There’s some big changes coming for Marvel Legends and Marvel Universe in 2014, with a shift in figure releases to better compliment the movie and non-movie figures perpetually competing for limited shelf space and aggressively ignorant retail buyers.
Both the 6″ and 3.75″ lines will continue, now rolled into movie and media-friendly umbrella brands. Marvel U. will be renamed The Avengers, although the plan is still to feature figures from all over the greater Marvel Universe.
Marvel Legends will switch to a theme concept, based on what movies are being released that year. The figures will be a mix of movie and comic style figures, but under the larger character umbrella. So for 2014, we will definitely see a Captain America Legends wave, which will feature:
We will also see Spider-Man Legends, with a stunning Black Cat, Ultimate Beetle, Boomerang and more… along with a BAF Ultimate Green Goblin.
And the Hasbro panel revealed a comic style Starlord in progress for 2014 as well, so I think it’s safe to say we may see some Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men themed waves as well.
In the meantime, though, the Legends and Universe series we know aren’t done yet. The fifth series of Legends should see release very soon, and will be followed by a sixth and final wave in 2013. Series 6 is planned to include:
The series will include a BAF Jubilee, who debuts a new female teen body in this scale.
As for Marvel Universe, the Elektra wave is just starting to show up, and will be followed shortly by 2014 Wave 4 including Abomination (with A-Bomb variant), the black and white Iron-Man, and Cloak and Dagger, who are variants of each other.
The final wave of Marvel Universe will include:
The Marvel Universe three packs will also be coming to an end, with the Asgardian and Astonishing X-Men sets being the final two to see release.
It’s actually a very smart movie to reboot both lines, since neither tie directly into a media property and are often ignored in favor of movie and TV lines. By marrying these collector-friendly brands more closely into retailer demands, I think we’ll see a more consistent retail presence for the new waves. The movie anchored Legends are a true stroke of genius, as each one will be its own separate wave, with a unique SKU to ensure each wave hits retail. This decision will also allow the current Legends and Universe figures to clear out of retail and make room for the 2014 product in a timely manner.
The other movie-branded Legends for 2013 are the Wolverine series, with BAF Puck. These are now a Diamond exclusive, and sadly the variant figures of Rogue and Phoenix Force Cyclops are on hold pending a new release outlet.
Hasbro’s panel also included some new Iron-Man Three items, including The third wave of Legends with movie style Mandarin and War Machine and a comic accurate Rescue with Pepper Potts head. There will also be a few movie accurate Assemblers like Red Snapper and my personal favorite Igor… and the much buzzed about 3.75″ box set, featuring the first and only Tony Stark figure in this scale. The six pack will be an Amazon exclusive, which is great news because brick and mortar store exclusives suck.
Rounding out the 2013 series will be Thor: The Dark World, which will get a limited line of five figures– two versions of Thor, a new Loki, a dark Elf and a crazy menacing movie version of Kurse. Hasbro promises these will be the most highly articulated Marvel Movie figures they’ve ever done in this scale, and while I’m excited to see them released, I have to wonder why they didn’t release them as 6″ figures instead.
Overall Hasbro’s marvel plans moving forward are logical and should alleviate many of the hassles of collecting these great toy lines right now. The work they have poured in to the new bodies for Marvel Legends and the updates for Marvel U. are some of the best in the toy business, and they’re just getting better with each wave. If their new plan can manage to course correct the distribution issues and long delays between waves, fans may be looking at the BEST toy lines to collect in 2014.
Check out more photos from Hasbro’s Marvel booth and newly released official press images below: