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Toy Fair 2016: Bluefin

Figuarts-TMNT-Toy-FairJust when you think Bluefin hasn’t any tricks left up their sleeve, they continue to impress with all of their new offerings.

Storm Collectibles joins the fray with their statues and dynamic Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter V action figures. Domestic license Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a complete change in deco since their debut at New York Comic Con, and what a difference that made! Sailor Moon faces a new challenger in Chibi Usa’s corrupted persona Black Lady. Super Mario’s Bowser and set E edge closer to release. Dragon Ball debuts numerous new figures as well. Personal favorites of mine are the Bruce Lee figure, the blank Body Kun and Chan figures, and the Saint Seiya Panoramation sets. Their portfolio has certainly been diversified and reinvigorated for 2016.

Storm Collectibles is the new company whose products are being distributed by Bluefin. They seem to be fans of the fight, with merchandise include a Bruce Lee statue, and fully-articulated Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter action figures. The prototype on display appear to have character-specific accessories and alternate heads. As far as Street Fighter is concerned, Ryu and M. Bison are the debut entrants in the line.

Bluefin introduced Sailor Moon’s Black Lady action figure for the first time stateside. She comes with her pink scarf, the corrupted Luna-P ball, and a badminton racket with birdie to recreate a scene of her battle against the sailor senshi. Interestingly, Sailor Moon R and Wiseman figures were nowhere in sight. I hope these two (and Super Sailor Mercury) eventually are solicited.

Saint Seiya are changing scales with the Panoramation series. These figures will be a 4″ scale with attack effects and pieces to assemble the 12 houses of the gold saints. I quite love this idea. It gives collectors all the essentials of this incredible series: attacks, scale to display a vast collection, and all the same detail and articulation you’ve come to enjoy from the Cloth Myth collection. While the armor isn’t removable, the subseries more than makes up for that ingenious detail with copious display options. I can’t wait to see how deep this series goes. While both have their advantages, I can’t help but think space-conscious collectors may move to this new figure expression. The first-release bonus Athena statue is a testament Bandai’s commitment to the Panoramation series.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles saw an overhaul since their October debut. One can include me in the outcry. The neon-skinned, cross-eyed cheesiness of their merchandising looks were a far cry from the Heroes in the Half Shell I embraced in their debut TV miniseries. Now that Leonardo and Donatello have been solicited, we see the show-specific olive-colored skin, alternate expressive faces, and alternate wraps to stow their weapons. The die-cast feet and buckles may have been the key to offer them stateside, and Bluefin has come through for us who can’t wait anymore for Playmates to give us what we want in a classic collection. The scale feels a bit large for the self-proclaimed 4-foot tall talking turtles, but maybe it’ll all work out in the end. Certainly the line should expand, gives the tremendous amount of pre-orders Bluefin has received. As an aside, the lack of paint on Donatello’s bo staff wrap has been expressed by both customers and the eagle eyes at Bluefin. Hopefully, this gets caught before production.

The gallery speaks better than I could to how amazing Bluefin’s gallery was. It’s a dream of articulation, sculpt, and paint well worth their elevated price point. These are collectibles for only the most discriminating collector, and an object lesson to American companies on how to manage a license from the beginning. A big thanks to Bluefin for bringing these amazing figures stateside!

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