One sure way to have a geekgasm is to attend the annual Toy Fair convention at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, where you’ll find major and indie companies sharing their wares for the coming year. Unlike a major public event like New York Comic Con, which is fantastic but a traffic clusterfuck, Toy Fair is a smaller, industry-only affair where you actually have room to breathe and check out everything from interactive videogames to superhero statues. While I was told the bottom fell out of the action figure market a couple of years ago, companies are cranking ’em out, and merchandising among movies and comic books seems to be going strong, if just slightly more selective than before. That’s not a bad thing since one could go broke trying to keep up with everything.
This year’s highlights:
— A seriously awesome Gremlins stunt puppet replica from NECA. Imagine finding that under your Xmas tree, then scaring your family with it. May 2012.
— The Scene It? Star Wars interactive DVD and board game includes trivia via audio, video and simulated holographic projections, with mobile streaming options and exclusive online content for everything from iPhones to Google TV. It should keep Lucas-philes busy for a long time. Fall 2012.
— The Walking Dead was popular at Toy Fair—action figures from McFarlane Toys, a board game (with clever cloth board) from Cryptozoic Entertainment and a shoot ’em up video game from JAKKS Pacific. McFarlane also displayed the gnarly Season Two Blu-ray/DVD special edition package—a zombie head with a screwdriver in its eye and the discs lodged inside. Sweet. Spring 2012 and beyond.
— Diamond Select Toys have some great Mad Monster Party figures and Amazing Spider-Man busts coming out later this year. Given the cult status of the 1967 Rankin/Bass cartoon, the seven-inch Mad Monster line is a pleasant surprise and includes Baron Boris von Frankenstein (played by Boris Karloff). Arriving in time for the movie reboot, the Spider-Man busts are simply sleek and colorful. ‘Nuff said! Summer/Fall 2012.
— The second wave of Living Dead Dolls figurines from Mezco are gruesomely cute and cooler than the first wave. We like. Halloween 2012.
— Happy, cuddly undead animals from ZombieZoo and creator/author Neecy Twinem, which include Boo, Rob, Toxic, Muck and Stich. There may be a spookerific children’s book in the works, so stay tuned! Out now.