On May 10,2008, WrestlingFigs.com conducted the following interview with Jeremy Padawer, Senior VP of Marketing at Jakks Pacific regarding the signing of the UFC Action Figure line.
WrestlingFigs.com conducted an exclusive interview with Jeremy Padawer, VP of Marketing at Jakks Pacific earlier today to discuss the blockbuster announcement of the UFC action figure license!
WrestlingFigs.com: Does this announcement include the entire UFC roster?
Jeremy Padawer: This includes the entire UFC roster and will be handled in a way that our collectors are familiar with, including a great deal of fighters currently under the UFC and other classic guys that we will sign incrementally.
WF: Will there be a Classic line containing UFC greats of the past?
Jeremy Padawer: We plan on having some of our assortments dedicated to previous PPV's with other assortments focused on today.
WF: Are there going to be 2-packs featuring famous match ups?
Jeremy Padawer: Very likely. I think the initial launch is likely to be single packs, then moving into 2-packs as well.
WF: Will the figures be Deluxe style with a lot of articulation?
Jeremy Padawer: You can expect that we are going to need to put articulation into the figures in order to actually play it out the way you need to play out the grappling in the UFC. The reason that I like this brand so much is that unlike football or basketball or soccer where it's very difficult to play out what happens in the sport with action figures, you can definitely do that in the UFC. It is clearly something that reaches out to our older age kid consumer as well as collectors.
WF: Will there definitely be referee figures?
Jeremy Padawer: We are going to do a very broad line. You have to keep in mind the ability to go as deep as announcers to referees, really anyone that's associated with the UFC.
WF: Will there be a real scale Octagon?
Jeremy Padawer: I think that you can count on the fact that we will do both simplistic rings as well as higher end rings. Play or display, you are going to have a choice between a display ring and a lower end ring.
WF: Are the figures going to be 6" tall?
Jeremy Padawer: The actual scale I'm going to leave to your MMA fans who are action figure collectors to help me determine that.
WF: Have you considered other sizes such as 3 & 3/4" and Micro size?
Jeremy Padawer: Definitely. The way we've released Rocky and other assortments, you are going to see a lot of consistency.
WF: Will the Ultimate Fighter TV show be incorporated into the line?
Jeremy Padawer: Definitely. Especially those fighters who have come to prominence in the UFC. We're going to have a very wide and very broad opportunity in terms of the athletes.
WF: Do you have names for the assortments yet?
Jeremy Padawer: I was thinking that maybe I would see what some of the fans have to say about that. Ultimately you can count on the fact that we will come up with some appropriate names that make UFC memorable from an action figure perspective.
WF: How many figures will be released in each assortment?
Jeremy Padawer: You can assume there will be between 6 and 10 per assortment but probably closer to 6 most of the time.
WF: When will we get our Brock Lesnar UFC figure?
Jeremy Padawer: You can expect that as soon as we are up and producing figures that Brock will be in an early assortment of figures.
WF: In the press release you hinted that Dana White will be getting a figure?
Jeremy Padawer: No question about it. He is one of the most important elements of UFC. He is the president but he is also a major force in terms of the development and in terms of the success of the brand. I think an assortment of UFC figures without Dana White would be incomplete.
WF: What are you most looking forward to in the UFC line?
Jeremy Padawer: What I'm most looking forward to is helping create the first line of action figures that has ever been associated with something that I think will be around for a very, very long time. I'm a fan of action figures and I think this could be a very historic launch of figures with the UFC line.
WF: Does this include the Pride roster?
Jeremy Padawer: I can't say yet but we are looking to be very, very complete in terms of our launch.
WF: When do you think these will hit the shelves?
Jeremy Padawer: We will be launching with an exclusive partner in Fall of 2009 which will be on shelf in July and also doing an on-line program as part of our launch. We will be announcing those details shortly.
WF: Is there anything that you want to say to the Jakks figure collectors that are looking forward to this line?
Jeremy Padawer: With the Jakks action figure collectors you expect high quality, breadth of the line, authenticity and great sculpting. You expect us to make some mistakes and we definitely will but we will always put our heart and soul into it and we will do our best. We've done that for a long time. I've been at Jakks for 5 years and we will continue to do that.
Jeremy Padawer: One more note, the only thing I can say is expect more surprises!