Continuing my thoughts on the SDCC reveals from last week…
Hasbro has four big
licenses action figure franchises: Transformers, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, and Marvel. I don’t really collect Transformers or G.I. Joe at all (with a few exceptions), so I’ll just comment on the other two.
There was 3.75″ stuff, but I don’t care about any of that. The important thing here is Star Wars Black 6″.
To quote Mordecai, “Yay-yuh!”
My SWB6″ collection will probably be fairly small, but this guy will definitely be in it. I must admit, I still don’t think Hasbro is quite reaching the quality of the best of ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends or Lord of the Rings with any of their 6″ lines…but it’s Han Solo. In 6″ scale.
I won’t hold the articulation against this figure – yes, the articulation points hurt the look of the exposed flesh, but that’s the tradeoff with super-articulated toys. The likeness isn’t bad, but the eyes capture maybe a bit too much of Carrie Fisher’s zoned-out-on-coke look fromÂ Jedi.
The sculpt is great, but doesn’t Greedo look like he needs a good paint wash or something? Especially on the vest? He almost looks like a test shot with those bright solid colors.
And the Trap Jaw of Star Wars, Boba Fett, shows up in the second series. Not too bad!
So the big news, and I don’t know if this has been confirmed by a Hasbro rep yet, is that allegedly, after this year, Marvel Universe and Marvel Legends, as lines, are going away. Moving forward, both lines will follow the “movie model,” where we get a mix of movie and comic-based figures in each line whenever a movie comes out. So fans of the X-Men, Wolverine, Iron Man, the Avengers, Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy (weirdly enough), the Hulk, Ant-Man(!), Thor, and Captain America – and their associated characters – are in pretty good shape. Fans of Moon Knight? Not so much. Although he was probably an Avenger at some point, like nearly every Marvel character, so who knows.
I didn’t see anything particularly interesting in the Marvel arena aside from a few Legends figures they revealed (see below).
Wow.Â According to Rustin Parr, and to paraphrase Shakespeare, Hasbro actually out-Mattycollector’ed Mattyc0llector. Quoth the Parr to Hasbro: “You’ve made it hard in the past but this…you have moved ahead of Gleek and Rainbow Hal as the worst-managed exclusive collectible experience in Con history.” Collectors lined up in the wee morning hours alongsideÂ Hall H hopefulsÂ just for aÂ chanceÂ at a Boba Fett with Han Solo in Carbonite, and many were turned away before 7am. 7am, people! This is madness! THIS. IS. HASBRO!!!
Playmates held a panel for the Turtles. The things I found interesting:
- 6″ collector-oriented Ninja Turtles based on the 1990 movie. I’m tentatively excited. I will say I tried to show the 1990 movie to my friend’s 6-year-old son – who likes both the current TMNT show and watches the 1980s show on his parents’ iPad – and after ten minutes he said it was “too dark” (as in, hard to see, not in tone) and asked to watch He-Man. Kids today. Anyway, I’ll probably get the Leonardo of course, and maybe all four if they turn out well.
- Classic Bebop and Rocksteady, though we knew they were coming.
- More reissues of the 1980s toys…is there really a demand for these? How have the Star Wars reissues worked out? I can understand companies looking at the eBay vintage market and deciding to go for a piece of that pie, even if it enrages those collectors who either have spent a fortune building their collection or make a living selling theirs.
I keep forgetting the new Turtles live-action movie is coming next year, too.
Toynami is evidently going to try and finally produce Morbo via a Kickstarter. I am on board.
I’m a little bummed I decided to skip the Gender Bender/Destructor set, but I already had the Destructor and I didn’t really need another Bender variant if I’m being honest with myself. And I can’t be a completist on this line anyway, since I don’t have any of the alternate universe figures.
There was a time when I awaited Mezco’s SDCC reveals with bated breath – but that was a decade ago, during the era of Hellboy and the Goon. Now they have under-articulated Axe Cop and Breaking Bad figures.Â Axe Cop could be a cool license, but it’s a weird sell – the show is being marketed not simply to adults but specifically adults who watch late-night television (i.e., the Adult Swim audience). Personally I think it should have been a Saturday morning cartoon on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, but I suppose all those references to killing would never have flown on those channels. Still, having watched the first episode,Â I’m getting a veryÂ Amazing Screw-On Head vibe aboutÂ Axe Cop, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
As forÂ Breaking Bad figures…Doc Thomas is excited about them, but I don’t think it’s a toyetic license. I suppose the statue-like nature of the figures acknowledges that fact.
Square Enix has gone nuts with the Play Arts Kai figures…they’re now doing Robocop, Aliens (Aliens: Colonial Marines version),Â Star Trek (Abrams-verse), and a metric shitload of DC-based figures. I own two Play Arts Kai figures, Arkham Asylum Batman and the Halo Master Chief. Both are currently in storage, and I got really annoyed recently when the elbow pad on my Master Chief broke off (no way to glue it back on, the connection is tiny).
With their weird proportions, notoriously bad QC and high prices, are these really at all popular with Western fans? Unless Japanese fans are going wild for them, the constant expansion of this line seems a bit inexplicable to me.
Whew…all right, that’s pretty much everything I wanted to discuss except Mattel, which I’ll tackle in the third and final piece.