Thursday, January 31, 2013

TOY NEWS FOR 1/18/2013 - MEZCO - BREAKING BAD - 6" WALTER WHITE FIGURE COMING SOON

UPDATE 1/31/2013 - WALTER WHITE AS "HEISENBERG" FIGURE SCULPT!

Trevor has given us another look at his Walter White sculpts from Mezco's upcoming Breaking Bad figure line. Here we see a more finished version of Walt in his lab suit along with the "Heisenberg" sculpt. 

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UPDATE 1/26/2013 - WALTER WHITE IN LAB SUIT FIGURE SCULPT!

Sculptor Trevor Grove has posted this incredible look at another of his Breaking Bad figure sculpts-- this time of Walter White in his yellow lab uniform.

According to Trevor, there will be added articulation (YES!) as well as accessories like Walt's glasses and, I assume, some lab equipment.

Mezco Breaking Bad Walter White 6" Action Figure Sculpt by Trevor Grove

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UPDATE 1/20/2013: I've just received word from the man himself that a good deal of the Mezco Breaking Bad product will be sculpted by the ├╝ber talented Trevor Grove! (You can check out his work here-- http://trevorgrove.deviantart.com/) As you can see from this pic of his Walter White bobble-head sculpt below, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better likeness for Bryan Cranston!

Now I know this figure is going to ROCK.

Mezco Breaking Bad Walter White Bobble Head Sculpt by Trevor Grove

 This I'm very glad to see.

After Mezco recently announced that they'd be doing collector's merchandise from Breaking Bad, I was hoping it wouldn't just be lunch boxes and bobble heads. I was hoping for some figures.

Well, I don't know how many are planned, but at least we know that we'll be getting Walter White in his "Heisenberg" persona.

Details on the sculpting and articulation on the figure are non-existent at the moment. All we have to go on for now is this digital image that Mezco has released, presumably of the figure's final design.

While Mezco isn't on par with NECA (yet), they are an extremely talented group of folks and a very high quality toy company. Hopefully-- fingers crossed-- they understand that likeness of actor Bryan Cranston is key here! Without that, you've got nothing. Even if the figure had the best paint and articulation and plastics that you could ever hope for-- without that likeness, then what's the point of even getting the license? Otherwise it's just a guy dressed like Walter White. So take your time Mezco and do it right! I have no doubt that you can!

Mezco 6" Breaking Bad Walter White figure

He's scheduled for a June release for 17.99

TOY NEWS FOR 1/29/2013 - GI JOE CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE 12" ADVENTURE TEAM "SECRET MISSION TO DRAGON ISLAND" FIGURE SET

UPDATE 1/31/2013 - NEW EXCLUSIVE

It seems that there is another exclusive where the "Man of Action" is dressed in a tux..... >sigh<

"Bond. James Bond....ish"

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Is it just me, or is this exclusive a bit underwhelming?

Anyway, for you Adventure Team fans who are attending JoeCon this year, this will be your exclusive set for the show.

2013 GI Joe Convention Exclusive Adventure Team 12" Man of Action
Man of Action

2013 GI Joe Convention Exclusive Adventure Team 12" Mr. Sabastian Gorman
Mr. Sebastian Gorman, CEO of Terron Industries

TOY NEWS FOR 1/31/2013 - WARNER BROS ANNOUNCES NEW BATMAN 60's TELEVISION SHOW PRODUCTS FOR 2013


 Warner Bros has issued a press release (which I won't reprint here) stating that they will soon be licensing the hell out of the original 60's Batman television show through all kinds of toys, collectible and other merchandise.

Since the show went off the air in the 1968 it had been mired in multiple licensing disagreement making merchandising almost impossible. But many of those issues have finally been resolved and Warner Bros has emerged as the final license holder for the property.

So far, this is what has been announced as upcoming merchandise for the show--

NECA - 18" figures

Mattel - Barbie & Ken figures (as Catwoman & Batman), 6" action figures

Funko - art figures and plush

Mezco - "detailed" vinyl figures (which I assume will be like their Thundercats figures)

Sideshow, Kotobukiya, Medicom - all unannounced at this time

Hot Toys - 1/6 scale Batmobile (and possibly figures)


Personally, I have very mixed feelings about this show.

As a kid, I loved it. I mean, it was Batman-- on TV!

But, as an [adult] comic book artist, I see the horrible damage that this show did for so many years to people's perception of comic books. "They are just goofy kid's stuff." Sure, some are, but many are not.

Comic books are like any other entertainment medium, some are for kids and some are for adults. You could say the same about books, television, movies, etc. I've read comics that are so brilliant, cerebral and engaging that 95% of movies and television shows couldn't come close to what those comics have achieved.

But, anyway, I'm not going to get too far off on my rant. After all, I think there's been some major redemption with the insane success of comic book adaptations at the box office in the past decade, but it's sad that comic books will always be looked at as kids stuff by most people in the US.

Actually, worldwide, the "comic book" format is a highly respected form of art and literature, especially in Europe and Japan.

TOY NEWS FOR 1/31/2013 - SQUARE ENIX - PLAY ARTS - PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE METAL GEAR RISING REVENGENCE "RED RAIDEN"

Japan received their own exclusive variant of Play Arts' Raiden figure, and now it looks like the US will be getting an exclusive variant as well.

This will be available through Previews, meaning that you'll be able to find it (or order it) through your local comic shop. It will be limited to 1,000 pieces.


He will be 69.99 with the release date is set for June 26th.

TOY NEWS FOR 12/22/2012 - BANDAI - S.I.C. - KAMEN RIDER OOO PyToTyra COMBO

UPDATE 1/31/2013 - MORE OFFICIAL PICS!!!

This thing is just a work of freakin' art! Can't wait to get my hands on it!










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UPDATE 1/25/2013 - OFFICIAL PICS!!!

Wow!!!!! Just look at this figure!!!! This has got the be SIC's best work yet! Simply amazing! What they have done so far with the interpretations on OOO's designs have been nothing short of spectacular. 

Aside from being my favorite form on the show, this is looking to be my favorite SIC Kamen Rider figure so far as well! Can't wait to get this one! 

Bandai SIC Kamen Rider OOO PyToTyra Combo figure

Bandai SIC Kamen Rider OOO PyToTyra Combo figure

Bandai SIC Kamen Rider OOO PyToTyra Combo figure
 
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UPDATE 1/23/2013 - NEW PICS!

Bandai SIC Kamen Rider OOO PyToTyra Combo figure

Look like he has a release date of May for Y6,825 (approx $85.00)

With three other versions of OOO's planned for release, it makes me think that we won't be seeing SIC's version of Kamen Rider Fourza until 2014.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TOY NEWS FOR 1/30/2013 - MATTEL - DC UNLIMITED - VAMPIRE BATMAN AND DARKSEID REVEALED

I don't collect Mattel's DC figures, although sometimes I wish I had because there's a lot of great figures in this line-- especially the New Gods figures and their re-makes of some of the Super Powers figures.

Today Mattel released some pics of their upcoming New 52 Darkseid and Vampire Batman figures.

I'm not sure, but I think the Vampire Batman is from the Kelly Jones drawn graphic novel series-- which if it is-- is actually really cool, and kind of obscure.

Mattel DC Unlimited New 52 Darkseid figure

Mattel DC Unlimited Vampire Batman figure

TOY NEWS FOR 1/30/2013 - PLAYMATES - TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES CLASSICS - BEBOP & ROCKSTEADY REVEALED

I wasn't originally planning on buying these two figures when they are announced, but-- hell, just look at them! Damn, Playmates did one hell of an impressive looking job on these two! And that's just from looking at these grainy, low-res pics!

Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Bebop and Rocksteady figures

They took some pretty goofy 80's designs and turned them into some seriously bad-ass and modern looking figures, all while staying true to the original designs.

Here's hoping that Playmates will continue with the Classics line and that fan and kids will support it at retail. I'd love to have more great classic figures! (Like Shredder, Splinter, Foot Soldier, Casey Jones, and so on and so on....)

Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Rocksteady figure

Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Bebop figure

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

TOY NEWS FOR 1/29/2013 - HASBRO - NEW 6" STAR WARS LINE - STAR WARS "THE BLACK SERIES" ANNOUNCED

Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series Logo

 After months of rumblings and rumors, Hasbro has officially announced that they-- in conjunction with the sculptors at Gentle Giant-- will producing a 6" Star Wars collector line titled "Star Wars - The Black Series".

As someone who grew up on Star Wars, this is outstanding news. While 3.75" has always been the defining scale for Star Wars since it began back in 1977, I think that 6" figures always display much nicer and definitely serves better than 3.75" if you're collector and not a kid.

I'm sure most hard-core SW collectors will disagree with that opinion, and I still have love for the 3.75" Vintage Collection figures, but it's nice to see Hasbro make a line of larger scale figures aimed squarely at collectors. And certainly the 3.75" figures will always endure, so fans of that scale will never have anything to worry about-- unless Hasbro decides to make that mainly a "kids line scale" and cuts back on the quality and articulation.

Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series 6" Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Gear figure

Here's some info from the USA Today article that originally announced this new line in conjunction with Hasbro"

"Priced at $19.99 each, eight figures are planned for 2013 — Hasbro will primarily draw characters from the original Star Wars trilogy of films while also bringing in key players from the prequels. 

The first wave of four, due out in early to mid-August, includes Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing Fighter flight suit, fan-favorite droid R2-D2, bad guy Darth Maul and an Imperial Sandtrooper.

"We consider them the best figures that Hasbro's ever produced for Star Wars that meets the sensibilities of romancing the character as well as the playability and poseability that fans really appreciate," says Derryl DePriest, Hasbro vice president of boys marketing.

Hasbro has had success with the scale before with the 6-inch Marvel Legends figures based on Marvel Comics heroes and villains. In terms of Star Wars, though, the Black Series will act as a transitional point between the 3¾-inch toys — "which is rooted in the childhood memories of generations of now-grown kids," DePriest says — and the 12-inch Sideshow Collectibles figures for adult collectors.

The current "vintage"-style line of 3¾ figures will also continue under the Black Series banner."


I'd be interested in seeing that last statement clarified a little more since Hasbro recently announced the retirement of the Vintage Collection line.

Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series 6" Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Gear figure in Packaging

"The Black Series appeals to those newbies who want to start a series from the start as well as those hardcore collectors who gobble up anything having to do with the words "Jedi" or "Empire" and "are looking for something new and their interest isn't as piqued by the 15th cantina alien we have yet to do," DePriest says. "We realize folks want their iconic characters delivered up in a new way.

Our focus here is the adult collector, the dad," DePriest says. "We know they have their own generation of youngsters they like to share the adventure with. It can be something for dad, and the 3¾ world can be something for the kids to share."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

TOY NEWS FOR 1/3/2013 - NECA - AVENGERS - 1/4 SCALE CAPTAIN AMERICA - PACKAGED PIC

UPDATE 1/26/2013 - IRON MAN & THOR "COMING SOON", HULK ALSO A POSSIBILITY!
  
Time to take back what I said yesterday... Somewhat.

One of my concerns about buying this figure was that I didn't want to invest money in the line if I wasn't going to be able to complete the entire Avengers team. Today, NECA has stated that Cap "would soon be joined by Iron Man and Thor" and that they are "looking into the logistics of doing a Hulk".

That's certainly fantastic news-- but would NECA even attempt to produce a 1/4 Black Widow given the negative feeling most manufacturers have towards even $10 female figures? It just seems unlikely that we'd ever really see the complete team-- with Black Widow.

So far, the only way to have a complete Avengers movie team is either in Hasbro's 3.75" scale, Hot Toys' 1/6 scale figures, or Diamond Select's minimates. Hasbro screwed us on the 6" figures, Marvel Select gave us no Avengers Cap or Black Widow (and when I asked them about it at Comic-Con, they said that neither were planned), so what is the likelihood of a $90 1/4 scale Black Widow by a US company and being sold at retail? I'd say you probably have better odds being struck by lightning.

Plus, there's no mention of Hawkeye. He might be skipped as well since he's not really a "big gun" in the Marvel Universe and wouldn't have the same appeal at reatail as these other characters-- all of whom have had their own films.

Maybe I'm just OCD-- although I prefer the term "completest"-- but it bugs me endlessly when I have incomplete areas of my collection. It also bugs me when a company doesn't complete a line of well known characters (like the cast of Star Trek or a cartoon like Thundercats) and only gives us some of the characters. 
  
Just my geeky pet peeve. 

UPDATE 1/25/2013 - OFFICIAL PICS OF FINAL PRODUCT!!

 This figure looks great!

The head looks to maybe be a little big... And to be honest, you really need to see NECA's 1/4 stuff in person to truly appreciate it. Online, all figures look the same size, and as someone who owns both the 7" and 1/4 scale Predators, I can tell you that they look almost identical online, but in person, there is a huge world of difference (despite almost exact designs).

While I doubt that I'll be picking this one up, mostly because of I just don't have the room-- plus I prefer the Hot Toys figures-- and because I don't want half the Avengers. If I'm going to get one, I want the whole team-- something that both Hasbro and Marvel Select failed to do. And, as of yet, NECA has not confirmed more than just Cap, with Iron Man in the prototype stages.

Looking at this figure does make me think one thing, though: "Why can't NECA be doing 7" Avengers figures?!?! Why does Hasbro have to be the license holder for figures in that scale!??! Oh, how I'd love NECA to do smaller, affordable Marvel figures!!!" Yep. It makes me think exactly that.

Anyway-- on to the Cap pics!!

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figureNECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figureNECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figureNECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

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Tempted... Sooooooooo damn tempted to buy this thing. My love for all (well, most) things NECA as well as my geek-love for the Avengers film are both ganging up on me to buy this awesome 1/4 scale Captain America.

I'm really waiting to see how it looks in person-- or at least close-up in some nice, hi-res pics. So far, everything I've seen has been at a distance that makes the details almost impossible to really make out.

NECA Avengers 1/4 scale Captain America figure

NECA says that Cap will be hitting toy shelves at the end of this month for around $100.

TOY NEWS FOR 1/26/2013 - HOT TOYS ANNOUNCES NEW DIE-CAST IRON MAN FIGURE LINE


Oh, Hot Toys... You complete bastards.

Hot Toys is definitely two things-- one, an amazing company that produces the best 1/6 collectible figures bar none, and two, not shy about being arrogant and greedy.

In an obvious (and almost childish) "cock-block" move to Play Imaginative's Super Alloy 1/6 scale Iron Man figure line announcement, Hot Toys announced today that-- guess what!-- they too will be doing a "bigger and better" line of die-cast Iron Man line of figures.

They do the same thing when their main competitor Enterbay make an announcement about a shared license. "Oh, Enterbay is making a new Terminator figure, well look at us! We've got three new Terminator figures coming!" It's just a way to promote brand loyalty and cut into the other guy's profits by encouraging collectors to wait for the Hot Toys figures rather than buy the stuff from other companies that will actually be coming out first.

Those of you who have been in the 1/6 game for a decade or more will also remember the days of Dragon doing this with every bbi announcement, too. In most cases, when Dragon would announce a figure that bbi had just announced, Dragon's version was never actually released due to the fact that these announcements are meant to encourage buyers not to buy the competitor's products more than to actually announce their own.

Will this be the case with Hot Toy's new announcement, too? They already seem to be behind their release date schedule on a lot of already produced figures-- and they have a lot more that have been announced and are in the works.

With a new 1/4 scale line of figure supposedly being focused along with their regular 1/6 line, when would they even have the time or sculpting talent to create third line of figures? Will Hot Toys be growing as a company, or will they finally bite off more than they can chew?


Friday, January 25, 2013

TOY NEWS FOR 11/22/2012 - NECA - PREDATOR - SERIES 8 - CLASSIC PREDATOR & DUTCH X2

UPDATE 1/25/2013 - PACKAGED "JUNGLE EXTRACTION" DUTCH FIGURE PICS!

Here he is! This is exactly what you will be seeing (and buying) in store in less than a month from now!

I'm really, really looking forward to this latest series! I really can't wait to till Toy Fair next month to see what NECA has planned for this series for the rest of 2013! (Despite cooltoyreview.com's ridiculous evaluation of this line of figures.)


NECA Predator Series 8 Jungle Extraction Dutch Figure in Package
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UPDATE 1/17/2013 - FINAL PRODUCT PICS!

NECA has released a picture of the actual final product pics of Dutch and the Predator. These will be exactly the same as the ones you will buy in the store. These aren't prototypes or production samples anymore-- these are the actual figures.

NECA Predator Series 8 Classic Predator and Dutch final product figures

So how do you think they look? Personally, I'm loving them!

I assume that we'll probably get one more pic from NECA of the actual packaged figures before they are released later next month.

(By the way, NECA, would it kill you maybe clean your offices a little??? A lot of these behind-the-scenes pics look like they were taken in a 13 years old's bedroom!)


UPDATE: 12/21/2012 -PREDATOR SERIES 8 PACKAGING

Looks like his official title is "Jungle Patrol" Dutch.




UPDATE: 12/18/2012 - NEW PICS "GET TO THE CHOPPA" DUTCH

 Well, he's not officially called that, but it seemed about right.

NECA Predator "Get to the choppa!" Dutch figure

UPDATE: 11/24/12 - NEW PICS - "JUNGLE EXTRACTION" DUTCH

In this pic we can see what we couldn't in the first image of this figure-- it will have knee articulation! So glad to see all the articulation NECA put into this figure! The one thing that bugs me about NECA is when they don't articulate the legs on their figures, usually because they're wearing pants. Glad to see they're finally putting in the extra effort to work this out!

NECA Predator Jungle Extraction Dutch figure

Here's our first look at NECA's Predator Series 8!! This is also to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the original Predator film, even though by 2013, it will be a year late. But, who cares?! These figures look AWESOME!

First thing I have to say is: damnit, damnit, damnit! I just bought that Masked Classic Predator on e-bay for twice retail and now they are re-releasing him, and with the new leg articulation, no doubt.

Okay, now that I've got that out of the way, I have to say that I'm excited for this wave! Two Dutch's is a great idea, although the mud covered one from Comic-Con is absent here. Not sure if/when we'll see it.

I don't know if it's going to be possible due to likeness rights, but I really hope that they end up doing the whole team. I think that would be a really good way to proceed with the live and keep it alive. Even a Danny Glover would be cool.

Kind of a small pic for now, but I'm sure the official ones will be released soon. I'll post 'em as soon as I've got 'em.