So, did you, by chance, hear about that little bit of news that kind of flew under the radar last week about Disney acquiring 20th Century Fox? Well, even if you didn’t, you can probably imagine we have a lot to say about that around here.
The biggest thing to come out of this if you are a Marvel fan is the the Fantastic Four and X-Men are coming home. There are a lot of implications surrounding that, but the green light to get these characters integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is definitely the most profitable and is the most visual component, but don’t downplay the new comic and toy opportunities. We being who we are, we are naturally excited about the two former points, but it is the latter that really gets our imaginations running wild. The toys, children, the toys! More X-Men and Fantastic Four characters in Marvel Legends is something we honestly cannot wait for, and we hope the crew in Pawtucket are already getting plans made.
It is likely you are going to hear much from us over the coming weeks about the new Marvel Legends wishes, but I am going to step up and deal with my favorite Marvel team of all time, the group that got it all started, The Fantastic Four. Boy, it has really been a tough go of it for me as a fan of the Four (and the Thing in particular as my favorite Marvel character) in the comics, toys, and movies, so even though I know I need to remain realistic, it hard to do, because NOW is the time. I have come to positively LOVE Walgreens due to their devotion to carrying the Fantastic Four corner of the Marvel universe exclusively at their store as of late, but it is time to blow the doors off and get these characters out there.
So while the Fantastic Four characters have not been completely embargoed, it has been slow going and pretty limited due to tooling budget challenges for store exclusives. I do have two great Fantastic Four figures for the first time ever in Legends with Sue and Johnny, and Reed should be getting out there at any time, and he looks to be the best yet. Additionally, Hasbro told us that the Thing will be debuting at Toy Fair in February, and I have REALLY high hopes for him. So, with that classic lineup getting set, I have put together my list, but I set a couple of ground rules:
First, I am not actually going to include Mr. Fantastic. the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, or the Thing in this list. Frankly, I could EASILY do a top 20 or 30 of variants of these characters alone, so I am going to save that for another list. Don’t worry, I have ideas already cooking.
Second, I am not going to include characters who are mostly in the Fantastic Four world, but have not really been restricted in terms of releases. These are charters like Ronan, Namor (we are pretty much getting a perfect version of him soon), and the like. I want the entire Inhumans royal family, and a F4 ML series would be the perfect place for that, but they have always been game, so I want to focus on those charters who have been under the fog of Fox more directly for the past several years.
Finally, while this is probably foolish, so pretty strong store computer system leaks indicate that the Super Skrull and Silver Surfer might be coming to Walgreens in the next year. So, I am going to take that on faith and exclude them here, but let it be known, if that is NOT the case, both of those guys rocket pretty much to the top of the list below.
Okay, now that I got that out of the way, here is the list!
10. Gabriel the Air-Walker
Right away, I want ALL of the Heralds of Galactus, but for the sake of limited space on this list, I am only putting one here to represent the rest. We have a great Terrax figure, so he needs some company, and I think Air-Walker has a cool, and very unique look. He would be the one who would need some new tooling, so a mainline spot would be good for him, and he can blaze the way for Firelord, Nova, and the rest.
I know, we have a pretty good Blastaar figure, but it is a more modern take, and that figure was limited to a Comic Con release via the Thanos Imperative set. I have always loved Blastaar as a character, and his design is quintessential Jack Kirby, so you know it would make a great toy. Plus, as a resident of the Negative Zone, his inclusion early on would be poetic to represent the Fantastic Four’s return from marketing prison.
Now, here is a longstanding F4 enemy who has never had a Marvel Legends figure, but has a classic design that would make for a great toy. That said, he would not break the bank in terms of tooling because there are plenty of ML parts already in the library that can be used for him. If the F4 get themed assortments like Spider-Man and the X-Men, this is exactly the type of character I want to see show up.
Yes, we have an ML Annihilus already, but come on, you guys. That figure has the dubious distinction of being the BAF for the very first Hasbro ML series that was not … well received. The line is so far beyond that initial go, and frankly, since he did not get an iconic design for his figure, Annihilus deserves better. His impact on the Marvel universe as a whole is too great not to get back into the line.
Please? Time travel has always been an important piece to the Fantastic Four lore, and Rama-Tut is a guy from the future who looks like he is from the way, way back. Again, this is a guy who has never even been whiffed at in terms of a previous chance in Marvel Legends, but I think his look is unique, but also archetypal, so it is pretty perfect for an action figure. Sure, he would probably not anchor a series, but there should certainly be a spot for him.
5. Awesome Android
If we are going to get F4 figures, they are going to need some Build-a-Figures, and Awesome Android would be, well, awesome. Like so many early F4 Kirby creations, there is not any other character in the MU similar to AA, and he is wonderfully weird. As a BAF, he would be pretty advantageous because he would supply most of the parts for an oversized blank base body, so that could help lead to several other character opportunities.
4. The Wizard
Hey, we just got Medusa from Walgreens in a look that can pretty much be used for her classic Frightful Four appearance, and Sandman is already in the can too, so let’s get the leader of the team. The Frightful Four has been around for a very long time, and we have never had a chance to build team. Getting the Wizard not only gives us a longtime foe, but it also sets the runway for Paste Pot Pete/Trapster.
3. Dragon Man
Okay, I was the proud owner of the ToyBiz Dragon Man figure, and man, what a great figure it is. However, as much as I loved having it, even I had my price, and since he fetches astronomical sums on the aftermarket, I sold mine off a couple of years ago with no regrets. That second series of F4 was so limited that so many people missed him, so now is the time to make amends. Plus, we need a CLASSIC design, and one that is more of BAF size, so even though the ToyBiz figure has an impressive sculpt, Hasbro still has a chance to do better.
2. Psycho Man
Seriously, how in the hell have we never had an ML of Psycho Man? Oh, yeah, all of those rights issues. But man, what a great design he has, and frankly, he could have the potential to be a formidable MCU villain, so he is definitely one of those characters I am excited to see used more going forward. I know I keeping saying this, but his Kirby design overtones are so strong and with the success of Thor: Ragnarok, the style is definitely in, so let’s get this psycho in plastic.
1. Dr. Doom
I mean, c’mon, you had to see this coming right? Even if you are a not a huge fan of the actual Fantastic Four, how can you not love Dr. Doom? I think he and Galactus will be the heirs apparent for villainy in the MCU, and you cannot have a good F4 Legends collection without a good Doom figure. Now, the old Hasbro Doom figure isn’t bad, I will admit, but he is just as deserving as the F4 when it comes to getting a great modern ML figure, so let’s not waste any time, okay?
So that is my list. Trust me, this could have been a Top 50 and I would still have some that I would have to leave off. Hopefully that Silver Surfer and Super Skrull happen, and we continue to get the Inhumans as well, but I want to crack open the full Fantastic Four family and get all of the villains and allies. Oh, and several variations on the actual team. Like I said, there will be time for that later, but for now, who would YOU include in your list? Sound off below!