Tag: Marvel Legends Page 1 of 9
I’ve had a theory for a while that modern adult action figure collectors of a certain age (i.e., the ones currently driving the market, between the ages of 30-50 mostly) have gone through a number of fads. I’m calling them…the Buzzlords.*
While there have been plenty of popular action figure lines throughout the years, these are the lines that seem to dominate an era.** Here’s what I see as the most important traits of these lines:
- The line appeals to fans of the property who perhaps aren’t toy collectors
- The line appeals to adults who were fans of the property as children
- The line draws in collectors who weren’t fans of the property at all
- At some point, the line becomes hot enough that the scalpers come in and start trying to make a quick buck.
- There are multiple instances of collectors going nuts trying to find or preorder particular figures, especially variants and exclusives (the monthly Top Ten lists in ToyFare were particularly instructive for this)
- And finally, and I’m sure most controversially, the lines have a certain “buzz” around them among collectors – they’re the line everyone is familiar with, the one you see at every booth at comic conventions, the one that gets the occasional mainstream news article written about it.
So, using these criteria, here is my list of the Buzzlords since the modern collecting era. The years are obviously a rough approximation, as lines waxed and waned and some overlapped in their popularity, and many of these lines kept going long after their initial burst of mega-popularity (such as Marvel Legends).
- 1994-1995 Spawn (McFarlane Toys)
- 1995-1997 Star Wars: Power of the Force 2 (Hasbro)
- 1997-2000 Movie Maniacs (McFarlane Toys)
- 2000-2002 The Simpsons: World of Springfield (Playmates)
- 2002-2006 Marvel Legends (ToyBiz)
- 2006-2010 DC Universe Classics (Mattel)
- 2010-2015 Masters of the Universe Classics (Mattel)
- 2015-2020 Star Wars Black (Hasbro)
- 2020-? G.I. Joe Classified (Hasbro)
Honorable Mentions: Masters of the Universe 200X (Mattel), G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary (Hasbro), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NECA)
But this is just my list. Perhaps it’s biased, or perhaps I’m just way off-base with this theory in general. I’d love to hear your thoughts! (No, really, I would! That’s not just comment-baiting. I mean it is, but it’s not just that.)
*Why the Buzzlords, you ask? Why not, say, the Zeitgeist Lines? 1.) I don’t think there’s anything about these lines that particularly embodies the spirit of their age (except maybe Movie Maniacs). 2.) “Buzzlord” is more fun and memorable than “zeitgeist” – and potentially marketable if the idea takes off. 3.) It kind of sounds like a forgotten Sectaurs character.
**I’m going to exclude sports-themed lines like Starting Lineup and McFarlane Sports. I mean no offense, but the collectors of those lines seem somewhat different from the sort of collector who would visit PGPoA. Their love of the lines comes as much from their love of the sports and their favorite teams and players as it does the toys themselves (which tend to be more like statues than action figures). That said, there’s no question those lines were very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. You might think I’m being unfair, and if so, click here for a rebuttal on my behalf from an expert witness.
From MU Collector Club:
Hey guys back from con and spoke to Dwight Stall Product Design manager and he said Return of ML will cancel and become something else after the Jubilee BaF wave. He said they are basically gonna follow the Iron Man/Wolverine type waves for every Movie coming out. In the next couple days he said they’ll reveal some figures from the Amazing Spiderman 2 ML wave and Captain America Winter Soldier Wave, very exciting news. This will give us a wide variety of characters. He said they’ll be releasing a wave for Guardians of the Galaxy, Xmen Days of the future past and and Ant man.
Likewise, apparently Marvel universe is going to be folded into only movie tie-in lines, too. If this is true – and I won’t say for certain until a Hasbro rep says it – then it’s not a terrible surprise, since MU’s distribution has been crazy-awful and haphazard lately. So, now what? Will the movie figures all have 5 POA, or will they be MU-quality? And if marvel Legends is going down, too, what will this do to the quality of the line? Regardless, if it is being cancelled, it’s had a surprisingly good run – and even a revival! So I can’t claim that ML is getting killed off too soon, but… I don’t know. It feels sad, like the end of an era. Marvel Legends was really what championed the 6″ scale into the massive juggernaut it is today, so seeing it go is very sad.
Congratulations to the second Red Iron Winner, chucktopley, who will receive a Poe Prize! His funny take on the pose in a “yoga class” blew us away!
- It’s been a light week around here, primarily because DMG and I have been preoccupied with moving into our new house. Don’t worry, the toys were well taken care of during the move. Now maybe I can finally start opening and reviewing some of the MOC/MIB toys I’ve got laying around.
- DC Collectibles is doing a 3 ¾” DC superheroes action figure line!…that will only be sold at conventions. No doubt this is due in some way to DC’s licensing deal with Mattel. This despite the fact Mattel obviously has no interest in doing this scale right (or at all). I am thankful I do not collect 3 ¾”, because if I did, “apeshit” would only begin to describe my reaction. The best analogue for me would be Hasbro announcing a Marvel Legends-style 6″ Star Wars line that was only available at conventions.
- Speaking of DC action figures, IAT has a report on some EntertainmentEarth solicitations for “Batman Unlimited” and “DC Unlimited” 6″-scale toy lines. Could this be the future of DCUC? Maybe…? I’ll believe it when it’s announced at SDCC.
- While I’ll be getting the retro TMNT figures, I haven’t had much interest in the ones based on the new cartoon. That said, this SDCC exclusive Leonardo is beautiful and I want it.
- You knew it was coming – Square Enix is making Play Arts Kai Arkham City figures, starting with Batman and Catwoman. I really need to review the Arkham Asylum Batman one of these days…
- The already-somewhat-controversial documentary Toy Masters – about the development of the vintage Masters of the Universe line – will have a panel at SDCC, including some exclusive footage. The documentary attempts to answer the question of “Who created He-Man?” The panel will include former Mattel artist Mark Taylor but not, notably, former Mattel designer Roger Sweet, who in his tell-all Mastering the Universe (my review here) claimed sole responsibility for creating He-Man. Word is Sweet is already unhappy with the whole thing, or at least is “declining to participate further.” For the record, I’m on Team We-May-Never-Know-The-Truth.
- Shadowland Magazine has a special Masters of the Universe-themed issue, available right now from their website. Articles include an interview with minicomic writer Donald F. Glut, a retrospective on the controversial 1987 Masters of the Universe film starring Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella, and an in-depth overview of MOTUC.
This redo of the Avengers trailer starring Marvel Legends figures is making the rounds today, so I thought I’d share it here.
The figure choices are obviously a bit dated – as if the filmmaker or one of his friends had picked up some of the really early Marvel Legends, stopped collecting, then dusted them off when they got the idea for this project. (Damn, that Schwarzeneggerian Thor looks laughable now, doesn’t he?) Assuming the idea was to use comic-based figures and not the actual 6″ movie figures, I would have used:
They had the right Loki, though, and as far as I know there’s not a better Bruce Banner out there. And the recent Extremis Iron Man shows up near the end of the trailer. Using Fin Fang Foom at the end was cute.
To be clear, I’m not dissing the video – it’s still an amazing piece of work – I just kept thinking about how old those figures looked. If you’re going to put that much effort into the production, why not spend a couple hundred bucks on better figures? I don’t know though, maybe the figures I listed are really expensive these days on the aftermarket.
Thanks to Topless Robot for the heads-up.