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Exclusive: This Week's Toy News Just Wants to Say Hello

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This Week's Toy News Just Wants to Say Hello

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Image: Pure Arts, Fan Wraps, and Hasbro

Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9’s regular round up of the latest toy news dazzling us on the internet. This week, Hasbro mashes Transformers up with G.I. Joe again, Lego returns to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s biggest moment, and get ready to never turn your neck with a Bat-tacular Keaton replica. Check it out!


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Hasbro Transformers Collaborative: G.I. Joe Mash-Up, Bumblebee A.W.E. Striker & Lonzo “Stalker” Wilkinson

Peanut butter and chocolate have got nothing on the pairing of Transformers and G.I. Joe: two of the most iconic toy lines of all time. Following up on a toy mash-up revealed back in February that had Megatron transforming into the Baroness’ HISS tank, the good guys now have a bot mash-up of their own with Bumblebee transforming into a G.I. Joe A.W.E. Striker jeep with a Lonzo “Stalker” Wilkinson figure along for the ride. It’s retro nostalgia cranked way past 11, and while pre-orders are currently available through Hasbro Pulse for the $69 set, delivery isn’t expected until well into February of 2023. Oof!


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Lego Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader

The business side of the toy industry is mostly a mystery to fans and collectors, and it can sometimes rub them the wrong way. There’s a bit of backlash over a new set tied to the Disney+ Star Wars series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, featuring a climactic scene from the third episode. Fans of both Star Wars and Lego are wondering if a set recreating a scene where Darth Vader uses the Force to drag Obi-Wan through fire is entirely appropriate for kids, and aren’t all that excited to drop $50 on a 408-piece set that looks like it’s mostly display base. The inclusion of a NED-B droid minifigure wielding a power hammer is tempting, but Lego probably could have scaled this one back a bit.


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Hasbro Transformers Masterpiece Takara Tomy MP-57 Autobot Skyfire

Of all the Transformers toys released in the ‘80s (and there were lots of them) one of the most desired among kids, and modern collectors, was Skyfire (aka Jetfire), loosely based on the Macross Super Valkyrie toys and anime that were really only accessible in Japan. The Transformers Masterpiece Takara Tomy MP-57 Autobot Skyfire is the definitive version of this toy, featuring extensive detailing and articulation, as well as three matching-scale Transformers figures: Optimus Prime, Jazz, and Wheeljack. Accessories include alternate faceplates with surprise and laughing expressions, and two chest panels bearing the Autobot and Decepticon logos. At $275, available for pre-order from Hasbro Pulse, it’s far from cheap, but it’s definitely cheaper than having to import this figure directly from Japan.


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Slideshow Collectibles Star Wars C-3PO Life-Size Figure

If neither money nor space are issues with your ever-growing Star Wars collection, Sideshow Collectibles will happily fill a corner of your living room, home theater, or personal museum with a new life-sized recreation of C-3PO. Standing 6’2” tall atop a Millennium Falcon-themed base with exposed conduit wiring, the figure is immaculately detailed with a weathered golden exterior, one silver leg, and articulated shoulder joints allowing the droid to be posed with arms raised or lowered. As you’ve probably already guessed, this is one pricey collectible, coming in at $8,500, available for pre-order through Sideshow’s website and delivery expected as early as late this year, or into early 2023.


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Mattel Star Wars L0-LA59 Plush

Every Star Wars movie and streaming series needs a character that’s highly merchandisable for kids. It’s no Baby Yoda, but Leia’s L0-LA59 droid fills that role for Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. We’ve already got a mostly functional toy version from Hasbro (minus the flying) but now Mattel is delivering a plush version that’s safe for slumbers. Standing 11 inches tall on a pair of stubby legs with its posable wings propped up, the $35 plush (currently available for pre-order from Target) does include some electronic features, including a light-up glowing eye and sound effects triggered when a switch in the foot is pressed.


FanWraps Star Wars: The Mandalorian Grogu Solar-Powered Dashboard Waver

There’s no slowing Grogu’s popularity now that we know the little Jedi drop-out will once again be at the Mandalorian’s side going into season three of the Disney+ Star Wars series. If you haven’t already dropped enough credits on Baby Yoda merch, the big-eared, big-eyed, Force-wielding… alien… can now pleasantly wave at you from your vehicle’s dashboard with this $25 driving distraction from FanWraps. Instead of food, all Grogu needs is light to keep his arm powered, which should come as a relief to any of your egg-transporting passengers.


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Pure Arts Batman 1:1-Scale Cowl Replica Exclusive Edition

With a teased return in the upcoming DC multiverse-hopping The Flash film, there’s renewed interest in Hollywood’s first big-budget take on Batman, and while it will be nice to see the Tim Burton Batmobile return to the big screen, Pure Arts is instead focusing on the cowl donned by Michael Keaton for its next collectible. Created using 3D scans of Keaton’s original costume, the 1:1-scale cowl replica is made from “poly-hybrid mixed media for accurate prop textures and feel,” and while it may look like durable rubber, the cowl unfortunately isn’t for wearing. That makes its $800 price tag with pre-orders available now a little harder to swallow.


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Image: WPC

WPC Super Mario Bros. Umbrellas

Nothing makes a rainy, cloudy day easier to endure than a novelty umbrella, and we’re quite frankly very excited for the next storm to roll through so we can justify importing these Super Mario Bros. themed brollies from Japan’s Wpc. The designs we’re particularly obsessed with feature classic Super Mario Bros. levels printed on clear vinyl, including Mario running across multiple layers of blocks dodging goombas, as well as the plumber tackling the game’s underwater levels. For around $15 they’re 100% an impulse purchase worth every penny, although expect that price to skyrocket when you try to import these from Japan.


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.

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Exclusive: Apple in July: M2 MacBook Air, iOS 16 public beta, and much more – TalkOfNews.com

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Apple July 2022 releases

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Exclusive: London-based Vita Mojo, which makes restaurant software for digital ordering and kitchen management, has raised $30M led by Battery Ventures (Megha Paul/Tech.eu) – TalkOfNews.com

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London-based Vita Mojo, which makes restaurant software for digital ordering and kitchen management, has raised $30M led by Battery Ventures (Megha Paul/Tech.eu)

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Megha Paul / Tech.eu:

London-based Vita Mojo, which makes restaurant software for digital ordering and kitchen management, has raised $30M led by Battery Ventures  —  UK-based platform enables digital ordering in restaurants and more efficient kitchen and delivery operations through its software


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Exclusive: Tell Us About Your Pop Culture Month: June 2022 Edition – TalkOfNews.com

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Tell Us About Your Pop Culture Month: June 2022 Edition

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The main characters of Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Image: Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

*cracks knuckles*

Watched: Oh boy, I went through a bit of a tear with TV this month. Along with being taken in by Ms. Marvel and slowly catching up on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, the biggest thing I watched, TV show wise, was Barry. After hearing so much about it on Twitter over the course of several weekends, I finally took the plunge and really enjoyed that first season. It’s incredibly breezy as hell, and really easy to just binge three or four episodes before walking away to let everything settle. I like how constantly out of his depth Barry is while simultaneously being the most dangerous person in every scene he inhabits; I like his weird, brief hypotheticals of the future he could have if he successfully gets out of The Life. I’ve stepped away from it for a few days, but am prepared to get into the next two seasons and then eagerly consume season four whenever that hits up in 2023.

Towards the end of the month, I got hit with a case of the rewatch and decided to turn my eye back to Voltron: Legendary Defender over on Netflix. And you know what, those first three seasons are about as strong as I remember them being. I respect a show that’s extremely committed to its own bullshit, in this case a guerrilla army of alien cat ninjas with transforming swords. In its best moments, that Legendary Defender managed to make its universe feel like a big, space opera romp while maintaining a tight focus. I remember some of this show’s future plot points, and remember being just passively mixed on the ending, so we’ll see how that goes as I continue down mecha-memory lane.

Barry: Season 1 – ‘It’s A Job’ | Official Trailer | HBO

Movie wise, there was Lightyear and Jurassic World Dominion. Lightyear was Fine, but ultimately doesn’t have anything going for it beyond Chris Evans having a surprisingly solid voice that would probably be good for Star Trek sometime in the near future, if he’s in the mood to do franchises again. As for Dominion…well, beyond just not giving nearly enough time to Omar Sy as a spy trying to take down a dinosaur smuggling ring, the biggest sin of the entire thing is that it’s just really dull. The first two World movies had a noticeable, joyous—and at times, controversial—bloodlust and meanness about them that Dominion very much lacks. If this is the last one, I can’t say that I brought flowers with me to the service.

Played: It finally happened. After shelling out for a wireless controller, last week I finally beat Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I grinded some shrines, got enough hearts to pull out the Master Sword, and finally took Calamity Ganon down. I can’t tell you how I actually feel about the game because I’ve been playing it off and on for years—when I booted up my save last week, it said that last I played the game was in March of 2021—but what I remember of the game eventually grew on me, though not to beloved acclaim as anyone else.

Breath of the Wild may be a game that I restart and play properly instead of just playing once every couple of months, but that’ll come after I knock out some more 2022 games. I told myself earlier in the year that I’d play Stranger of Paradise over the summer, and it is indeed a perfect summer game in that it’s a good way to get out of the sun and just turn some podcasts on. Couldn’t tell you a lick about what the game’s plot is—not a real Final Fantasy player, though I do understand that this is intended to be a prequel of sorts to the original Final Fantasy—but the gameplay is satisfying enough that I don’t really care. It’s a fun throwback to those old PS3/360 co-op games you’d play on the couch with your childhood friend, and I just love how completely frickin’ stupid it is. I may end up paying for that DLC if I finish the base campaign proper in time.

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Very briefly, I also played some Citizen Sleeper, a narrative cyberpunk RPG inspired by tabletop games about you, a humanoid machine dubbed a “Sleeper,” having to work inside a space station while figuring out how to stay alive. A limited set of dice dictates what all you can do in any day, and as you become more embroiled in the lives of the station’s inhabitants, it can be stressful trying to figure out how to balance it all. But it’s the fun kind of stressful, one where the vibes are always easy going thanks to some moody music and a casts of characters who are light and friendly while no doubt having a darker edge to them. There’s just something absorbing about Citizen Sleeper right from the start, and I think that if you’ve got a PC that can run it—or Xbox Game Pass—you should play it if you’ve got yourself a love for the sci-fi.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge – Reveal trailer

Finally, there was Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, a retro throwback to the 80s days of the TMNT. Beyond mashing the buttons of the arcade machine at my local Dairy Queen back in the day, I’ve never played a TMNT beat-’em-up before, but Shredder’s Revenge manages to feel like a fun nostalgia trip nonetheless. For me, the biggest issue is that the game feels too chaotic for its own good; in single player, some levels feel deliberately mean, like the early missions on the hoverboard. And in co-op, it quickly gets to be a mess if you’ve got more than three players. There’s fun to be had here, certainly, but the game having six-player co-op feel a bit misguided when even four players could become real unwieldy really fast.

But enough from me, go ahead and spill what all you did for the month of June in the comments below.


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.

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