Monday, March 7, 2011

Toy Fair 2011: Video Game Legends

The toy industry is always watching for pop culture trends to convert into bobble heads and other shiny trinkets, but when it comes to characters for action figures, the vast history of video games reins supreme. Sure, they get their fair share of immobile statues as well since those gamer drones love their mini gods to pay homage to, but nothing beats an action figure of your favorite digitized action hero or monster. 2011 will see its fair share of arcade icons on the pegs, so here's a run down...


Browsing the pegs of your favorite geekery, you'll be sure to notice Jazzwares Sonic the Hedgehog line of action figures. Jazwares will continue to push heaps of fuzzy fury in your direction through 2011, so let me just drop the whole damn list on your head indelicately...

- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 5" Sonic 1991
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 5" Sonic 2011

- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 3" Classic Sonic with Motobug Badnik -Green Hill
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 3" Classic Tails with Grabber Badnik -Chemical Plant
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 3" Modern Sonic with Spiner Badnik -Speed highway
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 3" Modern Shadow with Mono Beetle -City Escape
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 3" Modern Knuckles with 1.5" Eggpawn Badnik -Seaside Hill
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 3" Modern Silver with Bitter Badnik -Crisis City
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 3" Modern Tails with Sandworm (Nal) -Planet Wisp

- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 4" Modern Eggman with 2 Egg Fighter (Badnik)

- 20th Anniversary SONIC - Collector Tin with 2" Figure

- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 10" Vinyl Modern Sonic
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 10" Vinyl Classic Sonic

- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 7" Classic Sonic Plush
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 7" Classic Tails Plush
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 7" Classic Amy Plush
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 7" Classic Eggman Plush
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 7" Classic Knuckles Plush
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 7" Classic Metal Sonic Plush

- 20th Anniversary SONIC - Modern Comic Book (3" Shadow/3" Silver)
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - Classic Comic Book (3" Amy/3" Sonic)

- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 12" Modern Sonic Plush
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 12" Modern Shadow Plush
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 12" Modern Tails Plush

- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 15" Classic Sonic Plush

- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 6" Super Poser Sonic
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 6" Super Poser Shadow
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 6" Super Poser Tails
- 20th Anniversary SONIC - 6" Super Poser Knuckles

To this day, Jazwares are one of the few companies to tackle Mortal Kombat in a super posable action figure format. Now they get back into the battle with lines of 6 and 3 and 3 quarter inch action figures based on the new upcoming game (April 19, 2011) as well as some classic ninja characters.

Mortal Kombat 6" Modern Figures

- Raiden
- Johnny Cage
- Scorpion
- Sub Zero

Mortal Kombat 3.75" Classic Figures

- Sub Zero
- Smoke
- Scorpion
- Reptile

Mortal Kombat 3.75" Robot Cyborg Box Set
- Smoke
- Cyrax
- Sektor

It's been some time since Street Fighter has seen a decent amount of plastic love. NECA kept the license in the thoughts of collectors everywhere with a release of a Chun Li here or Ryu there, but there was never any full line to the extent that SOTA toys created some years back. Now Jazzwares steps up to change all that, and in collecting a whole new universe, you'll have to start from scratch in a whole new scale. 3 and 3 quarter!!! six inch purists hate them but the toy industry loves it. You can fit more figures into what little real estate stores like Walmart and Toys R Us allow you on their pegs if your guys are pint sized. Jazzwares hopes to release an extensive collection in two packs covering modern and classic installments of the game kicking off with...

Super Street Fighter IV 2 pack- Modern Figures

- Abel VS Guile
- El Fuerte VS Seth

Street Fighter 2 pack- Classic Figures

- M Bison VS Akuma
- Ryu VS Sagat

SQUARE ENIX is also getting in on the World Warriors tournament this year with their own line of Street Fighter IV action figures in a 9.5 inch format. This series kicks off with Chun-Li and Ryu this summer. SE also premiered a new line of Deus Ex: Human Revolution action figures including Barret, Adam Jensen and Fedorova dropping this Fall.

Over to NECA who consistently pump out mind blowing action figures based on the hottest games blowing up your X Box. I realize that sounded dirty and I'm not ashamed. The denizens of Bioshock continue their march with a new wave of Splicers on the way in May/June including Crawler, Brute, a new version of Ladysmith Splicer (with a new deco, accessories and a new mask) plus a refresh of the Big Daddy Bouncer light up figure (3 way lights with red, yellow and green effect just like in the game!) Randy Falk of the NECA stormtroopers says "you can leave the light on one specific color, so leave the light on red if you're in a bad mood at your desk and hopefully everyone will leave you alone." See? They do God's work. NECA will also be handing figure duties for Bioshock Infinite in 2012.

Gears of War has its third installment dropping this fall and NECA will be there! They've had the license for three years now and I can say without hesitation they are the ONLY TOY COMPANY ON THE PLANET who would have made a figure at the exact moment his head is being blown off his shoulders...and for that, we applaud them. All of the characters you love are getting new looks with new armor (Dom has longer hair and a beard), so its a great excuse for NECA to go back in and update the crew. These are ALL NEW figures with all new parts and articulation. 30 POINTS OF ARTICULATION IN EVERY FIGURE!!!! I think I'm going to be collecting Gears of War figures now! Marcus, Dom, Cole and Baird and for the first time ever, Anya, all heading your way this fall with the third Carmine brother. You'll also see a Thrashball Cole statue around the same time! Since the game got moved to fall, there will be another Gears 2 lineup this Spring with Kantus Priest, Skorge, Cog Solider (with a new, more articulated body) and Boomer Mauler.

It's been 10 long years, but the man who steals his lines from Roddy Piper has returned. Duke Nukem Forever drops this April and his little plastic counterpart will be there to greet him. He'll be backed with is gun, a cigar "and his bad ass attitude." Claptrap from Borderlands will follow soon after this May.

GAMESTAR COLLECTIBLES appeared seemingly from out of nowhere and dropped a small scale line of action figured deep in the heart of Toys R Us. Their video game lines kicked off with Crysis 2 with a C.E.L.L. Assault Unit, Grunt Alien Infantry Unit, Alcatraz Nanosuit 2.0, Nomad Nanosuit 1.0, Heavy Alien Devastator Unit and a Stalker Alien Assault Unit. Upcoming lines include Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Red Faction: Armageddon and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.

At NY Comic Con 2010, DIAMOND SELECT premiered their Sony minimates with characters from Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, Resistance: Fall of Man and Uncharted. These will be Toys R Us 2 pack exclusives this April. DS follows this with a Jak and Daxter action figure 2 pack this July.

DC Direct/ Unlimited continue to crank out some high quality action figures, now tackling the insanely popular God of War franchise with figures of Hades, Kratos, Hercules and Zeus dropping this May. You'll also get new figures for Starcraft with Kerrigan and Tychus Deluxe Action Figures this December.

There are half a billion toys coming out for HALO, as usual, so we are going to give that its own article. Stay tuned!!

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