On the Hunt with Jordan Hembrough

When you step inside Hollywood Heroes in Westwood, N.J., you can literally smell the nostalgia (for those of you who are unfamiliar, nostalgia smells similar to dust-covered cardboard and childhood memories—but like, in a good way). In the collectible toy shop, bright lights beam down on glass cases displaying superhero relics with more than 40 years under their utility belts, making these toys anything but child’s play.

Owner of Hollywood Heroes and star of the reality TV show Toy Hunter, Jordan Hembrough poses with a plush version of himself.

Owner of the shop and star of the Travel Channel series Toy Hunter, Jordan Hembrough is an expert in the art of toy collecting, with more than 25 years of professional experience dealing toys. However, toys were always an integral part of Hembrough’s life. From schoolyard selling, Hembrough entered the big-time after college, when he secured a job as a buyer for StarLog, a chain of science-fiction-focused retail stores. Despite a lack of business background, Hembrough eventually went on to launch his own company, Hollywood Heroes. “I had the passion, and I think sometimes passion will drive you more than a business plan,” he says. [Read more...]

Disney Infinity: Marvel Release Date Set, Pre-Order Program Launches

Marvel.jngDisney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Edition will be available for retail on September 23. The game will introduce new Marvel play sets and characters that players can experience exclusively inside of the new version of the game. In addition, the popular Toy Box mode will return with enhanced features, where users can create their own adventures and share them online with friends.

Disney Interactive has also launched a pre-order program for the game. Through September 22, fans will receive a Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel figure as a bonus for pre-ordering the Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack. The game is available for pre-order at retailers nationwide.

COMMENTARY: Comic-Con Exclusives Bring the Fantasy Home

Comic-Con: A once-in-a-lifetime (annual) experience. Fans come from all over to get autographs, take photos, and experience the thrill of oversized Lego structures and men-in-costume. A place full of Hobbits, heroes, and happiness, Comic-Con allows consumers to share their love of all things fantasy. Best of all, the licensed merchandise and exclusive product offerings are abundant. These products allow consumers to get a little bit closer to the franchises they love, bridging the gap between fictional worlds and reality. From classic brands like The Power Rangers, to new favorites like Game of Thrones, the product arrays are seemingly endless, and everyone comes eager to take home their piece of Comic-Con history. Here are some of the limited edition and exclusive products we were most excited about in our office:

LEgacy Power MorpherThe Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was by far my favorite show growing up. Though the brand has expanded to include multiple modern versions, the classic series is still my favorite. For other nostalgic Power Ranger lovers, Bandai America released the retro-style, limited-edition Legacy Power Morpher in a Green Ranger/White Ranger Edition. The 24-karat gold-plated Morpher comes with two die-cast coins. With only 1,000 available, each Morpher is individually numbered.

Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, oh my! Though Marvel superhero merchandise is never in short supply at Comic-Con, the limited-edition Marvel exclusives are always something to look forward to. In preparation for the upcoming film, The Wolverine, hitting theaters this Friday, Diamond Select, in partnership with Marvel, has unveiled the Marvel Minimates Wolverine Saga Box Set. This four-pack features 2-inch versions of Symbiote Wolverine, Spacesuit Wolverine, Ultimate Wolverine, and Logan-san in Japanese robes with a variety of interchangeable parts. [Read more...]

Sanrio and Pretty Ugly Partner for Hello Kitty Uglydolls

1225Sanrio Inc., the global lifestyle brand best known for Hello Kitty, has partnered with Pretty Ugly LLC, owner of Uglydoll, to create global, co-branded collaboration with Hello Kitty and Uglydoll characters. Uglydoll’s unique aesthetic, defining “ugly” as distinctive and unique, will be combined with the iconic style of Hello Kitty to create a selection of limited-edition collectibles.    

The Hello Kitty Uglydoll collaboration will make its official debut at San Diego Comic-Con, held July 18 to 21. The collection will include a set of limited edition plush by Gund, featuring Hello Kitty dressed as Uglydoll’s popular characters—Ox, Trunko, Ice-Bat, and Wage—as well as a set of vinyl figures by Funko. Additional product exclusive to Comic-Con will include t-shirts by Mighty Fine, iPhone cases by Uncommon, and a collectible pin set by PinUSA. Specific items from the collection will also be shown at Licensing Expo, held June 18 to 20 in Las Vegas, and will be available later this summer at select Sanrio boutique stores, Sanrio.com, Uglydolls.com, and specialty retailers.

Hasbro Invites Fans to Help Create New Bot

final_AUTOBOT[1]For the first time, the Hasbro, Inc. Transformers brand is inviting fans of all ages worldwide to help create a new Transformers character that will be forever added to the Transformers world. In anticipation of the brand’s 30th anniversary next year, the “Fan Built Bot” Poll kicks off today, and will run through May 5 on Transformers.com/vote. Hasbro invites fans to vote daily to shape this new Transformers character. The new character will be made into an action figure featured in the “Thrilling 30” line of toys to celebrate the anniversary.

Votes will determine everything from being an Autobot or Decepticon to its vehicle or other mode, color, and personality.  Also, to keep with the theme of the fans being the ones who really shape and create this new Transformers character, Hasbro will also give fans a say in the naming of the new character. More details on the naming will be announced soon.

The results of the poll will be announced by Hasbro at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, as part of the official kick-off to Hasbro’s Transformers “Thrilling 30” anniversary celebration. Kids and fans will be able to purchase the “Fan Built Bot” character as a toy and will see the new character appear in official Transformers comic books.

For further information visit the official polling page at Transformers.com/vote as well as the Transformers Facebook page at Facebook.com/Transformers.

Hasbro Reveals New Transformers Line at New York Comic Con

You know the Autobots. You know the Decepticons. But now, there’s a new breed of alien robot in town: the Predacons.

Thursday afternoon, hundred of fans sat in a crowded conference room in the Jacob K. Javits Center at New York Comic Con 2012 as Hasbro rolled out the latest line of Transformers toys: The Beast Hunters.

The Beast Hunters will be the touchstone for the Transformers brand next year, driven by Transformers Prime, the animated series produced by Hasbro Studios. The show airs on The Hub television network in the U.S. and is viewed by fans in more than 170 countries around the world. [Read more...]

Hasbro’s Comic-Con Preview Night Party

Hasbro held its exclusive Preview Night Party for New York Comic-Con on Wednesday. Complete with loads of Marvel, My Little Pony, Kre-O G.I. Joe, and Angry Star Wars Angry Birds displays and presentations, and Avengers-themed cocktails, Hasbro kicked off Comic-Con with a bang.

Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga Death Star Package

The star of the event was no doubt the Star Wars edition of the wildly-popular Angry Birds line set to launch in the beginning of November. There were new toys based on the  bird-slinging, tower-toppling Angry Birds property, including the AT-AT Attack Battle Game. The line features new products based on a variety of existing Hasbro properties, including the Jenga brand and the recently relaunched Koosh brand, to introduce new play experiences featuring iconic Star Wars characters re-imagined as high-flying Angry Birds and villainous pigs.

Also highlighted was the great reveal of the Star Trek Kre-O set, a product set to release next year to coincide with the release of the new Star Trek movie. The set comes with a light-up U.S.S. Enterprise ship  and two character figures, such as Captain Kirk or Spock, pointed ears and all.

The new extensive Kre-O G.I. Joe line was also featured–including figures and play sets based on the property. The line of G.I. Joe toys will be available exclusively at Toys “R” Us starting in February. These play sets and characters play out the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra story and will feature Kreon figures based on popular characters from both the heroic G.I. Joe team like Duke and Snake Eyes as well as the villainous Cobra organization like Firefly and Storm Shadow.

Kre-O G.I. Joe Cobra Armored Assault

Hasbro also showcased the My Little Pony brand, as well as their holiday favorites, including Marvel Avengers and Star Wars action figures and, of course, Marvel role play products.

The Toy Book’s Reyne Rice and Ali Mierzejewski as Spider-Man and Captain America

The Toy Book’s Reyne Rice as The Hulk

Playmates Toys to Debut Michael Jackson Collectibles at Comic-Con

Playmates Toys will unveil its new line of Michael Jackson collectibles at the Diamond Comics display at San Diego Comic-Con, held July 21-25. Earlier this year, Playmates Toys signed a deal with Bravado to create the collectibles based on the late star. The new 10-inch scale collectibles capture the King of Pop’s likeness and fashion, the first of which will be Billie Jean complete with Jackson’s outfit worn in the music video. The second collectible, Thriller, is fashioned in the iconic red with black trim outfit. The collectibles will launch this fall, followed by additional styles.

CBS Announces Plethora of TV Products From Comic-Con

Yesterday at Comic-Con in San Diego, CBS Consumer Products and its affiliates announced a slew of new products based on the Star Trek brand.

Hallmark will release a lineup of Christmas 2010 ornaments based on the Star Trek property, including Captain Kirk, Spock, Kirk vs. Spock/“Amok Time,” and the U.S.S. Enterprise from the 2009 movie. Hallmark is also giving a sneak peak at its holiday 2011 prototypes.

IDW‘s lineup of new graphic novels and comic books will include those based on Star Trek, while Rocket World has announced the release of limited-edition Starfleet I.W.G. figurines that feature Original Series accessories. Rubie’s will release a new series of The Original Series, The Next Generation, and Star Trek costumes including a Gorn mask and  Spock romper, and to promote its Starfleet Academy young adult books, due out in December, Simon and Schuster is handing out postcards for advanced reader copies.

In Twilight Zone news, Bif Bang Pow revealed four new eight-inch action figures depicting the Gremlin, Masked Man, Kanamit, and Devil. Eight more bobble heads and figurines are expected to be announced later during Comic-Con.

Photo Credit: TrekMovie.com

Exclusive Emily the Strange Doll Available at San Diego Comic-Con

Comic Debris and Ashton-Drake, a division of Bradford Exchange, plan to release an exclusive custom-designed Emily the Strange doll for San Diego Comic-Con. The exclusive has a 250 piece limited edition run, and will be available at select Comic-Con booths and to Facebook fans. The doll will retail for $69.99.

The doll will come outfitted with a mask, cat ears, and a reversible cape with the words “Save Yourself.” The doll features nine points of articulation and is accompanied by a feline sidekick who will also be wearing a costume.

The exclusive doll will be available at the following booths: Emily the Strange, Dark Horse Comics, Chronicle Books, and Harper Collins Books. The art work of Emily the Strange creator Rob Reger will be showcased in the Van Eaton Galleries booth.