Like most geeks I lived vicariously through the toy bloggers snapping photos of figures and sets unveiled at the recent Toy Fair 2014 in New York. Seeing all the new stuff is the next best thing to having them in your dirty mitts. At the same time, there is a price to be paid for this early access to new toy images.
It’s a phenomenon I like to call Toy Spoilers. Because of the toy industry’s necessary lead time for Toy Fair and the crucial holiday season, we see toy versions of movies still months away from hitting the big screen. While a LEGO Ghostbusters set or ReAction Back to the Future figs now won’t take anything away from these classic franchises, seeing all of Grimlock (or God forbid, an all-new character) ahead of his debut in the next Transformers film very well can.
A toy spoiler doesn’t even have to be a spoiler in the traditional sense. The toy con just turn you off the eventual film. Allow me to better explain with a personal anecdote. Growing up I was an enormous G.I. Joe fan. I loved the figures, the vehicles, the comics—even the humorously non-violent cartoon series. I was all geared up for the live-action adaptation back in 2009. I was the movie’s key demographic that the studio was counting on. I was excited until I saw the toy version of Cobra Commander. As you probably know, he was a radical departure from the iconic bad guy we all knew. It was so shocking for me that I soured on the film completely. In fact I still haven’t watched the movie or its sequel.