Toy Fair 2013: Hasbro - Marvel Universe & other 3.75-inch
2:30 PM on 02.10.2013
It's a pretty big little thing.
While Hasbro's 6-inch Marvel selection may monopolize many collectors' interest, the company also had a decent amount of 3.75-inch offerings on display. Hasbro's Marvel Universe line, the backbone of the format for collectors, continues to thrive despite all the 3.75-inch lines around it seemingly having their focus shifted to a younger demographic. Toy Fair (or pre-Toy Fair?) saw a few new editions for the line, including the very first MU Rhino remolds (exciting, isn't it?) in the form of Abomination and A-Bomb.
Also on display were figure line companions for Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 3, and Ultimate Spider-Man. Wolverine is also surprisingly getting his own 3.75-inch line although, unlike its Marvel Legends counterpart, it clearly has more of a kid-friendly focus (less articulation, more basic sculpts) and a lower price point.
Hit the jump for all the little details.
One of the biggest Marvel Universe showcases on display was the fourth wave of 2013 (and I defer to Hasbro's numbering here because there have so many MU waves that I can no longer keep track). So far it seems to contain A-Bomb (Rick Jone's irradiated alter-ego), long-time Hulk antagonist Abomination, a single-carded Baron Zemo, a new Iron Man deco, Dagger, and Cloak (see header).
Abomination and A-Bomb are partly of interest just for re-using the upcoming MU Rhino's parts. When Rhino first appeared at NYCC 2012, I was a little taken aback by all the new sculpting since it seemed like Hasbro was really going the extra mile. The fact that his bits are now a part of Hasbro's MU shared parts library sadly makes a lot of sense, as I expect that all three figures (and presumably even more) were designed alongside one another with the compatibility in mind. I suppose it works for Abomination, since he's had multiple interpretations over the years, but I recall A-Bomb having a different skin texture in the comics.
While I like the MU Abomination's look, I really hate the absence of a thigh joint. It's something that I would have overlooked had the mold been just used for Rhino but, if this really is becoming a recurring mold, the added point of rotation should really be added.
The duo of Cloak and Dagger are being split up so they could be sold separately. Despite being an obvious 2-pack consideration, I suppose that the single-carded format will free people up to stick with one of the characters. Personally I really like the look of Dagger, but don't like Cloak as much.
Also on display were the Rhino, Elektra, and Mysterio previously seen at NYCC 2012. This is the Rhino's second appearance in the MU line, although technically his first was just a repack (sans armor accessories) from the Spider-Man "Classics" / "Fiercest Foes" line. That figure, which features cooler sculpting yet less articulation, is currently available in a 2-pack. I'm not sure which version I like better although I'll definitely be grabbing this version when it comes out.
The Mysterio is also fairly exciting. While he was on display at NYCC, I didn't appreciate the fact that he sports a partially translucent cape. I'm also still wondering if that fishbowl is going to be removable or whether the actual head is just there to provide a silhouette.
Also part of this wave is the new Elektra and a Captain America.
Hasbro also showed off some new 2-packs, including this X-men pack featuring Emma Frost and what may be Colossonaut's first ever toy appearance. Colossonaut, one of the weirdest things to come out of Marvel's Fear Itself storyline, is Colossus infused with the Juggernaut's powers. Unsurprisingly, he's a mostly a re-deco of the previously released Juggernaut (which, by the way, is an awesome figure) with minor sculpting changes.
I'm more interested in the 3.75-inch Emma Frost, though. I'm also still holding out hope that we may one day see a classic White Queen in either the Legends or Universe line.
The other new 3-pack features Thor, Valkyrie, and Skurge the Executioner (see gallery). As much as I want an Executioner (he's the Enchantress's long-time partner-in-crime and was a member of the Masters of Evil both in the comics and in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes), I'm not sure that I want to buy a 3-pack mostly for him. Sure, the Valkyrie is alright (although I'm not really a fan) but it also means picking up another Thor. The included Thor is an unhelmeted redeco of the previously released modern Thor which I suppose is a good value for those who don't own one already.
The 3-packs have a US$25 MSRP, which is basically like paying US$8 a figure (a.k.a. how much the single-carded figures actually retailed for just a few years ago).
The Wolverine All-Stars line is one of several new Wolverine product formats aimed towards kids. While the selection seems to reference the upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine sequel, it isn't labeled as such. The articulation seems to be an annoyingly basic 5-points, but the two Wolverines look surprisingly decent. Either Hasbro is really good at sculpting Wolverine at this point or they might be using the basic sculpting from an older line.
At US$6, the line is both affordable yet mildly expensive for the level of quality. Given that Hasbro is cutting quality for price, I'm a little shocked that they couldn't have brought the MSRP down to US$5 or less.
I'm not sure what to make of the new Thor: The Dark World figures. They might share articulation with the previous Thor line (as I assume it must include re-decos) or the articulation might be closer to the recent Avengers line. Or it could be a mix of the two. Regardless, these figures are just one of many Thor offerings although most items will be geared more towards younger audiences.
Ultimate Spider-Man seems to having offerings across several formats. This includes 6-inch figures (seen bottom left) which I missed including in the 6-inch overview yesterday. Although the designs and articulation will be a little basic on those, I'm kind of liking a few of the designs and may end up buying a few figures at retail.
The 3.75-inch line seems to be action gimmick heavy. Given that Hasbro has yet to offer a really outstanding 3.75-inch Spider-Man line (a few "Fiercest Foes" figures and the Ultra-Poseable Spider-Man notwithstanding), the format seems lost to the collectors' part of the market.
Speaking of collectors' market losses, we have the Iron Man 3 line. Hasbro had some of their Assemblers on display, as well as their non-interchangeable but still barely articulate Iron Man 3 figures. I'm still disappointed that Hasbro has chosen to gear the line towards younger crowds, especially in light of their Iron Man 2 line which had featured some very impressive entries.
Assemblers is a neat concept that I expect will go over well with children, although I expect the things will be prone to parts loss (or, as the industry probably likes to call it, an incentive for parents to buy their kids a new toy). At the same time, I recall being a fan of articulation from a relatively young age so I guess it's not necessarily a sure-fire success.
Anything here that you guys are looking forward to seeing? And did I miss anything? Because I have a feeling that I might have forgotten something.
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