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Journal Archives from February 2011
Toy Fair 2011 - LaQ

It's always nice to catch up with the smaller companies year after year, and LaQ is one of our very favorites! They make a building system consisting of just 7 powerful parts, in a range of snazzy colors, and what they can do with them is truly inspiring! This year they had one of the hot booths at the show, I declare, thanks to their 35,000+ piece aircraft carrier that was front and center!

Of course, the giant space shuttle on hand was great as well, along with a wealth of smaller sets that could move and twist and spin in any number of ways. Click the image above to be taken to the full gallery of their booth, and with any luck I'll work with them a little more closely to help give them the extra bit of exposure that they so very much deserve!
Posted by charlie on February 28th 2011, 06:59 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Mattel Galleries Complete!

Holy cow true Preservers! I've finally gotten the 20 galleries and 550 pictures that make up our trip to Mattel's Collector event sorted, formatted and posted for your perusal! Click the image below to be whisked away to the full gallery index page, and then look around at the various lines. Yes, there's still some video on the way - as soon as there are more than 24 hours in the day we'll be on top of things!

I think one of my very favorite things at the show this year was actually from Mattel's Imaginext line - they sure remind me of bigger, more colorful, and frankly more fun Dino-Riders for the 2011 season!!

Posted by charlie on February 25th 2011, 12:57 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Mattel: Total Armor Batman

I've been covering the Batman: The Brave and the Bold line for ages now - for whatever reason it just really delights me and seemed a fine fit here at the Preserve. It's been clear that the line was in trouble for some time, with retailer support flagging and Toy Guru even having trouble keeping a brave face while discussing the line. Then Preserve regular doctorkent sent along the first images of the Total Armor line from last year's San Diego Comic Con, where we all saw that they were adjusting the name and the assortment a bit so that the line could consist almost entirely of Batman retools....on purpose!

Well, the first and likely only wave of these guys has been in stores for a few months now, and we did get to see those same figures in Mattel's showroom at Toy Fair. Sadly, I admit that I'm not 100% conversant with the first assortment of this line, so haven't even puzzled out if anything new was shown! Well, if you're more an expert than me, feel free to drop a line in the comments, and check out the gallery by clicking through the image above.

I will admit that the bright red Joker with 1:1 scale "brass knuckles" is pretty cool looking - have been so close to picking that one up a number of times.

Posted by charlie on February 24th 2011, 07:32 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - What's New for Mr. Potato Head?!

I'm delighted to bring you all today a one minute video rundown of what is new with Mr. Potato Head for the 2011 product year!

This video highlights a couple of important things. First - the Hasbro showroom has a lot of products in it. There is a massive center island, which is ringed and run through with the typical 'boy brand' toys that everyone goes to see - Star Wars, Transformers, Marvel Universe... But all around the room are helpful and friendly people, standing by their FurReal Friends and Mr. Potato Head booths, and I think it's far more interesting to talk to them than to fight 25 other people for the 100th photo of the same Transformer.

Yes, I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again. But that's why I'm particularly delighted to be able to feature this Mr. Potato Head video today - and the Hasbro rep who gave us the demo did a great job (which is point number two)! We'd already talked to her before realizing her rundown would make a great video (still getting used to that afterall) so she did a great re-take to boot. Maybe this video will find its way to her, so she knows at least someone enjoyed the hard work she put in that day, even if she wasn't shilling the Revenge of the Jedi Comic Con set.
Posted by charlie on February 23rd 2011, 01:31 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Hasbro Galleries Finally Posted

Well, it took a little more than a week for these, but I've finally finished organizing, formatting and posting what ended up being 26 galleries from the Hasbro tour at Toy Fair! As usual I've tried to cover more than just the 'main' lines that you see elsewhere - since how many pictures of Destro do you really need? Well, we've got the requisite Joe and Transformers, but also Tonka, Wheel Pals, Littlest Pet Shop and more! Click the image to check out the portal to all of the galleries from this exciting annual spectacular!

I also have, sprinkled around the coverage archive that I'm currently wading through, a handful of videos from this tour. I'll get those on their way to youtube once I snip off the awkward bits, and will incorporate them into the content. Given that this was my first year trying to add video to the proceedings, there has been a bit of a learning curve, so I didn't want to hold up the images waiting on that part!

Posted by charlie on February 22nd 2011, 07:03 AM
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Transformers: Dark of the Moon, New Commercial

Well, I suppose that I had better muster up the courage and energy to start covering the upcoming Transformers 3: "Transformier" that is locked and loaded to be shot all over the movie going public like a confetti cannon loaded with mistakes and tears. I kid! Of course Hasbro had a lot of great new toys to show off for this go-around, and they have really kept the quality level high and done the very best job they can working within the Bay universe so regardless of even seeing the movie we have a lot of cool stuff to keep track of in that regard.

And, in case I don't say it enough, whatever my personal problems may be with the movies, I'm still delighted that they exist, and have done so well, because it has helped to pour cash into the Hasbro coffers, and allows them to do things like start their own cable network. So - here is a new commercial! Check it out, and then get ready for the big day, July 1st 2011.

Thanks to for pointing out that this new clip was available...and thanks for making me not feel alone in my discomfort watching it. At least the associated MST3K quiz helped distract me a little! Very well timed.

Posted by charlie on February 21st 2011, 08:46 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Lego Galleries Available Now!

Well, at least it's not quite a full week since we attended the Lego Collector Party, and I've finally made my way through the 500+ pictures and all of the galleries are posted! Click the image below to see all 20 product lines that Lego was showing off this year, then drill down into any that catch your fancy for more images!

I've not finished adding annotation to all of the galleries yet - I got up through 'D'....I mean, there are a lot of them!
Posted by charlie on February 19th 2011, 07:37 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Lego: City

The Lego City lineup for 2011 is broken up into three coherent sub-groups, which I'm calling Police, Space and Boats. I guess after they took away the Space Police lineup they wanted to give us something by which to remember it! There's a ton of goodness in this lineup of products, so click through the image below for the full gallery, complete with my annotations next to an image of each set as to the number, name, price and month of release!

We also get our annual first-look at the much-Preserve-enjoyed Advent calendar for 2011! So be sure not to look at those pictures if you want to avoid spoilers for waaaay in the future next December.

Posted by charlie on February 18th 2011, 11:34 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Lego: Atlantis

Last year, Lego's Atlantis line made a big splash in their showroom (ouch), with tons of cool sets to be seen. Well, true to the spirit of not letting a lot of moss grow on their products, it looks like Atlantis may be winding down already, but we do get some cool new pieces, and of course it will be replaced by plenty of other great sets and ideas by the venerable building company. Here then, you may check out what is new for Atlantis - click through the image for the full gallery of this line, along with annotations about set number and release date!

I find myself to be particularly fond of set #7978 - Angler Attack! While firmly in the land of being made of some special pieces, rather than cobbled together from basic parts, I still have trouble saying 'no' to this gold-toothed piranha-looking menace! Click the image for a larger view - and you can see the distinctive box in the overall pic for the line, though I somehow failed to get a closeup! Overwhelmed as I was by the great set itself, perhaps.

Posted by charlie on February 18th 2011, 07:09 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Lego: Alien Conquest

I've finally gotten the first of a slew of galleries posted from our fantastic breakfast with Lego, way back at 7am last Sunday....geez that's slow! Well, the new sets are beautiful and hopefully my few images do them some justice - I've also written out the Lego number and name of each new set, annotated next to each set of images. Click though to check it out, and look forward to the amazing Alien Conquest sets this August!

Posted by charlie on February 17th 2011, 09:22 PM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Kotobukiya

We have next in our ongoing coverage of Toy Fair 2011, a small gallery of products from Kotobukiya - I was pleasantly surprised to see their foxy Ghostbusters character! Present only in poster form in their booth, still give it a look-see.

Posted by charlie on February 16th 2011, 03:45 PM
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Toy Fair 2011 - ZombieZoo!

Children's book author and illustrator Neecy Twinem has developed and released a line of great plush figures with a zombie theme, and a positive message - ZombieZoo! These zombies don't go after your flesh - they just want to be friends. Check out the gallery from their booth - which was really beautifully arranged, and then watch the video below for a great introduction to this line!

Posted by charlie on February 16th 2011, 08:28 AM
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Bif Bang Pow at Toy Fair 2011

Our Bif Bang Pow! gallery is live, so go have a look! We'll also have a video tour of their new products posted as soon as we can get it uploaded.

Posted by charlie on February 16th 2011, 01:06 AM
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Bandai's Ben 10 Linueup for 2011 - in Video!

Here is another video from our fun trip through the Bandai showroom - this time it is a great tour through their Ben 10 lineup for 2011. Check it out!

Posted by charlie on February 15th 2011, 06:14 AM
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Sunny Puppets at Toy Fair 2011

We had a chance to stop by one of our favorite small companies at the show today - Sunny Puppets! They had great products as always, and even gave us a performance with their new 2011 model - so glad we're starting to do video at long last! Watch our moving pictures of their booth below.

Posted by charlie on February 14th 2011, 09:39 PM
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Gund 2011 Product Video

We visited with the annex Gund booth today, which is way out front, beyond the security checkpoints, and just inside beyond the hot dog and falafel vendors - and we had a great time! The great staff at the booth gave us a long demo of the new products that Gund is introducing for 2011, and we were able to capture it all on video for you. Check out the video below! And let me assure you - the Nuzzles are totally as comfortable as they look - more so even! Pick one up when you can, and give another as a gift!

Posted by charlie on February 14th 2011, 08:44 PM
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Bandai Thundercats - Tour Video

Also, we have been shooting video this year, and here is the presentation we were given of the great new Thundercats line!

Posted by charlie on February 14th 2011, 12:26 PM
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Bandai Thundercats are Live

The new Bandai Thundercats gallery is live - check it out!

Posted by charlie on February 14th 2011, 03:11 AM
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Toy Fair - G.I. Joe Sky Striker

One of the fantastic new reveals at the show thus far is the Sky Striker jet in the G.I. Joe line by Hasbro. They told us in the presentation that the original molds for the Sky Striker had been lost, which is why it hadn't shown up in any of the re-release or tribue waves over the last few years. What they have done is to re-create this vehicle from scratch, and now it'll be on sale for you to buy in 2011!

The best part? There's a San Diego Comic Con variant with Starscream colors, Cobra Commander as the pilot with Megatron in gun form as his sidearm. Yeah, we were surprised too.
Posted by charlie on February 14th 2011, 01:26 AM
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Slow Updates - Content Gathering Marches On!

Hey folks - sporadic Internet troubles and a run in with some delightful Belgian beers have led to slow site updates, but rest assured that the content gathering is continuing full speed ahead! We have visited with Hasbro, Lego, Bandai and Mattel and seen some great stuff. The Thundercats by Bandai are looking especially great, as are some Dino Riders looking items from Mattel's Imaginext line. Great show so far!
Posted by charlie on February 13th 2011, 03:40 PM
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Toy Fair 2011 - The Trip Begins

Toy Fair 2011 With much fanfare and excitement, we are underway on the fancy wi-fi enabled bus to the Big City. It's always the highlight of the year, going to nyc for days full of the latest and greatest that toy companies from around the world have to offer. Of course, there's the added side benefit of plenty of amazing restaurants and shows along the way - time permitting. I'm so tempted to see the Spiderman Broadway Disaster...

This year, I'm trying to be a little more 'high tech' with the show coverage here at the Preserve. I've got a twiter account set up, which you can reach by clicking the twitter icon at the top of this news feed. I'll be posting images of cool things I see to that feed throughout the show, starting with the Hasbro event tomorrow around 1pm. There are sure to be hundreds of new and cool products in their showroom, so I apologize in advance for violating any twitter etiquette rules by over posting - at laest it will be in controlled bursts of awesome.

I also will be adding video to the coverage this year - in particular, this smartphone thing allows for such complete coverage to be recorded and posted right from the show floor, that I'll upload little minute long clips to youtube, which will be pointed to from my twitter account - I'm sure you all know the drill for this sort of thing by now - but be sure to keep an eye out for those! I also will be shooting some higher-res video which will be edited and posted properly once the show is over and I've returned to the better equipped home workspace.

So - keep an eye on that twitter feed, and of course here as well for constant show updates starting tomorrow afternoon!
Posted by charlie on February 11th 2011, 03:53 PM
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Magnavox Odyssey 2 - Alpine Skiing!

Starting this Saturday, the annual tsunami of toys that we call Toy Fair will besiege both New York City and the Preserve. I board a bus tonight, and will start posting coverage from Hasbro after 1pm this coming Saturday!

Before all this happens, I felt it was only fitting to feature another cool classic game - in all things balance! Here is another title from the Magnavox Odyssey 2 system, Alpine Skiing!

Yes, another sports title, but probably one of the very first skiing games to ever be seen on a computerized device! Click the image above for some more views of the fantastic style of this package, and the manual!
Posted by charlie on February 11th 2011, 06:59 AM
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Shocker Toys at Toy Fair 2011
Shocker Toys at Toy Fair 2011
Press Release: The good dudes over at Shocker Toys have let us know that they will, as in years past, be exhibiting their wares at Toy Fair for us all to photograph and enjoy! They've included images of several of their new Tick figures, so click through to read more about what's new with this New Jersey original.  Read More
Posted by charlie on February 10th 2011, 08:04 AM
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Euro Reactors - Scraptor-RP2

I apologize if anyone is tired of Reactors by now, but just think how rare that feeling is! How infrequently can one get tired of a set of things that are so small, and so very difficult to find?! Well, today we have a look at another Euro Reactor from the set that recently arrived via slowboat here at the Preserve, the Scraptor-RP2!

Sorry my hand keeps getting into the shots - unfortunately these boxes all suffer from pretty serious flap crease, to the extent that they were packed flat. I think that in the original auction picture the flaps were standing up tall and proud, so this may be a case of well-intentioned but non-toy-person packing damage - dommage! Well, things otherwise look good as new - look at those colors shine! That's a pastel blue worthy of the new-school of 2011 web design...oh html5 and dynamic flashy sites - you have such a look about you.

Most excitingly, this Scraptor figure, aka Climbereactor-RP2 in the US line, was missing from the Preserve, and brings us that much closer to a full set! Be sure to click the image above for more views of this super rare Savie-hicle.

Opladen Opstarten Vertrekken!

Posted by charlie on February 9th 2011, 11:48 AM
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G.I. Joe Renegades Q&A Response

But wait, there's more! That's right kids, hot on the heels of the fantastic answer from the Transformers Prime team, we have an answer to our one-question Renegades Q&A, and here it is!

G.I. Joe Renegades Q&A #1 (2011)

Preserve: The style of G.I. Joe Renegades is very distinctive, just as was the style of the recent Transformers: Animated series. From that Transformers series we got really unique and distinctive toys - what does the design team for G.I. Joe think about the challenge and opportunity of designing within this new style?

Hasbro: Much like G.I. JOE Resolute, which had it's own distinctive style, the Hasbro design team has taken the great cues and colors found in the RENEGADES TV series and translated them into a realistic style which will live alongside other figures in the G.I. JOE line. Weapons are an especially unique and signature part of the RENEGADES figures, and we did a good job of replicating those weapons our fans see in the TV series in plastic.
  --From: Brand Team

Thanks to the team for their great answer!

Posted by charlie on February 8th 2011, 01:06 AM
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Transformers Prime Q&A Response

The Hasbro team behind the new animated series Transformers Prime has returned their answer to our recent Q&A question....and here it is!

Transformers Prime Q&A #1 (2011)

Preserve: Enjoyed the five-part premiere. PRIME is definitely a more adult take on the Transformers mythos - zombie Transformers, the death of a major character, lots of intense action... Along those lines, what do you see the boundaries of the show being in terms of violence and content? Other than language, of course.

Hasbro: From the very beginning, we knew we wanted this series to be cinematic, and more than just a typical "kids' show." The Transformers' past has been plagued by war, and the battles between 'Bot and 'Con continue to this day. So, a certain level of (fantasy) "violence" is inevitable. The death of Cliffjumper in the first few minutes of the pilot was a moment that clearly demonstrated how dangerous our Decepticon villains are, and set the series on a path where no one is safe. The crew on this show is a varied group of fans, and we all wanted to achieve a certain cinematic style that was markedly different from any previous Transformers series. The tension and suspense are key elements, and those cannot be achieved without high stakes. With all that being said, we are making a series for as broad of an audience as possible, so it’s important that we consider each choice we make carefully. You don't have to write down to kids. Ever. Kids today have grown up engulfed by media; they are so much more "story" savvy than we ever were at that age. And my genuine feeling is that if a 7 year-old doesn’t catch every reference or nuance, that’s just fine. As long as they can grasp the emotional core of the story, they’ll come along for the ride.
  --From: Dave Hartman: Supervising Director/Art Director & Jeff Kline: Executive Producer/Co-Developer

Thanks to the team for their fantastic answer!

Posted by charlie on February 8th 2011, 12:57 AM
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Euro Reactors - Generator RC2

Let's keep pushing on the Reactors marathon this week as we race up to the start of Toy Fair 2011! Here we have the Generator-RC2, the only vehicle to retain it's name between US and Euro versions.

Excitingly enough, this vehicle was not yet in the Preserve US-version collection so not only is it a fantastic foreign version, but it's our first look at it in general! Click the image above to see more angles of the Savie version of this Companion Series Reactor!

Gubrick een nieuwe vorm van energie!

Posted by charlie on February 7th 2011, 08:40 PM
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Euro Reactor - Propulsor RS3

We will finish up this quiet weekend with a closer look at one of the Euro Reactors that just arrived at the Preserve. Here is Propulsor-RS3, known in the US as the Hypereactor-RS3!

Click that gorgeous image above for more images of this set, including the innards still in the cardboard inserts, as well as a front and back look at the instructions!
Posted by charlie on February 6th 2011, 08:06 PM
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Euro Reactors - by Savie!

Here they are, and they are beautiful!!

It is an exciting honor and privilege to be able to add these Reactors to the Preserve, given the ongoing quest I've assigned myself to document and Preserve this small yet elusive line. All four of these boxes contain the original vehicle with all cardboard inserts and instructions - what great examples! I like how most of them have slightly different names from their US counterparts, as well they should to keep things interesting. It would be wise for me to not set as a new task to get all of these variants....but I've got nearly half already! Detail pages are coming soon!

Posted by charlie on February 5th 2011, 09:36 PM
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Press Release: Mezco Toyz Pre - Toy Fair Images
Mezco Toyz - Batmobile
Press Release: The good folks at Mezco Toyz have sent over a set of product images in advance of the big annual toy festival to be held in NYC from Feb12-15th, which highlight some of their upcoming 2011 products. You can click through for a look at their new Living Dead Dolls calendar, DC Universe Mini-Mezitz 2-packs and a Batmobile!  Read More
Posted by charlie on February 4th 2011, 07:33 AM
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Transformers - Hunt for the Decepticons - Legends Tuner Skids

I've gone on fairly public record about my...discomfort with the characters Skids and Mudflap in the recent live-action Transformers movies, helmed by the inimitable Michael Bay. Well, I can't fault Hasbro for any of the unique traits of those Autobots, and they are holding up their end of the bargain by making great toys of these figures. Here, then, we have the Legends scale Tuner Skids figure, from a recent wave in the Hunt for the Decepticons line!

On an additional product note - figure images from the third movie are already leaking all over the Internet, but since I have a thing about using my own pictures or official Hasbro images, I'm taking a wait-for-it approach...

In particular, in case anyone has forgotten - Toy Fair is in less than 2 weeks!! On Saturday the 12th of February I will be attending the annual Hasbro extravaganza, and will have an absolute pile of brand new images to share with everyone, and hopefully even video! So - be sure to visit the preserve that evening once I have a chance to get things posted from the hotel. I'll also try to 'tweet' some images live from the showroom, so we'll all practice that together before hand!
Posted by charlie on February 3rd 2011, 06:20 AM
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Press Release: Mezco Lion-O!
Mezco Toyz - Lion-O
Press Release: Our pals at Mezco Toyz have served the first volley of Thundercat awesomeness, with a preview pic of their upcoming ginormous Lion-O figure! He's over 20" tall from toe to sword point, and is articulated to boot! Click through for more details about this figure, and exactly how and when you can add him to your eagerly anticipated 2011 Thundercats collection!  Read More
Posted by charlie on February 2nd 2011, 09:28 AM
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G.I. Joe - Pursuit of Cobra - Quick Kick

I figure that I'm on a role, catching up with the languishing outliers of the Pursuit of Cobra line, so will continue today with Quick Kick! The redundant Joe team martial arts expert!

I say 'redundant', but that's probably not fair. I mean, how approachable is Snake Eyes? Is he going to give the team lessons on the proper form of a horse stance or a snap kick? No, I think Quick Kick is probably the go-to guy for that sort of thing. Snake Eyes is the guy you send into an enemy base alone to dispatch a bunch of dudes and blow it up.

This figure doesn't have the same panash of Predator movie tie-in, at least so far as I've been able to determine, but he's still got great design and clean colors, and comes with swords, guns and nunchucks! That should sell it if nothing else does. Hopefully this guy is still available at your local TRU, since Hasbro appears to have made plenty of this wave. Be sure to track him down, or suffer the fate of a gaping hole in your collection, of a good figure no less!

Posted by charlie on February 2nd 2011, 08:02 AM
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G.I. Joe - Pursuit of Cobra - Spirit Iron-Knife

I've spent a fair amount of time talking about how very much I like the Toys R Us Exclusive figure of Spirit Iron-Knife from the G.I. Joe: Pursuit of Cobra line. They did a really wonderful job of making it look 100% like Sonny Landham from Predator, though likeness rights being what they are, they are being pretty coy about the whole thing. I was pleased that in a Q&A about the brand a few months ago, I at least got to address the topic with the team!

Well, I finally stopped dragging my feet, and have at last let this great figure see the light of day in the Preserve archives. Click below for some more shots of what may be my favorite figure of 2010!

There's something out there waiting for us, and it ain't no man...

Posted by charlie on February 1st 2011, 09:08 AM
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