License to Build: Familiar Properties Fill Up the Shelves of the Construction Aisle

This article was originally published in the July/August 2014 issue of The Toy Book. To read the entire digital issue, click here.

The construction play pattern has always allowed kids to create buildable worlds and adventures straight from their imaginations. But with a recent surge of licensed toys entering the category, kids are able to build more and more familiar worlds based on their favorite existing properties. According to The NPD Group, dollar sales of licensed building sets grew by 6 percent from 2011 to 2013. As the world becomes more multi-media driven, licensed properties are deeply integrated into kids’ daily lives. Established building toy companies, as well as those looking to get their feet wet in the category, are jumping on the bandwagon with characters and environments that are already a staple among kids—and even collectors. [Read more...]

McFarlane Toys Launches The Walking Dead Building Block Sets

McFarlaneToys.TheWalkingDeadMcFarlane Toys is unveiling new brick building toys based on AMC’s The Walking Dead. These building sets and figures will be available this fall at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at toysrus.com.

The initial McFarlane Toys’ The Walking Dead brick building line will feature realistic and detailed sculpts, light-up and shaped features, iconic environments, and fan-favorite characters and walkers, allowing collectors and fans to recreate their favorite scenes.

The building sets include Daryl Dixon with Chopper, The Governor’s Room, and Prison Tower with Gate. Blind bag figures include Daryl Dixon, Michonne, The Governor, Carl Grimes, Riot Gear Walker, Michonne’s Pet Walker, and Herd Walkers.

Funko Releases Wacky Wobblers for The Walking Dead

WalkingDead.FunkoWhile The Walking Dead’s fourth season has come to an end, Funko LLC has a new set of Wacky Wobblers bobble head figures to fill the gruesome void left in viewers (which hopefully weren’t caused by zombie maws). The set features Daryl Dixon sporting his leather biker jacket and armed with a crossbow. In addition, there’s Merle Dixon in both living and walker style, the latter having the requisite bloody mouth and head wounds.

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.

Invincible, Thief of Thieves Minimates Get Packaged

InvincibleMinimates1Diamond Select Toys has released the first Minimates based on the comics Invincible and Thief of Thieves. Both comic titles were created by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman for his Skybound Entertainment imprint at Image Comics, and neither one has received poseable action figures before now.

Invincible figures of Invincible, Atom Eve, Omni-Man, and Allen the Alien, while Thief of Thieves figures including Redmond, Celia, Augustus, and Agent Cohen. Both sets are only available at comic shops and specialty stores.

COMMENTARY: Ease Your Walking Dead #zombiebrain with Licensed Products

Along with more than 8 million other Americans, I’ve taken to spending my Sunday nights biting my nails watching Rick, Carl, Daryl, and Michonne slice through zombie skulls on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Needless to say, thoughts of the zombie apocalypse have now pretty much overrun my life. I’m dubbing this obsession #zombiebrain. If, like me, you or someone you love suffers from #zombiebrain, here are some awesome toys and games to feed your addiction.

Monopoly.WalkingDead.USAopMonopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Edition, from USAopoly brings everyone’s favorite board game into the world of the (un)dead. Based on The Walking Dead comic from Robert Kirkman, the game challenges players to fight for their own property and avoid zombies at all costs. Monopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Edition delivers classic Monopoly wheeling and dealing game play—but this time, players must fight for their survival. Everything about the game screams “WALKERS!” Properties correspond with the series landmarks, such as the prison cells, the Greene Family farm house, and Woodbury, while game tokens resemble key items from the series such as Rick’s sheriff hat, a bucket of body parts, the telephone, Dale’s R.V. (RIP Dale!), the Katana (aka Michonne’s awesome sword), and Lucille (aka a ridiculously effective baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire). Instead of using money to purchase property, players must trade essential supplies, such as food, ammo, and fuel to gain more territory on the board or to place a guard tower or wall (instead of the standard houses and hotels) to secure their safe haven from Walker attacks. The game is recommended for two to six players ages 13 and up and is now available at comic book specialty shops. [Read more...]

USAopoly, Diamond Comics Release Monopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Edition

5.0.3Exclusively from Skybound, Robert Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics, and Diamond Comic Distributor, Monopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Editiongame is now available to purchase in comic book specialty shops.  Based off The Walking Dead comic from Kirkman, the game put a post-apocalyptic spin on the traditional Monopoly, giving fans the opportunity to live out the comic by fighting for their own property, and avoiding zombies with each players turn.

Monopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Edition delivers a classic Monopoly game play.  Players fight for, and then must fortify the prime real estate and resources that will sustain their lives. The game takes over the characteristic of The Walking Dead as the properties all correspond with the series landmarks such as the prison cells, Greene Family farm house, Woodbury, and more locations, while game tokens resemble key items from the series such as Rick’s sheriff hat, bucket of body parts, the telephone, and the R.V.

Instead of using money to purchase property, players must trade in essential supplies, such as food, ammo, and fuel, to gain more territory on the board or to place a guard tower or wall instead of the standard houses and hotels, to secure their properties from invading zombies. This game features six collectible tokens and optional speed play.

Additional The Walking Dead merchandise, including comics, apparel, toys and, collectibles, can also be purchased at comic book stores or through Diamond’s Previews catalog.

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.

USAopoly Debuts The Walking Dead-Inspired Board Games

WalkingdeadUSAopoly, under license by Hasbro, Inc. will debut Monopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Edition and Risk: The Walking Dead Survival Edition. Each game is based off Robert Kirkman’s comic book series and graphic novels. The games relate to the comic in detail as seen through game tokens, playing cards, the playing board itself, and other details.

Available exclusively from Skybound, Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics, and Diamond Comic Distributor, both games will be released in late September.

 

Rubie’s and AMC Partner for The Walking Dead Costumes

This Halloween, fans of The Walking Dead can dress up as their favorite zombie characters, thanks to a new partnership between Rubie’s Costume Company, Inc. and television network AMC. Rubie’s has produced officially licensed costumes, accessories, and masks based on the network’s original series. The products, inspired by the undead, are available in child, teen, and adult sizes.

AMC’s The Walking Dead tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. The series debuted last Halloween and has become the most-watched drama series in basic cable history for adults ages 18 to 49.