Friday, 22 May 2009

Let's celebrate

Hi guys, I’m back for another update, my apologies for the wait.

First up I have the painted version of Ka-Zar and Zabu. Obviously these chaps aren’t wearing the usual bright coloured spandex that we’re used to but I think the more natural colours stay true to their comic portrayals and actually make them standout (in a good way) in the collection.

Next, I have the painted version of Madrox the Multiple Man. I know the costume choice was a little controversial at the time but I hope everyone will agree that the figure’s really got the ‘X-Factor’. You’ll notice that we didn’t put the M tattoo on his face. This was due to the fact that it’s a super-recent addition to his look and at the moment is a little story specific, rather than timeless.

As well as painted figures, I’ve also got a concept sketch of Gorgon.

And on top of that here’s the cover for our 100th issue – Banshee. I know some collectors were keen that we put in a special ‘one-off’ figure for our 100th, and the name Stan Lee has been mentioned. Doing Stan as a figure is an idea that I wouldn’t totally dismiss but I think if we did something like that it would come at the end of the collection, which happily we’ve not reached yet. Anyway, I hope you like the cover.

Finally, and I’m really spoiling you guys now, I have some news regarding Marvel’s 70th Anniversary. I’ve been thinking long and hard about how the CMFC can join in with the celebrations and we’ve come up with the idea (which I think a few have mentioned) of making a special of the Destroyer. He’s a Golden-Age character who made his first appearance in 1941 and is one of the first Marvel characters created by Stan Lee. While I’m still planning the magazine element of the special, I can say that it won’t just focus on the Destroyer but will touch upon many of the Golden-Age characters as well as Marvel’s entire 70 year history.

For those of you wondering why the Destroyer? Well, when you look back through Marvel’s earliest characters he’s one of the most recurring and popular outside the big three of the time: Captain America, Sub-Mariner and Human Torch. As we’ve already made figures of each of these characters (I know it was FF torch not Golden-Age but they would look similar) I thought we’d get another character in the collection rather than having another version of one already made. And for those of you worried about the special running order, we’re not losing any of the confirmed specials or giving away a slot for another character, the 70th Anniversary special will be an extra. We’re planning to slightly tweak the release dates for later specials so that the Destroyer can comfortably fit in; he’ll be out during the start of October (the official month for the 70th Anniversary).

Right that is your lot, have a great Bank Holiday weekend.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Man or Machine

Hello people, things have quietened down a little this week so I’m back for a longer update than the last one.

First up just want to say it’s great that this blog is generating so many comments and giving us a lot of feedback here at Eaglemoss. However, can I ask that everyone tries to keep a cool head and refrain from using any derogatory language. It’s hard to always get your point across on a blog or forum and some posts can be misinterpreted so let’s all remember to be civil and respect each others views.

Now enough from ‘old man’ Richard, time to answer some questions about the way we choose characters for the extensions.

Firstly I’ve noticed that a lot of discussion has been on X-Men characters (especially villains) and how many we have in the collection. Well first up, I promise you we’re not anti X-Villains here at Eaglemoss, in fact we're not really anti anything. Between the chaps who work on the Marvel project and some of our other mags we’ve got a large cross-section of comic readers.

Dan (Designer) is a big fan of Kirby characters and wants to diversify the collection as much as possible to include the horror elements.

Alan (previous editor) loves the Defenders, some of the old ‘50s monsters, and obscure Daredevil characters.

Gary (DC designer) is a big fan of the ‘70s characters.

And I personally grew-up on X-Men comics from the ‘80s and ‘90s.

When we do choose which characters go into an extension we spend a long time coming up with a list of potentials (the last one was 150 characters long) we then choose based on a number of criteria including:

Number of comics the character’s been in.
Importance to the rest of Marvel Universe.
How good the figure will look.
The comic fans' perceived importance of the character.
The Marvel ‘family’ they fit into.

And belief it or not, we always look at the balance of the collection, and try to make sure that we have a fair number of characters from the main Marvel families.

There might be a few groups that are slightly underrepresented but we always strive to fill any extension with characters that help complete sets (Inhumans, Alpha Flight, X-Men…) as well as starting new ones such as Thunderbolts, Eternals, Guardians Galaxy. We also want to have a solid mix of old characters and modern ones to keep everyone interested.

At the same time we’re keen to have the collection reflect the Marvel Universe, in diversity and make-up. What does this mean? Well one example is with female characters (which I think we’re all keen to get more in the collection). A quick look through the Marvel Encyclopedia (DK edition) shows that Marvel’s characters are predominantly male with only around 25% female. Looking in our collection we’ve got 31 females out of 140 which is about 22% so we’re not that behind Marvel. Obviously this is just an example and we don’t actually sit around all day using stats to choose characters but hopefully you can see the point I’m making.

All in all it’s a tough balancing act and I hope you can see we think hard about it and, more importantly, I hope you agree with me that we get it more right than wrong.

So the big question: who’ll make the next extension if/when we get one? Well you’ll all just have to wait and see. Last time we let you guys choose a lot of the characters and I’m happy to let you choose a few more but definitely not all of them.

Will there be more X-villains? Yes.

Will there be some new groups started? Yes.

Will I reveal anymore right now? No

And finally a figurine update: Machine Man.