Since my last post, I have since sold a ton of my Joes, games, Legos and G1's and cleared out the toy room to convert into a playroom for the little man. It was a fair trade and he needs a great place to play instead of a toy museum. Everything is in storage in my basement. All I'm saying is he will have a great set of birthdays from 5 on when he gets to dive into those boxes. But after this years Toy Fair, it's looking like I may have to add a few choice items to those boxes. :)
Hasbro has had an overall disappointing year so far at least for me Star Wars-wise, still haven't seen wave 2.5 for the black 3.75 series...I mentioned in my last post in September about the Nikto guard I wanted and it looks like he is going to go the way of the Imperial Navy Commander that I so far haven't seen ever on the pegs. I haven't seen any new stock for the 3.75 black series in any of the local retailers. I did get the Boba Fett 6" and have seen him consistently at my local Target store.
Beyond Hasbro, Lego is making some impressive entries as well as NECA and Funco whose ReAction figure line is giving amazing treatment to tons of 80's properties that never we graced with action figures. You're going to need some deep wallets for 2014!
In the spirit of keeping this relatively brief, I won't go into listing off every single thing that has been unveiled nor will I go into my pessimism regarding crappy stocking and retailer stubbornness but I'll just list off a few wish items and things that caught my (and I'm guessing anyone else who shares my tastes) eye.
Start with the big guns and by far the best news of the show. Star Wars. Not only are there some strong showings for the new Rebels line just in time to reignite interest in Episode VII's release next year but there have been some highly anticipated figure announcements that I'm sure pleased a lot of collectors and fans, especially of the original trilogy. The Black Series is showing some powerhouse lineups with the 6" line covering an amazing looking Darth Vader (with removable three piece helmet), Chewbacca, Jedi Luke, Biker Scout with Speeder Bike and Jabba the Hutt, additionally your going to see a standard Clone Trooper and Revenge of the Sith Anakin with good and evil face deco option and a repaint of the Sandtrooper with black paulderon. On top of this Hasbro's Q and A announced we will see an episode VI Emperor Palpatine for this line down the road, awesome. Only sour note here is Jabba does not include Salacious B Crumb nor his dais which are rumored to be in a SDCC exclusive set going the way of the Carbonite Han...rrrr.
Moving onto the 3.75 line for the black series, we are seeing a dream wave. I've never seen a wave since I started collecting where I literally wanted every figure and this one may very well be the first. Luke in Dagobah gear with Yoda, Toryn Farr (never made), a new Vader, a rerelease of Hoth Luke, Snowtrooper officer (never made), Also never made for modern lines, we see Ree Yees and my absolute favorite never yet produced figure, Sgt. Doallyn (I've been waiting for him for 30 years and Bane Malar was the closest we ever got to him) Slam Freaking Dunk!
I'm glad the figure line is showing such OTC love since Lego is primarily going the route of the prequels with exception to a small mini set of a Death Star Turbolaser cannon early in the year (nicely with 2 Imperial Gunner and Royal Guard minifigs...strange no Death Star Troopers) however later in 2014 for the holidays we are getting some great treatments of the Snowspeeder, B-Wing, AT-AT, Star Destroyer and Cantina (FINALLY) along with minivehicles and a super detailed Sandcrawler (minifigs we haven't seen are Greedo, Cantina Band members, Nien Numb, General Madine, sleeker Storm and Snowtroopers, General Veers, Scanning Crew, New Imperial Officers of both green and black uniforms and an emperor's hologram!)...Also we are going to see rereleases of Batila Shan, Imperial Royal Guard, Dack Ralter, StarKiller and Darth Malgus for those who missed it. I will, however, believe it when I see it.
Next up are the transformers. I'll just preface this part with the fact that I hate the Bayformers and everything associated including the overcomplicated, messy, bone-like designs that don't even translate well as the toys they were inspired by and thus intended to be. Transformers also apparently are too hard to transform for children so they are releasing a 1-2 step line that clicks into place like the Generations Slammer Cassettes for the newer players. I'll just say they look hideous. This is also not the Rescue Bots or Robot Heroes that are intended for little kids, this is a branch of the actual transformers line. I'll just say, "kid, if a Transformer is too hard for you, go kill yourself." The Trans4mers figures look terrible as well. Grimlock looks like an Academy Award and doesn't even look like he'd fit in with the Beast Wars line, Hound has a Beard (what?) and is not a jeep, Galvatron is some kind semi (okay)...whatever I won't even go on. They are making a G1 cartoon inspired modern Optimus figure that looks nothing like the awful big-screen rendition because blue and red would be just too colorful for Bay's reimagining where the Transfomers are homophobic, racist and fart. His bot mode is a little too Japanime but he does have a solid alt-mode so good for him. Okay done with that onto the good stuff.
|As close as we'll ever get to the Valkyrie, It definitely will do!|
|I know he's not a Toy Fair reveal but I freaking love this figure!|
We are seeing a ton of Classics and Generations figures coming out of the woodwork. Some amazing Leader and Voyager class figures that look like pure revamped updates of their G1 counterparts. Whirl, RoadBuster, Scoop, Jetfire (YYYYEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHH) are all looking like must haves. I'm loving the Targetmasters and for those who you who likes the minicons, the Generation's line is releasing tons of them including Swerve, Windcharger, Tailgate, Gears and Cosmos among others including a three pack of minibots that are all combiners! And It looks like we will see another SDCC/Toy's R Us exclusive re-release of Grimlock for the Masterpiece line for those who missed him. He would like very nice next to my Soundblaster. Let's hope he comes at a reasonable price tag as opposed to the Takara 200 dollar re-release we are seeing floating around on BBTS. Despite yet another terrible reimagining of the Autobots and Decepticons in theaters, we will see a strong showing of figures. Lets hope the T4's don't take up too much shelf space which box out the guys we want. You know they will though.
Finally to the third of my major brands...GI Joe...This franchise is celebrating its hallmark 50th anniversary this year so we will be seeing a bunch of relelases in the otherwise dormant line... A lotta repaints...meh and it doesn't look like we will be seeing any single figure releases other than three-figure battle packs and two-figure versus packs. Even the vehicles are two packs with two pack in figures. So down the line we see Blowtorch vs H.E.A.T. viper, Lowlight vs Night Viper (painted red not green), Lady Jay vs Baroness, Arctic Snowjob (redundant) vs Arctic B.A.T. and the three packs are Beachhead vs Cobra Trooper and repaint Viper and Destro vs Hawk and Leatherneck.
The vehicle sets are the Cobra WOLF with Ice Viper (my all time favorite vintage figure) vs a repaint Sky Hawk with arctic camo with another Snake Eyes in arctic gear...meh and a repaint Vamp Mk II vs Cobra Night Landing in two decos of repaints of Flint vs Cobra EELs all previously released other than the night landing boat. Really Hasbro, this is some serious fleecing of Joe Fans by forcing them to rebuy figures they already have for a taste of some new product considering there are legions of characters specially from the late 80's you haven't revamped. This is like the Star Wars threepacks that made collectors buy a second Tusken Raider and Fett for a single Snaggletooth figure....Do you want these things to be returned with "the Corps figures" switched in the boxes because that's where I see this going.
|When else can you contextually have your figures "bring out the Gimp"?|
The Funco production of Pulp Fiction, Terminator, Goonies, Back to the Future, Universal Monsters, Nightmare Before Christmas among other popular 80's lines all piggypacking on the very cool Alien figure line released earlier in 2013. They look straight out of the late 70's/early 80's Kenner lines with limited articulation and nice rubbery sculpts. I love the vintage look however the playability of these lines seems limited and only geared at a small collecting base. At 10 bucks a figure, it still seems reasonable to get a few nice desk pieces and I'm sure many fans of each property will enjoy seeing their favorites get some proper action figure conceptualization.
|See the Rocketeer in the corner!?!?|
The bigger scale/ pricier figures lines such as Kotobukiya and Neca are all producing some nice stuff. We are seeing additions to Gremlins, Robocop, Godzilla, Planet of the Apes and Alien. I'm eying the Aliens-line with a nice Bishop, Kane and Power Loader planned for release and apparently a soon-to-be Ripley since Sigourney Weaver finally granted her likeness to be made in toy form, yay! Koto is making quite a few new Marvel and DC figures along with a nice Star Wars lineup. Hot Toys is making a great looking Batman, Joker and Iron Man stuff. Not my cup of expensive tea so check it out on your own if interested.
|Holy Sweet Mother of God!|
My show stopper and where I end it is with Lego...did you see the Lego Movie Sea Cow????? It's essentially the airship to end all airships and is set at a beastly 250 bucks! I acutally built a similar creation back in the day with my friends who put all our castle and pirate sets together to build a massive multi storied airship and even that, as awesome as it was, doesn't hold a candle to this amazing beast! Additionally, for those of you wanting some Lego to go with your Ghostbusters fix, your long awaited prayers are answered with the fan-created Ecto-1 with the likes of Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore for a paltry sum of 50 dollars. Hell to the Yeah. Also we can expect the Lego Simpsons house coming along very soon as well as Simpsons action figures commemorating their best guest stars including James Brown and Tom Hanks. Credit card debt will be well worth it with the likes of all these amazing toys coming around this year. If I had to choose; Ecto-1, 6 inch Speeder Bike, sgt. Doallyn and Ree-Yees and the Jetfire Leader Class and I'd be good for the year.