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Play Time

A classic toy road trip

By ANDREW KARDON     July 25, 2002

Well, I did it. I finally took a trek down to good ol' Manhattan with a buddy of mine this weekend and stopped in on the toy mecca known as the Times Square Toys R Us. And boy was I impressed.

Okay, so apparently it doesn't take much to impress me. After all, I'm flying high if I hit my local TRU and they've got the latest wave of SIMPSONS figures. But the best way to really describe this place is an amusement park for toy fans. With four floors of toyness, there's certainly plenty of cool stuff to buy, but there's tons to look at as well.

For starters, there's a gigantic Ferris wheel spanning all the floors with cars based on popular characters like Pokemon, Mr. Potato Head and even Monopoly. Okay, okay, so that's cool if you're like 5 years old. But they've also got gigantic Lego sculptures (like an enormous Empire State Building with King Kong of course), a huge SPIDER-MAN swinging off a wall, and an enormous G.I. JOE painting.

Best of all is the JURASSIC PARK corner which features a real T-Rex dinosaur! Well, realistic looking at least. His head and tail would occasionally move around, along with some pretty ferocious sounds. For fun, just watch the little kids' eyes grow wide in fear...

Basically, there's giant toys everywhere. Tons of video game stations. Huge cat statues from Stan Winston Creatures by his REALM OF THE CLAW figures. Even a real live Barbie Dream House. Er... not that I went in it or anything.

By the end of the day, it was a heckuva lot of fun just window shopping and doing what toys are made for: playing. Oh, and I snagged ROD and TODD Flanders from the Simpsons, so you better believe I was flying...


I simply


refuse to start this paragraph with "Holy action figures, Batman!" Aw crap, I guess I just did. Anyway, DC Direct's finally giving collectors their due with a bitchin' SILVER AGE BATMAN & ROBIN DELUXE ACTION FIGURE SET due out in February. Both figures feature 11 points of articulation, and the set also includes two 1" long Batarangs, a 12" long Batrope with a suction cup, and a big ass base in the shape of a Gotham City rooftop. Booyah!

No these are not Wonder Woman's boots...

And speaking of pockets... okay, so we weren't speaking of pockets, but work with me here. February also sees the release of DC Direct's second wave of POCKET SUPER HEROES. This time around empty your pockets in preparation for the following three sets: HAWKMAN & HAWKGIRL, PROFESSOR ZOOM & MIRROR MASTER, and SUPERMAN & CLARK KENT. They're just too damn cute, ain't they? How anyone could have trouble capturing a 3" tall toughie like Mirror Master is beyond me...


So you missed the big Wizard World convention in Chicago. No sweat. Just pack your bags and hit San Diego for the annual Comic-Con International on August 1-4! (Trust me, the weather's much nicer out there anyway.) Besides seeing and smelling all sorts of comic and toy fanboys, you can also snag some really sweet toy exclusives.

Get yer exclusive giant robot.

Just check out all your favorite toy companies' booths to see what convention exclusives they have to offer. Seeing as how I'm a nice guy, I'll give you a headstart: Palisades is offering up an INVISIBLE SPRAY FOZZIE, McFarlane Toys will be selling a limited-edition pewter-wash version of SPAWN THE BLOODAXE from Series 22 with a variant head, and Toynami's got an exclusive ROBOTECH super poseable VF-1D TRAINER which comes with a telescoping rifle and five interchangeable hands.


By the power of Mattel! The shirtless wonder is back at last. Ol' HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE that is. He's a bit buffer and, well, not as "square" as the originals, but you better believe he kicks mondo ass. So get off your duff and go grab a handful of figures from the first wave including: HE-MAN, MAN-AT-ARMS, MER-MAN, and SKELETOR.

Go Figure is our weekly Toys and Action Figure column.

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