Sunday 18 February 2018

AFB Best in Show: New York Toy Fair 2018

It’s been another New York Toy Fair so it’s another chance for me to point and say ‘I want that one’ a few times for some of the stuff that was on show. If you’re new to the concept, New York Toy Fair is the main toy fair for America thus it’s the main toy fair for the western world; most toy companies from specialist importers to Mattel and Hasbro show off their wares and it’s a good way to plan your expenditure for at least the next 6 months if you’re a toy enthusiast.
I’m just gonna talk about the things that I’m definitely buying when they come out (or when they show up, the new Deadpool wave of Marvel Legends is allegedly out but I haven’t seen shit, I want that Cable and Domino) with a little paragraph recapping what else the company put out so this post has some actual use if anyone who stumbles on it, for full coverage you’re better off checking out The Fwoosh, ToyArk, Toy News International and Ringside Collectibles.

All pictures 'borrowed' from ToyArk except that Ghostbusters picture which was once on ToyNewsi but seems to have mysteriously disappeared. So are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin: 

Great Garloo ReAction Figure!
Super7, 10th of Never
I have absolutely no reason to trust Super7 when it comes to 6” scale collector’s figures but they seem to be semi-reliable when it comes to ‘all other junk’ - which is good because all of their reveals this Toy Fair were ‘all other junk’ and a lot of it was pretty exciting, but for me personally nothing is going to top a Great Garloo action figure. The Great Garloo was a remote-controlled kaiju released by Marx (I’ve seen some sources claim Marvin Glass & Associates developed it but I can’t confirm that) way back in 1961, for me he’s on the of the coolest looking toys of all time (not bad for a bloke wearing sandals) but really if you weren’t convinced of Garloo’s coolness by the phrase ‘remote-controlled kaiju’ I feel there may be no pleasing you and I’m wasting my time. It seems Super7 are going to be doing both the big daddy himself and the Great Son of Garloo, a small wind-up toy released in ’62 and I’m down for both, possibly for multiples of the Great Son. I’m over the whole ReAction thing and it seems like most people are, that’s why Funko dumped the brand and Super7 picked it up, but I don’t care if it’s a ReAction Figure, a Star Wars Black Figure or a Figuarts limited edition release, I shall own a posable Great Garloo. 

We got nothing new on the Masters of the Universe Classics front, still Super7 haven’t shipped the first wave so not showing us the third might not’ve been a bad idea, they did show off two sets of She-Ra based M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. that look swanky, although it seems like Super7 are no longer paying for the M.U.S.C.L.E. licence as all of their upcoming mini-figures are going to be released under the generic (and copyright free) Keshi name in Japanese style boxes. And the vintage style He-Ro and Eldor are back on show as upcoming releases so it looks like they got that sorted out and we’ll get some toy-dreams-come-true figures in the next decade. Ghouls ‘n Ghosts are getting a line of ReAction figures and I’m very excited for their Astaroth, we’re not getting Princess Prin-Prin though which is a bit of a bummer - new Planet of the Apes ReAction Figures were also shown off, including the Lawgiver Statue which I’m totally down for, oh and PeeWee’s Playhouse too, shan’t be buying them. This big reveal though seems to be that they’ve got the Universal Studios Monsters licence, so that means another round of ReAction figures but more importantly they’re reissuing and expanding the Super Soakies and introducing a new line of collectible licenced Halloween pails dubbed Super-Buckets, Megatron, Voltron, the Xenomorph and four Universal Monsters (Wolf-Man, Gill-Man, Frankenstein’ Monster and the Mummy) are pending licenser approval, I’m more than interested in both line but I’m waiting for prices, which of course weren’t revealed because it’ll be two years before these things go on sale.

Savage World!
Funko, TBD
This is the one; this is the thing that’s going to be costing me the most money in the year to come. Funko are going to be making 5.5” action figures in the style of the vintage Masters of the Universe line (like Super7 are doing) but they’re going to be doing it for Jason Vorhees, Freddy Kruger, Conan the Barbarian, Leatherface, Michael Myers and THE THUNDERCATS. We already knew they were doing Mortal Kombat characters, which was nice but THUNDERCATS! Firstly I’m just pleased to be getting any new Thundercats figures after the failure of the last cartoon and MattyCollector’s Thundercats Universe being stillborn but to finally have the ‘cats and Mutants in scale with vintage He-Man figures? That’s just, that’s just something I never thought would happen and yet here Funko are, taking a break from making castles with all their Pop Vinyl money to make this a reality. I think this is one of those ‘you don’t understand, you weren’t THERE, man!’ things so I’ll elaborate on why this is exciting: LJN made the vintage Thundercats figures, they’re very good and I have a complete set but they’re huge, out of scale for everything except maybe Sectaurs (dear Funko: you know what your new Savage World figures need? Sectaurs) so while I could and did spend many an afternoon teaming up He-Man and Lion-0 it had the look of teaming up Hornswoggle with Andre the Giant when it should have been Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage; it wasn’t a big deal but it always there. Now we’ll have Thundercats figures that blend seamlessly with MOTU and I can put them through the trap door in Castle Grayskull with ease, I mean, put them on the same shelf – because I’m an adult collector and not a five year old, yeah, that.
No seriously fuck that, first thing I do when these get released is drop Panthro through that fucking trap door.

Funko had hundreds of things on show – amongst the upcoming Pop Vinyls newly revealed or otherwise are: Grease (I’ll be buying Danny), Care Bears (out this month, I’ll be buying them all), Jurassic Park (I’ll be buying all the dinos and Ian Malcolm), Bob Ross (so down for that), the Twisted Ones version of the FNAF animatronics (I’ll be buying the wolf), Rainbow Brite and Twink (so down for that), Doug!, PeeWee’s Playhouse (because apparently it’s been long enough now that we’ve all forgotten about the arrest and are comfortable buying merch again), Gossip Girl, Ouran High School Host Club, Garbage Pail Kids (I’ll be buying Adam Bomb), Destiny 2 and the new It film plus more Marvel, DC, Halo, Yuri on Ice,  Nickelodeon, Disney, One Piece, Dragon Ball and Rick & Morty – actually if you like Rick & Morty you’ll be well happy with this year’s Funko stand, pity I don’t. No new wave of Five Nights at Freddy’s action figures were on show (just make the Toy Versions already Funko!) but the new Funko Racers look adorable, fun and you can get Chica’s Cupcake in its own little car. The other big news for me though is that Buffy and Harry Potter are getting the Rock Candy treatment, the Luna is amazing (Yuri on Ice is also getting Rock Candy figurines which has solved a few Christmas present problems for me this year thankyouverymuch).

Crash Bandicoot!
Neca, Q2 2018
Damn these are coming out soon - even though they’re still ‘pending Licensor approval’. There’s a lot of choices on this list that are here for the same reason and that reason is ‘FINALLY!’ Eg: finally! A proper collector’s figure of Crash Bandicoot is here! Taking the final fate of Neca’s Video Game Series Simon Belmont into account it’s probably not just toy companies that are to blame for us getting so little retro toy goodness when it comes to collector’s figures but it is still a largely untapped well of licences that I feel they should be exploiting when they can  - and Neca is doing this (pending Licnensor approval) and I am very excited – although maybe three Crash figures in a row might be a bit much, I’d’ve maybe thrown in a Cortex or Tiny in-between to space out the variants but Neca need the part reuse to make it financially viable and I doubt anyone’s going to complaint about Rocket Pack Crash – except me of course. I’ll be buying regular Crash and waiting in hope of a Ripper-Roo.   

Neca also had new Team Fortress and Portal figures on show; I couldn’t give a flying dog’s bollock about Team Fortress 2 so I’m not the person to ask about ‘em but the new Portal stuff looks very nice.

Ultimate Pennywise!
Neca, Q3 2018
At Last! How has it taken until 2018 to get this? Presenting to you a full-on-no-bullshit-swanky-as-fuck-fully-articulated-with-multiple-swappable-parts collector’s figure of Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown from the Stephen King’s It TV movie!! Even though he looked completely different to how the book describes him (the new It film is a lot closer, one of the only things in that movie that IS close to the book) the TV movie’s Pennywise, this Pennywise, will forever be how I imagine It’s clown form looking and sounding and I’ve wanted a figure of it, this figure, ever since I first saw the film, on VHS, rented from Vidbiz, which means I’ve been waiting about 120 years or more for this to come out. He even comes with a balloon – that floats (because they float, the ooooorrrrl float)! My complaints are two in number: 1) he doesn’t come with Prince Albert in a can 2) he’s coming out Quarter 3 which is after my birthday but too early for Christmas, so I’ll have to pay for him myself or wait, and I ain’t waiting. So really, I have no complaints at all

As it’s their bread and butter, Neca had a whole bunch of other Horror stuff on show - though I’m having trouble remembering what’s been shown previous and what hasn’t. We’ve got release dates for the first Guillemeto Del Toro figures, Santa from The Devil’s Backbone is coming out first (Q2) while the Pan’s Labyrinth stuff is for Q3 and Q4. There was a couple of new Mego-style figures on show including a Herbert West (Q3) and the captain from The Fog (Q4) and some new Freddy Kruegers, I’m tempted by The Fog figure. New Waves for Alien and Predator were shown off [] including some new Kenner Aliens characters, the Snake Alien is a must-buy for me but otherwise I’m not feeling it for the regular figures. The packs based on Capcom’s Aliens vs Predator arcade game however, that’s a different matter, Dutch & Linn two pack (Q4) needs to come home with me but Neca two-packs ain’t cheap, there was also a bitching throne of skulls for your Predators on show, it’s shit hot but if it’s anything lke the Trophy Wall it’ll be expensive, hard to find and easily broken. A second wave for Ash vs The Evil Dead was on show, plus a bunch of Ultimate figures which seem to be doing good business for Neca (I’ve bought a few, their Terminator 2 Sarah Conner is the sex) we’re getting an Ultimate Gremlin (Q3), Ultimate Elder Predator (Q4), Ultimate Part 2 Jason Vorhees (Q3), Ultimate new film Pennywise (Q3) and an Ultimate Evil Dead 2 Ash who’s gonna come in a two-pack with Evil Ed (Q2)! I’d say it’s gonna be hard not to buy them all but I’m sure it’ll be easier once I’m in the shop and looking at the price,  I can’t see me passing on the Gremlin and the Part 2 Jason though.

Marvel Legends Spider-Ham & Scream!
Hasbro (Marvel Legends: Venom Series), October (I think?)
A little tear to came to my eye when I saw him, I tear of pure joy. Spider-Ham is getting an action figure and I’m gonna be alive to see it, bless you Spider-Verse, it was so worth putting up with all your Silk Mary-Sue bullshit now it means that I’ll have a little plastic cartoon pig dressed as Spider-Man. Scream meanwhile is just a personal favourite of mine, hailing from the old Venom: Separation Anxiety mini-series/story/multi-media event I’ve just always been enamoured with her look, I have her Toy Biz figure from way back whenever but this’ll be her first collector’s figure and about damn time too. It really is worth paying attention to Marvel Legends, even if you hate most of the output like I do (the new Doctor Octopus is revolting, the new Dagger is as bad, the Venom from this wave has a ginormous head, The Thing is a disappointment and the Silver Surfer is meh) because you can usually find one diamond amidst the slew of shit – as well as these two there’s the new Carnage which has an awesome unmasked head, the upcoming Cable and Domino that was revealed last SDCC, a comic-accurate Malekith the Dark Elf and a surprisingly nice Spider-Man Noir.

I don’t even know where to start with recapping the Marvel Legends on show so I’ll just do the stuff I’m certain of: the second wave of Black Panther figures include Killmonger and Agent Ross; the Venom series is going to me Venom, Carnage, Spider-Ham, Scream and Anti-Venom; the next Deadpool wave will be Deadpool in his pants, X-Men Outfit Deadpool, Omega Red, Lady Deadpool and Bishop with Sauron as a build-a-figure; the next Spider-Man wave will be modern Daredevil (black outfit), modern Scarlet Spider, House of M Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus, Cloak & Dagger and Elektra and the Ant-Man & The Wasp movie wave will include Ant-Man, Wasp plus comic book versions of Malekith the Dark Elf, Black Knight and Gladiator, none of whom have any ties to Ant-Man in the slightest, plus a two-pack of Astonishing Ant-Man and Stinger is coming out. The Riders series of figure and bikes will be Logan, Black Widow and Danny Ketch Ghost Rider.  Plus they’re doing a whole range to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe under the name ‘Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years’ and that is going to cost me a lot of money: single-boxed versions of Ronan the Accuser (Guardians of the Galaxy), Iron Man (Avengers Assemble), The Red Skull (Captain America: The First Avenger), Hulk (The Avengers: Age of Ultron) and The Hulkbuster Armour (Avengers: Age of Ultron) will accompany two-packs of Iron Man & The Mandarin Trevor (Iron Man 3), Iron Man & Pepper Potts (Iron Man 3), Ant-Man & Yellowjacket (Ant-Man), Tony Stark & The Original Iron Man Armour (Iron Man), Thor & Sif (Thor: The Dark World) and Captain America & Crossbones (Captain America: Civil War). I shall own that Pepper Potts.

Real Ghostbusters!
Diamond Select (Ghostbusters Select), TBD
Did Diamond throw a hissy fit and have all the photos of these taken down or something? Because I know I saw pictures of protos for the four Ghostbsuters and Slimer but Toy News International’s page is now gone and I’m not turning up anything on Google Images – good job I saved a picture innit? I’m excited but I’m not as excited as I should be, I wanted screen accurate Real Ghostbsuters but it looks like we’re gonna get a kind Masters of the Universe Classics Real Ghostbusters instead, mixing styles into a new one – fuck knows why Diamond have chosen to do this but then Diamond’s track record with figures is so up and down it could be a Trials HD track. Apparently these are scheduled to come in two three-figure waves so I’m assuming it’ll be two Ghostbsuters and a third figure (Slimer for one and someone else for the other - Janine? Boogeyman? Sam Hain? Someone like that) for each wave and I’ll be buying them all, they’ll be Wave 9 and 10 I think.

No idea what else Diamond are releasing because apparently you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before you left their stand or something because there’s bugger all coverage, Pulp Fiction Wave 2 is apparently cancelled though but I got that from a forum it could be bullshit.

Honourable Mention: King Kong of Skull Island!
Mezco, Summer 2018
This is getting an honourable mention simply because it’s by Mezco and they’ve not released a price for it yet. Mezco seems to have found a gap in the market with their 1:12 Collective figures – essentially Hot Toys for the 6” scale fans and thus I now assume everything they release with be expensive for its scale so until I know how much this is going to cost I’m not 100% down for it but to have a figure that actually looks something like the original RKO King Kong is very enticing. Incidentally this is the 7” version, they’re going to produce an 18” version too but the headsculpt is wank, this one looks at least slightly like O.B. sculpted it.  

And this isn’t even touching on the Star wars Black stuff I want but will probably never buy because that happens for just about every Star Wars Black figure (they’re making the Gamorran Guard and R5-D4!)

Anyway I’m off to sell some organs, thanks for reading, see ya later. 

Thursday 15 February 2018

30 Old Toys in Old Photos

So I’ve been doing my family a favour and gradually scanning loads of old photographs that range from the 1940s all the way up to the current millennium. - It’s a comforting job but not very exciting – EXCEPT WHEN IT INVOLVES OLD TOYS! My mum had that fascination with taking pictures of their children that some parents develop so there’s way too many pictures of me, many taken without my knowledge, on Christmas Morning, birthday mornings and just playing in our front room or the garden (I wasn’t allowed to play with certain toys inside, my Nan had paralyzing visions of Retro-Mutagen Ooze and Ecto-Plazm forever leaving huge holes in her carpet, after I got the Slime out she used to fastidiously wash every Ghostbuster before it was allowed back in the house, I am not joking – I also have very clean Egons), as such I’ve turned the job into a toy nerd version of Where’s Wally and now I’m going to turn that into a blog post – look pleased.

QUICK TANGENT: most of these photos were developed in Triple Print (or earlier, Double Print), bloody Triple Print. Triple Print meant you got two extra small versions of the photo stuck onto the regular size photo:

That’s Shandy, our old dog, who was clearly expecting a telling off and not his picture being taken, which leads me to believe that he must have done something REALLY wrong and was just waiting for us to find out; I’m sure shortly after this photo was taken my nan found dogshit in a place that dogshit really shouldn’t be. The point is that my mum’s side of my family were up for anything if it meant they thought they were getting something for nothing regardless of whether or not they needed, wanted or liked that something: Triple Print is the perfect example of that, we had no need for three versions of photos and our boxes of old photos are filled with literal stacks of these two little prints, all this ‘deal’ amounted to for us was that mum had to sit and spend extra time cutting the little extra pictures off - WHAT WAS THE POINT!?! 
With that tangent over, are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

5th Birthday (1991)
This seems like a really nice picture of a woman and her grandson sharing a Magna-Doodle he had just received as a gift until you realise three things 1) our chairs don’t match our carpet because we was in the middle of a remodelling and that’s just irritating 2) Shandy’s todger is REALLY prominent and 3) Nan looks fucking exhausted, I probably had the poor woman up at 5am to open presents, speaking of which lets look at the debris all over the floor:

1. Ecto-Plazm! (The Real Ghostbusters, Kenner)
You’ll notice that Nan already has a sheet down, she was so fearful of Slime that she got a sheet out on her grandson’s birthday in case he opened the bloody things and got it on a carpet she was getting rid of. The red tubs had the best ghosts in them by the way, they had the Skullful Manifestations ghosts: three delightful skulls that could be used as finger puppets, the yellow tubs in comparison had the naff Come to Your Senses Ghosts, a mouth, a nose and some eyeballs that all looked like spare Mr Potato Head accessories, you could bleed the Slime through the nose to make it look like purple snot but that pales somewhat in comparison to finger puppet skulls.