Tag Archives: toy reviews

Spider-man Extravaganza

Want to know how we’ve spent the past two Sunday afternoons around our house?  Dressing up in Spiderman costumes for special Spiderman toy fun!  The kids love to play with superhero toys, and Spiderman is a mutual favorite.  Well, Max is slightly obsessed with Captain America, but Spidey runs a close second for him.  
We unboxed a total of six toy series, and overall our favorite was the Marvel Superheros Mr. Potato Head Mixable Mashable.  The pieces were very easy for two-year-old Max to manipulate.  When we finally got him to consider mixing up his Captain America, he had a blast creating a variety of Potato Head mash-ups.  Each Potato Head has a different facial expression, so it’s fun to match them to dramatic play.  The boys have also had fun making Play-doh accessories for the guys.  Interestingly, our old original Mr. Potato Head was placed into a donation box last month when we cleared out toys that weren’t being used.  

Our next favorite new Spiderman toy is the Marvel Mashers Spiderman with Sky Crawler.  Max already had a collection of the Marvel Mashers superheroes that he received for Christmas.  The Sky Crawler is our first vehicle for the set, and it’s high action.  There are a lot of missile launching attachments, a custom light-blue colored Spidey, and a bonus Hulk head and hands for mashing.  Most of the vehicle toys in our home are Hot Wheels cars, which of course are tons of fun.  However, Max has been thrilled to have a vehicle that can accommodate his heroes, plus our video editor has been having fun incorporating it into special effects.

Feepy really enjoys the Amazing Spider-man Mega Blaster Web and Water Shooter.  He had a lot of fun creating action stunts for the camera.  The set includes a glove (which he didn’t need with his costume), an arm strap with spray adapter, a can of silly string, and a water bottle.  It took some fumbling to get the can attached correctly, but once it was snapped into place, Feepy could easily aim and shoot the web.  The quality of the silly string was good, not too wet, and not too dry.  It cleaned up easily after the video shoot.  Feepy plans to save the silly string for video shoots (replacement cans cost about $5) and use the water bottle for outside play during the summer.  This toy would be a great final touch for Halloween or other costumed event.  It is a novelty item, and perhaps not much of an everyday play toy.  

We also tried out the Spiderman Titan Hero Series Spiderman with Web copter.   The set comes with a large, 12-inch Spiderman figure and an assembly-required helicopter vehicle.  The doll is nice and sturdy, but the bendable joints were too solid for little Max to manipulate.  The vehicle was easy to build, but the handle attachment became easily detached.  The toy looked so cool, but we were underwhelmed by the function.

The Spiderman Battle Masters got rave reviews from Feepy.  He put it up against his Transformers toys from the same line.  Battle Masters are simple plastic punching characters that snap onto control bases.  Two or more opponents can play a boxing style match.  The control base for the Transformers uses trigger-style action, while the Spiderman uses game-console-style thumb action.  The Spiderman controller seemed easier to use.  
Finally, we rolled out our Spiderman Squinkies dispenser.  This is definitely and item for collectors.  The boys loved it because it was like having a vending machine at home.  The hard-to-find set came with four Marvel Squinkies, to include a super cute Spiderman.  We’re brainstorming more fun ways to incorporate the Spiderman toy dispenser into surprise toy videos!      
Speaking of surprise toy videos, here are Spider-man and Spider-boy opening Spiderman surprise eggs!

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Jakks Pacific Max Tow Truck Pull Off!

After having a great time playing with the Max Minis from Jakks Pacific for the past week, we were very anxious to finally try out the original, the BIG one, the Max Tow Truck.
The truck looked great in the box.  The boys were full of oohs, ahhs, and manly grunts.  Little Max’s voice dropped an octave and became coarse when expressing his enthusiasm to get going.
The Max Tow Truck is a fairly small toy with big claims that it can pull up to 200 pounds.  It comes with a sturdy plastic tow chain and hook.  The tires appear to be deflated, but the instruction booklet explains that is the method for gripping the ground.  The three operation modes include:  towing, pushing, and climbing.  Towing is activated by pressing a lever on the top/back of the truck.  Pushing is activated by pressing the front bumper.   Climbing is activated by pressing the siren button on the top of the truck.  There are recorded voice prompts indicating when to activate the lever to get the truck moving within each operation mode.  
We took the truck outside for a series of challenging tests.

First, we put Max (the kid) on his Kettler, which is a solid, heavy trike.   The Max Tow Truck chain and hook attached easily, the truck was set to tow mode, and off they went….slowly but surely.  Yes, the Max Tow Truck can tow a lot of cargo, but at turtle speed.  
Next, we hooked up the Disney Cars Lightening McQueen ride-on.  This time Max Tow Truck repeatedly  prompted  us to press the tow lever.  We’d press it to go, and the toy would repeat that activation was required.  Finally, off the truck went, pulling an empty Lightening McQueen.  When Max (the kid) hopped in, the towing capability was brought to a halt.  Max Tow Truck was no match for a ride-on toy with a 30-pound passenger.  We think that if the wheels of the ride-on were free-spinning, towing would be possible, though.
Feepy hopped on his Razor scooter, with hopes that he’d be towed.  Unfortunately, the slow speed of the tow truck combined with cracks in the sidewalk wouldn’t allow him to maintain balance.  He switched to a skateboard, and that worked really well.  Feepy’s quite a bit bigger than Max (the kid) and he was cruising faster.
To test the pushing capability, mom hopped on the skateboard.  The truck nudged the board along fairly well, but again at turtle speed.  The best push test was with Max (the kid) on the Wheelie bug, which is a ride-on toy with highly mobile caster wheels.
The climbing test was somewhat of a disappointment.  The truck handled well over the lawn, some flat-lying rocks, and landscape material.  However, it did not break plane very well.  We set up the skateboard at about a 30 degree angle.  The front tires climbed well, and the truck would appear to almost surpass the obstacle, but when the back tires hit the board, the truck would topple over.  We tried over and over to complete a successful climb, but it just didn’t happen.
We had a lot of fun as a family testing out the maximum capability of the Max Tow Truck.  The toy is built to be tough, and it digs down to perform, but the slow speed at which it tows the maximum load makes the spectacle somewhat underwhelming.  However, the kids were impressed, as they are with most things on wheels.  This would be a great toy for a child who loves tow trucks and wants to create smaller towing play scenarios.  The truck easily pulls and pushes lighter wheeled toys and cargo.  Even though we didn’t feel the Max Tow Truck performed heavy-duty scenarios with big gusto, we think the truck would definitely perform well for everyday kid-constructed play.