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

These days, every time I complete a wave of Marvel Legends feels like a major victory. And when I say complete, I mean digging them out of my Pile of Shame™, opening them up, and having a look at them here at FFZ. The Lizard was one of my most anticipated BAFs in a while, not only because he’s an important addition to Spidey’s rogue gallery, but also because there’s so much potential there to make a great action figure. Even more so with him being a Build-A-Figure. And with how difficult it was for me to complete this wave, slapping this guy together feels all the sweeter. So, did Hasbro step up to the challenge on this one?

Oh, hell YES!!! Curt Connors is comprised of your usual five BAF parts (legs, arms, torso, head), plus one extra being the tail. And once cobbled together, he looks absolutely amazing! His hunched over, reptilian body includes elongated arms, which end in grasping claws that are just itching to grab hold of another figure, and legs that mirror the configuration of the hind legs of a dog, giving him a wonderful Were-Lizard profile. Every bit of his skin is textured with fine scaling, and the paintwork on the skin features some beautiful gradient shades of green. The remnants of his lab coat hang on his frame, sculpted mostly as a separate piece of soft plastic with the sleeves sculpted onto the arms. The tattered plastic garment features various holes and tears exposing his green hide, and the lower parts discolored, no doubt from being dragged through the sewers. His torn black shirt and purple trousers also show a lot of lizard skin peeking through.

The portrait here is pure magic, with a heavy T-Rex vibe to the facial structure, particularly in those ridges over the beady little eyes. The face features the same awesome textured scales as the rest of the body and some more of that beautiful coloring, with the lower jaw a much lighter olive green. The jaw is articulated so Dr. Connor can open up and really show off those rows of ferocious teeth and his long whip of a tongue protrudes out and down to below his waistline. This head sculpt is nothing less than a work of art!

Because of his unusual anatomy, Lizard features a few extra points of articulation. but the basics are still all there. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, swivels in the thighs and double-hinges in the knees. He also has hinges further down at those ankles and hinges in those secondary ankles, where his feet touch the ground. There’s an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, his neck is ball jointed, and his jaw is hinged. Finally, he has a ball joint where his tail connects to the body and two hinges further on down. If I had to nitpick something here, it’s that the hinges make the tail bend at sharp angles, which looks unnatural. They are, however, very helpful at keeping him standing when posed, so I’d say it’s an OK trade-off to getting a bendy tail.

I’ve already recounted how difficult it was for me to complete this wave, with Mysterio and Lasher available to me only through third-parties at scalper prices. Each of those figures set me back close to $50, and if this wave was built around any other BAF, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. In this case, however, I’m sure as hell glad I did. The Lizard BAF is nothing less than superb, and he is easily among my favorite Build-A-Figures to show up in the modern Legends line. Everything from the sculpt, paint, and design all came together so perfectly. He looks amazing and he’s loads of fun to play with, and he’ll assume a place of honor among my Spidey rogues gallery for sure! This one was a long journey, but the destination was well worth it!

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Spider-Woman by Hasbro

Who’s up for knocking out another wave of Marvel Legends? I know I am! And that goes double for the Lizard Wave, which I started reviewing all the way back in April of last year. Holy hell, that’s a long time… even for me! But then outdated reviews is going to be something of a running theme for me in the months to come as I struggle to catch up. So, today I’m going to open up the last figure in this wave, and then I’ll be back tomorrow to have a look at the Build-A-Figure.

For me, the final figure is Spider-Woman in what I believe is her fairly modern look? As many of you probably know, I have assumed the healthy posture of tapping out of modern Marvel Comics until they decide to get good again. Until then, it’s a steady diet of DC, Zenescope, and lots of Marvel back issues. Nonetheless, I do recognize this look as Jessica Drew after Secret Wars 2 from several years back and when she was prego. Hasbro opted to show mercy and give us a non-prego version for the action figure. Thank Hasbro for small favors.

I happen to really dig this costume a lot. It looks great in the panel art and it works really well here as an action figure. I’m also a little impressed at how much fresh sculpting Hasbro decided to do for her. Sure, there’s nothing new on the arms and legs, but almost all the detail on her tunic is actually part of the sculpt. There’s some black piping running down the sides, which splits off to form a spider-like emblem in the chest with two orange geometric shapes. It’s a fresh and abstract design and considering some of the other visual choices made in the pages of modern Marvel comics, I’m surprised to see something that looks this good. I’m also a big fan of the row of silver buttons off the left shoulder where the tunic buttons up. The outfit is tied together by a simple orange belt. The paint applications are overall pretty sharp, and the muted colors are another nice departure from the usual bright palate. I could see this costume making the transition from page to the big screen without too many necessary tweaks.

The portrait here is also well worthy of praise and a big part of the credit has to go to this incredible little pair of orange tinted sunglasses. Yes, these are sculpted separately from the head and can be removed simply by sliding the arms out from between her hair and head. They fit pretty well and look good, neither of which is easily achieved at this scale. The underlying portrait is also one of Hasbro’s better ones, at least for a comic-based character. She’s pretty, the paint applications on her lips and eyes are all sharp and straight, and I dig the way the hair is sculpted to fall about her shoulders.

If there’s anywhere this figure falls short, it’s in the articulation. Not that what’s here is any different from other Marvel Legends gals, but I really think it’s time that Hasbro gives the ladies the same arm articulation that the dudes get. Instead of double-hinged elbows and bicep swivels, Jessica gets by with rotating hinges all around… shoulders, elbows, and wrists. She also lacks a waist swivel and instead has a ball joint under her chest. At least the legs are par for the course with rotating hinges in the hips, thigh swivels, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. Finally, the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

I can’t say as I was terribly excited about this figure going in, other than the fact that she had the last piece for my Lizard BAF, but now that I’ve opened her up and played around with her, I think she’s one of the high points of this wave. No, this look will never be my Jessica Drew, but I still dig it. It’s the one-two punch combination of a great costume design and great execution. And you can’t ask for much more than that. And with the individual figures of this wave finally under my belt, I’ll swing back tomorrow and have a look at The Lizard Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Lasher by Hasbro

Last week, I looked at Mysterio, a figure from the Lizard Wave that cost me about double retail to pick up. Today, I’m opening the second ball-buster from this wave that I had to pay double for and it’s Lasher. Both of these were required to build Lizard, but the main difference is that I actually wanted Mysterio in my collection, so that one didn’t hurt quite so bad. Lasher? Mmm… not so much. I’m going to go through this guy quick, because I’ve got a big review to write for later in the week.

I’ve said before that I’m not a huge fan of the extended family of Symbiotes. And that being the case, Lasher here is a real reach. I found the whole Life Foundation plot to be pretty contrived and silly, but I realize that I’m in the minority when it comes to the Symbiotes. From what I understand they tend to sell comics, so it’s only natural that Marvel will drum up whatever they can to get move of them in there. I’ll bet they sell action figures too, which is why we’ve been seeing a lot of these guys showing up in Legends lately.

Lasher uses one of the Spider-Man bodies, which includes those lateral shoulder crunches, which are always a nice surprise. New sculpting comes in the form of the creature-like hands and feet, which are par for the course when it comes to the Symbiote figures. The body itself is matte black with a slight metallic green wash and you get green splotchy marks on his torso and neck. The head is classic big-eyed Spider-Man with more of the splotches. There’s nothing particularly striking about this figure to me, but it surely gets the job done. From the back you can see four different shaped sockets for his tendrils. These should be readily familiar to anyone who has picked up Venom or other Symbiote figures.

The tendrils go a long way to make Lasher more interesting, but each one is designed to go in a specific slot in his back, so there isn’t a lot of room to mix-up display options. I think ball joints would have been a much better way to go here, as they would have allowed articulation and a choice on where you want to plug in each of the tendrils. The upper ones are designed to curl over his shoulders and the lower ones hang down and curl forward a bit. I do dig the coloring on these, as the metallic green is a lot more pronounced. It’s a shame the whole figure didn’t have this kind of finish.

The articulation here shouldn’t be a surprise, especially since this body has been seen before. The legs have rotating hinges at the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms feature that extra crunch in the shoulders, along with the usual rotating hinges, there are swivels in the biceps, double-hinges in the elbows, and the wrists are rotating hinges. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is ball jointed and hinged. As mentioned earlier, there’s no real articulation in the tendrils, and they can get in the way of posing. You just kind of have to work with them.

And that’s all I have to say about this guy. He’s not a bad figure if you’re into this sort of thing, but for me a lot of these Symbiotes just blur together. Remember that wave that was all Symbiotes except for Typhoid Mary? Well, there’s a reason I skipped that wave except for Mary. And that was the first wave of Marvel Legends that I sat out since it made it’s triumphant return.  Even at $20, Lasher would have been an easy pass, but toss in the Lizard head and he was worth double that. Next Marvel Monday, I’ll open the last figure in this wave, Spider-Woman, and finally take a look at the Lizard Build-A-Figure.

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Mysterio by Hasbro

I don’t often have a lot of trouble completing waves of Marvel Legends. Sometimes there’s a figure I have to pay a couple more bucks for on Ebay, but between Amazon and local stores, I do alright. And then there’s the goddamn Lizard Wave, which had two figures confounding me since all the way back in April of last year, when I began reviewing this assortment. Well, a few weeks ago I eventually gave in and used some Prime Rewards points to grab Mysterio off of Amazon for a crazy scalper price.

And here he is finally in my dirty mitts and getting him has been quite the journey. A while back a certain online retail offered him for pre-order, saying that Hasbro was doing a re-issue. I plopped down the pre-order and stopped looking for him. A short while later they cancelled it and said, Whoops! He’s not being re-issued after all. Sorry! Then when I finally bought him from an Amazon scalper, they sent me Spider-Punk instead. I had to ship it back for an exchange. Sheesh, Mysterio, you’ve been nothing but trouble!

Aw, but check him out! Even if I set aside the coveted Lizard leg BAF part, I think he was well worth the effort, if not the money. Mysterio comes wearing his classic outfit, consisting of a green buck with a cut grid pattern. His boots and gauntlets are also both original sculpts and cast in a brighter, pearlescent green, which looks somewhat ethereal.  The sculpted detail on his squared off forearms is particularly well done, with an ornately occult flavor to them. No, this may not be the most exciting Legends body out there, but it sure fits Mysterio perfectly. Also, huge bonus points for the hovering cape. It’s a design trope that I always love to see, and I’m always surprised how well it works when fleshed out in 3D plastic. And there’s some damn nice texturing on the interior of the plastic garment.

Of course, from behind, Mysterio is one big slab o’cape, so there’s nothing to see here. Because the cape is attached to the helmet, it stays on quite well just by gravity alone. And amazingly enough, I did not find it at all intrusive while playing with this figure.

And then there’s his glorious fishbowl helmet, which is recreated here with frosted clear plastic. It’s an excellent effect, as it doesn’t allow you to quite see in, but you can catch a glimpse of the horror that’s lurking behind it. That horror is a creamy skull with horrific Elder God style tentacles coming off of it. An interesting aside, the figure has been produced with this head and a green one as well. I want to say that the green one was the initial run and probably harder to find, but that’s just my guess. I do like this one a lot because the coloring makes it a lot more difficult to make out through the helmet and contributes to the creepy idea that there’s just some kind of ethereal gas floating around inside that globe.

Mysterio’s articulation is no mystery. The arms feature rotating hinges int he shoulders, bicep swivels, double-hinges in the elbows, and pegged hinges in the wrists. The torso features a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and the head is ball jointed. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. My figure does have a bit of an issue with his right shoulder, where it’s loose and doesn’t always support the arm being up. From what I’ve seen it’s not an uncommon problem with this release.

 

Mysterio comes with two effect parts and these are meant to simulate the horrors of his trickery. They’re cast in a very cool translucent green plastic and represent swirls of gas and tentacles. They are specifically sculpted to attach to his ankles and rest on the floor, but one of them works pretty well when extending from his wrist. You can also attach them from the front or back to offer a little variety to your display. I think he would have been a good candidate for the Hex Power effect parts that clip onto the wrists. Not that I’d rather have those than these, but both would have been nice. Still, I can always borrow the ones that came with Polaris. They’re more yellow than green, but they work OK.

In the end, Mysterio cost me $45. Or at least $45 worth of Prime Rewards points, which is really the same thing. Was he worth it? Yeah, pretty much. I’m not saying that in and of himself, he’s a $45 figure, but he’s a character that I absolutely needed on my Legends shelf and I damn sure needed that Lizard leg too. The way I look at it, I get a whole bunch of my Marvel Legends at pretty good discounts if I’m patient, so when a figure like this one gets away and costs me extra, it all works out in the end. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only figure in this wave that cost me the big bucks. Next week, we’ll check out the other one.

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

Yeah, it was all the way back in February when I first dipped into this wave with a review of Silver Sable. Of course, in my defense, my life turned to shit somewhere along the way and I was forced to put FFZ on hiatus. Now I’m back in action, more or less, and ready to wrap this puppy up. Let’s have a look at the Kingpin Build-A-Figure! Oh, boy have I been looking forward to this guy!

And here is Fisk in all his rotund glory. Kingpin is comprised of your six basic BAF parts: Torso, arms, legs, head and a few extras, which we’ll look at in a minute. He dons his trademark white linen (plastic) suit. Yeah, it surprises even me that I can get this excited over an action figure of a big, bald guy in a suit. But, as a character, Kingpin has a sense of frightening gravitas about him, and this figure conveys that perfectly. Indeed, this bulbous buck makes him look like an absolute powerhouse! The suit consists of a sculpted vest with a collard shirt and tie peeking out the top. The buttons on the vest are neatly painted gold, the shirt is black, and the tie is purple. The trousers show some sculpted rumples, especially where they rest on his giant black shoes. The suit’s coat is the usual trickery, where it is sculpted without sleeves and the sleeves are sculpted as part of the arms. In this case, it’s a little obvious, but I still dig it. Some other nice sculpted details include the ring on his left hand and the neatly folded handkerchief that’s sculpted peeking out of his coat pocket.

Kingpin comes with two heads, and they are both outstanding. The first portrait exhibits raw determination, and while I know this is a comic based sculpt, I can’t help but still see some of Vincent D’Oonofrio in there. I’m not sure if that was intentional, or if I’m just seeing it because he’s pretty much irrevocably connected to the character because of his amazing performance as Kingpin in the Daredevil series. Whatever the case, I dig it a lot. The second head, is pure rage and will work for pretty much any action pose I’m going to put him in.

As for articulation, Fisk has all the right points, but because of his portly sculpt, there’s some real limitations here. The arms work well with rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. He also has a ball joint in his chest, but I can’t do too much with it. The legs are the most stymied. Even though they have rotating hinges in the hips, knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles, there’s still not a whole lot of range of motion there. That’s not really a complaint, as it’s totally expected. Finally, the neck has both a hinge and a ball joint.

Finally, Fisk comes with his cane, which is a simple accessory but looks great. It features a sharply tapered staff with a gold fixture to hold the frosted diamond at the end of it. He can hold it in his right hand, but in order to get a firm grip on it, he has to hold it right at the base of the gold fixture, otherwise it just slips out.

I can’t remember the last time I was looking forward to completing a BAF as much as this one. Kingpin is a villain that has been sorely missing from my Legends collection, and I’m happy to say now that he’s here, he’s absolutely fantastic. Clearly, a Build-A-Figure was the only way they were going to do him justice, and it was worth all the work to get him!

As for the wave itself? I’m not going to lie, this one was a real mixed bag for me. I couldn’t have cared less about Red Goblin or the modern Symbiote Suit Spidey. Black Cat is always a favorite of mine, but I’m just not a fan of this suit. On the flip-side Puma, Night Thrasher, and Silver Sable were all excellent, and Six-Arm Spidey is just a cool figure. Those last four were probably the only figures I would have purchased if it weren’t for needing those BAF parts, and Spidey didn’t even come with any! Ah, but who cares? I have my Kingpin completed, and it feels good to put another wave to bed.

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Six-Arm Spider-Man by Hasbro

Here we go, folks… it’s my absolute last, cross-my-heart, really mean it this time, figure for me to open in the Kingpin Wave. I was really tempted to build Fisk last week and review him, because Spidey here doesn’t come with a BAF part, but I decided to go ahead and finish off the wave before enjoying that sweet, sweet victory of building the Kingpin BAF. So let’s go ahead and have a look at Six-Arm Spidey! Oh yeah, I’m a little pressed for time today, but I think I can give this figure its due relatively quickly.

For Peter Parker to live, Spider-Man must die!!! The “Six-Arms Saga” is one of those wonderful, inspired, and bat-shit crazy comics that makes me wish I was born ten years earlier so I could have experienced it as it was happening. Sadly, it debuted on the comic stands the year before I was born, and I would have to wait another dozen or so years before carrying the first of these issues home on my bike from the used bookshop downtown. It gave us some genuine body horror, it introduced us to Morbius, The Living Vampire, and it was a helluva great ride. Oh, how happy I was when Hasbro decided to toss us this figure!

And yes, there is something that is both inherently silly and horrifically creepy about this guy! And given the nature of this figure, let’s talk articulation first! The figure is built around a newly designed trunk, which omits the usual waist swivel and ab-crunch in favor of four extra “shoulder” joints sticking out of his sides. So in terms of articulation, this is a “lose some to gain some” kind of scenario. Which is perfectly understandable given the design challenges. The two new sets of arms are bare with ragged pieces of Spidey’s suit painted around the “shoulders” to show where they <gasp> broke free of the suit while they were growing out of him. Each of these arms share identical articulation with Spidey’s regular arms, so you get rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double-hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The regular hands are both thwip hands, while the four new ones are all balled into fists. The rest of the articulation amounts to the usual stuff. You get ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs and lower legs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

The suit itself is wonderful. It consists of the bright blue and red deco that I’ll always love the most. The red parts feature a web pattern, which is sculpted but not painted in. The spider emblem on his chest and back are sculpted and painted black, and as has often been the case, the hinges and pins in the wrists and elbows are left as bare red plastic and not painted to match the blue. Yeah, this is always a bone of contention with some people. Honestly, it never really bothered me much. Finally, the head features that same sculpted, but unpainted, web pattern and two big ‘ol white eyes with black boarders. Pure comic goodness!

The figure is loads of fun to play around with, but the absence of the torso articulation definitely limits the things he can do. I also wish he came with extra regular hands. I’m fine with all the extras being fists, but some relaxed hands and fists for his regular arms would have been pretty sweet. I know, they spent a lot more on this guy to give him extra arms and keep all that articulation, so I’m not making too big a deal about it.

I warned you, today’s review was going to be short, but I honestly don’t have a whole lot else to say about this figure. He’s definitely unique and a welcome addition to my collection. When Marvel Legends returned back in 2013, never in a million years did I expect it to be as prolific as it’s been. And while it’s had its share of Captain America and Iron Man variants clogging the pegs, the real beauty of this line is when it digs deep. Sure, it’s not like Six-Arm Spidey hasn’t resurfaced at least half a dozen times, and in different media, since ASM #101, but how cool is it that Hasbro is still digging this deep? Meet me back here tomorrow and I’ll put this wave to bed with a look at Kingpin!

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Symbiote Spider-Man by Hasbro

No random draw for this week’s Marvel Monday. Instead, I went straight for a Spider-Man figure so I can be sort of topical in light of the Spider-Man movie news. I’m not really going to go into that here much, instead I’ll just say that I haven’t given up hope that either Sony or Disney will see reason and reach some kind of new agreement. Then again, if he’s done I’ll just be grateful for every miraculous moment we got of him on screen. Another reason for this week’s pick is that I’m hankering to finish off another Build-A-Figure, and since I’ve already opened and reviewed two of the six figures needed to build Kingpin, this one will get me halfway there. Oh yeah, it’s the new Symbiote Suite Spidey, so don’t expect a lot of enthusiasm out of me for this review.

Since I don’t have anything to really say about the packaging, I’ll throw it out there that Hasbro has recently announced the decision to remove plastic from their packaging. How’s that going to work with Legends? Will there be enclosed boxes? Will we no longer be able to scrutinize the paint on the figures we buy? How will we know someone hasn’t stolen the BAF part, or swapped the figure for a Toybiz version and returned it? These are all questions that interest me a lot more than how it will effect the aesthetics of the package. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, let’s tear in and see what we’ve got.

As many of you probably remember, Hasbro gave us a Symbiote Spider-Man as part of the Sandman Wave, and it wasn’t that long ago. Of course, that was the Classic version and this is the more recent look of the Symbiote black suit as it appeared in last year’s “Go Down Swinging.” And while I don’t want to sound like a broken record, I am not a huge fan of a lot of the newer Marvel costume designs, and this one ain’t about to change my mind on that matter. Ah, but I’m here to review a figure and given what they had to work with I think Hasbro did a fine job on this one.

The Symbiote suit doesn’t require a lot of fresh sculpting, so Hasbro was able to save a few shekels on this release. From the neck to the ankles it’s just a recycled buck. The body is cast in black plastic and you get the white pattern painted on the chest and back, and wrapping around the shoulders. This is usually a recipe for disaster when it comes to the black bleeding through, but it doesn’t look too bad on this figure. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for monochrome suit designs, so this one does gain some points in that category.

The feet are sculpted into monster-symbiote feet and you get two sets of hands: Fists and claws. As for articulation, at first I thought this was a reuse of the Miles Morales figure, but it actually has the extra shoulder crunches, so that’s pretty cool. Everything else is standards stuff. As a rule, Hasbro’s Spider-Man figures are always loads of fun to play around with and this guy is no exception.

And then you have that head and those eyes. I wasn’t a big fan of this look in the comic art, and I’m sorry to say that I think it’s even worse when translated to an action figure. And yeah, personal taste aside, I think this is just one of those cases where 2D art wasn’t meant to be depicted in 3D. Hasbro did their best, but I just can’t get past how weird it looks. Why did Marvel decide to go with such a strange design? Well, why does Marvel do half the things they do in the comics these days? It’s a mystery. I understand the desire to update and make things look fresh, but I don’t get what they were going for here at all.

So, to sum it up, this is a decent figure based off a design I don’t like. Personally, I think it would have been much cooler to see the classic black suit return in the comic, but then Hasbro and Marvel couldn’t have sold another figure to idiots like me, so I guess they know what they’re doing. As much as I consider Legends a universe building line, I would have easily passed on this one if it weren’t for my desire to not own a headless Kingpin BAF. Then again, the same could have been said for the modern Black Cat included in this wave. And, I think I’ll keep the whole controversial update theme going next week with a look at another figure in this wave, Red Goblin.

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Black Cat by Hasbro

Well, look at this! I’m on track with Marvel Monday for three weeks in a row! I feel like I’m finally getting back in the (web) swing of things. Once again I’m tossing randomness in the wind, as I have a hankering to finish me off a Kingpin Build-A-Figure. And I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the wave we’ll be looking at until I complete him. I’m also in a very catty mood as having just adopted a pair of kitties, so let’s check out Black Cat!

I first dipped my toe into this wave when I opened Silver Sable waaaaay back in February. Ah, February. It feels like ten years ago. Before everything in my life started breaking down. What a simpler time that was. Anyway… as already mentioned, today I’m opening up the other femme fatale of the wave, Black Cat, and also adding a Kingpin arm and cane to the mix. We last saw a nice classic version of Black Cat back in the 2014 Ultimate Green Goblin Wave. This time Hasbro is serving up Felicia in her more modern costume.

And, oh boy, I am not fond of this look for her. Felicia still dons a black bodysuit with furry fringe on the lower legs, forearms, and collar, but this time the fringe is left black and it just doesn’t have that same great pop as her classic look. This costume also adds a pair of yellow cat eyes above her chest, and to me these just look dopey. All I can say is the new and longer style of the fur fringe gives her an interesting silhouette, but I do prefer the curvier look of Classic Felicia.

The costume is rounded out by the gray whip, which is coiled around her waist as a belt and hangs down behind her like a kitty tail. I love the idea here, but I’m not a fan of the whip being just bare grey plastic. Now keep in mind, all of my criticisms here rest firmly in the suit design. As far as the figure itself goes, Hasbro did a nice job bringing it to plastic form. The sculpted fur fringe all looks good and the attention to detail shown in the tiny cat-head zipper is fantastic.

The head sculpt here is also worthy of kudos. Is it better than the previous Black Cat. Mmm… not really, but it is good. Here Felicia sports a big toothy grin as if she’s flaunting her latest stolen bauble. Her white hair is sculpted to be straighter and more form-fitting to her head. I also like that the domino mask is sculpted as well as painted. This portrait is definitely a solid piece of work, and easily my favorite thing about the whole figure.

Articulation is identical to Silver Sable, but since it’s been forever since I reviewed her, I’ll go ahead and do the rundown again. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball joints at the hips, swivels at the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. She has a ball joint under her chest and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck. It’s mostly the same old stuff, but I will say that this figure’s elbows have a better range of motion than the previous Black Cat.

Black Cat comes with one accessory, her whip, and once again I am not a fan. The segmented silver plastic makes it look more like one of Omega Red’s tendrils than it does a whip. It’s also sculpted in a fairly generic curvy pattern that doesn’t lend itself all that well to posing. And isn’t the whip and belt supposed to be the same? If that’s the case, why didn’t they make it so that it can be removed from her waist with a peg or something? It just looks silly with her wearing it and wielding it at the same time. Harrumph.

This is one of those instances where I have to come away with a resounding Meh. This figure is mostly well done, but it’s not my Black Cat. I just don’t like the costume at all and with that being the case it’s hard to really enjoy the figure. Indeed, if it weren’t for the BAF parts, I probably would have given this kitty a pass. And that’s really saying something, because y’all know how much I love cats.

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 (Lizard Wave): Prowler by Hasbro

I didn’t think I’d make it today, but I’ve been squirreling away a little time here and there and chipping away at another Marvel Monday review. This one is going to be another quickie, but at least I’m trying to get back on the horse, right? And because today has to be quick-and-easy, I’m not doing the usual random grab into my Marvel Legends Backlog of Shame®. Instead, I’m picking a figure that I don’t have a hell of a lot to say about. And that lands us back in the Lizard Wave with Prowler.

It feels like I started reviewing this wave a lifetime ago, but I’m over the hump and there are just a few figures left before I can build my Lizard. And how about that Prowler, eh? Honestly, I got nothing. It doesn’t often happen where I find myself without any affinity toward a character at all, but I’m hard pressed to remember more than a few times that I ran across Prowler in my funnybook readings. And that’s crazy because he and Spidey go way back. I’m not doubting his pedigree, I just don’t have many feelings for him one way or the other. I’m guessing this is Hobie Brown’s Prowler as the costume is pretty classic.

Though classic it may be, this isn’t a costume that really grabs me, but that’s not to say that Hasbro didn’t do a decent job executing it. The costume is achieved mostly through a green buck with purple paint for the boots and gloves and yellow-green paint for the chest emblem. Original sculpting includes the gas cartridge bracers he wears on his wrists and ankles, as well as a simple waist belt. The ankle bracers are supposed to stay in place with friction, but they mainly wind up loose around his ankles.

The other big piece of original sculpting is the cape, which is rolled up to form a ring around his neck before cascading down his shoulders. It looks good, but it does weigh down the figure a bit. Lately I’m on a real rage against plastic capes on 6-inch scale figures.

The head sculpt is easily my favorite thing about this figure. The purple and black mask looks pretty damn cool with the narrow, deep set, pupil-less eyes and the subtle wrinkles that show the contours of his face beneath the mask. I get a major Spawn vibe off Prowler and that ain’t a bad thing at all.

A quick rundown on the articulation holds no surprises. Prowler’s arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with swivels in the biceps and double hinges in the elbows. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in at the thighs and the tops of the boots. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso has a waist swivel and an ab-crunch, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Remember my motto, Legends is all about the Universe building! Does it matter that I don’t have a lot of love or even much familiarity with Prowler? Hell no. Am I happy to get another Spidey villain on my Legends shelves? Hell yeah! And who knows? Now that I have his figure on my shelf, maybe I’ll hunt through some of my back issues and look him up again.