Yup, there was MUCH to offer the toy collector at Comicon. It's kinda funny--this was my first Comicon ever. I was expecting more...comics. In actuality, the show was quite toy-laden...not to mention all the video game, movie, television, and other media coverage. Not a huge deal for me--I stopped collecting comics years ago and only keep track of big events through Mason's ramblings...
Anyway, the primary mission, of course, was to cover all the big toy manufacturers and dealers we have connections with. Check! The secondary mission? Shop til ya drop, of course! And we did just that...oh, my flat feet are aching just thinking about it! On our toy-shopping adventures, we met so many cool people along the way, and though I would love to give each of them shout-outs, it would make this article too damn long! Suffice it to say that we were greeted with big smiles and grand offers to relieve us of our cash!
What I'll attempt to do here is basically "narrate" snippets of the SDCC07 Assorted Toys gallery, though there's no way to get to everything there. I'll just touch upon the highlights. Just a warning: this article is going to bounce around a LOT! I don't normally have a short attention span...but it's sure gonna seem that way!
Let's get it started...!
First, I just need to post this one image. When we got to the "Japantown" of the show floor (my nickname for the place where all the dealers of new Japanese toys were located), we were almost immediately greeted by this behemoth:
Anyway, seeing that Godzilla was a nice way to start digging for toys.
We saw a cool display case full of high-quality Romance of the Three Kingdoms figures and other offerings from Sea International and Da Joint:
One thing that puzzled the hell out of us was this huge booth in the middle of "Japantown" that was lined with very strange-looking figures of robots and monitors of them filmed "fighting" in a toy-scaled wrestling ring. In the middle of the booth, there was an actual stage/mock wrestling ring, cameras, lights, the whole nine. We didn't stop long enough to figure out what was going on, but from what we gathered, the guy who started the whole thing used to make little robot figures out of paper and film himself playing with them. This somehow blew up into a whole toy line...
And now that I've had the chance to Google "paper wrestling robots", I've come to find out that they're part of what's called "Kami-Robo". Check it out if you're curious...and brave.
Art of Toy had a respectable showing at the Con, but the only really photogenic items were the hunormous T-28 models:
Interlocking busts of the Cylon, "6", and of Gaius Baltar from the new Battlestar Galactica show:
Lots of fun movie toys, including 300:
BIG statues of Aliens, Predator, and Terminator.
Painted resin Battlestar Galactica and Cylon raider, also from the new show:
Shocker Toys was at the show. They had plenty of Shockini's, Gwar figures, and figures from Metalocalyse (ironically, one of this hip hop head's favorite shows on Adult Swim!)
Kidrobot was also at the show with their spectacularly huge Munny that people could write all over in chalk!
One extra-special treat for me and Mason was a chance to talk to CDX's long-time friend, Doug McNeill from Yamato USA, the US branch of Japanese toy manufacturer, Yamato. They're famous for their Macross Valkyries in both 1/60 and 1/48 scales, their 1/12 Scopedogs from VOTOMS, and their 1/15 Garland from Megazone 23. Is it any wonder why we LOVE these guys!?
While Mason knew Doug from previous SDCC trips, this was my first chance to meet him in person. Doug's been great about letting us in on the very latest news from Yamato in the past and this year was no different! True enough, the bulk of Yamato's offerings comprised girlie figures, but there was one lone display case around which we chatted. In the case were some Scopedogs...and the highly anticipated Galaxy Cyclone Braiger and Groizer X (2)! Wow...VERY nice, VERY high-end. Both toys feature a great deal of parts-swapping to transform, but just look at the animation designs! With such impossible transformations, this is as good as it gets!
Alas, we weren't allowed to take any photos of the new toys, but you can see some great shots at the links above or at Yamato USA's own site: Braiger, Groizer. Again, there'll definitely be a lot of talk on the 'net about these figures when they come out and this new high-end diecast super robot line they represent.
Next in our voyages was a place where we seemed to spend a lot of time while surprisingly not buying much was Toy Tokyo. They had all sorts of vintage and new Japanese toys. Robots and kaiju...side by side. It was a beautiful sight.
They had lots of contemporary designer vinyl and modern robot diecasts, but they also had their fair share of vintage vinyl, of which, I sadly failed to partake...
Still, I snagged the righteous duo of mini glow Docross and Blobpus (show exclusives):
Next up was big for me: Doctor Who, baby! I grew up watching mostly the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) on PBS! Anyway, I was suprised to see Weta at the show with two really high-quality collectibles from the new Doctor Who show. Check these out:
In addition to Weta's showing, I was greeted by the good people at DoctorWhoStore.com who showed me all the cool toys that've already come out for the new show. Sadly, I've been slacking on keeping up with Who merchandise since the new show began. I've managed to pick up a random figure or two, but I've yet to score a 12" RC Dalek. Booo!
Fortunately, these folks got me up to speed pretty quickly! Character Options continues to hold the license for the new show, but Product Enterprises still puts out new toys for the classic show. And it's ALL gravy!
State of the Art Toys (SOTA) was there with all of their cool Street Fighter offerings. Interestingly enough, they also featured some Lovecraft collectibles, including a Cthulu statue:
Lastly, I want to mention a seemingly-random toyline that I loved during the 80's that's actually making something of a comeback. As Frank from Kotobukiya would say, in this incredible nostalgia boom we're seeing right now, nothing surprises me anymore. Well, I'm really pleased with this particular selection for a make-over: Art Asylum/American Greetings MadBalls!
I picked up Series 1, which you can see on their website or in our gallery, but they were still pre-release. No packaging: they all came in little plastic baggies. Looked like a dang messed up drug deal! ;)
Anyway, I didn't catch when these things are officially being released to the public with full packaging, etc. It doesn't look like they're available anywhere online. I *DID*, however, get a sneak-peek at Series 2. Lemme tell ya, I really hope these come out and do well because the ideas these guys are coming up with are fantastic. While Series 1 is just like the original balls (molded solid foam rubber), Series 2 are actually hollow bouncy rubber balls... But here's the gimmick: they have softer, more flexible spots on them so that when you squeeze them, those soft spots inflate and bulge out! The balls are filled with liquid and other weird things! They're the hype! Can't wait for them to drop!