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Joining the battle for shelf space (both in stores and in your home) is new toy company, the New Jersey based X-Toys. You may not have heard of X-Toys before, but that will certainly change soon. Their first release, a toy line based on the 20th Century Fox release, Wing Commander, is due to hit stores in time for the movies March 12th release date. Later this Summer X-Toys will release a line of figures and vehicles based on Warner Bros. big summer movie, Wild Wild West.

Wing Commander, of course, is based on the long-running and immensely popular series of computer games created by Chris Roberts (who also directed the movie) and published by Origin Systems. The movie, starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard, is highly anticipated by both fans of the games and sci-fi fans in general and the toys look to be a terrific addition to any fan's collection.

Wing Commander Takes Flight!

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The initial assorment features eight action figures (above, left to right): Taggart, Deveraux, Maniac Marshall, Blair in Flight Suit, Kilrathi General, Kilrathi Pilot, Marine Blair and the Pilgrim Traitor. Each fully articulated figure is in the 3-3/4" scale, and comes complete with multiple accessories and a trading card. Two vehicles, the Confederation Rapier and the Kilrathi Dralthi, are also planned for a later fall release. Both vehicles are designed, but no tooling has been done yet as X-Toys awaits the response to the film and the toys. There is a possibility of a second assortment of figures, also in the fall. The contents of the second assortment haven't been decided upon yet and X-Toys is considering a switch to a larger scaled, more collector-oriented, format.

It's a tough time to be entering the action figure market, but the folks at X-Toys are feeling up to the challenge and are ready to make their mark on the industry. Bob LoMonaco, President of X-Toys (and former Senior VP of McFarlane Toys) said, "X-Toys is a new toy company whose management team have over 50 years of experience. We are committed to producing superior quality toys that appeal both to the toy user and the collector. We're very excited about launching the company with two very powerful licenses."

The West Gets Wild!

In stores this summer, in time for the July 4th weekend opening , will be a line of figures and vehicles from Warner Bros. big budget Wild Wild West. Based on the 1960's televison series of the same name and starring Wil Smith, Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branaugh, Wild Wild West promises a rich western environment (with a dash of science fiction) that is a perfect match for toys. The line will feature seven 5 inch, articulated action figures, 2 vehicles and a 9" figure of Wil Smith as Secret Service agent James West complete with a detailed cloth costume.

Two versions of the films hero, James West (portrayed by Wil Smith),will be offered complete with all the accessories necessary to bring down any dastardly villains! Joining West in his battle against the evil Loveless is his partner, friend and Master of Disguise, Artemus Gordon (played in the film by Kevin Kline).

The two vehicles come with their own exclusive figures!

The West has never been wilder! Expect these toys to ship in late May/early June!

(Special thanks to X-Toys for giving RTM readers this special first look at the Wild Wild West line).

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hum.jpg - 17K It doesn't stop there. X-Toys has several other properties for later in 1999 and early 2000. Not content to be a niche player, X-Toys is branching into the preschool arena with the Humongous Entertainment license, featuring characters such as Pajama Sam, Freddi Fish, Putt-putt and Spy Fox from the successful series of educational CD-ROM titles. "We plan to bring a variety of product types to the market and don't want to be limited to a specific segment such as 'collector' figures versus 'toys for kids to play with' " states LoMonaco.

might.jpg - 21K Bringing characters from the realm of computer entertainment figures big into X-Toys future plans, as they are in active development of toy lines based on popular software titles Total Annihilation (featuring a cool robot meileu ), Total Annihilation: Kingdoms and 3DO's Heroes of Might and Magic, the latter two featuring an exciting medieval theme. According to LoMonaco, X-Toys "will enter the collectors market with Kingdoms and Might and Magic by producing top-notch, highly detailed figures. In the case of Total Annihilation, we're planning on a line of very unique robots which will bring 'action figures' to a new level"

With a diverse lineup, quality product, and some interesting licenses X-Toys hopes to make a distinctive name for themselves in a very crowded market. Despite some pretty fierce competetion for space on toy store shelves, not to mention consumer dollars, the future is looking bring for X-Toys

Be sure to keep checking Raving Toy Maniac for the latest news from X-Toys!