Toy Maniac: 9 Must Have Summer Toys of 2012 (

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Friday, April 13, 2012

With the summer blockbusters practically pounding on our doors, the Toy Maniac is ready. I am ready to hit all the stores for my summer fun. With tons of new Superhero films arriving this summer, it is a great time to pick up a few new toys. We just don’t want any old figure you might find at Target, T’R’U, or Wal-Mart. No, we want the good stuff. However, those places, like the Disney Store, aren’t bad to check either. 

9. Marvel Select Avengers Movie Hulk:
After reading your posts this week about The Avengers, one thing was clear. The Hulk is the makes it or breaks it character of The Avengers. Check out the Disney Store and the comic book shops for this Marvel Select masterpiece. 

8. Prometheus figures by NECA
I have been dying to get my hands on a figure of Noomi Rapace or Michael Fassbender from Ridley Scott’s next film. The film arrives June 8th, but at Toy Fair NECA Toys only a sign on display and no images. Their site does have this: “We’re extremely excited about the upcoming film from Ridley Scott and have our hands full with a new line of figures. We’ll probably be able to show some Prometheus sculpts by the end of June”. The end of June for images only? My hopes for these aren’t very high. 

7. The Amazing Spider-Man: Marvel Select Toy
At the end of the summer, the world will be treated to a new Spider-Man movie, The Amazing Spider-Man will feature a new villain, a new costume, a new Peter Parker and a new take on the wall-crawler's origin. I hate saying it but I am not sold on this new suit design. That could all change come July 3rd. This could become the “Garfield Suit” after that. This is, however, a cool figure with tons of Spider-Man necessary articulation.

6. Cobra Commander by Hasbro
I don’t care if GI Joe: Retaliation is good or not. I simply must have this Cobra Commander. I check for it every time I walk into a Target or Wal-Mart. Even now the GI Joe Renegades figures have nothing hanging up. What is Hasbro waiting for?

5. Thor Foam Hammer
I am bit biased on this one for one reason. My cousin, who was and is a huge Thor fan, once made his own hammer; a hammer made of wood. Getting hit with that was no picnic. Thank you Hasbro. Now, no one else will have to feel the wraith of a wooden Mjolnir. I have the one that makes noise from last summer. Now I need the foam one to practice my throwing. 

4. The Collect and Connect Bat Signal by Mattel
Many of the toys for The Dark Knight Rises will be for kids. The true challenge, and bit of fun, is going to be building the Bat Signal. You’ll need all The Dark Knight Rises figures to do it. 

3. Captain America Deluxe Metal Shield
There is one that shoots discs. Another, you can use as a Frisbee; pretty cool though a boomerang would make more sense. There is even a 12-inch version for your cosplaying needs. The Toy Maniac will take the 24-inch deluxe metal version.. Since we aren’t going to play with it (all the time anyway), what fan boy piece could be better to display than this?

2. The Avengers Quinjet Arial Battle by Lego

Finally there is an Avengers’ vehicle that can accommodate the whole team (well minus the Hulk). Hasbro has one but it falls short, it only seats 3. Besides, there is something therapeutic about creating something out of Legos.

1. San Diego Comic Con Exclusives
I hate admitting it, but Comic Con is Christmas in July for the Toy Maniac. The only problem is, fighting all the other geeks for those precious exclusives. I’ll have a column soon full of them. This year Hasbro is releasing a Jar Jar Binks frozen in carbonite. That one is definitely joining the collection. 

Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.