Poe Ghostal here. The American International Toy Fair is an event held annually in New York City, where toy manufacturers reveal their wares for the coming year to retailers in hopes of enticing big orders. Technically this year’s event has just started, but we’ve already had more than enough exciting new reveals to fill a list.
A few of these reveals were announced via press releases or retailer pre-orders ahead of Toy Fair, but we’re counting them as part of the general news rush. And there are still three days left – plenty of time for some more surprises. But while we wait for those, here are some of the best of what has been unveiled so far.
10.) Eaglehawk Chopper (G.I. Joe)
Hasbro can always be counted on to bring at least one big vehicle out every year, and this year it’s the G.I. Joe fans who score with the Eaglehawk Chopper. Due out in August, Hasbro’s press info says the vehicle is “inspired” by the new movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation, but it’s clearly based on the Tomahawk from the 1980s line. It even comes with a new version of the old Tomahawk pilot, Lift Ticket! Whether or not Retaliation turns out to be good remains to be seen, but either way, Joe collectors will have gotten something awesome out of it.
9.) Bebop and Rocksteady (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Collection)
Playmates surprised nostalgic TMNT collectors last year with their Classics Collection, a line of super-articulated Ninja Turtles based on their appearance in the 1980s cartoon. This year, the Turtles get someone to fight – Bebop and Rocksteady, the lovable, incredibly stupid goons who got their butts handed to them over and over by the Turtles while in the service of the Shredder.
8.) Castle Grayskull (Masters of the Universe Classics)
Mattel announced an in-scale Castle Grayskull for their Masters of the Universe Classics line last year (and have already had a pre-order for it), but Toy Fair was the first time fans got a chance to see the painted prototype. The set is loaded with features and accessories, including a working “jaw bridge,” a trap door and a laser cannon. It’s the ultimate complement to what has become the definitive MOTU toy line. There’s even a three-dimensional version of the “astronaut” who appeared as a cardboard cut-out in the original playset. The set goes back up for pre-order ($275) today through March 4 at Mattycollector.com.
7.) Wolverine Legends
Fans of the 6″ Marvel Legends line rejoiced last year when Hasbro brought the line back after a multi-year hiatus. Hasbro is doubling down on the line in 2013, offering not just more Marvel Legends (including Rocket Racoon!) but a sub-line, Wolverine Legends, to coincide with the July release of The Wolverine, the sequel to 2009’s X-Men: Origins: Wolverine. The line finally provides fans with a 6″ version of Wolverine in his current outfit, along with new figures of Wolverine supporting players such as Rogue, Emma Frost and Sabretooth.
6.) Breaking Bad Action Figures
One is a critically-acclaimed television show about the brutal world of drugs and how it destroys one American family. The other is a type of toy, once sold primarily to young children but now collected by adults as well. Put them both together and you have Breaking Bad action figures! Produced by Mezco, these toys are prepared to set up shop and start selling meth to Boba Fett, Iron Man, Orko and any of your other action figures who have a hole in their lives they can’t fill.
5.) Transformers Generation Titan Metroplex
Many Transformers fans remember Metroplex as one of the first “City” figures, the ones that transformed from a robot into an actual playset. Hasbro is bringing Metroplex back next year, based on his appearance in the videogame Fall of Cybertron. Standing a whopping two feet tall in robot form, he can also transform into the city playset and a “rolling battle platform mode.”
4.) ? Scale Michael Keaton Batman
NECA has spent several years producing awesome 18″ figures of characters such as the Terminator and Predator, but now they’re moving on to superheroes – specifically, Batman. So far they’ve unveiled two figures, the Adam West Batman (more on that later) and the Michael Keaton Batman. Many of today’s Batman fans (including yours truly) first encountered the character in Tim Burton’s 1989 epic, but there has been a noticeable dearth of Keaton Batman merchandise aside from one very expensive Hot Toys figure. NECA’s Batman promises to be more affordable, more durable and at least 6″ taller than the Hot Toys version. Dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight is optional…but recommended.
3.) Axe Cop toys
Axe Cop is a webcomic created by two brothers – one who was 29 when it began (Ethan Nicholle), the other who was 5 (Malachai Nicholle). Malachai comes up with the stories and Ethan creates the comics. This unlikely setup resulted in one of the most beloved new comics of recent years, which has expanded into a Dark Horse comic, an animated series and now, some very cool action figures from Mezco.
2.) Star Wars Black 6″ Series
For over thirty years, Star Wars action figures have been available in two scales: 3 ?” and (to a much lesser degree) 12″. Many action figure collectors have long wanted a line of 6″ Star Wars figures, similar to Mattel’s DC Super Heroes, Toy Biz’s Lord of the Rings line or Hasbro’s own Marvel Legends. But given the dominance of the 3 ?” line, most collectors despaired of ever getting Star Wars figures in this popular scale.
To many fans’ surprise, for this year’s Toy Fair Hasbro has revealed the Star Wars Black 6″ Series. Designed by Gentle Giant Studios, the line is geared toward adult collectors and will focus heavily on the original trilogy. The first wave features Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing outfit, R2-D2, Darth Maul, and a Sandtrooper. You can expect these figures, which arrive in August at $19.99 apiece, to sell out fast.
1.) Classic TV Series Batman (Mattel)
Image courtesy @JediN8 (http://twitter.com/JediN8)
Possibly the weirdest phenomenon in toys this year is the explosion of merchandise based on the 1966 Batman TV series. Nothing like striking while the iron is hot, what with the show being almost fifty years old and the recent Bat-mania surrounding the Nolan films all but over! But none of that detracts from the awesomeness of the very idea of these figures, which are now possible thanks to the complicated licensing rights finally being worked out (still no sign of a DVD release, though). While NECA is producing the aforementioned 18″ figure, it’s Mattel that’s really going all-out with a full line of action figures, headlined by the Adam West Batman in all his smooth-torso glory.
The first wave of figures will feature Batman, the Riddler, the Penguin and – YES! – Surfing Contest Batman. There will also be a two-pack featuring Batman and Robin climbing a wall (this will be the only way to get Robin, which sucks, but what are you going to do?) and an in-scale Batmobile from the show. If the theme song isn’t running on a repeating loop through your head already, it will be by the end of this sentence. You’re welcome.