Werewolf? There wolf! The Hero Mashers 6-inch tall Iron Vulf is a bizarre gem. Hasbro's designers put in a whole mess of personality into this one single figure - even though you can mix-and-match his limbs and head, the design itself is a pastiche of times gone by. He's got a jaw out of Masters of the Universe Trap Jaw, 1-inch buttons that seem from a 1970s or 1990s pink kid's jacket, a leather jacket with cut-off sleeves that seems very 1980s, werewolf elements, and for some reason, lava-themed bracelets, knee pads, and a jaw.
Right now Hasbro has about three price classes for its 6-inch figures. These Hero Mashers are articulated nicely for about $10 in the USA (although this one is a UK exclusive for now), and currently sport Star Wars, Jurassic World, and Marvel, but I think only the latter will be continuing next year. I think. Cheaper 6-inch figures are mostly sold at Big Lots!, Family Dollar, and Dollar General for $6-$7 each with about 4-5 joints each - they're neat, but don't do all that much. They look good, though. Hasbro also has its prestige 6-inch action figures in The Black Series for Star Wars and Marvel Legends too, with dozens of joints, alternate heads, and great accessories for around $20 each. That makes these Mashers a pretty good deal for the money - you get the most articulation and options for the price.
Mr. Vulf can split in to about 8 pieces with 15 points of articulation.
The sculpting is dynamite, with chunky, fluffy fur arms and big hollow feet that I assume were done as such to keep costs down. Little buttons - some painted, some not - on his jacket add some flair to the party, as do the sculpted bands with spikes on his person. The metal parts look like cooling lava, and the fur looks a little stylized and icy. I love the articulated jaw, and if this were a more common figure I'd almost want to customize little stickers for his buttons to show which bands he's big in to. I assume The Scorpions is on the short list. His hands don't exactly grip the guitar/axe/wrench, but the pegs on those can fit in his fists or he can sling it over his back on holes in his jackets.
His only accessory is pretty cool, mostly because of how much is in there. The one piece weapon is a wrench in the shape of a moon, a guitar in the shape of an axe, and for some reason there's a big monster face on the side. Molded in red with silver highlights, it's one of Hasbro's most well-thought-out original accessories in some time. There's just so much going on here - and in the figure - it's easy to overlook just how clever it all is. I mean, you've got a wolf with a jaw that can open so he can howl - can you possibly do better than this? (Answer: yes. He can't throw back his neck to howl at the moon.)
Despite the fact he's designed to come apart, Iron Vulf is a sturdy figure who stands up without a fight and looks pretty awesome. Hasbro's increased reliance on big properties, both in-house and licensed, means we probably won't see a lot more toys like this. Many - myself included - see them as a sort of spiritual successor to Xevoz, which was Hasbro's last license-free mash-up action figure line. It was awesome - and Hero Mashers did a good job trying to make something similar for kids with licenses. It seems they mostly didn't show up, or Hasbro doesn't want to keep supporting them, so some of these tail-enders become overseas exclusives. I'd suggest getting them now if you can - they're worth owning. I mean, who else is going to sell you a music monster cyborg repair man?
The closest anyone else has done to a line-spanning multi-genre action figure line with swapping parts has been the Glyos system, which has been running for nearly ten years and has so far encompassed nearly a dozen different properties - most of which you've never heard of or are wholly original. If you read this site you're already familiar with the premise, and Hasbro did a great job trying it on its own, but it seems like the era of Mashers from Hasbro is over. Get while the getting is good!
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