Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular round up of the most fun, and occasionally weirdest, way to spend your money on the internet. This week, Lego turns to Marvel for its cutest new set, Hasbro teases what’s coming from its Obi-Wan Kenobi merch, and... well, have you ever needed more encouragement for proper bathroom etiquette? Check it out!
This past week was all about Star Wars reveals so let’s kick things off with Lego’s new buildable baby Groot from its “let’s remember the MCU good times” Infinity Saga line. The 476-piece model stands almost 11 inches tall with lots of joints for posing and includes a standing nameplate that simply repeats “I am Groot” over and over—some nice attention to detail. But the reason we’ll be dropping $55 on this set (available for pre-order now but not shipping until August 1) is the equally adorable and surprisingly accurate Lego-built audio cassette that’s also included.
For ‘80s kids who grew up in strict households where “evil” Decepticon toys weren’t allowed meant that Soundwave was unattainable, Blaster was a passable consolation prize. Hasbro’s Transformers Generations Legacy Voyager Autobot Blaster features the same red, yellow, and gray boombox design of the original, except now kids and collectors have to work through 20 steps to transform it into a robot. The real appeal of Soundwave and Blaster were the transforming cassettes that hitched a ride inside each bot’s chest, and the new $34 version of Blaster, available for pre-order now on the Hasbro Pulse website, includes a bot called Eject who still transforms into a cassette, although with a modernized design. Maybe a flash drive would have been a better choice?
Lego’s now determined to fill not only collectors’ shelves, but every last empty space on their walls as well with its Art line, featuring mosaic versions of Batman, the Beatles, and beyond. The latest addition sticks to the iconic music group theme with a recreation of the Rolling Stones’ logo. Unlike previous Lego Art releases, this 1,998 piece set skips the rectangular frame for a shape matching the iconic symbol, although we’re not 100% sold on the varying thickness of its black border. Can’t get no satisfaction from this design here. The $150 set will be available starting on August 1, but isn’t up for pre-order yet.
Hasbro The Black Series Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Elite Force FX Obi-Wan Lightsaber and Darth Vader Electronic Helmet
A new Star Wars show is on the way, and force once Hasbro has decided to at least tease some merchandise before it’s actually airing! Aside from the “Wandering Jedi” Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure we saw earlier this week, Hasbro also used the opportunity of a new trailer for the upcoming Ewan McGregor series to tease not one, but two role-playing items. The first is a light up Force FX Lightsaber, based on the design Obi-Wan uses in the series—which is, for all intents and purposes, his blade from the last two prequels and A New Hope, but a bit more rugged than the former because it’s been sitting hidden on himself or in his belongings on Tatooine for 10 years by the time the show starts. The saber includes a small stand to display the hilt on in the same style as previous Force FX sabers, and an attachable blade that will, of course, light up blue when activated, playing all the appropriate lightsaber sounds.
Vader’s helmet, meanwhile, is an updated re-release of one of the first Black Series roleplay helmets, featuring tweaks to the head and neck of the helmet as well as an accurate deco to its appearance in the upcoming series. As well as making sound effects, the helmet is designed as a three-piece assembly, connected by magnets, so fans can separate the neck, face guard, and top helmet section individually, for ease of wear and to pretend like you’re sitting in your own meditation chamber getting ready to choke an officer or two. Both items are currently set to release by January 1, 2023 according to Hasbro, but given current pandemic-impacted shipping issues, it’s likely they could arrive later than that. They’re both available for preorder on Hasbro Pulse, with the Force FX lightsaber costing $279, and the Vader helmet $132.
Extreme athletes like skateboarder Tony Hawk have their likenesses and branding plastered across toys and video games, and now it’s Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham’s turn, an athlete who performs amazing tricks and aerial feats adapted from skateboarding and BMX riding but in his wheelchair. At age 14 Fotheringham was the first person to perform a backflip in a wheelchair, which is just one of the stunts kids can attempt to pull off with this new $50 RC Aaron “Wheelz” toy from Hot Wheels. It includes a ramp as well as a wireless controller that can activate a “wheelie boost” feature for a top speed of over 6 MPH.
If Lego’s new Iron Man Armory set from its Infinity Saga line feels oddly familiar to you, it’s because it was just two years ago that Lego released its original Iron Man Armory set, which is now retired. The new version is almost twice as large as the previous—496 pieces compared to 258. Available starting June 1 for $90, the new armory includes a sportier sports car, plus eight MCU minifigures in total: the MK3, MK25, and MK85 Iron Man suits, plus Stark, Pepper, Fury, War Machine, and Whiplash.
We’re not completely burn out on Jurassic World Dominion merchandise yet because it’s impossible to ever hate on dinosaurs. But of all the movie tie-ins flooding into online stores, including those loosely affiliated with the franchise, this velociraptor toilet paper holder definitely ranks as one of the most unsettling. For $30 you get a surprisingly detailed sculpt of the raptor with a lovely paint job, but we can’t imagine ourselves stumbling into the bathroom in the middle of the night and not being terrified by the raptor’s big yellow eyes staring back once we flipped the lights on. Maybe save this one for the most devoted Jurassic fans who like hanging their TP the wrong way.
We’re not ashamed to admit we’ve got a soft spot for the Stuntz toys recently added to Lego’s City line. The little flywheel-powered motorcycles simply need a few revs across the floor to get going, and take off with impressive speed when launched. Grab a few ramps and you’ve got a solid hour’s worth of distraction, and the line is made all the more enjoyable with the unique characters riding each bike. The new Sudsy Simon Tub Racer is easily the best of the bunch, racing in a literal bathtub with a snorkel and a rubber duck. The life jacket won’t do much to stave off road rage, but we love the commitment to the bit. Arriving August 1 for $8.
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