What is it?
The first thing that comes to mind with the term Figure Factory would be the many factories that dot the Chinese landscape making toys. In this case, you won't need a passport to travel to China, but you will need a little patience and a few of the new Figure Factory toys from Toy Biz.
Figure Factory is similar to a few products on the market already. The Bust Ups line from Gentle Giant is the closest, but what you basically get is a sort of vending machine capsule toy that requires some assembly. Essentially a very inexpensive mini-statue that you have to put together.
What's in the box?
Inside the blister card is a plastic crate with a sticker on the side to designate the character or group within (Avengers for Iron Man, Fantastic Four for Thing, and so on). Behind the crate is a set of 4 trading cards. The cards have a portrait of a Marvel character on one side and a sticker on the other. There are 64 cards in the whole set, and the portraits can be combined to make a large poster of Marvel heroes while the stickers can be used to make a photo-mosaic poster.
Inside the crate is a set of instructions for the figure (an exploded view) and some more info on the posters you can make with the cards. Also inside is a bag full of the parts for the figure, in the 15-25 piece range. The number of pieces varied for each figure. Now your job is to take all the pieces and build it into the diorama pictured (well, hopefully the one pictured!)
A Closer Look
Three of the figures from the initial release are here in photo galleries so you can take a closer look at them. What we have are the Thing, Spider-Man and Iron Man.
Spider-Man is leaving the scene of a crime where he's bagged a criminal, and it must be an alley with some trash, a manhole and a busted punk. Iron Man is heading out From Stark Enterprises to either save the world or pick up a pizza for lunch! And the Thing is doing what he does best - clobbering something!
The figures are not articulated and the way they are put together is through a system of shapes and holes. There are a variety of shapes used so it makes it easier to get the right pieces together (most shapes only go together one way). There are small parts and this is for ages 5 and up. Smaller children may have trouble getting some of the parts together, so help might be needed. Getting the webbing right on Spider-Man requires help for just about everyone!
It does take some pressure to get all the pieces to stick properly, but it's pretty painless to get these built. The only real problem was with Spider-Man's webbing as it is very small and doesn't like to stay in his hands. If you've built a few Lego sets or do-it yourself furniture you shouldn't have any problems.
Info You Need To Know
The initial release of Figure Factory is going to be available at comic shops through Diamond Comic Distributors and the first series has a total of 20 figures. The figures are inside the plastic crates so you can't see the pieces, but the packaging will state which of the 8 regular figures are inside.
- Green Goblin (classic)
- Doc Ock
- Iron Man
The 12 mystery figures will simply state 'Mystery Figure' and you won't know which of the 12 is inside until you open it. (Find out how to tell which is which before you open them!) The mystery figures break down like this - there are 8 variants and 4 unique new characters. The variants will be similar to variants in Marvel Legends, with mainly paint deco differences and slight changes to the regular figures. The 4 uniques will be totally different characters and not variants. Judging by the card art, Storm and Captain America should be among the mystery figures but none of them has been revealed yet.
Why You'll Want to Buy Them
The biggest advantage they have is the small amount of space you'll need to display a bunch of them. The sets have about a 3" by 3" footprint, and they are 3" or more in height (it varies by piece). They're all in the same scale, so you can make a nice diorama in a small space. The build time for the figures is generally about 5-15 minutes, so it won't take all day to get it set up either!
view a larger image of the cardback
Pictures of Spider-Man
Pictures of Iron Man
Pictures of the Thing