Marvel Legends (Deadpool Corps): Deadpool and Scooter by Hasbro

This week I’m back on track with Legends on this Marvel Monday, and since I’m still working on the archaeological dig that is my Toy Closet backlog, I just grabbed the first thing that fell and hit me on the back of the neck while I was rummaging around in there. Oh look, it’s Deadpool with a scooter! And damn, that hurt!

I’ve only looked at one of these Deluxe Riders so far, and that was Black Widow and her motorcycle. I liked it a lot, and I’m expecting good things here as well. The set comes in a large window box that shows the figure, the scooter, and the bevy of other accessories and extras within. It definitely looks like something special, and I enjoy how Hasbro laid out the tray with Deadpool chasing the scooter. Let’s start with a look at the Deadpool figure!

Obviously, we’ve seen a lot of Deadpool figures in the modern Legends line. Some may say too man, but I’d say those people are wrong. My casual eye tells me this is a mix of the Juggernaut Wave Poolsy and the Sasquatch Wave X-Force Pool. Most distinctively, he has the armored pieces on the shins and forearms from the former, and the simpler chest of the later. The armored pieces are now painted all black, so they still look a bit different from their original appearance. I’m not sure if Hasbro was going for a specific comic look here, but most likely I think they’re just trying to come up with new combinations so dopes like me can justify buying the character again and again. I’m going to skip articulation, since we’ve seen this buck so many times now, I’ll just be lazy and refer you back to one of the other reviews, conveniently linked above.

For the belt and harness, Hasbro dug deep, going all the way back to their original X-Force Pool release, all the way back from 2012! And that’s a figure that is now best forgotten. The harness itself is cast in silver plastic, the chest shield is left a simple red, but he’s got his patented Deadpool emblem on his belt buckle and the pouches on the belt are all painted in a deep brown to convey rich Corinthian leather. Yeah, the combo is a bit kit-bashy, but I’ll concede that it works well together.

The scabbards and swords are recycled from the Sasquatch/Juggernaut Wave figures, and they work quite well here. The blades and guards are now gold, which I presume was just to mix things up a bit. I’m not a huge fan of the cut-outs on the scabbards that allow the tips of the swords to show through, but I do like these swords a lot. And it’s a good thing, because this Pool comes with no guns. He does, however have the combat knife from the Juggernaut figure, which still fits into the sheath on his lower right leg. Also, the scabbards are removable from the harness, which is something you may want to do if you’re going to have him riding the scooter with Dogpool.

The head is new, and Hasbro is going for pure comic effect here. Deadpool has both eyes popped wide and you can see his mouth open through the sculpted hood. If you were jonesing for an astonished looking Deadpool portrait, you can look no more. I’d argue that this was a rather specific expression to go for when only including one portrait, but I’ve got so many Deadpool heads to choose from, I can always swap it out if I want. Ok, let’s talk scooter…

I can’t remember when or where Pool’s red scooter originated, but I was delighted to the nod to it in Deadpool 2. And this is a really decent recreation in the 6-inch scale. It’s simple, but it’s designed to fit the figure well enough and even features peg holes on the running boards to help Pool stay put. A little assembly is required here, specifically popping in the rear view mirrors and clipping on the horn. They can be taken off again to go back in the box, but I fear clipping and un-clipping the horn may result in a breakage down the line. The rest is pretty basic. The front wheel does turn with he handlebars, and there’s a kickstand to keep it upright. There’s a detailed speedometer, and you also get a sheet of stickers so you can customize it.

Also included in the box are Dogpool and Squirrelpool. These aren’t so much figures as they are just display pieces. Both of them feature rotating heads, but that’s the only articulation there. I was actually surprised that they worked that into the tiny Squirrelpool. These do feature some very nice detail. I love Dogpool’s helmet, and Squirrelpool has his tiny swords on his back. The paint is pretty sharp on these as well. Both are sculpted in a very specific poses to be riding on the back of the scooter, although Dogpool can just sit with his paws up, almost like he’s begging, and Squirrelpool can stand on the ground on all fours. Squirrelpool is designed with a peg in his tummy that pegs into the hole in Dogpool’s back. These can be a little unsightly if you choose not to display them on the scooter, but that’s kind of the whole point.

Before wrapping up, I’ll note that the set also comes with a Hydra Bob head, just in case you happen to have the Hydra Trooper or the Hydra two-pack. Sure, it’s basically just a smiling Hydra head, but still definitely a cool bonus!

I like this set. It’s fun and it adds just enough stuff so that I don’t mind buying another Deadpool to get it all. And I do appreciate that it is a new figure, albeit a kit-bashed one, rather than just a straight repack. Although it would have been a good way to get that original Juggernaut Wave Deadpool back into circulation, as it remains one of my favorite Legends figures to date. I love it so much I have two, or at least I did until I gave one to my nephew. I don’t think this set is a must-buy for most, but as a Pool fan, nobody had to twist my arm to buy it. I picked it up for about $35 and I got no complaints.

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Overwatch Ultimates: Lucio by Hasbro

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back with a third review for the second week in a row. Sure, things can derail at any time, and it’s really tough to scrounge the time to do these, but I feel like I’m finally starting to get back into the swing of things. And there… I’ve just jinxed myself! Anywho… As promised, I’m back with another one of Hasbro’s Overwatch Ultimates figures. Last time I checked out Sombra and now I’m opening up Lucio, the Brazillian DJ turned Freedom Fighter! And just to remind everyone, I have never played Overwatch, but I really dig its character design and I have watched most of the cinematics, because I’m crazy like that. So if I sound woefully ignorant about some of the details of these characters, that’s because I am!

I just talked about the packaging a few days ago, so I won’t dwell on it much more. It’s attractive, it embraces the style and color pallet associated with the game, and it’s totally collector friendly. If you like to keep your figures and accessories in the boxes and line them up on a bookshelf, then you should be really happy with these! Just compare this bright and snappy package to Hasbro’s own Star Wars Black Series, and let’s just say that there’s a reason I pitch all those boxes right away, but I’m going to try to hang onto these.

If you ever needed a great example of how Overwatch’s sometimes wacky character design just oozes personality, well look no further than Lucio here. I would stop short of calling him distinctive, because Lucio actually looks like he’d be right at home in Jet Set Radio on the Dreamcast. So much so, it’s almost impossible for me to believe that he isn’t a direct homage. Seriously, when I’m playing around with this figure, I catch myself humming Sweet Soul Brother.  From the icon on his shirt to the hard-light blades that he zips around on, everything about Lucio is beautifully executed in a figure that is both a killer sculpt and as colorful as candy. I mean, just look at this dude! The design gave Hasbro plenty to work with, including the complex robotic design of his legs, which includes a mix of lovely blue armor plates, lime green kneepads, and a gray framework underneath. Not to mention a couple of cables that run from the front to back. Are these all part of what’s powering those slick skates? I don’t really know, but they look amazing. I’m particularly fond of the translucent green plastic that makes up those hard-light blades.

I dig the iconography on his shirt, which is very reminiscent of the previously mentioned Jet Set Radio, and he wears a backpack that I presume is part of his audio gear. The yellow unit houses a golden speaker-like disc, and even his belt-buckle has a little sound wave pattern etched into it. As great as the sculpting is on this guy, I have to say it’s the coloring that really sells it. It’s so bright and dynamic and celebrates all that is so damn visually appealing about the game.

Lucio’s portrait is equally well detailed, thanks to his DJ rig, which includes a mic and headphone on his left ear and a translucent green visor that covers his eyes. The portrait is sharp and it’s capped off by a ridiculous set of chunky dreads. Ok, these are probably the one facet of the figure that doesn’t match a lot of the character models I’ve seen as closely as I would have liked. And while I’m on the subject of nitpicking, I got me a QC beef. My figure has some unfortunate yellow paint splatter on his visor. Yeah, it’s one of those problems with buying a figure sight-unseen online. I just have to decide whether it upsets me enough to return him and get a better one, because it does not seem to want to come off.

Lucio sports some improved articulation over Sombra, and I’ve come to expect those differences between Hasbro’s 6-inch male and female characters. That means Lucio benefits from having double hinges in his elbows, and swivels in his biceps. The ball joint in the torso is also not impeded by any soft plastic covering. All this means he’s a remarkably fun figure to play around with. I’ll also note here that he comes with two extra hands, both of which are lefties. One has him gesturing with two fingers, and the other is balled into a fist. Let’s move on to accessories!

I’m actually starting with the effect parts, because these are actually great. You get two translucent green tracks for his skates. They simply fit around the base of the skates and while the figure can stand quite well without them, they do add a lot of stability. Most of you know that I’m not a huge fan of Hasbro’s effect parts, but these are really well designed and I can’t imagine I’ll be displaying the figure without them. And thank god these are so good, because Lucio only comes with one additional accessory.

Ah, but yeah it’s an important one… his Sonic Amplifier. This chunky piece of tech includes a cable that plugs into the notch on Lucio’s right bicep. It’s very well detailed and includes a blue painted shield on top, which matches his leg armor, and a green painted emitter on the front. It fits perfectly in his hand and completes the package quite nicely. Yes, the cable is prone to pulling out of his arm from time to time, but at least it goes back in really easily.

As much as I liked Sombra, I have to say I’m digging Lucio even more. This is a fun character design that has made the transition to plastic form without skipping a beat. Plus, there’s just something about the coloring here that scratches my itch. It’s rare for me to collect a line of figures based on a property that I don’t really consume, but that just goes to show how appealing this line is to me. I’m only two figures in, and I’m already dedicated to picking up whatever Hasbro decides to put out.

Overwatch Ultimates: Sombra by Hasbro

Oh yeah, did I mention I’m collecting this line? Did I also mention that I’ve never played the game and probably never will? I honestly fell in love with the character design and personality of this game the very first time I watched the teaser and some of the cinematics. But I’m not one to play multiplayer FPS games, so I knew it was never going to be something I actually played. How else to indulge in the characters? Well, with action figures of course! I while back I looked at Figma’s release of Tracer. She was a great figure, but I wasn’t prepared to go too deep at that price point, so I was glad to see Hasbro answer the call with their own line. And just to keep things moving along, I’m going to try to check out two of the figures from the first wave this week. And we’re starting with Sombra.

The boxes are very attractive with the die-cut character art on the front panel and the partial window, which wraps a bit to the side panel. The gray, white, and orange colors match the familiar palette that the game employs. The back panel features some more character art, some stats about the character, and some shots of other characters from the wave. The box is totally collector friendly, and for some reason I’m actually thinking of hanging on to these boxes, even though I’m sure I’ll just end up throwing them out in a few weeks when I get frustrated over the lack of space. OK, let’s have a look at Sombra! Who is Sombra? You’ll never know!

Hacker supreme, Olivia Colomar comes sporting her delightfully distinctive battle dress, all of which is reproduced in soft plastic and laid onto the figure. It allows for some very nice detail and some beautifully vibrant colors, including lavender, purple, silver, and aqua. I particularly dig how the There’s no doubt Hasbro invested a lot of love and attention to her costume. Her legs are painted with long purple stockings and her shoes are sculpted so that you can make out her toes. There’s also a very cool gradation between the purple on her legs and the aqua of her boots. My only complaint here is that while the dress does look good, the fact that it’s laid onto the figure makes it a bit bulkier than it probably should have been.

The portrait is especially nice as well. I think they’ve captured all of Sombra’s cuteness, even if she does look a bit younger than her game model. Her hair sweeps off to the right side of her head, curling up at the ends and terminating in a playful purple. The exposed scalp on the left side shows a pattern in her shaved head, and the paint on her eyes and lips is executed beautifully. She even has the hint of a scar protruding through her left eyebrow.

The articulation here is more or less right in line with Hasbro’s Marvel Legends females. That means the arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, and the wrists are on hinged pegs. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. It’s kind of hard to see what’s going on under that dress, but I’m guessing there’s a ball joint under her chest. Alas, the heavy dress does curtail a lot of movement there. The head is attached below the neck, and here too it’s tough to get a lot of movement because of her high collar. Moving on to accessories…

Sombra comes with her machine pistol, which I can best describe as a sci-fi infused Uzi on steroids. The weapon features plenty of detail and some blue paint apps on the black plastic. Both her hands are sculpted with trigger fingers, so she can comfortably hold it in either hand. The magazine extends way past the grip, but it is not removable. No big surprise there.

Next up, she has her hacking effect part. This is designed to work with either of her second pair of more relaxed hands. There are tiny holes in one end to pass her fingers through. The effect stays on quite well and I’m glad they didn’t opt to sculpt this as part of the hand, because having the extra pair sure is nice.

And lastly, she has her Translocator, giving her the power to teleport to wherever she can toss it. There isn’t a lot to say about this piece. It’s a simple sculpt and cast in black plastic. There’s a little lavender paint on the top, and she can hold it in pretty much any of her hands.

Sombra gets nothing but kudos from me in terms of sculpt and paint. She’s a beautiful looking figure that really captures the spirit of the character and the game’s art design. What’s more, with the gun and translocator, she comes with everything I would expect to be included, plus the effect part, which was a nice surprise. If I had any nits to pick here, it would be that I wish the dress were a little less bulky and restrictive. All in all, I’m still very happy with how this figure turned out, and she’s certainly made me excited about opening some more. At the $20 price point, these fall right in line with Hasbro’s other 6-inch lines, like Marvel Legends or the Star Wars Black Series, in terms of quality and value. Give me a few days, and hopefully I’ll be back with a look at Lucio!

Marvel Legends: Captain Marvel (Starforce) by Hasbro

Hey hey, it’s another Marvel Monday, and today’s review is going to be kind of, sort of, random. I couldn’t get into the main stack of unopened Legends because there’s so much backlog piling up in my Toy Closet, but I do have a bag of more recent acquisitions on top. So, I reached my paw into that sack and pulled out the Starforce version of Captain Marvel as Vers. Yeah, that’ll work. Today has also reminded me that I have to start cataloging which Legends I have waiting to be opened, or I’m going to start buying doubles by mistake. Yeah, I have a problem.

I want to say this is a Target Exclusive, because that’s the only place I’ve seen it, but there’s no sticker or anything to call it out as such. It’s also not officially part of the Captain Marvel-inspired Kree Sentry Wave. But this package makes up for lacking a BAF part by cramming a whole bunch of extra goodies, as well as the ability to change it into an entirely different character! The package does identify her as Captain Marvel, rather than Vers/Minn-Erva, but at least it states she’s in her Starforce costume. Let’s take a look!

As Vers, we’ve pretty much seen this figure before. It is indeed a straight repaint of the Captain Marvel we saw in the Kree Sentry Wave. And that’s not a bad thing, because I love the suit design, and I particularly love all the sculpted detail that Hasbro put into it. From the panel lines to the details of the belt, and the starburst in the center of her chest, everything looks great and matches that hyper-detailed style that the MCU loves so much. And since the bodies are identical, I’ll just refer you back to my original review of Captain Marvel for the particulars on articulation.

Obviously, the big change here is the coloring, which eschews the red and blue for the Starforce green and black motif. I think it looked pretty great on Yon-Rogg and it looks really nice here as well. The metallic green paint looks incredibly sharp and has a beautiful sheen to it. It pairs with the black and silver trim and makes for a figure that really pops on the shelf. The paint lines on my figure are all pretty crisp, without any notable flubs to speak of. It is worth mentioning that the silver lines coming away from the starburst are painted to look thinner than on the Captain Marvel costume, which does set the two suit designs slightly apart. I’ll assume this was done on purpose, but to be honest, I’ve only seen this movie once, so I can’t remember all the particulars of this costume.

Vers comes with two heads, and yes they are the same two that came with the original release. The hooded portrait has been repainted to match the suit, and still features that faint smirk, as well as the sculpted shock of hair that forms her mohawk. Like the suit, there’s some fantastic detail sculpted into the helmet. The alternate unmasked head looks as good as ever. I think this figure would have been a worthwhile pick up as things go so far, but I haven’t even gotten into the extras. Let’s check out Minn-Erva.

As Minn-Erva, the figure offers a new head sculpt, an ammo strap, and a rifle. You also get two extra hands to hold the weapon, and these are definitely intended for Minn-Erva because the fingers are painted blue. The bandoleer strap rests on her left shoulder, has what I presume are some kind of power cartridges for the rifle, and it looks like it has either a holster for a pistol or a pouch to carry more stuff in. The sash is sculpted to blow a bit back, behind her head and shoulders. I wouldn’t say that these pieces totally transform the figure, but they do offer enough distinction to make it work as another character wearing a similar uniform.

The head sculpt is great, but also a bit perplexing. It doesn’t really look like they were going for the MCU version of the character. Maybe they didn’t get likeness rights, but it comes across looking like a modern version of the comic character. With that having been said, it’s a damn fine sculpt, I like the styling of the hair and the exposed area on the left side of the scalp line. The paint looks good, although there’s quite a bit of slop along the top edge of my figure’s mask. It’s not something I really notice with the figure in hand, but it does stand out in the close up shots.

Her other accessory is her Kree rifle and I dig it a lot, both in design and execution. It’s got a very slender and almost organic profile to it. And while it’s cast in a silver plastic, it does have some metallic blue paint applications to give it some more detail. It also has a scope sculpted onto the top. Minn-Erva can hold the weapon comfortably in her right hand and the trigger finger threads easily through the guard. Her other hand allows her to cradle the barrel or steady it for precision shooting.

It would have been really easy for Hasbro to just slap a repaint of the Captain Marvel figure into a box and call it a day, so it’s nice to see they didn’t take the lazy route here. In fairness, I probably would have picked this figure up even had that been the case, but I’m very happy to have the extra options. Some might take issue with the Minn-Erva head sculpt, but it still works well enough for me. And who knows? If this one turns up at a good enough price, I may eventually buy a second so I can display both characters on the shelf.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Black Cat by Hasbro

Well, look at this! I’m on track with Marvel Monday for three weeks in a row! I feel like I’m finally getting back in the (web) swing of things. Once again I’m tossing randomness in the wind, as I have a hankering to finish me off a Kingpin Build-A-Figure. And I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the wave we’ll be looking at until I complete him. I’m also in a very catty mood as having just adopted a pair of kitties, so let’s check out Black Cat!

I first dipped my toe into this wave when I opened Silver Sable waaaaay back in February. Ah, February. It feels like ten years ago. Before everything in my life started breaking down. What a simpler time that was. Anyway… as already mentioned, today I’m opening up the other femme fatale of the wave, Black Cat, and also adding a Kingpin arm and cane to the mix. We last saw a nice classic version of Black Cat back in the 2014 Ultimate Green Goblin Wave. This time Hasbro is serving up Felicia in her more modern costume.

And, oh boy, I am not fond of this look for her. Felicia still dons a black bodysuit with furry fringe on the lower legs, forearms, and collar, but this time the fringe is left black and it just doesn’t have that same great pop as her classic look. This costume also adds a pair of yellow cat eyes above her chest, and to me these just look dopey. All I can say is the new and longer style of the fur fringe gives her an interesting silhouette, but I do prefer the curvier look of Classic Felicia.

The costume is rounded out by the gray whip, which is coiled around her waist as a belt and hangs down behind her like a kitty tail. I love the idea here, but I’m not a fan of the whip being just bare grey plastic. Now keep in mind, all of my criticisms here rest firmly in the suit design. As far as the figure itself goes, Hasbro did a nice job bringing it to plastic form. The sculpted fur fringe all looks good and the attention to detail shown in the tiny cat-head zipper is fantastic.

The head sculpt here is also worthy of kudos. Is it better than the previous Black Cat. Mmm… not really, but it is good. Here Felicia sports a big toothy grin as if she’s flaunting her latest stolen bauble. Her white hair is sculpted to be straighter and more form-fitting to her head. I also like that the domino mask is sculpted as well as painted. This portrait is definitely a solid piece of work, and easily my favorite thing about the whole figure.

Articulation is identical to Silver Sable, but since it’s been forever since I reviewed her, I’ll go ahead and do the rundown again. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball joints at the hips, swivels at the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. She has a ball joint under her chest and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck. It’s mostly the same old stuff, but I will say that this figure’s elbows have a better range of motion than the previous Black Cat.

Black Cat comes with one accessory, her whip, and once again I am not a fan. The segmented silver plastic makes it look more like one of Omega Red’s tendrils than it does a whip. It’s also sculpted in a fairly generic curvy pattern that doesn’t lend itself all that well to posing. And isn’t the whip and belt supposed to be the same? If that’s the case, why didn’t they make it so that it can be removed from her waist with a peg or something? It just looks silly with her wearing it and wielding it at the same time. Harrumph.

This is one of those instances where I have to come away with a resounding Meh. This figure is mostly well done, but it’s not my Black Cat. I just don’t like the costume at all and with that being the case it’s hard to really enjoy the figure. Indeed, if it weren’t for the BAF parts, I probably would have given this kitty a pass. And that’s really saying something, because y’all know how much I love cats.

Star Wars Black (Rebels): Ezra and Chopper by Hasbro

No, I’m not back to my regular schedule yet, but I am happy to be back with a second update this week. Progress! And I decided to do two figures today to make up for the fewer updates. While I still have a pretty big backlog of Star Wars figures to open and review, today I’m going with a pair of more recent acquisitions. It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge fan of the 6-inch Black Series Rebels figures and with the release of Ezra and Chopper, we’re getting ever so close to having a full set of The Ghost crew! Let’s take a look!

It’s the same old packaging! It would have been cool if they did a little something fresh for the Rebels figures, but then I don’t keep these boxes anyway, so do I really care? Nah! They are, however, collector friendly, so if you are in a mind to keep being able to take them out and return them to the box, well there’s nothing stopping you. You get the usual black box with red inserts, monochrome character art on the front, and multi-lingual bio on the back. I had to go online for these since the stores in my area have had the same DJ and Solo figures clogging their pegs forever. Let’s go ahead and start with Ezra.

I’m not usually a big fan of what passes for fashion in the Star Wars universe. A lot of the casual attire comes off to me as boring and flat. That’s not the case with Ezra here. He wears what appears to be a flight jumpsuit, with the lower left leg torn away above the knee, revealing a brown pants leg and piece of knee armor. The right lower leg is covered with a piece of white armor. He lacks the usual control box and straps commonly found on the flight suits, but he does have a waist belt with a holster and pouch, each of which secure to his legs with thigh straps. The outfit is rounded out by a pair of green, fingerless gloves, and his familiar vest with short sleeves and logo on the back. I think Hasbro did a fine job recreating all the little details here, both in terms of sculpt and paintwork. The suit has sculpted rumples, stitch lines and pocket, while the texturing on the jacket looks great. The yellow fringe could have been sharper. Or maybe it was applied intentionally rough to give it a weathered look. At least the logo on the back is nice and crisp.

The holster on his right hip is really just a hook with a flat flap for his lightsaber to rest against. It was a little tough to get it looped in there the first few times, but I got it to work eventually.

Of course, these figures are more realistic takes on the very stylized character designs from the show, and I’m always intrigued to see how they are going to turn out. I was a little worried about Ezra since he always struck me as having one of the odder looks in the series. There was something about his nose that looked really bizarre to me. Nonetheless, the portrait that Hasbro came up with here looks really good. The finish on the skin is a bit too waxy, making him look like he’s sweating, but as for the face sculpt, they definitely managed to make him easily recognizable while casting off the stylized look. The hair is sculpted as a separate piece to give it some depth and it falls around the face in a very convincing manner. It also features some nice purple highlights.

Of course, Ezra comes with his trusty lightsaber-blaster combo, which fits comfortably into either of his hands. I was not a big fan of this weapon early on in the series, I thought it was gimmicky, but I’ve grown to dig it quite a bit. This version looks good for what is a pretty small accessory. It even has multiple paint apps. Obviously, the lightsaber blade is removable, but it was really hard to get out the first time I tried. I was afraid to twist it and have the peg twist off of the blade so I just had to keep pulling on it until it finally gave way.

He also comes with his Imperial cadet helmet. It’s a great looking piece, exhibiting that lovely McQuarrie flavor, and fits over the figure’s head perfectly.The black and red paint apps are overall pretty sharp and crisp.

The articulation here is pretty standard stuff for a 6-inch Black Series figure. Ezra’s arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso has a ball joint under the chest, and the neck has both a hinge and a ball joint. Ezra is lots of fun to play around with and I am absolutely delighted with how he turned out. Let’s move on to Chopper!

Chopper would have been an easy figure to cheap-out on since he’s so small, but I’m happy to say that Hasbro went the opposite route and instead poured the love into this grumpy little rust-bucket. Indeed, the most surprising thing for me after getting Chopper out of the box is that he feels so substantial. A lot of that has to do with the crazy depth in some of the sculpted details. Besides the panel lining and bolts, you get some components that have been sculpted separately and inserted into the open compartments. I particularly love the yellow square plate that’s just bolted haphazardly on the front. Granted, there’s a lot more detail on the front of Chopper’s body than the back, but I think that’s more a characteristic of the droid’s design than it is a cop-out on Hasbro’s part. Even the tiny eyes and the radar dish are wonderfully realized. And the sculpt can’t take all the credit, because the paint features some nice rust-weathering, in addition to the orange and yellow bits.

Chopper includes a retractable third leg with the beefy little tire on it. There’s no gimmick connecting it to the head rotation, like we saw in the Black Series Astromechs. The column is just held in there by friction so you can rotate it as well as push it in and pull it out. Naturally the side legs rotate back to put him in an ambulatory position and he looks great doing it.

Chopper comes with a replacement left leg, which was a plot point in one of the episodes. It’s definitely a cool bonus and I haven’t decided which way I’m going to display him yet. I am leaning toward the different one because it gives Chopper even more of a junky asymmetrical look.

Of course, you can’t have Chopper without what I like to call his tantrum arms. These pull out from the sides of his head and are remarkably sturdy and easy to manipulate. He also has a utility arm that can fold out from the horizontal panel just under his head. These three appendages even feature some articulation at about the midpoints.

Chopper’s final surprise is a rocket jet, which can replace his third leg, and has a thrust effect part. And since he can’t stand with this piece in, Hasbro included a larger effect part that serves as a stand for when Chopper is in flight mode. Yup, Hasbro really went all out on this little guy. In many ways I think this figure is executed way better than their original Black Series R2-D2. He’s chunky and fun, and he has so many extras that I would have never expected. I think the best thing I can say about this little fella is that he feels like a decent value even at the regular twenty dollar price tag.

And so Hasbro continues to hit these Black Series Rebel figures out of the park. I’ve loved them all, and I think Ezra and Chopper may even be the best ones yet. Indeed, I think I’d be comfortable saying that I think these are some of the best Black Series figures, period! Surely, they can’t stop now and I’m hoping to see Zeb revealed in the next couple of days. He may be a little tougher to do in this realistic style, but I have faith that Hasbro will be able to pull it off. And hell, I’d also like to see them continue and give us some of the baddies from the series as well. And that’s a wrap for this week. Slowly but surely I’m trying to come back. I should be on track for Marvel Monday and then we’ll see how much time I have for the week’s content after that. Thanks for your patience!

Marvel Legends (Caliban Wave): Blink by Hasbro

I’m here to try to get Marvel Mondays back on track and this makes two in a row, which is a nice start. I actually began writing this review weeks ago and the original intro is no longer relevant, so let’s just scrap it. Blink is a recent addition to my Marvel Legends pile of shame, and I didn’t feel like digging through the pile for the sake of randomness, so let’s just jump right in and check her out!

It’s an interesting time to be an X-Men fan. The movie rights are now solidified with the MCU. Marvel is shaking up the X-Men comics and it sounds like they’re handing the reigns to Jonathan Hickman. And the X-Men are rapidly catching up to Spider-Man as the new darlings of the Marvel Legends line. There have been more than a few great waves of Marvel’s Mutants hitting the pegs, offering up some great Triple-A classic characters, as well as some of the lower tier ones, like Blink here. I guess it didn’t hurt that Blink appeared in live action X-Men spin-off series, The Gifted, but I can’t say as I watched it.

And here she is out of the box and looking like she just rode cross-country on a Bison. Yeah, before even getting into the figure, I have to mention that Blink came off the tray with her legs warped all to hell. I knew this would be the case before I even opened her. It’s easy to tell by the way she’s packaged, and oh boy is this a pet peeve of mine. Why would you knowingly damage a figure by posing it a certain way in the box? I’m sure I will have some luck straightening out those gams, but I’m not going to do Hasbro the favor of fixing the figure before reviewing it. This shit is just adding more misery to my life. But setting aside her bow-legged-ness, Blink feels a lot like the recent release of Mystique. I don’t think the body is a total reuse, but it’s close enough and when you couple that with the sculpted belt and sash, and the similarities in painted costume, it’s hard to shake that flavor of sameness. I’m not complaining, the figure is definitely faithful to the character design and I appreciate the extra touches like the sculpting on the tops of her buccaneer boots and the studded choker that matches her belt. Plus, the sash on the belt is pretty convincing as the lower extension of her painted dress. Although I do find the way it’s pinched almost the same on the front and back to be a little odd looking. The coloring here is also fine. I like the mauve they used for her skin and the green for the dress, sleeves, and boots. The studs on the belt and choker are also neatly painted.

And I certainly have no complaints regarding the head sculpt. She’s definitely a Mutant hottie, with well defined features, her ears have points, and I love the way they sculpted her hair, giving the portrait a great sense of dimension and character.The markings on her face are sharp, and the thick eye-liner around her squinting yellow eyes looks great. Bravo on the portrait, Hasbro!

Blink comes with three effect parts, all showcasing her teleport capabilities. First up is this portal effect. It’s cast in semi-translucent hot pink plastic and it’s pretty fun to play around with. By now y’all should know that I’m never too enamored with effect parts, especially not the ones that Hasbro tends to churn out, but this one is easy to incorporate onto the shelf for display and I think it truly adds something to the figure.

Next up, you get two teleport spikes, for lack of a better word. She flings these at people and objects to teleport them. There isn’t a lot more to say about them, other than she can hold them in each of her hands.

As I’ve said many times over, Marvel Legends has been great for universe building, and that means getting characters like Blink right alongside heavier hitters like Beast, Jubilee, and Gambit. Maybe she wasn’t all that high up on my list, but she was definitely on it, and I’m happy to be able to cross her off of it. And from sculpt to paint, they did a fine job with her. No, I’m not happy about the warped legs, andI should be able to fix that with a little hot water or a blow dryer, but come on, Hasbro. You’ve been in this game long enough that you shouldn’t be making mistakes like that.

Marvel Legends (Spider-Man Homecoming): Spider-Man and MJ by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back today, after a long and painful hiatus, serving up a new Marvel Monday review. I’m going to skip a lengthy preamble about coming back, and just jump right in. Hopefully I won’t be too rusty… So, I haven’t purchased many new toys in my absence, but I have plenty on the stack to get through, and my Marvel Legends backlog is as big as ever. I thought I’d bump today’s set to the top of the list, since I just saw Spider-Man: Far From Home last week and I’m still riding that Web-Head High. Wow, what a fun movie that was!

I want to say this set was a Target Exclusive, but there’s nothing on the package that calls it out, so don’t quote me on that. I just know that it showed up on my doorstep from Target, and up until that point I had completely forgotten that I pre-ordered it. And yes, it’s based on Homecoming, despite the fact that it shipped closer to the new movie than the former one. Included in the box is a variant of Spider-Man as well as a figure that I never thought we’d get… it’s the MCU version of MJ! The figures come in a standard two-pack Legends window box with some stills from the movie on the side panels and a great look at the goodies from the front. All in all, the package makes for an attractive display piece, but since available space continues to be at a premium around here, I’m gonna shred this box all to hell. Let’s start with Spider-Man!

So, this is Spidey in his original Stark-made Homecoming suit, while wearing both a hoodie and his school blazer over it. I expected this figure to borrow heavily from the last Homecoming Spidey, but there’s actually quite a bit of new work here. The legs appear to be the same sculpts, but these are painted much better than what I got on the previous figure. The blue and red looks a bit more vibrant, but the most notable difference is how much clearer the panel lining is on the blue parts. It can barely be seen on the original version, but here it’s just so much more prominent. The torso looks similar to the other figure, but it’s actually new as it doesn’t include the lateral shoulder crunches. The hit to articulation is a bummer, but it makes sense that these had to be omitted to accommodate the jacket and blazer.

The jacket and blazer are each cast from separate pieces of soft plastic and layered onto each other, which looks great. If you peel aside the blazer, you can see that the jacket under it is really just a frame made up of the exposed zipper edges and the hood. I’m guessing they went this route so it wouldn’t look too puffy and I think it was a good decision. The bright yellow blazer pops against the blue and red of the costume, includes some sculpted stitch lines, pockets, and even has the crest of the Midtown School of Science & Technology printed on it. As always the sleeves are sculpted as part of the arms, and apart from the absent shoulder crunches, the articulation is identical to the previous Spider-Man figure.

Alas, my big gripe with this figure is the head, which isn’t nearly as well done as the predecessor. The big issue here is that the white paint used for the eyes is badly misaligned. Also, I think the shading around the eyes looks weird. I’m not sure if this was supposed to convey shadow or if it’s just a sloppy job printing the web lines, but I don’t care for how it came out at all. Luckily the heads are swappable, but that doesn’t help when I plan on displaying both figures together.

Spidey comes with two sets of hands. You get the regular fists and the usual thwippy hands. Nothing new here, but I’m glad to see they packed in some options. All in all, this isn’t a bad figure, I just wish the head was painted better. I don’t know if I would call it essential, but I think him wearing the blazer is pretty iconic to this film, so I’m certainly happy to have it. Moving on to MJ…

So yeah, this was the figure I thought we’d never get. At least not from the first film, where her identity wasn’t even revealed until the end. Although thanks to casting leaks, most of us had gotten wind of it by the time the film premiered. MJ’s wardrobe didn’t really stand out for me, but I recall she sported something of a grunge look for most of the film, and this figure definitely reflects that. You get a black top, gray and black jacket, gray pants and black boots. It’s not the flashy stuff I’m used to comic book MJ wearing, but it reflects the new character pretty well. A number of the parts here look familiar, but it also looks like Hasbro invested in some new tooling. The jacket features the usual soft plastic vest with the sleeves sculpted on the arms and it looks fine. If this isn’t what I would call a stand-out figure, it’s more because of the design of the wardrobe than it is any failing on Hasbro’s part. In short, it’s perfectly fine.

What’s better than perfectly fine are the two head-sculpts. Hasbro did a beautiful job capturing Zendaya’s likeness, and I’d even go so far as to say this is some of their best work. The first head features her hair down and a rather perturbed expression. Lets not forget that MJ spent most of her time in the film looking skeptical or just plain scowling. Either way, I think they did a wonderful job with this one. If I had to throw out a gripe it would be that the hinge in the neck stands out quite a bit. But I’m really looking for nits to pick.

The alternate head features MJ’s hair tied back with a number of strands falling down the right side of her face and covering her cheek. This head also features a smiling expression, which is a nice contrast to the glowering alternative. Both sculpts capture her likeness perfectly, but I’m probably going to be partial to displaying my figure with the second head.

Like Spider-Man, MJ comes with two sets of hands. One pair feature splayed fingers, the other pair features a right fist and a left accessory holding hand. Nope, she doesn’t come with any accessories to hold, but I’m sure I could dig something out for her. As for the articulation, this is pretty standard stuff for the female Legends figures. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The torso features a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

As I mentioned earlier, I was interested in this set enough that I pre-ordered it. That’s something I don’t often do with Legends figures these days, because there are just so many of them coming out in any given month. And as it turns out I like these figures a lot, even if the Spider-Man head has room for improvement. I’m not sure I would call this a must-have, although with MJ playing a much bigger part in Far From Home, I wonder if she’ll get another figure in the near future. If not, I suppose she’s the real draw of this set. I dig the school blazer Spidey well enough, but I wouldn’t consider it essential. And that’s a wrap for my first review back. I do hope to be back again before the end of the week with something else, but it will all depend on how much time I get to spend at home in the next few days!

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

Not much content last week, but if you knew what an achievement it was for me to find the time just to do this belated Marvel Monday on Wednesday, you’d forgive me. And who knows, maybe I can squeeze in a second review in this weekend, but I don’t want to make any crazy promises. Last time I opened Omega Red, the last figure in the Sauron Wave, and that means it’s time to cobble another Build-A-Figure together. I’ve been looking forward to completing Sauron for a while now, so let’s check him out…

When it comes to fun and crazy characters, Sauron ranks pretty high up there for me. Then again I’m usually biased toward anything related to The Savage Land. And appropriately enough, Sauron is a little different than your average BAF. He still requires the usual six pieces, four of which consist of the arms and legs, but the head is already attached to the torso and that sixth piece is his tail. And technically, the arms each consist of two pieces, as part of the wings are on detachable hinges to allow them to collapse. Hasbro could have easily milked this BAF for two more figures and packaged those wings separately. But despite the little change-up, this Build-A-Figure is still pretty easy to put together. And the results are indeed one of the most unique and interesting BAFs that we’ve had in a while.

Oh yeah, I’m in love! You know all those figures we get with just a bit of new sculpting and mostly painted costumes? Well, those are what allow for figures like this one. Sauron features a ton of new sculpting and unique parts, and is as much a love letter to collectors as we’re likely to see. The body is covered with sculpted scales, bumps, and all around great texturing. They even did a nice job sculpting the sinews and muscles in the arms and legs. There’s hardly any area on this figure that doesn’t feature some kind of detail. Even the primitive belt and pouches look great. And while the arms and legs mostly feature a chalky green skin tone, the chest is spruced up with some yellow highlights. The tail is cast in a soft plastic, so there’s some room for bending there, and it also helps to form a support as Sauron’s wings can make him a little back heavy with some poses. And hey… how about them wings?

Each wing is made of three pieces, which are designed to collapse inward and spread outward, based on Sauron’s arm movements. These work really well, and are a huge improvement over wings we’ve seen on some past Marvel figures, especially in the smaller 4-inch scale. I’m looking at you, Vulture and Falcon! And like the body, these wing pieces are positively covered with textured detail. The membranes show filaments crossing and crisscrossing each other, and there are even little places here and there where the membrane has worn through. The coloring is also fantastic, with the same green used for the body near the skeletal frame, and the membrane itself transitioning to yellow.

The portrait is also superb. You get more of the same scaly and bumpy skin texture, a pair of beady red eyes, and some nice color gradation as the skin tone goes from green in the back to a sort of yellow-ochre toward the tip of the beak. But the real show here comes when you open the articulated jaws and have a look inside that mouth. The individually sculpted and painted teeth frame a lumpy red tongue, which has a little curl at the end. Even among the admittedly small sampling of Pterodactyl Men action figures, Sauron here is oozing personality.

Normally the rundown of articulation on these Marvel Legends bores me to tears. It’s always serviceable, but almost always the same. Here we get some differences thanks to the unique nature of the character. The legs remain pretty much true to form, with double hinges in the knees, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, and swivels up near the hips where the legs connect. The torso features a ball joint just above the waist and under the abs. The head mounts on a neck stalk with a ball joint and the stalk being able to slide forward and back in a slot. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders and wrists, with swivels in the biceps as usual, but only single hinges in the elbows. Finally, the larger wing pieces are pegged in so they can swivel.

No doubt about it, Sauron is one of the most unique BAFs we’ve had in a while, and definitely a prime example of a figure that could never have been executed as a pack-in, thereby making great use of the Build-A-Figure format. Hasbro went all out on this guy, and I have to imagine that even collectors who aren’t familiar with the character, will have to concede that this is one absolutely gorgeous figure.