Welcome back to Toy Aisle, our weekly roundup of the latest plastic behemoths that are going to drain away all your spare change. This week, there's a Justice League blowout, including our best look yet at the movie's ferocious villain. Plus, a truly fabulous Magneto figure, and the world's most impractical Thor merchandise.
Justice League Collect & Connect Steppenwolf
This week the flood gates were opened for all the DC Comics' Justice League movie toys to be revealed, including Mattel's giant Collect & Connect Steppenwolf giving us our first good look at the film's villain. As with Habro's "build-a-figure" series, you'll need to buy the action figures for all six members of the Justice League to get all the parts for building Steppenwolf -- including Aquaman -- making him a pricey addition to your collection. [Join the League]
Flame Toys Transformers Drift Figure
We're usually disappointed when a figure based on a Transformer character does't actually transform, but a new toymaker in Hong Kong called Flame Toys totally makes up for it with a 20cm Drift figure, based on his appearance in the Transformers comic book, featuring over 50 points of articulation. Not only is this version of Drift infinitely posable, he's also made from die-cast metal parts, and includes three swappable facial expressions and weapons, an articulated cape, and six LED-powered light up features. It's no wonder this Autobot will set you back $US300 ($378) when available starting in January from Bluefin.
Mattel Justice League Flying Fox Playset
You can't really have a movie featuring Batman that doesn't introduce more of his vehicles and gadget. Buying expensive toys is Bruce Wayne's only real superpower, and in Justice League he'll take to the skies in the Flying Fox which serves as a portable garage for his Batmobile. Mattel's version, available from Walmart for $US80 ($101), is an entire playset large enough for a 15cm Batman figure to squeeze into the cockpit. It has weapons that fire, a prison for parademons, and a working zip line for when Batman needs to come soaring into a situation and be the hero. Australian availability has not been confirmed.
NECA Oversized Thor's Mjölnir Hammer Foam Prop
Thor gets pretty cocky about being one of a select few who's able to not only wield the Mjölnir hammer, but actually pick it up. But what if the mythical weapon were as large as this 1.2m-tall oversized foam prop replica? Would Thor still be able to lift it? For $US250 ($315) you can take your best shot at it, but, spoiler alert, you should have no trouble swinging it around your head. [NECA]
Monopoly Planet of the Apes
At this point it's a given that any pop culture property will eventually get its own version of Monopoly. But to make this umpteenth edition of the board game stand out, Monopoly Planet of the Apes features fantastically retro illustrations by artist Dave Perillo. Available some time this month for $US40 ($50), the game also comes with customised Planet of the Apes tokens, which we're really hoping includes a blown-up Statue of Liberty. [Entertainment Earth via Sci-fi Design]
Die Cast Spirograph Collector's Set
For most of us, the novelty of making intricate spiral patterns using a Spirograph wears off after about 10 minutes. But others consider it a true art form, and it's those Spirographers (I'm assuming that's what they're called) will probably want to upgrade to this swanky, gold, die-cast collection. For $US40 ($50) you get nine wheel plus a larger ring, two ballpoint pens, and 400g of re-usable Spiro-Putty which lets you securely mount your tools to your canvas without having to use pins that leave holes behind. "Did you know that there's a direct correlation between the decline of Spirograph and the rise in gang activity? Think about it." [ThinkGeek]
LEGO Panama Canal
Revealed almost a year ago, Lego Education's Panama Canal set revealed how one of the world's great engineering projects actually functioned. Unfortunately, the 1184-piece set was only available if you lived in Panama, but now, through the Panama STEM website, the tiny working replica can be ordered and delivered all over the world. At $US250 ($315), plus shipping depending on where you live, it isn't the best bang for your buck. But die-hard LEGO collectors will be happy to know they can finally add this to their collections. [Panama STEM via Brickset]
Scrabble Corporate Edition
We'll get the bad news out of the way first: You unfortunately can't buy a copy of Emmanuel Laflamme's gorgeous custom wooden Scrabble set that features corporate logos as letters on the 100 laser-cut wooden tiles. It's a one-off creation that took two years to make, and has already been sold to a lucky collector. Putting this into production seems like it would be impossible given all the permissions needed, but there's already a version of Monopoly featuring countless brands, so maybe there's hope? [Emmanuel Laflamme via designboom]
Revoltech's action figures are best known for their incredible levels of articulation -- but frankly the greatest thing about the company's latest Marvel figure is Magneto's glorious cape. Just as articulated as he is, the cape has just as much character as the Master of Magnetism itself, and able to be contorted in as many dramatic, cape-based angles as you can think of. Magneto also comes with various FX pieces to replicate his manipulative abilities, as well as alternate heads depicting him helmeted and unhelmeted, but really -- the cape is the star of this. The figure will set you back around ¥5900 -- around $67 -- when it releases in Japan in November. [Toyark]
YULU Toys Break Free
The best toys are those that also secretly teach kids valuable skills while they play. LEGO helps them learn basic engineering concepts, Scrabble improves their spelling, and YULU Toys' Break Free teaches them how to escape a pair of handcuffs should they ever find themselves wrongfully incarcerated. Available in the US exclusively from Target for $US20 ($25), the game includes four pairs of connected handcuffs that players race to unlock by solving a series of swappable maze locks that get harder and harder to blindly navigate. An Australian release has not been confirmed. [YULU Toys]