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New York's American International Toy Fair February 15, 2014


Transformers! There will be many segments this year, but on the bright side Hasbro is trying to make it more obvious for the old farts to know what's for them and not. The magic word is "Generations" - since 2010 this label was applied to the retro, high-quality, generally complicated, G1/Beast Wars character toys, or toys from video games. Now that will be applied to select Age of Extinction movie toys - so there are going to be high-grade toys with the Voyager and Deluxe classes you know and love, plus new one-step conversion toys for the tiny tots. Basically imagine a switchblade action that takes a toy from a car to a robot in about a second. They're simple, but certainly very interesting to check out. It remains to be seen if these will prove popular, or like other previous attempts at simple toys for kids are merely too simple.

As always, the Hasbro presentation touched on the increasing overcomplexity of toys for the movies these days. A kid in 1984 could figure out Seaspray in seconds, but today's Cyberverse toys are quite complex and parts may pop off if transformed incorrectly - so now we're going to see this one-step conversion or other, larger simple toys which should appeal to the kids. There were certainly plenty of Grimlock toys, and other dinobots, in Construct Bots and other styles. If you like robot dinosaurs, you're in for a treat - some even have feathers!

Images - More 16bit.com Toy Fair 2014 Coverage and Pictures Below
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Classic fans are in for a massive treat as a new Leader Jetfire is one of two giant toys coming in 2014. The other wasn't shown, but information dumps indicate it's Megatron. New Voyager toys include Roadbuster and Sky-Byte, with Deluxe comrades including Nightbeat, Windblade, Jhiaxus, and surprisingly not shown Arcee and Chromia. Rattrap, Tankor, and Crosscut were also on display and looked great. Legends will continue with Acid Storm and Gears.

No matter your poison, Hasbro promises a lot of fun this year. A Reissue of Masterpiece Grimlock was on display too, which is sure to drive people bonkers as we wait to find another way to get that toy at a lower price. The original toy and its reissues have been quite expensive, so hopefully we'll see a price tag around $100. Without a doubt, Hasbro's made the robots in disguise their top priority for the year and dang near everything is on the happy side of pretty awesome. The divisions make it so that there are plenty of toys for everyone, but as an industry prognosticator I would wager that this particular flavor of simplified toys are likely to not stick around too long after this or next year.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images
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