Marvel Legends (The First Avenger): Captain America and Peggy Carter by Hasbro

I know, I crapped out on delivering a second review last week, but finding time for FFZ continues to be a struggle. At least I’m here for Marvel Monday again, and I promise that I will have at least one more review for this week. Who knows, maybe even a third. But for now, I am once again saying “Piss off, Randomness!” and bumping a new Marvel Legends acquisition to the front of the line. Let’s check out Captain America: The First Avenger Cap and Peggy two pack!

The initial arc of Marvel movies may be over, but that’s not stopping Hasbro from going back and mining out all the missed opportunities from all those movies. Here we are revisiting the first Captain America movie with a new version of Steve Rogers and the first Peggy Carter figure. The packaging is similar to the First Ten Years presentation with the squared off box and some artwork to reflect Cap’s first movie. You get character shots on each side panel and some multi-lingual bio blurbs on the back. Everything here is collector friendly, and while I’m tempted to keep this box, it’s probably going to be consigned to the dustbin of history. Or at least the one in my kitchen. Let’s start with Cap!

Can you believe it? After all these years Hasbro is still finding new versions of MCU Cap to turn into figures! I have to admit, that this one got me pretty excited from the moment it was shown off. And as it turns out, it was well worth getting excited over. I mean, just check him out! Cap comes decked out in his full WWII gear with a bomber jacket over his costume top, a full array of web-gear, complete with sculpted pouches and a functional holster. His trousers include more sculpted pouches, detailed spats, and a functional sheath for his combat knife.

The web-gear is removable offering a better look at the jacket, and I think the figure displays quite well without it, although I’m sure I’ll be keeping it on him. I like the little touches, like the US sculpted into the flap of the holster, the sculpted bolts along the edges of the sheath, and the individually painted snaps on the pouches. Apart from those dabs of silver, the color palate here is mostly drab military, but the glimpse of blue and white from under his jacket makes for a nice contrast.

The figure comes with two head sculpts and I’ll confess I find them a bit confusing. They appear to be different sculpts, but I’m not sure what the difference is supposed to signify. One has a more pronounced part in the hair and the face looks a tad thinner and possibly younger. At first, I thought one was meant to work better with the helmet, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Both portraits are decent, but the eyes are rather lifeless, giving them something of a mannequin effect. The helmet is a beautiful piece in and of itself. It fits well, has the chin strap hanging off on the right side, and the goggles look so good, that for a moment, I thought they might be able to be lowered over the eyes, but they are actually permanently attached.

If all that isn’t enough, Cap comes with a bevy of accessories, including a knife, two guns, and two shields. First off, he comes with his M1911 service pistol, which is a beautiful little sculpt. I love the textured finish on the grips and there are lots of details on the slide. The pistol fits perfectly into his holster and can be held in either hand. The combat knife fits into the sheath, and while he can hold it fairly well in his right hand, it does fit rather loosely. I’d say an extra hand with a tighter grip would be in order, but this figure already comes with so much, it’s hard to ask for more.

Next up is his Thompson submachine-gun. This has always been a favorite of mine among WWII small arms and this little version captures its iconic profile quite well. The wooden stock and foregrip are both painted brown, while the rest of the gun is left a bare gray. Nice details include the groove in the magazine where it is supposed to slide in, and the sculpted fixtures for a carry strap.

Moving on to the two shields, first he comes with the original heater-type shield with some crisp and colorful red, white, and blue paint as well as some mud splatter to show that it’s been carried into battle. The reverse of the shield features two carry straps. These are a little tight going over the sculpted sleeves, but I’ve been able to get him to hold it pretty well.

Finally, he comes with the unpainted prototype version of his iconic shield. I suppose this is a cool addition, since I don’t think we’ve seen it as an accessory before. Unfortunately, it’s not all that exciting. The shield itself is just bare silver plastic, which doesn’t look as good as if they had painted it. It does have two straps on the back, and these work much better than the ones on the heater shield. All in all, the inventory of gear is very impressive, but as we’ll see in a moment, the distribution of accessories in this set is woefully lopsided… Let’s move on to Peggy Carter!

Here’s a figure I would have wagered we would never get, and I’m very pleased to be proven wrong. I do, however, have some mixed feelings about the end result. So, let’s talk about the good stuff first! The uniform is quite well done. The belted tunic looks great and I love the sculpting on those tiny lapel pins! The buttons and pins are all carefully painted with a touch of gold and they even painted the seams running up the backs of her stockings. A lovely touch, even if it isn’t terribly convincing. Round out the outfit with some meticulously sculpted stitch lines and you’ve got a fine effort.

The portrait here is good, but I don’t think it’s great. I think most of the resemblance comes from the hair and the outfit. Sure, to my eyes, there’s more than a glimmer of Haley Atwell in there, but I just don’t think this is one of the better MCU head sculpts. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of, because they have all been generally quite good.

So what’s the bad stuff? Well for starters, the plastic skirt renders a great deal of this figure’s articulation useless. You can position her legs and feet a bit to get her to stand, but that’s about it. Allowing for slits in the skirt may not have been accurate, but it would have made for a more fun figure. As it is, the posing here has to take place from the waist up, and that’s a shame, because Agent Carter wasn’t one to shy away from the action. But for me, the biggest downer is that she doesn’t come with any accessories, and that plain sucks. Sure, there’s plenty in the box to make it feel like a good value, but everything belongs to Cap. Why, Hasbro? Why not toss her a gun? The fact that her right hand is clearly sculpted to hold a gun is like rubbing slat in the wound. I would have also liked a clipboard or a file folder with HYDRA or TOP SECRET stamped on it. The fact poor Agent Carter comes with nothing just feels like a big slap in the face.

Despite some nitpicks, I really do love this set. Getting this version of Cap and any version of Agent Carter a major victories for my MCU Legends display. Both figures are solid efforts, but I think Cap came out the big winner in this box. Every aspect of this figure is on point, and while the purpose of the second head may be lost on me, I’m never going to complain about an extra noggin. And even Peggy Carter is by no means bad, but just go back and look how much of this review is about Cap and how much is about Carter. In the end, I just wish Hasbro had divvied up the accessories a bit more fairly. I would have happily given up the unpainted shield to give some goodies to Agent Carter.

Advertisements

Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Red Skull by Hasbro

I’ve suspended my regular rotation of Marvel Legends reviews so I can get through some of these First Ten Years releases in a timely manner. Besides, I’m so far behind on the other stuff, a few more weeks won’t matter. I’ve already looked at the Civil War set with Cap and Crossbones, and Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy and today I’m opening up Red Skull from Captain America: The First Avenger.

Here’s the packaging and as you can see, Hasbro has branded these differently than the regular Legends releases. You still get a window box, but here it’s all squared off at the edges and features a spiffy new deco. I gotta be honest, Red Skull was one of my least favorite MCU villains. He looked great, but I felt like the movie just didn’t know what to do with him. That didn’t stop me from buying the Hot Toys version way back when, nor from picking up this one. And since this figure doubles as various Hydra soldiers, I’ll probably be picking up a couple more if they turn up at a decent price. Let’s check him out…

Red Skull’s costume had two very distinct looks in The First Avenger, as sometimes he wore a black leather trench coat over his uniform. Hasbro went sans trench coat for the obvious reason of making this body more versatile and I’m cool with that, especially since they did such a great job with his uniform. Not only does it look pretty damn screen accurate, but just about every detail on this costume is part of the actual sculpt.

The dark green tunic features sculpted piping and stitch lines along with sharp black and red stripes. The individual buttons running down the front are also part of the sculpt and painted in gold. They even sculpted the tiny Hydra emblem on his belt buckle and the patch on his left shoulder. The trousers have a slight military flare to them and the boots are painted in glossy black. Hasbro could have easily squeaked by with simple paint for a lot of these details, especially on the tunic, but they seem to be going full guns on these First Ten Year figures and Schmidt here is a great example of that.

The head sculpt is pretty solid. It’s a very different look from the comic versions we’ve had in the past. This one is clearly MCU through and through. I like the wash they used to pick out some of the details, and while the eyes look a little sloppy up close, they actually look fine with the figure in hand. And yeah, I would have liked a Hugo Weaving likeness, but I’ve read that Weaving wasn’t a fan of his work in the MCU and he may not have been willing to allow for the licensing.

The articulation here is excellent. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and pegged hinges for the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles are both hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. All the joints on this guy feel great and he has the agility to go toe-to-toe with my First Avenger Captain America. And not to sound like an infomercial, but wait! There’s more!

Red Skull comes with a tactical harness and three additional heads to turn him into any one of three different MCU Hydra Soldier and I don’t have words to adequately express how cool an idea this is. The harness opens at one end where the shoulder strap meets the belt via a peg, which makes it pretty easy to put on and take off. It has a silver plate on the back and a beautiful Hydra emblem sculpted onto the belt buckle. Obviously, this doesn’t totally transform the uniform, but I think it adds just the right amount of combat gear to make it work as a rank-and-file soldier. Let’s check out the noggins! They’re all good, but let’s go from my favorite to least favorite.

My favorite is the fully enclosed mask. Yeah, it looks a little gimp masky, but I think it also looks as intimidating as all hell. The detail is a little soft, but it’s got all sorts of stitch marks and some nice silver paint on the goggles and the ribbed sections that reach up from the goggles and around the back of the head.

Next up is basically the same head gear, but with the lower mask removed to expose the soldier’s mouth and nose. Again, I dig the fully masked look more, but this would look really nice thrown into the mix with a couple of the masked ones.

And finally, there’s one that’s just more of a smooth helmet with cheek guards and goggles with red lenses and silver trim. The design on this one is fine, I just think it lacks the personality of the other ones. Also, the paint on this head isn’t terribly sharp between the exposed skin and the helmet, so your mileage may vary.

Of course, you can’t have a Hydra Soldier without a weapon, so Hasbro threw in a Tesseract-powered rifle along with an extra left hand to help him hold it. I like the design of the rifle a lot. It kind of looks like a German Heavy Machine Gun mixed with sci-fi tech, which is exactly what it’s supposed to be! Alas, the configuration of the grip and trigger doesn’t work very well with the right hand. He can grip it well enough, but his trigger finger won’t reach. But hey, at least that means he’s always practicing proper trigger-discipline. The extra left hand does a nice job of gripping the forward grip.

This is a great package and right now Red Skull is rivaling Crossbones as my favorite of the four First Ten Years figures that I’ve opened. The sculpt and paintwork are both excellent and I get warm and fuzzy feelings about adding another MCU villain to my Legends shelf. If I were to nitpick, I really would have loved to get a pistol and Cosmic Cube, but seeing as how Hasbro tossed in the ability to convert him to a Hydra Soldier, I’ll happily table those complaints. Indeed, I’m amazed that Hasbro didn’t release this as a two-pack. Either Red Skull and a Hydra Soldier or just an MCU Hydra two-pack like they did with the comic versions. Hell, they could still do that and I’ll happily lay down forty bucks for it, because I have a feeling it’s going to be a challenge to find a few more individual figures at a decent price.

Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Captain America and Crossbones by Hasbro

Even if I wasn’t gobsmacked by almost every Marvel movie that’s come out, I’d still have to respect what Marvel Studios (and Disney) has managed to accomplish with their cinematic universe. Ten years worth of movies all set in motion to culminate in a massive team up. It seems like a sure thing now, but if you go back to the beginning, to the original Iron Man film, nothing was guaranteed and crazy risks were taken. And now, in a market where a Goliath-like Disney is even pulling back on the reigns of the Star Wars franchise, Marvels flicks continue to put asses in the seats to the tune of about $12 Billion total. Hell, even Ant-Man and The Wasp opened with respectable numbers and beat the previous release. And if you think that $12 Billion is a lot of cheddar, now imagine how much the merchandising has raked in, because silly middle aged nerds like me buy toys!

And that brings me to my first two figures from Hasbro’s First Ten Years releases. These Marvel Legends figures are culled from the various films of the MCU and some of these figures are long overdue. Today I’m having a look at Cap and Crossbones from Captain America: Civil War. I’ve wanted a figure of the MCU’s Brock Rumlow as Crossbones ever since the movie was out. Hot Toys teased one and then decided against releasing him, but I’ll happily take Hasbro’s Legends version as a consolation prize. The figures come in a collector friendly window box with a Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years logo as well as Captain America: Civil War. The box here is also squared off at the edges, distinguishing it from the packaging used for the regular Legends two-packs and I like it a lot. It just looks spiffy and new. Let’s start with Captain America!

Do you enjoy buying a figure you already have to get one you don’t? Me neither. And that’s sort of the case here, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time with this figure. From the neck down, I can’t see any difference between this figure and the Civil War Cap that we got as part of the Giant-Man Wave. And I’m pretty sure that figure was just a repaint of the Cap from Age of Ultron. I said back then that I preferred the brighter blue on the AoU Cap over the darker costume here, but to be honest this one has grown on me quite a bit. I’ll spare you a run through of articulation as you can just link back to either of those reviews to get the lowdown.

That’s not to say this figure is entirely recycled. For starters, you get a pair of much improved heads. From straight on, I think the masked head is fantastic, but from the side, there’s some weird shit going on over the ears. There’s no hairline showing, so it kind of looks like he’s bald. The helmet is sculpted separately and it just doesn’t fit all that well, so you get some gaps around the back too.

There’s a similar thing going on with the unmasked head. When viewed from straight on I think it’s the best MCU Steve Rogers likeness we’ve seen in this scale. A profile view, however, shows that the hair is sculpted separately and it’s not a perfect fit. You get that same weird gap over the ears that doesn’t look natural and a gap around the sideburns where the hair doesn’t fit flush with the head. It’s kind of a shame because everything else here is done so damn well.

The shield is also different than the one that came with the previous Civil War Cap release. This one has a more vibrant and premium paint job and a segmented star in the center. It also features the realistic straps on the reverse side, which work much better than the hinge clip and peg affair we’ve seen so many times. The only disadvantage here is you can’t secure it to his back. All in all, this is a great figure and probably the best Legends MCU Cap Hasbro has released, so I’m not so bummed about having to buy this version again. OK, so enough about Cap, let’s get to the real reason I bought this set.

Crossbones’ screen time in Civil War was brief, but oh boy was it glorious. The rogue SHIELD agent’s scrap with Cap was a great way to kick things off and I loved his costume. I think the folks at Hasbro did too, because they sure poured the love into this figure. The detail on this guy is absolutely fantastic. The tactical vest is sculpted separately from soft plastic and worn over the buck with a white X scratched into it with what looks like pure rage. All of the straps and clasps are sculpted down to the finest details, as well as the various little pouches, and the texturing on his belt.

Other highlights include his Glock 17 pistol with molded holster on his right hip, which sadly is not removable…

The collection of magazines for various weapons slotted into molded open pouches on his right shoulder…

And on his left shoulder he has a brace of shotgun shells and what I believe are supposed to be tools for tuning up his hydraulic fists. One of them sure looks like a socket wrench. Whatever the case, the attention to detail is fantastic, and I’m especially impressed by the silver and brass paint hits here. Great work!

Rumlow comes with two heads, one masked and one without. The masked head is the one I’ll be using most of the time and it turned out quite nice. The white scratches on the mask that make up the skull motif are applied with the new half-tone printing techniques. What really impresses me here is the definition between the mask and what’s exposed through the eye-holes. It really looks like they sculpted a separate mask and attached it to the head. It’s not only the depth of sculpt that works so well here, but also the paint apps applied around the eyes showing the scar tissue.

The unmasked head is no slouch either. It’s not a perfect likeness to Frank Grillo, but he is supposed to be horribly scarred up. The hair is nicely sculpted and I really like the way the printing on his five o’clock shadow came out. I don’t know how much work it is to get likeness rights from someone like Grillo, but I think it’s really cool that Hasbro went the extra mile just to include the bonus head with this figure.

The articulation here is identical to Cap’s so I’m not going to run through all the details. I will, however, point out that the arm rigs are removable. These are sculpted in a fairly soft plastic, so the sculpted detail isn’t as sharp as it could have been, but there’s still plenty to appreciate in them. I especially like the DIY-stylings of the sculpted belts that are wrapped around them and holding them together.

Overall I’m very pleased with my first Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years set. Even though this tweaked version of Captain America turned out to be a welcome addition, I was in this set for Crossbones, and I am not disappointed. Quite the contrary, if this is the kind of effort Hasbro is putting into these First Ten Years figures, I’m pretty excited to pick up some more. I grabbed this one at Hasbrotoyshop for $40 and I think it was money well spent! Come back on Friday and I’ll wrap up this Marvel week with a look at Ant-Man and Stinger.

Marvel Legends (Abomination Wave): “Secret War” Captain America and Iron Skull by Hasbro

Welcome to another Marvel Monday, folks, and as promised I’m tackling two figures from the Marvel Legends Abomination Wave today, and both are interesting choices on Hasbro’s part. We’ve got Cap in a one-off costume that is pulled from a Bendis comic that’s got to be about almost a decade old by now and Red Skull donning a stolen suit of Iron Man’s armor, which I believe appeared in the animated series, Avengers Assemble.

swcap1

Both figures come in packages branded “Captain America” and I’ve seen a lot of confusion and tepid reactions to these figures. While I’ll admit that I wasn’t jonesing to get a figure of Cap in this uniform and I don’t watch the Avengers Assemble cartoon, I’m actually really happy to be getting this pair. Cap is one of my favorite Marvel characters, so I welcome any and all variants of him, and as we’ll soon see Iron Skull is not only a cool idea, but he’s just plain bad ass. Let’s check out Cap first…

swcap2

Obviously, a super-special top secret mission for SHIELD deserves a super-special new outfit, and that was the case with most of the heroes appearing in this book. Cap’s outfit is pretty rad, in that it preserves his love for the red, white, and blue, while still presenting something different. The bulk of the costume is a very dark blue with a large white band around the middle of each arm, two white vertical stripes flanking both sides of his abs, and a white pin stripe running down the middle of his chest and the front of each of his legs. He’s got a large silver star emblazoned on his chest and an American flag tampo’ed on his left shoulder. The whole ensemble is tied together with some silver knee pads and a silver belt.

swcap3

In terms of fresh sculpting, we get some fabulous buccaneer boots and flared gauntlets, with red striping. I really dig these, as they add a significant touch of classic to what is otherwise a brand new look. I also like the silver stripes on the joints of his fingers.

swcap4

swcap5

The head sculpt features a very distinctive hood with red and white pin stripes running from front to back and some damn cool wings painted on the side that almost look like sickles. And as long as we’re on the subject of paint, the quality of application here is pretty solid. There’s a little bleed through evident in some areas of the white, but overall it isn’t too bad. It’s also nice to see that they painted the pins in the elbows to match the white.

swcap8

swcap10

The articulation here holds no surprises. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinged elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at both the thighs and the tops of the boots, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel at the waist, an ab crunch in the torso, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. The joints all feel great and he’s tons of fun to pose.

swcap6

swcap12

swcap11

You get two accessories with Cap, although they are designed to go together. First, you get a pretty standard shield. It’s got both a peg and a clip, so he can wear it on his back or equip it on his wrist.

swcap14

swcap13

swcap15

The other accessory is an extra right hand and effect part that you can peg the shield into and give him a throwing effect. I didn’t have high hopes for this thing when I first saw pictures of it, but in hand, I’ve found it to be lots of fun. Moving on to Iron Skull…

iskull1

iskull2

The idea of Red Skull getting a hold of one of Stark’s armors just tickles me in all the right ways, so I’m not going to jump on board with the haters screaming that this is just an excuse to re-use and re-sell an Iron Man body. This is the Mark 43 figure, to be specific, which was the same as the Mark 42. And damn, does it look great here. It’s been given a properly eeeevil black finish with some bitchin red panel lines. Seriously, I love this thing.

iskull3

The head sculpt here is absolutely fantastic. It retains that creepy, yet super-stylized look that I love so much. It also features some fantastic paint. It’s too bad I’ll probably almost never use it, because the figure also comes with…

iskull4

iskull5

THIS! It’s the helmet with a Red Skull motif and oh my god, I love it so much! Seriously, while collectors everywhere scream, WTF, HASBRO? over this figure, I’m just loving it to pieces.

iskull8

iskull6

iskull7

I’m not going to go over the articulation, as I’ve already looked at this body not once, but twice. I will say that while it’s overall decent, there are some things that bug me about it, like the restricted range of motion in the ankles.

iskull12

iskull14

iskull13

iskull11

iskull10

I was pretty happy about getting these figures ever since they were first revealed and I’m just as happy to have them in hand. They’re both nice nods to very specific aspects of the Marvel extended universe and that’s exactly the kind of thing I like to get in my action figure collection. The remarkably prolific nature of Legends has made this line all about universe building for me these days, and that’s what these figures are all about.

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.

bafgman1

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.

bafgman4

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.

bafgman5

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.

bafgman6

bafgman7

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.

bafgman10

bafgman11

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.

bafgman8

bafgman9

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.

bafgman3

bafgman2

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.

bafgman12

Remember that scene in that really old movie?

The one where they’re on the snow planet?

Marvel Legends (Giant Man Wave): Black Panther by Hasbro

Thanks to a little doubling up along the way, I’m already at the final boxed figure in the Marvel Legends Giant Man Wave. And that’s a good thing, because I still have the entire Rhino Wave to look at from forever ago, and the Doctor Strange Wave is starting to trickle in. What’s that? Abomination Wave? Dammit! I’m still so far behind. Well, let’s wrap up this one with a look at a very highly anticipated figure… Black Panther!

cwbpan1

Here he is in package, a sight that I never got to see out in the wild. T’Challa was in hot demand and for a while the only way to get him seemed to be going the online route and pay out the ass for him. Lucky for me things calmed down after a short while and I was able to find him online at regular retail price. Black Panther comes with an alternate head and the last piece I needed to build my Giant Man figure.

cwbpan2

Freed of his cardboard and plastic prison, Black Panther looks absolutely amazing. I know some people who were put off by the hyper-detailed MCU costume, but I actually quite like what they did to his Vibranium suit. It’s a big budget movie, they couldn’t have the guy running around in cat pajamas. It also gave Hasbro a chance to shine by recreating the more complex design in action figure form, and they did a mighty fine job with it. There’s no simple painted buck here, rather every panel line and texture is present and part of the sculpt. Indeed, there’s scarcely any tiny portion of this figure that isn’t adorned with some piece of detail work.

cwbpan3

As for paint, the figure obviously gets by mostly with a whole lot of matte black plastic, but you do get some very fine silver paint apps for some of the suit’s accents, as well as the necklace. Yup, I love what they did with the necklace too. It keeps the tribal theme of the classic costume, but recreates it with a high-tech metal look. The hands are drawn up in claws, which works great for all the action poses, and the claws on his fingertips are painted too! And yes, Hasbro is still painting those numbers on the legs to make them as obvious as possible. Thanks, Hasbro!

cwbpan4

As already noted, you get two heads with the figure, one masked and one unmasked. The masked one looks great and features more of that intricate sculpted detailing along with some more silver paint. And once again, the silver paint apps here are sharp and on point. Beautiful! I should also note that T’Challa’s cat ears are pretty sharp and pointy. They very nearly got me when I was pressing down to pop this head back on.

cwbpan11

The unmasked head is also a very welcome treat, especially since T’Challa spent a good deal of Civil War unmasked. I think you could argue for or against whether this likeness is passable for Chadwick Boseman. I’ll concede that it’s a little soft, but I happen to think it’s pretty good for this scale. Either way, I will complement Hasbro on a solid sculpt and some very clean paint apps.

cwbpan10

cwbpan7

cwbpan9

Articulation is extra important for this figure since Black Panther is quite the agile kitty. Legends was never quite going to capture the level needed for this guy to really shine, we’ll leave that for Figma or Figuarts, but what’s here is still pretty good. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged in the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. What’s more the joints on this guy feel great.

cwbpan6

cwbpan8

cwbpan12

Black Panther could have been an easy figure for Hasbro to half-ass, had they chosen to leave out a lot of the finer details in the suit, but I’m happy to say they gave it their all with this release. He also comes pretty close to being my favorite of the wave. In fact, the jury is still out on whether I’d go with T’Challa, Nuke, or Fury as my top figure here, but it doesn’t matter, all three are excellent. I’m also happy to be adding another Civil War figure to my Legends shelf. With Scarlet Witch coming up, I’d really just like to see an MCU Vision to finish things off.

And just so that I can put this wave to bed, come on back later tonight and I’ll have a look at the Giant Man Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Giant Man Wave): Captain America and Iron Man (Mark 46) by Hasbro

Last week saw the Blu-Ray release of Captain America: Civil War, a film that I thoroughly enjoyed in the theater and have now enjoyed even more in the comfort of my own home. Over and over again! Coincidentally, I’m also doubling back to start my look at the Civil War inspired wave of Marvel Legends. Considering I’m so backlogged on these figures, I’m going to be doubling up on a few of these so that I can get through the wave a little quicker than usual. It seemed only natural to kick it off with Cap and Iron Man.

capim1

And here they are in the packaging. Not much new and noteworthy to talk about, other than the movie branding and some nice blue panels on the sides with character art. If I’m being honest, I bought this pair solely for the BAF parts and I doubt I’m alone in that. Let’s look at Cap first to find out part of the reason why…

capim2

Yes, this is Age of Ultron Cap from last year’s Thanos Wave with a fresh coat of paint, and the new deco doesn’t really thrill me. The blue is a lot darker and the white bands from the biceps have been replaced with more dark blue and a less notable red stripe. Most of the other minor differences are just areas where red accents have been either added or taken away.

capim3

Speaking of other things that have been taken away, last year’s release included two extra hands and an unmasked head. Here? Nope, nada, bupkis! The only accessory Cap comes with is his shield.

capim5

capim6

It’s the same shield we saw last time, which means it’s got the more realistic straps and detailed sculpt inside. Unfortunately, there’s no way to attach it to his back, unless you use a big wad of blue tack. The bottom line is that unless you’re after a darker, grittier look for Cap, or you want yet another of Cap’s shields rattling around in your accessory tote, the Giant Man head is the only reason to even consider this purchase. Not a bad figure, by any means, but it would have been an easy pass for me. Congratulations Build-A-Figure gimmick. You won this round!

capim8

Iron Man’s Mark 46 armor fares a bit better, as I believe this is a brand new sculpt, but I have so many god damn Iron Man figures in my Legends collection, my eyes start to glaze over when I try to remember them all. It’s at least notably different from the Age of Ultron Mark 43, which was mostly a repaint of the Iron Man 3 Mark 42. Oh, god. I need to lie down. F.R.I.D.A.Y. get me an ice pack.

capim9

I actually dig the look of this design a lot. The overall figure is a lot cleaner than the last two with a little less panel line clutter and the gold is toned down even more than the Mk 43. The more buff look of the chest is pretty cool and the partially shrouded Arc Reactor at least shakes things up a bit. The paint here is also pretty sharp and clean and the red plastic is shiny and vibrant. Alas, the Mk 46 takes a hit when it comes to articulation. All the points are there, but the shoulders inhibit the range of motion in the arms and the hips don’t have a lot of motion either. He’s a solid figure, but there are only so many poses you can get out of him and that’s frustrating.

capim10

capim11

Cap may have been cheated out of accessories, but Tony wasn’t. The Mk 46 not only comes with an extra pair of hands (one pair of fists and one pair of repulsor blasting hands), but also a couple of effect parts designed to peg into his palm repulsors. Yeah, they’re blue and that’s odd, but they’re still pretty cool and that’s coming from someone who isn’t generally impressed by effect parts. But even here, there are issues with the articulation. The wrists are limited by the arm sculpt, so getting his hand straight up into the firing position while the arm is held straight out is impossible. You’ve got to bend those elbows!

capim12

capim14

You can also put them in the peg holes in his feet. It doesn’t quite position the blasts where they’re supposed to go, but it still works just fine.

capim18

capim16

One last thing worth mentioning is the scale here and how it feels off between them. Obviously kids are going to want these figures so they can make them fight each other. And by kids, I my 43-year old ass. But put them toe to toe with each other and Cap doesn’t just come up short, he looks downright puny. I get it, Tony is a guy wearing a suit of armor, so he should be bigger than you average guy. But this is Steve Rogers and he’s not your average guy. Then again, scale always has been an issue with this line and this Cap is definitely rather demure.

capim4

capim7

capim15

capim19

It seems like a while since I came away from a Marvel Legends review and not been on a toy-loving high, but today’s installment of Marvel Monday turned out a little disappointing. Neither of these releases are bad figures, but neither excite me all that much either. Tony Stark obviously comes away as the fresh and new release, but even there I’m starting to feel the effects of iron fatigue. But hey… two BAF parts down!

Marvel Legends (Red Onslaught Wave): Demolition Man by Hasbro

Another Marvel Monday, another Legends figure. I’m in the home stretch with my look at the Red Skull/Onslaught Wave and down to the very last slot of shared figures. These are the “Mercenaries of Mayhem” and if you haven’t guessed yet, I’m saving my most anticipated figure of this wave for last… so until then let’s check out Demolition Man.

mldemo1

Package Shot. Nothing new to say about it, so let’s take a minute to qualify who this figure really is. Yes, it’s Dennis Dunphy who was Demolition Man, but this is the character under the control of Hydra in the guise of Scourge in the pages of Captain America. Why they didn’t just name him Scourge on the box is beyond me, because I’d be pretty surprised if Hasbro let the name Scourge fall out of trademark what with it being the name of a character in their line of change-o-bots. I’d argue that having the name Demolition Man on the package isn’t even correct, but hey at least it only appears on the back. Also, Hasbro… make us a proper Legends Demolition Man! But hey, don’t take any of that Jameson-fueled ramble to mean that I’m not happy to get this figure. My Vol. 3 TPB of Brubaker’s Captain America is well read…

mldemo2

… and besides, just look at him! He’s pure 100% concentrated mercenary badass! After getting so many painted bucks, it’s always a treat to get a figure with some fresh sculpting and this guy has it plus layers of tactical gear. The buck looks all new to me, but then I’m terrible at spotting this sort of thing. He’s loaded with detail from the texturing on the torso to the segmented elbow pads, down to his distinctive looking boots. And while Scourge’s deco is derived mostly from black plastic, you do get some really sharp looking white and silver paint to spruce things up a bit.

mldemo3

mldemo5

mldemo4

Over that brilliant buck, Scourge is toting a tactical harness with enough pouches to make Deadpool jealous. You also get some nice gold paint on the shotgun shells he has on the cross belt. The main harness has a sheath for his combat knife and he’s got a second thigh strap holding a great looking molded holster for his automatic pistol. This is great stuff!

mldemo6

mldemo7

The head sculpt is an imposing mask, which would scare any villain straight. It features narrow red eyes and slits for a mouth flanked by two breather canisters. The only thing not armored on this guy are his ears. Again, the metallic silver paint on the mask and shoulders really pops against the black of the rest of the figure.

mldemo13

Scourge is loaded with great articulation. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels both at the thighs and tops of the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the chest and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck.

mldemo17

mldemo16

You get three weapons with Scourge and they’re all excellent. First up is the combat knife that fits into the sheath. This is a sweet little military style combat knife with a sculpted brown grip and a black tanto-style blade. He can hold it beautifully in his left hand.

mldemo11

mldemo12

mldemo10

Next up, is the automatic pistol. The maroon and orange color scheme is certainly distinctive and the sculpt is spot on. Hasbro has gotten pretty funky with some of the pistols in this line now and then, but this sidearm is sized right and looks great in his hand. It also fits into the holster on his thigh.

mldemo8

mldemo9

Finally, when things get serious, Scourge can bust out his combat shotgun. This weapon features a solid sculpt and a deco that matches the pistol. It has a hand grip for the pump and some painted shells along the side of the receiver.

mldemo14

mldemo15

mldemo18

I started this feature with a little dig against Scourge saying I was saving my most anticipated figure for last, but I have to say, this guy is going to be a tough act to follow. He features an amazing sculpt, great paint, fun articulation, and some damn fine weapons. Scourge is an absolute home run in every category and he may indeed be the surprise breakout figure of this wave for me. He’s also a perfect example of why I think Hasbro needs to bring GI JOE to the 6-inch format. I think about the amount of fun I’ve had playing with this guy and I can only imagine a Real American Hero line getting the same style of treatment in this scale. I’d even be willing to full on subscription service for something like that, Hasbro, so long as the figures turned out as good as Scourge here. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if the last figure of the wave can beat this guy. I’ll find out next Monday when I finally open Taskmaster!

Marvel Legends (Red Onslaught Wave): Captain America by Hasbro

I’m finally past the halfway mark in my look at this wave of Marvel Legends figures… only three more to go before I can cobble together a Red Skull! With the wave branded in a Captain America theme, it’s understandable that Cap himself would make an appearance and that’s exactly who I’m checking out today!

capwlf1

There’s really nothing new to say about the packaging, other than Cap and his accessories fill up that tray pretty well. It feels like we’ve been hit with a whole lot of Cap since the Legends line returned, but I’ve been more or less complete with these figures and I was surprised to find only a handful in my Legends drawers, and a couple of those were from the Cinematic Universe. With Rogers being one of my favorite Marvel characters, you won’t hear me complain about getting a fair share of different versions of the man. Oh yeah… see those shoulder straps?

capwlf4

Well forget about them. They literally slid off the figure’s arms the moment I got him out of of the package. I see no way of making them stay on, so I just have to ask, WTF, Hasbro? Costume malfunction aside, I really dig this figure. He’s about as classic a version of comic Cap that we’ve seen in Legends since the line has come back. It’s a very clean look for the costume with no scaling or texturing on the top of the costume at all, just a large white star and pronounced red and white stripes in the mid-section. The classic comic goodness is further enhanced by the very wide belt and large belt buckle, the flared gauntlets and the traditional buccaneer boots. This here is good old-fashioned and unfiltered patriotism, soldier!

capwlf8

The head sculpt is broad and beefy, which makes for a good comic look. The cowl features the extra large “A” as part of the sculpt as well as the protruding wings on the sides. Some of the paint lines could have been a little sharper, but there’s nothing too bad here.

capwlf2

capwlf7

This version of Cap sports more or less the same articulation as most. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with double hinges in the knees and swivel cuts in the thighs and tops of the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. Finally, you get a rotating waist, ab crunch hinge, and ball joint in the neck. I will note that the hinge in the neck does very little and I’ve really only been able to get side to side movement out of the head.

capwlf3

The shield appears to be the same one that came with the Marvel NOW! version of Cap that was part of the Mandroid Wave. It’s the type that clips onto the arm and also offers a peg so it can be worn on the back. The paint on the surface is pretty crisp and clean.

capwlf9

capwlf10

You also get an extra pair of hands, which include a saluting right hand and a pointing left hand. It’s the sort of thing we’ve seen before in Legends scale Caps and while I’m not a big extra hand kind of guy, I do appreciate getting these with my Caps. Almost as much as getting a spare werewolf head.

capwlf12

capwlf13

Because of course, no Captain America figure is complete without an werewolf head. Wait, what? Yeah, this extra head in the package no doubt has had the more casual collectors scratching their heads. Wolf Cap was one of the more bizarre twists Captain America took a while (in the 90’s, I think?) back. I’ve never actually read that run, but it’s very possible I may be displaying this figure with the wolf head because, why the hell not?

capwlf14

I can certainly understand some collectors getting Cap fatigue from Legends. Those people are obviously filthy communists. Me? I’m a patriot, and so I’m happy to get another stand out version of Captain America for my shelf. Indeed, this one fits right in between the version that came in the Target Exclusive 3-Pack (with Radioactive Man and Ms Marvel) and the aforementioned modern look from the Mandroid Wave. The bonus werewolf head is just a gravy. Very silly gravy.

Captain America The Winter Soldier: Stealth STRIKE Suit Captain America 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

I’m way behind on my Hot Toys Features, mainly because I need to work myself up to tackling these figures on account of me still being in awe of them. Yeah even with about 20 of these beauties on my shelf they still tend to intimidate me. Anyway, today’s figure has been kicking around FigureFan Central for a while, patiently waiting his turn, so it’s long past time I gave Cap his due.

htstrike1

This is my third Hot Toys figure from the Winter Soldier film and I really love what they did with these package designs. Sure, it’s the same old shoebox style box with an illustrated cardboard insert over the tray, but it’s the deco that sells me on these. It’s very in line with the cool art direction seen in the credits. The front of the box features Cap in a typically heroic pose. But who am I kidding? Cap is one of my life long heroes and he would probably still look heroic to me eating a hot dog and dribbling mustard down his shirt. The back of the box features the names of some of the people who worked on the figure and all the boxes from the Winter Soldier figures look uniform when lined up on the shelf. As always, everything is collector friendly.

htstrike2

I’ve made it no secret that I adore this movie and that I love this particular costume design. It’s a wonderful nod to the outfit worn in the comics when Cap simply went by Steve Rogers, or just Captain, and I loved that he wore this specific costume when he was basically working as SHIELD’s lapdog, but questioning whether what he was doing was right. Up until now I’ve successfully avoided double-dipping on any one character when it comes to Hot Toys, but this was one I couldn’t resist. And oh man, did Hot Toys do a beautiful job with this costume!

htstrike3

htstrike4

As we’ll see in a little bit, this release is not heavy in extras or accessories, but that’s alright by me because they went all out on the costume. The material is a lush dark blue with a sight sheen to it in the right light and features some amazingly intricate stitching all over the place, but particularly in the abdomin and upper legs. The metallic silver star and striping across the chest contrasts beautifully with the darker material and he has some red stripes running down his sides from his underarms all the way down into his boots. You get a tiny SHIELD emblem on his right sleeve, his name badge on his left sleeve and a stylized American flag on his left shoulder. The costume fits the figure beautifully and the tailoring is top notch.

htstrike6

htstrike5

Extra bits on the costume include a shoulder rig for his shield and a leather belt with pouches and a silver belt buckle. He also has sculpted plastic guards for his knees. His hands feature sculpted finger-less gloves and his boots have sculpted belts and buckles running up to the tops. The only downside of the costume is that it is rather restrictive in the upper body, even more so than most Hot Toys figures. I’m sure if I carefully worked on it, I could get more articulation out of it, but I’m not willing to risk pulling any stitching in the top. From the waist down things are a lot more forgiving due to the slightly baggier military style cut of the trousers.

htstrike7

The figure includes only the masked portrait, with an unmasked available if you bought the two pack with civilian Steve Rogers. This is my second Cap from Hot Toys, with the other being from his first movie, and I’d say this one shows some marked improvement over what was already a pretty fantastic sculpt. There’s a little more definition in the facial features on this one, particularly around the mouth, but otherwise I think HT took the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” route and that’s fine by me. Of course, this version of the helmet and mask is more detailed than the “First Avenger” version and that allowed HT to strut their stuff a little more with the sculpt. There’s some great texturing under the eye-holes and there’s just the right amount of weathering on the helmet itself and the chinstrap.

htstrike8

htstrike9

Obviously, Captain America comes with his shield and in this case it’s the more muted blue and silver one designed to be a little less apparent on his “stealth missions.” The paint looks great and since it isn’t plated, it shouldn’t have the flaking problem that eventually struck a lot of our “First Avenger” Cap shields. It’s made from diecast metal and the reverse of the shield is almost identical to the previous releases, which means it looks totally authentic, but this time the straps are a little more forgiving. In fact, I find that I don’t even have to pop the hand off to get it onto his arm, which makes things a lot easier. You also get a hook, which allows you to easily hang the shield on his back. Since I have my other Cap holding his shield, I’ll likely display this one wearing it on his back.

htstrike12

It wouldn’t be a Hot Toys figure without a ton of hands and that’s certainly the case here. You get a total of five pairs, all with the same sculpted, fingerless gloves. Theese include: Fists, relaxed hands, grabby hands, and splayed finger hands. You also get a pointing right hand. A pair of extra wrist posts are also included just in case you snap one… or two.

htstrike14

htstrike15

The accessories are rounded out by a rather useless magnetic cuff, the one used in the elevator scene, and a little stick that lets you make adjustments to the costume. I can’t really think of anything else he needed to come with, other than maybe the thumb drive with Zola’s algorithm. The extra unmasked head would have been a nice bonus, but I can understand them withholding that to sell the two-pack.

htstrike13

htstrike11

htstrike10

htstrike16

htstrike17b

STRIKE Cap is an excellent figure and easily lives up to my high expectations. And speaking of high… he retails at about $220, which is really starting to push the limit for me. The craftsmanship is certainly there, but he’s mighty light on the accessories when compared to figures like Falcon and Winter Soldier, which retailed for only about $10 more. I get that there’s a thing called inflation, but I find that my comfort zone for these figures is around $200, give or take ten bucks, and we seem to be getting further away from that. Price aside, if I had one other gripe about this figure it would actually be the crazy delays that it took to get to me. Despite pre-ordering him from Sideshow the day he went up for sale I was a little pissed to see online retailers getting him in stock weeks before mine even shipped from the source. Considering that there was no Sideshow exclusive for this figure, that Sideshow pre-order actually worked to my detriment, apart from getting some reward points. But not to end this Feature on a down note, I absolutely love the way this figure turned out and he looks damn great on what is now my Winter Soldier shelf, alongside Falcon and Bucky. I passed on the vintage suited Cap in this series, mainly because I’m content to let my “First Avenger” version fill that role. Now I just have to get off my ass and write up the Feature for Rocket and Groot.