Summer Movie Toys : A Roundup and Review – Including Iron Man and Speed Racer Toys

The summer movie season has arrived early this year, and along with it comes a deluge of toys based on the summer’s most anticipated films. Some years back from now, bandar casino online used to be the game that kept people busy during this time but the gaming scenario has changed quite a lot since then. Being an action figure collector, I anticipate the merchandise nearly as much as the movies, so imagine my excitement when I scoured my local Toys R Us and uncovered loads of brand new movie toys for 2008. Now I’m here to give you part one of the lowdown on what I found.

Iron Man

The season’s first big blockbuster has arrived, and plenty of Iron Man toys have tagged along. Not surprisingly, the Iron Man toys are being handled by Hasbro, the owners of the Marvel Comics license. Similar to their handling of the Spider-Man 3 license last year, the line is heavily focused on the iconic title character. However, unlike the maligned, shrunken Spider-Man toys, the Iron Man action figures are in a 6″ scale, and will fit in perfectly with the rest of your Marvel Legends collection.

The Iron Man action figures themselves are decently made- about the same quality of a Hasbro Marvel Legends figure, but they’re nothing extraordinary. There are too many iterations of Iron Man himself- looking at the store shelf, all you see is red and gold. You’ve got battle action Iron Mans, huge talking Iron Mans, itsy bitsy Iron Mans…they all look pretty much the same. I would’ve loved to see more emphasis put on supporting characters. What could’ve been the most interesting figure- Tony Stark with a removable Iron Man helmet, in actuality looks more like a smoosh faced Jimmy Smits than Robert Downy Jr.

Biggest Disappointment: The blah factor is pretty strong here, with lots and lots of repetition. Also, a toy company has once again ignored the women, with a figure of Iron Man’s female lead, Pepper Potts, nowhere to be found.

Biggest Surprise: Being made by Hasbro, it’s not too surprising that we’re getting sets of Iron Man SuperHero Squads- those adorable little superdeformed comic book figures. However, I’m always amazed at how Hasbro manages to make such small, basic figures so delightfully kid and collector friendly. The Iron Man SuperHero Squad gift sets in particular, which contain an assortment of the film’s major characters, are worth picking up.

The Bottom Line: For anyone looking to add a decent Iron Man or Iron Monger to their Marvel Legends collection, now is as good a time as any. For a more casual fan, or someone less completist, the adorable SuperHero Squad figures are a far more interesting bet.

Speed Racer

Mattel must believe that Speed Racer is the most kid friendly of summer’s first batch of movies, because the Speed Racer section at Toys R Us is at least twice as large as any other. In the mini-mall of Speed Racer goods, kids will find everything from cars to comics to dolls.

I have to believe that Mattel snagged the Speed Racer license because they own the Hot Wheels brand of toys. Just imagine the vast merchandising possibilities in associating Speed Racer with the most famous toy vehicle brand around. This is both good news and bad news to collectors. The good news is that the Speed Racer die cast cars are awesome, with great detail and fun action features. The bad news is that Mattel’s action figures are often of dubious quality, and the Speed Racer figures are no exception.

The Speed Racer figures are small (about 3″) and pricey ($6.99). The price wouldn’t be quite as large an issue if the quality was there, but the likenesses are a bit left of center. Seemingly trying to bridge the gap between the 60’s animated Speed Racer and the new flesh and blood version, Mattel has created figures that don’t quite look cartoony, but definitely don’t appear realistic. Yeah, they fall somewhere deep in the pit of the uncanny valley- a little peculiar, to say the least.

As if that weren’t enough, the Speed Racer action figures boast a short, squashed build that reminded me of those blocky little Japanese Kubrik toys. Not a good look for figures based on real people.

Biggest Disappointment: Clearly, those ugly Speed Racer action figures put a damper on things. Plus, the Trixie figure is impossible to find. Typical Mattel to short pack the ladies.

Biggest Surprise: A strangely cute two pack of Speed Racer and Trixie Barbie dolls. Wearing outfits from the Speed Racer film, these two actually manage to invoke the look of the film’s actors, which is more than I can say for the action figures. The only problem is that the Speed Racer Ken features the typical beefcake male-doll body, and a HUGE head, so he looks a little off. Still it’s a nice set, featuring the only movie-related Trixie merchandise I could actually find.

Bottom Line: The cool cars and playsets should appease fans of both the Speed Racer anime and film. Die hards will want to snatch up the Barbie set, but even they should avoid the action figures at all costs.

Sex and the City

Just kidding. Thankfully, this one is not being marketed to children. But why some high end collector company hasn’t grabbed this license is beyond me. Dolls of the Sex quartet would sell like hotcakes.

Well that’s it for this installment. Come back next time, when I’ll be taking a look at toys from Indiana Jones, Hulk, and The Dark Knight. Happy hunting!