TOYING AROUND: "Man of Steel" Reveal, Sideshow's Vampirella

Some of the most gratifying collectibles offer a challenge to obtain -- that's why people get so excited about convention exclusives. To add them to your collection, you must travel somewhere specific and wait in line in order to triumph over your fellow collectors (or drop some serious coin online after the fact)! It's also fun keeping an eye on the internet leading up to shows like Comic-Con International in San Diego, just to get a look at what everyone will be going crazy over. This week saw new CCI exclusives revealed by DC Collectibles, The Bridge Direct and NECA. Plus, has a Toy News International reader discovered a new character in this summer's "Man of Steel" movie? Find out in the latest edition of TOYING AROUND.

DC COLLECTIBLES CCI EXCLUSIVES | DC Collectibles got in on the pre-CCI exclusive announcement wave, revealing a quartet of offerings only available in San Diego between July 18-21. Two are based on the fantastic DC Nation shorts running on Cartoon Network, an Aardman Superman action figure in the style of "Wallace and Gromit" as well as a 3-pack of figures based on Lareun Faust's "Super Best Friends Forever" featuring Wonder Girl, Batgirl and Supergirl. CCI attendees (and high internet bidders) will also be able to get their hands on Hugo Strange from "Arkham City" and a Green Lantern 4-pack in the 3.75-inch scale that includes Sinestro, Dex-Star, Arkillo and Black Hand. To get these exclusives, head over to the Graphitti Designs booth.

PREDATOR | While other companies are taking the all-at-once approach to unveiling their CCI exclusives, NECA's taking their time. Last week they showed off the NES-based Jason "Friday the 13th" figure and this week we have a look at the Albino Predator. This figure, like his Big Red brother, is actually based on the "Batman: Dead End" fan film created by Sandy Collora back in 2003.

THE HOBBIT | The Bridge Direct announced its own CCI exclusive based on Orc Commander Azog. This 7-inch figure is not the same as the one pictured here which is coming out in their second wave of The Hobbit toys, but something new and different that won't be shown off until June 13.

J.R.R. TOLKIEN | Weta also has interesting J.R.R. Tolkien-based collectibles in the works. First up, the second piece in the three part "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" statue set is now available. This one features Gimli, Boromir, Merry and Pippin and fits together with the other two statues. Meanwhile, "The Hobbit" gets some love with a new Gollum piece based on "The Unexpected Journey." As with any Weta Hobbit or LOTR collectible, you know you're getting the most accurate items possible because these guys helped make the movies!

THE WALKING DEAD | The Brothers Dixon from AMC's "The Walking Dead" seem to always have their work cut out for them -- Funko's not making it any easier with the upcoming release of the Mystery Minis toys. Each one comes blind boxed and stands roughly 2.5 inches tall. The line includes two different versions of Merle and Daryl Dixon -- both clean and blood-splattered -- as well as eight regular zombies and four that also feature the gore, but also a glow-in-the-dark paint job. Try your zombie luck on June 20 when the figures debut.

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS | Hot on the heels of the box office winning debut of "Star Trek Into Darkness," Quantum Mechanix announced a line of prop replicas and models based not just on the film, but on the digital models used to create the movie! You'll be able to get your Trek-loving hands on replicas of the Starfleet Class Ring, Starfleet Phaser, Division Badges and United Federation of Planets Flag. QMx also developed 14 models chronicling the history of flight in the Star Trek universe up to and including the USS Vengeance.

MAN OF STEEL | Hot Toys is just playing with fans now. Instead of showing off full images of their figures based on Zack Snyder's upcoming Superman film "Man of Steel," they posted a pair of teasers on their Facebook pages. You can see the basic chest area of Superman and his biological father Jor-El both sporting the S-symbol and looking rad. Expect dead-on accuracy and lots of spare appendages.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION | Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is one of the busiest stars in Hollywood moving from blockbuster to blockbuster. In just the past three months he's had just as many films come out: "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," "Pain & Gain" and "Fast & Furious 6." Now he has a Hot Toys action figure that looks just like his character Roadblock from G.I. Joe. We recommend he starts using the figure as a fill-in so he can get a few days off -- it looks exactly like him.

DC NEW 52 | Kotobukiya made an interesting choice with their next entry in the New 52 ArtFX line of statues. Instead of doing another hero or top-line villain, they decided to immortalize Deathstroke in 12 inches of statue-y goodness. The piece comes with Slade Wilson's big ol' sword and a magnetic faceplate that allows you to display him either masked or unmasked. Meanwhile, the company also unveiled character art for their upcoming DC Bishoujo Black Canary piece over on their Facebook page.

DOCTOR WHO | The Doctor Who Merchandise site showed off a few fun new Dalek collectibles. First off, there's the second wave of Electronic Sound FX Daleks which include Special Weapons Dalek from "Remembrance of the Daleks," the original from "The Daleks," The Guard Dalek from "The Chase," Ironside Dalek from "Victory of the Daleks," "Mk. I Dalek from "Genesis of the Daleks" and the unseen Destiny Dalek. Meanwhile, there's also an 8-inch Masterpiece Collection Gold Dalek Maxi Bust based on the "Day of the Daleks" serial. We can already hear the electronic calls of "Exterminate!"

DRAGONBALL Z | Goku's getting a new pal thanks to Krillin joining the S.H. Figuarts family of Dragonball Z figures. The diminutive warrior was shown off over on Bluefin Tamashii Nations' Facebook page. He comes with three different heads and six hands, as well as the Destructo Disk as a way to recreate his moves from the show. If you set up the fall-shipping figure and leave it on a shelf without moving him for a few weeks, it'll be just like watching "DBZ" on Cartoon Network from back in the day!

RAMBO | NECA had instant success with their first Rambo action figure based on the character's appearance in "First Blood," so it's no surprise they have another figure in the works based on the film. The second piece in the series -- dubbed "Survival Rambo" -- comes with homemade jacket, knife, walkie talkie, handgun, assault rifle and knife-tipped spear. The figure is available in August.

DISNEY | Disney's known for licensing their properties like crazy and that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it results in cool Funko Pop! Vinyl figures like the ones appearing in the fifth wave of collectibles. On June 27 you can add to your collection Merida from "Brave," Alice of "Wonderland" fame, Mary Poppins, Rocketeer, Dumbo, Carl and Russell from "Up," King Louie and Baloo from "Jungle Book" and Genie, Jasmine and Jafar from "Aladdin."

SUPERMAN | Super Alloy impressed us with their Iron Man figures, but now they're showing off something different: DC New 52 toys! They unveiled a 1/6 scale figure of Superman that comes fully articulated and 80% covered with die-cast metal for some extra shininess on their Facebook page. Man of Steel indeed! The figure also comes with various heads (including one with LED eyes!), hands and capes for various posing, plus a base and foldable backdrop.

VAMPIRELLA | Sideshow Collectibles and Tracy Mark Lee of Electric Tiki have joined forces to create this Tooned Up Vampirella statue. The piece pays tribute to the horror icon who first appeared in 1969's "Vampirella" #1 from Warren Publishing. The 10.5-inch tall statue takes a more cartoony look at the character, but still retains the long flowing black hair, white popped collar and skimpy red costume fans know and love. Vampirella is available for pre-order now and ships in January.

MAN OF STEEL | ToyNewsI reader Roy snapped this picture of a Target exclusive "Man of Steel" 3.75-inch scale box set called Kryptonian Invasion 5-Pack. As you can see, Superman gets two figures, his dad Jor-El appear and so do Kryptonian villains Zod and... Namek? The character has not been mentioned in relation to the June 14-releasing film, but is assumed to be one of Zod's people who arrive with him on the spaceship seen in the film's trailers.

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