by Chris Troy
Hey there FPNYC faithful, were you aware that Forbidden Planet has a small, yet awesome gaming section? Not of the video game variety (like there’s a shortage of Gamestops in Manhattan), but TCGs like Magic:The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh & Pokemon? Try as I might, I could could really never get into them, mostly because I was terrible at them, and a severe lack of interest in the subject matter, Pokemon excluded. However as you’re all well aware by now, super-heroes are my jam, and if you make a game involving them, I’ll care to some extent. Enter: Heroclix, a highly addicting game using minatures instead of cards, based on some huge nerd properties relevant to my interest, as well as some of your’s too (unless you’re just here for Loran’s robot articles)!
Topps (yes the baseball card people) originally held the license for Heroclix, but after a few years, gave it up. NECA (of Video Game Selects fame) under the Wizkid label they bought from Topps, gave the line a 2nd chance on the market and the expansion waves they’ve put out since have been best-seller for the company. NECA is one of the few companies that holds both the Marvel AND DC license, so both universes are compatible for play, meaning you can have the World’s Finest team of Batman and Superman fight Spider-Man and Thor, or make a powerful team consisting of the JLA and Deadpool.
One of the things NECA’s been good at is making the game accessible to first time players, by offering starts sets based on popular events and characters. For the last 2 years, they’ve offer sets based on “Blackest Night ” and “Brightest Day” which are usually 6-7 figures sets that also come with a mat to play on, dice and stat cards. In addition to that, they’ve released a Green Lantern single pack series, which offers 1 random figure based on the summer movie, for about $3 a pop. In addition to the single boosters, there’s also a 6 figure starter set, based on the movie as well. The 2011 line of DC Heroclix are scheduled for a September release, and looks to be focused on Superman. We also have some of the older collector sets in stock, one based on the Legion of the Super Heroes, and a Watchmen box set, as well as an over-sized, shorts wearing Dr. Manhattan.
NECA has used similar tactics for the Marvel line as well. There was a Thor starter set released this May, with the comic versions of the popular characters from the movie, as well as a Captain America singles set, which was also based on the comic versions of the characters opposed to the movie-stuffs. NECA also released 2 over-sized figures, Apocalypse and the Sentinel, this year which are to scale to the smaller Clixs, to accompany their X-Men wave. Another X-wave, as well as a Hulk-focused wave are expected to be out by the end of 2011.
Also worth noting is that not all Heroclix are based on Marvel & DC properties. Back when Topps had the license, independent comic books like Hellboy, Witchblade and Invincible got their own Heroclix, as well as some Horror icons (hence the name Horrorclix). NECA has carried the tradition by releasing a Street Fighter 2 wave, both in random single boosters and a start set. The figures actually have some of the most impressive sculpts to date, and use clear colored plastics well. In addition to Street Fighter, there should be lines dedicated to The Lord of the Rings, Gears of Wars 3…..Iron Maiden (yes the band) due out this year as well.
If you want to get involved with Heroclix, I recommend you come by the store and check out our gaming department, which is upstairs next to the Manga, or just check out the website, which has a bunch of stuff, old and new, for 10-15% off. Either way, it’s a fun game, and worth the time if you can find a steady community to play with.