The International Toy Fair in New York is just a few weeks away, and Toy Fairs in Europe are either wrapping up, or about to start, so this week the PopCulteer is going to be an epic rundown of some of the latest news from the toy industry.
Go get something to drink and find a comfortable spot so you can read this without any undue fatigue. Here is the latest from the world of Toys. PopCult will be very heavy with toy news for the next month or so.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Brothers always puts out a pre-Toy Fair press release that tips their hand a bit, offering up what they see as their main focus with toys that will be manufactured by multiple licensees. This year the focus is on their big movie properties, Wonder Woman and Justice League, with nods to some of their television and cartoon items, plus the new blockbuster DC Superhero Girls franchise.
Their press release is short on specifics, but does give us an idea of what to expect in stores. “With collections and must-have products from the most anticipated films of the year, we’re excited to showcase the full breadth and scope of WBCP’s DC Super Hero offerings in partnership with our super-powered global partners, programs and products at Toy Fair this year,” said Pam Lifford, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
Wonder Woman hits theaters around the world in her first-ever standalone, self-titled action adventure feature film, beginning on June 2. The much-anticipated epic delves into the Amazonian Super Hero’s origins and her fight in a war to end all wars. In continuation of Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary and in support of the upcoming film, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and its partners created a line of products fit for Wonder Woman fans of all ages.
Global master toy licensee Mattel will unveil product from the powerful line of toys to accompany Wonder Woman’s first-ever solo feature film, including a full toy line created in the likeness of the movie’s characters, collectible figures, dolls, playsets and role play for fans to recreate their favorite scenes from the movie. The Wonder Woman feature will also be supported by global partners The LEGO Group with an exciting construction set inspired by adventurous moments from the film, and Rubie’s Costume Co. with a new line of Wonder Woman movie-inspired costumes and accessories for fans of all ages.
Additional licensees with toy offerings include Funko, with fan-favorite stylized collectible figures; Neca, with 18-inch replica figures; Tonner Dolls, with detailed-design 18-inch fashion dolls; Madame Alexander, with 11-inch fashion dolls; Hot Toys, with the highly detailed high-ticket collectible figure you see above; Kotobukiya, with high-end collectible statues; Mezco and QMX with stylized figures; Jada Toys, with mini-metal figures; NJ Croce with bendable figures and keychains, Schleich with collectible figures; Sakar International, with electronics and accessories; and many more worldwide.
From the core comic books and the brand-new Justice League Action animated series, to the upcoming explosive feature film, the Justice League universe has no limits and invites fans of all ages to be part of the world’s most recognizable Super Hero team: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg.
Already touted as one of the most eagerly awaited films of 2017, Justice League will inspire a global program fit for the biggest Super Heroes in the world as they arrive together for the very first time on the big screen November 17. WBCP will roll out a massive global merchandise program that will feature the fan-favorite DC Super Heroes in a myriad of toy lines and programs, bringing the film to life for collectors and kids alike.
Global master toy licensee Mattel will be developing an empowering line, including action figures inspired by the most iconic Super Heroes and Super-Villains, playsets, vehicles, collectible figures, and will introduce a full line of action role-play toys highlighted by the much-collected Multiverse line, which captures the superior accuracy and details of the film’s characters. Also supporting Justice League is global partner The LEGO Group, with exciting construction sets inspired by memorable scenes from the film, and Rubie’s Costume Co., with a full range inspired by the Justice League feature film, including costumes and accessories for kids and adults.
Additional toy partners supporting the film include Funko, with a Justice League collection of stylized figures; Jakks Pacific, with their popular large-sized collectible figures for this epic action-adventure; Jada Toys, with metal figurines; and many others around the world.
The new family-friendly animated adventure from director Chris McKay and the team behind the blockbuster hit The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Batman Movie will stand a brick above the rest in the LEGO showroom at International Toy Fair New York as WBCP and The LEGO Group display more than 10 original construction sets recently launched at retail. These are in stores now.
Designed for kids, kids at heart, and collectors, The LEGO Batman Movie collection includes 18 LEGO construction sets as well as a full line of 20 exclusive minifigures, featuring exclusive versions of characters from the film. Fans can also build on iconic environments and moments from the film with The LEGO Batman Movie: The Batmobile set, which lets fans rev up hours of fun racing through Gotham City or smashing through any obstacle in The Dark Knight’s way; and The LEGO Batman Movie: Batcave Break-in set, which invites fans to defend the Batcave from The Penguin, utilizing a range of Batsuits that allow them to take on Super-Villains via air, land or sea. Additionally, all-new LEGO BrickHeadz based on Batman, Robin, Batgirl and The Joker from the film will launch in March. The LEGO Batman Movie crashes into theaters beginning February 10, 2017.
With many accolades and multiple award nominations for 2017, including “License of the Year,” the DC Super Hero Girls licensing and merchandising program from WBCP and DC Entertainment continues to expand and empower girls to reach their own heroic potential. Harnessing the power of the world’s most iconic female Super Heroes and Super-Villains from the DC Universe, DC Super Hero Girls follows Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy, Katana and many more, during their formative years, as they learn about teamwork, friendship and to hone their super powers as teenagers and in a high school setting.
Featuring products that remain consistently in-demand amongst consumers and retailers alike, WBCP and master toy partner Mattel offer fans all-new Action Dolls, Action Figures and Action Role-Play toys from the beloved DC Super Hero Girls collection, with a new rollout of characters, along with new vehicles and gadgets, slated for Spring and Fall 2017, as girls can play out the narrative of their favorite teenage DC female Super Heroes and save the day. The DC Super Hero Girls’ Mattel collection features the industry’s first-ever 6-inch action figures designed for girls, the first 12-inch collection of action dolls featuring strong, athletic bodies that stand on their own in heroic poses.
Collectors should be on the lookout for the recent addition of Starfire (seen above) to the line of characters, and rumors persist that this year will see the release of the first male figure in the line.
The LEGO Group assembles a strong offering, capturing the empowering characters and storylines in six original construction sets for kids around the world to imagine their super building powers as they play and recreate action-packed moments together with their favorite DC Super Hero characters. LEGO DC Super Hero Girls sets include Batgirl Batjet, Harley Quinn to the Rescue, Super Hero High School, along with the recently released sets of Lashina Tank, Bumblebee Helicopter, and Wonder Woman Dorm Room, allowing fans to build on non-stop fun and adventure. Additional global partners include Rubie’s Costumes, with its girl-power collection of costumes and accessories; Funko, with must-have stylized, vinyl figures; and many others.
WBCP and Mattel join forces to provide fans with two new lines in support of the hilariously-fun hit animated series Teen Titans Go! and the power-packed Justice League Action. These toy lines capture the action, fun, humor and personalities of the DC Super Heroes with action figures, core characters and vehicles inspired by scenes from the all-new animated series infusing both heroic storylines from Justice League Action and humor throughout the toy line from Teen Titans Go! Teen Titans Go! had previously been hit-or-miss with their toy line made by Jazwares, so the move to Mattel should make them much easier to find.
Teen Titans Go! follows the hilarious adventures of Super Heroes Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven and Beast Boy and showcases the comedic chaos that ensues whether they’re fighting crime or fighting each other for that last piece of pie. The Teen Titans Go! program also includes a collection of fan-favorite Funko figures, featuring a lineup of these wildly funny Super Heroes.
WBCP will also bring Justice League Action for all the Justice League fans out there, with Mattel launching its upcoming all-new toy line of action figures and vehicles, as the freshman animated series Justice League Action brings together all the elements of “where fun meets action!”
Eagle-eye collectors noticed Justice League Action toys turning up in Toys R Us the day after the series premiered back in December. Now you can find them in Walmart, too. The 12″ figures sport Mattel’s new, improved articulation, making them much more fun for play than the usual 12″ statues that you find with Marvel and Power Rangers toys. These figures actually bend at the knees and elbows. Look for a detailed review here in PopCult soon.
WBCP also continues to support a strong DC TV slate with The Flash, Arrow and Gotham; its fan-favorite franchises including Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; classic animation brands such as Scooby-Doo and Looney Tunes; hit TV series like The Big Bang Theory; and many more properties and groundbreaking content rounding out the Studio’s unrivaled portfolio. This year, however, is the year of the Superhero for Warners.
Kong of Skull Island
One Warner Brothers movie that escaped mention in the big WBCP press release is the Warners/Legendary production, Kong of Skull Island. Toys based on that movie are hitting Walmart (exclusively) now, although locally we still await the coming of the much anticipated 18″ articulated Kong.
The main item in the line is the 18″ articulated Kong, but the smaller sets, which include a human figure, a monster and a vehicle or large playset piece, sell for under ten bucks and are a terrific value. Larger vehicle sets sell for fifteen, with the Kong set in the 25 to 30 dollar range. You’ll see one of the small sets directly below this item, and another, plus a vehicle set at the bottom of this post.
What’s interesting about this line is that it’s made by Lanard, a toy company that hardly ever produces licensed toys. Their most notable toy has been The C.O.R.P.S., a competitor to GI Joe, produced in different scales over the years, but mostly in the 3 3 /4″ scale of the Kong of Skull Island toys. Their products have always been well-made and it’s cool to see them become more of a major player.
Idle Hands has a detailed look at the entire line.
NECA Blade Runner 2049
Leading action figure and collectibles maker NECA announced that it has acquired the license to BLADE RUNNER 2049, the hotly anticipated sequel to the legendary sci-fi movie. The company plans to release a full range of figures, die-cast vehicles, replicas, games and more in 2017. Additional details and toy images will be revealed at New York’s International Toy Fair in February, but we have a little bit of news from the original announcement.
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
The science fiction thriller is directed by Denis Villeneuve (ARRIVAL) and features a star-studded cast that includes Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, with Dave Bautista and Jared Leto. Original BLADE RUNNER director Ridley Scott executive produces the dystopian tale based on characters from the novel DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? by Philip K. Dick. Produced by Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson and Cynthia Yorkin.
BLADE RUNNER 2049 opens in theaters on October 6, 2017.
Random Toy News
Other toy lines we can expect to be covered heavily in the coming weeks include the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover figures with WWE(announced last year at NYCC and turning up in stores already); a full line of toys based on CARS 3, the second sequel to the worst of the Pixar movies; Mezco’s One:12 Collection figure of Deadpool; Boy Story, a similar concept to Wonder Crew, which we told you about last week, only at three times the price; Kaskey Kids blind-box “Mystery Football” and “Mystery Baseball” figures, plus there will be tons more to tell you about. Keep checking PopCult.
That’s the PopCulteer this week. You know the drill, we’ll be here with fresh content every day. Look for the bonus toy photos below.