Remember the good (or bad, depending how you fared) old days when there were toys that you actually wanted to buy on Mattycollector on their monthly sales dates? Those toys would sell out in hours, sometimes minutes. And while that truly meant missed opportunities through lost sales, the quick sell-outs became the barometer for successful products.
Fast forward to today. We’re a couple of days past the Mattycollector sale for October, and looking at the sale page, there’s not a single item on the page that’s sold out. There’s not even a single item that’s marked with the “Almost Gone” tag that Mattel would add to give you a sense of urgency to grab up those soon to be sold out toys. And for a company whose marketing team is so fond of saying “We’ll keep making them as long as you keep buying them,” I’ve got to wonder how much longer Mattel will keep making them, because we certainly not buying them – at least not like we used to.
It’s a kid’s (and this particular adult’s) dream come true. In a collaboration worthy of Marvel Team-Up, Hasbro and 3DPlusMe have joined forces to make you and me into super heros – in action figure form at least. We got to try out the experience last night at Hasbro’s ‘Twas the Night Before extravaganza, and it was a blast. Sure, with 3DPlusMe’s digital artists tuning up our head sculpts, we’ve got a cliff-hanger straight from the comic books – it will be four to six weeks until we have our own Rescue 12-inch action figure, featuring Cara inside the Iron Man armor.
We all know who Hasbro is, but if you are curious about 3DPlusMe, they were spawned from the acquisition of Digital PlaySpace by 3D Systems, the same company that acquired Gentle Giant. 3D printing has permeated the manufacturing industry primarily due to its strengths in rapid prototyping, and at the time of the acquisitions, I wondered what we might see in terms of more mass market-oriented applications. We’re starting to see the pay-off – Super Awesome Me is making its debut in Toys ‘R Us Times Square today and FAO Schwarz tomorrow.
Banking on the success of Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past hit movie, Diamond Select Toys have announced a comics-based Marvel Minimates boxed set for San Diego Comic-Con, featuring Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Mystique and a Sentinel. Great choices to tie in to the movie, but I don’t recall Mystique featuring prominently at all in the comic event – but then again she wasn’t being played by J-Law back then and like Wolverine, my memories can’t be trusted. DST is also making an accompanying comic book cover recreating Uncanny X-Men #141, available separately, featuring the Marvel Minimates in place of the comic book characters.
There usually are more Marvel Minimates exclusives during SDCC, and perhaps there are still more to come through DST’s distribution partners. DST also announced a Walking Dead Minimates set, a Sin City Marv exclusive figure, and more from Star Trek, Star Wars, Godzilla, and Jay and Silent Bob. Just over a month to go. Are you getting excited yet for SDCC?
The Gentle Giant-sculpted figures are due out near the end of the year. Wave one had been previously scheduled for a November release, and wave two is to follow on its heels in December. Any guesses who the final figure in wave two will be?
It’s “When did I get so old?” time – Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction turns twenty this year. That’s twenty years since John Travolta’s career was revitalized so he could get out of movies like the Look Who’s Talking franchise and go on to star in fare like Michael (the angel movie) and Battlefield Earth. Ok, so maybe Pulp Fiction was more of a blip on his career path.
To capitalize on our nostalgia factor, two companies – Funko and Diamond Select Toys – have jumped onto the Pulp Fiction license, and are producing four separate action figure lines to capture our collector dollars.