| New York's American International Toy Fair February 10-16, 2012|
5 Things We Took From Toy Fair 2012! As we sort through the remaining coverage, here's what we should all take away from the whole experience.
5. Transformers Prime may be basically DOA. This is speculation, but hear me out-- the First Edition toys will not be seeing US distribution, and numerous Hasbro toys will not be sold in the USA at all from its other brands. Hasbro confirmed there will be no fewer than 40 Generations toys in 2012. If you do the math, there isn't much room for more Prime product and after the chilly distribution given to numerous toys since early 2011, this is not the time to hold your breath. Get while the getting is good.
4. China manufacturing is not the be-all end-all anymore. Some large companies are moving some manufacturing to Vietnam, while others are suffering from the pinch of steadily increasing prices due to labor costs. Jakks Pacific will be relaunching the Big Wheel, a stunt vehicle for kids, as a product made in the USA at a pretty cheap price. We may be seeing some seismic shifts as the industry shakes out what price points make sense in new manufacturing facilities.
3. Cheap is in this season. More minifigures and lower-cost game/collectible toys are on deck than before with Bot Shots, Minimates, Star Wars Fighter Pods, and SLUG Zombies, and if the buyers come we may be in for a return of Micro product. Heck, McFarlane Toys is already doing it for Halo this year.
2. Expensive is in this season. Numerous manufacturers are embracing the higher costs with bigger, more robust figures. DC Direct has no problem with $40 releases these days, and it seems everybody else is finally coming to term with the reality of a mass-market $9.99 price point as a baseline-- the days of a $4.99 action figure are behind us, and we aren't going back. The continued success of high-end props and statues proves there's a lot of money to be made in this business, it's just a matter of finding out what the various breaking points are going to be for kids and parents.
1. There are still lots of unmined licensed poperties. While some companies have enjoyed the same 3-4 brands for the past decade, others are finding that there's a lot of opportunity in the back catalogs of Universal and others. Munsters will continue with a hot rod-themed assortment, The Six Million Dollar Man is getting its first new toys in decades, and Gremlins is coming back with a full-size figure. It's an exciting time to be alive.
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Bif Bang Pow!
Six Million Dollar Man, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Venture Bros., Twilight Zone, Eastbound and Down
Dark Knight Rises, Batman, Green Lantern, Starcraft II, MAD, Spy vs. Spy
Diamond Select Toys Minimates, Munsters, Star Trek, Expendables, Universal Monsters, Mad Monster Party, Star Wars
Masters of the Universe
Outer Space Men
Funko Dark Knight Rises, Batman, Big Bang Theory, Disney, Music, Anchorman, and more
My Little Pony
Lord of the Rings
DC Comics, Batman
Halo, Spawn, etc.
Dark Knight Rises, Earthworm Jim, ThunderCats, Universal Monsters, Mars Attacks, Living Dead Dolls, South Park, Spongebob Squarepants
Jurassic Strike Force 5
Gremlins, Rocky, Portal, Predator, The Hunger Games, HeroClix, E.T., Avengers, Insane Clown Posse, BioShock
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
MMA, NHL, Bruce Lee
Tron, Beetlejuice, Avatar