Marvel Superhero Showdown! Series I
July 11, 2005

By Julius Marx, CubanZod & Jason Geyer

The Ultimate Action Figure Battle

A contest of Strength, Poseability and Strategy – A collaboration of Toy Biz World Wide and Upper Deck Entertainment.

Famous characters from the Marvel Universe engage in the ultimate action figure battle! Put your hero in the Attack Pose of your choice, and use unique Battle Tiles, Power Cards, Projectiles and a personal Attack & Defense rating on his base to enact your battles. These powerful elements and your strategy help decide the winner of each battle.

Trying a brand new scale for Marvel figures, Toy Biz is gambling that kids and collectors alike will go ga-ga over these 3 3/4" figures with Marvel Legend style articulation. Not only that, but they are all part of a new game along the lines of the popular trading games such as Heroclix and Magic: The Gathering, but with a poseable fighting element added in. Part game, part action figures, Showdown! allows Marvel heroes/villains to go head to head in a contest of strength, poseability and strategy.

 

 

Each figure has a power base, attack poses, projectiles, trading cards and battle tiles. Starter sets are packed with two character’s dedicated power bases, two projectile shooters, six character cards, two six sided dice, 12 Battle tiles and two figures. The initial two starter packs will contain the Hulk & Wolverine and Spider-Man & Thing. Gamers can then pick up the booster packs that contain single figures, which will be called "battle packs". The first wave of battle packs will have Black Costume Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus, Ghost Rider, Punisher, and two variants: Berserker Wolverine and Spider-Sense Spider-Man.

Luckily for toy collectors these figures can be removed from their game stands, although the multi-position stands help the figures achieve some nice dynamic poses for display. While not in scale with any recent superhero lines, Superhero Showdown! figures are in scale with popular lines such as GI Joe, Star Wars, and the 21st Century military figures. This last group is especially nice when displaying with Captain America, as it now lets fans create the ultimate WW2 battle that they’ve been dreaming about. Well, that’s enough chatter for now: on to the figures! These are grouped in no particular order.

We’re not going to focus alot on the game and the game play in this feature. If you are interested in that Bobbi Boyd and Rob Rooney over at RTM did a great step by step photo article that you can read here. We are instead going to focus on the figures themselves and what we think is so cool about this line- a new scale that can interact with GI Joe, Star Wars, Microman and more.

Super Hero Showdown is a shared exclusive line for Toys R Us and Diamond Comics Distributors for it’s first year.

All of the Super Hero Showdown figures in the first assortment were sculpted by Dave Cortez and Phil Ramirez.

 


Captain America & Iron Man

Long a stalwart of the Marvel Universe, Captain America had traditional gotten short shrift in the action figure world compared with his peers Batman and Superman, to say nothing of such upstarts as Spider-Man and (shudder) Wolverine. Thankfully that has changed in the past few years, with Toy Biz giving us nearly a Captain America figure per year. This year Cap gets his due with this fine figure from the upcoming Superhero Showdown! line.

Showdown Captain America has the following articulation: swivel neck, double ball-jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, glove swivel, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips with swivel, double knees, boot swivel, ML styled ankles.
There is not an “A” painted on his forehead on the final figure, but there is one shown on the prototype on the back of the package. Time will tell if Toy Biz will make a running change there.
Showdown Cap’s shield is a miniature version of the Marvel Legends one with the wrist clamp and elastic straps.

As always, click on a thumbnail to get a larger image.

 

Toy Biz chose to go with a more modern looking Iron Man armor for this first round of Showdown figures. He may be small but he still has little details like his hand repulsors. Iron Man’s articulation is Swivel neck, ball-jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, glove swivel, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips with swivel, double knees, boot swivel, ML styled ankles. His should pad piece is made of a flexible rubber so it does not hamper the shoulder articulation.


Spider-Man & Dr. Octopus

There are three Spiderman figures in this first batch of Showdown figures. The traditional red and blue costume Spiderman comes in the starter set with the Thing. The Black Costume Spiderman is on of the booster packs. The "Spider Sense" Spiderman is one of the two "chase" figures in the first assortment. I’m not sure yet what "chase" means for this line of figures as so far he seems to be one per case. Kudos to Toy biz for making the "chase figures" a variation on Spiderman and Wolverine instead of a new character nowhere else in the line that would be harder to track down.

Collectors with good memories will recall some time last year there was a Takara Microman Spiderman announced that was then pulled from their site and reported as cancelled. Now you know why. Marvel was working on it’s OWN line of 4" super-articulated figures.

"Regular" Spiderman has a ball-jointed neck (careful with this one it pops out if you mess with it too much. But it also pops right back in), ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, glove swivel, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips, double knees, boot swivel, and ML-style ankles.

Black Costume Spiderman has a ball-jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips, double knees, and ML-style ankles.

Spider-sense Spider-man- He’s the exact same sculpt as the Starter pack Spiderman. The only difference is that he has green eyes and translucent green burst of “spider sense” that plugs into his back.He has a ball-jointed neck (oddly enough this one doesn’t pop off like the regular edition), ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivel double elbows, glove swivel, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips, double knees, boot swivel, and ML-style ankles.

Each of the 3 Spiderman figures have different bases.

Spiderman’s fearsome foe Doctor Octopus is the only figure in the line that is a scaled down version of his Marvel Legends counterpart. He is in his classic "Secret Wars" era costume. He has a swivel neck, ball-jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, glove swivel, wrist, waist, ball-jointed hips with swivel, double knees, boot swivel, ML styled ankles. His backpack with the tentacles is not removable and the tentacles are not articulated or bendy.


The Hulk & Wolverine and variant Berserker Wolverine (Logan)

Showdown Wolverine is in the classic “Tiger stripe” costume. He has a ball jointed neck (one of the best ranges of neck motion in the line), ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivel double elbows, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips, double knees, boot swivel, and ML-style ankles. his claws on each hand are one solid piece (sculpted to look like 3 claws) because of the scale. Now you have a Wolverine to battle Snake yes and Stormshadow.

Showdown Hulk is in his classic purple pants and ready to bust up the joint. Hulk has a ball jointed neck (one of the best ranges of neck motion in the line), ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, elbows, wrist, fingers on left hand, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips, double knees, ML-style ankles and mid-foot. His other hand is closed to hold the launcher. Hulk because of his size and sculpt is on of the heaviest figures in the line so you really have to work with the stand to achieve any jumping or mid air poses. 21st Century made some great WWII era soldiers in this scale that are perfect for your Showdown Hulk to terrorize.

Berserker Wolverine (Logan) is in his civilian clothes of a t-shirt, jeans and boots. He is also sporting his bone claws instead of the adamantium blades. He has a swivel neck, ball-jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips with swivel, double knees, mid-shin swivel, limited ankle movement (because of his pant legs).

 


Dr. Doom, The Thing & Human Torch

Showdown Thing is very Art Adams-esque in his sculpt. He is sporting the more classic blue trunks with black waistband. He has a ball-jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivel elbows, wrist, fingers on left hand, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips, double knees, ML-style ankles and mid-foot. His other hand is sculpted closed to hold the launcher. Even for being so small there is a LOT of detail sculpted into this figure and you can even see his tradmarked ‘baby blues.’

Human Torch is a pretty straightforward version of Johnny Storm. He has a swivel neck, ball-jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, glove swivel, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips with swivel, double knees, boot swivel, ML styled ankles.

Dr. Doom works really well in the scale and you can just see him conspiring with Cobra Commander or fighting with Destro over the mask polish. Doom has a swivel neck, ball-jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, glove swivel, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips with swivel, double knees, boot swivel, ML styled ankles. Doom has a flexible cape and “skirt” as to retain full poseability with the legs. Nice detail on the eyes inside his mask even at this scale.


Ghost Rider & Punisher

Punisher- swivel neck, ball-jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips with swivel, double knees, boot swivel, ML styled ankles. Frank comes with a gun strapped to his leg but it is not removable. If you need in scale weapons for your Punisher you may need to look at GI Joe or some other source.

Ghost Rider- Ghost Rider is also a more modern incarnation of the character and closer to his Marvel Legends counterpart. Ghost Rider has a ball-jointed neck, ball-jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, wrist, mid-torso, waist, ball-jointed hips with swivel, double knees, boot swivel, ML styled ankles. Ghost Rider sports translucent fire,and his flexible collar maintains good neck movement. This figure also has great spinal cord/neck detail.

 

And to wrap this feature up, here are a whole lot of pictures of these bad boys in all their carded glory. Enjoy!

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by AFi Admin.

 

 

 

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