Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Matrix (N2 Toys)



The Matrix
N2 Toys
1999 - 2001

"You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."

In 1999, The Matrix was a massive franchise for the Wachowski Brothers, now known simply as the Wachowski's (You can go ahead and Google that one if you like). The first film brought in huge box office takes, and fans eagerly awaited the sequel (The Matrix Reloaded) which wouldn't hit theaters until 2003. Sadly, many fans then wished that it hadn't.

As a whole, the story is incredibly convoluted, leaving most of the audience confused, lost and bored. In short, for many it promised a fantastic ride that it just didn't deliver. With each film in the Trilogy, ratings only got worse and worse as fans became frustrated with the narrative and overall befuddlement by the time it wrapped up with The Matrix Revolutions.

However prior to the train wreck that the franchise would become, N2 Toys focused heavily on releasing figures based on the first film. For the most part, they did a pretty good job for being such a relatively unknown company.

What was great about the variants for this particular series is that the two produced were rather desirable versions to many people. The first was Agent Smith which was released as both a standard figure as well as a somewhat greenish clear with binary code version. The second was Trinity who came in both a leather tank top (regular version) and a leather trench coat (chase version).

Agent Smith*Agent Smith (Chase Variant)*Cypher

Morpheus*Neo*Switch

N2 covered a fair amount of ground in the series, but sadly never got around to releasing the entire cast of the first film. Some of the noticeable omissions are; Apoc, Mouse and Dozer (Just to name a few).

Trinity*Trinity (Chase Version)

One thing we really like about the Bullet-Dodge Neo figure (below) is the packaging. The inclusion of the heat lines from the bullets adds so much to it, so much to the point that it's arguably better to leave this particular one in the package as opposed to opening it.

Bullet-Dodge Neo

The now defunct Toyfare Magazine also helped to promote the series by offering an exclusive Trinity via their magazine. This figure is essentially the same as the carded version above, however this version of the figure does not have sunglasses on.


Trinity (Toyfare Exclusive)

Series two (the final wave of the line) did something unique by way of changing the packaging up - Something that many toy lines fail to do. We personally enjoy when toy companies do this as it adds a little spice to any toy line, and not only that makes it easier to spot new waves. We honestly wish more companies would do this.


Mr. Anderson*Sentinal

Tank*Trinity

Neo Vs. Agent Smith

Not much happened in the world of plastic for The Matrix in 2002, and by 2003 the license had shifted from N2 Toys to McFarlane Toys. Unfortunately for the Wachowski brothers, nobody really seemed interested enough in The Matrix as of 2004, and with the exception of Funko's upcoming Pop's, not much has been produced in the form of plastic toys since then.

It is rumored that a second trilogy of films is in the works. However, as of the time of this writing (December 2013), that still remains nothing more than a rumor.

Join us next time when we take a look at Cheeck and Chong's Up In Smoke!

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6 comments:

  1. The Matrix is a license that I wouldn't be surprised to see NECA grab one day. I think it would mesh well with the other lines they're putting out such as Predator, Terminator, and Aliens. NECA could probably have a hit releasing at least the main cast and Mr. Smith in their modern.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see Funko do a Matrix run in their ReAction line, either.

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  2. NECA would be a great company to tackle this line, but only if they were going to see it from start to finish. NECA, while producers of fine toys, have a nasty habit of starting lines that go no where in terms of pieces produced. The last thing a Matrix series needs is another incomplete attempt.

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  3. That's a solid lineup from N2. The first movie was fantastic. N2 Toys had some great toys. Wondering if 1997-2007 was the golden age of toys, because there were so many small companies (N2, Resaurus, Palisades) taking chances on properties that could never be made today. Even Todd McFarlane stated in an interview that the loss of specialty stores like Suncoast video, Tower Records, etc contributed to the loss of specialized toys that would never make it in big box stores. Sorry - have to stick with 10 versions of Iron Man and Spider Man.

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately toys are like video games these days. Nobody wants to take a chance on a new franchise when they know they can cash in on one that's already proven to be a cash cow with slight changes under a new name and package - Call of Duty comes to mind for that comparison.

      Plus...Battlefield Earth. That comes to mind as a forerunner in why toy manufacturers stopped banking big on film merchandise prior to seeing if said film would be a success or not first. Trendmasters banked hard on that line being a success, and got slapped hard for it.

      Delete
  4. I WONDER IF N2 TOYS US STILL AROUND

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, no. The last toy line they produced was 2002's Zits.

      Delete

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