Soapbox Sunday: Hasbro Missed Opportunity for Marvel Legends for Thor: the Dark World

Thor the Dark World

With Thor: The Dark World set to hit an $84MM opening weekend in the US, on top of a strong international box office the past couple of weeks, I wonder if Hasbro feels the whoosh of an opportunity passing them by. Back at San Diego Comic-Con, we asked the brand and design team if they had plans for Thor Marvel Legends – in short, they said no.

And while they have brought Marvel Universe-scaled Thor figures to the market, there’s a lot more they could have done with Legends.

Thor and Loki

Thor and Loki would have been a lock for a Thor Legends line, and given Tom Hiddleston’s star-making turns in all three of his Marvel movie appearances, Loki could have been a strong co-anchor for the line. I think he’s gotten better with each movie. He was good in the first Thor, great in Avengers, and was easily my favorite part of Dark World.

Conversely, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor has diminished slightly from his appearance in the first Thor movie – as the young and arrogant god, he was immensely enjoyable. In Dark World, he still brings the action and the laughs, but without the arrogance he’s just not as interesting. But I’ve strayed from the topic – he’s got some new Dark World costumes that could refresh his look from his previous 6-inch figure that was exclusive to WalMart.

Malekith Dark Elves

With Malekith and the Dark Elves, you’ve got villains and army builders, and the two bodies would likely share lots of parts. The inclusion of army builders in a movie-themed line looks like it will work for Captain America’s Marvel Legends line, so there’s ample reason to think it would work for Thor.

And there’s a strong supporting cast of characters, if you wanted to go long and spread it out over two waves. Heimdall, the Warriors Three (should I be offended Marvel didn’t have a wallpaper of Hogun the Grim?), and Lady Sif have not had Marvel Legends figures, and it’s about time that more of the extended family of Asgardians gets some plastic.

Think about it – outside of Thor and Loki, we’ve seen Beta Ray Bill, Valkyrie, and the Destroyer. That’s not a lot, compared to the hordes of mutants and Iron Man armors we’ve seen in 6-inches, for example.

Odin_widescreen_1680x1050 ThorRockMonster

Every Legends line needs a Build-a-Figure, and with Thor there’s several who could fit the bill. In the Marvel Select and Marvel Legends BAF wishlists, Odin is a popular choice. He’d work as a slightly larger than normal figure due in large part to his booming presence in the comics – he is, after all, the All-Father.

There’s also the rock monster that Thor encounters on Vanaheim near the start of the movie. Of course, it should have the feature of being able to dismantle it as easy as you can put it together. (Was that a spoiler?)

And then there’s Volstagg, from the aforementioned Warriors Three. The Lion of Asgard could very easily be a Marvel Legends BAF – if Hasbro could make Blob, they could make Volstagg.

Thor pin-up by John Buscema

Perhaps the challenge with such a big roster of possibilities is the formula to include both movie and comic book looks in Hasbro’s movie-themed ML lines for next year. Even with the focus on Thor and Loki, there’s a much bigger ensemble supporting cast when compared with the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man.

It was Iron Man’s line this year that was the model for next year’s ML plan, and we’ve seen both Cap and Spidey’s Marvel Legends lines following the movie and comic mixed line-ups. Would it have worked for Thor? I’m not sure – I’d hate to get a comic-based Warriors Three with a movie-styled Hogun and Sif, for example.

Maybe the bottom line for Hasbro was that they couldn’t find the resources for a Thor Legends line because the previous Thor movie line (in 3.75-inches) didn’t perform at retail as well as they hoped. If it had, I think we’d have seen a bigger line-up in the Marvel Universe scale, and Legends on top of that – after all, there’s nothing like past success to whet the retailers’ appetite for more.

I’ve had my say, so now it’s your turn. Would you have bought a Thor Marvel Legends line? What would your ideal line-ups be? Leave your comments below.

8 thoughts on “Soapbox Sunday: Hasbro Missed Opportunity for Marvel Legends for Thor: the Dark World”

  1. I’m slightly annoyed that one of the guards(?) was named TYR in credits, but we still have no sign of Thor’s other brother, Baldur!
    I’ve also said since Blob was announced that he’d make a great base for Volstagg, just need a few tweaks and new head, much like most of the MOTU figures get. Hogun could be used from the TB-ML13 Loki base, as could Baldur, if Hasbro bought that mold.  Not sure about Fandral, tho? (I turned a XENA Autolycus figure blond for mine.)  Odin, I’ve seen so many variations, and customizers have done just as many custom variants to match from different sources.
    For the ladies, comic Sif, Enchantress, and even Hela would use the basic F buck with various attachments, like capes and headdresses. Sif could pass with a simple tabard like Elektra and a WORKING scabbard (VAL!). Amora just needs her fringe dress, maybe some thigh highs, depending on the look, plus Emma’s arms for the sleeves. Does anyone really need a Frigga?

  2. WilliamNoetling Nothing was announced at SDCC, NYCC or Toy Fair this year. They announced Captain America Legends and Amazing Spider-Man Legends, but nothing for Thor. If there are 6″ figures, that would be one of the biggest surprises with collectors who follow this line.
    The Thor action figures in general has been disappointing. The last line of Thor figures failed because the first couple of waves consisted mostly of Thor.  The lack of variety was its downfall. There weren’t different figures until Wave 3 and Wave 4 and by that time, retailers couldn’t sell through most of the wave 1 and 2 that they purchased so it flopped.
    Then while the figures this year are actually pretty dang good, there have been some obvious missteps. For one, they made the Dark Elf figure one per case. Why they would make any army builder one per case defies explanation. Then, the only B&M retailer I have found the figures at is Toys R Us…no Walmart or Target. They definitely missed the boat there. I wonder now that Thor has grossed $86 million this first week if retailers are rushing to try and get some figures in.
    I also agree a 6 inch line with a BAF would have been a must for most collectors…they could have made the BAF a Destroyer, or Volstagg, or Odin, like you mentioned. Big miss there. It’s like collectors are standing in lines in stores ready to give their money to Hasbro and retailers and they are saying screw you, we really don’t want it.

  3. WilliamNoetling A third of the Legends stuff they’ve revealed in the past year and a half is sitting in limbo, you really think they’ll surprise release a line of figures without telling people ahead of time?

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