Marvel Super Hero Squad Review: The Thing & Mole Man

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With the first wave of Super Hero Squad being about the X-Men, the second wave being about the Avengers and the third wave being about the Fantastic Four, Hasbro had to go back to the well for Wave 4. With Spider-Man getting his own line, the choice was the X-Men! Of course, one of the packs didn’t fall into that category and the Fantastic Four showed back up!

No one was clamoring for a new version of the Thing when Wave 4 came out, but here he is! In his more classic uniform, which means a giant orange guy in a pair of shorts. The sculpt is well done with his rocky hide nice and asymmetrical. Ben’s grinning and looks like he’s looking forward to this upcoming brawl he’s about to fight in.

Ben’s shorts are decent but fall victim to the fact that all of the Thing’s clothes seem to magically cover his rocky hide; I guess unstable molecules do more than just never rip. He’s also got the right amount of toes! But his articulation is a little odd, since he only moves at the waist and left shoulder.

The paint is the best part of this figure though. The blue shorts are vibrant and contrast nicely while the navy belt adds some extra level of detail. His teeth and eyes are clean with the blues showing through. But the very best is the orange rock. It’s got a fantastic wash that adds a depth of color that the first release was lacking. He looks like the Thing.

In the last wave, the Fantastic Four each got paired up with a serious foe, one that takes the whole team to fight. This time, the Thing is on his own and is against the subterranean ruler: the Mole Man!

The Mole Man is a relic of a different age, a world before super heroes returned to favor. When the Fantastic Four first debuted, the American public was not in favor of the caped crusaders after the damage dealt by the book The Seduction of the Innocent. Publishers were unwilling to print super hero stories, so westerns and sci-fi tales became the norm.

So in the first issue of the Fantastic Four, the group fought the Mole Man and his massive Moloid monster. The mole monster would have been an excellent mega figure for the line but there is no mole monster or Moloids for Mole Man to command. Instead, we get a figure of a short man with horrible fashion sense.

Mole Man lacks super powers in the traditional sense (though he does have heightened senses like Daredevil at the expense of being nearly blind) so his toys have never been the most exciting and by his toys, I mean the one he got before this figure came out.

His entire look can be summed up as a short guy in an ill-fitting jump suit with a cape, hideous sunglasses and a staff. That’s it, there’s nothing exciting about this guy when he’s by himself. This toy follows that and gives us a cutesified version of the original bad guy of the Marvel Universe.

Mole Man is about two inches tall, making him half an inch shorter than most Super Hero Squad figures. He’s wearing brown shoes, a lime green jumpsuit with a green cape and wearing some ugly gray sunglasses. His only point of articulation is his right hand which is holding his brown staff. He’s a short, ugly guy who lives underground as the ruler of Subterranea and somehow managed to teach himself bojutsu. It doesn’t really make sense.

The paint is mostly fine but there are two issues I have. First is a minor nerd nitpick, but his sunglasses are the wrong color. They should be light blue not dark gray. My other nitpick is the figure seems too clean. This is a guy who lives underground and can barely see, cover him in some dirt!

If you’re a fan of the Fantastic Four, this set will make you smile since it represents the kick off of the Silver Age at Marvel Comics. The Thing is well done and is a fine variant of the figure but it seems odd to release him so quickly after the last version of him. As for Mole Man, I don’t see any kids begging their parents for this underworld ruler especially without his army of Moloids.

Marvel Super Hero Squad Wave 4
The Thing & Mole Man Beast & Iceman
Wolverine & Phoenix Nightcrawler & Juggernaut

Written by jestergoblin

May 18th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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