Here's hoping you all had a happy holiday season and got all the toys, action figures, statues and prop replicas you were hoping for by the New Year. Though we're kicking off 2015 a bit slowly -- everyone's still getting over the holiday rush and preparing for Toy Fair in February -- companies like Diamond Select Toys, Hot Toys, Funko and more did show off new takes on Thor, Wolverine, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Sin City and many more beloved properties that have us already looking forward to the summer.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON | Joss Whedon's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is easily one of the most highly anticipated comic book films of 2015. Before the film premieres on May 1, we're chomping at the bit to get even the tiniest glances of what the movie will entail. Diamond Select Toys offered one of those when they unveiled the Marvel Select Thor toy based on his appearance in the film. A revision of the company's "Thor: The Dark World" toy, this one will feature a new paint job and base when it arrives this summer.
STAR WARS | No matter how many Darth Vader toys we see, the black-clad, helmeted villain always gives us the chills. Hot Toys seems to have recreated the majesty of the Star Wars bad guy with their upcoming 1/6th scale figure complete with lightsaber, Interrogation droid, breathing sound effects and LED lights.
WOLVERINE | After tackling Spider-Man and Captain America, Diamond Select Toys and EMCE Toys have focused their efforts on bringing Wolverine into the MEGO-style fold through the Marvel Cloth Retro line. The summer-shipping, limited-to-3000-piece edition box set will include the figure, classic yellow-and-brown costumes, civilian clothes and an informational booklet about the character's history.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY | Bring on the bad guys! With the main heroes of "Guardians of the Galaxy" already making their way into the world of Funko's Pop Vinyl line, the company decided to give them some villains to face off against. The second wave, which hits in March, will include Yondu, Nebula, The Collector, Ronan and a super-sized, six-inch version of Thanos!
THE WALKING DEAD | McFarlane Toys teased fans of AMC's "The Walking Dead" by announcing the seventh series of action figures based on the show's fourth season without showing images just yet. Michonne comes with sword, sheath and a can of cheese, Carl can enjoy some pudding as well as his hat, knife, gun and a flashlight, season 4 newcomer Gareth comes with a pistol and of course there's a flesh-eater, this one called Mud Zombie from "Too Far Gone." All three human figures also come with a Terminus memorial candle.
SIN CITY | The population of MiniMate Sin City will increase by four come the summer. Diamond Select Toys announced another 4-pack, this one based on the "Big Fat Kill" segment of the 2005 film directed by Robert Rodriguez and comic creator Frank Miller. Included are Gail (Rosario Dawson), Miho (Devon Aoki), Jackie Boy (Benicio del Toro) and Dwight (Clive Owen).
CASTLEVANIA | The longtime villain of the Castlevania series of games, Dracula has turned out to be a far more complex character than players of the original NES games might have thought. First 4 Figures captures a more reflective, possibly despondent version of the vampire lord in this 750-piece,18-inch-tall statue from "Castlevania: Dracula." The limited-to-425 piece exclusive version comes with an extra right hand holding Dracula's chalice. Both ship in the third quarter of this year
NECA VISUAL GUIDES | On Christmas day, NECA gave fans of their Predator and Pacific Rim lines a nice little present. Both lines now have updated visual guides covering all the waves. Follow the link and you can see larger and extra large versions for download. There's even two different versions of the Predators one, the first has just figures while the second also includes card art.