Power Con 2019 has come and gone, and with it the passing into a new era for the show. This was the first time for it out of Torrance, and it's followed Designer Con by moving to Anaheim. Power Con was held at the Hilton hotel adjacent to the famous Anaheim Convention Center, unlike D-Con which was AT the A.C.C. Also, unlike D-Con, this move seemed to be an overall improvement to the show!
Anaheim can be a real hassle of a venue since it's both less conveniently located (for me) and carries with it the burden that comes with being home to Disneyland - i.e. high-priced parking and a ton of tourists. However, it does offer more space, which Power Con took full advantage. I was admittedly skeptical given how small the show has been in Torrance, but there were notably more booths, more of which were "fully stocked" and what definitely felt like notably more attendees. This all helped give the exhibitor hall more of a "traditional" modern con vibe and also let it be more explorable and walkable (well, the aisles got very crowded at times, but the consistent grid layout and added booths provided more to see).
They also utilized a better space for the panels which felt significantly more in line with bigger shows and certainly accommodated some major new announcements. This extra space also allowed for a "toy pick up" room which really streamlined the process of getting any pre-ordered toys. During check-in we got printed tickets for the exclusives we bought, then we just took that ticket to the fulfillment room, handed it in, they checked it off, then handed us our toys - super painless!
But of course, the big thing for nerd-conventions these days are the toy reveals which seemed liked they'd be quite light... until Super7 shocked us all! But first, the regulars:
The Four Horsemen were, of course, present; but once again they were only selling their two exclusives and they didn't have anything new to show (not even the full assortment of the currently up for preorder "Aethyr" series, sadly). One pretty cool indie booth really stood out, though - David Igo was selling some remarkably cool 3D prints he'd made, and at surprisingly reasonable prices. The big draw were some figures, which shared MotU/Wrestler-esque torso and legs, but with unique arms and heads, creating a Krampus, a Frankenstein and a Triceratops-man. They were about 9" tall and printed in gold filament that was pretty tight and fairly shiny. The shoulders had some loose swivel joints but the heads were on a square peg. He mentioned he had sort of rushed the articulation in order to have them ready for the show, which makes sense but was still kind of a bummer - the color and the articulation is ultimately what kept me from pulling the trigger on buying one, but boy was I close! I'm very much looking forward to see what he does with these because they look great, and the Frankenstein head in particular is super appealing.
Mattel has official-unofficially pulled the Masters of the Universe license back from Super7, which I have mixed feelings about, and they've revealed their "fully articulated" 5.5-inch line - but those won't be out for over a year, so... we're in a lull period where they kinda won't let it really lull. The booth displayed the new figures and at the panel they unveiled Battle Cat, a Sky Sled with swappable accoutrements and teased three upcoming figures. The panel itself was a whole lot of standard operating procedure from Mattel ("these are the ultimate expressions for new fans and classic fans alike - coming fall 2020, so more info later") and cringe-inducing fan Q&A. It is pretty cool and promising that they're rolling out "vehicles" from the start, so we'll see how things go. I'm just struggling to find any genuine excitement or enthusiasm for this line so far.
They also revealed blind-boxed minifigs, which seems like a pretty misbegotten cash-in on the blind box fad. They come packed in a mini Castle Grayskull which doubles as a stand, which is cool, but also... blindboxes are the worst AND they're just reissuing the failed MattyCollector minis... so... shoulder-shrug?
They also had a bunch of the WWF figures that use the new 5.5" system, which does seem like a genuinely clever idea, approach and synergy. What is weird, though, is that it's looking like there are unique sculpts between the lines rather than repainted - which seems to kind of undermine the premise... but who knows. At any rate, wrestling isn't my thing, but this is a fun premise and manages to feel kinda fresh so maybe it'll be a hit.
The REAL star of the show was Super7, though, who not only revealed the first series of their Ninja Turtles but also revealed that they have the Conan license! They also showed off their first series of Thundercats figures, and while they announced they have 3 additional Thundercats series planned they didn't announce or show anything from them... I have faith in Super7, but it is kind of crazy that they aren't doing ANYthing to give definite hope of finally being able to complete the core team.
The big fan news was the surprise reveal of the first series of their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures. NECA has been kicking ass with TMNT so I really didn't understand why Super7 was getting involved too (other than needing a heavy hitter license now that MotU has left) but seeing that they are re-doing the original toys does make some sense. It also gives me plenty freedom to pass on a lot of these because "I just don't get it." I'll cherry pick some favorites for sure (Baxter Stockman!!!) but overall these are just too on-model for me, as opposed to something with a bit more stylistic "spin" on it (like MotUC). They do look good, and splitting the four turtles across the five announced series' makes a lot of sense.
The real excitement for me, though, was the shocking reveal of Conan the Barbarian figures! It's a license I desperately want figures from but had given up all hope on, not to mention it's Super7's first real take on live action characters! The sculpts are INSANELY good, though I will say that I think Conan is too smooth and MotUC-like as compared to the armor on the other guys. They showed 3 figures and all but confirmed Thulsa Doom is the 4th, and are just waiting on approvals before showing him! Hail Crom!!! I really, really, really hope these do well and we can get more characters and versions (Orgy Room Thulsa, please!).
But all is not peaches and cream... all of these 7" figures from Super7 will be $45 apiece. While the quality and volume of accessories are there to warrant it, that price point is a clear sign that the golden age of toy collecting is over. We're talking a single S7 figure being the equivalent of two Hasbro figures. I totally understand the reasons that have resulted in that price, but those reasons have no impact on my income and toy-buying budget. So now it's really forcing me to be more discerning with my toy dollars, which is a genuine bummer since, as long time readers will attest, I LOVE toys and really enjoy being all-in on lines... well, if Super7 is planning to ask for a minimum of $180 a month for the foreseeable future (on top of ReAction, etc) and Hasbro keeps dumping tons of Marvel Legends at once... not to mention NECA being back in high gear... well, it just really bums me out that the shift has happened and I'm going to really need to buckle down and cut back.
BUT enough doom, gloom, whine, dine, complaint and fiscal faint - I still bought some sweet ass toys at the show, so what say you we take a look at them!?
Four Horsemen - Mythic Legions: Kronnaw
Who doesn't love Trapjaw!? He's just a super cool concept/design with some pretty fun and cool colors - most of which this figure interprets and homages quite well! The purples, greens and blues are all quite vivid and gorgeous. They really do a lot of the heavy lifting here because, sadly, the black paint is matte, giving the armor a very fragile, boring look - it's disappointing enough to almost ruin the figure. Trapjaw's head isn't something there's a good analogous option for in Mythic Legions but the Horsemen went a clever route by pairing a skull (with articulated jaw) with the new mini-crown from that figure with the collector's likeness. Its not perfect, but it works better than the Skapular head for Skeletor. This guy comes load with accessories - he gets two belts (one black and one brown), a long sword, a short sword, a dwarven axe, a flail and an alternate helmet/head. The flail and axe and very welcome additions, but it seems like at least one of the swords should have been one of the new scimitars to allude to Trapjaw's hook. The helmet is a disappointment, though. I appreciate the thought, but the more they release this particular one the less special it feels and it just doesn't really seem to jive all that well with this armor, especially in that ugly matte black. But why would anyone NOT use the homage head on the homage figure? Despite the matte black paint, this is a fun addition to the growing collection of MotU homages and I'm quite pleased to add him to the shelf!
Four Horsemen - Mythic Legions: Purrrplor
This guy basically follows the precedent set by last years' Cowarros giving us a stellar Panthor homage using all the same bare skin and fur parts while using the jagged Orc armor. The colors are absolutely gorgeous with a nice purple fur tone and a fantastic metallic teal for the armor, both of which complement each other beautifully and make this one of my favorite Mythic Legions color schemes yet! He comes packed with a belt, an eleven shield, orc dagger and orc uber-sword all painted bronze. I love this big sword and the shield and am very happy to have some additional versions of them, which will no doubt be wielded by other figures since they sort of overpower and block the coolness of this one. He also gets an alternate head; like Cowarros it's an Orc but unlike Cowarros it's un-helmeted, and looks pretty rad in this shade of purple. For such a simple repaint, I'm really so surprised by how great this figure looks, and again he's definitely one of my favorite looking figures in the whole line!
ManOrMonster? Studios - Colt Noble and the Megalords: War-Man
Gylos is something I've always appreciated but struggled with, so I was really happy when Spy Monkey introduced Battle Tribes which applied the joint system to more tradition action figure sculpts. ManOrMonster took that format and split off with his sets of add-ons to the shared core body and has been KILLING IT with some really, really fun sculpts, paint designs and homages. For PowerCon he also branched out of his own wheelhouse and did a figure from someone else's mind. I'm not familiar with Colt Noble at all but I dig this recoloring of the latest batch of parts. The white, gold and silver (particularly the one implicitly mech arm) really play nicely off each other. It's not as great as some other releases in this line, but it's pretty fun and unique.
ManOrMonster? Studios - Warlods of Wor: Neo-Adventurer
And here's our token (and surprisingly ONLY) glyos homage to MotU at the show - New Adventures He-Man! He's sort of a super-pack and includes parts from both the latest Warlords of Wor tooling as well as the original Battle Tribes parts to provide all you need to pretty much make both the regular and armored versions of NA He-man. It's a fun premise and set, but I have to admit it's a little boring (probably because NA He-man is pretty boring to look at). It ultimately just feels like a sea of blue and gold with little else to look at. I do love, though, that he ran the Battle Tribes gear in translucent green so that the sword and shield have the appropriate "energized" look to them - that is pretty rad and helps spice up the figure a good deal.
Super 7 - Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E.: Wave 4 in Slime Green Can
I felt an obligation to get a proper, official show exclusive, but the MotU Classics options were insanely expensive... (seriously, $50 for one repainted He-Man!? And that was the cheap option!) so I settled for this. I've got
Wave Series 1 and now Wave Series 4, so I kinda regret having passed on the second and third cans at the last two shows. Here we get all the latest minifigures, all from Princess of Power, cast in translucent green. They come in a "trash can" with a Skeletor lid once more, and I learned from my mistake last time, and cut open the plastic wrapper more wisely this time, so that it stays on the can but the lid can still be removed. There are 12 figures in here, and it cost $25 at the show, so the value doesn't feel too off in the scheme things. I have no attachment to PoP so this is mostly lost on me, but I do recognize She-Ra and a couple of the villains.
Super 7 - Masters of the Universe ReAction: Mantenna (Cartoon)
I was jazzed to see they had the latest MotU ReAction figures there, and got me a Mantenna ...before realizing they had a new-for-the-show repaint in the toy colors... I really wish I'd paid more attention and got that version, but this cartoon-colors one is still pretty fun. I like how they mashed up the format here, sculpting Mantenna's additional legs on the sides of the standard two, implying four legs while not going off the roadmap for the 5 Points of Articulation aesthetic. The colors are nice and bright, and this dude even gets a play feature - his eyes are a separate piece which can slid forward a bit sort of replicating the original toy. This is a pretty fun addition to the roster.
Super 7 - Masters of the Universe ReAction: Skeletor (Leo)
Last year I was sort of blown away by the Leo repaints, and I immediately became desperate for a Leo-colors version of Skeletor. SO, it was really great to see that this was a new-for-the-show (i.e. pseudo exclusive) this year. Basically, he just has darker blue skin, black armor and lighter yellow skull/face. I got the impression that the Leo figure was in metallic colors, and was hoping for that here but that's not the case. I also don't think the deco here is as "correct" as it could be for the Leo figure, but I am a novice in such matters - plus maybe some things, like the face print-mask, doesn't translate well to the ReAction style/sculpt. Still though, this is a pretty rad addition to the, or any, MotU collection!
Super 7 - Masters of the Universe ReAction: Stinkor
I think this was also new-for-the-show (the line has gone way off the deep end for me, given all the variants, different waves of release, etc. - I can't keep track of what's new, new-new, or whatever, anymore) and feels like one the last big names needed for the collection. Since the future is unclear for Super7 when it comes to MotU, this would be a fine note to end on (but there certainly are plenty more fun choices to do if they can keep going!). Similar to the original figure, this guy reuses Merman's head and legs. The torso is, I believe, all-new and it looks great, then the arms might be reused from somewhere as they are pretty much bare. Like with all my Super7 ReAction figures... they just look so good on the cards I perpetually find it difficult to commit to opening them.