TOYING AROUND: Pre-New York Toy Fair Announcements

This week had a surprising amount of news and reveals, considering toy companies usually keep a tight lid on upcoming releases leading up to next weekend's New York Toy Fair. To heighten anticipation for the event, Mattel showed off "Man of Steel" toys while Hasbro announced a 6-inch Star Wars line of figures. Other companies featured new Thundercats, Doctor Who, Star Trek and Marvel characters to behold.

MAN OF STEEL | Mattel and Funko both unleashed images of figures based on the upcoming Zack Snyder-directed Superman movie "Man of Steel." Mattel showcased figures of Superman, General Zod and Jor-El played by Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon and Russell Crowe respectively. Meanwhile, Funko sported cartoon versions of Superman and Zod figures in their Pop! Vinyl line. Expect to see mountains of Superman collectibles in the wake of this year's Toy Fair, leading up to the film's June 14 release date. (via ToyNewsI)

STAR WARS | The "biggest" piece of toy news this week came when USA Today announced Hasbro's Star Wars: The Black Series figures. It might seem like there's nothing original under the twin suns of Tatooine when it comes to the new Disney property, but this time the characters will be available in the 6-inch scale. The first wave, released by Hasbro sometime later this year, feature X-Wing Pilot Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, Darth Maul and an Imperial Sandtrooper. The idea is to stick mainly to the Original Trilogy while cherry-picking a few characters, like Maul, from the prequels.

DOCTOR WHO | When it comes to Doctor Who figures looking they walked right out of a TARDIS, the UK's Big Chief Studios is the only game in town. They opened pre-orders for their latest creation this week, a 1:6 scale version of the Tenth Doctor as played by David Tennant. The piece comes with plenty of the Doctor's signature items, including Psychic Paper and 3D Glasses as well as the Sonic Screwdriver.

STAR TREK | Bif Bang Pow announced this week they're boldly going where no toy company has gone before -- they scored the license to make Star Trek bobble heads. They'll announce a more complete line-up at a future date, but the first piece available to anyone is the "Star Trek: The Next Generation"-based Borg Cube Monitor Mate. Unfortunately, only people attending Toy Fair next week can obtain one -- so if you're not going, keep your monitors tracking ebay.

BATMAN | While this is familiar news to regular readers of Spinoff Online, the rest of the world should know Warner Bros. announced detailed plans for Adam West "Batman"-based collectibles. Mattel is making 6-inch figures, TV Moments 2-packs and a Batmobile. Round 2 contains model kits and a NECA 18-inch figure, while Mezco and Funko have smaller offerings. Sideshow, Kotobukiya, Medico and Hot Toys are also getting in on the action.

THE AVENGERS | Fans of "The Avengers" film are delighted to know they can now fully assemble the cast of characters seen in Joss Whedon's film. This figure based on Scarlett Johanssen's appearance as Black Widow in "Iron Man 2" and "Avengers" comes complete with Widow Stingers, pistols and a big ol' alien gun to help recreate the giant battle scene.

G.I. JOE | The 2013 G.I. Joe fan convention deploys in Indianapolis this year April 4-7, offering plenty of exclusive toys for fans to equip. Attendees can purchase a Night Force box set of 3 3/4-inch figures, pitting the Joe Night Force squad against Cobra's Demolitions Team. There's also a box set called "Man of Action: Secret Mission to Dragon Island" that takes a James Bond approach to classic 12-inch Joes. The 2-pack features a hero figure that can be dressed in a tux and jumpsuit and a villain in business clothes and chemical suit with all kinds of weapons.

MARVEL COMICS | A reader over at Marvelous News snuck a look at a store's inventory computer, revealing new toys on the way from Hasbro's 6-inch Marvel Legends line. Apparently, the line is Iron Man-centric in order to bolster the release of "Iron Man 3," featuring the Iron Man Mark 42, a movie version of Iron Patriot and Ultron Classic. These figures presumably contain the remaining Iron Monger build-a-figure pieces as well.

DAREDEVIL | The Man Without Fear receives the Kotobukiya treatment this year with a 10.5-inch tall statue showcased on the company's Facebook page. He comes poised ready to strike with his trademark billyclub, standing atop a Hell's Kitchen rooftop complete with gargoyle. The piece is released in August.

MATTYCOLLECTOR | Mattel's MattyCollector website released information about their February releases -- On the 15th, new figures like Ram Man and Jitsu from Masters of the Universe Classics and the DC Universe Phantom Stranger figure are available. These items go quickly, so get your clicking finger in shape for the on sale day.

THUNDERCATS | Even though Cartoon Network's "Thundercats" reboot wound up being a fleeting thing, it did some good by pushing classic T-Cats collectibles back onto the market. Mezco continues to show love for the 80s series with their latest line of 14-inch figures, featuring Cheetara. The figure sports 10 points of articulation and comes with her iconic bo staff for some super speedy mutant butt-kicking.

ASSASSIN'S CREED | Not only does NECA have a cool working replica of Ezio's gauntlet from the Assassin's Creed games, but they're now giving away one for free! The toy company's spring loaded replica can be yours if you follow the link, answer the trivia question and are super lucky.

UNCHARTED 3 | Nathan Drake's a true man of action as seen in the "Uncharted" video games, and Sideshow has captured this aspect of the character with this statue featuring him bounding over a piece of rubble. As with all Sideshow pieces, the company's offering an exclusive version with a swap-out arm that ups the handgun to a rifle.

DC UNLIMITED | Toy News International compiled a series of images from Mattel's upcoming line of DC Unlimited figures. These toys are sold in regular stores and feature versions of characters more prominent to non collectors. The Superman and The Joker figures come from the upcoming "Injustice" video game, while Aquaman and Darkseid resemble their New 52 versions.

MAX STEEL | Mattel has big plans for Max Steel -- the late 90s/early 00s property became huge in Latin America after being scaled back post-9/11 in the United States. The toy company now has plans for a new collectible line, an animated series, a huge internet presence and a line of graphic novels from Viz Media.

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