Creativity abounds at Toy Fair every year, but you can always count on Square Enix to show up with some of the most clever and inspired action figures. Though they might not have the volume output of some of the larger companies at the show, Square Enix certainly brings the quality. This year was no exception with a couple of great new Marvel Variants planned, as well as even more Tetsuya Nomura DC Comics designs.
Though Marvel's been content to let its mobile games do all the heavy lifting when it comes to officially licensed video games set in the Marvel Universe as of late, it seems that a return to consoles isn't that far off. Today, Marvel announced a new partnership with Square Enix, along with Square's studios Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, to develop a new game dubbed The Avengers Project. While we don't know much about what it is just yet, we do know the two studios involved have a strong pedigree for action games, and this one will definitely feature the Avengers.
Though he might not get the headlines like Joker or invite as much interest as Catwoman, Mr. Freeze is easily one of Batman's most fascinating rogues. The character's been the focus of some of the best episodes of the animated series, at the center of some of the best video game missions, and has had some rather amazing designs over the years. With its latest Batman: Rogues Gallery figure, Square Enix turns its eyes to the often overlooked villain, and gives him a new look that's quite remarkable.
A largely light-hearted series for anyone who can't get enough of slice-of-life comics, Horimiya is the manga adaptation of the webcomic Hori-san to Miyamura-kun. On top of a sweet school romance, Horimiya has lovely art, and compelling characters with surprising depth, and it doesn't take a decade for the main characters to fall in love.
After a whirlwind year of big reveals, New York Comic Con is typically a chill place for new toy and action figure announcements. It being wedged between San Diego Comic-Con and Toy Fair means there are usually slim pickings when it comes to new goods, but Square Enix had a few tricks up its sleeve at this year's show that are sure to make comic fans... curious.
With the success of the DC and Marvel Variant lines of the Play Arts brand, Square Enix has defined its own corner of those universes. The highly detailed figures get a bit of a bump in the roster this year, at least on the Marvel front. When it comes to DC, all the attention is on Batman.
Next month, the annual fall gathering of the greatest comic, movie, television and collectible companies --- not to mention hundreds of creators --- will return to New York's Javitz Center for the 2016 New York Comic Con. As follows tradition, there will also be a great deal of exclusive goods at the event. To help you prepare for weekend-long deluge, we've put together this handy list of toys and collectibles that will be at the show, and more importantly, where you'll be able to find them.
There's a lot of cool stuff that'll be at the show, and thankfully, it won't be quite as massive a list as there was at San Diego Comic-Con. Still, tracking all of these toys down won't be easy, but with this little collection, the burden on your shoulders might be a bit lighter.
Like any other company with a license for DC Comics characters, Batman and his family have been a big draw at Play Arts. There have been a number of new takes on the character, from Spartan soldiers to futuristic interpretations, but Square Enix's latest attempts spin Batman in a more familiar direction --- that of his rogues. Things kick off with a Two-Face mash-up, and I can tell you this: The world is full of Batman toys, but there aren't many like this one.
While Square Enix didn't have a tremendous amount of new figures and collectibles on display at San Diego Comic-Con this year, the company did unveil a new wave of figures for its DC Comics Variant line. Originally filled with the heroes and villains of the DCU in designs that filtered them through Square's trademark Play Arts style, this latest wave took things to a whole new level.
Dubbed Batman: Rogues Gallery, this latest twist on the Dark Knight gives us a glimpse at what he'd look like if some of Batman's greatest enemies donned the cape and cowl instead. It's a line that lets Square's design team really go wild, which you can clearly see with the first figure in the wave, Two-Face.
There are few action figures on the market that have as unique an aesthetic as Square Enix Play Arts. While the company does make some fairly faithful recreations of video game, movie and comic book characters, the Variants portion really pushes the boundaries of these characters. Some have maybe diverted too far from the beaten path, but Square's willingness to experiment and give us versions of Spider-Man and Batman that we'd likely never have seen otherwise is what makes them such an interesting company.
There weren't very many new Variants on hand at San Diego Comic-Con this year, as it was a fairly light showing overall for Square Enix, but the new Deadpool and Wolverine joining the existing Avengers and Spider-Man look nice in prototype form. Where Square really made a statement though was in the new Variant Batman Rogues. These mash-ups mix Batman and a foe together to deliver a whole new character, only filtered through that trademark Square Enix lens.
This year's Toy Fair didn't have much new on the horizon from Square Enix and its Play Arts line. For the past few years, Square's been busy delivering Variants and video game figures with a handful of movie characters sprinkled in along the way. All of those areas were still represented this year at Toy Fair, even if the pickings were a bit slimmer than we're used to seeing from the Japanese company. But it's hard to complain when there are new Final Fantasy VIII figures on the way.
Cloud and Barret are the first two characters getting figures from the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake, which shouldn't be confused with the recently released figures both characters got based on Advent Children. Both are ridiculously detailed, which is one of Square's calling cards with regards to its toys. Barret and Cloud have been immortalized numerous times in the past, but the two newest versions are miles above anything either has received in the past. Barret in particular has such gotten such an amazing sculpt, it's hard to imagine him ever getting anything better after this one releases at some indeterminate time in the future.