Mr. Stinkhead The Minimates are some of my favorite things to collect, I think they really nailed the whole mini-figure formula for collectibility vs playability vs detail vs over all design. The Speed Racer Minimates (and full sized action figures) are looking sharp, I'm anxious to see the cartoons that go along with it. I'm not big into Battlestar Galactica, but the
figures looked real sharp. I am completely psyched about the return of Mad Balls! They're based on the original designs, but given a bit of a revitalization for their rebirth. Sweet.
Lando da Pimp I am not usually one to rave over Minimates. I own a number of LOTR mates, and a few Marvel but none of them are as cool as the new Battlestar Galactica mates. Matt "Iron-Cow" Cauley helped design a few of these and I am really impressed with them. Both incarnations of the series are covered with the Cylons being the stand out 'mates.
Corgi has been impressing us this year (and years'
prior) with their highly detailed, yet fantastically
die cast Batmobiles.
True to the comics likeness, they come in a variety
of scaled sizes to fit different collections. This
year they surprised us with these Marvel Statues.
Heavy enough to kill a man, these completely die-cast
statues are terrifically sculpted, yet still 100%
die cast. Sweet.
The dancing iCar was also pretty sweet. If you have an iPod (or similar MP3 player) simply plug it in, and the car will dance son. The car will dance.
You have to pop into our Corgi Image Gallery to see all the A-Team, Wallace & Grommit, Dr. Who, and accurate WWII vehicles they have coming out this year. Sweetness Overload!
Mr. Stinkhead The DC Direct showroom is always a visual feast. I'm always overwhelmed and excited having finished the tour. I really liked the clean, classy feel of the Superman Returns high-end busts and statues. A new offering of stylized black & white Batman statues includes the Mike Mignola version, which is amazing. Speaking of busts, the Women of DC Catwoman, Supergirl, and Harley Quinn mini-statues are delightful. I typically don't get excited by little statues like this, but I may be brown bagging it for awhile to get a couple of these in September.
I also don't typically get excited over blind-packed figures, I get annoyed
with doubles, easily... however the Who's
Who Mystery box set snagged my attention.
I'd love to get them all, and build the Batmobiles
I also got into their Lonely Tunes dioramas. The
sculptors really paid attention to which directing
artist each scene is based on. Chuck Jones is a personal
hero, and they did him right.
Ningyoushi was showing at Toy Fair for the first time this year, and they have some impressive toys lined up. Their first production is Sam Flores' Fatima. This is a really beautiful piece and if the final product looks as nice as the prototype this will establish Ningyoushi as not only a solid retailer, but a quality toy producer as well. There will be four colorways and she will drop in April. Also shown was the Get Small series. This is a mini figure line that features artists from L.A. and series 2 will feature new artists from San Francisco and then a new series for NYC and so on. This first series has totally new designs from Jeremy Fish, Sam Flores, David Choe and Coro. Each toy comes with a collectible artist bio card. These will be a great way for collectors to pick up some nice toys by some great artists at affordable prices (around $8). Ningyoushi looks to have a promising year!
Neth Creatures Neth had a nice booth with his Creatures. He wasn't showing anything new, but promises something is coming soon. He did have a few great little paintings he did for the show and a nice display showing off his pieces. I'm a big fan of the Neth Creatures and I'm anxious to see what's next from Neth.
Ugly Dolls Big news in the Ugly world! First, Ugly Dolls were awarded Specialty Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association. Congratulations! Next, we were introduced to two new Ugly Dolls: Moxy with rabbit like ears and Chuckanucka. Finally, a brown Ugly Doll!! These are great designs and a bit of a shift from the last batch. Also in the works are an Ugly card game, and a few books. David and Sun Min were able to take a minute and chat, so be sure to read our interview with the two creators with more details on the mentioned toys and other interesting stuff!
Just like last year, STRANGEco had the most talked about booth in Indie Row. And it's not much wonder since they had some big names and some long anticipated pieces. MARS-1's Invisible Plan got a color treatment and an addition of six new designs. These looked extremely nice!! These will come in sets of 12 in a flip-open display box. Also on display was Jeremy Fish's follow up to his Silly Pink Bunny Van: the Turtlecamper! What could be better to sit behind the van on your self? This will have two variant colorways, and sported six ball joints. That's some serious articulation! The Camper is set to hit in May with a production run or 1500 counting the variants.
The oddest toy of the entire Fair could easily go to Ron English's Cathy Cowgirl. This representation of one of English's more famous billboards will come in two colorways (brown and black/white spotted). This gal would make quite a conversational piece! The newest members of the Mini Treehouse family were on hand as well. These five pieces appeared to be ten at first glance. But we learned that each toy has the ability to be transformed into two different styles by putting on a new head/eyes/mouth/arms/or accessory. These will run between $40-$55 dollars and Naal will have three colorways.
no denying how hot Circus Punks
are and for those of us with too little space
to display the huge pieces there are 6 inch
mini-Punks. Series two was on display and with
names like Jermaine Rogers, Jeremyville, Tara
McPherson, Joe Ledbetter, and Craola behind
the line these are sure to be a sell out hit!
Dean Bradley's first toy design was on hand as well. Mainframe is a cool figure bringing a CPU to life. The figure's head is a screen, its body the tower, one hand is the keyboard and the other the mouse, and the feet are plugs. The arms are wires that are flexible and posable. This little guy has some potential. Also showing with STRANGEco was Rocketworld and FriendsWithYou. Rocketworld was proudly displaying their prototype rocket ship to be used with the super popular IWG minis. This was a great looking display piece with working lights. The toy will come with an exclusive mini as well. We also got to see the white and black colorways of Titus. Both looked great.
FriendsWithYou's Sam greeted us with a hug and showed us the three new Malfi's, Boy, and the Burger Bunch. The Malfis and Boy are made from a super soft pleather-like material that's much softer than the original Malfis. Better to hug!
Wootini's co-produced Squire from the mind of Jermaine Rogers was on display and looked very creepy. The packaging was extremely impressive as was the fact that each toy will come with a print signed and numbered by the artist. There are different color runs of the print (some more rare than others) and you never know which you'll get. The rare prints aren't necessarily with the rarer colorways of the toy. STRANGEco's booth was very impressive and quite eclectic in its showings. This looks to be a great year for the company.
Wheaty Wheat also had an impressive booth. We were stoked to see the MAD*L artist series and we weren't disappointed. Designs by TADO, SKET, Kozik, Christopher Lee, MAD, and Mimic looked great, and TADO's actually glows in the dark!! These should run about $40 per toy with 400 of each design made. But Brandt Peters' Ink Slinger No.5 surprised us and made the biggest splash for the company. This tattoo-artist octopus looked really great in a gray scale colorway. He comes with tats covering his body, two tattoo guns, and is perched on a stool. Richard said that the variant MAY come with stickers so you can tattoo your own Ink Slinger! Now that sounds bad! This guy will run about $100 with 780 being produced.
Peters also had a great looking toy with The Boiler. This is a pot belly stove come to life complete with opening door exposing the flames in his belly. This will have a run of 780 and the variant will be limited to 180. Christopher Lee had some toys displayed as well. There were the smaller Urbanites and the 8 inch Mellow. Mellow looked nice; complete with jell-o mold. His run will be a bit smaller at 660, with a limited undisclosed colorway having a run of 180. Cait the Alchemist was shown, designed by Tragnark. This toy has a great look with hair (?) shooting off the sides of her head and a great robe. Each toy comes with a Bungie the bird figure and an animated short DVD. The run on Cait is a little larger at 800 and the variant running at 200.
SKET's follow up to his Eggplant was shown. Buckeye Rot is one angry looking tomato. Debbie told us that Buckeye Rot is actually a disease that tomatoes get. Who knew? He comes with two knives that slide into his hands or head. Pretty gnarly. At this rate it won't be long before there is a whole garden of vinyl out back of the Wheaty Wheat studio! Buckeye is limited to 660. Rounding out the booth brings us back to a piece by MAD. The first in his Clownies series, Stitches was shown for the first time. The body under the suit is comprised of ball joints to allow for some great poses as well as being sturdier than a wire frame that could break over time. This series will be hot combining the design skills of MAD and the obsession people have over scary clowns. Be sure to check out this guy before all 800 are sold out.
Overall, Wheaty Wheat had a great looking booth and while each toy was designed by a different artist, they all seemed to fit together nicely to give off an overall Wheaty Wheat feel.
Needies The goofy bastards from Needies were on hand showing off their dolls. The Needies are a trio of odd shaped plush that talk and sing when you hug and kneed them. They can get happy or sad, and will sing in harmony when they're near each other (if they're in a good mood). You have to swing by the Needies web site and check out their pictures, especially Mossy. Pretty funny.
Lando da Pimp Two words, Star Trek! I am the biggest Trek fan. When we visited the Art Asylum studios I got a sneak peek that they were going to be sculpting the Next Generation figures. Now Diamond is distributing them and all I can say is wow. The figure to watch for is the Locutus of Borg / Picard figure. This is a fantastic sculpt. Also be on the lookout for the Will and Tom Riker (with trombone), Deanna Troi, and Worf figures.
The Buffy figures look great. I am not entirely sold on the Buffy sculpt but the Hawaiian shirt Spike and Zander figures are a lot of fun.
Mr. Stinkhead The new Minimates are looking sweet. I also love the resin display base they are offering this year. The steps are sculpted to support Minimate proportions, and it's just generic enough to fit a multitude of themes. There are also several Kubrick or similar minifigures that would look sharp on this display. It was also great to see the Mega sized Minimates Max in person, especially after I wrote about them in issue #101 of Toy Fare Magazine.
I was completely blown away by the Optimus Prime bust, and full sized Matrix of Leadership (which will actually light up and open!) Absolutely beautiful.
Diamond is also releasing a healthy helping of Alien toys, including the previously sold out Kubricks. Be on the look out for the ultra rare chase variant
of chest-bursting Kane. Nice!
Lando da Pimp
I am not a big fan of the Bust Ups so my focus is more on the Potter sculpts which look fantastic. My favorite was the Hermione (Emma Watson sculpt) from Prisoner of Azkaban film. This is a great likeness. The Death Eater and Luscious Malfoy Death Eater sculpts are also really great.
On the Star Wars, side the biggest is the Rancor with Rancor Keeper statue. This thing is huge! and the picture does not give you a good representation of its actual size. The anime looking Leia and Boba Fett are also really great, and I am seriously considering buying them.
Lando da Pimp
All I can say is that I am not liking the direction that Hasbro is taking Star Wars. Granted the movies are over and, the re-sculpting of already released figures was not a surprise, I find nothing new or original about them. I don't need another Boba Fett or Darth Vader. Its all been done with the exception of them riding motorcycles which I just can't understand.
My biggest surprise was the George Lucas exclusive Stormtrooper figure. Upcoming Saga collection figures will soon provide the opportunity to mail away for this figure with the purchase of a number of Saga Collection.
With the exception of the Lucas figure, there was nothing that Hasbro showed that I was excited for. With Star Wars Transformers and the continuing destruction of everything G.I.JOE, one can only hope that next year some life can be put into these lines.
I did get to meet the artist Suckadelic. He was working the Hasbro showroom. If you haven't seen his Gay Empire figures than you should really check them out. Visit Suckadelic.com
Lando da Pimp
With mother nature burying us under snow, I missed out on the Jakks press event with Bobby Heenan. I did get into the showroom to get a few shots. The big line is of course the WWE Superstar figures. Billy Graham figures are the highlight this year with three variants. However nothing was more of a surprise than to see a Mr. T figure, as Clubber Lang, from the Rocky line. The new Rocky film along with the previous Rocky films characters are all sculpted with great likenesses. My favorite, besides the Mr. T figure, was the Rocky in jogging gear with slabs of meat. My only disappointment was I did not see a Ivan Drago figure.
Though many of the companies were in Javits, these are the ones you may not know to look for by name
Jumpin' Banana impressed me last year with their Shocking games, so I was curious to see what the offering included this year. They have a new Shocking Memory game, much like Simon, press a button out of sequence and you get shocked. They also have a shocking Arm Wrestling set up. Put the device around your hand, and when you lose a match, the back of your hand hitting the table will trigger an electric shock.
carnival style shooting
gallery (no electric shock involved)
seemed like a cool party game or desktop diversion,
but I absolutely fell in love with two of their
new inflatable party games. One is a boxing
ring, you get the four posts (complete
with "ropes") and two pairs of oversized mitts
all in one box. Inflate it, grab a buddy, and
you're ready to box. They also had an American
Gladiators style joust,
where you stand on an (inflated) uneven surface,
and try to knock your opponent off balance with
an inflatable staff. Sweet. Hopefully
we'll get a shot at promoting these at our annual
is always one of my favorite stops at Toy Fair.
Here the imagination runs wild as they constantly
come up with cool, squishy, and gross items
that feel great in your hands or look good on
your head. Stretchghetti was such a hit last
year they have expanded into Stretch
Bento. I also got hooked on the Spaghetti
Ball which had a weight and consistency
you don't expect when you pick it up.
They've ventured into the world of mixing stretchy goodness with plushy softness. They had plush penguins that sported their signature Anemone sprout on top of their head. I also loved these soft monkeys that had stretchy rubbery arms. Sweet!
focus this year was more on the cool and fun,
and less on the gross and disgusting, but that's
alright, they're still great to play with. You
can find these toys at most Mom & Pop in
dependant retailers, and even places like Bed,
Bath & Beyond.
big media event everyone was talking about was
the live chest waxing in celebration of the
40 Year Old Virgin. Kamhi World, (of
talking Napoleon Dynamite action figure fame)
has produced a 40 Year Old Virgin figure that
says a slew of lines from the movie.
If one were to attend their booth on the second day of Toy Fair, they could
witness the live waxing that was scheduled.
They had an actor appear, take off his shirt,
and receive a man-o-lantern style waxing
on his chest. He screamed out in pain with every
Ok, he could have said "Stop smiling I hate you, you jerk!" at least once, instead of Kelly Clarkson! each time, but maybe he was in so much pain, that's all he could muster?
It was fun watching the event, we got some video
for you, and if you dig the movie, definitely
check out the talking Andy figure. You can even
leave it mint in package and still change the
Uncle Milton isn't typically on our must-see list, but I was intrigued by the P-Brains (squishy brain switching action figures) I had seen in stores. So I strolled by their booth to check out what they had in store. They had the Series 1 of the P Brains, and they had the Executive, gold-plated Ant Farm, as well as the Gel Ant Farm.
Colony Ant Farm you say? This is pretty cool,
the gel contains enough nutrients that the ants
you add will never need food or water, the tunnels
are less likely to cave in, so they're a little
more susceptible to dorm life.