PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Gift Guide: INVICTA Challenge: Flash & Thunder


91TFPlObWFL._SL1500_Your PopCulteer and his wife saw the prototype for this product at the New York International Toy Fair last February, and we were mightily impressed. Designed to inspire boys the way that the American Girl dolls inspire girls, the INVICTA Challenge presents a game, a “choose your own adventure” Graphic Novel and an action figure, all combined into one big package, loaded with play value and educational content.

Released just in time to mark Veteran’s Day, Flash & Thunder tells the true story of a Native American paratrooper on D-Day. Kids take the challenge as Turner Turnbull, a young lieutenant in the 82nd Airborne, in this action-packed game. The player makes the decisions he faced on D-Day-and determines history.

81v+ZeinNeL._SL1500_Flash & Thunder includes an operations packet, 2 detailed maps, 108-page graphic novel and collectible paratrooper figure, which all tie in with a free-to-play mobile game.

The game includes: 15 card Operations Packet 2 detailed maps and a 108-page graphic novel “Mission.” The graphic novel Mission is written in a “reader chooses-the-outcome” format, allowing kids to make the decisions that determine the story’s outcome.

A detailed 6-inch paratrooper figure sculpted by the Four Horsemen Studios completes the package, and is sure to attract plenty of collector interest.

To play Flash & Thunder: Kids first examine their Operations Packet and maps. Using that information, they then complete the graphic novel Mission, in which they make decisions determining mission failure or success. Next, kids can download the free mobile strategy game. If they’ve read their Operations Packet, maps, and Mission, winning the video game is a snap.

This is an action-packed highly visual and historically accurate gaming experience that can get kids interested in reading and history. Despite the idea of being a male version of American Girl, this is a worthwhile toy for girls with an interest in military history, too. It’s recommended for ages 8 to 14, and can be found online at Amazon and in stores at Barnes and Noble. Just as we went to press, we discovered that you can also find it at The National World War II Museum and other locations.