Welcome to our first ever installment of Toy News Tuesday! In this new weekly column, ScienceFiction.com’s resident toy-guru Jordan DesJardins will be giving you a quick rundown of all the biggest news happening in the toy industry each week! If you’re a collector or even just curious as to what’s going on in the Toy Industry, this might just be your new favorite column! That said, let’s dive into all the toy news for the week of March 4th, 2014, shall we?
LEGO Doctor Who Sets Coming?
Well, no, not quite. But we’re closer now than we’ve ever been before! Lego recently updated their fan-service Cuusoo website to alert fans that they can now officially submit their custom Doctor Who themed design ideas for consideration to potentially be made as official LEGO sets!
LEGO’s Cuusoo website is an amazing place where fans can gather to vote on and submit their own user created LEGO sets based on just about anything! Once a submitted set has received enough votes from the online populace, LEGO takes the set into consideration for mass production! This is how we’ve come to get some of the amazing sets announced and released over the past year such as the Simpsons house, The Ghostbusters Firehouse, and the Delorean from ‘Back to the Future‘! Unfortunately, due to third-party licensing conflicts, not all sets submitted are able to actually be considered for production- including ‘Doctor Who‘ until this recent announcement!
It looks as though the licensing for ‘Doctor Who’ construction sets has now officially opened back up, leaving the door wide open for LEGO and ‘Doctor Who’ fans to come together to create some amazing original playsets for everyone to enjoy building their own adventures in time and space! What kind of cool ‘Doctor Who’ LEGO sets would you like to see? The TARDIS interior? Perhaps a Dalek warship? The possibilities are endless! (via TNI)
Exclusive LEGO Martain Manhunter Figure Offers
While it’s not entirely “news”, it’s safe to say a few of you would be excited about this! LEGO just announced that they’ll be offering a FREE Exclusive Martain Manhunter figure to anyone who makes a purchase of $75 of more over at Shop.Lego.Com and at participating LEGO stores! This minifigure is sure to be highly sought after by anyone looking to complete their LEGO Justice League, so don’t miss your chance to nab him while he’s available as a freebie! (via AFI)
Mattel Buys Mega Bands
This past week, already major toy manufacturer Mattel announced its acquisition of MEGA Brands for a whopping $460-Million. MEGA Brands is widely known for their best selling MEGA BLOKS toyline, which remains one of the leading construction toylines on the market. MEGA Brands already holds the licensing to construction toys for popular licensed brands like ‘HALO’, ‘Call of Duty’, ‘Power Rangers’, ‘Skylanders’ and ‘Hello Kitty’, so one can only imagine the doors that will be opened for all new construction toys based on the licensed brands that Mattel already holds like Masters of the Universe, Barbie, Monster High, Max Steel and Polly Pocket!
In a press release issued by Mattel, Mattel Chairman and CEO Bryan G. Stockton stated his clear intentions for the future of MEGA Brands
“A key pillar of our global growth strategy is the strategic acquisition of brands that will both benefit from our scale and help extend our reach into new and growing categories. The construction play pattern is popular, universal and has had one of the fastest growth rates over the past three years. We look forward to helping MEGA Brands accelerate its global growth, providing more choices for more children and their families. At Mattel, we have followed a consistent philosophy on acquisitions – we seek to create value by building on the foundations of the great businesses we have acquired while retaining and nurturing the core values, talents and unique capabilities that made them great. We will approach our new brands and colleagues at MEGA Brands with great respect for what they have built and enthusiasm for what we can build together.”
In the same release, Mega Brands President and CEO Marc Bertand had this to say regarding the sale of MEGA Brands to Mattel:
“MEGA Brands has built leading positions in large, growing categories by providing engaging creative experiences for children and families through innovative, well-designed and high-quality products, and Mattel is the ideal partner to take our brands to the next level. We are confident Mattel’s scale and global platform spanning 150 markets – combined with the expertise of our people in the construction and arts & crafts categories – will create tremendous growth opportunities for our brands.”
Aside from building their own corner of the construction market, Mattel also looks to be working their way further into the arts and crafts department through MEGA Brands Rose Art and Board Dudes brands. (via AFI)
Mattel Announces Subscription Exclusive Club Etheria Figure
To the surprise of many, just a few short weeks ago Mattel announced that this year they would be offering an additional Matty Collector Online Subscription toyline, the all new Club Etheria! This new line is set to be a ‘sister line’ to their highly acclaimed Club Eternia, which is how fans obtain the fan favorite ‘Masters of the Universe‘ Classics toyline. The new subscription offers figures based mostly on the animated ‘She-Ra: Princess of Power’ Filmation series in order to celebrate the series 30th anniversary this year. But the biggest news, is that they just announced an additional subscription EXCLUSIVE figure!
Normally, all of the figures offered via the subscription services from Matty Collector are available to non-subscribers as well at a premium price. Each subscription usually has at least one exclusive figure, which acts as an added incentive for collectors to actually subscribe rather than buy each figure individually every month. For this year’s all new Club Etheria, the just announced exclusive figure will be Light Hope; the wise Spirit of Etheria. This figure will only ever be offered as a part of the subscription service and will not be available by any other means.
Toys R Us Exclusive G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Line Prices Leaked
A user on the popular G.I. Joe action figure forum HissTank has located and posted the prices currently set into the system of Toys R Us stores for their exclusive G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary toyline. These figure sets are expected to hit stores sometime this fall to coincide with the toyline’s fiftieth anniversary. (via TNI)
GI Joe Versus 2 packs (Item 082796): Lady Jaye vs. The Baroness, Low-Light vs. Night Viper, Blowtorch vs. HEAT Viper, Snow Job vs. Arctic B.A.T.- $14.99
GI Joe Outnumbered Team Pack (3 packs) (Item 082801): Beachhead vs Cobra Trooper and Cobra Viper, Destro vs Hawk and Leatherneck- $19.99
Vehicle Set (Item 082754): GI Joe Danger at the Docks (VAMP and Night Landing Craft set)- $29.99
Vehicle Set (Item 082806): GI Joe Battle Below Zero (Wolf and Sky Hawk set)- $39.99
KREO Sets: GI Joe Kreo Terrordrome (Item 085927)- $99.99
Funko Reveals ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ POP Figures
The unprecedented success and popularity of Funko’s ‘POP’ toyline continues as they reveal the next wave of figures for their ‘POP: Movies’ line. This new wave is based on Dreamworks upcoming ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ and is expected to be hitting stores in the not too distant future to coincide with the film’s June 13th release date. (via AFI)
That about concludes our first foray into Toy News Tuesday! Hopefully you’ve had a good time, and we can expect to see you back next week when we’ll be waiting with an all new installment of TNT to keep you filled in on all of the big happenings in the toy industry! Until then, stay tuned to ScienceFiction.com for all the latest geek news you need to know!