Events: Hasbro's 'Twas the Night Before...Party 2013
In a repeat performance of last year's "Preview Night" held by Hasbro, a similar event has held at "The Suite", part of the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. This attractive venue is a huge space with lounge areas and a nice bar set up. Like last year, this was not a Toy Fair style event where every single product for every line was shown. Instead, this focused on key brands with only representative items from each brand being shown. This included:
- KREO Featuring the new "Dungeons & Dragons" license. This was probably the most extensive display, featuring about six to eight different playsets.
- My Little Pony Complete with a station to "Pony-fy" yourself with a hair extension and "Cutie Mark" temporary tattoo
- Nerf A moving target was set up for you to try various Nerf guns, my favorite was a shotgun with reloadable cartridges that fired 3 "Nerf missiles" at one time
- Furby You could take a pic of yourself with a Furby body, what's not to love?
- Angry Birds Star Wars Telepods A segment of the larger "Telepods" line, this was mostly a display with a section to take pictures behind a cut out.
- "Star Wars Black Series" What's better than buying an action figure? How about being an action figure? with props including Lightsabers and Darth Vader masks, you could take a pic in a "bubble" against a giant sized "Black Series" card, making you the action figure!
Of course, Transformers got some love with two different displays. One featured the first "Age of Extinction" toy reveal, a Leader Class Optimus Prime, confirming the pics that have been leaked for a couple months now of a truck on set are indeed the real deal. The sculpt itself had a lot of interesting features. Optimus looks very organic and curved now, less blocky than previous versions. His sword and shield weapons are also quite interesting as they are separate pieces instead of weapons that form out of his arms. I'll also give high marks on the paint jobs (keeping in mind these are prototypes) which featured metallic paint and vacuum metallized parts. My concern however is the size of the figure. The figure was roughly the size of a "Transformers Prime" Voyager Class figure, but was being advertised as a Leader Class at a $45 price point. Without electronics or some type of gimmick, I'm not sure if folks will put out $45 for a guy who's somewhere between a current Voyager and "Ultra" Class figure. Time will tell.
The other Transformers display was an impressive one. A shelf had several Construct-Bots sets on it (in box and out) while a table was set up with tubs of Construct-Bots parts allowing you to build your own custom robot. Mine was a mash up of Wheeljack and Bumblebee parts who I named "Sir Ruxpin Peterson" out of a desire to just do something silly and have fun (remember, these are toys!). To help people in putting them together, the basic "skeletons" were preassembled and reference 'bots were on the table. This table was full all night and got tons of attention!
The rest of the venue was really neat with toys littered throughout including a Metroplex and Weaponizer Bumblebee on one table and Darth Vaders from the "Black Series" on another. Nearby a game of Jenga was set up by a couch and on another table was a KREO Starship Enterprise. It was truly a dream for any toy lover. Meanwhile alcohol and small bites were served to keep everyone happy. The folks working the venue were really nice and efficient.
There were also two copies of the upcoming "Transformers Pop Up Book" (originally revealed at Botco 2013) which was amazing. No, really. This was not some simple book where you pull a tab and a car goes across a page. Pulling tabs made vehicles transform and even had the Combaticons form Bruticus! It even has obscure characters such as the Predators, Greatshot, Bumblejumper and Scrounge in it! I can't wait to review this book thoroughly.
At the end of the night, the great "clearance" occurred. Like last year, guests were allowed to take items of their choice (excluding display items like Optimus Prime of course) and we got a swag bag to boot! I made off with a couple of Construct-Bots sets and a "Predacons Rising" DVD (among other items). Truly very generous of Hasbro.
This was definitely a fun night and offers a nice "bridge" event between San Diego Comic-Con and Toy Fair 2014 to whet everyone's appetites for the coming year's product. Thank you to Hunter PR and Hasbro for throwing such an awesome event!