If you’re paying even a little bit of attention, it’s hard to miss the fact that Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line is entering a new era. After a clunky first series (including an Emma Frost that is still just about universally reviled), Hasbro initially found its groove and released several fantastic lines of figures—until rising production costs and distribution issues led to a few years of spotty releases, at best. 2014 began a sort of turnaround, and that turnaround is in full swing now, with no less than three different Marvel Legends series hitting shelves by the beginning of April, plus even more planned.
Still, those years of spotty releases left some holes to be filled, and frankly so did last year, despite the improvements in the line. Those holes are especially felt in lines related to Marvel’s film franchise, so here’s a list of TEN MCU FIGURES THAT HASBRO NEEDS TO GET ON, STAT!
In 2012, when the Avengers movie was released, it also got Hasbro’s first full-sized series of Legends figures for a movie in several years. Notably absent from that line, despite her prominent part in not only Avengers, but Iron Man 2 as well, was Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow. Hasbro finally corrected that in 2014—just in time for Captain America: America Harder Winter Soldier to come out.
Now, poor Sam Wilson has filled the role Ms. Romanov has vacated, sitting idly by without a Legends figure despite an extremely prominent role in the film. Sure, you can get the Marvel Select figure if you really need to, but then he’s gonna be too big, and do you really want to put your poor other figures through that kind of inferiority complex?
Similarly, Nebula had a HUGE role in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy—alongside her “sister,” Gamora, Nebula acted as an agent of both the film’s primary antagonist and its background string-puller. Frustratingly, instead of her inclusion, Hasbro opted for comic-styled Iron Man and Nova figures.
With major scenes, plus a killer design (both stylistically and the fact that, you know, she’s actually a murderous cyborg), it seems like overlooking her was a pretty large mistake on the part of the GotG toy design crew. Plus, she could come with all sorts of cool accessories. Like a detachable hand!
Like Nebula, Ronan also failed to get a Legends figure in the Guardians line, and that somehow seems like an even larger error—say what you will about his portrayal in the movie, but an action
figure line without a chief villain to stack its heroes up against?! What are thirty-something collectors supposed to do?!
In the case of Ronan, even his traditional comic-styled Legends figure doesn’t really make an effective stand-in. Not only are the designs drastically different, but that Ronan was a Build-A-Figure for a Fantastic Four line that was difficult to locate even when it came out, much less today. Hasbro really could probably have gotten away with two Guardians series—sprinkle half the heroes in one series, half in the second, and fill the rest with villains.
4) Jane Foster
Like 2009’s Captain America: The First Avenger, the first Thor didn’t get a full Legends line—it got three figures. One movie Thor, one comic-styled Loki, and a comic-styled Thor as well, which was a repaint of an older Legends figure. Unlike the Captain America sequel, though, Thor II: Up All Night to Get Loki The Dark World also did not get a full Legends line—in fact, it didn’t get one at all. While Loki got a figure in the Avengers line, that still leaves virtually the entire cast of both movies untouched. Jane Foster is one such example.
Her love triangle with Thor and Sif aside, Foster’s presence in the Thor movies provides a capable and driven scientific mind to set all of these Norse warrior types against, and while she also has a Select figure, like Sam Wilson, that figure remains wildly out of scale with the entire Legends line.
5) The Red Skull
Captain America: The First Avenger featured, rightfully so, perhaps his most iconic villain in Johann Schmidt, AKA the Red Skull. Now, granted, there are other Red Skull figures out there, and it’s sort of an easier pass than most figures, due to not really needing as much in the way of a licensed likeness, but still. Hugo Weaving is an iconic actor, and even under all that makeup/CGI, you could still tell it was Weaving under there.
It’s probable that Mr. Skull is another casualty of Hasbro’s darker days—as previously mentioned, The First Avenger didn’t get a full Legends line. It got a three-figure one, like Thor, with this line consisting of two WWII-era Caps (one movie, one comic), and a Nick Fury figure in all his Samuel L. Jackson glory. Sadly, It’s unlikely we’ll ever get one now, unless Marvel decides to bring the villain back.
Look, Hasbro. WE NEED FIGURES OF VILLAINS! Marvel Movies have a habit of turning into superhero ensembles, and while that’s great for getting lots of hero representation out there, the villains need a little love too! What are you, anti-villain or something?! Next you’ll be trying to say committing crimes is bad! These people (and space elves) are just trying to make a decent, dishonest living.
Like Ronan, despite his status as chief antagonist of the second Thor movie, Malekith has received no Legends treatment at all. In fact, Malekith has never received a Marvel Legends figure in any form, despite being a pretty major Thor villain, and if that’s not an oversight, I don’t know what is.
7) Peggy Carter
Like Jane Foster, despite a complete lack of super powers, Peggy Carter is a resourceful and capable woman in her own right. Unlike Jane Foster, Peggy Carter has her own TV show, in addition to roles in both Captain America flicks.
Hasbro, you really going to tell me that bright blue coat and bright red hat aren’t going to make for a great figure? Plus, think of all the Carmen Sandiego customs that people will think about and then decide against making!
8) Pepper Potts
That Pepper didn’t get a figure in either of the first two Iron Man movies was understandable—while a great character, she didn’t really lend herself to “action,” per se. That she didn’t get one after her role in Iron Man 3 (you know, the one where she got super powers and beat the bad guy when the titular hero couldn’t) was absurd.
Super strength! Glowing arms! Catchy quips! Somehow, instead of her inclusion in the Iron Man 3 line, we got a couple of comic book armors and a comic-styled Ultron, plus a huge comic-styled Iron Monger Build-A-Figure. Hooray?
9) The Mandarin/Aldrich Killian
This one’s a two-fer. I want you to go back and read the last paragraph of that Pepper Potts entry again and make note of something. There are two villains in that series. Neither of those villains are the actual villains from Iron Man 3! The Mandarin and Aldrich Killian both got completely shafted on the Legends front.
What’s worse for the Mandarin is that Hasbro actually planned a figure for him. That plan got so far along in the process that it had a prototype, production images, and a release schedule—only to be cancelled, along with the rest of the figures from that series. Hopefully that gets corrected, sooner or later.
While not the best interpretation of the character, the Mickey Rourke adaptation of Whiplash was still a remarkably toy-friendly design. Electro-tentacles, people! They’re fun for the kids!
Frustratingly, the Iron Man 2 line again gave us two villains—this time, Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man—and yet, no figure of the villain who actually appeared in the movie. This, as you’ll remember, was the start of Black Widow being shorted on a figure, but unlike Widow, Whiplash never made another MCU appearance to drive his demand.
Hasbro’s troubling habit of not making figures for the villains that appear in their movies does seem to be on the mend—for now. While the first series containing figures for Avengers: Age of Ultron has none, the second series due later this year is slated to have a Build-A-Figure of the titular villain himself!
- Sif/Warriors Three/Odin/Frigga—C’mon, Hasbro. Give us some Thor figures.
- Arnim Zola—His First Avenger incarnation would give us a delightfully slimy little scientist. The Winter Soldier version would be a great playset!
- Brock Rumlow/Batroc—Two minor villains from the Winter Soldier would make for a great three-pack with a release of Cap himself—especially since Rumlow is due to return in Civil War.
- Darcy Lewis/Erik Selvig—As great a representation as Jane Foster is, let’s face facts. These two were a LOT more fun.
- Agent 13—Her role in Winter Soldier was minor, but Hasbro already has a female S.H.I.E.L.D. body type, as evidenced by its use for both Widow and the newly-released Maria Hill.
- Skye/Agent May—Actually, most of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast would be neat, but incredibly unlikely. At least they finally got a Coulson out!
- Justin Hammer—Sam Rockwell played a great villain, but at the end of the day, he’s a guy in a suit. We’re proooobably not going to see him.
- Nova Corps—A generic soldier would have been a great inclusion in the GotG line instead of the actual Nova that we got. He was great too, but they could’ve stuck him in any line!
Today’s post was written by guest writer Pete Pfau. Pete is a writer and collector and you can follow his musings on his twitter.