- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Here’s a selection of top gift ideas for action-figure fans in the family.

Moana, Starlight Canoe & Friends (Hasbro, $49.99, 3 AAA batteries required, for ages 3 and older) – Young girls empowered by the exploits of a Polynesian teenager on a journey to save her village in Disney’s new animated film “Moana” will love the 10-inch articulated doll with plenty of accessories to create their own adventure on the high seas.

First, the Moana figure comes adorned with long black hair, necklace, plastic top and cloth skirt and has seven points of articulation.

Next, she can hang out in a 19-inch-long outrigger sailing canoe with a cloth sail, paddle and wheels to move around a floor (do not place in water). The ship’s neat trick is that it can project a star field on the wall or ground in front of it with the press of a button on the bow and flip of a flower on the front of the craft.

She is also not alone on her voyage, accompanied by 3-inch-tall, hard-plastic version of her pet rooster Heihei and loyal pig Pua.

Overall, a well-made toy set with plenty of role-playing potential for children.

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Quittin’ Time Ray (Diamond Select Toys, $24.99, for ages 4 and older) – The 1984 “Ghostbusters” universe lives on through a collection of highly detailed action figures sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios and loaded with accessories.

This version of exhausted paranormal researcher Dr. Raymond Stantz (played by Dan Aykroyd in the movie) features 16 points of articulation and comes dressed in an authentically detailed, Ghostbusting flight suit complete with ghost logo, elbow pads and utility belt.

Although the head sculpt looks a bit more like a cartoony version of Mr. Aykroyd rather than his real facial features, the accessories overwhelm.

They include five pairs of hands (two sets gloved and all in various grasping positions, but none holding a cigarette), a ludicrously detailed proton pack tethered to the neutrino wand, a wire gizmo on the belt, removable Ecto-Goggles, a walkie-talkie and even a blue-and-orange particle stream to attach to the wand.

Owners would be wise to treat the figure delicately. The amount of wires attached to the proton pack and the proton stream itself could easily break if not carefully handled.

The package also includes a building column and gargoyle that will come in handy for hard-core fans.

Specifically, Diamond will eventually release a total of 15 figures, each containing pieces of a buildable, massive rooftop diorama (recreated from the original film) to display the large collection.

Other figures currently available in the action figure line range from Peter Venkman to Egon Spengler, Dana Barrett and Louis Tulley.

Turtle Tactical Truck (Playmates, $34.99, for ages 4 and older) – The three-decade old, pop-culture force of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” continues to enamor young fans through movies, cartoons, books and, of course, action figures.

This 14-inch-long multifunctional recreation of the “ninja-fied” garbage truck seen in the latest film ” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” will not disappoint with plenty of accessories and battle action to take on the evil Shredder and his minions.

The vehicle boasts three kinds of onboard weapons, including a capture net shot by a launcher on the roof; four coin-shaped ninja stars loaded and shot from the front grille (using a button on the side); and a pair of giant nunchuks that unfold, hang on either side of the vehicle and spin as the wheels roll.

It also includes a working forklift and offers plenty of space to fit all on the turtles with even the front of the truck dropping open to load two of the heroes in the driver’s area.

Unfortunately, no Ninja Turtles are included so gift-givers will absolutely need to purchase some 5-inch-tall versions of heroes such as Leonardo and Donatello or bad guys Rocksteady and Bebop ($8.99 each) for young fans to truly appreciate the truck in action.

Parents should also note that 22 stickers will need to be applied to the truck, and they may require a surgeon’s touch to get properly installed.

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War Legend Pack (Hasbro, $59.99, for ages 4 and older) – Fans of this year’s blockbuster film starring many of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will love this three-pack of 6-inch-tall action figures offering three-dimensional homages to Captain America, Spider-Man and Iron Man.

Each ruggedly crafted figure features roughly 24 points of articulation and a few accessories to create the perfect battle poses between the icons.

Goodies include a pair of extra head sculpts offering an almost spot-on likeness of actor Robert Downy Jr. to pop on for Iron Man and a much more generic noggin, not Chris Evans, for Captain America.

Spidey purists may scoff at his less-than-accurate costume compared to the movie, but there is nice detail afforded to the sculpted web shooters and web lines throughout the garb.

Captain America also gets a battle-damaged shield as well as a loose-fitting belt and a dirtied torso that looks like he was in a fight.

Most impressive overall of the three is Iron Man, which not only boasts nicely detailed, battle-damaged armor but a pair of translucent blue propulsion blasts and translucent red/orange repulsor blasts to attach to the figure’s feet and palms.

DC Films Superman (DC Entertainment, $45, for ages 13 and older) – Appreciate actor Henry Cavill’s take as the Man of Steel from the movie “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” with this highly detailed, 7-inch-tall action figure, sculpted by James Marsano.

In addition to a passable likeness of the star’s facial features, a blue-and-red costume with blue metallic highlights ripped from the film and a red cloth cape with internal wiring for posing, the figure has 21 points of articulation and comes with an extra head and three pairs of hands (fisted, open and grabbing).

Additionally, and most clever of the accessories, the hero also comes with a pair of heat vision beams.

That’s right. Pop on the extra head that has holes for eye sockets, carefully attach the delicate red plastic strands in the holes and it looks like Superman is blasting away at an opponent.

Owners also get a translucent and articulated flight rod and a base with multiple holes to mount the rod on the base. A spring-loaded clamp attaches to the rod and grips the figure in place at the waist for easy mid-air posing.

This high-end action figure makes a great gift for the teen and older Superman fan, being more of a collectible rather than a toy.

Buyers with extra cash should consider adding the DC Film Armor Batman figure ($50) to provide the perfect foil to the Man of Steel.

Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6 Web City (Hasbro, $39.99, for ages 4 and older) – Young admirers of Marvel Comics’ friendly neighborhood web head can recreate an epic battle between the hero and one of his most formidable adversaries in this nearly 20-inch-tall playset.

A pair of 6-inch-tall, rugged and mildly articulated action figures represent a version of Spider-Man and the psychotic Venom from the current Disney XD animated television show as they fight in front and on top of the famed Daily Bugle building.

With plenty of webbing covering the landscape, the big trick of the set allows Spidey to uses a rubbery web slingshot to fly into Venom, causing the villain to get propelled up and crash through the building.

The structure and street area also feature platforms, web netting and strands for the hero to hang on and further attack Venom. Parental alert, a collection of colorful stickers will also need to be applied (a dozen in total) to further bring the cartoony Times Square location to life.

Gift-givers might also toss in some of the other figures such as Green Goblin ($8.99) or playsets including Rhino Rampage ($19.99) that connect to Web City to keep Junior busy battling the forces of evil with his favorite comic-book icon.

• Joseph Szadkowski can be reached at jszadkowski@washingtontimes.com.

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