My last trip to Wally World to stock up on beers and frozen dinners netted me a nice surprise in the toy aisle. Not only did they finally restock Marvel Legends, but they restocked it with a case containing all the variants that I was missing from Wave 2. I only grabbed the ones that were new characters, namely Piledriver (variant of Thunderball) and Madam Viper (variant of Madam Masque). Today we’re going to check out Piledriver and we’ll take a look at Viper in the not too distant future.
Ah, the packaging… I still love this packaging. The local Walmart hasn’t had any Legends figures for a couple of months, but once they restocked, my eyes were immediately drawn to the pegs where these big bad babies were hanging. The top of the card features both Thunderball and Piledriver, allowing the card to work with either of the variant figures. The sticker on the bubble reads “Marvel’s Wrecking Crew” but oddly enough neither character’s name actually appears on the package anywhere. Did I notice that when I looked at Thunderball? Feel free to nip back and have a look. Anyway, I’ve gone on and on about the ML packages enough in the past, so I’ll save any further gushing for when Wave 3 finally comes out. For now, let’s just move on and look at the figure.
As mentioned, PIledriver is a variant of Thunderball, and that means he’s absolutely huge. He uses the exact same body as his fellow teammate, with nothing re-sculpted or changed aside from the paint. His pants are painted reddish brown, his shirt is white with a blue wash, and his gloves and boots and belt are blue. I wasn’t a big fan of the blue wash when it was used on Madam Masque, but here it doesn’t offend me quite as much. All in all, it works quite well, but I honestly do wish that Hasbro had retooled his hands, or at least one of them, into fists, but I’ll get back to that when we talk accessories.
Naturally, the head sculpt is entirely new and, while it seems like I’m saying throwing this compliment out there a lot where Marvel Legends are concerned, it’s absolutely fantastic. He wears the same style hood as Thunderball, exposing his tuft of blonde hair, but it’s his facial expression that really wins it over for me. Hasbro really has a knack for deranged looking faces in this line, and Piledriver just looks like he’s inviting you in for a beat down and that he’s going to thoroughly enjoy it. He’s just dripping with character.
As expected, articulation is identical to Thunderball. The head is ball jointed and features the additional hinge. The arms have ball joints in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and gloves, and hinged elbows. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, hinged ankles, and hinges in his feet. He can swivel at the waist and he has the usual ab crunch hinge in the torso.
Ok, so accessories. You get two very small parts for the Arnim Zola Build-A-Figure: His remote control and his ESP box. If you’ve already picked up all the regular versions of these figures, you have little need of these items, although I think it’s nice to have a spare remote because my Zola likes to plunge off the shelf and sooner or later my cat is going to make off with the remote and hide in the network of tunnels that he has hollowed out under my apartment. You also get the exact same ball and chain that came with Thunderball. Granted, this doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I’m not going to quarrel with getting a second one of these, as it’s an awesome accessory and Thunderball can wield one in each hand. On the downside, including this accessory gave Hasbro an excuse not to give Piledriver fists.
As far as variants go, Piledriver isn’t a terribly ambitious figure. He’s just a repaint with a head swap. If you’ve followed any of Hasbro’s SDCC coverage, you may have seen that they have a lot more extreme makeovers for future releases to become two different characters. With all that being said, I do really dig this figure. Once I get past the lack of changes in the hands, it works fine the way it is and Hasbro certainly didn’t cheap out when sculpting the new head. If this is the only cost effective way to get these kinds of figures, I’m all for it. Now I just want me a ML Wrecker. Come on, Hasbro, don’t leave us hanging.