This weekend Tamashii Nations World Tour set up In New York City, at Grand Central Terminal, and had lines wrapped around the block just to get one of the toys and see the exhibit.
This was a small event compared to a big show like SDCC or NYCC, but this was well run and entertaining. I was worried considering how much of a mess the lines for the Bluefin booth can be at SDCC, but it goes to show you it is clearly the venue, not the booths. The line, although down and around the block moved at a good pace, and everyone was in good sprits. It was one of the friendliest toy lines I have been apart of in years. Of course after only a couple of hours all the big items sold out, but that was not the end of the day for the booth. There was still plenty to buy and plenty to see.
There was also a retail booth where fans had the chance to pick up some items before their actual release date. Items from all their lines were there from the first 2 Street Fighter figures (Ryu & Chun-Lee) to the first Iron Man armor with docking station. And while there was not a huge line for that booth, it did get longer throughout the day.
The real fun was in the exhibit space. Finally Tamashii Nations had the room to spread out and show off what they have. The main feature of the space was all the Dragon Ball Z figures past, present, and future. The center diorama was the most impressive set up of the exhibit, with giant versions of some of the chracters around and above the booth. Star Wars is starting to creep up on Dragon Ball with some impressive new offerings and preliminary designs for figures. The Meisho Star Wars and Marvel have been a big hit and while some of the new figures were on display, the designs for possible figures are sure to keep collectors coming back. The IG-88 and Padme figure designs are just different enough and move past the armored figures already out in stores. Equally Daredevil and Hulk both take these stylized figures to another level, showing what could be possible when a line does well.
The S.H. Figuarts line is also growing, and now will be available in the US this year. We already saw the DC and WWE figures state side, but were always forced to order from import shops to get the Marvel figures, but this year that all changes. There are more and more figures coming from all the Marvel films this year, and with exclusives extras for the US stores like a wall display for Spider-man, flame effects for Dr. Strange, and pink explosions for Star-Lord. DC is also expanding their lines with a better look at the Christian Bale Batman and Heath Ledger Joker, both look amazing bringing to life the figures of films. There was also a Batpod on display, the first vehicle of the lines, and although it was in prototype phase it looks much better than the Mattel one from years ago. Missing from the exhibit is the next TMNT figure Shredder, but he is still on the way with all the big names in the works. So fans of the line who worry it is yet another version of the chracters that never finish the main cast should rest easy, they are all coming.
This was one of the best events outside of a Comic Con and hope it becomes a regular event.