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Hydra Slaying Hercules? Battle Gear Bruce Wayne?? Ian Malcolm - Chaos Expert?!? Yup, it's that time of year again, when blockbust- ers beget blister-packs and the stores are alive with the sound of whining. Over the weekend, I scanned the racks of a local discount house, trying to take in all that is accessorized about HERCULES, THE LOST WORLD, and BATMAN AND ROBIN. No, I didn't spy anything quite as a daft as a Kevin Costner WATERWORLD doll. Nor did I get a woody from a plastic Batgirl. But, by the thirtieth or so super- hero, I'd seen enough trademarked toy names to make a Superlative Slinging Movie Critic's spring-loaded head spin. For the wee ones, not yet testosterone poisoned, they're these from HERCULES: Tribow Hercules, Hydra Slaying Hercules, Sword Fighting Hercules, Muscle Grow Hercules (available soon!), Fireball Shooting Hades (is there any other kind?), Lightning Bolt Zeus (an asterisk notes that the figure is "inspired" by the film, so I guess that the big guy doesn't throw the old bolts around in the movie), and, my favorite, Terrifying Hydra, which, regrettably, won't be avail- able until "Fall, 1997." Kids who like their toys with a little more bite-- so they can re- create the more graphic sequences of their favorite movies-- will undoubtedly enjoy THE LOST WORLD collection, which includes Eddie Carr - Master Mechanic, Ian Malcolm - Chaos Expert, Dieter Stark - Weapons Analyst, Nick Van Owen - Video Expert (also armed with a Paralyzing Spray Blaster), Eddie Carr with Dino-Snare Dirtbike, Pachycephalosaurus (code name "Ram Head"), Velociraptor, Electronic Chasmasaurus, Electronic Spinosaurus, Giant Pteranodon (also known by its dangerous code name "Steel Beak") and, not to be missed, Glider Pack with Ian Malcolm. Funny, I must've missed the scene with Jeff Goldblum riding a rocket-launching hang-glider. The real kick-ass collection-- playthings that promise the greatest number of hours of gratuitous plastic-on-plastic violence-- is from BATMAN AND ROBIN. Here's what $70 can buy: Hover Attack Batman, Blast Wing Batman, Heat Scan Batman (with Opti Scope Launcher and Laser Ray Emitters), Battle Gear Bruce Wayne, Iceboard Robin, Night Hunter Robin (packaged with Evil Entrapment Poison Ivy, who doesn't look a thing like Uma Thurman), Razor Skate Robin, Glacier Battle Robin, and a modestly endowed Batgirl, with a nasty-looking Strike Scythe, for use against supervillians or when the Boy Wonder gets fresh. Of course, Batfans have it best. In addition to the new movie, I counted *four* other Bat collections. Included among the BATMAN FOREVER, LEGENDS OF BATMAN, LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, and THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN AND ROBIN series are Spline Cape Batman, As- sault Gauntlet Batman, Neural Claw Batman (Neural Claw?), Silver Knight Batman, Flight Pack Batman, Desert Knight Batman, Dark War- rior Batman, Power Guardian Batman, Buccaneer Batman (Holy Jolly Roger!), Ultra Armor Batman, Knightsend Batman, Viking Batman, Tur- bo Surge Batman, Vector Wing Batman, Power Beacon Batman, Long Bow Batman (but does it outsell Kevin Costner's ROBIN HOOD doll?), Son- ar Sensor Batman, Night Hunter Batman, Blast Cape Batman, Fireguard Batman, Attack Wing Batman, and, yes, Samurai Batman. Obviously, the latter bearing no relation to the rejected skit from "Saturday Night Live." Rest in peace Mr. Belushi. Copyright 1997 Michael J. Legeros
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