China Toy Fair


Funko and Mindstyle Form Alliance with Sights on China and Southeast Asia

PopAsiaFunko and Mindstyle International have reached an agreement for a strategic alliance in greater China and southeast Asia. The new alliance will build on Funko’s existing position globally and create new growth opportunities.

Funko will retain creative, marketing, and sales responsibilities for its portfolio of iconic collectibles, which include its Wacky Wobbler Bobble-Heads, Wisecracks, Mystery Minis, and the ultra collectible Pop! Vinyl Figures. Mindstyle—a global creative, development, and manufacturing company based in China—will bring strong product development with Pop! Asia and premium product lines, local distribution, and a history of initiatives for the Asia market.

Domo Ghostbusters Co-Brand Comes to Life with New Partners

Domo.GhostbustersBig Tent Entertainment has lined up more partners to represent the pop-culture mash-up of Domo and Slimer. Underground Toys, Kelly Toy, and Funko will be releasing products portraying Domo as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Slimer, and a full-fledged Ghostbuster.

Underground Toys will create a line featuring plush, mugs, stickers, and more for department stores, specialty stores, stationery and gift stores, catalogs, and Internet retailers worldwide (excluding Asia). Kelly Toys will create multiple sizes of soft-sculptured toys for amusement parks and carnival and prize games in the U.S. and Canada.

Funko will be involved in a line of Domo/Ghostbusters-inspired pop vinyl figures for worldwide distribution (excluding Asia) at specialty stores, supermarkets, drug stores, catalogues, stationery and gift stores, online retailers, and mass market. [Read more...]

Cowabunga! A Look at TMNT Toys Past and Present

TMNTby Brandon Engel

Fans eagerly await the big screen return of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello. Not the Italian master painters, but the pizza-scarfing, reptilian wise-crackers who have been delighting young audiences since the early ’80s. Although the characters were originally created by artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird as a parody of comic book franchises that were popular at the time, the turtle gang soon took on a life of its own, spawning multiple television programs, video games, films, and of course, toys.

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the forthcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, and although we’ll have to wait until August for the film’s premiere, there’s a slew of new products to hold our interest until then. [Read more...]

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Licensed Products Set to Explode at Retail

guardians of the galaxy poster 2. jpgToy manufacturers including Hasbro, Lego, and Kiddesigns have developed a wide range across key product categories inspired by Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which arrives in theaters on August 1. Products include Hasbro’s 10-inch electronic figure, Lego’s The Milano Spaceship Rescue construction set, Funko’s vinyl bobble heads, Rubies Costume Co.’s and Disguise‘s Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon costumes, and more.

To date, Guardians of the Galaxy has received major mass retailer commitment, including a cross-category pallet program at Wal-Mart, top placement for Hasbro and Lego’s toy lines in all key accounts, and a heavily promoted party goods program with Party City. The Guardians of the Galaxy merchandising program will benefit from Marvel Studios‘ major marketing push for the film that will hit full force beginning later this month.

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...]

Disney Releases Toys in Time for Maleficent Film Premiere

Aurora.MaleficentDisney Consumer Products has unveiled a new collection of products based on Maleficent, the impending Walt Disney Studios live-action movie that explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic film, Sleeping Beauty. The collection includes dolls, figures, and role-play items.

Jakks Pacific will introduce Maleficent and Aurora Collector Fashion Dolls, which stand 11.5 inches tall, as well as Maleficent’s Glow Horns, inspired by the iconic horns from the film. Funko will have Maleficent and Aurora POP! figures.

The Disney Store will introduce the Aurora Deluxe Costume Collection, which includes a deluxe costume featuring lace detailing, floral accents, and other embellishments. Meanwhile, the Disney Store’s Maleficent Film Collection Dolls are designed to depict the title character and Aurora from the film.

Maleficent arrives in theaters on May 30.

Funko Kicks Off Hikari Fridays for New Collectible Line

Phil.April23.HikariTMNTFunko is introducing its new Hikari line, which consists of collectible, clear Sofubi Vinyl figures. These are extremely limited, with each piece run ranging from 500 to 5,000 pieces. Each Hikari piece includes a hand-numbered card to prove both its authenticity and rarity.

Every Friday, Funko will announce a new Hikari Japanese Vinyl figure, and hold a Hikari Friday giveaway on its social media channels, with winners receiving the first piece in the announced Hikari’s limited run.

For the first-ever Hikari Friday, Funko is featuring its Metal Mix Leonardo Hikari Vinyl Figure, which is limited to 500 pieces worldwide.

More coverage on Funko’s new Hikari line can be found in the recent-published commentary, These New Japanese Toys and Games Aren’t Just for Kids, Part 2.

Beauty and the Beast Series 2 Comes to Funko Pop! Disney Line

MrsPotts&ChipFunko has added additional characters to its Pop! Disney line. The Beauty and the Beast Series 2 is now available, and includes Peasant Belle, Cogsworth, Lumiere, and Mrs. Potts with a special addition Chip. 

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...]

COMMENTARY: These New Japanese Toys and Games Aren’t Just for Kids, Part 1

Phil.April18.2014.1I may not be the biggest aficionado of Japanese pop culture, but I do consider myself a fan, having devoured lots of manga and anime over the years. What I also appreciate are the toys: Japan has some of the most exquisitely-made action figures and giant robots ever made, and in their native land, these items are generally aimed at adults.

Now when it comes to toys and games, Japan has long enjoyed a healthy foothold in North America—think of all the Pokémon, Hello Kitty, and Power Rangers products that have made their way over. So far in 2014, that trend has continued, with several new properties either just launching or expected to launch soon. But these are Japanese imports, meaning they’re sophisticated enough for grown-ups, even if they look like they’re for kids. [Read more...]