Monday, January 19, 2015

Jazwares: No More Sonic Figures 2015 Bad License News

It didn't take long into 2015 to get bad news.
Judging by lots of factors including:

Both provided by PatMac, it looks like Jazwares has LOST or GIVEN UP its Sonic licenses. Everybody knows this is bad news, but what exactly does it mean?

**Figure fans! Be sure to read the buyer alert in this post!**

There are THREE Sonic licenses a company can get.
Classic. Modern. Boom.
Each one lets you do only styles & characters appearing in that type/era. Jazwares had 2, obviously, classic & modern. 

Why would a license end?
Company no longer wants it / won't pay / can't pay / fails to care
License is revoked by license-GIVER company due to whatever reason they can legally pass off to terminate it
License-giver company goes out of biz / license cease to exist

What happened to JW?
Official word is not known. Did they drop? Were they forced out? Speculation is strong that they were revoked or denied renewal to favor Tomy & Boom. The lines would compete with each other (that's a fact) if together on store shelves. So as not to dilute profits among 2 companies, one had to go.

What about future figures?
No Rouge. No SBK Silver or Knuckles. Clearly the SBKs exist as prototypes & 1 got seen but it's likely no one will get them. Anything they said they'd do, they won't. Old stuff will continue to trickle onto shelves and into clearing stores like Ross, Big Lots, TJ Maxx, Marshalls stores in the USA, and online clearinghouses, but that's it.

What does this mean for collectors? / Buyer Alert!
If you don't have it & want it BUY IT NOW. Whatever JW thing it is you see on a store shelf buy it. As soon as a company stops making something values start to climb. Whether it's an old line, a certain type of figure or whatever, there are always new people wanting it & entering the fandom. If it is no longer produced, that creates scarcity & drives up prices. Figures WILL continue to trickle for some time, but the trickle will end, don't be fooled by a figure popping up here and there. Price gouging stores online & ebay will circle like vultures dispensing markups. 

What drives the value up even more?
ONLY Boomstyle stuff available on any market. Tomy MAY or MAY NOT have the other 2 licenses. Either way, they won't produce anything but Boom for the forseeable future of 2015. Sega is leaning on Boom really really hard and likely won't risk diluting it's presence with other styles on toy shelves. If you don't like boom "Too bad for you"*. If people could still buy normal Sonic classic/modern toys, it wouldn't matter as much, but they can't.

Why is this bad news for figure collectors?
Because Boom lacked a lot of fan faves. No Cream. No Rouge. No Blaze or Espio. No Marine or Tikal. No hope of Super Posers Sonic/Shadow getting fixed, or SP Amy getting added. Even if you like Boom, 'boom only' won't bring you other characters you like. Also, nothing from other games like SBK, the Tornado from Sonic 3, or even badniks & chao. All are off the table until boomhype quits.

How long will this last?
No one knows. There's no way to predict just how much Boom will replace everything else & how many categories it will stamp variety out of regarding merchandise. (Ex. No more modern or classic clothing, all clothing from now on = Boom, etc) 

*Will this increase Boom hate?
Yes. Nobody likes being told "TOO BAD!" regarding the thing they like. It creates resentment that might not otherwise be there. Boom hate is annoying to Boom fans, but both sides are not in control of the JW situation.

Is there any good news in all this?
Maybe. JW plastic quality wasn't the best. A new company or Tomy may have better quality in the future. Having CG 3D computer models and 3D prototypers with digital files SHOULD enable any new company, or even Tomy to avoid off model garbage or ugly lame figures that we had in the past. Remember! JW was the first company to give fans actual ON MODEL CONSISTENT action figures. Take a stroll through Toy Island pages or some of the ReSaurus stuff. Goat-eye Super Posers, anyone? Memory lane isn't as rosy as some might imagine, Metal Force. No one wants a return to unquality garbage. 

Good news 2:
Boom line seems to be making vehicles, (that arent all stars) which people do like The egg o matic, for instance, and the plane. Also Orbot & Cubot are not 'boomstyled' so they can be from the 'modern' category if you didn't like Boom itself but still wanted these henchbots. Tomy isn't terrible, the figures are decent/look like the show & nobody has complained about quality. There's enough variety & it doesn't look like any character is getting neglected. They are doing a good job with what they have, and the release seems wide/consistent. It appears to be handling well at TRU. 

Next week:
Hopefully some good news. This is a big hit to figure fans, of which I am one. I don't hate every aspect of Boom/dump on it/complain continually about it, but I don't like it being "the only thing there is", though it may be that way for a while. I want collectors and fans of each character, each type (classic/modern) to be able to be happy with lots of interesting and quality merchandise with fun news too.