By: Nicholas Eskey
Hasbro Entertainment, the fine purveyor and partner to franchises like; Transformers, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Nerf, and Magic the Gathering, has continuously been growing and developing their branding. So loved are their toys that there’s always a run on something deemed even remotely collectible.
I along with the other press men and women were exposed to some of their most exciting merchandise over breakfast nonetheless.
The first thing I must comment on is the breakfast’s venue. Jsix restaurant is a lovely downtown eatery. Unfortunately the many toy displays didn’t leave much room for anything else. After we had helped ourselves to some breakfast items, we saw that to our dismay that there was only a few tables to eat off of, and no chairs whatsoever. There were some grumbles from us press, especially those who came late.
After I quickly dispatched my plate, I made my rounds among the toys. First was My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It’s astounding how the brand transcends and holds fans from both children and grown men. Though I don’t have too much exposure to the show, I am quite familiar with the merchandise. The focus this year is their Guardians of Harmony fan series. These ponies resemble more of action figures than just simple toys. Featured sets were Spitfire & Soarin, Shadowbolts, Princess Celestia, Nightmare Moon, and the ever unpredictable Discord. For a convention exclusive, Hasbro has the Discord and Fluttershy figure set.
Transformers has had a strong following ever since it’s inception. From simple sets to grand behemoths, there is no shortage for collecting. This year’s complex sets are the impressive Liokaiser, consisting of 6 other smaller Transformers, the convention edition larger than life Transformers Generations: Titans Return Titan Class Fortress Maximus, and my personal favorite the Soundwave Tablet. I got to see this beauty transform from his Decepticon state to a compact tablet. Simply amazing.
A fun crossover and for now a convention exclusive is the G.I. Joe and Transformers set. See your favorite G.I. Joe characters behind the wheel of vehicles that are actually robots is disguise. A must have!
A new toy line for Hasbro is the current Japanese sensation known as Yo-Kai. Currently in its third season in Japan, the show spun off into a toy line. It involves a rather large wrist band that accepts disks. The disks are supposed to represent spirits that cause havoc in our world, much like that of losing the sock in the dryer. Once placed in the watch, the disks activate a sound byte of the inserted character. Since it’s release in the states in January of this year, there are 200 disks in the set. Around October of this year, we will get the 2nd version of the wrist watch (to reflect the anime) as well as 100 new disks. This upgraded watch will still be able to play the current collection, but also now project a small scene onto a nearby surface.
The disks have more features than just their collectability and wrist band playability. Cellphones can also scan the QR code on them by use of the Yo-Kai app, and the Nintendo 3DS game can also use AR to include the characters. The card game, releasing in August, can also use the disks as power-ups. Just be prepared to have a litter of small disks all over your child’s room, if not your home. Their convention exclusive is a box featuring a figure from the show, as well as 5 special disks.
Some other Hasbro convention exclusives worth mentioning are: Marvel The Raft Legends Series 6-Inch Action Figure Set, Marvel The Collectors Vault Legends Series 3.75-Inch Action Figure Set, Micronauts Classic Collection Set, Star Wars: The Black Series 6-Inch Obi-Wan Kenobi Pack, Star Wars: The Black Series 6-Inch Kylo Ren Pack, and the Star Wars: The Black Series 6-Inch Jyn Erso Pack.
Lack of tables and absence of chairs aside, the venue was nice, the food delicious, and the toys exciting. Thank you Hasbrouck for another hands on preview.