Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action Figures

Action figures make a young boy's world go round. They can come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. A lot of my childhood was spent playing with Power Rangers on the stairs, swimming with Ninja Turtles, and even blowing up a few G.I. Joe's (Sorry guys...nothing personal). One of the best gifts I received for Christmas was an entire "Jurassic Park" set (complete with Velociraptor and Dr. Grant). You can find out a lot about a movie just by looking at the toys.

In the modern world we live in, every little detail about a popular movie is almost guaranteed to be blown out of proportion. From casting notes to cameos, you can find it all online. A toy franchise can be a big marketing campaign for a movie if it's done correctly. Recently, "Iron Man 2" released their lineup of toys to match one of this year's most anticipated movies. These figures are a sneak peek at what some of our favorite characters/villains/vehicles COULD look like on the silver screen. Being an 8-year-old boy once, every time these new figures are released I have to check them out! I remember getting my first glimpse of what Two Face would look like in "The Dark Knight" by checking out the toy. More recently, I laughed at the makeup of Cobra Commander from the "G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra" line.

These toys play a somewhat spoiler role in some of our favorite films. In case you were wondering, I have no plans to release any of the details I learned about "Iron Man 2." So if you're looking for spoilers in this article, you may want to try someone else's toy box. The verdict on Tony Stark and the gang is still up in the air thanks to a smart marketing campaign. I just find it fascinating that some of the biggest movies can use these tiny little figures to their advantage. Character descriptions, costume designs, and plot details can all be found by looking in your local toy store. Marketing is everything. Neat looking toys can excite your fan base and mundane toys can anger it. In a world where story lines are hunted for all over the internet...sometimes it just takes a glimpse at an action figure to solve the big mystery.

In case you are wondering....Yes, I still have PLENTY of my old action figures stored away at home. I must say, toy makers can try all they want, but they will never top my "Ghostbusters" and "Jurassic Park" set. :)

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