We are continuing our two-part interview with Brian Flynn from Super7 with a focus on the new Wave 1 Ultimates! figures that have begun shipping to collectors. In case you missed it, here’s Part 1 of the interview, which focuses on the first wave of 3¾”-scale ThunderCats ReAction figures.
TC.org: Heading on over to the other branch of your ThunderCats license. Let’s touch on the Ultimates! figures. You are currently still busy shipping Wave 1 out, right?
BF: We’ve finished shipping out ours to customers and retailers. I believe some retailers may not yet have sent out theirs, but Wave 1 is now shipped.
TC.org: Social media is filled with images of Wave 1 arriving in the hands of collectors worldwide. There are some very talented photographers who have posted superb photos of their figures! But there have also been some reports of paint issues, damaged figures and accessories. What can collectors do when that’s the case?
BF: We will be more than happy to replace the parts or figures themselves if there are issues. For example, if your figure has a paint problem on the head, we’ll replace the head itself. Or if an accessory is broken, we’ll provide you with a replacement for that. Customers can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and assistance.
TC.org: Last month you released a video addressing the Panthro and Jackalman factory errors, announcing that Super7 will be replacing these parts and accessories later in the year. Thank you for that! As a bonus, you will also include an extra Panthro head with Glow-in-the-Dark eyes. Will we have a visual for that sometime soon?
BF: Yes, we will be showing a picture of that. We’re just waiting on the final head paint.
TC.org: In terms of the production for Wave 1, what do you think went wrong?
BF: It was always our intention to match the figures from Wave 1 with the figures you got from Mattel. That’s why we had those figures produced at the same Mattel factory who had made them before, so that we knew that they would easily match those figures. Since we weren’t able to be on site because of the pandemic, something like this would have easily been identified at the factory during pack-out—had we been there. Our final samples had the correct color trunks on Panthro, and the painting on Jackalman’s neck was also correct. We don’t know how this happened and, like the fans, we’re also frustrated and annoyed that this slipped through. It is also a serious catch-22 situation where we know you’ve been waiting for these figures for so long, and the factory where these were made also makes the Jurassic Park figures for Mattel, so in comparison this scale of order was much smaller than something like that, and it doesn’t carry the same priority in relation to the other more sizeable orders. We wanted you to be ecstatic when you got the figures, like the reaction you’ve had with our TMNT Ultimates! Wave 1 figures.
TC.org: While the pins on the elbows were not visible in the prototypes, they were visible on the knees in the marketing material for Lion-O, Panthro and Jackalman. You’ve already explained that painting the prototypes often hides the articulation. What can we expect from the figures in Wave 2 and onwards when it comes to the joints, and are there any steps you can take to prevent discrepancies like this from happening in future waves?
BF: The Wave 1 figures were made to match the Mattel figures. In trying to keep these figures faithful and part of the same line, something like the pins on the elbows was overlooked when we compared our versions side-by-side. Because we were looking at the original figures with pins and trying to make them match, we just missed the opportunity to make them without pins. But we’ve gone back with Wave 2, and we’re trying to see where we can adjust what, with regard to removing the pins. Wave 3 is also done at that factory, but from there on outwards we’re making sure that there won’t be any.
TC.org: You teased that Wave 2 is coming soon. How far is it in the production cycle?
BF: As I mentioned, Waves 2 and 3 are being made at the Mattel factory. So far they’re still scheduled to ship in December and March next year, respectively.
TC.org: The all-important question on everybody’s lips—when will Wave 4 be announced?
BF: At the end of this month. We didn’t want to put out this new wave until Wave 1 was in your hands. Everything has been delayed, and because we don’t want you to buy another wave without having something in hand, this was kept back. It will be the same with the Wave 2 delivery and Wave 5 preorder. But we’re getting back on track with everything.
TC.org: Can you tell us this without revealing too much: will this wave include a previously unmade ThunderCats character?
BF: Let me check quickly. *pulls out laptop* If you mean a figure that has never been made in toy form and/or in Ultimates!, then yes to both. There will be a character that has never been made into a toy before. The other three from Wave 4, I gotta say, are some interesting choices.
We’ve said before that we’re committed to ThunderCats and want to give you as many figures as possible. I’m living in 2022 right now when it comes to where we are figure-wise and planning. We’ve already got Wave 7 planned through 2021.
TC.org: Let’s wrap this up with something we can hopefully still be looking forward to. You previously mentioned that while we wouldn’t be seeing a ThunderCats Ultimates! SDCC exclusive, there would be a holiday figure. Is this still the plan, and when might we expect an announcement regarding that?
BF: Yes, indeed, this is still coming before the end of this year. I can’t say when yet, but be on the lookout for an announcement. And yes, it will be a $45 figure to give you an idea. It will be shipped shortly after purchase and is not a preorder.
Photographs used with kind permission from these toy photographers and collectors:
Jason Montaño: Instagram.