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NYCC 2016: Hasbro’s The Night Before Party Offers Reveals, Mysteries

nycc-hasbro-party-kastors-kornerHasbro kicked off New York Comic Con by revealing new Star Wars: Rogue One, Marvel Legends, and Transformers toys… and opening a few mysteries in the process.

Once again, Hasbro welcomed us to New York Comic Con with their Night Before Party, showcasing  new products in their Star Wars, Marvel, and Transformers lines, as well as more general revelry involving their toy properties. This year’s party only contained a handful of reveals… but what we did see was fantastic.

New additions to the Star Wars Rogue One collection included 6″ Black Series versions of Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus, both of whom looked great, featuring screen accurate all new sculpts, excellent actor portraits of Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang, and some great accessories, from Imwe’s expanding bow, to Malbus’ heavy gun and ammo rig.  Having (obviously) not seen anything from Rogue One outside of the trailers and promotional images that have been released, I find it kind of odd that Hasbro has ignored apparent teammate Bodhi Rook in both 6″ and 3.75″ scales.  Does their omission suggest that Bodhi isn’t long for the Star Wars universe, like Suicide Squad‘s Slipknot before him?  Or, is his lack of presence simply based on– as Hasbro’s Steve Evans said– Rogue One‘s considerably “big team” to choose from in the toy line?

Even more intriguing were the new Marvel Legends on display.  In addition to the Doctor Strange figures and the next wave of Spider-Man Legends (which will bring Ms. Marvel, Jackal, and more all new characters to the collection), four brand new figures were featured… though not all will be released in the same in 2017. Old Man Logan and the classic, Rob Liefeld-style Shatterstar will both join the next wave of X-Men Legends, but Hasbro’s team was keeping mum on where we will see Adam Warlock and Death’s Head II hit retail.

Here’s my theories– Adam Warlock is depicted in his Guardians of the Galaxy era costume, so I think it’s a safe bet he’ll join the GOTG Legends set to be released in early 2017, ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hitting movie theaters literally everywhere.  Death’s Head II, on the other hand… he’s a tough one.  A stalwart of the long-forgotten Marvel UK imprint of the 1990s, this cybernetic warrior only crossed over with the core heroes of the Marvel Universe a handful of times over the years.  BUT, he was notably introduced in a story that involved an assassination attempt on Reed Richards, and that has me wondering… could Hasbro be planning a wave of Fantastic Four Legends next year, with Death’s Head II as the Build-A-Figure?  We know from the X-Men that Hasbro is willing to expand the Legends brand beyond whatever major releases Marvel Studios has slated for the big screen, and the Fantastic Four have received little love in toy form over the past few years.  An odd choice like Death’s Head II to anchor a wave might be just the spark of life this property needs to successfully re-introduce itself to the toy aisle.

The next waves of Titans Return Transformers were also on display, from Legends all the way up to the Voyager Class, and there’s some great additions.  I was particularly fond of the new Perceptor and Hot Rod, both of whom served as excellent upgrades of their classic, G1 designs.  And My Little Pony showcased lots of cool new ponies, as well as a preview edition of the upcoming IDW My Little Ponies comic book.

Hasbro’s Night Before party featured a nice, casual atmosphere, and the small but effective variety of new product reveals helped keep that relaxed vibe going.  There was just enough new product– and equally enough genuinely exciting and intriguing reveals– that the party still carried a worthwhile air of importance, but more than anything, The Night Before party offered a venue for geeks and collectors and fans to get together and talk about the toy properties we all love so dearly, as we get ready for New York Comic Con.

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