- The Washington Times - Friday, August 2, 2013

The exclusive collectible is now firmly the rage at many a major pop-culture convention every year, selling like hotcakes at each company’s booth. Here are some items of what toy giant Mattel offered at its area of the Con this year. Look for these select items to be eventually available for purchase from its online MattyCollector.com store or through third parties.

Batusi TV ($30) — The prized possession for a Batman fan at this year’s San Diego pop-culture fest was easily a diorama containing an action figure performing a legendary dance.

For those who remember Adam West as Batman and the first episode of the 1960s live-action show “Hi Diddle Riddle,” where he slid his fingers across his eyes while hoofing it in the What a Way to Go-Go discotheque, they will love interacting with this cardboard TV.

Adorned with vintage-style art from popular illustrator Shag, including his interpretations of some cardboard dance figures that move when you shake the box, it’s a self-contained pop-art masterpiece.

What’s cool in the (8-inch-tall by 11-inch-wide) package is pushing a button on front of the television’s control dial to hear a hip, generic 1960s, Nelson Riddle-ish dance song. Now, push another button on the back of the box to cause the 6-inch action figure of Batman to move his fingers across his cowl and do the Batusi.

I’ll offer two tips. Do not open the television, and do not remove the figure from the box, or the magic will be gone.

Superman versus General Zod ($50) — This rather large, battered boxed diorama (12-inches-wide by 10-inches-tall) displays a pair of 7-inch warriors from Mattel’s recent Man of Steel Movie Masters Series action figure collection in mortal combat.

Superman is in mid-flight, staring at Zod, who stands holding a steel girder with a raised piece of street in front of him. With the press of a button on the bottom of the box, Superman’s eyes glow red as it simulates his heat vision while the concrete beneath Zod also radiates as sound effects reinforce the sizzle.

It’s a nice touch that Superman has a cloth cape (different for the regular Movie Masters figure), and the rear of the box offers a translucent view of a city in ruins.

Classics Mini He-Man and Skeletor ($20) — An innocent-looking box, no more than the size of a small toaster, folds out to become a miniature version of the famed Castle Grayskull complete with a cardboard cutout of the skull to attach to its top.

Pull down the drawbridge to find 3-inch-tall, compacted versions of the mortal enemies He-Man and Skeletor each boasting six points of articulation and enraged facial sculpts.

He-Man carries a shield and Power Sword while his creepy enemy carries his famed havoc staff and other half of the Power Sword. Although sized for small hands in the family to enjoy, my bet is that the dad never lets his offspring near this slick Masters of the Universe collectible.