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NYCC 2017: Hasbro’s Mighty Muggs Are Back!

Hasbro’s beloved collectible designer series will return in 2018 with all new Star Wars and Marvel Muggs releases!

One of the biggest things to come out of New York Comic Con (for me) was the announcement that Hasbro was bringing Mighty Muggs– their stylized vinyl figure line– back in January 2018. I LOVE Mighty Muggs. Their base design was simple yet effective, with a few points of articulation for changing up how you display them, and the aesthetic behind the painted details of each character was charming in both its exaggeration and appropriateness to character.

The new Muggs stand smaller than the originals… somewhere between the OG Muggs scale and the Mini Muggs that took their place later in the line. But they feature the same fun deco style as the classic Muggs, but now with a new action feature.  Every figure in the new line sports THREE unique face designs, which can rotate into place by pressing down on the top of the figure’s head.  It’s a delightfully fun feature, and the variety of faces is perfect– Kylo Ren can go from a cocky grin, to stern and serious, to filled with rage beyond belief– and each expression feels totally authentic to its character.  And there’s some fun variety to the formula, such as Spider-Man’s alternate features being only his eyes instead of the entire face.

Hasbro will draw from the Star Wars and Marvel universes for the relaunch of Muggs. The debut waves will feature four figures per property– Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Widow, and Groot for Marvel, and Princess Leia, Rey, Kylo Ren, and Luke Skywalker for Star Wars– though at least 50 figures are planned for 2018.

The new packaging is cool; each figure is packed in a clear plastic cylinder with an opening in the top so you can activate the alternate faces even keeping the figure sealed in the box. And the packaging is stackable, so you can literally build a tower of Muggs to your liking.  I’ll miss the awesome box layout of the originals, which I feel was completely ahead of its time, but I understand Hasbro’s desire for something new in terms of both this toy line, and the world of stylized collectible figures en large (Funko’s ever-present Pops, for example, clearly borrowed heavily from the packaging design Hasbro created for the original Muggs line).

As a long time admirer of Muggs, I’m pleased as punch they’re making a comeback. This news was my first genuine surprise at New York Comic Con (it didn’t hurt that I found out around 8am the first day of the show, but still), and I’m excited to see how this line performs in a post-Funko world.

The action feature is key, in my opinion, and based on these debut examples Hasbro is really paying attention to each character and what they should be emoting. But the sky is the limit with this feature gimmick… I’m already dreaming of a Secret Invasion box set, where one of the three faces on each Marvel hero reveals a Skrull imposter… how cool would that be???

 

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