It’s Marvel Monday, and I’m down to my last TWO figures to open in the somewhat Black Widow themed Crimson Dynamo Wave of Marvel Legends! I thought it was three, but it turns out somehow I wound up buying Red Guardian twice. That’s what happens when you have a huge backlog of these things. Anyway, if you told me back in January that we’d still be waiting to see this flick in August, I’d think you were nuts! And yet here we are. I was excited for this movie from the get-go, but once they revealed Taskmaster was in it, I’ve since gone to a state well beyond excitement! Come on, DIsney. Just put it on the streaming service!!!
We’ve had not one, but two comic versions of Taskmaster in the modern Legends line, and now it’s the ass-kicking mimic’s turn to debut on the big screen, here’s the MCU version. Taskmaster is the only figure in the assortment to not include a Crimson Dynamo BAF part. I’m not sure if that’s because they already crammed so much stuff into this box, or because Hasbro knew everyone would probably buy him anyway.
I think the costume designers did a pretty nice job on the MCU makeover. He’s easily recognizable as Taskmaster, and yet there’s enough of makeover to allow this design to work in the “real world” of the Marvel films. Actually, I think they gave him a little bit more comic flare than I was expecting, especially where the colors were concerned. Yes, he’s basically a dude in a tactical suit with some bits of armor strategically placed, but the metallic blue and the orange trim really make the otherwise muted dark blue suit pop, and they are certainly a nice nod back to his comic colors. That’s especially the case on this figure where the coloring looks fantastic. His cape from the comics has been reduced to a weird sculpted plastic scarf that is clipped onto his shoulders, almost like a reverse cape. On his back he has a rather understated backpack. One of the biggest surprises about this figure is his complete lack of holsters or clips to attach his weapons, but I’ll come back to that in just a bit.
Like the rest of the figure, the head sculpt teases the traditional Taskmaster look, but then goes and does its own thing. The skull motif on his silver mask is still there, but it’s very understated, and now the mask is dominated by a large black visor that looks like two giant bug eyes. It’s creepy and probably makes for some good psychological warfare when he’s facing down opponents. The hood is designed to turn with the figure’s head and features more of that snappy orange paint.
As expected, Taskmaster sports all the usual points of articulation, allowing him to mimic the fighting styles of my other Legends figures. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double-hinged at the knees, have swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso swivels at the waist, has a really well hidden ab-crunch under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double-hinged elbows, swivels in the biceps, and the wrists are on hinged pegs to allow the hands to be swapped out. Taskmaster comes with a whopping three sets of hands, including one pair for holding accessories, one pair of fists, and one pair of scratching claws. Looks like someone picked up a few moves from Black Panther! Let’s move on to the accessories!
FIrst off, he comes with this bow and arrow, and I am not at all fond of these. The bow looks OK, but it has a really thick plastic “string” which means you can’t really pose him drawing it to fire. The arrow, on the other hand, is ridiculously large and chunky, and he can’t hold it all that well. And since there’s no way to have him wear the bow on his back, nor is there a quiver for his arrow, I doubt I’ll be getting much use out of these.
Thankfully he also comes with his sword and shield, and these are much better accessories! The shield is smaller than I’m used to seeing him carry in the comics, but it still has a variation of his triskelion pattern printed in orange on the front. The reverse makes use of one of those clip-peg combos that we’re used to seeing on the Captain America shields and it works well for attaching it ot his arm, but there’s no hole in his back for him to wear it, so they may have just been reusing that piece for cost or convenience.
The sword is a modern looking piece of cutlery with an orange stripe on the blade, which not only matches the accents on his outfit but maybe nods back to Taskmaster’s laser sword. He can hold it very well, but like the shield, there’s nowhere for him to wear it on his person when it isn’t being used. And that all sums up my biggest problem with this figure is that none of his gear can attach to him. A hole for the shield on his back and a loop for the sword would have gone a long way. Maybe those GI JOE Classified figures have spoiled me. Speaking of which, I think this figure would make a great mercenary to add to the GI JOE Classified shelf.
This figure looks great and it went a long way to sell me on the MCU Taskmaster design. That’s no small accomplishment, since the Hot Toys figure didn’t manage to do it. Or maybe I like it enough to have it represented in a $20 figure, but not enough for a $220 figure. Either way, I think Hasbro did a great job with the sculpt and paint, but I wish they had made the figure a little more accessory friendly. Sure, that may be a design element carried from the film, but since I haven’t seen the movie yet, I can only blame the toy for now. Otherwise, I dig him a lot. Next week, I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at the final boxed figure and the Crimson Dynamo Build-A-Figure!