Following today's Hasbro Marvel panel
, ShartimusPrime and I took some time to talk with Bobby from Hasbro, one of the designers on the Marvel Infinite Series 4" line. He was gracious enough to talk with us about the status of the line and explain why it has reduced articulation. I say gracious because we really grilled Bobby with questions for over 15 minutes about the state of the line and articulation.
First, Bobby assures us the line is not going away anytime soon. No one at Hasbro is trying to kill the line; in fact he tells us sales are doing quite well. So why the reduced articulation in a line that was previously known for such good articulation? The short answer is cost. The more articulation a figure has, the more it costs to make. Even when they reuse an existing mold like the older Marvel Universe body, the figures still take more time to put together and produce -- resulting in more cost. With the rising cost to make the figures, maintaining the previous articulation while meeting retailer price points is no longer possible. Even with the reduced articulation, I think most would agree the cost is getting high??? So what is a solution to keep everyone happy? The sad truth is such a solution may not exist. Hasbro is trying to find ways to add back some articulation with some molds like the recently released Ant-Man figure mold which will also be used by the upcoming Falcon Cap mold. I haven't yet gotten my hands on the Ant-Man figure so I don't know how much more articulation that has over the most recent releases such as Sandman or Big Time Spider-Man, but it does seem to be a move in the right direction from what I have seen. They also will try to use older molds when possible such as with the upcoming 1st Appearance Daredevil.
I don't know if Hasbro will find the right balance between cost and articulation that will make collectors and retailers happy, but I do think Bobby and the folks at Hasbro who work on this line will continue to do as much as possible. The question is how long until the right solution is found and how many collectors will stick with the line in the meantime?
Also, for those who have asked: Emma Frost as well as Northstar and Colossus Juggernaut are still coming.
Check out images of the new figures from Hasbro's booth including today's reveal of 1st Appearance Daredevil, Vision and Morbius.