My son has been playing with these Imaginext toys now for about a year. They say they're ages 3-8 and come in everything from DC to Transformers to pirates to knights to... well, you get the point. When my son became somewhat obsessed with the DC Universe, he had to have everything that he considered to be a "Batman toy", which is what he refers to this Imaginext line as. Oddly enough, Playskool does have a similar line for the Marvel superheroes as well as Star Wars characters and, yes, we even have some of those.
The fun thing about Imaginext is that it has been around for so long that they don't really release new toys anymore as much as just re-release them in waves. When we first started collecting, the two pack of Plastic Man and Martian Manhunter was on pegs at just about every Target. Then it disappeared for a while. And now it's back. So this time around, we bought it because hunting down most of these figures became a lot of the fun of it all. From The Joker and Harley Quinn to Scarecrow and Poison Ivy, it's always fun walking into a store and seeing someone we don't have yet and maybe didn't even know existed to add to our collection. (If anything, it has given my son a strong understanding of the DC Universe)
On top of this, we still somehow manage to find a number of Imaginext toys at our local Savers for a fraction of what they cost at mass retail. We paid maybe $4 for the Gotham City Jail playset at Savers and then went and saw it in mass retail for closer to $30. So I definitely must recommend looking second hand for some of the larger playsets and vehicles because we've only bought a few of them at mass retail but mostly we just save mass retail for the figures. We did also get Mr. Freeze with his freeze chamber and The Penguin with his Penguin Sub at Big Lots, so there is also that nice in between there also.
But wait, there's more. Not all of the Imaginext toys live in the DC Universe. So we've had fun collecting other figures that might be from various sets we aren't entirely certain of and giving them their own back stories and my son really decides whether or not they're good guys or bad guys. Additionally, Imaginext does a series of blind bag figures which most recently featured a clown that is great as a henchman for The Joker. It's just kind of crazy how you can kind of mix these guys around- pull a character from here or there who is kind of generic and turn him into an arch enemy of Superman.
Our most saught after set was Slade and Nightwing, which it took us this long to finally find at mass retail, and now we're to the point where we have just about all of the characters the DC Universe has to offer. We also managed to find Solomon Grundy, who was perhaps more for me than for my son, but hey, he has watched YouTube videos about him. From wizards to helicopters to space aliens to pirates, Imaginext really has a lot of crazy characters to offer up and they can be one of the best resources for a child in terms of creativity and imagination.
I've written about them before in other reviews, but I feel like we've reached a peak now with this Slade/Nightwing set and now if/when we do get some more maybe I will give them individual reviews (and not just because I saw online that the Mighty Morphin-freakin'-Power Rangers are coming into the line) because I'm just really starting to appreciate them myself now. Initially, we bought The Flash in a two pack with Aquaman but if I had to give you my advice I'd say buy Aquaman with the shark and get The Flash with Hawkman because otherwise you might not be able to find him. We were fortunate enough to find a loose Hawkman in a Savers grab bag,
There is no real method though for what to buy and what not to buy based upon the way Imaginext releases them. After we brought Solomon Grundy home, I found a pack online that contains him with a few other figures, one of which seems to be the only way to get Ra's Al Ghul. But there are other figures in there we already have, so would we have bought it just for Ra's Al Ghul? Probably not. We bought one of those sets in the beginning with Gorilla Grodd (who is available by himself as well) and it had Cyborg in it, so now we're stuck not buying a Cyborg/Red Tornado pack, still waiting for that day we find a Red Tornado solo, so you just have to make some of these tough decisions for yourself.