Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Marvel Universe: Handful of Heroes

Name of Toy Line: Handful of Heroes
Production Company: Hasbro
Distributor: Hasbro

Characters and Elements: Marvel

Click to enlarge

Years of Production: 2009-2010
Countries/Regions Available: USA, UK, New Zealand, and Australia
Size/Scale: 1.5"
Figure Trade Markings: C-229A
Approximate # of Figures: 60 unique sculpts, 240 figures


In August of 2009, Hasbro and Marvel teamed up to bring us Handful of Heroes; A true mini-figure line consisting of nicely detailed, mono-colored, non-articulated figures made of a hard plastic.

As of 2010, there have been two release waves. Wave one consisted of 40 unique sculpts. Each sculpt came in three color styles or finishes: an opaque color, a translucent color, and a slightly darker translucent color with glitter. However, though the three color "styles" that each sculpt comes in are the same, the basic colors of the three styles for each sculpt are different. Confusing, we know.

Here's a contrived example: Sculpt A is available in opaque Green, translucent Red, and translucent glitter Red, while Sculpt B is available in opaque Orange, translucent Green, and translucent glitter Green.

So, this means within the toy line there are a myriad of colors. However, again, each sculpt will be found in only 3 colors. (Except for sculpts that were reissued with wave two. More on that in a bit.) This gives us a total of 120 different figures for wave one.

Here's a checklist of wave one courtesy of Universal Ruler Supreme. You can see which sculpts were available for wave one, but each sculpt is shown in only one of its three colors:

Wave One | Click to enlarge

In January 2010, wave two was released. Wave two brought collectors 20 completely new sculpts and 20 sculpts from the first wave re-released in (slightly) new colors. This means that 20 sculpts - those released in waves one and two - can be found in six different colors.

Thus, as of 2010, there are 60 unique sculpts in the Handful of Heroes line but a total of 240 figures, as 40 of the sculpts can be found in three different colors and 20 of the sculpts can be found in six different colors. (Cripes. You have to be a mathematician to collect mini-figs these days, heehee.)

Here's a look at the wave two checklist. Again, you can see which sculpts were available for wave two, but each sculpt is shown in only one of its three colors:

Wave Two | Click to enlarge

Let's have a closer look at some figures pulled from a wave two pack.

Opaque Orange Wolverine

Opaque Grey Silver Surfer

Translucent Green Dr. Octopus

Translucent Glitter Green Mindless Hulk

Opaque Orange Bi-Beast

Opaque Black Hulk as War

Translucent Glitter Red Iron Man

Both waves came in the exact same type of packaging. That is, a blister pack containing 8 figures, seven of which were visible while the eighth, super secret figure, was hidden from view.

Front | Click to enlarge

Back | Click to enlarge

We think the back of the card, and even the front, is a bit misleading as it says the pack contains 8 figures, a battle mat, and a super secret figure. This might lead someone to believe the super secret figure is in addition to the 8 figures, but it's not. It's included in the eight.

Speaking of the battle mat, the figures were intended to be used to play a game. Included in each pack is a "battle mat" printed on the reverse side of the checklist.

On either end of the battle mat are six circles. On one side, the circles are arranged in a horizontal row, while on the other they are arranged in a pyramid akin to a bowling pin setup. Players stand their figures on the circles, and the figures in the horizontal row are flicked across the mat toward the figures arranged in a pyramid in an effort to knock them over.

Overall, a pretty fun, if simple, toy line. As mono-colored mini-figure collectors, we have to be pleased that such major players would consider releasing such a line. Perhaps as Matthew Fitz did in regards to Gormiti, we can optimistically conclude that regardless of all the high-tech toys and gizmos available to us these days, there will always be a place for mini-figures. They may not be the most successful and/or profitable products for toy companies, but perhaps the form factor is worthwhile enough to come back to from time to time. We can only hope!

Until next time!

Related Websites:

Marvel Universe @ Wikipedia

Handful of Heroes @ Superhero Times

Handful of Heroes @ Little Rubber Guys Forum


Anonymous said...

thanks for the review I´m a collector in Mexico City but here only the wave one were issued, the few fegures I have of wave 2 bought em in the US.

Anonymous said...

I am a collector in Canada. I am still looking for Wave 1 figures:
- Red Hulk
- Abomination
- Hulkbuster Iron Man
- Juggernaut
- Armagedon
- Dead Pool
- Classic Hulk

They are in order from the ones I need the most to the ones that are less necessary. If you got those and want to sell them, PLEASE contact me at this e-mail adress: alexyo24@sympatico.ca

Thank you! (I really need those)

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