Saturday, March 1, 2014

Avengers Cheese Nips! Plus Red Skull Hasbro Figure!

For reasons that I am not going to argue with, Nabisco has unleashed a whole host of Avengers related snack foods! I found a big display set up at my local grocery store featuring everything from Avengers Graham Crackers to... Avengers Cheese Nips.

... I am positive it had more junk on it than just those two items but as I sit here typing this up I simply cannot recall whatever else was crammed onto that shelf. Perhaps I should have taken the time to snap a proper photograph. Live and learn.

Today we are going to talk briefly about how fantastic these new Avengers Cheese Nips truly are. Then dive into Hasbro's new Red Skull figure from the Marvel Legends line of toys! It's comic book madness here at the Astro Lounge!

Red Skull Hasbro Figure!
Click for Larger Image!
I am not sure why Nabisco chose this specific place in time to start releasing products with Marvel's A-Team of superheroes on them. Age of Ultron, the sequel to 2012's "Avengers" flick does not release until May of 2015. A little over a full year away.

That seems really early to crank up the marketing machine for that film, even if its destined to be one of the biggest box office juggernauts of all time.

Guardians of the Galaxy, the next big picture for Marvel, isn't slated to release until later this summer. But that picture and those characters has virtually nothing to do with the Avengers, save for an inevitable cameo by Tony Stark.

I really think, and this is perhaps why I was so excited when I found these, is that we have finally reached a point in time in which companies as large as Nabisco are perfectly alright with releasing superhero branded products simply because they can and not because they are tying in with some major motion picture release.

Red Skull Hasbro Figure!
Click for Larger Image!
The actual 'Nips have been altered to feature four different designs. You have Iron Man's severed floating head, Hulk's severed floating arm, Captain America's severed floating shield, and a (sadly not severed) but none the less still floating Avengers logo.

Strangely omitted from the group was anything related to Thor. Perhaps Nabisco wanted to avoid any potential controversy by including a character that references himself as a God. Though I would love to see the theoretically written hate mail directed towards a snack food company for that one.

You guys have no idea how jealous I am of elementary school age kids getting to grow up and be completely engulfed in the lore of all my favorite super heroes.

We had some awesome stuff going on back in the 90's, proverbial heavy hitters like the animated X-Men cartoon show on Fox and the accompanying Toy Biz line of action figures.

That was also right around the time that comics started to reinvent themselves and head towards a more darker and mature audience, especially with the emergence of characters like Spawn and the relaunch of Ghost Rider.

But we never had anything as mainstream as Captain America and the Incredible Hulk chilling out together on a box of cheese flavored chip substitutes. It just didn't happen. These characters were just as popular back then but no-place near as socially acceptable as they are now.

It's been really fun seeing the mainstream fully embrace what was once viewed as children's fodder and not much more than that.

Avengers Cheese Nips!
Click for Larger Image!
Elsewhere...

I ran into this pretty slick looking Red Skull figure at my local K-Mart. I've never been the worlds biggest fan of the character but I really feel like you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would label an ex-Nazi with a skinless red skull for a face as one of there top two or three favorite super villains.  Even if that description is the most badass thing ever conceived.

Still the price was right and I've never been one to turn down... well pretty much anything when it gets turned into toy form. So I am now the proud owner of a four-inch tall Red Skull action figure.

You'll notice I took this guy out of the package. Normally I leave all my stuff sealed but not having much prior attachment to the character I figured I'd go ahead and pop this one open. Besides, it's actually been a while since I've check out what the sculpting techniques are like on these newer figures and I was fairly excited to crack one open for reviewing purposes.

Turns out I was pleasantly surprised with what Hasbro has came up with. This is clearly a low end toy that is destined to get broke into a million pieces by nine out of ten potential owners ... but on the off chance that it ends up into the hands of someone over the age of ten, it's not a bad edition to an office desk or DVD shelf.

Like most cheaper action figures, Red Skull has a few issues standing under his own power. You've sort of got to tilt the upper half of his body forward to shift his center of gravity. It makes him look a bit like he's got arthritis in his lower back. Which is both unfortunate and highly entertaining at the exact same time.

Perhaps my biggest point of contention is the complete lack of shoulder articulation. Hasbro should know better than to commit this sin. Red Skull's arms can either be placed like they are in the photograph or... well that's actually the extent of what you can do with him.

He either points his gun directly at the sky or in a dorky looking 45 degree angle towards the ground. The other arm serves no function other than holding onto the cosmic cube, which is an awesome bonus prop by the way, and don't even attempt to move it out of that position.

Overall I think I kind of like the look of this Red Skull figure when left in the package as opposed to being loose. Either way I am pleased with the figure purchase and look forward to seeing what else Hasbro has planned for this line of figures.

I'd love to see them dive into Guardians of the Galaxy next! C'mon Hasbro... give us a Rocket Raccoon figure!

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