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Marvel Legends

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 – Blade (Man-Thing Wave)

The recent Man-Thing BAF wave of Marvel Legends is also known as the Netflix Wave.  Primarily because it consists of Netflix versions of several characters, namely, Daredevil, The Punisher, Elektra and Jessica Jones.  The wave also includes some comic characters though, mostly ones that make sense.  Bullseye and Blade are both sort of in the same “street level” department as out Netflix heroes.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I almost wonder if this is sort of a secret preview for some possible future shows from Netflix.  Bullseye is too much of a Daredevil staple that I would be incredibly surprised if he doesn’t show up for Season 3, for example.  Could a Blade Series be int he works?  Maybe a Man-Thing movie?

Marvel Legends Blade

This iteration of Blade is particularly nice because his design works pretty well as both a comic book and a potential MCU Blade figure.  He isn’t based directly on any particular live action Blade (Wesley Snipes or Sticky Fingaz), but he looks like he’s a normal human enough to fit in with an MCU display.  Contrast this with, for example, Bullseye from this same wave, who sort of works but has those slightly exaggerated comic features that make him stand out a bit from all of the realistic MCU designs.  I only really bring up the MCU at all because this is the “Netflix Wave” and this is full of MCU designs.

Marvel Legends Blade

The figure itself is… ok-ish.  I actually have a few issues with the body design.  For starters, his chest is huge.  By chick I mean, his upper chest.  It’s almost comically oversized even by comic standards, because it looks so disproportionate next to his lower body.  Blade definitely feels like he’s been skipping leg day quite a bit.  His bare arms also look a little funky and are full of really ugly joints.  A lot of figures get away with the ugly joints by hiding those parts with armor or some sort of suit, but because it’s just bare skin, they really stick out.  His shoulders are particularly weird in places, they remind me a lot of Cable, where the shoulders are almost set too low to look human.  His sword scabbard/bandolier is also fits oddly, it doesn’t really have any good place where it feels right and it’s generally pretty loose all around.  The sword works well in it and the basic idea is there, I just kind of wish it fit his body better.

Marvel Legends Blade

These design issues are kind of a shame because otherwise the paint and sculpt are pretty great.  The heads both look really good and his chest armor and legs all are nicely done.   I feel like some better choices on the arms would have really helped this figure come off less weird looking.  I almost wonder if there was some thought to giving him a coat at some point as well, since putting the new figure int he old Wesley Snipes Blade’s coat goes a long way to hide a lot of the flaws.

Marvel Legends Blade

Overall, while Blade is not a terrible figure, he’s not without his flaws.  Blade’s time kind of feels like it’s come and gone though and he’s kind of a niche hero, so chances are there isn’t going to be another Blade release in the Marvel Legends line anytime soon.  I will say, as much as I like the old Toybiz Snipes Blade, comparing the two, the new one feels more solid and poseable overall, so he is a good upgrade.  Giving him the old coat helps as well, if you have one floating around.

Marvel Legends Blade

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.

 

Weekly Wednesday Haul – BAF Edition

This week saw the completion of a couple of Build a Figures.  First off, I added the Homemade Suit Spiderman from Spiderman Homecoming.  This also gave me the last piece for the Vulture Build A Figure.  He is pretty awesome with his huge wings, but it still feels like he could have just been say, a $30 deluxe figure or something.  


A while back I started collecting Giant Manparts when Ross had the wave for cheap.  I recall back when this wave was new, I had a delimma on if I wanted Cap from this wave or from the Thanos wave.  Apparently I had chosen Thanos, because it turned out that I didn’t have Giant Man’s head.  I never did finish that Thanos because I opted for the Marvel Select but I went ahead and ordered the head for Giant Man off of eBay.

I have to say, I am kind of disappointed, his arms are stupidly short for proper human proportions.
Lastly, since I have Jessica Jones now, I went ahead and picked up Elektra from the Netflix wave.  I probably was going to get her anyway.  I am still a little iffy on the others for reasons mentioned but that Daredevil is growing on me and I kind of really want to finish Man-Thing.

Weekly Wednesday Haul – The Vulture Edition

With the house bought and the move done, I can get back to my normal excessive waste of money each week.  Though I’m still kind of down a bit since I unexpectedly had to replace my phone.  I will probably write more about that on [Blogging Intensifies] in the future but I’ve replaced my Nokia 635 Windows hone with a Motorola G5+ Android device.

On the toys front, Wal-Mart has marked down all of those lingering Doctor Strange and Spiderman figures from $15 clearance to $9 clearance.  At $9, that’s less than I’d be paying on ebay for Build a Figure pieces to put together Vulture’s wings, and I get a bonus figure, so I picked up all of them that I could find.  I still have not seen Moon Knight, which sucks because he is the only one outside of Vulture that I wanted from the wave.  I did order his BAF piece off of ebay though, so I’m covered there.  No sign of Homeade Suit Spidey for $9 though, so I am still one piece short of those glorious wings.

I like Beetle more than expected but the rest are pretty meh.  I don’t need the Spiderman at all since I really want the two pack version with the unmasked head and the new Iron Man armor.  I’m seriously considering repainting Cosmis Spiderman into William Riker, though he would be a really buff looking Riker.  Tombstone is alright for a generic dude.

 

Review – Marvel Legends – Absorbing Man 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).