Hello, ToyHounds! Work had me running around crazy this weekend with some extra projects, some of which are spilling into Monday, so like the title says, I’m going to bump Marvel Monday to Wednesday for this week! Here is a picture of my cat’s crazy long legs to help assuage the disappointment!
Hope you all had a better weekend than I did, and I hope to catch ya back here in a couple of days!
The latest assortment of Mythic Legions figures, Arethyr, arrived at my door a couple of weeks back and I’ve been chomping at the bit to start digging into them. I know, I haven’t finished reviewing the last couple of series, but I decided to push these to the head of the line and work backwards. So, let’s jump right in and have a look at Malephar!
Apparently Arethyr’s arrival in Mythoss opened all sorts of dimensional rifts and a bunch of horrible little demons spilled through. This swarm of lesser demons is commanded by our boy Malephar. I’ve said it before, but one of the things I love most about the ongoing waves of Mythic Legions is all the new races and factions that are being added. We started with basically knights, skeletons, orcs, and trolls, and now we’ve added vampires, elves, and demons. Mythoss is a virtual melting pot of fantasy tropes, and that really helps the line’s world building.
Malephar utilizes a Goblin body, making him one of the smaller inhabitants of Mythoss. There are a couple of ways to kit him out, but I started with your basic demon look, which means he’s got his wings and tail. The wings attach to the sockets where the shoulder armor usually mounts, that’s easy enough, but it took me some research to figure out that there’s a removable butt-plate that allows the tail to be plugged in. The armor features a dark finish, which, along with the sculpted nicks and pitted finish, makes it look old and battle worn. Still, the individual rivets are painted silver, and he’s got some gold chainmail showing through the gaps in his elbows and knees. The sculpted straps and buckles are also individually painted. Malephar has an armored neck protector piece with spikes, leather scale armor protects his tiny demon junk, and instead of Goblin feet, he has tiny hooves.
The blue wings are hinged where they socket into the body, allowing for some decent articulation. There are also articulated tips, and while these look fine from the front, they don’t look so great from the back. I would have rather they left these out, as that extra little tweak in articulation isn’t worth the trade-off in sculpt, at least not to me. The tail is bendy, but it doesn’t have a wire to hold it in different positions. It also falls out constantly, making it an annoyance when I’m playing around with him.
TFH have turned in some truly spectacular head sculpts for the monsters in this line, and Malephar is no different. His blue skin is gnarled and bumpy like a reptile, with down-swept ears and horns that curve down and away from his face at the tips. And boy, the iridescent purple paint used on the horns is magnificent! The nasty little portrait is rounded out with a wide mouth full of sharp, yellowed teeth. This head sculpt is just packed with portrait, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it turn up later on with red skin.
Malephar comes with shoulder armor, but you have to sacrifice his wings to attach them, so popping the shoulders on and plucking out the tail offers a second display option. The shoulders look great, but I don’t know that it’s worth nixing one of his more distinctive characteristics to put them on. Where do the wings go when he wears his shoulder armor? Magic? Sure, why not? Probably best not to think too hard about it.
And finally, Malephar comes with a helmeted head, and here’s where I think the figure works best with the shoulders and not the wings. Honestly, I wouldn’t even consider this to be the same character because there’s no way that big honkin’ demon head could fit into this helmet, so I’d say this guy is more of a demon foot soldier. Either way, the helmet is very cool and matches the armor quite well. Let’s move on to weapons!
For starters, Malephar comes with two weapons that he can wear on his standard-issue black belt. The first is a cool little short sword. This thing has a chunky, stout blade and not much of a crossguard. The blade has something like a clipped point and is painted in silver, while the grip is a deep coppery color.
Next up is his axe, which I think I’ve seen before in one of my previously reviewed figures. The handle is sculpted with a wood finish, but everything except the blade is painted in the same deep copper as the sword grips. The blade itself is painted in silver. It’s a beautiful weapon, and I think it compliments the sword nicely.
Finally, every demon needs his pitchfork, and Malephar does indeed come with a rather large one! Again, it feels like I’ve seen this one before, possibly with one of the Gladiator figures, but I think it suits this little guy quite well. Yeah, it’s really way too big for him, but maybe it’s more suited to wield when he’s flying about.
Every figure in Mythic Legions has been a treat, and Malephar certainly doesn’t buck that trend. My only gripe here is how easily the tail falls out. If I had bought more than one of these little guys, I would probably glue it into place on one of them, but for now I’ll likely just deal with it. The fully armored look is cool, and I’d love to see it return as a Legion Builder somewhere down the road, because I can’t see myself displaying Malephar any other way but with his wings and tail and exposed head.
I really like Hasbro’s pacing on the Classified line. The releases have been spaced out nicely and not making me lose my mind like the rapid-fire releases of Marvel Legends. Some may say that’s because so many releases are exclusives that are impossible to find, but it’s really just a handful. Not that it makes having a character like Major Bludd be so elusive any better. Anywho… this has been an easy to manage line to collect and after a little bit of quiet time, I got a couple of new figures to look at last week.
Here’s Flint in yet another example of the awesome Classified packaging! In 1985, it seemed like you were either a Duke guy or a Flint guy. I had friends who tossed Duke aside for Flint once he showed up, but I actually stuck to Duke as my defacto leader. After all, I had the mail-away Duke and waiting an eternity for that figure to arrive created a strong bond between us. So even when Flint joined the ranks a few years later, he often stayed at HQ while Duke reveled in the adventures. Keep in mind, as a kid, I’m not sure I realized at the time that Flint technically outranked Duke, so that was just me playing favorites.
Classified Duke looks to be based mostly on that original figure, and I’m all for that! It’s a cool blending of classic military look with a little modern flavoring. He retains the camo trousers and the black shirt with rolled up sleeves. He also has the two green suspender-straps, gloves, and his black beret. The trousers are now augmented with black matte knee and shin armor, and his suspender straps are lined with individually painted shotgun shells, along with some extra sculpted pouches. The pouches and straps are sculpted as part of black chest and back armor with green trim around the edges. Everything about this Classified design pays respect to the original and just adds some embellishments.
I really dig the brown gun belts, which include a gold buckle, some more pouches and a brace of stocked ammo loops. He also has a functional holster strapped to his right thigh and a scabbard on his back for his primary weapon. Dammit, I love when a figure can carry all his weapons! The black watch on his right wrist is another great little touch. Like the other JOE’s, Flint has a silver device with a pale blue paint app, which I presume is supposed to be a light. In Flint’s case it’s sculpted onto his left shoulder strap, and I still have no idea what these are intended to be.
I think the portrait turned out great. Flint has a strong jawline, and a characteristic scar running down his left eye. He’s got one brow slightly arched and he’s offering a hint of a smile. He looks battle hardened, but at the same time like a friendly fellow who’d be fun to have a beer with and hear war stories from. “So, there I was in candy forest, wrestling with The Baroness in her bikini and Cobra Commander comes up and tries to clobber me with a giant candy cane. I shit you not!” I love that they made the beret removable. It fits him really well and looks so good, I could easily be convinced it was part of the head sculpt, if I didn’t know better.
Flint comes with two weapons, the first being his pistol. It definitely has a sci-fi element to it’s design, as seems to be the case with a majority of the weapons in this line. Still, it’s not too crazy and I suppose it could pass as a modern design. Part of me thinks Hasbro is going sci-fi with these weapons to avoid controversy, but then so many of the Marvel Legends weapons have been realistic designs, so maybe it really is just a style choice.
Next up is his shotgun, which is obviously a reference to the original figure coming with a shotgun, but that’s where the similarities end. I’d call this a Model C, where the C stands for Chonks! It’s a boxy and chunky pump action scatter gun with no stock, a rail on the top, and four extra shells stored near the back. I actually dig this weapon a lot, and like the pistol it isn’t so out there in design that I couldn’t imagine it being a modern real world weapon. His left hand is sculpted so he can cradle the fore grip, but it can also double as a second gun hand, if you want Flint to dual-wield.
The shotgun is also hinged, so it can break open for loading, which is a magnificent little touch! I love seeing articulation and functionality on weapons in this scale.
Classified Flint gets a big YO JOE! from me. He’s what I consider a perfect example of taking an original design and injecting just enough newness to make it distinctive for a modern line. And to me, that’s when this line is at it’s best. My only minor gripe here is that I wish he came with a backpack, but at the same time, I don’t feel like they cheaped out on him either. Opening Flint has made me excited for checking out his other half, Lady Jaye, and I hope to get around to her next week!