Despicable Me was quite a surprise for me, as I wasn’t expecting much before I saw it and ended up charmed by the animation and characters. Of course, so were a few many million other moviegoers, which means, yes indeed – it’s time for a sequel. If the teaser and trailers are any indication, you can expect Despicable Me 2 to be even funnier than the original, as Gru’s Minions seem to be the focus this time out. This also means in terms of licensed products, toy companies such as Hasbro, Thinkway Toys, Basic Fun and others are going all out to get fans of the film into stores and online shops to snap up some really cool new items. I got to see most of the upcoming lineup during Toy Fair off-site at a more relaxed downtown location and everything looks (and sounds, where applicable) great and is coming soon to a retailer near you.
Gallery below the jump along with some more scribblings on the collection from yours truly…
Thinkway Toys has some really fun DM2 figures coming in a few sizes from tiny 1 and 2.5 inch Minion Surprise figures (above) that cover pretty much the entire cast up to bigger 8.5 to 16 inch collector’s quality versions of principal characters (below), there’s going to be something for everyone in the target audience from kids to the most diehard toy fan who keeps it all stored on that shelf as a boxed mint product.
The Collector’s Edition line is pretty awesome, as these figures are interactive and respond to your voice and motions with dialog and their own fun reactions. Having a 14″ Gru, 11.5″ Agnes or 9′ Minion Dave do a bit of talking back, looking around the room or otherwise interacting with each other was pretty cool to see in motion. While I definitely wouldn’t call these versions true “robots” as they don’t walk around the room or have any actual AI to speak of, the technology in each figure makes them quite cool indeed. I have to say that Minion Dave and Agnes will probably be the pair some fans go for first, as they have an amusing bit of repartee with each other that’s guaranteed to bring a few smiles out. That and whatever material Thinkway used for Dave’s weird skin texture will make you think you’ve got an actual Minion of your own. The CE line is a Toys ‘R Us exclusive, each with a suggested price of $54.99.
Of course, I’m betting on the Fart Gun to be a big, gassy item among some kids (and adults) out there. Available in two models, the standard Minion Gadget and the Toys ‘R Us Exclusive version (with a special light banana scent!) for $19.99, this one’s cool because it can be displayed as a prop, used for play or set up as a modern day Whoopie Cushion thanks to a delay timer that allows you to set it, place it down somewhere and scoot off before it blurts out a few toots. Wonderful, especially if you can blame the dog or cat or someone else in the room when it goes off.
There’s a line of five Special Feature Action Figures, Gru the Talking Genius, Dancing Dave, Minion Dave Talking, Minion Stuart Laughing and Minion Tim Singing Figures, all priced at $34.99. Like the CE figures above, these make for some nicely interactive fun for those who want to take bits of the film experience home with them.
Meanwhile, back at the retro ranch, Hasbro is releasing custom Despicable Me 2 versions of Monopoly and Operation ($19.99 each) that look great and yes, play pretty much the same. The Monopoly game changes up some elements (you’ll see), but also has a cool box that places the play field above the center of the board using the box bottom as a base (no more lost dice!). Operation replaces that poor red-nosed slob with a cute Minion to poke around in (“Don’t touch the sides!” still applies). Finally, Basic Fun and Fischer-Price have teamed up to release a neat DM2 View Master that comes as a standalone item for $9.99 with three $4.99 reels or a combo pack featuring the View Master and all three reels for $14.99.
There are also a ton of cool plush figures and other excellent toys in the line, but I’ll do something fun here and add a few each week to the site in a quickie article just to let you all know what to add to your list of DM2 collectibles. Check out the gallery below to see what’s coming and stay tuned…