TOY FAIR 2013 COVERAGE!!!
While I think that their choice in characters for this line is sometimes suspect, I do believe that this is one of Hasbro's best produced toy lines at the moment. What's even better is that it looks to only get better in 2013 with amazing sculpts and some really great characters (including a long-time favorite of mine!)
I also think that it's a fantastic idea that they are using some of the current movies to do character based Marvel Legends lines like Iron Man and the newly announced Wolverine line.
2013 SERIES 1
Protector, whose real name is Noh-Varr, was originally created to be part of a Marvel parallel universe but was eventually merged into the actual Marvel U. He is from an alien race known as the Kree, which have a very long and adversarial history with the Avengers. Having a highly noble sense of right and wrong, he has defied his original order from the Kree High Command and decided to fight for Earth instead of against it. He has also recently been a member of the Avengers.
Archangel is the twisted form of original X-Men member Warren Worthington III, aka the high-flying Angel. When Angel was kidnapped by the evil and powerful villain known as Apocalypse, he mutated him to become "Death" in his own Four Horsemen of Apocalypse. Angel eventually broke Apocalypse's control and has struggled ever since to maintain control over the dark side that now resides within him.
Hyperion is also from an alternate universe and was created in the 1971 by Roy Thomas along with the rest of his team known as the Squadron Supreme. Each character in the group was created to be a Marvel version of the members of DC Comic's Justice League. Can you guess who Hyperion was meant to represent? Let's see... He can fly, has super-strength, laser-vision and the sun gives him his power. If you guessed Green Arrow, then you really don't know your comic book characters!
Ultimates Captain America
The "Ultimate" Universe was created by Marvel to be a "re-boot" of the Marvel Universe without actually having to re-boot it. It was a chance to see the origins of all the classic Marvel characters, but done with modern sensibilities. Because of this concept, many of the characters were much darker and edgier than their usual Marvel U counter-parts, and Cap here was no acceptation. As part of The Ultimates (that universe's version of the Avengers), write Mark Millar made Captain America much more of a soldier than a symbol. He kicked serious ass and was often brutal in battle.
Wolverine was the leader of the secret x-team known as X-Force for most of its incarnation in recent years. When the world turned became more dangerous and hatred towards mutants reached an all-time high, X-Men leader Cyclops asked Wolverine to form a secret team of mutant killers to essentially be his black-ops x-team. X-Force was to do the jobs that no one else could, and no one else could know about. While Wolverine's sensibilities don't make him a murderer by any means, he will do what has to be done, even if it means putting an enemy down for good.
The identity of the Red She-Hulk was a mystery when she was first introduced a few years ago. In time it was revealed that she was actually Bruce Banner's (the Hulk) thought-to-be-dead wife, Betty Ross-Banner. To be honest, I thought that this reveal was just as weak and silly as the Red Hulk's reveal to be "Thunderbolt" Ross (where the hell does his mustache go!?!?) Like the other Hulks, she is one of the strongest characters in the Marvel Universe.
Don't know, don't care.
2013 SERIES 2
Age of Apocalypse Jean Grey
In a parallel world, the evil mutant known as Apocalypse has conquered the Earth and many of the Marvel Universe's recognizable mutant heroes are just slightly different than our own. In this universe, the mutants form an underground rebellion to fight against Apocalypse and free the world from his grasp. Jean Grey is one of the most powerful leaders of that rebellion and, despite having lost many friends and loved ones in the war, continues to fight for freedom against Apocalypse.
What's cool about the Black Panther is, not only is he the king of his own kingdom of Wakanda and a total badass capable of fighting and defeating foes much more powerful than himself, but he also has a scientific intellect that rivals even Reed Richard (Mr. Fantastic) and Tony Stark (Iron Man). I definitely consider him to be one of the most underrated Marvel characters. This version of his costume is the most dull and not my favorite (love the one with the cape!) he's definitely a welcome edition to the line.
Jean Grey, aka Marvel Girl, is one of the founding members of the X-Men. She has also had many other identities and aliases over the years, including the world-destroying entity known as the Phoenix. She has also died and been brought back to life more times and almost every other Marvel character! This incarnation of Jean was from the early 90's and at the height of comic book popularity. At this particular time, she only possessed her usual powers of telepathy and telekinesis-- although other than her mentor Professor X-- she is probably the most powerful mentally powered mutant on earth.
Clint Barton was once a villain but quickly redeemed himself as he found an idol and mentor in Captain America. Possessing no super powers, he is still one of the Avengers most consistent and respected members. He has, at times, even led the Avengers and his own off-shoot Avengers teams. (West Coast Avengers, Secret Avengers) There is no one more accurate with a bow and if he ever loses it in battle, he can still throw down with the best of them and is highly trained in hand-to-hand combat.
The poor man's Juggernaut? Maybe. Kinda. But as a part of the Wrecking Crew, he's still got some pretty hefty Asgardian enchanted powers.
Possessed by the Phoenix Force, a super-powerful cosmic creature that travels the universe creating life and death, Jean Grey almost destroyed the Earth and everyone she loved. But, in a moment of strength, she was able to fight off the Phoenix's influence and sacrificed her own life to save her friends and home world. This version of Phoenix represents her appearance as The White Phoenix of the Crown. This incarnation was the most pure version of Jean as the Phoenix, meaning that she was benevolent and pure. She did not appear as this version until she died and then met her life-long love Scott Summers (Cyclops) in an alternate reality where she urged him to live on without her.
This version of "Spider-Man" is actually one of several clones of Peter Parker created by Spider-Man villain the Jackal. Taking the name Kane, he was originally bitter and violent-- and dying. Filled with hate, he fought Spider-Man on several occasions, blaming him for his ordeal. After a strange mutation, Kane eventuality learned that he was no longer dying and found himself on a path to redemption. He now fights against the vicious criminals that he once was himself.
Modern Hawkeye (variant)
When the Avengers movie was about to be released, Marvel redesigned Hawkeye's costume to closer resemble the one from the film. With all that exposure and merchandise that was about to be released, Marvel wanted Hawkeye to be more recognizable to kids and casual fans. Of course, Hawkeye's movie costume was based mainly on his costume from the Ultimate Universe, so now both universe's costumes are similar to one another. But, let's face it, as awesome as Hawkeye's original costume is, it was in desperate need of a modern update. You can only go so long wearing flared out pirate boots.
The Wrecker was a violent criminal who, in a strange twist of fate, was mistakenly received Asgardian powers originally intended for Thor's half-brother Loki. At the time, his weapon-- a crowbar-- became enchanted with power as well. In time, the Wrecker was defeated and sent to Ryker's Island. After meeting several other like-minded violent criminals, the group escaped and Wrecker was able to share his powers with them thus creating the Wrecking Crew.
Rocket Raccoon (Build-A-Figure)
The coolest thing about Rocket Raccoon is that the original comic was drawn by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. He's not a real Raccon, though. Well not one that we'd assume him to be. He's actually an alien and he hates when people mistake him for simple Earth animal. Part of the intergalactic super-team known as The Guardians of the Galaxy, this gruff but tough little warrior can fight with the best of them and has no problem kicking evil's ass no matter where it may rise.
IRON MAN MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 2
Iron Patriot (movie version)
Ultron is an artificial intelligence created by Avengers member Hank Pym (Giant Man) when he was arrogantly testing the boundaries of his own scientific abilities. Gaining self-awareness, Ultron turned on his creator and was eventually able to create a body for itself made of the most powerful alloy in the world, Adamantium. Since it's creation, Ultron has worked relentless to destroy it's creator and the Avengers along with the rest of humanity.
Iron Man Mk 42
WOLVERINE MARVEL LEGENDS
Seeing a great leader in a young Scott Summers, school headmaster and father figure Prof. Charles Xavier taught and trained Cyclops to not only be the leader of the X-Men, but also the potential leader of all mutant kind. As Xavier's ambassador to the world, Cyclops has worked tirelessly to convince mutants and humans to live together in harmony, all while battling the forces of evil.
In recent times, Cyclops found himself lost in his own self-imposed responsibilities to protect and nurture mutant kind. Discovering that the Phoenix Force was returning to Earth, Cyclops took it as a sigh that the new dawn of mutants was finally near. In a battle against the Avengers who were trying to repel the Phoenix, Cyclops found himself possessed by the powerful entity. Initially, he used its powers to try to help mankind, but his views soon became dark and twisted by the Phoenix and he turned on all of his friends-- even killing his long-time mentor Prof. X-- as he was overtaken and became Dark Phoenix. With all of Earth's heroes unable to defeat him, it was a vision of his lost love Jean Grey-- the original Phoenix-- that finally allowed him shake off the Phoenix's influence long enough to reject it and finally be defeated.
Rogue & Emma Frost
This is the one. The one I've been waiting for. Rogue. I love Rogue. Always have. And I will beat up Gambit if I ever see him. But seriously, Rogue has been a favorite of mine ever since she joined the X-Men and they took her from that ugly, evil girl that appeared in Avengers Annual #10 (the best comic book of all time, and Rogue's first appearance) to that sweet young girl looking for redemption. Rogue has strong ties to X-Men enemy Mystique who "adopted" Rogue when she was a teenage runaway. For most of her life, Rogue has had no control over her powers, meaning that any skin-to-skin contact caused her to absorb a person's memories and powers. An extended touch could cause her to absorb those attributes permanently (as she did with Ms Marvel), but too long of a touch could even cause death. Rogue has had quite a few costumes over the years, but this one is my favorite, so I'm so glad to see that they went with this one-- especially considering that they did the whole cleavage things because some artist draw her with her costume zipped up! This is one figure that I can't wait to own-- finally!
Emma Frost - aka The White Queen-- was once a member of a secret society of mutants with world dominating goals. This brought them head-to-head with the X-Men many times over the years. While Emma has recently lost her taste for evil and joined with the X-Man rather than fighting against them, one thing she hasn't lost is her heightened sense of self-importance. Often arrogant and demeaning to those around her, she does very little to endear herself to a group of people who question her change of heart and still view her as the terrorist she once was. But one person who does not question her is the man she currently shares her bed with, the X-Men's leader, Cyclops. Since Emma's powers are mental in nature, many people thought that Cyclops was simply under her control, but in reality, their love was true and has maintained both of them through some very hard time.
As a figure, I'm not sure how I feel about this one. She needs something. A cape at least, I think. She just looks too thin and gangly. Hasbro is kind of notorious for that kind of female sculpt. Don't be so scared to put some meat on those bones, Hasbro! Not every woman has sticks for arms and no hips!
As long as Wolverine has been alive-- which has been a very long time-- Sabretooth has been there to make his life a living hell. Possessing powers almost identical to Wolverine's, he is nearly impossible to kill. He has also been an enemy of the X-Men as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but his main focus seems to be a desire to endlessly torture and battle Wolverine.
I love the head sculpt on this version of the character. The costume, while simplistic, also looks great.
Well, hell, if you don't know about Wolverine, then you probably don't have any interest in these figures anyway. This looks to just be a re-paint of the X-Force Wolverine, which is fine with me because it's a great figure!
Whew! That took a long time to write! And yes, I wrote those bios myself-- and from memory! That's how much of a geek I am!!!
Marvel Legends Series 1 & 2 along with Iron Man Series 1 & 2 will retail for $14.99 each and will start shipping in the Spring.
No pricing info or release date for the Wolverine Series yet.