Interview: Dwight Stall on Hasbro Marvel Legends Past, Present, and Future

Marvel Legends was the toy line that started the super-articulated superhero genre in the toy world.
It featured so many various Marvel Comics characters, from A-listers to the bottom of the barrel.
After Hasbro’s somewhat false start with the line a couple of years ago, after taking the over from Toy Biz, it looks like the Legends will be showing up on toy shelves (and into collector’s waiting hands) in early 2012. We recently reviewed the SDCC exclusive Thor Marvel Legend figure, so after entering San Diego Comic-Con 2011 we made a b-line to the Hasbro booth in order to get a glimpse at the series 1 lineup. While there, we were fortunate enough to talk with Dwight Stall, senior production designer for Marvel Legends, Captain America, and Avengers at Hasbro about Series 1, what’s coming up, and even some of the Legends that could use a do-over.

MTV Geek: So, we can now see that Marvel Legends are definitely back and we’re excited to see them. What Marvel Legends product is Hasbro showing here on the con floor?

Dwight Stall: What were showing off this week at Comic-Con is our wave 1 relaunch of the Marvel Legends.we’re going back to the Build-A-Figure format and have some exciting news in all aspects
of this product from packaging to product.

.Geek: What can you tell us about the new packaging?

Stall: For packaging, we’ve brought on a signature Marvel artist, Ed McGuinness. He’s doing all of the package art and our packaging department actually redesigned the entire thing from scratch. It’s truly
different from what Toy Biz did, and truly different than what Hasbro has done before. We were really inspired by the splash pages in comics. It’d be a lie to say there’s no text or blurbage on the package,
but if you turn the package over the entire back of the package is a giant hero splash-page, fully illustrated and rendered, of these characters with some great little call outs that really hearken to those memorable moments for each one. The one that I can remember is for Klaw, and it says something along the lines of,”Klaw! Who is this madman that turned his body into living sound?!” It’s like this great first page that makes you go “Aw yeah! That’s what the character is!” [Laughing] It’s a great way to educate people that might not be familiar with the more obscure characters and helps gives a great vibe to the package.

Geek: Sounds awesome. Which characters made the cut for Wave 1?

Stall: For Wave 1, we have Terrax the Tamer- one of Galactus’ Heralds, and he’s a massive 8″ Build-A-Figure. The rest of the cast of characters in Wave 1 is: Klaw, Constrictor, Heroic Age Thor, Extremis Iron Man, Super Soldier Steve Rogers, and Hope Summers, along with a Danny Ketch Ghost Rider.

Geek: What sets these relaunched Legends apart from Hasbro’s previous releases?

Stall: Everyone has been so excited about this line, and we’re really trying to step it up and give them what they want. When we do figures from scratch, we’re adding back in details like the ankle rockers that have have always wanted to see, so they can get that more aggressive and heroic posing. We’re also redesigning the hips on the figures from scratch. Now, if you want a character to kick forward, it goes forward or to the side if you want. You don’t have to worry about noodling with those hip balls that can sometimes be very cumbersome. We know this news will be exciting for collectors, but we also want these to be a great, quality toy for children as well.

Geek: We can see from the Constrictor figure, that there is some reuse from the old line, but most of the sculpts look 100% new. What’s the ratio of new to old parts in the coming wave?

Stall: There is a lot of 100% new sculpts. As far as wave 1, it’s Terrax, Extremis Armor Iron Man, and the Modern Thor. You are correct, there is some reuse of the bodies of Constrictor. Klaw is a combination of the Silver Surfer body from our fantastic Four wave. Steve Rogers Cap is built on the same body we used for Ka-Zar and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents, and Hope is a mixture of our Elektra body with some other new parts as well.

Geek: Are there any previously released Legends figures that you wish you could have changed or redo?

Stall: My two least favorite ones as they appeared in the final execution would first, the one I get 90% of the time from everybody– Emma Frost. I swear to you the sculpt was beautiful! (Laughing) I’ve shown pictures of this to other people and they’re like,”What went wrong?!” Sometimes things happen. I also wasn’t pleased with the Sub-Mariner from our Fantastic Four wave. We had taken out too much articulation from that character and as a result, that one suffered in comparison to where we’re at and where we’re headed with everything going forward.

I think that our Marvel team at Hasbro is one of the most passionate teams all around the building from all parts. Every team is full of very talented and passionate people, but we’ve got extreme fanboy love from our marketers to our engineers, design, packaging– everybody gets so jazzed about the Marvel lines in particular. It’s a fantastic collaboration of ridiculous, stupid conversations and I think what we do would make an absolutely amazing reality show. (Laughing) If there were cameras in the building aimed on the most ridiculous things that happen in the life of a toy. it’s just great, great people all around.

Stay tuned to MTV Geek for all your Marvel Legends and in depth SDCC coverage!

Related Posts:
SDCC 2011: The Shocker Toys Panel
SDCC 2011: The Hasbro Marvel Panel was Legend(ary)

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