From a collector's perspective, the best thing about June is learning about all the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con exclusives we'll have a chance to get in July. That's not to say there aren't some good collectible releases coming out in the summer, but SDCC overshadows most everything with its limited run items from the likes of Hasbro, DC Collectibles, Mattel, and more.
Comic-Con Exclusive Bonanza
It's been a busy week for toy companies vying for your Comic-Con dollars, with companies steadily releasing a stream of new toys that are sure to draw long lines just about every day of the show. Though we've already seen some of what Hasbro has in store for its Star Wars license, there's also going to be a new Han Solo set based on the Exogorth scene in The Empire Strikes Back. Finally, a 1/12-scale mynock to complete our collections.
Mattel has two new DC-based pieces coming the con. Revealed earlier this week by The Hollywood Reporter, Mattel's first two SDCC items harken back to the golden age of DC Comics. First, there's the Hot Wheels-inspired recreation of Action Comics #1, complete with faux graded packaging. It's a clever take on Superman's first appearance, and perfectly suits the idea of a Comic-Con exclusive.
There's also this gorgeous Multiverse Aquaman three-pack based on the cover of Aquaman #35. Not only do you get an Aquaman figure, but you also get a Black Manta and Ocean Master, with all three posed just as they were originally. It's a great nod at Aquaman's past that also pays tribute to the upcoming feature film.
Finally, DC Collectibles is getting in on the action with not one, not two, but three different variants of its Artist Alley Batman vinyl figure. Designed by Chris Uminga, the vinyl debuted earlier this year in its base form, but colorways based on the 1960s Batman television show, Thomas Wayne from Flashpoint, and a special black and gold will be up for grabs at the big show.
Skyrim's The Limit
ThinkGeek and Gamestop are keeping up the Modern Icons series with a new release this week. In a collection that's already seen statues from Horizon: Zero Dawn, Fallout 4, and Bloodborne, the hits keep coming with the addition of the Female Dovahkiin from Skyrim. The 9-inch statue will set you back $50, but is one of the very few Skyrim collectibles on the market. It doesn't look half-bad either, though based on the items I've seen in person at Gamestop, the quality statue to statue varies quite a bit.
If you haven't quite reached your fill of Stranger Things nostalgia-induced collecting, you'll be happy to know Topps has a trading card series based on the Netflix series coming out later this year. The retro-styled collection will feature a core set that focuses on characters and moments from the show, stickers featuring the main cast, and manufactured patches for things like Hawkins High School. There's also a chance your box will come with an autographed card or a costume relic used in filming on the show.
Welcome to Marwen
Action figures don't just serve a purpose for collectors keen on completing entire sets, they can also be tools for coping with great tragedy. Back in 2010, the documentary Marwencol showcased this beautifully. Focused on Mark Hogancamp, a man who was brutally attacked by a gang of neo-Nazis outside a bar, Marwencol detailed how Mark coped with his traumatic injuries by creating a world of action figures living in a fictional town in World War II Europe. It's a heartbreaking work from director Jeff Malmberg. Hogancamp's story is at times tough to witness, but his devotion to and photography of the village is astounding.
The story caught the attention of Robert Zemeckis, who is bringing a fictionalized version of Hogancamp's story to the big screen this holiday season in Welcome to Marwen. Steve Carrell will play Mark, with Leslie Mann playing the new neighbor, alongside appearances from Janelle Monae, Eiza Gonzalez, and Gwendoline Christie. Check out the trailer, and find some time to check out the original documentary before the Hollywood version comes out later this year.