News has broken on the eve of Toy Fair 2008 in New York concerning the future of Wrestling figures and the companies making them. read on to hear the shocking revelations concerning the changes to the Wrestling figure landscape slated to being in 2010. The Wrestling figure landscape has been a fairly stable, routine place for the last ten years or so. Ever since the first series of WWE Superstars figures was released by a then relatively unknown toy company out of California called Jakks Pacific, WWE fans have enjoyed a steady stream of extremely well produced, faithfully scultped and realistic looking action figures of their favorite Superstars. In addition, playsets based on the WWE’s most famous TV shows and gimmick matches have also been produced over the years. Jakks also became a partner with THQ in a new company to produce WWE Video Games. Also, in association with the WWE’s Legend program, former WWE Superstars returned to toy aisles as part of Jakks’ WWE Classic Superstars line. This line has proved to be one of the most popular of it’s kind ever produced. However, there have been problems in paradise, as it was revealed last year that the Jakks WWE figure license was obtained as part of an illegal kickback scheme that has already seen the peson who brokered the deal sent to prison. WWE has sued Jakks over the license and is appealing the dismissal of a case.
By contrast, the WWE’s nearest competition is TNA, a promotion still in it’s infancy. The promotion, comprised mostly of former WWE and WCW Superstars, is gaining momentum due to it’s light heavyweight and women’s division, which are more fully developed than WWE’s. The figures for TNA have been produced by Toy Biz, which is now Marvel Toys. The quality has not been anywhere near that of the Jakks WWE figures and sales have been poor.
However, in 2010, everything will change. As announced this week, beginning in 2010, WWE figures and other product will be produced by MATTEL! Where does this leave JAKKS? I’m glad you asked. JAKKS announced today that, also beginning in 2010, they will be manufacturing action figures and other product for TNA! It is not yet clear what effect this will have on the video game license. It does however look like the war between TNA and WWE will finally carry over to the toy aisles. Can JAKKS maintain their wrestling figure dominance or will the experience and resources of Mattel allow them to reign supreme? We’ll find out in 2010. Watch this site for more developments on this story as they are made available.