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.

Marvel Legends (Crimson Dynamo Wave): Black Widow by Hasbro

Welcome back to another Marvel Monday! Last week I began my trek through the fairly recent Crimson Dynamo Wave with a look at a very comic-based Crossbones and today I’m going to tackle the first of the figures from the upcoming Black Widow movie. And hell, let’s just go with Natasha Romanov herself. Fun fact, whenever I see her final scene in Endgame I always manage to get something stuck in my eye. Weird.

Hasbro did some pretty cool and stylish art for the boxes on this wave and I whole heartedly approve. And I’ll confess that as I’m tearing open this lovely box, I’m thinking about how strange it will be watching a flashback MCU movie where we know the character is dead. Well, I guess at least we know she won’t get killed in this one, eh? I honestly liked Natasha’s heroic end, but it just drives the point home for me that this movie should have happened a long time ago.

And here she is and while you might think I’d be sick and tired of another MCU Black Widow figure, truth be told… I really dig this one! I didn’t pay much attention to the first solicitation shots, but now that she’s in hand I think that this outfit design is a fantastic blend of comic and film. Imagine my surprise to find that she’s actually almost a complete repaint of the Deluxe Black Widow that I reviewed back in April. Going from all white to this new deco makes for a big change. The costume also eschews the all black look that Natasha usually favors for a gray and black mix, which makes for a far more interesting look. The bulk of the black and gray has a matte finish with some high gloss reserved for the boots and the shoulder armor pieces. She still has that piping running down the front from the earlier outfits but the two-tone deco makes them pop a lot more. And speaking of pop, the gold paint on her belt and her Black Widow Bite bracers really transforms this figure into something special. Her belt is cast in soft plastic and includes holsters for her pistols with retaining straps around her thighs.

And from the back we can see Black WIdow is sporting a hardshell backpack with slots to store her batons. I do love a figure that can wear all her accessories! So what was changed from the previous figure? Mostly the upper torso, which was re-sculpted to give her the backpack and also that padding up by her neckline. They also reworked the buckle on her belt making it a little more prominent.

I’m sure I said this the last time we checked out an MCU Black Widow, but Hasbro has come a long way when it comes to sculpting Scar-Jo’s likeness. I seem to recall the original effort being a little rough, but this one is quite possibly their best. Yes, it seems to be the same as the Deluxe figure, at least the hair sculpt is identical. There are some differences in the face, but that might just be variances and not a whole new sculpt. It’s hard to tell. Either way, it really captures her lips and nose and the printing used for her eyes and the rest of the features is solid. Here’ she’s sporting a coif that is a little closer to her original Avengers look than we’ve seen in a while and I do like it a lot.

When it comes to articulation, we pretty much know what to expect from the ladies. And while the poseabilty here is great, I am not a fan of these elbow joints. Yeah, I usually bitch about Hasbro’s refusal to give the gals double-hinged elbows, but in this case I’m actually referring to these weird elbow hinges that stick out the back. I think I first noticed these on one of the Spider-Woman figures. Otherwise, her arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and pegged hinges for the wrists, which can swap out between fists and accessory hands. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint under her chest and her neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

As mentioned, Black Widow comes with a set of batons, which can store in her backpack. These are really simple accessories and there’s really not much I can say about them. They’re sculpted in really soft plastic, which makes them very bendy and as such they don’t always look that convincing in her hands. But hey, in fairness I don’t think there’s much else Hasbro could do with these at this scale.

In addition to her beat-down sticks, Natasha comes with her dual Glock 26S automatics. These are tiny little guns and can fit snugly into the holsters. I have mixed results with getting her to hold them straight. Her right hand seems to work better with them than her left, which always seems to want to practice trigger discipline. But all in all, these are pretty nice sculpts for such small accessories. Remember that one Black Widow figure where her guns were sculpted into her holsters. Yeah… that sucked.

And so my hat goes off to Hasbro for producing yet another Black Widow figure and still keeping my interest high. I just love everything about the look of this femme fatale. The costume redesign lends itself well to an action figure and the gold just totally sells it. And while I thought her white costume was a nice change, I think this one just brings out all the detail so much better. Will this be the last MCU based Black Widow figure we ever get in the Legends line? Well, if so at least she’s going out on a high note.

Marvel Legends (Crimson Dynamo Wave): Crossbones by Hasbro

It’s been a while since I reviewed a wave of Marvel Legends that was anything even remotely current, so to switch things up a bit, I thought I’d tackle the Crimson Dynamo Wave, which is also sort of the unofficial sponsor of the as yet unreleased Black Widow movie. Sure, only about half the figures are from the movie, but that’s close enough. And thanks to movies being delayed because of The Coof, I’m actually getting to review these figures before the movie is out! Seriously, Disney, you should have just dumped this thing on your streaming service. You’re probably going to wind up having to do that anyway. But I digress… let’s start with one of the comic-based figures.

It’s Crossbones! And this is my second comic-based Crossbones figure from Modern Legends. The previous one was released as part of the Thunderbolts SDCC boxed set. I was quite pleased to see that this one isn’t just a repackage, but rather a brand new figure. It’s also pretty cool to finally be getting the comic version of the character in a wide-released retail wave and not just part of a limited exclusive set.

Crossbones uses one of the bigger than average Legends bucks, and he’s looking ready for action and as iconic as ever with a costume that is mostly just painted onto the figure. He has plain black trousers and a tank-top with his crossed bones emblem painted onto the chest. His boots are sculpted with studs on the soles and are painted in a high gloss black, which make them stand out from the rest of his outfit. And lastly, his hands have finger-less gloves painted onto them. It’s a clean comic look that distinguishes him from the more realistic detailed sculpt of the previous release.

The costume also includes a brown belt, sculpted in soft plastic, with two holsters secured to his thighs with straps. There are sculpted pouches running around the length of the belt and tiny sculpted buckles in the thigh straps. Finally, he has a pair of brown wrist cuffs, which are also lined with tiny sculpted pouches.

Crossbone’s head consists of a rather stylized skull motif painted onto his hood. It’s sharp, with hardly any bleed through from the underlying black, and looks fantastic. The loose ends from where the mask is tied behind his head trails off behind his right shoulder.

There are no surprises to be found in the articulation. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, and swivels at the thighs and the tops of the boots. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers to accommodate those wider stances. The torso swivels at the waist and has an ab-crunch hinge under the chest. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double-hinges in the elbows. Finally, the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The joints all feel solid, but I do have to report that those holsters do inhibit the hp movement just a little bit.

You get two pairs of weapons with this figure. The first is an awesome matched set of what I presume to be double-barrel shotgun pistols. These are cast entirely in black, and both of his hands are sculpted with trigger fingers so he can hold them perfectly. It is, however, really tough to get them into his hands because the plastic is really stiff. Either way, I love these things and they look like the perfect weapons for Crossbones to wield. It’s too bad they couldn’t have rigged him up with some holsters for these on his back, or maybe made the hip holsters work for both sets of weapons.

The second set of weapons is a pair of silver sci-fi-style pistols, which fit into the holsters on his belt. And man, I’m just not digging these things at all. I think the designs are just fine, but they feel out of place with Crossbones. They’re also molded in that kind of shitty plastic that we just saw used on Union Jack’s weapons. I think these will be spending most of the time in the holsters for sure.

Crossbones was a great choice for a new figure, especially since a lot of collectors probably missed out on the exclusive one. At the same time, since he’s a different enough take on the character, I don’t mind having another version in my collection. This one is cleaner and simpler than the exclusive version, and as a result strikes me as something a little more classic in design. He’s pretty fun to play around with, and I love those shotguns, I just wish they had given him something better than those silver guns. Next Monday, I’ll check out one of the movie figures!

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): Union Jack by Hasbro

Hooray, it’s time to open the final figure in this very old and weirdly random wave of characters from both the funnybooks and the MCU. And after last week’s downer of a review, I’m glad to have one more to open so I don’t have to end things on a negative note. Sorry, Rock Python, but you kind of sucked! This time, it’s Union Jack giving us team building fans one more for The Invaders and another for MI-13! Don’t screw this one up, Hasbro!

Eh, it would be really hard for Hasbro to screw this one up, as they even did a fine job on Union Jack back in 2008. The blurb on the back of this package doesn’t say specifically, but I’m going to assume that this is Joseph Chapman, rather than one of the Falsworths, as the costume looks fairly modern. Sure, why not? Let’s go with that. And just a reminder, I’m not going to be reviewing the Endgame Hulk Build-A-Figure because I gave all those parts away. That’s all I got about the packaging, so let’s dive in and take a look!

The corporate directive with the comic-based figures in this wave seemed to be “Use as little new sculpting as possible!!!” as that’s what we get with Union Jack. Not a problem, though, since this is a costume that works well when it’s just painted onto a buck. Yes, most of the costume is just a giant um… union jack, painted onto his torso. The only tripping point would be how painting on a dark plastic body often turns out to be a train-wreck of bleed through. Thankfully, that isn’t the case here. It’s not perfect, the white isn’t as vibrant as it could be, but it’s not too bad and the red looks really good.

Jack includes some extra pieces to round out his costume, which include red cuffs on his wrists and ankles, and a bitchin utility belt. The brown military-style belt features some sculpted pouches, a working holster on the right hip and a working sheath on the left hip. The ankle cuffs are a pain in the arse, as they’re only held up by friction and often slide down to the ankle hinge, as can be seen in a lot of these photos.

The head sculpt is simple, but it’s exactly what it needs to be. The hood has some subtle sculpted stitching seams and you can just about make out the details of his face underneath it. The paintwork on his exposed eyes is particularly sharp. The sculpted concentric rings around the eye holes are a nice touch too!

Articulation is pretty important for a character like Union Jack, and Hasbro delivered with this nimble buck. The arms feature 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, swivels at both the thighs and lower legs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso sports an ab-crunch hinge, a swivel at the waist, and the neck is ball jointed and hinged. I think the lateral crunches we sometimes see in the shoulders would have been good for this character, but I don’t think it would have worked well with the flag pattern on the torso.

Union Jack comes with two weapons: A revolver and a fighting knife, both of which are cast in a really cheap looking silver plastic. At least they painted the grips black. It’s too bad because the sculpts aren’t bad, but the pistol is a huge step down from the excellent one that came with the 2008 version of Union Jack. Too bad I don’t still have mine. Of the two accessories included here, I think the knife fares a bit better.

Next to Loki, Union Jack was probably my most anticipated figure in this wave. I love the character, I love the teams he hangs out with, love the costume, and despite some sub-par weapons, I think he turned out great. This is the epitome of a simple but fun figure. For a lot of folks, this release may be overshadowed by the MCU figures in this assortment, and those were pretty damn good, but Union Jack is a stand-out figure for me.

And that puts this long overdue wave to bed! For next week’s Marvel Monday, I’m going to kick things back to something more current and topical and start tackling the Black Widow movie wave!

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): Rock Python by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday and I’ve got only two figures left to open in the Banner Hulk Wave before I can put this assortment to bed. This one has been something of an eclectic mix of characters from both the MCU and the pages of the funnybooks. And while there have been some strong figures in this wave, it’s had a few lows as well. And so, the good news is that today I’m expanding my Serpent Society team by one more member with Rock Python! The bad news, is this one of those lows I was talking about.

Here he is in the package, and I feel like I need to toss out there how much I love building teams in Marvel Legends and how much I appreciate Hasbro working their way through The Serpent Society. It’s a rich collection of costumed characters that should make for great action figure fodder. But with that being said, Rock Python’s suit isn’t one of my favorite designs in the comics, and I don’t think it translated all that well into an action figure. Also, I gave that Hulk arm to my nephew so I won’t be reviewing the Endgame Hulk BAF.

Straightaway, it’s obvious that Rock Python is another one of those budget-saving figures. Here you get a newly sculpted belt and head, and that’s it. The rest of the costume is accomplished through paint applications, and that’s fine. This is one of those characters that doesn’t require a whole lot of fresh sculpt to make him work. And I’m a lot more forgiving of Hasbro going the cheaper route with a guy like this than I am with Loki. And before getting too deep into my gripes with this figure, I’ll point out that I really like the coloring here. The pale blue and dark purple look great together. The paint lines around the tops of the boots and gloves are pretty sharp, and the segmented silver belt is decent enough. Alas, that’s kind of where my generosity ends.

The painted snake emblem on my figure’s chest is really rough with the paint chipping off and the darker blue showing though underneath. I’m not usually this critical of little paint blemishes, but since this makes up the bulk of the costume, it’s kind of a big deal. It comes across as looking dirty, or like this figure has been rattling around in a bin for a few years. Also, what were they thinking with that snake emblem? It looks like some kind of cutesy snake emoji, not an emblem to strike fear in the hearts of your Ophidiophobic enemies. I was tempted to flip back through some floppies to see if they really recreated it accurately, but then I honestly couldn’t think of the last book I read where Rock Python made an appearance. [Edit: Ok, I found some panels with him and yeah, Hasbro pretty much got it right. WHY SO CUTE???]

Moving on to the portrait, it’s just bad, or at least the helmet is. The lower half of the face is a pretty decent sculpt. There are some nice details in the facial lines, and I like M’Gula’s snarling expression, but I just can’t get behind that helmet. The eyes aren’t convincing and the whole thing just reminds me of a penis. A blue penis. With little painted eyes. Also, what’s with all the mold flashing on my figure? It’s hanging off the jawline and on the bottom surface of the helmet. This has been turning up on a number of my Legends figures lately, but it’s especially problematic here.

I’m going to pass on running through the articulation details, because I just can’t get motivated enough to do it where this figure is concerned. Also, there just isn’t anything we haven’t seen before in Marvel Legends. Instead, I’ll take the time to point out how tight and gummy the joints are on my figure. The swivels feel like they’re going to twist off and the hinges take a scary amount of effort to move. Conversely, the ab-crunch hinge is all loosey-goosey. I can flip his torso back and forth by grabbing him at the legs and shaking him back and forth.

I promise, I did not get out of the wrong side of the bed this morning. Nor did I burn my toast or get stuck in traffic on my way to work. Indeed, I didn’t sit down to write this review in any kind of a bad mood. Nope, this figure just left me cold. It’s not all Hasbro’s fault. Sure the paint is rough and the joints are janky, sure there’s ugly mold flashing, but ultimately, I just don’t dig this costume. The colors are nice, I’ll give you that, but when you look at some of the cool, deliciously goofy, or just bat-shit crazy costumes on display in The Serpent Society, this one just comes off as dopey. And not at all in the good way. But don’t get me wrong, Hasbro. I bought this figure so you would keep making Serpent Society figures. There’s a ton of great material waiting to be exploited and I want them all. But most of all, I really want you to start producing some of them snake ladies. Next week, I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at Union Jack!

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): Loki by Hasbro

After a brief detour to check out Klaue from Black Panther, I’m back to working my way through the Banner Hulk Wave. And with four figures under my belt, I’m more than halfway done! And here’s where the character selection in this wave really starts to descend into a free-for-all. There’s no theme or anything, just a semi-random assortment of characters here. Today we are having a look at The God of Mischief… Loki… And it’s a very classic comic version!

Even if you take into account how far behind I am in my reviews of this line, it still took a long time for Hasbro to get a comic-based Loki figure out of Modern Legends. I mean, I’ve got at least two MCU versions of him (only one of which I’ve reviewed) as well as the female Loki from the A-Force set on my shelf at this point. Nonetheless, he’s finally here and about as classic a version of Loki as anyone could ask for. Even the packaging window cannot contain the magnificence of those horns! And just a reminder, that Hulk leg went to my nephew, so I won’t likely be reviewing the BAF in this wave. I guess that makes me a good uncle, and a bad toy blog host.

Yup! For all the fans who discovered Marvel through the movies, and you’re just into Marvel Legends for the MCU stuff, Loki here is going to be like a bucket of cold water. He’s pure comic cheese from the early days but if you’re looking for some Jack Kirby goodness, there’s a lot to love here. On the other side, Hasbro played it pretty of lazy with this figure. There’s absolutely no character-specific sculpting to be found on the body, instead his costume is achieved nearly entirely by paint and colored plastic. His boots and gauntlets are yellow, his body suit is green, and the gold scales that make up his undies and run up through the center of his torso, are all painted on. Now with that having been said, the coloring on this figure is absolutely gorgeous. The green and yellow go so well together and the gold gives it that extra little pop.

You do get two separate pieces of fresh sculpting: His plain band of a belt and his starburst-like gorget, as final accent to the body. So, clearly this is one of the wave’s budget figures, and I’ll be the first to admit that the paintwork looks fine, but this is Loki, dammit! He really deserved more original sculpting. We’ve seen Hasbro’s sculpted scale mail on figures like Green Goblin, and I think that sort of thing would have looked great if applied here. I must be misremembering him wearing a cape with this costume, but to be fair this one is even way before my time, but it was still a design that I can remember seeing now and then in my childhood. Since this is a basic buck, there are no surprises in the articulation, so I won’t run down all the points, but I will point out that this body features the swivels in both the thighs and tops of the boots.

The head sculpt gets major props from me for Loki’s maniacal grimace and overall devilish expression. Hasbro does enjoy injecting their comic villains with tons of character and Loki is another great example of that. He looks absolutely deranged! His form-fitting cowl features his trademark horns, protruding proudly from his forehead and curling upwards. Meanwhile, his golden locks spill out the back in a long ponytail. The only downside here is I worry about those horns getting all warped. With over 300 Marvel Legends figures, I wind up having to rotate a lot of them in and out of display, which means Loki here will spend part of his life in bagged in a storage tote. Needless to say I have to make sure he resides at the top of the heap to keep those horns from going all wonky while in storage.

The God of Mischief comes with one accessory and that’s his sword. Yup, while the modern Loki favors daggers and throwing knives, old school Loki wielded a more conventional blade. It’s a great looking weapon with a yellow hilt, an extended grip, and a cross-guard that kind of resembles a bird stretching out it’s wings. The guard reaches up the blade just a bit and has a green gem or stone painted on it. The broad blade is painted silver. I thought this looked familiar, and a little searching reminded me that it’s a repaint of the sword that was included with Angela as part of the Titus Wave.

After all this waiting for a classic Loki, I find myself a little underwhelmed with this figure. He’s not a bad figure, quite the contrary, I think he looks great. But a figure as important as Loki should have had more attention. It’s doubtful that Hasbro will take a second crack at this version of him any time soon, and I think that they should shy away from using A-Lister characters as the budget figures in a wave. But with that having been said, I still dig him a lot and he looks fantastic displayed alongside the 80th Anniversary Thor.

Marvel Legends (M’Baku Wave): Ulysses Klaue by Hasbro

Last time on Marvel Monday, I started out saying that I was going to complete a review of the remaining figures in the Banner Hulk Wave, but by the end of the review I committed to having a look at Ulysses Klaue from the M’Baku Wave. Wow, way to undercut myself! Well, since I don’t want to make myself out to be a liar, at least not over something like this, let’s go ahead and check out Klaue from Black Panther! 

The M’Baku Wave almost passed me by completely. The only figures I found at retail were Killmonger and Klaue, which was a spot of luck because it was those two that I wanted the most. Will I ever double back to complete this Build-A-Figure? Who knows, maybe someday. There are some pretty solid figures in this wave, but I haven’t checked to see what they’re going for these days on the second-hand market. Klaue comes in the movie-branded package and with the huge torso for the M’Baku BAF. And since Killmonger didn’t come with a BAF part, this is actually my first piece  to build the figure.

Introduced in Age of Ultron, I was thrilled to see Klaue come back for Black Panther and not so thrilled to see him killed off. I think this may be the first time I saw Andy Serkis as a straight up actor rather than giving life to a CG character. Either way, I absolutely love his portrayal of Klaue in both movies. He was so bat-shit crazy and looked like he was having a great time being a bastard. But boy do I have mixed feelings about this figure! The body is pretty straight forward. Klaue is wearing glossy black boots, blue trousers, a white shirt with rolled up sleeves, and a blue and gray vest. So he’s basically wearing a suit, but has discarded the jacket. He’s got a sculpted pale blue tie and his collar is unbuttoned and disheveled. The issues I have here are basically in the torso. The vest is layered onto the figure in soft plastic so it looks kind of bulky. Maybe they did this to preserve torso articulation, but I think sculpting it as part of the figure might have worked better. And speaking of sculpt, the collar and tie just look bad. It’s a rough sculpt and the paint is sloppy. It almost looks like when someone without a lot of sills uses sculpey on a figure to do a custom. I do, however, appreciate that they printed all his tatts on his right arm and they even sculpted his watch!

Thankfully things look up when we get to the head sculpt. Serkis obviously had fun playing this role and he really hammed it up. I think Hasbro captured a lot of that in this crazy portrait. The likeness is definitely there and he’s all banged up with a bloody cut on his forehead and dirt and bruises on his face. The paint and sculpt on his teeth are especially well done. The printed detail on his beard looks terrible and splotchy when viewed up close with the camera, but it really does look fine when the figure is in hand and viewed with the naked eye.

The articulation takes some detours from what I’m used to seeing in my male Legends, although It’s business as usual from the waist down. I can’t speak to what’s going on under that vest, but it feels like it’s probably a ball joint. The double hinges that we usually see in the elbows have been replaced with rotating hinges, although he still has the usual bicep swivels. Part of the reason for the change in elbows is probably because of the rolled up sleeves, but the other is to accommodate the gimmick on his left arm.

His left forearm can be replaced with one that shows his prosthetic arm split open and revealing his sonic weapon. Anyone who happened to see Black Panther without seeing Age of Ultron, and wasn’t familiar with the comic character, probably had no idea what the hell was up when Klaue opened his arm and started shooting this thing. It was such a cool scene in the film and Hasbro did a nice job recreating it here. The detail on the mechanism inside the arm is great and they even painted each individual emitter.

And as if a hidden sonic arm weapon wasn’t enough, Hasbro also gave Klaue an automatic pistol, which he can hold in his right hand. Sadly he does not have anywhere to put it when he’s not brandishing it.

Klaue is a figure of highs and lows. He loses a lot of points for the sloppy work on his collar and the bulky vest, but everything else is done exceptionally well, However, in the end, I think the good outweighs the bad here. Besides, I’m just really glad Hasbro made him, because after the first Black Panther inspired wave had come and gone, I would have bet against it ever getting him later on down the road. Now if only the MCU had kept him around for one more film. Oh well! Next week, I’ll get back on track to finishing up the Banner Hulk Wave and then maybe I can take a look at a boxed set.

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): Shuri by Hasbro

My last excursion into Marvel Legends (several Marvel Mondays ago) saw me randomly drew Beta Ray Bill from the Pile-O-Shame, and I decided that I might as well finish off that wave and open the remaining figures. Keep in mind, I’m not building the Hulk BAF (those parts went to my nephew), but I’d still like to put the rest of this assortment to bed, since it’s already pretty stale. And so today I’m checking out the Princess of Wakanda, Shuri from Infinity War!

Black Panther is a Marvel movie that I enjoy coming back to, but very rarely ever finish. The beginning of that flick (let’s say the first third or so) is easily it’s high point for me and I really dig the stuff between T’Challa and his deceased father, but by the time I get about halfway through it, it starts to lose me and the movie feels like it fizzles out. And the less said about the final battle the better. Sometimes, I’ll just finish it in multiple viewings, but it’s safe to say I’ve seen the first half of it a lot more times than the rest. With that having been said, Shuri was a fun character and I was glad she got some screen time in Infinity War and Endgame. I was irked that she was conspicuously absent from the Marvel Legends Black Panther-themed waves, but now all is forgiven.

And here she is looking fine in her Wakandan garb. The outfit is recreated with lots of sculpted detail and some very subtle texturing, which looks like some kind of advanced fabric weave. It’s so subtle that I really have to turn the figure around in the light to reveal it. I dig that! You also get some sculpted panel lines and some beautiful detail on the neck piece, shoulders, and chest. The deco is a mix of brown, tan, and glossy black along with some copper piping. Meanwhile the sculpted bicep bands are like a gun-metal gray. As always I appreciate the mix of gloss and matte finishes that Hasbro often does with these MCU costumes.

Shuri also sports a sculpted plastic sash around her waist, which drops down behind her legs. It’s textured like fabric with some sculpted stitch lines and a very fine frayed edge along the bottom. It’s meant to be held on by a sculpted belt-buckle looking device colored to match her arm bands. As much as I love the look of this waist garment, it does unfortunately impede her leg articulation.

Generally speaking, Hasbro’s MCU likenesses have been excellent and I think that’s the case here as well. It’s certainly recognizable to me as Letitia Wright. She has some sharply placed dotted face paint, and the hair sculpt is extremely well done, especially the patterns on the back of her neck.

Getting back to articulation, Shuri’s is pretty solid, with a couple of my usual nitpicks. The arms have the standard rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, but she’s a gal and we all know Hasbro only gives the ladies rotating hinges in the elbows, instead of the double-hinged elbow with bicep swivels that the dudes get. Shuri also has those weird elbow hinges that kind of stick out when the arms are bent at their 90-degree extremes. The rest is fine, though. She has ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. She has a ball joint under her chest and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Shuri comes with her vibranium gauntlets, which clip onto her wrists. They hold on very well, but I think it would have been cool to have these swap out with her hands to make them fully enclose her forearms. Either way, the sculpts look great and they each have some translucent blue energy crackling from the ends.

Shuri is a great little figure and I’m so very glad we finally got her in the Legends format. Hasbro did quite a beautiful job on the her, but that’s par for the course with pretty much all of their Black Panther figures. Heck, adding her to my collection makes me want to double back and finish off that M’Baku Wave. And speaking of which, while I did say that I’ll be finishing up the rest of this wave, I think next week I’ll detour back to the M’Baku Wave so that I can finally open Ulysses Klaue.

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): Beta Ray Bill by Hasbro

One of the great things about having such a deep backlog of Marvel Legends is when I dig my hand into my pile of shame, there’s no telling what will come out. Case in point, today we’re going back to the Banner Hulk Wave and opening up Beta Ray Bill. I knew Bill was in there somewhere, and I’ve been hoping to get him in a random pick for a while now!

This assortment remains one of only a few few Modern Legends waves that I didn’t hunt down too enthusiastically. I wasn’t all that excited about the Banner Hulk BAF and I wound up giving a lot of the parts to my nephew anyway, but I may borrow it someday to review here. Eh, probably not… I think I’ve got enough on my plate as it is! Anywho, I have to give Hasbro some major props for the branding on this package. The snappy logo used for Bill’s name could have easily convinced me that it’s a movie tie-in. Sadly, no such luck, but the future holds many possibilities. There’s not a lot that could get me to want to go see a Thor movie starring Natalie Portman, but slap Beta Ray Bill in it, and I’ll be there.

Behold! Beta Ray Bill out of the package and looking damn cool! I’ve always found his backstory to be a little wanting, but who needs a great backstory when you’re an epic space man-horse in Asgardian armor? Egads, I love comics! The armor in question is a lot simpler in design than what The God of Thunder is usually wearing, but it’s still easily recognizable as being cut from the same cloth. Or mythril. Or whatever Asgardians make armor out of. From below the chest down it’s just smooth and black and showing the details of Bill’s fine muscles. The chest armor is painted with a gun metal gray finish that has a bit of a hammered texture to it. You also get two sets of the silver discs, similar to the ones that appear on Thor’s armor. A set of burnished bronze shoulder armor and sculpted wrist wraps round out the ensemble nicely. Not to forget the cape, of course! From behind, Bill is basically just a wall of cape! But it’s a very nicely sculpted cape!

With a face any mother could love, the head sculpt was easily going to make or break this figure. Happily, Hasbro did not disappoint. His horse skull visage is so grim it’s adorable and they really nailed the way his pronounced brow frames those pupil-less eyes. His head is topped off with a silver Asgardian winged helmet and the best surprise is that he has a hinged jaw! The sculpted tongue was a nice touch as well. Superb!

Bill conforms to most of the usual points of articulation I’m used to seeing on my beefy horse-men. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, there are double-hinges in the knees, swivels in botht he thighs and the lower legs, and the ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers to keep his feet flat on those wide stances. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double-hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The neck is both hinged and ball jointed, and I’ve already mentioned the hinge in the jaw. The biggest change up here is that he has a ball joint under the chest instead of the usual ab-crunch hinge.

Naturally, Bill comes with his trusty weapon, Stormbreaker, which makes me wonder what weapon he’ll have if he shows up in the MCU. Maybe he’ll just wind up with the Stormbreaker with the Groot handle. Either way, this mighty weapon is cast in gold plastic, has a ribbed grip, and a soft plastic lanyard coming out of the butt cap. Mine also has some ugly paint splotches on it. Boo!

Beta Ray Bill is one of those super fun characters who desperately needed an action figure. He’s also one of the stand-out figures for me from this assortment, and that’s saying something because there are some genuinely solid figures in this wave. So much so, that I may just work on wrapping up the remaining figures before moving on to more randomness.

Marvel Legends (SP//dr Wave): Cloak and Dagger by Hasbro

It’s time to rev up that Wayback Machine, because for this week’s Marvel Monday, I dipped my grubby mitt into the stack of unopened Marvel Legends shame and came up with Dagger from the SP//dr Wave. Naturally, I had to dive back in to find Cloak because I can’t rightly review one without the other. This was like a lost wave to me. It came and went and I never saw most of it. Luckily I found Cloak and Dagger off of Amazon, and only now am I reminded that I reviewed Elektra from this wave back in 2018. Doc Ock is in my Pile of Shame somewhere, but he didn’t come with a BAF part. That leaves a couple of Spider-Man variants and Shadowland Daredevil, I think? Maybe one day I’ll build that SP//dr BAF but until then, I’m going to open up Cloak and Dagger.

I was about 13 when Ty and Tandy got their first four-issue miniseries but I was too into Spider-Man and Fantastic Four to notice. Actually, I think I fell in love with Dagger, but even my raging hormones and her fine booty didn’t get me too into the comic. It just wasn’t what I was looking for at the time. It wasn’t until a few years later that I found the entire run of their eleven issue series at a used book store downtown where I often trekked to on my bike to hunt comics. Slightly older me was a lot more game. It was dark and gritty shit that taught kids you could get super powers from heroin. Actually, I think that was the opposite of the message they were going for, but hey, it’s up to interpretation. Let’s start out with a look at Cloak!

Before I even had this figure in hand, I predicted it was going to be problematic because of that plastic cloak and I sure was right about it. The plastic cloak tightly encompasses the figure and renders him practically static. I can barely even get his hands to peek out without the clasp on the cloak snapping open. Now, with that having been said, I think the figure looks fantastic. The flowing cloak features a beautiful glossy dark blue finish with some matte black stripes emanating from the sculpted clasp. Beneath that there’s a fully articulated body, but none of that articulation is worth a damn unless you take the cloak off. And that’s no good because the body under it is just a featureless black and purple buck. Besides, what’s Cloak without his Cloak. How many damn times can I say cloak in one paragraph??? CLOAK!!! The only noteworthy thing going on under there is his hands, which are cast in a partially clear plastic and have a cool otherworldly look, if you can actually catch a glimpse of them.

The hood is sculpted separately from the rest of the cloak and attached to the head, so at least the neck articulation is useful. The hood is also partially transparent, similar to the hands, so it casts a cool purplish tint over Ty’s face. And what a great head sculpt this is! Tyrone projects a stoic expression with his perfectly painted goatee and stern, pupil-less eyes. I dig it!

But yeah, here’s a great example of where Hasbro should have introduced some softgoods to this line. I’m not saying it would have looked as good as the plastic cloak, but at least it would have allowed the figure some movement. Maybe some customizers out there have come up with something better, but as is, this figure looks great but is absolutely no fun at all. Let’s move on to Dagger.

Dagger is an extremely simple figure, with absolutely zero original sculpting from the neck down. The almost entirely white buck portrays her costume along with the flesh-painted crucifix that passes as the cut-out on the front. Her hands are also painted with skin-tone and has some white paint on the backs of her hands. This is about as basic as it gets for Marvel Legends, but does it work? Yeah, pretty much. I really don’t have any complaints when it comes to the costume. I do, however, have a couple of other nitpicks. First, I think the figure would have been better served using one of the younger and shorter bucks. Second, it’s my age old gripe over the use of rotating hinges in the elbows as opposed to hinged elbows and swivels in the biceps. Why do the dudes get it, but the gals don’t? There’s also no waist swivel, but Dagger does have a ball joint under her chest. Otherwise, the articulation is business as usual.

Overall, I like the head sculpt well enough, but the eyes do look a little too far apart. The white crescent around her right eye is sharp, as are all the paintwork on her facial features. Her hair is sculpted so as to bunch up around her shoulders, and it isn’t as restrictive of the neck articulation as I thought it might be.

Dagger comes with one accessory and that’s an effect part that clips onto her wrists. It’s supposed to simulate her throwing her light projectiles, but the alignment doesn’t really work for me. There have been a handful of other Legends figures that had similar style effect parts that work a lot better than this one.

Does it sound like I’m really down on this pair? I dunno, maybe. I think they look fantastic together on the shelf, and it’s pretty fun to pose Dagger and put her in front of Cloak, but in the end I guess this pair did fall a bit short of my expectations. I love the characters and I’m happy to have them represented on my Legends shelf, but I don’t think I’ll be taking them down and playing around with them a lot. Cloak feels more like an action-figure-sized accessory for Dagger, and I’m sure that’s not what Hasbro was going for here. And while Dagger gets the job done, there’s nothing about her that’s all that special.