The Toy Box is back with armchair commentary on some of the big announcements from the recently-concluded San Diego Comic-Con.
Hello everyone and welcome to the second edition of My Toy Box! The 2015 edition of the San Diego Comic Con is in the books and I must say that I was very excited about a lot of the news and information that came out. If I wrote about all of it, my hands might break off. Instead, I’ll write about my personal favorite reveals.
On the comic front, it was announced that Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness are going to reunite for a Spider-Man/Deadpool series. No release window or plot details were revealed at the time of announcement but I suspect it will start sometime in the fall or winter. Spider-Man and Deadpool team-ups are always hilarious and I feel like we are in for a real treat with this series, especially with Kelly handling the writing duties, though your millage may vary.
Speaking of Deadpool, the first trailer for the Deadpool movie (slated for a February 2016 release) was shown during the Fox movies panel. It was met with such a resounding reception, it was demanded to be played again! I did catch the leaked footage online (come on Fox, release the HD version already) and if you are a fan of the Merc with a Mouth then you will be pleased with the portrayal. Kudos to Fox for allowing the movie to be rated R like it needs to be, and for making the suit comic-accurate. You can tell that Ryan Reynolds loves the character and it seems to spill out onto the screen!
We were also treated to the trailers for Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice (projected release date March 2016) and Suicide Squad (projected release date August 2016). Both exceeded my expectations, but I will reserve judgment until I actually see the actual completed films for myself. The footage does look very promising. I’m still not totally sold on Affleck as Batman—but I am willing to let him prove me wrong. And I while I think Jared Leto is going to knock the role of the Joker out of the park, I still can’t get past the fact that they gave him tattoos—specifically the ones on his forehead and face—and the grill in his mouth. But like I said, I will take a wait-and-see approach to both films.
As much as the movies and comics excited me, the toy companies really made a great showing this year. There is so much cool stuff coming out that my wallet was crying just looking at it all.
Bandai brought its S.H. Figuarts line to SDCC. (S.H. Figuarts, for those who don’t know, was launched in 2008 as a line of higher-end, super-articulated figures intended for the adult collector market, featuring characters from the Power Rangers, Kamen Rider and other media properties. The company had a great showing, but the highlight for me was the Bruce Lee figure. There are rumors that it will be a Hong Kong exclusive, but I don’t know how true that is. Another interesting thing about this release is they beat their main competitor, the Good Smile Company, to the market. Good Smile had previously revealed its own Bruce Lee figure that was supposed to be released for the toymaker’s Figma line. Whether or not production of that figure will proceed is unknown at this time.
In my previous column, I posted a list of five Marvel Legends figures that I would like to see Hasbro make. While I went 0-for-5 on that list as far as what Hasbro revealed at SDCC, the company’s showcase certainly did not disappoint me. They showed off portions of two new waves of Marvel Legends, some based on characters from the Spider-Man comics and some affiliated with the Captain America comics (the latter is most likely intended to tie-in with next year’s Captain America: Civil War film).
Highlights for me included Spider-Gwen (with alternate unmasked head), Classic Captain America (with an alternate CapWolf head), Mockingbird (which gets me that much closer to completing my West Coast Avengers), a new Taskmaster (based on UDON Studios’ interpretation of the character), a classic Venom, a Ben Reilly Spider-Man (with alternate Spider-Carnage head), Jack O’Lantern, and a new Morbius. Some other Marvel Legends figures in various states of production, like a new Abomination and Namor, were also revealed during the Hasbro panel.
Also seen were some new additions to the Marvel Infinite line of 3 ¾” scale figures, including the return of the two-packs. While at one time I was really into the smaller figures, Hasbro changed them in most cases for the worse by removing a lot of the articulation. Still, I do find use for them from time to time for my photography, so I might pick up the odd figure here and there, like the new Captain Marvel and Vision, both of which were previously hard to find under the previous Marvel Universe 3 ¾” scale figure brand.
The real star of the show for me was Mattel. For those that don’t know, they have a website which caters to collectors called mattycollector.com and the main draw of that site is the Masters of the Universe Classics line, of which I am a huge fan of (check my Instagram for proof). Last year, the company proclaimed that the 2015 Classics line was the end of the road for the series, which had many collectors concerned. At the Mattypalooza panel, however, all the worries were put to rest. The new team in charge of the brand (replacing polarizing brand manager Scott “Toy Guru” Neitlich, who left to work for Jakks Pacific last October) said that they will be very transparent with the fan base.
They also announced that Masters of the Universe Classics will continue on and that it will offer not one, but two different subscription options, with two different unique subscriber-only exclusives. In the past, customers only had the choice of signing up for one main subscription that locked them into a year’s worth of figures. Prospective subscribers also had to sign up with incomplete knowledge of which figures would be on offer. This year, not only will Mattel let subscribers know beforehand all the figures that will be released via subscription, the company is also giving them the choice of two subscription programs: The first subscription option is a “Collector’s Choice” line with an exclusive Despara (the evil She-Ra from the comics published by DC) and the second subscription option is a line featuring figures based on characters from the old Filmation cartoons. The exclusive for this second option is Evil Seed, as he appeared in the animation.
The ‘toon-inspired figures look amazing. I am so excited to finally get a ‘toon-based He-man figure—which will have a wrist that will allow for the figure to hold the Power Sword aloft in the signature transformation scene pose—and the Skeletor is damn near perfect! The subscription figures will ship every other month and in my opinion Mattel made a great move by doing this. It allows people a more flexible option to subscribe, and it will be easier on their wallets. Even better, the prices of subscription and day of sales prices has actually dropped!
And if that wasn’t big enough news, Mattel dropped two more bombshells. The Snake Mountain playset is coming and it is huge! Its even bigger then the current Castle Grayskull set, though reps at the show said it will probably need to be shrunk slightly if it goes into production. It will feature a Bluetooth speaker in place of the original playset’s microphone.
Bombshell number two came in the form of the announcement of a Thundercats Classic line that will be made in-scale with the MOTUC figures (a move that will almost certainly ensure some parts reuse), with a subscription model to be announced sometime in the near future.
Like I said previously, there were a lot of great announcements at SDCC, I couldn’t possibly touch on them all. What were your favorite parts of the Con? Feel free to leave them in the comments below or tweet them to us @geeksverse on Twitter.
If you have any topics you’d like me to talk about, leave that below as well.
‘Til next time!