There are few modern buildings more recognizable than the Sydney Opera House, with its shell rooftops, harbor views, and striking lines. The Lego Sydney Opera House ($320) does a remarkable job of recreating this 20th-Century architectural marvel in the form of a 11" by 25" by 15" model. Modular construction and new building techniques will keep you intrigued throughout the build. With nearly 3,000 bricks (including the largest blue-stud baseplate they've ever made and a wealth of dark tan bricks), this set is a worthwhile challenge for the most advanced lego builders. Available in September.
New York City residents and tourists alike will appreciate these Metrodeck Playing Cards ($550) as a piece of Empire City memorabilia. Made from found subway fare cards and inspired by famous landmarks across the city, these playing cards are screen-printed in enamel ink, with four colors on each face card. Highlights include a Brooklyn Bridge King of Hearts, an Empire State Building King of Diamonds and a Statue of Liberty Queen of Hearts. Each of the 40 decks varies slightly from the other, and comes in a letterpressed, die-cut box.
Whether it's destroying Stormtroopers' speeder bikes, Leia kissing her brother, or the creepy celebration after the battle for the forest moon of Endor, you can bring your favorite Episode VI scenes to life with the Lego Star Wars Ewok Village ($250). This gigantic set (nearly 2,000 pieces) is full of surprises and treats for fans. It comes with 17 minifigs — including three never-before-seen Ewoks, and new looks for Luke and Leia — a catapult, speeder bike, plenty of lightsabers, blasters, and spears, and even a levitating throne for C-3PO. Expect the set in stores by September. Until then, we'll be watching Return of the Jedi on repeat.
With the ability to drive and fly, the B Remote-Controlled Flying Car/Helicopter ($560) can pretty much go anywhere. Its innovation lies in a patent-pending wheel and propeller design, which places each prop within the wheel. It can take off vertically, hover and fly, and return to the ground to continue driving. Durable polycarbonate construction means it can survive falls from the air and punishing terrain on the ground. A 720p on-board camera and 32G Micro SD card support makes this one capable reconnaissance vehicle. Now, if only they could figure out a way to make the battery last longer than 15 minutes a charge.
Step aside, Nerf. The Tek Recon Battle System ($25 and up) raises the bar for projectile-based toy combat by adding a touch of realism and a touch of video gaming to the proceedings. The two blasters — the pistol-like Hammerhead and the assault rifle-esque Havok — fire custom NRG rounds that provide rapid firing and the ability to hit targets up to 75 feet away, feature metallic green and orange paint jobs, and, thanks to the unique, pump-action propulsion system, also offer real triggers and recoil. In addition, they feature built-in cradles for your iPhone or Android, giving you a heads-up display and the ability to enter into games with your friends, then play games like every man for himself, team battle, or capture the flag. The downside? Unlike Halo, Tek Recon requires you to have actual, real-life friends.
You've got the movies, you've got the authentic Stormtrooper helmet, and now the only thing standing between you and becoming a
complete nerd true Star Wars hero is your own Custom D-Tech Me Stormtrooper Action Figure ($100). For that, you'll need to head to Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida. Each weekend — May 17 - 19, May 24 - 26, May 31 - June 2, and June 7 - 9 — you'll be able to line up for a 10 minute experience that sees your face scanned with the world's highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner, data from which will be used to make your custom figurine. The figure itself should arrive after the longest 7-8 week wait of your lonely life. Oh, and if the Dark Side isn't your thing, just get yourself cast in Carbonite instead. [via]
Forget the silly name — Pyragon? Really? This is a toy gun we're talking about here. Anyway, the Nerf Vortex Pyragon Blaster ($35) looks to satisfy your — or your offspring's — insatiable thirst for more ammo. Thanks to an enormous magazine, this piece of plastic weaponry can fire off up to 40 discs without reloading, and offers a "Slam-Fire" handle that lets you fire off multiple rounds while you hold down the trigger. Probably not the best for covert missions, though — with an oil filter-like magazine, your co-workers are sure to see you coming.
Ditch the toys and step up to a man-sized R/C with the Mammuth Rewarron 1:3 Scale R/C Car ($5,500-$15,000). As the name suggests, it's one-third the size of a real auto, measuring nearly six and a half feet long, and weighing roughly 175 lbs. It's powered by a 200 or 250cc 4-stroke engine, giving it a top speed of over 40 mph. It also boasts an on-board touch screen controller for the brakes, ABS, traction control, and telemetry. All of which begs the question: Why not just buy a real car instead?
Office warfare has never tasted so good. The Marshmallow Mazooka ($33) is your new long-range weapon for cubicle-based conflict, capable of launching large marshmallows distances of up to 40 feet with the touch of a trigger. Thanks to a battery-powered air pump, you won't have to manually build up the pressure needed to fire — just pull the barrel forward, load the marshmallow, slide the barrel back, aim, and shoot.
Funny cars are known for their incredible power, speed, and, well, funny looks. Now you can recapture the feeling of a real drag race in your driveway with a Traxxas R/C Funny Car ($530). Available in four different authentic driver editions, these advanced remote control cars feature ET-3s brushless power systems and tilt-up bodies developed from the full-size CAD drawings, including a tube-style chassis. On the TQi 2.4GHz remote, you'll find tuning features like steering and throttle sensitivity adjustments, braking strength controls, a toggle for Burnout, Staging, and Race modes, and a Launch Control switch that lets you hold down the throttle and go. All that's missing is the smell of racing fuel and a parachute to slow you down.
The problem with some Lego sets is once they're built, there's not much you can do with them — the more elaborate the set, the less sturdy it seems to be. Unless you're talking about this Lego Technic 4×4 Crawler ($200). Clocking in at 1,327 pieces, this beast features motorized 4-wheel steering and 4-wheel drive, opening doors, an "extreme" suspension, and a remote control that communicates with the included servo via IR. Take that, stationary Star Wars set.
Ever wish you could have an action figure for your favorite movie characters that fall outside the realm of kid-friendly films? Like, for instance, Travis Bickle, Michael Myers, or Mad Max? Now you can. These Custom Movie Action Figures ($20-$70) are mostly custom-made and come in custom packaging that looks like something you'd buy in a store. In addition, some of your favorites that actually do have figures — like Indy and Darth Vader — get new packaging that makes it appear as if they'd been culled from the ranks of GI Joe. Perfect for decorating the ol' home theater entrance.