- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 29, 2009

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 Halloween Toy Vault.

Jason Voorhees

Mezco Toyz pays tribute to modern-day horror icons and one of their victims with its fourth series of 7-inch Cinema of Fear action figures. The latest stars Freddy Krueger and roach woman Debbie Stevens from “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master” and the masked serial-killing star from “Friday the 13th: Part 3.”

Figure profile:The legendary slasher of Camp Crystal Lake and son of the always-dying Pamela Voorhees struck again in 1982, starring in his third “Friday the 13th” film. Still as deformed and mentally unstable as ever, this machete-wielding psychopath hid behind his legendary hockey mask and set his sights on slaughtering a new crew of stupid humans.

Accessories: Mezco outdoes itself with the selection of extra stuff. Besides a bloodied machete and removable mask that reveals our pal’s gruesome facial features, owners get an extra head with a groove to insert an included bloody ax to re-create one of Jason’s misfortunes from the film.

Thrown in for good measure is a decorative arm from one of his victims, complete with an open wound. Nice touch.

Jason’s upper body has 12-points of limited articulation. His lower torso is stationary, and his legs act as a sturdy base.

Price: $14.99

Read all about it: DC Comics and Dynamite Entertainment teamed to publish the six-issue limited series Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors ($3.99 each). The ludicrous plot finds Jason and Freddy resurrected by the U.S. government. “Army of Dead” star Ash Williams teams up with some of the killers’ survivors to stop them.

What’s it worth? The latest Cinema of Fear Jason acts as a potent discussion starter, especially when standing poised to strike at a desktop cubicle or within a display case. The gruesomely detailed figure would work well as a Halloween helper perched in a candy dish for trick-or-treaters to admire.

Better yet, an impressive lineup of 3 3/4-inch Cinema of Fear figures from Mezco Toys ($9.99 each), including a classic Freddy, Jason and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s” Leatherface, adds quite a dimension for mature collectors looking to assemble a bizarre diorama.

Pop bytes

A look at more toys for the pop-culture fan.

* Tiny Terrors (Mezco Toyz, $14.99 for three) - Starring versions of Leatherface, Jason and Freddy (my favorite just for his joyous and maniacal facial expression), this trio of 2-inch-tall, exaggerated minifigures work perfectly as Halloween treats for the serial-killer admirer in the family.

Although they’re labeled for mature collectors only, I can see Dad slipping one of these horror icons into his preschooler’s collection of Star Wars Galactic Heroes and Marvel Super Hero Squad just to see his offspring’s reaction.

* Wolverine Origins Classic Costume (Disguise and Jakks Pacific, $24.99) - Looking as if it were ripped from the pages of a recent X-Men comic book (with a hint of the Jim Lee and David Finch designs), this deluxe outfit empowers youngsters to role-play as their favorite feral mutant.

A printed yellow-and-blue jumpsuit tethered to foam boots that fit over shoes highlight the ensemble, which is topped off by the familiar yellow-and-black mask. However, owners do not get plastic claws ($19.99). Pint-size purists will lose the sleeves and pump up the biceps before making the rounds on Halloween.

Other Disguise costumes that make a pop-culture statement for young trick-or-treaters include:

* Duke Classic ($39.99)cq web - Styled on 1st Sgt. Conrad S. Hauser’s Accelerator Suit, seen in “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra” and on action figures, this sleek costume offers a full-body jumpsuit with padding in the upper torso to simulate bulging muscles, and an over-the-face mask highlighting a see-through helmet. Toss in boots ($14.99) and gloves ($11.99) for added authenticity. The dark garb works great for the indoor Halloween party but is not recommended for nighttime candy collection unless mom loads up on the reflective tape.

* Spider-Girl Tween ($39.99) - Young girls dress up as their favorite Web slinger in a costume fashioned after the comic-book icon with blue, red and webbed designs; leggings; wristlets; and a black mask. Adding that to a sparkly minidress should appeal to the Disney princess in the family.

* America Dream Tween ($39.99) - This costume riffs on the Captain America outfit with a design that’s Golden Age Miss America meets Hannah Montana. The ensemble includes red leggings, starred wristlets, an ornate silver mask and a shiny blue minidress with a red-and-white belt.

* Visit Zadzooks at the blog section of The Washington Times’ Community pages (www.washingtontimes.com/communities/zadzooks) or on Twitter.

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