Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Songbird by Hasbro

After a slight detour, I’m back to metaphorically spinning the non-existent Wheel of Legends and randomly picking another figure from my enormous backlog to open. And as you already know by the title, my grubby paw emerged from the big box of Hasbro goodness clutching onto Songbird from The Thanos Wave!

I love me some Thunderbolts and ever since Hasbro released a Legends version of that team back in 2013 at SDCC, I’m always happy to add some more members. And along comes Songbird who admittedly feels a little out of place in this wave. I’m never sure how Hasbro decides to drop certain characters into certain waves, but it’s clear that they play the themes of these waves fast and loose, and hey… if it allows them to slip in a comic character we might otherwise not get, I’m all for it. I’ve got nothing much to say about the packaging, other than she looks great framed on the tray with her giant effect part behind her.

I feel like Melissa’s been wearing this costume (or a close variation of it) since forever. Or at least since she cast off her goofy greens from her Screaming Mimi days and began dolling out Justice like Lightning!™ And why not? This black and white bodysuit is a clean, sexy, and modern look that stands the test of time. Hasbro did a nice job recreating it mostly in paint, with bright and vibrant whites and sharp lines around the black bits. Even the lines around those black crescents on the outside of her legs are razor sharp. I’m also happy to report there’s no bleed-through in the white, which is pretty common with white paint on darker bucks. Extra sculpting comes in the form of her gold accessories. These include her segmented arm bracers, her belt, and her shoulders, of which the later two are separate pieces. The deco is rounded out with a little pink paint on her neck piece and belt.

The head sculpt is quite good too! Ms. Gold is sporting some full lips and green eyes. Like her suit, the paint here is pretty sharp and clean. They also did a nice job painting the highlights in her hair, which is sculpted to fall about her shoulders and down her back fairly naturally. It does, unfortunately inhibit some of the neck articulation, so it’s not too easy to get her looking up when in a flight pose.

And speaking of articulation, Songbird holds no surprises in that department. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. 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 is no waist swivel, but there is a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. She’s lots of fun to pose, but I do wish she came with a second pair of hands. The ones she has work well for flight, but optional fists would have been welcome additions.

As we already saw in the packaged shot, Songbird comes with one big accessory and that’s her energy wings. This effect part is just one big piece of translucent pink plastic, which pegs into the hole in her back and looks pretty damn nice. It does maker her a tad back-heavy, but I was able to get her standing with it without too much trouble.

Getting a comic-inspired Songbird in what is more or less an MCU Infinity War themed wave was a really nice surprise. I mean, can you even imagine what the meeting with the retailers must look like? Hasbro: “Infinity War is going to be the biggest movie event of the year. The kids are going to want to relive it with the action figures!” Walmart Rep: “I like it! What’ve you got?” Hasbro: “Spider-Man! Thor! Iron Man!” Rep: “Brilliant!” Hasbro: “And Songbird!” Rep: “Who the hell is that? Is she in the picture?” Hasbro: “Well…” It’s yet another example of how Hasbro is treating this line as a labor of love and willing to take risks to get as many characters out to the fans as possible.

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Marvel Legends: The Thing by Hasbro

Once again, I have to put the random Marvel Legends reviews on hold as I push a figure to the head of the line. And it should come as no surprise that I’m doing that for Ben Grimm. To know me is to know how much I adore the Fantastic Four. It’s that one comic that most captured my heart as a child and kept me coming back for more, right up until it was shit-canned over copyright-politics. Hopefully that’s getting hammered out now with the recent shifts in the big corporate landscape. But either way, I’ve dreamed about a Marvel Legends re-do of Marvel’s First Family ever since the line came back and now thanks to some exclusive releases through Walgreens, of all places, Ben Grimm marks the last release of the Marvel Legends Fantastic Four!

And oh man, I couldn’t be happier to be holding this. For the most part, finding the Walgreens exclusives hasn’t been too difficult for me. I was able to pick up most of them at the store around the corner from my home and a couple I grabbed off their website. Ben was a little tougher, but after hitting a Walgreens about ten minutes away, I believe I found a new untapped source because they had piles of Legends and quite a few of their past exclusives. I think a big reason finding this set me at ease is because I was afraid of how much I would have been willing to pay for it on the secondary market if it came to that. The packaging is the same as we’ve been getting all along, and Ben is quite possibly the largest figure I’ve seen crammed into one of these window boxes. Not to mention the extra parts really push that tray to its limits. There’s a Walgreens Exclusive sticker on the window and not much else to say, other than bye-bye to this packaging, because it’s clobbering time!

Here’s Ben out of the box and looking damned near perfect. When it comes to the sculpt here, there’s nothing at all for me to pick at. His costume consists only of his blue shorts with a black waistband and the rest of the figure is covered in glorious orange rock. The craggy skin is chock full of detail with an intricate network of crevices running between the rocky scales all picked out by a dark paint wash. The orange used for the skin is brilliant and combines with the blue shorts to make for a very colorful figure that looks like he just jumped out of a Marvel comic panel.

The Thing comes with two heads, both of which capture the character perfectly, complete with prominent craggy brow and baby blue eyes. The first head features a slightly neutral expression, although he still looks mildly pissed off. The second head is full on Clobbering Time with teeth exposed and a gaze that says he’s looking to do some damage. Honestly, I probably would have been perfectly happy with either head, and it’s a real treat that with all the original sculpting that went into this big boy, Hasbro still managed to sneak the extra portrait in there.

The same could be said for the extra set of hands. Ben comes with a set of fists and a set of open, clutching hands. Had they just mixed and matched these, I would have been fine with that, but the ability to swap out either or both is just a wonderful bonus. These also work well with the articulation for coming up with all sorts of clobbering poses. And if I had one thing about the figure that I absolutely had to nitpick, I would say that the rotating hinges in the elbows don’t offer the range of motion that double-hinges would have. Although, I will concede that the existing elbow points don’t interrupt the sculpt as much as the other option would have. Either way, it’s a compromise that I’ll happily accept.

Besides the elbows, the articulation here is right on par with most of Marvel Legends‘ big boys. The shoulders have rotating hinges, the wrists have hinged pegs. There are no bicep swivels, but that’s where the rotating hinge elbows come in. The torso features a swivel at the waist and a ball joint under the chest. The neck has both a hinge and a ball joint. Finally, the legs feature double hinges in the knees, swivels at the bottoms of the shorts, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles to help keep his big feets flat on the ground.

I try not to throw around the word “perfect” a lot when I talk about my toys, as it tends to cheapen the word, but I’m going to go ahead and roll it out for this review. I thing Hasbro did a fabulous job with The Thing. I’d like to think that’s not just my love of the comic and the character creating bias, but rather just recognition of a job well done. The sculpt and coloring are spot on and including the extra head and hands with what is already a big figure with so much new sculpting, well that just goes above and beyond!

Marvel Studios “First Ten Years:” Iron Man Mk XXIII, Pepper Potts, and The Mandarin by Hasbro

Yup, the random Marvel Legends reviews are getting put on hold once again so that I can push one of these First Ten Years releases to the head of the line. This Amazon Exclusive boxed set of three figures from Iron Man 3 hit my porch this past weekend, and I was just too excited not to open it up right away. Let’s take a look!

Iron Man 3 feels like it was one of the most polarizing of all the MCU films. I still encounter people who have raging hatred toward it, and I really can’t see why. I can still remember when it hit home release on Blu-Ray and I must have watched it three times over the course of a couple of days, and my love for it didn’t even tarnish one bit. Hell, I’m long overdue for a re-watch now! Anyway, this is the first three-figure set I’ve picked up in this First Ten Years line, but the packaging is still the same. It looks good, it’s collector friendly, but I’m still not going to be keeping the box. With three figures to cover, let’s just dig right in and start with Pepper.

Never did I think I’d be so happy to own a Gwenyth Paltrow figure, but Pepper has been in a hell of a lot of MCU films and it’s long past time she got the Legends treatment. And It seems only logical to go with the movie where she actually got involved in the action. I mean, black sports bra or business suit? That’s not even up for debate. Unfortunately, this figure turned out decidedly average. In terms of sculpting and paint, this isn’t exactly a complex figure, nor did it need to be. The new sculpting for the top of the torso, as well as the bare feet, are new and appreciated, but the paint could have been a lot better, and that’s pretty sad considering it’s just a black top and black pants and virtually no intricate detailed paint hits to be had. The paint lines around her waist are downright sloppy and the bra straps could have been cleaner too. Hasbro has been doing some pretty nice paintwork in this line on even the little things like pouch buttons and belt buckles, so to see this kind of carelessness on a figure that required so little really hurts.

I do think the head sculpt is pretty solid for a 6-inch scale figure. It’s not a dead on likeness, but I can see some resemblance in there. I’d believe that Paltrow has one of those faces that could be tough to get right (I’d argue that even Hot Toys didn’t quite nail her perfectly), so I’m willing to be a little forgiving here. She also doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would approve an action figure likeness, so I’m pretty surprised we got this release at all. Either way, the printing on the face is pretty clean and the hair sculpt looks good. Maybe since now Hasbro has done the head sculpt we can look forward to getting another version of Pepper.

Articulation is everything I expect to find in an MCU Legends lady. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint just under the chest, no waist swivel, and the neck is ball jointed and hinged. I will say that the ankle joints look really chunky and I think they blew up her feet a bit to make them work a bit better with those larger joints.

 

Pepper’s right arm can detach at the shoulder and be swapped out for the one wearing the Iron Man armor sleeve and gauntlet. There’s also a repulsor blast effect part that plugs into the palm. This extra arm is a great addition and I’ll likely display the figure with this look most of the time. On the downside, there’s no articulation in the wrist, which means getting the repulsor effect to fire in a convincing manner isn’t easy. She can’t hold her the arm straight out without the effect shooting at a downward angle. Moving on to The Mandarin…

Now here’s a figure I never thought we would ever get. I’m sure there are still people salty over how Iron Man 3 treated one of Iron Man’s iconic arch enemies. Me? I thought it was great fun and a pretty cool twist, but then I was never a big fan of The Mandarin in the comics or the cartoons. Either way, here he is Trevor Slattery all decked out in his theatrical garb and looking pretty damn great. He’s sporting a pair of camoflague pants, military style boots, and a tunic and waist wrap that has a little bit of a Middle Eastern flavor to it. The real draw here, however, is the coat, which features some really nice attention to detail in the sculpt and some beautiful gold leaf paint on the fixtures and sleeves. Even the coat itself has an embossed floral motif running through it. Oh yeah, they even sculpted all ten of his rings on his fingers.

This head sculpt is absolutely spot on as well. From his long beard to his man bun, I think they did a nice job recreating Sir Ben Kingsley in the makeup.

The articulation here is good, but a lot of it is really hindered by the soft plastic coat. It’s also lacking some of the points we’re used to seeing on the male characters in this line. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and no bicep swivels. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinged knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s … The neck has both a hinge and a ball joint. So, what’s here is good on paper, but apart from some gesticulations with his arms, I didn’t find him to be all that much fun to pose. And that brings us to the final figure in the set…

And also the quick and easy repaint: The Mark XXIII Hot Rod armor. I’m pretty sure this is a repaint of one of the War Machine figures (Hulkbuster Wave?), if not I’ll happily stand corrected. It’s also a figure that I have a bit of a disconnect with. I want to applaud the paintwork here because it really is excellent. The gun metal finish on the torso, upper arms, and head all looks great and the flame motif on the legs and metallic red paint on the lower arms also looks superb. So what’s the problem? I just don’t really like this deco all that much. It wasn’t a stand out armor for me in the film, and in as a figure I think it just looks unfinished and strange.

Because he’s a repaint of an earlier figure, he doesn’t come with any extra goodies. No extra hands, no repulsor effect parts, and that’s all pretty disappointing considering the price of this set, which I’ll get into presently. I don’t dislike this figure, but it feels like one of those lone Walmart Exclusives that I would pass up because it doesn’t feel essential to my collection and it doesn’t have a BAF part. Yup, just like all those Back in Black Deadpools that are clogging up the pegs at my local Target.

Wow, what a mixed bag this set turned out to be! I was excited for both Pepper and The Mandarin, but Pepper turned out to be a pretty mediocre figure and while The Mandarin is pretty solid, it doesn’t justify the $70 I paid for this set. Especially since I could have easily passed on the Hot Rod armor. Hell, $70 for a three-pack of normal sized figures without much in the way of accessories is pretty high even if they all turned out to be excellent must-have releases. Even more surprising to me is that the set appears to have sold out on Amazon, as currently only available from Marketplace scalpers at twice the price. If this were just Pepper and Mandarin at $40 I would have been a lot more satisfied with this purchase, as it is

Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Taskmaster by Hasbro

After two weeks of Marvel Monday Double-Features, I’m taking it easy today and going back to looking at just one figure. I’m also back to spinning the Wheel of Legends™, which isn’t actually a wheel, it’s just me rolling up my sleeve and plunging my hand into a box of figures and randomly drawing one out. This time I hit on Taskmaster from the Thanos Wave, which also happens to be my first figure from this assortment!

I was lucky enough to come across Taskmaster on the pegs while getting groceries at the local Target. I haven’t been so lucky with some of the other figures in this wave, particularly Iron Spider and Captain America, which have been eluding my toy hunts, and selling for scalper prices at most of the online retailers I visit. This is probably one of those waves that I should have just bought online in one shot, but I didn’t realize that until it was too late.

And here’s Taskmaster out of the box and brimming with all his Classic-styled goodness. Yup, it was only a couple of years ago that we got the previous release of Taskmaster, but that was a more modern appearance and as much as I loved that figure, this is the one I was truly waiting for. Who needs all that tactical armor when you’re this good at what you do? The dark blue body suit features painted orange sleeves, an orange and white area around the neck, and good old fashioned buccaneer boots and gauntlets both in white. Newly sculpted bits include a holster on his right thigh held on by straps, which feature sculpted stitching and gold-painted buckles. He has a single strap around his left thigh, and a waist belt with several pouches and a gold belt-buckle with his emblem on it. From the back, Taskmaster is just a wall of cape, and that’s a good thing, because Taskmaster without a cape never felt right.

Taskmaster’s hooded portrait is absolutely fantastic. The hood is borrowed directly from the previous release and here we get a better look at the sculpted gold cord that holds his cape around his neck. It’s also secured with a peg in his back. And, oh man, that head sculpt! The skull has a great finish that looks like decaying bone with a broad rictus grin and deep set eyes. The hood is not attached to the cape, which means it doesn’t curtail the neck articulation.

And speaking of articulation, here is everything I’ve come to expect in my Legends figures. 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, and swivels at the thighs and tops of the boots. The ankles are both hinged and have lateral rockers. Taskmaster has a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge below the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. All the joints feel great, and Taskmaster even has some strong ratchets going on in those shoulders of his.

Taskmaster comes with both a sword and shield. The sword is a repack of the one included with Baron Zemo way back in the Mandroid Wave. The hilt has been repainted to be a little less yellow and more of a pale gold. My only complaint here is that there isn’t a loop or something for him to wear it. The shield is the same mold used for the previous Taskmaster’s shield, complete with a hinged clip and a peg. It works really well, but I worry that the clip will stress and break over time. He can still wear the shield on his back, but seeing as how I’d have to remove the cape to make that work, it’s not something I’m likely to do a lot.

Taskmaster also comes with a pistol, which happens to be the same mold they used for Paladin’s guns from the Sasquatch Wave. Unfortunately, I somehow managed to lose Taskmaster’s gun after opening the package. I’m sure it’ll turn up, but for the purposes of this review I borrowed one from Paladin. After all, he has two guns and just the one holster so it seemed only fair to have him share. Anyway, the mold is the same, but Taskmaster’s gun is colored to match his sword’s hilt, so it’s more of a pale gold than the one you see here in the pictures.

I didn’t think I could be this happy about getting another release of Taskmaster so soon, and yet here I am absolutely thrilled to have this figure on my shelf. I’ll go out on a limb and say that this is probably the version that most collectors were looking for and I think Hasbro’s intentionally strategic in the way they release these. With no Classic version out, more people were probably going to say, “Well, I’ll get this version in case they never do another.” But with this line, it’s becoming more and more apparent that no character is off the table. Not that I mind, the modern version is certainly no slouch, but this one is a terrific figure and it just scratches a certain itch.

Marvel Legends (Sasquatch Wave): Paladin by Hasbro

Welcome to another Marvel Monday, and if you haven’t been a regular, you should know that I’m very VERY far behind opening and reviewing my Marvel Legends figures. Last week I finally wrapped up the Sandman Wave and today I’m going to knock off another wave by opening up Paladin this morning and then coming back tonight to have a look at the Sasquatch Build-A-Figure. And then I’ll only be something like five waves behind! Holy shit… I better get started!

I guess Paladin is a generic enough moniker that the Hasbro lawyers had to slap “Marvel’s” in front of it on the box. But hey, at least his name is there. Back in the day this fella would have been sharing a slot with someone else in a box that would say something like “Mercenaries of Mayhem.” Either way, when it comes to Marvel characters, Paladin is not what I would consider an A-lister or even a B-lister for that matter. He does, however, manage to turn up a lot in the Marvel Universe. And while I’ve mostly encountered him through reading Daredevil as well as Heroes for Hire back during the Civil War, he’s crossed paths with a whole bunch of Marvel heroes and villains over the years, and he’s almost as old as me! And while collecting Marvel Legends has become all about universe building for me, I’ll still concede that he was the one figure in this wave that I was least excited for.

But that’s not to say I dislike this figure, because he’s actually pretty cool. Not everyone from the funnybooks needs a flashy costume for me to like them, but it sure helps when the character isn’t high on my list. And yet Paladin here manages to bust out from his generic design, thanks to some sharp sculpted details on Hasbro’s part. He is, after all, just a dude in a purple suit with some tactical gear and it would have been very easy for Hasbro to whip this figure up with a painted buck and make him the budget figure of the wave.

But they didn’t! The armored vest, which is sculpted as the torso, is a stand out piece of work including some really nice texturing, panel lines, and individually painted silver clips securing it on his person. Not that it’s new, it’s simply recycled from Blade, but it looked great then and it still does now. I also dig the segmented strip that runs down his spine. The legs (also grabbed from Blade) feature knee guards and some exposed ribbing behind the knees, and the armor is rounded out with some new black segmented boots and bracers on his forearms. Paladin also features a molded tactical holster secured to his left thigh with a pair of straps and silver painted buckles. I dig the look here a lot and the purple and black deco with the little hits of silver is certainly pleasing on the eye.

The portrait is pretty solid as well, even if the design is rather generic. Paladin wears a purple hood with a black segmented stripe running from front to back, and a pair of gold lens goggles. The lower half of the exposed face has some nice and sharp facial details and an appropriately grim expression. There’s some gold over-spray on the goggle frames, but nothing too terrible.

The articulation is fun and functional. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs and the tops of the boots, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The torso swivels at the waist, has an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. There’s some weird play in my figure’s hips. If you hold him by the legs, you can shake his upper half a bit, but oddly it doesn’t effect his hip joints at all.

Paladin comes with a pair of gold pistols that look like they might be from the same mold used for Nick Fury’s sidearm back in the Giant Man Wave. This time they’re cast in gold plastic. I like this gun a lot, it reminds me of a Luger and it sports some great detail. And while two guns are nice,  Paladin only has the one holster, so I guess he’s always going to have one at the ready.

Finally, Paladin comes with a tanto-style combat knife that tucks into a sheath on his right boot. The grip is painted black and the gold and guard are both gold.

Universe building! That’s what Legends is all about for me. So I’m perfectly fine getting a character that doesn’t mean all that much to me, so long as the figure is decent. And that’s certainly the case here. Paladin looks great and makes some sensible re-use from the Blade figure, while still managing to feel somewhat fresh. And that’s a wrap for the individually packaged figures in this wave. Come on back tonight and I’ll have a look at the Sasquatch Build-A-Figure!

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

I’m back this afternoon with the second half of my Marvel Monday Double-Feature! As always, I’ve been a good little collector and bought each of the individually packaged figures from the Sasquatch Wave, and now it’s time for my reward… The Build-A-Figure Sasquatch!

Sasquatch is about as simple as these BAFs can get. There are six pieces spread out over seven figures (90’s Deadpool didn’t come with any!), and those pieces include the arms, the legs, the torso, and the head. The pieces went together real easy and the end result a big shaggy orange hunk of Tanaraq.

Indeed, I absolutely love the way this figure turned out, but I feel a little bad because I don’t really have a lot to say about it. But that’s not the fault of the figure, as it does everything it needs to do quite splendidly. The sculpted shaggy coat on the body looks great and I love the gradations in coloring from orange to brown. The coloring looks especially nice on his chest and back. I also appreciate that they added a little extra carpeting around his upper back and shoulders. The right hand is sculpted into a fist and the left into a grasping hand, each of which offer up some nice options for posing him. The sculpting on the feet is pretty spectacular too. If I had to nitpick anything here, I’d say the darker color of the wrist hinges is a little distracting against the lighter color plastic of the hands.

The head sculpt is excellent even if the facial features are a little soft. I love the broad shape of the face and the high placement of the nose. The eyes are red with pink pupils and there’s a very little bit of shading around the face itself. The bushy eyebrows and mutton chops which frame the face are well done and I dig the way the rest of the hair blows back, allowing for a bit more range of motion in the neck articulation than he might have had otherwise.

Speaking of articulation, Sasquatch has it all where it counts. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, single hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips and ankles, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is ball jointed and hinged. The chunky joints on this guy feel great and he’s loads of fun to play around with.

I think my biggest complaint here is that Sasquatch is going to look really lonely on my shelf and I wish he had been the BAF in an Alpha Flight inspired wave. Yeah, that would probably never happen and I’m certainly glad to have this figure, but it also brings back those bitter feelings over the ridiculously exclusive Puck BAF Wave. Hasbro gave us Northstar and Aurora in the 4-inch Marvel Legends line, so they are certainly a good bet to appear in the 6-inch Legends lineup eventually. We did get a Guardian as part of the old Hasbro Marvel Legends line back in 2008 or so, and while I’d be tempted to go back and pick it up, that figure has not aged well, so I think I’ll hold off. Besides, it looks like we’re getting a new Guardian figure pretty soon. I guess for now I’ll just have to keep Sasquatch on that miscellaneous BAF shelf that I have down near the bottom of the case.

As for this Wave, I think it was an excellent assortment of figures and I was thrilled to be getting most of them. 90’s Deadpool and X-23 were musts for my shelf, Cable and Deathlok turned out fantastic, I’ve wanted a do-over for Domino for a while now, and even Paladin, my least anticipated figure in the bunch, turned out to be pretty good. And while I wasn’t terribly keen on getting another X-Force Deadpool, he’s such a vast improvement over the last retail release, I’ll count him as a very nice surprise. Next week I’m going back to spinning The Wheel of Legends. Which wave will it wind up on? Lizard? Thanos? Sauron? Apocalypse? Cull Obsidian? OMG… I’M SO FAR BEHIND!!!

“Here we go… Deadpool-Sasquatch Team Up and… Holy crap, that’s a lot of AIM Soldiers over there. Not really our thing, but there aren’t any Avengers in this wave so it’s just you and me, Shaggy.”

“Hasbro didn’t give me any guns, so you’re just going to have to pick me up and throw me like a spear.”

“That’s it… don’t worry, they never see this coming.” 

“Woah, big guy. Watch the fingers. I ain’t buying you dinner.”

“YEEEEEAH!!!! HERE I COME, BITCHES!!!!” 

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

Welcome back, Toyhounds, to a Marvel Monday double-feature. Earlier today I checked out the last boxed figure from the Sandman Wave, and now I’m finally ready to slap this guy together. So let’s get right to it…

Flint Marko is made up of a total of nine pieces scattered throughout this wave, that includes the torso, legs, and arms plus two heads and two swap out sand implements for his hands, allowing for a bit more customization than I’m used to seeing even on the Build-A-Figures. From the waist down he shares all the same parts as the Absorbing Man BAF from a few years back, and the torso is the same too, which isn’t too surprising as Hasbro did the same thing for their 4-inch Marvel Universe versions of Creel and Marko. Even the belt is lifted from the previous figure, but that’s fine because it all works. The brown trousers are coupled with his trademark striped green shirt, the belt has some nice texturing to it and has a silver belt-buckle and the shoes have a glossy black finish.

The arms begin transitioning to sand just below the biceps into a pair of enlarged forearms with some truly incredible sand texturing. The right hand is sculpted into a giant sand fist, while the left hand is grasping, making them perfect for poses with Marko battling it out with Spidey.

You get two portraits with the figure, the first is just a regular head and it continues Hasbro’s tradition of injecting plenty of personality into their villain head sculpts. Marko’s sneer is magnificent and there’s so much rage packed into this portrait. The various lines that make up his expression are very well defined and they even did a great job texturing his hair. If I had one complaint here, it’s that the paint could have been sharper on his teeth and along his hairline, but I really had to get in close with the camera to even notice either.

The alternative damaged portrait is even more amazing. He’s screaming with rage as the left side of his face took a hit and is revealing its true sandy nature. The way the sculpt transitions from skin to textured sand is beautifully done and I honestly think that this is the head I’m going to go with most of the time for display. The teeth are painted a little better on this one, but you can still see a lot of the flesh colored plastic bleeding through. I’m tempted to nitpick that the tongue isn’t painted, but I assume that’s because his head is supposed to be reverting to the color of sand, so I’m OK with it. Either way, this noggin is a masterpiece!

The articulation here is standard stuff for a regular Legends release. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels up near the hips, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs for the wrists. There’s a swivel at the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

In addition to the extra head, you also get a couple of swap out hands in the shape of sand-weapons. One is a giant hammer and the other is a spiked ball. They can each be used on either arm. I was a little concerned that the elbow and shoulder joints wouldn’t be able to hold the weight of the big hands and sand-weapons, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem at all.

For a figure with so many recycled parts, Sandman still manages to impress where it counts, and while Creel came out first, I’d definitely give the nod to Marko here as the more fun of the two figures. And with Green Goblin, Shocker, and Jackal all in this wave, Hasbro sure has managed to cover a lot of ground when it comes to Spider-Man’s Rogue Gallery.

And that’s another wave in the bag. Hasbro continues to blow me away with the work they’re putting into the Legends line. The figures in this wave are solid across the board and represent an excellent assortment of additions to my already massive 6-inch Marvel collection. How long can they keep this up? Well, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. On the downside, the distribution here continues to be a problem, and while Spidey-UK, Jackal, and Kamala where all easy to find, I never saw Green Goblin or Spidey 2099 at retail. I cringed at having to pay a little extra for these figures at the time, but when I look at what they’re going for now, I can see that I didn’t get beaten up too badly. Next week, I’m going to put the random reviews on hold again, as I just have one more boxed figure in the Sasquatch Wave to look at, so we’ll wrap up that assortment with Paladin and the Sasquatch Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Sandman Wave): Spider-UK by Hasbro

Today is the first day in a while that I get to open the final figure in a wave of Marvel Legends and cobble together a Build-A-Figure. Indeed, I don’t think I’ve done it since I started randomizing my Legends reviews several months back. And yet here we go! I’m finally going to have a look at the final boxed figure, Spider-UK, and then later tonight I’ll be back with the Sandman BAF… let’s get rolling.

It’s no secret that Spider-Verse was like a license to print money for Hasbro. A book that introduced dozens of new versions of Spider-Man, all waiting for their turn to populate the action figure aisles at $20 a hit. And I’m not complaining, because as hokey as it was, I still really enjoyed Spider-Verse. It was one of the last Marvel books I read before I threw up my hands and surrendered at the crap their publishing now, and I’m getting a real kick out of all the figures that it spawned. Earth-833’s version of Billy Braddock comes in your standard Legends packaging, although neither his name or that of his alter-ego appears on the front of the box. Instead, you just get “Multiverse Spider-Men” He does, however, share his tray with a rather large Sandman appendage.

And here he is out of the box and looking pretty sharp. I’ll get to a few nitpicks about this figure in a bit, but none of them have anything to do with his overall appearance. The suit is primarily blue with the red spider-webbed area on the front of the torso and shoulders, and wide white borders invoking a bit of a Union Jack flavor. The blue is really snappy and the black webbing is pretty sharp and clean. I really dig the red spider-emblem on the back too. All in all, I’d say this is a pretty cool variation on the traditional Spider-Man costume using most of the original colors. One of the common complaints I see about Hasbro’s Spider-Man figures is the unpainted elbow or knee pegs not matching the color of the outfit on both sides, but since Spidey-UK’s arms and legs are all blue, you don’t have that problem here.

The head is a lot more traditional with the red and black webbing pattern covering the entire mask. The eyes are almond shaped with thick black borders and I like that they’re sculpted, rather than just painted on. My figure has a bit of mold flashing around the jawline, but that’s easily shaved off.

Articulation is good, but I’m so used to my Webheads having shoulder crunches that when they don’t it really sticks out and sadly that’s the case here. The arms do have the usual 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 in the thighs and lower legs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The joints themselves are all solid, no mushy plastic here, and he’s genuinely fun to play around with.

I have to admit the lack of extras hurts this figure a bit. I’m used to getting extra hands with my Webheads, but here you’re just stuck with the fists. I prefer to have at least one thwippy hand with my Spider-Figures, and it doesn’t seem like it would have been a big deal to paint an extra set of hands to match. Besides the extra hands, it would have been really cool to get his travel Talisman, if not as an accessory then at least sculpted onto his arm. That seems like a bigger oversight to me.

Ultimately, Spider-UK is a fine figure, and I’m happy to be able to add him to my Spider-Verse shelf, but if I’m being honest, he feels very basic. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by some of the extras I’ve been seeing lately, but at least one set of extra hands feels essential for my Spider-Man figures. With that having been said, I like this costume a lot and I think Hasbro did a nice job with it. It’s a solid release in what was an extremely solid wave of figures. And if you’ll be so kind as to web-swing back around here later tonight, I’ll have a look at the Sandman Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Sandman Wave): Green Goblin by Hasbro

After a few weeks of checking out some of the Marvel Studios: First Ten Years figures (don’t worry, I’ll get back to more of those!), I’m back to spinning the Wheel of Legends and slogging my way through the enormous pile of backlogged figures waiting to be opened. And today we’re winding up the Wayback Machine all the way back to the Sandman Wave. Holy shit! I started reviewing this wave way back in April and I’ve still got two figures left before I can finally build my Sandman. Today I’m opening Green Goblin!

Here’s the packaged shot, and as you can see, the bubble is pretty tightly packed with the figure, accessories, and two different heads for the Sandman BAF! When you think of how many Spider-Man themed waves there have been, it’s boggling that it took this long to get to Green Goblin. Indeed, we’ve had two versions of The Hobgoblin before getting to Gobby here. He’s probably not my favorite Spidey villain, but I’ll concede that he’s likely considered the most iconic and definitely the first one that I was introduced to as a kid. Finally getting him in the modern Legends line is a pretty big deal.

If you haven’t already guessed, Gobby here shares the same body as Hobby. That’s Hobgoblin from the Space Venom Wave, not the winged BAF Hobgoblin from back in 2015. And I can’t really blame Hasbro for the recycling, because this body works perfectly for both figures. It also means this is going to be a pretty quick review, since I already reviewed most of this figure. The sculpted scale armor on the arms and legs looks as great as ever, this time trading the metallic blue paint for a very snappy metallic green. The orange boots, gauntlets, and tunic have been replaced with purple, the belt is now a simple band with a gold painted buckle, and he has the same shoulder bag, this time purple with a gold painted buckle to match his belt. The paint here really pops nicely. And since the body is identical to Hobgoblin’s, I’ll just refer you back to that review for the rundown on articulation.

Of course, the head sculpt is brand new, and Hasbro did a bang-up job on it. It’s lumpy, demented, and packed with personality from the beady yellow eyes to the crooked painted teeth. The exaggerated nose, brow, chin, and cheekbones make him super creepy as well. I really dig the paint they used and they even gave it a bit of a wash to pick out all the details in his twisted facial contours. I love his exaggerated ears and the way his hood snakes back behind his head. My figure had some kind of glue-booger stuck to the right side of the face, but it was pretty easy to clean off.

In addition to the shoulder bag, Gobby comes with a pumpkin bomb. This neon orange ball of death has green flames and a little jack-o-lantern face painted on it. He can hold it fairly well in either hand, but I think it would have helped if they put a peg on it and a peg hole in each of his palms. I seem to recall they did that for the 4-inch version back in Marvel Universe. 

And you also get his glider, which is all new and not just a repack of Hobby’s glider. It’s kind of a must-have accessory for Green Goblin, but I’m still more than a little impressed that they were able to pack it into a regular Legends box. Not that it’s all that big or super detailed, but a nice bonus nonetheless. It features loops for his feet to hold him on there, and the only thing it’s really missing is some kind of clear plastic stand to display it on.

And hey, look at that. Today’s review was in and out, easy-peasy. I kind of feel a little bad not spending more time reviewing a figure this important, but like I said, we already saw the body on Hobgoblin, and there just isn’t a lot more to say about him this time around. Perhaps, Hasbro could have gone a little extra and did something to make Gobby’s body more distinctive, but I really don’t think it was needed. The body worked great for Hobgoblin and it works great here as well. And boy they really seem to be knocking out Spidey’s Rogue Gallery. With both Mysterio and Doc Ock appearing on the pegs now, but not yet in my dirty clutches, Hasbro might have to find another go-to character to start padding out all these waves. Speaking of which, I’m going to forgo the Wheel of Legends next week and just wrap up this wave with both a look at Spider-Man UK and the Sandman Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Studios “First Ten Years:” Ant-Man and Yellowjacket by Hasbro

Last week was a great week for MCU fans as Inifnity War hit home release, and I just got around to watching my copy this past weekend. It would have been fun to have some related content for today, but I’m still debating whether or not I need that First Ten Years 3-pack with Thanos. Anyway, my regular random Marvel Legends reviews are still on hiatus this week, as I’ve been tackling some of these new Marvel Studios: First Ten Years releases. I’ll get back to some normal Legends reviews next week… well, sort of. But for now, today’s selection is a two-pack from the original Ant-Man movie, giving us not only the titular hero, but also his nemesis Yellowjacket. This sub-line is geared toward putting out figures that Hasbro missed back when these films were originally out, and it seems to be particularly good at delivering on the MCU’s villains, most of which had been snubbed. Seriously, Hasbro… Red Skull, Ronan, Yellowjacket… how’d you miss so many?

If you’ve been with me for the last couple of Marvel Mondays than you know what to expect from this packaging. The design is distinctive enough to make it seem like something special, but I doubt I’ll be keeping these boxes because I just don’t have the room, goddammit. One of the figures in this two-pack is a double-dip, as this same version of Ant-Man was released way back in 2015 as part of the Ultron Wave, so let’s start with him!

I’m happy to say that Ant-Man is not a complete repack. Sure, a comparison shows that from the neck down an overwhelming majority of the figure is the same sculpt, but they did add texturing to some of the red parts and I think it makes for a nice improvement. On the flip-side, the weathered paint wash has been removed from the silver areas on the belt and wrist bracers, giving this suit a cleaner look. It looks good, but I think the wash on the previous release gave it more character. This was supposed to be an old suit that’s seen quite a bit of action by the time Scott Lang put it on. Maybe this one will work best as Hank Pym’s version from when it was fresh and new. At least that would justify me having two.

There are a few other variations in the paint, most notably this figure adds some silver piping on the upper legs and some red on the lower legs. They’ve also nixed the florescent orange bits, for which I am most grateful. The silver trim on the previous figure was laid on a bit thicker and here it’s less pronounced. It’s probably more accurate, but it also means it’s not quite as evenly applied. It’s not bad, but just not as sharp as it could have been in some areas. There’s also a little wear to the red paint on my figure down near the small of his back. Either way, I really love the design here and I’m on record as saying I like it better than the suit used for Civil War and Ant-Man and The Wasp, so I’m OK with getting a new version of it, even if I didn’t really need it.

The masked head is a completely new sculpt, this time with the mask closed up and covering the entire face. Like the body, I think there’s some give and take as to which I prefer. Again, I like the antiqued finish to the silver paint on the previous release, but I think the enclosed mask looks better here, mainly because the facial features on the original are rather soft. Also, I’m a big fan of the red paint used on the eyes here. I don’t recall the neon orange paint on the previous release bothering me much at the time, but comparing the two side-by-side I think it looks awful now. Overall, I think I have to give the nod to this new head.

We also get another Paul Rudd likeness, this time he’s not smirking like he is on the Ant-Man and The Wasp version. I wasn’t fully sold on that previous likeness and I’m not on this one either. I can see Rudd in there, but it still feels like there’s something off about it. Again, not terrible, I’d go so far as to say it’s pretty damn good for a 6-inch scale retail release at this price point, but not quite there for me. Still, it’s a nice bonus and I’d definitely give this one a nod over the smirking one. And in case you were wondering, head swaps between the Ant-Man figures seems to be universal, so you can put either unmasked head on this guy or even the helmeted head from the Ultron Wave release. I won’t bother covering articulation here, as it’s identical to the previous release, and I’ve got a whole other figure to check out, and it’s the real reason I bought this set!

Hell yeah! It’s Yellowjacket! I’ve been a bitter person ever since Hot Toys cancelled their release of this character, leaving a man-bug-shaped hole in my heart. It seemed like I was doomed to never own a little plastic version of this guy. It’s not that I loved the villain in the movie, he was totally forgettable, but I did fall in love with the suit design the first time I saw it. As complex as I remember the suit being, this figure is surprisingly simple. It’s a black buck with some bright and beautiful textured yellow panels. The black areas of the costume do feature some panel lines and texturing, but nothing too crazy or complex. Oh, don’t get me wrong, this sculpt gets the job done and looks fantastic doing it. It also reminds me a lot of some of the Tron Legacy figures, and that’s not a bad thing.

The stingers are part of a backpack that pegs into the back of the figure. The antenna on the top offer a little bit of motion, while the arms on the bottom feature several hinges and other joints to allow for a great degree of articulation. They can be positioned up over the shoulders, down under the arms, or any combination in between.

The composition of the helmet is fantastic. You get an inner head, black with yellow panels, which can be seen through the two large transparent lenses on the outer helmet. It’s definitely got a very bug-like visage and it’s one of the many things that makes this one of my favorite MCU suit designs in the entire first ten years of films. I know there have been some rumors flying that this suit may return in a future Ant-Man film worn by another villain, and I’d love to see that.

The box also contains tiny versions of Ant-Man and Yellowjacket, and I’m pretty sure these are just repacks of previously released accessories. I like that Hasbro includes these, but there’s not a lot to do with them. They won’t even stand up on their own.

I was prepared to come out of this review bitching about how I wish Hasbro had released Yellowjacket on his own, but it turns out that I’m not too upset about having to buy another Ant-Man figure to get him. While I would have preferred that they kept the weathered look of the original’s silver bits, I think the added texture and the new masked head make it a worthy, albeit redundant, addition to my collection. And to be honest, even if it was a straight repack, I would have still laid out the forty bones for this set just to get Yellowjacket. He’s a great looking figure and a design that I desperately wanted to display on my MCU Legends shelf.