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Get a First-hand Description of our New York Showroom

McFarlane Toys' 2002 Toy Fair showroom in Manhattan is a completely different animal than in years past.

    Gone is the "cattle chute" aspect of the experience, in which narrow corridors connected the various dioramas and displays of upcoming action figure series. While that layout added a certain "haunted house" ambiance to the showroom, it also created incredible bottlenecks of tour-takers on the busiest days of Toy Fair.

    For 2002, McFarlane Design operations manager Steve Hamady and his crew set out to create a new ambiance, a showroom that really showcases the style and mood of our products without cramming folks into tight spaces.

    To accomplish this goal, they began work in July knocking down walls and creating a more open showroom environment. Then came the task of creating the unique displays that make our presentation so unusual and artistic.

    Meanwhile the McFarlane Toys sculptors, based in New Jersey, have been working feverishly to construct and paint the two-up double-scale figures shown in the showroom. Some licenses and rights are so late coming in, they work literally until the showroom opens for tours. In fact, one of our final licenses of the year was Alien and Predator, which will be the deluxe boxed set for Movie Maniacs 5. The sculpts shown are still in clay and are unpainted, due to time constraints. Even in that state, buyers and media can see the extreme level of detail.

    So, let's take a stroll through the showroom, just as if you were here:

    From the entrance and check-in area, a short hallway bends to the right and then 90 degrees left into the start of the tour.

    The first area is of our video game properties, showcasing the upcoming Onimusha 2 action figures with a video loop from the game and our Metal Gear Solid 2 line. Though it was released in late 2001, we chose to show MGS2 again this year because last year's display didn't reveal all the secret operatives. The MGS2 display also includes a video loop.

    The Onimusha 2 figures are incredibly detailed and true to their appearance in the game. Articulation buffs will be pleased with this line, as you'll be able to pose the figures in many different fighting positions.

    Moving forward, the showroom opens majestically into the sports area, which is shaped a bit like a horseshoe, with the center section open and the figures groups along the outside walls. Over the last year, sports has become one of McFarlane Toys' major focal points, and 2002 promises to be our biggest year yet.

    The most breaking news at this point is the previously unannounced signing of Major League Baseball, to complete McFarlane Toys' sweep of all four major North American sports (the other three being football, hockey and basketball).

    As you walk into the sports area (with overhead monitor and stadium-style seating to complete the theme), baseball is immediately on the left. For 2002, we've scheduled three complete MLB lines and each is shown in this area.

    The lines are divided nicely between offensive and defensive players. A couple of the standout figures from the defensive perspective are Roberto Alomar stretched out and diving to make a catch on a low line drive, and Ken Griffey Jr. climbing the outfield wall to take away a home run; that portion of the wall is included in the package.

    The back wall of the sports area features the NFL lines, showcasing the Series 3 Rookies (heading to store shelves now) and the upcoming Series 4. One interesting feature about the Jason Sehorn figure in Series 4 is that his base comes with extra peg holes so you can position wide receiver Randy Moss (and possibly other receivers) from Series 1 with Sehorn to create an actual gameplay scenario.

    Along the righthand wall is basketball and hockey. Basketball series 1 and 2 are on display in full glory. As shown with football, we made some changes on the figure bases to allow for actual game scenarios. Peg holes were added to certain bases (notably Jason Kidd and Allen Iverson) to allow defenders like Tim Duncan to attach on.

    Also along the righthand wall is McFarlane's Sports Picks: Hockey, showcasing Series 2, which is already in stores, and Series 3, which comes out later in 2002.

    Behind the sports area is the "monster area," where Movie Maniacs 5, McFarlane's Monsters, H.R. Giger and Clive Barker's Tortured Souls 2: The Fallen are all housed. We call it, informally of course, the "strong stomach required" area of the showroom.

    McFarlane's Monsters is first up, the two-up sizes really highlighting the fine detailing each character is blessed with. We also have packaged production samples in the showroom, as the line is scheduled to show up in stores in April.

    Next to Monsters is the full lineup of Movie Maniacs 5. Featuring six standard figures, a deluxe boxed set and two 18-inch figures, MM5 is one of McFarlane Toys' biggest and broadest lines to date. The Alien and Predator boxed set is being shown in clay. The 18-inch figures - Edward Scissorhands and the T-800 from Terminator 2 - also feature motion-activated play action in addition to our usual sound chips.

    A separate no-photography-allowed room at the very back of the showroom houses the Giger and Tortured Souls 2 lines. Giger is looking quite impressive. These pieces are shown in actual size and will be released as cold-cast sculptures in limited (and numbered) quantities. Tortured Souls 2 is highlighted under a cast of spotlights. The detailing and sheer audacity of these figures is shocking

All stories are Copyright © and TMP International, Inc., and may not be reprinted without permission.

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