Hasbro's "Titan Heroes" line of 12" action figures are, in the best possible sense, a dose of nostalgia. They remind me of the old Mego figures of the 1970s in a way, albeit with 21st century detail. They're big, durable, kid-friendly, and collector-friendly too. :) Perhaps best of all, they only cost about as much a modern 3.75" action figure. I bought all four of mine on sale at TRU for $8.50 USD each, and even their normal retail of $12.99 seems like a steal this day and age.
These figures have a good weight to them, though they're obviously not solid all the way through... At any rate, I don't see them cracking or losing a hand if they fall off of a shelf or get stepped on. :) They also stand very easily on their own, which is a huge bonus!
Body sculpts are EXCELLENT overall, especially considering the price. I honestly had a hard time capturing all of the detail in these photos; they're quite stunning. The head sculpts are good... one just has to remember that these are not Hot Toys or NECA collector's items, and not have unrealistic expectations for a $12 toy. Paint apps are kept to a minimum, but nothing is glaringly absent, and what's there is very well done.
The boxes were actually a joy to open. Cut one piece of tape, pull out a couple of tabs, loosen a tie or two, and voila- deboxed! Not to mention, there is basically no damage done to the packaging in the process... In the photo below, two of the figures have been removed completely from their packaging and then re-boxed (ties and all). Can you tell which ones? :)
|The answers are: Iron Man and Hulk. I impatiently opened them before taking NiB photos. XD|
Although all four boxes bear the "Avengers Initiative" logo, only Captain America's and Hulk's have the large "Avengers Assemble" banners along the bottom. Iron Man and Thor instead feature images and text promoting Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, respectively. Humorously, neither of the figures sport their new looks from these latest films; no Mark XLII armor for Iron Man, and no stubble or longer tunic for Thor.... They instead keep their "Avengers" looks, verifying that these four figures were designed as a set. I'm grateful for this, as they look great on display together!
Cap's sculpt is superb, even going so far as to include the seams and piping of his costume. Paint apps here are probably the best of the line.
Cap's shield slides neatly over the top of his right fist, and actually stays in place! It doesn't scratch anything, either, and comes off without a fight. Very well done! Plus, even the interior of the shield is detailed.
NOTE: Some retailers have been listing this figure as having "electronic" and/or "light-up" features. The Titan Heroes Iron Man DOES NOT have any electronic features of any kind. These claims are a retailer error.
Iron Man is probably my favorite of the line, though it's a tough choice. Complete with metal-tone paint apps and a coat of glaze that leaves him glossier than his three comrades, this toy looks like it should be in a far higher price bracket. They all do, really, but Iron Man stands out most of all.
The sculpts for both head and body are very nice. Additional paint apps might have accentuated the little details further, but that would no doubt have pushed this figure beyond the budget.
Every now and then, I stop and think about how grateful I am for the advances made in toy manufacturing. In the 90s, Iron Man figures (alongside "Beast Era" Transformers) were one of the most common casualties of the dreaded vacuuform-chroming boom. When I blink, I can still see the tacky, chipping chrome of my childhood collection. Thankfully, times are better for the Iron Men, Transformers, and Silver Surfers of today. Now there's classy-looking metallic paint and glaze. Neither of which flake off like futuristic dandruff when you touch them.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the boot-jets, though obviously hidden while the figure is standing, have indeed been included in the sculpt.
At nearly twice the breadth of the other figures, Hulk is the only one in the line to necessitate a larger box. I was impressed by the detail put into the sculpt... Hulk's bulging muscles and veins look pretty realistic (well, as realistic as supersized, gamma-radiated, green muscles can look).
|Most importantly, they remembered the carefully stitched pockets on Hulk's super-durable purple pants. ;)|
The sculpt here does not disappoint. Thor's armor mimics the look of leather surprisingly well, with slight folds and wrinkles included in the sculpt for realism. Even hems are visible! It's a shame that only the studs on the front of Thor's tunic got the metallic treatment... Silver would certainly have suited the helmet and arm mail better than the glazed, light-gray plastic that is used instead. Perhaps chipping and/or scratching would have been an issue?
Thor's cape (the only cloth piece in the entire line) is made of a short-pile faux suede. The fabric is fray-proof and emulates the appearance of velvet. Unfortunately, it wrinkled a bit in the packaging, but nothing a little ironing can't sort out. :) The cape is tucked into the joining seam of the shoulder mold, and is not removable.
Bottom Line: Awesome action figures, awesome price. These are perfect for kids and collectors alike! I look forward to seeing more from this line in the future, and I'm especially holding out hope for some villains (Loki, please!). The flaws are few and far between, and even these are pretty minor. At the price, how can you go wrong?
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