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Waiting to enter Jakks, we ran into the RingOfCollectors.com guys and Matt from Iron Cow Productions... good group of guys. We were all curious as to what surprises we'd see inside the showroom, and if there'd be any celebrities like last year. I personally, am not a big wrestling or Dragon Ball Z fan, however, I'm really looking forward to Mucha Lucha, the upcoming TV Games, and seeing what's in store for Van Helsing.
After seeing the showroom, dare I say after seeing Toy Fair, I think I may be a new sucker for Mucha Lucha. I love the Japa-Mexi-American mix of cartoony Luchador (?) wrestlers. It's kind of like a tuna-sushi-taco. There also appears to be scatalogical humor aplenty.
The Van Helsing line looks alright, honestly, I'll have to see the movie first, but the figures appear to be top notch. The thing that really caught my eye was this gross Dissect an Alien-esque Gross Dissection Lab. Check it out. That is looking pretty sweet.
A fan of the TV Games (review)? Well there is more in store for you this year. Not only can you expect to see the classic Pong style paddles, but one of the game systems will include my all-time-shut-up-you're-wrong-best-game-ever... Rampage.
I also want to mention the Universal Monsters line (coinciding with the Van Helsing theme perhaps??) I'm really digging this Bride of Frankenstein set done in a cool black and white paint scheme. However, each figure will also come in a colored paint version too. If you're into that type of thing. Weirdo.
When we walked into Jakks' showroom, we were promised a big surprise. But before it was revealed, we walked around and were allowed to photo anything we liked. Their WWE Classic Super Stars line wonderfully translated everyone's favorite classic wrestler to plastic. But where's Junk Yard Dog? They are also putting out some great toys based on the animated series Mucha Lucha, Dragon Ball Z (the actual first dragon is killer!), and Yu Yu Hakusho. To cap it all off, a Classic Monster line featuring the likeness of Boris Karloff as various monsters really looked promising. Then came the surprise. Mick Foley, aka Mankind/ aka Cactus Jack showed up to field questions and let fanboys take photos. But that wasn't the biggest kick. Then they gave everyone in the press six figures (one from each line) that were variant Toy Fair exclusives and, are you ready for this? They only made 100 of each figure! Between that and the tasty muffins, this tour really delivered.
What can I say about the most press friendly company. Not only do they know how to please press guys like us by letting us meet a legend in wrestling but they also gave us 6 exclusive "1 of 100" action figures. The hightlight was seeing the new Classic Wrestling figures. The Ultimate Warrior is the best sculpt and even comes with thread like arm bands. Nice touch. The Van Helsig collection looks decent. Hopefully the movie will be as good as the look of the figures. I got to meet Mankind, I'm the one on the right.
Time really flies when you're having fun. Can you believe these guys have been making toys for 10 years now? We were really given a great tour here. The Palisades staff is really great and fun. The big news here is they have acquired the Factory X brand and are starting to produce prop replicas of weapons from Sleepy Hollow and Jeepers Creepers. (naked boobie alert!! (kinda)) More movies to come. Also in the works are some great looking statues of the Aliens vs. Predator movie. But everyone's favorite, the Muppets, took center stage. Speaking of which, the Backstage playset made my mouth water, and I'm usually anti-plyaset. This line continues to roll on and pave the way for their new Adult Swim line for Cartoon Network. The network came to them and wanted them to make the figures based on the high quality of their Muppet line. That should make the company feel good. Big props for the Gold Tux Gonzo exclusive: the only figure I opened.
Slightly disappointed we couldn't take pictures, but man oh man keep your eyes peeled for what is coming out this year. The GI Joe busts continue to impress. Looking at that pic, that includes Snakeeyes, if you're not a fan of his puppy Timber, he is not attached to the base, so you can stick him in a drawer some place. You know, like a real puppy.
If you're all Pavlov and shit over that Optimus or Megatron bust, wait till you see the Shockwave mini-bust. And there is a picture of Arcee on that Megatron pic. Man, that Arcee is the sexiest robot since the Danger Will Robinson robot... I mean... uh... Ok, but enough about the stuff we don't have pictures of... well not quite, there was something else really SWEET, but... um, it's going to dominate your Muppet collection. I promise.
The Ren & Stimpy figures are going to be top-notch. I'm also looking forward to the Log mini-figs that come with each R&S figure (tenatively anyway).
Army of Darkness fans rejoice! (I actually just want to end it there... I have this grand vision of all you fans rejoicing in the street, awaiting further details. Hee hee hee)
The one and only Digger gave us the tour. He's so jazzed about the new Batman cartoon it made me jumpy. The Mini-mates continue to push all the right buttons with favorites Juggernaut, Doc Oc, and Ghost Rider. (Ghost Writer from PBS is not this year), and the new acquisition of DC characters couldn't be more natural. But what was truly genius was the marriage of a "brick based building system" with those figures. Now you can build a Batcave or Batwing for the Dark Knight to use. Then you can add more Legos...err...bricks and make what ever you like. It's truly wonderful. Also new to the Mini-mate phenomenon is the Lord of the Rings Series. These look great and in another smart move they come in three sizes. Hobbits: Marvel Minimate size, Humans: Original Mini-mate size, and Sauron is a little larger than that. It's little touches like that that keep the fans coming back.
I love the Mini-Mates. I'm really looking forward to the next round of Marvel Minis and the DC Mini-Mates line with building blocks, called C3. At first I was a bit disappointed that it looks like the Joker is only available with the Batcave, but who are we kidding here, I am getting a Batcave. Let's stop fooling ourselves here. The Batwing and Batmobile are also looking stellar.
I'm also a big fan of the Armies of Middle Earth LOTR figures, so expect more good things from that line by Play Along Toys.
I am really disappointed that they dropped their customized Star Trek line. The Borg figures last year were really fun. Nothing cooler than a Klingon assimilated Borg. Not a big fan of the Mini-mates phenomenon but the invisible Frodo is pretty sweet. The poster for the LOTR mini's was also sweet.
Nice relaxed tour. I love when showrooms are laid back, but professional. The first thing that I have to mention is the Ghostbusters line. The first line, as many know, consists of Gozer, Slimer, and both Terror Dogs. Also, there's a super nice looking Stay Puft Marshmellow Man Deluxe figure. Okay, so what about the second line? The company is having trouble getting all of the character likenesses. But the good news is that they are going to release the four Ghostbusters in the next line no matter what. Translation: The only Ghostbusters that'll see the light of day may be stylized. A disappointment, it's true; but at least they aren't just ending the line.
NECA seems to have a way with movie properties, because they're also making more action figures for Christmas Story, Hell Raiser, and Kill Bill. The Kill Bill pieces look great. High level of detail here, folks. And get this: all the arms, legs, and heads come off of the figures to expose bloody stumps. Nice touch. But the nicest touch of all (get your mind out of the gutter) was an early prototype of Crazy 88. He has a pump that shoots "blood" out of his newly cut off arm. A true Quentin Tarentino style action feature. The Hell Raiser line looks too scary! Frank was a bloody mess and the Chatterer had a sweet tooth chomping action. The company as a whole seems to be ready to take some chances and I think they'll pay off for them.
Mr. Stinkhead note: I regret I was unable to visit this show room, especially after seeing the pics of the Skeletor and Clawful statues. Whooooo-wee. Have you seen anything so sweet?
Stink Blasters really stink. I mean really stink. You open one of these guys and your eyes water. To add to the odiferous fun, a bicycle pump sized "stink cannon" has been developed to shoot stink at your friends. How wonderful is that? I never realized the universal appeal of stink before seeing this showroom. There were packages with German, Japanese, Spanish, and French displayed. I guess everyone likes stinky stuff. Except girls. [Ed note: these things are huge internationally. You can have fun collecting Stinkers from other countries! Plus think about it, foreign food makes me fart, so you know we're not the only country with gas...]
I am also a big champion of the Stink Blasters, I think the idea is wonderful (founder Mr. Joe Morrison also created He-Man when he was with Mattel), and they're delightfully gross. Also, my quote is in their press kit! Sweet. We had a brief discussion as to why there were no Stink Blaster girls. The discussion was brief.
Anyway, I was overjoyed there is a second series coming out, and a line of mini stink blasters (you know, like after eating Papa Johns') coming out both on blister cards and blindly packed in bags.
I'm really excited about where this line is headed. The first series is popping up now in Target and other fine retailers, and the play sets and additions are on their way.
Yes, yes, yes, there is still even more to cover. Keep checking back as we continue to um, continue our coverage.
We're also adding to our first chunk of coverage.
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