There are a few days that I look forward to every year more so than most – my birthday, Christmas, New Argos Catalogue Day, and the start of the New York toy fair. These all have to do with toys, naturally. There’s nothing quite like that little rush of excitement that comes with seeing a batch of virgin toys laid bare for the first time. It’s a short-lived feeling, so I try to bottle it up and mete it out slowly over the course of the year. Back in November, I accidentally used up my entire supply of Christmas Feeling when the decorator played Mistletoe and Wine on his radio. Humbug.
When I was younger, I was always especially excited for New Argos Catalogue Day, although being a secular family we tended to observe New Index Catalogue Day instead. That was a pretty sweet deal; the Autumn/Winter catalogue (released in the summer, natch) had lots of cool toys, and December’s Spring/Summer had lots of nearly-naked ladies in swimsuits to tide me over til June.
Tide me over it did.
Anyway, there’s a bajillion other websites who are covering Toy Fair right now, so I thought I’d just pick a handful of the new reveals and explain why I’m excited for them, or what they mean to me. Hold tight, and keep your hands and arms inside the blog at all times.
I’m looking forward to the new Jurassic Park movie. It’s one of my favourite films/books of all time. But then so are Aliens and Robocop – we saw what the 21st century did to them. So while I’m keeping my expectations low, I am allowing myself to feel at least some childlike optimism. The toys look pretty spiffy, anyhow!
This is the Indominus Rex, a hybrid of several dinosaurs made for the sole purpose of giving people nightmares. You’ll excuse me if I whip out the axe I’ve been grinding for the past couple weeks:
The premise of Jurassic World, that they’re making new dinosaurs by blending together old ones, is monumentally stupid. For a start, all the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park are hybrids to some extent, so the idea of mixing dino DNA isn’t new or particularly shocking – the fact that several of the scientists don’t seem to be aware of this in the trailer can only mean they either don’t actually work at the park, aren’t real scientists, or have themselves not seen the first film.
Secondly, this premise reduces the animals to nothing more than monsters. The whole point of Jurassic Park is that the dinosaurs are animals and demand respect. When they’re treated like property and not shown that respect, things get very bitey and someone calls Jeff Goldblum to sort it out.
I fear that the new film has entirely missed the point, and is going for a lowbrow, bring-the-kids, horror film. Bleh!
Back to the toys. They do look cool. I quite like the I. rex, and this Tricera-Stega dude looks awesome. The Power Rangers would have a fit if they saw this guy. His horns point outwards like a bull, for some reason. I’m not sure that’s anamatomically correct. Someone get Sam Neil on the phone!
This is the Spinosaurus. He’s missing a bit of his flank because he got his ass kicked by the I. rex for being in Jurassic Park III. I like the colouration, it’s pretty neat. Nice tramp stamp, too.
Lost in Space
I loooove Lost in Space, especially the 1998 film. I thought it was a really good update to the old TV series, and the launch scene of the Jupiter II brings a little tear to my eye. The star of the film, of course, was the new Rambler-Crane series robot. He was magnificent. The actual machine weighed two tonnes, and required several puppeteers and operators. Of course, he looked nothing like the old B-9, which was just a guy in a suit, but he was still voiced by the same man – Dick Tufeld.
I have a soft spot for the ol’ fella. The robot represents a bygone age, when that dome-headed, claw armed appearance could be taken seriously, or at least, not laughed off the air. How I wish for that kind of naivete. “Danger Will Robinson!”
Nah, I’m just messin’. I was a big fan of Twisted Toyfare Theatre, so just seeing this guy’s face cracks me up. Kamandi!
Masters of the Universe Classics
Cor, I loves a bit of He-Man, I does. The “Classics” line has been absolutely fantastic in the past, and it keeps getting better. This year we’re treated to some She-Ra girlies such as Princess Angella and Peek-a-Blue. They look great, and I’d gladly add them to my collection.
We also get some 2002 MOTU characters such as Snake Armour He-Man, King Hiss and his Snakemen, and Evil Seed. Bloody brilliant! They’re also doing a box of heads (exactly what it sounds like), so you can bring your Classics figures into line with the rest of the 2002 cast. A great idea.
Well, I’ll be riding this high for the rest of the decade for sure. There were a whole bunch of new TFs revealed, but Devastator stands over them all, quite literally. One of the largest Transformer toys ever made, Devastator is exactly how you remember him from the cartoon. He’s formed from the six Constructicons who each have a robot mode of their own. It says something about Hasbro that we all nearly dropped dead from surprise at this revelation.
I can’t quite get over how good he looks in his combined mode. It’s amazing, and I can’t wait to have him in my hands. Also revealed were the Protectobots, so Devvy will have someone to fight, and also another Ultra Magnus toy based on his current comic incarnation. More about him another time.
I’m really looking forward to Protectobot First Aid. In the cartoon he was a pacifist and forever worried about his contributions to the Autobot cause. He’s a pretty big player in the new comics, too, and I can’t wait to get a hold of him. Medic!
That is all. Hopefully I’ll be able to review these toys and more in the near future!