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.

Marvel Legends (Demogoblin Wave): Shang-Chi by Hasbro

I like to think I possess a pretty solid familiarity with the Marvel Universe. I’m sure no expert, but with close to 40 years of funnybook reading under my belt, I’ve picked up a few things, got to know a few characters, and generally know my away around the Marvel neighborhood. And yet Marvel Legends runs so deep that even Hasbro has summoned a few characters here and there that I know little about. Shang-Chi is one of those characters. Apart from running into him in Shadowland and Spider-Island, I wouldn’t know him hardly at all. And he’s getting his own MCU film. Wow.

Now if Shang-Chi is your boi, I’m not bashing him. I was surprised to see that he’s got a substantial number of books and appearances under his belt. I was also pleased to see that there’s a tie-in with Sax Rohmer’s old novels. Alls I’m saying is, I don’t really know the guy, but based on the package, I take it he’s The Master of Kung Fu. Cool. This is the third figure from the Demogoblin Wave that I’m opening, and I’m still thinking maybe I should have sat this wave out. The two GamerVerse Spider-Man figures turned out pretty nice, but I don’t know that I really needed them. And now here comes Shang-Chi. Well, let’s open him up.

There’s certainly not a whole lot to say about his costume. Shang-Chi’s got a pair of red trousers with orange and yellow ankle cuffs, a black belt around his waist, and other than that he’s just showing a whole lot of skin and muscle. The coloring on the pants is nice, the sculpted muscles look great, His nipples awkwardly get by on paint alone, rather than sculpt, and I think those are newly sculpted feet, but I wonder why they lack peg holes. He’s undoubtedly a nice looking figure, but I tend to think more generic martial artist or maybe GI JOE, more than I think Marvel Comics. But that’s just my own ignorance talking. Either way, I think Hasbro’s got about 90% of their GI JOE Classified Quick Kick figure right here.

The head sculpt is also quite nice. The definition in the facial features is sharp, and I dig his determined expression. A shouty head would have been nice for action poses, but what’s here is still plenty good. Of course, the most notable thing about the head sculpt is the wild headband that snakes off his head and blows in the wind. Now, I think this thing looks great, but I really think Hasbro should have made an option available where the headband isn’t quite so animated. Either a second one to peg into the back of the head or a whole different head. Maybe that’s asking a lot.

The articulation here is fantastic, and that’s pretty much required for a martial artist figure. Shang-Chi sports those wonderful shoulder crunches, which we usually see on Spider-Man figures. He also has regular rotating hinges in the shoulders, the elbows are double-hinged, the biceps have swivels, and the wrists are pegged hinges. 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’s a waist swivel, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball-jointed. All the joints feel nice and solid.

And as you’ve already seen in the pictures, Shang-Chi comes with a whole passel of hands. The last time I saw anything close to this many hands in a Legends release was back in the All-Father Wave and the white costumed Iron Fist. You get a pair of fists, a pair of chopping hands, a pair of accessory holding hands, a pair of “I’m gonna hit you with the palm of my” hands, and a pair of graspy hands. The assortment of hands here is no joke.

Shang also comes with a pair of nun-chuks. One is straight and the other has one chuck bent at a 90-degree angle. They have ornate gold ends and a sculpted gold chain. I’m not a huge fan of the plastic they used for the gold parts. It just looks kind of cheap. Also, I’m not sure how many times I’ll be able to flex the chain without it snapping. So far there haven’t been any stress marks, so that’s a good sign.

Going in to this review, I sure didn’t think I needed a Shang-Chi figure, but coming out of this review I’m happy to have one. Even with knowing next to nothing about this character, I can’t deny that this is an unbelievably fun figure to play around with. The articulation and extra hands go a long way, and I found him to be almost impossible to put down. He’s still standing on my desk so I can fiddle about with him on my downtime. After sucking down two contrived unlock-able suit video game Spider-Man figures, Shang-Chi turned out to be just the palate cleanser that I needed!

Marvel Legends (Demogoblin Wave): Gamerverse Velocity Suit Spider-Man by Hasbro

It’s a new week and that means a new Marvel Monday, so I’m continuing to dip into the relatively new Demogoblin Wave of Marvel Legends. Last week I had a look at the Mark III Spider-Armor from the PS4 Spider-Man game, and since we got one more figure from the game in this assortment, I decided to open this one up next. Today we’re checking out the Velocity Suit!

Other than the snazzy white GamerVerse boxes, I’ll confess to not being all that excited about these figures. The prospect of giving Peter Parker 1,000 different suits like Tony Stark’s armor just doesn’t appeal to me, but I guess it makes sense as an incentive gimmick in a video game. Plus, having a bunch of different suits to make action figures out of probably had Hasbro licking their collective chops. Speaking of which, the Spider-Man game remains sealed on my shelf, because I just haven’t had the time to play it. And yes, I do see the irony in that since the majority of the country is under lock-down vacay, while I am just working more hours. Nonetheless, I wound up liking the Spider-Armor well enough, so here’s hoping I can find something to love here as well.

As the name suggests, the Velocity Suit gives Peter a speed boost. The figure doesn’t make use of any texturing, instead giving the suit a smooth and slick surface all around. That combined with the high gloss finish makes this one look as much, if not more, like armor than the previous figure. Maybe they were going with the idea that smooth means less friction and that leads to speed. Or more likely they didn’t put that much thought into it. The deco consists of a red and dark blue base, which is fairly familiar, but adds some light blue lines and integrate the spider emblem into their design. Virtually all these light blue painted lines on the suit are part of the sculpt, which is cool. Based on how they’re executed on the figure, I’m going to assume these channels glow on the suit in the game. Whatever the case, I have to confess that the high gloss paint looks great and goes a long way to sell me on a figure I don’t really care about.

The head sculpt strikes me as being very Stark-like in design, perhaps even more so than the last figure. There are even some faint panel lines that seem to form a mouth, although they are very subtle. The eyes feature more of the light blue piping around them. What else can I say, other than to admit it looks good.

As with the Mk III Spider-Armor, the articulation here lacks the shoulder crunches we see on most Legends Spider-Man figures, and that makes the figure feel a little more stiff than I’m used to my Spider-Man figures to be. But the rest of the articulation is there, making him fun to fiddle about with. Here too, we only get the hands that are attached to the figure, one right fist and one left thwippy hand. The only other noteworthy thing about the articulation is that the ab crunch doesn’t seem to have as wide a range as usual. I don’t know why, all the points are there, but this one looks a little stiff when posing.

I don’t imagine that it’s a coincidence that Hasbro chose these somewhat uninspired Spidey figures to be the first to get web effects included. The Mk III armor came with webbing to cover an adversary’s face. This one comes with a loop of webbing to tie up a foe and it’s pretty great. I usually keep effect parts bagged with the figures they came with, but I think I’ll be keeping these on hand to use with future Spidey figure shoots.

Conceptually, I just don’t give a crap about this figure. The idea of a go-faster suit for Spider-Man is just kind of stupid to me. Nonetheless, I can’t deny that it’s an attractive figure. The sculpted lines and the brilliant new-car finish really makes the red and blue pop splendidly. In the end, I bought these for the effect parts and BAF parts, and because I got them super cheap, but both this one and the MK III Armor managed to win me over in the end. I’ll certainly find a place for them on my Spider-Verse shelf, but they’ll probably be towards the back.

Marvel Legends (Demogoblin Wave): Gamerverse Mark III Spider-Armor by Hasbro

I’m likely going to start knocking off another wave of Legends from my backlog next week. In the meantime, I got the two GamerVerse figures from the Demogoblin Wave in the mail a few days back and they were within arm’s reach so I decided to have a look at one of those today. Let’s go ahead and do the Mark III Spider-Armor!

I’m assuming these are based on the PS4 Spider-Man game? Alas, my copy is still sealed on my shelf. I was pretty excited to play it at one point but then I watched my nephew playing an agonizing stretch as MJ in a stealth level and it was like getting doused in freezing water. Truth be told, if I was on lock-down like everyone else, I would probably have played it already, but all I got is loaded up with more work hours out of this whole pandemic mess. Ah well, I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually. I do know the game had a ton of unlockable suits because Spider-Man sure is known for his diverse catalog of costumes. Wait, what? Hey, whatever it takes to sell action figures, right?

Because Spider-Man suits are just like Stark Armor now? I guess that ties in with the MCU. Sorta. Anywho, this is indeed an armored suit and all things considered, it’s a pretty damn cool looking figure. The Mark III Spider-Armor preserves a bit of traditional underlying Spidey suit and just adds some armored bits to it. I dig the texture in the red parts, particularly on the chest and arm bracers. The bracers look like they have two web-shooters on each one and the tiny red diamonds on the knuckles look great. Spider-Man comes with his right hand sculpted into a fist and a thwippy left hand.

There are some subtle panel lines in the black areas, which give it an MCU vibe. The large shoulder pauldrons are an interesting choice, and I’m not sure I like the blue there and on the biceps. I feel like they should have gone either all red and black or all blue and black. Plus, the blue paint on mine has some scratches, which don’t look all that great. I do, however, think the spider emblem on the chest looks fabulous.

From the back, the Spider-Armor features a partial segmented spine, like we sometimes see in the Stark armors. He also has a little backpack, which looks like a jetpack? That’s weird. Maybe it’s also used for launching Spider-Drones.

The head is the most Stark-like feature of the whole suit. It’s smooth, with gears for neck bolts and the neck is segmented. It lacks the usual Stark armor mouth, but you do get a pair of stylized eyes, which look pretty bad-ass.

The articulation is standard stuff, meaning he’s very poseable. We don’t get the shoulder crunches we usually see in the regular Spider-Man figures, but I guess that armor has to limit agility, right? Instead, the arms get by with rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double-hinges in the elbows. The shoulder armor will overlap the shoulders to allow for some mobility there. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double-hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a waist swivel, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

There are no extra hands included, but hey… Web effect! Oh, long I’ve been asking Hasbro to start doing web effects! It seems like such a no-brainer! This one is meant to cover an opponent’s face and it fits quite well.

I was originally going to pass on this figure, as I wasn’t too keen on the concept, and I could probably live without building the Demogoblin. Luckily, it turned up for dirt cheap online and now that he’s in hand, I’m actually surprised how much I dig this figure. I’m still not a fan of taking the whole Stark Spidey suit thing to the extreme. We don’t need a Spider-Man House Party Protocol. But  as a concept figure I think this works great. Hell, I guess it even works as an extrapolation of the MCU Spider-Man. Either way, I’ll admit that it won me over in the end. Next week I’ll see if the same is true for the Velocity Suit Spider-Man.

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

Marvel Monday is spilling over to Wednesday this week, folks, as I’m back to cobble together another Build-A-Figure after finally opening all the figures in the Wendigo Wave. And what a wave it was! Guardian, Nightcrawler, X-Force Wolverine, Boom-Boom, Mr SInister, and No Legs… er, I mean… Cannonball! And borrowing a piece that came with each of these figures allows me to build the Wendigo! It’s kind of like a big white furry Voltron! And he’s not only a giant snowbeast, but also a cautionary tale about what not to do when you get peckish out in the Canadian wilderness. This guy is pretty simple to build and comprised of the usual six pieces: Head, body, arms, and legs. And I’ll form the tail!!! Nope, tail is already attached.

And once he’s popped together he is one beautiful beast! Wendigo does borrow some parts that Hasbro used on the Sasquatch Build-A-Figure, which certainly makes sense as they are both giant, lumbering, shaggy behemoths. And to be fair, Hasbro utilized a lot of new sculpting that they probably could have gotten away without doing. The furry groinular area, for example, is sculpted to hang down at more of a point than we saw with Sasquatch, and there are other subtle re-touches beyond what’s used to cover their junk. The entire body is sculpted with some light hair texture, but it gets particularly heavy around his lower legs, forearms, and his shoulders and back. Also, unlike Sasquatch, Wendigo’s got a long curving tail, which for some reason I find extremely unnerving. It’s part monkey, part cat, all horror! As expected, a lot of the coloring on this beast is white, but there are some hits of blue here and there, which break up what would be an otherwise monotone figure. He also has some gray on his hands and feet.

The head sculpt is pure nightmare fuel. I mean, holy shit! If I saw this thing in real life I’m pretty sure I’d piss my pants. I’m not even ashamed to admit it. The somewhat ape-like face features what looks like a normal head of human hair with his two pointed ears piercing through it on the sides. There’s some additional shag sculpted onto his cheeks and chin and it looks absolutely fantastic. The deep-set beady red eyes are darkened around the sockets and under his broad nose is a gaping maw filled with horrific looking yellow teeth, some of which are stained with blood.

Articulation here is identical to what we saw with Sasquatch, so I’ll just refer you back to that review. I will say that while the articulation is excellent, my figure has some trouble staying together and that’s not something that I usually find with these BAF’s. The biggest offender is the head, which will pop out pretty regularly. The arms, come second. They don’t come out all the time when I’m posing him, but it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot holding them in place and it doesn’t take much for them to pop out.

Besides being an excellent enemy for my Hulk or Wolverine to go up against, this figure is plenty versatile as just a big abominable snow creature. I can easily see using him with my Mythic Legions, or hell if I want to really make him seem big I can have some of my arctic GI JOE‘s fight him. Either way, he’s a beautiful BAF and a very nice bonus for collecting a damn fine assortment of figures. And that’s another wave of Legends in the bag. Next week, I’ll probably take a look at an exclusive or a one-off or something before diving into another wave. And who knows? I might even have time to come back and sneak in a third review this week on Friday.

Marvel Legends (Wendigo Wave): Boom-Boom by Hasbro

My work schedule continues to be crazy, folks, and I have Easter to thank for me chipping away a little time to get this week’s Marvel Monday posted on schedule. Now, I had originally planned to look at both Boom-Boom and the Wendigo Build-A-Figure today, but I had to scale back on that because of a time crunch. I’m hoping to get back to Wendigo before the end of the week, but we’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, It’s always exciting to be putting another wave behind me, and while Boom-Boom happens to be the last figure in this assortment that I’m opening, don’t read anything into that. The Fallen Angels series hit the spinner racks at a perfect time for me, (I was 15!) and I ate that shit up and was quite smitten with Tabitha. Naturally, I’m happy to be getting her in my Legends collection.

Here she is in the package, offering up the final piece I need to build my Wendigo, and sporting that lovely X-Force logo. I’m happy with the look they went with, although I’d be equally happy to get a different costume as a future release. Hey, with how prolific this line has been, anything is possible! Let’s blast her out of there and take a look. OK, Boomer?

Boom-Boom is one of those figures that gets by with a colored buck and some added pieces. And while that might be an incentive for Hasbro to cheap out, this is another example of them going above and beyond. The buck is cast in mauve plastic to depict her featureless bodysuit and brown bits are added to complete the costume. Mauve and brown are not two colors I would think to put together, but they kind of work here. That’s why I leave character design to the pros.

The hands and feet are painted brown and pieces are added to the wrists and ankles to make them look like boots and gloves and it works great. A wide brown belt wraps around her left thigh, and while it is held on by friction, mine is happily stuck firmly in place. A thin brown belt hangs around her waist, speckled with some tiny pouches, and advertising the X-logo on the buckle. Finally, she has a brown half-vest with a segmented collar.

I’m not going to run down all the articulation, because there’s simply nothing new here. If you have some Legends ladies in your collection you should know what to expect. I will toss in my obligatory griping about the rotating hinges in the elbows. Those hinges lock in at 90-degrees of movement and that feels so damn limiting, especially when most of the Legends dudes get the double-hinged elbow treatment.

Boom-Boom features two heads and both sculpts are excellent. She has her large green visor covering her eyes and leaving only her nose and brightly painted lips visible. The sculpting for her curly hair is fantastic and highly detailed. There’s even a wayward curl or two falling over her visor. She also sports a nice pair of sculpted her some star-shaped earrings. If anything lets this portrait down a bit it’s the paint application on her lips. It looks like she applied her lipstick in a moving car… driving through a minefield… in the dark.

 

Tabitha joins the Jubilee School of Bubble Blowers, as her second head comes with a blown bubblegum bubble. The rest of the head sculpt is pretty much identical, but it’s nice to see that Hasbro was able to roll out that neat effect again so soon. This head has a few minor seam and mold flashing issues, which aren’t a big deal, but I mention it because it seems to be happening more and more lately.

Of course, Boom-Boom sports one of the more useful mutant powers out there, the ability to create explosions, and we get a couple of effect parts to help communicate that. One is just a flaming ball of combustion, which she can hold in either hand. The other is a replacement left hand with the fireball effect built in. Both look great and I’ve had some fun fooling around with them.

I’m not really tuned into the Marvel fanbase these days, so I’m not sure how much demand there was for Boom-Boom here, but I suspect most old-timers like me are going to be happy to have her. This is a release that once again shows how committed Hasbro is to the depth of character selection here and I’ll be honest, I can never have too many Mutants. Are there still characters that should probably be hitting the shelves before Boom-Boom? Yeah, most definitely, but I have no doubt Hasbro will get to everyone eventually. I’ll be back at some point this week to check out the Wendigo Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends: Deluxe Black Widow by Hasbro

I know, I promised to finish off the Wendigo Wave this week, but then I got this new Black Widow figure in the mail and all bets were off. This figure was supposed to be hitting shelves about a month before the Black Widow movie hit, but then The Plague came and everything got pushed back. I think the new target date for Black Widow’s flick is sometime in November. Oh well, at least we can enjoy the toys now!

One look at the package and it’s easy to see what makes this figure Deluxe. Hands! Weapons! Effect Parts! And there’s even an articulated figure stand buried in there somewhere! Why the special treatment for Natasha? It all feels like some kind of mea culpa for Widow not getting a stand-alone movie a long time ago. There are some sweet pieces of character art on the side panels and the front of the package is branded with the Black Widow movie logo. Looks like there’s some cool shit in here, so let’s get it opened and have a look at Black Widow!

Or is that White Widow? I may have a handful of MCU Black Widows on my Marvel Legends shelf, but this one is certainly the most distinctive thanks to her spanking new white outfit. There are some panel lines sculpted into the suit itself, but it feels a refreshingly simpler than some of the hyper-detailed suits we’ve seen come out of the MCU. I think this is an all new body sculpt, but I’d be lying if I said I remembered all the little details in the previous Romanovs. The suit features a high collar with a plunging neckline, some sculpted armor bits on the shoulders, with painted silver “straps,” as well as knee and elbow pads. The wrist bracers are sculpted separately in black plastic and lifted straight from the comic look. She also has a black belt rig with holsters and thigh straps. She has a shoulder harness, which is part of the body sculpt and painted black, and two tiny red paint operations on her shoulder armor. All in all, I really dig the white, and I think the black extras look great in contrast with the costume.

The articulation holds few surprises, although it’s worth pointing out that the rotating hinges in the elbows are different from one we usually see. These are similar to the ones I seem to remember Hasbro using for some of the Spider-Woman figures. They’re a little weird but they get the job done. Nonetheless, I still think it’s well past time we get double hinges for the ladies’ elbows. The rest of the arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs for the wrists so the hands can pop out and be replaced. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The boots are sculpted with high-heeled wedges, which didn’t present much of a problem getting her to stand. The torso has a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is hinged and ball jointed. Unfortunately the hair sculpt prevents much in the way up backward head movement.

Hasbro has had plenty of practice casting ScarJo’s portrait into plastic, and I think that’s reflected here. They’ve come a long way since that initial Black Widow head sculpt from The Avengers. I think the likeness is spot on, particularly when viewed in profile. The nose and lips are just about perfect and the eyes are no slouch either. The portrait makes use of the now standard printed method, which continues to impress me, so long as you don’t get in too close. I do enjoy that they gave her a hint of a confident smirk, but here’s where I would have liked to get a more serious expression on an extra head for those action poses. My figure has a little smudge on her forehead, which isn’t a big deal, but might give me an excuse to pick up a second one for all the extra goodies.

Natasha comes with two sets of weapons, including extra hands to work with them. First off she has a pair of pistols, which I assume are supposed to be the same Glock 26’s that she carried in Avengers and Age of Ultron. And let’s not overlook how great it is to have these, since Hasbro has been inexplicably reluctant to give most of their Black Widow Legends figures her trademark guns. These are tiny, and while she holds them fairly well, they don’t always look straight in her hands. The pair with sculpted trigger fingers don’t quire do what they’re supposed to, as it’s tough to get the fingers into the trigger guard and have them stay put. I do, however, appreciate how perfectly they fit into her holsters. I’ve yet to have them fall out once.

Her other set of weapons are kind of like little sickles coming out of batons. Yeah, I have no idea what these are, but they remind me of those hooked pikes that rock climbers use. I’m sure they could be pretty deadly once you start swinging them around. Natasha comes with a pair of hands specifically for holding these.

Next up are the effect parts for her Widow’s Sting. These are just translucent blue plastic pieces that go between the hands and wrists. They look pretty cool and I’m surprised that it took this long to get something like this on a Black Widow Legends figure.

 

I’ve already showed off the stand in some of these pictures, and it’s kind of a big deal for Hasbro to pack something like this in with one of their figures. It’s actually a pretty elaborate and well done piece of kit. It draws influences from the Tamashii stands, but it’s not nearly as versatile as those. That’s not to say it’s bad. The chunky design feels durable and the base has the ability to work with some of the effect parts, thanks to a number of sockets and peg holes. There are also some pegs to allow the figure to stand directly on the base. For more dynamic poses, the figure is gripped with spring-loaded pincers and attaches to the vertical stand with ratcheting system to raise and lower the figure. Not bad at all!

And finally we get all sorts of explosion and blast effect parts. I feel like some of these might have been reused from Transformers or Star Wars lines, but maybe not. They look good and the stand gives more than a few options on how to plug them in.

I sincerely hope that this Deluxe release is the beginning of something for Hasbro. Considering the figure would have been $20, getting the stand and effect parts for an extra ten spot feels like a good value. And since the stand is just branded Hasbro, there’s nothing to stop them from including it in releases from the Star Wars and GI JOE Classified lines as well. No, I won’t be retiring my Tamashii stands in favor of this one, but I think this will be a welcome addition for collectors out there who otherwise aren’t going to take the time and money to track down one of those display systems. OK, next week I promise I’ll finish off that Wendigo Wave!

Marvel Legends (Wendigo Wave): Nightcrawler by Hasbro

The X-Men hits keep on coming, folks, and I’m only two figures away from finishing off the Wendigo Wave. I was going to save the best for last, but truth be told this figure has been waiting long enough to be opened. So let’s check out Herr Kurt Wagner. BAMPF!!!

Nightcrawler has been kicking around the X-Men funnybooks for a long time. Indeed, he’s almost as old as I am! I was a big fan of his growing up, mainly because he looked cool and I thought teleportation would be one of the best mutant powers to have. At the same time, I always thought he was one of the better examples of the Mutant dilemma, since so many could hide their mutations in the guise of their normal appearances. To me, the really interesting Mutants were the ones who traded their great gift for an appearance that instantly placed them outside normal society. And That was the case with Nightcrawler. Is it long past time we got him in modern Marvel Legends? Hell, yeah it is!

And it sure was well worth the wait! Hasbro just poured the love into this figure and appropriately so, because he is such a fan favorite. He’s built off a rather lean and almost lanky buck, which plays well to his superhuman agility. The body is cast in black plastic with some red and white paint for the boots and gloves. Yeah, there’s some bleed through on the red paint, which is a shame, but surprisingly there’s none at all on the white.

Kurt’s V-shaped vest is painted on below the chest, but sculpted above it and it flares out from the shoulders. The red paint doesn’t quite match between the two pieces, but it’s close enough. His hands are sculpted appropriately with three fingers and his feet with two toes. The figure is rounded out with a thin blue tail with a devilish point. The tail is pre-posed in a snaking fashion, so no bendy plastic here, however it’s sculpted in a way that really makes use of the swivel at the base, allowing for some varied poses.

Hasbro included not one but two extra heads! The first is a fairly neutral expression. Maybe a little perturbed or just plain stoic. Whatever the case, it’s absolutely fantastic. There is some excellent definition in his facial details, the bushy eyebrows look like they’re judging me a bit. His pointed ears jut out from behind his sculpted sideburns, and the hair is beautifully sculpted and swept back. The pupil-less yellow eyes and the deep blue skin coloring complete the portrait perfectly.

The second head offers a broad smile and I’m very glad that Hasbro included this one as it very much suits his personality, particularly in the earlier appearances. Everything that I said about the previous face holds true for this one, however, I do have a couple nitpicks here. Firstly the paint on the teeth could have been executed better. There’s a little slop from his fangs onto his bottom lip, and there isn’t any white paint on his lower row of teeth. This second bit isn’t a huge problem, as it looks like maybe they’re concealed behind his bottom lip, but I don’t think that was the intention. Also, the paint on my figure’s left eye here is a little miffed.

The third head is Kurt’s battle face and it is most definitely successful at showing off his rage. The paint on the teeth here still has some issues, but it’s a little better than the previous head. You also get some paint inside the mouth on his tongue. The furled brow and the chiseled lines on either side of his gaping mouth are quite well done.

As for articulation, Hasbro graced Nightcrawler with one of the more poseable bodies, which includes the lateral crunches on the shoulders. In addition to those, his arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs for the hands. His right hand can be swapped between an accessory holding hand and a graspy hand. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles are both hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and his neck is both hinged and ball jointed. And once again, there is a swivel at the base of the tail.

In addition to two extra heads and an extra right hand, Nightcrawler comes with his swashbuckling sword. This weapon is influenced by the sword on the pirate-themed cover of Nightcrawler #1 only with a straight blade. The hilt is gold and fits snugly into his extra right hand. This is about as perfect an accessory as I could think to include with him, and he’s a lot of fun to pose with it.

I don’t feel like it’s hyperbole for me to say that Nightcrawler is one of my absolute favorite figures to come out of Legends in a while. Do I say that a lot? It feels like I say that a lot. Well, this time I really mean it. He’s definitely the best offering of this wave, and that’s not something I say lightly since this wave also gave us an excellent figure of mah-man, Sinister. Sure, I have a few nitpicks here, but some of them may be QC issues unique to my figure. And besides that, the broad strokes here are all just perfect. The articulation is excellent, the extra heads are most welcome, the tail has just enough versatility for posing, and Kurt looks great swinging into action with his sword. It feels like Hasbro has given us a ton of excellent X-Men figures in a short space of time, and I haven’t even dug into the Apocalypse Wave yet! But first things first, and next week I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at Boom-Boom and the Wendigo Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Wendigo Wave): Mr Sinister by Hasbro

Yes, it’s Marvel Monday on a Friday, folks! I am just barely getting this one in under the wire and it still wound up having to be an abbreviated update. I had one day off this week, that was yesterday, and I spent it reading comics, playing some Nintendo Switch and drifting in and out of sleep. I intended to get some more time taking photos, but it’s been so long since I’ve had time to do that, the cats have taken up residency on my photo stage and I didn’t want to roust them. Anyway, things continue to be crazy busy for me and I won’t make any promises for next week, other than I will get another Marvel Legends review in at some point. And that’s it. Keep on keeping on out there. Be smart. Be safe. Cling to your happy things, and hopefully this will all blow over sooner rather than later. OK, on to Marvel Monday…er, Marvel Friday!

Mr Sinister! He was far up on my short list of modern Legends figures that I wanted on my shelf. I was the optimal age of 15 when he first appeared in Uncanny X-Men and over the years he would proceed to blow my teenage mind out the back of my head. I thought he as so cool, so bad-ass, and so damn creepy at the same time. Whenever I was reading an X-Men comic and Mr. Sinister wasn’t in the panel, I was asking, “Where’s Mr. Sinister?” He was one of the very last Toy Biz Marvel Legends I got rid of. Indeed, I think I even featured that figure in one of my Deadpool reviews within the last few years. Despite being a beefy character, Hasbro still managed to cram a Wendigo arm in there. Oh, and can I say how unbelievably thankful I am that Hasbro didn’t give us the terrible suit-wearing modern look of Sinister from Secret Warriors. THANK YOU, HASBRO!!! Ok, let’s get him open.

Yup, that’s the classic Sinister that I know and love. He’s sporting the metallic blue segmented body, which exudes a very strong Colossus flavor and looks absolutely stunning. The midnight blue boots come all the way up to his thighs and flare out at the sides, he’s got matching gloves and flared out shoulders, all of which produce a sharp contrast between the matte finish and the metallic body. The body is rounded out by a red diamond on his chest and a simple red belt around the waist. Hasbro did a beautiful job updating the body from the old Toy Biz version. I think the build is perfect, the sculpt is simple but effective, and the colors look great.

And then there’s the cape! Sinestro is sporting his bizarre cape, which looks like it got stuck in a paper shredder. It’s also got that great gravity-defying plunge up and over the shoulders and a high collar that would make Dracula jealous. This garment looks fantastic in the comics, but I’m not sure it was ever meant to really translate into the real world. To be fair, I think it looks pretty good from the front, but from the back, it’s just an eyesore of a mess. It’s not the figure’s fault. I think they did the best with what they had to work with.

The head sculpt is excellent. Sinister is offering a wide and toothy smile, sports high-arching and proper evil looking eyebrows, red eyes, and has the diamond right in the middle of his forehead. They did a fine job with the flat-top hair cut too. The black of his lips and hair accentuates the white of his skin. Personally, I would have preferred a bit of a wash on the face paint to bring out some of those details. It’s maybe a little too white, but now I may be nitpicking. I also feel that a second head would have been called for here. Something a little more dire and grim.

Sinister sports all the usual articulation for a Legends figure. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at the tops of the boots, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a waist swivel and an ab-crunch hinge, and finally the neck has both a hinge and ball joint. The hands are sculpted into a fist on the right arm and an open grasping hand on the left, which works about as well as anything I would have come up with.

After all that gushing, I will say that I didn’t have a lot of inspiration for photographing Mr. Sinister. Maybe that has something to do with the cape being rather unwieldy. Maybe it has to do with his one-note expression not really fitting in with a lot of action poses. I’m not sure, but it kind of worked out this week since I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on him. But don’t take that as a slight on this figure, because I absolutely love him. He’s probably one of my most anticipated Legends figures in a long while and the fact that he lived up to my expectations says a lot. Not to mention that he makes the Toy Biz version (a figure that I’ve loved for many years) look positively prehistoric by comparison. Everything from sculpt to coloring just came out so well on this guy, and I’m happy to be able to cross him off my X-Men Legends Want List.