If there's anyone who needs to take note of companies like Mezco and Art Asylum, it's Stan Winston. In a recent interview with Raving Toy Maniac, Winston discussed the oft-lamented $14 price of his various toylines (all of which are Toys Я Us exclusives). He cites the cost of his Flash-heavy website and the various pack-ins to the figures, such as CD-ROMs and trading cards. He then offers this excuse:
"The level of sculpting and paint applications on the figures is extremely high, higher than what you see in any other toys. We have the best sculptors here and they have worked hard to create the best figures possible, which are truly works of art in their own right. There are a high number of paint applications on each figure, and maintaining the level of quality and having that many applications all adds cost as well."
McFarlane Toys might have a few things to say about some of those claims. I suspect it's all the extra content, the bases and the accessories that are driving the price up. Winston points out he had to make compromises just to maintain the $14 price - such as removing CD-ROMs from the Realm of the Claw line so he could focus on adding articulation to the figures (despite having loudly proclaimed his faith in sculpt over articulation prior to releasing the first line, Creature Features). Maybe it's time to ditch all the accessories, the dioramas and the online comics and focus on building a fanbase with reasonably-priced figures. His next two lines - Extreme Gargoyles and the "medieval werewolves" extravaganza Blood Wolves - look promising, but I know I won't be getting more than 1 or 2 unless the prices come down.