The force was strong with Baby Yoda at Toy Fair 2020, the toy industry’s annual preview of the must-have merchandise hitting shelves over the rest of the year. The pint-sized star of the Disney+ series, The Mandalorian, attracted oohs and ahhs wherever he popped up... and he popped up a lot. The Child’s adorable features adorned plush dolls, Lego sets and vinyl collectibles produced by such big-name companies as Lego, Mattel, Hasbro and Funko.
But Toy Fair visitors couldn’t take this child home with them just yet: The first wave of these toys won’t be available until the spring, and will keep rolling out up until the premiere of The Mandalorian’s second season in October.
(And some, like Hasbro’s adorable animatronic Child, are already sold out well in advance of its December release date.)
Baby Yoda’s face is even plastered on board games, with Hasbro introducing Mandalorian-themed versions of classic family games like Operation and Trouble.
But Baby Yoda isn’t the only piece of pop culture that kids and their parents are going to want to bring home in 2020. Here are some of the coolest movie and TV-based toys that we saw at this year’s Toy Fair.
Back to the Future turns 35
Thirty-years ago this July, moviegoers watched Marty McFly take Doc Brown’s time-traveling DeLorean for an accidental joyride back to 1955. Universal has events planned for Robert Zemeckis’s comedy classic throughout July, and you can’t mark a major birthday without toys. Hot off the heels of last year’s terrific Jaws board game, Ravensburger is releasing Back to the Future: Dice Through Time in June. Unfolding in four different eras — taken from all three movies — the game requires you to fix Biff Tanner’s meddling lest the world drown in time paradoxes.
The flourishing Funko Games line also has a BTTF board game due on shelves this summer, one that hews closely to the first film’s storyline — right down to the vanishing picture as a ticking clock! — and tricked out with excellent original artwork.
If you’d prefer a time-traveling car you can get your hands on, turn to Playmobil, which has a DeLorean set due out in May that includes a flux capacitor and foldable wheels for easy flying, and comes with smiling Marty, Doc Brown and Einstein figures.
Wonder Woman 1984
She’s baaaaaack! Gal Gadot returns as Diana Prince in Wonder Woman 1984, Patty Jenkins’s highly-anticipated sequel to the 2017 blockbuster. Mattel revealed three action figures from the new movie, including a sneak peek of Kristen Wiig as the movie’s big bad: Barbara Ann Minverva a.k.a. Cheetah.
Meanwhile, McFarlane Toys launched a line of DC Multiverse toys this year that will span comic books, TV shows and movies, including WW84. Here’s Diana in her gold armor that’s been teased in the advanced trailers and posters.
Speaking of McFarlane Toys, the company is returning to its roots via a new Kickstarter campaign based around Todd McFarlane’s signature anti-hero. The crowdfunded toy line will feature revised versions of classic sculpts, as well as new sculpts of Spawn and other members of his cast. McFarlane told us that backers might receive bonus gifts like artwork and comic books depending on their contribution level.
The third Jurassic World adventure isn’t due in theaters until 2021, but the Universal franchise isn’t taking a year off. Between an upcoming animated Netflix series, a live show that’s currently touring the country and Mattel’s ever-expanding toy line — which adds new giant lizards of all shapes and sizes — there’s plenty of dino-roaring action to go around. And this Epic Roarin’ T. Rex, due out this fall, has the loudest voice of all.
Star Wars virtual pinball
If you prefer your Star Wars to be Baby Yoda-free, Arcade 1Up’s new virtual pinball machine keeps the focus squarely on the movies. All nine episodes, from The Phantom Menace to The Rise of Skywalker, are featured in the game and each screen is filled with episode-specific images from that far, far away galaxy. Prepare to add it to your starship’s game room later this year.
Set your care bear countdown to this summer! That’s when Basic Fun is bringing back the 1980s childhood staple for a whole new generation. Classic bears like Cheer Bear and Good Luck Bear are getting updated plush versions that pair their classic colors with new facial expressions.
Basic Fun is also bringing the franchise into the 21st century with interactive versions of the characters that can recognize each other — and their owners — with a simple push of their light-up tummies.
Mattel’s Toy Story 4 collection was one of last year’s Toy Fair highlights, and the company returned with an expanded Pixar line in 2020. In addition to upcoming releases like Onward and Soul, Mattel dug back into the studio’s archives with amazingly detailed action figures based on classics like The Incredibles, Brave and Wall-E.
Diamond Select Toys is keeping The Rocketeer aloft with a new 1/2 scale bust of the titular character of the 1991 film favorite, and the 1980s comic book by Dave Stevens. The limited-edition resin portrait is due out this summer, joining a toy line that already includes beautifully detailed statues and action figures.
Marvel Legends: Deadpool and Wolverine
Famous frenemies Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds can keep their hilarious faux-feud flowing with these new 6-inch Marvel Legends figures from Hasbro, which replicate their likenesses from the X-Men and Deadpool movie franchises.
Batman ‘66 and Superman ‘41 playsets
If you like your superheroes retro, Mezco Toyz has new playsets based on the Batman ‘66 TV series, as well as Max Fleischer’s seminal 1940s Superman cartoons. The Caped Crusader races onto shelves this summer, while the Last Son of Krypton flies up, up and away in the fall.
Harry Potter 4D puzzles
Add an extra dimension to your Harry Potter fandom with this larger-than-life 4D Hogwarts puzzle from 4D Cityscape. It’s one of several Potter-themed puzzles that the company is producing: There are also Hogwarts Express and Golden Snitch sets to be puzzled out. And 4D Cityscape has more universes beyond the Wizarding World: You can purchase lavish landscapes of Westeros, Middle-Earth and even Gotham City.
Top Gun: Maverick
Feeling the need — the need for speed? The Mattel-owned Matchbox line has a fleet of super-fast, super-cool vehicles pegged to the imminent arrival of Top Gun: Maverick. You can also climb into a figurative cockpit courtesy of the Top Gun strategy game by Mixlore. On sale now, the game allows players to suit up as Maverick and Goose to take on Iceman and Slider. Take our breath away, indeed.
The vintage 8-bit favorite becomes your next tabletop obsession courtesy of Kess Games. 1-4 players can participate in the fast-moving, action-packed game, which will be available for purchase later this year.
Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?
Basic Fun’s handheld version of the early PC favorite, The Oregon Trail, allowed old and new players to experience the joys of hunting for squirrels and dying of cholera on the way to the West Coast. Now you can go on a globe-trotting quest to find the computer world’s most famous thief. Boasting classic ‘80s graphics and a vintage computer display, the only thing that’s missing from the newly available handheld version of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? is the Rockapella soundtrack.
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