While Hasbro’s 3 3/4″ Marvel line is still alive, it certainly feels like it’s on life support with only sporadic releases here and there. Even as a dedicated collector of this line, looking back I’ve only reviewed two of these figures all year and one of those was all the way back in January! Granted, Legends has been picking up a lot of the slack, but I still enjoy the smaller scale as well. Anyway, today I’m checking out two figures from one of the recent waves and both happen to be pulled from Spider-Man’s Rogue Gallery: Doc Ock and Vulture!
Blah! Well, the packaging hasn’t changed. It’s still as bland and flavorless as it has been for a while. God, I miss the colorful cards with the great character art and the funny quips on the back about collecting them all. This just feels like generic packaging at its worst. Oh well. Let’s rip these open and we’ll start with Vulture.
Vulture has a few good things going for him. The head sculpt is fantastic, although the right eye on my figure looks like it’s oozing out of its socket. But even still, you have to get in pretty close to see it. And if you want to stick him in a pose with his arms up over his head and his wings spread, he looks damn nice on the shelf. If you want to play with him, or change his pose, or touch him in any way, that’s where the problems begin.
Remember these wings? They’re the ones from the Falcon figure that was released four years back. I was iffy on them with Sam Wilson way back then and they’re not doing any favors for this figure now. A big part of the problem is that the wings will fall out of the slots in the arms if you just look at them funny. But even if that wasn’t the case. Even if I were to take a couple dabs of gorilla glue and stick them in there for good, they really only look good in that one pose and that defeats the purpose of the arm articulation. Put his arms down and they kind of look like they’re coming out of his head.
Speaking of articulation, Vulture feels like we took a trip back in time to the beginning of the line. He’s got absolutely zero torso articulation and yes, that means not even a waist swivel. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, but no bicep swivels and no wrist swivels. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinged knees, and the ankles have hinges and rockers. The neck is ball jointed, but with the collar, it can barely turn left and right. Granted, this figure qualifies as super poseable when compared to the 5-POA Star Wars figures swinging on the pegs next to them, but they still feel really dated for this line. Let’s move on…
Doctor Octopus fares better on almost every level. The sculpt is fairly simple, but it works just fine. The portrait probably isn’t better than Vulture’s on a technical level, but it isn’t bad either. And while both figures feature add on parts for their gimmick, Ock’s mechanical arms work loads better than Vulture’s crappy wings.
The arms simply peg into the back and each one has one swivel cut to allow for a little bit of posing. I also really like the silver paint they used for the arms. Yeah, proper bendy arms would have been cool, but these look great on the figure and still allow for some play-ability. Frankly, I’m glad they went this way.
As for the rest of Ock’s articulation, it’s still lacking any torso articulation at all, but you do get some additional points over what Vulture’s dated body is sporting. Ock’s arms feature swivels in the biceps and rotating hinges in the wrists. There are no rockers in the ankles, but the sculpted pants cuffs would have canceled it out anyway.
And so here we have one hit and one miss on Marvel’s 3 3/4″ front. I really dig Doc Ock a lot and it’s kind of surprising to me that it took them this long to get around to doing him. Vulture is also a great choice of character for the line, but he really needed a new set of wings to make him work. These flappers were rather disappointing on Falcon and they’re no be here nearly four years later. I can appreciate Hasbro wanting to reuse parts, but this just wasn’t a good example of it. Oh, and the Marvel Universe love for Spidey’s villains doesn’t end here. There’s still a relatively new release of Sandman out there, I just haven’t found him yet.