Marvel Legends (Wendigo Wave): Nightcrawler by Hasbro

The X-Men hits keep on coming, folks, and I’m only two figures away from finishing off the Wendigo Wave. I was going to save the best for last, but truth be told this figure has been waiting long enough to be opened. So let’s check out Herr Kurt Wagner. BAMPF!!!

Nightcrawler has been kicking around the X-Men funnybooks for a long time. Indeed, he’s almost as old as I am! I was a big fan of his growing up, mainly because he looked cool and I thought teleportation would be one of the best mutant powers to have. At the same time, I always thought he was one of the better examples of the Mutant dilemma, since so many could hide their mutations in the guise of their normal appearances. To me, the really interesting Mutants were the ones who traded their great gift for an appearance that instantly placed them outside normal society. And That was the case with Nightcrawler. Is it long past time we got him in modern Marvel Legends? Hell, yeah it is!

And it sure was well worth the wait! Hasbro just poured the love into this figure and appropriately so, because he is such a fan favorite. He’s built off a rather lean and almost lanky buck, which plays well to his superhuman agility. The body is cast in black plastic with some red and white paint for the boots and gloves. Yeah, there’s some bleed through on the red paint, which is a shame, but surprisingly there’s none at all on the white.

Kurt’s V-shaped vest is painted on below the chest, but sculpted above it and it flares out from the shoulders. The red paint doesn’t quite match between the two pieces, but it’s close enough. His hands are sculpted appropriately with three fingers and his feet with two toes. The figure is rounded out with a thin blue tail with a devilish point. The tail is pre-posed in a snaking fashion, so no bendy plastic here, however it’s sculpted in a way that really makes use of the swivel at the base, allowing for some varied poses.

Hasbro included not one but two extra heads! The first is a fairly neutral expression. Maybe a little perturbed or just plain stoic. Whatever the case, it’s absolutely fantastic. There is some excellent definition in his facial details, the bushy eyebrows look like they’re judging me a bit. His pointed ears jut out from behind his sculpted sideburns, and the hair is beautifully sculpted and swept back. The pupil-less yellow eyes and the deep blue skin coloring complete the portrait perfectly.

The second head offers a broad smile and I’m very glad that Hasbro included this one as it very much suits his personality, particularly in the earlier appearances. Everything that I said about the previous face holds true for this one, however, I do have a couple nitpicks here. Firstly the paint on the teeth could have been executed better. There’s a little slop from his fangs onto his bottom lip, and there isn’t any white paint on his lower row of teeth. This second bit isn’t a huge problem, as it looks like maybe they’re concealed behind his bottom lip, but I don’t think that was the intention. Also, the paint on my figure’s left eye here is a little miffed.

The third head is Kurt’s battle face and it is most definitely successful at showing off his rage. The paint on the teeth here still has some issues, but it’s a little better than the previous head. You also get some paint inside the mouth on his tongue. The furled brow and the chiseled lines on either side of his gaping mouth are quite well done.

As for articulation, Hasbro graced Nightcrawler with one of the more poseable bodies, which includes the lateral crunches on the shoulders. In addition to those, his arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs for the hands. His right hand can be swapped between an accessory holding hand and a graspy hand. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles are both hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and his neck is both hinged and ball jointed. And once again, there is a swivel at the base of the tail.

In addition to two extra heads and an extra right hand, Nightcrawler comes with his swashbuckling sword. This weapon is influenced by the sword on the pirate-themed cover of Nightcrawler #1 only with a straight blade. The hilt is gold and fits snugly into his extra right hand. This is about as perfect an accessory as I could think to include with him, and he’s a lot of fun to pose with it.

I don’t feel like it’s hyperbole for me to say that Nightcrawler is one of my absolute favorite figures to come out of Legends in a while. Do I say that a lot? It feels like I say that a lot. Well, this time I really mean it. He’s definitely the best offering of this wave, and that’s not something I say lightly since this wave also gave us an excellent figure of mah-man, Sinister. Sure, I have a few nitpicks here, but some of them may be QC issues unique to my figure. And besides that, the broad strokes here are all just perfect. The articulation is excellent, the extra heads are most welcome, the tail has just enough versatility for posing, and Kurt looks great swinging into action with his sword. It feels like Hasbro has given us a ton of excellent X-Men figures in a short space of time, and I haven’t even dug into the Apocalypse Wave yet! But first things first, and next week I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at Boom-Boom and the Wendigo Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Wendigo Wave): Mr Sinister by Hasbro

Yes, it’s Marvel Monday on a Friday, folks! I am just barely getting this one in under the wire and it still wound up having to be an abbreviated update. I had one day off this week, that was yesterday, and I spent it reading comics, playing some Nintendo Switch and drifting in and out of sleep. I intended to get some more time taking photos, but it’s been so long since I’ve had time to do that, the cats have taken up residency on my photo stage and I didn’t want to roust them. Anyway, things continue to be crazy busy for me and I won’t make any promises for next week, other than I will get another Marvel Legends review in at some point. And that’s it. Keep on keeping on out there. Be smart. Be safe. Cling to your happy things, and hopefully this will all blow over sooner rather than later. OK, on to Marvel Monday…er, Marvel Friday!

Mr Sinister! He was far up on my short list of modern Legends figures that I wanted on my shelf. I was the optimal age of 15 when he first appeared in Uncanny X-Men and over the years he would proceed to blow my teenage mind out the back of my head. I thought he as so cool, so bad-ass, and so damn creepy at the same time. Whenever I was reading an X-Men comic and Mr. Sinister wasn’t in the panel, I was asking, “Where’s Mr. Sinister?” He was one of the very last Toy Biz Marvel Legends I got rid of. Indeed, I think I even featured that figure in one of my Deadpool reviews within the last few years. Despite being a beefy character, Hasbro still managed to cram a Wendigo arm in there. Oh, and can I say how unbelievably thankful I am that Hasbro didn’t give us the terrible suit-wearing modern look of Sinister from Secret Warriors. THANK YOU, HASBRO!!! Ok, let’s get him open.

Yup, that’s the classic Sinister that I know and love. He’s sporting the metallic blue segmented body, which exudes a very strong Colossus flavor and looks absolutely stunning. The midnight blue boots come all the way up to his thighs and flare out at the sides, he’s got matching gloves and flared out shoulders, all of which produce a sharp contrast between the matte finish and the metallic body. The body is rounded out by a red diamond on his chest and a simple red belt around the waist. Hasbro did a beautiful job updating the body from the old Toy Biz version. I think the build is perfect, the sculpt is simple but effective, and the colors look great.

And then there’s the cape! Sinestro is sporting his bizarre cape, which looks like it got stuck in a paper shredder. It’s also got that great gravity-defying plunge up and over the shoulders and a high collar that would make Dracula jealous. This garment looks fantastic in the comics, but I’m not sure it was ever meant to really translate into the real world. To be fair, I think it looks pretty good from the front, but from the back, it’s just an eyesore of a mess. It’s not the figure’s fault. I think they did the best with what they had to work with.

The head sculpt is excellent. Sinister is offering a wide and toothy smile, sports high-arching and proper evil looking eyebrows, red eyes, and has the diamond right in the middle of his forehead. They did a fine job with the flat-top hair cut too. The black of his lips and hair accentuates the white of his skin. Personally, I would have preferred a bit of a wash on the face paint to bring out some of those details. It’s maybe a little too white, but now I may be nitpicking. I also feel that a second head would have been called for here. Something a little more dire and grim.

Sinister sports all the usual articulation for a Legends figure. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at the tops of the boots, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a waist swivel and an ab-crunch hinge, and finally the neck has both a hinge and ball joint. The hands are sculpted into a fist on the right arm and an open grasping hand on the left, which works about as well as anything I would have come up with.

After all that gushing, I will say that I didn’t have a lot of inspiration for photographing Mr. Sinister. Maybe that has something to do with the cape being rather unwieldy. Maybe it has to do with his one-note expression not really fitting in with a lot of action poses. I’m not sure, but it kind of worked out this week since I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on him. But don’t take that as a slight on this figure, because I absolutely love him. He’s probably one of my most anticipated Legends figures in a long while and the fact that he lived up to my expectations says a lot. Not to mention that he makes the Toy Biz version (a figure that I’ve loved for many years) look positively prehistoric by comparison. Everything from sculpt to coloring just came out so well on this guy, and I’m happy to be able to cross him off my X-Men Legends Want List.

Marvel Legends: Stepford Cuckoos by Hasbro

Congratulations, you made it to another Marvel Monday! I hope y’all are staying safe, washing your hands, and for God sake, STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE!!! I never realized until now how hard that is to do sometimes. Anyway, since I wrapped up the Caliban Wave last week, I thought I’d open a stand alone figure today before jumping into another assortment. But, we’re going to keep that X-Men love train rolling with a look at one of Walgreens’ exclusives… The Stepford Cuckoos!

Generally speaking, the Walgreens-Hasbro partnership has been good to me, as not being able to find these exclusives has been the exception and not the rule. Every now and again I have to hit a scalper, but not often. But with that being said, I had all but given up on finding the Cuckoos. And wouldn’t you know it on a random stop for cold meds and a frozen pizza I actually found one of these gals standing on the shelf. It’s always when you least expect it! As you can see from the packaged shot, Hasbro included two extra heads, so you can buy three figures and get three Cuckoos, and that very well could be part of the reason I had trouble finding just one.

Now, I have to confess some ignorance here, because my experience was the Five-in-One were identical quintuplet clones of Emma Frost and thereby looked identical and were depicted all with the same blonde hair. Granted, Hasbro was going for the Three-in-One here, so I presumed these are Celeste, Irma, and Phoebe? But with completely different looking heads? I’m going to write this off as a modern Marvel thing, because I’ve given up on reading Marvel’s books until they start focusing on hiring talent and not entitled social shills. As a result I’m not up on a lot of the modern character looks. Sorry, I started drifting into a rant there.

OK, so, I had to turn to the Internets to learn the identities. So as I make it, Phoebe is the redhead, Irma is the brunette, and that would make Celeste the blonde head that comes on the body? Let’s go with that, but feel free to slag me and tell me I’m wrong. Other than the heads, I guess the identical bodies make sense because of the whole school uniform thing. I keep wrapping my head around whether Hasbro will ever get to use this body again, and I can’t come up with any reasons.

The figure makes use of a smaller teenage body, similar to Nico from the Dormammu Wave. I’ll confess I expected a lot of reuse here, but that’s not the case. The school outfit consists of a green and white plaid pleated skirt, a white button-down blouse with green tie, and a black blazer. Down below you get white socks and black shoes. The outfit employs a lot of new sculpting, which is impressive in a character like this, and an exclusive to boot! The jacket is the usual fake-out with what is basically a sleeveless vest cast in soft plastic with the sleeves sculpted on the arms. The articulation is standard for Marvel Legends ladies, including the rotating hinges in the elbows instead of double-hinges. Although they do have swivels in the legs at the thighs and again down at the tops of the socks.

The three portraits are pretty solid, although two of mine have some mold flashing on their chins that I’ll have to shave off. The different hair sculpts range from the mundane brunette bowl cut to the more dynamic red windblown look. The eyes on all three are whited out and there’s some red painted in around the edges, which looks suitably creepy.

In addition to three heads and two sets of hands, you get a few more accessories in the box. The first are these milky-translucent plastic effect parts for their arms. They’re OK, but not much to write home about.

You also get Cerebro, and it’s the same one that came with the Deluxe Riders Professor X. It even still has the hole in the back for the effect part that came with that set. A nice, albeit unnecessary bonus.

And so Marvel Legends continues to dig deep for characters and Hasbro continues to find fun and creative ways to release them. The Cuckoos are what I would consider a perfect exclusive. I don’t consider them essential, so limiting their release wasn’t a big deal to me. That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who consider them must-haves, but that certainly wasn’t the case with me. Indeed, I would have more expected something like this to be released in a Comic Con Exclusive multi-pack rather than on the shelf at my local Walgreens. So I guess the question remains, am I going to triple-down on these gals? Nah, I don’t think so. If they were a wide release and turned up on Amazon for $15 a pop, I might be tempted, but I can’t see dropping another $40 to complete the Three-In-One. I have even since found one more on the shelf, and I wound up leaving her there.

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

What’s this? Marvel Monday on Tuesday? Yeah, this happens from time to time when I want to put a wave to bed and tack on a review of the BAF after the last figure in the assortment. To be fair, I really could have just posted a Double Feature yesterday, because I’m not sure that today’s content warrants a day all to himself. Not to slight the character selection here, because we are indeed checking out Mutant-sniffer extraordinare Caliban, but as you’ll soon see, it isn’t going to take a lot of time to discuss what he’s all about. Also, apologies for the pictures. I tried a new background so as not to wash out his white and I am not at all happy with the end results. And with that ringing endorsement out of the way, let’s check out Caliban!

There’s nothing crazy here when it comes to building him. Caliban is comprised of six parts (legs, limbs, torso, and head), each acquired in part by buying Blink, Weapon X Wolverine, Forge, Skullbuster, Jubilee, and Gambit. Yup, Beast is in the wave too, but you don’t need him to build Caliban. Honestly, there isn’t a figure in this wave that I bought solely for the BAF part, nor was there a figure I would have passed on if not for building Caliban. Granted, that’s usually the case for me, because I’m all about the universe building, but it’s worth pointing out that I thought this was a solid wave.

So, obviously this is Apocalypse Horseman Caliban because he’s a big boy! I have no doubt we’ve seen this BAF body before, as it’s pretty generic, but I’m not placing it off the top of my head. Suffice it to say it’s a giant slab of plastic muscle with some veins sculpted in here and there. He’s got heavy wrist bracers, grabby monster mitts, and his feet look like Ninja tabi boots. There’s not a lot new and original going on here from the neck down, other than the coloring. And the coloring is nice. The white pearlescent plastic exposed on the legs, shoulders and upper torso sure is pretty and the deep maroon paint for the rest of the body suit compliments it well. The bracers are dark gray and you get some blue and white necrotic skin for his big claws. The paint lines on my figure are pretty sharp and all in all I got no complaints.

The head sculpt is nothing short of fantastic, featuring some amazing attention to detail in the facial features. Caliban is captured in full scream with his mouth open and exposing his fanged teeth and a fully realized tongue. The deep set yellow beady eyes are placed under a prominent brow ridge, which sweeps up to the sides to form what look like horns. The paint is the same great stuff used for the hands and it has a slight gloss to it, giving the skin a rather disgusting, moist finish. Hasbro has done some epic head sculpts in this line, and Caliban ranks up there with the best of them.

The articulation holds no surprises. Hasbro usually manages to pack a lot of great poseability into these big and beefy BAFs, and Caliban is no exception to that rule. The legs have ball joints at the hips, double-hinged knees, swivels at the thighs and lower legs, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. The torso has a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and single hinges in the elbows. Not bad!

And that closes the book on another solid wave of figures and a pretty damn cool Build-A-Figure. Hasbro keeps pouring on the X-Men love over and over again, wave after wave, and I’ve got no problem with it. They have a lot of lost time to make up for, and they’re doing just that. Personally, I would have preferred a regular version of Caliban before getting this one, but that’s fine. I’m sure they’ll get around to him eventually.

Next week, I’m going to look at a one-off exclusive and then after that I’ll probably jump back into the Wendigo Wave to wrap that one up.

 

Marvel Legends (Caliban Wave): Skullbuster by Hasbro

I’m almost through my look at the Caliban Wave! And besides wrapping up a wave of Marvel Legends, there are few things more exciting than busting into a new team or sub-group in Marvel Legends, and today we’re doing exactly that. The Reavers! These guys are all sorts of cool, and touch on some pretty twisted shit in the X-Men comics, not the least of which being Spiral’s Body Shop, alien cybernetic replacement parts, and good old fashioned body horror.

Oh yeah! Here he is just waiting to get freed from his package prison so he can start kicking ass. From Doctor Who’s Cybermen to RoboCop, the idea of people replacing their parts with cybernetic attachments has always creeped me the hell out. There’s always that nagging question about how much you can replace before you aren’t you anymore. And keep in mind, The Reavers debuted the year before Star Trek would introduce us to The Borg, albeit they are very different treatments on the idea. So where best for Marvel Legends to start but with one of the original Reavers, Skullbuster!

Skullbuster borrows heavily from another cyborg figure we got back in the Sasquatch Wave, and that is indeed Deathlok. And when I say borrows heavily, I mean the body is identical from the neck down. Even the belt and holster is the same. I’m actually a little surprised at how much of him Hasbro did recycle without any re-touching at all. Does it work? I guess. The new jacket goes a long way in making him look a bit different and hiding some of the Deathlok stuff, like the giant hole in the chest where the cable attached. And damn, the jacket does look pretty great. The mis-matched shoulder pads include spikes on the right hand side, and a number of magazines sculpted into pouches on the front and back. The zipper tracks look great and they’re carefully painted silver. Sure it looks a lot like the primary costume piece from someone’s Mad Max cosplay, but it’s still pretty badass. The ensemble is punctuated by a shoulder strap of ammunition.

And of course, the head sculpt is all new and pretty damn creepy. We get a very normal looking face sculpt buried under black and white paint and a pair of piercing red eyes. The end result is a bitchin’ looking skull that’s more than a little bit intimidating.

Do you have Deathlok? If so, you know exactly what to expect out of the articulation here, because it is essentially the same body. I’ll just refer you back to that earlier review if you want to see the details.

Skullbuster comes with one accessory, and that’s the pistol he wears in the holster on his right hip. And yup, it is indeed the exact same pistol that came with Deathlok. I dig this gun quite a bit. It has a unique design and the new color plastic really brings out all those deep cuts and details in the sculpt. The scope is pretty cool and I like how the magazine extends down past the grips. That having been said, I do wish he came with some kind of assault rifle too. Besides it being nice to get a second weapon, it would have explained what some of those magazines sculpted onto his jacket are for.

Skullbuster comes with one cool surprise, and that’s the head of another Reaver, Murray Reese. I like the helmet, and the clear plastic face shield, but if I take off the shield it looks like Reese sneezed in there. There’s paint from his eyebrows all over the face. It’s not such a big deal with the helmet on, though. Of course, this is one of those situations where we have the head but no body. So, you can either choose which character you want to display the figure as, or you can pick up a second figure. I found that if you take off his jacket and ammo strap, he looks almost different enough to warrant making the second figure out of him. But either way they still look a lot like Deathlok.

I come away from Skullbuster a little conflicted. I love that we got him, but I do wish that Hasbro had invested just a little more original tooling. I’d even have happily sacrificed the Reese head if some of that money could have gone toward tweaking the Deathlok body just a little more. And considering that Hasbro already got a second release out of Deathlok with the X-Force version, this triple dip seems like a little much. But I can’t deny that he looks damn cool and so I can’t get too mad at him. Next week we’ll wrap this wave up with a look at Weapon X and the Caliban Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Caliban Wave): Forge by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday again and I have a powerful urge to build another BAF, folks! That means I’m going to toss randomness to the winds and dig into the wave that I am the closest to finishing. And yup, it’s the Caliban Wave, and that means I’m headed back into X-Men territory and opening Forge!

It’s weird, but I think I actually associate Forge more with action figures than I do with the comics. That’s probably because I was so into Toybiz’s Uncanny X-Men figures and Forge was up there among my favorites. I also thought his tech skills made for an interesting, if not terribly flashy, Mutant ability.

A good chunk of Forge’s costume is achieved with paint, and I’m happy to say we’re back to the glorious blue and yellow deco. This outfit just reaches right into my brain and wiggle its fingers in my nostalgia nerves. As always, the deep blue and bright yellow makes for a snappy combo, looking every bit as fantastic on an action figure as it does in the comic panels. Toss in the brown accents to ground it, and you have a great looking color palate.

Some original sculpting includes the exaggerated cones on his gauntlets, the fringe around the tops of his boots. The boot fringe is only held up by friction, but mine seems to stay put quite well. They’re certainly better than the straps on Cyclops’ legs, which are always falling down. Moving up, Forge has a brown holster strapped to his right thigh, a red belt with the X-logo painted on the buckle, and a brown shoulder harness with sculpted pouches. I totally dig how they sculpted his cybernetic leg, which consist of some circuit-like panel lining and a metallic blue sheen. It’s much better than just having it silver.

The portrait consists of another fantastic head sculpt, which features some well-defined cheek bones and a serious expression. The mustache is particularly well done, as is the red headband that’s tied off to the side. The head is punctuated by a copious ponytail. I also dig the darker complexion that they went with for his skin-tone.

Forge comes with a pair of weapons: One rifle and one pistol. The pistol is cast in gray plastic and fits into the holster on his right hip. It’s design is a bit of traditional automatic with a little bit of sci-fi mixed in.

 

The rifle is cast in the same gray plastic and has even more of a sci-fi vibe to it. No doubt these are weapons Forge cooked up and I think they suit him well. My one big gripe is that I wish they included a peg on the rifle so it could be attached to his back. I like when my figures can carry or wear all their weapons.

The articulation holds nothing new. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, and double-hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at the thighs and the tops of the boots, the knees are double hinged, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the chest, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The wide gauntlets do inhibit his elbow articulation a bit, but I’m pleased that I can still get him into a firing position with the rifle up to his cheek.

I feel like Hasbro put just a little bit of extra love into this guy. The fringe on the boots is a nice touch, the bionic leg came out beautifully, and the portrait is as solid as the day is long. And with Forge, another fine X-Men joins my Marvel Legends shelves. Boy does Hasbro seem to be loving these guys lately. Not only do I have quite a few to go before I’m caught up, but Toy Fair showed us that the X-Men train is going to keep on rolling. Forge puts me at five down and two to go in the Caliban Wave. Next week I’ll take a look at Skullbuster!

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): War Machine by Hasbro

I’ve had a week off, but now I’m back to work and feeling a bit salty about it. Thank God for Marvel Mondays, because opening a new Marvel Legends figure is like applying a soothing balm to the beginning of the work week. After a long run of X-Men and a couple of Deluxe Riders, I decided to go full random today (for reals!) and I dipped my grubby claw (complete with Infinity Gauntlet Oven Mitt) into the unopened pile of despair that clutters my Toy Closet. Oh look, I came up with War Machine from Avengers: Endgame. Cool!

I first visited with this wave way back in November when I opened up Pepper Potts in the RESCUE Armor, but I haven’t been back to it since. I’m not actively building this BAF, so I’ve been giving the parts to my nephew. Unfortunately for him, War Machine doesn’t come with any. And yeah, this wave is a bit of a mixed bag and lacks the kind of focus I would have liked to see in the wake of Endgame, but Hasbro seems to be getting to everyone eventually if not all in the same wave. As for the armor, I’ll confess to being really confused. Rhodey got hit hard during Thanos’ attack on Avengers HQ and came back in the Iron Patriot armor? I think that’s right. But then where does this suit come in? I really need to re-watch that movie. Either way, the suit got a major overhaul for Endgame and since I feel like I didn’t get a good enough look at it in the movie, I’m excited to check out this figure.

To borrow a phrase from Tony Stark, War Machine has been juicing or something because he’s gone and got himself all kinds of swole! Oh, and I absolutely love it. This is what War Machine ought to be about. A powerful, lumbering machine of… well, WAR GODDAMMIT! But besides filling out his silhouette, the design looks so damn sexy. Proportionally, this new suit throws a lot more weight into the lower arms and legs, making it look like a powerhouse. And there’s so much gorgeous detail on this guy. The chest features those two blade-like silver slashes accenting rectangular painted red lights, which serve to give the suit a wonderfully aggressive attitude. You get some circular silver hatches below that as well as some vents, which gives him a strong mech vibe. There are also all sorts of panel lines and bits and bobs sculpted into the back. I’ll note here how much I love the plastic they used for this figure. It’s thick and chalky and heavy. It just feels so solid!

The head-sculpt follows the more substantial feel of the rest of the suit, by having almost no neck, or rather the neck is well concealed behind blocks on either side of the head. Extra panel lines in the face plate give it a reinforced feel, and there’s a Y-shaped recess connecting the chin and the “mouth.” The new suit retains some of the markings that Rhodey’s had on previous suits, in this case incorporating the military-style stars and chevron tampo on the left shoulder plate, and the 006 on the left side of his chest. If I have one gripe, it’s the sticker they used for the arc reactor, it looks rather bland and unconvincing. Articulation actually retains most of the usual Legends points. The big exception here is no double-hinges in the elbows and I guess that’s understandable. I am happy to see the shoulder armor flips up to allow for better range of shoulder movement.

The post on the right shoulder features a ball joint to mount the rather imposing cannon. There’s no half-assed retracted mode, and I get the feeling that this is a suit that just keeps it deployed most of the time. It dwarfs the shoulder cannon from the previous suits and I dig the ball joint, as it gives it a lot more stability and fluid movement than the old hinged ones. Hasbro also hit it with some red paint apps on the front, and that goes a long way.

And when a shoulder cannon just isn’t enough to get the job done, arm cannons, which peg into holes under the forearms, can be deployed. These are almost ridiculously large.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but I’m coming out totally in love with this figure. The new design is just so imposing and awesome, and Hasbro translated that into an impressive hunk of 6-inch action figure. Everything about this figure puts the older suit to shame, and about the only thing I can complain about is that it didn’t come with a Rhodey head. Sure you get a couple of big guns, but I feel like the unmasked head should have been a no-brainer. I’m keen on picking up the Iron Patriot version, but I have yet to see it at retail and I fear my window may have closed on that one. It might be time to start considering paying a little extra and getting it online. And to be honest, with how great this one turned out, I think it might be worth it.

Marvel Legends (Deluxe Riders): Cosmic Ghost Rider by Hasbro

On the last Marvel Monday I checked out Squirrel Girl as part of the Marvel Legends Deluxe Riders series, and I commented on how I couldn’t believe Hasbro was taking the risk of bundling a character like Doreen Green in a $40 set. Surely they need to reserve these higher priced releases for more mainstream and important characters. But when faced with these questions Hasbro simply says, “Hold my beer” and bundles Cosmic Ghost Rider in the same assortment.

Now granted, there’s a world of difference between releasing Squirrel Girl on a scooter and Ghost Rider from Earth-666. That difference being that even if I had no idea who or what this figure represented, I’d still have picked it up because it looks all sorts of bad ass. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that this is Frank Castle back from Hell itself and infused with powers from both Mephisto and Galactus, and granted a bitchin’ space bike so he can go hunt down The Mad Titan, Thanos, and slay him to avenge the fallen Earth. Does anything get more bad ass than that? No. So why didn’t they put that on the package? Anyway, the set comes in a big window box that shows off the figure and the partially assembled bike. There’s not too much to slapping it together, but let’s start with the figure.

Holy shit, if I didn’t know better I’d swear this character design crawled out of a comic panel from the early 90’s. Frank’s new duds include a partially armored and twisted version of his skull-centric costume that we know from Earth-616. The skull itself is now sculpted into chest armor, emblazoned with two crimson red eyes and teeth like blades reaching down to his armored belt. His legs are also encased in armor, his shoulders sport a set of most deliciously ridiculous spiked red pauldrons, his wrists are encircled with space-age rings, and under it all is a black ribbed suit that’s speckled with red and blue Kirby-Crackle. You’ll no doubt note that Frank is sporting a rather awkward looking gap up in that crotch, and that’s no doubt to make him work on the bike. Hey, I’m cool with that. I doubt I’m ever going to pose him off the bike anyway. From behind, Frank is sporting the back half of a leather jacket, which makes no real sense to me. It just doesn’t jibe with the front at all. But it’s this kind of impossible ensemble that works when dealing with the reality-bending Cosmic Marvel.

Frank’s noggin has been transformed into the familiar flaming skull of the Spirit of Vengeance, but this time the translucent red skull sits engulfed in yellow flames inside a clear dome. It looks amazing and I was happy to see that you can pop off the dome to rotate his head from side to side.

The Cosmic Rider comes with a few fun accessories, the first of which is his flaming chain whip. This piece is made out of bendy transparent yellow plastic with orange flame licking off the edges near the tip. Both ends are sculpted as handles giving some options for display.

Next up, he comes with a pair of futuristic pistols and each one is a unique sculpt.  These big, chunky weapons are cast all in black plastic and aren’t overburdened with a lot of sculpted detail. They have rather distinctive designs and he looks damn fine wielding them akimbo.

And they each come with firing effect parts, which plug into the ends of the barrels and look great! And that’s all the little accessories out of the way, let’s check out that bike!

Wow, this thing is big, and I absolutely love the design! In place of the front wheel is a massive blue globe of energy, with white plastic tendrils of energy visible inside. I’ve simply got to find a little battery powered light for inside it! The chopper-style handlebars protrude from it and connect it to the bike’s sleek black body. The body includes a bulbous blue headlamp, some raised blue bands on the sides and behind the seat, floorboards for The Rider to rest his boots, and branching exhaust pipes sweeping off each side of the back. The back also features an exhaust port with a translucent red flame effect part erupting out of it. The entire bike rests easily on a transparent plastic base and it’s mounted on a ball joint, so you can position it at various angles for display. No doubt about it, Hasbro did a beautiful job recreating this bike!

Apart from looking absolutely fantastic, there aren’t a whole lot of features on this Cosmic Ride. Although the sides do feature holsters for the two guns. I thought that was a cool bonus.

And while I had issues getting Doreen to ride her scooter properly, Frank Castle mounts this Cosmic Hog with absolute perfection. His grippy hands work perfectly for grasping the handlebars, that big gab between his legs lets him rest easy in the seat, and his boots stay put on the floorboards without even needing pegs to secure them. He looks so good and natural seated on his ride that I can’t imagine ever displaying him any other way.

I was a little slow to warm up to the Deluxe Riders line. Hell, I still haven’t picked up the regular Ghost Rider and bike, but I’m damn glad I didn’t hesitate on this one. Everything about this set is just so fresh and original. The backstory is batshit crazy, the design of the bike is genius, and even Cosmic Ghost Rider’s crazy 90’s throwback design works so well when seated on it. What’s more with how big the bike is, this set actually feels like a damn bargain at forty bucks. Hasbro will never cease to amaze me with what they are willing to risk and put out when it comes to Marvel Legends. I truly believe that anything is possible, no character is too minor, no side story too crazy, and no toy is out of the question. And all I can say is keep magic like this coming, and I’ll keep buying.

“Sadists, psychos and killers.

Don’t matter what planet they’re from.

All deserve to be punished!”

Marvel Legends (Deluxe Riders): Squirrel Girl and Scooter by Hasbro

After a long run of X-Men themed Marvel Mondays I thought I’d mix things up today and check out something that just arrived a few days ago. Hasbro has been serving up a bunch of these Deluxe Riders sets, which bundles a figure with some kind of small vehicle. I haven’t picked up a lot of them, but I did review Black Widow, Deadpool, and of course last week’s Professor X. Now it’s time to go nuts with Doreen Green aka Squirrel Girl. Chitty chuk Chhhtt! I think that’s squirrel talk for let’s do this!

It’s times like this when it’s fun to think back to the origins of this Modern Legends line. Back then, I never would have thought Hasbro would have gambled on giving us a regular release of Squirrel Girl and yet here she is debuting in a big deluxe boxed set. The package is the same format as the Deadpool Scooter set, which makes sense, since this one is very nearly a straight repaint of that scooter. There’s a little assembly required, but nothing too bad. Let’s start with a look at Doreen!

Obviously SG is a rather unique looking character and that’s beautifully reflected in this all newly sculpted figure. There’s a great feeling of depth on this gal, mainly thanks to the half-jacket which is sculpted separately in soft plastic, and the belt that fits pretty snug around her waist. Her outfit features a ton of plastic furry fringe from the lapels of her jacket to the rings around her shorts’ legs and the tops of her boots. The belt has a subtle texture and sculpted pouches on either side. And for a color palate that is rather muted, there are still some nice flourishes. Her jacket matches her boots with just a slightly darker shade of brown than her top and shorts.

From the back, Doreen is mostly tail. That big bushy squirrel tail comes right off the top of her butt and plumes up her back all the way to her head. It’s a wonderful sculpt and I’d love to tell you that it doesn’t make her almost impossible to stand, but that’s not the case. She’s ridiculously back heavy and just about every shot I took of her is involving some trickery to get her to stand.

In a word, the portrait is perfect. And that’s no small feat considering how bad Doreen has sometimes looked in the comics. I’m getting flashbacks to Erika Henderson’s god-awful art from the 2015 book when I was wondering if Marvel will truly hire anyone to draw their books, regardless of talent. Here SG looks super cute, her face is beaming with a perfectly cheesy grin. The paint on her eyes is particularly sharp and well executed. The hair sculpt is fantastic and nice touches include the tiny acorn earrings and the headband with those tiny squirrel ears.

 

The articulation here toes the line when it comes to female Legends. That means we get the rotating hinges in the shoulders instead of the double-hinges, and that makes sense here to maintain the sculpt of the jacket sleeves. Otherwise, you get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and have swivels in the thighs and tops of the boots. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. Finally, we get a ball joint under the chest, both a ball joint and hinge in the neck, and while the tail may have a swivel in there, mine doesn’t want to move.

You can’t have Squirrel Girl without her army of squirrels, and this set includes three of them and they’re each unique sculpts! Two of them are sitting up on their hind legs, one with a pink bow and the other eating an acorn. The third is positioned on all fours, although it would probably work as a leaping pose too. I have no idea which squirrels these are. In fact, the only two names I remember are Monkey Joe from the old days and Tippy Toe from the dreadful 2015 book. Maybe the one with the bow is Tippy.

As mentioned, the scooter is an almost straight repaint of Deadpool’s and it works surprisingly well. The red and black are replaced with turquoise and white with some black trim to the mirrors, exhast, and horn. The white panels on the side bring out the details there making this ride look a lot more retro to me, and that’s cool. You still get a sticker showing the gauge on the handlebars, but the mirrors are just left as black plastic. I would have loved some silver paint or stickers on those. The only sculpting changes are the added wicker basket, which covers where the Deadpool logo was on Pooly’s Vespa, and the seat. All in all, it’s a decent transformation that makes this vehicle work as its own thing. As before, the handlebars work in conjunction with the front wheel to make it turn. The horn can be clipped to either the left or right side, and the tires appear to be made out of rubber, which still impresses the hell out of me.

Unfortunately, it’s obvious that this scooter wasn’t made for the Squirrel Girl figure, as getting her to ride it in a convincing manner is tough. The foot pegs are a loose fit, and even if they weren’t it’s hard to get her to reach the handlebars with her feet pegged into them. I can kind of make it work by scooting her forward and balancing the tail on the seat, but it’s precarious at best. I think the way to go will be to display her half-off the scooter like she is on the back of the package.

The basket can hold all three squirrels, but you kind of have to jam them in there and let one hang over the edge. Two fit more comfortably, but either way they look fine in there.

Even with as prolific and dense as Marvel Legends has become Hasbro still manages to surprise me. At this point, I never would have doubted getting a character like Squirrel Girl at some point, because no character seems to be too small or silly to get the action figure treatment. But to come out and bundle her in a $40 set with a scooter? Well that takes a set of balls. Or in this case maybe nuts. Either way, this set came out great and that’s even taking into account the fact that Doreen isn’t a perfect fit for the scooter. It’s worth mentioning that this set came in an assortment with another rather unlikely release, and I’ll try to get to that one next week.

Marvel Legends: Professor X and Hover-Chair by Hasbro

Oh look, it’s two Marvel Mondays back-to-back because I really shat the bed again last week and didn’t get to do any content since last Monday. I can keep apologizing, but it was a rough week last week and I have a million excuses from being crazy busy at work, to having to go out of town, and finally getting my car sideswiped by an asshole. This week might not be much better since I have to take the car in to the body-shop, arrange for a rental, and I still have another crazy week at work ahead of me. But we’ll see what we can do. In the meantime, I’m continuing my streak of X-Men Legends content with a look at Professor X and his hoverchair! Holy shit, I’m so happy Hasbro finally got around to this one!

This set is part of Hasbro’s Deluxe Riders releases, the same subset that gave us Deadpool’s scooter and Black Widow’s motorcycle and many more. The box is really long because of the way they chose to package the chair in pieces, like it’s been squished flat. It works well enough, but this is one of the few X-Men boxed sets where I was not tempted to keep the packaging. The window lets you get a look at the figure and all the parts, the lower left hand corner sports the Marvel 80 Years logo and for some weird reason Xavier’s name doesn’t appear on the front of the package, just the X-Men logo. Obviously there’s some assembly required, but nothing too bad.

The chair basically comes in two halves, which get pegged together with the two cushion pieces going in between them and the hover effect part plugging in the bottom to serve as a stand. Everything fits together perfectly and none of the connections are permanent, so if you want to take it apart and return it to the box you can certainly do that. My only real gripe here is that the way it’s constructed doesn’t allow for the front piece to slide open like I remember it doing in the cartoon. Yeah, that’s pretty nit-picky on my part, but I thought I’d toss it out there anyway. With the chair occupied, the cushions aren’t very visible, but Hasbo put a lot of nice detail into them, so I thought I’d show them off. I’ll come back to the rest of the chair in just a bit.

And, I’m not trying to be insensitive, but here’s a look at Xavier before he goes into the chair. And yes, he’s standing, but it was the easiest way to show him off. There’s not a whole lot to say about this figure as it appears to be a re-use of the suited body we’ve seen many times already and most recently as Nick Fury from the MCU Captain Marvel Wave. Hey, I’m not complaining, it works fine for Professor X, and we did get some new hands, which are very character specific. This time around, the suit is painted green, the shoes are brown, the shirt is white, and the tie is a blue and black stripe, which to me really clashes with the jacket, but that’s what I recall him wearing in the 90’s cartoon so it works for me. My figure’s legs are seriously warped, but in this case, that’s not going to matter much because he’s going into the chair and staying put.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sold on this head sculpt when I first saw it, but in hand I’m actually quite pleased with it. The facial detail is very well defined, features a rather stoic expression, and it certainly has tons of personality. And then you have those eyebrows. Did they go to far? Yeah, maybe a bit. I thought they were going to bother me a lot, but I’ve gotten used to them rather quickly. OK, let’s get him into the chair!

Xavier fits into the chair very easily and there’s even a sculpted plastic blanket to tuck in around his legs. Boy is that a great little touch! Unlike the necktie, the chair doesn’t seem based too closely on the cartoon, but to be fair I’m more used to seeing X in the more traditional wheelchair these days. The golden-yellow plastic looks great and is very appropriately used here. The sculpt for the chair features just the right amount of detail to give it that animated/comic look, while at the same time not looking too simple. There are some panel lines, some vents on the sides, as well as a painted panel of components on each side. Besides the spot-on aesthetics, I really dig how big and beefy this chair is. It doesn’t feel like they had to compromise the size at all and I think we owe that to the way they were able to break it down into parts for the packaging. No, the effect part isn’t all that convincing, but it does serve as an excellent stand. Would I rather they just went with something clear? Probably, but I’m fine with what we got.

I would have been perfectly content if that was all there was to the chair, but Hasbro also equipped it with some sliding panels in the arm rests, which open to reveal instruments. So cool!

Professor X also comes with a Cerebro helmet and effect part, and oh boy did this not turn out so great. The helmet looks really awkward on the figure, like it’s supposed to be some kind of breathing apparatus as opposed to a telekinetic enhancement device. A big part of the problem is the point that should be positioned on Xavier’s forehead is down over the bridge of his nose and the cables coming off of it just look weird. And to make matters worse the effect part is just an explosion of white goo that looks shockingly bad. I think the way to go here would have been to do a second portrait with the helmet part of it, and a better looking effect part which is detachable. Is it too much to ask for? Well, they included a second portrait in the box, but it obviously isn’t Professor X.

Nope, it’s the Shadow King. Now, I don’t want to seem ungrateful because this is a beautiful little piece of work, and it’s meant to go on the Kingpin Build-A-Figure. The sculpt is absolutely gorgeous and it has some excellent paintwork to back it up. The tiny glasses are removable, which I promptly found out when trying to remove the head, as they flew off and I had a good time hunting them down on the floor. Now granted, if you didn’t complete the Kingpin BAF, this extra noggin isn’t going to mean much to you, but I’m glad they included it.

Sure, I have a few little gripes with this set, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that I don’t love it. The figure is nothing outrageously special, but couple him with the chair and you’ve really got something here. I think it’s wonderful that Hasbro has found a way to get us some of these vehicles into the line, and while it’s odd to classify Xavier’s chair in the same category as a motorcycle or scooter, it was brilliant to include it as part of this assortment. I’m not sure how much this one originally retailed for, but I picked it up for $30 and it’s worth every damn penny to add Professor X to my X-Men Legends shelf.