Comic-Con toys come out to play

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The Independent Online

At the panel with Bruce Willis in Hall H at San Diego's Comic-Con, on opening day, 6,000 fans listened to Sylvester Stallone admit he broke his neck on the set of the upcoming action-adventure film The Expendables. Most of the other 120,000 attendees were roaming the exhibition floor at the San Diego Convention Center seeking the latest in 12-inch action figures.

Dozens of toy manufacturers' booths will feature comic-related toys and collectibles, from Hasbro displaying its Marvel goods to Mattel showing DC Comics toys, and the much-anticipated TRON: Legacy line from Disney.

Here's a sampling of what's new:

- Marvel Universe Iron Man 2 Mighty Mugg: a stylized vinyl collectible of Tony Stark's armored suit with retractable helmet visor. Limited quantities will be available at after Comic-Con ends July 25.

- Marvel Universe Captain America figure: a removable helmet and triangular, badge-shaped shield plusfeatures one-of-a-kind artwork by Joe Quesada, Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief.

- Marvel Universe Thor figures: Designed in line with the Thor: Ages of Thunder comics series, including the legendary hammer.

- Transformers Autobot Blaster: A retro boombox is actually a "Robot in Disguise!" in the character's classic 1984 styling; this special figure includes three cassette tapes/battle companions: Steeljaw, Ramhorn and Eject.

- Mattel will also be on hand, expanding its presence this year with comic-inspired toys, games and guests from the comics world stopping by to sign autographs, such as actor Seth Green of Robot Chicken. They will feature Masters of the Universe figures of Mo-Larr vs Skeletor and Orko.

The toy company will celebrate DC Comics' 75th anniversary with Plastic Man, Justice League of America with Starro the Conqueror, and Wonder Woman.

"Comic-Con has transformed into this great phenomenon, " said Tim Kilpin, general manager of Mattel Brands. "We look forward to Comic-Con all year long as it gives us the opportunity to connect with our fans."

Also present, the TRON: Legacy lines of toys from Disney are being showcased, including the first-ever action figures to feature light projection technology to reflect the illuminated futuristic world of the film, with sleek neon lighting and a cyber aesthetic.

"This is not a typical movie line," said Chris Heatherly, Disney's VP of toys and electronics. "We're working exclusively with trailblazers who normally do not do movie merchandise." TRON items created by Spinmaster, Monster and DCP will be available at retail in October.

- TRON Action Figures include impulse projection technology to bring characters to life with digitized, illuminated and moving faces inside the helmet. The Ultimate Sam Flynn figure speaks phrases from the film.

- TRON Core and Deluxe Vehicles are replicas from the film that light up, launch projectiles, with pop-up blasters on the Light Runner, and gravity tilt sounds.

- TRON Zero Gravity Light Cycle features six-foot light-emitting trails and zero-gravity Air Hogs technology that lets the vehicle be driven on a wall and upside down.

The film TRON: Legacy, starring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, an action-adventure in a unique virtual world, hits North American theaters December 17 in 3D.