TOYING AROUND: Sideshow's Darth Vader, Metal Iron Man

The beauty of the collectible world is there's something out there for everyone. Are you a fan of Blade's original costume? There's a MiniMates version in the works for you. Maybe you really dig the look of Godzilla from 1964 -- yeah, there's a toy for that too. Do you have an equal passion for toy robots and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe? You're in luck, Funko just revealed a Skeletor robot. Read on for additional information on those pieces and more in this week's edition of TOYING AROUND!

IRON MAN | Iron Man and heavy metal go together as naturally as peanut butter and jelly, just ask Black Sabbath. Play Imaginative took that idea and ran with it when creating the Super Alloy Iron Man Mark VII 12-inch action figures based on the character's appearance in "The Avengers." The toy is made from 88% die-cast metal, sports a battery bowered ARC reactor and has magnets in the feet that activate lights in the included Hall of Armor section. As if all that wasn't enough, the figure is articulated from the ball jointed shoulders to the fingers with 50 different points.

DC UNIVERSE LEGO | LEGO launched a pretty fantastic website for all things DC Universe Super Heroes. In addition to showing off images of upcoming sets like Arctic Batman vs. Mr. Freeze: Aquaman on Ice, The Batcave and Superman vs. Power Armor Lex Luthor, the site also has looks at the upcoming film and the "LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes" video game.

STAR WARS | Sideshow's latest piece of Star Wars statuary comes in the form of an impressively emotional Darth Vader piece, called Dark Contemplations from the Mythos line. This particular version of Vader has three heads: one helmeted, one looking like Hayden Christensen and another based on original Anakin Skywalker actor, Sebastian Shaw. You also have your pick of three right arms: one with a lightsaber, one making a fist and another holding the helmet. The piece is up for pre-order now and ships in September.

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE | Sites like Fantastic Plastic Toys are taking pre-orders on Funko's upcoming Vinyl Invaders Skeletor robot. Done in the style of those old school robots of yesteryear, the piece stands 11 inches tall and comes with Skeletor's signature Havoc Staff. The 'bot ships between July and August of this year.

DOCTOR WHO | The Doctor has had plenty of companions over the years, but one of the most memorable didn't come in human form. Longtime fans of the epic BBC seres "Doctor Who" likely have a soft spot for K-9, Tom Baker's faithful robotic dog pal who acted as a walking (which was more like rolling) computer as well as living laser. Think Geek has the exclusive rights to sell the piece by itself (it can be purchased in sets with other pieces). K-9 fits to scale with existing 8-inch figures like the ones from Bif Bang Pow. The toy has no points of articulation and is described as rubber duckie-like.

THE HOBBIT | Bombur the Dwarf is a character who spends a good deal of time sleeping or showing up last in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," but the folks at Weta decided to portray him in motion, complete with a cooking implement, in their latest statue of the character from Peter Jackson's film. The piece stands just under 10 inches tall and is available for purchase right now.

MARVEL MINIMATES | Back in the 70s, Marvel dug deep into the weird world of horror comics with characters like Dr. Strange, Morbius the Living Vampire, Werewolf by Night and Blade the Vampire Hunter. To celebrate these more "out there" characters, Diamond Select Toys is preparing a Strange Tales 4-pack box set of MiniMates that just so happens to include this quartet of characters. The pack contains new accessories, like Dr. Strange's spell-casting hands and an in-motion stake for Blade (and maybe Morbius if he keeps trying to suck their blood).

THE EXPENDABLES 2 | Hot Toys has already done an astonishignly spot on 12-inch representation of Sylvester Stallone's Barney Ross from the first "Expendables," but they've topped themselves with the new version based on the film's sequel. The figure not only comes with his more traditional mercenary gear, but also the disguise he wore in the film, plus enough weapons to overtake a small nation. Now we just need Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Chuck Norris and the rest of the gang!

BATMAN | PPW has an impressive stable of pop culture-based Mr. Potato Heads, ranging from the members of KISS to the "Wizard of Oz" characters. Some of the most iconic heroes and villains from DC Comics have also gotten in on the spudification. The next addition to the gang is Batman in his classic gray and blue costume. As an added bonus, he even comes with a Batarang to stop Mr. Potato Head Joker! Batman is out in May, Joker's available now.

HALO | Japanese company Square Enix might be best known for making video games like "Final Fantasy" and "Dragon Quest," but they've also made quite a splash in the world of collectibles with their highly articulated and dead-on action figures. While they have nothing to do with the video game franchise, Square now has Halo figures in the works. As you might expect, the premiere figure from the line -- which Sideshow distributes here in the States -- is none other than Master Chief as seen in "Halo 4." The figure stands over 9 inches tall and comes with extra hands and weapons.

GODZILLA | Bluefin Distribution is a pretty neat company that takes some of the coolest collectibles from Japan and makes them more easily available here in the United States. They're also getting in on the exclusive game with an all-new Godzilla figure from the S.H. MonsterArts line. This one's based on the character's 1964 look and can be purchased only on Bluefin's website when it's ready for pre-order.

MATTYCOLLECTOR | Fans of Mattel's online-only store and their exclusive offerings like Masters of the Universe Classics, DC Universe, WWE, "Watchmen" and more should head over to the MattyCollector site to check out new release dates for their March through September offerings.

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