Exclusive Icon Heroes Patrick Wang Interview
Grizzlor from ThunderCats Lair recently had the chance to pose some fan-submitted questions to Patrick Wang, VP sales and Marketing at Icon Heroes.
Icon Heroes were also kind enough to provide us with some exclusive photographs of upcoming ThunderCats statues. Click on any of the photos to view a larger version.
Patrick, thanks for taking the time to answer the questions that have been on the minds of ThunderCats fans and statue collectors everywhere. Congratulations also to you and the rest of the Icon Heroes team on landing the license to our collective favourite 80s property. I know that fans were elated to hear that there would be a mini staction format series of statues produced and were particularly excited to hear about your planned work on vehicles and playsets.
Could you tell us a little about the back story to how Icon Heroes decided to go after this ThunderCats series?
We set out to work with a license many of us wanted to always be a part of and Thundercats was at the top of everyone’s list. There was no question, no plan B. We wanted something smaller in scale and more affordable than what was currently in the market. We always wanted to place a Lion-O next to, say, a He-Man or Superman and display them as such and there just wasn’t a Thundercats collectible out there to fill that niche.
Will any stactions be made of characters not produced in the original toy line such as Willa, Mandora, the Lunatacks, etc?
We are planning to concentrate on the primary characters first. Secondary characters, if done, would most likely be done as show or retail exclusives.
With the pictures of Lion-O riding the Thunderclaw surfacing from the San Diego Comic Con, we’re wondering whether you intend to have all figures fit in the vehicles but also be removable. Lion-O is kind of half standing as he’s steering the vehicle, will you follow a similar design for other vehicles?
We plan to produce the vehicles where statues could be interchanged if it makes sense, for example, if various characters were shown riding the same vehicle. The Lion-O shown riding the Thunderclaw is being tweaked. The one done for the show was done quickly to be able to show what we had in mind with statues riding the vehicles.
Will the bases with the individual figures be interlocking to make a diorama type display set? If not, is there another display design in mind?
They won’t be made to interlock with each other but we are considering a diorama that would allow multiple statues to be displayed together.
Fans are very excited at the prospect of seeing your take on the Cat’s Lair. How will it be designed? What scale do you have in mind for it? What else can you tell us about it?
A Cat’s Lair at six inch scale would be incredibly large but we do have other ideas in mind. We can’t say much about that right now.
Do you have plans to tackle Mumm-Ra’s pyramid or the Mutant’s Castle?
Not at this time but depending on how the first few dioramas do we may consider those.
Do you have other exclusives in the works? Will there be alternate versions of the main characters, similar to the Comic Con exclusive?
Yes we do plan to do other limited edition exclusives as some of the characters lend themselves to interesting variants. For instance with Jackal Man, we can also produce statues of his minions with different arm poses and weapons.
Are you drawing design inspiration mainly from the cartoon, or from the original 1980s LJN toyline?
We are mainly drawing from the cartoon series.
The release schedule is very aggressive (one a month?) and the figures seem to be coming together very quickly based on what you showed at Comic Con. Do you have more than one sculptor working on the line in order to achieve this or did you hire the fastest sculptor of all time? Could you tell us the name(s) of the artists?
Because of some of the variants we have planned, and the length of the approval process, we will probably release the statues every 6-8 weeks. We have a few sculptors working on the line. They wish to remain anonymous but it’s a safe bet that many of their works are currently in the hands of a lot of collectors.
What will the retail prices be for the vehicles and Cat’s Lair?
The price will vary based on the size of each statue.
Will you be producing The Mad Bubbler?
There are no plans at the moment to produce the Mad Bubbler.