This week's Ani-Com and Games Hong Kong event is barely underway, but Hot Toys has already announced a handful of new and eagerly awaited figures in its sixth-scale Marvel line. The company's had an incredibly busy year with both the Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe making up the bulk of Hot Toys' new figures. While the majority of the Avengers: Age of Ultron cast has already been shown numerous times, the ACGHK marked the debut of Quicksilver, and for the first time, an all-new Nick Fury based on his appearance in Captain America: Winter Soldier.
Neither of those reveals was as important however as the update to Guardians of the Galaxy's Drax the Destroyer. Drax has been MIA from any official release schedules, unlike the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy. As the last member of the crew to be formally announced, fans had been plastering Hot Toys' social media pages with pictures of an earlier prototype, hoping against hope that eventually Hot Toys would actually have news on the character's figure instead of another new Iron Man armor to hype. Today, those dreams came true.
The hustle and bustle of con season may be well under way here in the States, but the Asian convention circuit is only just beginning. Ani-Com and Games Hong Kong 2015 kicks off this week, and Hot Toys will be there in full force showing off new items that were just not quite ready enough for San Diego Comic-Con. Though the company's been busy this week already with major announcements of new figures, there are plenty more on the way, including those that might fly under the radar.
Case in point, the just-announced Ant-Man and Flying Ant miniature collectible that will be on display for the first time at ACCHK. As part of what I'm presuming was a stipulation in all of Marvel's licensing contracts that any Ant-Man merchandise deals must include at least five mini-figures (seriously, enough already), Hot Toys has prepped a figure not unlike those you've seen from Hasbro and Funko already. The main difference being that this 4" collectible bears the Hot Toys brand name, and will come at a premium as a result.
I give Hot Toys a lot of grief over the amount of Iron Man figures its released since the first movie arrived back in 2008. Over the course of the last seven years, there have been more than 40 different Iron Man sixth-scale figures (including Tony Starks) crafted by Hot Toys. New armors or variants seemingly get announced every week, and with Iron Man set to appear in at least a few more Marvel movies over the next four years, it's a trend that will likely continue, too. However, in all that time, I've only ever purchased one figure based on the license, and even that was a Tony Stark figure, not a true Iron Man suit of armor.
Given just how many armors have been released by Hot Toys, you'd think it would be hard to craft a piece that truly stands out among it peers. To an extent, that's true enough of the Avengers: Age of Ultron Iron Man MK XLIII sixth-scale figure. Just like its movie counterpart, the Hot Toys MK XLIII is a repainted MK XLII from Iron Man 3, which swaps the red and gold color arrangement. But that's just on the surface. Where this figure sets itself apart is in the little details, and sometimes that kind of attention to minutiae can make all the difference.
Did you know Hot Toys makes Iron Man figures? This week, the company announced its 51st Iron Man collectible. Just for a frame of reference, there have only been around 310 Movie Masterpiece figures (its most recognized series). Forty-nine of them have been sixth-scale Iron Man armors or Tony Starks, which means 16% of all Hot Toys figures are Iron Man in some capacity. Think about that.
The company's quarter-scale line hasn't been quite as robust, but in two out of the six are also Iron Man pieces. We've already seen the Iron Man MK XLIII 1/4 figure, but now the MK XLV will join him. Fresh from its silver screen appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the MK XLV armor is just the sixth quarter-scale figure Hot Toys has ever developed. It's got all the bells and whistles you're likely accustomed to seeing from Hot Toys at this point, but this week has officially pushed Hot Toys' Iron Man collection into Fatal Attraction levels of obsession.
Last year, Hot Toys obtained the Star Wars license to create 1/6 and 1/4 scale figures and collectibles. After working its way through Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, Hot Toys finally found some time in the schedule for arguably one of the most important female icons in fandom, Princess Leia. Even though we've seen Leia represented in her New Hope outfit about a thousand different times, it's been rare to see her in sixth-scale form.
Leia's inclusion in the line is more than welcome, as for the past few years we've been under a deluge of Clone Troopers, Stormtroopers, Lukes and Hans, with the occasional Vader or droid thrown in for good measure. It's also worth noting that the current crop of Star Wars toys at retail is seriously lacking in the female department, and Slave Leias have been warming pegs coming up on two years now. While I'm sure that incarnation of the character will certainly be part of Hot Toys' plans, the time is now for A New Hope.
Pepper Potts is finally getting hers, and it only took seven years and four dozen other Iron Man figures for Hot Toys to finally make its way to one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most powerful women.
I was never a huge fan of Pepper Potts until a few years ago. Prior to Matt Fraction's and Salvador Larocca's run on Invincible Iron Man, I didn't much have a feeling about her one way or another, save for her appearances in the Iron Man films. I didn't even read Iron Man regularly enough before Invincible to have a firm grasp of her history. None of that mattered though once she became Rescue. Though Rescue's time in the comics was relatively short, the impact on fandom was long-lasting.
We never got the Rescue figure from Hasbro the company teased as part of its Iron Man 3 line a few years ago, and I've been steadily complaining and questioning why, after so many Tony Starks, Hot Toys hadn't delivered so much as an alternate head sculpt for Pepper Potts and the MK XLII. Today, I couldn't be happier. We're finally getting the Pepper figure we've so desperately needed.
Having teased Ant-Man's arrival earlier this year, and finally showing off the prototype at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, Hot Toys has released the first official images and details for it's upcoming miniature Paul Rudd replica. Ant-Man joins an incredible roster of Marvel Cinematic Universe characters that have been recreated in figure form from the Chinese manufacturer, which makes sense given how popular Hot Toys' Movie Masterpiece line has become in regards to Marvel's characters. However, if you had told me back when this whole MCU thing started that Ant-Man would be getting a ~$200 figure in the future, I'd probably have laughed you out of the room.
Like many of the more recent figures in the this series, Ant-Man will come with some accessories, but the only one that really matters is the 2.8cm (1.1") non-articulated Ant-Man miniature. Judging by the number of similar product releases this year, it must be part of Marvel's contract for toy makers to include these microscopic iterations of the character. We get it guys; he shrinks. On top of being so effing small, there's so little detail in the mini-figures, it hardly seems worth the added inclusion.
When it comes to next-level collectibles from beloved comics and movies, few companies bring it as hard as Sideshow Collectibles. The company has long been crafting statues and figures for the refined collector from a wide range of licenses like Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics and many, many more. As the official U.S. distributor for Hong Kong toy makers Hot Toys, Sideshow's portfolio of products is tough to top.
When we hit the floor at San Diego Comic-Con this year, we darted to the Sideshow booth. Partially to get there before it became to crowded to photograph the insane amount of products on display, but mostly because we had to see all the figures and statues that would break our wallets in the coming year. From Wolverine and Red Sonja to Star Wars and Transformers, Sideshow Collectibles SDCC '15 reveals will have fans of just about everything on Earth excited.
Continuing Sideshow Collectibles' premium format figure line based on Mark Millar's, Dave Johnson's and Killian Plunkett's Superman: Red Son, this week the company unveiled its Red Son Wonder Woman in full. Previously teased when the line was initially announced, the Wonder Woman statue does indeed take much of its design inspiration from the previously released, "standard" DCU Wonder Woman premium format figure. Still there are enough changes to make it an exciting new piece.
You know who is the most serious hero in the Avengers? It's Thor. You know how I know this? It's because his Hot Toys figure has a face sculpt that's so "srs bsns" it looks like he's trying really, really hard to not crap his Asgaridan britches. Typically, I really like Hot Toys' sculpts. There are a few here and there that don't really match up 100% (Chris Pratt Star-Lord and pre-Winter Soldier Scarlett Johansson Black Widows), but the sculptors there haven't missed on a Chris Hemsworth Thor yet. Technically, this does look like Chris, it's just that I'm not so sure anyone wants a version of Thor that looks like he just got done watching Zoolander.
It's a shame,too, since the Thor: The Dark World version was really sharp. This Avengers: Age of Ultron figure takes plenty of inspiration from the previous iteration, though the head sculpt is all new. The armor and cape are fairly close to the last figure, with some minor variation to differentiate it just enough. This Thor will also come with multiple Mjolnirs, including the standard metal version and a new LED light-up version. There's also a little lightning effect add-on to include for that added bit of Mjolnir realism.
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