Marvel Legends (M’Baku Wave): Ulysses Klaue by Hasbro

Last time on Marvel Monday, I started out saying that I was going to complete a review of the remaining figures in the Banner Hulk Wave, but by the end of the review I committed to having a look at Ulysses Klaue from the M’Baku Wave. Wow, way to undercut myself! Well, since I don’t want to make myself out to be a liar, at least not over something like this, let’s go ahead and check out Klaue from Black Panther! 

The M’Baku Wave almost passed me by completely. The only figures I found at retail were Killmonger and Klaue, which was a spot of luck because it was those two that I wanted the most. Will I ever double back to complete this Build-A-Figure? Who knows, maybe someday. There are some pretty solid figures in this wave, but I haven’t checked to see what they’re going for these days on the second-hand market. Klaue comes in the movie-branded package and with the huge torso for the M’Baku BAF. And since Killmonger didn’t come with a BAF part, this is actually my first piece  to build the figure.

Introduced in Age of Ultron, I was thrilled to see Klaue come back for Black Panther and not so thrilled to see him killed off. I think this may be the first time I saw Andy Serkis as a straight up actor rather than giving life to a CG character. Either way, I absolutely love his portrayal of Klaue in both movies. He was so bat-shit crazy and looked like he was having a great time being a bastard. But boy do I have mixed feelings about this figure! The body is pretty straight forward. Klaue is wearing glossy black boots, blue trousers, a white shirt with rolled up sleeves, and a blue and gray vest. So he’s basically wearing a suit, but has discarded the jacket. He’s got a sculpted pale blue tie and his collar is unbuttoned and disheveled. The issues I have here are basically in the torso. The vest is layered onto the figure in soft plastic so it looks kind of bulky. Maybe they did this to preserve torso articulation, but I think sculpting it as part of the figure might have worked better. And speaking of sculpt, the collar and tie just look bad. It’s a rough sculpt and the paint is sloppy. It almost looks like when someone without a lot of sills uses sculpey on a figure to do a custom. I do, however, appreciate that they printed all his tatts on his right arm and they even sculpted his watch!

Thankfully things look up when we get to the head sculpt. Serkis obviously had fun playing this role and he really hammed it up. I think Hasbro captured a lot of that in this crazy portrait. The likeness is definitely there and he’s all banged up with a bloody cut on his forehead and dirt and bruises on his face. The paint and sculpt on his teeth are especially well done. The printed detail on his beard looks terrible and splotchy when viewed up close with the camera, but it really does look fine when the figure is in hand and viewed with the naked eye.

The articulation takes some detours from what I’m used to seeing in my male Legends, although It’s business as usual from the waist down. I can’t speak to what’s going on under that vest, but it feels like it’s probably a ball joint. The double hinges that we usually see in the elbows have been replaced with rotating hinges, although he still has the usual bicep swivels. Part of the reason for the change in elbows is probably because of the rolled up sleeves, but the other is to accommodate the gimmick on his left arm.

His left forearm can be replaced with one that shows his prosthetic arm split open and revealing his sonic weapon. Anyone who happened to see Black Panther without seeing Age of Ultron, and wasn’t familiar with the comic character, probably had no idea what the hell was up when Klaue opened his arm and started shooting this thing. It was such a cool scene in the film and Hasbro did a nice job recreating it here. The detail on the mechanism inside the arm is great and they even painted each individual emitter.

And as if a hidden sonic arm weapon wasn’t enough, Hasbro also gave Klaue an automatic pistol, which he can hold in his right hand. Sadly he does not have anywhere to put it when he’s not brandishing it.

Klaue is a figure of highs and lows. He loses a lot of points for the sloppy work on his collar and the bulky vest, but everything else is done exceptionally well, However, in the end, I think the good outweighs the bad here. Besides, I’m just really glad Hasbro made him, because after the first Black Panther inspired wave had come and gone, I would have bet against it ever getting him later on down the road. Now if only the MCU had kept him around for one more film. Oh well! Next week, I’ll get back on track to finishing up the Banner Hulk Wave and then maybe I can take a look at a boxed set.

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): Shuri by Hasbro

My last excursion into Marvel Legends (several Marvel Mondays ago) saw me randomly drew Beta Ray Bill from the Pile-O-Shame, and I decided that I might as well finish off that wave and open the remaining figures. Keep in mind, I’m not building the Hulk BAF (those parts went to my nephew), but I’d still like to put the rest of this assortment to bed, since it’s already pretty stale. And so today I’m checking out the Princess of Wakanda, Shuri from Infinity War!

Black Panther is a Marvel movie that I enjoy coming back to, but very rarely ever finish. The beginning of that flick (let’s say the first third or so) is easily it’s high point for me and I really dig the stuff between T’Challa and his deceased father, but by the time I get about halfway through it, it starts to lose me and the movie feels like it fizzles out. And the less said about the final battle the better. Sometimes, I’ll just finish it in multiple viewings, but it’s safe to say I’ve seen the first half of it a lot more times than the rest. With that having been said, Shuri was a fun character and I was glad she got some screen time in Infinity War and Endgame. I was irked that she was conspicuously absent from the Marvel Legends Black Panther-themed waves, but now all is forgiven.

And here she is looking fine in her Wakandan garb. The outfit is recreated with lots of sculpted detail and some very subtle texturing, which looks like some kind of advanced fabric weave. It’s so subtle that I really have to turn the figure around in the light to reveal it. I dig that! You also get some sculpted panel lines and some beautiful detail on the neck piece, shoulders, and chest. The deco is a mix of brown, tan, and glossy black along with some copper piping. Meanwhile the sculpted bicep bands are like a gun-metal gray. As always I appreciate the mix of gloss and matte finishes that Hasbro often does with these MCU costumes.

Shuri also sports a sculpted plastic sash around her waist, which drops down behind her legs. It’s textured like fabric with some sculpted stitch lines and a very fine frayed edge along the bottom. It’s meant to be held on by a sculpted belt-buckle looking device colored to match her arm bands. As much as I love the look of this waist garment, it does unfortunately impede her leg articulation.

Generally speaking, Hasbro’s MCU likenesses have been excellent and I think that’s the case here as well. It’s certainly recognizable to me as Letitia Wright. She has some sharply placed dotted face paint, and the hair sculpt is extremely well done, especially the patterns on the back of her neck.

Getting back to articulation, Shuri’s is pretty solid, with a couple of my usual nitpicks. The arms have the standard rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, but she’s a gal and we all know Hasbro only gives the ladies rotating hinges in the elbows, instead of the double-hinged elbow with bicep swivels that the dudes get. Shuri also has those weird elbow hinges that kind of stick out when the arms are bent at their 90-degree extremes. The rest is fine, though. She has ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. She has a ball joint under her chest and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Shuri comes with her vibranium gauntlets, which clip onto her wrists. They hold on very well, but I think it would have been cool to have these swap out with her hands to make them fully enclose her forearms. Either way, the sculpts look great and they each have some translucent blue energy crackling from the ends.

Shuri is a great little figure and I’m so very glad we finally got her in the Legends format. Hasbro did quite a beautiful job on the her, but that’s par for the course with pretty much all of their Black Panther figures. Heck, adding her to my collection makes me want to double back and finish off that M’Baku Wave. And speaking of which, while I did say that I’ll be finishing up the rest of this wave, I think next week I’ll detour back to the M’Baku Wave so that I can finally open Ulysses Klaue.

Marvel Legends (M’Baku Wave): Erik Killmonger by Hasbro

Just when I thought I had dipped into all the waves of Marvel Legends that were out there, this week my random draw from the Box of Shame™ pulled out a figure from the M’Baku Wave. And yup, this is my first foray into this assortment. I kind of forgot all about it. And as is often the case these days, I’m a little pressed for time today, so let’s just jump right in and check out this new(ish) version of Killmonger!

Of course, we already got a Killmonger in the original Black Panther themed wave. That version was wearing his Panther suit, while this one portrays him in his mercenary-style outfit. And considering that Erik here ranks up there as one of my favorite MCU villains, I’m all for getting another figure of the character. And hey… an actual portrait based on Michael B. Jordan’s likeness! The Panther suited version of Killmonger didn’t have an unmasked head, but we did get one in the two-pack, when he was bundled with Agent Ross. I haven’t picked that one up, and now that I have this portrait, I’m not sure I will. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s check out the figure!

I really liked this look for the character in the film. It was certainly more interesting than an “evil” version of the Black Panther suit. And as a general fan of military figures, this one also scratches that itch nicely. For starters, the outfit is brimming with detail! Hasbro doesn’t usually skimp on the sculpting when they’re doing the MCU figures, and this figure keeps that trend rolling along nicely. I especially dig his armored vest. It features some great panel lining and edging, as well as all the individual sculpted straps intended to keep it in place. The great detail in the vest is contrasted by the arms, which are simple blue sleeves, the baggy trousers feature an ammo strap on his left leg, just above the knee, and even the detail in the combat boots is impressive.

There’s more impressive detail to be found on the tactical belt, which is also removable. You get more pouches with magazines in them and a permanently sheathed combat knife. What I find a bit puzzling, and disappointing, is the decision to sculpt the sidearm as part of the holster. Hasbro’s 6-inch figures are no strangers to having functional holsters, so what happened here? It’s even more of a poser when you consider that he comes with the gun that I believe is supposed to be in the holster.

The coloring here is also quite well done. Indeed, it’s surprising just how colorful this figure turned out. The camo pattern on the pants looks great, and the blue sleeves and little touches like the emerald green on the shoulders makes what could have been a drab-looking figure turn out to be anything but. The straps for the vest are painted tan, and they even picked out the grenades on the belt with some green and the belt buckle with some silver. But most of all, I dig the subtle metallic wash on the front and back of the vest. Great stuff!

And because the character portrait is such a big draw for me here, I’m happy to report they did a wonderful job on the likeness. Not only is the face sculpt a solid piece of work, but I really dig how they did his hair. It adds some nice depth to the portrait. The half-tone style printing method still appears to be in use here, and I’d say this is one of the best examples of it. It even holds up pretty well when I get in real close.

And yes, the unmasked head fits nicely on the previous Killmonger release!

Killmonger also comes with the horned mask that he took from the British Museum’s West African Exhibit and this is a nicely done piece as well. It’s designed to fit over the face and it pretty much just stays on with friction. It tends to come off when I’m playing around with the figure, but it will usually stay put when I’m displaying him.

In addition to the mask, Killmonger comes with two weapons. The pistol is most likely supposed to be the Springfield 1911. It’s a decent little pistol cast in black plastic and it can be held comfortably in either of the figure’s hands. Again, why they didn’t just give him a functional holster to hold it in, rather than sculpting one in the holster as well? Who knows.

And last but not least, Erik comes with the BCM Recce 14 KMR-A with scope and grenade launcher. I don’t know if it’s all the goofy coloring and crazy sci-fi designs we’ve been getting with the comic figures lately, but I find myself really appreciating this beauty. It’s a wonderfully detailed sculpt, and like the pistol, he can hold it well in either hand.

Well, I’ve gushed a lot about this figure, but now comes the time for some gripes, and surprisingly they all seem to revolve around the articulation. All the points conform to the usual Legends model, so I won’t tick them off here. Instead, let’s talk about a few issues I had. Some of the hinge joints on this figure are really soft, particularly in the elbows, and mushy hinges are one of my pet peeves. But the wrists are even more problematic. At first, I thought the hinges were stuck, but instead they seem to have a weird ratcheting effect, where it takes a lot of force to move them and when they do move, there’s no subtlety there at all. As a result, the hands often look oddly positioned. Not to mention, the amount of force it takes for me to work those hinges puts stress on those tiny wrist pegs. I’ve never come across this phenomena in a Legends figure before and hopefully I never will again.

Killmonger has some issues, but even so, I think he still turned out pretty great. The coloring and attention to detail are both excellent, the weapons are awesome, and the mask is a mighty nice bonus. And unless it turns up super cheap, I really didn’t have any intention of buying the Killmonger two-pack, so naturally I was happy to get this unmasked head. Never in a million years did I think Hasbro was going to take a second pass at Black Panther with another wave of Legends figures, but if Killmonger here is any indication, I’m certainly glad they did.

Marvel Legends (Okoye Wave): Okoye Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back tonight to wrap up the somewhat Black Panther themed wave of Marvel Legends with the Okoye Build-A-Figure. Technically, I could have reviewed this figure last week, since the Iron Man I opened this morning did not include any BAF parts, but since this is the last Legends Wave that I’ll be reviewing consecutively, I decided not to mess with tradition.

And here she is all laid out and ready for assembly. The figure consists of the torso, the limbs, the head, and two weapons. This is one of those BAF’s that could have easily been a packaged figure, because she’s so small. I always see a number of fans come out of the woodwork and complain when Hasbro does this. I get it, I still think this wave should have been all from the movie, but if they released Okoye as a packaged figure, I’m not sure what they could have done for the BAF. Maybe the Wakandan throne? Anyway, let’s get Okoye together and check her out.

The first thing that impresses me here is how little of this figure is recycled from Nakia. Without close inspection, I was assuming there would be a lot of shared parts, and while it definitely looks like some of the parts here are likely re-sculpted, there’s enough new sculpting to make it look like a new figure. The upper legs appear to be directly shared, which goes back to how odd I thought they were on the Nakia figure. At least here they’re painted black and not in her skin tone, so the decorative patterns look like part of her leggings and not like they’re carved into her skin. I also like the streamlined look of Okoye’s boots, making her legs look a lot more sleek and graceful. Those clunkly accordian-style tops on Nakia’s boots didn’t do her any favors.

Like Nakia, Okoye uses a soft plastic sculpted belt with the lower half of her coat and it’s pretty convincing in making it all look like one piece. I like that the back of this piece is detailed to look like several layers overlapping, and it’s designed so as not to hinder the leg articulation too badly. The plastic garment features all sorts of ornamental detail etched into it along with a little gold wash to help it stand out. Okoye’s segmented bracers looked to be borrowed from Nakia at first, but these have pieces that extend up to her elbows, so there was definitely some tweaking done here. These are left in a bare gold plastic, which looks OK, but not nearly as good as the gold plastic used for her shoulder armor. It’s a shame they couldn’t spare some of that paint for these.

Hasbro has been killing it with all the MCU Black Panther head sculpts and Okoye here is no exception. This portrait is a tiny work of art. The smooth contours of her face are so beautifully done, the paint is wonderful, and the tattoos on her head look amazing. It’s so hard to believe this is the same company producing those noggins used in the 6-inch Star Wars Black Series.

The articulation is identical to what we saw with Nakia. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and yes, I’d still rather see Hasbro go to double hinged elbows and bicep swivels for the ladies. The legs feature ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both swivels and rockers in the ankles. She has a ball joint under her chest, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

Okoye comes with two weapons: A long spear and a spear head with a very short shaft. The long spear has a textured staff with a spearhead that’s split in the middle giving it a rather distinctive look. Both her hands are designed for gripping, so she can comfortably wield this weapon in either or both of her hands.

I don’t recall the smaller spear-type weapon from the movie. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a unique weapon or a broken piece of s spear. The shaft here is a little too slight to allow her to get a firm grasp on it, so it tends to wobble loose in her hand a bit, but I was still able to get her to hold it fairly well.

I have to hand it to Hasbro, the MCU Black Panther figures have been some of their best work to date. Scoff if you will at the fact that Okoye didn’t need to be a BAF, but I don’t care. I’m not privy to the business decisions that made Hasbro go this route, but so long as we got her, I’m cool. I will, however, keep harping on the fact that the comic-based figures in this wave should have gone elsewhere in favor of Shuri, Klaue, and Everett Ross. Yeah, we’re getting Ross in a two-pack, but what about the other two? I don’t see a big opportunity down the road to release any of these figures, unless they roll them into future releases of the 10-Year MCU Anniversary figures. Unfortunately, we don’t know whether that will be an ongoing thing or not.

On the next Marvel Monday, I’ll start randomizing my Marvel Legends reviews as I continue to hack my way through the pile of backlogged figures in the corner, and there is a lot of them, so what figure will be turning up next week? Your guess is as good as mine!

Marvel Legends (Okoye Wave): Nakia by Hasbro

Ah, it’s a great time to be a Marvel fan! What? No, they haven’t fixed the dumpster fire on the comic side of things, but we’ve got some amazing trailers for Deadpool 2 and Infinity War, I just picked up the Blu-Ray of Thor: Ragnarok, and I’ve got enough Marvel Legends figures to keep me happy for the foreseeable future. Today I’m pressing on through the Okoye Wave and opening up Nakia from the spectacular Black Panther movie!

Nakia, not to be confused with that brand of famously indestructible Finnish cell phones, Nokia, comes in the typical Legends window box. It’s got some great character art on the side panels, the back panel shows you the rest of the figures in the wave, and the window on the front lets you get a look at all the goodies inside the box. I really enjoyed Nakia in the film, and I’d love to see them explore her character further in the next one, particularly her background with the Dora Milaje, and boy would it be cool for them to work the Malice storyline into it. I can practically see that whole thing unfolding on the screen and it would be awesome.

And here she is out of the package and looking fabulous. Black Panther was a visual feast, and a lot of that came from the pageantry of the Wakandan costumes. Hasbro had a lot to work with when it came to Nakia’s outfit and I think they did a bang up job with it. The top of the red tunic is part of the buck, while the lower half is part of the belt, sculpted in soft plastic, and extends down to hang down the front and back. The effect works really well, and it’s pretty convincing as being one plastic garment. There are a ton of cut lines running throughout the tunic, forming various geometric patterns, some of which are picked out by gold paint. On top of that you get long segmented bracers on her forearms, a large piece of armor on her right shoulder, a smaller piece on the left, and some sharp detailing around her neck, all painted in silver. She also has a sculpted silver belt buckle that looks like a panther emblem. This is some fantastic stuff!

My only nitpick is the legs, which are painted to look like they’re supposed to be bare, but have a lot of the same ornamental cut lines running throughout. Just looking at them makes me wince, because it’s like she went through some kind of ritual and had these carved into her flesh. I’ve only seen the movie twice now, but I don’t remember this being the case, and I haven’t been able to find any reference shots of her costume showing it either. In fact, it looks like she’s just wearing some fairly plain leggings. Okoye’s costume does have these designs, but they’re part of her leather leggings. Anyway, her ensemble is rounded out by a pair of black boots, with some accordion style rings on the top, which look a little clunky, and throw off what is an otherwise pretty graceful figure. If it sounds like I’m coming down on this figure, keep in mind, these are just nitpicks, and I think the sculpting and coloring on this costume look outstanding.

Also outstanding is the head sculpt. More often than not, Hasbro has been on point with their MCU head sculpts, but they’ve really upped their game recently and this is another great example of that. The likeness to the lovely Lupita Nyong’o is certainly there. Granted, I prefer it when she’s smiling, but the stern and solemn look here is more appropriate for the character and action figure. They did an amazing job sculpting her hair and she even has her tiny earrings.

The articulation here is what I’ve come to expect from my Legends MCU ladies, which means good, albeit not perfect. I would still love to see Hasbro go with double hinged elbows and bicep swivels in the arms. Instead, we get the typical rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs fare a lot better, with ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both swivels and rockers in the ankles. There’s no waist swivel, but she does have a ball joint under the chest, and she has both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

In addition to the BAF parts, Nakia comes with a pair of Chakram, which as far as I knew were generally from India, but I’m not going to quibble about it because they’re exotic and cool and movies often play it fast and loose with historical authenticity. Anyway, these are beautiful accessories, with brown textured grips to simulate wood or leather, and silver blades with decorative inscriptions scultped into them.

Black Panther and Killmonger were both great figures, but lets face it the black with gold and black with silver suits didn’t really showcase the movie’s colorful costumes. With Nakia, we finally get to see some of that translate to plastic, and it looks superb. I nitpicked some of the liberties Hasbro seemed to take with the costume, but really I have nothing but love and admiration for the work they did here. From the exquisite costume, to the beautiful likeness, to some really fun accessories, this figure has it all.

And that’s it for the packaged MCU figures. Next week, I’ll start in on the comic-based figures!

Marvel Legends (Okoye Wave): Killmonger by Hasbro

The new Infinity War trailer may have dropped last week, but I’m still working my way through the Black Panther inspired wave of Marvel Legends. Hell, I’ll be lucky if I get to the Infinity War figures by the time that movie hits theaters next month. Part of me is screaming, “Slow your roll, MCU. Stop stealing the spotlight of your own movies.” But then I tell myself to shut up, because I want more Marvel movies as quickly as possible. I’m an old man and I don’t have time them to worry about pacing themselves! But for now, let’s focus on Black Panther and have a look at Erik Killmonger!

Much has been said about how Killmonger is one of the best MCU villains since Loki, and I can’t argue with any of it. He was charismatic, sympathetic, and he was one of the many characters that seemed to get as much development and screen-time as our hero, T’Challa. All of this is pretty impressive, since when you boil it down, his costumed-persona was just an evil version of Black Panther and his name is… well, Killmonger! Even in the 70’s that name was a little cringe-worthy. Anyway, I didn’t have high hopes for this character in the film, but it shows what I know, because everything turned out so much better than could be expected. It also redeemed actor Michael B Jordan’s legacy in the Marvel films. Not that he was really at fault for that Fantastic Four movie.

When I looked at Black Panther last week, I complimented Hasbro for not cheaping out and reusing parts from the Civil War version. Indeed, I had no idea there were so many differences in the costume! Well, the same can be said for Killmonger. This is an entirely new sculpt, and considering it’s basically a one-and-done buck, I’m surprised they didn’t share some parts between Erik and T’Challa in this wave. It’s also easy to dismiss this as just another black-suited figure with some gold paint accents. I’ll confess that was my reaction when I first saw pictures. But with the figure in hand, I find the subtleties in the sculpt and coloring rather impressive. Of course, all of this can be said for the Black Panther figure as well.

Killmonger’s suit is simpler than T’Challa’s. You don’t get as much in the way of panel lines and texturing, but it does feature some beaded lines running throughout. It also has a very subtle panther spotting effect that can be tough to see under normal lighting. Where T’Challa’s suit had silver accents, Killmonger’s has gold, and there isn’t nearly as much of it, at least not from the neck down. There’s a little on the hands and feet, and at the hips. The necklace appears to be sculpted separately in gold plastic and attached to the figure.

The head, on the other hand is absolutely brimming with detail. I really like the sculpted iconography near the ears. The beaded lines feature some gold paint, as well as some general gold dry brushing around the forehead area. The eyes are painted gold, and you get a little silver paint on the gold necklace. No doubt, this is a pretty intimidating mask!

The articulation is identical to what we saw on Black Panther. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs in the wrists. They also feature the lateral hinges in the shoulders that we often see on the Spider-Man figures. The pegs in the wrists allow you to swap hands, between attack hands and accessory holding hands. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles feature both hinges and rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch under the chest, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

While T’Challa came up empty in the accessories department, Killmonger comes with two weapons and an extra set of hands for holding them. The first is a what I believe is meant to be a Konda-type sword, with the rather distinctive flaring tip that’s designed for slashing. The segmented grip is black, the blade is painted silver, and there are four holes cut out in across the top edge.

The other weapon is a short spear in silver and gold with some brown painted ties in the middle. Both of these weapons are pretty cool and quite distinctive.

Marvel Studios did a great job with Killmonger in the film, and now Hasbro follows suit with a great figure. In fact, the only real complaint I have is that there is no unmasked head. Yes, the two weapons make up for it in terms of value, but I can’t help but think the real reason was so they could bundle the character in a two-pack with an unmasked head and make me buy it again. Although in fairness, that figure looks like it’s going to be radically different, rather than a straight repack. Do I need two Killmongers? Probably not, but between the unmasked head and the Everett Ross figure, I’m only kidding myself if I pretend like I won’t buy it when I see it, but I don’t think I’ll pay a premium for it.

Marvel Legends: Black Panther (Okoye Wave) by Hasbro

It’s time to start in on an all new wave of Marvel Legends, and hey, look at that! I’m actually getting to the Black Panther Wave while the movie is still in the theaters! But collecting Marvel Legends is like fighting Hydra, complete one wave and two more take its place. I still haven’t opened or reviewed the Sandman Wave, and I haven’t started buying the new Deadpool, Spider-Man, or Infinity War Waves. And I am most definitely not complaining, Hasbro. Keep ’em coming!

Yeah, I called this the Black Panther Wave, but only half of the figures, plus the Build-A-Figure, are from the movie. There are also three random comic-based figures tossed in, and only one of those has me excited, and no it’s not the half-naked Namor! I know we’re getting Everett Ross in a two-pack, but no Klaw or Shuri? That’s just unforgivable. Anyway, the packaging is the same old thing with some nice branding on the front to tie it into the film. Let’s take a look at the figure, and I’ll do some comparisons with the Civil War version along the way.

Appropriately enough, the new suit features an all new sculpt, so don’t go thinking Hasbro cheaped out on this one. Honestly, they probably could have and I wouldn’t have noticed the difference until the movie hit Blu-Ray and I could really scrutinize the design. Indeed, getting these two figures side by side is the first time I’ve really taken the time to look the changes made to the costume. I was surprised to find so many differences. The sculpted lines in the costume are all different patterns and the new costume doesn’t feature quite as many of them. But the most obvious difference for me is in the necklace, which is a lot simpler.

The coloring is the same matte black with silver accents and Hasbro did a nice job on the little bit of paint that’s here. All the silver apps are nice and clean on my figure. The new costume has some rather aggressive spike-like bits painted on his gauntlets, whereas the old look just had a painted border at the edges. You get more of those silver spikes around the tops of his his boots, where the older costume had none. All in all, there’s a little more silver on this release and it’s more of a pure silver, whereas the older figure was more of a silver-gray.

The masks are quite different too. I think the old one looks a lot more severe. The silver lines that converge on his brow make him look a lot more aggressive to me, as do the points on the ears. The new head is a little more rounded. If you were to ask me to choose a favorite between the two, I’d be leaning toward the Civil War release, but they both look great, and in the end it’s just a matter of taste.

You also get an unmasked head, and holy shit, if you ever want an example of Hasbro being a company looking to improve, just check out this two years of progress. I remember being rather favorable toward the head on the Civil War figure, but oh boy does it look dated compared to this one. The likeness to Chadwick Boseman is very much on point. If I’m going to nitpick, I think the hair could have been done a little better on the new figure. It’s a little too precise and has a painted on look to it. But still, overall, this is a fantastic new likeness. I really hope they can start bringing this kind of portraiture to the Star Wars Black Series at some point in time.

In terms of articulation, you get all the same points in the Civil War version. That means the arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The pegs in the wrists allow you to swap hands, between fists or attack hands. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles feature both hinges and rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch under the chest, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. So what’s the difference? Hasbro upgraded to the lateral hinges in the shoulders, and that’s pretty damn cool.

 

Apart from the extra hands and head, T’Challa doesn’t come with any additional accessories, and that’s fine. I can’t really think of anything he’s missing.

If I had missed out on the Civil War release, I’d be very content to have this figure representing the MCU Black Panther in my collection. Yes, aesthetically I gave the edge to the previous one, but this is still a beautiful figure and the added articulation makes it all the more fun to play with. Not to mention the unmasked head is a huge improvement. Initially, I wasn’t really sure we needed another Black Panther figure so soon, but this release proves me wrong. On the next Marvel Monday, I’ll check out Killmonger!