- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Zadzooks: Transformers: Age of Extinction toys review
Question of the Day
A look at some toys devoted to the new movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
Transformers Battle Stadium (Hexbug, ages 6 and older, uses LR44/AG13 button cell batteries included, $39.99) — In the finest traditions of the television show “BattleBots,” a company known for creating lifelike robotic bugs presents a slick challenge for fans of Autobots and Decepticons.
Players assemble an arena (about 10 minutes of effort) that looks like a fan blade and approximately 20-inches in diameter with a translucent red canopy covering its center area. They power up 2.5-inch-long micro warriors (tapping a button on the belly), that sort of resembling Optimus Prime and Lockdown, and place them in one of the five lanes.
Then the battle begins. The warriors, wearing configurable armor and weapons, vibrate, briskly moving around the arena and randomly attacking, well bumping, each other. As they bump, each take damage denoted by their health light going from green to yellow and then a flashing red before the loser stalls out.
To add to the strategy and replayability, players get some extra attachable pieces such as spinning and twisting blades colored to resemble parts from the Transformers Galvatron, Crosshairs, Bumblebee and Drift. When used in the right combinations they can offer an advantage of keeping an enemy at bay or jab at the right point on an opponent to trigger damage.
Where the game really shines is if parents spring for additional Hexbug Transformers ($9.99 each). Now, the action now gets very chaotic and delivers quite the show for youngsters during each match.
Grimlock Street Attack (Hasbro, ages 6 to12, $19.99) — Hasbro gets into the middle of the brick-building competition between Lego and Mega Bloks with its own lineup of licensed, construction kits called Kre-O.
Besides sets devoted to the Star Trek, G.I. Joe and Dungeons and Dragons, they now have about dozen creations tied to the “Transformers: Age of Extinction” universe.
The Street Attack kit offers around an hour’s worth of building using 106 pieces to create the barest of a Hong Kong street scene from the movie and starring a 6-inch tall, non-transformable version of the Dinobots leader.
Owners get an Chinatown-style arch that cracks open in the middle, 1.75-inch-tall mini figures of Gold Knight Optimus Prime with a spear, and a pair of Vehicon soldiers (Decepticon wannabes) wielding a missile launcher and pistol.
The extra magic in this set is something called Dinoforce Technology. Well, it’s really the power of magnetism that allows a Vehicon to get munched on by Grimlock as he gets drawn into the mouth of the T-Rex by the metal strip in his helmet.
Kre-O is still not ready for primetime, in my opinion. While assembling, my young tester pointed out one of the bricks was partially melted and the instruction manual was difficult to decipher the piece colors. Youngsters will have much more fun with Hasbro’s Construct-Bots line.
Contruct-Bots Lockdown (Hasbro, ages 6 and older, $19.99) — With a tip of the helmet to Lego’s Bionicles, these constructible and reconfigurable action figures offer dozens of interchangeable plastic parts and plenty of design possibilities for young builders in the family.
This set contains a pair of 7-inch-tall figures when completed, the bounty hunter Lockdown and mechanized raptor Hangnail.
Owners get 57 pieces ranging from armor, body parts and weapons that use rubberized ball joints, clips and sockets to offer a decent range of articulation.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
- ZADZOOKS: Guardians of the Galaxy, Drax the Destroyer review
- ZADZOOKS: Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty review
- ZADZOOKS: Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet review
- ZADZOOKS: Sniper Elite III review
- Zadzooks: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season Six review (Blu-ray)
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Australia issues arrest warrant for men believed to be homegrown ISIL terrorists
- Iraq Christians get meeting with top Obama aide
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors