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Marvel Legends (MCU)

Marvel Legends – Smart Hulk Wave – Rescue

A neat little surprise of sorts in Avengers: Endgame, though not totally unexpected, was the appearance of Rescue. Rescue is the name of Pepper Potts, when she dons her own Iron Man style armor. She sort of does this briefly in Iron Man 3, though not voluntarily, since Tony was protecting her from the collapsing Stark mansion. At the end of that film, thanks to the Extremis formula, she also gets a bit of a taste for being the hero. Plus, Rescue is a “thing from the comics”.

Basically, it’s not a huge surprise or stretch that Pepper Potts would eventually wear her own suit, especially after the extreme events of Infinity War. We got a comic version of Rescue a few years ago as an exclusive for Marvel’s comic subscription service, but this MCU iteration doesn’t share any of the same components. The design follow the design shown in Endgame pretty well, the whole suit is very sleak, which also fits in with the evolution in design philosophies we saw Tony go through over the course of the films. Unlike Tony’s armor colors of red and gold, Rescue is blue and gold.

For accessories, she is a little light on parts. She has no alternative repulsor hands, which is a bummer. Even more of a bummer is that she lacks and unmasked head. They even have a Gwyneth Paltrow head available from the recently release Iron Man 3 boxed set. Maybe they are saving it for a future line or boxed set, maybe it just didn’t seem important enough, but it kind of sucks that it’s not there. I don’t have the boxed set myself to test if the head fits on this body. What she does have is a swap out backpack part, to give her her little jet pack wings. This was also a look that Tony gained during the recent movies. I suppose from an armor evolution standpoint, it’s useful to be able to control your flight without relying on the hands and feet.

Also notable, the label on the back lists Rescue as 0049, so does that make it Iron Man armor 49? Or Rescue version 49?

So, on a basic level, there isn’t a lot wrong with this figure aside from the anemic extra parts. It’s somewhat to be expected since they probably won’t get a ton of reuse out of the mold, though if they ever bring iron Heart into the MCU, there could definitely be potential. I have to say despite that I really like Iron Man and his various armor, I actually find this figure really really kind of dull. She is plenty pose able, she even has double elbows and knees. I think it’s mostly just all the weird blue color or something. Plus the fists only kind of limits some of her posing since fists aren’t always appropriate for some action posts.

Marvel Legends – Smart Hulk Wave – War Machine MK006

I’m assuming it’s War Machine Mark 6 here since he has a bit 006 emblazoned on his chest and the previous releases have different numbers. Anyway, moving on from some of the stuff that’s less interesting in this wave, the first of several MCU characters from this wave is War Machine.

I have to admit, for some reason I kept thinking Rhodes didn’t survive the Infinity War snap. I guess it felt redundant to have Iron Man and War Machine survive. But he did, and he ended up with some new armor for Endgame. Over the course of the films, War Machine has basically just been getting more and more bulky. It kind of fits with his more military motivations, versus Iron Man just trying to be a hero. It’s also not clear exactly how much input Tony Stark has on his newer designs either, I know for a while HAMMER was working on his suit as well. I imagine the USAF has some in put also.

It’s definitely a nice design though. It’s also nice that his suits aren’t just repaints of Iron Man figures, since they could have easily just gone that route. This iteration is quite a bit taller and definitely bulkier than previous Iron Man armors. It kind of makes me think of a small style Hulkbuster armor actually, though it’s still quite a bit smaller than the Hulkbuster Armor.

War Machine includes 3 accessories, one shoulder canon and two under arm gun… things. The shoulder gun is fine, but I am honestly not sure what the under arm weapons are supposed to be. They don’t really look like gun, they have these funky handle looking things, but not triggers and they can’t really be held like a shotgun or anything. I am sure they are accurate to something from the movies, but it’s also just kind of a crappy design. They don’t attach particularly well either and they don’t flow with the design of the armor at all and just look out of place.

There isn’t an alternate head, which kind of sucks but the open helmet from the previous release sort of fits on the armor, though it’s noticeably undersized.

The articulation on this guy is pretty good given his bulk. I mentioned this briefly when I talked about Beta Ray Bill. The shoulder pads have plenty of give on them flipping up that allows for the arms to bend upwards some. The legs don’t get in the way of themselves at all really either. A neck joint with more range of motion would have been nice so he could look up would have been nice, given that the suit is capable of flying. He also could really use a peg hole for a display stand as well, once again, because he is often seen flying.

Of this whole wave, I have to say War Machine is probably the stand out winner. He has very few real problems and the design is great. He’s bulky and looks bad ass, he is articulated a lot better than expected. He’s just a great all around figure.

Review – Marvel Legends – First Ten Years – Infinity War (Dr. Strange, Thanos, Iron Man Mark L)

It seems a little weird that the latest film Infinity War is included in the First Ten Years line of Marvel Legends, but I guess it is part of the legacy.  I guess it’s more strange to me because it includes a complete version of a Build a Figure that’s currently on the pegs still and an Iron Man that’s part of that same Build a Figure Wave.  In terms of figure reuse, this set is essentially 100% reuse of past releases, and it’s one of the more expensive sets, which pretty much makes it the worst offender of the line for being a decent value.  Fortunately it’s starting to get marked down.  And not everything here is a bad deal, though it’s not all good.  This set basically consists of one really great figure, and two mediocre figures, and all of that depends on how much you’ve already invested in previous versions of these characters.

So, I’m going to start off with the Iron Man Mark L (50) armor.  This is Iron Man as he appears in the Infinity War movie, sometimes referred to as the Bleeding Edge armor.  It’s a pretty standard Iron Man save for one new feature that wasn’t int he mainline release, and one I didn’t even know the figure had until I opened the shipping box and pulled this set out.  The chest has a light up feature for the Arc Reactor.  Press a button and it glows, very brightly.  It’s a neat effect though it limits his torso pose-ability completely.  Honestly, most Iron Man figures aren’t super poseable int he torso anyway, so it’s not a huge loss.  It also helps the figure stand out a bit from all of the other armors.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any sort of add on bits like Tony Stark uses int he movie, which would have made for a great set of accessories.  This armor basically consists of a bunch of nano machines that reconfigure into shields and laser pylons and extra jets as needed.  This toy is just a human shaped suit of armor.  He does have a nice set of repulsor hands, they don’t have joints but they are sculpted to be fully “up” in blaster configuration.  Also included are a pair of replusor blast effect parts, though it’s the same part we’ve gotten in the past several Iron Man releases.  As far as Armors go, it’s also not the most exciting design.  Personally, I dislike how sleek and rounded it is and of all of the suits I own figures of, this is probably one of my least favorite designs.

Next up, Doctor Strange.  This is such a hit and miss figure on several levels, and sometimes on the same level.  If you own the previous release of this figure from the Doctor Strange movie, it actually really helps this figure out a lot.  This is despite that from the neck down, they are identical figures.

So what’s good here.  For starters, the head is great, really great.  It’s got that current gen Hasbro better paint detail thing going on and really captures Cumberbach’s Strange.  It’s different from the previous Doctor Strange head as well, with a little smirk going on.  So many heads lately on these figures have smirks, I guess it’s the new thing for Marvel Legends or something.  He also gets better paint apps on the Eye of Agamotto amulet he wears, the green Time Stone inside is actually painted this time, though the accessory itself is the same.  There is a new cape as well, which is better…. ish.  It looks nicer and has more texture detail, but the previous cape was also designed to stand up on it’s own, since in the films it has it’s own personality.  The new cape is rounded along the bottom and doesn’t stand.  The body isn’t entirely identical tot he previous release either, since one arm includes sculpted “Time Effect” parts.  When Strange does some Time Magic, he gets these little green rings around his arms, the figure has this effect sculpted on one arm.

Which brings up the downsides, the Time Effects are not removable, so he is always casting a time spell, so to speak.  There isn’t an alternate arm or anything to swap out, which is something they have done previously, in the Doctor Strange wave actually, with Nico Minoru.  Considering they even HAVE a clean arm for this mold already designed, it’s a shame one isn’t included.  I suppose the mold probably isn’t designed for easily removed arms.  There is an alternate hand accessory to hold the energy shield effect but it’s not for the arm that the Time Effect uses, so you can’t even swap the most obvious green energy hand out.  The body itself also isn’t quite as nice as the previous one with the paint details, which is surprising given recent trends of Marvel Legends as a whole and the head of this very figure.

There is a great plus here though if you have the old Doctor Strange, the parts are cross compatible.  So the new, nicer head can be put on the old, more nicely painted, Time Effectless body to make a good Doctor Strange figure.  The Eye of Agamotto just hands around the neck, so that’s easily swapped.  The cap is the only iffy part, since the new cape has a peg that slips into a hole on the back of New Strange, a hole that doesn’t exist on Old Strange.  So to use the new cape, you would either need to cut the peg off, which may cause the cape to attach in an unstable way, or drill a hole in the back of Old Strange, which is doable, but could be tricky to get just right.  Or just use the old cape, since it still looks decent.

So lastly Thanos.  I didn’t like the Movie Thanos design a lot but it’s grown on me over time.  He looks like a Space Farmer.  I guess it helps that he’s such a great character in the film that I can forgive his design some.  Still, I never bothered finishing up the Build a Figure.  The wave consisted of several characters I don’t need more of or didn’t like the design of (IM MK 50, Ugly Cap, Iron spider without tentacle arms) so I mostly opted to skip the Thanos BAF.  This makes Thanos here kind of the jewel of this set, since it’s a great way to get a good character without blowing a bunch of money on other figures I don’t want.  That said this set came out quite a while after the Thanos BAF wave, so anyone who really cares about Thanos probably already has the last release.

I will say, from what I have seen, this release is superior to the BAF release.  The colors are much more vibrant overall for starters.  He also includes two heads, both of which feel like better designs than mainline head, though having all three would be a nice bonus.  The mainline head, which I don’t have is sort of slightly smiling and a little goofy looking, the heads in this release are the more sullen standard head and a grimacing angry head.  Both are excellent representations of how Thanos looks in Infinity War.  The gauntlet itself is also open fisted.  Which feels more appropriate given that there was an entire battle about preventing him from closing his fist.  Unfortunately the gauntlet isn’t easily removed and swapped with the closed fist gauntlet of the mainline release.  I am sure it could be swapped using the Boil and Pop method, but it’s not something that just pops on and off quickly.  I imagine, like Strange’s arm, this is a limitation of the mold not originally being intended for a swapping gimmick.  Nitpicky pipe dreams aside, Thanos is a really great looking figure that really captures the character well.  If you’re looking for a Thanos and don’t want to be bothered with the Build a Figure, this one is probably better anyway.

So on the set as a whole.  It’s a decent set, despite being a set of re-released figures.  Granted my opinion is tilted a bit since I didn’t already have the previous Mark 50 or Thanos figures.  Even having them though, the light up chest on Iron Man is decent, the improved Strange is worthwhile and the the better Thanos is definitely worthwhile.  Maybe not for the original MSRP but at a discount it’s a worthwile set for an upgraded Strange and some alternative Thanos accessories with better paint.

 

Review – Marvel Legends – First Ten Years – Ant-Man (Ant-Man and Yellowjacket)

Unlike Thor, Ant-Man did get a dedicated wave during the time of his movie.  It just, only had one movie figure in it, Ant-Man, and the rest of the wave was Ant-Man themed comic characters, sort of, the 3 villains of the wave weren’s Ant-Man villains.  the Build a Figure was AoE Ultron, though in the comics Hank Pym built Ultron, not Tony Stark.  Anyway, the point is, there wasn’t a Yellowjacket figure, comic or otherwise.  Marvel has seriously shied away from doing figures of the movie villains for whatever reason.  This set remedies that problem.

It also remedies another problem.  The MCU Ant-Man figure we got for the first movie had a horribly inaccurate head.  It was based on some pre-production art or something, because the head had a visible human mouth and the breather unit was attached to the chin.  In the movie, Paul Rudd’s face isn’t visible while he is in the suit.  The head for this set is more accurate to the movie’s design.  There is also an unmasked Paul Rudd head as well.  It’s different than the one from the recent Ant-Man and the Wasp version, with the goofy smirk.  Unfortunately, the heads are not cross compatible, they use entirely different pegs.  I have no idea why Hasbro hasn’t standardized the head pegs.  It seems like it could only be a win for the on the production side, since it would mean easier parts reuse, and it would mean for easier head swaps for people who buy the figures.

Aside from the heads, the An-Man is essentially identical to the original release.  The red parts have a bit of extra texturing to them, but it’s the same sculpt otherwise.  Including the slightly weird hands.  The better Ant-Man is nice, but the real winner of this set is Yellowjacket.  It’s nice to see Hasbro finally pushing a lot of the villains from the MCU out, because they all had some really nice designs and having someone for the hero to fight is always good.

The figure itself is pretty much what you’d expect.  It’s similar to the Ant-Man in that it’s a little stiff and clunky in design, but a lot of the MCU figures fall into this bucket, it fits with the “realistic” look and style though, so it’s not a huge problem.  The fun part is his backpack and the pair of stingers hanging off of it.  There are several extra joints to let them pose in several different ways, though it kind of feels like there could be a few more joints to make it perfect.  It holds to his back well though and does the job.  He generally looks pretty menacing and matches the movie design well.  The upper stinger pylon things don’t have any joints though, which is kind of a bummer.  He also doesn’t have an unmasked Corey Stoll head, which is kind of a bummer, though I don’t recall him ever wearing the suit without the helmet either.

The set also includes a set of micro sized Ant-Man and Yellowjacket figures.  They are the same ones included with the original Ant-Man release with marginally better paint.  It’s a nice extra bit but nothing super amazing.  The mini figures don’t even really stand on their own or anything.

So, unlike the Thor and Sif set, this set has a much broader appeal.  Ant-Man is a much more well received film than the Thor movies and the re-release figure is a definite improvement over it’s original release, so it feels like less of toss aside item than the Thor.  Yellowjacket is also a nice figure with a little more play value than Sif.  It’s a good set overall.

Review – Marvel Legends – First Ten Years – Thor the Dark World (Thor and Lady Sif)

For the ten year anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hasbro is putting out a special sub line of Marvel Legends celebrating the event.  These figures all come in special boxes that create a little mural when combined along the edges, and all are themed around different movies from the MCU so far.  Its sort of the Marvel Legends equivalent to the Transformers Studio Series line.  They are also using it as a chance to catch up on characters who may have been missed over the years in the previous lines.  This particular set is for the second Thor movie, Thor: The Dark World.  In case you forgot which one that was, since its often thought of as one of if not the worst movies in the MCU so far, its the one where Thor has to rescue Natalie Portman from an infection of Aether, and stop the evil Dark Elf Malekith from using it to destroy the Nine Realms.

This set includes Thor and Lady Sif.  I’m going to start with Thor, since he’s kind of the boring figure of the set.  We’ve gotten several Thor figures over the years, and several releases of this particular Thor, more or less before.  It’s not a bad figure really, and the beefed up paint jobs that the Ten Years line is getting really help bring out the niceness of the sculpt versus the previous releases.

The main weaknesses aren’t anything new.  The long plastic cape kind of hinder a lot of more dynamic poses and the long hair is a little thick and weird looking.  It’s probably the nicest version of this early style Thor we’re ever going to get in Marvel Legends though, so it’s not a complete loss or anything.  His only accessory is his hammer.

Moving on, there’s Lady Sif.  Lady Sif is a character whom a lot of fans have been wanting a figure of for a while.  She was fairly prominent in the first two Thor films and has appeared in a couple of episodes of Agents of SHIELD as one of the few connecting threads between the TV and Movie world.  She never showed up in Ragnarok so she wasn’t wiped out by Hela.  It’s possible she could even return for Avengers 4 I suppose.

In the MCU, Sif is just sort of, one of Thor’s friends.  In the comics, she is sometimes his girlfriend.  In Norse Mythology, Sif is the wife of Thor.  The fact that she hasn’t been included in previous lines is kind of a good thing really, she’s being released now, while Hasbro is at a nice peak for paint and sculpt.  Also, it’s not like the first two Thor Movies really had dedicated waves.  Almost all of the MCU films have gotten some sort of pretty dedicated wave except the Thor films.  Thor pretty much just gets figures for Avengers films.

The sculpt on this figure is pretty great too.  The head looks like Jamie Alexander.  The armor and weapons is full of neat little etching and detailing.  The paint work is is very nice as well.  Like I said, it’s kind of a  plus that she is just now getting a figure. She also has a ton of accessories.  She has her little shield, and three swords.  Two of the swords are identical, one of the two can peg into the larger one and create a larger javelin sort of weapon.  I do have a bit of a nit picky complaint on the swords.  There is nowhere to store the swords on her person.  There aren’t even any loose belts to let you fake it by wedging the sword under the belt.

Is the two pack worth it?  I suppose it depends on some things.  How much do you want a Lady Sif?  How many versions of the old Thor design do you already have?  It’s been discounted down already so getting it cheaper than the usual 2 pack price isn’t too hard.  It’s a nice set, but it’s mostly the Lady Sif figure.

Review – Marvel Legends – Gladiator Hulk Wave – Loki

Apparently, in order to get a proper figure, the Loki had to turn into the Hero.  Ok, I have not seen Ragnarok, but it sort of feels like Loki was working with his brother again in a few spots int he Trailer.  Maybe I’m completely misreading it.  Also, that low blow probably isn’t warranted since Hasbro has been pushing out a lot more figures of MCU villains lately.  We get Hela in this very wave, Vulture was a pretty cool Build A Figure, and even Ego got a figure.  Maybe the voice of the people is finally being heard, maybe they will go back and pick up Trevor or Ronin.

Anyway, there was a figure released years ago for Avengers of Loki but it was kind of mediocre and the likeness wasn’t super good.  Thor Ragnarok is getting pretty good treatment for a movie line, a few new Thors, Hela, Valyrie, the new Gladiator Thor, and of course Loki.  He definitely has a better likeness from the previous Loki, Hasbro is doing something new with it’s movie lines because all of the heads are looking really good lately, with a good resemblance to the actors.  He’s not wearing his older gold armor anymore, so he’s not necessarily a great straight replacement for Avengers Loki, depending on what you want from an MCU Loki.  The new armor is still pretty decent and matches his new look for the new movie.

It’s not perfect though.  His cape is really funky.  A lot of the capes in Marvel Legends are kind of meh, but they tend to at least stay attached.  Traditionally there’s a peg hole in the figure’s back and a post on the cape, and you just stick the cape on.  Often there are little shoulder bits that curl around and provide at least a little bit of friction based hold to keep the cape attached.  Loki does something new.  Instead his cape has a pair of pegs on the shoulder bits.  In theory this actually kind of makes things look cleaner.

Except the pegs are a pain in the ass to get into the peg holes and don’t stay in the holes very well at all.  This isn’t helped by his hair getting in the way at every opportunity.  So the cape at best kind of looks off because it isn’t pegged in properly.

The other problem with poor Loki is that he has no accessories apart from his crown.  A couple of knives, maybe his staff, even though he doesn’t have it anymore, some sort of weapon would have been nice.  Especially since every other figure in this wave got something.  Things have been getting better on the accessories front with Marvel Legends, which is why it’s so disappointing that Loki has nothing.

Loki, as a basic figure isn’t a bad figure, he looks good, the sculpt is there and the paint is there and he is a character desperately in need of an update, but he ends up catching a couple of the traps that Marvel Legends have been plagued with on the way.

 

Review – Marvel Legends – Dormammu Wave – Doctor Strange (Movie)

The Doctor Strange wave of Marvel Legends, the one with the Dormammu Build a Figure, is the perfect example of how awful and mismanaged Marvel Legends waves can get.    For starters, there was recently a boxed set for SDCC centered around Doctor Strange that included a Brother Voodoo, Astral Doctor Strange (Comic not movie, granted), and a Dormammu, non Build a Figure version.  So, ok, the SDCC sets are not the easiest to get, but there also aren’t a ton of Strange fans I imagine clamoring for these characters, so doubling up like this instead of making less overlap seems like it would have been a better route.  To add some additional insult, this wave also included a comic Doctor Strange that is essentially identical to the one included in the very recent Hulkbuster wave.  Then there’s the extremely mediocre Astral Movie Strange, which is a clear version of the normal version reviewed here, minus the accessories.  The Astral form strange, honestly, would probably have been better done with clear colored plastic matching his normal form, though I imagine the cost there would have been too much vs the basic transparent that we got.  More annoying is that we don’t get figure of Wong or The Ancient One, both characters who could have really used figures, based on how cool they were in the movie.

I’m not here to rant about this poorly done wave of figures though.  I have not, nor do I plan to pick up any more figures from it than I already have (3 total, one because it was on clearance).  Instead, I want to talk a bit about the Movie Doctor Strange figure.  This figure kind of feels like the end result of the price paid for that pretty lame Astral Doctor Strange.  Where Astral strange has no accessories and is all translucent plastic (and, incidentally, the same mold as this one), this figure has many accessories and a pretty well done paint job and sculpt.

The core figure is effectively Cumberbatch’s Dcotor Strange as he appears in his “final form”.  He’s in his complete robes, he’s wearing his cape, he’s got the Eye of Agamotto.  He comes with an extra set of hands for some more varied looks as well as a shield like magic effect.  The cape is removable, and even stands up on it’s own (if you’ve seen the movie you will know the cape kind of has a mind of it’s own.  The Eye of Agamotto is also removable.  Removing the came and Eye, give you kind of an early learner Doctor Strange.  The removable Eye of Agamotto is also useful given the nature of what the Eye is for, possible future options of posing and interaction with other toys.  Without going into too much detail.

A poseable cloth goods cape could would have been cool but that’s not really Marvel Legends’ way of doing things so it’s pretty forgivable.  At least the cape is designed to stand on it’s own well.  Where he could really use a bit of cloth goods is in his lower tunic bits, since the plastic limits the articulation he has in his legs,  Doctor Strange isn’t really a martial artist but he is pretty dynamic, and he does come from a monastery of martial artist monks.

The extra hands are nice, and while he doesn’t have a sling ring accessory, they work for making the sort of gesture shown to operate the sling ring.  Having one with the slink ring molded on would have been nice but that’s ML for you.  There are some problems, at least on mine with mold flashing.  I’m actually kind of ok with this problem, in this case, because it makes his hands look a bit dodgy and well, part of Doctor Strange’s origin was having his hands crushed in a car accident.  Spoilers I suppose but it’s a very early and moderately trivial event in the whole scheme of things.

The movie version of Doctor Strange is one of the better Marvel Legends we’ve gotten recently, and definitely is the winner of the wave as far as quality and parts.

Review – Marvel Legends – Wal-Mart Falcon (6″)

Poor Falcon, Major player in 2 Captain America Movies with a guest bit in Ant-Man.  He’s even probably getting groomed  up to be the replacement Captain America, if Bucky doesn’t get there first.  Like Scarlet Witch, he’s gone for too long without getting a 6″ figure.  I imagine a lot of this reason is his huge wings.  This sort of accessory really doesn’t work too well with the current model of figure + BAF part.  That’s probably part of why his release was a Wal-Mart exclusive along with a better repaint of The Winter Solider, in their own little wave.

The core piece here is of course, the wings.  The wings are certainly very huge and very nice looking, however there’s no articulation in them.  This is probably both good and bad.  It of course sucks for pose variety.  On the other hand, articulated wings on figures this size tend to amount to a hinge in one point that results in some funky gaps when extended too far in one direction or another.  At the very least, some sort of hinge at the backpack would have been nice so the entire wing could swing up, down or straight out, but alas, it’s not there.

You can sort of fake a forward and backward sweep to the wings.  The way the pegs work, they can peg on the front side or backside of the backpack, which will make them swing forward or backwards, depending on how they are pegged on.  If the top and bottom holes were the same size you could fake an up and down sweep as well, though the coloring would be upside down with them turned upside down.  Alas, you can’t actually do this since the pegs are different, probably done because of the coloration issue.

The base figure is decent, it looks like Falcon, he’s nicely poseable for flying and standing poses.  He doesn’t come with any weapons though I imagine the budget mostly went into the Wings.  He does include his little remote drone which showed up several times in Civil War.

This is the first and only 6″ MCU Falcon figure we’ve gotten so far.  It’s a decent depiction, though the backpack could be better.  I doubt we get a better version in the future though, any future Falcon figures will probably just use a repaint of this same wing pack now that they have the mold.