China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Comics’ Timeless Heroes (and Villains) Are Still Loved by Today’s Kids

Superman-First-Comic-Action-Comics-No-1-222x300Kids these days may not know that Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman (among many, many others) hailed from glorious comic books first published in the 1930s, costing someone 10 cents an issue on the stands. They also may not realize how well some have held their value, being that the very first Superman comic, Action Comics No. 1, supposedly goes for $3.2 million dollars—but let’s not get too sidetracked.

The real point here is that today, September 25, is National Comic Book Day, and it’s hard to imagine the toy aisles without the superheroes and villains who once upon a time, were neither action figures nor stars on the silver screen played by big-league actors and actresses; but instead, started out as hand-illustrated drawings on a comic strip. [Read more...]

Skylanders Makes the Jump to Comics This July

SkylandersLogoIn conjunction with Activision, IDW Publishing will release the first-ever Skylanders comic-book series, by writer Ron Marz with Mike Bowden and David Baldeon as lead artists. Skylanders is the best-selling kids’ video game franchise since its launch in 2011. The first issue of the comic book series, a prequel to the Skylanders Trap Team storyline, provides fans an inside look at where some of their favorite Skylanders came from, as well as a first look at some all-new characters from the upcoming game.

Skylanders will make the leap to comics this July, debuting at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2014. Skylanders #0 features an introductory 16-page story, character guides, and additional back-up information. It will be launched in both print and digital during SDCC weekend.

“We are thrilled to be combining Skylanders, the pioneer of the toys to life video game genre, with IDW, one of the industry’s leading comic-book publishers in the U.S.,” said Ashley Maidy, vice president of global licensing and partnerships at Activision. “The comic-book series will offer fans a glimpse into the backstories of their favorite Skylanders characters, expanding on the universe that they’ve embraced so enthusiastically in the franchise’s short history. To explore the world of Skylands beyond the game is an opportunity we know our fans have long been awaiting, and we couldn’t be more excited to see this manifested through a comic series.”

Marvel, Feld Entertainment Release Exclusive Marvel Comic Book for Marvel Universe Live!

MarvelLiveThis summer, Marvel Universe Live! will bring more than 25 Marvel characters together for a live arena show that will tour 85 cities, and debuts this July in Tampa, Fla.

Feld Entertainment, the producer of Marvel Universe Live!, will release an exclusive prequel comic book created by Marvel. It will give audiences insight into the story behind the show, as well as introduce a new item in the Marvel Universe that plays a key role in the live show: the Lectro Link.

Written by Frank Tieri and illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda, with color art by Jay David Ramos, the comic is available for a limited time to those who pre-order tickets. The Lectro Link, meanwhile, is being made available as a unique collectible item, which customers can either pre-order online when purchasing tickets or buy at the show.

(4/23: The headline has been changed from “Pre-Order Marvel Universe Live! Tickets, Get Exclusive Comic Book.”)

The Disney Store Thaws Out the Winter Soldier for Marvel Select

Winter SoldierAs fans anticipate Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s debut on the big screen next spring, Diamond Select and Disney have partnered to create the ultimate Winter Soldier collectible, based on his recent appearance in his own self-titled comic book.

Sculpted by Jean St. Jean, the new 7-inch Marvel Select Winter Soldier action figure will be available in mid-December exclusively at the Disney Store, DisneyStore.com, and MarvelStore.com. He comes equipped with a pistol, a machine gun, and a sniper rifle, along with 16 points of articulation. A shatter window display base is also included, and both the figure and base come packaged in the Select line’s familiar display packaging.

Diamond Select Toys Launches Thor: The Dark World-Inspired Toys

Thor2Group_MM53a-590x343With the release of Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World taking place Novemeber 8, Diamond Select Toys will launch an entire series of Thor: The Dark World 2-inch Marvel Minimates, designed by Art Asylum. In a variety of two-packs, consumers can purchase Thor with Malekith, Loki with Heimdall, Dr. Erik Selvig with Dark Elf, and/or Darcy Lewis with Dark Elf. Each pack contains interchangeable parts and accessories.

More figures available in the Marvel Select action figure line include a 7-inch Thor and Jane Foster figure designed by Gentle Giant Studios. Both figures will have 16 points of articulation and come packaged with half of a detailed diorama based on the film.

Products will be available in November at specialty toy stores, local comic book shops, and at online retailers.

COMMENTARY: Ease Your Walking Dead #zombiebrain with Licensed Products

Along with more than 8 million other Americans, I’ve taken to spending my Sunday nights biting my nails watching Rick, Carl, Daryl, and Michonne slice through zombie skulls on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Needless to say, thoughts of the zombie apocalypse have now pretty much overrun my life. I’m dubbing this obsession #zombiebrain. If, like me, you or someone you love suffers from #zombiebrain, here are some awesome toys and games to feed your addiction.

Monopoly.WalkingDead.USAopMonopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Edition, from USAopoly brings everyone’s favorite board game into the world of the (un)dead. Based on The Walking Dead comic from Robert Kirkman, the game challenges players to fight for their own property and avoid zombies at all costs. Monopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Edition delivers classic Monopoly wheeling and dealing game play—but this time, players must fight for their survival. Everything about the game screams “WALKERS!” Properties correspond with the series landmarks, such as the prison cells, the Greene Family farm house, and Woodbury, while game tokens resemble key items from the series such as Rick’s sheriff hat, a bucket of body parts, the telephone, Dale’s R.V. (RIP Dale!), the Katana (aka Michonne’s awesome sword), and Lucille (aka a ridiculously effective baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire). Instead of using money to purchase property, players must trade essential supplies, such as food, ammo, and fuel to gain more territory on the board or to place a guard tower or wall (instead of the standard houses and hotels) to secure their safe haven from Walker attacks. The game is recommended for two to six players ages 13 and up and is now available at comic book specialty shops. [Read more...]

Dynamite Entertainment Expands with New Division Dynamite Toys and Games

DynamiteAt the Dallas Fall Toy Preview, Dynamite Entertainment has announced the creation of a new division, Dynamite Toys and Games, which is dedicated to the production and manufacture of action figures, novelty products, gaming cards, board games, and more. As leading publisher of original and licensed comic books, graphic novels, and e-books, Dynamite Entertainment, is coming up on its 10th anniversary next year and expects to develop new collectibles to incorporate their exciting new licenses.

With The Six Million Dollar Man’s character to celebrate its 40th anniversary, Dynamite Toys and Games will release action figures, a statue, and novelties all related to the brand. A new line of figures will also be developed for the horror character, Vampirella, reflecting the character’s 45 years of publication. Limited-edition reissues of classic sculpts, including action figures, Evil Ernie, Chastity, Jade, Lady Demon, Purgatori, and more will also be released as the toy division is to reinstate the Eternal Toys brand. Other initial planned releases include properties such as Red Sonja and Army of Darkness.