Super Hero Team Packs: Classic Avengers

Time to take a look at one of the two Marvel Universe team box sets; The Classic Avengers 5-pack.

The "5-pack" term that's being used a lot in the online marketing of this set is a little misleading. What you're actually getting is a 3-pack with 3 extra accessories. There are 3.75" scale Classic Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man figures, and 3 small scale figures of Wasp, Antman, and a flying insect for Antman to ride on.

Nice, Hasbro...

It's still a sweet deal since both this and the X-Force set that came out at the same time were only Php 1,350.00 at retail. That's a great price since Hasbro's 3.75" lines are all set at Php 500.00 each. Seeing how most of these toys are repaints and retools of older figures in the various movie lines, the Php 150.00 savings seems only right.

The package is the same general shape as those we saw in the previous 3-packs like the Spidey-Friends; a rectangular box with the corners cut off. The figures are placed in a straight line on a plastic tray held by a printed cardboard tray that slides into the printed paperboard slipcase.

The boxes are overly large for the actual merchandise they're holding. Easily 60 % of the box could have been dropped. I had thought that the recent Marvel Universe 2-packs meant that we'd see smaller boxes from now on. I guess Hasbro wants to really wow the customers who pass by the shelves they rent in the toy store. Bigger is louder.

Let's start with the smaller figures and work our way up.

The two mini-figures really aren't' that impressive. At this scale, they're basically just featureless lumps of plastic in vaguely human shapes. Their faces have no detail at all, but they are molded in pretty nice action poses.

The Wasp figure sports a completely different costume from the first figure that came in the Secret Wars Doctor Doom/ Absorbing Man Comic Pack; this time red instead of green. The pose is also different from the first one, though the wings may be the same ones recast in translucent red.

Antman is also a new figure that sports a new pose from the one included in the Marvel Universe Yellowjacket figure I got from last year's last year's Hasbro Toy Fair. This one is made to sit astride the flying ant that comes with the box set. Sadly, he's not really made very well. The figure's position isn't a good match to the ant, so he can't really hold on very well. You're going to be spending some time searching for your Antman on the floor unless you glue him onto the bug. I'm seriously thinking about doing just that, but since I'm not an Avengers collector, I might still sell these guys off.

The one thing that really rubs me wrong is that Hasbro failed to include any kind of stand for these 3 miniatures. Considering how awkward they are, a tiny wire stand would have been appreciated. As it is, I'd suggest you MacGyver one ASAP before you lose these things.

The next one up is the First Appearance Iron Man, in his gold costume. This was one of the reasons I got this set. Being an Iron Man collector means that any new toy is another suit in your armory, even if it is a retool and repaint of the Iron Man 2 First Appearance Armor.

Instead of rusted steel, this one sports a slick yellow color. It's supposed to look like his Golden Avenger armor from Tales of Suspense #40 (April 1963). The new paint job was supposed to make it friendlier to the public. Maybe that's why it looks like a huge "meh" emoticon (-_-).

In reality, the figure is just the same as the Iron Man 2 Comic Series Mark 1, but with the addition of a collar, an antenna, and a new head. It's even still got the pits and ruts that were sculpted into the originally to look like areas that were eaten away by rust.

The good thing about that though, is that the figure retains all the great articulation that the first figure had, with the exception with some sacrifices at the neck joint because of the collar. Be even that's not too bad since there's a wide clearance to allow movement.

I would have liked it if he was a little less... yellow though.

The second toy is another I'm thinking of passing on to another collector who can appreciate it more than I can.

I've sold the Secret Wars Thor twice already, thinking that I wanted it and then changing my mind. Though this new figure sports a new head, it still doesn't do anything for me.

The original head looked cartoony, this head looks far, far worse. The sculpted features look like something out of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It could be a nod to one of the old school artists who made their name on the book, like Kirby, but it doesn't really look like Kirby's Thor. Plus, it's slightly too big for the body, and a mite too tall on his neck.

The rest of him is a straight up re-paint of the Secret Wars version, with maybe a few extra applications of paint. His skin tones for example, are improved.

Still, that head really bothers me. If he had something like the SDCC Thor's head, it might have stood out. Even the Modern Thor's alien head would have been better than this.

Oh, well. Like I said, he was never really one of my targets when I picked this set up.

The Hulk is my favorite for the group.

He's yet another example of why the Juggernaut body is such a gold mine for Hasbro. We've already seen it turned into Thanos so readily, and the newest wave of Marvel Universe figures to hit stores here included Apocalypse, also a re-tool of the same mold. For this boxset, Hasbro took the base body, gave him new hands, feet and a Kirby-inspired head and PRESTO! Classic Hulk.

He looks loads better than the first Hulk we got from Toy Biz Marvel Legends, but I think I still like the 1st Appearance Gray Hulk from Series 9 better. Still, as 3.75" figures go, this one rocks.

He shares all the same great articulation as the Juggernaut figure, but since there aren't any of those costume elements that Juggs has to deal with around, the joints enjoy their full range. The double-hinged knees especially blow my mind.

I love that this version of the Hulk also enjoys two-fisted action. I hated the fact that both of the original Marvel Universe Hulks had an open hand. I still like my Hulks to SMASH, so the open hand is pretty useless, especially when there's nothing that he can actually grip in it.

The biggest complaint I have is that because they didn't really bother to tweak the original mold other than to add the new parts, the groin section looks a little weird. Hulk was classically portrayed in torn, purple pants. Hasbro took some short cuts and gave us a Hulk in an intact pair of Speedos instead.

Iron Man says (-_-).

If that hip joint were reworked a bit to give a torn fringe to it, I think this would have been perfect for me.

The set isn't for everyone. The classic look of the figures can turn off some people who have grown up on the more modern versions of these heroes. If that's the case, I suggest you stick to the main line and find yourself the the Comic Packs that include Modern Thor and the one with the Hulk, and then find yourself a Modular Armor Iron Man. Those are probably more your speed.

If you remember the old days fondly though, you can't go wrong with this set. Even if you're not a hardcore Avenger completist, it's got a bit of everything at a price you can't beat.

That is, if you can find it at retail. It sold out like schoolgirl panties at Pedo Con during the Captain America Toy launch.

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