- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Here’s a sampling of possibilities that could put smiles on the faces of the male youngsters on your gift list.

*A three-wheeler for children up to 160 pounds, Razor’s Rip Rider 360 (ages 5 and older, $79.99 to $105.99) features a revolutionary design that makes it move fast and spin on a dime.

Rear caster wheels swivel, allowing the back of the bike to drift and spin around the front tire. The rugged, all-steel frame and fork make the bike sturdy and ready to take the abuse.

*Sharing a favorite childhood icon is part of the fun of being a parent. Give your boy the Astro Boy Electronic Action Figure(ages 4 and older, $49.99) and watch his eyes light up and imagination take off.

The 10-inch figure, based on the latest “Astro Boy” movie, lights up with sound and action. It features arm cannons, heel boosters, power vision and a pulsing heart.

*With plenty of articulation - as well as articulate comments - the 12-inch Hasbro Wisecracking Spider-Man(ages 4 and older, $14.99) will spin a web of play for hours.

The figure comes with a suction-cup zip line and two launching web missiles. Adding to the action are a snap-on utility belt and eight wisecracking phrases, such as “What’s a poor web-head to do?”

*Six Bakugan traps and one Neo Dragonoid combine to create Spin Master’s 7-in-1 Maxus Dragonoid (ages 5 and older, $39.99).

The individual traps can be used in a Bakugan game: Roll a closed trap onto a gate card, and it pops open to reveal the creature within, thanks to the trap’s magnet and the card’s steel core. If two Bakugan creatures land on the same card, they battle. (Compare the creature ratings listed on the card.) The winner takes the card and both Bakugan, and play continues.

*The ultracool Batman: The Brave and the Bold Transforming Batmobile from Mattel (ages 4 and older, $34.99) is a must-have for any Batman fan’s fleet.

Based on the design from the “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” animated television series, this Batmobile transforms from a sleek, aerodynamic car into a supercool Batjet with a giant 15-inch wingspan and four missile-launching pads. Car and jet both work with most 5 1/4-inch action figures.

*He can dance, dump a load of rocks or toss out a catchy phrase - he’s Rocky the Robot Truck(ages 3 and older, $59.99) from Matchbox. Built of durable, bright-yellow plastic, Rocky is kid-tough and work-ready.

Load his bed with cargo and hear him exclaim, “Whoa, that’s heavy.” Turn Rocky’s smokestack and dump the load, or make some noise and he will do it all by himself. Push Rocky forward or backward, and his blue headlights turn on, the horn starts honking and engine noises can be heard.

His personality and ability to “stand” on his back four wheels and get down to the music make this truck special.

*Teach football basics early with the Little Tikes Snap, Pass & Punt Football Trainer (ages 3 and older, $29.99). Set the launcher to one of three modes, step on the yellow pedal, and the football is tossed into the air. A cutout on the product box, two soft foam footballs, a football tee and two distance markers lead to hours of active play that teaches gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

*Take your battle to the ultimate arena with Mega Brands’ Battle Strikers Tournament Set(ages 6 and older, $39.99). This 17-piece set includes two turbo launchers, two magnetic controllers and two exclusive strikers in addition to the battle arena.

*The 733-piece Lego Agents Aerial Defense Unit(ages 8 and older, $79.99) is filled with everything young agents need to save the city from the henchman Magma Commander.

Once constructed, the twin-propeller Agent Chopper has doors that open to reveal computer, a zip line, and tool and weapon storage. Top-mounted missiles are augmented with rotating, repeating guns mounted to the sides of the cockpit, which seats two minifigures.

Also included is a Magma Commander’s satellite with a minifigure and three magma drone minifigures.

*Amp up your little Clone Trooper’s role-playing with the Star Wars the Clone Wars Captain Rex Electronic Command Helmet (ages 5 and older, $29.99). Interior adjustable head straps enable the helmet to fit most head sizes. Great sound effects include laser blasts and voice clips taken from the “Clone Wars” TV show, such as “Cover me!” and “All units fire at will!” The helmet also features realistic details, including a tinted visor, crest and clone-inspired colors along with a voice amplifier to enable the wearer to command his troops.

*Dora the Explorer’s cousin, Diego, is ready for adventure with the Fisher-Price Go Diego Go Extreme Launch & Rescue Pack (ages 3 to 6, $34.99). The rescue pack can be worn like a backpack, then removed and transformed into a rescue center complete with binoculars, signal “flares” and pretend walkie-talkie. A Rescue Mission Button signals that an animal is in danger in one of four locales, including the rain forest and ocean.

*Keep your little 007 happy with the Wild Planet Spy Gear Evidence Kit (ages 6 and older, $21.94). Combining a bit of science with role-playing and imaginative play, the evidence kit includes a real 30X microscope, UV black light, 10-piece fingerprint kit, carrying case and LED flashlight.

*Mega Brands Halo Wars Construction Kits (ages 8 and older, $15 to $39.99) enable builders to create and expand their Halo Wars base and vehicles. Based on the popular Halo Wars video games, these sets feature key characters and vehicles, including the UNSC Scorpion Main Battle Tank (278 pieces, $24.74). The most powerful mobile weapons platform in the UNSC arsenal is built with new camouflage-effect blocks. The package includes UNSC Spartan II and Covenant Elite figures.

The Halo Wars Aerial Ambush kit (376 pieces, $38.20). This set includes the UNSC Hawk and Covenant Banshee vehicles plus four miniature action figures: a UNSC Flame Marine, a UNSC Spartan, a Covenant Elite and a Covenant Grunt. Figures also get familiar weapons.

*Jakks Pacific’sGX Racers Motorized Multi-Launcher(ages 5 and older, $59.99) includes five GX Race Cars that can be launched onto the ground or onto the supplied track tightrope. The high-performance vehicles have a special spinning GX Gyro.

*Multiple spinning blades and rock crushers grace the Lego Rock Wrecker(ages 7 and older, 225 pieces, $34.99), just one of the Power Miners vehicles. This three-wheeled vehicle with one large center tire is ready to cross the roughest terrain and dig out the toughest rock in order to burrow underground and capture the green rock-throwing monster. The kit comes with dynamite launcher, big green rock-throwing monster and miner minifigure.

*With a drum magazine that holds 35 Nerf darts, the N-Strike Raider Rapid Fire CS-35 (ages 6 and older, $34.99) takes Nerf battles to a new arena as players can opt for single-fire or slam-fire modes. The special value pack includes a 65-dart clip system and adjustable stock.

*Lego Bionicle releases a monster of a Skopio Scorpion(ages 10 to 16, 849 pieces, $89.99) in this vehicle, which, when complete, moves on four legs or transforms into a high-speed trackable machine. The Skopio wanders the wasteland with the enclosed creator and pilot, Telluris, easily crushing opponents and foes. The Skopio measures 20 inches long by 8 inches tall by 11 inches wide.

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