Summer movies' hottest action figures
As the summer movie season begins, so does the collecting -- and the playroom conundrum: Open the box and you automatically lose at least 50 percent of the toy's resale value. ''That's one of the sad realities,'' says Steven Moreno, owner of River City Toys in Round Rock, Tex. In addition to mint condition, he says, ''the key to a lot of collectible toys and what makes them so valuable is the low production [runs] and how difficult they are to find.'' But who cares about that when you can be spraying fake blood on a mini-Uma Thurman? We take the toys out of the box so you don't have to.
ALIEN VS. PREDATOR Plushies of death include one with a pop-out second mouth ($14.99). Play Value: 3 (out of 5)
KILL BILL The Crazy 88s ($9.99) spurt blood from sinewy stubs! Play Value: 5 The Bride ($9.99) sports an eerie likeness but no tricks. Play Value: 1
SPIDERMAN 2 An 18" Spidey ($24.99) with 67 points of articulation? Yes! Play Value: 4
VAN HELSING Hottie Hugh Jackman's 12" doppelganger ($19.99) has spinning tojo blades. Play Value: 2
Frankenstein's Monster ($19.99) has a glowing heart. Play Value: 4