November 9, 2001
with Toy Biz
RTM had a chance this week to speak with Joann McLaughlin, who is the VP of product development for Toy Biz. Joann had plenty to say about Toy Biz's Lord of the Rings (LOTR) figures, Marvel Legends, Spider-Man and the future of these products and she left no doubt that she was a fan and had genuine passion for toys they make. She was thoroughly familiar with the characters and licenses that Toy Biz is working on, and we really appreciate getting an hour or so of her day to wax philosophic on all things toy-like!
The following interview is not a verbatim record of our conversation, but still conveys Joann's thoughts and opinions.
Raving Toy Maniac (RTM): Let's start with Lord of the Rings. Everyone wants to know, why is Strider a little late in his release?
Joann McLaughlin (JM): Strider is shipping now, and we'll continue to ship him into the next (third) assortment to help meet the demand for the figure. Viggo Mortenson has a lot of facial hair for the character of Strider, and unfortunately that hair makes it difficult for the laser scanning process to get a great likeness, and that has been the hold-up. In order to get the best and most accurate likeness for the character we've had to take a little extra time to make sure he looked right. Because of the extra work involved, he wasn't ready to ship with the initial shipments of assortment 1, but he should start to become more available since he is shipping now.