So, Toyfair just happened.
For the uninitiated, New York Toyfair is an annual trade show that gives vendors a chance to see what’s coming down the pipeline for the next year. Amongst toy collectors it’s the stuff of dreams, mostly because you have to be in the biz to get in to it. Back in early 2020 my master plan was to leverage my status as a member of the liberal media to snag some press passes to weasel my way in.
I think we all know how that worked out.
Allegedly, Toyfair is going to return as an actual physical event in 2023 but I’m not about to make any grand proclamations since we all know how that worked out last time.
Speaking of toys…Figure Friday is brought to you by the fine folks Outrun Collectibles, a super cool and CANADIAN online toy store! If you use code BIFFBAMPOP you can get 15% off your order! Check it out!
Let’s see what interesting thing crawled out of the sewer from this year’s Toyfair!
For me, the main takeaway from this year’s Toyfair was that NECA was there to take everybody’s lunch, but more on that in a moment. Let’s learn a little bit more about The Last Ronin first…
From the 2020 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series, The Last Ronin! In a future NYC far different than the one we know today, a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends.
This armored version of The Last Ronin action figure is authentic to the comic book depiction and stands in 7” scale. Includes goggles, grappling hook, tonfa, smoke bomb, sai, katana, bo staff, nunchucks, and interchangeable head and hands.
Comes in collector-friendly window box packaging with opening flap featuring a custom illustration.
Unless I’ve missed a step The Last Ronin is currently ongoing, starting at the very end of 2020 and popping up sporadically during 2021. As comic book fans are well aware, the Marvel Comics Old Man Logan storyline kickstarted a whole mess of Old Man/Woman (BLANK) stories over the last decade or so. The Last Ronin was originally dreamed up by TMNT creators Eastman and Laird back during the book’s original run and carries on the proud comics tradition of “last” stories for popular heroes such as Alan Moore’s Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow?
I’m not going to spoil the identity of the Ronin but in this alternate (?) future three of the four Turtles have fallen in battle, leaving one survivor to finish the fight. The tone of the series is suitably gritty and very much in-line with the very first issue of TMNT.
Now…on to the figure and NECA being great. Previously, I hadn’t really collected much in the way of figures produced by NECA, but they had my curiosity with the giant Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures, which were a bit out of my price range. They finally grabbed my attention when they scaled those figures down to a standard 7-inch size which were much more budget friendly. To me those figures were the mountaintop. Perfectly designed and identical in every way to the animatronic costumes produced by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop (no relation). I was comfortable with never having to purchase another iteration of the Turtles ever again since nirvana had been achieved.
Well, until this guy that is.
The figure is loaded with accessories and, as is NECA’s custom, looks like he stepped right out of the source material. Whatever their toy designers are being paid it’s probably not enough since they’re producing art of this caliber. It’s worth noting that there is an alternate version of this figure coming that’s topless…he’s not wearing the upper half of his armor is what I’m saying. I believe it’s going to be a retailer or Previews exclusive but my vote is for this one.
To close things out, Playmates Toys is producing their own version of The Last Ronin which is…cute by comparison. It’s the same exact character but it’s done in the style of the O.G. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys. It’s not for me, but not everything HAS to be for me. One of the things I appreciate about the evergreen (pun?) nature of the TMNT franchise is that there is literally something for everyone that collects it. Heck, if I still had my original Turtles I could see myself picking up the Playmates version as a nice punctuation mark on that portion of my collection.