Marvel Universe SDCC Exc:
Masters of Evil 3pk Review

Tiger Shark features a new head sculpt with an insanely huge, but assumingly comic accurate, fin. The face sculpt is great and the razor-sharp teeth say don’t mess with me, but the paint was a little sloppy on my Tiger Shark’s face. I don’t know if he’s going to get me to run out and read up on his appearances, but he does make me want to pick up a clearance Namor so their eternal battle can continue on my shelves.

Finally, that brings us to Baron Zemo. I have an embarrassing story here. Now, I told you, I grew up a DC fan, so don’t judge me too harshly. I wasn’t familiar with Marvel beyond Spider-Man in those days and the Secret Wars figures were really my first introduction to the larger Marvel Universe. The black symbiote Spider-Man is still one of my all-time favorite toys. Secret Wars also had a Baron Zemo figure.

I was with my grandparents in some weird, out-of-the-way flea market when we found it. I had no idea who it was; my seven year-old self dubbed it some bizarre pink Spider-Man (seriously you be the judge). I had to have it. Years later, I’d discover Baron Zemo and that the figure I’d had all those years was the classic Cap villain, or son of the classic Cap villain if you’d prefer. Admittedly, I find myself more enthralled with the new figure because of his Secret Wars figure than anything to do with his comic appearances.

And this new Zemo is a pretty cool figure too. He makes use of Doctor Strange’s buck but with the right mix of add-on parts including the fur-lined “collar”, the belt, and some fur add-ons to his boots. The only annoying thing with these pieces is that they’re not glued in place, but a little glue will fix that right up. The head sculpt is also new and it’s fantastic with a great scowl being evident through the mask.

Zemo is also the recipient of the only two accessories in the set, a sword and a pistol. I love that he’s got these, but he can only hold one at a time since his left-hand grip is a little too wide for the handle of either piece.

I wasn’t able to attend SDCC but a friend of the site was kind enough to hook me up with some of the exclusives. He knew that I had wanted to pick this set up, but I figured I could snag it at HTS and save him the trouble. Smartly, he grabbed it for me anyway and spared me the HTS debacle that followed. I’ve thanked him privately and in each of the SDCC reviews, but I really do owe him for this one.

Overall, even though I primarily just wanted the Radioactive Man, I have to admit this is a pretty cool set with three great figures. I still don’t know how many MU figures are in my future, but having these guys in the studio and on my desk today makes me really appreciate what a great line it’s become. The figures just keep getting better and better and I hope Hasbro gets their release schedule in order soon.

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15 thoughts on “Marvel Universe SDCC Exc:
Masters of Evil 3pk Review

  1. I was lucky and got my regular SDCC contact to grab me a set (thanks, Matt!) just before they sold out at HTS. I’m a huge 80’s Marvel fan so this set was a must for me. I love translucent figures myself (Radioactive Man reminds me of Warbow from Remco’s Crystar line) and Hasbro has done a really nice job here. (Still gotta get that astral Doc Strange variant.) Baron Zemo II had long been requested by fans and Tiger Shark is simply badass. (Check out Roger Stern’s 80’s Avengers run for further proof, preferably sometime around the Fall of Hank Pym and Under Siege story arcs.)

    My only wish is for these three guys to be released on single cards so more fans could have a chance at ’em. Maybe we’ll luck out and see the remaining Masters released at some point. I’m anxious enough waiting for Wave 20 to be solicited as it is!

  2. When I was a kid, my friend told me his Baron Zemo figure was Spider-Man’s girlfriend, and also that SuperPowers Dr. Fate was a guy named Ax-Face. I don’t know if he genuinely believed these things or just liked making stuff up.

  3. Great review and excellent pics, as always!

    My buddy Dave collected the old Secret Wars when we were young (I only bought the Doc Ock), and I got it into my head somehow that Zemo was called Cosmic Spider-Man or somesuch.

  4. That is one of characters I know just a little on. Zemo being the main one I know from Cap books. Tiger Shark has always had a cool design. Radioactive man I just learned about via a dark avengers trade.

    The review was good but, I don’t collect these but do buy for a cuz that digs them all. This set I saw but the price was out of my budget.

  5. Dude, your Baron Zemo story closely mirrors my own! My grandfather actually gave him (loose, he found him on the ground somewhere) to my brother and I when we were kids. We didn’t know who he was until we started collecting the MU trading cards in the early ’90s.

  6. as a fun aside… tiger shark’s fin? it’s actually smaller than it appears in most of his comic appearances. obviously there are some variations based on the artist, but it’s usually higher up on his head and extends almost to his ass.

    as for zemo, my first experience was likewise secret wars, but i loved him and hit the comic shop tout suite to start learning more about this oddly colored and be-masked dude. those were good times, i loved that zemo fig. LOVED him. yet, somehow, when i lost him in a tragic little brother accident, i have never replaced him. don’t know why, i’ve seen him pretty reasonably priced loose several times, but it feels like cheating on him. if i get him in that outfit in legends, i would likely pull the trigger. actually, i need this whole three pack in legends. get on that, will ya? 😉

  7. Yeah, buying MUs has been annoying lately, pretty much online premium price or old retail dregs . . .

    So with Baron Zemo, that pretty much completes the MU redux of the Secret Wars line, no?

    Radioactive Man is cool, he could be like the IAT spokesperson in future reviews. 🙂

  8. re: 1pc review: so your middle name is Henry? ;p

    Radioactive Man: he was a D-list villain nobody for me until I read his early run with Thunderbolts. I got to like him a bit from that and even did my own custom with a spare random WWE figure and tried to go over it with GitD paint. it didn’t work so well. (I think I still need to add his yellow star?)

    This guy does look cool with the plastic, just his face doesn’t carry over too well without any details (painted eyebrows? maybe a bit of wash over the face to delineate the eyes/nose/mouth?). He looks like a simple figure to make for the 6″ ML line, with the tunic being the main new piece, and I’m surprised he hasn’t been done by Hasbro (or TB!) before now.
    (can I say I’m GLAD they didn’t do him in his hazmat suit? UGH!)

    Tigershark: isn’t he also the brother-in-law of Stingray? (the Iron-Falcon-Mariner dude) He’s another one I know very little about, but looks cool. I’m surprised that TB/Hasbro haven’t done him, either, as so many customs popped up using the Venom/Sabretooth body (even tho it would be Ultimate Sabretooth who had a mouth like that!). the hard part would be the head fin and how to attach it to the figure, as it is shown in comics to run the length of his spine. Soft rubber, vinyl or whatever they used, the other thing would be where to attach it. I guess they compromised a bit by shortening it that much, while still giving the impression it was longer.

    Zemo: Why is HE “Marvel’s Baron Zemo”?? I would almost expect it of Tigershark (esp as there are TWO whole other toy lines out there with the name), but don’t recall any “Zemo”s outside of Marvel, much less Baron Zemo’s. I never thought of him in SW as a “spidey-variant”, but I guess it may have been seeing him in one of Firstborn’s Captain America or Avengers comics, so I had an idea of who he was?

    I do remember the slight uproar when TB did his father Heinrich over the then popular Helmut, who was in Thunderbolts at the time, and does carry the pinks slightly better. Still, Helmut somehow still pulls it off and makes it look badass.

    He’s another common custom when the Black Panther figure hit, which is really ironic they would make a NAZI out of an African character! Somehow, I never got around to making him, thinking they would give him the ML treatment before too long. And now we finally have him…in 4″. D’OH! (Don’t worry, I still have plenty of BPs in the fodder boxes!)

    All that aside, I’m still waiting for more Masters and T-bolts!

  9. The weird thing is I actually ALMOST kept this set (I picked up a ton of stuff at the Hasbro booth for friends) just for Tiger Shark and I don’t even collect these. I’ve stopped collecting Marvel Legends but would totally pick up a Tiger Shark if they got to him finally.

  10. Nice review.

    So, word from Hasbro says that US stores are currently ordering -anything- with “Avengers” plastered on it much MUCH more than anything that -doesn’t- have that logo… Which is why the current MU and Marvel Legends waves are hard to find in a lot of places. Retailers are usually crazy about riding the coattails of a movie (remember how much shelfwarming Green Lantern stuff they all had, or Dark of the Moon), but Jesse Falcon -did- say that both ML and MU are going strong and will return once the mega-fad of Avengers dies down a bit.

    That aside, this is a great set. A classic Thor villain (though he’s now much more famous for his Thunderbolts membership), a classic Namor villain (he looks great with the recent superarticulated Namor!) and a very classic Cap/Avengers villain all in one go! Now if only this had been easier to get. I was lucky enough that an American friend of mine snagged a set from HTS when they went up, and I was even luckier to get a set with no significant quality control issues.

    I also find it interesting that these three are from two separate groups of Masters of Evil. Radioactive Man was never in the MOE when Helmut Zemo ran the organization, but Tiger Shark was. That’s fine, though. I like all three characters enough to want them all. However Tiger Shark and Radioactive Man were both in Egghead’s MOE together, so they also have a connection. They just were never all -three- together at once.

    As for the individual figures, Radioactive Man is a great parts reuse that still manages to be comic-accurate. I’m not so concerned about his missing bicep swilves, since Chen Lu has never been a very agile or acrobatic sort. Zemo looks great, and affixing his collar-thing makes him even better. He’s probably my favorite from the set due to his important role in two of the best Marvel storylines of all time: Roger Stern’s “Under Siege” arc of Avengers, and Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza’s Thunderbolts. Tiger Shark is a nice, basic villain who has been well-executed. Mine is a little floppy, but nothing I can’t fix. As Dayraven noted above, his fin is often portayed as being even -larger- than it is on the figure, but it looks fine here. I’m missing the tiny barbs running down his costume, but that’s a minor quibble at best.

    Now my only real problem with this set (apart from the distribution issue) are the accessories. I applaud Hasbro for even including accessories in a set like this, but man, I do wish they could have chosen other ones. That Luger pistol and the sword are both re-uses from the Indiana Jones line, and the Luger was previously used for both the 2-Pack Dr Doom and Taskmaster, and it fit as badly for them as it does here. Taskmaster had the sword as well, with the exact same paint app. The problem of course is that the Indiana Jones figures are a true 3.75″ line, like Star Wars, whereas Marvel Universe is more of a 4″ line. Thus the accessories are too small, too thin and don’t fit.

    Instead I wish they could have given Zemo a newly-sculpted sword he could actually hold. Or failing that, maybe giving Radioactive Man the adhesive-X gun he used in the first Masters of Evil story.

    But again, those are minor issues. A good set and a good review.

  11. @Brainlock: Yeah, Tiger Shark is Stingray’s brother-in-law. I always thought that made for some interesting family dynamics, kinda like Molten Man being Liz Allan’s stepbrother over in the Spider-Man books.

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