#0545: Black Widow

BLACK WIDOW

MARVEL UNIVERSE (HASBRO)

BlackWidowMU1

Countdown to Avengers: Age of Ultron: 11 days remaining.

So, sure, the Avengers count on the “Big Three” of Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, but they’re really only as good as their second tier characters.  Now, what’s interesting about today’s focus Black Widow is that she hasn’t technically had a very long run with the team. She’s really only been a member for a few short spots of time.  Now, to be fair, she’s been around since almost the beginning, as sort of an honorary member, and she’s an important motivator for for a few members joining and sticking with the team.  So, really, she deserves the spot, she just hasn’t taken advantage of it.  However, she’s a permanent member in the  movies, and that’s what counts to most people.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BlackWidowMU2Black Widow was released as part of Series 7 of Hasbro’s Marvel Universe line.  The figure was actually released just prior to the character’s first film appearance in Iron Man 2, so it was actually pretty timely.  The figure is roughly 3 ¾ inches in height and features 19 points of articulation. She’s ostensibly based on the “classic” Black Widow appearance, with a few more modern touches here and there.  The figure is built on Hasbro’s first MU female buck.  As I’ve mentioned before, it’s probably the best of Hasbro’s initial bodies for the line. Of course, that’s sort of faint praise, and it certainly doesn’t make it a GOOD body, just better than the others.  Viewed as a whole, the body isn’t bad, but a piece by piece analysis brings out the worst of the issues.  The torso is rather squat, the arms are too short, the legs are a touch too long, and the hands are enormous.  Plus, there’s the really questionable choice of articulation in the middle of the torso. So, yeah, it’s not really a great starting point.  In addition, Widow features a brand-new head, as well as add-ons for her belt and Widow-Stingers.  The head sculpt is okay, but nothing of any note. It’s really generic, and doesn’t have much detail at all.  I suppose the hair helps identify who this is, but this head could ultimately be just about anyone. The belt and stingers are probably the best things about the figure.  They help to hide some of the issues present in the base body, and they actually do have some rather nice detail work. The paint on this figure is… well, it’s there.  Not much more can be said about it.  It’s clean and well applied.  The bluish sheen on her body suit is a nice touch, but the silver for the belt and stingers is an unfortunate choice, as it robs the figure of some much needed variance in color.  Widow was packed with a big machine gun (which isn’t really her style, but that’s what you get with re-use) and a display stand with her name on it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I purchased Black Widow from my local comic book store.  They had just gotten this and the preceding series in stock.  At the time I was slowly moving to collecting this particular scale, so I decided to pick up Widow.  I remember being at least a little excited by the figure at the time, but that was before there was really a wide selection of Black Widow figures.  Ultimately, this figure is alright, but what really kills it is that it’s just rather boring.  Which is probably one of the most damning thing that can be said about an action figure.

#0544: Thor

THOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

ThorLoA1

Countdown to Avengers: Age of Ultron: 12 days remaining.

Alright, we’ve seen Captain America and we’ve seen Iron Man. How about we take a look at the remaining corner of the “Avengers Trinity,” Thor, God of Thunder! Ummm, so I don’t actually own that many non-movie Thor figures. I know, bad Ethan. So, this one got picked by default. I swear I didn’t intentionally pick two Marvel Legends figures in a row to torment the readers still waiting for that Hobgoblin. Or did I? No, I really didn’t. Let’s just get to the figure already!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ThorLoA2Thor was released in second series of Marvel Legends following Hasbro’s takeover of the Marvel license. The figure is roughly 7 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. He’s based on the Thor’s more armored, Lord of Asgard appearance from the early 2000s, not long before he died for the first time (spoilers?). It was sort of current at the time, so I guess it makes sense here. Thor got a brand new sculpt for this figure. Supposedly, this was one of the figures ToyBiz had finished before passing the license over, and that actually does make a fair bit of sense. This figure, like a lot of the early Hasbro Legends, ends up feeling more like an extension of the ToyBiz Legends than part of a new line. It’s a pretty decent sculpt, though it’s certainly stylized, at least as far as the proportions go. There is a lot of nice detail work throughout the sculpt; his clothing has lots of texture, and there’s some pretty good work on the hair and beard. One real downside of the sculpt is that it ends up being rather restricting to the figure’s movement, so he ends up being really only good for a basic standing pose. Sure, it’s an intimidating standing pose, but it’s a little bland coming from a line that prided itself on crazy amounts of articulation. While the sculpt may be filled with lots of detail and texture, the same cannot be said for the paint. To be fair, it’s not that the paint is bad, sloppy, or messy. It checks all the basic boxes. The problem is that it’s just very flat. The colors are pretty much just there, with no accenting of any sort or even variety. Also, like a lot of the initial Hasbro Legends, his color palette seems really washed out, meaning he just sort of fades into the back of a display. Thor includes his trusty hammer, Mjolnir, a double-bladed axe, and a piece of the series’ Build-A-Figure, the Blob.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When Hasbro first started to release Legends, I was deep in my obsession with the line. Still, I mostly skipped the first series of the line due to just not being interested in any of the figures. The second series, however, I was rather excited for. I ended up finding most of them at my closest KB Toys (gee, I miss them…). I ended up buying them in batches, and Thor found his way into the second “batch” of figures. Up until Hasbro’s most recent Infinite Series Thor, this was actually the only Legends Thor I had in my collection. He’s not a bad figure, but he’s definitely held back by the paint. Hasbro actually ended up re-releasing this figure with better paint as one of the figures they did to tie-in to the first Thor movie, but I’ve never actually seen one in person.

#0543: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

IronManNeoClassic1

Countdown to Avengers: Age of Ultron: 13 days remaining.

Okay, so it’s time for another Avengers review. Yesterday was Captain America, and today we’ll be taking a look at everyone’s favorite armored Avenger (provided you aren’t a much bigger fan of Black Knight, or War Machine, or Iron Patriot….) Iron Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IronManNeoClassic2Iron Man was released as part of Series 3 of Hasbro’s Return of Marvel Legends. The prior two series had each been centered around a Build-A-Figure and given a designation to match. However, this particular series had no Build-A-Figure, so it was instead titled “Epic Heroes.” Iron Man stands just over 6 inches tall and sports 34 (36?) points of articulation. The figure is based on Iron Man in the armor he was wearing in the comics during the mid-to-late-80s. It’s commonly referred to as his “Neo-Classic” armor, due to it being his return to the traditional red and yellow armor following several years in the Silver Centurion armor. This is actually the 5th action figure that this particular armor has seen, though this is the first, and so far only, time it has been done in the 6 inch scale. Structurally, this figure is technically a new sculpt, but comparing it to the 3 ¾ inch version of this armor from the Iron Man 2 line, this appears mostly to just be a scaled up version of that sculpt. There are a few differences, aside from the obvious thing with the size, such as the different style of mid-torso articulation and a completely different set of boots. This figure is from right around the time that Hasbro really started to up their game in the sculpting department. The sculpt is nice and clean, with great proportions and a great deal of accuracy to the source material. The boots, which are wholly original to this figure, are something of a point of contention amongst fans of this particular armor. The original prototype and the 3 ¾ inch figure both featured more classically styled feet, based on the armor’s initial appearance. However, the final figure features a much bulkier pair of boots, based on later depictions of the armor. They are decently sculpted and certainly make the figure a lot more stable, but it’s not the look a lot of people wanted. The figure’s paint is fairly straight forward. The red parts are red, the yellow parts are, well okay they’re actually gold, but that’s essentially the same thing. Okay, actually it’s not. In fact, I generally prefer a straight yellow, especially on my classic Iron Man armors. But this one doesn’t look terrible, so I’ll let it slide. The red is very nice, though. Also, there are a few spots where the red bleeds over into the gold, but it’s generally the application is pretty clean. Iron Man’s only accessory is a hexagonal-based display stand, which was included with all of the figures in this series.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When Hasbro kicked off the Return of Marvel Legends, I did my best to avoid it. Their last attempts at Legends before it went on hiatus were pretty lackluster, and I had pretty thoroughly moved on to the smaller Marvel Universe line. I even managed to avoid picking up a single figure from the first two series. Then I saw this guy at my local comic book store. For whatever reason, he called to me, but I remained vigilant. No more Marvel Legends for me! Well, my dad was with me at the time and took note of my interest in the figure. So, a month later I found this guy amongst that year’s Christmas gifts. Because my parents are just that awesome. Truth be told, this may very well be my favorite Iron Man released at this scale. He’s an all-around solid figure, and like the original ToyBiz Legends Iron Man before him, he’s responsible for dragging me (back) into Marvel Legends. Thanks a lot Tony….

#0542: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL RETRO FIGURES (DIAMOND SELECT TOYS)

CapRetro1

So, today, you were probably expecting to read a review of that Marvel Legends Hobgoblin I’ve been building for the last week. Well, dear reader, you’re just going to have to test your patience on that one, because I’m going to be doing a bit of a theme for the next two weeks.  Aren’t I just the worst?

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you might be unaware that a little movie called Avengers: Age of Ultron is set to be released (in the US, anyway) on May 1st. That means that there are 14 days until it’s released. So, I’ll be counting down by doing a review of a figure of each of the film’s main characters each day between now and then.  Let’s kick things off with “The First Avenger” Captain America.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CapRetro10Captain America is the second figure in Diamond Select Toys’ Marvel Retro Figures line, which is DST’s new line of figures based on the old Mego figures from the 70s. Cap follows Spider-Man and will be followed by Wolverine and Thor later this year. The figure is built on the line’s standard body, which is a re-fit Mego Type II body, with a few improvements by Paul “Dr. Mego” Clarke. Said body (with the addition of a head) stands roughly 8 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation. As I noted in my review of the Spider-Man figure, this version of the body has a sturdier construction than the original Mego bodies, and is even a little sturdier than DST’s previous Star Trek and Planet of the Apes retro lines. Just like Spider-Man, Captain America is essentially three figures in one. There are three complete sets, each consisting of a head, a costume, and accessories, and one body for them all to share. For the purposes of this review, I have provided two spare bodies of my own, but the actual set only has the one.

CapRetro9First of the three looks is Cap’s “vintage” look, which is the one that comes pre-built on the included body. He’s a recreation of the original Captain America Mego. The vintage Cap is widely remembered for the changes to his costume and his overall goofy look. This figure remains true to that. He uses the same head sculpt as the original figure. Purely looking at the sculpt of the head, it’s actually not bad. It’s a teeny bit dated, but it’s generally a fairly generic hero head. What really makes the head goofy looking is the paint, which has also been recreated here. Overall, it’s a pretty good match for the original Cap head. Some of the line work, particularly on the “shadow” of the mask, is a little fuzzy at the edges. Also, the already goofy eyes are made a little goofier by the fact that the pupils are just a tiny bit misplaced. It looks a little bit like he’s glancing to his right. The figure’s body suit is tailored to match the original, and they’ve done a pretty great job of that. It sits very nicely, and the colors of the cloth are all well-matched. The star emblem presents a bit of a problem. The original figure had a decal, which, over time, fell off of just about every single figure. On this one, it’s been replaced by a piece of thick pleather-like material. It’s an understandable change, but rather than properly affix it to the costume, it’s held on in the center with a rather simple threading. The end result is a) a fairly noticeable dot in the center of the logo and b) a logo which sticks up at the sides and doesn’t stay straight. Surely there had to be a better solution than that to get the logo to stay in place. The other essential piece of the costume is the boots. The original was notable for not having the proper buccaneer-style boots of Cap’s comic look, and that’s replicated here. The original Mego Cap boots, like all Mego boots, were molded in a thin, stiff plastic. Here, they’re done in a rubberier material, making them both sturdier and easier to get on and off the figure. This version of the figure includes the same one accessory as his vintage counterpart: his shield. The actual piece is a pretty straight re-cast of the original shield, but the decal is noticeably not as smoothly applied as the vintage one, which is too bad.

CapRetro4Second up is the updated take on the classic Cap design. Like Spider-Man, this figure is meant to be what a Mego Cap might look like with modern toy making technology at its disposal. To start with, the figure gets a brand-new head sculpt. This one offers a more… idealized take on Cap’s head. Where Spidey’s head felt like an evolution of the original head, this one feels more like a start from scratch. Many of the same elements are there, but placement seems better. The eyes aren’t buggy, the jaw is a little more chiseled, and the facial feature in general are a little bit more evenly place on the head, so he doesn’t have such a huge forehead going on. He also has a lot more detailing, especially on the actual mask which sports some seams along the top and a more defined set of eyeholes. The head is a little bit on the large side, and this is emphasized by the fact that the neck is perhaps a touch too long. It’s not terrible, but it is noticeable in light of Spider-Man, who had a more accurately proportioned head and neck. The paintwork on the head is pretty great. The colors are well chosen and everything is bold and mostly clean. The tailoring on the figure’s costume is tighter than the vintage one, and is actually a little too tight in a few areas. CapRetro5Once the costume is fully in place, it looks pretty good, but it’s a real pain getting it to that point. The material chosen for the costume is quite nice; the blues match very well with the mask and I like the scaled pattern on his upper half quite a bit. Also, the option to have him with or without the shorts is nice, though, once again, those can be a bit difficult to get on. The star is the same as the one on vintage costume, which is disappointing, but at the very least it’s consistent. This version of Cap fixes the vintage one’s issue with the boots, supplying a pair of the proper cuffed boots, grabbed, I believe, from the Mego version of Will Scarlett. They’re pretty straight forward and pretty much perfect for the character, so they’re a great choice. Cap includes three sets of sculpted hands, each sculpted with the proper gloved look for the character, and cast in a red that matches the cloth potion of the gloves. There is a pair of fists, a pair for saluting, and a pair in an open pose for shield throwing and such. Speaking of shield throwing, Cap also includes a brand-new version of his mighty shield. The rings and star are sculpted and then painted, rather than just being a sticker, resulting in a very nice final product. The figure also includes Cap’s original, pointed shield, done in a similar fashion to the round one.

CapRetro3Last up is Cap’s “alter ego,” Private Steve Rogers, wearing his WW2 Army uniform. The figure features a head sculpt built from the same base sculpt as the updated Captain America head, meaning they match up appropriately. According to the included booklet, this head was sculpted first and then reverse engineered into a Cap head. Truth be told, I do think this might be the stronger of the two heads. The Cap head certainly isn’t bad, but this one really feels like it gets the Mego aesthetic down and it captures the “classic” Steve Rogers look pretty much perfectly. It helps that it’s topped off with the cleanest paintwork of the three included heads; there’s pretty much not a drop out of line on this one. Steve’s outfit is made up of a shirt, pants, belt, tie, boots, and boot covers (EDIT: As an astute reader reminded me, the outfit also includes an extra set of regular flesh tone hands.  They’re identical to the ones that come on the body, so I’m not certain what their purpose is, but they’re there). Getting Steve’s uniform properly assembled is certainly quite a task, and it took me a good 15 minutes to do so, but he stays together pretty well once CapRetro7assembled. The uniform is well-tailored and the shirt in particular has plenty of layers to it. One thing I did notice is that on my figure the boot covers had two different lengths of elastic at the bottom, which is minor, but slightly annoying. The boots are very nicely sculpted, with lots of nice little details, and they go on fairly easily. Steve’s only accessory (unless you opt to give him the pointed shield) is his helmet, which sits very nicely on his head.

Like the Spider-Man set, this set also includes a booklet with a few articles about Mego and the creation of the set. It’s a pretty fun read, so there’s certainly some value to it.

The packaging is similar to that of the first. However, there were a few changes for the better. First of all, the reproduction of the original box isn’t glued in place this time, which is much appreciated. Additionally, the extra costumes are place on mock bodies instead of being clipped in place, which avoids the small holes the Spider-Man costumes suffered. Unfortunately, the extra pieces are still blister packaged in place, so they can’t be removed without tearing up the backing.

CapRetro2

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Growing up playing with my dad’s old Mego figures, I had one particular figure who was my favorite above the rest. That figure was Captain America. Sure, he was goofy, and inaccurate, but he was just so much fun. I would sit there at my grandparents’ house, watching my VHS copies of the 60s cartoon, holding that figure the whole time. When this line was announced and Cap was shown, there was no doubt that I was buying this figure.

Most of the time, when I get a figure, my initial reaction to the figure is rather indicative of my final opinion of said figure. In the case of Captain America, my initial reaction, especially to the updated version of the figure, was one of disappointment. I love the old Cap figure, and this one seemed to fall short of what I wanted. But then, I played around with him a bit, and I took the pictures for the review. And somewhere between taking the pictures and writing this review, I fell in love with this figure. I don’t know quite how it happened, but it did.

The set isn’t without its drawbacks. For the price they’re asking, some work could still be done on making the packaging a little bit more collector friendly and on making sure the costumes fit the figures as best they can. All that said, an admirable job was done on this figure, and I’m extremely happy to have gotten him.

CapRetro8

 

*Incidentally, I had originally intended to review a completely different Cap figure today. However, this guy arrived, and I didn’t want to push him back to after the Age of Ultron prep stuff, so I bumped that one. The rest of the AoU-themed stuff will be older figures from my pre-existing collection.

#0541: Spider-Girl – Warriors of the Web

SPIDER-GIRL – WARRIORS OF THE WEB

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

MayDay1

Comics, as a medium, operate on a strange sort of compressed/decompressed timeline. Since we only see the characters once a month, their lives move much slower than our own. Sometimes, this works to the story’s advantage. It allows the characters to remain in their prime for much longer. Sometimes, however, creators like to show their characters aging, especially when you start building more than 20 or so years of stories. When your characters begin to age, sometimes the best course of action is to let someone else step into the mantle, creating legacy heroes. Typically, legacy heroes have been DC’s thing, what with their four Flashes and six Green Lanterns, but Marvel has gotten in on it a few times. In the 90s, they actually created an entire universe of legacies, dubbed MC2. It was set a little further in the timeline than the regular MU, and it focused on the children and successors of the Marvel Universe’s greatest heroes. The breakout character was May “Mayday” Parker, aka Spider-Girl, the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane. She’s seen her fair share of action figure love over the years, and she just found her way into Marvel Legends, courtesy of the latest series of Hasbro’s Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Incidentally, she’s a completely different character from the last Spider-Girl I reviewed from this line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MayDay2Spider-Girl is part of the second series of the Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. She’s officially titled “Warriors of the Web,” a title that she shares with Ultimate Spider-Woman. However, as I noted when I reviewed Spider-Woman, the figures include completely different pieces to the Hobgoblin Build-A-Figure, and they are equally essential to completing said figure, unlike previous shared-name figures. I would guess that the shared name is purely to cut down on packaging printing costs. Spider-Girl stands just shy of 6 inches tall and she features 29 points of articulation. The figure uses the smaller female base body we first saw on the Arana Spider-Girl. I can’t say enough how much I love this base. It’s a well-sculpted, well-proportioned body, and it offers a lot of mobility. It’s a great choice for Spider-Girl. In addition to the base, Spider-Girl features a brand-new head and hands and a set of add-ons for her web cartridges. The head is fairly similar to the one we saw on the Spider-Man from this series. It’s simple, but very nicely handled. One minor nit: the socket for the neck joint isn’t set quite far enough up in the head, so she can look a little off in some poses. The hands are done in a web-shooting pose, and they’re pretty well sculpted as well. It would, however, be nice if she included another set of hands, as the double web-shooting hands do limit what can be done with the figure a bit. If Spidey can get three sets of hands, she should have at least two. The cartridges are nicely done, and I wonder if we might see them turn up again on a classic Black Widow in the near future. As far as paint goes, Spider-Girl is pretty good. The webbing isn’t quite as good as the normal Spider-Man, but it’s a definite step up from Superior. The reds on the legs/feet could also stand to be a little cleaner, but that’s minor. Spider-Girl includes no accessories of her own, which is a shame.  However, she does include the head and wings of the Hobgoblin Build-A-Figure, so there’s that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hey, do you know where I got Spider-Girl? Well, you should, because I’ve said it 13 times now. Yes, she’s from the full set of these that I ordered from Big Bad Toy Store. I didn’t really put a whole lot of thought into Spider-Girl before getting the set in hand. I’ve only got a marginal knowledge of the character. Still, I knew she had a decent fanbase, so seeing her eventually crop up in Legends was certainly not a surprise. Ultimately, this is a surprisingly well-done figure. Aside from the issue with the hands, there’s not really anything I can knock it down for. And that’s pretty darn good.

MayDay3

#0540: Spider-Man 2099

SPIDER-MAN 2099

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

2099a

In the 90s, when Marvel Comics was pretty much just throwing everything at the wall to see what stuck, they came up with the idea of doing a line of comics set in the future of the Marvel universe, in the year 2099. They launched books based around the future counterparts of their best sellers of the time. There was Spider-Man 2099, Hulk 2099, Ghost Rider 2099, Doom 2099 (as in the doctor, not the video game), Punisher 2099, X-Men 2099 and… uhhh… Ravager 2099. Okay, so they weren’t all hits. In fact most of them really weren’t. The only one that really hung on was Spider-Man 2099, which gathered a rather hefty fanbase. Being a Spider-Man variant and all, Spider-Man 2099 has been no stranger to the toy world. He’s pretty much guaranteed to show up in most Spidey-based lines. The character also just got a new comic series, so it’s only fitting that he found his way into the latest round of Spider-Man Marvel Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

2099bSpider-Man 2099 is another figure from Series 2 of Hasbro’s Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The figure stands about 6 inches in height and features 32 points of articulation. Like the normal Spider-Man from this series, 2099 makes use of the body created for Superior Spider-Man. It’s not without issue. The torso is a little long and flat, and the hips could use a bit of tweaking to improve the movement. However, other than that, it’s a pretty great body, especially for the spiders. It offers a nice, svelte body type with a fantastic range of motion, and you really can’t ask for much else. In addition to the Superior body, 2099 gets an all-new head, forearms, and hands, as well as an add-on piece for his web-cape. The head is actually pretty amazing; the detailing around the eyes is raised up, and you can even make out faint traces of the face beneath the mask. For such a simple piece, it’s really impressive. The forearms aren’t much different from Superior’s, they just have spikes added to the side, which is accurate for the character. The hands are big and clawed, which is what 2099 should have. They have quite a bit of detail, which certainly keeps them interesting. They seem like the sort of piece that Hasbro could really get some mileage out of. The cape is fine for what it is, though I myself have never really liked that aspect of the costume. Fortunately, it’s easily removed if web-capes aren’t your thing. Before getting into the paint, I feel the need to comment on the plastic which the figure is cast in. It’s this really great semi-metallic, ever-so-slightly transparent blue, which is really striking and has a really nice, slick feel to it. It’s absolutely perfect for the design, and it really makes the figure stand out. As far as paintwork, there’s really only the red parts of the costume. Overall, it’s cleanly applied and of an even consistency, but there are a few spots, such as the logo, where the paint is just missing. Spider-Man 2099 doesn’t include any accessories of his own, which is a little bit disappointing, but he does include both the right arm and flame sword of the Hobgoblin Build-A-Figure, so that’s cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Say it with me: Big. Bad. Toy. Store. That’s where I got this guy and the rest of his series-mates. I have to admit, I’ve never really had much attachment to Spider-Man 2099 as a character. His costume, however, is a different story. It’s a solid design that just translates amazingly to action figures (I still kick myself for parting with the Spider-Man Origins figure!) This figure is no exception. He has a few issues with paint, but everything else about him more than makes up for it. I’d say he’s the best figure the series has to offer, and I really like the rest of the series a lot, so that’s saying something. He’s just a really good figure. And look at that blue plastic!

2099c

#0539: Daredevil

DAREDEVIL

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

DDML1

If you’re anything like me, you’ve made it most of the way through Netflix’s new Daredevil series, which premiered last Friday.  I’ve been anxiously awaiting this particular series, with a sense of cautious optimism.  Sure the MCU’s been pretty great so far, but Daredevil’s last foray into live action didn’t exactly go well.  I’m happy to say I really enjoyed the series, and I look forward to seeing more from this particular cast of characters.  Daredevil also happens to be a part of the latest round of Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures, no doubt to capitalize a bit on the show.  So, let’s have a look at the figure, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DDML2Daredevil is part of Series 2 of Hasbro’s Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures.  Unlike the others in the series, Daredevil isn’t actually a Spider-Man character.  That said, the two do interact quite a bit and they share a few villains (like the Kingpin) and other supporting players.  Also, there’s a fairly consistent tradition of ol’ Horn-Head being released in Spider-Man-related toylines.  Tradition!  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and sports 32 points of articulation.  Daredevil uses the Bucky Cap body that Hasbro loves oh so much, along with a new head and add-ons for his belt and holster.  The Bucky Cap body is a pretty strong sculpt, and it offers the appropriate build and range of motion for the character, so it’s an excellent choice of body.  The head seems to amalgamate the styles of some of the many Daredevil artists from over the years, but the heaviest influence definitely seems to be Chris Samnee, aka the guy who’s been drawing the character for the last several years.  It’s a strong sculpt with a really intense, determined look, which works very well for the character.  It also continues the trend of moving away from the identical face-ness of the male head sculpts, which is always a good thing.  As far as paintwork goes, well, Daredevil certainly is very… red.  Exactly how to convey said red varies from figure to figure.  Hasbro’s opted for a simple two-toned look, which is really quite effective.  Mostly, he’s just molded in the appropriate red, but there is some additional paint for some of the lighter reds and the flesh tone.  Overall, the work is decent, if not fantastic.  His gloves are a little sloppy, and his logo could stand to be a little sharper.  Also, the flesh tone doesn’t quite line up with the sculpted lines of the mask, and there’s a spot of wear on the tip of his nose.  Daredevil comes armed with his standard billy-club (the same as the one included with Hellcat, but in white this time) and also includes the left arm and pumpkin bomb of Hobgoblin.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hey, remember how I got all of those Marvel Legends from Big Bad Toy Store?  So, yeah, Daredevil was one of those.  I know, shocker, right?  Well, Daredevil was easily the figure I was looking forward to the most from this particular series.  The character’s last figure was quite a while ago, and he was in dire need of an update.  Plus Daredevil’s just plain cool.  In hand, the figure isn’t the most masterful figure Hasbro’s released of late, but he certainly lives up to expectations, and that’s never a bad thing!

DDML3

#0538: Spider-Woman – Warriors of the Web

SPIDER-WOMAN – WARRIORS OF THE WEB

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Wait a second, didn’t I just review the Marvel Legends Infinite Series Spider-Woman a week ago? Ah, yes, eagle-eyed reader, I did indeed. However, that one was the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series Spider-Woman, aka Jessica Drew. This is the Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series Spider-Woman, aka Jessica Drew. They are very different. No, really, in all seriousness, they are. See, the last one was the main Marvel universe’s version of Jessica Drew, who has no connection to Spider-Man. This one is based on the Ultimate universe’s version of Jessica Drew, who’s actually a female clone of Spider-Man. It’s kind of complicated. Anyway, she’s got a figure, and I bought it, so I’m reviewing it. Let’s get to it!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

UltSpiderWoman2Spider-Woman is from the second series of Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures. Officially, she’s titled “Warriors of the Web,” which is a name she shares with series-mate Spider-Girl. However, she’s neither a swap figure, nor does she share the same or even similar Build-A-Figure pieces with the other half of the name-sake. Both figures are essential to completing Hobgoblin, and both are packed equally with most other figures in the series. So the shared name thing is a little odd here. Oh well. Spider-Woman stands just shy of 6 inches tall, with 29 points of articulation. As stated in the intro, this figure represents the Ultimate universe Spider-Woman. She’s only had the one look, and that’s the one that’s presented here. It’s a take-off of Spider-Man’s symbiote costume, which is always a good starting point. As far as the sculpt goes, Spider-Woman uses the Spider-Girl body as a base, along will an all-new head. I’m not gonna lie, I think the Spider-Girl body is my favorite base body in Hasbro’s inventory right now. It’s fairly well proportioned, has sturdy construction, and it works in the articulation very nicely. Fantastic basis for a figure. With this body, all you need is a head that doesn’t suck. So, how’s that head work out? Well, it’s not bad, that’s for sure. But I can’t say that it’s exceptional work either. The actual “head” part is actually pretty great work. The eyes are well defined, and there’s a slight hint of a nose and mouth UltSpiderWoman3under the mask, which looks pretty sweet. The biggest issue with the head is the hair. It’s fine from a purely aesthetic standpoint, but the windswept look ends up holding the figure back quite a bit. It makes her harder to pose and it really limits the display possibilities. Spider-Woman’s paintwork is passable, and on par with the vast majority of Hasbro’s recent offerings. The pearlescent white is a nice touch, but the edges are rather fuzzy, and areas like the hands have a few spots of slop. Like Anti-Venom, this figure is light on the accessories, only including the torso of Build-A-Figure Hobgoblin.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, dear reader, do you care to guess where I got this figure? If you guessed Big Bad Toy Store, you’re correct. I actually was fairly interested in this figure. The story from which she originated isn’t one of my favorites, but I do kinda like the character, and she does have a pretty great design. Plus, the idea of getting another figure on the Spider-Girl body was pretty cool. Ultimately, I find the final product a little bit disappointing. It’s not a bad figure at all, but the head, specifically the hair, ends up being rather limiting to the figure, which is a shame.

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#0537: Anti-Venom

ANTI-VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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In the 70s and 80s, the mark of a successful comics character was getting a female counterpart. When comics moved into the 90s, the money was all in spinning off a grittier version of your character. Case in point: Venom. Of course, Venom’s kind of an insane example of this, because he ended up getting a spin-off, Carnage, who ended up getting several spin-off characters of his own. And pretty much none of them made it out of the 90s. Eventually, Marvel ended up going back to Venom for spin-offs, and came up with the brilliant idea of Anti-Venom. Can you guess what character I’m looking at today?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AntiVenom2Anti-Venom is a part of Series 2 of the Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Fun fact: in the 5 years the character has been around, Anti-Venom has managed to get a Minimate, a Marvel Select figure, and this here Marvel Legend. Lucky guy. Anti-Venom is about 6 ½ inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. The figure is built on the large male buck, first put to use on Hyperion. It’s a pretty decent body, however the neck sits just a tad too far back. It’s a minor nit, and it isn’t too apparent on this particular figure, but it’s still there, waiting. In addition to the base body pieces, Anti-Venom uses the forearms and hands from last series’ Toxin figure, which themselves are just resized versions of Carnage’s hands. He also has a brand-new head and… uhh… back spikes? I really don’t know what those are. But, they’re well sculpted, I guess, and easily removable, if back spikes aren’t your thing. The head is a rather nice piece, and there’s some rather nice detail work, especially on the face. Anti-Venom is, for the most part, just white plastic with black paint for detail. The black is generally pretty evenly applied, and the edges are all nice and sharp. It’s also pretty shiny, which works well for the whole symbiote look. There’s a little bit of misplacement on the black parts of the head; there are some etched lines that it seems like the black is supposed to go inside of, but in ends up just being in the same general area. Given the various sculpted texture in the surrounding areas, it’s not immediately noticeable, but it’s there. The head also has some orange for the eyes and mouth, and that’s all pretty decently applied as well, although the eyes do have a little bit of bleed through from the black underneath.  Anti-Venom is a little on the light side as far as accessories go, only coming with the left leg of the series’ Build-A-Figure, Hobgoblin. The lack of extras is forgivable, though, since he’s a larger figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Yeah, I picked up Anti-Venom as part of the full set of Spider-Man Legends I ordered through Big Bad Toy Store. I really wanted Hobgoblin, so I bit the bullet and just bought the whole series. I’m not a huge fan of the Anti-Venom concept, so I didn’t really have high expectations for the figure, but he’s actually not bad. Sure, he’s not as amazing as some of the other Legends we’ve gotten recently, but he’s pretty solid, and he does have a clean, bold look to him. I do find it interesting that in the last year of Legends, we’ve gotten the Flash Thompson version of Venom and both of Eddie Brock’s post-Venom identities, and we’re even getting the “Superior Venom” later this year, but we’ve yet to get an update on the classic Brock Venom. This figure shows that they can certainly do him justice, so maybe he’ll show up soon.

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#0536: Spider-Man

SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Alright, now that we’ve finished looking at a whole series of Marvel Legends, why don’t we move onto—Wait, what’s that? There are more Marvel Legends? A whole ‘nother series? Oh, wow. Well, buckle up guys, looks like I’ve got some Legends to review! It’s okay, though, because this time they’re Spider-Man Marvel Legends! That’s very different! Let’s kick things off with the main man himself, the Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational, Peter Parker (that’s sort of an adjective) Spider-Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SpideyML2Spider-Man here is part of the second series of the Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Or the third, depending on whether you count Boomerang, Spider-Girl, and Toxin as their own series or just an off-shoot of the first. I’m going with the latter cuz it’s easier. The first series of the line had the Superior Spider-Man and a Spidey based on the Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie design, but not just a straight forward, classic Spider-Man. This figure fixes that. The figure is roughly 6 inches tall, with 32 points of articulation. Spidey makes use of the body built for the Superior Spider-Man figure. It’s not a perfect body, but it offers a nice, svelte body type, and it’s a lot less clunky than the Bullseye body. Plus, the range of motion on all of the joints is exceptional, allowing for tons of extreme poses, which are definitely key to the character. The shoulder and ankle joints in particular are fantastic. At first glance, I thought the head was a re-use as well, but it’s not. The basic shape is the same, but the eyes are a bit bigger, befitting the more playful nature of this incarnation of the character. Spidey has his choice of 3 different sets of hands: web-shooting, wall-crawling, and fists. I think these are all new to this figure, but I’m not 100% sure. I know none of them were shared with Superior. Regardless, they’re all very nicely sculpted, and add a whole lot of expressiveness to the character. Okay, here’s the part where we all take a deep breath in anticipation, because it’s time to talk about the paint. Are you ready? Okay, good, because the paintwork on this figure is actually really well-done. Did I freak you out there? Sorry! So, it’s not all perfect. There are a few misplaced lines here and there, and there is the rather annoying issue of the red elbow pegs showing through on the blue side SpideyML3of the arms. Aside from that, it’s surprisingly well done. The red and blue are perfectly chosen, and applied nice and clean. The web lines are sharp and mostly stick to right where they should be. There aren’t any issues with bunching up or just randomly stopping like we saw on Superior. And that’s a very, very good thing. I think this figure has effectively convinced me that I much prefer the painted lines to the sculpted ones. They just look so good here. I already covered the assortment of hands, but Spidey also includes an extra head with the mask pulled up, a slice of pizza, and the requisite B-A-F part, Hobgoblin’s right leg. The extra head is cool, though it might have been nice to get a whole Peter Parker head. The pizza is far and away my favorite piece of the figure, just for the off the wall nature of it. It’s just such a cool idea!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, remember how I got the whole Thanos series (except for Batroc) from Big Bad Toy Store? Yeah, I got this whole series at the same time. Yay for getting 14 Marvel Legends at the same time! I was vaguely interested in Spider-Man, because he did look cool, but I mostly bought him for the Hobgoblin piece. I mean, he’s just another Spider-Man, right? Wrong. He’s is the Spider-Man. Not since my very first Spider-Man (the super-posable 5 inch one from the 90s line, if you’re curious) have I enjoyed a Spider-Man figure this much. This figure is easily the best interpretation of the character I own. There are a few nits here and there, but this is a truly great figure. Good job Hasbro!

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