China Toy Fair


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...]

Status Media Heroically Debuts Hero Holder

Status Media has unveiled the Hero Holder, a mobile device holder featuring popular superheroes. The first Hero Holder will be a limited edition Marvel Spider-Man, available now for pre-sale in advance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which will be in theaters May 2. There will also be a super-limited, 1-in-100 variant of Spider-Man in his black costume, which can be found exclusively at ToyWiz.

The Hero Holder comes with two sets of bendable arms that can hold any size mobile device or tablet—vertically or horizontally—including iPhones, Android mobile phones, full sized or mini-iPads, Kindles, or any tablets made for kids or adults. Chargers can easily plug into devices when in the Hero Holder, which will be produced with Wicked Cool Toys. Current licensors offering creative support for the product include Marvel, DC, and WWE.

Funko to Launch New Licensed Fabrikations, Hikari Japanese Vinyl Toys

Funko is set to launch two new lines of licensed figures this year. Fabrikations consists of 6-inch soft-sculpted figures featuring a rotating head as well as vinyl accessories. Each Fabrikation is weighted, allowing it to stand securely on a surface.

DC Universe, Marvel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars will be the first licenses to be released in the Fabrikations line.

This spring and summer, Funko will also be launching Hikari Japanese Vinyl, a collectible line of clear Sofubi vinyl inspired by Japanese vinyl figures. Each piece will be hand-numbered, limited edition, and come packaged in a clear tube with an on/off LED light for display purposes.

Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be the first licenses in the Hikari line. Star Wars, Marvel, and Ghostbusters will follow this year.

Cardinal Industries Turns 70

cardinalIn 1944, a young Les Berger, the founder of Cardinal Industries, started the company in Brooklyn. With his knowledge of plastics, Berger began manufacturing dominoes poker chip racks, hula hoops, and Mah Jongg sets.

Seventy years later, Cardinal has grown to become one of America’s top signature board game and puzzle companies offering more than 400 items including traditional games such as dominoes, checkers, and poker sets, as well as an extensive line of licensed games and lenticular, wood, and basic puzzles. With a worldwide reach Cardinal products can be found throughout North America, Europe, and Austraila. Cardinal has excelled in the licensed puzzle and game arena working with Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Sanrio, Twentieth Century Fox, NBS, Warner Bros, Sesame Street, HIT Entertainment, Lucas, Mattel, and Hasbro, among others.

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.

Marvel Entertainment Partners with Huffy for New Bicycle Line

Spider-ManMarvel Entertainment LLC and Huffy have announced that they will develop a new line of bicycles, tricycles, scooters, and accessories. The new products will be an expansion in the bike category for Marvel.

The new line will launch in stores in the spring and fall of next year. The addition of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy also introduces Marvel’s newest heroes.

The Spider-Man bike is the first in the category to feature the character’s web design as a web trap which holds villain and hero toys. Another version of the bike includes a special plastic web-frame design. Scooters and tricycles feature interactive lights and sounds. The Huffy line of Marvel products will include multiple designs at top retail stores across the U.S.

Marvel Select Photo Contest Winners Revealed

MarvelSelectPhotoContest.runnerupThe Marvel Select photo contest is complete. Marvel went through all of the entries and picked out the three best, based on a variety of criteria, including pose, lighting, composition, complexity, and innovation.

MarvelSelectPhotoContestThe second runner-up is Geof LeBaron, who shot Marvel Select’s Agent Venom being overpowered by the Classic Venom. He wins a pre-production Unleashed Hulk in test packaging and an unpainted Amazing Spider-Man prototype.

The first runner-up was Earl E. Ware III, who shot the Marvel Select Rhino standing victorious over a fallen Spider-Man. Earl is awarded a Fearsome Foes of Spider-Man Gift Set and an unpainted brown Green Goblin prototype.

The winner of the competition is Ryan Vasquez, who shot the Marvel Select Rhino taking on Spider-Man, but this time Spider-Man executes a leap over the mid-stride Rhino. For capturing such an action-packed moment on an elaborate set, Ryan won the grand prize, a Don Cheadle-signed Iron Man 2 War Machine figure, a variant Genis-Vell Captain Marvel figure, a prototype Fearsome Foes of Spider-Man Gift Set, and an unpainted all-black Venom prototype.

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: Boo! Halloween Toys That Outlast the Season

by Laurie Schacht, Toy Insider Mom

zombieLast year was a pretty tough Halloween on the east coast. Just a few days before the holiday, Hurricane Sandy shut off our lights, devastated our coasts, and in my neck of the woods, pretty much canceled parties and trick-or-treating. So this year I hope to see all our favorite ghosts and goblins make a big comeback.   

Who will you be this year? The Marvel superheroes will be strong sellers. Lets face it: what kid doesn’t want to save the world—and what adult doesn’t want a few hours to be “that hot” at a grown up party dressed up as Iron Man or Wonder Woman!

For little girls, if you haven’t purchased their Doc McStuffins or Sofia the First costumes yet, good luck finding them. I’ve yet to meet a 4-year-old girl that hadn’t loved one or both of these new favorite characters. Boys are loving Jake and his Never Land Pirates, Skylanders, Trash Pack Kids, and Slugterra.

But it’s not just in the costume. There are some great additions to the two hottest video games with Halloween themes this year that I need to share. Skylanders Giants released their special Halloween edition called Eye-Brawl. It’s sports a pumpkin head and a skeleton head at his feet. Disney Infinity will let kids build their own Halloween town in Toy Box mode, with the Pumpkin King throwing pumpkins at other characters, including the newly released Jack Skellington. [Read more...]