The Internet was ablaze with news and rumors the second that the first images of this set leaked out.  I use the term “ablaze” on a sliding scale, but anyone who cares about this stuff was certainly at least as excited and intrigued as I was. Not a few months back now, we were graced with the presence of a nice, modern Fantastic Four Team Pack including Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), Invisitble Woman (Sue Storm), Thing (Ben), and H.E.R.B.I.E…wait…H.E.R.B.I.E??? Don’t the Reed’s have two kids?  Johnny Storm?  No, we get H.E.R.B.I.E. As with all things Marvel Universe, I purchased the first team pack, and to my grave disappointment, not only was H.E.R.B.I.E, H.E.R.B.I.E, but the poor guy wouldn’t stand if you gave him the promise of 1000 electric sheep to dream.  For some reason, the back leg was positioned too low on the body and all that he was good at was lying down on his face.  I’ll stop complaining about THAT first H.E.R.B.I.E.  Let’s have a look at the revised, repainted team pack. Packaging

Bright colors, nice art, all of the figures are snug and secure.  On the back is a nice little blurb about the Fantastic Four (but not the Future Foundation), as well as a buy it for the Classic Avengers Team Pack.  All of the box art is the same as the art for the non-variant Fantastic Four Team Pack, showing them in their classic blue and black.  You also have the 2010 / 2011 Commander Steve Rogers artwork.

  Thing (Ben Grimm) Starting with the Thing, I’m sure the Internet will correct me where I’m wrong, but the legs (knee down) of this Thing are different than the original team pack Thing.  No surprise though, the bare knee shape of the first Team Pack Thing would have looked funny with pants on them.  Otherwise, Thing looks pretty much the same as he has across his now 5th iteration, except now he’s got white pants.  There is a lot of buzz about how unacceptable his missing top clothing is, because in the comics, he’s not bare chested, but I’d rather have him at least sort of matching the team than not at all.  Articulation here is not surprising or stunning,  His head rotates 360 degrees but there is no tilt or side to side.  Movement at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists spin.   Ankles are hinged, knees are hinged and spin, same with the hip sockets.  You also have the torso spin.  All things being equal, this is definitely my favorite version of Thing. Invisible Woman (Sue Storm) Since the start of the line we have lacked any invisible women, and now in the span of about a month, we have two.  There has been some criticism over this line’s female head shape and thankfully, I don’t feel like it applies to Sue Storm.  Hair looks good, face looks realistic, the body type seems like it’s about the right scale.  You have a head that will spin 360 on the shoulders but no tilt.  Movement at the rist, hinged elbows, shoulder movement, the torso is in a few pieces so she can lean, spin just below the breast-line, and at the waist.  Socket hip joints, hinged knees and the ankles are hinged (and will spin 360 degrees).  The paint is comic-accurate, colors are nice and bright.  I again prefer this iteration of Sue Storm to the classic Black / Blue costume.  Speaking of that…I may be wrong, this may technically be the third iteration of the Invisible Woman, I think there was one out there with her half turning invisible.  Haven’t seen anything on it in some time. Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) The third time we get to see Reed Richards in the Marvel Universe.  The first, which I felt was pretty inaccurate scale wise, being the Secret Wars 2 pack version, the second being the non-variant FF Team Pack version, and now the Future Foundation version.  The scale is excellent, taller and thinner than the first figure.  Outstanding paint job, very comic accurate, love the mix of grey and white to show shadowing.  Articulation here, another spinning head (no tilt again!), ball and hinge shoulders, hinged elbows, no spinning wrist, tilting torso, twisting waist, ball and socket hips, hinged knees, and twisting ankles.  Reed probably has the least overall movement of the figure set… no wait…more on that later.  The face looks great and Hasbro nailed the hair.     H.E.R.B.I.E Remember what I said about the first H.E.R.B.I.E I had?  (Go on, read up, it’s in the first paragraph), this one experiences a similar problem, though not as bad, he can actually stand without attempted breaking.  You really have to give the back stand / leg a good push up so to the point that you feel like it might break.  Even after you do this, it eventually goes back into place, and you eventually have H..erbie, lying face down again.  It’s a cute little robot, not an inaccurate reproduction of the original, but the question “Why bother” lingers, and on top, if you bothered, why not make the little legs movable / tilt-able so the poor guy can stand?  There is no articulation on Herbie, and his neat trick really is, just barely standing. Times are tight everywhere, and these team packs are a good bargain, but as was the case with the Guardian’s of the Galaxy, the extra “fourth” team member really feels like a nuisance more than a bargain.  Charge me 4 or 5 bucks more and give me something substantial!  For me, the FF variant team pack will be the version of the Fantastic Four I’ll display.  It’s in my case with the “flame on” Johnny Storm from Wave 1.  I’ve never been a huge Fantastic Four fan, and I’m really happy with the direction that Marvel took for the FF in look and style.  Can’t wait for the Spider-Man FF to hit shelves! Check out the shots below for some good detail on the variants, and for some excellent Fantastic Four Marvel Universe family shots, I think I’ve managed to capture everyone from the family that has been submitted to 3 3/4 MU plastic.

 

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