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.
» There’s more… click to continue reading Soapbox Sunday: Latest Mattycollector Sale Shows Shortcomings; How to Turn it Around
If you take Iron Man and his endless armor variants out of the running, then Wolverine would be the Marvel hero with the most Hot Toys figures. They’ve made variants of Logan for a few of the X-Men movies and his two solo endeavors, and now this subtly-aged version from this summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Given his popularity from the comics and movies, another Hot Toys Wolverine shouldn’t come as a surprise – and yet I wasn’t fully expecting one.
One recurring theme from both San Diego and New York Comic Cons has been about rumors of Marvel Studios leveraging Marvel’s licensing agreements to withhold support for the movie licenses they let get away to Sony and Fox. Some have pointed out that Marvel is doing it in-house by cancelling the Fantastic Four comic books, and there have been no mass market toys to accompany DOFP – that would feel like a missed opportunity for Hasbro.
Perhaps Hot Toys, as a foreign licensee, is immune. Maybe it’s that high end collectibles are still fair game. Or maybe the Marvel Studios conspiracy theory is just theory. Whatever the case may be, you can pre-order the Hot Toys Wolverine from Days of Future Past from Sideshow. Do it now to save yourself from the impending Sentinel attack!
» There’s more… click to continue reading Hot Toys Announces Wolverine from X-Men: Days of Future Past
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.
» There’s more… click to continue reading NYCC 2014: Hasbro and 3DPlusMe Make You the Super Hero
The mood lighting at Hasbro’s ‘Twas the Night Before (New York Comic Con) party was great for getting us in a festive mood, but is hell on the smart phone I have convinced myself is better than lugging around a few pounds of camera gear. (How’d I do? Check out my own pics from the event.) But Hasbro planned ahead, sharing press pics of pretty much all the reveals from this evening’s soiree.
And of course, we’re sharing them with you. We’ve got the official pics from Marvel, Star Wars, Transformers, KRE-O, and the latest of the Angry Birds mash-ups – Angry Birds Transformers. Enjoy!
» There’s more… click to continue reading NYCC 2014: Hasbro Shares Press Pics from ‘Twas the Night Before Party
It’s the eve of New York Comic Con, which means it’s time for another ‘Twas the Night Before… bash hosted by Hasbro. For the past few years, they’ve opted to hold an intimate (well, compared to the Con itself) cocktail party the night before NYCC in lieu of exhibiting at the show themselves.
It’s always a fun time, and we’ve got the latest reveals from Marvel, Star Wars, Transformers, and more, in our Hasbro ‘Twas the Night Before album.
I was just checking to see if the Marvel Legends Black Cat was still in stock at ToysRUs.com (yes, she is), when I noticed another gem which is once again available – the Marvel Legends Hydra Agent from the Captain America Infinite Series. Now, I’m seriously out of display space, but I can’t help but pick up these guys whenever I find a deal – and you’ll have a hard time beating the regular price of $21.99. Sure, that “regular” price is a far cry from the good old days of army building Marvel Legends at Wal-Mart for $6.99 a pop, but you can insert yourself in the Cap movies and pretend it’s a Hydra plot to take over the world.
TRU has a limit of two on these bad boys, and while I can’t get them to qualify for ShopRunner free shipping, if you get two and add one more item, you can qualify for the standard TRU free shipping deal. Here’s a suggestion: the Funko Dancing Groot – it comes out at the end of the year, but TRU will still count it towards the $49 threshold. HAIL HYDRA!
On the eve of New York Comic Con, I’m doing a bit of catch-up on a piece that our good friend Jedd sent in several weeks back, during the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention. It’s a great interview with designer toy icon Frank Kozik. Be sure to check out Jedd’s own site, The Movie and Me, for his full coverage of STGCC and much more.
Frank Kozik with Marvel Labbit Rocket Raccoon – Image Credit: Vinyl Pulse
Artist and designer Frank Kozik is known in collectible art circles as the creator of the Labbit, but it also famous as a poster designer who created artwork for bands such as The White Stripes, Pearl Jam, The Beastie Boys and Nirvana. The commercial artwork he has done includes work for Nike, Swatch and MTV. Kozik was in Singapore as a guest of the Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Convention (STGCC) and I got to sit down with him to discuss his work. He was somewhat intimidating and frank and off-the-cuff, giving a detailed description of how Labbit came to be (it involves booty calls) and offering a surprising, piece of advice to aspiring artists.
Jedd Jong: What was the genesis of Labbit; how did you conceptualise that?
Frank Kozik: That’s an interesting story. In the mid-90s, I was going to Japan quite a bit, I was working with the people there. When I went over there for the first time, I was really in Sanrio products, was really into like Hello Kitty and Keroppi and stuff, I thought it was very interesting, the stuff they were doing. I liked how they did the characters, it was like super-perfect. What’s interesting is in Japan then, it was just something for low-class people. These were are sort of like snotty Shinjuku fashion dudes, right? And they’re like “what do you want to do, do you want to do cocaine on top of a mountain?” and I’m like “no, I want to go to Kitty Land!” And they all just thought I was crazy, they were like “what?!” They couldn’t understand, it was such a low thing for them. And I tried to explain it, I said “look, there’s something really interesting here. It’s like super-perfect way to develop a character,” like you got to get beyond who buys it. In the US, it became a really big cult thing.
» There’s more… click to continue reading STGCC 2014: Frank Kozik Interview by Jedd Jong
Our good pal, Paul, wrote in with the heads up that Black Cat from the Marvel Legends Infinite Series for the Amazing Spider-Man is in stock at Toys R Us and available for home shipping. Grab her while you can, since she is normally out of stock at TRU and being marked up heavily on Amazon by third party sellers.
Paul also gave us a tip that your local TRU can take your order and have it shipped to you for free (if they are savvy enough). To add to that, if you have ShopRunner (I got it for free because I have an American Express card), Black Cat qualifies for free 2-day shipping for me on the website. Big thanks to Paul, and happy shopping!
One of the highlights from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con was the revelation that Sideshow Collectibles had acquired the license for comics-based Marvel figures in 1/6 scale. This is the first time in a long time that one toy company has been able to produce figures from the big two from the comics – sure, Hot Toys, of whom I’m a big fan, has had Marvel and DC for a long time, but that’s the movie stuff. I’m psyched for some compatible, universe-crossing comic book action.
And they’re starting with one of my favorites from the Marvel U – Deadpool. The Merc with a Mouth comes with all the accouterments that you’re accustomed to if you’re a fan of Sideshow’s DC, G.I. JOE, or Star Wars figures – the great sculpt, nicely detailed fabric apps, and weapons and accessories up the ying yang. But they’ve given Wade Wilson a little extra, given his penchant for cracking wise – Deadpool speech bubbles that you can add to your display via the included stand. The Sideshow exclusive version of Deadpool will also include Headpool, who will use his copter helmet to fly by Deadpool’s side (presumably using the same wires that support the speech bubbles).
Now it’s fighty time!
» There’s more… click to continue reading Weekend Toy Run: Sideshow Collectibles 1/6 Scale Deadpool
While we just happen to be on the subject of dancing trees, it’s come to our attention that the Marvel Legends Rocket Raccoon and Nova figures are back in stock at Amazon for their regular price of $21.99 each. If you recall, it was Nova that proved to be the top seller of the Guardians of the Galaxy series, despite not even being a part of the movie. And since all the members of this Marvel Legends wave are needed to complete the Build-A-Figure Groot… well, let’s just say that we weren’t sure he was gonna grow back this time.
This leaves me in a bit of a quandary. As you know, I’m a huge fan of both Marvel Legends and GotG. When the ML Nova and Rocket were Knowhere to be found, I hopped on the Hot Toys bandwagon. Now that the Legends are back and their pals are on sale… what to do? (Answer: buy them, of course!)
For those of you counting, buying these figures individually now comes out much cheaper than buying the set of six for the regular price of $159.99. Come and get your love!
» There’s more… click to continue reading I AM GROOT! (Translation: Marvel Legends Rocket Raccoon and Nova Back in Stock at Amazon)