Earlier today in a post on the Spawn.com message boards, the news was revealed that most of McToys original properties have been canceled. As moderator Joe F. said:
"The company is focusing on licensed products for right now. The in-house lines have not been getting a lot of retail support."
Well, gee, wonder why? You sell 5" of unarticulated plastic for $16 and expect people to buy it blindly. It sits on shelves until it hits clearance, while things like DCUC and GI Joe can barely stay in stock. Could it be the lack of articulation? Or maybe just bad designs? (Gemini, we're looking at you, you stupid dickslug.)
For a similar example from another industry, look at how many airlines went bankrupt counting on businessmen to pay triple prices on last-minute bookings. And let's be honest here, air travel is a lot more essential to society than toymaking.
The Dragons line was played out about five series ago - they just kept cranking the things out season after season, with very little variety. Expanding to "Legend of the Blade Hunters" was a good idea (Series 2 looked real nice, that's for sure), but it was too little, too late. And its biggest flaw was the lack of articulation - the figures looked great, but if they can't move their bodies, they're not going to move off shelves.
Halo 3 didn't sell because it was licensed, it sold because it gave us good toys, and that's something McFarlane hasn't done for a long time. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for McToys, and they'll realize that in this economy, you might be able to sell toys, but you're not going to be able to sell statues.