This Week's Toy News Has Its Eye on You
Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular round up of the greatest toy news on the internet. This week: Lego’s already got plans for The Mandalorian season 3, while Hasbro’s still stuck with The Book of Boba Fett. Plus, make your own skies a bit more Pandoran with Avatar RC creatures. Check it out!
Lego Star Wars: The Mandalorian Spider Tank
It really does seem like vehicle designers in the Star Wars universe throw anything at the wall they can think of and hope that it sticks. How could anyone think that towering, four-legged, AT-AT walkers would be the best vehicle for navigating an ice planet when simply hovering over uneven terrain is easier and far less prone to being tripped up by wires?
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We have similar concerns over the practicality of a tank that looks and moves like an over-sized, multi-legged spider, as seen in season three of Star Wars: The Mandalorian. On the other hand, this 526-piece set looks like a lot of fun to build, and almost worth the $50 price tag for the three included minifigures: Grogu, a highly-accessorized Bo-Katan Kryze, and Mando himself with the Darksaber in hand. You can pre-order the Spider Tank set now from Lego’s website, but you’ll have to wait until August 1 for it to ship out.
Hasbro Star Wars: The Black Series Tusken Chieftain
Many fans may have walked away from The Book of Boba Fett worried about the future of Star Wars streaming series, but the show did do one thing well: it made us all rethink our opinions of, and actually empathize with, the Tusken Raiders. Hasbro is introducing the Tusken Chieftain to its Black Series collection, the leader of the Tusken Raider tribe who captured Fett after his escape from the Sarlacc creature and helped him recover from the ordeal. Available this Spring for $25, the figure brings a welcome splash of color to the Tusken’s unique, but normally bland and beige, outfits.
Hasbro Transformers Takara Tomy Nemesis Prime R5
Last Summer, Canon partnered with Takara Tomy for a pair of digital cameras (non-functional) that transformed into the Autobot leader Optimus Prime, and a Decepticon character named Reflector, who’s alternate mode has always actually been a camera. The toys were only made available in Japan, however, making it difficult for international collectors to snag one. Thankfully, the Hasbro Pulse online store just added a third option, with a Nemesis Prime (think Optimus as a baddie) that transforms into an 80% scale Canon EOS R5 replica, and accessories that include the AllSpark, a lens cap shield, and a tiny Canon camera the bot can use to snap pics. It’s available for pre-order now for $132, but won’t ship out until January of 2024.
Zing Avatar RC Deluxe and Classic Banshees
With Avatar continuing to suck up a good chunk of the world’s disposable income, there’s a chance kids have been bugging their parents for a flying Banshee of their own. Given the creatures really only live in James Cameron’s head, Zing’s flying banshee toys are probably the next best thing. Two versions are available, each with a flight range of about 200 feet and a built-in six-axis sensor that helps to stabilize flapping wing flight, even when launched by hand.
The $45 RC Classic Banshee has an 11-inch wing span and streamlined flight controls for speed and direction, while the RC Deluxe Banshee is 14-inches in size, and adds features like a height limit mode for beginner pilots so the toy never goes higher than nine feet, aerobatic tricks easily triggered by buttons on the wireless controller, sound effects, and spoken notifications through the controller, such as warnings like, “Banshee needs to rest, come back to base,” for when battery life gets low.
Little Tikes Motorized Cozy Coupe Remote Control Baby Boat
Long before getting a learner’s permit or even climbing into the driver’s seat of a real car, many of us had our first driving experiences in the iconic red and yellow Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, relying on our feet as both the motor and brake. For the first time, the Cozy Coupe is hitting the water (at least intentionally) as Little Tikes introduces an inflatable version introducing toddlers to the joys of boating. It doesn’t just float, either. Strapped to the back of the Little Tikes Motorized Cozy Coupe Remote Control Baby Boat is a pair of electric motors and propellers that drive the boat around, controlled by a waterproof remote control that can be operated by parents or kids. It’s available now for $98.
ThinkFun Freefall DIY Ball Maze Game
If you’ve ever enjoyed the frustration of those Perplexus puzzles, where you guide a small metal ball through a complex maze contained inside a plastic sphere, then there’s a good chance ThinkFun’s new Freefall game will appeal to you, too. Created by Dan Kiltsner, who’s best known for inventing the Bop It pattern-following games, Freefall has players attempting to recreate and build three-dimensional mazes based on 2D images, and then turning and twisting their creation to guide a marble from a starting cup to a destination cup, without it falling to the floor. The game is available through Amazon now for $35.
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