Friday, November 26, 2021

Be Legendary

As a kid with a very limited weekly allowance, the only toys I collected on a large scale were Star Wars and G.I.Joe action figures. At 3.75” in height, these guys were more affordable than say a Transformer or He-Man figure. I got my fix for those more expensive toys through birthday and Christmas gifts. So yeah for the longest time these 3.75” dudes were my jam.

Fast forward to my life as an older modern day toy collector (“adult toy collector” just seems to connote something else), aside from Transformers, I found myself still focusing on 3.75: action figures through the G.I.Joe 25th Anniversary line. Due to this, it was also an easy transition to start collecting the new 3.75” Marvel Universe line. Despite there being quite a robust 6” superhero line at the time from companies like Toybiz and later Hasbro, I wasn’t really into that larger scale.

Then in 2012, a major shift in Hasbro’s focus regarding superhero toys started to make itself known. When the first Avengers movie came out I was expecting a whole new 3.75” line to accompany the movie’s release. And while they did release some toys, they were noticeably different from their previous action figures and not in a good way. These new Avengers toys felt more targeted towards a younger audience, with significantly less articulation and large oversized spring loaded accessories. I still got them of course, but they just felt a little underwhelming.

What did excite me though was Hasbro’s offering for their 6” line. They released an almost complete lineup of the Avengers (minus Black Widow) and Loki. And while they may be dated by today’s standards, at the time they looked amazing, especially next to what we got in the 3.75” scale. But at the end of the day, all I really could do was drool over online pictures. I was 250+ figures deep into my Marvel Universe so it didn’t make sense to get any of these no matter how great they looked!


In the following years though, The Marvel Universe line died a slow but inevitable death while Marvel Legends started gaining a lot of steam. While it sucked for me, I didn’t really mind the lack of new Marvel Universe figures since there were so many other stuff I wanted to get.

Anyway in July 2014 I got married and before our official honeymoon trip to the US later that year (we went to New York Comic Con in October...yes my wife is awesome), we took two smaller side trips to Singapore and Hong Kong. It was there in Singapore that I came across the first Marvel Legends wave that really grabbed my attention. Actually it was the figure of Richard Rider Nova that I really wanted to get my hands on, but only hobby stores were selling him as part of the whole set of Guardian of the Galaxy figures. I was tempted, but ultimately passed.

When we got to Hong Kong though, where toys were a lot cheaper, my resolve had weakened considerably and when I saw it again I caved. Or more specifically, I convinced my wife to get it for me as a belated wedding gift :P

Even if I only wanted one figure, Nova, the entire wave itself was a strong one. In one fell swoop you basically got the entire Guardians of the Galaxy team, including a giant Groot who was the build-a-figure. Even at this point I was still kidding myself that it would JUST be this set as I could have a nice stand alone Guardians of the Galaxy display.

Anyway, aside from this initial purchase, my memory is kinda sketchy but by the time we got to the US a few months later, I was pretty much getting myself random Marvel Legends left and right. As a group, MCU Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Agent Venom, Black Cat and Carnage didn’t really make much sense, but individually they looked really cool so they were all instant purchases.

It wasn’t long before my superhero collecting spark was re-ignited in 6’ form and I was all in on Marvel Legends. Seven years later, I think I’ve already overshot the figure count of my Marvel Universe. I was lucky enough to jump on the Legends train early, so I didn’t miss out on most of the older characters that are harder to find now.

Of course, this ultimately led me to selling off my entire Marvel Universe collection but I have no regrets. I am very happy with the new “universe” I built up in Legends scale. As it stands right now, it seems that Marvel Legends has become Hasbro’s most successful and prolific action figure line with no signs of slowing down.

What I love most about collecting Legends is that the design team behind the line seem to be really huge Marvel fans themselves. More importantly, they seem to have been big fans during the time I was one too, the 90’s. So I’ve really enjoyed getting my favorite 90’s era Marvel superheroes, villains and teams that I read about as a teenager in plastic form, such as the West Coast Avengers, Alpha Flight and the different “X” teams. It’s really the ultimate nostalgia trip!

Anyway since this chapter in my toy collection is still ongoing, I figured I’d just end this post with pictures of my ever expanding Legends collection. Enjoy!