Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Buzz: SDCC & Upcoming Toys

Well, San Diego Comic-Con 2011 came and went with plenty of new stuff shown off. There are lots of pictures and videos floating around the net, so if you haven't had time to surf around, I recommend checking out the following sites: Tow News International, Action Figure Insider, Transformers World, It's All True and the usual news sites listed on the lower right side of the page.

My thoughts on upcoming items for the lines most often showcased on the Hive after the jump!

First up, I want to chat about WWE and the future of the Legends line. It appears series 6 (featuring Eddie Guerrero, Ultimate Warrior and the Von Erichs) will be the last wave at retail. In November, the long-awaited Rockers two-pack will finally be released exclusively on Matty Collector. You may remember this set was announced at last year's SDCC along with the Von Erichs as part of the doomed second wave of Toys R Us-exclusive Legends 2pks. Starting in 2012, WWE Legends will be sold exclusively on Matty Collector at a rate of one figure every two months. That's six total for the year. The first figure will be Andre the Giant, who was originally planned for release with a Elite-style, classic wrestling ring. That idea was scrapped due to poor sales of Mattel's first Elite ring (at $60, what did they expect?).

For the other five figures, Mattel is letting the fans vote. The poll is going on right now through August 12th. Be sure to head over there and cast your vote. Personally, I really hope Miss Elizabeth get made. Vote for her! Unfortunately, unlike the other toy lines on Matty, there is no subscription service for Legends next year. I don't know why they didn't think of adding one.

After reading several reviews, studying pictures closely and much consideration, I decided to skip the SDCC-exclusive Swamp Thing. As cool as he looks, Mattel screwed up royally by making him so tall. I know he's supposed to be taller than the average DC character, but the toy is just way too big. He doesn't even seem as if he belongs in the line. I can't justify the price and I know it may be the last ST figure we get for a long while, but I know I'm going to hate how he looks standing next to other DCUC characters. I already do.

Like WWE Legends, DCUC is coming to an end at retail as well with wave 20. I only picked up SC Scarecrow and SS Wonder Woman from wave 17 and there isn't much that interests me in the next few waves. I've really become disgusted with DCUC due to price and quality control. DC isn't helping matters, either. The news of the relaunch excited me a bit, but the more they reveal, the less I want to be a part of it. And I initially liked the Green Lantern movie, but the more I think about it, the angrier I get. I thought Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively were going to ruin the flick, but they were the best part. Somewhere in the creation process, it became clear, that Warner Bros. just wanted their own version of Sony's Spider-man. That is NOT what Green Lantern is about. Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked. Apparently, Mattel's only going through with the club if enough people join. There's a telethon-style thermometer on the site showing how close they are to the "goal". If they don't reach the goal, I don't know what it will mean for the planned figures.

I had zero interest in any of Mattel's Voltron stuff prior to the Con, but they actually surprised me. Out of the gate, they're delivering a brand new toy line with a subscription. It's amazing how confident they are in Voltron. I considered joing the club, but I actually like the newer version of Voltron a lot better. The classic V looks cool and all, but he's a bit too retro and the lions end up looking silly on their own. Also, I don't care for 3 3/4" figures. I will look into the updated Voltron. He's still made up of five lion robots, but I like the sleeker style. Also, I don't know why fans refer to the new one as the "animated" Voltron. The old one is based on the cartoon (that's the word we used before "animated series").

This year I'm really looking forward to joining the Club Ecto-1 sub. However, since it's the only Matty sub I'm joining and I know for sure I'll be buying plenty (if not all) the WWE Legends figures, I'm reconsidering the sub. Having the GB sub means I'll have to pay double shipping on months other toy lines offer something I want. The club exclusive is the Rookie from the GB video game, but I don't know if that will be worth the added shipping cost. I still have a week to decide...

Marvel Legends
In some non-Mattel news, Hasbro is bringing back 6" Marvel figures in the relaunch of Marvel Legends. I have three 15L bins filled with ML figs, but like DC, I had a falling out with the comics. I'm sure there will be several figures I'll want, but price will play in heavily, so let's see what happens there.

I've recenly jumped back into collecting Transformers thanks to the Generations (and Classics, Reveal the Shield, etc.) figures. I haven't collected TFs since the Energon series and I kind of passed those along to one of my cousins a few years ago. I avoided the Classics figures for a long time, mostly due to Optimus Prime not having a trailer, but through the innovation of several third party toy companies, fans can not only add a trailer for Optimus, but also boost their collections with accessories and high-quality, G1-inspried figures. Now seems to be a really good time for me to jump back into the robots in disguise.

But not the movie toys... I hate those. I only have the Leader class Optimus from the first film and that's the only one I plan to buy. I was very tempted to purchase the DOTM Ultimate OP, then pay someone to repaint him in G1 colors (in other words, no flames!), but when I considered the cost of the toy and custom job, I opted to buy a Classics Prime and the BTS trailer instead.

Well, I think I hit all the points I wanted to cover. 2012 looks to have plenty of great stuff for toy collectors. It's going to be an interesting year.
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