Marvel Legends (80th Anniversary): Quicksilver, Magneto, and Scarlet Witch by Hasbro

Before starting up another wave of Legends, I thought I’d tackle a few more of the Marvel 80th Anniversary boxed releases. Last time I checked out one Maximoff, this time I’m taking on two more, as well as their one-time (now retconned out) Papa! To the packaged shot!

This set is so gorgeous, and it’s really not doing anything all that special. Just take three great looking figures and spread them out above the X-Men logo and BAM! You’ve got some attractive presentation! But since I’m taking on three figures today, I’m not going to hang about talking about the packaging too much. Instead, let’s tear this baby open and we’ll just take the figures going from left to right. Starting with Quicksilver!

Unlike the other two figures here, this is Pietro’s first appearance in the modern Legends line and he’s looking great. I do love the look of this suit, even if it is achieved entirely through paint instead of original sculpting. And yup, they went with the blue suit over the green, and I’m totally fine with that. The blue and silver deco is very pleasing to the eye. In addition to the mostly blue body, you get pearlescent plastic for the boots, hands, and and a decent paint match for the rest of the gauntlets. He’s got some black undies, and a silver lightning bolt painted as a belt and shoulder strap. In terms of spray-on costumes, this is about as simple as it gets, but it works well and I’ve got no complaints! OK, there are a few minor chips in the lightning bolts, so I guess that’s one complaint.

The head sculpt is decent, but here I do have a few gripes. First, it looks a little chubby, but maybe that’s just me. More importantly, I wish they gave him his more iconic hair. I can’t tell if this hair is recycled and that’s why they didn’t, but it seems like a big oversight to me. Otherwise, the sculpt is well-defined and the paint is sharp!

Quicksilver only comes with a pair of swap out hands, with the fingers held tight and flat for running. I’m also happy that they used a more articulated buck, which includes not only the extra swivels in the lower legs, but also the lateral crunches in the shoulders. Otherwise, the joints are tight and this figure is a pleasure to mess around with. Moving on to Magneto!

We last saw Magneto a few years back as part of the Apocalypse Wave in his more modern costume, but this time Hasbro went for the classic look. I really liked that previous release, but I absolutely LOVE this one. This is my favorite look for the character and this figure pulls it off so well. The one-two punch of crimson red body suit with purple boots, gauntlets, belt, undies, and cape look swonderful, and I really dig the cut-outs on the boots and gloves. The cape is both majestic and cumbersome, and to be fair I’m not sure they could have pulled off one without the other. The heavy bolted piece that crosses above his chest isn’t enough to counterbalance all that plastic hanging behind him. Fortunately, the cape is long enough to help serve as a stand in a lot of poses.

Last time, Magneto came with both helmeted and un-helmeted heads, this time we get two helmeted heads with different expressions. The first is a fairly neutral expression, the second is full-on psycho relishing in his powers. The helmets are superb, and sculpted separately from the head to give it some nice depth. It’s also painted over in the same red and purple to match the rest of the costume. The purple paint on the trim could be a little tighter, but you have to get in pretty close to notice any issues. And while I love the face sculpts on both figures, the paint for the teeth on the second one could have been better. The teeth are brushed over with some white and the spaces between them are just left flesh colored.

Magneto comes with two sets of hands, fists and power wielding hands, and he comes with those ubiquitous energy funnels that we saw last time with Polaris and Havok. I hope whoever designed those babies is working on commission! Here they are translucent purple and they look really good! Moving on to our last stop, Scarlet Witch!

It’s been over five years since a comic version of Scarlet Witch turned up in the modern Legends line. That was such a great figure, I really had no desire to replace her. But Hasbro has come a long way since then and this new version is a vast improvement in a lot of ways. To be fair, this is a slightly different costume with different coloring, so whether this one is better or worse, may come down to personal taste. Here, Wanda is wearing a full pearlescent reddish-pink body suit with scarlet paint used for the boots, gloves, one-piece, and cape. The deco is more limited here, but it still looks quite striking. The cape plunges in the middle behind her neck, and fans out toward her feet. Perhaps one of the most obvious differences with this figure is the re-sizing. The previous Scarlett Witch is an absolute giant compared to this release.

But for me, the high point of this figure is the head sculpt, and WOW, what an amazing job Hasbro did on this one. There’s a quality to the sharpness of detail in the hair, contrasted with the soft features of her face that just blows me away. Her headpiece and hair look as if they are sculpted independently of one another, which makes for some wonderful complexity to the entire portrait. Her eyes are haunting, her lips are razor sharp, and I do believe this may be one of the best portraits Hasbro has turned out for any of their comic-based Legends. This is quite simply top-tier work.

Wanda comes with a pair of Hex Power effect parts, and imagine my surprise, they aren’t the energy funnels! Nope, in this case we just get some translucent red pieces that can be snaked around her wrists. After pointing out how many times Hasbro is using the other ones, I still have to admit I like them a bit more than these, but these are OK.

I can remember pre-ordering this set the moment it was solicited, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It’s great to finally get Quicksilver in this modern Legends line, and while we already had a Magneto and Scarlet Witch, the Magneto is the Classic look that I wanted, and Wanda is just a surprisingly vast improvement over a figure that I already liked quite a bit. This set just hits all the points with both essential character selection and excellent execution of the figures. I can’t recommend it enough! In retrospect, I wish I had tackled this set in three parts, because each figure could have used my full attention in their own review.

Marve Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Strong Guy Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

Well, last week turned out to be a bust with me being too busy to get back here again with more content after Marvel Monday. But it’s a new week, and that means new opportunities to carve out some time and get some more reviews done. As promised, I’m back for this Marvel Monday to wrap up the Strong Guy Wave with the titular Build-A-Figure himself. Let’s plunge into some more X-Factor love and check out Guido!

There were seven figures in this wave, and since your average BAF only requires six pieces, that means one figure often ships without a part. However, in this case everyone brought something to the party! The extra piece comes from Strong Guy’s massive torso requiring a back piece. So no skipping out on figures here, you have to buy those Deadpools. YOU HAVE TO!!! Still, there’s nothing tricky about hammering this guy together and all the connection points fit well and are super sturdy. And that wasn’t a problem for me, because not only did I love every figure in this wave, but I’ve been hotly anticipating getting Strong Guy into my collection for a while now. And man, he does not disappoint!

Guido sports an appropriately disproportionate body, which is seriously pumped on the top half, like we’re talking Juggernaut levels of pumpitude, and relatively normal sized legs with tiny feet. Yeah, he’s freakish looking, but I’m not about to call him out on it! Much of the body is painted blue to depict an under suit, with the massive yellow vest making up his upper torso, complete with a giant X-Force disk on the left side of his chest, a sculpted zipper running across the right side of his chest, and a slightly popped collar. His already massive shoulders are further reinforced by segmented silver armor plates, perfect for taking down walls or tackling foes into oblivion. More yellow is added to the mix in the form of his belt and X-Undies, his massive gauntlets, and dainty ankle cuffs. Actually, they’re normal-sized, but they look dainty on him. Hasbro did an absolutely splendid job on the costume here! He carries just enough sculpted detail to give him that singular cartoony look, and that eye-pleasing one-two punch of deep blue and vibrant yellow never goes out of style!

As for Guido’s tiny head, well Hasbro probably didn’t have a lot of trouble packing this portrait with personality, thanks to Strong Guy’s distinctive mug. His bald pate is punctuated with a little curl of white hair sprouting right in the middle of his head. His pince-nez goggles are painted silver with the lenses painted in red matte, and his beaming smile advertises a full boat of slightly yellowed teeth. A prominent, dimpled chin and pair of tiny ears rounds out Guido’s melon quite nicely. This is a great head sculpt and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

Despite his wonky proportions, Strong Guy manages to pack in all the usual points of articulation I’m used to seeing in these Build-A-Figures. The massive arms have rotating hinges in his shoulders, elbows, and wrists. His legs have ball joints up in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. His upper chest is set on a ball joint, as is his neck. While I knew this guy was going to be fun to play around with, I had expected high levels of frustration getting him to stand, but much to my surprise, them little feets support his upper bulk quite well. Indeed, there were only a few poses where I had a tough time getting him to stand. Not bad for what should be such an obviously unbalanced figure.

Strong Guy was a perfect fit for the Build-A-Figure treatment, and even as a hotly anticipated character of mine, he does not disappoint. This is what BAFs are all about… big, beefy hunks of plastic that simply wouldn’t work in a single Legends package unless released as some kind of Deluxe. Even when displayed at the back of an X-Men shelf, amidst a sea of blue and yellow uniforms, Strong Guy stands out. He’s simply a fun and wildly creative design that makes for a perfect action figure. I suspect he’s going to be my desk buddy for a while before he joins his friends.

And that’s finally another Wave of Marvel Legends in the bag, and a mighty solid assortment at that. With some great character additions including Maverick, Tom Cassidy, Sunspot, and wait… Thunderbird??? Awwww SHIT! If only I had put Warpath in that group shot instead of grabbing his brother Thunderbird by mistake. What can I say, other than it’s been a long working weekend, and I was too tired to dig out all the figures and do a re-shoot. And for the record, that’s twice in one review, because I meant to have Forge in that other group shot, but grabbed Bishop instead. Sheesh, I’m clearly getting out of practice. Anywho… Shiklah certainly wasn’t on my short list, or my long list for that matter, but she’s such a great looking figure, who cares! Pirate Deadpool is fun, and while I didn’t think I was going to care at all about Deadpool in his X-Men colors, truth be told I think that figure turned out great and I dig it quite a bit. Since I’m between Waves now, next week I’m free to review whatever I want. And since I opened them for a shot in this review, I do believe I’ll be checking out the Havok and Polaris two-pack.

Marvel Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Shiklah and Jeff by Hasbro

Greetings, Toyhounds. I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was spent hanging with the cats, drinking heavily, playing some video games, and eating a lot of garbage. When will I learn, eh? But now it’s Monday… that special day of each week where I tear into another Marvel Legends figure, slowly chipping away at the never ending deluge of this ridiculously prolific line. And just to show you how ridiculously prolific, today we’re looking at Shiklah, sharp-tongued Succubi, one-time Mayor of Monsteropolis, and Deadpool’s wife. Yes, we’ve got a figure of Deadpool’s wife. Just to clarify… T-Ray? Nope. Deadpool’s wife? Affirmative! I would have bet cash money on getting Weasel or Blind Al before this one.

It’s always nice to be able to relate to a Marvel figure based on a more modern character. I was still reading Marvel Comics in general, and the 2012 Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn Deadpool series in particular, when Mr. and Mrs. Deadpool tied the knot. Looking back on it, it’s easy to see some of the rot creeping in, but all in all I was still enjoying this comic a lot and was totally oblivious to the dark days at Marvel Comics that lie ahead. That having been said, I sure as hell wasn’t asking for this figure. Was anybody asking for this figure? Well, let’s rip this package open and maybe before the end of this review, I’ll be happy Hasbro did this. Oh yeah, she also comes with the last piece I need to build the Strong Guy BAF and Jeff the Landshark.

I may not have asked for her, but Shiklah is still a damn great looking figure, sporting one of the costumes she wore in The Wedding of Deadpool, and subsequent appearances, but sadly not her hawt red wedding dress. Actually, to be fair this outfit look is a lot more interesting. Shiklah is decked out in what I can only describe as some kind of Gypsy-Goth fusion and I love it. She’s got a purple body suit with a subtle printed scrollwork pattern over it, along with black thigh-high high-heeled boots and black sleeves painted onto her arms. Yes, most of the costume is achieved with paint and printing, and it looks fantastic, especially with the gold leaf trim painted at the tops of her boots, sleeves, and chest. The colors on this one really sing beautifully, especially when contrasted with the mauve color of her skin.

In addition to the painted costume, Shiklah is also sporting some gold plastic cuffs on her wrists, a gold belt with red baubles that hangs on her hips, and a rather extravagant necklace, which matches her belt. All of these accessories are sculpted separately and worn by the figure and they look mighty nice. Also worth noting is her cloth cape. I guess you’d call it a cape, although it actually attaches with elastic to her wrists rather than around her neck. If you are a Gypsy Fashionista and know what this is called, by all means drop me a line. I’m at a loss trying to remember whether we’ve actually seen Hasbro use softgoods in a Marvel Legends figure before. It seems like they must have, but if so it’s obviously a rare thing, so that alone makes this figure pretty special. The gold circlets on the edge of the cape were actually gold disks hanging off of it in the comic, but this is a pretty good substitute for the scale. The cape looks best when she has her arms up or outstretched, otherwise it just kind of drags on the ground, but it’s still pretty spiffy.

I rarely ever have anything bad to say about Hasbro’s Marvel portraits, and this figure is no exception. I absolutely love this head sculpt.  Not only is it very expressive, with her sultry demon eyes and devilish smirk, but there’s just a lot going on here in terms of detail. She has a headband made of golden disks sculpted across her forehead as well as large gold disk earrings. Her hair mostly cascades down her back, but also has some strands framing each side of her face. Her mauve skin is complimented by purple lips and markings around here eyes that cascade down her cheeks almost like tears. And lastly, she has a gold bat hair clip. This is wonderful stuff!

Shiklah’s articulation is standard stuff for a Legends lady, and that means a lot of rotating hinges. You get them in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles. The knees are double-hinged, you get swivels in the thighs, there’s a ball joint under her chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Her high heels can make it a little tricky to get her to stand, but I was surprised how often I was able to make it work without getting too frustrated. And while Shiklah doesn’t come with any accessories, it’s lots of fun to whoosh her cape around. But yeah, where’s her dragon, Hasbro? Where the hell is Bug? Was there no room in the package for a little plastic animal buddy?

Well, obviously there was! Because we also got Jeff in there. Now, I don’t want to beat up on Jeff because of what he isn’t, so let me just say that he’s a fantastic little bonus figure. And that’s coming from someone who has never read a single book he’s appeared in. Yeah, that shouldn’t be too surprising, since a little research tells me that he debuted in 2019 and I had kicked Marvel’s floppies to the curb and stopped reading sometime before that. Still, I was aware of him, as he got passed around from Bloodstone to Gwenpool to Deadpool. Of course, Jeff is a landshark, and by that I mean a shark with feet. Yup. He’s completely static, just a magnificently sculpted lump of plastic, but damn he’s cool.

I have to hope, that even collectors who have no interest in Shiklah as a character, will acknowledge that Hasbro poured the love into this figure and did a damn nice job on her. There are toy companies out there that wouldn’t invest the same attention to the head sculpt of one of their main characters, let alone a bit character like Shiklah here. And that’s why I freaking adore Marvel Legends. Anything is possible, and no matter how seemingly insignificant the character, it’s likely going to be crafted as if it’s the most important character in the whole franchise. My only gripe here is that Jeff should have been included with another figure, and Shiklah should have came with Bug, since this was really the only chance we were going to get the ugly little bastard. In the meantime, come on back next Monday and we’ll put this assortment to bed with a look at the Strong Guy Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Maverick by Hasbro

It was a working weekend for me, and a brutal one at that, so while everyone else is dreading Monday’s arrival, I was looking forward to it. Because it’s Marvel Monday and that means I get to pour myself a little libation and tear into another Marvel Legends action figure! Plus, I’m closing in on the last couple of figures in the Strong Guy Wave and that means soon I get to cobble together another Build-A-Figure, which is always a happy occasion. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of the 90’s. I tend to see it as the garish, extreme bastard that killed my 80’s. But it was an undeniably great decade for comics and an especially exceptional when it came to the X-Men. Maverick debuted in 1992 in X-Men (V2) #5 with a bitchin Jim Lee cover that practically shreds the eyeballs. A mercenary with a heartbreaking past, Maverick sure grew on me.

And he’s without a doubt one of the more distinctive looking characters in this wave, and certainly one of the ones I was most looking forward to! Maverick fills out the tray nicely and there’s even room in there for another one of Strong Guy’s colossal arms.

Even if you have no real affinity for Maverick, you have to admit that his armor is fab, and Hasbro did a fantastic job rendering it here in six-inches of articulated plastic. He’s got silver armor running up his legs to just above his knees, with segmented section below the knees, but not much going on for protection in the upper legs and groin. Maybe not a problem for someone who can absorb concussive force, which I would assume includes getting kicked in the gonads. You get a silver plate in front of his belt, and the segmented silver armor continues up to his torso and arms. Reinforcing the torso and arms is some beautiful gold plate for his upper body, shoulders, and gauntlets. The gold plastic has a little bit of that swirly effect you sometimes see, but it’s better quality than some of the gold plastic Hasbro has used in the past. Indeed, I think it looks great. Maverick has a brown shoulder strap over his armor, a brown pouch on his left hip, and a functional holster on his right hip. On his back, he wears a booster pack to amplify the energy he absorbs, complete with flexible tubing running from the top into Maverick’s mask. Hot damn, this guy looks great!

The excellent head sculpt falls right in line with the rest of the figure. The mask features his intimidating black markings and crimson red eye lenses. It wraps around the back of his head, while leaving his mouth and chin exposed below, and his coif of hair spilling out up through the top. The paint on the mask is super sharp and has a beautiful sheen to it. Maverick also includes a golden oxygen mask, which can in theory be worn over the mouth, but mine doesn’t want to stay put to well, so I’m content to leave it down.

The holster in on Maverick’s right hip holds a beefy looking pistol, no doubt loaded with adamantium bullets. It’s got quite a distinctive look with a large muzzle and a forward grip protruding from under the receiver.

He also comes with his more iconic weapon, with the squared off muzzle and dual magazines.  Both weapons are cast in silver-gray plastic and feature some nice attention to detail in the sculpt. He also sports both left and right gun-toting hands so he can dual wield. Alas, there’s nowhere to store this one.

For an assortment that’s been all over the place, Maverick is a welcome addition to the Strong Guy Wave, and another Mutant to cross off my Marvel Legends list. With lots of new sculpting and an eye-catching deco, this guy is certainly a  top contender for my favorite figure in this wave. Next week I’ll check out the final packaged figure, and maybe I can squeeze in the Build-A-Figure as well!

Marvel Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Deadpool by Hasbro

ARE YOU SICK OF DEADPOOL YET??? That’s a question Hasbro seems to be screaming at us these days with every few waves of Marvel Legends. But, I guess someone had to take over for the crazy number of variant releases of Iron Mans and Captain Americas that we used to get. We’ve already seen one version of Poolsy in his so-called X-Men outfit and now we’re getting him in the more traditional (and less on the nose) look with the blue and yellow deco. It may not be as cool as Pirate Deadpool or as wacky as Underpants Deadpool, but I was actually happy to see this one get released. What can I say? I’m part of the problem! At least I never bought that Rainbow Deadpool 5-pack. And I’ve seen that clearanced down to like ten bucks.

Hey, you got your Deadpool in my X-Men wave! Yup, this assortment feels like Hasbro didn’t have anywhere to go with some of these Deadpool figures so they stuffed them into what could have been a full X-Men wave. But hey, they could have just as easily made it a full Deadpool wave too, so count your blessings, you Deadpool haters! Anyway, there’s nothing new to say about the packaging, so let’s press on.

As you might expect, El-Poolio here is kit-bashed from a bunch of past Deadpools. The body appears to be borrowed from the Wade we got a couple years back in the Sasquatch Wave, which was also used for the above cited X-Men Deadpool. And that’s not a bad thing, because it sees a return of those wonderful lateral crunches in the shoulders and the extra set of swivels in the lower legs. In terms of articulation, this body is just a wonder to play around with and even has a pretty nice balance. Also borrowed from that earlier Deadpool are the wrist and ankle cuffs, now repainted yellow to match the new deco. And speaking do deco, I simply adore the colors that Mr. Pool is showcasing here. The bulk of the suit is blue, but has some nice yellow piping and it looks sharp!

The belt and shoulder harness is borrowed from the Deadpool Corps Deluxe Riders Deadpool, which was in turn borrowed from the 2012 X-Force Deadpool. Yeah, I’m amazed that Hasbro is still digging that deep for parts and accessories. The panoply of pouches are brown, while the chest and shoulder straps are now yellow. He’s got a red X-logo in the center of the harness and his patented Pool-emblem on the lower belt buckle. It looks good on the figure, but the belt rides a little high, because the 2012 figure was a lot shorter. The last splash of yellow on the suit comes from his choker collar and the areas around his eyes on the mask. Roll it all together and this is a beautiful suit.

Because this figure borrowed the harness and scabbards, it’s only natural that the twin katanas are recycled too. Each hilt has been repainted with blue grips and a yellow tsuba to accessorize with the costume. Deadpool doesn’t like to be laughed at by the fashionistas. The blades are cast in that weird almost transparent white plastic, which I will likely wind up coloring in silver with a Sharpie or Gundam marker. All in all, these are some of the best swords we’ve seen with Deadpool, and I’m always happy to see them again. The only thing I don’t like about them is the way the tips of the blades peek through the scabbards. And while Pool only comes with a set of trigger hands, they hold the swords quite well.

In addition to his cutlery, Deadpool also comes with a pair of guns, both of which are cast in pale silver-gray plastic. The pistol has a bit of a sci-fi vibe going for it, but it’s not too crazy. Sadly, there’s no holster on his belt for him to carry it, although I suppose you could just tuck it in there.

The second is this decent sized assault rifle, which again is a little bit out there in its design, but still looks like it could be a credible real-world weapon, I suppose. I’m fairly sure we’ve seen these guns somewhere before, but I can’t readily place them. And as much as I love you guys, I’m not going to go picking through 300 or so Legends weapons to find matches!

Another Deadpool or no, I think this is a great looking figure. Normally, I’d say that if you’re sick of Deadpool just don’t buy him. But if you take that advice you’ll have a headless Strong Guy in your display, so I guess you’re kind of stuck. And maybe that’s a legit complaint about all these Deadpoolses we’ve been getting. Then again, having to buy a figure you don’t really want every now and then is one of the pitfalls of Build-A-Figures. That’s why Hasbro does it! Personally, I’m OK if we take a break from Deadpool himself for a little while, but there are still some associated characters I’d like to see hit the pegs. Once again, Hasbro, where the hell is my T-Ray?

GI JOE Classified: Cobra Infantry by Hasbro

I probably don’t need rehash all the anger and frustration that came with making the first release of the Cobra Trooper in the Classified line a hard to get Target Exclusive. It was a bad move on Hasbro’s part, more so because at the time, I’m not sure anyone knew that the figure would get a variant widespread release in the near future. I was lucky enough to get one of those Cobra Troopers, and I was happy for it, but sure I wanted a couple more. OK, maybe a couple dozen more. Well, fast forward to now, and I was thankfully able to pre-order six of the new release of these bad boys. I have four in hand, and two more on the way, so let’s check this figure out by way of comparison to the Cobra Island version I reviewed a little while back.

The packaging looks as great as ever. Maybe I’ll keep one of their boxes, but with space being a premium around here, I probably won’t.

The figure is the exact same sculpt as the Cobra Island release, and I’ll reiterate here how awesome a sculpt it is! To me, this is a perfect imagining of the Cobra Trooper. It captures all the necessary beats of the classic uniform, but gives it a double injection of realism and hyper detail. You get texturing throughout the uniform, including some reinforced patches. There are armor plates on the shins, knees, and forearms, and some cool extra little touches like the sculpted Cobra emblems on the backs of the gloves. The uniform itself is about the same color as the Exclusive release, maybe just a touch paler blue. This fellow does have black painted pads on the outsides of his hips and upper legs, and some gray paint around the edges of his kneepads.

The figure is wearing the same tactical vest as the previous release as well, which encompasses the entire torso and includes the waist belt. This features sculpted straps and pouches, a working holster and sheath on the front, another working holster on the back, and some peg holes on the back to peg in extra gear. Finally, there’s a Cobra emblem embossed and painted on the chest. The only difference here comes in the coloring. It was previously black, now it’s pale blue with gray paint on the belts and straps. I think I prefer this deco on the vest, as it keeps faith with the original Cobra uniform deco just a bit more.

The head sculpt is also identical, with the only discernable difference being the skin color on the new figure being a little darker. The helmet is once again removable, and friction does a nice job of keeping it in place, even when I’m posing the figure.

So what else is different? Only the omission of some gear. The new figure still comes with the knife, twin pistols and the sub-machine gun, but lacks the goggles, larger rifle and the arm-band. Yeah, it’s a shame the rifle couldn’t have been included, as I think the arm-band would have been enough to make the Cobra Island an exclusive, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker for me.

This is an absolutely amazing figure, and without a doubt my favorite iteration of the Cobra Trooper to date. I was strongly tempted to pay out the nose for two more of the Cobra Island Troopers, and now I’m so glad that I didn’t. I’m perfectly happy with my single figure, who’s arm band serves to identify him as the Commander of the rest of my troops. I’ll probably give his rifle to one of these new ones and make him a sharpshooter. What’s more, these seem to be pretty obtainable, with pre-orders still open at a number of online retailers. Alls well that ends well, I guess. But I think Hasbro could have saved themselves a lot of fan anger had they just labeled the Cobra Island version as an Officer and assured fans that the troops would be coming in wider release and better supply.

Marvel Legends: Deluxe Thanos by Hasbro

Hello, fellow Toycoholics! It’s Marvel Monday again, and while I had planned to keep pressing on with the Strong Guy Wave this week, a new version of The Mad Titan arrived and I thought I had better give the big guy priority. In other words, I’m just really excited to open him up! Obviously Thanos needs no introduction, and I believe this is the third comic version of him to hit the modern Marvel Legends line, with the first one being a Build-A-Figure from a wave released around 2015. That figure was later re-issued with some tweaks and extra bits as a Walmart Exclusive Deluxe, and now we get what is essentially a new figure. I skipped out on the second release, because it was so similar to one I already had, but this one looked too good to resist.

The packaging is certainly nice! So nice, I may be tempted to keep it. You get a fairly large window box with The Infinity Gauntlet title plastered on the front, the Infinity Stones spread across the top panel, and some fantastic character art on the back and side panels. There’s even an illustrated cardboard backer behind the tray depicting Thanos’ throne, although there’s so much plastic crammed into this box, it’s hard to make it out until you open it. Since I already reviewed the BAF version of Thanos, I’ll focus on doing some comparisons throughout. So let’s open this baby up, and make it snappy!

So, straightaway, this is a much cleaner and more classic look for Thanos than the previous ones, and I dig that a lot. He’s roughly the same height as the 2015 BAF, but he comes off as being a wee bit chunkier to me, a lot of which has to do with the hands and feet. The body is more rounded and organic than the sharper and more angular buck of the previous release. BAF Thanos looked like he was wearing some kind of cybernetic armor. Here, he’s just got a tunic and body suit, which is a lighter and more vibrant shade of blue. Gone are all those techno bits, and what detail there is consists mostly in his ripped musculature. Here, Thanos is wearing a some beefy and shiny gold boots and gloves, as opposed to the duller wrist bracers and ankle cuffs on BAF Thanos. Instead of the dull techno girdle on the previous release, here he as some gold trim on his tunic, as well as a plain and simple gold belt and a gold stripe running up the middle of his tunic.

Thanos’ golden gorget has a bit of a swirly pattern in the plastic and is sculpted to match the musculature in the buck. It’s more tight fitting around the neck and it stays in place, as opposed to the BAF’s which tended to flop all over the place. I really dig the painted gold straps that run under the arms. In addition to the simpler, cleaner look on this figure, I just can’t say enough things about the coloring on this figure. The lighter blue and the shinier gold really make the figure pop beautifully, like he’s jumping right out of a comic panel, as opposed to the dark blue and dull matte gold on the BAF. This is just an absolutely gorgeous figure!

The head that comes on the figure features a very similar helmet to the older BAF. The ear discs are a little bigger, there are some other minor variations in the brow ridges, but overall they’re a pretty close match. The paint on my figure’s head could be neater, particularly where the gold is concerned. It’s not something that’s too noticeable with the naked eye when and the figure in hand, but it becomes quite apparent in close up shots.  The portrait itself is excellent, with a slightly darker purple skin and plenty of crags and lines in the face. Here, Thanos’ mouth is agape, but he’s still showing plenty of teeth. He’s got a turnip nose, and black pits for eyes with tiny bright blue irises, that almost glow under the right light. Here, I’m a little less inclined to call the newer version an absolute winner, as I still really like the previous portrait. I’ll call it a toss up. If you are after swapping the heads, I find that it’s not a very good fit, but you can probably make it work, more or less.

You also get the optional King Thanos head, which is a pretty cool bonus, but not one that I’m likely to display him with. I really dig the high crown and it looks fantastic when matched with the gold gorget. This future Thanos’ face is a little more craggy and gnarled, and he offers a broad smile with just a narrow slit of teeth visible. The beard is the real showpiece here. The sculpted white hair looks amazing, as it snakes downward toward the middle of his chest. I’d like to pick up a pack of those NECA head stands so I can at least display this noggin beside the figure.

My biggest complaint about the previous BAF Thanos was that it didn’t come with an Infinity Gauntlet, but we get two versions of it with this figure, and that’s awesome! One is sculpted as a grasping hand, and the other is poised to make the snap that was heard around the Universe.

If you can’t tell, I absolutely adore this figure! My initial plan was to take a pass on this Thanos, because my Marvel Legends collection is getting so far out of hand. It takes up more space than almost any other facet of my collection and so I really need to start thinking twice about double-dipping on characters. But I am so damn glad that I took a closer look at the release and decided to buy him. Marvel Legends is one of my favorite action figure lines to collect, so when I say how absolutely delighted I was opening this purple bastard, that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s just that clean and colorful and stunningly iconic look that makes me feel like a kid again and makes me want to bust open some short boxes and start thumbing through my funnybooks. This figure is just a little bit of magic captured in plastic form, and it’s a perfect example of why I love collecting this line so much. I Predict this guy is going to be a resident of my desk for quite a while before he gets moved to the shelf.

Transformers (Netflix Series): Bumblebee by Hasbro

For decades, Hasbro has skirted their obligations to Bumblebee’s true heritage by not making his alt mode into a VW Bug again. Sure, some of that came from his change into a Camaro in those shitty movies, but even before that, it seemed like Volkswagen wasn’t interested in licensing to them, or maybe Hasbro wasn’t interested in paying out. Either way, we had to wait for the Takara Masterpiece figure to see Bumblebee once again strut his stuff as a Classic VW Bug. But all that’s behind us, as the last movie made him a VW Bug again, and I guess that’s something good to come out of that mess of a film franchise. Maybe that paved the way back to the figure I’m opening today. Jeez, when did Transformers toys become so complicated? Anywho, I can hardly believe that it was all the way back in June of last year when I reviewed Earthrise Cliffjumper. Damn, it feels like it was only a few weeks ago. I remember doing a lot of nitpicking, but ultimately being pleased with that figure. I also remember imagining how they were going to rework him into Bumblebee. Well, they did. And we’re going to look at it. Today. Let’s go!

Bumblebee is part of the Netflix Series tie-in, which is calling itself the War For Cybertron Trilogy and these figures come in white boxes. Yeah, it’s kind of weird to get Bumblebee in this mongrel off-shot, sub-series, but whatever. Once I throw out the package, this figure will fit right into the Earthrise or Kingdom series. And after a few generous pours of my friend Jameson, I won’t even know (or care about) the difference. Speaking of alcohol… I’ve tried watching the Netflix series, but I couldn’t make it through the first season, despite really wanting to like it. I decided to embark on the second season armed with a bottle of liquid courage, but all it did was make extra sad and depressed. The animated models look great, but the grimdark atmosphere is kind of stifling and I’m not a big fan of how they choose to portray some of the characters. But none of that makes this figure any less welcome and I’ve ranted on long enough. Let’s look at the damn toy! Like Cliffjumper, Bumblebee is packaged in the Deluxe assortment class, but he is much smaller than your average Deluxe. We’ll start with his alt mode!

OH, MY BEAUTIFUL DIESEL-POWERED DEUTCH BEAUTY!!! With no practice in a long while, I was worried Hasbro might not be able to pull off a VW Bug as an alt mode again. I mean, even the G1 original toy wasn’t a proper Beetle, but rather a Super-Deformed version. This Bug looks like it might be a little longer in the hood area than is accurate, but I’m no expert and either way it’s not bad looking at all. Indeed, I absolutely love it! The car mode locks together quite nicely and while there are some unsightly seams where the panels link up, it’s nothing that I’m not used to by now. The chonky curves are gorgeous and it is indeed licensed as there’s a Volkswagen insignia sculpted onto the hood right in front of the windshield. There are lots of great little details in the scul;t, like the vents over the engine compartment in the rear, as well as additional air vents behind the rear side windows. I can even make out the handle on the front of the hood. Great Primus, it’s so awesome to see the little guy’s alt mode return to his roots.

The Bug makes use of a rather deep yellow in terms of plastic and paint. The painted areas match the plastic quite well, and even has a bit of a metallic sheen to it. I love that, because sometimes the yellow plastic Hasbro uses tends to look cheap, but not here! The yellow also looks great next to the blue-tinted transparent windows. Some other paint flourishes include silver paint on the wheels, the headlamps, and even the windshield wipers and door pulls. The tires are black and so are the front and rear bumpers. And finally, you get a little red on the tail lights and an Autobot insignia stamped offset on the hood. What? You want me to complain about something? Fine! I wish they had detailed his license plate instead of just leaving it blank. Happy?

Bumblebee comes with the exact same giant bazooka as Cliffjumper, which means it can be broken down into parts to convert Bumblebee for water travel. This entails using the bipod for skis under the front wheels, using the tubes as pontoons, and the back piece as a stabilizer on the undercarriage. I liked this feature on Cliffjumper a lot, and I still like it here. On the other hand, Bumblebee lacks the port on top that Cliffjumper had to properly weaponize his alt mode, but that’s not a big deal for me. So, the alt mode gets a big thumbs up, let’s see how the robot mode turned out.

Not bad at all! Bumblebee transforms the same as Cliffjumper, which means you do have to take the back part of the car off in order to convert him. If that bothered you with Cliffjumper, it’ll likely do the same here. I’m not a huge fan of it, as I think it’s a cheat, but I’m willing to let it slide here because I really do love the resulting bot mode. Bumblebee sports a rather broad slab of chest, but I don’t think it works against the figure. His feet are still kind of big, but they don’t feel as bad as the giant clodhoppers that we saw on Cliffjumper. I remember calling out those cylindrical parts of the arms on Cliffjumper and saying how they look out of place on him, and that’s because they were always meant for Bumblebee here. Sure, he wears the back half of the car mode on his back, but as far as backpacks go, it’s not that bad at all. Indeed, I think it fills him out nicely.

The head sculpt is certainly on point! It would have been a shame to come all this way and not get the portrait right, but Bumblebee’s noggin turned out great. I would have liked the eye paint to be a little more blue and vibrant, but otherwise, I’ve got nothing but praise. From the horns on his rounded “helmet” to the silver paint on his face, Hasbro captured the character exactly as I always picture him.

I already pointed out that Bumblebee comes with Cliffjumper’s bazooka, and while it’s a damn cool weapon it feels out of place for this little guy. Fortunately, it can be broken down into smaller bite sized chunks. As smaller pistols, I think they work much better for Bumblebee. And if you absolutely don’t like the backpack and still want to use all the parts, it can be removed and turned into a shield, but I’ve never been a fan of that sort of thing.

Maybe it’s the booze making me all emotional, but this tiny scrapper posing as a Deluxe Class figure has made me so damn happy. It feels like such a momentous release, finally returning Bumblebee to his roots and doing it with style. Both the alt and robot modes kick ass, and it’s doubly impressive that Bumblebee and Cliffjumper manage to be so distinctive while still sharing all the same engineering and internal parts. Even in the context of mammoth releases like Scorponok and Omega Supreme, this little fella stands out as one of my favorite Transformers releases of late. And holy shit, that’s saying a lot because Hasbro has been successfully beating the Transformers drum consistently and without fail. And by Primus, it’s a great time to be a Transformers fan!

Marvel Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Black Tom by Hasbro

For anyone who dropped me a line during my absence last week to see if I was face down on the bathroom floor onto a busted bottle of Jameson, your concern was genuinely moving. But fear not, my current Jameson bottle is very much in tact, and I am working may through a triple-pour as we speak. Work last week was another double quarter-pounder of bullshit with extra pickles and I had to eat every last bite before I could go on vacation this week. But hey… VACATION! Last time I tossed out that word I was taking a vacation from posting content because of too much work. Now it means I’m actually off work and I can work on some content! In all seriousness though, this place is obviously still in a state of flux as I try to work things out and get back onto track. One way or another it’ll happen. I find myself thinking back to the early days of FFZ when I rarely tapped out a review in a sober state and it’s possible that all I need to do is drink more. As for today… it’s another beautiful Marvel Monday, I’m home in my JimJams, and I’m ready to open up some new Marvel Legends. Let’s keep things going with the Strong Guy Wave and a look at Black Tom Cassidy!

HOLY SHIT, HASBRO MADE A BLACK TOM FIGURE!!! I don’t know why I’m surprised at anything Hasbro gives us in Marvel Legends these days, but maybe this is more a state of general happiness than surprise, because Tom Cassidy has been on my short list for a little while. The Strong Guy Wave has been something of an X-Men/Deadpool split, but Black Tom strides the line and fits in both sides quite nicely. Sure, the character has had a history that goes back with the X-Men well before Deadpool was ever inked onto a page, but he’s also appeared in a number of Deadpool books too, so this assortment feels like a perfect opportunity to get him into the mix. Oddly there’s no bold X-Men logo on the top or front panel, nor is there a Deadpool logo, but rather just the generic Marvel logo. And I care not, as this package is about to get shredded.

Tom Cassidy has been around almost as long as I have, but he was definitely an established character by the time I was old enough to start getting my peanut-butter smudged fingers onto my first Marvel Comics. I’m pretty sure I first met him as a result of a big score at the downtown used book shop where I bought most of my funnybooks. They had a whole box of ripped covers that they were letting kids pick through, so long as you actually bought some comics. I remember trying to ride home on my bike was a challenge, because I was laden down with so many floppies. The freebies were in gnarly shape, but I didn’t care, and two of them were issues of Uncanny X-Men involving an adventure in Cassidy Keep! Brother to Banshee, and someone that I’ve found to be a fairly sympathetic villain, I’ve been anxiously waiting for Hasbro to give Tom Cassidy the Marvel Legends treatment. And they did a damn fine job too! Built on a primarily black buck, Tom has a sculpted high collar, which dips in the front to form a point at the middle of his chest. Also, his boots and gauntlets are sculpted to flare at the edges. The result is a very distinct looking costume which is achieved through a nice balance of paint and new sculpt. His emblem is painted in red across his chest, with minimal bleed through, and he has a tight fitting red belt. Every bit of this costume looks great, but I especially love the black and red deco. It just looks so snappy!

What a portrait! I shouldn’t be surprised as Hasbro rarely flubs head sculpts in this line, but I like that they took the extra time to pack Tom’s noggin with personality. He sports a sharply detailed face with a dastardly grin and some fantastic sculpted hair, which includes bushy eyebrows, mustache, and goatee. The paint for the hair and the eyes is sharp and on point. This is just an all-around great looking portrait, which captures the character beautifully.

Black Tom’s articulation features all the great points I expect out of Marvel Legend‘s plastic dudes. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double-hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and yes there are additional swivels hidden at the tops of his boots. He has an ab-crunch hinge, a swivel in the waist, and his neck is both hinged and ball jointed. He’s loads of fun to play around with!

Tom comes with one accessory, and it is indeed his shillelagh, a knotted wooden fighting stick that he can use to channel the blasts of his mutant ability. It’s got a pretty bitchin’ stylized skull sculpted onto the end of it. Either hand is sculpted to hold it pretty well. And while I’m not usually one to ask for effect parts, I feel like one of them would have been a welcome inclusion here. But I’m sure I can fish something out of the accessory bin that will suit him.

Hot damn, it’s good to be back and opening toys again!  And I gotta say this one really tickled my jumblies. I’m always down for another X-Men baddie, but Black Tom here really pounds on that nostalgia button. His appearances are not the most prolific of the X-Men foes, but it’s always a real treat for me when he pops up. Deep down inside, I probably never doubted that Marvel Legends would get around to him eventually. Hell, I don’t think this line is going to stop until every last Marvel character has been pressed into plastic. But it kind of odd that we got a Tom Cassidy release before Banshee. And while we’re on the subject, I’ll happily take Syren as well. And since this is at least a partial Deadpool wave… where is T-Ray for crying out loud??? This would have been a perfect assortment to toss him into.

Star Wars Black (The Mandalorian): Imperial Stormtrooper by Hasbro

When we were introduced to the Remnant Stormtroopers in the first episodes of The Mandalorian, I assumed they were going to all look like that: Dirty and with armor in a state of disrepair. Nope! We later got to see that there are still plenty of fresh Imperial Stormtroopers left in the Galaxy. Naturally, Hasbro jumped at the opportunity to not only get us some Black Series Stormies back on the pegs, but also give them a much needed makeover. Make no mistake, it may look like just another Stormtrooper, but this is an entirely new figure!

There’s the packaging, and it’s worth noting that these are not identified as the Remnant Stormtroopers, but rather Imperial Stormtroopers. This distinguishes them from the dirty boys that we also got in the Black Series as part of The Mandalorian sub-line. And yup, I’ll be getting around to checking those out in the near future. I did review the older Black Series Stormtroopers, but it was so long ago, I might as well just make this mostly a comparison review. Some of the differences are readily apparent and deliberate, while others are more subtle and may just be variances in the molding process.

And here they are side by side, with the new release on the left. The thing I noticed first was the belt. The old figure’s belt was sculpted separately and attached to the figure. It also had a holster for the E-11 Blaster. The new one’s belt is part of the body sculpt, has a slightly different design, doesn’t stick out as much, and has smaller flaps hanging down over the hips. It’s a shame about the holster being omitted, because it’s the only gripe I have about this whole figure. I’m guessing the Stormtroopers in the series didn’t have them, but I’d have to re-watch some episodes to see for sure. The armor on the new figure has an overall shinier finish. Other cosmetic changes include a less angular chest, the “OII” backpack being smaller on the new version and also lacking the peg hole. The armor in the midsection is a little different, and the fanny pack is more prominent on the new version.

The helmet sculpt has been fully revised, and again the new figure is pictured on the left. The old figure had a prominent brow ridge over the eyes, a rounder dome, and larger plugs in the breather apparatus. The eyes are also smaller and set slightly wider apart. Frankly, I like both helmets well enough. The newer one looks tighter and a little more polished to me, but I think this change comes down to a question of personal preference.

Articulation plays a big part in the differences as well, as Hasbro has improved the overall poseability on the new version and many of the joints have been completely redesigned. The arms on the old Stormies could only move outward by about 30-degrees, whereas the new ones can go a full 90-degrees, The range of movement in the elbows has been increased a bit, as has the ability for the legs to more forward and backwards at the hips, allowing for a seated position and a deeper squat. It also feels like there’s a little more range in the torso’s ball joint. The exposed pins in the elbows and knees are also gone in the new figure.

The new Stormtrooper comes with a brand new E-11 Blaster, which is a much more detailed sculpt. And thanks to his improved arm articulation, he’s more capable of wielding it than his predecessor. Hell, he’s even better equipped to brandish the rifle that came with the older Stormies, but is not included with this new release.

With the exception of the holster being nixed, I think everything about this new version is an improvement. It’s a great looking figure, and I really appreciate the added shine to the armor and the all around better articulation. At the same time, I don’t mind mixing my old Stormies with the new ones. It’s reasonable to assume that there would be variances in the armor, either because of changes over time or because of manufacture in different factories across the Galaxy. Either way, they look fine together, and I’m thrilled to be able to expand my 6-inch Imperial army a bit more. Hasbro really did a fantastic job on this one, and I”m pleased to say that I was able to find them easily online and build up a squad of six without having to pay over retail.