By Craig Tello
At the 2009 New York Comic Con, Hasbro proved that they not only have the power to shrink down the Marvel Universe, but also to make it that much bigger.
Some of the biggest fun of the weekend came in small, yet considerable packages at the Marvel booth, where the House of Ideas and Hasbro presented an ample preview of this year's action figure installments. The highlight: A first glimpse of the all-new Marvel Universe line.
Straight from the secret files of S.H.I.E.L.D. and standing at a new scale of 3 3/4 inches in height (save various forms and shades of the Hulk), these guaranteed-to-be-hot toys are set to offer fans the most expansive collection of Marvel characters ever.
"We're really excited to launch this line," says Scott George, associate brand manager for Hasbro. "It captures the essence of the Marvel Universe. We're planning on going really deep [into the spans of the Marvel Universe]."
The inaugural series hits stores everywhere for the first time on March 1 with a unique spectrum of heroes that includes iconic must-haves like Spider-Man and Iron Man, while nicely rounded out by Punisher and Black Panther.
"The idea of the Universe is to come together in one, big Universe," explains Michelle Favaloro, mutant enthusiast and Hasbro brand manager. "The whole [Marvel] world is going to live together whether it's animated or comic book or movie or classic."
But, since it is your
Universe, Marvelites are invited to visit Hasbro.com
to pick five characters you want to see appear in future installments of the figure line.
"70 choices, 70 heroes for the 70th anniversary," George proudly explains, standing before a poster featuring Archangel, X-23, Moonstone and so many more. "The top five vote getters will actually make it into the single-carded line in 2010, which is really exciting because there are some crazy character choices out there, some characters that are really fun."
To add to the excitement and stir intrigue as well, Marvel and Hasbro intend on making another huge announcement about how fans and collectors can obtain a mail-away exclusive figure of Nick Fury, who is just as intimidating at three inches as he is within the panels of SECRET WARRIORS.
"This is an exciting new step for us, but there will probably be a little bit of 6-inch opportunity down the road as well," George teases.
Amid that opportunity sits the sophomore craze that continues to grow in popularity and vanish from store shelves, Marvel Mighty Muggs. Enduring a succession of flashes from digital cameras held by enthusiastic collectors, the Muggs sat with a sheen of majesty within Marvel's fan-engulfed display case.
"Muggs have been really popular," George proclaims. "They are made from 100 percent recycled awesome; that's our guarantee."
According to George, "awesome" isn't easy to come by. Fortunately, however, "Hasbro managed to get a hefty supply upfront." Among those most freshly Mugg'd are Green Goblin (with glider), Cyclops, a de-maskable Spider-Man and Jean Grey (not to be confused with the Dark Phoenix variant Mugg). Cooling things down at the peak of the summer later this year will be Bobby Drake himself, Iceman, who shares his Target exclusive wave with the likes of Magneto.
As if this all wasn't enough to satiate the X-treme cravings of mutant loving Marvelites, Hasbro also has plastic plans aplenty for Wolverine, coinciding with the Canucklehead's many media.
"We're getting ready for 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' on May 1," adds Favaloro. "We're going to have assortments that celebrate the heritage, the movie, the animation – pretty much everything."
Including many variations of Wolvie, plus foes like Sabretooth, the feral mutant's 3 3/4-inch toy line fits right in with the Marvel Universe series slated to arrive in retail stores concurrently. Also coming out March 1 are a fanboy's adamantium dream come true: Electronic claws.
"Who doesn't want to have claws like Wolverine?" Favaloro exclaims excitedly. "You put them on, you flip them out, they've got the metallic sounds as you slash them around and they're retractable."
With or without this particular product tightly fastened, fans are certain to stake their claws through many of these marvelous additions to Hasbro's product offerings. Keep your covetous eyes open for all these great new releases starting in early March and be sure to head to Hasbro.com
to shape your
Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes!
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