Thursday, 9 February 2012

Here comes New York Toy Fair

London Toy Fair came and went, and offered a few sneakily taken images of sets we haven’t seen yet. But it was only a little glimpse, and hard to get a decent idea of what’s coming up.  But now the toy industry is gearing up for their annual bash in New York, so it’s time to start salivating at what might be officially revealed.

There have been watermarked confidential box images already, but the new Star Wars range should be revealed. A proper look at Jabba’s Palace (9516) would be nice, as perhaps it will persuade me and others that this set will be worth the asking price. That thing from The Old Republic will be good to see some decent images of, as it is perhaps the most curious choice in this year’s line-up. There will also be the big decision to make: to look at the images of the new advent calendar or not? Are you a miserly character who likes to see what’s coming, or revel in surprise like the child it’s made for?

This will also be the first official look at the Lord of the Rings sets. LEGO have done a great job at teasing the mini-figures already, which give a good flavour of the theme. But seeing the actual sets, and how LEGO are going to represent these extremely vast environments and towering castles will be fascinating. Expect the construction to be Harry Potter-esque. Chances are The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey sets won’t be on display set, but you never know if LEGO might get carried away and stick it all on show.

Which Super Heroes sets will be shown? Definitely the stuff from The Avengers, which will likely reveal plot points from the movie. We know a little about the direction the Super Heroes line has gone in with the Batman sets, but seeing LEGO tackle Marvel characters for the first time in a decade should excite comic book fans. The unknown here is whether or not LEGO will show off the upcoming Spider-Man sets, or if they will be held back so as not to take the spotlight away from The Avengers tie-ins.

Some love it, some hate it, but Friends is set to have another slew of releases following an already huge launch. In the time that some themes only get five sets there will be enough releases available to rival City or Star Wars. So far the line has focused in on some typically ‘girly’ ideas, so where LEGO go beyond that will perhaps hint at what the future holds for the line. More characters? More Heartlake City locations?

Seeing what City gold mining sets include will also be cool. It may not be everyone’s preference, but anytime City introduces something other than re-hashes of Police or Fire it’s nice to see what the designers are capable of and if we can squeeze it into our table top towns.

New York Toy Fair is primarily to reveal upcoming new releases to potential buyers, and convince then to stock the product in their stores. In recent years it has also become more about showcasing product the media and press. So if we get really really lucky, we might see something awesome like the next Shop at Home exclusives… anyone up for seeing what this Ultimate R2-D2 (10225) is going to look like?

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