When it comes to video game and movie-based action figures and collectibles, NECA has a lock when it comes to licenses. The company’s booth at Toy Fair looked like a DVD and video game collection come to life thanks to a variety of characters from up-and-coming video games and classic films from the ’80s with huge fan followings. Director of Product Development Randy Falk showed CBR News around the packed booth to highlight the newest toys based on games and films.
One of the most anticipated sequels of 2012 has to be “Bioshock Infinite,” which drops later this year. Developers 2K Games are keeping the characters tightly under wraps and thus NECA had to keep the figures on the down low, but they did show off the grapple hook Sky-Hook prop replica as well as the Columbia souvenir statue, both of which will be available in the mid-2012. Other figures revealed from upcoming games included Vector from “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.” The game hits stores March 20 with the figure following in April.
While gamers look forward to games like “Bioshock Infinite,” recent hits like “Gears of War 3” are likely still spinning in their consoles — and this June, NECA releases the third series of “Gears of War” figures. This wave includes Journey’s End Marcus out of armor, two different Savage Therons and a COG soldier who was not completed by show time. “Assassin’s Creed” will also add a number of new collectibles to the brotherhood thanks to new figures of Ezio Auditore from “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” (Summer 2012), an Onyx variant of Ezio from “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” (April 2012), a pair of Ezio bobbleheads, a prop replica of Ezio’s hidden blade (Summer 2012) and the Da Vinci flying machine ready for figures to take a ride.
Last year, NECA announced a new agreement with game makers Valve to create action figures and replicas based on their stable of wildly popular games including last year’s smash hit “Portal 2.” The biggest reveal, literally, had to be the Portal gun replica: a wearable version of Chell’s Portal gun that lights up with orange and blue lights. Figures based on the popular zombie survival franchise “Left 4 Dead” were also shown, including a Boomer with a removable torso to display what it’s like after you blow him up. The tongue-lashing Smoker was also displayed — speaking of tongue, the Smoker’s has a wire embedded inside so you can pose it. The “Left 4 Dead” zombies will hit shelves in May and Summer 2012 respectively.
Summer will also see the release of a Gordon Freeman figure from “Half Life 2” packaged with a head crab. A plush version of the crab will also be out along with plush versions of characters from “Team Fortress 2.” NECA also has “Team Fortress 2” figures lined up starting with the Heavy (pictured) and the Demo — which actually went missing between Saturday set-up and the show on Sunday. The second series boasts the Pyro and the Soldier.
Last but not least for video game toys, “Borderlands” figures made their debut at the show. The first wave, which comes out in May, revolves around the first game and includes Psycho Bandit — who graces the cover of the game — as well as the iconic Claptrap robot. They will be followed in August by a pair of figures based on new characters from “Borderlands 2,” Assassin and Salvador. The game will be out in 2013.
In movie toy news, NECA has a slew of collectibles based on “The Hunger Games” from action figures to lightbulbs. The figures of Katniss, Peeta and Gale — who are played by Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth in the film — debut March 23.
From the world of horror, NECA will continue working on figures for “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Friday the 13th” and “Evil Dead.” With the 30th anniversary of “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” this year, the company has plans to celebrate by releasing another figure of Freddy Krueger as well as a Freddy puppet as seen in the film. Another Freddy from “Nightmare 5” will release in August along with those pieces. Meanwhile, Jason gets another pair of figures with various weapons and swappable heads based on his appearance in “Friday the 13th Part 3” and “The Final Chapter.” Finally, they showed off a preview of the latest chainsaw-wielding Ash figure from the “Evil Dead” line alongside Henrietta, who will come with a fully bendable long necked extension.
The hits from the ’80s keep on coming for NECA with figures based on the “Rocky,” “Predator” and “Robocop” franchises. With the second and third waves of Rocky figures, NECA dipped appropriately into the “Rocky III” and “Rocky IV” wells. The May-shipping Series 2 includes a mid-punch Rocky with blood and spit flying out of his mouth as well as Drago (Dolph Lundgren) from “Rocky IV.” Variant figures include a non-punched version of Rocky and Drago with a different look from the film. Meanwhile, Series 3 hits in August, featuring Rocky and Clubber Lang (Mr. T) who both have variants from different points in the film.
The “Robocop” line continues with a battle-damaged version of the character in June. When asked about moving into “Robocop 2” and “Robocop 3,” Falk said he doesn’t think there will be much interest in figures from those films. He also said NECA would like to make figures of Robo’s nemesis ED-209, but it’s a question of cost. The Predator line also moves on into the sixth wave consisting of the three Predators who show up at the very end of “Predator 2” in the ship along with some of the trophies also seen onboard.
Fans of smaller movie characters should take note that NECA has plans for both E.T. and Gremlins moving into 2012. There will be two series’ of E.T. Figures, the first of which drops in April with a basic figure of the alien. The second wave begins with drunken flannel wearing E.T. with Speak and Spell. Finally, a bicycle-ready wrapped up version comes out this summer. Light up E.T. hands and other toys will also be available. Meanwhile, the second series of Mogwai figures from the “Gremlins” franchise will debut in the spring with Rambo Gizmo, Daffy and Mohawk. A third series featuring various good and bad Mogwais will release this summer. The Gremlins will also add more to their ranks thanks to the Spring-shipping Phantom Gremlin, Daffy and Brain plus a tease at the Electricity Gremlin that will most likely be packed in with another figure later on in the line. There was also a look at the only female in the batch known as Lady Gremlina. Finally, NECA will offer up a full-size Gremlin puppet replica. Falk told CBR they actually tracked down and purchased one of the original puppets at auction and copied it for a limited run. He’ll be available in May.
Whether you like video games or movies, new properties or classic ones, NECA has plenty of pieces to check out in 2012.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more coverage of New York Toy Fair 2012.