Wow, I’m still wading through the massive amount of amazing collectibles encountered at the 2011 Toy Fair. While snooping for fantasy character tie-ins I got pretty much stopped dead in my tracks by the Tonner Doll Company’s display of “DC Stars”. The new line includes comic book super heroines Catwoman, Dove, Raven, Black Canary and a stunning Teen Titans Starfire in sizes from 13 to 17 inches. In addition there is a jaw dropping 22 inch version of Wonder Woman to compliment 2010’s 13 inch model.
Tonner is renown for their beautifully rendered limited edition figures. Their licenses include the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises and my favorite Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” characters. The company also has their own “Sinister Circus” characters with a nice creep factor for the gothically inclined.
Kenny P. and I agreed that we’d love to see Ms. Emilie Autumn and her Bloody Crumpets get the collector doll treatment. Think of the cool accessories – tea cups, rats and candelabra, stilts and some pirate gear for Maggot.
Another really awesome experience at Toy Fair 2011 was getting a sneak peak at Activision’s new “Skylanders, Spyro’s Adventure” video game. Their booth was totally dedicated to debuting the game and featured giant replicas of the game pieces, including the familiar Spyro the flying purple dragon. Developed by Toys for Bob, the game is an imaginative and immersive adventure with puzzle, treasure hunt and battle components. What sets it apart from other games are it’s collectible figures each representing a character from the virtual world. These beautifully rendered miniatures can be “put into play” by placing them on the circular “portal of power”. Each has a unique set of abilities which can unlock different worlds or accomplish different tasks. Most importantly every toy figure has embedded tech which “remembers” its achievements inside the game and those level-ups and experiences travel with the toy.
Players can place a maximum of two characters at a time on the portal and play cooperatively or in battle mode. Characters exit and enter the game simply by placing or removing them from the portal base giving the player an opportunity to call in creatures as needed for their special masteries. It this manner game play varies endlessly based on which characters are in play, what tasks attempted and the level of each game pieces’ achievements. For instance, a friend who owns a character you do not, may be invited over to help unlock a new level or complete a task.
There will be over 30 characters to collect and use in gameplay, including Terrafin, Chop Chop, Gill Grunt, Trigger Happy and Stealth Elf. The game is set for release in fall of this year and will ship with Spyro, 3 other characters and the portal base, which resembles a castle turret. The game is scored by movie composer Hans Zimmer but Activision opted for AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” as the soundtrack to the promo video. While aimed at a younger audience is not hard to believe older siblings and even parents will be charmed by the chance to pop a figure on the portal and take a trip to Skyland.
Continuing our hunt for fantastical creatures at the February 2011 Toy Fair in New York City, PiercingMetal.com’s Ken Pierce and I found ourselves surrounded by a menagerie of dragons, monsters, and even a pirate peering at us through the canopy of a magical forest. As it turned out they were all the exquisitely crafted puppets created by Folkmanis.
You may already know some of the company’s characters from The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. “CraigyFerg” often opens his show with hilariously unorthodox monologues delivered by several of Folkmanis’ creatures. My particular favorite is the cuddly white bunny (“Sid”) who drives the CBS censors wild with his foul language. Back in December 2009 the puppets took over the show entirely in celebration of the 1000th episode. Here’s a look at some of them in their own habitat.
It was a pleasure to meet the nice folks from Safari LTD at Toy Fair 2011. They kindly gave us free reign to photograph the gorgeous dioramas highlighting their products.
Anyone who has visited a museum gift shop is already familiar with Safari LTD’s expansive line of collectible wildlife and dinosaur figures. They are noted for their detailed sculpture and beautiful hand painted finishes. In addition to the array of scientifically accurate animals Safari LTD. has begun to add a wonderful group of fanciful and mythological characters to their product line.
Under the groupings Mythical Realms, Fairy Fantasies, Once Upon A Time, Days of Old the company offers collectors (young and young at heart) an amazing array of choices. I’m particularly fond of the selection of Dragons, love the mini’s found in the company’s Toobs canisters, and I quickly became a fan of the Cyclops, Medusa and Minotaur on display at the fair.
Check out Piercing Metal’s Toy Fair 2011 Coverage here.
It was a mind-blowing experience covering the sights and sounds of the Annual Toy Fair at the Javitts Center in New York City with Ken Pierce this week. There’s lots to report on and several posts will follow – both here and on Piercingmetal.com – with specifics on some of the items we found most interesting and fun.
To start off I’ve included some images of the varied treatments given to one of my favorite superhero characters, The Mighty Thor. As most of you know the Marvel Comics based film hits theaters this spring and they’ll be a slew of merch to go along with it. Here’s a sampling from the sublime to the bobble-head.