Happy Fourth of July! Let's celebrate the birth of this great country of ours with some fireworks of the collecting variety. We had to charge our batteries last week to get ready for the upcoming deluge of Comic-Con reveals and announcements, but we're back and ready to catch up on all the best toy, statue and replica news released in the past two weeks. Mattel made a big splash by unveiling the first round of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" action figure images while the last batch of SDCC exclusives came in and we're finally going to get some "Avengers: Age of Ultron" Legends figures of Black Widow, Hawkeye and Bruce Banner!
Batman v Superman: DAWN OF JUSTICE | Even if these "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" figures weren't available or on display at Comic-Con International, we'd still have to lead with them because they're the first toys we've seen of the upcoming hero flick! Attendees will be able to bring home a 6-inch 2-pack featuring the title characters with cloth capes. Those are cool, but check out that Wonder Woman figure! It's actually a Barbie doll based on Gal Gadot's version of the character from the film. Finally, Mattel will sell Hot Wheels versions of the new Batmobile and also feature a life-size replica of a Twin Mill car at the booth for fan photo opportunities.
DIAMOND SELECT TOYS | Not content to wait until the actual show to reveal a fleet of new toys, Diamond Select Toys got in on the game early by posting many of the new products they will have on display at SDCC. The batch includes the "Aliens" Minimates Deluxe Power Loader and Alien Queen set as well as the "Batman: The Animated Series" vinyl Joker bank, PVC Harley Quinn Femme Fatale statue and resin Poison Ivy bust plus the "Batman '66" Batmobile bank.
"Back to the Future" fans also got a glimpse of the "iced" time machine set which comes with tire flames, the movie version of Monopoly, a set of tumblers based on all three films and a 30th Anniversary Hill Valley 2015 set that includes Marty McFly Jr., a new version of Marty McFly Sr., Marlene McFly and Griff Tannen complete with hoverboard.
Also check out the Flash logo bottle opener, the Raven Hex Femme Fatale from "Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose," the villain-based "Zombies vs. Age of Ultron Secret Wars" Minimates set, the boxed Retro Thor and the "Nightmare Before Christmas" Sally Coffin Doll.
Closing things out for DST is a look at other upcoming Minimates sets. The first batch of Muppets 2-packs will consist of Kermit with Miss Piggy, Fozzie with Scooter, Swedish Chef with Gonzo and Stunt Show Gonzo with "Batter-Damaged" Swedish Chef. The "Nightmare Before Christmas" blind-bagged offerings will include Pumpkin King, Santa Claus, Santa Jack, Easter Bunny, Zero, Jack, Sally and the ultra-rare glow-in-the-dark Zero. Finally, the next wave of "SpongeBob Squarepants" 2-packs will be Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, Quickster SpongeBob and Elastic Waistband Patrick, Pearl and Harold and the incredibly rare Robot Mr. Krabs and angry Harold.
TOYS R US SDCC EXCLUSIVES | Collectible manufacturers aren't the only ones getting in on the exclusive game, so are huge outlets like Toys "R" Us. TRU has some tasty choices including the Star Wars Black Series Jabba's Rancor Pitt set, Transformers Masterpiece Bluestreak, the G.I. Joe Desert Duel pack, the Batman vs. Harley Quinn playset, the Power Rangers Black Edition Legacy Megazord, glow-in-the-dark Raiden from "Mortal Kombat," Batman Classic Batgirl and a trio of "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" figures: Maud Rock Pie, Daring Do Dazzle and Cutie Mark Princess Celestia. The mega chain will sell some of the following items through their newly launched Collector Vector hub as well as through the Entertainment Earth booth at the show.
SUPER 7 SDCC | Super 7 is taking a different approach to their San Diego exclusives. Instead of having everything at the show itself, they're actually turning their San Diego location into Skeletor's Lair to celebrate their He-Man license acquisition. To get in, attendees have to stop by the Super 7 or Mattel booths to get a Skeletoken that gets them into the location.
These Masters of the Universe offerings generally take the familiar characters and re-imagine them. For instance, there's a set of figure "prototypes" recreating the characters in the style of '70s Star Wars figures. The line is also put through the lens of M.U.S.C.L.E. toys to come up with M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. 3-packs. Artist Amanda Visell even created resin figures of He-Man and Skeletor.
Super7 went big and colorful for the Test Shot versions of the property's main hero and villain. When a toy is manufactured, the factory does and injection mold process with whatever plastic is around to make sure everything looks right. Thus these foot-tall multi-colored He-Men (and Skeletors) were born. And finally, the MOTU collectible we always wanted: a Chia pet Moss Man, sure to spice up any boring old garden you might encounter.
The company will also have a number of non-He-Man collectibles available at the show including the "Spirit Glow" Universal Monsters Haunted Crypt ReAction set, blow-molder "Nightmare Before Christmas" ornaments featuring orange ReAction figures of Jack or Sally and a 20-inch-tall Haunted House playset designed specifically for the ReAction toys!
MONDO | Last year around this time, Mondo announced that the company would expand its empire to include action figures and other collectibles. This year, they've got even more to offer including a line of 11-inch-tall, 1/6 scale Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures that come with weapons as well as multiple heads to reflect their red-masked and more colorful versions. Another sneak peek came in the form of the foot-tall First Hellboy Statue which is based on Mike Mignola's very first sketch of the character from 1991.
For good measure, feast your eyes on the Foil Variant "Ant-Man" poster by Kevin Tong as well as the "Aliens" soundtrack vinyl and a "Superman: The Animated Series" S-shield die-cut single in classic and Kryptonite colors.
FUNKO SDCC EXCLUSIVES | The folks at Funko must have a field day coming up with SDCC exclusives because in the past two weeks they doubled their efforts with five more posts of figures only found in San Diego bringing the full number up to ten!
Round six includes Sparkle Hair Joy from "Inside Out," 6-inch flocked Mr. Snuffleupagus, Regina from "Once Upon A Time," a bearded Arthur from "Arrow" ReAction figure, a 50s Batman Dorbz and 6-inch mossy Dorbz Groot. The seventh features unmasked Leia as Boushh, Grinning Ultron, red Lil' Gruesome, Nova Rocket with potted Groot, a hook-armed T-1000 ReAction and a Marshmallowed Egon Vinyl Idolz.
The eighth post included news that "Hannibal" creator Bryan Fuller would appear at the booth to sign items including the Pop Vinyl toy of himself. The Eleventh Doctor with Cyberman head, Barbershop Quartet Olaf, unmasked Flash, a Matte Black Darth Vader Hikari, Frost Groot Hikari and "Thrillkill" Batman Dorbz also scored the spotlight.
The penultimate group consisted of unmasked Arrow, glitter emoticon Baymax, Gone Batty Minion, Frying Pan Rapunzel with red Pascal, X-Force Deadpool Dorbz and mossy Groot Dorbz.
The final (for now, at least) unveiling took a slightly different approach. Sure, there were Pops of Blue Crystal Heisenberg and a "Batman v Superman" 2-pack, but also a bunch of T-shirts. The company's Freddy Funko mascot graces two while others feature Disco Skeletor, the Ninja Turtles, the Staypuft Marshmallow Man and a ladies-only Black Widow one.
NECA SDCC EXCLUSIVES | Scoring SDCC exclusives can be tough. If you're at the show, there's usually a mad dash to get the limited run products and if you can't actually go, you spend hours and lots of dough scouring the web for the best deal, but NECA's trying to make it a little easier on the latter group by selling some at a limited number of Toys R Us and Hastings stores between July 9th and 12th. Another small group will go up for sale on necastore.com at a time still to-be-determined.
To round out the news, NECA also announced their final exclusive, a "Friday the 13th" retro 2-pack featuring Mrs. Voorhees and Jason as they appeared way back in the 1980 original film complete with iconic blue sweater and Camp Crystal Lake T-shirts!
BIF BANG POW SDCC EXCLUSIVES | Bif Bang Pow might have one of the coolest SDCC exclusive sets on their hands with this one based on the "Twilight Zone" episode "Five Characters in Search of an Exit." If you know how the episode ends, you're aware of how fun this semi-meta set including an Army Major, Bagpiper, Ballerina, Clown and Hobo really is. They even come packed on top of each other in human ladder form!
GAME OF THRONES | Are you ready to build Westeros in your living room? McFarlane Toys wants to help. The company announced over on Entertainment Weekly plans to sell "Game of Thrones" building sets much like the ones they currently make based on AMC's "The Walking Dead." The first sets announced are The Iron Throne Room (pictured with King Joffrey, Tyrion Lannister and various guard figures), Mother of Dragons and Attack on the Wall. Expect to see even more at the convention next weekend.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON | After not hearing anything about the Hasbro "Avengers: Age of Ultron" Marvel Legends 4-pack featuring Thor, Black Widow, Bruce Banner and Hawkeye post-Toy Fair, it seems like the set is finally going to see the light of day. This image was spotted and posted over on ToyArk, implying that the first movie figures of those last three characters should be going up for pre-order soon!
HOT TOYS | Those masters of likenesses at Hot Toys continue to create their lifelike foot tall action figures based on heroes of film and fantasy. Upcoming additions to their already impressive line-up include an "Age of Ultron" take on Chris Hemsworth's Thor, a Tank Iron Man from the third film that will be a 2015 Toy Fair exclusive and an updated T-800 Guardian version Arnold Schwarzenegger as he appears in "Terminator Genisys."
SIDESHOW COLLECTIBLES | This week's Sideshow Collectible highlights are brought to you by the letters W and eye. Comic book fans will be all over the brown costume Wolverine and "Red Son" Wonder Woman premium format figures that stand 20 and 22 inches tall, respectively. While the latter does not have an exclusive option, the former does, specifically a swap-out right hand holding the Muramasa blade.
The next two offerings might seem quite different in size and stature, but both feature creepy light-up eyes. On one hand you have the Star Wars Jawa 2-pack featuring the droid sellers of Tatooine while on the other you can see a life-sized T-800 skeleton based on James Cameron's 1984 classic "The Terminator."
X-MEN | January will see the release of Kotobukiya's Magneto entry in the X-Men ARTFX+ statue line. The former would-be world conquerer has turned his mastery of magnetism towards maintaining and furthering mutantkind, going so far as to align himself with Cyclops' X-team and change costumes. That new look will be the focus here, though don't be surprised if the sculpt allows for redecos down the line.
POP VINYL | Though it might seem like Funko is fully focused on SDCC exclusives, they also have a growing empire of mass market Pop Vinyls to maintain and add to. New members include Herman, Grandpa, Eddie and Lily Munster who will hit August.
Gigantor, Pinhead from "Hellraiser" and classic vampire Nosferatu might not have family members to hang out with like the Munsters do, but the figures will surely get snatched up when released in August. Funko is also selling Premium Pop Protectors, clear boxes to keep your boxed toys well cared for.
VINYL SUGAR | Funko's Vinyl Sugar imprint is about to make some new fans with these giant "Guardians of the Galaxy" toys! A new line called Super Deluxe kicks off with an 11-inch-tall Groot as well as a set featuring a 7-inch-tall Rocket hanging out with a 4-inch baby Groot! Get them all and it's like one big happy family!
Speaking of big, happy and "Guardians," the Dorbz line is literally expanding thanks to the Dorbz XL collectibles. The 6-inch versions include Groot and Rocket as well as another pair of heroic pals: Batman and Robin!