Comprehensive Toy Fair 2016 Report Part 1

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Toy Fair rundown

From February 13th to 16th, NYC was home to Toy Fair 2016.  By now you have heard all about the amazing announcements from Hasbro about our celebrated Cybertronians and their Titans who are indeed slated to return, but there was a whole lot more going on a few blocks west in the frozen tundra of my fair city.   Here are some of the highlights of the event that I think might be of interest.

 

MATTEL

First off, lets slide from one toy-giant to the next.   Mattel was good enough to give me a one on one tour of the new products coming soon to a retailer near you.

 

CODEAPILLER – Fisher Price

Now right out of the gate here, this is something really exciting.

CODEapillar is a walking robot caterpillar from Fisher Price actually teaches the basics of coding to children ages three or up as part of the new “Think and Learn” line.

This little larve just had a debut about CES, and comes with 8 individual segments and a motorized head that reads commands.  Each segment is has a USB port and a directional indicator on top which causes codeapiller to turn, playing music, etc).  THe order that you put the “lines” is the order the little guy walks in.  The segment being activated lights up when the head is reading that particular code.  Now this is geared towards children starting at 3 years old.  Clearly the 3 year old may not be aware of the causal relationship of creating a certain sequence, but showing them

This is Mattel’s big return to the learning isle, according to it’s presenter at the convention, with the true way that kids learn, through play and hands on experience.   http://www.fisher-price.com/en_US/codeapillar/index.html

THINGMAKER
This thing is fantastic!   The name has been rebranded from the 60s, but the similarities stop there. THis is actually an affordable mass-release 3D printer available this fall 299.99

There is already an app available, according to the demonstrator, that you can use to design toys, jewelry and more, adjusting the pre-existing models that they have.  The app will then tell you how long it will take and how much it would weigh.

The printer itself is for ages 13 and up, although the toys that come out are for 3 and up.

As you can see from the photos, the level of detail is pretty phenomenal even in its prototype stage.  This was just announced this week.  It comes with spools of raw material,

At the demo, I was told that they are still experimenting with different materials such as some that may be squishy, glow in the dark and so forth.

Pictured are the toys that are available to make on the app.
http://thingmaker.com/printer

GHOSTBUSTERS

The Ghostbusters display was as eye-catching as it was question rousing.

Packaged you can see a translucent dragon named Mayhem (someone really needs to make a meme with him doing an insurance commercial)

The Proton pack you see pictured is kid sized, and has a feature where if you open up the wand, you can put a small translucent ghost inside which will then project on to the wall.  Similar to that projector wand that we too had as kids back in the mid eighties.

SO while I was being walked around I happened to be just in time to listen to one gentleman talk to a bunch of investors about their new Ghostbusters line, as he put it “a new paranormal team!”.   All the toys are going to be on shelves in May, though the movie is not slated to be released until July.  But you knew that already, right?  Now the figures are intended to be likenesses of the four actresses that play these roles, but to be honest, with the amount of attention that went into the uniforms, their actor-likeness is just on par with the Power of the Force Princess Leia figure.  See pictures for reference.     Contrarily, the proton packs themselves are molded fairly accurately to what we have seen so far from the promotional images.  And as with many collectable figure lines these days, there is a build-a-figure aspect to it.  If you get all four of the ladies, you are able the build  SPOILER WARNING ROWAN, who can only be described as the large white cartoony ghost from the center of the original logo patch, one which is still worn by this rebooted team as indicated by the tampos on the figure.  Rowan continues to be a play on the Casper-like ghost who dances down the streets of New York in the opening of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, only now he has been given hillbilly teeth and a red bow tie.  Coupled with the very animated Egon look that one lady is sporting in the new film, it appeared to everyone that this was just another cute nod, nothing more.

Then it happened.  This guy.  Talking to his business suit clad cadre blurts out loud that Rowan is the main bad guy in this new film.  Now I actively tuned him out, attempting to avoid being spoiled even further.  See that’s the problem with spoilers, its less about not being told something, but more about the obvious conclusions that any reasonably intelligent person may come to upon hearing them.

Sufficed to say, I will write no more here.  Hopefully Greg put a highlighted warning to the above, but even so, I won’t be the one to ruin a movie that already has people nervous.

I, as well as other folks who had been on that tour, wonder if that guy still has a job.

There are also 3 packs of tiny cartoony figures and blind bags.

MONSTER HIGH

Admittedly I know nothing about this line, but I know there is a huge following so, here are some pictures.   There is a new sub line that revolves around a movie that is also an origin story.  The “Ari Huntington”  figure lights up and reacts to both music and the proximity of your hand.  It’s actually a really interesting gimmick!

Monster High also has collectable tiny figures that come blind packed with seventy varieties.

The brand is teaming up with Lady Gaga, partnering with the Born this Way organization with an upcoming Lady Gaga doll based on one of her music video characters which will be designed her sister Natalie.   That announcement is scheduled to be made later this week.

For fall there is a fashion doll coming out with a UV reactive hair stamping.  as well as an aquatic line of very Seacon colored  Great Scarier Reef dolls, that stand on their own tentacle tails.   Very cool Fiji mermaid looking figures that all have pun-heavy names.


DC SUPERHERO HIGH

Now this is a fun new line of action packed figures, bases and role play based on the web series where all the DC Superhero girls are in high school together.  Some very neat action features on the play set pictures, which comes with the Batgirl figure.

I did have the opportunity to shoot the disk shooting Wonder Woman shield.  I have to say, it is pretty refreshing to have the main role-play item displayed be not only for girls, but a gold and red weapon that has zero pink or purple on it.  And this coming from someone obsessed with the Seacon color scheme.

MEGABLOCKS

The Ninja Turtles line is just ridiculous.  Absolutely ridiculous.  In the best way possible  Most of what you see pictured are coming out this fall.  There are comic based sets in black and white that seem torn right off the page, cartoon oriented sets with both the eighties aesthetic as well as the modern show, and of course the new movie on the horizon.  Just brilliant.  Check out the pics!

 

GREENLIGHT

So from Greenlight, purveyor of quality die cast slices of vehicular pop culture comes something that I in particular am very interested in and that is the Dharma Initiative van from the 2004 television series LOST.   Not much more to say on the mater other than check out those pics!  Absolutely gorgeous, and about time!   Expect a full review once this thing drops.

UNDERGROUND TOYS

Underground Toys were demoing their new plush BB8 doll at this years Toy Faire.   Granted they have several available already, but to be honest, none really capture the little droid as well as this new offering.   The dimensions and “mold” so to speak are spot on, and it is complete with lights, sound and movement that all come together to make one adorable little beach ball.   Check out the images to see what I mean.

Also on the horizon are a slew of new Doctor Who figures in both size classes, and something that stood out at their booth, a Death Star Barbecue.  Yup.

It is fully operational.

NECA

Gremlins, Marvel, Pathfinder, Aliens, Pacific rim, Hateful Eight, Halo and more!  The Ash vs. The Evil Dead was particularly gorgeous.

Did not have a chance to discuss the figures that much at my visit, but took some wonderful pictures of things you will definitely be adding to your Christmas list.

 

DIAMOND SELECT

I feel bad about my time in the Diamond Select booth as I am pretty sure I may have left some drool behind.   The amount of amazingly sculpted offereings they had on display was astounding.  SOme that really stood out to me personally were the Ghostbusters (the original boys-in-gray from ’84) due out this March and the new X-FIles series slated for June release.   Speaking with the tremendously helpful and kind Marketing supervisor, we talked a bit about what is on the horizon and, while nothing is officially announced, I can say that they are thinking of doing some more classic X-Files likenesses and perhaps characters.  I for one would be beside myself were that to happen, although my tiny NYC apartment already barely has enough room for me in it.   Eh, totally worth it.  These figures are amazing.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Diamond Select has just licensed the new Ghostbusters film as well, so expect that same photorealistic quality we have gotten used to from this outfit in depicting characters from the upcoming movie.

Also pictured are the glass tumblers they will be offering as well, harkening back to the old fast food premiums (but of thicker glass and better quality).  Fantastic work on those!

Sliding over to another favorite franchise, the Star Trek ships we have all been raving about over the years are getting a second run including an NX-01 on the horizon, the “Cobra” phaser from TNG is being released in the winter (just in time for Santa to bring me one I hope) and so much more!

Expect in depth reviews of these and more as they near release.   For now check out the pics below…and wipe that drool off of your keyboard.

 

QUANTUM MECHANIX

Quantum Mechanix or QMx had some of their upcoming Star Trek ships on display.  THese are hyper accurate PVC versions of both the NCC-1701 and the NCC-1701 Refit (pictured).  I have to say, these things are eye-catching and amazing.  As a collector of the EagleMos ships of the line, I have to say, this version of the Refit not only gives them a run for their latnum, but nigh blows it out of the quadrant.  What is really fun is the way it connects to its included stand.  Everything is done with magnets!  A very non-obstrusive but effective way of displaying your pieces.  The best part are that they are set to be under 30 bucks!

Also on display were the Kirk, Spock and Captain Mal (Firefly) with some fantastic likenesses, leather boots, and remarkably accurate soft-goods wardrobe.  Special versions of Kirk and Spock will come with their classic Riffle and Lute respectfully.

If you are a part of Loot Crate, QMx are the ones responsible for the adorable Deadpool figure you are soon to have in your collection, as well as the Hover Board from last October (one that sits atop my TV stand as I type this)

THE LOYAL SUBJECTS

Okay, so a lot of you on this website have been collecting the Transformers offerings from The Loyal Subjects, and they are adorable in all their eighties inspired glory.  Nothing new was on display other than what you have already either purchased or pined over on the internet in regards to the colossal death robots we know and love.  However…check.  Out.  Those.  MOTU figures!   14 point of articulation on these little guys, and even if you are not into the whole “super deformed” thing, it’s hard not to want that tiny Trap Jaw sit atop your computer desk silently judging your command decisions.

Also a slew of new TMNT, Power Rangers and the new GI Joe line!  Each time I visited the booth, there was a meeting going on next to the Joes, but I managed to snag a photo of my first ever figure as a yoot, Copperhead.  Boy is he purdy.

MAYFAIR GAMES

Settlers of Catan was popular.   Hardcore gamers, tabletop folks, and casual players all meet at the intersection of that venn diagram and colonize that island at it’s intersection.  Consequently, they acquired the license to make a Star Trek themed version.  Add another circle.

Apparently that game did so well that it allowed them to produce what is possibly one of the most fun dice rolling games I have played in years, Star Trek Five Year Mission.

Originally proposed as an 1800s naval warfare game, in 5yr Mission you now have the option to either play the game with either the TOS or TNG crew.  At Toy Faire itself they were giving an exclusive  Wesley Crusher/Yeoman Rand play mat, which I got to go with the game (which I just had to purchase).   It is in essence a cooperative dice placement game for 3-7 players where you try together to reach certain achievements or “alerts” at three different levels.  Very fun if you are into having game-nights with your friends.  Optimal amount of players is 4-6  in my opinion.

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Frank Todaro

Frank Todaro

Frank Todaro is a NYC based voice actor, host of radio and live events and long time user at The Allspark.
Frank currently plays the role of Starscream in Hasbro's latest animated series Transformers: Combiner Wars.
www.franktodaro.tv
Frank Todaro

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