The San Diego ComicCon has moved into a whole new stratosphere in recent years. Initially merely a large comic convention, it somehow migrated to a Geek Mecca where Hollywood, Comics, and Toy Companies collide to give us glimpses at what cool new things are on the horizon for our nerd pleasure. It is pretty astounding to see just what it has become.
Of course as part of the allure of ComicCon, there are the SDCC Exclusives…toys that are launched at SDCC and for sale initially only at SDCC. This has always created a conflict between the “haves” and the “have nots” which has sometimes generated some hostility not just in the fandom, but directed back at the manufacturers. But Hasbro seems to have found a balance. By offering the items through SDCC, but also at HasbroToyShop, they seem to be able to please everyone, and in recent years there hasn’t been an obvious shortage of opportunities to get what you want.
This is not the case with Mattel, who year after year generates mountains of frustration among their fans with a strange voucher pre-order system that doesn’t even guarantee you a figure if you travel all the way to ComicCon. Not to mention when they post items for sale after the fact, MattyCollector.com gets so hammered that nobody can access the retail store. In general, it seems like a mammoth cluster… you get the idea.
Now not only does Hasbro seem to have the system at least somewhat ironed out, but the numbers of cool exclusives they are getting out there is amazing. Now, most of this is probably because they’re far and away the #1 Boys Toys brand in the market, but it really is incredible just how many cool toys they can get into collectors’ hands through SDCC. Anyone reading this right now already knows about Sgt. Slaughter:
I mean, look at this figure! Sure there are complaints about the lack of musculature and the placement of the torso joint/USA logo (which I can certainly appreciate) but there is a metric ton of new tooling, great accessories, and even new points of articulation. Any long time fan who has been clamoring for Slaughter is gonna be loving this.
And while I haven’t been keeping up with the Marvel stuff as much as I’d like to, I can’t help but drool at what Hasbro has there as well:
Before I go on…let me say one thing. Yes that is a TWO FOOT FREAKING TALL CARDED ACTION FIGURE. How awesome is that? Not to mention the bad ass WW II Captain America and an impressive Thor figure to tie into the upcoming movie as well.
Hell, even Star Wars has my interest this year!
Bet you thought Darth Maul was dead, eh? Hell, I’m an uber-geek and even I thought Darth Maul was dead. What the hell is this? It’s Darth frikken Maul with cyborg horse legs. ROCK.
So yeah…for G.I. Joe fans or for toy fans, Hasbro has got it going on this year. Maybe one day I’ll make it to SDCC…but until then I’ll sit back and enjoy it vicariously through the hundreds of thousands of others. Can’t wait to hear what’s on the horizon!