One of the most profitable pieces of merch when it comes to comic books are definitely action figures. The leading traditional ones from each company are Marvel Legends and DC Universe Classics. Although both lines are generally loved by collectors you have to ask yourself which line is better.
Although it was a tough and close call in the end we concluded that the Marvel Legends line is the better one out of two since it has improved a lot in the last few years.
If you want a short breakdown of both lines and the reasons for our choice keep reading the article.
Marvel Legends is a toy series based on Marvel Comics figures that were first created by Toy Biz and afterward manufactured by Hasbro after they became the license holder of the rights.
Toy Biz also developed the Spider-Man Classics line, therefore the line started as a spin-off of that.
When the Marvel Legends brand, was first released in 2002, it replicated the clam-shell packaging and accompanying comic book from the Spider-Man Classics brand.
The box did not include a comic book, and the new molds did away with finger joints, which were popular during the Toy Biz era, but the business kept the Build-A-Figure idea alive.
The Marvel Legends line production slowed down to the point where it was rumored that it would be discontinued in the late 2000s, but Hasbro announced at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con that the line would be returning in 2012 due to fan requests and upcoming Marvel character movies, and Marvel Legends returned to store shelves in January 2012.
Hasbro stated at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con that Marvel Legends will be relaunched as the Marvel Legends Infinite Series, beginning with the Mandroid series.
Initially, the Marvel Legends line embraced the “chase” idea to release figures based on characters who were less known or recognized.
The chase concept expanded into variations of a figure produced in the same series, such as an alternate head or a new color scheme. Collectors continued to be interested in these figurines.
What is the DC Equivalent of Marvel Legends?
Just like Marvel, the other comic book giant also has a few action figure lines. But which one out all of the lines which one would be an equivalent of the Marvel Legends line. The answer is one of DC’s most popular action figure lines, DC Universe Classic.
Many people believe this to be the core line of the DC Universe relaunch. These are 6-inch scale figurines based on characters from around the DC universe, a departure from prior Mattel lines that only permitted Batman and subsequently Superman characters to be used.
DC Universe Classics
DC Universe Classics was a Mattel action figure series that was a sub-line of the DC Universe toy line. They were 6-inch scale miniatures based on DC Comics characters.
The first wave of figures was shown at San Diego Comic-Con, while the second wave was shown at Wizard World Chicago. At the outset of the line, five figures were included in each wave alongside variants which were included when possible, with five waves per year for five years.
These plans were altered to increase the number of figures per wave to seven beginning with the seventh series and to include retailer, convention, and online exclusives at various times throughout the year. Beginning with wave sixteen, the line was scaled back to six figures per wave (plus one variant).
The Four Horsemen Studios sculpted the whole series, which was originally available for purchase in 2008. With wave 20, the “DC Classics” collection was no longer offered in stores.
The series was later turned into an online-only and convention-only line. In late 2014, it was revealed that the line will be ending with a final series of six figures commemorating the line’s heritage.
The collectors will probably remember this action figure line as one that was extremely hard to come by. It was unavailable at most traditional resellers which is one of the many reasons why the line turned into an online-only line.
Differences Between Marvel Legends and DC Universe Classics
Both lines are actually pretty good. They are on the cheaper side and are not some state-of-the-art pieces, especially compared to other figures out there. However, both lines have a few great characteristics to them as well as few areas in which they are lacking.
The DC Universe action figures are generally known to be one of the most articulated figures out there and the same can be said for action figures from the Classic series.
The action figures have a great range and can be put in a variety of positions which makes them great for any collectors who prefer to display their collection outside of their original packaging.
The action figures eventually ventured into super articulation but unlike with other action figures which tried to achieve this the DC Universe Classic action figures did not lose on their anatomical accuracy in the process.
The figures also have sturdy materials included in the build which make the joints extremely durable and any experienced collector will tell you that the joints are the first thing that will get loose on an action figure.
The sculpting is also amazing. The DC Universe Classic heads are among the best on the market, beautifully capturing the characters’ comedic likenesses, creative techniques, and attitudes. This is only amplified with the precise paint application.
Marvel Legends are also very well done when it comes to sculpting. However, the articulation and the paint jobs on the Marvel Legends action figures were working progress. Although they look great now when they were first released there was so much work to be done just to keep up with DC.
The articulation was pretty bad especially when it came to the hips of the action figures. The ball joints used were made poorly which often caused the figures to loosen up after a small amount of movement.
This paired up with less detailed faces and often sloppy paint job on the rest of the action figure
They can keep up with DC Universe Classic when it comes to the appearance of the action figures, but what truly makes them stand out is the fact that the manufacturer regularly took risks while producing the Marvel Legends line, which made them stand out among other action figures of the time.
The best example of this risk-taking comes from the Marvel Legends line. It comes in the form of build a figure line of action figures, which was something completely new on the market effectively gaining a lot of popularity for the line and the manufacturers.
Whereas the action figure lines differ when it comes to the good things about them, they actually share the main weakness. This weakness is the one that is actually quite common with many action figure lines.
The weakness in question is the proportion of female action figures. Most female action figures just don’t have realistic proportions and according to many collectors, it takes away from the figures quite a bit.
Marvel Legends vs DC Universe Classics: Which Ones are Better
Although both lines are extremely popular and beloved despite many flaws there are a few things that Point to the Marvel legends as the better one out of the two.
While both share the issue with female proportions, that is where the problem stops with the Marvel Legends lines. The DC Universe Classics actually has the same problems with a few other action figures.
On top of that, the production of the Marvel Legends line improved immensely since it was acquired by Hasbro. The company developed a special production technique that makes the action figures extremely realistic.
These two things considered the win would have to go to the Marvel Legends, although the DC Universe Classics follows closely behind.