As promised last Monday, I’m taking a break from my cruise through the Legends Tri-Sentinel Wave to have a look at Hasbro’s new Retro 3 3/4-inch figures. Because The Great Lord Galactus knows I really need another Marvel line to collect, right? Well, these are similar to the ReAction figures I collect, in that I bought them to keep carded. But, I did buy a four doubles out of the six for openers, so we will at least be getting a feel for a few of them out of the package and in hand.
And yes, technically, these are Marvel Legends, it says so right on the card, which seems really weird to me. It’s doubly confusing when you consider that Hasbro is already doing a sub-line of Retro-Carded 6-inch Marvel Legends. So what the hell are these? Well, they’re retro-style 5-POA figures designed with old 80’s Kenner-style figures in mind. It’s kind of a What if Kenner did Marvel? Hasbro really did their own thing with the presentation, since they probably didn’t want to copy the look of their competitor Mattel’s Secret Wars line from the 80’s, or the chunked out proportions of Toy Biz’s 90’s line. The first wave is comprised of six figures, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason to the character selection here. As expected, these packages are not collector friendly, but at least the figures are set on trays inside the bubbles, which keeps them from rattling around in there. Also, I’ll note that these cards are made of some pretty sturdy and seemingly durable cardboard, and all the ones I bought online came unpunched, which is pretty cool. Let’s have a look at each one, starting with the two I didn’t get as openers.
Magneto represents the X-Men, and I thought him a strange choice for the first wave, but that doesn’t make him any less welcome. The card features the Uncanny X-Men logo at the top left with Magneto’s character art dominating most of the right side. Everything is just about perfect here, especially the coloring. The figure looks like a solid effort. He’s sporting his traditional red and purple costume, just as it’s depicted in the card art, and the paintwork seems pretty clean. Articulation for all of these figures conforms to the usual standard 5-POA, which includes a T-crotch, swivels in the shoulders, and a rotating head. I do find it interesting that they didn’t drive the Kenner homage all the way home by giving him a vinyl cape, but I’d certainly argue the sculpted plastic cape looks better.
I’ll show off the back of the card for Magneto and then leave it at that, since they’re all pretty much the same. You get a character card that can be clipped out and saved along with the figure. You also get a single sentence blurb about the character. I was hoping this was going to be a little more descriptive, but it’s just the same thing in multiple languages. The bottom third or so of the card is just jumbles of legalese. Man, I miss the days when toy packaging didn’t have to be littered with all this crap!
Next up is The Incredible Hulk, and this is the second of the two figures that I have yet to get an opener of, but I’m still looking. Hulk is bigger than the others, but not crazy big. He seems fairly size-appropriate, but best of all, they were able to do him without having to make a bigger card, or throw off the uniformity of the presentation. The Incredible Hulk logo features the brick pattern in the lettering, and the character art is fabulous. I also really dig the deep blue backdrop and the action lines fanning out to the borders. It’s exciting and colorful, and everything a comic book superhero action figure package should be! As for the figure, I think this is a really strong sculpt, especially the portrait. They did a nice job sculpting his muscles, and the vibrant purple paint on his pants looks snappy!
Third out of the gate is Captain America, and here’s where I start to have doubles to open! If pressed, I’d say this is probably my favorite card in the wave, or at least maybe tied for first. The character art is just fabulous, and I love that they have him throwing his shield right out of the card and into the viewers face! It’s exciting, and the star spangled deco is absolutely perfect! If I had one little gripe, it would be the color of the bubble’s backdrop. The blue matches Cap’s outfit and the figure sort of blends in a little too much. But that’s me really nit-picking.
Out of the package, Cap looks and feels great in hand. If you’ve handled any of those Funko ReAction figures, you’ll be happy to know that the quality of the plastic here is just so much better. And while Cap maintains a bit of a simple style to him, there’s still plenty of fresh sculpting to be found in the buccaneer boots, and flared gauntlets. The portrait looks great, and the paint lines are fairly sharp for a figure in this size and style. Cap happens to be the only figure in this wave that comes with an accessory, because…. well you can’t have Cap without his shield. The shield has a clip to attach it to either of his wrists and he looks good holding it. There’s a hole on his back, but no peg to attach the shield, which is a tad disappointing. Still, a great figure that will be sitting on my desk for a long time to come.
The fourth figure is a bit of an odd choice for this initial wave, and it’s Ms. Marvel herself, Carol Danvers, wearing her Warbird outfit. I really love the character art on the card, but I thought it was a little odd that they went with The Avengers logo and don’t actually refer to her as Ms. Marvel on the card. It’s kind of weird, but not a deal-breaker to me. I’ll concede that I would have preferred her red, blue, and gold outfit, but I dig this one too.
Out of the package, she’s looking fine! This figure relies a little more on paint than for her costume than the previous ones, but I think they did a fine job. The fronts of her boots are a little uneven, but the lightening bolt on her chest looks sharp! I also love that they sculpted her waist scarf as a separate piece and it’s worn by the figure, kind of like an accessory, but not really. The portrait here is really good as well, with her domino mask actually part of the sculpt.
The fifth and penultimate figure in the wave is Johnny Storm from The Fantastic Four, and this one had me super excited, because I can’t wait to hang a full set of Marvel’s first family in this retro-style on my wall. The card includes The Fantastic Four logo over the NY City-Scape with The Human Torch in full flame on! They even did his flamed “4” logo in the sky behind him. Excellent!
I didn’t think this would be an easy figure to do in this style, but Hasbro absolutely nailed it! Johnny is cast in translucent orange plastic with some yellow flames sculpted onto his legs, arms, and head. The effect is quite striking, especially when it’s properly lit up. Dare I say it? Hot damn, I love everything about this figure! Sue Storm is coming up in the third wave, and I do hope they finish up the Fantastic Four sooner rather than later!
Last, but certainly not least is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and if you haven’t guessed it Spidey is tied with Cap as my favorite figure in this wave. The card art features The Amazing Spider-Man logo set against the backdrop of the city with Spidey himself swinging right out of the card at you and framed by webbing.
Out of the package, this figure just pops like magic. The combination of blue and red is a feast for the eyes and the web pattern looks great. I also dig that they have his arms spread a bit and gave him two thwippy hands. Like Captain America, I just want to carry Spidey here around all day in my pocket at work, so he can have adventures on the desk when I’m bored to tears in meetings. I am really excited to see all of Spidey’s villains turn up in this series. Electro is actually part of Wave Two. Now bring on Gobby!
I’m really interested to see how this line does at retail, but I’m definitely hooked. I’m a sucker for the retro style, and there’s something to be said for these clean sculpts over the somewhat wonky results of the highly articulated Marvel Universe figures. I didn’t have time to dig out any of those to do comparisons, but it’s something I might look at doing in the future. Am I going to be buying doubles of this entire line. Nah, highly unlikely. I’ll mainly be collecting these to keep carded, pop into clamshells, and hang on the wall. But at about ten bucks a pop, I may go for doubles of the ones that I like the most! I already have a set of Wave Two, and maybe I’ll wrap up a look at these next week. Then again I’ve also got a new Marvel Hot Toys figure that I’d like to spend some time with. I guess we’ll see what I have time for!