Marvel Legends Infinite: Black Widow and SHIELD Mandroid by Hasbro

So, in my excitement to get to Star-Lord last Monday I failed to do the right thing and wrap up the Winter Soldier wave of Legends first. And since I didn’t want to load this week down with three Legends figures, I decided I’d look at Widow today and then get back to the next Guardians Legends figure on Friday. Sound good? Black Widow was an absolute bitch to find and I eventually wound up buying her online for $35 shipped. It’s a lot for a figure that theoretically should be available in stores for $20 or less, but I never saw her on the pegs. Anyway, Widow also gave me the last piece I needed for the SHIELD Mandroid Build-A-Figure, so we’re going to look at both of them today.

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Hasbro packed a lot of stuff into this box. In addition to the figure, you get an extra pair of hands, extra head, the huge Mandroid torso and his shoulder cannon. Like I said, it’s a lot of stuff, and yet it still seems like something is missing. We’ll come back to that.

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Widow comes clad in her updated SHIELD bodysuit and looks fantastic. I’m not sure they did justice to her caboose, but as for the rest of her, Hasbro obviously put a lot of effort into detailing this sculpt. You get all sorts of stitching and piping on the suit itself, along with the zipper, the Widow insignia, and her bracelets for delivering her shocking Black Widow Sting! The coloring is also quite exceptional on this figure. What could have been just a simple black outfit features a wonderful mix of matte and gloss blacks to give the costume a lot of depth. The use of fine silver paintwork also picks out the buckles and zipper quite nicely. You also get the SHIELD emblem tampo on her shoulders and her individual fingers are painted to show off her fingerless gloves. The holsters are also nicely recreated, complete with the guns sculpted into place.

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Wait, what? The guns are sculpted into her holsters? Well, where’s she going to put her real guns? Not a problem, because she doesn’t come with any guns. This omission has got to be one of the greatest WTF moments in recent Hasbro history and that’s really saying something. I cannot in any way imagine where that decision came from. Could it have been a cost cutting move? It seems unlikely, since there is any number of pistols that Hasbro could have repacked with this figure. Nonetheless, that’s the only reason I can possibly come up with. Sure, I have a lot of weapons in this scale I can loan her, but that’s hardly the point. Why even give her the extra pair of gun holding hands if you aren’t including any guns? It’s madness, I say… MADNESS!

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As mentioned, you get two swappable heads so that you can make Avengers Widow or Winter Soldier Widow. Yeah, it’s not the same costume she wore in Avengers, but I still give Hasbro points for letting us do this since it’s as close to an Avengers Widow as we’re going to get. Both portraits are pretty good, although I would have preferred painted faces as the plastic looks a bit too waxy for my tastes. Despite shooting most of this feature with the Winter Soldier Head, I think the Avenger’s head is a slightly better likeness. But, I’m still happy with either one.

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Widow’s articulation holds no surprises. The arms are ball jointed in the shoulders and at the elbows and wrists. Sadly, there are no bicep swivels, but I’m coming to expect that omission in Hasbro’s female figures these days. The ball joints in the elbows make up for that a little. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double-hinged at the knees, and feature swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and rockers. There is no waist swivel, but you do get a ball joint in the torso and again for the neck.

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The SHIELD Mandroid is a formidable looking figure that recycles the legs from the Iron Monger BAF. I love both the design and execution of the sculpting on this guy. He has all sorts of panel lines and bolts and he brandishes a nice big SHIELD emblem right on the middle of his chest. His right arm features twin gatling guns and his left arm a bladed weapon and both have cables connecting them to the figure’s biceps. There’s also a shoulder mounted weapon that is easily removable. I also dig the plastic used here. It’s not that swirly shit they’ve used in the past. It looks and feels good.

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Aesthetically, I give the Mandroid high marks, but when we get down to articulation, he fails miserably. The legs are fine, but the arms are severely limited. The points are there, but the sculpting interferes to inhibit any decent range of motion. I also found that once the head was attached, it was impossible to turn it, despite it being connected on a ball joint. He’ll make a fine display piece on the back shelf, but while I remember having loads of fun playing around with the BAF Iron Monger, I was quick to retire the Mandroid from my desk.

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Black Widow continues to be a scalper’s dream and I’m not just talking about Ebay. She still hovers at between $45 and $50 on Amazon because, yes Amazon has long ago joined in on the scalper trade by inflating the prices of those harder to find figures. I’d cry bullshit, but then if they didn’t they’d probably just be sold out all the time, so at least it gives collectors a chance to buy her if they want to spend all that money. Word is that she is still due to get shipped in greater numbers this summer, so anyone hunting may still want to hold out for her resurgence on the pegs.

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