I’ll wrap up my posts tonight coming full circle back to Hasbro and their Marvel offerings – this time here’s a look at their Marvel Universe Infinite Series 4-inch offerings, including the massive diorama that got a very cool update this year (I’ll have to go back to get some more pics of it). The line had become a little too hard for me to follow even back when it was still just Marvel Universe – with the re-issues and often-delayed variants, with my casual interest it was hard to keep up. And it’s even more true now that I’m cherry-picking the line.
But I can say this – the line continues to deliver some obscure figures that please fans of the broader Marvel Universe, and the current crop of base bodies is holding up just fine. I hope the brand refresh to “Infinite Series” can come close to living up to its name. Look for an update after the Hasbro Marvel panel this Saturday.
As much as I love Breaking Bad (after resisting year after year, I finally binge-watched it during the final season), Mezco’s offerings in the Breaking Bad action figure line (or perhaps “6-inch action figure-sized statues” would be more appropos) were a bit sparse. How many different color variants of Walt can we get? Now that there’s a Jesse Pinkman sculpt, we get to ask that question for him. For Gus Fring, there’s just two – and to keep from spoiling it, at least in this post, you can see them in our album for Mezco’s Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy lines.
While I don’t watch Sons of Anarchy, it looks like fans are getting a little bit more in terms of character selection. However, if you’re hoping for articulated figures instead of mini-statues, you’re in the same boat as Breaking Bad fans.
With Mattypalooza this Friday, Preview Night for Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics lines (Club Eternia and Club Etheria) was mostly catch-up – showing off figures in public that had already been revealed via their social media programs. For me, the highlight of this group of figures is Rio Blast – which I didn’t have as a kid, but whose kookiness mixed with badassery has won me over.
The big push from Mattel is for the Battle Ram, which sports an updated front half (to ameliorate the pain of having to buy it again) and a Man-at-Arms with Filmation-inspired head sculpt. The Battle Ram, due in October, is *not* part of the subscriptions – so it is not exactly a lock for Mattel, which will be pushing collectors’ tolerance for price creep with a $110 price tag.
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I know – for fans of DC Universe Classics, it’s a tough time to be following Mattel and their DC offerings this year. The 4-inch Multiverse line seems to have some legs, but it’s just not my cup of tea – I’m not averse to 4-inch lines, but between the chunky sculpts and hit-or-miss articulation, I’m not collecting.
Most of the remaining DC Universe Classic figures were shown at Preview Night, but the Damien Wayne Robin from a few Toy Fairs back was not on display. The Batman ’66 line is stalled – the only new figure was a Yvonne Craig Batgirl, but that’s in a multi-pack – I think that signals the end of the line.
Check out the showing of Mattel’s DC lines for Preview Night – the Mattel Mattypalooza panel is Friday, but I’m not holding my breath for more DC figures – at least not ones to my liking.
Admittedly, I have not been following Mattel’s WWE line that closely since the Legends sub-line shut down – but with the Legion of Doom in their red and black ring attire on its way, I’ll be on the hunt. They’ll be showing up as single-carded flashback figures in the next wave of Elites.
Vader, Lex Luger, and the Rock (again?) will be flashback figures rounding out the next two waves of Mattel’s WWE Elite line. But with Hulk Hogan back in the fold and supposedly scheduled to attend Mattel’s WWE panel tomorrow morning, can a Hogan figure be far behind?
It’s always a joy for me to visit the Square Enix booth at events like SDCC – they’ve always got a slew of their Play Arts Kai figures from their video games, DC, and movie licenses. Most of the usual suspects were there – notably, DC Variant figures continue to see heavy activity (sadly, my picture the most interesting of them, the Harley Quinn, was blurry).
Some licenses are seeing a slow-down, at least in terms of display space. I saw only one Halo figure, while Street Fighter and Rorschach from Watchmen was a no-show, despite the fact that it hasn’t hit production yet. The Square Enix rep couldn’t definitively explain Rorschach’s absence, but it may be as simple as a lack of display space. However, with no other Watchmen figures on display, I wonder if that DC sub-license has stalled.
Fans of Hasbro’s 6-inch lines may be underwhelmed by what was shown for their Star Wars Black Series 6-inchers at Preview Night. No new reveals, but I was happy to see the deluxe figures – both Jabba and the Speeder Bike look awesome – and next wave of single-packed figures on display.
Paint apps still seem to be the weak link in terms of production quality – and it stands out most on the human figures with their G.I. Joe-styled eyes, like on Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. Darth Vader looks good, but he does seem a little bloated with the cloth apps. The standout for me is Chewbacca.
Overall, with so little on display tonight, it does hint that the retail channel is a little backed up on this line. But stay tuned – Hasbro’s Star Wars panel is on Friday, so we can hope for a few more reveals then.
It’s been a long road traveled for the Four Horsemen’s highly successful Gothitropolis Ravens Kickstarter project, and the finish line is in sight. I talked to Cornboy at Preview Night, and although it was tough going, working with three separate factories to get through the pantographing to tooling to painted prototypes, but the 4H are very happy that the quality of the factory samples is meeting their exacting standards.
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Mezco is my early pick for best in show, with its 1/12 scale, super-articulated action figures. The first figures planned for the multi-license line will be three versions of Batman from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. Mez was particularly excited to get to make the DKR Bats, which has cloth apps in the 6-inch scale, allowing the line to sail through some crowded licensing waters.
The Batman Dark Knight Returns figures on display are factory samples, so they’re looking pretty good. Mez says there’s still some paint tweaks to be done. With the complexity of the line (around 32 points of articulation with cloth apps in this scale), they’re hoping to get the figures out by 4th quarter this year. Next year, they’re hoping for a figure every other month or so. This will span licenses, which (spoiler) will include Judge Dredd with his Lawmaster… Sign me up!
For those of you wondering what’s in store for Marvel Legends for the rest of this year, it’s going to be limited to retailer exclusives until new waves for the Avengers and Spider-Man hit shelves in first quarter next year. On preview night, we got a glimpse at the previously announced X-Men Legends wave that is exclusive to Previews.
The only thing new I spotted in the case is a three-pack that will be exclusive to Target this fall, containing Captain America (a rehash of the Ultimate Cap with harness instead of vest), Ms. Marvel (in her Warbird costume on the Moonstone body), and Radioactive Man. The good news here is that some of those figures from the Jubilee wave that never made it to mass market retail are starting to make it to shelves.
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