We're switching things up a bit with this week's TOYING AROUND -- instead of bringing you the latest collectible news from around the interwebs, TJ Dietsch and CBR Assistant Editor Andy Liegl decided to run down the coolest Comic-Con International merchandise exclusives. These are the pieces we're waiting in line to spend our hard earned cash on, including Transformers and TMNT figures, Pop! Vinyls, a Deadpool Corps collectors set, a Star Wars Black Series Boba Fett figure, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers pieces, "Iron Man 3" MiniMates and lots more.
FRIDAY THE 13TH | NECA hit quite a chord with horror and Nintendo Entertainment System fans when it announced its "Friday the 13th" video game-accurate version of Jason, complete with garish paint job and game box-like packaging. The real question is whether I have to blow on the box to get the figure to work, though.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES | At last year's show, Nickelodeon had a killer exclusive TMNT Leonardo action figure and this year they present his arch-nemesis, The Shredder. The Hollywood Reporter revealed the figure last weekend, which comes with a removable mask in all its bladed glory. Expect this one to go fast -- Leo didn't last very long.
BATMAN '66 | The beauty of the 60s "Batman" show was that it was accessible to everyone. Sure it got a little silly, but that was part of the charm. Mattel captured that charm with this Batusi con-exclusive figure that features the Caped Crusader doing his iconic dance complete with TV-themed packaging.
STAR TREK | This Starship Enterprise MiniMate set from Action Figure Xpress boldly goes where no toy has gone before -- straight onto your display shelf! A variant to the same piece released this week in a comic shop near you, this version features Kirk in his green tunic and at least a pair of tribbles.
STAR WARS BLACK SERIES | Star Wars fans have been waiting for decades to get their hands on 6-inch figures of their favorite heroes, villains, aliens and droids. Hasbro finally announced Star Wars: The Black Series, which will kick off with this Boba Fett box complete with Han Solo in Carbonite. I can't think of a better figure to launch with or one that I want to get my hands on more.
MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS | What's old is new again as the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers are storming the market place lately with new merchandise. Check out these exclusive character stands for Bluefin Tamashii Nations' upcoming Red and Green Ranger S.H. Figuarts toys, which go on sale later this year. The 3-stand pack also includes a mystery piece for an as-yet unrevealed character from the MMPR line. Then over at Bandai, they're offering a special edition Legacy Power Morpher, including the Green and White Ranger Power Coins. It's limited to 1000 pieces, so don't wait too long to pull the trigger!
SUPER BEST FRIENDS FOREVER | DC Nation did a lot of great things with shorts between episodes of "Young Justice" and "Green Lantern: The Animated Series." The best was bringing Supergirl, Batgirl and Wonder Girl together in "Super Best Friends Forever." I'd like to see them get their own show, but will settle for the PVC figures from DC Collectibles which look fantastic.
BREAKING BAD | "Breaking Bad" is one of the hottest shows on TV, and as it enters its final season next month, the time is right to cash in on the buzz with this Walter White action figure from Mezco. Heisenberg comes in his spotless hazmat suit and a bunch of accessories, including a 55 gallon chemical drum, a group of lab bottles and even a fly swatter to keep his meth-lab squeaky clean. The Los Pollos Hermanos slipcover seals the deal!
TRANSFORMERS | Hero Complex revealed Hasbro's line-up of Transformers exclusives for the show and while there are plenty to choose from, my personal favorite is the Generations Titan Class Metroplex one. This combination playset/giant action figure comes with a chrome-like paint job, a Legends-scale Scamper figure and a dozen mini Autobots and Decepticons to drive around the city-sized 'Former.
DOOM | Twenty years ago DOOM stormed gamers' PC's and truly defined the term "first person shooter." The game was the most installed piece of computer software in 1995, even beating out Windows 95 (DOS for the win!). For the 20th anniversary of the game's 1993 release, Symbiote Studios is offering this 3.5 inch Space Marine figure with removable helmet and the most coveted weapon of the game -- the BFG 9000. Don't know what "BFG" stands for? Google it.
THUNDERCATS MINIMATES | As a die hard child of the 80s, I'm of the school of thought that says the more Thundercats toys, the better. I'm a big fan of Icon Heroes and Diamond Select Toys' T-Cats MiniMates line and even more so of this con exclusive pack that includes Grune, Mumm-Ra, Lion-O, Jagga and Ma-Mutt.
THUNDERBOLTS | You know somewhere writer Jeff Parker is saving a Ben Franklin to acquire this awesome box set of Thunderbolts characters from Hasbro's Marvel Legends line. The 5-figure pack features some of the writer's Heroic Age "Thunderbolts" team, including leader Luke Cage, Moonstone, Judith Chambers, Ghost and Crossbones. The figures measure 6" and come in a collector's box sporting art by Parker's "T-Bolts" regular series artist, Kev Walker.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS | Even though the Four Horsemen and Mattel have gone pretty deep into Masters of the Universe canon for their line of Classics figures, I still didn't think I'd see the day when they got to the Stone People. So, of course, its figures of Rokkon and Stonedar are tops on my list of wants from the show.
AXE COP | The hit Dark Horse Comics series by brothers Malachai Nicolle (age 5 when the series began) and Ethan Nicolle (a lot older) finally debuts their Mezco plush line-up at the convention. Standing 8" tall, Avocado Soldier comes with his magical unicorn horn, sunglasses and gun, while the 12" Wexter the T-Rex sports his trademark machine gun arms and shades. If you have a little boy in your household, you have to buy him one of these.
IRON MAN 3 MINIMATES | IN and of himself, Iron Man's a great character, but it's his armors that make him perfect for toys. DST knows that and has created this Iron Man 10-pack featuring figures based on the character's film franchse from the Mark I to the Mark 42 along with Tony Stark and Pepper Potts 'Mates
GREEN LANTERN | Fans in Sector 2814 have a chance to score this convention exclusive 4-pack of 3.75" (give or take) figures available at the DC Collectibles Boutique and Graphitti Designs booth. Included are Arkillo, Black Hand, Dex-Starr and Green Lantern Sinestro complete with a gigantic sword to smack around your Hal Jordan toys.
BANDAI DRAGON BALL Z | When it comes to 2-inch tall figures, MiniMates are great, but Bandai's similarly scaled Ultimate Spark ShokuganDragon Ball Z figures look pretty bonkers. Con-goers will be able to get a 3-pack of Super Saiyan Goku, Super Saiyan Vegeta and a secret character who seems to be labeled God.
DEADPOOL CORPS | For the hordes of Deadpool fanatics out there, Hasbro is offering this Special Edition Marvel Universe 3.75 inch Deadpool Corps figure set. The figures included are Deadpool, Lady Deadpool, Champion of the Universe, Kidpool, Dogpool and even Squirrelpool. Each piece comes in its own taco shell design with the figure as the main ingredient, and all are contained in a large taco truck package.
S.H. FIGURARTS DRAGON BALL Z | For more Dragon Ball Z goodness, S.H. Figurarts and Bluefin Tamashii Nations will have this cartoon-specific version of Piccolo who has never been available here in the States before. We're just glad they nailed that angry, perturbed crossed-arm look which perfectly captures the character.
BATTLE BEASTS | With a supposed second miniseries on the way of IDW Publishing's "Battle Beasts" revival, Diamond Select Toys is offering this translucent purple version of the benevolent falcon, Merk. He's 2" tall with interchangeable parts and a few accessories. The best part? He's FREE while supplies last!
MEZ-ITZ BATMAN '66 | In addition to being generally jazzed about Mezco's Mez-Itz of Batman and Robin from the classic TV show along with their Batmobile, I'm hoping that everything based on the show we all buy will get us one step closer to getting the series on DVD or Blu-ray. Let's get those CCI numbers up as a good gauge for future success!
HEROCLIX | I haven't bought HeroClix since the Mutant Mayhem expansion almost a decade ago, but if I still played I'd totally buy NECA's DC HeroClix Trinity of Sin Base exclusive. It features The Question, Phantom Stranger and New 52 original character Pandora. With "Trinity War" coming up and "Trinity of Sin: Pandora" #1 dropping this past Wednesday, I'm really curious to see what her powers and stats are on the game dial. We do know it says this much, "Pandora can use Probability Control twice per turn, but may not target the same character with it more than once per turn. Opposing characters must be given an action token when they use Probability Control."
DAN HIPP'S TOX | Dan Hipp not only created a rad comic with "The Amazing Joy Buzzards" and works on cartoons like "Teen Titans Go," but also has a great art blog and an exclusive vinyl figure called Tox at this year's show. From C.S. Moore Studios, the piece is limited to only 199 pieces.
MEGA MAN | Last year Bluefin Tamashii Nations gave Mega Man X the exclusive treatment, and this year it's Rock's arch-nemesis from Mega Man 7, Bass & Treble who premiere at the show as part of the D-Arts figure line. Not only does Bass feature interchangeable faces and arm cannon, but his robot wolf sidekick Treble is also included. He's going to look sick next to my Mega Man and Rush combo.
HELLBOY QEE | There's a whole subset of collectibles that takes dangerous characters and makes them cute. The Hellboy Qees from Dark Horse Deluxe are in that vein and are fantastic. Throw on a CCI T-shirt and you've got a wonderful little collectible for folks like me to drool over.
MEGA MAN | There's more mega-love to go around at the convention this year as Archie Comics is offering a variant cover of "Mega Man" #24 by Patrick "SPAZ" Spaziante. The issue is part 1 of the epic "Worlds Collide" Sonic the Hedgehog crossover.
JAY & SILENT BOB | Sure, there have been a few different lines of action figures based on Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse, but never one that had the potential to cover so many characters with so much articulation. Diamond Select Toys' line of MiniMates based on Smith's films kicks off with black and white versions of Jay and Silent Bob, a perfect beginning to the line.
DEADPOOL | Matt's Cavalcade of Comics has an exclusive Pop! Vinyl Bobble-Head Deadpool figure in his Uncanny X-Force digs. They also offer a glow in the dark version of the Merc with a Mouth for an additional ten bucks.
ADVENTURE TIME | Sometimes it's good to pick up a collectible exclusive that's also practical. The Adventure Time Tin Tote Gift set from Entertainment Earth and Bif Bang Pow fits the bill by featuring the show's stars Finn and Jake on a lunchbox, mug and coasters to keep everything nice and clean in your gigantic tree house HQ.
POP! VINYLS | Funko has announced they'll have 57 exclusives in their Pop! Vinyl line available for purchase this year. So far they've revealed two waves, including metallic versions of the TMNT's Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello, a blood splattered Rick Grimes and Prison Guard Walker Zombie from "The Walking Dead," green bloodied Alien and Predator, four guys from the "Big Bang Theory" in Star Trek uniforms mid-transport, "Despicable Me" variants, "Iron Man 3's" unmasked Iron Patriot and metallic Deadpool and Ghost Rider figures. That's 19 down -- only 38 left to be revealed!
DOCTOR WHO | Entertainment Earth and Bif Bang Pow are a bit less practical when it comes to the Doctor Who 8-inch figure tin tote. This one comes with a lunch box and two Mego-like figures of the First Doctor (William Hartnell) and the Eleventh (Matt Smith). That way you get to eat your lunch AND create the ultimate Doctor Who team-up!
FUTURAMA | Bongo Comics wants you to celebrate 2014 with "Futurama's" Leela and Amy in their Lobrau Pin-up Calendar. For just ten bucks you can make Fry and Kif Kroker super jealous of your office or bedroom wall.
G.I. JOE/TRANSFORMERS | Hasbro's been doing a great job of making our childhood dreams come true by mashing up its two classic 80s properties: G.I. Joe and Transformers. This box set features a VAMP with a Hound paint job, a Jetfire-themed Skystriker, Baroness with pet Ravage, Snake Eyes wearing an Autbot logo, a Joe-like samurai robot and a mini version of Blaster in his boom box form -- with cassettes!
PETCO | It makes sense Petco would have a booth at Comic-Con considering Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres MLB team, is right across the street. They'll have sneak peeks at their exclusive Star Wars Pets Fans collection hitting stores September 1. It includes Chewbacca dog hoodies, Millennium Falcon cat teaser toys and more. Plus, while supplies last they're handing out free Yoda ears for dogs and cats -- so get there early and your pet can feel the Force.
THUNDERCATS | Like I said before, I want all the Thundercats collectibles in the world, so of course Mezco's 14-inch Cheetara exclusive that comes with her very own Snarf is on the must-have list.
MAD LIBS | After Comic-Con's over, nothing beats the traffic back to Los Angeles or the long flight home than a hilarious venture with Mad Libs. The Penguin Group is passing out free copies of their San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Mad Libs edition, featuring Con-inspired stories, plus tales rooted in "Adventure Time," "Skylanders" and "Star Wars" lore.
BATMAN | CCI will be the only place in the United States that you'll be able to pick up Play Imaginative's Super Alloy 1:6 scale figure based on Jim Lee's version of Batman. This bad boy comes with all kinds of extra bells and whistles, but be warned, it also costs $300 putting it in the Bruce Wayne level of collectibles for a lot of people.
WEIRD STUFF | Comic-Con International offers plenty of weird stuff to feast your eyes on, but in the merchandise and collectible world this Super Cutie Poo Mini Plush from Bored Inc. and Zombie Bacon plush from Mr. Toast take the cake. The Poo also comes with a superhero coloring sheet, while the 11" tall Zombie Bacon is limited to two plushes per person.
DOCTOR WHO | Blind-boxed toys are fun because you don't know exactly what you're getting, but they can also be frustrating for the same reason. Titan has a con exclusive that features a tiny David Tennant Doctor Who figure from the usually blind box line of figures, but lets you know exactly which toy you're getting. That way, everybody wins--assuming you get one of the people to actually get one.