Toy fair is a time for many to rejoice. Not only do the small children of the world get an early look at what might be under the Christmas tree this year, but the MAN-CHILDREN (and Lady-Children) collectors also see what will be sucking their wallets dry over the next 12 months. As an avid collector of Gunpla, figuarts, and Transformers, I freely admit that I will be spending quite a pretty penny on the multitude of collectibles coming out from some of the biggest toy lines out there. Today, we will be discussing the offerings that came from Hasbro.
Starting off the Toy fair weekend, I made my way to EASILY the biggest collector event of the weekend, The Hasbro floor show. Every year at the Hasbro Toy fair collectors show, Everything great and small, adult oriented and kid friendly, from brands ranging from Star Wars to Transformers, Hasbro appeals to nearly every market imaginable.
The biggest announcement in terms of Transformers collectibles this time around, is the re-introduction of a long lost play pattern, the HEAD MASTERS. The Head Master gimmick was a play pattern where a small robot would fold into a head-like shape and link up with their main Transformer boy to form a full transformer. In Transformers G1, this was done mostly to unite human partners with a Transformer body, while they acted as the brain, or HEAD of the unit. Hasbro plans to bring this gimmick back in force with TITANS RETURN. Why is it called this, and why bring back Head Masters since it has not been used since practically the end of G1? Well, there’s one simple reason, over the past few years, Hasbro has released MASSIVE SIZED Transformers, starting with the city-former Metroplex, and following it up with the original combiner DEVESTATOR. Hasbro wanted to top these efforts by bringing back easily the biggest and most FAMOUS city-former of all time METROPLEX. Metroplex was a city sized Transformer that was famous for making use of the Head Master Gimmick on an inception level scale. A Micro sized Head Master would unite with, and create a standard size Transformer named Cerebros. After this, Cerebros would then transform into an even LARGER head module and become the head of Metroplex. So in order to ramp up the hype for Metroplex, Hasbro created the titans Return line as well as revitalizing old forgotten Headmaster character that have yet to receive a proper figure in over 20+ years. These characters include classics like Brainstorm, and Chromedome, but they have decided to extend the line to NON-Headmaster characters like Soundwave, Blurr, and Blaster, strange but not something to complain about, as it has been years since fans have received a generations style redesign of fan favorite Decepticon Soundwave.
Now, while transformers is receiving a new wave of figures, Hasbro is not slouching on their other properties either. The 6 inch Marvel Legends figure line is VERY popular with comic fans and collectors, and much intrigue was centered around this year’s figures. With Marvel producing MULTIPLE new installments into their cinematic film universe, alongside the Fox-released X-Men and Deadpool movies, many people were wondering what characters Hasbro would spotlight this year. Its not surprise that one of the first announced figures was of the merc with a mouth, DEADPOOL. Deadpool has not had a release under Marvel legends line for over 10 years. Needless to say he was DUE for an update. But wade is not alone, he is also going to be joined by his best buddy CABLE as well as several other X-Men, including Rogue, Kitty Pride, Havok, Iceman, and PHOENIX.
But that is just the X-Men category of the Marvel legends 6-inch line, there is still the Avengers, and the Spider-man lines to look at as well. The Spider-man lines tend to include several Spider-characters as well as street level heroes and villains. This year, they kept every in Spidey’s neighborhood by introducing a revamped AMAZING Spider-man, as well as a young bodied figure (not a repaint) of the black Spider-man Miles Morales. Other featured characters include 2 of Spidey’s oldest enemies/rivals/allies Michael Morbeous, The Hob-Goblin, and a MONSTROUS looking VENOM. however, its not all about the old characters, one of Spidey’s newest allies (and love interest), Silk, is also receiving a 6-inch plastic treatment.
The Avengers line usually enjoys taking several liberties, and get a bit creative with their offerings, managing to stretch their character base pretty far and wide. This year’s selection includes both comic, AND movie based figures for the upcoming movie Captain America Civil War. The obvious suspects are all present with a new Cap, Iron-man, and the movie likeness of Black Panther and Scarlet Witch. However, those liberties I spoke about are quite odd this time around. We are receiving a white Nick Fury based on his comic appearances(not too weird), but we are also getting several obscure and interesting figures. The Red Guardian, the Secret Wars costume variant of Captain America, and a character straight out of the mid 90’s, NUKE. Nuke caught my attention, with his grenades, excessive pockets, perpetual scowl, and the American flag painted across his FACE. Its like something straight out of Linkara’s nightmares. And lastly, there is but 1 more Marvel property dropping this year we need to address, the newest addition to the Marvel MCU, DOCTOR STRANGE. The Sorcerer Supreme will also be receiving a plastic, and rather glorious treatment at that. Sadly we were unable to take photos of his figure at the show. However, we ARE allowed to show off the OTHER figures in his line, all of which have a certain magical bent to them. Nico, the blood sorceress from the team “The Runaways”, and the Immortal IRON FIST. Both of which will contain a part of the Doctor Strange line’s Build-a-figure, DORMAMU. If you aren’t sure who he is…. he’s basically the devil.
And the last major collector offerings from Hasbro come in the form the Star Wars BLACK SERIES action figure lines. Several new additions to the line were announced, such as Episode IV version of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, utilizing soft goods parts for their clothing. They will be joined by Jango fett, Kanan Jarrus of Star Wars Rebels, Several Storm trooper variants, and new FORCE AWAKENS characters like Poe Dameron in his pilot uniform, and Rey with BB-8. Though, the 2 most important Black Series announcements came from last year’s Fan-poll. Last year, Hasbro asked fans which characters THEY wanted to see immortalized in the Black Series, and it was a close race between the Star Wars Rebels character Sabine, and the Old Republic pro/antagonist DARTH REVAN. Needless to say, Hasbro decided to please everybody and will be coming out with BOTH figures. The inclusion of Darth Revan is actually an interesting feat. Darth Revan is no longer considered part of the OFFICIAL Star Wars cannon, and while an action figure wont change that, perhaps this will help sway Disney and Lucasfilm into fast-tracking the re-canonization of the Old Republic series.
I believe the collectors market has been more than taken into consideration by the boys at Hasbro and we can look forward to some amazing plastic in 2016.