For some fans, the ultimate collector's item might be a completely accurate costume so that you can dress as your favorite superhero, but I've always been more interested in a few other accessories. Not the batarangs or web-shooters, although those are always nice, but the big stuff, the actual home decor that you'd see in a Batcave. Sadly, giant pennies are prohibitively expensive and there's no way my living room is big enough to house a robotic Tyrannosaurus, so I thought my dream would never come true.
Until, that is, I remembered that the Justice League sits around a big meeting table in chairs emblazoned with their own logos, and realized that was something that you could recreate on the cheap thanks to Entertainment Earth's line of Chair Capes. Chair Capes! They're capes! For your chair!
Pepper Potts is finally getting hers, and it only took seven years and four dozen other Iron Man figures for Hot Toys to finally make its way to one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most powerful women.
I was never a huge fan of Pepper Potts until a few years ago. Prior to Matt Fraction's and Salvador Larocca's run on Invincible Iron Man, I didn't much have a feeling about her one way or another, save for her appearances in the Iron Man films. I didn't even read Iron Man regularly enough before Invincible to have a firm grasp of her history. None of that mattered though once she became Rescue. Though Rescue's time in the comics was relatively short, the impact on fandom was long-lasting.
We never got the Rescue figure from Hasbro the company teased as part of its Iron Man 3 line a few years ago, and I've been steadily complaining and questioning why, after so many Tony Starks, Hot Toys hadn't delivered so much as an alternate head sculpt for Pepper Potts and the MK XLII. Today, I couldn't be happier. We're finally getting the Pepper figure we've so desperately needed.
Nostalgia is a powerful drug. Now that almost all the kids that were collecting the likes of Kenner's Super Powers and Mattel's Secret Wars toys are closer to 40 then they are their pre-teen years, there's a built-in audience for revisiting these memorable action figure lines. What's more, these eternally young-at-heart fans now have disposable income, and can afford re-issues that are solely for collecting and not playing.
While you may initially scoff at the idea of paying around $100 for a jumbo-sized Secret Wars Wolverine or Super Powers Superman, it's hard to quiet the child inside when you see Gentle Giant's modern replicas in person. Not only are the figures captured from the original plans, but the packaging too is rendered almost exactly as it was all those years ago. The value of how cool it will look on your shelf immediately begins to tip the scales from how much just one of these figures will impact your wallet. These figures, as well as Gentle Giant's Star Wars and Batman: The Animated Series lines, toe the line at the intersection of comic art and nostalgia.
ThreeA has long been crafting original figures and collectibles based on the art and designs of co-founder Ashley Wood, but in recent years, the company has expanded its reach with a variety of licenses in comics, animation and films. That essence of Wood's aesthetic is still ever present though, and his influence still informs the design sense for many of ThreeA's upcoming pieces.
At San Diego Comic-Con this year, the company went all out with a major presentation of its upcoming slate. Normally included as a small part of IDW's booth, ThreeA's installation this year was set up like an art show, and showed off a great deal of promising figures in a range of scales and sizes. With figures from Frederator and 2000 AD, as well as Marvel, it appears the company is finally ready to make a big splash in the market beyond its original works.
Having teased Ant-Man's arrival earlier this year, and finally showing off the prototype at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, Hot Toys has released the first official images and details for it's upcoming miniature Paul Rudd replica. Ant-Man joins an incredible roster of Marvel Cinematic Universe characters that have been recreated in figure form from the Chinese manufacturer, which makes sense given how popular Hot Toys' Movie Masterpiece line has become in regards to Marvel's characters. However, if you had told me back when this whole MCU thing started that Ant-Man would be getting a ~$200 figure in the future, I'd probably have laughed you out of the room.
Like many of the more recent figures in the this series, Ant-Man will come with some accessories, but the only one that really matters is the 2.8cm (1.1") non-articulated Ant-Man miniature. Judging by the number of similar product releases this year, it must be part of Marvel's contract for toy makers to include these microscopic iterations of the character. We get it guys; he shrinks. On top of being so effing small, there's so little detail in the mini-figures, it hardly seems worth the added inclusion.
In recent months, commemorative poster-creating powerhouse Mondo has expanded its reach to more realms of film-inspired memorabilia. While the Austin-based company has been pumping out vinyl soundtracks, VHS re-releases and clothing options, to name a few, Mondo has only just begun dipping its toes into the figure and statue game. However, this year at San Diego Comic-Con, Mondo made a big splash, offering early looks at a variety of new comic and movie-based pieces inspired by some of the most iconic characters and creators of our generation.
We spoke with Mondo's Creative Director of Toys and Collectibles, Brock Otterbacher, about the company's fresh slate of offerings, and how he hoped to stand out in an ever-crowding market. With new items based on Hellboy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the way, Mondo is clearly setting the bar high for itself. Factor in the wealth of artists and creatives at Mondo's disposal, and you have a company that seems poised to make a major dent in the collectible space (and wallets) in 2015 and beyond.
It's easy to get lost in the sea of companies offering statues, figures and other collectibles at San Diego Comic-Con, but it's awful hard to miss Kotobukiya's bright green banners wherever it sets up. With a display full of statues, the company's SDCC 2015 showings introduced new items a range of sizes and from a variety of licenses.
Though Square Enix had more than a fair share of existing product on display at SDCC '15, the company still managed to bring a few new pieces to the show, too. The Variant line has been a fairly big hit for Square, allowing for some more radical takes on familiar characters like Batman, Superman, Iron Man and Spider-Man. Though a tad pricier than most other collectibles featuring your favorite comic heroes, there's an undeniable personality in Square's products that you just don't see anywhere else.
Though the DC version of the Variant line didn't have much new, beyond yet another look at the incredibly divisive Tetsuya Nomura Catwoman, the Marvel line saw two Avengers leap into the fray. Black Widow joins Iron Man and Thor in the Play Arts series first, with Captain America coming some time after Natasha. Both are easily identifiable as the characters you've grown familiar with over their published lifespan, but feature that hallmark Squeenix style. Widow has a lot of detailing in her uniform, which makes up for how she's traditionally not outrageously outfitted. She's buttoned-up pretty well, too, and it's nice to see a Widow figure that isn't letting it all (or most of it anyway) hang out.
Mezco's One:12 Collective hasn't been around very long (just one released figure, and one shipping soon), but it's already made a major impression on collectors. Featuring incredible articulation, real fabric costumes and a wealth of accessories, Mezco has seemingly brought the same kind of quality and experience you'd expect from larger, more elaborate (read: expensive) collectibles to an affordable scale that fits in with most other figure lines.
As the first entry in the brand, the Dark Knight Returns Batman may have set an impossible bar for Mezco to meet again, but that doesn't mean the company isn't trying. At San Diego Comic-Con this year, Mezco revealed a partial upcoming slate of figures it has planned for 2016, including more DC heroes, and some interesting surprises. Though only in prototype form, the pieces look to continue what Mezco started, and evolve the One:12 Collective into more than just a flash in the pan.
When it comes to next-level collectibles from beloved comics and movies, few companies bring it as hard as Sideshow Collectibles. The company has long been crafting statues and figures for the refined collector from a wide range of licenses like Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics and many, many more. As the official U.S. distributor for Hong Kong toy makers Hot Toys, Sideshow's portfolio of products is tough to top.
When we hit the floor at San Diego Comic-Con this year, we darted to the Sideshow booth. Partially to get there before it became to crowded to photograph the insane amount of products on display, but mostly because we had to see all the figures and statues that would break our wallets in the coming year. From Wolverine and Red Sonja to Star Wars and Transformers, Sideshow Collectibles SDCC '15 reveals will have fans of just about everything on Earth excited.
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