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

I’m back this afternoon with the second half of my Marvel Monday Double-Feature! As always, I’ve been a good little collector and bought each of the individually packaged figures from the Sasquatch Wave, and now it’s time for my reward… The Build-A-Figure Sasquatch!

Sasquatch is about as simple as these BAFs can get. There are six pieces spread out over seven figures (90’s Deadpool didn’t come with any!), and those pieces include the arms, the legs, the torso, and the head. The pieces went together real easy and the end result a big shaggy orange hunk of Tanaraq.

Indeed, I absolutely love the way this figure turned out, but I feel a little bad because I don’t really have a lot to say about it. But that’s not the fault of the figure, as it does everything it needs to do quite splendidly. The sculpted shaggy coat on the body looks great and I love the gradations in coloring from orange to brown. The coloring looks especially nice on his chest and back. I also appreciate that they added a little extra carpeting around his upper back and shoulders. The right hand is sculpted into a fist and the left into a grasping hand, each of which offer up some nice options for posing him. The sculpting on the feet is pretty spectacular too. If I had to nitpick anything here, I’d say the darker color of the wrist hinges is a little distracting against the lighter color plastic of the hands.

The head sculpt is excellent even if the facial features are a little soft. I love the broad shape of the face and the high placement of the nose. The eyes are red with pink pupils and there’s a very little bit of shading around the face itself. The bushy eyebrows and mutton chops which frame the face are well done and I dig the way the rest of the hair blows back, allowing for a bit more range of motion in the neck articulation than he might have had otherwise.

Speaking of articulation, Sasquatch has it all where it counts. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, single hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips and ankles, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is ball jointed and hinged. The chunky joints on this guy feel great and he’s loads of fun to play around with.

I think my biggest complaint here is that Sasquatch is going to look really lonely on my shelf and I wish he had been the BAF in an Alpha Flight inspired wave. Yeah, that would probably never happen and I’m certainly glad to have this figure, but it also brings back those bitter feelings over the ridiculously exclusive Puck BAF Wave. Hasbro gave us Northstar and Aurora in the 4-inch Marvel Legends line, so they are certainly a good bet to appear in the 6-inch Legends lineup eventually. We did get a Guardian as part of the old Hasbro Marvel Legends line back in 2008 or so, and while I’d be tempted to go back and pick it up, that figure has not aged well, so I think I’ll hold off. Besides, it looks like we’re getting a new Guardian figure pretty soon. I guess for now I’ll just have to keep Sasquatch on that miscellaneous BAF shelf that I have down near the bottom of the case.

As for this Wave, I think it was an excellent assortment of figures and I was thrilled to be getting most of them. 90’s Deadpool and X-23 were musts for my shelf, Cable and Deathlok turned out fantastic, I’ve wanted a do-over for Domino for a while now, and even Paladin, my least anticipated figure in the bunch, turned out to be pretty good. And while I wasn’t terribly keen on getting another X-Force Deadpool, he’s such a vast improvement over the last retail release, I’ll count him as a very nice surprise. Next week I’m going back to spinning The Wheel of Legends. Which wave will it wind up on? Lizard? Thanos? Sauron? Apocalypse? Cull Obsidian? OMG… I’M SO FAR BEHIND!!!

“Here we go… Deadpool-Sasquatch Team Up and… Holy crap, that’s a lot of AIM Soldiers over there. Not really our thing, but there aren’t any Avengers in this wave so it’s just you and me, Shaggy.”

“Hasbro didn’t give me any guns, so you’re just going to have to pick me up and throw me like a spear.”

“That’s it… don’t worry, they never see this coming.” 

“Woah, big guy. Watch the fingers. I ain’t buying you dinner.”

“YEEEEEAH!!!! HERE I COME, BITCHES!!!!” 

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

Welcome back, Toyhounds, to a Marvel Monday double-feature. Earlier today I checked out the last boxed figure from the Sandman Wave, and now I’m finally ready to slap this guy together. So let’s get right to it…

Flint Marko is made up of a total of nine pieces scattered throughout this wave, that includes the torso, legs, and arms plus two heads and two swap out sand implements for his hands, allowing for a bit more customization than I’m used to seeing even on the Build-A-Figures. From the waist down he shares all the same parts as the Absorbing Man BAF from a few years back, and the torso is the same too, which isn’t too surprising as Hasbro did the same thing for their 4-inch Marvel Universe versions of Creel and Marko. Even the belt is lifted from the previous figure, but that’s fine because it all works. The brown trousers are coupled with his trademark striped green shirt, the belt has some nice texturing to it and has a silver belt-buckle and the shoes have a glossy black finish.

The arms begin transitioning to sand just below the biceps into a pair of enlarged forearms with some truly incredible sand texturing. The right hand is sculpted into a giant sand fist, while the left hand is grasping, making them perfect for poses with Marko battling it out with Spidey.

You get two portraits with the figure, the first is just a regular head and it continues Hasbro’s tradition of injecting plenty of personality into their villain head sculpts. Marko’s sneer is magnificent and there’s so much rage packed into this portrait. The various lines that make up his expression are very well defined and they even did a great job texturing his hair. If I had one complaint here, it’s that the paint could have been sharper on his teeth and along his hairline, but I really had to get in close with the camera to even notice either.

The alternative damaged portrait is even more amazing. He’s screaming with rage as the left side of his face took a hit and is revealing its true sandy nature. The way the sculpt transitions from skin to textured sand is beautifully done and I honestly think that this is the head I’m going to go with most of the time for display. The teeth are painted a little better on this one, but you can still see a lot of the flesh colored plastic bleeding through. I’m tempted to nitpick that the tongue isn’t painted, but I assume that’s because his head is supposed to be reverting to the color of sand, so I’m OK with it. Either way, this noggin is a masterpiece!

The articulation here is standard stuff for a regular Legends release. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels up near the hips, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs for the wrists. There’s a swivel at the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

In addition to the extra head, you also get a couple of swap out hands in the shape of sand-weapons. One is a giant hammer and the other is a spiked ball. They can each be used on either arm. I was a little concerned that the elbow and shoulder joints wouldn’t be able to hold the weight of the big hands and sand-weapons, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem at all.

For a figure with so many recycled parts, Sandman still manages to impress where it counts, and while Creel came out first, I’d definitely give the nod to Marko here as the more fun of the two figures. And with Green Goblin, Shocker, and Jackal all in this wave, Hasbro sure has managed to cover a lot of ground when it comes to Spider-Man’s Rogue Gallery.

And that’s another wave in the bag. Hasbro continues to blow me away with the work they’re putting into the Legends line. The figures in this wave are solid across the board and represent an excellent assortment of additions to my already massive 6-inch Marvel collection. How long can they keep this up? Well, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. On the downside, the distribution here continues to be a problem, and while Spidey-UK, Jackal, and Kamala where all easy to find, I never saw Green Goblin or Spidey 2099 at retail. I cringed at having to pay a little extra for these figures at the time, but when I look at what they’re going for now, I can see that I didn’t get beaten up too badly. Next week, I’m going to put the random reviews on hold again, as I just have one more boxed figure in the Sasquatch Wave to look at, so we’ll wrap up that assortment with Paladin and the Sasquatch Build-A-Figure!

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 (Man-Thing Wave): Man-Thing by Hasbro

It’s that time again at the end of a wave of Marvel Legends where I get to collect all the pieces together and cobble together my Build-A-Figure. Now, I don’t always like to admit it, but there are holes in my Marvel knowledge that come from being selective about my reading. There are characters I only know by name and history, and Man-Thing is certainly one of them. I don’t think he makes an appearance in a single book on my shelf. Still, he’s got a truly twisted background that I really should explore someday, but for now I’ll just have to be satisfied knowing that he’s one of the few Marvel characters that originated from my adopted home state of Florida.

Man-Thing consists of six parts, spread out over the entirety of the aptly named Man-Thing Wave. That includes two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head. Now, I’m not one of them fancy plantologists, but I was able to figure out how to put him together. Doing so, however, require a lot of strength and tolerance for pain in my hands, because this guy did not go together easily. Both the head and the legs required a lot of force and left plant texturing imprinted on the palms of my hands.

While I don’t read his books, I’ve always really liked Man-Thing’s design. It reminds me of something out of the old Inhumanoids action figure line. Hasbro really went all out on the sculpt with this fellow, and other than the bottoms of his feet, I can’t find even the tiniest spot that isn’t covered with some kind of intricately sculpted veggie motif. Even the hinges in his elbows are covered in sculpted detail. That’s pretty cool.

Amidst the tangle of vines, you get some shaggy looking grass hanging off his forearms, palm fronds on his feet, some mushroom caps jutting out of his right thigh, and a mossy buildup on his back. Despite the overload of detail in the sculpt, there isn’t much going on with the paint on this figure. The body itself is mostly just green plastic, with some wash to give some areas more of a yellowish-green look and give the sculpt some depth. Also, he does have his fingernails and toenails painted. I guess what I’m trying to say is some individual paint hits to some of the specific detail would have been nice, but still the figure still looks great. Nonetheless, I’ll bet some people with skills (not myself) could do a beautiful job painting this figure up.

The head sculpt is every bit as good as the body, and this is where I think this design really shines. I noted earlier that he reminds me a bit of The Inhumanoids line, Tendrill to be specific, although going back to a picture of that figure there really isn’t that much resemblance. It’s probably the distinctive tendrils that are formed from his uni-brow that gives him that Inhumanoids/Eldar God vibe. Those rooty tendrils are painted brown and they frame his large red eyes. It really is a great design and this figure carries it splendidly.

The articulation is pretty standard BAF fare. He has rotating hinges in his hips, and these come already attached. The legs attach via the rotating hinges in his thighs. He also has double hinges in his knees, and both hinges and rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The torso has both a swivel in the waist and a hinge for an ab crunch. The neck is ball jointed, but because of the hunched shoulder he can mostly just tilt his head from side to side and look up just a little bit. I should note that my figure’s left arm was fused at the elbow, but a little heat loosened it up.

Of course, in the category of comic book based plant-thing figures, Mattel still takes the top prize with their DC Universe Classics Swamp Thing figure from a little ways back. It’s probably not fair comparing them, since Man-Thing is a retail Build-A-Figure and Swamp Thing was an SDCC Exclusive that ran around thirty or forty bucks, but I couldn’t help myself from checking them out side-by-side. Swamp Thing’s spongy rubber skin is still really cool, but it’s the extra paint apps that really make Swamp Thing stand out.

One of the greatest things about universe building with action figures is that it lets me discover characters I had little to do with before. Sometimes it’s just the design and artistry that I dig, but more often then not it will spark an interest and I’ll go find some books and do some reading. That’s probably going to be the case here with Man-Thing.

And that’s another fantastic wave of Marvel Legends in the bag. Part of me wishes that this was a full-on Netflix Wave with both Luke Cage and Danny Rand included, but then I realize that Blade and Bullseye are my two favorites in this assortment and I should probably be careful about what I wish for. Either way, Hasbro continues is still killing it with Legends. I was originally going to backtrack to either the Sandman Wave or the SDCC Battle For Asgarde set, but instead I think I’ll jump to the Black Panther Wave next, so I can actually look at some of those figures while the movie is still in theaters!

FigureFan’s Disappointments 2017, Part 2

This is it, Toyhounds, the final day of my week of canned bullshit. It’s also the final five Biggest Disappointments of 2017. These are the things that I added to my collection and reviewed throughout the year that didn’t really live up to my hopes and dreams. These are in no particular order, so let’s get started…

Femme Fatales (Justice League Unlimited) Hawkgirl by Diamond Select: There was a lot of competition in this line for a spot on my Favorites list, but really only one that deserved to land among my Disappointments. I was really looking forward to getting the JLU version of Hawkgirl on my DC Gallery shelf, but when the statue showed up it was marred by some pretty poor paintwork, ugly seams in the arms, and just an overall lack of quality control. When I look at how amazing some of the Gallery statues have been this past year, it’s easy to forgive one bad one slipping by. But that doesn’t make me feel any better about laying out the cash for it.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Sixth-Scale Drax The Destroyer by Hot Toys: I have been called a Hot Toys sycophant. And yes, if sticking my tongue down their collective trousers would net me some extra Reward Points at Sideshow, I’d get right on that lickity split. So, it’s probably no surprise that never before has a Hot Toys figure appeared on my annual list of Disappointments, but I guess there really is a first time for everything. After a long series of delays, and the possibility that Hot Toys Drax might be a no-show, he finally showed up this year and he was a little wanting. The sculpt was solid enough, as was the likeness, but there’s just something about him that failed to impress. Toss in a faulty right arm on my figure that often pops out at the elbow joint and a price point that was too high for what came in the box (a common failing for Hot Toys in 2017), and I couldn’t help but dub him Drax The Disappointment. Oh, I’m still happy to have a complete Hot Toys Guardians team on my shelf, but Drax deserved more polish and a price tag around $20 lower.

DC Super-Villains: Johnny Quick and Atomica by DC Collectibles: For the most part, DC Collectible’s Super-Villains line has been pretty solid. Hell, I even liked their New 52 Captain Cold figure, and I kind of hate that character design. So when Johnny Quick showed up at my door with some terrible paint fading and an arm that pulled right out of the socket, it shouldn’t be any surprise to see him turn up here. And what a disappointment it was, because I really dig this design and I loved to hate him in the Forever Evil. But when you toss him in with a rather lackluster DeathStorm, it’s no wonder that I didn’t pursue the rest of the Crime Syndicate from this line.

Marvel Legends Warlock Build-A-Figure by Hasbro: What’s that, you say? You cry foul because I had a Marvel Legends figure on the list already? Well, you’re going to have to fight me, because here’s another one. I’m justifying this because 1) He’s a Build-A-Figure and 2) I really did review a shit ton of Marvel Legends in 2017, so you’re just going to have to let me have this one transgression. Warlock featured a decent sculpt and a pretty cool paint job, but he was not a character that I was interested in, and especially not as the BAF waiting as a reward for collecting an entire wave. Add that to the fact that the left arm of my Warlock simply will not stay in the socket, and you have a figure that I would have happily done without. Now that I think of it, this is the third figure on this list that had arm issues. Weird.

ThunderCats Classics Panthro by Mattel: Here’s the thing. I ran out of shit that disappointed me after nine, so I had to get cute with this last one. And that’s why after long deliberation, I decided to put a figure that I rated with excellent marks here on this list. Because no matter how great Panthro turned out (and he is a great figure),  he arrived to me heralded by a bitter chorus of disappointment. At the time I opened him, it seemed unlikely that ThunderCats Classics would continue. And shortly after we got word from Super7 that they were not able to secure the license and continue the series. And that was easily my number one biggest disappointment of 2017. It’s not Panthro’s fault, but he seemed like a good conduit to get this one on the list.

And that wraps up this week of so-called content. I’ll be back on Monday with the first Marvel Monday of the year and I hope to have Transformers Thursday and DC Friday on the books as well, along with whatever I wind up tucking into Tuesday. Have a great weekend!

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

Welcome back to the second half of today’s Marvel Monday! I’ve opened and reviewed each of the figures in the Gladiator Hulk Wave and that means, it’s main event time! And now, I give you your Incredible, Astonishingly Savage… HULK!!! It’s only fitting that I managed to get out to see Thor: Ragnarok one last time this past weekend before it disappears from theaters. I still can’t believe how well Marvel Studios managed to mate the Ragnarok and Planet Hulk stories into such a fun and enjoyable movie. And I’ve got to say, this movie just keeps getting better each time I see it. Let’s see if that’s true about this assortment of figures!

With a whopping ten pieces, including accessories, Gladiator Hulk is probably the most complex BAF that I’ve put together in a long time. Assembly is fairly easy, although I did have to consult a picture to make sure his shoulder armor went on correctly. The limbs plug in fairly easily and they stay locked in pretty well once they’re in place.

And when you’re done, you get this beautiful beast of a figure! There’s just something both iconic and awe inspiring about Hulk in gladiator armor and the MCU version is pretty damn rad. The Hulk buck features sculpted sandals, as well as armor for his hands and forearms, and a ribbed pair of shorts. Over the shorts, he has a soft plastic belt with a skirt of strips hanging down to just above his knees. The shoulder armor is also sculpted as a separate piece. The detail on the armor pieces is very well done. You get some leather-like texturing in the skirt strips, some sculpted pitting and wear on the arm plates and shoulder piece, as well as all kinds of sculpted straps and buckles meant to be holding these pieces on. The whole ensemble features a great scavenged and rag-tag motif, while mixing the traditional gladiator look with some more futuristic looking pieces.

The paint and coloring on the figure is also quite good. The plastic used for the buck is a rich, deep green. Yes, it is significantly deeper than the Legends Age of Ultron Hulk. The armor features a mix of really pale copper and blue, all done with a metallic sheen. The sandals are neatly painted brown, and Hulk has the Sakaaran war paint in white down the front of his chest and right arm, which also carries over the armor straps. There’s a little slop here and there, but nothing too bad.

The head sculpt is superb. It’s a calmer expression than the one we saw on Age of Ultron Hulk, with the mouth closed, but definitely showing signs of displeasure. I like it, but I would understand if some collectors would have preferred something more angry. After all, he does spend most of his time in the armor fighting. I’d argue that this would have been a great occasion to roll out an extra head, but this figure already features a lot of parts, so I can understand why that didn’t happen. Anyway, the hair is neatly painted and you get more of the white warpaint on the side of his face.

The gladiator helmet is a little work of art all unto itself and fits the figure very well. It looks like it was hammered out of scrap metal. You can see the seams of various plates jointed together and the hammered and battered finish makes it look well used. The paint is the same pale copper used on some of the body armor and he has more of the white war paint down one side. The sculpted comb on the top is painted with a bright crimson.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say a few words about scale, because this guy is definitely not in proper 6-inch scale. Yes, he’s the same size as the Age of Ultron Hulk and he wasn’t in scale either. I would have really liked if they could have made him bigger, since he is a BAF, but it’s not a total deal-breaker for me. At least he’s still notably bigger than the regular figures. Maybe the way to go would have been to release him as one of the 12-inch figures we’ve been getting and then they could have made Korg the BAF for this wave. And as long as I’m comparing the two Hulks, I’ll point out that the articulation is almost identical. The one difference is the AoU Hulk had double hinged elbows, whereas this guy has just single hinges.

Hulk comes with two weapons, his huge hammer and his axe. Both of these pieces are cast in a silvery, almost pearlescent plastic and given a coppery wash. The hammer is my favorite as it looks like they just took some kind of engine block from a space ship and stuck a shaft onto it. Of course, the axe is no slouch either, and features a pretty nasty spike opposite the blade. Both of these pieces feature textured grips, and while they can be a little tough to get into his hands, but once they’re in there he holds them very securely.

All petty gripes about size aside, I absolutely love this figure. It’s probably one of my favorite BAF’s all year, and that’s saying something because we’ve had some really good ones. The sculpt is fantastic, the coloring is beautiful, and he comes with a couple of amazing weapons. I won’t lie, I was hoping we’d get one more wave of figures out of Thor: Ragnarok, especially with how well it performed at the box office. The movie had a rich tapestry of great and bizarre characters, most of which would make wonderful figures. It seems a shame to leave characters like Korg, Meek, Executioner, and The Grandmaster on the table, not to mention Valkyrie in her armor. And what about a Build-A-Figure Fenris? There was a lot more potential here and a lot of it could have been fleshed out with just one more wave. But I guess I should be happy with what we got, rather than be sad over what could have been.

And that wraps up another kick ass assortment of figures from Marvel Legends! And I’m glad it was a good wave to go out on, because chances are I won’t be starting on the next wave until after the end of the year as I’ve got a couple of detours I’d like to take on the next Marvel Mondays. Next week I’ll likely be looking at the Walgreens Exclusive Medusa, and then if time permits, I’d like to check out Hot Toys’ Doctor Strange the week after that. That’ll put me back on track and starting to look at the Man-Thing Wave sometime around the first week of January.

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

As noted yesterday, I’m extending Marvel Monday out to Tuesday with a look at the Warlock Build-A-Figure. Now I know what you’re thinking. How can you look at a BAF when you haven’t finished reviewing all the figures in the wave? The final figure I have to look at is Old Man Logan and he didn’t come with a BAF part. Also, that figure happens to be boxed up and inaccessible to me right now because of some hurricane prep, so I’m jumping ahead to have a look at Warlock and then I’ll swing back around to Logan next week. Mm’kay?

Warlock consists of a pretty standard six BAF pieces, which includes the torso, arms, legs, and the head. Toss in a seventh swap out saw accessory and you’ve got all you need to build him. In my case, building him didn’t go so well. The legs were ridiculously hard to get on, and the left arm pulls out of the shoulder super easy. Couple that with a left shoulder hinge that remains super tight even after soaking in boiling water, and I’ve got a recipe for a BAF figure that I’m not terribly pleased with.

Now, I’ll be honest, New Mutants isn’t my bag, so I have next to no experience with Warlock as a character. As a result, I shouldn’t be too bummed out by problems with the figure. On the other hand, from design to execution, I honestly think this figure is damn near a work of art. The techno-organic sculpt is beautifully done. From panel lines to circuitry patterns, nearly every portion of Warlock’s body is covered with detail. Couple that with a very effective and striking coppery wash and this beauty of a figure actually looks like it could have been cobbled together with reclaimed scrap instead of molded in plastic.

The portrait is certainly unique. Warlock looks like an ad warning robots away from crack. Not even once! But again, the figure beautifully executes the design, no matter how outlandishly goofy. I especially dig the mop of cybernetic dreads that make up his hair.

Also, am I the only one who thinks this looks like Metal Groot, if Metal Groot were a bath-salt zombie?

Because of Warlocks unique body, it’s worth running down all the points of articulation. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the shoulders and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. Both the neck and torso have ball jointed hinges. Beyond the problems I have with the left shoulder hinge, I’ll point out that the bicep swivels are super flimsy. Also, the arm hoses, which are permanently attached to the arms and plug into sockets in his back, will pull out pretty much every time I move his arms.

Warlock includes one accessory, and that’s his buzzsaw, which can be swapped out with his right fist. It’s a cool looking piece, and I’ll probably display him most of the time with it in.

Familiar character or not, Warlock is an absolutely gorgeous figure that looks fantastic on the shelf. It is not, however a figure that’s all that fun to play around with. Between a left arm that drops off if you look at it funny, hoses that will not stay put, and a left shoulder ratchet that’s too hard to move, he’s best left standing on display with his teammates. Oh wait… I don’t have any of his teammates. Next Monday, I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at Old Man Logan!

Marvel Legends (Mantis Wave) Mantis Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back to finally kill off this wave of Marvel Legends with a look at the Mantis Build-A-Figure. Consisting of a total of six pieces, spread across a wave of seven figures, Mantis is fairly easy to cobble together, although I did have a little trouble getting her legs into the hips all the way. But wait, you’re saying this petite alien chick is the BAF?

Yes, generally speaking, BAFs were created to sell waves, but also to deliver figures that were often too big or complex to do in the regular price point or packaging. As a result, people may scratch their heads at the diminutive Mantis being a BAF. Well, there has been precedent for smaller BAFs in the past. Both Rocket Raccoon and Hit Monkey were even smaller. Once, someone told me that Jubilee was even a BAF, although I have no physical evidence to support that claim. Yes, I’ve seen pictures, and that last remark was just a bitter dig at Hasbro’s poor distribution. ANYWHO…

Here she is! Mantis! All assembled and looking absolutely fab! Mantis is a fairly simple figure, and as such, this is going to be a pretty quick review. But don’t let that fool you, because one look and it’s clear that Hasbro put some real love into her. The outfit features all the great sculpted detail and texturing that I’ve come to expect in my MCU Guardians outfits. I particularly dig the leaf-like skirt that wraps around her hips and backside. I expected this to be a belt, but its actually attached to the buck around the waist and as such looks more like a natural progression of her top.

Still, as impressive as the sculpting here is, it’s the paint that makes this a stand out figure. The gorgeous emerald green paint has a striking metallic sheen to it and its used not only on her top and gloves, but also the ribbed panels running down the sides of her trousers and outlining the panels in her skirt. Under some nice lighting, it contrasts beautifully with the black.

This head sculpt is no slouch either. This time around, all the MCU Guardians likenesses have been winners, and I’d say that Mantis ranks pretty high among them. Her distinctive eyes and bendy antenna have been recreated beautifully here, as has her sculpted hair, which even curls up at her chin. Whatever you’ve been doing with these portraits, Hasbro, please keep doing it!

The articulation is fairly close to what I’m used to seeing in the Legends female bucks, which means she’s fairly limber.

With no accessories, and not exactly weighing in as an action star in the movie, Mantis may not be the most exciting figure around, but I sure am glad we got her in figure form. Why Hasbro opted to make her the BAF is still a bit of a poser. Maybe they thought she wouldn’t sell on her own? But with Gamora and Nebula in the wave, I’m not convinced that was it. It would have been cool if she got her own boxed release and Hasbro could have just given us Ego as the BAF, at least then I wouldn’t have to buy a second Star-Lord to get him in that two-pack. But that’s just me griping. You do whatever you have to do, Hasbro to keep these figures coming! Next week, I’ll be starting to look at a new wave of Legends, but I haven’t decided which yet and there’s so many to choose from. Warlock? Sandman? Vulture? Ragnarok? Man-Thing? Well, I’m going to rule out Ragnarok, because I’d like to look at those figures closer to the film’s release. Right now I’m leaning toward going with the either the Warlock or Sandman waves next.

Marvel Legends (Space Venom Wave) Ultimate Peter Parker Spider-Man and Space Venom Builf-A-Figure by Hasbro

Here we go, folks, it’s time to wrap up another wave of Marvel Legends. I’m doubling up today by opening up the last packaged figure in the assortment, Ultimate Peter Parker, and then I’m going to check out the Build-A-Figure, Space Knight Venom. I think Venom would have probably been a more apt fit for the Guardians of the Galaxy Wave, but then we would have missed out on Titus, so I’m perfectly happy with the way this all played out. I’m also happy to finally be putting this wave to bed so I can get started on that Titus Wave… and the Sandman… Oh, and the Warlock Wave. Holy shit, I’M SO FAR BEHIND!!!

Here’s one last look at the packaging for this wave, although it’s not really remarkable in any way. Well, except for the fact that one of Spidey’s hands fell out of its spot on the tray. Peter shares a slot in this wave with Miles Morales under the name, “Ultimate Spider-Men!” and if I’m not mistaken that means that every figure in this wave was in a shared package. Seems like that’s a first, but maybe I’m mistaken. There are so many damn Legends waves flying at me these days, it’s hard to keep them all straight.

Now, before you roll your eyes at another Spider-Man, consider the fact that we really haven’t had a Peter Parker figure since “Pizza Spidey” back in 2015. Also, this Ultimate Parker is built off the smaller teen body that we just saw used for Miles Morales. And that alone makes this a very worthy release for me. The paint on this figure is immaculate, with some sharp web patterns and just the right shades of blue and red. On the downside, like “Pizza Spidey,” the pins in the elbows aren’t painted to match the blue of the inside sleeves. Personally, it’s not a big deal for me, but I know it was a bone of contention for a lot of collectors out there. Whatever the case, I really dig this costume a lot and translates beautifully to this figure.

And we finally get a fully unmasked Peter Parker head! Sure, it’s Ultimate Peter, but I’m content to use it for 616-Parker until the real thing comes along. It’s nicely sculpted, appropriately goofy, and an all around great piece of work.

In addition to the extra head, Spidey comes with the usual sets of hands we’ve come to expect from the Legends Spider-Man figures. These include fists, thwip hands, and hands with splayed fingers.

While this teen body lacks the shoulder crunches from most of the previous Spider-Man figures, the articulation here is still plenty good. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in both the thighs and lower legs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double hinges, and there are swivels in the biceps. The torso has a waist swivel, an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. While the hinges on my figure are nice and strong and not at all gummy, my Spidey’s right shoulder hinge has barely any give at all. I’m pretty sure a little heat will fix it, but I haven’t had the time to give him the treatment yet.

Of course, Ultimate Peter Parker also includes the final piece I need to build Space Knight Venom! Venom: Space Knight gave us a brand new chapter in the Flash Thompson continuity. I’ve only read the first few issues, but it was a pretty great read that will definitely bring me back some day when I’m caught up on my other funnybooks. You could probably argue as to whether or not Venom needed to be a BAF, but if he wasn’t, I fear that we’d just get a straight painted buck, and not some of the extra sculpting we got for this figure. As far as BAFs go, Venom is as simple as you get. There are six pieces, including four limbs, a torso, and a head. Everything goes together very easily.

Ah, but put all those pieces together and what you get is a work of monochromatic art! As simple as this design is, I absolutely love it. He’s a beefy, black buck with a surprising amount of sculpted detail. The white Spider-emblem on his torso? That’s all part of the sculpt. While subtle, he’s also got some cut lines on his forearms and his legs, as well as some exposed ribbing in the area just below his head. The white paint is so bright and beautiful, without much in the way of the black bleeding through, and he has patch tampos on his shoulders. For what is essentially just a black and white figure, Venom is quite pleasing on the eyes.

This beefy buck includes some solid articulation. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders and wrists, have hinged elbows, and there are swivels in the biceps.The legs have rotating hinges at the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers.  The torso has a waist swivel, an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. All of these points conspire to make Space Knight Venom not just a great looking figure, but one that’s lots of fun to play around with.

It’s hard for me to quibble with this wave. It gave us some classic villains, as well as some new heroes from across the Spider-Verse, and there isn’t a stinker in the assortment. Indeed, it doesn’t even feel like there’s a budget figure in this lot either, despite the fact that we got straight body recycling between Ashley and Cindy and again between Miles and Peter. Yeah, I could still harp on the fact that Electro lacked some regular hands, but I’ve already beat that drum enough. On the next Marvel Monday, I’ll be switching my attention over to the statue side of things. My Marvel statues have been building up, and I might have to start looking at them on another day of the week so I can keep from getting too behind on Legends. Either way, I’ll be coming back the following week to kick off a brand new wave Legends of figures. If only there were a new movie coming out that first week in May that I could tie in with. Hmm…

Marvel Legends (Abomination Wave): Eel and Abomination Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

Here we go… it’s time to wrap up the Abomination Wave with a look at the last packaged figure, Eel, and then I’m going to stick around and put together The Abomination Build-A-Figure. I’m doubling up today, partly because I’m falling so far behind in opening my Legends figures, but also because I don’t have a whole lell of a lot to say about Marvel’s Eel.

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Now I don’t want to piss all over The Eel. His alias (two characters have held the name) is not without some pedigree, with the original incarnation going all the way back to the 60’s in the pages of Strange Tales, where else? Throughout the decades, he’s served any number of teams from the Thunderbolts to the Serpent Society and he’s appeared in a number of relatively recent Marvel event books from Civil War to Original Sin. The blurb on the back makes it sound like he has an innate power to conduct electricity, but as far as I knew, he’s just a dude in a special suit. But hey, I’m no Eel expert.

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Based on the costume, this is most likely Eddie Lavell, as opposed to Leopold Stryke who had a simpler deco on his mask. Obviously Eel is the budget-saving figure in the Wave. Although when you consider that Wonder Man and Cap got by with mostly painted bucks and Iron Skull was a repainted Mark 42 Armor, it feels like Hasbro did a lot of budgeting in this assortment. Nonetheless, for me Eel is the one figure that really smacks of being easy-peasy-cheap-and-breezy. The buck features zero original sculpting and it’s possible that we’ve even seen that masked head before. If not, then that’s the only original sculpting on this figure. Even the electro-effect hands came from Electro.

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Still, I have to say I love what Hasbro does with these masked head sculpts. You can really see a lot of cool details in the facial features underneath. In this case, the chin and the nose are hinted at, and it looks like he’s snarling. The pupil-less yellow eyes are a nice touch.

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With that having been said, the coloring is somewhat attractive and the paint is clean. With the almost neon splashes of purple and blue, he looks like my Freshman Year Trapper Keeper from 1986. Articulation is standard for the line and he has a pair of regular fists if those effect-part hands aren’t to your taste.

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Personally, I really like the effect hands, and as you may know, I’m generally not really into effect parts, but these are fun and add a little something extra to a figure that really needed it. In the end, I’m going to have to surprise even myself and say I kind of like this figure. Eel is well done for what he is, and if this is the worst I have to buy to get a BAF part, I’m OK with that. And speaking of BAF parts, let’s move on to Abomination.

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Yup, this is about as simple as a Buid-A-Figure can get. Six parts consisting of two arms, two legs, a body, and a head. Everything goes together super easy.

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Like The Enchantress from the Dormammu Wave, Abomination was originally released as part of last year’s SDCC Exclusive Raft set. Wait, wasn’t Dormammu previously released as an SDCC Exclusive too? Wow, Hasbro is making a habit of this. And yet still no retail release of Magick. BOO!!! Anyway, the sculpting on the two figures is identical with this version only being set apart by a brand new paint job. The sculpt is genuinely superb. I feel like Hasbro could have cheaped out here and reused parts from the Ultimate Green Goblin BAF, but this looks all new to me and I really like it.

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The detail in the craggy skin is phenomenal as are all the disgusting warts and bumps scattered about his body. The scales and ridges on his shoulders and back are also excellent. You get pretty standard Legends articulation here, with the only real cut being single hinges in the knees, as opposed to doubles.

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The head sculpt doesn’t disappoint either. I do have one tiny nitpick and that’s the seam that runs above his eyebrows is a little obvious. If this were a high end figure, I’d say that was a legitimate gripe, but here I think it’s entirely forgivable, especially when every other thing about the portrait is so damn good.

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As for the paint job, I think it’s terrific. It’s far more dynamic than what we saw on the Exclusive version. You get gradations of green starting mostly dark on the extremities and back and lightening up on the chest and face. I’m kind of torn on it. On the one hand, I think it looks a lot more interesting, and ironically more like a premium figure, than the SDCC version. On the other hand, I think I’d have to say the Exclusive is more accurate to most of the comic art I’ve seen. I definitely prefer this one, with my only issue being the paint on his shorts looks really flat compared to the rest of the figure.

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And there we have it, another Wave of Marvel Legends in the bag. While this assortment tends to get crapped on, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. The Abomination, Wonder Man, and Captain Britain are all characters that I’m very happy to have on my shelf. The MCU version of Scarlet Witch was long overdue, and the rest are just solid universe builders. Of course, I seem to be in the minority on that opinion, because with the exception of Scarlet Witch, Amazon was blowing these figures out for as little as eight bucks a pop at one time. But hey, more for me. On the next Marvel Monday, I’ll be taking a break to look at some Marvel goodness from a line that I haven’t shown in a long while, and then I’m going way back to check out some Spidey villains before moving on to the Space Venom Wave. Oh boy, am I behind!!!