Marvel Legends (Okoye Wave): Black Bolt by Hasbro

I’ve got just a few more figures in the Okoye Wave before I switch over from looking at consecutive figures in each wave to randomizing my Marvel Legends reviews. It seemed only right to wrap this wave one before I make the change and I should be able to do that by next week. So today let’s check out the second to the last packaged figure in the somewhat Black Panther themed Okoye Build-A-Figure Wave: Black Bolt! I’ve had this one sitting around forever, so I’m pretty excited to get him open and see how he turned out.

Last time I gave poor Sub-Mariner a lot of shit for not being Shuri. I don’t feel right doing the same thing here, because I was thrilled to see Black Bolt getting the Legends treatment. Sure, they could have tucked him into another wave and given us more MCU Black Panther figures, but whatever the case, I just can’t be upset over getting this figure. I imagine if that ill-fated Inhumans series had turned out better, we might have gotten an entire wave of Inhumans Legends, but considering how bad the show was received, I’m surprised we got the ones we got. Anyway, he comes with his shouting head on the figure, but let’s start with the regular head.

Here’s Black Bolt out of the box and my first reaction is to be a little underwhelmed. Overall, I think the suit is pretty good. The buck is cast in a dark blue plastic with silver paint to make up the various striping. The paint lines are clean enough, but there some slop on the silver up near his right shoulder where it looks like some hair or other foreign matter got in under the paint. It’s nothing terrible, but a little vexing nonetheless. The gauntlets are formed by plastic cones slipped over the forearms, and I’m n+-ot really happy with the way these look. They’re too chunky and make his fists look extra small to me. They also don’t help the wrist articulation much.

The wings were always going to be a compromise here, and I guess I’m OK with the direction Hasbro went with them. They are firmly attached to the figure, so at least I don’t have them popping off every time I touch the figure like the MCU Spider-Man figure. They actually don’t look half bad when his arms are at rest at his sides, even though it’s not what they’re supposed to look like, I kind of dig the blade-like effect. But obviously, they’re intended to look their best when Black Bolt is standing with his arms straight out at the shoulders, and they do indeed look nice when the figure is posed this way.

I haven’t pulled out the figures to check, but I feel like Black Bolt’s head is a re-working of one of the older Captain America figures. It has a similar soft facial sculpt to it. Whether or not that’s the case, it strikes me as kind of generic and boring, particularly when viewed from the front. The cowl does look good and the eyes are painted well. I also like the tuning-fork on his forehead. Despite being cast in soft plastic, it seems like it won’t have too much problems with warping.

The alternate screaming head is much better, but I still don’t think this is among Hasbro’s better work in the line. That’s not to say it’s bad. I actually like how they did the open mouth with the blue paint to suggest the power emanating from within. The whited out eyes look cool too and the translucent blue energy effect coming off the fork looks fantastic.

The articulation here holds no surprises. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels at the thighs and lower legs. The ankles have hinges and rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. I’ll note here how much I wish they had gone with hands that weren’t fists. I think clutching hands or relaxed hands would have worked so much better.

Wow, it feels like I came down really hard on this one, but Black Bolt is not a bad figure. Maybe this was a case of my high level of anticipation working against him. A sharper head sculpt and a different set of hands would have gone a long way toward making me love him more. As it is, he definitely gets the job done, and chances are I’ll be displaying him with his shouting head most of the time anyway. I’m still happy to have this one in my collection and now Medusa doesn’t have to be lonely anymore.

Marvel Legends: Medusa (Walgreens Exclusive) by Hasbro!

Hey, it’s one of those rare times on Marvel Monday when I’m between waves of Marvel Legends and I actually get to look at something other than Marvel Legends figures. So let’s look at a Marvel Legends figure! Because, thanks to Walgreens and their copious number of exclusives, I now have  Legends figures to interject between waves of Marvel Legends! MARVEL LEGENDS!!! These things are invading my home by the truckload, but don’t ever stop, Hasbro. Just keep them coming. Like sweet, sweet cocaine. You keep selling, I’ll keep buying. Also, today’s review is going to be super quick because I’ve been pretty much working non-stop all weekend.

Here’s Medusa in the package and it is appropriately branded for The Inhumans. I made a vow to get through this review without once mentioning how awful The Inhumans TV Series was. But seriously, did you see that mess? Holy shit! I’m so glad they cancelled a proper MCU-based movie for that steaming pile of garbage. Maybe Disney will let a few more phases go buy before they pretend the show never happened and green-light the movie again. Or now that they own The Fantastic Four, they can just work them into that movie. What? The toy? Oh yeah… Anyway, this is actually the first one of these exclusives that I’ve seen with a sticker denoting it as such. Is that a big deal? Not to me, because this package is about to get shredded into compost. Seriously, I’m an animal when I open these things.

From the neck down, Medusa is about as straightforward a figure as they come, as virtually her entire costume is achieved through paint, and not even much of that! You get the standard shapely female buck, cast in purple plastic with metallic purple paint applications for her boots, gloves, and the collar round her neck. She features the spell/power-casting hands, and the only original sculpting here is the belt that hangs on her hips. Now keep in mind, I’m not really complaining, the costume works perfectly for the character.

Of course, there’s plenty of new sculpting for the head, and that’s thanks to the cascade of hair that flows down her back. She’s got a pretty face with neatly painted eyes and lips. The metallic purple mask on mine is a little uneven, which is obvious on close ups, but it’s hard to tell with the figure in hand. The hair sculpt is especially well done, and that’s a good thing, since it is Medusa’s defining feature. There’s a lot of definition to the groups of strands, and I really dig the way it flows and swirls all the way to the ground.

Articulation here is the same as we’ve seen dozens of times over with this female buck. It includes rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball jointed hips, double hinges in the knees, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, and swivels in the thighs. There’s a ball joint under the chest and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. Obviously the mane of hair takes its toll on the neck articulation, but it mostly just restricts her from looking up. Some of the early pictures I saw of the figure worried me that she would always be looking down, but I’m happy to see that’s not the case it all.

It would be fair to say that I’m not blown away by this figure, but she’s certainly a fine treatment of the character. I’m not sure if Hasbro sold the idea to Walgreens back before the TV series hit, but whatever the case, it’s nice to get a solid comic version of Medusa, especially with Black Bolt following close on her heels as part of the MCU Black Panther wave. It’s a big plus too that these exclusives seem to be pretty easy to get. Indeed, the Walgreens around the corner always has plenty on the shelf. I may have to hunt down regular Legends releases, but these exclusives are never a problem.

Marvel Gallery: Medusa by Diamond Select

What started as a humble line of indie comic statues, called Femme Fatales, has grown into quite the Marvel and DC branded juggernaut. Indeed, Diamond Select has been churning out these Marvel and DC Gallery statues at a remarkably brisk rate while expanding to include the dudes as well. At the same time, they seem to have a handle on balancing the compromise between budget and quality. I’ve amassed quite a few of the DC Animated Series and I’ve had few complaints. And if that wasn’t enough good news, DST is clearly willing to start taking risks with some character choices. And that brings us to one of the most recent Marvel Gallery releases: Medusa, matriarch of the Inhumans!

Now, granted, Medusa is far from an unknown in the Marvel Universe, but this line has mostly been about A-Listers, so including her is a welcome and unexpected treat. The statue comes in the same style window box we’ve been seeing ever since the first Femme Fatale statue hit the comic shops, although the decos are now branded to match the characters inside. You get windows on the front, side and top panels to let in plenty of light. Medusa’s box also has the added bonus of being crazy heavy. For what are roughly nine-inch scale PVC statues, these don’t tend to have a lot of heft to them, but as we’ll soon see, Medusa’s hair adds a lot of weight to this piece. The statue comes secured between two clear plastic trays, the box is totally collector friendly, and there’s no assembly required.

Out of her box, the Inhuman goddess is a remarkably striking piece.  She dons her black costume, which features a high gloss finish and a very low cut front that runs all the way down to her belt. The skin revealed by her exposed front is tinted black to suggest she’s got some kind of body stocking to protect her Inhuman goodies. She has a pair of matte black, ribbed boots, which come up past her knees and feature some rather interesting heel designs. The costume also features hold arched fixtures on her shoulders, gold wrist bracelets, a red jewel just below her naval, and a pearl belt and necklace. I just love what they did with this costume, and the little contrasts from matte to gloss and bits of gold, white, and red offer some nice diversity to what could have been a bit of a boring outfit. It also helps that the quality of paint and its application on this piece are top notch, right down to the red nail polish on her finger tips.

Of course, I can’t go far in this review without talking about her legendary copious coif. Medusa’s red hair cascades down her back and pools up below her feet to form a very creative base. The hair features sculpted texture and some subtle variations in color. I really dig how they designed this piece and the way the hair suspends her with her feet in mid air. There’s so much to love with this statue!

And I’m happy to report that the portrait is every bit as good as everything from the neck down. She’s got a beautiful portrait and the paint used for her lips, pupil-less eyes, and vibrant eye shadow is crisp and perfect.

Normally I wait for a deal when picking up these statues, because they tend to get deeply discounted by retailers after they’ve been on the market for a couple of weeks. In this case, however, I really wanted to show my support for Diamond’s willingness to go with some less obvious character selection. To that end, I pre-ordered both Medusa and Jewel (aka Jessica Jones) at full price, which amounted to about $45 each. I’ll get around to reviewing Jewel eventually, but as far as Medusa goes, I couldn’t be happier with this purchase. Everything about this statue makes it feel like something far more premium than a budget statue and I could confidently place her among some of my $100 DC Cover Girls or Marvel Premier pieces and she could easily hold her own in terms of paint and overall quality.