line? Are more variations possible?

skip

 

15. They Live has been making a return in the past year and I for one was so thrilled to see that NECA obtained the rights to get a figure of John Nada, the character that WWE superstar Roddy Piper played. I know that’s a tough likeness to get and I wanted to congratulate you guys on obtaining this. How has the feedback been on this line so far? Besides John Nada, is NECA exploring more actor likenesses? Do you think we’ll get more Aliens for this line?

Response has been great and we definitely would like to do more if and when time allows

 

 

16. The 100th figure of the Predator line is surely a milestone for NECA with their Alpha Predator figure. I am personally very excited for this release. Out of all of the choices out there, what made you guys choose this particular design/character for the 100th Predator figure?

 

We had wanted to do our own thing with Predator for a long time, the Kenner inspired designs allow us to flex some of that creativity but expanding and detailing out those concepts establish in their figures from back in the early 90s. The #100 achievement felt like the right time to do it and it was truly born out of an email circulated amongst all those in the design studio for what we envision and want to see in this figure. The idea to pay homage to the original look, the Van Damme insectoid look, that was important to us from the start, finding a way to make that work but on a Predator that has the look and feel and footprint of a Predator. It organically grew and got fleshed out by everyone here weighing in w suggestions and ideas and then Dave Silva drawing it all out and sculpting that masterpiece. It is a figure we all celebrate and it’s inclusion in the new video game Hunting Ground is the icing on the cake for us. The only way this could be better is to see Alpha up on the big screen someday.

Do you think that more unused Predator designs from the movies are possible at some point?

Anything is possible

17. Moving on to the Alien franchise – I know that’s one of your most popular brands and you guys have been doing such a great job with it. I want to ask you about the possibility of bringing back the Kenner Alien vehicles such as the Space Marine EVAC Fighter, Electronic Hovertrend, Space Marine Stinger XT-37, and a new Power Loader would be possible for the 7″ Kenner inspired line? The Predator Blade Fighter Vehicle was brought back and i’m hoping that more of these classic Kenner vehicles would get the same treatment. What are your thoughts on this?

 

HUGE risk, tooling for vehicles is a fortune and they don’t perform as well as figures, the Blade Fighter was fun to do but was not financially successful. Anything we do in the future would probably draw from the films as opposed to the Kenner line and at our scale the cost for a vehicle is so astronomical we would probably need to look at crowd funding or some sort of backer platform for it and at the moment that is not something we have the time nor inclination to explore

 

18. The announcement and cancellation of these Toony Terrors Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger figures based on the video game of these were very sudden. What is the current status of these figures and even if you can’t do Freddy right now, any chance that Jason will see a release sometime soon?

See previous answers re these brands

 

19. NECA Toys acquisition of Lootcrate have opened the doors for new exclusive figures from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Gremlins. While the Spirit of Splinter figure saw enough backers and was released, the Gremlins “Dress Up & Play” Figure sadly did not happen. Are there plans to revisit the figure perhaps as an exclusive?

Most of that figure found its way into the new Ultimate Flasher Gremlin and the few items that didn’t make it in with the flasher are being considered for a possible accessory pack in the future

 

20. With the return of Creepshow on Shudder and now available on AMC, it comes to no surprise to see that NECA offer a figure of The Creep. I have to ask if more characters from the new series, monsters, maybe even a monkey’s paw, could get the same figure treatment? Also, is there any chance of NECA offering figures of the classic films?

Our license is only for the current AMC series and we will be watching with great interest as it expands and as Season 2 unfolds to see what else makes sense from a figural perspective

 

Randy, thanks again for taking the time to talk with us and I hope to see some great toys made for years to come. Congratulations on such a strong showing at New York ToyFair and I wish you all the success in the world. Stay safe out there and hoping to see you next year at ToyFair, since everything is cancelled this year.

To buy products from NECA Toys, check out Entertainment Earth, BigBadToyStoreMegalopolis: City Of Collectibles, Hobby Link Japan, Things From Another World, Zavvi – U.S./Canada and Zavvi – U.K.

Categories: Interviews, NECA Toys, Toy News

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