Note: This year I’ll be updating this single post throughout San Diego Comic-Con with pics and video from the show floor, Hasbro’s media brand preview breakfast, interviews, and Hasbro’s Marvel panel. So, bookmark, and check back in again – I’ll have updates at least once a day.
Throughout the Con, Hasbro purposefully included some Easter Eggs in the display. These are not “customs for Con” as long-time reader Zach Woliner dubbed them. The Marvel team have purposefully made lots of things that are still looking for a place in the line, and strongly hinted that they will make it to shelves.
Don’t be surprised if these are hints as to what will show up in the Hasbro Marvel panel on Saturday.
- Squirrelpool – revealed to be an extra passenger on the Ultimate Riders Deadpool
- a tribal mask – revealed to be the head for Black Panther wave 2 Killmonger in tactical gear
- Apocalypse with a claw attachment – yet to be revealed
- AIM rifle – a new army builder?
- sword with power effect – most think it’s Magik’s sword, but I wouldn’t mind a Silver Samurai, even if that’s not a katana
SDCC Exclusive Defenders Set
The initial reaction to the official pics of the Netflix set was mixed, despite the first time inclusion of Luke Cage, Danny Rand, and Colleen Wing, as well as the unmasked Matt Murdock head sculpt in the Marvel Legends line. I like them more after seeing them in person, although I am still not enamored with Danny Rand. It doesn’t help that I really didn’t like the Iron Fist series.
For those that have already picked up the Man-Thing / Netflix wave, this set has:
- the unmasked Daredevil / Matt Murdock head
- sleeveless look for Jessica Jones
- new figures for Luke Cage, Iron Fist / Danny Rand, and Colleen Wing
We have seen that Luke Cage (in his more iconic gold shirt) is coming in a retailer exclusive 2-pack with Claire Temple, and the Hasbro team definitely wants to do more figures based on the current and upcoming Netflix series. I’m hoping to have a better Iron Fist (both figure and show), as well as other supporting characters like Misty Knight and Bushmaster.
Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years
When Hasbro unveiled the MCU10 sub-brand at Toy Fair, I initially saw it as a cash grab using repackaged figures. While there is some repurposing going on, I’m starting to appreciate this line of ten (eleven when you include the Red Skull SDCC exclusive) packages that comprise this line a lot more than I did at first.
For casual or new collectors, there’s certainly value in picking these up. But even for long-time movie Legends fans, the MCU10 line has plenty to enhance existing collections. Some fan favorite characters are introduced to Legends for the first time, like Guardians of the Galaxy’s Ronan the Accuser, Thor’s Sif, and Ant-Man’s Yellowjacket. And some figures that were teased a long time ago are finally finding spots in the line, like Pepper Potts and the Mandarin / Trevor Slattery from Iron Man 3.
What has really impressed me about the line is Hasbro’s commitment to improving the actors’ likenesses. The face printing technology has certainly helped with that, but they’ve also done a lot to improve the sculpts as well. In some cases, when a character is rendered in 3D for digitally-assisted action sequences, Hasbro will get digital assets to work from. But for many, it’s the traditional approach – gathering as much reference photos as possible before sculpting and refining.
I think Hasbro has yet to nail a Robert Downey Jr. head sculpt – the MCU 10 figure reuses an existing sculpt. But the newer heads, like the Chris Evans one from the Cap 2-pack with Crossbones, are outstanding.
Hasbro introduced a new wave of Black Panther Legends at their Brand Preview Breakfast. On hand were King T’Chaka, T’Challa with a new Chadwick Boseman head sculpt, Ulysses Klaue, and the prominent Dora Milaje, Ayo.
They also displayed a silhouette of Shuri, who is a prominent omission from the current line-up. Unfortunately, the Marvel team dashed my hopes that her presence meant she was part of the wave – she isn’t. But they promise that they’ve got a way to get her made.
I’m hoping in a 2-pack with M’Baku!
The quality of head sculpts prompted a deeper discussion with Dwight Stall, the Hasbro designer for Marvel Legends. Of the many challenges in capturing an actor’s likeness, one of the biggest is the timing and availability of reference material. Work often begins with pictures from the start of a movie’s production, before the character’s look is cemented. For later waves, like this one, Hasbro will have a lot more reference (sometimes including the finished movie). And if a character is involved in a digital-created or enhanced sequence, they might even have digital models to work from.
But what I found even more remarkable is that some of these sculpts, like Ayo’s, are still done the traditional way – with loads of reference shots provided to a sculptor.
After the preview breakfast, Hasbro revealed the remainder of the wave. M’Baku turns out to be the Build-a-Figure, and the remaining two figures in the wave are Killmonger in tribal mask / tactical gear and a powered-up Black Panther. In addition, Ayo turns out to be a troop-builder, with 2 additional Dora Milaje heads included. Fierce!
My only gripe with this wave is this: wouldn’t we be better served if Shuri were in this wave instead of the unmasked Black Panther, but included his alternate head as a pack in?
Here are the official press pics (thus far):
Fans of the vintage line will be glad to see it continuing. Hasbro revealed Ant-Man and the Wasp for the line at the Brand Preview Breakfast. Each will include a miniaturized version of their counterpart. On Friday, Hasbro revealed Scarlet Spider (with blonde Ben Reilly alternate head) and Black Panther for the line.
Here are the official press pics:
The Legends plus vehicle line which launched with Ghost Rider and Black Widow, and continued with Wolverine / Logan, will live on with Deadpool, Dogpool, and Squirrelpool. Deadpool continues the 2-wheeled vehicle trend, with a Deadpool scooter. Fans of the Gail Simone Deadpool run may balk at the not-a-Vespa scooter or bemoan the lack of Akira-inspired stickers, but the realist in me knows licensing is a pain in the butt.
I still think Hasbro should ditch the wheels and give us a Hover Chair Professor X next.
We’ve been waiting a long time to complete the Fantastic Four, and I think it’s been worth it. The Thing and Silver Surfer have turned out great.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Hasbro can do now that Comcast has dropped out of the bidding for the Fox properties, making reunification of the Marvel licenses under Disney a lot more likely!
Updated: Friday 5:06PM PST. Stay tuned for more updates!