How'd you like to buy the best Indiana Jones toy of the year? Well, you can't. The only way to collect this Lost Ark of the Covenant is by collecting Indy and his friends first.
Indiana Jones figures have been a long time coming, but with the release of the fourth film in the series, Hasbro finally began producing a ton of fun tie-ins.
The neatest thing about the Hasbro figures, though, is the two replicas that go with them, which can't be bought in stores. Collect stamps from the four 12-inch figures you can buy, send them with $9.99 to Hasbro, wait several anxious months, and (while supplies last) you'll be greeted at the door by the delivery of a 1:6 scale Lost Ark that, despite the hoops you had to jump through, is worth the 27-year wait!
Gilded all-round with gold chromed plastic, this box is awesome, and it comes with poles that fit into carry slots. It looks fabulous next to the 12-inch Indy. This has been, if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor, a Holy Grail for toy collectors for decades.
Those who prefer the 3.5-inch figures (and there are now many to choose from) can send in six stamps with $5.99 and wait a similar number of weeks. They'll be rewarded with a 5.5-inch (3.5-inch scale) Crystal Skeleton, complete with Aztec-like throne.
And to add to the authenticity of these collectibles, both come in boxes printed like the wooden crates we see stored in the mysterious warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Caveat emptor: When Hasbro released its first line of Indiana figures, the deadline to turn in stamps was November 2008. They extended that date to December 2008 with the second release, and we haven't yet heard whether there will be a third similar extension. Like Indy himself, they seem to be making it up as they go along.
In any event, keep your fingers crossed in hopes that if we want the idol, they'll throw us the whip. Or better yet ... check eBay, but expect to pay an Ark-load of cash for collectibles from private sellers' collections. We wouldn't normally dangle something in front of you that isn't easily gettablebut these are just too cool to pass up.