Marvel Legends (Banner Hulk Wave): Rescue by Hasbro

With another wave of Marvel Legends wrapped up last week, I’m able to start indulging in some random reviews again. This time, I reached my Infinity Gauntlet’ed paw into the Pile of Shame™ and came up with Rescue from the Banner Hulk Wave. This wave will be an odd one for me, since I’ll been giving the BAF parts to my nephew. Right now I have about half the wave and he has the other half, and he’s really eager to build the Hulk BAF. Maybe I’ll borrow Hulk Banner from him when it comes time to wrap things up, but I already have a couple MCU Hulks in my collection and my desire to be a good Uncle outweighed my need for a third.

And hey… it’s Pepper Potts in the Rescue armor! Ever since Iron Man 3 teased us by putting Pepper into one of Tony’s suits, I’ve been hoping we’d see Rescue turn up. Hell, it even makes the cringe-worthy woke girl-power scene in Endgame worthwhile. But seriously, MCU, please don’t go down that route. You have some kick-ass female heroes in your roster to be proud of. You don’t have to do stunts like that. It feels like you may be flirting with more of it in the next Phase, but it hasn’t served the comics well, and I don’t think it’s going to do the films any favors either. But putting that aside, I’m so glad we got this figure in the Legends line. The Hot Toys release of Rescue is clocking in at over $400 and, as much as I love this armor design, that’s a lot more than I’m willing to spend, so this 6-inch version is probably going to be it for me.

But what a nice version it is! The Rescue armor features all the usual segmented and panel-lined detail of the other Iron Man suits, only this time contoured for the ladies! It’s not actually that much more demure than some of Tony’s more organic-looking armors, but you certainly do get Pepper’s feminine form bleeding through and giving it some character. Other highlights of the suit include forearm pieces that extend past the wrists (giving me a lovely Knight Sabers vibe!), a flight pack on her back, which I’ll come back to in a bit, and the more modern triangular arc reactor in the chest. As the name suggests, the Rescue armor looks like it’s built more for support and speed, than for heavy combat, but as we’ve seen in the film, when the shit hits the fan it can certainly account for itself in a fight.

The coloring on this figure is absolutely gorgeous. She features a metallic blue base coat which appears to be the actual color of the plastic. It definitely rivals any of Tony’s candy-apple red suits, with its’ lovely new-car shine. The blue is accented with some gold, and a few silver, panels all of which make the figure pop splendidly. The back pack features some gold striping, which kind of gives off a hazard stripe motif to me, and you also get the name RESCUE printed down one side and 0049 down the other, presumably making this one the Mark 49 armor. The paint lines on my figure are all quite sharp, as I really need to get in close to see any spray, and I can’t say enough good things about the overall quality of the finish used.

The helmet doesn’t offer too much of a change-up from those on Tony’s traditional suits. The configuration of the face-plate, eyes and mouth slit are all on point.  Maybe the eyes here are a little more feminine, and the sides of the plate are swept up to give the appearance of high cheekbones. Finally, the elongated neck further betrays that this is indeed a lady suit. As with the rest of the figure, the paint on the helmet is quite well done, adding a little blue for the eyes.

Hasbro even stepped it up on the articulation here. Y’all know my big gripe with the gals of Marvel Legends and their more limited arm articulation. Well, instead of the usual rotating hinges all around, Rescue features double-hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps, just like the dudes! Interestingly, the rotating hinges in the shoulders here are ratcheted, and while the wrists have the usual pegged hinges, the piece on the forearm can interfere with their movement. The legs feature rotating hinges in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s no waist swivel, but you do get a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

And speaking of neck ball joints… Yes, if you were wondering, the Pepper Potts head from the Iron Man 3 three-pack does indeed work with this figure.

The flight pack on her back can be removed and exchanged with an open one and boy does it sport some wonderful detail! The inside panels of each of the flaps is painted silver and features some pane lines and the exposed portion of the back is black and shows more sculpted detail. I especially dig the piercings in the lower flaps.

I was damn excited when this figure was first revealed and now that she is in hand, I’m just as excited to have her. Hell, I’d even go so far as to say this is my favorite Iron Man armor to be released in Legends in a long while. The sculpt is great, the colors are beautiful, and the added articulation to the arms makes all the difference. Sure, I’ll probably still drool over pictures of the Hot Toys version, but this makes for a pretty damn fine consolation prize.

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Marvel Legends (Ant-Man and The Wasp): X-Con Luis and Ghost by Hasbro

It’s another week of tight schedules and limited time, so much so that I wasn’t even sure I was going to make it here today. But here I am, and while I was supposed to be finishing off the Lizard Wave today, I had to bump that to next week so I will have time to look at both Spider-Woman and the Lizard BAF. Conveniently, another one of the MCU two-packs hit my porch this past week and so I’m going to just nudge it to the head of the line for this week’s Marvel Monday! Let’s check out some figures from Ant-Man and The Wasp!

These MCU multi-packs are like an extension of those First Ten Years releases where Hasbro realized that they left a whole lot of money on the table by not milking the movies for every figure they could make. Today’s set is a great example of the two extremes which these releases can take. On the one hand, Ghost was conspicuously absent from the wave that contained Ant-Man and Wasp from this flick and I think that needed to be addressed. On the other hand, we have Luis. Sure, he was a major character in the film, but did we need a figure of him? Only you can answer that question for yourself. Let’s start with Luis.

Yup, if there was ever a sign of just how deep Hasbro is digging on this line, here’s Luis in his X-Con jacket! And I have to wonder how I’ve seen this movie so many times without realizing the name of their security business was X-Con. Anyway, this figure is about as basic as you can get with our man Luis donning a pair of khaki pants and a jacket, which is sculpted as a vest in soft plastic, and worn over the torso with the arms sculpted as sleeves. Under the jacket there’s a collared white shirt and tie, which I presume has been recycled from previous business-attire figures. The metallic blue paint on the tie looks sharp, and I love that the tie itself is a separately sculpted piece. There’s really not a lot else for me to say here, other than they printed the X-Con badge on the jacket and he has a ring sculpted on his finger, both of which are great little touch. You just have to imagine that paroled security man is going to be on every kid’s Christmas list this year!

The head sculpt is a fantastic likeness for Michael Pena, complete with the smarmy grin he wore for most of the flick. As always, the halftone printing on the face looks fantastic, especially the facial hair, and his coif is sculpted separately from the head. This one is easily among my top favorite MCU portraits yet.

There aren’t any surprises in the articulation, except maybe that his legs use ball joints instead of rotating hinges. The rest of the legs feature swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. I actually bent my figure’s left leg a little too far and thought I snapped it at the thigh swivel, but it turns out it just plugs right back in, similar to a BAF connection. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows have double-hinges and there are swivels in the biceps. He can swivel at the waist, there’s an ab-crunch buried under the jacket, and the neck has both hinges and ball joints. I didn’t really need my Luis figure to be super articulated, so what’s here is more than I could have needed or wanted.

The accessories in the box can really go with either character, but let’s just look at them now before moving on. First off, you get an enlarged ant, which is just a static piece. It’s a decent sculpt with some brown and black coloring. There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about it, but I’m glad they included it.

The coolest thing in the box is easily the shrunken down Pym Lab. I remember seeing the trailer and thinking that the shrunk down building was just a fun gag, and it turned out to be a major plot point for the whole flick. Anyway, this tiny building has an extending grab bar so it can be easily toted along. OK, let’s move on to Ghost.

Honestly, Ghost was not a terribly compelling character to me, and I wouldn’t rank her up as one of the better villains in the MCU. Still, she wasn’t bad, and I do like the running trend of giving these villains a degree of empathy rather than make them all mustache twirling psychos. But laying that aside, I really did dig the design of the suit in the film, and I’m enjoying it even more here. It just makes for a great looking action figure. Ghost is cast in a matte gray plastic and sculpted with layered panels to give it some sensation of depth, as if there’s a sort of framework placed over a textured mesh undersuit. The detail is quite impressive for a figurei n this scale, and the bright blue paint hits really makes the figure pop nicely. I have to imagine that someone over at Hasbro is licking their chops over the possibility of charging me $20 for a translucent version of Ghost. Hell, make it $40 and bundle her with Kurt. Why the hell not?

The masked head is a separate piece from the hood, allowing for it to articulate fairly well. The face mask is mostly featureless, except for the red “eyes” which pays homage to the comic version of Ghost. And like those blue points on the body, the red paint here stands out beautifully against the otherwise colorless figure.

You also get the unmasked portrait of Ava Starr and a second hood piece, which is sculpted in the down position. This is a decent enough likeness to the actress, but the combination of her long sculpted hair and the hood piece limits her neck articulation. I think the paint on the ends of her hair is a little heavy handed too, but now I’m just nitpicking.

And Ghost’s articulation is right in line with what we usually see on the Legends gals. That means ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. She has a ball joint under her chest and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

I came very close to taking a pass on this set, but a couple of price drops and my desire to add Ghost to my collection nudged me to pull the trigger. Her costume design makes for quite a stunning figure and I really think that the villains from all the movies should get the Legends treatment anyway. As for Luis? I really don’t mind getting him into my collection either. He may not be the most exciting figure around, but Luis was certainly a major character, and it always gives me a little chuckle to see just how far Hasbro will go when it comes to character selection. I think this set originally retailed for $40, but I picked up mine on sale for about $30. Will it reach the depths of that Ego and Star-Lord set? Only time will tell!

Marvel Legends: The Grandmaster and The Collector by Hasbro

In addition to the non-stop torrential rush of Marvel Legends waves, Hasbro has also been cranking up the multi-pack releases. And I’m just talking the normal retail stuff. To make matters even more challenging for the collectors’ wallets,  they’ve also included a lavishly packaged two-pack for SDCC this year. Pulled straight from the MCU flicks Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok comes The Collector and The Grandmaster!

The snazzy packaging looks like a drum with windows on each side to show the figures. It actually opens up too, so both figures can be displayed side-by-side in half-tubes. Flip it around and you get the poster art from each flick on the back panels. This is some really nice packaging, but mine was fairly worn even by the time it got to me, and I don’t think it’s going to be easy to store, so I’ll likely be getting rid of it, like I do most of my Legends packaging. Let’s start with The Grandmaster first!

Grandmaster is sort of the non-essential figure here, since he was issued at retail with a different head, and in a two-pack with Korg, a set that still sits unopened on my Pile of Shame. I will get around to it eventually, but this will be my first experience with the Grandmaster figure. Let me say straightaway, that while this is a great looking figure, it isn’t all that much fun to play around with. A lot of that has to do with his lavish golden robe, which is sculpted in soft plastic, is fairly form-fitting, and thereby limits the articulation in the legs and torso quite a bit. This might have been a really good time to try some soft-goods, especially since Hasbro recently cranked out a golden cloth robe for a certain guy over in the Star Wars Black Series department. Indeed, pretty soon I’ll be checking out a Black Series figure with some outstanding cloth robes! Now that I think of it, cloth robes would have been a great idea for this particular SDCC release, to further set it apart from the retail figure. Now, with all that having been said, the robe still looks nice, it’s sculpted with a faint texture, and it pegs together right where the sculpted red belt is meant to be tied. I also really dig how it bunches up on the floor behind him.

Under the plastic robe, he dons a pair of leisure pants, which have an otherworldly purple-platinum sheen and a long sleeve shirt, which is blue and red with a wide red cummerbund worn at the waist. His eccentric outfit is finished off with a pair of funky gold sandals. Grandmaster sports a sculpted ring on his right hand, and painted-blue nail polish on his fingers and toes.

The Jeff Goldblum likeness is pretty solid, especially from certain angles. As mentioned earlier, the head sculpt is the primary exclusive thing about this figure. Here he’s smiling, whereas the retail version has a more neutral expression. Your personal preferences may vary, but I really dig this portrait and I think it captures a lot of the madcap personality of the character. As usual the half-tone printing for the facial features does a fine job for the detail in the eyes and mouth.

The Grandmaster comes with a couple of cool accessories. The first is his infamous Melt Stick, which is cast in gold plastic and can be held in his right hand and cradled in the left. This is a simple, but fun accessory, providing you aren’t the one being melted by it.

The second accessory is the pile of melted goo. Is it supposed to be Carlo? That I’m not sure, but I kind of hope it is. Yeah, it’s just a lump of plastic bubbles, but fun nonetheless. Let’s move on to Grandmaster’s brother, The Collector!

Taneleer Tivan is the true exclusive figure of the set, as for now he has not been made available at regular retail. He’s also one of the MCU characters that has been most sorely missing from my collection. Benicio Del Toro’s weirdly eccentric performance fit Guardians of the Galaxy like a glove and made The Collector, even with his brief screen time, a truly memorable character. And Hasbro sure did a nice job with this figure. The outfit includes some great detail in the sculpt, particularly in the torso, where the texture and patchwork nature pays homage to a 19th Century waistcoat, complete with strings of sculpted beads reminiscent of the chains on a fob watch. His sculpted furry cape pegs into the back and is worn over the shoulders and plunges behind his neck. I think the sculpted sleeve on the left arm is supposed to be part of the cape, as the speckled pattern matches the interior of the cape. You can take off the cape, but it looks kind of funny since the sleeve remains.

As with his brother, The Collector’s portrait turned out great. It’s a fine likeness for Del Toro and I particularly love the high hair, which is again sculpted as a separate piece from the head. You also get a second head sculpt with The Collector wearing his special goggles.

One final accessory in the box is The Orb that housed The Infinity Stone of Power. It’s a simple little ball packed with a lot of tiny detail. The only downside here is The Collector’s hands really aren’t designed to hold it all that well. I can make it work, but it’s a careful balancing act. It might have been better to give him an extra hand with The Orb sculpted into it, or an extra hand with a peg in the palm and a peg-hole on The Orb.

It may irk some to have to buy a second Grandmaster just to get their hands on The Collector, but I get how the business works and sometimes Hasbro has to get some extra money out of a figure in order to make producing another one more cost effective. Truth be told, I would have much rather had The Collector in a box with some of his menagerie, similar to what Hasbro did in the 3 3/4-inch scale for another SDCC Exclusive. Maybe throw in Cosmo and Carina. I would have paid extra for that. But I’m still really pleased they finally got this figure out and that it was pretty easy to get off of Pulse. Maybe not essential for all Legends collectors, but to me that’s what Exclusives should be all about.

Marvel Legends: Captain Marvel (Starforce) by Hasbro

Hey hey, it’s another Marvel Monday, and today’s review is going to be kind of, sort of, random. I couldn’t get into the main stack of unopened Legends because there’s so much backlog piling up in my Toy Closet, but I do have a bag of more recent acquisitions on top. So, I reached my paw into that sack and pulled out the Starforce version of Captain Marvel as Vers. Yeah, that’ll work. Today has also reminded me that I have to start cataloging which Legends I have waiting to be opened, or I’m going to start buying doubles by mistake. Yeah, I have a problem.

I want to say this is a Target Exclusive, because that’s the only place I’ve seen it, but there’s no sticker or anything to call it out as such. It’s also not officially part of the Captain Marvel-inspired Kree Sentry Wave. But this package makes up for lacking a BAF part by cramming a whole bunch of extra goodies, as well as the ability to change it into an entirely different character! The package does identify her as Captain Marvel, rather than Vers/Minn-Erva, but at least it states she’s in her Starforce costume. Let’s take a look!

As Vers, we’ve pretty much seen this figure before. It is indeed a straight repaint of the Captain Marvel we saw in the Kree Sentry Wave. And that’s not a bad thing, because I love the suit design, and I particularly love all the sculpted detail that Hasbro put into it. From the panel lines to the details of the belt, and the starburst in the center of her chest, everything looks great and matches that hyper-detailed style that the MCU loves so much. And since the bodies are identical, I’ll just refer you back to my original review of Captain Marvel for the particulars on articulation.

Obviously, the big change here is the coloring, which eschews the red and blue for the Starforce green and black motif. I think it looked pretty great on Yon-Rogg and it looks really nice here as well. The metallic green paint looks incredibly sharp and has a beautiful sheen to it. It pairs with the black and silver trim and makes for a figure that really pops on the shelf. The paint lines on my figure are all pretty crisp, without any notable flubs to speak of. It is worth mentioning that the silver lines coming away from the starburst are painted to look thinner than on the Captain Marvel costume, which does set the two suit designs slightly apart. I’ll assume this was done on purpose, but to be honest, I’ve only seen this movie once, so I can’t remember all the particulars of this costume.

Vers comes with two heads, and yes they are the same two that came with the original release. The hooded portrait has been repainted to match the suit, and still features that faint smirk, as well as the sculpted shock of hair that forms her mohawk. Like the suit, there’s some fantastic detail sculpted into the helmet. The alternate unmasked head looks as good as ever. I think this figure would have been a worthwhile pick up as things go so far, but I haven’t even gotten into the extras. Let’s check out Minn-Erva.

As Minn-Erva, the figure offers a new head sculpt, an ammo strap, and a rifle. You also get two extra hands to hold the weapon, and these are definitely intended for Minn-Erva because the fingers are painted blue. The bandoleer strap rests on her left shoulder, has what I presume are some kind of power cartridges for the rifle, and it looks like it has either a holster for a pistol or a pouch to carry more stuff in. The sash is sculpted to blow a bit back, behind her head and shoulders. I wouldn’t say that these pieces totally transform the figure, but they do offer enough distinction to make it work as another character wearing a similar uniform.

The head sculpt is great, but also a bit perplexing. It doesn’t really look like they were going for the MCU version of the character. Maybe they didn’t get likeness rights, but it comes across looking like a modern version of the comic character. With that having been said, it’s a damn fine sculpt, I like the styling of the hair and the exposed area on the left side of the scalp line. The paint looks good, although there’s quite a bit of slop along the top edge of my figure’s mask. It’s not something I really notice with the figure in hand, but it does stand out in the close up shots.

Her other accessory is her Kree rifle and I dig it a lot, both in design and execution. It’s got a very slender and almost organic profile to it. And while it’s cast in a silver plastic, it does have some metallic blue paint applications to give it some more detail. It also has a scope sculpted onto the top. Minn-Erva can hold the weapon comfortably in her right hand and the trigger finger threads easily through the guard. Her other hand allows her to cradle the barrel or steady it for precision shooting.

It would have been really easy for Hasbro to just slap a repaint of the Captain Marvel figure into a box and call it a day, so it’s nice to see they didn’t take the lazy route here. In fairness, I probably would have picked this figure up even had that been the case, but I’m very happy to have the extra options. Some might take issue with the Minn-Erva head sculpt, but it still works well enough for me. And who knows? If this one turns up at a good enough price, I may eventually buy a second so I can display both characters on the shelf.

Marvel Legends (The First Avenger): Captain America and Peggy Carter by Hasbro

I know, I crapped out on delivering a second review last week, but finding time for FFZ continues to be a struggle. At least I’m here for Marvel Monday again, and I promise that I will have at least one more review for this week. Who knows, maybe even a third. But for now, I am once again saying “Piss off, Randomness!” and bumping a new Marvel Legends acquisition to the front of the line. Let’s check out Captain America: The First Avenger Cap and Peggy two pack!

The initial arc of Marvel movies may be over, but that’s not stopping Hasbro from going back and mining out all the missed opportunities from all those movies. Here we are revisiting the first Captain America movie with a new version of Steve Rogers and the first Peggy Carter figure. The packaging is similar to the First Ten Years presentation with the squared off box and some artwork to reflect Cap’s first movie. You get character shots on each side panel and some multi-lingual bio blurbs on the back. Everything here is collector friendly, and while I’m tempted to keep this box, it’s probably going to be consigned to the dustbin of history. Or at least the one in my kitchen. Let’s start with Cap!

Can you believe it? After all these years Hasbro is still finding new versions of MCU Cap to turn into figures! I have to admit, that this one got me pretty excited from the moment it was shown off. And as it turns out, it was well worth getting excited over. I mean, just check him out! Cap comes decked out in his full WWII gear with a bomber jacket over his costume top, a full array of web-gear, complete with sculpted pouches and a functional holster. His trousers include more sculpted pouches, detailed spats, and a functional sheath for his combat knife.

The web-gear is removable offering a better look at the jacket, and I think the figure displays quite well without it, although I’m sure I’ll be keeping it on him. I like the little touches, like the US sculpted into the flap of the holster, the sculpted bolts along the edges of the sheath, and the individually painted snaps on the pouches. Apart from those dabs of silver, the color palate here is mostly drab military, but the glimpse of blue and white from under his jacket makes for a nice contrast.

The figure comes with two head sculpts and I’ll confess I find them a bit confusing. They appear to be different sculpts, but I’m not sure what the difference is supposed to signify. One has a more pronounced part in the hair and the face looks a tad thinner and possibly younger. At first, I thought one was meant to work better with the helmet, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Both portraits are decent, but the eyes are rather lifeless, giving them something of a mannequin effect. The helmet is a beautiful piece in and of itself. It fits well, has the chin strap hanging off on the right side, and the goggles look so good, that for a moment, I thought they might be able to be lowered over the eyes, but they are actually permanently attached.

If all that isn’t enough, Cap comes with a bevy of accessories, including a knife, two guns, and two shields. First off, he comes with his M1911 service pistol, which is a beautiful little sculpt. I love the textured finish on the grips and there are lots of details on the slide. The pistol fits perfectly into his holster and can be held in either hand. The combat knife fits into the sheath, and while he can hold it fairly well in his right hand, it does fit rather loosely. I’d say an extra hand with a tighter grip would be in order, but this figure already comes with so much, it’s hard to ask for more.

Next up is his Thompson submachine-gun. This has always been a favorite of mine among WWII small arms and this little version captures its iconic profile quite well. The wooden stock and foregrip are both painted brown, while the rest of the gun is left a bare gray. Nice details include the groove in the magazine where it is supposed to slide in, and the sculpted fixtures for a carry strap.

Moving on to the two shields, first he comes with the original heater-type shield with some crisp and colorful red, white, and blue paint as well as some mud splatter to show that it’s been carried into battle. The reverse of the shield features two carry straps. These are a little tight going over the sculpted sleeves, but I’ve been able to get him to hold it pretty well.

Finally, he comes with the unpainted prototype version of his iconic shield. I suppose this is a cool addition, since I don’t think we’ve seen it as an accessory before. Unfortunately, it’s not all that exciting. The shield itself is just bare silver plastic, which doesn’t look as good as if they had painted it. It does have two straps on the back, and these work much better than the ones on the heater shield. All in all, the inventory of gear is very impressive, but as we’ll see in a moment, the distribution of accessories in this set is woefully lopsided… Let’s move on to Peggy Carter!

Here’s a figure I would have wagered we would never get, and I’m very pleased to be proven wrong. I do, however, have some mixed feelings about the end result. So, let’s talk about the good stuff first! The uniform is quite well done. The belted tunic looks great and I love the sculpting on those tiny lapel pins! The buttons and pins are all carefully painted with a touch of gold and they even painted the seams running up the backs of her stockings. A lovely touch, even if it isn’t terribly convincing. Round out the outfit with some meticulously sculpted stitch lines and you’ve got a fine effort.

The portrait here is good, but I don’t think it’s great. I think most of the resemblance comes from the hair and the outfit. Sure, to my eyes, there’s more than a glimmer of Haley Atwell in there, but I just don’t think this is one of the better MCU head sculpts. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of, because they have all been generally quite good.

So what’s the bad stuff? Well for starters, the plastic skirt renders a great deal of this figure’s articulation useless. You can position her legs and feet a bit to get her to stand, but that’s about it. Allowing for slits in the skirt may not have been accurate, but it would have made for a more fun figure. As it is, the posing here has to take place from the waist up, and that’s a shame, because Agent Carter wasn’t one to shy away from the action. But for me, the biggest downer is that she doesn’t come with any accessories, and that plain sucks. Sure, there’s plenty in the box to make it feel like a good value, but everything belongs to Cap. Why, Hasbro? Why not toss her a gun? The fact that her right hand is clearly sculpted to hold a gun is like rubbing slat in the wound. I would have also liked a clipboard or a file folder with HYDRA or TOP SECRET stamped on it. The fact poor Agent Carter comes with nothing just feels like a big slap in the face.

Despite some nitpicks, I really do love this set. Getting this version of Cap and any version of Agent Carter a major victories for my MCU Legends display. Both figures are solid efforts, but I think Cap came out the big winner in this box. Every aspect of this figure is on point, and while the purpose of the second head may be lost on me, I’m never going to complain about an extra noggin. And even Peggy Carter is by no means bad, but just go back and look how much of this review is about Cap and how much is about Carter. In the end, I just wish Hasbro had divvied up the accessories a bit more fairly. I would have happily given up the unpainted shield to give some goodies to Agent Carter.

Marvel Legends (Spider-Man Homecoming): Spider-Man and MJ by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back today, after a long and painful hiatus, serving up a new Marvel Monday review. I’m going to skip a lengthy preamble about coming back, and just jump right in. Hopefully I won’t be too rusty… So, I haven’t purchased many new toys in my absence, but I have plenty on the stack to get through, and my Marvel Legends backlog is as big as ever. I thought I’d bump today’s set to the top of the list, since I just saw Spider-Man: Far From Home last week and I’m still riding that Web-Head High. Wow, what a fun movie that was!

I want to say this set was a Target Exclusive, but there’s nothing on the package that calls it out, so don’t quote me on that. I just know that it showed up on my doorstep from Target, and up until that point I had completely forgotten that I pre-ordered it. And yes, it’s based on Homecoming, despite the fact that it shipped closer to the new movie than the former one. Included in the box is a variant of Spider-Man as well as a figure that I never thought we’d get… it’s the MCU version of MJ! The figures come in a standard two-pack Legends window box with some stills from the movie on the side panels and a great look at the goodies from the front. All in all, the package makes for an attractive display piece, but since available space continues to be at a premium around here, I’m gonna shred this box all to hell. Let’s start with Spider-Man!

So, this is Spidey in his original Stark-made Homecoming suit, while wearing both a hoodie and his school blazer over it. I expected this figure to borrow heavily from the last Homecoming Spidey, but there’s actually quite a bit of new work here. The legs appear to be the same sculpts, but these are painted much better than what I got on the previous figure. The blue and red looks a bit more vibrant, but the most notable difference is how much clearer the panel lining is on the blue parts. It can barely be seen on the original version, but here it’s just so much more prominent. The torso looks similar to the other figure, but it’s actually new as it doesn’t include the lateral shoulder crunches. The hit to articulation is a bummer, but it makes sense that these had to be omitted to accommodate the jacket and blazer.

The jacket and blazer are each cast from separate pieces of soft plastic and layered onto each other, which looks great. If you peel aside the blazer, you can see that the jacket under it is really just a frame made up of the exposed zipper edges and the hood. I’m guessing they went this route so it wouldn’t look too puffy and I think it was a good decision. The bright yellow blazer pops against the blue and red of the costume, includes some sculpted stitch lines, pockets, and even has the crest of the Midtown School of Science & Technology printed on it. As always the sleeves are sculpted as part of the arms, and apart from the absent shoulder crunches, the articulation is identical to the previous Spider-Man figure.

Alas, my big gripe with this figure is the head, which isn’t nearly as well done as the predecessor. The big issue here is that the white paint used for the eyes is badly misaligned. Also, I think the shading around the eyes looks weird. I’m not sure if this was supposed to convey shadow or if it’s just a sloppy job printing the web lines, but I don’t care for how it came out at all. Luckily the heads are swappable, but that doesn’t help when I plan on displaying both figures together.

Spidey comes with two sets of hands. You get the regular fists and the usual thwippy hands. Nothing new here, but I’m glad to see they packed in some options. All in all, this isn’t a bad figure, I just wish the head was painted better. I don’t know if I would call it essential, but I think him wearing the blazer is pretty iconic to this film, so I’m certainly happy to have it. Moving on to MJ…

So yeah, this was the figure I thought we’d never get. At least not from the first film, where her identity wasn’t even revealed until the end. Although thanks to casting leaks, most of us had gotten wind of it by the time the film premiered. MJ’s wardrobe didn’t really stand out for me, but I recall she sported something of a grunge look for most of the film, and this figure definitely reflects that. You get a black top, gray and black jacket, gray pants and black boots. It’s not the flashy stuff I’m used to comic book MJ wearing, but it reflects the new character pretty well. A number of the parts here look familiar, but it also looks like Hasbro invested in some new tooling. The jacket features the usual soft plastic vest with the sleeves sculpted on the arms and it looks fine. If this isn’t what I would call a stand-out figure, it’s more because of the design of the wardrobe than it is any failing on Hasbro’s part. In short, it’s perfectly fine.

What’s better than perfectly fine are the two head-sculpts. Hasbro did a beautiful job capturing Zendaya’s likeness, and I’d even go so far as to say this is some of their best work. The first head features her hair down and a rather perturbed expression. Lets not forget that MJ spent most of her time in the film looking skeptical or just plain scowling. Either way, I think they did a wonderful job with this one. If I had to throw out a gripe it would be that the hinge in the neck stands out quite a bit. But I’m really looking for nits to pick.

The alternate head features MJ’s hair tied back with a number of strands falling down the right side of her face and covering her cheek. This head also features a smiling expression, which is a nice contrast to the glowering alternative. Both sculpts capture her likeness perfectly, but I’m probably going to be partial to displaying my figure with the second head.

Like Spider-Man, MJ comes with two sets of hands. One pair feature splayed fingers, the other pair features a right fist and a left accessory holding hand. Nope, she doesn’t come with any accessories to hold, but I’m sure I could dig something out for her. As for the articulation, this is pretty standard stuff for the female Legends figures. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The torso features a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

As I mentioned earlier, I was interested in this set enough that I pre-ordered it. That’s something I don’t often do with Legends figures these days, because there are just so many of them coming out in any given month. And as it turns out I like these figures a lot, even if the Spider-Man head has room for improvement. I’m not sure I would call this a must-have, although with MJ playing a much bigger part in Far From Home, I wonder if she’ll get another figure in the near future. If not, I suppose she’s the real draw of this set. I dig the school blazer Spidey well enough, but I wouldn’t consider it essential. And that’s a wrap for my first review back. I do hope to be back again before the end of the week with something else, but it will all depend on how much time I get to spend at home in the next few days!

Marvel Legends (M’Baku Wave): Erik Killmonger by Hasbro

Just when I thought I had dipped into all the waves of Marvel Legends that were out there, this week my random draw from the Box of Shame™ pulled out a figure from the M’Baku Wave. And yup, this is my first foray into this assortment. I kind of forgot all about it. And as is often the case these days, I’m a little pressed for time today, so let’s just jump right in and check out this new(ish) version of Killmonger!

Of course, we already got a Killmonger in the original Black Panther themed wave. That version was wearing his Panther suit, while this one portrays him in his mercenary-style outfit. And considering that Erik here ranks up there as one of my favorite MCU villains, I’m all for getting another figure of the character. And hey… an actual portrait based on Michael B. Jordan’s likeness! The Panther suited version of Killmonger didn’t have an unmasked head, but we did get one in the two-pack, when he was bundled with Agent Ross. I haven’t picked that one up, and now that I have this portrait, I’m not sure I will. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s check out the figure!

I really liked this look for the character in the film. It was certainly more interesting than an “evil” version of the Black Panther suit. And as a general fan of military figures, this one also scratches that itch nicely. For starters, the outfit is brimming with detail! Hasbro doesn’t usually skimp on the sculpting when they’re doing the MCU figures, and this figure keeps that trend rolling along nicely. I especially dig his armored vest. It features some great panel lining and edging, as well as all the individual sculpted straps intended to keep it in place. The great detail in the vest is contrasted by the arms, which are simple blue sleeves, the baggy trousers feature an ammo strap on his left leg, just above the knee, and even the detail in the combat boots is impressive.

There’s more impressive detail to be found on the tactical belt, which is also removable. You get more pouches with magazines in them and a permanently sheathed combat knife. What I find a bit puzzling, and disappointing, is the decision to sculpt the sidearm as part of the holster. Hasbro’s 6-inch figures are no strangers to having functional holsters, so what happened here? It’s even more of a poser when you consider that he comes with the gun that I believe is supposed to be in the holster.

The coloring here is also quite well done. Indeed, it’s surprising just how colorful this figure turned out. The camo pattern on the pants looks great, and the blue sleeves and little touches like the emerald green on the shoulders makes what could have been a drab-looking figure turn out to be anything but. The straps for the vest are painted tan, and they even picked out the grenades on the belt with some green and the belt buckle with some silver. But most of all, I dig the subtle metallic wash on the front and back of the vest. Great stuff!

And because the character portrait is such a big draw for me here, I’m happy to report they did a wonderful job on the likeness. Not only is the face sculpt a solid piece of work, but I really dig how they did his hair. It adds some nice depth to the portrait. The half-tone style printing method still appears to be in use here, and I’d say this is one of the best examples of it. It even holds up pretty well when I get in real close.

And yes, the unmasked head fits nicely on the previous Killmonger release!

Killmonger also comes with the horned mask that he took from the British Museum’s West African Exhibit and this is a nicely done piece as well. It’s designed to fit over the face and it pretty much just stays on with friction. It tends to come off when I’m playing around with the figure, but it will usually stay put when I’m displaying him.

In addition to the mask, Killmonger comes with two weapons. The pistol is most likely supposed to be the Springfield 1911. It’s a decent little pistol cast in black plastic and it can be held comfortably in either of the figure’s hands. Again, why they didn’t just give him a functional holster to hold it in, rather than sculpting one in the holster as well? Who knows.

And last but not least, Erik comes with the BCM Recce 14 KMR-A with scope and grenade launcher. I don’t know if it’s all the goofy coloring and crazy sci-fi designs we’ve been getting with the comic figures lately, but I find myself really appreciating this beauty. It’s a wonderfully detailed sculpt, and like the pistol, he can hold it well in either hand.

Well, I’ve gushed a lot about this figure, but now comes the time for some gripes, and surprisingly they all seem to revolve around the articulation. All the points conform to the usual Legends model, so I won’t tick them off here. Instead, let’s talk about a few issues I had. Some of the hinge joints on this figure are really soft, particularly in the elbows, and mushy hinges are one of my pet peeves. But the wrists are even more problematic. At first, I thought the hinges were stuck, but instead they seem to have a weird ratcheting effect, where it takes a lot of force to move them and when they do move, there’s no subtlety there at all. As a result, the hands often look oddly positioned. Not to mention, the amount of force it takes for me to work those hinges puts stress on those tiny wrist pegs. I’ve never come across this phenomena in a Legends figure before and hopefully I never will again.

Killmonger has some issues, but even so, I think he still turned out pretty great. The coloring and attention to detail are both excellent, the weapons are awesome, and the mask is a mighty nice bonus. And unless it turns up super cheap, I really didn’t have any intention of buying the Killmonger two-pack, so naturally I was happy to get this unmasked head. Never in a million years did I think Hasbro was going to take a second pass at Black Panther with another wave of Legends figures, but if Killmonger here is any indication, I’m certainly glad they did.

Marvel Legends (Kree Sentry Wave): Captain Marvel in Bomber Jacket by Hasbro

I started this week with Carol, so I might as well end it with her too! We got two versions of Captain Marvel in this wave, one in her official MCU suit and this variant, also in her official suit, but with her bomber jacket on over it. Some may have hoped for another character in the wave instead, but I was sold on this figure the moment I saw it.

After a week of this wave, I’ve got nothing new to say about the packaging. You will, however, note that that this is the version of Carol you have to buy if you want to build the Kree Sentry. Back in the day, Hasbro would have just included the same part with both figures, but they’ve gotten wise to that. I do appreciate that they actually cooked up different character art for the back of the package to reflect this look. And the way they posed her on the tray holding Goose gets my vote for best packaged Legends figure ever. Seriously, I may need a second to keep sealed.

Obviously, this figure features a lot of parts-sharing with the other Captain Marvel. The torso and legs are all the same, and the jacket is the usual illusion comprised of a soft plastic vest with the sleeves sculpted onto the arms. And so from the neck down, the arms and hands are the only new pieces of sculpting here. At first, I thought they just recycled the flat hands from the other figure, but these feature a little more curving to the fingers and the thumbs are out, making them perfect for holding her furry friend. And yup, you can use the two sets of hands that came with the other Carol if you want to. The jacket is pretty simple, but it looks great. There are sculpted elastic rings around the sleeves and waist, sculpted lapels, and there’s a printed image on the back

The biggest addition to the figure is the new head sculpt, which features Carol with slightly windblown hair and smiling. I’m really glad to see the expression on this one, since there’s been some criticism in the trailer of Carol not emoting much and just looking darkgrim or expressionless. Personally, I’m not worried about it. Marvel has never had a big problem with balancing their movies with levity and keeping them lighthearted. Of course, the heads are interchangeable between the figures, a great bonus for owning them both. The printing on the facial features doesn’t do it any favors in close ups, but it looks great in hand and with the naked eye.

Articulation here is identical to the other Captain Marvel, so let’s skip it and head straight to her accessory. It’s another version of Goose, and this time he’s not in creepy restraints, and instead just looking adorable. He’s a static sculpt, but the pose is versatile enough so that it not only works for being held by Carol, as he is in the package, but also standing on his own with one paw outstretched and the other drawn back as if he’s playing.

I’m a little surprised, but this figure quite possibly turned out to be my favorite in what was a pretty strong assortment of figures. I just really dig the costume with the jacket over it, and it’s definitely my favorite portrait of the three. It would have been just as easy for Hasbro to go with a repaint of Captain Marvel in the Kree Uniform colors, and while I’ll still happily pick that one up if they do it, it’s nice to see that they didn’t settle for the low-hanging fruit. And that wraps it up for the individual figures, come on back later tonight and we’ll check out the Kree Sentry!

Marvel Legends (Kree Sentry Wave): Talos by Hasbro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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