Shocker Toys

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Shocker Toys
Founded New Jersey, U.S. (1998 (1998))
Founder(s) Geoff Beckett Jr
Headquarters New Jersey, United States
Key people

Geoff Beckett Jr (President)

Lance Buttiglieri (CEO)

Shocker Toys was a company that manufactured limited release toys and collectible products based on comic book and cartoon characters, as well as original creations. Founded in 1998, the company was run by Geoff Beckett Jr. and Lance Buttiglieri, and was based in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

In 2012 Beckett rebranded the company as GBJR Toys and began raising money for the company through fundraising sites. It has since come under fire for allegedly using licenses without permission and failing to deliver product as promised.[1][2] Beckett, however, has claimed that GBJR toys is in no way associated with Shocker Toys.

History[edit]

Shocker Toys was founded in 1998 in Buffalo, New York by Geoff Beckett Jr.[3] Beckett had previously worked in construction[4] and claims he was inspired to venture into the toy industry while "playing games with his brother".[3] The company operated primarily on the Internet, and by 2002 the company had two full time employees: CEO Beckett and Marketing Director Dana Newsom.[3]

Shocker Toys relocated twice prior to 2002, moving to Glen Rock, New Jersey in 2000 before relocating to Ridgewood, New Jersey. During this early period, the company's primary focus was on card games featuring characters developed by Beckett. However, these card games were never brought to market.[3] Instead, the company began to focus on developing action figures, and in 2004 they released their first product: the Shockini block figure. According to Shocker Toys, this was a significant year for the company, as it was also the year in which Shocker Toys was incorporated and Beckett was joined by Lance Buttiglieri as a new partner.[5] Subsequent to Buttiglieri joining the company, Shocker Toys continued to develop the Shockinis line, and in 2006 displayed the figures at the American International Toy Fair.[6]

While Shocker Toys became "best known for being plagued by delays and other problems",[7] the company released the first series of Indie Spotlight figures [8] and the "Mallow" line of marshmallow-themed figures in 2009.[9] In January 2010, Dave Ryan was named Shocker Toys' first sales agent.[10]

In May 2011, Shocker Toys was accused of nonpayment for work done for them by artist Tony Robles and then attempted to have the artist's website shut down by Robles' domain host using legal threats.[11] During the Shocker Toys panel at the 2011 Comic-Con International: San Diego, court papers were served to Geoff Beckett by Jim MacQuarrie on behalf of Robles.[12][13][14][15]

In late 2011, Shocker Toys announced that the company had new partners and that they had undergone a change in ownership.[16] One of the new owners of Shocker Toys is Eric Nyenhuis, the current owner of GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling).[17] Packaging mock-ups of GLOW action figures bearing the Shocker Toys logo have been shown online.[18]

During the first half of 2012, Geoff Beckett rebranded the company as GBJRToys, through which he now holds the licenses to make Indie Spotlight and Mallow figures.[19]

Products[edit]

Shockinis[edit]

Debuting in 2004, Shockinis were the company's first product to be released.[6][20] Shockinis were 3 inch action figures intended for customization, with multiple points of articulation. Geoff Beckett has stated that while there are many similar toy lines – including Kubricks, Pocket Heroes, and MiniMates – Shockinis, and their predecessor, Stikfas, are the only two designed specifically for customization. Beckett has differentiated Shockinis from Stikfas on the basis that Shockinis were "conceived in the USA" and were available as preassembled figures rather than as model kits.[20] Different versions of Shockinis, including a Toxic Avenger Shockini, Kade from Arcana comics and other comic book convention exclusives were sold online, at conventions, and through a few comic book shops[21] in limited runs of 50 to 1000 pieces. No new Shockinis have been produced since 2006.

Indie Spotlight[edit]

In 2006, Shocker Toys started work on Indie Spotlight, a line of six-inch action figures based on characters from various independent comic book series. The first series consisted of Katchoo from Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise, Scud and Sol from Rob Schrab's Scud: The Disposable Assassin, the Maxx from Sam Kieth's series of the same name, David Mack's Kabuki and two different versions of Jim Valentino's Shadowhawk. A small figurine of an Isz was included with each figure, as well as other, character specific accessories.[22] Plans to include a comic book or poster packed in with each figure, similar to the packaging of Toybiz's Marvel Legends figures, were announced but later abandoned. Shocker Toys also announced a "mail away" figure of Mr. Gone from The Maxx, available to customers who purchase all seven figures in the first series. This figure has yet to be made available, however a sculpt did appear at the 2010 Toy Fair.

Development of the Indie Spotlight series encountered several problems, among them Marvel Toys' 2007 release of their own line of action figures including independent comic book characters announced for the Shocker Toys line.[4][23] Prototypes of Indie Spotlight Series 1 were displayed at the 2007 American International Toy Fair,[4] and new versions of that series were shown at the following year's show[24] and at the San Diego Comic-Con – the latter also including Series 2 prototypes.[25] Following numerous announced (and subsequently missed) release dates, the first series of Indie Spotlight action figures was available for purchase online as of April 2009.

In February, 2011, a limited run, preview edition of The Tick from the planned second series of Indie Spotlight figures was released, along with a "Mucus Tick" variant produced as an exclusive for the Idle Hands website.[26]

Limited convention exclusives[edit]

Shocker Toys has produced a number of convention exclusives over the years. These include a Gwar "Beefcake" statue, a 3" Maxx vinyl figurine for the San Diego Comic-Con, and a Scud statue for the New York Comic Con. Shocker Toys also released a pair of statues and a box set of five vinyl figures based on the fictional band Dethklok from the Adult Swim series Metalocalypse as San Diego Comic-Con exclusives. The box sets of vinyl figures were limited to 500 pieces and sold at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con,[27] the subsequent 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, and the 2009 Wizard World Chicago Comic Con.

At the 2009 New York Comic Con, Shocker Toys had planned to sell two translucent versions of their then-forthcoming Scud and Maxx figures from the Indie Spotlight line. The figures were unavailable for the event, but were shipped out to customers roughly a month later, starting on March 3, 2009.[28] A similar variant was offered at the Wizard World convention in Philadelphia that year, with a transparent Maxx incorporating painted highlights. At the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, Shocker Toys offered figures based on their forthcoming Indie Spotlight Series 2 – a "black and white" Dick Tracy figure and a trench-coated variant.[29] At the same event, convention exclusive Mallows also debuted, including Dr. Rockso, the Phantom, and an SDCC Guy.

Convention exclusives have also been sold through their website, and unsold figures have subsequently been made available at later conventions.

Mallows[edit]

In 2009, Shocker Toys started a new line of marshmallow themed figures called "Mallows." Similar to Hasbro's Mighty Muggs and Kidrobot's Munny and Dunny figures, Mallows feature multiple points of articulation, interchangeable parts, and are available in blank, black or white, do-it-yourself versions.[30]

Cancelled or unreleased items[edit]

Card games[edit]

Shocker Toys first planned products were card games featuring characters developed by Beckett. Despite promoting them online, none of the card games were brought to market.[3] Beckett cited cost fixing by competitors as the cause.[31]

Manga[edit]

Using characters from the unreleased card games, the company turned its attention to developing an "American Manga magazine".[31] The magazine was never published, but the characters developed for the stories lead to the company's next effort.[31][32]

Shoulder Action Figures[edit]

After its attempts at manga creation and publication, the company changed direction to focus on the production of action figures. In 2002 Shocker Toys displayed prototypes of their Shoulder Action Figures, or SAFs, at the "Christmas in July" event in New York run by public relations firm Steven Style Group.[3] In spite of early publicity for the concept, the product was never released, with Beckett citing problems arising from outsourcing as the cause.[20] The company's attention then shifted to developing the Shockini line of action figures.

Mutant Mania Shockinis[edit]

Shocker Toys announced a line of "mutant and monster" Shockinis in October 2004, for release the following February. Aside from a Toxic Avenger Shockini which was released as a convention exclusive, no other figure from the line was released.[33]

Other Licensed Shockinis[edit]

Shockinis based on characters from Bucky O'Hare, Gwar, 2000AD (including Judge Dredd), Metalocalypse, the Indie Spotlight line, and Who Wants to be a Superhero? were announced as early as 2005. Other than the Toxic Avenger and Kade from Arcana comics, no other licensed properties were produced as Shockinis.

Gwar[edit]

Shocker Toys acquired the license to produce toys based on the band Gwar,[34] releasing a 500 piece run, resin statue of the band member Beefcake as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive in 2006. However, the announced line of articulated PVC Gwar action figures was canceled before reaching the market. The proposed replacement line of vinyl Gwar figures was never released.

Metalocalypse[edit]

In 2007, Shocker Toys acquired a license to the characters in the fictional band Dethklok from the Adult Swim series Metalocalypse.[35] The announced regular retail line of Metalocalypse figures was never released, although San Diego Comic-Con exclusives were sold in 2008 and again in 2009, including Dr. Rockzo as a Mallow designer figure in a limited run of 500 pieces. An expansion of the Metalocalypse line was announced December 23, 2009.[36] On January 12, 2010, it was announced that Adult Swim discontinued the Metalocalypse license with Shocker Toys.[37]

Who Wants to Be a Superhero?[edit]

Shocker Toys also licensed the characters from the reality television series Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, including Feedback, the winner of the first season in 2006, with the well publicized, though unrealized, aim of producing action figures based on the property.[38][39]

Indie Spotlight Series 1 Mail Away Figure[edit]

The Mr. Gone mail away figure, an incentive for customers who bought all of the first series of Indie Spotlight figures released in 2009, was never released.

Indie Spotlight Series 2[edit]

A second series of Indie Spotlight figures was announced at Toy Fair in February 2009 and then displayed at San Diego Comic Con in July 2009.[40] The line was announced to be available in August 2009, with a lineup of King Zombie, Dick Tracy, Ignacia, Jack Staff and The Tick.[40] The official release date was pushed back to Q4 2009[41] and then again to Q1 2010.[42] The figures were never released.[16][43]

Indie Spotlight Series 3[edit]

A third series of Indie Spotlight figures was announced at Toy Fair in February 2010.[44] These figures were never released.

Other Spotlight lines[edit]

In April 2008, the expansion of the Indie Spotlight line was announced to include Horror Spotlight, Anime Spotlight, Manga Spotlight, Movie Spotlight, and Gamer Spotlight.[45] Illustrations depicting the proposed Anime Spotlight designs were displayed at the 2011 New York Toy Fair.[46] Further announced Indie Spotlight lines from February 2010 include Golden Age Spotlight series 1 and Indie Spotlight Two Packs.[44] These figures were never released.

2010 Summer Convention Exclusives[edit]

Shocker Toys sold four convention exclusive Indie Spotlight figures during the 2010 Summer Convention season: Barry Hubris, The Blank, the Blue Beetle and Hunter Rose.[47] The figures were not released.

DMC SDCC Exclusive Figure and Comic[edit]

At the 2011 New York Toy Fair, Shocker Toys announced an exclusive figure and comic book based on DMC of Run DMC.[48][49][50][51] Neither figure nor comic book were released due to a dispute.[52]

American Greetings Licensed Mallows[edit]

Licensed Mallow offerings announced, though never released, include Madballs, My Pet Monster, and Sushi Pack figures.[30]

Indieverse Comics[edit]

In 2010, Shocker Toys announced the Indieverse line of comics, intended to create a crossover universe for participating independent comics titles.[53][54] No comics were ever released.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Geoff Beckett of GBJR Toys Wants You to Save Indie Spotlight – Should You?". December 3, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ Johnston, Rich (February 6, 2013). "Paul Grist, Geoff Beckett And Shocker Toys". Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Thompson, Clecia (July 26, 2002). "Christmas Comes Early for Young Ridgewood, N.J.-Based Toy Company". The Record. Retrieved November 17, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c "Shocker standing tall after action-figure flap". Washington Times. March 8, 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2008. 
  5. ^ "About Shocker Toys". Shocker Toys. Archived from the original on January 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  6. ^ a b "On with the Show". Playthings 104 (2): 92. 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  7. ^ "The Hot Plate". ToyFare (146). October 2009. p. 10. 
  8. ^ "The Indie Spotlight craze has begun!". Shocker Toys. April 13, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Toy Fair 2009 and Shocker Toys booth# 4923". Shocker Toys. February 13, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009. 
  10. ^ Comic Related - Dave Ryan@Shocker Toys
  11. ^ Johnston, Rich. "Geoff Beckett Of Shocker Toys Tries To Take Down Website". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Johnston, Rich. "Court Papers Served On Shocker Toys At Their Own San Diego Comic Con Panel". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  13. ^ Bricken, Rob. "SDCC: Shocker Toys Gets Their Own Shocker". Topless Robot. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Adair, Torsten. "The Watchtower: Comic-Con — Sex, Rock’n'Roll, and Even Crazier Stuff!". The Beat. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  15. ^ McGee, Lemonjuice. "SDCC 2011: The Shocker Toys Panel". MTV Geek. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  16. ^ a b "Working to End the Delays". Shocker Toys. December 10, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  17. ^ http://www.infinitehollywood.com/2012/03/glow-wrestling-and-shocker-toys.html
  18. ^ http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.304657926260006.70772.273227522736380&type=1
  19. ^ http://www.linkedin.com/in/shockertoys
  20. ^ a b c St. Louis, Hervé (May 17, 2004). "Interview with Geoff Beckett of Shocker Toys". Comic Book Bin. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  21. ^ http://www.comicreaders.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=803
  22. ^ "Products: Indie Spotlight". Shocker Toys. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  23. ^ Annicelli, Cliff; Benitez, Tina; Brill, Pamela; Kellachan, Lauren; Peterson, Karyn; Suciu, Peter (2007). "Next Stop: TOY FAIR". Playthings 105 (2): 95. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  24. ^ "SDCC08: Shocker Toys' Indie Spotlight". Superherotimes. July 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  25. ^ "Indie Spotlight Comic Book Heroes Action Figures is the Future of Toys (Press Release)". Comics Bulletin. October 7, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  26. ^ "Happy Tick Day!". Shocker Toys. February 3, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Shocker Toys' Updated 2008 San Diego Comic Con Exclusives And Booth Info! (Press Release)". PRLog. Shocker Toys. February 27, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2009. 
  28. ^ "Maxx and Scud smokey versions have shipped!". Shocker Toys. March 3, 2009. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  29. ^ "Dick Tracy responds to wrist radio and is coming to SDCC!". Shocker Toys. July 13, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009. 
  30. ^ a b The Blot (June 23, 2009). "Shocker Toys - Mallow Vinyl Figures". The Blot Says... Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  31. ^ a b c Tillusz, Dana. "Small and mighty: An interview with Shocker Toys". ComicReaders.com. Retrieved February 27, 2009. [dead link]
  32. ^ St. Louis, Hervé (May 17, 2004). "Interview with Geoff Beckett of Shocker Toys". Comic Book Bin. Retrieved October 31, 2008. 
  33. ^ http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/2662/got-some-toy-news-for-all-you-collectors/
  34. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On Diddy, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, B.G., Korn, Mandy Moore & More". MTV. January 12, 2006. Retrieved October 31, 2008. 
  35. ^ Ball, Ryan (June 25, 2007). "Shocker Toys Jams with Metalocalypse". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  36. ^ Metalocalypse toys are bringing the awesome to a shelf near you - TOMOPOP - COLLECTIBLE TOY CULTURE - Vinyl toys, Papercraft, Garage kits, Gamer toys, Japanese toys, robots, m...
  37. ^ Shocker Toys Forums • Index page
  38. ^ Sci Fi reveals 'Who Wants To Be A Superhero? 2' cast, bumps debut - Reality TV World
  39. ^ Who Wants to Be an Action Figure? - Today's News: Our Take | TVGuide.com
  40. ^ a b "Wanna Play in the DeadWorld?". Dread Central.com. July 6, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009. 
  41. ^ "Shocker Toys Online Store". Shocker Toys. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  42. ^ Shocker Toys' Indie Spotlight Wave 2 Will Have You Shouting 'Spooooon!' - ComicsAlliance | Comics culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews
  43. ^ "Store: Action Figures". Shocker Toys. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  44. ^ a b http://toynewsi.com/news.php?catid=288&itemid=15481
  45. ^ Indie Spotlight Series 2 Images - Shocker Toys - ToyNewsI.com
  46. ^ Dilworth Jr., Joseph (February 17, 2011). "Toy Fair 2011: Shocker Toys Unveils 2011 Line-Up". Pop Culture Zoo. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Shocker Toys returns to the San Diego Comic-Con Booth #3849". Shocker Toys. July 10, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  48. ^ http://www.oafe.net/blog/2011/02/atfc-shocker-toys-at-toy-fair-2011/
  49. ^ http://popculturezoo.com/2011/02/shocker-toys-bring-special-guest-to-toy-fair-2011/
  50. ^ http://s59.photobucket.com/albums/g298/theevaletudo/DMC/
  51. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jF0mUS7Zek
  52. ^ http://popculturenetwork.com/article.php?story=20110728174807359[dead link]
  53. ^ http://www.shockertoys.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=78&t=3685
  54. ^ http://www.facebook.com/pages/TheIndieverse/123175334407192#!/pages/TheIndieverse/123175334407192?sk=info

External links[edit]