Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular roundup of the latest and greatest in nerdy merchandise. This week: The Wand Company wants to score a super effective hit on your wallet with some life-sized Poké Balls, Hasbro dips into the X-Men’s bold new age, and Jem and the Holograms’ Misfits get some outrageously glam dolls. Check it out!
At the peak of its popularity years back, there was no shortage of Homestar Runner merchandise allowing fans of the animated web series to show their love for their favorite obscure character. What was missing, however, was a plush talking version of the series’ most quotable character: Strong Bad, a wrong that is only now finally being righted. This 11-inch plush is fully posable, presumably thanks to a flexible wire armature inside, and plays 15 different voice clips we’re hoping were taken from the original animated series, and not new material. Sadly, the talking plush seems to be already sold out and won’t be available again until the new year, which sounds about right for 2020.
In addition to a hopeful end to the pandemic, 2021 is also bringing the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise—and with it, enough merchandise to fill several Pokémon stadiums. Available for pre-order now but not officially available until February 27, 2021 (the official Pokémon Day), the Wand Company has created a near-perfect replica of a Poké Ball that does everything except actually trap pocket monsters. Made from die-cast metal, the ball has a proximity sensor so that when a wannabe trainer approaches, it lights up and glows. Pressing its single button triggers a more elaborate light show that simulates the process of catching a Pokémon. For $100 it also comes in a slick case that slowly raises the Poké Ball as the lid is openend.
House and Powers of X kicked off mutant kind’s latest, and arguably already one of its greatest, eras last year with bold, vivid storytelling that re-imagined the X-Men as distant, powerful rulers of their own ever-living destinies, forged in the mutant nation of Krakoa. New changes bring new looks and tones, and Hasbro’s latest X-Wave of 6" figures celebrates it in style. The wave includes the HoX/PoX-era designs of Professor X, Magneto, Jean Grey/Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Wolverine, and the Omega Sentinel, as well as, amazingly, a Moira MacTaggert action figure that lets you swap parts to depict two of her different remembered lives: the Doctor MacTaggert that tried to cure the X-Gene, and Moira X, the 10th life that set Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr on their new path. Collecting every figure in the wave (at $20 each), except Wolverine, will net you the parts to build a Tri-Sentinel from Powers of X when the wave drops in spring 2021.
Despite the past few decades of pop culture being thoroughly ransacked for nostalgia’s sake, one ‘80s property has remained mostly ignored: Jem and the Holograms. (We do not speak about the 2015 movie.) Thankfully, Infinity Toys wised up and introduced a series of 12+ inch figures that started with Jem, Rio, and Riot, but has now expanded to the real stars of that cartoon with an upcoming set featuring Pizzazz and Roxy of the Misfits. Limited to just 6oo pieces (which helps explain the $290 price tag), the figures are dressed in iconic ‘80s outfits and come with fashion accessories as well as a pair of glittery electric guitars.
Following its new 1,677-piece Ferrari 488 GTE AF CORSE #51 and 830-piece McLaren Senna GTR, Lego continues to position its Technic line as the perfect gift for anyone whose interests intersect at plastic bricks and cars. Instead of a track car, however, this week the company unveiled an affordable $50 Technic version of a Jeep Wrangler that will officially be available starting January 1. At 665 pieces it’s not as detailed as the recent Ferrari and McLaren, but the model still manages to include doors and a hood that opens and closes, a winch, fold-down rear seats, and working steering and suspension so you can take it outdoors or hop curbs whenever you wish.
After releasing AIM’s mooks and the upper echelons of its command, Hasbro is finally giving us a new version of its delightfully evil ruler in the Marvel Legends deluxe line: MODOK! Despite being a big ol’ head with limbs, the six-inch scaled figure comes with fully articulated arms and legs to dangle from his throne, and alternate hands for him to gesticulate with (or control said throne). On top of that, he comes with a rocket-booster FX piece to pose himself mid-flight, and an alternate yelling faceplate to command your legion of AIM action figures with. MODOK will be $50, and launches in spring 2021.
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