Saturday, June 18, 2011

Marvel Universe 3.75" Classic Avengers 3-Pack: Avengers Assemble!

They lied when they said this was a 3-pack!...Because this is a 6-pack!

Yes, Ant Man, Wasp, and The Flying Ant (it deserves caps too) are included in this set, which boasts some newly sculpted parts, lots of great re-use, and a whole lot of whopping bang for your buck.

Just how did I get this so early, you ask?

Well, I was doing nothing one day as I am wont to, when I get a call from the mysterious Rangerlord.  He was on one of his ranging trips overseas in the Philippines blah, blah, blah, but mentions he stumbled upon this set!  He'd already picked up some of the newest Transformers from the Generations and Reveal The Shield line on the cheap for me, so I hesitated when he said he'd found this awesome 3-pack.  Can you believe it?  I hesitated!

But he snagged it all the same for moi, that good ol' buddy o' mine, and man has it turned out to be much more than I expected.  What are you waiting for?  I couldn't wait to open this despite all the Captain America, Thor and Green Lantern goodness I was neck deep in.  Click on the jump, dudes and duddettes!

Like: The "brand new" Hulk sculpt!  Well, at least the head sculpt and the lower arms and legs are brand new, with the body originally belonging to Juggernaut.

One thing that Hasbro has mastered is the reuse of parts to create something seemingly new.  They're so good at it that you can't tell straight away what they've reused.  Besides repainting/re-molding parts in a different colors, they do very minor retools like changing the way the part is spray shaded or throwing in specially tooled but separate pieces to "break" the sculpt.  In the Hulk's case, they gave him a, olive green body, which I thought was repainted/re-molded parts from World War Hulk.  But it turns out he's mainly got Juggy parts. :)

Dislike: That the Hulk's lower legs don't match up completely with the excellently large feet.  He actually looks like he's wearing pants.  The upside is that the swivel/hinge ankles have room to move freely and have their full range of motion.

Like:  That all three have newly sculpted heads!  For Thor it's the classic look: longer-haired, sharper-chinned--more girly, if you will--but nevertheless it's the spot on classic look!

Iron Man is a complete reuse of the body from the IM2 First Appearance Armor figure (gray).  It's a great body, but he too has a completely new head!  They've also added the shoulder antenna that was missing from the previous version and really gives the figure character! :)\

Hulk's head is probably the most distinctive new sculpt of the three.  Just look at that hair cut!  It's almost as if he was so dumb back then that he couldn't tell the difference between a good barber and a gardener with a pair of shears.  And check out gaping mouth, the raised left brow, and the spaced out look!  Lol.

Like: Iron Man's gold!  It's the perfect shade of plastic they've used and they've given it a yellow wash to shade the recesses of the armor.  The result is just...golden!  Once again, Hasbro demonstrate their ability to reduce, reuse, and recycle! (And do it well!) ;)

Like: The inclusion of Ant Man and Wasp, even if they are accessories.  Heck they've even thrown in you generic rubber flying ant.  This one's special, though, because he's not just your typical house-brand toy--he's made by Hasbro. Oooooo... O.o
Like: The great price of S$51 ($US63.75). That's S$17 a figure, plus you get 5 accessories--the 3 "insects," Mjolnir and Thor's cape.  Hey!  Why is Thor getting all the love?

Dislike:  The thing about this set right now is that it's not widely available in retail.  Some of these sets, like the X-Men 6-pack or the X-Force 3-pack, might take a while to reach certain places because said places might be trying to clear old stock first.  But here's hoping they put the old stuff on major clearance and bring in some of this 3-pack Avengers goodness to your area!


Aesthetics: It's nice to see that Hasbro bothered with changing the head sculpts just right for these looks.  Anyone who's first experiences were with these looks will instantly recognize them.  And I'm glad to see they got the faces and costumes spot on!

Hulk 9/10 - As near a naked figure as we're gonna get.  And that's a classic look for the good ol' Hulk--no shoes, no shirt, ALL SMAAAASH!!! ;P  Oh yes, and his paint is excellent too--sharp hairline, eyebrows (one's raised), green eyes, teeth, and a light spray shade over his body.

Thor: 8.5/10 - His colors are slightly brighter than his Secret Wars counterpart (no dark blue ash on his blue tights, mainly), while his helmet's wings are larger and washed with a light blue.  I also love the attempt to give his skin a ruddy wash but I think the matte finish of the redder flesh paint is slightly mismatched next to his shiny molded plastic skin.

Iron Man: 9/10 - He's all gold and brilliantly so!  Hasbro didn't really have to give his awesome gold plastic a wash but they did, and boy does it make the figure pop.  The new head with a smiley face is also a great addition and prevents him from being just a straight repaint.  And guess what?  They gave him a shoulder antenna!--All the better to tune in to FM radio with! ;P

Poseability: All three figures are articulated slightly differently from each other but all work very well to bring out the best of each characters' poses.  But I think the most pleasing thing is that despite using the same plastic bar ball-joints for the legs on Hulk and Thor, this time the legs don't come off with a wayward twist.  I'm not sure how they've improved it but no more "break a leg" moments!

Hulk 9.5/10 - We knew this (b)hulky body was one of the best in terms of articulation and poseability--Thanos and Juggernaut have already proven this.  But we see get to see the full potential of the body because Hulk is just a bare buck and thus completely unhindered from head to toe.  The thigh cuts help tremedously with a figure this size and the way Hulk can position his legs is a far cry from what the original MU Hulk can do.

Thor: 9/10 - With a waist swivel that is missing from almost all other characters in the line, Thor is right up there with Captain America and original Spidey in terms of PoAs.  It's a pity about his long hair, which will always hinder movement.  It's either this or give him a ponytail.  No, don't give him a ponytail.  Ever.

The other thing that restricts his movement is his cape.  But that's removable comes off easily if needed.  I do love that his right hand is sculpted with each finger separate, because that means you can do stuff like this!

Iron Man: 9/10 -This sculpt's mobility is very deceptive because he looks so chunky and inflexible.  Add the fact that old school Iron Man was much less flexible in the comics, and you can see where why anyone would assume this Iron Man figure is stiff as a board.  But it's simply not true--this Iron Man is one of the most flexible.  It's just that we all know Tony Stark wouldn't last 2 seconds in this armor against a common street thug.  And his new armors are so much more sexy. ;)

The best part of Avengers First appearance Iron Man?  His awesome leg swivel/hinge ball-joints and his big'ol feet. (Ok that's two things but who's counting? ;P)

Hank Pym's favorite ride
Fun: There's no doubting the fun factor of this 3-pack. Individually they'd be a lot less exciting. I would definitely not have bought Thor and probably waited for a sale for Iron Man.  The Hulk I would've got because I'm a big-bad-biased Hulk fan. :P

Let's also not forget Wasp, Ant Man and Dr. Pym's pet ant.  These guys were meant to go together--you get a super team and its classic origin all in one fell swoop.  So whether you're gonna have them duke it out vs the Hulk or have them all gang up on Loki (when they make him more available...), you've basically bought a pack of fun and a great way to start your Marvel Universe collection if you haven't got one. ;)

Hulk 10/10 - Hulk figures are always fun because of their size.  But this one is especially enjoyable because of the look on his face and his major lack of pants.  Where World War Hulk had great articulation to go with a bunch of weapons and armor to make him fun, this Classic Hulk also has similarly great articulation but is bare. And it's this "nakedness" which truly brings the funnest fun out of playing with the Hulk.

Thor: 10/10 -What can I say? Maybe it's the movie, maybe it's because he can twirl his hammer like no other figure can.  

But Thor is and has always been a great figure, whether it's the Modern Thor, the Secret Wars Mighty Avenger, the Ages of Thunder Thor, or this one.  Capes are fun, Mjolnir (Myehmyeh) is fun, and his articulation is great.  Dare I say it, his blond prettiness has a certain charm that no other MU figure will ever have...

Yellow Wash! (Can you see it?)
Iron Man: 9/10 -One more Iron Man for Tony Stark's Armory--and one that really pops!  I mean, the fun in having an Iron Man Vault is not really the numbers for me but the variety.  And there's no variation quite like a golden suit of armor with an antenna on it.

Value: I paid a measly S$51 (US$41) to get this 3-pack, which works out to be S$17 ($US13.60) per figure.  That's aboy a couple of dollars below retail for individual figures in these parts.  Getting figures in packs always seems to work out to be cheaper per figure, so it's a win-win when you can get much sought-after figures for a better-than-single-packed deal.

Hulk 9/10 -The figure in the pack with the most new parts, and aside from the minor issue of the shins looking like they might be pants, all of him is done really well, especially the head.

Thor: 8/10 -You get Mjolnir, his sweeping cape, and a brand new head which will please a lot of Thor fans.  Heck, it pleases even me. Verily.  The only thing holding Thor's value back its that his body and accessories are a complete re-use of the Secret Wars version.  So if you missed out on that one, you can make up for it here it a much more value-for-money pack.

Iron Man: 8.5/10 - Fancy new head sculpt?  Fancy a new antenna?  What about some gold-molded plastic?  Well Iron man has them all right here in one figure.  There's no other way to get this version of IM right now, so that alone makes this a value for money buy, even if you're not an Iron Man fan, because you can always sell it on to someone who is! :P

Overall: This is the best multi-pack offering I've seen so far from Marvel Universe.  And that's saying something with the likes of the X-Men 6-pack and the X-Force 3-Pack floating around as well.

How the heck is he doing that???
Hulk 9.4/10 - I'd take your arm and leg (non-plastic) for this figure.

The star of the set. Brilliant re-use of parts combined with excellent sculpting of new pieces and great paint.  All this in one super articulated package--a must have!

Thor: 8.9/10 - It's a keeper!

It's hard to rate this version of Thor any higher because of the excellent Modern Thor.  But this guy does have the classic Thor look spot on and much of it is because of the excellent head--the large wings, the sharper chin, the classic hair length.  Throw in a brighter shade of colors all round and we've got a winner!

Iron Man: 8.9/10 - It's a keeper!

In truth, Marvel Universe Iron Men have been far inferior to the figures from the Iron Man 2 line until maybe the recent Modular Armor.  The good thing is that Hasbro manufactures them both and we're reaping the benefits of sharing here.  Yes, this gold Iron Man sculpt is stolen from the IM2 line, re-tooled and re-released! The one's who benefit the most?  Us, of course!


  1. So cool! This set is on my list along with the upcoming Doctor Strange figure. Congrats on getting this so early and for sharing it with us. : )

  2. Those are really fun- I LOVE that Hulk! Wonderful pictures!

  3. Great review, man... but I dunno, those figures look pretty horrible to me. Well, Iron Man looks really good, but he's a repaint, and that Thor (new head or not) just seems so woefully outclassed compared to the MU modern version. (At least judging from pics; I don't have any of them.) And that Hulk... he kinda looks like a weird bootleg between the first MU version and King Hulk, even if his articulation is much improved over the former. I still prefer to use a movie Hulk as my default 3.75" version. :)

  4. That is so awesome.. I had no idea there was such a thing! I can actually appreciate the figures, having spent a LOT of time with the 60's era of Marvel lately (hehe). The Hulk actually has a head sculpt that is REALLY appealing to me, although that lower leg is definitely unfortunate. VERY nice!

  5. Is this a retailer exclusive or will it be generally available?

  6. @Wes - Noooooo!!! You've succumbed to the Bootleg Dark Side, where super cool original toys all look like bootlegs and bootlegs look like Hot Toys. :P

    But in all honesty, I guess I'll have to concede these guys look dated. After all, they're the 60s versions (and great ones, esp if you're a fan) of the characters and there's no reason the modern versions shouldn't look better. Take Thor for example. I have both Secret Wars and Modern Thor and I often forget how good a figure the SW Thor is simply because of his cheesy costume and gaudy colors. The long girly hair doesn't help either. He's a good figure but like you pointed out: no way he beats scaled-mailed modern Thor.

    As for movie Hulk, I love the scale of him compared to the other MU figures, but he just doesn't do it for me right now. Something in the face...Perhaps next year when the Avengers line the stores we may get an even better one...Ooh...*Drool*

    @jboypacman - Thanks! And you're very welcome! ;)

    @SDTB - I know, Hulk's so lovable, right? Lol.

    @Amazing SW - Yeah, even though I knew this set was coming out I didn't know it had already hit the streets. I'm still really over the moon I got it and I fl like going back to read the Essentials right from issue #1. ;)

    On a side note, I'll be shipping your Iron Man Monday. Sorry it took so long but I wanted to make sure I packed him right. ;)

    @Robert the Red - I honestly have no clue. I'm hoping for everyone's skae it won't be exclusive because I think this will be hard enough to find in retail as it is. I have to cocede we're lucky in these parts though--somethings that are exclusives in the U.S. go on retail everywhere here.

    On another side note: Robert the Red, eh? A shadow King Robert reborn from Melisandre? *Shudder*. ;P

  7. All of them look great! Not sure when they're hitting retail here in Malaysia though..*sigh*

  8. Looking forward to this. Great review and pics as always.

  9. @The Rebel - If I spot it here in Singapore I'll be sure to post it up here. Meanwhile, hang in there!

    @Jason - Thanks!

  10. I just picked this & the x-force 3pk up last week. Went all over town looking for them(Target, TRU, Walmart, comicbook stores) & lo & behold I find it at a Korean mom & pop store in the Bx. Seems they have direct shipping w/ Thailand or Austrailia. In any event, I really like these pks. Also found the variant X-Men 6pk at the Disney store. Does anyone know when the next wave of series 3 comes out? The wave w/ Skaar, Falcon, Dr. Strange, Dr.Doom & the Scarlet Spider

  11. Nice review as always. I'd pick this one up if it ever saw retail where I'm at, but that's unlikely to happen. By the way, anyone know what happened to Articulated Discussion? I was enjoying that site.

  12. "Robert the Red, eh? A shadow King Robert reborn from Melisandre?"

    Damn, that's an obscure, geeky reference. I like you!

    Actually, it's a holdover from a drunken party where we were choosing our pro-wrestling nicknames.

  13. @Anonymous - Ooh great find at the Korean and Disney stores! Lol. ;) As for when the next Wave will be released, I'm not really sure. But I wouldn't be surprised if they hold it off until Captain America debuts in cinemas and then that blows over. August, perhaps? :/

    @Meangreen - Articulated Discussion is down right now because of a problem with one of the plug-ins Wes was trying to use to improve the site. We're trying to get it back up (or at least waiting for The Articulated One to do so) so hang in there, we're all hoping it'll be up sooner rather than later. :)

    @Robert the Red - Drat, missed by a hair! ;P Haha great wrestler name, tho. Heheh.

  14. Fantastic review of fantastic figures. With Thor, it looks like they wanted to do a Jack Kirby-rendition of the character, but only went halfway.

    Digging the Juggernaut sculpt reuse with the Hulk--with these in hand, do you think this would work in the six-inch scale? *hint-for Hasbro-hint*

  15. Thanks Gary! That's a great observation about Thor.

    Yeah, these sculpts would work great in 6" scale, especially with the good track record Hasbro had with Marvel Legends. (But my problem with those were meainly that lots of the figures were underpainted...) Anyways, the 'Bro are going to be re-launching the Legends line at SDCC with Thor as #0. I'm looking forward to that for sure! ;)

  16. I dunno about this pack, I really like it but something holds me back. Maybe it's bcoz I don't like Hulk's head or IM's ball joint, i dunno... I dunno if I can resist them if I see them on stores - hahaha. Nice effects on the swinging myehmyeh, I thought it was photoshopped. It was just like the new Bowen's Thor statue -

  17. I think this pack looks great and happy I pre-ordered it, it should be here next week! Great review too, I love the detail you go into. I have to say I think the winner in the pack is the Hulk, to me he's a hard figure to capture just right.

  18. @Killing Time - Of course you can;t resist...Mwahahaha... ;P

    You noticed the Mjolnir swinging effect! I wonder if anyone else might have thought it photoshopped too. Heh.

    And that Thopr statue is too dman awesome! If only I had a thousand bcks or so lying around...Lol.

    @chunky B - Thanks! I'm glad you pre-ordered it. Was it from your local specialty store? There are some here who were wondering if it was an exclusive. :)

    And yay for Hulk! ;)

  19. Taking into consideration all the post-credit scenes that have appeared in the Marvel movies as of late, I think it's safe to say that the blurb at the back of the box describing how these five characters (or six, counting The Flying Ant; not a bad pro wrestling name, is it?) got together sums up the plot of the upcoming AVENGERS movie. Heh-heh.

    Rangerlord found this set in the Philippines? Did he mention where he found it?

  20. @ Wayward Knave: It was a combination magazine shop/comic chain called Filbar's. I believe they're all over the place and the one I went to was in SM Megamall. You could probably find it at Greenhills as well, which is like toy heaven in Manila. Happy hunting!

    The RangerLord

  21. Great blog, and great review! Kudos!
    Do you know when the x-force 3 pack hit stores? I haven't seen it in stores, and some websites say it's already in stores and others say that it'll be in stores next month. Do you know off hand?

  22. @As Fall Leaves Illustration - Thanks! :)

    Off-hand I don't know. But it's like you said--I believe it's in stores already. The questions is which ones. :/ The X-Force set should've hit stores at the same time this one did, seeing as how they're part of the same "wave".

    Alls I can say is to keep one eye open. Jodging from where others have found these it very wel may be in a place you least expect. ;)

  23. Ah, yes--good old Filbar's! Ever since Comic Alley stopped selling loose action figures (the last one I bought from them was Red & Gold Armor Iron Man, a.k.a. Coffee Can Iron Man), they've taken up the slack somewhat. And Greenhills is indeed toy heaven for collectors in Metro Manila. I hope Sir Dragonbane gets to visit both places in person sometime soon.

    By the way, Rangerlord, while you were in MegaMall, did you happen to check out a store called JAE Collectibles? It's on the lower ground floor (same as Filbar's) but it's in Building B (underneath the Supermarket to be precise) next to Ace Hardware. They have some nice items there too.

  24. And bring Mrs. Dragonbane and Little Dragonbane too. I'm sure they'll also find things to see or to do while you and Rangerlord go on a quest to discover what treasures lie among the toy stores and collectors' shops in Metro Manila. :)

  25. Lol, Mrs. Dragonbane also likes to come "questing" so if it ever happens it'll be a whole adventuring party! ;P

  26. Just be on the alert when you visit JAE Collectibles. Last I looked, there was a Gollum in the wall display beside the front door. Little Dragonbane might get a fright from it. I hope the owner of the shop covers the damn thing when they close at night because I hate to think what some of the maintenance or security personnel must feel whenever they see that thing staring at them. Haw!

  27. Lol. Lil' Dragonbane's too young to be afraid. He may even smile at and start talking to Gollum. Lol. Thanks for the heads up! ;)

  28. I was at the neighborhood mall last night and spotted the X-Force three-pack (Wolverine, Deadpool, and Warpath). Oddly enough, it actually costs cheaper than three of the non-deluxe Captain America figures.

  29. It should, but you're right to find it odd cuz you never know. Did you get it? Pls tell me you got it!? ;)

  30. No, I didn't, sir. It's still there--right behind a Fantastic Four three-pack (?) with Invisible Girl, Mr. Fantastic, The Thing...and HERBIE the robot.

  31. Grab it! GRAB it! Only if they're a reasonable price of course. Lol. And if you like H.E.R.B.I.E. Or Sue Storm. ;P

  32. The Sue Storm figure kind of looks good in her short-sleeved outfit...the Reed Richards figure looks like he took a lot of steroids...The Thing's figure is in short pants and has no boots...and HERBIE, still looks like...well...HERBIE looks like a secondary droid character from WALL-E.

  33. Thanks for the update. I suspect most would want the Sue figure and buy the whole thing anyway. Funny that they still give Reed a super buff body after the chunky Secret Wars one. Thing in shorts is also a variant but I think we have enough Things...And HERBIE has his fans, I suppose. Heh.

  34. I have a feeling Hasbro is going to release a movie edition of this three pack as the Avengers film draws near.

  35. Yes they probably are! Checkout the last pic in my SDCC First Look: Marvel Universe post! ;)


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