If we haven't reached the peak of the Iron Man collectible era, we are fast approaching the event horizon. Back in 2008, I don't think anyone quite imagined the impact Marvel's Iron Man movie would end up having on the action figure community. It's a strange thing that in addition to being the foundation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man is the bedrock which supports the toy lines that have thrived since his arrival on the scene. From Hasbro and Hot Toys to Lego and Figma, Iron Man is always there, and he continues to be a driving force of sales for any line that includes him.
Even though Iron Man 3 and the dozens of armors from that film have gotten a fair share of love over the past few years, Figma never put its spin on Iron Man beyond the first Avengers film. With Figma's latest releases, it doesn't even matter that the Mark XLII and XLIII armors are already outdated. Iron Man is bulletproof when it comes to the changing trends. Sure everyone wants the latest armor from the most recent movie, more importantly, collectors just want more Iron Man figures with better details and more articulation than the last.
Fighting games are a staple of the video game diet, but while their number has been plentiful over the years, few have maintained a legacy. You've got your Street Fighters and your Mortal Kombats, but neither of those was created using technology co-developed by Lockheed Martin. The Model 1 arcade board is what helped set Sega's Virtua Fighter apart from the competition in 1993, and what helped earn the 3D polygonal fighter a place in fighting fans' hearts.
The series continued along and improved its presentation using the cutting edge technology of whatever era a sequel released in, but the blocky graphics of the first entry will never be forgotten. That's what makes these new Virtua Fighter Figmas so special. While there have been video game Figma figures before, they mostly hold to a more realistic standard. Few Figmas have been as stylized to capture such a significant art style and moment in time as the upcoming Sarah Bryant and Akira Yuki Virtua Fighter figures.
When it comes to the import figure scene, few companies are as prominent as Good Smile. The company's Figma and Nendoroid lines are perennial favorites, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone that's owned at least one figure from either line. Though the new showings at New York Comic Con were limited, what Good Smile did have on hand hinted at a very strong 2016 for the Figma and Nendoroid lines.
Gaming figures had the largest impact on Good Smile's booth, with new Nendoroids for Venom Snake and Marth being key stand outs. The Metal Gear Solid V star looks adorably deadly, but it's that Fulton device accessory that really sells it. Being able to attach it to any existing Nendoroid is a plus, and since Figma toys also have similar pegs in their backs, I wonder if it will work for them as well. Marth transitions to the chibi style rather well, which isn't surprising, the level of detail in his outfit is still impressive for the trimmed-down aesthetic.
We may have finally reached the peak of Joker merchandise. Everyone else can pack it up and go home. Nothing you do will be more terrifying than this upcoming Good Smile Joker Nendoroid. There's something extra sinister about a the way this chibi-style figure turns the Joker into a childlike anarchist. It also doesn't help that with the flat facepaint, instead of looking like madman who paints his face for battle, this Joker looks like a kindergarten student attending his first Gathering of the Juggalos. Try getting the image of an anime Insane Clown Posse out of your head now.
To a degree, just about every single Dark Knight Joker figure that's been released to this point has been decidedly adult. It's not that they're all adult-focused toys, but they each respect the fact the Joker is a mature character, and one that isn't to be mistaken for an Imaginext villain in a child's Fisher-Price collection. The whole point of Nendoroids is to put this cutesy spin on familiar faces, and what Good Smile has done here certainly hits that mark. It's been a lot more successful with other franchises, and even other DC characters, like the Nendoroid Batman that's already out. I just can't get past how straight evil this Joker looks.
Last year, Good Smile released a trio of Avengers figures based on the 2012 film, The Avengers. While Iron Man, Captain America and Thor made some impressive (and expensive) Figmas, it seemed as if the line would end with just those three holding down the fort. Now, more than a year after those figures were announced, Good Smile is back with what could be the largest Figma ever produced to date.
The Avengers Movie Hulk Figma isn't exactly a timely release. The character's look has changed ever so slightly in the years since that film debuted, and there are plenty of Avengers: Age of Ultron versions currently still available. However, this Hulk is part of the Figma brand, which brings its own fanbase along with it. Additionally, even though the other Avenger Figmas also arrived a few years after the film, they were still rather popular. That's what happens when you have a history of strong sculpts, great articulation and a decent amount of accessories (when applicable).
I hold my hands up: I've whinged and moaned before about comics sites covering toy news, and here I am doing the very thing (I have nothing against toys/figures/collectibles; I'm just a bit of a snooty purist). Anyway, the news of Japanese 'hobby products' company, Good Smile, teaming up with Nickelodeon to create new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures based on James Jean's illustrations, was simply too good to pass up. The validity of this statement can be gleaned by glancing at the image above. The four individual large-scale models, which will roll out separately beginning with the releases of Leonardo this November, will also have the capacity to combine, creating one huge diorama.The remaining three statues will receive a staggered release over the course of 2015.
An increasingly giant amount of Attack on Titan toys is advancing on fans of Hajime Isayama's manga and corresponding anime. This past weekend at Wonder Festival in Japan, Good Smile Company unveiled upcoming Figma action figures for series protagonists Eren Yeager and his adopted sis Mikasa Ackerman, completely with their signature "3-D Maneuver Gear," which the characters use to swing around like Spider-Man and slash the necks of giants called Titans who seek to devour humankind inside their walled city. An unarticulated painted Figma prototype of the show's most iconic Colossal Titan antagonist was also on hand, sporting its skinless body and wonky proportions. Decidedly cuter prototypes for GSC's chibi-style Nendoroid AoT toys were on display too, including Mikasa, a mockup of Eren and the same Colossal Titan.
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