Marvel Legends (Sandman Wave): Spider-Man 2099 by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday, folks, and this marks the beginning of the third and final week of my Trifecta of Hell Weeks at work. Don’t ask. Just don’t. Hopefully after this week I can relax for a short bit, but I have another one brewing on the horizon. But it’s all good because work pays for toys and video games and those are the things that keep me going. Besides, there’s nothing that helps assuage the dawning of a new week of horrors than opening up a new Marvel Legends figure. Of course, new is a relative term, because today I’m sticking with the Sandman Wave, which I believe was released last year, if not the year before it. OMG, I’M SO FAR BEHIND!!!

As someone who is taking a sabbatical from Marvel Comics these days (until they get better), this costume is totally unfamiliar to me. Indeed, the last time I encountered Miguel O’Hara in my funnybooks was when he appeared in the pages of Superior Spider-Man and Spider-Verse and on both occasions he was still wearing the old suit. As I understand it, this is Miguel’s contemporary look.

And if there’s one area where Marvel Comics and I don’t have a quarrel it’s with the new costume designs. Don’t get me wrong, I still prefer Miguel’s old look, but this is still a pretty spiffy update that I happen to like a lot. The dark blue and metallic red have been replaced with black, white, and… metallic red! The matte black and white contrasts beautifully with each other and the red gives the figure a nice, futuristic pop. The design on the chest is pretty busy and a very abstract re-imagining of the old costume’s skull emblem. but it also has more of a spider-legs flavor to it, which I like. Mmm… spider legs flavor. Miguel also has a few blue bars on his feet and shoulders.

Overall, the paint on my figure is pretty good. The white is bright and doesn’t suffer from any noticeable bleed through from the black plastic. The lines are also quite crisp, especially between the red and white. I did have a little smudge of red paint on my figure’s left shoulder hinge, but I was able to chip most of it off with my fingernail. I’m a little concerned that the paint will rub in the shoulder hinges, but then I don’t tend to repose my figures a lot, so I should be OK. I’ll note that the lower elbow pins are not painted to match the surrounding white, and while I know that really pisses off some collectors, I can’t say as it bothers me much.

Miguel’s makeover may have left out the web cape, but the blades on the forearms are still there. I like how they seem to protrude from the red striping. It would have been nice if Hasbro could have painted them metallic red to match better, but they still look neat.

The new mask is the one aspect of the costume that has the strongest connection to the older one. It retains that minimalist, and just a little creepy, futuristic flavor. I dig it a lot!

The articulation is right in line with other recent Spider-Man figures. And yes, as already mentioned, he has the additional shoulder crunches, which is always a treat. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have ball joints at the hips, swivels in the thighs and lower legs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso sports a swivel at the waist and an ab-crunch hinge below the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The joints on this guy feel great and he is loads of fun to play with.

For now, this version of Spider-Man 2099 is more like a concept figure to me. I doubt I’ll ever get around to reading this run of comics and who knows how long they’ll keep this look for him. With that being said, this figure was an absolute bitch for me to find. It seems like I’ve been saying that a lot lately. To this day I’ve never seen him at retail, and even my usual source for Marvel Legends, Amazon was selling him for upwards of $35. A friend of mine came across a second one in her neck of the woods and hooked me up, and for that I am eternally grateful. And now I only have two more figures to open before I can build my Sandman, but next week I’ll likely be flipping over to another wave, because the Wheel of Marvel Legends can be a fickle bitch.

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Star Wars Black (Solo): Qi’ra by Hasbro

How about that Solo: A Star Wars Story, eh? Who could have thought that such a fun and simple little space adventure could elicit so much controversy? And I’m not even talking about people picking it apart. From the “this was an unnecessary prequel” mantra to “let’s form a boycott campaign against this movie because we didn’t like another movie” all I have to say is “Holy shit, people!” Let’s all just relax and have a look at a Star Wars figure.

If you need any indicator of how much I enjoyed Solo, the fact that I’ve purchased and actually opened the entire wave of figures should do the trick. I have a short stack of figures from The Last Jedi that I just can’t bring myself to open, so it feels good to be a little excited about some SWB releases again. Qi’ra wasn’t one of my favorite things about the film, but as a character, she was perfectly serviceable. To be honest I’m just not a big fan of  Emilia Clarke, so I may be a little biased here. Oh, and she’s Figure #66. I don’t usually pay attention to the numbers in this line, but really, Hasbro? You couldn’t have thought of a more appropriate character for the 66 slot?

Qi’ra wore a few outfits throughout the movie, but Hasbro is dubbing this her Corellia outfit and it was a curious look to go with, since I seem to recall her only wearing it in the beginning. Indeed, while doing some research it was hard to find that many pictures of her wearing it. Either way, her sculpted digs include black boots, pants, and skirt, as well as a red top and a jacket. The skirt is a bit weird, as it’s longer in the front than in the back, it has tabs coming off the sides that don’t seem to have a function, and there’s some dirt or mud splashed up against the bottom front edge. She also has a brace of what looks like some kind of ammo or blaster charges across the front of her belt. The bit of additional mud splash on her boots is a nice touch.

The red and black top is smooth and doesn’t have a whole lot of sculpted detail. It does, however have a front flap that’s partially pulled down. What is it with these flappy shirts in this movie? Both Lando and Han had similarly designed tops, all of which remind me a bit of the Starfleet uniforms that debuted in Star Trek II. The jacket is gray with a textured collar that extends down the front and looks like it’s supposed to be some kind of wool or fur. The sculpted sleeves are also rumpled quite a bit and looking like they’ve been partially pushed up to reveal the various devices on her wrists. All in all, Hasbro did a nice job on the outfit.

I’m a bit torn on the portrait. If I were judging it strictly on likeness, I wouldn’t give it the highest marks. There are some similarities here and there, particularly in her lips. It’s not the worst likeness this line has turned out, but it’s certainly not the best either. Still, it’s certainly better than Funko did with the likeness of Clarke from their 6-inch Game of Thrones line. The face here is very pretty and the paint on her lips and printing on her eyes are both on point. The somewhat distinctive haircut is recreated especially well. All in all, I’d say not bad, just not great.

Qi’ra comes with only one accessory and that’s her blaster. It’s a very small, double-barreled pistol with a gray body and silver barrels. Oddly enough it’s even designed to come apart. It’s a nice little gun and while it’s meant for her right hand with the trigger finger, she can actually hold it in either one. I just wish there was somewhere on her to store it.

As for poseability, we have some pretty standard female SWB articulation on display here, which means rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball joints at the hips, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There are swivels in the thighs, a ball joint at the waist, and her neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The skirt is slit up the sides so it doesn’t impede her hip movement all that much, and the range of motion on her elbows is surprisingly good.

Qi’ra was actually the hardest figure in this assortment for me to find. I happened upon the Range Trooper before any of the others, and I even saw one more on the pegs since then. Meanwhile the pegs are always chock full of Lando and Han, almost to the point where they’re outnumbering DJ from The Last Jedi. Can’t imagine why that figure isn’t selling! As for Qi’ra, I only found her once and she hasn’t turned up again since, so I’m glad I bought her when I did. I’m also glad that Hasbro is following through with another wave of 6-inch Black Series Solo figures. I’ll be keeping my eye out for those!

Marvel Legends (Sandman Wave): Jackal by Hasbro

After jumping ahead for a few weeks, I’m dialing it back to the Sandman Wave of Marvel Legends! This is probably the longest its ever taken me to review a wave, and since I’ve already looked at Ms. Marvel, Shocker, and Symbiot Suit Spidey, today’s review puts me about halfway toward the goal of finally building my Sandman BAF. Today I decided to open up Jackal, because… well, I had to eventually… I guess.

And yup, here he is. If nothing else, The Jackal can boast a long history. He’s been a part of Spider-Man in one way or another since before I started reading the comic, and that’s saying something, because I’m very old! With that being said, the character has never appealed all that much to me. His back story is pretty goddamned lame and the less said about The Clone Saga the better. And yet, I still can’t resist adding another Spidey villain to my shelf, so let’s open him up and have a look!

Well, in fairness this is a great looking figure. It’s based off the classic look for Miles Warren, As I understand these days The Jackal is wearing a suit and an Anubis mask. Anyway, the sculping here is quite good and features some great muscle tone and detailed fur covering most of the body. In fact, I’d say it’s almost too good. If you handed this figure to a non-fan, they’d just think he was some kind of monster. I think a few minor nods to this being a suit would have been damn cool. No, you really can’t tell it is in the comic art either, but maybe a little subtle stitching here and there. I guess I can pretend that the plastic seams on his legs are seams in the suit. Either way, in addition to the sculpted detail, there are some nice color variations in the chest and forearms, and both the claws and toenails are painted white. Wrap it all up with a pair of blue shorts and I’m very pleased with how this guy came out.

The head sculpt is also excellent. This is one of those portraits where you can tell they had fun with it. The contours of the face and the jawline are well defined, the sharp nose has a little crinkle in the bridge, and I love those Gremlins-esque ears. The pink inside even shows off some of the half-tone printing that Hasbro has been using lately. Finally, the piercing yellow eyes with dark outlines, and the full rictus grin of teeth both add to the wonderful personality on display here. This is some fantastic work.

I also really dig how big they made his claws. I mean, they aren’t like Anti-Venom huge, but they’re still some sizeable meat hooks that look even bigger because of his smallish body.

The articulation here is standard stuff with rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, and ball joints in hips, but the figure’s build does allow a wide range of motion in those double hinged elbows and knees. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers, there are swivels in the biceps, thighs, and waist, an ab-crunch hinge below the chest and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. I think this figure would have really benefitted from the added shoulder crunches we usually get on the Spider-Man figures, but that might have been more than Hasbro wanted to invest in this character.

The Jackal is one of those figures that is all about the Universe building for me. I want as many characters on my Marvel shelves as possible, and yes that even includes the ones that I really don’t give a crap about. Maybe I’m being too hard on him. Maybe I should re-read some of the books he’s in, just not any of that Clone Saga crap. Either way, Jackal is a damn fine figure and the great thing about a line like Marvel Legends is that while I may not be excited about this one, I’m sure there are fans out there jumping for joy. And I’ve been on the other side of that situation plenty of times, so I say Good on you, Jackal fans. Enjoy!

Marvel Legends (Sasquatch Wave): Cable by Hasbro

Hello, Toyhounds, and welcome to another installment of Marvel Monday. The day where I try to ease the pain of the worst day of the week by opening up a new Marvel Legends figure. I know, I’m supposed to be randomizing my Marvel Legends reviews, but this time I’m sticking with the Sasquatch Wave because after lamenting Deadpool’s lack of accessories last week, now I think I found where they all went. Let’s take a look at Cable!

Of course, the politics of business are keeping us from getting figures based on Deadpool 2, but that hasn’t stopped Hasbro from cashing in with another wave of comic-inspired Deadpool figures. You may remember that we got a more modern version of Cable back in the Juggernaut Wave, but now Hasbro’s coming at us with a more classic version and I couldn’t be happier!

Cable may be from the future, but this figure looks like he jumped straight out of the comic panels of the past! The same pages that I used to flip through in college while waiting for class to start. Ah, the 90’s! I was an adult off on my own for the first time and yet clinging to the youth I left behind me with comics. As you can see, Cable is a beast of a figure, thanks in part to the large buck, but even more so to the ridiculously (I mean that in a good way) bulky gear that’s strapped to him. Most of that stuff is on his torso, but that doesn’t mean Hasbro skimped on him below the belt. The boots alone feature some wonderful attention to detail from the sculpted laces, and all the little lines of stitching to the thick treaded soles. Cable’s trousers also include sculpted knee pads and of course a brace of pouches strapped to each of his thighs. They even sculpted in his back pockets.

Cable sports a heavy-duty belt with a great weathered leather look to it, and guess what? More pouches!!! They come in all different sizes, flanking the manly and industrial looking belt-buckle. His blue shirt is dominated by the two gigantic shoulder pads and straps. The shoulder pads are sculpted in brown plastic and have a padded look, while the straps themselves are green with more pouches front and back. Seriously, how does he even get to those ones on his back? His right shoulder pad features a strap of grenade rounds, each painted gold, and the left strap has a row of brown leather pouches that look like they’re probably for extra magazines. If he were a videogame boss, these would be the targets to aim for! His hands feature large gauntlets and his mechanical left arm has a nice coat of metallic silver paint.

The portrait here is killer. Cable features a shock of white hair, which is molded separately from the head to give it that extra little bit of dimension. His teeth are clenched in his best patented Cable Battle Grimace™ his right eye is pupil-less and scarred and his left eye has an effect part to show it shining. I was not sure how well that eye piece was going to work for me in person, but now that I have the figure, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It’s just perfect. Of course, Cable is also sporting the giant communication device attached to the left side of his head and he also has the high padded collar with that giant X-branded travel pillow hanging off of it.

Now, as it is there’s enough extra plastic and tooling here to put a strain on the cost of this wave, but I haven’t even got to the extras yet, and as I said earlier, this is probably where all of Deadpool’s guns went. For starters, Cable comes with his stupid-big pulse rifle. This thing is so obnoxious and ridiculous that he can’t even fit the stock against the inside of his shoulder. I mean, this figure ain’t no wimp and the gun is still too big for him. Keep in mind, that isn’t a complaint, because this gun is a celebration of everything that was EXTREME about 90’s comics.

So, yeah… the pulse rifle is just a big hunk of sci-fi killing hardware. It’s cast in a dark blue plastic and has some nice detailing on it, as well as some sculpted scrapes. The hand grip and trigger guard look almost comically small compared to the rest of the weapon, and the shoulder stock is just a massive slab of plastic. It also has a hole on the side so it can peg onto Cable’s back for carrying.

If the Giga-Pulse Rifle is a little too overstated for your tastes, Cable comes with two smaller weapons, both of which are designed with a nice sci-fi flare, but still manage to keep a bit of realistic flavor. The first is kind of like a gatling-handgun. It’s not a petite gun by any means, but he can wield it a lot more comfortably than the rifle.

The next weapon in Cable’s arsenal is a double-barreled handgun. I really dig the design on this one, as the back half looks a bit like the old 19th century black powder pistols. I’m not sure if Hasbro got these ideas from any particular comic, but if they’re original designs my hats off to them, because they’re both pretty cool. Cable also has a loop on his belt that works like a cross-draw holster for this gun, but it’s the most awkward holster I’ve ever seen. Maybe it’s not the holster, but just how bulky Cable is with all his gear. It looks like it would be hard to draw the weapon when the shit hits the fan. Still, at least with this holster, the back peg for the rifle and one free gun hand, Cable is capable of carrying all his weapons at once. Which brings me to one nitpick. I really wish they had given him a gun-holding left hand instead of the open hand.

Oh yeah… the articulation here holds no surprises. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, double-hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinged knees, and swivels in the thighs and tops of the boots. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso has a waist swivel and an ab crunch hinge, while the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Of course, despite all the usual points, Cable’s bulk and extra gear makes him a little less agile than your average Legends figure. Indeed, he feels more like a Masters of the Universe figure, but I still find him to be loads of fun to play with.

Next to Domino, Cable was my most anticipated figure in this wave and I have to say he does not disappoint. The sculpt is fantastic and the weapons are plentiful. Sorry, Deadpool, but it looks like Cable got all your extras. Now, I will admit that I would have been just as happy if Hasbro had given us his blue-and-yellow costume, like we got in the 4-inch Marvel Universe line, but here’s hoping that Hasbro delivers that one at some point down the road. In the meantime, I promise next week to detour out of the Sasquatch Wave and hit one of the others that I’m woefully behind on.

Star Wars Black (Solo): Lando Calrissian by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back for a Solo double feature. This morning I checked out the Alden Ehrenreich version of young Han Solo and this afternoon I’m looking at the Donald Glover version of young Lando Calrissian. I’ve already proferred my general feelings about the movie in the previous review (I liked it!) so let’s just dive right in and talk about Lando…

There were a few times in the movie where I had to remind myself that Ehrenreich was Han Solo, but that was never the case for Glover as Lando. I don’t think I’ve seen a re-cast this effective since Karl Urban stepped into the role of Dr. McCoy in the 2009 Star Trek film. His mannerisms were a little more fleshed out, but they still felt right and I have to say Glover’s was the standout performance for me in this flick. So how did his action figure turn out?

Pretty damn good! For starters, Hasbro did a fine job recreating young Lando’s flashy duds. He comes out of the package wearing a scupted plastic black cape, which clips around his neck, rests on his shoulders, and hangs down just a bit past his waist. The interior of the cape is painted blue, which hints a bit at the cape he wore in Empire. Yes, apparently Lando has a bit of a cape fetish and the movie took a few opportunities to point it out and have fun with it. The trousers are unremarkable, and he has a serviceable pair of glossy black boots. He also has a gun belt with a silver buckle and an open holster for his gun.

The flashiest thing about the outfit is the bright yellow high-collared shirt, which features a sculpted chest-flap that’s partially folded down to reveal the black interior. I suspected this shirt might be a reuse of Han’s, because both have a similar flap designs, but they appear to each be unique. There’s also a black bar on the left side of Lando’s chest, which I thought was a flap for a pocket, but it just seems to be there for ornamental purposes. Contrasting this yellow shirt is his long black scarf with a diagonal white pattern. This is the kind of outfit that I would see at The Gap when I was a teenager, but wouldn’t have the chops to wear it to school.

I’m a tad mixed on the head sculpt. It’s certainly not bad, but I think it leans a bit more toward caricature than a straight on likeness. It might be because of the expression in the brow. Also, I didn’t notice it in the film, but the dent in Lando’s coif is channeling a little Moss from The IT Crowd. Like the Han figure, Lando features the halftone printing for the facial features, and it looks good around the eyes, but I think the beard and mustache could have been a bit sharper.

Lando comes with a rather unique blaster and holster. The holster is open with three bands to secure it. The top two bands are open on one end and the bottom is a loop to stick the barrel through. It can be a bit tricky to get it seated right without the barrel looking like it’s bent and sometimes when I remove the blaster from the holster, the barrel will stay in, because…

The muzzle is detachable. We’ve seen a few modular weapons in Rogue One and even in Solo, Han’s DL-44 Blaster gets broken down from a larger gun before Beckett tosses it to him. I’m just not sure if this particular blaster was meant to come apart, or if Hasbro just designed the accessory that way. And if its meant to come apart, what does the longer barrel do for it? Is it a silencer? Does it make it more accurate? Honestly, I can’t even remember seeing this gun in the film, but I assume it’s the one he was using while escaping a certain mining facility. Whatever the case, I like this gun a lot. The sculpted detail is excellent and the silver paint job makes it look very snappy.

I’ll note here that Lando’s articulation here is identical to what we saw with Han Solo and since I just reviewed that figure this morning, I’ll take the lazy way out and refer you back to that review. The cloak does impede shoulder articulation, although the right side is billowed out a bit so he can draw and raise his blaster with the cape on.

No doubt about it, young Lando is a worthy addition to my SWB Collection. It’s a great representation of Lando from the film and I’m really glad I picked him up. The only thing I’ll really nitpick is, I wish he came with some Sabacc cards. They could have sculpted a hand of cards as a single accessory, or even included an extra hand with the cards as part of the hand sculpt. Oh well. Before seeing the movie, I was pretty sure I was going to be happy with just getting Han, Lando, and the Range Trooper, but now that I”ve seen it I’m going to go ahead and pick up Q’ira to finish out this assortment. I’m also happy to see that Hasbro has shown off pictures of a second Solo-themed wave and I’ll be all over that like stink on a Wookie.

Star Wars Black (Solo): Han Solo by Hasbro

Solo, the latest Star Wars Story hit theaters last week and I have to say that while I was pretty apprehensive about this one going in, I ended up enjoying it very much. There were a few things here and there that I felt were a little off, but overall the movie generated enough goodwill to allow me to overlook those things. Yeah, there was one cameo that I think was a terrible idea and left a bad taste in my mouth, but I won’t go into anything spoilery just yet. But ultimately, Solo (in conjunction with Rogue One) gave me a well-needed shot of assurance, that if the proper episode-whataver saga movies don’t right themselves, I’ll have these Star Wars Story films to fall back on for my Star Wars fix. In the meantime, I’m doubling up on Star Wars Black reviews today, with a look at Han Solo right now, and Lando Calrissian later on tonight.

And here we have my first Han Solo figure based on someone else playing the character. Let me confess, I didn’t know who Alden Ehrenreich was before he was cast in this film, and I was pretty dubious about how this was going to play out. My main concern was that I’d go through the movie and my brain wouldn’t allow this person to click as Han Solo. Thankfully, that fear wasn’t entirely realized and I think Ehrenreich did a pretty damn good job. Let’s face it, he had some huge space boots to fill, and if I was an actor, that kind of pressure would have killed me. In most scenes I think he sold it entirely, while there were a few (very few) times where I had to remind myself in the back of my head that this was indeed supposed to be Han Solo. But this film was a fun and gripping adventure and I was willing to go along for the ride, and I would not at all be opposed to seeing Ehrenreich take on the role again.

And I’m happy to report that Hasbro did a fantastic job on this figure! Young Han wore a number of outfits throughout the movie, from Imperal uniforms, to disguises, to a big furry jacket, but this figure is based on the one he settled on for most of it and clearly this is supposed to be iconic young Han Solo. The outfit has plenty of nods to the Han Solo that we all know and love. Indeed from the waist down, the similarities are striking. He has the familiar blue trousers with the red striping running up the tops, the high boots, and even his iconic gun belt with the large silver belt buckle, low slung holster with leg strap.

From the waist up, the costume mixes things up a bit. He still wears a jacket, like he did in Empire Strikes Back, but this one is a deep brown with black shoulder patches and a badge or some kind of ID shingle on his left side of his chest. Besides the usual sculpted rumples and wrinkles, Hasbro did some nice work with the sculpted seams and stitching, as well as a pleated effect on the flaps. The coloring on the jacket is also particularly nice, with a glossy finish making it look like well worn leather. Of course, the jacket is the usual soft plastic vest with sleeves sculpted on the arms, and it works quite well here. Under the jacket, Han wears a black t-shirt, with a sculpted flap on the front, somewhat similar to the one Luke wore in Return of the Jedi. 

It’s no secret that Hasbro hasn’t always been on point with their likenesses in the Black Series. Most would argue that the sculpts are there, but the basic paint the portraits get is where things go pear-shaped. Whatever the case, Hasbro did a bang-up job on this one. I think the likeness to Ehrenreich is pretty solid, and I particularly like the way they sculpted his coif. The facial detail uses the halftone printing that we’ve seen with many of the recent MCU figures in Hasbro’s own Marvel Legends line and the improvement is certainly there. It’s not perfect, but it’s come a long way from what Hasbro was doing for this line in the past. And don’t think it’s lost on me, the fact that this Han Solo figure features a much better likeness of Solo as played by Ehrenreich than any of the previous figures based on Harrison Ford.

As expected, Han features a functional holster on his gun belt and he comes with his trusty DL-44 Blaster, although I guess it’s a little too early to refer to it as his trusty weapon in this film since it was newly acquired. Nonetheless, the sculpt on this Broom-handled Space-Mauser is excellent and Hasbro spared a lick of brown paint for the handle.

While the movie may have had a few surprises about Han, the figure’s articulation comes out right where I expected. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinged knees, swivels in the thighs and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso features a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

I haven’t always been terribly kind to the 6-inch Black Series, and it’s track record of hits and misses has really made me lose some of my enthusiasm for this line. Hell, almost all my SWB figures from The Last Jedi still sit unopened, but that could be blamed more on the film than the figures. But would I really be interested in buying a figure of Han Solo not played by Harrison Ford? Apparently, yes. Because, after seeing Solo the film, and getting this figure in hand, I’ve been pulled back in. Indeed, I was a little surprised at how excited I was to grab this figure off the peg, along with Lando and toss them into my cart. Both the movie and the figure turned out great, and I’m ready for more. So, come back later on tonight, and I’ll have a look at Lando Calrissian!

Marvel Legends (Sasquatch Wave): Deadpool by Hasbro

It’s a crazy summer for movies. It seemed like Infinity War was just pushed out by Deadpool 2, and now it’s already getting brushed aside with the release of Solo last week, but I’m still riding high from the great time that El-Poolio’s sequel delivered and I’m anxious to see it again while it’s in theaters. Alas, because of toy-movie-comic-business-politics, Hasbro won’t be including any Deadpool 2 movie-based figures in the Legends line, but we did get a wave of Deadpool-inspired comic book figures and today I’m here to check out the chimichanga-muchin-mo-fo himself, Deadpool. Who? DEADPOOL!!! Can I hear it one more time? Nope, we did that last time. I’m not doing it again. We actually get two versions of the Merc With A Mouth in this wave, both X-Force and regular flavor, and today I’m checking out Redpool.

What the shit-balls is this? Look at how empty the tray is! The last Legends Deadpool came so packed with extras that they couldn’t even fit a BAF part in there. And they didn’t bother with one here either. Yeah, I know, it’s because he’s Deadpool and everyone is going to buy him anyway, but at least the last time I didn’t miss it amidst all the cool accessories. When I first saw this package, I practically did a double-take because the tray is so vacant. I almost thought one of those scalper assholes raided the cookie jar and took all his weapons. Cripes, what a bummer. I wonder if the figure is any good?

Lucikly the figure itself is excellent. The Juggernaut Wave Deadpool (see link above) gave us a more modern take, whereas this version takes us back a bit. Everything about it looks more clean and classic. Gone are the armor pieces on the arms and legs in in their place we get a more streamlined bodysuit, with a red-and-black mix that favors the red. The bulk of the costume is achieved through black paint and some beautiful red plastic that looks like it popped straight out of the comic panels. You also get a good deal of added parts, which include black cuffs for the wrists and ankles, a ring of pouches on his right thigh, a ring of pouches on his belt, a shoulder strap, and the rig of crossed scabbards to store his swords on his back.

I will concede that the added pieces could have used some colors. The belt pouches are left red, which does give him a more streamlined look, but I think these would have been better brown, as would the pouches on his thigh. They did, however, do a nice job painting in the emblem on his beltbuckle, and the buckles on his shoulder rig are neatly painted silver, so it’s not like Hasbro didn’t try. The sculpted detail on these pieces is quite nice, as all the pouches have their little flaps and buttons, and the shoulder straps are studded with tiny sculpted rivets. Again, this is a great looking figure, and I’ll concede that my minor gripes with the coloring of his gear is just my personal preference.

While the last Deadpool came with two heads, masked and unmasked, I’ve already established that this package includes the bare minimum, so we gotta make due with just the one masked head. Hasbro went with a much more serious, kick-ass expression here, and that works for me. The black eye cut-outs are actually part of the sculpt, and there’s some nice wrinkling inbetween the eyes to show Deadpool is not happy about something. Instead of the comical one eye-popped, this Deadpool is kind of squinting as if he’s about to issue a serious beatdown. Or maybe he’s mad because someone took away all his guns.

Deadpool features the lateral shoulder crunches in the torso, which was a very pleasant surprise. Otherwise, the articulation is pretty standard stuff for a modern Legends figure. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in both the thighs and lower legs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, double-hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The torso has an ab-crunch hinge, a swivel at the waist, and the head is both ball jointed and hinged. This is very fun figure to play around with, and I imagine he’ll be hanging out on my desk for quite a while.

Here’s a shot of Deadpool not holding the pistol that he does not come with in his right hand, which is clearly sculpted to hold a gun, and even has a trigger finger for said gun. In case you missed it earlier, there’s no gun. It is absolutely impossible for me to overstate how ridiculous it is that Hasbro couldn’t have taken one of the dozens of pistols they’ve used for this line and tossed it into this goddamn package. Yes, I have plenty of guns that I can give him, but the omission of a simple handgun just reeks of cheapness and penny-pinching. I mean, OK, so a full arsenal of guns didn’t cost out? Fine, whatever. Give him a goddamn pistol!!! Legends is rarely stingy on the accessories, so on those few occasions when they are, it stands out like a sore thumb.

Deadpool does at least come with his swords, but I can’t say as I’m all that happy with these. I’m certainly no expert on Japanese swords, and I’ll grant you that Deadpool’s swords have changed a bit over the years, but I’m not a fan of these shorter straight blades. The long katanas we got with the last Deadpool were more to my liking.

I’m not going to harp on it too much, because they fit well in the scabbard and they did a nice job sculpting and painting the hilts. The blades are left bare gray plastic and would have certainly benefited from some metalic silver paint, but whatever. He’s definitely fun to pose with them in his hands, but ultimately they still feel a bit underwhelming to me.

And so, I’m in a weird place with this figure. The figure itself is excellent and loads of fun, but I’ll say it again for the umpteenth time: I’m beyond disappointed by the lack of extras. I’ll admit that Hasbro went above and beyond with the Deadpool from the Juggernaut Wave, and they can’t do that with every figure, but there’s a chasm between what we got with that figure and what we got with this one. In the end, I’m probably going to go back and take the weapons away from the 2012 X-Force Deadpool (since that figure has not aged well, and he’s getting replaced in this wave anyway), and give those guns to this figure. It’s not like I don’t have enough extra armaments for him, but it’s the principle of the matter.

Marvel Legends (Sandman Wave): Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan) by Hasbro

Oh boy, have I been dreading this review! Kamala Khan is the first Marvel Legends figure in a long while that I was tempted to skip and hunt down the BAF part separately on the Ebays. Why? Because I’m really not a fan of this character or what I’ve read of her books. I also think it’s unfortunate that Marvel decided to go with her as their first major Muslim lead character, doubly so when it feels like a “Us Too!” effort after DC introduced Simon Baz to their Green Lantern lineup a few years earlier. Granted, I didn’t warm up to Baz right away, but I gave him a shot and by the time he teamed up with Jessica Cruz, I was on board. Well, I gave Kamala a shot too, but her books were another brick in the wall between me and what Marvel’s been churning out lately. At least this review has a happy ending, so read on!

I really don’t want to spend a lot of time bitching about the character, but I feel like I should at least clarify why I don’t like Kamala. To me, she’s the epitome of a lot of that’s wrong with Marvel Comics these days. She comes off as a vacant-headed, “OMG, TWITTER AND SELFIES!!!” stereotype fangirl, who to me just isn’t worthy of the Ms. Marvel moniker. It’s another example where Marvel should have allowed the character to strike out on her own with a new super hero identity instead of once again co-opting an existing one. Hell, I would have had a lot more respect for her had they given her her own identity first, allowed her to prove herself, and then passed the baton. Just look at how much angst and maturity Carol Danvers exhibited over taking on the Captain Marvel name. OK, yeah, he was dead, but still. There was a gravitas to about the name that the comic paid respect to. That wasn’t so much the case here. But hey, the initial run of Kamala’s book won a Hugo, so I guess I’m in the minority here! And yes, that was sarcasm. Anyway, let’s take a look at the figure…

And here’s where things turn around, because my dislike for this character lies squarely in the way she’s written, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not going to like the figure, because I actually do. The costume, which consists of a blue dress worn over what I assume is a red bodysuit is fresh and interesting, and Hasbro did a great job recreating it for the figure. The lower part of the dress is cast in soft plastic with slits up the sides so as not to hinder the hip articulation too badly. Her blue boots are painted on, she’s got a gold arm bracer on her left wrist, and a long scarf, which streams down her back, and is slightly reminiscent of Carol’s waist sash. The coloring makes for a very pretty looking figure, I love the combination of the blue and vibrant red and the additional gold used for the edges, bracer, and lightning bold on her chest really make the figure pop. She even has gold designs at the ends of her scarf.

The head sculpt is fairly solid. I appreciate that the mask is part of the sculpt and not just painted on. The hair looks very much on point and the paint is all fairly solid. I will throw out there that Kamala looks a lot prettier in most of the panel art than she does here, so the resemblance isn’t quite a slam-dunk, but it’s not bad either. I do wish the plastic used for the face wasn’t as waxy looking, but now I’m really looking for things to complain about.

The articulation is right on par with most of the other Legends ladies. The legs feature ball joints at the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in both the thighs and the tops of the boots, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso features a ball joint under the chest and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Here’s where I usually complain about the arms not being double jointed at the elbows, but here there’s actually an excuse for that, as the arms are designed to pull out at the elbows so they can be replaced with her stretchy effect arms.

I’m a big fan of characters with stretchy powers. Plastic Man, Elongated Man, Mr. Fantastic, so I’m at least a fan of Kamala’s powers! The arms consist of an enlarged right grasping hand and a left fist. These pieces pop-and-swap very easily, although I’ve seen quite a few reports of the pegs breaking on this figure, so a modicum of care is recommended. There’s no other points of articulation in these pieces beyond the elbow joint, and while I would have really appreciated some wrist swivels, I can understand why they were omitted. The effect isn’t as well done as the recent Reed Richards figure, but it’s not bad.

All in all, this is fun figure of a character I don’t care about. And just to be clear, I don’t want to just pick on Kamala. As a character, she’s probably fleshed out better than most of Marvel’s recent efforts. But like I said earlier, she’s an example of a wider problem in Marvel’s books which has been keeping me out of the comic shops and diving into my backlog of trades and floppies. When the inevitable shake up at Marvel comes, maybe Kamala can get turned around. Or maybe they don’t need to, because her book seems to be selling fairly well in collected editions. In the meantime, at least I got a pretty cool figure out of it.

Spider-Man Versus The Sinister Six by Hasbro

Cards on the table time: This week has kicked my ass and I did not find a lot of time for blogging. Remember when I cut down to just three updates a week because I was going to be so crazy busy? Well, I’m glad I did that, because things have indeed been crazy busy. And yes, I did find the time to go see Deadpool 2 last night, so go ahead and say it. “Oooooh, he doesn’t have time to do a proper review, but he has time to go to the movie!” Yeah, that’s right. I regret nothing!!! Anyway, with time being limited, I wanted to do something a little different and check out an unopened set. Yeah, I spend most of my time opening toys to review here on FFZ, but here’s one of the few ones I’ve decided to keep sealed. Originally, I wasn’t going to review this set at all, because I wasn’t opening it, but ultimately I decided it would be a good alternative to having nothing at all today. So, let’s end the week with a little more Marvel and check out Hasbro’s 4-inch Spider-Man Versus The Sinister Six figure set!

And the packaging here really is the star of this show. I don’t want to knock the figures. These are universally excellent figures, nearly all of which are repainted re-issues from Marvel Universe. And since I already own almost all of these all from when they were originally released, this is a set that I bought specifically for the awesome presentation. So, what we have here is a collection of seven carded figures folded up accordion-style with a sleeve placed over it and it is a goddamn brilliant piece of package design. The sleeve features a cut-out on the front to allow Spidey’s bubble to show through and it features a background of muted comic panels and a deco meant to invoke the vintage Marvel Super Heroes line complete with the blue border on top and yellow stars. The character art and lettering on the front is colorful, and it just looks fantastic up on the shelf.

The left side panel has an image of an original comic cover with Spidey fighting The Sinister Six, while the ride side panel has head shots of all the figures along with some brief bios in multiple languages. In addition to Web Head himself, the box includes Doc Ock, Mysterio, Kraven The Hunter, Vulture, Electro, and Sandman, all in their classic costumes.

The back panel has more of that vintage packaging charm along with a shot of all the figures lined up in a “Collect Them All” style picture. But you don’t have to collect them all, because you already did by buying this set!

Lift off the sleeve and you can get an idea of how the whole thing is folded up. It’s so damn clever! It’s also really, really long when you unfold it all the way. The only knock I have against this set is that it isn’t at all collector friendly. Even if I didn’t already own previous releases of these figures, I think I’d be torn over whether or not to open it. Let’s take a look at each of the carded figures so I can get out of here and get on with my weekend!

Spidey has been released countless times in the Marvel Universe line. I first got him back in 2010, but this is a completely different figure then the one I picked up back then. The paint is especially nice on him with a nice bright and flashy red, pale blue, and some sharp lines for the costume’s webbing. His left hand is thwipping and his right hand could be used to hold something, but he doesn’t come with any accessories. The deco for the card is identical to the front of the sleeve.

Second in line is Doctor Octopus. This figure was last released in 2015 as part of the Marvel Universe Infinite line, only back then he had a green jumpsuit with a yellow belt and yellow boots and gloves. Here he’s been repainted in all purple duds and his manipulator arms have been repainted from silver to a darker gray. Given my druthers, I think I prefer the previous release, but this one sure isn’t bad and I think he matches the character art quite well. And speaking of character art, the presentation here is so much better than the dreadful black cards `Hasbro was using when they re-branded that line to Infinite.

Electro is the one figure in this set that I did not previously own. He was released in the Marvel Universe line and I could never find him on the pegs. At one point I was considering dropping $25 on him online, but I never did get around to pulling the trigger. Either way, this is a great looking figure and the green and yellow deco really makes him pop. I also love the head sculpt and the way they executed the mask. Just beautiful!

The fourth slot is occupied by Kraven. This is a pretty damn impressive sculpt when it was released back in 2013 in Marvel Universe, and this release is not just a simple repaint, but has a few changes to the sculpt. The biggest of the changes are the lack of his boots with the cool skull kneecaps. He’s also missing his belt. The rest of the changes lie in the more comic-orientated paint. I have to say I definitely like the previous release better, but this is still a pretty cool variant and both the head sculpt and the lion head jacket are still really well done.

The Fifth figure is Vulture, and this guy was released in the same 2015 wave of Marvel Universe Infinite as Doc Ock. I’d say this is the weakest figure in the bunch, mainly because of the way they did his wings. They tab into the arms and are basically designed to be displayed with his arms raised over his head. Anything else looks weird. This version has a clean white collar and there are some black lines to add some definition to his costume. I do like the head sculpt a lot, but all in all, this is one figure that I think looks better sealed in the bubble.

Number six is the set is Mysterio and this one is a straight repaint of the figure released back around 2014. The gold boots and gauntlets have been repainted with a lime green and the bodysuit features a grid pattern printed over the green. The cape is now lavendar with pink clasps and the helmet is less a little less of a smokey transparent as it a pearlescent finish. I liked this figure a lot back then and I like this version quite a bit too.

And the final member of the Sinister Six in this set is Sandman. Released as recently as 2016 in the Marvel Universe Infinite line, Sandman saw two variants in that wave, one normal and one all sandy. This version is similar to the normal release but with smaller striping on his shirt. He’s pretty cool, but there isn’t that big a difference from the previous release to make him terribly exciting.

And that’s the Sinister Six set in all it’s glory. I picked this up a while ago when Amazon was blowing it out at $15. FIFTEEN BUCKS!!! How could I not? It would have been well worth that price if it included only half the figures, and those were just wrapped up in a garbage bag and thrown into a shoebox. I’m not a Mint-In-Sealed-Box kind of guy, but even I couldn’t resist presentation this good and at a price so low. I’ll confess, this set also makes me a little sad for the demise of Hasbro’s 4-inch Marvel line. Sure, it’s kind of redundant as Marvel Legends has stepped up to be the Universe-building line that we fans wanted, but there was a time when this smaller scaled collection was the way to go. It still lives on in various multi-packs and the local big boxes still have some of the single carded figures swinging on the pegs, but let’s face it, the heyday of 4-inch Marvel has gone, and I can’t help but miss it sometimes.

Marvel Legends (Sandman Wave): Shocker by Hasbro

I’m going to let one more week go before including the Infinity War figures in my weekly mix, so I don’t have to worry about dishing out spoilers. Yeah, most everyone has probably seen it by now, but I just don’t want to be that guy. In the meantime, I’m continuing to spend Marvel Mondays bouncing between the insane number of Legends figures that make up shameful stack of boxes in the corner. And this week it’s back to the Sandman Wave with a look at Shocker.

It’s been hard to let this wave sit around for so long before digging into it. It sports some solid character selection, and I’ve been more than a little anxious to build Sandman. Hell, pretty much all the Spidey waves have been great in my book. And Shocker was certainly a long time coming, and with how many waves of Spider-Man themed figures we’ve had, it’s surprising Hasbro only got around to him here. I guess that’s a testament to how many versions of Web Head they’ve been doing. I’m sure Hasbro thank god every day for Spider-Verse.

I don’t know what it is about Shocker’s costume, but boy do I love it. The brown and yellow body suit with the brown criss-crossing diagonal lines just does something for me. This was a figure where Hasbro didn’t need to bust out a lot of new sculpting to make it work, but he does have newly sculpted “metal” strips for his gauntlets and ribbed knee-pads. The reinforced pieces on his gloves have a cool used and pitted finish to them and I appreciate that attention to detail.

The rest of this figure makes a lot of use of paint for detail and here’s a costume where a lesser paint job could have really ruined the suit. Thankfully, Hasbro brought there A-game, as the brown net-like lines are pretty sharp and clean. Shocker also sports a gold lightning bolt emblem stamped right where his belt buckle would be. And no, Hasbro didn’t paint in the pegs on the inside of his elbows and knees, so you have brown pegs showing through amidst the yellow on his arms and vice versa on his legs. The same holds true for the hinges visible in his armpits. I know that bothers some people a lot, but I can’t say as I’m one of them.

The head sculpt is pretty simple, without a lot of facial features showing through the mask. There’s just a bit of a bump where the nose and ears are. I do get a bit of a Deadpool vibe from his eyes, as one is slightly popped and the other squinting. The brown skull-cap style piece on the top of the mask is actually part of the sculpt.

At some point I feel like I should just stop going through the articulation points on Marvel Legends, because apart from the differences between the guys and gals, and an occasional surprise, we all know what to expect by now. But here we go anyway… Shocker’s 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 knees, and swivels in the thighs and at the tops of his boots. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers, there’s a swivel in the chest, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Shocker comes with two accessories and… Heeeeey, we’ve seen these before. We’ve seen these like a dozen times before. Yup, it’s the old swirly circle effect parts that clip onto the wrists, and this time they’re sculpted in orange. Not to be confused with the swirly circle effect parts they use for magic and hex powers. I generally like these pieces, but I think they’re a bit of a reach as a visualizing of Shocker’s powers. But they look good on the figure, so I’m not going to complain too much.

And so I can chalk up another member of Spidey’s enemies for my Legends shelf and that always makes me a happy camper. I have no idea why, but this figure was stupid hard for me to find. Actually, that was the case for a few of the releases in this wave. Normally when that happens, I just hit up old Amazon, but he’s been listed in the high $20’s there for a while now, so that wasn’t an option. I mean, I love this figure, but not quite that much. Luckily, I eventually found him at a Target long after the rest of this wave was gone from the pegs, and even for a bit under regular retail.