AFJ-MIDTOWN COMICS FEBRUARY TOY BLOG!
MARVEL SELECT: THE SELECT FEW
By Jarrett Kruse
When I receive messages from new Junkies asking what action figure line is a good one to start with, I have found that I am always pointing them to DST's MARVEL SELECT line. Why? You simply cannot get more bang for your hard earned buck. DST's signature oversized library book spine packaging (amazingly helpful for storage) and some of the best sculpts in this price range make the MARVEL SELECT line a must have for collectors. But here's the kicker: most of them are just $25 on MidtownComics.com making them the ultimate starter kit figures for the "Make Mine Marvel" crowd that is looking for a little something extra in their SELECT choice.
Usually I point Junkies in the way of either ABOMINATION or JUGGERNAUT to start because you really feel like you are walking away with an unbelievable deal. The truth is, they are all good deals and usually stay pretty steady in the $25 to $40 range depending on whether or not the figure is a Variant (as seen below with JUGGERNAUT without his helmet). However it is not just the figures that continue to impress me, it is also the plethora of extras that you get including an awesome base diorama and a variety of interchangeable parts, depending on which figure you decide to purchase.
AFJ was lucky enough to catch up with DIAMOND SELECT big shots Chuck Terceira, President of DST & Marketing Supervisor Zach Oat to get the skinny on the history of the line and why MARVEL SELECT line is continuing to flourish in what some Junkies see as an overcrowded marketplace. However, the SELECT brand has expanded from its early days when MARVEL was still represented by the now defunct TOY BIZ as somewhat of an upgrade from the standard 6-inch figure fare offered from the House of Ideas. Its not just the figure though, it is the serious awesomeness that is a MARVEL SELECT figure that keeps me coming back. When you purchase a SELECT figure, you really do feel like you are getting your money's worth whether you are an opener or a Mint-in-Box collector. The packaging has some terrific art on the front and back of the card and the sculpts crafted by top toy artisans like Jean St. Jean are second to none for the lowest price point you are going to find for a figure of this size. Taller than MARVEL LEGENDS, the SELECT line boasts 7-inches at least on its smallest figure with some of the bigger guys (see above) like ABOMINATION & JUGGERNAUT bursting out of the package. And sometimes DST really hooks you up as is the case with the thirteen year old and still available classic GREEN GOBLIN which comes with a PETER PARKER/SPIDER-MAN figure as an extra recreating the cover of ASM #39. Yes, you get a whole extra figure with the figure! Here is what Chuck had to say about the past and future of the MARVEL SELECT line:
AFJ/MC: What was the first Marvel Select figure? How did the project come about?
CHUCK: The first Marvel Select figure (and Select figure overall) was Ultimate Spider-Man, released back in 2002 and sculpted by Sean Nagle. It was done as a joint venture with Toy Biz. It was a natural evolution from working with Toy Biz on exclusives for the direct market for a few years. They had slowed down production on Marvel Universe figures at the time (this was pre-Legends) and we wanted to try something in 7" scale, which was what many collector lines were scaled in.
AFJ/MC: Who came up w/ the Library Book style packaging?
CHUCK: It's hard to recall – I have some of the old files from back then, but I think it was an evolution of working with Jesse Falcon and Damon Nee on some ideas on how to display such a large figure with big accessories on a shelf, but save space if needed.
AFJ/MC: What can we expect from Marvel Select in 2017?
CHUCK: Hopefully lots of new figures that fans will want. A mix of movie and classic comic figures, maybe even a couple figures that are what fans consider our “oversized” figures. So far, we’ve solicited LADY DEADPOOL, movie STAR-LORD, movie DRAX and movie SPIDER-MAN, and we may have some more on display at New York Toy Fair this month.
With Summer movie season not that far off, we can expect to see some awesome new figures from the DST crew and I gotta say I am most psyched for the SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING movie figure. I am praying that DST has it on display this weekend at their Toy Fair booth.
Plus we are getting ALL of the above animated GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY figures making 2017 already a banner year for DST as we ease into the Super Bowl of toys this weekend.
One thing I will say is that sometimes, bigger is most certainly better and with MARVEL SELECT figures, you almost feel like you are getting away with something for an absolute steal. That is what I love about this line--on top of the amazing packaging, sculpts & paint apps, you are getting a first class action figure for a paltry $25 which is nothing to sneeze at in today's ultra-competitive toy market where smaller, less articulated figures can balloon in price. And that low price point for the SELECT's has held pretty steady for several years making them a reliable line to count on if you need your figure fix but are a little light on cash. One thing is for sure, the MARVEL SELECT line is continuing to improve with time. The recent movie DOCTOR STRANGE figure is one of my early favorites of 2017 and I really do love seeing SELECT's going head to head with LEGENDS--its just plain fun to see who does it best. DST has used the same model for the MARVEL SELECT line and used it to capture other properties like THE MUPPETS, MALLRATS & GOTHAM in the same oversized fashion with plenty of extras making Junkies rejoice that not every brand new figure that is released will be flipped for triple the price on eBay. If you have not gotten in on the SELECT figures, they are really a line of figures that cater to the discerning Junkie that is looking for a little something extra under the hood. Toy Fair here we come!