Marvel Legends (HasLab): Galactus by Hasbro

It took some doing, but I was able to set something up where I could adequately photograph something as big as HasLab’s latest Big Boi and so, having checked out the three Heralds that came with him last week, I’m going to try to tackle Galactus himself. And yes, I realize that I’ve now dedicated three different posts to this guy, so if you’re getting Galactus fatigue, I can promise you this should be the last time. But, hey… It was a long wait to get this guy in hand, and he was stupid expensive, so just humor me this one last time! If you aren’t familiar with the concept of HasLab, it’s basically Hasbro’s own version of Kickstarter. They propose a toy that could not comfortably be sold at retail due to size and price, and if they get enough backers, the project goes through. I have only supported three of these so far. The Mandalorian Razor Crest was the first, and I received that a little while ago. Galactus was the second, and the third is the GI JOE Classified HISS Tank, which will hopefully arrive sometime next year. As a method of selling toys, HasLab has been somewhat polarizing among collectors, with some embracing the idea and others crying that it will invoke the end of reasonably priced toys. As for me? Well, I back what I like and let everyone else enjoy what I don’t. The process has been pretty hit-and-miss for Hasbro, with a number of their projects not reaching their respective goals. Anyway… I’ve shown the box a couple times already, so let’s just jump in and look at the figure!

Measuring in at nearly three feet tall, Galactus comes out of the box mostly assembled. All you have to do is attach the two spires onto his head. These pieces do not appear to be designed to come off again, and I’m not willing to risk trying it, so if I want to put him back in his box, I would have to deep-six the styrofoam tray insert. Also, if you want to enjoy the light show, you’ll need to have a screwdriver handy and install four AAA batteries: Two into a compartment hidden under the top of his helmet, and two more into the compartment hidden at the base of his neck. Yup, even with a $400 price tag, Hasbro couldn’t toss in four generic AAA batteries. I’m of the opinion that they should have not only included the batteries, but probably a screwdriver as well. My first impression of the figure was that it felt very much like an upscaled version of Hasbro’s Masterwork Galactus from the Marvel Universe line… that is until I put the two together and realized just how much more detailed and complex this new version is. Everything about this guy is taken to the next level, and I am mighty pleased with what we got! The sculpt is suitably detailed with some of Galactus’ costume cast in softer plastic and layered onto the figure. Much of the coloring is achieved through colored plastic, but we do get some nice light blue paint hits, which sort of resemble illuminated points that match the actual lights.

I did not back HasLab’s Sentinel figure, but from what I’ve seen it had some issues with the articulation holding up the figure’s bulk. I’m very happy to see that Hasbro addressed those issues with Galactus, as he has some crazy strong ratchets in his knees and hips to keep him upright, and even his ankles are impressively up to the task. I’ve had him standing on display in various poses for over a week now and haven’t had any issues with him toppling over or flopping. I can’t say I’m happy that Sentinel backers had to take the bullet on this issue, but I’m still glad to see the lesson was learned by Hasbro and improvements were made. Remarkably, most of Galactus’ articulation mirrors that of a regular Marvel Legends BAF, and that includes double-hinges in the elbows and knees, full rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, and up in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles. It’s hard to see what’s going on up there in the torso, but I’m going to guess he has a ball joint in the waist and an ab crunch further up, but whatever the case, the torso articulation seems mostly for adjusting his balance, rather than dynamic posing. The separation of the electronics between the head and torso, means that his neck is articulated, but mostly to turn left and right. I was pretty sure his skirt would inhibit the range of motion in his hips, but it really doesn’t, and the fact that his harness is soft plastic, it doesn’t hurt his torso articulation too badly either. You also get fully articulated fingers, as well as rotating hinges in the wrists. I was sure he didn’t have lateral rockers in the ankles, but eventually I discovered them while playing around with him. The chest and shoulder piece does inhibit his shoulder range a bit, but it’s nothing that really irked me while playing with him.

The head sculpt is dominated by Galactus’ rather elaborate helmet and I am extremely pleased with the way it came out. There’s a lot going on and it looks absolutely smashing! You get three different face plates, which are cast in a soft, rubbery plastic and can be swapped out pretty easily, by just grabbing the nose and giving it a wiggle. The softer plastic works well to give it more of a fleshy appearance, especially when contrasted with the hard plastic of his helmet. I really dig the way the eyes are done, as they are recessed and behind clear plastic lenses. This was probably done to facilitate the lights, but even when not lit, it makes the eyes look so mysterious and more realistic. The default face is a wonderful sculpt, featuring a dour expression, with some excellent detail paid to the lines in the face and texturing of the lips.

The second face is definitely more expressive, and it may be my favorite of the three plates. The sculpting on the exposed teeth is just beyond fantastic, and the snarl really suits him. I’m debating whether or not this one will be the one I primarily display on the figure. This one is definitely the creepier of the two regular faces, but the first one feels more in character to me, and there’s something about the calmer face that makes Galactus seem all the more sinister. Luckily, they are easy to swap out, so I can do it as the mood strikes me!

The final face plate is the half-skull look, which is probably the most impressive sculpt of the three, and it looks like pure nightmare fuel when attached. Still, not really the look I want to go for most of the time, so this one will not be utilized a lot. Yeah, that’s a shame because of the beautiful work that went into it, but it’s not like I’m going to buy an extra Big Boi Galactus just to show off another face. I may be crazy when it comes to toys, but not that crazy! Before checking out the final portrait option, let’s check out the electronics…

Straightaway, it is disappointing to report that Galactus has lights but no sound. Sure, I knew this going in, but I think that somewhere along the way I had forgotten it. I honestly don’t see why they couldn’t have just taken the sound clips from Masterworks Galactus and put them in the big guy, because those are excellent. But at least it gives me reason to keep Galactus Jr. in the collection. Even some kind of start up sound would have been cool. But, with that being said, at least I can report that the lights are beautiful! You get a blue light up effect in the center of his chest, center of his back, the eyes, the helmet, and the two ear pieces and they are all bright enough to show up even in a bright studio environment. They will even pulse from time to time. As someone who is seldom impressed by lights in toys, I have to say that this really looks great. It’s a shame Hasbro couldn’t have included a motion sensor, but that’s no big deal, because activating them is as simple as pressing the circle on his chest. But, not having a mode where the lights will stay on is a strange omission. Indeed, you can’t even seem to turn them off manually, but rather have to wait for the timer to run out.

Oh yeah… Remember that time Doctor Doom transferred his mind into Galactus? Well, you get a Doctor Doom head to sort of recreate that! For me, this really teeters between being unbelievably cool and something I could have done without. I guess I’d need to know what the alternative pack-in could have been if we didn’t get the Doom Head. The sculpt on the mask is pretty good, but the exposed skin inside the eyeholes isn’t terribly convincing. I also don’t like the gaps between the neck and the hood. There are no light features with this head, but the chest and back lights can still be activated with Doom Head attached. All in all, it’s fine, but I can’t see myself ever displaying it on the figure. I’ll likely try to find something that will work as a stand and display it somewhere nearby.

I already checked out the Heralds last week, but here are some shots of them interacting with their Master. As mentioned last time, both Silver Surfer and Nova have effect bases that fit into Galactus’ hands and they work really well at keeping them put for long-term display. Surfer’s connecting part is pretty self-explanatory, whereas Nova’s was a little tougher to figure out and even now I’m not sure I’m using it correctly. Morg doesn’t have anything like that, but I’ll probably just put him at Galactus’ feet along with Cosmic Ghost Rider, Terrax, and Herald Thor.

And before wrapping things up, here are a few comparison shots of Masterwork Galactus with Haslab Galactus. I still like the Masterwork figure a lot, but I can’t deny it looks a little rough and dated compared to the new HasLab Hotness.

Was Haslab Galactus worth the wait and money? For me, the answer is an unequivocal YES! Sure, there are a few things to nitpick here, but not a single one of them has hindered my enjoyment of this toy. This is a gorgeous figure that looks amazing on display and he appears to be extremely well made. I’m not going to lie, at $400, I think his price tag probably should have clocked in at around $50-75 less. It is a direct-to-consumer deal, and while Hasbro still had to throw some money at Disney for licensing, they didn’t have to give retailers a cut, and since these were made to order, there was less risk involved with sell-through. I don’t pretend to know all the economics behind this operation, but I do know when it comes to a giant Galactus figure, my financial judgement cannot be trusted. Hasbro named a price, and I said said, “Let’s do it!” I’m actually looking forward to displaying Mezco’s One:12 Fantastic Four when they finally ship.

Opening HasLab Galactus!

If you follow me on Twitter, than you may be aware of what a harrowing three days it was to get HasLab Galactus home. He was supposed to be delivered last Saturday and since there was a signature required, I hung out all morning and all afternoon waiting, only to find that Fed Ex didn’t bother knocking or ringing the bell, but rather just stuck a Sorry We Missed You note on the door some time around 2pm. Now, that driver must have been a goddam ninja, because I was walking past the front door in anticipation probably five times an hour, and my front door is mostly glass. And there’s no way he could have pulled that off dragging the huge ass Galactus box to the door, so I suspect he just left it on the truck. I grant you 100 points for stealth, Fed Ex Man, and take back 1,000 points for DO YOUR JOB YOU LAZY F*CK!!! Since I wasn’t going to be home the next day to sign, I diverted it to a local hold location where it was supposed to be delivered by end of day. Two days later, I was able to pick it up. And thankfully it just about fit in my backseat. Anyway, here’s the giant box!

The HasLab Campaign ended in August of 2021, so it’s been a little over a year of waiting, which all things considered wasn’t too bad at all. I’m shooting today’s content in my office, guerilla style, because I have no proper staging area that will fit this behemoth and no way to properly light it either. Eventually I hope to fix up a work around for that, but until then, this isn’t really a proper review, but more of an unboxing and first impressions. I do really like how the box turned out. The artwork is both colorful and beautiful. I especially like the mural on the back panel. The front panel not only shows Galactus but also Silver Surfer, Morg, and Frankie Raye. It really feels like we’ve been building toward this, given that the very first wave of modern Marvel Legends featured Terrax as a Build-A-Figure!

Open the box and out comes a giant slab of styrofoam! The big guy slumbers under tissue paper covers, which are wrapped at the bottom to make two adorable booties! Also visible on this side are his two alternate face plates and the full-on Doctor Doom alternate head. The blades of his headpiece are positioned to the right, as are the three Heralds, each with some accessories. The only assembly required is to attach the blades on his head, and sadly it feels like they aren’t meant to come out again, so while the package is collector friendly, Galactus probably isn’t going back into his styrofoam bed again.

You get one slip of instructions, and that’s just to show you how to install the batteries. Yup, $400 and batteries aren’t included. Sons of bitches! I don’t have a fresh set, so I’ll have to pick some up to test out the electronics.

And here he is perched on his very own table! Aesthetically, the body strikes me as being very similar to the Masterworks Galactus and I’ll do some comparison shots when I do a proper review. I’m very pleased with the overall detail and heft of this beast. I also appreciate how heavy his feet are, giving him a nice low center of gravity and making him feel sturdy and balanced. I did not opt in for the Haslab Sentinel, but as I understand it, that figure had some loose legs, which seems to have been corrected here with some decent ratchets.

The head sculpt is phenomenal, with the stock face plate being appropriately dour. He definitely looks hangry. The face plate is soft and rubbery, so you can easily swap it out without having to dismantle any part of the head.

The other two plates include skull face and exposed teeth. These are both pretty terrifying. I’ll likely swap these out for display every couple of weeks or so, but right now I’m leaning with the snarling teeth as my default. I neglected to snap the Doom head, but I’ll leave that for the proper review.

The fingers are all fully articulated, so Galactus is capable of balling up his hands in fists as well as making all sorts of unsavory gestures. I’ve only just started to explore the rest of the articulation and he’s got some great range of motion in the arms. I’m interested to see whether he’ll be able to hold any kind of action poses from the waist down.

Silver Surfer has an effect part which allows him to perch on Galactus’ hand and this is incredibly well designed. The board slides into the top and the bottom is contoured to snugly fit around the open hand. I’ll confess, I am considering displaying him with my 3 3/4-inch Marvel Universe Silver Surfer to give the big guy an even more impressive scale by comparison, but this works so well, I may have to go with this for the regular display.

Frankie also has an effect part that works with Galactus’ hand, this time the right. This piece is a little less intuitive than the other, so I’ll need to experiment with it some more.

And Morg doesn’t get any effect part, but he does get his axe.

By all respects it looks like Hasbro really knocked it out of the park with Galactus. Even the wait didn’t seem that long. This is only my second experience with HasLab, the first being the Razor Crest, but I’m very pleased with the whole experience. Well, not the Fed Ex part, but that’s not Hasbro’s fault. I’ll have to pick up some batteries to power him up and check out the electronics. As of now, I’m planning to check out the three Heralds this coming Monday, and maybe by the following Monday I can get something rigged up to do some better pictures of the Big Boi and give him his due.

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

Yes, last week I flubbed my Friday content again. I promise you, it’s coming back, but it may be sporadic for a while. But at least Marvel Mondays have been pretty consistent and now that I’ve had a look at all the packaged figures in the Super Skrull Wave, it’s time to pop together me some Super Skrull!

Most BAF’s have six pieces: Four limbs, a torso and a head. Super Skrull has all those, plus an additional head, an effect part, and two additional arms! Otherwise, everything is pretty standard here. The extra head and arms sort of make up for the fact that this guy is not big, and there’s really nothing about him that prevented Hasbro from releasing him as a regular boxed figure. Heck, even with those extra pieces, he should have worked out.

that’s not to say Kl’rt isn’t a beefy figure, because he is, but we’ve had bigger boxed releases. He is a pretty simple figure, with most of his costume achieved through a rather attractive combination of black and metallic purple coloring. He also has a bit of blue wash over the black bits. He does have some new sculpting for his V-shaped tunic, which flares out at the shoulders and was mostly likely purchased at the same store that Yellowjacket shops at. Of course, the reserved amount of new sculpting here only takes into account his regular arms, and not the ones powered up with The Fantastic Four’s powers.

As mentioned, you get two portraits, one offering a sinister, toothy grimace, and the other a bit more serious. The former offers a lot more personality, but I rather like the grim visage of the later one as well. Both sport some excellent sculpting for the facial detail, including those horizontal ridges in his prominent chin, and his long elf-like ears. He also sports a form-fitting skull cap as part of the head sculpt. The piercing yellow pupil-less eyes are well-done, and there’s a wash over his green skin to bring out some of those lovely details.

Super Skrull’s articulation is standard stuff, and that remains the same no matter which arms you decide to display him with. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double-hinges in the elbows. The legs have rotating hinges at the hips, swivels in the biceps and the tops of the boots, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in his waist, an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

The extra right arm exhibits the powers of both Sue Storm and Reed Richards. It gradually becomes translucent from the elbow on and the forearm is stretched and the fist is oversized. It makes for a pretty cool combination of effects.

The extra left arm transitions into orange stone just above the elbow and ends in a giant fist, thus exhibiting Ben Grimm’s powers.

And finally, you get a large flame effect part to attach to either regular arm to show off Johnny Storm’s powers. All of these power-stealing effects are pretty well executed on the figure and makes him a lot of fun to play around with. And unlike the recent Dr. Moira figure, Super Skrull’s arms are easy to pop off and pop back on again, which is one of the benefits of making him a Build-A-Figure.

This is one of the rare cases where I was probably more excited for the Build-A-Figure in a wave than I was any of the particular figures. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting as many versions of The Fantastic Four as I can, but having added the Walgreens figures to my collection not all that long ago, these black-and-blue costumed figures weren’t terribly high on my list. Doom turned out to be a surprise as to how big an improvement he is over the last one, and while She-Hulk is an excellent figure, I was mainly waiting for the green one to show up. On the other hand Super Skrull was a figure I was very happy to see getting added to the modern Legends line up. And while I would still argue that he could have been done as a boxed release, I’m just happy to have him!

Marvel Legends (Super Skrull Wave): Doctor Doom by Hasbro

Yeah, once again I missed posting new content on Friday last week. Sorry about that. Wednesdays and Thursdays toss me some weird work hours, so it’s bound to happen now and then. But, it’s a spanking new week and I’m about to open the last figure in the Fantastic Four themed assortment of Marvel Legends. Are you ready for Doom???

I sure as hell am!!! I’ve been a fan of The Fantastic Four since I was a wee lad, and Doctor Doom was a big part of my love for Marvel’s First Family’s book. He’s remained one of my all-time favorite Marvel villains. The iron-fisted monarch of Latveria was last seen in Marvel Legends all the way back in 2012, in the very early days of the line’s reboot. He’s also been seen again since in a Retro Carded release. I had plenty of good things to say about the 2012 figure, so let’s release doom from his Capitalist Retail Prison and see how this one stacks up!

I was expecting a somewhat retooled figure, but what we got is a completely new one. And I guess that’s to be expected since it has been almost ten years. TEN YEARS!!! This is a more modern version with a lot more realism applied to the detail. So, if you like a more clean and classic look, you may still want to hang on to the older release, but even still, I think this one is a vast improvement on almost every level. He still looks as iconic as ever with his hunter green tunic, hood, and cape, and his armored limbs. The tunic has some great looking sculpted folds, and it’s textured throughout to make it look pretty convincing for plastic fabric. The wide belt has an ornate gold buckle, and a functional holster on his right hip. The holster is possibly the only thing about the older figure that I prefer over this one, because it had a strap on the top flap that fed through a loop, rather than a peg. This one is still fine, though, and even has an D monogram on the top flap.

The cape on the previous figure was cast in one piece with the hood, and that was not such a great idea. It meant that the hood popped up any time the cape bumped on the floor, or the figure rested its weight on it. It also meant that the hood didn’t turn with the head. Here, they’re separate, and that’s definitely the way to go. Like the tunic, the cape is textured and has some excellent sculpted folds to make it look like fabric that is falling about the figure naturally. IT does extend all the way to the floor, but can be angled backward for those wider stances, and not be too obtrusive. It actually helps support him in some poses. The cape hangs around Doom’s neck via two sculpted golden chains and two large medallions. It looks great!

The armor is beautifully colored with a metallic silver finish. The plates are a mix of smooth curves and angled folds. There are sculpted rivets and hinges, and I really like the way the knee and elbow guards are designed. You can also see sculpted chain mail peeking out inbetween the plates.

You get two choices when it comes to portraits, and I’m a bit torn on which one I prefer. One strikes me as a more classic look, and it features the sculpted rivets holding the plates together, and a more rounded hood. The other is all smooth, sans rivets, and has a more sinister expression thanks to the eye holes having a downturned brow. Even the mouth hole is scowling. The mask was removable on the previous figure, but that’s not the case here on either head. The hood here billows out more near the bottom, giving it an Emperor Palpatine kind of vibe. Ultimately, I think I will go with this one for display. I like the rivets, but this one has a more villainous visage.

Articulation is mostly standard stuff, although it’s worth noting that the torso articulation is concealed as a ball joint under the belt, whereas it was under the chest and clearly visible on the older figure. Also unusual is the neck piece, which is ball jointed where it meets the body, and then ball jointed and hinged where it meets the head! The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double-hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs for the wrists. You get two pairs of hands, which include one set of fists, a gun-holding right hand, and an evil graspy left hand.

Doom’s one accessory is his pistol, which is very similar to the one issued with the previous Doom, but it is still a new sculpt, and cast all in black. If you’re looking for a Doom with more accessories, you might want to look into the Retro Carded release. And yeah, I’ll get around to looking at that one eventually!

Doom is easily my favorite figure in this wave, and I’ll likely be displaying him with the Walgreens versions of The Fantastic Four. And eventually, I’ll have the Haslab Galactus looming behind them all. Don’t forget, kids… the Big Boi’s campaign ends tonight! The sculpting on this guy is just top notch, and they did a beautiful job on him all around. On the downside, he was impossible for me to find at the stores around here, and I wound up having to pay a bit extra for him from a second-hand seller online. I was apprehensive about doing that, since I already had the older version, but now that he’s in hand I think it was totally worth it! And that’s a wrap for the boxed figures in this wave, come on back next Monday and we’ll have a look at the Super Skrull Build-A-Figure!


Marvel Legends (Super Skrull Wave): The Invisible Woman and The Thing by Hasbro

Last week I kicked off a look at the Super Skrull Wave with Mr Fantastic and The Human Torch, and as promised I’m back on this Marvel Monday to check out the second half of The Fantastic Four with Sue Storm and Ben Grimm!

I’ve got nothing new to say about the packaging, so let me take this moment to point out that Hasbro has just solicited pre-orders for their third round of Marvel’s First Family. First, we had the Walgreen’s Exclusives in their classic blue and black. The Wave I’m looking at today is the more modern black and blue, and the upcoming figures will feature their blue and white costumes made famous by Roger Corman! Er, I mean John Byrne!!! OK, let’s start with Sue Storm!

The Invisible Woman utilizes the same body as her predecessor, with the exception of her new feet. These feature wedge-heels and the same spikes on the bottoms as the other figures in these costumes, making her stand a bit taller than the Walgreens Exclusive figure. Obviously, you get the same black buck with the blue bits painted on, and I’m happy to note that the blue is a lot cleaner on this figure than it is on my Reed and Johnny. Also, since the female buck uses rotating hinges in the elbows, you don’t get the unpainted pins that the guys have.

Unlike the previous Sue, this one does not feature the semi-translucent arms, which is fine. I liked that feature on the other one, but it’s nice to have a fully solid version as well. She only has one set of hands, a powers casting hand on the right and a fist on the left.

I really dig the portrait here, Sue is as pretty as ever, but if I compare it with the older one, than I think I like that one a bit more. The lips are sharper on the Walgreens release, but yeah I’m really nitpicking to find a reason to favor one over the other. And if you like your superpowered MILFs with fuller lips, than this one might scratch your personal itch. Both of their hair looks great, the new version’s hair is a little darker and longer and a little more dynamic, making her coif the standout improvement here. But again, it’s all a matter of personal taste.

It probably goes without saying that this new release does not include HERBIE, like the last one did. It does, however, include a forcefield effect part, which is designed to plug into her right hand. It looks great, but I think it looks even better with Walgreens Sue, thanks to her translucent arm. Let’s move on to The Thing!

Grimmy uses mostly the same body as the previous release, but mixes things up with the paint. Walgreens’ Thing was a darker and more matte orange with some heavy wash to bring out the individual crags and creases. That black wash is gone here, although the crevices are sculpted well enough that they still stand out just fine. In addition to being a lighter orange, there’s also some yellowish wash around the chest, shoulder, and arms. It looks OK, but I’m going to give the nod to the older one as my favorite. And I have to throw it out there, that this is still an absolutely superb sculpt, so you really can’t go wrong with either one.

Ben’s wardrobe gets most of the new sculpting here, as instead of just wearing a pair of shorts, he’s now got a wide belt with a 4-logo in the center. The belt is blue, while the shorts are blue and black. Honestly, I think this belt and shorts combo would work fine with either set of costumes.

The head sculpt appears to be new, or at the very least has a much more promiently sculpted lower lip, making Ben look extra pouty. I’m not hating it, but I don’t think it’s as nice as either of the heads that came with the Walgreens release. And yes, that’s right. You only get the one head with this one.

And while we’re on the subject, you also don’t get any extra hands with this release either. Instead, The Thing just comes with a pair of fists. So, I guess it’s always Clobberin’ Time! Despite the color shift, the old hands look like they would match fairly well on this figure, but I could not for the life of me get the fists on this figure to come off, and I didn’t want to force them.

So, just like last time, I prefer the previous Walgreens releases to these new ones, but I will say that I like this pair a bit more than I did Johnny and Reed. Sue just looks great in any costume (Ahem, Malice in bondage outfit, Hasbro. Please!) and her forcefield effect part is a great bonus. Meanwhile, The Thing is such an amazing figure, even this somewhat lacklustre repaint can’t diminish him. It’s a shame that Hasbro didn’t throw in the extra hands, but in fairness they had to leave room for the BAF parts, I guess. All in all, I don’t dislike these costume designs or the figures, but these will not be my first choice to represent the Fantastic Four on my shelf.

And, we still have two more figures in this wave to look at! So, come on back next Monday and we’ll keep this wave rolling along with a look at Shulkie. GREY Shulkie!

Marvel Legends (Super Skrull Wave): Mr Fantastic and The Human Torch by Hasbro

Today, I’m jumping in the Wayback Machine and setting the destination to Unfinished Business! Averaging one Marvel Legends review a week is not nearly enough to keep up with this prolific toy line, and waves do sometimes fall by the wayside. Some of these I may let go, but others I plan on getting back to. And since it’s The Fantastic Four‘s 60th Anniversary, why not return to the Super Skrull Wave! Marvel’s First Family remains one of my all time favorite comic books for the majority of my life, and along with Spider-Man, it was the first Marvel Comic that I began reading regularly when I was a wee lad. There was no way I wasn’t going to come back to these figures eventually!

I had planned on doing all of the Fantastic Four in one review, but I’m coming off a brutal six-day work week, and I just didn’t have the time to complete it, so today I’m taking what I do have, and having a look at Reed Richards and Johnny Storm! We last saw these characters in Marvel Legends as part of a series of Walgreens Exclusive releases, where they turned up in their Classic blue and black uniforms. Now we’re getting them in their more moden black and blue uniforms! Let’s start with Reed!

The body here seems to be mostly recycled from the previous Mr. Fantastic, which means the costume is achieved mostly through paint, and that works. We do get some new sculpting in the feet, including their weird spikey boots. Honestly, I don’t dislike the costumes, as they’re kind of a palate swap with a few added stylistic flairs, and the blue and black still look quite striking when contrasted off each other. That’s not to say these come even close to the classic costumes in my realm of personal taste. They aren’t as drastic as The Future Foundation re-design, nor are they terrible like the red and black re-design. They’re just different. As for the painted costume on the figure, well the paint lines could have been sharper, the blue scratches pretty easily, and the lower pins in the elbows aren’t painted to match. In short, it’s OK, but nothing special.

It remember it took me a while to get used to Reed with a beard, but I got eventually warmed up to it. Still, I’m not crazy about how it turned out on this figure. It looks like an odd mix of sculpt and paint, and the gray printing doesn’t look natural, and I think the mustache looks the most off-putting. This isn’t a terrible portrait, but it’s not a great one either. Legends has proven itself capable of much better, and I vastly prefer the classic portrait on the Walgreens Exclusive figure.

Articulation holds no surprises, so let’s jump straight to the effect parts. This version of Reed comes with stretchy fingers. Yeah. extra hands with stretched fingers. These are friggin creepy and I don’t like them. The previous release of Mr. Fantastic had some cool and massive stretched arms. These just feel like a huge step down in comparison. Reed Richards has one of the coolest and most useful super powers out there and here it looks like he’s about to use them to reach up the chute and steal candy bars from a vending machine. Thank you, but no sir.Let’s have a look at The Human Torch.

The Walgreens Exclusive gave us Johnny Storm in full Flame On! mode, so I was excited to get this release of him just wearing his costume. And it’s a pretty solid figure. Everything I said about Reed’s costume holds true here, although the blue didn’t hold up quite as well on this one. I do have to give Hasbro credit for not cheaping out and using the same body for both figures. Johnny actually features the lateral crunches in the shoulders, giving him a bit more articulation. Otherwise, there’s not much else to say here.

The portrait is decent, but again not exceptional. I like that they gave him a little smirk. The hair is sculpted separately from the rest of the head, giving him a seam for a clean hairline. The eyes could have used a bit more precision when they were painted, but all in all, this isn’t bad.

Johnny comes with swappable flame hands, a right fist and an open left, as well as flame effect parts to snake around his arms. They are kind of subtle, but I think they look great. Of course, if you have the previous release, you can mix and match for some real fun.

The heads do indeed swap and the shoulder flame piece fits just fine. I really love the way it looks on this figure. And you can also plop this head onto the fully flamed Johnny as well. In the end, though, this release really just makes me wish Hasbro had given us a Johnny Storm in the classic suit.

There’s another flame piece included that is designed for the Super Skrull BAF, but it can also be used with Johnny to give him some extra oompf.

I may sound like quite a downer in this review, but to be fair the Walgreens Exclusive versions were a tough act to follow. The classic suits meant that I was always going to like those better, and there’s nothing about this pair that makes me want to love the modern suits on these figures. I haven’t priced the Walgreens figures lately, but if they’re crazy money these days, at least these guys can fill that Fantastic Four shaped hole in your collection without breaking the bank. Next week, I’ll have a look at Sue Storm and The Thing!

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!

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.