Needless Things Podcast 253 – Toy Fair 2019

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-fwqt5-a8a7db

The Needless Things Irregulars assemble for their annual look at the New York International Toy Fair!

The 2019 New York International Toy Fair was held from February 16th-19th so that toy manufacturers from all over the world could get retailers and journalists excited about their offerings for the upcoming year. Hasbro, Mattel, Funko, NECA, and many more all bring out their prototypes, concepts, and newest licenses to display in the biggest toy-oriented gathering of the year!
Join Phantom, Needless Things’ Head of Research Ryan, The Belligerent Monkey, and Josh Wilson as they discuss the coolest collectibles that will be unleashed in the coming year!

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

“Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com

Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?

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The Best of New York International Toy Fair 2019

This year brings with it an all-new, all-different form of my annual Toy Fair recap!

In previous years I provided exhaustive coverage of pretty much everything that went down from most of the notable toy companies. It took a ton of effort and lots of hosting space to post all of the pictures, not to mention the hassle involved in actually tracking down pictures that I felt comfortable using.

Using the sites mentioned below it’s now easier than ever for anyone to follow along with Toy Fair goings-on, especially if you’re part of the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group. Toy companies have mostly figured out social media and are posting announcements and new products even faster than the media can report them.

That being the case, in today’s post I’m just going to run down my favorites from the show. Which might end up being just as lengthy as the older posts because there were a ridiculous number of amazing announcements this year. It’s entirely possible that this was the biggest Toy Fair since we started covering it a decade ago.

Read on to see some of the coolest toys from the show and of course, listen to this Friday’s episode of the Needless Things Podcast to hear me, Ryan, Jay, and Josh discuss all of the hottest reveals!

As always I highly recommend you follow Action Figure Attack on Facebook and Instagram for some excellent press photos. Toy Ark once again provided thorough coverage and is the site we used for reference to record this Friday’s Toy Fair episode of the Needless Things Podcast. For the full list of links to Toy Ark product pages, click here!

Note: I was able to find release dates for some of these and have provided them when possible. Continue reading “The Best of New York International Toy Fair 2019”

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Popeye from Mezco

Grown-up Dave doesn’t think about Popeye the Sailor Man all that much, but kid Dave loved him.

It started with the cartoons, obviously. When I was very young Popeye cartoons were just as heavy in rotation as Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry. I don’t know what happened or why the Sailor Man hasn’t remained as relevant as many other animated icons, but for whatever reason he doesn’t have a very high profile nowadays.

The cartoons were one thing, but in 1980 something very peculiar and quite special happened – Robin Williams starred in a musical Popeye movie directed by five-time Academy Award nominee Robert Altman. The same Robert Altman who directed MASH, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye, and Nashville. It was surprising to the world and to this day I think film fans are a bit confused, but of course four-year-old me didn’t know any of that when Mom took me to the theater to see this unique cinematic experience.

While my actual memories of Popeye come from later viewings, I do know that I loved that movie and that it reinforced my fandom for the character. One of my earliest memories is of begging Mom for a can of spinach until she finally broke down and got one. I tried it raw – like Popeye – hated it, and switched to a can of Fritos like they used to have back in the day.

HEALTH ADVISORY – Fritos will not make you strong like Popeye, but they also will not make you throw up like raw spinach out of a can.

My Popeye fandom probably peaked right around the movie coming out and has slowly waned ever since. At no point have I disliked him; he just hasn’t loomed large in my pop culture awareness for quite some time.

I have a collection of comic strips that my mom gave me years ago, but I can’t pretend I’ve read it cover to cover. At most it’s been perused a time or two with only a few pages read in their entirety.

Actually, the last time I gave Popeye any real thought was the last time Mezco put out Popeye toys. Popeye the Sailorpedia lists way more figures than I remember actually being released. I just had Popeye, Bluto, and Wimpy from the first wave. I passed on Olive Oyl because she is the worst.

Clearly someone at Mezco is a much bigger Popeye fan than I am. Between those excellent figures from eighteen years ago(!) and this new One:12 Collective figure, they are carrying the torch for an animated hero who deserves much more recognition than he seems to get. This was one of the earliest announced One:12 figures and it’s been clear from that initial peek that this figure is a serious labor of love.

This is a truly weird concept and design – bringing a character whose most remarkable features are incredibly anatomically improbable into the One:12 semi-realistic format resulted in a look that many found off-putting at first, but that has become more acceptable as the line has gone on. I, for one, hadn’t planned on getting this one due to my strict One:12 collecting rules, but apparently at some point I relented and ordered one because it came in at the Local Comic Shop. By that time I was delighted that Past Me had made the decision because reviews were coming in and Popeye seems to be a hit, making many “Best of 2018” lists.

Is the figure worth the wait and worth possibly going outside of your fandom to obtain? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – One:12 Collective Popeye from Mezco”

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews February 2019: “Megadeth”

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

NOTE: Due to weather conditions(?!?), the actual physical copies of Previews did not make it to Metro Atlanta are comic shops(!). As a result this month’s post is being composed using the online catalog. This means everything will be wacky and out of order, but I trust you guys to handle it like the mature adults we all are.

For instance, I definitely didn’t have a few moments of, “Well F**K IT THEN. I just won’t write it this month!”

A side effect of writing the post this way is that it’s likely to be much leaner. Without being able to see blurbs and creative teams at a glance I’m probably going to end up skipping a few interesting things. Continue reading “Comic Book Wednesday – Previews February 2019: “Megadeth””

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews January 2019: “Still Mostly Spiders and Bats”

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

Note: In what is surely a cost saving measure – because everything is a cost saving measure – Diamond has discontinued the pull-out short order forms in favor of a regular page. While I’ll miss the perforations, I will not miss the stupid gloss that made it so hard to write on. I’ll mark this down as a sort-of-improvement. Continue reading “Comic Book Wednesday – Previews January 2019: “Still Mostly Spiders and Bats””

Toy Review – Walgreens Exclusive Marvel Legends Magik Action Figure from Hasbro

Hasbro has been doing some nice things with the Marvel Legends line for the past year, but their Walgreens exclusives have been going above and beyond.

I’ve been a fan of Colossus’ little sister, Illyana Rasputin, since the mid-80s when I first started reading New Mutants comics. I think she clicked more for me because of the relationship to Peter, who was one of my favorite X-Men.

Over time, as her character grew and her place in the mutant side of the Marvel universe expanded, I ended up liking her even more than I did her brother. Her unique story and wild powerset made her a favorite among a huge number of other characters that I also loved. It would take a whole other post to really run it down, but Claremont’s X-Men are my favorite characters ever. Just thinking about that group and what they went through in the years that I followed Uncanny X-Men (and any related crossover titles) is almost enough to get me a little misty. For an outcast kid who never had an easy time making or keeping friends, they were family.

When Hasbro released Illyana as part of an SDCC exclusive box set a few years ago I was pretty annoyed, but by that time they had already established a habit of eventually rereleasing those kinds of characters. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I could wait.

As X-Men waves came (returned) and went, I waited. Then, much to my surprise, Magik was announced as a Walgreens exclusive. Even more surprising was the short amount of time that passed between the announcement and me having the figure.

Thanks to our Head of Research Ryan Schweck I was able to order Magik from Walgreens website and actually had her in hand before I found the Thing, though only by a couple of days. And when I did find ol’ Ben, there were six Magiks next to him.

That’s just how toy collecting works sometimes.

Was she worth the wait? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Walgreens Exclusive Marvel Legends Magik Action Figure from Hasbro”

Toy Review – Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Imperial Combat Assault Tank from Hasbro

Star Wars vehicles are very important to me.

If I’m talking about Star Wars toys I’m probably going to mention that the starfighters, cloud cars, assorted tanks, and the odd space freighter are critical to any toy line focused on The Galaxy.

Note: Ever since I watched the Solo special features and heard Ron Howard refer to Star Wars as simply “The Galaxy” I have thought it was absolutely wonderful. Pardon me while I obnoxiously co-opt his term of endearment.

The 3.75” Star Wars line has gone through a lot of changes over the past decade and the last few years, specifically, have seen dramatic changes in how Hasbro releases vehicles. Toy production costs have skyrocketed, so the days of getting an acceptably scaled starship for under forty bucks are gone.

Ten years ago you could purchase a (reasonably) accurately scaled Jedi Starfighter with a functioning cockpit, spring-loaded wings and missiles, a removable droid piece, landing gear, and other bells and whistles for $19.99. Since then, as production prices have risen, Hasbro has tried various methods of getting vehicles to the public – scaled-down versions, simplified models, (much) cheaper plastics, less deco, and big hunks of rotocast plastic that don’t even interact with figures.

None of these were for me and I have had to sort of accept that 3.75” scale vehicles were no longer part of my collecting habits.

Fortunately I have an eleven-year-old son who likes Star Wars, so I’ve been keeping tabs on things through his collection. Hasbro has done some interesting things since The Force Awakens and I’ve actually picked up a few items here and there (on clearance).

This past year, though, Hasbro has shown a new interest in getting collectors like me back on board.

You all probably know about HasLab and the forthcoming Sail Barge (good lord it’s less than two months from shipping and I have no idea where I’m gonna put that enormous sonofabitch), but we also got a special treat in the form of today’s subject – a Vintage Collection Imperial tank from Rogue One.

If you don’t know, Hasbro’s Vintage Collection is a line meant to appeal to collectors like me. It uses packaging based on the looks of the original Kenner line, which is a huge draw. Beyond that, the toys themselves have more articulation and deco than the current basic 3.75” releases. While I enjoy the look of the packaging, I open everything, so the quality of the toys is much more important to me. They could put a super articulated figure with great deco in a Mylar bag with cardboard stapled to the top and I’d buy it.

This Imperial vehicle – from a key scene in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – was the first modern Vintage Collection vehicle release. There is currently also a Walmart exclusive TIE Fighter that’s less appealing to me because I already own some fine TIE Fighters and don’t want to pay eighty bucks for a slightly different one.

Oh, yeah – that’s the MSRP for this tank, too.

I’m a big fan of that scene and this tank and when Hasbro first shared pictures of it (at Toy Fair, I think) I was excited. But I also knew that I probably wouldn’t buy it because it would probably cost way more than I was willing to spend. Once it hit retail that turned out to be the case, so I resigned myself to missing out if the price didn’t drop.

Yes – I am aware that waiting for things I want to drop in price probably reduces the likelihood that toy companies will produce more things I want in the future. But I’m at a point where my idea of value has been left behind by inflation. If something is too expensive for me anyway, I’m okay with it going away.

Of course, there’s the whole other issue of those One:12 figures I love so much costing as much as this tank, but that’s a conundrum for another day.

Anyway, eyeballing Amazon for dropping prices on toys I want, but not badly enough, has become a habit. Much to my surprise this beautiful tank dropped to forty bucks just before Christmas, so I ordered one. Is it worth forty or maybe even the original eighty? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Imperial Combat Assault Tank from Hasbro”