It was a little over two weeks ago on February 27th that toy maker Boss Fight Studio made an expected, but still disappointing, announcement that it no longer held the license for Bucky O’Hare. This came after more than a year of no updates on the status of the action figure line so the writing wasn’t just written on the wall, it was smashed into it. The last figure released was Captain Mimi LaFloo, a brand new character as far as toys are concerned, which was back in the fall of 2020.
The end of Boss Fight Studio’s excellent line of action figures based on Bucky O’Hare is, of course, a sad event. And I was certainly disappointed to hear the news, though part of me was also happy the property was no longer in limbo. The sadness is tempered by what we have though. Before Boss Fight came along, Bucky O’Hare was a dead property. There had been no new toys since the early 90s and the cartoon and comic were all long since ended as well. About the only thing even released over the decades was a trade paperback in digest form compiling the original run of comics and some of the Italian run, basically the stuff that aligned with the animated series. Continuity Comics and its owner Neal Adams made attempts at reviving the property via a commissioned CG pilot and a short-lived licensing deal with the now dead Shocker Toys, but no one was interested. No one except Boss Fight Studio.
I don’t know why the line came to an end. Boss Fight Studio is a bit tight-lipped on the developments, but have insisted from the beginning it was not sales related. The “non” updates over the past year all cited Continuity Comics as being really busy at the moment and that was apparently an obstacle. I have no inside information beyond what has been shared by the company and I certainly understand them not wanting to throw shade at the licensor. My totally unfounded guess is that Continuity was hopeful this line might lead to bigger things for Bucky O’Hare, and when that didn’t happen it lost interest. For what it’s worth, Adams expressed great enthusiasm for those initial figures released when asked about them at conventions so I think he, personally, was happy with the end product. Maybe he, and the company as a whole, just expected more of a windfall and when that didn’t happen it no longer made sense to devote any time and energy to a toy line. When Bucky last had a toyline, the going rate for an action figure was a mere 4 dollars so perhaps they thought Boss Fight’s pricing model ($35 per figure) was an issue. We did see Boss Fight show off prototypes for a line of mini figures that never came to be, perhaps that was the company trying to meet Continuity halfway, and when those weren’t pricing out well they just scrapped the whole thing.
Again, I don’t know anything so it’s all just speculation on my part. I do know that Continuity was hands-on and requested changes or revisions to every figure except Mimi, but I also don’t know if that’s irregular of a licensor. For me sitting here in front of my computer, I see the toy line as being easy money for Continuity. Nobody is getting rich here, but why not let a company like Boss Fight Studio just keep producing whatever it wants and be happy with that? Unless they actually are getting inquiries from other potential partners regarding Bucky O’Hare, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but, I am an outsider and I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes at Continuity to make this line a reality. If anyone at either organization wants to share more, I’d love to know! Even if it’s off the record (you would be surprised how much off the record info I’ve received on unrelated topics just via having a little blog).
All of that being said, I do think it’s important to focus on what we did get. Boss Fight Studio produced 11 releases, 6 of which are unique sculpts or characters. Those releases are: Bucky (2 variants), Jenny (1 variant), Dead-Eye (1 variant), Toad Storm Trooper (1 variant), Bruiser, and Mimi. It basically shakes out to a handful of good guys and one villainous army builder for them to battle. It’s easy to focus on what’s missing: the rest of the crew (specifically Blinky), Toadborg, the Air Marshall, and the rest of the vintage characters released by Hasbro. And sure, I would have loved to add any of those characters. I really wanted to see what Boss Fight Studio could do with Toadborg and Al Negator and I was really hoping they would find a way to at least get us Blinky. That didn’t happen though, but I’m damn happy to have a fairly robust display even without those characters. I bought every release in the line, including 3 of each version of the Storm Toad, and I love them all. It’s hard to pick a favorite (and if you want my thoughts on them all, head over to the Bucky page), though if I had to I’d probably go with Dead-Eye just because a four-armed duck is pretty awesome.
And that’s my main takeaway with this line: I’m happy it exists! These figures are awesome, and without Boss Fight Studio I’d have none. Nobody else wanted to do this, and it was really cool to see the license land with a small toy maker based in my home state of Massachusetts, no less. They did a great job with the figures they produced and it was obvious the company had an affection for the license. All things come to an end and it’s okay to be sad when they do, but it’s more important to be happy it happened at all. A sincere “Thank You” is in order for Boss Fight Studio for doing what no company had done in 25 years and what no company is likely to do anytime soon.