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

It’s the final leg of today’s Marvel Monday trifecta and I’m happy to be putting another wave of Marvel Legends to bed! But this review is a bit of a cheat, because I haven’t actually completed the Thanos BAF. In a strange twist of fate, the Captain America from this wave never presented itself to me at retail and for some reason he’s been going for stupid prices online. Even Amazon, my normal go-to for Legends, has been gouging him at about $40-50. There are probably Legends figures out there that I would pay that kind of a premium for if I had to, but this Cap ain’t one of them. For starters, I’m not a big fan of his costume in the flick, I don’t like his Wakandan shield, the likeness is unusually bad, and finally I don’t really need his BAF part, thanks to the First Ten Years three-pack that came with two Thanos heads. I should note, that I also didn’t pick up the Iron Man from this wave either, but I’ll probably double back and get him eventually. In the meantime, check out this shit!

Only a Marketplace listing now, but Amazon themselves have had him for close to $50! And since this is going to be a quickie review, I also thought I’d take a few moments to talk about how much undying love I have for the Marvel Legends line and the way it also frustrates me to no end. Legends has become one of those monkey paw-type wishes come true for me. Hasbro has kicked this line into overdrive, beyond even my wildest dreams. Even when I thought it was going full throttle and balls-to-the-wall someone at Hasbro stood up, said “Hold my beer,” and cranked it up a few more notches. The sheer number of releases we are getting in regular waves is enough to make me weep with joy, but then you toss in the exclusives and the multi-packs, and it becomes enough to make me weep at the near futility of it all. The figures are coming in unceasing waves and the depth and breath of the character selection continues to astound me. I long passed 250 Marvel Legends reviews here on FFZ and I’m still hopelessly behind. I have stacks of them in the closet waiting to be opened. I could literally review a figure every day of the week and still not be caught up for over a month! Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want it to stop! But I worry about the bubble breaking. I’d rather have the line pace itself than crumble under it’s own weight. And sometimes when I see figures like Infinity War Cap or Mysterio selling for so much online, I have to wonder if it’s because these waves are hitting so quickly that some of them are barely making it to the pegs. And if that’s the case, why are whole other waves easily available at or below half price? I have no answers. What I do know is that I couldn’t even imagine keeping up with this line if it weren’t for the Internet. If it was like the old days, just driving to stores to hunt them would be a full-time job! OK, enough with the editorializing. I’m not very good at it to begin with, and I’ve got it out of my system. Let’s take a look at a couple of Thanoseseses…

Here’s the Thanos Build-A-Figure (with a different head)! So, if you aren’t keeping up, Thanos was first released as this Build-A-Figure and then shortly after he was included in the Infinity War First Ten Years 3-pack along with Iron Man and Doctor Strange. It seemed like an odd thing for Hasbro to do, until I got both figures in hand and realized that the FTY version is almost like a premium Do-Over. Both figures use an almost identical sculpt, with only two differences, one being the head sculpt, which I won’t be talking about. The other is the Infinity Gauntlet, which is sculpted in a closed fist here, as opposed to the open hand of the FTY version.

The Infinity Gauntlet on my BAF version has some issues with the stones, which appears to be either a QC problem with this specific figure or a wider-reaching molding issue. It’s not hugely noticeable, but it’s still worth mentioning. Either way, the Mind Stone just looks messed up. As for my personal preference on the hand itself, I think I prefer the opened hand. It seems like Hasbro should have been a sport and included two gauntlet hands as BAF parts in the wave, especially since Iron Man didn’t come with any and Captain Rogers only came with the tiny head.

The other main difference between the two figures is the coloring. The BAF features a duller platinum finish on the armor pieces, whereas the FTY version has a gold finish. The gold armor also features some really nice etched patterns in the gorget, which are not at all present on the BAF version. In this case, I definitely prefer the gold. It simply looks more vibrant, and from what I can tell also more screen accurate. This may have been another case of the figure releasing before design plans were finalized, but seeing as Thanos’ armor was gold in his previous appearances, it seems odd to have changed it now. The skin color on the BAF version is also a wee bit darker and the pants on the BAF are so dark they’re almost black, whereas FTY Thanos dons a set of chocolate brown trousers.

In the end, I’m happy to have both, but if I’m only going to display one of these Mad Titans, it’s definitely going to be the one from the FTY set. It feels more like a premium figure in every way and I’m not going to shed any tears over not completing the BAF just because of stupid Captain America and his Thanos noggin.

And so, I leave this wave with a bitter-sweet feeling. It’s always a shame when bad distribution and online retailer scalping makes collecting this tough. And it wasn’t just Captain America that made this one so hard to complete. It took a long while before I was able to track down Iron Spider at a palatable price. I may eventually grab up a loose Captain Rogers just to get him in my collection and complete the team from the movie, but for now I’m just happy to put this wave behind me. It features some great figures, but it was one of the most frustrating waves for me to collect in a long, long while!

Next week I’m going full guns with an entire week of Legends as I cruise through the newly released Captain Marvel-inspired Kree Sentry Wave!

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Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Proxima Midnight by Hasbro

My New Year’s resolution is that I’m determined to start getting caught up on my Marvel Legends reviews and get through some more of these older waves. And since I only have two more figures to open in the Thanos Wave, let’s go ahead and knock out that one today with a Triple Play. And so this morning I am throwing randomness to the wind and opening up the only other member of Thanos’ Black Order currently available: Proxima Midnight! While she’s not the stand out thug in Thanos’ stable, (that honor goes to Ebony Maw!) at least Proxima got some lines in the flick. She also had a couple of really bitchin’ fight scenes, so we’ll rank her in at number two.

I don’t have anything to say about the packaging, other then she comes with Thanos’ torso and there was a lot of speculation about her when this figure was revealed before the movie hit. Unlike Proxima’s cohort, Cull Obsidian, her figure is based closer to the way she appeared in the movie, but she’s still not 100% screen accurate. And for the record, I think her MCU look is a pretty damn cool adaptation of her comic look. Although to be fair, she’s a pretty new character, and I sometimes wonder whether Marvel is designing the new characters with potential MCU conversions in mind. Probably not, but it’s fun to think about it.

Wearing what is basically a black and white bodysuit, Hasbro could have easily cheaped out on Proxima with a simple painted buck. Instead, they went with an elaborate pattern of etched lines running all over her body. It almost looks like a topographical map! When coupled with the black and pearlescent white deco it looks quite striking. She also has some platinum colored armor pieces sculpted onto her lower right leg, her forearms, and a pauldron on her left shoulder.

The head sculpt is where the design of the figure and the on screen look differ a bit. The dark blue sculpted hair looks on point, as does the horn-like things that come up from her eyes. It’s the paint on the lower half of her face that doesn’t really jibe with the movie makeup. Her skin tone should be lighter, she shouldn’t have painted cheeks, and she should have a single stroke of paint running from her bottom lip down the middle of her chin. It’s not a bad looking portrait by any means, but I think this is another case of Hasbro working off of designs that weren’t quite finalized at the time. Indeed, there are actually promotional pictures of the character that looks just like this.

Proxima’s articulation actually breaks Hasbro’s tradition of cheating the gals by giving her double hinges in the elbows, instead of rotating hinges, as well as bicep swivels. The shoulders and wrists are the usual rotating hinges. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a ball joint under the chest and the neck is hinged and ball jointed. The shoulder armor even has a little give to it so as not to inhibit the left arm too badly.

Ms. Midnight comes with one accessory and that’s her very distinctive looking three-pronged spear. It’s cast in a platinum-gold color similar to her armor pieces, and it’s actually a pretty good match for the one she carried in the film. Only her right hand is sculpted to hold it, and I would have liked a swap-out left hand with the same ability. The spear is a bit bendy, particularly at the tips, but I dig it.

So, Proxima Midnight isn’t a perfect match for her big screen counterpart, but I still want to give this figure a pass. The sculpted lines added to the body really makes her stand out, and the head sculpt makes her look even more sinister than she did in the film. The divergence in design may bother me a bit more when I finally get Ebony Maw and Corvus Glaive on the shelf, but for now, I think she turned out pretty great and I can get some kicks posing her fighting Black Widow and Okoye. And that’s the first part of today’s Marvel Legends trifecta! Stop back this afternoon for a look at King Cobra and later on tonight for a half-assed quick look at the Thanos Build-A-Figure!

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

Here we go! It’s the very last Marvel Monday review of 2018 and I am still ridiculously far behind on my Marvel Legends, but I’m so very glad to be ending the year with a figure from Infinity War. As far as movies go, that one was one of the highest points of the year for me. So much so, that I’m going to be ending the year watching it on Blu-Ray tonight for the the umpteenth time. So let’s get right down to business so I can watch my movie and you all can go about your New Years Eve business!

For all intent and purposes, Cull Obsidian is the Black Dwarf of the MCU’s Black Order and only the second of Thanos’ minions (so far!) to get a figure in the Legends line. He’s comprised of seven parts, if you include his weapon, spread out over all six figures in this wave, with the weapon being doubled up with one of the arms. Before slapping him together, it’s worth mentioning that this figure deviates a bit from his look in the film. The body and head sculpt both look pretty much on point, but he wore a lot more armor in the film. Is this one of those cases of Hasbro being given early concept art to work with? Probably. Does it hurt the figure? Not necessarily.

Sure, if you’re looking for a perfect representation of Cull Obsidian on the big screen, you’re going to be disappointed, but with that having been said, I think this guy turned out fantastic. This fellow is a good head and shoulders taller than his boss Thanos, and that makes him pretty imposing when compared to the regular-sized figures. He’s a big reptilian brute covered in scaly skin, with ridges on his shoulders, powerful hands, and three-toed feet. He kind of looks like something you’d find Duke Nukem fighting, and that ain’t a bad thing. As mentioned, the armor is quite different than what he wore in the film. Here he has grieves on his lower legs, a metallic armored belt with sculpted plastic cloth hanging down in tatters, a segmented piece of armor on his right forearm, and a massive piece of armor on his right shoulder, which is actually a separate piece and can be removed if you want to.

From the back, you can see armored plates running up his spine and a single armor plate stuck to his lower left leg. The coloring is mostly brown with some black wash to bring out the details, and some yellow-brown added to his chest. I would have loved to see a little wash on the armor, as it looks rather flat when compared to the rest of the body. The body features solid articulation for such a big guy, indeed it’s basically the same as what we get in the regular releases. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double-hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint under the chest and the neck is ball jointed. As expected, this guy is as solid as they come, and he’s loads of fun to play with.

The head sculpt is a thing of beauty, and by that I mean it’s ugly as sin. Like the body, the portrait looks pretty close to the character seen in the film. I love the tiny piercing gold eyes, and the things on his chin and lower jaw that look like tusks. There’s some wonderful detail in the lines of his face, the ridges on his head, and all the other little scales and bumps.

If this figure disappoints at all, it’s definitely because of his weapon. In the movie he carried a cool axe that could shoot the head out on a chain. It looked like it was made out of space junk, but really cool looking space junk. Here we get this hammer thing that looks like a lame Minecraft weapon. It kind of has an MCU Kree technology flavor to it, but I just don’t dig it. He can only hold it in his left hand and while I’m sure he could do some major damage with it, I’d much rather we got something closer to the weapon in the movie.

Lame weapon notwithstanding, I absolutely love this figure. It really doesn’t bother me that he strays from the actual on-screen look, especially since the difference is mainly in his costume. He’s big and nasty-looking and he’s definitely going to spend some time fighting The Hulk on my shelf. Pretty soon I’ll be opening up Proxima Midnight and I’m really looking forward to the release of Ebony Maw and Corvus Glaive. I think they’re going to make for one hell of a display!

And that’s a wrap for 2018. I’m not doing any kind of End of Year list this year, mainly because I’ve got a busy couple of weeks with work and also because I don’t want to fall any farther behind in my backlog. At some point in the next month or so, I’ll probably be doing a Marvel Legends week, just to try to get me a little boost, although at this point I would need to do a whole Marvel Legends month just to try to get sort of caught up. Anyway… thanks to everyone who stuck with me for another year and I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year! 

Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Iron Spider by Hasbro

It’s just another Marvel Monday, but I wish it was Sunday cuz that’s my fun day. Actually Mondays are pretty fun because I get to open another random Legends figure off my pile. Today my grubby mitts went into the “To Open” box and drew back Spider-Man from Infinity War! Ok, this one probably wasn’t so random because it’s the last figure I dropped into the box and I didn’t give it a good stir before picking today.

I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it was for me to get this figure. I never saw him on the pegs and, for the longest time, this Webhead was going for upward of $40 on Amazon. I finally grabbed him off another retailer who got some singles in and wouldn’t you know it, the next week he started selling on Amazon for the regular MSRP. That’s pretty par for the course when it comes to my luck with these Infinity War figures. Hell, I’m still hunting down Captain America and he’s usually the over-produced peg warmer of the wave.

So, here’s Spidey out of the box and right away, I have some issues. The figure features some extensive texturing, which feels all wrong. From memory, the Iron Spider suit in Infinity War was pretty slick and smooth. I checked a few stills and even the pictures of the upcoming Hot Toys version (which are usually a pretty good source for accuracy) and I think I’m justified as saying the texturing isn’t supposed to be there. It looks more like one of the older suits. Now with that having been said, I think the coloring is pretty good. I like the shade of red they used and the gold trim is neatly painted, especially around the spider logo. On the downside, this is one of those instances where Hasbro doesn’t paint the pegs, which is really obvious on the insides of the sleeves and the lower pegs on the knees where they interrupt the gold striping. Overall, not a bad looking figure, but not one that really conveys the suit from the movie to me.

The head sculpt just looks cheap to me. Once again, the texturing feels wrong, and while the web pattern shouldn’t be blackened, it should be more pronounced than it is here. The crazy amount of mold flashing hanging off my figure’s seam-lines also don’t help to instill a feeling of care and quality. The previous MCU Spidey gave us two heads to depict the eyes wide and narrowed. Here we just get the one noggin.

Fortunately, the articulation here is everything I expect from a Legends Spidey. I wasn’t sure they were going to put the shoulder crunches in this one, but they did and that makes me happy. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. As a result, Iron Spider is pretty fun to play around with!

So here comes the real sucky part. Iron Spider comes with absolutely no extras. No swappable fists, no second head, and the biggest crime? He does not come with his additional mechanical legs. Hasbro has set a bit of a precedent for extras with our Spidey Legends so when they don’t include them, it hurts the value. But not including his mechanical legs is something I just can’t overlook. It’s the coolest thing about this suit and they featured prominently in the film. Hell, I’m pretty sure even the shitty Titan figure got those legs.

After hunting so long for him, Iron Spider turned out to be quite a letdown. He’s a nice looking figure, but the texturing on the suit feels wrong and the lack of extras really hurts. For what was the biggest and coolest costume reveals for me in Infinity War, this figure deserved to be so much better. It’s still bewildering to me that Hasbro could have released this one without the mechanical legs. Even if they were just a static piece that plugged into the back, that would have been better than nothing. It’s not like Hasbro to drop the ball in this line, especially not with the MCU versions of the characters, but here’s one that needs an instant do-over.

Marvel Legends (Cull Obsidian Wave): Thor by Hasbro

It’s Monday again and that means it’s time for another random Marvel Legends review here at FFZ. This week my sticky fingers caught hold of another figure from the Cull Obsidian Wave, and it’s Thor from Infinity War! I’ve already checked out Ant-Man, Wasp, and Black Widow from this wave, so I’m finally more than halfway done. But with opening only one of these a week, it feels like Avengers 4 will be out before I even finish with the Infinity War figures.

And here’s the beautiful Pirate-Angel himself in the package, and between the figure, accessory, and BAF part, this tray is pretty damn full. This is actually the second version of Thor that Hasbro has released from Infinity War. The other is part of a three-pack with Rocket and Groot, and don’t worry I’ll get around to opening that one eventually.

Thor’s look has changed a bit throughout the films, and for me, I don’t think anything has surpassed his look in the original Avengers. That suit is so colorful and regal and it’s the one version of the character I display on my Hot Toys shelf. But I get the reason for costume changes. It not only sells new toys, but from a tonal standpoint, bright and colorful Thor would not have looked right in a film like Infinity War.

With all that having been said, this suit is fine, it’s just a little drab and boring to me. The chest armor is black, the trousers are black, the boots are black, the wrist bracers are black. The only real color being expressed here is the metallic silver used for his armored sleeves and the bit of red trim around the shoulders of the cape and the discs where they attach. And of course the cape itself. What’s a little frustrating here is that even though there’s so little paint on the figure, they still managed to get sloppy with the red around the trim of the discs where the cape attaches. There is, however, a nice little metallic sheen around the armor and the boots have a bit of a dark coppery wash to them.

The head sculpt here is excellent in terms of detail and realism, and I think it hits the mark pretty close on likeness. Here, Thor looks a tad older and more haggard, but it’s close enough for me. Indeed, I think it’s impressive how much Hasbro’s Hemsworth sculpt has improved in the short time since the Ragnarok figures were on the pegs. The painted skin tone is so much better than the waxy bare plastic we’ve seen in the past, the hair sculpt is extremely well done, and you even get a little bit of scar showing over the right eye. And yes, this is Thor after Rocket gave him a replacement eye.

Articulation holds few surprises, but let’s run down the points anyway. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There is no swivel in the waist, but you do get a ball joint under the chest. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Thor comes with his brand new weapon, Stormbreaker and it is a beautiful accessory. The blade is cast in a satin-metallic silver and I really dig the way the handle (Groot’s severed arm) weaves itself around the head. I think this is one of the best looking accessories I’ve seen out of Legends in a long while.

Stormbreaker also comes with a lightning effect part, cast in soft blue translucent plastic and molded so that it can be snaked around the weapon. Some of you may know that I’m seldom impressed with the effect parts that Hasbro occasionally bundles with these figures, so it’s probably no surprise that this one will be going into the dreaded and bottomless Tote of Forgotten Accessories™. Hey, it’s fine and I’m never going to argue about getting something extra with a figure, but I just don’t have a lot of use for these things.

I like this figure a lot, but I’m mainly coming away really wishing that Hasbro would take another crack at The Avengers Thor. They’ve upped their game so much since the days of that Walmart Exclusive wave, I’d like to see my favorite version of The Mightiest Avenger get a re-do. Then again, I’m not sure I want to open the can of worms where I’m re-buying all these characters again. I mean, I’m already so hopefully behind on buying and opening this line of figures, that maybe we should just leave things well enough alone. Suffice it to say this is a solid enough figure and he’ll look great alongside the rest of the Infinity War crew when I finally get them all together and set up.