Yesterday, for the fourth year in a row, ComingSoon.net/SuperHeroHype attended Hasbro’s Collector-Fan Media Day in connection with the 2010 Toy Fair, and got a sneak preview of the venerable toy company’s plans for the year in terms of its hottest collectible toy lines.
Of course, Hasbro’s big movie tie-in this year is for Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 and they had a lot of new toys to go along with the anticipated superhero sequel.
Starting March 1, Hasbro will be offering a full line of new 6-inch action figures based directly on the two movies, including a few different versions of the Iron Man armor, Rhodey’s War Machine and the new villain Whiplash (as played by Mickey Rourke). At the same time, Hasbro also got its hands on some unused concept art from the movies they have turned into figures for the new line, all clearly denoted as “concept” rather than “movie” so that no one will be expecting to see the Deep Dive Armor or Hypersonic Armor in the movie. One of the things that Hasbro has tried to offer with many of their new figures this year are another level of gameplay and with the Iron Man figures, they come in the form of translucent armor cards, each with one of three sections of armor, which can be collected and combined to create different armor permutations. An interesting part of the presentation was that many of the images shown had an “Avengers Assemble” logo on them, which clearly had the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo in the center of it, possibly hinting at Marvel Studios’ new Avengers being a division of S.H.I.E.L.D. much like what was hinted in the first movie.
The main playset for the new line of action figures is the Rolling Hall of Armor Headquarters, which includes convenient spots to place both the figures and the armor cards, and they’re also introducing a very cool radio-controlled Walking Talking Iron Man.
For kids who want to pretend they’re Tony Stark, Hasbro introduces a new helmet with flip-up visor, a pair of Arc Chest Lights that can clip onto a kid’s shirt and a 3-in-1 Wrist Repulsor to help them recreate the entire Iron Man experience. And yes, Hasbro has finally figured out a way to combine Iron Man with their ever-popular Mr. Potato Head series by introducing the one, the only… “Tony Starch”!
This year, Hasbro are continuing their popular line of 3-3/4 inch figures based on Marvel Comics characters, including a full line of figures of Spider-Man in all sorts of different costumes and many of his villains including Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Venom (apparently, the more recent version of the character that once was the former Scorpion Mac Gargan), Rhino and Hobgoblin. More recent characters who have featured prominently in the comics will be coming to Series 2 of their Marvel Universe 3-3/4 inch line, including the most recent version of Thor and Kitty Pryde. Some of the figures on display from Wave 3, included Colossus and Juggernaut, and then Wave 4 will include Iron Patriot and Iron Spider-Man, the Winter Soldier and a fan choice winner, Mary Jane Watson, with her dog Miss Lion. (They also will have figures based on the A.I.M. Agent and Skrull Soldier.) They also gave a sneak peak at a figure that will be in a much later wave, none other than the cosmic overlord Thanos.
Clearly, the most exciting addition to their Marvel Universe line was the centerpiece, a 19″ Galactus figure (complete with 3.75″ Silver Surfer herald!) which towered over the other figures in the line. Following up on the “Fury Files” storyline that ran through Series 1 of 3-3/4 inch figures, Hasbro is keeping in line with what is going on in the comics, specifically “Dark Reign” and Norman Osborn’s take-over, so that the running storyline through Series 2 is now dubbed “The H.A.M.M.E.R. Files.” The new series also has some terrific packaging art by Brazil’s Mike Deodato (current artist of Marvel’s “Dark Avengers”) who shared some of that artwork on his TwitPic Account.
While some of the Marvel Universe Transformers Crossover figures have seemed forced, two new ones that definitely look cooler than the rest, include toys based on War Machine and Ghost Rider, who turns into a very cool chopper, which received the most “oohs” and “ahs.” Unfortunately, neither of those were on display in the showroom. Toys R Us will be getting three great exclusive two-packs in the fall including Black Widow with Winter Soldier, Deadpool with Warpath and the Hulk with Valkyrie (from The Defenders), although none of them were on display either.
Marvel’s younger-kid-friendly Super Hero Squad have started to become far more prominent parts of Hasbro’s line since the animated show has become such a popular hit. Besides introducing a ton of new characters to that stylized line, including Modok, Spider-Woman, the Scarlet Witch, Moon Knight and Tigra, they teased some of the future characters including a 2-pack of Captain Marvel and Thanos. They’re also producing a number of related playsets, the main one being a full-on S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, which will go nicely with one of two new Battle Vehicles, a S.H.I.E.L.D. Hover Car prominently featuring a Nick Fury like the one in the movie with Iron Man. We may be reading too much into it, but the fact they’re using the Samuel Jackson Nick Fury in Super Hero Squad makes us think that maybe we’ll see an appearance by those classic S.H.I.E.L.D. vehicles in the upcoming movie.
It’s a strange time for Hasbro in terms of their own movie franchises, following successful movies last summer based on Transformers and G.I. Joe. The former was a huge hit that was met with resistance both from critics and fans alike but will see another movie by director Michael Bay next summer, while the latter still has no word on when there might be a sequel.
Hasbro seemed to be attempting to create more of a separation from the movie and the previous animated series, following the last of the figures tied into “Revenge of the Fallen,” including a few different versions of Ravage, but they showed off a lot of the new figures that will span their entire size and age range of “Transformers” toys under the new line, “Hunt of the Decepticons.” Besides redesigning many classics and favorites, they’re also starting a new line of toys called “Power Core Combiners” which are a series of bots that can be combined together. These include a number of two packs of some of the more esoteric bots, but the real excitement comes from the 5-pack series, starting with the Aerialbots and Combaticons, essentially six vehicles that combine into one larger figure, although don’t be fooled by the scale because even combined, they’re still fairly small. (Future waves will include Destructicons and Rallybots.) They were also looking into other sources for figures including the IDW Comics which inspired them to introduce the first toy based on Drift and a new version of Decepticon Seeker Thrust, prominently featured in one of the DreamWave Comics series. We also were shown some of the exclusives that will be released through various outlets and at Comic-Con this year, including a Masterpiece Grimlock, which looked cool, both in robot and T-Rex mode.
The most exciting bit of their presentation was the footage shown by Activision from their upcoming video game “War for Cybertron,” which will allow players to experience the very beginnings of the war between the Autobots and Decepticons thousands of years before they came to Earth. Besides the trailer, which you can see here, they showed the press in attendance a few brief levels of gameplay including a sneak peek at one of the final key boss battles as Megatron faces the Autobot’s enormous weapon, Omega Prime. The Hasbro guys stated that they will be creating toys based on the different incarnations of the characters from the game, since the robots transform into different other-worldly vehicles than the ones we’re familiar.
After the presentation, we talked a bit with the guys working on the video game, and they were generally hesitant at telling us too much about whether the game will have any connections either to the upcoming movie or the comics. While it’s meant to be seen as it’s only standalone story, even from the previous games, one imagines that telling such an important story in the Transformers mythos would have to eventually make its way into other media; in fact, they couldn’t even tell us who was writing the game, which seems fairly important, since it would be examining the important roots of the Transformers’ never-ending battle. The video game is due out in the summer and one hopes they’ll be able to share more information before BotCon in late June.
Similarly, Hasbro’s G.I. Joe line is scaling back in a year without a related movie and part of that is going back to the roots of the figures. It’s definitely bit of a down year for the Joes, but they’ll kick off their “The Pursuit of Cobra” series in the fall with new 3-3/4 inch figures and vehicles with new molds for the heads so that they don’t look like the actors who played them in the movie. The overall storyline involves the Joes trying to stop Cobra from building the H.I.S.S. Tank. That pursuit crosses four unique environments and figures that represent each one: Arctic Threat, Jungle Assault, City Strike, Desert Battle. There will also be a very cool “pursuit figure” with a new Cobra Commander that will be offered in very limited quantities through all retailers. Some of the cooler additions to be released in the upcoming series include new versions of Zartan, Snow Job with a full array of survival gear, and a Jungle Viper wearing a camouflaged Ghillie Suit.
Check out the 2010 Toy Fair photos!
ComingSoon.net and SuperHeroHype will be attending the Toy Fair at the Javits Center sometime over the next few days so check back for more pictures, including some from Hasbro’s upcoming “Star Wars” line.
Additional photos for this piece were provided by Thomas Tinneny.