There’s Something For Everyone in Marvel Legends’ Latest Lines [NYCC 2016]
It wouldn't be a comic convention without Hasbro coming to town to show off its latest and greatest in the Marvel Legends line. Though you would think the Marvel Legends team wouldn't have much left to show after the deluge of reveals from San Diego Comic-Con, the smattering of new figures unveiled at New York Comic Con somehow managed to rival the awe of those other newcomers despite the smaller roster.
We caught up with Marvel Legends senior design manager Dwight Stall to talk about the announcements, and where the line was headed in 2017 and beyond.
Before we get to all that though, can we talk about the new figures Hasbro showed off? Did you ever think Shatterstar would get an action figure outside of the terrible X-Men ToyBiz lines from the '90s? Even with characters like Eel and Speed Demon making the cut, it was hard to imagine Shatterstar was anywhere near the top of the list of possible figures. It's great how even all these years after the Legends line transitioned to Hasbro, the company is still finding ways to surprise fans with unexpected roster choices.
"We try to build a wave we hope will excite every collector," Stall said. "Whether it's a new collector, an old collector or a child, we try to throw a smattering out so each wave has something for everybody. You know, Shatterstar is something from the '90s; Old Man Logan, something from today; Warlock an '80s character, and the same thing with disco Dazzler. We just want to have some fun, throw some different things in.
"Collectors aren't the same any more. There's people like us, and there are those way older and considerably younger than us. So in all of those people, there's 40-50 years of different Marvel eras spread out that they're all excited about. We try and reach out to hit as many of them as possible."
Of course Shatterstar is at least a memorable character specifically for his time in X-Force during its wild '90s heyday, so he's not quite as much of a deep cut as someone like Deathshead II. That's a character that has one of the more confounding comic book histories of the past few decades, and yet somehow Hasbro's found a way to put him front and center in a yet-to-be-determined wave. It's all part of the Marvel Legends plan to try and accommodate as many different fans from as many different demographics as possible.
"We look at [Marvel Legends] like a fan line nowadays," Stall said. "I think we can say that with confidence because though we don't talk about numbers, the sales of the line are doing way better than it ever has in the past. While there is definitely that adult fan that wants those past 20 years of comic characters they remember reading as kids, there's also a huge chunk of people that have fallen in love with the last 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That's not the same people. There's crossover, but there's a whole new market that's growing that in 10 years time, they're going to be the ones saying Benedict Cumberbatch is my Doctor Strange. It won't necessarily still be the comic version we knew."
There are plenty of iconic characters still making the rounds however, as the polished upcoming Spider-Man line showed. With all the reveals as of late, it's worth noting how Hasbro has actually been much better about releasing figures shown off at events like NYCC. That hasn't always been the case, but there's very little prototype back catalog left for Hasbro to explore.
"We're happy we've gotten so much of them out there," Stall said. "There's a handful that have still haven't surfaced yet, and I don't know if I'd want to do those any more. Most of those were built on such on old body systems that are outdated compared to what we're using now. Don't give up hope that you'll see those characters, but those versions of them will most likely not make it out."
We were hoping to see the Songbird remake, but that certainly feels like something we'll have to wait until 2017 to get a glimpse of now. Even without her at NYCC this year, the final X-Men wave members, the new pieces to the Spider-Man wave, and the "homeless" Adam Warlock and Deathshead II make for some exciting additions. Now we just have to wait for them to actually release.