NECA really brought their a-game to NYCC, with an insane amount of prototypes and upcoming figures on display. Aliens series 3 and 4 were shown, with Bishop, Kane and the Dog Alien in the third wave and Dallas and two Ripley figures– in her flight suit and Nostromo space suit– making up the fourth. The Ripley sculpts were phenomenal to see in person, with absolutely stunning portraits of Sigourney Weaver, and each comes packed with a unique sculpt of Jonesy the asshole cat, which technically adds another crew member to our Nostromo team.
Series 5 and 6 are being developed right now, with the fifth wave returning to James Cameron’s Aliens, and will feature a second movie Ripley to pilot the Power Loader. Series 6 will be the first “Kenner” wave, with three figures inspired by the 90’s Aliens toy line.
Predator has been kind of on the back burner this year, due to NECA’s focus on new properties like Godzilla and Planet of the Apes, but the long-running line will end 2014 strong with Bad Blood and Series 12 set to be released any day, to be followed by the second Kenner set– Series 13– in December. In the meantime, the massive Blade Fighter vehicle will hit around November. Fans of AVP will be happy to know that Predator Series 14 will finally see updates to those characters, and will feature new sculpts, including a new body design.
The second wave of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes figures will hit stores in November, and likely be the last toys based on this year’s surprisingly good movie. However, the POTA Classics will keep going strong, with Series 2 hitting next month– featuring Zira, General Ursus and a new Dr. Zaius– and Series 3 planned for early 2015, set to include Julius, Conquest Caesar and a Conquest Gorilla. The army-buoling Soldier Ape two-pack is a Toys R Us exclusive scheduled for Black Friday, and you can preorder it now on ToysRUs.com. This line is amazing, and the future is looking bright… the Mego style retro Taylor and Solider Ape are waiting in the wings, and Randy said Series 4 and a deluxe figure are both in the works… Who could it be?
Most modern movie properties don’t seem to have a very long lifespan, but Pacific Rim is bucking that trend in a big way, showing its impressive staying power with each popular new toy release. The newly boxed Kaiju Axe Head should drop any day now, to be followed by a non-battle damaged Knifehead as a TRU exclusive this Fall. The fourth wave of Jaegers will feature the amazing new Gipsy Danger– complete with his freight ship “baseball bat” and Tacit Ronin. Series 5 will follow in December, with an all-new, one armed battle damaged Gipsy as well as Romeo Blue.
It was incredible to see the ultra deluxe edition Otachi as well… she is HUGE! The Kaiju will be available in January in her “land” configuration, with a winged “air” version to follow in early 2015. The one-off deluxe pattern we see with Otachi will be the new standard for any remaining Kaiju we get in this series, since each one will be massive and require all new tooling. That’s fine by me– I’d happily shell out for badass beasts like Onibaba or Slattern or Raiju to face off against my Jaegers!
The long-dormant Dante figure from Devil May Cry will finally see release in early 2015, and there’s some great video game crossover figures in the meantime, such as the 8-Bit Batman and Rambo and the upcoming Terminator vs. Predator line. These figures didn’t do much for me based on their original product shots, but the paint work is so great, seeing them in person made me a believer.
NECA really came out swinging with their return to NYCC, and all of their new reveals proved once again why they’re among the very best in the toy business. The properties and character selection are fantastic, the sculpts are amazing and even the great diorama displays– something NECA has been focusing on more and more over the past few years– are a wonder to look at. A few years ago, NECA really focused on challenging themselves by adding articulation to their toys without sacrificing the always fantastic sculpting that made them famous. Now, they’re pushing the envelope in a more thematic way, finding new ways to turn nostalgia into toys that never pander to fans, but feel fresh, fun and totally badass. It’s a fine line, but NECA has proven they’re more than capable of walking it.