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

If you stopped by last Friday only to find no new content, I offer my apologies. It was a busy work week, which flowed right into a working weekend. But now it’s Monday and I have a couple of days off to spend some time opening some toys! And it’s one of those Marvel Mondays, where I can sit back, have a pour of Jameson, light up a fine cigar, and reap the rewards of having dutifully purchased all the little plastic people in a Marvel Legends Wave. Sure, I was going to buy them anyway, but now I can finally assemble the Build-A-Figure, and in this case, it’s a three-headed mutant-hunting robot freak! Let’s take a look at the Tri-Sentinel!

While this guy’s design is a tad unconventional, he’s not all that different from most BAFs. You get a torso, four limbs, but in this case three heads instead of one. And yet with a total of eight pieces, they still stiffed Wolverine and gave him BAF parts at all! Tri-Sentinel goes together just fine right up until I got to those heads and then things turned into a nightmare for my pour thumbies. The heads are on ball joints and getting them into the sockets required a nightmare or pressure. At one point, I thought the problem was that each head was designed for a specific socket, but nope, I just wasn’t pressing hard enough. You’d think with all the video games I play, my calloused thumbs would have been better suited to the task, but apparently they are still soft and delicate. Anywho… As you may have already surmised, this isn’t Loki’s Tri-Sentinel, but rather the Theta Sentinel. Why’d they change the name? Who the hell knows! I’m pretty sure, this guy is original to the House of X/Power of X stories. At the very least I can say that it’s the first time I encountered the design.

And what a slick design this is! Like most technology (except for maybe televisions), Sentinel tech seems to get smaller as it gets more advanced. And while Theta Sentinel has some significant height on most regular Legends figures, it isn’t the towering, bulky arsenal-type Sentinels of old. Quite the contrary, this fellow has almost organic in his curves, and he’s super lanky in the limbs. I love me some spindly robots, because it just makes them creepier and more realistic when you know there’s no way it could be a guy in a suit. Unless it’s Doug Jones. I’m pretty sure that guy could fit into anything. This Sentinel does have some bulk in the upper torso, and those flared shoulders give him an aggressively stylish look. I also dig how the upper body tapers to such a narrow connection to his hips. He’s also got some seriously long claw-like hands, which are intimidating enough to make Lady Deathstrike take a second look!

I absolutely love the deco on this guy. The metallic purple and silver contrasts nicely with the matte black. It’s only a little bit reminiscent of the old Sentinels. Maybe just enough to get a whif of familiarity, while still looking new and fresh. It looks like all the paint lines are incorporated into the sculpt, which is always a good thing. Otherwise, there aren’t a lot of panel lines or other busy details in the Sentinel’s armor, which serves to drive home its advanced futuristic look.

The three heads are damn creepy, with what I can only describe as techno-skulls for faces. All three faces are identical with elongated mouth pieces and narrow, angry red eyes. Their heads are capped off with what could be considered a more stylized version of the old Sentinel caps. The heads all connect to an exposed area of the upper body, which is sculpted with some really nice detail, giving us a glimpse at the mechanisms under the purple armor. Ironically, as difficult as it was to get the heads in, they tend to pull out when I try to manipulate them. As a result, I find the ball joints they connect with to be too frustrating to use as a point of articulation. Instead, I tend to just turn the head where it connects to the stalk. It’s serviceable, but also a shame that I can’t get much use out of the ball joints.

And speaking of articulation, despite his rather unique design, Theta Sentinel has most of the usual points. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. There’s a swivel in his waist. His legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. He’s pretty nimble, and while it can take a little practice to get him to stand, he’s actually a bit better balanced than I expected him to be.

As far as Build-A-Figures go, this one was a real treat to finally get together. I kind of wish Hasbro released this figure as a Deluxe, because I wouldn’t mind having a couple more of them. Sure, we’ve seen Hasbro re-release BAFs as single packaged figures before, but somehow I doubt that’ll be the case with this one, so I’ll just be happy with the one I have for now.

And that wraps up this wave! It took me a while to get through it, but was worth it in the end. It was actually fun to be able to review some Legends that were based on a fairly modern book that I actually read for a change. As much as I can’t stand the direction Marvel has taken these days, Hickman will always bring me back to the fold. And this was a damn solid wave of figures. Indeed, the only one in the batch that I would consider a letdown is Marvel Girl, and that’s just because of her restricted leg articulation, which not only makes her no fun to play with, but she really can’t even stand up without looking awkward. And that’s a shame, because the sculpt and colors are pretty tight. I may be starting a new wave next Monday, or I may be detouring to check out something of the Hot Toys variety. We’ll see how much time I have on my hands, between now and then!

Marvel Legends (Tri-Sentinel Wave): Omega Sentinel by Hasbro

After some Marvel Monday meanderings, I’m finally down to opening the last figure in the House of X inspired Legends wave, and I saved the figure I since I was most excited for: Omega Sentinel! So, let’s check out Karima Shapandar…

I caught myself almost referring to Karima as a recent character, but holy shit, it’s been 21 years since she was introduced in the pages of X-Men Unlimited. God damn, I’m so old! One of the things that always fascinates and terrifies me is the blending of body horror and cybernetics, so it should be no surprise that I find her to be a compelling character, with lots of opportunity to explore the lines that divide human and machine.

And it doesn’t hurt that she just looks do damn cool! The towering robotic hunters have given way to compact elegance in Karima’s poetic female form! Omega Sentinel sports a form-fitting white and red suit with black trim, which gives a telling nod to the colors used to brand this wave’s packaging. Given the arms, I expected to get some fresh and original sculpting on this figure, but I was surprised to see that the entire figure appears to be new, which makes up for the fact that a number of releases in this assortment were done on the cheap with paint and recycled parts. In this case, every last detail in the paint on the figure is also reflected in the sculpt. That combined with the coloring makes this figure really pop!

While most of the body is all woman, Omega Sentinel’s technological side mostly manifests in her shoulder, arms, and neck, as well as the two plugs that appear down her front. I like the dark gray plastic, Hasbro used for the arms, you get some more black trim around the shoulder pieces, and some red paint hits on the shoulder nodules.

Omega Sentinel includes two portraits, but the one that comes on the figure is the synthetic head that reflects her appearance in the House of X. Hasbro did a beautiful job with this one, using more of that snappy red paint for the majority of the head. She has white panels, which are also part of the sculpt, and her eyes and eyebrows are painted with some crisp applications. It’s a great likeness to the character’s appearance in the comic panels.

The alternate and more human head is an absolutely amazing sculpt, and from a design standpoint I love it. She has a gray mask partially covering her face, but leaving the mouth and chin exposed, while a mane of wild hair splays out in all directions. Unfortunately, as great as it looks, this portrait is also a bafflingly huge missed opportunity to give us something comic accurate for the character. I don’t know why Hasbro chose to go with this rather specific look, nor can I comprehend the choice of skin and hair coloring, but it’s a shame they didn’t go with something more… correct? I’ve poked around a bit to see if I could come up with any answers as to what happened here, but I had no luck.

For the most part, the articulation here is pretty normal stuff. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint under the chest, which is standard for the female Legends, but this was an example where I really missed having a waist swivel. Maybe it was because I had a hard time putting her down and just kept playing with her. The neck is ball jointed and hinged, and offers a nice range of motion for either head. The big change here comes in the arms, and that’s because you can swap out Omega Sentinel’s fore arms for weapons. The shoulders and wrists have the usual rotating hinges, but the elbows are hinged pins, so you can pull the arms out at the elbows and replace them.

I don’t know what either of these weapons are supposed to be, but let’s just go with some kind of focused energy beam emitters. One has some paint apps to make it look like it has glowing bits, while the other is just a giant maw. You can use either weapon for either arm, or just double her up for extra firepower! It’s a great gimmick and it really adds to the fun factor of this figure!

Coming into this wave, I was excited to get Omega Sentinel and now that I have her in hand, I’m very pleased with how she turned out. Yes, I’d still say that Hasbro needs to serve up an apology head at some point down the road. Hell, I wouldn’t mind a re-release, because there’s nothing wrong with having extra Sentinels. It’s a shame, because they really did do a nice sculpt for that portrait, I just don’t know what they were going for when they colored it. It doesn’t really detract from the base figure, and I still love this one a lot. Next week, I’ll put this wave to bed with a look at the Tri-Sentinel!

Marvel Legends (Tri-Sentinel Wave): Moira McTaggert by Hasrbo


After meandering around a bit for the past few Marvel Mondays, I guess it’s time to swing back to my unfinished business with the Tri-Sentinel Wave! There’s just two more figures, and today I’m going with Dr. Moira McTaggert!

I’ve said my piece about the packaging for this wave over and over again, so let’s just say I dig it a lot and leave it at that. Moira seems to have been a polarizing character in House of X, thanks to some major (and heavily Hickmanesque) retconning. I actually had a pretty spirited discussion with one of my co-workers over it. It was admittedly weird to see such a major reassessment of a comic character that’s been around almost as long as I’ve been alive, but in the end I was pretty cool with it. It certainly wasn’t done out of hand, it was a major push forward in the X-Men story as a whole, and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes, assuming she ever decides to leave No-Place. Thanks to two sets of arms and two heads, you get a couple of display options, but let’s start with how she comes out of the box.

Dr. Moira, as lab-coated geneticist looks pretty good. She’s sporting a violet sweater with a maroon skirt and shoes. The coat is molded in soft plastic like a vest, with the sleeves sculpted onto the arms. It’s an old Hasbro trick and it works great, even if you can see the gaps in the shoulder holes in certain poses. Like any good nerd doing The Science, she has her coat pocket well stocked with pens. She also comes with two sets of hands. One is a pair of fists, the other features a right hand with the fingers splayed, which I believe is the usual powers-casting hand, and another to hold her accessory.

The scientist head sculpt is OK, but it’s definitely the lesser of the two. I don’t want to pick on the glasses too much, because it’s really tough to get those right in this scale. These don’t look too bad, but the paint on the frames is a little sloppy around the lenses. They also kind of look like Coke-Bottle Glasses, which makes this portrait unintentionally funny looking to me. But my biggest gripe here is that the painted lipstick does not match the mouth. Moira’s mouth was clearly sculpted with a dour, down-turned expression, while the lips are just painted straight on. It just doesn’t look good.

There are no surprises when it comes to articulation. Despite having swap-out arms, all the points function normally. I am happy to report that Moira’s skirt does not inhibit her articulation nearly as badly as Marvel Girl’s did. It feels like it’s made out of a softer plastic, and there’s a generous slit running up the right side. Not that I need Dr. Moira to be doing anything crazy, other than holding her Genetics Book, which is the only accessory she comes with. To change up Moira’s look, you basically pull out her arms to remove the lab coat and replace them with her sweater arms. Then you pop off the bespectacled head sculpt, put on her neckerchief, and pop on the second head. I should note that it’s really hard to pull the lab coat arms out of my figure.

So yeah, Casual Moira ditches the lab coat in favor of the white neckerchief and fashionable hat. Overall, I do like this version of the figure better, but I think a lot of that has to do with this second head sculpt.

The glasses are gone, the lipstick still doesn’t quite match the mouth, but I still think it’s a huge improvement. It’s like in those dopey comedies when the unpopular girl is obviously just a really attractive actress wearing glasses and has her hair up, only to have her get a makeover, which just involves taking off her glasses and letting her hair down. The hat could have used a bit more detail, but it’s fine.

Moira may not be the most exciting release around, but her Marvel Legends figure is long overdue. I really dig the extra effort they put into her. I mean, it’s only fair that a woman with an untold number of lives should at least get two display options for her action figure. And you can always pick up a second for Pyro to light on fire. That brings me to just one more figure in the wave before the BAF! So, next week I’ll wrap things up with Omega Sentinel!

Marvel Legends (Tri-Sentenel Wave): Marvel Girl by Hasbro

After a detour last week, I’m returning to the Tri-Sentinel Wave from Jonathan Hickman’s House of X! Today I’m opening up my fifth figure in the wave, leaving just two more to go before I can assemble my Tri-Sentinel. And while I didn’t intentionally plan it this way, all the remaining figures are ladies! So, let’s go ahead and open up Jean Grey, aka Marvel Girl!

Once again, I love the package design for this wave. The futuristic stylings of the X-Men logo, the clean black, white and red deco, and the character name printed on the front in the Krakoan language. Every once and a while I’m tempted to save the boxes for a wave and this is one of those times. But I’m not. Because, no room! Jean looks absolutely smashing amidst this presentation, and as we’ll soon see, I might have been better off leaving her in there.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a fantastic looking figure. House of X sees Jean return to her classic Marvel Girl outfit, and I do dig me some classic X-Men costumes! Naturally, I was excited to get this figure and I was quite pleased with what I initially saw. While the soft plastic skirt is cast separately from the torso, it’s pretty damn convincing as being all one dress. And it’s a simple one at that, especially when you consider that every damn superhero costume these days are made out of colored basketball skins! The green is perfectly matches from the skirt to the upper body, and on to the sleeves. That simplicity is only broken up by the textured black belt with green belt loops, and an old school rectangular X-branded belt buckle. The yellow boots are painted on the legs, but some sculpting for the modest heels on the feet, while the yellow gauntlets have sculpted flares to give them that cool buccaneer style! Going strictly by looks, I love the way this costume turned out and the coloring on this figure is very striking!

The portrait is equally solid. The yellow mask appears to be sculpted separately and attached to the head sculpt, which gives it a lot of depth. The face is pretty, and they captured her flowing red hair particularly well. OK, the hair is more orange than red, but I think it adds to the overall coloring here nicely. The hair parts at each shoulder, and it hovers a bit to not inhibit the neck movement too badly. While Hasbro has been employing halftone printing for their faces lately, this one appears to be painted, but that’s fine because the paintwork is pretty sharp. I had to get in pretty close to notice any imperfections.

What could possibly drag down such a great looking figure? Terrible articulation! Despite having a bit of a slit running up the right side, the plastic skirt renders the leg articulation above the knees pretty much useless, and that really limits what you’re going to want to do with the knee and ankle articulation, other than make small adjustments to try to keep her standing. Unless you just want her flat out kneeling, those double hinges in the knees just aren’t going to help. The legs are also a bit rubbery, and mine were slightly warped out of the package.

The normal ball joint that we get under the chest in the female figures has been moved down to her waist, which feels weird all by itself. And finally, the elbows hardly allow for even a 90-degree range of movement. Tally all of this up and you get a recipe for a figure that is absolutely no fun to play around with. I’m doing full slits on each side of the skirt to free things up a bit, but I’m not sure yet. Look, I do understand that a lot of these problems are trade offs for the costume’s aesthetics, but it doesn’t change the fact that it makes for a rather boring figure.

As far as accessories go, Marvel Girl comes with two sets of hands: One pair of fists, and one pair of the old powers-slinging hands. She also comes with a Krakoan Flower, fresh from Mars or perhaps The Savage Land. It’s an excellent choice, since these flowers played such a major role in the book. The purple bulb comes sprouting out of a gray spherical flower pot. Jean can sort of hold it in her powers hands, but because there isn’t a lot of room for leg adjustments, she frequently wants to fall forward when carrying it. So, don’t ask her to be the Flower Girl at your wedding!

Wow, this was a quick in and out as far as reviews go, but truth be told there just isn’t a lot more that I can do with poor old Marvel Girl here. She looks outstanding on the shelf, and the fact that Hickman brought back the Marvel Girl costume gave Hasbro a great excuse to give us this classic costume in a figure. I would imagine that even collectors who aren’t a fan of the House of X series would want this figure for their display. It’s just too bad that articulation had to take such a hit here and there’s only so many pictures I can take of her standing straight and waving her arms about. Sure, I’m still happy to have her, but I wish she was more fun.

Marvel Legends (Tri-Sentinel Wave): Wolverine and Cyclops by Hasbro

Howdy, Toyhounds! This week I’ve got Marvel Monday right back where it belongs… on a Monday. I had a fairly relaxed weekend and plenty of time to open some toys, so let’s jump right in with two more figures from the House of X-inspired assortment of Marvel Legends X-Men figures! Last time I had a look at Professor X and Magneto and I came away a little lukewarm, if I’m being honest. Let’s see how we make out with Wolverine and Cyclops!

Once again I really dig the packaging this time around. The boxes are perfectly branded to the books, complete with the futuristic X-Men logo on the front and the characters’ names in the Krakoan language beneath it. The figures themselves also look quite stunning against the backdrop of the red and white illustrated panel behind the clear tray. And if you lift your eyes to the top, you can see that when all is said and done we’ll be building a Tri-Sentinel, although Wolverine does not come with a BAF part. Let’s go ahead and start with him!

Wow, do I love this figure! The design takes the classic coloring of Wolverine’s brown suit and mixes it up with the tactical accents of his X-Force suit, and the result is something rather spectacular. Now I’m not saying I prefer brown and mustard to blue and yellow, but I still dig it a whole lot. Gone are the flared boots and in their place rugged combat boots with matching heavy gauntlets. I’m pretty sure this figure just recycles all the body sculpt from the Wendigo Wave Wolverine, which in turn borrowed a lot from the Juggernaut Wave Wolverine. Damn, I’m really terrible about keeping all these Wolverines straight! There sure have been a lot of them!

At least the belt looks new! It’s a simple brown belt with a leather-like texture and a red and yellow X-branded buckle. The belt is sculpted separately but fits the waist quite snugly and stays in place. Also worth mentioning are the beefy battle claws! We’ve seen some rather frail and anemic claws on Wolverines in the past, but these are just great. They’re nice and straight, not too bendy. Sure, you only get the one pair of popped-claw fists, but that’s all I need!

Only one set of hands, but two heads! You get a younger Wolverine portrait with Logan grinning a broad and toothy grin. I dig this portrait a lot as it looks like Wolverine is smiling as he’s imagining what he’s going to do with his adversary’s entrails, but he’s not letting anyone else in on the joke. The paint around his skin and the cowl could have been a little tighter here, but the sculpt is top notch stuff. Just look at how deep the eyes are set! Awesome!

And you also get future Wolverine where he’s sporting a beard and looking a lot more grim, dour, and crotchety. Hey, Mother Mold… Come get your damn Sentinels off my lawn, bub! Everything I said about the paint and sculpt on the previous head rings true here. The paint around the cowl could have been a little sharper, but everything else is fab. They didn’t go nuts on the beard, but I think it looks good. And yeah, this is likely the head I will be using to display on the figure most of the time.

Here at FFZ we recognize that Legends Wolverine Fatigue or LWF is a real syndrome, but it’s just not one that I happen to suffer from. Wolverine always makes for a fun figure, especially since he’s always got those extra shoulder crunches. Whenever I get a new one, he usually hangs on my desk for a while before getting retired to a shelf or tote. I just love playing with them, and this figure is no different! Let’s move on to Cyclops!

Cyclops’ costume got a rework in this book as well and while I wasn’t especially impressed by it in the comic panels, I have to say I’m really liking the way it turned out on this figure. The dark body suit has very little in the way of sculpted detail, but those bright blue stripes look really spiffy. Cyclops is also sporting a pair of silver arm bracers and an X-branded belt with some pouches. I never really think of Scott as a pouch kinda guy, but the belt looks good and I guess he has to carry around his smug self-righteousness somewhere. The tiny snaps on the brown pouches are painted silver and the buckle is red and silver. Like Wolverine, Cyclops only comes with one set of hands: A right fist and a left visor activating hand. Which brings us to…

A pretty solid head sculpt! There’s nothing crazy going on here, but the lower half of his face looks great. Unlike Wolverine, there are sharp lines between his face and the cowl, and the visor looks like it might be sculpted separately from the head.

Cyclops comes with a second head with gritting teeth, some effect parts around the corners of the visor, and a slot for the really big effect beam. I dig the way this looks, and despite being pretty substantial, Scott can still stand just fine with it inserted into his head. Pretty damn cool!

I really wasn’t expecting too much out of this pair, but once I got them opened and in hand, I fell in love with them pretty fast. Neither is my favorite look for the characters, but they do make for some cool variations. And besides, it’s nice to have figures from one of the best Marvel books that I’ve read in quite a while. Yeah, that’s not exactly high praise, considering my stance on Marvel’s offerings these days, but it was meant as a compliment! As for next week’s Marvel Monday, I may be taking a slight detour of the 3 3/4-inch variety before getting back to the Legends and the rest of this wave…

Marvel Legends (Tri-Sentinel Wave): Magneto and Professor X by Hasbro

That’s right… Welcome to Marvel Monday on a Wednesday! As I’m fond of pointing out in some of my Marvel Legends reviews, I stopped being a regular reader of Marvel Comics a while back when they decided to stop focusing on things like decent art, good stories, and respect for established characters. As always, there are exceptions to the rule, and I did poke my head in a couple years back to read Jonathan Hickman’s House of X because… well it was Jonathan Hickman and the art looked pretty good. I enjoyed it enough to eventually pick up the collected hardcover edition, and naturally I was pretty thrilled to see the book getting a full wave of Legends. Enough so that I pre-ordered this one, instead of hunting them down individually. So here we go, embarking on this wave with the two heavy hitters first… Magneto and Xavier!

House of X is full of all the standard Hickman-isms that I’ve grown to love. You get high concept stuff about evolution, the rise and fall of empires, secret knowledge, time travel, and lots of great nuggets of world-building, sometimes leaked between the pages of the actual story. I get that some people don’t dig his style of story telling, but I do. It keeps me invested in the story and getting the most out of it means my reading has to be less passive and more aggressive. The package branding looks great and even includes the characters’ name scrawled in the Krakoan language! I really wanted to keep these boxes, but in the end, space is too much of a limited commodity around here so into the bin they went! Let’s start with Professor X…

Cards on the table, Xavier’s appearance creeped me the hell out in this story. He’s out of his wheelchair sporting a lanky body in a tight body suit with the latest version of Cerebro worn pretty much all the time and covering most of his head. The combination of lanky body and giant head piece makes him look like some kind of cyborg-meat-lollypop and I just find it unsettling. And yeah, considering what Xavier gets up to in this book, that’s probably exactly what the look was going for. And while this figure conveys that look pretty well, it also means there’s really not a lot to it at all. From the neck down you get a completely generic black buck with no paint apps or detail at all.

At least they used one of the more articulated bodies, complete with those lateral crunches in the shoulders. You also get an extra pair of gesturing hands: One regular pointing hand and one “I’m pointing at my head because I’m concentrating” hand. On the downside, the joints on my figure are extremely soft and gummy, especially in the knees. It took me a bit of time to straighten them out enough so he would stand.

And while Hasbro banked a ton of time and effort on the body sculpt, the Cerebro head sculpt is quite excellent! The bulbous silver head piece includes a mess of wires and gizmos on the back, and a giant blue X-branded visor on the front.

You also get a head without Cerebro and with some psionic effects radiating from Xavier’s head. It’s a nice bonus to add some value, but it doesn’t do a lot for me. Ultimately, this figure accomplishes what it needs to do, but unless you’re a big fan of this story, I’m not sure it’s going to be worthy of a pick up. Sure, Cerebro looks awesome, but the rest of the figure is so drab and generic. I’m happy to have it, but I’m curious to see if it’ll be a peg-warmer around these parts. Moving on to Magneto…

Unlike Professor X, Magneto retains a lot of his classic costume design in this story, but he trades in his darker colors for a white-and-black outfit. And just as Xavier saved Hasbro the cost of a lot of new sculpting, much of Magneto here is just a repaint. I was, however, surprised to see some new stuff here. The boots and wrist bracers are different from the previous Magneto releases, and he also has a new belt with an X-branded buckle and some pouches. The cape, however, is a straight repaint from the his appearance in the three-pack with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

I was expecting the head sculpt to be a straight repaint from that three-pack version as well, but it looks like it’s been reworked here. His Barbute-style helmet has been reshaped in a few areas, but unfortunately the paint on mine is pretty sloppy. It’s not too bad when viewed with the naked eye, but the closer you get, the worse it looks.

Magneto does not come with any effect parts or an un-helmeted head, but he does come with three pairs of hands, which I thought was oddly excessive. The token fists and power-casting hands are to be expected, but the third pair of accessory-holding hands seems pointless, since he comes with nothing to hold. Whatever the case, I found this figure to be a lot more photogenic and fun to play around with than Professor X. Sure, his look is a lot less imaginative than Xavier’s, but as an action figure, Magneto gets the nod as the better figure.

I was extremely excited for this wave, but I’ll confess that it feels to be off to a rocky start. I want to like the Professor X figure a whole lot more than I do. I can’t fault the design, as it looks just like his appearance in the book, but it just doesn’t make for a great figure. Magneto, on the other hand, at least isn’t a total quick-and-dirty repaint, and I’ve found that I like this look for him a lot. Next week, I’ll keep the reviews on this wave rolling along. I doubled up today because I knew I didn’t have a whole lot to say about these two, and I’m not sure if next week I’ll tackle another two figures or just focus on one!

Marvel Legends (Retro Style): Silver Samurai by Hasbro

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!

Marvel Legends (80th Anniversary): Colossus Vs Juggernaut by Hasbro


I’m back from a 4-day staycation where I holed up inside my lair, had groceries delivered to my door, played a lot of video games, and opened a bunch of toys. Yeah, it was a good time! But now it’s Monday and in order to offset the horror of going back to work, I’m going to check out another Marvel 80-Years set from Marvel Legends! Oh look! It’s more X-Men!!!

This set is either a cheap shot or a godsend, depending on whether or not you completed the Juggernaut Build-A-Figure from about five years back. If you did, then you’re pretty much double-dipping to get a proper Classic Colossus. If you didn’t, then this set saves you from having to donate a kidney to get the Cain Marko BAF. I’m from the former group, as the Juggernaut Wave was so damn solid that I pre-ordered the whole shebang so I wouldn’t miss any. That’s not to say that this version of Juggsy is entirely the same figure, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so let’s start with Colossus!

We last saw Piotr in Marvel Legends back around 2017 in the Warlock Wave. That was an excellent figure, but it was a more modern look for the character and I’m an old fart that almost always prefers the Classic. Needless to say I was thrilled to see this gorgeous bastard get released… and I do mean gorgeous! The sculpt is excellent, but it’s the paint job that really makes this figure sing to me. The bright red and yellow of the costume contrasts beautifully with some of the snappiest silver paint I’ve seen Hasbro use in a while. Sculpting includes the segmented lines on his metal skin, the extended fronts on the tops of the boots, and the upturned points on the shoulders. He sports an X-branded belt and some wrist bracers, all of which are sculpted separately from the rest of the figure. A lick of gold paint on the belt really ties everything together perfectly.

The head sculpt is superb, with sharp facial features including a solid jawline, prominent brow, and texture-less hair. The expression is fairly neutral, although it definitely looks like Piotr means business. The same gorgeous silver paint used for the body is also seen here and it really brings out all the contours in the portrait.

Colossus is a big boy, but he still sports most of the usual points of articulation seen in this line. In fact, the only real departure here is in the elbows, where he has only single hinges in place of the usual double-hinges we usually see on the Legends dudes. It’s worth noting that the scrumptious silver paint had some of the joints on my figure frozen, so I had to do a little gentle, and some not-so gentle, persuasion to get his left elbow moving. The same was true for the hinges in all four hands. Yup, you get two sets of hands with the figure: Fists and grabby hands. If I’m being honest, this set was almost worth the price of admission for Colossus alone, but a lot of people are probably just as interested in Juggernaut!

And I doubt those people will be disappointed with this bruiser! There probably aren’t a lot of characters you could pack in with Colossus that makes him look small, but Juggsy is sure one of them. I won’t spend a lot of time on this figure, as I already reviewed the BAF. From the neck down, the sculpt is exactly the same as the the Build-A-Figure, and that sure ain’t a bad thing, as Marko remains one of my favorite BAFs to date. A careful eye will see that the belt has been omitted this time around, which does give BAF owners a bit of exclusivity to their figures. It also gives this figure a cleaner look, which we’ll soon see is in keeping with the new helmet. The coloring, on the other hand has been changed. The paint around the abs is more or less the same, the boots maybe a bit lighter, but what was dark brown on the BAF is now much lighter reddish-brown here. I can’t really say whether I like it better or worse, it’s just different.

This version of Juggernaut comes with an extra pair of hands, so you get the fists that came with the BAF and a pair of open hands. The left hand is pretty relaxed while the right hand can be made to grab other figures. It actually fits pretty well around one of Colossus’ arms to pick him up, but I wouldn’t want to do it too much and risk rubbing that beautiful paint.

The head sculpt is entirely new, and that includes both the helmet and the face within. The helmet this time is smooth and not all pock-marked like the BAF’s was. Again, it’s just personal opinion as to whether it’s better or worse. As I mentioned earlier, I think they were going for a cleaner, more classic Comic look here, hence the lack of belt and smoother helmet. The holes for the eyes and mouth are a bit smaller here and there are some bolts sculpted around the bottom edge of the helmet.

What’s really cool here is you get a separate head with a removable shattered helmet, and this really made it less painful to me to have to buy another Legends Juggernaut. The portrait is great, although there is a little mold flashing on my Marko’s chin that needs to be shaved off. Otherwise, the face is painted up with bruising around the right eye and his bottom lip, showing off the injuries he received when his helmet was shattered.

The damaged helmet adds a little more sculpted texture in the way of scrapes and gashes to the left side, while the right side is completely blown out revealing the bare metal underneath the brown paint. Yeah, the sculpted damage is a little odd in the way that it’s bent outward and not inward, making it look like the result of an explosion inside rather than force from outside, but it still looks pretty damn cool. Inside the top of the helmet, there are some sculpted guides to help it sit firmly on the head and line up the one remaining eye hole with the left eye of the head.

No buts about it, this is one fantastic box of plastic! Did Classic Colossus deserve his own solo release? Of course he did. But if this is the way Hasbro has to make it cost effective to release characters, I’m totally fine with that. They clearly made an effort to change things up on Juggernaut to make him stand out over the Build-A-Figure, to the point where I genuinely didn’t mind adding another one to my collection. And considering what the BAF was selling for on the secondary market (at least for a little while), it’s nice to see this set put a version of that figure in circulation again. This set has been off the shelves for a bit, but it with some online retailers taking pre-orders again, it looks like Hasbro is putting it back into circulation.

Marvel Legends (80th Anniversary): Hulk Vs. Wolverine by Hasbro

Yeah, yeah. I don’t usually miss a Marvel Monday, but I sure did last week, eh? I have no real excuse, other than I was a lazy do-nothing shit on Easter, and just hung out with the cats stuffed my face with food and watched Star Trek all day. We’ll just call it an impromptu Holiday Vacation. So, picking up where I left off, I’ve been going through some of the Marvel 80 Years boxed sets and today I thought I’d roll out one of the big ones. Celebrating The Incredible Hulk #181, which introduced us to The Wolverine!

Alas, I was only two years old when this issue hit the news stands, and I was probably more occupied with not shitting myself than reading comics. Or reading anything. Indeed, I wouldn’t actually read this one until I was already well acquainted with Wolverine. Although, this one might have introduced me to Wendigo, but I can’t remember. The box is big and beefy and while it isn’t terribly flashy like some of the X-Men sets I’ve looked at recently, it doesn’t need to be. The figures in that big window do all the talking. Let’s start with The Hulk!

It’s crazy to think that with all the Marvel Legends figures that I have, this is the first comic-version of The Hulk in my Legends collection. Yup! There are three MCU versions of The Hulk up on my shelves, but dozens upon dozens of Iron Mans and Captain Americas, and Web Heads, but just this one lonely Hulk. But his singular look has remained pretty standard over the years, so I guess that makes sense. And nope, I don’t even have a Red or Gray Hulk either. But that’s OK, because this figure is so damn gorgeous, it’s all the Hulk I need!

In terms of sculpt, you just get acres and acres of muscle, which is a given because he’s THE FREAKING HULK! On top of all those muscles, you get some veins popping in his arms, and some nice detail in his giant feet. Most of the real detail in the sculpt here comes in his semi-shredded pants, which have actually survived the transition surprisingly well. Apart from some splitting here and there, they don’t fall to rags until below the knees. You also get the remnants of his shredded shirt, which did not survive nearly as well as his trousers. This piece is sculpted in rubbery plastic and pretty much just lays on his shoulders. I dig it a lot, but tend to cast it aside once I start playing around with this big boy. But as great as the sculpt is, I’ll confess it’s the colors on display here that just tickle my retinas and make me all giddy. The brilliant green mixes with the metallic purple sheen of his pants to create a feast for the eyes. Why are his pants metallic? I have no idea, but it was clearly the right call to make.

The portrait is nothing short of perfection. The face features a broad nose and beady but surprisingly life-like eyes, accompanied by a wall of teeth. The rage is literally drawn right on his face with deep lines, creases, and a wrinkled brow. Meanwhile, the sinews in the neck bulge to meet his strong slab a jawline. Egads, I adore this head sculpt. It’s absolutely phenomenal.

The articulation is right in line with what we’re used to seeing with the bigger figures and Build-A-Figures. You do only get single hinges in the elbows, but considering his bulky arms, that’s to be expected. Double hinges in the knees, however, do make him a rather agile giant. The big differences here is the addition of lateral hinges in the back of the shoulders, allowing him to shift his arms back more. Hulk comes packaged with one fist and one grabby hand, but you also get an extra of each so you can mix and match till your heart’s content. Let’s switch over to Wolverine!

Despite being introduced to him in the 80’s, the 90’s Jim Lee Wolverine has long since supplanted any early versions of Logan as my personal iconic image of the character. Now, with that having been said, I still love this early look. Not that it’s that different from the neck down. He’s still got the yellow suit with the blue boots, gauntlets, undies, and shoulder bands going on. He’s still got the tiger stripes and the red belt. But this just looks a bit more unpolished and savage to me. It’s very likely that opinion is colored by looking back on it from his future appearances, but it’s still a look that I can get behind. So much so, that even with the dozen or so Wolverines on my Legends shelf, I’d still rank this one pretty close to the top.

Of course, the biggest departure here is the head and this crazy proto-hood. It instantly reminds me of a luchadores mask, and that ain’t a bad thing. The brow-wings aren’t as pronounced and I kind of dig the “whiskers” that run from his nose down the sides of his mouth. The combination of eyes and teeth make him look absolutely bonkers in the sense that I’d instantly piss myself if he was coming after me. It’s both a great and historic look for old Logan and I’m very happy to finally have him in my collection.

Naturally, Wolverine comes with two sets of hands, one being regular fists and the other having popped claws. My figure’s claws aren’t all perpendicular with each other, and I’m afraid to straighten them too much because I don’t want to stress those tiny stems. But all in all, they aren’t bad. The articulation includes the shoulder crunches, which as far as I’m concerned are an absolute must for the character. Everything else is pretty standard stuff. While his elbows are double jointed, I still can’t get any more than about 90-degrees out of them, which is a tad disappointing, but when you’ve got bulging muscles like these, it goes with the territory. Otherwise, this figure is loads of fun to play with.

Can this set be both obvious and genius? I think it can! At least I can’t think of a better way to get my first comic-based Hulk onto my Legends shelf. And it was especially nice to not have to collect an entire wave to get him! Both of these figures are a direct hit for me, which is why I pre-ordered this one the moment it got solicited. Surprisingly, this set is still available at a number of retailers for about the original price it sold for, leaving the opportunity for anyone who slept on it to nab it without getting raked over the coals by secondary sellers.

Marvel Legends (80th Anniversary): Quicksilver, Magneto, and Scarlet Witch by Hasbro

Before starting up another wave of Legends, I thought I’d tackle a few more of the Marvel 80th Anniversary boxed releases. Last time I checked out one Maximoff, this time I’m taking on two more, as well as their one-time (now retconned out) Papa! To the packaged shot!

This set is so gorgeous, and it’s really not doing anything all that special. Just take three great looking figures and spread them out above the X-Men logo and BAM! You’ve got some attractive presentation! But since I’m taking on three figures today, I’m not going to hang about talking about the packaging too much. Instead, let’s tear this baby open and we’ll just take the figures going from left to right. Starting with Quicksilver!

Unlike the other two figures here, this is Pietro’s first appearance in the modern Legends line and he’s looking great. I do love the look of this suit, even if it is achieved entirely through paint instead of original sculpting. And yup, they went with the blue suit over the green, and I’m totally fine with that. The blue and silver deco is very pleasing to the eye. In addition to the mostly blue body, you get pearlescent plastic for the boots, hands, and and a decent paint match for the rest of the gauntlets. He’s got some black undies, and a silver lightning bolt painted as a belt and shoulder strap. In terms of spray-on costumes, this is about as simple as it gets, but it works well and I’ve got no complaints! OK, there are a few minor chips in the lightning bolts, so I guess that’s one complaint.

The head sculpt is decent, but here I do have a few gripes. First, it looks a little chubby, but maybe that’s just me. More importantly, I wish they gave him his more iconic hair. I can’t tell if this hair is recycled and that’s why they didn’t, but it seems like a big oversight to me. Otherwise, the sculpt is well-defined and the paint is sharp!

Quicksilver only comes with a pair of swap out hands, with the fingers held tight and flat for running. I’m also happy that they used a more articulated buck, which includes not only the extra swivels in the lower legs, but also the lateral crunches in the shoulders. Otherwise, the joints are tight and this figure is a pleasure to mess around with. Moving on to Magneto!

We last saw Magneto a few years back as part of the Apocalypse Wave in his more modern costume, but this time Hasbro went for the classic look. I really liked that previous release, but I absolutely LOVE this one. This is my favorite look for the character and this figure pulls it off so well. The one-two punch of crimson red body suit with purple boots, gauntlets, belt, undies, and cape look swonderful, and I really dig the cut-outs on the boots and gloves. The cape is both majestic and cumbersome, and to be fair I’m not sure they could have pulled off one without the other. The heavy bolted piece that crosses above his chest isn’t enough to counterbalance all that plastic hanging behind him. Fortunately, the cape is long enough to help serve as a stand in a lot of poses.

Last time, Magneto came with both helmeted and un-helmeted heads, this time we get two helmeted heads with different expressions. The first is a fairly neutral expression, the second is full-on psycho relishing in his powers. The helmets are superb, and sculpted separately from the head to give it some nice depth. It’s also painted over in the same red and purple to match the rest of the costume. The purple paint on the trim could be a little tighter, but you have to get in pretty close to notice any issues. And while I love the face sculpts on both figures, the paint for the teeth on the second one could have been better. The teeth are brushed over with some white and the spaces between them are just left flesh colored.

Magneto comes with two sets of hands, fists and power wielding hands, and he comes with those ubiquitous energy funnels that we saw last time with Polaris and Havok. I hope whoever designed those babies is working on commission! Here they are translucent purple and they look really good! Moving on to our last stop, Scarlet Witch!

It’s been over five years since a comic version of Scarlet Witch turned up in the modern Legends line. That was such a great figure, I really had no desire to replace her. But Hasbro has come a long way since then and this new version is a vast improvement in a lot of ways. To be fair, this is a slightly different costume with different coloring, so whether this one is better or worse, may come down to personal taste. Here, Wanda is wearing a full pearlescent reddish-pink body suit with scarlet paint used for the boots, gloves, one-piece, and cape. The deco is more limited here, but it still looks quite striking. The cape plunges in the middle behind her neck, and fans out toward her feet. Perhaps one of the most obvious differences with this figure is the re-sizing. The previous Scarlett Witch is an absolute giant compared to this release.

But for me, the high point of this figure is the head sculpt, and WOW, what an amazing job Hasbro did on this one. There’s a quality to the sharpness of detail in the hair, contrasted with the soft features of her face that just blows me away. Her headpiece and hair look as if they are sculpted independently of one another, which makes for some wonderful complexity to the entire portrait. Her eyes are haunting, her lips are razor sharp, and I do believe this may be one of the best portraits Hasbro has turned out for any of their comic-based Legends. This is quite simply top-tier work.

Wanda comes with a pair of Hex Power effect parts, and imagine my surprise, they aren’t the energy funnels! Nope, in this case we just get some translucent red pieces that can be snaked around her wrists. After pointing out how many times Hasbro is using the other ones, I still have to admit I like them a bit more than these, but these are OK.

I can remember pre-ordering this set the moment it was solicited, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It’s great to finally get Quicksilver in this modern Legends line, and while we already had a Magneto and Scarlet Witch, the Magneto is the Classic look that I wanted, and Wanda is just a surprisingly vast improvement over a figure that I already liked quite a bit. This set just hits all the points with both essential character selection and excellent execution of the figures. I can’t recommend it enough! In retrospect, I wish I had tackled this set in three parts, because each figure could have used my full attention in their own review.