Marvel Legends (Sugar Man Wave): Dark Beast and Sugar Man Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

Well, it was a bit of a reach but I managed to get through an entire wave of double-features! And that brings me to the final packaged figure in this Age of Apocalypse themed assortment… Dark Beast! So let’s have a look at him and then we’ll put together the Suger Man Build-A-Figure and put this awesome assortment to bed!

Here’s one final shot of the packaging with that wonderful David Nakayama character art on the side panels. Dark Beast is a big boi and so despite Sugar Man being made up of an unprecedented number of pieces, Beast still doesn’t come with a BAF part. He does, however come with Sugar Man’s hammer. OK, I guess that’s kind of a BAF part.

Beast is probably my favorite alternate-timeline character from Age of Apocalypse. Missing out on Xavier’s kind teachings, he lives up to his name by leading horrific experiments in the name of Apocalypse! He’s almost the complete opposite of the McCoy we all know and love, possessing all of his intelligence and none of his ethics and nobility, and that makes him all the more terrifying to me. If you were expecting a straight repaint of the Beast body from the Caliban Wave, prepare to be a little surprised, as this figure represents Beast after he got rejuvenated by Mr. Sinister and given some new legs. So the pelvis and the legs down to the swivel cut below the knees are segmented cybernetic legs and the rest of the body is borrowed from the previous Beast. You even get the extra hands too! The coloring is all around fantastic. Beast’s body is dark gray with a black wash to bring out some of that wonderfully sculpted hair and texture. Meanwhile the legs have a deep metallic blue sheen.

The other dramatic difference here is the new head sculpt, which is both awesome and bad-ass. He looks to be every bit of the bastard that he is. Complete with a sadistic grin, and a coif that would make Logan proud! He also has braided bands on his hair and some rings in his pointed ears, which frame his face and make him look a lot more savage. This head sculpt alone has rocketed Dark Beast up to my favorite figure in this wave. Sorry, Weapon-X and Jean, you guy shave been overthrown. At least you got to bask in the glory of being my favorites for a week.

Despite some new parts in the legs, the articulation here is identical to the previous Beast, so I won’t go into details, other than to point out that with the shoulder crunches and the hinges in the feet, he’s one of the most articulated figures we’ve seen in Legends since the Toy Biz days. He’s just loads of fun to play around with and the extra fist and flat hand-stand hand add a lot of possibilities. And with all seven of the packaged figures out of the way, that brings us to this guy…

That’s it. That’s the review. They should have sent a poet, because I have no words… but I’ll try. It’s no secret that I love the Build-A-Figures, and there have been some truly spectacular ones going all the way back to Terrax. But they don’t often get character designs this imaginative to work with. I honestly don’t know what’s more impressive, the amazing work that Hasbro put into Sugar Man, or the fact that he exists at all. If you ever had cause to doubt that Hasbro was committed to this line… like if the 10,000 figures a year they release (minor exaggeration) isn’t enough proof, something like this should do it. Sugar Man is horrible, twisted, and almost certainly too demented-looking to grace the modern Big Box toy aisles. And yet here he is! In terms of construction, this is the most complex and atypical BAF we’ve seen in the modern line. As such it reminds me a lot of Toy BIz’s M.O.D.O.K. BAF. Sure, I could take this opportunity to ponder on why we got Sugar Man before M.O.D.O.K., but then I don’t want to question any aspect that went into the decision to make this guy. In terms of pure weirdness, if you’re going to top Sugar Man, Hasbro, you have to do an Egg Fu BAF. YOU HAVE TO!!!

Sugar Man’s hunched body is mostly obscured by his giant head. Indeed, from the front he just looks like a giant head on legs. The legs are puny by comparison, and while they’re fully articulated in every normal way, I didn’t find a lot of that articulation too value added. I was able to tweak them to help him stand, but that was about it. Other than his blue trousers, the only other element to his costume is a black belt and black suspenders. The belt has some crude silver buckles, and there are some colorful novelty buttons sculpted onto the right suspender. There’s also a loop for him to store his hammer. It’s tough to get it in and out of there, but I still think it’s a nice touch. Sugar Man’s four arms feature four unique hands. One is pointing, one is grasping, one is balled into a fist, and one is designed to hold the hammer. Each of these connect to the torso with rotating hinges, allowing for all the usual articulation in each appendage.

As for the portrait? I mean holy hell what can I say about this nightmare? His giant mouth is lined with jagged teeth and comes equipped with a lewd tongue that snakes out and looks absolutely disgusting. He’s got a broad nose, bushy eyebrows, two squinting red eyes and a bushy tuft of hair on the top. Hasbro did an absolutely fantastic job modeling this nasty piece of work in 3D plastic.

As already mentioned, Sugar Man comes with his Hammer, which is a Mjolnir looking implement with SUGAR sculpted into one side. He can hold it well in his lower right hand, but the bicep swivel isn’t up to the task of supporting its weight so it tends to flop if I don’t have the arm positioned right.

Wow, this wave was a treat and a half. Hasbro introduced some great new characters as well as alternate versions of some we got before. It’s been a while since I purchased an entire wave of Marvel Legends in one shot instead of hunting them down individually, but that’s exactly what I did here. I was just really eager to get my hands on all of these figures and put together the BAF, so it was nice to not have to hunt for a change. And this is the last regular Legends figures that I’m going to feature on Marvel Monday for a little while. Rather than dig into another wave, I’m going to check out some boxed sets and exclusives for the next few weeks.

Marvel Legends (Sugar Man Wave): Sunfire and X-Man by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday and I’m continuing my cruise through the Age of Apocalypse themed Sugar Man Wave of Marvel Legends. I’ve been taking this assortment in pairs and today brings us to the fifth and sixth figures: Sunfire and X-Man! I had a crazy work schedule this weekend and I’m really pressed for time. Can I hammer out a brief double review today and still do these figures justice? Yes, I believe I can!

Here’s a quick look at the boys in their packaging and take note that each one comes with a pair of arms for Sugar Man, because he’s a four-arm-having sonovabitch! I’ll also once again point out that David Nakayama is doing the spine art for this wave. I’ve been a big fan of his work ever since I discovered his cover work for Zenescope Comics, and it’s awesome to see him contributing art for Marvel Legends! Let’s dig in! And I’m going to start things off with Sunfire!

We last saw Sunfire about three years ago as part of the Warlock Wave. That was a great figure and I am a huge fan of his classic costume. But here we have alternate reality Sunfire after having gone nuclear to halt Apocalypse’s attack on Japan. It bought some time to evacuate and left him in horrific shape, but boy does it make for a cool look. And you know what else is cool? Translucent figures!!! Yeah, I love me some translucent plastic and Sunfire is made of it from head to toe. I think this is more or less the same body used for the previous figure, albeit with different hands. At least it maintains the lateral crunches in the shoulders. The body is cast in a lovely clear yellow plastic with some orange highlights and black accents to make up the details of the suit. He has some flame effects sculpted into his forearms, while his right hand is balled up into a fist and his left looks like it’s about to unleash some major power. Absolutely awesome!

The head sculpt, if you can call it that, is a mask nestled in a mantle of fire. The mask itself is white with the red circle in the center representing the Land of the Rising Sun. The two slits for eyes bleed forth in red-orange flame, making him look like an avenging spirit. The sculpted flame around the mask has a bit more orange to it than the rest of the body and it just looks amazing.

The articulation is pretty much identical to what we saw in the previous release. I think this body is borrowed from one of the Spider-Man releases. In addition to the previously mentioned shoulder crunches, the arms also feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows and knees, swivels in the biceps, waist, thighs, and lower legs, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. Needless to say he’s as much fun to play with as he is good looking! Moving on to X-Man!

As expected, this figure is based off of his appearance in his self-titled book from the Age of Apocalypse and that’s a very good thing, because I can’t stand what Marvel has done with Nate’s design in recent years. Here we get the classic Jim Lee X-Men colors of yellow and blue only with an emphasis on the blue. The yellow is relegated to trim and some abbreviated striping, as well as his belt. It all looks fantastic and that yellow really pops beautifully against the blue.

Nate features a short jacket, which tapers at the waist and features some serious lapels! It’s molded as a soft plastic vest with the sleeves sculpted as part of the arms. You get some additional new sculpting at his collar and the belt is a separate piece fitted snug around his waist. Take away the shoulder crunches, and X-Man features the exact same articulation as Sunfire.

Hasbro did a beautiful job with this portrait, but that should come as no surprise since they really nailed Cable both times they’ve done him. Nate has a grim expression as a beautiful effect part explodes from his left eye. His shock of brown and white hair parts in the middle and frames his face around the eyes. Simply superb!

Both of today’s figures are fairly simple, with some flourishes of brilliance. For Sunfire, it’s a cross between the lovely translucent plastic and the amazing head sculpt that wins me over. As for X-Man? Well, a snazzy jacket, bitchin eye, and that wonderful one-two punch of yellow and blue carries that figure beautifully. This pair are two more great additions to what has turned out to be a super fun wave of figures. And I’ve still got one more to open, so next Monday we’ll have a look at Dark Beast and then we’ll build the Sugar Man Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Sugar Man Wave): Weapon X and Jean Grey by Hasbro

After crapping out at the end of last week due to the sickness, I’m back just in time for another Marvel Monday. Last week, I started going through the Age of Apocalypse themed Sugar Man Wave with Morph and Wild Child, and I’m going to once again double down with another pair from this assortment. And it seems only appropriate to pair up the happy alternate reality couple of Jean Grey and Weapon X.

Here’s another look at the packaging with that wonderful David Nakayama artwork on the side panels. Also check out how poor Jean is just crammed into the side of the tray to make room for the two giant Sugar Man BAF parts! Well, that’s rude!!! She really looks like she needs some room to breathe, so let’s start with her and get her out of there.

Egads this is a fun look for Ms. Grey, although how Xavier’s untimely death extended 80’s fashion into the 90’s is beyond me! Maybe it’s like how Kirk’s dad dying in JJ-Trek added all that chrome to the Enterprise bridge architecture. Hey, I’m no alternate history expert. Either way, Jean is rocking a black, blue, and red bodysuit, which relies mainly on paint for detail, at least below the chest. The top does sport some sculpted lines where it meets her skin. The bulk of the new sculpting is found in the other component of her costume: A half-jacket with some righteous shoulder pads and full sleeves. Diva Jean is definitely tickling my fancy! And even if the fashion doesn’t make a lot of sense, it gives Jean a bitchin hardcore look that certainly serves the timeline well. I think the colors work well together and the paint lines are pretty clean throughout. And I ain’t hating how the blue patch on her bottom highlights her butt! What? I might as well say it, since she knows I was thinking it anyway!

And this portrait… Wow! I dig it! She’s super pretty and I love the shock of short red hair style that Pat Benetar would no doubt approve of! The paint work on her eyes and lips are sharp, and she’s got a blue tattoo that bisects her left eye, travels down her cheek and then arches up over her eyebrow to terminate in a sharp point on her forehead.

The articulation here is pretty standard female Legends stuff. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinged knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. There’s no waist swivel, but you do get a ball joint under the chest, and the neck has both a hinge and a ball joint. Jean features the spell-slinger style hands that work pretty well for her telepathic powers. Moving on to Wolv… I mean Weapon X!!!

Just when you thought we were going to be done with Logan releases for a while, NOPE! But that’s OK, because this is a pretty damn great look for him. Weapon X is built on the usual short and buff Wolverine body we’ve seen many times before, and that’s great because it means he has the lateral crunches in the shoulders. Here he’s decked out in a black suit with red stripes across his chest. The deco kind of matches Jean’s and isn’t that just adorable that these two lovebirds accessorize together! You do get some original sculpting in the yellow belt, which hangs around the waist and features an X-logo on the buckle. Logan also has some striping painted on his arms to simulate them hairy guns.

His right hand features claws which can be removed if you want to display them non-popped. Sure, it leaves holes in the knuckles, but they’re not very conspicuous. I would exercise caution, as my figure’s middle claw fell off as I was taking him out of the package and it had to engage the cats to keep them from carrying it off as a prize. The middle claw seems a bit loose in general, but I jammed it back in there and it hasn’t fallen out again since. The glove is black with red striping to match the rest of his suit.

And on the left arm, we have the stump from where Cyclops obliterated his other hand. The arm is capped off with a silver cannister with the three claws popped through it. These aren’t removable, but he does come with a second stump with no claws if you want to swap them out.

And that brings us to the portrait, and holy hell is it amazing! Clearly, the sculptors understood the challenge this figure presented. We have to take a character who is full of pure bad-tempered rage in this Universe and now depict him as he is in an everything-is-shit timeline where he’s especially filled with pure bad-tempered rage. Yup, goal achieved. I mean, maybe he’s a little happier here because he’s getting a little something off of Jean, but they did not hold back with this sculpt and it is glorious! The wrinkled up face, the bare teeth, the wild hair, the dusting of whiskers, I love everything they’ve done here. It’s primal and powerful, and it makes the Caliban Wave Weapon X look like a bad tempered puppy in comparison.

The rest of the figure features all the great articulation I’ve come to expect from this familiar buck, so I won’t recount it again. I will just say that no matter how many times I open up a new Legends Wolverine figure, I still find them hard to put down. This guy is going to be on my desk for a while.

I still have two more figures to look at in this assortment, but I’ll call it right now that Jean and Weapon X are going to be tough to beat as my current favorites of the wave. I can also tell that my big complaint at the end of this run is going to be why we didn’t get an Age of Apocalypse Cyclops in this assortment, because it really does seem like it should have been a no-brainer. Either way, I’m having a lot of fun with this wave and I’m looking forward to next Monday when I tear into another pair!

Marvel Legends (Sugar Man Wave): Wild Child and Morph by Hasbro

It’s time to start a brand new wave of Marvel Legends, and rather than going back to one of the older ones in my backlog, I’m once again going for a more recent assortment. This one is based largely on The Age of Apocalypse, and more X-Men is never a bad thing, right? I’m really tight for time today, but I’m still going to try to tackle two figures from this wave because I’m really far behind on these and I want to sprint a little to get back in the race. I’ll probably try to double up a few more times with this wave if possible. Today I’m checking out Morph and Wild Child, and as always, let’s start with the packaging!

The boxes have the Age of Apocalypse logo on the top panel and some wonderful artwork on the side panels by David Nakayama. I don’t usually call out the artists for these packages, but I’m a big fan of Mr. Nakayama’s cover work with Zenescope Comics, so it’s really cool to see his work turn up here. In addition to the character art, you get Apocalypse mean mugging you from the top of the side panels. Great stuff! Imma gonna tear open Morph first!

Egads, this guy used to piss me off in the X-Men animated series. Besides being an asshole, I could never get that stupid laugh of his out of my head. Of course, this here is the comic version who got a new lease on life during the Age of Apocalypse. As expected, this is a fairly simple figure, making use of mostly paint for the costume. The blue and black deco is really dark and it takes some good lighting to bring out the differences. He does feature some new sculpting for his gauntlets and those righteous buccaneer boots, and the addition of that bright yellow throws a much needed zing into the color mix.

The cape is a new piece and I like it a lot. It not only hangs around his neck, but also plugs into the hole in his back. There’s a really wide neck hole and it’s studded with giant sculpted rivets. It’s a distinctive looking addition to his costume and the purple adds yet another layer of color. I think my only gripe with this figure so far is that maybe fists weren’t the right choice for his hands. Or rather, maybe an additional set of hands that were not fists.

The head sculpt is excellent and conveys lots of personality, while also driving home the comic relief nature of the character. Appropriately enough, it looks kind of like a lump of clay waiting to be molded into something else. And that brings me to another little complaint. Maybe Hasbro should have included some kind of shape-shifting piece with this figure. I don’t know, maybe another head or an arm or something similar to what they did with Mystique a little while back. Actually, an homage to his animated series portrait would have been a cool nod back! With that having been said, I like his little smirk and the fact that he has one eye popped a little bit.

I wish I had more to say about this guy, but that’s all I got. Don’t get me wrong, I like this figure a lot. The coloring is really nice and Hasbro did a wonderful job with the portrait. Yup everything that’s here is great, and he’s undoubtedly a fine addition to my X-Men line up. But I think Hasbro missed an opportunity to toss in a few extras to showcase his Mutant abilities, especially since they got by without a whole heck of a lot of new sculpting here. OK… let’s move on to Wild Child!

Like Morph, Wild Child gets by with very little sculpted detail on his body, other than the usual musculature that comes along with this Spider-Man body. Yeah, I originally thought this body was going to be too big, and maybe they should have used one of the smaller teen bodies, but in hand I’m actually fairly pleased with how it came out. I think the addition of the rather large, and newly sculpted, clawed hands and feet help make the proportions of the body look more lankier. I would have liked some added texture, maybe at least on lower legs and forearms. Still, it’s nice to get those extra lateral crunches in the shoulders that come with this body. In addition to the hands and feet, the collar is a new sculpt, and it’s funny how I’m just now noticing that it’s similar to the collar on Morph’s cape. Weird.

The head sculpt is undoubtedly the star of this show. It’s absolutely fantastic. Some points of particular note include the open mouth displaying his fangs with the tongue sculpted inside, the mutton chops coming off of his jawline, and the wild hair that’s mostly swept back, but includes those fly away strands that fall over his eyes. And the wide pupil-less eyes with the red coloring around the edges of the skin are just so creepy. I’m a huge admirer of some of the portraits Hasbro turns out for this line, so when I say this one ranks far up at the top, it really means something!

Wild Child also comes with a chain that can be clipped to the back of his collar. It’s sculpted in a rather dynamic coiled manner making it almost like an effect part. You can come up with some pretty cool poses of him wielding it and it’s definitely a nice addition to the figure.

And that’s a solid two figures to start out this assortment and I’m really happy to welcome these two characters to my X-Men Legends shelves. Wild Child has come a long way since the Toy Biz days when he was relegated to being a mere static accessory to the 1998 release of Sabretooth, but in fairness that wasn’t one of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends. I seem to recall Toy Biz did a mail-away ToyFair Exclusive figure of the Age of Apocalypse Morph back in the day, but I never had it and again, I don’t think it was part of their Marvel Legends line, so these are both first for my collection! Next week, we’ll dig further into what is shaping up to be a very interesting assortment!

Marvel Legends: Nimrod, Psylocke, and Fantomex by Hasbro

After detouring for a couple of Marvel Mondays, this week I’m back to looking at Marvel Legends. And yeah, I Know I said I was going to start digging into the Sugar Man Wave, but before I get into that, I thought I’d tear into this new three-figure set that hit my doorstep from Amazon last week. And I hope you aren’t all X-Men’ed out because… IT’S MORE X-MEN!!!

This rather large boxed set comes to us as an Amazon Exclusive, and these days I find those are the best kinds of exclusives. Not only was I able to pre-order it without a headache, but did you forget to pre-order? Well, no worries, it’s still up on the site, at least is at the time I’m writing this. The presentation is pretty snappy, with a silver box and a crisp and clean gold X-logo to brand it up. I wouldn’t mind returning these figures to the box for display, and I probably will for a while. That is until the Toy Closet gets too cluttered and I have to start taking extreme measures by culling boxes again. I’ll also throw out there that this is a damn heavy box, as it contains a lot of plastic! Let’s have a look at the figures, and I’ll start with Fantomex first!

We last saw Fantomex waaaaay back in Wave 2 of Modern Legends as part of the Anim Zola Wave. Holy hell, that was eight years and what seems like about a million figures ago! I actually expected a repack, which goes to show you how much I wanted Nimrod, but upon closer inspection I was pleased to see that this is an updated figure. Did we really need a second attempt at Fantomex after all this time? Are there not other characters without figures patiently waiting for their turn? Yeah, but I will say that I’ve always loved Fantomex’s costume. He just looks so bad-ass. But, honestly this one perplexes me a bit. It would have made more sense to just repack him, but let’s dig out the original and do a quick comparison!

At first glance they look quite similar, but a closer inspection shows that they are entirely different figures. I think the older figure still holds up quite well, but this new release has a better build and is slightly better proportioned. Hell, just getting rid of those prehistoric ball joints in the hips is a big improvement. I thought the jackets were the same, but it looks like the older one is sculpted to look like it’s blowing to the right a bit, while the newer one hangs down straight. Otherwise, the two plastic garments are nearly identical. The gunbelt is new, and that makes sense, since the guns are also new. The new figure has a smaller belt buckle, and thigh straps to hold the holsters in place. The older figure has sculpted straps just above the knees, whereas the new one does not. On the downside, the tops of the boots on the new figure are separate pieces and held on by friction. And when I say “held on” I’m being generous, because they are constantly sliding down to his ankles. The old figure had these sculpted on and it was much better. Finally, the gauntlets on the newer figure are flared much more dramatically at the elbows. I think this looks better, but it does interfere with the elbow hinges a bit. Both figures have balance issues, but I think the new one is slightly better. All in all, I’d say the new version is the better figure, but there are still some compromises going on here.

The head sculpt is definitely an improvement over the old one. The noggin is a little bigger to better fit the body, and the sculpting and paint are both tremendous improvements. The eyes on the new figure are look absolutely fantastic. The black striping is a little different, and this new head shows a little less of the facial features under the mask. I really love what they did here.

As I already mentioned, new Fantomex gets new guns, and these are pretty great little sculpts. They’re a little bigger and beefier than the old guns, and they look a little less sci-fi and a little more credible as real world automatics. They’re cast all in gray plastic, with no paint operations, but they have lots of great detail to make them stand out. Also a huge improvement is how well the new figure can hold his guns. The old figure could barely hold his and he couldn’t hold them straight at all. So, chalk that up as another win for new Fantomex!

This figure also comes with some really cool effect parts for his guns. You get a pair of blast effects and a pair of smoke effects, which simply peg into the ends of the muzzles. These are tiny, and hopefully I can keep from losing them, because they are probably some of my favorite effect parts I’ve seen in the Legends line so far.  All in all, this is an excellent update to what was already a pretty good figure. And while I’m not sure I really needed to pay out for a second release of the character, I’m not terribly put out by it either. And that brings us to Psylocke!

Psylocke is another double dip, but at least she’s a variant as she comes in her Uncanny X-Force costume. Sure, we just got her a couple of years back as part of the Apocalypse Wave, and I’m ashamed that I can’t post a link to that review, because I haven’t opened her yet and that entire wave is part of my backlog. I’ll get to that wave eventually! Either way, it’s nice to have this version to go with Fantomex. Plus the Apocalypse Wave Psylocke tends to go for a good chunk of change these days, so for some this may be Consolation Prize Psylocke! Like the previous release, this figure relies almost exclusively on paint to detail her costume, but it works just fine. The sash is actually a newly sculpted piece, now white and with an X-Force logo in the center.

The head sculpt looks new to me, but it’s close enough to the original that it may just be from variances in the molding process and paint. It’s also worth pointing out that the skintone on the new figure is a bit paler than the last one, but that may also be due to coloring variation as opposed to being intentional. Either way, the new figure looks great. The paint applied for her eyes and lips is nice and sharp, and I dig the purple they used for her hair.

X-Force Psylocke comes with the same effect parts as the previous release, although the coloring on these new ones is overall a lot nicer. She also comes with a swappable right fist, which works a little better with the blast part, but isn’t really necessary, as it will work well enough with the accessory holding hand too. All of these look great, but I’m extremely partial to the Katana. She just looks fantastic wielding it. It may seem like I’m running through this figure rather quickly, despite not having reviewed the original yet, but it’ll happen. Plus, I still have the main attraction from this three-pack to cover, so let’s have a look at Nimrod!

I gotta say, I absolutely love the design of the character. He’s got a sort of Bruce Timm stylized look to him that is so bizarre and unique when presented among the regular looking characters. It’s like because he hails from the future, he actually looks out of context in the present. Same goes for how smooth and nearly featureless his body is, making him look sterile and super advanced. It’s just brilliant and it’s even better when presented as this giant slab of an action figure! The entire body is comprised of some lovely pearlescent white plastic that gives him a cool sheen, disturbed only by the pink pin-striping and the translucent pink triangle embedded in his chest and showing off just a hint of some finely sculpted circuitry. From behind, Nimrod shows off some red paint accents and his translucent pink wings, which peg into his back, making him look all the more impressive.

Nimrod’s head is barely a head, but more like a bump coming out of his torso with a face in it. The silver face is framed with some red paint, and otherwise just sports white eyes, a black slit for a mouth, and some black grills in his cheeks. Elegant, simple, and just a tad creepy.

And if you want to go for something a little more classic looking, Nimrod comes with a swappable head with a red face. At first glance it looked fairly similar to the standard head, but it is actually a completely new sculpt, and I think I’m actually partial to it. It has a little more personality and adds a bit more color to the figure.

In terms of articulation, he does indeed feel like a Build-A-FIgure, in that he has all the right points, but being a chunky boi, some of these points don’t offer  quite as much range of motion. The exception would be in the shoulders’ rotating hinges and the fact that the shoulder armor is happily quite flexible. As a result, I was surprised at the amount of movement I could get out of the arms. There are swivels in the biceps, and the elbows are only single-hinged, but you can get a full 90-degree flex out of them. The hands are on hinged pegs. I believe that’s a ball joint in the torso, but mine only wants to swivel, and it snaps back each time I swivel it. I’m not sure what’s going on in there, but I’m not going to risk forcing it, just in case something is stuck. The legs appear to have rotating hinges in the hips, but there’s really very little range in them. The knees are double-hinged, and thus quite good and the ankles have a little bit of movement in a hinge, but not much.

In addition to the extra head, Nimrod comes with two sets of hands, fists and open, and two blast effect parts that plug into the open hands and look pretty sweet.

Marvel Legends never ceases to surprise and amaze me. I mean, it’s been clear that Hasbro has pulled out all the stops with this line a long time ago, but still… getting a set like this is just so magical and I think it really demonstrates what a strong following this line has. It’s an $80 set, which is probably why it wound up as an online exclusive, I’m not sure the Walmarts and Targets would want to take up this much real estate on a planogram for a set this expensive, and populated by characters that your average normie isn’t going to recognize. But while the set may seem pricey, it costs out fairly well at $20 each for Psylocke and Fantomex, that leaves $40 for Nimrod. OK, so Hasbro’s repacks of Build-A-Figures usually run out at the $30 price point, but since this is an entirely new figure, that’s probably where the extra ten bucks comes into play. Either way, it’s a fantastic set and three solid additions to my ever growing Legends collection.

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

I’m extending Marvel Monday out one more day so I can wrap up this look at the Crimson Dynamo Wave Build-A-Figure today. That’s right! As if opening the last figure in a wave of Marvel Legends wasn’t reward enough, Hasbro lets us cobble together a brand new figure for our efforts. It’s like the cherry on top of a plastic sundae! This time, it’s the Crimson Dynamo from what is coincidently called the Crimson Dynamo Wave! Wow… funny how that worked out! This brute is composed of a whopping nine pieces scattered throughout all but one figure in this assortment. Pieces include the arms, legs, head, torso, two shoulder pieces, and a back plate.

Crimson Dynamo is of course the moniker given to the Soviet Union’s equivalent of the Iron Man armor. Like Stark’s armor, the USSR’s version has turned up in various styles, sizes, and configurations, but unlike Iron Man, the Crimson Dynamo has been manned by various Soviet agents. I think the last time I encountered this bruiser in plastic form was as part of Hasbro’s 3 3/4-inch Iron Man as Dmitri Bukharin. This time we’re getting the more imposing and more recent Gennady Gavrilov’s suit, and boy was this a great choice! It’s big and bulky and the design has that certain primitive but imposing retro design.

The suit is composed of a silver base, which looks like it’s been fitted with maroon armored pieces. The arms and torso have that segmented metal look that I love so much and instantly calls to mind Collosus from the X-Men. The chunkier maroon bits have some organic curves and some sparing panel lines. The result is a detailed suit that doesn’t look too busy. Still, some wonderful details included the ribbed ankles that look like they’re supposed to be made of a more flexible material, the reinforced fronts of the boots for kicking Western Capitalist ass, and those powerful hands that look like they could make short work of one of Stark’s armors if he were to get it in his clutches. Possibly my favorite thing here is the translucent green tubes in the wrists that look like they’re supposed to be some kind of cooling rods for the janky reactor that powers this behemoth. It’s all just so damn cool!

The helmet fits in with the more primitive look of the Soviet design. It’s got what looks like a giant boiler plate mounted ot the front of it with a grill for a mouth and a simple slit for a visor. The giant armored shoulders have bolts jutting out of the front and the surface is sculpted with cracks and fissures. There’s a dual exhaust protruding from the right shoulder, and the Soviet Star in the center of his chest is painted with an almost flourescent glow that matches the paint used for the visor. Spectacular!

As always, Hasbro doesn’t skimp on the articulation for these big figures, although the sheer bulk of this figure’s design does give some of those joints a little less range of motion. But that’s not to say this guy isn’t a heck of a lot of fun to play with. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips and ankles, double hinges in the knees, and swivels up in the thighs. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and single hinges in the elbows. There’s a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed. I like that they gave him one hand sculpted into a fist and the other grasping, as they work with a number of different poses.

While I would still love to see some of the other Crimson Dynamo armors get the Marvel Legends treatment, I’m very pleased that Hasbro chose to do this one as a Build-A-Figure. It’s such a damned cool design and it makes for an impressive display piece on the shelf next to the likes of Iron Monger and the SHIELD Mandroid. And boy would it be cool to one day see a version of this guy turn up in the MCU. Although, to be fair, I’ve been really tempering my expectations of what we’re going to be seeing out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Black Widow.

And that’s a wrap for this wave. It was an overall excellent assortment of figures. The Black Widow film was well represented, but we also got some great comic-based figures as well. I’m sure Crossbones was a welcome addition to anyone who missed out on the old Thunderbolts SDCC set and I think we were long overdue for a comic-based WInter Soldier. But seriously, Hasbro, we need a WWII-era Bucky Barnes now. I’d say that Spymaster is easily the odd-man out in this wave, and that’s not because he’s a bad figure, but aesthetically he really doesn’t fit with the rest of the crowd. For next week’s Marvel Monday, I’m going to detour out of Marvel Legends, but when I return for a new assortment, I’ll be checking out the Sugar Man Wave!

Marvel Legends (Crimson Dynamo Wave): Yelena Belova by Hasbro

It’s me! I’m back! After a terrible week of working nights, getting very little sleep, missing two days of FFZ content, and being generally burnt out, I’d like to tell you that I’m all rested up and ready for action, but I wouldn’t go that far… at least I’m here! And picking up from last week I’m back to open the last figure in the Crimson Dynamo Wave!

Yelena Belova, sometimes known as The Crimson Widow will apparently be a big part of the still yet to be released Black Widow film. I could have sworn reading something that referred to her as Natasha Romanov’s sister. I’m not sure if that’s was meant as her spiritual sister, since they both trained in The Red Room, or if the MCU is writing her as Black Widow’s actual sister, but I guess some day I’ll see the movie and all will be revealed. She’s svelt enough to be packaged with the biggest of the Crimson Dynamo parts, including not only his massive torso, but also his shoulder armor, and they still had some room in there for some accessories!

Let me start by saying that from a design standpoint, this is not a terribly exciting figure, but that’s not in any way Hasbro’s fault. They did the best with what the design that was given them. Yelena is wearing what appears to be a close copy of Black Widow’s white arctic suit, which we saw released as a Deluxe Legends figure a little while back. She even has the Widow’s Bite bracelets on her wrists. The biggest difference here is the green tactical vest that’s sculpted as part of the figure. And if I recall correctly we even see Natasha wearing something similar in part of the trailer.  It has some cross straps with painted silver buckles, and some black accents as well. Like I said, there’s nothing terribly flashy here, but it’s still pretty well done.

Yelena is wearing a belt, sculpted as a separate piece, with a silver belt buckle, donning the Black Widow emblem. The belt includes a holster, which is secured to her right thigh with two straps, and a brace of combat knives secured to her left thigh with a single strap. The holster works to hold one of her two pistols, but the knives are merely sculpted into place and not removable.

The head sculpt here is excellent. It’s not only a great likeness to Florence Pugh, an actress I’ve never even heard of before now, but there’s certainly a resemblance there to Scarlett Johansen as well, making me wonder if they aren’t supposed to be actual sisters in the film. I’ve never read anything that depicted them as blood relatives in the funnybooks, but if the push in the MCU will be to have Yelena take up the mantle as the new Black Widow, I wouldn’t be adverse to the MCU making that connection. Ah, but maybe that’s just me being sentimental. Anyway, the sculpted hair on this portait is especially well done, although the drawback is that it makes the neck joint extremely obvious from the back.

The articulation here is identical to what we saw with the Black Widow figure in this wave, and that’s to be expected. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinged pegs in the wrists, and those super funky rotating hinges in the elbows, that I am not at all fond of. They give a decent range of motion for a single hinge, but they just look weird. The torso has a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed. You get two sets of hands with Yelena, one set of fists, and one for holding her guns.

The guns are the only accessories she comes with, and I find it odd that she only has a holster for the one. It would have been cool to give her one perhaps on the back of her belt, but again Hasbro is just working with a film design here, and I’m not going to turn my nose up at an extra gun.

Despite a somewhat bland design, I actually ended up liking this figure a heck of a lot. Like Black Widow, she’s fun to pose and play around with. The outfit sports some sharp detail, the paint apps are used sparingly, but effectively, and the portrait is absolutely fantastic. All in all a great figure to end what has been an extremely solid wave. Now, normally, when I finish a wave of Marvel Legends, I like to double up and review the Build-A-Figure on the same day, but I’m still playing catch up on my rest from last week, as well as dealing with a bunch of other stuff that I need to tend to, so I’m going to cheat a little today and come back tomorrow and have a look at the Crimson Dynamo BAF!

Marvel Legends (Crimson Dynamo Wave): Taskmaster by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday, and I’m down to my last TWO figures to open in the somewhat Black Widow themed Crimson Dynamo Wave of Marvel Legends! I thought it was three, but it turns out somehow I wound up buying Red Guardian twice. That’s what happens when you have a huge backlog of these things. Anyway, if you told me back in January that we’d still be waiting to see this flick in August, I’d think you were nuts! And yet here we are. I was excited for this movie from the get-go, but once they revealed Taskmaster was in it, I’ve since gone to a state well beyond excitement! Come on, DIsney. Just put it on the streaming service!!!

We’ve had not one, but two comic versions of Taskmaster in the modern Legends line, and now it’s the ass-kicking mimic’s turn to debut on the big screen, here’s the MCU version. Taskmaster is the only figure in the assortment to not include a Crimson Dynamo BAF part. I’m not sure if that’s because they already crammed so much stuff into this box, or because Hasbro knew everyone would probably buy him anyway.

I think the costume designers did a pretty nice job on the MCU makeover. He’s easily recognizable as Taskmaster, and yet there’s enough of makeover to allow this design to work in the “real world” of the Marvel films. Actually, I think they gave him a little bit more comic flare than I was expecting, especially where the colors were concerned. Yes, he’s basically a dude in a tactical suit with some bits of armor strategically placed, but the metallic blue and the orange trim really make the otherwise muted dark blue suit pop, and they are certainly a nice nod back to his comic colors. That’s especially the case on this figure where the coloring looks fantastic. His cape from the comics has been reduced to a weird sculpted plastic scarf that is clipped onto his shoulders, almost like a reverse cape. On his back he has a rather understated backpack. One of the biggest surprises about this figure is his complete lack of holsters or clips to attach his weapons, but I’ll come back to that in just a bit.

Like the rest of the figure, the head sculpt teases the traditional Taskmaster look, but then goes and does its own thing. The skull motif on his silver mask is still there, but it’s very understated, and now the mask is dominated by a large black visor that looks like two giant bug eyes. It’s creepy and probably makes for some good psychological warfare when he’s facing down opponents. The hood is designed to turn with the figure’s head and features more of that snappy orange paint.

As expected, Taskmaster sports all the usual points of articulation, allowing him to mimic the fighting styles of my other Legends figures. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double-hinged at the knees, have swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso swivels at the waist, has a really well hidden ab-crunch under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double-hinged elbows, swivels in the biceps, and the wrists are on hinged pegs to allow the hands to be swapped out. Taskmaster comes with a whopping three sets of hands, including one pair for holding accessories, one pair of fists, and one pair of scratching claws. Looks like someone picked up a few moves from Black Panther! Let’s move on to the accessories!

FIrst off, he comes with this bow and arrow, and I am not at all fond of these. The bow looks OK, but it has a really thick plastic “string” which means you can’t really pose him drawing it to fire. The arrow, on the other hand, is ridiculously large and chunky, and he can’t hold it all that well. And since there’s no way to have him wear the bow on his back, nor is there a quiver for his arrow, I doubt I’ll be getting much use out of these.

Thankfully he also comes with his sword and shield, and these are much better accessories! The shield is smaller than I’m used to seeing him carry in the comics, but it still has a variation of his triskelion pattern printed in orange on the front. The reverse makes use of one of those clip-peg combos that we’re used to seeing on the Captain America shields and it works well for attaching it ot his arm, but there’s no hole in his back for him to wear it, so they may have just been reusing that piece for cost or convenience.

The sword is a modern looking piece of cutlery with an orange stripe on the blade, which not only matches the accents on his outfit but maybe nods back to Taskmaster’s laser sword. He can hold it very well, but like the shield, there’s nowhere for him to wear it on his person when it isn’t being used. And that all sums up my biggest problem with this figure is that none of his gear can attach to him. A hole for the shield on his back and a loop for the sword would have gone a long way. Maybe those GI JOE Classified figures have spoiled me. Speaking of which, I think this figure would make a great mercenary to add to the GI JOE Classified shelf.

This figure looks great and it went a long way to sell me on the MCU Taskmaster design. That’s no small accomplishment, since the Hot Toys figure didn’t manage to do it. Or maybe I like it enough to have it represented in a $20 figure, but not enough for a $220 figure. Either way, I think Hasbro did a great job with the sculpt and paint, but I wish they had made the figure a little more accessory friendly. Sure, that may be a design element carried from the film, but since I haven’t seen the movie yet, I can only blame the toy for now. Otherwise, I dig him a lot. Next week, I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at the final boxed figure and the Crimson Dynamo Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Crimson Dynamo Wave): Spymaster by Hasbro

What’s this? Marvel Monday again! It feels like the weeks are just flying by. I think I’m a little more than halfway through this Black Widow-themed assortment of Marvel Legends. Today I’m going to let it ride with the comic-book figures and have a look at Blue and Yellow Deadpool! Oh no, wait. It’s Spymaster. My bad!

Yes, fans can now breathe a sigh of relief because Spymaster has hit the modern Legends line. And if you didn’t read that with a sarcastic tone, try it again. Me? Well, I dig deep cuts like this one, and with all the Iron Man figures I have, it’s always nice to toss in another one of his advesaries. Why is he in this wave? I dunno, maybe because Taskmaster trained him? It’s like a six degrees of separation kinda thing. Anyway, Hasbro backed off the artsy red and black color scheme for this package, probably because it wasn’t going to work with the character’s distinctive color scheme.

Now to be fair, this is not my first choice for costume. I would have much preferred his silver and black suit. But with that having been said I actually dig the flashy cheese of this look. How you get any spying done dressed like this, I don’t rightly know, but hey… you be you, Spymaster! As I’m sure you can tell, this is one of them budget figures that gets by on a lot of paint and very little fresh sculpting. But the paint lines are clean, there’s really no bleeding, and the vibrant yellow looks great alongside the darker blue. The only other detail is the chest logo, a dagger against a checkered backdrop, which is razor sharp.

From the neck down the only new sculpting we get here is the yellow utility belt, which includes some sculpted pouches, a flash “S” logo as a buckle, and functional holster for Spymaster’s sidearm. The firearm is molded in red plastic, because that’s exactly the color this suit is missing! I feel like I’ve seen this pistol before, but I can’t quite place who had it last. It’s a very futuristic design, but I seem to recall his gun being a little chunkier. But what the hell, I think it suits him pretty well.

The head sculpt is new, with a disnctive arch sculpted into the forehead. There are some vague facial features sculpted into the mask as well as a rather prominent brow. The eyes are without pupils, and as with the rest of the figure the paint here is vibrant and sharp.

Spymaster’s articulation makes for a fun figure and features all the usual points I’m used to seeing in my Legends figures. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinged knees, and swivels at the thighs and tops of the boots. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers to keep him stable even in those wide stances. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double-hinged, and he has swivels in the biceps. The torso swivels at the waist, has an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck has both a ball joint and hinge.

I’ve seen more than a little bit of hate for this figure, but you won’t get any of it from me. Spymaster has a cool history and a look that just screams comic book costume. The only reason I say that I wish Hasbro went for the silver and black costume is because I can’t imagine them ever doing this character again. And that’s it for the comic-based figures in this wave. Just two more to go, and they’re both from the Black Widow movie, and I’ll dig into one of those next week!

Marvel Legends (Crimson Dynamo Wave): Winter Soldier by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday and I’m pressing on with my look at the Crimson Dynamo Wave! After checking out a couple of figures from the Black Widow movie, I thought I’d turn back to another one of the comic book figures in this assortment. Strangely, Bucky hasn’t had much comic book love in the modern Legends line, despite his heavy influences on the MCU. And while I’ll confess I would much rather have had a Bucky Barnes figure by now to hang out with one of my many MANY Caps, I won’t turn my nose up at this new Winter Soldier figure.

And here he is in the package along with a noggin for the Crimson Dynamo BAF! This is probably a pretty modern look for Winter Soldier, as the lines between comic and MCU designs are pretty blurred here. As many of you know I’ve given up on current Marvel comics, but I think I last encountered Bucky in the pages of The Thunderbolts. Indeed, when I found this figure on the pegs, it  actually took me a second to realize this wasn’t MCU Bucky with a bad Sebastian Stan likeness. Nope, he’s straight from the pages of the funny books!

Oh YEAH! Hasbro went off the charts with some of the sculpted detail on this guy, especially where his equipment is concerned. The costume itself is pretty standard stuff, particularly his familiar tunic with the horizontal strips running across his chest. The combat pants have nice texturing and some sculpted pockets, and are tucked into his high-laced military boots. Overall, the colors are pretty dark, but there’s a lighter blue wash to bring out some of the details in his tunic.

The cybernetic arm is sculpted with a ribbed texture and lots of musculature. It’s also got a nice silver-gray sheen to it and a star printed on the shoulder. The hands have sculpted, finger-less gloves, and I dig that they actually sculpted the cybernetic jointing into the fingers on his left hand. You gotta really look to see it, which makes it all the more welcome. Holy crap, he’s even even wearing a watch on his left wrist.

And then we come to tall the extra gear they strapped to him! For starters he’s got a harness with ammo pouches running across his chest. Below that he has a tactical belt with grenades, magazines, and a combat knife and pistol, alas neither of which are removable. Finally, he has two more magazines strapped to his left thigh. Hasbro even popped for some paint operations on the grenades, gun, and magazines. Nice!

The head sculpt is quite good, giving us something of a generic Sebastian Stan, which is pretty much how I remembered him the last time I saw him in a comic panel. He has a domino mask, which is part of the sculpt and neatly painted, and a coif of long hair with strands hanging down on either side of his face.

 

By now y’all should know what to expect from modern Legends articulation, but what the hell, let’s run through it. It pads out my word count. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double-hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. The thick knee joints can look a little strange when flexed all the way, the elbow joints are a tad spongy, but otherwise, he’s a fun figure to play with.

Bucky comes with two weapons, and these are great examples of how to do Marvel Legends weapons the proper way. They’re wonderfully detailed and look like the equivalent of real world weapons and not weird sci-fi shooters, like the red abomination we got with the MCU version of Winter Soldier. The pistol looks like a M1911 with a textured grip and detailed slide. The rifle looks like an AR-15 carbine with (non) telescoping stock, scope, and a grenade launcher slung under the barrel. These are exactly the kinds of weapons I wish Hasbro would have included with their GI JOE Classified figures!

A lot of the comic-based Legends I’ve looked at lately have been of the quick-and-easy painted costume variety. And yeah, that honestly does work fine for a lot of characters, but it also makes me appreciate a figure like this Winter Soldier all the more. Hasbro just poured on the love in every possible way, from the detailed sculpt to the excellent weapons, and the result is a comic-based figure that stands out even among the MCU releases. He’s quite simply fantastic.