I’ve spent the last bunch of Marvel Mondays wandering through some of Hasbro’s 80 Year Anniversary releases, and it’s almost time to dig into another regular wave. But before that, let’s squeeze in at least one more! This one is actually a double dip, as it’s not only an 80 Year release, but also one of them Retro Carded figures!
I am by no means a completist when it comes to these Retro Carded figures. The inner turmoil over whether to open them or keep them carded takes too much of a toll on my frail booze-addled nerves. But, when it’s a first time release like Silver Samurai here, there’s no question I’m going to pick it up and tear into it. The package art harkens back to the old Toy Biz X-Men line, and even though I was already in college when that line was out, I still get the nostalgia feels from seeing these. The character art is nothing mind blowing, but the figure sure looks awesome on the card. I’ve had some luck in the past carefully razoring the bubble halfway around to slide the figure out without too much damage, but I still wound up tossing the card eventually.
As a character, Silver Samurai is almost as old as I am. I’ve actually got a couple years on him. Even still, I find that I haven’t encountered him all that often in my decades of Marvel meanderings, but I’m always pleased to see him turn up, mostly because I love his armor so damn much. He’s had run ins with all sorts of characters from Daredevil to Elektra and Spider-Man to Wolverine. And it turns out that he makes for a remarkably unique and beautiful action figure! I mean, just look at this guy, shining in all his silver glory!
I’m used to Hasbro using the Retro Carded waves for a lot of repacks and repaints, so it’s odd to me to see a figure like this, one that uses nearly all new tooling, to not get a regular boxed release. And yet here we are! Most of Kenuichio Harada’s armor is sculpted as part of the figure’s body, although the armored skirt and shoulder are attached separately, giving an already complex sculpt a bit more added depth. And boy do I love the detail on this armor. It takes a pretty traditional looking Samurai design and casts it in brilliant silver, complete with sculpted rivets, as well as the tiny ties and straps that are meant to keep it on. I particularly appreciate how Hasbro colored many of those straps white to distinguish them from the silver armor. It’s a little touch that they could have left out and I probably wouldn’t have noticed. It just shows that extra bit of care.
And speaking of colors, some of you may know by now that I’m quite the afficiando of premium silver paint on my action figures. Hasbro has been using some nice stuff lately, and it’s certainly on display here. Some of the pieces, like the shoulders and skirt have been left as plain gray-silver plastic, which contrasts nicely with the snappy silver painted parts. He also has the brilliant crimson Rising Sun emblazoned on his chest and a red orb on the crest of his helmet.
The head sculpt is every bit as good as the armored body, with the majestic helmet covering the top half of his face. The exposed lower half shows a down-turned mouth and a grim expression. The overlapping plates that make up the sides and back of the armor have more sculpted rivets, and his deep-set eyes are painted without pupils.
Silver Samurai comes with his two swords, which the package identifies as a Katana and Wakizashi. At first I was going to cry foul, as I thought they were the same length, but the Wakizashi blade is a tad shorter than the Katana, but not by much. The blades and Tsuba are left the same bare plastic color as the skirt and shoulders, and it’s a solid color, not that weird semi-translucent gray plastic Hasbro sometimes uses for accessories. The blades are soft, but don’t seem too prone to warping. The sculpted grips are painted black, and the belt includes a loop for each sword on the left hip.
Despite a big build and a full set of armor, Silver Samurai still has great articulation. All the usual points that I expect from my Legends dudes are represented here. He even has extra swivels in his lower legs. The shoulders aren’t as restrictive as I would have guessed, and the way the skirt is designed, he still enjoys a lot of range of motion in his hips. The joints all feel solid, and he is ridiculously fun to play around with. He is, however, not the best balanced figure out there, and I do sometimes have difficulties getting him to stand in the more extreme poses.
Silver Samurai is a prime example of me not needing to have a deep relationship with a character in order to love a figure. Indeed, I would imagine that even if I weren’t collecting Marvel Legends, I would have still picked up this figure if I encountered him on the pegs. He’s a great design, which Hasbro has nearly flawlessly recreated in action figure form. And since I was never able to find the Marvel Universe Wolverine/Silver Samurai Comic Pack, getting him in the 6-inch line feels like an extra treat!