Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Marvelous History Lesson….

I guess it’s no real surprise that aside from being really into toys, I was an avid comic book reader & collector as well.  From watching the Super Friends or Spiderman on a Saturday morning to reading comics, I loved my super heroes. Back then however, when it came to toys, there really wasn’t much to choose from.  When I was really young I remember having a bunch of Mego dolls…anyone remember them? But they were never among my favourites.  Later on, we got Secret Wars& Super Powers from Marvel & DC respectively, neither of these lines did anything for me.  Although Super Powers came close, none of them could hold a candle to my Joes.

The "Legend" begins....
Flash forward to present day, Both Marvel & DC have been permanent fixtures on my toy shelf.  Marvel came first; in fact, growing up I never really read much DC comics.  My love for DC came solely from the cartoons.  Anyway, back to Marvel, I started noticing modern Marvel toys in early 2000.  These were in the form of the 6” line called Marvel Legends by Toy Biz.  Luckily at that point, I wasn’t a collector yet, and since I never really had any Marvel toys as a kid, they really didn’t do anything for me nostalgia wise either. 

A new universe.....

Then in 2009, Hasbro (who acquired the Marvel licence) started their Marvel Universe line which was in a more manageable 4” scale (G.I.Joe size).  However their first wave of figures didn’t do anything for me either.  The character selection wasn’t very exciting (Wolverine, Punisher, Daredevil….ho hum) and worse yet, the sculpts weren’t THAT good, in fact, some were downright ugly.  So yeah, didn’t really care much for the line even as they released more and more waves.  At most, they merited a curious look and inspection in the toy store, but I never was convinced enough to buy any.

Just the TWO of us...
In 2010, in line with the second Iron Man movie, Hasbro released their Iron Man 2 line.  Now I’ll be the first to tell you, although I thoroughly enjoyed both Iron Man movies, I’m not the biggest Iron Man fan, I mean he’s cool and all, but I’m more of a Captain America fan (so I guess you can guess what side I was on during CivilWar).  But these figures were….amazing!  For a smaller scale, they were quite detailed.  I found myself admiring them quite a bit and so I caved.  I told myself, I’ll just get myself an Iron Man & War Machine.  They’ll look GREAT on my shelf…just the two of them….

By this time, the Marvel Universe line was in full swing with a better character selection (although their sculpts were still rather mediocre) and since Iron Man had broken my resolve, a bunch of these Marvel Universe characters were looking pretty pretty tempting.  My resolve finally broke when I got a good deal on this set.
Admit it...it DOES look cool
The Invaders were the pre-Avengers team that existed in WW2 composed of Captain America, The Submariner & The Original Human Torch, along with their respective sidekicks, Bucky & Toro and their British allies, Union Jack & Spitfire. It was an innocent enough purchase, it was Cap, my favorite hero and his WW2 buddies, plus their arch enemy, The Red Skull.  Plus, unlike the Avengers, the Invader’s membership was quite limited so there weren’t many characters to collect.  Of course you know how THIS story eventually ends up. 

My Iron Man & War Machine eventually got lonely surrounded by G.I.Joes, and I had to get them some company in the form of their enemies (you gotta have a well-rounded display you know!), the Iron Monger & Crimson Dynamo…this led to getting comic and concept variations of the Iron Man Armor cuz well, they LOOKED cool…really!

As for the Invaders…well truth be told, I never really read any Invaders comics, I read Avengers! And I already had Cap & Iron Man, it wasn’t too long before Thor joined their ranks…then my second favourite Avenger Hawkeye joined them as well. And then eventually.....

Avengers Assemble!
Then I told myself that I would only collect classic Avengers…no mutants, no X-Men…then I saw this guy on sale at a GOOD price….it was too good to pass up!  So I’m pretty sure you can guess where THAT purchase led me to….

So here we are today, 2012, the Marvel line is still going strong getting better and better with each wave, the Thor, Captain America & Avengers movies came and went along with their corresponding toy lines as well, and they’re ALL well represented on my toy shelf.  

Then sometime last year, I started getting sucked into reading some DC comics…..

...to be continued

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photos by Caren Carlos