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Marvel Legends – Smart Hulk Wave – Rock Python

So, this one will be pretty short and to the point for sure. Rock Python is definitely a beyond nobody level character in the grand scheme of things. Hell, I keep wanting to call him Rock Viper.

There’s not anything particularly new or special aside from his goofy snake helmet head. It’s not even particularly snakey either, unlike say King Cobra or Cottonmouth. Aside from the Smart Hulk BAF piece, he is mostly notable for being part of the Serpent Society.

I really think it’s neat how they keep slipping these guys in, since they also are kind of a big group of nobodies. But a band of snake themed villains hits the right notes for me on the goofyness level, so I’m trying to pick them up as they come out to build a little squad of Snake themed dudes.

So, there isn’t really much else to say about Rock Python. He’s not particularly snake-like and doesn’t have any accessories. His most notable traits are the BAF part and being an accessory to King Cobra.

Marvel Legends – Smart Hulk Wave – Loki (Comic)

I’m not super keen on Loki’s comic book look. He’s a little too, court jester in style for my liking. Still, he’s kind of a big part of the whole Thor and Asgardian world, being Thor’s brother and all, so not having a Loki to go with my other Asgardians was kind of a hole in need of filling. Plus, frankly, I kind of wanted everyone else in the wave.

I’m sure someone who keeps better track than I do would know which “buck” this is, but it’s pretty much just “Bulky dude in spandex”. The figure is honestly pretty basic overall, though it does match his look. The best part of this figure is the most unique part, specifically the head with the cheese eating grin. The face is goofy and fun. I do kind of hate how his pony tail is permanently swooshy in style.

Loki is the God of Mischief after all.

The only accessory he includes in a sword. I am kind of surprised he doesn’t have a cape or anything, I guess this costume design just doesn’t have one. Some extra hands could have helped flesh out the package as well.

I don’t have much else to say about this figure, he’s a notable character, but it’s just such a boring design.


Mafex – Gwenpool

So, I don’t really do “Figure of the Year” stuff, but if I did, Mafex Gwenpool would very likely be my “Figure of the Year”.  I can’t express how worried I was about this figure leading up tot he release.  All of the previous Mafex figures I have picked up had some sort of issue, most often, arms or heads that don’t stay attached well.  The sculpts on the figures are all great, but the quality is a little dodgy.  I’ve mentioned before that as much as I like Mafex being cheaper than say, Figuarts, I wish they would accept a bump in cost if it meant they had better quality control.  It seems like this is starting to be the case across the board, because I’ve noticed a bump in the price on their figures, but I have also noticed that the join tolerance issues are pretty much going away.

So onto Gwenpool. Some brief background on the character, who isn’t a Deadpool spin off or a really even a Gwen Stacy/Spiderverse character.  Recently, Spider-Gwen has become a popular new character in Marvel comics.  She’s essentially an alternate universe iteration of Spider-Man, where Gwen Stacy was bit by the spider instead of Peter Parker.  At one point, Marvel did a series of parody covers as sort of a riff on Spider-Gwen, with Gwen Stacy as other heroes, like Thor, or the Avengers, or, Deadpool.  The Deadpool version ended up being popular enough that it was made into it’s own parody comic, though Gwenpool is not Gwen Stacy as Deadpool, she is Gwendolyn Poole, a new character.

Confused yet?

So, anyway, Gwenpool, is supposed to be a normal comic fan person from “the real world” that was sucked into the Marvel Comics universe.  She has no actual super powers aside from an encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel characters, all of their super powers, weaknesses, secret identities, etc.  She uses this “ability” to sort of extort her way into becoming a mercenary in the Marvel Universe after getting some training from Captain America punching bag, Batroc the Leaper.

I mean, I already said it’s “Figure of the Year”, I’m not sure how much more praise I can give it than that.  The previous Marvel Legends is… not great.  It’s an ok toy, but the likeness is so off it’s may as well be a different character.  The Marvel Legends went for a sort of realistic look that just comes across as being some sort of weird midlife crisis old woman or something, the Mafex absolutely captures the essence of the stylized Gwenpool look.

She includes a bunch of fun accessories.  She has a pair of Katanas, two masked and one unmasked head with separate “hood down” part, a cell phone, and a couple of animal themed backpacks.  She also has a bunch of alternative hand options.  The handles on the Katanas in the back are also removable, which I mostly want to mention because mine were in very tight and I wasn’t sure they were.  One more minor complaint,t he only “holding” hangs she has are made for her Katanas, so she can’t really hold any other weapons (guns) from other figures very well.  She does tent to use other weapons at times.  You can sort of balance other things in her open palm hands, but the effect isn’t real super great.

The poseability is very good as well.  Between the joints and the alternative hands and heads, there is such a great range of action and emotion that can be expressed by this figure, which is great.  It’s just a very fun design which translates over to a very fun figure.

I have some other minor complaints.  The worst offense is that she really needed a second unmasked head (there is one coming with the upcoming Evil Gwenpool figure).  Basically just the smiling mouth on the unmasked head.  The unmasked head also had some iffy paint app choices, mostly on the mouth, though I’ve seen some light touch ups done by folks that really improved it.  I also kind of hate that she can’t wear the animal backpacks and the sword backpack at the same time.  Not a huge issue, but it would have been a nice addition.

I don’t have a lot to say about this figure, but it’s really a great figure.  The only real problem with it is that there are some who really dislike Gwenpool as a character.  Which is understandable, she is, by design, a little obnoxious.  Her whole shtick isn’t really meant to be a serious world shattering story like other heroes.  It’s pulling up F list nobodies like Batroc the Leaper and doing goofy stories with them.

(PS, Scooter not included, I just got it for her to use in the same order).

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.

Weekly Wednesday Haul – A Fist Full of Comics Edition

Nothing physical new this week, but Amazon was having a pretty amazing sale on Marvel Digital comics, like 90% off on a LOT of books, so I binged a bit and picked up a stack of books I’ve been looking forward to reading.  I once did comics reviews, I may have to start doing it again.  Anyway…

A lot of newer stuff in there, I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the art style in a lot of older comics.  The two main drivers here were Ms. Marvel and Spider-Gwen, both series I’ve been wanting to read for a while.  I’ve started on both.  I also picked up the Kate Bishop Book because I really enjoy the Hawkeye^2 run.  The same thing can be said of Jessica Jones.  Alies was enjoyable and the Netflix series is my favorite of those shows, so it felt like a no brainer.

Spinning off a bit from Marvel, I’ve heard the Darth Vader series is pretty decent as well.  I’m always kind of wary of Star Wars Expanded Universe stuff, it tends to feel a little Fan-Fic-ish which I don’t care for.  I decided to give this one a go however, and the Doctor Aphra book I believe is related.  Whatever the case, Doctor Aphra I believe is getting a Black Series figure in an upcoming wave, and I’d like to know why.

I was a little hesitant to go for Gwenpool.  I’m not real big on Deadpool, and Gwenpool kind of feels like an even more MEME ridden version of Deadpool.  For what it’s worth I passed on Squirrel Girl for this reason, also I can’t stand the art in Squirrel Girl.

IronHeart Ironman was kind of a random gamble, I know there was some uproar over this book and it’s protagonists so I figured I’d check it out.  Mockingbird was also a random pick up.  I like what I’ve seen of the character elsewhere, so I figure I’d try out her series.

Lastly, Marvel 1602, I have almost zero idea of what this is but it sounded like a neat concept.  I generally like these sort of “re-imagined what if” style stories, probably because they tend ot be self contained while still keeping the idea and spirit of super heroes.