As everyone else has already reported, Playmates Toys has picked up the Family Guy license. It looks like Playmates is trying to bottle lightning a second time, as the line appears to be designed almost identically to their late 1990s/early 2000s World of Springfield Simpsons line, right down to the talking playsets.
Playmates takes over the license from Mezco,* who have recently been re-releasing their earlier Family Guy figures with what seems to be (as far as I can tell) mixed success. I used to be a big Family Guy fan, but I stopped watching it this season–along with every other Seth MacFarlane show–and haven’t missed it. One shouldn’t assume one’s own tastes reflect the majority’s, but it does seem to me that Family Guy may be on the downward slope of its popularity.
Ever since the Fox Kids Turtles cartoon ended, Playmates has been floundering a bit. Their Star Trek and Terminator: Salvation lines were rushed, forgettable, and are still keeping pegs warm across the country. I am intrigued by their new Lucha Libre USA figures (more on that at a later date). But I have a hard time envisioning Family Guy becoming the smash hit World of Springfield was.
Not that everything needs to be a smash hit, but Playmates does mass market retailer lines–not the collector’s market–so if the sales aren’t there, the line won’t be for long, either.
* I’m assuming. It’s possible Playmates made a deal that allows Mezco to sell their figures in specialty stores–it’s happened before. On the other hand, this wouldn’t be the only major license Mezco lost in recent history.