Marvel Legends: The Thing by Hasbro

Once again, I have to put the random Marvel Legends reviews on hold as I push a figure to the head of the line. And it should come as no surprise that I’m doing that for Ben Grimm. To know me is to know how much I adore the Fantastic Four. It’s that one comic that most captured my heart as a child and kept me coming back for more, right up until it was shit-canned over copyright-politics. Hopefully that’s getting hammered out now with the recent shifts in the big corporate landscape. But either way, I’ve dreamed about a Marvel Legends re-do of Marvel’s First Family ever since the line came back and now thanks to some exclusive releases through Walgreens, of all places, Ben Grimm marks the last release of the Marvel Legends Fantastic Four!

And oh man, I couldn’t be happier to be holding this. For the most part, finding the Walgreens exclusives hasn’t been too difficult for me. I was able to pick up most of them at the store around the corner from my home and a couple I grabbed off their website. Ben was a little tougher, but after hitting a Walgreens about ten minutes away, I believe I found a new untapped source because they had piles of Legends and quite a few of their past exclusives. I think a big reason finding this set me at ease is because I was afraid of how much I would have been willing to pay for it on the secondary market if it came to that. The packaging is the same as we’ve been getting all along, and Ben is quite possibly the largest figure I’ve seen crammed into one of these window boxes. Not to mention the extra parts really push that tray to its limits. There’s a Walgreens Exclusive sticker on the window and not much else to say, other than bye-bye to this packaging, because it’s clobbering time!

Here’s Ben out of the box and looking damned near perfect. When it comes to the sculpt here, there’s nothing at all for me to pick at. His costume consists only of his blue shorts with a black waistband and the rest of the figure is covered in glorious orange rock. The craggy skin is chock full of detail with an intricate network of crevices running between the rocky scales all picked out by a dark paint wash. The orange used for the skin is brilliant and combines with the blue shorts to make for a very colorful figure that looks like he just jumped out of a Marvel comic panel.

The Thing comes with two heads, both of which capture the character perfectly, complete with prominent craggy brow and baby blue eyes. The first head features a slightly neutral expression, although he still looks mildly pissed off. The second head is full on Clobbering Time with teeth exposed and a gaze that says he’s looking to do some damage. Honestly, I probably would have been perfectly happy with either head, and it’s a real treat that with all the original sculpting that went into this big boy, Hasbro still managed to sneak the extra portrait in there.

The same could be said for the extra set of hands. Ben comes with a set of fists and a set of open, clutching hands. Had they just mixed and matched these, I would have been fine with that, but the ability to swap out either or both is just a wonderful bonus. These also work well with the articulation for coming up with all sorts of clobbering poses. And if I had one thing about the figure that I absolutely had to nitpick, I would say that the rotating hinges in the elbows don’t offer the range of motion that double-hinges would have. Although, I will concede that the existing elbow points don’t interrupt the sculpt as much as the other option would have. Either way, it’s a compromise that I’ll happily accept.

Besides the elbows, the articulation here is right on par with most of Marvel Legends‘ big boys. The shoulders have rotating hinges, the wrists have hinged pegs. There are no bicep swivels, but that’s where the rotating hinge elbows come in. The torso features a swivel at the waist and a ball joint under the chest. The neck has both a hinge and a ball joint. Finally, the legs feature double hinges in the knees, swivels at the bottoms of the shorts, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles to help keep his big feets flat on the ground.

I try not to throw around the word “perfect” a lot when I talk about my toys, as it tends to cheapen the word, but I’m going to go ahead and roll it out for this review. I thing Hasbro did a fabulous job with The Thing. I’d like to think that’s not just my love of the comic and the character creating bias, but rather just recognition of a job well done. The sculpt and coloring are spot on and including the extra head and hands with what is already a big figure with so much new sculpting, well that just goes above and beyond!

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Marvel Legends: Mr. Fantastic by Hasbro

Welcome friends… It’s DC Friday and… oh. Sorry about that. Force of habit. DC Friday is still on hiatus and just to rub a little salt in the wound, I’m checking out a Marvel Legends figure on DC’s turf. I’m not trying to be a dick about the fact that DC doesn’t have a comparable action figure line, honest! If they did, DC Friday would still be going strong. As for today… well, I happened to find Mr. Fantastic while running into Walgreens for a frozen pizza and I really want to open him up without cutting into my already over-booked Marvel Monday slots. And like I said, it’s not like I have any new DC stuff to look at here yet. The DC Multiverse pegs in my area are all still full of the Wonder Woman movie wave. And unlike Marvel Legends, the recent DC Multiverse releases sell for scalper prices on Amazon. Maybe I’ll pick up one of the many DC statues on my want list, but for now let’s thank to Reed Richards for stretching his way in to save the day!

If you’re keeping score at home, Mr. Fantastic is the third member of Marvel’s First Family to get an exclusive Walgreens release in the Legends line, right behind Sue Storm and her brother Johnny. And now that we finally saw some production shots of The Thing, we know Hasbro and Walgreens are riding this one to the end. Unless, you wanna give us The Amazing Bag-Man, Hasbro, because I’ll happily take that figure too! To say I love The Fantastic Four would be an understatement of epic proportions. It’s one of a handful of comics that I’ve been reading since I was a kid, it’s one of my overall favorite Marvel Comics series of all time, and well… I miss it a lot. I’m misting up a little right now. These figures do help, though.

As far as the body goes, Reed is more or less exactly what I was expecting: A painted costume on a generic buck. That’s not a knock on the figure, as it fits the bill perfectly. The blue matches the shade used for Sue Storm pretty closely, but it might be a shade darker here. Naturally, you get black paint for the boots, gloves, and belt. The “4” emblem is printed neatly on his chest, and you get more black around the collar. There isn’t really any unique sculpting needed to make Reed stand out, and the costume looks… well… fantastic.

The head sculpt is also a winner. The definition in the facial features is very well done, his eyes are straight and sharp, and I really dig the one raised eyebrow suggesting that he was fascinated by something while doing the science. The sculpted hair features a few stray licks over his forehead and his trademark gray wings look spot on. My figure does have a birthmark just off to the side and below his left eye. It’s actually a flub in the paint, but I’m choosing to call it a birthmark, dammit! I think this is an all around excellent likeness to the character that I know and love. And sometimes hate to love. And other times love to hate.

The articulation holds few surprises for a modern Legends figure. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, as well as both hinges and rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, there are swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the knees. The torso features a waste swivel as well as an ab crunch hinge. The hinge is placed a little awkwardly, and while I don’t think it would have worked on any other character, it gives Reed a very little bit of an elongated look that fits his special abilities. Lastly, he has both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

Reed does come with one accessory and holy crap, it’s The Nullifier! I remember bitching about getting Phlish instead of The Nullifier back when Nova came out. Now I can’t remember why I was so hell bent on getting this little lump of gray plastic. But hey… Nullifier!

Of course, the big draw in the package are the swap out stretchy arms. When I heard that the FF were going to be Walgreens exclusives, I was really worried about Hasbro cheaping out on these and I honestly wasn’t expecting to get any stretchy parts with Reed. Oh boy, am I glad to be wrong on that one. The regular arms just pull right out at the shoulders and the stretchy arms pop right in, easy-peasy. They do have a bit of bend-ability to them, but nothing too crazy. They do, however, make the figure loads of fun. I bought every version of Reed that Hasbro put out in the 4-inch Marvel Universe line, but it’s so cool to finally get him with some stretchy parts.

Seeing just the three of the Fantastic Four assembled on my Legends shelf gives me the warm and fuzzies. It’s not lost on me how many things about these figures feels like a miracle. The fact that we’re getting toys at all with the comic having been cancelled is one thing, but actually getting them as Walgreens exclusives is also pretty crazy. But frankly, this whole Walgreens partnership has been working out wonderfully for me. I have some chance of finding Target Exclusives, almost no chance at Walmart Exclusives, zero chance at Toys R Us Exclusives, but I’ve never had a problem finding any of the Walgreens ones, and I don’t even have to hunt. Indeed, the one right around the corner has been a goldmine for all kinds of Marvel Legends waves.

Marvel Legends: The Human Torch by Hasbro

I promised I’d be back to Marvel Legends this week, but before jumping into a new wave, I thought I’d take a look at the newest Walgreens Exclusive and the second member of Marvel’s First Family to be released in this Fantastic Four assortment. It’s Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch!

As odd a marriage as Walgreens and Marvel Legends may sound, it’s been a blessing for me. Distribution is generally bad here and store exclusives can be tough for me to come by, but not these. Indeed, my Walgreens currently has six Sue Storms on the shelf, a Black Ant, and just a week or so ago I saw the yellow Daredevil from a while back. I haven’t seen Johnny show up there yet, but Walgreens has also been really good about getting these available online for those of us not willing to take chances on the luck of the hunt. The package is branded for the team, so you get a big “4” emblem on the tray insert and the “Fantastic Four” logo on the front.

Johnny is cast in a translucent red and orange plastic, which does a nice job of reproducing his “Flame On!” effect, allowing the figure to get by without much in the way of paint at all. There is also some original sculpting on the lower legs and forearms to simulate flames. There’s a faint trace of his costume with the belt running across his waist and the darkened collar, and there’s a “4” emblem tampo on his chest.

The figure also comes with a flame effect part that rests on the shoulders and pegs into the back, very similar to the ice piece that came with Iceman in the first X-Men Wave. I haven’t decided whether I’m a fan of this piece yet or not. I wish it was colored to match the rest of the body a bit better. As it is, it’s a lot more yellow, but I’m happy that it’s designed to be removed. The head has the same issue as it’s a lot more yellow than the rest of the body, but it doesn’t bother me quite as much as the shoulder piece. The details on the face can be a little tough to make out given the translucent plastic, but Johnny is wearing a characteristic smirk and the paint used for the eyes and eyebrows is nice and sharp.

The articulation here is pretty standard stuff for a Legends figure. The arms feature 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, have double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the thighs and lower legs, and the ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

In addition to the shoulder flame effect part, Torch comes with two sets of hands and two additional fire effect parts. The stock hands include a right fist with some flame sculpted on it and an open left hand. The extra set are both simple fists, which are designed to interact with the flame parts. These appear to be the same pieces that came with Sunfire, and we’ve seen them a few times before that representing everything from flame to magic.

All in all, I think this figure turned out great and I’m so happy Hasbro and Walgreens are doing these. I’ve been a Marvel Comics reader ever since I was a kid. Books have come and gone out of my life, but The Fantastic Four is one of the few books that I always read. In fact, the only thing that could shake us apart was Marvel cancelling it. Little did I know it was for the better, because I can’t even imagine what a contemporary FF comic would look like given Marvel’s current trend of releasing 99% dogshit. But hey, I’m a True Believer. Things have got to right themselves sooner or later. In the meantime, I’m extra thankful that we’re getting these Fantastic Four figures and for my stack of back issues and trades.  Reed Richards is scheduled for release next, and at that point, I’ll pretty much pay whatever I have to to get a Legends Ben Grimm. You hear that, Hasbro? Make it happen!

 

Marvel Legends: The Invisible Woman & HERBIE by Hasbro

What’s this? Where’s the rest of the Titus Wave? Yeah, I’m interrupting this Marvel Monday’s regularly scheduled content because Sue Storm arrived from Walgreens.com the other day and I thought I’d try to be timely and relevant for a change and check her out. Fear not, I’ll be back to the Titus Wave next week. In the meantime, continuing the weird pairing of Marvel Legends Exclusives with Walgreens, comes the first of what I hope will be a complete set of The Fantastic Four! I was lucky enough to have a Twitter buddy tip me off to her going up on the website, only to find three more of her sitting on the shelf a couple days later. Go figure!

Now, besides being exclusive to a place that I usually only associate with buying frozen pizzas and cold medicine at 9:30 at night, this is an unusual release because of Marvel’s politics of business. Disney has been punishing The Fantastic Four for being owned by another film company, so their comic book was burned to the ground and the toys have been non-existent. They were doing the same with the X-Men for a while, but they caved on that pretty quickly. As a reader of The Fantastic Four comic since I was a wee lad, it pains me to admit that the X-Men carry a lot more weight and I could understand that black listing them wasn’t as feasible as doing it for Marvel’s First Family. Anywho, the Sue comes in a typical Legends window box, beautifully branded for the comic with a “4” emblem on the backer tray and their name printed across the front!

And here she is, a very simple but lovely figure. Sue Storm features a standard female Legends buck with the entirety of her costume painted on. That is to say she’s blue with painted black boots, gloves, belt, collar, and her “4” emblem tampo’ed on her chest. The shade of blue is a fair sight paler than what Hasbro used for their Marvel Universe 3 3/4-inch Fantastic Four boxed set from a while back, but I still like it a lot.

The only gripe I have here is the unsightly hole in her back, but I guess I can live with it. Seems like it wouldn’t be a big deal for Hasbro to fashion a bunch of plugs for these and just stamp them out in an appropriate color. But hey, I have a Sue Storm Legends figure, so I should probably stop complaining and shut the hell up now.

The portrait here is fantastic. She’s pretty, the paint for her blue eyes is straight, the red for her lips is razor sharp, and her blonde hair is sculpted in a way so it doesn’t impede her neck articulation too badly. My figure does have a couple scratches in her forehead, presumably from the molding process. I can probably live with it, but it’s nice to know there are three more of these sitting on a shelf around the block from me if I decide to go for another one.

The articulation includes all the usual points we see in most Legends female bucks. The legs are ball jointed at the hip, have double hinges in the knees, and swivel cuts in the thighs. The ankles have hinges and some generous lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The torso has a ball joint under the chest and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. I still get a bit irked that Hasbro can’t include bicep swivels in the female Legends bucks. Maybe someday.

Hasbro did go a little extra on this figure by giving her a translucent right arm and an extra translucent left hand. The arm features a little color tinting, blue for the uniform and black for the glove, making it look like she’s phasing into invisibility, which makes for a pretty cool effect.

HERBIE is definitely a cool bonus. He feels like an up-scaled version of the figure that came in the Universe set, but I’m going to guess that he’s a brand new mold. The plastic feels really good and the blue and green paint apps on the body look sharp. The only articulation here is the ball joint on his neck, but he does come with a transparent stand to make him look like he’s hovering.

Sue Storm is about as simple a figure as you can get, but that doesn’t make her any less welcome. And while I’ve never been a huge fan of HERBIE, getting him bundled in this package is still a treat. We’ve already seen pictures of Johnny Storm, also coming as a Walgreens Exclusive, and I’m hoping that Hasbro is going to deliver Reed and The Thing at some point down the line. I have the Marvel Universe Fantastic Four boxed set and I love it, now I really want the family in the Legends 6-inch scale.

Marvel: The Invisible Woman Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

Ok, we’re on the final leg of this Marvel Trifecta. After today, I promise no more Marvel until next Monday. Hey, speaking of Marvel… people who know me know that I am driven by my undying love for The Fantastic Four. If you put a gun to my head and told me to pick only one comic that I could read for the rest of my life, I would instantly say FF. Well, that’s not entirely true. I would beg and plead a lot to not make me choose between my many children, but I’m pretty sure Fantastic Four would win the day. It’s the one comic that I’ve followed most consistently throughout my life and in the end, it’s the one that I can always get the most enjoyment out of, no matter who’s at the helm. That having been said, today’s Bishoujo statue has been on my want list for a very, very long time. Coincidently Koto’s treatment of the lovely Sue Storm has also been sitting at my local comic shop for a very long time. And so, I decided the time was right, and I went down there to pick her up about a week ago AND THE FILTHY BASTARDS HAD SOLD HER!!! So I tossed her in my Pile of Loot at Big Bad Toy Store before shipping it out.

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If you’ve seen one boxed Bishoujo statue, you know what to expect from most of them. Sue comes in a white window box that lets you get a little peak at the goods, but because she’s wrapped in plastic and trapped between two plastic trays, you don’t get that good a look. The panels feature the wonderful character art by designer Shunya Yamashita and the back of the box has a little blurb about the character and statue along with a photo of the actual piece. Sue Storm is a great character. She’s strong, smart, beautiful, a wife and mother, and she does it all without sacrificing her independence. Oh yeah, the box also trolls me by reminding me about the Jean Gray statue, which I don’t own and which is slowly making its way into the three digit price range on the collector market. Bastards!

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Starting out with the portrait, Sue’s face is extremely angular and the sculpt is quite soft, even for a Bishoujo. She’s got her head cocked a bit, she’s looking off to the side, and she’s twirling her windblown hair with one hand. It’s ok, but I think Sue deserved better. I’m tempted to tell myself it’s an older statue and Koto has come a long way, but there are plenty of older Bishoujo’s that can hold their own with the current crop. I guess what I’m saying is Sue’s face is a little disappointing. It’s not a deal breaker, but it could have been better. Maybe it’s me… maybe I just hold the character up to higher standards.

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The body on the other hand is fantastic. Her pose is pure cheesecake with one hand on her hip and leg bent in front of the other. It looks like she just pwned the enemy and is striking a pose while Reed takes a shot for their scrapbook. Just the silhouette on this piece alone is dead sexy. Her costume is pretty simple, as it’s just the traditional long sleeved version of the Fantastic Four outfit, complete with the “4” painted on her chest, but it’s the coloring on the costume that blows me away. Koto used a gorgeous, deep iridescent blue that I can’t possibly duplicate with my shite camera and non-existent photography skills. Suffice it to say, you really need to see this piece in person to appreciate the coloring. It’s like nothing I’ve seen before.

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Of course, one of my favorite things about this piece is the way Koto utilized the clear plastic to depict Sue phasing into invisibility. The effect is most apparent on her feet and hands, but there’s also a tiny bit on the tips of her hair. It’s an amazingly successful effect, particularly the way the clear parts blend with the opaque.

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Every time I look at this statue, it reminds me of Botticelli’s famous “Birth of Venus” and I think it’s partly the pose, but mostly the base. Of course Botticelli’s Venus was painted emerging from a clamshell and Sue is standing on the dying, broken hand of the Mole Man’s giant monster, from the cover of Fantastic Four #1, with the shell of her forcefield dissipating at her feet. It’s almost too close not to be intentional, but either way it gives me a chuckle. The giant sculpted hand for the base is very cool and nicely detailed. I’m not entirely sold on the forcefield shell, the plastic is a little too heavy and opaque to drive home the effect one hundred percent. It was a nice try though.

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If it’s fair to judge the popularity of retired Bishoujo statues on their aftermarket value, than The Invisible Woman is probably one of the least popular. She was released back in 2011, where a number of her peers have increased in value, while she still lingers at around $45-50. It could be that The Fantastic Four isn’t as popular these days, but I’m also tempted to think it’s because this statue is rather tame by Bishoujo standards. Let’s face it, for a lot of collectors, the appeal of this line is in the titillating skin and cleavage, and Sue is fully clad from head to toe. But I think this piece shows that you don’t have to dress like a slut to be sexy. Sue pulls it off. And maybe that’s why she remains my favorite MILF of the comic world.

Marvel Legends: Doctor Doom by Hasbro

And moving on in Hasbro’s wave of “Epic Heroes” is… ah… Doctor Doom? Obviously, the Latverian Ministry of Propaganda has wormed their way into the Hasbro organization. The iron fisted dictator of Latveria is not someone I tend to think of as an “epic hero” but I’m so happy to get him in the Legends scale, I’m going to look the other way on this one. I’ll also note here how tempted I was to go with the Marvel Select version over this one just so I could get that kick ass throne. In the end superior articulation won the day.

Packaged shot! Not a lot new to say here, other than the character art, both front and back, is stellar. The Legends artwork has had its ups and downs, but what’s here is definitely some of the best so far. Dr. Doom doesn’t share his slot with another character, so his name is printed on the insert. He does, however, have a variant in this wave, which I understand is the white Future Foundation version. As much as I dig Doom and the Future Foundation, it’s a repaint that will be easy for me to skip.

Doom was originally released in 2007 as part of Hasbro’s initial (re)launch of the Marvel Legends line and what we’re getting here is basically a repaint of that figure. Isn’t that kind of cheap on Hasbro’s part? Yes it is. On the other hand, they had access to a good sculpt and an opportunity to improve on it, so maybe it wasn’t such a terrible idea. I’ll admit I was in love with this figure before I even got him open and when I finally had the figure in hand, things just kept getting better. Having not owned the previous figure, I had no idea that the cape or the mask would be removable and I practically squee’d with delight when the two pieces came off of the figure. The squee quickly turned into a desperate struggle to recover Doom’s mask from FigureFeline before he could carry it off to his subsofa lair.


The figure hits all the right points, with the arms and legs encased in full armor and the torso clad in a sculpted green tunic. You get a snug brown belt with the “D” buckle and a functional scabbard with a very cool closing flap that secures through a loop. The armor has a matte silver finish, which gives it an aged look, and the sculpt features all the little catches that keep it fastened. The removable mask covers about three-quarters of the head and features all the tiny rivets and eyeholes. Remove the mask and you get Doom’s disfigured, sneering face. The removable cape fits perfectly and lifts off without having to pop off the figure’s head. It does make the figure a little back heavy, but I’m guessing that would have been hard to prevent.

Doom as well articulated, but because Hasbro grabbed him from a previous line, he’s a little different than other figures in this wave. The neck, shoulders, and elbows are ball jointed, and the arms feature a swivel in the forearms at the ends of the gauntlets. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, knees, and ankles. The torso includes both a swivel in the waist and a ball joint under the chest. Basically, we’re sacrificing some extra hinges and swivels for ball joints all around. I can’t really complain about his poseability, although his tunic does inhibit his upper leg movement quite a bit.

If you don’t count the mask or the cape, Dr. Doom only comes with two accessories. You get his trademark luger, which fits in his holster and can be held in his right hand. You also get the same figure stand that comes with all the figures in this wave.

Doctor Doom is a spot-on representation of the character. The sculpt is great and the colors are perfect. No doubt, plenty of collectors are going to see this figure as a shameless repack and quick money grab. Me? I bailed on the previous incarnation of Marvel Legends very soon after Hasbro acquired it, so this was a brand new figure for me, but I can sympathize with the folks who are forced to shell out more money to get a better version of a figure that they already own. On the flipside, at least there is no BAF part to trifle with, so if you want to stand on principle and skip the release, you aren’t missing out on anything except a better paint job.

Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up Legends Week with Deadpool!

Marvel Universe: Future Foundation Spider-Man by Hasbro

It seems like forever since I last featured a Marvel Universe figure. Why? Well, as usual, the new waves haven’t been showing up on the pegs here and I just haven’t been motivated enough to buy an entire case like I’ve done in the past. Nonetheless, there were a couple of figures where I was willing to splurge and get singles online and FF Spidey was one of them. Ironic, since I’ve managed to avoid all the Spidey toy merchandising madness involving the release of the Amazing Spider-Man film (including the film itself!) but maybe that will change this week when I finally sit down and check out the flick on Blu-Ray.

Marvel Universe packaging hasn’t changed much, but gone are the days of enclosed figure stands, and even those cool little envelopes with file cards have been replaced with shitty little mock comic book covers. But wait! Flip the card over and it’s got MODOK on it schilling the rest of the figures and that right there made my day. A little MODOK threatening me so that I will buy toys is worth all the figure stands in Christendom. I’ll point out now that I really think this FF Spidey should have been included in the Future Foundation multi-pack, but seeing as how that was a repaint of the regular Fantastic Four multi-pack, and I know how these things work, I can’t say as I’m surprised. And hey, it meant that Hasbro sucked an extra ten bucks out of me. Well done, Hasbro. Well done.

I can’t place the body being used here. It’s likely just the standard new buck, but it’s certainly not that same old 3 ¾” Spidey body that I’ve purchased a bunch of times over. For starters, the head sculpt looks new and it’s much better proportioned to the body than some of the other, smaller Spidey heads. And then there’s the body. The body itself is much bulkier than past Spider-Man figures. Yes, this is one seriously ‘roided out Spider-Man with some major guns. Either Spidey’s been doing a whole lot of curls at the Baxter Building or Hasbro is just trying to scrape buy with an inappropriate body here. It certainly looks like someone other than Parker is wearing the suit.

Having bought the figure online, I was a little concerned about how well the deco would match my other FF members. After all, the only reason I’m buying it is to display with the rest of the FF team. As it turns out, the deco matches just fine. The paintwork is very nice and he’s got the same level of wash as the others and he looks just fine when posed with the rest of the FF crew. I’d go so far as to say that the paint is more impressive on this figure than the Marvel Legends version.

Articulation? I need my Spidey figures to be super articulated, and the articulation on this guy is impressive. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, and hips, plus the neck has the additional hinge to help him look up. You get single hinged elbows and double hinges in the knees. There are swivels in the biceps, wrists, upper thighs, and lower legs! The ankles feature regular hinges and additional rockers. His torso swivels at the waist and has a ball joint up near the chest. About the only thing I could improve on here would be double hinged elbows, but even still his poseability is great. On a side note, Spidey uses those pegging ball joints for his hips, which are certainly better than the rotating hinge joints that Hasbro has been using in many of their 3 ¾” movie figures. On the other hand, these have an annoying habit of pulling out. I guess you can’t have everything.

Spidey comes with one accessory, and it’s that terrible web effect piece that has come with countless other MU Spidey figures in the past. I hate this thing almost as much as that terrible funnel of energy that comes with all the Iron Man figures.

I’m often fond of bitching about the lack of value in many of these MU figures. No figure stand, no decent accessories, and lots of re-use of parts. Nonetheless, I’m a whore to the Fantastic Four comics, so this figure was always going to be a “must buy” for me. The inappropriate build of the figure takes a little getting used to, but the deco is nice and the articulation is quite excellent.

Marvel Universe: The Fantastic Four (Future Foundation Version) by Hasbro

Some time ago, I took a look at Hasbro’s Marvel Universe Fantastic Four set. This time we’re checking out the same set but with the variant paint jobs that place them in the Future Foundation costumes from the string of comics that immediately followed the much hyped death of Johnny Storm. Recently, I haven’t been much for double-dipping on variants and repaints, but given my undying and possibly unhealthy adoration for the Fantastic Four, this time I just couldn’t resist. Besides, I just really dig these uniforms! I’m going to go through this quick, so if you want a more detailed look at the original release of these figures, you can check out the original feature as linked above.

These are variants, rather than a brand new set, so the package is identical to the original release. There’s no mention of the Future Foundation anywhere and the artwork shows the characters in their regular blue costumes, just as it did before. Normally, I would cry foul and argue that Hasbro should have created a new set with FF Spider-Man replacing HERBIE, but this was never intended to be anything other than repaints, not something new. And besides, Future Foundation Spider-Man is on his way to the Marvel Universe as a single carded release, so I’m perfectly fine with that.
I’m still extremely happy with these new sculpts of Sue and Richard. Richard, especially so, since I was never terribly satisfied with the Secret Wars comic pack version. The Thing, on the other hand, has been pretty good in all his releases and this one is no different. Now is this Thing comic accurate? Sort of, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Obviously, its the paintwork that makes this set special. The Future Foundation uniforms are a huge departure from what we’re used to seeing the Fantastic Four wearing. If you don’t like them, then this set is an easy pass for you. I think they’re… dare I say it? Fantastic. No, I wouldn’t want them to become the standard garb from now on, but as a limited run, I really dig them. Hasbro did a nice job recreating the costumes on the Sue and Richard figures, as the lines are all nice and sharp.
The only problem is The Thing, who really should be wearing a tank top with the hexagonal insignia on his chest. Obviously, it would have required new tooling for the figure, which Hasbro wasn’t willing to do for this set. Again, its just a variant set, not meant to be new figures. I don’t mind so much, because while I love the uniforms on Sue and Richard, I’m not a fan of The Thing’s tank top. And in fairness, he doesn’t wear it in all the issues, so you can still say this set is comic accurate… to a point.

And yes… HERBIE is a straight repack. There’s nothing different about his paint job.
This set ran me $22 at Walmart, which frankly surprised me, since I was able to get the regular one at Toys R Us for a couple bucks cheaper. Its usually the other way around. And yet, seeing as how this is the first time I’ve seen this version on the shelves anywhere, I wasn’t going to quibble over two dollars. I’m actually just so glad that the local Walmart is carrying Marvel Universe again and I want to do my part to make it worth their while.

Marvel Universe: The Fantastic Four by Hasbro

I really had to fight some inner collector rage to buy this set. I already own the single carded Ben Grimm and I have the Richard Reed from the Secret Wars pack, so really HERBIE and Sue Storm were the only characters here I didn’t already have in my collection. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was the team in matching uniforms, plus the Richard Reed is a far better figure than the Secret Wars version. I was actually halfway out of TRU when I begrudgingly decided to admit that Hasbro had suckered me out of more money, and go back and pick this set up. In the end, it was probably always going to happen just because I love The Fantastic Four so much.

This is essentially the same assortment class of set as the other MU three-packs that have been on the market. Yeah, HERBIE makes four, and while I don’t want to discard him out of hand, he’s hardly enough to bump this set into a higher tax bracket. The packaging is very nice, with a good-sized window to show off the figures against an background of cosmic rays.
Since Sue is the brand new figure here, let’s look at her first. She’s a standard MU female buck with paintwork used to distinguish her uniform. The uniform looks… dare I say… fantastic. It’s the lighter shade of blue with some nice black piping and the crisp 4 on the front. I’m particularly happy with Sue’s head sculpt and am actually surprised to say its one of the best MU females out there.
Richard Reed is a massive improvement over the Secret Wars version, and I’m not just talking about personal preference in the uniform. He’s taller and his body has a slight elongated look that almost looks like its designed to hint at his rubbery powers. Best of all his head sculpt is completely new. I was never happy with the head sculpt Hasbro gave us for the Secret Wars version, but this one works fine for me. Granted most of the comic pack figures were made on the cheap compared to the single carded figures, but these two still really show how far this line has come since it began.
The Thing is a mix of old and new sculpting from the single carded figure that I already own. From the waist up, there are some subtle differences in the paint job, but the sculpt is otherwise the same. The big difference here is with the legs as this version of Grimm is just sporting a pair of shorts , whereas the single carded has pants and boots. I do prefer the version in this pack, but I am glad that the shade of blue used for the uniforms in this set allow for either of these Thing figures to be displayed.

I’m a little disappointed in the articulation featured here, or at least for the Sue Storm and Richard Reed figures. The Thing is fine and HERBIE has a ball jointed neck, which is honestly more than I expected. Now, certainly Sue and Richard have passable poseability for 3 3/4″ scale figures, but it isn’t up to snuff with the more recent releases in MU or GI JOE. Granted, this is a value pack, so I should probably reign in my expectations and temper my disappointment.
I’m sure a lot of Marvel Universe collectors are on the fence over this one. It’s a shame that we didn’t get the FF released like this in the first place. On the bright side, the set retails for only $20. That’s not a bad deal for three MU figures plus a little bonus. Keep in mind this set also exists as a variant of the team in their brand new, white, FF style outfits, and if I ever stumble upon that one, I guess I’ll be buying it again, especially since it looks like we’re going to be getting a single carded Spider-Man in his FF costume. Cool!

Marvel Secret Wars Comic Pack #10: Dr. Doom, Absorbing Man and The Wasp by Hasbro

Welcome back, folks. Up today is part two of Hasbro Comic Pack Weekend, and yes, another Secret Wars pack. Last time I bitched and moaned about the relevance of the figures included with #6. This time around, the selection is a little less befuddling, mainly because Hasbro could have included Doom with pretty much any issue and he would have been appropriate. The Wasp would have been better packed in #6 and as for Absorbing Man, well, I think he appears in one frame of #10, which is more than I could say about Ultron in #6. But I’m done with all that, so let’s just look at the figures.

Doom is as iconic to me as just about any other character in the Marvel verse. I’m not saying that just because I have a bizarre and unnatural affection for the character, but… yeah, actually I probably am. And it goes along with the fact that I’ve been reading The Fantastic Four’s funny books almost consistantly since I was a wee lad. So, how I waited this long to add Doctor Doom to my MU collection is beyond me. Let’s face it, these comic packs were not tough to find, and yet somehow I passed these up on the pegs over and over again until now. Sure, Doom really, really deserves a single carded release, but then Hasbro could hardly have not included him as a figure in the Secret Wars series. Plus,they’ve done such a great job with this figure, I hardly see much need in hurrying to get another version out on the pegs.


Before I say anything about the Doom figure, let’s point out the obvious. Yes, he shares Ultron’s arms and legs, but it’s a natural fit and a really smart cost-saving move on Hasbro’s part. I have no problem with it. The head sculpt is about the only other place where Hasbro had some room for interpretation and I like where they went with it. It’s not necessarily the most traditional form of Doom’s mask, but I do love it and the finer details on the sculpt is exceptionally good, considering many of the comic pack figures tend to be “softer” than the single carded figures. The rest of Doom hits al the iconic points with his green, brown belted tunic, and hooded cape with gold clasp. Doom’s hood is part of his head sculpt, but the cape is removable. Doom comes with his trademark broom-handled Mauser, but his sculpted holster is just for show.


Moving on to Absorbing Man, another character that I’m really glad to have on hand for when my Modern Thor gets tired of kicking the shit out of Wrecker. [Yeah, I only have the Modern Thor figure, but I’m working on rectifying that as we speak. -FF]. Like Doom, Creel here seems to be a much better quality figure than I’m used to getting in these comic packs. The sculpt is really outstanding, particularly the head which captured his malicious smirk and his pointy dome. The detail in his muscles is excellent and even the sculpted treads on the bottom of his boots is worth remarking on.

Hasbro used paint apps to show off Creel’s absorbing abilities as the left side of him is gradually morphing into what looks like metal, mostly on the side of his face and his arm. The effect works well, but I do have an issue with his wrecking ball accessory. Shouldn’t he be able to hold the wrecking ball in his metal-morphing hand? It is supposed to be part of him, isn’t it? As it is, he can only hold it in his flesh-toned hand, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. It would have been really cool if Hasbro had made it socket into his hand like Mattel did with their DCUC Iron and Gold figures from the Metal Men. Either way, Creel is still a great figure.

And then there’s The Wasp. Be careful opening the package or you could easily lose her. She really is that small. I made it pretty clear when discussing SW#6 that I would really like a full-sized figure of Janet, but I appreciate what Hasbro did here as well. Considering how small she is, the sculpt and paint apps are pretty good and the wings are also nicely executed. Mine does have an unsightly stray black mark on her face, though. It’s not really a figure, but a nice little bonus accessory and something Hasbro might want to repaint and include with a single carded Ant Man later on in the MU lineup, because I would surely buy that.

Any way you cut it, the Secret Wars #10 pack is a homerun. The comic is one of the more interesting issues in the series and the figures are outstanding. Doom and Absorbing Man are easily two of the best executed figures in this whole series of packs, probably with The Hulk fromSW#4 running a close third since I actually vastly prefer the comic pack version to the one Hasbro issued as a single carded release. I’ve only got two more of these packs to hunt down before my set is finally complete, so you’ll be seeing more Secret Wars again in the near future.