Marvel Legends close 1 by Carls Life
At their Marvel SDCC panel, Hasbro said that 6″ Marvel Legends would be returning “in full force” in 2012. I started to wonder why that would be, given how strongly they’ve been pushing Marvel Universe, and I’m wondering if it’s the success of DCUC that has them reconsidering.
Since the mid-1990s, there’s always been an “it” line or two in our hobby, a line whose notoriety isn’t necessarily just the sales, but also the influence and general reputation among collectors. In the mid-1990s it was Spawn and Star Wars POTF, and then in the late 1990s, Movie Maniacs. Spider-Man Classics/Marvel Legends took over in the early 2000s and, aside from brief appearances by Millennium MOTU and Lord of the Rings, Marvel reigned alone as the “it” line until the arrival of the 25th Anniversary G.I. Joes. Shortly thereafter, DCUC and MOTUC made their debut, and I think right now those lines have the strongest buzz and most rabid fandom.¹
A large portion of the Marvel collectors today got hooked on the 6″ Marvel Legends originally, so I’m wondering if Hasbro was unable to get quite the same traction with Marvel Universe that they (or rather, Toy Biz) were able to with ML. Fans had to start over with their collections, and while MU did get a big push, I haven’t noticed as much interest and buzz around the line from casual fans as I did with ML. Perhaps I’m just not paying enough attention, so correct me if I’m wrong on that. But I think a lot of ML fans (including me) migrated to DCUC for the 6″ superhero fix. Now I’m wondering if the popularity of DCUC is what’s behind Hasbro’s promise to bring back 6″ Marvel Legends.
Of course, I’m just speculating here. The Marvel Legends 2-packs I’ve seen at TRU don’t seem to be flying off the shelves, though as I said, I haven’t been paying very close attention. The somewhat lesser quality of Hasbro’s ML figures relative to Toy Biz’s efforts could be part of that too, though. And there’s another issue: ML had enough waves to get through quite a few of the major Marvel characters, so perhaps there’s some of your basic line fatigue there. Nonetheless, Hasbro apparently believes they can make another go at it in a couple years.
What do you think? Will Marvel Legends successfully rise again, or should they put the whole line on hold for a decade or so and let the ML nostalgia build?
¹ Transformers has always been extremely popular, but there have been so many different lines I’m not sure any of them have quite gotten the cross-fandom respect and popularity that, say, 25th Anniversary Joe has. Maybe the movie line, but I’m not sure about that. I can’t count the Masterpiece line because the figures are too few and far between, and too expensive, to generate the kind of buzz an “it” line has.