Diamond Select Toys makes incredible action figures, whether it’s MiniMates, Marvel Select, or even any of their other awesome movie properties. Zach from DST let me in on a few things coming, a few things out and we are forever grateful to him.
First up, we got a look at some Select Re-Issues, as far as I’m concerned, no matter where I go I don’t see enough Select on the shelf. Look for the Green Goblin / Norm Obsorne and Ghost Rider in Fall of 2013. Also shown in artist mock up and not hard plastic , a Classic Era Silver Surfer! (silver underpants and all!). This vintage rendition of Norin Radd will look great next to my Select Thanos and Lady Death…and Watcher…and Mephisto!!
Iron Man 3 will also be feeling the Select love with a movie perfect Mark 42 sculpted by Gentle Giant with a ton of interchangeable parts (heads / mask, etc..). We can also look forward to War Machine and movie accurate Iron Patriot.
Now, I can’t stress this enough, Diamond Select Bottle Openers are awesome. They are really great to look at and more, if you have a bottle that needs opening, who better to do it for you than Silver Surfer or the Infinity Gauntlet itself??!?!!? It takes some to tug at my heart strings, but you put gems on a glove and I’m all in! Throw that up next to Galactus and I’m going out of my mind. Readers that know this site, know me, know that I’ve got a big giant soft spot for anything Marvel Cosmic and this years line of openers from DST features Cosmic heavily! Silver Surfer, Galactus the Infinity Gauntlet. We are also getting some Venom love, Deadpool and Punisher too! Consider at least 50% of these sold directly to me.
On to MiniMates!! Nova is getting a lot of love in 2013 starting with the series 50 assortment also featuring Baron Zemo, Cyborg Arm Spidey, Onslaught and Ghost Rider. Series 51 gives us another does of Nova with the Sam Alexander Version. 51 has the new Nick Fury, Spider-Man, Sauron, SHIELD Agents! Toys R Us Wave 16 puts our wallets through the ringer with Marvel NOW era Iron Man, Cap, Hulk, Scarlet Witch and Wolverine. Also not to be forgotten are Phoenix 5 Magik and Colossus.
Check out Codee and Techno Source at technosourcehk.com
Codee is a product we featured on our sister site GeekDadLife after last years toy fair. The response to Codee was crazy ranging from fervent excitement to me getting berated because I didn’t know where people could buy it. GeekDadLife is now mostly defunct but I would be doing you and the Internet a disservice if I didn’t put this in front of you again.
Codee is a product developed by Techno Source. You can check out exactly what it is in images below but to describe it’s a single strand of blocks that are connected to each other but can spin, rotate, tilt and lock. The point is to fold this single straight strand into a thing. That thing could bewhat’s on the box, or whatever you can think up. As of now they are working to sell us Robots Zombies Vampires, out already is a scorpion (which I have) and a bunch of other neat stuff.
Last year when I spoke with them there was a heavy emphasis on making it social and sharing ‘codes’. Each link in the strand has number combinations. Moving each link lands you at a specific combination. Techno Source wanted to allow users to share codes where they made things that weren’t necessarily package intended. I was told this didn’t pan out quite as intended last year, the product didn’t really hit shelves until holiday 2012 which is only a few months ago. Their focus is on growing that and putting out more more more Codees this year. Additionally they are putting out new lines with Codees as two parts making the product more modular and the smaller parts easier to work with and manipulate. I wish them luck it’s a great product and it’s such a great fidget / desk toy. Not for nothing, I cheat at my scorpion and look at the code key to make one. I’m just not that smart, but I like looking at the finished product.
Techno Source also has a growing library of other proudcts that I was introduced to. GlowCrazy – Glow in the dark tech that is really impressive. Hang a piece of their paper on the wall, hit it with a digital pen and watch patterns or free draw activate in day or night glow on the page and then fade away.
Also touted in their booth were plush cuddlies known as “The Worlds Softest” plush toys. I asked for confirmation that this was scientifically proven but they were unable to provide those details at the time. Like the worlds best coffee, I’ll take their word for it. They were very soft and cuddly.
NFL RushZone is a partner with Techno Source and through that partnership they will be putting out board games with some interesting premises. Really neat stuff!
Let’s also not forget last years Kurio tablet for kids. It’s out now and ever improving. Apparently though there are things they don’t want the general population to know because I wasn’t allowed to go into the champagne room to see what 2013 had in store for Kurio. Keep your ears to the ground moms and dads. Kurio is a locked down kid friendly tablet that is sure to please.
Allow me to introduce you to Romo. An I device controlled, iPhone cradling treaded robot that you can train, explore with, emote with and share. Check out the official details HERE.
Romo is a set of treads at the base with a cradle for your iPhone. Once inserted your iPhone takes the face of Romo, by default a blue funny little smiling guy. Using an iPad or other device you can control Romo’s movements at a max speed of up to 3 feet per second. Romo is your eyes and you can tilt him (your iPhone or iPod touch) 15 degrees forward or 45 back.
When not in use Romo can be used as a docking / charging station. You can send your friends almost anywhere in the world a custom URL and they can control your Romo. This brings up thoughts of application use like Skype / Facetime and remote learning, remote meetings, security and a million other practical and fun applications.
Romo has many faces, all of which emote a specific feeling. When I was playing with the Romo I found another Romo in the little arena and made googly eyes at it which brought over Jen McCabe the Lead on Customer Development to give me additional information about the loveable little robot.
The product was originally funded by Kickstarter and will be available in 2013 for $150.
I know the above is kind of sales pitchy but I wanted to get the facts out of the way. Romo is fun, I was roaming around the boxed in play area, looking at other people and other booths and even the ceiling with Romo’s impressive range of motion. I accidentally knocked Romo over and was able to use the cradle tilt feature to get back up on two treads and keep going. Control is responsive and intuitive using a mix of directional pad and swipe functions. There are also features I could test. There is an intuitive interface that lets you build commands and reactions for Romo (by way of programming). It’s as simple as dragging letter boxes around. You can teach Romo to respond to faces, cards, and I think even noise / voice commands but don’t quote me on that last one. I like this, that’s why it’s getting it’s own post, because I want to own one. For mobile iToys, all things being equal I kinda wanted Sphero…but Romo can do so much more….and will be far more effective at messing with the dogs.
Uncle Milton is the toy maker that brought us the Jedi Force power test set that you can find at Toys R Us now. Their toys are both intriguing and educational, seeking to engage children on play and intellectual levels.
Uncle Milton brings us some really interesting Marvel branded goodies for 2013 featuring Spider-Man, the Hulk and Iron Man. No coincidences, some of the greatest minds in the Marvel Universe can bring to the table some of the most learnable toys.
The Hulk gets a Transforming figure, bought in a paper box, if you drop him in a large jug of water, he expands, breaks out of the box and becomes massive! Even cooler, when you take him out, he shrinks right back down to box size.
Spidey gets the Web Creator Lab where a kid can make stretchable, slingable webs in a mold, or they can create web balls. Eat your heart out Peter Parker.
Iron Man gets two neat devices, the Repulsor Ray Tech Lab which levitates a ball by way of ‘repulsor’ technology. You can take said ball through pre-made mazes or create your own. Iron Man also gets the Arc Reactor Lab. It’s circuit technology that powers up the lights and sounds of the Arc Reactor. Get the circuit just right for the best effect!
Thor is also in this science group bringing the thunder and lightening. The Lightening Energy Hammer harnesses the power of metal to draw objects to it, and when it hits, it lights up. It also cradles in a base that will serve as a room light when the hammer is docked.
Uncle Milton also has a great array of other educational properties applied cleverly, Star Wars, Nat Geo to name a few. Check them out at http://www.unclemilton.com.
MegaBloks made time for MUReview.net and we thank them truly. Their appointment schedule was well booked but they managed to sneak us in and introduce us to a ton of properties upcoming from this year. As a parent and a fan of many of the licenses they bring to the table, I’m very excited.
For the kids, their first builder series continues and will grow with new Animal shaped blocks. Be on the look out for an epic sized $100 building table as well. First Builders will also feature Billy Beats. A Piano …man, where the keys are made up of MegaBloks. He’ll play on his own or you can play in a multitude of modes.
MegaBloks will also be going further down animal way with their Tubtown line of builders featuring Safari figure packs. Also, parents, be on the look out for their 750 generic piece build kit for $19.99, it’s a great way to inspire young building.
Mega is working to further build out the Thomas the tank line with First Builders and bag packaging. Also be on the look out for new ride ons and MegaPlay in the fall. MegaPlay (not Thomas related) is a giant structure that you can build on to and will be available for $100.
MegaBloks is working the pink side of things, we get a rebranded refreshed Dora line, all the basics, First Time Builders in pink shades, and Barbie! Barbie goes bananas with what you can build, showcasing a Rock Star Stage with lights and sounds a vacation set and a Mansion to which you can add individual sets and rooms.
Mega has picked up the jeep license and will add Jeep to it’s rugged CAT and John Deere lines. Also don’t forget to check out Mega Hot Wheels, buildable cars interchangeable with drivers. The larger scale features pull back and release motorization with customization at a $19.99 price point.
Now into the big boys toys, World of Warcraft!! What they have done with this license is amazing, play sets, mounts and heroes. The articulation and level of detail is incredible and I implore you to check out the gallery.
MegaBloks perennial hit is Halo and the line features a fully re-tooled Pelican. They will be enhancing their blind pack series up to 16 figures and the drop pods are being replaced by mechs. We weren’t able to take pictures of Halo but I assure you that the line is impressive.
Don’t forget the crazy amount of other licenses that MegaBloks is working with, Skylanders, Hello Kitty Smurfs…the list is near endless and MegaBloks brings each line to articulated plastic with passion and fun.
Toy Fair brings so much to the table, so many innovative new ideas. It also brings some awful ideas, and it’s fun to pass those by and just wonder, but we aren’t here to talk about what we didn’t like. We are here to talk about and share with you what we loved.
I want to bring what I enjoyed to you in no particular order, or just the order that I stumbled upon these things in. This isn’t Marvel related, this isn’t necessarily even action figure related, it’s just neat stuff I think my readers would appreciate as fans of neat stuff, as parents and as humans.
At Cuddle Barn’s booth I stumbled upon two interesting animated figures, Talking Tom and Santa Sez. Talking Tom will mimic what you say parrot style, and Santa Sez can carry on better than a one sided conversation with you about your Christmas presents…he can’t spell worth a damn, but interesting still. Check them out here http://store.cuddle-barn.com/
I told my wife about my experiences with Cloud B, same as I will tell you. I was ‘seduced’ into their booth and told a story of new born and infant sleep aids that was only partially naughty sounding…that was until I was invited into the PeepRoom. Not lying. Cloud B features baby sleep aids like the now ubiquitous Sleep Sheep. This years line features upgrades though, motion sensing so moms and dads don’t have to keep coming into the room! Sleep Sheep Tech has also been built into other interesting characters, not the least of which is a monkey…we all like monkeys. I was also given a demo for their dream lite style turtle. This hard shelled creature featured a top speckled with holes that illuminated lights on a timer to paint a dark room with designs and colorful light. Definitely worth checking out at www.facebook.com/cloudb
Manhattan Toys displayed a line that was nothing short of overflowing in a very large booth but I stopped in for one thing and one thing only. The Fraggle Rock 30th Anniversary collection. A line of puppets, plus, keychains and more of the beloved early 80’s Muppets. Price points are 24.99 and under and the 30th anniversary tag on each Fraggle is sure to make you feel at least that old if you remember them…It really has been 30 years. The replicas are faithful, adorable and huggable and I relish the thought of my 3 year old sticking his hand up one of their butts and giving mom and dad a great puppet show. (Yes, I’ve educated my little dude about Fraggles…not putting hands up things butts though).
Zing is suction dart tech win. It’s all bow and arrow based, but each bow hooks easily onto the arrow with elastic / rubber hooks. Pull back is smooth and release / hit is satisfying. It’s an innovative tech on an age old weapon made toy and I commend them for it. I was able to land bullseyes with ease after my first two or three arrows and that is a credit to their ease of use.
Designed with relaxation and motion therapy in mind, Tangle Creations pits the user against a curved component imperfect hoop and you twirl the curved pieces and make neat designs. Pieces range from $3 to over $50 for monstrous strands. After spending 20 minutes with a few freebies last night I’m intrigued. Mine are hard small plastic, but those sold for therapeutic purposes are larger with ‘squishy’ coating that is very satisfying to the touch. Check them out at tanglecreations.com.
Kites & Designs USA
One final honorable mention and I hope you are all still reading. Kites & Designs USA caught my eye on the way out of the fair today with a giant cardboard cut out (3d) castle. Can anyone else say Latveria Marvel fans? Collectors of the Marvel Universe take note. www.hq-kites-usa.com could be a new and frequent home for all sorts of diorama goodness!! The castle in particular retails for $99.99 and if you live somewhere that wouldn’t threaten something made of cardboard, you’ve got yourself an outstanding playset.