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Toy Fair 2008 – the Hasbro Marvel Report

I considered titling this article "Small Package, Huge Load" – because
while Hasbro didn’t show us a lot of Marvel product outside of the
movie properties, what they did have on display really had b0bb33z3r
and me ready to explode with excitement.

We’ll get to some of the really big hitters, but first let’s touch base on what’s coming from a Marvel movie perspective.

Iron Man – toys hit 3/22, movie opens 5/2, DVD in the fall


The figures, which have been widely seen already, are Adi Granov inspired, and are in the 6-inch scale.  There will be a lot of different armors, with the notion that collectors and kids alike will want to build their own "Hall of Armor."  They had the first wave of figures on display, including a Mark I and Mark III Iron Men, the snap-on armor Iron Man, and the Titanium Man.  It was a design point on this line that the action features so beloved by kids would be unobtrusive for us collectors.

The Super Hero Squad line will be a mix of movie and comic-inspired figures, including a Crimson Dynamo and Hulkbuster Iron Man.  There were also two 12-inch figures on display – the electronic Iron Man that graced the cover of a recent Toyfare, and an Iron Man with a bunch of snap-on parts, with a pretty nice likeness of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark under the mask.

As always, Hasbro had a bunch of other Iron Man-related toys, including an Iron Man mask for role playing.

Hulk – toys hit 5/1, movie opens 6/13, DVD in the fall

The Hulk figures are in 3 3/4-inch scale.  Thunderbolt Ross and the military is featured heavily in the movie, and this scale allows vehicles and military guys in the GI Joe scale, with Hulk being as oversized as he was in the original movie.  With this line the action features are a little more intrusive, with kicking and smashing actions and breakaway vehicles.  One thing that was notable was the amount of detail and paint compared to other Hasbro offerings.

For those of you wanting a movie Hulk in 6-inch scale, have no fear – he will be available as a Target exclusive.

Like Iron Man, the Hulk Super Hero Squad will be a mix of movie and comic-inspired figures, including Planet Hulk and the new Hulkbuster Iron Man from World War Hulk.  The 12-inch electronic smashing Hulk figure has light-up eyes and lots of smashing sounds. 

 

They had a bunch of other Hulk-related toys, of which my favorite was Operation Hulk, where you remove gamma-irradiated organs like the green thumb, Betty butterflies, and the missle toe.

As for non-movie lines, Hasbro talked Spider-Man, Super Hero Squad, Hulk Legends, and Marvel "Classics."

Spider-Man – Heroes & Villains hit 3/1, Animated hits 3/1, Classics hit 8/1

I didn’t spend a lot of time at the Spidey display (and I’ll get to why shortly), but the product guys made sure to stress that all the Spidey movie and classic figures moving forward would be in the 6-inch scale.  While what they had on display looked like re-issues, some with new decos, we were told that some new characters were coming, including the Tarantula. 

The new animated series will hit the Kids WB in March, and that will be supported by a toy line featuring "timeless villains, new looks."

Super Hero Squad gets another big push with comic-based Marvel characters.  We should be seeing 24 new 2-packs, 8 themed 4-packs (including a Winter Soldier, Crossbones, Captain America, and Falcon pack that I never imagined we’d get), and an 8-figure pack.  They showed a picture of all the SHS-related figures that have been released to date, and it was mighty impressive.

Hulk Legends – 2 waves of 4 figures each, wave 1 hits 8/1


There’s been a lot of talk on the Fwoosh recently about this line – primarily because last year the internet was abuzz with leaked images and people were already dismayed about "only 8 figures?"  The number of figures (eight) was confirmed, as was the build-a-figure (Fin Fang Foom) being spread over two waves.

Wave 1 will feature the Hulk from Hulk: The End, Savage She-Hulk, Wendigo, and Absorbing Man, and will have one half of Fin Fang Foom.  They’re still trying to work out which pieces of Foom will be included in the first wave.

Let me tell you – Foom is huge, 15 inches from head to toe.  When you consider his tail and wings, I’d bet this outweighs Galactus as the most massive BAF to date.  The figures themselves are large – I don’t think many will be disappointed with the size of Wendigo or the Absorbing Man.  She-Hulk seems a little on the small side, but that may just be that she was in between the Wendi and Hulk figures.

While these figures feature some of the Hasbro-ticulation that Fwooshers have been known to complain about, I think seeing these figures in person will start to turn some of the nay-sayers around.  The sculpts are a lot crisper, and the paint apps are improved over previous Hasbro Legends.

Marvel "Classics" – 2 waves of 4 2-packs each, wave 1 hits in the fall

The improvements are a lot more dramatic when you get to the upcoming 2-packs, due out in the fall.  I was expecting re-use like we saw with the Wal-Mart 2-packs from last year, but the 4 figures we saw today are mostly new sculpts.

We saw a Ronin and Elektra (who will have a Skrull variant) 2-pack and an Ultimates 2-pack with Nick Fury and Captain America (who will come with a Steve Rogers unmasked head.)  Out of the four, I only saw re-use with Fury, who looks like he’s sporting legs from the XMC Ultimate Sabertooth – but I could be wrong. 

 

The line will feature interchangeable parts and lots of accessories.  Hasbro talked about heads, hands, and weapons.  While the figures are intended to be collector-friendly, their testing showed that the line would be attractive to kids when you include all the extras.

These figures look like a return to some of the features we know and love from the Toy Biz era of Marvel Legends.  They all have double elbows and knees.  The styling seems more detailed, and the paint apps are a definite step up from previous Hasbro Legends.

Between the Hulk Legends and 2-packs, while we didn’t see a lot, what we saw definitely got the blood racing again.  I’d dare to say that even some of the toughest Hasbro critics on the Fwoosh will have some good things to say about these figures.

Convention Exclusives

Convention-goers this year will have some pretty big Marvel items to carry home with them.  We got confirmation that the Shanna / Ka-Zar / Zabu three-pack that we saw Frank Cho art for a couple of days ago is a con exclusive.  While these weren’t on display, I got confirmation for Industrial that he shouldn’t worry about Ka-Zar being a re-use of the HMLFF Namor (whew!)  We saw a brief glimpse of a picture of the figures and the Frank Cho cover art – but it was too quick for me to really see what parts were what.

The big surprise, convention-wise, was the news that Foom would also be available as an exclusive this upcoming con season.  We heard two different versions – one was that the exclusive would be Foom plus an unnamed Hulk.  The other was that the exclusive would be Foom plus *all eight* of the Hulk Legends figures.  (It was brand manager Scott George who said it was all eight, so I’m going with that until we hear differently.)

Small Package, Big Load

To wrap this up, I’ve got to hand it to Hasbro for a big turnaround from last year’s Toy Fair.  They opened up the afternoon with a decent presentation on all their upcoming collector-oriented lines, and sprinkled in a lot of video from the upcoming movies. 

But more importantly for the Marvel collectors, they’ve taken the very vocal feedback you’ve given them (there’s a reason we call the Marvel board "The Negative Zone") and begun incorporating it into the product.

So while we didn’t see a lot of it, since they’re holding back some reveals for the upcoming Comic Cons in NY and San Diego, what we did see packed quite a punch.  Hulk Smash! 


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