Alpha Group, owners of the master license for some of Nickelodeon's most popular toy lines, is celebrating the 20th anniversary toys celebrating the history of Nickelodeon's massive animated hit SpongeBob SquarePants. The line of collectibles -- many of them higher-end than the average SpongeBob toys, hanging around in the $20 price range and aimed at the collector's market -- includes everything from plush novelties to surprise eggs to -- and this is one of our favorite ideas in a while -- 8" vinyl figurines that recreate some of the iconic imagery from the show that has taken on a life of its own as internet memes.
Here's how they describe the line in their own words: "Building upon two decades of incredible SpongeBob content and fandom, these toys have evolved from the conventional preschool toy range and are certain to excite a multi-generation fan base – Kids, Tweens, Teens and Millennials. The company’s imaginative range includes collectible pop culture figures, fun-loving novelties, plush and – for the first-time ever – SpongeBob toys that include Nickelodeon Slime!" SpongeBob SquarePants has been a global pop culture phenomenon since almost immediately after it first premiered on Nickelodeon in July 1999. The series has been the most-watched animated program on the network for 17 consecutive years, is seen in over 208 countries and translated in more than 55 languages.
As you can imagine, that provides Alpha Group with a lot of options, a lot of ideas, and a lot of variations on the characters and their world to draw from. Here, you can check out an overview of their Spring 2019 product line...
Slimeez with Nickelodeon Slime
Incorporating Nickelodeon Slime into the SpongeBob line for the first time, these three-inch figures will be available for $6.99 at Target stores this spring, with a second wave of toys coming in the fall (six figures in the spring, even in the fall. Load each 3-inch figure with the included two ounces of Nickelodeon Slime, push and watch the Slime ooze through the figures. Besides the slime and the figure, each one comes packaged with a collectible SpongeBob cube and, like many of the blind box/surprise egg-type toys aimed at younger audiences, there is a rare "gold" SpongeBob variant, too.prevnext
No, not that kind of stretchpants. Amazon and Target will share the exclusive on this new figure, which brings the fun of the old Stretch Armstrong line to SpongeBob SquarePants...but with a twist. Per the official product description, fans can stretch SpongeBob's arms and legs to activate over 20 unique silly sounds and phrases from SpongeBob himself! It also suggests that "Parents, siblings and friends can join in the fun by grabbing an arm and a leg," which is exactly what parents are eager to do, as we all know. Apparently, it's a progressive thing, a la those old DVD menus that would get impatient with you after a while, because the prodcut description says, "Keep pulling to hear what he will say next! The more you pull, the funnier he gets!" The retail on this one is $24.95.prevnext
8-inch collectible vinyl figures bring to life fan-favorite show and movie moments that have now become some of the most popular viral memes. Featuring exceptional details and window packaging for collector displays, the Spring Masterpiece Memes figures include Mocking SpongeBob, Imaginaaation SpongeBob, Surprised Patrick, Spongegar and Handsome Squidward. These will retail for $19.99 and be available at Amazon and Target.prevnext
There are few shows (outside of maybe The Simpsons with a stranger and more immediately recognizable style of character design. That's why these headpeices -- 20", soft, inflatable headwear that mimics the look of characters from the series, are bound to be all over the floor at Comic Con International in San Diego this year. Made to fit most kid and adult heads, SpongeHeads will be available at Amazon and Target for $12.99.prevnext
Well, these things -- 6" plus figures based on the characters and available at Hot Topic and Target for under $10 -- are pretty familiar to basically anyone who buys toys for kids. They will run you $7.99 and feature most of the most popular characters on the show.prevnext
Going all the way to the other end of the spectrum, this is some of the cool, weird, niche stuff that will play largely to the older collectors who watched this show near the start of its run. The 4.5-inch vinyl collectible figures celebrate and capture iconic pop culture in a unique SpongeBob way. The Spring line includes B-Movie SpongeBob, Patrick and Dr. Plankton, based on the horror episodes from the show, as well as Old-Timey SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward in a style inspired by the golden age of animation. These are available through Amazon for $9.99.
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