EMCE TOYS ANNOUNCES DELAY IN NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD TOY LINE
QUEENS, NEW YORK - 22 July 2008: EMCE Toys, the brand that helped bring classic '70s toy company MEGO back from the dead this year, announced that the release of its previously announced line of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 8" action figures is delayed until later in the year. The figures were announced in March with an initial release date of June.
"This is a challenging year for anyone who works with Chinese factories," said Joe Sena, President of SphereWerx Micromedia, who founded the EMCE brand with Paul "Dr. Mego" Clarke. "Our factory has been great and produced excellent quality product up to now. However, we're told that labor shortages and hours reductions due to Olympic-related emissions mandates have had a big impact on production."
Production was also held up to make way for the completion of the second wave of STAR TREK action figures EMCE produces with Diamond Select Toys. "The delays impacted everything we were doing over there, and we have an obligation to our partners at DST to deliver the Trek toys unencumbered by NOTLD," said Sena. "Until we got those releases sorted out, we couldn't in good conscience clog up the works with this line."
The idea of using another, cheaper factory was considered, but dismissed. "It's very easy to get MEGO wrong," said Clarke. "Although the situation is frustrating, we looked at other factories and didn't get the same comfort level as with the one I've been working with for 10 years in the action figure customizing business. These guys get it right every time, and I'd rather take longer getting it right than hurry up getting it wrong."
To show progress, EMCE released an image of the packaging for the NOTLD figures, which include illustrations of the characters by original MEGO artist Harold Schull. That image can be downloaded here.
The first two figures to be released are Bill Hinzman as the "Graveyard Zombie" from the film's opening scene, and Duane Jones as "Ben", the rifle-toting hero. The next release includes Judith O'Dea as "Barbra" and Kyra Schon as the "Karen Cooper Zombie". All figures are approved by the actors or their respective estates. The first two figures are delayed from the initial June date to October, and the second two figures will come out closer to the end-of-year holiday season.
"All customer preorders and retailer wholesale orders, including the exclusive LA Fangoria convention BW variant, will stil be honored as long as the customer still wants them," said Sena.
In 1974, MEGO invented the licensed action figure with their distinctive eight-inch lines based on classic scifi and superhero characters, then expanding the lines to include electronic toys and playsets. An entire generation of fans had their very own "U.S.S. Enterprise Bridge" or a removable-cowl Batman at some point.
MEGO closed its doors in 1982, leading to a sky-rocketing in the value of these prized collectibles.
In 2006, genre marketer SphereWerx created the EMCE Toys brand with Paul "Dr. Mego" Clarke, a MEGO specialist who provides custom figures for Cartoon Network's show "Robot Chicken". EMCE released painstaking reproductions of STAR TREK and PLANET OF THE APES MEGOs through Diamond Select Toys in 2007.
The figures will retail for $18.99 and will be available through comic book, toy and pop culture shops, as well as online and at horror conventions throughout the US. They will also be featured at the booths of actors Hinzman, O'Dea and Schon at all NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 40th Anniversary appearances.
They are co-branded with FearWerx, SphereWerx's proprietary horror merchandise brand.
ABOUT EMCE TOYS AND SPHEREWERX MICROMEDIA
EMCE Toys was founded in 2006 by SphereWerx Micromedia. EMCE is dedicated to recreating the classic lines and new figures with the playability of the original toys created by MEGO Corp. All figures are either licensed directly or through its license-holding partners and includes the input and approval of the Abrams family, who founded the original MEGO Corp.
SphereWerx Micromedia develops apparel and collectibles for fans of popular subcultures, under its proprietary brands EMCE Toys, FearWerx, CosmicWerx and HeroWerx. These are sold through distribution partners or through its proprietary network of online stores and live event kiosks.
SphereWerx also created the StoreWerx syndicated e-commerce service, operating the online retail stores for known genre brands such as Starlog, Fangoria, Dread Central, Rue Morgue and others.