This announcement has kind of flown under the radar for most sites, but I think it might just be the biggest news around. For decades fans have lamented the lack of great Nintendo figures. Sure, in the past few years we’ve gotten some decent soft vinyl toys and a few different things here or there, but not since ToyBiz did Mario Kart have we seen detailed, highly poseable action figures of Mario and his pals. Jakks Pacific, who are perhaps most known for their wrestling and UFC lines, have snagged the license.
They didn’t just snag Mario, but apparently all of the Nintendo properties. And while a lot of folks are already slamming this pickup by Jakks and saying they’ll just reuse some old wrestler bodies on the toys, let’s not dismiss Jakks as a company that can’t innovate. Hell, they practically created the wrestling figure genre as we know it. In recent years they have rested on the laurels a bit, but when Jakks puts in an effort, they typically deliver. I suspect they’ll put in their best effort with Nintendo.
Jakks has had the Pokemon license for quite some time and while that’s certainly not my bag, they have done some pretty nice work there. Plus a lot of their TNA stuff is still quite good, even if they don’t always put in a full effort. Nintendo could just be the line that makes Jakks a major player in the industry again. I sincerely hope that Jakks really gets creative and uses the Nintendo license to the maximum.
MALIBU, Calif., Feb 25, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Leading U.S. toymaker JAKKS Pacific, Inc., JAKK announced today that it has been granted rights in major toy categories by Nintendo of America Inc. to manufacture, market and distribute a line of toys and related consumer products based on a robust library of iconic Nintendo characters that generations have come to love. In addition, JAKKS’ Halloween costume division, Disguise Inc., has been given rights to offer Halloween costumes and accessories based on these Nintendo properties. With this licensing agreement, fans of all ages will be able to engage with their favorite Nintendo video game characters, from Mario and Luigi(R), to Donkey Kong(R) and Princess Peach(TM), to Game Link(R) and Zelda(R).
“Nintendo is a classic brand rich in content that appeals to today’s kids, parents and collectors alike and we are excited to partner together to bring their video game heritage to life in the toy aisle,” said Jack McGrath, COO, JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “We are looking forward to expanding our top-tier roster of properties through this comprehensive licensing deal, which covers a wide array of category rights for almost all Nintendo properties, and for nearly all worldwide territories.”
“We are eager to offer, a robust and comprehensive line up of products to satisfy our fan base and generations of Nintendo enthusiasts,” said Steve Singer, Nintendo of America’s Vice President, Licensing. “This partnership with JAKKS Pacific affords us tremendous opportunity to grow the presence of our iconic brands at retail.”
The licensing agreement allows JAKKS Pacific to manufacture, distribute and market toys, games, playthings, novelties, plush, key chains, and costumes worldwide (excluding Japan and Korea). JAKKS Pacific is expected to launch this new product line at retailers nationwide in Spring 2014. Disguise plans to launch Halloween costumes and accessories for the 2013 Halloween season.