I think the record will show that I'm a pretty big fan of Hasbro's cartoons from the '80s, and one of the things I love most about them is how great the soundtracks are. Not just the theme songs, but the incidental music that provides the background for Jem and the Holograms, or that smooth jazz version of the GI Joe theme that plays under the closing credits. Heck, even in the years before More Than Meets The Eye came along and made me stop hating the Transformers, I still had to admit that the music was pretty great.
The only problem is that I can't listen to it whenever I want, but now, it looks like that problem might be coming to an end. Composer Robert J. Walsh has confirmed that he's remastering the soundtracks for the Hasbro shows, with plans for Sony to release high-end versions that will include new footage and artwork, too.
The first round of Hasbro's new adult-oriented Marvel Legends role play accessories isn't even out yet, but the company is already looking to you to inspire what comes next. Of course the announcement came while I was out on vacation last week, so I didn't have time to properly Kermit flail all over the house at some of the prospective choices. Cyclops' visor with light-up action? The Infinity Gauntlet with sparkly jewels and sounds? Black Widow's gauntlets to go with any outfit? I'll take two, don't bother boxing them up; I'm wearing them out of the store, thank you very much.
It's up to you to vote for the products that will follow up Captain America's shield and Iron Man's helmet, both of which are due to arrive later this summer. Since unifying the adult collector lines under the Marvel Legends banner officially late last year, Hasbro's been on a bit of a tear with its announced products. There are a lot of strong figures coming from the Legends line in both scales. It's adult role play line, which finally gives people a chance to own replicas born from their favorite heroes or villains without having to play Hollywood replica prices, that has me most excited for Marvel Legends. Especially if we get some of these suggested prop toys.
There wasn't much new on hand for Star Wars at Hasbro's Toy Fair preview event, which is becoming the status quo for the brand. Given that there's so much to be secretive about with a new movie coming out every single year for the rest of eternity, it's likely that will the be the case for the foreseeable future. What little Hasbro did bring to the convention did look good though, particularly insofar as Rebels in concerned. While we might not know what lies ahead for Rogue One, at least we've finally got more Sabines coming.
That's not to say Hasbro didn't tease a little of its Rogue One plans. Like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Rogue One series will make its debut as an exclusive figure at San Diego Comic-Con this July. That's about all there is to say about that. Given that the Stormtroopers didn't look all that different in the suggested time period the upcoming anthology film takes place in, it's likely this will be an all-new character popping up for the first time. Don't hold your breath on any of the film's numerous leads making the cut though. Those are too important to be merely considered an exclusive figure.
How many Marvel Legends is too many Marvel Legends? Trick question; you can never have enough. Hasbro more than proved that this weekend at Toy Fair when it announced a wealth of new characters and figures for the 6", 3.75" and new 12" Marvel Legends lines. The all-encompasing collector brand is now home to every last figure that comes with more than five points of articulation, and while that has bristled some fans, the singular branding does make it that much clearer which figures are meant for the more mature collector. Regardless of your age though, there were plenty of announcements to get excited about for Marvel Legends' 2016 line-up.
First and foremost, Miles Morales is getting a figure. It's about damn time. An entirely new teen boy body has been developed for the line, which means Miles and the new Ultimate Spider-Man Peter Parker coming will have distinctly slimmer frames than the existing Spider figures. That also bodes well for the future of teen heroes in the line. The upcoming Spider-Man series will also see Silk and Nico Minoru make the leap to action figure form for the very first time. Nico's managed to carve out a nice little niche in the Marvel Universe after the 75 times Runaways was canceled, and I never thought we'd see her get a figure. Silk has a been a hot character since joining the Spider-verse, and along with the recently-released Spider-Gwen, she should help round out that portion of the Legends line.
Well, this year is the year Marvel Legends becomes the all-encompassing elite collectors line for Hasbro. After being home to the 6" adult collector figures, then adding in the 3.75" figures, Hasbro announced earlier today a 12" scale would be under the Legends umbrella, too. The company isn't stopping there. While Hasbro has been making roleplay toys for kids for the past few years, including weapons and masks all with a decidedly childlike bent, there hasn't been much for those of us with hands big enough to hold a basketball. This fall, the Marvel Legends line will expand to take care of that.
Coming sometime during Q4 this year, Marvel Legends' roleplay gear will finally give the big kids exactly what we've always wanted: replica Captain America shields and Iron Man helmets. There have been others, there's no denying that. Many companies have tried to fill that void, but have either been relatively cheap alternatives or so expensive, you barely want to breathe on it, let alone wear it. While the jury is still out on how well-made Hasbro's Marvel Legends accessories will be, they certainly do look up to snuff in these first teaser images.
If you thought the Marvel Legends line was going to stick to the 6" and 3.75" formats forever, you probably weren't alone in that thinking. Both scales of the Marvel Legends line have been doing well, and cover pretty much all the bases for highly-detailed and articulated mass market action figures. But Hasbro has bigger things in mind for the Marvel Legends, and ahead of Toy Fair the company announced a new 12" scale for the Legends banner. Hold onto your butts.
This fall, Hasbro will release the first 12" figures in the Legends line, with iO9 announcing Captain America and Iron Man as the first characters to make the leap to the larger scale. Currently the only way to get figures of this size from Hasbro is in the Titan Hero series, which feature the familiar faces of the Marvel Universe, though with simplified designs and just five points of articulation. There's nothing wrong with the Titan line, as its $9.99 price point makes it a good budget line for kids. The new 12" Marvel Legends will be a bit pricier ($50 each), but pack in a lot more detail, articulation and accessories.
With the arrival of Captain America: Civil War comes a new wave of tie-in action figures, and Hasbro is making clear its looking to make right with all the Black Widow fans. While there were a few figures of the Soviet spy released in conjunction with Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Widow was in high demand and short supply. Though we've yet to see just what Hasbro's full range of plans for Civil War include, the first sampling revealed ahead of Toy Fair offers a glimpse at a world where Black Widow is no longer lingering in the shadows.
More than a dozen new figures were revealed by Hasbro today (via IGN), including the first ever Black Widow Titan Hero figure. The 12" figure line has predominantly been filled with male characters across Hasbro's Avengers, Spider-Man and Star Wars collections. You can technically count Captain Phasma as the first female to make that leap, but given her lack of defining features, the upcoming Rey 12" unveiled at NYCC last fall (and due this spring) is the one opening new opportunities for Marvel's scarlet-haired secret agent. Given that both have been the center of their own social media campaigns advocating for more female figures, that seems appropriate.
Remember when you were a kid, and you would play with all your different toys at the same time? You’d have the Ninja Turtles team up with the Ghostbusters to take down Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior, and then they’d all get transported to the land of the Thundercats.
Since launching a full-on barrage of Star Wars merchandise on Force Friday, Hasbro's had its hands full. As the first new film-based Star Wars toys and collectibles in a decade, anything with The Force Awakens branding on it has been a hot commodity at retail. It's nearly impossible to find all the figures in stock, and what you do find has been picked clean by eager fans and collectors hoping to be among the first to complete the new collection. Sure, there have been a few pieces that linger (mostly Chewbaccas in any size in my part of the country), but for the most part, if you don't have an inside tip at FedEx or UPS, you're often left scrambling in the hopes of getting anything from the latest shipments.
Fortunately, being a member of the toy collecting press does come with some perks to help take the pressure off. Back when Force Friday kicked off, Hasbro reached out to a number of outlets and asked editors to pick either Light Side or Dark Side. There was little else in the communique to hint at what we might be making this choice for, but it wasn't a very hard decision to make. Though the good guys are the ones you want to root for in the movies, Star Wars' bad guys have always had some really cool designs, and have typically made more interesting toys. I mean really, which would you rather have, an old man in a brown robe or a bad-ass in green armor with a jet pack? Yeah, that's what I thought.
With a new Star Wars on the way, the deluge of new action figures and toys has been constant. It's the first time in a long time that there's been any reason to create whole new lines from scratch, with some animated exceptions of course. However, as popular as the animated versions of the Star Wars universe have been, they just can't hold a candle to the hype surrounding an actual new film in the iconic franchise. Needless to say, since Force Friday, Hasbro's been busy.
In fact, Hasbro's got so many toys planned for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there are even exclusive sets popping up at select retailers. Take this Desert Assault Walker and First Order Stormtrooper Officer set from Entertainment Earth. A repaint of the widely available Assault Walker and First Order Stromtrooper Sergeant, this exclusive set offers another way to build up the First Order forces for the 3.75" line. We got our hands on one of these sets courtesy of Entertainment Earth, and can only hope that these things actually make an appearance in the upcoming sequel.
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