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.

April Is a Marvel-Filled Month for Diamond Select Toys

SpiderManStatueThis month’s offerings from Diamond Select Toys include figures and statues that tie into Marvel’s upcoming movies, as well as one zombified version of a classic Marvel super-villain.

The Marvel Minimates Series 57 Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Assortment captures the film’s characters as 2-inch mini-figures. Featuring nine different characters, the assortment includes four different two-packs: Star-Lord with Ronan, Drax with Groot—and a Rocket Raccoon micro-figure—Gamora with Nova Corps Centurion, and Nebula with Sakaar Soldier. The Gamora and Nebula sets will only be available in comic shops and specialty stores.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Movie Resin Statue depicts Marvel’s wall-crawler in a dynamic battle pose atop a New York City rooftop. It measures approximately seven inches tall with its base. [Read more...]

Funko Has Guardians of the Galaxy in Pop! and Wacky Wobbler Figures

Funko.StarLordFunko will have Marvel‘s Guardians of the Galaxy–the spacefaring team coming to theaters on August 1–available in both Pop! and Wacky Wobbler form in time for the film’s release. Pop! figures will include Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax, and Gamora. The Wacky Wobbler figures will feature bobble-heads of Star-Lord, and Rocket Raccoon.

An unmasked Star-Lord will be available exclusively at amazon.com.

COMMENTARY: Now Every Kid Can Be Captain America

Phil.04.03.Cap6inchLegendsThis weekend, everyone’s favorite re-animated World War II super-soldier returns in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, from Marvel Studios. (PLEASE NOTE: THIS OPENING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.) Having seen a preview of the movie, I won’t give too much away, but suffice it to say, it’s a good time, precisely because the captain faces conflicts that aren’t just fisticuffs. At a certain point, both he—and the other Marvel Comics-based heroes who appear—must decide whether to turn on their own government. Admittedly, it’s not that difficult a choice, since saying no means a terrorist organization descended from the Nazis gets the power to kill millions with the push of a button. But a moral quandary is, nevertheless, a moral quandary, and gives the movie a kind of complexity that isn’t always found in summer blockbusters. (END SPOILERS.)

It also results in a character that kids of all ages can—and should—aspire to become more like. (Did I mention that Captain America also learns to trust his friends? This film’s full of valuable lessons for young ones!) To that end, Hasbro has released an impressive line of Captain America: The Winter Soldier toys and accessories that allow for all kinds of pretend play. Since not every movie protagonist is a fit role model for kids, having found one with product support from the toy industry, I feel it is this column’s responsibility to highlight said product as much as possible. Cap, you’re welcome. [Read more...]

New Hero to Wear Spider-Man’s Mask

Following a worldwide search for the next Spider-Man, Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios selected Andrew Garfield to play Peter Parker. Garfield’s upcoming works include The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook, and Never Let Me Go, which he stars alongside Keira Knightley.

The next film, set to release July 3, 2012, is based on a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and will be directed by Marc Webb. Previous Peter Parker star Tobey Maguire reportedly left the project, along with director Sam Raimi, following setbacks.