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Shopping guide: Cool movie toys for holidays

Published On: Dec 10 2012 10:02:16 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 11 2012 10:35:11 AM CST
Batman DX 12 and Batpod

"The Dark Knight Rises" Batman DX12 and Batpod (Hot Toys/SideshowCollectibles.com)

It's been a great year for movies, which generally means it's been a great year for movie-related merchandise -- and there's no shortage of cool movie toys and more for the holidays.

This year's list includes something for everybody, all the way from $10 movie toys to $500 high-end movie collectibles.

Of course, 2012 has been all about superheroes, and thanks to the success of "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Avengers" and "The Amazing Spider-Man," the demand has been high for that piece of merchandise that will help fans treasure their movie memories.

Apart from the DVDs and Blu-rays of the films (and let's face it, if you're buying for a movie fan, they probably own them already), there are several ancillary products that are worth checking out.

Hasbro, which has the license to "The Avengers" toy line, has available the perfect vehicle/play set for its cool line of 3.75-inch action figures with its S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, which when fully assembled is a fun playground for Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury. Of course, no set of heroes would be complete without a set of villains to compliment them, so there are Loki and Chitauri figures to take on Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Also from Hasbro are 3.75-inch figures from "The Amazing Spider-Man," although the choices from the line are narrowed down to Spider-Man and The Lizard. The company has also produced the characters in different scales, including a 12-inch Motorized Web Shooting Spider-Man that shoots faux webs at a Lizard target. Spidey is also represented, along with oodles of other Marvel Universe heroes and villains, in the fun Bonka Zonks collectibles and online game.

Mattel is the toy licensee behind "The Dark Knight Rises," and the coolest offering in their line is without question their 6-inch Movie Masters line, which includes Batman, Bane, Catwoman, Officer John Blake, Ra's Al-Ghul and Bruce Wayne's loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth.

And apart from the fact that we're getting cool action figures of actors like Michael Caine, each figure comes with a piece where you can build Batman's Bat Signal -- which lights up, to boot.

If you're into the higher-end stuff, Sideshow Collectibles has both "The Avengers" and "The Dark Knight Rises" covered through its distribution partnership with 12-inch figure-maker Hot Toys.

Better yet, Hot Toys has also done vehicles for "The Dark Knight Rises," including a 12-inch scale Batpod and Tumbler (Batmobile).

Sideshow/Hot Toys has several movies licenses covered, and among their more recent releases are an impressive 18-inch tall figure of Jake Sully from "Avatar," and an amazing 12-inch scale figure of Sam Flynn on his lightcycle from "Tron: Legacy."

The great thing about Sideshow is that they also produced large scale "Premium Format" figures based on classic releases, including the granddaddy of sci-fi films with the "Star Wars" trilogy.

Among the coolest offerings is a piece that stands nearly 2 feet tall -- Han Solo, encased in Carbonite. The stand even lights up and the Carbonite block can light up with an orange glow to simulate the scene before Han is freed from his carbon-frozen state.

Like Sideshow, the National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA) is also a specialty figure-maker, and falls on the lower end of the price scale. If the figure collector you're shopping for is a Ridley Scott fan, the company is in the process of releasing its "Prometheus" line, starting with an Engineer and Engineer-suited 8-inch figures. They're great figural representations from a great sci-fi film.

Take a look these products and more in the cool movie toys for 2012 slideshow.