McFarlane Toys, a subsidiary of Todd McFarlane Productions, Inc., is a company started by Todd McFarlane that makes highly detailed models of characters from movies, comics, musicians, video games, and sport figures. Founded in 1994, the company was originally dubbed "Todd Toys," but the name was changed in 1995 following pressure from Mattel (who feared the new company's name would be confused with that of Barbie's younger brother).
Exquisite attention to detail is the most defining feature in a McFarlane Toy. However, it is almost always at the expense of articulation, making them more akin to semi-poseable statues than action figures. Still, the line proves popular especially among young adults, and is arguably the most commercially successful toy line at the moment. It has also influenced many other toy lines to try and imitate McFarlane Toys' style.
Sam and Twitch__Betrayal
Sam and Twitch
Detective Sam Burke
Sam and Twitch
The detectives from Spawn get their own series. This noirish crime series centers on the lives of New York City detectives Sam Burke and Twitch Williams and their adventures in the back alleys, deep nooks and dark crannies of the Big Apple. Todd McFarlane calls these thought-provoking stories "hard-boiled, true-crime cop tales."
Evil Ash__Movie Maniacs 4
Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Mongroid__Clive Barker's Tortured Souls
Collectors Edition__Spawn Issue #138
McFarlane Toys Group Pool
On The Money (CNBC)
McFarlane Toys is the 5th largest action figure manufacturer in the U.S.
In the News
I hope they learn that art can be a career - or that a career can be fun and enjoyable.
McFarlane Presents the Halo Odd Pods
Well, I guess it had to happen eventually. Every last toy company ever has given in to the ‘designer toy’ aesthetic. Everyone’s got a cute, chubby, rounded-off form that they’re slappin’ properties into now. Even McFarlane, who we used to be able to reliably turn to for a naked, tattooed chick hanging from hooks from an overcomplicated, ornate apparatus….
Nope. Now, we get Mighty Beanz with legs. Oh, what a world we live in.
McFarlane's Monsters Series 6: Six Faces of Madness
Spawn is a fictional comic book character created by Todd McFarlane. Spawn primarily appears in a comic of the same name, published by Image Comics, and his first appearance was in Spawn #1(May 1992).
The religion-heavy book began with a very superhero-like tone, much like McFarlane's previous work, but the title character evolved into a more flawed anti-hero. The current book has skewed significantly darker than early issues would suggest. McFarlane attributes this to being a necessary part of development. To introduce the book to readers it had to be slightly cleaner than he really wished it to be so that it read like a superhero tale. As the book took off and became more established he was able to alter the tone closer to his vision.
An African American CIA agent killed by his own boss for witnessing his corruption, Al Simmons was sent to hell. To see his wife one more time, he made a deal with the devil Malebolgia to become an undead "hellspawn". Spawn has tried to retain his own humanity while finding a way out of Malebolgia's control and battling a variety of enemies, both supernatural and criminal.
The series has spun off several other comics, including Angela, Curse of the Spawn, Sam & Twitch and the Japanese manga Shadows of Spawn. Spawn was adapted into a 1997 feature film, an HBO animated series lasting from 1997 until 1999 and a series of action figures whose high level of detail made McFarlane Toys known in the toy industry.
Spawn Movie Trailer
Todd McFarlane (born March 16, 1961) is a Canadian cartoonist, writer, toy designer and entrepreneur, best known for his work in comic books, such as the fantasy series Spawn.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, McFarlane became a comic book superstar due to his work on Marvel Comics' Spider-Man franchise. In 1992, he helped form Image Comics, pulling the occult anti-hero character Spawn from his high school portfolio and updating him for the 1990s. Spawn was one of America's most popular heroes in the 1990s and encouraged a trend in creator-owned comic book properties.
In recent years, McFarlane has illustrated comic books less often, focusing on entrepreneurial efforts, such as McFarlane Toys and Todd McFarlane Entertainment, a film and animation studio. In September, 2006, it was announced that McFarlane will be the Art Director of the newly formed 38 Studios, formerly Green Monster Games, founded by major league baseball pitcher Curt Schilling. McFarlane used to be co-owner of National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers but sold his shares to Daryl Katz. He's also a high-profile collector of history-making baseballs.
Daniel Robert Epstein: You were one of the first people to bring good looking women into comics. What was your inspiration for that?
TM: That was easy. I was doing Spider-Man and in the storyline, Peter Parker was married to Mary Jane, who was a New York model. I've seen pictures of models and they're quite sexy. They were drawing Mary Jane with straight hair and she was wearing clothes from K-Mart. This isn't a lady from Alabama that's working in the factory. This is a New York model and she didn't even own a curling iron. My wife is pretty and she actually puts on makeup, curls her hair and puts on nice clothes. I'm sure if she were a model, she'd still do that. They hadn't updated Mary Jane since 1965 when John Romita drew her. I just thought it was time for somebody to do a new paintjob so I just decked her out.
DRE: Was there any resistance against it?
TM: Nah, it was one of those ones where they just went, "By God, now that you mention it Todd, you're right." I go, "You're out of your mind. You guys haven't seen this for the last 20 years? She's wearing the same clothes she's been wearing for 20 years, even though she's got a better lifestyle? Wow." With these moments somebody just might be looking out for Todd because if they had been updating Spider-Man every three or four years, the changes that I made to the book wouldn't have looked nearly as impressive. But the book was in status quo and everyone was too afraid to move so they just kept emulating what they did in the 60’s and the 70’s. But again, at that point we were pushing the 90’s and even Peter Parker was wearing the same clothes he wore in issue 27. I've been fortunate to come on places where the question isn't why did I do it? The question to me is always, why didn't anybody else do it before me? Those are the ones that I scratch my head about.
DRE: With the new Spawn trade paperback, how was it to go through the issues and look at them again?
TM: Every artist is going to torture himself, whether you're in music or in Hollywood or whatever else and comic book artists aren't that much different. To me, my best art is always in front of me so sometimes I look at the stuff and go, "Eh, I could have done better on this." You start looking at it too much and you want to redraw, rewrite it and you want to do the whole thing over again. You’ve got to let it go and say it was the best I could do at that time and place in my life. You hope that the thing you're doing next is a little bit better. Here is a fear for me, I never wanted to be one of those guys that was defined by a body of work 20 years old. In 1987 I used to go to conventions and people used to say Bernie "Swamp Thing" Wrightson. He did Swamp Thing in the 70’s! Let it go guys. John "X-Men" Byrne. Obviously, both were brilliant when they were doing it, but I just go, "Oh my God. I don't want kids standing in line going, "What you did nine years ago was the best stuff you ever drew. The last eight years have been mediocre to below mediocre." That was my fear, which is why when I was took over a book, I was always trying to tweak it a little bit so that it looked like I was trying to add something instead of keeping the status quo.
DRE: Did looking at these books remind you of when you were that brash, young guy who said, "Screw you Marvel, goodbye!”
TM: Yeah, that crazy guy. But again, I put in my time with Marvel and DC so there was that period of my life of trying to learn how to draw and tell stories in a proper fashion. That became a big time in comic books because it's when people were starting to break out into independent stuff, the market was getting choked with speculators and everybody was trying to do their own trick covers. A lot was happening, plus there were an enormous number of people in the industry that were going to conventions, so it was a pretty fun time. Also there was a lot of controversy and I was at the forefront of some of that. So if you're going to write a book about the history of comic books, the early 90’s would be a couple of interesting chapters.
DRE: think it'd be difficult to find a better monthly book on the racks than The Walking Dead.
TM: Yeah, it's cool. I know this is hard for people to understand but there are two different Todds at this point. There's Todd who's running his own empire, who's actually doing stuff to an agenda that's conducive to him. Also there’s Todd who's a co-founder of Image but is just one of four voices now. There was a time when there was a little bit of a dispute between [Brian Michael] Bendis and I when we were putting out Torso and Powers. So just because Todd doesn't want to do something with somebody it doesn't prevent that person from doing it with Image. If somebody wants to work for me or hates me, at no point did I ever say, "And they can't work for Image." Absolutely not. Image has to be its own fortress, in spite of the owners. People can't separate that or they don't comprehend that you can turn that on and off for each one of the different entities.
DRE: Besides the Image 10th Anniversary book, when are you going to draw something on paper that we can see?
TM: Wow, that's a good one. I still do some inking here and there and I’ve actually got a book that I’m going to ink entirely. Drawing? I don't know. If I ever do anything, it actually might be some fantasy elf thing or even some cute, funny thing. Just to do something a little bit out of the ordinary. I've done my superhero gig. A lot of the drawings that I do are just little noodle drawings that are not superhero stuff, but just to keep my hand moving. At some point I would like to put them in a book and let people go, "Todd did all that?" Some artists will take their artwork and modify it from time to time like Keith Giffen and Frank Miller. They both didn't rest on their laurels, they both advanced or digressed, depending on what your opinion is, but they moved their artwork ahead instead of doing the same style for 25 years.
DRE: What'd you think of the Sin City movie?
TM: It's cool. But as a fan of the comic book I go "They were so faithful, there weren't too many surprises for me." I even knew some of the dialogue but it was definitely cool to look at. We always argue that the movies should be loyal but in this case I could argue that it might have been too loyal.
Maxim Earns Geek Cred with Todd McFarlane
It's not the reality of who they are, but if that's what they think they look like when they close their eyes at night then that's what gets our approval.
Todd on Entrepreneurship
A 20-year-old buying for himself is a lot more discriminating than a 5-year-old being bought something by his mom.
Comics on Comics Interview
I'm not trying to reinvent it - I'm just trying to polish it.