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.

Underground Toys’ 2014 Licensed Product Line to Debut at Toy Fair

UndergroundToyslogoUnderground Toys will be releasing new licensed merchandise at this year’s American International Toy Fair. New brand licenses include World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Anchorman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Walking Dead, and Vikings. Highlights from these ranges include a Walking Dead apron, all-new WWE talking character plush, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles talking soft bag buddies, and a “classy” Anchorman Ron Burgundy moustache bottle opener.

Underground will also be displaying classic and new products from existing ranges, with many of the new items set for release this year. Doctor Who merchandise includes The Other Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver, action figures based on The Other Doctor and The Twelfth Doctor (played by actors John Hurt and Peter Capaldi, respectively), and the Doctor Who Mr. Potato Head collection.

An extensive range of Star Wars gifts and home products will also be revealed, some of which will be publicized for the first time. Inserting a degree of fun into classical play, a large variety of Underground’s merchandise will now begin to incorporate movement, sound effects, and spoken phrases: For example, the plush Star Wars Action Yoda features both movement and sound.

Funko and Underground Toys Announce a European Partnership

Funko LLC, creators and manufacturers of entertainment-related toys, has partnered with London-based global entertainment merchandise company Underground Toys Ltd. This U.S. and UK company alliance will allow Underground Toys to incorporate the Funko line of products within their range of licensed merchandise to be distributed among European retailers, including Toys “R” Us, Tesco, ASDA, Carrefour, and FNAC.

With licenses for more than 70 different franchises, including Star Wars, Hello Kitty, Walking Dead, Disney, Marvel, WWE, and Teenage Mutant Ninja TutlesFunko currently services many U.S. retailers such as Hot TopicBarnes and Noble, FYE, and Walmart. With this new partnership, the products will be distributed by Underground Toys in Europe.

COMMENTARY: Oldies but Newer: Upcoming Video Game Sequels to Look Out For

With the impending release of the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One, it’s only natural to be on the lookout for new video games to try on these latest platforms. However, games from other consoles and devices shouldn’t be excluded either especially with the forthcoming distribution of newer versions of old classics. Whether it’s a sport, action-adventure, or fantasy game, there’s a game out there geared towards any gamer in any genre. The best part is that the timeless games players have grown up with are being revamped to ensure a different gaming experience than previous versions. Before eliminating these new editions to opt for a newer series, it might be worth it to consider what these current renditions have to offer. Here are some classic franchise games getting ready to put out their latest publication that might capture your interest.

FIFA 14

fifa14The annual soccer game is back for another year filled with players across the world in various leagues and tournaments. The FIFA soccer video game series premiered in 1993, and is still going strong. This latest addition to the line will be available for a multitude of platforms including Xbox 360, PS3, and PC download on September 24 in the U.S. An early release version is also available for the PS3 and comes out on September 20. The game will also appear on the PS4 and other Playstation and Nintendo devices including the PSP and the Wii. The Xbox One however might arguably be the best deal for the console which FIFA 14 debuts on for free (at least in Europe anyway—with a preorder of the device) and comes with FIFA Ultimate Team Legends, which features legends of the game. Now, you can play with players of today and yesteryear, and can in fact see Pele tackle the ball from Cristiano Ronaldo—if that’s your preference. [Read more...]

Reed Pop Launches Online Store with Star Wars Merchandise

ReedPop August 13ReedPOP, organizer of pop culture conventions including New York Comic ConStar Wars Celebration, and C2E2, has unveiled ReedPOP Supply Co.’s online store that sells ReedPOP convention exclusives and original licensed merchandise. The ReedPOP Supply Co. launched on July 26, simultaneously with this year’s Star Wars Celebration Europe, and it currently stocks a selection of original, official Star Wars Celebration goods available nowhere else. New York Comic Con, C2E2, and other ReedPOP products will be added over the coming weeks.

The ReedPOP Supply Co. presently houses more than 20 Star Wars Celebration limited-edition items, all unique, online variants of exclusives offered at this year’s Star Wars Celebration as well as at previous years’ Star Wars conventions. Exclusives include the Hoth Blue Milk Brewing Co. Glass (from Celebration V), the ABC’s of Star Wars Woven Blanket (from Celebration VI), and the world exclusive Star Wars Rebels Logo T-shirt—the logo was revealed at this year’s Star Wars Celebration Europe.

All of the ReedPOP Supply Co.’s Star Wars Celebration limited-edition items are available to ship around the world, but they are available for a limited time through midnight August 22.

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.

[Read more...]

Mimoco Introduces Chewbacca Mimobot USB Drives

Chewbacca_LTDED_MIMOBOT_3up_social_612x612Mimoco will unveil eight limited edition Mimobot flash drives at  San Diego Comic-Con, including one featuring Chewbacca.

Mimoco continues with its Star Wars Mimobot line, the co-branded licensed collection with Lucasfilm started in 2006. Now in Series 9, Mimoco re-releases the Chewbacca Mimobot in a limited edition run of 1,000 units, in up to 128GB capacities, and in USB 3.0 speeds. As with all Star Wars and Mimobot drives, these will be preloaded with bonus digital Mimory content including the MimoDesk personalization suite of wallpapers, icons, avatars, and the MimoByte sound software. The Chewbacca Variant Mimobot is a redesign of Mimoco’s Star Wars Series 1 Chewbacca Mimobot. This Star Wars Series 9 Mimobot joins other Star Wars characters including the recently released Jar Jar Binks and R2-A6 limited editions announced earlier this year.

A portion of the limited edition Chewbacca Variant Mimobot is now available at www.mimoco.com for pre-order before its official release at San Diego Comic-Con International.

Europe’s Top 10 Best Selling Action Figures to Date

Europe’s Top 10 best-selling Action Figures year to date (April 2013)

  1. Flair Giochi Preziosi‘s Ninja Turtles Basic Figures
  2. Mattel‘s WWE Figure Series 1
  3. Hasbro‘s Transformers Prime Powerizers
  4. Flair Giochi Preziosi‘s Ninja Turtles Powersound FX Figures
  5. Bandai‘s Ben 10 Alien Collection
  6. Flair Giochi Preziosi‘s Ninja Turtles Role Play Ninja Gear Combat Gear
  7. Hasbro‘s Transformers Prime Weaponizers
  8. Hasbro‘s Star Wars Clone Wars Figures
  9. Bandai‘s Power Rangers Super Samirai
  10. Flair Giochi Preziosi‘s Ninja Turtles Shell Raiser Vehicle

Source: The NPD Group