#GeekApproved Presents: Toy Fair NY 2018: An Action Figure Story

As a kid I never thought that I would still be so heavily involved in the toy community, but it seems as if life had other plans for me. Something inside me told me to never stop collecting. This voice inside pushed and pushed until I climbed the ladder of success and lead me to New York Toy Fair! I’ll admit that I have been an action figure collector for many years now & I have been reviewing on and off again since late 2013. I’m nowhere as big as the pioneers of that genre are. My channel is small, I’m not in it for fame or fortune. I’m in it because I enjoy doing it! So when I was approved for my first press pass in 2017 I was amazed that I made it to the next level in the toy community. Sadly last year I was only able to experience the final 2 days of the fair since I applied late and didn’t think I would get approved. I didn’t think to request the time off from work, however when I was approved this year I made sure to go all 4 days!

As you may or may not know, I am a native New Yorker and it’s always without fail that the MTA finds a way to delay my travel no matter where I am headed. Trains are horrible on weekends and the only train near me is the R line. Toy Fair however landed on President’s weekend this year, and that of course meant horrible travel for the first 3 days of this incredible event. That wasn’t going to stop me from having one of the most amazing weekends of my life! Let me take you on a journey of what I got to experience over the course of those 4 days.

Day 1 – Saturday: The day started out by me getting to the Javits Center around 10:30 AM. I walked through the doors and walked over to the desk to check in, and proceeded to the press box. This year, I was smarter and packed my laptop as I knew it was going to be a long day and I should edit and upload the content immediately that I was allowed to record for my “Yay Toys Plus!” YouTube channel. My first stop of the year was going to be the Mezco Toyz booth for a closer look all the reveals that they announced on their Instagram leading up to Toy Fair. Along the way I bumped into 2 of my close friends Andrea and Molly of [InsertGeekHere]. As I get to Mezco, I say “Hi!” to both Drake and Pierre who’ve I have known for quite some time now, take a look around and see some incredible One:12 Collective that are coming out over the next couple of years. I take some pics, shoot some video and just as I’m about to leave I see another familiar face, although this is a face of someone that I’ve only seen via their YouTube weekly videos. I yell out “Robo!” and just like that he turns toward me and I introduce myself.

Robo T. Killah is the guy who you know as the voice of “The Fwoosh”. He’s the guy that not only does “The Fwoosh Weekly”, “Figure or Fodder”, model kit building as well as action figure reviews. We hung out for a bit and then part ways for the day. Just as I’m about to walk towards another booth, I see more familiar faces only this time it’s people I’ve been introduced to over the course of a few years and have since become part of their family. Those names being ShartimusPrime(Action figure reviewer), Boog Nice(Creator of The ACBA) and Danny(Staff writer of ACBA,Creator of Does it Scale?). We all walk over to the press box and do our thing. We play catch up as it has been awhile since we all saw one other. We grab lunch and enjoy the rest of Saturday. Now Saturday is important as it is the main day to figure out who you want to try to interview with, schedule appointments if possible or take pics and video for your media outlet. Danny and I ended up in a few spots, including Playmates where we saw some really cool items coming out. We went by Lego and McFarlane Toys as well to schedule appointments. After day the day ended, most of us went our separate ways but since Shartimus was in town, it was a long overdue hang out. That was a fun night. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Ok that and it was slushy and rainy. No further details.

Day 2 – Sunday: Sunday started with me recording some footage and bumping into that Robo guy again. We chatted, took pics of a few areas and decided to grab lunch after a tour of Times Square and Midtown Comics. These places were new to him as he’s never been to New York before. We had a good time hanging out despite him not giving me that Ascending Knight Batman(I missed out on it and has since been a running gag between us), however he surprised me by giving me the items from the Hasbro event Saturday night. He said he already had them and they were getting left behind. So expect some reviews of the Star Wars Black series Rey in training gear and Marvel Legends Iron Man from the Black Panther wave sometime in the near future! As the rest of Toy Fair went on, and my friends were all in Mattel, I decided to edit instead and walked over to the press box. I had to charge my phone anyway. I look at my files notice that whatever I recorded got corrupted somehow via the transfer from phone to MacBook. Oh joy! I wasn’t happy! So I spent the rest of the time stamping my pics and posting them to my Instagram account. After I finish stamping the pics, Robo met up with me in press and we walked a bit more and found our way to Bluefin to chat with one of their top guys. He said what he could to us and then after info was exchanged, we walked out and went back to Toys R Us before splitting up for the evening.
Day 3 – Monday: One forgets how big the Javits Center is and how tiring it could get as you walk around the entire building for at least 8 hours each day. That of course didn’t stop me as I was determined to continue my journey and see everything else that I may have missed. Monday was full of miscellaneous fun. I was flying solo for a bit for the first time since Toy Fair started. I bump into Robo for the last time as he was headed back home later on in the day. We walked back to all the places we thought we had missed, took some more pics and then he had to leave. I wished him a safe journey home and went back on my solo mission. I grabbed some new footage of what was corrupted the day before and then met up with my friend Noel of Neergard Toy Shop in South Slope, Brooklyn. Noel is the guy that has provided me with most of the items you have seen on my channel over the course of the last 3 years. I met him at Funko and chatted for a bit, saw some cool items coming out. I look at my phone and see that it was time for me split and walk literally 1 booth over to Diamond Select as I was playing cameraman for Shartimus. He introduced me to all the main people he knew from there, and I got to see some really cool stuff that I wouldn’t have gotten to see since I didn’t have an appointment. After Diamond Select, I walked around some more and eventually found myself back in press as I needed a seat. As I stated earlier, One forgets how big the Javits Center really is! I edited my content and posted pics to Instagram as I wanted to be up there in the “You saw it here first!” game. Before I knew it, it was nearly time to leave for the day. Just as I am about to grab my stuff, Shartimus asked if I wanted to hang out again. I of course said “Sure!” as I love when my friend is in town and it has been a long time since he has been in my side of the country. We got together with a few of our friends and had a nice fun evening involving action figures, dinner and laughs!

Day 4 – Tuesday: The final day of Toy Fair… The day started out by me getting to the Javits Center around 9:00 AM. I made 2 small cups of coffee which would equal half a medium if I bought it at Dunkin’ Donuts. The big upside to being press is the free coffee, water, soda, breakfast, cookies and whatever else I may have forgotten about. As I am snacking away and trying to wake up, I receive a text from Danny who was on his way and my wingman for our appointments. Danny I met back in 2016 at Neergard as we have a love for Marvel Legends and were in the each in the process of building the BAF (Build A Figure) Juggernaut from X-Men. It was our love for those magnificent pieces of articulated plastic that brought this friendship together! So anyway, Danny messaged me and said he’d be there in a few so that we could start our day.  Our first stop was Mattel in which we didn’t have an appointment but were hopeful that someone canceled, sadly no one did. They did however provide us with a flash drive with some hi res imagery of some upcoming releases. Next stop was Playmates who we had scheduled with at 11:00AM. We took a tour of their booth and they allowed us to take pics and video of mostly everything and even provided us with a flash drive of hi res imagery as well. Weird as last year they weren’t open to pics and video, so that was cool of them to do that.

After we finished with Playmates, We headed over to McFarlane Toys. The primary reason we walked over to them in the first place was because we saw the line up of Mike, Dustin, Will and Lucas dressed in their Ghostbusters gear and Eleven dressed in her punk look outfit, just from the back. We wanted to see how good the face sculpts were as the first series was a bit off. Needless to say, they all looked great and we learned why the first wave looked off. Another cool feature was that of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 line that is coming up. The first and only figure prototype shown was that of Soap Mactavish. They also showed some other really cool products including. The next wave of Walking Dead TV Series 7 inch figures. Once we finished with McFarlane we headed on over to LEGO. LEGO was cool! I have been a LEGO fan since I was a little kid, but boy have they come along way since! They showed us everything from the new construction sets, Star Wars, LEGO Batman movie, and I sure I missing something. Once LEGO was finished we headed on back to the press box, rested up a bit, and then headed on out to grab lunch. After lunch I chose to not go back to go back to the event since it was already late, and by the time I would get back there they would have been closed for the year.

What I got to witness at Toy Fair this year is something that only Media, Wholesalers and Retailers get to experience. I once again feel honored that I made it this far in my career as a blogger. New York Toy Fair is a lot of fun. If you’re an action figure collector or inspire to review about it, go for it! I never thought that I would be a part of this community. As I said in my first Toy Fair blog… Dream Big and I’ll see you there next year!

~Bri_2J~

Attached are just the images that Mattel & Playmates provided. If you would like to see the images that I took personally, check out yaytoysplus on Instagram or check out the Facebook page as well.

Mattel:

 

 

 

 

Playmates:

 

 

 

 

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