Many Thanks (

By:Andrew Kardon
Date: Thursday, November 07, 2002

It's turkey time again. Chocolate turkeys! Fresh turkeys! Turkey soup. Leftover turkey sandwiches. Turkey casserole. Ugh. It's turkey time.

Well, despite an overdose of poultry around Thanksgiving, toy fans actually have a lot to be thankful for this year. Sure, every year sees better and better sculpts and articulation within the toy industry, but this year was really full of some shining moments.

There's Palisades' unbelievably cool MUPPETS figures. Why no one's ever done this line before is beyond me, but these suckers were certainly worth the wait. Then there's Toy Biz's new MARVEL LEGENDS line. Finally, we get top-notch sculpting and unbelievable articulation for all our favorite Marvel characters. And thanks to the kooky cats over at Art Asylum, we've got a gorgeous new line of STAR TREK figures.

Fans of the '80s also had a field day this year. Toynami's HERCULOIDS. Diamond Select's BATTLE OF THE PLANETS. Hasbro's relaunch of G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO. And speaking of relaunches, don't forget Mattel's HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE or Palisades' MICRONAUTS.

And yes, there were plenty more goodies that came out this year. But putting it all in perspective, 2002 seems to be the start of a true toy renaissance. And if that ain't something to be thankful for, well then I'm just gonna have to start collecting stamps or something...


The grief just keeps getting gooder. Hot on the heels of Playing Mantis' rockin' line of PEANUTS action figures comes YOU'RE AN ALL-STAR, CHARLIE BROWN. This baseball-themed lineup hits for the fences next spring with a roster including Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Sally and Snoopy, and a killer Dugout playset with Peppermint Patty and Marci! And as if that ain't enough, look for 3 more Peanuts lines to hit in 2003: SIMPLY SNOOPY (includes Dancing Snoopy, Spike, Joe Cool and more); IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN! (new accessories and two new figures in the lineup: Pig Pen and Violet, and Lucy at the Halloween Party playset); and A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (including a Snoopy with Light Up Doghouse playset).

And you

WWE FLEX 'EMS' version of THE ROCK

thought wrestlers weren't flexible. Well they certainly are now, thanks to Jakks Pacific's new line of WWE FLEX 'EMS action figures. This all-new line of 7" wrasslin' figures sports a unique realistic feeling and very pliable outer "skin." Even neater, all those exterior articulation joints are well hidden, and each figure has a wider range of movement, even in their fingers. The first wave hits in November with THE ROCK, TRIPLE H, EDGE, KURT ANGLE, HOLLYWOOD HOGAN and CHRIS JERICHO.

Okay, okay.

TONY HAWK figures

I admit it. I'm really digging Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi" song. It's just so damn catchy. No, don't go looking for an Avril figure anytime soon (though I'd definitely scoop one up!)... but you can get ready for some other skater boyish figures. Art Asylum will be putting out a line of TONY HAWK figures sometime in 2003. They're still in the planning stages but you can certainly expect some gorgeous sculpting and super poseability.

Todd McFarlane's driving toy fans nuts. That's because McFarlane Toys and Action Performance have joined forces to create a line of NASCAR action figures. Details are still being worked out, but the first wavedue out in summer 2003will most likely include such fan-favorite drivers as RUSTY WALLACE, JEFF GORDON, DALE EARNHARDT JR. and TONY STEWART.


When you


think exclusive Ozzy figure, you probably have visions of blood-oozing headless bats or fur-growing bark-at-the-moon figures. But Mezco's got something even cooler in mindsomething that's totally Ozzy. Shipping in February 2003 as a Previews Exclusive figure is HOBBLED OZZY, complete with his club shirt and leg cast from one of the MTV series' more popular episodes. Oh, Ozzy, you've done it again...


Get one step closer to the final frontier with Art Asylum's latest line of STAR TREK figures. Tying into the upcoming major motion picture (the 10th in the Trek franchise), NEMESIS gives fans their first taste of the Next Generation crew, Art Asylum-style. Beam over to your local toy store and get your phaser-less paws on CAPTAIN PICARD, DATA, THE REMAN VICEROY and SHINZON.

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