The New York Toy Fair just finished taking place. This is an industry gathering, so the public isn’t allowed entry. The purpose is for manufacturers to show off their upcoming products to allow retailers to decide what to order. But in an unusual move, Disney has refused to allow any toys pertaining to ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be displayed. This is definitely the most secretive film of the year, at least so far, but shutting out retailers and industry press is a new and rather bold measure. It’s doubly odd considering that toys for the movie are already arriving in stores.
The Boston-based Marvel Toy News Twitter account, which has been steadily covering Toy Fair, released this tweet:
Sorry, LEGO fans! As expected, no Avengers End Game product allowed to be shown at Toy Fair means exactly zero 2019 LEGO Marvel sets are on display. Just four end of 2018 LEGO Spider-Man sets. Love that Sandman, though! #nytoyfair #toyfair #toyfair2019 pic.twitter.com/eFjUk5mk2L
— Marvel Toy News (@MarvelToyNews) February 16, 2019
It seems as though this blackout extends beyond Hasbro, who makes the majority of the Marvel toys, to LEGO as well, although some of those images and info have also leaked.
A couple of weeks ago, when speaking to Collider, ‘Endgame’ co-director Joe Russo scoffed at toy leaks in general, indicating that most of the toys that hit shelves are not actually based on what winds up in the final film.
“What’s interesting about toy leaks is that 99 percent of the time they’re not accurate. Because toys are, frankly, tailored to either old concepts or completely different concepts than what’s in the movie. I laugh a lot when those toy leaks show up because I’m like, well, that’s great, because that’s a misdirect [laughs]. Because it has nothing to do with the film.”
That is sometimes true. You may recall the “Hulkout Hulkbuster” toy that came out for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, which featured the Hulk bursting out of the mechanical shell. Of course, as we now know, Bruce Banner is left piloting the Hulkbuster armor in his human form after the Hulk fails to emerge.
Some “reveals” that we’ve learned about ‘Endgame’ so far thanks to toys simply include a better look at Hawkeye’s new Ronin costume (shown in the trailer), and the inclusion of Spider-Man, Black Panther and Valkyrie. And that’s no guarantee, as the characters look the same way they did in previous movies and Hasbro may have included fan favorites because they knew they’d sell and whether or not they are in ‘Endgame’. Of those three, Valkyrie is the only semi-surprise and once again, just because she has a toy in ‘Endgame’ packaging, doesn’t mean 100% that she is in it.
Are you bummed that Marvel and Disney aren’t allowing movie toys to be revealed? Or does it even matter?