Marvel Legends (Red Onslaught Wave): Mockingbird by Hasbro

Good grief, it’s Monday again and around these parts that means it’s time to look at some Marvel toys. Today I’m continuing my trek through the Red Onslaught/Skull Wave of Marvel Legends figures with Mockingbird. I can’t even begin to articulate my disappointment that TV’s Agents of SHIELD got dibs on Bobbi Morse. It’s not that I don’t think Adrianne Palicki isn’t great for the role, but she isn’t enough incentive for me to endure the rest of the show just for her. I would have rather seen her fleshed out at some point in the actual movies and with a costume a little closer to the comic look we’re about to see here today.

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It’s the exact same package we saw last time when I looked at Sharon Carter, the other half of these two “Agents of SHIELD.” The tray is pretty crowded in there thanks to the BAF torso and shoulders being included. Oh yeah, note that I’m just calling these Marvel Legends in my titles and not Infinite Series or whatever they are now. I can’t be bothered to keep up with the name changes and re-brandings, Hasbro. Besides, now you call the 4-inch figures Legends too. Speaking of which, it’s worth noting that Mockingbird got a release in that smaller scale via the West Coast Avengers box set a couple of years ago.

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I’m pretty sure this is what Mockingbird is wearing in the comics these days, but I’m pretty far behind in a lot of my Marvel Now trades. I do dig this look a lot. What we lose are the exposed legs and buccaneer boots and what we gain is a more tactical modern look that still pays respects to the classic costume. The boots now have reinforced armor on the shins with sculpted straps and some rather hardcore looking knee pads. Her top still has that button-down tunic look to it and she has a rather bland sculpted belt.

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The costume is the typical monochromatic look for Mockingbird, but I like it. The only thing that breaks up the black and white are the silver wrist bracers. The white flanked by black on the top mimics a jacket, which maintains a cool and stylish look and ditches a garment, which would be really impractical for those martial arts fights. The paint lines are reasonably sharp, but man am I getting sick of seeing those production numbers painted on these figures in such an obvious way, in this case right on the inside of Bobbi’s left thigh. Oh yeah, she has a nice bum.

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The portrait here is pretty good. I was actually rather surprised that the glasses were removable. That’s not easy to do at this scale and they still look good on the figure. Bobbi’s eyes seem a little far apart, which is the same quibble I had with Agent Carter last week. The sculpted detail in the hair here is a little soft, which is ironic because the hair itself is so damn rigid it renders the neck articulation nearly useless.

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Speaking of articulation, while this appears to be an all new body, it feature the usual amount of articulation for most of the Legends female bucks. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, have swivel cuts in the thighs and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint just under the chest and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck.

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Mockingbird includes the fighting staff that splits into two batons, which we’ve seen before with Hellcat and Daredevil. I don’t mind these. They’re kind of fun and they certainly suit the character.

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When this wave was first revealed, Mockingbird was one of the figures I was most looking forward to and now that I have her in hand, she doesn’t disappoint. Yes, I do wish the hair was either softer plastic or sculpted in a way that would allow to pose the head. I really did enjoy playing around with her, but the difficult in getting the head to turn even a bit was the one irritant that kept pulling me out of fun. And while I think Sharon Carter was a solid figure, Mockingbird here easily lands as my favorite of this pair of Agents of SHIELD.

Marvel Legends (Red Onslaught Wave): Sharon Carter by Hasbro

It’s yet another Marvel Monday here at FFZ and I am in the midst of running through the Red Onslaught Wave of Marvel Legends. I’ve already featured the Whirlwind and Cottonmouth as the “Forces of Evil” and today I’m going to look at the first of the two ladies that make up the “Agents of SHIELD.” It’s Sharon Carter!

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Same deal as last time, the packaging is branded with a Captain America theme that includes a shield on the top flap and his name on the front. As this is one of those “variant slots” and shares it with Mockingbird, Agent Carter’s name doesn’t appear on the front, just the “Agents of SHIELD” moniker. Not to be confused with that TV Show that I just could not get into no matter how hard I tried. Seriously, for all you people who tell me I have a Marvel bias because I can’t stomach the DC Zack Snyder movies, I’m still willing to call the Marvel Cinematic Universe out when it deserves it. Marvel, that show sucks! Just stick with the movies… and the Netflix stuff. What? This has nothing to do with today’s Feature? Well, FINE, I better get back on track, hadn’t I? So, my point is that there isn’t much else new to be said about the package, so let’s jump right on in and look at the figure…

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Heeeey, we’ve seen this body before! Yes, as most everyone (including my cat) suspected, Sharon is built off the same female SHIELD agent buck that has been floating around for a couple of years now. And while Hasbro has been doing some little tweaks and kit-bashing on this figure in the past, from the neck down this one is just a straight repaint of Maria Hill from the Agents of SHIELD 3-pack. The biggest change up here is the white suit, which I’ll concede does bring out some elements in the sculpt that weren’t as evident on the darker versions. It’s a good sculpt, with plenty of detail like texturing and piping, but this time around some of the details seem a little softer. Paint mostly consists of the black straps with some silver used on the fixtures, the holstered guns, and the zipper. The SHIELD emblem tampos on her shoulders look particularly nice.

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The portrait isn’t bad, but it’s nothing outrageously special either. It looks familiar, almost like some of the Legends female head sculpts are blending together. I think the eyes are set a little far apart, but otherwise there’s not much to complain about here, other than the waxy plastic that doesn’t look like skin. The paint on the facial features is fairly solid and I do dig her sculpted ponytail.

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With Sharon being the fourth version of this buck in my collection, the articulation holds no surprises. As a matter of fact… if Hasbro can keep reusing this buck, then two can play at that game. Let me just jump back to an earlier review and cut and paste and here we go… The arms are ball jointed in the shoulders and at the elbows and wrists. Sadly, there are no bicep swivels, but I’m coming to expect that omission in Hasbro’s female figures these days. The ball joints in the elbows make up for that a little. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double-hinged at the knees, and feature swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and rockers. There is no waist swivel, but you do get a ball joint in the torso and again for the neck. 

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Agent Carter comes with her twin pistols, which really aren’t accessories at all because THEY ARE STILL PERMANENTLY SCULPTED INTO HER HOLSTERS. Gah! Hasbro, why do you keep subjecting us to this outrage? I’m guessing that you knew how many times you were going to recycle this figure, the least you could have done was give her some working holsters.

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Instead she comes with this really weird looking gun. I really don’t like this gun. It’s weird. It’s also super soft and comes warped right out of the package. Hasbro has plenty of regular automatic pistols in their Legends scale. I would have preferred one of those.

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As critical as I’ve been about her, Sharon Carter really isn’t a bad figure, but she definitely feels phoned in to me. I do find it strange, however, that Hasbro can take one of their standard generic bucks and repaint a different costume on it over and over and few people (myself included) think twice about it, but when they do it with a body as distinctive as this one, it’s obvious and becomes tiresome. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite. With that having been said, it is nice to have Agent Carter join my SHIELD shelf and I’ve got no regrets about buying her. I’m aware that there are collectors out there who are none to fond of this particular buck, but it works fine for me and the recycling here was totally logical and expected. I’m always up for more SHIELD agents, not to mention I needed that leg for Red Skull. Next Monday… Mockingbird!

Marvel Legends: Agents of SHIELD 3-pack by Hasbro, Part 2

It’s Saturday, my vacation is almost over and that makes me a sad puppy. Hopefully playing with some new Marvel Legends can cheer me up until the dark din of Monday morning hits me and my mood is irrecoverable. Yesterday, I started looking at this Agents of SHIELD boxed set with Agent Phil Coulson and found him to be a fresh and new figure. Today we’re going to be looking at Nick Fury and Maria Hill and things are not going to be so fresh and new. Reuse of parts is common in these multiplacks and that’s going to become pretty apparent today with two recycled bodies. We’ve already seen the packaging, so let’s jump right in and start with Nick Fury.

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Before I get going, let me point out that this seems to be a repack of the Legends Fury originally issued as part of the Walmart exclusive Captain America: The First Avenger line. I never saw those figures on the pegs, so I’m coming at this like a new release, or at least new to me. I like this figure, I like it a lot. I think it looks fantastic on its own. But it sure is hard not to look at it and see a head pop-and-swap from the Red Skull a few waves back because that’s almost exactly what this figure is. The only stand out difference is the coat and pants going from grey to black. Does it work as Fury? Absolutely! I think it works better as Fury than the Red Skull. Is it annoying that I can’t unsee it? You betcha! Especially so when the two figures are likely only going to be a shelf apart in my display case. It’s also the same basic body we saw with The Punisher, and that coat was not only previously used for Red Skull and The Punisher, but Fantomex as well (and did that “Marvel Knights” Blade figure ever actually come out? If so, there’s another!). But hey, I absolutely love this coat. It’s wonderfully textured and looks fantastic and next to Frank Castle, I think Fury is the best use of it.

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I’m also very fond of the aesthetics of this particular body. Again, there’s a ton of little detail work on the texturing of the pants and shirt. The sculpted and functional holster on the leg looks great and Fury makes use of the extra holster in the shoulder rig that was used with Red Skull. For a line that makes a lot of use of generic bucks and painted costumes, I can appreciate the sculpted detail here. The boots are painted glossy black to stand out from the rest of the black and there’s some fine silver paintwork on the buckles and snaps.

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The head sculpt rounds out the package quite nicely. It’s a great likeness for Samuel Jackson, at least in this scale and price range and when you put the whole thing together, I think this figure really captures the character beautifully.

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Now, you may have noted that I commented on how I like the aesthetics of this body, well the articulation is another matter. All the points are there, but the way the shoulders and hips work can be rather annoying. The arms can’t really be put down at his sides, so you’re mostly relegated to action poses. The hips can do a little better, but you really have to fiddle with those ball joints a lot and even so, this figure is really tough to stand on his own.

Fury comes with a pair of automatic pistols, which are nicely scaled (particularly when compared to Red Skull’s obnoxiously large red sidearm). They feature decent sculpts and even some blue paint apps, which makes them a little SHIELD-y to me. They fit nicely in both holsters, but unfortunately, Fury only has one hand that’s really designed to hold a gun, but that’s OK, because I can hand one off to Maria Hill. And that brings us to…

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Yes, Agent Hill is also a mostly recycled body, in this case taken from the recent Winter Soldier version of Black Widow. Again, it’s a logical bit of reuse, and in this case the body has received an entirely new repaint (blue) to make it a somewhat more distinctive figure. There are also some less added silver paint apps to the fixtures of her gear, as well as the absence of Widow’s trademark emblem on the tummy, that help separate the two. On the downside, reuse of this body means that you also get the holsters with the guns permanently sculpted into them. Still, even with its flaws, I really like that Black Widow figure and this one works a little better because I’m pretty sure that that Cobie Smulders is taller than Scarlett Johansson and this figure is pretty tall when compared to Fury or even the STRIKE Suit Cap. Ironically, Widow’s hair still makes her a smidge taller than Hill.

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Speaking of actresses, the likeness on Agent Hill is certainly passable. I don’t think it photographs all that well, but in person it’s quite good. I’m not sure I could randomly identify the head if it were given to me, but in the context of the uniform, it’s pretty easy for me to recognize who it’s supposed to be. She even has her trademark ear piece.

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Hill doesn’t come with any accessories, but as I mentioned before I believe I’ll be handing off one of Fury’s guns to her. Her right hand is sculpted to hold these guns perfectly. The left hand is sculpted into a fist, which unfortunately looks more like a ham painted in a flesh tone.

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Like I said in the opener, these sets are usually all about parts recycling, so that’s something to keep in mind. Companies like Hasbro and Mattel recycling bodies doesn’t bother me, especially if it helps us get figures that otherwise might not be in the budget and certainly not when its used to this good effect. As far as I’m concerned, every one of these figures would have been a worthy purchase on their own so grabbing all three for fifty bucks feels like a pretty good deal. Certainly good enough that I didn’t hesitate to buy it when I saw it, whereas I waited until deep clearance to buy Hasbro’s last Legends 3-pack.

Marvel Legends: Agents of SHIELD 3-pack by Hasbro, Part 1

Well, I hope you all enjoyed yesterday’s little break from Marvel Legends Week, because today it’s back to business, this time with the Agents of SHIELD 3-pack. This Toys R Us exclusive features Agent Phil Coulson, Agent Maria Hill, and Nick Fury himself. These are, of course, all versions based on the Marvel MovieVerse, which is appropriate as we are just one week away from the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron and I couldn’t be more psyched. In the wake of watching the amazing Daredevil series on Netflex, I actually thought I’d give the Agents of SHIELD series a second go, but I find myself still having to push myself to complete an episode, so I’m not sure how long I’ll last this time.

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Much like that far more questionable Captain America, Radioactive Man, Ms Marvel set that I featured a couple of weeks back, these figures come in an elongated window box showing off the goods. It’s totally collector friendly as all you need do is open up one of the flaps and slide out the tray. I thought this set was going to be impossible to get a hold of, but it turned up on TRU’s website fairly quickly and surprisingly enough did not sell out immediately. Quite the contrary, it shortly went on sale. Today I’m going to check out the packaging and Agent Coulson and tomorrow I’ll swing back around to look at Fury and Hill.

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Agent Coulson was a great choice for the Marvel Legends series as he’s been one of those common threads trailing along through the films from the beginning. Coulson comes sporting a brand new suited body, which I hear tell was actually created for the up and coming Chameleon figure and yet somehow managed to land on the shelves first here on Coulton. It features the usual vest-style of jacket with the arms sculpted to look like sleeves. The tie is also a separate piece and features a crisp blue and silver diagonal stripe. The paintwork is rounded out with some sharp silver paint on the belt buckle and glossy black for the shoes. I think they could have done a better job matching the black on the sleeves and jacket, but otherwise this body is a really nice piece of work and I can imagine there’s a lot of potential for Hasbro to repurpose it quite a bit. Just think of how much mileage Mattel got out of some of their DCUC suited bodies, eh?

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You get two different heads with Coulson, one with sunglasses and one without. The regular head is a fairly good portrait. It’s a little stylized, but I’m pretty sure I could have recognized it as Clark Gregg if I didn’t already know who it was supposed to be. The features are quite well definied and he has a little bit of a smile. The other portrait is possibly even a little closer in likeness. The sunglasses are very neatly painted and this one features a more serious expression. Hasbro rarely has to deal with real actor likenesses in the Legends line, but it’s nice to see they can do it right when they have to.

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As for articulation, The Son of Coul is a surprisingly agile figure. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles are hinged with lateral rockers. Phil has a swivel in the waist, a ball joint in the torso, and both a hinge and balljoint at the neck. For a guy in a suit, Coulson is all sorts of limber.

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Besides the extra noggin, Phil comes with the weapon he briefly wielded in the first Avengers movie. It’s the one that SHIELD retro-engineered from The Destroyer technology and the one he shot Loki with. It’s a big gun with some really intricate sculpting and a little orange paint on the barrel. He can hold it comfortably in both hands.

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Oftentimes these Marvel multipacks, whether they be Legends or Universe, feel like quick cash grabs with thrown together figures, but that’s definitely not the case with Agent Coulson. I would have been totally happy to buy this guy off the peg for the usual $20. He’s an excellent figure and feels fresh and new. The likeness is good, the articulation is great, and the extra head and the weapon just sweeten the pot. We’re off to a great start with this set, so join me tomorrow and I’ll be back to look at Nick Fury and Maria Hill.