Monday, 31 December 2012

Review of the Year 2012

I begin this review with a very similar disclaimer to last year, which boils down to a lack of notes and poor memory. I can't remember exactly what toys were released this year. As much as I like playing with the things, I don't keep a catalogue of when everything was released. Therefore, a lot of what's in this post will be guesswork. 99% was almost definitely released this year rather than last. The bigger problem is me forgetting some really, really great toys that were released this year but I thought were last.

The big reveal at the UK Toy Fair in 2011 was the new ThunderCats line. World exclusive, if I recall rightly, however there was a blockade on images and it wasn't until December that the UK saw release of the toys. By which time everyone had the suspicion the line was dead.

Which was pretty much confirmed when there was no new product shown at the various toy fairs at the beginning of 2012. I think pretty much everything that could go wrong with the relaunch went wrong. Lack of 'fun' in the cartoon, terrible scheduling, mediocre toys, comic arriving far too late in the day...

Actually, the UK comic was pretty awesome. Doomed from the start, however, since it launched when ThunderCats wasn't even showing on TV. The comic strips were great and filled the vast majority of the comic. But as time went by the comic content lessened and by #10 in November there was zero in the way of comic content. Issue 11 was supposed to have been released last week but I haven't been able to find it on shelves and I presume the comic is as dead as the cartoon and toyline.

Power Rangers Saumurai arrived on Channel 5 (and ran straight into Super Samurai) which meant that I finally knew that these toys were I had to keep buying for the children. The show was...well, it could have been better.

In the summer, at what should have been the height of the Masters of the Universe 30th Anniversary celebrations, there were barely enough subscribers to keep the Classics line going. Many theories for this, but I suspect underwhelming reveals + price hike had a lot of do with it. It did however, manage to scrape by and there will be a Castle Grayskull released in 2013.

Meanwhile I got into collecting New Adventures of He-Man toys and managed to break a couple I'd freshly freed from their Mint On Card prisons. Oops.

The LeapPad 2 was released in the summer and the question on everyone's lips was 'do I throw out the LeapPad 1 I've just bought and get the new one?' The answer is 'no', in case you were still wondering.

The exciting news in Transformers-land came Big. Annoyingly 'big' also tends to be expensive, which means that as much as I want to pre-order Fortress Maximus (and a bunch of other things) I haven't yet.

My year ended rather busily as I was again reviewing things for Toys R Us. Having 10 things a month may not sound like a lot, but stop and think about it for a moment. Yes, doing 2-3 reviews a week is quite a lot.

And finally, the in-demand toy for Christmas this year was Furby. I'm not sure his appeal will last long into 2013, but at this moment there will be millions of them annoying parents across the globe.

And that, more of less, is what happened in 2012. Probably.

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