Yeah, I could write a list of my most anticipated movies this year–and there are quite a few–but to stay more on-topic, I decided to list what I think are the five most anticipated action figure lines based on movies this year among collectors. Note, these aren’t listed in the order I’m anticipating them, but on how much I think the collector community is.
5.) Hellboy II: The Golden Army – Mezco’s line of 7″ figures based on the first Hellboy movie was as much of a surprise hit with collectors as the film was with viewers. After a wave and a half, though, Mezco decided to switch to making figures from the comic book the film was based on. Now that line’s finished; and while Gentle Giant briefly the rights to make a figure based on the first film, Mezco scored the action figure license for The Golden Army. Expect at least one wave of 7″ figures in the same style as the original (the Hellboy sculpt looks like it’s a reuse from the first line), including–at last–a Liz Sherman figure. Mezco also has plans to release a line of HB2 figures in the all-the-rage 3 ¾” scale.
Poe’s Take: Shockingly, I’m not planning on picking any of these up, mostly because I’m trying to stick to the 6″ scale right now. Still, I think they look fantastic, and collectors should be pleased.
Toys street date: Late June
4.) The Incredible Hulk – The trailer just hit the ‘net, and reviews are mixed on this follow-up to Ang Lee’s 2003 angst-fest. Personally, I’m won over by the promise of a Hulk-Abomination brawl in the city streets. Regardless of the movie’s quality, Hasbro has a full line of toys planned. The main line will be in the aforementioned all-the-rage 3 ¾” scale, but there will be Target-exclusive Marvel Legends style 6″ figures. Also expect reissue of the popular Hulk Hands from the first film.
Poe’s Take: I’ve no interest in the 3 ¾” figures, but I’ll at least check out the 6″ figures.
Toys street date: May 3
3.) Iron Man – The first blockbuster out of the gate, this one also has a lot more buzz than Hulk. Robert Downey Jr. seems to have come up with a brilliant interpretation of Tony Stark, and the film looks to be a Batman Begins style revamp for ol’ Shellhead. As with Hulk, expect a number of Iron Man figures in his various suits, plus villain Iron Monger.
Poe’s Take: The toys look good, particularly the Mark III Iron Man and Iron Monger. I’m not sure if I’ll get any of these yet, but chances are good I’ll at least get the Monger.
Toys street date: March 23
2.) The Dark Knight – Christopher Nolan re-teams with Christian Bale and brings in the late Heath Ledger to continue his definitive film adaptation of the Batman mythos. As with Batman Begins, expect a full line of 5″ Batman wearing neon-glow outfits for the kids (with a few villains tossed in). Fortunately, Mattel has decided to cater to the collectors this time around as well, offering a line of 6″, DCUC style “Movie Masters” figures based on the film and sculpted by the Four Horsemen.
Poe’s Take: This is both my most anticipated film this year and Movie Masters my most anticipated movie-based toy line. Again, the Four Horsemen have outdone themselves
Toys street date: May 1
1.) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – Professor Jones returns after a nineteen-year hiatus, and Hasbro’s not going to miss the chance to merchandise the hell out of this tired-and-true franchise. It appears they’re going to go the Star Wars route, with a wide selection of 3 ¾” figures similar to Kenner’s offerings in the 1980s. Fortunately, they’re not just limiting themselves to The Crystal Skull–expect to see figures from all four films. There will also be all sorts of roleplay toys and such.
Poe’s Take: I haven’t collected a 3 ¾” line since the early days of POFT2, and I’m not going to start now. I do wish Hasbro would consider a Marvel Legends style line for Indiana Jones toys (and Star Wars, for that matter). But Star Wars still does big business for Hasbro, and I suspect there will be a lot of crossover with collectors of those lines. Plus, the kids are going to love the toys too, thanks to an assortment of playsets and vehicles.
Toys street date: May 1