MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)
Didn’t I just review a Toy Biz Marvel Legends figure? Man, usually I’m better about spacing this sorts of things out. Ah well. Well, the last review looked at a figure from towards the end of Toy Biz’s run; today’s review jumps back a bit, looking at the line’s second year. So, without further ado, here’s Silver Surfer!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Silver Surfer was released in Series 5 of Marvel Legends, which hit stores starting in November of 2003. Series 5 is easily one of my favorite series from TB’s run with the line, and in a lot of ways showcased the line’s true potential. It was also the last series where just about every figure was easily obtained, and thus the last series I have un-compromised memories about. Anyway, this figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation. Surfer exhibits one of the earliest attempts at using a buck system for Legends. He was built on the body initially designed for the second Spider-Man Classics Daredevil figure. I always thought the body was too beefy for DD, but it’s not a bad choice for the Surfer. It’s a sculpt that, like so many of the TB Legends, hasn’t aged super well. The shoulders are a bit large, and the legs are somewhat gangly, but the general appearance isn’t awful. My figure suffers from a minor assembly error: his left forearm is actually a right forearm, just flipped around, meaning the musculature doesn’t quite line up the right way. Nothing major, but a slight annoyance. The head sculpt on Surfer is fairly decent. It’s stylistically consistent with the body, and presents a pretty reasonable version of the Surfer’s noggin. It’s a little more alien than he tends to be depicted, and certainly on the cartoony side, but a fun sculpt nonetheless. The Surfer exhibits some of the finer paintwork from TB’s Legends. It may not seem like much at first glance, but there’s a really nice quality to the silver paint chosen; it’s much more vibrant and lively than the silvers you tend to see on production pieces. There’s also the slightest hint of blue, airbrushed over the figure, which really helps connect him with the comics version of the Surfer, who was often highlighted with blue. Over the years, various Silver Surfer figures have handled his titular surfboard all sorts of different ways. This is probably one of the more interesting ones. There’s a magnet in each foot, and the core section of the board is metal. In theory, this allows you to affix him to the board while also leaving it without any visible footpegs when he’s not standing on it. Of course, since molding the whole board in metal would be cost prohibitive, they had to sort of split the difference, and give the board a plastic frame, which doesn’t quite mesh with the metal section, and sort of messes up the whole seamlessness of the board. Still, fun gimmick, though. There was also an included chunk of space rock with an articulated arm attached, allowing for the board to be posed as if it were flying. Perhaps the oddest accessory included with Surfer (and maybe even one of the oddest accessories of all time) is the Howard the Duck figure. As far as I know, Howard and the Surfer have never met, so why they chose to pair these two up is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, it’s a proper action figure of its own, with four whole points of articulation, and an incredibly well-detailed sculpt that looks like it jumped straight out of a classic ‘70s Howard comic appearance.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
It’s Disney’s fault. No, not because they own Marvel. They didn’t yet when this figure was released. Anyway, I got this figure while visiting Disney World back in 2003. Series 5 had just started hitting stores, and my family went to the nearby Walmart to pick up a few things. My dad and I walked back to the toy aisle (as we do), and they had a Nick Fury and two Silver Surfers. I wanted one of the Surfers, but my dad convinced me to wait. Later that week, we needed to stop by again for batteries I think. My dad went in on his own, and when he got back to the car, he was carrying this guy. Turns out, he walked back to the toy aisle to check if they still had these, and when he got there they were all gone. When he turned to walk back to the registers, he happened to look down and spotted this one lone Silver Surfer on the ground. This figure’s not perfect, but he’s one of the better Surfer figures out there, even 13 years after his release.