Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9’s roundup of the latest toy news. This week, Lego begins teasing its plans for 2023 with a bevy of Star Wars sets and a smooth jazz celebration, Chainsaw Man merch mania continues with everyone’s favorite blood fiend, and Hot Toys heads back to Attack of the Clones. Check it out!
It’s official, your minifigures have a more active social life than you do with the latest addition to Lego’s modular building series. The 2,899-piece, $230 Jazz Club is absolutely hopping with activity with a trio of performers in the club itself, a tailor keeping the band looking spiffy, a magician to warm up the crowd, a pizza shop next door for late night noshing, and even a rooftop garden with a greenhouse ensuring the chef works with only the freshest ingredients. The set comes with eight minifigures in total, and will be officially available starting January 4.
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Hot Toys returns to the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy with a duo: Anakin and Padmé as they appear in Attack of the Clones. They’re available as individual figures. Anakin comes with two light up lightsabers, complete with swappable swinging blade FX pieces, alternate hands, and a removable outer robe, as well as an alternate arm to replicate his robotic hand after his duel with Count Dooku. Padmé meanwhile has both her holdout blaster pistol as well as a Battle Droid blaster like the one she picks up in the arena battle, alternate hands, and a removable cloak and hat, the latter of which is inspired by one unused in the movie, but that would eventually appear in the Clone Wars cartoon. Both Anakin and Padmé are set for release in early 2024. [Toyark]
Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas may be the only holiday special to owe its popularity to what wasn’t included in the final product: a series of hilarious outtakes the Jim Henson Company shared over a decade ago which quickly went viral. Whether it was an intentional stroke of marketing genius or not, Emett Otter’s adventures are now a Christmas staple for many families, and also now a set of five-inch figures of Emmett and his Ma with matching accessories from the special that originally aired 45 years ago. You can pre-order the pair now for $60, but don’t expect them to arrive until Christmas 2023 rolls around.
If you love building Lego Star Wars spaceships but don’t love shelling out hundreds of dollars for elaborately detailed sets, the microfighter line will certainly scratch that itch without wiping out an entire paycheck. Most of the ships in this line look like cartoonish go-karts from a racing game, but Lego’s designers have done a great job at unbiggening Boba Fett’s Starship with this $10, 85-piece build that includes a pair of flick-fired missiles and a minifigure of the bounty hunter himself.
To go alongside its recent solicitation for Denji in his Chainsaw Devil form, Bandai has now revealed its second Chainsaw Man Figuarts in the form of the maniacal blood fiend herself, Power. Power comes with alternate hands and emotive faceplates, and two weapons: her usual handheld blood hammer, and a giant sized one. She even has her pet cat Nyako/Meowy too! She’s expected to release in summer 2023.
Star Wars is a big part of why Lego is still going strong today, and while the company has recreated and rereleased countless sets from that line over the years, it’s been 19 years since it’s revisited the TIE Bomber from The Empire Strikes Back. This 625-piece, $65 TIE Bomber sticks to more accurate black and gray bricks, with a redesigned cockpit element that opens to reveal room for a pilot inside. It includes a pair of stud shooters, torpedoes that can be dropped, a Gonk droid, and three minifigures: Vader, a pilot, and Vice Admiral Sloane who hasn’t appeared in any of the Star Wars movies, but countless books, comics, and video games.
As with a lot of novelty items dating back to the ‘80s, the Chia Pet has managed to stick around for decades by leveraging pop culture and the nostalgia of those who grew up with “the pottery that grows.” The latest version is a far cry from the original ram and bull you’d cover in soaked chia seeds and wait for plants to grow, with a bust of Pee-wee Herman, one of the most recognizable personalities of the ‘80s. Nothing has changed with how the Chia Pet works; with diligent care Pee-wee should grow a full head of hair in just a couple weeks, but you might have to explain to your teenager who the weird guy with the bowtie is.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.