You can always count on Hasbro for some Transformers exclusives at San Diego Comic-Con, and this past year was no exception. There were not one, not two, but three different exclusives offered this year. We tackled Soundwave already, but today we're turning our eye towards the Transformers Generations Titans Return Titan Force set, which is certainly a mouthful.
The set is fortuitously timed to release alongside the new Titans, like Fortress Maximus who also made his debut at SDCC, and includes some new decos for existing figures Windblade, Sentinel Prime and Brainstorm. Sure, this is another Windblade in the long line of SDCC Windblade exclusives, but this set still manages to have plenty of appeal.
Ahead of San Diego Comic-Con, Hasbro revealed a new Soundwave figure that transformed into a tablet instead of the more familiar cassette player. Not one to traditionally scoff at the idea of modernizing characters from the '80s that had clearly become outdated, I balked at the idea that a Transformer toy could possibly be a tablet. It's not that a Cybertronian citizen couldn't become whatever it wanted to; it's just that a tablet is so thin it would be virtually impossible to get any form or function out of a toy that tried to mimic such minimal proportions.
It's been a long time since I added any new GI Joe figures to my ancient collection. For a long time, GI Joe was pretty much the only action figure series I was devoted to, but that was more than two dozen years ago. I remember playing with those toys for hours on hours, days on days. GI Joe was the be all and end all when it came to my childhood. Okay, sure there were probably more than a fair share of Transformers in the mix, too (Hot Rod 4 Lyfe], which made one of Hasbro's San Diego Comic-Con exclusives particularly adept at tugging on my nostalgia strings.
Additionally, the set released hot on the heels of the conclusion to Transformers vs GI Joe, IDW's absolutely brilliant event from Tom Scioli and John Barber. Though this set isn't tied to the comic in any way, the timing was spot on for those of us who'd been reading the comic and were still jonesing for that next toys-as-comics fix.
Back in 2005, Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch teamed up on New Avengers, which spun out of the events of "Avengers Disassembled." The book's first arc introduced an all-new Avengers team --- the first of about eleventy dozen Avengers roster shake-ups in the last decade. "Breakout" served as a reason to get the new team together, but also showcased some of Marvel's most forgotten supercriminals, and it also provided the inspiration for Hasbro's Marvel Legends San Diego Comic-Con exclusive this summer.
With The Raft superprison serving as the foundation, the Marvel Legends team crafted a well-made, well-rounded box set focused almost entirely on some of Marvel's notable big bads, and a few that would like never have gotten figures in the standard retail line. Of course Spider-Man is there to keep them all in check, as best he can anyway. We all remember how well it worked when he was the first through the door back in the comic.
The NECA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Set was arguably one of the most anticipated and sought-after San Diego Comic-Con exclusives this year. Fans have been after more NECA TMNT figures ever since the company delivered its Mirage-inspired foursome way back when. The rest of the planned line, which consisted of Shredder and the Foot Clan, never saw the light of day --- though those "lost" figures were retooled and repainted to fit into the Foot Clan companion set to this Turtles collection at SDCC.
The Turtles themselves got all-new sclupts, paint apps and accessories that more closely resemble the animated characters on which the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game were based. The wait has been long for some truly quality TMNT figures, and even though these are a very specific set of ninjas, they're damn brilliant.
Now that the DC Super Hero Girls toy line has expanded beyond its soft launch home of Target, more of those academic heroes are finding their way to stores around the world. For now, despite releasing new figures in the line, the primary waves still consists of the same characters that have been available since the spring. Though Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Bumblebee and the rest are all great, the cast of DC Super Hero Girls is so expansive it's a shame it's taking so long to get more of them released.
We got our first glimpse at one of the "second semester" releases at San Diego Comic-Con in Katana, who was offered as a deluxe exclusive at the show. Though her actual mass market figure won't see shelves until 2017 --- and it'll be a bit more barebones than this version --- Katana's debut in the line is impressive, and shows there's a lot of promise to still explore in the DC Super Hero Girl Universe.
There are Jedi that you know, and then there are Jedi that you love. Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi is about as treasured a relic of the Clone Wars as there is. It helps that he's one of the only two surviving Jedi in the original trilogy, but through the prequels, the Clone Wars and beyond, Old Ben has persevered as one of the greatest Force-sensitive heroes in the Star Wars Universe not named Skywalker. It's a wonder then why it's taken so long for the classic Alec Guinness version of the character to get a Star Wars Black Series figure.
Sure, we've had a Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan to tide us over, but before he was attacking the Sith, Obi-Wan was a weird old desert wizard. Thankfully, Hasbro finally got its act together and brought Ben Kenobi to life in the Black Series as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive. While he'll be available everywhere down the line, this special edition of the figure comes with the first interactive accessories in the Black Series, making it one of the gems of the line.
I'm not going to mince words. I love Captain America and I've been adoring Mezco's One:12 Collective since it launched a little over a year ago. Though I haven't been able to pick up every single figure released so far, I've been carefully biding my time for releases that just cannot be missed. Judge Dredd was cool, but not a character I absolutely needed in this format. The same goes for the Star Trek figures and the Batman V Superman entries so far. They've all been equally well-made, it's just that investing in figures like these on a writer's budget means you have to be particular. When Captain America was announced, all logic and reasoning went out the window.
I actually held off on ordering the standard version Mezco offered --- which was based on a more current Marvel Now! incarnation --- hoping to get one of the variants shown off at Toy Fair earlier this year. Classic, wing-ear Captain America spoke to the part of me that's been admiring Steve Rogers since I was a kid. Unfortunately for my wallet, this Classic Captain America was Mezco's 2016 Convention exclusive (it was available at San Diego Comic-Con and will likely be at New York Comic Con, too). Still, I knew it had to be mine. From the clever collector's tin, to the wonderful exclusive packaging, to the incredible figure, I don't regret this addition pushing my expenditures to the limit one bit.
We first saw Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso action figure at Star Wars Celebration Europe, where the lead actor was also given her first look at her plastic miniature. At the time, the only way to get the figure was to wait for this September's Star Wars Black Series wave to arrive. Jyn would join the likes of Sabine Wren and Princess Leia, among others, in the most female-focused Black Series wave to date. But Hasbro wasn't content to make everyone wait out her fall arrival, and following its own lead from SDCC 2015, made Jyn Erso an early release exclusive at this year's convention.
Jyn's inclusion in Hasbro's SDCC 2016 plans actually came as a bit of a surprise, as much of the company's exclusive content was revealed well in advance of the show. There was also no indication even at SWCE --- which was just a few days prior to SDCC --- this was going to happen. Still, Jyn Erso was a welcome addition to the show, and like the First Order Stormtrooper before her, gave fans eager for anything to do with the latest Star Wars cinematic hotness something concrete to enjoy before the movie's December debut.
One of the worst things about not being able to make it to San Diego Comic Con is missing out on all the cool exclusive pieces of merchandise that are only available at the show. There are so many cool art prints and badges and even vinyl records that it can be heartbreaking to know there's only one place to get them and you aren't there.
If you couldn't make it to this year's show, Mondo has you covered, as it's releasing the remaining inventory of exclusive posters and enamel pins from this year's convention on the website, including some rad Batman Returns posters and cool X-Men pins.
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