Hello for the last time in 2007. It's been quite a year! Oil prices have gone through the roof and have taken our toy prices with them. The contraction in our hobby continues. There seems to be less and less companies out there breaking into the market. There also seems to be a consolidation of licenses under just a few companies. Hasbro seems to be gobbling up as many licenses as it can. They now have Star Wars, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Marvel (which they seem to have done a poor job on to date) and Indiana Jones (which is set to suck cash from our wallets any day now). The Star Wars line was just stellar this year. I don't collect it anymore but if I did I know I would be very happy (If not alot poorer).
Mattel looks to be finally improving by leaps and bounds with the DC Super Herosline. This line should be a real eye opener in 2008.
Sideshow Collectibles seems to becoming a distributor rather then a manufacturer. 2008 will be an interesting year to see just what direction SSC takes. All the while, collectors are wondering just when armored Star Wars characters are going to be released? Is Lord of the Rings ever going to see the balance of The 9? Will we see other characters beyond those? Time will tell.
Gentle Giant has pumped out some amazing product in 2007! Now that they are making action figures one wonders just what might come out of this juggernaut of a company. Look for 2008 to be a breakout year for them.
McFarlane seems to be chugging along. I saw the pictures of the first Halo figure. I have to honestly say that I am disappointed in it. In my opinion the day of cut joints is over. If you are going to make a popular line of toys they need to have the ablility to be posed as they might be from whatever genre' they come from. Cut joints really don't allow you to do much with a figure. I will hope that the Master Chiefs will have better articulation then just cut joints for movement.
Thier Twisted Santa Claus figures rocked as far as I am concerned. I wonder if we will see a continuation of these in 2008? I would love to see a reindeer set!
The vinyl market is really exploding. I love this category of figures and I am really looking forward to a banner 2008 with lots of new and innovative designs. Upperdeck is making some great Sports as well as Marvel figures. There is even a company, Round5, making UFC vinyl!
Hell, I actually sold my first custom figure (a Mega Guin) this year! I guess I can now officially call myself an artist. Hopefully I can do more in 2008.
As I have dome in year's past I would like to thank some very important people in my life. First and foremost is my wife. She really does tolerate a tremendous amount of chaos my hobby brings to our household. Without her I would probably be dead or homeless. Thanks honey!
To Don A, the owner of AFTimes. Don actually lets a crazed group of inmates run the asylum. I can't thank Don enough for giving me a voice in this industry. Thank you Don!!
To Andrew Gaughan my very close friend and colleague. If not for Andrew (and Don of course) there would be no Toygodd. (I am sure there are a number of people who would like that...) Andrew gave me my column, taught me the ropes, helped me improve my writing and picture taking skills, and remains one of my closest friends. Thanks Andrew!
To Editor Glen. What can I say about a guy who puts up with my constant badgering, updates and phone calls? Glen stepped into the shoes of Editor and has done a tremendous job. Glen expanded my coverage with The Toybox and The Qee Vault. His contests are second to none on the net and he makes this carnival of a site run as smoothly as any business around. Glen deserves a standing ovation from all of us for his hard work. Thank you Glen!!
To Steve, aka ???Man. I met Steve years ago on the net and we became really good friends. He writes several columns here as well as a lot of other duties. He works tirelessly at making sure that AFTimes isn't over run by maniacs and knows his Imports and Super heros better then just about anybody else I know. I consider Steve to be amoung my closest friends and know that AFTimes wouldn't be the place it is without his involvement. Thanks Steve, great job.
I also wish to thank all of the readers of the whole site. Truth be told, we wouldn't be doing this if not for you. I am hoping that the site continues to give you the information and pictures you are looking for. If you have any suuggestions about an area you think could use some changes, drop me a line! We are always willing to listen.
To a core group of readers who always communicate with me. Drew-P, CRBoyd, Raymond B, Pip, and Renny FC. I can always count on you guys to send me a letter now and then to keep me on my toes. I wish more people would write me (without the bribe of a prize).
Well this is it for 2007. I wish all of you & your families wherever you may be, a very Happy & Safe New Years. May 2008 be a better one for all of us.
See you next year!
Eric "Toygodd" Frank