Marvel Legends: (Retro Series) Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy by Hasbro

Hasbro’s retro-carded offshoot of Marvel Legends really pisses me off. These figures look so amazing on the cards, but with very few exceptions (Some ReAction and some Star Wars Vintage Collection), I do open open all of my toys. And I sure as hell don’t have the space to collect doubles to keep a set carded. Of course, some of these releases are simply recycled figures in new packaging, but some, like today’s pair, are brand new. As of now, I’m only picking up two figures from this wave, so let’s check out Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy!

Here they are carded, and they are simply magnificent to behold. The colors are bright, the artwork is crisp, and the figures look fantastic on their crystal clear bubbles against this nostalgic canvas. Even the backs of the cards mimic the old Toy Biz stylings. What’s more, Hasbro uses some durable and heavy stock for these cards, making them a lot easier to find in good condition and that’s obviously a big plus for all the collectors who plan on keeping these carded. The cards are so durable, that it’s actually a bit tough to tear them open. Again, a very good thing! Let’s start out with Gwen!

Truth be told, I’ve always been more of an MJ kinda guy, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got anything against Gwen. Indeed, it’s great to finally have a figure of her in the modern Legends line up. And I have to say, Hasbro did a fantastic job on this figure. Ms. Stacy is dressed in a textured black top with a purple skirt, a green jacket, and high-heeled boots that come up to the tops of her calves. I really like the black and purple deco, because it makes me think Gwen may be a closet Decepticon sympathizer. Yes, I jest, but I really do like these colors. The jacket uses the familiar trick of being sculpted sleeveless and in soft plastic, with the sleeves sculpted as part of the arms. In this case, there is a bit of a gap between the arm holes on the jacket and the sculpted sleeves. It may irk some people, but it doesn’t really mess with the illusion for me. If I had one gripe about the figure it would be that the hands look a little oversized, but maybe that’s just me.

The jacket is sculpted in a slightly open position, with maybe just a bit of billowing to show off her outfit. The belt is sculpted so that it comes away from the jacket and looks pretty good. I really dig how the belt is brown and the loops are green, rather than just sculpting it all in one color to match the jacket. It may sound like a little thing, but I think it adds a little premium feel to the figure. The heels on the boots are a little chunky, and I was happy to find that I didn’t have a lot of difficulty getting her to stand. At the same time, she isn’t a figure that’s terribly well suited for extreme action poses, because the skirt does impede her hip movement a bit, despite slits to help out. There are no surprises in the articulation, and since I’m cramming two figures into today, I won’t run down all the points here.

The head sculpt is excellent, but that’s pretty much to be expected from Marvel Legends at this point. Hasbro continues to stick with paint for their comic characters over the more realistic halftone method that they have adopted for their MCU figures, and I’ve got no complaints here. The paint for the eyes is crisp and clear and I like the softer pink paint they used for her lips. Her long blonde hair is held in check with a simple black headband, and as it spills down the back, it fans out a bit as if by the same light breeze that billows her jacket. It’s really nice how they matched the two.

Gwen comes with a few welcome accessories. First off, she has her Trapper Keeper and her High School Year Book. The Trapper Keeper is cast all in aqua plastic and has some sculpted details, where the Year Book actually has printing on the front cover. Her left hand is sculpted to work with the accessories pretty well. I would have liked a swap-out right hand to help her carry them to class, but I guess that’s what Peter is for!

She also comes with a rolled up copy of the Daily Bugle, which is a very welcome accessory indeed!

And finally, Gwen comes with a Mary Jane head, which I thought was a really strange inclusion. Can we not let Gwen have her own figure? Especially since we got a Mary Jane in a two-pack about five years ago. Well, I’m never one to complain about something extra and it is a very nice portrait indeed. I think it works OK on this body, although MJ’s hair is kind of at odds with the sculpted lapels on the jacket. But in the end, I think this body just works better for Gwen then it does MJ.

If you’re wondering, the new MJ head is too small to work on the previously released Mary Jane figure, and even if it wasn’t, the skin tone is all wrong. Honestly, I like the previous released MJ head. I’m especially fond of the freckles. OK, let’s move on to Peter Parker!

We’ve had an unmasked Peter Parker head bundled with Spider-Man before, but I think this is the first time we’re getting an entire Peter Parker in the modern Legends line. If not, I must have slept on it. Either way, I always thought this figure would come double-packed with a Spider-Man, but the Retro Series seems like as good a place as any. Parker’s civvies include a blue button down shirt, brown leather jacket, blue jeans, and some very white sneakers. The sculpt of the shirt is interrupted by a ball joint under the chest, but otherwise looks fine. They did a particularly nice job with the jacket, right down to the sculpted elastic cuffs, popped collar, and slick glossy finish. The vest and sculpted sleeves trick works better here than on Gwen’s, because the arms fill out the holes and drive the illusion home. You get a little gold paint on the belt buckle, and that’s about all I have to say about the body sculpt here. Oh yeah, the hands look a little too big here too. Is that a running theme with this pair or is it just me? Is hallucinating large hands on action figures a symptom of the COVID? Maybe I need some time off from work. Just think of how many reviews I could get done!!!

Moving on to the portrait aaaand, let’s talk about those glasses, eh? Holy shit, do they look goofy! I totally get what Hasbro was going for here, but I’m just not sure it works well on the figure. Maybe it’s just a question of classic panel art not translating all that well to plastic. The rest of the head sculpt is excellent, and sure, he does have fully sculpted and painted eyes under there, so if you want to lose the glasses, it’s not that difficult to do it without defacing the figure. They’re basically just tabbed into the sides of his head and held fast with a little glue. With all that being said, I’ll probably leave the glasses for now. I do really dig his hair sculpt.

Naturally, Peter comes with his trusty camera, and here’s maybe why his hands look big. This is a chunky camera and he needed some meaty paws to properly hold it. I like that they went with a more traditional looking camera, although maybe kids these days don’t even know what it’s supposed to be. This reminds me that my camera is on its last leg and I’m going to need to invest in a new one real soon.

Ah, but the real star accessory here is the Spider Sense head. It’s easy to forgive those hideous glasses, when we get an alternate head that is this amazing. Everything about this one works for me. I love the startled expression on the exposed part of his head, and the clear sculpted line running between the mask and his face. I’ve been waiting for Hasbro to do something like this for a while now and I’m happy to finally have it.

As much as I would have loved to collect this entire wave and cover my wall with them, I had to be good and just pick up Peter and Gwen. I may pick up the Daredevil if he turns up on sale at some point down the road. And yeah, I wouldn’t mind just having the Spider-Man and Gobbie to keep carded as showpieces, but no… I have to draw the line somewhere. And retro packaging or not, these are both great figures. I would have been just as happy to have gotten these in a two-pack and not had to cry over the torn packaging.

Marvel Legends: Storm and Thunderbird by Hasbro

After a brief Thanksgiving hiatus, I’m back for another Marvel Monday! I ended last Monday’s review lamenting that I couldn’t find the Storm/Thunderbird set, and wouldn’t you know it, I not only found it, but got a decent Black Friday deal on it too! So as long as we’re still in an X-Men kinda vibe, let’s go ahead and check this one out!

The packaging features the same design as the Rogue/Pyro set from last week, and that’s not a bad thing. The box is pretty compact and gives you a great look at the figures inside, while also providing some sumptuous character art on the back and side panels. There’s a bunch of goodies on the tray, but they are all for Storm! You get nothing, Thunderbird!!!  I’d love to keep these boxes, but I need the space for figures, so as usual I’m just going to tear it up. And once again, it’s ladies first! Actually, scratch that… let me get Thunderbird out of the way…

So, I really wanted to like this figure. He has some good stuff going for him. For starters, I really dig the design of his costume and Hasbro did a nice job bringing it to life in plastic. The red and blue look absolutely gorgeous together, and while the bulk of the costume is achieved through the paint, there is a good amount of newly sculpted bits as well. You get sculpted red fringe pieces for the sleeves and the tops of his boots. The sleeves work fine, however, the boot pieces are held on by friction and we all know how well that works. They are constantly sliding down around his ankles. And the fact that they’re located right on a swivel means that I probably won’t try to glue them. The rest of the sculpted pieces are his belt and wrist cuffs, all of which are cast in gold plastic. These look fine and don’t create any issues.

The head sculpt is certainly solid. Hasbro did a great job with the facial features and I always love when the mask is part of the sculpt and not just painted on. The hair is sculpted to fall over the head band a bit, and his hair has a dynamic look as it blows a bit off to the side. The paintwork on the head, however, is pretty spotty. The flesh tone of the face bleeds through the mask, there’s some black spots on the head band, and the paint lines between the hair and the head band are rough. There’s even a huge splotch of red paint on his hair. I don’t know that any of these paint issues by themselves would ruin the figure for me, but when I add them to the list, things aren’t looking good for Thunderbird.

Unfortunately, the spotty quality of paint application isn’t confined to the head. Of course, the figure uses a blue buck painted red, and while there thankfully isn’t a lot of bleed through showing on the red on the front of the figure, the back has quite a bit. And while I’m griping about the paint, some of those lines could have been neater. And, yes, the inner pins on the knees aren’t painted to match the red areas. Granted, I don’t complain about that on the Spider-Man figures, so I won’t hold it against Thunderbird. But, added to the paint and the boot fringe, is everything about the arms. They look kind of awkward when hanging at his sides, and the elbow hinges on my figure are all sorts of soft and gummy. Ultimately, I plan on getting him into a halfway decent pose and then leaving him on the shelf. He’s just no fun at all. Thankfully, we can now move on to the star of this box!

We’ve had a couple of Storms in modern Legends already, and I’m ashamed to say that I have yet to open or review any of them. Although in fairness, one of those is retro-carded and I may never open her. But here we get the classic, original costume, and a figure that I’m sure a lot of collectors were happy to finally see revealed. I know I was! Storm comes out of the box with her more dynamic look, but for starters, I’ve swapped her out to something more neutral. And oh boy, what a fantastic figure! Every aspect of her costume is sculpted onto the figure, from her thigh-high boots with the oval cut-outs at the tops. to her revealing top with the ring holding the two pieces together in the center of her midriff, and the arm bracers. The distinctive cape is sculpted as a separate piece and fits snugly around her neck. I really dig the high gloss finish on the black costume bits, which contrasts nicely with the more matte finish of her brown skin. And while the yellow paint lines for the border on the cape could have been sharper, it’s not terrible.

You get two portraits with the figure, the first is the more neutral expression and it is quite lovely. The paint on her lips and pupil-less eyes is pretty sharp and the headpiece is sculpted separately from the face giving little gaps and making it look more convincing as something that’s actually being worn by the figure. The copious coif of white hair offers a bit of space around the neck, so as not to impede articulation too much.

The second portrait is part of her more dynamic look, and wow is this a great addition to the box. Her expression has turned from calm to stormy, and I don’t need a meteorologist to tell me that bad weather is coming! In addition to the expression, her hair is now wild all around her head, as the imaginary winds begin whipping up to a frenzy.

In addition to the extra head, you also get a more dynamic cape, depicting her all powered up and raining on The Brotherhood’s parade. And if that’s not enough, you also get three sets of hands, which include fists and the female spell/power hands that we’ve seen many times over. So how about the third pair?

These are the lightning shooting hands that are on the figure in the box and they look great! I can’t overstate how cool it is that Hasbro included the alternate parts to really transform this figure from a normal stance to full-on power wielding poses. It makes me wish that this figure was single-packed so I could get a second one and display her both ways. Who knows? Maybe these sets will turn up on clearance, but I doubt it.

I really wish I liked Thunderbird more, because he’s the only thing holding this release back from being a total homerun of a set. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have him on my shelf, especially when I can display him next to this Rogue and a few more of the Classic X-Men, but he’s just got a few too many annoyances to make him a great figure. On the flipside, Storm is just about perfect. Indeed, if I were to nitpick anything on her, it would be the style of elbow hinges they used, which I’m not all that fond of. But even that can’t hold this back from being an absolutely fantastic release. Who knows? Maybe I will get around to opening that Retro-Carded one someday, but now I’m doubly excited to swing back around and open up the mohawk-version as well.

Marvel Legends: Rogue and Pyro by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday and Thanksgiving week to boot! Obviously, I’m thankful to Hasbro for giving us so many amazing Marvel Legends figures, even if this line is becoming almost impossible to keep up with! Today I’m digging into one of the recent two-packs with Rogue and Pyro! So allow me to pour myself a tall glass of Jameson’s patented holiday cheer and let’s get to it!

The packaging here is just lovely, and it makes me sad that I don’t have the room to keep these boxes. You get some wonderful character art on the side panels and the back, and a big window in the front that lets you get a good look at the stuffing inside. It’s a fairly compact box, and that coupled with the number of extras, makes it look like a well-rounded package of goodies! Where to begin? Well as Rogue would say… it’s ladies first, sugah!

Cards on the table, I was really hoping the next Legends Rogue we got was her Savage Lands look, but I think deep down inside, I knew better. Instead we get one of her more modern costumes, which I think is… OK. It’s not my favorite look for her, but she’s done a lot worse over the years. And to be fair, this figure is so well executed, that it’s hard for me not to get behind the choice to go with this look. Particularly clever is the way the belt piece is sculpted to include the short skirt, making it look like it’s all part of the torso, when it’s just a nicely done fake out. With the exception of some sculpted boot tops around the knees, the rest of the costume gets by with white trim painted onto the rather striking green buck. Yeah, the coloring here is just gorgeous and despite the fact that some of those white paint lines could have been sharper, the color combo is what really sells this figure to me. A sculpted white scarf cascades down Rogue’s back to complete the ensemble. Maybe they overdid it a bit with the X-branding on this costume design, but heck, I don’t mind.

Since I’m squeezing two figures in today, I’m not going to run down all the articulation points. Besides, there’s nothing new here. The only thing really worth mentioning is that the skirt does inhibit her range of motion in the hips just a tad. I will also point out that Rogue comes with two pairs of hands: Fists, and those sort of spell-slinging, psychic power type hands.

The portrait is solid enough, but there’s something about it that keeps it from being great, and it’s just hard to put my figure on what exactly that is. The paint is pretty sharp, and she’s got a cute expression going on between her smirk and her eyes, but I vastly prefer the portrait from that classic Jim Lee figure. The hair sculpt here isn’t one of Hasbro’s best either. It looks a little more like putty than hair, and the white is kind of splotchy. I do, however, dig the ponytail. I don’t know, maybe I’m being too hard on this one. She does come with an alternate head, so how’s that one?

Well, I’m not entirely sure what expression they were going for here. At some angles it looks like anger, in others it just looks like she’s showing off her pearly whites. Come to think of it, it’s actually a bit saucy! In terms of the face, I’d say this is a lateral move over the other regular head. It’s not better, not worse, just another option. They did re-sculpt the hair to give it a more dynamic look, but it doesn’t help the complaints I had about it on the previous portrait.

I like this figure well enough. It’s a cool look for Rogue, and I think the fact that I nitpicked her a bit just goes to show you what a great line Legends is, and how expectations run high. I have no doubt that there are collectors out there for whom this is the Rogue they were waiting for, and that’s what makes the prolific nature of this line so great. And make no mistake, I am by no means unhappy about adding this one to my collection.

No offense to Rogue, but they could have bundled anyone with Pyro and I still would have bought this set. Once the onslaught of X-Men (no pun intended) starting hitting Legends, I kept hoping that Pyro would be in the next wave, and then the next, and so on. I’m kind of surprised that he wasn’t a regular release, but either way I ain’t complaining because this is an outstanding figure. Pyro’s flame retardant suit is almost entirely painted onto the bright and beautiful yellow plastic of the buck. We get a deep maroon for the boots, and a muted orange-tan for the upper sleeves and torso. The paint lines are crisp and everything about the coloring here is just gorgeous.

Pyro’s flamethrower rig is molded as part of the shoulders and chest piece, which fits around his neck and rests on his shoulders. It’s all cast in soft maroon plastic to match the color of the boots, and there’s a big yellow diamond painted on the chest. There’s some sculpted detail in the backpack, and the two flexible hoses snake their way down his arms and attach to the cuffs on his wrists with the nozzles positioned under his wrists. The hoses work well and are flexible enough so as not to impede the range of movement in his arms. And speaking of articulation, Pyro’s got it in all the usual places, and even includes those extra swivels down in his lower legs.

The standard head sculpt makes for a great portrait, with his orange mask sculpted as well as painted on. His prominent and expressive brow frames his bug-like red eyes, and the part in the mask advertises his sharp nose, jutting chin, and wide, beaming grin. The shock of blonde hair juts upward, like a flame on a match. This is just another one of those Legends portraits that oozes personality, and really brings the character to life.

As with Rogue, Pyro comes with an alternate head, which simply features a different expression. Here, Pyro’s grin blooms into a full on kinda yellow toothy, psychotic grin. I’m just going to go ahead and characterize these heads as Before He Sets You on Fire, and After He Sets You on Fire. It’s a close call as to which one I’ll use most for display, but right now I’m leaning toward the second one.

Pyro comes with two fire effect parts, and here’s the only part about the figure that leaves me disappointed. These effect parts are meant to fit around the fists, but even if I didn’t recognize them as recycled parts, it’s easy to tell that they were clearly not designed for this figure. They don’t work well with the nozzles and tend to fall off pretty easily. I really wish Hasbro could have given us something that did work with those nozzles, like a jet stream of flame. Yeah, I realize that we got TWO extra portraits in this box, so maybe asking for brand new effect parts is a lot, but even still, these effect parts just don’t work that well.

No doubt, this is a solid set of figures. I like the Rogue well enough, but I didn’t feel like my collection was incomplete without her. She’s a decent figure, but she isn’t going to replace the bomber jacketed Jim Lee version on my main X-Men shelf. And so, she’ll be relegated to that “other versions” shelf, which is constantly in danger of getting taken down to make room for other figures. Pyro on the other hand, was the “must have” in this box, and despite a swing and a miss with the flame effects, the figure itself is a homerun. He’ll be taking up a place of honor on my Brotherhood shelf. Either way, this box was a welcome pick up, and now I can go back to trying to hunt down the Storm/Thunderbird two-pack.

Marvel Legends (Deluxe Riders): The Punisher and Motorcycle by Hasbro

Hasbro is continuing to pepper us with releases in their Marvel Legends Deluxe Riders series. These pair Legends figures with modest-sized vehicles (in most cases motorcycles or scooters) and they’ve even used this price point to get us Professor X in his wheelchair. With display space always at a premium, I haven’t been all in on these, but there have been some that I simply cannot resist. And yup, Frank Castle and his Hog was one of those cases. The Punisher first debuted in the modern Legends line way back in 2012, sharing a “Marvel Knights” slot with a Blade figure, which I don’t believe was ever released. We later got the Netflix version of Castle, and a retro-carded release, the later of which I never got around to reviewing. Oh yeah, last year we got Frank Castle in The War Machine Armor as well! So, it’s not like he hasn’t had his share of releases, but I still feel like it was time for a new one.

I don’t have much to say about the packaging, other than it consists of an elongated window box that gives you a great look at the contents. There’s just some minor assembly required, as you have to pop on the handlebars. You get The Punisher logo on the front and a shot of the toy in action on the back. It is collector friendly, which is always nice if you want to keep it, but as for me… this baby is about to get shredded. Let’s start with the figure!

If you’re looking for a nice, basic, no-frills Punisher, you’ve come to the right place. Frank sports a pair of textured black pants, and a black T-shirt with his iconic emblem emblazoned on the front. There’s a shoulder rig and a thigh strap with magazines, both sculpted separately in soft black plastic. The vigilante ensemble is rounded out by the sculpted finger-less gloves on his hands and a a pair of black shit-kicker boots. There’s nothing outrageous about the sculpting here, but sometimes simplicity gets the job done, and I think that’s certainly the case here. Articulation holds no surprises, and since I have a motorcycle to look at, I’ll skip running through all the points.

You get two portraits with the figure, and they’re both excellent. He comes out of the box with the beat-up head. Gritting his teeth with vengeful rage, this Castle has seen better days. He’s got several cuts being held together by bandages, each featuring some wonderful detail. The sheer will and determination on this particular portrait is absolutely fantastic and it suits the character so well. It’s just another example of Hasbro killing it with their Legends head sculpts, and while it uses paint instead of the half-tone printing for the facial details, everything is still nice and sharp.

The alternate head is decidedly less beat-up, but still as determined as ever to kick ass. Hasbro really made it tough this time to decide which head to display on the figure, as they are both so damn good. As much as I dig the extra work on the beat-up head, there’s something about the way they did his mouth here that is amazingly expressive. Both heads also have a touch of pink around the eyes, and with the bandage missing, I can really appreciate the structure of the nose here, which clearly looks like it’s been broken countless times.

And finally, you also get Frank’s Viking-style helmet from the recent Punisher Kill Krew. I’ll confess that I haven’t read this series because, well it’s a Marvel Comic in 2019, how good could it be? But I’ll tell ya the cover art of #1, which I believe was the work of Tony Moore, made me stop and take notice. It looks so unbelievably out of place for a modern Marvel Comic, and by that it means it looks pretty damn fantastic. Like a throwback to better days. I can’t imagine how Frank Castle is depicted in this age of touchy-feely Marvel garbage, but I’m tempted to subject myself to it just out of morbid curiosity. In any event, the helmet looks great and can be worn over either head. Personally, I think it could have used some weathering, but I like the finish a lot.

Frank also comes with a bunch of tools of his trade, and I’ll just knock these out in no particular order. When it comes to making a statement, there’s nothing like tuning someone up Sammy Sosa style with some ballpark lumber. This bat is pretty simple and cast in a very pale cream-colored plastic. Like the helmet, this accessory looks way too fresh and new for my tastes. I would have loved to see it worn and splintered. Maybe some gaffer tape around the grip. A little crimson staining, and hell while you’re at it sculpt a tooth embedded into it. OK, that last suggestion is probably a bit much for an action figure sold at Target, but it would have been damn cool to see.

What’s that? You say you want to hit and cut people at the same time? Well, son, then you need a machete! Like the bat, this is accessory is nothing special, but I’m not going to say no to a machete. It’s got a brown grip and a silver blade and it looks way too clean to have been in Frank’s possession for too long. Maybe he just bought it after his old one broke.

Sometimes people run, and you don’t want to have to chase after them with a melee weapon. And that brings us to the pew-pews. First up we have this awesome pistol-gripped double-barreled shotgun. A holster on his back for this thing would have been cool, but I’ll surely take it anyway.

And Frank’s arsenal is rounded out with a pair of sub-machine guns. The first is an absolutely beautiful example of the iconic Israeli Uzi from Uziel Gal. I think this is the best example I have of this weapon in this scale, and Frank may have to give this one up to my GI JOE Classified Snake Eyes.  The sculpted detail on this piece is exquisite and it’s definitely a great reason for picking up this figure. I believe the other gun is a TEC-9, which I can recognize, but I’m less familiar with. Not that it diminishes the fact that it’s a great looking weapon. Because he’s The Punisher, both left and right hands are sculpted with trigger fingers so he can dual wield with ease.

And that brings us to the motorcycle! Now, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve skipped a few of the previous motorcycle releases, particularly the one with Wolverine, so I’m not sure if this is new or a repack, but either way it’s a great looking bike! If you’re looking for flashy colors and lots of paint applications, look elsewhere, because this thing is blacker than the dark pit where the last vestiges of Frank Castle’s mercy hides. There are, however, a few minor flourishes of red, as well as a customized license plate, which reads PNSH-616. It makes me laugh to think Castle actually went into the New York City DMV and applied for that plate. The clear plastic headlamp on the front looks great and there’s a small Punisher emblem in the speedometer, personalizing the middle of the handlebars. There’s plenty of detail in the engine, the wheels roll well, and thanks to the flip down kickstand, Castle can be displayed riding it without worrying about it toppling over. What’s more he fits on it perfectly and his gun hands grip the handlebars and stay put. I think my only nitpick here is I would have liked a bracket or scabbard for him to be able to store some of his weapons.

I’m happy to see that Hasbro is keeping this Deluxe Riders assortment around. I’ll admit that the line is in danger of causing motorcycle fatigue, but it’s hard to deny that are extremely fun packs. This figure happens to be my favorite release of Castle in the modern line so far, and when you throw him on this bitchin’ chopper, it just sweetens the pot all the more. Not to mention the bevy of weapons, an extra head and a helmet too! I want to say I paid around $35 for all these goodies, and it was well worth the price of admission. Not to mention that this bike can probably be repurposed for any number of other 6-inch figure lines, even with the personal flourishes.

Marvel Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Pirate Deadpool by Hasbro

Hey folks, sorry that this week got off track. I’ve made it no secret that Q4 is my crazy season for work, and on Sunday I found out that I had to head to a remote location and help them sort their shit out. Actually, it wasn’t that remote, but far enough that they offered to put me up in a hotel for a few days rather than do the commute. So the work has been grueling, but the room service and mini-bar has made up for it. I wish I could tell you that this was going to be the exception to the rule, but as we head further into Q4, it’s possible that my posting schedule will become more erratic. So today, I’m going ahead with the Marvel Monday review that I had almost ready for earlier in the week, and I’ll just hope things fall back in line for next week’s schedule! I was supposed to be sticking to exclusives and multi-packs for the next month or so, but then Pirate Deadpool here hit my doorstep and all bets were off. Because Pirate. And Deadpool. So, we’ll put a pin in all that other stuff and get back to it next week. I was just too excited to tear open this figure that I had to bump him to the front of the line.

If you need some sense of reference, this figure is based off of Daniel Way’s issue of Deadpool Vol 2 #14 from 2009. This one was published back when I was still reading Marvel, before they began their downward spiral into terrible stories for the sake of virtue signaling, but I have no recollection of actually reading it. To be fair, I was half a drunk back in those days, so it’s likely that’s why I have no memory of it. That’s OK. I don’t need a reason to have a Pirate Deadpool figure. So avast ya bilge-sucking land lubbers. Let’s free this scurvy dog from his packaging and see if he be shipshape.

To be fair, I was already in love with this figure before I even opened the package. Deadpool cuts a regal jib with his red pirating great coat, the top of which is part of the buck, while the bottom half is cast in soft plastic and worn like a skirt. The illusion works well, making it look like one plastic garment. There’s some white frilly finery encircling his midsection and gold painted fringe and buttons as well as a golden DP crest to the right of his chest. His arms have black paint up on the shoulders and biceps, and he has one sculpted gauntlet on his left hand, no doubt made of rich Corinthian leather for those lonely nights when he can’t get out to crack Jenny’s teacup and he needs to keelhaul his hornswaggle. If ya know what I mean.

In addition to his majestic naval coat, he’s got a black baldric worn over his right shoulder, and a tattered black cape with a white cravat in the center. The only thing that disappoints me with this costume is the way they did the two flintlocks that are stuffed into his belt. These are just sculpted as part of the belt, and while the grips are convincing, the barrels lack any real depth to make them look like actual accessories. Still, it isn’t a deal breaker for me.

The portrait features Deadpool’s normal mask with a white scarf tied around his head and a tattered black tri-cornered pirate hat, with the Jolly Roger printed on it. And of course, there’s one eye popped in the traditional Deadpool fashion. Sadly the hat is not removable, as I would have loved to have used one of the earlier unmasked Deadpool heads on this figure with the hat on top. Everything looks great, and it’s cool that Hasbro broke out some pearlescent paint just to do his eyeballs.

Deadpool comes with three weapons, the first of which is a proper flintlock pistol painted brown and silver. He can hold it in either hand, although the right hand’s trigger finger doesn’t work all that well with it, so ‘Pool has to practice proper trigger discipline, which is probably somewhat uncharacteristic for him. The flintlock is a great little piece, but it only drives home how fake the two on his belt look.

Captain Wade also comes with a pair of swords, one of which is a traditional pirate cutlass with a gold hilt and a silver blade. The other is his trademark katana sword. Both of these can be slid through loops in the belt to be worn under his coat. Or you can use one of the loops to hold his pistol. Most likely I’ll have him wearing his pistol and cutlass.

I have no frame of reference as to whether or not the general collecting populace is sick of Deadpool, but if I’m speaking for myself, that would be a negative. I’m always up for another Wade Wilson figure, especially when it’s something creative and fun like this one. It also makes me wish somebody out there would kickstart a line of 6-inch pirate figures, because I’d be all over that shit. Either way, this is another great addition to my Deadpool shelf and a super fun figure as well!

“ARRRR. When it comes to booty, X marks the spot!”

Marvel Legends: Hellfire Club Boxed Set by Hasbro, Part 2

On the last Marvel Monday, I ran over my word and picture count while gushing over the first two figures in the Hellfire Club Exclusive boxed set, so today I’m back to wrap things up with a look at the ladies: Emma Frost, Jean Grey and, thanks to a head-swap, Selene Gallio! But before hitting the figures, let’s have a look at one last bonus in the packaging…

I mentioned this last time, but neglected to show it. Probably because I didn’t want to make anyone else feel bad, but my set came with a handwritten invitation to join The Hellfire Club. This beautiful document was neatly folded into an envelope with a facsimile wax seal (it’s only printed) and tucked into the reverse of the portrait that covers the tray. Look at that! It’s signed by all four of The Inner Circle. I haven’t replied yet, but I plan on accepting. I am, however, a little apprehensive about the initiation. OK, on with the figures!

Emma Frost once again graces the Marvel Legends line! We last saw her as a Walgreens Exclusive in her black Dark Reign outfit. Here she’s the White Queen, donning a more traditional outfit and looking damn fine. Her costume is dominated by a flowing white cape with sculpted fur shoulders and a shimmering blue stone clasp securing it around her neck. The cape affords her a bit of modesty, as underneath it she’s wearing her underwear and a white corset, along with a pair of thigh high high-heeled boots, and gloves, which go all the way past her elbows. We sure didn’t have any action figures like this when I was a kid! Hell, we didn’t even get a Slave Leia until Power of the Force 2.

The bulk of the sculpted detail in this costume went into her corset and they did a very nice job on it indeed! It actually looks like it’s sculpted separately from the figure, as the bottom half hangs down and there’s a clear delineation between the top of the corset and the top of her chest. You also get some sculpted stitching and lacing running up the front, as well as defined edges. It’s a very nice piece of work as opposed to having just painted it onto the figure. The top edges of the gloves also have sculpted borders and I’m surprised at how well the figure stands, despite having high-heels. All aspects of the white costume look bright and clean and pop nicely against her skin.

I’ve spent some time trying to decide whether this portrait is the same sculpt as the alternate head that came with Walgreens Emma Frost, and I’m pretty sure that it is. The hair looks identical and the facial structure the same. The reason it’s tough to tell is because the paint here is so much better. In fact, it’s shocking how much better it is over a figure that was released only about a year ago. This portrait includes her straight hair that hangs just above her shoulders and some very sharp paint on her lips, eyes, and eye shadow. My figure has a slight speck under her right eye, which I do not believe is intentional, but it does look like a tiny mole, so I don’t have a problem with it.

The articulation here is everything I expect from the Legends ladies, which means we get rotating hinges in the elbows as opposed to double-hinges and bicep swivels. I’ve been hoping that Hasbro would start promoting equal articulation for the gals by now, but I doubt that’s ever going to happen. Otherwise, the arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and hinged pegs for the hands. Emma has an optional pair of fists as well. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles. There may be rockers in those ankles, but I can’t get them to budge. The neck is both hinged and ball jointed. I’m really happy to have this figure in my collection, since the Dark Reign version, while a nice figure and a worthy stand in, wasn’t iconic to me. Moving on to Jean Grey!

Oh my! Corrupted Jean Grey may by another reason why these figures were an online exclusive, because I really couldn’t see kinky Jean Grey hanging on a peg in the aisles at Target or Walmart. [Then again, I have since been reminded that the Black Queen served as a Toys R Us Exclusive in Hasbro’s previous Legends line a little while ago.] Although it would have been a good opportunity for a Build-A-Torture Rack accessory! If you were with me last time, you know that Shaw and Pierce were straight repaints of the same body from the neck down, and that’s largely the case with Emma and Jean here, as we go from White Queen to Black Queen. However, Hasbro did use a few accessories to distinguish these gals. The most obvious change is in the capes, which are completely different. Jean’s is a little shorter and is sculpted with a rather dramatic wind-blown look. She also has a sculpted rose, which looks like it’s meant to serve as a clasp. Less dramatic, but no less outrageous is her spiked collar! Everything else on the body itself is identical and I think this outfit looks fantastic in either black or white.

The portrait appears to be entirely new and I like it a lot. Jean has her hair up in a bit of a bun to show off that spike collar, and she’s got some red eye shadow to match the color of her hair. As with Emma, the paint applications on the face are crisp and clear and look fantastic.

While Emma came up light on the accessories, Jean comes with a whip and a third pair of hands, so that she can hold it. Yup! Just in case the outfit didn’t drive home the BDSM theme here! The whip is recycled from the Black Cat figure (from the Ultimate Green Goblin Wave), meaning it has that kind of goofy claw on the end of it. Not that I would tell Jean it looks goofy, because I imagine that it hurts a lot.

And that brings us to Selene Gallio, which is simply an optional head for the Jean Grey figure. It’s really cool that Hasbro tossed this one in as an extra and I think the portrait has a lot of character, but it feels a little more like a caricature when compared to the Emma and Jean head. Maybe that’s just because they were going for a specific expression here. She’s got purple eye shadow to match her purple lip gloss and as with the other ladies, the paint is executed flawlessly here. It’s a shame that this body isn’t available as a single packaged figure, because I sure wouldn’t mind having another to display as Selene, but between the two, I’ll likely keep the Jean head on the figure for display. For the record, it actually works pretty well on the Dark Reign Emma Frost body, and since this will be my go-to Emma Frost for Legends, that’s a pretty good option. And while we’re on the subject, you can swap the two Walgreens Frost heads with this Emma, but the skin tone doesn’t match. But with this beautiful noggin, why would you want to?

Wow, what a great set! This box went for $79.99 on Hasbro Pulse, which puts it at $20 a figure. Not bad, even with all the recycling, as the packaging adds a lot to the value here, and as I’m sure I’ve said numerous times, there was no way these figures were going to get a regular retail release. Sure, I have no doubt that adult collectors drive this line, but they don’t carry that “Adult Collectible” moniker and are still considered toys. Kids were probably not going to be too keen on a pair of dudes in 18th Century dress, and I doubt the parents would be up for getting the kids Emma Frost in her undies and Dominatrix Jean Grey. I was glad to see this one stuck around on the site a little while, at least long enough for me to order one with no trouble. Obviously, it has since sold out and seems to be selling for around double on Ebay, although it’s possible to find the individual figures listed there as well.

Marvel Legends: Hellfire Club Boxed Set by Hasbro, Part 1

As I may have mentioned last week, I’m stepping away from doing consecutive reviews of particular Marvel Legends waves in order to get to some multipacks, exclusives, and older figures. That’ll probably be the case through to the end of the year, but who knows? Maybe I’ll work at least one more complete wave and Build-A-Figure in before the end of the year. For now, I’m kicking this madness off on this glorious Marvel Monday with a look at the Exclusive Hellfire Club 4-Figure set that was released through Hasbro’s online Pulse store! The set includes The Inner Circle of The Club: Sebastian Shaw, Donald Pierce, Jean Gray (or Selene Gallio if you prefer), and Emma Frost. I originally planned to check out the whole set today, but I ran a little long, so instead we’ll look at the packaging along with Shaw and Pierce, and some accessories, and next week we’ll check out the ladies.

Hasbro has been well known for their elaborate Marvel Legends boxed sets, many of which released as San Diego Comic Con Exclusives. But with no Comic Cons happening, they’ve been seeking other routes for these impressive sets. I think this one was referred to as a PulseCon Exclusive, but whatever the case, it became available to Premium Members of Hasbro Pulse first and then to everyone else later. Now, I have had some terrible experience with Pulse this year. Most of what I pre-order shows up through Amazon Prime first and cheaper, so I wind up cancelling the Pulse pre-orders. I’ve also been shut out on a lot of pre-orders because they sell out so fast. Well, this time I was able to get in and get out without too much bother, but it has since sold out. The packaging here may be their best yet, as it not only relies on a special box, but also multiple cool components of presentation. On the outside, it cuts all the class of the prestigious and exclusive club that it represents. There’s an embossed iron gate on the front to keep the riff-raff out and an impressive gold and crimson foil H-seal in the middle. The back panel of the box features framed portraits of the figures inside.

Break the velcro seal and the front opens to reveal an illustrated portrait of the Inner Circle and it is a magnificent piece of art! The back of this card has an envelope that contains a facsimile letter. The obverse sides of the flaps have portraits of each of the four characters, and finally we get to the tray of figures, presented with a backdrop showing the luxury of the Hellfire Club’s parlor. I’ve managed to pick up nearly all of the modern Legends SDCC Exclusive sets, and none has really come close to how polished the presentation is here. Hasbro just put a ton of love into this one and it shows. So, let’s dig in and we’ll start out with a look at Sebastian Shaw!

Don’t judge me, but I sure do dig me some fancy 18th Century formalwear. Seriously, if it were socially acceptable to dress like this today, I’d be down for it! I’d also go by the name Martin Chuzzlewit and carry a silk hanky and a tin of snuff around with me. And who would have thought we’d get a beautiful example of this historic wardrobe with a Marvel Legends figure! Sebastian’s sculpted apparel includes a navy blue gentleman’s jacket with vest, all sculpted in soft plastic as one piece, with the sleeves sculpted onto the arms. The sculpt is great, the vest isn’t too bulky even if the arms are, and the jacket includes a stylish tail that extends down the backs of the legs. The vest is red with a textured pattern, and the jacket includes brass painted buttons and a flared collar. The jacket sleeves have exposed ruffles that would make Jon Pertwee proud. Superb! His gray culottes end just above his calves to expose his white socks (no doubt silk!) and his buckled shoes. Considering how limited the uses for this body must be, it’s nice to see Hasbro put so much work into it. It’s the perfect outfit for sitting in overstuffed chairs by the fire, sipping brandy, and discussing how you’re going to exert your wealth and power to control the world government.

Hasbro also did an admirable job on Mr. Shaw’s portrait, complete with a vintage-style ponytail, tied with a ribbon, impressive mutton chops, and a devastating widow’s peak. High arched eyebrows and a broad, smug grin, completes the head sculpt nicely. As has often been the case with the Legends villains, this likeness is just brimming with personality. Shaw has an affable face, and those are the villains that you have to watch out for!

Despite his stuffy outfit, Pierce still enjoys all the usual points of articulation I expect out of my Legends dudes. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinged knees, swivels in the thighs and the tops of the socks, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double-hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs in the wrists. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge buried up inside that coat, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. What a great figure! You might say that its so nice, Hasbro used it twice! In the same boxed set!

Donald Pierce is a straight repaint of Shaw from the neck down. And while it may seem rather cheeky to recycle a whole body in the same set, I honestly don’t mind it here. This costume is so well done and in fairness it works just fine for both characters. It probably doesn’t hurt that since both figures are brand new to me, it doesn’t feel as much like a rehash. I’m not even sure if that makes sense or it’s just that HasBRO kool-ade that I coif working its magic. Now, I will say that I wish Hasbro had added some tiny bit of sculpting trickery to set them apart, like maybe change up the cravat. But I’m still OK with what we got. Pierce’s outfit is decked out in more earthy tones with a brown jacket and slightly green culottes, while his vest is a green. He has the same cravat as his colleague as well as the same shoes.

And once again we see a portrait just brimming with personality. The facial features are wonderfully detailed, the eyes are a striking blue and he has a broad and somewhat imposing smile. While Shaw came across as more congenial to me, Pierce looks to be hiding malice, and not really hiding it too well. The articulation is obviously identical to what we saw with Shaw, but before moving wrapping this up for the day, we can check out some of the gents’ accessories.

For starters, you get a pair of fists, which can be used for either Shaw or Pierce, but I’m going to go ahead and give those to Shaw, because Pierce comes with his very own and very specific replacement cyborg hands! And might I say that there’s nothing quite as cool looking as a bloke in fancy dress sporting a pair of cybernetic meat hooks. The right hand is sculpted as a gun-holding hand and the other is kind of a graspy hand. But wait? Gun holding hand? Guns??? Yup, let’s check out the guns!

These both look familiar, so I’m pretty sure we’ve seen them before and both are very sci-fi designs. No doubt these are the best technology money can buy! The pistol works best with Pierce’s Cyborg hand and Shaw can hold the rifle quite well. Are they shining examples of 6-inch scale weaponry? Nah, not really. They’re cast in black plastic with no paint applications and the sculpts are a little soft. But I’m never going to complain about getting some extra guns in with my action figures.

You also get the Hellfire Book, which is a really cool little sculpt. It’s molded so that it’s perpetually open so that the members can peruse it’s page. The binding has a nice leather-like texture to it and there’s raised letterings sculpted into it. The front cover also bears the Hellfire H-insignia. Yup, the same one that’s on the front of this boxed set. Inside the book there are some charts and squiggly lines to denote text. I’ve been a book collector nearly all my life, so I can really appreciate getting such a cool little book in this scale. Sure Boss Fight Studios has done it better and in a much smaller scale, but this little plastic tome is still really neat.

And finally, you get both Wolverine’s mask and Magneto’s helmet as trophies. These are beautiful little accessories, and I wish there was a little shelf above that fireplace on the backdrop where you could display them. I don’t have anything else to say about these pieces, except that they’re welcome bonuses. And with that, I’m going to break for today. I’m also going to reserve any final judgements on this set until next Monday when I review the other two figures, but so far I’m digging this set more than most of the recent Legends Comic Con Exclusives. In my mind, exclusives should be comprised of figures that were never likely to make it to the toy aisles, and I think that fits these two fancy gents to a tee. Sure, Hasbro has amazed me with the obscurity or downright bizarre nature of some of the characters they’ve sent to the pegs at my local Walmart or Target, but I think these fellows would have been pushing it. Come on back next Monday and we’ll wrap it up with a look at Emma and Jean… and Selene!

Marvel Legends (Sugar Man Wave): Dark Beast and Sugar Man Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

Well, it was a bit of a reach but I managed to get through an entire wave of double-features! And that brings me to the final packaged figure in this Age of Apocalypse themed assortment… Dark Beast! So let’s have a look at him and then we’ll put together the Suger Man Build-A-Figure and put this awesome assortment to bed!

Here’s one final shot of the packaging with that wonderful David Nakayama character art on the side panels. Dark Beast is a big boi and so despite Sugar Man being made up of an unprecedented number of pieces, Beast still doesn’t come with a BAF part. He does, however come with Sugar Man’s hammer. OK, I guess that’s kind of a BAF part.

Beast is probably my favorite alternate-timeline character from Age of Apocalypse. Missing out on Xavier’s kind teachings, he lives up to his name by leading horrific experiments in the name of Apocalypse! He’s almost the complete opposite of the McCoy we all know and love, possessing all of his intelligence and none of his ethics and nobility, and that makes him all the more terrifying to me. If you were expecting a straight repaint of the Beast body from the Caliban Wave, prepare to be a little surprised, as this figure represents Beast after he got rejuvenated by Mr. Sinister and given some new legs. So the pelvis and the legs down to the swivel cut below the knees are segmented cybernetic legs and the rest of the body is borrowed from the previous Beast. You even get the extra hands too! The coloring is all around fantastic. Beast’s body is dark gray with a black wash to bring out some of that wonderfully sculpted hair and texture. Meanwhile the legs have a deep metallic blue sheen.

The other dramatic difference here is the new head sculpt, which is both awesome and bad-ass. He looks to be every bit of the bastard that he is. Complete with a sadistic grin, and a coif that would make Logan proud! He also has braided bands on his hair and some rings in his pointed ears, which frame his face and make him look a lot more savage. This head sculpt alone has rocketed Dark Beast up to my favorite figure in this wave. Sorry, Weapon-X and Jean, you guy shave been overthrown. At least you got to bask in the glory of being my favorites for a week.

Despite some new parts in the legs, the articulation here is identical to the previous Beast, so I won’t go into details, other than to point out that with the shoulder crunches and the hinges in the feet, he’s one of the most articulated figures we’ve seen in Legends since the Toy Biz days. He’s just loads of fun to play around with and the extra fist and flat hand-stand hand add a lot of possibilities. And with all seven of the packaged figures out of the way, that brings us to this guy…

That’s it. That’s the review. They should have sent a poet, because I have no words… but I’ll try. It’s no secret that I love the Build-A-Figures, and there have been some truly spectacular ones going all the way back to Terrax. But they don’t often get character designs this imaginative to work with. I honestly don’t know what’s more impressive, the amazing work that Hasbro put into Sugar Man, or the fact that he exists at all. If you ever had cause to doubt that Hasbro was committed to this line… like if the 10,000 figures a year they release (minor exaggeration) isn’t enough proof, something like this should do it. Sugar Man is horrible, twisted, and almost certainly too demented-looking to grace the modern Big Box toy aisles. And yet here he is! In terms of construction, this is the most complex and atypical BAF we’ve seen in the modern line. As such it reminds me a lot of Toy BIz’s M.O.D.O.K. BAF. Sure, I could take this opportunity to ponder on why we got Sugar Man before M.O.D.O.K., but then I don’t want to question any aspect that went into the decision to make this guy. In terms of pure weirdness, if you’re going to top Sugar Man, Hasbro, you have to do an Egg Fu BAF. YOU HAVE TO!!!

Sugar Man’s hunched body is mostly obscured by his giant head. Indeed, from the front he just looks like a giant head on legs. The legs are puny by comparison, and while they’re fully articulated in every normal way, I didn’t find a lot of that articulation too value added. I was able to tweak them to help him stand, but that was about it. Other than his blue trousers, the only other element to his costume is a black belt and black suspenders. The belt has some crude silver buckles, and there are some colorful novelty buttons sculpted onto the right suspender. There’s also a loop for him to store his hammer. It’s tough to get it in and out of there, but I still think it’s a nice touch. Sugar Man’s four arms feature four unique hands. One is pointing, one is grasping, one is balled into a fist, and one is designed to hold the hammer. Each of these connect to the torso with rotating hinges, allowing for all the usual articulation in each appendage.

As for the portrait? I mean holy hell what can I say about this nightmare? His giant mouth is lined with jagged teeth and comes equipped with a lewd tongue that snakes out and looks absolutely disgusting. He’s got a broad nose, bushy eyebrows, two squinting red eyes and a bushy tuft of hair on the top. Hasbro did an absolutely fantastic job modeling this nasty piece of work in 3D plastic.

As already mentioned, Sugar Man comes with his Hammer, which is a Mjolnir looking implement with SUGAR sculpted into one side. He can hold it well in his lower right hand, but the bicep swivel isn’t up to the task of supporting its weight so it tends to flop if I don’t have the arm positioned right.

Wow, this wave was a treat and a half. Hasbro introduced some great new characters as well as alternate versions of some we got before. It’s been a while since I purchased an entire wave of Marvel Legends in one shot instead of hunting them down individually, but that’s exactly what I did here. I was just really eager to get my hands on all of these figures and put together the BAF, so it was nice to not have to hunt for a change. And this is the last regular Legends figures that I’m going to feature on Marvel Monday for a little while. Rather than dig into another wave, I’m going to check out some boxed sets and exclusives for the next few weeks.

Marvel Legends (Sugar Man Wave): Sunfire and X-Man by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday and I’m continuing my cruise through the Age of Apocalypse themed Sugar Man Wave of Marvel Legends. I’ve been taking this assortment in pairs and today brings us to the fifth and sixth figures: Sunfire and X-Man! I had a crazy work schedule this weekend and I’m really pressed for time. Can I hammer out a brief double review today and still do these figures justice? Yes, I believe I can!

Here’s a quick look at the boys in their packaging and take note that each one comes with a pair of arms for Sugar Man, because he’s a four-arm-having sonovabitch! I’ll also once again point out that David Nakayama is doing the spine art for this wave. I’ve been a big fan of his work ever since I discovered his cover work for Zenescope Comics, and it’s awesome to see him contributing art for Marvel Legends! Let’s dig in! And I’m going to start things off with Sunfire!

We last saw Sunfire about three years ago as part of the Warlock Wave. That was a great figure and I am a huge fan of his classic costume. But here we have alternate reality Sunfire after having gone nuclear to halt Apocalypse’s attack on Japan. It bought some time to evacuate and left him in horrific shape, but boy does it make for a cool look. And you know what else is cool? Translucent figures!!! Yeah, I love me some translucent plastic and Sunfire is made of it from head to toe. I think this is more or less the same body used for the previous figure, albeit with different hands. At least it maintains the lateral crunches in the shoulders. The body is cast in a lovely clear yellow plastic with some orange highlights and black accents to make up the details of the suit. He has some flame effects sculpted into his forearms, while his right hand is balled up into a fist and his left looks like it’s about to unleash some major power. Absolutely awesome!

The head sculpt, if you can call it that, is a mask nestled in a mantle of fire. The mask itself is white with the red circle in the center representing the Land of the Rising Sun. The two slits for eyes bleed forth in red-orange flame, making him look like an avenging spirit. The sculpted flame around the mask has a bit more orange to it than the rest of the body and it just looks amazing.

The articulation is pretty much identical to what we saw in the previous release. I think this body is borrowed from one of the Spider-Man releases. In addition to the previously mentioned shoulder crunches, the arms also feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows and knees, swivels in the biceps, waist, thighs, and lower legs, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. Needless to say he’s as much fun to play with as he is good looking! Moving on to X-Man!

As expected, this figure is based off of his appearance in his self-titled book from the Age of Apocalypse and that’s a very good thing, because I can’t stand what Marvel has done with Nate’s design in recent years. Here we get the classic Jim Lee X-Men colors of yellow and blue only with an emphasis on the blue. The yellow is relegated to trim and some abbreviated striping, as well as his belt. It all looks fantastic and that yellow really pops beautifully against the blue.

Nate features a short jacket, which tapers at the waist and features some serious lapels! It’s molded as a soft plastic vest with the sleeves sculpted as part of the arms. You get some additional new sculpting at his collar and the belt is a separate piece fitted snug around his waist. Take away the shoulder crunches, and X-Man features the exact same articulation as Sunfire.

Hasbro did a beautiful job with this portrait, but that should come as no surprise since they really nailed Cable both times they’ve done him. Nate has a grim expression as a beautiful effect part explodes from his left eye. His shock of brown and white hair parts in the middle and frames his face around the eyes. Simply superb!

Both of today’s figures are fairly simple, with some flourishes of brilliance. For Sunfire, it’s a cross between the lovely translucent plastic and the amazing head sculpt that wins me over. As for X-Man? Well, a snazzy jacket, bitchin eye, and that wonderful one-two punch of yellow and blue carries that figure beautifully. This pair are two more great additions to what has turned out to be a super fun wave of figures. And I’ve still got one more to open, so next Monday we’ll have a look at Dark Beast and then we’ll build the Sugar Man Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Sugar Man Wave): Weapon X and Jean Grey by Hasbro

After crapping out at the end of last week due to the sickness, I’m back just in time for another Marvel Monday. Last week, I started going through the Age of Apocalypse themed Sugar Man Wave with Morph and Wild Child, and I’m going to once again double down with another pair from this assortment. And it seems only appropriate to pair up the happy alternate reality couple of Jean Grey and Weapon X.

Here’s another look at the packaging with that wonderful David Nakayama artwork on the side panels. Also check out how poor Jean is just crammed into the side of the tray to make room for the two giant Sugar Man BAF parts! Well, that’s rude!!! She really looks like she needs some room to breathe, so let’s start with her and get her out of there.

Egads this is a fun look for Ms. Grey, although how Xavier’s untimely death extended 80’s fashion into the 90’s is beyond me! Maybe it’s like how Kirk’s dad dying in JJ-Trek added all that chrome to the Enterprise bridge architecture. Hey, I’m no alternate history expert. Either way, Jean is rocking a black, blue, and red bodysuit, which relies mainly on paint for detail, at least below the chest. The top does sport some sculpted lines where it meets her skin. The bulk of the new sculpting is found in the other component of her costume: A half-jacket with some righteous shoulder pads and full sleeves. Diva Jean is definitely tickling my fancy! And even if the fashion doesn’t make a lot of sense, it gives Jean a bitchin hardcore look that certainly serves the timeline well. I think the colors work well together and the paint lines are pretty clean throughout. And I ain’t hating how the blue patch on her bottom highlights her butt! What? I might as well say it, since she knows I was thinking it anyway!

And this portrait… Wow! I dig it! She’s super pretty and I love the shock of short red hair style that Pat Benetar would no doubt approve of! The paint work on her eyes and lips are sharp, and she’s got a blue tattoo that bisects her left eye, travels down her cheek and then arches up over her eyebrow to terminate in a sharp point on her forehead.

The articulation here is pretty standard female Legends stuff. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinged knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. There’s no waist swivel, but you do get a ball joint under the chest, and the neck has both a hinge and a ball joint. Jean features the spell-slinger style hands that work pretty well for her telepathic powers. Moving on to Wolv… I mean Weapon X!!!

Just when you thought we were going to be done with Logan releases for a while, NOPE! But that’s OK, because this is a pretty damn great look for him. Weapon X is built on the usual short and buff Wolverine body we’ve seen many times before, and that’s great because it means he has the lateral crunches in the shoulders. Here he’s decked out in a black suit with red stripes across his chest. The deco kind of matches Jean’s and isn’t that just adorable that these two lovebirds accessorize together! You do get some original sculpting in the yellow belt, which hangs around the waist and features an X-logo on the buckle. Logan also has some striping painted on his arms to simulate them hairy guns.

His right hand features claws which can be removed if you want to display them non-popped. Sure, it leaves holes in the knuckles, but they’re not very conspicuous. I would exercise caution, as my figure’s middle claw fell off as I was taking him out of the package and it had to engage the cats to keep them from carrying it off as a prize. The middle claw seems a bit loose in general, but I jammed it back in there and it hasn’t fallen out again since. The glove is black with red striping to match the rest of his suit.

And on the left arm, we have the stump from where Cyclops obliterated his other hand. The arm is capped off with a silver cannister with the three claws popped through it. These aren’t removable, but he does come with a second stump with no claws if you want to swap them out.

And that brings us to the portrait, and holy hell is it amazing! Clearly, the sculptors understood the challenge this figure presented. We have to take a character who is full of pure bad-tempered rage in this Universe and now depict him as he is in an everything-is-shit timeline where he’s especially filled with pure bad-tempered rage. Yup, goal achieved. I mean, maybe he’s a little happier here because he’s getting a little something off of Jean, but they did not hold back with this sculpt and it is glorious! The wrinkled up face, the bare teeth, the wild hair, the dusting of whiskers, I love everything they’ve done here. It’s primal and powerful, and it makes the Caliban Wave Weapon X look like a bad tempered puppy in comparison.

The rest of the figure features all the great articulation I’ve come to expect from this familiar buck, so I won’t recount it again. I will just say that no matter how many times I open up a new Legends Wolverine figure, I still find them hard to put down. This guy is going to be on my desk for a while.

I still have two more figures to look at in this assortment, but I’ll call it right now that Jean and Weapon X are going to be tough to beat as my current favorites of the wave. I can also tell that my big complaint at the end of this run is going to be why we didn’t get an Age of Apocalypse Cyclops in this assortment, because it really does seem like it should have been a no-brainer. Either way, I’m having a lot of fun with this wave and I’m looking forward to next Monday when I tear into another pair!