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What If - Hasbro Did Marvel Legends Retro Live-Action Marvel TV Series Figures?

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Custom Captain America Figure Done By LooseCollector



Long before anyone heard of the MCU, or even before the popular Blade, X-Men and Spider-Man movies had hit the big screen, Marvel had attempted to bring it’s super heroes to life on the small screen in the format of live-action TV shows. Some attempts like the classic Incredible Hulk series, that aired on CBS were more successful than others, but a number of Marvel characters ended up being represented in this format.

Hasbro has a long history of making 6” Marvel Legends figures based on current Marvel entertainment properties outside of the comic books. They even recently announced that they would be going back and doing new figures based on the older X-Men movies, but WHAT IF they did Marvel Legends figures based on characters from those older TV shows from the 70’s and 80’s?

Obviously figures of this type would mostly appeal to people who grew up during the time that these shows first aired. Many people probably don’t even remember most of the shows, or if they do, they try to forget them. Never-the-less, I think there would be some appeal for figures based on these shows. They would also be unique, because not even Toy Biz did figures from this era.

So if Hasbro did a “Marvel Retro Live-Action TV” line, what characters might they do? Here is a list of potential characters I could envision Hasbro doing action figures of. I have listed them in chronological order of when the shows first aired.
 

Spider-Man Vs The Wall - Spidey Super Stories From The Electric Company - 1974-1977
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Many of us who where born in the 70’s were first introduced to Spider-Man when he appeared in several story shorts featured on the PBS show called The Electric Company. A show that was produced by The Children’s Television Workshop. These Spider-Man shorts were done as live-action segments, and for whatever reason Spidey never actually talked. He did however take on some cool villains, such as a character known simply as “The Wall”. As the name implies, he was a human brick wall. The Wall has actually appeared in the comics as well, but I only know him from this show. I would love to see Hasbro do a two pack of Spider-Man and The Wall facing off against one another.
 

Spider-Man - The Amazing Spider-Man - 1977-1979
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This was probably Marvel’s second most successful live-action series of the time, and featured everyone’s favorite wall-crawler. Unlike the Electric Company version, Spider-Man talked in this one, though he probably spent more time during the show being Daily Bugle photographer Peter Parker. Spider-Man could shoot webs that looked liked ropes and climb walls, but he never really did any web-swinging in this one. His mirror-like eye lenses, silver utility belt and the web shooter featured on the outside of the costume really helped differentiate his look from the comics. We definitely would need this version of Spider-Man represented in line like this.
 

The Hulk And David Banner 2-Pack - The Incredible Hulk - 1977-1982
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This was Marvel’s most successful live-action TV series of the time, and still considered a classic even today. It stared the late Bill Bixby as David Banner, and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk. The show was very different from the comics, as Banner would hitchhike from one place to another searching for a cure to his green problem. At the same time he would always find some type of trouble or crime to fight each week. The show even later on spurred several made-for-tv movies, which we will get to in just a bit. I would love to see Hasbro do a 2-pack featuring both Hulk and Banner. I suppose likeness rights could be an issue, especially when it comes to Banner, but I think it would be awesome to see.
 

Doctor Strange - Doctor Strange - 1978
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This one is probably a show most aren’t even aware existed. There was only a pilot made, and it was never picked up as a series. Unlike the other shows, this one is probably stayed most true to how the character appeared in the comics. It featured other characters like Wong, Clea and even had Morgan Le Fey as the bad guy. Don’t expect to find this on any streaming service, but you might be able to locate a DVD of it if you look hard enough. As figures go, this would probably be a hard sell, but just for the obscurity of it, I think it would be cool to see.
 

Captain America With Bike - Captain America - 1979
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As a huge Cap fan, I don’t mind telling you this show was pretty bad, but they did give Cap a pretty cool transparent shield that he would throw, and that he could also attach to the front of his Cap Cycle. He also wore a motorcycle helmet for a mask. Hasbro should do both Cap and his bike, and have the shield be able to attach to the front of it.
 

Thor - The Incredible Hulk Returns - 1988
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NBC attempted to revitalize The Incredible Hulk TV series bringing back both Bill Bixby as David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk. This was done in the form of several made-for-tv movies. Along with the Hulk, they also tried introducing a few additional Marvel characters, likely with the hopes of being able to spin them off in their own TV shows, which never happened. In the first movie, they introduced the God of Thunder along with his alter-ego Donald Blake. In the story, Blake finds an old viking hammer which allows him to conjure Thor out of thin air. In this, Thor had strength, but not much else. He did carry his hammer, but couldn’t fly with it. While both Thor and Hulk were stronger than normal humans, they weren’t nearly as strong as they are in the comics. The two couldn’t even pull down a helicopter that was trying to escape with Banner’s girlfriend. Thor’s look in this movie also differed greatly from the comics. This version of Thor looked more like a standard viking, however he did have a helmet with wings he would wear. While this was no MCU Thor, I think this version would still make for a cool figure.
 

Daredevil - The Trial of The Incredible Hulk - 1989
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For the Hulk’s second made-for-tv movie, we got introduced to Matt Mudock, and his alter ego Daredevil. Looking nothing like Daredevil from the comics, this version featured the man without fear in an all black spandex outfit and a mask that covered his eyes. While they failed to really capture the look of Daredevil in this movie, I actually liked the way they portrayed the character here. In my opinion, it was definitely better than the Ben Affleck version we would see years later on the big screen.
 

Nick Fury - Nick Fury, Agents Of Shield - 1988
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Nick Fury - Nick Fury, Agents Of Shield - 1988
This was another made-for-tv movie which quit frankly, was horrible. It however did feature the Hoff (David Hasselhoff) himself as Fury. That alone warrants this one for the figure treatment in my opinion.
 

Punisher - The Punisher - 1989
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Ok, admittedly this was a theatrical movie, not a TV series. In fact it was the only Marvel movie during that era that actually made it to theaters. For that reason alone, I think we can slip a Dolph Lundgren version of Punisher into this line. Looking nothing like the comic book counter part, this version of Frank Castle rode around the sewers on his motorcycle. He killed criminals with his skull knife. Ok he used guns to, but the knife was the only thing that gave you any indication this was the same character from the comics.
 

Iron Ma….
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No, Iron Man never appeared in live action form during the 70’s or 80’s. It wasn’t until the MCU Iron Man movie in 2008, that we got to see the character in that way. However I often see this guy (shown above) get confused for a 70’s version of the armored Avenger. The truth is, this guy is from a failed 1977 NBC pilot called Exo-Man. I suppose if they had tried to do a live-action Iron Man series back then, this is probably similar to how he would have looked. Because this isn’t a Marvel character, I wouldn’t expect to see him make the Marvel legends cut.

So let us know, would you like to see Hasbro do a Marvel Legends sub-line featuring characters from Marvel’s early live-action TV days? Let us know in the COMMENT SECTION below.

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Oddly enough, Iron Man WAS intended to be introduced in a Hulk TV movie in the 80s, but Universal nixed the guest-hero/backdoor pilot concept before it could happen. There were also plans for a Hulk/Spider-Man crossover (which Universal sabotaged), and a Hulk/She-Hulk TV movie which had actually started filming when Universal pulled the plug.

As for figures? I'd buy every dang one and thank Hasbro for lettling me do it.

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Bill Bixby as David Banner, and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk two pack would be nice. Most I couldn't care about. Though the Wall would be funny to see, I would prefer Mad Scientist

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Marvel has come a long way since back then, I would say yes to a two pack with Bixby and Ferrigno as Banner and Hulk figures. But as for the rest I say let sleeping dogs lie, And even though I am a super fan boy for Marvel, I never knew Dolph Lundgren was cast as Punisher. Learn something new every day.

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With all of the Mutiverse/'Spiderverse figs, I could see a precedence, too bad they din't tie them into 80th Anniversary. 😉

 Bixby-verse' figs would be kinda cool, with a 'David Banner/Hulk 2pk, Daredevil, and Thor

Spidey Super Stories', has a comic connection w/ a tie-in book, plus, I think he was shown in the recent Spiderverse comic event(?) Just sculpt/paint an accurate costume, an throw in some 'word balloon accessories, lol

 70's Cap and Spidey are 'iconic in a way, just give Spidey an alternate 'Peter Parker headsculpt

I remember the '90's Dolph Lungrun Punisher (We want the rights to a comic character, but, don't want him to look like one?!)

 If we're going to have a wish list,  what about...

90's Matt Salinger Cap & Red Skull

Fox TV Generation X  tv movie

Roger Corman FF

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Peter_Parker_(Clone)_(Earth-730911)_from_The_Amazing_Spider-Man_(TV_series)_Season_1_4_001.png

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8 minutes ago, Bespin refugee said:

With all of the Mutiverse/'Spiderverse figs, I could see a precedence, too bad they din't tie them into 80th Anniversary. 😉

 Bixby-verse' figs would be kinda cool, with a 'David Banner/Hulk 2pk, Daredevil, and Thor

Spidey Super Stories', has a comic connection w/ a tie-in book, plus, I think he was shown in the recent Spiderverse comic event(?) Just sculpt/paint an accurate costume, an throw in some 'word balloon accessories, lol

 70's Cap and Spidey are 'iconic in a way, just give Spidey an alternate 'Peter Parker headsculpt

I remember the '90's Dolph Lungrun Punisher (We want the rights to a comic character, but, don't want him to look like one?!)

 If we're going to have a wish list,  what about...

90's Matt Salinger Cap & Red Skull

Fox TV Generation X  tv movie

Roger Corman FF

s-l640.jpg

Peter_Parker_(Clone)_(Earth-730911)_from_The_Amazing_Spider-Man_(TV_series)_Season_1_4_001.png

download.jpg

We need comic Generation X first...

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Oh heck yeah to the Reb Brown and bike! Throw a hang glider on it too!! I love the clear shield and wish there were life size replicas to purchase. I’m down with all the rest also. Great idea!

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No thanks. I don't even want anything from that sh**** SHIELD series let alone this. In fact enough with Avengers altogether. Let's get more X-men in, they're ao many villains to do, they've barely scratched the surface there. I REALLY don't want to see another Iron man, Cap, Wolverine, Deadpool or Spidey. It's annoying

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Don’t forget about this (thankfully) failed attempt at Daredevil and Black Widow 

 

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As for exploring Marvels past (mostly failed) attempts at live action.. ehhhhhhh these were not good.

I own a dvd of those two awful Cap movies from the 70s... and the 90s one as well but let’s just say they are in my collection as a curiosity.

the Hulk show was pretty great, I just always wished there was more Hulk and less drama.. that Daredevil isn’t too far removed from the incredible version Charlie Cox portrayed. Thor is not bad either, a decent real world take on the character.

I had heard of the Japanese Spider-Man but was more familiar with the American version. 

Got to admit, David Hasselhoff makes a pretty great 90s era Nick Fury. If you watch with no volume and make up your own story.

only revisits I’d like to see are Wesley Snipes Blade ( recent release is close enough) Maguire Spider-Man, maybe the goofy FF with Evans as Human Torch

 

 

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Anything with Hasbro being creative and using a different body mold sounds good..i would assume they will make it a limited edition, not for mass consumption because of the 70s target market

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No thanks.  There are dozens of characters that haven't been made and different looks of characters that haven't been made from out of the comics and MCU that should be their priority.

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I would buy a 1979 Cap so fast it would break the sound barrier. That and a 1990 Cap/Red Skull. I would likely pick up a Bixby Hulk and Thor too. This really is a cool idea...if only Hasbro were reading this article...

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4 hours ago, Legender said:

Besides Japanese spiderman, all those are easy pass for me!!

I assume you already know this but S.H. Figuarts is releasing a figure based on this show

 

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5 hours ago, McHogan said:

As for exploring Marvels past (mostly failed) attempts at live action.. ehhhhhhh these were not good.

Actually, most of these projects did pretty well, and all without perverting their characters into counter-culture political statements or bad douche-comedies.

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There is a surprising a amount of pre MCU stuff that may / may not be mentioned that hasnt had legends treatment ... From memory only so please add as needed:

Fox X-Men 2-3 ( I assume those revealed are from X-Men 1 )

Blade Trilogy 

FF 2 film series (fun and goofy flicks, fits with FF lore)

Daredevil ( Affleck flick I still have some love for)

Ghost Rider  2 film series ( Nic Cage accurate )

Elektra ( (maybe I’m a Jen Garner mark but the movie isn’t the worst)

Maguire Spidey Trilogy ( guarantee this will happen given the X-Men news)

Punisher ( Tom Jane was a great Punisher even if Bernthall gives the iconic performance)

Garfield Spidey 2 film series: not great Spidey but awesome Peter Parker

Man-Thing : Underrated fun horror movie

Norton Hulk: Abomination at least

Lots of territory to explore. I would definitely support all of the above

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, mako said:

Actually, most of these projects did pretty well, and all without perverting their characters into counter-culture political statements or bad douche-comedies.

I don’t hate them. In fact I love the cheesy goodness that they provide. Just that they are well below today’s standards as what I love about the current MCU/ Fox, Sony offerings. Hell, I’d even throw in the recent DC movies as being production wise better than Marvels early stuff. To be clear, IMO the Marvel MCU stuff is a fine, fun run that is the definitive Comic Film universe.

Mako, not to start any beef, in fact I agree with many of your opinions, but where does the MCU go wrong in your opinions? I’ve seen past posts where you are less than complementary towards the MCU. Again, not attacking, just curious as I have a very live and let live attitude but am wondering what you do not like

also, have been wondering for some time is your Avatar the fine Japanese/ American actor Mako ( of Sand Pepples fame)? 

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This is actually a cool idea, I can get on board with, while I'd probably say I'd pass on figures based on these shows/movies I would have to see them in hand..naaah.I'd probably not pass... One figure I'd love is Dolph Punisher though.. to be honest the more I marinate on the idea these are all figures I'd buy, I remember watching all of these shows/movies the nostalgia is really high, I always loved that Thor, Strange and DD , I still rock with the Vintage Cap fig because it reminds me of Matt Salinger (especially that face sculpt)

I'd definitely  take a Movie Man-thing , and A Nick Cage Ghost Rider

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I really want a Mad Scientist figure from Spidey Super Stroies. Who wouldn't want a figure of Morgan Freeman dressed as a poor-man's Miles Warren armed with a brainwashing banana

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12 hours ago, McHogan said:

I don’t hate them. In fact I love the cheesy goodness that they provide. Just that they are well below today’s standards as what I love about the current MCU/ Fox, Sony offerings. Hell, I’d even throw in the recent DC movies as being production wise better than Marvels early stuff. To be clear, IMO the Marvel MCU stuff is a fine, fun run that is the definitive Comic Film universe.

Mako, not to start any beef, in fact I agree with many of your opinions, but where does the MCU go wrong in your opinions? I’ve seen past posts where you are less than complementary towards the MCU. Again, not attacking, just curious as I have a very live and let live attitude but am wondering what you do not like

also, have been wondering for some time is your Avatar the fine Japanese/ American actor Mako ( of Sand Pepples fame)? 

No beef, it's a fair question. My only real issue with the MCU is Disney's hard-on for turning everything they touch into bad comedy. I've always held the belief humor (NOT comedy) should flow organically from the story: the flagpole scene in Captain America, Tony learning to fly in Iron Man, etc. Before that, the MCU was the answer to a fan-boy's dreams.

And yes, that is the inimitable Mako. Specifically from his brief recurring role as Li-Sung on The Incredible Hulk. I've been a huge fan of his since I was a kid, that's where I got my handle. I adopted the avatar shortly after his death.

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17 hours ago, Satam said:

No thanks.  There are dozens of characters that haven't been made and different looks of characters that haven't been made from out of the comics and MCU that should be their priority.

I wouldn't be interested in these, but its not a bad idea. Would it ever get executed, I doubt it. But if nostalgia is what you're into, I'd recommend going Golden Age. Box set, make it look like a WWII foot locker.

-First appearance Sub-Mariner

-First appearance Human Torch (translucent, no face)

-First appearance Cap, triangular shield

-Bucky

-Toro

-Original Vision

-Red Raven

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From what I gather all spiderman costumes pre 90s were exactly the same minus masks, so Hasbro could easily made base body for both Japanese and American spider-man of that era with interchangeable heads and other accessories.  

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8 hours ago, leokearon said:

I really want a Mad Scientist figure from Spidey Super Stroies. Who wouldn't want a figure of Morgan Freeman dressed as a poor-man's Miles Warren armed with a brainwashing banana

Well, if we're going the Electric Company route I'd prefer a Morgan Freeman "Easy Reader" figure.  Although i wouldn't mind a figure for "the Wall"  from Spidey Super Stories, or maybe that Yeti who liked sitting on ice cream cones.

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