Bluefin, the leading North American distributor of toys, collectibles, and hobby merchandise from Japan, Asia and more, complements the launch of the highly anticipated new anime series, INFINI-T FORCE, with the opening of pre-orders for a collection of action figures from the Hong Kong-based manufacturer, SEN-TI-NEL.
Beyond space and time, four heroes who fought for peace gather in the modern era. The new battle of legendary heroes has begun. The INFINI-T FORCE line from SEN-TI-NEL will debut to retailers in February 2018 and is comprised of 4 highly-detailed and fully-poseable figures from Gatchaman, Polymer, Casshan and Tekkaman. Each figure stands approximately 7.1 inches tall and features integrated die-cast construction and an LED light-up element.
2017 marks the 55th Anniversary of the founding of one of Japan’s most famous animation studios – Tatsunoko Production. As the centerpiece of its anniversary, INFINI-T FORCE unites the heroes from four of the studio’s most popular shows – Gatchaman, Polymer, Casshan and Tekkaman.
Gatchaman… The reliable leader of the “Science ninja team, a special team consisting of five members who fought against the evil organization “Galactor” which wishes to conquer the world. With its simple articulation, a variety of signature poses featured in the series can be recreated. The figure stands approximately 18cm tall and offers sturdy die-cast to give weightiness and an LED feature on the unit’s chest.
Casshan… A solitary warrior who has abandoned his own body and become a “neo-human” in order to protect people from robot troops and andro-troops that rebelled against humanity. With its simple articulation, a variety of signature poses featured in the series can be recreated. The figure stands approximately 18cm tall and offers sturdy die-cast to give weightiness and an LED feature on the unit’s chest.
Polymer… Hiding the true identity and putting himself in a detective office while cracking down villains on the street with the hammer of the righteous. This is “Polymer” style of fighting for justice. With its simple articulation, a variety of signature poses featured in the series can be recreated. The figure stands approximately 18cm tall and offers sturdy die-cast to give weightiness and an LED feature on the unit’s chest.
Tekkaman… “The Space Knight” who puts on armor and challenges the invader from the universe Waldastar in order to lead mankind from the dying Earth to a whole new world. With its simple articulation, a variety of signature poses featured in the series can be recreated. The figure stands approximately 18cm tall and offers sturdy die-cast to give weightiness and an LED feature on the unit’s chest.
Prominent North American anime/manga distributor VIZ Media is now featuring the INFINI-T FORCE series to stream on VIZ.com/Watch. Episodes are presented with English subtitles and are now available to stream on-demand. Subsequent new episodes of INFINI-T FORCE debut every Tuesday.
It’s that time of year again! No, not Halloween (though that is sneaking up on us faster that I realize). I’m talking about New York Comic Con time! Though not as prolific as San Diego Comic Con, NYCC is the East Coast’s biggest comic and media convention, boasting hundreds of exhibitors and tens of thousands of attendees.
Just like its West Coast counterpart, NYCC attracts countless collectors and, as such, has become a haven for exclusive merchandise. This is where Funko comes in. Over the summer we showed you all of Funko’s SDCC exclusives, the Pop!s, Dorbz, Rides and Vnyls that were only available at the con. Luckily, they’re bringing a pretty strong game to New York Comic Con as well.
Since they’re revealing all of their exclusives in waves so make sure to check back often as we update to see everything you can expect to find at NYCC.
The other day I stopped into my local GameStop to see if they had any of the San Diego Comic Con exclusive Funko Pop!s available. What I discovered when I walked in, however, was much more exciting. Recently, Mega Construx released a line of Pokémon-themed building block sets. Being the Pokémon fan that I am I was at first embarrassed that this line had completely flown under my radar when it was announced back in February, but at least stumbling on them the way I did was validating.
There were about twelve sets in total, roughly six larger boxed sets and six little minifigs sort of that come in a Pokéball. I bought a little Eevee Pokéball on the spot. I figured I’d get one of the small ones to dip my toe in a bit, see how I like them. When I got home, it took me about ten minutes to put together (which really only took that long because I kept dropping all the pieces.) Once the figure was complete, I was hooked. At first it looked a little janky with the thick little legs and awkward tuft of fur on its chest but eventually all that became part of its charm.
A couple of days later I went back to the store and pored over which of the larger sets to buy. What I like most about the line is there are a few different themes; besides the smaller figures, a couple of the larger Pokémon are represented, like Charizard and Gyarados. The line also includes the starter mid-evolutions, Charmeleon, Wartortle and Ivysaur as their own stand-alone sets. Each of the starters, Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur, along with Pikachu are paired off for battle scene building sets.
After much, much deliberation, I decided to go with Charizard. I also picked up Abra and Magikarp, a couple of my favorites, from the line of smaller sets so I can display next to little Eevee.
Again, the little ones were quick to assemble; total time for both of those was about fifteen minutes. Charizard, on the other hand, took roughly an hour to build. The build instructions were slightly confusing as the way they’re drawn isn’t as clear as what you’d get from a LEGO manual. I managed, though, and I’m really proud of myself.
I’m also really proud of this Charizard, which turned out to be a nice display piece. A lot of the articulation is really good, especially around the head, legs and tail. I would have liked if there was a bit more articulation, like maybe if the arms moved a little better and get some moveable fingers and jaw in there but I also realize that those features would impact the price, which may turn off a few potential fans.
As far as quality, it’s easy to tell why LEGO is the cream of the crop. That’s not to say Mega Construx are bad; in fact, they’re intricately designed and really capture the likenesses of the Pokémon they’re meant to replicate. However, the building aspect of the set was difficult at times. I found myself struggling to click blocks in place, having to rely on using my teeth to get the amount of pressure that I needed. This could have been due to some microscopic defect in the stud that made it just too big to fit. In fairness, though, it could have just been small parts and sweaty hands (it was a really hot day, you guys.)
If you do manage to get them clicked into place and realize you put the piece in the wrong spot, good luck getting it apart. Unlike LEGO, Construx don’t come with a handy separating tool so, once again, I lucked out that I had a mouthful of teeth to do the job. In fairness, though, I don’t fault Construx for this. It took LEGO years to realize a tool like this was a necessity and since they likely have a patent on it, Construx will need to design their own.
As I mentioned earlier, in addition to the larger sets, the series offers a few single figures, such as Pokémon’s mascot, Pikachu, and a few other fan favorites, like Eevee, Magikarp, and…Zubat. What I like most about these are the packaging; they all come in a plastic Pokéball that can be used as a display base once building is complete. And at around $7 each, they’re a pretty good deal. Considering LEGO minifigure blind bags can retail for right around $5 and only have about 5 pieces each and a substandard display, these Pokémon characters are basically a steal.
Even the larger sets are a good value. At this time, the biggest set was Gyarados, with a total of 352 pieces retailing for $30. Compared to some of LEGO’s franchised sets, that’s an amazing deal. The LEGO Batman Movie Riddler Riddle Racer playset has 254 pieces and is regularly priced at $35 (though was on sale for $24 at the time of this writing, for whatever that’s worth).
Then again, you get what you pay for. With LEGO being the Cadillac of building blocks, the Pokémon Mega Construx don’t size up to quite that level. Sure, the models are well done and really capture the likenesses of the Pokémon, but the builds aren’t as sophisticated as what one would expect from LEGO.
It was a great choice for Mega Construx to jump into the Pokémon arena, especially given the mainstream popularity of Pokémon GO. Building sets like these now appeal to a wider audience since they are familiar with the characters. Even though they aren’t perfect, they are fantastically modelled and offer great playability.
Bottom line: I want more. Not just “I want to buy more sets,” which is definitely true. The low price point and great showcaseability really make these sets a good value despite their shortcomings. When I say I want “more,” I mean more sets. I want this line to do well so that Mega releases additional sets, like maybe the Generation 1 legendaries, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, and Mewtwo. Even a tiny little Mew hovering over a Pokéball would be sweet.
Also, I want to see some from the later generations of games: Tyranitar, Hoot Hoot, Lucario. There are so many great Pokémon that would make amazing display pieces that this could go on forever…just like the games!
Given the size, popularity and market share Funko currently enjoys, it’s no surprise that their booth at San Diego Comic Con is one of the most anticipated. They will be offering a metric buttload of exclusives (all of which you can find here), and that’s on top of the Pop-Up Shop they’re hosting outside of the convention in San Diego (news of which you can read about here).
The latest San Diego Comic Con exclusive announcement from Funko is different from the rest. Instead of an individual figure, it is a launch for an entirely new line called, Vnyl., which is “vinyl” without the “i.” Why the name? Well, according to Funko, “there’s no “i” in Vynl. because there’s always two of them!”
We’re getting on the hype train with more Funko exclusives at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Well, SDCC adjacent, we should say. Following up on the success from last year, Funko will be hosting another Pop-Up Shop at this year’s SDCC. According to Funko, it will be held at 448 West Market Street in the Marina District. Though the shop will be open for all four days of Comic Con, it will only have hours of 10 AM until 3 PM and, knowing Funko, will likely be a madhouse.
So if you’re not able to get into Funko’s booth at SDCC, at least you have the opportunity to purchase something from them.