Toy Fair 2015: Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Just Keep Getting Better
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.
As sporadic as Hasbro's Marvel Legends releases have been in the last year, 2015 begs to tell a different story. There are five planned waves due to arrive this calendar year, including the already announced (and in some places, shipping) Hobgoblin and Odin build-a-figure waves. There will be another Spider-Man Legends series (Rhino BAF), another Avengers series (Hulk Buster BAF) and an Ant-Man series (Ultron BAF). Save for the Ant-Man line of Ant-Man (movie version), Tiger Shark, Grim Reaper, Bulldozer, Giant Man and Wasp, each series will come with two leading ladies. White Tiger and Misty Knight will join Kraven, Chameleon, Ghost Rider, Spectacular Venom and Scarlet Spider (with blue hoodie) in the Spider-Man set. Blizzard, Dr. Strange, Iron Man (Marvel Now version), War Machine (movie version) and Vision will be escorted by Valkyrie and Thundra.
While all the dudes look cool, including those figures that were teased forever ago (like Blizzard and Tiger Shark), it's the bad-ass ladies who have us most excited. Unlike some of Hasbro's other properties from a galaxy far, far away, the Legends line has done a nice job of incorporating female figures into each series. While they might be tougher to find due to the lower pack-in rate, that they exist at all is still noteworthy.
That's particularly true of characters that might not appeal to mass audiences at retail, such as Thundra and Misty Knight. For the longest time, if you wanted an African American Legend, you had to wait for a new Storm to be released. Soon, however, you'll be able to pose Misty Knight and her gleaming golden fist right alongside the rest of Marvel's street heroes, like Iron Fist, Daredevil and the upcoming White Tiger.
As cool as all those base figures are, it's really the upcoming Hulk Buster BAF that stole the show. Coming in at around 9" or so, the Hulk Buster is the largest BAF Hasbro will have released. For a "free" figure, the sculpt is impressive, too. It's got some weight to it, and there's definitely posability; this isn't going to be a statue. Though Ultron wasn't on display, Hasbro's reps did hint that it, too, will be a fairly substantial figure. Ultron won't be quite as large, but he'll still be an imposing threat to the figures in that Ant-Man series. Rhino looked nice, and the Thanos was appropriately Thanos-y, but these are characters that have had their moment in figure form before, even if these are all-new sculpts.
Avengers: Age of Ultron had a nice helping of toys at the show, too, though many of them are already available at retailers. The entire line skews towards a much younger audience, and adult collectors that take umbrage with the small size and lack of articulation still have two lines in Legends and Infinite to serve their needs. The coming Age of Ultron playsets will likely make the younger audience they are aimed at very happy. The smaller scale means you'll be able to collect a wider variety of figures without breaking the bank, too. A complete set of Legends will set you back about $150. A complete set of the 2.5" Age of Ultron figures will only run you about $40, not including the playsets. Plus, this gives kids one of the only other ways to get an Avengers Tower beyond the upcoming Lego set.
The Infinite series had a few new figures worth mentioning, including Miles Morales and a Chameleon with several different heads. Deadpool in X-Men uniform is likely going to be the prize of the pack for the inexplicable legions of Deadpool fans out there. Additionally, there were new Mashers on display, from the Winter Soldier to World War Hulk. Marvel and Transformer will also no longer be the only Mashers at retail this year, as Star Wars and Jurassic World are joining the fray. Considering all the pieces from all the Mashers are compatible, those additions should make for some very interesting combinations.
Speaking of Transformers, Hasbro is releasing a brand new Devastator. Unlike the rest of the Combiner Wars Transformers, Devastator will be available in one tidy box containing all six of the Decepticons that form up to create the gigantic robot. During the press-only presentation of all the new goods, Hasbro's reps brought out the original, fully-formed Devastator from the '80s, and held it up to the new beast, revealing just how much bigger the current iteration was. The old school version was merely the size of new Devastator's leg. Yup.
As for Star Wars... there were no real updates on any of the major lines. Everything Hasbro had at the show was already announced as far back as last year, and there wasn't even a hint of what might be coming down the line. Now, we all know there will be Force Awakened figures later this year. When anyone will get to see what they look like is anybody's guess. No classic trilogy figures were teased either, which was a bit disappointing. However, at least there are plenty of Marvel and Transformers collectibles to keep us occupied in the meantime.