I’ve been a huge fan of Bridge Direct’s toy work from The Hobbit movies, but wasn’t expecting much from their Hobbit display at this year’s Toy Fair. But their showcase actually included many more new items than I had anticipated– they’re making one last big push with the property for the release of the third and final movie, There and Back Again, and Bridge Direct is hopeful they will catch the retail support they need to bring this great toy line to the shelves this year.
On display were a variety of previously seen figures, both released and unreleased, including all 13 dwarves in 3.75″ scale, the smaller scale Azog and Radagast (released in the UK by Bridge Direct’s partners Vivid Imaginations), and new additions such as Beorn and Bard. The idea here will return to what we saw from the first movie line, with single carded figures and multi-packs to help release the entire company of 13. The Bridge Direct has heard fans loud and clear that we want a complete set of dwarves, and they are making it a priority to see that this can happen.
The new figures looked fantastic, with great all new sculpts on Bard and Beorn, who absolutely towers over many of the figures, even Azog. On the 6″ side, Bridge Direct showcased their original look of Bolg figure. While his awesome practical design was changed late in the production process to the CGI creature in the second movie, the original design was renamed to Gundabad, and Bridge Direct hopes to release this amazing looking figure under that name.
Rounding out their plans for the year would be a large scale Smaug, which would be the perfect crowning release for this excellent toy line. The toy designers are working with Warner Bros on the figure now, but they had a box in their display as a teaser for the massive monster. I’m really hoping this guy can become a reality, because the smaller scale of many of the Hobbit figures and Bridge Direct’s wonderful sculpts would make for an amazing toy.
The Bridge Direct had more than just Hobbit figures on display. 2014 will also see the release of a new series of Flying Heroes, including new DC and Marvel characters and the launch of both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Minions from Despicable Me in this cool play action series.
The C3 Construction toys have already made a splash with the release of the WWE minifigures and sets, and more of these are on the way later this year in various sized sets, from rings to minifigures with accessories. We will also see NBA C3 figures, hoops and courts this year, with an attention to the top ball players of today, along with variant and alternate uniforms. Later this year, Monster Jam will also make its C3 debut, with a variety of cars, truck and other buildable vehicles.
This year’s Toy Fair showing from The Bridge Direct was very robust, with some cool new products and a surprising amount of new and returning product from The Hobbit. That great toy line has had its struggles over the past year, but I left my meeting with The Bridge Direct more confident than ever that they will find a way to get these toys into the hands of fans everywhere.