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Showroom, a Big Hit

Todd McFarlane and Clive Barker interact with media and fans during a press conference to announce the Clive Barker Tortured Souls action figures at Toy Fair 2001.
The two-ups have been removed, the dioramas partially disassembled, the lights darkened at the McFarlane Toys showroom in Manhattan, signaling the end of Toy Fair 2001.

    Though it's the most hectic time of the year for McFarlane employees, Toy Fair 2001, by all accounts, was a smashing success. Judging by showroom reactions, this year will be a sterling one for McFarlane Toys. Out of more than a dozen different lines shown, all received positive comments, most notably sports, Shrek, the Spawn lines and, of course, what appears to be the sleeper hit of the coming year, Clive Barker's Tortured Souls.

    The Todd McFarlane/Clive Barker press conference was the highlight of the show for many media types and even for the normally stoic McFarlane employees, many of whom are huge Barker fans. It was a unique experience to hear two outspoken talented creators speak in an environment of cooperation and mutual admiration. Oh, and the toys kick butt, too.

    Another highlight was the larger Shrek press conference, featuring McFarlane, Mike Myers and DreamWorks head Jeffrey Katzenberg. After screening a trailer, each celebrity spoke about the film. A massive 8-foot-tall Shrek statue dominated the left side of the theater; it was later moved to the showroom foyer.

    Special this year, Steve Hamady, operations manager at McFarlane Toys, coordinated a special tour of the showroom for several members of the message boards. This was unique, as the showroom is normally only open to industry professionals and media. played a major role in the Toy Fair 2001 event with its huge online catalog of 2001 products, a virtual tour of the showroom, message board and live news straight from New York.

    After a couple weeks to catch their breath (and catch some sleep), our designers will start planning for next year's Toy Fair. See you in 2002.

All stories are Copyright © and TMP International, Inc., and may not be reprinted without permission.

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