Ah, the hallowed halls of Hasbro. Here within lies Transformers, GI Joe, and the always secretive Star Wars. We had never been able to successfully schedule an appointment at Hasbro before, so we were really excited to finally see what all the fuss was about. We were anticipating a lot more Star Wars, but we knew it was between movies, and there wasn't a huge push at the moment. I was hoping to catch some sneak peeks at some Episode III figures, like Princess Amaknockedup and soon to be everyone's favorite C3-X4-carry the 1-B7.
From the minds at Stikfas, Xevoz are really starting to impress us. These are just starting to pop up at TRU, and we got a few sets to play around with from Hasbro. The construction is a bit more solid and play-friendly than the Stikfas. Stikfas (review) are great for building and customizing, but the Xevos really allow for rough play, and you can build and reconstruct these guys over and over. I also feel they successfully pulled off the idea of a collectable action figure and strategy game that can be enjoyed as a game or as just a figure, and you're not feeling like you're missing something. Stay tuned for a big review on these soon.
Finally got to see the anniversary Optimus up close. It's worth the money. The Transformers Alternators have been creating a buzz, for they look like "real" cars, and pretty sweet as robots too. Hasbro got the licsense from several automakers to create the cars in a very realistic likeness. The Jeep is the most baddest of asses thus far. I don't really get the Transformers Energon figures. I think they don't look like cars at all, but I'm from the old school.
For Lando, there is no action figure line better than the Star Wars line. He couldn't wait to get to Hasbro's showroom and see this year's line. When we arrived we found the showroom was kind of plain and boring. Instead of these great dioramic displays (like Toy Biz) the toys basically set up on a few tables. GI Joe will be sporting a talking jet (that changes sounds as you tilt it) and Han will be one upping him one in his light up Millennium Falcon. We all dug the retro boxes on the Star Wars Classic Triology figures, but why not go ahead and use the old sculpts?
Later this year Pixar will be releasing The Incredibles which we predict will be the best Pixar film to date. The whole line looks great, really dead-on from the trailers we've seen. No word on how the current Disney-Pixar split will affect toy licensing on future toys however.
We particularly liked the game Heroscape. The customization of the game board is a really great feature, and it utilizes World War II soldiers, dragons, and cyborgs all in one game.
Pick up the Japanese version of the Alternators from Action-HQ.com
Check out the full list of images from their gallery.
Lando da Pimp
Lego always has great building sets. This year's line up is incredible. The most anticipated Ęset is the Millenium Falcon. The Falcon opens up to reveal the inner workings of the trilogy's favorite freighter. Here you can see the chess table, the cockpit and even a working escape pod. Other highlights were the Spider-Man 2 products, but be warned they reveal key scenes to the new movie. The biggest news is the start of making flesh colored faces. No longer will all of the white people be yellow. To be more politically correct, Lego is taking their movie property sets and using a new flesh colored head and hands. It's a nice touch but luckily they are keeping the basic yellow head look for their traditional sets.
Everything in this showroom was made of Legos. Fake coffe cups on the waiting room table, orchids in a vase, the doors, a mouse in the corner, book covers, the seats...you get the idea. Nice tour, nice guide, touchable prototypes! Star Wars looked good, rolling out more minis and a sweet Millinium Falcon. With Harry Potter's new line, we see the inclusing of anglo saxon colored figures. Finally I can stop writing letters. The new Knights line looks nice. Giant castles made from Legos will always be fun. But to the best idea in my eyes was the X-Pod. Here we have a small set of basic blocks that can form either a robot, vehicle, or animal. They come in small containers and are for Lego fun on the go.
I too loved the Star Wars and Spider-Man sets (Dr. Octopus is looking killer). But I was most impressed with the Bionicle line. I haven't collected any Bionicles, but I have seen a lot of really cool toy ideas go down the tubes when companies go crazy expanding the line to make more money quickly and cheaply. These figures appear to be natural improvements. Oh, and did anyone mention the new caucasion colored Legos? w00t!
Mattel is my favorite company. Mainly because MOTU is my favorite line. The official word from our rep is that the line is on hiatus. Like a television show, that means its currently not moving forward. They are re-grouping, considering online and magazine based sales for the remainder of the Snakemen stock, and looking at the possibility of making new figures much later on. That out of the way, I was really impressed with the new Batman toys based on the new Batman animated series The Batman (with music from U2's Edge!). The Video Encoded Infrared (VEI) technology allows the signal from the TV to activate complex animatronic animations (and lights and sounds) on the toys you have. Kind of like Captain Power, but really well updated. When the Batmobile on TV guns down and obstacle, the appropriate lights and sounds activate on your toy Batmobile. Oh, and the Batcave is insane.
I know that a lot of you were disappointed about hearing that Masters of the Universe is on hold for now, but for me, I am glad. Not only did Mattel ruin the line with stupid variations of He-man and Skeletor, but made it impossible to find any other figures. Personally I had given up on the line months ago. The good news is that they are on track with the new Batman line. The cartoon looks great. I just hope the technology that the figures and Batmobile use doesn't dictate the look and feel of the toys. I think the strongest line was the Harry Potter collection. It had a more "collector" feel to it. The line they need to drop is the Justice League. We have seen all of the heroes made over and over with very little villains. Can somebody tell me why Superman needs armor?
Crowded crazy tour with little elbow room and too much to see at once. Sweet goodie bag with exclusive Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. What did everyone want to see? He-Man. But as we know he's on hiatius. However, Batman more than made up for it with his added articulation, darker look, cloth cape, and vehicles/figures that interact with the show as it plays. Harry Potter was in attendance complete with two person Quiddich game using marbles you shoot through hoops waiting for the Golden Snitch to launch into the air.
Lando da Pimp
Great showroom from these guys. Jager and I both agreed that the "art gallery" feel was a wonderful way to showcase the new lines. The Family Guy collection is great. I loved the baby Stewie figure. The Mez-itz Aliens set with the chest burster busting out of the woman was a nice touch. They mostly come out in stores......mostly.
I'm a big fan of Mezco's Alien Mez-Its (review) based on the first film. Their follow-up with a series of figures based on Aliens is one of the top toys I'm looking forward to this year. Lando already mentioned the bad-ass chest burster, but also check out the Alien Queen that goes with that display base. Speaking of Mez-Its, I will definately be hunting down the RoboCop (with ED 209!!) and HellBoy Mez-Its.
I'm also really digging their roto-scoped figures, and we're looking forward to sharing with you their Gangsters Inc figures. We also had a great time at Mezco's private party on Monday night. It was great being able to catch up with other toy guys without having to rush to another appointment. It was also great chatting a bit with Mez out on the veranda.
Nice tour. Really liked the space. Mezco's marriage of the real and surreal extended into their Gangster's Inc line and renditions of pop icons, The Blues Brothers. Hellboy looked great and I was so happy to see a baby version. Just add pancakes. Living Dead Dolls continue to freak me way out, so their success continues. On the
other side of the dark/happy coin they are celebrating Popeye's 75th in style complete with Popeye Fists (think Hulk Hands). And Family Guy translated wonderfully to the third dimension.
Check out the full list of images from their gallery.
Be on the lookout for the new Peter Jackson hobbit figure! It's going to go fast. They are not limiting this figure and it will have the same quantity run as any other figure. The Marvel Legend stuff is getting better and better. Check out the Weapon X Wolverine. You can't get better than that. The Spider-Man 2 stuff is ok. They need to branch out with more characters from the movie. I am still waiting for the wet t-shirt Mary Jane action figure from the last movie. C'mon you know you want to see it.
Best tour. Very cool guide and excellently crafted theme rooms. Spider-Man is getting bigger everyday and Toy Biz is leading the charge. New figures from the movie abound. Marvel Legends continues to wow me with their big detail and articulation at such an affordable price. Lord Of The Rings was stunning. These are the show rooms that make you want to put an addition on your house just for their toys.
I really liked the quality and articulation of the Marvel Legends in the past, but hadn't really picked any up because I'm not a big Marvel comics reader. In addition, of the Marvel characters I am familiar with, Juggernaught is not one of my favorites. I've always thought his helmet made him look like he grew up riding the short bus. Anyway, low and behold, this Juggernaught Marvel Legends figure, and here I am ready to buy. That is an amazing feat. And because I broke the Doc Oc prototype, you can count on me buying a few of those.
Right now you can sign-up to win a big bag of cool Toy Fair swag including a Mike Mignola signed Hellboy poster.
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