With the release of the Avengers we are of course getting a barrage of toys and Hasbro is pulling out all the stops with a vast array of figures in different sizes, vehicles, role-playing items, Hero Squad, and more. Things for all ages, from kids who will tear these open to begin playing to collectors who will keep these proudly displayed. For the most part we’re going to concentrate on the collectors out there with a look at the various action figures.
Hasbro is hitting fans with figures in 4”, 8”, and 10” ultimate sized figures carrying price points of $8.99, $10.99, and $19.99 respectively. Somewhat complicating matters is that the 4” series has sub-series titles such as Movie Series, Concept Series, and Comic Series. Your basic movie series consists of Iron Man Fusion Armor Mark VII, Gamma Smash Hulk, Shield Launcher Captain America, Shock Strike Thor, and Grapple Blast Black Widow.
Of the five figures, the Hulk is definitely the best as it is the most simple as he does not come with some weird, unwieldy attachment like the rest of the figures do. He has a simple, fist smashing action. His sculpt is solid and he does stand taller than the rest of the figures in the series as he should. He looks like he has a tad bit of a receding hairline but other than that it’s a solid figure. Of the other four, Thor has the most detailed sculpt and paint job while Iron Man’s is the weakest. I’m not a fan of figures coming with goofy accessories like the spinning saw blade that Iron Man carries but I understand why they are packaged in this way. Most of these are still sold for kids who want to play with them. Black Widow’s makes the most sense and she’ll likely be the hardest to find.
In the Concept Series we have the Reactron Armor Iron Man and Heavy Artillery Iron Man but just with a different paint scheme. Rocket Grenade Captain America is cool in that it features Cap without his mask, although the figure looks nothing like his film likeness. I also liked Sword Spike Thor (which is a different figure than the one in the Thor movie series of the same name). This one comes with Thor wearing his battle helmet and with a really silly gun.
The Comic Series features figures such as Super Shield Captain America, Hawkeye, Battle Hammer Thor, and cosmic Spear Loki. Obviously the two here you should be excited about are the Loki and Hawkeye figures since these will apparently be the only ones.
Hawkeye has one of the lines best sculpts and is far more colorful with a comic series rather than a movie series type outfit. Loki is the most regal of all the figures and his posable with his spear. He actually resembles his film counterpart.
Besides the standard 4” figures the other line that will interest collectors most is the 10” Ultimate Heroes that come with electronic sound effects and phrases. These include: Hammer Strike Thor, Gamma Strike Hulk, Ultra Strike Captain America, and Repulsor Strike Iron Man. Each comes with a couple of different actions to produce sound effects and phrases from that character. For example with the Hulk, squeeze his legs and he roars and press his chest for several different phrases like “Hulk Smash!”
I like the molds of the Ultimate figures but my only complaint is that they have limited articulation, thus making them fine for collectors but a little light on playability for kids.
Finally, wanted to point out two cool vehicles in the Avengers line. First up is the iconic Avengers Quinjet which can fit the 4” figures in the cockpit and will sell for $29.99.
The other is the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier. This mammoth accessory is over three feet long and can hold 30 figures! No word yet on a price point.
In conclusion, there are far too many Thor, Cap, and Iron man figures in the series. Especially considering that each just had their own dedicated series in the past couple of years when their movies came out. Where’s Nick Fury? How about making an Agent Coulson figure? Or even a Pepper Potts? It’s an old complaint but Hasbro still hasn’t quite embraced the collectors as much as some other toy companies. But the Avengers is a solid line and of course compatible with any of your other Marvel Universe figures.
Tim Janson is a columnist and reviewer for Mania Entertainment. He writes Level Up, the weekly look at videogames and the horror dedicated column, Tuesday Terrors. Tim has written for Fangoria, Newsarama, City Slab Magazine, Twitch Film, and Cinefantastique. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.