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SYFY WIRE Important Toy News

Important Toy News: The '80s live on in new G.I. Joe and Transformers toys

By Luke Brown
transformers gi joe

Nostalgia is a powerful motivator in the collectible world. Today's technology allows for so many new, better interpretations of characters that just weren't possible 30 years ago. Not only do you get a figure of a beloved childhood hero, but you get one that puts the one that used to be in your toy box to shame.


The G.I. Joe brand hasn't been all that prevalent at retail the past few years, but the action-centric animated series has had a few different permutations through comics and rebooted shows. There were also movies. Moving along. This August, Kotobukiya will put its spin on the fan-favorite brand as part of its Bishoujo line of statues, starting with the crimson-haired Scarlett.

kotobukiya gi joe bishoujo scarlett

Scarlett was the cartoon crush of plenty of kids in the '80s, even if none of us could hold a candle to Snake Eyes. She kicked a lot of Cobra butt all across the globe, often with nothing but her wits and a crossbow. That's no small feat against a bunch of laser rifles, even if they are wildly off target. Based on the original Hasbro design as tweaked by Shunya Yamashita, the Scarlett statue captures her fierceness under fire quite well, and has some nice implied movement. Yes, it's a bit cheesecake-y when viewed from behind, but it's also still one of the more tasteful Bishoujo statues released as of late.

The Scarlett Bishoujo is available for pre-order now for $114.99.

LeBron-timus Prime

Repainted action figures then sold as a variant or special edition aren't anything new, and are one way in which toys are just like sneakers. The various colorways released for major brands like Air Jordan are foundationally the same, but all bring a bit of a different visual style to the table. Now Hasbro and Nike are teaming up with Atmos for a special, limited release Optimus Prime figure to coincide with the launch of a new swatch of LeBron 16s.

Based on the "Safari" colorway of the original Air Max 1, the new LeBron 16s feature a bright orange upper, with a gray safari print above the gum outsole. That same style has been translated into the Optimus Prime variant that will be sold exclusively at Atmos Japan, right down to the spots in the safari print. There's also "Atmos" and "LeBron James" branding on Optimus Prime's shoulders and arms.

The shoes and figure will be released in Japan on March 2 for $160 and $180 respectively. There's no word on a US release just yet, but like the shoes, this rare Transformer figure is certainly going to be in high demand.

QMx star trek sulu figure

Takei My Breath Away

Quantum Mechanix has been slowly rolling out sixth-scale figures of the original Star Trek cast over the past few years, and Hikaru Sulu will finally be joining the bridge later this year. With Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty already out and available (along with a Khan), Sulu's impending release means we're a mere Uhura and Chekov away from a full roster of the original Enterprise crew.

The likeness is pretty good, and captures the young George Takei fairly well. QMx has done a nice job with its portraits, and it's good to see that will continue with Sulu. The costume is on point, and the inclusion of two phasers, communicator, and a tricorder are nice too. Strangely, that's all Sulu comes with, meaning there's no fencing saber. It might not have been a staple of the show, but it is one of Sulu's more iconic accessories. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy all got additional, exclusive elements like a phaser rifle and a Vulcan lyre, too, so it seems especially odd to not give Sulu the same respect.

No firm release date has been announced, but Sulu will cost $179.99 when pre-orders do open up.