Posts Tagged ‘111th american international toy fair’
Hot Town, Summer in Sin City…
August 22 seemed forever away when I first spied it as the release date for Sin City 2 in Diamond Select Toys’ 2014 New York Toy Fair booth last February. Now it’s yesterday and the follow-up to Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’ most graphic and novel of graphic novel inspired films is in general release.
Of the tie-in’s previewed by DST last winter, the three Sin City Select Action Figures representing Nancy (Jessica Alba), Hartigan (Bruce Willis) and Marv (Mickey Rourke) have already hit the shelves. Production versions I’ve seen look really good, with the 2005 film’s range of whites, grays and blacks rendered with subtlety over the Jean St. Jean sculpts. These display boxed “Select” models are each supplied with appropriate stands
The action figures will be followed shortly by two Mini-Mates box sets. The first – due momentarily – is the Yellow Bastard Box featuring Nancy, Hartigan, Senator Roark and YB himself. Box set two will arrive in the fall and feature Marv, Wendy, Kevin and Cardinal Roark. This set is based on Miller’s story “The Hard Goodbye.” Both sets include interchangeable parts, accessories, and what looks like a slew of weapons.
If you prefer more color in your collector life, DST will accommodate with a selection of zombie whacking flora and their undead foes based on the insanely popular Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare game from Popcap and EA. The aptly named “bloom and doom” roll out will begin in September and there are a number of standard, specialty store, and Toys “R” Us permutations.
Here’s the breakdown directly from Diamond Select:
Each set of two 5″ scale action figures will include one plant and one zombie[…] The assortment includes:
– Gatling Pea with Scientist Zombie
– Camo Cactus with Foot Soldier Zombie
– Chomper with Engineer Zombie
– Shadow Flower with All-Star Zombie
Additionally, two box sets of Minimates mini-figures will be available in early September, one at Toys “R” Us stores and one at comic shops and specialty stores. Those two sets include:
Toys “R” Us set:
– Foot Soldier Zombie, Scientist Zombie, Chomper, Sunflower, and two Pea Shooters
Comic shop/specialty stores set:
– Engineer Zombie, All-Star Zombie, Cactus, Sunflower, and two Pea Shooters.
(Andy and Pete give you the old “one-two punch” for Game of Thrones Season 4 Premiere night)
Today, fans worldwide are dusting off their family crests. Well, not their family crests, but whether you belong to house Targaryen, Lannister or Stark, you’re bound to be excited about the Season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones, debuting tonight on HBO in the US and tomorrow night in the UK.
What it Is…
Based on the books by American author George R.R. Martin, (dubbed by some as the modern-day Tolkein) the fantasy series set in the middle-earth-like isle of Westeros has everything you can ask for – drama, political intrigue, epic battles, swords, sorcery, and zombie-like white walkers.
Who They Are…
Martin’s characters are complex, with many layers, motivations and conflicting emotions. You love them. You hate them. Are they good? Evil? He takes his time crafting their inner-worlds (giving us each character’s point of view in the books) with as much detail as their outer worlds. With characters like the initially-innocent child-bride-turned-Mother-of-All-Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) and the brilliant, often insightful, imp, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), the tomboyish and tough Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), and the morally ambiguous Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey – Sarah Connor Chronicles), we’ve become invested in each one’s journey – whether we like them or not. In Westeros, only the hardest and most ruthless seem to survive. That’s what it takes to rule a kingdom. Even then… any weakness can be exploited. Fortunes and destinies can turn on a dime. The outcome is never certain.
Personally, with Starks (my chosen house) dropping like flies (if you haven’t heard about “The Red Wedding” by now, I have little pity if I spoil it for you), I’m starting to get a little nervous. Unlike many of us who have read ahead to the bitter end, there are still folks out there who were shocked and horrified by the deaths of Robb Stark (Richard Madden) and his mother Catelyn Stark (Michelle Farley). If you vowed to stop watching at that point, really, who are you kidding? You know you’ll be back for more heart-stopping thrills, chills and heartbreak this season.
If “All Men Must Die,” here’s news and views of some items that Games of Thrones fans will be dying to get their hands on. Joining the previously released Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen figures Dark Horse has several more characters at the ready to celebrate HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere and beyond. These plastic cast models offer a big bang for the buck with a refined elegance usually reserved for items several times their cost. The sculpts are minutely detailed and delicately painted. David Scroggy, head of product development for Dark Horse, noted “…we decided to make these non-articulated, in order to capture all of the small details that would be at risk in a traditional jointed action figure.” They stand approximately 7.5” tall and are sold in a windowed display box. The Spring 2014 release included Tyrion Lannister, Khal Drogo and Ned Stark and will be followed in August by Cersei Baratheon, Robb Stark, Jaime Lannister, Arya Stark, and the White Walker. At a suggested retail price of $24.99 USD they make exceptional collector’s pieces and easy gift choices for the GoT fan in the family.
Also spied at Toy Fair 2014 was a spectacular spin on The Hound, in bust format replete with hinged helmet. The likeness of character Sandor Clegane (portrayed by Rory McCann) is a hand painted and numbered edition that comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity. This one is scheduled for mid-summer release. Also on the limited edition list will be an Arya figure.
Just released this past week is a life sized role playing Map Marker Box Set. Dark Horse press explains the origins, “In the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones, we see Robb Stark plotting the movements of opposing armies using a map of Westeros and a set of sculpted map markers, each hewn into a representation of one of the house symbols. We have reproduced these items in their true size, using the actual props as reference.
The six individual map markers range from 4.5” to 6” in height, and mimic different materials. Each is hand-painted. The map itself is full size, 50” x 35.5” cloth material with a paper backing, reproduced in color. The big size allows the owner to move the map markers in scale and formulate strategic situations or reproduce those from the show. The map markers and folded map are stored in a deluxe, heavy-duty, 14″ x 4.75″ x 18″ hinged-lid presentation box, protected by a full-color, thick-stock sleeve.”
Nothing Shakin’ But The Leaves on the Trees…
As if all this weren’t enough April 16th will see another limited edition piece, the Weirwood snow globe. Its blush of blood red leaves atop the face carved trunk will make striking contrast to blowing “snow” inside. Its base is inscribed with the “I Am the Sword in the Darkness, I Am the Watcher on the Walls…” quote. Only 1200 of these unique hand painted items will be minted and like other Dark Horse LE’s they will be boxed with a certificate of authenticity.
I love Diamond Select Toys’ line of Busts and Bust Banks for their great sculpts, just right size and reasonable pricing for collecting and gifting. Previously focused on the Universal Monsters and Star Wars franchises, 2014 will see DST branch out with the addition of character likenesses from the beloved 1966 Batman television series, as well as the undisputed King of the Kaiju, Godzilla.
Mean Green Saving Machines…
Seen at the recent American International Toy Fair, there are several flavors of the Godzilla to choose from. Beginning the roll-out of TOHO titans in May 2014 is the bust bank version of Classic Godzilla 1989. Like others in the series, the sculpt by Gentle Giant Studios is cut off just below the torso and measures approximately 10” inches tall. A coin slot in the back and access door on the bottom make it useful as well as decorative. A nifty way to save for, what else, more bust banks.
If you prefer your Gojiras full sized, DST has got you covered with two choices in vinyl. Measuring an impressive 18” from snout to tail and 12” tall these beauties also serve as banks. The full length Classic Godzilla is again the Biolante battling 1989 version. There is also the ferocious Burning Godzilla as he appeared in Godzilla Vs. Destroyah, nearing a meltdown of his alien infused nuclear heart.
High on the awesome scale is the Diamond Select Ghidrah Bust Bank. IMHO it is the most spectacular of the bust banks to date. The space dragon, also known as Monster X and King Ghidorah, has a regal gold finish and massive wingspan surrounding its three snarling heads. Release date is Winter 2014.
Not a “bank job” but most exciting for me was the reveal of Godzilla related Mini Mates. Series 1 includes Godzilla himself, Mothra in flight, the hook clawed Gigan, and long necked Titanosaurus. They’re all nicely detailed and articulated representations that I can’t wait to get a macro lens pointed at. They will be sold in a 4 pack and are also scheduled to hit shelves in Winter 2014.
Best of the West…
The Classic 1966 TV Batman is well represented with a full line of resin busts as well as vinyl bust banks in the works. Though The Riddler resin was too early in the design process to photograph, I was permitted to get some shots of the Adam West Batman, Burt Ward Robin and still up for approval Cesar Romero Joker. All are by sculpter Jean St. Jean and scheduled for release in 2014. There’s also a mighty cool exclusive bust of the caped crusader doing the Batusi.
But Wait There’s More…
In this 30th anniversary year of Ghost Busters collector’s get their choice of massive 24 inch Stay Puft in good and evil modes to guard their change. There’s a smaller, nicely singed, version, that’ll have you hankering for s’mores and a Ghost Buster Mini Mates box set.
Off limits to photos at Toy Fair, but quite drool worthy even in prototype, was the This Island Earth Metaluna Mutant bust bank. Its exposed brain, bug eyes and crab-like claws make it the quintessential 1950’s sci-fi monster. I predict it will be the must own of the series.
Diamond Select also prevued loads of figures and Mini Mates for Marvel superheroes Captain America and Spiderman, Kill Bill, Sin City, Pulp Fiction, Plants Vs. Zombies and Jay and Silent Bob characters which I’ll be posting photos of in the coming weeks.
NECA (National Entertainment Collectors Association) displayed their prototypes for both Series 12 and 13 Predators at the recent NY Toy Fair, giving the press a peek at the still to be finalized designs for what will be on the shelves in the coming months.
In The Pines, In The Pines…
As the longest running of NECA’s action figure licenses Predator continues to be extremely popular and collectors anticipate where inspiration for the next wave will come from. For Series 12 the company looked to the printed page with two of the three figures representing characters in Dark Horse Comics’ four issue adventure Predators: Bad Blood from the 1990’s. The standalone story told of a “serial killer” Predator on a rampage in the wild Pine Barrens of New Jersey (also the home of the legendary “Jersey Devil”) and his battle with an Enforcer determined to thwart him. Fortunately for humanity the Enforcer did not have to use the George Washington Bridge on a bad traffic day to get to NJ.
NECA’s “Bad Blood” sculpt is one sweet looking piece, bound to make fans of the franchise happy, and I think also bring in the casual collector. He’s like a walking, stalking, trophy wall adorned in the bones of his victims. He appears blood spattered from a fresh kill, whose heads he’s happy to brandish. His nemesis, The Enforcer figure is clad in silver armor, with shoulder cannon, disk and rod ready to bring the rogue to justice.
The third figure in Series 12 is a revamped Series 3 character, the Elder from the Predator 2film. NECA says “Elder V2 features additional articulation, a shoulder cannon, new straps and belts, and new feet, all upgraded and improved from the original version.” The models sport 25 points of articulation and stand approximately 8” tall.
Expect to see these in their final form around June of 2014, followed closely by the revealed but undesignated Series 13 figures in August.
In addition to the series 12 abd 13 reveals, NECA showed off its first vehicle of the collectible cache with a really hot Predator Blade Fighter complete with Viper rider. It’s sure to bring back fond memories of those who collected Kenner Predator toys back in the 1990’s.
There’s more fun and nostalgia as NECA expands it’s spin on 8-bit video game characters. this time it’s Predator, looking sharp all in blue as depicted in the 1989 NES game. Expected in May 2014, it will be sold in a special flapped window package reminiscent of the original video game box and limited to one production run only.
More To Come…
I have plenty more NECA goodies to be posted in the coming weeks, including gigantic Pacific Rim Jaegers and Kaiju, an uncanny Dark Knight Joker, some amazing Planet of the Apes figures, Diablo and more.
When Super7 and Funko announced their partnership in producing a 3.75 inch Alien figure set last August, they promised the collaboration would yield a lot more surprises. That was probably one of the biggest understatements of all time. At Funko’s 2014 Toy Fair booth the companies revealed an over 60 figure roll out for the ReAction line. The retro feel of the characters harks back to Kenner’s Star Wars figures of the 1970’s.
Many under served franchises like Goonies, Pulp Fiction, Escape From New York, Firefly, and the original Buffy, the Vampire Slayer film are fully represented, although sadly the Rocketeer is missing a companion Betty.
Modern monster fans will get a chance to add to their Nightmare on Elmstreet, Halloween, Friday the Thirteenth collections and also enjoy miniature spins on Sam from Trick ‘r Treat, Hellraiser‘s Pinhead Cenobite and my favorite, a pretty awesome rendition of The Crow. The Terminator and Predator franchises are represented too, with a cool, clear, “active camo” version of a Yautja hunter.
A bit less off the beaten path, classic Universal Horror fans will have there choice of 8 figures, including a rather dapper Invisible Man in smoking jacket, though the Frankenstein Monster is looking a little strange in a grey suit. There’s also a selection of Nightmare Before Christmas characters.
The individually blister-carded miniature series will roll out through the end of 2014 and retail for $9.99 each.
This is a pretty amazing assortment of licensed items released in a short period of time. While I don’t see most collectors buying ’em all, there’s enough diversity to make lots of people covet at least 50% of the offerings. If there’s a Wave 2 down the road, I’d love to see Dusk ‘Til Dawn, Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill, and Sucker Punch represented.