Craig Drobis is the SVP of Marketing for boys action figures and collectors for Jakks Pacific. ToyHypeUSA will be sending him monthly questions and we will have your answers back on or around the beginning of each month. Send us your questions to [email protected]. Send in your questions by August 10th, 2023 (send these in right away before we max out of submissions).
Update: August 9th 7:08 pm EST – Submissions are closed. Check back for the answers and as always, next round make sure to get your questions in early!
Hello there, will there be any plans to bring back Splatoon in the revision of World of Nintendo? Or bring in new series such as Fire Emblem as a Fire Emblem line? Or perhaps a 2.0 of the Ocarina Of Time Link figures and 2.0 Inklings?
Splatoon is currently one of Nintendo’s biggest series ever since it started back in 2015, with extreme popularity and such instant high sales such as a few months back, to the top immediately alongside Mario and Zelda, will you capitalize on its ever growing popularity with merchandise such as 4 Inch figures for the series?
You mentioned a few months back that you were curious to know what the fan’s thoughts were on if you were to do the two remaining 4 inch Yoshi Colors, Dark Blue Yoshi, and White Yoshi, that if you were to use the new mold or the original mold for your Super Mario 4 Inch line. Everybody has said and agreed that we all want the last two colors that are missing to be made using the original Yoshi mold, and not at all the new articulated updated one, as many want their collections to remain consistent with all 10 colors finally being together after almost 10 years of Jakks starting them with that original mold. Like you mentioned before, we would all prefer to complete the 4 inch Yoshi Color Series with the same original tooling just like the first that were released.
Your input is greatly appreciated.
Will The Super Mario Bros. Movie toy line take this rare chance to make popular and classic characters who have never had action figures of them made before in history with the 5 Inch line, such as one of the main characters of the movie, Spike? And some of the main Kongs who appeared in the film such as Chunky Kong, Kiddy Kong and Swanky Kong who have finally at last returned in the Mario/Donkey Kong Series
At this point, everything that we are producing for the Super Mario Bros. Movie toy line has been announced and almost all has started shipping to retailers globally if it hasn’t arrived already. There isn’t anything beyond the wave 2 announcements for the line. What I very much enjoyed about the movie was Illumination’s ability to pull in many characters from across the Super Mario universe. If we had the ability to build a product line that we could release over several years, there is plenty to work with, including the ones you mentioned. I know I can seem coy at times about not confirming or denying future releases. In this instance, I can be clear that there is a lot to enjoy about the movie and the product line that Jakks was able to create, however there is no future development beyond wave 2. We hope you enjoy what we have released and will continue to support the evergreen Super Mario product line, for which there is lots of new news still to come.
With the recent announcement of Super Mario RPG coming to Switch, one of the most iconic and popular game of all time remade in 3D, will you all use this amazing once in a lifetime and rare opportunity to make the two beloved characters fans have always wanted to see more of, Geno and Mallow, and make 4 inch action figures of both of them from the soon to be hit game!?
Well, now I can go back to being coy. Those are great suggestions. We have only seen what was on the Nintendo Direct and haven’t had the opportunity to formulate any plans with Nintendo. It takes over a year to produce and distribute a figure, and there is a lot of effort put in by the design team to make sure Jakks maintains the quality and price that Jakks does on the line as a whole.
– With the 4″ Modern Sonic Cast almost complete (minus 4″ Charmy, which I assume won’t be too far away). Will you be focusing on 4″ Classic for a while, or do you plan to still do new Modern & Classic figures together in 4″?
This is a discussion with have with Sega and we want to find ways to keep the assortments fresh. Sometimes that means variants, sometimes that means going into Classic, and sometimes that means game specific elements and accessories. Similarly but separately, we are very excited to hear the reaction to the Sonic Prime product line which has started arriving to retailers. I personally think the design team has outdone themselves on this line. The 5” figures look great and have all the added detail and articulation that these characters in their various versions deserve. I hope you all enjoy them.
– Could we perhaps see new Sonic characters such as Sage from Sonic Frontiers and Trip & Fang from Superstars (Fang’s not technically new, but he’s new to 3D games) get figures in the line anytime soon?
Those are great suggestions. Jakks is working with Sega to determine what future introductions will be and as noted above, the development process does take some time.
– This is more of a question about distribution. As with 4″ Wave 12 (with Jet & Super Silver), it’s been the hardest wave to get so far in not just the US, but also in other countries. With the UK only having one shop selling the wave at, except for Jet the Hawk (who’s not available to buy at all in the UK, the only figure in the wave you can’t get in the UK).
Is there a chance these distribution issues could be improved eventually? And that Jet could maybe get another re-release at some point? As with some countries not even getting him, he’s become the hardest-to-get figure in the line.
Apologies that you are having challenges finding specific figures. In an ideal world, there is equal distribution and sell through of the waves across the many retailers and countries that sell our product. Unfortunately, it is not an easy task and figure sell through at varying rates depending on retailer, location, time of year, etc. We spend a lot of time working with our retail partners and managing orders and production to be as even and efficient as possible. I don’t know what the specific answers are to this wave. The UK has been a great supporter of the brand and we appreciate the interest and support.
While distribution has gotten better with the Sonic 4” line, many stores are clogged with Modern and Classic Sonics, has Jakks given consideration to changing the makeup of the cases they send out so more of the new characters in each wave are sent to stores?
I am happy you feel there is improvement in the distribution. As noted in the above answer, not every retail location sells through at the same rate which is why sometimes the same retailer will have different figures on the shelf in different locations at the same time. Similarly, we do monitor the sell through of the figures within each wave and do rebalance over time. We are working multiple waves ahead and we react as quickly as we can as the data becomes available. Sonic, of course, remains the top selling character and Sega is bringing new fans into the franchise every day with the many great games and entertainment opportunities they are creating.