Top Toys of Summer 2014 (Mania.com)

By:Jarrett Kruse
Date: Sunday, August 31, 2014
Source: Mania.com

Well, the summer of 2014 has come and gone and with it a whole slew of Cons touting their new toys. News has been flooding in about what is coming up next in the toy industry but first we are going to look back at this summer and list our greatest hits of summer 2014. From Marvel Legends to Masters of the Universe, the toy industry is getting more and more part of the mainstream geek culture as the plastic goodness continues to improve. Points of articulation are aplenty and figures are hitting stores quicker and quicker as they leap from the comic book pages and onto the pegs. 

Movies and TV shows continue to be transferred from the screens and into our homes in the form of plastic goodness. While some new properties were big hits with the toy junkies, it was the perennial mainstays like Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that continue to empty our pockets. It seems that those brands will never go out of style. After looking back from the list, I realized that their are some repeat lines, but hey, its only been two months. With that being said, take a look at the list of summer toys that captured our minds and took our money.
 
SDCC JABBA THE HUT THRONE ROOM BLACK SERIES

This epic set from the San Diego Comic Con totally floored me with its originality and well, size. Sure you always think of Jabba the Hutt as one big mother but the Hasbro Star Wars Black Series Exclusive from SDCC outdid themselves. I was able to snag mine from hasbrotoyshop.com after losing out several times on eBay. I was glad I waited because the giant set was just $65 and was totally worth it. Complete with Throne Room, this Jabba is the one all of us Rebel scum have been waiting for. Besides Jabbas hookah, pal Salacious Crumb and disgusting white spittle around the mouth, the diorama-like set even has a cardboard Han Solo in Carbonite protruding from the wall! Now thats detail. Fan appreciated by all.
 
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

The Turtles did not do so bad at the box office this summer and amongst toy fans, the figures were also a hit. While they were not the traditional look of Eastman & Lairds 30 year old creation, fans found a spot in their hearts for the newly revamped TMNT. The new figures could be found for just $8.99 apiece on mega-retailer Amazon and standing at around 5-inches tall, this set did pack a lot of punch for the price. Target even had a retailer exclusive that included all four of the pizza eaters in one box. All in all, it was a refreshing surprise to see a new generation digging the new Turtles both in the theaters and on the shelves.
 
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY MARVEL LEGENDS

The one bright spot of the summer box office was the epic Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy.The hit surprised everyone making half a billion dollars at the global box office solidifying helmer James Gunns film the one true runaway blockbuster of the season. Anchored by Chris Pratts performance as Peter Quill aka Starlord,fans of the comic book of past and its new Bendis written incarnation really dug anything GOTG. Heck, even the soundtrack vaulted to number one on the charts. Marvel Legends from Hasbro made the quick move to capitalize on the films success by releasing an entire wave of Guardians including a Build-A-Figure of scene stealer Groot.The wave even included a Nova and along with Rocket Raccoon were the hardest of the bunch to find. With a sequel already in sight, GOTG was the film to be a part of this summer. The ML figures were pure gravy on top of the incredible hype on the sleeper blockbuster that no one saw coming. 

 
DC MULTIVERSE FIGURES

One thing DC figures were not known for in years past was excelling at making any Marvel Universe style 3 & 3/4figures. Now, that has finally changed as fans gobbled up the new DC Multiverse waves of figures. The other-worldly figures, that is to say movie and video game universes,this new line from DC was the one that we have been waiting for. Finally, we have Michael Keaton movie Batman AND even an Unmasked variant complete with Keatons signature mug and brow. Throw that on top of SUPERMAN II General Zod (Terrence Stamp), Christopher Reeve Superman, Danny DeVito Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman, both from BATMAN RETURNS and this line is a winner. Next up from the Multiverse: Arkham Knight figures including Red Hood, Robin, Scarecrow & Two-Face.

 
X-MEN LEGENDS TOYS R US EXCLUSIVE

On top of the GOTG Legends, Hasbro hit us for a loop with a series of Exclusive Toys R Us figures that have seen an upswing as the summer comes to a close. Making it also a Build a Figure series, this time of Jubilee, X-Men fans are rejoicing at the new wave of mutants. This time around we get a revamped Cyclops, unhooded Wolverine, Stryfe, Magneto and a very hard to find mohawked Storm from the 80s. It is a pretty sweet set if you can find them on the pegs. The BAF Jubilee is going for close to $100 on some eBay auctions and seems to be a figure that X-fans have been craving for a good long while. 

 
STAR WARS BLACK SERIES BIKER SCOUT

Over thirty years in the making, from the forest moon of Endor, its the Empires Biker Scout with Speeder! The Black Series from Hasbro continues to churn out quality product for the Star Wars lover in all of us. This Biker Scout as seen in RETURN OF THE JEDI is already a big hit with collectors for its crazy accuracy and attention to detail. Die hard fins are picking up a few at a time to reenact and display their favorite scene from Episode VI. However it has become increasingly difficult to find in stores. It carries a relatively cheap price tag of just $39.99 if you are lucky enough to find it at retail. eBay prices seem to be consistently fetching in the sixty dollar range. Just another reason for toy fans to sign over their paychecks to the good people of Disney. 

 
FUNKO ReACTION RETRO 3 & 3/4FiGURES

Having a big hit with their POP! Vinyl figures, FUNKO has expanded their universe with these new carded figures from the burgeoning company. Although these figures are not quite as sturdy as their Marvel & DC counterparts, it is great to see some of the most coveted TV and movie properties finally in plastic form. So far we have been given FIREFLY, BACK TO THE FUTURE and THE ROCKETEER and we can look forward to more this Fall with PULP FICTION & THE GOONIES. At around a $10.99 price point, fans have been jumping all over these new additions to the pop universe. 

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