- The Washington Times - Friday, November 5, 2004

Thanks to the proliferation of film, comic-book and cartoon characters, companies are bombarding consumers with an incredible selection of action figures.

With tongue in cheek, let’s take a peek at some of the specimens worthy of a place in Zad’s Toy Vault.

James Bond

Sideshow Collectibles continues to pay tribute to the James Bond legacy with its latest release of 12-inch “GoldenEye” figures.

Based on the 1995 film that signified a return of 007 to the silver screen after a six-year absence, the designs perfectly capture a trio of characters through detailed costumes, accessories and head sculpts.

Collectors can choose from actor Sean Bean’s portrayal of villain Alec Trevelyan, Famke Janssen’s seductive bodyguard Xenia Onatopp and Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as the superspy.

Figure profile: Armed with his license to kill, Bond races to Russia in search of the stolen access codes for GoldenEye, an awesome space weapon that can fire a devastating electromagnetic pulse toward Earth.

But 007 is up against an enemy who anticipates his every move, former agent 006, Alec Trevelyan, who has been motivated by years of hatred.

As Bond squares off against his former compatriot, he also battles an assassin who uses pleasure as her ultimate weapon.

When the horrifying extent of Trevelyan’s plans is revealed, Bond must call upon his sharp wits and killer instincts in an action-packed confrontation to the finish.

Accessories: Dressed in garb from the pivotal scene in which Bond infiltrates a Cuban base, 007 wears an olive-green jungle combat outfit with pocketed vest, heavy-duty boots with socks and even rolled-over pant legs.

He also comes with a watch, a Russian AK-47 with attachable clip, his trusty Walther PPK pistol, a pair of timer mines and logo-enhanced stand.

Price: $40.

Read all about it: Defunct Topps Comics put out only the first issue of the three-part sequential-art adaptation ($3 in near mint condition) of “GoldenEye” back in 1995, which featured the prose of Don (“Zorro”) McGregor.

Words to buy by: Sculptor Mat Falls does justice to the Brosnan persona, and the entire Sideshow design team delivers an outstanding information- and photo-filled package that will thrill the Bond connoisseur or Hollywood action-film fan.

Energy Blastin’ Syndrome

Hasbro brings the world of Disney/Pixar’s latest animated effort, “The Incredibles,” to a child’s playroom with the release of a quintet of deluxe 5-inch action figures.

Now the legendary superhero battles of Bob Parr (aka Mr. Incredible) and his family and friends come to life through an assortment of characters, including Ice Action Frozone with firing ice cycle and sled, Super Strength Mr. Incredible with throwable Mr. Humph, Rapid Run Dash with Syndrome henchmen and a villain who believes “fear is a growth industry.”

Figure profile: As a child, Buddy Pine was Mr. Incredible’s biggest fan. He made himself a costume and named himself Incrediboy with dreams of being his hero’s trusted sidekick. However, Mr. Incredible turned him down.

Buddy never recovered from being rejected by his idol. He decided that if he couldn’t work with his idol, he would work against him. The hopeless Incrediboy was no more, and in his place stood the fearsome Syndrome.

Accessories: The wealthy supervillain comes with cloth cape, internal wire trim for maximum poseability, a large two-sided target featuring pictures of Bob Parr watering his lawn and Mr. Incredible, a display stand using “The Incredibles” logo, and a 2-inch-long zero-point energy projectile that can be loaded into Syndrome’s right arm and fired with the flick of a wrist button.

Price: $9.99.

Read all about it: Dark Horse Comics provides the adaptation to the movie with a four-part series ($2.99 each) that features the illustrations of Ricardo Curtis, who was also a storyboard artist for the film.

Words to buy by: The mildly articulated characters perfectly mirror their counterparts and should keep Junior saturated in “The Incredibles” mythos.

However, if parents also provide Junior with the Hero Changin’ Incredobile ($19.99) for his creative digestion, they may become his favorite superheroes for a bit of time. At least, until they demand that he clean up his room.

Strange but cool

A short look at bizarre products with a pop-culture twist.

Gotham City Chase (Mattel, $19.99): Children re-create their favorite moments of the latest Dark Knight cartoon “The Batman” via a nostalgic trip into the world of slot-car racing.

Hot Wheels pays homage to Tyco’s classic set (once created for the film “Batman Returns” and cartoon series The Adventures of Batman) through duplicating a 9-foot figure-8 track design for the 5-and-older crowd to control the latest incarnation of the Batmobile and Joker riding a motorcycle.

The layout includes a pair of controllers, glow-in-the-dark guardrails, cardboard representations of the Gotham City skyline and an energy compartment that requires four D batteries to bring the race to life.

Zadzooks! wants to know you exist. Call 202/636-3016; fax 202/269-1853; e-mail jszadkowski@washingtontimes.com; or write to Joseph Szadkowski, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002.

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