While Toy Fair 2018 isn’t officially over yet, most of the product that this site and its readers are interested in has been unveiled, leaving us at an end to our Toy Fair 2018 journey. There were quite a few things to take away from this year’s show, and most of it wasn’t what I was hoping to see. There were a few nice things and surprises, but let’s talk about the bad first.
Lack of Big Toy Fair Reveals
It could be my eyes and the things that interest me, but it seems as though Toy Fair 2018 didn’t have as many big reveals as previous years. There has been a downward trend in the reveals department over the past few years.
Some of this could be due to the fact that New York Comic-Con and San Diego Comic-Con have taken such a big bite of the market, that not having saved some reveals for those shows, shows poor marketing strategy for toy companies. After all, that is where the “fan” will be, and the showing will have a bigger impact. Toy Fair is a trades show, so only retailers and media have access. Yes, they provide coverage, but there is nothing like being in the room when something is unveiled, or seeing it in person.
We know that companies have much more planned for 2018, and the event takes place at the first of the year. This still doesn’t excuse the lack of new product on display. Keep in mind, that I am coming at this from a DC Comics perspective and not a toy industry as a whole.
Another good indicator of the future of a product line was if it would have new items shown at Toy Fair. This year we saw a few lines not get featured or have very little featured at booth’s throughout the event. This leads to speculation of the line in question being cancelled.
Take for instance the LEGO DC Superhero Girls line. Nothing at the LEGO booth showing any new or current sets from this line. Even so, a new LEGO DC Superhero Girls movie is soon to be coming to blu-ray. This means there is an audience for it, but no actual toys to go along with it.
Mattel who owns the Master DC toy license, had a fairly mundane showing this year. Aside from a new wave of DC Multiverse figures, and some new 12″ Batman figures, there was nothing to really get excited about. One Imaginext set was on display, which was the Wayne Manor Batcave and that was it! 3-4 DC Superhero Girls dolls were shown, and a handful of DC themed Hot Wheels cars.
Funko revealed a new line of Smallville Pops, which was a pleasant surprise, but that was the end of their DC showing at the event. Even the Batman ’66 figures were a no show after Funko all, but promised a wave 2. However, thanks to the site 13thDimension, Funko’s own Reis O’Brien confirmed that wave 2 would be out this summer. Still, why not confirm at Toy Fair? This doesn’t answer why the only Pops on display were Smallville. Maybe better luck at Emerald City Comic-Con in March?
DC Collectibles had quite a bit of merchandise to show off, but that is a given, since that is what there sole purpose. Even NECA, which usually has several 1/4 scale DC figures in the works, and odds and ends items on display, had one Wonder Woman figure on display (that I saw).
Did Justice League really do that much damage to the brand?
Now for the good…
Smallville Pops. I will say it again, Smallville Pops. It has been a long time coming, but Funko has finally graced us with Pops based on the popular television series. Hopefully fans will buy this, and it turns into a multi-wave series, instead of a one-and-done.
For the life of me, I don’t understand why the DC Multiverse 6″ line of figures doesn’t sell better than it does. There are some fantastic sculpts, and great character selection. The newest wave revealed features Beast Boy, Spoiler, Kid Flash, Bizarro, and Harley Quinn. Come on fans, help support this one!
Eaglemoss killed it with their reveals this year. The company will be producing Justice League Animated figurines, along with Batman: The Animated Series, and even more DC Comics themed figurines. They might have been the surprise of the show.
Some companies are betting big on the Batman Ninja Anime. Good Smile Company had a few statues on display, coming up for the release of the film. Prime 1 Studio, while not having an official presence at the event, will also be creating product for the film as well.
My hope is that upcoming Comic-Con’s around the country will be the showcase spot for more DC Comics reveals. Toy Fair used to be exciting, but it seems that this event might be waning for the collector. I want to see more DC Comics themed items from Funko. They got my hopes up the most with the introduction of the 3 3/4″ line of figures. Hopefully that doesn’t go by the wayside as the Legion of Collectors box transitions to a exclusive retailer.
Mattel really needs to up their game with DC Comics. As the master DC toy license holder, they should be putting out product left and right (although product that people want), but it seems something is holding them back.
I sincerely hope that the lackluster performance of recent DC Comics films hasn’t hurt the brand in the toy aisles. Something is definitely missing though. Wonder Woman was a huge commercial success, but led to little in the way of merchandise. Maybe Aquaman can turn things around?
As always, comments are always welcome…
What Might Have Been: DC’s Primal Age Toy Line
UPDATE – You can now check out the official line from Funko here!
If you haven’t subscribed to the new DC Universe app, what are you waiting for? Not only will you be missing out on upcoming new series like Titans, Young Justice: Outsiders, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, Stargirl, and Harley Quinn, but you will also miss out on little nuggets of information like this one, that started out as a question on the community board.
Apparently in the 80’s, critically acclaimed DC Comics writer Marv Wolfman, worked on a new comic book series, that was going to be a toy line as well. The line was called Primal Age and featured well known DC Comics characters in a barbarian type world. DC Daily released a look at some of the artwork done for the line, although no credit was given for the art.
My take (and remember this is just my opinion) is that Kenner decided to try and take on the juggernaut that was He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. During that time period, Mattel made millions of dollars on the He-Man line, and kids were crazy about that style of action figure. Keep in mind that at that time, Star Wars was winding down and I am sure Kenner was looking for the next big thing to keep them going.
Of course, this line never made it to production, and the only thing we have are these drawings and an acknowledgement by Marv Wolfman on Twitter, that he actually did do work on this concept.
UPDATE – Funko is apparently taking this line and creating figures for it. If you look hard enough around the Internet, you will most likely find them… I am also assuming that the art below is not old stuff, but the designs for Funko’s figures as they look almost exactly like the prototypes floating around the Internet. Also the line looks to include 8 figures, 2 beasts, and 1 playset.
Check out some of the designs below.
To me this line is dying to be made into toys. Funko’s Savage World line would be an excellent place for this to land, and would fall in line with what they are currently doing with that line. Throw in a couple of battle beasts and fans would snap these up!
UPDATE 2 – Even more images were revealed through Pixel-Dan’s new video, featuring a Superman concept sketch as well!
Would this be something you would be interested in today? As always, sound off in the usual places.
Six Flags is a DC Comics Paradise, Almost…
This weekend I loaded up the family for a quick trip to Six Flags Over Georgia. The park is only a couple hours away, so I figured it would be a nice little trip for the kids. There is always great shopping so I figured I would snag a few items that I had been eyeing, but never pulled the trigger on. Also, we have season passes and I have never written anything about the park, so I figured I would take a few pictures and write about the integration with DC Comics.
The reason I put “almost” in the title was that if this were a dedicated DC Comics theme park, then it would be a paradise for DC Comics fans. The park in no way lives up to the expectations of Islands of Adventure, or DisneyWorld, but it is slowly building to something special. The first step towards that progress was with the introduction of the new Justice League: Battle for Metropolis ride. This is a 4D interactive ride that sees you become a member of the Justice League to help the team overthrow the vile villains of the DC Universe as they take over Metropolis. It is bar none the best ride at the park. I can’t be certain, but listening closely to the voices of some the characters, it sounds like Kevin Conroy voicing Batman, Mark Hamill voicing The Joker, and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor (although I could be wrong).
The park features several other DC themed rides like Batman: The Ride, Gotham City Crime Wave, Harley Quinn Spinsanity, Superman: Tower of Power, Superman: Ultimate Flight, Batcopters, The Joker Chaos Coaster, The Joker Funhouse Coaster, and Wonder Woman Flight School. There are three areas specifically dedicated to DC Comics with Gotham, Metropolis, and a DC Super Friends area for the kids.
Shopping is crazy. There are several different stores with tons of great DC Comics merchandise. Keep in mind that most of it is over priced, so I tend to look for things that are Six Flags specific. I took a few photos of the Justice League Gift Shop, which is a store you walk into immediately exiting the Justice League: Battle for Metropolis ride. You can check out some of the merchandise that you can find in that store. Each store has different items, so you really have to visit every single one!
I don’t know the ins-and-outs of the deal between Warner Bros. and Six Flags, but it would be great for Warner Bros. to just buy the parks or invest heavily and totally renovate them into a full fledged DC Comics theme park. Invest in a few more interactive rides, and DC experiences, and then you would have that DC paradise that so many of us want. For now it is still a roller coaster park with a nice Justice League interactive ride. Until it is totally DC themed, this is a decent way to immerse yourself in DC culture for a day. Definitely worth doing at least once!
About Six Flags Over Georgia:
Located just off I-20 west of Atlanta, Six Flags Over Georgia is the largest regional theme park in the Southeast. Featuring more than 40 rides and attractions, along with Hurricane Harbor water park.
New for 2018 – Twisted Cyclone will offer guests the best of both worlds—a classic wooden structure combined with a modern, steel track for multiple inversions and a smoother, more thrilling riding experience.
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