Toy Fair 09: Marvel Universe Unleashed (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Friday, February 20, 2009
This week on Mania we featured toys from both G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I decided to dedicate my Toy Maniac column to what I liked most about Hasbro’s Toy Fair debuts for 2009. Their new Marvel Universe line has this toy collector already trying to figure how to get as many of these 3.75 inch figures as this economy and his wife will allow. First and foremost the Marvel Legends line is not dead according to the Hasbro/ Marvel reps. The 3.75 inch line is just a natural progression and a new way to appeal to collectors. In short, it’s time they caught up with the rest of Hasbro’s action figures. G.I. Joe and Star Wars have long existed in the 3.75 inch realm. At this height vehicles and play sets become a practicality not an improbability. Hasbro was quick to admit that this wasn’t everything for them for the year. The San Diego Comic Con will be their final showcase for all their Hasbro properties and they promise it will not disappoint.
Marvel’s Hasbro line for 2009 will encompass not only the classic Marvel comic book characters but also their movie and TV properties as well. It will include everything from the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie and yes, even the original Secret Wars comic.
The movie has come and gone but there is a new cartoon featuring a young Tony Stark that will keep the character in public consciousness. Hasbro had several new Iron Man figures on display but showed the Media and collectors new images of Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo. There will be a new Hulkbuster Iron Man and a Punisher Iron Man as well.
The majority of the new Marvel Hasbro line will be in 3.75 inch size. The figures look to have incredible articulation and will be playable with all the other movie, comic and TV properties. With package art work by Frank Cho many of the figures will not only feature comic book likenesses but include Fury Files. Fury Files is a new online feature that will enable kids and fans to discover all there is to know about their favorite heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe. This year there will be 34 different characters including: Black Spidey, Red Hulk, Thing, Electro and even a mail away Nick Fury (his mouth is poised for a cigar even though he doesn’t have one). Look for Marvel’s “Vote for the Next 5 Campaign” for 2010. In that list of characters is bag head Spidey from Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #267.
The original Secret Wars toy line featured characters that weren’t even involved with the Beyonder’s challenge (Daredevil for one). Hasbro is taking their comic and action figure line to the very heart of the Eighties and is releasing two packs of actual characters from the Secret Wars. All the package art work is by original artist Secret Wars artist Mike Zeck. Other announced Secret Wars two packs are Captain America and Klaw plus Wolverine and the Human Torch (see gallery).
The San Diego Comic Con exclusive for the Marvel Universe line will be a black and white Captain America trapped in an ice block package. There will also be a four pack set of the Invaders featuring the Red Skull. The box will feature Joe Quesada’s artwork.
The fans at the New York Comic Con last week asked the Marvel panel the inevitable question, why is Wolverine everywhere? How can that guy be everywhere and be on more than one team? Marvel was very frank with the panel and said, “He is just that popular. If you don’t want anymore Wolverine books then stop buying them”. This year Wolverine already has his own cartoon, Wolverine and the X-Men, and this summer he’ll have his own movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Both properties, along with a few Marvel Universe figures, are ready to tear into the toy shelf come March 1st. There is also going to be a Wal-Mart exclusive featuring a trench coat Sabertooth and a leather jacket Wolverine two pack.
Hasbro will continue their vinyl Mighty Mugg line across all their properties. They debuted both a cool Logan and Sabertooth at Toy Fair. The standout Mighty Mugg in the new wave is the Spider-Man with the removable mask. It is pure genius. Hasbro did announce their San Diego Comic Con exclusive for the line as well. It is a Wolverine in the black X-Men movie uniform. What makes him truly unique, for the Mighty Mugg line, is his retractable claws.
There are over 20 pictures in the gallery of all the new Marvel figures so click on the header picture above to check them all out