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.
This summer, Adam Jensen continues his technologically augmented adventures in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The video game picks up a few years after the events of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, in which Jensen attempted to stop the Illuminati's plans to ruin advances in transhumanism. Unfortunately because Mankind Divided is a prequel to the original Deus Ex, the events of the Panchaea Incident, in which augmented humans go on a hallucinatory rampage brought about by the Illuminati, are unavoidable. The only thing Jensen can do is choose just how much of the truth the public learns about what really happened on that fateful day.
In Mankind Divided, the augmented populace is a minority fighting for equality, though the efforts have been set back by the Panchaea Incident and a rise in terrorist activity in the years since. Jensen is now a member of a global coalition that attempts to quell the insurgences, and he must delicately balance his own opinions as an augmented human with those of his employers and the people of the world in fear for their lives on both sides of the conflict. Before Mankind Divided arrives, Titan Comics will release a prequel comic to the prequel sequel which is also still a prequel, which will detail Jensen's first mission with Task Force 29.
Considering how many different shows Square Enix participates in, it's a wonder there were any new figures on display at this year's New York Comic Con. Fortunately for all, the Play Arts line saw some strong new additions this week, with the 2016 Warner Brothers' tentpole Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice getting the most attention. We had seen the standard Superman and Batman figures back at SDCC, but here we got looks at the prototypes for a second Batman figure and what could be the best Wonder Woman Square has ever done.
Seriously, Square Enix has dipped the toy quill in the DC Comics fountain before, and the Variant Wonder Woman, while true to Play Arts' style, wasn't exactly the strongest representation of the character. This new iteration, based on Gal Gadot's take on the iconic Amazonian, is incredibly detailed, but more importantly, it's spot-on, unembellished sculpt is the perfect counterpoint to the previous attempt. The articulation is impressive as always, but the real draw comes from that attention to detail Square has been stepping up over the course of the last year. The company's been working with a slightly larger scale than it was in the past, and though it means more expensive figures, it also means way more nuance for each figure.
Sora, Donald and Goofy are going to San Fransokyo as last year's hit Disney film Big Hero 6 will have its own world in Kingdom Hearts III.
According to Japanator, Disney announced at its D23 event this weekend that the world and characters of Big Hero 6 would be joining the ranks of Kingdom Hearts III. Sora and the gang will be entering San Fransokyo after the events of the movie, so expect all kinds of awesome superhero escapades and some astonishing encounters with Baymax, Hiro and the rest of the gang.
Legendary hero Captain America has gone through more than his fair share of costume revisions over the years. Some have been more well-received than others, but the man has always stayed true to the core concept designed by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. It's hard to argue with the classic stars and bars. In fact, it's so hard to argue with the good ol' red, white and blue, even Cap's most radical revamps have incorporated the scheme because it's impossible to top. That even holds true when other characters that have suited up under the guise of the Captain like Bucky and Sam Wilson.
I thought for sure that Square Enix would take the character through some unexplored territory with its upcoming Play Arts Marvel Variant version, but even the talented team there found that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. While the Square Enix version of Captain America is immediately recognizable, it lacks much of that trademark Play Arts touch. It's not the most outrageous armored Avenger we've ever seen, and that oddly makes it kind of a boring figure.
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