Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Wolverine by Hasbro

After an abbreviated week due to epic storm complications, I’m back and ready to return FFZ to regular operations with Marvel Monday, and today I’m checking out the final figure in the Marvel Legends Warlock Wave with Wolverine! I’ve been on this wave for what seems like forever and Irma has already cost me enough time, so let’s just jump right in and check him out!

The package is beat to hell, but here’s one instance where it wasn’t from shipping. This figure has been kicking around this place for a while and got hastily packed away with a bunch of other stuff before the storm. It’s OK, I don’t save these boxes anyway. And yes, the package says Wolverine, but this figure will be better known to fans as Old Man Logan. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a decade since this version of the character debuted in what was a truly memorable comic. It’s also sad to see how far Marvel has fallen since then. I can’t imagine them putting out a book as amazingly creative and well-written these days. Ah, but let’s pretend to be this Logan living in a hellish future and look back on happier times.

And here he is in all his geriatric glory. He comes out of the package with his claws popped, but they are the same removable type that we saw with the last Wolverine release, so you can recreate Logan’s refusal to use them by just pulling them out. The fact that they leave behind holes in his knuckles isn’t ideal, but at least we have the option. Just be sure to put those claws in a safe place if you take them out, because I’ve almost lost one already! As far as the buck goes, this looks all new to me and I love how short and stocky it is. Logan sports his retired civvies in the form of brown trousers and a red shirt with a sculpted button collar.

The bomber jacket is the usual “vest with arms sculpted to look like sleeves” trick and it looks great on the figure. The fur-lined collar has some nice texturing and the zipper tracks are neatly painted. Even the belt buckle is beautifully detailed and painted with a nice gold finish. It may not be the most striking costume around, but Hasbro did a wonderful job recreating it in a buck that I doubt will ever get much re-use.

And just check out that head sculpt! I love the crotchety expression and all the little wrinkles and age lines sculpted into his face. This portrait is just packed with detail and oozes character. The gray mutton chops look great, as do the very expressive eyebrows. You can practically hear him yelling at the Hulk Gang to get off his lawn.

This Logan may be old, but he’s still nimble, as evidenced in the articulation. The arms feature 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 swivels at the thighs, and double hinges at the knees. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel at the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

If I were a betting man, I would have bet against ever getting this figure. The sculpting required for the buck seems like a dead end, and we all know how Hasbro needs to weigh each new sculpt against possible recycling down the road. It’s also a version of the character that was more or less promoted in a Fox Film and not tied to the usual MCU. The last time Hasbro promoted one of the non-Disney Marvel films was Amazing Spider-Man 2 and I got the feeling that the wave didn’t do so well for them. Nevertheless, here he is and Hasbro did a beautiful job with him.

And opening Old Man Logan last places a very tasty cherry on the top of what was an amazing assortment of figures. Sure, I could have come up with a bunch of better characters for the BAF, but I’m certain that there are New Mutants fans out there who are happy to have Warlock, and I’m not going to begrudge them that. All I can say is, keep these X-Men themed Waves coming, Hasbro, because you’re absolutely killing it with them! Next week, I’m going to take a brief detour from Legends figures to check out another one of Diamond Select’s Marvel Gallery statues and then I’ll start digging into another Legends Wave on the following Monday!

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

As noted yesterday, I’m extending Marvel Monday out to Tuesday with a look at the Warlock Build-A-Figure. Now I know what you’re thinking. How can you look at a BAF when you haven’t finished reviewing all the figures in the wave? The final figure I have to look at is Old Man Logan and he didn’t come with a BAF part. Also, that figure happens to be boxed up and inaccessible to me right now because of some hurricane prep, so I’m jumping ahead to have a look at Warlock and then I’ll swing back around to Logan next week. Mm’kay?

Warlock consists of a pretty standard six BAF pieces, which includes the torso, arms, legs, and the head. Toss in a seventh swap out saw accessory and you’ve got all you need to build him. In my case, building him didn’t go so well. The legs were ridiculously hard to get on, and the left arm pulls out of the shoulder super easy. Couple that with a left shoulder hinge that remains super tight even after soaking in boiling water, and I’ve got a recipe for a BAF figure that I’m not terribly pleased with.

Now, I’ll be honest, New Mutants isn’t my bag, so I have next to no experience with Warlock as a character. As a result, I shouldn’t be too bummed out by problems with the figure. On the other hand, from design to execution, I honestly think this figure is damn near a work of art. The techno-organic sculpt is beautifully done. From panel lines to circuitry patterns, nearly every portion of Warlock’s body is covered with detail. Couple that with a very effective and striking coppery wash and this beauty of a figure actually looks like it could have been cobbled together with reclaimed scrap instead of molded in plastic.

The portrait is certainly unique. Warlock looks like an ad warning robots away from crack. Not even once! But again, the figure beautifully executes the design, no matter how outlandishly goofy. I especially dig the mop of cybernetic dreads that make up his hair.

Also, am I the only one who thinks this looks like Metal Groot, if Metal Groot were a bath-salt zombie?

Because of Warlocks unique body, it’s worth running down all the points of articulation. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the shoulders and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. Both the neck and torso have ball jointed hinges. Beyond the problems I have with the left shoulder hinge, I’ll point out that the bicep swivels are super flimsy. Also, the arm hoses, which are permanently attached to the arms and plug into sockets in his back, will pull out pretty much every time I move his arms.

Warlock includes one accessory, and that’s his buzzsaw, which can be swapped out with his right fist. It’s a cool looking piece, and I’ll probably display him most of the time with it in.

Familiar character or not, Warlock is an absolutely gorgeous figure that looks fantastic on the shelf. It is not, however a figure that’s all that fun to play around with. Between a left arm that drops off if you look at it funny, hoses that will not stay put, and a left shoulder ratchet that’s too hard to move, he’s best left standing on display with his teammates. Oh wait… I don’t have any of his teammates. Next Monday, I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at Old Man Logan!

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Sunfire by Hasbro

It’s Monday folks, and I may or may not be under water. While waiting around for Hurricane Irma to come have her way with me, I finished off and scheduled a couple of reviews, just in case I’m running on candle power and no Internet. The show will go on, if only because writing about toys takes my mind off of things. Today, I’ve got a quick one-two punch for Marvel Monday, but since I probably won’t be up and running tomorrow, I’m saving one in place of Tuesday’s normal content. So… today let’s check out Sunfire! This is one of the figures I picked up loose online, so we’ll forgo the packaged shot and jump right into the figure…

And hot damn, do I love this costume! Shiro sports his full red bodysuit with white striping radiating out from his circular red belt buckle, all appropriately very reminiscent of the Japanese flag during WWII. I’m all over the way the design of this costume reflects the spirit of his backstory so perfectly, as few comic book heroes can make that boast. I’m also pleased to report that the white paint looks bright and clean despite being painted over the snappy red plastic buck.

The belt is a separately sculpted piece that hangs around Shiro’s waist and has twin flaming white stripes running around its circumference. The costume’s deco is rounded out by some sharp gold flame patterns on his lower legs and arms.

The head is beautifully done with the somewhat complex mask that leaves just the lower part of his face exposed. It forms two horns sweeping out from his eyebrows and the rest of the mask has always given me a bit of a Universal Monsters Gillman vibe. The large eyes are painted orange and you get more printed gold around the eyes and on the top of the hood. It’s an intimidating look, to be sure!

The articulation here i fantastic, thanks to the use of one of the Spider-Man bucks (2099?), which includes the “butterfly” shoulders. The rest of the articulation includes rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows and knees, swivels in the biceps, waist, thighs, and lower legs, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

Sunfire comes with a pair of flame effect parts that fit over his fists. We’ve seen these before, but they look great on him. And that’s coming from someone who is seldom all that keen on the effect parts.

I like this figure a lot, despite the fact that Sunfire and I don’t have a long history together. Shiro is a great character with an extremely interesting backstory, but he just doesn’t happen to appear in a lot of the books I read, and sadly he wasn’t even a major player in the X-Men cartoon either. Nonetheless, Hasbro did a great job on him and he’s another Mutant that I can cross off my list. Come on back tomorrow, and we’ll check out the Build-A-Figure of this wave… Warlock!

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Colossus by Hasbro

Welcome back my friends, Marvel Legends never ends.

Waves keep coming out like crazy. Come and buy, come and buy!

Yeah, I got a little Emerson Lake & Palmer playing in the background. I’m also dragging ass today, folks, as I’m on seven straight days of work and I’ve got three more to go. I can’t tell you all how tempting it was to close down FFZ for September, but I’m trying my best to stick it out. Today, I’m all set to take a look at my fifth figure in the X-Men themed Warlock Wave and I’ve got quite a heavy hitter lined up for today. It’s Colossus, and since I got this guy loose from a buddy online, I’m going to forgo the usual packaged shot and jump right in to talk about the figure.

And he’s just gorgeous! Colossus is not only a great character in the comics, but he really got thrust into the mainstream limelight recently, with his splendid portrayal in the Deadpool film. Yes, even normies can easily recognize this guy now. This figure is also a little contrary to this wave’s Dazzler, which I looked at last week. While Hasbro had the magnificent balls to give us a very classic Allison Blaire, they went more recent and less iconic with Piotr. As most of you know, I’m reading very little of Marvel’s current crop of books, but I’m still pretty sure that this costume doesn’t line up with the current issues of either X-Men Gold or Astonishing X-Men. To be honest, I’m a bit at a loss as to where they pulled it from. I have no doubt someone out there can set me straight.

With that having been said, this is not one of my favorite looks for Colossus, but let me just come out and say that it doesn’t stop this figure from being totally amazing. Indeed, I like this one so much, it may be winning me over to this costume. The whole maroon and yellow-orange deco is fine, but I don’t get the big black cut out in the middle. I do, however, dig the powerful looking arm bracers with the ribbed cut-outs and the segmented portions on the front and back of the boots. The paintwork on the costume is pretty sharp, the paint looks great and the subtle orange trim to the boots are pretty cool. Of course, the best thing here is that wonderful blued steel finish Hasbro used for Colossus’ skin. That with the sculpted segmented lines and muscles make this figure a sight to behold.

And let’s not stop there, because just look at this head sculpt! It’s so sharp and clean and features such beautiful contours to the facial structure. This is an absolutely epic portrait that elevates a figure that already had a lot going for it. Of course, the head also features that same great steel paint finish, with some very nice and subtle shadowing and a pair of white piercing eyes. How could you possibly top this? How about with a second head?

Yes, Colossus includes an alternate bearded portrait and I have absolutely no idea what books this one is pulled from. I’m really striking out with my comic knowledge today. But that’s not stopping me from loving it. I really dig the squared off chiseled look of the beard and the angular up-swept hair style. The rest of the face falls in line with the original as just being all around fantastic. It pains me that one of these noggins is going to end up rattling around in an accessory bag unless I buy a second Colossus to display it on. And don’t think I’m not crazy enough to do it.

The articulation here is exactly what I would have expected from a beefy modern Legends buck.  Piotr’s arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, single 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 knees. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The joints are all rock solid on this guy and with one hand sculpted in a fist, and the other grasping, there’s a lot to work with when posing him.

I’ll be totally honest, I would have been a lot more excited to get Colossus had he been done in the classic look, and part of me is still disappointed that Hasbro didn’t go in that direction. In fact, I’m actually considering picking up DST’s Marvel Select version to stand in until Hasbro comes back around to him. However, once in hand, this figure has really won me over, and that was no small feat. The colors are sumptuous and whichever portrait I end up displaying him with, he’s going to look great. Nice job, Hasbro!

And just a quick administrative note, I’m not doing a double feature today, because I just don’t have time, but I may try to make up for later on in the week. 

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Dazzler by Hasbro

A place… where nobody dared to go… the love that we came to know… they called it Xaaaaanadu! As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, I can remember one of the first lightning bolts of puberty hitting me while catching a bit of Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu on the family’s new-fangled wood-grain cable box. Ever since then there’s just something about hot disco blondes singing on roller-skates that does it for me. When you mix that up with comic books it’s even better. And therein lies my love affair with Alison Blaire. OK, so she was more Farah Fawcett than Olivia, but close enough. This is one of the figures in the wave that I picked up loose online, so let’s forgo the usual packaged shot and jump right in to the figure.

And this is indeed classic Dazzler, before she went through all her weird permutations and ended up as a Punk Edgelord in Marvel’s current mess of horrible books. Can I express how stupid I think it is for Dazzler as a character to evolve to match different contemporary music styles? I think it took away so much potential for some girl-out-of-time charm. She should always be fighting villains with the righteous power of disco at her back! Regardless, this is the Dazzler I always dreamed to get as a figure, but never thought we would and she is absolutely glorious! Sporting a stylish white jumpsuit with flared out cuffs on the pants, a high popped collar, a low-cut front and a back cut so low, it isn’t even there. The white costume has a nice sheen to it and the skin tones are smooth, warm, and even.

And roller-skates! The skates are cast in gray plastic with blue wheels and toe stops. Interestingly enough, Dazzler is not my first comic book figure on wheels, that honor goes to DC Collectibles’ Roller-Derby Harley Quinn. Now, as much as I love this Dazzler figure, I have to give the nod to DCC for doing the skates better. Not only do the wheels on Harley’s skates roll, but the skates peg into her feet and can be removed. Still, these aren’t too shabby either, and she’s less likely to roll of the shelf, which is a good thing.

The portrait looks great, thanks in part to the beautiful blue face paint surrounding her eyes. The hair is sculpted as a separate piece, which gives it a lot of depth and features a pair of hoop earrings buried in there. She also sports a disco ball style necklace. On the downside, mold flashing strikes again! I’ve been seeing it on a number of my Legends figures lately, but thankfully it’s pretty easy to clean up.

The articulation here is pretty good. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. There are rotating hinges buried up in her bell bottoms and she has a ball joint under her chest. Finally, her neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

As we’ve already seen, Dazzler comes with a microphone, which fits into her right hand. It’s a simple little sculpt cast in the same gray plastic as her skates.

Alison also comes with an effect part and it’s the same damned hex effect we’ve seen only a thousand times so far. This time it’s rainbow colored and yeah, I guess it works well enough, although I’m not sure I’m going to display her with it a lot.

When Hasbro brought back Marvel Legends, I never anticipated it would last this long, let alone get us figures of characters like Dazzler. She had to be an extreme risk on Hasbro’s part, and I hope to hell she performed well for them. I’d point out that I don’t see any of her hanging around in my area, but then all the Legends pegs here are usually picked dry or packed with figures from a bunch of waves back. Either way, she’s a great treatment of the character, and I hope Hasbro continues to take these kinds of risks when filling up their waves!

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Shatterstar by Hasbro

It’s just another Marvel Monday, and that’s my fun day! At least this one is, because I have the day off and I’m spending the morning drinking coffee and opening up some action figures. Today I’m checking out my third figure in this wave, Shatterstar, and I’ll be back later tonight with a look at Dazzler!

A lot of this wave I wound up buying loose from a buddy online, but Shatterstar was pretty easy to find, so here’s a packaged shot. I was a big fan of X-Force way back when even to the point of buying some of the Toy Biz figures at a time before I got back into buying toys and was only really collecting Playmates Star Trek figures. I never even opened any of those X-Force figures. I just hung them on my wall and admired them in all their garishly colored beauty. Shatterstar was one of my favorites, so naturally I’m thrilled to see him turn up in this wave.

And here we are, Shatterstar in all his 90’s comic design glory. Giant shoulder pad? Check! Bitchin’ half cape? Got it! Meaty, extra-thick, pointless thigh strap? Of course! Pouches? Um… sorta? He’s got a nice brace of pouches running around his sculpted belt, but honestly, there’s plenty of room for more. All these wonderful 90’s trappings feature original sculpted parts and are tied together with a pair of buccaneer gauntlets and some truly epic flared boots. The underlying, mostly white, buck features wide black stripes down the outer legs and his star pattern printed in black and partially obscured by his mega-shoulder-pad. All the original sculpting looks great. I love the little folds and rumples in his cape and the shoulder pad and belt have a worn leathery look to them. Even the belt buckle is painted silver. When all is said and done, this is a great looking figure!

And the portrait is no slouch either. The facial features are well designed, and he has the star tatt over his left eye. It’s a little tough to see the eyes when looking straight at him because that padded half-helmet sits low and casts a shadow over his peepers. Nonetheless, I love how the top-less helmet looks like it’s sculpted from an entirely separate piece. It matches the weathered leather look of the belt and shoulder pad, almost like an old timey rugby helmet. Also the hair looks great, complete with his trademark snaking ponytail and the twin braided pigtails that hang down the front, which must have been all the rage back on MojoWorld.

The articulation here is superb. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivel cuts in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, have double hinges in the knees, as well as swivels in the upper thighs and hidden under the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. The torso features an ab crunch hinge, a waist swivel, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The only issue I have here is the hips on my figure are really loose. Going to have to address that with a little floor polish.

Shatterstar includes his distinctive swords, and I have always loved these things! They’re both cast in the same matte gray plastic. Some paint apps on the hilts would have been cool, but they still look fine. One features a twin blade and the other a single blade. Both have those kick-ass spiked knuckle guards.

While I haven’t encountered Shatterstar in my funnybook readings in a very long time, the nostalgia I have for this character makes him a most welcome addition to my X-Force roster. Everything on this figure just comes together perfectly and I’ve had him on my desk for quite a few days so that I could play around with him on my down time. I’m still pretty early into this wave, but it’s possible that Shatterstar could turn out to be my favorite in this assortment, but he’s going to have some stiff competition. Come on back tonight and we’ll have a look at Dazzler!

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Polaris by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back tonight to serve up a heaping second helping of Marvel Monday so I can try to get caught up on my Legends reviews. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep doubling up every Monday, but I’ll sure give it a try. The figure of choice for tonight is Polaris, and since this is one of those figures that I bought loose in a lot, there’s no packaged shot and we’re going to jump right in.

And here she is, sporting her modern green costume, and while some may have liked a more classic look, I’m happy with this choice. I think this is what she’s been wearing most recently, but then I’ve given up on reading Marvels current run of books until they can figure out how to suck less. A lot less. Anyway, Polaris represents a nice mix of borrowed and original parts. Right off the bat, I recognize those arm bracers from the Rocket Raccoon Wave Jean Grey and only because I just had her out to photograph alongside Cyclops earlier today. Polaris looks like she shares a lot with Scarlet Witch, but I don’t think it’s as much as it seems. With the exception of those bracers, the entire costume is achieved solely through paint and it works well. The two shades of green look fantastic and most of the lines are sharp, and I really dig the gloss green used for the bracers. The only real complaint I have is that the seams running up her sides are rather unsightly, especially over the exposed skin.

The short cape rests on her shoulders, but also pegs into the back to keep it in place. It’s also easily removable. I’ve heard a lot of things about the balance of this figure being way off, but I actually haven’t had any issues getting her to stand with or without the cape, and it really doesn’t impede her articulation all that much either.

The portrait here is good and very reminiscent of the Wanda Maximoff likeness we got a little while back. That makes sense, because they are sisters? half-sisters? Whatever. At first, I thought it was an illusion because the tiaras are somewhat similar, but now I’m guessing this might be a re-sculpt of that head. Either way it works, although maybe it’s a tad too big for the body. Or maybe that’s because of the rather unique hair sculpt, which has it bunched up at the top and back of her head. The paint apps on her face are nice and clean and I really dig the gloss used for her lips, it’s quite striking.

Polaris’ articulation is pretty standard stuff. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball jointed hips, double hinged knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers, there’s a ball joint under the chest, and the neck features both a ball joint and a hinge.

As far as accessories go, Polaris comes with the circular effect parts that we’ve seen over and over again to portray her powers of magnetism. Hasbro even included these with Havok, which is nice so the couple can sport a matched set. This time they’re cast entirely in a translucent neon green and she looks pretty good when displayed with them.

And there we are, Polaris is a solid entry for this wave. Maybe not exceptional, but I don’t have many real complaints. Granted, she isn’t a character that I was super excited to get, but this line is all about universe building for me, so I’m certainly happy to have her in my lineup and on my X-Men Legends shelf. Next week, we’ll press on through the Warlock Wave with a look at Shatterstar!

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Cyclops by Hasbro

It’s that time again to start the reviews rolling on a brand new wave of Marvel Legends figures! By my count, I’m now FIVE waves behind in my reviews with the Warlock, Vulture Wings, Sandman, Man-Thing, and Gladiator Hulk Waves all before me. Oh yeah, and another SDCC set arrived in the mail over the weekend with an additional five figures. Hoo boy. I decided that I’m going to hold off on the Vulture Wave until we’re closer to when Homecoming hits Blu-Ray release, and the Gladiator Hulk Wave closer to when Ragnarok hits the theaters. So, let’s do the X-Men Warlock Wave next. And in the interest of getting caught up I’m going to look at one figure now and another one later on tonight.

I’m only going to have packaged shots for two or three of these figures, as I purchased most of this wave loose from a buddy online. I was worried I would have a tough time finding some of them through regular retailers, and I didn’t care much about building the Warlock BAF. As it turns out, the BAF parts were included anyway, and that was at least a nice surprise. Also a nice surprise was actually finding Cyclops at retail, as he’s supposed to be one of the tougher ones to find and is currently still going for $40+ on Amazon. I found him when I ducked into a Walgreens for coffee creamer. Go figure. And I’ll be honest, there was no way I wanted to pay a premium for Cyclops. Scott Summers isn’t one of my favorite characters, and the one thing that this figure really has going for me is that it’s the classic 90’s outfit. Honestly, while I still adore a lot of the characters, the truth is that the further away from the 90’s I get, the less I care about The X-Men as a comic.

But with all that preamble aside, I find this release to be a really solid figure with some annoying problems, and a lot of those problems have to do with all the bands and straps. Ahh, useless straps! They, were staples of 90’s comic art, but they don’t always transfer well to action figure form. So, for starters, Scott is built on a mostly blue buck and it’s a very snappy shade of blue. I like the build that they used for him, but this particular buck has some weird shoulders that show unsightly gaps and almost make it look like the arms weren’t meant for the torso. I’m pretty sure the yellow for his “undies, boots, and gloves is plastic as opposed to paint. Either way, it’s nice and bright and shows none of the bleed through that we sometimes see when lighter paint is applied over darker plastic. Yup, there’s no doubt about it, the coloring is one of this figure’s strongest points. Not only is it gorgeous, but it really takes me back to a time when I was a young adult making my way on my own, and the only things I had to cling on to simpler times of my childhood were comic books.

The belt and shoulder rig is one separate piece, which pegs together at the back. Overall, it looks pretty good on him and it more or less stays put. That’s a hell of a lot more than I can say for the rest of the belts. The two thigh straps have one sweet spot where they will stay put, but when I pose the figure, they tend to drift. They also look too bulky for my taste and I think maybe they would have been better off painted on. The straps at the tops of the boots have a similar problem. The wrist straps aren’t too problematic, but I’m pretty sure those are supposed to be part of his gloves, and that effect is ruined by the fact that the blue can be seen in the gap.

I like the head sculpt well enough. It’s a solid effort, but not extraordinary. The hair sculpt is particularly well done, and I really dig how the visor looks like it’s a separate and removable piece, even though it isn’t. My figure has a fair amount of mold flashing along the jawline, which I’ll have to shave off. I don’t know what it is with Hasbro and mold flashing lately, but I’m seeing more and more of it. Still, as far as QC issues go, that one is the easiest to fix.

The articulation here is quite good and fairly standard for modern Legends. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivel cuts in the thighs and tops of the boots, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers, the torso feature a waist swivel and an ab crunch, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. What’s more, Cyclops’ left hand is sculpted so that he can be made to operate his visor.

While I’ve got a couple versions of Cyclops in my 3 3/4-inch Marvel Universe collection, this is surprisingly his first appearance on my modern Legends shelves and as such he’s most certainly a welcome release. I know it sounds like I had a ton of issues with him, but in the end, I’m still willing to concede that he’s a solid figure, and thanks in particular to the great coloring, he looks fantastic on the she shelf. Come on back later on tonight, and we’ll check out Polaris!

Marvel Legends (Mantis Wave) Mantis Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back to finally kill off this wave of Marvel Legends with a look at the Mantis Build-A-Figure. Consisting of a total of six pieces, spread across a wave of seven figures, Mantis is fairly easy to cobble together, although I did have a little trouble getting her legs into the hips all the way. But wait, you’re saying this petite alien chick is the BAF?

Yes, generally speaking, BAFs were created to sell waves, but also to deliver figures that were often too big or complex to do in the regular price point or packaging. As a result, people may scratch their heads at the diminutive Mantis being a BAF. Well, there has been precedent for smaller BAFs in the past. Both Rocket Raccoon and Hit Monkey were even smaller. Once, someone told me that Jubilee was even a BAF, although I have no physical evidence to support that claim. Yes, I’ve seen pictures, and that last remark was just a bitter dig at Hasbro’s poor distribution. ANYWHO…

Here she is! Mantis! All assembled and looking absolutely fab! Mantis is a fairly simple figure, and as such, this is going to be a pretty quick review. But don’t let that fool you, because one look and it’s clear that Hasbro put some real love into her. The outfit features all the great sculpted detail and texturing that I’ve come to expect in my MCU Guardians outfits. I particularly dig the leaf-like skirt that wraps around her hips and backside. I expected this to be a belt, but its actually attached to the buck around the waist and as such looks more like a natural progression of her top.

Still, as impressive as the sculpting here is, it’s the paint that makes this a stand out figure. The gorgeous emerald green paint has a striking metallic sheen to it and its used not only on her top and gloves, but also the ribbed panels running down the sides of her trousers and outlining the panels in her skirt. Under some nice lighting, it contrasts beautifully with the black.

This head sculpt is no slouch either. This time around, all the MCU Guardians likenesses have been winners, and I’d say that Mantis ranks pretty high among them. Her distinctive eyes and bendy antenna have been recreated beautifully here, as has her sculpted hair, which even curls up at her chin. Whatever you’ve been doing with these portraits, Hasbro, please keep doing it!

The articulation is fairly close to what I’m used to seeing in the Legends female bucks, which means she’s fairly limber.

With no accessories, and not exactly weighing in as an action star in the movie, Mantis may not be the most exciting figure around, but I sure am glad we got her in figure form. Why Hasbro opted to make her the BAF is still a bit of a poser. Maybe they thought she wouldn’t sell on her own? But with Gamora and Nebula in the wave, I’m not convinced that was it. It would have been cool if she got her own boxed release and Hasbro could have just given us Ego as the BAF, at least then I wouldn’t have to buy a second Star-Lord to get him in that two-pack. But that’s just me griping. You do whatever you have to do, Hasbro to keep these figures coming! Next week, I’ll be starting to look at a new wave of Legends, but I haven’t decided which yet and there’s so many to choose from. Warlock? Sandman? Vulture? Ragnarok? Man-Thing? Well, I’m going to rule out Ragnarok, because I’d like to look at those figures closer to the film’s release. Right now I’m leaning toward going with the either the Warlock or Sandman waves next.

Marvel Legends (Mantis Wave): Death’s Head II by Hasbro

It’s been a long road, with a lengthy detour, but I’m finally wrapping up my look at the Mantis Wave of Marvel Legends today. Death’s Head II is the last packaged figure I have to open and then I’ll be back later on this evening with a look at the Build-A-Figure, Mantis.

At this point, I don’t have anything new to say about the packaging, except that you’ll note Death’s Head II does not include a BAF part. Maybe Hasbro realized a lot of people wouldn’t be familiar with the character and thus chose to not make him a mandatory purchase to build Mantis. However, looking at the package, I think it’s more likely that they just couldn’t squeeze anything else in there. Also… “Marvel’s Death’s Head II?” As opposed to all those other Death’s Head II’s? I’d be interested to see what potential copyright infringement made them feel it necessary to do that. That’s just weird. Anyway, I’m anxious to get this guy open, but before I do that. first I’m going to take a moment to ruminate over what a cool time it is to be a comic lover and toy collector, because Hasbro made this delightfully obscure character into a figure and distributed it as a regular retail release to boot! OK, maybe obscure isn’t the right word. After all, his first issue, X-Treme Prejudice hit something like 500,000 copies and was one of UK Marvel’s most exported issues of all time! Hey, Marvel, how many copies of Mighty Captain Marvel did you sell in June? About 20,000? Oooooh. Lemmie, guess, it’s really popular in digital format? Yeah, whatever.

And holy hell is he all kinds of awesome! It’s like someone synthesized all that was great and ridiculous about 90’s comics into one action figure. Death’s Head II (hereafter DHII, because I’m getting damned tired of typing that!) is a super fun character for a few reasons. Sure, he’s an AIM cyborg who absorbed Death Head’s personality to become DHII. Sure, he’s his own sequel! But he also owes much of his extended fictional existence to copyright issues between Marvel and Hasbro. Plus, he can make the amazing claim of being canonical in not only the Marvel Universe, but also the The Transformers and Doctor Who Universes, as well. Did I mention he’s a f’cking cyborg badass?

DHII is built on a generously large blue buck with a hint of metallic sheen to it. While electric blue might not instantly shout out the idea of cyborg killing machine, it did back in the 90’s and to be honest it really looks nice here. He has gold bands wrapped around his lower legs, which produce jagged, curved spikes, and some more of those gold bands encircling his left forearm.  You get those very Colossus-like segmented cyborg biceps with some lovely tarnished steel paint and while his feet are still the same blue as the rest of the body, he also has some sculpted segmented lines there as well. Finally, his belt looks like a bunch of twisted brown organic tendrils that have reached around from his back in order to hold a giant armor plate to protect his cyborg goody sack.

And then you’ve got his beautifully sculpted metamorphic arm! As the name suggests, this monstrosity serves multiple purposes. Besides being a weapon, it is also the interface for DHII’s Cranial Siphon, which enables him to suck out and absorb the personalities and abilities of his victims. Hasbro did a fabulous job on not only the sculpt here, but also the coloring that gradually matches the color of his arm. Otherwise, it’s just an awesome twisted blend of blades, gun barrels, and segmented cables.

The portrait is also excellent and pretty damn grizzly. He’s got a a skull cap and downward pointing horns as well as some disgusting strands of “hair” snaking its way over his shoulders and down his back. The gold mask looks like it’s half melted to his face and his exposed jaws and teeth can be seen underneath. One eye is exposed, while the other is just a blue lens. I’m often very impressed by the head sculpts that Hasbro turns out for their Legends line, but even with that being said, few have given them the opportunity to shine like this guy and they really knocked it out of the park.

The articulation is everything I expect in these bigger Legends bucks. The legs feature ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, hinges in the ankles, and lateral rockers too. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, and hinges in the elbows. The left wrist is a rotating hinge. The torso has a swivel in the waist and an ab crunch hinge in the chest. The neck is both ball jointed and hinged. Oh yeah, DHII also has an extra left hand with an extended finger. I’m not sure whether this is meant to be pointing, or maybe it’s a “come here so I can suck out your identity,” finger. Whatever the case it’s a nice bonus.

When you consider how many well-known Marvel characters still haven’t seen the light of day as a Legends figure, I don’t know whether to be amazed or pissed off that I’m holding Death’s Head II. Nah, just kidding. I could never be pissed off about something like this. He’s awesome! Other characters will get their turns, but it clearly took just the right alignment of the planets, and just the right mix of alcohol and cocaine, for some magnificent bastard at Hasbro to green-light this release. Even if I had no idea who Death’s Head II was, I’d still love this figure. He’s imaginative, fun, and creative, and basically encompasses everything that I loved about comics from his decade. And so, that’s the last of the packaged figures, come on back later tonight, and we’ll wrap up this wave with a quick look at Mantis from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!