Ghost followers on twitter, either on the group account (@gotstratosphere) or my own personal twitter-space (@chachachad1) may have noticed I spent the last weekend in the perfectly-pleasant-weather-wise streets of New York City for Toyfair 2020! Some folks might not notice the tweeting, so I thought I would do a quick write up of my experience.
First, the booth.
Unlike this weekend’s C2E2 convention where I’m attending as with the full power of the press, I found my way into Toyfair as a worker bee with my friends at Hill’s Wholesale Gaming (www.wholesalegaming.com). That means that the overwhelming majority of my Toyfair time happened to be tethered to booth 5550, answering questions or assisting with orders, or chitchatting with the bigwigs at all your major retail outlets and mom and pops alike. Because I’m secretly always in Ghost mode, this is really helpful as I get to learn about what’s working and what might not be working as well from the business perspective. It’s very easy as fans to get caught up in what we want with our pop culture, no matter how realistic that might be. That big sci-fi franchise you care about might not always be the behemoth you think it is, while that smaller franchise with the family friendly movie you dismissed might be tearing it up. It’s neat to peak into the other side. It helps me to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s what. I’m forever grateful to Hill’s Wholesale Gaming for taking me along for the ride.
Next, the displays.
I was fortunate enough to get a looksies at several really interesting booths. My time was limited for exploration, so there are a lot of big name companies that I didn’t get to visit. Still, I made my rounds whenever I could, and here are the booths that I tended to enjoy the most.
Jazwares let me behind the curtain for a look at their upcoming Halo line.
I had heard rumors this was coming, but Jazwares really impressed me with how great these toys look. They seem built for both collecting and play, meaning they’re going to take full advantage of the 1/18th scale to create vehicles and toys that not only scale properly, but also hold up to actual play and don’t fall apart if you look at them sideways. I didn’t get pictures, but their Fortnite line is still going strong, with plenty to offer for fans and newer converts as well. I’m a big fan of their Fortnite toys, and it looks like they’ll keep me hooked with more great product this year!
Also,while not my scale, Jazware’s AEW figures look pretty sweet, too.
Playmates also graciously let me behind the curtain to sneak a peak at their new Ben 10 toys. First, they drew me in with their giant classic Godzilla! Ben 10 is that toy line and cartoon that quietly keeps churning along, producing fun and innovative toys every year. It reminds me of the TMNT and GI Joe lines when I was a kid, in that each year there’s always some new and crazy characters added to the mix. They’re also doing Micro scale toys, which are pretty neat, too.
Super 7 is a company that I love, but they kind of drive me crazy at the same time. Their insistence on the 70’s Star Wars articulation style makes me sad, because G.I. Joe was the far superior format. If you’re going for nostalgia, go Joe! But they do get a ton of great licenses and put out really interesting products. This year was no exception with sports players, mascots, Madballs, and all sorts of musicians added to their regular mix of monsters,Transformers, Pee Wees and the like.
Bossfight Studios was another booth I was super pumped to visit. For years, Bossfight has been putting out customizable blank figures and their own series of H.A.C.K.S. (Highly Articulated Character Kit System) figures. They’ve offered accessory kits and blind bags and great offerings for those that love to create their own toys, and those that are looking for some great out-there designs as well featuring Greek myths and certain Sci-Fi/ fantasy-style figures, too.
They’ve even put their efforts into creating highly articulated horses and unicorns!
This year, they’re getting into their Hero H.A.C.K.S. line featuring characters from King Features like Flash Gordon and the Phantom.
They also have licenses for Tarzan and Zorro, amongst others. No Lone Ranger yet—as he’s apparently tied up in rights limbo thanks to the mouse house. These licenses represent a big step as far as I’m concerned to increasing the footprint of this already awesome line.
My podcast pal Andy and I both tend to wax nostalgic for some of these characters when they show up in comics, so I am super pumped to see them in toy form. I’ll be even more pumped once they’re ready for release. I was also able to pick up some figures from their first two waves to review, so look for that on the horizon as well.
The Previews booth was home to some awesome displays of toys that are near and dear to me, like the Hiya Toys Predator and upcoming Robocop toys.
They also featured a toy line called Alter Nation from Panda Mony toys. I was able to make a quick introduction in prep for a sit-down interview with Ryan from Alter Nation at C2E2 this weekend, so that was cool, too. I’m looking forward to learning more about both the toy and comic line (?!) featuring some of those out-there designs. Keep your eyes on the @chachachad1 twitter for up-to-the-minute details, otherwise, enjoy this teaser.
There were lots of other booths I didn’t snag pics from, but I was able to see the upcoming waves of Spinmaster’s DC lines, and they look great.
In the list of life regrets, not finding the time to play on the GINORMOUS NBA Jam arcade game makes the list.
NECA is putting out an additional $9.99 blind bag based on video games!
A company called Uncanny Brands makes Star Wars and Stanley Cup Popcorn Makers as well as super hero plushies and crazy toasters. They were our neighbors and really cool.
Sunshades gave out tons of freebie Sunglasses that my kids loved! I snagged a Dino pair for the boy and kitty kat glasses for my girl!
I’m a sucker for giant display props! I met two different Godzillas and Stan Lee in bobblehead form!
All in all, Toyfair was a great experience. The displays are slick, the chicken on a stick evenly cooked, and the New York nights filled with lobster tails from Carlo’s Bakery! I even got to meet some of my podcasting pals from Pint O’ Comics in real life, as they were cool enough to stop by and say hello and talk about toys for a bit. Thanks again to the folks at Hill’s Wholesale Gaming for making it all possible.
Until next time, I’ll be quickly doing laundry and packing for the next convention!