If there is an award for creating the biggest exclusive toy for the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International, then Hasbro has won it hands down with their Marvel Universe S.H.I.E.L.D. Super Heli-Carrier! What better way to wind down from a day of patriotic barbeques and fireworks than by reading a review for Nick Fury's stamp on American militarist ingenuity?! Join us as we take a look at the Super Heli-Carrier and see if it's worth taking the space normally occupied by our coffee table!
Oh, and as you can see above, we tossed it in a lake for
good measure field testing! It floats!
As you can see, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Super Heli-Carrier is displayed prominently in a window box. How can that be, when it is so huge? Well friends, that's because the package measures at over 4 ft. long! The upper right-hand of the window box touts the silver sticker proclaiming this as an SDCC 2012 exclusive, while the left-hand side sports a silver Marvel Universe logo. Within the packaging you can prominently see the Heli-Carrier, the two included figures, and a s**t-load of red missiles!
The entire back of the box features a battle scene with art by Marvel's Joe Quesada. The Super Heli-Carrier is depicted rather closely to the final toy, although it appears to be based on the regular version of the transport that will be released to stores around Christmas. While the coloring correlates to the SDCC version, there are missile launchers missing that are present on the added midsection of the exclusive version of the Heli-Carrier. Still, the lay out looks nice and gives a nod to Hasbro's Masters of Evil 3-pack as well.
Once opened, you'll find the Heli-Carrier is actual broken up into a number of pieces-- and they're held in place by a bazillion knotted cardboard ties! Grab some scissors or a utility knife, or you're gonna be spending all day just opening this thing! Once free of their prison, the pieces snap together easily and you're Heli-Carrier is almost ready for combat. The toy itself is held up by three pieces of "landing gear" that help it to achieve a hovering effect.
When completely built, the Super Heli-Carrier has a very nice design. While it is around 4 ft. long, it still is far too small to match any versions seen in the comics of the Avengers movie and also lacks the depth of a crrier, i.e. no below decks. To combat these changes, the design team has turned the command tower into a smaller control room/laser cannon combo. Working missile launchers surround the perimeter of the deck, and the four turbines stand out and even have a section on the side open so you can easily get the turning with the flick of a finger. The S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on the back of the deck is also a figure launcher and sits next to a turning crane. The sculpting of the piece is very well done, and while the Stark industries logo on the bottom of the toy is a nice Easter Egg, we wish it had been given a smooth bottom instead of being able to see the reverse of the sculpt beneath.
The entire Heli-Carrier is molded in a very dark gray (much cooler looking than the bluish gray used on the upcoming retail version) and yellow, with lighter gray used for the hatches and cannons. A few of the larger stickers were applied already, but most of the decals are on a sheet that you can apply by hand thanks to the included instruction sheet. For those fans of model cars and/or Hasbro's vintage G.I. Joe vehicles, then this toy is right up your alley! There are tons of "Caution" and "Do Not Step" decals for you to expertly apply to the more dangerous sections of the Heli-Carrier. a cool little extra are the bullet hole stickers. There is no set place for these, so feel free to add 'em wherever you think the big gray ship needs some damage!
When it comes to weapons, the Super Heli-Carrier has 9 different guns capable of firing spring-loaded missiles! The regular version of the Heli-Carrier will only have 5, so if you want superior firepower, then this is the version for you! Most of the weapons are mounted on the sides of the deck, but a large articulated cannon site next to the control center and has a seat built for a 33/4" figure to pilot it. all of the missiles shot well with the simple push of a button, but we did have some trouble with the manned gun not wanting to stay in the position we had it in, like the weight of the barrel was pulling it down. We removed the side gun and reinstalled it, seemingly fixing the problem.
Captain America is one of two included 3 3/4" figures and is a repaint of the U.S. Agent figure first seen in the Captain America Comic Series figures that were released to coincide with the Captain America: The First Avenger film. His shield is a scaled down version of the one used by Marvel Legends Steve Rogers, and can be plugged into his back via a peg or snapped onto his wrist when it comes time to defend freedom. The figure features just enough paint apps to get by, and while the body is a great representation of Captain America, the head's expression seems far too pissy for Rogers.
Maria Hill is the other figure in the box, and she's far more in demand than the Cap. While this version of the Heli-Carrier is toted as being more for the comic-based Marvel Universe figures, Maria Hill has a very movie-accurate head sculpt to match actress Cobie Smulders. However, her hair is a lighter shade of brown than both the avengers movie and comics have her sporting. She's wearing a black and white S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform and comes equipped with two pistols that fit into her thigh holsters. Her right hand holds a gun far better than her left thanks to a sculpted trigger finger. Like on Cap, she receives minimal paint apps, and while there is some bleed from one color to another, it isn't too horrendous considering the size of the figure.
Okay, so after really scrutinizing the Super Heli-Carrier, we gotta say that it's pretty damn cool. However, it'll be a bitch to lug around during SDCC so if you plan on getting one, we recommend making plans to ship that sucker back home before attempting to push through the crowds of fans all day with a 4 ft. box! Trust us, it'll only end in heartache. This exclusive will available at the HasbroToyShop.com booth #3329, and in limited supply on the website after the show!
Since the best way to decide if the Super Heli-Carrier is for you, and because we wanted to have the Guardians of the Galaxy throw down with the Avengers, here's a photo gallery including close-ups of the toy/vehicle/playset:
Stay tuned to MTV Geek for all your Hasbro coverage from SDCC 2012!