Marvel Legends (Kree Sentry Wave): Talos by Hasbro

It’s Day Three of this Captain Marvel Legends week! This nonsense will be going on until Sunday when I finish things off with the Kree Sentry Build-A-Figure and I’m still going to try to squeeze the regular Mythic Legions Wednesday later on tonight. I haven’t marathoned this many reviews into one week in a while. It’s a young man’s game, something I am not, so it’s going to be interesting to see if I can make it! Let’s dive right in with our first look at an MCU Skrull… Talos!

We’re getting into some unfamiliar territory today with Talos from the upcoming film. Obviously we knew who Captain Marvel and Nick Fury were, but for this one I’m relying solely on the back of the package. The blurb calls him “the most cunning spy in all the Skrull Empire,” and that sounds like quite a big boast. Is he going to be the lead baddie in the flick? Possibly, and to be honest, I don’t want to know until I see it. So, no spoilers!

I can’t really comment on how screen-accurate the costume on this figure is, but I will say that it’s not wowing me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’ll look fine on the big screen, but for an action figure, it’s pretty meh. For a while I couldn’t for the life of me place what this design reminded me of, but I ultimately sussed it out as resembling Nero’s outfit from the 2009 Trek film. I don’t know that it’s really that close, but that’s just the vibe I get off of it. The deco here is really muted, with mostly a lot of matte black with only some purple to add a little pop. Even the silver on the shoulder armor is more like a dull gray.

The bulk of Talos’ outfit consists of what looks like a form-fitting trench coat but without the opening down the front. It’s molded in soft plastic and does open up the right side under the arm, as it’s secured together with tabs. Still, opening it doesn’t allow it to come off, as it appears to be glued to the figure under the left arm. There are tons of lines cut throughout the costume surface, which is reminiscent of wood grain patterns. It does give it a rather distinctive alien look, and I do dig how the purple bits look like they’re layered under the rest of the garment.

While the costume isn’t all that flash, the head sculpt gets me a little more excited. This guy is pretty easily identifiable as a Skrull from the funnybooks, and I love that. He’s got the green skin and extended Vulcan-like ears with creases in his face radiating out from his mouth. He’s also sporting some purple spotting on his bald pate, which forms “sideburns” down the sides of his face. The same coloring can be found on his inner lips and around his chin. It’ll be interesting to see if all the Skrull have the same color and pattern of markings. Either way, I definitely approve of the look.

All the usual points of articulation can be found here, but the form-fitting coat renders the range of motion in the legs rather limited. Other issues include the fact that his arms can’t really go all the way down by his sides. Toss in the fact that both my figure’s bicep swivels are pulled, leaving noticeable gaps, and I’m not really impressed. And just to add another bummer to the pile, Talos comes with no accessories, unless you count the BAF part.

I don’t really hate this figure, that’s too strong a word, but I just don’t find him all that fun or exciting. I do really dig the MCU Skrull design and I think Hasbro did the best they could with it. Unfortunately, the outfit is kind of boring and with no weapons or accessories, and some limited articulation, there isn’t a hell of a lot for me to do with him. I’ll probably be more excited about this one once I’ve seen him in action in the flick, but for now, he’s just not doing a lot for me. I understand the desire to get a major character out in the wave, but I think I would have been happier with a Skrull Soldier, even if it was a comic-based version.

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Marvel Legends (Kree Sentry Wave): Nick Fury by Hasbro

It’s the second day of me powerhousing my way through the new Captain Marvel Legends wave. And as much as I had to lead in yesterday with Carol, there was no way I could go another day without opening up young Nick Fury. But don’t get too comfy, because today’s review is going to be easy-peasy, quick and breezy!

While the packaging looks the same as always, the windows are now just a clear cover on the tray. I’m not sure why they went this way, maybe it’s cheaper to make, but either way it doesn’t really effect me because I toss out these packages. Of course, this is Nick Fury circa 1995 and I’ll note here how curious I am about how much Fury will be in the film, since Disney is working their de-aging mojo on him. Although, they seem to be pretty comfortable with the technology, so hopefully it’ll be a lot.

And I’m getting off easy today, because there isn’t a whole lot to say about this figure as it features a standard guy-in-a-suit buck. I am, however, surprised to see that Hasbro didn’t just take the buck used for Agent Coulson and slap a Sam Jackson head on it. No doubt, there’s some re-use here, but this Agent Fury figure stands a good bit taller than the Coulson we got way back in that Agents of SHIELD 3-pack. Beyond that there are some notable differences, like the buttons on Fury’s coat being sculpted sharper, his collar is completely different, and his necktie is tied a bit looser. It’s not a lot to notice from a casual glance, but it’s still nice to know that Hasbro put some work into this figure. As usual, the jacket effect is achieved with a sleeveless vest cast in soft plastic and the jacket sleeves sculpted as part of the arms.

The head sculpt features a pretty good likeness to younger Sam Jackson, which depicts Nick Fury before he lost an eye. The painted details on the face seem to be actual paint and not the printed method they’ve been using lately. Either way it looks OK. My only real nitpick here is that the jointing of the neck to the head looks a bit odd when viewed from certain angles.

Fury comes with his trusty pistol and there’s not a lot for me to say about it. It’s cast in black plastic and his trigger finger doesn’t work so well with the trigger guard. Otherwise he holds it just fine in his right hand.

Articulation is standard stuff and actually identical to the suited-buck used for Coulson. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. There’s a swivel in the waist, a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Fury also comes with one of two versions of Carol Danvers’ “cat,” Goose that are included in this wave, and I’ll defer from clarifying those quotes around the word cat to avoid any specific spoilers. Although as you can probably guess by the accessory, this isn’t your ordinary domesticated feline, because the little guy is locked up in restraints. The scruff of his neck is sculpted specifically so that Fury can hold him by it with his left hand. It kind of makes out like Fury and Goose aren’t going to get along, but seeing him playing with Goose in the trailer sets my heart at ease.

And that’s all I got for today. Don’t mistake my brevity as a slight on the figure, because I was really looking forward to getting him and I’m still happy to be getting young Fury from the film for my MCU Legends shelf. I greatly appreciate the changes to the suited-body, especially for when I’m displaying him and Coulson together. Indeed, I dig this figure so much, it makes me realize how badly we need a new regular version of MCU Fury. He would have been an excellent candidate for a do-over in The First Ten Years releases. Anyway… come on back tomorrow and we’ll dig into another figure from this wave!

Marvel Legends (Kree Sentry Wave): Captain Marvel by Hasbro

Captain Marvel Week Begins!!! Yes, I’ve decided to unleash a couple of Marvel Weeks in the next couple of months to work through my backlog of Legends figures, the first of which is starting today. I’m also pushing the new Captain Marvel wave to the head of the line, because it’s fun to be current and timely with my reviews every now and again, instead of being sad and way behind. I’m also going to give it my best to throw in the usual Mythic Legions Wednesday, but we’ll see how that goes. Let’s start with the soon-to-be newest star of the MCU… Carol Danvers!

I don’t usually have a lot to say about the packaging, but we actually have a few things worth mentioning here. First of all, the window is no longer part of the box, now it’s a top on the tray. Cool! Also, the back panel features some exceptionally beautiful and colorful character art from the upcoming film. I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Brie Larson, but I’ve learned to stop questioning any MCU casting a long time ago, and I honestly think she’s going to be great in the role. If anything, the trailers have assuaged any of my apprehension about the future of the MCU after many characters from the old guard has been retired. Anyway… the figure comes packaged with her masked head, but I’ll start with the unmasked one.

Straight away, the first two things I love about this figure is the MCU suit design and the way Hasbro translated it to plastic 6-inches of plastic. The suit is colorful and features just enough sculpted line work to keep it from looking flat. While the MCU has been pretty good about drawing inspiration from comic looks, I’m still a little surprised that they played this one so close to the line. The snappy metallic red and blue deco makes the figure pop all on its own, but when you toss in the hints of gold trim, it elevates the the coloring even higher. Indeed, some of the gold work, like the edging on her lower legs, is extremely subtle, but it makes me appreciate it all the more on closer inspection. And the raised gold starburst on her chest looks fantastic!

The unmasked head utilizes all of Hasbro’s newly learned techniques to deliver a solid likeness of Larson. The skin tone is soft and matte to avoid a waxy look and the printing for the lips is sharp and subdued, but as always when you get in close, the printing starts to blur even though it looks fine in hand and with the naked eye. The expression is pretty flat and I’ve seen some criticisms of the trailer, saying that Larson doesn’t emote much, but here we get a hint of a smirk that I think works well for the character. Personally, I think people are getting a little too hung up on a few minutes of footage, but time will tell. Danvers’ hair is sculpted separately from the head, which adds some nice depth to the portrait overall and it’s given a dark sandy wash.

The masked head is also fantastic, and here’s where I really have to emphasize how surprised I am that the MCU version is playing it so close to the comic look. The mask covers everything but part of her lower face and includes pupil-less eyes and the mohawk of her hair jutting out the top. We get some more of that wonderful electric blue trim on the sides and while the paint could have been a tad sharper around the mask, it’s not really bad either. Finally, we get a little bit of a smirk on this portrait.

Articulation holds no surprises, but let’s break it down anyway. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, with no swivels in the biceps. The legs have ball jointed hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a ball joint under the chest and the neck has both a hinge and ball joint. And yes, I’ll keep beating the dead horse of how I wish Hasbro would give the ladies double hinges in the elbows instead of rotating hinges. Captain Marvel also comes with two sets of hands: Fists and open hands, to alternate between fighting and flying. You may have also noticed from the packaged shot that she does not come with a BAF part. I’m guessing Hasbro figured everyone was going to want her anyway.

I’ve been waiting for this figure ever since we knew Carol was coming to the MCU and I have to say all that anticipation was paid off in spades. The outfit design is great and the colors are spectacular. And like any great movie-based action figure that’s released before the actual movie, this one is making me all the more excited to see the film. It’s also got me excited to open up some more of this wave, so I’ll be back tomorrow with another review!

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

It’s the final leg of today’s Marvel Monday trifecta and I’m happy to be putting another wave of Marvel Legends to bed! But this review is a bit of a cheat, because I haven’t actually completed the Thanos BAF. In a strange twist of fate, the Captain America from this wave never presented itself to me at retail and for some reason he’s been going for stupid prices online. Even Amazon, my normal go-to for Legends, has been gouging him at about $40-50. There are probably Legends figures out there that I would pay that kind of a premium for if I had to, but this Cap ain’t one of them. For starters, I’m not a big fan of his costume in the flick, I don’t like his Wakandan shield, the likeness is unusually bad, and finally I don’t really need his BAF part, thanks to the First Ten Years three-pack that came with two Thanos heads. I should note, that I also didn’t pick up the Iron Man from this wave either, but I’ll probably double back and get him eventually. In the meantime, check out this shit!

Only a Marketplace listing now, but Amazon themselves have had him for close to $50! And since this is going to be a quickie review, I also thought I’d take a few moments to talk about how much undying love I have for the Marvel Legends line and the way it also frustrates me to no end. Legends has become one of those monkey paw-type wishes come true for me. Hasbro has kicked this line into overdrive, beyond even my wildest dreams. Even when I thought it was going full throttle and balls-to-the-wall someone at Hasbro stood up, said “Hold my beer,” and cranked it up a few more notches. The sheer number of releases we are getting in regular waves is enough to make me weep with joy, but then you toss in the exclusives and the multi-packs, and it becomes enough to make me weep at the near futility of it all. The figures are coming in unceasing waves and the depth and breath of the character selection continues to astound me. I long passed 250 Marvel Legends reviews here on FFZ and I’m still hopelessly behind. I have stacks of them in the closet waiting to be opened. I could literally review a figure every day of the week and still not be caught up for over a month! Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want it to stop! But I worry about the bubble breaking. I’d rather have the line pace itself than crumble under it’s own weight. And sometimes when I see figures like Infinity War Cap or Mysterio selling for so much online, I have to wonder if it’s because these waves are hitting so quickly that some of them are barely making it to the pegs. And if that’s the case, why are whole other waves easily available at or below half price? I have no answers. What I do know is that I couldn’t even imagine keeping up with this line if it weren’t for the Internet. If it was like the old days, just driving to stores to hunt them would be a full-time job! OK, enough with the editorializing. I’m not very good at it to begin with, and I’ve got it out of my system. Let’s take a look at a couple of Thanoseseses…

Here’s the Thanos Build-A-Figure (with a different head)! So, if you aren’t keeping up, Thanos was first released as this Build-A-Figure and then shortly after he was included in the Infinity War First Ten Years 3-pack along with Iron Man and Doctor Strange. It seemed like an odd thing for Hasbro to do, until I got both figures in hand and realized that the FTY version is almost like a premium Do-Over. Both figures use an almost identical sculpt, with only two differences, one being the head sculpt, which I won’t be talking about. The other is the Infinity Gauntlet, which is sculpted in a closed fist here, as opposed to the open hand of the FTY version.

The Infinity Gauntlet on my BAF version has some issues with the stones, which appears to be either a QC problem with this specific figure or a wider-reaching molding issue. It’s not hugely noticeable, but it’s still worth mentioning. Either way, the Mind Stone just looks messed up. As for my personal preference on the hand itself, I think I prefer the opened hand. It seems like Hasbro should have been a sport and included two gauntlet hands as BAF parts in the wave, especially since Iron Man didn’t come with any and Captain Rogers only came with the tiny head.

The other main difference between the two figures is the coloring. The BAF features a duller platinum finish on the armor pieces, whereas the FTY version has a gold finish. The gold armor also features some really nice etched patterns in the gorget, which are not at all present on the BAF version. In this case, I definitely prefer the gold. It simply looks more vibrant, and from what I can tell also more screen accurate. This may have been another case of the figure releasing before design plans were finalized, but seeing as Thanos’ armor was gold in his previous appearances, it seems odd to have changed it now. The skin color on the BAF version is also a wee bit darker and the pants on the BAF are so dark they’re almost black, whereas FTY Thanos dons a set of chocolate brown trousers.

In the end, I’m happy to have both, but if I’m only going to display one of these Mad Titans, it’s definitely going to be the one from the FTY set. It feels more like a premium figure in every way and I’m not going to shed any tears over not completing the BAF just because of stupid Captain America and his Thanos noggin.

And so, I leave this wave with a bitter-sweet feeling. It’s always a shame when bad distribution and online retailer scalping makes collecting this tough. And it wasn’t just Captain America that made this one so hard to complete. It took a long while before I was able to track down Iron Spider at a palatable price. I may eventually grab up a loose Captain Rogers just to get him in my collection and complete the team from the movie, but for now I’m just happy to put this wave behind me. It features some great figures, but it was one of the most frustrating waves for me to collect in a long, long while!

Next week I’m going full guns with an entire week of Legends as I cruise through the newly released Captain Marvel-inspired Kree Sentry Wave!

Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Serpent Society by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back on this fine Marvel Monday afternoon to kill off another wave of Marvel Legends this week, this time it’s the sort of Infinity War-themed wave that gave us four figures from the flick and three unrelated characters from the comics. Obviously, King Cobra fits into the later!

I’m sure it has something to do with copyright issues, but for whatever reason the box just says Serpent Society. I’m sure King Cobra was taken by some other company for some other product and, for whatever reason, Hasbro thought tossing Klaus Voorhees on an action figure box wasn’t going to cut it. Maybe Serpent Society Leader would have been better? Maybe it wouldn’t fit in the space on the package? It doesn’t matter either way, I’m throwing out the box.

And hey, some of this guy sure looks familiar! The bulk of this buck was seen here last week when I looked at Black Knight, and it was used for Green Goblin before that, and Hobgoblin before that! Nonetheless, the sculpted scale pattern on the arms and legs certainly works well for King Cobra and I’m a big fan of the way it looks in general. The boots and hands are changed out, the former are pretty non-descript and the later are pointy-fingered clutching hands. He also has a couple of flat gray belt, which likes to ride up and down his waist, and similarly painted wrist bracers, all of which look a little out of place when mixed with the purple and green deco of the rest of the figure. And on that subject I can’t say enough good things. The coloring on this figure is absolutely gorgeous, with deep purple and bright emerald-green metallic paints.

The cape is totally rad, as it’s meant to look like the hood of a Cobra from the front, widening at the shoulders and narrowing down toward the ground. I really dig it. It pegs into the hole on his back and hovers a bit over his shoulders. It’s just the kind of accessory that would have made Cobra Commander or Serpentor proud!

The head sculpt is decent, but not extraordinary. I like his toothy maniacal grimace, but it’s a little soft and lacks some of the flair that so many of Hasbro’s better villain portraits exude. The mask is painted to match the scale armor and while it looks good, the lines between the mask and his skin aren’t as sharp as they could have been. Thankfully, the black lines around his narrow yellow eyes are applied with more precision. The hood is a separate piece so as not to impede the neck articulation and it’s painted in a darker green. My figure has an unfortunate blemish on the right top side of the hood.

After seeing this body three times already, I’ll refer you to one of those reviews (linked above) to get the down-low on the articulation. The hinges in the elbows and knees are still rather gummy, and the ratchets in the shoulders are oddly strong for a figure with such a slight build. Nonetheless, he’s still fun to play around with.

I can’t say as I’ve ever been all that excited by The Serpent Society in the comics, but these colorful characters in their outlandish costumes really translate well to action figures, and so I’m always going to be glad when we get a new one. And while I’ll freely admit that the recycled buck works perfectly for Klaus, I think it might be a good idea to put this one away for a little while, Hasbro. Three times in one year is getting a little excessive and you wouldn’t want it to outstay its’ welcome. And I’m not done for the day, so don’t pass out on me yet… I’ll be back one more time tonight to do a quick review (sort of) of the Thanos Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Proxima Midnight by Hasbro

My New Year’s resolution is that I’m determined to start getting caught up on my Marvel Legends reviews and get through some more of these older waves. And since I only have two more figures to open in the Thanos Wave, let’s go ahead and knock out that one today with a Triple Play. And so this morning I am throwing randomness to the wind and opening up the only other member of Thanos’ Black Order currently available: Proxima Midnight! While she’s not the stand out thug in Thanos’ stable, (that honor goes to Ebony Maw!) at least Proxima got some lines in the flick. She also had a couple of really bitchin’ fight scenes, so we’ll rank her in at number two.

I don’t have anything to say about the packaging, other then she comes with Thanos’ torso and there was a lot of speculation about her when this figure was revealed before the movie hit. Unlike Proxima’s cohort, Cull Obsidian, her figure is based closer to the way she appeared in the movie, but she’s still not 100% screen accurate. And for the record, I think her MCU look is a pretty damn cool adaptation of her comic look. Although to be fair, she’s a pretty new character, and I sometimes wonder whether Marvel is designing the new characters with potential MCU conversions in mind. Probably not, but it’s fun to think about it.

Wearing what is basically a black and white bodysuit, Hasbro could have easily cheaped out on Proxima with a simple painted buck. Instead, they went with an elaborate pattern of etched lines running all over her body. It almost looks like a topographical map! When coupled with the black and pearlescent white deco it looks quite striking. She also has some platinum colored armor pieces sculpted onto her lower right leg, her forearms, and a pauldron on her left shoulder.

The head sculpt is where the design of the figure and the on screen look differ a bit. The dark blue sculpted hair looks on point, as does the horn-like things that come up from her eyes. It’s the paint on the lower half of her face that doesn’t really jibe with the movie makeup. Her skin tone should be lighter, she shouldn’t have painted cheeks, and she should have a single stroke of paint running from her bottom lip down the middle of her chin. It’s not a bad looking portrait by any means, but I think this is another case of Hasbro working off of designs that weren’t quite finalized at the time. Indeed, there are actually promotional pictures of the character that looks just like this.

Proxima’s articulation actually breaks Hasbro’s tradition of cheating the gals by giving her double hinges in the elbows, instead of rotating hinges, as well as bicep swivels. The shoulders and wrists are the usual rotating 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. The torso has a ball joint under the chest and the neck is hinged and ball jointed. The shoulder armor even has a little give to it so as not to inhibit the left arm too badly.

Ms. Midnight comes with one accessory and that’s her very distinctive looking three-pronged spear. It’s cast in a platinum-gold color similar to her armor pieces, and it’s actually a pretty good match for the one she carried in the film. Only her right hand is sculpted to hold it, and I would have liked a swap-out left hand with the same ability. The spear is a bit bendy, particularly at the tips, but I dig it.

So, Proxima Midnight isn’t a perfect match for her big screen counterpart, but I still want to give this figure a pass. The sculpted lines added to the body really makes her stand out, and the head sculpt makes her look even more sinister than she did in the film. The divergence in design may bother me a bit more when I finally get Ebony Maw and Corvus Glaive on the shelf, but for now, I think she turned out pretty great and I can get some kicks posing her fighting Black Widow and Okoye. And that’s the first part of today’s Marvel Legends trifecta! Stop back this afternoon for a look at King Cobra and later on tonight for a half-assed quick look at the Thanos Build-A-Figure!

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

Here we go! It’s the very last Marvel Monday review of 2018 and I am still ridiculously far behind on my Marvel Legends, but I’m so very glad to be ending the year with a figure from Infinity War. As far as movies go, that one was one of the highest points of the year for me. So much so, that I’m going to be ending the year watching it on Blu-Ray tonight for the the umpteenth time. So let’s get right down to business so I can watch my movie and you all can go about your New Years Eve business!

For all intent and purposes, Cull Obsidian is the Black Dwarf of the MCU’s Black Order and only the second of Thanos’ minions (so far!) to get a figure in the Legends line. He’s comprised of seven parts, if you include his weapon, spread out over all six figures in this wave, with the weapon being doubled up with one of the arms. Before slapping him together, it’s worth mentioning that this figure deviates a bit from his look in the film. The body and head sculpt both look pretty much on point, but he wore a lot more armor in the film. Is this one of those cases of Hasbro being given early concept art to work with? Probably. Does it hurt the figure? Not necessarily.

Sure, if you’re looking for a perfect representation of Cull Obsidian on the big screen, you’re going to be disappointed, but with that having been said, I think this guy turned out fantastic. This fellow is a good head and shoulders taller than his boss Thanos, and that makes him pretty imposing when compared to the regular-sized figures. He’s a big reptilian brute covered in scaly skin, with ridges on his shoulders, powerful hands, and three-toed feet. He kind of looks like something you’d find Duke Nukem fighting, and that ain’t a bad thing. As mentioned, the armor is quite different than what he wore in the film. Here he has grieves on his lower legs, a metallic armored belt with sculpted plastic cloth hanging down in tatters, a segmented piece of armor on his right forearm, and a massive piece of armor on his right shoulder, which is actually a separate piece and can be removed if you want to.

From the back, you can see armored plates running up his spine and a single armor plate stuck to his lower left leg. The coloring is mostly brown with some black wash to bring out the details, and some yellow-brown added to his chest. I would have loved to see a little wash on the armor, as it looks rather flat when compared to the rest of the body. The body features solid articulation for such a big guy, indeed it’s basically the same as what we get in the regular releases. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double-hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint under the chest and the neck is ball jointed. As expected, this guy is as solid as they come, and he’s loads of fun to play with.

The head sculpt is a thing of beauty, and by that I mean it’s ugly as sin. Like the body, the portrait looks pretty close to the character seen in the film. I love the tiny piercing gold eyes, and the things on his chin and lower jaw that look like tusks. There’s some wonderful detail in the lines of his face, the ridges on his head, and all the other little scales and bumps.

If this figure disappoints at all, it’s definitely because of his weapon. In the movie he carried a cool axe that could shoot the head out on a chain. It looked like it was made out of space junk, but really cool looking space junk. Here we get this hammer thing that looks like a lame Minecraft weapon. It kind of has an MCU Kree technology flavor to it, but I just don’t dig it. He can only hold it in his left hand and while I’m sure he could do some major damage with it, I’d much rather we got something closer to the weapon in the movie.

Lame weapon notwithstanding, I absolutely love this figure. It really doesn’t bother me that he strays from the actual on-screen look, especially since the difference is mainly in his costume. He’s big and nasty-looking and he’s definitely going to spend some time fighting The Hulk on my shelf. Pretty soon I’ll be opening up Proxima Midnight and I’m really looking forward to the release of Ebony Maw and Corvus Glaive. I think they’re going to make for one hell of a display!

And that’s a wrap for 2018. I’m not doing any kind of End of Year list this year, mainly because I’ve got a busy couple of weeks with work and also because I don’t want to fall any farther behind in my backlog. At some point in the next month or so, I’ll probably be doing a Marvel Legends week, just to try to get me a little boost, although at this point I would need to do a whole Marvel Legends month just to try to get sort of caught up. Anyway… thanks to everyone who stuck with me for another year and I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year! 

Marvel Legends (Cull Obsidian Wave): Malekith by Hasbro

It’s the last Marvel Monday of 2018 and I vowed to get through one more wave of Marvel Legends before we flip the calendar to 2019, so I’m going to be doubling up today. This morning I’m opening my final boxed figure in the Cull Obsidian Wave, Malekith, and I’ll be back later to build Cull Obsidian, himself… Let’s go!

Malekith is the third figure from the 2017 SDCC (Now Not-So) Exclusive Ragnarok (the others being Jane Foster Thor and Thor Odinson) to get a subsequent retail wide release. Sure these were all repainted, making those versions still technically exclusive, but that leaves just Ulik and Bor as the only figures in that set not to get a brick-and-mortar treatment. You could argue that those two are the best in the set, but I still haven’t opened mine yet, so off-hand I couldn’t tell ya. It also means I won’t be doing any side-by-side pictures of this Malekith and the SDCC version, but I will be doing some verbal comparisons.

The retail release is so very nearly a straight repaint of the SDCC version, but there is one change and that’s the left hand. The exclusive version had an open hand, this one has a closed accessory holding-hand. Why the change? Maybe it was just so they could point to something other than the paint to distinguish the two figures. I dig it, because now he’s ambidextrous! Although the grip on mine is actually closed, so you’ll need to make do a quick slice with a razor if you want him to hold the sword in the other hand. Malekith makes use of a lot of paintwork to characterize his costume, but there’s some new sculpting attached here as well. The shoulders and collar are cast in one piece of soft plastic, although it looks like three separate pieces from the front. Happily, the flexibility in the shoulder armor means that it won’t inhibit the arm articulation. He also has two belts, One with the skirt attached to it, which feels like it might be glued into place. The other hangs loose on his hips and features some sculpted pouches on his left side. Finally, the forearms are sculpted with his wrist bracers.

As for the deco, well that’s going to be an issue of personal preference. This retail release is definitely brighter and cheerier, but I’m going to go with the Exclusive version as having the more appealing deco. The darker red and the black in place of maroon just makes for a more sinister and striking figure to me. That’s not to say this one is bad, they’re both fine. I dig the gold paint on the bracers and necklace, although I would have liked some additional paint hits to the belts.

The head sculpt is quite spectacular. I love his broad, evil grin, and the black and blue paint on the face looks great, even though they splashed some blue onto his teeth. The hair is sculpted as a separate piece to give the portrait some depth. Early pictures made me think that the hair was going to be more of an orange-yellow tone, but in person it’s very pale and I’m happy with that. Although, I think I still prefer the whiter hair on the exclusive over what we got here.

The articulation here is pretty standard stuff. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs and lower legs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso features a waist swivel, an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Malekith comes with his sword, which is an absolutely bitchin’ design. The hilt is fairly simple with a ribbed grip, no cross-guard, and a gold finish, but the blade is so distinctive! It narrows at the hilt, then swells out, and ends in an upswept clipped point. It also features a nasty looking serrated back. It’s one vicious looking piece of cutlery!

I’m thrilled to finally have the comic version of Malekith represented on my Legends shelf. Hell, he’ll even be represented twice if I ever get around to opening the SDCC set! He may have been a bewilderingly odd choice to include in this wave, but generally speaking, I don’t care how the assortments play out, as long as we get the figures. It’s just a shame that the character was handled so poorly in the MCU, but then the villains have rarely been the MCU’s strong point. Anyway… give me a little time to recoup and I’ll be back later on tonight to check out Cull Obsidian!

Marvel Legends (Cull Obsidian Wave): Black Knight by Hasbro

After a few diversions, I’m back to spending Marvel Monday digging into my pile of unopened Marvel Legends. Although, today’s figure isn’t random, I actually picked it because I want to complete one more wave before the end of the year, and with two figures left to open in the Cull Obsidian Wave, that’s the one I’m going with. I also thought it would be fun to go with Black Knight, because I’ve been devoting one slot a day to opening Mythic Legions. So what do we call today’s figure? Marvel Legions? Mythic Legends? Whatever, the point is it’s Marvel’s Black Knight!

Here he is in the box, and with only Malekith left to open, Black Knight is the penultimate figure in this wave for me. He’s also one of those characters that I only recall encountering a few times in my 35 years or so of Marvel comic reading. I know he’s been around in one form or another since forever and it’s been about that long since I remember seeing him in my funnybooks. If anyone knows a good run for us to get introduced, please feel free to lay it on me.

And for a character I simply don’t know all that well, I have to say that I dig the look of this figure a lot. Hasbro took the torso, arms and legs right off of Green Goblin and Hobgoblin, which makes perfect sense because of the excellent chain-mail sculpt on the limbs. I was surprised to see that they didn’t recycle the gauntlets or buccaneer boots. I mean, I wasn’t expecting them to use the curled toe boots, but it seems like they could have cheaped out and recycled a lot more if they wanted to. Whatever the case, it all works well for the medieval knight motif. It kind of gives him that vintage Prince Valiant flavor that hints at just how far back the character goes. The tabard is achieved with a painted torso and a separate sculpted belt piece that hangs down below the waist and is pretty convincing as all being part one garment. The belt is 100% comic, though, with a monstrously large belt buckle and enough sculpted pouches to make Deadpool jelly.

The coloring here is fairly dark, but nicely done. I really dig the silver and gun-metal blue they used for the chain-mail. The gauntlets and boots are both matte black and there’s some red striping around the edges of the gauntlets, as well as the arm holes in the tabard. He also features a red flying eagle emblem on his chest. The belt is brown with some dull bronze paint for the buckle, but unfortunately there’s no paint on the pouch snaps.

The cape attaches via a peg in the back and hangs off the shoulders, so it doesn’t impede articulation much, but you can easily take it off for the more action-packed poses.

You get three different heads to choose from, each designed to offer a different one of his looks. The stock head features a helmet that covers the nose and leaves the lower half of the face exposed. It’s got some nice gold paint and the way it’s sculpted makes it almost look like it could be removed, even though it can’t. I dig the wings on the sides as well. This is easily the character’s look that is most familiar to me.

The next head features a classic Great Helm with a similar black and gold coloring. This one isn’t as convincing as a real helmet, since the eye holes are shallow and just painted over in black. I do like the eagle crest on the top, though. It’s cast in a soft plastic and looks great.

Finally, you get a noggin that looks like it’s probably meant to be for villain version of Black Knight. I’m not as big a fan of this one. The head sculpt is actually quite good, but the helmet itself reminds me of a Nova Corps helmet (as well as Captain Britain’s!) a bit too much. Still, not bad at all.

Black Knight comes with his trusty sword, The Ebony Blade. It would have been damn cool to get his photonic blade sword as well. I suppose I could always steal the one off of Taskmaster. Anyway, the sword is a nice sculpt with an elongated two-hand grip, and there’s a slot on the belt for him to wear it. The hand sculpts they went with for him aren’t perfectly suited to holding the sword. The left hand works best, and while he can hold it in the right hand, the grip is somewhat loose. He can also wield the sword with both hands.

The articulation here has all the right points, and rather than go through them all, I’ll just refer you back to either the Green Goblin or Hobgoblin reviews. The problem here is that he’s got some seriously gummy hinges in those elbows, which can be a bit of a drag when playing around with him.

Ultimately, I dig this figure a lot. He looks great standing on the shelf and there’s just something about his design that takes me back to films like the 1953 classic Knights of the Round Table. The extra heads go above and beyond for fans of the character who want to go with one particular look, and if this guy ever starts showing up for as cheap as some Legends figures have, I could easily see myself picking up a couple more. And that’s almost a wrap for this wave. Next Monday I’ll be back to check out Malekith as well as the Cull Obsidian Build-A-Figure.

And I can’t depart without wishing everyone a happy and safe Christmas Eve today and a Merry Christmas tomorrow. I also need to face up to the fact that I’m probably not going to be able to do a big review on Christmas, like I’ve been doing the last few years. Usually I can get a jump on that well before Christmas Eve, but this year my work schedule, family obligations, and other stuff going on in my life just hasn’t afforded me the time. I’ll still check in tomorrow, and maybe throw something together for Christmas Day, but I can’t promise anything. Perhaps, I’ll try for something special on New Year’s Day instead. 

Marvel Legends: Luke Cage and Claire Temple by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday, and I was all ready to get back into randomly pulling figures from my unopened Legends Pile of Shame, but then this set arrived at my door and I decided to move it along to the head of the line. It seemed only fitting, what with the rash of Marvel-Netflix cancellations. Luke Cage and Iron Fist were the earliest on the chopping block, but with their flagship series, Daredevil getting the axe, it seems like a no-brainer that The Punisher and Jessica Jones will meet the same fate after their latest seasons are released. And with that depressing intro, let’s have a look at Luke Cage and Claire Temple!

The figures come in your typical Marvel Legends 2-pack window box with the Luke Cage logo on the front and the figures names on each side. This set is a Walmart Exclusive and there’s a sticker on the front window proclaiming the fact. And because the Walmart in my neighborhood rarely ever stocks their own exclusives, I had to go online for this one. Luckily, they were having a pretty good Rollback on it as well as free shipping. Anywho, the packaging is totally collector friendly, but if I kept all my Legends boxes, I’d have to rent out a storage unit just to have a place to put them, so this package is getting shredded and tossed in the trash. Let’s start with Luke Cage !

Can I get a Sweet Christmas? We’ve had two comic versions of Luke Cage in the modern Legends line. One was released as part of the SDCC Exclusive Thunderbolts set back in 2013 and the other was part of an Amazon Exclusive Defenders set, which I think came out last year. Netflix Luke Cage also got a release as part of the Defenders SDCC Exclusive Rail Authority box set. I opted out of dropping the $125 on that one just to get Colleen Wing and Iron Fist and a bunch of variants of the rest. This retail version features a beefy body, that’s toned down from the enormous comic versions, but still makes him look like a powerhouse. Luke is donning his familiar yellow T-shirt, grayish-blue jeans, and boots. And… um… there’s not much else to say about this figure from the neck down. The shirt is nice and bright, his hands are appropriately clenched into fists, and they even sculpted a watch on his right hand, but sadly there’s no detail work on the face so it looks a bit awkward. I’m tempted to say they should have sculpted him in his hoodie, but then I think the plain yellow top is the best way to convey his iconic comic look.

I dig the head sculpt a lot. It’s possibly not the best of the Marvel Netflix likenesses, but it’s no slouch either. The printing for the eyes is clean and the paintwork on his beard is very sharp.

And the articulation here should hold no surprises. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers at the ankles. The torso has a waist swivel and an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Luke doesn’t come with any accessories, so let’s move on over and check out Claire!

Like Luke, Claire is a very simple figure from the neck down, making use of minimal sculpting and not a lot of color either. She’s got some light wrinkles sculpted in to signify her shirt, as well as a sculpted collar, but that’s pretty much it. Her top and shoes are black, her pants are gray, and they painted a little skin showing around her ankles. Claire never really had what I would consider an established look in the various series, and while this particular one isn’t all that exciting, I guess it lends itself pretty well to recreating her action scenes. Articulation is similar to Luke, but with rotating hinges in the elbows instead of the double hinges, no bicep swivels, and no waist swivel. Instead of the ab crunch hinge, Claire is rocking a ball joint under her chest.

The head sculpt here is fair. I think this is one of those portraits that breaks down quite a bit as you get closer. Part of that has to do with the new printing technique looking blurry up close, but I think the sculpt itself looks lumpy under closer scrutiny. It’s certainly not terrible, but it’s a far cry from what we got for Jessica Jones, Frank Castle, or even Luke Cage.

While Luke got shorted out of any accessories, Claire got a few. First up is her purse, which is another outing for the Green Goblin/Hobgoblin/Mary-Jane satchel. It’s not an essential inclusion, but I’m not going to complain about it. Personally, I’d rather regard it as a medical bag than a purse.

Next up, we’ve got a pair of blue hands, which are supposed to be her latex gloves… because… you know… she’s a nurse! Honestly, I find these to pretty baffling. Why would Hasbro put the effort and money into including these? Was anyone going to miss them? Is anyone going to display her with them? It would have never even occurred to me if I didn’t see them in the package.

Finally, and easily her best accessories are her Shuko, or ninja claws! These are another pair of swap out hands with the claws sculpted onto them and they’re pretty damn cool.

Both Luke and Claire are solid figures, but I don’t feel like this set is entirely essential. Don’t get me wrong, Luke was damn essential to me, but I think he should have been part of the Man-Thing Wave with the rest of the Netflix Defenders. The Claire figure is fine, but I didn’t really need her on my shelf, especially since Hasbro has passed up far more important characters like Karen and Foggy from Daredevil. But hey, if this is the way I have to get Netflix Luke Cage in my collection, I’m perfectly fine with that. Toss in the fact that I got this set for under $30 on Walmart’s site and it’s hard to complain.