Saturday, July 22, 2006

Marvel Attacktix Spider-Man Origins Walmart Exclusive Starter Set

Before we get to the exclusive, I would like to try to make some sense of Hasbro's direction of the Marvel toy line, and then I will address what that means for Attacktix.

Hasbro's Marvel line has a few basic categories, Marvel Heroes, Marvel Legends, Spider-Man and Friends and Spider-Man Origins. Anything involving the vast majority of Marvel characters seems to be grouped under Marvel Legends. This includes continuing Toy Biz's Marvel Legends line, starting with Series 1, Marvel Icons, and even board games that have all the characters, like Milton Bradley's Marvel Legends Stratego.

Spider-Man and Friends will be the Playskool inspired line, featuring plush toys and tub toys. Spider-Man Origins will be attached to any lines that focus mainly on Spider-Man, his allies and villains. Something like Toy Biz's Spider-Man Classics, but it also stretches into MB board games (like Spider-Man Operation) and also into Marvel Attacktix.

Marvel Heroes seems to be the catch all for all the rest. The groupings I have spied may not mean anything come release time, but for now I thought it was worth mentioning.

Jay, our SDCC correspondent, snapped a picture of this Walmart Exclusive Start Set.

First of all, there is no Marvel Attacktix artwork or packaging, as these are cleary displayed in a Transformers Starter Box. But looking closely at the label in front of the Starter, you can see that it is a Spider-Man Origins Starter Set. It features classic red and blue Spidey, with enemies the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. It is also worth noting these are Spidey's enemies from movies 1 & 2. So at first glance, I assumed the fourth member of this pack would be Venom, Spidey's foe in number 3! Instead, it is a repaint of the Spider-Man from the other Starter. A silver repaint, meaning Spider Armor Spider-Man. I, for one, am very excited about all the possible repaints of Marvel figures, so this is excellent news. Star Wars Attacktix featured a lot of re-released figures, much to the disappointment of some fans. For example, a slight color variation on a Grievous Bodyguard did not get my blood pumping, but I appreciated the effort. The dirty-booted Stormtroopers are an even nicer touch, but Marvel opens up many new doors, as fans of Marvel Legends and Heroclix have learned.

A Spider Armor Spidey, available as a Walmart Exclusive, can mean when they need to re-release a few figures, to keep costs lower, we can look forward to the Gray Hulk, Dark Phoenix, Yellow Daredevil, Black Elektra, movie versions, and alternate universes. The difference being that many times, in comics, these costume/color changes represent a major change in characters powers, alignment (Marvel Class) and state of mind. So while a Stormtrooper with a bit of dirt on him will make him look different, a Hulk with a new paint scheme can be a bit smarter allowing for different Special Powers.

I think most comic fans will view Jean Grey and the Dark Phoenix as two completely different characters, so a bit of red and yellow paint means Hasbro and the "fanboys" all win!

I am very excited about Marvel Attacktix, and I would love to hear your thoughts, too! Please leave a comment and let me know how you feel!

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