Rumors abound, that could make this the best year ever for Hasbro’s long running toy line.
We actually know very little about Hasbro’s Marvel Legends plans this year… officially. Not even the second wave of Avengers Legends has been officially confirmed by Hasbro, despite the fact that apparent final production figures in package have hit the web. I’m sure we’ll get confirmation of those at Toy Fair… unless they show up at retail before then.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Over the past week, dedicated sleuths across the internet have uncovered lots of intriguing figure listings, clues and more… so I decided to compile them all together as a primer on where we are with Marvel Legends, and what we’re likely to see in a few weeks at Toy Fair.
Let’s start with a few simple ones. Back at the beginning of the month, Steven Anne– toy buyer for Walgreens– posted an interesting tease on Twitter:
Walgreens had a lot of success with the Agent Venom and Prototype Armor Boba Fett in 2014, so it should come as no surprise that they would want to feature more Hasbro exclusives this year. And based on Anne’s wording, I think it’s a safe bet we’ll be seeing an Ant-Man (“irredeemable”) and Netflix Daredevil (“blind”) at their stores… As for “electrifying,” I tend to think that’s a Star Wars figure, most likely electrified Return of the Jedi Darth Vader, as has been suggested all over the internet.
But wait– there’s also a listing for a Marvel Infinite Deluxe Ant-Man in Target’s computer system! The DCPI is 087-06-3626, and he’ll be $24.99… the item description makes him sound like a one-off figure, but… maybe not?
This brings us to the next BIG rumor– Ant-Man Legends. Lots of folks assumed the smaller scale of this movie would mean we would not see a Marvel Legends series around it, but a poster at The Fwoosh named Mr. Tibbs found a back door into some listings on Amazon.com for figures in a series called “Avengers Ant Man.” The lineup includes six figures, many of whom we know Hasbro has already designed and has been trying to find a home for:
These listings were also verified by the very reliable Dorkside Toys, who confirmed their existence through Amazon’s retailer-only site. So, while not confirmed, I think this series being a thing are pretty good. And since this is a killer lineup, that is something any Legends fan should be happy about!
Amazon also has a listing for an “Avengers Ant Man Infinite 3.75″ Figure with Ant Action Figure.” Could this be the same as the Target deluxe figure? Either way, it brings to light what can be potentially a LOT of fun for an Ant-Man toy line… all the various sizes and scales that Hasbro releases for this movie can be included under the same umbrella, since our hero’s powers involve him changing his size. That’s a totally fun premise to tie the whole toy line together… and might be a savvy way to introduce kids to Marvel Legends and collectors to Hasbro’s smaller scale figures.
The rumor mill could have ended there, but yesterday saw the reveal of yet another twist! YouTube reviewer Rektangular broke the news of another lineup of potential Avengers Legends figures. What’s more, listings for this wave have also surfaced on Barnes and Noble’s website. The lineup here includes another batch of figures we know Hasbro has already designed, along with a few surprises… and one placeholder right now only listed as “Hero Number One”:
This is another pretty solid lineup. Now! Iron-Man should come as no surprise, and we were all pretty sure Valkyrie would be out sooner than later after she appeared at New York Comic Con. The only real oddball here is Thundra, but Hasbro has been sneaking in some obscure choices here and there, so having one of those in this lineup actually tends to make it more believable in my opinion.
So will this be a retailer exclusive wave? We know Barnes and Noble is upping their game in regard to action figures… Even if it’s not an exclusive, the specific lineup of this set still seems pretty legit to me. What I don’t entirely buy yet is that– if this is indeed a regular, mass-released wave of Avengers Legends figures– it will be the third one released this year.
To me, this “Barnes and Noble” series feels like a fourth wave, capitalizing on Age of Ultron when it hits home video… or as a retailer exclusive. Avengers Legends Series 2 should be hitting long before the movie, and includes Captain America, Hulk and Iron-Man in their new movie costumes. This means the third wave would most likely hit retail in tandem with the movie’s release, so I really can’t see Hasbro not capitalizing on the new movie by releasing a movie-themed third wave in May. We’ve got four new main characters in Age of Ultron (Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Ultron), plus Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye in new costumes, and– if the rumors are true– some cameos by upcoming Phase Three characters as well.
That’s a lot of movie characters to skip, especially in the toy line for what may be the biggest blockbuster of the summer. As someone who really digs the Marvel movie designs, I know I’d be super bummed out if Cap, Iron Man and Hulk are the only movie figures we get from Hasbro this year. I just can’t see that being the case. And since Marvel is not being shy about showing off Ultron’s movie look(s), I doubt Hasbro is being forced to keep the new characters off toy shelves and under wraps, or anything like that.
So that’s what’s going on in the world of Marvel Legends. If these leaks and hints turn out to be true, we could be looking at the biggest and most ambitious year ever for Hasbro’s toy line. The fact that all these listings– while loaded with fan favorites and smart character choices– still follow the media tie-in approach Hasbro employed so brilliantly in 2014, only adds to my feeling that much of this information is true. And if it is, this will be a great, great year for Marvel Legends collectors.
We should find out in a few weeks at Toy Fair. I can’t wait!