Super Hero Squad Rumorbuster

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

If you like Super Hero Squad, you may like...

In honor of our 100th post, we’re going to give a rundown of some of Marvel’s other miniature figure lines.

Let’s start with the Marvle 3age as you can see at Collectors’ Quest. These fine figures are like a 3 inch precursor to the current Mighty Muggs. Cute, yes. But too stylized for some.

Many of us are familiar with the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection seen here as these English imports have seen a fair amount of popularity here in the US, moreso once the magazines became readily available. The lead figurines feature classic sculpts, a magazine with biographical information on the character, and best of all, a character assortment that could make anyone jealous. Wikipedia has a good rundown of the 100 or so characters currently out or announced. The downside? They are a bit pricey so tracking down a complete set will definitely set you back.

Famosa has another set that’s fairly pricey to import and may be too stylized for many collectors (but not too stylized for Super Hero Squad fans.) Go to the Famosa site to get a look at some of the great selection available, including Kang, Ultron (available with Nick Fury and a helicopter!), and Silver Samurai. Some of the pair-ups are unusual but inspired, like Doctor Doom and Daredevil, or the above mentioned Ultron and Nick Fury, and despite some great choices, many parts of the Marvel Universe are entirely left out. For instance, Silver Samurai is the ONLY X-Men character represented.

Tomy put out a fair number of vending machine sized figurines a few years ago, and you can still pick some of them up on sites like Gulf Coast Vending as seen here and here. The line basically consisted of some bobbleheads, figurines and “buildable figures” focusing on Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe in general. Character selection included a lot of Spider-Men (for obvious reasons) and mainstays like Doc Ock and Venom, but there are some great choices like Kraven, Black Cat and Mystique. The paint applications can be a little sloppy, but considering SHS, which are generally twice as thick as some of these figures when placed side by side, has its own paint problems can we really complain?

The site Gashapon Collector has some pictures of some Marvel figures released between 2004 and 2006 by Bandai and Yamato. The sculpting and detail on some of these figures is amazing, and the variants add another level of collectability to a toy line that, by design, forces you to buy and buy and buy to get the complete set.

The Minimates line is notable for having a great variety of Marvel, DC and licensed characters, not to mention a lot of fan support from sites like Minimate Headquarters and Minimates Central

Of course, anyone who purchased Marvel Comics back in the early 90s remembers the ads for PVC figures, or the boxes of figures on many comic book store counters. The visual checklist (created by Federico Piccinini) of Marvel’s PVC collection and hosted at AB’s Comic and Non-Sport Cards site covers those early releases, and some of the more obscure and import selections.

And because everything old is new again, Monogram International is trying to bring the PVC figure craze back this summer with Marvel’s Miniature Alliance. Super Hero Times has pictures of the San Diego Comic Con exclusive set of metallic paints, and the main Monogram site has pictures of the 2.75 inch and 4 inch figures. There’s also going to be a SDCC exclusive Secret Wars set with Hulk and Spidey acting out the famous cover, as one can see here. Right now the character selection is limited, and the decision to have concurrent 4 inch and 2.75 inch lines with some overlapping characters is interesting, as is the decision to have multiple convention exclusives, but theoretically if these early offerings do well a more expansive view of the universe will come. Does that mean we’re going to get another PVC version of Captain Britain (see the visual checklist for the 90’s PVC figures mentioned above)? Who knows.

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