Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular roundup of the latest in nerdy toy news. This week, Lego’s Speed Champions line takes a dip into the licensed world, and not to be outdone, Mattel’s Mega Construx line heads to Snake Mountain for a mighty He-Man set. Plus, you’re going to need some swanky accessories to build all these kits on, right? Check it out!
For a few years now, Lego’s $20 Speed Champions sets have been an accessible and affordable alternative to Lego’s giant Technic recreations of iconic super cars. To date, the line has featured licensed versions of real exotic cars, but this year Lego is introducing some of Hollywood’s most iconic rides, starting with a 298-piece recreation of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, and a 345-piece version of Dominic Toretto’s 1970 Dodge Charger R/T from Fast & Furious. Both sets include a minifigure (Bond and Dom, respectively) and accessories, such as swappable license plates for the DB5, and both will be available for sale starting August 1.
It’s not easy to take on one of the most popular toy lines in the entire world with your own inter-locking brick system—Lego fans are incredibly loyal and devoted—but Mattel’s Mega Construx line has some properties you’ll never see Lego release, including Mattel’s own Masters of the Universe. If you needed a compelling reason to even consider thinking about buying a box of Mega Construx bricks, this 3,802-piece recreation of Skeletor’s Snake Mountain could be it. It’s available for pre-order starting today for $321 and includes features like a suspension bridge, breakaway escape walls, a posable snake wrapping around it, and micro action figures of Thunder Punch He-Man, Dragon Blaster Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Trap Jaw, Webstor, and Ram Man.
Struggling with a Vecna-sized hole in your heart after binge-watching season four of Stranger Things? Bandai Namco is bringing a 6.3-inch version of the Upside Down’s resident baddie to its Void series, featuring loads of articulation and, quite frankly, a level of detail we’re a little uncomfortable with. Maybe turn down the veins by about 10% and we’ll eagerly pre-order this $32 Vecna figure which is expected to ship out sometime in December.
As Lego starts to increase its pricing, its smaller sets might soon be the best way to get your brick fix without breaking the bank. It’s not technically part of Lego’s excellent Architecture collection, but this new miniature recreation of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion looks like it would fit right in with city skylines and the Great Pyramid of Giza. The 680-piece set includes a butler minifigure and is mostly designed for display, with the back of the mansion revealing the ride’s gallery, dining room, and tiny paintings of the Hitchhiking Ghosts, Madame Leota, and the Gravekeeper. It will be available starting August 1 for $40.
The heroes in a half-shell just can’t stop crossing over with folks lately, and it’s a trip to Hawkins that brings us their latest team-up: an unlikely pairing between the original Mirage Comics era of the Ninja Turtles with Stranger Things’ stars. Four sets will be available exclusive to Target starting this year, with the release of sets featuring Leonardo and Eleven, and Rafael and Hopper, this October, with two more sets with Donatello and Lucas, and Michelangelo and Dustin, due for release in February 2023. As well as the two figures, each set includes a variety of accessories, including the turtles’ iconic weapons, while the Stranger Things characters come with things like flashlights, guns and bats, and backpacks. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the ultimate TMNT/Stranger Things mash-up accessory for each turtle: a ninja throwing star made out of Eggo waffles. Each two pack will cost $40, and the Leo/Eleven and Raf/Hopper sets are available to preorder at Target now. [Target]
For serious MOC (my own creation) Lego builders, a new project doesn’t just involve sitting in front of a bin of parts for hours, there’s some serious planning and designing involved, which is why MOC.Industries created this $25, 45x30 centimeter Lego building mat. Similar to the self-healing cutting boards used by modelers, the mat features grids representing the dimensions of actual Lego bricks with the left side referencing plates and bricks stacked atop each other and the right side showing the dimensions of studs-up bricks next to each other. The mat also features a 1:1 scale sketch of a minifigure, allowing builders to more easily design models at minifig scale.
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