Marvel Universe Fantastic Four
Future Foundation 3-pack Review

I might just be the type of comic fan that long-time comic fans hate. While I love a well written story above all else, I also enjoy changes to the status quo. New costumes? New powers? New torchbearers? I’m there. As such, I’ve found myself drawn to the new Fantastic Four.

One of my earliest toy memories was of a family trip to nearby Springfield. I had to be around five at the time, but I’m not certain as the memory is a little fuzzy. After a trip to the zoo, we hit up the local mall. They had a Kay-Bee there and while I was already told we weren’t going inside, there was a Secret Wars display visible from the hallway. I already had some Secret Wars by that point, but what caught my attention was something new. It was a Spider-Man like the one I had, but he was in this amazing black costume. I didn’t read current Marvel comics as a kid, so this was my first exposure. I absolutely had to have it and thankfully my parents obliged. Little did they know what they were getting me into…

Two-and-a-half decades later, I have to tell you that I still think Spidey’s black duds are about the coolest damn costume in the history of comics. I still appreciate that classic red-and-blue, but I don’t have a little corner of my collection reserved for that costume. Similarly, I’m more than happy to see my favorite heroes switch up their threads now and again. I love the many armors of Iron Man. Hooked Aquaman. Electric Supes. Heck, when I got older I realized my Secret Wars Doom was in a unique costume and I’m still waiting for a Marvel Legend. And I’m still bummed I don’t have a Dick Grayson Batman yet (what’s up with that?). As you can imagine, I was more than ready to snap up some Future Foundation versions of the Fantastic Four.

If you haven’t been following along in the Marvel Universe, Johnny Storm – the only founding member of the Fantastic Four to have not died at least once – died. The three surviving members received new looks, a new book, now titled FF, and, along with Spider-Man and a rather large supporting cast, have been kicking ass for the better part of a year already. I’ve become a big fan of Jonathan Hickman, and his take on the characters, which naturally translates into my needing little plastic versions. It’s a compulsion, I know. But that’s why we’re all here, isn’t it?

This set is essentially a repaint set of the Fantastic Four 3pk that was released earlier this year. The original set featured Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman (finally), the Thing, all in a blue/short sleeve deco along with a H.E.R.B.I.E. for good measure. Ths pack is the the same except the costumes are now the current Future Foundation versions and Thing has traded in his short for full-on pants. I picked up this set at my mega-chain LCS, so I’m not sure when it will officially hit retail or at what store. I’ve seen the regular 3pks (Fantastic Four, Avengers, & X-Force) at only Wal-Mart so far, so I imagine if anywhere will be getting this case of the 3pks beyond your local LCS, it’ll be there.

While I was happy to pick up the set, I still have some misgivings with most of the figures. I all but hate the original lanky MU buck when compared to the better proportioned, better articulated bucks of late. Unfortunately, Mr. Fantastic here utilizes that original buck. The lankiness works better for him than others because we can pretend it’s simply his powers at work, but the missing articulation still hurts the figure. The head sculpt appears to be a new, better version than the one from the Ultron 2pk, so we’ve got at least one new piece there. The costume details are all painted on, but it works – though those patches on the top of the hands appear to be slightly out of place from the original design.

I got my first MU Thing figure when I was putting together the Wrecking Crew. I was pleasantly surprised by the figure even though Hasbro could use to give him some newer neck articulation. Thing did’t receive any new pieces in this pack, but this version has swapped out covered legs to better approximate his Future Foundation look. The Thing has appeared sans his pictured tank top, so this figure is accurate, but I do lament the loss of his little “tri-hexagon” designation (I’m a nerd and I appreciate consistency, okay?).

Sue is probably the highlight of the set because it’s the first time she’s been available in either costume. If you’ve been trying to put together a Fantastic Four, it probably drives you crazy that she wasn’t done in her standard uniform to match the others and this Future Foundation repaint probably doesn’t make it any better though. Still, I’m excited for this version and pretty satisfied with the overall look. She’s still using an older MU buck with some drawbacks – the middle torso and lower torso not meeting up exactly being the primary issue – so I again find myself wishing Hasbro could afford to just junk the older molds for the sake of the line. I’ve heard mixed things about the head sculpt, but I like it enough. Like Reed, the costume is all done with paint and most of the details are spot-on.

When I bought this set, the clerk openly complained about the inclusion of H.E.R.B.I.E. and the lack of a Spider-Man. I had to laugh because even though this is a repaint set and Hasbro has revealed that a Spider-Man is on the way, I still felt like he was right. It’s bad logistics to think Hasbro could simply shove a Spidey in the H.E.R.B.I.E. hole (that sounds bad…), but at the same time and even with one member in the grave, a Fantastic Four 3pk is a pretty silly idea. Continue to Page 2…

32 thoughts on “Marvel Universe Fantastic Four
Future Foundation 3-pack Review

  1. I totally agree with you on MU hips. The inclusion of thigh swivels on some of the newer figures makes them better, but they still are seriously in need of a different approach.

  2. They can’t release a completely unflamed Johnny or a Classic looking Sue, but they can do this!?

    Am I the only one who sees a penis on Reed Richards’ insignia?

    That FF Spidey would look cool in plastic form…

  3. Ha! I haven’t been following comics for a while now, so to me this set made sense because it seems the Human Torch has been made available several different times so he’d be redundant in this set. 😀


    Oh, Noisy, I am endlessly entertained by your reviews and even on a product I really have no interest in, you make me want to buy it.

    So, since I have nothing of actual value to say, I will proceed to rattle the cage!

    Why do I get the idea that this costume change was mandated back when the first FF movie was made and somehow it kept churning thru process and nobody had the guts to say “um, guys, no, wait WAIT movies tanked NOOOO”

    (see also current DC relaunch and the push to ‘movie style’ costumes including pantless Superman)

    One of the running memes out there is what a dick Reed Richards can be. His symbol…well. Let me just say it seems a little…unfortunate. 🙂

    Mr. Grimm has a package he wants to deliver very very badly, it seems. Do we blame the Hasbro Hips for that? 🙂

    OK, speaking of the uniform symbols. WTF? When they were the Fantastic Four they didn’t have a ‘1’ on Reed’s chest, a ‘2’ on Sue, etc. And to be consistent shouldn’t Spidey have, like, three empty hexagons or three filled or something? Hexagon with spider legs?

    Why does Sue have those big thick lines on her thighs? Yes, I know, it’s a touch of fetish to make her more sexy (giving the look of stocking tops) and it’s maybe even a little anime inspired. Oh wait, I see Reed has his on his shoulders, and he and Ben have belts while Sue doesn’t. Hurm. There’ a bit of odd individuality going on here that just doesn’t fit what I’m used to in the FF.

    So, Johnny should be back at any moment, does he get some silver jammies or will this relaunch have yet again another take on the traditional look?

    1. They left Cap ‘dead’ for a few years, so we might have a ways to go before Johnny comes back. I say that means a new relaunch with new costumes and new figures… LOL

  5. Great review, thanks.

    I don’t know why people don’t like H.E.R.B.I.E more. I never watched the show he was created for, but I’ve always been a big fan of Franklin Richards (Son of a Genius) and his adventures in that.

    They’re fun little non-offensive adventures with tons of great homages and references tossed in.

    Plus, there’s a great little synchronicity to the Future Foundation costumes coming with the character that replaced Johnny Storm when they were without him in the animated series.

    1. I think he’s fine in there to be sure, I just wish mine stood up. Is this version based on anyone’s specific art that you know of? I was wondering about that.

  6. I keep debating this one for sue, However I hate the short sleaves but I also hate that thing is the same old thing that (IMO) needs better hip articulation (in other words, any at all). That is what holds me back. I would prefer Sue in a single pack with Herbie to be honest, but we know that even though Hasbro loves reuseing parts they would never bother with something that simple LOL.

    Also kind of burns my craw that one of the most consistantly requested females was included in a 3 pack with two previously released figs.

    For thing and Reed, the Toybiz MLS versions are still the best for 1:18th scale version of them, Sue however looks like carol channing unfortunatly.

    1. I think, I could be wrong, but if you hold out Sue will get a normal release. I haven’t had time to update the Marvel checklist lately, but Hasbro seems to like to release at least some of the multipack stuff as singles later – like Doom & Absorbing Man – so we might yet get a classic Sue single-carded.

      1. My plan now is to hold out for a bit and see if Sue does get a single release, if not I will backtrack and get her from one of the multi-pack, but I figure that is what will end up happening though, just not got a ton of faith in hasbro these days.

    1. if it were Mattel it would be an undocumented bonus extra feature! 🙂

      I assume (with all the risk that entails) there’s supposed to be some kind of ‘exclusive to our chain!!’ sticker.

      Because otherwise that looks a lot more like a ‘chase variant’ then an actual stocked production product.

      1. Thanks, Braystreet!

        Yeah, the packaging isn’t wrong or signaling an exclusive. Hasbro just doesn’t change it when they switch up the figures.

            1. EVIL monkeys at that.

              Yeah, I don’t get this aspect. I really think it’s a desire to create a ‘chase’ variant without actually committing that’s what they’re doing.

              I mean, think like a kid here. Somehow he’s gotten interested in Fantastic Four (not that the comics are doing that, for an 8 year old) and you want to give him some toys so you see the box, say to yourself “hey, that looks like what Tommy is liking! I’ll buy that and be a hero!” and because the box in front is kinda schmutzed up you reach in back, grab another box blindly and put it in the cart.

              Whereas Tommy busts a vein screaming that these aren’t The Fantastic Four.

              Of course, I’m not an evil monkey so I guess the idea of presenting a toy to KIDS is just more crazy talk. Did I make a point there? 🙂

  7. Another great review with funny photos. Any chance of a picture of this Herbie, next to the old Herbie from the ML box set (and not the one that went to Monte Carlo)?

  8. I picked up the normal costume box set and agree with pretty much everything you said about these older figures. I was happy to have the bulk of the FF in one purchase though since I’d held off on picking them up earlier. If I can just track down a burning torch my shelf will be happy!

    My HERBIE tips forward as well, seems like the back tri-pod leg is just a smidgen longer than the others. I have him propped up on a stand and he’s staying nicely now.

    I think the reason I actually like HERBIE is from playing the Marvel TCG a few years back where he was one of the better FF little guys!

  9. I enjoyed those captions a lot more than I did Hickman’s work since this whole Future Foundation business started. The last two issues I read didn’t even mention the FF to begin with! All of a sudden, it turned into an Inhumans revival. Passing on this set with zero regrets.

    1. I’m always interested by how the timing in between comics can affect our enjoyment. I’ve been swamped and didn’t get to the shop for over a month – I had three issues of FF piled up. I can totally see how switching gears to those Inhumans issues would be annoying over a 60 day stretch, but I blew through the last three issues in thirty minutes, so my “let’s get back to the story” feelings were limited.

      Anyway, not disagreeing with your assessment – I’m still waiting for Geoff Johns to move on to greener pastures, so what do I know – but FF’s got me wanting to pick up Secret Warriors in trades.*

      * – I still don’t totally understand what’s going on in S.H.I.E.L.D. though… LOL

  10. On the H.E.R.B.I.E. balance problem:

    I think the issue is his ‘legs’ aren’t a triangle, they seem more a ‘T’ from the pics. It appears they pushed the side units back to simplify the mold, see where the seam goes?

    solution looks to be heating and pushing the side units forward, that will create a triangle. But wait, the way it’s designed… hm.

    Cut them off and pin/superglue them back on forward of the mold seam? 🙂

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