|Invasion of the Giant Robots!|
Giant robots appear to be the big thing this fall both on the silver screen and on the small screen. This August will see the release of The Iron Giant (above) from Warner Bros. Feature Animation. Advance word on the film has been extremely positive. Trendmasters is the master toy licensee for the property and has a full compliment of Iron Giant product to release in conjunction with the film. Pictures of the toy line are available at Trendmasters Iron Giant site.
Big Guy and Rusty (left), the Dark Horse comic produced and created by Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow, is now an animated series that will debut on FOX Kids this Fall. Bandai will be producing an assortment of six-inch figures of Big Guy, Rusty, their adversaries, as well as a 12" Transforming Big Guy. The toys are expected to be in stores in time for the holidays.
|History Channel Special on Toys and Games|
The History Channel will air The History of Toys and Games, a documentary hosted by actor John Ritter. The 2-hour special will cover toys from Colonial corn-husk dolls (the original Cornboy?) to modern video games. No word yet if the great Famous Covers Magneto ToyBuzz debate will be discussed.
Airs in the US: Saturday, June 26 at 2 pm ET/ 11 am PT
|First Look! Blanka!|
|Great Toys Coming in July Previews!|
|JAKKS To Produce RollerJam Toyline!|
|Previews/Toy Biz and RTM Present: A Contest!|
|Iron Man: To Shine, Or Not To Shine?|
|Amazon.com To Move Into Online Toy Sales?|
|DC Direct - The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of!|
|Stone Cold Takes on Undertaker at KB Online!|
|Alex Ross Exclusives Coming Soon!|
|Coming Soon to a ToyFare
magazine near you: Earth X's Venom and
and Astro City's Confessor! Shipping in
August, issue #26 will offer 2 exclusive figures based on
fan-favorite comic artist Alex Ross.
|Previews - Chok Full O' Good Stuff|
The June issue of Previews was released to comic shops today and contains all sorts of action figure coolness. As mentioned previously here at RTM News, Dark Horse Comics has rescued the Flaming Carrot from action figure limbo. The figure, now scaled up to 6", is being solicited this month for an October release.
When one thinks of robots there are only a few character automatons that immediately spring to mind, one being the Robby the Robot from the classic 1950's sci-fi epic Forbidden Planet (not to mention guest-starring on an episode of Mork & Mindy!).
Also in this issue (and also advanced solicited) is the next wave of highly popular DC Direct action figures. This assortment contains fully articulated, 6" figures of Morpheus, the Sandman, Starman, and Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan, and will be in stores this November (Pictures to come)
The long-awaited Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figures from Moore Action Collectibles are also being solicited, for a planned September release. The initial assortment, which carries a Season One features Buffy, Willow, The Master and Angel. There will also be a Previews Exclusive variant figure of Angel in his vampiric form, with all news hands and head. (see news item below for pics of the variant)
There's much, much more in this issue of Previews, including new assortments of Batman Beyond figures from Hasbro, Assortment 2 of WWF Maximum Sweat from the folks at Jakks Pacific and a whole bevy of cool Star Wars Episode 1 merchandise (not to mention all the regular comic book, magazine, book and game offerings).
If you only read one publication each month (besides RTM that is!) make it Previews!
We've started a new feature here at Raving Toy Maniac! We call it RTM 20Q. Each month we will take questions from our readers for a specific person in the toy industry. We'll present the questions to the industry guest, and present their responses for all to read. Think of it like a monthly industry interview conducted by you!
To participate just hop on over to RTM 20Q and enter your question in the handy-dandy form provided.
June's Guest-o-the-Month is Doug Sapp, ever-popular President of ReSaurus, makers of toy lines based on Speed Racer, Crash Bandicoot and Quake (not to mention the upcoming Gex and Street Fighter lines!.
Questions will be accepted until Friday, June 11th.
|"Have at Thee!"|
|Anyone who's seen Monty Python and the
Holy Grail knows, the Black Knight is
almost impossible to vanquish. And so too for a different Black Knight, the ToyBiz
Marvel Gold series Black Knight,one of the mighty Avengers, for whom the rumors of
his death were greatly exaggerated!
And...could there be more good news?
I say thee YEAH!
The Marvel Gold Taskmaster figure WILL be coming soon too from the Bounty Hunter. So, enough of the nasty rumors! Marvel Gold Lives!
|Diamond Previews Marvel Update|
What's the latest with the upcoming exclusives Marvel figures from Diamond Previews? We can tell you that the July Previews will debut the new Famous Covers figure and the Greatest Moments two-packs of 5" figures. The suggested retail prices on these babies will be $14.95. The upcoming single 5" figures will carry an SRP of $9.95.
Check back here and at Diamond's Toy Chest for the latest news!
|New 12" Bat-Figures Available Direct From Hasbro!|
HasbroCollectors.com has finally made available the long-awaited 12" versions of Robin, Batgirl, and fan-favorite Harley Quinn. Good news, Bat-fans! The wait is over! The figures, while not available via the HasbroCollectors.com site just yet are available to order over the phone.
Each figure comes with a cloth costume (except Robin, who is mostly plastic) and several accessories. Harley even comes with her "babies", the hyenas!
You can call Hasbro at 1-800-456-1348 to order the figures, which are each available seperately.
The figures come packed very well, to protect them from damage during shipping. They are in their normal packaging (like the Batman, Nightwing and Joker figures previously available at retail), placed in a plain white mailer, which is then placed within another box.
These figures will not be available in stores, and are only offered directly through Hasbro. They are available, and shipping now! Some folks have already received theirs, just a few days after ordering.
Special thanks to Buzz Board regular Mr. Plow for the news and pictures.
|ToyFare #23 hits 25th Issue?|
|How's that, you say?
Because two issues
of ToyFare were published as previews
before issue #1
So, technically, this is the silver anniversary - congratulations, ToyFare!
So, what's in this month's issue? Toys from Japan, a special report about Legoland, California, 10 Things you need to know about Pokemon, close-ups of the new Speed Racer assortment, Autstin Powers rates his top 10 "shagadelic toys", and the kids from Twisted Mego Theater wait on line for the Phantom Menace! Plus, Gangster Kirk from the episode "A Piece of the Action" is your exclusively if you send in the coupon and some dough.
Get your copy at comic shops and bookstores today!
|Trendmasters is Shagadelic! Yeah, Baby!|
Austin Powers and Dr. Evil each come with detailed style and sculpting, fully poseable bodies, authentic cloth costuming and a sound base which play sound bytes from both the new movie, and the original Austin Powers - International Man of Mystery.
Austin arrives in style with his suede suit and has removable eyeglasses. Austin is ready for international action with his his boots, male medallion, mangled chest hair, Union Jack underpants (we're not makin' this up!, folks!) and pistol.
Austin's arch-enemy, the fiendish Dr. Evil (who, this time around, steals Austin's mojo!) is ready to conquer the world with his stylish grey suit, and ever-present feline companion, Mr. Bigglesworth. His pinky finger is extendable and he comes with a transmitter and pistol.
|Sweatin' With The WWF Superstars!|
Jakks Pacific has just released their most unique WWF figures yet. The new Maximum Sweat assortment features highly stylized, caricatured versions of World Wrestling Federation superstars Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, current WWF champ The Undertaker, Kane, Shawn Michaels and HHH.
Each 6" figure features an action feature never before seen in any previous action figure: sweat! Simply fill the bottle accessory with water, fill up the chamber in the figures back and press a button and sweat pours from tiny holes strategically located on the figures (hairlines, under the pecs, and abs, etc.).
Each figure also comes with accessories such as break-apart wooden planks, crates, hammers and other items to help fans stage their own WWF Championship bouts!
|Angel Stakes Out a MAC Attack!|
Fear not, Buffy fans! This season of the hit WB series is be over (except for 2 delayed episodes to be shown later this summer), and we know you're already jonesin' for a Buffy fix. We here at RTM thought you might like this special sneak peek at the upcoming Angel variant figure, exclusive to Previews. This figure features Sunnydale's favorite vampire (and soon-to-be star of his own televison spin-off series) in full vamp mode, with an all new head and hands!
Angel is part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figure lineup coming this fall from Clayburn Moore and his gang at Moore Action Collectibles. The regular assortment features Buffy, Angel(human form), Willow and first season's antagonist The Master.
Be sure to check out the next issue of Previews, on sale June 2nd, for more information on this assortment.
|But, What About the Other Two?|
|I know, I know... you guys were worried. Diamond Previews announced that they were going to distribute the Famous Covers X-Men. So far, we've seen Rogue and Nightcrawler solicited last month. And you may ask "But what about the other two???!!" (meaning Cyclops and the Buzz Board demanded Magneto). Well, sleep well, X-philes. Look for Scotty and Eric to be there ready to order in the next issue.|
Ghost in the Shell is a futuristic cyber-punk themed story that explores the boundaries of how much technology can be put into a human until a human no longer has a soul (or "ghost"). The comics and trade paperback are availabel in the US from Dark Horse Comics.
|Virtex - RIP|
It's a tough market out there in action figure land. Readers of the old Independent Toy Newswire here at RTM may recall the cool Virtex figure that was supposed to launch a toyline from Oktomica Entertainment. Emphasize "supposed to"...
Unfortunately, Oktomica Entertaintment officially announced today that they have closed their doors, citing the "state of the direct comic book market as one of the instigators of our cancellation". It's too bad, as the Virtex figure was originally slated to be released around this time.
We at RTM wish the staff of Oktomica well in their new endeavors.
|Trendmasters To Land Nova's Ark|
Trendmasters has signed a preliminary licensing agreement with Callaway & Kirk Company to produce Nova's Ark children's toy products in 2000 through 2002. Nova's Ark is the creation of David Kirk, author and illustrator of the popular Miss Spider children's books.
Trendmasters will produce toy figurines, interactive items, banks, playsets and activity sets, handheld electronics, animated pens, animated keychains and animated watches for their Nova's Ark toy line. In addition, Trendmasters and Callaway are discussing the possibility of an interactive, highly detailed communication robot.
|ReSaurus Makes Dream Come True|
ReSaurus and the Make-A-Wish Foundation have teamed up to make a boy's wish come true. Jeff, a 10 year-old from Arizona, will be spending a week with the Ohio based ReSaurus company to see his dream of seeing his own creation made into an action figure. Jeff has leukemia
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America has granted over 50,000 wishes since 1980. The Foundation seeks to make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses from age 2 and a half to 18.
Jeff's character is Razor, is a birdman with an interesting history. According to Jeff:
"Razor's mother knew that he would be different when his egg glowed in her nest. She had been exposed to radiation at a nuclear power plant near her nest and because of it, Razor would have the ability to move quicker and faster. He now glides through the air saving the world from evil using his special glowing belt. A scientist that saved him and nursed him when a hunter killed his mother gave [the belt] to him. Razor uses the belt to communicate with his scientist friend as they solve crimes."
Jeff, and avid action figure collector, sent one of his sketches to ReSaurus where action figure design drawing were assembled. These designs were sent back to Jeff to meet his approval. Jeff will get to go to visit ReSaurus with his family to be on hand supervising the final stages of sculpting and painting of his Razor character. He will then get to oversee the creation of the figure's packaging and a web site devoted solely to his creation(www.resaurus.com/makeawish).
ReSaurus president, Doug Sapp, said "This kind of project is truly special for us. We have the opportunity to share our love of creating toys with someone whose fondest wish is to see his artistic creation made into an action figure. We want this to be an unforgettable event for Jeff."
Only a few action figures will be made, but there's a chance Jeff's character will be available to the masses! "We would be interested in joining with another corporate sponsor or retail outlet to have Jeff's creation be available for sale to the general public with all proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We will continue to explore that possibility," said Sapp.
For further information regarding the Make-A-Wish Foundation and qualifying children, contact (800) 722-9474 or refer to www.wish.org to find the nearest chapter.
|Let's Do the Flatt World Again...|
For all you fans of the cult-classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, throw your toast at your monitors and cheer as Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry)(unapproved prototype seen here), Magenta (Patricia Quinn), and Riff Raff (Richard O'Brien) are coming at you from Flatt World.
Flatt World reports that three more figures will follow including Brad (Barry Bostwick), Janet (Susan Sarandon), and Columbia (Little Nell).
Want to see more? It's just a step to the left....and then a click to the right!
All figures are scheduled to include a neck (if you don't get these jokes, you gotta see the movie with an audience that knows their cues!)
|Eternal Toys Unleashes Chaos This Summer!|
The latest publisher to entire into the field of producing their own action figures for the direct market is Chaos! Comics, with their upcoming Eternal Toys brand. Eternal Toys first releases, due early this summer will be a 12" figure of Chastity, as well as a high-end Purgatori statue.
The first action figures based on Chaos! characters were released last year from Moore Action Collectibles, and they hold the distinction of being among the most popular direct market figure releases ever! Now, with the formation of Eternal Toys, Chaos! Comics is ready to show the world what they can do with their own characters in figural form.
Shipping late this summer, the first assortment of Eternal Toys action figures is scheduled to include the following figures: Purgatori: Purgatori is adorned in her Egyptian garb from The Vampire's Myth miniseries, and comes with a blood whip and two of her servants - the Hemogoblins. Chastity: Chastity comes dressed in her battle gear from the Theatre of Pain mini-series, accessorized with a throwing knife belt, a double-sword scabbard that fits on her back and her pet rat, Ratzo. Lucifer: Towering above other figures at eight inches in height, the Lord of Hell is based on a design by Mike Deodato, Jr. and comes complete with his arcane trident and three heads of the damned on a rope. Jade: the Oriental vampiric offspring of Purgatori, the 7" Jade is costumed in her outfit from Purgatori: The Vampire's Myth, and comes with two Dragonites - her mystical servants that she can summon to do her bidding. Jade, Chastity and Purgatori will be seven inches tall. All figures will feature custom package art, detailed sculpting, multiple points of articulation and will retail at approximately $14.95. Collector and fan interest on all four figures is expected to be high, as all characters play major roles in Chaos! Comics' current Countdown to Armageddon storyline, which leads to the final battle for all eternity in December's titles.
Additionally, prototypes of all four figures will play a prominent role in this summer's Armageddon Tour, Chaos! Comics' themed tour of comic book conventions across the country. At the Armageddon Tour stops, fans and collectors will be able to see the detail of the figures, which will dramatically increase awareness and interest. "With our first action figure assortment, we're looking to show collectors and Chaos! fans just what we can do," Eternal Toys president Brian Pulido says."These four figures showcase both the sensuality and raw power of Chaos!' characters as well as the attention to detail and style that Eternal Toys will be known for."
Eternal Toys has given RTM readers a first-look at some of the control art for the upcoming Lady Death, who is currently in the planning stages along with a Battle-Damaged Evil Ernie figure.
RTM will bring you the latest developments from Eternal Toys as they become available Be sure to check back right here at RTM News and also the official Chaos! Comics website for the latest information on this exciting new toyline!
|ToyBiz Surprise - Diamond Delivers for Marvel Fans|
A classic from Marvel's history, Spider-Man's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. A little birdie told us that she might be a good image to put here...
|Ok, so you just couldn't bear to go through the rest
of 1999 without some more Marvel comics
The folks at Diamond Previews feel your pain. You shouted for the Famous Covers X-Men. Diamond came to your rescue. For the past six months, Diamond and ToyBiz have been planning how to soothe you savage beasts out there, howling for more Marvel!
Our inside sources at theDiamonds Previews exclusives office are reporting that there's a program dubbed "Marvel History" that will bring several superhero figures exclusively into comic stores in the back half of 1999. This program is rumored to include one more famous cover (could this be the Spider-Girl we have heard rumors about). It will also include 2 two-packs subtitled "Greatest Moments".
There will also be three 5" assortments (yes
assortments). Each assortment will contain 4 figures. The
assortments are titled:
Who will be in these assortments?...Our source won't say right now, but don't be surprised to see some from Heroes Reborn and RTM's MC2 survey. Packaging for each line will be custom designed and suggested retail prices will be BELOW those of Marvel Gold. Some new tooling will be mixed in with repainting. There are also talks of continuing this in 2K.
Check back with RTM later for more news of the exact assortment breakdown!
|Unfathomable Aquatic Beauty Arrives|
|If you ordered an exclusive M.A.C.
Fathom figure through ToyFare,
start checking your mailboxes! The Metallic Marine Armor
variant of Michael Turner's popular Top Cow
comics character has begun to arrive across the U.S. Yet
another amazing sculpt by M.A.C.'s founder,
|Antarctic Winds Blow Again?|
There are signs of life coming from San Antonio, TX based publisher and direct market action figure pioneer Antarctic Press. Their official website has, after months of inactivity, been updated. While it is still a work in progress the new site does offer some insight into their figure future. From the FAQ section we learn "most of the action figures which were announced have either been cancelled or have moved on to other companies. AP plans to reorganize its toy line and resume production in late 1999 or early 2000, beginning with a line of Ninja High School and Gold Digger toys, as well as a new line of Warrior Nun Areala toys."
This coincides with information RTM received last week from Dark Horse Comics that the Flaming Carrot action figure would be coming out in October 1999 as part of Dark Horse's in-house action figure line. (More on this particular development soon).
With Antarctic Press refocusing it's publishing arm on it's key properties, it appears they are placing the same focus on their action figure development.
Early Monday morning, May 3rd, was Star Wars Episode One Midnight Madness, as action figures, toys, books, and merchandise for the new movie were unleashed upon the world! Check out RTM's coverage of the insanity HERE.
Readers of ReSaurus' message board have been anxiously awaiting a new license announcement for a few weeks now. There was even a contest to guess the new mystery license running on the Forum. The ink on the contracts has dried, and everything is a go so now it can finally be told! Capcom's long-running, mega-popular Street Fighter characters are headed back to toy shelves, courtesy of ReSaurus!
Work has already begun on the action figure line, with six figures planned for the first assortment. Fans can look forward to highly detailed and articulated 6" - 8" figures of Ryu, Ken, Alex, Cammy, Vega, and Blanka (who hasn't received figure treatment since the early 90's GI Joe releases from Hasbro)to be in the first wave.
Also in the works is Street Fighter Pocket Fighters, which feature 4" partially articulated characters in a format similar to the Little Big Head figurines from Sideshow Toy. Characters in the Pocket Fighters line include Ryu, Ken, Akuma and Chun-Li.
ReSaurus has supplied RTM with some of the control art of Ryu from both the regular action figure line (see right), and his Pocket Fighter incarnation (shown above). The latest issue of the ReSaurus Electronic Newsletter (sent out today via email) will have a sneak peek at some of the early sculpts, so if you're not signed up be sure to visit ReSaurus' website and sign up right away! When you sign up, you will receive the most recent issue along with your welcome message! Be sure to check ReSaurus's website , as well as right here at RTM for all the latest developments.
The gang at ReSaurus have given RTM a sneak peek at the control art for the new Marine figure from their upcoming line of action figures based on Quake III:Arena, the latest in the mega-popular series of computer games from id Software. If this bad boy is any indication (and we're sure it is!), the Quake III line is going to blow the immensely cool Quake II line (on sale now) away!
The Quake III:Arena is planned for later this year, following the summer release of the Quake II: Upgrade 1.5 redeco series.
Be sure to keep checking RTM News and the ReSaurus Website for all the latest information on Quake III, and other awesome figure releases from ReSaurus!
While you're visiting ReSaurus site, make sure you sign up to receive the new ReSaurus Electronic Newsletter, and take a few moments to fill out the survey for their upcoming Collectors Club.
With big thanks to Matthew Pearson over at WrestleWorld's Action Figure Resource, we are happy to present to all you wrasslin' fanatics Jakks Pacific's upcoming WWF action figure releases through July 199.(As always, all release information is tentative) So, without further ado:
Steve Austin w/Sledgehammer
Undertaker w/Break-Away 2x4
Kane w/Crate of Dynamite
The Rock w/Ladder
Shawn Michaels w/Chair
STOMP 4 - Cammo Carnage (Early May)
Bone Crunchin' Buddies - Series 3 (Early May)
WWF Bangers - Series 2 (Early May)
Brawl For All Playsets (Early/Mid May)
Lethal Ladder Match
Deadly Dungeon Match
2Tuff - Series 4 (Mid/Late April)
Val Venis/D-Lo Brown
Superstars - Series 9 (Late May/Early Jun)
Undertaker (Ministry of Darkness attire)
Shotgun Saturday Night 3 "Deadly Games" (Late May/Early Jun)
* - Possible nixed, I would assume, as Kurgann is in Mexico and will be for some time.
Fully Loaded - Series 2 (Late June)
Steve Austin Title Belt (Mid/Late June)
Maximum Sweat - Series 2 (Late June perhaps earlier)
Ken Shamrock w/2x4
Steve Austin w/fan
Road Dog w/microphone & cement block
Billy Gunn w/Dumbells
Grapple Gear - Series 2 Late (June/Early July) (possible earlier)
"No Pain, No Gain"
Breakdown In Your House
**No explaination yet on contents of these!*
Bangers Series 3 "Best of 1999" (Late Jun/Early July)
Maximum Sweat - Series 3 (Mid/Late July)
Corporate Mankind w/accessory
The Rock w/accessory
Paul Wight w/accessory
Steve Austin w/accessory
Big Boss Man w/accessory
Shotgun Saturday Night - Series 4 "Road Rage!" (Late July)
Al Snow w/accessory
Austin w/Leg Brace
The Rock w/accessory
Bob Holly w/accessory
Bloody Gangrel w/accessory
2Tuff - Series 5 (Mid/Late July)
The Godfather/Val Venis
New Billy Gunn/Road Dogg**
*- Perhaps an error on JAKKS's part and it could be Midean?
**- Most likely will be scrapped, or made into a grudge match due to the future split that seems immient.
Summerslam - World Championship Title (Mid/Late July)
Brawl For All Playsets (Mid/Late July - possibly sooner)
"Chaos in the Cell!"
12" Collectors Series (Mid/Late July - possibly sooner)
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Maximum Sweat - Series 4 (Mid August)
Road Dog w/accessory
Billy Gunn w/accessory
Ken Shamrock w/accessory
Steve Austin w/accessory
Moore Action Collectibles have released the Previews Exclusive figure of Sara Pezzini (star of Top Cow's popular Witchblade comic series), wearing her little black dress, fully accessorized with removable gold armor, a shotgun and a display stand (ready for a night on the town!).
This new figure appeared in comic stores today, so be sure to contact your local comics retailer and tell them you want your Witchblade!
The regular Top Cow Series II assortment, featuring Sara Pezzini in red dress, a new Nottingham and Michael Turner's Fathom should be in stores soon.