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.

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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.

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

Yeah, it was all the way back in February when I first dipped into this wave with a review of Silver Sable. Of course, in my defense, my life turned to shit somewhere along the way and I was forced to put FFZ on hiatus. Now I’m back in action, more or less, and ready to wrap this puppy up. Let’s have a look at the Kingpin Build-A-Figure! Oh, boy have I been looking forward to this guy!

And here is Fisk in all his rotund glory. Kingpin is comprised of your six basic BAF parts: Torso, arms, legs, head and a few extras, which we’ll look at in a minute. He dons his trademark white linen (plastic) suit. Yeah, it surprises even me that I can get this excited over an action figure of a big, bald guy in a suit. But, as a character, Kingpin has a sense of frightening gravitas about him, and this figure conveys that perfectly. Indeed, this bulbous buck makes him look like an absolute powerhouse! The suit consists of a sculpted vest with a collard shirt and tie peeking out the top. The buttons on the vest are neatly painted gold, the shirt is black, and the tie is purple. The trousers show some sculpted rumples, especially where they rest on his giant black shoes. The suit’s coat is the usual trickery, where it is sculpted without sleeves and the sleeves are sculpted as part of the arms. In this case, it’s a little obvious, but I still dig it. Some other nice sculpted details include the ring on his left hand and the neatly folded handkerchief that’s sculpted peeking out of his coat pocket.

Kingpin comes with two heads, and they are both outstanding. The first portrait exhibits raw determination, and while I know this is a comic based sculpt, I can’t help but still see some of Vincent D’Oonofrio in there. I’m not sure if that was intentional, or if I’m just seeing it because he’s pretty much irrevocably connected to the character because of his amazing performance as Kingpin in the Daredevil series. Whatever the case, I dig it a lot. The second head, is pure rage and will work for pretty much any action pose I’m going to put him in.

As for articulation, Fisk has all the right points, but because of his portly sculpt, there’s some real limitations here. The arms work well with rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. He also has a ball joint in his chest, but I can’t do too much with it. The legs are the most stymied. Even though they have rotating hinges in the hips, knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles, there’s still not a whole lot of range of motion there. That’s not really a complaint, as it’s totally expected. Finally, the neck has both a hinge and a ball joint.

Finally, Fisk comes with his cane, which is a simple accessory but looks great. It features a sharply tapered staff with a gold fixture to hold the frosted diamond at the end of it. He can hold it in his right hand, but in order to get a firm grip on it, he has to hold it right at the base of the gold fixture, otherwise it just slips out.

I can’t remember the last time I was looking forward to completing a BAF as much as this one. Kingpin is a villain that has been sorely missing from my Legends collection, and I’m happy to say now that he’s here, he’s absolutely fantastic. Clearly, a Build-A-Figure was the only way they were going to do him justice, and it was worth all the work to get him!

As for the wave itself? I’m not going to lie, this one was a real mixed bag for me. I couldn’t have cared less about Red Goblin or the modern Symbiote Suit Spidey. Black Cat is always a favorite of mine, but I’m just not a fan of this suit. On the flip-side Puma, Night Thrasher, and Silver Sable were all excellent, and Six-Arm Spidey is just a cool figure. Those last four were probably the only figures I would have purchased if it weren’t for needing those BAF parts, and Spidey didn’t even come with any! Ah, but who cares? I have my Kingpin completed, and it feels good to put another wave to bed.

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Six-Arm Spider-Man by Hasbro

Here we go, folks… it’s my absolute last, cross-my-heart, really mean it this time, figure for me to open in the Kingpin Wave. I was really tempted to build Fisk last week and review him, because Spidey here doesn’t come with a BAF part, but I decided to go ahead and finish off the wave before enjoying that sweet, sweet victory of building the Kingpin BAF. So let’s go ahead and have a look at Six-Arm Spidey! Oh yeah, I’m a little pressed for time today, but I think I can give this figure its due relatively quickly.

For Peter Parker to live, Spider-Man must die!!! The “Six-Arms Saga” is one of those wonderful, inspired, and bat-shit crazy comics that makes me wish I was born ten years earlier so I could have experienced it as it was happening. Sadly, it debuted on the comic stands the year before I was born, and I would have to wait another dozen or so years before carrying the first of these issues home on my bike from the used bookshop downtown. It gave us some genuine body horror, it introduced us to Morbius, The Living Vampire, and it was a helluva great ride. Oh, how happy I was when Hasbro decided to toss us this figure!

And yes, there is something that is both inherently silly and horrifically creepy about this guy! And given the nature of this figure, let’s talk articulation first! The figure is built around a newly designed trunk, which omits the usual waist swivel and ab-crunch in favor of four extra “shoulder” joints sticking out of his sides. So in terms of articulation, this is a “lose some to gain some” kind of scenario. Which is perfectly understandable given the design challenges. The two new sets of arms are bare with ragged pieces of Spidey’s suit painted around the “shoulders” to show where they <gasp> broke free of the suit while they were growing out of him. Each of these arms share identical articulation with Spidey’s regular arms, so you get rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double-hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The regular hands are both thwip hands, while the four new ones are all balled into fists. The rest of the articulation amounts to the usual stuff. You get ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs and lower legs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

The suit itself is wonderful. It consists of the bright blue and red deco that I’ll always love the most. The red parts feature a web pattern, which is sculpted but not painted in. The spider emblem on his chest and back are sculpted and painted black, and as has often been the case, the hinges and pins in the wrists and elbows are left as bare red plastic and not painted to match the blue. Yeah, this is always a bone of contention with some people. Honestly, it never really bothered me much. Finally, the head features that same sculpted, but unpainted, web pattern and two big ‘ol white eyes with black boarders. Pure comic goodness!

The figure is loads of fun to play around with, but the absence of the torso articulation definitely limits the things he can do. I also wish he came with extra regular hands. I’m fine with all the extras being fists, but some relaxed hands and fists for his regular arms would have been pretty sweet. I know, they spent a lot more on this guy to give him extra arms and keep all that articulation, so I’m not making too big a deal about it.

I warned you, today’s review was going to be short, but I honestly don’t have a whole lot else to say about this figure. He’s definitely unique and a welcome addition to my collection. When Marvel Legends returned back in 2013, never in a million years did I expect it to be as prolific as it’s been. And while it’s had its share of Captain America and Iron Man variants clogging the pegs, the real beauty of this line is when it digs deep. Sure, it’s not like Six-Arm Spidey hasn’t resurfaced at least half a dozen times, and in different media, since ASM #101, but how cool is it that Hasbro is still digging this deep? Meet me back here tomorrow and I’ll put this wave to bed with a look at Kingpin!

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Night Thrasher by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday, and I’m getting more and more comfortable about being back into the swing of things after my hiatus. Do I feel like I’m starting to make any progress at my ridiculous backlog of unopened Marvel Legends? Nah, not a chance. It’s like a digging a hole in the sand! Who knows, maybe I’ll do a few Legends-only weeks to give myself a leg up. In the meantime, and after a slight miscalculation last week, I’m here today with the actual penultimate figure in the Kingpin Wave. For reals this time! It’s Night Thrasher!

Dwayne Taylor showed up in the pages of Marvel comics during the waning days of my career as a teenage comic reader. In 1989, I was getting ready to go to college and trading in my boxes of comics for boxes of textbooks. Not literally, mind you. I just packed them away and put them in the attic. But, needless to say most of my encounters with Night Thrasher have been after the fact, when I got heavy back into comics in my thirties. As a result, Night Thrasher sits right up there with Silver Sable and Puma as one of the figures I was most excited about in this wave.

The design of Night Thrasher’s suit lends itself to a simple figure. The buck is mostly smooth, with chiseled, angular muscles sculpted into the chest, exaggerated elbow and knee pads, heavy treaded boots, and not much else in the way of detail. He does don a wide red belt, sculpted as a separate piece and worn tightly around the waist, and a red sash tied around his right leg, which is held up by friction. I really dig the subtle mix of gloss and matte black on this figure, with matte being used for the upper legs and hands, and the rest gleaming like polished ebony armor. That plus the red accessories make him pop rather nicely.

The head sculpt consists of a tight-fitting red and black helmet and mask with an open visor for his eyes. I don’t have a lot more to say about it, other than it’s pretty intimidating. TMNT’s Casey Jones or DC’s Guardian would certainly give their vigilante stamp of approval to this headgear.

Thrasher has a pair of holes on his back to secure his backpack, which is really just a shield-shaped slab of plastic designed to hold his accessories, the first of which is his pair of batons!

Yup, we’ve seen these before, particularly with Daredevil, Mockingbird. and even Hellcat! These weapons sure do get around! They are cast in black plastic and he can hold one in each hand. They’re not bad, and they definitely suit him, but I would have liked something fresh and new. When not in use, these batons can attach to the clips on either side of the backpack.

And, as always, these batons can peg together to form a longer pole-arm.

The really cool new accessory here is the skateboard. It’s cast all in black plastic with fully sculpted trucks, working wheels, and there’s a crazy amount of weathering in the sculpt. It can be hard to see without the right light, but there’s a ton of scrapes and scratches to show that this board has seen some serious action, was probably used as a shield more than a couple times, and quite probably connected with more than one villains’ jaw over the years. I will concede that it feels a bit small, or perhaps more accurately, he sometimes looks like an adult riding a kids skateboard. Also, there’s no way to attach him to it, so it’ll take a modicum of patience if you want to display him riding it, but it’s certainly not impossible.

The articulation here is pretty standard stuff. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There is a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is hinged and ball jointed. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double-hinges in the elbows. His chunky armor does restrict some range of movement, but he’s still a pretty agile fellow.

Night Thrasher may be damn simple, but he’s also loads of fun. And as I’m playing around with him, I can’t help but think that this is sort of what a modern 6-inch GI JOE figure from Hasbro would feel like. Nope, I’m never going to let that dream die! The accessories are cool enough, even if I would have liked some new batons, and you can’t go wrong with a skateboard! It just adds plenty of fun to the mix. Now, can we get some more New Warriors, Hasbro? Please and thank you!

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Puma by Hasbro

Last week I made a terrible mistake! I thought that Puma here was the last figure I needed to open in order to build Kingpin. Of course, after opening him up I reached for my baggie of BAF parts for this wave, only to find I was missing a leg. I looked everywhere, and right when I was convinced I lost it, the back of the package revealed the answer… I still have one more figure to open after this one in order to build Fisk. And there’s even one more figure after that, albeit one that doesn’t contain a BAF part. And so Fisk will have to wait at least a couple more weeks for his time in the spotlight. In the meantime, let’s check out The Puma!

Before we get started, can I say how much I love the presentation here. I’m sure it’s not intentional, but it looks like Puma is stomping on Wilson Fisk’s dismembered torso. It’s amazing! OK, on to Puma… while he appears to be another dude in a kooky costume, Puma is a pretty interesting character, and one that was introduced in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man when I was about 12 years old and at the height of my childhood Marvel reading. Thomas Firehart is a wealthy businessman, one-time owner of The Daily Bugle, accomplished martial artist, and… oh yeah, capable of transforming himself into a Werepuma thanks to generations of careful genetic calculations. In retrospect Fireheart reminds me of a Native American T’Challa and the significance of that has only served to increase Puma’s street cred in my mind over the years. And while Puma has been immortalized in plastic through lines like the Superhero Squad and Heroclix, I can’t recall him getting an actual action figure before, which makes this release all the more of a welcome treat!

I do believe this is the modern look for the character, as I definitely remember him with shaggy shoulders and a blue and red chest piece. This wave has been heavy with modern redesigns, but Puma is the only example in this assortment of a modern look that I actually dig. The costume is much more muted, consisting of a brown and mustard colored top and trousers, which is achieved only through paint on the buck. It’s got something of a brown-costumed Wolverine thing going on, and that ain’t a bad thing. New sculpting for the figure’s costume includes the gold belt, which is attached snugly around the waist, and a pair of gold bands around the lower legs, each of which end in sculpted hair. These pieces are also held on by friction, but they stay put quite well. The costume is rounded out by a gold band on Puma’s left bicep, with two ceremonial feathers coming off the back, and a toothy necklace that rests on his shoulders. Of course, you also get new sculpting for the hands and feet.

Another thing I really dig about this look is how the proportions feel a bit wonky and lend credibility to his animal transformation. The arms seem unnaturally longer, although that may just be an illusion caused by those big grasping claws. The muscles seem extra bulbous too, particularly in the biceps. He has tufts of sculpted hair coming off his forearms, some textured hair on his arms, and those rings of fur on his ankles also reinforce the uncanny look of his profile.

And that brings us to the portrait, which is an absolutely fantastic sculpt. Puma is captured in mid roar with his mouth open wide and showcasing his fangs. He’s got a broad cat-like nose, beady eyes, and pointed ears, along with furry sideburns. His sculpted hair is coiffed close to his skull and there are a pair of ceremonial feathers jutting down off the back. Everything about this head sculpt conveys fierce animal rage, and I love it! If I had one complaint, I think the head should have been a wee bit bigger.

Obviously, I demand my Puma men be agile, and thanks to Legends basic articulation standards, he does quite well in this category. 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 waist, double-hinged in the knees, and have swivels at the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso swivels at the waist, has an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

So far, Puma is my favorite figure in this wave. No, that may not seem like high praise, since Silver Sable is the only other figure here that I really liked. But this guy turned out great! Add to the fact that this is his first release in the Legends line, and that makes him a long overdue character to add to my shelf! The only bad thing here? He’s reminding me how badly I want a Tigra figure in the new Legends line. Let’s go, Hasbro. Make it happen!

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Red Goblin by Hasbro

Happy Marvel Monday, folks! By the time you read this, I thought I may already be dead! But right now it looks like Hurricane Dorian is going to take a hard right and steer away from my position here in SW Florida. And thank God for that! I had a fear that I might have had to use unopened Marvel Legends from my backlog in place of sandbags to keep the flood waters out. But for now, let’s assume I’m going to survive, and we’ll have a look at another figure from the Kingpin Wave. Oh, look! It’s Red Goblin. Sonovabitch!!!

Even with all the waves of modern Legends that I’ve completed, I don’t think I’ve ever been this dejected about having to buy a figure for a BAF part. I can remember finding Red Gobby here on the peg and seeing Kingpin’s leg and being so happy, and then reminding myself that I’m about to fork over $20 to take this figure home. So let’s get this over with.

OK, it’s Norman Osborne merged with Carnage. Interesting idea, I guess. But, what a goddamn mess of a design. It looks like something I might have doodled on my Trapper Keeper when I was 14 years old and hopped up on root beer and pixie stix. Now keep in mind, I did not hate this design in the comic. I just think it’s something that does not translate well to action figure form, and it’s so hard for me to put my finger on exactly why it doesn’t work for me.

I think a big part is just the way the buck is painted. It looked all sorts of cool and sinister on the page, but here it strikes me as just a guy wearing a crimson leotard with the black markings painted on it. Then you have the giant, unposeable tail tacked on the back. I honestly forgot that he even had that and to revisit some of the panels to remind myself.

The tendrils don’t really work for me either. At least the mess of ones rising from his back are removable, as that piece just pegs into the hole. But you still have the permanent ones coming off his forearms and lower legs. Again, I’m just writing this off to working OK on paper and not in plastic. Also, at first I thought his feet were just lifted directly from the Symbiote Spidey in this wave, but I was surprised to see that they are actually different sculpts.

And the cherry on top of this mess is the portrait. Again, it’s tough for me to put my finger on exactly what happened here. I think a big part of it is his set of bushy skunk eyebrows. I did not come away from that comic thinking he had big tufts of fur above his eyes, but that’s exactly what’s portrayed here. I feel like the eyes should have been more narrow and the pupils smaller. I guess they did a good job on his mouth, and I do dig how it’s soft plastic and can sort of open and close.

Red Gobby comes with one accessory, and that’s his Carnage pumkin bomb. He can actually hold it fairly well in his right claw, but that’s about all I have to say on the matter.

This one is a swing and a miss for me. I’m not sure whether to blame Hasbro or just the design, but whatever the case, I wasn’t keen on this guy when I bought him and I’m no more fond of him now that I’ve got him opened up and spent some time with him. But hey, I’ve got another Kingpin part, and that means next Monday I’m going to wrap up this wave by opening Puma and cobbling me together a Fisk BAF.

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Symbiote Spider-Man by Hasbro

No random draw for this week’s Marvel Monday. Instead, I went straight for a Spider-Man figure so I can be sort of topical in light of the Spider-Man movie news. I’m not really going to go into that here much, instead I’ll just say that I haven’t given up hope that either Sony or Disney will see reason and reach some kind of new agreement. Then again, if he’s done I’ll just be grateful for every miraculous moment we got of him on screen. Another reason for this week’s pick is that I’m hankering to finish off another Build-A-Figure, and since I’ve already opened and reviewed two of the six figures needed to build Kingpin, this one will get me halfway there. Oh yeah, it’s the new Symbiote Suite Spidey, so don’t expect a lot of enthusiasm out of me for this review.

Since I don’t have anything to really say about the packaging, I’ll throw it out there that Hasbro has recently announced the decision to remove plastic from their packaging. How’s that going to work with Legends? Will there be enclosed boxes? Will we no longer be able to scrutinize the paint on the figures we buy? How will we know someone hasn’t stolen the BAF part, or swapped the figure for a Toybiz version and returned it? These are all questions that interest me a lot more than how it will effect the aesthetics of the package. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, let’s tear in and see what we’ve got.

As many of you probably remember, Hasbro gave us a Symbiote Spider-Man as part of the Sandman Wave, and it wasn’t that long ago. Of course, that was the Classic version and this is the more recent look of the Symbiote black suit as it appeared in last year’s “Go Down Swinging.” And while I don’t want to sound like a broken record, I am not a huge fan of a lot of the newer Marvel costume designs, and this one ain’t about to change my mind on that matter. Ah, but I’m here to review a figure and given what they had to work with I think Hasbro did a fine job on this one.

The Symbiote suit doesn’t require a lot of fresh sculpting, so Hasbro was able to save a few shekels on this release. From the neck to the ankles it’s just a recycled buck. The body is cast in black plastic and you get the white pattern painted on the chest and back, and wrapping around the shoulders. This is usually a recipe for disaster when it comes to the black bleeding through, but it doesn’t look too bad on this figure. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for monochrome suit designs, so this one does gain some points in that category.

The feet are sculpted into monster-symbiote feet and you get two sets of hands: Fists and claws. As for articulation, at first I thought this was a reuse of the Miles Morales figure, but it actually has the extra shoulder crunches, so that’s pretty cool. Everything else is standards stuff. As a rule, Hasbro’s Spider-Man figures are always loads of fun to play around with and this guy is no exception.

And then you have that head and those eyes. I wasn’t a big fan of this look in the comic art, and I’m sorry to say that I think it’s even worse when translated to an action figure. And yeah, personal taste aside, I think this is just one of those cases where 2D art wasn’t meant to be depicted in 3D. Hasbro did their best, but I just can’t get past how weird it looks. Why did Marvel decide to go with such a strange design? Well, why does Marvel do half the things they do in the comics these days? It’s a mystery. I understand the desire to update and make things look fresh, but I don’t get what they were going for here at all.

So, to sum it up, this is a decent figure based off a design I don’t like. Personally, I think it would have been much cooler to see the classic black suit return in the comic, but then Hasbro and Marvel couldn’t have sold another figure to idiots like me, so I guess they know what they’re doing. As much as I consider Legends a universe building line, I would have easily passed on this one if it weren’t for my desire to not own a headless Kingpin BAF. Then again, the same could have been said for the modern Black Cat included in this wave. And, I think I’ll keep the whole controversial update theme going next week with a look at another figure in this wave, Red Goblin.

Marvel Legends (Deadpool Corps): Deadpool and Scooter by Hasbro

This week I’m back on track with Legends on this Marvel Monday, and since I’m still working on the archaeological dig that is my Toy Closet backlog, I just grabbed the first thing that fell and hit me on the back of the neck while I was rummaging around in there. Oh look, it’s Deadpool with a scooter! And damn, that hurt!

I’ve only looked at one of these Deluxe Riders so far, and that was Black Widow and her motorcycle. I liked it a lot, and I’m expecting good things here as well. The set comes in a large window box that shows the figure, the scooter, and the bevy of other accessories and extras within. It definitely looks like something special, and I enjoy how Hasbro laid out the tray with Deadpool chasing the scooter. Let’s start with a look at the Deadpool figure!

Obviously, we’ve seen a lot of Deadpool figures in the modern Legends line. Some may say too man, but I’d say those people are wrong. My casual eye tells me this is a mix of the Juggernaut Wave Poolsy and the Sasquatch Wave X-Force Pool. Most distinctively, he has the armored pieces on the shins and forearms from the former, and the simpler chest of the later. The armored pieces are now painted all black, so they still look a bit different from their original appearance. I’m not sure if Hasbro was going for a specific comic look here, but most likely I think they’re just trying to come up with new combinations so dopes like me can justify buying the character again and again. I’m going to skip articulation, since we’ve seen this buck so many times now, I’ll just be lazy and refer you back to one of the other reviews, conveniently linked above.

For the belt and harness, Hasbro dug deep, going all the way back to their original X-Force Pool release, all the way back from 2012! And that’s a figure that is now best forgotten. The harness itself is cast in silver plastic, the chest shield is left a simple red, but he’s got his patented Deadpool emblem on his belt buckle and the pouches on the belt are all painted in a deep brown to convey rich Corinthian leather. Yeah, the combo is a bit kit-bashy, but I’ll concede that it works well together.

The scabbards and swords are recycled from the Sasquatch/Juggernaut Wave figures, and they work quite well here. The blades and guards are now gold, which I presume was just to mix things up a bit. I’m not a huge fan of the cut-outs on the scabbards that allow the tips of the swords to show through, but I do like these swords a lot. And it’s a good thing, because this Pool comes with no guns. He does, however have the combat knife from the Juggernaut figure, which still fits into the sheath on his lower right leg. Also, the scabbards are removable from the harness, which is something you may want to do if you’re going to have him riding the scooter with Dogpool.

The head is new, and Hasbro is going for pure comic effect here. Deadpool has both eyes popped wide and you can see his mouth open through the sculpted hood. If you were jonesing for an astonished looking Deadpool portrait, you can look no more. I’d argue that this was a rather specific expression to go for when only including one portrait, but I’ve got so many Deadpool heads to choose from, I can always swap it out if I want. Ok, let’s talk scooter…

I can’t remember when or where Pool’s red scooter originated, but I was delighted to the nod to it in Deadpool 2. And this is a really decent recreation in the 6-inch scale. It’s simple, but it’s designed to fit the figure well enough and even features peg holes on the running boards to help Pool stay put. A little assembly is required here, specifically popping in the rear view mirrors and clipping on the horn. They can be taken off again to go back in the box, but I fear clipping and un-clipping the horn may result in a breakage down the line. The rest is pretty basic. The front wheel does turn with he handlebars, and there’s a kickstand to keep it upright. There’s a detailed speedometer, and you also get a sheet of stickers so you can customize it.

Also included in the box are Dogpool and Squirrelpool. These aren’t so much figures as they are just display pieces. Both of them feature rotating heads, but that’s the only articulation there. I was actually surprised that they worked that into the tiny Squirrelpool. These do feature some very nice detail. I love Dogpool’s helmet, and Squirrelpool has his tiny swords on his back. The paint is pretty sharp on these as well. Both are sculpted in a very specific poses to be riding on the back of the scooter, although Dogpool can just sit with his paws up, almost like he’s begging, and Squirrelpool can stand on the ground on all fours. Squirrelpool is designed with a peg in his tummy that pegs into the hole in Dogpool’s back. These can be a little unsightly if you choose not to display them on the scooter, but that’s kind of the whole point.

Before wrapping up, I’ll note that the set also comes with a Hydra Bob head, just in case you happen to have the Hydra Trooper or the Hydra two-pack. Sure, it’s basically just a smiling Hydra head, but still definitely a cool bonus!

I like this set. It’s fun and it adds just enough stuff so that I don’t mind buying another Deadpool to get it all. And I do appreciate that it is a new figure, albeit a kit-bashed one, rather than just a straight repack. Although it would have been a good way to get that original Juggernaut Wave Deadpool back into circulation, as it remains one of my favorite Legends figures to date. I love it so much I have two, or at least I did until I gave one to my nephew. I don’t think this set is a must-buy for most, but as a Pool fan, nobody had to twist my arm to buy it. I picked it up for about $35 and I got no complaints.