Tentpole films and action figures have gone hand in hand for as long as many of us can remember. On one hand, they want kids to be able to continue the action seen on the screen in their daily lives while also making a pretty penny. But, the collectible world doesn’t just revolve around newer movies like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” or “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Companies like Diamond Select Toys, NECA and Funko also create figures based on classic properties and franchises from the ’80s and ’90s. Judging by the huge number of toys we saw at Toy Fair fitting into these two categories, it doesn’t look like movie fans will want for long when it comes to picking up something fun and plastic this year.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY | Hasbro’s not messing around when it comes to “Guardians of the Galaxy” toys. In addition to the movie and comic based Legends figures already seen, Hasbro also have electronic versions of Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon, masks of both characters and a role-play version of the Quad Blaster. Plus, smaller scale 2-packs consisting of characters like Drax, Gamora, Groot, Korath, Nova, Rocket Raccoon, Ronan, Sakarian and Star-Lord. That last batch includes some of the first looks at these lesser known characters.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 | “Amazing Spider-Man 2” is another one of the many highly anticipated comic book movies of the year. As such, it also had a strong showing at Toy Fair. Diamond Select Toys has a variety of offerings based on the film from a pair of statues and a Marvel Select figure to a line of MiniMates. Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man, Harry Osborn, Fireman Spidey, Electro, Alistair Smythe and Aleksei Systevich (better known as the Rhino) pre-armor.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLIDER | Last week, DST unveiled their Captain America Marvel Select figure and the full wave of “The Winter Soldier” MiniMates, but they still held back a little something for Toy Fair attendees: The Falcon! Part of the 7-inch scale Marvel Select line, the character played by Anthony Mackie in the film looks ready to soar in plastic form.
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION | Only one entry on this list comes from a film that started out as a toy and that’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” Hasbro plans to celebrate the film’s June 27 release with a variety of figures. Kids can revel in the glory that is the Stomp & Chomp Grimlock, a quick change bot that comes with a huge sword. Meanwhile, the Generations Deluxe treatment will be bestowed upon Scorn, Drift, Strafe, Slash and Slug just as Optimus Prime and Grimlock get the same from the Generations Leader branding. Last but not least, look for Voyager versions of Prime, Grimlock, Hound and Galvatron, a major villain in the upcoming film.
STAR WARS | A longtime Toy Fair stalwart, Star Wars did not disappoint at this year’s event. Hasbro unsheathed brand new 6-inch scale Black Series figures of prequel Obi-Wan, a Stormtrooper, Luke, “Revenge of the Sith” Anakin, Chewbacca, a Clone Trooper, a Sandtrooper, unmaskable Darth Vader and black-clad Luke along with same-scale deluxe versions of Jabba the Hutt and a Speeder Bike with Speeder Bike Trooper. Meanwhile, the 3 3/4 inch Black Series will move along with Dagobah Luke, Yoda, Toryn Farr, Darth Vader, Wedge Antilles, Doallyn, Ree Yees, Hoth Luke and R5-D4. Finally, keep an eye out for the huge Star Wars Heroes X-Wing, which offers a great scale and a low price for such a large vehicle.
STAR WARS | If you like a softer, gentler Star Wars collectible, then Funko’s got just the thing for you with their cuddly Fabrikations versions of Yoda and Greedo. Both look extra sassy and hit in the summer along with Boba Fett, who must have been meeting with Jabba when we snapped our photos.
THE DARK KNIGHT | NECA unleashed a true force of chaotic nature at Toy Fair in the form of the Joker! Based on Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the maniacal villain as seen in “The Dark Knight,” the quarter scale toy will surely intimidate all your other figures large and small with its unnerving stare and variety of weapons. He’ll be out in July.
REACTION | Funko made a huge splash at this year’s Toy Fair by unveiling a massive expansion of their ReAction brand. Made to look like old school Kenner action figures from the late ’70s and ’80s, ReAction takes favorite franchises and examines them through that particular brand of funhouse mirror. The company went from having just Alien toys to those based on “Back to the Future,” “Escape From New York,” “Goonies,” “The Rocketeer,” “Nightmare Before Christmas,” the Predator movies, “Pulp Fiction,” Terminator, Universal Monsters and various horror icons from the past few decades. It’s an incredibly ambitious expansion project that we’ll keep an eye on as it expands throughout the year.
ALIENS | Diamond Select Toys actually had a wide variety of Alien franchise MiniMates on display, but we couldn’t shoot them all. We were able to snap a photo of most of the figures that will be in the Summer-debuting Aliens Vs. Marines MiniMates Army Dump single packed figures. There will be one more xenomorph available alongside the two seen along with humans Carter Burke, Spunkmeyer and Wierzbowski.
ALIENS | NECA also showed off a variety of Alien-based figures at Toy Fair. Their offerings included the first look at the July-launching third series of figures featuring Kane in the Nostromo suit from “Alien,” Lance Henriksen’s Bishop from “Aliens” and the Dog Alien from “Alien 3.” They also showed off a Power Loader that will hit this summer and Series 4 entry Dallas as seen in “Alien.”
VIEWASKEW | Kevin Smith might not have made a movie set in his Viewaskewniverse lately, but that doesn’t mean toy companies haven’t been mining “Clerks,” “Mallrats,” “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma,” “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” and “Clerks 2” for toy gold. DST showed off a ton of new ‘Askew products in the works for this year including a pair of Bluntman and Chronic Retro Cloth figures as well as Select versions of Jay and Silent Bob and a whole line of MiniMates based on “Clerks” and “Strike Back,” including a Buddy Christ and Mooby 2-pack!
TARANTINO TOYS | Kevin Smith isn’t the only director to get a slew of new toy offerings from Diamond Select Toys. Fellow ’90s-debuting helmer Quentin Tarantino has a variety of toys in the works too based on “Pulp Fiction” and the Kill Bill films. We couldn’t shoot the Select figures of Jules, Butch and Marsselus from the former and Bill, O-Ren, Bud, The Bride, Gogo, Johnny Mo and some Crazy 88 members, but they looked spot on!
The MiniMates were fair game, though. The Pulp Fiction characters will break down into two 4-packs featuring the stars and secondary characters along with a Jules and Vincent 2-pack. Meanwhile, Kill Bill will come out in three 4-packs including one consisting entirely of Crazy 88 gangsters.
TARANTINO POP | Not satisfied for just one batch of collectibles based on his films, Quentin Tarantino also has a variety of Pop Vinyl figures based on “Pulp Fiction” and the Kill Bill movies thanks to Funko. At Toy Fare they showed off Jules, Mia, Vincent and Butch from the former and Bill, The Bride, Gogo, O-Ren and a Crazy 88 from the latter ready to roll in June.
FANTASTIC MR. FOX | One of the more surprising lines of movie-based figures unveiled at Toy Fair came from Funko. The company showed off a series of figures based on Wes Anderson’s 2009 stop-motion adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Done in their larger scale Legacy Collection format, the line includes Mr. Fox, Ash with two masked heads, Rat and Kylie.
RETRO HORROR | NECA plans to continue moving forward with their Retro-Styled Cloth horror figures after kicking off with Freddy and Jason recently. “Evil Dead 2” will make the leap into that worked with two new versions of Bruce Campbell’s Ash. Meawhile, Jason as he appeared in Friday the 13 Part 2 and Part V will also get new MEGO-style toys. And, for good measure check out the latest figure of Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie as seen on the cover of their album “The Trooper.”
’80s ACTION | NECA’s ability to take classic ’80s action movies and turn them into equally engrossing and endearing lines of action figures continues to impress movie fans. The toy company will continue two existing lines by doing another version of Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo, this one from the second film in the franchise and a deluxe take on Robocop complete with jetpack and massive gun. Both well-armed figures hit in July.
PREDATOR | Predators took over its own corner of the NECA booth this year at Toy Fair. It had several different lines and special offerings on display including the 12th series which hits in June. That wave consists of two figures based on the “Bad Blood” comic book — Bad Blood Predator and Enforcer — along with what they dubbed Elder 2.0 from “Predator 2.” Series 13 was also on display and finds its roots going back to the Kenner toys and the pack-in minicomics. That wave consists of Scavenger, Renegade and Cracked Tusk. Finally, they unveiled the August-shipping Blade Fighter, the first vehicle in the line which comes with a pilot they’ve dubbed Viper.
SIN CITY | Just last month, Diamond Select Toys showed off the first three figures from their line of “Sin City” Select figures. While those toys were on display at Toy Fair, the company also unveiled the first batch of MiniMates based on the Frank Miller-Robert Rodriguez adaptation of Miller’s comic. The first set will include Hartigan, Rourke Sr., Roark Jr. (aka That Yellow Bastard) and Nancy while the second stars Marv, Cardinal Roark, Wendy/Goldie and Kevin. As you might have sussed out, the first set is based on the “That Yellow Bastard” segment while the second takes its cues from “The Hard Goodbye.”
GODZILLA | Godzilla, king of the monsters made quite an imprint at Toy Fair. DST displayed two different kinds of collectibles fans can get their hands on later this year. Their bank series continues with full sized Godzillas in both his classic form and Burning variants along with a bust-sized one and Ghidora with all three heads. The company also unveiled the first 4-pack of Godzilla MiniMates which will include the terrible thunder lizard, Titanosaurus, Gigan and Mothra. They hit this winter.