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Make My Marvel! – Multiple Man

headshotWelcome.  Since only 62 of you lazy freeloaders participated in the article poll, you’re stuck with me, TheBloodyAwfulPoet, and "Make Mine Marvel!"  Here’s the gyst: each week I’ll be spotlighting a character or version of a character that needs the figure treatment and how Hasbro should do it. The characters presented here will not be on anyone’s top ten list– most of those already have a good shot at getting made.  The ones I’ll be dealing with are the second stringers– the ones that might have a shot at figuredom, but get lost in the pleas for Eternity, Jubilee, or a Scarlet Witch that doesn’t require beer goggles.  We’re all familiar with the wishlists and bi-annual polls in the unofficial marvel forum, but with the constant deluge of them, it all becomes white noise to a company like Hasbro.  MMM! will be aimed just as much at Hasbro as will be at collectors. 

Make My Marvel! Multiple Man

Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man

Multiple Man a.k.a. Jamie Madrox has the mutant ability to make an exact copy, or "dupe", of himself with any kinetic impact.  While this has led to a lot of disturbing fanfic (or so Hoss tells me), it hasn’t meant much for Jamie in the action figure department.  It’s one of the better concepts for a superpower, which makes it somewhat surprising that Jamie’s spent the majority of his comicbook career meandering in crap-dom.  In fact, it was only recently that Peter David has realized Madrox and the "multiple man" concept to their fullest potential.

laundry day
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In both the Madrox mini-series and current X-Factor, Jamie has sent his dupes out into the world to live very different lives. Once a dupe has served his purpose, Madrox reabsorbs them, gaining their life experience in the process.  It’s only now that Jamie’s finding out that once many of his duplicates have had lives of their own, they’re not willing to give them up.

There’s not much doubt in my mind that Madrox will eventually get his own Legends figure.  The real hattrick is finding the proper way to distribute a figure of a character who’s both an individual and an army-builder.  For those unfamiliar with the term, "army-building" or "troop-building" in the toy vernacular is the multiple buying of a single-carded generic character to simulate a group or army. Natch.

The problem: How do you fit a character with a cloning gimmick like Madrox’s into the single-carded, BAF model of Marvel Legends?  Two problems arise when you toss Multiple Man into a BAF wave: Firstly, most ML collectors will want to have more than one MM (at least two, but I’m guessing 4-5 will be the ideal number for most collectors), turning Madrox into a rare, hard-to-find figure for that wave and leaving a lot of other, really pissed-off collectors without the figure and missing the left leg for their BAF Dr. Bong.  Second, once you’ve amassed your horde of Madri, what do you do with all of the extra BAF parts?  Every one of you who just pictured the Toys For Tots bin so deserves a visit from the herpes fairy.

So, what’s the best way to market a figure in this situation?  As luck would have it, Hasbro is better-suited to tackle a situation like this than their predecessor Toy Biz ever was.

<pause for collector bitching>

In recent years, Hasbro has seized upon army-building, a relatively new subdivision of toy collecting, with "battle packs."  Hasbro has realized how profitable (not to mention easy and cheap) it can be to offer multiples of a certain figure in one package.  So far it’s worked to great success with Star Wars’ clonetrooper figures.  Multiple Man would best be handled in the same manner: a Multiple Man a four-pack.

To sweeten the deal (and cut down just an iota on the fanboy griping) the only difference between the four figures would be the head sculpt.  Each of the four should have a different facial expression.  I.e.: one angry, one smirking, one serious, one sinister, etc.  Though a Multiple Man boxed set might not do so hot at brick and mortar stores, it should do well enough as an internet exclusive, another concept that Hasbro has had success with.

With the "how" out of the way, now comes the really hard part: which costume?  We’ve got the 1st appearance costume (which looks the most "superheroic"):

1st appearance
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The X-Factor uniform (also very superhero-y, but with the added benefit of the x-men blue & gold visual ties):

Gambit 2.0
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X-Corps (a personal favorite):

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And, lastly, the modern outfit (not very toyetic, but reflects the character at the height of his popularity):

Old Navy
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Head on over to the forums to vote for the Madrox you want:

While you’re there, gripe about this article and make suggestions for next week’s MMM!

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