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Wakanda HasCon Coverage Would It Be Without ‘Black Panther’ Reveals?

Photography by Luke Brown, Townsquare Media
Photography by Luke Brown, Townsquare Media

While many of us heading to HasCon last weekend were eager to see all the cool new figures and collectibles in the Marvel Legends brand, Hasbro had more in mind than just showing off some beloved comic book characters in action figure form. The company used HasCon to offer a royal welcoming reception for its upcoming Black Panther toy line. Though what was on display was merely a glimpse into what the vaults of Wakanda hold for fans, it’s clear Hasbro is taking this opportunity to deliver some memorable Afrofuturism-inspired toys.

As anyone who’s seen the Black Panther trailer or any of the images from the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe move can attest, this film will be a visual feast unlike anything we’ve seen in superhero cinema before. It was also unlike anything Hasbro had tried to capture in toy form before, and it terrified Hasbro’s senior design manager on Marvel, Dwight Stall.

“When we started seeing some of those costumes were like, ‘There are 5000 deco hits on these costumes. How are we going to deliver these in a respectful and meaningful way?’” Stall said. “Just wait. I know there’s been some releases out there giving peeks, but these costumes are really, really breathtaking. They’re fresh and very different from what we’ve seen.”

“They are, and they’ve already done a great job. You’ve seen it,” added Marvel’s director of product development, Jesse Falcon. “They allowed me the opportunity to unveil that 12” Legends Black Panther at D23 this year. It’s the first time Hasbro’s done theatrical likeness or version of a character in that form factor. I love everything they’ve done at 12”. It’s a soft spot in my heart because of the history of that line, but I think what they’ve done here by approaching this from a theatrical perspective makes it one of the best they’ve ever done. Not to belittle what they’ve done in the past, but if you go look at the detail and they way Hasbro’s incorporated molding different components in different color, it’s amazing.”

It was easy to do with the actual Black Panther costume from Captain America: Civil War on display in a secure glass case right next to all the upcoming toys and roleplay accessories.

Even without that actual bit of wardrobe present, you could see just how much precision Hasbro was able to get with a number of Black Panther-themed products. Obviously the Marvel Legends 12’ figure showcases the bulk of those efforts, but even the “Vibranium” mask and claws bring that design sensibility to life. It’s quite remarkable to see this stuff in person knowing it will soon be on shelves around the globe. Obviously Wakanda is not real, but the artistic themes present in Panther’s suit, his mask, and the figures of character like Shuri and Killmonger, are things haven’t been very present at stores before on this scale.

Of course, we are still a few months away from seeing how some of the more elaborately costumed characters from the movie turn out, but where Hasbro is at now with the line is very promising.

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