Marvel Legends (Wendigo Wave): Boom-Boom by Hasbro

My work schedule continues to be crazy, folks, and I have Easter to thank for me chipping away a little time to get this week’s Marvel Monday posted on schedule. Now, I had originally planned to look at both Boom-Boom and the Wendigo Build-A-Figure today, but I had to scale back on that because of a time crunch. I’m hoping to get back to Wendigo before the end of the week, but we’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, It’s always exciting to be putting another wave behind me, and while Boom-Boom happens to be the last figure in this assortment that I’m opening, don’t read anything into that. The Fallen Angels series hit the spinner racks at a perfect time for me, (I was 15!) and I ate that shit up and was quite smitten with Tabitha. Naturally, I’m happy to be getting her in my Legends collection.

Here she is in the package, offering up the final piece I need to build my Wendigo, and sporting that lovely X-Force logo. I’m happy with the look they went with, although I’d be equally happy to get a different costume as a future release. Hey, with how prolific this line has been, anything is possible! Let’s blast her out of there and take a look. OK, Boomer?

Boom-Boom is one of those figures that gets by with a colored buck and some added pieces. And while that might be an incentive for Hasbro to cheap out, this is another example of them going above and beyond. The buck is cast in mauve plastic to depict her featureless bodysuit and brown bits are added to complete the costume. Mauve and brown are not two colors I would think to put together, but they kind of work here. That’s why I leave character design to the pros.

The hands and feet are painted brown and pieces are added to the wrists and ankles to make them look like boots and gloves and it works great. A wide brown belt wraps around her left thigh, and while it is held on by friction, mine is happily stuck firmly in place. A thin brown belt hangs around her waist, speckled with some tiny pouches, and advertising the X-logo on the buckle. Finally, she has a brown half-vest with a segmented collar.

I’m not going to run down all the articulation, because there’s simply nothing new here. If you have some Legends ladies in your collection you should know what to expect. I will toss in my obligatory griping about the rotating hinges in the elbows. Those hinges lock in at 90-degrees of movement and that feels so damn limiting, especially when most of the Legends dudes get the double-hinged elbow treatment.

Boom-Boom features two heads and both sculpts are excellent. She has her large green visor covering her eyes and leaving only her nose and brightly painted lips visible. The sculpting for her curly hair is fantastic and highly detailed. There’s even a wayward curl or two falling over her visor. She also sports a nice pair of sculpted her some star-shaped earrings. If anything lets this portrait down a bit it’s the paint application on her lips. It looks like she applied her lipstick in a moving car… driving through a minefield… in the dark.

 

Tabitha joins the Jubilee School of Bubble Blowers, as her second head comes with a blown bubblegum bubble. The rest of the head sculpt is pretty much identical, but it’s nice to see that Hasbro was able to roll out that neat effect again so soon. This head has a few minor seam and mold flashing issues, which aren’t a big deal, but I mention it because it seems to be happening more and more lately.

Of course, Boom-Boom sports one of the more useful mutant powers out there, the ability to create explosions, and we get a couple of effect parts to help communicate that. One is just a flaming ball of combustion, which she can hold in either hand. The other is a replacement left hand with the fireball effect built in. Both look great and I’ve had some fun fooling around with them.

I’m not really tuned into the Marvel fanbase these days, so I’m not sure how much demand there was for Boom-Boom here, but I suspect most old-timers like me are going to be happy to have her. This is a release that once again shows how committed Hasbro is to the depth of character selection here and I’ll be honest, I can never have too many Mutants. Are there still characters that should probably be hitting the shelves before Boom-Boom? Yeah, most definitely, but I have no doubt Hasbro will get to everyone eventually. I’ll be back at some point this week to check out the Wendigo Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends: Deluxe Black Widow by Hasbro

I know, I promised to finish off the Wendigo Wave this week, but then I got this new Black Widow figure in the mail and all bets were off. This figure was supposed to be hitting shelves about a month before the Black Widow movie hit, but then The Plague came and everything got pushed back. I think the new target date for Black Widow’s flick is sometime in November. Oh well, at least we can enjoy the toys now!

One look at the package and it’s easy to see what makes this figure Deluxe. Hands! Weapons! Effect Parts! And there’s even an articulated figure stand buried in there somewhere! Why the special treatment for Natasha? It all feels like some kind of mea culpa for Widow not getting a stand-alone movie a long time ago. There are some sweet pieces of character art on the side panels and the front of the package is branded with the Black Widow movie logo. Looks like there’s some cool shit in here, so let’s get it opened and have a look at Black Widow!

Or is that White Widow? I may have a handful of MCU Black Widows on my Marvel Legends shelf, but this one is certainly the most distinctive thanks to her spanking new white outfit. There are some panel lines sculpted into the suit itself, but it feels a refreshingly simpler than some of the hyper-detailed suits we’ve seen come out of the MCU. I think this is an all new body sculpt, but I’d be lying if I said I remembered all the little details in the previous Romanovs. The suit features a high collar with a plunging neckline, some sculpted armor bits on the shoulders, with painted silver “straps,” as well as knee and elbow pads. The wrist bracers are sculpted separately in black plastic and lifted straight from the comic look. She also has a black belt rig with holsters and thigh straps. She has a shoulder harness, which is part of the body sculpt and painted black, and two tiny red paint operations on her shoulder armor. All in all, I really dig the white, and I think the black extras look great in contrast with the costume.

The articulation holds few surprises, although it’s worth pointing out that the rotating hinges in the elbows are different from one we usually see. These are similar to the ones I seem to remember Hasbro using for some of the Spider-Woman figures. They’re a little weird but they get the job done. Nonetheless, I still think it’s well past time we get double hinges for the ladies’ elbows. The rest of the arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs for the wrists so the hands can pop out and be replaced. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The boots are sculpted with high-heeled wedges, which didn’t present much of a problem getting her to stand. The torso has a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is hinged and ball jointed. Unfortunately the hair sculpt prevents much in the way up backward head movement.

Hasbro has had plenty of practice casting ScarJo’s portrait into plastic, and I think that’s reflected here. They’ve come a long way since that initial Black Widow head sculpt from The Avengers. I think the likeness is spot on, particularly when viewed in profile. The nose and lips are just about perfect and the eyes are no slouch either. The portrait makes use of the now standard printed method, which continues to impress me, so long as you don’t get in too close. I do enjoy that they gave her a hint of a confident smirk, but here’s where I would have liked to get a more serious expression on an extra head for those action poses. My figure has a little smudge on her forehead, which isn’t a big deal, but might give me an excuse to pick up a second one for all the extra goodies.

Natasha comes with two sets of weapons, including extra hands to work with them. First off she has a pair of pistols, which I assume are supposed to be the same Glock 26’s that she carried in Avengers and Age of Ultron. And let’s not overlook how great it is to have these, since Hasbro has been inexplicably reluctant to give most of their Black Widow Legends figures her trademark guns. These are tiny, and while she holds them fairly well, they don’t always look straight in her hands. The pair with sculpted trigger fingers don’t quire do what they’re supposed to, as it’s tough to get the fingers into the trigger guard and have them stay put. I do, however, appreciate how perfectly they fit into her holsters. I’ve yet to have them fall out once.

Her other set of weapons are kind of like little sickles coming out of batons. Yeah, I have no idea what these are, but they remind me of those hooked pikes that rock climbers use. I’m sure they could be pretty deadly once you start swinging them around. Natasha comes with a pair of hands specifically for holding these.

Next up are the effect parts for her Widow’s Sting. These are just translucent blue plastic pieces that go between the hands and wrists. They look pretty cool and I’m surprised that it took this long to get something like this on a Black Widow Legends figure.

 

I’ve already showed off the stand in some of these pictures, and it’s kind of a big deal for Hasbro to pack something like this in with one of their figures. It’s actually a pretty elaborate and well done piece of kit. It draws influences from the Tamashii stands, but it’s not nearly as versatile as those. That’s not to say it’s bad. The chunky design feels durable and the base has the ability to work with some of the effect parts, thanks to a number of sockets and peg holes. There are also some pegs to allow the figure to stand directly on the base. For more dynamic poses, the figure is gripped with spring-loaded pincers and attaches to the vertical stand with ratcheting system to raise and lower the figure. Not bad at all!

And finally we get all sorts of explosion and blast effect parts. I feel like some of these might have been reused from Transformers or Star Wars lines, but maybe not. They look good and the stand gives more than a few options on how to plug them in.

I sincerely hope that this Deluxe release is the beginning of something for Hasbro. Considering the figure would have been $20, getting the stand and effect parts for an extra ten spot feels like a good value. And since the stand is just branded Hasbro, there’s nothing to stop them from including it in releases from the Star Wars and GI JOE Classified lines as well. No, I won’t be retiring my Tamashii stands in favor of this one, but I think this will be a welcome addition for collectors out there who otherwise aren’t going to take the time and money to track down one of those display systems. OK, next week I promise I’ll finish off that Wendigo Wave!

Transformers “Earthrise:” Hoist by Hasbro

I still have a bunch of Transformers from Siege left to review, and I do hope to get to those eventually, but a few weeks back I got in the first wave of Earthrise Deluxe Class figures, and I thought it would be fun to be topical and current for a change. Plus, I was really excited to open one of these and that motivated me to squeeze in a second review this week. I can’t even begin to tell you what a triumph of time management this is! Anyway, this assortment consists of Wheeljack, Hoist, Cliffjumper, and Ironworks. I’m going to go for Hoist first!

I’m delighted to see that Hasbro hasn’t changed the package design from Siege to Earthrise. The artwork is still as gritty and wonderful as ever and the figure is packaged in his robot mode. Earthrise is the second chapter in this War For Cybertron Trilogy and as the name suggests, Hasbro has moved on to giving the robots proper Earth vehicle modes. It’s an interesting way of doing things, although with the scattershot character selection it means we’ll have some characters, like Hoist here, with only an Earth mode and no Cybertron mode, while presumably we’ll have someone like Ironhide with only a Cybertron mode. On the other hand, characters like Starscream and Optimus Prime are getting both, so who knows. Let’s start with Hoist’s alt mode…

And you can’t get much more faithful to the G1 alt mode than this! Hoist is a rugged looking tow-truck with a satisfyingly boxy 80’s aesthetic. That includes sharp angles (actually even sharper than the original toy!), flared wheel wells, and big chunky tires. I love it! The body is hunter green with black and yellow hazard stripes running down the sides, and he’s got a bold Autobot insignia crisply printed in the center of his hood. The front grill is painted silver and features translucent blue headlamps and fog lights. Some sculpted detail here includes three sections of grill and what I presume is supposed to be a coiled winch. The towing rig in Hoist’s bed, and some of the undercarriage, is cast in bright orange plastic, completing that familiar G1 deco perfectly. The windshield matches the plastic used for the headlights and the side windows are opaque black plastic. Finally, Hasbro is continuing to experiment with weathering, and that’s evident here by the silver spray around the edges of Hoist’s hood. I think it looks fine.

I’ve got to say that I’m smitten with this alt mode. It’s a fantastic update to the original toy, it feels like quality, and everything looks so incredibly clean and sharp. But that’s not to say it’s perfect. The body rides high on the wheels and you can see a little too much of the robot mode in the exposed undercarriage. The way the arms are just angled down there kind of reminds me of Siege Hound, only they’re even more prominent here. I also would have rather the light box on top of the cabin be painted silver to match the grill and the wheels. I’m also not a big fan of having the windshield translucent and the side windows painted a different color. But these are all gripes that I can set aside, because all in all it really is a great little truck.

And yes, the towing plate is articulated and can fold down to allow Hoist to tow one of his fallen comrades out of a hot spot!

Transforming this guy took me a couple times before it felt natural. It’s a little less intuitive than I expected, but it gets the job done. Like his alt mode, Hoist’s robot mode is also slavishly faithful to his old G1 design. There isn’t a lot of effort spent in smoothing out the design, although the proportions are improved and this modern version actually has a visible pelvis, rather than a pair of legs coming out of the hood. Utilizing the car bumper as a chest (like Prowl and the Datsuns) will always be my favorite Autobot design, but this one works well too, with the windshield taking on role of the chest and the hood pointing down to become the abdomen. This is undoubtedly a solid looking bot mode! The coloring remains faithful to the alt mode deco and I think the positioning of the weathering spray makes more sense in this mode. Although, I’m surprised they didn’t add some to his feet as well. If I were to nitpick the coloring here, I would just say that I wish the white parts were painted silver.

When viewed from behind, Hoist ain’t exactly pretty, but he’s not too bad either. His tow gear becomes a backpack with the two “wings” angling upward off his shoulders. He’s got a little hollow leg thing going on in his lower legs, but that’s nothing unexpected from a Deluxe these days. And then there’s those arm panels. Yes, they are totally faithful to the design of the original toy and that’s a good thing for keeping up tradition, but it’s also a bad thing for the overall workings of the toy. With the more modernized aesthetic and articulation, they feel rather out of place. And I can’t help but think that a few strategically placed hinges would have served to pack them up nicely and out of the way. Although, in fairness, I hadn’t remembered that they were included in the animated Sunbow design. Ultimately, I can go either way on them. At first I did not like them at all. But after playing around with the figure a bit, I’m finding that I don’t mind them nearly as much as I thought I would.

The head sculpt embraces the old Sunbow animated design a lot more than it does the original toy, and I’m happy with that. The “helmet” is painted black and his mouth-plate is gray. There’s no light-piping in effect here, instead the visor is simply painted blue. But it looks good and the color pops surprisingly well.

Hoist comes with a chunky orange funnel-like gun, which can be held in either hand. When it is held, however, it looks more like a natural extension of the arm, which is something that Hoist had going on in the old cartoon. Even the toy had the option to replace the hands with a missile-like weapon. I’m not sure why they went with orange, but I don’t hate it. It works well with the existing deco and I like that it preserves the option for him to have two hands if you want. You can also peg the gun into either side of his vehicle mode to give him a little more firepower.

I’ll confess that I was a little iffy on Hoist when I first got him out of the box and started playing with him. There were a few design elements that I thought could have been done better. But after just a couple transformations and a little bit of fiddling, he has more than won me over. He’s even going to stay on my desk for at least a few days because I can’t stop playing around with him. More than any other recent Transformers release, Hoist here feels like a straight up update to the original toy, and that’s not a bad thing at all. I don’t think he reaches the heights of Deluxe Perfection that we saw in a line like Titans Return, but he’s still damn good and I’m eagerly awaiting the remold into Trailbreaker!

Marvel Legends (Wendigo Wave): Nightcrawler by Hasbro

The X-Men hits keep on coming, folks, and I’m only two figures away from finishing off the Wendigo Wave. I was going to save the best for last, but truth be told this figure has been waiting long enough to be opened. So let’s check out Herr Kurt Wagner. BAMPF!!!

Nightcrawler has been kicking around the X-Men funnybooks for a long time. Indeed, he’s almost as old as I am! I was a big fan of his growing up, mainly because he looked cool and I thought teleportation would be one of the best mutant powers to have. At the same time, I always thought he was one of the better examples of the Mutant dilemma, since so many could hide their mutations in the guise of their normal appearances. To me, the really interesting Mutants were the ones who traded their great gift for an appearance that instantly placed them outside normal society. And That was the case with Nightcrawler. Is it long past time we got him in modern Marvel Legends? Hell, yeah it is!

And it sure was well worth the wait! Hasbro just poured the love into this figure and appropriately so, because he is such a fan favorite. He’s built off a rather lean and almost lanky buck, which plays well to his superhuman agility. The body is cast in black plastic with some red and white paint for the boots and gloves. Yeah, there’s some bleed through on the red paint, which is a shame, but surprisingly there’s none at all on the white.

Kurt’s V-shaped vest is painted on below the chest, but sculpted above it and it flares out from the shoulders. The red paint doesn’t quite match between the two pieces, but it’s close enough. His hands are sculpted appropriately with three fingers and his feet with two toes. The figure is rounded out with a thin blue tail with a devilish point. The tail is pre-posed in a snaking fashion, so no bendy plastic here, however it’s sculpted in a way that really makes use of the swivel at the base, allowing for some varied poses.

Hasbro included not one but two extra heads! The first is a fairly neutral expression. Maybe a little perturbed or just plain stoic. Whatever the case, it’s absolutely fantastic. There is some excellent definition in his facial details, the bushy eyebrows look like they’re judging me a bit. His pointed ears jut out from behind his sculpted sideburns, and the hair is beautifully sculpted and swept back. The pupil-less yellow eyes and the deep blue skin coloring complete the portrait perfectly.

The second head offers a broad smile and I’m very glad that Hasbro included this one as it very much suits his personality, particularly in the earlier appearances. Everything that I said about the previous face holds true for this one, however, I do have a couple nitpicks here. Firstly the paint on the teeth could have been executed better. There’s a little slop from his fangs onto his bottom lip, and there isn’t any white paint on his lower row of teeth. This second bit isn’t a huge problem, as it looks like maybe they’re concealed behind his bottom lip, but I don’t think that was the intention. Also, the paint on my figure’s left eye here is a little miffed.

The third head is Kurt’s battle face and it is most definitely successful at showing off his rage. The paint on the teeth here still has some issues, but it’s a little better than the previous head. You also get some paint inside the mouth on his tongue. The furled brow and the chiseled lines on either side of his gaping mouth are quite well done.

As for articulation, Hasbro graced Nightcrawler with one of the more poseable bodies, which includes the lateral crunches on the shoulders. In addition to those, his arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs for the hands. His right hand can be swapped between an accessory holding hand and a graspy hand. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles are both hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and his neck is both hinged and ball jointed. And once again, there is a swivel at the base of the tail.

In addition to two extra heads and an extra right hand, Nightcrawler comes with his swashbuckling sword. This weapon is influenced by the sword on the pirate-themed cover of Nightcrawler #1 only with a straight blade. The hilt is gold and fits snugly into his extra right hand. This is about as perfect an accessory as I could think to include with him, and he’s a lot of fun to pose with it.

I don’t feel like it’s hyperbole for me to say that Nightcrawler is one of my absolute favorite figures to come out of Legends in a while. Do I say that a lot? It feels like I say that a lot. Well, this time I really mean it. He’s definitely the best offering of this wave, and that’s not something I say lightly since this wave also gave us an excellent figure of mah-man, Sinister. Sure, I have a few nitpicks here, but some of them may be QC issues unique to my figure. And besides that, the broad strokes here are all just perfect. The articulation is excellent, the extra heads are most welcome, the tail has just enough versatility for posing, and Kurt looks great swinging into action with his sword. It feels like Hasbro has given us a ton of excellent X-Men figures in a short space of time, and I haven’t even dug into the Apocalypse Wave yet! But first things first, and next week I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at Boom-Boom and the Wendigo Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Wendigo Wave): Mr Sinister by Hasbro

Yes, it’s Marvel Monday on a Friday, folks! I am just barely getting this one in under the wire and it still wound up having to be an abbreviated update. I had one day off this week, that was yesterday, and I spent it reading comics, playing some Nintendo Switch and drifting in and out of sleep. I intended to get some more time taking photos, but it’s been so long since I’ve had time to do that, the cats have taken up residency on my photo stage and I didn’t want to roust them. Anyway, things continue to be crazy busy for me and I won’t make any promises for next week, other than I will get another Marvel Legends review in at some point. And that’s it. Keep on keeping on out there. Be smart. Be safe. Cling to your happy things, and hopefully this will all blow over sooner rather than later. OK, on to Marvel Monday…er, Marvel Friday!

Mr Sinister! He was far up on my short list of modern Legends figures that I wanted on my shelf. I was the optimal age of 15 when he first appeared in Uncanny X-Men and over the years he would proceed to blow my teenage mind out the back of my head. I thought he as so cool, so bad-ass, and so damn creepy at the same time. Whenever I was reading an X-Men comic and Mr. Sinister wasn’t in the panel, I was asking, “Where’s Mr. Sinister?” He was one of the very last Toy Biz Marvel Legends I got rid of. Indeed, I think I even featured that figure in one of my Deadpool reviews within the last few years. Despite being a beefy character, Hasbro still managed to cram a Wendigo arm in there. Oh, and can I say how unbelievably thankful I am that Hasbro didn’t give us the terrible suit-wearing modern look of Sinister from Secret Warriors. THANK YOU, HASBRO!!! Ok, let’s get him open.

Yup, that’s the classic Sinister that I know and love. He’s sporting the metallic blue segmented body, which exudes a very strong Colossus flavor and looks absolutely stunning. The midnight blue boots come all the way up to his thighs and flare out at the sides, he’s got matching gloves and flared out shoulders, all of which produce a sharp contrast between the matte finish and the metallic body. The body is rounded out by a red diamond on his chest and a simple red belt around the waist. Hasbro did a beautiful job updating the body from the old Toy Biz version. I think the build is perfect, the sculpt is simple but effective, and the colors look great.

And then there’s the cape! Sinestro is sporting his bizarre cape, which looks like it got stuck in a paper shredder. It’s also got that great gravity-defying plunge up and over the shoulders and a high collar that would make Dracula jealous. This garment looks fantastic in the comics, but I’m not sure it was ever meant to really translate into the real world. To be fair, I think it looks pretty good from the front, but from the back, it’s just an eyesore of a mess. It’s not the figure’s fault. I think they did the best with what they had to work with.

The head sculpt is excellent. Sinister is offering a wide and toothy smile, sports high-arching and proper evil looking eyebrows, red eyes, and has the diamond right in the middle of his forehead. They did a fine job with the flat-top hair cut too. The black of his lips and hair accentuates the white of his skin. Personally, I would have preferred a bit of a wash on the face paint to bring out some of those details. It’s maybe a little too white, but now I may be nitpicking. I also feel that a second head would have been called for here. Something a little more dire and grim.

Sinister sports all the usual articulation for a Legends figure. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at the tops of the boots, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a waist swivel and an ab-crunch hinge, and finally the neck has both a hinge and ball joint. The hands are sculpted into a fist on the right arm and an open grasping hand on the left, which works about as well as anything I would have come up with.

After all that gushing, I will say that I didn’t have a lot of inspiration for photographing Mr. Sinister. Maybe that has something to do with the cape being rather unwieldy. Maybe it has to do with his one-note expression not really fitting in with a lot of action poses. I’m not sure, but it kind of worked out this week since I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on him. But don’t take that as a slight on this figure, because I absolutely love him. He’s probably one of my most anticipated Legends figures in a long while and the fact that he lived up to my expectations says a lot. Not to mention that he makes the Toy Biz version (a figure that I’ve loved for many years) look positively prehistoric by comparison. Everything from sculpt to coloring just came out so well on this guy, and I’m happy to be able to cross him off my X-Men Legends Want List.

Marvel Legends: Stepford Cuckoos by Hasbro

Congratulations, you made it to another Marvel Monday! I hope y’all are staying safe, washing your hands, and for God sake, STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE!!! I never realized until now how hard that is to do sometimes. Anyway, since I wrapped up the Caliban Wave last week, I thought I’d open a stand alone figure today before jumping into another assortment. But, we’re going to keep that X-Men love train rolling with a look at one of Walgreens’ exclusives… The Stepford Cuckoos!

Generally speaking, the Walgreens-Hasbro partnership has been good to me, as not being able to find these exclusives has been the exception and not the rule. Every now and again I have to hit a scalper, but not often. But with that being said, I had all but given up on finding the Cuckoos. And wouldn’t you know it on a random stop for cold meds and a frozen pizza I actually found one of these gals standing on the shelf. It’s always when you least expect it! As you can see from the packaged shot, Hasbro included two extra heads, so you can buy three figures and get three Cuckoos, and that very well could be part of the reason I had trouble finding just one.

Now, I have to confess some ignorance here, because my experience was the Five-in-One were identical quintuplet clones of Emma Frost and thereby looked identical and were depicted all with the same blonde hair. Granted, Hasbro was going for the Three-in-One here, so I presumed these are Celeste, Irma, and Phoebe? But with completely different looking heads? I’m going to write this off as a modern Marvel thing, because I’ve given up on reading Marvel’s books until they start focusing on hiring talent and not entitled social shills. As a result I’m not up on a lot of the modern character looks. Sorry, I started drifting into a rant there.

OK, so, I had to turn to the Internets to learn the identities. So as I make it, Phoebe is the redhead, Irma is the brunette, and that would make Celeste the blonde head that comes on the body? Let’s go with that, but feel free to slag me and tell me I’m wrong. Other than the heads, I guess the identical bodies make sense because of the whole school uniform thing. I keep wrapping my head around whether Hasbro will ever get to use this body again, and I can’t come up with any reasons.

The figure makes use of a smaller teenage body, similar to Nico from the Dormammu Wave. I’ll confess I expected a lot of reuse here, but that’s not the case. The school outfit consists of a green and white plaid pleated skirt, a white button-down blouse with green tie, and a black blazer. Down below you get white socks and black shoes. The outfit employs a lot of new sculpting, which is impressive in a character like this, and an exclusive to boot! The jacket is the usual fake-out with what is basically a sleeveless vest cast in soft plastic with the sleeves sculpted on the arms. The articulation is standard for Marvel Legends ladies, including the rotating hinges in the elbows instead of double-hinges. Although they do have swivels in the legs at the thighs and again down at the tops of the socks.

The three portraits are pretty solid, although two of mine have some mold flashing on their chins that I’ll have to shave off. The different hair sculpts range from the mundane brunette bowl cut to the more dynamic red windblown look. The eyes on all three are whited out and there’s some red painted in around the edges, which looks suitably creepy.

In addition to three heads and two sets of hands, you get a few more accessories in the box. The first are these milky-translucent plastic effect parts for their arms. They’re OK, but not much to write home about.

You also get Cerebro, and it’s the same one that came with the Deluxe Riders Professor X. It even still has the hole in the back for the effect part that came with that set. A nice, albeit unnecessary bonus.

And so Marvel Legends continues to dig deep for characters and Hasbro continues to find fun and creative ways to release them. The Cuckoos are what I would consider a perfect exclusive. I don’t consider them essential, so limiting their release wasn’t a big deal to me. That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who consider them must-haves, but that certainly wasn’t the case with me. Indeed, I would have more expected something like this to be released in a Comic Con Exclusive multi-pack rather than on the shelf at my local Walgreens. So I guess the question remains, am I going to triple-down on these gals? Nah, I don’t think so. If they were a wide release and turned up on Amazon for $15 a pop, I might be tempted, but I can’t see dropping another $40 to complete the Three-In-One. I have even since found one more on the shelf, and I wound up leaving her there.

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

What’s this? Marvel Monday on Tuesday? Yeah, this happens from time to time when I want to put a wave to bed and tack on a review of the BAF after the last figure in the assortment. To be fair, I really could have just posted a Double Feature yesterday, because I’m not sure that today’s content warrants a day all to himself. Not to slight the character selection here, because we are indeed checking out Mutant-sniffer extraordinare Caliban, but as you’ll soon see, it isn’t going to take a lot of time to discuss what he’s all about. Also, apologies for the pictures. I tried a new background so as not to wash out his white and I am not at all happy with the end results. And with that ringing endorsement out of the way, let’s check out Caliban!

There’s nothing crazy here when it comes to building him. Caliban is comprised of six parts (legs, limbs, torso, and head), each acquired in part by buying Blink, Weapon X Wolverine, Forge, Skullbuster, Jubilee, and Gambit. Yup, Beast is in the wave too, but you don’t need him to build Caliban. Honestly, there isn’t a figure in this wave that I bought solely for the BAF part, nor was there a figure I would have passed on if not for building Caliban. Granted, that’s usually the case for me, because I’m all about the universe building, but it’s worth pointing out that I thought this was a solid wave.

So, obviously this is Apocalypse Horseman Caliban because he’s a big boy! I have no doubt we’ve seen this BAF body before, as it’s pretty generic, but I’m not placing it off the top of my head. Suffice it to say it’s a giant slab of plastic muscle with some veins sculpted in here and there. He’s got heavy wrist bracers, grabby monster mitts, and his feet look like Ninja tabi boots. There’s not a lot new and original going on here from the neck down, other than the coloring. And the coloring is nice. The white pearlescent plastic exposed on the legs, shoulders and upper torso sure is pretty and the deep maroon paint for the rest of the body suit compliments it well. The bracers are dark gray and you get some blue and white necrotic skin for his big claws. The paint lines on my figure are pretty sharp and all in all I got no complaints.

The head sculpt is nothing short of fantastic, featuring some amazing attention to detail in the facial features. Caliban is captured in full scream with his mouth open and exposing his fanged teeth and a fully realized tongue. The deep set yellow beady eyes are placed under a prominent brow ridge, which sweeps up to the sides to form what look like horns. The paint is the same great stuff used for the hands and it has a slight gloss to it, giving the skin a rather disgusting, moist finish. Hasbro has done some epic head sculpts in this line, and Caliban ranks up there with the best of them.

The articulation holds no surprises. Hasbro usually manages to pack a lot of great poseability into these big and beefy BAFs, and Caliban is no exception to that rule. The legs have ball joints at the hips, double-hinged knees, swivels at the thighs and lower legs, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. The torso has a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and single hinges in the elbows. Not bad!

And that closes the book on another solid wave of figures and a pretty damn cool Build-A-Figure. Hasbro keeps pouring on the X-Men love over and over again, wave after wave, and I’ve got no problem with it. They have a lot of lost time to make up for, and they’re doing just that. Personally, I would have preferred a regular version of Caliban before getting this one, but that’s fine. I’m sure they’ll get around to him eventually.

Next week, I’m going to look at a one-off exclusive and then after that I’ll probably jump back into the Wendigo Wave to wrap that one up.

 

Marvel Legends (Caliban Wave): Weapon X by Hasbro

Hey hey, it’s another Marvel Monday and I’m happy to say this week I’ll be wrapping up another wave of Hasbro’s ridiculously prolific Marvel Legends series. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that, and I’m beginning to think that Random Mode has been holding me back, and maybe I’m better off going back to tackling these figures one wave at a time. Or perhaps an even mix of the two is in order. We’ll see. In any event, today I’m opening the last figure in the Caliban wave and I’ve saved one of my more anticipated figures in the assortment for last.

Weapon X Wolverine! This one had me excited because somehow I’ve never owned a figure of this version of Wolverine before! That’s even including the old Toybiz X-Men figures and I must have had nearly all of them! So why not? Well, to be honest this version has always creeped me the hell out. Because who doesn’t want a figure based on one of their heroes suffering horrific surgeries, mental conditioning, and general all around excruciating pain and suffering. Kids comics, folks! Yeah, this version pretty much defines the character, but it’s not something that I like to be constantly reminded of. I guess it falls into the same argument that I don’t really need a Steve Rogers (After getting the shit beaten out of him in an ally before the Super Soldier Serum) figure either.

But holy shit is this figure iconic. I can’t argue with that. Straightaway, I’ll toss out there how much I hope this is as close Hasbro ever comes to releasing a completely naked action figure. I think this one even gives Namor a run for his money. Habro invested a lot of great sculpting into this buck, providing Logan with lots of muscle tone and even painting in his patches of body hair. And they went so far as to use the extra articulated body with the shoulder crunches, which is always a welcome treat. Mercifully, there is a pair of skimpy black underwear painted onto his groinular region to leave something to the imagination. And it’s no mistake that this design leaves Logan sans clothes. It’s a vulnerable look that really helps to communicates the horrible and invasive shit that they did to him.

Everything else is Logan is wearing is actually sculpted as separate pieces and attached to the figure. The gear consists of a chest harness, which is cast in brown plastic and features silver paint on the buckles, a belt with some of the Weapon X devices attached, and two brown wrist cuffs. There are tubes that connect from the boxes on his belt to the wrist cuffs and these are cast in translucent plastic, which makes them look like they’re conveying blood. Personally, this adds a lot to the creep factor, because I can watch the most horrible gore in horror movies, but I still get squeamish around IV tubes and seeing blood being drawn. Go figure. The tubes are made of super bendy plastic and have enough slack to them that they don’t impede the articulation.

The control boxes on his belt are big and bulky and something that I always thought looked weird about the design here. They seem like they would have been more appropriately placed on some kind of master control box in a backpack. But I guess the design they went with looks more experimental and kind of thrown-together. Either way, these boxes have some sculpted details as well as some paint applications for the instruments and they look pretty good.

Logan comes with two heads, the first of which features the helmet, which encompasses the top half of his head and has a tube running down to one of the boxes on his belt. The helmet looks great, with some panel lines and extra bits and bobs and a single red bar that makes up a visor. The way the helmet is sculpted with the hair spilling out the bottom makes it almost look as if it’s removable. But instead of going that route, Hasbro just gave us a second head without all the Weapon X gear.

The second head gives me some mixed feelings. First of all, it was ridiculously hard to get onto the ball joint. I had to use a crazy amount of force to finally get it to pop. The portrait is supposed to reflect Logan in a state of unbridled rage, and I guess it does that, but there’s something about it that just doesn’t sit right. There’s nothing wrong with the quality of sculpt or detail, and even the paint is pretty solid. Maybe it looks a little too cartoony compared to some of the other Legends portraits? I honestly can’t put my finger on what it is, but I don’t think I’m going to be using this head for display a lot.

Considering the myriad versions and variants of Wolverine that we’ve seen so far, it’s amazing to me that it took this long for Hasbro to give Logan the Weapon X treatment. But we’re finally there and I think they did a pretty fine job with the figure. But it’s still not going to be a favorite of mine. Indeed, in the fight for precious space on my Legends shelves, I’m not sure Weapon X Logan will find a permanent spot for display. Or if he does, it may just be in the back corner of one of the X-men shelves. He is, however, a pretty cool figure and I’m happy to finally have him in the collection. And with all the figures from this wave in the bag, I’m going to come back tomorrow and wrap things up with a look at the Caliban Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Caliban Wave): Skullbuster by Hasbro

I’m almost through my look at the Caliban Wave! And besides wrapping up a wave of Marvel Legends, there are few things more exciting than busting into a new team or sub-group in Marvel Legends, and today we’re doing exactly that. The Reavers! These guys are all sorts of cool, and touch on some pretty twisted shit in the X-Men comics, not the least of which being Spiral’s Body Shop, alien cybernetic replacement parts, and good old fashioned body horror.

Oh yeah! Here he is just waiting to get freed from his package prison so he can start kicking ass. From Doctor Who’s Cybermen to RoboCop, the idea of people replacing their parts with cybernetic attachments has always creeped me the hell out. There’s always that nagging question about how much you can replace before you aren’t you anymore. And keep in mind, The Reavers debuted the year before Star Trek would introduce us to The Borg, albeit they are very different treatments on the idea. So where best for Marvel Legends to start but with one of the original Reavers, Skullbuster!

Skullbuster borrows heavily from another cyborg figure we got back in the Sasquatch Wave, and that is indeed Deathlok. And when I say borrows heavily, I mean the body is identical from the neck down. Even the belt and holster is the same. I’m actually a little surprised at how much of him Hasbro did recycle without any re-touching at all. Does it work? I guess. The new jacket goes a long way in making him look a bit different and hiding some of the Deathlok stuff, like the giant hole in the chest where the cable attached. And damn, the jacket does look pretty great. The mis-matched shoulder pads include spikes on the right hand side, and a number of magazines sculpted into pouches on the front and back. The zipper tracks look great and they’re carefully painted silver. Sure it looks a lot like the primary costume piece from someone’s Mad Max cosplay, but it’s still pretty badass. The ensemble is punctuated by a shoulder strap of ammunition.

And of course, the head sculpt is all new and pretty damn creepy. We get a very normal looking face sculpt buried under black and white paint and a pair of piercing red eyes. The end result is a bitchin’ looking skull that’s more than a little bit intimidating.

Do you have Deathlok? If so, you know exactly what to expect out of the articulation here, because it is essentially the same body. I’ll just refer you back to that earlier review if you want to see the details.

Skullbuster comes with one accessory, and that’s the pistol he wears in the holster on his right hip. And yup, it is indeed the exact same pistol that came with Deathlok. I dig this gun quite a bit. It has a unique design and the new color plastic really brings out all those deep cuts and details in the sculpt. The scope is pretty cool and I like how the magazine extends down past the grips. That having been said, I do wish he came with some kind of assault rifle too. Besides it being nice to get a second weapon, it would have explained what some of those magazines sculpted onto his jacket are for.

Skullbuster comes with one cool surprise, and that’s the head of another Reaver, Murray Reese. I like the helmet, and the clear plastic face shield, but if I take off the shield it looks like Reese sneezed in there. There’s paint from his eyebrows all over the face. It’s not such a big deal with the helmet on, though. Of course, this is one of those situations where we have the head but no body. So, you can either choose which character you want to display the figure as, or you can pick up a second figure. I found that if you take off his jacket and ammo strap, he looks almost different enough to warrant making the second figure out of him. But either way they still look a lot like Deathlok.

I come away from Skullbuster a little conflicted. I love that we got him, but I do wish that Hasbro had invested just a little more original tooling. I’d even have happily sacrificed the Reese head if some of that money could have gone toward tweaking the Deathlok body just a little more. And considering that Hasbro already got a second release out of Deathlok with the X-Force version, this triple dip seems like a little much. But I can’t deny that he looks damn cool and so I can’t get too mad at him. Next week we’ll wrap this wave up with a look at Weapon X and the Caliban Build-A-Figure!

Transformers Siege: Shockwave by Hasbro

One of the many lessons I took away from Toy Fair is, OMG there are so many cool new Transformers coming and I’m woefully behind in reviewing the ones that I have. So, with Earthrise figures already hitting the shelves, and some sitting in my online Pile of Loot, I thought I’d dig in and open some of the Siege figures I’m sitting on. And it’s not like I haven’t given up on trying to be current with my content years ago, riiiiight? Oh, look… it’s Shockwave. Let’s check him out.

After what seemed like an eternity of boring packages inspired by the Bay movies, Siege upped the ante with some amazing artwork. I love the gritty and realistic renderings of these bots, and the art design matches the look they were going for with the figures. I’m crowing a lot about the artwork because, to be honest, this package isn’t showing Shockwave at his best, and I was almost tempted to leave him on the shelf when I first found him. Anyway, he’s a Leader Class, but that can be a little deceptive since a lot of his parts are optional for his robot mode, and in my case, I prefer to leave them out. But I guess I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s start with his alt mode.

I don’t really understand Hasbro’s unwillingness to do a proper alien laser gun alt mode for Shockwave. I mean, they sell Nerf guns and some of those resemble real guns a lot more than Shockwave ever did. And yes, there’s a workaround to reach a fan-mode that resembles a gun, but it’s not something I’m going to touch on here. In any case, what do you do with a Transformer who’s alt mode used to be a camera, or a tape deck, or a laser gun? You turn them into a spaceship. And so, Siege presents Shockwave as Decepticon Space Cruiser, and as sarcastic as I’ve just been on the subject, I’m actually pretty keen on this design. I’d like to imagine that there’s a lot of mass shifting involved here, because the design looks like it should be massive. Hell, this would be a great stand in for the Decepticon Flagship, Nemesis as far as I’m concerned. Although that would have to be a hell of a lot of mass shifting!

As with many of Siege’s figures, the sculpting is complex and very busy. The hull surface is littered with panel lines and there is hardly a millimeter of this craft that isn’t packed with some kind of detail. It’s also blistering with guns. There are two small turrets on top and three banks of cannons slung below each of the engine pylons near the back. I dig how powerful the engines look, again suggesting that this thing is supposed to be BIG and all the wings and fins coming off the back adds to its stylish complexity. And then there’s the giant emitter on the front, which I suppose could be some kind of Deflector Dish, like on the ships in Star Trek, or it could just be a super weapon. In the end, I guess it’s whatever I want it to be.

There are a lot of clever fake-outs on the ship design as well, making it seem like certain parts are components of Shockwave’s robot mode, when in fact these parts are removed for transformation. The engine pylons, for example, look a lot like Shockwave’s lower legs and the conning tower looks like it’s meant to be Shockwave’s head. Meanwhile, both of the side cannons resemble Shockwave’s gun arm. As I mentioned above, there’s a fair amount of parts-forming here and I realize a lot of fans don’t dig that, but when considering the toy as a whole, I’m OK with it. So let’s transform Shockwave and start with his most basic robot mode.

Stripped of his bulk, Shockwave transforms into a roughly Voyager Class figure, which happily puts him in perfect scale with Siege Soundwave and Megatron. Oh, and he also happens to be absolutely spectacular! The character has had a select number of figures in recent years from the forgettable Combiner Wars release to the weird Walgreens Exclusive that I still have to review one of these days, but this one scratches all of my itches. And yet all it does is take the original character design and do it right. The familiar translucent plastic bar is present on his chest, he still has the backpack where the electronics were stored in the original figure, and you get the necessary cable running from his right gun arm to the backpack. And all of that wonderful panel lining from the Space Cruiser mode carries over to make for a hyper-detailed robot. The deep purple deco from the alt mode also dominates the robot mode with some additional gray and silver. I just love this bot in every way imaginable. Except maybe in the literal sense of having intercourse with it.

And let’s just take a moment to appreciate the head sculpt with that single piercing yellow eye that sports some outrageously fine light piping. Seriously, just about anywhere I rest this figure, that light seems to be illuminated  They packed some amazing sculpting into the area surrounding that eye, and he has his traditional flat ear-antenna. Simply wonderful! Now… about all those extra parts…

Throwing back on all of those parts, we get Shockwave in his powered up mode and for me this is a big fat NOPE. The bulk of the parts go onto his upper body with a bigger backpack, bigger shoulders and a really weird extra set of arms that end in guns. It looks like some kind of Transformers body horror to me, like he went through the Space Bridge with another Transformer and this is what got merged together and came out the other end. Also, he acquires a pair of gun shoes. GUN SHOES!!! No sir, Hasbro. Only Predaking can pull off gun shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll bet this mode is all kinds of fun for the kids and that’s great, but I won’t be displaying him like this. What else ya got, Hasbro?

Well, how about this jet sled kind of thing? This is also not really doing much for me. He looks silly on it and it doesn’t hold together well at all. I guess as a separate attack drone, maybe? But all in all, I’m happy just putting these parts aside when I display Shockwave in robot mode.

I’m glad to be going back and hitting some reviews of the older Transformers from Siege before getting into Earthrise, because clearly there are some great figures here and I don’t want to miss out on gushing about them. Shockwave here will likely raise issues with some. He’s undoubtedly got elements of being a parts-former, but with both an alt-mode and robot mode that are as great as these, I’m perfectly OK with it. And to their credit, Hasbro tried to use those extra bits to good effect, but I’m still happy to put them in a pile behind him on the shelf so they’re on hand when I want to transform him, but otherwise out of sight and out of mind. And damn the Siege versions of the Holy Decepticon Trinity of Megatron, Soundwave and Shockwave sure look amazing together. Hopefully I’ll get some time to dig into Siege again next week to make up for lost time.