The corner booth at DesignerCon that housed Scott Tolleson, Lana Crooks, and Carson Catlin had a eye-catching combination of plushes and figures, both original and customized. It also had several tantalizing con-exclusives av...
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As is her wont, Flat Bonnie's DesignerCon booth featured flat stuffed critters lined up on tiered displays resembling a grassy knoll. I spotted several fan favorites, like Flat Suggie the Sugar Glider and Flat Dusty the Chinchilla, nestled amongst the faux lawn dressings. The big draw were the two con-exclusives, though. The first was the Winter White edition of Sparq the Baby Dragon. This colorway resembled what fans saw in teasers of this character prior to its debut release at San Diego Comic Con 2014. Following in the winter theme, the second exclusive is Jackalope - Frozen edition. I especially liked the Jackalope's forest-y feel, with the little pleather leaves on its arms and horns.
You can find more of Flat Bonnie's darling flatties on her online store.
I'm not going to lie; I have a soft spot for jellykoe's Tox City line. The series of plushes were a big success on Kickstarter and I adored their New York Comic Con exclusive addition as well. Kelly and J. Spencer Shull brought several Tox City citizens with them to last weekend's DesignerCon along with an extra-special one: Gillbert - Big Katuna Edition. The exclusive mutant came dressed in swim shorts and felt sunglasses, carrying a hand-painted wooden surfboard. He even comes in a different shade than the original Gillbert, as if he got a tan. As an added bonus, he can be dressed and undressed as you please. He was a riot!
In addition to the Tox City plushes, there was also a display of J. Spencer's paintings and custom figures. You can purchase and see more of jellykoe's work on their website.
TOUMA hit DesignerCon with a vengeance. His DCon exclusive Knuckle Bear Cosmic (US$55) looks crisp as usual, and I always love his designs. He also had little soft vinyl toys of Pico Mao Cat, Pico Hitch Bear and more, also showing that he now has LINE stickers available.
Where I'd really get in trouble are the Budog toys, especially the keychains. They're all so adorable and have such personality; I'd love to collect them all! He also had Gorelax, Astro Skullbot and more on had, which were especially colorful and bright. There were plenty of things for you to take with you if you stopped by his booth this weekend.
Another new year fast approaches and Hasbro is preparing their latest set of exclusive Transformers designed to represent the animals of the Chinese zodiac. 2015 marks the year of the goat and they're doing something a little different this year, going with a transparent and metallic color scheme. I'm no fan of translucent plastic and gold plastic tends to become very brittle over time so I'm not all that excited about these releases, but at least they picked some great figure molds to use.
First up is the surprising return of the G2 Laser Optimus Prime. The last time we saw this mold in North America it was repurposed as Scourge for the Robots in Disguise cartoon in 2000. Nothing has changed in the mold, but now comes in translucent, gold, silver, and black. Oddly enough he's lacking all of the stickers and paint that would have been on the previous uses of the mold except for his head which has a silver mouth plate and yellow eyes. His fuel tanker trailer still has a chrome tank, but in battle station mode they've made some of his parts inexplicably pink and light blue.
Second is as similarly colored version of Masterpiece Soundwave. He doesn't have quite as many colors as Optimus has, almost entirely made from clear and copper plastic save for a section of light gray plastic. Would have been better if they had used Prime's silver and some black to break things up. Only spot on his head with color is his red eye visor, opting to not paint his mouth plate like Optimus. What he does have going for him is that being a Hasbro release he does come with five tapes (Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ravage, Rumble, and Frenzy) in translucent plastic and all of his weapons including a mini brass and silver Megatron gun.
Both of these figures use good molds, but my dislike for the clear plastic kills my interest entirely. Had they replaced the clear parts with the proper respective red or blue opaque plastic, similar to the 2014 Optimus Prime, I would definitely want these. They've also once again missed a chance at using a Beast Wars mold, this time they could have used Ramulus. Either way, expect these to hit Toys R Us and Big Bad Toy Store by the end of this year.
Looks like golden Masterpiece Megatron isn't the only new thing coming exclusively to Transformers Asia. Announced today Asia will soon be getting the new MP-11SW Skywarp. This is Skywarp's third Masterpiece, previously released by Takara Tomy as MP-06 in 2007 and a Walmart exclusive from Hasbro in 2008, but this is the first time he's been released using the revised MP-11 Starscream mold. In fact he's only Takara Tomy's third figure to use the mold, the other being MP-11S Sunstorm, while Hasbro has used the mold three times to make the Toys R Us exclusive Thundercracker, Acid Storm, and Sunstorm once again. The figure looks great, very cartoon accurate and I'm actually glad Takara Tomy left out the coronation cape and crown on this release. If this wasn't an Asia release (and I didn't already have MP-06) I might want one, but not for the US$199.99 that some stores like Big Bad Toy Store and TFSource are asking.
But that's not all, Transformers Asia also has something big in store for movie fans. They'll be offering a special Human Alliance two pack featuring Barricade and the Dark of the Moon Soundwave figure that was never released in the US. As part of the HA series Barricade will also come with a mini Frenzy as he did in the original movie while Soundwave comes with little Laserbeak and Mr. Gould figures. Pretty fitting set considering Barricade was basically the prototype Soundwave character in the first movie while both off them have the distinction of getting their butts handed to them by Bumblebee. By the looks of it these are identical to their individual releases which can be a hassle to find now, especially Soundwave. At the US$144.99 that BBTS and TFSource are asking for them, working out to about US$72.50 each, they're a great deal when compared to most ebay auctions asking upwards of US$200 for Soundwave alone.
You've probably already heard by now, but the Naruto manga is now in it's final weeks, set to end at the beginning of November. Seems like bad timing for Bandai to be releasing Naruto figures, that might have a little something to do with Sasuke here being a Tamashii Web exclusive. But don't fret, Bluefin has us covered.
Over at the S.H.Figuarts blog they've posted a few more photos of Sasuke that, let's be honest, aren't incredibly flattering. Compared to the early photos his face and hair have lost some details. His hair isn't as pointy and now hangs over his eyes more. His facial features have gotten softer and in some shots almost translucent when compared to what was certainly a hand-painted prototype. Body sculpting still looks nice and despite the challenging legs they appear to be very well articulated so that's a big plus.
He won't be out for a few more months, late January/early February depending on where you go. Tamashii Web prices him at ¥5,184, but you won't be able to get it without some help if you aren't in Japan. On the other hand Bluefin has him priced at US$52.99 and if you go with, say, Amazon you might be able to get free shipping so that may be one of the better routs to take.
Jellykoe announced their con-exclusive for New York Comic-Con, which starts in just a few short weeks. Hailing from their Tox City line, meet the beefed-up rabbit-thing, Musclebuns! Standing an impressive 19-inches tall, he features weighted, articulated arms and, like all the Tox City plushes, has glow-in-the-dark eyes.
I was already a fan of Jellykoe's Tox City plushes and love their style. Musclebuns is definitely carrying on the fun, inventive look the couple is known for. I honestly adore everything about this guy but if I had to narrow it down to one thing specifically, I'd choose his face. The expression of carefree cluelessness with a pinch of "derpiness" is just so endearing. The dude was just mutated and he seems totally fine with it.
Musclebuns is handmade and limited to 10 pieces, which are available for purchase at Jellykoe's booth #413 at The Block. Who is planning on attending NYCC?
Aniplex+ is back again with another Madoka Magica girl clad in their best kimono. Joining Madoka and Homura is figure number three, Mami (Maiko edition) in a very cute pink kimono. The detail is quite exceptional with lots of bright and vivid colors, every piece covered in flower petals. Her hair has some very intricately sculpted and painted decorations and even her bright blue fan looks great! Just like with the other two this is certainly a figure made to impress. As if that wasn't enough she also comes with a little Charlotte figure laughing at her feet.
The figure itself is 1/8 scale and stands at 190 mm. She's expected to be released in April at US$119.98. As an Aniplex+ exclusive she's only available directly through Right Stuf or Akiba Anime. Pre-order cutoff to guarantee a figure is October 31, but both shops have ordered additional figures in the past to continue taking orders after the date, though you're taking a big chance!
Oh, and check the gallery for a preview of the Sayaka and Kyouko figures!
The official Transformers Collectors' Club has announced two new figures that will be in the club store in 2015. The first is Nova Prime, a repaint of the remolded Lio Convoy that will be given to active club members next year. Nova Prime is one of the Primes that came before Optimus Prime and would eventually fall from grace to become the evil Nemesis Prime. TFCC released a Nemesis Prime in their first Subscription service (in the style of Robots in Disguise's Scourge) so this will be a fitting companion figure. It is a little unfortunate, however, that they're using the same mold as two TFCC exclusives at the same time rather than saving one for BotCon like they did with the 2014 Rampage (TFCC) and Shokaract (BotCon). Think I would have rather seen Generations Dreadwing repainted into Beast Wars II's BB to go with the Lio Convoy theme, but whatever, it's a nice looking figure.
Second store exclusive is a surprise G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover set featuring Earth Defense Command's Marissa Faireborn and Autobot Technobot Afterburner. Marissa made regular cameos in the later G1 Transformers cartoon episodes and hardcore fans might recall that she is the daughter of none other than G.I Joes Flint and Lady Jaye making this an all the more fitting figure. The figure was mashed together from parts from various Scarlet, Cover Girl, and Baroness figures to make a for a convincing likeness. She comes with jet pack and null-ray as a call back to the episode Five Faces of Darkness. She's partnered with a non-transforming Afterburner motorcycle repainted from a Cobra Wheel Blaster Bike meant to represent her teaming up with the Technobots in the episode Money is Everything. Considering the nature of the figure I'm curious to see if this will also be made available in the G.I. Joe Collectors' Club store as well.
Not bad as TFCC exclusives go, but not exactly exciting either. I like the idea of Marissa as a club exclusive, but I wish she came with a transforming partner. Still, TFCC doesn't give us multiple store exclusives that often anymore so the extra effort is appreciated. Keep in mind that all of these images are digitally painted so the final product will likely vary.
So we know that Funko has been branching into making Pop! figures from Japanese licenses. They came out with Vocaloid, Black Butler, and Dragon Ball Z figures. Well now they’re making a Pop! series for anime hit, Attack on Titan.
There will be four figures included in this series; Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackerman, Eren Jaeger Titan Form, and a six inch Colossal Titan. I’m sure fans will be really excited for this, but there’s a catch. There’s always a catch when Funko comes out with something really cool.
So yes, the Attack on Titan series will be a Hot Topic exclusive. It will be available online at in stores starting in October, and ending in December 2015.
When Uglydoll's David Horvath revealed their con-exclusive, a plush of their Big Toe character cosplaying as The Joker from DC Comics' Batman, I knew the booth was going to be swarmed even more than usual this year. This was true and with good reason! Attendees were treated to not only plushes of Big Toe as The Joker but also Babo as Superman, Tray as Wonder Woman, and Ice-Bat as Batman. These adorable stuffed superheroes were available for purchase in two sizes, 11-inches (some of which are also available online) and two-feet tall. They had barrels of mini-plush keychains as well.
Besides the promised plush offerings, Uglydoll also brought with them enamel pins and several limited edition art prints, all showcasing the characters in their DC Comics garb. Every piece of merchandise had that signature Uglydoll charm that I associate with the brand. It is simple and happy, and never ceases to illicit a smile.
You can get a better look at Uglydoll's SDCC offerings in the gallery.