Television has this amazing ability to work its way into viewers’ minds. We can spend years following a group of characters, experiencing their ups and downs while cheering or jeering. Those relationships often branch out into a desire to own some part of the series in real life. Luckily for TV fans, the collector world is always willing to sell figures, replicas and statues based on a variety of programs old and new. TV characters were well-represented at this year’s New York Toy Fair with everything from classics like “Batman,” “Buffy” and ’80s animated favorites to new juggernauts like “The Walking Dead” and highly anticipated new offerings like “Star Wars Rebels” all took the spotlight.
STAR WARS REBELS | Disney XD and Lucasfilm have been slowly revealing new characters appearing in their upcoming animated series “Star Wars Rebels,” but it was Hasbro’s turn to show them off at Toy Fair. Characters like Kanan, Ezra, Chomper and the evil Inquisitor will all get new figures along with fellow bad guy Kallus and the ubiquitous Stormtroopers. But that’s not all, the line will also feature vehicles like the AT-DP, the Inquisitor’s TIE Advanced Prototype and the Phantom. “Rebels” toys will start showing up at retailers this fall.
THE WALKING DEAD | McFarlane dedicated an entire section of their booth to “The Walking Dead.” In addition to displaying waves we’ve seen like series three, four and five, they also had early looks at the Shane Walsh TV Solid, Rick from Series 6 and a massive, May-shipping resin statue of Rick taking on three zombies single-handedly.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER | Still one of the most beloved genre series’ of all time, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” continues to inspires toy companies to bring the gang to life in plastic. Funko’s doing just that with a new line of Pop Vinyl figures that includes Willow, Spike, Angel, Buffy and one of the Gentlemen from “Hush.” Buffy and the Scoobies will hit in June.
REACTION | “Buffy” will also make its presence known in Funko’s newly minted ReAction line which takes a retro approach to figures along the lines of Kenner action figures from the late ’70s and early ’80s. The first “Buffy” wave includes Angel, Buffy, Oz, vampire face Spike, regular Spike, Willow and The Gentleman. That’s not the only Joss Whedon-created series in the line, though. “Firefly” favorites Jayne, Mal, Washburne, Zoe and Kaylee will also get the toy treatment as part of the line.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS | As usual, Mattel had a nice separate set-up to show off their next chunk of Masters of the Universe Classics figures. In addition to displaying plenty of previously announced figures including Modulak, Scorpia, Rio Blast (out in September), Goat Man (this year’s traveling con exclusive) and the Loo-Kee and Kowl 2-pack (chase set), they also announced a new additional subscription to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “She-Ra.” Double Mischief, Madam Razz, Entrapta, Light Hope and a mystery helmet accessory belonging to a character called Sweet Bee that make up four of the six figures in that sub.
Mattel has a few other toys based on He-Man and company in the works too. There’s a few more Masters Minis 2-packs in the works including Scareglow and Stratos along with Fake and Man-At-Arms, both of which come with pieces of Castle Grayskull to build. Finally, they showcased an unpainted concept version of Skeletor made to look like he did on the classic Filmation cartoon that they wanted fan feedback on.
G.I. JOE | Hasbro is celebrating a huge anniversary this year with the 50th birthday of the G.I. Joe line. Specially branded anniversary figures and Kre-O sets will be available exclusively at Toys “R” Us starting next month. New figures include Snow Job, Blow Torch, Low Light, Lady Jaye, Destro, Beach Head and a variety of others. Hasbro also revealed the Danger At The Docks set which will be a SDCC exclusive this summer.
Meanwhile, in the world of Kre-O, Hasbro will offer their largest Joe-inspired set in the fall when the Terror Drome debts. In addition to the massive Drome pieces you also get the parts to build Serpentor’s Air Chariot and Hawk’s VTOL and KREON figures of Hawk, Gung Ho, Mainframe, a Cobra Scar Trooper, Serpentor and Xamot. Other sets include Firebat Attack and Outpost Defense, plus figure packs featuring everyone from Doc and Tomax to Torch and Scrap-Iron.
BATMAN ’66 | Last year, items based on the classic “Batman” TV series starring Adam West were all over the place. They weren’t quite as pervasive this year, but Diamond Select Toys did have some new banks based on the series on display. We couldn’t shoot all of them, but you can check out Batman, Robin and The Joker at the show. Note that Joker’s not fully approved, but sure does a good job of recreating Cesar Romero’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES | Funko’s branching out into all kinds of different franchises and formats this year. In addition to their ReAction and Legacy Collection toys, they’re also furthering their vinyl offerings with a line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles under the Hikari Japanese Vinyl banner. The line includes Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello, Metallic Raphael and then general Gold and Grey Glitter Turtles. The toys still need to be fully approved, but the plan is to have a limited amount of hand numbered offerings.