Yes, the next stop on this week of Marvel Legends “Epic Heroes” is everyone’s favorite (well, mine at least) anti-hero and NRA poster child, The Punisher. Gratuitous violence is always fun, so I’ve always got a place for Frank Castle in my collection. In fact, I’ve been jonesing for a new and decent figure of him for a while now, and Hasbro’s earlier effort at the character the 3 ¾” scale was pretty bad, but then I haven’t seen the new one yet. Either way, let’s see how the new Legends version turned out!
The Punisher is one of those sneaky Legends figures which use one slot to provide collectors with two characters. As a result, The Punisher’s name doesn’t appear anywhere on the package, instead it just says “Marvel Knights,” with the other “knight” being Blade. Both characters appear in the artwork on the front and back of the card. Checking out the rest of the package… Holy crap, this is almost like a pack of guns with a figure tossed in! Hasbro must have found a huge cache of 6-inch scale weapons because Mystique came with quite the arsenal, now Punisher, and as we’ll see Deadpool comes with a healthy assortment of party favors too. Ah, but we’ll get to the accessories soon enough… let’s start with the figure.
The new Marvel Legends has produced some pretty epic head sculpts, and Frank Castle’s noggin continues that tradition. He’s thoroughly comic book inspired, and thank god for that because I haven’t cared for any of the character’s movie excursions. He doesn’t look quite as pinch faced as the old Toy Biz version, but he still looks like he’s detecting the rotten stench of someone who needs punishing. Seriously, this dude is pissed off! I honestly think the sculpt and paintwork are near perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Most of Punisher seems to rely on new sculpting. I was expecting him to borrow a little more heavily from Fantomex, but only the trench coat is used here, and it works great. Frank’s arms are sculpted to look like the sleeves of the coat, which looks good, but unfortunately means that he looks funny if you decide to display him with the coat off. But seeing as how I was never really happy with the removable coat on the Toy Biz figure, I’m happy to get this one. His belt features a ton of pouches and he has a functional holster for his gun on his leg.
Let’s count down Frank’s articulation. The head is ball jointed and includes the extra hinge to help him look up and down. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, double hinged at the elbows, have swivel cuts in the biceps, and the wrists have hinges and swivels. The legs are ball jointed with swivels at the hips, hinged at the knees, and the ankles have hinges and swivel. Frank also features a ball joint in his torso.
No Punisher figure would be complete without a shit ton of weapons and as we’ve already seen, Frank comes with enough firearms to start his own personal war. For starters he has a sub machine pistol, a sniper rifle, and an assault rifle. They’re all great looking pieces, but why do they all look so familiar. Of course, it’s because Hasbro borrowed them all from Mystique. That’s pretty cheeky, Hasbro, repacking accessories in the same wave. The pistol also stands out in my memory as being a recycled gun, but I can’t place it. I think it stands out because it’s a horrible little sculpt, maybe from 6-inch Movie Cap? The one weapon here that I haven’t seen before is his very cool riot shotgun. I should also note here that I’ve had a huge problem with ML figures holding their guns, but I’m happy to report Punisher can hold almost everything he comes with very well. The sniper rifle is a bit of a problem, though.
My anticipation ran so high for this figure, I was pretty sure there was no way he was going to meet my expectations, and yet he does. While I could argue that there was a missed opportunity here to make him work with and without the coat, I’ll applaud Hasbro for having the good sense to pick one version and make it work extremely well. I’m not even going to complain about the heavy reuse of Mystique’s guns, mainly because they’re all good. And while I was happy to pick him up on sale for $13, Punisher is a figure that I still would have picked up, even if I found him hanging on the peg at TRU for $20. He’s every bit that good.