How Hasbro Revitalized Marvel Legends - Marvel Legends 2018
You have no doubt noticed that here at Garrison City Toy Works we love Hasbro's Marvel Legends. However, we have been fans of the series since it was produced by Toy Biz nearly two decades ago! We thought we would have a little bit of fun looking back on the line and how Hasbro has managed to make it the number one superhero toy line on the market right now.
It Started With A Spider
Before we had Marvel Legends, we had a line called Spider-Man Classics. This was Toy Biz first dipping their toes into the world of making more detailed and classic characters for a more “collector” orientated market.
Just A Side Series
Interestingly the first Marvel Legends series which was released in 2002 was seen as a side series of the Spider-Man Classics line. Of course, it would go to take that line over and be the main Toy Biz Marvel line, but it is interesting that in the early days it was not intended to be the juggernaut (no pun intended) that it would become. That first series featured only four characters. Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and for some strange reason Toad from X-Men. While there were only four characters, series one would have something that the series would become famous for and also drive collectors nuts.
That first series featured variants, Iron Man, for example, had three different versions to find. This is something that would be a major theme through the whole line. Wolverine having a mask and not having a mask for example. While it was fun, it was something that made collecting the whole line that extra bit tricky.
One Bad BAF & Box Sets
Build a figure is the norm these days, but you could argue it was the original Toy Biz Marvel Legends line that really brought the build a figure craze to the mainstream. From series 9 rather than be called series 1 to 8, each series was given a character name. For example series 9 was the Galactus series. Where if you bought the whole series you would get all of the pieces that you needed to make Galactus. It was a fantastic idea and a way to make characters that would be far too large to be released on their own.
One thing that Toy Biz did better than Hasbro is box sets. Toy Biz produced some truly incredibly box sets such as The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man: The Sinister Six and the House Of M. These are still highly sought after to this day.
Hasbro’s Shaky Start
Hasbro would get the Marvel license and in 2007 just one year after the last Toy Biz Marvel Legends series they would release their own take on the line. Their first wave in 2007 was the Annihilus build a figure wave and it featured six figures. Hasbro would release five Marvel Legends series up until 2008. Their first few waves were not met with a ton of excitement. Many collectors already had these characters thanks to the years of Toy Biz Marvel Legends and they were not willing to start fresh. Hasbro decided to put the Marvel Legends line on the shelf for a few years.
How Hasbro Made Marvel Legends The Number One Superhero Toy Line!
In 2012, Hasbro relaunched the Marvel Legends line and enough time had passed that comic book fans were very excited. The first series which was an Arnim Zola build a figure series featured some very unusual and interesting characters like Daken, Thunderball, Piledriver, and Fantomex. There was also some variants for collectors to hunt down too.
Hasbro had done their homework and figured out what people wanted. The recent years have seen wave after wave of great figures be released. Hasbro has done a great job in giving each series a theme. For example as of writing the last few Hasbro Marvel Legends series have been based on things like Avengers Infinity War or the X-Men comic book series. These more themed centric series are something that collectors have really taken to.
To be fair the first couple of Hasbro Marvel Legends series were not that bad at all. They perhaps should not have pushed them to market so quickly after the Toy Biz series ended. Now though no matter if you only collect figures based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe or if you are all about characters looking they do in the comic books, Hasbro have you covered.