March 2003 Tron-Sector Q&A with Randy Falk of NECA
March 2003 Q&A with Randy Falk of NECA.
Q: How long has NECA been around?
A: Since 1997
Q: How did the Tron reissue and 2.0 liscense come about?
A: NECA was working with Disney on items for Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas and Disney was working on the 20th Anniversary Tron DVD. It seemed
like the time was right to reissue the original Tron line since it was such a cool toy series and held so much retro appeal. Needless to say the re-issues did well and Disney Interactive was working on Tron 2.0 so it was the next logical step.
Q: What happened to the TRON 20th Anniversary trading card set/album that you were supposed to put out last year. The ad for it was recently taken off your site.
A: It is still something we would like to do but the trading card business is not what it once was. For now we have to focus on the items that the retailers want most.
Q: Will you be offering anything other than action figures for TRON 2.0 like lunch boxes, mugs, statues or other collectibles?
A: We have discussed the possibility of a statue or a lunchbox, for now we are launching with the Tron 2.0 figures and we hope to add more items later in 2003.
Q: I'd love a Tron or Tron 2.0 Frisbee or flying disc. That is just begging to be made. It could glow in the dark too! Any plans for something like that?
A: Not right now but it is a great idea. I would love to own one!
Q: Who there at NECA was a big enough fan of Tron to finally put the Tron figure remakes into motion?
A: The owner and president Joel Weinshanker fondly remembered Tron from his childhood. The basic thought was it would be a cool to get some merchandise out there to coincide with the Anniversary DVD.
Q: Will you ever be producing the clear version of the original TRON figures as seen in test shots, or were they only prototypes for the other color plastics?
A: No plans at this time.
Q: Did NECA use the original molds used by TOMY when they re-issued the 20th Anniversary toys?
A: No we had to create new molds for the re-issues.
Q:How hard was it to get the license to do the reissues of the classic Tron figures? Was there much competition?
A: We have a great relationship with Disney as we been the master Toy license with Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas for the past 2 years. Nightmare always does very well so it made sense for us to take on Tron.
Q: Were there any TRON toys that got to a prototype stage but didn't get made for last years 20th Anniversary?
A: There is an Orange Light Cycle and a Trading Card Set that was started but were never produced.
Q: Will you be producing any other TRON toy merchandise in the scale of the original TOMY figures, like a Recognizer, Tank or Solar Sailer, or maybe even some other unproduced figures such as RAM, YORI, CROM, etc.?
A: We had done some designs and talked about all of this in concept and then 2.0 came along so we had to focus on that. We would love to expand the Tron universe in both scales the modern 2.0 line and the retro style but the demand and interest needs to be there. We will see what this year brings.
Q: How did the re-issued TRON action figures in terms of business? Was the series an hit in America? Please, give us some numbers, just for the history. Have you some reports about TOMY's release too? We all know the movie became really popular after the release of the arcade games so... when did the action figures start to sell well?