At the time of this post, it's only 15 days until San Diego Comic Con. With time ticking down, you know that there'd be a ton of exclusive announcements and let me tell you, companies have definitely unleashed the floodgates....
In space, nobody can hear you scream about Diamond Select Toys' awesome new items in the latest issue of Previews. The selection includes a Borg Ice Cube make, a Rarity vinyl bank, Godzilla Minimates series 2, Buck Rogers Min...
The father of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, has announced his PAX Prime 2014 panel where he will discuss his history developing role-playing games, along with revealing more about his new RPG, Terra Battle. Find out more info at PAX Prime website.
Massive 22-inch Smaug figure to invade your shelves soon, displacing whatever dwarf figures you own by Scarecroodle
Huge news, everyone! The Bridge Direct will be a making a huge Smaug figure (The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies). The figure, which sports a 22-inch wingspan and is apparently 21-inches tall (although I'm no sure how), won't be anywhere near to scale with Bridge Direct's previous offerings but it'll still be a humongous figure.
Smaug will unfortunately only feature a paltry ten points of articulation; the joints seem to be at his knees, hips, mid-section of wings, base of neck, and mid-section of neck. The remaining joints might be the shoulders or at his head and base of the tail, but it's hard to tell. The wings and tail appear feature a "wire core" which is listed as allowing for additional poses (meaning bendy?). Granted, I suppose the major selling point here is the size since Smaug should tower over much your collection.
The figure is billed as coming with an as-yet-unrevealed 1.5-inch figure and accessory, which a poster over at Toyark believes to be Bard and a black arrow (although a Bilbo Baggins probably wouldn't be a bad guess, either). Regardless of who that mystery character is, the figure still probably won't be scale with the massive movie version of the dragon. Did I mention that this Smaug is going to be big?
The Bridge Direct's Smaug will be limited to 3,000 pieces which each box featuring an individually numbered sticker. He can be pre-ordered for US$70 and is slated for a December release. You know, because nothing says Christmas like a dragon.
It has always bemused me why <IS> Infinite Stratos hasn't really seen many figures of the girls in their actual <IS> suits. We've had them in their school uniform, swimsuits, pilot suits and even the girls wearing animal ears which was only shown in one episode of the (awful) second season of the anime!
When it comes to the <IS> figures, we've had the AGP line but that's about it... until now! Rather than getting an established company taking in the challenge, instead we have a newcomer in the shape of AmiAmi, in their first major figure release, to give us the first figure of the <IS> suit and who we get is Shinonono Houki in Akatsubaki! There's been a bit of history with this figure. She was first shown two years ago with pre-orders opening soon after. She was initially meant to be released in late 2013 but delays meant that she only got a release recently and her initial price was... severe. However, it was lowered when she was finally released but the price is still somewhat on the high side.
So, we have a figure which has been beset with delays (making Bayonetta seem punctual), with a high pricetag and by a manufacturer with little history. Not exactly a recipe for instant success! But, not only did AmiAmi rise up to the challenge but they also laid the gauntlet down to all the big figure makers with their first release!
Anime Bento is a cool new subscription service that delivers hand-picked Japanese toys, accessories, and tasty treats right to your door. For this unboxing video, I open up their first box and examine its innards. Fun stuff. You can find out more about subscribing to Anime Bento here.
[a big thank-you to Anime Bento for supplying me with this sample!]
Sideshow's 1/4-scale Emma Frost Premium Format Figure is now available for pre-order. The figure features two interchangeable heads (or just hair parts?): one for the modern long-haired Emma Frost and another for the classic villainous Hellfire Club original White Queen.
The Premium Format Emma Frost looks great and I love the fact that Sideshow thought to include a variation of the older, shorter hairstyle.The pose, sculpting, and mix of materials all look great, leaving me to wonder why they waited so long to do something this cool. Sure, it's no Sentinel Maquette, but it's still easily among Sideshow's nicest X-Men collectibles.
Sideshow's 1/4-scale Emma Frost Premium Format Figure can be pre-ordered for US$370 and is slated for an April release.
Not wanting to be left off the Lucas gravy train, Kaiyodo has apparently added Star Wars characters to its Revoltech line. Unpainted prototypes for Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper, C-3PO, R2-D2 and a Mouse Droid were on display at WonFes alongside placards which displayed the silhouettes of Boba Fett, the Millennium Falcon, and an X-Wing.
The news that Kaiyodo is handling the license is somewhat diminished by the glut of Star Wars merchandise these days. For years, Star Wars collectibles were primarily being produced in the 3.75-inch scale by Hasbro (and Kenner before that). However, that's changed almost overnight with Hasbro moving into the 6-inch scale, Medicom's decision to add Star Wars to its MEDICOM line, Bandai of Japan apparently planning to produce samurai Star Wars figures, and Star Wars even appearing in the Nendoroid line. That's not counting the 1/6-scale figures (which have been around for a while) and Kotobukiya's Star Wars offerings.
That's not to say that these figures don't look cool. The sculpting looks to be pretty decent and Vader will apparently feature an articulated cape (unlike Hasbro's and MEDICOM's decision to use a fabric cape). The Storm Trooper (who was on display next to a Clone Trooper helmet for some reason) will provide fans with an opportunity to army build although, given that Revoltechs have been running ¥3,000+ lately, it would make for an expensive army.
I'm also surprised that one of the items Kaiyodo will be leading with is a Mouse Droid. Sure, he's just going to be an accessory (for C-3PO?), but it's still such a seemingly random choice. I'm also curious as to whether Kaiyodo will offer a ton of R2 variants, something that Hasbro has yet to do in its 6-inch Star Wars Black Series (despite having done heavily in its smaller scale line). Will we see a R2-Q2? Only time will tell.
For those expecting some cool Masters of the Universe stuff at SDCC, Matty Collector apparently didn't disappoint. There were a lot of new reveals (a few of which were shown early) between the Club Eternia and Etheria selections for the rest of this year and the start of next year, a 2015 Mini MOTU series which features a Mini Snake Mountain, giant Masters figures, and more.
There's an absurd amount of stuff to discuss, but I'll try to hit some of the highlights after the jump.
We have seen the future and it is (Marvel) Legendary! Hasbro's Marvel Legends SDCC display included an unveil of the first wave of 2015. Consisting of a few orphans from earlier or planned waves (such as Sentry, the proposed running change for Hyperion in the Hit Monkey wave), it's a fairly stellar assortment topped off with a brand-new Odin BAF.
Allegedly dubbed "Avengers Legends", the line-up features a long-overdue new Scarlet Witch (legend has it that the original was so bad that Toy Biz originally didn't dare to sell it in the US until fans demanded it), a Marvel NOW! Thor, Sentry, Machine Man (who I literally learned about today), and the new Captain Marvel (which features an alternate head) with Odin as the BAF. Supposedly the wave is slated to release in February and -- I can't confirm the following -- but I've been told that it might also include a Hawkeye. I believe that may refer to the Hawkeye we saw at NYCC 2012 which I thought was going to be a running change for the Rocket Raccoon-wave Hawkeye but, again, speculation.
Also on display was the upcoming Toys "R" Us exclusive Jubilee wave (a revision I still dislike) along with The Guardians of the Galaxy wave which should be at retail now, some of the SDCC exclusive ones, a few figures we've seen before that I believe are still orphans, and then a lot of stuff that's been out for a while. However, the big news is that there will be another Spidey Legends wave to be announced later today (Friday). Can it top an Odin BAF? Probably not, but I'm still looking forward to it.
Otherwise I'm just happy that we're finally getting a fairly decent-looking ML Scarlet Witch, which justifies my decision to pass on the MU version.
For four years now, I've made. I've learned that not only is it pretty informational, but there's almost always a surprise in store for the folks who attend. I just happened to get spoiled my first year during the Summer of Punk when CM Punk, with WWE Championship in tow, invaded the panel just after his surprising win at Money in the Bank 2011. I didn't quite know if I'd ever run into another panel surprise that would top that.
Well, somehow, this year turned out to be the best WWE-Mattel panel I've been to, for both the figures they showed off ... and the surprise at the end.
The biggest buzz in the last 24 hours from SDCC is almost certainly Square Enix's latest Variant Play Arts Kai: Batman, as designed by Final Fantasy designer Tetsuya Nomura. I've checked around the Internet and seen some mixed reactions to the reveal, but getting to see it in person at Square Enix's booth leaves me looking for the right words to describe it.
Well, "gigantic" is one word that fits. There's little mistaking it for anything but Nomura's work, as it really resembles something you'd expect from the Final Fantasy series. And those wings are huge, taking up a considerable amount of case space. I think it has to be the largest Play Arts Kai figure I've seen to date, by a considerable margin. You could also perhaps use the word "sleek" due to the metallic black paint that coats an otherwise armored surface.
We'll have a little more info and some more detailed looks at Nomura's Batman and all the other Play Arts Kai figures a little later on in our San Diego Comic Con 2014 coverage.
Hot Toys has just dropped an awesome bomb with the massive reveal of its upcoming Optimus Prime (Starscream version), which features the Autobot leader with Seeker-like wings and a limited edition Starscream head. It's a bizarre combination that I never knew I wanted!
While the 30-cm tall Hot Toys Optimus is non-transforming, it features LED light-up eyes, a removable LED light-up Matrix of Leadership (which can be stored in his chest), and what appear to be fully articulated fingers. In addition, he sports an awesome battle-worn paint job. However, the biggest selling point might be the optional Starscream-deco'd Seeker-like wings AND an exclusive Starscream head [UPDATE: Apparently the Starscream head isn't meant as an alternate head, which reduces much of my interest). The Starscream head is only available in a special edition which is listed as being for Ani-Com pre-orders and selected markets only.
The figure also features a set of wheels that can be mounted onto his back, a ground base/diorama, two Seeker-like Rifles that can be attached to his forearms or shoulders, and a cannon.
Highlights include a demonstration of the Tamashii "Burning Flame" effects (used against Venusaur *and* used as a power-up by Lucario and Mega Blaziken), a blurred "Quick Attack", that awesome moon silhouette, and more!
The gallery also seems to reveal what could be a special base for SHF Mega Blaziken, a black and silver version of the Pokeball-themed base seen with previous releases. See all the images in the gallery.