For as long as top toymakers have occupied the Javits Center for Toy Fair, Hasbro has… not. Instead, Hasbro crams all of its upcoming merch into two floors of the nearby Times Center. This does not disappoint. What awaits a couple of blocks North of the main action is a menagerie of Transformers, Star Wars characters, My Little Pony, and, now, Power Rangers.
Hasbro’s Power Rangers toys for the adult collector will feature similar articulation to the pricier S.H. Figuarts pieces. Most exciting is the Lord Zedd, which will no doubt eclipse previous versions of that character in paint applications and range of motion. When asked about the elusive Rita Repulsa getting a figure, my Hasbro tour guide gave me a solid “Maybe!” While Hasbro is very much nailing the look and likenesses of Power Rangers, it seems, sadly, that they will, at least in the short-term, continue Bandai’s dearth of female representation, unfortunately.
Power Rangers: Beast Morphers premieres this year, and Hasbro is ready for that, too, with a strong line-up of action figures and Zords. The new Megazord is a bit more visually striking than previous ones, seemingly taller than Bandai’s U.S. fare.
If Power Rangers might leave us asking, justifiably, #wheresrita, Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Series won’t let our representation-conscious hearts down. I’ve had literal dreams about a Vice Admiral Holdo 6-inch Black Series figure, and now that will finally be a reality, along with other Star Wars female favs.
Sometimes, “retro” is just a nicer way of saying “Wow you’re about to feel OLD.” Hasbro is rolling out the Star Wars: Episode I action figure packaging for re-releases of at least two Black Series figures, Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan, and the collector favorite Darth Maul. To think, I remember buying the 3.75-inch originals at K.B. Toys back when we were all psyched for the brilliance we expected from The Phantom Menace. Ah, the innocence of youth.
If your Star Wars fandom goes back to the beginning, you’ll be delighted to find that Hasbro is bringing back that 1978 Kenner look along with retro packaging and inserting Grand Moff Tarkin, who originally wasn’t a toy until 1996, into the line-up. General fan buzz from an assortment of sources has been a bit sour on these, with complaints ranging from the price point (10 bucks) to the lack of articulation that comes with throwback figures to the absence of more new characters like Tarkin. I’m actually pretty excited about them, though they do seem to be a Hail Mary Pass to territory once dominated by Funko ReAction.
Hasbro’s massive Jabba’s Sail Barge has got to be universally cool, though. It may be pricey, it may be huge, but that thing is a piece of art that also happens to be a toy. The red sails are cloth. The barge opens up to reveal an interior play environment. It comes with Yak Face, a nod to the impossible-to-get original. Plus, there are additional playsets and skiffs that you can buy to really build out a diorama. If that’s the size of the barge, I hate to see how big you’d need to build the Sarlacc.
If you don’t want Hasbro to garnish your wages, there are some cheaper-yet-still-awesome products to be found. This Darth Vader is approximately 9 inches tall and can be posed from an endoskeleton that hides joints underneath the figure’s cloth costume.
Moving on to Hasbro’s other legacy action figure line, Marvel Legends, the toy company clearly has plans for waves of highly-articulated figures that echo ’90s toys (Jubilee blowing a bubble of bubble gum!), duplicate fan-favorite movie characters (Luis!), and celebrate 80 years, yes 80 *years,* of Marvel (the Wolverine and Hulk 2-pack!).
Hasbro presented a huge chunk of their 2019 Transformers figures, too. Omega Supreme promises to be exactly that, supreme, and will be on the scale of Hasbro’s previous Trypticon and Fortress Maximus megafigures (SRP around $149.99). New versions of Ironhide, Starscream (as a Cybertronian), Ultra Magnus, et many al. will ramp up the new animated series War for Cybertron.
Of course, Transformers isn’t all blood (oil) and guts (pistons?). Hasbro Pulse, the company’s collector sector, will sell a Transformers/Ghostbusters mash-up in which the ECTO-1 becomes a bot. If you can’t get them through Hasbro Pulse, Gamestop should also be carrying the toy. Also, Hasbro’s super-fun line of BotBots will also expand in 2019 to about 190 individual figurines that transform from mundane objects into cute little robots. I will never forget the day I stood in the toy aisle of a Target and found a small roll of toilet paper that became a cybernetic being from another planet. I’m pretty sure I screamed. Audibly. With delight.
No jaunt through Hasbro country would be complete without My Little Pony. New blind boxes will hit stores this year in which consumers buy what looks like a paper egg with a string attached. Pull the string, and the egg drops confetti and a pony with an accessory. I got Fluttershy! The Pinkie Pie pictured above is interactive, and responds to touch with movement, lights, and sound.
Hasbro has always been a company that has known its properties well, and has constantly integrated new licenses into its catalogue. This year is no different. The company has made strides in building its established lines like Star Wars and Marvel Legends, but it is also committed to the new stuff, namely Power Rangers, making sure that fans have plenty of options wherever they buy their toys.