#2161: Kid Flash

KID FLASH

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

“Cousin of Wally West, this super-powered speedster joins the Teen Titans as Kid Flash”

I think my favorite thing about this figure’s bio is how they avoided giving the actual character’s name in order to avoid confusing the casual audience.  Why would it be confusing?  Because the name of the new Kid Flash who’s cousin of Wally West?  Wally West.  It’s like in Smallville when they revealed at Jimmy Olsen’s funeral that he had cousin also named Jimmy who was also into photography.  Of course, in the mainstream universe’s defense, there were some cosmic forces at play, and also people didn’t receive the new Wally so well.  Now that both Wallys are running around, it’s not so bad, though.  Perfect time for the new one to get his own action figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kid Flash is part of the Lobo Series of DC Comics Multiverse figures, where he fills the quotient of relevant modern character.  This marks the first time that this incarnation of the character has ever gotten a toy, though Mattel’s already given us a few variants of the original Wally (with one more supposedly on the way).  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Wally shares his base body with the previously reviewed Ray figure, which is hardly a bad thing.  Honestly, it’s probably the best base body Mattel ever produced; the proportions are fairly realistic and balanced, and there’s very little aesthetic sacrificed for articulation.  At the same time, the articulation is still very strong.  Those rocker ankles in particular are really handy when posing the figure; the running pose seen above was actually captured without any sort of trickery.  He’s standing on his own.  Now, I can’t say he’d have stayed that way for long, but it’s still impressive.  Kid Flash gets a new head and feet to round him out.  The head’s quite nice; it’s cartoony but not as goofy or odd looking as prior Mattel figures.  The new feet give Kid Flash a distinctive set of treads for his boots and also increase his footprint a bit in order to offer slightly more stability.  Kid Flash’s paintwork is probably the sharpest of the three I got from this assortment.   Everything is clean, and the colors are bold and eye-catching.  They did make the cardinal sin of painting yellow over red, but it’s actually not terrible looking, so I’ll give them a pass on this one.  Wally is packed with two sets of hands: one in a fist/grip combo, and the other in a flat running pose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kid Flash is the other of two figures I agreed to take in order to get Kyle.  Like Superman, I had absolutely no expectations of this figure, possibly even less than none, if I’m honest, since I’ve got no actual attachment to this version of Wally.  Ultimately, I was really pleasantly surprised by the quality of this guy.  He’s genuinely one of the nicest figures Mattel’s put out, pretty much ever.  It’s kind of sad we never got a classic Wally of this quality.

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#2160: Kingdome Come Superman

KINGDOM COME SUPERMAN

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Having spent ten years in solitude, Superman returns to fight for justice in a new disinterested and indecent planet.”

In the mid-90s, after several years of totally un-ironic “X-Treme” comics, the industry was starting to get at least a little bit introspective.  Not a lot, mind you, because they’re only rated for so much self awareness, but there was definitely a move by some of the older fans who found themselves within the industry to try and reign things in, and throw back to the good old days, with maybe a jab or two at modern comics’ expense thrown in for good measure.  Rather than making statements about these “not being your daddy’s comics,” there was a push to actually start treating things a little bit more seriously and add just a touch of prestige to things.  Marvel hired the up-and-coming writer and artist team or Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross to create Marvels, a four-part mini-series that told picturesque real-world stories from throughout Marvel history.  It was enough of a success that DC decided to bring on Ross for a series of their own, pairing him off with writer Mark Waid for Kingdom Come, an alternate DC future rife with references to the days gone by, and deeply critical not just of modern comics, but also of people who didn’t like change or compromise in their comics.  The star of the series was an aged and despair-ridden Superman, who was desperate to regain some of his old-fashioned hope.  It’s gone on to become a rather defining take on the character, with its fair share of toy goodness.  Most recently, he’s received a figure from Mattel, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kingdom Come Superman is part of the Lobo Series of DC Comics Multiverse figures.  He’s our second Superman following the reworking of the bodies, and our third 6-inch KC figure under Mattel’s tenure (though a good argument can be made that Red Robin and Magog are really just main universe figures…of course, technically the same can be said of Superman, so the whole thing’s a wash.)  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation.  KC Superman is built largely from the same bank of pieces as the Clayface Series’ Rebirth Superman (which in turn means a lot of those pieces are also shared with Bizarro), for better or for worse.  It means he’s more articulated than a DCUC figure, but also means the balance between pieces is still a little bit whack.  Not terrible, but not quite Ross’s ultra-realistic anatomy.  The figure gets a brand-new head and forearms.  The forearms are fairly basic; all they really do is remove the pointed ends on the outside of each wrist, which is accurate, but also minor enough that I imagine most people are going to miss it.  The head’s really the star piece here.  While certainly a more generic take on the character than other, more Ross faithful releases, the head is nevertheless a quite nicely detailed piece.  The details are sharply defined, capturing the very slight aging seen on Ross’s version of the character; it’s definitely one of Mattel’s best goes at a Superman portrait. The paint on Superman is mostly pretty basic, at least on the body, which is actually fairly accurate to the source, since Superman’s costume is very classically inspired in the book.  The head gets a bit more work, with some pretty solid accenting.  I particularly like that they did more for his greying temples than just solid white streaks, as is usually the case with this design.  KC Superman includes two sets of hands in fist and flat poses, as well as piece to the Lobo CnC.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Part of the agreement that got me yesterday’s Kyle figure was me agreeing to take the figures from the line-up that Max didn’t really want.  Superman was one such figure.  I wasn’t inherently opposed to getting the figure, but I can’t say that he was super high on my list.  Going in with essentially no expectations, I’m pretty pleased with this figure.  He’s not as strong as some of the other recent offerings, but he’s certainly one of Mattel’s best Supermen they’ve ever made.

#2159: Kyle Rayner – Green Lantern

KYLE RAYNER — GREEN LANTERN

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Once a White Lantern and the bearer of seven rings, Kyle Rayner is back to basics under a new Corps as a Green Lantern.”

What do you get when you put together two things that Ethan didn’t used to like?  That’s right, a Mattel Kyle Rayner figure.  My rocky history with Mattel is of course no secret around these parts, but then again most people’s rocky history isn’t much of a secret, I suppose.  What’s slightly more downplayed is my dislike of Kyle.  I mean, he’s a Green Lantern, and he was active during the ’90s; he’s even the star of my favorite episode of Superman: The Animated Series, which is my favorite DC animated property.  What’s not to like?  Well, admittedly, I got a little caught up in the “he replaced Hal Jordan” rage.  As a kid, my first exposure to GL was in Challenge of the Superfriends, where it was Hal, and I was quite confused by this Rayner guy running around in the comics.  Over the years, though, I’ve actually grown to like Kyle quite a bit, which means I’m actually quite excited to get his latest figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kyle Rayner is part of the Lobo Series of DC Comics Multiverse, which is the third assortment following the change to the blue packaging.  This marks the second Kyle we got during Mattel’s tenure.  The first was a fine figure, but fell victim to the late-line tendency for DCUC figures to be in their most recent costume, rather than their most-wanted.  This one goes for Kyle’s classic ’90s costume, or at least the Rebirth recreation of it, which is a solid choice.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Kyle uses the relaunched line’s equivalent of the old line’s mid-sized male body.  Like the Bizarro figure (who used the larger male body equivalent), this means the Kyle’s a little bit outdated when compared to the line’s more advanced figures.  That said, it’s still a marked improvement over what Mattel was doing a year ago, and makes for a serviceable base body.  Kyle gets a new head, forearms, hands, and knees.  The new parts are fairly decent; nothing amazing or anything, but they recreate his look pretty well, and he’ll fit in with DCUC stuff, as well as Multiverse stuff, so he’s a decent bridge figure.  The paintwork on Kyle is pretty basic, but gets all the important points down.  There’s a touch of fuzz on the edge of the white section on his chest, but aside from that it’s all pretty clean.  Kyle is packed with his power battery and a blast effect piece that goes over his hand.  Standard stuff for a GL, but honestly that’s a step-up from how Mattel’s been handling up to this point.  He also included a piece to the Lobo CnC, but I didn’t get that for reasons I’ll touch on in just a moment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite the issues I may have had with Kyle as a character, in the ’90s a figure in this costume was the only way you were getting a Green Lantern figure, meaning I have quite a soft spot for this design.  Despite my general reservations about Mattel products, I was intrigued by this figure when he was shown off.  Of course, I’ve not once seen a single one of the figures from this assortment at retail, so I didn’t have a chance to buy one.  However, Max really wanted the Batman Beyond figure, as well as having a passing interest in the Lobo, so he and I decided to split a set of the figures from Big Bad Toy Store.  I got the one figure I really wanted, and I’m really quite happy.

#2158: Goldar

GOLDAR

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Though not as unfortunate as the completely American creation Lord Zedd, as a villain, Goldar, originally named Grifforzer in Japan, wasn’t exactly rolling in action figures.  In particular, he was absent from all of the higher end offerings, which mostly meant there was no Goldar to go alongside Bandai Japan’s Figuarts version of the Mighty Morphin’ team.  Fortunately, he was pretty high on Hasbro’s radar when they took over the property.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Goldar is his own solo offering in the Lightning Collection line-up, offered up as GameStop-exclusive figure.  Though he ended up being the second proper exclusive to hit, he was the first to be announced and offered up for pre-order.  He was initially supposed to ship in October, but ended up arriving a bit ahead of schedule.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 42 points of articulation, which includes a fully articulated set of wings.  Goldar’s sculpt is a unique affair, and follows pretty closely with what Hasbro’s done so far stylistically.  He’s got a combination of solid construction on the body with some overlay pieces to properly get his full armored appearance, which allows for some pretty solid mobility.  Compared to Zedd, the overlays work out a bit better, holding to the figure more solidly than Zedd’s, resulting in a figure that feels less flimsy for the most part, especially when posing.  The sculpted work is pretty nicely detailed, with the best work being on his face and his wings, but even his armor exhibits some decent texture work.  If there’s one slight downfall to this figure, it’s the paintwork, or rather the general lack thereof.  In the figure’s defense, the end product is much better than I’d anticipated.  The big thing is that a good portion of his gold armor is molded plastic.  The thing about molded plastic is that colors like gold and silver don’t tend to look quite as good as painted plastic.  That said, a number of sections are actually painted, which helps maintain the illusion of proper gold.  Additionally, the gold plastic used isn’t quite as disappointing as I’d expected, especially when compared to the Legacy Collection Gold Ranger.  Goldar is packed with two different sets of hands, a sword, and a lightning effect to go over it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While Goldar isn’t my favorite Power Rangers foe, but I still think he’s a cool enough dude that I wanted him as a toy, so I was on board for this figure as soon as he was announced.  Fortunately, Super Awesome Fiancee was kind enough to order one for me, originally as a birthday present, although it did end up being ever so slighlty delayed.  I wasn’t sure how I’d like him at first, but having gotten him in hand and played around with him for a bit, I have so say, I’m quite pleased with the final product.  Here’s to more releases like this!

#2157: Faker

FAKER

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

Originally built by Man-At-Arms to cover for He-Man when Prince Adam is needed, Faker was abandoned in the royal junkyard after his first mission and salvaged by the evil warrior Tri-Klops. At the request of Skeletor, Faker was reprogrammed to replace He-Man and convince the people of Eternia that He-Man had betrayed King Randor and turned evil.”

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I guess someone should be flattered by the existence of Faker.  Maybe it could be He-Man, whom Faker is based upon, or maybe it could be Bizarro, whose schtick Faker totally stole.  Of course, it’s not like “evil-clone of the main hero” is a wholly unique concept, having made its way into all sorts of super hero fiction over the years.  It’s even more sensible in the world of toys where it’s quite the suitable excuse to do a recolor of a prexisting mold, which is exactly where Faker really hits his stride.   Additionally, Faker continually falls into that odd niche of characters who are nothing more than cheap repaints, who still for some reason have a ton of fan demand.  I guess we’re an easily amused lot.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Faker was an early offering from the Master of the Universe Classics line, available as an NYCC-exclusive in 2009, and then briefly on Matty Collector a month later.  As with the vast majority of the line, he’s designed to closely emulate Faker’s vintage toy.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  This Faker figure follows the tried and true construction of all Faker figures.  He’s the line’s standard He-Man body with Skeletor’s armor atop it.  It’s not anything revolutionary, but it’s not like you can say it’s not true to the character.  The base body for MotUC wasn’t a bad one, but I have to admit I was never a huge fan of the standard He-Man head.  By extension, I’m not a huge fan of this figure’s head.  It’s not awful, but something about it just never seemed quite as imposing as prior takes on the character.  He just looks a bit slack-jawed.  Faker’s main selling point is, of course, his paint.  He’s got that distinctive orange and blue combo, which is…well, it’s certainly something.  The paintwork on the figure is actually pretty solid.  At this point in the line, Mattel was still splurging for things like accenting, which shows most nicely on his boots, loincloth, and armor piece.  The nature of the details on the bracers and belt are actually quite striking, especially when compared to the same details on the He-Man figure.  He also keeps the robotic detailing on the torso, which is not quite hiding under his armor, just like on his vintage figure.  Faker was packed with his version of the Power Sword, as well as his half of the split sword, which is the same as the standard, but with the back half missing.  It’s a slightly light pack-out, given that He-Man got a shield and axe as well, but hey, it’s Mattel, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always liked Faker as a concept, but the price points on his figures have always been too high for me.  For whatever reason, the price on this particular figure dropped to a reasonable range for a hot minute back in 2012, and my parents managed to get me one as a birthday present in that time.  My relationship with MotUC was always something of a love-hate one, and Faker fits right into that.  There are nice aspects of this figure, and there are annoying aspects of this figure, which is kind of the classic Mattel bit, isn’t it?

#2156: Wendigo

WENDIGO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Based on a centuries old legend, the Wendigo was introduced into the Marvel Universe in the pages of The Incredible Hulk in 1973, and is a concept that has rattled around the background of the ‘verse pretty much the whole time since.  Though not incredibly prominent in its own right, it’s been on the periphery of a number of important events, including the introduction of a certain pint-sized, blade-wielding Canadian.  Being closely related with two of Marvel’s heavy hitters has translated to a decent number of toys for the character, including today’s offering!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Wendigo is the Build-A-Figure for the, you guessed it, Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the Wendigo’s second time as a Legends release; the first was during Hasbro’s earlier tenure with the line, and was a single-packed figure rather than a Build-A-Figure.  Being an earlier Hasbro release, the quality wasn’t quite there, but he was admittedly part of Hasbro’s best assortment pre-relaunch, so he wasn’t terrible for his time.  The figure stands 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  The Wendigo shares a good portion of its pieces with last year’s Sasquatch Build-A-Figure, which is a pretty sensible choice of parts re-use.  The Wendigo has been portrayed a number of different ways over the years, so matching it to Sasquatch ends up working out alright, given the slightly more modern take on the character.  He has a new head, right hand, pelvis (w/ tail), and feet.  The new pieces mix well with the old, and to the un-informed you might not even realize he was mostly a re-used figure, given how well the two sets of pieces mix.  Wendio’s paintwork is a pretty decent selection of accent work, which is good because otherwise he’d just be straight white.  The blue accents can always be a tricky prospect, but they actually don’t look all that bad on this figure, and I also really like how they’ve handled the work on the face.  Definitely some of the better paintwork Hasbro’s put out recently, and that’s actually saying something given how much they’ve improved in recent months.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Completing the Wendigo figure sort of just happened as a side effect of buying all of the figures that added up to him, and less out of specifically wanting to build him.  Like, I wasn’t turned off by the prospect of getting a Wendigo, but he wasn’t high on my list.  He’s honestly a pretty good figure, truth be told, and timing him to arrive right around the Wolverine and Hulk 2-pack was smart on Hasbro’s part.

As a whole, this line-up of Legends figures was a slow burn for me.  I got Nightcrawler, the only figure I absolutely had to have, a couple of weeks before the others, and genuinely toyed with whether I needed the rest of the line-up at all, before ultimately picking them up.  None of the other figures are must-haves for me, and after Nightcrawler, the one I likely would have been the most excited for (Cannonball) was also the one that feels the most truncated and un-finished.  The others are all pretty solid figures, truth be told, and without any pre-conceived notions or expectations, they’re actually all pretty strong figures.

#2155: Mr. Sinister

MISTER SINISTER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

A scientific genius with evil intentions, Nathaniel Essex genetically alters his human form to become the shape-shifting telepath known as Mister Sinister.”

When the X-Men were in need of a new big bad and Apocalypse wasn’t quite ready for the task, we got Mister Sinister!  Okay, yes, that’s quite an over-simplification of the character, but, like so many X-Men characters of his time period, there wasn’t much to over simplify for a good chunk of his time in the spotlight.  He lived and breathed “mysterious”, and we wouldn’t get the origin presented above until a decade after his creation.  Still, he’s been an on-again-off-again major foe of the X-Men, and he’s got a pretty darn striking design, so it’s only fair he get some action figure love every now and again.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mister Sinister is figure 6 in the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends, and is the final figure in the line-up, as this assortment is slightly smaller than the usual.  This figure marks Sinister’s second time as a Legends figure, following his old Toy Biz figure from 2005.  That one was considered pretty top-notch at the time, and held up pretty decently, but even brand-new it was pretty hard to find.  Plus, Hasbro’s got this streak going with updating the more popular figures from the old line, so it just makes sense.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Sinister is an all-new sculpt, though he appears to be at the very least patterned on the Hyperion body, which is a good move size-wise.  It gives Sinister an imposing stature without making him too large in comparison to the X-Men.  He’s actually a touch shorter than the Toy Biz figure, which feels more appropriate for the character, especially given the fact that the X-Men he’s designed to go with are all a touch larger.  It’s definitely a strong sculpt, and I’m particularly a fan of the head sculpt.  That toothy grin’s just great for Sinister, and is surprisingly a look we’ve not seen before in action figure form.  Additionally, his cape is handled much better than prior versions; it’s neither a mess of free-floating straps, nor a solid chunk of plastic, which is a refreshing change of pace.  The paintwork on Mister Sinister is clean and quite sleek.  I will never not like that metallic blue that Hasbro’s so fond of, and I definitely like the high-gloss finish.  Sinister doesn’t have any accessories for himself, but he does include the right arm of the Wendigo Build-A-Figure.  And, honestly, of all the figures who have come with the dismembered bits of other figures, Sinister’s probably the one who it actually makes a little bit of sense for.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I’m not actually the biggest fan of Sinister.  I had the old Legends figure for a while, but didn’t actually hold onto him, and wasn’t particularly eager to replace him with a new version.  While this figure was the hot figure in the line-up for a lot of collectors, I was far more excited by yesterday’s Nightcrawler, leaving this guy as a bit of an also-ran for me.  Still, once I actually got ahold of him, I have to say I think he made for a solid figure.  Maybe not quite as good as everyone’s been raving, but I’m a touch biased on that point.

Mister Sinister came from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2154: Nightcrawler

NIGHTCRAWLER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With sticky hands, a sharp tail, and piercing yellow eyes, the trouble-making mutant Nightcrawler scales walls and teleports from place to place.”

When the X-Men were rebooted for the first time, all the way back in the pages of Giant-Size X-Men #1 in 1975, they were granted a much more colorful and diverse cast of characters.  While a few of them were grabbed from prior appearances in the Marvel Universe, it was up to artist Dave Cockrum to create three of the team’s most distinctive members, Storm, Colossus, and Nightcrawler.  Nightcrawler had the notoriety of being a character Cockrum had in his mind for quite some time before getting the X-Men assignment, and he in fact came quite close to starring in a Legion of Superheroes-spin-off called The Outsiders before Cockrum moved from DC to Marvel.  In the pages of X-Men, however, he found new life, and would become quite a popular member of the team…popular enough to star in a spin-off book, in fact.  Whatever the case, Nightcrawler’s a prominent enough character that his complete absence so far from Hasbro’s re-launch of Legends has been one of the biggest notable missing figures.  Fortunately, that changed.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightcrawler is figure 5 from the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s more proper X-Men-themed than the rest of the figures so far in the line-up, but his Age of Apocalypse counterpart did serve on the cover ops X-Force at one point.  This Nightcrawler marks only the second time the character’s gotten the Legends treatment, with the first being back in the Toy Biz days, an insane 14 years ago.  That’s quite a bit of a gap between releases.  This one goes for Nightcrawler’s classic costume design, which has probably the best staying power of any of Cockrum’s designs; it’s just a really strong, clean look, which is probably why he never stays away from it for very long.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall (as Nightcrawler should) and has 33 points of articulation.  Nightcrawler uses the Pizza Spidey body as a starting point, sharing his arms and legs with all of the figures that use it as a base body.  He gets a new torso, pelvis, hips, hands, and feet, plus three brand-new heads in order to complete the look.  The torso gives Kurt his classic red unitard-looking thing, with proper etched lines and everything.  Additionally, it, coupled with the pelvis and hips, gradually reduces the height of Nightcrawler, removing about 1/4 of an inch when compared to other figures on the body.  The pelvis also includes his tail, which, though it may be a static piece, is sculpted in such a way that it looks nice in both basic and dynamic poses.  As minor a piece as they may be, I was impressed to see that the new hips so greatly improve the range of motion on the legs, allowing the figure to get into more of the deep stances that Nightcrawler’s typically seen in.  Nightcrawler is classically depicted as a rather expressive character, which generally puts his figures in a bit of a bind; what expression do you go with?  This figure throws the question out the window and just goes for the three most popular options.  The head he comes wearing is a fairly standard, rather stoic lookin head, which is nice and versatile.  The second head goes more for classic scary monster Nightcrawler (complete with extra shading on the face), while the third (and my favorite of the three) plays far more into Kurt’s more jovial nature from the comics, giving him a teeth-baring grin.  While any one of these heads would have been awesome on their own, getting all three is fantastic.  Nightcrawler’s paintwork is pretty basic, but it’s bright, it’s clean, and it’s striking, which is really everything you want from such a figure.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra heads.  Nightcrawler is packed with his cutlass (criminally missing from the Toy Biz figure) and an extra right gripping hand with which to hold it, as well as the left arm to the Wendigo Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I anxiously awaited the Toy Biz Legends Nightcrawler’s release back in the day…and pretty much started waiting for this one as soon as I got that one.  Okay, that’s not entirely true; that figure wasn’t bad for the time, but I always had some issues with him.  I’ve been waiting to see another go at him pretty much since we started getting X-Men Legends again.  The prototype for this figure looked mighty nice, but boy-oh-boy did it not fully sell just how good this figure would be.  Perhaps I’ll be proven wrong later, but as it stands right now, this is my Legend of the year.  He’s a fantastic update, and an incredibly faithful recreation of the character, with a bunch of fun extras to boot.  Hasbro brought their A-game on this one, and I couldn’t be happier.

I picked up Nightcrawler from All Time Toys.  He’s one of the double-packs this time around, so he’s actually still in stock.  Buy him; buy him now.  If you’re looking for other Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

 

#2153: Guardian

GUARDIAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Donning the maple leaf symbol of his home, James Hudson suits up in advanced battle armor and protects the Earth as Guardian.”

Last year, we started our Alpha Flight team in Marvel Legends (again) with a Sasquatch Build-A-Figure, who’s been spending his time since then looking mighty lonely on the shelf.  Seems like a good time to give him some buddies don’t you think?  Well, Hasbro thought so too, which is why they’re just dropping the whole Alpha Flight in one fell swoop in an Amazon-exclusive boxed set later this year.  However, while they were still entertaining the notion of releasing the members one at a time, they added the team’s leader, James Hudson Maple Leaf Man Captain Canada Vindicator Guardian to their latest X-themed line-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Guardian is figure 4 in the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second time he’s been released in Legends form, but…well, the less said about his debut figure, the better.  This figure is sporting James’ classic costume, which is really the only one anyone’s interested in.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Guardian is built on the Spider-UK body, which has been topped with a brand-new head.  Given the quite simplistic nature of his design, placing him on this body, which has plenty of nice costume details, and keeps him from being too bland.  The new head fits the body pretty well, and does a respectable job of capturing how James is usually depicted.  The rest of the figure is really sold by paint, and as luck would have it, his paint’s actually pretty nifty.  Since James’s costume was a technically-enhanced suit, they’ve opted to give it sort of a metallic finish, but still keep the overall bright nature of the design.  It translates to quite a pleasant looking figure, and the actual application is all pretty clean too!  If there’s one slight down to this figure, it’s the lack of any real accessories.  It’s really just the figure and the torso of the Wendigo.  It’s a shame we couldn’t get an alternate unmasked head or something.  That said, it’s not out of the norm for a Guardian figure to be without accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though I don’t have a ton to say about Guardian, I was actually pretty happy to see him turn up in this line-up, and in fact think he’s a pretty darn solid figure.  There’s not a ton going on, but there really doesn’t need to be to get Guardian done correctly.  And he’s certainly far better than the last attempt.

#2152: Boom-Boom

BOOM-BOOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Tabitha Smith, alias Boom-Boom, manipulates energy to create explosive time bombs that she can detonate at any moment.”

Tik tik boom.  On the sliding scale of X-characters, Boom-Boom is what you get when you meet halfway between Dazzler and Jubilee.  Introduced in the pages of Secret Wars II of all things, she’s sort of been batted around the X-verse a bit, and even got a decent role out of Warren Ellis’ Nextwave.  Her height of prominence was during the ’90s, when she was hanging around X-Force.  But even when paired off with the most toyetic property of the early ’90s, she was one of the notable missing pieces of Toy Biz’s ’90s lines.  Her first action figure would come much later, courtesy of Marvel Minimates.  Now she’s finally gotten a follow-up to that, in Legends form.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boom-Boom is figure 3 in the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  She follows Cannonball’s lead and goes for her Liefeld-designed number from X-Force #1, meaning we’re up to four of the founding members in their proper debut costumes.  Not bad for a line-up that’s a little past their prime.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Tabitha’s construction should look fairly familiar, since I actually looked at the majority of it not long ago when I looked at Dazzler.  She gets a new head, boot and glove cuffs, and leg strap, as well as swapping out the jacketed arms for the standard ones.  The closeness of the two figures in build really says more about the source material than it does Hasbro, of course, as it’s ultimately pretty accurate for them to look this similar.  ’80s/’90s X-Men designs were not the most wholly unique.  Boom-Boom’s main head does the same thing as the alternate Jubilee head did, and has Boomer blowing a bubble of gum.  It’s still a cool idea and seems less likely to break than Jubilee’s, but it’s slightly odd to have gotten this exact same gimmick back-to-back with another X-assortment.  She also includes a head without the bubble, for a slightly more standard appearance; unlike Jubilee, both heads have the glasses permanently affixed.  Boom-Boom’s colors are appropriately garish and gawdy for the design; brown and pink, what a combo, right?  I do like the accenting on her hair; I really appreciate this becoming a standard thing on the characters with fairer hair.  Boom-Boom is packed with a second left hand with an energy effect attached, as well as a piece to be held in her right.  Also included is the other leg to the Wendigo Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got no real attachment to Boom-Boom as a character, at least in her classic form.  I liked her well enough in Nextwave and when she showed up on X-Men: Evolution, but this particular design isn’t so much my thing.  Of course, Liefeld’s stuff in general isn’t usually my thing, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying both the Shatterstar and Cable figures based on his designs.  Boom-Boom’s not quite as visually stunning as either of those figures, but she’s also less compromised than the Cannonball figure I looked at yesterday.  Honestly, I liked her more than I’d expected to.

Boom-Boom came to my collection from All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.