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Marvel Legends

Review – Marvel Legends – Dormamu Wave – Nico Minoru

Runaways isn’t a Marvel series I ever really expected to get any Marvel Legends from.  I kind of doubt we get too many more from this “team” either, all of them are kids and a lot of them essentially just have plain clothes costumes, which Marvel Legends doesn’t really do too often.  I may be completely wrong though, there is a new TV series coming this fall.  It kind of seems like a fluke that we got Nico Minoru aka Sister Grimm.  She does sort of fit in with the Doctor Strange wave, since the figures are all “Magic themed” for the most part.

Marvel Legends Nico Minoru (Sister Grimm)

So, I like this figure, for it’s uniqueness.  It’s definitely a different looking design for a Marvel Legends, you don’t get too many “goth girls” in this line.  The look does a good job of capturing the idea of the character.  I have to say though that the idea is about all you really could capture here.  Like I mentioned above, most of the Runaways are just kids in street clothes, and they don’t really have regular outfits.  So the look isn’t super specific to Nico Minoru, but it fits who she is.

Marvel Legends Nico Minoru (Sister Grimm)

The bigger gripe I have here is the staff, which doesn’t quite look right for her Staff of One.  For starters, it’s not particularly Staff shaped, it’s about half the length it really should be.  The head also isn’t really proper either, the ball should be part of the staff and outside of the circle.  I believe at some point she got a new staff, but I’m not positive on that, but it’s possible that this design is based more on the design of a second Staff.  Still, It feels like a pretty glaring error since the Staff is essentially the center of her abilities and is part of who her character is to such a degree.  It would be like making Captain America’s Shield a star or something and painting it all red just because.

Marvel Legends Nico Minoru (Sister Grimm)

The staff also is way too heavy for the figure to hold well, especially with the included magic effect attached.  The effect looks cool for sure, but her arm joints just aren’t strong enough and the weight just pulls the wrist downward most of the time.  This is something that could have been alleviated with a longer staff too, since the base could be balanced against a lower surface to keep things upright.

Marvel Legends Nico Minoru (Sister Grimm)

Nico Minoru also includes a swapable purple magic arm, which is pretty cool.  All around this figure seems to have a lot of original tooling as well, chest, the boots, the skirt all seem to be unique, though maybe it’s just very clever use of paint on existing molds.  I believe it’s the same shorter girl body that is used for a lot of Spider Girls otherwise, but if it is, it doesn’t seem prone to the awkward posing that body seems to have normally.  She looks fairly natural in a lot of poses.

All in all, I really like this figure.  I just hope it means maybe getting a few more members of the Runaways team in the future.

Review – Marvel Legends – Sandman Wave – Spider Gwen

In an alternate universe on another Earth, instead of Peter Parker, Spider-man, being bitten by that radioactive spider granting him super human spider powers, Peter’s classmate and sometimes girlfriend Gwen Stacy instead took the hit.  In that world was born, Spider Gwen.  It’s kind of a plot born from a What-If? idea, expanded into it’s own full comic series.  It’s a pretty good comic series too, and an interesting take on the Spider-man concept.  As a popular character, it was inevitable that there would be a Spider Gwen figure released for Marvel Legends.

Marvel Legends Spider Gwen

The basic execution here is decent.  The look and design of the character is captured well here, the swapable head and hood bits are nice.  She’s a decent alright Basic Spider Gwen.  The sculpt and paint are good, including on the Gwen Stacy head.

Marvel Legends Spider Gwen

Most of problems I have with this figure stem from my more common complains with the Marvel Legends line as a whole.  I’ve seen this body used on several other spider girls and figures, the legs always feel off on it no matter how they are positioned and the lack of double jointed elbows hurts.  I also hate the lack of hand options.  She has a fist and a thwip hand, that’s it, some relaxed hands, two fists, you know, all of the things the regular Spider-man mold gets these days, would be great.  In the comic Gwen Stacy is part of a rock band, but it’s not like she is constantly throwing out the horns.  Also, a cellphone accessory would be great.  Spider Gwen is always using her cell phone, and having it as an accessory would be a lot of fun.

Marvel Legends Spider Gwen

She does match the style of other Marvel Legends at least, she is just limited in a lot of funky ways by this mediocre base figure that she’s using, which is a shame.  If you just want a cheap Spider Gwen to go in a Spidery display, she serves that purpose, but personally, I’m considering replacing her with the recently released Revoltech, which is considerably more dynamic of a figure (at a higher price tag).

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 – Juggernaut Wave – Wolverine

Wolverine is arguably the most popular Marvel comics character.  Spider-man is pretty up there and Deadpool seems to be doing pretty well, but Wolverine is, or at least was at one point, pretty up there.  It’s a shame he doesn’t’ get more Marvel Legends figures really.  I mean I know I complain about all of the dozens of Captain Americas, but Wolverine is way more popular then Cap.  Maybe we just already hit Wolverine Saturation years ago and don’t need more Wolverines?  Who knows.

While wolverine has had a few looks over the years, and some slight redesigns, mostly in how big his head fins are or how large his shoulder pauldrons get, he has had two basic looks, there is the classic Blue and Yellow design, which appeared in the previous X-men themed wave of Marvel Legends, and there is this Brown and Dirty Yellow design.

I’m kind of mixed on this figure.  It’s a good figure.  It’s got a good sculpt and paint.  He is appropriately short as Wolverine should be.  He even has swappable hands for claws in and claws out.  I really wish Marvel Legends would do swappable hands more often.  I’ve been spoiled lately by import figures.

What he really needs though is a swappable head.  Wolverine can make some nice poses, but his head is just so….  Boring.  A raging grimacing or open mouthed head would be a welcome addition to make him seem more dynamic.  I like having the neutral head, I just wish eh also had an angry head.  Wolverine is pretty known for being a raging animal after all.

The claws are also interesting.  They aren’t the often used rubbery plastic that deforms and looks ugly.  They are nice and crisp and solid.  They tend to wobble a bit in their pegs though, making them hard to keep in alignment.  I also worry about breaking them off a bit, since this sort of hard plastic tends to snap more than give under pressure.

Aside from the bland facial expression, this is a really nice Wolverine figure.  Here’s hoping that the new Logan film will give us some slightly more action oriented Wolverine designs but given the track record of the X-men films getting ignored for toys, I doubt it will happen.

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.

Review – Marvel Legends – Juggernaut Wave – Deadpool

I’m a little torn on Deadpool here.  He’s a pretty great figure.  Not the perfect Deadpool necessarily due to a few minor design issue but he’s solid.  He also comes with a ton of accessories and no Build-a-Figure piece for Juggernaut.  Which is why I’m torn.  What Deadpool represents is essentially what I wish we got from Marvel Legends as a line.  Dump the dumb BAF aspects, load up more accessories, alternate heads, weapons, effect parts, alternate hands.

Yeah, it’s a dumb reason to dislike a figure, it’s more that I dislike the concept he is presenting, because it’s what I want from every figure.  How much cooler would Havok be with a screaming head and an energy blast that strapped to his chest somehow.  How much better would that boring Phoenix be with a flaming base and fire ball parts to strap on to for dynamic attack poses?  How about a nice Ice base for Iceman to thrown down on?  Is Deadpool representative of what we could have without BAF bits?

Enough talk about non Deadpool things though, that’s sort of tangential to the main topic here, and not totally some weirdly meta thing for a Deadpool related review.  Also, referencing that it’s a review within a review isn’t meta and 4th-wall-ish either.

Deadpool has one really great thing going for him, his accessories.  He has so many accessories that a few of them seem really pointless and dumb and out of place next to the others.  The swords, the pistols, the knife, all have nice built in storage on Deadpool, which is great.  The rocket Launcher could even peg onto his back.  The alternative head makes sense, Deadpool with and without mask.  The Taco’s fun.  Then there are the two screw silver guns, they look ugly, they don’t really fit too well with the theme of everything else, personally, and they just don’t even need to be there.

Which just exacerbates my previous frustration, not only does he get a mess of accessories, he has extra mostly useless crappy accessories!

Honestly Deadpool only really has two real flaws.  One, he has this goofy pinky finger sticking out hand.  This problem could have easily have been fixed with a spare, normal hand, maybe in place of one of his useless extra guns.  But it didn’t happen, it’s kind of really weird.

Then there is the part where he’s crazy hard to find, because, well, Deadpool.  He had a super popular movie, he doesn’t have the saddle of a BAF piece and he’s a really good figure all around.

Review – Marvel Legends – Walgreen’s Punisher

Walgreen’s has quickly become a pretty hot spot for toy collecting.  They have continually been getting some really good exclusives for Star Wars and Marvel Legends and more recently Transformers.  These often, though not always, aren’t just mild repaints or useless variants of other characters from a mass release, especially on the Marvel Legends side.   They also have started having a good track record of getting waves earlier than other retail outlets such as Wal-Mart and Target.  The Punisher here is one of those exclusive figures.

This Punisher is such a mixed bag of hit and miss.  He’s mostly good, the skill and belt bits work well, Punisher often has the same problem of Venom, where his large chest logo overlaps a waist cut and gets ugly when the waist is turned.  He has a decent assortment of accessories, with his two guns and rocket launcher.  He even gets two heads.

The heads though could be a little better.  He’s The Punisher, he really could use one good grimacing head.  Both of these heads seem a bit too… heroic, and almost friendly.

The worse offender though, which pretty much makes this figure a pass unless you are a huge Punisher fan, is the hands.  Let me reiterate, in case I have not done so enough yet, this is The Punisher.  His “super power” is pretty much 100% “Bad Ass Mother Fucker with Guns”.  His hands DO NOT HAVE TRIGGER FINGERS.  Of all of the figures who get trigger fingers who don’t use guns or need them (Daredevil), the Punisher absolutely needs trigger finger hands.

You can sort of fake it but cutting the index finger free with a razor blade, but the tension and sculpt just isn’t quite there and it just doesn’t work.  It’s such a travesty that a mostly decent figure is pretty much rendered complete garbage by a simple oversight.

So yeah, he’s nice, if you’re clever you can cut the finger or maybe even swap hands with another figure (Maybe Nick Fury who shares a mold I believe), but out of the box, he’s ruined by his inability to properly use is included accessories.

Review – Marvel Legends – Juggernaut Wave – Phoenix (Jean Grey)

This may be a bit of a short one on the text.  I honestly have very little to really say about Marvel Legends Phoenix.  In fact, the main thing I have to say is something I really don’t say too often about anything.  I think I legitimately hate almost everything about this figure.

I’m not even sure it’s an upgrade from my old Toybiz Phoenix figure.  Sure that old Phoenix has some issues, and is far from perfect but this update just has so much that I don’t particularly like that makes for the perfect storm of dislike.

For starters, her sculpt is kind of nasty.  The head is weirdly skinny and angular and the hair looks unnatural.  This isn’t helped by how completely bland her design is.  At least the old Phoenix has a few extra flourishes here and there to keep her from being so blandly green.

She also can’t stand for crap, which only really helps to push my dislike of this figure down farther.  In fact the only reason I bothered at all was that she was the only figure left that I needed to complete the Juggernaut Build a Figure.   There isn’t much else to say, he’s just extremely bland and kind of ugly on the paint and sculpt, which is a shame because several other figures in this wave are excellently done.