Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Calavius by The Four Horsemen

I may be in the middle of a Marvel Legends week, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let a Wednesday go by without throwing some love to Mythic Legions. And since I am pressed for time from having to cram seven other reviews this week, I’m going with a figure that should be fairly easy to do justice. It’s Calavius, and he’s a Gladiator that teamed up with Attlus the Conqueror to launch a rebellion and put an end to the Gladiatorial games!

And damn, if he don’t look like a bad-ass! While he’s part of Advent of Decay, Calavius definitely feels like a throwback to The Coliseum Wave that hit in between the two kickstarters. And that’s not just because he’s a Gladiator, but because the bulk of this figure is comprised of parts introduced before Advent of Decay. That’s not a criticism, he really is a great looking figure, but it’s worth pointing out, especially for collectors who are expecting nothing but hot newness in their Advent of Decay packages. It’s probably safe to say that Calavius borrows the most from his fellow Gladiator, Rahmulus. From the waist down it’s all the same parts but with a fresh coat of paint. All the plate armor has been repainted gold, with blue leather scales hanging down the front of the belt and blue stripes down the sides of the hip armor. He also has some copper paint just under the knee plates, and the exposed skin on his upper legs is now dark brown.

While Rahmulus wore a plate armor cuirass, Calavius fights bare chested and with his left arm bare as well. They share the same armored sleeve on the right arm, but where Rahmulus donned a pair of knightly gauntlets, Calavius wears the jagged, crude type favored by the Orcs. Calavius wears only one pauldron, on his right shoulder, and it’s the same one used by Rahmulus, only repainted to match the rest of his armor.

The one brand new thing about Rahmulus, at least new to me, is the helmet. Well, one of them, he actually comes with two. It’s based on a traditional Roman Gladiator helmet design with a wide-brimmed helmet and a full enclosure over the face with a circle-patterned screen to allow him to see and breath. The top of the helmet has a comb with a sculpted brush and a small skull on the front. This helmet is easily what sold me on this figure, as it’s gorgeous. I love how sinister the design looks and the bright copper paint used on the helmet, along with all the little attention to detail, is absolutely perfect.

The alternative helmet is one that I first encountered all the way back on Gorgo Aetherblade, and it’s been used several times since. This time it’s fitted with two black ram horns. The official look is to have the horns pointed downward, but I’m not sure I dig that all that much. You can, however, position them any way you like. I am a fan of this helmet, but if it comes down to displaying Calavius with this one or the Gladiator helmet, the other one is going to win out every single time. It’s also why I only used it in a couple of pictures for this review.

If a traditional sword and shield is what you’re after, Calavius has got you covered. Yup, the sword is my favorite standard cruciform-hilted blade, this time a red grip, and a bronze painted pommel and guard. And just to keep things from getting too ordinary, Calavius’ sword belt is red instead of brown. I prefer to use it as a shoulder strap, so he can wear his sword on his back along with the shield. The shield is the same circular one we saw with Rahmulus. It’s got a rough steel finish and some bronze paint on the boss as well as on the ring of runes that runs along the outside edge.

Calavius also comes with two pole weapons, or more specifically two different poles with two different heads, and you can mix and match them. One is a very knightly looking halberd, which I like a lot, but just not with this figure. I realize there’s no real historical accuracy going on here, but it just feels out of place to give it to a Gladiator. It’s probably going to wind up going to one of my Knights.

The other is a trident, and I absolutely love this thing! The pole has gold painted grips with some ornate carvings and it’s just the kind of thing I remember seeing in the old Sword & Sandals movies. It makes me wish T4H had also included a net with him, because it was always fun to see these guys toss nets over their opponent before skewering them with one of these giant forks.

If you’re looking for all brand new stuff in your Advent of Decay figures, then Calavius may let you down. Personally, I’m happy that T4H are still dipping that deep into the well. I’ll buck the trend by not claiming that this is my new favorite figure in the line, but he is my second favorite of the Gladiators (No one can ever trump Raygorr!) and I really dig him a lot. The parts work together quite well, the new helmet sculpt is amazing, and the quality of the paint is gorgeous. Toss in the giant killing fork, and I’ve got nothing but love for this guy!

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Marvel Legends (Kree Sentry Wave): Talos by Hasbro

It’s Day Three of this Captain Marvel Legends week! This nonsense will be going on until Sunday when I finish things off with the Kree Sentry Build-A-Figure and I’m still going to try to squeeze the regular Mythic Legions Wednesday later on tonight. I haven’t marathoned this many reviews into one week in a while. It’s a young man’s game, something I am not, so it’s going to be interesting to see if I can make it! Let’s dive right in with our first look at an MCU Skrull… Talos!

We’re getting into some unfamiliar territory today with Talos from the upcoming film. Obviously we knew who Captain Marvel and Nick Fury were, but for this one I’m relying solely on the back of the package. The blurb calls him “the most cunning spy in all the Skrull Empire,” and that sounds like quite a big boast. Is he going to be the lead baddie in the flick? Possibly, and to be honest, I don’t want to know until I see it. So, no spoilers!

I can’t really comment on how screen-accurate the costume on this figure is, but I will say that it’s not wowing me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’ll look fine on the big screen, but for an action figure, it’s pretty meh. For a while I couldn’t for the life of me place what this design reminded me of, but I ultimately sussed it out as resembling Nero’s outfit from the 2009 Trek film. I don’t know that it’s really that close, but that’s just the vibe I get off of it. The deco here is really muted, with mostly a lot of matte black with only some purple to add a little pop. Even the silver on the shoulder armor is more like a dull gray.

The bulk of Talos’ outfit consists of what looks like a form-fitting trench coat but without the opening down the front. It’s molded in soft plastic and does open up the right side under the arm, as it’s secured together with tabs. Still, opening it doesn’t allow it to come off, as it appears to be glued to the figure under the left arm. There are tons of lines cut throughout the costume surface, which is reminiscent of wood grain patterns. It does give it a rather distinctive alien look, and I do dig how the purple bits look like they’re layered under the rest of the garment.

While the costume isn’t all that flash, the head sculpt gets me a little more excited. This guy is pretty easily identifiable as a Skrull from the funnybooks, and I love that. He’s got the green skin and extended Vulcan-like ears with creases in his face radiating out from his mouth. He’s also sporting some purple spotting on his bald pate, which forms “sideburns” down the sides of his face. The same coloring can be found on his inner lips and around his chin. It’ll be interesting to see if all the Skrull have the same color and pattern of markings. Either way, I definitely approve of the look.

All the usual points of articulation can be found here, but the form-fitting coat renders the range of motion in the legs rather limited. Other issues include the fact that his arms can’t really go all the way down by his sides. Toss in the fact that both my figure’s bicep swivels are pulled, leaving noticeable gaps, and I’m not really impressed. And just to add another bummer to the pile, Talos comes with no accessories, unless you count the BAF part.

I don’t really hate this figure, that’s too strong a word, but I just don’t find him all that fun or exciting. I do really dig the MCU Skrull design and I think Hasbro did the best they could with it. Unfortunately, the outfit is kind of boring and with no weapons or accessories, and some limited articulation, there isn’t a hell of a lot for me to do with him. I’ll probably be more excited about this one once I’ve seen him in action in the flick, but for now, he’s just not doing a lot for me. I understand the desire to get a major character out in the wave, but I think I would have been happier with a Skrull Soldier, even if it was a comic-based version.

Marvel Legends (Kree Sentry Wave): Nick Fury by Hasbro

It’s the second day of me powerhousing my way through the new Captain Marvel Legends wave. And as much as I had to lead in yesterday with Carol, there was no way I could go another day without opening up young Nick Fury. But don’t get too comfy, because today’s review is going to be easy-peasy, quick and breezy!

While the packaging looks the same as always, the windows are now just a clear cover on the tray. I’m not sure why they went this way, maybe it’s cheaper to make, but either way it doesn’t really effect me because I toss out these packages. Of course, this is Nick Fury circa 1995 and I’ll note here how curious I am about how much Fury will be in the film, since Disney is working their de-aging mojo on him. Although, they seem to be pretty comfortable with the technology, so hopefully it’ll be a lot.

And I’m getting off easy today, because there isn’t a whole lot to say about this figure as it features a standard guy-in-a-suit buck. I am, however, surprised to see that Hasbro didn’t just take the buck used for Agent Coulson and slap a Sam Jackson head on it. No doubt, there’s some re-use here, but this Agent Fury figure stands a good bit taller than the Coulson we got way back in that Agents of SHIELD 3-pack. Beyond that there are some notable differences, like the buttons on Fury’s coat being sculpted sharper, his collar is completely different, and his necktie is tied a bit looser. It’s not a lot to notice from a casual glance, but it’s still nice to know that Hasbro put some work into this figure. As usual, the jacket effect is achieved with a sleeveless vest cast in soft plastic and the jacket sleeves sculpted as part of the arms.

The head sculpt features a pretty good likeness to younger Sam Jackson, which depicts Nick Fury before he lost an eye. The painted details on the face seem to be actual paint and not the printed method they’ve been using lately. Either way it looks OK. My only real nitpick here is that the jointing of the neck to the head looks a bit odd when viewed from certain angles.

Fury comes with his trusty pistol and there’s not a lot for me to say about it. It’s cast in black plastic and his trigger finger doesn’t work so well with the trigger guard. Otherwise he holds it just fine in his right hand.

Articulation is standard stuff and actually identical to the suited-buck used for Coulson. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. There’s a swivel in the waist, a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Fury also comes with one of two versions of Carol Danvers’ “cat,” Goose that are included in this wave, and I’ll defer from clarifying those quotes around the word cat to avoid any specific spoilers. Although as you can probably guess by the accessory, this isn’t your ordinary domesticated feline, because the little guy is locked up in restraints. The scruff of his neck is sculpted specifically so that Fury can hold him by it with his left hand. It kind of makes out like Fury and Goose aren’t going to get along, but seeing him playing with Goose in the trailer sets my heart at ease.

And that’s all I got for today. Don’t mistake my brevity as a slight on the figure, because I was really looking forward to getting him and I’m still happy to be getting young Fury from the film for my MCU Legends shelf. I greatly appreciate the changes to the suited-body, especially for when I’m displaying him and Coulson together. Indeed, I dig this figure so much, it makes me realize how badly we need a new regular version of MCU Fury. He would have been an excellent candidate for a do-over in The First Ten Years releases. Anyway… come on back tomorrow and we’ll dig into another figure from this wave!

Marvel Legends (Kree Sentry Wave): Captain Marvel by Hasbro

Captain Marvel Week Begins!!! Yes, I’ve decided to unleash a couple of Marvel Weeks in the next couple of months to work through my backlog of Legends figures, the first of which is starting today. I’m also pushing the new Captain Marvel wave to the head of the line, because it’s fun to be current and timely with my reviews every now and again, instead of being sad and way behind. I’m also going to give it my best to throw in the usual Mythic Legions Wednesday, but we’ll see how that goes. Let’s start with the soon-to-be newest star of the MCU… Carol Danvers!

I don’t usually have a lot to say about the packaging, but we actually have a few things worth mentioning here. First of all, the window is no longer part of the box, now it’s a top on the tray. Cool! Also, the back panel features some exceptionally beautiful and colorful character art from the upcoming film. I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Brie Larson, but I’ve learned to stop questioning any MCU casting a long time ago, and I honestly think she’s going to be great in the role. If anything, the trailers have assuaged any of my apprehension about the future of the MCU after many characters from the old guard has been retired. Anyway… the figure comes packaged with her masked head, but I’ll start with the unmasked one.

Straight away, the first two things I love about this figure is the MCU suit design and the way Hasbro translated it to plastic 6-inches of plastic. The suit is colorful and features just enough sculpted line work to keep it from looking flat. While the MCU has been pretty good about drawing inspiration from comic looks, I’m still a little surprised that they played this one so close to the line. The snappy metallic red and blue deco makes the figure pop all on its own, but when you toss in the hints of gold trim, it elevates the the coloring even higher. Indeed, some of the gold work, like the edging on her lower legs, is extremely subtle, but it makes me appreciate it all the more on closer inspection. And the raised gold starburst on her chest looks fantastic!

The unmasked head utilizes all of Hasbro’s newly learned techniques to deliver a solid likeness of Larson. The skin tone is soft and matte to avoid a waxy look and the printing for the lips is sharp and subdued, but as always when you get in close, the printing starts to blur even though it looks fine in hand and with the naked eye. The expression is pretty flat and I’ve seen some criticisms of the trailer, saying that Larson doesn’t emote much, but here we get a hint of a smirk that I think works well for the character. Personally, I think people are getting a little too hung up on a few minutes of footage, but time will tell. Danvers’ hair is sculpted separately from the head, which adds some nice depth to the portrait overall and it’s given a dark sandy wash.

The masked head is also fantastic, and here’s where I really have to emphasize how surprised I am that the MCU version is playing it so close to the comic look. The mask covers everything but part of her lower face and includes pupil-less eyes and the mohawk of her hair jutting out the top. We get some more of that wonderful electric blue trim on the sides and while the paint could have been a tad sharper around the mask, it’s not really bad either. Finally, we get a little bit of a smirk on this portrait.

Articulation holds no surprises, but let’s break it down anyway. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, with no swivels in the biceps. The legs have ball jointed hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a ball joint under the chest and the neck has both a hinge and ball joint. And yes, I’ll keep beating the dead horse of how I wish Hasbro would give the ladies double hinges in the elbows instead of rotating hinges. Captain Marvel also comes with two sets of hands: Fists and open hands, to alternate between fighting and flying. You may have also noticed from the packaged shot that she does not come with a BAF part. I’m guessing Hasbro figured everyone was going to want her anyway.

I’ve been waiting for this figure ever since we knew Carol was coming to the MCU and I have to say all that anticipation was paid off in spades. The outfit design is great and the colors are spectacular. And like any great movie-based action figure that’s released before the actual movie, this one is making me all the more excited to see the film. It’s also got me excited to open up some more of this wave, so I’ll be back tomorrow with another review!

Transformers Siege: Sideswipe by Hasbro

Slowly but surely I’m working my way through the first wave of Deluxe figures from the new Siege: War for Cybertron. So far this assortment has delivered on the best Hound figure we’ve had in ages, and a pretty sweet update to the Duocon, Flywheels so at this point, the wave can do no wrong. Can they work the same magic for the classic Class of 84 Autobot Sideswipe? Well if opinion on the social medias is any indication, I think they can!

Here’s another look at the packaging as Hasbro does away with the card and bubble in favor of a collector friendly window box. I love these boxes and the character art looks fantastic. It’s just too bad that I don’t have the space to keep them. Sideswipe comes packaged in his robot mode, but we’re going to jump in to his alt mode first!

Whereas Hound’s felt like a bulked up version of his G1 Jeep mode, Sideswipe’s is more of a futuristic version of his G1 Lamborghini mode, and I dig that a lot. It’s like Siege is taking the underlying characteristics of these alt modes and buffing them. So Hound gets more military and brutish and Sideswipe just gets sexier. Indeed, what we get here feels like a Lamborghini concept car, although I suppose it could still pass for a Cybertronian vehicle. I like the contouring on this car and the intakes behind each side of the driver compartment. The ribbing on the hood is nice, but the sides of the car are pretty f’ugly thanks to some seams and hinges. I also wish the black parts, just above and behind the front wheel wells, were painted red to match the rest of the car.

And speaking of paint, the deco is pretty simple and gets by with very little of it. The red plastic looks great with the tinted, smoked windows and you get some silver on the head lamps and the wheels. It’s all capped off with a crisp Autobot emblem stamped right in the middle of the hood.

If you like to weaponize your vehicles, there are three peg holes available, one on top and one on each side. Sideswipe’s weapon can also split so you have some additional options. If you’ve picked up some of the Battle Masters, you can also plug them on him.

Transformation here is super simple, and that makes the resulting robot mode all the more amazing. It’s clean, it’s fairly well proportioned, and it’s the spitting image of Sidesweipe’s old G1 robot mode. I particularly love the way his front wheels lock inside his shoulders and the way his legs fill out. But beyond how faithful his is to his roots, he’s also so tight and sturdy. Everything locks together so well that he feels more like a regular action figure than a Transformer.

Even from the back, Sideswipe’s design is super clean. Sure he has a big slab of car canopy for a back, but it’s rare that you get a Transformer that isn’t showing off some ugly bits from behind. As for the deco, it retains that nice red plastic, while adding a fair amount of off-white plastic in the arms, legs, and the frame around his neck. Some paint hits include the silver on his feet and waist, and some dry-brushing on his lower legs that look like wear and tear in the metal.

The head sculpt is terrific and also very evocative of the G1 character, complete with horns. If I were to nitpick anything about this figure, I’d say that I wished his head sat a little higher. If you look at him straight on, his chest plate covers a bit of his chin. But that’s only if I’m really looking for stuff to complain about.

Sideswipe’s weapon can be a rifle to hold in his hands, or it can be attached to his shoulder to simulate the G1 toy’s missile launcher. You can also pull it apart and mix things up a bit. I do kind of wish he had come with a proper rifle so he could have it and his shoulder launcher, but I think Hasbro’s really banking on people buying the smaller Battle Master packs for weapons.

And before wrapping up, here’s a quick comparison of Siege Sideswipe with the old Universe version. Honestly, I think I still prefer the Universe version’s auto mode over this one. It’s just cleaner and shows a lot less seams. As for the robot modes, I’m going to give the nod this new figure. I still love the Universe version, I think it’s a great looking figure with some neat engineering, but there’s something about how simple and elegant Siege Sideswipe that I just love. He’s also more fun to play with.

With three figures down in this Deluxe assortment, I have nothing but high praise for Siege. The figures look great, have some refreshingly simple transformations, and I’m digging the unabashed fanwanks back to the halcyon days of Generation One. Indeed, I would be thrilled if all of the Class of 84 Autobots got the Siege treatment! I’ve got one more Deluxe to look at, in a couple of weeks, and then I’ll start in on the big boys.

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Juno the Crusher by The Four Horsemen

It’s only the second Mythic Legions Wednesday of the New Year and I’ve decided opening today’s lovely lady was long overdue. It’s Juno The Crusher! A name that no doubt strikes fear (and titillation) in the hearts (and loins) of any man stalking the Outlands of the Mythic Legions Realm. I can usually take or leave the bios on these characters, but Juno’s is one of the more complex and interesting ones, and boy does she hate skeletons! A former member of Attlus The Conqueror’s Wasteland Army, Juno’s parents were killed by Skapular The Cryptbreaker. She later ran afoul of more Skeletons only to be rescued by Gorgo Aetherblade, thus gaining her allegiance! Let’s have a look!

If you’re just joining us, the Advent of Decay series introduced ladyfolk to the Mythic Legions collection and today I’m particularly thankful for it! Juno is a scantily clad, flame-haired, femme fatale barbarian who looks like she would be right at home in any one of the bazillion Death Stalker films. I was introduced to most of this female buck back when I reviewed the Demoness Xarria. Juno re-uses the torso, as well as the upper arms and upper legs. Naturally the skin tone has been recolored from Xarria’s red demonic flesh and Juno’s armored brassier has been repainted in a bright silver with a wash of rusty patina. Her arms feature the sculpted leather-like elf bracer on the right, while the left is clad in one of those crude Orc-style gauntlets. As always, the little sculpted straps on the brown wrist bracer are neatly painted black with silver buckles, and the gauntlet is given a worn iron finish.

The privacy of her nether regions are protected by a sculpted furry barbarian-style diaper that also includes a really cool black belt with an elaborate piece on the front, painted silver and with a green orb in the center. Her legs have painted brown boots with sculpted grieves and knee armor. The knee plates are painted in rusty silver to match her top, while the lower plates are finished off with a darker iron look to match her gauntlet. The straps are painted black with bronze buckles. Finally, she has two optional pauldrons that peg in behind her shoulders. These segmented pieces have shown up a few times already in Advent of Decay. They’re painted rusty silver, and I’m opting to display her with them, because the peg holes are otherwise rather obvious in her bare back.

And if Juno’s killer bod isn’t enough, T4H also kitted her out with a distinctive portrait that is absolutely brimming with personality. The right side of her face is partially covered by a cascade of her flame-red hair, while the left side is shaved clean up the side and adorned with bright blue tribal painting, part of which drops down through her left eye. The left side of her hair is sculpted into several braids and she has a gold earring fitted to her left ear. This is only the third female portrait I’ve reviewed in this line, but it’s clear that T4H have an affinity for ladies! I really dig the slightly pursed lips and the glossy paint used on the eyes looks great!

As you’ve no doubt already noticed, Juno comes with the standard brown sword belt and a single-handed cruciform sword to go in it. Surely I’m tired of seeing this weapon by now, right? Eh, not really. I’m such a big fan of this no-nonsense, trusty blade that I don’t mind seeing it again and again. As always, the blade is painted with a bright silver finish, as is the pommel and cross-guard. The ribbed grip is painted in a pale gold. Maybe it looks like too fine a sword for this Wastelander, but then again, maybe she lifted it off some privileged lark who dared to oppose her in combat.

Next up, we have a weapon that I think suits her a lot better, and that’s this one-handed axe. The handle is sculpted and painted to look like a dark wood and the blade is equally dark with some texturing on it. I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve seen this particular axe in the line and I really like it a lot.

 

Of course, they don’t call Juno “The Crusher” because of her powerful thighs! Well, maybe they do, I really don’t know for sure… but I do know that she also favors this massive hammer, perfect for pounding skeleton warriors into talcum powder. I just saw this hammer a couple of weeks ago when reviewing The Boarrior and it’s still fresh enough that I’m very happy to see it again. The sculpting on the hammer’s head is very cool and it’s amazing how a simple new paint job can make it look so different. This time it’s done up with a clean, brass finish with some white paint hits and just a little bit of wash.

Hey, guess what? Juno may be one of my new favorite Mythic Legions figures! Actually, as much as I do love her, she better watch out, because I still love Skapular more. He remains my one true reigning favorite amidst a lot of really stiff competition. But that’s not to get all down on Juno, because she’s quite simply fantastic, and another one of those rather unique looking characters that isn’t easily pigeon-holed into the many groups of this series. Every fantasy line needs its’ own barbarian chick, and T4H managed to craft us one that feels fresh and new, and has an equally fresh backstory.

Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Thanos Build-A-Figure by Hasbro!

It’s the final leg of today’s Marvel Monday trifecta and I’m happy to be putting another wave of Marvel Legends to bed! But this review is a bit of a cheat, because I haven’t actually completed the Thanos BAF. In a strange twist of fate, the Captain America from this wave never presented itself to me at retail and for some reason he’s been going for stupid prices online. Even Amazon, my normal go-to for Legends, has been gouging him at about $40-50. There are probably Legends figures out there that I would pay that kind of a premium for if I had to, but this Cap ain’t one of them. For starters, I’m not a big fan of his costume in the flick, I don’t like his Wakandan shield, the likeness is unusually bad, and finally I don’t really need his BAF part, thanks to the First Ten Years three-pack that came with two Thanos heads. I should note, that I also didn’t pick up the Iron Man from this wave either, but I’ll probably double back and get him eventually. In the meantime, check out this shit!

Only a Marketplace listing now, but Amazon themselves have had him for close to $50! And since this is going to be a quickie review, I also thought I’d take a few moments to talk about how much undying love I have for the Marvel Legends line and the way it also frustrates me to no end. Legends has become one of those monkey paw-type wishes come true for me. Hasbro has kicked this line into overdrive, beyond even my wildest dreams. Even when I thought it was going full throttle and balls-to-the-wall someone at Hasbro stood up, said “Hold my beer,” and cranked it up a few more notches. The sheer number of releases we are getting in regular waves is enough to make me weep with joy, but then you toss in the exclusives and the multi-packs, and it becomes enough to make me weep at the near futility of it all. The figures are coming in unceasing waves and the depth and breath of the character selection continues to astound me. I long passed 250 Marvel Legends reviews here on FFZ and I’m still hopelessly behind. I have stacks of them in the closet waiting to be opened. I could literally review a figure every day of the week and still not be caught up for over a month! Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want it to stop! But I worry about the bubble breaking. I’d rather have the line pace itself than crumble under it’s own weight. And sometimes when I see figures like Infinity War Cap or Mysterio selling for so much online, I have to wonder if it’s because these waves are hitting so quickly that some of them are barely making it to the pegs. And if that’s the case, why are whole other waves easily available at or below half price? I have no answers. What I do know is that I couldn’t even imagine keeping up with this line if it weren’t for the Internet. If it was like the old days, just driving to stores to hunt them would be a full-time job! OK, enough with the editorializing. I’m not very good at it to begin with, and I’ve got it out of my system. Let’s take a look at a couple of Thanoseseses…

Here’s the Thanos Build-A-Figure (with a different head)! So, if you aren’t keeping up, Thanos was first released as this Build-A-Figure and then shortly after he was included in the Infinity War First Ten Years 3-pack along with Iron Man and Doctor Strange. It seemed like an odd thing for Hasbro to do, until I got both figures in hand and realized that the FTY version is almost like a premium Do-Over. Both figures use an almost identical sculpt, with only two differences, one being the head sculpt, which I won’t be talking about. The other is the Infinity Gauntlet, which is sculpted in a closed fist here, as opposed to the open hand of the FTY version.

The Infinity Gauntlet on my BAF version has some issues with the stones, which appears to be either a QC problem with this specific figure or a wider-reaching molding issue. It’s not hugely noticeable, but it’s still worth mentioning. Either way, the Mind Stone just looks messed up. As for my personal preference on the hand itself, I think I prefer the opened hand. It seems like Hasbro should have been a sport and included two gauntlet hands as BAF parts in the wave, especially since Iron Man didn’t come with any and Captain Rogers only came with the tiny head.

The other main difference between the two figures is the coloring. The BAF features a duller platinum finish on the armor pieces, whereas the FTY version has a gold finish. The gold armor also features some really nice etched patterns in the gorget, which are not at all present on the BAF version. In this case, I definitely prefer the gold. It simply looks more vibrant, and from what I can tell also more screen accurate. This may have been another case of the figure releasing before design plans were finalized, but seeing as Thanos’ armor was gold in his previous appearances, it seems odd to have changed it now. The skin color on the BAF version is also a wee bit darker and the pants on the BAF are so dark they’re almost black, whereas FTY Thanos dons a set of chocolate brown trousers.

In the end, I’m happy to have both, but if I’m only going to display one of these Mad Titans, it’s definitely going to be the one from the FTY set. It feels more like a premium figure in every way and I’m not going to shed any tears over not completing the BAF just because of stupid Captain America and his Thanos noggin.

And so, I leave this wave with a bitter-sweet feeling. It’s always a shame when bad distribution and online retailer scalping makes collecting this tough. And it wasn’t just Captain America that made this one so hard to complete. It took a long while before I was able to track down Iron Spider at a palatable price. I may eventually grab up a loose Captain Rogers just to get him in my collection and complete the team from the movie, but for now I’m just happy to put this wave behind me. It features some great figures, but it was one of the most frustrating waves for me to collect in a long, long while!

Next week I’m going full guns with an entire week of Legends as I cruise through the newly released Captain Marvel-inspired Kree Sentry Wave!

Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Serpent Society by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back on this fine Marvel Monday afternoon to kill off another wave of Marvel Legends this week, this time it’s the sort of Infinity War-themed wave that gave us four figures from the flick and three unrelated characters from the comics. Obviously, King Cobra fits into the later!

I’m sure it has something to do with copyright issues, but for whatever reason the box just says Serpent Society. I’m sure King Cobra was taken by some other company for some other product and, for whatever reason, Hasbro thought tossing Klaus Voorhees on an action figure box wasn’t going to cut it. Maybe Serpent Society Leader would have been better? Maybe it wouldn’t fit in the space on the package? It doesn’t matter either way, I’m throwing out the box.

And hey, some of this guy sure looks familiar! The bulk of this buck was seen here last week when I looked at Black Knight, and it was used for Green Goblin before that, and Hobgoblin before that! Nonetheless, the sculpted scale pattern on the arms and legs certainly works well for King Cobra and I’m a big fan of the way it looks in general. The boots and hands are changed out, the former are pretty non-descript and the later are pointy-fingered clutching hands. He also has a couple of flat gray belt, which likes to ride up and down his waist, and similarly painted wrist bracers, all of which look a little out of place when mixed with the purple and green deco of the rest of the figure. And on that subject I can’t say enough good things. The coloring on this figure is absolutely gorgeous, with deep purple and bright emerald-green metallic paints.

The cape is totally rad, as it’s meant to look like the hood of a Cobra from the front, widening at the shoulders and narrowing down toward the ground. I really dig it. It pegs into the hole on his back and hovers a bit over his shoulders. It’s just the kind of accessory that would have made Cobra Commander or Serpentor proud!

The head sculpt is decent, but not extraordinary. I like his toothy maniacal grimace, but it’s a little soft and lacks some of the flair that so many of Hasbro’s better villain portraits exude. The mask is painted to match the scale armor and while it looks good, the lines between the mask and his skin aren’t as sharp as they could have been. Thankfully, the black lines around his narrow yellow eyes are applied with more precision. The hood is a separate piece so as not to impede the neck articulation and it’s painted in a darker green. My figure has an unfortunate blemish on the right top side of the hood.

After seeing this body three times already, I’ll refer you to one of those reviews (linked above) to get the down-low on the articulation. The hinges in the elbows and knees are still rather gummy, and the ratchets in the shoulders are oddly strong for a figure with such a slight build. Nonetheless, he’s still fun to play around with.

I can’t say as I’ve ever been all that excited by The Serpent Society in the comics, but these colorful characters in their outlandish costumes really translate well to action figures, and so I’m always going to be glad when we get a new one. And while I’ll freely admit that the recycled buck works perfectly for Klaus, I think it might be a good idea to put this one away for a little while, Hasbro. Three times in one year is getting a little excessive and you wouldn’t want it to outstay its’ welcome. And I’m not done for the day, so don’t pass out on me yet… I’ll be back one more time tonight to do a quick review (sort of) of the Thanos Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Proxima Midnight by Hasbro

My New Year’s resolution is that I’m determined to start getting caught up on my Marvel Legends reviews and get through some more of these older waves. And since I only have two more figures to open in the Thanos Wave, let’s go ahead and knock out that one today with a Triple Play. And so this morning I am throwing randomness to the wind and opening up the only other member of Thanos’ Black Order currently available: Proxima Midnight! While she’s not the stand out thug in Thanos’ stable, (that honor goes to Ebony Maw!) at least Proxima got some lines in the flick. She also had a couple of really bitchin’ fight scenes, so we’ll rank her in at number two.

I don’t have anything to say about the packaging, other then she comes with Thanos’ torso and there was a lot of speculation about her when this figure was revealed before the movie hit. Unlike Proxima’s cohort, Cull Obsidian, her figure is based closer to the way she appeared in the movie, but she’s still not 100% screen accurate. And for the record, I think her MCU look is a pretty damn cool adaptation of her comic look. Although to be fair, she’s a pretty new character, and I sometimes wonder whether Marvel is designing the new characters with potential MCU conversions in mind. Probably not, but it’s fun to think about it.

Wearing what is basically a black and white bodysuit, Hasbro could have easily cheaped out on Proxima with a simple painted buck. Instead, they went with an elaborate pattern of etched lines running all over her body. It almost looks like a topographical map! When coupled with the black and pearlescent white deco it looks quite striking. She also has some platinum colored armor pieces sculpted onto her lower right leg, her forearms, and a pauldron on her left shoulder.

The head sculpt is where the design of the figure and the on screen look differ a bit. The dark blue sculpted hair looks on point, as does the horn-like things that come up from her eyes. It’s the paint on the lower half of her face that doesn’t really jibe with the movie makeup. Her skin tone should be lighter, she shouldn’t have painted cheeks, and she should have a single stroke of paint running from her bottom lip down the middle of her chin. It’s not a bad looking portrait by any means, but I think this is another case of Hasbro working off of designs that weren’t quite finalized at the time. Indeed, there are actually promotional pictures of the character that looks just like this.

Proxima’s articulation actually breaks Hasbro’s tradition of cheating the gals by giving her double hinges in the elbows, instead of rotating hinges, as well as bicep swivels. The shoulders and wrists are the usual rotating hinges. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a ball joint under the chest and the neck is hinged and ball jointed. The shoulder armor even has a little give to it so as not to inhibit the left arm too badly.

Ms. Midnight comes with one accessory and that’s her very distinctive looking three-pronged spear. It’s cast in a platinum-gold color similar to her armor pieces, and it’s actually a pretty good match for the one she carried in the film. Only her right hand is sculpted to hold it, and I would have liked a swap-out left hand with the same ability. The spear is a bit bendy, particularly at the tips, but I dig it.

So, Proxima Midnight isn’t a perfect match for her big screen counterpart, but I still want to give this figure a pass. The sculpted lines added to the body really makes her stand out, and the head sculpt makes her look even more sinister than she did in the film. The divergence in design may bother me a bit more when I finally get Ebony Maw and Corvus Glaive on the shelf, but for now, I think she turned out pretty great and I can get some kicks posing her fighting Black Widow and Okoye. And that’s the first part of today’s Marvel Legends trifecta! Stop back this afternoon for a look at King Cobra and later on tonight for a half-assed quick look at the Thanos Build-A-Figure!

Star Wars Black: Zuckuss by Hasbro

I’ve been waiting for it ever since the beginning of the Black Series, and now I’m almost there! Hasbro has finally delivered on a complete run of the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back in the 6-inch scale. And while Admiral Piett may not need their scum, I absolutely do! I’m still hunting down Dengar, so in the meantime I might as well open up the penultimate bounty hunter release and Disney Store exclusive, Zuckuss. This guy arrived a bit before Christmas and got lost in the insipid miasma of the Holiday Season, and I’m more than ready to check him out!

I was pretty vocal in my anger when I saw that Hasbro agreed to license out Zuckuss as a retailer exclusive release. Making it tougher to get a complete set of these guys is just bad business. But as it turns out, Disney Store exclusives are pretty easy to get, and I don’t mean because I live just a few hours away from Disney World. Nope, I just hopped on the store website and had no problem getting him sent. They were even running a free shipping special for the holidays! If only Hasbro’s own site would make it this easy to buy their regular releases!

And damn, don’t he look cool! Zuckuss has been the subject of some truly memorable figures over the years. Even going back to his Kenner mail-away when he was called 4-LOM. I had no idea who he was when I first saw that commercial, but once he showed up, I knew it was five proofs-of-purchase well spent. His 4-inch outing in the Legacy Collection was pretty damn rad too, so I had high hopes for the 6-inch Black Series version, and I am not disappointed! Interestingly, there are a number of key design differences between the two figures, and from some cursory glances at pictures of the original costume, I think this is probably the more screen accurate, but I’m not about to jump down that rabbit hole of nitpickery. I will say that this figure looks great and features some nice improvements over his most recent 4-inch predecessor.

First off, the cloak goes back to full soft-goods like on the original Kenner figure. The Legacy figure had only a partial cloth cloak and sculpted sleeves. I also really like the material they used. It feels soft, but it looks like whatever that heavier and grimy material was that they used for the costume. The coloring makes it look appropriately greasy and the speckling looks pretty damn good too. The fit isn’t perfect. It does look a puffy around the arms, but I can’t say that’s not entirely inaccurate. His harness features sculpted pouches on the front and back as well as some light wash to give it a little wear and tear and make it look like leather. The biggest difference in design between him and the Legacy figure is the backpack. That one was silver and more rounded, this one is a dark metallic color and more squared off. It also has a little black hose running from it into the harness that looks like it could serve no possible purpose.

The head sculpt is right on the money. The wrinkled segments in his head look fantastic and contrast beautifully with the large silver compound eyes and the the breather piece covering his lower face. Indeed the silver paint they used is quite striking. The tubes coming off his head look like umbilical cords and I love the way the same lumpy organic stuff partially covers his breathing canister. I honestly have no idea what’s going on with Gand anatomy here, but it looks gross as hell, and I mean that in every good possible way.

As for articulation, it’s impossible to see what’s going on under that robe, as I’m not prepared to take it off, but what’s here feels pretty similar to what we usually see on the 6-inch Black Series figures. There are cuts in the lower cloak, so he can still get some pretty good range of leg movement too. I will note, however, that the left elbow on my figure is rather loose.

Zuckuss comes with one accessory, and that’s his very distinctive blaster carbine. I swear this was one of my favorite guns from the old Kenner line and even after all these years, I could still spot it out of a lineup. OK, maybe that’s not so impressive since I still have the Kenner figure on my shelf, but I do love the design so much and it’s cool to see it blown up to the 6-inch scale and even featuring some additional paint apps for the stock. They also sculpted his left hand as the gun holding hand, which lines up better with his iconic pose from the film. And despite him just having three big fingers, he can hold it surprisingly well.

For a guy who had a few seconds of screen time, it’s stupid how happy I am to have this figure. He’s always been among my favorite Star Wars alien designs and I’m doubly happy that my 4-LOM doesn’t have to be alone any longer. And speaking of which, after the wonderful job that Hasbro did with 4-LOM, it’s nice to see Zuckuss arrive with an equal attention to detail and execution. I think this is one of the rare exceptions where Hasbro made good use of the larger scale to deliver a truly better figure. Everything just came together beautifully. And as I put these figures together I realize more and more how badly IG-88 needs a re-do for this series, because he’s the only one in the bunch that falls shy of excellence.