Art Asylum Acquires Trek Toy LicenseBy Christian
December 3, 2001 - 5:44 PM
Toy company Art Asylum announced today it has acquired the license to make toys based on the various Star Trek series.
"We have worldwide rights for the toys," Art Asylum's Adam Unger told American Dream Comics. "The [first] action figures will be 7 inches, same as our lines for Crouching Tiger, Eminem and Bruce Lee. Of course, vehicles and playsets are a great part of this license and we are excited to show our stuff in this catagory as well."
Art Asylum should be a familiar name to fans of Star Trek toys, as the company produced four Trek action figures for Playmates in 1999. Art Asylum created a Borg Drone and a Klingon Warrior, both nine inches tall, as well as 4.5" duo-pack containing Species 8472 and Ensign Harry Kim. The figures were some of the last Trek toys to be released, as Playmates chose not to renew its license at the end of 1999.
Unger offered some information on what Trek fans will initially be able to expect from the Art Asylum. "We are still working on the exact line plan, but it looks like the first line will come from the first episode, ''Broken Bow.' [...] If the movies continue to be on schedule for a holiday '02 opening, then figures from 'Nemesis' will be there too. [...]We have 2 lines in the works for the first wave. If you've seen our other lines, we often break them up into mass and specialty versions, with the specialty having bases and environments."
Besides Art Asylum's own toys, Paramount recently also released a special 35th Anniversary action figure pack containing two action figures (story). The pack, which contained a 6" figure of Captain Kirk and one of Gene Roddenberry, was produced in a limited edition of around 50,000 sets by Palisades Toys. When this project was first announced it was speculated that Palisades might also be getting the full Trek toy license, but apparently Art Asylum managed to present a more appealing bid.
Art Asylum itself is an established company in the world of toys. It has created action figures based on properties ranging from the silent film 'Dr. Caligari' to rock group Kiss. However, the Star Trek license represents the most well-known franchise the company has been able to sign on to. ". I think they needed someone who could show the love and enthusiasm this brand needed to relaunch it again at retail," Unger explained Paramount's decision. "Also, a company with respect to the fans and collectors, they are the final decision makers and we know this better than most companies I can assure you."
Whether Art Asylum will indeed be better than other companies in this field is something fans will be able to see for themselves next year. Further information can be found in the full interview at American Dream Comics. Thanks go out to David McCracken for this!