By Jonathan Alexandratos
I’m not going to bury this. I had the strangest experience at the Jazwares booth during Toy Fair. In their behind-closed-door space, Jazwares had an area for Domez, the blind boxes/bags that reveal a figurine from a pop culture figurine frozen in action beneath a clear plastic dome. Max Lux, the person in charge of that division, was incredibly kind and welcoming, taking extra time to talk me through the Domez products. I noticed, to my right, high up on a photography-restricted shelf, a mock-up for G.I. Joe Domez. The figurines inside looked like their 1980s counterparts – replicas of their vintage cartoon faces and uniforms. There was Duke, Roadblock, Cobra Commander – all decked out in the looks we know. Awestruck, I made some comment to Lux voicing my delight that Jazwares was, apparently, using the G.I. Joe license to make something that resembled the original material, unlike Hasbro’s new reboots of the line’s most familiar characters. That’s when Lux said, “No comment on the 3.75-inch figures.” I think I managed a, “Really?” “Yup,” he said.
Now you could take that a number of ways. It could mean, “I’ve heard rumors that we’re making 3.75-inch figures, and I’m not confirming or denying that.” It could mean, “We are doing 3.75-inch figures, but I’m not allowed to talk about them.” Or it could mean the figures aren’t happening at all. Thing is: the comment happened somewhat out-of-the-blue. Honestly, I hadn’t even heard rumors that such figures were on Jazwares’ mind. Because of that, well, I kinda feel like they might be doing 3.75-inch figures. And, if they are, and Domez is any guide, they might look like their original ’80s versions. As I said, Lux confirmed exactly none of this. I am speculating, here, on my own. But there’s another piece of evidence on my side, here. These:
These are Jazwares’ 3.75-inch Halo figures with appropriately scaled vehicles. Three-and-three-quarter inch figures for a military-based property? Sure, they might just be Halo figures, or they could be Jazwares saying, “Hey, if you’re wondering what our Joes could look like, here’s an outline.” The Halo figures are suitably accessorized, come with an action base, and have plenty of articulation – all for $9.99. If they whet our appetites for 3.75-inch with these, and then hit us with Joes, I think the market will go nuts. Or, at least, I will.
But, if you’re a Halo fan, you’re probably waiting for me to stop going all Ancient Aliens Conspiracy Theory on Joes. I get it. These are the 6.5- and 12-inch figures we can expect in the Jazwares Halo line. From speaking with the company, I gathered all figures, even the smaller scale ones, would ultimately have the reflective visors in the final products.
Personally, I was taken by the Micro Machines display. Jazwares is planning over 100 vehicles for their first year of release, some of which are featured here, drifting through their mock-up city. Expect to see boats and planes as well as cars. Many of the playsets you see will be available for sale, too.
Above, you’ll find a more isolated look at the Car Wash and Super Van City sets.
Seeing it boxed, you can tell that the Super Van City set is not only a throwback product, but retro packaging, too. This shows that Jazwares is committed to bringing back older toys with as much loyalty to their original looks as possible. (*COUGH* G.I. Joe *COUGH*)
Here again, you can see the unique Micro Machines window box packages that made the brand famous in the first place.
Wrestling fans have been stoked about the Jazwares AEW line, which brings numerous points of articulation, cloth clothing, and fun accessories to figures that have traditionally been fairly minimalist in their basic assortments. These will retail at $19.99.
Jazwares will also do the ring, and the belt, to go with the AEW line.
In addition to AEW, fans will also see Jazwares produce a separate line of MMA fighters like Connor McGregor. I wasn’t allowed to photograph those, but they look similar to the AEW figures, quality-wise.
Jazwares won’t ignore one of their hottest properties in 2020: Pokemon. Their My Partner Pikachu interactive figure sold well in 2019, prompting the company to make My Partner Eevee, with lights and sounds that respond to your touch. This figure will retail for $19.99.
In addition to new plushes (there will be a Snorlax that actually snores and rumbles), Jazwares is coming out with a Pokemon backpack that unfolds into a Kanto Region playset. It will come with Pikachu, but all other minifigures are up to you to purchase separately, whether as single items or in multi-packs.
While Jazwares presented a lot of great merch in its own right, I can’t help but think big things are brewing for the company. They didn’t get a G.I. Joe license to make nothing out of it, and they proved at Toy Fair 2020 that they can handle 3.75-inch figures AND retro products, so watch this company, as Senator Palpatine once said, “with great interest…”