On the heels of her first stunning UFC title defense against Liz Carmouche, Ronda Rousey’s meteoric rise as public icon just broke the proverbial glass ceiling; she will now have her own custom-designed Action Figure.
But it won’t be coming from where you might expect; this is a Cinderella story almost as good as that of Ronda herself.
Disappointed with the lower-than-expected revenues from the existing line of action figure collectables from JAKKS, Zuffa had recently ceased negotiations with the company, looking for a fresh angle to try to improve the potential but failing merchandising wing of the brand.
Of all the giants in the toy business trying to get the new contract however, the recipient was a shocking underdog: GDCMMA, an emerging MMA fan crew that had never even produced a real action figure before, and an obscure online photoshopper known as ‘Masato Toys’.
Details of how this came about is cited below, but for now here is a freshly released image of the first prototype design of none other than the exploding superstar ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey.
The toy is expected for full release in early April.
It all started when Masato, a legendary photoshopper among MMA fansites and forums, had e-mailed Zuffa criticizing the design of the existing JAKKS figures. “They looked all wonky”, Masato said to us in a brief interview. “ They were all misproportioned with an obvious complete lack of any anatomical understanding. I attached some of my photoshops trying to get a laugh out of them, but they never replied.”
But unbeknownst to him at the time, a few executives at Zuffa had quietly noticed, and were impressed with the design and creativity of Masato’s work. So when the time came to scout out new candidates for the merchandising contract, Masato Toys was included on the list.
“They offered me a position on the design team. I said I could do better than that. I told them I could make the figures from start to finish.” In a coincidental twist of fate, fellow GDCMMA member Fraser Ross revealed that his father’s family business ran a state-of-the-art 3D plastics computer-molding and engineering studio. “They design everything in CGI, and the computers create the mold for whatever you need based on the designs”, Ross explained. When I asked if they could engineer some action figures, they said they didn’t see why not.”
Masato and Ross immediately began designs on their pitch. “Originally we weren’t really taken seriously,” Fraser Ross explained to us. “We were competing with known toy manufacturers, some really good competition. Everyone wanted this gig. There was a point when they actually told us they weren’t going to continue considering us. So we took a chance and told them our first figure would be a Ronda Rousey figure, and if she were to win her first title defense by another armbar that we would stay in the running.”
Apparently, Zuffa execs were impressed with the gamble, and agreed to give them a shot. Within minutes of Rousey snapping another arm, Masato and GDC texted Zuffa and submitted a photo of their prototype. Zuffa loved it, and negotiations for a ‘6-figure’ contract was drafted up.
The Rousey Action figure has already gone into mass production and should be on the shelves in April. GDCMMA and Masato Toys welcomes all fan feedback for suggestions and input on the next figures, although we can tell you the next figure, if he were to win his upcoming title fight, will be none other than Nick Diaz.
Obviously, a good deal of ninja accessories will be included.
PS: If you haven’t already suspected, everything about this article is totally fake. Please play along with those who may be a little more gullible. Thanks
-Masato + GDCMMA.