Toys & Collectibles

Monstrous Interest Rates: Diamond Select Toy’s Bust Banks

Universal Monsters Creature Bust Bank (Photo Courtesy Diamond Select Toys)

The Revenge of Bankenstein
You certainly can’t get a good interest rate at your bank these days, but Diamond Select Toys (DST) is making sure that you can keep your money in a place of great interest. Namely their soon to be released Universal Monsters Bust Banks.

The Creature’s Features
It’s already been a month since I reported on DST’s varied series of licensed Universal Monsters collectibles displayed at Toy Fair 2012. You can read that entry here. I relished the chance to ogle and photograph the very cool looking Frankenstein Bust Bank prototype, it’s a lean mean Karloffian depiction. Unfortunately its counterpart, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, was not available for display. I’m a big fan of the Gill-Man and that one missing piece has kept me in suspense. Well, the wait is over as DST released this image today. It’s quite a beautiful sculpt and paint job, and I like the unique artistic flair portraying him emerging from the depths. DST’s press release says you can slide your coinage into a slot behind his gills.

The Bust Banks will measure approximately 8 inches tall, are listed at a SRP of $19.99, and should be available in mid-September 2012. These will make perfect Halloween presents for “monsterkids” of every age. Imagine trick or treating for UNICEF carrying around one of these puppies. Who could resist donating. They’ll be too frightened not to.

Creepy Close-Up of DST's Frankenstein Bust Bank

Toys & Collectibles

Next Hex & Motion Moshi’s: Innovation First @ NY Toy Fair 2012

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Hexbug Nano Hive Habitat - Awarded Specialty Toy of the Year
VooDoo Bugs, Slight Reprise…
Toy Fair 2012 was a great opportunity to become familiar with lots of new products scheduled for roll-out over the next year but it was also fun to visit with the representatives of some of last year’s favorites and see their newest product spins. That was certainly the case with the folks at Innovation First who welcomed Ken Pierce and I into their booth for a peak at the latest updates to the Hexbugs universe.

Updates include more modular base plates, allowing for Hexbugs exit/entrance from varied positions of your choice. The plates also have a series of slides and whirly-gigs that make watching the jittery robotic insects even more fun. Clip an optional hook to the back of your Hexbug and watch it slide down guide wire equipped elevations.

Pack Up Your Hexbugs in Your Old Kitbag…
I was really happy to see Innovation First Labs take top honors with a Specialty Toy of the Year Award for their Hexbugs Hive Habitat Set. This portable version of the Habitat product neatly folds up into a molded handle carrying case to easily tote your Nanos wherever you go. Like the rest of the line everything is expandable once you reach your destination.

This Means War…
On the horizon are Hexbug Warriors, an extrapolation of last year’s “battle bridge” concept. Warriors can be outfitted with snap on weaponry ranging from buzz-saw blades to drill noses. Open sided concave platforms make for the arena ground and the toys push and nudge each other until one falls to the level below.

Mesmerizing Moshlings
For younger gamers and Mom’s who just can’t stand the sight of bug-like crawlers skittering around the living room floor First Innovations has introduced a series of tiny Bobble Bots. These shaky noggin creatures are based on online “virtual pets” Moshi Monsters, each with their own cool personality. Like Hexbug Nanos, they have a modular environment to traverse with little houses and shops, trees, shrubs, and lamp posts that can be turned into a complete village. Swing away doors allow the critters to bop in and out of the buildings, and their erratic perambulations are mesmerizing.

Film & Television Series Toys & Collectibles

Avengers Resembled, Toy Fair 2012 Round-Up

Toy Fair 2012 Was Awash in Avengers Movie Tie-in's

Joss Whedon’s recent denial of writing either The Kree or The Skrulls into the upcoming Avengers movie has fandom buzzing again about who or what the villainous planet attackers that we’ve been seeing in the trailers are. While that little tempest in a teapot continues to brew I thought I would go back to my Toy Fair 2012 photos and pull together a gallery of what was on display there.

Expect a deluge of Avengers themed toys, games and action figures from Lego, Neca, Funco and Diamond Select (I love those mini-mates). Check out my earlier posting on tokidoki for a look at their cool Avengers baseball caps, and the Peavey musical instruments story, illustrated with images of their superhero adorned guitars.

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Toys & Collectibles

Surfing Safari LTD’s Replicas @ Toy Fair 2012

Special Edition Hydra Joins the Mythical Realms Series

I’ve been a fan and casual collector of molded dinosaur figures since the first Louis Marx blister pack I received on my 5th birthday; don’t ask how long ago. Since then I’ve always kept an interested eye on how the market evolved. From cereal box premiums to 99 Cent Store knock-offs, dinosaurs never go out of style. Safari Ltd. first caught my attention with their line of Carnegie Museum of Natural History licensed dinosaurs back in the late 1980’s. The quality of these paleontologist approved replicas has made them collectors’ favorites. Since then the line has expanded to encompass nearly every kind of creature real or imagined in sizes ranging from “Good Luck Mini’s” (I love the tiny pink flamingoes) through jumbo replicas.

Toy Fair 2012 offered me the opportunity to meet the fine folks of Safari Ltd. again and once again they were kind enough to allow me to roam “free range” around their spectacular booth space and photograph at will. I could have easily spent the whole day perusing the company’s replicas but managed to focus my attention and camera mostly on new additions to the product line.

The Special Edition Hydra (featured above) broadens the selection of Mythical Realms characters which already includes an awesome Cyclops, Gorgon Medusa, Griffin and Chimera. A Swamp Dragon and Dragon Hatchlings bursting from their egg, as well as a massive Carnegie Brachiosaur are all in the offing for 2012. I also love the Trilobite and “Toobs” line of fossil dinosaur and prehistoric mammal skulls.

You can also see my 2011 Toy Fair coverage for photos of other great Safari Ltd. products here.
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Toys & Collectibles

okidoki @ tokidoki @ toy fair 2012

Marvel Avengers join the tokidoki Universe

Sometimes Love Hurts…
The tokidoki universe is a world of paradoxes; cute little creatures with sometimes prickly or outre attitudes. Take for instance the Cactus Friends – cuddly animals that can’t be cuddled – or the 12 lions and lionesses of the soon-to-be-released Royal Pride family. The crown capped ladies are decked for a shopping spree with their perfect pink poodles by their side, while their maned male counterparts are equipped with crowbars, nunchuks, and ouzi’s, ready for a smash and grab or back alley rumble. Yikes!

Todidoki godfather/designer Simone Legno spun up his Japanese inspired fantasies online about 11 years ago which drew the attention of the Hard Candy cosmetics company. A partnership proposal brought Simone from Rome to LA in 2003 and launched the ever expanding tokidoki line of apparel, make-up and novelties.

New to the Zoo…
In addition to the newest Cactus Friends, (Porcino the pink piggie and yellow snuggie zipped rabbit Truffle) tokidoki is offering several Marvel Avengers tie-in’s in their spring 2012 line. Along with iPhone covers and skate-decks there’s a fun set of baseball caps with embroidered “doki-ized” superhero designs. This includes a winged Captain America cap, Iron Man, as well as the assembled Avengers. My favorite is the awesome Doctor Doom design. Each hat has a unique under-the-brim graphic that ramps up the visual impact, and – yes – there are brim labels for the sticker afflicted. Also on display at the tokidoki Toy Fair booth were Marvel themed Frenzies, little lanyard strung collectible charms that will be sold in blind boxed displays.

Be sure to check the tokidoki web site for a look at their diminutive punk rockers and classic Moofia designs.

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