Avengers Endgame: Thanos Sixth-Scale Figure by Hot Toys

Since I’m between waves of Marvel Legends, I’m going to divert my attention elsewhere on this Marvel Monday, and shift the spotlight to Hot Toys! Wow, it’s been a while since I reviewed a Hot Toys Marvel figure. I still have a few more Marvel Hot Toys to review, a few on pre-order, but my confidence in the future of the MCU has been waning, and I have a feeling that my days of collecting Hot Toys Marvel may be drawing to a close. It makes me a little sad, but my wallet very happy. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at The Mad Titan himself, who recently snapped his fingers and made half my toy budget for the month disappear! I passed on Hot Toys Thanos twice before. The Guardians of the Galaxy version with the throne looked great, but it was also a little small and I didn’t have the scratch for it back then. It was a shame because it’s the only Hot Toys release from that film that I didn’t buy. Next came the Infinity War version, and that was an easy pass because his costume was just so boring that I couldn’t justify the price tag. This armored up Endgame one was obviously the one I was waiting for!

Big Boi’s come in Big Boxes! If you’ve been with me for some previous Hot Toys reviews, you may know that I don’t think much of their packaging. They usually have pretty artwork, but the cardboard is super flimsy and they’re little more than window boxes with sleeves around them. I just think the price I’m paying warrants something a little more impressive. Hell, I don’t even keep most of these boxes anymore, because they take up too much space for what they are. That’s pretty much true for Thanos here, but I will admit the size itself is impressive! Thankfully, Thanos comes out of the box with most of his armor on and pretty much ready to go!

And here he is looking absolutely superb! Thanos not only towers above my other Hot Toys (well, except for The Hulk), but he’s also a hefty mo-fo with a lot of girth. Everything about this guy feels substantial. The figure depicts past Thanos who followed The Avengers back to future Earth in full battle gear. Yes, this could also pass for Thanos in the very beginning of Infinity War, and I’ll come back to that idea eventually. Hot Toys did a beautiful job on his armor, which is comprised of golden plastic plates over more flexible and textured black plastic. I was happy to see that it’s not sculpted as part of the figure itself, but an actual suit. I’m not sure if they did this to reuse the previous Thanos body, or just to be awesome, but it adds so much to the figure’s complexity. He even has cloth pants under his leg armor. The gold plate pieces are exquisitely painted, giving off a look that is so convincing, it’s almost surprising to touch it and feel that it’s just lightweight plastic. These pieces feature some panel lines, as well as a number of nicks and scrapes acquired in past battles, giving the suit a very lived in look. There are also some tarnished spots in the paint to make it look well weathered. Hot Toys didn’t go too nuts with these effects, as they sure wanted to sell a proper battle damaged version of this figure too, but what’s here is just enough to make it look like the armor has been well used. I also really dig the copper colored pieces on his chest, just to mix things up a bit.

Despite being worn, the bulk of the armor is permanently attached to the figure, but the right arm bracer can come off. The left can’t, but more on that later. The bicep pieces are held on by the straps and friction and they stay in place quite well. There’s a decent amount of clearance in the shoulders, so the arms can be posed without me being too worried about scraping or breaking these pieces. But as with most Hot Toys, you just don’t want to try to get the arms raised much higher than the shoulders. The arms are covered with a rubbery skin, quite similar to what we saw on The Hulk. It looks great, but I’m not terribly keen on how the skin folds at the elbows when the arms are flexed. It just looks a bit too much like what it is, rubber covering an articualted arm. I think I might have preferred that they went with regular exposed elbow joints here. Then again, if he’s in a pose with his arms fairly straight, it does look much better with the seamless joints. It’s a compromise. And while on the subject of articulation, I’ll give credit to the ratcheting joints they designed for him. This is a hefty figure, but he has no troubles standing on his own and his joints tend to stay where you put them. You can use Thanos’ joints to tweak some cool poses, but nothing too extreme. Of course, that’s usually the case for most Hot Toys.

I’m not sure if the regular portrait is recycled from the Infinity War figure, but whatever the case, it’s everything I would expect from Hot Toys these days. Seeing as how they have all but perfected capturing actor likenesses with remarkable realism, a CG version of Josh Brolin is probably no great shakes for them. Still, I don’t want to take away from how amazing it turned out. The purple skin tone looks great and matches the arms perfectly. If you get in really close you can make out all sorts of little creases and natural looking textures in the skin. His well-defined facial features are recreated flawlessly here as is his giant ball sack of a chin. The deep set eyes also have that wonderful spark of life that only the best paint in the industry can convey. Of course, you do get the visible jointing between the head and neck, but it’s mostly apparent when the portrait is viewed from the back or side, and it’s to be expected. The head is attached via a balljoint, and it is easily popped off to swap it out with the second portrait.

Here we have angry and defiant Thanos, and it is a powerful portrait indeed. Thanos bears his titanic teeth in a grimace of rage. I often imagine that it’s far more difficult to convey emotion in these portraits, but you wouldn’t know it from how well this turned out. The sculpting and paint on his teeth is truly amazing. It’s going to be a tough call to decide which portrait to display on the figure regularly. Chances are it will be the first, but only because I plan on displaying him in a fairly neutral position. Nevertheless, I’ll likely be changing it up fairly often. Hot Toys really needs to follow in the path of NECA Toys and release some kind of display method for extra heads. I usually just wind up resting them on the display stands.

Thanos also comes with his helmet, which fits easily onto either portrait. I was very afraid that this was going to be a tight fit and would risk damaging the paint every time I wanted to put it on or remove it, but I’m happy to say that’s not the case. It looks like a form-fitting piece, but it doesn’t feel like it’s rubbing much when it goes on. Heck, it fits so well that I could be convinced it was part of the head sculpt if I didn’t know better. Once again, the gold paint here is exquisite and the weathering is especially well done, with lots of little scrapes and some pitting. The helmet presents another dilemma on whether to display with it on or not. Right now, I have the figure holding the helmet in his left hand. And that brings me to hands!

You can’t buy a Hot Toys figure and not expect to get a bunch of hands. Thanos comes with no less than four sets. You get fists, relaxed hands, graspy hands, and accessory holding hands. These attach via some pretty chunky ball joints, and they are a real breeze to get on and off. I have my share of Hot Toys figures that don’t get their hands changed out often because they are difficult to get off, or I’m afraid I’m going to snap the wrist pegs, but the benefit of having a big figure like this is the hands are a lot easier to work with. The fists work really well with the more expressive portrait.

Thanos’ big accessory is his double-bladed sword, and it is indeed an intimidating weapon! When held vertically it’s taller than the figure and Hot Toys did a great job with this design. The blades have deeply etched designs on the flats of the blade and if you look really closely you can not only see a faint damascus pattern in the blade, but also the marks on the edges where it has been sharpened. That level of detail really blows me away.

As amazing as the sword looks, it’s rather deceptive when picked up, mainly because it’s so incredibly light. I really feel like they should have done something to beef this up a big, particularly with how tight the grip is. Maybe they could have made the the framing pieces on the backs of the blades die-cast. Unlike everything else about this figure, I felt like I needed to be super cautious when putting the sword into his hand. Indeed, I’ll likely leave the hand attached to the sword from now on. It feels like a good idea would have been to have the sword split apart in the middle of the grip, so you could pass one end through the top of his hand and the other through the bottom and peg them together.

The last accessory included in the box is the Infinity Gauntlet, which is something of an anachronism, since this version of Thanos never had it. Nonetheless, Hot Toys had it made for the Infinity War Thanos, and it’s cool that they threw it into the box here, as it can transform this version of Thanos into the one from the beginning of Infinity War, so long as you’re willing to overlook the fact that all the Infinity Stones are present. Accurate or not, I will be displaying him with the Gauntlet, just because it looks so damn cool. This piece is attached by pulling the left arm off at the joint where the bracer starts and plugging in the Gauntlet. Like everything with this figure, it goes on easy-peasy. There is a light up feature included, but it’s disappointingly dim. Maybe the batteries I got aren’t at full strength, but it really wasn’t worth the effort of showing it off. In addition to rotating at the arm, the gauntlet has a ball joint at the wrist, which also allows you to pull off the fist and replace it with an articulated Gauntlet.

The articulation here includes double hings in the fingers and a rotation in the thumb. It’s not quite good enough to get his fingers into a snapping position, but I like the added articulation a lot. In the case of both Gauntlets, the gold finish is quite luxurious and it’s given a deeper and richer finish than the armor, making it look newer. The sculpted details look great, as do the individual Stones. And since the electronics are in the lower portion of the Gauntlet, the articulated hand shares the same light up feature as the fist.

Finally, Thanos comes with a figure stand, which is similar to the regular Hot Toys bases, only a lot bigger. And yet it feels like it’s not quite big enough. In a moderate stance, Thanos’ feet hang over the edges of the stand. But it still works just fine. The base has a colorful image of the Avengers logo disappearing into dust and the logo proper closer to the front. The base has a nameplate on the front as well. I like the way it looks a lot, but I’m a little surprised they didn’t go for some kind of diorama base like they did for The Hulk.

Sometimes patience pays off and that was certainly the case here. I really wanted a Hot Toys Thanos in my collection, but the Infinity War outfit just didn’t do anything for me, especially not at such a titanic price. This guy, however checks all the boxes. He’s huge and imposing and he comes all decked out in his battle gear. Plus, the inclusion of the Infinity Gauntlet was a wonderful bonus. He’s a commanding presence on my shelf, and I had to rework a whole bunch of my Hot Toys collection to find room for him. Still, he was worth the effort, as well as the $415 price tag! With the exception of the Marvel Hot Toys that I have on pre-order, this could very well be the last MCU figure I purchase, so it was pretty cool that it was such a great figure!

Marvel Legends (Crimson Dynamo Wave): Yelena Belova by Hasbro

It’s me! I’m back! After a terrible week of working nights, getting very little sleep, missing two days of FFZ content, and being generally burnt out, I’d like to tell you that I’m all rested up and ready for action, but I wouldn’t go that far… at least I’m here! And picking up from last week I’m back to open the last figure in the Crimson Dynamo Wave!

Yelena Belova, sometimes known as The Crimson Widow will apparently be a big part of the still yet to be released Black Widow film. I could have sworn reading something that referred to her as Natasha Romanov’s sister. I’m not sure if that’s was meant as her spiritual sister, since they both trained in The Red Room, or if the MCU is writing her as Black Widow’s actual sister, but I guess some day I’ll see the movie and all will be revealed. She’s svelt enough to be packaged with the biggest of the Crimson Dynamo parts, including not only his massive torso, but also his shoulder armor, and they still had some room in there for some accessories!

Let me start by saying that from a design standpoint, this is not a terribly exciting figure, but that’s not in any way Hasbro’s fault. They did the best with what the design that was given them. Yelena is wearing what appears to be a close copy of Black Widow’s white arctic suit, which we saw released as a Deluxe Legends figure a little while back. She even has the Widow’s Bite bracelets on her wrists. The biggest difference here is the green tactical vest that’s sculpted as part of the figure. And if I recall correctly we even see Natasha wearing something similar in part of the trailer.  It has some cross straps with painted silver buckles, and some black accents as well. Like I said, there’s nothing terribly flashy here, but it’s still pretty well done.

Yelena is wearing a belt, sculpted as a separate piece, with a silver belt buckle, donning the Black Widow emblem. The belt includes a holster, which is secured to her right thigh with two straps, and a brace of combat knives secured to her left thigh with a single strap. The holster works to hold one of her two pistols, but the knives are merely sculpted into place and not removable.

The head sculpt here is excellent. It’s not only a great likeness to Florence Pugh, an actress I’ve never even heard of before now, but there’s certainly a resemblance there to Scarlett Johansen as well, making me wonder if they aren’t supposed to be actual sisters in the film. I’ve never read anything that depicted them as blood relatives in the funnybooks, but if the push in the MCU will be to have Yelena take up the mantle as the new Black Widow, I wouldn’t be adverse to the MCU making that connection. Ah, but maybe that’s just me being sentimental. Anyway, the sculpted hair on this portait is especially well done, although the drawback is that it makes the neck joint extremely obvious from the back.

The articulation here is identical to what we saw with the Black Widow figure in this wave, and that’s to be expected. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinged pegs in the wrists, and those super funky rotating hinges in the elbows, that I am not at all fond of. They give a decent range of motion for a single hinge, but they just look weird. The torso has a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed. You get two sets of hands with Yelena, one set of fists, and one for holding her guns.

The guns are the only accessories she comes with, and I find it odd that she only has a holster for the one. It would have been cool to give her one perhaps on the back of her belt, but again Hasbro is just working with a film design here, and I’m not going to turn my nose up at an extra gun.

Despite a somewhat bland design, I actually ended up liking this figure a heck of a lot. Like Black Widow, she’s fun to pose and play around with. The outfit sports some sharp detail, the paint apps are used sparingly, but effectively, and the portrait is absolutely fantastic. All in all a great figure to end what has been an extremely solid wave. Now, normally, when I finish a wave of Marvel Legends, I like to double up and review the Build-A-Figure on the same day, but I’m still playing catch up on my rest from last week, as well as dealing with a bunch of other stuff that I need to tend to, so I’m going to cheat a little today and come back tomorrow and have a look at the Crimson Dynamo BAF!

Marvel Legends (Crimson Dynamo Wave): Taskmaster by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday, and I’m down to my last TWO figures to open in the somewhat Black Widow themed Crimson Dynamo Wave of Marvel Legends! I thought it was three, but it turns out somehow I wound up buying Red Guardian twice. That’s what happens when you have a huge backlog of these things. Anyway, if you told me back in January that we’d still be waiting to see this flick in August, I’d think you were nuts! And yet here we are. I was excited for this movie from the get-go, but once they revealed Taskmaster was in it, I’ve since gone to a state well beyond excitement! Come on, DIsney. Just put it on the streaming service!!!

We’ve had not one, but two comic versions of Taskmaster in the modern Legends line, and now it’s the ass-kicking mimic’s turn to debut on the big screen, here’s the MCU version. Taskmaster is the only figure in the assortment to not include a Crimson Dynamo BAF part. I’m not sure if that’s because they already crammed so much stuff into this box, or because Hasbro knew everyone would probably buy him anyway.

I think the costume designers did a pretty nice job on the MCU makeover. He’s easily recognizable as Taskmaster, and yet there’s enough of makeover to allow this design to work in the “real world” of the Marvel films. Actually, I think they gave him a little bit more comic flare than I was expecting, especially where the colors were concerned. Yes, he’s basically a dude in a tactical suit with some bits of armor strategically placed, but the metallic blue and the orange trim really make the otherwise muted dark blue suit pop, and they are certainly a nice nod back to his comic colors. That’s especially the case on this figure where the coloring looks fantastic. His cape from the comics has been reduced to a weird sculpted plastic scarf that is clipped onto his shoulders, almost like a reverse cape. On his back he has a rather understated backpack. One of the biggest surprises about this figure is his complete lack of holsters or clips to attach his weapons, but I’ll come back to that in just a bit.

Like the rest of the figure, the head sculpt teases the traditional Taskmaster look, but then goes and does its own thing. The skull motif on his silver mask is still there, but it’s very understated, and now the mask is dominated by a large black visor that looks like two giant bug eyes. It’s creepy and probably makes for some good psychological warfare when he’s facing down opponents. The hood is designed to turn with the figure’s head and features more of that snappy orange paint.

As expected, Taskmaster sports all the usual points of articulation, allowing him to mimic the fighting styles of my other Legends figures. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double-hinged at the knees, have swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso swivels at the waist, has a really well hidden ab-crunch under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double-hinged elbows, swivels in the biceps, and the wrists are on hinged pegs to allow the hands to be swapped out. Taskmaster comes with a whopping three sets of hands, including one pair for holding accessories, one pair of fists, and one pair of scratching claws. Looks like someone picked up a few moves from Black Panther! Let’s move on to the accessories!

FIrst off, he comes with this bow and arrow, and I am not at all fond of these. The bow looks OK, but it has a really thick plastic “string” which means you can’t really pose him drawing it to fire. The arrow, on the other hand, is ridiculously large and chunky, and he can’t hold it all that well. And since there’s no way to have him wear the bow on his back, nor is there a quiver for his arrow, I doubt I’ll be getting much use out of these.

Thankfully he also comes with his sword and shield, and these are much better accessories! The shield is smaller than I’m used to seeing him carry in the comics, but it still has a variation of his triskelion pattern printed in orange on the front. The reverse makes use of one of those clip-peg combos that we’re used to seeing on the Captain America shields and it works well for attaching it ot his arm, but there’s no hole in his back for him to wear it, so they may have just been reusing that piece for cost or convenience.

The sword is a modern looking piece of cutlery with an orange stripe on the blade, which not only matches the accents on his outfit but maybe nods back to Taskmaster’s laser sword. He can hold it very well, but like the shield, there’s nowhere for him to wear it on his person when it isn’t being used. And that all sums up my biggest problem with this figure is that none of his gear can attach to him. A hole for the shield on his back and a loop for the sword would have gone a long way. Maybe those GI JOE Classified figures have spoiled me. Speaking of which, I think this figure would make a great mercenary to add to the GI JOE Classified shelf.

This figure looks great and it went a long way to sell me on the MCU Taskmaster design. That’s no small accomplishment, since the Hot Toys figure didn’t manage to do it. Or maybe I like it enough to have it represented in a $20 figure, but not enough for a $220 figure. Either way, I think Hasbro did a great job with the sculpt and paint, but I wish they had made the figure a little more accessory friendly. Sure, that may be a design element carried from the film, but since I haven’t seen the movie yet, I can only blame the toy for now. Otherwise, I dig him a lot. Next week, I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at the final boxed figure and the Crimson Dynamo Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Crimson Dynamo Wave): Black Widow by Hasbro

Welcome back to another Marvel Monday! Last week I began my trek through the fairly recent Crimson Dynamo Wave with a look at a very comic-based Crossbones and today I’m going to tackle the first of the figures from the upcoming Black Widow movie. And hell, let’s just go with Natasha Romanov herself. Fun fact, whenever I see her final scene in Endgame I always manage to get something stuck in my eye. Weird.

Hasbro did some pretty cool and stylish art for the boxes on this wave and I whole heartedly approve. And I’ll confess that as I’m tearing open this lovely box, I’m thinking about how strange it will be watching a flashback MCU movie where we know the character is dead. Well, I guess at least we know she won’t get killed in this one, eh? I honestly liked Natasha’s heroic end, but it just drives the point home for me that this movie should have happened a long time ago.

And here she is and while you might think I’d be sick and tired of another MCU Black Widow figure, truth be told… I really dig this one! I didn’t pay much attention to the first solicitation shots, but now that she’s in hand I think that this outfit design is a fantastic blend of comic and film. Imagine my surprise to find that she’s actually almost a complete repaint of the Deluxe Black Widow that I reviewed back in April. Going from all white to this new deco makes for a big change. The costume also eschews the all black look that Natasha usually favors for a gray and black mix, which makes for a far more interesting look. The bulk of the black and gray has a matte finish with some high gloss reserved for the boots and the shoulder armor pieces. She still has that piping running down the front from the earlier outfits but the two-tone deco makes them pop a lot more. And speaking of pop, the gold paint on her belt and her Black Widow Bite bracers really transforms this figure into something special. Her belt is cast in soft plastic and includes holsters for her pistols with retaining straps around her thighs.

And from the back we can see Black WIdow is sporting a hardshell backpack with slots to store her batons. I do love a figure that can wear all her accessories! So what was changed from the previous figure? Mostly the upper torso, which was re-sculpted to give her the backpack and also that padding up by her neckline. They also reworked the buckle on her belt making it a little more prominent.

I’m sure I said this the last time we checked out an MCU Black Widow, but Hasbro has come a long way when it comes to sculpting Scar-Jo’s likeness. I seem to recall the original effort being a little rough, but this one is quite possibly their best. Yes, it seems to be the same as the Deluxe figure, at least the hair sculpt is identical. There are some differences in the face, but that might just be variances and not a whole new sculpt. It’s hard to tell. Either way, it really captures her lips and nose and the printing used for her eyes and the rest of the features is solid. Here’ she’s sporting a coif that is a little closer to her original Avengers look than we’ve seen in a while and I do like it a lot.

When it comes to articulation, we pretty much know what to expect from the ladies. And while the poseabilty here is great, I am not a fan of these elbow joints. Yeah, I usually bitch about Hasbro’s refusal to give the gals double-hinged elbows, but in this case I’m actually referring to these weird elbow hinges that stick out the back. I think I first noticed these on one of the Spider-Woman figures. Otherwise, her arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and pegged hinges for the wrists, which can swap out between fists and accessory hands. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint under her chest and her neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

As mentioned, Black Widow comes with a set of batons, which can store in her backpack. These are really simple accessories and there’s really not much I can say about them. They’re sculpted in really soft plastic, which makes them very bendy and as such they don’t always look that convincing in her hands. But hey, in fairness I don’t think there’s much else Hasbro could do with these at this scale.

In addition to her beat-down sticks, Natasha comes with her dual Glock 26S automatics. These are tiny little guns and can fit snugly into the holsters. I have mixed results with getting her to hold them straight. Her right hand seems to work better with them than her left, which always seems to want to practice trigger discipline. But all in all, these are pretty nice sculpts for such small accessories. Remember that one Black Widow figure where her guns were sculpted into her holsters. Yeah… that sucked.

And so my hat goes off to Hasbro for producing yet another Black Widow figure and still keeping my interest high. I just love everything about the look of this femme fatale. The costume redesign lends itself well to an action figure and the gold just totally sells it. And while I thought her white costume was a nice change, I think this one just brings out all the detail so much better. Will this be the last MCU based Black Widow figure we ever get in the Legends line? Well, if so at least she’s going out on a high note.

Marvel Legends (M’Baku Wave): Ulysses Klaue by Hasbro

Last time on Marvel Monday, I started out saying that I was going to complete a review of the remaining figures in the Banner Hulk Wave, but by the end of the review I committed to having a look at Ulysses Klaue from the M’Baku Wave. Wow, way to undercut myself! Well, since I don’t want to make myself out to be a liar, at least not over something like this, let’s go ahead and check out Klaue from Black Panther! 

The M’Baku Wave almost passed me by completely. The only figures I found at retail were Killmonger and Klaue, which was a spot of luck because it was those two that I wanted the most. Will I ever double back to complete this Build-A-Figure? Who knows, maybe someday. There are some pretty solid figures in this wave, but I haven’t checked to see what they’re going for these days on the second-hand market. Klaue comes in the movie-branded package and with the huge torso for the M’Baku BAF. And since Killmonger didn’t come with a BAF part, this is actually my first piece  to build the figure.

Introduced in Age of Ultron, I was thrilled to see Klaue come back for Black Panther and not so thrilled to see him killed off. I think this may be the first time I saw Andy Serkis as a straight up actor rather than giving life to a CG character. Either way, I absolutely love his portrayal of Klaue in both movies. He was so bat-shit crazy and looked like he was having a great time being a bastard. But boy do I have mixed feelings about this figure! The body is pretty straight forward. Klaue is wearing glossy black boots, blue trousers, a white shirt with rolled up sleeves, and a blue and gray vest. So he’s basically wearing a suit, but has discarded the jacket. He’s got a sculpted pale blue tie and his collar is unbuttoned and disheveled. The issues I have here are basically in the torso. The vest is layered onto the figure in soft plastic so it looks kind of bulky. Maybe they did this to preserve torso articulation, but I think sculpting it as part of the figure might have worked better. And speaking of sculpt, the collar and tie just look bad. It’s a rough sculpt and the paint is sloppy. It almost looks like when someone without a lot of sills uses sculpey on a figure to do a custom. I do, however, appreciate that they printed all his tatts on his right arm and they even sculpted his watch!

Thankfully things look up when we get to the head sculpt. Serkis obviously had fun playing this role and he really hammed it up. I think Hasbro captured a lot of that in this crazy portrait. The likeness is definitely there and he’s all banged up with a bloody cut on his forehead and dirt and bruises on his face. The paint and sculpt on his teeth are especially well done. The printed detail on his beard looks terrible and splotchy when viewed up close with the camera, but it really does look fine when the figure is in hand and viewed with the naked eye.

The articulation takes some detours from what I’m used to seeing in my male Legends, although It’s business as usual from the waist down. I can’t speak to what’s going on under that vest, but it feels like it’s probably a ball joint. The double hinges that we usually see in the elbows have been replaced with rotating hinges, although he still has the usual bicep swivels. Part of the reason for the change in elbows is probably because of the rolled up sleeves, but the other is to accommodate the gimmick on his left arm.

His left forearm can be replaced with one that shows his prosthetic arm split open and revealing his sonic weapon. Anyone who happened to see Black Panther without seeing Age of Ultron, and wasn’t familiar with the comic character, probably had no idea what the hell was up when Klaue opened his arm and started shooting this thing. It was such a cool scene in the film and Hasbro did a nice job recreating it here. The detail on the mechanism inside the arm is great and they even painted each individual emitter.

And as if a hidden sonic arm weapon wasn’t enough, Hasbro also gave Klaue an automatic pistol, which he can hold in his right hand. Sadly he does not have anywhere to put it when he’s not brandishing it.

Klaue is a figure of highs and lows. He loses a lot of points for the sloppy work on his collar and the bulky vest, but everything else is done exceptionally well, However, in the end, I think the good outweighs the bad here. Besides, I’m just really glad Hasbro made him, because after the first Black Panther inspired wave had come and gone, I would have bet against it ever getting him later on down the road. Now if only the MCU had kept him around for one more film. Oh well! Next week, I’ll get back on track to finishing up the Banner Hulk Wave and then maybe I can take a look at a boxed set.

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): Shuri by Hasbro

My last excursion into Marvel Legends (several Marvel Mondays ago) saw me randomly drew Beta Ray Bill from the Pile-O-Shame, and I decided that I might as well finish off that wave and open the remaining figures. Keep in mind, I’m not building the Hulk BAF (those parts went to my nephew), but I’d still like to put the rest of this assortment to bed, since it’s already pretty stale. And so today I’m checking out the Princess of Wakanda, Shuri from Infinity War!

Black Panther is a Marvel movie that I enjoy coming back to, but very rarely ever finish. The beginning of that flick (let’s say the first third or so) is easily it’s high point for me and I really dig the stuff between T’Challa and his deceased father, but by the time I get about halfway through it, it starts to lose me and the movie feels like it fizzles out. And the less said about the final battle the better. Sometimes, I’ll just finish it in multiple viewings, but it’s safe to say I’ve seen the first half of it a lot more times than the rest. With that having been said, Shuri was a fun character and I was glad she got some screen time in Infinity War and Endgame. I was irked that she was conspicuously absent from the Marvel Legends Black Panther-themed waves, but now all is forgiven.

And here she is looking fine in her Wakandan garb. The outfit is recreated with lots of sculpted detail and some very subtle texturing, which looks like some kind of advanced fabric weave. It’s so subtle that I really have to turn the figure around in the light to reveal it. I dig that! You also get some sculpted panel lines and some beautiful detail on the neck piece, shoulders, and chest. The deco is a mix of brown, tan, and glossy black along with some copper piping. Meanwhile the sculpted bicep bands are like a gun-metal gray. As always I appreciate the mix of gloss and matte finishes that Hasbro often does with these MCU costumes.

Shuri also sports a sculpted plastic sash around her waist, which drops down behind her legs. It’s textured like fabric with some sculpted stitch lines and a very fine frayed edge along the bottom. It’s meant to be held on by a sculpted belt-buckle looking device colored to match her arm bands. As much as I love the look of this waist garment, it does unfortunately impede her leg articulation.

Generally speaking, Hasbro’s MCU likenesses have been excellent and I think that’s the case here as well. It’s certainly recognizable to me as Letitia Wright. She has some sharply placed dotted face paint, and the hair sculpt is extremely well done, especially the patterns on the back of her neck.

Getting back to articulation, Shuri’s is pretty solid, with a couple of my usual nitpicks. The arms have the standard rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, but she’s a gal and we all know Hasbro only gives the ladies rotating hinges in the elbows, instead of the double-hinged elbow with bicep swivels that the dudes get. Shuri also has those weird elbow hinges that kind of stick out when the arms are bent at their 90-degree extremes. The rest is fine, though. She has ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. She has a ball joint under her chest and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Shuri comes with her vibranium gauntlets, which clip onto her wrists. They hold on very well, but I think it would have been cool to have these swap out with her hands to make them fully enclose her forearms. Either way, the sculpts look great and they each have some translucent blue energy crackling from the ends.

Shuri is a great little figure and I’m so very glad we finally got her in the Legends format. Hasbro did quite a beautiful job on the her, but that’s par for the course with pretty much all of their Black Panther figures. Heck, adding her to my collection makes me want to double back and finish off that M’Baku Wave. And speaking of which, while I did say that I’ll be finishing up the rest of this wave, I think next week I’ll detour back to the M’Baku Wave so that I can finally open Ulysses Klaue.

Spider-Man Homecoming: Quarter-Scale Spider-Man by NECA

I decided to spend one more Marvel Monday on something else before returning to my Marvel Legends backlog, and today we’re going BIG! I love NECA’s Quarter-Scale figures, but they don’t love me back. Or more accurately, they don’t respect my available space. These figures are often amazing, but they need so much room to display, and that’s something that’s in constant short supply in the toy warehouse that I call a home. And so I swore off collecting this line a while back, and I probably swore it off again two or three more times since. I was good for a while, but then I found an amazing deal on the Quarter-Scale Homecoming Spider-Man and all bets were off. “Space be damned!” I shouted! “Get into my shopping cart, you magnificent wall-crawler!” And that brings us to today’s review!

These figures come in huge window boxes with lots of colorful artwork on the panels. They show off the figure very well, so if you’re buying one at a brick-and-mortar store you can really scrutinize the paint on the one your selecting. The packaging also does a great job of concealing the extras, which are trapped under a bubble inside the side panels of the inner tray. These are also the only aspect of the box that’s not collector friendly, but if you tear up the sides to get at them, it really doesn’t show and the figure will still display just fine in the box with the extra pieces rattling around on the bottom. And just to put the size of these Quarter-Scale figures into proper perspective, here’s a quick shot of this figure beside Hasbro’s 6-inch Marvel Legends Homecoming Spider-Man figure.

Yeah, he’s big! And with great size comes great heft. A lot of the so called “Big Figs” I have seen put out by other companies tend to be mostly hollow, but NECA’s are mostly solid chunks of plastic. As a result, this figure weighs a lot and feels so satisfyingly solid in hand. You could use it as a club and seriously hurt some. So please don’t do that!

It’s safe to say that I was a big fan of Homecoming, but even more so I absolutely loved the design of this suit. It manages to look fresh and new while still evoking a sense of the classic Spider-Man I know and love. Every bit of the figure’s surface is covered with a basketball-like texture, you get some raised panel lines in the blue sections, and the red sections have the sculpted and painted web pattern running throughout.  The black bands on the tops of the boots and the shoulders are sculpted, as are the black frames on his forearms that support his web shooters. I also absolutely love the detail in the black strips on his waist where he stores his extra cartridges of web fluid. The tiny sculpted spidey logo on his chest is the only thing I’m cool on when it comes to this design. I wish that was a bit bigger, but that’s not the figure’s fault. Happily, he does have a much bigger emblem on his back, which looks great in red against the blue background..

You get two head sculpts with the figure, one masked and one partially unmasked. I will mostly be displaying him with the masked head, but it’s nice to have options. The The masked head features regular wide open eyes and the unmasked has narrower eyes, but these are interchangeable between the two. You just plug them out of the head and peg them into the other. It’s not a huge difference, but I like that NECA incorporated that ability to swap them out.

While other companies are content to do their “Big Figs” with five points of articulation, and sometimes less, NECA really loads these things up. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double-hinges in the elbows, hinged pegs in the wrists, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have heavy ratchet joints in the hips to help Spidey stand in even wide stances, the knees have rotating hinges on top and an extra hinge below. There are no thigh swivels, but the upper knee joint and hip joints take care of that. The ankles have rotating hinges and the feet are hinged. There’s a well concealed swivel in the waist, a not-so-well concealed ab crunch hinge, and the neck has ball joints on the bottom where it meets the body and the top where it meets the head. In short, this guy may be big, but he’s loads of fun to play around with.

Spidey comes with a bunch of extra hands. Actually, these sets of hands pretty much account for nearly all his accessories. You get some relaxed hands, some hands with splayed fingers, some fists, some THWIP hands, and web-holding hands, which are basically fists with a hole running through the fingers. NECA did a beautiful job recreating the web-shooters on each of these hands.

The other accessories consist of two strands of webbing and these are the only disappointing thing about the figure. These thin wire-like strands are stiff with a frayed end. These are supposed to stick into the hole in the web shooter, but they don’t stay put very well at all. And even when they do there’s not a lot to do with them, so I only bothered to include one picture to show how it works. I think a better way to go here would have been have a pair of hands with a plastic web permanently attached. It’s not like this hefty boi was going to be swinging on webs anyway.

NECA’s Quarter-Scale figures tend to run from around $80 all the way up to $125, depending on where you look and how much in demand they are. I wound up getting Spider-Man for $75 and I even had a Gift Card, so he was basically free. These figures can be a real bitch to collect unless you have tons of space, but they’re a fantastic way to express your undying love for that one character you want showcased in your collection. I’ve had this fella sitting on the corner of my desk and he gets plenty of attention when visitors come round. The main reason I picked this one up was because I missed out on the Hot Toys version of this Spider-Man, so this big guy is kind of like a consolation prize for me. And not a bad one at that! He may not reach the levels of craftsmanship of a Hot Toys figure, but he sure makes a statement and he’s a lot more fun to play with. And as much as I love him, I am now once again swearing off buying any more of these. For reals this time. NO MORE!

Captain Marvel (Deluxe) Sixth-Scale Figure by Hot Toys

I’m really trying to commit to getting some of these Marvel Hot Toys figures reviewed on Marvel Mondays, but these take a lot more time than Legends reviews. Nonetheless, I was off this past weekend and a new Hot Toy arrived, so I thought I’d sneak this review into the mix for today. It was waaaaay back in February of 2019 that Hot Toys opened pre-orders for their Captain Marvel figure. I hit that pre-order button the day she went up and she just hit my doorstep this past Friday. Fifteen months later! Now, Hot Toys collecting has never been a game for those who lack patience, but that turn-around time was pretty ridiculous! Today I’ll be checking out the Deluxe version, which means there are a couple of extra accessories over the regular release.

The box art is very attractive, complete with a lenticular type front panel on the sleeve and shimmery letters. But it’s still just a flimsy window box with an equally flimsy sleeve. I’m sorry, but these figures are expensive and I don’t think the presentation is all it can be. And with rare exceptions, like Doctor Strange, it hasn’t been for a long while. Nonetheless, the figure comes in a plastic tray with a ton of extra bits and effect parts scattered around it. I should note that the February pre-order date meant that I bought this figure about a month before the Captain Marvel movie came out. And while I certainly didn’t hate the movie, I did think it was fairly disappointing. On a few occasions in the past, I’ve come out of Marvel movies buying the accompanying Hot Toys figures on my phone while walking to the car. Here, it kind of put a damper on this purchase. Still, in the end I absolutely loved the look of the costume, so I wasn’t about to cancel it. Besides, I wasn’t all that smitten with the Doctor Strange movie, and that remains one of my favorite Marvel Hot Toys figures in my collection. And in the end, when this figure showed up, I was still every bit as excited to check her out as I always am.

Carol comes out of the box with some plastic protectors her costume, but once that’s all removed she’s all ready to go! And damn, she does indeed look marvelous! The costume designers did such a beautiful job faithfully recreating her comic costume for the film, and likewise the wizards at Hot Toys did an equally impressive job creating it for this figure. The underlying suit is comprised of a super thin rubbery material, similar to what’s on my original Avengers Black Widow figure. But it’s also reinforced with plastic armor on the torso, shoulders, forearms, knees, and boots. What’s particularly impressive is how seamlessly they coexist, particularly the torso piece. It’s genuinely tough to tell where the armor ends and the flexible suit begins.

I just can’t say enough good things about how well the coloring on the costume turned out. It’s just pure eye candy. The blue and red have a sumptuously satin finish that pairs so well with the gold piping and trim. And I particularly love how the starburst on her chest turned out. Likewise, the stitching is immaculate and the suit is tailored so well that it looks like it’s practically painted onto the figure. And yes, that means it does hinder the articulation big time! I can get a decent range of motion out of her shoulders and elbows, but below the waist is limited because of how tight things are in the groin area. Even wide stances make me worried that I’m going to pop those stitches. When I get a figure like this, I tend to refer back to the official photos to see what the possibilities are and even those photos don’t go too far when it comes to dynamic leg movement.

While I’d be willing to say the costume is perfect, I can’t be quite that generous when it comes to the portrait. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful portrait and I can see a lot of Brie Larson in there, but I don’t think it’s one of their strongest likenesses. At some angles it’s great, but at others it’s a bit harder to see. I wasn’t all that satisfied with Ms. Larson in the role (although she grew on me a bit in Endgame), so this is one figure where I’m willing to be more forgiving on the likeness, maybe because it’s not as important to me. With all that having been said, the paintwork is as good as ever and the level of realism in the skin tone and the eyes is superb. As for the decision to go with sculpted hair, I think maybe they should have gone with rooted hair here. It’s kind of weird to stand her beside my other Marvel Hot Toys ladies, all of which have rooted hair, and see her plastic coif. Then again, I’ll likely be displaying her quite often with her masked head, which we’ll get to in a bit.

As a Hot Toys figure, you just know Carol comes with a lot of hands! Here you get fists, relaxed hands, a left STOP hand, and some gesturing hands. These are switched out in the usual manner by popping them off the ball joint, but since there’s a light up feature in her arms, the posts are fixed into the forearms. As a result, I find myself being extra careful swapping the hands. If the posts snap here, you’re pretty much shit out of luck. Each of the hands feature sculpted and painted red finger-less gloves with gold piping to match her forearm bracers.

And as mentioned earlier, in addition to the extra hands, you get an extra head. Using this one involves also swapping out the neck post from the bare neck to the covered one that goes with the mask. Her sculpted cowl covers all but the lower part of her face. There are all sorts of cut panel lines in the cowl as well as more of that pretty red and blue to match the rest of the uniform. Her mohawk sprouts from the top and is beautifully sculpted. And now it’s time to turn down the lights a little bit so we can enjoy some of the light up features, this figure has to offer.

The head features a swap-out mohawk, which is molded in translucent yellow plastic, and an electronic box inside the head, powered with three cell batteries. One of Hot Toys’ biggest stumbling blocks over the years has been making the electronic features of their figures more accessible. Here, it’s not too bad. Buy lifting off the head you get access to the on/off switch on the back of the box. A remote control would have been better, but I like that it can be done without even picking up the figure or taking her off her stand. The light up effect in the mohawk is very bright and it looks great, but it’s the eyes that really sell it here for me.

Carol also features a light up feature in her arms, which works in conjunction with a number of effect parts and a pair of arm bracers cast in brighter plastic to make them look like they’re channeling energy. Again, accessing the feature here isn’t too bad, and since you’ve got to swap out the fists anyway you’ll have access to the on/off buttons. First off, she has a pair of translucent fists, which light up brilliantly.

These can also be used with translucent blue energy effects that fit over the bracers. I’m not terribly impressed by these. The sculpts actually make them look more like foliage than energy. They kind of remind me of bigger versions of the effect parts you might find with a Marvel Legends figure. I doubt I will get much use out of these.

A much nicer effect are these energy fireballs, which snap on in place of the fists. I love the swirling sculpt on these and they’re cast in a mix of clear and yellow plastic, and if you look closely you can see that they sculpted the translucent blue fists in the center of them.  These are easily my favorite effect parts that come with the figure, and I think they look cool enough even without the lights, that I would consider sometimes displaying her with these on.

Finally, she comes with two huge mega-beams, which also attach in place of fists. I only attached one for the photos because the two of them make her top heavy and I’m not too keen on these either. The light up feature on these works well, but they’re kind of ridiculous. They’re basically hollow tubes of blasting energy. I don’t recall these being listed in the solicitation pictures so they were a total surprise to me. They definitely add value to the box, because they use a hell of a lot of plastic, but I just don’t think the effect works all that well. OK, let’s turn the lights back up and check out the accessories that are exclusive to the Deluxe version.

The first of the two Deluxe accessories is her leather bomber jacket, which fits right over her costume and is surprisingly easy to put on. The only thing to watch out for here is her sculpted hair, as the ends can be a little sharp and I can imagine it damaging the jacket if you aren’t careful, especially when turning her head. I also remove her arm bracers when she’s wearing the jacket, as it just makes it easier to put on. The jacket is a beautiful little garment and tailored to fit perfectly. It’s got soft elastic material around the lower edge and the wrist cuffs, a large patch on the back, a name patch on the front left of her chest, and an American flag patch on the left shoulder. I think this looks fabulous on the figure, and I’ll likely be displaying her with it when I’m using the unmasked head.

The other Deluxe accessory is Goose the Flerken! To know me is to know that I’m a cat lover and I’m very happy that Goose got a figure of his own. It’s an adorable little static figure that features some great attention to detail, like the collar and name tag, and some good coloring, but Hot Toys had better not quit their day job of sculpting human likenesses. The painted details on the face here look almost cartoonish and I get no sense of realism from any aspect of this little guy. I’m still happy to display him with the figure, but if you’re considering getting the Deluxe for Goose, I’d take this into consideration before spending a lot.

And our last stop on this review is the figure stand. The base remains the same seven-sided platform that Hot Toys has been using for Marvel for a little while now. The surface has a colorful illustration of the movie logo along with the starburst from Carol’s chest piece. I’m usually fine with them leaving the base plain black, but I’ll confess I do like the colors here a lot. The name plate also stands out, and they go with the name Carol Danvers instead of as Spider-Man would say, her made-up name. Instead of the usual plastic post and crotch-cradle, the stand here is a thick flexible tube with a clamp that grabs the figure’s waist. It can be adjusted up or down so that she can be displayed standing or hovering.

While I’ve had some nitpicks along the way, I have to say I’m extremely pleased with how this figure turned out. And despite not being a huge fan of the movie, I’m still just as excited as ever to put Captain Marvel on my shelf. This is just one of those figures that pops out at me even among all the other colorful Marvel characters in my Hot Toys display. And at about $260, this figure feels like one of the better values I’ve had in a Hot Toys lately. Besides the amazing work they did on the costume, you get a second portrait, light up effects in the head and arms, four sets of effect parts, the bomber jacket, and a Flerken. And yeah, Goose didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped, but if I remember correctly, they the Jones figure that got bundled with Aliens Ripley didn’t turn out so hot either. Maybe Hot Toys just has problems with cats.

Marvel Legends: Deluxe Black Widow by Hasbro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): War Machine by Hasbro

I’ve had a week off, but now I’m back to work and feeling a bit salty about it. Thank God for Marvel Mondays, because opening a new Marvel Legends figure is like applying a soothing balm to the beginning of the work week. After a long run of X-Men and a couple of Deluxe Riders, I decided to go full random today (for reals!) and I dipped my grubby claw (complete with Infinity Gauntlet Oven Mitt) into the unopened pile of despair that clutters my Toy Closet. Oh look, I came up with War Machine from Avengers: Endgame. Cool!

I first visited with this wave way back in November when I opened up Pepper Potts in the RESCUE Armor, but I haven’t been back to it since. I’m not actively building this BAF, so I’ve been giving the parts to my nephew. Unfortunately for him, War Machine doesn’t come with any. And yeah, this wave is a bit of a mixed bag and lacks the kind of focus I would have liked to see in the wake of Endgame, but Hasbro seems to be getting to everyone eventually if not all in the same wave. As for the armor, I’ll confess to being really confused. Rhodey got hit hard during Thanos’ attack on Avengers HQ and came back in the Iron Patriot armor? I think that’s right. But then where does this suit come in? I really need to re-watch that movie. Either way, the suit got a major overhaul for Endgame and since I feel like I didn’t get a good enough look at it in the movie, I’m excited to check out this figure.

To borrow a phrase from Tony Stark, War Machine has been juicing or something because he’s gone and got himself all kinds of swole! Oh, and I absolutely love it. This is what War Machine ought to be about. A powerful, lumbering machine of… well, WAR GODDAMMIT! But besides filling out his silhouette, the design looks so damn sexy. Proportionally, this new suit throws a lot more weight into the lower arms and legs, making it look like a powerhouse. And there’s so much gorgeous detail on this guy. The chest features those two blade-like silver slashes accenting rectangular painted red lights, which serve to give the suit a wonderfully aggressive attitude. You get some circular silver hatches below that as well as some vents, which gives him a strong mech vibe. There are also all sorts of panel lines and bits and bobs sculpted into the back. I’ll note here how much I love the plastic they used for this figure. It’s thick and chalky and heavy. It just feels so solid!

The head-sculpt follows the more substantial feel of the rest of the suit, by having almost no neck, or rather the neck is well concealed behind blocks on either side of the head. Extra panel lines in the face plate give it a reinforced feel, and there’s a Y-shaped recess connecting the chin and the “mouth.” The new suit retains some of the markings that Rhodey’s had on previous suits, in this case incorporating the military-style stars and chevron tampo on the left shoulder plate, and the 006 on the left side of his chest. If I have one gripe, it’s the sticker they used for the arc reactor, it looks rather bland and unconvincing. Articulation actually retains most of the usual Legends points. The big exception here is no double-hinges in the elbows and I guess that’s understandable. I am happy to see the shoulder armor flips up to allow for better range of shoulder movement.

The post on the right shoulder features a ball joint to mount the rather imposing cannon. There’s no half-assed retracted mode, and I get the feeling that this is a suit that just keeps it deployed most of the time. It dwarfs the shoulder cannon from the previous suits and I dig the ball joint, as it gives it a lot more stability and fluid movement than the old hinged ones. Hasbro also hit it with some red paint apps on the front, and that goes a long way.

And when a shoulder cannon just isn’t enough to get the job done, arm cannons, which peg into holes under the forearms, can be deployed. These are almost ridiculously large.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but I’m coming out totally in love with this figure. The new design is just so imposing and awesome, and Hasbro translated that into an impressive hunk of 6-inch action figure. Everything about this figure puts the older suit to shame, and about the only thing I can complain about is that it didn’t come with a Rhodey head. Sure you get a couple of big guns, but I feel like the unmasked head should have been a no-brainer. I’m keen on picking up the Iron Patriot version, but I have yet to see it at retail and I fear my window may have closed on that one. It might be time to start considering paying a little extra and getting it online. And to be honest, with how great this one turned out, I think it might be worth it.