#2313: Xenomorph vs Super Power Loader

XENOMORPH VS SUPER POWER LOADER

ALIEN COLLECTION (LANARD TOYS)

I had my first look at Lanard’s new Aliens line yesterday with the line’s star piece, the Alien Queen.  But, what good is an Alien Queen without a Power Loader to do battle with, and at least one minion to be all Queen-ly with?  Practically no good at all!  Fortunately, the line offers up both of those things in one convenient package!  That’s some fairly smart planning right there.  It got me to buy them, anyway.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Xenomorph Vs Super Power Loader set is part of the next step down from the Alien Queen on the price scale for the Alien Collection line, the “Xenomorph Attacks” sets.  There’s this set, and an APC (which, somewhat amusingly, is the only set at launch to not have a Xeno packed in, despite being in the “Xenomorph Attacks” sub-set).

XENOMORPH

There’s one of these in just about every set Lanard’s put out so far.  Currently, we’ve got two styles of Xeno drone: one based on the Aliens Warrior, and one based on the Alien 3 Runner.  This one is the Warrior.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Stylistically, much of this sculpt matches up with the Alien Queen, which is no surprise.  It’s fairly faithful to the film design, while still dialing things back a bit to make it a little more kid-friendly.  The various Xeno elements are all present, and things are pretty sharply defined.  The articulation is pretty well implemented, though the lack of elbow joints is a little bit restricting.  Additionally, the joints on mine are already starting to get rather loose from regular usage, so I’m not sure how well they’ll hold up to long-term play.  That said, it’s a fairly impressive sculpt, with some cool little touches.  Though he lacks the inner-mouth action feature of the queen (forgivable, given the size), he’s still got the details of the inner mouth sculpted on the interior of his jaw, which is a nice touch.  Like the Queen’s vibrant purple, the smaller Xenos are all privy to some Technicolorization, with this one being a rather eye-catching metallic green.  It looks pretty nice, and it’s something different, so I really don’t mind the change-up.

SUPER POWER LOADER

Though the most unique piece of this set within the context of this line, the Super Power Loader is the most clear-cut re-use (similar to what we’re used to seeing from Lanard), and does feel like more of an after thought to make sure there’s a Power Loader to face off against the Queen.  This release takes a pre-existing mech-suit from Lanard’s Corps! inventory and re-purposes it for something more familiar.  It’s not terribly far removed from the Power Loader of the movies, but it’s not terribly similar either.  It’s big and yellow and one of the hands is a claw.  That’s about where the similarities end.  That doesn’t stop it from being a respectably cool piece, although one that feels more designed for conventional weaponry than the glorified forklift from the film, which I suppose is really just an extension of the slightly more weaponized Loader from Kenner’s line.  It does make the name of the machine feel increasingly like an artifact, though.  The construction is fairly hollow, since it’s really just a shell for a figure, but it doesn’t feel too light weigh or like it’s going to break or anything.  I do like the color scheme a lot, and the caution stripes and bright yellow do a lot to sell this as the genuine article.  Power Loaders don’t always include a pilot, but this one does.  He’s not much to right home about, being one of Lanard’s cheapest figures.  He’s got the basic 5 points of articulation, and is very hollow.  Not particularly impressive, but okay for being essentially a glorified cardboard cut-out that’s only there to fill out the Loader in the box.  He’s armed with a pickaxe of some sort, which doesn’t feel like the best choice of weapon when your opponents bleed acid.  Whatever the case, I fairly quickly replaced him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ll admit, I kind of got swept up in the awesomeness of the Alien Queen, and found myself buying this in the same purchase.  I like having Loaders to face off against my Queens and this one was sitting right there, and was admittedly quite affordable.  The Alien’s the better of the two items here, definitely.  Clearly Lanard’s put their resources into making the Aliens cool, and is filling in everything else as cheaply as possible.  Given that the Loader was not part of the first batch of items we saw, it wouldn’t surprise me that this was a somewhat later addition, which would explain the more blatant re-use for the Loader.  It’s not a piece, mind you, but it’s not nearly as impressive as the Queen.  That said, they still look pretty impressive sparring off against each other.

 

#2312: Alien Queen

ALIEN QUEEN

ALIEN COLLECTION (LANARD TOYS)

An Alien Queen review?  Is it the post-Christmas reviews again already?  No, I’m throwing you for a loop dear readers, and doing something that’s not totally predictable.  Okay, that’s probably not true, because I’m reviewing an Aliens action figure, and that’s pretty darn on-brand for me.  Alas, there goes my plans for spontaneity.  So, in Aliens news, the license got picked up by a new and kind of surprising company: Lanard Toys.  Lanard previously made their name with their G.I. Joe knock-off The Corps!, but first got into the licensing game with Kong: Skull Island, and then followed up with Rampage and Jumanji.  So, while licensing isn’t a *new* thing for them, an R-rated movie from the ’80s does seem a little off for a company that sells exclusively in the toy aisle of Walmarts.  Whatever the case, I’m not going to complain if it means more toys from my favorite movie.  Plus, it’s been forever since I’ve reviewed an Alien Queen.  My skills are getting rusty.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Alien Queen is the central piece of Lanard’s new Alien Collection, which started hitting shelves right at the beginning of the year.  While much of the line is made up of Lanard re-purposing old tooling under a new branding (much like they’ve done with prior licensed lines), the Queen is a brand-new offering, designed solely for this line, and she doesn’t exactly have a lot of re-use potential after the Alien line is done.  The figure is roughly 12 inches tall (with her slight hunch) and has 20 points of articulation.  The articulation and its implementation is all fairly basic, but what’s there works and it works well.  In particular, the ball-joints on the ankles work surprisingly well to help keep the figure balanced in a variety of poses.  At first glance, I didn’t think much of them, but while taking the photos, they really stood out to me, especially in contrast to figures like the NECA Queen, who requires a stand to stay balanced (in their defense, so did the real thing; it’s one of the impossibilities of the design).  Some effort has been made by the figure’s sculpt to cartoonize or kidify the Queen’s design a little bit in order to make a slightly sturdier toy.  Most of this is in the legs, which now are more beefed up to support the rest of the figure.  By and large, though, the figure remains surprising faithful to the source material.  While it’s not got the screen accuracy of the NECA figure, it certainly lands closer than the Funko ReAction, or even the vintage Kenner attempts.  They’ve boiled down all of the important elements and crafted something that immediately captures that spirit of the original design, while not being too horribly terrifying for kids par-oozing the toy aisle.  In a lot of ways, I feel she would pair well with the Kenner Scorpion Alien in this respect.  Another change to the design in the effort of keeping things a little more kid-oriented: the colors.  While classically black with some blue highlights, the queen is now a rather vibrant purple…with some blue highlights.  There’s not actually much paint, just the whites of the teeth and the few traces of blue, but it looks pretty striking, and the purple honestly shows off the sculpt a little better than a straight black might have.  Though the Queen includes no accessories, she does get an action feature.  Pulling her head back will shoot her inner mouth outwards, a surprisingly effective feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I found out that Lanard picked up the Aliens license, I’ll admit I was somewhat perplexed.  However, the Queen was one of the first items to be shown, and I rather liked what I saw.  Thanks to Max, I got a heads up that this figure had hit, and was able to find one just after the new year.  I gotta say, I really love this figure, more than I’d anticipated, especially given the very low price tag.  For the same price as a Marvel Legend, you get a figure more than twice the size, and very, very playable.  I love my NECA Queen as much as the next Aliens fan, but if there’s one thing it was not, that’s playable.  Having a Queen I can feel free to pick up and mess with is really solid, and a great alternative for those not looking to drop over $100 on a Queen.  This is an absolutely fantastic piece for kids and collectors alike, and I hope Lanard can continue with such pieces.

#2311: IG-88

IG-88

STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (KENNER)

Everybody’s got their own personal favorite bounty hunter from the Star Wars verse.  Well, okay, maybe not everybody.  That seems a little presumptuous.  Some people don’t like Star Wars.  I know, I know, that’s a hard pill to swallow, guys, but lets be real.  Now, for the Star Wars fans out there, we can at least all take solace in knowing that we all agree that the best bounty hunter, bar none is IG-88.  We all agree on that, right?  Right?  Come on guys, Star Wars fans are always a really agreeable bunch, right?  Anyone?  Anyone?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IG-88 was released in the first assortment of Kenner’s The Empire Strikes Back line, debuting alongside the movie in 1980.  There were two notable variations of IG-88, most easily identified by the finish of the plastic.  Early IGs were a more metallic silver, while later in the run he was shifted over to a duller grey.  The one up top is the silver, but there’s a comparison shot of the two at the end of the review. No matter the variation you have, the figure stands about 4 inches tall (he was a tall boy) and he has 5 points of articulation.  The two versions of the figure actually had slightly different molds, although they were more or less the same sculpt, just with some minor manufacturing tweaks.  The initial sculpt is actually really strong, quite possibly the best sculpt to come out of the vintage line.  While he fits right in with the rest of the figures stylistically, he’s incredibly sharply detailed, and sports pretty much all of the elements he should for a proper screen accurate IG.  The sculpt was so good, that Kenner actually ended up re-using it with just one tweak when it came time for the PotF IG-88, but that’s a discussion for a later review.  For the later run IGs, the sculpt is slightly downgraded.  It’s still one of the best of the vintage line, mind you, and all of the important elements remain, but some of the smaller details are lost and the overall crispness of the sculpt is also gone.  There’s also one piece completely mission on the right leg, and protrusions from the head are generally cut shorter.  If you don’t compare the two, you wouldn’t really know what you were missing.  For the paint work, IG-88 was kind of light, with molded plastic making up most of it.  The bandolier is painted black on both figures, and the lights on the head are red on the silver figure and orange on the grey.  The application on the silver is a little more precise, lending to more of that sharpness like we saw with the sculpt.  Both versions of IG-88 were packed with two blaster rifles, one short, one long, molded in a dark blue, which is probably the thing that most gives away this figure as vintage.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always had a soft spot for IG-88.  Since he wasn’t in the original movie (and therefore one of the figures I inherited from my Dad’s childhood collection), he wound up being one of the earlier vintage figures I tracked down for myself, picked up from an antique school sometime during my high school years. That was the grey version, and was just on his own without the accessories.  I picked up a complete silver when it was traded into All Time a couple of months ago.  Silver is the superior release, but grey has his own charm.  I appreciate them both for what they are: two more pieces for my awesome IG-88 collection!

#2310: Super Skrull

SUPER SKRULL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Super Skrull may have been ever so slightly undercut as a FF foe by yesterday’s review of the greatest comic book villain of all time Doctor Doom, but let’s not let him get too down here.  I mean, he’s a pretty solid antithesis of the team, being a guy who can match them all ability for ability. After DC’s Amazo proved the concept of combining all the heroes’ powers into one could work, the FF followed suit with Kl’rt, a Skrull warrior imbued with…the combined powers of the FF.  Look, it’s all pretty straight-forward.  Despite being specifically tailored to the FF, Super Skrull was sort of batted around the general Marvel universe following a few defeats from his initial foes, and has even had a few turns as a reluctant ally to our heroes.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Super Skrull is the titular build-a-figure for the newest FF-themed series of Marvel Legends.  Kl’rt has actually never had a proper Legends release before, but he did get a 6-inch figure out of Toy Biz’s Fantastic Four Classics, which they dropped right before losing the license.  Hasbro subsequently re-issued that figure in a two-pack, but intended as a more generic Skrull army builder, rather than a true figure of the original Super Skrull.  Whatever the case, this figure is certainly a welcome addition to the current line-up.  He stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Super Skrull, rather interestingly for a Build-A-Figure, is built on the Hyperion body, which is typically a single-carded piece.  He gets his own head (two of them, in fact), upper torso, and arms to help differentiate him.  The two heads give us two different moods for Kl’rt; one somber, and one mad and cackling.  I like the cackling myself, but both are solid pieces, and internally consistent to boot.  The new upper torso not only gives Kl’rt his proper Skrull shoulder pads, but also replaces the usual upper torso, thereby eliminating the weird torso shelf that is the standard Hyperion body’s one major flaw.  The new arms replicate Super Skrull’s typical “using all the powers at once” appearance, although with a slightly different than usual application. Rather than going for the symmetrical stretched out, flaming Thing arms and transparent legs, this figure gives us one flaming Thing arm (courtesy of a clip-on effects piece), and one stretched out invisible arm.  They’re pretty awesome pieces with just one downside.  Though a spare set of standard arms is included, the design of the left powered-up arm doesn’t allow it to be removed from the torso after initial assembly, which is why my Kl’rt keeps the Thing arm no matter what.  I don’t think I would ever display him without the powered-up parts, but it’s annoying not to have the option.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this figure by buying all of the figures needed to complete him.  Hands up, who’s surprised?  Honestly, though, I wasn’t sure about another set of the FF, but upon seeing this guy as the Build-A-Figure, I was pretty well sold on the assortment.  I never got the old Toy Biz figure, but always wanted one, so another chance at the character is much appreciated.  I’m annoyed by the inability to change the arms back and forth as you should be able to, but even without the standard arms, this figure’s pretty darn cool.

This assortment is a pretty balanced one.  While I can easily say that Doom is my favorite (and Reed’s my least favorite), the grouping on the assortment as a whole is pretty tight.  There are definite positives to the whole assortment, and they make for a really solid set of figures.

#2309: Doctor Doom

DOCTOR DOOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Victor Von Doom uses his incredible intelligence and mystical abilities to oppose the Fantastic Four.”

On this Valentine’s Day, I’m examining the truest love of all: the love of hating one’s enemies and watching them unquestionably defeated by circumstances that you and you alone control.  A love that Victor Von Doom, greatest villain in all of comics, has been striving for since his introduction in 1962.  But that curse-ed Richards just keeps preventing him from attaining it.  How dare he?  Alas, Doom will just have to settle for the love of having the best action figure in the latest assortment of FF-themed Marvel Legends.  It’s the small victories that keep you going.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Doctor Doom is figure 1 in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends, a great example of Hasbro knowing to lead with their best foot forward.  Alongside the Thing, Doom is one of the double-packs for this assortment, again an example of Hasbro knowing what’s up here.  While Victor Von Doom returned to Legends last year as a Walgreens exclusive, it was under his Infamous Iron Man moniker, and as cool as that figure was, he wasn’t classic Doctor Doom.  We haven’t gotten one of those since 2012, and even that one was a re-used mold from ’08.  The need for a proper update, especially in light of the FF getting classic-inspired updates in the Walgreens line-up.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.   Doom gets an all-new sculpt from head to toe, and it’s one of Hasbro’s most impressive sculpts, pretty much in their entire time on the license.  It takes the classic Doom design and effectively just translates it to how it would look if manufactured in real life.  The armor has rivets, seams, and leather straps and clasps, and under the main plates, you can clearly make out a chain mail under suit.  Even under the skirt of the tunic, the armor remains fully detailed, even though there’s absolutely no reason for it to be.  The tunic is appropriately detailed in its own way, with a distinct fabric texturing sculpted in to differentiate it from the armored segments.  At first glance, I felt the skirt of the tunic was too long, but after messing with the figure a bit, I’m actually quite happy with the length, and also pleasantly surprised by how posable the hips remain even with it in place.  On the back of the torso, there are jet thrusters, as have become customary for Doom figures.  He’s also got a very nicely detailed belt, with a fully working holster.  There are two different heads included with the figure.  He comes wearing the more modern design of his mask (seen in the shot with Wilson), but also includes a more Jack Kirby-inspired head.  Both are beautiful pieces in their own right, but the Kirby head is my favorite by far.  Doom’s paintwork is pretty solid.  While a lot of the colors are just molded, there are never the less plenty of spots where paint *could* have been missed but wasn’t, especially with those straps on the sides of the armor plates, which again continue up under the tunic.  Truly impressive.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Doom also includes his signature Luger, plus two sets of hands (fists, and a trigger finger/open gesture combo).  He also includes the leg of Super Skrull.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Doctor Doom is my favorite comics villain ever, and frequently a favorite of mine when it comes to action figures.  Since completing the Walgreens FF, I’ve been patiently waiting for this guy.  As soon as he was shown off, I knew he’d be my favorite in the set, and in hand he absolutely lives up to my expectations, and makes for the perfect counterpart to my FF.  This figure is clearly a labor of love for Hasbro and I’m very glad to have him.

I picked up Doom from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2308: Hulk

HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Jennifer Walters struggles to control her anger, and keep the powerful Hulk at bay.”

After pretty much only being Bruce Banner’s alter-ego for five decades, in the last couple of years, the name “Hulk” has been shared by a handful of other people.  The first being Thunderbolt Ross (who admittedly did put “Red” in front of it to distinguish himself a bit), then Amadeus Cho (who stuck with “Totally Awesome” as his lead-in), and then eventually Hulk’s original spin-off, Jennifer Walters, previously a Hulk of the “She” variety.  I mean, I think she’s still of the “she” variety, but it got dropped from her name.  Also, she’s angry now, so there’s that.  And now, there’s a figure of this new incarnation!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk is figure 6 in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends.  Though not super linked to the FF in her most current incarnation, Jen is nevertheless a good fit for an FF-themed assortment, given her history with the team during John Byrne’s tenure, and how that helped shift her into the spot-light.  Of course, I’d still like a proper Byrne FF She-Hulk one of these days, but that’s an issue for another time.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Unlike the last ML She-Hulk, this figure is an all-new sculpt, and a rather impressive one at that.  Since her transition to just being Hulk also had her picking up some of her cousin’s temper issues, this new sculpt depicts an angrier, more savage Jen.  The face is an intense, teeth-baring snarl, which you don’t often see on female figures, and the hair is wildly blowing, with a stray stand even blowing across her face.  It’s quite a dynamic head, and I really love that about it.  The body goes to the proper Hulk roots of tattered clothing remains.  Like the last two comic He-Hulks we got, this one has a separate rubber tattered shirt piece, although this one isn’t designed to be removed.  She’s also sporting a pair of jeans with enough holes in them to make a clothing designer jealous, and with a ton of really nice texture work to make them feel like a real piece of clothing.  All of its on a body that has a great build to match most depictions of Jen in her Gamma-induced form.  I’m sure some of these parts have already been ear-marked to crop up again.  Jen’s transition to an adjective-less Hulk was accompanied by a change in color from her usual green to a grey more in like with her cousin’s earlier appearances.  This figure replicates that, but does keep enough green in there to make her still look more like a half-way point between Bruce’s two forms.  The paintwork on this figure does some solid work, especially on the hair, which has that nice green highlight to it.  I also really dig the bright green scars.  Hulk is packed with two sets of hands in fists and open gesture, as well as the right arms to Super Skrull.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The A-Force She-Hulk was a better figure than I expected, but was still a rather dated piece even when she was new, which definitely left me wanting a more properly updated version of Jen.  While I’ll admit this one might not have my first choice of design, and I’m certainly still holding out for a Byrne version, I can’t deny that this is a very nice figure, and would it not for the figure I’m about to review tomorrow, she’d probably be my favorite in the set.

Hulk came from my sponsors 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.

#2307: Invisible Woman

INVISIBLE WOMAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Sue Storm has the ability to bend light, making herself and others invisible.”

Let’s officially bookend these modern FF Legends reviews with the Invisible Woman, the character that started this renewed lease on Legends life for the team back in 2016 when Hasbro first unveiled her at one of the con presentations.  Hasbro launching with Sue was something of a promise to long-time collectors that they were really going to finish the team, by kicking things off with the most frequently neglected member of the core group.  With this latest set, Hasbro seems to be sticking with that promise, releasing the whole team in one go this time, and not making the same mistakes that Toy Biz made over and over again.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Invisible Woman is figure 3 in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends.  Like the rest of her team from this assortment, Sue is sporting her latest costume from the comics, thereby completing this set of the team.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  This Sue shares most of her parts with the last Sue, which seems respectable enough.  The Phoenix body is a good fit for Sue’s usual build, and a solid base body in general, so there are no complaints there.  She also uses the same face as the last figure, but gets a new hair piece, as well as new feet to match the more stylized soles of the rest of the team.  I was a pretty big fan of the prior Sue figure’s head sculpt, and I wasn’t so sure about this one at first, but in person I find myself really liking the new hairstyle, and even preferring its more dynamic nature to the previous sculpt.  It also looks really nice swapped onto that old body, for those interested.  The feet are okay; not as goofy looking as Reed’s, but I’m not the biggest fan of the wedges.  I liked the prior figure’s flat feet.  They don’t look bad, though.  The paintwork on Sue matches well with the rest of the team, but something about it looks better on this particular body than the others.  I don’t know if the design of this body just lends itself better to the costume layout or what, but I just like the costume even more here.  Not having that belt broken by a waist joint probably helps.  The prior figure didn’t get anything in the way of effects pieces to demonstrate her powers, but this one gets an all-new force shield piece, which clips over her right hand.  I quite like it, and it’s also compatible with the Walgreens figure, for those curious.  In addition to the shield,this figure includes the torso of the Super Skrull Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure didn’t do much for me when she was announced.  I really like the Walgreens figure, and didn’t see much room for improvement, and honestly felt the changes made the figure look worse.  In-hand, it’s a totally different story.  That new head sculpt is really great, the effects piece is one of Hasbro’s coolest, and even the costume works better here than on the others, making Sue my favorite of the FF members from this particular set.  I think a lot of people might pass her up for being so similar to her prior figure when compared to her teammates, but she’s surprisingly good.

I picked up Sue from my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

 

#2306: Human Torch

HUMAN TORCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Johnny Storm can transform his body into incredibly hot plasma, control fire, and fly.”

Since there have been figures of the Fantastic Four, there have been some concerns about how best to adapt some of their power sets.  The most common source of difficulty for toy makers is with the team’s resident hot-head Johnny, whose flame-on abilities mean that he has two distinct appearances: flamed on and flamed off.  Unlike other members of the family, his on/off can’t quite as easily be replicated with a selection of extra parts; he kind of warrants two separate figures.  It’s rare that a line gets a chance to do both, so most just stick will fully flamed-on (though we do get the occasional mid-way design).  His last Legends figure was fully powered-on, but Hasbro decided to be kind this time and give us a full powered-down Johnny, something we’ve never actually gotten in Legends form.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Human Torch is figure four in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends.  Like the other members of the core team, he’s sporting his newest costume, something that the flamed-off nature of the figure allows to be fully displayed.  It does mean he’s not going to match the Walgreens set, of course, but that does kind of go without saying doesn’t it?  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  In contrast to the rest of this assortment, Johnny is *not* primarily a parts re-use of his prior figure.  While that figure was build on the Bucky Cap body (something I was never terribly happy with), this guy instead moves over to the 2099 body.  While my preferred choice is still the body they’re using for Reed (since he and Johnny have been typically depicted as about the same build), I do think that this one is a slightly better choice for Johnny, and I can understand Hasbro wanting the two characters two be on different bodies.  Johnny gets a new head and feet to complete his slightly more unique look.  The head I wasn’t so sure about when it was shown off, but I actually like it a lot more than I’d expected to in person.  It still looks a little off from some angles, but posed correctly, it looks pretty solid.  The new feet are similar to Reed’s, but the style works a bit better for this particular base body, making them look a lot less goofy.  The paint work on Johnny is fairly similar to that of Reed, which is sensible, what with the uniformed bit and all.  It’s well-applied and the color work is pretty bold and striking.  Johnny is packed with a spare set of hands, re-used from the previous Human Torch, which along with the effects pieces from the Infinity War Scarlet Witch, makes for a nice smaller demonstration of Johnny’s flame abilities.  He also includes both left arms for Super Skrull.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Human Torch was my least favorite piece of the last FF set, partially because of his fully flamed-on nature, and partially because of his choice of body.  This figure addressing both of those issues was certainly a point in his favor.  That said, the prototype didn’t really wow me, so I wasn’t sure.  In hand, I like him a lot more than I’d expected to, and I think he turned out quite nicely.

Johnny was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2305: Mr. Fantastic

MR. FANTASTIC

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Reed Richards is a brilliant scientist with the ability to stretch his body into any shape.”

The insufferable genius archetype isn’t typically one that ends up on the super-team proper, especially when it comes to ’60s super teams.  Characters like Professor X, Niles Caulder, and Will Magnus typically serving to dispatch their teams from the side-lines.  Reed Richards, on the other hand, was a full-fledged member of his team, in contrast to the norms.  However, when said team got side-lined for a bit, he sort of found himself pushed into those sidelines for a bit.  At least he’s finally getting to return to the action!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Fantastic is figure 2 in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends.  Like Ben (and the rest of the team, for that matter), Reed is seen here in his current get-up from the comics.  Though not quite as evident on Ben, the main hook of these new costume designs is the reversed palette of the usual costume.  It’s a fairly striking look, recalling the Byrne-era costumes, which are a personal favorite of mine.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Just like with Ben, most of this figure’s parts are shared with the Walgreens release.  The core body from that figure is nice and balanced, and it’s honestly a little surprising that this is only our second time seeing it used.  It’s still a really good fit for Reed’s usual build from the comics.  In addition to the old parts, he also gets a new head and feet.  While I really liked the new parts on the Thing, I’m a little less immediately impressed by these.  I don’t hate the bearded look for Reed, and I definitely like that he’s got the same face beneath it as the clean shaven Walgreens figure, but something about the hair just doesn’t look right to me.  It’s accurate to the art, but it just feels like something was lost in translation.  I’m also not really big on the feet; they go for a more sculpted, almost sneaker-like appearance, which is again something that looks okay on the page, but seems off in three dimensions.  The paintwork on this figure is pretty much on par with his previous figure, albeit with the expected changes in the color scheme to match his all-new look.  This Reed doesn’t get the fully stretched arms of the prior figure (though the arms still pop out at the shoulders to facilitate swapping out, if you’re so inclined), but he does get a set of alternate stretched out hands, which are…well, they’re certainly something.  I don’t know, I guess I’d probably like them more if they had all of the glove detailing of the standard hands.  They’re something different, at least.  He also includes one of Super Skrull’s legs.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mr. Fantastic is one of the more different releases of the main four from this set, and I was expecting to get a little bit more out of him because of that.  I really liked the Walgreens version, so I hoped he’d be up to the same quality.  Ultimately, I don’t like this figure quite as much as I’d expected to, and I think he’s my least favorite of the new four.  Still, he’s not a bad figure, just not quite as good as the previous one.

I got Reed courtesy my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2304: The Thing

THE THING

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Bombarded by cosmic rays, Ben Grimm develops thick, orange skin and superhuman strength.”

In 2017 and 2018, the Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends component gave us our first Fantastic Four Legends in a long time.  It was a slow build, one member at a time way of building the team, but it was nevertheless quite a rewarding experience for the FF fans who were able to play the waiting game.  However, the downside of the whole thing was that by the time they released the final member of the team, it was kinda hard to track down the preceding three, and I know that put some people off of the whole venture.  Still, it was a very well received set of figures, and proved that there was still a market for some FF figure love, so one of our first assortments right out of the gate for 2020 is a proper Legends assortment devoted to the FF.  I’m kicking things off with the last of the four to be added to the Walgreens set, the ever-lovin’, blue-eyed Thing!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Thing is figure 5 in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends, which is our first FF-themed series of Legends since Hasbro’s own Ronan Series back in 2008.  To say they’ve improved their process since then is something of an understatement.  All of the FF members in this assortment are based on their current costume designs from Slott and Pichelli’s recent relaunch of the book.  For Ben, it’s not as drastic a change; mostly he’s just got that more prominent belt.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  For the most part, he’s re-using parts from the last Thing, which was a brand-new sculpt at the time.  They *are* the same guy, and it makes sense that Hasbro wants to get another use out of the mold.  I’m certain this won’t be the last time we’ll see it either.  It was a great sculpt the first time around, and it remains a great sculpt now.  He gets an all-new head sculpt, and I actually think I might prefer this one to the two from last time.  It’s got that extra prominent brow that they were both missing.  It also maintains that slightly calmer look for Ben, which is my preferred look for him.  Whatever the case, it’s a very strong sculpt.  He also gets a brand new belt piece.  Though it’s a separate piece, it’s not designed to be removable and won’t be coming off without damaging it.  That said, it would be easy enough to take off permanently, if you really don’t like it.  The paintwork on this figure marks another notable change in the figure, as Hasbro’s way of accenting Ben’s rocky features is a little different.  On the previous figure, they more or less outlined the rocky elements, darkening the recesses, while here they instead highlight the higher points with a lighter shade.  It’s not a bad look (though I wouldn’t mind if the coverage were a *bit* more extensive), but the downside to this change in styling is that you can’t swap the heads between the two releases, meaning you can’t put this head on a more classic Ben.  Alas.  The prior Thing release had his own selection of accessories, with a spare head and an extra set of hands.  This figure gets nothing for himself, but does include the two heads meant for the Super Skrull Build-A-Figure, so it’s not the worst trade-off.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up all of the Walgreens releases, so I didn’t *need* the main four from this assortment.  That said, I’m a big FF fan, and if nothing else, I want to support the prospect of more FF-centric assortments.  If that means getting a few variants of the main team, so be it.  It helps that I really liked Ben the first time around, and that the changes made here are subtle enough that he still works as a standard Ben, while still being prominent to give me something “new.”  It’s also nice that Hasbro’s giving the fans that couldn’t get the Walgreens set another chance at the core team.

I picked up The Thing from my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.