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...]

Hasbro Showcases Pop-Culture Brands at Comic-Con

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Hasbro returns to Comic-Con International in San Diego to showcase its pop-culture brands, including TransformersMy Little PonyKre-O, and G.I. Joe, as well as licensed toy lines for Angry Birds Star WarsMarvelStar Wars, and Star Trek. Hasbro will celebrate its popular brands and characters with a lineup of panels, autograph sessions, special edition toys, giveaways, and more.

Fans will also be able to experience the Telepods platform, a fully-integrated play experience for the mobile generation that “teleports” physical characters into digital gaming and app experiences. The Telepods line will be released this fall, and will be fully integrated into the new Angry Birds Star Wars II app, from Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm. The Telepods line uses new technology to allow kids to play in two ways—in the physical space, and through integration into top-tier apps. [Read more...]

Disney Consumer Products Reveals Extensive D23 Expo Plans

D23_LogoDisney Consumer Products (DCP) will give fans a look at an extensive collection of interactive experiences, and merchandise that celebrate Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars characters during the bi-annual D23 Expo. Held at the Anaheim Convention Center from August 9 to 11, Disney fans will have the chance to follow their favorite products and learn how DCP extends storytelling from character and content extension to product development through featured discussions, art and sculptures, and final product displays.

While at the D23 Expo, fans will also be able to immerse themselves in exhibits, hands-on demonstrations, special signing opportunities, and exclusive product offerings at the Disney Consumer Products Pavilion. Also, for the first time at the D23 Expo, Star Wars fans can have access to experiences created for them by Lucasfilm and Disney. Darth Vader: The Evolution of a Villain, located in the DCP pavilion, showcases the development of the villain.

Fans will have the opportunity to participate in other immersive experiences, including Find Your Voice with The Little Mermaid, a karaoke experience with the music from the film; Journey through the Art of Tink, a gallery where Disney artists, designers, illustrators, and animators from around the world have re-imagined Tinker Bell; What Makes a Puppet a Muppet?, which will teach fans how create their own muppet “plush.” Other Disney and Marvel immersive experiences will allow fans to see the history of their favorite brands.

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Marvel Unveils Action-Packed Line-Up at San Diego Comic-Con

IronmanMarvel Entertainment, LLC will give fans another reason to head to the comic event of the year—Comic-Con International: San Diego—with a lineup of one-of-a-kind exclusives that will be available at the show for the first time. Marvel, along with partners Hasbro, Diamond Select, Gentle Giant, and Huckleberry have created a lineup of limited-edition collectibles featuring some of Marvel’s biggest icons. A few of the key Comic-Con product unveilings include the Marvel Universe Deadpool Corps Special Edition figure set, three variant editions of the Iron Man 3 Iron Man Chara-Bricks 7-inch vinyl, and Marvel Minimates Wolverine Saga box set. Some of the Comic-Con exclusives will be available in limited supply following the four-day pop culture event.

Below is a rundown of some of the Comic-Con International: San Diego Marvel exclusives to be unveiled: [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Anticipated Summer Blockbusters Inspire “Super” Toys

This summer, the big screen will light up with superheroes, including the releases of Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel. And with summer superhero movies comes superhero toys, which range from role play to action figures to slingshots. Toys inspired by movies give kids the chance to be – and play with – superheroes. Here are some of my favorites from these two upcoming films:

Iron Man 3 (May 3)

Marvel Iron Man 3 Motorized ARC FX Gauntlet

0065356981893_300X300Kids can pretend to armor up like Iron Man with the wrist-mount disc-blasting gauntlet from Hasbro by firing foam discs more than 20 feet with the gauntlet’s motorized rapid-fire blasting action. Each Iron Man 3 Arc Fx Gauntlet comes with 10 Nerf foam discs.

 

Marvel Iron Man 3 Assemblers Action Figures

The Assemblers Action Figures allow fans to recreate the excitement of the film with this iron-man-toys-iron-man-3-avengers-initiative-assemblers-iron-patriot-figure-1buildable line from Hasbro. Each figure features an interchangeable Armor System, allowing one figure to create more than 25 armor combinations. The armor can be switched out between the 16 available figures in the line to create hundreds of more combinations.

Man of Steel (June 14)

Man of Steel Quick Shots Basic Figures Assortment

340x450Quick Shots figures from Mattel bring Superman’s flying abilities and heroism to life. The stretchy soft figures are designed to safely soar through the air, gently knocking down obstacles set-up in their path. And they’re simple to use! The Quick Shot figure attaches to the launcher figure and is pulled back and released like a slingshot. These will be available in May.

Man of Steel Movie Masters Action Figure

Movie Masters figures from Mattel are designed with authentic detail to bring Mattel - Man of Steel Superman Movie Masterfans’ favorite characters to life. This assortment of high-quality figures features heroes and villains from the movie Man of Steel. Fans can pose the figures in countless ways due to its high level of articulation. This action figures will be available in June.

Your adventure doesn’t have to stop once you leave the movie theater this summer. Continue fighting crime with your favorite heroes with great toys and collectibles.

For more commentary from Ali, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!

Hasbro Prepares to Unveil Iron Man 3 Line

Hasbro, Inc.,  has expanded its Marvel Iron Man 3 line with the Iron Assemblers 3.75-inch action figure assortment. Each figure features an Interchangeable Armor System, allowing one figure to create more than 25 armor combinations and allowing armor to be switched out between the 16 available figures in the line to create hundreds of additional combinations. The assortment is suitable for kids ages 4 and up, and action figures are available in six varieties.

Hasbro will release additional details about the Iron Man 3 line as the American International Toy Fair nears. The fair will begin on Sunday, February 11 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Check out the Iron Assemblers below!

 

Trends International Launches Tape Works Line

Trends International LLC will launch its exclusive line of decorative tape within its paper craft product category. Tape Works, is causing quite a stir among retailers. Each roll is 50 feet long and can decorate nearly anything, including scrapbook pages, gift packages and bags, cards, school supplies, lockers, and frames. Users can also write on it and layer it to personalize projects. Look now for non-licensed patterns, including mustaches, leopard print, and cupcakes. Licensed titles will follow in March and April.

The Tape Works program includes licenses such as Disney Fairies, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Warner BrothersThe Big Bang Theory.

Expanding the Tape Works line, as well as launching other products, including new Sandylion paper craft stickers, remains a high priority for the company.

 

Fall Toy Preview: New Top Trumps Cards

Top Trumps card games are similar to War, which is played with normal playing cards. But instead of featuring a number and a suit, Top Trumps cards feature statistics such as speed, skill, strength, and more that coincide with the theme of the deck. The object of the game is to beat—or trump—your opponent’s card by choosing your best stat for that card. The player that trumps wins the card, and the game keeps going until a player wins the entire deck.

New Top Trumps card games for 2011 will include Moshi Monsters, Go Go Crazy Bones, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Top Trumps Activity Super Hero Squad, and Top Trumps Tournament Marvel.

For more Fall Toy Preview coverage, pick up The Toy Book‘s September/October issue!

Fall Toy Preview: Maisto-Marvel Toy Airplanes

Marvel Super Hero Squad Caricature Aircrafts are new from Maisto International, Inc. Each of the six characters has its own plane and, with wingspans of approximately four inches, they’re just the right size for little hands. Kids can choose from Captain America, Dr. Doom, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, and Thor. The products feature a sturdy die-cast metal and plastic construction.

For more Fall Toy Preview coverage, pick up The Toy Book‘s September/October issue!

Disney Strives to Target Boys

Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products (DCP), last week announced DCP’s new goal to significantly increase annual global retail sales of Disney and Marvel licensed merchandise within the next five years, with boys’ merchandise playing a prominent role.

DCP’s core strategy is to focus on newer properties targeting the boys’ market, including Marvel franchises, TRON, and the Disney Channel and Disney XD series Phineas and Ferb.

The upcoming release of Cars 2 in June 2011 will be supported with cross-company initiatives that are expected to exceed Toy Story 3 retail sell-in. Cars Toons, the series of shorts airing on Disney Channel, has provided fresh merchandising themes for incremental retail programs globally.
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