The GeeksverseImagine the Possibilities: Gateways into Comics

Imagine the Possibilities: Gateways into Comics
Published on Friday, November 23, 2012 by

My daughter is only 8 months old but I am already trying to ensure that her toys inspire creativity and play. I want her toys to fuel her imagination with possibilities and wonder the way my toys did.I fondly remember playing with my G.I. Joes, Masters of the Universe, Super Powers, and the other standard 80s fare.I want my daughter to also have fond memories.

My daughter’s toy box currently has stacking rings, blocks, and cuddly characters from whimsical to Venom. Not content to leave well enough alone, I am already looking ahead to my daughter’s future.  I expect my daughter will be advanced so there is no reason not to stock up on 3-5 year old toys. Today, Black Friday, found me shopping not only for this Christmas but for playtimes to come.

One toy series my daughter needs is Imaginext.

Wal-Mart and Toys R Us both had Imaginext sets on sale, Robots, and Space Shuttle sets. $19.99 is a great price. I didn’t buy those. Luckily I am able to plan ahead and shop around. At a Black Friday sale at the local consignment shop, Once Upon a Child, I was able to cobble together a buggy full of Imaginext. It wasn’t the best haul, but it was my best haul so far. I’ve heard internet whispers about great yard sale reports. Anyway, as I was buying my load of random Imaginext Dragon shaped island, airplane, Shuttle, and Tower the woman behind the counter said these were great toys–of course they are. The guy behind the counter said they’d had a Batcave hanging around for a while. A Bat Cave! Unfortunately, after a little more searching it must have just sold. Oh well. Now I still have something to search out.

There are some great Bat sets out there.  There are some great deals at Big Lots, BJs, and other secondary retailers along with the larger box stores. Most stores seem to have their own exclusive sets. I picked up a great Joker Tank with a bonus Batman figure today too at an Ollies stop while Black Friday shopping. Hopefully lots of options will lead to lots of secondary market pick ups in the years to come.  Although the direct route has its merits.  At the moment, plenty of online retailers like ToysRUs and  Amazon.com have plenty of these toys. Unfortunately my local Craigslist is not being forthcoming at the moment with great deals. Luckily, I’m not in a hurry.

The Batman sets have been out for a few years. I don’t expect them to still be on the shelves when my daughter is age appropriate. Although, stranger things have happened in the toy world.

Imagining the possibilities is fun. I can’t wait to play with these fun little figures. I can’t wait to enjoy playing with these little figures with my daughter. I can picture the Batman cartoons playing in the background as my daughter and I have knights and fighter pilots besieging Gotham city or a Dragon Castle.

Toys should be fun.

Toys should be playful.

Toys should also be a gateway into other worlds. At times that gateway should lead beyond the plastic. I want my daughter to enter the plastic world of happy villains and impossible robots and find herself curious about characters, cartoons, comics, and the possibilities.

The current Bat line up of Imaginext is great. It has Batman, Robin, Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Hawkeye, Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern and other fine figures. Although I do hope that in the next years, before this line comes to a close, that a few new figures are added. I would like to see Batgirl or perhaps some of the younger gals from Young Justice like Artemis and Miss Martin would all make great additions. One of the only flaws of this entire series of Fisher-Price goodness is that it is overly masculine. These toys are marketed as boys toys and nearly every figure is male. Even Super Powers, G.I. Joe, and Masters of the Universe have at least a few token female characters like Wonder Woman, Scarlet, and Teela.I have yet to pick up the Catwoman or her stylized feline motorcycle to add chase to Batman and Robin on their motorcycles.

As my daughter uses these plastic people as an action heavy dollhouse—hopefully complete with large portions of Gotham City—I want her to be able to find herself easily in these figures. So far, my personal collection includes a few Batmen, Joker, Robin, and a few male pilots. I need Catwoman. I need the Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman that I’ve seen on-line but have not spotted in a store, consignment shop, or yard sale yet. Admittedly, I need to pick up the three femmes offered by Fisher-Price but I also hope that these aren’t the only women that will be added to the line.  Whether I pick these up at toy stores or continue picking them up dusty in the next few years I hope that my daughter will have plenty of plastic people to reflect herself in.

Outside of the official Fisher-Price Imaginext lines, I am also exploring some of the Playskool offerings. Particularly the Marvel based super hero line up has great feet. Great feet? Yup, because the Imaginext gimmick involves standing the characters in foot positions to make activity set play features come alive. Spider-Man and Green Goblin both feet that will operate the Imaginext play features. Playskool’s Marvel Spider-Man adventure playset may not be as refined as Gotham city but it has great figures ready to jump onto a motorcycle. The super hero line up includes Marvel favorites like a friendly looking Hulk, Iron Man, Wolverine, Rhino, and Silver Sufer which is a fun lineup but still an all boys club. Marvel has more than just the boys heroes in their comics and I hope they eventually also add more women to their line up. Since my back issue boxes have more than male heroes from Marvel, I need a way to introduce my daughter to this world as well.

Clearly, Young Justice won’t be in print by the time my daughter starts to read, but it will still be in my box issue bin and DVD rack. I want it to be something my daughter grows to know.

Of course, any chance I can have to enjoy playing with my daughter will be great and plentiful.

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