While Hasbro’s new Marvel Legends are a home run for collectors, they have also released a cool new brand focusing on younger Marvel fans– the Super Hero Mashers. These cartoony takes on the heroes and villains of the Marvel universe feature some cool designs and a neat play feature that allows arms, legs and heads to be interchanged between figures, so kids can create their own custom heroes and villains.
The Marvel Mashers stand approximately 6″ tall, and sport a cool hyper stylized look. With their angular appearance, large eyes and exaggerated features, these figures feel like a spiritual successor to the GI Joe Sigma 6 collection, with a little influence from the super deform vibe of Super Hero Squad as well.
There are three tiers of toys in this collection, all of which come packed in smart, sharp looking box packages– the basic figures deliver just that, a figure with core accessory (like Captain America with his shield, or a bow for Hawkeye). The deluxe figures feature more gear, such as Iron Patriot’s armor attachments, and a hammer-launching weapon for Thor. The biggest sets feature other cool features like additional limbs and alternate unmasked heads.
All the figures share the same scale, and articulation pattern, including a hinged swivel neck, ball shoulders and hips, injection molded elbows and knees and rocker ankles. Many of the joints pull double duty as the swap-out points for the “Masher” action feature– Each figure can come apart at the neck, elbows, hips and knees to change up pieces and customize your figure. It’s a neat feature, and can make for a considerable amount of new combos, although the scale accuracy between big figures like The Hulk and human-sized characters such as Hawkeye mean some combinations wind up looking a little awkward and disproportionate.
There’s a few things I’d love to see Hasbro tweak for future releases, though. While the articulation is good, I feel adding an ab or waist joint would help to open up lots more posing options, as well as another swap point. And oddly, the shoulders do not detach, which seems like another easy thing to allow for more customizing opportunities. Even stranger is the design of the elbows, which feature the peg coming out of the upper arm into a hole in the forearm. This means the joint offers no side-to-side movement… Had the peg been reversed the figures’ arms would have a lot more range of motion.
These are pretty neat figures regardless; the stylized design and the clean (if limited) paint apps work well to make these cool looking and very playable toys. Much like last year’s Iron Man Assemblers, I imagine I would go crazy for these figures when I was younger. As an adult collector, I can still appreciate the unique design of these figures to vary up the Marvel collection, offering a cool new take on the Marvel Universe in plastic.