Today I’m checking out the penultimate figure in the Marvel Legends Armadillo Wave, and I very nearly skipped it. Since I’m pulling back on Marvel Legends, I have been asking myself, why bother reviewing an entire wave if you aren’t buying everything anymore anyway? But in the end, I decided that if I bought all the figures in a wave, I might as well check them all out here. And that brings us to Black & Gold Suit Spider-Man.
There was a lot of speculation about this suit when it was first revealed. It seemed to have mystical glyphs imprinted in the material and the gauntlets had a certain Strange-ness about them, if ya know what I mean. A lot of these details can be seen in Hot Toys’ Sixth-Scale version. But in the end it was all a big nothing, and it turned out to be just the regular suit turned inside out because Peter Parker got paint on it. Yeah. I kind of wish they had the balls to just put Inside Out Suit on the package. Black & Gold Suit just sounds like he’s trying to make a fashion statement.
Just to recap, all the way back to my review of the Integrated Suit, I really didn’t like that design, but the figure came close to selling it to me. You could say the same about this suit and the Hot Toys figure, but in the case of this Legends figure, well, it’s just a load of crap that makes a bad design look even worse. The black suit with gold webbing might have worked for me if the webbing was consistent throughout, and it didn’t have those red bits on the sleeves. Now, this comes down to a design inconsistency, where the Hot Toys figure shows some beautifully intricate gold on the forearms, which I presume is the exposed circuitry inside the suit when it’s worn normally. Here you just get the out of place red bits that look terrible. Why the difference? Who knows? Who cares!
The paint on the head is really bad. At least the gold webbing on the rest of the figure is fairly well done. It has a nice gold leaf finish and most of the lines are pretty sharp. The gold webbing on the head looks like it was done with a crayon before slapping the figure into the box. There’s also a lot of sloppy spray around the white eye lenses. Yuck!
You get all the usual articulation in the modern Spidey bucks, and that includes the lateral butterfly joints on the shoulders. It may be ugly, but it’s still a pretty fun figure to play around with.
Hey, let’s talk hands… because I have to gripe about hands in EVERY review throughout this wave. Nope, still no crawling hands, but you do get thwippy hands and fists. No wait… not fists. Accessory holding hands. WHAT?? WHY??? Is it so he can hold on to the webbing he doesn’t come with and swing? How is it possible they made the hand selection EVEN WORSE?!?
Wow, do I hate this figure. In all honesty, the inside out suit gag in No Way Home was kind of funny and a very Peter Parker thing to have to do. Almost as bad as having to throw on a Fantastic Four suit and run home barefoot with a bag on your head. But this figure is just trash. Hot Toys is proof positive that something could be done with the design to make an attractive figure, and yes, I do understand that we’re talking about a big difference in cost between that one and this one. But even for what it is, this figure just looks sloppy and half-assed. Next week, I’ll wrap up the boxed figures with Miles Morales, and we’ll check out the Armadillo Build-A-Figure!
Yup, last week was another truncated week for content, and with a hurricane bearing down on my general location later this week, I’m not going to make any promises. But, I’m here today and it’s another Marvel Monday, and I’m pressing on with the Armadillo Wave of Marvel Legends!
Oh, look! It’s another Doctor Strange! When I saw this figure turn up in this wave, I truly knew what action figure fatigue felt like. We had the What If? version of him in the very last assortment I reviewed and here’s yet another version. Even if you’re only counting the MCU versions of the character, we’ve seen a handful of Stranges in recent years. I even skipped the Multiverse of Madness wave completely. Indeed, I was all ready to just skip reviewing this figure out of sheer boredom, but then I had a look at him, and I had to begrudgingly admit he’s the best Legends Strange we’ve had yet. But I’m still not going to spend a lot of time on him.
As the package suggests, this is Strange as he appeared in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and while his costume still hits most of the beats that it did since Strange was introduced in his own flick, it has been tweaked here and there to become what we’re looking at today, but it’s not so much all those nips and tucks to the costume that make this figure my favorite version so far, but rather the crisp and clean sculpt and coloring that makes it work so well. The blue plastic tunic is more refined, and I love the sculpted pleats that converge down the center of his chest. The network of belts are particularly well done here, with some excellent texturing and some sharp detail in the fixtures and the Sling Ring. Alas, the tunic has no slits in the sides and as such in severely inhibits his leg articulation, and thereby inhibits a lot of the fun of the figure.
The Cloak of Levitation looks great, but it’s pretty close to what we got in the First Ten Years Infinity War set. This one seems to be blowing a bit more to the left hand side, rather than being more centered. Still, it looks more like a new sculpt than a re-sculpt. It only has a lick of gold paint on the fixtures by the collar, and the sculpted tailoring on the back of the Cloak is a little soft, but I dig the texture work on the interior. The Cloak secures fairly well on the neck and shoulders and pegs into the figure’s back for a little extra stability. The red plastic of the cape really compliments the blue and brown of the rest of the costume. I will say, however, that it would have been nice to get just one Strange with a softgoods Cloak with a wire in it. The Cloak is practically its own character. It deserved softgoods at least once.
The portrait here is also the best we’ve seen, both in terms of Cumberbatch likeness and overall sculpt and execution. The figure from the original film was fine for the time, but looks a spot too generic to me now, and the First Ten Years box release is also good, but maybe a bit too much caricature in it, compared to his one. That’s it! This one is great, Hasbro… You can stop now! No more Cumberbatches… please!
You get a new Eye of Agamotto hanging around Strange’s neck. It looks nice, but I prefer the one that came with the last release. It was a little less chunky. Wait, didn’t this contain the Time Stone in the MCU? Did he still wear it in No Way Home? Was it just an empty shell? I can’t even remember. These movies are starting to blur together.
And now it’s time to bitch about hands again, because apparently I have a real hand fixation with this wave. Once again, we get a pretty useless set of accessory holding hands with Strange, and I’ll point out yet again that we didn’t get any splayed finger wall-crawling hands with Integrated Suit Spidey. Strange’s stock hands are OK for spellcasting, but if we’re getting a second pair, give him those two finger extended hands that he uses to trace his spells with, not hands for holding accessories he doesn’t come with. Alls I’m saying is Hasbro should have shifted that little bit of hand budget over Spider-Man’s way.
He does come with a set of hands that are permanently attached to some magic effect parts, and these are pretty cool. They’re a huge step up from the clumsy grab-bar we got on the magic discs bundled with the previous Stranges. I like the rough edges, and the sculpted inscriptions look really nice.
It’s a real tribute to how great this figure turned out, that I didn’t just post a couple of pictures and write: “Here’s another Marvel Legends MCU Doctor Strange. I can’t even. The End.” So, kudos for that, Hasbro. But I’m seriously done with buying Cumberbatch Stranges in the Marvel Legends line. It’s enough. You’ve given us the definitive version and I would appreciate not having any future BAF parts locked away behind any more Cumberbatch purchases. Thank You and Good Day!
Welcome back to another Marvel Monday! This week, I’m kicking off a brand new wave, and by that I really mean an older wave that’s on my backlog pile. The Armadillo Wave is a smattering of Spider-Man based figures covering everything from the MCU films, comics, and even the GamerVerse! I’d say only about two-thirds of this assortment really interested me, but the Armadillo Build-A-Figure was enough to tip me over to getting the whole wave. Let’s start today with Spider-Man in his Integrated Suit as he appeared in No Way Home, and then J. Jonah Jameson!
I re-watched No Way Home a couple of weeks back and I still really dig that movie a lot. Indeed, as sad as I am to say it, right now these Sony-Disney efforts are about the only thing holding my attention toward the MCU these days. Integrated Suit Spider-Man does not come with any BAF parts, but I’m guessing Hasbro figured this one would be the most desirable one in the wave and that he’d have no problem selling on his own.
The Integrated Suit is basically a merged version of both the Iron-Spider and Upgraded Suit, and the design is definitely not one of my favorites. I tend to like my Spidey suits red and blue and vibrant, although the straight-up Iron-Spider Suit was spiffy enough to get my approval. This one takes the black and red from the upgraded Suit and adds some gold trim and a gold spider emblem on the chest and back, as well as gold web-shooters. The gold does spruce up the Upgraded Suit design, but I still think this whole design is just a mess. Of course, none of that is the figure’s fault, and to be fair, I think Hasbro did a pretty nice job with what they had to work with. The paint here is very sharp, and the texturing on the red parts of the suit looks fantastic. I do, however, think a little wash or panel lining in the web pattern would have looked nice.
You get only one portrait, which feels kind of cheap given the lack of a BAF part. Hasbro has enough Tom Holland heads by now that they really should have thrown one in here. And if not an unmasked head, than maybe a second masked head with squinting eyes.
The articulation is everything I expect from my Spidey Legends these days, which means it has all the usual points plus the shoulder crunches. You won’t get some of the extreme poses you will out of the more expensive imports, but I still had a whole bunch of fun playing around with this figure, and he’ll likely spend some time on my desk so I have something to fiddle around with on my down time.
You get two sets of hands: Fists and thwippy hands, and once again here the figure comes up short. With no BAF part and no extra head, the least Hasbro could have done was throw in the splayed finger hands we’ve seen with some previous Spidey Legends releases. I think this wave came out before the big price hike, but with Legends now approaching $30 each, I’m going to need more to get me to keep going even as a selective buyer.
Overall, I think this is a decent figure, it’s just based on a suit design that I’m not terrifically fond of. Still, if anything I think the design works better as a toy than on the big screen and Hasbro did a decent job making me like it a little more here. An extra head, another pair of hands, and a little linework on the web pattern, and I’d have no other complaints. Still, even with no BAF part, I’m glad I picked him up. Let’s move on to J.J. Jameson!
OK, so I absolutely lost my shit when I saw that post-credits stinger at the end of Far From Home with J.K. Simmons reprising his role as J. Jonah, and again in No Way Home. Say what you will about the Raimi Spider-Man movies, and I am most definitely still a fan, but Simmons as Jameson was pitch-perfect casting. It was inspired. Still, this figure is something of a consolation prize, because I would have much rather had younger, newspaperman Jameson from those films as a modern Legends figure. But hey, I’ll take what I can get, and I still think this figure is a real treat. This looks to be mostly a reuse of the business-suit body that we’ve seen in the past with characters like Agent Coulson and Chameleon, but the lack of tie puts it a lot closer to the Bruce Banner figure we got in the Age of Ultron 4-pack. The key difference is Jameson here has one button of the sports jacket buttoned. I don’t remember seeing that on a previous suited figure, so it may be some new sculpting there, or just recycled from a figure I missed. The suit is blue, the underlying shirt is white, and he’s got a freshly polished pair of black shoes. Yup, this was a pretty easy figure for Hasbro to knock out, and as such I don’t have a whole lot to say about it.
The two portraits are really spot on for a contemporary Simmons. And even without the full head of hair and the trademark silver wing tips, this is still J. Jonah through and through. The sculpt does a beautiful job of recreating every line in his face, both in the relatively calm portrait and the angry shouty one. And let’s be honest, who among us is going to display this figure without the shouty face?
You get two sets of hands, the first of which are relaxed hands. Well, I say relaxed hands, but they really aren’t. They’re actually more like flat karate chop hands, and they don’t really fit this figure unless you want to have Jameson doing the robot at the Daily Bugle’s annual Christmas party. And honestly, I just don’t think that’s his style. A pair of actual relaxed hands would have been more welcome here, and we all know Hasbro has done them before, so it’s odd they went with these instead.
Now, the second pair is more his type. You get a pointing finger on his right hand and a left hand that is clenched into a tight fist of righteous anger. Combine these with the shouty head, and you’ve got all you’ll ever need!
As I stand with one foot ready to step outside the Marvel Legends collecting circle, figures like these give me hope that maybe I’m not quite done yet. Jameson surely isn’t the most exciting figure around and he isn’t the version of Simmons/Jameson that I really wanted, BUT… I love him, and I love that Hasbro gave him to us. Likewise, the Integrated Suit ranks pretty far down on my list of Spider-Man’s MCU suits, and yet I can still find some fun and joy in this figure. Off the top of my head, I honestly couldn’t tell you what other figures are in this wave, so it’ll be a surprise when I dive into the box to get my next figure to review, but so far the assortment is off to a pretty OK start.
Welcome back to another Marvel Monday. This time, I’m wrapping up my look at the boxed figures in the What If? inspired Watcher Wave with Strange Supreme! Like a lot of figures in this assortment, this is one that I wasn’t particularly excited about, but as we’ll see it surprised me in some ways. Let’s jump right in!
I really tried to go through and again try to watch each episode before reviewing the corresponding figure, but in this case I just didn’t make it far at all. These Disney+ Marvel shows haven’t been able to grab me enough to invest the time, and that trend doesn’t seem to be changing, as I barely made it fifteen minutes into the first episode of She-Hulk, before I seriously asked myself, “Why am I watching this?” and noped out of it. Anyway, the idea here, as I understand it, is that Strange crosses the line between good and evil in order to save Christine Palmer and we get a very sinister version of Strange corrupted by the dark magics.
And here’s another example of me not having to be invested in the source material to really like a figure, because this guy is all sorts of awesome. I’ve been really fixated on the beautiful colors in this wave (except for you, Sylvie), and I’m impressed at how they’ve managed to keep that going even in a figure that is supposed to be all kinds of grimdark. I’m sure the temptation was to go with a lot of dark colors, but even evil Doctor Strange has a costume that just pops beautifully with some blues, purples, reds, golds, and even some orange!
The sculpt here is excellent, and I particularly dig the sculpted tunic, which looks a bit like a tabard that a Templar might have worn, complete with a sculpted emblem on the front. If you get in real close, you can see it even has a cloth like texture. There’s also a lot of detail in the complex system of belts cinched around his waist. My only gripe here is that I wish each of these were painted instead of left the same color as the tunic. It looks kind of unfinished the way it is.
The cloak is really the showpiece of this figure. It pegs into the back and rests on the shoulders for a decent fit, and I love the way it billows out and practically frames the figure itself. The outside is black while the inside is a very regal high-gloss purple, with some gold trim and a network of gold striping running throughout. It looks fantastic!
The portrait is pretty stylized, reflecting the art direction of the show, but I still wouldn’t have a problem putting this figure on any of my comic-based Legends shelves. As with the cartoon design, the likeness is clearly based on Cumberbatch, but with a bit more severity to the facial features, making him look all the more sinister. The hair sculpt is really good, with a couple of stray swirls spilling over his forehead, and the beard is well defined and neatly painted. The eyes make use of half-tone printing and the dark patches under them add to his more sinister nature. And once again, the cloak just does a beautiful job of framing the portrait. Unfortunately, there’s a patch of mold flashing or something just above my figure’s left ear, which I’m hoping will clean up.
While Strange looks amazing, I have to report that he’s not all that fun to play around with. Sure, he has all the usual points of Legends articulation, but his plastic tunic really hinders all those points in the lower legs. As a result, I felt a little limited on what I could do with him. He does have full range of movement in the arms, even with the cloak on, and his hands are sculpted in a spell-slinging fashion.
Strange comes with one accessory, and that’s an extra right hand with a permanently attached magic effect part. I’m pretty sure this is recycled from the Infinity War boxed set that came with Iron Man, Strange, and Thanos, or at least sure enough that I’m not going to digging through boxes to find it and do a comparison. I’ve got no problem with Hasbro reusing this part, as we’ve only seen it once before, it’s a very nice piece, and it really does look fantastic on this figure.
Strange Supreme is a beautiful figure, but he’s not going to be spending a lot of time on my desk before getting placed onto the display shelves. That honor is reserved to figures that I enjoy fiddling with and posing in my downtime. Nope, this one is more of a looker than a poser, and that’s fine, especially when he displays as well as he does. I didn’t expect to really like a lot of figures in this assortment, but most of them surprised me in the end, and Strange Supreme is definitely one of those! And now that I have the final piece I need for The Watcher BAF, we’ll wrap things up next week with a look at that figure!
I’ve got just two more figures left to open in this What If? inspired assortment before I can finally build The Watcher BAF. I would have been happy to pair them up, but Sylvie doesn’t really have much connection to the What If? Doctor Strange, so I guess I’ll take them each in turn. I’m going with Sylvie first, because I have little to no interest in this figure, and I didn’t want to end the wave on a downer.
Which one of these is not like the other? It’s Sylvie! She hails from the LOKI Disney+ series and not from What If? like the rest of these figures. Now, in fairness, I didn’t particularly enjoy What If? but at least I was able to sit through most of it. I bailed on the LOKI series somewhere into the second or third episode, I honestly can’t remember which. Even though I absolutely adored Hiddleston as Loki in the MCU flicks, giving him his own series seemed like a really strange idea, and from what I watched of it, it seemed to undo a lot about what made him a cool character in the first place. Yeah, Disney has been all about deconstructing a number of their MCU heroes lately, and it’s a big part of why so little about it all interests me any more.
You can sure tell that Sylvie isn’t part of this wave’s running theme, since all the pretty bright colors are gone and we just get dark colors with a bit of two-tone green on the cloak to spruce things up. Still, given the source material, I think this is a pretty solid representation. The detail in the body suit sculpt is somewhat soft, with the laces on the boots looking a lot sharper, and there isn’t much else going on with the costume sculpt. I really like the look of the cloak’s fit, but as expected it completely hinders the articulation of the upper body, and even a bit in the legs, so I’m going to cast it off. The problem is once it’s gone, so goes what is the best looking thing about the figure to me.
Well, you still have the head, which I think is an excellent sculpt with a decent likeness to the actress playing Sylvie in the series. I’m not familiar with her from anything else, but I like what they did here. The hair piece has lots of different sculpted strands, which offers plenty of dynamic depth to the portrait, and her horned tiara has one broken horn. I think the man-bun is a little weird, but I’ll blame that on the show’s character design and not the figure. The halftone printing for facial features looks great. Hasbro generally has a lot of success with these MCU portraits lately, and Sylvie here is certainly no exception.
Of course, we’re back to the standard female Legends articulation with rotating hinges in the elbows and no bicep swivels. Everything else is standard stuff. Unfortunately, my figure has a terrible pull to the swivel joint at the top of her right boot, leaving a bad gap. I get these joint gaps from time to time, but they are usually in one of the bicep swivels. Either way, it’s a real bummer, but I guess if it had to happen in this wave, I’m lucky it was on the figure I care the least about. Sylvie comes with two sets of hands: One pair for holding her accessory, and the other pair includes a right fist and a left hand with splayed fingers.
The accessory is a really cool short sword. I don’t remember this from the series, but like I said, I only watched a couple of episodes. It has a falchion-like design with an ornate golden hilt and a green blade that absolutely pops as if it’s being illuminated. It’s just an all around awesome looking piece.
It really irks me that Hasbro included Sylvie in this assortment, especially now that they have revealed another Disney+ assortment with a mix of characters from What If? and other Disney+ shows with a BAF that I don’t care about. They should have kept the two separate, or at least given Sylvie’s slot to Zombie Iron Man or Zombie Scarlet Witch. Sure, she is actually a very nice figure, but there are a lot of very nice licensed figures out there that I don’t buy because I have no love for the character or property they represent. And truth be told, I would have easily skipped Sylvie if it weren’t for her BAF part, but then that’s the whole strategy behind BAFs in the first place, so bravo Hasbro… you win this round! But I’ll get the last laugh because I’ve gone from a completist in this line to now cherry picking figures and buying a lot less. I suppose I could just toss her on the MCU shelf and just call her MCU Enchantress. Whatever!
In case you missed the memo, Marvel Mondays are back, and today I’m digging into The Watcher Wave, which came out forever ago! But that’s pretty much going to be the running theme here on Mondays, as I try to get caught up on opening figures that have been sitting around here, and decide if I’m going to keep going with collecting Marvel Legends, or call it a day. And because I’ve been missing a scheduled review here and there, I decided to double up and check out both versions of Captain Carter!
As the packaging suggests, this assortment is inspired by the Disney+ animated What If? series. I recently put this show on in the background while I was doing things around the house, but it never caught my interest enough to want to sit down and actually pay attention. The name is self-explanatory, as it’s inspired by the What If? comics that mixes up continuity and… well… asks the question What If? Duh! Captain Carter’s episode was focused around Peggy Carter taking the Super Soldier Serum and becoming Captain Carter (I guess there was already a Captain Britain in this reality?) and Steve Rogers adopting more of an Iron Man visage with The Hydra Stomper armor. The regular flavor release of Peggy came with some Watcher BAF parts, and we also got a Stealth Suit version that was a stand alone release, but still got the What If? branding. Let’s go with regular Peggy first!
Holy hell, this is an amazing looking figure on almost every front. I’m not sure if Hasbro was actually going for an animated look here, but I think it works pretty well either way, and I wouldn’t be opposed to displaying this Peggy in with my other MCU figures. A lot of that is tied up in the portrait, but let’s look at the body and costume first. Peggy is sporting a beautiful dark blue body suit, with tall brown boots, belt, shoulder straps, and gloves, and The Union Flag painted rather boldly on her front upper body. You also get some red striping on her shoulders and upper legs. The colors here are so vibrant, and overall look really nice. The Union Flag is actually part of the sculpt, and while it could have been painted a little sharper, it certainly doesn’t look bad. Some nice flourishes in the sculpt include the flared bottoms in her boots, and the little pouches on her belt. There’s also a lick of silver on her shoulder harness and her belt buckle.
Coming back to the portrait, there’s definitely an animated twist to it, especially in the somewhat simplified hair. Still, I think the rest of the sculpt could work as animated, comic, or even MCU, as there’s certainly a Haley Atwell likeness there. There’s a bit of unsightly mold flashing on the hair, but other than that this is an absolutely gorgeous head sculpt, enhanced with some solid haltone printing for the eyes and mouth. I’d go so far as to say this is one of Hasbro’s prettiest female sculpts, but it probably doesn’t hurt to have Atwell’s likeness to work off of. I also dig her high collar, which just looks really sharp!
And what’s this? The figure actually has the standard Marvel Legends dude articulation in the arms. Gone is the rotating hinge elbow, and in its place is a proper double-hinge paired up with a bicep swivel. I can’t begin to relate how happy I am to see Hasbro finally make this leap for the ladies. It looks fine, and I hope to see more of this going forward, assuming I’m still collecting these figures. Otherwise, Captain Carter does make use of a ball joint under her chest, rather than the ab-crunch hinge we see in the males, but otherwise she has all the usual points of articulation and is a very fun figure to play around with. On the downside, her left hand is sculpted so that it can hold her shield by the rim, and they wound up giving her a big monster hand. And the hand doesn’t even actually hold the shield, because the grip is too far open! Talk about an epic fail! I really wish, they had included a left fist to swap this one out, but it’s not a big enough issue to ruin the figure for me.
Of course, Captain Carter comes with her trusty shield, and this is a beautiful accessory. You get a really cool design based on the Union Flag with some crisp red, white, and blue paint. Everything is super glossy, giving the shield something akin to a shiny new car finish! The interior of the shield has two sculpted brown straps to slide the figure’s arm through. It works pretty well, and the giant monster hand will pop off to help get it through. On the downside, there is no way to attach the shield to the figure’s back, which is one of the trade-offs of not using the old peg and clip system. OK, let’s move on to Stealth Suit Carter!
The Stealth Suit version is a quick repaint with no new sculpting at all, and yet the fresh coat of paint really makes this figure stand out on her own. It seems to be going for the look of Captain America’s MCU STRIKE Suit and it’s definitely a cool design! You get a darker blue body suit with the Union Flag on her chest painted in silver. The red stripes on the shoulders are also changed to silver, while they are omitted altogether on her upper legs. The boots are now black with brown straps and silver buckles, and the gloves are now painted to be fingerless. And yup, you still have to deal with a giant monster hand here too.
The head sculpt is exactly the same, although this figure has been spared some of the mold flashing at the top center of her coif. It’s possible the hair here is just slightly darker, but even if that’s the case, I’m sure it’s just a natural variant from production, rather than being intentional. Good gosh, I just love these portraits! They are breathtaking!
The shield is now painted in silver and light blue, which looks very nice, but to me the double cross in the center no longer really resembles anything inspired by The Union Flag without the familiar red, white, and blue. I actually wound up getting this Stealth version before the regular release, so it’s tough to say whether I would have still picked up this figure had that not been the case. Probably not, as the regular release is definitely my favorite of the two, but I’m not regretting getting them both either.
And it goes without saying that either figure looks absolutely smashing with the HYDRA Stomper! I was always going to be all in on this wave for The Watcher BAF, but even if that weren’t the case, I still would have picked up this Captain Carter figure. And yeah, that’s saying a lot, since I didn’t really follow the series much at all, and I remember almost nothing about this particular episode. Although I guess we did get a look at her in the MCU in the otherwise dismal Multiverse of Madness! Whatever the case, I’m thrilled to add both Peggy figures to my shelf!
I make it no secret that so far I’ve been mostly indifferent about the Post-Endgame MCU. Sure, I was excited about No Way Home, and that excitement paid off big time, but I had no interest in Shang-Chi and TheEternals, and I couldn’t make it through either one. Maybe Hasbro has its doubts too, because while cartloads of Eternals and Shang-Chi figures languish on the pegs at my local Target, the Infinity Saga figures seem to be selling really well!
What’s Infinity Saga? It’s Hasbro rifling through the older MCU movies to see who they haven’t done yet. These are designed more like stand-alone releases, without any connecting waves and no Build-A-Figure parts. It’s a good idea, and I have a short list of characters I’d like to see make this side-series. One of those happened to be MCU Odin… and here he is! The packaging is quite distinctive, although the top flap of mine looks like someone tried to get into it before I did.
I was surprised to realize that we haven’t seen Sir Anthony Hopkins’ take on Odin in Marvel Legends yet, and I’m happy to say they mostly did the character proud. The figure comes wearing his full Asgardian armor, hitting a lot of the stylistic beats found in his son Thor’s outfit. The intricately sculpted scrollwork pattern on his breast plate looks especially good! The rest of the outfit consists of a brown suit with quilted patterns in the arms and legs. He has shoulder armor, wrist bracers, and some shiny brown boots. The cape spills over his shoulders, but without that hovering effect that Thor somehow pulls off, and stops just short of reaching the ground. It may not look like it, but it does seem to make Odin rather back-heavy, and unless he’s in a pose where the cape is touching the ground and adding support, he tends to fall over a lot.
When first looking at him in the package, I thought the extra was just to supply one without the helmet, but the helmet is actually removable and can go on either head. And what an epic headpiece it is! The wings and horns are exaggerated to the extreme, leaving no doubt that whoever is wearing it is the most important person in the room. The helmet is cast in soft plastic so it fits the heads well, but not so soft as the horns and wings get all bendy. It has something of a matte finish to it, but if you catch it in the light just right, it will shine!
As for the head sculpt, I’m a little divided on that matter. There’s clearly some Hopkins in there, but I don’t think the likeness is a slam dunk. On the other hand, I really like the detail in it. The facial hair looks great, the eye patch looks well weathered, everything about this looks good even if the likeness isn’t as strong as I would like it to be. Yeah, some might say it’s not a good sculpt if they tried at the likeness and didn’t get it, but I’m strangely OK with it.
The other head has The Great Odin offering a friendly smile, and at first I did not notice the smile, which is why I just thought this was an extra head sans helmet. But yeah, the smile is clearly there. I think the problem is that it’s just a small and localized change to the head sculpt making it not terribly obvious. I do prefer the first one.
The articulation here features all the usual points I expect to find in my MCU Legends dudes. That means rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinged elbows and knees, ball jointed hips, swivels in the biceps and thighs, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, and hinged pegs in the wrists to swap out his extra set of hands. The neck is both hinged and ball jointed, and you get a ball joint at the waist, so as not to break up his armor with the usual ab crunch. You can get some nice poses out of him, but I think he looks best just standing there and being majestic.
In addition to the extra hands, Odin comes with his staff, which is cast in the same gold plastic as his helmet. It looks good, although I don’t really remember it in the movie well enough to comment on its accuracy. He has one pair of hands designed to hold it, so he can wield it with right, left, or both! The other set of hands includes a right fist and a left gesturing.
Considering it’s been six years since we last saw Odin in the Legends line, it’s nice to see him available again. Plus, the previous release was the comic version, and I Build-A-Figure as well! I think the MCU version was long overdue. Laying aside my issues with the likeness, I still think this is an excellent figure and I was surprised at how excited I was to finally get him in the collection!
It’s Marvel Monday on a Wednesday! With a crazy work weekend and me still feeling like shit from whatever Non-Covid sickness I picked up, I just couldn’t get back here on Monday to finish any content. But, I’m here now, and I made good use of the delay, by preparing a look at another Hot Toys figure from the MCU! Yes, my interest in the upcoming MCU flicks is drying up (still excited for No Way Home, though!), I’m eager to get to reviewing the last few MCU-related Hot Toys figures on my pile. Last week, I checked out Mysterio from Spider-Man: Far From Home, and this week I’m here to have a look at Spider-Man in his Upgraded Suit from the final Act of the film. Cue the Led Zeppelin… I mean… AC/DC!
Cards on the table, this was a consolation purchase. I slept on the Hot Toys release from the first film (but I did get the NECA Quarter-Scale version!) and now that figure commands crazy money on the Hot Toys resale market. I wasn’t going to let that happen again, even if I’m not quite as in love with the Upgraded Suit as I was his Homecoming duds. Either way, here’s the box! I like the art style, but it’s still just a big window box with a sleeve around it and it’s doubtful that I’m going to hang on to it. I only keep the Hot Toys boxes that feel special and premium, and those are few and far between these days. Let’s get Old Web Head out and have a look!
So, the black and red deco looks nice, but I don’t like it anywhere near as much as the traditional blue and red suit. With that having been said, it’s the contrasts of texturing where this figure really shines. The black parts of the suit are fashioned from the usual thin vinyl material that Hot Toys uses for many of its super-suits. The red portions of the suit is comprised of a really nice, soft cloth material, which feels a lot more substantial than the black parts. I think the suit looks excellent, but the seams on his backside are a little obvious. In fairness, they have to go somewhere, and I guess that’s the best place for them to land. The spider emblems on his chest and back are both raised to give them a little extra punch.
The texturing can’t really be appreciated until you get in real close. Some of the black black portions have a vertical striped pattern, while other areas have a cross-thatched pattern, and some are just left bare. The white spider on his back has a faint cross-thatch pattern and thick borders. Meanwhile, the soft fabric red parts of the suit feature some bumps. All that black portions are raised, to look like reinforced areas, and the webbing on the red fabric appears to be part of the stitchwork. I often tend to focus more on the sculpted aspect of these figures than the tailoring, but this suit is making me take notice.
The head looks great and features more of that spongy, bumpy goodness. There’s a seam where the head meets the top of the neck, but it’s not visible from the front, just he sides and back. The material used for the head matches the suit perfectly!
You get several sets of eyes, which can be swapped out very easily thanks to magnets. The eye sets are pulled off from the top with a fingernail and the new ones just pop in, with the magnets practically grabbing them right out of my hand. These eye sets run the gamut from wide open eyes to squinty eyes, to completely closed eyes. These are expressive and great options to have, but beyond the regular open eyes and the half-squint, I don’t know how often I’ll be making use of them.
You also get an unmasked Tom Holland head, which is an absolutely fantastic likeness. This is actually my second Hot Toys Holland head, but since I have yet to review the Infinity War Iron-Spider figure, I’ll hold off my judgement on which I prefer. I’m just about at the point where I don’t know what else to say about these portraits, other than they’re extraordinary. The expression here is particularly good and it actually reminds me a bit of that moment of self-reflection after Peter was dubbed an Avenger by Stark in Infinity War. You want me to nitpick something? OK, the strands of hair over his right hair are a little thick, but that’s to be expected with sculpted plastic hair. And that’s it! That’s the worst I got.
You also get a mask for him to hold while using this head. It’s made of cloth and while it comes out of the box with a perfect fold, a little crumpling gives it more of a convincing look, like he just pulled it off his head. This is probably my favorite accessory in the box.
And before leaving the portraits, I’ll note that the EDITH glasses are included and they are wearable. They even work just like real glasses, by slipping on behind his ears. Yes, it’s a delicate operation, as you don’t want to stress those thin plastic arms too much, but I really appreciate that they went this way instead of putting holes in his head for the arms to pass through. The lenses have a bit of a tint and if you look through them at just the right angle, you can see the HUD for calling a drone strike recreated in tiny, tiny printing on the insides. And yes, I made up that last bit. Come on, Hot Toys, up your game!
Articulation here is about as solid as I can expect from a Hot Toys figure, and the suit is remarkably forgiving, even in the crotch and the upper arms. You even get some nice ratchets in the sholders! As always, you get tons of hands, some are more useful than others. You get fists, splayed hands, an accessory holding right hand, a two-fingered peace symbol left hand, and of course thwippy hands, which I’ll come back to in a bit. The hands do a pretty good job of matching the suit, but since they’re plastic, it’s not a perfect match.
You get a cell phone accessory with a printed texting screen. There’s a right hand that’s perfect for holding it, but I wish it was a left hand, so I could do a better selfie-shot with the peace symbol left hand. I love that they included a little crack on the screen. The thwippy hands are designed to be used with the web effects and swap out web-shooters, and to showcase these, I’m going to have to swap out backdrops to better showcase the milky-white webbing, because you can’t see them against the white.
Ah, that’s better! The thwippy hands have removable plates in the palms, which can be switched out with the shooting web plates. These have some web build-up, which the web effect parts can be socketed into. You get two medium sized web strands with globby bits on the ends, and these work very well. They remain in place, they don’t weigh down the arms. They stay straight and they look pretty convincing to me.
You also get a few different lengths of web strand, which can attach to the web funnel piece. The weight of the funnel piece does cause the web stream to droop a bit, but it’s not at all bad.
Next up is a couple of web pieces for Spidey to hold onto, one of which works well for reproducing his web-swing. If you have any other recent Hot Toys Spidey figures, these are all probably familiar, as they’ve been packing these same pieces in with a lot of them. I’m not usually all that big on effect parts, but I dig these a lot. I wish Hasbro would create a bunch of these for their Legends line and sell it as a Deluxe set. What you won’t see in today’s review are the final web effect parts, which are supposed to attach between the legs and under each arm to recreate the flying-squirrel feature of the suit. These plastic pieces are supposed to attach with magnets, but they barely hold on and I just don’t think that they look good at all. Swing and a miss on that one, Hot Toys!
And we’re still not done with the accessories, because you also get one of Mysterio’s Drones. I thought this was going to be a throwaway accessory, but it is an amazingly detailed piece. When I first got it out of the box, I spent a good bit of time just turning it around and marveling at the sculpt. All the little VTOL fans can be seen, as well as vents, tiny screws, and exposed wires. And naturally, it’s brimming with guns! This is designed to attach to the stand, and thankfully it works with Mysterio’s stand too, because that’s where I’ll likely display it! The sheer beauty of this little guy makes me wish I had picked up the Drone accessory set that Hot Toys released.
And that brings me to the stand, which is a colorful hexagon with the front corner cut out for the nameplate. The Far From Home logo is on top surface of the base, and the nameplate reads Spider-Man Upgrade Suit. The support is the standard bendy flight post with a waist-grabber, so you can get him into those epic poses that you shouldn’t keep him in for fear of creasing the suit! And yes, this is a different style base than they gave to Mysterio, and the lack of coordination there just irks me.
I’ll confess that if Hot Toys had reissued the blue and red suit from Homecoming, I would have definitely gone for that one over this one. But, with that having been said, this is still a very nice figure, and I’m happy to have it in my collection and displayed next to Mysterio. The black looks good against the red, and I’ve already gushed enough about the textures. This figure also feels like they packed a lot into the box for a $250 figure. And so, while he’s not my first choice, he’ll still do a fine job representing the MCU Web Head on my Hot Toys shelf. Well, he’ll have to share that role with Infinity War Iron Spider. I’d be reviewing him for the next Marvel Monday, but…
Friday starts FFZ’s very first Halloween Horror Month! Throughout October I’ll be confining myself to reviewing only spooky figures, so break out a white board, set up an office pool, and place your bets to see how long I can keep that shit going! Can I go three weeks with no Marvel Mondays? Do I even have enough horror themed figures to carry me through the whole month? STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT!!!
It’s taken me a while to dip back into some of the Marvel Hot Toys I have left to review here. Most of the ones I still have on deck are Spider-Man related, and while I can’t promise a straight shot through all of them, I am going to try to look at both of the figures I have from Far From Home over the next couple of weeks. Let’s start out with Mysterio!
Once again, The MCU did a little bait-and-switch by giving us a very familiar villain with a very different twist. The Mandarin from Iron Man 3 sure pissed a lot of people off, although I don’t think Mysterio ruffled quite as many feathers. Or maybe he did… I can’t keep track of what new thing fans are pissed off about these days. I honestly didn’t mind either character treatment, but of the two, Mysterio was my favorite. I was happy to see him get to be a villain, even if it wasn’t the kind of villain I expected. I had no intentions of picking up this figure until I re-watched the movie a little while back and then decided that the suit looked so damn good, that I had to add it to my collection to keep Spider-Man company. The packaging is pretty standard stuff. The art design is slick, but it’s still just a flimsy window box with a sleeve on it, so let’s get him out and dive right in.
Quentin Beck comes out of the box more or less ready to go. You just have to clip off some plastic wrap that protects his cape and extremities. He comes wearing his fishbowl helmet And looking all sorts of awesome. This suit is something like The Vision meets Doctor Strange. The figure is clad in a fairly tight fitting textured green bodysuit, which feels like the same thin vinyl that Hot Toys uses on most of these super-suits. There’s a little bit more give in the crotch and upper-body than we usually see, and there’s plenty of room to move in the elbows and knees. I found him to be a bit more fun to play with than a lot of these figures are, but there’s still some restrictions here.
The golden armored pieces of the costume include a cuirass, which is intricately sculpted with various overlapping plates, ornate scrollwork, and even some reflective panels that will illuminate under black light. His forearm bracers aren’t quite as chunky as the comic version of the suit, but they still make for a nice homage. I actually like the designs on these a lot! They look like they’re comprised of tightly wrapped coils held and compressed together by four rods, as if they are for conducting his powers to his gauntlets. He has a pair of mismatched cuffs around his thighs, and finally a pair of high boots with knee pads. The feet are made of regular plastic, while the rest of the boots are soft, pliable material, which offers decent mobility.
The cape is an absolute work of art! It’s comprised of a fairly thick purple cloth and pleated into several segments. There’s some green embroidered trim around the edges, and gold diamonds scattered about, both inside and out. Like the panels on the cuirass, these diamonds are reflective under black light. The cape attaches to the front of the cuirass with a pair of triangular fixtures with occult eye carvings and it does that cool levitating effect off the shoulders as it plunges down the back. The garment is removable, and you even get an extra set of those eye-pieces to clip back on if you happen to display him with the cape off. The helmet is a thing of majesty. The dome is painted to give it a swirly blue and purple effect, while there’s also a sculpted cloud inside to give it that extra mysterious look! The dome can only turn left and right a little bit, but I suppose Beck just turned his head inside it. It can, however, angle up and back a bit. The only downside here is that there’s a seam running up the sides.
There’s a light up feature inside the dome, which is activated by pulling the dome up to expose a switch in the neck. It looks cool, but I think maybe they went a little too bright with it, as it does tend to drown out some of that beautiful painted detail on the globe itself. Still, when combined with the black light effects on the suit, it does look quite striking! It’s difficult to capture the effect on camera, but I really love that they added this feature.
You also get the unmasked portrait, which swaps out with a completely different neck. I remember seeing some criticisms of the likeness early on, but I think it’s a pretty solid Jake Gyllenhaal. As usual, the realism on display here is pretty eerie. The paintwork from the skintone to the lifelike eyes is Hot Toys at its best. I’m especially impressed by the paint and sculpt that went into creating his beard. Facial hair is not something that’s easy to get right, but somehow Hot Toys manages to nail it. When I get to reviewing Spider-Man, I’ll have to see if the EDITH glasses fit him. I doubt I’ll display him with this head a lot, but it’s great to have that option, and swapping the heads is fairly quick and easy.
As for extras… there are two swirly illusion effect parts, which can be placed at Beck’s feet for some added mystery. These are semi-translucent green plastic with some frosting to give them the look of mystical smoke. They aren’t mind-blowing, but they do make for a nice addition to the display.
You also get two energy effect parts, which fit onto a special pair of Beck’s hands. These are translucent green energy triangles with occult eye emblems sculpted into them. They can be a little tricky to get attached to his fingers, but once I got everything to line up, I found that they held fast and look great. In addition to the spell casting hands, Mysterio comes with a pair of relaxed hands and a pair of fists. That’s not a lot of hands by Hot Toys standards, but still more than I’ll ever need.
As always, our last stop is the figure stand. Mysterio comes with a hexagonal base with a heavy bendable post that holds the figure with a gripper. This configuration allows the figure to be posed in flight, which is always a nice option. These have got to cost a lot more to produce than the regular crotch-cradle stands, so they definitely add some value to the box. The base itself is illustrated, and while I like it, it’s kind of annoying that it doesn’t match the Spider-Man figure’s base, but that’s a nitpick for my next review.
Mysterio took a little waffling back and forth before finally deciding to pick him up, and I am most definitely glad I did. The suit design looked great on screen and it looks great here as well. The sculpt, paint, and tailoring are all top notch, but the high points for me have to be the cape, the cuirass, and the paintwork on the globe. The smoke effect parts were probably not necessary, but when you’re paying $260 for a figure, every extra bit in the box is a welcome addition to justify that price point. Oddly enough, Mysterio is back to Pre-Order status on Sideshow’s site, so I’m not sure if they decided to produce more to meet demand, or maybe they’re still taking delivery on the original production run. Either way, he looks great next to the Advanced Suit Spider-Man, and I hope to have a review of that figure for the next Marvel Monday or the week after.
It’s been a busy weekend for me, and I’m a little pressed for time on this Marvel Monday, so I thought I’d stick with something that would be a little quick and easy. Hasbro has been using the Marvel Legends moniker to release some toy versions of full-size MCU prop replicas, and while I’ve been able to resist a number of them, I’ve been snapping up most of the wearable helmets. I actually already reviewed the Ant-Man Helmet a little while back, but the one I’m looking at today was actually my first purchase in this line. Let’s check out the Iron Man helmet!
As with Ant-Man’s helmet, this one comes in a fully enclosed box with lots of pictures of the toy inside. The pictures on the box appear to be re-worked a bit, but I’m not going to complain too much because the look of the actual item isn’t too far from the pictures. The helmet comes fully wrapped in plastic to protect the finish, which is most welcome! While the helmet does not require any assembly, you will need a screwdriver to get into the battery compartment if you want to make use of the electronics.
Out of the box, this thing is pretty impressive for a toy! It is a fully enclosed piece and can be worn and removed just by slipping it on over the head. I’ll get to more on that when we open her up. On the outside, it seems like a pretty good recreation of the on-screen prop. One of the things I miss about the early Iron Man armors is the fact that the helmet was a physical object and not just something that magically appears thanks to the help of CG special effects. As with the real deal, this helmet is more about smooth curves than it is about hyper-detail. As a result, panel lines are used sparingly, there are a few faked out bolts, but not a lot more to distinguish the sculpt. And that’s fine by me!
But what impressed me the most at first sight was the quality of the paint. Let’s face it, mass produced toys are not usually known for their precision of paintwork. Hasbro has gotten a lot better, but when you consider something this big, there’s a lot more room for things to go wrong. Amazingly, the finish on this is damn near flawless. The gold used for the face plate is perhaps not quite as luxurious as it looks on the box photo, but it is very nice. It goes for more of a sumptuous satin finish, rather than something bright and reflective, and I dig it a lot. The red on the other hand, does manage to achieve that lovely new-car shine that Stark’s suits tend to flaunt. It’s similar to some of the better finishes they’ve used for the Legends MCU Iron Man figures. I have to scrutinize this thing pretty closely to find any imperfections. Mine has a slight blemish behind the left ear, which really only shows up under bright light, and I can’t be certain it wasn’t something that happened after it had been on display.
The electronics include the light up eyes, which are clearly visible even under the bright studio lights, offering a cool, blue hue when fired up. These will sometimes activate when I pick up the helmet, but always when I remove and replace the face plate.
Removing and attaching the face plate also sets off a litany of sound effects, like servos firing and clamps releasing. It’s very well done and sounds as if all sorts of stuff is going on inside the helmet. The face plate comes completely off and then can be attached in the up position, where it is held fast by magnets. No, it’s not actually sliding up there, and it’s recommended to remove all contact between the two pieces before putting it in that position so as to avoid scratching the finish. The face plate is extremely secure whether in the up or down position, and it makes me wish that Hasbro had used similar magnets to hold the back plate on their Ant-Man Helmet. That one uses a pair of weak friction hinges, which fail every time.
Inside, the helmet does have some finished details, but it also has some more practical stuff going on, like the straps that come in contact with your head. These are adjustable and the helmet, while snug, does fit fairly well on my adult-sized cranium. Still, I will admit that It does get a little claustrophobic in there after a while.
The face plate is also detailed with some interior sculpting on the back. I like the hexagonal patterns, the gears in the cheeks, and the vocalizer plate right where the wearer’s mouth is positioned. The eye slots are surprisingly large on the inside, and yet don’t seem out of scale on the outside.
This helmet set me back about $99 when I got it back in 2019, and if you hunt hard enough, you can probably still find some retailers selling it at that price, although others seem to be asking a good $30 more in some cases. Ultimately, I’m extremely pleased with how this came out, and I’d say that it’s easily the best quality of any of the Hasbro helmets I’ve picked up, and that includes both Marvel and Star Wars. Not only does it look pretty close to the real thing, but the engineering and use of magnets makes it feel a bit more like a premium collectible than a high priced toy. Sure, you can do a lot better, if you want to invest an additional $300-400, but this one suits me just fine! And yes, these chrome paper towel holders make excellent display stands!