Things are starting to heat up in the collecting world and it's not just because of the surprisingly warm start to the summer. It's because Comic-Con International isn't too far off and companies are getting ready by showing off new items, exclusives and getting ready for the show! Diamond Select Toys showed off a flood of new solicit products, Mattel unveiled some SDCC exclusives and many others got in on the reveal action. For all that and more, you have to read on! We promise it will help beat the heat (especially if you're reading in an air conditioned coffee shop).
DIAMOND SELECT TOYS | Diamond Select Toys came out of the gate on fire this week thanks to their latest batch of solicits. The company previewed fall offerings like the Catwoman "Batman '66" bust, the animated Poison Ivy Femme Fatales statue and the first series of "Gotham" figures which includes Gordon, Selina Kyle and The Penguin.
In other action figure news, DST's first wave of Ghostbusters Movie Select figures launches with 7-inch Ray, Winston and Louis toys packed with accessories, as will the Doctor Strange Marvel Select entry.
Minimates fans should note that a Jay and Silent Bob zombie, Predator and Pulp Fiction packs are also in the works. The first wave of blind bagged Predator 'Mates includes Edwin and Cuchillo from "Predators," the City Predator from "Predator 2" both regular and battle damaged and thermal, masked and unmasked versions of the Jungle Predator from the first film. The Bring Out the Gimp "Pulp Fiction" 4-pack includes Butch, Marsellus, Zed and, of course, the Gimp.
Finally, the line of Universal Monsters Select Version 2 toys will grow to include new takes on The Mummy and The Wolfman along with the DST-created take on Monster Hunter Lucy Westerna inspired by "Dracula."
MATTEL SDCC EXCLUSIVES | In other Ghostbusters toy news, Mattel announced that they will celebrate the life of actor-writer-director Harold Ramis with an SDCC exclusive version of Egon from the courtroom scene. Mattel also announced that Rotar, Twistoid and Hover Bot 3-packs will go on sale at the summer's biggest geek gathering.
BATMAN | These days, "Batman Returns" might not get a lot of love what with the villain bonanza and deadly penguins, but back in 1992 it was the coolest comic movie around. Hot Toys channeled that retro love into a newly sculpted figure based on Michael Keaton's appearance in the Tim Burton sequel. In addition to the Batman figure, the company will also sell a 2-pack that includes a full Bruce Wayne figure as well as a torn-up mask.
ULTRON | Last week we caught a preview of 3A's Ultron figure, but now all three versions can be pre-ordered on the company's website. You've got your choice between Classic (shiny), Shadow (matte) and Ghost (white). Each Ashley Wood-designed toy stands about 13 inches tall and comes with light-up mouth, back, eyes and chest and ships at the end of this year.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY | Hasbro and Entertainment Earth have teamed up to give "Guardians of the Galaxy" fans the box set they've been craving. Based on the look of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Drax, Groot and Gamora when they first joined forces post-"Annihilation," the set also includes extra weapons, hands and heads, plus a baby Groot in a pot because you just can't skip that detail these days. Pre-order now and get your box in August.
ANT-MAN | June will see the release of Funko's "Ant-Man" Pop Vinyl figures in advance of the Marvel Studios film's July 17 release. The first two toys revealed from the line are Ant-Man, naturally, and his on-screen nemesis Yellowjacket.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON | Thanks to another partnership with Entertainment Earth, Kotobukiya will offer an exclusive Rampaging Hulk ARTFX+ piece tying into "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Based on the Marvel NOW sculpt, this piece has been altered to match the Jade Giant's appearance in the film and will be found only on EE.
BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT | Square Enix just keeps making amazing looking superhero toys and there's nothing you can do about it! This week, the company's version of Robin from the "Batman: Arkham Knight" made the rounds. The toy comes with a hood, multiple hands, bo staffs, bo shields, a stand and ships in July.
MARVEL DORBZ | Living up to their names, the Marvel Dorbz from Funko's Vinyl Sugar imprint sure are cute. The first wave of smiling collectibles hits in August and features Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Ghost Rider and Deadpool. Later waves will include Magneto, Beast, Scarlet Witch, Hulk, Mystique and Spider-Man. It's always nice to see a smiling hero, but it's way better to see a guy with a flame skull in the middle of a gigglefest.
STAR WARS | Not since "A New Hope" has R5-D4 had this much attention. The droid that was sacrificed so R2-D2 and C-3PO could stay together earned a sixth scale figure from Sideshow Collectibles. The dirty droid comes with retractable third leg, rotating head and that all-important bad motivator that pops out of his headpiece. R5 ships next spring.
ALIEN | At this year's Toy Fair, NECA told us they were working on something cool: a pack of xenomorph eggs that would come in a carton of some kind. Now we're starting to see the fruits of that somewhat gross labor. As you can see some are whole eggs while others feature facehuggers.
CHARITY! | Finally, if you're looking to score some older Hasbro exclusives and also support the Receptions for Research charity which helps people with cancer and cardiovascular diseases, former Hasbro Publicist Joe Moscone has the auctions for you. He's selling off collectibles and exclusive from the past 10 years through the summer. Right now he's got an Old Man Logan, Pimp Daddy Destro and Marvel Legends Stan Lee plus lots more available for bidding!