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Things heat up this summer as toy companies unveil new goodies

By ANDREW KARDON     July 18, 2002

Watch for the HUMAN TORCH and company to heat up the action figure market this summer.
© 2002 Toy Biz

Can you feel it? The energy crackling in the air. The anticipation hovering in the wind. The rush of insanity. The stench of unwashed fanboys. Yep, that can mean only one thing in the summer: convention time!

As convention season really swings into high gear, toy companies start rolling out the really cool merchandise for fans to go "ga-ga" over. With the San Diego Comic Con just around the corner, expect to see some big releases from major companies. Sure, we'll be filling you in right here on the site, but if you have a chance to make it to the West Coast in August for the show, you'll find yourself in toy nirvana. (No, not action figures of Kurt Cobain...) So many shapes, sizes and colors. Tons of exclusives. And if you ask real nice, you may even get to hold a few prototypes.

So bask in the glory of the summer convention season. Why? Well, for starters, it's damn fun. But mainly, 'cause after this, the rest of the year gets pretty light on new toy announcements until next year's Toy Fair. But with so many new (and revamped old) lines hitting stores over the next few monthsMICRONAUTS, MUPPETS, HE-MAN, MARVEL LEGENDS, MARVEL STUDIO and DC HEROCLIX to name just a scat fewit's gonna be one hot summer time.

Now, pass the lemonade, wouldja?


BLINKY. Hey, wasn't he one of the Pac-Man ghosts?

Get out the propane, it's time to grill up some action figures! Yep, Fox's animated KING OF THE HILL show is finally getting a line of action figures thanks to Toycom. Scheduled for a November shipping, look for the first series to include highly detailed and articulated figures in the 6" or 7" range.

Three-eyed, mutated fish fans (that's the fish that are mutated, not the fans...) are finally getting their due with a BLINKY toy. The three-eyed unofficial mascot of the Simpsons' Springfield is set to hit stores this September courtesy of Dark Horse. Ol' Blinky comes with a squishy body, sparkle-filled gooish interior and a light-up plutonium rod floating in his gut. Fun for the whole family!

Where were the girls like LAIN when I went to school?

Anime fans will be interested in two new releases from Toynami scheduled to ship in late July. First up is LAIN IN SCHOOLGIRL UNIFORM from Pioneer's popular anime series LAIN: SERIAL EXPERIMENTS. Roughly 8" tall with over 20 points of articulation, this li'l gal is limited to 3,000 units and includes a knapsack and laptop computer accessory. The NAOMI ARMITAGE figure jumps straight out of Pioneer's ARMITAGE: DUAL MATRIX anime, and also stands 8" tall with over 20 points of articulation. Saucy!


Members of Hasbro's Star Wars fan club can now get their grubby paws on a FAN CLUB EXCLUSIVE 12" KI ADI MUNDI figure. This long-headed, white-bearded Jedi Master not only resembles a distant relative of Sesame Street's Bert, but he helps Mace Windu take on the Separatists and their mega droid army. What more do ya want?


Jay's Back in BLACK.

They're men...they're men in black. You know the song, join in! Well, if you haven't seen the 80 million movie previews or 46 gazillion Burger King commercials, you may not have realized that MEN IN BLACK II is out. And that means Hasbro's MIBII action figures are out as well! You can pick up all sorts o' crazy figures like AGENT KAY WITH GRAVITRON FLIGHT PACK, AGENT JAY WITH ALIEN PURSUIT CYCLE and SLEEBLE & GEEBLE WITH GALACTIC STEALTH CRAFT.

Go Figure is our weekly Toys and Action Figure column.

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