At this point in the year, most toy companies are rushing to get their presentations and reveals ready for Comic-Con International in San Diego. CCI is the second biggest event in the collectible season after the New York Toy Fair, so there's a lot to prepare. Hasbro came out big this week with new images for Star Wars, "Avengers Assemble" and G.I. Joe toys, while Mattel, Sideshow, NECA, DC Collectibles and Skelton Crew Studios also got in on the reveal action. It's all spotlighted in this week's edition of TOYING AROUND!
STAR WARS | Hasbro unleashed a lot of new images this week for their various lines of Star Wars figures. The 6-inch Star Wars Black Series line now features R2-D2 in all his droid glory, while the 3.75-inch Black Series unveiled Anakin Skywalker, Clone Trooper Sergeant, Biker Scout and Clone Pilot toys. Meanwhile, the Star Wars Saga Legends line showed of new images of Yoda, Anakin Skywalker, a Shock Trooper, a Super Battle Droid and the R4-P17 droid.
STAR WARS | Speaking of Star Wars, did you know Boba Fett was originally envisioned as a kind of higher-level Stormtrooper? Sideshow Collectibles knows and has plans to celebrate this fact with a brand new entry in their line of 1:6 scale Star Wars figures. They haven't revealed the full figure just yet, but we'll keep a watchful eye for further developments.
BATMAN '66 | DC Collectibles has shown off all kinds of CCI exclusives, but they had one more toy-related piece to reveal that you can only get at the event: a Mattel toy photo cover for "Batman '66" #1. It has Batman, Robin, the Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, the Joker and even the Batmobile while the Dynamic Duo do their famous building-climbing schtick.
BATMAN EXCLUSIVE | Convention goers get all the best toys! Just scope out this Jim Lee-based Batman figure from Play Imaginative. The 1:6 scale Super Alloy figure is sold by the company at the Taipei Toy Festival, Comic-Con International, Anicom Hong Kong and Singapore Toy Games & Comic Con. The toy comes with an angered head, a normal one and three different sets of hands.
THE AVENGERS | The breakout star of "The Avengers" is finally getting his own 1:6 scale figure from Hot Toys. That's right, folks, the Hulk's getting the ridiculously realistic collectible treatment previously bestowed on Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Loki, Agent Coulson and Nick Fury. The Facebook page doesn't have exact measurements, but the Jade Giant looks to tower over his fellow heroes. If real inter-dimensional aliens attack, you could probably take a few of them out with this toy.
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE | For a more kid friendly -- and far lighter -- Avengers alternative, check out these child-oriented figures based on the new Disney XD cartoon "Avengers Assemble." The S.H.E.I.L.D. Gear figures mostly come with spring-launched weapons and consist of Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, Red Skull and Hulk who doesn't need a puny gun.
B.P.R.D. | MTV Geek showed off some brand new Skelton Crew Studio replicas based on Mike Mignola's Hellboy and B.P.R.D. Universe. They have Bog Noosh's Nail and Bishop Zrinyi's Silver Button available for pre-order right now on the Skelton Crew store site. The pieces come with impressive packaging, making each artifact look like they came straight out of the B.P.R.D. archives.
CCI DOCTOR WHO | The Doctor looks pretty good in a tux! Titan plans on celebrating that simple, true fact with a Tenth Doctor vinyl figure of David Tennant's version of the character as he appeared in the 2007 Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned."
JAK AND DAXTER | Gaming Heads launched their new line of statues called PlayStation All Stars with a pair of the system's most famous characters: Jak and Daxter. The Sony-exclusive platform game stars are available as a 15-inch statue featuring both characters as well as an exclusive faux-bronze version. The regular piece is limited to 750 pieces while the bronze-y exclusive only has 350. Both versions ship at the end of this year.
BATTLE BEASTS | To keep the Battle Beast goodness going, Diamond Select Toys is giving away a free figure of Shadow Merk to CCI attendees. This purple plastic figure helps bridge the gap between the first two waves of figures and the comic book series from IDW Publishing.
DOCTOR WHO | Big Chief Studios delighted Doctor Who fans this week when they announced an actual Doctor's participation with an upcoming collectible. The Fourth Doctor himself, Tom Baker, has agreed to sign 300 1:6 scale figures from their 50th Anniversary Collector line. The signature comes on its own plaque ready to display along with the hat and scarf-loving hero.
BATMAN | Figures Toy Company continues to carry the torch originally lit by Mego when it comes to 8-inch action figures wearing cloth costumes. The second wave of Batman Retro Action Figures consists of Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne, Penguin and Catwoman. Head on over to the site and order the figures individually or in groups.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS | Two new in-package shots for Masters of the Universe Classics figures saw the light of day this week thanks to the Mattycollector.com Facebook page. You can check out Icer from the Filmation subscription line as well as the general Clamp Champ figure by following the links, which also show off the bios on the back of the packages.
LEX LUTHOR | The folks over at DC Collectibles pulled a nice one-two punch with a recent video. First and foremost, the clip reveals a brand new Lex Luthor New 52 Armored Deluxe action figure, but it also gives a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into modeling and building such a thing using digital techniques.
GODZILLA | Have you ever wondered what would happen if Godzilla mated with a flower? Well, the 1989 film "Godzilla vs. Biollante" already answered that question! Bluefin Tamashii Nations showed off a S.H. MonsterArts figure of Biollante from the film, complete with glowing stomach and toothy vine arms. The 12-inch piece was even designed by Fuyuki Shinada, the guy who developed the look of the monster in the movie!
DRAGON BALL Z CCI EXCLUSIVE | Last year's Bluefin Tamashii Nations Dragon Ball Z S.H. Figurarts Gohan figure is getting a companion! The toy importers took to Facebook to show off Piccolo Special Color Edition which features the brighter tone of the character as seen in the cartoon. He features all kinds of articulation, three heads, different hands and a removable cape for when he needs to throw down.
PREDATORS | NECA showed off the figures making up the tenth wave of Predators toys at this year's Toy Fair. Now the actual figures are up for pre-order. They're based on toys produced by Kenner back in 1993 and consist of Nightstorm, Hive Wars and Lava Planet Predators. The pieces are available in September.
GREMLINS | The biggest and baddest Gremlin around is making the leap to the world of action figures thanks to NECA. That's right, the Spider Gremlin from "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" hatches this August, featuring 30 points of articulation and standing 10 inches tall and 15 inches wide! That's a lot of evil Gremlin craziness hitting this fall.
STAR TREK | No matter how deep or shallow your love of Star Trek is, you've probably thought about flying through the cosmos at the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise. While that's still decades away, Quantum Mechanix does have a few offerings to make you feel more connected to the sci-fi series. They have a high-end replica of the title NX-01 ship from "Star Trek Enterprise" as well as a much more affordable and cuddly version of the classic ship in plush form! Both are available through the QMx site.
THE BIG BANG THEORY | "The Big Bang Theory" fans rejoice -- Funko's giving you the chance to put the whole gang together. Their Pop! Vinyl figures of Sheldon and Amy have proven so popular that the toy company now has plans to create Leonard, Howard, Raj, Penny and Bernadette figures -- but that's not all! Funko's also has plans for a "BBT" line of Mystery Mini Blind Box Figures. There are seven different versions of Sheldon, two each of Leonard, Raj and Howard and one each of Penny, Amy and Bernadette. Note that each of the guys comes in a Star Trek uniform while all the other Sheldon's feature him wearing a DC Comics T-shirt.
G.I. JOE | Hasbro wants fans to know that the "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" goodness continues with a new line-up of toys. The company showed off earlier versions of some of these toys at this year's Toy Fair, but this is the official line-up appearing in stores. The figures include Cobra Commander, Ultimate Storm Shadow, Ultimate Roadblock, Ultimate Flint, Conrad "Duke" Hauser, Snake Eyes, Kwinn, Firefly, a Budo Samurai Warrior, a Cobra Combat Ninja, a Crimson Guard and a Data Viper.