Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular roundup of the most fun geeky merch around. This week, the Transformers get into the holiday spirit, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s new hero gets a new Hot Toys figure, and all hail the gooiest Star Wars toys around. Check it out!
Even the ho-ho-holidays need defending from the Decepticons, so this year Optimus Prime is stepping up to the job with a complete festive makeover including a candy cane-striped trailer and blaster, green tinted windows, a literal snow-weathered paint job, and an Autobots logo donning a Santa hat. Instead of a Mack, Prime is dressing up as a Volvo truck this year, and goes from truck to robot mode in 37 steps. It’s available for pre-order from Hasbro Pulse for $56, with shipping expected as early as December this year.
A new Black Panther movie and a new Black Panther can only mean one thing: a new Hot Toys Black Panther figure! Whoever the mysterious new inheritor of the mantle could be is still being kept secret in marketing, but Hot Toys has confirmed that its new figure—which comes with alternate hands, as well as both a set of Vibranium gauntlets as well as a spear—will indeed come with an unmasked headsculpt of the hero, presumably to be revealed at a later, Marvel-sanctioned date. You can probably guess who it is, or at least you’ll have plenty of time to: the figure is set to release in early 2024. Now that’s a spoiler embargo and a half! [Hot Toys]
Every year Lego helps ring in the Chinese New Year with elaborately detailed and colorful sets, and with 2023 getting underway on January 22 as the year of the rabbit, Lego is celebrating with a 1,653-piece Lunar New Year Parade set. Three connectable floats make up the parade, with a giant rabbit leading the way, followed by an ornate dragon, and a minifigure drummer that actually pounds away on a large drum through an animated mechanism. The $130 set will be available for purchase starting on January 10 ahead of the festivities, and will include an impressive 18 minifigures donning various costumes, including a rabbit getup.
We hear all your complaints about Transformers toys that don’t actually transform, and are happy to dismiss them when Threezero is creating fantastic figures like this MDLX Rodimus Prime that packs 46 points of articulation into a seven-inch tall frame. Made from a mix of plastic and die-cast zinc alloy so you just know this figure’s got some satisfying heft, Rodimus is finished with a lightly weathered paint job and includes a laser blaster and blaster rifle that combine into a photon eliminator rifle, as well as eight sets of interchangeable hands. It’s available for pre-order from Hasbro Pulse for $80, but stock up on patience because it’s not expected to ship until September of next year.
Stretch Armstrong taught a few generations that they didn’t necessarily have to take care of their toys. The figure could be stretched to incomprehensible lengths, and would eventually shrink back to its original form, seemingly completely unharmed. It’s a toy that’s been around for 46 years, but somehow toymakers only just recently realized that kids would love the chance to stretch out other characters too, including Star Wars favorites like Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers, and even Jabba the Hutt. UK retailer Smyths Toys lists them all for about $18 each after currency conversion, although Jabba is apparently the largest of the lot and will set you back $47 instead.
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