On Site Report: HASBRO Toy Fair Showcase!

Today was my Josh Baskin Moment. 

As you'll recall, Josh Baskin was Tom Hank’s character in Big whose dream comes true when he, after turning into a grown up, gets a job testing out new toys for a big toy company.  Well that’s how yours truly felt today.  My inaugural assignment for Geek Week sent me to cover the 3rd annual Hasbro Toy Fair in New York City.  So for the day, I descended into a Times Square showroom with hoards of other eager bloggers and got to view and sample all the latest and greatest releases from four amazing Hasbro brands: Marvel, Star Wars, Transformers and G.I. Joe. 

IMG_3711IMG_3706 IMG_3595


It was a jam packed day to say the least, as brand managers from each of the four toy lines presented the new items that consumers could expect over the course of 2010.  From there, we were left to roam freely amongst all the displays set up.  Ok, I know you all aren’t here solely to read my witty prose, so without further ado, here’s a recap from my day at the Big Boy Toy Store. 


 Yes, there are other characters involved here that we will touch on in a bit, but make no mistake: This year’s Marvel line is dominated by Iron Man.   Marvel’s hope is to re-imagine, re-ignite and re-invent the Iron Man brand.  This is accomplished by appealing to both the middle aged collector enthusiasts who have driven the Iron Man brand for year as well as the younger fans out there who might not be as familiar with the product. To that end, Iron Man Collection I largely features figures from both the first Iron Man movie, as well as the new film set to drop 5/7/10.  Also included in this collection are the Iron Man armor cards which allows you to mix and match and create your own armor combinations.  Interactive is always a plus in my book.


Collection II is designed more for the seasoned Iron Man aficionado as it features various reincarnations of our hero based off of the comic book versions.

And coming in the "Here's Something You Don't See Everyday" category, it's the introduction of remote control into the Iron Man universe!  Yes, it is a full fledged walking Iron Man---that also has working missile launchers.  Parents- if you're looking for a little peace and quiet, this one is sure to keep the kids busy for a little while


One more noteworthy piece of Iron Man merchandise is the Red Vortex race car which recently won an award in the Action Figures and Accessories category at Toy Fair UK 2010.IMG_3645




A few other notable Marvel releases...

Continuing it's quest to nab the kiddie demographic, Marvel continues with its Super Hero Squad line, which introduces classic Marvel characters to younger audiences.

IMG_3655IMG_3648  IMG_3651 

And what toy fair would be complete without a visit from your friendly neighborhood Spiderman?  Spidey definitely made his mark on the 2010 line, highlighted by this 12" version called Wise Cracking Spidey, who not only spits out webs, but also catch phrases as well.


Finally, if Galactus appears to be larger than life here, well, it's because he is.  Standing at 19" tall, this is the largest toy released on the new Marvel 2010 line.



 And now, from the world of Marvel we are off to a long time ago and a galaxy far away....


The years continue to pass with this franchise, and somehow it is as strong now as it has ever been, thanks to the rise in popularity of The Clone Wars.  Fresh off yet another successful season on the Cartoon Network, the Clone Wars are hitting the toy world in full force as well as the brand is releasing 31 new 3.75" action figures to go along with a plethora of other Clone Wars merch.

IMG_3660   IMG_3666IMG_3667  IMG_3664IMG_3695IMG_3676IMG_3677

But while Clone Wars continues to drive the Star Wars franchise forward, we should all take a moment to pause and remember what got us here today.  And that is 33 years of rich history and lore.  And that is why 2010 is being billed as "a focused celebration" for the Star Wars toy line, featuring a movie-based re-launch of the Vintage collection.  The toys we all knew and loved as kids are back yet again, and frankly are just as good as ever

IMG_3661 IMG_3683IMG_3686

This Legacy Collection will run for two years and focus on all six movies, not just the original trilogy.

The driving force behind this re-focus on the Star Wars films is the 30th Anniversary of Empire Strikes Back.  Has it really been 30 years since Luke found out Vadar was his father?? (Damn, I forgot to include a spoiler alert for those of you that haven't seen it.  Oh well, moving on..)  One highlight of this collection is the addition of Hoth hanger version Han Solo that you've been demanding for years.

IMG_3678IMG_3679   IMG_3680

In case any of you didn't notice the sticker on the packaging, there is a fun throwback promotion that is included in this collection.  Yes, it's a mail-in offer for everyone's favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett.  How many of you out there sent away for this exact same promotion when it was offered back in the '80's?  This is just another way the fine folks at Hasbro are letting us relive our glory days.


And the crown jewel of the Empire Strikes Back re-release- the new and improved AT-AT.  And you better believe that's Luke hanging from the bottom.  They spared no expense...



Lastly, let's take a look at some of the hot role playing items in the Star Wars line...

Leading the class is the brand new light sabre.  Recent winner of the Role Play Toy of The Year Award, this new model allows you to detach the blade and use the deactivated light sabre as a prop.  The light saber toy line has come a long way since that big clunky green piece of plastic that's been residing in my parent's basement since 1985.IMG_3662




And with the popularity of Boba Fett still at an all time high, no Star Wars role playing would be complete without your very own Boba Fett helmet.  However, this could also just be a shallow attempt on my part to get my face on this blog.  But I digress...




Do you remember when you were a kid, playing action figures with your friend?  And do you also remember the epic disputes that arose when you two couldn't decide who killed who in battle?  "You died!'  "No YOU died!"  Well we might finally have our answer.  And it comes in the form of the Galactic Battle game.  This provides fans with a way to see who really wins, when one character battles another.  Accompanying a normal 3.75" figure are a competitive gaming base, a unique battle attributes card and a die to play the game.  This is the beginning of the movement that will put an end to playroom arguments...forever.







Now we're getting somewhere.  Here is a brand that, over it's rich 26 year history, has undergone some pretty impressive transformations (no pun intended, I swear).  Several different generations have re-vamped existing characters multiple times over.  And now, in the wake of two successful movies, more exciting changes are in store in 2010. 

The first half of this year will wrap up the merchandising fallout from Transformers: Revenge fo the Fallen.  Included in that are NEST Global Alliance Battle Packs and a mail-away Ravage figure that is not available anywhere else.

IMG_3698  IMG_3699IMG_3624


Once Fall 2010 is upon is, the Transformers brand is ready to close the door on The Revenge of the Fallen and get back to the brand identity that made them so popular over these last 26 years.  Kicking off this new campaign is a promotion called "Hunt for the Decepticons" where special codes will be printed on product packaging, and listed on the official Transformers websites.  These codes will allow the fans to engage the Decipticons in battle, when these codes are entered online.  It is a multi-layered, interactive approach that will engage and excite fans of all ages.


A few other cool new Transformers innovations...

The Activator Series is designed to target the youngest Transformer fans (are you noticing a theme today across the brands?).  They are push button conversions so that kids can transform their favorite characters with a single push of a button, instead of having to fumble around with a more complicated toy.

The Leader Series releases will include Starscream and Optimus Prime.  A fun feature of the Optimus figure is that he comes with the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which fits inside of his chest.  Light our darkest hour...



The Power Core Combiner Series is an update of the original Devastator character, where several robots combine to make one super robot.  Certain characters form the arm, leg and torso sections for the super robot.  They are interchangeable, so feel free to mix and match.


The Human Alliance Series is another very popular component to the new Transformers line.  It pairs an existing Transformers character with a human counterpart who also has a vehicle to ride.  Below is an example.  Jazz, meet Captain Lennox. 


And now.....we come to what was perhaps the coolest thing that I saw all day.  It's something that I think a lot of Transformers fans have been waiting a long time for.  It is an origin story of how the civil war on Cybertron started, how the Autobots and Decepticons came to be, how Optimus Prime came to power, and so on...

And this origin story is in the form of an awesome video game, thanks to a top notch pairing with Activision.  It is, as one Activision rep called it "the game you've been waiting 25 years to play."  We were able to get a very brief sample on what the game will look like and it truly is amazing.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you much about this product, as it's still in the development stages and is highly confidential.  But I can tell you three things.

1.  It is called the War for Cybertron

2.  It will be out in Summer 2010

3.  It will kick serious ass.

If my vague and cryptic musings aren't convincing enough for you, take a look at the trailer for the game, released in December:


OK, now we're right in my wheelhouse.  THIS was the brand that I grew up loving as a kid.  THIS was the brand responsible for me not getting any girls from 1983 until sometime in the next decade.  Granted, I don't know many guys my age getting girls in 1983 because I was four years old at the time, but you get my point.

However, despite this being my favorite of the four brands we saw today, there were probably the fewest major developments here of any of the brands.  But that doesn't mean there isn't fun stuff to report.


The hit movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobraled to 100 new 3.75" figures to be released.  And starting in Fall 2010, a new campaign will begin called "The Hunt for Cobra."  The style of the figures will resemble those released a few years ago for the 25th anniversary, except with a slight modern twist.  And that also means no actors from the movies will have their likeness on the characters.  It's back to basics time.


The Hunt for Cobra is a race stop Cobra from developing the technology for their newest deadly weapon; the HISS tank.


The fight will take the Joes all over the globe, in four extreme environments.

1. The Arctic


2. The Jungle


3.  Urban Battles


4.  And the Desert


Also included in this collection is an extremely limited Cobra Commander figure.  This will not be a mail-away figure, it will be available in retail stores.  However, quantities will be extremely limited, so be on the look out this fall.  Great new look for CC...


Oh, and just in case I gave you the impression that G.I. Joe didn't have ANY big developments, let me just leave you with this nugget they shared with us.  Debuting at Comic Con will be the return of a classic figure.  I won't actually tell you who it is but i will say that a) it will be released in 3.75" format, b) he has cross branding appeal in the sporting world (no, not Refrigerator Perry) and c) the individual portraying this character will be appearing in person at Comic Con to help make the announcement.  I will post this picture and let it do all the talking.


P.S.- I'm very serious.  He's back!!!

Well my friends.  This brings us to the end of a long first day together.  I hope we all found the experience to be educational.  Hopefully you learned a lot about me.  I learned a lot about......toys.  Look forward to more columns in the future.  For now, Iron Man and Weiss.....signing off.






More on Geekweek


Sign in to comment with your TypePad, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo or OpenID.