Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Toy Fair 2012 : Mighty Marvel Action Figures

We can already call 2012 a golden age for Marvel Comics action figures! Not since Toy Biz had lines on the pegs for Fantastic Four, X-Men, Generation X, Ghost Rider, Iron Man and Hulk have we seen so much plastic awesomeness available for purchase all at once. This year, Diamond Select dishes out a heaping helping of Marvel Select action figures from Marvel movies and comics alike while Hasbro continues their expansive Marvel Universe line alongside Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man movie figures and the triumphant return of 6 inch MARVEL LEGENDS!! Here's a look at what you'll be blowing all your paychecks on...

Let's go from largest to smallest...

Marvel Select continue their action figure domination of comic shops. Honestly, is there anything more impressive hanging in your local geekatorium? On tap for 2012 are...

Marvel Select Green Goblin - February 22
Marvel Select Hulk - April
Marvel Select Iron Man Mark VI (re-issue) - April
Marvel Select Hawkeye - May
Marvel Select Mystery Foe - May (It's NOT a Skrull!)
Marvel Select Spider-Man - June
Marvel Select Lizard - June
Marvel Select Ultron - August
Marvel Select Storm - August
Marvel Select Nightcrawler - Winter

Hawkeye and the Mystery Foe have interconnecting bases. Hulk has no base because he is MASSIVE! In the Amazing Spider-Man and Lizard images, note that they are made to scale. Lizard should be that big in the film! Everyone is still MUM on the SWAT Lizards. We are told Nightcrawler will have a more elaborate base with the BAMF effect and something else involved. Marvel Select has seen a ton of success with their characters which fall into a 6 inch scale, which is to say larger monsters and such which, in their true 7 inch scale (sometimes spilling into 8 inches), tower over a 6 inch Marvel Legend. For this reason, it is frustrating for fans to see Marvel Select continually tackle human sized characters. Finally getting a comic accurate Ultron? Beyond awesome. A classic Storm to add to your X-Men set up? While I see the reasoning behind her, as they've been building this team for some time, all I can think of when I see her is how much more awesome figures like Abomination, Hulk and Juggernaut are and how killer it would be to have characters like Luke Cage, Destroyer, Dragon Man, Blastaar, etc added to our collections. Diamond only has to impress comic shop owners. Making characters Toys R Us buyers would recognize just seems like a wasted opportunity.

End of rant! ..until the next one of course.

Moving on, we have the return of Hasbro to the world of proper 6 inch action figures. Sure, they've thrown us a pile of repainted Iron Man figures and the odd movie related item, but not since the last two packs hit the shelves of Toys R Us have we had a line to be excited about. ...and if the first series of Marvel Legends is indicative of what we can expect moving forward, fans can continue to wait to get excited. Tonight, I bought my first two new Marvel Legends. I can honestly say I picked these up out of some dorky sense of urgency to build Terrax, a character I've been demanding for years. What I returned home with is an unremarkable, undersized Stealth Extremis Iron Man and Klaw with very little paint, a re-used body and a slightly warped weapon arm, making him look like a 50's era scifi alien...all for the low low price of $38.50. I am surely the idiot here, as I brought these up to the counter of my own free will and paid the ridiculous price, but shouldn't either Toys R Us or Hasbro (or both) be a little ashamed of this?? At any rate, if you are a masochist and look forward to being flogged further, Hasbro has a second series in the wings with swap out characters us hardcore fans will be moaning over.'s the most horrible feeling of self loathing when you realize you have to have a figure you've been begging for for years and are fully aware the company making them with exploit that need to the fullest extent. The Wrecking Crew??!! Yea...feel my pain. In stores now are Thor (Heroic Age look), Steve Rogers (with a variant packed with a Photonic Shield, which seems to be the only difference), Extremis Armor Iron Man (with a stealth repaint variant), Constrictor, Ghost Rider (with a red flame variant), Hope Summers and Klaw. Series 2 is set to include...

Marvel's Wrecking Crew with Thunderball & Piledriver (one replacing the other mid-way through the run)
Marvel's Madames with Madame Masque & Madame Hydra (with the same swapping dealy)
Big Time Spider-Man (with a Future Foundation Spidey swap out)
Marvel's Drax
Dark Wolverine (with a variant unmasked head)
Captain America (the Bucky Cap version)
All with parts to make Arnim Zola who will have a normal Arnim face in his chest and a Red Skull face as well! Since the chest piece comes in the Madames, expect the swap out Madame Hydra to include that Red Skull chest face.

We were also tipped off about some upcoming figures including US Agent, Blade and a modern Mystique (with a ton of guns) and 5 more figures to round out 2012. In 2013 we get Hyperion. Hasbro tells us he was highly requested but I know most of you are now going...WHO? He was in Squadron Supreme. Again, I hear crickets.

Marvel Universe! The 3 and 3 quarter inch onslaught continues with...

Wave 1 - Spider-Man (with a Miles Morales variant), Kraven the Hunter, Beta Ray Bill, Astonishing Beast & Incredible Hulk
Wave 2 - Scarlet Witch, She Hulk, Punisher, Kang & Future Foundation Spider-Man (with a bag head Spidey variant)
Wave 3 - Puck (Alpha Flight) with Snowbird in bird form, Angel, 80's style Hercules, Nova and Nighthawk
Wave 4 - Professor X in his hover chair, Vampire Jubilee, Blastaar (with translucent powered up hands variant!)..and more to be revealed later.

Also on the way are Death's Head (yay?), 2 packs with Hulk & 1st appearance wolverine, Silver Centurion Iron Man vs red suited Mandarin (love that his suit isn't green. sarcasm), 70's style Captain America & Falcon and Doctor Strange & Silver Surfer as well as multi packs with New Avengers Iron Man, Thor & Red Hulk, The Inhumans Black Bolt, Medusa & Karnak and the Uncanny X-Men's Rogue, Longshot, Wolverine and X-Baby Cyclops!

The stores will also be flooded with Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man figures, the former of which are hitting stores as we speak with the laughable price tag of 10 dollars each for a 3 and 3 quarter inch figure (at Toys R Us at least.) Now...I'm sure the primary target is collectors, though Hasbro would not admit it, so why bump up the price on a line stacked with Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor figures?! You'll remember Hasbro made this mistake once before with the last G.I.Joe movie line and admitted their mistake to the public. Why repeat such a bad move? As it stands, there may only be 2 figures I would be tempted to buy from the entire multi-wave roll out, but as I am already being gouged with Marvel Legends, I can probably resist. I did pop on Hasbro's Quinjet AKA the Stark Tek Attack Jet at $20, purely because I've been harassing Hasbro to make vehicles and playsets for Marvel Universe since day 1 so now I consider this a wish granted. Among other forgettable vehicles like a repainted Captain America assault vehicle and what Hasbro is actually calling the Quinjet is the semi-impressive SHIELD Helicarrier. I know the Hasbro crew will laugh at me for not being impressed by a 3 foot playset/vehicle, but it looks so puny with the 3 and 3 quarter inch figures on the deck, it's pretty sad. I'm not sure what they could have done differently, but it just doesn't work...especially for scale freaks like me! We've spent plenty of time on Idle Hands looking at waves of Avengers action figures so I'll just point you HERE and HERE and add a note that even though we saw 6 inch action figures at NY Comic Con, they were oddly absent at Toy Fair.

We'll end with The Amazing Spider-Man action figures, being the well deserved footnote. Every time they do a Spider-Man line, us older collectors are reminded of the glory days when Toy Biz used the line as an excuse to do every obscure character under the sun. Hasbro on the other hand does not like to venture beyond Doc Oc, Venom and Green Goblin, with the rare trip to Carnage, Rhino and Hobgoblin town. Those baddies live alongside 300000 Spidey variants, all of which have no actual basis in comics or cartoons. ~sigh~ The Amazing Spider-Man line is no different with 2 Lizard figures for the 3 and 3 quarter inch line as well as a 6 inch version to accompany a very nice, super posable Spidey and...wait for it...3000 Spidey variants! Names like Night Missions, Spider Sense, Web Shooter, Capture Trap, Zip Rocket, Web Slinging, Grappling Hook, Spinning Web, Web Smash and Web Splash came up during our tour of the Hasbro show room. You've got to give them credit for picking a model and sticking to it. Surely, those full pegs of unmoving Spidey figures at Toys R Us are not slowing them down a bit. Expect to see a Venom and a Green Goblin out there as well. Yay.

A quick note on The Lizard! We noticed on one of the 3 and 3 quarter inch Lizard figures, his feet were going translucent. Our first thought was lizard + movie magic = stealth power, but our buddies at Bleeding Cool reminded us that good ole Doc Connors started these experiments to grow back his arm and as Lizard, could probably regenerate at an alarming rate. This translucent effect could very well be showing off that regenerative power! Mysteries abound til opening day...but all through our travels at Toy Fair 2012, we did learn one concrete thing. THERE ARE NO SKRULLS IN THE AVENGERS MOVIE. ...Jakks board game be damned..and this comes straight from there you go.

Excelsior, Mofos.

CLICK HERE for Diamond Select's Marvel Select lineup!
CLICK HERE for Hasbro's Amazing Spider-Man toys!
CLICK HERE for Hasbro's Avengers Movie Toys!
CLICK HERE for a look at the re-launched Marvel Legends series!
CLICK HERE for all the Marvel Universe has to offer!
and if that isn't enough..CLICK HERE for even more Marvel pics from New York Comic Con!

last note: I opened my Firestrike AKA Quinjet and it only has one landing wheel. 1. ~sigh~

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