Alpha Flight doesn’t get a lot of love from Hasbro. Toy Biz didn’t do a whole lot with Canada’s premiere superhero squad either save that terrific Sasquatch figure. Hasbro attempted to remedy that by making the team’s leader, Guardian. Unfortunately, this was back when Hasbro hadn’t mastered the ML formula. Guardian suffered from being undersized with a pinhead and an ill-advised blue shading over his white portions of his outfit.
Why it needs updating now? Hasbro already has a number of bodies that would work well for Guardian including the new Spider-Man 2099 or Spider-Man UK. Most importantly, Hasbro has mastered the pearlescent paint scheme, which would really make Guardian’s red pop. The X-Men could use some more allies/rivals and Guardian would be a great start.
When Hasbro first got the line, Hercules seemed the most like a Toy Biz carry over that was fortunate enough to get released. The muscle pattern, intricate outfit, mace and signature Hercules head sculpt sealed the deal. Even now, this figure isn’t too bad. He still looks pretty good, but there’s that nagging What If? feeling that Herc could be done so much better now.
Why it needs updating now? Hercules has a weird hourglass shape. He needs to be broad and wide like Thor. Hasbro hadn’t quite gotten down its painting technique resulting in poor Herc having a weird spray tan look. And the articulation is restricted as well While Hercules has had a ton of attires, the outfit choice for the first one was perfect. It just needs that modern Hasbro touch.
Longshot was almost a longshot to make it in Toy Biz’s line. He got in at the finale with a figure that isn’t bad by today’s standards, but the super soft plastic and small feet make him a major challenge to keep upright. Not to mention an uncharacteristic serious face doesn’t quite make for the quintessential Longshot figure.
Why it needs updating now? Longshot’s son, Shatterstar, and longtime girlfriend Dazzler, both have gotten figures and it’s probably time for Longshot to get made to complete the family. He seems like an ideal candidate for a X-Men or Deadpool wave. With one of the more flexible Spider-Man bodies, Longshot could finally achieve some more of his signature poses.
In the waning days of the line, Toy Biz created a Face-Off series. This led to some of TB’s best work including a stellar Captain America, Daredevil, Kingpin and Sabretooth. The Mandarin figure was not one of them. With a stiff Mattel style WWE robe that allowed for zero movement, Mandarin was essentially a statue. And over the years his weak knee joints have buckled. But even then, beyond the highly detailed robe and awesome head sculpt, this was not a good figure.
Why it needs updating now? Mandarin is Iron Man’s Lex Luthor. With the non-stop Iron Man love, it’s long past time for an update to his arch-enemy. If Hasbro is worried about the questionable-PC status of his robed attire, go with his attire from the Iron Man cartoon series.
For their great work with male characters, Toy Biz never quite managed to accomplish the same with female figures. Poor Mystique got a skinny body and tiny feet. All the better to continually topple over with. At least Mystique’s wicked skull belt was done beautifully.
Why it needs updating now? Hasbro excels at female figures. It’s one of the strengths of the modern line. Since Mystique has — for some reason — been positioned as a key member in the X-Men Cinematic Universe, it’s long past time for a better classic version.
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