Hooves on the Ground: Alex at NYC Toy Fair
As a toy enthusiast, I was lucky to attend the American International Toy Fair at NYC's Jacob K Javits Convention Center this year. Some of the companies with Hellboy and B.P.R.D. offerings were Funko, Dark Horse Direct, Diamond (partnered with Dark Horse and 1000toys), Entertainment Earth, and Mezco.
My first stop was the giant Funko booth. It was crowded and overwhelming. They had a slew of new figures, including one single Hellboy Funko Pop! figure: a Hellboy 2019 movie tie-in. I have every Hellboy figure that Funko has made to date, and a number prototypes, so as you can imagine, I was anxious to see what it looked like in person, and, I was not thrilled with what I saw.
It is possible that this is not the final version, but I'm treating it as if it is. The base vinyl color is coming off a bit too orange, and the hair is painted way too light brown, which again, may not be final. The face itself, that is where I have the most problems. As strange as this may seem, the nose is very uncomfortable to look at, and really distracts from the rest of the figure.
I asked other attendees around the booth and spoke to a few fellow collectors online, and this seems to be the consensus. All agreed that while the body, from the jacket, shirt, accessories, and Right Hand of Doom were done really well, they could not get past the head.
On to a better head: next, I went over to Diamond, one of the largest comics and toy distributors, where they had the 1/12 scale Hellboy action figure on display. Dark Horse Direct is the sole distributor of the special edition, so Diamond only had the standard version in the case. The figure is being manufactured by Japanese toy company 1000toys, who are well known in the industry for their Synthetic Human figures. They have experience making highly detailed and highly articulated figures on a small scale.
This Hellboy is based on the comic book version, and comes complete with cloth jacket, accessories, and FULLY ARTICULATED Right Hand of Doom. The one complaint I've seen repeated is the visual appearance of that one feature. It is a bit strange to look at in the beginning, but to have it like this allows for more dynamic posing, which will make for more fun photography. I cannot wait to have this figure in have for a full review.
Editors note - ever build a PG Gundam model kit?
In addition to Hellboy, the unfinished Abe Sapien figure was on display. It is an excellent likeness to the comic book version, at least in sculpting. We will have to see if the painted version does the character justice. The details on the vest, his cute shorts, and even Elihu Cavendish's harpoon are all fantastic and will likely be a day one pre-order for many fans. Hopefully we see more of our favorite characters made down the line.
On the way down the aisle, I was able to stop and have a conversation with a representative of Dark Horse Direct. In addition to exciting products from Game of Thrones, The Umbrella Academy and The Witcher, the top shelf showed a number of Hellboy ephemera coming down this year. All of the products feature Mike Mignolaverse art, which is a treat for fans. There were sets of enamel pins, coasters, and magnets, as well as a deluxe flask kit with a stainless steel shot glass featuring the famous Mike Mignola skull drawing. There was also a journal, a set of playing cards, and a jigsaw puzzle featuring the art from the timeline poster that took the Hellboy fandom by storm. Some of these items should be available by Hellboy Day, March 23rd, while others will be available in the summer.
Next was Entertainment Earth, another large distributor and online storefront. They secured the Hellboy Geeki Tiki ceramic mug. I personally became aware of this line when they released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shot glasses a few years ago through Loot Crate. The representatives at the booth allowed me to handle the item while taking pictures. It not only looks great, but it has a decent weight, and does not feel like a cheap product. They also pointed out that even the interiors are specific to the product, instead of a generic white, the mugs usually have significance to the character. All of the red was on the outside, and the inside was a stark black, staying true to that high contrast color scheme.
Finally, I made my way over to the Mezco booth. I always thought of them as the home of Hellboy toys, especially because my holy Grail of Hellboy toys was made by them. After a lull in product after the Golden Army film, they lost the master license for Hellboy. Now, with the movie in the horizon, they've regained the rights to produce Dave Harbour's portrayal with their One:12 collective line of highly detailed, highly articulated action figures.
When I was speaking to representatives and other visitors at the booth, the general feeling was almost like Hellboy had come back home, and everyone was excited. The only contrast is to the comic book version from 1000Toys, which does split the line, though they are both equally stunning representations of their respective versions. The face sculpt is an uncanny likeness to Dave Harbour's film appearance. The body and Right Hand of Doom look ridiculously life-like, and the fabric materials for the jacket and pants look equally good. It really seems like someone actually shrunk Dave Harbour and put him in a glass case. Sadly, while the movie is set to release soon, this figure will not be released until 2020. Still, I know this will be a day one pre-order for me, and plenty of others!
For all of the collectors in the Mignolaverse, we are not going to be short on high quality Hellboy products in the coming months and into next year. I for one, am going to be in a ton of debt for the foreseeable future.