Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New York International Toy Fair 2016 – Phantom’s Thoughts

Note: Pictures will be somewhat limited in this post. Most of the reference pictures from the weekend came from individuals taking pictures at Toy Fair and I don’t want to steal their work. Where I do have pictures they will be from official press releases that the manufacturers put out. Since they haven’t all done this, there are several items that I don’t have pictures of at all.

I highly recommend you follow ActionFigureAttack on Facebook and Instagram for some excellent press photos. Toy Ark did most of the heavy lifting for me this year, with tons of fantastic galleries. They got great pictures without posting the same figures six times from slightly different angles and then overlooking another figure entirely. Most of the links in this article will take you there. For the full list of links to Toy Ark product pages, click here!

It is time again to gaze in wonder upon the magic and marvels that the toy world will be unleashing upon us over the next year or so. That’s right, Phantomaniacs, the New York International Toy Fair happened this past weekend, and I am ready to deliver the highlights of the show!

Reveals started as early as the beginning of the month and I’ve done my best to keep up with everything. What you’ll read about today is just the stuff I’m interested in or have some kind of thoughts about.

DC Collectibles

Last year I kicked things off with my excitement over DC Collectibles’ Batman: The Animated Series Batmobile. This year I’m starting with their Batwing, though I’m not nearly as excited.

The reduced excitement has nothing to do with the Batwing itself. This thing is ridiculously awesome:

No, my reservations stem from DC Collectibles’ recent dirty dealings, by which I mean the fact that they’re offering improved versions of things that I have already bought bundled with things that I do not have – a newer, better Batmobile with newer, better Batman and Robin figures and a Batsignal. It’s lame and it’s dirty and I do not like it at all.

UPDATE – According to TNI, DC has stated that they will be offering the cloth-caped Batman and Robin figures as a set with the Batsignal for $70. It’s not really a fix, as my issue is that these and the Batmobile are superior products to what I already bought. But at least it’s something and might alert them to the hazards of such shady practices in the future.

Beyond that, some of their Toy Fair offerings are further double-dipping. Let’s take a look.

Animated Toy Line

When I say “double dipping” I’m not talking about offering multiple versions of the same character like Christmas Joker or Sexy Lingerie Harley Quinn (yes, that’s a thing that’s happening) or the different looks from The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. I’m talking about taking literally the same figure that I already have and packing it in with a figure that I don’t have, which is what they’re doing with Supergirl and Livewire by including them with not just one, but three figures that I already own – Batgirl, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. I think this is straight-up lousy. This is the same kind of nonsense that killed Mattel’s Justice League line, but at three times the price.

Otherwise, DCC had some fantastic Animated stuff to show including a Dark Knight Returns 3-pack, a Batman Beyond 3-pack, the Ventriloquist and Mr. Scarface, Detective Bullock, Talia al Ghul, and a New Adventures Joker.

It’s worth noting that Supergirl and Livewire are from Superman: The Animated Series and are the first true non-Batman show releases. Good news for those that plan to continue this line. I’m not sure yet if I am among that number.

It’s also worth noting that the MSRPs on this line are ever-escalating, though the Batwing is being advertised at $150, which seems more than fair for a huge item with electronic features.

Icons

Let’s move on to a line that I managed to fall in love with last year without getting married to – DC Icons. Their Batman and Deadman were excellent figures that far exceeded my expectations for both detail and durability. The Icons line truly feels like DCC turned a corner. Of course, that evolution is coming at a price, as every couple of waves seems to be seeing an increase.

DCC had some truly remarkable toys on display for this line. What most impresses me is how they’re picking and choosing the best looks for characters and having Iven Reis streamline them to Icons standards so they all match. So you have looks that come from wildly varying artistic styles across storylines that can stand next to one another, like Deathstroke as he appeared in “The Judas Contract”:

And Cyborg from “Forever Evil”:

Also shown were Swamp Thing from “Dark Genesis”, who doesn’t look great:

I feel like he just didn’t translate very well. Bernie Wrightson’s art isn’t exactly something that you can streamline. I’m curious to hear what other people think of this one. They did a great job with the Un-Man, though.

Grail with a huge Darkseid that isn’t the one I’d like to have:

Amazo Virus” Wonder Woman, who looks very cool and is coincidentally very similar to Gal Godot’s look in Batman v Superman:

And my personal favorite and an absolute must-have, Batgirl with her motorcycle:

I will pay a premium for that. No, really – it’s sixty bucks.

DCC also showed some fantastic accessory packs. Fans Customers were asking Mattel for such things years ago, so it’s very cool that DCC seems to have listened. I can’t get over how neat these are:

DC Icons is a fantastic toy line. I can’t go all-in because of the price, but I’m certainly going to pick up favorite characters here and there. And probably the accessory packs. Let’s see if DC Collectibles can go really bonkers and release a Hall of Justice playset.

Designer Series

A whole line of Harley Quinns designed by Amanda Conner. Must-have!

Films Series

The headline from the DCComics.com DC Collectibles blog reads:

DC COLLECTIBLES ROCKS NEW YORK TOY FAIR WITH FIRST-EVER ACTION FIGURE LINE BASED ON DC FILMS

Which is, of course, entirely wrong. Even if you discount Mattel’s Nolanverse figures, they produced toys for Man of Steel and right now as we speak have not one, but two toy lines based on Batman v Superman.

If I were Mattel, I’d be slightly annoyed by this.

Now that I think of it, Mezco also just announced their One:12 Collective BvS figures. Way to be obtuse, DC.

And yes – I realize they probably meant their first-ever line based on films, but that’s what they should have said.

Anyway, from what my pal, ActionFigureAttack tells me this line is supposed to compete with foreign stuff like MAFEX and all of those other fancy-pants Japanese lines. Now that I have that perspective, I understand these a little more. They are priced around $45. I thought that was outrageous at first, but it makes sense. I also see that these aren’t my thing. The articulation seems to have taken priority over the aesthetics, and while I love my articulation, I’d prefer realistically-styled toys look more… realistic.

Mezco

These guys got the jump on everyone this year by providing an early look at their Toy Fair reveals online. They made a huge impact not just because of the head start, but because Mezco had some of the slickest and most noteworthy toys thanks to their One:12 Collective line.

Mezco’s One:12 Collective has turned out to be one of my favorite toy lines. The figures are the best I have ever owned. And now they’re doing a One:12 Batmobile. It looks incredible. If the Lawmaster from the line is any indication it should have lights and sounds.

As far as actual figures, Mezco displayed what looked to be final or close-to-final versions of Daredevil, Punisher, Captain America, Flash, Superman, Shazam, Reverse Flash, Green Arrow, Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, Lieutenant Sulu, and Frankenstein’s Monster. They all looked unbelievable. If I could, in one swift transaction, sell all of my Marvel Legends and DC Universe Classics in order to just bank the money towards this line, I totally would.
It’s interesting that the Marvel figures had variants on display and the other figures did not. There were two different Punishers, two Caps, and three Daredevils. I wouldn’t be surprised to see variants of the others pop up eventually. Actually, now that I think about it I recall seeing a black and white Frankenstein’s monster at SDCC. 

I think it’s possible we could see “Mirror, Mirror” Trek variants. What I’m truly hoping for are movie uniform versions of the crew, but I don’t know if the films are part of the license. If they are, I should probably start saving now.

The fantastic One:12 lineup wasn’t all Mezco had, of course. The 24” Bugs Bunny figure from last year’s show was back with a July 2016 release date.

There were also a number of Gigantor/Tetsujin 28 figures in different colors. These looked to be around 18” tall with some pretty good articulation.

Funko

Funko have spent the last few years taking over the toy industry. It started with their Pop! line, but has quickly grown into a license-rich assortment of figures, collectibles, and tchotchkes. Every retailer from Walmart to Target to Toys R Us to your Local Comic Book Shop is inundated with Funko’s various styles of unique merchandise, with no end to the licenses or variety of toys in sight.

Legacy Collection

Nothing. Not a sausage. Apparently this style is dead. I can’t say I’m too upset. Funko wasn’t producing them fast enough to maintain collector interest. I also think that by the time they did get a little more on top of things many of us were too turned off by the early quality issues to want to continue.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

I mention this only because I know the kids love it. We’ve had to lock down YouTube in our house because when I hear my eight-year-old son talking about some horror game, I am not happy. Nothing but bad has come of him being in school.

Anyway, it’s a big deal that Funko scored this license; good for them.

ReAction

This style might be on its way out. The only new items were an Aline Queen and Ripley in the Power Loader. I don’t think it’s news to anyone that the market is absolutely flooded with these things. Any store you go into has tons of them just sitting on the pegs. What’s interesting is that Funko had some 3.75” Game of Thrones figures on display. They had more articulation and were slightly more detailed than ReAction figures. I’m curious to see what happens there. I’m not sure how many adult collectors are into a style like that. The failure of Underground’s similarly-styled Doctor Who figures would suggest not many. Of course, the Who toys were way overpriced, so that could make a difference. Or not, considering that ReAction figures are ten bucks apiece and this new style must cost more to produce.

Playmobil(?!?)

Funko is producing licensed figures in conjunction with Playmobil. I am utterly baffled by this. In all of my life I’ve known two people who were into Playmobil. Regardless, Funko is producing Doctor Who, Sherlock, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Back to the Future, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and probably more. Is this a thing you guys are into? Are you excited? Let me know.

Rock Candy

I must not be the only one who wasn’t a fan of the style of Funko’s Vinyl Vixens. Well, I know that I’m not because my wife didn’t like them either. But apparently they didn’t set the world on fire because Funko is already launching a replacement line – Rock Candy. These are smaller and just seem more aesthetically coherent.

Barbie(also ?!?)

This one is even more surprising than the Playmobil reveals and might well be the biggest surprise of Toy Fair this year. I’m shocked that Mattel would license out their biggest money maker rather than just doing Funko-style products themselves. It looks like Funko is producing two different lines of vinyl toys – one in the same style of the above Rock Candy figures, and the other a line of Mystery Mini-type figures. 

I think this is a brilliant move and will make tons of money.

NECA

Quarter Scale

NECA’s quarter scale figures have definitely become a thing. My only experience with them is the Michael Keaton Batman, which I wasn’t entirely happy with, but apparently collectors are going bonkers for the things. I’m guessing NECA must have upped their quality control. Or maybe have just been luckier.

Either way, they showed an item at Toy Fair that I can’t resist – a quarter scale Donatello from the 1990 Ninja Turtles movie. I’ve been dying for good figures of these since 1990. I didn’t necessarily want them to be a hundred bucks (or so) and a foot-and-a-half tall, but I’ll take what I can get. He looks fantastic and that facial expression is killing me.

They also showed Slimer, Age of Ultron Hulk, and a Dawn of Justice Batman, as well as Harley Quinn from Arkham City. I think that’s the first female in this scale from NECA. I’m surprised they didn’t go with Suicide Squad Harley.

Finally, a quarter scale Alien Warrior from Aliens is on the way in June. This thing stands 22” tall and looks amazing. The construction of some of these large scale figures might be suspect, but the sculpt and paint are usually spot-on.

Video Games

NECA has done big business repainting their Reel Toys figures to resemble their classic video game counterparts. It’s genius, because they’re just repaints but NECA actually charges even more for these than they did the original figures. Now, for the first time, they’re releasing original video game characters (that are only partially repaints) in the form of a two-pack of the characters from Contra. This is a huge deal for pretty much anyone that grew up in the 80s.

They’re also releasing a pixelated version of Simon Belmont from Castlevania.

Aliens & Predators

NECA’s longest-running line of licensed figures continues with Ultimate versions of the Predators from the original movies. I have a crap-ton of their Predators, but as long as they keep releasing updates of the old Kenner line, I’ll keep buying them. Those things are wacky fun! You guys know I’m all over that glow-in-the-dark one. As far as the Ultimate versions, if they’re as ultimate as the Sarah Conner and Freddy Krueger figures, I suppose I’ll be buying those again.

I’m a little surprised that NECA didn’t sit on Alien 3 product until next year, the 25th anniversary. But I’m glad to see it, as I dig that movie. I wish there was a chance we’d get some of the prisoners, but I’m sure that won’t happen. I’m happy enough we’re getting Ripley and something as odd as the Weyland Yutani Commando. It’s funny – to this day the only figure from either of these lines that I’ve never seen at retail is the Alien from Alien 3. I still don’t have one, but it looks like a variation of the Dog Alien is being offered in series 8.

Ash vs. the Evil Dead

These hit in July. Old Ash is a given – everybody is going to want that one. I think S-Mart Ash (except it’s not S-Mart – I know) might be a tougher sell if not for one thing – they’ve shown a sculpt of the evil, possessed baby doll. And everyone wants that thing. It was one of the best new things on the show.

As far as the Resident Evil knockoff monster, they can keep that. I didn’t like it on the show and I don’t care for it here. I would have much rather had a Deadite or even one of the supporting characters.

Retro Cloth

NECA’s Mego-style figures have been fantastic, not just in design, but in subject matter. 

From the Misfits’ Crimson Ghost to a Part VI Jason Voorhees to Snake Plisskin, this line has seen some of the coolest and most iconic versions of some of my favorite genre characters. And now we get Captain Spaulding! This is great news not just because Spaulding is so quotable and cool, but because it could lead to other members of the Firefly family.

We already saw the announcement for the Weird Al figure, but we’re also getting Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan! Between these and Captain Spaulding, NECA has provided some of my favorite reveals at this year’s Toy Fair – check out the end of the post to see if any of them win Phantom’s Best in Show!

Diamond Select Toys

I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way so as to save words in later paragraphs – everything that DST is doing lately looks great to me. Most of what they announce and release gets me excited, even if it’s not something that I am necessarily going to buy. They have fantastic artists like Jean St. Jean working on their lines and they seem to have been observing other companies’ products for the past few years and making some good decisions as far as distribution and features go.

For the most part I’m not interested in the Gotham line. I dig the show for its seeming primary goal of being absolutely bonkers, but for as wild as it is, the characters are mostly just plain humans in plain clothes. I love some of the actors like Sean Pertwee and Donal Logue, but I don’t need little plastic versions of them. Here’s the thing, though – DST is packing them with big, generic accessories like office desks and fireplaces and not-so-generic accessories like the gates to Arkham Asylum. I want all of that stuff.

DST had the Batcave-door-opening bust from Batman ’66 on display. Diamond being Diamond, they have repurposed it as one of their vinyl bust banks. It’s only $65 and it’ll be out this Fall.

They also had a huge Cthulu figure that looked decidedly more menacing and gruesome than a lot of Lovecraft stuff we see. It almost looked like it could have been a deluxe figure from the Creatureplica line, and may well have been sculpted by Jean St. Jean.

It’s exciting to see that we’re getting a Romulan Bird of Prey in the Starship Legends line. While I love pretty much every Enterprise design, it’s nice to see a non-Federation ship added to the line. As I’ve said before, if you’re a Star Trek fan you owe it to yourself to buy at least one ship from this line. They’re fantastic.

I am fighting the urge to start DST’s line of Muppets action figures. Like the Gotham line, they’re coming with huge and meaningful accessories. And of course the figures themselves look great. It’s worth noting that they’re scaled to DST’s usual 7”, so if you want to have Liv Moore or Alfred hang out with Kermit, you can. That’s a selling point for me. At Toy Fair we saw Statler and Waldorf with their balcony box, Animal with his drum kit, and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant, Beaker with as-yet undisclosed accessories.

The Ghostbusters Select figures with their completed diorama are insane. I recently sold my Mattycollector figures and will be buying these. I believe Walter Peck, Gozor, and a battle damaged Ray (referred to as “End of Shift Ray”) were shown for the first time. I’m not crazy about getting a character twice, but I also think everything else (except that rough-looking Dana Barrett) looks great and I HAVE TO HAVE that rooftop. I particularly love Slimer with his mouth full of hot dogs head.

Update – DST also announced but did not show a Slimed Peter Venkman figure. I’m not super happy about that one, either.

Also there were billions and billions of Minimates. Super fun, but not my thing.

Super 7

These guys had a lot of cool stuff to show, including the color versions of the Masters of the Universe ReAction figures that I predicted back when they released the Power of Greyscale series. These look perfect. From the packaging to the figure design, if He-Man toys had been this style, this is exactly what would have been on the pegs. I don’t know for sure if I’m going to buy them, but I dig ‘em.

They also had M.U.S.C.L.E.-style garbage cans of the M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. figures. These are rad and I will buy them. I like that they’re going with multicolored figures for these.

Super 7 is also doing ReAction figures based on Mega Man, Street Fighter, and Hellboy. They didn’t have products on display, just pictures of prototypes on package samples.

Everything Super 7 does is cool, but their distribution tends to be at cons or from their online store. I’m a little concerned about the availability of anything they produce. None of the Masters stuff is coming from Funko, so they won’t have their distribution.

Update – The Masters of the Universe Retro Figures are currently available to preorder here. Also, according to Mr. Beau Brown, the M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. garbage cans might be Power Con Exclusives. So darn.

Hasbro

Hasbro dominates the market. Between Transformers, Marvel, Star Wars, Jurassic Things, and whatever else Hasbro has the license for they are the Big Boys of the toy aisle every time a new movie is coming out. It’s actually not great for other companies because smaller licenses or toys that aren’t related to a movie or TV show have to fight the juggernaut (and sometimes literally The Juggernaut) for retailer attention and shelf space. That’s why Walmart being the biggest toy retailer is such a bad thing.

Marvel Legends

Marvel Legends doesn’t mean what it used to, which was 6” scale action figures. Some idiot at Hasbro decided that they were going to start calling all scales of a license the same thing, probably so that they could say things like “Shipped more than 8,000,000 Marvel Legends figures since we took over the line”, which is a thing that they said at Toy Fair.

Last year they started calling the 3.75” figures Marvel Legends and this year they are launching a line of 12” Marvel Legends. It’s really frustrating and stupid and I wish they’d stop. Same thing goes for Star Wars Black.

The first 12” releases are Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Captain America. They look great, but I don’t have any use for this kind of figure in this scale. I don’t know what the price point will be, other than “probably too much”.

I’m not covering the smaller scale figures because I don’t collect those and they’re also just too hard to keep track of.

As far as the 6” Legends, we have another big year ahead. I want to drop this line, but Hasbro keeps putting out just enough awesome to keep me picking up figures here and there. I can mostly avoid the build-a-figures now, but I did find the Rhino wave worthwhile and now that I have a few parts of Hobgoblin I want the rest of him. Fortunately people sell that stuff on eBay and I don’t have to buy figures I don’t want like Anti-Venom.

Anyway, here are the new figures that I want. For the full list, check out ToyArk.

Cable – I need a Cable because I don’t have one and I like Cable. I’m glad it’s modern, but I’d buy a Liefeldian classic version if they did a new one.

Nuke – I mostly know Nuke from Wolverine Origins and this version looks pretty much like that. This is a character I’ve been wanting for a while, so I’m glad he showed up in Jessica Jones to maybe help this release happen.

Cinematic Universe Black Panther – I love this costume. The MCU is my current favorite Marvel continuity (unless Silver Surfer and Howard the Duck can be considered their own continuity) and I’ll buy pretty much anything from it.

Cinematic Universe Scarlet Witch – YES. It’s about time. I think it’s a shame we didn’t get a Quicksilver, though it’s mostly a shame they Whedoned him for no damn good reason.

Deadpool – I’m not crazy about this Deadpool. I’ve already got two and don’t need a third unless it’s awesome, so I want to see it in person. If it was movie Deadpool I’d buy it no questions asked. That movie was awesome. It wasn’t great, but it was awesome. I honestly think they leaned too much on the raunch and it could have been a whole lot smarter. But it was still fun.

Nico – I would pay a premium for a box set of figures of the original Runaways. That’s one of my all-time favorite comics. Those painted-on sleeves are pretty weak, but I suppose I’ll have to get over it.

Havok – While rearranging my Legends recently I realized just how stupid the old Havok figure looks. I’m thrilled we’re getting a new one. I dig the radiation effects, too.

Iceman – The old Iceman is pretty bad, too. For some reason he’s way taller than everyone else and the joints on mine are so loose that he can’t stand up. I had always wanted the Ultimate Iceman they made a few years ago, but now I don’t have to worry about that. Provided I can actually find this one.

Kitty Pryde – I think I’m pretty happy with the Kitty I have, but I’ll give this one a look when I see it in person. If it’s on the smaller female buck I’ll definitely pick her up.

Rogue – I don’t have a Rogue. I’d honestly rather have the Xtreme X-Men Rogue that came out when the aforementioned Ultimate Iceman did because this one looks kind of clunky. And while I thought spandex and leather jackets were sexy in 1992, I think it’s a pretty silly look now.

Ultimate Spider-Man Peter Parker – Sold. One of the greatest comic book runs ever written. I love the look of this figure, sort of a more realistic take on the look in the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, which is still the best Spidey cartoon that doesn’t have Amazing Friends in the title.

So yeah, there are still characters that I want figures of, or that need to be updated. And Hasbro can still throw together a figure that isn’t a character I necessarily want, but that just looks so cool I have to have it.

Star Wars

Hasbro didn’t show anything that I collect. But to find out what they did show, be sure to tune in to Friday’s Needless Things Podcast and listen to Ryan and Josh run down all of the new Star Wars news!

Transformers

Speaking of Josh from The Oncoming Storm, he’ll be filling us in on Hasbro’s Transformers plans, as well. There’s a ton of news this year including the return of one of my favorite toy concepts – the Headmasters!

Mattel

Mattel was in something of a rut last year, but this year they have a quite a few noteworthy products. I give Mattel a lot of crap for putting out sub-par product, and I mean it, but there’s no getting around the fact that they have some of the coolest toy properties out there. And when they do things right, they’re awesome. They just choose not to more often.

DC Multiverse

DC Universe Classics is sort of back but not really. DC Multiverse is a line of 6”(ish) scale figures from Mattel that covers everything – movies, television, comics, whatever. These are not being designed by the Four Horsemen like DCUC was, so the quality is all over the place. I reviewed the Wonder Woman and Batman Dawn of Justice figures and found them to be varying degrees of wanting.

I will say that it’s nice to have all of the TV and movie stuff in one line, though. Granted, DC Collectibles’ releases look much nicer and are easier to obtain, but at least Mattel has something to offer. Plus, it looks like going forward DCC’s are going to be mad pricey, so Mattel isn’t a bad option.

I was actually surprised to see the assortment of Suicide Squad figures. It didn’t seem like a project that would necessarily call for mass market toy support. Mattel showed Katana, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, and a couple of Jokers because the addition of a purple trenchcoat calls for a whole other figure rather than an accessory. The absence of a Harley Quinn is odd considering she seems to be the focal point of the movie and marketing.

Looking over the figures I saw a lot of soft sculpting and weird deco choices. It’s not that there isn’t enough paint, but sometimes it seems applied poorly, like the aforementioned Batman’s gigantic eyes.

Other movie figures include Aquaman and trenchcoat Batman from Batman v Superman. They look okay, but not great. I’d like to have good figures of both of those because I dig both of the looks. Mattel also displayed (SPOILER), but I’m not going to mention that here. If you want to find out for yourself, click here. I have to admit that it was one of the better looking figures.

The figure that I was most excited for was a Supergirl from the TV show. It looked good. Of course, if DC Collectibles does one, I think I’d rather have that. Not just because it will look better, but because they’re more likely to produce a Cat Grant, who is integral to the success of the show.

There were a few new comic book figures on display, but honestly nothing I’m personally interested in. Dark Knight Returns is apparently big business this year (possibly because Dark Knight III: The Master Race is going to end up being spread out across all of 2016 – HEYO!). Mattel had a new armored Batman and the Mutant Leader and I saw several items from other companies, as well. The big surprise was Doomsday. I don’t know if he’s a build-a-figure or what, but considering how much heartache he caused the poor, unfortunate subscribers to Mattycollector’s DC line, I’m curious to see how they receive this. I don’t give a rat’s ass about Doomsday, so I don’t care.

Mattel’s biggest challenge with DC Multiverse is their past poor performance with completing things. Why am I going to buy their Suicide Squad when I have no idea if they’ll ever make the whole Squad or if they’ll have good enough distribution for me to be able to find them if they are made?

Masters of the Universe Classics

Finally! The Roton! I’m mostly done with this line, but we’ve all been wanting a bad guy vehicle for years and Matty is finally producing one. I think it looks great and I’ll be on that dammed website for sale day. Beau pointed out that the face looks a bit too realistic, and he’s not wrong, but otherwise the sculpt is remarkable. I can’t wait to hang it across from my Wind Raider. I also can’t wait to see what kind of crap figure they pack in with it. I hope it’s not the Skelecon next to it in the picture, because I do not like that thing.

UPDATE: Mattel has confirmed that the Skelecon will be packed in with the Roton. This is stupid because the Skelecons are troop characters like Palace Guards or Horde Troopers. Way to go, dum-dums.

I’m also excited to see Night Stalker. His heroic counterpart, Stridor, was one of the few Masters toys I had a s a kid and there’s no way they’re releasing this without doing the easy straight-up repaint. The steed looks great and I might be tempted to buy one of these, as well.

If you want to know why I’m mostly done with Matty’s MOTU, look no further than the fact that I only recognize a couple of the new figures they had on display. For close to forty dollars apiece, I have better things to spend my money on. If you want more details on these, check out Mr. Beau Brown’s rundown on this week’s Needless Things Podcast.

I think the Filmation stuff looks fantastic, but as I’ve mentioned before it’s a whole new line. These aren’t going to look right next to the Classics stuff. I’ll have to have Trap-Jaw, but that’s probably it for me.

Thundercats

I am , as we speak, fighting the temptation to subscribe to this line. The figures look fantastic and the nostalgia is calling to me strongly. But it feels so indescribably good to be free of the shackles of Mattycollector that I just can’t sub up again.

Mattel only had four figures on display, which is weird considering that five have been shown, but whatever. They look fantastic and, unlike the MOTU Filmation figures, will look great next to your Classics. I’ll be keeping an eye on the aftermarket sales of these. For the record, the 2016 Club Third Earth subscription consists of Lion-O, Pumyra, Panthro, Jackalman, and decrepit mummy Mumm-Ra as the sub Exclusive figure.

Ghostbusters

Mattel has always been big on needing a movie to put merchandise in stores, but I was still surprised to see a line for the new movie. It’s smart, though, given the current outcry over female action figures. Mattel is gonna get so much great PR out of this as long as they actually manage to get good distribution. And in their defense, that’s all going to depend on retailers wanting them.

My advice to Mattel – DO NOT SHORT PACK PATTY TOLAN.

My other advice to Mattel is to stop making figures of dumb shit that isn’t actually ghosts from the movies or cartoon. They did this when they, for some dumb fucking reason, made a toy of the Ghostbusters logo. Now they are making a figure of the walking ghost from The Real Ghostbusters, who is not a ghost that actually appeared in the show in a narrative sense. Now, I haven’t seen the new movie yet, so for all I know he’s the main bad guy. But I doubt it.

Anyway, if you saw the Mattycollector Ghostbusters you know what to expect from these. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we see those Matty figures released at retail as part of this line. Mattel would be foolish not to do so. But they should probably sell the ladies for a while first.

Phantom’s Picks

I totally forgot to do this last year, so here are my favorites from this year’s show:

Best Overall Toy – While I don't have any real details about it yet, the thing that got me the most excited the fastest was Mezco's One:12 Collective Dawn of Justice Batmobile. That thing looks amazing, and if what I've experienced of the line so far is an indication, it will be one of the greatest toys of all time.

Company That Made the Biggest Splash – While Mezco's One:12 showings were jaw dropping, that was all they had. DC Collectibles actually had the widest variety of “WOW” stuff. Even with some slightly sour feelings towards the company, I was still caught up in their buzz.

Doomed to Failure – I know this won't be a popular opinion and I am fully prepared to admit if I'm wrong, but I think Mattel's Ghostbusters 2016 line is going to be warming pegs. Certain collectors will eat them up, but I think this line will be the worst flop since the Green Lantern Movie Masters.

Biggest Surprise – While Funko's Playmobil figures were a surprise, their range of Barbie items was a legitimate shock. I never expected to see Mattel playing ball with anyone else.
Biggest Letdown – The lack of articulated 3.75” Star Wars figures from Hasbro. Boo, Hasbro, BOO.


That's all I've got for now! I'm sure there's plenty of news that I didn't come across over the weekend or neglected to cover, so be sure to tune in to this Friday’s Needless Things Podcast for even more Toy Fair goodness!

4 comments:

  1. I would love to get the DC Animated figures, but damn that's a lot of money I don't have.

    Bobby

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  2. The Batman beyond set has me interested, I'm a big fan of the show and pre Tim Drake comic.

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    1. I love that they're doing Ace! I can't wait to see the Beyond Justice League!

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