COURTESY OF MCFARLANE TOYS
The action figure of "Lost" character Charlie is shown here, a role played by actor Dominic Monaghan (below) in the TV series.
6 characters from 'Lost' to become action figures
Regardless of who is killed next on "Lost," six of the original cast are achieving immortality: McFarlane Toys is creating action figures in the forms of characters Jack, Kate, Hurley, Locke, Charlie and Shannon.
The 6-inch-tall collectibles will come with a detailed base, a photographic backdrop representing a specific episode and a prop reproduction central to that character's history. The term "action figure" is relative; they'll have "limited articulation," meaning the limbs will move, but not much. They will, however, talk.
Using sound-chip technology, Charlie (the heroin-addict, rock guitarist) will say, "Guys ... where are we?" and "You don't know me? I'm a bloody rock god!" He'll also sing a line from a song by Driveshaft, his band.
The figures are being manufactured under a licensing agreement with Disney-ABC's Touchstone Television, which produces the made-in-Hawaii TV hit. Their designs are precise to the point that computer scans were taken of each actor's face for use in making the models.
Though McFarlane is unsure about the number of figures it will release, "once it's sold out, it's sold out," said Carmen Bryant, executive director of public relations.
The single-production run will likely propel the figures into collectors' items. A second line -- which includes Sawyer, for female fans disappointed in his absence the first time around -- is targeted for next spring.
McFarlane CEO Todd McFarlane is best known as the creator of the "Spawn" comic books. But he's also won Grammy and Emmy awards as a producer and director, and has brokered multiple licensing tie-ins with major television and movie productions, such as "Shrek."
"Our reputation is all about the exact likeness," Bryant said. "We're not Mattel; we're not Hasbro. We think outside the box. Throughout the years, our company has really raised the bar in the industry. The reason that has come about is Todd's passion for capturing what you're seeing on the screen."
Components associated with the figures emerged in brainstorming sessions between the show's executive producers and McFarlane, who visited Hawaii in January to meet with the actors and scan their faces to capture dimensions and likenesses.
The sessions resulted in packages such as Kate's: Foliage will surround her figure, recreating the pivotal moment when she first heard voices whispering in the jungle. Her prop is a toy airplane. Charlie's is his Driveshaft ring, Hurley's is his winning lottery ticket.
In addition to the figures, a small diorama -- called a deluxe boxed set -- will hit stores simultaneously. The first will depict the top of the mysterious hatch, a crucial plot point at the end of last season and through most of the second. Around it will be miniature figures of Kate, Jack, Locke and Hurley.
But even dedicated fans may ask: Why include Shannon, a character killed early in season two, in the first set of figures?
"We wanted to start at the very beginning of 'Lost,'" Bryant said. "One of the key elements of our figures is the storytelling. Shannon was a big part of that. Plus, she's going to be in a bikini!" (When the Shannon figure speaks, she'll whine, "What's a four letter word for 'I don't care'?")
Anticipated sales are "huge," Bryant said, with buyers expected to include a cross-section of devoted McFarlane collectors and the broad base of "Lost" fans. Figures will be available online and at most stores, including Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and KB Toys, retailing for $14.99 to $19.99 (including the base and prop). The hatch diorama will sell for $24.99 to $29.99.
"I think people will want to have a little part of the show," Bryant added. "It's such a smart show. It's not the kind of show that you watch in secret. It's not your guilty pleasure."