Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The rest of the good, the bad and the damn ugly of the 2010 NY Toy Fair

Well, after seeing all there is to see of the 2010 NY Toy Fair, I can now safely save all my toy pennies for San Diego Comicon in July because there isn't diddly to get excited about until then. A few cool things to consider this fall but overall it's looking like a down year for the figure crowd.

Some of the more interesting showrooms:

Lego - Bionicle is being phased out this year after a decade in the spotlight. The last holdout of the Indiana Jones lisence finally calls it quits with the brand at the end of this Spring season. Buy up those sets while you can. The Star Wars brand is not looking that hot this year. Ok but nothing stunning. The new Harry Potter sets will not only sell well, they will make good investments. The huge castle set is amazing.

Kotobukiya - Now into a good groove producing great Marvel statues that in many cases not only look better than anything Sideshow is producing and they are a lot cheaper! They announced they have the DC license as well now. Would not be hard for them to make DC Direct look worse than they already do.

Square-Enix is an odd company that always produces fantastic figures based on their own popular line of video game such as the Final Fantasy Series. Looking forward to the Bayonetta figure on display. Wish they could get the Marvel license for an 8 inch figure scale and be the first to finally do something cool with the brand because it sure won't be Hasbro anytime soon.

Mattel - About time they are doing Zatanna in the DCU lineup. While I do like the look and sculpts of the Masters of the Universe Classics line, it just wouldn't be Mattel if they didn't fuck it up with the lamest idea for a 2-pack I've ever seen with the Superman Vs He-Man set. This will be at least a $29.99 set in impulse purchase for anyone who doesn't know who He-Man is? Not likely.

Bandai - While there isn't anything for us here, it's worth noting that this is the first time since it's inception way back in what? 1992? that there is no new lineup of Power Rangers toys. Everything shown here is either a scaled down or re-released version of some of the original PR toys from the early days. This will be like a greatest hits year. No new series, no new code name or team. The Rangers brand had one hell of a run and was king of the retail hill for years so it's a bit sad to see it now fade away. They certainly deserve a spot in the toy industry hall of fame.

Which brings us to the absolute worst showrooms of Toy Fair.

DC Direct. Ugly sculpts, ridiculous articulation (any sculptor or manager should be black balled from the industry for using the 'T' crotch torso at this point), redundant re-releases and now investing in video game brands by releasing figures months after any game has peaked or been relevant in the marketplace. Since no one told George Brewer this before, let us be the first: If you want to buy a lisence for any major, timed release event, you need to be able to release the product at the SAME TIME the game/film/TV show comes out!

Dark Horse. Why these guys spend the $$$ to set up at Toy Fair is beyond me. Find me an actual toy in this showroom.

NECA. The next in a long line of really dumb toy companies that want to lose money on the Terminator license.

And by far the worst overall looking showroom and product (drum roll.....)

Shocker Toys! Holy Fuck. Just look at these figure sculpts...pick any one. They look like poor custom jobs done in the early '90s, using the old Testors model paints. You could find a talented kid that could do a vastly superior job in any custom forum or on ebay out there but I guess this is what you settle for and display next to all these other wares and talents at TF. And this has to be the only showroom at Toy Fair to actually display cardboard cutout drawings of future product (Hasbro Mighty Muggs rip offs, right down to the way the faces are stylized), as if they would possibly sway potential buyers. "Wow! That poorly drawn figure with the giant head looks awesome! When can I get some!" Go figure. At least this company is aptly named.

Moving on to SDCC...nothing else to see here.

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