Todd McFarlane's corner of the American International Toy Fair could look more like a mutant wing of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this year, as the toy giant plans to debut new figures of Busta Rhymes, Kid Rock, The Beatles, Rob Zombie, Kiss, Janis Joplin, and Alice Cooper, among others.In mid-February, McFarlane Toys will use the Toy Fair setting in New York to roll out the miniature versions of Zombie, Cooper, and Joplin that we reported on last fall (see "Todd McFarlane Lines Up Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Janis Joplin Figures"). The "Spawn" creator's toy company will also use that opportunity to unveil a new line of Kiss products as well as a line of Beatles figures that captures the band in its "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" garb. Last year, McFarlane used the Toy Fair to introduce his line of Beatles "Yellow Submarine" figures. McFarlane will also march into new musical territory with a Kid Rock figure that will make its debut at Toy Fair. The toy company hopes to have the item in stores in the fourth quarter of this year. Meanwhile, the Zombie figure is expected to arrive this spring, while Alice Cooper, Janis Joplin, and Kiss are all set to hit retail this summer and the new Beatles line should be in stores near the end of the year. McFarlane Toys is also trying to hammer out a licensing deal with the makers of "Shaft Returns" that would see the toy company model figures of the film's stars, Samuel L. Jackson and Busta Rhymes. However, fans will not be seeing a line of Hanson figures from McFarlane, as had been reported elsewhere. It seems that some music news outlets got their pop culture wires crossed in falsely reporting that McFarlane would be crafting figures of the Oklahoma-bred teen group. McFarlane will actually be producing figures of the Hanson Brothers, the bespectacled thugs from the 1977 hockey cult classic "Slap Shot," and not the trio of blond chart-topping brothers. By now, McFarlane is old hat at working with the music world. He crafted the cover art for Korn's "Follow The Leader" album, his toy company has released figures of Ozzy Osbourne and Kiss, and he has also crafted animated videos for Pearl Jam and Korn. In fact, McFarlane was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for his work on Korn's "Freak On A Leash" clip. In addition to the upcoming music-related projects, McFarlane Toys also plans to premiere figures from "South Park," "Where The Wild Things Are," Japanimation fav "Akira," and "Ultima Online II" as well as The McKenzie Brothers from "Strange Brew," and National Hockey League stars (including Jaromir Jagr, Eric Lindros, Mark Messier, Steve Yzerman and others) this year. Also returning to the McFarlane lineup will be three new lines of "Spawn" figures and another batch of Movie Maniacs figures, this time drawing on "The Fly," "Edward Scissorhands," "Army Of Darkness," "Escape From L.A.," and John Carpenter's "The Thing."
-- Robert Mancini