By Trader Johann (Trader at Large)
How to Train Your Dragon fans will soon be inundated with merchandise from various fronts. Lucky AMC theater goers who attend a special screening Jun 12 (and who may have to be part of the AMC Stubs program) will get a commemorative dragon pin. Over on Walmart.com, there is a ZinePak exclusive for people buying the soundtrack — it comes with a nifty looking Nightfury patch. Topps also will have trading cards ready for some outlets to carry, but the list does not end there.
The real good stuff has to belong to the two books (one now available) that Cressida Cowell, original author and creator of this exciting series, has penned. These books expand her literary HTTYD universe with The Complete Book of Dragons: A Guide to Dragon Species (How to Train Your Dragon) and How To Train Your Dragon: Incomplete Book of Dragons.
In the DreamWorks front, Book of Dragons expands upon the television universe with a 24 page hardcover book that claims to have a sculptured cover and embossed pages. This book is written by Maggie Testa, illustrated by artists such as Nico Marlet (character designer at DreamWorks), Andy Bialk and Keith Frawley, and this book is published by Simon Spotlight (the same company who released Guide to the Dragons Volume 1 and Volume 2. Not everyone will be excited about these particular releases as it deals with targeting the young fan than older one. Also, it’s the DreamWorks version. But for fans of anything HTTYD related, they may well eat up anything that’s available.
That may also include the excellent mini’s line by Spin Master for the television show Dragons: Defenders of Berk. From the first four that were released, the number of cute critters has expanded to include twelve dragons — the latest three coming from the HTTYD2 movie.
The Bewilderbeast, Skrill and Cloud Jumper are the latest figures that was added. With the exception of Hookfang, the sculpts and paint job on these are quite exceptional. Collectors might have a hard time locating the rare Skrill figure, and they may find variants in how well painted Hookfang looks. The coloration does not blend well from his eyeball area to his beak, and some may want to do a repaint job on this to bring out some details or give his teeth the needed white that needs to exist.
At least Funko Pop! enthusiasts will find the paint job there to be well defined. But between this line of figures to the mystery minis, the decision is tough in wondering which collection is better to own. At least for one dragon fan, Ed Sum’s bet is on the mystery pack because of the greater care and attention done in crafting these figurines.
There are four Toothless variants looking mean, lean, cute and playful. And out of all the Astrid character figures currently offered, this version is the best made yet! The only hope is that collectors can get a complete set by buying one box. According to Toywiz.com, a full set is guaranteed, and that’s a bonus!
To learn more about Spin Master’s Mini-Dragons toy line and plans going into 2015, please check out the Dec 12th update, “Spin Master Relabels their Mini-Dragons Catalogue.”