- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 2, 2015

A look at some other types of toys from Hasbro devoted to the new movie “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Avengers HQ: Hulk Buster (ages 4 and older, $19.99) — A collection of interlocking playsets gives children the chance to recreate favorite scenes from the latest Avengers movie in a compact space.

For the Hulk Buster set, owners get a secret lab (12 inches long and 6 inches wide) with a device containing a zip line (looks like a miniature satellite) and a cylindrical purple containment chamber to confine a 3-inch-tall, mildly articulated (neck, arms and legs) version of the Green Goliath.

The chamber can fan apart with the pressing of a button to release the monster. Also included is an empty version of the Hulk Buster armor (4 inches tall) that can attach to the zip line to swing down and crash into the Hulk. The Armor also opens up at the chest to add another figure from the Avengers 2.5-inch line-up.

Be forewarned parental units, you will curse the adhesive gods while attaching a whopping 23 stickers around the playset.

Other sets, Iron Man Lab Attack and Captain America Tower Defense each also feature a pair of figures and various launchers and accessories such as to delight the fans.


PHOTOS: Slideshow: Photos of Hasbro's Marvel Legends Infinite Series' Age of Ultron Hulk


Best of all, for those dropping $60 or so for the trio of play sets, the Captain America and Hulk Buster versions contain pillars that connect and stack on top of the other that, along with the Iron Man set, create a really impressive, three-story-tall, Avenger headquarters.

Hero Tech Thor (ages 4 and older, uses 2 AAA batteries included, $19.99) — The God of Thunder and a core member of the Avengers gets shrunken down into a verbose, 12-inch-tall, statuesque companion for younger fans.

The warrior arrives with seven points of articulation and in Asgardian armor mimicking his onscreen counterpart that includes a slightly cheap-looking, flowing red felt cape and a hammer to hold.

For a bit of tech magic, owners simply tap a button on his chest to hear a generic Thor (definitely not Chris Hemsworth from the film) offer 10 vocal nuggets such as “Captain, it is an honor to stand with you” along with occasionally swinging, pounding and thunder-clapping sound effects.

In theory, our hero can also aurally interact with the Hulk Buster figure ($34.99), but I’ll have to take Hasbro’s word for it.

Star Launch Shield (ages 6 and older, $21.99) — Captain America’s trusty Vibranium protector gets a strange upgrade that allows the launching of circular-shaped disks from its star emblem. Owners simply attach a triple-bladed disk to the 11-inch-wide shield, pull a rip cord and it flies off with enough force to travel multiple stories in the air.

So the first caveat is with that much power behind the projectile, be careful not to target humans or pets. It really does shoot with a pop.

Although a slick idea, my gripe is with its size. For the shield to be in-scale with a junior Cap, role players would need to be the size of an infant. It dimensions are that of a hub cap on a Smart Car at best and not really a true representation of our hero’s Captain America’s mighty shield.

Also, get ready parents; stickers are available to attach to the disk’s blades — for those who enjoy tearing their hair out.

Power Hammer Game ($19.99, ages 5 and older, requires 3 AAA batteries) — Players lift and pound to the ground Thor’s preferred weapon of mass destruction in a kind-of-fun challenge.

The 10-inch-long hammer features thunder sound effects and an LED meter that displays a number based on the force used to strike its foam head on a flat, hard surface. The highest number wins each round, and each is tied to what it would take to topple one of Thor’s enemy such as at least 700 points or more to knock out Loki.

The simple yet clever role-playing works well with adoring Thor fans in the family, as long as the striking is confined to the ground and not other humans.

I’ll also note, it takes a very hard and solid hit to actually register a number. This may frustrate the younger heroes.

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