- The Washington Times - Friday, November 3, 2006

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

The Professor

Mezco Toys — the home of “Family Guy,” “South Park,” Hellboy and the Goon action figures — adds to its lineup with a very special figure dedicated to a key character from Tim Burton’s classic film “Edward Scissorhands.” Last year it was a 9-inch version of the title character, and now fans get a three-dimensional representation of actor Vincent Price in his last role, as Edward’s father, the Professor.

Figure profile: A kindly old inventor who lives alone in a spooky mansion brings to synthetic life the son he never had. The creation is nearly finished, except the Professor has put long scissors where hands should be. The inventor dies before making the switch to real hands and leaves Edward alone in a big scary world with razor-sharp appendages.

Accessories: Owners get a cartoony and exaggerated version of the Professor with seven points of articulation. Molded in plastic with detail down to a textured green ascot around the neck, ring on a finger and a belt hanging behind a knee-length black coat, the figure comes with a wrapped present that can be opened to place inside the hands he never gave to Edward.

Price: $25

Read all about it: “Edward Scissorhands” has never made it to comics, but the talented Mr. Burton does offer the book “The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories” ($19.95), which contains 23 poems about unusual children who, much like Edward, do not fit in society. The director adds some twisted color illustrations to each tale.

Words to buy by: This is a beautifully sculpted tribute to a great movie and Mr. Price that works well not only as office-cubicle art but as a piece for any pop-culture display case.

The figure was available only through Mezco’s collector’s club (Club Mez) and at select fan conventions this summer, but the company still has a limited quantity left and available through its online store (www.mezcotoyz.com/store).

Kit Fisto

Sideshow Collectibles is the only place in the galaxy to get collectors’-quality 12-inch-tall Star Wars figures. The distributor of pop culture continues to offer a varied lineup of Jedi, Sith and key heroes and villains from all six movies. In addition to the previously released versions of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker and Qui-Gon Jinn, fans can get an amphibious Jedi Knight who fell to the light saber of Darth Sidious in the film “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.”

Figure profile: The amphibious Nautolan from Glee Anselm is a master of Form 1 light-saber technique, the style of fighting taught to all Jedi initiates but perfected by only a handful of masters. Kit’s skill with a blade is matched by his sharp senses; he was born with an array of head tentacles that are naturally sensitive to faint odors given off by all living things.

Accessories: The fully articulated version of Kit is dressed to the nines with a textured cloth wardrobe that includes an undershirt, Jedi robe, tabard, tunic and pants. He also gets boots, a detailed belt with pouches, a holoprojector and comlink, light saber (with and without a lighted blade) and figure display stand.

Additionally, he gets the best packaging I have ever seen. The fold-out box uses a magnet to stay closed and is adorned with plenty of biographical material and color art from the movies. The box can easily store the figure and accessories.

Price: $54.99

Read all about it: Dark Horse Comics has published hundreds of pages chronicling the epic fight between Republic and Separatist forces, remembered as the Clone Wars. My favorite of the books with Kit can be found in Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Volume 1 ($6.95), a sequential-art anthology series based on animator and producer Genndy Tartakovsky’s series, seen on Cartoon Network.

Words to buy by: Limited to 5,000 pieces, Kit Fisto is the best 12-inch-tall Star Wars figure Sideshow has done and well worth the struggle to try to find a copy of the mighty warrior (through either specialty or online stores).

Strange but cool

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

Star Wars Titanium Series: Bossk

(Hasbro, $14.99)

A new line of affordable die-cast collectible figures has been added to the galaxy far, far away, and just one example from the latest series is a 33/4-inch, hand-brushed version of the Trandoshan bounty hunter seen in “Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back.” He has six points of articulation, holds a blaster rifle and resides in a plastic case that presents him atop a rock surface with one foot crushing a light saber. Other figures currently available in the lineup include a Sandtrooper, Boba Fett and Darth Vader. Stalwarts such as Darth Maul, General Grievous and Jango Fett are to arrive later this fall.

Buffy Summers

(SideShow Collectibles, $249.99)

This beautiful quarter-scale premium-format figure stands nearly 21 inches tall atop its base and pays tribute to television’s most feared vampire hunter. The painted polystone statue, sculpted by Oluf W. Hartvigson, is also the best capture to date of actress Sarah Michelle Gellar’s facial features. Buffy, posed with a stake in hand and a determined look, is embellished with eyelashes and a black cloth miniskirt. She stands on a massive circular base heavier than Granny’s fruitcake. Limited to 550 pieces, this extravagant figure will be the centerpiece of any hard-core fan’s collection.

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