One of the highlights of my visit to the 115th North American International Toy Fair this past February was a meeting at the DC Collectibles booth. If you haven't seen what they're doing, the folks at DC are offering up some stellar toys and collectibles "direct from the source" - meaning their in-house team. First-announced back in May of 2017, the DC Collectibles Artists Alley collection was on-display at Toy Fair and this summer they're finally hitting the streets. These PVC figures are inspired by the Artists Alley experience of a comic convention, in which fans can ask their favorite artists to craft reimaginings of popular characters infused with their own unique style. Among the figures in the first wave, the DC Trinity - Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as designed by artist Chris Uminga and sculpted by Joe Menna. At Toy Fair, I was presented with an early sample - one of just 300 exclusive Batman figures created just for the event. Now they're available to the masses, but just like their comic counterparts, the Artists Alley collection is being offered in variant form, with wave one available now in Standard Edition, Black & White Variants and the Hot Topic-Exclusive Zombie Variants - the latter of which I received for review here at Rock Father HQ. Let's take a look...
The 2018 edition of Comic-Con International (SDCC) is getting underway in San Diego this week, and Moose Toys has revealed the launch of their first-EVER boy Shopkins Shoppies Doll, Chip Choc! The Double Scoop Delight Exclusive pack will be sold during SDCC at the UCC booth #5610 for $39.99. The pack will include an exclusive Peppa Mint with her long-lost brother Chip Choc. Only 1500 units of this item will be available for purchase for the ultimate Shopkins super fans!
The biggest event in pop culture happens this week, and for the first time ever, I will be making the trip to Comic-Con International in San Diego. After "covering from home" for the better part of a decade across several sites, I'll be appearing as a program participant for a special panel on Saturday, July 21, 2018. I'm a late addition to the lineup for Living in a Post-Toys 'R' Us World: Navigating the Future of Toy Retail. Having written at length about the collapse of Toys 'R' Us, this will be an exciting chance to take part in a discussion about what the future might hold! Details below...
With Walt Disney Studios' Christopher Robin headed for theaters on August 3 (see the latest trailer here), the folks over at Funko are giving some characters from the film a Pop! Vinyl treatment. For the first wave, they're bringing Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore into the format, capturing the cinematic look, which itself is inspired both by Classic Pooh and Disney's previous designs on the animated versions. All of these are available for pre-order now from my friends at Entertainment Earth, while a special edition flocked Pooh Bear with a red balloon is available exclusively at Box Lunch stores.
This Christmas, Marvel and Sony Pictures Animation will enter a new dimension with the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Of course, that does mean that the folks at Hasbro will be swinging into retail with a full assortment of new toys based on the animated feature. The details from Hasbro just arrived here at Rock Father HQ, and I've got all of them below. Everything from this collection should be available at major retailers and at HasbroToyShop.com. One of the most interesting pieces in the bunch is a "Countdown Calendar" - essentially an advent calendar that presents kids with a new toy each day leading up to the theatrical release of the movie. Check these out!
The retail life of Hasbro's Star Wars Forces of Destiny collection has been a strange one. Launched about a year and a half ago, Forces of Destiny hit the scene as a multi-faceted movement consisting of animated shorts on Disney Channel, a full range of "adventure figures" along with books, clothing and more. I've been told from some "folks who asked not to be named" that everything did very well... except for the toys. Very disappointing, since The Rock Daughters love the collection, but on the retail front it may have been too much too soon, with the wrong mix of characters, multiple styles right off the bat (Rey, Leia) and some that kids might not have been familiar enough with (sorry, Jyn Erso). Still, these dolls adventure figures are fantastic, and there is an audience that's been craving more, and that goes for kids and collectors alike. One figure we never found was Chewbacca, but he's back for Comic-Con this year, packed alongside some adorable Porgs for an SDCC exclusive inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Take a look!
Back in February, one of the most buzzed-about new products at the 115th North American International Toy Fair was being shown behind closed doors in a private viewing room. Wow! Stuff had created the most realistic Golden Snitch that anyone had ever seen, and a few folks were lucky enough to see it in-action, and some, like my colleagues at The Toy Insider, were able to catch some video. Today, The Rock Father™ can exclusively announce that the Mystery Flying Snitch will make its debut first from Entertainment Earth at Comic-Con this month where it will be offered alongside a few incredible Harry Potter products from Wow! Stuff. Available now for pre-order, check out all the details below... but stay tuned! I'll be catching up with the crew from Wow! Stuff at The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite 2018 in New York City later this week and will be sharing more. This new collection of must-have Harry Pottter items is going to be hot, and you can get them first from Entertainment Earth!
When I was out in L.A. working with Disney and Marvel Studios on the premiere weekend of Avengers: Infinity War, I had a chance to check out a showroom at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive with a whole bunch of new action figures for Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years - many of which that weren't shown back in February at Toy Fair in New York. Now they're rolling out, and one of the hottest comes from Captain America: The First Avenger, and it's making its debut at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Check out the MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES RED SKULL & ELECTRONIC TESSERACT!
The SNK 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION is Coming to Nintendo Switch and It's Worth it for GUERRILLA WAR Alone..Written by James Zahn
Retro gaming is showing no signs of slowing down, and as the archives continue to be mined, I keep being reminded of games that took up a lot of time during my youth. On November 13, the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection is coming to Nintendo Switch, bringing a host of classic games from SNK's early days into the new realm. So far, 13 games have been announced, and while more are to be revealed, one game does it for me: GUERRILLA WAR. It came out in 1987 as an arcade game, later being ported to the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and I spent a ton of time playing it. I don't even care what other games are on it - I'm sold. Check out the trailer below, and pre-order now via GameStop or Amazon (both affiliates)
Let's Play President! Figures Toy Company Elects "World's Greatest Presidents" to Action Figure White House...Written by James Zahn
Now here's a new toy line that could stir up some serious debate. Announced a few weeks back, Figures Toy Company will soon roll out the first wave of their "World's Greatest Presidents" series of retro-styled action figures. So who are the "World's Greatest Presidents?" For starters, they're all American - having held the office of the President of the United States of America. And aside from Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, they're all of a pretty recent lineage. Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump all reporting for duty in that old-school cloth-outfitted style that was popular in the 60s and 70s, before the Kenner Star Wars collection hit the scene and made 3.75" action figures the norm.
Despite my massive love for Star Wars, I'm always a little bit glad that I don't cover all-Star Wars, all the time. In recent years, the hardcore fans have become a fickle bunch - particularly when it comes to collecting action figures and vehicles produced by Hasbro. With the much-requested relaunch of The Vintage Collection this year, even that has come with some gripes questions, and thus the folks at Hasbro have been attempting to keep an open conversation with fans, and the Hasbro Pulse Instagram account has been one way to do that. Last week, Hasbro's Steve Evans put out a call for questions, and today several have been answered. Check out the video below and stay tuned for more answers, now on Instagram TV (IGTV).
It won't even be released until 2019, and already, KINGDOM HEARTS III was awarded the Best RPG title at this year’s Game Critics Awards. This continues the critical reception of the title most notably at the E3 convention where it received over 30 awards from North and South American media publications.