China Toy Fair


Universal Monsters to Include Van Helsing in New Line of Action Figures

by Alexis Willey

UniversalMonsters.VanHelsingDiamond Select Toys has released its newest assortment of Universal Monsters action figures. This year’s selection includes Frankenstein’s Monster, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the monster-hunter Van Helsing.

New to the line of monsters and ghouls, the Van Helsing figure stands at around 7 inches tall and comes armed with an axe, a sword, a crossbow, and a rifle, all of which can be carried on his back.

All three were sculpted by Jean St. Jean and are sold exclusively at Toys “R” Us locations, with deluxe Select versions available at comic shops and specialty stores nationwide. The deluxe versions include a larger diorama base and are in display-ready packaging.

New Sons of Anarchy Merchandise Includes Toys from Gale Force Nine, Mezco

SonsofAnarchyWhen Sons of Anarchy returns to TV screens today, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will have a multi-category global licensing program in place featuring new branded merchandise, including toys from Gale Force Nine and Mezco Toyz.

Gale Force Nine has already introduced Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem, a board game in which players control rival gangs and compete to be the most successful outlaw club. Mezco Toys will introduce branded action figures, plush, and bobble-heads.

IAmElemental Accepting Pre-Orders for the Holiday Season

IAEIAmElemental, a company that creates action figures targeted to girls, has announced production of their first set of collectables: Series #1/Courage. The series includes seven four-inch articulated figures that personify the Elements of Courage: Bravery, Energy, Honesty, Industry, Enthusiasm, Persistence, and Fear. The company is now accepting pre-orders that will be scheduled for delivery in December.

The team at IAmElemental created their line of action figures when they saw that the typical female action figure on the market is not designed for girls, or even boys. They seemed to be more for the adult male collector, who are not heroines that girls can look up to. The figures launched on Kickstarter in May and were fully funded in two days.

Toys “R” Us to Carry Exclusive Sin City Movie Action Figures

sin city 2. jpgSin City: A Dame to Kill For is headed to theaters, and the first assortment of Sin City Select action figures, from Diamond Select Toys and based on the original 2005 feature film, Sin City, is in stores now.

Captured in the film’s trademark black-and-white, main characters Marv, Hartigan, and Nancy each feature multiple points of articulation, multiple accessories, and a detailed diorama base. In addition, Marv and Hartigan are now a pair of full-color action figures in Toys “R” Us stores. Packaged in more streamlined packaging, with smaller street bases, Marv and Hartigan each include unique accessories and the same high level of articulation.

 

Playmates Toys to Introduce New Toy Line Based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Summer Blockbuster

NickTMNTPlaymates Toys will introduce a new product line inspired by the upcoming summer blockbuster film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. The movie line of toys will include action figures, vehicles, and role-play gear.

The action figure collection will include basic action figures, 11-inch figures, and deluxe feature figures. They are detailed, fully articulated, and sculpted to reflect how the Turtles appear in the movie. Each figure will come with its own unique accessory. The vehicle, called the Turtle Assault Van, allows kids to drive the Turtles into their next battle and recreate scenes from the movie. It features a spring-powered Turtle torpedo, launching luge assault vehicle, pop top hatch, and side attack ramp. The control cabin is able to hold the basic action figures. With the new role-play gear, kids can transform themselves into one of their favorite heroes from the film. Each Ninja Combat Gear set includes the Turtles’ signature weapon and bandana.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will hit theatres August 8. Playmates Toys was also the force behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy line over the past three decades.

COMMENTARY: Video Game-Based Toys Can Ease Kids into Other Kinds of Play

KNEX.SuperMarioDesertIt’s summertime, which for a lot of kids means playing outside in the sunshine, swimming, and maybe even going on trips to visit nature. But for others, summer means staying indoors and playing video games all day. It’s probably best to moderate any activity that involves staring at a screen; however, the question is, how to get video game-obsessed kids to take up a different form of play? The answer may be toys based on popular video game titles, and there are quite a few of those available right now.

We kick off our non-comprehensive list with K’NEX, which since 2010, has partnered with Nintendo on construction toys based on its popular Mario property. Recently, I spoke to an executive at the company, who said that no small part of the partnership’s success came from replicating game elements in K’NEX’s construction sets: For example, many of its Super Mario building sets have a mechanism that simulates the avatar’s in-game jumping ability. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Teen Titans Go! Has Licensed Toys Ready to Go

Phil.TeenTitans1.RobinFunkoIt’s been a good year for superhero comics on TV, what with the success of DC Comics’ Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention the planned fall arrivals of The Flash and Gotham. But let’s not forget the animated side of small screen super-heroics, as the second season of Teen Titans Go! premieres next month. The series resurrects Teen Titans, which aired during the mid-to-late 2000s, as something wackier and anarchic. Both shows are based on the long-running comic book of the same name, which is centered on some of the best-known teenage characters in DC’s pantheon.

Along with everyone’s favorite young sidekick, Robin, the cast includes Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. While adept at defeating evil-doers, Teen Titans Go! more often depicts them hanging out unsupervised at their team headquarters, at which point trouble worse than any super-villain tends to break out. The series is a fun romp, not to mention a good antidote to the spate of more serious, live-action superhero adaptations of late. Teen Titans Go! is currently licensed by a number of toy companies, with items for collectors, young kids, and everyone in between. But in all cases, the property’s lighthearted attitude shines through. [Read more...]

Marvel Select Unmasked Captain America Launches Exclusively at MarvelStore.com

CapUnmaskedDiamond Select Toys has teamed up with marvelstore.com to create an exclusive battle-damaged Captain America figure, which will be available May 19. Marvelstore.com will be the only place to order the Marvel Select Unmasked Captain America figure, featuring an exclusive head sculpt of Steve Rogers, as well as a battle-damaged version of his stealth uniform.

An exclusive, battle-damaged version of Cap’s shield will be included in the packaging, as well as an interchangeable masked head and a diorama display base inspired by the recent movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. After May 27, the Marvel Select Unmasked Captain America will be available at disneystore.com, and will gradually make its way to Disney Store shelves in the U.S. and Canada.

COMMENTARY: These New Japanese Toys and Games Aren’t Just for Kids, Part 2

So Japan has toys that are compelling enough for grown-ups to enjoy? Figures. No, I mean action figures. As I mentioned in part one of this commentary last week, Japan has some of the coolest action figures on the planet, and much of why has to do with that country’s toy-buying market, which skews older than, say, in the U.S.

However, a lot of that sophistication is now making its way over to this country, in the form of toys that are either imported from Japan, or have their roots there. Some are kids’ items that have double appeal among older audiences, while others are purposefully aimed at grown-ups. That’s a bit of a blanket statement, of course, as any toy can appeal to lots of different demographics for varying reasons. However, we have a feeling adults will want to get their hands on these particular figures once they’ve cleared customs–probably even more so than kids will.

Phil.April23.HikariTMNTThis spring, Funko will introduce its new line of Hikari Japanese Vinyl figures, which are inspired by the vinyl “kaiju” figures that have developed a considerable following among collectors in Japan. [Read more...]

Skylanders Trap Team Brings Digital Characters into the Physical World

SkylandersTrapTeamActivision’s newest installment to the $2 billion Skylanders franchise, Skylanders Trap Team, redefines the toys-to-life phenomenon with a new ground-breaking innovation. Unveiled today, the new game will reverse the magic of bringing toys to life by allowing kids to pull villains—including Kaos—out of the digital world and into the physical world.

In Skylanders Trap Team, Kaos continues his ongoing quest to rule over Skylands. He has discovered the location of the legendary Cloudcracker Prison—a fortress built entirely out of the magical substance, Traptanium, and home to Skylands’ most nefarious villains. In an attempt to build his own army of foes, Kaos blows up the prison, releasing the baddies and blasting shards of Traptanium to Earth in the form of Traps. Now it’s up to Portal Masters to recapture all of the escaped villains using powerful Traptanium Traps and defeat Kaos. The new adventure delivers a diverse and dynamic story-driven gameplay experience, filled with adventure, combat, puzzles, mini-games, activities, platforming, and drop-in/drop-out co-op play—all set within new compelling, breath-taking environments.

With Skylanders Trap Team, Portal Masters seek out and defeat the most-wanted villains in all of Skylands, pulling them out of the game and into living rooms by capturing them in the magical crystal traps. Players can then send the trapped villains back into the game where they will fight for good. The latest installment will include the Traptanium Portal, a new ring of magical energy that enables kids to not only bring their Skylanders to life, but also magically capture villains using the new traps. Once they’ve defeated the villain in the game, kids will be able to place a Trap into the new portal to capture it. They will also be able to hear the villain inside the Trap, furthering the magic of Skylanders in 2014. [Read more...]