By Craig Tello
Don't even think of toting a beverage in these Muggs.
By the power of Hasbro Toys, Marvel's greatest characters are available in a wee, vinyl-cast format: Mighty Muggs.
Identifiable by their voluminous heads and simplistic sculpts, these Mighty Muggs are a new breed of action figure design inspired by recent high-end, pseudo-couture vinyl collections. The ever-growing Mugg population includes fan favorites like Captain America and several variations of Spider-Man, not to mention a slew of seedier scoundrels like Dr. Doom and Venom.
"It's a great new expression of the Marvel Universe," says Jerry Jivoin, senior brand manager for Marvel product development at Hasbro. "It's a cool, artistic rendition of [fans'] favorite characters."
"A lot of people are very familiar with the traditional action figure and these are just new, fun expressions with the bigger head and body."
According to Jivoin, the name is simple, derived from the mug—or face—proudly boasted upon the large dome of this Mighty assortment that contains the "greatest characters of all time."
"The amount of characters and character selection is very important," he adds. "We are offering a lot of variety for the fans; whether you're a Spider-Man fan or Wolverine fan or Galactus fan, we're offering something for everybody."
The brand itself broke through in January of this year and since the premiere of the Marvel-themed versions of the phenomenon in May, store pegs and shelves have been barren where the Mighty Muggs boxes briefly sat.
"What we've been able to do is offer a vinyl-esque expression of the Marvel characters for a lower price point," Jivoin explains. "A lot of vinyls that are out there are pretty pricey. [Mighty Muggs are] very affordable. For someone who wants to have them all, it's very digestible."
This formula for battling indigestion is good news since there will be plenty for fans to consume in the coming months and beyond. Hitting stores now is the third wave of Marvel Muggs, containing the likes of Thor, Ghost Rider, Dr. Octopus and the black costumed symbiote Spider-Man. Later this year, keep your bright eyes peeled for the coming of Mighty Muggs Galactus and his shimmery herald, The Silver Surfer.
But, as Jivoin assures, the more ravenous collector can have his craving satisfied by Marvel film-based exclusives similar to the sleek movie version of Iron Man that sold out at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con in less than two days. With the upcoming Punisher film release in December, Toys R Us will unveil exclusive plastic pieces for both Jigsaw and Frank Castle, himself. Plus, look out for the Mad Titan Thanos and Captain America's arch enemy Red Skull in Mugg form, as well, to round out your rogues gallery.
In fact, look for Mighty Muggs—one of the most rapidly successful toy brands in recent memory—to be around for some time.
"Mighty Muggs have been received with such excitement; they've gone above expectations," Jivoin proudly states. "They were one of the hottest items at [San Diego] Comic-Con, and we're working on what we're going to do for next year's Con."
He continues, "We want to send a big thank you to the fans. It's made our jobs a lot of fun and we look forward to supplying more Mighty Muggs to the world."