As anyone paying much attention knows, Toy Fair International stormed through New York last week. It also doesn’t take much effort to declare Hasbro the big winner. But I did want to take a look at a few fan relevant properties, offer some thoughts, and solicit opinions.
Star Wars: Preview day clearly belonged to The Child, aka Baby Yoda. The toys were all over the media, including Good Morning America. With The Mandalorian a hit and the littlest Jedi its break-out star, this was probably the easiest sell of the show. It makes sense that Hasbro would put effort into the differing scales targeted at kids at this particular moment; the advent of The Child and the return of Clone Wars makes that an easy position to take.
I also think that we expected some kind of Empire Strikes Back anniversary initiative. The rumored Black Series Snowspeeder showed up and looks awesome; I’m glad that Hasbro isn’t afraid to get into the big vehicles. In terms of Star Wars, I only had two let-downs, but they’ll probably be addressed at SDCC and other venues. And those are . . . 1) I wanted to see a new Black Series Ahsoka and 2) I wanted to see more Black Series Mandalorian characters, like The Armorer, Greef Karga, and Kuiil. I have spoken.
G.I. Joe Classified: Again, another rumor comes true as the Joes finally get a highly-detailed 6-inch line. The initial Snake-Eyes offering looks simply incredible. I know that reaction has been mixed on Roadblock, Duke, and Scarlett in terms of costume choices, but I think they look great. Now give me Storm Shadow, please.
Ghostbusters: I love everything they’re doing here. They’re committed to fans of both the films and the cartoons while offering choices for kids and adult collectors. The 6-inch Plasma Series looks outstanding, and the inclusion of a BAF Terror Dog makes complete sense. Well-done all the way around.
Marvel Legends: Again, I’m not surprised that Hasbro didn’t show us the entire year of product. However, they did show A LOT of product. Anyone that’s ever read me for any period of time knows that I’m elated that the First Appearance Storm is happening. That was my big winner, along with Nimrod. Things that the ML line is doing right: the stand-alone deluxe figures, embracing the Fox movie figures, the slow but certain inclusion of characters needed to complete teams (Rage, Mach-1, etc.), the Hasbro Pulse “army builders,” and a commitment to figures from specific eras or stories (Old Man Hawkeye, X-Men Legacy Rogue, etc.). And incidentally, that pinless tech on the sculpts sounds like a great thing. My only real complaints here amount to “What about Figure X?” or “When do see Assortment Y?” Which, really, aren’t complaints.
McFarlane Toys: I feel like McFarlane is back in a big way, even if they never left. The bulk of this, of course, is their substantial roll-out of DC product. From the looks of it, they’re going to continue to lean in with films, comics, and video games for DC, which is wise. I would have liked to have seen some more characters at the show than Batman/Wonder Woman, but there’s obviously a lot of time left in the year. The Mortal Kombat figures looked good, and the upgrade to the original six Spawn figures is a great idea. Not so sure about the Kickstarter component of that, but it WILL get the characters back in the public eye on the back of last year’s massive comic sales spike for the anniversary.
At Toy Fair, Hasbro revealed some “retro” X-Men 6″ figures. In the set are Dazzler, Silver Samurai, Wolverine, and Cyclops rocking his X-Factor uniform (a nice throwback to his classic X-Men figure release).