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!

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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!!!

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

Wow, the Doctor Strange Wave was a big assortment of figures! With your average Build-A-Figure comprised of about six parts, the eight figures that constituted the Dormammu Wave seemed like an awful lot. What’s more, every single figure came with BAF parts and this was a wave that I hunted individually, rather than ordering all at once, making completing this one quite the journey. But here we are at the end, and its time to cobble together the big baddie himself, Dormammu!

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Of course, if you happened to be lucky enough to pick up the Marvel Legends SDCC set from last year, you already own a variant of this figure. It’s been a while since I set eyes on that figure but, if I recall correctly, the differences are minor. If you count everything, The Dormammu BAF is actually comprised of eleven pieces. You have the arms, the legs, the upper torso, the pelvis, the skirt, the head, the shoulder armor, and the two skull accessories. With that having been said, he still pieces together pretty easily, although one of the legs on mine was a bit problematic. It should be pointed out that the Doctor Strange film did something similar with Dormammu that Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer did with Galactus. They turned him into a massive, and somewhat amorphous, entity whereas this is clearly the comic version. The character stretches all the way back to the 60s, but this figure is certainly inspired by his modern appearances.

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The buck itself is fairly generic with a lot of sculpted muscles cast in a beautiful metallic purple. The hands are molded into grasping claws and there’s some original sculpting for the boots. At least I don’t recall seeing these boots before. The belt piece is cast in soft plastic and features a half cape in the back, two thigh pieces and a red segmented flap that hangs down the front. It’s slit enough to allow for some pretty good movement in the legs. The red paint on the flap also matches nicely with the paint on his abs, making it look like it’s all one piece. The shoulder armor is impressive and features two large spikes rising up from the front as well as a fashionable high collar in the back. The articulation here is pretty standard stuff. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, wrists, and hips, double hinges in the elbows and knees, and swivels in the biceps and thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers, the waist swivels, there’s an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

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The design of the head is very cool. It looks like a mask floating in a sea of fire, and to me it’s very reminiscent of the look of Helspont from Jim Lee’s WildCATS, another favorite comic villain design of mine. The translucent orange flame can even sport some nice effects when introduced to the proper lighting.

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Dormammu comes with two pairs of glowing skulls, which are pretty damn cool. The skulls are cast in transparent neon green plastic with translucent blue flames coming off the tops. These catch the light beautifully and he looks damn great holding them. Oh, and if they look familiar, that’s because they’re both Ghost Rider heads from the 2012 release.

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To be honest, Dormammu was not high on my list of characters that I wanted for my Legends shelves, but that doesn’t make him less welcome. With the 3 3/4-inch Marvel Universe releases sputtering on life support, Legends has become prolific and deep enough to step up and become my universe building line for Marvel figures and as such no character is really unwelcome. Besides, I really dig this guy and he’s loads of fun to play with. Dormammu is a solid figure and I know a number of collectors were relieved to have the opportunity to pick him up outside what has become a very pricey exclusive box set. He also beautifully caps off what was an overall excellent assortment of figures.

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On the next Marvel Monday, I’ll be backtracking to the Abomination Wave. At only five figures, it’s a hell of a lot smaller than this one, and I’ll likely be doubling up at least once in order to get through it a bit more quickly. 

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

And here I am at the end of another wave of Legends and ready to cobble together my prize for being a good collector and buying up all the figures. And that prize is Rhino! I have to say, I was pretty damn excited about getting this one together because Rhino is just so damn iconic to me.

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The Rhino BAF consists of a total of seven pieces. That’s one body, two legs, two arms, and two heads. Yes, we do have an option of portraits here. Of course, if you bought all the figures in this wave, you’re left with one extra body as both Misty Knight and White Tiger each had the same torso piece. Why not give one of them the extra head? Who knows? Anyway, Rhino is pretty straight forward when it comes to the selection of parts and assembly.

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Rhino is a deceptively simple figure. Based on his design, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot going on here, but Hasbro still invested plenty of work in the sculpt. Every bit of area on the body is covered with crags and fissures to simulate the rough, almost stony, skin of a rhino. I really had to get this guy in hand and up close to appreciate all the work they did on it, right down to his stout rhino hooves. The buck is suitably muscular and large. He may not be the biggest BAF we’ve seen, nor should he be, but he sure towers over any Spider-Man in my Legends collection.

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Backing up the great detail in the sculpt is a wonderful brown wash over the gray plastic. Not only does it bring out all those little crags and fissures in the sculpt, but it also makes him look like he’s been charging around in the mud like a proper rhino.

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As already mentioned, you get two different heads for this guy. I was a little worried it was going to be tough to swap them, because these BAFs tend to lock together pretty good. but that wasn’t the case here with the head, and changing them out is pretty painless. Unless you push down on that horn, then you’re libel to put it right through your hand. Seriously, don’t do that. Anyway, the first portrait features a half-mask, pupil-less eyes and a very soft lower face sculpt. I’m not crazy about it, and putting it on to take the above picture is probably the only time I’ll ever use it. I mean, why go with that head, when you can go with…

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THIS! Oh my god, it’s glorious! Here you get the fully exposed face, maniacal eyes and a huge open mouth that you can look into and actually see his uvula. The sheer amount of dementia and rage communicated in this sculpt makes it one of my favorite Legends portraits of all time. The hood on both heads is sculpted and painted to match the body, featuring the same great level of detail for the rhino suit.

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Articulation is pretty standard for what we see in these bulky BAF bucks. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges and swivels in the hips, and hinges in the knees. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. The torso features a swivel in the waist and an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is on a rotating hinge. The bulky muscles limit some of the range of motions in these points and the hinges in the knees are particularly stiff.

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The shoulder armor pieces are detachable. They peg into holes in the front and backs of the shoulders. This allows them to hinge up and down a little bit, but not really enough to help offer any more clearance in the shoulders. As a result, Rhino is pretty limited in how high he can raise his arms laterally before those shoulder plates bump up against his body.

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With how many Spider-Man themed waves of modern Legends there have been, it surprises me that it took Hasbro this long to do Rhino as a BAF. This figure doesn’t really hold any surprises. It’s exactly what I was expecting and that’s not a bad thing. The sculpt and paint are excellent, the raging head is amazing, and while some may find themselves wishing for a better range of articulation, I’m still very pleased with how he turned out across the board. My shelf of Spidey’s rogue gallery is really taking shape nicely, especially with Green Gobby coming soon.

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And that’s finally a wrap for this wave of figures, and overall I’d say it was a very solid one. On the next Marvel Monday, I’ll be detouring to check out a statue, and after that I’m going to start tackling the Doctor Strange Wave and eventually swing back and look at the Abomination Wave. Then it’ll be the Space Venom Wave, and oh, yeah… that Sandman Wave is starting to hit. Holy, shit, Hasbro, you guys are totally out of control with this line and I love it!

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

Welcome back, folks, to another Marvel Monday Double Feature as I take a quick look at the Scott Lang Ant Man/Giant Man Build-A-Figure from Marvel Legends. I was fortunate enough to avoid spoilers going in to Civil War, so when Lang went big during the Airport Battle, I was beside myself with delight. If Spider-Man was my favorite new addition to the MCU for this film, than seeing Lang assume the role of Giant Man, even if only briefly, was easily a close second. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to be getting a Legends scale release.

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In terms of assembly, this figure is as basic as these BAFs can get, with six parts to build him. That’s one torso, two legs, two arms, and a head. And unlike the X-Men Wave, this was one of those assortments where you did have to buy all the figures to make this work. Putting this guy together is pretty easy.

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And once completed, this figure looks great. A quick glance at the suit and it looks pretty similar to the one from the Ant Man film, but under closer scrutiny it’s clear that there are a lot of changes here. Overall, it’s a sleeker and simpler design and this figure represents the changes pretty well, especially if you stand him next to the Legends figure from the original film. While changes in the suit allow for more merchandising (ie Toys!) it also makes sense in the context of the film, as the first suit was a lot older and thus more primitive looking. I still dig this suit design a lot, but I definitely prefer the original over this one.

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Details include sculpted seam lines in the suit and all those red panels are textured. There’s also some silver piping and there are panel lines in most of the metal plates, like the belt, collar, and arm pieces. The paint on this figure is also very good. The bulk of the coloring comes from the matte black buck, but the red and silver are vibrant and really contrast with the black nicely.

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Again, the helmeted head here is a lot simpler in design than the original suit. The mandibles and the mouth piece are more streamlined and the silver finish on the helmet looks like brushed steel. I also really dig the bright blue paint apps on the helmet and shoulder pieces. The best thing about the head, however, are the sculpted and painted eyes behind the red lenses. Not only does this add a lot of depth and credibility to the head sculpt, but in a well lit area it almost looks like the eyes are illuminated from within. An illusion that is more effective than the LED lights in my beloved Hot Toys Ant Man figure.

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The articulation here is about on par with your average Legends figure. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist and an ab crunch hinge in the torso. Finally, the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The joints on this guy feel great.

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Ant Man is not quite twice the size of a regular Legends figure. So, perhaps there is an obvious complaint here over scale, but it’s also a pretty silly one.Yes, Lang is still small compared to how big he was in the fight, but that would have had to be a pretty big figure to make him actually to scale with the 6-inch Legends line. Maybe, Hasbro could have broken him up over two waves and had separate pieces for each leg and arm and two pieces for the torso. It’s not unprecedented and it would have made him a lot bigger, but spreading BAFs over multiple waves is rarely worth the bother. If the Masterworks line was still around, they could have released a bigger figure that way, but then those are designed to be in scale with the 3 3/4-inch figures. In the end, I’m plenty happy with what we got here.

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There were some great figures in this wave, and there were some not so great ones. Red Guardian was bungled due to poor QC, and I wasn’t impressed with the Captain America repaint. And yet, the good outweighed the bad, and I’m happy to say that even the less than stellar ones were worth picking up in order to assemble this guy. Yes, I would still have liked a 6-inch scale version of Lang wearing the new suit, but Hasbro seems content with not delivering on complete movie teams these days. It’s easy to complain, but I’d rather just shut up and enjoy what’s become the Golden Age of Marvel 6-inch figures.

Next Monday I’m going to detour to take a look at a statue and when I come back to Legends, I’ll be running through the long overdue Rhino Wave so that I can get into some Doctor Strange.

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Remember that scene in that really old movie?

The one where they’re on the snow planet?

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

As promised, I’m back to wrap up this X-puppy up. If eight amazing figures weren’t enough, the conveniently named Juggernaut Wave also includes all the pieces you need to build Cain Marko. The Toybiz version of Marvel Legends Juggernaut was one of my favorite figures in that collection, and I hung on to it right until the end. It became one of the last Toybiz Legends figures that I sold off, and even then it was a painful decision. Fast forward to now, and I sure am happy to be getting this character back onto my Legends shelf. Never leave me again, Juggsy.

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As you already know, Juggernaut’s parts were spread out across seven figures in the wave, with only Deadpool being left out. Those seven pieces included the two arms, two legs, torso, pelvis, and head. Slapping him together is pretty standard stuff.

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Once together, Juggernaut is big and menacing. The costume features sculpted buccaneer boots with heavy treads on the bottom and a heavily pitted and worn belt. The legs are heavily muscled with brown painted pants and the torso features the red and black striped abdomen with the brown painted chest. Alas, my figure has some paint issues on the left part of his chest. It’s just a little scraping and dribble. I’m going to chalk it up to battle damage.

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The head sculpt here is outstanding. Hasbro sculpted a full face underneath the domed helmet, making it look like the helmet is actually removable. This adds loads of depth and credibility to the sculpt, which is very welcome in a figure this big. The broad nose, wall of gritting teeth, and wild eyes give Cain a wonderful look of deranged rage. The helmet itself features a glossy brown paint job and some lovely pitting all over to make it look battered. There are also sculpted bolts running along the circumference of lower edge.

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The bare arms feature his wrist bracers, as well as the bands around his biceps and knuckles. Those knuckle wraps have always been my favorite thing about Juggernaut’s design. They look simply devastating. All the bands have the same brown gloss paint and sculpted pitting as the helmet. You also get some sculpted veins running throughout the arms.

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Despite being a BAF, Juggernaut features most of the articulation we’re used to seeing in the regular Legends figures. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and hinges in the elbows. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist and an ab crunch hinge in the torso. Lastly, the neck is ball jointed. As a bulky figure, some of these joints don’t have a really wide range of motion, but what’s here definitely gets the job done.

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I certainly didn’t need any incentive in the form of a Build-A-Figure to collect this wave, so Juggernaut really feels like a superb bonus. I don’t think there has been an assortment of Legends figures as solid as this one, both in character selection and execution, since the line returned. And that’s saying a lot, because Hasbro has been knocking it out of the park with this line lately and it seems like there’s no end in sight as wave after wave continues to crash against the toy aisles and threaten to drown my poor wallet. Now that I’m finished with this assortment, I’m going to take a detour next Marvel Monday to check out a statue, and then I’ll be turning my attention back to the Civil War Giant Man Wave.