Bandai showed us some cool upcoming Ben 10 figures, and role-playing toys including their 4" action figures, 6" action figures and the Omnitrix you can wear.
Here's a rundown: 4" Alien CollectionsA new wave of characters in 2007 includes Ben, Vilgax, Wildvine, Cannonbolt, Upchuck and more. In the Fall, the figures will come in cool battle poses and a display stand inspired by their home planet.
6" DNA Alien HeroesSome ooze DNA slime bubbles and others have visible guts. New figures include Wildmutt, Kevin 11, Upgrade, Benwolf and Ben Tennyson. That Ben comes with a light-up Omnitrix, different alien arm attachments and actually says his line "It's Hero Time!"
8" MetamorfiguresThese aliens transform into crazy toys you can use around the house, such as a lock or a room alarm. In the Fall they'll have lights and sounds from the show.
12" Epic Alien FiguresThe new large-scale figures feature deatiled sculpts and articulation in the arms and legs. They have a more stylized look and feel than the rest of the line.
Tranforming Alien ShipsThese transforming figures have two play modes, one with the alien behind the wheel, and another with Ben. They have firing missiles and light up. They can also connect to form a larger vehicle.
Role-playingKids can pretend to be Ben or an alien with the new Alien voice changer, or the new deluxe Omnitrix with flashing lights, sounds and an LCD game screen. The new Transforming Arm Set includes a wearable Omnitrix face plate and three different alien arm attachments. This features soundeffects and dialogue from the show.
Mr. Stinkhead We're always impressed when we check out the stuff at Corgi, from the Batmobile replicas to the Marvel Statues, to the old WWII vehicles, it all looks very nice and is sure to make any collector happy. But this year, Corgi and Master Replicas, the folks that make those spot-on perfect prop replicas have merged. It was a perfect union in our eyes, both create top-shelf collectibles for the discerning collector, yet they never stepped on each others toes. The Master Replicas studio-scale Millennium Falcon, a perfect replica of the model used in the filming of the original trilogy, really stuck out. Not that we'd have any where to put such a thing, but it was damned impressive. Right near it was the studio scale Enterprise from the original Star Trek. It has running lights, so you can leave it on. It was slightly amusing seeing the Falcon square off with the Enterprise. In hindsight, I would have photographed these two in a manner in which I could add laser special effects. But don't worry, there are also some more reasonably scaledStar Trek vehicles coming out.
There's lots of great new Star Wars 1:1 props coming out, as well as Corgi's famous Batmobiles. I'm really digging their Casino Royale sets. You can tell they're going after the complete package, and not the shortest path to your wallet.
And I really loved this "sinking Jack Sparrow" maquette from Pirates of the Caribbean, and this "living comic cover" Spider-Man. Look out for their toys from the new movie The Golden Compass, and there are some sweet Transformers the Movie busts and statues coming as well.
Jager When you go into Dark Horse you expect to see some Hellboy. Maybe some pin up girls in statue form and a few other licensed toys/sculptures. What you don't expect to see are life sized ray guns! WETA and Dark Horse have teamed up to bring the future to your living room with Ray Guns. These are amazing and just ooze style. They are weathered and look used and have that Flash Gordon feel to them. Or rather a War of the Worlds (original version) look. Like they are Victorian in age, but still are more futuristic than anything we have. It's hard to explain, just look at the pictures! Amazing. The rest of the fare was great too, but I couldn't take my eyes off those Ray Guns.
Mr. Stinkhead Like Jager, I too am in love with the WETA Ray Guns. I had seen their online feature a year or two ago and thought, boy those are nice, but I'll never see 'em. Well I got to see them, but I won't ever be able to own them. The weathered case and the Victorian era instructions are perfect touches. These would be perfect for a customized home theater.
I was also introduced to the Monster Theater figures by Killer Panda Toys, and I really liked their take on Frankenstein's Monster, The Invisible Man and the Mummy.
Jager DC Direct was full of great toys this year. First and foremost on the list is the addition of a new branch called DC Unlimited. Here products that aren't owned by DC can be made to the high standards the company is known for in their superhero lines.
Here is where I found the most exciting action figures that I have come across in some time: World of Warcraft. Yes, I'm a proud junkie and when I saw the Dwarf Warrior, I got a little giddy. All their toys were great in this line. Also displayed was Afro Samurai, and we were treated to a preview of the show. Both look awesome. Of course, their were many many superhero action figures including expansions on their Deluxe line and some amazing toys based on actual comic art like Andy and Adam Kubert's Batman and Superman respectively.
Stinkhead The Alex Ross Batman statue is looking amazing. It looks like that famous poster he did was merely a photograph of this statue. Amazing stuff. After I reviewed the 13" Deluxe Collector's Batman, I am anxious to get my hands on Catwoman, Superman and Batgirl, among others.
Their new figures are looking sharp as always, and what-what-WHAT? Is that General Zod? Yes, comic, not film-version, but something worth kneeling infront of, regardless.
Lando da Pimp If there's one company that will be getting all of my toy money it is Diamond / Art Asylum. First they have Star Trek. Expanding now to include Deep Space Nine and the Star Trek Movies (Star Trek II), Diamond / Art Asylum continues to impress me. The bloodied Khan figure looks awesome and my hope that they will continue expanding the DS9 to include Quark and the Dominion figures. The new Buffy stuff looks good. And we will be getting new Willow sculpts along with new figures of Oz and Giles. New figures include Principle Wood, Kendra, the Judge, and Gachnar, the Fear Demon! The best Buffy item is the "Lover's Walk" Willow Bust. It's beautiful Willow with a pez dispenser.
What we couldn't show you was the new Battlestar Galactica action figures that includes Number Six and Admiral Adama. The best however was the sculpt of Baltar sitting with Number Six whispering in his ear.
The biggest news was minimates. There were everywhere. Battlestar Galactica, Marvel, Rocky, and the biggest surprise Back To the Future!
Mr. Stinkhead I'm with Lando, I can't wait for all the new Minimates. I have a bunch of them on a spice-rack organizer on my shelf, and it looks like I'll need to buy a new one. The Back to the Future minimates look great, and will interract perfectly with 1:18 scale DeLorean models.
I'm not a huge Star Trek fan, but the re-issued MEGO figures looked great! Relive your childhood, or look uber-classy in your old school self with these throw-backs. Nice!
Mr. Stinkhead Lots of cool stuff in the Hasbro tour. There's new Sigma Six (I like Snake Eye's battle armor suit) figures, the re-introduced 80s figures, and loads of third-tier Star Wars. Even though I find the Star Wars Transformers silly, the Death Star that turns into Vader, and the AT-AT that turns into an AT-AT driver were looking cool.
I wish we could have taken more pictures of the Transformers. The good news is that there are several levels of figure. There's high-end, there's collectible, and there's kid-friendly. (There's even plush). I've still got some reservations about how much I will love this movie, but the new figures are looking nice. We couldn't shoot most of the movie figures, but this Bumblebee is on the high end. At around 13" tall, he's got animatronic action and sounds, pretty cool looking.
I must discuss Activision's Transformer video game demo we saw. The 3-D models you drive around are straight from the movie, so they look incredible. But on top of that, you can transform from vehicle to robot at any time. You're never stuck as one form or the other between levels. If you're Star Scream, and you're flying around, you can land on a roof and transform into robot when you please. You can also decide to go down the path of Decepticon or Autobot, and it completely changes your game play. There will also be variations between platform... meaning the PS3 version will not be exactly the same as the XBox 360 version. These are due out right around the time the movie is released. Speaking of games, look at this Marvel themed Heroscape pack.
Jager I was assaulted by flashbacks left and right as I walked through the Hasbro showroom. Not only were there many Transformersincluding a voice changing mask of Optimus Prime (very cool!) – but there were Star Wars toys and believe it or not, old school GI Joes! That's right, the fight against the evil forces of Cobra hasn't let up. In fact, it's gone on for 25 years now! To commemorate the anniversary, Hasbro has retooled the original characters and re-released our favorite characters with more articulation but the same great look we remember. I was really excited to see these, because my last Joes met their maker at the end of an M-80. These guys will not see the firecracker of doom!
Also, Hasbro purchased the rights to Marvel characters and have continued the toys in the same fashion we've grown to love from that other company. Hot this year is Spider-Man (couldn't you say that every year?), and Venom straight from the movie. There was a really sweet Venom that came with black slime...your very own symbiote! The final thing and maybe the most exciting were the Star Wars figures based on the art of Ralph McQuarrie. There was a Chewbacca and a Storm Trooper, but what really got me going was the Vader. This is by far the most excited I've been over a Star Wars toy since I got the Dagobah playset with the sponge "quicksand."
Jakks, as always caters to the collector media. Each year they bring in a wrestler to coincide with their exclusive Jakks WWE 1 of 100 figure. This year's figure was Rowdy Roddy Piper. Sadly, Piper has been battleing cancer and was unable to make it. Jakks however did bring in Captain Lou Albano and Sensational / Scary Sherri Martel who gave out autographs and took pictures. The biggest surprise was Smoking Joe Frasier who was helping promote the Rocky line.
Jakks is continuing to expand the Classic Superstar line. New sculpts of Hogan and Ultimate Warrior are very sweet looking. New characters include Strike Force ( Tito and Ric Martel), Paul Bearer & Kane, and The Honky Tonk Man!
Though many of the companies were in Javits, these are the ones you may not know to look for by name
Attakus was a surprise to many attendees this year. Their booth was full of stunning sculptures that were all hand sculpted, not scanned. The artistry really showed on their products, including the mammoth 70" long Millennium Falcon! This cut away of the ship had it all right down to the chess table. It was to scale with your action figures so you can have Han complain about 3-PO while Luke is stuck in a quagmire of angst and confusion right there on the front deck. If you got a cool $3000 pick it up Everything in the booth was cast in metal and had a great weight to it. Keep your eye on this company, it's going to explode!
Their Alien face huggers and drones looked amazing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was looking good, and they also had the special treat of nudie pin-up girls.
I've just recently gotten into collecting fine die-cast model cars, so I wanted to stop by and see Carrera. Not only do all of their cars look fantastic, but I was surprised that all of them have precision gears to work on their slot race track! I was told in fact that many collectors don't even have the track, they just like how their cars look on their shelf, and I have to agree. There are classics and licensed, Bond and Nascar. I had fun taking a break and trying out a few cars on their track. If I had the room in my basement, I could see loving this set daily. Be sure to check out our Video podcast with a demo of these cars racing.
We have to visit Jumpin' Banana, makers of fun desk novelties and shocking games that deliver real electric shocks to your friends. Nothing says fun like convincing Jager to demonstrate the new Shocking Autopsy game, for the good of our video podcast. So be sure to watch that. Aside from shocking Autopsy (with both screaming and shocking modes), there was shocking hot potato, where you quickly get the hot potato out of your hands before it delivers a shock to the one left holding it. I also liked the USB circus cannon (the soft foam darts were decorated like circus girls, and the RC Sumo Wrestlers will be a barrel of laughs. There are all kinds of great party games that are appropriate for adults who don't want to feel like they're playing kids' games.
Jager: It's become an annual tradition for me to go to the Play Visions booth with Stinkhead. The first year I went so he wouldn't be lonely, but now I'm hooked! The squishy stuff is just so fun and the gross-out factor is off the charts! My favorite had to be the baby in the egg. You put the egg in water and it slowly "hatches" a rubbery baby. CREEPY!!
Stinkhead: Play Visions just keeps moving forward with their "Horror Balls," but now they're getting crafty. There's a cat head you squeeze and rubber mice ooze out (under a clear plastic bubble). Squeeze the frog head and flies swim in a red gooey blood. Awesome! I love how imaginative everything is, but it's all well made, and not sticky or gross. Well, ok, they are gross, but in a good way, not that bad way where you want to wash your hands right away. Be sure to check out our Toy Fair video podcast where we film a few snippets from the Play Visions booth.
I also got a great Squishee skull. It looks like hard resin, but it's really stretchy and soft. This is always my favorite stop at all of Toy Fair.
Jager The LEGO Collector's Party is always a great time and this year was very special for two reasons...okay three if you count the free booze. First, there was a grand unveiling of the largest LEGO set to ever made commercially available. At just over 5100 pieces, the Millennium Falcon sat about 3 ft long. It was quite an amazing set (Just imagine how long it would take you to put together!). And even cooler, they flew the designer Jens Kronvold Frederiksen in from Denmark so we could all be jealous of him having the best job in the world. Also, there was the announcement that there would be a chance to win a real golden C-3PO randomly inserted into playsets. That's right REAL gold. They gave away one at the party and the winner was instantly offered cash, booze, and illegal acts for the little guy. He was very awesome. Thanks to LEGO for another fun party!
Stinkhead LEGO is continuing their Harry Potter line with a new section of Hogwarts Castle. I'm not a Harry guy (har har) but the press release says it features the iconic scenes from the new movie including the Room of Requirements and Green House, plus 9 minifigures including the new Dolores Umbridge. It's 943 pieces and will be available in August ($89.99 USD). Being LEGO of course, you can seemlessly incorporate it with your existing Harry Potter sets.
Lando I didn't get to see the new LEGO sets this year. While the Hogwarts Castle set looks great I was sad to hear that this is the only Order of Phoenix set being released this year. LEGO makes up for this with the 5000 + piece Millennium Falcon (to scale with mini-figs!). LEGO Star Wars fan dream come true!
Jager Marvel Toys, formerly Toy Biz, is still making some great action figures with excellent articulation and an eye for detail. Since Hasbro is making toys based on Marvel comic heroes (I know, it's confusing), they have continued their successful TNA Wrestling line and have added a new line of comic characters based on Indy (mostly Image) comics. They're working closely with the artists and the results are great. The Savage Dragon is fantastic and the Build a Figure Pitt made my jaw drop.
Mr. Stinkhead In middle/high school I got sucked into the Image Comics craze and bought everything, then after my third holofoil limited edition ashcan, I dropped it all. Seeing Savage Dragon, RipClaw, Pitt, and Darkness getting the Toy Biz (er Marvel) treatment made my heart skip. And I must have Monkey Man... articulated jaw and knuckles... on his feet! Sweet.
Mr. Stinkhead I love visiting the Mattel showroom because of how enthusiastic everyone is, no matter how many tours they did before yours. We have some great video footage of their showroom in our video podcast, and there is a little bit of footage of their new RC cars in our third episode. So be sure to check those out.
The Four Horsemen designed DC Superheroes are looking great. You know and love the Four Horsemen from their MOTU days, and their FANtastic Exclusive figures. Anyway, they're keeping up the game with Clayface, Steele, Kal-El, and other characters from the DC universe. You know they're going to be durable, it's Mattel, and you know they're going to look beautiful on your shelf, they're Four Horsemen. The JLU line is also expanding, as are their battling minifigures. Also, parents of young children, and the cutesy will enjoy the pudgey JLU for kids...DC Superfriends.
Again, you gotta see our RC Vehicle video podcast that came out last week, we show video of the all-terrain Terrainiac (even goes on water) and the disc-shooting Triklops. I love how evil this thing looks when it switches into attack mode.
I'm also excited to see how the USB web-friendly Funkeys turn out. They're collectible little vinyl looking figures, but you can plug them into a USB base and connect with friends on the web. The tweens should take to these, where they can make little rooms and play games with their friends that also collect these guys. We like the designer-vinyl inspired look, and could see picking up some of these for ourselves perhaps. But we fear Chris Hanson and Dateline NBC, so we won't be chatting on line too much.
Mr. Stinkhead McFarlane! Where have you been?! I remember one of my first Toy Fairs was one of your last. I got to meet Todd and saw the two-ups of the T2 endoskeleton. Blew my mind.
So you're back, and I'm happy to be checking you out with my own eyes. The Mr. Echo from Lost is looking amazing! It looks like he's about to come to life and club me in the ankle with that Jesus stick he has.
Also, FANS OF THE SHOW 24! THERE IS A JACK BAUER FIGURE COMING OUT. He's neither yelling or whispering. I'd tell you more about him but THERE IS NO TIME!
And if you want to see something truly trippy, check out that 3D Robocop poster when it comes out in stores. Weird!
Jager Mezco's showroom always has a nice gallery-like feel to it. It's a really classy set up. The toys are nice too! Besides the ever growing Family Guy line (over 20 new toys!) we were treated to a new Hellboy figure. This time Abe Sapien is up and he looks just a great as the first two waves of figures. Also, you'll be able to freak out your friends with the second wave of the Zombie line, the new Horror Classics line with Mez'd out Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers, and Jason dolls, and the 13th wave of Living Dead Dolls. All this was great, but what really got everyone talking were the Goonies prototypes. We weren' allowed to take any pics, but everyone you want is there along with accessories. Long overdue. You can see the pics from NYCC.
Lando All I have to say is "Goonies Never Say Die!" Ok I can say a few more things. The first wave includes the Mikey, Chunk, Data, Mouth, and of course Sloth. As always the Family Guy figures look great. They get stranger and stranger with the focus on specific episodes.
Lando da Pimp How can any Potter fan resist the new 7" figures. NECA announced that the first wave of the Order of the Phoenix Series 1 will begin shipping. The stand outs are the Hermione Granger and Sirius Black. The details are just fantastic. I also like that they are expanding to include non-action figure collectors with plush toys based on the creatures of the Potter Universe.
Mr. Stinkhead This is my mecca. The lifesize playmobil people and decorations are always a great treat, but I think this Collosseum will really stand out to the un-converted. Parents, kids and collectors alike will love this theme. It's truly one of the best sets playmobil has ever produced. Check out my full review here. It's due out in August.
Aside from those beautiful Romans, the all new Hospital is impressive, as are the micro sets. It's playmobil, for your playmobil! Each set comes with two playmokids, and a whole miniature set scaled down to their size. It's even all magnetic so it's harder to lose! Then the set closes up into a hand traveling kit. There will be the pirate ship, the knight's castle, Noah's Ark, and the fairy tale princess sets. These are coming out in April.
Another brand new direction for playmobil are the fairy tale box sets. Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel and Snow White each get the treatment, complete with multiple scenes and folding backdrops. It all stores away inside a storybook looking box. These are out in September. Dig those seven dwarves!
Jager Playmobil brought the Romans in full force this year. Their booth was set up like a collosseum (complete with pillars and torches) and the five footers were all gladiators. It was like Stinkhead died and went to heaven... a plastic, smiley faced heaven. I'm always amazed at the amount of thought and detail put into Playmobil playsets. Everything is thought out. For example, there isn't just an axe, there's a tree stump with a notch in it the axe fits snuggly into. Or the hospital has almost everything a real one would have, including a baby incubator. Ok, that was kinda creepy, but very cool. This was the best showing I've seen from the company at Toy Fair. Very varied sets (Storybook, Cowboys, Romans, Real Life-like farms and hospitals, and there was even a submarine.)
Mr. Stinkhead Humminah humminah humminah. I never thought I would see an AliensPowerloader from Sideshow. It's amazing! It's full-scale to the existing Alien line, and it's articulated. It's going to be about $250 when it comes out, and Ripley's not included. Ouch. But amazing. I think this was the most amazing thing I saw at the whole show.
The Spider-Man III statues were also fantastic looking, maybe it's because the movie hasn't come out yet, but I tell ya, we saw Spider-Man III stuff everywhere, and I'm still coming back to these statues and figures as my favorites. Very well done.
Sideshow continues to impress with its Star Wars figures, and their Marvel statues are looking great. I think Tuxxer damn near died when he saw their original Zombies line. He has a new grail. Too bad they're all sold out!
Lando As always Sideshow is most impressive. The biggest news is the Darth Maul Premium Format figure. This was unveiled the first day of Toy Fair. It's perfect. Sideshow nailed down the expression and pose. The other new Premium Format sculpt is the second Buffy and Spike figures. The first Buffy sculpt while done well had its problems. Most notably her lazy eye. Thats been fixed and with a new outfit is now a great resemblance of Sarah. The Spike sculpt is also very nice. All the details are there including his black fingernails. Like Stinkhead I love the Alien Powerloader but was very disappointed at that you have to pick up the Ripley figure now before it sells out. The biggest and saddest news is that Giles will be the last of the Sideshow Buffy figures for this year. Whedon fans unite and tell Sideshow to continue to produce the Buffy / Angel line!
Jager Stikfas surprised me with the addition of Cool Rockets to their product line. Actually, Saizon is distributing them for the Cool Rocket creator. These statues are fantastic! Some are more static and sit ready to blast off. One is a bank, one a night light, and the best were flying away and supported by the smoke coming from their tailpipe. The style is fun and reminds me of the old Looney Tunes spaceships flown by Marvin the Martian. The more I look at these the more I need them...It's become more than a want I'm afraid.
Mr. Stinkhead The Stikfas line is still going strong. The set I'm most excited about has been available in stores for awhile, the domed robot. The 14" brass Stikfas is looking cool, and limited to 1000 pieces. I'm with Jager, these cool rockets are looking great. I want that night light.
Jager Ugly Dolls are taking the plush world over. There were 5 totally new Uglies on display: Abima, Big Toe, Toodee, Deer Ugly, and Gato Deluxe. Also, three fan favorites are getting ready for an official release: Uglyworm, Black Icebat, and Sailor Babo. The last three were only available in limited numbers but now will be available in the regular market. There were all sizes of the guys too. The 4" clip-ons were the smallest, then mini Uglies, followed by regular Ugly Dolls and then the ginormous 2 footers! An Ugly for every occasion! There were also printed media on display such as the journal with plush cover and the How-to-Draw Ugly Dolls art set with everything you need to draw your favorite Ugly Doll... or create your own! This truly is becoming a powerhouse in the Designer Toy world and while they are making large runs, the quality of design and the stitching is still strong.
Stinkhead I would love to quit and go work at the Ugly Dolls office. I can't imagine it would be anything short of a fuzzy high, all day long.
Jager Last year the Urban Bazaar section was uber hot. Just a smoking aisle of vinyl goodness. This year was a little lacking. There were a few things that stood out, but for the most part, goth and plush had taken over. Happily right in the middle of the madness sat friendly Leah in her UNKL booth. There were unipos and junpos and hazmapos too! Not to mention some killer stickers. Also, the new plush on the block, Dooodolls, had some happy friends on display. The owners were very nice and the plush was just great. I especially liked Mr. Nerdie. I understand the position of the Designer Toy companies like STRANGEco and Wheaty Wheat to bow out this year. With the smaller runs, companies like these produce something as large as the Toy Fair is overkill. I'm sure that online sales and word of mouth (like my large one) work just as well to sell their product, maybe better. It was disappointing to me though and it really changed the feel of the whole Fair for me.