Daily Toy Review #3: Electro Variant Marvel Universe 2012 Action Figure

Electro Variant Translucent Arms Variant Marvel Universe Action FigureIt’s rare that a toy company can pull off releasing a surprise product, but Hasbro has become pretty adept at doing such in the Marvel Universe line! I was stunned when I first heard about a new previously-undisclosed Electro variant being sighted in stores on the Marvelicious Toys podcast (which is awesome, by the way–all Marvel collectors should check this superb podcast out). This variant is commonly being referred to as “Translucent Arms Electro”, although I think a better title might be “Supercharged Electro”. I actually missed this figure alone out of the case at several Targets over the last few weeks before finally landing one. He was worth the effort, as this Electro is certainly the most electrifying (please excuse the hackneyed pun) yet…

The Right:

Electro Variant Translucent Arms Variant Marvel Universe Action FigureThis is the third Electro released with different paint apps, all on the same mold. The original mold had flat light green and yellow paint, and I actually bought it and returned it to the store without opening it because I thought the paint looked so cheap. The second release utilized super-glossy paint which looked a little better, but I passed on that one too. This third Electro, however, was so impressive in the package that he was in my hands and taken through checkout at first glance.

There are several majors factors that make this Electro variant superior to the others previously released. The most obvious is the translucent arms that begin at the bicep and continue on down to the hands. I raved about the electric arm attachments in my Wave 17 Storm Review, and they work infinitely better here. Thanks to the translucent nature of the arms and attachments, it appears that Electro’s arms are literally exploding into electrical bursts. It’s pretty spectacular, and this effect alone would make this the best Electro figure in my eyes.

Electro Variant Translucent Arms Variant Marvel Universe Action FigureThe rest of the paint deco on Electro has been improved as well. The green used on the costume is a much richer green than used on the previous versions, and gives the costume extra depth and realism. The yellow paint has been changed to a more metallic yellow, making it pop and look consistent with the electrical effects.

Finally, the “Supercharged” eyes and face on this Electro make him look positively crazed and psycho. I think this is quite appropriate for Max Dillon, who’s always been a bit psychologically unstable. I love the all-white eyes on this Electro, as they make him look a lot more dangerous than the previous two versions did with pupils in the eyes.

Fury Files Electro Variant Translucent Arms Variant Marvel Universe Action FigureAlso, I never thought I’d say this, but the Fury Files that Electro comes with are actually better than what’s currently coming with Marvel Universe figures: the soon-to-be-hated, worthless, “Collectible Comic Shots”. The Fury Files gives you a fun psychological analysis of Electro, a great illustration of him, and a dossier of his character details. By contrast, if Electro came with the 2012 pack-in, he’d have a one-inch piece of cardstock with poorly-printed cover art on it.

Electro has the following points of articulation: Swivel wrists, Ball-jointed neck, Ball-hinged shoulders, Ball-jointed torso, Swivel Biceps, Hinged Elbows, Ball-jointed hips, Double-hinged knees, and hinged ankles. This articulation is still perfectly acceptable at 18 points, although the mold is getting pretty dated…

The Wrong:

Electro Variant Translucent Arms Variant Marvel Universe Action FigureThe third time may be the charm, but it’s a little silly that this is already the third time we’ve received this exact Electro figure with different paint apps. This body mold dates all the way back to Wave 1 of Marvel Universe, and was used on such figures as Iron Fist, Silver Surfer, and the first four Human Torches. As far as body molds from the first year go, this is certainly my favorite–but as I mentioned in my Modern White Iron Fist review, the mold is obsolete four years later. Iron Fist got upgraded to a new and improved body, so I see no reason why Electro couldn’t have received the same treatment. Hasbro could have used the same appealing paint deco, but upgraded the main body for a more perfect total figure. Electro deserves a new figure that includes waist articulation, an extra hinge on the wrists, and swivel ankles (if not ankle rockers).

Cardback Electro Variant Translucent Arms Variant Marvel Universe Action FigureAlso, I am completely baffled as to why Hasbro is releasing brand-new repaints in packaging that’s four years old. When you think about, this packaging is THREE iterations behind, as it’s older than the current Deadpool-themed packaging and the Osborn/Cap versions before that! You don’t see the Star Wars line putting out repaints in the 30th Anniversary Collection packaging from 2007 or Transformers toys coming in the packaging from the original movie, so why should Marvel Universe be producing new product that looks dated straight off the production line? It can’t be that hard to transfer the Electro card art to the new packaging–it’s sheer laziness on Hasbro’s part, and it causes further problems…

The Ridiculous:

Carded Electro Variant Translucent Arms Variant Marvel Universe Action FigureOne of the “exciting” features of this action figure noted on the package is the inclusion of his “secret code!” for the Fury Files website. That would be all fine and dandy, except I don’t think a “secret code” for a long-defunct website that no longer exists is a worthwhile selling-point for buying an $8-$10 action figure. This snafu is going to confuse adults and disappoint children who try to use the code. At best using packaging this out of date makes Hasbro look like fools, and at worst this is bordering on false advertising. It’s just ludicrous, and I cannot conceive how this is getting past the packaging department at Hasbro.

Storm vs. Electro Variant Translucent Arms Variant Marvel Universe Action Figure“Where Can I Buy It?!”

The Electro variant with translucent arms is currently shipping only in the Marvel Universe Wave 15 Revision 1 case this winter. I’ve seen this case assortment only at Target so far, but I’ve heard of it being found at Wal-mart as well. If you see Guardian and/or Constrictor on the pegs, it’s likely the Electro variant is there too or has already been sold. In addition, several online stores are carrying that assortment:

This Electro variant can be a pain to find, but he’s readily available for barely above retail price on ebay. You can check out the current listings for the Translucent Electro Variant on ebay directly by clicking here.

BigBadToyStore just got Electro back in-stock after being sold out for months, so I’d assume the Electro they have in-stock is the variant. They don’t differentiate between variants and non-variants when purchasing off their site, so there’s no way to know for sure. They are selling the case of 12 for $104.99 that definitely contains translucent arms Electro, however.

Overall: As much as I enjoy this Electro action figure, I have a hard time breathing near the stench of “old” that it gives off. The packaging is an anachronism, the “secret code” and website advertised on the packaging no longer exist, and the mold itself is becoming obsolete. I like repaints and refreshes, but it’s like Hasbro wasn’t even trying to make this release feel “fresh”. Despite all that, I still think this Electro variant is a very good figure, and it’s by far my favorite of the three Electro versions released in the Marvel Universe line so far. The whited-out “supercharged” eyes and translucent fade-into-electricity arms make Electro appear more like a dangerous adversary of Spider-Man instead of the circus clown the first two versions look like. The packaging presentation is pretty poor, but the “Supercharged” Electro variant itself is distinctive and interesting enough to earn a recommendation for those who don’t own a Marvel Universe Electro yet, and I also think he’s worth consideration for those who do already own an Electro.


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