Toy Fair 2023: Playmates Will Heal Your Heart With TMNT (And Break It With Star Trek)

Pictures were not allowed inside the Playmates booth at Toy Fair, but I can still report what they exhibited inside. The company’s booth was split into two parts: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Miraculous. They clearly have robust waves planned for both.

From right outside their booth

Upcoming TMNT toys will focus on their smash hit Mutant Mayhem and the future series Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as, to a lesser extend, retro figures. On the Mutant Mayhem front: expect figures for Young Splinter, Scumbug, Wingnut, Superfly, Genghis Frog, and possibly others (though I did not see a Ray Fillet, which, I gotta admit, hurt a little). There is also a Walmart exclusive Giant Superfly figure coming, representing his mutated look from the film’s climactic finale. There will also be “baby” versions of the mutants like Superfly and Scumbug, looking stylistically similar to the “baby” Turtles that are out in two-packs now. There are also fun lower-price point items planned like tubes that contain “squishy” turtles that burst out of their containers when slammed on a hard surface (think a Push Pop that contains a squish-Turtle instead of sherbet). On the other end of the extreme, a 24-inch “My Size” Leonardo is also in the works.

Other toys from outside the booth

The Tales of… line will feature the turtles, of course, as well as Metalhead and a couple of robots who seem to be characters that are newly-minted for the show. Role play items similar to what exist currently for Mayhem are also planned, as well as versions of the Turtles in scales larger than the conventional 5.5-ish inches. The packaging is a wonderful light blue cardback with plenty of art and a logo in typeface similar to Mayhem printed on it. The figures are distinct from their Mayhem counterparts, but very clearly in the same universe. The Tales of… figures will also be modular, coming with one or two extra pieces so that they can be interchanged with the figure you bought. Want a Leonardo with Metalhead’s metal head? You’ll get your wish. There will be plenty of familiar characters released, but it wasn’t clear who the new additions will be. The two robots mentioned earlier seemed new, but will there be more? We’ll have to wait and see.

More from outside the booth

And so on to retro: As of now, we have the four original turtles, we have the movie likenesses, but the next wave will feature the 2003 TV show turtles, looking just as they did then. After that, they will release the four in their comic book versions, matching red masks and all. All of this is to celebrate 40 years of TMNT. As to the others, expect the next retro mutants to be Ray Fillet and (I believe) Mondo Gecko, with April O’Neil also thrown in. While some of these figures have been released as Amazon exclusives, these will feature different paint decos much more loyal to their original releases.

On the Miraculous side, expect more dolls and action figures for the hit property. There are also some microplaysets planned as well.

Now for the rough news: Star Trek. There was no Star Trek on display, so I asked one representative for an update. He said that, while the ships and role play items have sold well, the action figures have not. Therefore, the company is assessing how best to move forward. The leaked action figure wave containing Q, Seven of Nine, and others is “in limbo.” Target has been supportive of the line, but other retailers have been less so. With the ships and role play pieces doing well, Playmates is still looking at releasing another ship and accessory. They are currently narrowing the ship selection down from a pool of ideas (they would not say which ships were being considered), and the role play item might be a tricorder (unclear from which series, but I would guess TOS, as that would be in-keeping with their current trend) or possibly some other accessory. All things considered, I wouldn’t count new ships and accessories out, but the action figures – including the rumored Q/Seven/Geordi/Worf wave – is likely unsalvageable.

Jonathan Alexandratos is a NYC-based toy writer. They write about toys, pop culture, and the intersection of both.

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