NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Kids will be clamoring for more than just chalk and bubbles come summertime. With the release of major blockbusters including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World and Minions, movie-based toys will be on many children’s summer wish lists.
Jurassic World opens June 12, followed by Minions on July 10, but many products based on these two movies have already hit toy shelves. Some early favorites include the Jurassic World Chomping Indominus Rex Figure and the Minions Movie Spinnin' Stuart.
At Toys“R”Us, some of the best-selling toys based on the recent Avengers: Age of Ultron movie are exclusive products from Hasbro (HAS) such as the Titan Hero Series Captain America Figure, Hero Mask Assortment and Titan Hero Hulk.
TTPM, a consumer website publishing reviews, videos and live price updates for toys, baby gear and all things play, has come up with its own list of top movie toys. Reviewers looked at the movie and how well the essence of the movie is reflected in the toys.
“It’s not just about replicating the storyline,” says Chris Byrne, content director for TTPM. “Children don’t really play that way. Instead, they use the narrative and the characters as a springboard for their own individual creativity.”
From role-play items that allow kids to transform themselves or LEGO sets that encourage creating storylines, here are the 10 movie toys of summer 2015 that according to TTPM provide the best play experience.
Avengers: Age of Ultron Titan Hero Tech Interactive Hulk Buster (Hasbro)
$31.49 / Recommended for ages 4+
This is a 13-inch electronic Hulk Buster from the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. It says phrases such as "Avengers, assemble!" and when he's near other Titan Hero Tech figures (sold separately), he recognizes each one and reacts to them, saying "Thor, you've got the power; I've got the tech” or "Mark 43, hit Ultron now."
This interactive figure from Hasbro has a jackhammer punch feature that is activated by pressing the button on his upper arm.
TTPM reviewers say this toy is fun because kids can recreate scenes from the movie or imagine their own Avengers battles.
Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Man Arc FX Armor (Hasbro)
$14.99 / Recommended for ages 5+
The Avengers: Age of Ultron Iron Man Arc FX Armor includes two gloves. One of the two is electronic and has motion-activated technology, making power-up, power-down and battle sounds.
TTPM recommends this toy because, compared with other Iron Man toys, these gloves closely match what Iron Man actually wore. "Kids will love pretending to be like their favorite superhero with these gloves by recreating scenes from Avengers: Age of Ultron or using their imaginations to make up all-new adventures," says the TTPM review.
LEGO Avengers: Age of Ultron Quinjet City Chase (LEGO)
$79.54 / Recommended for ages 8+
This LEGO set includes five mini figures with assorted accessories: Vision, Captain America, Black Widow, Iron Man and Ultron. The Quinjet features an opening cockpit with translucent windscreen, four stud shooters, opening rear hatch, opening roof, detailed cabin, foldable wings and a secret wing compartment.
The 722-piece set also includes a buildable lab truck with explode function, opening rear doors, casket and hang-out handles for mini figures.
"All the moving parts and the Super Jumper piece add action to the building play, allowing kids to play out all sorts of imaginative, action-packed superhero adventures," the TTPM review says.
Jurassic World Indominus Rex (Hasbro)
$34.99 / Recommended for ages 4+
The Indominus Rex is based on the new hybrid dinosaur featured in the movie Jurassic World. Its skin changes color and its jaw opens to a full 90-degree angle.
TTPM says this toy is fun because of the multiple features, particularly the super-wide chomping jaw. “This is one dinosaur toy that is going to pack a powerful bite for fans of the franchise,” says the review.
The Indominus Rex has a “JW” label on its leg, making it attractive to collectors as well. Dinosaur figures released for the old Jurassic Park movies were labeled with “JP.”
Jurassic World Hero Mashers (Hasbro)
$14.99 / Recommended for ages 4+
The Jurassic World Hero Mashers figures are all customizable. The Triceratops figure has removable parts and can be combined with the Stegosaurus (sold separately) to build a hybrid dinosaur, the Stego-Ceratops. The parts from the Triceratops figure can also be mixed with parts from Velociraptor, Dimorphodon, Spinosaurus, Ankylosaurus and other Hero Mashers figures (sold separately).
“Kids will like building their very own breed of dinosaur, kind of like the scientists in Jurassic World, only with silly not scary results,” the TTPM review says. “The dino pieces are easy to snap on and off in a variety of ways to allow for lots of creative play.”
Jurassic World Velociraptor (Hasbro)
$19.99 / Recommended for ages 4+
With this hand puppet, kids can imagine they're one of the most fearsome dinosaurs in Jurassic World. The Velociraptor head looks just like the massive dino in the movie. It’s made of soft foam, but the head chomps like a real raptor.
TTPM is impressed at the way Hasbro's entire Jurassic World line has found innovative ways to integrate different types of classic play into the toys.
“Puppets, of course, are one of the most popular types of toys for open-ended, narrative-based play, and whether kids are recreating scenes from the movies or creating their own dino-mayhem (as we did), this is going to be lots of fun,” the TTPM review says.
Jurassic World Indominus Rex Breakout (LEGO)
$129 / Recommended for ages 7+
This 1,156-piece set builds a large containment and observation unit for the Indominus Rex dinosaur. It comes with the Indominus Rex figure, made of seven large LEGO pieces and also includes four mini figures with assorted weapons and accessories: Zach, an ACU trooper, Dr. Wu and a vet.
Why is it fun? TTPM says the multiple play spots and features allow fans of the movie to recreate key scenes or imagine new dino-disaster adventures.
The directions are long, but there are clear illustrations and LEGO's numbered bag system. It took TTPM reviewers five and a half hours to build this set.
Furious 7 Brian's Nissan GT-R (R35) (Jada Toys)
$14.99 / Recommended for ages 6+
This is a replica of Brian O'Conner's top-end performance car in the Furious 7 movie. The blue Nissan GT-R has excellent detailing, including opening doors, hood and trunk.
For collectors, this GT-R is a reasonably priced collectible. For kids, it's a convenient and well-made toy car.
"The Fast & Furious movies are all about amazing cars in incredible situations," the TTPM review says. "This looks great as a collectible replica, and for kids, it's fun to imagine driving in all the crazy and exciting scenarios from the films."
Minions Movie Minions Sing 'N Dance Bob (Thinkway Toys)
$49.99 / Recommended for ages 4+
From this summer's much-awaited Minions movie comes Sing 'N Dance Bob. His arms go up and down and his legs move left to right as he dances to the beat in either stand-alone singing mode or interactive talk mode.
Bob is about 8 inches tall, has a plush body with plastic goggles and interacts with Rock 'N Roll Stuart (sold separately).
TTPM reviewers say Bob moves around a lot when he's singing and dancing. "This is intentional and part of the whole Minion comedy that's built into this and the other Thinkway Minion toys," the TTPM review says. "It's a way to keep fans engaged with the play."
Minions Movie Tumblin' Stuart (Thinkway Toys)
$49.99 / Recommended for ages 4+
Touch Stuart’s head and he laughs then falls down. But no matter how he falls, Stuart manages to get back on his feet. Kids will be amused listening to him talk in his original movie voice.
TTPM says this toy is fun because … it’s the Minions. “These super silly creatures are completely infectious with their speech, their antics and their inescapable sweetness. All of those Minion characteristics have been beautifully captured in this toy, and we think any Minions fan will find this completely hilarious,” the TTPM review says.