Dirt & News & Overheard (Without Pictures) We are still posting galleries, but hey, let's post some articles from the plane ride home now.
We have attended many meetings, seen a ton of showrooms, and snapped hundreds if not thousands of pictures. Also, we have an info dump which we'll be adding to on this page as we remember things we're allowed to share. There were numerous reports of theft this year, which is notable as it's not something that has come up at other trade shows (particularly ones open to the public). People were just walking off with stuff.
ALIENS: Diamond Select toys showed some stuff to select vendors. It's cool, and that's all I can say for now. NECA has action figures en route, you can see those in their gallery to the right.
Batman (1966): Mezco Toyz, Mattel, Moebius Models, NECA, and others all signed on for this holy grail license. Along with Indiana Jones, this was one of the things people have been begging for over the years. I was told by one licensee that the license supposedly includes everybody when I asked about Vincent Price as Eggman as a possible character for a product, so that bodes well as this license's legs. Nobody had any information if a DVD/Blu-Ray release was on deck as well, this has been held up due to rights owned by both Warner Bros. and Fox, who apparently came together with numerous actors and estates to bring the world a toy line that checks off another long-desired property.
Battle Beasts: No product was shown - not even the just-released series 1 - nor was there any confirmation of specific figures for Minimates series 2. I was assured more Battle Beasts IP development is going on behind-the-scenes, although the details of which are not shareable at this time.
Big Bang Theory: Bif Bang Pow! got action figures and showed Mego-style retro 8-inch product. Funko still has vinyl/bobbles, Commonwealth has games and some other licensed goods, Ripple Junction has plush and some apparel, plus I'm probably forgetting some other stuff.
G.I. Joe: We saw very little outside of Hasbro and the Loyal Subjects vinyl figures and apparel. No surprises. Not a lot of licensed goods on display.
Glyos: I saw nothing outside the Four Horsemen galleries (see to the right) although I was evangelizing the system to toy companies and hope they may pick up on it for their future releases.
Factory Entertainment: They make prop replicas, bobble heads, plush, and other goodies. Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and Ghostbusters Shake-Em's prototypes were on display including Peter Venkman, Marty McFly, and a T-Rex! Game of Thrones plush dragon eggs and pillows were on display, as were Archer bobble heads and a drawing for an action figure of the lead character. It was probably one of the more exciting spreads we didn't photograph this year. (They had signs asking us not to.) No other Jurassic Park or Back to the Future licensees were seen at Toy Fair, although supposedly deals were inked for JP4's toy orgy in a couple of years.
Masters of the Universe: Mattel is doing business as usual while Comic Images puts out plush and Funko does its bobble heads and action figures. We also overheard that the licensors were signing pretty much dang near everything in 2012, so there may be more consumer products coming out of the woodwork in the future. Nothing high-end was shown, so no statues or models or other goodies were on display or discussed as far as we know.
Metroid: Nothing! Although I continued my Toy Fair tradition of bemoaning this to anyone who would listen.
Nintendo: While Goldie has new plastic figures and Little Buddy is taking over plush imports, there's no master toy license. Well, that's a half-truth. We overheard somewhere(s) that a deal has been all-but-signed for 2014 or 2015 from an unknown major player, so after all the current agreements end supposedly one of the heavy hitters in the industry are getting a sweeping license. Who is it? Honestly, the people who informed me of a license being available/bought didn't know, but were sure (or fairly sure) it's basically already done. So for those of you hoping Figma would get a non-grey market US release, tough, go to eBay or wait for Mattel/Hasbro/Playmates/Diamond/TBD to make whatever announcement(s) they will make in a couple of years.
SLUG Zombies: No product was shown - and there's no confirmation if/when series 5 will ship. Jakks Pacific's showroom in the toy building on Broadway is under renovation (again) so they instead had a last-minute miniature booth inside Javits center this year. The coolest thing? A 31-inch high Darth Vader. The large figure format did very well in 2012 with Batman from The Dark Knight Rises, and it will expand into Power Rangers and other properties.
Star Trek: Bif Bang Pow!'s bobble product and glassware look great, we were told of some wonderful things from Bif Bang Pow!'s line planner which have us excited for the future of the license. Hasbro showed only Kre-o figures and nobody showed action figures, although model kits and other products will continue. We overheard Paramount/Bad Robot are not licensing the new Enterprise out for model kits or high-end stuff much yet. Based on some cagey answers, we expect there may be more products for DVD/Blu-Ray that are being kept secret for contractual reasons, but this is speculation on our part. Again, no action figures were shown.
Star Wars: It was fascinating to see how news travels, and who was on the ball. Some companies knew that the 3D re-releases of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were scrapped while one tour (which shall remain nameless because I'm a nice guy) was pitching people on that being a big selling point for Q3 and Q4, not realizing it got deep-sixed. LEGO and Hasbro had interesting but hardly innovative line-ups, Jakks Pacific glomped on to the jumbo scale, Diamond Select had neat barware and banks, Funko is doing what they do well, and Comic Images had some wonderful plush creatures like a bantha! Many other companies mentioned they were pursuing the license for other products, although it's more consumer-level than collector-level stuff. Gentle Giant had no presence. No major new licenses were mentioned.
Strawberry Shortcake: The toy industry's hot potato moves on to Bridge Direct this year after having previously been at Playmates, Hasbro, Jakks Pacific, and probably someone else I'm forgetting.
Valiant Comics: The comic publisher restarted its print business with a handful of titles last year and is shopping around for new products in various formats, many of which I was not able to confirm were finalized with finished contracts. Buzz is good and things like toys, movies, and video games are all possible.