Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's round up of the latest in wallet-draining plastic goodness. This week: Star Wars gets ready for the holidays, droid style, Mattel reveals its wildest ever Masters of the Universe playset, and... teeny tiny trains? Check it out!
There were lots of reasons the ‘80s were a boom time for toys, not the least of which being the gigantic and elaborate playsets released for lines like G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe. Mattel has been digging deep into the nostalgia bin for its MOTU re-releases, but to its credit, it’s also been updating the new figures with more detail and articulation than their ‘80s ancestors had. It’s now ready to do the same for the classic toy line’s playsets, starting with the Masters of the Universe Origins Eternia Playset featuring the Lion’s Head Tower in the middle of Grayskull Tower and Snake Mountain, and measuring in at three feet tall and four feet wide.
There’s a monorail track connecting all the towers with three motorized vehicles, elevators and trap doors, and an exclusive King Grayskull figure for those who backed this crowdfunded release during the first week. Yeah, unfortunately Mattel is looking for 5,000 backers to cough up $550 before November 10 for this thing to actually go into production.
Lego’s advent calendars have always appealed to us most around the holidays for the simple fact that you get to build something new every day. But Disney is now delivering a similar experience with this $70 Star Wars Droid Factory Advent Calendar that includes a new build-a-droid part every day—24 in total—that can be mixed and matched to assemble six festively decked out droids in total.
For those of you unfamiliar, LCARS (Library Computer Access/Retrieval System) is the fictitious computer operating system seen on Starfleet ships and space stations in Star Trek: The Next Generation and other series in the Star Trek universe. There are plenty of apps that will replicate the LCARS experience on real computers and mobile devices, but this is the first time we’ve seen it brought to the dinner table. This $120, 16-piece ceramic dinnerware set features a glossy black finish and LCARS graphics on four dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, and mugs—perfect for a cup of Earl Grey tea.
This one’s for all the model railroad fans, but especially those who’ve always wanted an elaborate miniature railroad layout tucked away in a corner of their home, but never had the room for one. Hornby, the UK equivalent of Lionel, has announced a lineup of trains smaller than the popular 1:87 HO-scale (where one foot is scaled down to 3.5-millimeters). The Hornby TT:120—the TT is short for tabletop—will start rolling out before the holidays in the UK, including trains, tracks, and appropriately-scaled accessories, and will allow layouts to be built with a much smaller footprint.
As if the constant threat of a tower of wooden blocks coming crashing down isn’t stressful enough, this $43 Jenga variant called ShiZap! makes board game night something to fear. It plays just like Jenga does, with plastic bricks standing in for wooden blocks, but further complicates the goal of removing bricks and stacking them on top through the use of tweezers that randomly deliver electric shocks of varying intensity. Players not only have to endure the jolts, but make sure their reactions don’t topple the ever-growing tower. Game night is supposed to be fun, right?
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.