New York's American International Toy Fair February 18, 2011
ThunderCats, Hoooooo! A big player in boy's toys for ages, BanDai USA has brought us quite a few great lines-- some are more kid-driven than others. This year it seems Power Rangers is getting a relaunch with some great aquatic life-based Zords and a fantastic update of Rita Repulsa complete with giant cone turbo breasts for reasons I am not entirely sure. But it's funny to see in person for the first time.
The popular Ben 10 line continues, although I'm unfamiliar with it. New roleplay toys including Omnitrix upgrades and a line of vehicles and action figures (Ben is old enough to drive now), plus there's a great line of roto vinyl figures packed out on trays so you can basically fondle them at retail.
The most exciting license is ThunderCats, which mixes classic and new stuff. Only two classic figures are slated for all of 2011, and those are Lion-O and Tygra. These are 8-inch scale, and when asked about a smaller line for collectors BanDai representatives said "no plans," and to paraphrase them they said they wanted the size to be similar to the original LJN figures.
A large series of new toys in both a smaller and larger scale are coming, each with different attributes. It seems the 4-inch figures will probably be the ones to watch, and we got a glimpse at new vehicles and of course Snarf in addition to action feature-packed figures and a playset. Some of the vehicles are modular, meaning you can pop off a small chunk of the Thunder Tank and replace it with a smaller basic-sized vehicle through magnets or tabs or something or other. These are meant to be played with, which is a nice thing to see. A new animated series will follow later this year and while voice casting isn't done yet, it's no secret that Larry Kenny (the original voice of Lion-O) is still active in the voiceover business and even did voices on Family Guy. So here's hoping he's back!
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