Welcome back to the next installment of Toy News Tuesday! For all of you newbies out there, this is our fantastic new weekly column where ScienceFiction.com gives you a rundown on all the cool stuff going on in the toy industry every week! Whether you’re a hardcore collector or just mildly curious as to what’s going on with toys these days, this is the place to get all the news you‘d need to know! There’s a ton of cool new stuff going on this week, so lets dive in for the week of March 18, 2014!
LEGO Doctor Who Warping In?
ALLONS-Y! LEGO really wasn’t kidding when they announced a few weeks ago that the option was now available for fans to submit their own fan-created Doctor Who LEGO sets through the Cuusoo site for consideration to be officially produced for mass consumption! Last week fans witnessed the first Doctor Who themed set to reach the 10,000 supporter goal needed to be officially considered for production. The set, created collaboratively by Cuusoo users GlanBricker and Kaminoan, is now officially under review by LEGO to potentially be released sometime next year! The review process is set to take place between May and September, so fans still have a few months to wait this out and see if we’ll actually be seeing this set becoming a reality!
An official release from LEGO explains the process a bit further-
“We’re looking forward to considering this project in the LEGO Review, but for now excuse us while we go make an electroshock device … just in case this really IS a Nestene plot to take over the world via a toy factory! We now officially advance this project to the Review phase.
What happens now?
This project moves from the Idea stage to the Review stage. A “LEGO Review Board” composed of designers, product managers, and other key team members will examine the idea. We’ll build concept models and determine if the concept meets our high standards for what it takes to be a LEGO product. This includes factors such as playability, safety, and fit with the LEGO brand. Every potential LEGO product goes through a process like this and must meet the same standards.
This project qualifies for the Second 2014 Review beginning in May and ending in September.
The review is a thorough process and from its start, and can take several months. When finished, we make a “go/no go” decision to develop and sell a product based on the Doctor Who concept.
When the review is complete, we will inform you of our decision. If green-lit, this project goes into the longest phase of the project; the Development phase. During this time, LEGO model designers refine the product and develop it for release, we create the product materials (box, instructions, marketing), and get everything ready for a production run. This also takes several months.”
Either way, it may only be just a few short months before we get the official word on whether this set will be hitting store shelves or not. The set itself looks pretty basic as far as the pieces, but would give fans most of their favorites and cover most bases as far as the characters portrayed as LEGO mini-figures are concerned!
(via Doctor Who TV)
LEGO Sandcrawler Rolling Out This Spring
While on the subject of LEGO, on a more official note, fans will definitely be seeing this all new MASSIVE LEGO Star Wars set coming to life in the immediate future! The all new LEGO Star Wars Jawa Sandcrawler is now set to be released this May! At a steep price point of $299.99 USD, it’s not going to quite be for everybody, but if you’re as big a Star Wars fan as LEGO is hoping you are, this set is going to be really hard to pass up on! Aside from the gigantic vehicle itself, the LEGO Star Wars Jawa Sandcrawler is set to come with a whopping 7 minifigures, including Luke Skywalker, Uncle Owen, C-3PO, four Jawas, and additionally six Droid figures!
K’NEX Titanfall Playsets Dropping This Fall
With Respawn Entertainment’s new Titanfall video game garnering so much praise and hype, it isn’t surprising to see some cool toys based on this new franchise set to hit shelves. What IS surprising though, is that the toyline is actually coming to us in the form of K’NEX! What is even weirder, is that they look kind of awesome! These new Titanfall building-sets will bring the game’s Angel City to life in a way that the game can’t, allowing fans to recreate the world in whatever shape they want for their Titans to duke it out in a big way!
K’NEX Brands President and CEO, Michael Araten, said this of the new partnership with Respawn Entertainment-
“Titanfall Building Sets from K’NEX will bring the exciting world of Angel City to life in a new way, bridging the digital and the physical. Gamers and builders of all ages will have the opportunity to build the Titanfall Frontier right in their own homes. I can’t wait to see how fans will take their digital game skills and use them in the real world!”
These new Titanfall K’NEX building sets are planned to hit shelves this fall, while the game they’re based on is available now for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC now!
Godzilla is Roars Into Toy Aisles!
With the all new American live-action Godzilla film adaptation coming to theaters this summer, it’s almost a wonder it’s taken this long for fans of the big green kaiju to get a look at some of the toys for the upcoming feature film! This week we got a double dose as both JAKKS Pacific and NECA released previews of their respective toylines for the film.
First up we’ve got a look at the new Godzilla movie-line from JAKKS Pacific. This line is a bit more kid-friendly than the other offerings based on the film, so if you’re buying for that monster loving youngster in your life, these are probably the route to go! This massive figure boasts 12 points of articulation and stands a whopping 24 inches tall, bolstering an astonishing 43 inches in length from the edge of his snout to the tip of his tail!
JAKKS Pacific‘s Senior Vice President of Design, Dominic Laurienzo, had this to say regarding the figure-
“Our massive Godzilla figure is unlike any on the market today. At over three and a half feet in length, we’ve captured every inch of ‘Awesome-ness’ from head to tail! From the moment we saw the storyboards, we knew this would be the ultimate addition to the Large Scale Figure world. The team worked very closely with Warner Brothers and some of the best sculptors to bring to life the magnitude of this character. Whether kid or collector, we are very excited to bring our Godzilla figure to fans of all ages.”
Next up is NECA’s offering for the film! This one is clearly aimed more towards adult collectors than to children, but would easily be enjoyable for anyone who loves this lumbering behemoth! NECA is offering up both a 6-inch and a 12-inch scale version of the upcoming reboot’s titular monster. The 6-inch version is about 12-inches in length and bolsters over 25 points of articulation. Combine that with the highly detailed sculpt that we’ve come to love and expect from NECA, and we’ve got one hell of a toy monster on our hands!
The 12-inch version is a massive 24 inches in length from head to tail, but is also fully articulated like his shorter compatriot with over 25 points of articulation, a bendable tail, and even electronic sound effects! In this reporters opinion, this is probably the best version of the figure we’re going to be getting from anyone. While the prototype pictured here hasn’t been painted yet, the detail on it is astounding! Which version would you want to grab?
Toy Reveals for Michael Bay’s Ninja Turtles
While many of us are pretty openly dreading Michael Bay’s upcoming Ninja Turtles film series reboot, others have been keeping a much more open mind towards to restarting film franchise. One thing that can really make or break the success of a film like this is going to be the accompanying toyline, and earlier this week ACToys.Net gave fans a glimpse of what is coming down the pipeline! Unfortunately, things aren’t looking too good for our four favorite turtles.
Say what you will about the actual designs of the turtles themselves, we’re talking about toys here! And wow do these look disappointing. While these are a fairly early look at the upcoming toyline, what we see here looks to be minimal paint applications and a severe lack of articulation across the board. The majority of the turtles appear to be posed in awkward squatting stances with only swivel joints in place, which means they’re likely only ever going to be able to stand that way. It’s honestly very disheartening to see such a poor offering from a series which is known for it’s extensive and well managed toylines. Here’s hoping for some ‘movie masters’ type of figures for adult collectors? Otherwise we’ll likely be stuck with what looks like this happy-meal fare. What do you think of the Turtles new looks?
Mattel Retains Full Legal Ownership of He-Man
It looks like Mattel will be holding onto one of their most popular toyline brands for a while longer yet after all! After a legal battle that has drawn on since last summer, Mattel has won over the complete legal rights to the He-Man franchise! Mattel had filed a lawsuit against writer Donald Glut last June, who was attempting to claim creator credit for the He-Man franchise. Glut, who wrote several mini-comics for Mattel back in the early 1980’s, claimed that he created the Master of the Universe franchise and it’s characters, therefore entitling him to both creator credit and copyright ownership. Mattel claimed that the work he had done on this series was contracted as work-for-hire and that his claims for copyright were far overdue to remain relevant.
Back in 1981, Glut had been hired by Mattel to create a backstory for the Masters of the Universe toyline that Mattel was developing. He created the story that most MOTU fans know and love about He-Man and his companions defending the planet Eternia against the evil Skeletor and his minions! The stories he wrote were the basis for the original animated 1980’s animated series. As Mattel was unable to present his specific work-for-hire contract, Glut claimed that as the author of the original work he had actually only licensed He-Man to Mattel rather than have created it for them, and that the licensing agreement in question was set to expire in 2016.
Courts have sided with Mattel in the matter of ownership of this franchise, stating that Glut should have come forth with his claim of ownership much sooner, and that after looking over the paperwork and licensing agreements Mattel was able to produce, it seemed clear that all of those involved understood that the work being done on the Masters of the Universe franchise was being completed as work-for-hire. While the full legal doctrine is still being written out, courts have settled that Mattel retains full ownership of the Masters of the Universe franchise.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)
Twilight Zone Retro Figures Coming
With the whole retro-styled 3.75” scaled figures trend going on in the toy industry lately (yes, this is seriously a thing. No, we don’t know when it will be stopping), everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon! The bright side of this, is that we’re getting a whole slew of cool new product for long dormant franchises! Bif Bang Pow! Just announced their partnership with ZICA Toys to bring fans of the original Twilight Zone series a whole new line of 3.75” retro-styled action figures this fall! The initial offerings include a ton of iconic characters from classic episodes of the series like “To Serve Man”, “The Invader”, and “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”! These figures will be released in black-and-white coloring to correspond with the original series, although there is said to be an extremely limited run of them releasing in a colored-edition.
Sideshow Reveals ALIEN Legendary Scale Bust
To help celebrate the 35th anniversary of the sci-fi horror movie that taught us that “in space, no one can hear you scream”, Sideshow is bringing ALIEN fans this 1:2 scaled ’Big Chap’ ALIEN bust! This Legendary Scale bust is going to be massive, and captures H.R. Giger’s original creature design in extraordinary detail! There will also be an Sideshow Exclusive version offered which will include an ALIEN film nameplate to add to the display for the bust. Both versions of the bust will be priced at $399.99, with pre-orders available through Sideshow directly now!
Funko Presents POP Ghostbusters
This May, Funko will be releasing the newest wave of their ‘POP Movies’ line, featuring fan favorites The Ghostbusters! This new series releases just in time to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary, and features all four of the original Ghost Busters, Slimer, and the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man! Winston will only be available with the Ecto-1 as part of the ‘POP Rides’ line that Funko recently started releasing, but that still gives fans a complete set of Ghost Busters for their display! Even cooler, is that Stay Puft is set to be a 6-inch Super-Sized POP figure, so he’ll be quite a bit larger than the Ghost busters themselves! These are set to hit shelves in May, so keep your eyes peeled for them! Until then, you know who to call!
Barnes and Noble Bringing Imported Gundams to US Stores
Starting this April, Barnes and Noble will begin selling a large variety of imported plastic Gundam Model kits of various scales and grades with models spanning the entire Gundam franchise. Gundam, the popular anime and manga series which celebrates it’s 35th anniversary as a franchise this year, is well known for it’s highly detailed model kits that snap together and require zero paint and little to no paint applications for a completed model! The model kits should be available in both Barnes and Noble retail stores and through their website, BarnesAndNoble.com.
That about wraps up this weeks Toy News Tuesday! With all that going on this week, it’s easy to see how you might have missed some of this awesome news! Luckily we’re here to put it all together for you in one place! Be sure to stay tuned to ScienceFiction.com for all the news you need to know! Until next week, happy toy hunting!