Archive for the ‘the thing’ tag
Small plastic figures have been a staple in the toy world for decades. Army Men were always the gold standard – cheap, bountiful and always ready to be sacrificed to the name of entertainment. But being from the generation that grew up on M.U.S.C.L.E. Men and Monster in My Pocket, I figured what’s the worse that could happen with these little Marvel Handful of Heroes. Read the rest of this entry »
Occasionally Marvel continuity gets a little convoluted. And I don’t just mean when the Phoenix gets involved. Take Kang, the time traveling warlord who happens to be descended from Victor Von Doom and once traveled back to Egypt circa 2950 B.C. to enslave En Sabah Nur, better known as Apocalypse. And his actual name happens to be Nathaniel Richards making him like the Cable of the Fantastic Four, only evil.
The Spider-Man Super Hero Squad had a tendency to always include the hero with a few exceptions, so while Iron Man makes up for this by usually including himself at least twice in each set, Hulk takes the Spider-Man path. So naturally, this pack includes two members of the Fantastic Four. Sometimes the Hulk just doesn’t make sense.
When the Super Hero Squad was first starting out, there weren’t repaints and with the exception of Spider-Man, no character had more than two versions released. But in the summer of 2007, Hasbro decided to repaint eight figures and release them in a cardboard carrying case. So the first Collector’s Pack was sold.
All eight figures in this pack had been released at least once before, but instead of just doing straight repacks, all of them got new paint jobs to make them different and, in some cases, a whole new character.
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!
Like the last two waves, wave 3 of the Super Hero Squad has a definite theme: Marvel’s first super powered family – the Fantastic Four! Four packs per wave and four main characters makes great sense. Like every family, they’re held together by a giant rock. In this case, he’s literally a rock!
People collect Super Hero Squad figures for several different reasons, some like the style, some like the scale. I just like being able to have a bunch of them but also being able to hide them when needed. That’s becoming harder and harder to do but I’m a completist and buy all the figures.
My most recent acquisition, as a birthday present to myself, were waves 1 & 2 of the Super Hero Squad vehicle sets from Hasbro Toy Shop since I had never seen them in stores. After they arrived, I immediately understood why.
When I’m not playing Magic, trying out a new recipe or reading, I pay a lot of attention to marketing. And with that, packaging. I love well designed packaging. It’s the reason I started collecting these figures – the Toys R Us Danger Room 5-pack was so well designed I had to own it. Where the 5-packs, and in turn the Collectors Packs, had excellent packaging design in terms of athestics and usability, these sets lack that. In a big way.
The boxes for all four of the packs are huge, with a lot of wasted space. Any retailer would be hesitant to carry an item at the $17 price point that takes up as much space as a $30 item. But the side isn’t the worst part: it’s the shape.
The boxes are an unven trapezoid. It looks like someone just lopped off a corner. Sure, when two boxes are placed opposite of each other, they make a nice rectangle – that’s two feet long and half a foot deep. But that layout wouldn’t work for stores, for one reason. It means constantly having to reorganize the shelves. No store wants product backwards on their shelves so the only option would be to place them one behind another and loose even more shelf space. What is Hasbro thinking?
But enough ranting about poor package design and wasted space. Let’s review the first set: Arachno Roadster with Spider-Man & the Thing!