There's just one week left till San Diego Comic-Con returns to blast us in the face with awesome pop culture spectacle, cosplay, and fantastic, expensive goodies. Here's the very best toys and collectibles at this year's show that we can't wait to line up forever for (or, more likely, pay even more for on eBay afterwards).
Revolution Comic Crossover Preview Mega-Set
(Hasbro, $US100 ($130)) Toymakers often rely heavily on nostalgia to move pricey SDCC-exclusives, but this year Hasbro raises the bar with a box set featuring a hall of fame of awesome '80s toys. Based on the new IDW Comics series Revolution, the Revolution Comic Crossover Preview Mega-Set includes Transformers' Jetfire, G.I. Joe's Roadblock, M.A.S.K.'s Matt Tracker, Visionaries' Leoric, Rom the Spaceknight's Rom and a Dire Wraith, and a team of Micronauts rounding up the 16-character roster.
Justice League Cyborg Origins Figure
(Mattel, $US25 ($33)) Mattel kicks off the Justice League toyline a little early this year, with a Comic-Con exclusive based around Cyborg. The 15cm figure comes in a cuboid packaging designed to look like the Mother Box that helped the grievously wounded Victor Stone transform into the cybernetic hero he is — and it even lights up and plays sounds at the press of a button.
Big Figs Hildebrandt Darth Vader
(Jakks Pacific, Price Unconfirmed) Jakks Pacific's 20"-tall figurines have made for some wonderfully deep-cut convention exclusives over the past few years, and 2017's is no exception, with this gorgeous rendition of Darth Vader as he is painted on the iconic Hildebrandt poster for the original Star Wars, with a box to match.
Spider-Man & Venom and Supergirl & Martian Manhunter BrickHeadz
(Lego, $US40 ($52) per set) Lego introduced its adorably-deformed BrickHeadz at least year's SDCC, and this year it returns with two new exclusives featuring Spider-Man battling Venom, and Supergirl teaming up with the Martian Manhunter. Each set will cost you $US40 ($52), but the Marvel set will only be available on July 20 and 22, while the DC Comics set can only be snagged on July 21 and 23 — assuming you win a random lottery for the permission to spend your cash.
DC Super Hero Girls Wonder Woman and Cheetah Dolls
(Mattel, $US45 ($59)) Diana and Cheetah might be deadly foes in DC's comics, but in the world of DC Super Hero Girls, they're merely high school rivals. This 30cm special doll set features Diana kitted out in her full superhero gear, including a shield, her lasso of truth, and a cape, while Cheetah simply gets her mobile phone, presumably so she can send catty texts to her friends about what a loser Diana is.
Transformers: The Last Knight Voyager Class Optimus Prime
(Hasbro, $US50 ($65)) When the addition of Anthony Hopkins can't bring moviegoers back to your long-running franchise, maybe it's time to stop making Transformers movies? Just don't stop making those wonderful Transformers toys, like this Voyager Class Optimus Prime based on his appearance in The Last Knight. Hasbro's even sweetening the deal by including an authentic piece of screen-used truck tire with a limited number of the figures.
Mezco One:12 Miles Morales
(Mezco, $US80 ($104)) Mezco's line of fabric-clothed, 1:12 scaled action figures continues with a fabulous version of Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man. Like Peter before him, Miles comes with various hands to pose him mid-thwip, as well as extra strands of webbing.
Playmates Usagi Yojimbo
(Nickelodeon, $US30 ($39)) In a few weeks, Nick's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon will see Stan Sakai's legendary Rabbit Ronin cross over with the Turtles, so to celebrate Playmates is releasing a brand new figure of the character. The 13cm Usagi comes with alternate heads, his trusty swords, and a flag depicting the Samurai's emblem — and two classic comics from 1987 and 1989, "Leonardo Meets Usagi Yojimbo in Turtle Soup and Rabbit Stew" and "The Treaty", which depicted early crossovers between the animal warriors.
Marvel Legends Battle for Asgard Set
(Hasbro, $US100 ($130)) This year's Marvel Legends box set is a veritably Thor-some collection of Asgardian heroes and villains ahead of Thor: Ragnarok's arrival later this year. As well as the comic book versions of the Odinson himself, Bor, Malekith, and Ulik the troll, the set also features the first ever chance to get Jane Foster's Thor in action figure form, ahead of her solo debut in Thor: Ragnarok's Marvel Legends wave this fall.
Saga The Will and Lying Cat
(Skybound, $US50 ($65)) Saga returns to Comic-Con with another amazing figure set! After Alana and Marko wowed us last year, this year it's the turn of everyone's favourite bounty hunter The Will, and the spirit of 2017 itself, Lying Cat. Lying cat even comes with a "Lying!" speech bubble, so this is hands down one of our favourite toys of the Con.
Transformers Primitive Optimus Prime
(Hasbro, $US50 ($65)) Outside of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, we're not going to be pretend to be big skateboarding fans. But when Paul Rodriguez's Primitive brand gives Optimus Prime an amazing black and gold facelift, we're completely sold. The figure comes in a skateboarding shoe-inspired box, and comes with a hoverboard-riding Titan Master figure adorably named Shreddicus Maximus.
Marvel Legends A-Force Set
(Toys R' Us, $US120 ($156)) During Secret Wars Marvel forged the A-Force, an all-ladies team of Avengers that kicked arse and took names; now they're the stars of their own figure set. Not only is this collection filled with badass Marvel ladies like She-Hulk and Lady Sif, and even new characters like Singularity, it's also secretly a Nextwave reunion, with monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone and the first female Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, getting amazing action figures for the very first time.
Voltron Legendary Metal Defender Lions
(Playmates, Price Unconfirmed) Forming Voltron has never been shinier than it has with this diecast release of Playmate's Voltron lions. Based on the excellent Netflix show, each of the lions features metallic diecast pieces, and can form into an 20cm Voltron to show them all off in their glittery splendour.
So Many Goddamned Funko Pops
(Funko, Assorted) If you, like the rest of us, had thought Funko had run out of things to Pop-ify, think again. There are sixty six exclusives in San Diego this year, covering just about anything you could imagine. Want a holographic Supreme Leader Snoke from The Force Awakens? Tony Stark from Spider-Man: Homecoming carrying an Iron Man helmet? The Power Rangers Megazord? Aragon and Arwen from Lord of the Rings? Westworld Hosts? Harry Potter's Luna Lovegood? Gwenpool? Wonder Woman's Ares? THEY NEVER END.
12-Inch Marvel Legends Daredevil
(Hasbro, $US60 ($78)) The bumper-sized versions of the Marvel Legends figures continue with a deluxe version of the Man Without Fear. Including exclusive box art from Marvel's Joe Quesada, Daredevil comes with his trusty weapons, alternate hands, and an alternate bloodied, bandaged unmasked head to depict one of the many times Matt Murdock had the shit kicked out of him.
Hot Wheels Spider-Man Spider-Mobile and Deadpool Dead-Buggy
(Mattel, $US15 ($20) each) Why does a superhero who can swing between buildings and sore above one of the most grid-locked cities in the world need a vehicle? Because kids love buying toys, and Marvel loves making a profit. Continuing on that theme, Mattel is bringing back Spider-Man's most confusing accessory with a 1:64-scale Hot Wheels version of the Spider-Mobile, but every fifth one will randomly be a Deadpool-customised variant featuring the Dead-Buggy — a vehicle that makes slightly more sense.
Hot Wheels Justice League Batmobile
(Mattel, $US25 ($33)) For the upcoming Justice League movie it seems like Batman has decided the best use for the Batmobile's passenger seat is to simply swap it for a gigantic rail-mounted cannon. Hot Wheel has recreated his upgraded ride in a 1:64-scale die-cast car with real rubber wheels, a cannon that rotates from side to side, and collectible packaging so you don't have to feel too guilty about not opening this one.
The Walking Dead Shiva Force Boxset
(Skybound Entertainment and McFarlane Toys, $US100 ($130)) Taking inspiration from Hasbro's G.I.Joe action figure packaging in the '80s, Skybound Entertainment and McFarlane Toys' Shiva Force boxset recreates The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes, Michonne, Ezekiel, and Shiva the tiger as 13cm figures. An alternate version, featuring blood-soaked graphics, will also be available, but only 1,000 of each set will be sold.
Dragon Stars Super Saiyan Goku
(Bandai America, $US35 ($46)) Bandai is debuting its line of super-articulated Dragon Ball figures — the first line of its kind in years — in a big way, with a super fancy edition of Goku, powered up to his Super Saiyan form. The 6.13cm figure comes with extra hands to pose him readying his various attacks.
NECA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Box Set
(NECA, $US200 ($260)) If you were always disappointed that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys looked nothing like the cartoon you obsessed over on Saturday mornings as a kid, NECA's new box set will feel more familiar with designs and paint jobs that make the figures look like animated characters. The $US200 ($260) price tag is hard to swallow, but in addition to the four heroes in a half shell and about a million weapons and accessories, the box set also includes Shredder, Krang, and a pair of Foot Soldiers so you can recreate any episode of the animated series.
NECA Predator Jungle Briefing Dutch Figure
(NECA, $US30 ($39)) What does an action hero look like on casual Fridays? NECA's 18cm Predator Jungle Briefing Dutch figure puts Schwarzenegger's character in casual cargo pants, a polo shirt, and a five o'clock shadow. All that's missing is a cup of awful break room coffee in one hand, and a jelly doughnut in the other. Availability will be limited to 3,000 pieces, but waiting hours in line for one seems worth it for an action figure of Arnold wearing slacks.
'Pandorica Opens' TARDIS Titans
(Titan, $US15 ($20)) Remember way back in the fifth season of Doctor Who when Vincent Van Gogh himself painted a gorgeous rendition of the TARDIS exploding in a devastating, universe-ending event? Well, now you can recreate it with this funky stylised vinyl toy, done up in the painterly style of an icon of the art world.
Star Wars Black Series Luke Skywalker and Sandspeeder
(Hasbro, $US90 ($117)) The collector-focused 15cm Star Wars line has occasionally dipped its toes into the realms of vehicles — like a massively expensive, in-scale TIE Fighter from The Force Awakens — but its newest set aims at something at a smaller scale. Done to celebrate Star Wars' 40th anniversary, this exclusive version of Luke's Sandspeeder (a normal version is coming later this year) has a unique weathered paint affect, a pop-up hood to show the vehicles innards, and a poncho for Luke.
Mega Construx Destiny Ghost
(Mega Bloks, $US30 ($39)) Mega Bloks' Destiny line has delivered some surprisingly great sets based on the scifi shooter, but this model opts to instead go less for a playset and more for a great scaled recreation from the game — in this case, one of the "Iron Song" shells for your AI travelling companion, Ghost. Destiny fans will also appreciate the packaging, designed to look like a legendary engram from the game, only this time it has something cool in it instead of the 400th version of that hand cannon you already have.
Comic Book Push Puppets
(Entertainment Earth, $US9 ($12) each) Entertainment Earth has gone all-in on retro, wooden toys at Comic-Con this year. From little pin dolls to stackable cuboid renditions of your favourite comic heroes, there's nostalgia everywhere you loo. But if you want something small and cute to put on your desk at work, these wooden figurines depicting Batman, Spider-Man, or Deadpool that flop around at the press of a button are pretty nifty.
Star Wars Black Series Grand Admiral Thrawn
(Hasbro, $US50 ($65)) Fans have been waiting for ages to get a new Grand Admiral Thrawn figure, especially after his triumphant return to Star Wars canon in Rebels. This deluxe version, exclusive ahead of a smaller release of the figure on its own later this year, includes a bunch of little items seen in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene set in Thrawn's office in the third season of Rebels. Yes, that really is the holy grail from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!
Justice League Office Chair Capes
(Entertainment Earth, $US25 ($33)) Not every Comic-Con exclusive is a pricey toy or giant collectible. Some are just silly, nerdy fun, like these little capes — styled after Batman and Superman's in the upcoming Justice League film — that are designed to hang off your office chair, putting some superheroic silliness into your work day.
Adventure Time Uglydolls
(Cartoon Network, Price TBD) Adventure Time might be coming to an end next year, but the world's love for Finn and Jake in any form will never die — even when in "ugly" versions like these special plushes of Uglydoll characters OX and Jeero cosplaying as the Land of Ooo's greatest heroes.
G.I.Joe Cobra Missile Command Headquarters
(Hasbro, $US50 ($65)) Before becoming one of the most iconic toy lines of the '80s, Hasbro's earliest G.I.Joe sets were considerably less elaborate. The Cobra Missile Command Headquarters, available only at Sears back in 1982, was actually made wholly of cardboard. As a result, few survived the test of time, making the set one of the hardest to find these days. But Hasbro is resurrecting it for SDCC, even going so far as to make the packaging look old and weathered, as if it's been in your parents' basement for decades.
Jumbo Dianoga Trash Monster
(Gentle Giant, $US80 ($104)) For years now, Gentle Giant has recreated Kenner's iconic retro Star Wars figures as deluxe-sized collectibles, but their latest is definitely the silliest. A recreation of the Dianoga trash monster from the bowls of the Death Star's trash compactor, this set doesn't just feature the neon-green version of the old-school toy. it also comes complete with the plus-sized versions of the foam "trash" the original set had, too!
Super7 Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E. Four-Pack with Vehicles
(Super7, $US18 ($23)) Before smartphones, kids often had to entertain themselves with pocket-friendly toys they could easily sneak into weddings, funerals, and other boring events. The '80s M.U.S.C.L.E. toy line — a collection of tiny wrestling figures — was ideal for this. Super7 has not only revived them, but released M.U.S.C.L.E. figures based on popular characters, including He-Man and Skeletor, who each come with matching tiny vehicles in this set.