I’ve been pretty out of the loop regarding all the various clix games since Wizkids was folded back into Topps. The last I’d thought about clix was at GenCon when we picked up some of the 500-point LE Thor’s Chariot figures; the both was making a killing selling those, but since it was a cash-only exchange (the both was so barren, it didn’t even have a credit card POS machine), I assumed the worst and discarded word of an upcoming set out of hand.
Well, Topps figured that Wizkids wasn’t profitable, but its licenses, namely Heroclix, were. An intederminate time ago, the Wizkids site morphed a press release detailing its sale to NECA, known primarily for its various figurines licensed from games, movies, and music. A slice of the standard boiler-plate gives hope for two of my favorite miniatures games, HeroClix and HorrorClix:
The National Entertainment Collectibles Association, Inc. (NECA) has purchased the majority of the assets of WizKids, Inc. from The Topps Company, Inc., including the award-winning Clix family of games, which includes HeroClix, ActionClix, HorrorClix and SportsClix. NECA will also acquire the WizKids brand, the Pocketmodel Game family of games, including the Pirates of the Crimson Coast, Pirates of the Spanish Main and Pirates of the Cursed Seas games, and the Mage Knight line of games.
The assets of WizKids that were purchased by NECA have been transferred to a wholly owned NECA subsidiary operating out of its offices in Hillside, New Jersey, which will operate under the WizKids name.
“WizKids has created the best games within the collectible miniature and constructible genres and NECA is proud to help continue this great legacy,” said Joel Weinshanker, President and CEO of NECA. “The HeroClix engine is the envy of the industry and many companies have attempted to emulate it without success. We’re thrilled to deliver HeroClix to the gamers.”
NECA has hired Lax Chandra, who ran the WizKids subsidiary for The Topps Company, to be the President of NECA’s newly formed subsidiary, which will operate under the WizKids name. Former WizKids employees Chas Delong, Wade Sugiyama and Mike Elliott have also been brought on to help with the transition.
In the coming days and weeks, the new WizKids company will make further announcements about upcoming release plans.
Note that the list doesn’t include the MechWarrior game proprietary license, something that saddens me as a MechWarrior fan; thanks to the never-ending balkanization of the FASA licenses I have to assume the game is finally dead and buried unless Catalyst somehow managed to acquire it. MechWarrior clix would be a great asset to Catalyst’s metal minis line, having an established history and a large selection of established figures, but with all things Wizkids related, the best thing to do is plan for the worst and be pleasantly surprised when a company like NECA picks up the licenses.
So, while ActionClix makes a startling comeback, and HorrorClix has its name bandied about, MechWarrior is left behind in the MageKnight bin. Still, even the mentioned licenses have little to no info. It’ll probably be a while before we see another HorrorClix set to wash away the stain of the last one, but there is a flyer in .pdf form advertising the new Thor-centric HeroClix set which saw some promotion at GenCon.
I’m also curious to how a company based around figurines will make the switch to mass-produced hunks of clicky-bottomed plastic. (What’s next, is McFarlane going to buy the D&D Minis license?) Granted, the company’s already existed for quite a while, with all the production and design already set up, so it should be idiot proof. I guess we’ll have to wait and see, though it does give more hope for future clix products.