Tales from the Toy Aisles

It’s time once again to take a look at the newest toys invading the stores, it’s time for TALES FROM THE TOY AISLE! This week we take a look at the incredible Imaginext toys that are quickly becoming one of my favorite toy lines out there. Originally designed for young kids, it’s hard not to imagine (no pun intended) these becoming collector’s best friends. With such a wide variety of selections and brands. Now Hasbro is getting into the act as well (more on that in a bit!) plus we take a look at another small scale mainstay, LEGO!

Up first we have Imaginext Toy Story figure packs. If you’re like me, you probably enjoy Toy Story but find many of the characters just too darn expensive. Imaginext has you covered with the entire crew (sans Potato Head) available in various forms and in multipacks that make it cheaper than any other Toy Story brand.

It’s also the only line where you can get Evil Dr. Porkchop’s spaceship! Why do I not collect these?!

Imaginext doesn’t just have licensed brands either, they have some stuff they came up with on their own. Some of that is the best stuff, like pilots and planes or the brand new Dinosaur brand! It’s clearly inspired by Dino-Riders!

I loved Dino-Riders as a kid and I can imagine these little guys would be a big hit with youngsters. They even have big items like a T-Rex and a Bronto… Or whatever the hell a Brontosaurus is these days.

Not to be outdone, Hasbro, under their Fisher-Price brand has now come out with their own Imaginext style figures featuring their brands. Star Wars and Marvel are bound to make a big splash in this format.

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This week I stopped into a local Dollar General and encountered a royal bitch. I also nearly bought a $3 toy, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. All that and more in the latest TALES FROM THE TOY AISLE!

We open with some double pack figures from The Corps. For $3, this isn’t a bad deal. I almost picked up a couple guys to go with my Ethan Crowne figure. I like the two pack idea, but unfortunately the Corps are all the same figures. I’m not likely to pay $3 for two when I can get the whole lot for about $12. Corps should repaint these dudes, but I guess it’s cheaper not to.

They have these guys for a $1. They remind me a bit of the old Remco Sgt. Rock figures. I’m sure they’re not as good. For $10 though, you could buy a whole army’s worth. That could be fun?

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It’s time for a very special pre-Easter edition of TALES FROM THE TOY AISLE!

Right now in the department stores there is a second aisle of “toys” devoted to Easter. While some of it is just candy and eggs, many include little trinkets that are designed to go into Easter baskets. I recall getting a handful of neat toys through the years at Easter, so let’s see what’s out there for kids this year.

Our first stop is Target, which has one of the largest selections of Easter goodies. One very cool item I noticed is these POP Heroes vinyl bobble heads of DC characters. They look pretty neat, but seems as though they have no articulation. Too bad, as I’d picked one up if it had a little poseability.

They also had the DC Imaginext stuff back out, but this time in egg shaped packages. I really like these, but as I’ve said in the past (Christmas) they should try to theme these beyond just the packages. These figures are the same as the Regular and Single Card releases. Do something more than just change the packaging!

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You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of articulation, a dimension of mind, a dimension of dork and paint applications, one part electric slide one part electric bugaloo, it’s time for another edition of… TALES FROM THE TOY AISLE!

Yes while today does start our official coverage of C2E2, I won’t have most the pictures and details until tonight. So in the meantime, let’s take a stroll down the local toy aisles and see what’s popping!

First I want to point out something new Hasbro has cooked up. Selling masks. Sure, there have always been a handful of masks/costumes in the toy aisle, but Hasbro is now marketing a specific mask for every brand of their superheroes.

And it’s not just superheroes either, Transformers is getting in on the action! These masks are all actually pretty cool because while they resemble the old Ben Cooper masks in a way, they’re much more detailed and are a hard plastic. The GF tried a few on and they fit her alright, so I guess some adults could even sport these.

And if you decide to buy the Thor mask, you might as well pick up the Mjölnir roleplay toy as well.

There was a decent rollout of Thor toys on the shelves as well. The big movie seems to be getting a decent launch, toy wise. Of course I more or less find Thor pretty boring.

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It’s the first Tales from the Toy Aisle of the new year! What all have I seen in my toy adventures in 2011? Quite a lot actually. What’s out there now? Let’s take a look…

First off I found the new Wave 4 of the Retro-Action figures. I really like the Captain Cold from this set. However, notice anything different with one of these? Yeah and it wasn’t a repack either. Mattel QC strikes again!

You might think that Captain Cold will be the peg warmer for this line, but I offer you this counter evidence. Yes, that’s the Flash, warming pegs. Strangely I couldn’t find Cheetah or Wonder Woman. Either they’re short packed or the ladies are popular. Who said female figures won’t sell?!

Staying with the DC/Mattel theme, I saw the new Batman Brave & The Bold line. It seems as though this line has been revamped to focus less on the Brave & The Bold (since that show is done) but still have the same figures. This Joker looks great. Sadly, they still have those hexagon holes all over them, so I’m not going to buy him. Looks like this line is mostly repaints anyway.

Need some WWE basics? Well one of my local Targets is loaded down. Sadly the price is back up to $9.99 (they were $7.50 all December) so I doubt these will be flying off the shelves. Why did the price go back up? $7.50 was the optimal price for these dudes.

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