We may have just passed Black Friday, but the real insanity is coming in two days, when Cyber Monday is probably set to crash servers across the country. Millions will be online, most likely through their work computers, looking for major deals on multiple websites so they can get gifts in time for Christmas. One of the companies taking part in the mayhem will be Factory Entertainment
, who sent us a few of their geekier products our way to check out and review.
The company was started in 2011 by toy-collecting veterans who had a keen eye for what geeks with a little extra spending cash might like to have in their homes. Since then, they've partnered with dozens of studios and entertainment companies including DC, Marvel, HBO, MGM, Universal and more to produce items that fans could both play with, collect or simply admire as they make their own library awesome. Former Utah resident and
company director Tom Vargas chatted with us about his involvement, and the items they sent our way.
"My passion was music, and I spent a couple of years living in Layton writing music and performing with a couple of acts, but mainly one called Endland
with Joe Irvin and Ransom Wydner, who went on to front the infamous and award-winning group King Niko. I was also a guitarist for a time in Monarch, playing a couple of live acoustic sessions for KBER. I really enjoyed playing places like Kilby Court, The Depot, Urban Lounge and more. One year, Endland
even participated in the City Weekly
Battle of the Bands. Very fun times."
The first item up for review is the pack of direwolves
from HBO's Game Of Thrones
. Directly inspired from
the show, the group of plushies was "discovered as adorable pups and it was just obvious. Of course, they turn into vicious and loyal protectors of their masters, but at one point, they were cute! Ours are pretty cute and cuddly as well, and have been one of our best-performing products," said Vargas.
The wolves themselves are pretty light and durable, each one made to look as close to the individual wolves they're based on while still retaining a toy-like sense. They don't really do anything beyond the obvious of being cute animals, so if you're looking for anything to make noise or serve a second purpose, this isn't that kind of toy. But they do have all six wolves, whether you want Lady, Nymeria, Grey Wind or even Shaggydog. It's a nice stuffed animal for the kids who watch the show (
if you have kids who actually watch the show).
Next up are a pair of items from the Suicide Squad
movie. Harley Quinn was promoted above pretty much everyone else in the cast, and with that came an attraction for fans to cosplay as her. Now you can add a little more realism to it with these foam bats. The idea behind them was very sound in approach to cosplay. As Vargas puts it, "Our inspiration in creating SWATs (soft weapons and tactics) was to take something that would be fun and safe for cosplay/roleplay and to include features that are fun, like sounds that activate via motion and impact. We’re able to get as close to a prop replica as possible, without a collector having to worry about the price being a barrier to entry, or having their piece confiscated at a convention," said Vargas.
Indeed, the bat and the mallet are both cosplay friendly, in that you can actually take them onto convention floors and not have them confiscated as weaponry. They're soft and durable, meaning you'll be able to whack
away at people and not do a ton of damage, but these actually hit hard enough to where you'll know you got hit with something, so use caution. They also come with a small sound system inside to make a "swoosh" sound when you swing. That part isn't as effective, and often in large crowds you're not going to hear the sound effect at all. You might as well keep it turned off when out-and-about and switch it on for at-home play. I recommend if you're going dressed as Harley, but beyond that they may not serve much function other than to play a weird game of foosball.
The last item that came my way was the Deadpool Rocket Ride Premium Motion Statue. Simply put: It's Marvel's most taboo superhero in one of the most taboo jokes they could slightly get away with in a toy. The design is taken directly from the online meme and video game where the item appears, which Marvel had a major hand in perfecting.
"The amount of detail between Marvel and FE during the creation of the piece is significant. Naturally, Marvel is very protective of their IP, and there are various stages of approval we have to go through in order to achieve the look and feel of any product that we’re producing. We’ll submit a concept (via a sketch, Photoshop file, 3D file, etc.) to their team, who will review and comment. Once we have conceptual approval, we’ll then start to create a physical prototype—in this case, an unpainted sculpt—and submit that for approval. They’ll make further comments and suggest changes, and once we have approval from that point, we’ll move to a painted sculpt which then starts to resemble more of the finished piece.
"At that point, we’re pretty close and we’ll typically move to a final prototype. Once we’re past that point, we’ll mass produce the item and move to packaging and other specifics. They’re pretty much involved in every step of production and communication is essential. Very great people to work with and they are incredibly passionate about what enters the market with their name on it, as are we," said Vargas.
Needless to say, this is the collector's collection toy. It does nothing, not even rock, it is a figurine to sit on a table or a bookshelf or cabinet to look badass. It is totally detailed, all the way down to the gun in Deadpool's leg holster, giving you the feeling of him coming to life at some point. This is very specifically an item for people to get if they want a Deadpool figure in their lives,
because the price of one could buy you the entire last run of Deadpool
comics. It's a must-have for the office of a fan.
Factory Entertainment has a lot more items in their store, covering a lot of bases for comic-book fans, as well as a few items from television shows that have large followings. I recommend checking out the site if you're looking for something to get the geek that is a pain in the ass to shop for, because most likely you're not going to find these items anywhere else on the market, including their local shop. It also makes for great items to buy just for yourself, if you're looking for a conversation piece in your home, which the Deadpool figure definitely