So we now look ahead to 2017 and what Action Figure goodies we have in store. One thing is certain, and is already evident in some stores, is that our figures here in the UK will be costing us more in 2017. With Brexit impacting exchange rates with both the US and the Euro, figures are going to get more expensive. We've already seen collector focused supplier having to raise prices, and only last week the Black Series price in Asda stores (traditionally one of the cheapest) was seen to rise to just shy of £25
I also think 2017 will make or break some lines. McFarlane's Color Tops will be into its 2nd year, and at least here in the UK hasn't yet made a massive impact. I also think Diamond will need to make some decisions on where next to take Ghostbusters and the Gotham line, with the latter seemingly struggling when you look at online pricing.
But we've also got more huge movies in 2017 that will drive more figures to stores. Diamond and Hasbro will be putting out product for all three Marvel movies in 2017, with the kicker being Logan not getting any support. We also have Episode 8 of Star Wars, and if the output for The Force Awakens and Rogue One is anything to go by then 2017 could be the biggest yet for Black Series collectors.
The following figures are predictions from me, most of which are based on nothing more than a whim of what I would like to see - although I have applied a bit of logic on some. Will be cool to look back at the end of the year to see how many we "hit" and how many we "missed".
NECA Q/Scale Ant-Man (Civil War)
NECA already have the licence for Marvel figures in the 18" quarter scale. And from what I know, Randy Falk (product developer for NECA) is also a collector of the Hasbro 6" Marvel Legends line. So bear with me here.... but imagine NECA putting out an 18" Ant-Man from Civil War in 2017, and how that could be utilised by collectors of the smaller figures as a Giant Man stand in. I can see it now, the 18" NECA Giant-Man waving around a 6" War Machine while Spider-Man webs up his legs.
Black Series Moff Tarkin
The inclusion of Tarkin in the Black Series now seems like an obvious choice, considering how he now spans three movie's as well as The Clone Wars animated series. To get a Peter Cushing in the 1/12 scale would be brilliant.
Black Series Ep7 Luke Skywalker
This one is a bit of a cheat prediction as Hasbro have spoken about the release of a 6" Luke from The Force Awakens. My feeling is they will hold him back for the first wave of Episode 8 figures around September - he can then bridge both Episode 7 into Episode 8
Marvel Legends Daredevil 6"
I am not a big collector of the Legends line from Hasbro, more picking up figures for my son. However, the announcement that the Netflix Marvel heroes will be released in 6" scale has piqued my interest. So far we know we are getting Jessica Jones and The Punisher, it is therefore not a huge leap to guess that the Netflix Daredevil won't be too far behind, perhaps he will be joined by Luke Cage and Ironfist to round out a Defenders wave in time for the show's release later in 2017.
NECA Predator 30th Anniversary, Dillon
The team at NECA have already confirmed that 2017 will see them release a 7 figure special assortment of Predator figures for the movie's 30th anniversary. While likely to be repacks and tweaks, there is a little bit of me that hopes that the deal has been done with Carl Weathers to release Dillon in the Predator line. The two parties did seem to be discussing "something" back in Summer 2016 via Twitter after the success of Alien Day and involving actors like Ricco Ross, Jenette Goldstein and Carrie Henn. This prediction is very much wishful thinking, but NECA have surprised us plenty in 2016 - why not carry that on in 2017
Marvel Select Spider-Man (Homecoming)
Diamond have already confirmed figures for Guardians of the Galaxy in 2016, and that they will be doing figures from Thor and Spiderman too. It seems a no-brainer that the Spiderman figure will be the title character - the third Spider-man movie figure to be released by Diamond. The secret hope is that Diamond can make The Vulture too, but I suspect that won't happen.
Marvel Select Thor and Marvel Select Planet Hulk (comic or movie)
Like Spider-man, it seems unlikely for Diamond to do anything but a new Thor for his 3rd solo outing on screen. That's fine as I do like the look of the new outfit. I also get the feeling that Planet Hulk will feature somewhere from Diamond. I would hope this is a movie version, but if we are following form then a comic version could also be an option for Diamond - particularly if Disney Store want to get him on shelves ahead of the movie like they did with comic versions of Civil War characters earlier in 2016.
Diamond Select Ghostbusters 2. Peter, Ray, Winston and Egon (revised darker uniform) and Vigo the Carpathian
I mentioned above that 2017 would see Diamond having to decide where next to take the Ghostbusters licence. They have already confirmed they are developing figures past the initial 15 figures, but haven't confirmed what that would look like. With nothing left as such to release from the 1984 movie the choices would seem to be move to the 2016 reboot or move on to the Ghostbusters 2 sequel. Considering the reception for GB2016, I suspect Diamond will go to the GB2 movie and start with the Ghostbusters in their revised darker uniforms and the main protagonist, Vigo the Carpathian. While I doubt a collectible diorama of the same scale as the 15 part rooftop will be included this time round, the option to pack in the Vigo painting from the Art Gallery would be a pretty cool display item.