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What A Long Strange Trip It's Been...

Well, we're trying something a bit new this year here at AFI. After spending the past 6 or 7 years being beaten down by the glory and the chaos that is SDCC, I (Jason 'ToyOtter' Geyer) am staying behind to man the fort while our intrepid team (Daniel 'Julius Marx' Pickett, Cuban Zod, and Mike 'SDComics' Walker, along with a few friends and colleagues) will send back reports and pictures from the con floor. With any luck we'll be able to update more frequently than if we were all there. Helping me tremendously in keeping the fort secure is the rest of the team: Ryan 'The Superfly' Prast, Jeff 'Jeff' Cope, and Darren 'Dare' Chia. So check back here throughout the four days of the convention, and take a gander at our special SDCC forums set up for all sorts of discussion. Daniel will also once again be moderating his famous toy panels, so if you hit the con be sure to go check them out!

For more good coverage and pictures, the only places you need to go visit are Fwooshnet, Raving Toy Maniac, Action-Figure.com, Rebelscum, and YoJoe.com .

Now on with the show!


Saturday July 22, 2006 - Day Three

Update! New DC Direct assortments: Batman/Superman "with a Vengeance"- Batzarro, Bizarro, Batman Beyond(!), Kryptonite Batman, Superwoman, Batwoman) and First Appearances 4- Blue Beetle, The new Atom, Warlord, modern Martian Manhunter, modern Aquaman! Better pics coming later!

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Batman/Superman 4
Batman/Superman 4
Batman/Superman 4
Batman/Superman 4
Batman/Superman 4
       
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Batman/Superman 4
Batman/Superman 4
Batman/Superman 4
Batman/Superman 4
Batwoman
 
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Batzarro
Bizarro
Batwoman
Batman Beyond
Batzarro
 
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Batwoman/Superwoman
Batzarro/Bizarro
Batman Beyond/ Kryptonite Batman
Batwoman
Kryptonite Batman
       
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Bizarro
Batman Beyond
Superwoman
Modern Martian Manhunter
Modern Atom
       
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Travis Morgan, The Warlord
Blue Beetle III
Modern Aquaman
Modern Martian Manhunter
Modern Atom
       
 
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Travis Morgan, The Warlord
Blue Beetle III
Modern Aquaman
 
       

 

 

Lots more pictures coming throughout the day. Mike, Daniel, and Zod have been doing an fantastic job taking shots of everything and we have over 1000 pics to sort through and format. Look for our coverage to continue for the next week while we label everything and do it the right way. Rest assured, we'll get the "newsworthy" ones up as quick as possible! Here are a few to tide you over- DC Direct Manhunter Robot has a flip-up faceplate. We bring you the money shot. Also, Marvel Legends Icons Hulk and Venom have variant versions; we'll have more pics shortly, but here are the first ones.

Manhunter Face Down
Manhunter Face Up
Variant Hulk
Variant Venom

 

MATTEL - JLU, Superman

Arguably one of the most anticipated showings among fans were this years' superhero offerings from Mattel. Which might account for the slight let down fans were feeling after seeing what was revealed in the JLU line at SDCC, namely less items that had been leaked the week earlier! Happily, many fans were excited by what was shown- Volcana, Deadshot, Stargirl, Winged Amazo, Shade, Justice Lords Hawkgirl, and Parasite along with the announced Jim Lee style Huntress and new 10" figures. Rest assured, Mattel has a lot in store for the line and just might not have been ready to reveal all of their plans quite yet.

Also shown was the relaunch of the Superman Returns movie line, now renamed Superman: Man of Steel and including characters form the SR video game from EA such as Mongul and Metallo in addition to new treatments of movie figures. Whew! It will remain to be seen if this line can last a few years until the inevitable sequel, or at least until the next Batman movie line can take over.

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JLU Display
Boxes of Grundys
Superman Galore!
Shayera, The Ray, Stargirl
Wonder Women Unite!
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Winged Amazo New JLU New JLU Superman: Man of Steel Superman: Man of Steel
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S:MOS Metallo
Superman: Man of Steel
Superman: Man of Steel
S:MOS Metallo
SMOS: Mongul
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Superman: Man of Steel
S:MOS Lex Luthor
S:MOS Metallo
SMOS: Mongul

 


 

TOY BIZ

While it's unknown as of yet if Toy Biz's upgraded presence at the convention will continue next year, fans are grateful that the showing for 2006 was far beyond what it has been in the most recent years past.

And what a showing it is! For their last year shepherding the Marvel license through fan-encrusted waters Toy Biz not only brought all of their upcoming product to display, but also a nice chunk of stuff that was sculpted but now will most likely never see mass production.

Due to rising oil costs last year (after all, plastic is made from oil, plus the cost of shipping from the Orient) some items made specifically to please the fans were not to be. First, a suggested Avenger Quinjet build-a-figure was unable to get off the ground (it's unknown how far this made it into reality, or if any actual sculpting was started). Next, the planned "accessories" for the all-villain ML 13 were going to be classic Marvel comics henchmen with limited articulation- AIM Scientist, Hellfire Club goon, Hydra Agent, Doombot, Hand Ninja, and Brood Drone (not shown). We're not sure where Forbush Man was going to fall in the mix, but he does have a nifty Thor Frog to keep him company. Even smaller pieces, like the non-articulated PVC X-Babies that were to come with the ML 14 Mojo assortment couldn't be saved. Maybe one day Hasbro will include these in some fashion to their line.

The remainder of 2006 will bring us two more ML assortments, a second series of the "Face-Off" Two-packs, more large size ICONS figures, and a "House of 'M'" box set featuring alternate universe version of favorite characters. Most of these figures will also have variants, which have become increasingly easy to find to the point of sometimes being entirely evenly distributed, so that neither version is more rare than the other. Here is what each new wave will contain:

ML 14- Mojo Build-a-Figure: First Appearance Iron Man (gold variant), Longshot, Luke Cage (silver shirt variant), Falcon (modern variant), Baron Zemo (melted face variant), and Psylocke (face tattoo variant).
ML 15- Modok Build-a-Figure: Beta Ray Bill, Moon Knight (black variant), Thor-Buster Armor Iron Man (Destroyer variant), Spider-Woman (black variant), Wasp (2 variants!), and Captain Marvel (Genis variant).
Face-Off- FA Wolverine vs FA Sabretooth (open mouth variants), FA Punisher vs Jigsaw ( Bradstreet Punisher/White Suit Jigsaw variants), and Modular Iron Man vs Mandarin (War Machine/Green Helmet variants)

The ML sized X-Men line designed to parallel the X3 movie will be releasing a third assortment soon that includes a repaint Colossus, all new Avalanche, X-Treme Rogue, Ultimate Iceman, Ultimate Nightcrawler, and Ultimate Sabretooth. Shown with them is the Hulk vs Thing Masterworks diorama and the Spider-Man villain Toxin.

Superhero Showdown keeps going strong (although there is no indication yet if Hasbro plans to continue the line or not) with all new figures of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman (with both blue/black and blue/white outfit variations), Colossus, Magneto, Mole Man, Juggernaut, Green Goblin, Cyclops, Venom, Elektra, Silver Surfer, Beast, Daredevil, and Deluxe Namor w/Shark and Ghost Rider w/bike.

ICONS continue with Venom, Hulk, and Beast. And rounding it out are some TNA Wrestlers. You boys are going to be lonely in that case next year!

 

 

These are not going to be made!
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X-Babies PVCs
X-Babies PVCs
Forbush Man
Thor Frog
Forbush Man
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AIM Scientist
ML Henchmen
X-Babies PVCs
Wildchild PVC
Hellfire Club Goon
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Hydra Agent
Doombot, Hand Ninja

 

But all of these will be out this year!
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Marvel Legends 14
Marvel Legends 14
Marvel Legends 14
Marvel Legends 14
Mojo Build-a-Figure
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House of "M" Box Set
Baron Zemo, Falcon
Luke Cage, Iron Man
Luke Cage, Iron Man
Captain Marvel, Thorbuster IM
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Marvel Legends 15
Marvel Legends 15
Thorbuster IM, Modok BAF
Destroyer, Beta Ray Bill (in back)
Wasp, Spider-Woman, Moon Knight
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Toy Biz Display
"Face-Off" Asst. 2
Punisher & Jigsaw
Mandarin & Iron Man (Modular)
"Face-Off" Asst. 2
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Mandarin
Jigsaw Variant
Iron Man Variant
Sabretooth & Wolverine
Sabretooth & Wolverine
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Jigsaw
Punisher
Punisher & Jigsaw
Sabretooth & Wolverine
X-Men series 3
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X-Men series 3
Hulk vs Thing Masterworks, Toxin
Superhero Showdown
SS Mole Man, Green Goblin, Elektra
SS Silver Surfer, Juggernaut, Cyclops
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SS Venom, Mr. Fantastic
SS Invisible Woman
Daredevil, Colossus, Magneto
Namor/Shark, Thor, Ghost Rider
Superhero Showdown
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Superhero Showdown
Superhero Showdown
Superhero Showdown
Superhero Showdown
Superhero Showdown
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Superhero Showdown
ML ICONS
ICONS Venom
ICONS Beast
ICONS Hulk Variant
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ICONS Hulk Variant
ICONS Venom Variant
ICONS Venom Variant
TNA Wrestlers
TNA Wrestlers

 


 

HASBRO MARVEL

Hasbro really started off like a shot with the Marvel license this year, having only acquired it in January 2006. The first two waves shown of Marvel Legends were heavily influenced by the Toy Biz design team, but subsequent waves will be more indicative of what direction Hasbro will take the line for the rest of 2007 and beyond. To keep these separate from the Toy Biz Marvel Legends shown at SDCC (ML 14 & 15) we're going to refer to the Hasbro waves as MLH 1 & 2.

MLH 1 includes Banshee, Emma Frost, Planet Hulk, Hercules, X3 Beast, and Ultimate Iron Man with build-a-figure Annihilus. MLH 2 consists of Ultimate Wolverine, Yellowjacket, X3 Movie Jean Grey (Phoenix), Xorn (Magneto head included), Quicksilver, She-Hulk, and "Lord of Asgard" Thor, with a build-a-figure Blob. The Xorn figure shown is the two-up sculpt and will be 6" in production.

MLH 3 (not shown) will have Astonishing X-Men Cyclops, Danger (Room), Comic Marvel Girl (Rachel), Storm (first appearance) and Ord.

Hasbro will extend the 12" ICONS series with a repaint Wolverine, Thor, Dr. Doom and Punisher (Tim Bradstreet version). The X3 Juggernaut pictured is not an ICONS figure, but rather a two-up prototype for the upcoming 6" X3 3-pack with movie versions of Angel, Colossus, and Juggernaut.

Lots more Hasbro Marvel to come!

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Hasbro ML 2 Hasbro ML 2 Hasbro ML 2 Hasbro ML 2 Hasbro ML 2
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Hasbro ML 2 Xorn/Magneto Magneto Head Xorn Head X3 Movie Phoenix
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Quicksilver YellowJacket Lord of Asgard Thor Ultimate Wolverine She-Hulk
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Blob Build-A-Figure Blob Build-A-Figure Blob Build-A-Figure ICONS Punisher ICONS Dr. Doom
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ICONS Wolverine ICONS Thor X3 Juggernaut X3 Juggernaut

 

DC DIRECT

Here are the offerings so far in the DC Direct display. More will show up on Saturday (Batman/Superman 3- Batzarro, Bizarro, Batman Beyond(!), Kryptonite Batman, Superwoman, Batwoman) and Sunday (First Appearances 4- Blue Beetle, The Atom, Warlord, modern Martian Manhunter, Aquaman). We'll have those pictures as their unveiled. The big reveal so far has been the Elseworlds 3 line-up (Red Son Green Lantern, Kingdom Come Nightstar, Kingdom Come Aquaman, Batwoman and Superwoman) and the Infinite Crisis 2 assortment (angry Superman, beaten Batman, regal Wonder Woman, Jason Rusch Firestorm, and two Donna Troy variations (classic and current incarnations).

There has been a lot of mixed reaction to the new "pre-posed" look of the IC figures, but it seems that with better pictures of the articulation that tide is turning in favor of them. Personally I don't think I've seen a better "battle damaged" Batman than this one, and I know that there has never been a nicer Wonder Woman, period. These have hewn very closely to the Phil Jimenez control art and if this is DCD's new direction I think they may have really hit upon a nice solution to refreshing many of the older, dated sculpts. Hopefully the Donna Troy also is a good sign that maybe we'll finally get a good college age Robin and redone Kid Flash to round out the classic Teen Titans. And where's that Doom Patrol, DC? Or maybe a Spirit line to go with the new Darwyn Cooke series and Frank Miller film? Hmmm?

The Alex Ross JUSTICE figures get a 5th assortment with Lex Luthor, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Red Tornado, and Brainiac (plus li'l monkey friend). Hot on the heels of the Superman: through the ages box set is one for Batman. The 40s "Dick Sprang" Batman shown will have a new head sculpt when it goes into production.

Also on display were the latest offerings to the 13" cloth outfit figures: Flash, Batman, Aquaman, and Captain Marvel (Shazam!). Along with the Superman resolit with a new head, these are getter better with each one. DC has been learning some lesson and putting that knowledge to use as the line goes on. I still wish they were 12" scale, though, but I think I'm the only one.

More coverage later with DCD's statues and busts. There is a small taste at the bottom with Ruben Procopio's snazzy Shazam! statue, the Matt Wagner B&W Batman, and some of the upcoming Looney Tunes offerings.

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DCD Display 13" Figures 13" Figures 13" Batman Superman Through the Ages Box Set
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Superman Through the Ages Box Set Batman Through the Ages Box Set Alex Toth Batman Dick Sprang Batman Alex Ross Batman
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Bob Kane Batman Re:Activated Assortment Infinite Crisis 2 Infinite Crisis 2 Infinite Crisis 2
         
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IC2 Superman
IC2 Superman
IC2 Wonder Woman
Infinite Crisis 2
IC2 Wonder Woman
         
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IC2 Donna Troy IC2 Firestorm IC2 Batman IC2 Superman Infinite Crisis 2
         
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Infinite Crisis 2 IC2 Firestorm IC2 Superman IC2 Batman IC2 Batman
         
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IC2 Donna Troy
IC2 Wonder Woman
Elseworlds 3
Elseworlds 3
Elseworlds 3
         
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Kingdom Come Aquaman
Kingdom Come Nightstar
Red Son Green Lantern
Red Son Green Lantern
Superwoman
         
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Superwoman
Elseworlds 3
JUSTICE 5
JUSTICE 5
Brainiac
         
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Brainiac
Brainiac
Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor
Green Arrow
         
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Red Tornado
Martian Manhunter
JUSTICE 5
Red Son Brainiac Head
GL Manhunter Robot
         
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GL Manhunter Robot
GL Manhunter Robot
Looney Tunes 2
Looney Tunes 2
Looney Tunes 2
         
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Looney Tunes 3
Looney Tunes 3
Shazam! Statue
Matt Wagner Batman Statue
Matt Wagner Batman Statue
         

 

 


Click Here for Our SDCC Preview Night & Day One Coverage!

Click Here for Our SDCC Day Two Coverage!


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All text and commentary are the opinions of the authors solely, and not to be attributed to any other parties.
All images, format, content, and design are copyright © 1999-2008 D. ”Julius Marx” Pickett unless otherwise noted. No part of these pages may be reproduced without express written consent of D. Pickett. Licensed character names and images are copyright © their respective companies. But hey, ask me; you just never know what I'll say. - Logo Design by Matt Cauley. Web Design by Jason Geyer.