Last Friday, with little fanfare, the Spawn Message Board shut down permanently. While not wholly surprising it is still a significant personal loss to some of us here at OAFE.
1997 - 2011
Back in the late '90s the internet was still relatively new, AOL was just starting to lose its dominance and many were still trying to figure out what this new thing called "the web" really was. Fortunately, the folks at McFarlane Toys had the idea of adding a message board to their fledgling site, which in turn was one of the first toy-related sites online and as such drew a lot of us collectors like moths to flame.
The Spawn Message Board is essentially the birthplace of the online toy community. It's the first place we could not only meet and interact with one another from all around the world, it was the first place we could do so with people from the actual company! Chet Jacques and Steve Hamaday (particularly the latter due to the "Steve the Victim" figure) were are regular conduits of news and tidbits with occasional visits by Terry Fitzgerald and even Todd the God too. It was just an incredible bonding experience and it's where I first "met" yo go re, Poe Ghostal and Shocka years before being invited to join them here.
Over the years, fan sites have taken up the mantle of community and while a few companies still offer boards, the non-corporately-affiliated ones remain the most popular. Add to that the shocking nose-dive of product that McFarlane has released and isn't surprising the boards were no longer the draw they once were. I'd still go by every couple weeks to look at haul threads, collection photos and get caught up on the goings on with Revoltech. And I guess that's why they were ready to cut the boards, when many of the threads are about other companies' product what can they do?
The Spawn Boards will always have an intensely personal and important nostalgia for me and it is sad to see them go. To be overly sentimental, they remind me of a simpler, happier time. In fact, to this day when I think of the Spawn Board the image that come to mind is the original board, with its bad brick graphical background and neon green text. The board and what it represented will be sorely missed, at least symbolically.
Todd announced the closing with a post on the boards the week before they went down, see text below:
Spawn Board members,
Hey Folks! It's been a while since I've written something official for these boards, although I have been dropping by frequently over the years; reading lots your terrific posts/threads. Today, I wanted to take an opportunity to thank all of you for your support of the many items my companies have put. Every day I am thankful when any of you decides to spend your hard earned cash on any of our products. Because every business knows it can only succeed with a strong and loyal fan base.
The second reason for this post is to announce some news. As some of you might remember, back when we started the Spawn Boards, social media wasn't nearly the giant force it is today. And while we continue to have a very active, but small community on these boards, we feel that there are better ways to provide social outlets for our fans in a wider arena.
With that in mind, we've decided that as of Friday, October 14, the Spawn message boards will permanently be removed from the spawn.com website. Besides announcing this news, we also wanted to allow this transition enough time for everyone to collect any contact info they might need before the boards are officially taken down.
As we make this transition with our fan base, I want to personally invite you all to join us as we move the party over to our new social sites on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. We feel these sites will provide a better way to serve our community and loyal followers with more unique daily content including news, "first look" photos, videos, and contests. So you can still get your McFarlane fix!
We all know the importance and impact that the Spawn message board has had over the years and I too like hanging around here (heck, it's where our initial conversations all started). So, my hope, is that you will see this in the same light as I do, which is a natural transition to some of these other social outlets. We are not abandoning you or going out of business or any other silly negative reaction that might come to mind. It is simply making some business moves that will strengthen what we are able to deliver to you on a daily basis, while at the same time continuing to deliver the same great products you have come to expect from my companies.
I sincerely hope that all of you will stick with us through this transition and continue to provide your very valuable feedback through our other social outlets.
Thanks again for all of your support through the years. See you at the new party site!
You still went to the board? Man, I hadn't even clicked on that bookmark for years. Ah, good times. I miss many of the people we used to chat with over there...
Yeah... beyond just satiating my lust for haul posts i semi-relied on that board "official Revoltech thread" for all my news on that front. For instance the new Movie Optimus Prime is shorter than Iron Man.
I feel bad cause I can't remember all the other names on the board since the good old days, but of course there is LotN and Aliensculpey, both "real life" friends. Aaaah nostalgia...
This was the OG of toy sites.
Thats too bad. I never posted there but I know how much it means to a lot of people here.
Ah, so they took it down because nobody spoke about McFarlane products. That makes sense. I can't recall the last time I read anything about McFarlane's toys on there, but there was some great chat about other company's toys. The haul and Amazon deal threads were great.
I love that McFarlane felt the need to get rid of the forums because nobody was talking about their products, as opposed, to you know, making more good products. I guess this was the easier route.
It is solely because of the excellence that was once McFarlane action figures, primarily Spawn and Spawn related, that I got into action figure collecting. McFarlane Toys created the most disturbingly cool figures there ever was. Even Neca hasn't caught up to the brilliance that came from their studios. Then came the sports figures and the decline of the Spawn line. I have not purchased a McFarlane figure since. I truly wish they would revisit the edgy awesomeness that made me a believer in McFarlane Toys so long ago. Have you ever seen the 2-up size Mandarin Spawn or played with a Viking Age Spawn figure? Nothing on the market save for an occasional piece like the Bandai SIC Batman, has come close. My toy collecting heart is broken. Bless and curse you Todd!
Apparently at NYCC Todd said they're going to start bringing out re-releases of popular/hard-to-get Spawn figures on their webstore... while I like the idea of more Spawn figures, reissues/repaints is exactly what killed them in the first place
Are there really Spawn figures that are hard to get?
(Beyond the obvious, of course...)
Man, I really enjoyed the board. Collecting was a passion for me and I still love the NHL figures produced. Met tons of great people and am sorry that the board shut down.
Good Luck in the future.
Peace to all
So glad that troll paradise is dead and buried. Sideshow Freaks will be the next to go.
In 1998 I found the Manga Samurai Spawn on the shelf, and I was hooked. What else is out there? Since when have Spawn toys been so cool?
So I found a website with a message board community dedicated to Spawn, and it was called Brian's Spawn Site. There were pics of the toys along with the variants, which the official site didn't have (most Of which came from Billy Jo's collection) and it held discussions about these awesome toys. it was later folded into Figures.com as the McFarlane Guide.
I was on the Spawn.com board too, and in fact I still have the patch.
At some point someone made patches for the board members, and my design got picked to be produced. That was what? 2001?
Spawn.com was a great place to find out about other stuff that Spawn guys liked, like the Kaiyodo Evangelion EVAs, with all their articulation and able to hit all these cool poses, and alternate hands.
While the product changed and I rarely visited much anymore, I'll always give Spawn their due, for not just teaching the world what a cool action figure could really be, but also what a cool corporate online community could be.
It's most likely you'll never see this reply almost 6 years later, but I took a stroll down memory lane and did some googling and came across this post. I'm Brian of what was "Brian's Spawn Collection". Great name, eh? It certainly was a different time back then. It all started out as just a way for me to create a website. It was the mid-to-late 90's, i was in high school and into computers, and wanted to learn. I never expected it to turn into something that actually received a lot of traffic. And I certainly never would have expected a decade plus later to see someone reference it. I don't remember exactly how long it was that I had that site, but after a little while it became McFarlaneGuide.com and I continued maintaining that through college.
To this day I still have most of the images and logos from the McFarlaneGuide.com site, although I wish I would have retained more from my "Brian's Spawn Collection" site as it would be nice to see again. Unfortunately those AOL member pages don't get archived with archive.org.
This is incredible. I was actually searching for Brian's Spawn Collection and McFarlane Guide stuff not too long ago. I couldn't find much, certainly no graphics. I remember you had a blue Violator 1 in package and how it was mentioned as some kind of prototype, but it was really just a painted figure. No one was sure of its origins...I was still in grade school back then. I also remember the logo in GIF format with the glowing green light and was also a member on the forums. I think I even corresponded with you over email, or AOL instant message a few times. I still own the Windows 95 PC from back then, still intact. You'll probably never see this, but thanks for the memories.
Wow. It's been 4 years since. I joined when the Sportspicks were introduced, leaving AOL's floundering SLU message boards (Before that, Prodigy's board) to get my figure fix. I never bought any other McFarlane figure series, though I did enjoy seeing the pics. I've been on the Proboards message board other fans created, but it's now sparsely populated. I really miss the crowd, sometime.