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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Marvel Legends (Vulture Wings Wave) Vulture by Hasbro

Welcome back for a second helping of Marvel Monday! I’m at the final stop on this trip through this somewhat Homecoming-inspired wave of Marvel Legends. It should be obvious that I saved Vulture for last, so that I can include his wing assembly in this review, so let’s start with a look at the final boxed figure in the assortment… Adrian Toomes!

Here’s a last look at this wave’s packaging, which is pretty much the same as we’ve been getting in this line for a while now. I still have not had a chance to re-watch Homecoming since it’s home release, but that’s OK, because I caught it three times in the theater and I’m hoping I’ll have time to pop in the Blu-Ray sometime this week. Michael Keaton was an excellent piece of casting and I don’t think I was alone in being surprised at how Vulture has become the second best villain in the MCU. Granted, the competition wasn’t very steep. It’s amazing how a little motive, sympathy, and charisma can make a villain great. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Keaton is just stupendous.

Unfortunately we don’t get to see him here, but I’ll come back to that in a minute. The figure features Vulture in his movie flight suit and I really dig this design a lot. This is, of course, not the first winged flight suit we’ve seen in the MCU, but this one has a lot more character and more of a homebrew flavor than Sam Wilson’s EXO-7 Falcon. The top half features a vintage-style bomber jacket with a sculpted fur-lined collar, zippers, and chest harness. Below the knees, Toomes is wearing a pair of metallic boots with talon-like feet to help him grasp objects (or people) while in flight. It’s a great modern and “realistic” update to a pretty outlandish costume we all knew we weren’t going to see on screen.

From the back we can see the back plate that attaches to the wings, as well as those vicious talons that come off the backs of his boots. The overall paint on this figure is very well done. The jacket is painted in glossy brown and the pants in glossy green. A matte might have been a better choice for the trousers, but what we got certainly doesn’t look bad. The metal finish on the boots looks outstanding, and little touches, like the gold paint on the zippers and buckles, are appreciated.

Yes, it’s a shame that Hasbro couldn’t get the likeness rights for Keaton. At least, I’m assuming that’s why we only got the masked head. Maybe it was more than they wanted to spend, I honestly don’t know, but they did the best with what they had available to them. The flight helmet features breather tubes coming off the face mask and a clear plastic visor fixed over the two piercing green night vision goggles. This thing has a cool, sinister look to it and I love it.

And finally, let’s run through the articulation. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. there’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. It would have been cool to add some articulation to those feet so he could actually grasp something, but I guess it didn’t cost out. All in all, this is a really solid figure on its own, but what good is Vulture without his wings, eh?

The wings arrive in seven parts, spread out among the figures in this wave, and Vulture also comes with a semi-transparent plastic stand. I can’t say enough about how much I love the idea of Hasbro doing something different with the collect-and-connect concept. Build-A-Figures are fine, but this felt like something special, and I’m sure there are more creative outlets like this out there to consider as future possibilities. Remember when Mattel did the C&C Justice League building with their 4-inch line of Young Justice figures? I’d be totally down for some dioramas. Anyway, let’s get these wings assembled…

I’ve got to confess, when I was putting these together I had some pangs of disappointment. The pieces felt soft, and I worried a bit about how this experiment was going to turn out. However, once I figured out how to cobble them together and got them on display, I was a lot happier. Yes, they do feel flimsier than I would have liked, but they look so great on the figure, and they’re so much fun to play with, that I’m willing to let the quality of construction slide. For starters, there is a lot of great detail in the sculpt. Not only are the wings themselves littered with feather-like panel lines, but the actual piece that plugs into the figure is particularly intricate in its detail.

The pieces are cast in a dark green plastic with some lighter green paint used on the panels, somewhat sparingly on the undercarriage, but there’s quite a bit of it on the top face. There’s also some really cool paint used to simulate the thruster being lit up. The stand cradles the bottom point of the wings at just the right level to attach to the figure, so it can be used to display the wings by themselves, or stabilize them while Toomes is wearing them. Pretty cool!

Each of the wings are designed to articulate in three places. They’re hinged where they attach to the backpack, hinged again where they join at the middle, and there’s also a swivel hinge so they can open or collapse a bit. It makes for some pretty fun posing opportunities.

Additionally, each of the VTOL propellers can spin, their housings can hinge away from the wings, and the propellers themselves can also angle within the housings to simulate their use in multi-directional flight.

Despite being held onto the figure by only a peg, I haven’t had any difficulty with it disconnecting, even when I was using various stands to hold him up by only the wings. It’s pretty impressive when you consider that some Marvel Legends can’t even hang on to a pegged cape all that well without it popping off.

So, yeah… consider me impressed. I’ll concede that had Hasbro done this figure in a box set, they might have been able to design the wings to feel a little sturdier, but it would have been out of the scope of the current Legends pricing model. Besides, I think these came out fine in the end. Maybe we can get some kind of Build-A-Thone for Thanos when Infinity War comes out. Whatever the case, I think this was a particularly solid wave of figures and I continue to really enjoy Hasbro’s practice of mixing the relevant MCU characters with comic characters in each wave. These give us the best of both worlds, and continue to push Legends as a fantastic universe-building line. With Thor: Ragnarok hitting theaters this week (Got my ticket for Thursday night!) I hope to start in on the Gladiator Hulk Wave next Monday!

Marvel Legends (Vulture Wings Wave): “Homecoming” Spider-Man by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday again, folks, and I am in the middle of a hellacious work week. But the show must go on, and I’ve got not one, not two, but THREE reviews to get to today, as well as wrap up work on a special Halloween review for tomorrow, so I hope you don’t mind if I skip the preamble and jump right in. Let’s check out Spider-Man in his Homecoming Stark Tech suit.

Spider-Man has had some great suits in his various cinematic outings. I loved the Raimi movies (well, two of them) and I really liked the suit design in them. I hated the Amazing Spider-Man movies, but really loved the suit design in those. And with Homecoming, I finally have an agreement in opinion: Loved the movie, loved the suit! I realize it bothered a lot of people that Spidey’s suit was developed by Stark, but I’m not sure why. The MCU has always done its own thing, and it’s not like Tony never built a suit for Peter Parker in the comics. Either way, I had no problem with it, especially since the film addressed the issue of Peter relying too heavily on it by having him wear his powerless Hoodie Suit for the final battle.

The good news? Hasbro went all out on this guy with a brand new buck and sculpt. Not only do you get cut web patterns and a subtle texture, but every single detail on this suit is incorporated into the sculpt from the black chevrons on his shoulders to the spider emblems on his chest and back. The buck is nicely proportioned and skews toward the teenage sized bucks we saw recently with the younger comic version of Peter Parker and Miles Morales.

The coloring is also very good. I’d argue the red could have been a little brighter, but I had that issue with Hoodie Spidey too, so I’m beginning to think it might just be me. The paintwork is overall fairly solid and it looks fine with the figure in hand, although it does break down a bit when you get in really close. That issue is mostly with the paint on the webbing, and it’s not something I’m going to make a big deal about. What I know some people will make a huge deal about is that the pins in the elbow joints aren’t painted to match the costume. This doesn’t tend to be a sticking issue with me, but I get why it irks people. When you put so much work into the rest of the figure an oversight like that seems lazy.

You get two head sculpts, representing the variable apertures of Spidey’s peepers. I can’t believe how many people I’ve talked to had issues with the eyes articulating in the suit. I thought it was a great way to give him that same expressive quality he has in the comics. I also thought it was worth it for the gag outside the girls’ tent when the eye mechanisms freak out. What can I say, I’m easily entertained. Anyway, I like that we got options here, but I’ll be sticking with the larger eye head for my displays. Not only do I like the look better, but the paint on the narrow eyes head is a little rough on mine.

In addition to two heads, Spidey comes with two pairs of hands: Thwippy hands and fists. He comes out of the package with one of each on the figure and let me tell you, I had a hell of a time getting them off. Things went a little easier after I swapped them in and out a few times.

The articulation here is superb. Here’s a rundown… Rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows and knees, hinged pegs in the wrists, swivels in the biceps and thighs, ball joints in the hips, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso features a waist swivel, an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. Spidey also features butterfly hinges in the shoulders.

Finally, you get a pair of web-wings, and oh boy are these things hot garbage. They’re cast in a frosted white-clear plastic and they’re supposed to tab into the slots in his biceps. Just one look at how small the tabs are and how giant the slots are told me these weren’t going to work. Not only will they not hold in place when reposing the arms, but they’ll usually just fall out if I move the figure at all. Hasbro was able to make web-wings work with other Spider-Man related figures, so I’m not sure what happened here, but they’re unfortunately worthless.

Overall, Homecoming Spider-Man is a pretty solid figure. I really dig this costume and the folks at Hasbro did a nice job re-creating it here in 6-inch action figure form. They spared no expense with the sculpt, but it’s a shame that the web-wings don’t work. For me, it’s a relatively minor hiccup in an otherwise fine piece of work. On the other hand, if you were dead set on displaying them on, you might want to invest in some poster putty to keep them in place. Come on back later tonight and I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at Vulture and his assembled wings!

Marvel Legends (Vulture Wings Wave): Spider-Man (Hoodie Suit) by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday again and time to embark on a brand new wave of Marvel Legends! I’m so backlogged, that I had a lot to choose from, but I went with the Spider-Man: Homcoming inspired assortment because the flick is due out on Blu-Ray in a few weeks, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it again. Now if things go well and I can double up a few weeks, I’ll be able to cruise right into the Thor: Ragnarok wave right as that one hits theaters! And speaking of doubling up, I’ll be doing that today, so let’s jump right in and check out Spidey!

In the title I called him “Hoodie Suit” Spidey. “Homebrew Suit” Spidey works too. One of my favorite things about Homecoming was how they did the switcheroo on the suits. In the Raimi film he started with the crappy homemade suit and by the time he was ready for the climactic final battle with Goblin, he was in the polished new one. Here he started in the spiffy Stark Tech suit, but went back to his crappy homemade suit for the final battle in order to make a point that clothes do not make the (Spider)man. It was sort of the same point that Tony learned in Iron Man 3. Anyway, I thought that was just all kinds of neat and one of the reasons why I love the movie as much as I do.

And I really loved this costume in the movie. It was a fun palate swap homage to the Scarlet Spider costume with a few tweaks. As for this figure? Um… I like it, but I don’t quite love it. Part of the problem here is that it feels really flat. There’s some nice texturing in the socks and some decent sculpted wrinkles in the suit, but otherwise, the lack of detail makes it feel more like a comic based figure and not an MCU figure. Maybe that’s the point and I’m just missing it. Also, I don’t recall his wrist bracers being all silver. I thought they were red with silver cartridges. And speaking of coloring, my biggest issue here is that the red looks too dark. It wasn’t so much a deep crimson as it was a bright candy-apple red.

I do dig that Hasbro included two different hoods, so you can display him with it up or down. If you have the Spider-Gwen figure than you know how this works. But the head itself could have used a few more tweaks to the goggles to make them match the on screen appearance a little better. And what, no drawstrings on the hood? A little more facial definition sculpted into the mask would have been cool too. Again, it’s just kind of bland. Am I being too picky? Maybe. Either way, I definitely prefer him with the hood down, so I went with that look for most of the pictures I took.

The articulation here is solid enough. Granted, he doesn’t have the butterfly shoulders like we often see in our Legends Webheads, but everything else is as expected. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with double hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with double hinged knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have lateral rockers and hinges. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch in the torso, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

Homebrew Suit Spidey also comes with two pairs of hands: Fists and thwippy hands!

I don’t usually discuss the BAF parts until the end of the wave when I’m ready to build it, but I’ll make an exception here because Hasbro is trying something truly new and exciting in this Wave. It’s not a Build-A-Figure, but instead the parts will build something to enhance a figure in the Wave. In this case, it’s the MCU Vulture’s wings. Now to give credit, Mattel first tried something different in their Multiverse line by doing a Collect & Connect roleplay Batman Grapnel Gun, which isn’t quite the same thing, but does show the same kind of thinking outside the box. I was surprised to hear a fair amount of criticism from some fans over this idea, but I think it’s brilliant and I hope Hasbro does more with it in the future.

 

I know I harped on him a lot, but this is by no means a bad figure. He just kind of feels a little underwhelming to me. Again, maybe that’s the point, because it’s an underwhelming homemade suit. I’d probably be more forgiving if the colors were a little more accurate and a little extra paint on his bracers, but I’m certainly not sorry I picked him up. Of course, if I wanted to put my money where my mouth is, Hot Toys is doing a figure with this outfit, but I don’t like it enough to blow $220 on it. The Stark Tech Suit? Yeah, I’m probably going to go for that one! In the meantime, web-swing back later this evening and I’ll have a look at another version of Spider-Man in this wave!