Toy Craze is spicing up its product line of Crazy Bones characters by signing a deal with Fort Worth, Texas-based Funimation for Dragonball Z merch, slated to hit shelves by late March.
William Flaherty, president of Toy Craze, says the license was attractive partially because the series has a story line (as opposed to being episodic), providing more opportunities for a variety of Crazy Bones. The first edition will be comprised of 40 characters, building to about 120, and there is also talk of a possible Dragonball Z starter kit.
Last year, Disney entered into a licensing agreement with Toy Craze for production of Toy Story 2 characters-its first series of licensed characters. Twenty of them came out just after the film’s launch in November, and talks are underway for special Toy Story 2 storage containers.
Prior to the Toy Story 2 agreement, there was a tentative deal with Nintendo for Pokémon Crazy Bones characters back in July, but it was dashed. ‘For a variety of reasons we decided to part ways,’ says Flaherty.
He explains that the company’s main goal is still to concentrate on building the Crazy Bones franchise itself, and, aside from a few key licenses (Flaherty says he is interested in the Harry Potter property, but nothing has materialized yet), Toy Craze will stick with coming out with its own unique characters. New lines of Aliens and 58 new Buddies will launch at retail this year. As well, a Crazy Bones board game from Indiana, Indianapolis-based Warren Industries will debut this quarter, along with handheld games from MGA Entertainment of North Hills, California and a collectors guide from Scholastic. New Jersey-based Rose Art will be making pencils, pencil toppers and collector cases.
Flaherty isn’t worried about all the shelf space that’s currently being hogged by Pokémon products. ‘I don’t know how much longer the Pokémon thing will last, but it doesn’t mean there’s not a piece of the pie for Crazy Bones.’