Once upon a time I didn't know what a Nendoroid was. That was a time when my wallet was a lot safer from the cutest import collectibles on the market. Good Smile did not have much new at Toy Fair this year, but the company did have a handful of products I hadn't yet seen in person in finished form. Though it would have been better to see a lot more of the upcoming Figma and Nendoroid pieces coming in 2017, Good Smile's limited offerings didn't disappoint.
For all the delight fans have gotten from Blizzard's Overwatch, there's been very little in the way of collectibles to show your appreciation outside of the game itself. Though a few Funko Pops have made the rounds, and some blind box figures are just now hitting the market, no true action figures from the amazingly designed world of Overwatch have been released. Thankfully, the good people over at Good Smile have managed to ignite hope where once there was none.
Coming this summer will be a Nendoroid based on Overwatch's "mascot" Tracer. The adorable British hero will be bringing her style and charm to the chibi world, and could just be the tip of the Overwatch Nendoroid iceberg.
When you really think about it, the fact that we are living in a time where you can get high-end statues of Bebop from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles based on the work of illustrator and artist James Jean is a pretty surprising development. I mean, that we can get any Bebop statue would be kind of remarkable --- what with him being a mutant warthog who was created during negotiations for a toy line and all --- but a James Jean Bebop statue? That's supposed meant to link up with four other villains statues in a big diorama of evil ninjutsu? It's remarkable.
And it's happening. This week, Japan's Good Smile Company released their Jean-inspired Bebop statue for pre-order, and it's pretty fantastic.
I don't think Shredder gets enough credit when it comes to the greatest villain conversation. I'm not saying he's the most vile foe to ever stalk a hero day and night, but the man has haunted to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for decades. He's always looked imposing, but as time has progressed past his debut, his suit of armor has gotten more and more fearsome. I'd argue that aside from Super Shredder, Oroku Sakai has never looked more dangerous than he has in Good Smile's new statue series.
I'll admit that I never got into the Nendoroid craze until they started making figures of characters I really liked. I've bought plenty of more traditional figures of characters I was merely ambivalent about, but the investment in Nendoroid figures meant I had to be particular about who made the cut. With this new crop of toys shown at New York Comic Con, I'm afraid I've reached a tipping point, and will have very few Nendoroids I'm capable of turning down when it comes to adding them to my collection. I mean, just look at those faces. How can you say "no" to them?
In its quest to craft the finest Legend of Zelda action figures from across the wide breadth of the franchise, Good Smile's latest Figma collectibles finally arrive at one of the most brilliantly designed Zelda games ever, Twilight Princess. As the last Gamecube Zelda and the very first on the Wii, Twilight Princess may have been caught between generations, but the world and characters were some of the most impressive in the franchise's long history.
There haven't been a lot of Twilight Princess collectibles, with the few released being fairly expensive statues. Following the likes of Skyward Sword and Link Between Worlds, these new Figma will finally give fans affordable collectibles that capture all the wonder of Twilight Princess with loads of accessories.
Somehow, Good Smile found a way to make Jared Leto's Suicide Squad Joker even more of a creep than he was on screen. I'm not even sure how that's possible considering all the ridiculous things we know about Leto and his Joker, but they did it. This is the kind of thing that happens when you try to chibi-fy deranged sociopaths though. They come out of the wash looking even weirder for wear.
While the Harley Quinn doesn't fare quite as poorly in her transition to Nendoroid form, it's still a little bit weird having a cutesy girl that looks like a cherubish child in hot pants and a belly shirt. Some things that works for more realistic action figures just don't make the leap as clearly for the Nendoroid form. That doesn't mean Good Smile won't try though.
Yusuke Murata and ONE's One Punch Man is arguably the best thing going on in superhero comics right now. It's got it all --- hilarious comedy, genuinely thrilling action, a complex and engaging setting that gets a whole lot bigger than you think it's going to be, and some truly amazing character designs. The only thing it didn't have was a line of high-end action figures, but now, the good people over at Figma have finally corrected that oversight.
In January, Figma and the Good Smile Company will be releasing an action figure for Saitama, the hero who can defeat any opponent with a single punch --- which means that someone will finally be able to stand on my desk and tell Destro and Batman how to really get things done.
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.