Hello Marvel Universe, Goodbye Marvel Legends.
February 10, 2009

Hello Marvel Universe, Goodbye Marvel Legends, it was fun while it lasted.

 

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 Well I fear the end of Marvel Legends is almost here. Even though I’ve heard from a few industry insiders that Hasbro is still gonna support ML, I think the end is near. Here are the signs:

- Hasbro is pushing their 3 3/4" MU line. Not only MU, but they are moving all their lines in this direction. Joe, Star Wars and Indy are all already 3 3/4"
– Marvel Legends – Nemesis Wave – I hear this wave is about to hit Walmart now, but it’s taken FOREVER to get to the shelves.
– Marvel Legends have gone exclusive : Walmart, Target and now Diamond and TRU. The good thing is that these seem to be selling well for them, so maybe we’ll see more in the future.
– The rest of the figures from the Wizard Marvel Legends poll never saw the light of day. I want the rest of Alpha Flight!!!

- What ever happened to the rest of the Hulk wave that never made it, like Red King and Valkyrie. Thanks to Spy Magician I have Valkyrie prototype, so I know it was tooled.

 

 So what does the future hold for this line? Well I think we’ll see a few more exclusives down the road, but it’s really only a matter of time before it’s over. I think when  the MU line hits most folks will move in that direction because of price point and scale.  It would be nice for Diamond to pick up this line, but I just don’t see it happening. They should at least move their Marvel Select line down to this scale and attract the ML audience. Now there is the small chance that Hasbro Toy Shop (HTS) could do a small run of collectible exclusives, sort of like Mattel is doing with He-Man, but I don’t see that happening either. HTS tried this with their Sunfire figure and I don’t think those sold as well as they we hoping. Plus they could have tested the waters on this type of thing with their last unreleased Indy line, but that never happened either. It’s just not in Hasbro’s game plan at this point. So ultimately these factors will cause ML to die a slow death.

Now is that a bad thing. No, not at all. ML had a GREAT run. It was full of fantastic character selections.  I can only think of a few figures that I really wanted that didn’t make it to the shelves (again I want the rest of Alpha Flight!!).  Plus it’s not like Hasbro is leaving us with nothing. Hasbro created MU to fill that void and relaunch their brand and from what I’ve seen so far they’re doing a fantastic job right out of the gate. Hasbro didn’t hand us some crappy figures in the 1st few waves, like Mattel did with Infinite Heroes. They perfected the 3 3/4" articulation on Star Wars and GI Joe, then transitioned it onto their MU line. Also Hasbro’s new movie lines, such as Wolverine have figures that are both movie and comic accurate. This is a brilliant strategy on their part and will lead to more comic accurate figures on the shelves.
 

 Will Marvel Universe overtake Marvel Legends and become the dominate Marvel action figure line? Only time will tell.

Until next time.

*photo provided by RTM, remember how it all began HERE

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Bill "Fresh Monkey" Murphy
Bill hails from the land of sunny Los Angeles, CA. When he's not blogging about his favorite things here at AFI he produces visual effects for movies and writes comic books. He also just started his own toy company called Spy Monkey Toys with fellow AFI blogger Jeremy Sung. His toy collection consists of everything from Superheroes to miniature monkeys. If you want to read more of his crazy rantings you can check out his blog at www.mindofthefreshmonkey.blogspot.com.
Read other articles by Bill "Fresh Monkey" Murphy.

 

 

 

13 Comments »

  • OddJob says:

    Marvel Universe is gonna be huge. ML collectors will collect it, despite a ton saying they won’t. The line looks good and Hasbro is doing some smart things with it.

  • abawaku says:

    I agree. It’s sad, but ML is doomed. At least MU is getting off to a good start. And I just realized that although he’s too small for ML scale, my build-up Fin Fang Foom is the PERFECT size to go with a 3-3/4″ Iron Man or Hulk.

  • Spilldog says:

    I’ve been saying this ever since Hasbro took over Marvel Legends… Hasbro successfully killed this line with poor character selections, substandard sculpts and paint jobs, and terrible articulation. I stopped collecting Marvel Legends after Toybiz turned it over to Hasbro. I bought a few (very few) Hasbro ML, and then gave up. The poor quality along with skyrocketing prices turned me off fast. Hopefully Hasbro will redeem itself with Marvel Universe.

    Rest in Peace, Marvel Legends. It was fun!

  • Jeremy SpyMagician says:

    Nice post Bill!!!

    For second there I was afraid you were going to say that you were selling your ML collection in favor of MU!!! (Which would be a crime as you have the coolest, most nicely displayed ML collection I’ve seen!)

    Yeah, ML had a great run. I’m not a huge Marvel guy, but the only figures I can think of that I really wanted that they didn’t make are Terrax the Tamer and Firelord.

    Pretty obscure and a good sign if those are the only ones left of my wish list!

    Spy

  • Bunger says:

    Again…6.99, IMO, is too much for figures that are smaller than my middle finger. I think they are just too pricey. MU and DCIH

  • Miry Clay says:

    Sigh…

    ML was ending at a good time for me. With budgets tightening, I was looking forward to letting it go. Transformers Classics was going away for a year or so. The first pictures of MU were kinda “Meh” for me, and DHI proved to be just too hard to come by here locally. I was looking to try to skip the whole 3.75 scale thing. I figured it’s be a good time to slow down, take some time off. Maybe pick up some minimates. Save up some money to pay the outrageous scalper prices on the 2nd wave of JLU 6 packs. (which never came here, don’t care what “Matty” said)
    Now, darn it, the pictures keep looking better, the reviews are looking positive, and my sons are clamoring for Wolverine and the X-men toys.
    Just when I thought I was out, I’m spouting mob movie cliches.

  • dean says:

    I pray ML continues. I just don’t have the cash to start a new line. the figures are 9.99 in Canada. thats too much for a 3 inch figure

  • Beast says:

    Ever notice that when someone has something negative to say about the line, they refrence the figures as smaller than the actually are. Heh. All hail MU, so far you’re awesome.

    And the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends set is kicking all kinds of butt. :D

  • Hourman says:

    If Marvel Legends is over, I’m content to have about 90% of the characters I would have ever wanted produced in the line. I’m also content not to start a whole new Marvel collection, in a whole new scale, with Marvel Universe. I don’t have the shelf space and I have other ways I’d prefer to spend my disposable income. If DC’s similarly scaled line hadn’t looked so shitty and giant-handed, I would have been tempted to get both MU and IH, but as it is, I’m gonna leave well enough alone – skip MU, continue buying DCUC, and hopefully the occasional Marvel Legends exclusive this or that.

  • Zim2 says:

    Looks like they are just releasing Nemesis wave as to just not waste the molds. They are probably using it’s overall success as a guage to decide if ML is to continue. Looks to me Hasbro’s just greedy. For as long as they’ve had the license we’ve heard nothing but pissing and moaning about the rising price of materials as the reason for higher price and scaled down figures. Did anyone buy the anorexic Namor figure other than to get the BAF piece? Last I checked DCU were made from similar plastic and not only are they bigger and sturdier but the prices have remained stable and the CAC figures are still at least 20% larger and look to be so for the foreseeable future. I’ve invested too much in ML to start a new line which will have many of the same characters. Thanks Hasbro for destroying a great license.

  • Brainlock says:

    Yes, I would have LOVED to see a complete team of Alpha Flight (2-4, depending on opinion of W.Sas and FA Wolvie), X-Force (3!), or even a SINGLE NEW WARRIOR! (did anyone else expect the still delayed Nova to be his new look?) Guess I’ll have to settle for my own customs to see these teams completed.

    oh, and two (ok 3) words: 90s Jean; Jubilee

    I’m still hoping we can get some of these as exclusives, but the price is still a factor for many. I would have loved getting the Savage Land set, but not at the price they were asking for them, HTS or elsewhere. Same goes for the half-assed reasoning behind the FFF-Hulk line pricing. If it had stayed at $10, I would have bought them all for FFF, but NOT at $15. only splurged on Wendigo.

    and does anyone else have Ares wave Torches and other heavy-packed figures clogging your shelves? I don’t expect to see Nemesis until these are gone sometime next year. @_@

    As for MU? I’m holding judgment until I see them, but with a tightened budget for comics/toys, I don’t see myself buying too many, and those few will be a VERY select group. I just can’t see myself paying the same/higher price for a figure twice as large a few years ago.

  • pete 25 says:

    I know it’s mean to say, but I really hope that MU will “crash and Burn”!

    Hasbro’s taking over of the marvel license has been terrible. The price went up while the product standard went down! – (the loss of the comic, paints and articulation)

    Many collectors said that Hasbro would ultimately kill off ML reducing it’s scale to around 3″, and they were right on the money.

    I realize that Hasbro’s decisions have all been down to big business and amassing greenbacks but gee, why ruin such a great line?

    I completely agree with Bill when he hopes for marvel select to take over the line. I’ve loved the MS’s sculpts but have never brought a figure due to the scale and lack of articulation.

    Should they sort these issues out, then i’ll be there supporting them!

  • Zim2 says:

    I just saw the MU at my local Walmart. I’m not surprised to see the final product looked nowhere near as polished as the promo images. What floored me is the freakin price, $8.11 each? Do the math, that’s almost 80% of the ML price for a product that uses no more than 25% the plastic paint and packaging that is used in a typical ML (including the BAF piece). The worst thing is there seemed to be about half the product gone from what seemed to be once full pegs. If this line succeeds it will most certainly be the end of ML. Hasbro claims the line will continue though there will be no new product for 2009, but why the hell would they begin producing ML again if they are making a much larger profit margin from MU? I see very few parents paying that price for such a small product so they are quite simply sticking it to the collector, much the way they are with Star Wars. So congrats goe to all the suckers who will be buying this garbage. You just killed ML.

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