Hasbro is without a doubt one of the toy juggernauts at San Diego Comic-Con, having a fairly-large slice of the collectible’s market. Just look at their line that wraps around their own booth like a python to helpless-forest creature. To rally for a weekend war of toys and to highlight some of their exciting brands to press, the people of Hasbro hosted a buffet-style breakfast at the local Renaissance San Diego Downtown Hotel Thursday morning. Tables with figurine centerpieces, warming trays filled with the likes of “Bey-Con and Shu’s Sausage” and “Starlord Scramble”, and display tables with toys and other action figures; This was the atmosphere at the Hasbro Brand Preview Breakfast.
After getting handed a lovely case of “My Little Pony: Colour is Magic” nail polish, I quickly made my way to the toy tables. Food could wait. There was a good section of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” Between fans such as children and bronies, My Little Pony has blown up a new in recent years and has been a big cash-cow for Hasbro. It was only a matter of time until My Little Pony got a theatrical movie release, scheduled for October 6th of this year. A large sign with a countdown clock ticked away next to a “Proud to Ponify” station, where anyone was welcome to sit down and become just as colorful as one of their favorite ponies. There were even unicorn horns strewn about the room, free for the taking.
Like a Disneyland park where “Fantasyland” is awkwardly situated next to “Tomorrowland”, “Pony-Park” was situated adjacent to the Starwars section of toys. A plethora of figurines stood from all the Starwars theatrical movies, threatening a domino effect if someone were to get a little too close. Among the pile, there was a special figure among them. A representative of Hasbro pointed out a Rey figurine armed with a staff and said, “If you notice her face, essentially what we’re doing is taking a high-res image of [actress] Daisy Ridley, and our new facial recognition system maps it and prints it right unto the sculpture.” Indeed, there is a striking likeness to Daisy Ridley. “So instead of the traditional way that we had been doing it, we’re doing a new technique that will rolling out Spring of 2018 and onward.”
A highly-popular Hasbro booth exclusive is always a box of Wizards of the Coast’s “Magic the Gathering: Planewalker” set. This year’s set follows the Egyptian theme that the game has been following as of late. The six-cards are each a section of a larger diorama, ending with the fiendish “Bolas.” The second half of the convention exclusive is a large poster, rolled up in its own box and stamped with the Planeswalker set. As an added event, Magic the Gathering is set up at the nearby Marriott Marquis hotel, offering new and old players to try their hands to the tradeable card game. If you visit the Magic the Gathering booth and get a special card, take it to the Marriott Marquis and have fun playing the game.
Marvel toys and playsets were also on display, teasing the upcoming “Infinity War” movie with figures done up as they’ve appeared so far in recent trailers. For kids (and some adults), Marvel has a couple different Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer) props set right next to Hulk fists and a Hulk mask, making it possible to play out the epic fight that will occur in Infinity War between the two. They also offer a “Starlord” helmet, because Starlord is cool. Period.
Last but absolutely not least, Transformers toys nearly line a wall of the room by themselves. The Michael Bay “Transformers” movies might not be popular in large by traditional Transformers fans, but the movies certainly have re-lit a fire under the toy craze. An exciting figure on display was a “Transformers: Primitive – Optimus Prime.” Colored largely in black, yellow, and white, the autobot was partially designed by “Primitive Skateboarding” founder Paul Rodriguez. It’s a Hasbro convention exclusive, retailing for $50, of which Hasbro says that any unsold figures will be available through their website after the convention. Knowing a few Transformer collectors myself and their spending habits, I doubt there will be any left after the show.
Thanks to those at Hasbro for the great food and toys. Be sure to watch for all of Hasbro’s exclusives. In the meantime, I can’t wait to try out my “My Little Pony” nail polish set.
Nicholas Eskey is an avid reader and writer. When not contributing to The Beat, he works on his personal projects, the latest being a fantasy novel called “My Personable Demon.” He lives in San Diego, California, and is frequently bossed around by his cat.