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SYFY WIRE Important Toy News

Important Toy News: Retro toys rule, coronavirus causes more potential delays

By Loryn Stone
Important Toy News

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. So kick back, bust out your shekels, and get ready to dive into that toy box with your resident, if not favorite, Toy Journalist.

Because this week, some amazing childhood dreams are coming true. Let's start by mixing together two of my favorite hobbies — toy collecting and model kit building!

Bandai - Pokemon Model Kit


I was out with my kids last week at Barnes & Noble when suddenly this little Pikachu model kit by Bandai caught my attention. Incredibly accurate to the character, I freak-out-screamed when I saw that this model kit was only $7.99 — this is an amazing price for a toy that kids build themselves. Therefore, you have two methods of play at hand.

Firstly, I got to help my daughter build her first model kit, because my kids are Pokemon junkies and Pikachu was a great one to cut her teeth on. And second, once built, this is a perfectly solid and sturdy toy. It took us about 15-20 minutes to build, which is about the amount of time a 5-year-old will give most activities. And really, this kit is picture-perfect, has an ear-moving gimmick, and stands about 4 inches tall. You can order the Pikachu model kit by Bandai for $7.99 from BigBadToyStore. Eevee, Riolu/Lucario, and Charizard/Dragonite kits are on the way, and Mewtwo is available too!

Funko x Super7 Nightmare Before Christmas


Speaking of franchises that we loved as kids, few are as beloved as The Nightmare Before Christmas. First released in 1993 (with an excellent corresponding toy line by Hasbro), fans have eaten up not only the movie and music, but the toys and merchandise, too. Back in about 2014, toy manufacturers Funko and Super7 teamed up to produce a really cool line of ReAction Figures based on The Nightmare Before Christmas.

For the uninitiated, ReAction Figures are these neat 3.75-inch toys (with limited articulation) that span a vast number of (typically retro) shows, cartoons, movies, and more. And now Super7 is bringing brand-new The Nightmare Before Christmas ReAction Figures to the masses, due out in August 2020 and available for preorder now. The flagship wave includes the Vampire, Harlequin, Mayor, Sally, Witch, and of course, Jack Skellington.

LEGO x Nintendo Super Mario


How excited are we for LEGO and Nintendo's surprise Super Mario collaboration? With the simple words "Something fun is being built! Stay tuned …" from Nintendo's official Instagram account, fans know that they are in for an amazing treat. LEGO and Nintendo are teaming up to bring fans official Super Mario LEGO kits.

This seems like an intuitive collaboration that would have crushed it years ago, but today is better than never. And no, LEGO devotees did not buy those Mario MEGA BLOKS sets, so no to that.

McFarlane Spawn Mortal Kombat


And in toy industry news, we have a semi-weird one for you here that we can't quite explain. One of the awesome toys announced at Toy Fair New York last month by McFarlane Toys, this Mortal Kombat Spawn figure is just incredible. It was definitely a highlight item, and I couldn't wait to order this beautiful piece. And really, it was going to be my first McFarlane Toys piece.

For me, this was both monumental and important because as we know, the McFarlane legacy is built with Spawn as the backbone. Also, Mortal Kombat is one of my favorite franchises ever, so combining the two for my first McFarlane was going to be an amazing journey. But just as quickly as it went up for sale, some orders on Walmart and Amazon suddenly got canceled, or the product was suddenly pulled and deemed unavailable. Currently, as of this writing, GameStop is the only one allowing new preorders for $26.99 (above the MSRP, and we all know that GameStop is cancel-happy, too).

This is especially weird, because its shipping date is like, now. So, it makes us wonder, is this another possible coronavirus toy delay and postponement? If you read one of our Important Toy News articles from a few weeks back, toy manufacturers Basic Fun! and MGA were quoted as saying that if the coronavirus clears up by April 2020 production could resume and consumers could expect toys in their hands again.

But at the rate we're seeing now, there's no way that orders of (most) toys will be fulfilled on time.

Now, is that what's going on with this Spawn figure? There's no proof. In fact, there could be a host of other reasons that (some) orders are showing as canceled. Perhaps preorder limits were capped. Perhaps the Spawn Mortal Kombat action figure was put up too early and the listings needed to be fixed. Whatever the situation is, we hope that it isn't another ill-fated toy delay caused by this virus.