Kids test Iron Man toys

The summer movie season hasn't even kicked in yet, but that hasn't stopped Hasbro from stocking the shelves with several toys to tout the new movie Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr.

The PG-13 movie, which is set to open May 2, has spawned a slew of toys from action figures to a Nerf soft dart gun. More toys, including an Iron Man Roadster, are slated to be on the shelves throughout the summer.

We tested a few with two 6 year olds who are big fans of action heroes like Superman and those in the Star Wars movies. And surely with the release of Speed Racer and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, there will be more summer toys to check out.

Iron Man Mask and Repulsor Gauntlet (ages 5 and up; $19.99): The testers liked this one even though the mask seemed a little low-tech compared to some of the recent voice-changing masks featuring Darth Vader and the Transformers. The mask's adjustable Velcro closure makes it just right to fit any size head. Just make sure it is tight enough for your little ones to see through the eye openings. The Repulsor Gauntlet, a disk-shooter that comes with six disks, also fits around the wrist with a Velcro closure making it adjustable for small wrists. As most parents know, keeping up with the disks is always a challenge so be forewarned. A child can't put the mask or the disk-shooter on alone, so an adult will probably always need to do that. But the testers thought it was fun to dress up like Iron Man for a while, so long as the one who was not had on a Superman cape.

Iron Man NRF 425 Blaster (ages 6 and up; $19.99): Although this one said it was for 6 year olds, the two who played with it had a difficult time pumping it to get it to work. The instructions call for pumping it 20 times to produce enough air to force the 10 darts out of the magazine that fits into the blaster. Once it is pumped enough, the rapid-fire blaster can shoot a dart up to 30 feet. This one might be more fun for older kids who have good arm strength and like the thrill of target practice without hard or pointed darts. It also comes with Iron Man targets and poster by Flypaper. One last note: If you decide to get this one, you might want to take it out of the package early. Lots of tape and anti-theft devices.

Repulsor Power Iron Man (ages 4 and up; $19.99): This 12-inch action figure was the first toy that had each of the testers wanting to get their hands on it first. They loved the realistic flight and combat sounds and the projectiles that launch from its right hand. They took turns flying it around the room and making Iron Man speak in his electronic voice. It didn't take long to lose one of the projectiles though, so you'll just have to try to keep up with those. But this one was a hit, just right for active imaginations to take him on many crime-fighting journeys.

Iron Man Movie Action Figures (ages 4 and up; $9.99 each): These 6-inch figures fit right into small hands. The testers liked playing with both the Mark 02 and Mark 03 figures, which fire projectiles from wrist blasters. The testers marveled at the ease that the blasters would come off the figures' wrists. But they also lamented the small pieces that easily came off the shoulders of each figure. If you have little ones under 3 in the house, keep these away from them. The testers were even more excited when they looked in the booklet that came with each toy to discover that even smaller action figures that resemble the Star Wars Galactic Heroes would be coming soon.

Sherry Robinson can be reached at (727) 893-8305 or robinson@sptimes.com.

Kids test Iron Man toys 04/15/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 3:34pm]

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