Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular roundup of all things good and plastic. This week: Hasbro turns its transforming eye to another nostalgic mashup. Mando Monday reinforcements bring The Mandalorian’s big bad to the Star Wars Black Series. Also? Warm Kirby. Check it out!
Hasbro has followed up on its transforming BTTF DeLorean, Ghostbusters Ecto-1, and Top Gun F-14 Tomcat with what is probably its best Transformers pop culture collab to date: a Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird that turns into a giant robot version of Cyclops. It takes roughly 34 steps to go from Blackbird to robot mode (undoubtedly interspersed with the occasional frustrated profanity) and the Transformer includes three energy blast effects, as well as completely out of scale Wolverine and Sabretooth figures that presumably have to ride on the back of the Blackbird, holding on for dear life, since they can’t fit inside. Ultimate X-Spanse is listed on the Hasbro Pulse website now for $65, but pre-orders aren’t open yet, and the collectible isn’t expected to arrive until March of 2021.
Lego’s biggest announcement of 2020, and the line it’s putting most of its support behind given how prevalent the sets are in stores, is its Super Mario collaboration with Nintendo. The Danish brickmaker just revealed what’s to come in 2021 with seven new sets including the $60, 366-piece Super Mario Master Your Adventure Maker Set that encourages kids to get more creative and original with their levels, including three special interactive bricks that allow Mario’s reactions to be customized. The new additions to the line also include a $20, 160-piece Chain Chomp Jungle Encounter set; a $30, 267-piece Piranha Plant Puzzling Challenge expansion; and $10 Power-Up Packs allowing Mario to dress up as a Penguin or don his classic Tanooki costume. They will all officially be available starting January 1, 2021.
Another Monday has passed, which means Hasbro has once again tempted us with toys from The Mandalorian. This week it was the turn of the Black Series 6" figure line to get some reinforcements early next year. Most notably perhaps is the arrival of the show’s big bad, the Darksaber-wielding Moff Gideon, just in time for him to be up to some sinister stuff in the second season of the show. But he’ll be joined by two of Din Djarin’s finest allies: Greef Karga, who comes with two blasters (and the fact that oh my god it’s a small plastic Carl Weathers), and Kuill, the Ugnaught vapor farmer who did everything from teach Mando how to ride a blurrg, to giving his life to try and protect Baby Yoda over the course of season one. Alas, he doesn’t come with a blurrg to ride, just his trusty blaster—maybe we can dream of a deluxe version down the line?
You’ll have to wait though: these figures are set to hit shelves in early 2021, for $20 each.
At this point you can redecorate an entire house using Baby Yoda merchandise and collectibles, but the one thing that was missing? Finding a way to have the Child staring up at you from a glass of libations. That is obviously what inspired Williams-Sonoma to team up with Zoku to create this $22 Baby Yoda ice mold made from silicone and BPA-free polypropylene. Fill it with water, toss it in the freezer (or ship it to Hoth or Maldo Kreis), and in a few hours you’ll have a pair of frozen Baby Yodas in floating prams that will chill drinks and melt hearts.
Most of Lego’s Technic sports car creations are giant models built from thousands of pieces that can take days to assemble and even longer to budget for. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS was a good example of that. At 2,704-pieces and $300 it was a big investment in time and money. That’s why we’re especially fond of Lego’s new Technic McLaren Senna GTR model. It’s just $50 and 830 pieces so you can easily build it in one sitting, but at 12 inches long it still includes working doors that raise, functional steering, and a V-8 engine replica hidden away inside. Don’t bother putting it on your Christmas wish list, however, as this one doesn’t roll out until January 1, 2021. Think of it more as a reward to yourself for getting through 2020.
With two leading characters that are easy to hate, the real appeal of Rick And Morty is the hundreds of ancillary characters making random appearances throughout the series. One of the briefest but most popular characters was the sad-sack Butter Robot Rick created so that he wouldn’t have to reach across the table to grab the butter himself. Why it resonated with audiences so intensely isn’t known, but that isn’t stopping Cartoon Network and Digital Dream Labs from creating an IRL version of the bot and charging fans of the show $147 (or closer to $200 after November 30) for one of their own. Features include voice recognition, app connectivity so the bot can be driven around like an RC toy, and even the ability to deliver a (faux) butter stick to anyone who asks for one. It sounds like Butter Bot’s real-life existence is going to be even sadder than it was in the show.
Kirby’s not only the vastly superior choice when playing any iteration of Super Smash Bros., he’s also now the ideal choice for keeping warm while you’re stuck at a desk all day. Premium Bandai has created this giant plush Kirby toy that sucks electricity from a USB cable to power a rechargeable battery inside that in turn powers a heating element. For around $53 (assuming you can get one shipped from the Japanese Premium Bandai website) Kirby will radiate warmth all day while he stares up at you with his giant adorable eyes. Your co-workers might give you confused glances, but it’s better than the concerned looks you’d get after starting a small fire in your garbage can to keep warm.
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