Saturday, February 24, 2007

Toy Fair 2007 - No Kid Is Worth This Much

The 2007 International Toy Fair took place in New York City recently, with all the major toy manufacturers showing off their goods for the coming year. The theme this year seemed to be technology - apparently, it's not considered a toy anymore unless it has a microchip inside and connects to the internet.

Hasbro had a major showing this year, with the requisite Star Wars figures (because you need a seventh limited edition Darth Vader) and Spiderman 3 tie-in crap. But the best part of the show had to be the Transformers. 2007 will give us an all-new live action Transformers movie (opens July 4 - homepage here), and as a result, Hasbro is pulling out all the stops with this year's figure lineup. (And for the record, they're not dolls, they're action figures.)

All your favorites from the original series are back with all-new molds, including leaders Optimus Prime and Megatron. As with so many big budget films, corporate tie-ins are here, in the form of actual GM bodies for many of the Autobots characters. This was most evident in the star of the Transformers collection, Ultimate Bumblebee (pictured above). Standing 14 inches tall and packed with enough electronics to start a riot if you try and board a plane with him, he's being billed as the most complex Transformer ever. And, he just so happens to transform into a new Chevrolet Camaro. This guy is rumored to set you back about $90, so all you fanboys better start saving now.

It's hard to characterize something as a toy when it's more technologically advanced than a DVD player, but here we are. Pretty soon, toys may be on the cutting edge of technology, with your home computer learning a thing or two from Furby 2.0. No one said the future would be pretty.

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