Toy Review: Marvel Universe Electro (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Friday, December 04, 2009
I never really cared much about Electro. He was just another run of the mill villain that got under Spider-Man’s skin. Was old Web Head ever really in danger when he squared off against Electro? No. Even when Electro became a founding member of the Sinister Six we all knew that he wasn’t going to reign supreme. So imagine my surprise when I suddenly found Electro completely captivating in Amazing Spider-Man #612 (see Mania’s review). Here Mark Waid has begun his Gauntlet Arc, which has had a few seeds sewn in previous Amazing Spider-Mans. In issue 612 we witness what Electro’s life has become and the lengths at which he is going to make ends meet. We also see a brief moment where he longs to connect with someone else. He finds that connection with the out of work people of New York City and rallies them to help turn Wall Street on its ear. Electro’s first target is the DB (the Daily Bugle’s new name in the Brand New Day Arc). Once I was finished with the issue I was completely taken with how Waid spun current economic issues and a villain’s desperation into a great start for this new story. So much so that while I was walking the toy aisles I happened to see something I never thought of buying before, an Electro figure.
I have been hesitant to pick up any more of the new Marvel Universe figures. Their 3.75 inch size was long overdue and a welcome change from their 7 inch line. However, did I really want to plunge right in and start collecting a whole new line of figures? How many Spider-Man figures does a fan need? I recently picked up Deadpool from the line (see column) and the SDCC Captain America exclusive. So after about two minutes of debate (I am the Toy Maniac) I picked up the latest Marvel character to join the 3.75 ranks. Electro is the 25th figure and part of Wave 6, if you are keeping track or buy your figures in complete waves. Wave buying might be the easiest and best way to complete your collection, but how much fun is that?
So far, after twenty five figures Hasbro hasn’t changed their packaging yet. I do appreciate the Secret War 2 packs complete with the comic; I just hope they do all twelve issues. There is a big push for the Fury Files and becoming an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. What I found to be odd is that many of the other figures in this wave didn’t feature Nick Fury on the pack but Norman Osborn, the current director of H.A.M.M.E.R. One would think that Normie would be on the villains’ pack and Nick on the heroes’ but perhaps I am tying to much to the toy and comic properties.
A little history about Electro is given on the back and even a diss on the man’s intelligence. Again another discrepancy between the toy and the comic is that on Marvel’s Character Bios for Electro he is given 6 out of 7 in the intelligence category. Spider-Man’s official intelligence, according to Marvel is only 4 out of 7. So how does Electro keep losing to Spider-Man then? Hey Marvel and Hasbro you had better get your facts straight. Check out the full Marvel Bio on Electro here.
There is mention of an exclusive Nick Fury Figure offer stickered all over Electro’s bubble. However to get the exclusive Nick Fury a year long subscription to Marvel Comics is required (see details here and the figure here on Mania).
A figure in 3.75 inches range used to have limitations. Look at any of your old G.I. Joe or Star Wars figures. Hasbro has redefined the quality of these figures and has delivered a supreme likeness to the character from the comics. Sure this Electro should probably be called “classic” Electro (since the character has gone through some costume changes) but his green eyes and evil sneer are damn perfect. A later release should come with an interchangeable head sans the mask. Despite the fact that the whole Electro costume design looks like something an Olympic Speed Skater might wear the costume is incredible.
Articulation and Accessories:
Having never taken my SDCC Exclusive Captain America out of his package the only other Marvel Universe figure I can compare him to is Deadpool. Deadpool came with a lot of accessories making him a tad cumbersome and difficult to pose. Electro is streamlined and easily accomplishes a variety of poses with his 14 points of articulation.
Electro comes with two lighting bolts that attach to the figure’s wrists. These are perfect for giving him the right amount of power that the character himself can never seem to accomplish (see Amazing Spider-Man #612). As it is with all Marvel Universe figures Electro comes with his own Top Secret file. Inside the mini folder is a letter to Norman Osborn from Dr. Karla Sofen. Sofen discusses Electro’s future with the Thunderbolts. What I found truly shocking is that Electro has apparently registered with the Superhuman Registration Act. I know this because his SRA card is included.
The big push, as I mentioned earlier, is to join the Fury Files. I did join and became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (though shouldn’t it be H.A.M.M.E.R. now?). Electro came with his own code to put in but nothing happened. Instead all I got was an old video, dated prior to the Secret Invasion. It seems the good people at Marvel and Hasbro haven’t given much attention to this part of their toy campaign. The other links on the page where either to buy more Hasbro products or went to dead ends.
In Electro we trust! This figure is a true testament to where Hasbro can take their 3.75 inch Marvel Universe line. Electro isn’t as flashy or as popular as Wolverine and Spider-Man but his figure is just as good if not better. Electro is unique and one of a kind. Choke on that X-Force Wolverine. I would easily give this figure an A+ if it weren’t for the heavily pushed online experience. Marvel and Hasbro really need to keep that part of this action figure line up to date. In a world where everything moves incredibly fast an outdated website isn’t going to help sell more toys to kids and fans.
Mania Grade: A-
Toy Line: Marvel Universe
Action Figure: Electro (#25)
Suggested Retail: $7.95
Includes: S.H.I.E.L.D. file and Lighting Bolts