Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Red Skull by Hasbro

I’ve suspended my regular rotation of Marvel Legends reviews so I can get through some of these First Ten Years releases in a timely manner. Besides, I’m so far behind on the other stuff, a few more weeks won’t matter. I’ve already looked at the Civil War set with Cap and Crossbones, and Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy and today I’m opening up Red Skull from Captain America: The First Avenger.

Here’s the packaging and as you can see, Hasbro has branded these differently than the regular Legends releases. You still get a window box, but here it’s all squared off at the edges and features a spiffy new deco. I gotta be honest, Red Skull was one of my least favorite MCU villains. He looked great, but I felt like the movie just didn’t know what to do with him. That didn’t stop me from buying the Hot Toys version way back when, nor from picking up this one. And since this figure doubles as various Hydra soldiers, I’ll probably be picking up a couple more if they turn up at a decent price. Let’s check him out…

Red Skull’s costume had two very distinct looks in The First Avenger, as sometimes he wore a black leather trench coat over his uniform. Hasbro went sans trench coat for the obvious reason of making this body more versatile and I’m cool with that, especially since they did such a great job with his uniform. Not only does it look pretty damn screen accurate, but just about every detail on this costume is part of the actual sculpt.

The dark green tunic features sculpted piping and stitch lines along with sharp black and red stripes. The individual buttons running down the front are also part of the sculpt and painted in gold. They even sculpted the tiny Hydra emblem on his belt buckle and the patch on his left shoulder. The trousers have a slight military flare to them and the boots are painted in glossy black. Hasbro could have easily squeaked by with simple paint for a lot of these details, especially on the tunic, but they seem to be going full guns on these First Ten Year figures and Schmidt here is a great example of that.

The head sculpt is pretty solid. It’s a very different look from the comic versions we’ve had in the past. This one is clearly MCU through and through. I like the wash they used to pick out some of the details, and while the eyes look a little sloppy up close, they actually look fine with the figure in hand. And yeah, I would have liked a Hugo Weaving likeness, but I’ve read that Weaving wasn’t a fan of his work in the MCU and he may not have been willing to allow for the licensing.

The articulation here is excellent. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and pegged hinges for the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles are both hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. All the joints on this guy feel great and he has the agility to go toe-to-toe with my First Avenger Captain America. And not to sound like an infomercial, but wait! There’s more!

Red Skull comes with a tactical harness and three additional heads to turn him into any one of three different MCU Hydra Soldier and I don’t have words to adequately express how cool an idea this is. The harness opens at one end where the shoulder strap meets the belt via a peg, which makes it pretty easy to put on and take off. It has a silver plate on the back and a beautiful Hydra emblem sculpted onto the belt buckle. Obviously, this doesn’t totally transform the uniform, but I think it adds just the right amount of combat gear to make it work as a rank-and-file soldier. Let’s check out the noggins! They’re all good, but let’s go from my favorite to least favorite.

My favorite is the fully enclosed mask. Yeah, it looks a little gimp masky, but I think it also looks as intimidating as all hell. The detail is a little soft, but it’s got all sorts of stitch marks and some nice silver paint on the goggles and the ribbed sections that reach up from the goggles and around the back of the head.

Next up is basically the same head gear, but with the lower mask removed to expose the soldier’s mouth and nose. Again, I dig the fully masked look more, but this would look really nice thrown into the mix with a couple of the masked ones.

And finally, there’s one that’s just more of a smooth helmet with cheek guards and goggles with red lenses and silver trim. The design on this one is fine, I just think it lacks the personality of the other ones. Also, the paint on this head isn’t terribly sharp between the exposed skin and the helmet, so your mileage may vary.

Of course, you can’t have a Hydra Soldier without a weapon, so Hasbro threw in a Tesseract-powered rifle along with an extra left hand to help him hold it. I like the design of the rifle a lot. It kind of looks like a German Heavy Machine Gun mixed with sci-fi tech, which is exactly what it’s supposed to be! Alas, the configuration of the grip and trigger doesn’t work very well with the right hand. He can grip it well enough, but his trigger finger won’t reach. But hey, at least that means he’s always practicing proper trigger-discipline. The extra left hand does a nice job of gripping the forward grip.

This is a great package and right now Red Skull is rivaling Crossbones as my favorite of the four First Ten Years figures that I’ve opened. The sculpt and paintwork are both excellent and I get warm and fuzzy feelings about adding another MCU villain to my Legends shelf. If I were to nitpick, I really would have loved to get a pistol and Cosmic Cube, but seeing as how Hasbro tossed in the ability to convert him to a Hydra Soldier, I’ll happily table those complaints. Indeed, I’m amazed that Hasbro didn’t release this as a two-pack. Either Red Skull and a Hydra Soldier or just an MCU Hydra two-pack like they did with the comic versions. Hell, they could still do that and I’ll happily lay down forty bucks for it, because I have a feeling it’s going to be a challenge to find a few more individual figures at a decent price.

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Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Ronan by Hasbro

In case you missed it, Hasbro is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by going back and releasing some figures of characters they missed the first time around. A few weeks back I checked out the Captain America and Crossbones set from Civil War and today I’m turning my attention to Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy. [Insert polarizing opinion about James Gunn controversy here].

The First Ten Years releases run the gamut from single packs to two-packs, and even some three packs. Whatever the case, they all come in window boxes, which have been re-branded to help them stand out from the regular Marvel Legends releases. The corners are all squared off and you get a new deco and Marvel Studios logo. Back when Hasbro was doing figures for the first Guardians film, I thought omitting Ronan figure was a huge oversight, and I’m extremely happy that Hasbro is rectifying that now. So let’s get this Kree accuser out of the box and check him out.

And wow, what an amazing sculpt this is! Ronan’s Kree battle armor gave the sculptors at Hasbro a rich canvas to work on and they did not disappoint. Every tiny facet of the armor is realized in full detail. His coat is sculpted as part of the torso and extends down past the waist as a separate soft plastic piece, which hangs around the legs, and it’s all pretty convincing as one garment, save for the cut for the waist swivel. The coat features a grid of segmented armor pieces, almost like scales, which forms a strip running straight down to between his legs. In other areas, some of the armor plates have cool vein-like wrinkles sculpted into them, suggestive of some kind of weird alien forging process.

I really dig the super-fine texturing showing in the lower part of the coat, also seen on some of the leg panels. It looks like some kind of micro-chain armor. There’s also some very fine ribbing in the joints around his underarms. Two strips hang down his back with, like two thin capes, each with an intricate pattern, like a techno-snakeskin. While the coloring here is fairly drab, you do get a nice mix of dark gray metal with some silver, as well as swipes of red forming a pattern on his chest that looks like war paint. Obviously, the MCU figures give Hasbro a lot more to work with when it comes to detail, and I think Ronan here may be one of their most intricate sculpts yet. Pair that with the excellent coloring and this is quite simply an amazing looking figure.

The portrait is no slouch either. Not only is this a solid likeness, but the glossy paint they used for his eyes give him a slight spark of life that I don’t recall ever seeing in a figure in this scale before. He does have some blue veins painted in on his face, which I don’t remember seeing on him in the film, and also the black warpaint around his eyes and mouth. And just in case you thought this review was going to be nothing but me gushing, here’s where we get into some problems…

The soft plastic hood is permanently attached to the head and so is the shoulder armor. Yup, when you turn Ronan’s head, his shoulders turn with it, and this is a terrible design. It’s not too bad if you just tweak his neck articulation, but if you want any significant amount of head turn, it just looks so awkward. I get it, the design features the hood running under the shoulder plates, but here’s where I would have been OK with some creative license on Hasbro’s part. They should have attached the shoulders to the torso via soft plastic connectors and just shaved a little bit off the hood. As things stand, his neck articulation is useless unless you want his shoulder armor levitating in mid air. What a shame.

As long as we’re on the subject of articulation, let’s run down the points. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The torso features an ab-crunch hinge and a swivel in the waist, and lastly the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. It all sounds fine on paper, but in reality there are a few issues. . First off, the ab-crunch hinge on my figure is extremely loose. It will hold most positions, but it feels all floppy. Second, the lower half of his armor coat does inhibit the leg movement quite a bit. And finally, those shoulders don’t work well with his arms raised over his head. As great as this figure looks, I can’t say he’s all that much fun to play with. I was struggling just to come up with different poses for pictures.

Of course, Ronan comes with his hammer and it’s a decent enough accessory. It’s cast in gray plastic and there’s some nice swirly effects in the head. The shaft even has some sculpted detail. It even has the glowing purple Infinity Stone centered in its head. Ronan’s hands are sculpted so that he can hold it in either hand, or both.

I was terribly excited to get this figure in hand and even as I was checking him out in the box, I thought he couldn’t be anything else but a slam-dunk. And if I just planned on posing him on my shelf standing with his hammer by his side, then I suppose he turned out pretty great. But the moment I got him in hand and started fiddling about with him, the pangs of disappointment began to build. The design choices here definitely favor display over play, and I suppose that’s fine for a lot of collectors out there, but I like to get a little more out of these little plastic people, and so this release left me a little cold. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next week, as I keep the First Ten Years train rolling along with a review of another of these new Marvel Studios releases.

Marvel Legends (Sasquatch Wave): X-23 by Hasbro

Welcome to another Marvel Monday! I’m used to posting these early in the morning right before I go to work, but now I’m posting them early in the morning right after getting home from work. Yeah, in case you missed the earlier disclaimer, I’ll be working nights on a project that will last until sometime in October and while I hope this will not effect content here, it’s certainly possible. But for now the show must go on and today the Wheel of Legends landed on the Sasquatch Wave for the second week in a row. Let’s check out Laura Kinney… X-23!!!

I have to say, this wave has been pretty great. In fact, there’s only one figure in this assortment that I wasn’t excited to get and I’m saving him for last. Oh, I mean… the totally random Wheel of Legends just hasn’t landed on him yet. Phew. Nice save on my part. Anyway, X-23 comes in a Deadpool branded package, which is a bit odd. In the past, Hasbro has changed up the branding on themed waves, and I’m not sure why they didn’t do that here, but I’m just going to throw the package out so it really doesn’t matter to me. A quick glance tells us there’s nothing in the way of accessories, but to make up for that, she does come with the giant Sasquatch torso Build-A-Figure part.

And here’s X-23 out of the package and the first thing I’ll say is how genuinely surprised I am that they didn’t go for Ms. Kinney in her Wolverine costume. Not that I’m complaining. I’m not a fan of that book, or Marvel’s bizarre insistence on replacing established characters. I am, however, a fan of her in the costume, so I wouldn’t mind getting that figure down the road. But, for now, we get X-23 in her X-Force Spec Ops outfit, which isn’t that far removed from what she’d been wearing before taking on the blue and yellow spandex. This is also fairly similar in design to the 4-inch figure we got a while back in the 2011 Marvel Universe line.

The bulk of the outfit is achieved through paint alone, although she does have some nice sculpted detail on her tall boots, including the straps that run up the sides, each with its own silver painted buckles. She also has a separately sculpted belt with the X-emblem on the buckle. The crop top is synonymous with several of her modern looks, but the gray bits really call out the X-Force look. The paint lines are overall pretty clean with a few minor flubs here and there. Unfortunately, there is a rather unsightly seam running up the side of her exposed midriff. Too bad they couldn’t have concealed this better.

I really dig this head sculpt a lot. It feels maybe a tad big for the body, but that might be because of the copious blowing hair. I’m not always a fan of the windblown look with sculpted hair, but I do like it here and I haven’t found too many poses where it gets in the way or looks out of place. The expression is pure rage with her teeth gritted as if she’s about to plunge her claws into someone, and I’m certainly cool with that. I will admit, I’m not a huge fan of the grey stripe on her mask, but that’s more an issue I have with the costume design than with the actual figure. All in all, really nice work here.

As with previous Wolverine figures, X-23’s claws are simply slotted into her hands, so they can be removed and added to allow for both display options. They’re pretty stiff and not too bendy, which is always a good thing. But what about her other claws?

Yeah, clearly the most obvious misstep here is that she doesn’t have her foot claws. I’m only mentioning it now, but it was the first thing I noticed when I took her out of the package. I hadn’t seen any reviews of this figure and since her feet are obscured by the Deadpool logo, I honestly expected them to be there. Even after I got her out of the package, I was looking in the tray to see if they had fallen out, but nope… she just doesn’t have them. Now, I’m not up on my X-23 funnybooks, so maybe there’s a reason for this in the official canon, but my guess is that Hasbro just didn’t include them on the figure for some inexplicable reason.

The articulation here is pretty good, but I have a few minor complaints. The arms feature those weird rotating shoulder hinges, which just don’t look all that natural. Otherwise, you have the regular rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists. The legs have ball jointed hips, swivels in the thighs and at the tops of the boots, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint under the chest and the neck has both a hinge and ball joint. Ms. Kinney is generally a pretty agile character, so the articulation here isn’t quite up to the task of all I’d like her to be able to do, but as far as the Legends line goes, it’s acceptable.

And so, X-23 takes her place as another really solid figure in a really solid assortment. I wouldn’t mind getting a few repaints out of this one, maybe Hasbro can whip up a striped top variant to take another $20 away from me. Whatever the case, I was happy to see them dig a little deeper here rather than go with a current comic that I’m just not into at all. Then again, I’m sure I’m going to buy the Laura Kinney Wolverine whenever they get around to it anyway. And that leaves just one more figure in this wave before I can build Sasquatch. But next week, I’ll be tossing randomness to the wind and taking a look at one of the Marvel Studio: First Ten Years figures!

Marvel Legends (Sasquatch Wave): X-Force Deadpool by Hasbro

Before I get into Marvel Monday, I need to throw out the possibility of interruptions in my usual posts starting next week. I’m starting a mammoth project at work, which is going to be ongoing through to October, and I’m not sure yet if/how it will effect the time I have to spend on this blog. I do know that I will keep Marvel Mondays going whatever the cost, but there’s a possibility that I might have to drop to just two reviews a week if things get dicey. Hopefully that won’t happen, but I just wanted to give everyone a heads up in case it does. And with that out of the way… I have spun the Wheel of Legends and today’s figure is… X-Force Deadpool!

This is Wade’s second appearance in this wave and I reviewed the red-suited version of The Merc With A Mouth back in May. I also lamented how that figure was wanting for accessories. Well, that’s not the case here. Not only does this one come with Sasquatch’s noggin, but he also comes with a little arsenal of weapons. And not only is Hasbro stuffing two Deadpools in one wave here, but this one is also a double dip, because we got the first X-Force Deadpool in the modern Legends line way back in 2012. Not that I’m complaining because, quite frankly, that first one has not aged well. But is this one just a cash-grab repaint?

Um, sort of? Most of the buck is recycled from the modern Deadpool we got back in the Juggernaut Wave and repainted into the black and gray X-Force suit. The paint lines are sharp and the colors look great. The big differences in the body consist of the removal of the armor pieces from his fore arms and lower legs, and a new pair of feet. The articulation here is identical, so I won’t run through all that again, but keep in mind this one does not have the shoulder crunches like the Classic Deadpool from this wave.

Almost all his add-on gear is different. The belt appears to be a new sculpt, but the brace of pouches and holster on his right leg are reused from the Juggernaut Wave Deadpool. I like that the tiny belt buckle features the “X” symbol instead of his trademark Deadpool insignia. There’s some nice texturing and detail on the pouches and the individual button snaps and buckles are painted silver. It really sets the thigh piece apart from its previous appearance. The ankle cuffs do appear to be the same as the ones on the other Deadpool in this wave and this figure has an added collar piece around his neck.

The other big difference between this guy and Redpool from this wave is his shoulder rig. Gone is the cross strap, and now his scabbards are held on by a pair of shoulder straps.The scabbards run parallel to each other instead of crisscrossing. The scabbards are also longer to accommodate his longer katanas, which I’ll get to in a bit. That’s not to say the rig is new, it’s actually another piece that’s recycled from Juggernaut Wave Deadpool and I’m fine with that.

Also borrowed from Juggsy Deadpool is the headsculpt, which features the stitch lines that run down the sides of his face. There’s a nice hint of his facial features under the mask and it has the little sculpted point drooping on the back. And while this version doesn’t come with an unmasked head, you can use the one that came with Juggsy Deadpool as it fits just fine. *Taco not included. Let’s move on to accessories.

It’s nice that Deadpool comes with some guns this time, but I’m not really a fan of what we got. The rifle design is the same one that was included with Juggsy Deadpool and it’s pretty boring. It did get some coloring this time, but the odd choice of black and blue coloring makes it even more bizarre. It’s also cast in some super bendy plastic, which feels cheap.

The pistol is a decent enough sculpt, but it’s colored in blue with a red plug on the barrel making it look like a toy. I’m not too far behind in my Deadpool reading, but if the toyish looking gun is a comic reference, I don’t get it. Why not just cast it in gray or black plastic?

I am, however, happy to see the shorter straight swords from Classic Deadpool gone and replaced by the longer katanas that we got with Juggsy Deadpool. Sure, Hasbro has gotten some mileage out of these, but why not? They’re great swords. Some silver paint on the blades would have made them even better, but the gray plastic looks OK. I should note that Deadpool’s right hand is sculpted for the purpose of holding his guns, so that grip is pretty loose for the swords. He can hold it at certain angles, but it’s not uncommon for the sword to drop out of his hand.

As a mishmash of the last two Deadpool releases, X-Force Deadpool doesn’t really offer any new surprises, but I’m not going to hold it against him. Here’s a case where the recycling works well and creates a figure that has rendered my previous X-Force Wade totally obsolete. Sure, I would have liked some better choices in his firearms, but I guess they’re better than nothing, which is what we got last time. In the end, I think this is a fantastic figure and well worthy of joining my growing Deadpool-themed Legends shelf.

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Spider-Punk by Hasbro

I hope you don’t have Marvel fatigue from last week’s Marvel Legends theme, because I’m headed into the new week with Marvel Monday, business as usual! And I’m also back to spinning the Wheel of Legends to pick another random figure to open up today from the towering pile of shame in the corner. This week, the wheel landed on Hobart Brown, aka Spider-Man from Earth-138! I couldn’t be happier with this result.

Ah, but Hasbro seems to know him best as Spider-Punk as that is indeed the name printed on the box. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: Hasbro must thank the heavens for Spider-Verse, as it gave them a deep well of Spider-Man variants to drop their bucket into, knowing damn well that idiots like me will fork over our hard earned money to buy them all! And they sure are going full guns with it. There was a time when I thought the now all but defunct 4-inch Marvel Universe line was the only hope I had to get characters like this one, but the 6-inch Legends line has exploded to the point where literally any character seems like fair game. Let’s rip open this package and check him out!

The bulk of Hobart’s costume is painted onto the buck, just like most Spider-Man figures. Here we get a beautiful combination of vibrant blue and red. The blue occupies most of the figure and forms a large spider emblem on the chest, while the red features the familiar web pattern. The paint on my figure looks great, but if unpainted pegs in the joints bother you, then you may be pissed to find that the elbow pegs on the interior of the arms have been left red. In a perfect world, I would have liked to see them match the surrounding blue, but this just isn’t something that I get all worked up about. You do get some original sculpting for the sneakers, which are white with red sides.

Of course, Spider-Punk also features his vest, which is sculpted in soft plastic and given a denim-like texture. The sleeves have been ripped off and there’s a patch sculpted on the back, as well as some stitch lines around it. The shoulders feature some silver spikes, and there are various red and white buttons sculpted onto the front flaps. Boy did Hasbro do a nice job on this one!

The head sculpt is pretty typical Spider-Man fare, unless you count those bitchin’ silver spikes that crown his head. The mask has nice, big eyes and the paint apps are all pretty crisp and clear.

Hobart features all the articulation I’m used to seeing in my Legends Spider-Man figures. The legs have ball joints at the hips, double hinges at the knees, and swivels at the thighs. The big difference here is that the lower leg swivels are in the ankles at the tops of the sneakers. The ankles also have hinges and lateral rockers. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs at the wrists. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is hinged and ball jointed.

Obviously, you can’t have Spider-Punk without his trusty guitar and it is a seriously fun accessory. The mostly white guitar features a few blue paint apps and a black shoulder strap. The upper strap on mine pulled off the guitar after just a few poses, but it was easy to glue back into place. I would have really liked some more paint on the guitar to bring out some of the detail, but it’s still pretty damn cool.

Even better, Hobart comes with two guitar-specific hands, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Hasbro going through the trouble of sculpting these two hands that will probably never be used for anything ever again. The right hand is sculpted with a tiny pick between the fingers and the left is fingering chords.

You also get an extra left “thwippy” hand, which has a delicious double purpose here, as Hobart can use it to flash Dio’s two-fingered salute. ROCK ON!

Like a lot of the recent waves of Marvel Legends, Spider-Punk was tough for me to find at a decent price. He hasn’t turned up anywhere on the pegs in my neighborhood and he’s still selling for $30+ on Amazon. Luckily, I got in on a pre-order at one of the big online toy retailers, and while it cost me a few bucks more than he would in the store, I’m just happy to have him. This is a great example of just how much love Hasbro is willing to put into this line, and just how deep their willing to go when it comes to variants and characters. But most of all, this figure is just so damn fun to play with.

Marvel Legends (Astonishing Ant-Man): Ant-Man and Stinger by Hasbro

Happy Friday, Toyhounds! I work a lot of weekends, so Fridays don’t always mean anything to me, but this time I have a three-day weekend lined up with nothing planned but to binge comics and video games while drinking lots and lots of alcohol! But before I can sign off, it’s time to wrap up this Marvel week with a look at another Legends boxed set. Hasbro knows to strike while the iron is hot and in this case that means getting some comic-inspired Ant-Man-themed figures out while the new movie is in the theaters. And I can’t praise Hasbro enough for being willing to mix so many comic characters in with the heavy hitters from the movies. Let’s take a look at Scott Lang as Ant-Man and his daughter Cassie as Stinger!

As with most Marvel Legends boxed sets these days, the figures come in a stylish window box, which offers a great look at the figures. You get the Astonishing Ant-Man logo on the bottom as well as the characters’ names, and some nice artwork on the side panels. The back of the box notes that the set is inspired by art in Astonishing Ant-Man #13 and there’s even a tiny shot of the cover as well. Let’s start off with Ant-Man…

Wow, this is a great looking costume and a great looking figure! The black and red deco looks sharp and the extra bits of metallic charcoal paint on the knees, belt, and collar really make the figure pop. Most of the original sculpting is found on the belt and collar and thanks to the use of this particular buck, Ant-Man has some unexpected shoulder crunches. It kind of sucks that we still don’t have a classic Hank Pym Ant-Man from this line, but getting Lang in this suit is quite possibly the next best thing.

The portrait here is also very well done. I really dig Scott’s smirk and the facial detail is sharp and well-defined. The chin guard is on soft plastic so it can be flipped up over his mouth, but it doesn’t really look like it’s meant to do that. You get a little of that swirly effect going on in the silver plastic used for his helmet, but all in all, I think the finish on the helmet here looks a lot better than what we got on the Scott Lang from Ant-Man and The Wasp. A little red paint on the eyes and ears, and those two antenna round out a great looking head sculpt.

Apart from those shoulder crunches, the rest of the articulation is right in line with what I’ve come to expect. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, have swivels in the thighs and lower legs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Unfortunately, this figure has serious problems with some loosey-goosey joints. Besides practically being a bobble-head, the ab-crunch is really loose too. It’s not enough to ruin the figure for me, but it does take what could have been nearly perfect and makes him flawed. Moving on to Stinger…

I’ll confess, I never thought we’d ever get a Cassie Lang figure, but here she is and she looks pretty good, just not quite as good as I had hoped. I really dig this purple and black costume, but the figure has some color matching issues that we’ve seen before. Hellcat comes instantly to mind. The lower torso doesn’t quite match the upper torso, and the paint used for the thighs doesn’t match the pieces where the legs are jointed to the hips. To make matters worse, the hinges in the shoulders aren’t painted to match the silver shoulder guards, they’re just left purple and it looks like a really bad oversight. Hell, even the image on the package shows them painted, but that’s why they always toss in that disclaimer that says, images may not match final product. I do really like the silver paint on her wrists and gloves.

Stinger uses upper wings that we’ve seen before, most notably with the comic version of Wasp. Of course, Wasp had four wings, Stinger only has two, but you can still see the holes where the smaller pair pegged in. These are cast in a very pale translucent blue and they look great. They attach with hinged pegs giving them a nice degree of articulation.

Like Ant-Man, Stinger’s head sculpt is fantastic. I love the design of the helmet and the silver finish looks good. I think they also did a really nice job on the lower half of the face. The above shot also shows the unfortunate black paint trail that’s on her neck and another black smudge on her right shoulder hinge. I have some confidence that these might come off, but the fact that they’re there at all is a shame.

In addition to the wing articulation, Cassie gets by with the usual articulation seen on the Legends ladies. That includes rotating hinges int he shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed with double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs and lower legs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. She has a ball joint under the chest and her neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

This is a solid set, that could have been great if it weren’t for some unfortunate QC issues. Between the loose joints on Scott and the inconsistent coloring and paint flubs on Cassie, these just fall short of my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to get this set, and I’m certainly not sorry I picked it up, but I can’t help but feel this pair deserved a little better. And considering how great most of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends have been lately, problems like these tend to stand out even more.

Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Captain America and Crossbones by Hasbro

Even if I wasn’t gobsmacked by almost every Marvel movie that’s come out, I’d still have to respect what Marvel Studios (and Disney) has managed to accomplish with their cinematic universe. Ten years worth of movies all set in motion to culminate in a massive team up. It seems like a sure thing now, but if you go back to the beginning, to the original Iron Man film, nothing was guaranteed and crazy risks were taken. And now, in a market where a Goliath-like Disney is even pulling back on the reigns of the Star Wars franchise, Marvels flicks continue to put asses in the seats to the tune of about $12 Billion total. Hell, even Ant-Man and The Wasp opened with respectable numbers and beat the previous release. And if you think that $12 Billion is a lot of cheddar, now imagine how much the merchandising has raked in, because silly middle aged nerds like me buy toys!

And that brings me to my first two figures from Hasbro’s First Ten Years releases. These Marvel Legends figures are culled from the various films of the MCU and some of these figures are long overdue. Today I’m having a look at Cap and Crossbones from Captain America: Civil War. I’ve wanted a figure of the MCU’s Brock Rumlow as Crossbones ever since the movie was out. Hot Toys teased one and then decided against releasing him, but I’ll happily take Hasbro’s Legends version as a consolation prize. The figures come in a collector friendly window box with a Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years logo as well as Captain America: Civil War. The box here is also squared off at the edges, distinguishing it from the packaging used for the regular Legends two-packs and I like it a lot. It just looks spiffy and new. Let’s start with Captain America!

Do you enjoy buying a figure you already have to get one you don’t? Me neither. And that’s sort of the case here, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time with this figure. From the neck down, I can’t see any difference between this figure and the Civil War Cap that we got as part of the Giant-Man Wave. And I’m pretty sure that figure was just a repaint of the Cap from Age of Ultron. I said back then that I preferred the brighter blue on the AoU Cap over the darker costume here, but to be honest this one has grown on me quite a bit. I’ll spare you a run through of articulation as you can just link back to either of those reviews to get the lowdown.

That’s not to say this figure is entirely recycled. For starters, you get a pair of much improved heads. From straight on, I think the masked head is fantastic, but from the side, there’s some weird shit going on over the ears. There’s no hairline showing, so it kind of looks like he’s bald. The helmet is sculpted separately and it just doesn’t fit all that well, so you get some gaps around the back too.

There’s a similar thing going on with the unmasked head. When viewed from straight on I think it’s the best MCU Steve Rogers likeness we’ve seen in this scale. A profile view, however, shows that the hair is sculpted separately and it’s not a perfect fit. You get that same weird gap over the ears that doesn’t look natural and a gap around the sideburns where the hair doesn’t fit flush with the head. It’s kind of a shame because everything else here is done so damn well.

The shield is also different than the one that came with the previous Civil War Cap release. This one has a more vibrant and premium paint job and a segmented star in the center. It also features the realistic straps on the reverse side, which work much better than the hinge clip and peg affair we’ve seen so many times. The only disadvantage here is you can’t secure it to his back. All in all, this is a great figure and probably the best Legends MCU Cap Hasbro has released, so I’m not so bummed about having to buy this version again. OK, so enough about Cap, let’s get to the real reason I bought this set.

Crossbones’ screen time in Civil War was brief, but oh boy was it glorious. The rogue SHIELD agent’s scrap with Cap was a great way to kick things off and I loved his costume. I think the folks at Hasbro did too, because they sure poured the love into this figure. The detail on this guy is absolutely fantastic. The tactical vest is sculpted separately from soft plastic and worn over the buck with a white X scratched into it with what looks like pure rage. All of the straps and clasps are sculpted down to the finest details, as well as the various little pouches, and the texturing on his belt.

Other highlights include his Glock 17 pistol with molded holster on his right hip, which sadly is not removable…

The collection of magazines for various weapons slotted into molded open pouches on his right shoulder…

And on his left shoulder he has a brace of shotgun shells and what I believe are supposed to be tools for tuning up his hydraulic fists. One of them sure looks like a socket wrench. Whatever the case, the attention to detail is fantastic, and I’m especially impressed by the silver and brass paint hits here. Great work!

Rumlow comes with two heads, one masked and one without. The masked head is the one I’ll be using most of the time and it turned out quite nice. The white scratches on the mask that make up the skull motif are applied with the new half-tone printing techniques. What really impresses me here is the definition between the mask and what’s exposed through the eye-holes. It really looks like they sculpted a separate mask and attached it to the head. It’s not only the depth of sculpt that works so well here, but also the paint apps applied around the eyes showing the scar tissue.

The unmasked head is no slouch either. It’s not a perfect likeness to Frank Grillo, but he is supposed to be horribly scarred up. The hair is nicely sculpted and I really like the way the printing on his five o’clock shadow came out. I don’t know how much work it is to get likeness rights from someone like Grillo, but I think it’s really cool that Hasbro went the extra mile just to include the bonus head with this figure.

The articulation here is identical to Cap’s so I’m not going to run through all the details. I will, however, point out that the arm rigs are removable. These are sculpted in a fairly soft plastic, so the sculpted detail isn’t as sharp as it could have been, but there’s still plenty to appreciate in them. I especially like the DIY-stylings of the sculpted belts that are wrapped around them and holding them together.

Overall I’m very pleased with my first Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years set. Even though this tweaked version of Captain America turned out to be a welcome addition, I was in this set for Crossbones, and I am not disappointed. Quite the contrary, if this is the kind of effort Hasbro is putting into these First Ten Years figures, I’m pretty excited to pick up some more. I grabbed this one at Hasbrotoyshop for $40 and I think it was money well spent! Come back on Friday and I’ll wrap up this Marvel week with a look at Ant-Man and Stinger.

Marvel Legends (Cull Obsidian Wave): The Wasp by Hasbro

I make it no secret that back when the MCU was still forming The Avengers, I was pretty pissed that Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne were not getting their due. But as things progressed, I realized that the MCU was doing its own thing and it was hard to argue with the results. And while we never really did get to see Hank and Janet in action beyond a quick missile-stopping scene, the duo of Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne make for a pretty damn good substitute in the latest Marvel cinematic outing. Last week I checked out Ant-Man, now let’s take a look at The Wasp!

Yeah, Ant-Man and The Wasp was a damn good movie and just the right follow-up to the angst-ridden downer that was Infinity War. It was fun and an all around perfect mix of action and laughs. Unless you stay for that post-credit scene in which it kind of becomes a quite a downer as well, but I guess they had to tie it into Infinity War somehow. In any event, I doubt we’ll see any more figures from this movie, but that’s probably why they slid the incredible shrinking duo into the second Infinity War wave. But hey, I’m just glad we got these two.

Hope comes packaged with her helmet on and that’s where I’ll start. I really dig this costume a lot. It pays respects to the The Wasp’s modern comic appearances with the black and gold outfit, which has always been a pretty good look for her. A majority of the suit is textured to give it the same finish as the Ant-Man suit, and in addition to the gold pattern on the front of the torso, you also get some gold on the arms, bottoms of the knee guards, and some striping on the legs, along with some hits of red. The arms feature the cuffs, which presumably house her blasters and she comes with a pair of fists attached. From the back, Wasp features a removable backpack, which I’ll come back to when we add her wings. All in all, this looks to me like a more refined suit than Scott’s, and that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be.

The helmet sculpt is solid, although it’s cast in that same questionable gray plastic as Ant-Man’s helmet. I think this one turned out a little better, but I’m still not a fan of the swirly patterns in the plastic. If I can get another Wasp figure at a decent price I may actually wind up trying to paint it proper silver. The biggest win here are the eyes being visible through the yellow lenses in the mask. I love that they were able to make that work and it looks fantastic.

And you also get an alternate unmasked head, which is a pretty good likeness to Evangeline Lilly. As always, the new printing technique tends to break down when you get in real close, but in hand the lips and eyes look fantastic, as does the sculpted ponytail. Nice job!

The articulation is mostly good. My usual issue holds true for the Legends ladies and Hasbro’s choice of articulation for the arms. The rotating ball joints in the shoulders and elbows sounds fine, but the range of movement in the elbows is disappointing. I can barely get a full 90-degrees out of those elbows. The wrists are on hinged pegs, to allow the hands to be swapped from fists to flying hands with the fingers held tightly together. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles. It doesn’t feel like she’s got lateral rockers in the ankles, but if she does, mine just don’t want to move that way. Lastly, there’s a ball joint under the chest, and she has both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

Deploying Wasp’s wings is as easy as pulling off the backpack and pegging in the wing assembly. I think the backpack is sculpted to make it look like the wings are retracted but still showing a bit. If that’s the case it’s not that convincing, mainly because of the color difference, but swapping out the backpacks works well enough. The wings are cast in a frosted translucent plastic, which makes for a nice effect, but can be a little tough to see against a white backdrop. I think it would have been cool if they could have worked some kind of shimmery effect in there.

There also isn’t as much range of motion in the wings as we saw in the comic-based Janet Van Dyne from a bunch of waves back. Still, the wings are a whole lot of fun. They sure look nice and they hold onto the figure quite securely.

With there now being no less than four MCU versions of Scott Lang in the Marvel Legends lineup, it’s great to finally see The Wasp in action on the big screen and have a figure as well. Hasbro did a solid job on this release and I’m interested to see what the future holds for Hope Van Dyne as the MCU continues to unfold. As a footnote… I got in a couple Marvel Legends boxed two-packs last week, so I’ve decided to go All Marvel, All Week! So I can have a look at those without interrupting my usual Marvel Mondays. So on Wednesday I’ll be checking out the Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Captain America and Crossbones set, and then we’ll bring it on back home on Friday with a look at the Ant-Man and Stinger set.

Marvel Legends (Cull Obsidian Wave): Ant-Man by Hasbro

Who’s ready for another Marvel movie, eh? Getting tired of them yet. I’m honestly not, although lately I’ve been a little more excited for the more peripheral films rather than the Avengers-centric stuff. Well, Ant-Man and The Wasp hits theaters this week and I’ve already got my tickets lined up for Thursday night and this is one that I’m really looking forward to. To celebrate, I’m putting the Wheel of Marvel Legends aside and casting randomness to the wind. Instead, I’m pulling out the eponymous stars of this flick for the next today and the next Marvel Monday. So today let’s have a look at Scott Lang in his new Ant-Man suit, and next Monday we’ll check out Hope Van Dyne in her Wasp costume.

Egads, how I love the font they used for the title of this flick. It’s so bold and exciting and goofy and comic booky. Putting it on the box is almost enough to make me save the package, but I need room for more toys, so that’s not going to happen. I’ll also toss out how much I dig the idea of combining figures of different MCU movies into one wave. In this case, the Cull Obsidian Wave is mixed with Infinity War and this pair from Ant-Man and The Wasp. I think it allows them to spread the love, and let’s face it… there’s usually enough MCU films making their rounds at around the same time so that wave sharing can still feel fresh. Scott Lang comes packaged unmasked, but I’m going to kick things off by looking at him with the helmet on, because I really need to get a running start to tackle that Paul Rudd head.

So, straight away I’ll say that I do prefer the Ant-Man costume from the original film over this one and the one that debuted in Civil War. This one feels even more streamlined than the last one and it’s not that I don’t like this one, I really do, but there was something extra cool about the more complex and less polished look of the original. The belt is a separate piece now, but there isn’t a whole lot of detail going on there. Most of the lines separating the red and black parts of the suit are part of the sculpt, which is always a big plus for me. You get the same mix of black, red, and silver as on the original, as well as that lovely texturing all over the suit. Overall, the coloring is nice and the paint application is pretty clean. There are a few lines where the silver could have been a wee bit sharper, but nothing terrible. And yes, there are some unpainted pegs in the knee and elbow hinges, so if that pisses you off… well, prepare to be pissed off, I guess.

Once again, I dig the old style helmet a lot more than this one, which is a lot more streamlined. The helmet sculpt looks solid enough, but maybe a little rough around the edges as I get in close. As many of you know I’m not a big fan of this swirly gray plastic Hasbro likes to use. It’s a shame that they couldn’t have painted the helmet with the same silver they use for the rest of the suit. Hell, even the stuff they used for Deathlok’s arms looked a lot better than this. Another shame is that they couldn’t have gone with sculpted eyes and tinted clear lenses for the mask. They did it for the Ant-Man BAF from Civil War and as we’ll see next week they did it for Wasp too. Moving on to the alternate head…

I swear to God I saw pictures of this head in pre-production that looked absolutely amazing, but this isn’t it. I’m not sure what happened between then and now, but I think the final head came out too elongated. Maybe it got pinched in the molding process. I mean, it’s definitely Paul Rudd, but it comes off looking more like a caricature of him and not so much a realistic portrait. Besides the fact that it looks elongated, I’m going to chalk a lot of it up to the expression they went with. The shit-eating smirk kind of fits the character, and it’s a nice attempt at endowing the figure with a lot of personality, but it just comes off as creepy and weird to me. I’m going to go with points for trying here, but I don’t think they quite hit the mark.

The articulation is everything I’ve come to expect from my Marvel Legends figures. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. It’s worth noting that the shoulder articulation is a tad more limited from the sculpt and even the elbows don’t bend as far as I would have liked. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. You get a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest and the head is both ball jointed and hinged. A bit better range of motion in the arms would have been appreciated, but not bad.

Scott Lang has been one of the most pleasant surprises for me in the MCU and I’m happy to see him getting a figure from each one of his appearances. The unmasked head is a bit of a hiccup, but I give them high marks for trying and I’ll still likely display the figure with it from time to time. And yes, I’m going to happily pick up the Marvel Studios: First 10 Years two-pack because it not only nets me a Civil War version of Lang in normal size, but it also comes with what looks like a better unmasked head. And also a figure of Yellowjacket, which is something I’ve wanted for a long, long time, especially since Hot Toys’ version never made it past prototype. Join me again next week, when I’ll have seen the flick and have a look at The Wasp!

Marvel Legends (Sasquatch Wave): Deathlok by Hasbro

Well, folks, I spun the Wheel of Marvel Legends and it landed back in the Sasquatch Wave with Deathlok… and I couldn’t be happier! I seem to recall, back when I reviewed his Marvel Universe Infinite figure, that I confessed my love for characters that are mortally injured (or already dead) and saved by horrific cybernetic surgeries. It most certainly explains my man-crush on RoboCop and countless other comic, cartoon, and movie cyborgs. Of course Deathlok is pretty unique among them and it’s long past time that Hasbro gave him a modern Legends figure. The body horror is bad enough, but then waking up in the far-flung shitty future is just the icing on the cake that made Deathlok such a cool character to me. He also got some love in the Agents of SHIELD series and was one of the few things I liked about that show before I abandoned it. Still, it tickles me to know he’s officially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And Deathlok is figure in the Sasquatch Wave that may be to blame for Deadpool’s lack of accessories. Like Cable, Deathlok’s tray is absolutely packed. He’s a sizable figure to begin with, and then toss in the weapons and the BAF part and there’s not a lot of room left on that tray. I haven’t read anything with Deathlok in it since 2014, so I’m happy Hasbro went with the more classic look for the character. Also like Cable, this version just screams glorious 90’s comics to me and it’s virtually identical to the design they used for the excellent Marvel Universe Infinite figure from that same year.

And oh boy do I love this design! This Legends redo hits all the same great points as the smaller release and even takes advantage of the larger scale to give us a few extras, like the yellow pipe that comes out of his chest and connects to a control box on his belt and the working holster. There’s plenty of points of interest on this spiffy sculpt. The exposed cybernetics on the legs and right arm mimics the musculature of the human body with cut segmented lines and I’m always a sucker for those! Other staples of 90’s design? Kneepads? Check! Shoulder slabs? Check, check! Pouches? Check times infinity! Well, maybe not that many pouches, but he does have a brace of them running across his belt and they even stuck a couple more on his holster loop. I also really dig the raised American flag on the right side of his chest. The backpack has some nice cut lines and whatever the hell that is supposed to be in the middle. It’s also connected to those slabs of shoulder armor.

The coloring on this guy makes for a stunningly beautiful figure. You get the candy-apple red for the torso, boots, and left arm, with some lovely yellow accents to really make the deco pop. Surprisingly, the silver limbs appear to be cast in silver plastic, which is something that usually doesn’t look as good as Hasbro’s silver paint, but it sure gets the job done here. Throw in a little brown for the belt, wrist bracers, and knee pads to keep things grounded and you’ve got a feast for the eyes. Finally, the backpack and shoulder pads feature a perfect gun-metal finish.

And that brings us to the head sculpt and it’s a doozy! Deathlok features the classic half-zombie, half-machine look, with smooth silver cybernetic parts contrasting beautifully with the beef-jerky texturing of his rotten head. It’s a pretty damn grim portrait to be hanging in the kids toy aisle at Target, but I love it. You get a missing nose, puckered skin surrounding a down-turned mouth, and a really gross wash that looks a lot like rotting flesh. Hey, at least his right ear appears to have been well preserved! Meanwhile, the partial cybernetic parts are practically featureless and that really drives home the contrast between old meat and new tech. I’d be hard pressed to choose between this portrait and the one that Hasbro did for the 4-inch version, as they’re both excellent, although this larger noggin does allow for more detail.

Deathlok has articulation in spades, and while there’s a very slight gummy quality to his knee hinges, it’s not something I’m getting too upset over. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. I should point out that the muscle sculpting doesn’t allow for the degree of elbow flex that I’m used to seeing in my Legends figures, but I’ll give it a pass. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels at the thighs and tops of the boots, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a torso swivel, an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Ever since I opened him, I’m having a hard time putting Deathlok down.

Deathlok comes with two weapons, the first is his pistol, which fits comfortably in the loop-style holster on his right hip and features quite a beefy design. It includes a scope mounted on what looks like a sliding rail, although it’s not articulated. There’s also a long magazine protruding from the grip, and no it’s not removable. In addition to various cut lines and details, the pistol has a bit of silver wash to make it look well weathered. I’m not usually a big fan of having just loops as holsters, but in this case the gun draws really easily, so this would be a good exception to my rule.

Secondly, Deathlok comes with this big mother of a three-barreled gatling gun and belt of ammunition that can slot into either the top or bottom. It’s an impressive looking piece of weaponry, but it can be a little awkward for him to hold, since there’s no obvious place for him to support it with his right hand. But maybe that was intentional, since he can wield it with just his one cybernetic arm, and he looks like a badass doing it. Oh yeah, it also looks like the shrouded part houses missiles. I can’t let Deadpool see this thing. He’ll just go nuts with rage and jealousy.

The Sasquatch Wave has been firing on all cylinders for me. Despite picking on Deadpool for his lack of accessories, every figure I’ve opened in this assortment so far has been something special. So when I say, Deathlok ranks high up there as one of my favorites in this wave, it’s really saying something. In fact, he’s probably tied with Cable as my favorites. This figure is a beautifully colored, features a fantastic sculpt, and some great weapons. You can usually judge how much I love a new figure by how long it gets to stay on my desk, and I gotta tell you, Deathlok is probably going to be here on the desk for quite a while.