Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Batroc the Leaper by Hasbro

With the last wave of Marvel Legends behind me, it’s time to jump right into the most recent assortment… The Thanos Wave! This one is split between three straight up comic characters and three figures form the Age of Ultron movie. I’m probably going to get into the Avengers 2 figures next week, what with the movie coming out, so I thought I’d start with something from the comic side of the fence and you can’t get more comic than Batroc. Yes, folks, you know it’s a miraculous time to be a comic book fan and toy collector when you can walk into a Target or Walmart and buy a Batroc the Leaper right off the peg. Holy shit, whoever thought this would be possible!

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There’s not much new to be said about the packaing. You get the now standard window box with the Marvel logo up top and Batroc’s name down the bottom. The back of the package has a single sentence about Batroc, which is fine because I would imagine that if you don’t happen to already know who he is the only reason you’d buy this figure is to get the Thanos pieces. Included are Thanos’ torso and shoulder armor and between those and Batroc there isn’t much space left in this box. Batroc, of course, made a drastically altered appearance in The Winter Soldier as one of the French mercenaries who hijacked the SHIELD vessel and took hostages leading to a pretty bad ass fight between Cap and The Leaper. Besides the name, however, the only thing that really survived the transition to big screen was some purple on his clothing and a pencheon for French kickboxing.

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Of course, you’d have to be a kickboxer, veteran of the French Foreign Legion, and all over badass to walk around looking like this! With his purple and gold outfit, Batroc is clearly not afraid of having his fashion sense challenged. Batroc’s costume is achieved exclusively through paintwork on a generic figure buck, but it works perfectly fine. There’s a little bit of gold spray on the purple of his left arm, but otherwise the paint lines are nice and clean. The colors are absolutely gorgeous too. This figure really pops on the shelf, even when surrounded by a legion of equally brightly colored costumed heroes and villains.

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Ah, but Batroc is all about that face and Hasbro did a wonderful job with it. They pulled no punches with his goatee, classic stereotypical villain mustache and that cheesy grin. Even the nose is so superbly defined. I think this may go down as one of my favorite head sculpts in the modern Legends era, and there have been some great ones, so that’s really saying something!

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The articulation here provides plenty of poseability. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and there are swivels in his thighs and the tops of his boots. The ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. Finally, you get a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck. The lateral shoulder crunches that we saw in Iron Fist a few days ago would have been welcome here, but I’m still happy with what we got.

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Batroc is a great example of why I’m so excited about what Hasbro has been doing with the Legends line. Here we are on the cusp of Avengers 2’s release and rather than simply stack the deck with movie figures to cash in on that huge media cow, they are still managing to blow a kiss to those of us that read comic books. You have to figure that tossing in an Age of Ultron Hawkeye or an Ultron Drone would have had to sell better than Batroc, and that’s why I consider releases like this to be such a welcome love letter. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still love to see those other figures, along with a MovieVerse Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, but I’m more happy to see a balance struck between movie and comic book characters on the pegs.

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