Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Starter Pack

Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Starter Pack

Fall 2015 Toys
Ages: 6 & Up
Price: $119.99

My boys -- and myself, actually -- are pretty big superhero fans. Though they haven't seen any of the blockbuster movies, they know Captain America, Iron Man and the others from comics and animated tv shows. This toy gives them a chance to play with the characters in an immersive way, while moving, dodging, and running.

Billed as smart objects, the components of the starter pack include one Iron Man repulsor wrist-gear, two Marvel Universe Characters, and two power activators (digital platforms that hold the character figures, have speakers and light up). As soon as kids slip the Repulsor wrist-gear on, it speaks to them, encouraging them to move, flick, jump, turn and press buttons to hear more details of their missions. The power activator senses the character and responds with prompts. Players may be prompted to point the repulsor towards the villain, and/or to move left or jump to the side to avoid being "shot". When a villain has been defeated, the power activator lights up and jettisons the character, making it clear he has been defeated. Accomplish one simple challenge, and be rewarded with another more complicated one. Mostly, it's just shoot the character and avoid getting 'shot', but the story keeps it fresh.

Unfortunately, it's hard for them to share this set. Not because the kids don't want to share, but because only one can wear the extremely cool repulsor gear. All three devices make noises and have narration, so to preserve the family's sanity it's probably best used as an active outdoor toy. Bottom line? For Marvel superhero fans, it's a fun way to encourage pretend play, in a way that gives kids a little exercise.

Barbara Chamberlin   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Barbara Chamberlin researches and develops educational software and media at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. She and her husband have two boys.

Look for this product at:
Disney Consumer Products

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