Toys

Sept. 04, 2013 | 11:40 a.m.

Max Steel movie: Mattel action figure to get big screen treatment

Max Steel (featured image)
The popular cartoon and toy line hero Max Steel is set to take his turbo-energy powers to the big screen. Mattel is teaming up with Dolphin Entertainment and Open Road Films to develop a live-action feature film based on the character, the companies announced Wednesday. The “Max Steel” film will be written by Christopher Yost, who recently worked on “Thor: The Dark World” as well as several Marvel cartoon series, and directed by Stewart Hendler (“H+,” “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn”). The film will be produced by Dolphin and distributed by Open Road. For the uninitiated, “Max Steel” tells the story of teenager Maxwell McGrath and his alien pal Steelis — a duo that can combine “turbo-energy powers” to generate the superhero Max Steel. The character has been around in various incarnations since the late 1990s, when Mattel introduced the […]
July 15, 2013 | 1:26 p.m.

Comic-Con: ‘Predator 3D’ toy to feature fans’ decapitated heads

Comic-Con: Predator 3D (featured image)
The alien monster Predator is on the hunt for San Diego Comic-Con attendees. To mark the 3-D Blu-ray release of the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring “Predator,” Fox is dedicating a jungle-themed booth to the film and its iconic extra-terrestrial. “Predator” fans will be able to purchase custom-designed mini-figurines featuring their likeness. Because what fan wouldn’t want to see his or her own decapitated head, spine still attached, being held up by a Predator? The action figures will be created using photographs of participants (taken at the booth) and 3-D printing. The figurines will be mailed to buyers after the convention. Click through the gallery above for a sneak peek. The booth will also feature a Comic-Con exclusive “Predator 3D” head as well as the opportunity to preorder the Blu-ray. The release follows last year’s 3-D version of “I, Robot.” Comic-Con International […]
June 28, 2013 | 11:34 a.m.

Exclusive: Hasbro honors ‘Transformers’ history with Comic-Con toys

Comic-Con 2013 Transformers toys Optimus Prime (featured image)
This year’s Hasbro Transformers Comic-Con toys pay homage to the franchise’s 29-year history, and Hero Complex readers get a first look at them. The three special-edition Comic-Con toy sets run the gamut of the brand’s evolution. In preparation for the brand’s 30th anniversary, one of the sets pays tribute to Transformers: Generation 1 — the original toy line that launched in 1984. The Transformers Titan Guardians action figure set features five classic characters: Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave and Grimlock. “These are five of the greatest Transformers characters ever,” said Jerry Jivoin, Hasbro’s global brand marketing director for Transformers, in a statement. Jivoin said the figures feature the original G1 colors and sculpts, based on the 1980s designs. Another toy set — Shockwave’s Laboratory — finds inspiration from today’s popular animated series “Transformers: Prime – Beast Hunters” (currently airing on the Hub network) and […]
June 14, 2013 | 3:57 p.m.

‘Man of Steel’ merchandise: Costumes, shirts, toys flying into stores

Mattel's "Man of Steel" Movie Masters figures ($14.99 each) feature an assortment of heroes and villains from the film, including Jor-El, Superman, General Zod and Faora. (Jeff O'Brian / Warner Bros. Consumer Products.)
The already-ubiquitous Superman symbol is about to get a lot more popular. Whether or not “Man of Steel” dominates the box office this weekend, the studio can probably count on it being a cash cow for merchandising. The Warner Bros. film, opening in theaters Friday and starring Henry Cavill as the titular character, is accompanied by a host of “Man of Steel”-inspired products, including T-shirts, baseball caps, action figures, costumes and Lego sets. “Man of Steel,” directed by Zack Snyder (“300,” “Watchmen”), is Superman’s first time on the big screen since Brandon Routh’s turn in 2006. Among Cavill’s costars are Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Diane Lane as Martha Kent and Michael Shannon as General Zod. PHOTOS: 50 images from ‘Man of Steel’ Toys and apparel are available featuring the Last Son […]
Feb. 05, 2013 | 9:59 a.m.

What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" trailer: "Be a Cobra!"
Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, but Super Bowl Sunday commercials? We’re going to dissect those things forever. Which brings us to the latest wave: Super Bowl commercials you didn’t see. All things science-and-future site i09 has declared this trailer for “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” “the best Super Bowl commercial that didn’t air during the Super Bowl” — but should have. We were going to argue, until we watched it. Super Bowl halftime show: Beyonce as Wonder Woman? The first installment in the franchise, “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra,” was “critic-proof,” as they say. A popcorn movie with lots of action, lots of explosions, all while not making an awful lot of sense. It all added up to $302 million in worldwide box-office revenue, according to Box Office Mojo. So it’s no surprise that Channing Tatum is back, with a new crew […]
Jan. 30, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.

‘Man of Steel’ first look: Russell Crowe gets Jor-El action figure

Mattel's Movie Masters Jor-El figure, featuring the character from the upcoming Superman film "Man of Steel." (Mattel / Warner Bros. Consumer Products)
Russell Crowe will be sporting some heavy-duty armor in Zack Snyder’s highly anticipated “Man of Steel” — that is, if a new Jor-El action figure is any indication. The Mattel figure features Superman’s Kryptonian father, but he’s not wearing the ethereal white robes of Marlon Brando’s 1978 portrayal. The toy adopts Crowe’s likeness and appears to be clad in the same alien-meets-steam-punk style shoulder armor we’ve seen in photos from the set. The figure also wears metal boots, leg armor and gauntlets over a blue undersuit. In addition to the Jor-El figure, the photo gallery above also gives Hero Complex readers a first look at figures for Superman, his nemesis Darkseid and another DC character, Vampire Batman. The Vampire Batman figure is based on the Batman vampire trilogy (1991’s “Batman and Dracula: Red Rain,” 1994’s “Batman: Bloodstorm” and 1998’s “Batman: Crimson […]
Jan. 17, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.

Eric Nakamura: Giant Robot Biennale 3 exhibition celebrates misfits

Eric Nakamura at the Giant Robot exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
The culture of cute is having a moment — more than 100 of them. Inside downtown Los Angeles’ Japanese American National Museum, the unofficial U.S. ambassador of Asian pop culture, Giant Robot founder Eric Nakamura, hovers over his empire of little people — some 100 charismatic misfits clustered in Plexiglas cases. There’s the cheery, hot-pink monster head atop an armored tank, the grimacing caramel-colored ogre with horns and the Native American robotic beast in a fuzzy bear hat. Not to mention the bug-eyed, blue octopus skewering its neon-scarlet brain with a fork. That these custom vinyl figures are being showcased so seriously in a museum setting puts an elastic grin on Nakamura’s face. “A figure show, toys, are never presented in a space like this,” he says. “It usually happens in a shop on Melrose, on a shelf. I wanted […]
June 09, 2012 | 1:44 p.m.

Comic-Con exclusive: Hasbro goes big with Super Helicarrier

Helicarrier
Hasbro is bringing the big guns to Comic-Con International (July 12-15) with a special edition of a Marvel mainstay that just might block out the San Diego sun — it’s the Super Helicarrier, a tricked out version of the hovering military fortress that gives Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. a mobile headquarters. The Super Helicarrier will be sold at the Hasbro’s booth ( No. 3329) while supplies last, which won’t be long even with the hefty price tag ($129.99) and the intimidating prospect of actually lugging this thing through the human traffic jam of the Con’s trading floor. At just over 4 feet long, the Super Helicarrier is the size of standard ironing board so, you know, good luck with that. Hasbro brought the standard version of their Helicarrier to the New York Toy Fair just before Valentine’s Day but this limited edition is […]
Feb. 03, 2012 | 8:08 p.m.

‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation': Bruce Willis takes command

Dwayne Johnson (left) plays Roadblock and Bruce Willis (center) plays Colton in" G.I. Joe Retaliation" (Paramount Pictures)
The invasion is underway — “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” won’t arrive in theaters until June 29, but the commando sequel is already trying to win hearts and minds with the new commercial that airs on Super Bowl Sunday during the big game on NBC. It’s a film that will be driven by action and sprinkled with comedy, according to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, but it also aspires to bridge an interesting pop-culture generation gap. When the first film in the franchise, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” arrived in theaters in 2009, di Bonaventura heard from plenty of confused people — the common link was that most had grown up in the 1960s or 1970s when G.I. Joe was a brand name synonymous with the 12-inch-tall military-man toy that introduced the term “action figure.” They were all unaware of the 1980s reinvention of the brand — in Marvel Comics, toys and […]
Jan. 31, 2012 | 9:01 p.m.

‘Dark Knight Rises': First look at Gotham City’s new toys

The new Batman film will bring a mountain of new toys, like this figure (Mattel)
“Where does he get those wonderful toys?” It was 23 years ago this summer that Jack Nicholson delivered that line in Tim Burton’s “Batman” and — even as the names, faces and franchises change — the caped crusader is still hard to beat on the toy aisles of America. This July, Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” will arrive in theaters and that means a whole new mountain of Gotham City toys and tie-ins are on the way. Some of the key products will be unveiled at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, which begins Wednesday, and in the gallery above we have the exclusive first look at three of them: Mattel’s Batman: “The Dark Knight Rises” Quicktek figure; Funko’s  “The Dark Knight Rises” Bane vinyl pop figure; and “The Dark Knight Rises” Catwoman vinyl pop figure. We also have Mattel’s “The Dark Knight Rises” Movie Masters figure which isn’t […]
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