If you ever needed evidence that Robert Kirkman’s walkers will not be stopped, look no further than the aisles of the 110th annual American International Toy Fair taking place this week in New York City. The Walking Dead is everywhere, and for the second consecutive year, it’s one of the most popular media tie-in licenses at the show.
We found even more companies creating collectibles around both The Walking Dead comic book series and the hit AMC television series. On opening day, FEARnet talked with the biggest retailers doing walker related merchandise so you can put it all on your wish list this year. Here’s the scoop:
Diamond Select Toys (DST)
DST continues its The Walking Dead Minimates line based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series. Zach Oat, DST’s Marketing Supervisor says, “We doing two new series inspired by the prison saga and the Governor saga. Michonne is in Series 3 with battle armor. Series 4 will have the Governor which people have been waiting for. It will also have Judith and the baby…our first Minimate baby!” Oat also says collectors should expect some Toys ‘R Us exclusives for both waves which will be available in spring this year.
Oat says DST will expand their TWD bank series. “We did a walker bank and we’re going to do a Rick Grimes bank. And we’re adding bottle openers and a gelatin mold that is available now and ice trays.” They’re also developing cloth walker backpacks…because you can never get too complacent about what’s just behind your back. (Oat also let us know fans of Kirkman’s Thief of Thieves and Invincible will get Minimates in the summer of 2013).
With figures based on both The Walking Dead comic book series and the AMC series, McFarlane Toys has an aggressive release schedule planned for 2013. Joe Ferstl, Brand Manager for The Walking Dead at McFarlane, tells us that Series 3 of the AMC based action figures features Michonne and her two pets, Meryl Dixon with his new arm (which is not removable) and the Autopsy Walker. “The walker is really cool because you can take the knife in and out of his chest,” Ferstl says, “and pop the front of his shirt off to reenact the autopsy scene. If you look in his stomach, he’ll either have a half-eaten woodchuck or a half-eaten human hand.”
Each figure is sold separately but those that want Michonne and her two pets can buy a retailer exclusive black and white bloody variant three pack. Ferstl says, “We’re shipping them now and they will be on shelves the end of February or early March.”
October 2013 will see Series 4 with Carl, Andrea, the Governor, and the two riot gear walkers from the prison. Ferstl shares, “One is a gas mask version and the other is a helmeted version. The Governor will have a mutilated head with the eye patch so you can swap it with the regular head. He’ll also have the knife. Andrea is a mix of season two and three. She will be more of the warrior with the sniper rifle, the pistol and the striped shirt. Carl will have his hunting knife and the medical bag.”
McFarlane is also producing the second of their special edition complete season sets for season three featuring the Governor’s walker head tank. Detailing the piece, Ferstl says, “Two of the heads are Michonne’s pets. Each head has a light up feature and each hang on a hook so you can adjust them how you want them. You also add the water inside the tank and there’s a little bit of crud inside so it will get nice and murky.” It won’t be a numbered run but the last DVD exclusive sold out.
Fans of the comic book series characters can look forward to Series 2 action figures that will come out June/July featuring the comic version of the Governor, Penny, Riot Gear Glenn and Terry.
Last but not least is the amazing resin statue of Michonne frozen in a deadly battle with some vicious walkers. Ferstl excitedly says this statue is one of their product favorites. “It has a swivel base so you can turn it how it looks best. We’re trying to up the ante with these statues and really take them to the next level with lights and motorized elements. The run will be between 1200 – 1500 items and each will be signed by Robert Kirkman. She’s on sale February 11, 2013.”
The Pop Vinyl The Walking Dead series 1 did great last year so Series 2 will debut in April with Michonne and her katana along with her two pets (sans arms but including pretty chains). There will also be the Tank Walker and an adorable Glenn with his shotgun. Each are sold separately for $9.99. Later in the year, Series 3 will feature the Governor, Prison Yard Rick, a Prison Guard Walker and little badass Merle Dixon. If you like Blind Box figures, there will be The Walking Dead 2.5 mini vinyl figures with a varying rarity scale per figure (like a proposed 1/144 Prison Guard Walker or Bloody Darryl).
We haven’t really thought much about guitars being paired with walkers, unless maybe you’re singing the blues while getting eaten alive. But Peavey Electronics Corporation showed off their The Walking Dead designed guitar, straps and picks featuring the artwork of Charlie Adlard. They’ll all be available in 2013. At the very least, if the undead apocalypse happens, playing guitar can keep you and the survivors entertained during dying downtime.
All photos by Bill Edwards