Marvel Legends: Emma Frost (Walgreens Exclusive) by Hasbro

Folks, I’m really trying to get back to a regular three-post rotation for content each week, but it hasn’t been easy. I almost had it last week, but stuff came up and I just didn’t have the time. Maybe this week will be different. In the meantime, it’s another Monday, and that means time to open another Marvel Legends. And today I am once again forgoing random chance and taking a look at a figure that was just pitched at my porch by an Amazon delivery driver. It’s the Walgreens Exclusive Emma Frost!

No, that’s no mistake. I had to go to Amazon to get this figure, which is unusual because my Walgreens has been pretty good at getting their exclusives on the shelves. I’m not sure if I missed this one, or just didn’t get lucky, but when I saw her turn up on Amazon at a sort of reasonable price, I gave up on my luck changing and jumped at the chance. Hasbro’s last crack at Frost wasn’t exactly a 10 out of 10, but I still would have been happy to have found her at a price that wouldn’t have prohibited me eating for a week.

And yes, this new release is sort of a consolation prize, because she isn’t Emma in her traditional white costume. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Dark Reign, and I can’t deny the appeal of the black costume, but seeing as how this is currently my only Emma Frost on my Legends shelf, it’s not the iconic look I would have preferred. In terms of sculpting, this is one of those figures that relies heavily on paint to create the costume. Her black one-piece is all paint, with skin-tone recreating the split down the middle. Likewise, her sleeves are painted to be cropped short, and even her thigh-high stockings are painted with some gray lines running across them. She has high-heels, which I’m sure we’ve seen before, and there are separate pieces that hang around her wrists and ankles to create the illusion of the tops of her boots and gloves.

From the neck down the only other new stuff we get is a wide belt, a pair of shoulder armor, and her jacket-cape-thingy. I do really dig the slight billowing effect of her cape, and the sculpted stitch lines are a great touch. She also features red branded X’s on her shoulders, which I don’t really remember from the art, but I like them all the same. With that having been said, everything looks pretty good, although there’s fair amount of black paint spray around her chest. At least the silver buckle and eyelets on her belt are neatly painted.

The head sculpt here is absolutely fantastic. She’s very pretty and the paintwork is a heck of a lot more crisp and clean than some of those lines on her costume. The metallic blue lipstick is a nice touch too. The blonde hair is sculpted as a separate piece of plastic, which gives it that lovely degree of depth. It partially hides her right ear and the left side of her face.

The articulation here follows the usual Legends gal pattern. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows. The wrists are on rotating pins, allowing you to swap the hands between fists and the open magic-casting hands we’ve seen plenty of times before. The legs have ball jointed hips, double-hinges in the knees, swivels at the tops of her stockings, and ankles with both hinges and lateral rockers. And yes, it is a royal paint in the butt to get her to stand with those heels, but hey who needs practical when they look that good, eh? Finally, Emma has a ball joint under her chest and a hinged ball joint in her neck.

And in case you thought I forgot, Emma does come with a second head sculpt featuring her shorter cropped hair and metallic red lipstick. It’s every bit as good as the other head, possibly even a tad better, but you know what? It’s also like a big F*CK YOU to me, because now I have a perfectly iconic Emma Frost head without an iconic body to put it on.

Does it sound like I’m a little angry at this figure? Eh, I’m really not. It’s a great looking figure and certainly not a bad addition to my Legends line-up, but it isn’t the Emma Frost I wanted. Hell, I don’t even have any Dark X-Men to display her with on the shelf. Hey, Hasbro! There’s a great idea for an Amazon Exclusive. Do a Dark X-Men six-pack like you did with A-Force and Alpha-Flight to go along with this Emma. Hell, most of them would just be repaints anyway, and dopes like me will buy it. Anyway, Consolation Prize Emma set me back $28 on Amazon with that lovely free Prime shipping. So, yeah, I had to pay a premium for her, but at least I didn’t get too beaten up. Now if only Danni Moonstar would drop a couple of bucks, I’d bite the bullet and pick her up as well.

Marvel Legends (Wendigo Wave): Guardian by Hasbro

The Marvel Legends Alpha Flight six-figure set just landed on my door and I want to dig into it more than anything! But, I also know that I’m going to need to set aside some serious time to do that, so today’s not-at-all random pick for Marvel Monday is another member of Alpha Flight, who just so happened to be released in the X-Men heavy Wendigo Wave.

Yes, it’s James Hudson… Guardian… Weapon Alpha… and leader of Alpha Flight! And I promise to try to be as sensitive to my brothers from The North as possible during this review. Because why shouldn’t Canada have its own team of National Superheroes! And in any case, any character coming from the prolific pen of John Byrne has me on board 100%. As you can see, this is a pretty crowded package, and poor Guardian is being pushed off to the side by the significant bulk of the BAF torso and tail. Let’s get him out of there before he’s crushed.

Guardian proves that you don’t need the stars and stripes on your flag for it to inspire a great looking costume! Seriously, I love this suit! It’s pulled off here with beautiful pearlescent white plastic and some vibrant red paint. The lines are pretty crisp, especially around the prominent maple leaf on his chest, and other than some unpainted pins on his inner right knee, he’s just gorgeous. And sure, it’s obvious that when it comes to sculpting, Guardian is one of this wave’s budget figures, as the entire suit from the neck down is achieved by coloring alone, but I got no problem with that!

The new sculpting shows up above the neckline, and what we got is pretty damn good. The pearlescent tight-fitting cowl only reveals the lower half of Hudson’s face, and it’s advertising one of the biggest scowls I’ve ever seen on a Canadian before. Hey, I live in Florida and a lot of them vacation down here and all the ones I’ve met seem like lovely, happy people. I calls it like I sees it. Guardian, on the other hand, looks like he’s ready to put someone’s head through a wall.

I’m happy to see that articulation in The Great White North is the same as it is down here. Guardian sports rotating hinges in his shoulders and wrists, double-hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs and lower legs, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

So, there isn’t a whole lot else for me to say, other than Guardian is another great example of simplicity of perfection, and what the wizards at Hasbro can do with just some new coloring and a new head. I can still remember the bitterness of getting Aurora and Northstar in the 3 3/4-inch Universe line and then nothing more after that. And that was before Legends became as prolific as it is. I never even dreamed of getting the whole Apha Flight team in Legends, and yet here I am trying to find the time to review them all. We truly live in a wonderful age!

Marvel Legends: Ant-Man Helmet by Hasbro

If you came around for Marvel Monday yesterday, I have to apologize for my inactivity. I mean, I know my content hasn’t been all that regular lately, but Mondays are usually non-negotiable. Alas, I spent the weekend getting drunk at the Medieval Faire and blowing off my hostly duties. Not that I’m apologizing. I really needed it. Anywho, here I am a day late and whipping up a fast review so I don’t fall any further behind. I’m keeping it in the Marvel Legends wheelhouse, but I’m also cheating a bit by looking at one of the roleplay prop-replica toys that Hasbro has been churning out now and then. I dipped my toe in this pool a little while ago with the Star Wars Black Series Stormtrooper helmet, and I was rather impressed. Let’s see if Hasbro can do the same for The Avengers!

The helmet comes in a fully enclosed box with artistic renderings of the toy that awaits you inside. The helmet itself comes wrapped in plastic and requires a little bit of assembly. The antenna pieces have to be snapped into place and the back cover has to be attached. Oh, and I’ll be coming back to that rear cover in a bit. The helmet requires three AA batteries (not included) to make the electronics work. These are installed by removing the mouth piece and using a screwdriver to open the battery case door. But as we’ll see in a little while, if you are fresh out of batteries, it may not be worth it to run down to the store to get some. OK, let’s get this thing out and see how it looks. Oh, by the way… I’m using a metal paper towel holder from Target as a helmet stand.

Out of the box, and I’ve got to say the helmet looks pretty damn great. The plastic has a nice, metallic silver coat that can pass for metal under the right lights. The sculpt is quite sharp, and while the design doesn’t feature a lot of hyper-detail, the toy has it where it counts, like in the mouth piece, the grommets around the eye lenses, and the panel lines. There isn’t a lot of call for paint here, as the helmet is mostly silver, but the red stripes coming up off the eyes looks bright and sharp, and the black pieces also have a solid finish that passes for metal. The eye lenses are thin plastic, and these pieces are the only area where the helmet approaches feeling cheap, but they are serviceable and look good. I just plan on being extra careful not to scratch them up while handling it.

The antenna attachment connections are strong and firm. They don’t wobble or come apart with handling, although they can be disassembled if you want to store the helmet in its original box, which is always a plus for me. The ear discs feature a bit of a rough texture and the exposed area around it has a sort of honeycomb screen texture that looks like it runs under the layers of plating, even though it’s all part of the same sculpt. The top of the helmet features some more of the same screen-like texture.

That brings us to the back plate, which is without a doubt this helmet’s biggest flaw. The piece fits onto the helmet almost seamlessly, but it relies on two sets of fragile clips to attach to two fragile bars to work as a sort of hinge to hold it in place and allow it to pull open just enough to get the helmet onto the wearer’s head. None of this works. It’s extremely difficult to get the clips to do their thing and even when they do, they tend to pull out even at the slightest jostle, causing the whole back plate to fall off. Why they couldn’t have just used a few simple magnets to make this work is beyond me, but I imagine anyone who plans on using this as a cosplay piece will have to work out some kind of alternate solution to keep the back on.

Apart from that, the helmet fits even my meaty adult melon fairly well, even with my glasses on. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s comfortable, but it’s not too bad either. There’s a strap that holds it on the back of the head and there’s a dial which can be used to tighten or loosen the fit to some extent. The weight of the piece rests on a similar soft plastic headband that circles the top of the inside. The interior of the helmet is also fully sculpted with vents, and panel lines, and little bits and bobs to make it look like a real piece of tech. Not bad.

And then comes the electronics, which are definitely not worth the price of admission (and I’m talking the cost of three batteries, not the helmet!). There are no sounds, just lights, and they are depicted in the two pictures above in all their disappointing glory. Press the button on the right mandible and four panels on the mask light up red, as do the tips of the antenna. Press it again and they all light up blue. I can usually barely tell that the red lights are lit unless the room is really, REALLY dark. The blue lights fare much better, but they’re still not all that exciting. Now, I can’t really fault the lack of sound effects, because I’m not even sure what those would be, other than sound clips of Paul Rudd. But here’s an idea, why not light up the eyes? You know, since they lit up on the mask in the movie? Eh, whatever!

The Ant-Man helmet originally retailed for about $99 and that’s how much it was when I saw it on the shelf in Gamestop. I then proceeded to hop on my phone and buy it off of Amazon for about $60, and it still turns up at that price now and again. There’s no denying the rear panel is a faulty design and a huge misstep for such an expensive toy, but as I will be only using mine as a display piece, I can live with it. Sure, I would have liked some more impressive electronics to justify my purchase, but all in all, I’m pretty happy with this thing. It’s a pretty solid build, and it looks damn nice on the shelf. This thing isn’t likely to impress like those expensive Star Wars helmets, but for a Hasbro toy it looks damn fine on my shelf, and most people that take notice of it are surprised to learn it’s a toy when they handle it. I’ve been considering picking up the Iron Man helmet, or maybe even Cap’s shield, and despite this piece’s flaws, it has not deterred me.

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): Rescue by Hasbro

With another wave of Marvel Legends wrapped up last week, I’m able to start indulging in some random reviews again. This time, I reached my Infinity Gauntlet’ed paw into the Pile of Shame™ and came up with Rescue from the Banner Hulk Wave. This wave will be an odd one for me, since I’ll been giving the BAF parts to my nephew. Right now I have about half the wave and he has the other half, and he’s really eager to build the Hulk BAF. Maybe I’ll borrow Hulk Banner from him when it comes time to wrap things up, but I already have a couple MCU Hulks in my collection and my desire to be a good Uncle outweighed my need for a third.

And hey… it’s Pepper Potts in the Rescue armor! Ever since Iron Man 3 teased us by putting Pepper into one of Tony’s suits, I’ve been hoping we’d see Rescue turn up. Hell, it even makes the cringe-worthy woke girl-power scene in Endgame worthwhile. But seriously, MCU, please don’t go down that route. You have some kick-ass female heroes in your roster to be proud of. You don’t have to do stunts like that. It feels like you may be flirting with more of it in the next Phase, but it hasn’t served the comics well, and I don’t think it’s going to do the films any favors either. But putting that aside, I’m so glad we got this figure in the Legends line. The Hot Toys release of Rescue is clocking in at over $400 and, as much as I love this armor design, that’s a lot more than I’m willing to spend, so this 6-inch version is probably going to be it for me.

But what a nice version it is! The Rescue armor features all the usual segmented and panel-lined detail of the other Iron Man suits, only this time contoured for the ladies! It’s not actually that much more demure than some of Tony’s more organic-looking armors, but you certainly do get Pepper’s feminine form bleeding through and giving it some character. Other highlights of the suit include forearm pieces that extend past the wrists (giving me a lovely Knight Sabers vibe!), a flight pack on her back, which I’ll come back to in a bit, and the more modern triangular arc reactor in the chest. As the name suggests, the Rescue armor looks like it’s built more for support and speed, than for heavy combat, but as we’ve seen in the film, when the shit hits the fan it can certainly account for itself in a fight.

The coloring on this figure is absolutely gorgeous. She features a metallic blue base coat which appears to be the actual color of the plastic. It definitely rivals any of Tony’s candy-apple red suits, with its’ lovely new-car shine. The blue is accented with some gold, and a few silver, panels all of which make the figure pop splendidly. The back pack features some gold striping, which kind of gives off a hazard stripe motif to me, and you also get the name RESCUE printed down one side and 0049 down the other, presumably making this one the Mark 49 armor. The paint lines on my figure are all quite sharp, as I really need to get in close to see any spray, and I can’t say enough good things about the overall quality of the finish used.

The helmet doesn’t offer too much of a change-up from those on Tony’s traditional suits. The configuration of the face-plate, eyes and mouth slit are all on point.  Maybe the eyes here are a little more feminine, and the sides of the plate are swept up to give the appearance of high cheekbones. Finally, the elongated neck further betrays that this is indeed a lady suit. As with the rest of the figure, the paint on the helmet is quite well done, adding a little blue for the eyes.

Hasbro even stepped it up on the articulation here. Y’all know my big gripe with the gals of Marvel Legends and their more limited arm articulation. Well, instead of the usual rotating hinges all around, Rescue features double-hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps, just like the dudes! Interestingly, the rotating hinges in the shoulders here are ratcheted, and while the wrists have the usual pegged hinges, the piece on the forearm can interfere with their movement. The legs feature rotating hinges in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s no waist swivel, but you do get a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

And speaking of neck ball joints… Yes, if you were wondering, the Pepper Potts head from the Iron Man 3 three-pack does indeed work with this figure.

The flight pack on her back can be removed and exchanged with an open one and boy does it sport some wonderful detail! The inside panels of each of the flaps is painted silver and features some pane lines and the exposed portion of the back is black and shows more sculpted detail. I especially dig the piercings in the lower flaps.

I was damn excited when this figure was first revealed and now that she is in hand, I’m just as excited to have her. Hell, I’d even go so far as to say this is my favorite Iron Man armor to be released in Legends in a long while. The sculpt is great, the colors are beautiful, and the added articulation to the arms makes all the difference. Sure, I’ll probably still drool over pictures of the Hot Toys version, but this makes for a pretty damn fine consolation prize.

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

These days, every time I complete a wave of Marvel Legends feels like a major victory. And when I say complete, I mean digging them out of my Pile of Shame™, opening them up, and having a look at them here at FFZ. The Lizard was one of my most anticipated BAFs in a while, not only because he’s an important addition to Spidey’s rogue gallery, but also because there’s so much potential there to make a great action figure. Even more so with him being a Build-A-Figure. And with how difficult it was for me to complete this wave, slapping this guy together feels all the sweeter. So, did Hasbro step up to the challenge on this one?

Oh, hell YES!!! Curt Connors is comprised of your usual five BAF parts (legs, arms, torso, head), plus one extra being the tail. And once cobbled together, he looks absolutely amazing! His hunched over, reptilian body includes elongated arms, which end in grasping claws that are just itching to grab hold of another figure, and legs that mirror the configuration of the hind legs of a dog, giving him a wonderful Were-Lizard profile. Every bit of his skin is textured with fine scaling, and the paintwork on the skin features some beautiful gradient shades of green. The remnants of his lab coat hang on his frame, sculpted mostly as a separate piece of soft plastic with the sleeves sculpted onto the arms. The tattered plastic garment features various holes and tears exposing his green hide, and the lower parts discolored, no doubt from being dragged through the sewers. His torn black shirt and purple trousers also show a lot of lizard skin peeking through.

The portrait here is pure magic, with a heavy T-Rex vibe to the facial structure, particularly in those ridges over the beady little eyes. The face features the same awesome textured scales as the rest of the body and some more of that beautiful coloring, with the lower jaw a much lighter olive green. The jaw is articulated so Dr. Connor can open up and really show off those rows of ferocious teeth and his long whip of a tongue protrudes out and down to below his waistline. This head sculpt is nothing less than a work of art!

Because of his unusual anatomy, Lizard features a few extra points of articulation. but the basics are still all there. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, swivels in the thighs and double-hinges in the knees. He also has hinges further down at those ankles and hinges in those secondary ankles, where his feet touch the ground. There’s an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, his neck is ball jointed, and his jaw is hinged. Finally, he has a ball joint where his tail connects to the body and two hinges further on down. If I had to nitpick something here, it’s that the hinges make the tail bend at sharp angles, which looks unnatural. They are, however, very helpful at keeping him standing when posed, so I’d say it’s an OK trade-off to getting a bendy tail.

I’ve already recounted how difficult it was for me to complete this wave, with Mysterio and Lasher available to me only through third-parties at scalper prices. Each of those figures set me back close to $50, and if this wave was built around any other BAF, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. In this case, however, I’m sure as hell glad I did. The Lizard BAF is nothing less than superb, and he is easily among my favorite Build-A-Figures to show up in the modern Legends line. Everything from the sculpt, paint, and design all came together so perfectly. He looks amazing and he’s loads of fun to play with, and he’ll assume a place of honor among my Spidey rogues gallery for sure! This one was a long journey, but the destination was well worth it!

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Spider-Woman by Hasbro

Who’s up for knocking out another wave of Marvel Legends? I know I am! And that goes double for the Lizard Wave, which I started reviewing all the way back in April of last year. Holy hell, that’s a long time… even for me! But then outdated reviews is going to be something of a running theme for me in the months to come as I struggle to catch up. So, today I’m going to open up the last figure in this wave, and then I’ll be back tomorrow to have a look at the Build-A-Figure.

For me, the final figure is Spider-Woman in what I believe is her fairly modern look? As many of you probably know, I have assumed the healthy posture of tapping out of modern Marvel Comics until they decide to get good again. Until then, it’s a steady diet of DC, Zenescope, and lots of Marvel back issues. Nonetheless, I do recognize this look as Jessica Drew after Secret Wars 2 from several years back and when she was prego. Hasbro opted to show mercy and give us a non-prego version for the action figure. Thank Hasbro for small favors.

I happen to really dig this costume a lot. It looks great in the panel art and it works really well here as an action figure. I’m also a little impressed at how much fresh sculpting Hasbro decided to do for her. Sure, there’s nothing new on the arms and legs, but almost all the detail on her tunic is actually part of the sculpt. There’s some black piping running down the sides, which splits off to form a spider-like emblem in the chest with two orange geometric shapes. It’s a fresh and abstract design and considering some of the other visual choices made in the pages of modern Marvel comics, I’m surprised to see something that looks this good. I’m also a big fan of the row of silver buttons off the left shoulder where the tunic buttons up. The outfit is tied together by a simple orange belt. The paint applications are overall pretty sharp, and the muted colors are another nice departure from the usual bright palate. I could see this costume making the transition from page to the big screen without too many necessary tweaks.

The portrait here is also well worthy of praise and a big part of the credit has to go to this incredible little pair of orange tinted sunglasses. Yes, these are sculpted separately from the head and can be removed simply by sliding the arms out from between her hair and head. They fit pretty well and look good, neither of which is easily achieved at this scale. The underlying portrait is also one of Hasbro’s better ones, at least for a comic-based character. She’s pretty, the paint applications on her lips and eyes are all sharp and straight, and I dig the way the hair is sculpted to fall about her shoulders.

If there’s anywhere this figure falls short, it’s in the articulation. Not that what’s here is any different from other Marvel Legends gals, but I really think it’s time that Hasbro gives the ladies the same arm articulation that the dudes get. Instead of double-hinged elbows and bicep swivels, Jessica gets by with rotating hinges all around… shoulders, elbows, and wrists. She also lacks a waist swivel and instead has a ball joint under her chest. At least the legs are par for the course with rotating hinges in the hips, thigh swivels, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. Finally, the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

I can’t say as I was terribly excited about this figure going in, other than the fact that she had the last piece for my Lizard BAF, but now that I’ve opened her up and played around with her, I think she’s one of the high points of this wave. No, this look will never be my Jessica Drew, but I still dig it. It’s the one-two punch combination of a great costume design and great execution. And you can’t ask for much more than that. And with the individual figures of this wave finally under my belt, I’ll swing back tomorrow and have a look at The Lizard Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Ant-Man and The Wasp): X-Con Luis and Ghost by Hasbro

It’s another week of tight schedules and limited time, so much so that I wasn’t even sure I was going to make it here today. But here I am, and while I was supposed to be finishing off the Lizard Wave today, I had to bump that to next week so I will have time to look at both Spider-Woman and the Lizard BAF. Conveniently, another one of the MCU two-packs hit my porch this past week and so I’m going to just nudge it to the head of the line for this week’s Marvel Monday! Let’s check out some figures from Ant-Man and The Wasp!

These MCU multi-packs are like an extension of those First Ten Years releases where Hasbro realized that they left a whole lot of money on the table by not milking the movies for every figure they could make. Today’s set is a great example of the two extremes which these releases can take. On the one hand, Ghost was conspicuously absent from the wave that contained Ant-Man and Wasp from this flick and I think that needed to be addressed. On the other hand, we have Luis. Sure, he was a major character in the film, but did we need a figure of him? Only you can answer that question for yourself. Let’s start with Luis.

Yup, if there was ever a sign of just how deep Hasbro is digging on this line, here’s Luis in his X-Con jacket! And I have to wonder how I’ve seen this movie so many times without realizing the name of their security business was X-Con. Anyway, this figure is about as basic as you can get with our man Luis donning a pair of khaki pants and a jacket, which is sculpted as a vest in soft plastic, and worn over the torso with the arms sculpted as sleeves. Under the jacket there’s a collared white shirt and tie, which I presume has been recycled from previous business-attire figures. The metallic blue paint on the tie looks sharp, and I love that the tie itself is a separately sculpted piece. There’s really not a lot else for me to say here, other than they printed the X-Con badge on the jacket and he has a ring sculpted on his finger, both of which are great little touch. You just have to imagine that paroled security man is going to be on every kid’s Christmas list this year!

The head sculpt is a fantastic likeness for Michael Pena, complete with the smarmy grin he wore for most of the flick. As always, the halftone printing on the face looks fantastic, especially the facial hair, and his coif is sculpted separately from the head. This one is easily among my top favorite MCU portraits yet.

There aren’t any surprises in the articulation, except maybe that his legs use ball joints instead of rotating hinges. The rest of the legs feature swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. I actually bent my figure’s left leg a little too far and thought I snapped it at the thigh swivel, but it turns out it just plugs right back in, similar to a BAF connection. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows have double-hinges and there are swivels in the biceps. He can swivel at the waist, there’s an ab-crunch buried under the jacket, and the neck has both hinges and ball joints. I didn’t really need my Luis figure to be super articulated, so what’s here is more than I could have needed or wanted.

The accessories in the box can really go with either character, but let’s just look at them now before moving on. First off, you get an enlarged ant, which is just a static piece. It’s a decent sculpt with some brown and black coloring. There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about it, but I’m glad they included it.

The coolest thing in the box is easily the shrunken down Pym Lab. I remember seeing the trailer and thinking that the shrunk down building was just a fun gag, and it turned out to be a major plot point for the whole flick. Anyway, this tiny building has an extending grab bar so it can be easily toted along. OK, let’s move on to Ghost.

Honestly, Ghost was not a terribly compelling character to me, and I wouldn’t rank her up as one of the better villains in the MCU. Still, she wasn’t bad, and I do like the running trend of giving these villains a degree of empathy rather than make them all mustache twirling psychos. But laying that aside, I really did dig the design of the suit in the film, and I’m enjoying it even more here. It just makes for a great looking action figure. Ghost is cast in a matte gray plastic and sculpted with layered panels to give it some sensation of depth, as if there’s a sort of framework placed over a textured mesh undersuit. The detail is quite impressive for a figurei n this scale, and the bright blue paint hits really makes the figure pop nicely. I have to imagine that someone over at Hasbro is licking their chops over the possibility of charging me $20 for a translucent version of Ghost. Hell, make it $40 and bundle her with Kurt. Why the hell not?

The masked head is a separate piece from the hood, allowing for it to articulate fairly well. The face mask is mostly featureless, except for the red “eyes” which pays homage to the comic version of Ghost. And like those blue points on the body, the red paint here stands out beautifully against the otherwise colorless figure.

You also get the unmasked portrait of Ava Starr and a second hood piece, which is sculpted in the down position. This is a decent enough likeness to the actress, but the combination of her long sculpted hair and the hood piece limits her neck articulation. I think the paint on the ends of her hair is a little heavy handed too, but now I’m just nitpicking.

And Ghost’s articulation is right in line with what we usually see on the Legends gals. That means ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. She has a ball joint under her chest and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

I came very close to taking a pass on this set, but a couple of price drops and my desire to add Ghost to my collection nudged me to pull the trigger. Her costume design makes for quite a stunning figure and I really think that the villains from all the movies should get the Legends treatment anyway. As for Luis? I really don’t mind getting him into my collection either. He may not be the most exciting figure around, but Luis was certainly a major character, and it always gives me a little chuckle to see just how far Hasbro will go when it comes to character selection. I think this set originally retailed for $40, but I picked up mine on sale for about $30. Will it reach the depths of that Ego and Star-Lord set? Only time will tell!

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Lasher by Hasbro

Last week, I looked at Mysterio, a figure from the Lizard Wave that cost me about double retail to pick up. Today, I’m opening the second ball-buster from this wave that I had to pay double for and it’s Lasher. Both of these were required to build Lizard, but the main difference is that I actually wanted Mysterio in my collection, so that one didn’t hurt quite so bad. Lasher? Mmm… not so much. I’m going to go through this guy quick, because I’ve got a big review to write for later in the week.

I’ve said before that I’m not a huge fan of the extended family of Symbiotes. And that being the case, Lasher here is a real reach. I found the whole Life Foundation plot to be pretty contrived and silly, but I realize that I’m in the minority when it comes to the Symbiotes. From what I understand they tend to sell comics, so it’s only natural that Marvel will drum up whatever they can to get move of them in there. I’ll bet they sell action figures too, which is why we’ve been seeing a lot of these guys showing up in Legends lately.

Lasher uses one of the Spider-Man bodies, which includes those lateral shoulder crunches, which are always a nice surprise. New sculpting comes in the form of the creature-like hands and feet, which are par for the course when it comes to the Symbiote figures. The body itself is matte black with a slight metallic green wash and you get green splotchy marks on his torso and neck. The head is classic big-eyed Spider-Man with more of the splotches. There’s nothing particularly striking about this figure to me, but it surely gets the job done. From the back you can see four different shaped sockets for his tendrils. These should be readily familiar to anyone who has picked up Venom or other Symbiote figures.

The tendrils go a long way to make Lasher more interesting, but each one is designed to go in a specific slot in his back, so there isn’t a lot of room to mix-up display options. I think ball joints would have been a much better way to go here, as they would have allowed articulation and a choice on where you want to plug in each of the tendrils. The upper ones are designed to curl over his shoulders and the lower ones hang down and curl forward a bit. I do dig the coloring on these, as the metallic green is a lot more pronounced. It’s a shame the whole figure didn’t have this kind of finish.

The articulation here shouldn’t be a surprise, especially since this body has been seen before. The legs have rotating hinges at the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms feature that extra crunch in the shoulders, along with the usual rotating hinges, there are swivels in the biceps, double-hinges in the elbows, and the wrists are rotating hinges. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is ball jointed and hinged. As mentioned earlier, there’s no real articulation in the tendrils, and they can get in the way of posing. You just kind of have to work with them.

And that’s all I have to say about this guy. He’s not a bad figure if you’re into this sort of thing, but for me a lot of these Symbiotes just blur together. Remember that wave that was all Symbiotes except for Typhoid Mary? Well, there’s a reason I skipped that wave except for Mary. And that was the first wave of Marvel Legends that I sat out since it made it’s triumphant return.  Even at $20, Lasher would have been an easy pass, but toss in the Lizard head and he was worth double that. Next Marvel Monday, I’ll open the last figure in this wave, Spider-Woman, and finally take a look at the Lizard Build-A-Figure.

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Mysterio by Hasbro

I don’t often have a lot of trouble completing waves of Marvel Legends. Sometimes there’s a figure I have to pay a couple more bucks for on Ebay, but between Amazon and local stores, I do alright. And then there’s the goddamn Lizard Wave, which had two figures confounding me since all the way back in April of last year, when I began reviewing this assortment. Well, a few weeks ago I eventually gave in and used some Prime Rewards points to grab Mysterio off of Amazon for a crazy scalper price.

And here he is finally in my dirty mitts and getting him has been quite the journey. A while back a certain online retail offered him for pre-order, saying that Hasbro was doing a re-issue. I plopped down the pre-order and stopped looking for him. A short while later they cancelled it and said, Whoops! He’s not being re-issued after all. Sorry! Then when I finally bought him from an Amazon scalper, they sent me Spider-Punk instead. I had to ship it back for an exchange. Sheesh, Mysterio, you’ve been nothing but trouble!

Aw, but check him out! Even if I set aside the coveted Lizard leg BAF part, I think he was well worth the effort, if not the money. Mysterio comes wearing his classic outfit, consisting of a green buck with a cut grid pattern. His boots and gauntlets are also both original sculpts and cast in a brighter, pearlescent green, which looks somewhat ethereal.  The sculpted detail on his squared off forearms is particularly well done, with an ornately occult flavor to them. No, this may not be the most exciting Legends body out there, but it sure fits Mysterio perfectly. Also, huge bonus points for the hovering cape. It’s a design trope that I always love to see, and I’m always surprised how well it works when fleshed out in 3D plastic. And there’s some damn nice texturing on the interior of the plastic garment.

Of course, from behind, Mysterio is one big slab o’cape, so there’s nothing to see here. Because the cape is attached to the helmet, it stays on quite well just by gravity alone. And amazingly enough, I did not find it at all intrusive while playing with this figure.

And then there’s his glorious fishbowl helmet, which is recreated here with frosted clear plastic. It’s an excellent effect, as it doesn’t allow you to quite see in, but you can catch a glimpse of the horror that’s lurking behind it. That horror is a creamy skull with horrific Elder God style tentacles coming off of it. An interesting aside, the figure has been produced with this head and a green one as well. I want to say that the green one was the initial run and probably harder to find, but that’s just my guess. I do like this one a lot because the coloring makes it a lot more difficult to make out through the helmet and contributes to the creepy idea that there’s just some kind of ethereal gas floating around inside that globe.

Mysterio’s articulation is no mystery. The arms feature rotating hinges int he shoulders, bicep swivels, double-hinges in the elbows, and pegged hinges in the wrists. The torso features a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and the head is ball jointed. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. My figure does have a bit of an issue with his right shoulder, where it’s loose and doesn’t always support the arm being up. From what I’ve seen it’s not an uncommon problem with this release.

 

Mysterio comes with two effect parts and these are meant to simulate the horrors of his trickery. They’re cast in a very cool translucent green plastic and represent swirls of gas and tentacles. They are specifically sculpted to attach to his ankles and rest on the floor, but one of them works pretty well when extending from his wrist. You can also attach them from the front or back to offer a little variety to your display. I think he would have been a good candidate for the Hex Power effect parts that clip onto the wrists. Not that I’d rather have those than these, but both would have been nice. Still, I can always borrow the ones that came with Polaris. They’re more yellow than green, but they work OK.

In the end, Mysterio cost me $45. Or at least $45 worth of Prime Rewards points, which is really the same thing. Was he worth it? Yeah, pretty much. I’m not saying that in and of himself, he’s a $45 figure, but he’s a character that I absolutely needed on my Legends shelf and I damn sure needed that Lizard leg too. The way I look at it, I get a whole bunch of my Marvel Legends at pretty good discounts if I’m patient, so when a figure like this one gets away and costs me extra, it all works out in the end. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only figure in this wave that cost me the big bucks. Next week, we’ll check out the other one.

Marvel Legends: The Grandmaster and The Collector by Hasbro

In addition to the non-stop torrential rush of Marvel Legends waves, Hasbro has also been cranking up the multi-pack releases. And I’m just talking the normal retail stuff. To make matters even more challenging for the collectors’ wallets,  they’ve also included a lavishly packaged two-pack for SDCC this year. Pulled straight from the MCU flicks Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok comes The Collector and The Grandmaster!

The snazzy packaging looks like a drum with windows on each side to show the figures. It actually opens up too, so both figures can be displayed side-by-side in half-tubes. Flip it around and you get the poster art from each flick on the back panels. This is some really nice packaging, but mine was fairly worn even by the time it got to me, and I don’t think it’s going to be easy to store, so I’ll likely be getting rid of it, like I do most of my Legends packaging. Let’s start with The Grandmaster first!

Grandmaster is sort of the non-essential figure here, since he was issued at retail with a different head, and in a two-pack with Korg, a set that still sits unopened on my Pile of Shame. I will get around to it eventually, but this will be my first experience with the Grandmaster figure. Let me say straightaway, that while this is a great looking figure, it isn’t all that much fun to play around with. A lot of that has to do with his lavish golden robe, which is sculpted in soft plastic, is fairly form-fitting, and thereby limits the articulation in the legs and torso quite a bit. This might have been a really good time to try some soft-goods, especially since Hasbro recently cranked out a golden cloth robe for a certain guy over in the Star Wars Black Series department. Indeed, pretty soon I’ll be checking out a Black Series figure with some outstanding cloth robes! Now that I think of it, cloth robes would have been a great idea for this particular SDCC release, to further set it apart from the retail figure. Now, with all that having been said, the robe still looks nice, it’s sculpted with a faint texture, and it pegs together right where the sculpted red belt is meant to be tied. I also really dig how it bunches up on the floor behind him.

Under the plastic robe, he dons a pair of leisure pants, which have an otherworldly purple-platinum sheen and a long sleeve shirt, which is blue and red with a wide red cummerbund worn at the waist. His eccentric outfit is finished off with a pair of funky gold sandals. Grandmaster sports a sculpted ring on his right hand, and painted-blue nail polish on his fingers and toes.

The Jeff Goldblum likeness is pretty solid, especially from certain angles. As mentioned earlier, the head sculpt is the primary exclusive thing about this figure. Here he’s smiling, whereas the retail version has a more neutral expression. Your personal preferences may vary, but I really dig this portrait and I think it captures a lot of the madcap personality of the character. As usual the half-tone printing for the facial features does a fine job for the detail in the eyes and mouth.

The Grandmaster comes with a couple of cool accessories. The first is his infamous Melt Stick, which is cast in gold plastic and can be held in his right hand and cradled in the left. This is a simple, but fun accessory, providing you aren’t the one being melted by it.

The second accessory is the pile of melted goo. Is it supposed to be Carlo? That I’m not sure, but I kind of hope it is. Yeah, it’s just a lump of plastic bubbles, but fun nonetheless. Let’s move on to Grandmaster’s brother, The Collector!

Taneleer Tivan is the true exclusive figure of the set, as for now he has not been made available at regular retail. He’s also one of the MCU characters that has been most sorely missing from my collection. Benicio Del Toro’s weirdly eccentric performance fit Guardians of the Galaxy like a glove and made The Collector, even with his brief screen time, a truly memorable character. And Hasbro sure did a nice job with this figure. The outfit includes some great detail in the sculpt, particularly in the torso, where the texture and patchwork nature pays homage to a 19th Century waistcoat, complete with strings of sculpted beads reminiscent of the chains on a fob watch. His sculpted furry cape pegs into the back and is worn over the shoulders and plunges behind his neck. I think the sculpted sleeve on the left arm is supposed to be part of the cape, as the speckled pattern matches the interior of the cape. You can take off the cape, but it looks kind of funny since the sleeve remains.

As with his brother, The Collector’s portrait turned out great. It’s a fine likeness for Del Toro and I particularly love the high hair, which is again sculpted as a separate piece from the head. You also get a second head sculpt with The Collector wearing his special goggles.

One final accessory in the box is The Orb that housed The Infinity Stone of Power. It’s a simple little ball packed with a lot of tiny detail. The only downside here is The Collector’s hands really aren’t designed to hold it all that well. I can make it work, but it’s a careful balancing act. It might have been better to give him an extra hand with The Orb sculpted into it, or an extra hand with a peg in the palm and a peg-hole on The Orb.

It may irk some to have to buy a second Grandmaster just to get their hands on The Collector, but I get how the business works and sometimes Hasbro has to get some extra money out of a figure in order to make producing another one more cost effective. Truth be told, I would have much rather had The Collector in a box with some of his menagerie, similar to what Hasbro did in the 3 3/4-inch scale for another SDCC Exclusive. Maybe throw in Cosmo and Carina. I would have paid extra for that. But I’m still really pleased they finally got this figure out and that it was pretty easy to get off of Pulse. Maybe not essential for all Legends collectors, but to me that’s what Exclusives should be all about.