Whether they’re soaring through the sky, making their home in a high-tech subterranean lair, or saving the day just in the nick of time, kids love superheroes because they represent the forces of good. It’s impossible to miss the proliferation of superhero toys available for kids, which can make choosing hard for parents who are on the hunt for durable, enjoyable toys that won’t break the bank.
We’ve taken the hard work out of peeping the options, and we’ve come to the rescue with a list of the best superhero toys for kids as well as a guide to choosing one that’s perfect for your kiddo. Check it out — no x-ray vision required!
In this article:
What factors should I consider when buying a superhero toy for my child?
- Who is their favorite superhero?: Whether it’s an iconic favorite like Superman or Batman or a more obscure pick, a toy or set that includes their favorite hero will mean more and get a lot more use than a superhero toy chosen at random. Knowing their favorite movies, shows, and characters can make it much easier to know the right hero toy for your kiddo when you see it.
- How old are they?: Superheroes can be appealing to kids of all ages, but your child’s age may limit the types of toys they’re interested in or able to use. Younger kids may get more enjoyment out of plushies and costumes, while older kids would rather gravitate toward detailed action figures, video games, comics, chapter books, and board games. When all else fails, simply checking the recommended age for a toy will help you be sure it’s appropriate and safe for your child.
- Is the toy durable?: Little is more frustrating for both parents and kids than unboxing a toy, only to quickly have to return it or throw it away when it breaks or stops working. Superhero toys are often used in rugged play, especially outside, so it’s important that they be well made and stand up to repeated use.
- Is the toy safe?: Safety is always the first priority when it comes to choosing toys for our kids. In order to make sure you’re choosing a superhero toy that’s safe, make sure it’s made out of a kid-safe material like non-toxic plastic or cloth, and that it’s made for kids in your child’s age range. Beyond that, making sure it’s intended as a toy for play and not just a display item is also part of keeping your kiddo safe.
- Does it provide developmental opportunities?: When it comes to choosing toys for younger children, it’s wise to focus on picks that offer up opportunities for developmental improvement. Hand-eye coordination, motor skill development, spatial reasoning, and problem solving, among others, are developmental skills that can be boosted and fostered by choosing the right picks — those that prompt movement and include puzzles that aren’t guided are developmentally beneficial. Older kids have fewer developmental needs, but still benefit from toys that encourage use of their gross motor skills and critical thinking abilities.
What are some superhero toys that are alternatives to collectible figurines?
While some superhero-loving kids are content to collect every figurine they can get their hands on, figurines aren’t appealing to every kid. In fact, once kids get past the age of regularly engaging in pretend play, action figures tend to get left in the toy box. If your child is too old for or uninterested in collectible figurines, here are some alternatives they may find appealing.
- Board games: If you’re not an enthusiast, you may not be aware that there are board games out there for just about every franchise you can imagine, including your kids’ favorite superheroes. If they love to gather around the table for family game night or a competition with friends, a superhero board game might just be their perfect pick — it adds a positive social element to their play experience.
- Video games: It can be hard to part older kids from their game systems, but now that online multiplayer modes are so prevalent, gaming is a more social experience than ever for kids. If they’re glued to their controller, a superhero title with their favorite action heroes may be more captivating now than the figures they played with when they were younger.
- Soft plushes: Toddlers and little ones who might not be ready for action-packed video games, complicated board games, and figurines with accessories that pose a choking hazard are likely to enjoy a soft plush alternative. There are lots of stuffies representing beloved heroes, and a buddy to snuggle is a great superhero companion for a younger child that needs a safe way to rep their faves.
- Outdoor themed toys: Staying active is an important part of childhood at any age, and kids that may be a little too old to play with figurines can still get enjoyment out of outdoor themed toys that feature their favorite heroes. There’s plenty of outdoor sports equipment themed after iconic franchises, so keep your eye out in the athletic department for picks your older kids will dig.
- Costumes: Dressing up and taking on new roles is a huge part of creative play for younger kids — it’s important to their development of communication skills, especially empathy. If they’re a bit too young for action figures, dressing up as their favorite hero will let them take on the role during imaginative play, which is both fun and developmentally beneficial.
Our top picks for the best superhero toys
A good action figure is big enough to be fun, durable enough to hold up to play, and has features that encourage kids to get creative. This 12″ Batman Figurine (check price on Amazon) fits the bill entirely, featuring 11 points of articulation including movable knees, elbows, shoulders, hips, neck, and legs.
His suit is true to the most recent Justice League films, including his updated power suit and highly-detailed gloves. He’s a great addition to a DC fan’s action figure collection, inspiring creative play and encouraging storytelling that’s important to kids’ cognitive development.
What We Love: This extra-durable Batman figurine has multiple points of articulation, making it easier to use him in storytelling play and pose him for display
Whether they’re building a display collection or telling their own high-action stories, kids who dig superhero action figures will find a lot to love in the Marvel Avengers Action Figures (check price on Amazon) official Ultimate Protectors Pack. The set includes 8 six-inch figures, including Iron Man, Hulk, Black Panther, Spider Man, Captain America, War Machine, Falcon, and Daredevil.
The articulated figures feature movie-inspired designs, looking just like the heroes they love watching on the big screen, and make a great addition to creative storytelling play. The set also includes accessories, like Cap’s shield, that complete the iconic ensemble of some of the heroes.
What we love
- This set of eight action figures features eight of Marvel’s most iconic heroes as well as some of their accessories — and for older kids who are collectors, it makes a great in-box addition to a display collection
- While the figures stand on their own, they do not have bendable joints, so they cannot be moved and posed like some action figures
Best Hero Playset
Gotham City and Metropolis, side by side? In this canon, both need to be saved by the Super Friends and your kiddo! The Imaginext Super Hero Flight City (check price on Amazon) features a remote-control powered helicopter jetpack as well as four power pads for launching the enclosed Batman and Superman mini-figures from one town to the other.
One of the pads even allows 360 degree movement for even more thrilling action. There are also moving trap doors, jails, and an elevator that really functions, offering multi-level play that keeps kids engaged, encourages creative storytelling play, and facilitates the use of small motor skills.
What We Love: They’ll have tons of fun launching the mini-figures between Gotham and Metropolis, and there’s plenty of opportunities for them to use their imagination and tell stories with the set
Best Matching Game
Matching games are great for improving cognitive skills and helping kids to boost their focusing abilities, and the addition of their favorite heroes from the Marvel Comics Universe adds extra incentive to tackle this classic memory game. 72 cards in matching pairs are featured in the Marvel Matching Game (check price on Amazon) deck, all of which have colorful images of beloved heroes on one side with the game’s blue logo on the other.
To play, all they need to do is arrange the cards in a grid. On their turn, they’ll flip over two cards — when a match is made, those cards are removed. Players can take turns matching until all cards are eliminated, or one player can attempt the game solo for a round of memory-boosting play.
What We Love: Memory games are great for encouraging cognitive development and improving focus, and this one makes it even more fun by adding MCU characters
Best Hero Video Game
Superhero-loving gamers will be eager to dig into this title. The Lego: Marvel Super Heroes (check price on Amazon) which features their favorite Marvel heroes personified in LEGO brick as they take on Loki and a host of other familiar villains from the comic universe.
The action RPG lets kids take on the role of Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine, and other beloved heroes as they make their way through a LEGO-built version of New York City featuring familiar locales like Stark Tower, the X-Mansion, a Hydra Base, and others. Up to four players can enjoy the game, which is available for XBox 360 and is appropriate for kids ages 10 and up.
What we love
- They’ll get to take on the role of their favorite Marvel heroes in an action-packed game full of humorous twists
- There’s no physical play element here, and it may be too complicated and violent for kids who are under 10
Best Superhero Themed Bike
Balance bikes are great picks for younger riders who aren’t quite ready for pedals, as they allow riders to acclimate to the feeling of balancing on a real bike but feature a wide wheel base and low seat design that allows for safe self-propulsion. The classic wooden Kinderfeets Retro Superman Themed Balance Bike (check price on Amazon) features a cool retro comic superhero illustration emblazoned on its main body piece, as well as fun onomatopoeia like “pow!” and “zap!” often seen in those old-school page turners.
The sturdy foot pegs encourage riders to balance on the bike, and thick black rubber tires and handlebars offer a stable ride and comfortable grip.
What we love
- It offers a balancing experience that’s truer to a real bike than tricycles or training wheels, and the retro superhero design is perfect for comic-loving kids
- The superhero that’s featured is a generic illustration, not an identifiable hero like Batman or Superman
Best Hero Building Set
Building sets are great toy picks for kids — they’re legitimately fun, they offer projects that will keep them productively occupied at length, they have an end result that’s satisfying, and they promote focus, spatial reasoning, and critical thinking skills. With the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Avengers (check price on Amazon) which features 674 Piece kit, they’ll tackle the construction of Thanos’ ultimate battle starship from the beloved Guardians of the Galaxy film series.
Mini-figures of Marvel favorites like Gamora, Star-Lord, and Iron Man are included with the orange and silver starship-building kit, and the kit, as always, is compatible with the rest of the LEGO play system.
What we love
- It’s a serious building project that’s great for kids over eight and features less-frequently-seen Guardians of the Galaxy mini-figures Star-Lord and Gamora
- It’s a big project, and it might be too overwhelming for kids under eight
Best Hot Wheels Collectibles
Kids who are working on a mighty toy car collection will love the addition of this set of five cool Avengers-themed Hot Wheels (check price on Amazon). The colorful cruisers include the iconic Batmobile as well as the rides used by Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Superman, and even Cyborg in the fan-favorite film series.
Each car has authentic detailing and features recognizable decals pairing it to its driver in the movie. Parents should note that while these cars are compatible with some larger Hot Wheels play sets, their more detailed and decorative body designs mean they won’t be able to be used with every set.
What we love
- Playing with toy cars is great for boosting small motor skills and encouraging creative play, and these detailed, collectible Hot Wheels feature an Avengers/Justice League theme that makes them even more fun
- Because their body designs are a bit more detailed, not every car can be used with other Hot Wheels playsets like racetracks and launchers
Best Spiderman Car
Playing with toy cars like Hot Wheels is a great activity for encouraging small motor skill development — it can also inspire imagination in kids, who like telling stories about what their cars are doing and where they’re going. This fun, speedy Hot Wheels Spiderman Web-Car Launcher (check price on Walmart) adds a unique twist to play, giving their Hot Wheels cars a powerful push with the red and black car-shaped launching device that’s based on Spidey’s new suit as featured in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The launcher can propel the white car that’s included, but it can also propel just about any other Hot Wheels car, and launching cars is as easy as pushing down on the spoiler.
What we love
- It adds a new, fun way to play with their existing Hot Wheels collection
- Larger, unusually shaped cars may not be able to be launched with this toy
Best Superhero Craft Kit
Dressing up in costumes and taking on roles during pretend play is an important part of childhood development. It’s how they work on some basic social skills, including communication and empathy. Taking on the role of a superhero is a lot of work, but your kiddo will be ready with the Jackinthebox Superhero DIY Dress up Art and Craft Kit (check price on eBay). With the items enclosed in the kit, they’ll be able to make their very own tie-on mask, hero cape, and wrist cuffs to don whilst saving the day.
It’s a mess-free craft kit, so they won’t need a special area to complete their project in, and each individual element of the costume is its own project, so there’s lots of crafting time for kids to enjoy.
What we love
- Not only will they be able to take on the role of a superhero, they’ll design their very own costume, adding touches that are unique to their style
- This kit isn’t modeled after a specific superhero, so if your kiddo is a bigger fan of a franchise than the hero concept in general, this might not be for them
Best Superhero Plush
For younger kids, having a soft superhero plush to hug and hold is a great way to represent their love of a hero — some action figures and plastic toys come with small, pointy parts that aren’t safe for young children. The squishy DC Batman Collectible Plush (check price on Walmart) has a friendly face and a soft plush body that’s soothing to the tough. At 10″ x 21″, he’s a big plush, making a satisfying cuddle buddy for toddlers during nap time and play time.
This stuffed Batman has durable stitching that allows him to stand up to repeated efforts to save the day, and can be spot cleaned if any of his adventures happen to get messy.
What We Love: The soft, safe, and durable construction of this plush makes him ideal for younger superhero fans, and he can be spot cleaned if necessary
Best Spidey Board Game
Chutes and Ladders is a classic board game for kids that requires minimal skill, making it a perfect pick for younger children. Players spin the dial, moving their piece the prescribed number of pieces; as they move, they hope to land on ladder spaces, which push them ahead. The alternative, chute spaces, put move them backwards for a less desirable outcome. The mechanics of the game are fairly simple to master, and the Marvel Spider-Man Chutes & Ladders Game (check price on Amazon) edition is a great addition to the collection of board game lovers who also enjoy Spidey and MCU.
The board and spinner feature iconic Marvel character designs, and the pawns include Spider-Man, Iron Spidey, Green Goblin, White Tiger, Black Cat, Power Man, Venom, and Rhino.
What we love
- It’s a twist on an old favorite, taking a game that’s perfect for family night with younger kids and incorporating Marvel superheroes the whole family will love
- While this game is a lot of fun for kids ages 3 – 7, older children tend to find it less interesting as it is entirely luck-based
Best Collectibles for Girls
Girl power takes on a whole new meaning with this triad of collectible female superheroes from the DC Super Hero Girls Collection (check price on Amazon). Here, Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, and Supergirl come together in a set of durable, articulated action figures that can be posed and adjusted for use in kids’ imaginative storytelling play.
Each character is dressed in an outfit that combines her classic film and comic wardrobe with elements of today’s most popular styles, like leggings, espadrilles, high tops, and collared tops. It’s a great set of action figures for girls who love heroes, whether it goes in the toy box or on display with other collector’s editions.
What We Love: It’s a trio of heroes that includes lots of female representation, which is great for young girls who look to characters they can identify with
Best Batcave Playset
Batcave is a hideout of legends. Packed with all of the secret stuff and high tech gadgets Bruce Wayne needs to maintain his secret crime-fighting alter ego. The Batman vs. Superman Ultimate Batcave Playset (check price on Walmart) features a detailed bat computer, a garage for the Batmobile, a trap door to capture enemy invaders, an escape chamber to get out on the double, and, of course, the iconic bat signal which shines out on Gotham city when there’s trouble to be stopped.
This massive playset is over four feet tall, and features twelve removable weapons in the armory. A Bruce Wayne/Batman action figure is also included to get play started, but other action figures can easily be included when playing creatively with this large set.
What We Love: It’s absolutely massive, offering room to play with not only the enclosed Batman action figure but others in their collection
Best for Display
Brilliant psychologist Dr. Harleen Quinzel, better known to some fans as Harley Quinn (check price on Amazon) , could be considered an antihero or a super-villain depending on the story being told. That said, she’s still one of the DC Universe’s most well-known and liked characters, and she’s seen here in a Mattel-styled 12″ action figure clad in an outfit that blends her traditional harlequin colors and style with modern trends like leggings, high tops, and button downs.
Her blonde pigtails, which can really be brushed and styled, feature stylish red and blue streaks. She can be bent and posed for play or display, and is accompanied by a sizable mallet weapon that can be held in her hands.
What we love
- For girls who love both Barbie and Harley, this figure is a blend of both worlds and styles
- Although it’s clearly evocative of Harley Quinn’s style, this figure doesn’t look much like most other representations of the character
And our winner is…
Action figures make great elements in childhood storytelling play, and sets like Marvel Avengers Action Figures (check price on Amazon) include lots of popular characters can conveniently populate their narrative world with only one purchase. This set includes a proliferation of fan favorites, and though they’re not able to be posed, they stand on their own and look great on display both boxed and unboxed.