Author Topic: Whatever happened to Telco?  (Read 2124 times)

fmofmpls

  • Army General
  • *****
  • Posts: 5389
  • Play nice!
Whatever happened to Telco?
« on: October 30, 2009, 05:00:22 PM »
Whatever happened to Telco and their wonderful motionettes? I can't believe they simply disappeared due to a lack of sales? With all of the Christmas, Halloween, and other seasonal merchandising opportunities out there, you'd think Telco would still be a big player in the seasonal marketplace? I miss those animated monsters!
The Famous Monster of Mpls.  Sayer of the law.

Toy Ranch

  • Army Administrator
  • d
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 5824
  • Monster Geek

Radioactive Rod Whitenack

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 1512
Re: Whatever happened to Telco?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 05:46:29 PM »
I was just wondering about this very topic this afternoon. There aren't any cool motionettes or animated figures out there at all anymore. For a number of years, they were very popular and you could count on seeing them at Halloween and Christmas. I guess they've gone out of fashion.


fmofmpls

  • Army General
  • *****
  • Posts: 5389
  • Play nice!
Re: Whatever happened to Telco?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 06:30:40 PM »
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061014205549AALxGnS


"It ended due to factory problems" seems rather odd to me. I wonder what is meant by that? Were there sweat shops somewhere in Cambodia churning out motionettes with underage children working 16hr days? I could see licensing problems. Oh yes, we know all about licensing problems, but factory problems? Hmmmm. 
The Famous Monster of Mpls.  Sayer of the law.

Toy Ranch

  • Army Administrator
  • d
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 5824
  • Monster Geek
Re: Whatever happened to Telco?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2009, 06:49:37 PM »
Many "factory problems" can take out a business, especially a seasonal one.  Get your season's order in too late to get to your customers and your whole year is blown.  Get a shipment of inoperable or barely functioning merchandise, same result.  You've probably heard of Ampeg, who make guitar and bass amps, and etc.  They moved their production to Vietnam and have had so many warranty returns they may go out of business soon.  San Francisco/Oakland have been rebuilding the Bay Bridge, and the steel bid was won by a company in China.  The steel they got won't hold a weld and they are looking at how to make it work.  Beams are falling off of it.  They're not a company, they just pile the problem on taxpayers, but that whole state is about broke.

roheimiana

  • Corporal
  • ****
  • *
  • Posts: 265
Re: Whatever happened to Telco?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009, 09:46:49 PM »
I became interested in the mystery of whatever happened to Telco a while ago and I discovered some things which surprised me. I’d always believed, for example, that the company’s line of Halloween products simply petered out after they lost their Universal license in the mid-‘90s but this wasn’t the case at all. Instead, they went generic again and returned to making witches and similar characters much as they had in the ‘80s.

In 1998, for instance, Telco received a new patent for a “Grim Reaper” figure which was on the same scale as the earlier 17” motionettes…



… but was of a much more complicated mechanical design. The figure would sit in and then rise from a chair while flashing its red eyes and either maniacally cackling or uttering phrases such as “Happy Halloween” and “I am the Grim Reaper. I’ll get you! Ha ha ha!” I assume that, for this design to be patent-worthy, it must have introduced something new in toy animation for the time and several months later Telco also received a patent for a similar Santa Claus character. Moreover, as late as 2000, the company was patenting further products such as an “Animated Mechanized Figure” with “vertical movements of the body and arms, forward and backward tilting of head, and movement of the lower lip together with vocal sounds”. So it certainly looks like Telco was forging ahead with new designs (including for Halloween products) until the start of the current century.

But then the company suddenly disappeared and, as to why this happened, I haven’t been able to find a satisfactory answer at all. Nada.



Radioactive Rod Whitenack

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 1512
Re: Whatever happened to Telco?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2009, 09:53:08 PM »
Roheimiana, I have that Wolfman motionette in the picture and it's one of my favorite Halloween collectibles. I don't mind generic vampires and ghouls, etc. I just miss these types of animated figures. I guess it goes back to my childhood when my parents would take me to the Mall at Christmas time and the whole Mall would be filled with these amazing scenes and animated figures.

I suppose certain types of animated Halloween figures still exist, and I suppose the technology has improved, but now they all sing "I Ain't Got No Body" or "Monster Mash" or "I'm Your Boogey Man" and dance. They're all supposed to be "cute." I don't want them to rap or dance. I miss the genuine simplicity of the original motionettes which started to appear in the late 80s.