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Monday, February 21, 2011

Toy Fair 2011: The Stuff I Care About

This was supposed to go up Friday and it just didn't happen. Part of the reason for that is the logistics involved in writing about stuff that I can't access, part of it is that Toy Fair honestly kind of let me down a bit this year. Or maybe it was the coverage. Still – there is a good amount of stuff to be excited about. Let's see what we'll be blowing our hard-earned dollars on in 2011!
Since there are just too many great pictures to go through (and since I recently learned that not everybody is as free with their pictures as I am), the company name of each listing will be a link to the place where I found the best coverage. 
Consider this post sort of a companion piece to all the great sites that were actually at Toy Fair to get the pics.

Naturally The Venture Bros. and Doctor Who were big points of interest here.
The Venture Bros.: I managed to predict two (and a half) forthcoming figures in my preview. Molotov Cocktease and Shore Leave are going to be in the assortment following Series 4 (I guess – I’m still not sure how they’re ordering these). I add a half in because we’re not getting Jonas, Jr., but we are getting Jonas, Sr.. The cool part is that he is part of a SDCC two-pack with Boy Adventurer Rusty. Along with Mol and Shore Leave we’re getting Billy Quiz Boy (!), Dr. Henry Killinger and Brock in his Sphinx uniform (which I also called, but for further down the road). A placard displaying the 2012 lineup was also visible, showing that we’ll (hopefully) be getting Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, Pete White, The Alchemist and Jefferson Twilight!
My Favorite: Absent pictures of Shore Leave, I'm going with Killinger.
The Big Lebowski: Nothing new here. I was a bit surprised.
Doctor Who: I got another 2 out of 4 on this one. We’re getting a Tom Baker Doctor in his shorter coat, as well as a Cyber Leader. The surprises were the rotting Master and a Sontaran. I was really expecting either Leela or Sarah Jane. And I honestly thought the Dalek was a lock. I guess the Cybermen are almost as iconic and are certainly easier to produce in the Mego style. Much like The Venture Bros. last year, the prototypes look like shit. I mean, they’re neat; but I think we can all safely assume the finished products are going to look just as much better as the Venture line does. There is even a note that BBP! knows the Doctor’s head is too big.
My Favorite: Aside from his scarf thing looking crappy (which likely won’t be an issue with the final product anyway) I think I dug the Master the most.
Twilight Zone: I overlooked this line in my preview because I haven’t been collecting it, but it deserves a mention here. BBP! appears to be putting a lot of focus on this one. It must be doing well because they have a huge assortment of product lined up. I understand. The Twilight Zone stuff looks fantastic. They must have some of their very best working on this creepy line. Of note to me were the nurse and clown from “Five Characters in Search of an Exit”, The Invader and the Alicia from “The Lonely”.
My Favorite: The Talky Tina doll. I ordered one for Mrs. Troublemaker immediately.

While I always anticipate Hasbro’s Toy Fair announcements, I think I was the most excited for Mattel’s this year. Part of that is my Club Eternia subscription – simply finding out what I was going to be getting for the next few months had my attention. But Mattel also produces DCUC and Ghostbusters; as well as a lot of lines Lil’ Troublemaker collects – Action League, Toy Story and Imaginext. And Mattel did not disappoint. Check out Cool Toy Review for pics of Mattel's showroom and of their regular products.
Mattycollector
Masters of the Universe: Well, I called Clawful but that was about it. There are a lot of very cool figures being released between now and August, though. Aside from our favorite crustacean and the already-announced Panthor, Catra and Swift-Wind; we’re also getting The Faceless One (who I don’t recognize but looks very cool), Battle Ground Teela (who appears to be made to hang out with Vikor) and a new evil giant named Megator (I have no idea where he comes from, but I LOVE this guy!). Matty also announced the next two DCUC/MOTUC 2-packs – Wonder Woman/She-Ra and Green Lantern/Zodac.
My Favorite: Megator fucking RULES.
Ghostbusters: The only real announcements here were lab coat Egon with Library Ghost and Winston with Slime Blower. The 12” 2-pack with Peter and Winston and all the extra accessories is coming in April and will be $120.
My Favorite: The Library Ghost
DC Universe: Matty had the upcoming Legion of Superheroes 12-pack on display. They look good, but I’m skipping it.
Retail Lines
There was a lot to take in here.
Young Justice: As announced, YJ will have figures in the JLU style and the DCUC style. As a matter of fact, the JLU line will continue on under the Young Justice name. The figures in that style looked about how you would expect. The larger scale is the one that I was interested in. Mattel didn’t have a huge selection of the DCUC styled YJ figures, but I thought what was there looked good. Artemis, Robin and Aqualad looked slightly more cartoonish than the regular DCUC figures, but certainly no more so than the Batman/Superman: Public Enemies line. I managed to work that Silver Banshee into my collection and she looks fine. My only concern is about the price point. It has recently come to my attention that the Green Lantern Classics figures are now $17.99 apiece (!) at Toys R Us. This is fucking absurd, and I shudder to think what the YJ figures will cost. Especially considering they seem to be absolutely packed with large accessories.
My Favorite: The Artemis figure looked very nice and came with the most appropriate accessories.
Toy Story: The main thing here were some new figures that look like they’re from a space mission. They appear to be 6” scale and feature a new Buzz, one of Zurg’s robots (complete with mini shoulder robots), and Rex and Woody in space suits.
My Favorite: Space Woody because his suit looks like something from the 50’s.
Batman: The Brave & The Bold: The only items featured here were the Total Armor figures that have been showing up in stores for the past few weeks.
DC Universe Classics: Mattel didn’t have as much to show from this line as I thought they would. It was basically just two series of figures – 17 & 18. We already knew 17 was Blackest Night, but it was nice to see that June’s Wave 18 will be a Super Powers wave. Finally we get Samurai, Black Vulcan and Apache Chief (as the build-a-figure)! Series 18 will also include Super Powers-specific versions of Toyman, Bronze Tiger, El Dorado and Captain Boomerang.
My Favorite: As much as I like Samurai, Bronze Tiger looks very cool. Fortunately I preordered the set at BigBadToyStore.com, so I’ll be getting both.
Green Lantern Movie: I think these toys will probably do well, but Toy Fair did nothing to convince me to buy them. I love that they’re doing so many of the exotic, alien Lanterns, but the Movie Masters style just doesn’t fit with the DCUC stuff. There looks to be a lot of smaller scale stuff, but I don’t do superheroes in that scale.
My Favorite: I like the shape shifter things. The idea of making constructs that morph into other constructs is ingenious and cool.
WWE: Mattel had the usual selection of Legends, champions and the always hilarious fired Superstars on display (It’s a little late for Straight-Edge Festus, isn’t it?). Daniel Bryan is finally getting a figure that looks nothing like him. I was more than a little disappointed by that given how good the rest of Mattel’s WWE line looks. I love the new Ricky Steamboat Legends figure. I’m also a big fan of the flex Force figures, even though we’re not collecting them. If I had the money to spare I’d love to pick a few up and see if they work as advertised. They seem to have some cool and clever action features, particularly the way they interact with their playsets. Speaking of playsets, the Rumblers mini-figures are getting what may well be the coolest wrestling playset I’ve ever seen. It’s a WWE 18-wheeler that converts into an entry ramp and ring. Once again, Mattel is making good use of Transformer… uh, transforming technology.
My Favorite: That 18-wheeler is cool, but I’m going to have to proclaim Steamboat the winner.

Hasbro
Hasbro is typically the king of Toy Fair. They have the lines I care the most about and tend to be the company to watch for big announcements and toy innovation. This year was no different.
Star Wars: The two big announcements for the Star Wars line were probably the SDCC Death Star set and the Republic Assault Shuttle. The Death Star set is a collection of 12 Vintage figures with “Revenge of the Jedi” packaging; all contained in a huge box that could very easily be mistaken for a moon. The Republic Assault Shuttle is 2011’s Big Vehicle and I have to say that I’m somewhat relieved, because that’s a hundred or so bucks that can go somewhere else. That’s not saying anything bad about the toy, I’m just not that interested in it. Don’t get me wrong – it looks great and is yet another brilliant combination of vehicle and playset. It just isn’t anything iconic enough for me to want. Until it goes on clearance, anyway.


As far as the figure lines, the Vintage Collection will soldier on through 2012. We’ll be getting some awesome figures very soon, including General Calrissian, two awesome ROTJ pilot sets (that I just bought the other day and you should, too) and a new R5-D4 (that actually isn't so great – but I'll review him later this week).
The Clone Wars line is bringing us those Asohka, Ventress and Savage figures I mentioned last Friday. We’re also getting a whole lot of new mini-rig style vehicles.
My Favorite: I’m excited to see what the actual figures in the Death Star set are going to look like, but for me the big win goes to the mini vehicles. 
 
GI Joe: It turns out Hasbro is doing so much more than just introducing Renegades-inspired figures into their Fall line. They’re utilizing all aspects of Joe lore to bring us a robust new selection of troops on three different cardbacks: GI Joe, Cobra and Renegades. And the Renegades figures are being done in the standard style. The Fall assortment will bring us a new Sci-Fi, Rock Viper, female Cobra Trooper and a lot more. There is also a new Cobra plane that I like A LOT. I don’t know what it is, but I love this thing. Speaking of planes, we’re also getting a new Sky Striker. I saw it’s MSRP listed as $24.99, but there’s no way that’s accurate. I’m betting at least $39.99 if not more. It’s a large vehicle. But the Sky Striker news pales in comparison to what they’re doing with the same mold for SDCC. They are repainting the plane in Starscream colors and including a Cobra Commander variant with Megatron in pistol mode! This could well be the BEST TOY EVER. Zarana and Zanya (Zartan’s daughter) will also be available at SDCC; though whether as a set or separately I don’t know.
My Favorite: Starscream, obviously. I can’t imagine what the price will be for this exclusive – I’m guessing at least $100. I also don’t know how the heck I’m going to get one for a reasonable price. The Sgt. Slaughter figures didn’t work out so well for me last year and I’m pretty sure the demand is going to be MUCH higher for Starscream. Stupid Comic Con.

Transformers: I barely saw anything from Cybertron, but I didn't look too hard. Check the link if you'd like some good coverage.
Marvel: Lots of new 3 ¾” scale stuff that I really don’t care about. Not one mention of new Marvel Legends. Hasbro is releasing a Sentinel with – guess who? – Wolverine as their Giant-Ass Figure this year (like last year’s Galactus). I kind of wish they’d just release the Marvel Legends Sentinel build-a-figure as a single figure.
My Favorite: The X-Force set looked nice. I liked the Classic Avengers set, too; but X-Force all match each other.
Superhero Squad: The only things I really noticed were a Thor movie pack and a Cap movie pack.
Thor & Captain America: The Thor line doesn’t appear to be as extensive as the Captain America line. Both lines look very nice, but Cap’s is the one that I look at and think about how much I wish I could shrink my Marvel Legends down so I could justify collecting the smaller scale figures. I know for a fact I’ll be getting Cap’s disc-shooting shield and Thor’s Electronic Hammer for Lil’ Troublemaker.
My Favorite:No movie-style Marvel Legends scale figures. Dummies. I guess I like the disc shootin' shield.


Everybody Else
Character Options/Underground Toys
I can't even find a reference to these guys being at Toy Fair. A lot of my disappointment in the show likel;y stems from this.
NECA
They're doing an awesome Iggy Pop figure that is really the only thing I cared about. I've already got a perectly fine Ghostface from McFarlane that hasn't broken yet (!).

The Thundercats stuff looks neat and all, but I'm going to pass. If they had produced Classic figures in a 6” scale that was compatible with Masters of the Universe Classics I'd be in. But that didn't happen. Everybody else should feel free to enjoy them, though.
That's pretty much everything I cared about. I wish there had been more of a showing from Character Options/Underground. Overall I think I'm going to have to proclaim Mattel the big winner of Toy Fair 2011. They just had the largest selection of new and interesting products that are going to suck up all my disposable income.

(about halfway down the page)
The biggest WTF of the show goes to this line. They look great and are totally insane. 
 


Until next time, stay creepy,
-Phantom

2 comments:

  1. Found the Thor hammer and SHS 3 packs the other day at target. Got ian the hammer for his birthday. Its awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome! I got the John Stewart/Atrocitus and Low/Tomar Re packs yesterday on the way into work. I'm not sure I had even seen those before.

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