SDCC 2013: Top 10 Must-See Toy Panels

In case you can’t tell by all the posts we do, we LOVE toys here at MTV Geek — and we LOVE San Diego Comic-Con as well.  And as someone who is paid to blog about toys, I am therefore an expert by the laws of the Internet.  So here’s a look at 10 of the best panels about toys over the course of Comic-Con, conveniently placed in chronological order.

10. Toys 101: An Evolution of the Modern Action Figure (Thursday July 18, 10 a.m.-11 a.m., Room 25ABC): Mattel’s design team plans to go through 35 years of action figure design – a potentially terrific look at how figures have come from toy soldiers to Mego-style dolls to action figures to the hyper-hyper-hyper-articulated-and-sculpted thingies of today.

9. Hasbro: Transformers 30th Anniversary (Thursday July 18, 12 p.m.-1 p.m., Room 25 ABC): Having helped out in a toy shop a bit recently, I’ve learned one thing about Transformers fans – they’re even more fanatical than I thought.  So y’all KNOW they’re going to swarm this panel that includes a look at the extensive, sometimes terrifyingly convoluted history of the Robots in Disguise, and a new look at the forthcoming “Thrilling 30” line.  I just want a Masterpiece Galvatron that looks like the dang movie version

8. Toy Break Presents Indie Toy Secrets (Thursday July 18, 8 p.m.-9 p.m., Room 32AB): Another thing I’ve learned – the people who make indie toys have mad love for the history and versatility of the medium, and make the craziest-awesomest stuff.  Here’s a look at some of the creators of these crazy-awesome things – and how you can learn how to make some toys of your own.

7. Mattel: Mattypalooza 2013! (Friday July 19, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Room 25ABC): Mattel’s online-only Mattycollector line is one of our most-favoritest things in toys right now, and we’re looking forward to getting previews of their upcoming offerings for DC characters, Ghostbusters and of course Masters of the Universe Classics, with the HUMONGOUS Castle Grayskull coming later this year.  Of course, the biggest question (relatively speaking) is: Will this be the year they finally get to Two-Bad and Scorpia?  We’re champing at the bit, folks.

6. Hasbro: Star Wars (Friday July 19, 1 p.m.-2 p.m., Room 7AB): We’ll try not to repeat the same companies too much for this, but this is another major-major-major-major (apologies to Joseph Heller) panel, with one of the biggest lines in toy history, pretty much the bedrock for modern action figures…and now they’ve gotten all mad-tricked-out with the six-inch-scale hyper-articulated “Star Wars Black” line.  It’s the figures people have been waiting more than three decades to see.  Ooh, this is exciting!

5. Old Into Gold: How Retro Properties are Big Business for Toys and Collectibles (Friday July 19, 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Room 26AB): Our friends at Action Figure Insider host this meeting of the minds from such top companies as NECA, BifBangPow!, Super7, Diamond Select Toys and the Four Horsemen about bringing old-school characters to “modern” toy lines.  I just want some “Dark Crystal” figures.  Does that ask for too much?

4. Hasbro: Marvel (Saturday July 20, 4 p.m.-5 p.m., Room 25ABC): Self-explanatory, but it will be the single greatest panel at the show if they announce figures of Shang-Chi, Killraven, Speedball, The Prowler, Razorback the Crime-Fighting Trucker, U.S. One the Other Crime-Fighting Trucker, Disco Dazzler, Omega the Unknown, Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy, or a four-pack of the Headmen.  My tastes might differ from yours.

3. The Art of Play: How the ‘90s Changed Action Figures from Toys to Collectibles (Saturday July 20, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Room 8): Another Action Figure Insider panel looks at the legacy of McFarlane Toys, and how their alumni created the many hyper-sculpted, hyper-articulated toy versions of every last damn property you can imagine that we are all able to enjoy in our arrested adolescences today.  Bless you fine people!  This Bud’s for you.

2. Ball-Jointed Dolls Collector’s Group (Sunday July 21, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.,  Room 29A): The collectors of ball-jointed dolls have created a number of some of the best and most detailed custom collectibles around, and have even launched some excellent companies that offer both retro-styled figures and highly-detailed realizations of many movies and TV shows that never got official lines and…oh hell, I have to do it.  Uhhh, huh-huh-huh.  “Balls.”

1. Diamond Select Toys: The Best of All Worlds (Sunday, July 21, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.): In the body-odor-saturated waning hours of Comic-Con, try to muster the strength of your remaining brain cells to enjoy this look at some of the finest direct-market-only toys, including many a fine “Star Trek” collector’s item.  They just better not be giving the panel a damn title like that without announcing some sweet Picard as Locutus figure.

So those are our picks!  Have any other toy panels at Comic-Con that you want to see?  Looking at these lists of panels and wondering what in God’s name you’ve signed up for?  Let us know!