What a week for toys and collectibles. We had a jam-packed start to the week with all the major Toy Fair reveals, and are only just now getting a chance to catch our breath.
Even with the biggest trade show in the States just ending, there's still even more collectible news to cover. In fact, there's so much, you might say we're going to need a bigger post.
FAREWELL AND ADIEU
Though it didn't get the attention of some of Toy Fair's larger reveals, Ravensburger's announcement of a new Jaws board game is definitely something to get excited about. We got to check out the prototype for this new 1v3 board game at the show, and its combination of a hidden information game (round one) with a strategy battle game (round two) makes for a compelling partnership.
In the game, one player acts as the shark while up to three other players take on the roles of Quint, Brody, and Hooper. The first round is spent on Amity Island, where the three hero characters must try and track down the shark and tag him with two barrels before he eats too many swimmers. The more people the shark can eat, the more powerful he becomes for the second round of the game. There are a number of instance cards that get played too, including the mayor running interference or a cardboard shark distracting you from the real deal.
Once the shark has been weighted down by the barrels, the game switches to round two, which takes place on the Orca at sea. There, the shark gets a set number of cards on where he might attack the boat. The shipmates can then strategize where to place their guard, and when to use any potential weapons they may have. If the boat is destroyed or all the humans are eaten, the shark wins. If by chance the humans manage to kill the shark, they win.
It's not a lengthy game (about 45-60 mins/game), but it is one that does have plenty of room for critical thought in how to best succeed. It's due out in July, which is perfect timing to bring this on your beach vacation.
Ravensburger also announced a new partnership with Universal to bring the iconic Universal Monsters to a new board game called Horrified. Again, we got to see a bit of the game in its early stages, though almost all of the parts and pieces were near final. The board is a massive European village, with various stops like a museum, laboratory, caves, and lagoon spread about. Players take on the role of one of seven different heroes, each with their own special game ability. The goal is to rescue common folk before the monsters have a chance to sink their teeth into them.
There will always be at least a few monsters on the board at once, even if you are playing by yourself, as they are controlled by the game. Their movements and attacks are predetermined, and players must act fast if they want to bring all of the monsters down before they run out of lives (a number which varies depending on players in the game).
Each of the Universal Monsters has a separate mini-game that acts as the boss battle, keeping the gameplay fresh and engaging the longer you play. For example, battling the Mummy means first solving a moving numbers puzzle, then engaging him one-on-one. The monster can mess with your puzzle-solving though by hiding or reverting some of the numbers as you try to solve it, so it's not quite as easy as it sounds.
Horrified will be out later this summer, which means you'll have plenty of time to prepare your own Monster Squad to take down these legendary beasts.
Outside of the cast iron skillet, Player Unknown's Battlegrounds isn't exactly a game ripe with collectible promise. There aren't any memorable characters since the game allows every player to customize their own avatars. The only truly recognizable character is the default hero on the box art, the Lone Survivor. Perhaps that's why its taken so long for anyone to come up with an action figure based on the battle royale game. Good Smile had the good sense to craft the Lone Survivor in a chibi form to make him a bit more interesting.
Coming this fall, the Lone Survivor Nendoroid will give PUBG fans their very first articulated figure based on the massively popular game that launched an entire genre of video games. In addition to his signature welding helmet, the figure comes with an M9 pistol, an AK-47 assault rifle, and the game's cast iron pan. There's also a small rotisserie chicken and translucent sign so you can display the character with the infamous "Winner, winner, chicken dinner" phrase that all PUBG's winners get on the victory screen.
No pre-orders are up just yet, but you should expect this figure to run ~$50-60 when import sites offer it for sale.
ROVE IF YOU WANT TO
Sphero is moving out of the remote-control ball business and into the remote-control vehicle business with a new Kickstarter that introduces RVR. Through several different tiers, all of which offer at least one RVR to backers, you can help make Sphero's first completely customizable, programmable robot a reality. As the campaign details, the RVR is completely drivable right out of the box, but it also comes with a wealth of programming tools to turn the base model into something completely your own.
RVR isn't just meant to be a cool piece of tech for adults to mess around with either. Sphero is promoting it as an educational toy for young students eager to learn about programming, robotics, or even engineering. With all the supporting materials included, there's little doubt RVR won't be an excellent addition to school or after-school programs for kids interested in tech, too.