Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marvel Universe 3.75" Fantastic Four 4-Pack: Future Foundation

Here's the problem with all the Marvel Universe Fantastic Four figures--There isn't any four of them in the same uniform!  The single-carded light blue modern/ultimate versions of the Human Torch and The Thing (in full pants) came first, but there was no Reed Richards or Sue Storm.  Then came the running change of the Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm in dark blue with white gloves/boots.  By this time, the Secret Wars two-packs series had a Mr. Fantastic in the same dark blue (packaged with Ultron).  Secret Wars also had a dark blue Speedos Thing (packed with the Wrecker.)

Still no Sue though.

Then came this 4-pack all in modern light blue or in Future Foundation white: Mr. Fantastic, the Thing, Sue Storm (Yay!!!) and...Herbie?  Wha?...

Ok, well at least now we have all 4 members of "a classic" Fantastic Four.  But all the 'Bro really had to do was just toss in a dark blue Sue and viola!--we'd have had a complete 'Four.  Instead, now we get the three guys in dark blue and Sue in light blue...Hm.  Ok.  No problem.  We'll just have to put the light blue Sue with the light blue Johnny Storm and Thing and Mr Fantastic.  Only one problem though--I went for the dark blue releases instead of the light blue, so I'm effectively screwed.  Lol.

Moral of the story: prepare to get teased as you wait to complete your favorite superhero team, even if it's a team that's this classic and more famous as a team than as individuals!

My solution: get the Future Foundation white.  At least the previous members of the 'Four you got can still be completed separately as a classic team (if they make 'em...) while you get yourself a variation of the modern day Fan Four!

So let's see how this 4-pack measures up!

Like: The white.  I'm don't follow the Fantastic Four in the comic books at all (except the Ultimates, but that series ended a while ago and is a separate continuity anyway...) but I really dig their new duds!  Talk about pop!  In a world where everyone wears colorful spandex, white stands out.  There's something really neat and clean about it, especially on a figure like the Thing. who's got a skin tone that contrasts starkly with the white.  I guess it's just like having stormtroopers in Star Wars--you got your ragtag, motley crew bunch of heroes and then you have this pristine, black and white army of death (sorta).  This four-pack is kinda like that.  Except not evil and with guys that have super powers.  Heh.

Like: Sue!  Finally, we get a Sue Storm.  And look, it's not your generic marvel universe female head with a different set of hair and with her face painted slightly differently--it's a different sculpt!  And a mighty fine one at that.

Sue's got a determined yet happy expression and it's very much down to the way her lips are painted.  But there's no doubting the sculpt behind it because it's a nice, slim face with ears sculpted in and hair that's tucked behind her left ear.  It looks like it'll be Sue Storm's unique look.  At least I hope so, since a reuse of the exact same hair on this head would just make whichever figure they use it on seem like Sue with dyed hair, now that they used it first for her.

Never mind that the Invisible Woman comes in either a light blue you can't complete the classic dark blue foursome in, or in a white that needs a Spiderman to complete the Future Foundation.  The figure is good enough to hold its own just simply because it's got an awesome new female head sculpt!

Like: The new Reed Richards.  Right body, great head sculpt.  But he still needs some form of stretchy accessories!

Like: H.E.R.B.I.E.  There. I said it.

Sure, he was more prominent as a cartoon character and actually turned traitor in the comic books.  (And yes there's no denying he's a leg humper too.)  I like him in this pack because he's one of Reed's many, many toys.  And it's high time they gave him one of those in the Marvel Universe 3.75" scale!

But if you're not a fan, at the very least, you could use him as one of Richards' minor inventions, like a toilet cleaner or a serving robot or something.  But hey, I wasn't really big on H.E.R.B.I.E. until seeing this figure.  I guess I just like little nods to certain unlikely-to-be-made characters that makes me appreciate the guy! ;)

Dislike: Old school articulation.  Hasbro is milking the old molds for all their worth, for sure.  But come on!  Bring on those thigh cuts, those neck and wrist hinges, and those newer, more flexible ankle hinges--we can't ever get enough of those!

Bad H.E.R.B.I.E!

Dislike: That this white pack offers a long-panted, booted Thing that's repainted white right through to try and hide the boots.  Not a very go job.  The light-blue Fan Four pack actually has a Thing with knee-length shorts and hence has different legs from this one.

Perhaps it would've been cooler to have a Thing in White shorts?  I know it wouldn't be accurate, but it would be cool to have.  Besides, the Thing wears whatever pants/shorts/speedos he can get his hands on, so why not a white pair of shorts to foreshadow a potential future costume change? ;)


Still humping!
Aesthetics: 8.5/10 - These guys look great in their white!  Also, I dig the new Future Foundation symbols.  Sue Storm's got a brand new female head which is the best the line has come up with so far, they've got Reed Richards' body right and given him a newer, better head as well, and then there's H.E.R.B.I.E!

There's some excellent spray-shading on Sue and Reed, but the Thing's a little uneven--mine's got a good right leg and a slightly heavily shaded left one.   Some of the black lies on all three of the figures are blurry, with the worst ones belonging again to the Thing.

Other then that, Reed's got a slightly over-painted hairline, which I actually didn't notice till taking the closeups, while Sue's got a smudged left eyebrow,  Again, it's tough to notice unless you take a closeup photo.   These two issues actually look good in "real life" so I'm not holding it against the 'Bro..this time. ;P

Poseability: 7/10 - Not the newest bodies for these guys and hence not the newest articulation, which is a bummer.  But if they're gonna reuse bodies, this is a very good match to the characters in question.  Still, no new thigh cuts and new neck hinges mean a lot less dynamic poses. But whaddaya gonna do, huh?  The only fantastic, not dynamic, at least not enough :P

Fun: 7/10 - Finally, a 4-pack with the Fan 4!  Although they are only somewhat complete, at least you can get most of them in one pack.  What's cool though, is that you can mix and match heads or bodies with older versions of the characters to give you you perfect Fantastic Four.

But where are Red's extended limbs, Sue's attachable Force Field, or Thing's muscle t-shirt (or some such)?  These would have definitely made the set a lot more fun than just three figures and a poorly balanced robot.  Yep, my H.E.R.B.I.E. falls forward unless you tilt his head back all the way. Lol.

Value: 7/10 - I can't help but think that the FF need to come with some sort of accessories, though.  Sure, they're super-powered beings.  But they rely on tech to defeat the bad guys as much as much as Iron Man or any other hero.  So where's the Fantasticar or the Ultimate Nullifier or the cardboard-assembly Baxter Building?

Nevertheless, they did give us H.E.R.B.I.E, so there's something there at least. :/

Blue Variant!
Overall: 7.4/10 - Good toys all-round with some minor flaws - Not bad at all for a long-overdue 4-pack. Then again, this should have been one of the first offerings early on in the line.  Timing aside, this is well worth getting because it's an all-in-one team builder sans the Human Torch.  If you've been holding out on the Fantastic Four, then the light blue version is a no-brainer.  But if you're like me and want the 'Four but already have some of the members from single-pack releases, then the white uniforms are a great way to get a complete set of them.  you'll just either have to get the light blue Johnny Storm or the soon-to-be released FF Spidey and you're all set!


  1. I've been keeping an eye out for this pack. I passed on the previous release (pretty much for the colour-related reasons you mentioned) but this set will match with the upcoming FF Spider-Man single carded figure.

  2. Exactly! And now, despite knowing next to nothing about the Future Foundation, I'm going to have to get F Spidey myself...

  3. I want this pack for HERBIE and the Thing! : )

  4. Actually you can say that's the Avengers Thing cos that's the costume he wears when he shows up as an Avenger in that title. ;)

  5. @Cavalock - Really? Cool! Shows you how much I keep up with my comics! Lol. Thanks for pointing that out! :)

    @jboypacman - Get it! Gogogogogo!

  6. awesome post - blogspot's new gallery feature really works well with such a spread of excellent photos!

  7. Thanks Debs! You know what, if you hadn't mentioned it I wouldn't have known there was new galery feature. And it does inded look great! :)

  8. I've seen the blue version several times now, but never the white one. Aren't they releasing a FF Spidey soon, though?

  9. Yeah they are. I don;t know when though...

    I passed on the blue version a couple of times too. I was never 100% sure I wanted them. But these white good to pass up ;)

  10. While everyone was scrambling to find the Flame-On Human Torch a few years ago, i snagged the plain light blue Johnny. Now I have a complete and (somewhat) matching FF! Who's laughing now? BWAHAHAHAHA! ...I still want this set more. ;)

  11. @Soudwave129 - Lol, and I had to go after the non-flamed-on, running-changed dark blue Johnny. But I still think you got the ugliest one! ;P

  12. There's also the flaming Human Torch that came from the Secret Wars comic pack with Wolverine. Everyone seems to forget about that one. But that's the one I use with my Future Foundation set. I use the "Nova Flame" Johnny with the blue set. Still hoping for another repaint of Johnny in the short sleeve uniform though.

  13. @Anonymous - Great point--everyone does tend to forget that one, which, like you is my choice for a flamed-on version. :) I'm still looking for one though I do have the 75th anniversary Invaders Human Torch. But that isn't Johnny and I think the black lines make him a little too cartoony. Heh. :)

  14. The part that bugged me about Future Foundation Ben? NO TANKTOP! He wears one in his white-suit incarnation!

  15. Yeah, and I think the Marvel U line can take a page from Star Wars 3.75" book and throw in some soft goods clothes. This here would be a a good instance of how they could've done it!


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