Enter--the Helicarrier!

Sometimes something gets made that one just must have. That thing for our household this holiday season is a toy I never expected anyone to make, despite it's unalloyed coolness: the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier! A fixture in the Marvel Universe from it's first appearance in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's uniquely-Marvel answer to the sixties spy craze, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.*, the Helicarrier rose to greatest prominence in the late-seventies 24-issue Marvel Godzilla comic book, as it and various of Nick's supporting agents pursued the great Toho monster across the Marvel universe:

Like so many supporting elements of that comic book universe, however--the Warriors Three, Zabu the sabertooth from the prehistoric Savage Land, Stegron the Dinosaur Man, the Prowler--it's charms always seemed appreciated by too small an audience to ever expect to see it brought to any kind of three-dimensional life. The success of the 'deformed' Super Hero Squad mini action figures line, however, has led to an animated TV series starring same...and a centerpiece therein is their 'flying headquarters,' which has been incarnated as a centerpiece toy for the Christmas season. And though it's name may have changed, and it's design been 'kiddified' consistent with the source--make no mistake that under the garish colours and superdeformed proportions is...the greatness of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier!

Fortunately, this household happens to have an eight-year-old boy who loves his superdeformed superheroes, who will be profiting from his father's decades-long Helicarrier mania this Christmas.

*--and S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law Enforcement Division, no matter what irremediably more idiotic and less memorable moniker current deconstructionist Marvel talent insists on rebranding upon it; Stan Lee said that's what S.H.I.E.L.D. means, and that's the end of the conversation, for me.