Comic-Con International: San Diego is upon us once again and the number of available of exclusives are impressive, if not almost intimidating. We’ve plowed through the plethora of items listed through the multiple companies and present to you our picks for some of the best exclusives that we want to get our hands on.
Now, a quick caveat: the items listed have to be available for sale at the show itself. We wanted to list the Wonder Woman and her invisible jet, as well as the Thundercats Wilykat and Wilykit two-pack, but they were only available for pre-order and if you missed out, best of luck to you on the secondary market.
So follow along to see the coolest toys that SDCC has to present this year.
Masters of the Universe/M.U.S.C.L.E. "MOTUSCLE" pack (S7, $45, Booth #4945): These bad boys were seen last year at the pop-up of Skeletor’s Lair and the good people at S7 are bringing them back, but also a second wave. The first wave includes He-Man, Skeletor, Mer Man, and the likes, but the second wave provides the additional figures of Spikor, Stinko, Evil-Lyn, Sorceress, and even a miniature Castle Grayskull. The cool thing about these little guys is that while they have no articulation whatsoever, the nostalgia appeal is through the roof. Anybody who grew up with the M.U.S.C.L.E. men wrestlers would find these green, or yellow, your choice, guys is even at that scale, they have plenty of detail and are distinctive from one another. Now, you have to actually leave the convention center to get these, so don’t forget to get your token coin that is the only way to grant admittance.
Power Rangers Legacy Communicator (Bandai, $69.99, Booth #2343): Who doesn’t remember the ring tone of the Power Rangers’ communicators? Originally created by the Blue Ranger, Billy, in the show, they were used throughout each variation of the show, but these were the first editions. The set comes with five bands so you can coordinate with your clothes just like the Rangers did back in the day...if you feel like it. Sadly, it doesn’t come with Green and White Rangers’ bands, just original five. The detail on this is so great and is instantly recognizable for any and all Power Rangers fans. Another plus is that it doesn’t look like it takes up a lot of space, so if you’re planning on packing light, these won’t take up too much room in your one of your suitcases.
Lucille 34” Replica Bat (Skybound, $40, Booth #2729): Negan’s one true love. Skybound is releasing a replica of The Walking Dead’s famous psychopath even more infamous weapon that was christened Lucille. A baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, it’s something so simple, but also so distinguishable from the rest of the Walking Dead’s armory. It measures 34 inches long, and the barbed wire looks incredibly real (we don’t recommend trying to assault pizza boys with it), but perfect for the Negan cosplayer that wouldn’t have to check their prop in and possibly get quizzical looks from fellow con-goers.
Steven Universe Mini Figure Set (Zag Toys/Cartoon Network, $29.99, Booth #700): ...and Steven! Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe has been a huge hit with fans for its LGBQT representation as well as catchy as all heck songs, but has been lacking toys in the three years it’s been on the air. Well, SU fans rejoice! Finally you can pick up Steven and a few of his Crystal Gem friends, as well as recent allies, and even Connie, the human girl who might have won Steven’s heart. The eight-piece figure set comes with two Stevens (one is a battle-ready version), two Garnets (one a more stern version), Pearl, Connie, Amethyst, and even Peridot. There doesn’t seem a lot of articulation in these, if any, but it’s good to see one of Cartoon Network’s best shows ever to finally be around in this form.
Pokemon 20th Anniversary Ash and Pikachu Set (Tomy, $19.99, Booth #700): You want to be the very best? Like no one ever was? You might want to try and pick up this two-pack that extreme Pokemon fans will definitely want. Since the launch of Pokemon Go, Pokemon is once again part of the cultural zeitgeist with memes and even government agencies using Pokemon on their ads and Facebook posts. With Pokemon turning 20 this year, Ash and his chosen Pikachu have never looked better with this 20th Anniversary Edition from Tomy. Ash Ketchum comes with Pikachu, and of course his hat and plenty of articulation. The packaging looks superb as well, and while Pokemon toys are hardly new news, this kind of figure has to yet to be seen and perfect for old school fans who are looking to recapture a little bit of their childhood.
Transformers Generations: Titans Return Titan Class Fortress Maximus(Hasbro, $179.99, Booth #3329): The largest of the 1980s Transformers gets an update, and this SDCC exclusive version includes some extra decorations and the very large, very red “Master Sword” bit available with the retail version. Sure to be a complete pain to haul around and/or ship back home, this updated take not only converts into an “Autobot City,” but links with other “Titans Return” Leader Class Autobots to make a full-on Cybertron environment. Ironically, though the original Fortress Maximus towered over its evil counterpart Scorponok, this version is actually shorter than the licensed, non-transforming “Gigantic Megazarak” one can still find on eBay at a large discount. Looks like an official, in-scale version of Scorponok is needed for this line – maybe it can form a “Decepticon City” with an also-reissued Trypticon?
Marvel Legends 3.75” Series “Collector’s Vault” Set (Hasbro, $69.99, Booth #3329): For hardcore comics fans, there’s nothing more fun than increasingly obscure characters getting the plastic treatment. This smaller-scale set takes its inspiration from the credit-cookie scene in the Guardians of the Galaxy film that redeemed Howard the Duck’s ‘80s-film-tarnished reputation. Set in the cosmic zoo of the kleptomaniac Elder of the Universe known as the Collector, the set includes the Collector himself (rendered closer to his comic book look than his movie appearance), astro-dog Cosmo, Devil Dinosaur sidekick Moon Boy, Howard the Duck in his current comics look, such classic comics artifacts as the Zodiac Key and the Casket of Ancient Winters…and most awesomely, oversized teleporting Inhuman bulldog Lockjaw! Yes, pretty much one of the greatest and best of all Marvel characters now has its own figure, albeit non-poseable. But there’s still no telling what kind of cosmic mischief he’ll get into. If you miss the set here, it’ll also be available at Fan Expo Canada in September.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade Appearance) Turtles and Foot Clan Box Sets (NECA, $100 each, Booth #3145): A very hot ticket this year (and one that NECA has confirmed will not be sold outside of the con), these two sets recreate the classic four-person Konami early-1990s arcade classic, the one that even recreated the cartoon theme song for its main screen. Man, that game was awesome. Not awesome is how hard this will be to get (pre-sale reserves have sold out already, and only a limited quantity will be at the show), but the slightly pixelated paint schemes, arcade-cabinet-recreating boxes, and even perfect accessories (the Foot Soldiers have those big dang sledgehammers they used to pound shell!) make this worth the approximately…hold on…eight hundred quarters plus tax these will set you back. Of the many, many versions of the TMNT that are in toy form these days, these hit a particular nostalgic sweet spot. Hopefully, NECA will at least be able to use some of these molds again for non-arcade-colored versions of the Turtles – this video review makes ‘em seem pretty sweet. Cowabunga, indeed.
Marvel Legends 6” Series “The Raft” Set (Hasbro, $119.99, Booth #3329): Featuring the first six-inch-scale versions of several classic Marvel villains – and a few repaints to boot – this set puts Spider-Man against the detainees of one of Marvel’s deadliest super-prisons. Along with Spidey, there’s classic Thor antagonist the Enchantress, cool-looking-but-underused Dreadknight (complete with lance and sword), mind-controlling, fourth-wall-breaking the Purple Man (a shade more bruise-colored and non-David-Tennant-looking than his live-action counterpart on Jessica Jones), a sand-colored version of the Sandman, and a slightly darker repaint of the version of the Abomination used as the Build-A-Figure in the current “Captain America Legends” wave. Like its smaller “Collector’s Vault” counterpart, this will also be available at Fan Expo Canada in September.
Transformers Tablet Soundwave(Hasbro, $39.99, Booth #3329): It’s not easy being Soundwave – though one of the most popular of the original Transformers, the stoic Decepticon also has one of the most dated transformations, into a tape deck. Sure, there’s many updates into the likes of vehicles and even an MP3 player, but can anything quite top the Russian Nesting Doll quality of being an emotionless destroyer full of evil cassettes? This con-exclusive update continues to reach for the 21st century with a Soundwave that turns into a very iPad-looking tablet. Presumably, his weapons include evil apps. It doesn’t quite have the same ring as “LASERBEAK – EJECT,” though, does it?