With the arrival of Captain America: Civil War comes a new wave of tie-in action figures, and Hasbro is making clear its looking to make right with all the Black Widow fans. While there were a few figures of the Soviet spy released in conjunction with Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Widow was in high demand and short supply. Though we've yet to see just what Hasbro's full range of plans for Civil War include, the first sampling revealed ahead of Toy Fair offers a glimpse at a world where Black Widow is no longer lingering in the shadows.
More than a dozen new figures were revealed by Hasbro today (via IGN), including the first ever Black Widow Titan Hero figure. The 12" figure line has predominantly been filled with male characters across Hasbro's Avengers, Spider-Man and Star Wars collections. You can technically count Captain Phasma as the first female to make that leap, but given her lack of defining features, the upcoming Rey 12" unveiled at NYCC last fall (and due this spring) is the one opening new opportunities for Marvel's scarlet-haired secret agent. Given that both have been the center of their own social media campaigns advocating for more female figures, that seems appropriate.
Since Hasbro took over the Marvel action figure license a few years ago, the Legends line has been home to a fairly diverse cast of characters from the classic Marvel Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That trend looks to continue heading into the new year, where Hasbro already has its plans in motion for the early part of the year, including the Captain America: Civil War wave, and the first wave of the newly christened 3.75" Marvel Legends.
During New York Comic Con, we were given an early look at some of Hasbro's plans for the Marvel Legends line for the upcoming year. Both the 6" and 3.75" lines will fall under the Legends banner moving forward, with new characters and some familiar faces filling out the rosters on both sides. After seeing everything that was on display, we had a chance to chat with some of Hasbro's Marvel Legends leads, Dwight Stall, senior Marvel product design manager, Mike Breslin, senior director, brand strategy and marketing, and Tony Colella, senior model artist, about Legends and its future.
Where Hasbro's pre-San Diego Comic-Con event treated us a new Spider-Man line, including Spider-Gwen and more, this week's pre-NYCC show was much more of a mixed bag. Though some of the figures shown actually made a brief appearance in San Diego (Captain America, Mockingbird and Taskmaster), the new additions were a stunning surprise. Of course, as great as it was to see such variation shown in the 6" Marvel Legends line, the news that the 3.75" line would be ditching its former monikers to fold into the Legend banner was just as huge.
No longer its own separate brand, the former Universe/Infinite line of figures will now also be known as Marvel Legends moving forward. Though it might cause some confusion among less savvy consumers, Hasbro has been using a similar tactic with the Star Wars Black Series to keep its highly-articulated figures, which are geared towards the adult collector, portioned off from the less articulate series. By bringing the 3.75" figures under the Legends marquee, Hasbro's just making a smart business decision to put its highest quality figures all in the same room. But enough about branding, let's talk about that 1990s Rogue.
This past week, Hasbro and Marvel teamed up for another fan vote to determine one new figure for the Marvel Legends line. The qualifying rounds actually took place at San Diego Comic-Con, with each day of the convention hosting a different round of four. You had to visit the Hasbro booth to place a vote, but the initial round of 16 was quite intriguing. In addition to well-known characters like Symbiote Spider-Man, Quasar, Nebula, Lady Sif and Nova, there were a lot of fringe heroes and villains thrown into the mix like Lyra, Cosmo, Bor, the Executioner and Angela.
Now that I look at these names again, there were a lot of cosmic and Asgard-related characters. Guess that means there's likely to be a Thor line and a cosmic hero line in the next year or two, which makes sense given Marvel's movie schedule (Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 are both due in 2017). Of the sixteen announced, only three (Mysterio, Spider-Man and the Hood) wouldn't fit into those two molds. When all was said and done at SDCC, only four characters remained, and fans would have to choose from Mysterio, Symbiote Spider-Man, Darkhawk and Angela to determine the next Marvel Legend.
Did you know there's a superhero called Ant-Man, and that he's going to be starring in a major motion picture later this month? Have you also been living with three other people in a bunker run by a mysterious man who thinks he has what it takes to be on The Apprentice (RIP) for the last twenty years? There's a lot of hype surrounding the pint-sized Marvel hero these days, and in an effort to serve the fervor surrounding Ant-Man, Hasbro is releasing a limited box set featuring the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, in some of his most famous incarnations.
Throughout the years, Hank Pym has been many heroes. Though he's most synonymous with the Ant-Man persona, Pym has also been Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, and the Wasp. He also accidentally created the genocidal artificial intelligence Ultron, but since that's not what happened in the movies, it doesn't count in real life any more. And as luck (and keen marketing) would have it, almost all of those alternate identities are captured here in the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive set.
This year at San Diego Comic-Con, Hasbro is finally giving Dr. Strange and many of Marvel's other magical characters their due. For as long as Hasbro has been in charge of the Legends line, fans have been clamoring for characters like Magik and Brother Voodoo to show up. While those might sound like rather non-traditional choices for a mass market toy line, the roster for Legends has grown so much over the past few years that it's actually not that surprising to see heroes like Illyana Rasputin finally rendered in action figure form.
In fact, Brother Voodoo, Magik and Dormammu were characters Hasbro teased at SDCC within the last few years, but wave after wave of the Legends were released at retail with little hint of their inclusion. Finally, Hasbro unveiled the Book of Vishanti box set ahead of SDCC '15, which featured the aforementioned trio, as well as a variant of the just-released Dr. Strange and the all-new Hela. Oh, and there's this little thing in there called the Eye of Agamotto in there, too. As box sets go, it's an impressive piece of work, and one that's sure to make a lot of die-hard Marvel magic fans very happy.
With San Diego Comic-Con just around the river bend, the uptick in exclusive announcements for this year's show is picking up. Today, Hasbro revealed its Marvel Legends exclusive for the event, and it's a doozy.
Available exclusively at SDCC will be the Doctor Strange Book of Vishanti box set, which features not just Stephen Strange himself, but also Brother Voodoo, Dormammu, Magik, and Hela. As an added bonus, the replica tome will include a role-play Eye of Agamotto, allowing you to live out your dreams as the Sorcerer Supreme of Anywhere, USA, as long as you can get your hands on one.
Since 2002, the various Marvel Legends toy lines have been steadily pumping out our favorite heroes and villains with cool accessories and even cooler build-a-figure characters. However, for every Wolverine (and there have been a lot of them), there's been at least one figure that was left on the sculpting room floor.
Whatever the reason, there have been plenty of Legends that never made it past the prototype stage, leaving fans wondering what happened. Sometimes a figure gets abandoned due to budgetary reasons, and other times, there's just not enough interest from retail or fans. The worst instances are those times when there's no real explanation at all, and a potentially great figure is left collecting dust in the darkness.
You can't go to a retailer these days without running across at least one of the many different toy lines Hasbro's released based on Marvel's various characters and properties. We're not complaining. If anything, we want more. Lucky for us, Hasbro's Toy Fair 2015 offerings had just what we were looking for--more Avengers, more Legends, and most of all, more Misty Knight.
Though it'll have been nearly a full year since Hasbro teased its 6" tall Jubilee action figure at San Diego Comic-Con International, fans will finally be able to put the X-Man together this June as part of a Toys "R" Us exclusive Marvel Legends Unlimited wave. The series consists of Stryfe, Marvel Now Cyclops, Marvel Now Storm, a kind of classic Magneto, and an unmasked Wolverine.
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