- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 17, 2008

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 Indiana Jones Toy Vault.

Indiana Jones

Hasbro brings the latest film installment of legendary archaeologist Henry Jones Jr. to life through a complete lineup of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” figures and vehicles.

In addition to a lineup of 12-inch dolls, the company has delivered a diverse set of 33/4-inch representations of characters found in the film. The first wave includes Mutt Williams, villain Irina Spalko, a cemetery warrior and a Russian soldier; also, fans get a current and older version of Indy with khaki shirt sleeves rolled up, ready for action.

Figure profile: Kidnapped by Russian agents, Indy is taken to Hangar 51, the U.S. government’s top-secret military installation, where he is forced to help search for a mysterious artifact that can unleash incredible psychic powers. Using his whip and his wits, Indy fights his way to freedom, determined to keep the mysterious artifact out of Soviet hands.

Accessories: This gray-haired hero moves with 16 points of articulation. He gets a rocket-propelled grenade, coiled whip (which can attach to his loose belt) and removable satchel, but no hat or pistol.

Also, each of the solo-packed characters comes with a top-secret faux wooden container with an ancient relic and redemption sticker. In the case of this figure, it’s the Dagger of Atreus. Fans who paste six different stickers on the included “Ticket to Adventure” redemption form and throw in $5.99 can send away to receive the exclusive Crystal Skeleton figure with throne.

An added playability level is found in the in-scale vehicles. The best of the bunch is the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Jungle Cutter ($19.99, no figures included). The camouflage-green industrial menace has a pair of rotating blades, a firing plow projectile, foot pegs to attach figures and a place to seat an enemy soldier. Also, the vehicle’s packaging transforms into a backdrop to create one hip diorama for the younger fan.

Price: $6.99

Read all about it: Dark Horse Comics offers an adaptation of the latest film through a two-part series also available as a trade paperback ($12.95), just in time for the movie’s release on Thursday.

What’s it worth: This Indy is the best Harrison Ford likeness of any of the 33/4-inch lines. When it’s teamed with a version of Mutt, some Russian soldiers and the Jungle Cutter, younger fans will absolutely get lost in the latest Indiana Jones adventure.

Indiana Jones WITH Temple trap

Hasbro celebrates the history of Indiana Jones with a complete lineup of toys based on his first three adventures. Children can take part in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Temple of Doom” and “The Last Crusade” through an enormous selection of 33/4-inch figures, scale vehicles and mini play sets.

Figure profile: Racing against his chief nemesis, Rene Belloq, to discover a coveted artifact, Indiana Jones enters an ancient temple in the jungles of Peru. Inside, he solves a series of deadly riddles while advancing toward his prize, ultimately triggering the stone temple’s collapse as he narrowly escapes with the golden idol.

Price: $9.99

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