Marvel Legends (Colossus Wave): Shadowcat and Colossus by Hasbro

Well, it took me a little longer than I hoped to swing back and finish up this second Age of Apocalypse themed wave, but there’s an old saying when it comes to timeline-altering narratives: Better late than never! So, let’s wrap things up with a look at the last packaged figure, Shadowcat, and the Colossus Build-A-Figure!

It feels odd to be looking at the Earth-295 Shadowcat before our own version, but that’s more my fault than it is Hasbro’s. They have already released the Earth-616 Shadowcat in a three-figure boxed set with Meggan and Captain Britain, I just haven’t gotten around to opening that set yet. Maybe I’ll push that to the head of the line, and look at some multi-figure packs before diving into the next wave of figures. Either way, Kitty has some cool character art on her box, and they managed to squeeze Colossus’ torso in there with her. Let’s rip this package open and let the cat out of the bag!

Oh my, Yes! I do have a thing for many of the redesigns that the ladies got for Age of Apocalypse, and that goes doubly so for Shadowcat! She comes sporting a metallic blue bodysuit, segmented with cut lines to make it look like some kind of flexible armor, and ending at her chest. The sleeves are separate, with more segmented cuts, and terminate at her biceps, giving her a dystopian-chic bare shoulder look. Her hands are sculpted with fingerless gloves, and she has a pair of silver wrist bracers, which are meant to contain her retracted kitty claws. Her ensemble is finished off with a silver utility belt, complete with pouches and branded X-Men logo on the belt buckle! The belt and bracers are all separate pieces.

I think the portrait turned out great. Kitty looks a bit displeased, and while I’ll admit the expression falls short as you punch in close with the camera, it looks fine with the naked eye. The face printing is crisp and clear, They did an especially nice job painting the glimpse of teeth through her lips. The hair sculpt is also fantastic. It’s sculpted separately from the head to give it a clean hairline, and I love the way it hangs down over her right eye and sweeps back behind her left ear. She has a sculpted choker with a single red oval stone. The choker is painted to match her bodysuit, although this is one area where the paint could have been sharper.

Shadowcat’s articulation is standard stuff for the Legends ladies. The legs feature ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs and lower legs, double-hinged knees, and hinges with lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, with hinged pegs in the wrists. There’s no waist swivel, instead you get a ball joint under the chest, and a hinged ball joint in the neck. Kitty comes with two pairs of hands: One pair of fists, one right hand with splayed fingers, and one left accessory holding hand.

She also comes with a second set of wrist bracers that have her kitty claws extended. These are a bit thick, and look more like tendrils than claws, but overall, they’re a decent accessory and make for some nice poses. Let’s move on to the Build-A-Figure, Colossus!

Colossus is comprised of the standard six pieces: Four limbs, torso, and head. I suppose you can say it’s seven pieces if you count the ties for his mask, which connect to the head with a ball joint for some added articulation. Colossus’ AoA redesign represents some of the best and worst aspects of the character redesigns. Colossus has exchanged his one-piece for a pair of shorts and yellow suspenders, which means he’s showing a lot more of his metallic body. And boy the sculpting for all those metal sinews that make up his torso is absolutely fantastic! He’s also sporting a bunch of additional armored pieces, including guards for his knees and lower legs, elbows and forearms, and a giant piece of armor over his left shoulder. Why does Colossus need added armor? Because… Shut up it looks cool!

The colors on this figure are stellar. The mix of bright red armor, bright yellow suspenders, and the gorgeous silver finish of his skin all blend together as a feast for the eyes. You even get some pale red metallic paint hits on the studs of his shoulder armor. I think a lot about this design is just plain dumb, but I can’t hate on it, because it just looks so damn good!

The portrait is probably my favorite thing about the redesign. Piotr looks absolutely savage and just a little bit terrifying here. He’s got a pirate-style mask covering the upper half of his head. As mentioned

Colossus is sporting some excellent articulation for such a big, bulky guy! His arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinged elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double-hinged in the knees, have hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, and swivels in the thighs and lower legs. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and a ball joint in the neck. You get two sets of hands here: One pair of fists and one pair of grapple hands.

I think Hasbro did a superb job bringing these two from comic page to plastic, and boy do they look great together. The detail on Colossus’ body is some of Hasbro’s best work, and Kitty is just all around gorgeous. But the colors are what really make these figures stand out to me. Even on a shelf full of colorful superheroes and mutants, this pair still manages to grab my eyes! Simply beautiful!

And that’s a wrap for the second Age of Apocalypse Wave. I’ve made it no secret that my enthusiasm for Marvel Legends has been wavering lately. I think most of Marvel’s current books are garbage, and I think I’ll be tapping out of the MCU movies after the next Doctor Strange. That leaves just cherry-picking the line for whatever classic characters they haven’t done yet. But when you add the price increase into the fold, well that’s just another nail in the coffin. With all that having been said, this Colossus Wave had me super excited, so there’s still hope. Not to mention, I have a huge backlog of figures still waiting to be opened and given the spotlight here!

Marvel Legends (Colossus Wave): Iceman and Legion by Hasbro

I’m continuing to cut a swath through the endless backlog of Marvel Legends figures that are piled up around here, and I’m more than halfway through the Age of Apocalypse-inspired Colossus Wave. I’m tackling this wave in pairs, so I can get through it a bit faster, and that brings us to Iceman and Legion!

I didn’t really pair these together for any reason, other than I had four figures left, and it seemed like I should do Shadowcat and Colossus together. Or, you could say that I was going for a blue theme today. The fact is, I came into these two figures with very different expectations. One I was pretty excited for, and the other… well let’s check that one out first.

Yup, Iceman was the figure that I was least excited about in this assortment. No offense to Bobby Drake, but I just didn’t think that it could possibly be all that drastically different than the last one we got from the Juggernaut Wave. But when I got this guy in hand, I quickly changed my tune. Maybe I was just expecting a quick rehash of the previous release, but this is anything but that. Yes, a lot of the sculpt appears to be recycled, but Hasbro cast off the smooshy and chalky white plastic for this vibrant translucent blue that is absolutely gorgeous and does a great job replicating an ice effect, especially with the white dusting around the chest and shoulders.

The portrait is all new, including a new collar of jagged ice. The facial features are a bit amorphous, but he has clearly defined white eyes, and more jagged ice-spikes in place of his coif of hair. I dig the look here a lot, as it leans into a harder Bobby from his severe environment.

There are no surprises in the articulation, although he does lack the swivels in the lower legs that we often see in the modern Legends line. I would have liked to see the shoulder crunches here, but that might have been a bit too ambitious for the translucent plastic. Whatever the case, he’s fun to pose, especially without the soft hinges I had in my previous Bobby Drake figure.

Iceman doesn’t come with much in the way of accessories, although you do get a pair of enlarged ice claws, which are pretty cool additions to a beautiful figure. Let’s move on to Legion…

I was profoundly disappointed that Legion wasn’t included in the first Age of Apocalypse Wave, considering he is the reason for the season so to speak. But patience prevailed and all was forgiven when he turned up in this second assortment. X-Men certainly has its share of memorable and sympathetic characters, but I developed a particular connection with Legion over the years. I was particularly struck by the way Bill Sienkiewicz portrayed him in the panels, and later having a friend develop Schizophrenia helped to hammer home the heartbreak I would eventually associate with David. Hasbro did some inspired parts recycling here by borrowing the legs and bare feet from Shang-Chi. I wouldn’t have guessed that would work as well as it did. I really dig the blue they used for his outfit, and the extra shading really makes the figure pop.

I do like this head sculpt a lot. Yes, it’s pretty tame in some respects, but there was no way Hasbro could have recreated some of the more memorable and trippy depictions we’ve seen in the comic panels. The unmistakable stack of hair looks great, and I dig that they added that one little cowlick jutting out of the front. The smirk and the squint work for me, although the eyes could have been painted a bit sharper.

The articulation here is identical to what we just saw with Iceman, and that includes the omission of swivels in the lower legs. Legion also comes with two pairs of hands: One pair relaxed and one pair balled up into fists. I wouldn’t have considered that necessary, but it’s always nice to have options!

What a great pair of figures! Iceman just all out surprised me! It’s not that the regular Iceman release was a bad figure, but I just appreciate how Hasbro went all out to make this one so distinctive. As for Legion, I’ve been looking forward to getting him on the shelf for a while now and he definitely lived up to my expectations. On the whole, this has been a really solid assortment of well-executed characters, and I’m looking forward to checking out the last two next week with Shadowcat and the Colossus Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Colossus Wave): Cyclops and Rogue by Hasbro

I’m in the process of making my way through the second Age of Apocalypse themed wave of Marvel Legends. So far I’ve checked out Magneto and Sabretooth, and today I’m doubling up with a look at Earth-295’s Cyclops and Rogue!

The figures feature some great character art on the side panels and the X-Men logo on the fronts. I think it would have been cool if they did a little more branding for Age of Apocalypse, but I throw these packages out anyway, so it’s no big deal. Each figure comes with one of Colossus’ limbs, and Rogue comes with an extra Colossus hand. Let’s start with Cyclops!

I think Cyclops’ AoA makeover is pretty fun. He’s no longer the clean-cut, straight-arrow, as his dystopian reality (and the glory of mid-90’s comic design) has taken its toll on him. The base figure here is quite simple, with generic blue buck, representing his sleeveless bodysuit. His arms are left bare, but he has some painted gloves to match his suit. The bulk of the new sculpting comes in his gold belt with shoulder armor strap, as well as the reinforced armor on his right glove, and a full armored sleeve on his left. The electric blue used for his suit is absolutely gorgeous and makes for a nice contrast with the gold used for his extra bits. I’m not usually a big fan of the type of gold plastic Hasbro used here, but they did add some scrapes and scuffs to the armor pieces, and I think it actually looks quite good.

The head sculpt is of course new, and like Magneto, Cyclops has trouble finding a barber in Earth-295. I’m actually getting a little bit of a Tommy Wiseau vibe off of this portrait, which is kind of awesome. The copious coif of brown hair is parted to the left to expose the additional gear attached to his visor, and the lone crimson lens covering his remaining eye, while it hangs over his missing peeper. A grim expression is chiseled into the exposed lower half of his face.

Cyclops features pretty standard articulation for this line. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double-hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, have swivels in the thighs and lower legs, double-hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. You get a waist swivel and ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Cyclops comes equipped with a pair of fists, but sadly no other hands. Let’s move on to Rogue!

Wow, these colors! Despite her grim surroundings, Rogue went for some eye-assaulting colors on this outfit. You still get the usual yellow, but here it’s mixed with some dark green for her upper sleeves, reinforced panels on her hips and thighs, and electric green for the rest. She has a pair of yellow wrist bangles, and one wide yellow thigh strap on her right leg. We got a fair amount of new sculpting for this figure, mostly evident on her baggie upper sleeves, and her chunky yellow boots, complete with red oval fixtures on the fronts. Lastly, she has a loose green collar resting on her shoulders, with silver studs.

And then there’s the head sculpt. You know how some people say there are comics that are un-filmable? Well, this may be a case of a comic hairdo that’s un-sculptable. I’m sure Hasbro did their best, but this thing is just a mess. And it doesn’t help that they also had to give her a giraffe neck to make it work. The face itself is OK. She looks kind of gaunt next to the Earth-616 Rogue, but maybe it’s because she isn’t on a steady diet of Gambit’s gumbo.

Articulation here is in line with most of the Marvel ladies, which means you get rotating hinges in the elbows, instead of double-hinges and bicep swivels. You get a ball joint under the chest, instead of a waist swivel and ab-crunch hinge. And Rogue has swivels in the thighs, but not in the lower legs.

Unlike Cyclops, Rogue actually does come with a second set of hands, so you get fists, and the same style of splayed finger hands that we got with the previous Rogue.

Coming into this duo, I expected to like Rogue a lot, and not care for Scott Summers at all, but the truth turned out to be the opposite. I think Cyclops is a great looking figure with a style that really tickles my nostalgia for 90’s comic tropes. Rogue is by no means a terrible figure, but it’s just hard for me to get past that hair sculpt.

Marvel Legends (Colossus Wave): Sabretooth by Hasbro

I had originally planned on tackling this second Age of Apocalypse-themed wave by doubling up each review, and that’s still the plan going forward. But I was at a loss for time last week, so I gave Magneto his own review, and now I’m doing the same for Sabretooth!

Magneto did not come with a BAF part, but Sabretooth comes with Colossus’ head and a second piece for the tie on his mask. I was surprised to see that this is the first time Sabretooth is getting the spotlight here on FFZ, as I never did get around to reviewing his release in the Apocalypse Wave, but I will bring in that figure for a comparison picture at the end.

Besides the new look, this Sabretooth is a helluva lot bulkier than the previous release. He’s a big boy with a decent mix of generic figure buck and some fresh sculpting for his costume. The torso, goin, and legs are all just standard muscle, cast in a light tan, which borderlines on orange. The boots and left gauntlet are dark brown, and all have some nice texturing to look like rough leather, and he has a simple belt to match. The right gauntlet has a matched hand, but the gauntlet sleeve is reinforced to look like metal, with heavy bolts and an extension to fortify the back of Sabretooth’s hand. The final piece of the costume includes a dark brown collar that extends out to his shoulders, and has silver bolts. Meanwhile, the arms are cast in flesh-tone plastic and have sculpted and painted hair, similar to what we’ve seen in some past Wolverine figures!

You get two head sculpts, and I really dig both of them a lot! It’s packed with personality. with a wonderful smirk, exposing just a hint of tooth. The eyes are deep set with big bushy eyebrows, and the well-detailed face is punctuated with a glorious butt-chin. The hair sculpt is also worthy of praise. It’s a separate sculpt, which gives it a clean hairline, parts around the ears, and there’s a plug in ponytail that can swivel.

The second portrait is all business, with his pupils gone, and his mouth drawn up into a big, toothy snarl. You also get a second ponytail to plug into the back of this head as well. That may seem like a no-brainer, but you never know with Hasbro these days. They could have opted to save a few pennies and only include one.

Articulation here is textbook for this bulkier Legends buck. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders and hips, swivels in the biceps and thighs, hinged pegs for the wrists, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, double hinges in the knees, and elbows, a waist swivel, an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Sabretooth also includes two pairs of hands: One pair of fists, and one pair relaxed. There aren’t any other accessories here, but I can’t say he’s really missing any.

I love this look for Sabretooth. It’s clean and tight and just the right mix of generic buck and new sculpt. I also think he looks great on the bigger, bulkier body. And while he still looks pretty damn tough, he appropriately lacks the savage and terrifying expression of the Earth-616 Sabretooth. So far, this Wave is hitting it’s mark two-for-two. Next week, I’ll double up with a look at a couple more!

Marvel Legends (Colossus Wave): Magneto by Hasbro

Oh boy, am I backlogged on my Marvel Legends reviews! I mean, I was already behind, and then I had three new waves arrive and I just keep getting in deeper and deeper! Today, I’m going to start in on the second Age of Apocalypse themed wave and I was going to double up, but I was so pressed for time that I wound up going solo with Magneto. I am going to try to check in again this weekend with Sabretooth and then double up the rest of the reviews for this assortment, so we’ll see how that goes!

It goes without saying, that I was a huge fan of the first Age of Apocalypse wave, and I was surprised to see Hasbro serve up a second so quickly. The first assortment had some heavy hitters and the amazing Sugar Man Build-A-Figure, so it’s going to be a tough act to follow. But, this second assortment is also bringing some major players and the Colossus BAF looks like he’s no slouch!

Magneto arrives sharing most of the body used for the Earth 616 Magneto packed in with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and that’s to be expected. The red plastic is the same, and even the belt is lifted for this figure, albeit looking more purple than blue. You get some minor paint changes to the boots and gauntlets, his undies are now left red, and the addition of some shoulder pads, but that’s about it from the neck down. The cape is now red, and notably smaller. It still has the bolted neck ring, but that’s been reworked a bit, and this cape doesn’t hover over the shoulders like it did on the previous figure. All in all, this Magneto brings just enough new sculpting to the table to make him stand out.

The head sculpt is completely new, with Erik sporting his manly dystopian pigtails. The portrait packs a lot of personality, with Magneto’s struggle to lead The X-Men clearly taking its toll on him. The plastic coif is pretty magnificent too, and his braids are soft and bendy enough so as not to impede articulation too badly.

You also get a helmeted portrait, which sadly I am not nearly as impressed with. I like the styling well enough, but the paint application could have been a lot more precise. There’s some notable slop around the purple accents, and while on the subject of paint slop, the neck ring is pretty messy too. I also think the helmeted head looks too small, compared to the un-helmeted one. Not only does it look like his head might have shrunk a bit, but it seems unlikely he could get al that hair in there. There’s nothing terrible here, but enough issues to be disappointing.

Since we’ve seen this body many times, there are no real surprises when it comes to articulation, so I won’t run through it all. He does come with two sets of hands: One set of fists and one set of power-wielding hands!

And speaking of powers, you get two effect parts to wrap around his wrists or project from his hands. These are cast in the standard soft plastic with a translucent purple color.

Despite some issues, I really do like this figure, especially since I was sorry to see him omitted from the first wave. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, as Hasbro didn’t have to do a whole lot to convert their regular Magneto to the AoA version, so it’s fair to say he’s one of the budget saving figures in this assortment. But that having been said, he’s a great representation of the character’s look in the comic and a fine addition to my growing Age of Apocalypse shelf!

Marvel Legends: Skrull Army Builder by Hasbro!

Holy hell, I’m back! And I’m rolling out a Marvel Monday just for old time sake! But, it’s only temporary. I plan on getting back to Mythoss Mondays again in a couple of weeks. So, a couple of things before jumping in. First, thanks for your patience and your kind emails during my hiatus. It’s been a busy and mostly stressful couple of weeks with work and while the move has been going smoothly, I’ve still got a bit more to go. A lot of my collection is either set up or accessible, so I’ll do my best to generate some content and eventually get back to regular updates. I’m shooting for another review this week, probably on Friday. Lastly, I don’t have my photo area completely setup yet, so I’m making due until I can get a permanent setup and get the lighting right.

Today I’m checking out the Skrull Army Builder, which is currently a Pulse Exclusive. These come in fully enclosed boxes with some nice printed art on the front, but it’s certainly intended to be more utilitarian than the packaging we see in the toy aisles. Inside, the figures and accessories come wrapped up in tissue paper. Personally, I don’t mind it at all. I picked up two of these guys, so let’s see what we got!

As army builders, these are very simple figures, similar to what you’d see as one of the cost-saving releases in a wave. That means there’s no unique sculpting below the neck, and the costume is achieved entirely through paint and colored plastic. They picked a great body for the figure, as it exhibits the added articulation in the shoulder crunches, making these guys pretty limber little shapeshifters! The costume consists of a metallic purple body suit with black boots and gauntlets, black undies, and a black cowl. It’s a decent looking figure, and works well for a nameless trooper.

Each figure comes with two unique portraits, so if you bought a pair like I did, you have a different head for each. The standard head offers a decidedly unhappy expression and it looks fantastic. The long pointed ears have plenty of detail, and he’s got that extra helping of chin with the vertical creases. The prominent, furled brow hangs above his beady little eyes, and his head is covered with a simple skullcap. For a nameless brute, this guy has plenty of personality!

The second head is even better, with a toothy scowl. This is a truly epic sculpt, and easily my favorite of the two.

You don’t get any extra hands with the figure, but you do get two gun hands and two guns to put in them! The first is a very intimidating rifle. This weapon is cast entirely in gray plastic and features plenty of detail in the sculpt.

The second gun is this cool looking little retro-style hairdryer pistol. It’s cast in a matching gray plastic and has a big purple orb on the side. I just love this chunky little gun!

I’ll be honest, I don’t order or pre-order a lot of figures from Pulse, unless they are exclusives, like these. Still, it’s awesome that Hasbro is offering some army builders, and The Skrull were a great choice for this sort of thing. I seem to recall these were about $16 each and that makes it pretty tempting to load up on them. I may go for a third if I find myself ordering something else and these are still in stock, but for now I’m cool with just having the two. And they sure look great when displayed with the Super Skrull Build-A-Figure! Hasbro offered these up at the same time with a pair of SHIELD army builders, and I hope to check those out next week!

Marvel Legends (Infinity Saga): Odin by Hasbro

I make it no secret that so far I’ve been mostly indifferent about the Post-Endgame MCU. Sure, I was excited about No Way Home, and that excitement paid off big time, but I had no interest in Shang-Chi and The Eternals, and I couldn’t make it through either one. Maybe Hasbro has its doubts too, because while cartloads of Eternals and Shang-Chi figures languish on the pegs at my local Target, the Infinity Saga figures seem to be selling really well!

What’s Infinity Saga? It’s Hasbro rifling through the older MCU movies to see who they haven’t done yet. These are designed more like stand-alone releases, without any connecting waves and no Build-A-Figure parts. It’s a good idea, and I have a short list of characters I’d like to see make this side-series. One of those happened to be MCU Odin… and here he is! The packaging is quite distinctive, although the top flap of mine looks like someone tried to get into it before I did.

I was surprised to realize that we haven’t seen Sir Anthony Hopkins’ take on Odin in Marvel Legends yet, and I’m happy to say they mostly did the character proud. The figure comes wearing his full Asgardian armor, hitting a lot of the stylistic beats found in his son Thor’s outfit. The intricately sculpted scrollwork pattern on his breast plate looks especially good! The rest of the outfit consists of a brown suit with quilted patterns in the arms and legs. He has shoulder armor, wrist bracers, and some shiny brown boots. The cape spills over his shoulders, but without that hovering effect that Thor somehow pulls off, and stops just short of reaching the ground. It may not look like it, but it does seem to make Odin rather back-heavy, and unless he’s in a pose where the cape is touching the ground and adding support, he tends to fall over a lot.

When first looking at him in the package, I thought the extra was just to supply one without the helmet, but the helmet is actually removable and can go on either head. And what an epic headpiece it is! The wings and horns are exaggerated to the extreme, leaving no doubt that whoever is wearing it is the most important person in the room. The helmet is cast in soft plastic so it fits the heads well, but not so soft as the horns and wings get all bendy. It has something of a matte finish to it, but if you catch it in the light just right, it will shine!

As for the head sculpt, I’m a little divided on that matter. There’s clearly some Hopkins in there, but I don’t think the likeness is a slam dunk. On the other hand, I really like the detail in it. The facial hair looks great, the eye patch looks well weathered, everything about this looks good even if the likeness isn’t as strong as I would like it to be. Yeah, some might say it’s not a good sculpt if they tried at the likeness and didn’t get it, but I’m strangely OK with it.

The other head has The Great Odin offering a friendly smile, and at first I did not notice the smile, which is why I just thought this was an extra head sans helmet. But yeah, the smile is clearly there. I think the problem is that it’s just a small and localized change to the head sculpt making it not terribly obvious. I do prefer the first one.

The articulation here features all the usual points I expect to find in my MCU Legends dudes. That means rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinged elbows and knees, ball jointed hips, swivels in the biceps and thighs, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, and hinged pegs in the wrists to swap out his extra set of hands. The neck is both hinged and ball jointed, and you get a ball joint at the waist, so as not to break up his armor with the usual ab crunch. You can get some nice poses out of him, but I think he looks best just standing there and being majestic.

In addition to the extra hands, Odin comes with his staff, which is cast in the same gold plastic as his helmet. It looks good, although I don’t really remember it in the movie well enough to comment on its accuracy. He has one pair of hands designed to hold it, so he can wield it with right, left, or both! The other set of hands includes a right fist and a left gesturing.

Considering it’s been six years since we last saw Odin in the Legends line, it’s nice to see him available again. Plus, the previous release was the comic version, and I Build-A-Figure as well! I think the MCU version was long overdue. Laying aside my issues with the likeness, I still think this is an excellent figure and I was surprised at how excited I was to finally get him in the collection!

Marvel Legends (What If?): The Hydra Stomper by Hasbro

In case you missed the memo, I’ve replaced Marvel Mondays with Mythic Legions reviews, so that’s why you’re seeing a Marvel Legends review on a Wednesday! Now, since it’s out of the regular Monday rotation, that means there’s no guarantee that I’ll be doing Marvel content every week, but I wasn’t about to go cold turkey straight out of the gate, was I? Today I’m checking out The Hydra Stomper, which is a single oversized Deluxe release, that is tethered in spirit to the proper What If? Wave, which I’ll be tackling soon enough. My guess is that this guy was a little too big to do as the Build A Figure, which is why Hasbro gave that honor to The Watcher. Hey, it all works out in the end.

While What If? can refer to the funnybooks, this Wave seems to be more specifically tied to the recent What If? animated series on Disney+. Nope, I didn’t watch it, I just can’t get into these Marvel Disney+ Series, but I’m not going to let that stop me from enjoying the figures. The Hydra Stomper is a suit of armor made by Howard Stark for Steve Rogers in a reality where Agent Carter became the Super Soldier. Yeah… I think I got that right. Anyway, let’s suit up and dive in!

Oh man, this is a big and meaty figure! I absolutely love the design here, which has a primitive look similar to Tony Stark’s Mark I armor. It also has a wonderful WWII military-style finish, which includes a uniform coat of matte olive green paint, along with some brown panels down on the feet, and some white stenciled military markings. There’s also a pale blue panel on the front in place of what would be the Arc Reactor in our reality, but in this case offers a window to the Tesseract power that drives this particular suit. The sculpt isn’t what I would call hyper-detailed, as it tends to favor smooth vacant spaces instead of a lot of complex panel lines, but there are some nice flourishes here, like the rivets and vents. I also really dig the grab bars that run up the left leg and along the left side of the torso to help Steve climb into this behemoth.

There’s a lot more detail present on the massive jet pack, which pegs into the back and includes hinges on each thruster tank to reposition them away from the body. The cables and supports all look pretty convincing and I dig the scorch marks painted along the the thrusters themselves. I would have liked a little more weathering like this on the figure as a whole to make it look more worn and realistic, but I suppose the simpler paint job is more in tune with the animation style of the series. One gripe about the jetpack is that it’s rather heavy and the peg isn’t substantial enough to keep it plugged in all that securely. It will stay put if I’m just repositioning the figure, but if I get into any major re-posing, it is apt to fall out.

The head gives me more of that Mark I armor vibe, with the squared off eyes and the bars over the mouth slit. You get more grab bars on the shoulders for lowering into the torso compartment, and there’s a rather stout antenna rising up over the left shoulder. A white star and the C-15 registry on the chest adds nicely to the military motif.

As a stocky, well-armored figure, the articulation here doesn’t always offer the best range of motion, but all the points are there, and I’d say that the figure has about the same level of movement that one might expect from the real suit. The shoulder plates are hinged so they don’t get in the way of the rotating hinges in the shoulders too badly. The hips are capable of some nice wide stances, with lateral rockers in the ankles to accommodate them. The elbows can’t quite do 90-degrees, but they come close. Balancing this big guy can be a bit of a challenge, especially with the jetpack on, but he’s still lots of fun to play with.

In terms of weapons, the Stomper has them built in to the right forearm. I imagine these were showcased in the series, but since I didn’t watch it, I’ll presume that one is a machine gun and the other is maybe a flame thrower? Sure, why not? Let’s go with that!

The Stomper comes with two sets of hands, one pair is for clutching and grabbing and the other is a pair of fists for punching… and more punching.

Finally, you get a pair of effect parts to peg into the jetpack to make it look like he’s flying. These pieces are a little understated, but they work well enough. I was hoping they were sized so as to double as weapon fire, but they are only designed to fit into the thrusters and will not plug into the weapon muzzle. Given a choice, I actually would have rather had an effect part for the gun.

The Hydra Stomper is a cool and fun figure by every possible measure. I think a little paint weathering would have gone a long way to make him look a bit more premium, but it’s absence is by no means a deal-breaker for me enjoying this figure a hell of a lot. When I first took this guy out of the shipping box, I was a bit taken back by just how big he was! After playing around with him for just a bit, I couldn’t wait to dig out my Hydra soldier pack and have him give them a good stomping! Hell, he can even make quick work of the Hydra Heavy Soldier, and that is by no means a small figure! I can’t even imagine how big the Hot Toys version is going to be, but imagine I will have to, because I’m not going to pony up the cash for that beast. We’ll no doubt see this figure make an appearance here again when I get around to reviewing the Agent Carter from the What If? Wave!

Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet by Hasbro

It’s been a busy weekend for me, and I’m a little pressed for time on this Marvel Monday, so I thought I’d stick with something that would be a little quick and easy. Hasbro has been using the Marvel Legends moniker to release some toy versions of full-size MCU prop replicas, and while I’ve been able to resist a number of them, I’ve been snapping up most of the wearable helmets. I actually already reviewed the Ant-Man Helmet a little while back, but the one I’m looking at today was actually my first purchase in this line. Let’s check out the Iron Man helmet!

As with Ant-Man’s helmet, this one comes in a fully enclosed box with lots of pictures of the toy inside. The pictures on the box appear to be re-worked a bit, but I’m not going to complain too much because the look of the actual item isn’t too far from the pictures. The helmet comes fully wrapped in plastic to protect the finish, which is most welcome! While the helmet does not require any assembly, you will need a screwdriver to get into the battery compartment if you want to make use of the electronics.

Out of the box, this thing is pretty impressive for a toy! It is a fully enclosed piece and can be worn and removed just by slipping it on over the head. I’ll get to more on that when we open her up. On the outside, it seems like a pretty good recreation of the on-screen prop. One of the things I miss about the early Iron Man armors is the fact that the helmet was a physical object and not just something that magically appears thanks to the help of CG special effects. As with the real deal, this helmet is more about smooth curves than it is about hyper-detail. As a result, panel lines are used sparingly, there are a few faked out bolts, but not a lot more to distinguish the sculpt. And that’s fine by me!

But what impressed me the most at first sight was the quality of the paint. Let’s face it, mass produced toys are not usually known for their precision of paintwork. Hasbro has gotten a lot better, but when you consider something this big, there’s a lot more room for things to go wrong. Amazingly, the finish on this is damn near flawless. The gold used for the face plate is perhaps not quite as luxurious as it looks on the box photo, but it is very nice. It goes for more of a sumptuous satin finish, rather than something bright and reflective, and I dig it a lot. The red on the other hand, does manage to achieve that lovely new-car shine that Stark’s suits tend to flaunt. It’s similar to some of the better finishes they’ve used for the Legends MCU Iron Man figures. I have to scrutinize this thing pretty closely to find any imperfections. Mine has a slight blemish behind the left ear, which really only shows up under bright light, and I can’t be certain it wasn’t something that happened after it had been on display.

The electronics include the light up eyes, which are clearly visible even under the bright studio lights, offering a cool, blue hue when fired up. These will sometimes activate when I pick up the helmet, but always when I remove and replace the face plate.

Removing and attaching the face plate also sets off a litany of sound effects, like servos firing and clamps releasing. It’s very well done and sounds as if all sorts of stuff is going on inside the helmet. The face plate comes completely off and then can be attached in the up position, where it is held fast by magnets. No, it’s not actually sliding up there, and it’s recommended to remove all contact between the two pieces before putting it in that position so as to avoid scratching the finish. The face plate is extremely secure whether in the up or down position, and it makes me wish that Hasbro had used similar magnets to hold the back plate on their Ant-Man Helmet. That one uses a pair of weak friction hinges, which fail every time.

Inside, the helmet does have some finished details, but it also has some more practical stuff going on, like the straps that come in contact with your head. These are adjustable and the helmet, while snug, does fit fairly well on my adult-sized cranium. Still, I will admit that It does get a little claustrophobic in there after a while.

The face plate is also detailed with some interior sculpting on the back. I like the hexagonal patterns, the gears in the cheeks, and the vocalizer plate right where the wearer’s mouth is positioned. The eye slots are surprisingly large on the inside, and yet don’t seem out of scale on the outside.

This helmet set me back about $99 when I got it back in 2019, and if you hunt hard enough, you can probably still find some retailers selling it at that price, although others seem to be asking a good $30 more in some cases. Ultimately, I’m extremely pleased with how this came out, and I’d say that it’s easily the best quality of any of the Hasbro helmets I’ve picked up, and that includes both Marvel and Star Wars. Not only does it look pretty close to the real thing, but the engineering and use of magnets makes it feel a bit more like a premium collectible than a high priced toy. Sure, you can do a lot better, if you want to invest an additional $300-400, but this one suits me just fine! And yes, these chrome paper towel holders make excellent display stands!

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

Yes, last week I flubbed my Friday content again. I promise you, it’s coming back, but it may be sporadic for a while. But at least Marvel Mondays have been pretty consistent and now that I’ve had a look at all the packaged figures in the Super Skrull Wave, it’s time to pop together me some Super Skrull!

Most BAF’s have six pieces: Four limbs, a torso and a head. Super Skrull has all those, plus an additional head, an effect part, and two additional arms! Otherwise, everything is pretty standard here. The extra head and arms sort of make up for the fact that this guy is not big, and there’s really nothing about him that prevented Hasbro from releasing him as a regular boxed figure. Heck, even with those extra pieces, he should have worked out.

that’s not to say Kl’rt isn’t a beefy figure, because he is, but we’ve had bigger boxed releases. He is a pretty simple figure, with most of his costume achieved through a rather attractive combination of black and metallic purple coloring. He also has a bit of blue wash over the black bits. He does have some new sculpting for his V-shaped tunic, which flares out at the shoulders and was mostly likely purchased at the same store that Yellowjacket shops at. Of course, the reserved amount of new sculpting here only takes into account his regular arms, and not the ones powered up with The Fantastic Four’s powers.

As mentioned, you get two portraits, one offering a sinister, toothy grimace, and the other a bit more serious. The former offers a lot more personality, but I rather like the grim visage of the later one as well. Both sport some excellent sculpting for the facial detail, including those horizontal ridges in his prominent chin, and his long elf-like ears. He also sports a form-fitting skull cap as part of the head sculpt. The piercing yellow pupil-less eyes are well-done, and there’s a wash over his green skin to bring out some of those lovely details.

Super Skrull’s articulation is standard stuff, and that remains the same no matter which arms you decide to display him with. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double-hinges in the elbows. The legs have rotating hinges at the hips, swivels in the biceps and the tops of the boots, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in his waist, an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

The extra right arm exhibits the powers of both Sue Storm and Reed Richards. It gradually becomes translucent from the elbow on and the forearm is stretched and the fist is oversized. It makes for a pretty cool combination of effects.

The extra left arm transitions into orange stone just above the elbow and ends in a giant fist, thus exhibiting Ben Grimm’s powers.

And finally, you get a large flame effect part to attach to either regular arm to show off Johnny Storm’s powers. All of these power-stealing effects are pretty well executed on the figure and makes him a lot of fun to play around with. And unlike the recent Dr. Moira figure, Super Skrull’s arms are easy to pop off and pop back on again, which is one of the benefits of making him a Build-A-Figure.

This is one of the rare cases where I was probably more excited for the Build-A-Figure in a wave than I was any of the particular figures. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting as many versions of The Fantastic Four as I can, but having added the Walgreens figures to my collection not all that long ago, these black-and-blue costumed figures weren’t terribly high on my list. Doom turned out to be a surprise as to how big an improvement he is over the last one, and while She-Hulk is an excellent figure, I was mainly waiting for the green one to show up. On the other hand Super Skrull was a figure I was very happy to see getting added to the modern Legends line up. And while I would still argue that he could have been done as a boxed release, I’m just happy to have him!