Irwin Toy’s filing for bankruptcy will indeed be a “hiccup” in the production of Dragonball toys, but it should hopefully be a small one.
According to sources at FUNimation, Irwin’s bankruptcy is not a reflection of the performance of the DBZ brand. The brand itself continues to be strong in both sales and overall popularity.
FUNimation is already in talks with 4 major toy companies to take up the distribution reins for IF Labs. The company that picks up the distribution for the IF Labs figures will most probably acquire all existing molds, designs, etc. as part of the deal. The transition from Irwin as a distributor to a new company should be fairly seamless from a consumer point of view. The new distributor should be announced within a week.
It is unknown at this time if the new IF Labs distributor will also continue the current Irwin Dragonball lines, or if they will go to a separate company. The rights to those lines and figures (and all associated molds, etc) will probably be subject to Canadian bankruptcy court proceedings. I would speculate that if the new IF Labs distributor chooses not to pursue the Irwin lines, then someone else will. However, two competing companies with the same license would definitely spell trouble for the one or the other.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the toys are just that, toys. Any toy delays or cancellations resulting from the bankruptcy are minor concerns, compared to the concerns of the 135 people who lost their jobs. Don’t let problems with toys overshadow your concerns for fellow human beings.
Posted by Jess Horsley on December 3, 2002 11:26 AM