The PoP! Stars give their take on the latest and greatest in Action Figures and Toy Lines in eight (succinct) parts.
San Diego Comic Con 2012 is just around the corner (July 12th – 15th) and as usual, the toy companies are ready to pillage our pockets with some damned fine exclusive items that will only be available at the show (and through their websites, and on eBay at ridiculous markups…)
Hasbro – Marvel Universe
MSRP – $129.99
Let’s start big with Hasbro’s Marvel Universe movie styled SHIELD Helicarrier. Fans seem torn on exactly what to make of this behemoth. It’s large, sure. It’s roughly four feet long. But that’s still nowhere near large enough to be in any kind of scale, making it a less-than-impressive display piece. And let’s be honest, there aren’t going to be a lot of parents buying a 130 dollar convention exclusive just so little Timmy can reenact Nick Fury shooting down his own fighter. This isn’t even large enough to be in scale with the Avengers Legos or Marvel Minimates, though it’s at least a bit closer.
Still, it’s the Helicarrier. Some fans simply NEED to have it. And for added value, it does come with an exclusive 3 3/4″ Maria Hill figure (and a Captain America, but that’s significantly less impressive given the dearth of Cap figs out there). Available through HasbroToyShop.com Booth #3329
Hasbro – GI Joe: 30th Anniversary/GI Joe: Retaliation
MSRP – $14.99 ea
You won’t see her called Jinx on the packaging, but make no mistake, that’s exactly who Kim Arashikage is, and Hasbro’s offering her up in two versions: retro 30th Anniversary style and movie accurate. Well, we assume it’s movie accurate. I suppose we won’t know for sure until March (grumble grumble). This is another one that has fans scratching their heads, however, since the 30th Anniversary figure makes a few missteps in re-envisioning the original. Most glaringly, the open collar of the base movie figure leaves 30th Anniversary Jinx with an exposed chest and neck. It may seem like a minor detail, but with past 30th Anniversary figures like Lifeline and Low-Light being such perfect evolutions of the characters and figures, this feels like a step in the wrong direction.
Still, if you want your red-clad female Joe ninja, this is the only way to get her. Available through HasbroToyShop.com Booth #3329
Mattel – Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters
MSRP – Unknown
Here’s a clever twist on the old standby of “quick change” figures. This Bruce Wayne comes packaged in stately Wayne Manor, which folds open to reveal him inside the library. BUT hit the proper key on the piano, open the secret panel, and the manor’s secret – and Bruce’s, as well – are revealed. Here we find the Bat-suit and a selection of Batman’s most requisite gear. Of course, as with pretty much every quick change Batman figure ever, the starting point here is “Cat Burglar Bruce Wayne,” wearing black sweat pants and a black turtle neck and EVEN black gloves. I mean, come on… the feet change out in favor of his boots, you could have done a hand swap, too.
What IS different about this figure is that the transformation to Batman is done via a slip-on rubber suit, creating a more finished look for the Caped Crusader. Still, it’s never going to be your default display Batman, and in fact – if you’re smart – this is one exclusive you’ll leave MIP; let’s face it, the premise and packaging are a lot more impressive than the figure itself.
Bif Bang Pow! – Venture Bros.
MSRP – $14.99
Fans clamored for Venture Bros. figures and Bif Bang Pow! delivered – albeit they were 8″ Mego-style figures. Fans bitched, and BBP! did their best to course correct, planning a line of 3.75″ figures. Unfortunately, these weren’t met with the kind of interest that warranted going to production, and the line has been put indefinitely on hiatus. The silver lining, however, is that Brock IS getting made. Twice even! The regular release in black t-shirt and jeans is available online and will ship later this summer. But first comes the SDCC exclusive!
Brought to us by Entertainment Earth and sporting a blood-soaked white t-shirt and bloodied fists, the SDCC exclusive Brock is an inspired variant and a damned unnerving figure. Either Brock will look fine on their own, but flanked by the rest of the show’s cast they’d truly shine. This line’s survival depends on the fans!
Hasbro – Marvel Universe
MSRP – $29.99
“Too few villains” is a common complaint of the action figure collector. Toy companies tend to focus on the heroes; one villain per wave is fairly standard. As a result, character rich universes like Marvel’s 616 – when translated to plastic form – often neglect many fantastic characters just because of a predisposition towards less-than-honorable life choices. Enter the Masters of Evil, one of Marvel’s preeminent villainous groups, brought into three dimensions as part of Hasbro’s Marvel Universe line. First timer Tiger Shark gets teamed up with Radioactive Man (The goggles! They do nothing!) and team leader Baron Zemo!
With other members of the roster likely to hit single packs, this is a great start to building the team that isn’t afraid to take on the Avengers? Available through HasbroToyShop.com Booth #3329
Hasbro – Transformers: Prime
MSRP – $24.99
This year, SDCC is really rocking a zombie vibe, so why not offer up Cliffjumper as he appeared in the Darkness Rising story arc of Prime, re-animated by Dark Energon. The figure comes with both a shard of Dark Energon and a Dark Energon effect to be attached to his chest. He is styled in a “battle-damaged” motif and he comes packaged in his own scarred head. What’s not to love?
Hasbro also offers up a Bruticus boxed set, but as it is merely a straight repaint of the single figures soon to be hitting shelves, it’s barely even worth the mention. Available through HasbroToyShop.com Booth #3329
Hasbro – Marvel Legends
MSRP – $49.99
This… is kind of a big deal. Hasbro is giving us three Legends figures in a single box for 50 dollars. Considering a single figure costs between 15 and 20 at retail, that’s barely even a convention markup. Sure, we already have an X-Force Wolverine. Okay, maybe the Psylocke isn’t THAT impressive. However, this is the first time Archangel has made it to the Legends line, and that counts for something. Especially considering – with his wingspan – many fans would assume he’d be a Build-a-Figure, meaning you’d have to buy 6 regular priced figures to assemble him. So instead of spending 90-120 dollars for Archangel, you’re instead getting him for $50 along with two of his teammates. And the best part is, Fantomex has already been released and Deadpool is due out this fall. The whole team assembled in less than a year. not too shabby.
Speaking of not too shabby, Clayton Crain’s original artwork for the packaging on these figures is downright gorgeous. Available through HasbroToyShop.com Booth #3329
Diamond Select Toys – Multiple lines
MSRP – various
My love of Minimates knows no bounds and that should be obvious if you’ve been to our site more than even once. Still, what DST is offering this summer at San Diego Comic Con is a veritable cornucopia of awesome sauce. Two-packs available will include an Amazing Spider-Man/Lizard sewer battle two-pack, a Walking Dead Rick Grimes/casual zombie two-pack, and a Battle Beasts two-pack, with the latter two kicking off their respective lines from DST. That’s great and all, but it’s the four packs that will really wow you.
At left, Marvel’s entries – the AvX boxset featuring the first Hope Summers Minimate, the first EVER Collossonaut figure, and updated Cyclops and Emma Frost figures. Hope comes with a jet pack with flame trail base and Cyclops comes with a newly sculpted visor w/attached optic blast. Good times. Then there’s the AFX exclusive Alpha Flight set with Guardian, Northstar, Marrina, and Puck. That Puck figure has a new hand design with a hole allowing it to be pegged to a base for cartwheels, handstands, and the like. BRILLIANT! But that’s not even the best of the best…
At right? The first three figures revealed in what is believed to be a Thundercats 4-pack, which further is believed to herald a whole new line of Thundercat Minimates. Again, not much is known yet, but these first three figures look amazing, giving us Mumm-Ra in his natural mummified form, Panthro looking ALL kinds of kick ass, and Jaga in spirit form, after his heart-breaking death. Available through Action Figure Xpress booth #3345
Prices on the 4-packs are expected to range between 15-25 dollars, with two packs around the 10 dollar range. Available from Diamond Comic Distributors Booth #2401 and Diamond Select Toys #2607
We missed a lot, but only because there’s a lot being offered. Hasbro has a fantastic Transformers/GI Joe corssover Shockwave Hiss Tank w/ Destro and BAT. They’ve also got a Hollywood Jem (yes, of Jem and the Holograms) doll being made available. And that’s to say nothing of numerous other companies making a showing. Bottom line… you’re wallet is going to hate you by mid July.