Marvel Legends (Mantis Wave): Nebula by Hasbro

Welcome back, folks! I am super excited to start a new week, especially since I got bogged down all last week checking out that Marvel Legends A-Force set. And now I’ve had a couple days to recoup, and I’m ready to move on to some new content. And it’s Monday! Oh, right. Marvel Monday. That means more Marvel Legends. Oy Vey! Well, I did say I was getting back to business as usual this week. And to be honest, I doubt I could ever get tired of checking out new Legends figures. So allow me to pick up where I left off a couple weeks back and continue looking at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 Mantis Wave. The last figure I looked at was Gamora, one half of the “Daughters of Thanos,” so this time let’s check out her sister Nebula!

Packaged shot! Yes, Nebula shares a slot with her sister, Gamora as the “Daughters of Thanos” although each figure still includes a different BAF part to build Mantis, and I’m almost there. Just one more figure after this one! One of my biggest gripes about the merchandising of the first GotG film was that we never got a Yondu or a Nebula figure. That doesn’t just go for Hasbro either. I have a whole team of Hot Toys Guardians and still no Yondu or Nebula (Hot Toys Yondu was revealed at SDCC, but still no Nebula). Thankfully, Hasbro remedied that this time around by giving us both, and it’s only fair since both characters had expanded roles in the second flick and they were both a lot of fun in the new flick!

But maybe it’s not a bad thing that we didn’t get Nebula until now, because just look at this figure, it’s amazing! There’s no way, Hasbro could have pulled this off a few years back with that first GotG wave. Indeed, there’s just no comparison between what Hasbro is doing with this line and what they’re doing with their other 6-inch figures. At this point, I get the mental image of the Marvel Legends people at Hasbro working in this luxurious, hi-tech facility and the Star Wars Black Series people working in a barn out back with hammers and chisels. Word out of SDCC is that the Star Wars Black Series will finally catch up to this higher standard when the figures for the new film come out. We’ll see. Ah, but I digress… back to the figure!

I’ll concede that I don’t find anything outrageously special about Nebula’s outfit design. A lot of the MCU Guardians costumes kind of blur together for me at this point. It’s a lot of complex textures and panel lines, with lots of belts and straps. Not bad, but it gets redundant. It does, however, give the sculptors something interesting to work with and Nebula’s duds are expertly recreated here. Every tiny area on the outfit has some kind of sculpted detail and the paint to back it up. Even the tiniest fixtures on the belts and straps are neatly touched up with silver paint. What’s more, the different shades of purple, both darker matte and lighter, shimmery metallic, really elevates the figure to a whole new level. Combine that with the beautiful blue skin tone and this figure is a feast for the eyes. I think the color scheme on this figure looks even better than what we saw on screen.

And check out the likeness of this portrait. It’s my understanding that Hasbro has used some new 3D scanning techniques on the MCU figures in these waves, and boy does it show. Gamora’s likeness to Zoe Saldana was fantastic and this likeness to Karen Gillan, albeit in heavy alien-cyborg makeup, is equally great. But as we’ve seen time and time again with fan re-paints of Star Wars Black figures, sculpting will only take you so far and it’s the lack of quality paint that really trips Hasbro up sometimes. But look at the paintwork on this noggin! It’s outrageously good.

As for articulation, Nebula features the same triumphs and pitfalls of most female Legends figures. From the waist down, it’s all good with ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso is fine too, with both a swivel in the waist and a ball joint under the chest. The arms, are where I’d like to see a change. The figure uses rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and omits the bicep swivel. Not terrible, but not ideal either. Granted, in this case, the ball joint in the elbow is kind of necessary, because…

Nebula features a swap out lower left arm. You just pull the arm out at the elbow and pop in the damaged one. I really dig the worn metal finish on the arm, and the various panel lines sculpted into both the lower arm and the bicep. This is a great bonus accessory, especially since she didn’t come with that damn root that she wanted to eat so badly. Crap, now I wish that was an accessory.

Nebula also comes with a little pistol. I like it, it’s cool, but there’s not a whole lot to say about it. It has a sleek and simple design and a nice, dirty metal finish.

Hasbro continues to knock it out of the park with this Mantis Wave, and Nebula here ranks pretty high on my list of favorites. She carries on a very strong showing for the MCU Guardians figures in terms of likeness, sculpt, and overall paint quality. And while I’m willing to give Hasbro a lot of guff when they deserve it, I really need to applaud them for Marvel Legends lately. They’re churning out these figures like crazy. There are so many coming out, that it’s impossible for me to keep up. And yet, they’re obviously striving for improvements in quality while still delivering quantity. Of course, not all Legends figures are as fantastic as Nebula here, but it shows Hasbro is continuing to steer this line in the right direction, while still managing to flood the pegs with releases. Next Monday, I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at the last packaged figure, Death’s Head II, and the Build-A-Figure, Mantis.

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