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Welcome to the RTM Independent Toy Newswire. Each month more and more, cooler and cooler, toys are coming out specifically for the direct market. You won't find them at Toys R Us, Target or any other mass market retailer but only at your local hobby and comic stores. This page is devoted to bringing you the latest news from these independent and smaller companies. If you have any information to pass along, or questions feel free to send e-mail to Jeff Cope.

The contents of these pages are the property of the Raving Toy Maniac page and may not be used without permission. If you see the contents of these pages published at another site, please let us know. Thank you.

Updated January 14, 1999

Oktomica Has Action In It's Sights!

virtexAF.jpg - 11K New comic book publisher Oktomica Entertainment, publishers of the recently launched Virtex and the soon-to-be released The Wonderlanders and Wisp are throwing their collective hats into the action figure ring in a big way in 1999!

First up from Oktomica is a highly-detailed, fully articulated action figure based on their Virtex property. Virtex takes place in a world where time has merged, and he is the lone lawman hunting 8 deadly escaped outlaws!

We will be following the progress of the Virtex figure through it's release. Check out our Oktomica's Virtex Preview Page for all the details on the figure, as well as color pictures of the painted prototype!

Awesome Toys Are On The Way!
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Fans have been wondering what had become of the action figures previously announced by comics publisher Awesome Entertainment (now known as Awesome-Hyperwerks after a recent merger with another publisher). Here's when you can expect to find these figures in comic shops:

Fighting American - December/January

Genie (from Re:Gex) - February/March

Ka-Boom - Spring 99

Also coming in 1999, Awesome has plans to make figures of Fantom and Spellcaster from the recently relaunched series Coven, as well as the popular Avengelyne and a highly anticipated figure based on Alex Ross' new design for Supreme, who'll be returning to comics in a big way in 1999! [12.4.98]

Sneak Peek of ReSaurus' 1999 Plans!

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ReSaurus has recently announced some of their plans for 1999, and it is looking like a banner year for action figure fans. Properties ranging from video games to comic books to original concepts from the creative minds of the ReSaurus staffers will be given the action figure treatment next year. Here's a taste of what's to come. Look for more ReSaurus info as we get nearer to ToyFair 1999!

Be sure to watch the Main News Page for the latest news from ReSaurus. With most major retailers carrying their product now, they've more than earned a promotion!

Here's what you can look forward to next year:

DUKE NUKEM : Five new figures are in development based on the top-selling action video games Time To Kill, Zero Hour, and Duke Forever. The figures will include Bombshell, Duke II, Western PigCop, Apocalypse PigCop and Cyber Enforcer. Look for these figures to be on the shelves at your favorite retailer in July.

CRASH BANDICOOT : Six new figures are in development based on this Sony Playstation mascot and his new game Crash Bandicoot: Warped. Figures will be available in July.

SPEED RACER : The second wave of figures will be available in stores in July. Figures include Speed Racer (different from the first release), Speed's mysterious brother Racer X, Inspector Detector, Sparky and the Shooting Star Racer X's top-conditioned race car.

THE TENTH : An agreement is being worked out to bring this top-selling comic book's characters to life. If all goes well, look for these figures (based on illustrations by Tony Daniels) to hit stores in February.

MAGIC: THE GATHERING : A deal is being signed to bring this widely-successful property, based on the collectible card game, novels and comics, to the 3-D world. Currently, there is an exclusive agreement with Diamond Comics for the first three figures and an additional release to major retail chains in February.

CASTLEVANIA : Another agreement is in the works to create action figures for this top-selling video game. These long-awaited figures willl be released in June.

GEX : A deal was signed recently to release the figures for this video game. Watch for a line similar to ReSaurus' Crash Bandicooot figures to be released in June.

BADLANDS -- From the minds of the ReSaurus creative development team comes Badlands a series of action figures based on the wild West characteers. These over-exaggerated sculpts boast high-detail and loads of accessories. Watch for these in February.[12.4.98]

Santa Delivers to Comic Shops Early!

The Newswire takes a break for a few weeks and look what happens! The past couple of weeks have seen a veritable bounty of action figures released in comic shops around the country, and collectors are scrambling to keep up with 'em all!

From ReSaurus' figure line based on the upcoming Universal motion picture Virus comes the Previews exclusive Squeaky figure.

Rendition Figures released Ravyn and Glyph based on characters published by Avatar Press, as well as the highly anticipated Brigid the Protector from Liar Comics popular series, More Than Mortal.

DC Direct's line debuted last week with the release of their action figures based on the long running MAD Magazine. Alfred E. Neuman and those rascally Spy vs. Spy characters are on store shelves now!

Also, just released from DC Direct is the Endless PVC Set based on characters from Neil Gaiman's classic Sandman series.

Fans anxiously awaiting the Elivra, Mistress of the Dark figure from Figures, Inc. can rest easy, as she appeared in comic shops this week.

Video games fans excited by our preview of the Tekken 3action figures shown in our San Diego Comic Con International coverage last summer will be happy to know that the first 4 figures from that line also came out this week!

You'll need a new bookcase (and maybe a second job!) to keep up with all the independent figures released this holiday season! Enjoy! [12.4.98]

Here Comes Bone!

bonelogo.jpg - 17K bone.jpg - 20K Bone fans rejoice! The upcoming Bone action figure line from ReSaurus, based on the award winning comic book series by Jeff Smith, is coming soon to a comic shop near you! Although originally announced as being available through FAO Schwartz as well as the comic and hobby market through Previews, fans can now get these figures from their local comic shop or from ReSaurus directly via their online store.

The line, consisting of Fone Bone, Phoney Bone as Captain Ahab (a Previews exclusive), Smiley Bone, Stupid Rat Creature and Thorne (who will be shipping a few weeks later than the rest of the assortment, but will be readily available), will be available in November. There will also be an upcoming exclusive mail-away Fone Bone from ToyFare magazine.

Fans of the comic book are sure to love these faithfully rendered, and fully articulated action figures. Each figure comes complete with a load of extremely cool accessories straight out of the pages of the comic!

So, get on down to your local comic book retailer and tell them to order the Bone action figures, or simply log on to ReSaurus' website and get 'em delivered right to your door! Tell 'em Smiley sent ya!

Lugosi Invasion Continues Courtesy of Figures Toy Company!

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Bela Lugosi has had a quite a busy toy year! Exclusive Premier has a six inch figure currently in Toys R Us, and Flattworld is busy readying their 8" version for release soon.

Now, Figures Toy Company, makers of the soon-to-be-released Elvira action figure (as well as upcoming figures based on The 3 Stooges, will be releasing a 7 inch action figure of Bela Lugosi as Dracula. There will be a regular version, as well as a variant. The Lord of the Undead comes complete with a two color cloth cape, top hat and walking stick. The figure is fully poseable with 8 points of articulation. The variant features glow in the darkhead and hands.

On the back of the package there will be an offer for a special translucent mail-away edition, limited to only 2000 pieces.

Bela Lugosi as Dracula will only be distributed in the hobby and comic book market, and will be released in early March 1999!

Antarctic Press Makes Knight Time The Right Time!

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Players of role playing games, and especially readers of Dragon Magazine are likely more than familiar with the uproarious Knights of the Dinner Table strip by Jolly Blackburn, which depicts the all too familiar escapades of a group of role-players and their adventures in the world of the fictional Hackmaster rpg. The strip runs in the back of Dragon Magazine, as well as it's own monthly comic book from Kenzer & Company.

Antarctic Press has just acquired the license to produce action figures based on the series. The deal is still fresh, and figures are still early in the planning stages. ITN will bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.

Wild Bandicoot Crashes Into Stores!

jetboardcrash.jpg - 20K neo.jpg - 20K Hot on the heels of their recent Duke Nukem releases, ReSaurus' new Crash Bandicoot has hit stores! Included in Series One are two versions of Crash (one with hit jet board, as seen in the picture to the right, and another boasting a way cool jetpack!), Coco, Tiny (who is anything but! This is one massive figure!), Komodo Joe and the dastardly Dr. Neo Cortex (pictured on the left)!.

Holy Action Figures!

jesus.jpg - 20K Proving that action figures have penetrated virtually every market,Chariot Victor Publications, have released a series of fully articulated action figures based on their Children's Discovery Bible. Each figure in this assortment has a very dinstinctive 'animated style', inspired by the illustrations found in the Children's Discovery Bible. The figures are roughly 5" in scale.

Included in the series are David and Goliath 2-Pack, Samson, Moses, and the lone representative of the New Testament, Jesus, complete with a loaves and fishes accessory!

The Children's Discovery Bible line of action figures can be found at most Christian bookstores nationwide.

Upcoming Rendition Releases!

snowman2.jpg - 20K Rendition Figures (formerly Bolt Entertainment), one of the most prolific manufacturers of action figures and collectibles for the direct market, has supplied ITN with an updated schedule of their upcoming releases. The folks at Rendition are busy putting together their plans for 1999, which should include a variety of exciting action figure product.

We'll bring you the latest news as soon as it becomes available!

Also, be on the lookout for our upcoming photo archive of all of Rendition's figures to date!

For now, here is when you can expect to find Rendition's already announced figures:

Snowman Collectible Figure October 1998
Gwynn Collectible Figure October 1998
Ravyn Collectible Figure November 1998
Glyph Collectible Figure November 1998
Webwitch Collectible Figure November 1998
Allura Collectible Figure November 1998
Cavewoman Collectible Figure November 1998
Shimmer Collectible Figure November 1998

Dates subject to change.

Toy Vault Toy Club Exclusive - Frodo in the Shire

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Here's a preview, courtest of Toy Vault, of the upcoming Frodo in the Shire figure, which will be available exclusively through the Toy Vault Toy Club. This rendition of Frodo depicts the adventuresome Hobbit as he might have dressed while in his homeland, The Shire. frodohead.jpg - 17 K

Also coming exclusive to the Toy Vault Toy Club will be Ugluk in his Cave. We'll bring you pictures as soon as they are available.

The first club exclusive figures, Gandalf in Hobbiton and the Earth Balrog, have been shipping from Toy Vault for about two weeks. The first Newsletter should reach club members in about a month.

ReSaurus Update!

Big thanks, once again, to our friends at ReSaurus for supplying ITN readers with a first look at some of their upcoming products. This is a very exciting time for ReSaurus. The Duke Nukem second assortment is currently hitting stores, with Crash Bandicoot, Quake, Bone and Speed Racer waiting in the wings for release between now and Christmas. They've got big plans for 1999 with extensions to existing lines, as well as exciting new lines like Tony Daniels' The Tenth and others that can't be talked about yet until the details are finalized. This is definitely a company to watch!

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Here's a look at the packaging for the Crash Bandicoot line, due in stores in about a week or so, tying in with the release of Crash Bandicoot Warped, the third release in the best selling Playstation video games!

The first assortment includes Crash Bandicoot w/Jet Pack, Crash Bandicoot w/Jet Board, Coco, Komodo Moe, the evil Neo Cortex and the ironically monikered Tiny. Each figure comes with a bevy of accessories straight out of the games like boxes, and fruit. (If you've played the games, you know why!)

quakeproto1.jpg - 50 K quakeproto2.jpg - 50 K Some weeks back we showed you the in-progress sculpts for the dynamic Quake line. Now we are proud to present the first look at the painted prototypes of the Male Marine and Female Marine action figures. This line is based on characters and creatures seen in the Quake II game.

As you can see, the strong attention to detail that is so evident in the Duke Nukem line is quite present in the various Quake figures. Each figure will be compliment with a complete array of weaponry.

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Take a gander at these awesome Speed Racer prototypes. ReSaurus has given these a very animated-syle look, capturing the feel of the classic anime series. The painted Pops Racer prototype provides an excellent idea of what the final product will look like when it hits stores this holiday season. We thought you might like a preview of Speed Racer himself, who is still in progress. Speed will come with a removable racing helmet!

Early 1999 will bring the release of a fully equipped Mach Five car, scaled to fit the figures and including a surprise exclusive! This will be followed by a second assortment including characters such as the mysterious Racer X and Inspector Detector, as well as Racer X's Shooting Star! A dream come true for long suffering fans who've been waiting for action figures from the long running series (still airing on the Cartoon Network).

New Babylon 5 Series IV

b5ambassvlur_tn.jpg 7.4 K Here's the fourth series of the very cool, exquisitely sculpted action figures, available only through Toys R Us and Previews! These are the 6" tall action figures of some of your favorite B5 characters depicted in their familiar dress uniform. Each also comes with a special miniature spaceship, specific to their race. Choose from PSI Cop Bester, Ambassador Vlur/Nhur of the pak'ma'ra, Ambassador She'Lah of the Gaim Intelligence, Ambassador Juphar Trkider of the Drazi Freehold and Captain Elizabeth Lochley available only through Previews.

The Previews figures will feature different packaging and there will be two special paint variants only available through Previews. Look for these to be solicited in next month's (October) issue of Previews. The suggested retail price is $11.99 each. See your local comics retailer for ordering information.

Click the icon below for a good look at all the figures from this new series.

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Click To See B5 Series IV

Missing Link Discovered!

link.jpg - 17 K linkset.jpg - 17 K From Electronic Boutique's website comes a bit more info on the upcoming toyline based on the soon to be released, and highly anticipated, Zelda: The Ocarina of Time video game cartridge from Nintendo, for their Nintendo 64 video game system.

Information on this line has been slow in coming. It is being developed by Bensussen Duetsch, with the first releases due this October. A box set of 3 characters is expected to arrive in November.

As always we'll bring you the latest news as we get it!

The Tenth Become Toys!

tenth.jpg - 33 K The cool news out of ReSaurus just keeps coming! The Columbus, Ohio toy company has just announced they have obtained the license to produce action figures based on Tony Daniel's creator-owned comic book The Tenth, published by Image Comics. Artist Daniels has built up quite the large fan following from his days on Marvel Comics' X-Force, Todd McFarlane's Spawn, as well The Tenth. The quirky combination of genetically engineered monsters, weird science and cute girls is the perfect recipie for a hit toyline!

We'll bring you more details as they become available!

A Quake of A Different Kind

qman.jpg - 33 K So you think you need plastic to make a cool figure? Think again! Check out this way cool Quake Marine, a paper model (that's right, paper!) from CyberModels, a company out of the UK. They're in the process of finding distribution channels for their product in the U.S., but you can order your very own Quake Marine directly from CyberModels via their website.

What you'll get is an easy to assemble 3D card model, printed in full color on 3 die cut cards. Just fold and glue to make your very own 10" tall Quake Marine. A must have for any fan of the hit computer game from Id Software.

First Look: Speed Racer Control Art!

lilspeed.jpg - 33 K Our friends at ReSaurus' have given us a special first look at the control art for their upcoming Speed Racer toy line!

Fans of the classic anime series have been without action figures for the entire 30+ year existence of the show! That all comes to an end this holiday season as ReSaurus releases the first ever action figures of Speed Racer and friends (plus, a few enemies as well!). One look at the control art and you'll see this is an exciting time for Speed Racer fans!

Click here for the whole story!

ReSaurus Quake Preview!

quakethumb.jpg - 33 K About a month ago we told you about ReSaurus' new action figure line based on Id Software's Quake computer game. Now, we're proud to bring you a first look at some of the control art as well as the sculpts of the various characters! While all the figures already look awesome, these are still works in progress and, by the time these hit store shelves, will be completely mind blowing! Just click here to take a look! We hope you enjoy this sneak peek!

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All images, format, content, and design are copyright © 1998 Eric G. Myers & Jason A. Geyer and the Raving Toy Maniac. No part of these pages may be reproduced without express written consent the Raving Toy Maniac. Licensed character names and images are copyright © their respective companies.