A couple of days before leaving for San Diego Comic-Con, our friends on the Hasbro Marvel team sent me the prize packs for the Marvel Universe Covers Contest (announcement | entries). Included was a set of wave 1 of the Marvel Universe Secret Wars line. I took pics of the packaged figures, but it’s been such sweet torture, having them in hand but not being able to open them.
When I got back home, I went food shopping with my wife. Instead of stopping in the store with her, I went to the local mom and pop toy store around the corner, and I was psyched to find these figures on the shelves. Thank you, Talbots Toyland!
Captain America and Klaw
Cap is a reissue of the wave 2 Ultimate Captain America, with a new head (with wings), gloves, and boots. I’m a big fan of that base body – the proportions and articulation is very well done, so it’s not a surprise that I like this figure. The paint is clean and bright, befitting his appearance in Secret Wars. I do hope for improvement in the eyes, but that’s something I suspect will be true on any figure with pupils at the 3.75-inch scale.
I do have some nits. While they added wings to the head, they also left the piping – I’d have rather seen that gone so the “A” on his forehead could be wider. Also, if they were making new gloves for him, they could have given him at least one fist. We want FISTS, Hasbro! One other note – the shield that comes with this figure doesn’t come with the elastic straps that came on Ultimate Cap’s shield. While you can clip the shield to his arm, you won’t be strapping it to his back.
Klaw reuses the body from black-costumed Spider-Man in wave 3. He’s got unique sculpted elements for his head and sonic arm. The lanky sculpt works better for Klaw than for Spidey (who I thought was nice but too tall), and I’m still in some amazement that Marvel Universe delivered us a Klaw figure. The head is menacing, and the arm attachment is nicely detailed.
Human Torch and Wolverine
Human Torch and Wolverine are mostly repaints of their counterparts in wave 1 of Marvel Universe. Torch does feature a new head sculpt that is a vast improvement over the earlier figure, and with the comic-styled paint apps, this is my favorite rendition of him so far.
Wolverine is a mixed bag for me. I think this is a better color palette for the brown and tan costume than the version we got in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine line, but this base body is just too tall. He’s about the same height as the Torch and Cap, and while I’m fine with him in a crouched pose, I’ll still be waiting for the definitive Wolverine in this costume. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of opportunities.
Spider-Man and Thunderball
Spider-Man is a reissue of the Marvel Universe wave 1 Spidey. Some people think that he’s a bit darker than the first one, but I can’t discern a difference. If you’re curious, he’s on the left side of the picture with wave 1 Spidey. I think this figure is a pretty good representation of Zeck’s art from Secret Wars, but I’ll still be looking for a leaner Spidey to represent his more modern appearances. The black costumed Spidey gets the proportions right for that, but again, too tall.
One thing I noticed on the couple of packs I saw – on the Spidey’s right temple, the tooling must be wearing down a bit. The engraved webbing lines were a little soft in wave 1, and they’re almost worn down to nothing here. I hope this means the tooling is done, so we can get another shot at Spidey at some point in the future of Marvel Universe. Like with Wolvie, I’m pretty sure we’ll see more Spideys.
And Thunderball – who would have thought we’d ever get the Wrecking Crew? With Thunderball in wave 1 and Piledriver in wave 2, I’m hoping the rest of the Wrecking Crew is a lock for this line. He’s appropriately massive and a completely new sculpt. I like the body proportions, and the head sculpt is great. This will be a great body to reuse for Marvel heavyweights. And the wrecking ball accessory? It’s great – and I hope that it signals that Hasbro is making an Absorbing Man in this scale.
There’s some yellow overspray on the gloves and boots, and the masking on his chest isn’t always clean – of the packs I saw, this was one of the messier ones in terms of the masking.
I’d be remiss without mentioning the comic pack-ins. I’ll admit that I’m not a big fan of the silly premise of Secret Wars, but it’s great to see comics packed in with Marvel figures again. I had fun reading them, and I hope that they provide some incentive for more folks to pick these up.
Overall, I think this line is a testament to the success of Marvel Universe. MU started off quite cautiously, with lots of big hitters in the first 2 waves. Now, we’re seeing some real strength – this line extension is one sign, and Thunderball (at best could we call him a B-list villain?) and the new tooling for other upcoming figures, like Enchantress, Hawkeye, and Ultron, is another. I’m looking forward to waves 2 through 4!