Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Buzz: Toy Fair 2012 Reveals

The New York Toy Fair came and went last weekend and now that some of the dust has settled I thought today is the perfect time to look over the reveals and reflect on what is coming down the 'pike this year. Be warned, though, there is some fanboy ranting ahead along with passive agressive comments and a few sprinkles of joy.

If an undesirable situation or person/place/thing is referred to as the "elephant in the room", then Mattel is the obese Wooly Mammoth with a 500-pound Gorilla shoved up it's @$$, in the room. Man, what the hell is going on over in Matty land?! I'll go over their reveals first (which they so kindly listed here), just to get it out of the way.

WWE Elite & Legends
The best overall Mattel WWE coverage can be found at Wrestling Figs, with plenty of pictures and even an interview with the brand manager. Without out a doubt Mattel's WWE toys make up the largest percentage of my "new" toy purchases, therefore this one hurts the most. The Mattel display was truly disappointing to me. Apparently there won't be any more "Defining Moments", at least nothing that was announced and considering we're already halfway into February and Toy Fair's meant to at least preview Summer merchandise, if not through Fall, it's not looking good for the DM line.

There weren't any new announcements regarding WWE Legends as those are already set for the year, but the did have Arn Anderson & King Kong Bundy on display and they each look pretty good. Mattel only unveiled one new wave of Elite figures (series 15), but it features a "Flashback" Yokozuna figure, a fantastic R-Truth, Evan Bourne with the updated Tag title (coincidentally, Arn Anderson includes the classic Tag title) and a pretty cool looking Sin Cara. I don't really care for SC, but the figure looks neat. And if you've been holding out for that two hundredth version of Rey Mysterio, you're in luck!

And that was pretty much it for WWE. There were some cool "basic" figures, but that's it for "collector" lines.

Nothing new here. Unlike the display at SDCC last year, this one only focused on the classic Voltron line, which is now being sold as sets of pilot & lion (as opposed to separately as originally planned) on bi-monthly. I signed up for Club Lion Force and should be receiving my first set (albeit at my OLD address) sometime next week, but something makes me wish I had held out for the mass-retail release of the modern Voltron (although, I don't realistically believe it will ever make it to stores)... Oh, I know what that "something" is! Digital River! They f*cking suck! Which leads me to...

DC Universe Classics
Plenty of reveals here including what looks to be cool versions of Poison Ivy, Black Mask and Mirror Master. They also showed off Metron and his chair, which look great! Flash looks fantastic, too, but will surely suffer from inadequate articulation. I don't give a damn about Rocket Red (in any form) or Platinum & Tin (I sold off the other Metal Men figures months ago!). And, sorry Four Horsemen, but I'll keep my DC Direct Atrocitus on display, thank you very much. I can only hope that once these start shipping along with my Voltron figures that they will arrive without incident. That's possible, right? Right?! Hello? Anyone there?!

It's going to be a long year...

Masters of the Universe Classics
Um, this will probably be the year I buy the lease amount of MotUC toys since I started buying them in 2009. There's just not a lot of stuff for me here. I didn't order Fisto and he was one I was very excited about owning this time last year. I'm glad to hear the all-white Sorceress will be available online later this year, I much rather have her than the multi-colored version. And supposedly the Wind Raider will be back, too, which I had to skip out on back in December (you know, when you have to buy toys for everyone besides yourself, Matty!).

Moving on...

Plenty of pictures available here. Hasbro threw everyone a curveball with the unveiling of a Fall of Cybertron combiner Bruticus that will be a part of the returning "Generations" line this Fall. The line will feature eight deluxe figures based on the videogame starting off with Optimus Prime, Jazz and (finally, FINALLY!) Shockwave in wave 1. The second wave will feature all five of the Combaticons: Onslaught, Vortex, Swindle, Blast Off and Brawl, who will be able to combine to form the vile gestalt, Bruticus!

There's a lot to like here, particularly Shockwave, who will fit in perfectly with the classics collection since he never really had an Earth-mode in the old G1 cartoon. As far as Bruticus and the Combaticons go, just before Toy Fair images of the toys were revealed in Game Informer magazine with nicer color tones, but horribly mistransformed figures. At the Fair, we saw what will supposedly be the final colors on the toys, which appear to be more G1-inspired than the first photos. Also, he's transformed correctly (I think), but he's still a bit lanky. It'll probably one of those situations where he'll look better in your hands, though, so I'm definitely all-in for him and on the brightside, he won't cost $600 plus!

The other big Transformers-related news is that the Generations line will be in full swing in 2013 with 40 figures planned! No pics or specifics were given, but let the speculation begin! Plus, with the almost guaranteed success of Bruticus, Hasbro could plan to release more combiners! Come on, Stunticons!

Hasbro's Marvel Universe line continues with some cool new versions of classic characters, but the bigger news for me is Marvel Legends. I can't say I'll be buying all of them, but there are several must-haves for me. Blade, anyone?

Other Stuff
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Playmates)
Hell, yeah! The figures based on the new cartoon look crazy-good and I'll surely pick up at least the four turtles considering they'll be in much more affordable 4" scale. The real bait is the 6" Classic line. Great modernizations of the classic toy/cartoon characters.

ThunderCats (Bandai)
Another disappointing display. There was really nothing new here. I recently picked up both of the figures in the first wave of the rebooted (resized?) Classic line: Mumm-Ra and crabby Lion-O. I really like these figures even if I wasn't a huge T-cats fan back in the '80s. There are a few valid nit-picks, but overall, these figures are a slap in the face to Mattel's DCUC & MotUC lines. The manage to pack more articulation, adequate accessories, tug at the nostalgia strings and sell at mass-market retail for $14.99 before tax. AND no parts resuse! Bandai to Matty: "Suck it, cheapskate!"

There were some cool reveals regarding the big Summer movies and I dug most of the stuff. I'm waiting to see what DC Direct's The Dark Knight Rises 6" figures will look like before I bite into Mattel's Movie Masters.

Overall, it seemed like an "underwhelming" Toy Fair this year, but I think some companies stepped up and others really dropped the ball, specifically: Mattel and Bandai. I can plead the case for Bandai that they're not too concerned with this event, but for Mattel it's a much bigger event and they really didn't "wow" us. Hasbro's presentation was more about Prime and Rescue Bots, but they at least managed to whet our appetites with the Fall of Cybertron stuff and the promise of an expanded Generations line coming in 2013.

What were you most excited/disappointed about?
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