Toy Fair 2016: NECA Goes Big This Year, Brings Out the Boomstick
Every year, NECA rolls out one of the most consistently great Toy Fair line-ups of any company at the show. The variety of licenses, scales, and styles is virtually unrivaled, and the NECA booth is often one of the highlights of the annual event. This year was no exception, and NECA lifted the curtain on a number of incredible reveals, including some that were previously though impossible. But that’s just NECA’s style, and the company is always full of surprises.
Case in point, the all-new 1/4 scale Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line based on the 1990 film. In the past, NECA had released some Mirage-era Turtles, but the full series never saw the light of day due to licensing complications. For years, fans had been hoping to see more of those designs, but it’s just not going to happen. Instead, we’ll just have to “settle” for a whole new collection based on the greatest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie of all time. Yeah, I said it. The first figure in the series, Donatello, is note perfect, and captures every last dimple, piece of shell, and muscle in astounding detail.
Elsewhere in the quarter-scale range, we got our first real look at the painted Avengers: Age of Ultron Hulk. Though the shorts aren’t finalized yet, the rest of the figure is mighty close to final. This thing is a beast of a figure, and fits well with existing Avengers already released. It’ll still be a few hundred dollars, but that’s still miles below what Hot Toys is charging for a smaller figure. NECA’s also has the advantage of more articulation, too.
As nice as the Hulk is, no one was really expecting a 1/4 Harley Quinn to make a showing, but that doesn’t mean her inclusion wasn’t welcome. Prior to this year, Harley Quinn was a fan-favorite character, but it’s taken some time for collectible companies to catch up. Harley will be the first non-Gremlins female character to get a quarter-scale figure, though more are planned. Even if the Batman: Arkham City version of the character isn’t your favorite, NECA’s Harley is still detailed and articulated well, and her release is a signal of more to come. That’s all good news as far as I’m concerned.
Harley will also be the first female life-size statue released by NECA, joining the Arkham Knight Batman that’s on its way to retailers this spring, as well as other new characters like Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. These foam pieces are more meant for storefronts and conventions than anything else, but they’re still impressive. You can’t help but think about the possibilities of adding one to your collection, living space and budget be damned. There are a lot more planned for this part of NECA’s catalog as well, but the company is keeping a tight lid on what’s to come at the moment.
That’s actually a theme for NECA’s booth, as everything the company had on display at Toy Fair only covers the first half of the year. Where most companies at Toy Fair show the full slate for all of 2016, everything on display at NECA’s booth only gets it through June/July. The second half of the year usually debuts around San Diego Comic-Con, but even still, you get an idea of just how ambitious NECA’s release plans are. With all those figures, plus the Alien and Preadator lines, Ash vs. Evil Dead, and more Pacific Rim collectibles than anyone else thought would be possible, it looks like 2016 is going to be another great year for NECA and its fans.