Jakks Pacific this year cement themselves as the premier kids video game toymaker for 2019.
Besides the long-running World of Nintendo cast of characters, Jakks has initiated two additional brands constantly reinventing themselves: Mega Man (which started last summer) and Sonic the Hedgehog. Joining those properties are Harry Potter electronic toys, as well as a series of Godzilla toys.
Several companies have their hand in the Harry Potter merchandising pool, but I have to tip my to Jakks Pacific for the most creative use of the license. The wizard training wands are a sure-fire hit as a roleplay item. Each have 5 modes of play, sounds and light effects that brings a child’s imagination straight to Hogwarts. Hedwig the owl also has its own set of electronics for interactive play. The last use of the wands are for mini playsets showcasing various movie moments. If the electronics aren’t your thing, blind boxes of mini collectible wands may peel one’s interest.
World of Nintendo is going strong. That said, the assortment of 2.5-inch and 4-inch figures shown reinforce the notion that Nintendo is playing safe with Mario. There are a ton of Odyssey Mario figures and some baddies, but no deep cuts from other Nintendo games as they did before. We may have to wait a little longer for a Captain Falcon, Palutena, or Pit. Heck, I’d gladly take Princesses Daisy or Rosalina at this point. That said, the new Bowser’s castle is pretty sweet, and recreates the final battle of Mario vs Bowser, including the trap door when defeats Bowser. Princess Peach as distressed damsel figure is displayed, but not included. This is a great companion playset to Peach’s castle. Between that and the new level playsets, many collectors are giving the 2.5-inch collection a harder look.
Sonic the Hedgehog is getting another pass for toys, something new has been added. I salute Jakks Pacific for taking a new turn. There are figures and plush, but I appreciate the focus on Sonic’s speed. There are disc “figures” that are pixelated renditions of our heroes that have collapsible limbs to help them roll along. Lastly, yet most impressively, we have the set I won’t get tired of: the Green Hill Zone loop. Sonic and his Sonic Mania allies are each in balls that can be launched pinball-style through the loop. The figure inside stays right side up even though the ball moves, and the characters can even be removed if you want to play with them.
For their other brands, Godzilla King of Monsters are being released to coincide with the movie. The King Ghidorah figure was particularly impressive. Mega Man Fully Charged is getting a full figure rollout. Some new robots debuted with unique action features (Gutsman’s inflating belly is a standout) and Mega Man’s signature weapon absorption is the play pattern for Mega Man and his variants. There are also 2 Mega Busters as well: one is a roleplay item with lights and sounds, and the other folds open into an action figure playset. Sadly, no vintage-style figures or Megaman 11 figures were in sight.
Jakks Pacific keep their toys child-focused, with some products that draw the attention of adult Collectors as well. While not my personal preference, I do appreciate the spotlight on Nintendo’s 2.5-inch figures, playsets, and interactive levels. The Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone loop is insanely repetitive fun. King Ghidorah, Gutsman, and Hedwig the owl also deserve another special mention as really cool products. Much thanks to Jakks Pacific for the first look and keeping the toys fun.