Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): War Machine by Hasbro

I’ve had a week off, but now I’m back to work and feeling a bit salty about it. Thank God for Marvel Mondays, because opening a new Marvel Legends figure is like applying a soothing balm to the beginning of the work week. After a long run of X-Men and a couple of Deluxe Riders, I decided to go full random today (for reals!) and I dipped my grubby claw (complete with Infinity Gauntlet Oven Mitt) into the unopened pile of despair that clutters my Toy Closet. Oh look, I came up with War Machine from Avengers: Endgame. Cool!

I first visited with this wave way back in November when I opened up Pepper Potts in the RESCUE Armor, but I haven’t been back to it since. I’m not actively building this BAF, so I’ve been giving the parts to my nephew. Unfortunately for him, War Machine doesn’t come with any. And yeah, this wave is a bit of a mixed bag and lacks the kind of focus I would have liked to see in the wake of Endgame, but Hasbro seems to be getting to everyone eventually if not all in the same wave. As for the armor, I’ll confess to being really confused. Rhodey got hit hard during Thanos’ attack on Avengers HQ and came back in the Iron Patriot armor? I think that’s right. But then where does this suit come in? I really need to re-watch that movie. Either way, the suit got a major overhaul for Endgame and since I feel like I didn’t get a good enough look at it in the movie, I’m excited to check out this figure.

To borrow a phrase from Tony Stark, War Machine has been juicing or something because he’s gone and got himself all kinds of swole! Oh, and I absolutely love it. This is what War Machine ought to be about. A powerful, lumbering machine of… well, WAR GODDAMMIT! But besides filling out his silhouette, the design looks so damn sexy. Proportionally, this new suit throws a lot more weight into the lower arms and legs, making it look like a powerhouse. And there’s so much gorgeous detail on this guy. The chest features those two blade-like silver slashes accenting rectangular painted red lights, which serve to give the suit a wonderfully aggressive attitude. You get some circular silver hatches below that as well as some vents, which gives him a strong mech vibe. There are also all sorts of panel lines and bits and bobs sculpted into the back. I’ll note here how much I love the plastic they used for this figure. It’s thick and chalky and heavy. It just feels so solid!

The head-sculpt follows the more substantial feel of the rest of the suit, by having almost no neck, or rather the neck is well concealed behind blocks on either side of the head. Extra panel lines in the face plate give it a reinforced feel, and there’s a Y-shaped recess connecting the chin and the “mouth.” The new suit retains some of the markings that Rhodey’s had on previous suits, in this case incorporating the military-style stars and chevron tampo on the left shoulder plate, and the 006 on the left side of his chest. If I have one gripe, it’s the sticker they used for the arc reactor, it looks rather bland and unconvincing. Articulation actually retains most of the usual Legends points. The big exception here is no double-hinges in the elbows and I guess that’s understandable. I am happy to see the shoulder armor flips up to allow for better range of shoulder movement.

The post on the right shoulder features a ball joint to mount the rather imposing cannon. There’s no half-assed retracted mode, and I get the feeling that this is a suit that just keeps it deployed most of the time. It dwarfs the shoulder cannon from the previous suits and I dig the ball joint, as it gives it a lot more stability and fluid movement than the old hinged ones. Hasbro also hit it with some red paint apps on the front, and that goes a long way.

And when a shoulder cannon just isn’t enough to get the job done, arm cannons, which peg into holes under the forearms, can be deployed. These are almost ridiculously large.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but I’m coming out totally in love with this figure. The new design is just so imposing and awesome, and Hasbro translated that into an impressive hunk of 6-inch action figure. Everything about this figure puts the older suit to shame, and about the only thing I can complain about is that it didn’t come with a Rhodey head. Sure you get a couple of big guns, but I feel like the unmasked head should have been a no-brainer. I’m keen on picking up the Iron Patriot version, but I have yet to see it at retail and I fear my window may have closed on that one. It might be time to start considering paying a little extra and getting it online. And to be honest, with how great this one turned out, I think it might be worth it.

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): Rescue by Hasbro

With another wave of Marvel Legends wrapped up last week, I’m able to start indulging in some random reviews again. This time, I reached my Infinity Gauntlet’ed paw into the Pile of Shame™ and came up with Rescue from the Banner Hulk Wave. This wave will be an odd one for me, since I’ll been giving the BAF parts to my nephew. Right now I have about half the wave and he has the other half, and he’s really eager to build the Hulk BAF. Maybe I’ll borrow Hulk Banner from him when it comes time to wrap things up, but I already have a couple MCU Hulks in my collection and my desire to be a good Uncle outweighed my need for a third.

And hey… it’s Pepper Potts in the Rescue armor! Ever since Iron Man 3 teased us by putting Pepper into one of Tony’s suits, I’ve been hoping we’d see Rescue turn up. Hell, it even makes the cringe-worthy woke girl-power scene in Endgame worthwhile. But seriously, MCU, please don’t go down that route. You have some kick-ass female heroes in your roster to be proud of. You don’t have to do stunts like that. It feels like you may be flirting with more of it in the next Phase, but it hasn’t served the comics well, and I don’t think it’s going to do the films any favors either. But putting that aside, I’m so glad we got this figure in the Legends line. The Hot Toys release of Rescue is clocking in at over $400 and, as much as I love this armor design, that’s a lot more than I’m willing to spend, so this 6-inch version is probably going to be it for me.

But what a nice version it is! The Rescue armor features all the usual segmented and panel-lined detail of the other Iron Man suits, only this time contoured for the ladies! It’s not actually that much more demure than some of Tony’s more organic-looking armors, but you certainly do get Pepper’s feminine form bleeding through and giving it some character. Other highlights of the suit include forearm pieces that extend past the wrists (giving me a lovely Knight Sabers vibe!), a flight pack on her back, which I’ll come back to in a bit, and the more modern triangular arc reactor in the chest. As the name suggests, the Rescue armor looks like it’s built more for support and speed, than for heavy combat, but as we’ve seen in the film, when the shit hits the fan it can certainly account for itself in a fight.

The coloring on this figure is absolutely gorgeous. She features a metallic blue base coat which appears to be the actual color of the plastic. It definitely rivals any of Tony’s candy-apple red suits, with its’ lovely new-car shine. The blue is accented with some gold, and a few silver, panels all of which make the figure pop splendidly. The back pack features some gold striping, which kind of gives off a hazard stripe motif to me, and you also get the name RESCUE printed down one side and 0049 down the other, presumably making this one the Mark 49 armor. The paint lines on my figure are all quite sharp, as I really need to get in close to see any spray, and I can’t say enough good things about the overall quality of the finish used.

The helmet doesn’t offer too much of a change-up from those on Tony’s traditional suits. The configuration of the face-plate, eyes and mouth slit are all on point.  Maybe the eyes here are a little more feminine, and the sides of the plate are swept up to give the appearance of high cheekbones. Finally, the elongated neck further betrays that this is indeed a lady suit. As with the rest of the figure, the paint on the helmet is quite well done, adding a little blue for the eyes.

Hasbro even stepped it up on the articulation here. Y’all know my big gripe with the gals of Marvel Legends and their more limited arm articulation. Well, instead of the usual rotating hinges all around, Rescue features double-hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps, just like the dudes! Interestingly, the rotating hinges in the shoulders here are ratcheted, and while the wrists have the usual pegged hinges, the piece on the forearm can interfere with their movement. The legs feature rotating hinges in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s no waist swivel, but you do get a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

And speaking of neck ball joints… Yes, if you were wondering, the Pepper Potts head from the Iron Man 3 three-pack does indeed work with this figure.

The flight pack on her back can be removed and exchanged with an open one and boy does it sport some wonderful detail! The inside panels of each of the flaps is painted silver and features some pane lines and the exposed portion of the back is black and shows more sculpted detail. I especially dig the piercings in the lower flaps.

I was damn excited when this figure was first revealed and now that she is in hand, I’m just as excited to have her. Hell, I’d even go so far as to say this is my favorite Iron Man armor to be released in Legends in a long while. The sculpt is great, the colors are beautiful, and the added articulation to the arms makes all the difference. Sure, I’ll probably still drool over pictures of the Hot Toys version, but this makes for a pretty damn fine consolation prize.