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Whether you're actually a kid or just a kid at heart, there's never been a better time to love amazing toys like the ones we cover at The Verge. Big toymakers are capitalizing on adults' disposable income and a recent wave of nostalgia for the '80s — the heyday of toys — like never before. Meanwhile, crowdfunding and 3D printers are letting tiny startups get in on the action as well.

Zuck just teased augmented reality Lego — and then made it vanish.

Tomorrow, Meta will explain why you should pay $500 for a Quest 3 at Meta Connect... and I’m starting to wonder if Lego will be part of the pitch. See the blocks in Zuck’s image below? They’ve got trademarked Lego logos on top!

But Zuck has since yanked his video, and Microsoft’s similar teases with Minecraft have yet to produce a killer app.

USB lightsaber. Separate rolling eyeballs.

What’s better than a Mandalorian Jedi? A USB-powered one, of course. Not only does Hot Toys’ 11-inch tall Sabine Wren action figure reach uncanny levels of photorealistic, her miniature lightsaber lights up green thanks to USB-powered LEDs.

Oh, and you can roll her eyes at Ahsoka. Pre-orders are $271, figures ship mid to late next year. This Obi-Wan figure might beat her to a USB lightsaber by a few months, though.


Maybe this’ll make sense in Stranger Things Season 5?

Dart Zone is about to sell a pair of Stranger Things themed blasters — one fires darts out of a mini Demogorgon head that opens when you squeeze the trigger, the other out of a foam baseball bat covered in nails. That sounds safe! (FWIW, the nails are squishy.)

Guessing it’s just a cash-in, but maybe Season 5 will see the group wield such gadgetry? Here’s hoping.

The most over-the-top USB-C docking station I’ve seen — stuffed into a miniature Mac.

In a world full of swiss-army-knife 14-in-1 docking stations, how do you make yours stand out?

RayCue’s formula: it’s also a digital photo frame... and a Bluetooth speaker... and charges both your phone and laptop... and comes with a secondary “keyboard” hub... and most importantly, lets you stick SD cards into a tiny Mac’s floppy slot.

The best price ever on Nerf’s second-best blaster.

It’s no longer the pinnacle of official Nerf — that’s the new $120 Stryfe X — but this 50-round Perses is an absolute steal at $35 from Walmart, and a better choice for indoors.

A full-auto blaster with battery and charger for $35? Unheard of. I was jazzed when this thing hit $50. Tempted to buy another.

Note: If you buy something from these links, we might get affiliate revenue.

Nerf Rival Perses.
Nerf Rival Perses.
Image: Hasbro
The best price yet on Lego’s awesome Back to the Future DeLorean set.

Lego did the DeLorean right in 2022 — with light-up flux capacitor, wheels that flip into hover mode, a tiny Mr. Fusion with a banana to throw inside, and much much more.

It’s $160 at Amazon and Walmart, the best price I’ve seen — $10 cheaper than its pre-inflation pricetag. $170 at Target, too.

Note: If you buy something from these links, we might get affiliate revenue.


Scan your Lego for (potentially) thousands of dollars in Lego points.

Lego VIP is now “Lego Insiders,” unifying other accounts in the process. It’s still a free signup to get first dibs on new sets and collect points.

But now, you can get points for existing sets — just 20 per instruction manual QR code you scan with your phone, which seems a tad stingy — and there’s an AR treasure hunt where you can scan a brick to potentially win $9,000 worth (in nine countries), tho it’s not working for me right now.

Nerf is joining the modern era with the best official blaster ever made

The Nerf Pro Stryfe X: the most legit Nerf has been in years.

Hasbro sells eOne to Lionsgate for $500 million as it prioritizes Peppa Pig and Transformers.

From today’s announcement:

The sale will include a talented team of employees, a content library of nearly 6,500 titles, active productions for non-Hasbro owned IP like The Rookie, Yellowjackets and Naked and Afraid franchises, and the eOne unscripted business, which will include rights for certain Hasbro-based shows like Play-Doh Squished.

And as Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks explained in March on Decoder, the IP that’s staying is the stuff that leads to selling more toys:’s natural that we would have entertainment and help to execute entertainment for Transformers. We want to make sure that we retain those capabilities, whether it’s live-action movies or kids’ animated TV shows. 

Naked and Afraid, the reality TV show, is probably not going to do an action figure, at least not one that would ship at Walmart. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris Monopoly is probably not going to be a huge business opportunity for that.

Lego, do the right thing: sell this amazing bicycle with working drivetrain and brakes.

On July 7th, SleepyCow’s bike finally hit 10,000 supporters on Lego Ideas, which means Lego’s gotta decide whether to produce it. While most Ideas are based on existing IP, we do get some mechanical gems like the Typewriter or working Fresnel lighthouse.

Bikes aren’t just our nostalgic past, though — they’re the future too! But almost every “bike” Lego sells today is a motorbike, and it only recently began including bike lanes.

The Ghost, from Ahsoka and Rebels, is now the biggest Star Wars action figure spaceship toy ever.

Imagine a smaller symmetrical Millennium Falcon, with its own detachable secondary spaceship. Now imagine paying $500 to crowdfund it before September 6th for a fall 2024 release.

It’s nearly three feet long, over two feet wide and over a foot tall, with all kinds of removable panels and landing gear, a detailed bridge and crew quarters, and of course a Dejarik table. Tested got hands-on at SDCC.

The best toy of Princess Leia’s robot Lola is on a $20 clearance sale.

I wasn’t about to drop $90 on this super-cute animatronic toy from the Kenobi show — but $19.93 on a “Last Act: Final Sale” at Macy’s or the same price at Amazon? Sold.

Here’s a good look at how it works, and a slightly deeper dive with the designers.

Note: If you buy something from these links, we might get affiliate revenue.

This Barbie is a feminist parable fighting to be great in spite of Mattel’s input

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is often good and sometimes great, but it always feels like it’s fighting to be itself rather than the movie Warner Bros. and Mattel Films want.

It’s the journey, not the destination.

Lego builds are endlessly fascinating and they get far more complicated, but I fully respect this person’s dedication to creating a small device for the sole purpose of lining up Lego-made dominoes.

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One of Nerf’s best basic blasters at its best price ever.

No doubt inspired by Nerf community mods, the Motoblitz is the first official Nerf rifle with a built-in underbarrel shotgun. Everything you need for indoor foam warfare in a single package, for an unheard-of $15 clearance price from Amazon and Walmart.

For longer-range play, Out of Darts sells a full modkit.

Note: If you buy something from these links, we might get affiliate revenue.

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The Internet Archive is hosting instructions for thousands of Lego sets.

Did you know you can freely download instructions for loads of Lego? The Lego Group has its own searchbox, and the Internet Archive now hosts an easily browsable backup of 6,854 sets (via Hacker News).

Neither has my childhood favs yet, but Lego’s scanning in new instructions all the time — you can already recreate the Black Seas Barracuda or the valuable Cloud City sets. Bricklink fan designs have downloadable instructions too.

Steven Spielberg is getting his very own Jurassic Park action figure

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Jurassic Park Mattel is launching a whole new slew of action figures, and besides the ones you’d expect (sweaty Malcolm in the back of a Jeep, a Brachiosaurus) there’s also some unexpected ones. Including this Steven Spielberg figure that includes a little camera, chair, and murderous dinosaur. Unfortunately you’ll have to physically be at SDCC this year to get your hands on the little guy.


Image by Mattel
Last chance to vote on these limited-edition Lego sets.

Papa wants an Exoplanet Explorer to go along with the reimagined OG spaceship. You’ll help me out, right? Or maybe a literal sub sandwich shop. Or a working desk fan. Or an amazing arcade. Or a gorgeous train station. You’ve got till 12PM PT June 30th to vote on your fan-designed favs.

Here are the previous winners.

Brent Waller’s Exoplanet Explorer. He also designed the arcade that’s up for voting.
Brent Waller’s Exoplanet Explorer. He also designed the arcade that’s up for voting.
Photo: WallerCustoms
Oh god, Furby’s back.

It’s been roughly a quarter of a century since Furby made its debut in the late 90s, and Hasbro thinks it’s time for a comeback (well, another one that is). It’s announcing a new version of the interactive toy today that can respond to “hugs, pats, belly tickles, shaking, and feeding of its pretend Pizza Charm” and has “over 600 responses to discover.”

Two Furbys sit next to one another.
Image: Hasbro
Link... you must find these other Tears of the Kingdom Amiibo.

“Holiday 2023” could mean any number of specific dates, but the key to getting your hands on these choice Zelda and (hot) Ganon Tears of the Kingdom Amiibo whenever they release is probably going to be having the wherewithal to place a preorder.

Or, you know, to have an uncle working at Nintendo.

Lego remade the Eldorado Fortress from 1989.

This was one of my “sets that got away,” so I’m overjoyed it’s coming back — particularly now it’s composed of several modular islands with their own secret underground passages instead of a single rigid baseplate. (You can “unfold” it kind of like the Lion Knights’ Castle.)

It’s coming July 7th for $215, and I can’t wait to pair it with Lego’s Black Seas Barracuda remake when I find the cash.

Video: Lego, GIF by The Verge
Go vote on new Lego sets?

The second round of voting in Lego’s 2023 BrickLink Designer Program has just begun, meaning another chance for you to help Lego pick five fan-designed sets to produce. Fingers crossed for the Sub Sandwich Shop to shine this time! I would also happily own a Galactic Medical Transport or this mobile-home-on-a-big-rig, though.

Lego Hocus Pocus.

The latest fan design to become an official Lego set: The Sanderson Sisters’ cottage from Hocus Pocus. It’s a little less spacious than the original Lego Ideas submission, but still sure to put a spell on a certain persuasion of grown-up ‘90s kids! It’s $230, coming July 4th. Yes, Mary can fly the vacuum.

All I have in this world is my Zapper and my word.

Smashing two nostalgic properties together is an easy win, but Duane Shoots Toys did it in hard mode earlier this year by meticulously recreating a miniature version of the finale of Scarface... and making Tony Montana play Duck Hunt.

I guess it’s true: every dog, even Nintendo’s 40-year old good boy, has his day.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is the start of something big, but it’s a terrible Beast Wars movie

Paramount’s new Transformers feature barely capitalizes on Beast Wars’ Maximals, but the action-packed movie has a couple of surprises sure to please a certain kind of fan.