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MKO Interviews Jazwares Inc about MK: Deception Figures

05/03/2005 :: Posted at 4:00 AM by ]{0MBAT
Our thanks to the folks at Jazwares, Inc. for granting this interview about their upcoming line of Mortal Kombat: Deception action figures! For images from the trip to Jazwares and teasers for the action figure refer to the original feature article. The following interview was conducted May 2, 2005 with Jesse (of Jazwares).

[Mortal Kombat Online]: How long have you guys been around making action figures?
[Jazwares Jesse]: It's been about three years, and the first entry was six-inch Megaman action figures, and then we expanded from there.

Were you guys around before then, making other products?
Yeah, Jazwares has been around almost 10 years. They did a lot of sports promotional items and sipper cups, stationery, lots of boring stuff.

So what other licensed figures do you guys currently handle? I'm seeing tons of stuff around this place.
We do Megaman, like I said, and Mortal Kombat. We do the mass-market versions of Street Fighter, and we'll probably have another five licenses be the end of this year.

So when are you guys planning on the Mortal Kombat: Deception figures to be released?
Those will be out probably late summer - July/August.

Do you plan on some being available before others?
Yeah, we're gonna have a San Diego-exclusive clear Sub-Zero. That will be at the San Diego Comicon on July 14th.

Is that the Sub-Zero with frozen arms?
His whole body's actually frosted and clear.

Besides Sub-Zero, what kind of characters do you have planned?
The first wave as you know is Raiden, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, and Baraka. And then for Wave 2, we're definitely doing Smoke and Noob - which might be a 2-pack, we're hoping. Then we have a classic version of Scorpion and a classic version of Sub-Zero, that are kind of their old, retro costumes, but a little bit tweaked and updated.

Do you think that's going to be based on their alternate costumes from Deception? Or maybe from their older Deadly Alliance looks?
Scorpion's based on his alternate Deception look. The Sub-Zero is a totally new design that Midway came up with for us, that kind of takes his old qualities of his costume and mixes them up.

I was going to ask if alternate costumes were planned, but you kind of covered that already.
As of right now those are the alternate costumes that we want to do. We have the reference for the other alternate costumes, but at this point, that's all.

Can you tell me anything about Wave 3? Or is it a little early for that?
Wave 3 is dependent on how far our license gets expanded, if it's beyond Deception, which is something we're talking about now. So if everything's a go, expect older and newer characters, to be as kryptic as possible.

We know what you mean. Are their any plans for Shujinko?
Midway actually asked us if we thought he'd make it in the line. I don't know how likely it is - and my personal feeling is he could be the most plain character in the entire history of Mortal Kombat, so it's not terribly... he seems kind of dull.

I thought he was one of the coolest people, because you see him when he's a little boy, and then you play him at different stages of his life until he's an old man. I thought it would be really cool if there would be a 5-pack set where you get all different versions of him. And it would cost like, 5 times as much as a normal figure.
Makes sense. I do remember now - Wave 2 will have Kano. I had to lobby hard to get Kano into the lineup.

Well he's one of the most popular characters, that was a good decision. Do you know if he's gonna be based on his Deadly Alliance look? Ya know, with the lock of hair around his neck and all that?
Oh, is that what that is?

Yeah, he ripped out Sonya's hair in MK3 and he's kept it there ever since.
See, nobody could answer me what that was in the reference they'd send over, so that's good to know. Yeah, it's based on his Deadly Alliance look, however, it wouldn't take much to play with the colors and add another sculpted piece to kinda get a slightly more classic, MK1 Kano.

Actually, his alternate Deadly Alliance - his Mirror Match costume in that game - looks a lot like it does in Mortal Kombat 1.
Really? I'm gonna put in a request. From what game?

Deadly Alliance. It's his alternate Mirror Match outfit, like if 2 players both select his alternate outfit, the second one gets his MK1-type costume.
Awesome. Perfect.

Actually, I know way too much about Mortal Kombat, so if YOU have any questions for ME, let me know. You were telling me earlier that some of them will come with weapons. Can you tell me a bit about some of the weapons the figures will have?
Like I had mentioned, Baraka has 2 sets of blades - a short set, and a long set. Those are removable. Raiden has a very cool, clear-blue, lightning bolt that attaches to his palm. Scorpion has two swords, sheathes, and his whip and spear. And Sub-Zero has his Kori Blade, and a clear ice projectile that snaps on to his hand.

That's so awesome.
We also have reference to all the different weapons that were used in Mortal Kombat: Deception, so it's just a matter of finding the right place for them.

Are you guys working with the folks over at WAM Entertainment? (They did the artwork for the MK: Deception comics, and the boxart for the controllers.)
I'd actually initially sent out a bunch of e-mails and made some phone calls to try to get ahold of them to do some designs for our 10-inch line, but I can't seem to get ahold of them.

And finally, how big will the figures be, and how posable are they?
Okay, they're six inches tall. They're in scale with Marvel Legends, and Sota's Street Fighter. They have about 18-20 points of articulation.

And are there any last comments about these figures that you'd like to mention?
Pre-order them now! Because it will be a limited run, and I want to make sure everybody gets these characters.

How can someone pre-order one of these figures?
As of right now, you can go to www.killertoys.com - they have a pre-order up. www.cornerstorecomics.com, www.shopafx.com, and keep an eye on retailers like Hot Topic and Tower Records, they'll also have them.

Is there anything else you'd like to say about the company in general?
We got big things planned. We're definitely going to have a bigger push for specialty and kind of have a higher caliber of product for the adult collector who appreciates these sort of things.

Some of these action figures look like they come with extra items. Can you describe any of those? Like, I'm seeing this dragon symbol...
Oh this is Palisade's old Mortal Kombat line, it's not ours. But we do have bases with our figures, that are of this dragon symbol. And they have pegs on the feet so they hold the figures in place.

Is that box yours or is that Palisades?
No, that's Palisade's, I can show you the packaging here.

Looks like you're going to be at E3.
Yeah, we'll be at every show that's out there today. We don't have a booth at E3, but I believe Midway will have some of our figures on display.

Are there any other conventions that you guys are going to?
We'll definitely be at San Diego Comicon (July 13th), we might go to Wizard World Chicago (August 5th), and we'll be at Licensing in New York (June 21st), and I think that's it. And I'll probably squeeze a couple more trips to China in between these things.

What's going on in China? You're over there a lot. Are these toys expected to be a big hit over there?
Well that's where everything is manufactured, so we have an office in Hong Kong. And the manufacturing is done in mainland in China in Dongguan or Shinzen, or around there.

[After the interview, he also mentioned that there are plans for a Goro figure, based on his Deception look in the GameCube version of MKD.]

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