At CBR News, we've been to our fair share of conventions. Toy Fair 2007 was different, though. First off, Toy Fair was large. Unfathomably, massively large! New York's Javits Center was packed to the gills with every conceivable doll, game and building block you can imagine.
As soon as you enter, you are surrounded by Spider-Man stuff. Usually, when the Web Slinger is such a prominent player, you'd expect to see rabid costumed fans everywhere. Not so with Toy Fair. Unfortunately for fans, it was strictly press and industry only. Fortunately, CBR was on hand to let you know what you missed! Here's part one of our two-piece Toy Fair retrospective:
First things first, we had a date with the good people of The Lego Group. On a personal note, I had seriously been dreaming about what the Lego booth was going to look like. I imagined hundred-foot high Lego Godzilla monsters eating a scale model of a Duplo factory. Raging waterfalls crafted entirely from blue bricks and a child's wish. You know, all that mind-bogglingly crazy stuff Lego always seems to do at these conventions!
So when I got there, I was mildly disappointed. Sure their merchandise was great, but the presentation was lacking. Oh, they had a life-sized brick Batman, but I was really looking forward to something more. I guess I always just have an image of Lego being run by guys whose sole purpose in life is to construct warehouses full of crazy contraptions out of tiny colored bricks. Still, I guess a 6-foot tall Batman is cool. Sorta…
But as for their actual toys, there was a fine array of cool licensed stuff to be had. In keeping with the big man up front, Lego had several Batman constructible playsets available:
Coming in August, you can check out lots of cool stuff like "The Batcopter: The Chase for Scarecrow." Everyone's favorite crime-chopper comes complete with rotating blades and missile launcher. You know, for all those times when Batman has bombarded his foes with "tomahawk bat-missiles." The Scarecrow comes with his own biplane prepped to drop gas bombs on Gotham City.
Another upcoming set is "The Bat Tank and Riddler Hideout." The Riddler and Bane are holed up in their secret hideout, but the ever-imaginative caped detective has devised a clever plan to get them out: more missiles! Even though the Batman of the Lego universe doesn't seem to care too much about collateral damage, his kits look like they'll be a blast.
In 2007, Lego will release a whole array of Star Wars playsets as well. From the General Grievious Starfighter to Clone Troopers to AT-STs, you'll find all the brick Star Wars fun you've come to expect from Lego. More advanced builders can try their hands at the upcoming Trade Federation MTT vehicle. That's the big orange tank thing that carries Battle Droid containers into the field. It looks really intricate and should keep fans busy throughout the year. Once again, Lego has outdone themselves.
Sideshow Collectibles exhibited a tremendous amount of wonderful stuff in their center area. Not all of it was specifically comic book based, but it was all that geeky stuff we know and love.
A handful of truly menacing-looking "Terminator 2" statues were on display, including busts, metallic endoskeletons and even an HK replica! And where would those Terminators be without their old buddy Robocop? One of the most eye-catching designs was the painstaking recreation of "Robocop 3's" title hero, complete with his trusty jetpack! It's superbly detailed right down to individual folds and indents in Robo's metal armor.
One of the most impressive displays was a huge prototype of "Aliens'" Ellen Ripley in her mechanized exosuit. Kept behind glass, this enormous collectible featured a stunning attention to detail. Ripley is definitely one that Alien fans should keep an eye out for.
And it just wouldn't really be a con without at least one person dressed like a Storm Trooper, right? Sideshow Collectibles had one all decked out in his Imperial garb to draw attention to their impressive line of Star Wars swag.
The creators actually took a trip up to Skywalker Ranch to research George Lucas' extensive costume collection. Unlike most movies where the props are either lost or sold within weeks, Lucas was really good about hanging onto his stuff. Because of this, the toy designers are able to focus on the incredible intricacies of the uniforms and props. Their amazing craftsmanship really shows, particularly in the three authentically uniformed Endor Rebel soldiers they had on display. They looked ready to creep right out of the forest and tear into so AT-STs. Some of the other 2007 world premieres include a Buboicullaar Creature pack, Darth Maul and a recreation of the fateful Obi Wan Vs. Anakin fight scene from Episode III.
Of course, Sideshow had plenty of new Marvel things, too To coincide with the upcoming film, they've pulled out the stops with both Classic and Old West Ghost Rider models. Everyone's favorite mutants are literally tearing the head right off one of one unlucky Sentinel in another display. For fans of the White Queen, Sideshow had two stunning depictions of the adorably top-heavy Emma Frost! These new collectors' items are a departure from Sideshow's usual stuff. But if you're too prudish to flaunt the White Queen's bust around your home, why not check out their brand new bust of Iron Man?
From "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" to "Hellboy" to even Elvis Presley, Sideshow had all the angles covered. A whole heap of Spider-Man and Venom mini-busts and statues were on display, and will arrive later in the year. Check out their website to learn more. Since they've just procured the "Spider-Man 3" license, you can expect tons of great movie collectors' items featuring the whole cast!
Speaking of Marvel comics, you've just got to see some of the stuff Corgi had on display. From Spider-man to The Incredible Hulk, all the big heroes are immortalized in metallic busts and sculptures. Ghost Rider and Punisher are just two of the many new collectibles they exhibited this year.
DC also made a strong showing on the Corgi front. Several metallic Batmobiles showed off the many variations of the Dark Knight's vehicles over the years. The meticulously detailed cars and bikes are must haves for any collector.
Additionally, Corgi had their own range of Star Wars merchandise. While they had lots of terrific sculptures and scale models, that kind of stuff was everywhere. What really set Corgi apart were their replica props. Helmets from Darth Vadar to Clone Troopers looked realistic enough to jump out at you. Plus, there were enough lightsaber reproductions to fend off entire legions of Sith.
If "a galaxy far, far away" isn't your thing, then why not head to the "Final Frontier?" Star Trek finally got some representation in a line of great metal collectors props, ships and figures. Chances are, if you're a fan of any pop-culture, then you'll love something Corgi has coming out in 2007.
Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.
In our last piece, we saw the private showroom of Diamond's DC Direct line. Inside the actual Toy Fair, we learned that Diamond Comic Distributors had plenty more tricks up their sleeves. The massive section flaunted unique versions of "Ghost Rider" and "Spider-Man 3" collectibles. Diamond's intricate 2007 action figures and mini-busts will let you can keep a piece of that Hollywood magic long after you've left the theater. Nearby, the gang shared shelf space with new toys from SciFi's "Stargate SG-1" and "Battlestar Gallactica" shows.
Cubicle-bound collectors will thrill at Diamond's "Office Space" bobble heads with authentic movie sounds. Kevin Smith's cult classic films make an appearance too, in "Jay and Silent Bobbles."
For Japanophiles, Diamond's booth had a huge array of game and manga themed statues. "Bleach," "Street Fighter" and "InuYasha" came alive in finely crafted figurines. Diamond's "Square-Enix" imports immortalized some of the greatest game heroes in their 2007 lineup. "Kingdom Hearts," "Front Mission" and "Valkyrie Profile" all get high marks for their extreme attention to detail. There were even replica vehicles and weapons from several of the "Final Fantasy" games.
Continuing their tradition of stunningly detailed horror collectibles comes Mcfarlane's Dragons Series. Five exciting new dragon sculptures are flawlessly detailed and looked ferocious, even at a mere 6-inches. The coup de grâce was an extra large Fire Dragon Clan boxed set featuring an enormous beast bursting out of lava to devour a hapless warrior.
The longest running animated show on television, "The Simpsons," is seeing another run of product from McFarlane. Four 6-inch scale scenes and one deluxe box set make up "The Simpsons Series 1." Taken directly from classic episodes, you can now own a piece of the series. Snatch them up quick in March to help you remember the golden days of Springfield. Later in 2007, McFarlane Toys will be also release "The Simpsons Movie" themed collectibles to coincide with the release of impending film.
New to their Pop Culture Masterworks line are 3-D versions of the classic "Rocky" and "Silence of the Lambs" movie posters. Combining sculpting and forced perspective artwork, these intriguing pieces are the perfect way to liven up your walls.
McFarlane Toys will be extending its "Lost" line by offering Series 2 action figures. Four brand new island dwellers join the mix. Scam Spidey out of his lunch money with Sawyer! Whomp Batman on the noggin with Mr. Eko's giant stick! Break out your new Jin and Sun and reenact their moments like… um… Jin crying! And who can forget such other thrilling scenes as Sun tending her garden while crying?
Action junkies can get their fix with McFarlane's new "24" toys. Based off the hit series, Jack Bauer's figure looks just as bad ass as it's namesake. Fans have been waiting a long time for these and McFarlane has certainly delivered.
Finally, we'll also get to see yet more "Spawn" toys. Like every year before, the new Spawns are looking mighty snazzy. Series 31 will feature "Spawn the Marauder" and others. It's another great year for McFarlane.
Not to be outdone by the big guys, Attakus is holding the fort with their own lines of great action figures and sculptures. While they've got an assortment of Erotic figurines in their catalog, they've also got a great selection of Marvel Superheroes and metal Star Wars collectibles. From meticulous sculpted statues of Spidey and Carnage to sharp reproductions of classic Star Wars battles, fans will definitely want to check out what Attakus has in stock.
The Year of the Spider
If you've noticed, a lot of people are jumping on the Spider-Man gravy train this year. Throughout Toy Fair, Spidey was quite clearly the star of the show. No matter what part of the building you were in, you couldn't walk more than a foot without tripping over some form of Spider-Man merchandise. There were action figures of all shapes and sizes, plush dolls, resin models, Frisbees, posters, you name it!
Besides all the aforementioned busts, maquettes and sculptures there was loads of other gear. Some of it was great, while others were embarrassingly obvious money grabs. Have a look:
Spidey Action Figures (Hasbro)
Those action figures from Hasbro may not ever be the best looking things on the market, but they sure are fun! Soon the first wave of their new Spider-Man figures will hit the shelves. Spidey is available in both the original red and the black costumes. Joining him will be Venom, New Goblin and Sandman, each with a unique "action feature" to liven them up. They look like solid toys and will more than likely be the best selling Spider-Man merchandise of all. Not exactly collectors' items, but Hasbro's toys are a great for those weirdo kids that actually play with their toys.
Spider-Man Deluxe Spinning Web Blaster (Hasbro)
It's a toy that squirts water or a special "web fluid." Hopefully it will have a better ad campaign than the last squirt gun that shot "fluid" at children.
Spider Spud (Hasbro)
It's Mr. Potato Head… with a costume. What will Hasbro think up next?
Spidey Suduko (Fantasma Toys)
A Suduko board featuring Marvel Characters.
Spider-Man Face Balls (Fantasma Toys)
A ball with, get this, Spider-Man and Venom's masks on them. They also feel like squishy tumors in your hands, so kids will probably love 'em.
Peter Parker Squirting Camera (Fantasma Toys)
Hail Fantasma Toys, the dark lords of re-branded old ideas.
Spider-Man DVD Blast (Screenlife Games)
An interactive DVD trivia game featuring content from all three movies. Fun for all ages.
Marvel Scene It? (Screenlife Games)
Okay, so it's not exclusively a Spidey product. But it's everyone's favorite trivia game featuring Marvel's most popular heroes.
Marvel Personalized Music CDs and Alarm Clocks (Kids' Juke Box, Inc.)
Alarm clocks and music CDs that feature a picture of Spider-Man or the Fantastic Four on the cover, while saying you or your child's name.
Oh, and one last thing:
The Tonner Doll Company had a great prototype for a Spider-Man doll. Unfortunately, they were insistent on not having anyone photograph it, lest someone steal their "exclusive" design. So while we can't show it to you, here's a hint: It looked pretty much exactly like every other red-and-blue Spider-Man at the show!
We can't possibly fit this whole thing into one article, so that's it for this installment. Stay tuned for the conclusion of CBR's in-depth coverage of Toy Fair 2007!