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Toy Fair 2018 : In Summary

As New York Toy Fair comes to a close, it is time to reflect on the goodies that have been announced over the past week in New York.

I start with NECA who were arguably the most communicative and interactive of all the companies at the show with a very well set up booth and also regular updates of the products they were showing on Twitter and Facebook. The theme for this year was very much horror with the two new awesome looking Pennywise 7" figures as well as Friday the 13th and Ash vs the Evil Dead. The Ultimate Gremlin looked very nice, even in his unpainted prototype state, and he will be one figure going on my 2018 (maybe 2019) shopping list.

It was unusual to see the Alien licence very subdued with only the Kenner inspired Series 13 revealed and for that we nearly a years wait until it arrives on store shelves. Predator, also once a line with a large volume of releases, was similar - but we did get two new Ultimate releases confirmed and the news that there will be a 7" Ultimate for the new 2018 movie.

While NECA stayed forefront of the news across the 4-days of the show, the team at Mezco may have peaked too early with their pre-show reveals. While they were sending out subscriber emails and a nice video walkthrough of their booth - the coverage from the main news sites seemed to be across day one only before petering out.

In terms of product the new King Kong stuff looks awesome, and I do like the One:12 Punisher. Other figures like Hela and Blade didn't quite do it for me - not sure if its the body shape or the tailoring of the outfit. Sadly my budget is never going to stretch to a One:12 collection so this is certainly one line I will simply window-shop.

McFarlane were also a little anonymous at the show after a bunch of teases - and after all that work there seemed to be no real joining up of the teaser videos to stuff at the show.

What we saw in the end were a handful of new products with the highlight being the rapidly expanding Stranger Things licence and that Ghostbusters 4-pack. It was unusual not to see much in terms of The Walking Dead, and Star Trek was not expanded upon despite Kirk & Picard being imminent, so as yet nothing else for Trek fans to look forward to.

The oddest item I have seen across all the coverage is from SD Toys with the figure/statues of Al Pacino from Scarface and a Chuck Norris. It will be interesting if, and how these proceed.

Mattel is not a company I spend too much time looking at, but this year their new Jurassic World 2 toys were generating a lot of interest. The range is very joined up for the 2018 sequel and includes 3.75" action figures as well as a host of well scaled and proportioned dinosaurs.

The Jurassic World range is certainly top of Mini-Meph's list for 2018, particularly that Mosasaurus.

Diamond Select had a show of two halves. Ghostbusters and Pacific Rim product were generally well received and we got previews of quite a few new items in these two lines to last us through next 12-months. This of course included the Real Ghostbusters figures. While many liked these, they are clearly repainted movie bodies and don't quite look authentic to me.

They also (kind of) announced a John Wick licence with 7" Select figures in the works. The reality of these John Wick figures hitting retail will have to be taken with a pinch of salt considering how long we've waited for the Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill figures and how other projects like Pirates of Carribean have been cancelled..

Marvel Select fans had a lot of new statues to look at, but the only new action figure was a comic book Beast - designed and sculpted by Jean St. Jean. This was announced via Shartimus Prime's Youtube channel and the images used were not flattering which caused an uproar initially. The actual figure at the show was received better and images have been shared since to try and abate fan anger.

The other issue for Marvel Select collectors was the lack of any Infinity War product. While Hasbro was laying out new figure after new figure and actually have Infinity War product on shelves - Diamond have still not confirmed who, or how many figures they will release for Infinity War - and are unlikely to do so until March at least.

So we finish with Hasbro who pretty much blew everyone away with their 3.75" scale Sail Barge for Star Wars. While this is essentially a crowdfunding piece it generated a lot of interest and publicity and sits over 30% sign up with over a month until the deadline.

While UK and other overseas collectors have had some level of assurance the Barge will get a release overseas, the fact they cannot contribute and therefore contribute to making this a reality feels an oversite on Hasbro's behalf an has caused some frustration.

New Star Wars Black Series figures pleased many fans with Gamorrean Guard and Zuckuss being shown - that was short lived for overseas customers when these key characters were confirmed as US retailer exclusives. Poor show Hasbro!

We hope that independent retailers in the UK and beyond will be permitted to sell the exclusives outside of UK, and we would also hope that the pricing when these do come to market are comparable to the current retail price of a single figure and not a hugely inflated price like we saw with some of The Last Jedi sets from last year.

I will end on Hasbro's Marvel Legend presentation of new figures, which was extensive. While the comic book figures are not my cup of tea, I am very very interested in the 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe figures shown - particularly figures like Ant-Man and Ronan who have not appeared in figure form before at this scale.

While I have been an ardent Marvel Select collector for a while, the lack of news and drop in contents (alternative sculpts being shown then withdrawn) from Marvel Select (Diamond) has got me looking seriously at the Legends MCU offerings.

Toy Fair 2018 overall left me feeling a bit nonplussed. Previous shows have left me overwhelmed by what's coming and wondering how I will pay for it all. That certainly wasn't the case this year, and that of course may signify the slowdown in the action figure market we have been reading about.

I will of course be all in for the Star Wars Black Series 6" figures, although I remain frustrated with the exclusivity on these. Other items I am excited about are the Ultimate Gremlin (NECA), McFarlane Stranger Things and the new MCU figures from Marvel Legends.

- Mephitsu

Please let us know your Toy Fair 2018 thoughts. What figures are on your shopping list? Join us below using hour Disqus function or on social channels Facebook and Twitter.


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