FIRST LOOK at the Kantus and new Boomer types...
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NECA's Head of Product Development, Randy Falk, once again returns to kindly answer a new round of questions regarding their popular line of Gears of War action figures. In addition, we get a first look at upcoming new Boomer types (Butcher and Grinder) and the world debut of the Locust priests/monks, the Kantus. For those keeping track of this amazing figure series, NECA has also supplied a handy poster showing all 33 figures released to date that you can download HERE! Lock 'n load your Lancer and let's move out...
1) With the amazing all-star Series 5 now hitting retail, the question on top of everyone's mind is what characters will make up Series 6? I know we have the robot Jack and numerous Boomer types (Mauler, Grinder and Butcher) still to go...
2) Fans are dying to see Dizzy, Tai, Skorge and Kantus. Any good news for us?Next up are two different exclusive 2-packs for Toys"R"Us. In time for the holidays TRU will have a Locust 2-pack that includes the Locust Drone and Locust Sniper with the added articulation and removable weapons along with a variety of accessories and an exclusive Gold version of the Hammerburst 2.0.
The second 2-pack will be Marcus & Dom complete with Lancers, and COG pistols along with an exclusive Golden Lancer. That will take us through the end of 2009.
I am not sure what will make up Series 6 yet but I can tell some figures that are complete. We have Jack, the Mauler Boomer, the Grinder Boomer, the Butcher Boomer, the standard Locust Grenadier, and a few more...
3) Love how the Locust Horde is growing stronger series by series. Will we see more powerful Locusts, like Berserkers, Blood Mounts and the most famous Wretches? No exclusives here please!Yes and no. We don’t have a Tai or Dizzy in the works but the Kantus and Skorge are well under way and will both be shown at NY Toy Fair in February, if not sooner.
Wretches are likely for the future. The larger figures like the Berserkers present a problem due to size/scale and increased costs.
4) What's the likelihood of a Locust Queen figure or COG command like Anya?
5) The new Series 5 COG solider's articulation is incredible! Will older figures, such as Cole and Baird, receive similar upgraded articulations as a future release?Both are possible for the future, I’d say there is a good chance you will see at least one of them over the next year.
Thanks, glad to hear that. It is something I was never happy with since we first released Baird and Carmine and I always wanted to improve it. I am thrilled we were able to and it makes the figure so much better now. I’d like to find a way to re-do Kim and Baird now using this improved body and tooling. I have an idea in mind but it is too early to discuss just yet.
6) Speaking of COG soldiers, any chance of a box set featuring the three previously released helmet designs? Are there anymore helmet designs?
7) While I'm sure getting all the in-game characters produced is NECA's first priority, has there been any thought to producing characters from the comic books or novels?As far as I know we have covered all the game-based helmet designs. If I am missing something we will try to hit it because we’d like to do them all as it provided variety in the ranks for army builders and the helmets and armor Epic designs are all so cool. I’m not sure a boxed set is the way to go but we are looking at a way to get more COGs out there, especially with the improved leg articulation.
We’ve definitely given this some thought and I’d love to cover some Pendulum Wars era figures, but for now we are sticking strictly to the game. I think if we venture outside the game it would be fun to try a comic or book based character as an exclusive or limited edition type piece to sort of test the waters. Maybe SDCC 2010 or the NY Comic Con next Fall.
8) Everyone agrees that the new Boomer figure is awesome, however there has been alot of discussion about his height and why he's not much taller than other figures. Care to end this Boomer debate?
9) Can fans expect any more 1:1 scale weapon replicas like your awesome Lancer rifle? A Locust Hammerburst would be killer! Any plans for more non-weapon props similar to your COG tags? A locust pendant perhaps?I don’t know if I can end it but I might be able to help explain it. First off, it would be great if the Boomer was about a head taller, however, if you look at the volume and mass of the Boomer figure along with articulation, deco, and the weapon we totally pushed the limits of what can be done at the price point. We tried to have him larger at first but he came in too expensive so we scaled him down slightly but he is still bigger – when you line up your figures the Boomer in his default pose is hunched and has bent knees and stands about even with Therons and Grenadiers. We also had to plan for the future Boomers up-front knowing the Boomshield and the Flail would add even more to the costs. So how far and how big could we go with the basic Boomer before we started adding more on to create the later versions? Anyway, if you stand the Boomer up straight he is taller then the rest of the line. Even with the height being slightly small, the girth and thickness of the figure is still very impressive.
It took a lot of planning and assorting the waves the way we have just to be able to produce the Boomer. We need to have multi-use out of bodies and tooling and balance the assortments with higher priced & lower priced characters so we maintain our average unit costs. The Boomer retails for $13.99 at TRU – look at what else is on the shelf for that price and show me anything that compares. Most of the competition is going smaller with less deco and less accessories at the same price point. I think we offer a great value and I am thrilled that after 2 years we were able to make a Boomer.
These are possible in 2010, we are looking at more opportunities like this outside the action figures.
10) With your Gears of War figures being a success, are there any plans to create figures based on Epic's UNREAL franchise somewhere down the road? (ie: Unreal Championship 2, Unreal Tournament 3, etc)
We'd like to thank Randy Falk for taking the time to answer these burning questions. We look forward to all the new Gears of War goodies NECA has planned!It’s certainly possible and I LOVED their collaboration on Shadow Complex but for now Gears is the marquee title and I want to keep expanding that universe. In just under 2 years we have covered 33 different figures (download the poster HERE!) and I am very proud of that. I thank the fans and Epic for their support and I hope that we keep on going so we can do something really special for the 50th figure milestone.