MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)
I’ve been a Falcon fan for quite some time, and while that’s really easy nowadays when you can walk into just about any store and have your pick of *multiple* Sam Wilson figures, that was hardly the case a decade ago. That being said, even as a minor character, Sam’s actually been pretty lucky when it comes to action figures, finding his way into the relatively compressed line-ups of Mego’s World’s Greatest Superheroes and Mattel’s Marvel Superheroes: Secret Wars, as well as getting five different figures during Toy Biz’s tenure with the Marvel license. Today, I’ll be looking at Toy Biz’s last stab at the character, courtesy of Marvel Legends!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Falcon was released in Series 14 of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends, which was their penultimate series for the line. There were two versions of Falcon available: classic and modern. The one seen here is the more common classic version, based on Falcon’s second costume. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and has 40 points of articulation. Falcon was built on the body from the first ML Iron Fist, which is an interesting choice to say the least. While the Iron Fist body looked great in the prototype stage, it suffered from some real issues on the final figure, and a lot of that was passed on to Falcon. The biggest issue is the shoulders, which jut way too far out. Also, the under the shoulder joint fails to go all the way into the torso, leaving his arms forever slightly out to the side. He looks like his arms are connected to his torso by a weird tube thing. In addition to the arms, the exposed portion of the torso looks more like a grill rack than an actual person’s pecs, which makes Falcon look rather frightening. Beyond that? I guess the rest of the sculpt is decent enough. The body was a lot less gangly than a lot of the TB Legends so that’s good, and the legs are actually not badly done (well, apart from those crazy nonexistent muscles). In addition to the Iron Fist pieces, Falcon got a new head, forearms, hands, and feet, as well as slightly tweaked upper arms and shins. The head’s always been one of my favorites from this era of Legends; it just really seems to capture the character well, and just has a nice heroic quality about it in general. The hands are probably some of the most convincing hands TB ever put on one of their Legends, but also serve to showcase just how stupid the finger articulation was most of the time; what good does that joint do the figure? The forearms and biceps have the wings attached. The segmentation of the design allows for much more natural posing than was exhibited in the MU Falcon, and the wings are quite nicely detailed, with each feather being carefully defined and textured. In terms of paint, Falcon is about what you’d expect from a TB-era Legends figure; lots of washes and airbrushing that vernally looked much better on the prototype than on the mass produced figure. For some reason, all of the joint pins have been done in bright red plastic. In the case of the elbows and gloves, this means there’s paint somewhat sloppily thrown over them to cover this up, but for the discs in the shoulders and the neck, this means a bright red stripe running across his skin. Also, this figure seems to be exhibiting an issue similar to the Young Avengers Patriot figure where the pieces molded in white are slowly soaking up the color from the much darker joint pins, which is a slightly disturbing thing to see. Both versions of Falcon were also plagued by a mix-up in the assemble process, causing the paint on the pelvises to actually correspond with the other version of the figure. Amusingly, a similar issue showed up on the prototypes, only it was the forearms/hands that were mixed up that time. Falcon included his trusty bird sidekick Redwing, who can be plugged into Sam’s back, as well as the lower torso of Series 14’s BaF Mojo.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Series 14 is one of the few series of Legends where I wanted every figure in the line-up, and Falcon here was no exception. While I actually got most of this particular series for Christmas the year they were released, I didn’t get Falcon as a gift. I ended up getting him from Cosmic Comix, who were getting a pretty steady stream of Legends at that point. The figure hasn’t aged very well at all, but I was very happy with him back in the day. I’d love to see Hasbro redo this guy at some point.