The summer toy parade continues, this time inspired by the movie, The Incredible Hulk, which hits theaters Friday. The PG-13 movie may not be suitable for all ages, but the toys are being marketed to little kids. So you have to decide if the green monster's gadgets are worth the price. We found that for the most part they are old school, repurposed toys with a couple of new tricks thrown in for good measure.
Hulk Smash Hands (ages 3 and up, $19.99): These were lots of fun for the 9-, 6- and 5-year-old boys who gave them a whirl. You don't have to smash too hard to activate the sound effects (lots of growling and a "Hulk smash!'' thrown in there). Two sets together, though, might turn into boxing gloves, so be forewarned. We liked these but thought they should have been sold in a set with the . . .
Hulk Power Glow Electronic Mask (ages 4 and up, $14.99): The mask is supposed to get kids to summon their inner Hulk when the eyes light up emerald green. The 5- and 6-year-olds loved putting this on and pretending to be the Hulk. However, the novelty wears off pretty fast. And without the opportunity to sound like the Hulk, unless you do it yourself, this mask isn't as fun as the Transformers voice-changing mask that came out last year. This might be a good one to get, along with the hands, and save for the makings of an awesome Halloween costume later in the year.
Hulkey Pokey Hulk (ages 18 months and up, $29.99): This one was a little too young for the testers in our house so they didn't play with it much. They thought it was kind of funny that such an angry character was trying to get toddlers up and moving (the toy uses a child's voice so that it's not quite as scary). You would have to be a serious Hulk fan to want this, even if he does sing a special version of the Hokey Pokey. If you must have it, maybe a grandparent or favorite uncle can do the honors.
Hulk Movie Action Figures (ages 4 and up, $9.99): These figures were fun to play with, especially if your kiddos have active imaginations. They come with different features and accessories, like Super Punch Hulk that uses the front of a car as a boxing glove. The 5- and 6-year-old testers thought the half car was the coolest part.
Operation Hulk (ages 6 and up, $19.99): This was the toy that got all the kids excited. The 6-year-old took it to kindergarten and all the kids wanted to play it. It's just like the old Operation game except the Hulk is the patient. He has 12 tiny pieces that must be extracted with tweezers that cannot touch the metal outline of his body. For little kids it's difficult to do but they just enjoyed hearing him say "Ooooooo, Hulk smash!'' about a million times. When he says that, it sounds like the Hulk is, well, constipated. Consider that before you buy. And because of those tiny pieces, keep this away from the under-3 set.
Sherry Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727)893-8305.