It was announced a couple of months ago that Hasbro would be cancelling their Marvel Universe and Marvel Legends lines. Marvel fans aren’t completely out of luck though because compatible figures will continue to be released under the banners of the various upcoming Marvel movies. I had mixed feeling about this news. I’m an avid collector of the 3 3/4 inch Marvel Universe line. I was reluctant to embrace them at first because I already had a large collection of Marvel figures in the 5 inch scale. It took a few waves of MU figures to come out before I finally decided to pick some up. Ultimately it was the excellent sculpting on their Red Hulk figure that won me over. Since then I’ve bought nearly every figure they’ve released and tracked down most of the early figures that I missed. I must have nearly 170 of the little buggers now. It’s become a sizable faction of my overall toy collection and is the one most impressively displayed. I purchased some really nice custom plexi-glass showcases on ebay which houses them, 6 cases in all that take up a lot of prime wall real estate in my man cave.
I was sad to hear about the line coming to an end because I’ve invested so much money into the line already. And while 170 figures may sound like a lot to some people, it’s just a fraction of the vast Marvel Universe cast of characters. There are so many other characters I was still hoping to get. On the flipside, I find many of the figures to be of substandard quality and I sometimes get pissed off about spending fifteen bucks on crappy figures simply to populate my Marvel Universe. I’m hoping that the move to movie based figures will potentially mean a higher quality product.
I wouldn’t count on that being the case though. If anything the trend seems to be the complete opposite. The past few waves of 3 3/4” figures released as movie tie-ins have been complete junk. The Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Dark Knight Rises, and the latest wave of Avengers figures look and feel more like Happy Meal toys. I don’t have a problem with Hasbro producing cheap toys with limited articulation and paint applications if it means parents on a tight budget can treat their kids once and a while, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the higher quality figures.
I went off on a bit of a tangent there but it is somewhat relevant to this review. This Mysterio that I recently picked up at Target (They just came to Canada) may possibly be the last Marvel Universe figure I buy. Hasbro had previously announced a bunch of figures I was looking forward to like Abomination, Cloak & Dagger, and Death’s Head (Death’s Head!) but I fear those figures may never see the light of day since Hasbro later announced the line’s cancellation.
The long delayed wave of figures containing Mysterio, Elektra, and Rhino has finally hit retail and I was beginning to doubt that I’d ever even see them seeing as they were originally scheduled to come out in 2012 and here it is 3 months shy of 2014.
I wish I could tell you that the line went out with a bang but the most recent wave suffers from the same quality issues that have plagued the line since day 1. I’d place Mysterio around the middle of the pack quality wise. His body is thin and kind of gimpy. He doesn’t stand up well on his own and his poses seem awkward and unnatural. That aside, I was stoked to find this figure the other day.
Mysterio has always been one of my favorite Spider-Man villains. I understand that his fishbowl head, green unitard and purple cape isn’t exactly what the kids would consider cool these days but there’s no denying that he’s a unique looking character. Marvel has attempted to update his costume on numerous occasions but they always come back to the classic fishbowl eventually. Mysterio’s design isn’t one that lends itself to loads of detailed sculpting but what little detail there is on this figure is well done. I wish that they had gone the extra mile and either sculpted or painted the checkered pattern into his body suit but his cape is nicely sculpted in malleable plastic and his large blocky gauntlets look great.
My favorite aspect of this figure is the head. The fishbowl helmet is made out of a frosted, slightly translucent, plastic that allows you to see the shape of his head inside. It captures the look from the comics quite well; better than most previously released Mysterio figures. I was surprised to find that his helmet actually pops off and that he has a sculpted face underneath. I was hoping to see Mysterio’s actual face but the master of illusions isn’t so easily unmasked. The face is solid green with no paint detail; not even on the eyes. And I would say that the head clearly looks like a completely different Spidey villain, the Chameleon. Perhaps this figure is actually Chameleon in disguise. Though the last thing we need is more confusion over Mysterio’s identity. When he first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man issue 13 back in 1964 he was Quentin Beck, a failed Hollywood special-effects artist. In recent years he’s been killed off and replaced more times than I can count. But as of Mysterio’s most recent appearance I believe that it’s Quentin Beck back in the bowl.
As far as Marvel Universe figures go I think this one is pretty decent, but I say that mostly because I’m a big Mysterio fan. Hopefully that face sculpt results in a Chameleon figure being released at some point in the near future . My Sinister Six is still a work in progress. 7 out of 10.
Since writing this the other day I’ve ordered Cloak of “Cloak & Dagger” from an online retailer so it would seem that we are getting at least one more wave of Marvel Universe figures. Mysterio won’t be my last after all.