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Important Toy News: Summer Conventions and toy shows are coming back—here’s what you need to know
Welcome back to Important Toy News, the SYFY WIRE column that shows you all the best and coolest happenings in the world of amazing toys and collectibles for the week.
Get ready, my fellow lovers of toys, because we are heading right back into that toybox for another week of newly announced toys and collectibles that are heading your way soon. Join me, your resident if not favorite toy journalist, while we collect all the righteously cool things we love, now in toy form.
I know I’m not speaking only for myself when I say that one of the highlights of summer is — you know it — convention season. While everyone has their own reasons for attending conventions (from television and movie news, to comic books and art, to seeing cosplay in action), this toy lover always zeroes in on the amazing new toy and collectible reveals. And in a world still healing from the global pandemic (we’re almost there, guys!) many of the large-scale summer conventions we love (and so desperately miss) are still taking the virtual route. That being said, these virtual events are still showing off some incredible reveals. Today on Important Toy News we are going to showcase these shows and talk about where you can get back onsite to get your toy-collecting groove on!
First up, let’s check out Comic-Con @Home 2021: Mattel Edition! Mattel has fashioned a week’s worth of exclusive reveals that it is showing off this entire week. While we can’t break embargo and tell you about Mattel’s Friday reveal, we can definitely tell you all about the other amazing (and deep dive fan service) pieces that we’ve gotten to see! All of these pieces will be available on the Mattel Creations site on July 22 — they are sure to go quickly, so make sure you hover over that purchase button (it’s easier than waiting in a San Diego Comic-Con line for four hours, right?) so you don’t miss yours! Monday kicked off with a seriously awesome looking WWE Ultimate Edition Sgt. Slaughter. The figure features 30 points of articulation and comes in nostalgic packaging that will instantly transport fans back to the '80s. Featuring TrueFX™ life-like detailing, Ultimate Sgt. Slaughter figure (approx. 6-in / 15.24-cm) can, per Mattel, “recreate everything from entrance poses to in-ring finishers for the ultimate WWE play-and-display experience.” This beautiful figure costs $35.
On Tuesday, fans were treated to a deep dive experience from Jurassic Park with a two-pack celebrating Samuel L. Jackson's contribution to the franchise, entitled “Final Scene with Ray Arnold.” With a name like that, you know what you are in for. What's funny is that when news of this set dropped on Tuesday, many people thought it was a joke. But just like the Dennis Nedry with Barbasol can exclusive from 2020, Mattel knows exactly what sort of fan service the adult collector is after. So — let’s discuss specs on this set. It has a (very reasonable) SRP of $25. “It imagines the memorable moment viewers never got to see in the Jurassic Park movie — as Chief Engineer John Raymond ‘Ray’ Arnold heroically heads to the maintenance shed to reboot the power,” Mattel says in an official press release. “The 2.4-inch (6.1-cm) tall and 7-inch (17.8-cm) long ferocious-looking Velociraptor figure reminds us how Arnold dies, losing his arm in the process. Sounds and lights heighten the suspense and even the packaging reflects the authentic setting of the scene.”
And on Wednesday, the mood was lightened with a creation from Disney/Pixar’s beloved film UP — Kevin and her babies! “It goes beyond the expected, the collectible figure has been designed with incredible precision using insights from one of the character designers, Alberto Lozano,” Mattel’s press release notes. “Kevin’s three offspring are a small, fuzzier version of their mama bird. With Kevin’s movable joints and authentic design — and even the three babies with individual expressions, and a chocolate bar stolen from Russell.” This set has an SRP of $40.
We discussed Super7’s Stay-at-Home-iCon last week and now it’s time to give some other players some toy collecting convention love. Next up, we’re highlighting NECA. Mark your calendars for their official Comic Con (at home) panel. It is set for Monday July 19 at 1 p.m. ET on the official NECA YouTube channel. The panel will include brand-new reveals, first looks, and behind-the-scenes peeks at all their major licenses, plus special guest Gina DeDomenico. I’m sure that everything NECA unveils will be incredible, but I will be over here wishing for Toony Terrors Cartoon Beetlejuice, please and thank you.
In addition to (what was supposed to be) San Diego Comic-Con reveals this week, The Toy Insider is hosting its own virtual event called Sweet Suite at Home. While this event is aimed at press members, there is one piece of news that everyone can enjoy — new toy reveals are coming! With virtual booths from Jazwares, Bandai, Mattel, LEGO, JAKKS Pacific, Hasbro, MGA, Moose Toys, Schleich, and more, you know that there will be some incredible toy announcements (and perhaps some hot new Christmas items?) coming soon from these great companies.
We have reached the end, my toy-loving friends, but we have one last surprise for Los Angeles based toy collectors looking for an in-person event to try to get all of those grail items. It’s Robo Toy Fest, L.A.’s premier toy show for diehard nostalgic toys. As the name suggests, the show is primarily dedicated to Transformers, Japanese robots, G.I. Joe, He-Man, Robotech, and other '80s fandoms. The event takes place Sunday, Aug. 8 at the Pasadena Convention Center. Special guests include Guest of Honor Flint Dille, Dan Gilvezan, Francois Chau, Keone Young, Barbara Goodson (the voice of Rita Repulsa!), Kerrigan Mahan (the voice of Goldar!), Jason Marnocha, Frank Todaro, Jon Bailey (aka the Epic Voice Guy, aka the voice of Honest Trailers), Kurt Carley, IDW artist Jamie Sullivan, Rikki Simons, Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons, Dian Bachar, and Brian Stevenson. Tickets are available now through the Robo Toy Fest website. Happy hunting!