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Will there be a proper Disney Muppet figure line?

Discussion in 'Action Figures' started by beaker, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I've now managed to track down all of the Disney parks Muppet Star Wars figures, which fit peerfectly into my other 3 3/4-4" scale. Hate me, but I prefer these scale and texture way more than the Palisades line(yes I know some of the sculpts are based on the Palisades sculpts)

    My only complaint is they're hard to come by and them being park exclusives, as well as the pricepoint.
    Immovable pvc figurines are ok, but could there ever be a chance of Muppet figures in THIS scale and sculpt style? I mean the fact I finally have a Bean Bunny in the scale of the Fisher Price 1978 or 2003 Jack in the Box line is great. I said this in 1998 on here, but imagine if we had a 3 3/4-4" Muppet line even 1/100th as diverse as the post 1995 Star Wars figures? Digit, Carl, Sal the monkey, Luncheon Counter, Mildred, Droop, Nigel host/Nigel director, Doglion, Yolanda rat, etc. The possibilities are endless. I know I've complained and moaned about the lack of Disney Muppet toys since the movie came out, but if I had one single Muppet merchandise holy grail wish, it would be a Muppet Show/Muppet Universe line.

    For a history of Muppet/Muppet related action figures in this scale:






    minor muppetz likes this.
  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    I love my Palisades Muppets collection. It's what rekindled that spark of Muppet heritage at a time I could afford to fully pursue it, and it led to all the friendships I've made here.

    But I'll say it again... I agree with beaker on this regarding a smaller scaled Muppets/Muppet Universe PVC figure line. It could have just minimal swivel articulation when needed, it could span signature and variants from all the movies and shows under Disney's Muppet Studios name the same way Star Wars has continued churning out figures, and it'd be easier on storage/display possibilities.
  3. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    The days of Palisades are over.
    I'm not just talking ridiculously detailed toys, but action figures in general. Gone are the young, up-and-coming dotcommers and their disposable incomes. If a toy is going to make it in this competitive market it either needs a wide appeal or a niche appeal. There's not much room for anything in between.

    What needs to happen?
    The Muppets need enough current projects to generate an active popularity in order to justify an action figure line. Even so, it's not an easy sell. One would think that Pixar would make a mint off making extensive action figure collections based on their vast library of characters. For some reason, they don't. All we really get a limited lineup of Happy Meal type toys.

    The gamble
    Right now they're releasing some odd kitsch of Star Wars and Vinylmations. Maybe they're charting those numbers, maybe they're not. Who can say? I'd love to see a wide variety of moderately detailed Muppet figures and mini playsets at reasonable prices. However, fans will probably still balk at the prices and that's the rub. Some of the greatest supporters are also the biggest complainers, so why take the gamble at all?

    Simple is good
    I really hope this does happen eventually. I don't mean rebooting or continuing the Palisades line. Something fresh and new. Let's start at a smaller scale with less articulation and limited accessories. Simple is good.
  4. BobbyBenson64

    BobbyBenson64 Well-Known Member

    I am all for a new SIMPLE toy line as long as Disney has characters that the younger fans will no and then every once and awhile having a classic/one note Muppet characters for us super fans. that way sells are good so it can last more than 4 years.

    And if they are the need to hurry up!!!!!:grr::grr::grr:
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And we no longer even get that! Pixar does have an extensive line of toys when a kid friendly movie comes out (boy does it ever with Cars), but when something like Up comes along, there's only hard to find collectors stuff... sometimes from other countries.

    However, Disney does do one thing right. PVC sets. Almost everything gets one, Wreck it Ralph got 3 (and they sold out so fast, I wasn't able to get one). What we need within reason is for Disney to make a deluxe set with more characters (like they do initially with certain movies). Or multiple sets with at least 2 anchor characters in a set, and more fan favorites in the line up.

    I don't see why we can't have general retail PVC 2 packs, like the Looney Tunes Show sets (only without having to re-buy the same Bugs and Daffy figures to get the whole set). That would be a great way to get character variety. Pair up a popular character with a generally more obscure one.
  6. BobbyBenson64

    BobbyBenson64 Well-Known Member

    Exactly!! sells we be good with popular characters that kids will recognize such as :):o:concern::mad::shifty::rolleyes::eek::halo: ... etc. and it will give us the fans more obscure characters like Bobby Benson, Hilda, Gorge the janitor... etc. and even if possible even throw in some Muppet Tonight one note characters like Bill the bubble guy, Seymour, Mulch, Mr. Poodle Pants,.. etc.
  7. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Oh no doubt the Palisades line, from the tease of 2001 when Ken first appeared on the Delphi Muppet Central forums til the last figure came out in 2005, it was one of THE most transformitive moments in modern Muppet/Jim Henson history. Way bigger than any special made in the 2000's. There is no doubt that Ken would have gone to great lengths to eventually make any and every character ever, licence willing, if the line had continued. However, the price point/quality/etc may have ended up suffering like every other toy line these days. I don't see how it could have feasibly lasted, especially looking how dramatically the toy industry has changed(huge price jumps, lower quality, etc)

    But it opened the door. From a pricing, sculpting, etc position the Disney Star Wars Muppets scale to me has shown to be so perfect for a dream line. (SOLD in retail stores, I should add)
  8. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I've always believed that!:) I still regret the massive headache "fans" caused Ken. Though maybe for creative or quality control purposes every groan and nitpicking comment needed to be heard? I think fans were not used to for the first time in their life a company had a direct line and working relation with the fans. That, like never happens.

    Jazwares is the new Palisades. And by that I mean 2003-2004 Palisades when they had a massive expansion into Adult Swim, Ren and Stimpy, Invader Zim, etc. But Jazwares is the exception to the rule.

    Super 7 got the rights from Fox to release officially for the first time the 1979 Alien1 action figure line that was available in prototype form only before. So that's a sign of where some niche markets could be headed. All these companies release all these super deformed, weird, vinyl, bobblehead versions of Muppets and all these characters but rarely do we get just a normal figure line.

    The biggest problem with the toy industry is that the scale and quality of toys went way down yet the price point went up. A figure that would have cost $4.95 in 1995 is now $10.99 and way more frail dinky and small. Its like every figure line went from Mcfarlane mode in 1999 to GI Joe circa 1984. The Avatar figures from 2009 being a perfect example of this unfortunate age.
  9. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    What is that new Looney Tunes line with the weird big elongated dialated pupil eyes? I love those pvcs! Had to pick up a few and I dont even know what line its from. Its funny as I see some small pvc figures cost close to $10 each. Talk about inflation!

    All I know is 27 years after his debut, I finally have an articulated Bean Bunny action figure, so I can't complain:)
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    I'd say it's insane to even consider something on the level of Muppet Newsman. On the one hand, Disney has bean bag plush of roughly every monster from Monsters University. Some of those characters were only named in the credits and had no lines. But then again, hypothetically if you have by sheer quantity the same amount of Muppets, You'd get the main 5 (Kermit, Gonzo, Animal, Piggy, and Fozzie), Possibly two more members of the Electric Mayhem, Beaker, maybe Bunsen, Rizzo, The Chef, Statler and Waldorf, Rowlf, Pepe, and Walter. That's barely scratching the surface. There are far more Muppets than they can handle without fan not favorites like Poodlepants. While there are various properties Disney has to scramble and shove obscure characters into, be it plush or otherwise, they have enough popular characters to work with. I'm far more disappointed that they didn't expand the plush line or try a smaller bean bag line yet. THEY had BETTER do it for the next film.

    I shoulda commented on this earlier.... I agree that's why we barely see any upstart companies with retro action figure collectors lines, and whatever retro lines they have, no matter how large the fan base is, they don't sell that good. Jazzwares's Nickelodeon line never got to go to a second series. No Real Monsters or Rocko characters, and the ones on store shelves were discounted to Marshalls. I swear they edged out a Secret Squirrel in their HB line, but that's it.

    Let's also not forget the BIG action figure crash that killed off many companies due to the over abundance of indie companies flooding the walls with ridiculous niche toy lines that had no niche... not to mention MacFarline's ever crappy grotesque, highly breakable statues and sports heroes. Even the Muppet line didn't do great when you took it out of a niche market and put it in a regular store. What, it lasted like, 2 waves at Target just barely? Not to mention the vynals and blind boxes put the nail into the coffin... and now even those have cooled off considerably (especially the Blind Box... the American companies got it wrong.... oh so wrong).

    But make no mistake... the TRUE villains in toy lines sucking and being expensive? The retailers. While they are the ones that buy the lines to sell them, they have far too much power. They can get cartoon shows CANCELLED. Let me put it at that. Green Lantern didn't get renewed because it didn't get a toy line. And if a toyline doesn't sell, don't get attached to a cartoon series (cough cough Thundercats 2011). If it's not from a movie, a toyline can go die in a dumpster. Not for nothing, kids don't buy toys anymore because they aren't Apps. Collectors collect online virtual gewgaws that cost upwards of hundreds of dollars, but put a Star Wars figure in front of them, and they'll scoff at it.
  11. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    What I think would work:
    • 3" figure buddy-packs with limited (or no) articulation
    • simple background facades (could be part of the packaging)
    • one or two simple accessories per pack
    • Kermit represented in every-other series (because people don't buy Muppet figures without his presence)
    So, something like this...

    Series One:
    1. Kermit & Walter (with banjo, camera & backstage facade segment)
    2. Piggy & Foo Foo (with sunglasses & dressingroom facade segment)
    3. Rowlf & Johnny (with piano, microphone & stage segment)
    4. Statler & Waldorf (with tomatoes & balcony facade segment)

    Series Two:
    1. Animal & Lips (with drums, horn & stage segment)
    2. Gonzo & Camilla (with trumpet & backstage elements)
    3. Beaker & Bunsen (with lab equipment & lab facade segment)
    4. Floyd & Janice (with guitars & stage segment)

    Series Three:
    1. Fozzie & Sam (with rubber chicken, lecturn & stage segment)
    2. First Mate Piggy & Female Koozebanian (with part of ship segment)
    3. Reporter Kermit & Male Koozebanian (with planet facade)
    4. Link & Strangepork (with part of ship segment)

    Series Four:
    1. Great Gonzo & Sal (with cannon, popcorn & theater seat segments)
    2. Pepe & Seymour (with misc props & elevator facade segment)
    3. Dr. Teeth & Zoot (with keyboard, sax & stage segment)
    4. Sweetums & Robin (with misc props & backstage elements)

    Series Five:
    1. Nurse Piggy & Patient Kermit (with thermometer & bed segment)
    2. Dr. Bob & Nurse Janice (with medical instruments & façade)
    3. Scooter & Beauregard (with clipboard, mop & theater seat segments)
    4. Swedish Chef & Uncle Deadly (with utensils, veggies & kitchen facade segment)

    Series Six:
    1. Animal Variant & Crazy Harry (with bunny, plunger & misc facade)
    2. Beaker Variant & Newsman (with phone, lab prop & news facade)
    3. Rizzo & Lew (with fish, pizza & stage facade segment)
    4. Marvin Suggs & Muppaphones (with penguin & stage facade segment)

    Exclusives: Mahna Mahna & Snowths
    Exclusives: Muppet Monsters
    galagr likes this.
  12. rowlfy662

    rowlfy662 Well-Known Member

    I would love that so much Disney knows that muppet collectables sell and that type of idea would be a good idea though if something like that would happen Disney would just sell them through the parks which would be disappointing I want to walk into a store and see a kid picking up a Kermit figure and asking their mum if they can buy it and **** it I just want a bobo figure :)
  13. Mister Muppet

    Mister Muppet Well-Known Member

    I would love to see a new Muppet pvc figure line I think it work and enough people would buy them to keep the series running. The right time to release it would be around the release of Muppets Most Wanted
  14. BobbyBenson64

    BobbyBenson64 Well-Known Member

    love the idea of throwing Foo Foo in there, same with Johnny, Sal, Seymour, and Lips that's the kind of thing I was talking about, every once and awhile having a obscure character in there.

    oh and kick question would Sweetums be a special "jumbo" figure?

    and Drtooth I now understand wear you are coming from on the very very obscure character thing but now that I have seen what jvcarrolln has done with exclusives maybe there could be a "Classic Muppet Pack" that could include those characters and possibly an 'Muppets Tonight Pack' that could have Poodle Pants in it.

    oh and a Bobo whould awesome!!!:eek:
  15. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Drtooth: The Jazwares Nick line got cancelled? What? I mean yeah I saw the figures discounted to $5 at TRU. But dang. I really liked these. It makes me sad Rocko wasnt included in the line(like there wasnt already a zillion Rugrats toys from the 90s) as now we probably will never get to see Rocko figures or toys

    Isnt that always the flippin case? Why is it the really special, awesome cartoons never got toys? Up, Emperors New Groove, Rockos Modern Life, etc.

    Heck, let's be flat out honest: The Muppets really has not gotten the merchandise it deserved in recent years. Heck, it has barely gotten any. Disney spent zillions marketing the movie, but the UK got way more muppet merch than we did. Im shocked more people havent demanded more Muppet merch from Disney.
  16. rowlfy662

    rowlfy662 Well-Known Member

    I too am surprised more people haven't demanded it but the problem is Disney seems to be in this frame of mind where only characters like Kermit and Animal will sell. What Palisades did was take risks by releasing characters like crazy harry, pops even robin that fans would be overjoyed by but the average person would not know who they are. Vinylmations are the only way were getting minor characters because their blind boxes meaning no one will know what they get so they can release characters like Beau but Disney need to realise people will buy beau or lew as a figure just look at the cars line even if the character was only in the film for a second they would be made into a diecast car and people who buy them not only cause their collecting the line but also because of the brand name of the movie cars. People would do the same with the a muppet line and I wish Disney would notice that there is collectors who will go out and buy a lew Zealand or a bean bunny I hope Disney notices one cause I really want to see muppet figures back on out toy shelfs
    galagr likes this.
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Someone posted a picture around here of the rare and hard to find Rocko merchandise. There apparently was some, but best of luck finding any of it.

    I can't say for sure they canceled the Nicktoons line, but considering how it's been cleared out, I'm not holding my breath for anything else.
  18. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    I love their products, (heck, I worked on dozens of them) but Palisades went out of business. If they had it to do over again, they probably would have included more Animal and Kermit and done a lot of things differently early on. Still, what they did is amazing!

    I also managed a toy shop for three years and the toy business is tough. I don't blame Disney for playing it safe. The success of Muppet products depend on a few things:
    • They have to have a current, popular project in order to generate enough consumer interest to justify it.
    • More kids need to want Muppet toys. They can't just cater to the niche market.
    • A Kermit and/or an Animal needs to always be available along side the rest of the assortment or people don't buy the other characters.
    • Quality sculpts are a must. Muppet fans are particularly fickle.
    • The price has to be right. There are so many apps, itunes media, video games and other items competing for the consumer dollar.
    • The Muppets need to have wider appeal. Period. They're on the way there. Let's hope that happens with their next film.
    galagr likes this.
  19. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I believe in giving many chances depending on the situation. For many years Disney simply just sat on their Muppet purchase. Heck I was beginning to think the Muppets would become like Bear in the Big Blue House and simply tucked away. I didn't even believe there was going to be a "new Muppet film" til on set photos emerged.
    So yes, perhaps with Muppets Most Wanted there will FINALLY be Disney Muppet merch. The only thing I saw at Disney stores in 2011/2012 were the mugs and large plushes.

    Side question, how come Disney Parks and the UK get all the good Muppet merch? People say there is all this Muppet merch in American stores, but I don't count tacky dollar bin rubber bands and Animal snuggies at Walmart(or Muppet bongs at Spencers or whatever garbage it is they sell there)
  20. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I am seriously A-OK with endless Kermit and Animal, as long as a few of the non main 5 sneak in there. I was quite pleased with the advent of the Walter plush. And as I mentioned, I feel the Toys R Us Muppet plushes are some of the best Muppet plushes I've ever seen.

    By the way, JV, what's your take on Jazwares?

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