Tood McFarlane’s Spawn Universe has grown to the point where the comic creator and toymaker can actually debut and market new characters on any platform he wishes! While sitting down with the ComicBook Nation podcast, McFarlane was asked about what the future of the Spawn franchise looks like on both the comic and toyline fronts, which is where he teased fans with the thought that the Spawn toyline could be the launchpad for future new characters in the series!
ComicBook Nation producer Jim Viscardi asked Todd McFarlane directly about how having total control of the Spawn franchise as a comic and a toy line opened up unique opportunities for a creative approach. According to McFarlane:
“I would say the difference would be that we may premiere characters in plastic before you see them on the printed page,” McFarlane said. “And the only reason I say that [is] my entire toy company was sort of formed around the Spawn line to begin with. We had I think 35 series before we pulled the plug on it. And all of that was just creating cool-looking toys with the Spawn brand around it. And now what I’m doing in the comic book, I’m sort of doing the same in comic books and some of the characters that are now in the comic book originated in those 35 series of toys.
So I think there’s a way for us to basically do both: Just say ‘Man this would be a cool-looking toy,’ and if people respond to it I’ll make sure he circles back in the back door and gets in the printed book. So we’ll be able to go both ways – don’t quite have that luxury when I’m doing somebody else’s property.”
Multi-platform synergy is the winning model for big blockbuster genre franchises these days, and Todd McFarlane is equipped to be a one-man franchise king in that new world order. As he describes above, his total creative control over the Spawn franchise means he can choose exactly where and how to position novelties like new characters, series, costumes, etc. If a new character debuts as a toy, that’s where fans will flock and boost sales; the massive success of McFarlane’s new King Spawn comic series launch last year proves that the series is indeed still popular (and viable) as ever, some 30 years later.