MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)
“Natasha Romanov uses her fearsome fighting techniques for good as Black Widow!”
Well, except for initially, when she…ya know….used them for…bad. But that was only at the very start! Promise! Just two years at the very beginning there, then it was all straight and narrow from then out. Despite being arguably Marvel’s most prominent female hero these days, Black Widow’s been oddly absent from the toy shelves, and what we’ve gotten’s been mostly movie-based. In a slightly strange turn, we’re finally getting some comics-based Widow product…a few months after she died in the comics. I mean, it’s not like it’s gonna last, but still.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Black Widow is part of the first series of Hasbro’s new Marvel Legends Vintage line. Much like last year’s Star Wars: The Black Series: 40th Anniversary line, it’s a mix of re-releases and “new” figures, all packed on vintage-styled card backs. In this case, the cards are patterned after the old Toy Biz Marvel Super Heroes packaging, which is certainly unique. While Widow never had a figure in that line, they’ve done a respectable job of creating an accurate card in the same style. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. Widow is seen here in her third main costume, which debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #86, back in 1970. It’s very definitely the “classic” Black Widow design, and this is the first time we’ve gotten it as a Legends figure. Despite the all-new look and being the only “original” figure in this first series, Widow is actually almost entirely reused pieces. She’s built on the Phoenix body, which is a good starting point for Widow (though I do wish the elbows had a slightly better range of motion). On top of that, she’s got the bracelets from the Hobgoblin Series Spider-Girl, and the head from this summer’s TRU-exclusive Mary Jane. The re-use on the head has been a point of some contention for fans. Personally, I don’t mind so much, but that might be partly due to the fact that I never actually found the MJ figure anyway. I also find this sculpt is pretty solid for Widow as well, so on it’s own, it really works well for the character. Worst case scenario, the upcoming Widow and Motorcycle set’s going to have two heads packed in, so there are some options available. As far as I can tell, Widow’s only new piece is her belt, which is a fairly simple add-on piece. I wish it was affixed some how so it didn’t float around so much, but it’s not terrible. It’s possible her hands are also new, but I’m not 100% sure on that. They’re just pretty standard trigger finger hands, but they get the job done. Widow’s paint is clean and bold, and really well suited to her classic design. There’s not a ton of work going into it, but the end result is still very sharp, and I just really like it. The figure’s a little light on the accessories front, with only a pair of pistols packed in. I can’t say there’s much else I would give her, but considering she retailed for the same price as normal, BAF-including figures, she does feel a little lacking.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As soon as these figures were shown off, I knew I wanted Widow. I’m fortunate enough to have the original releases of the other figures, but there hasn’t been a proper comic Widow since back when Hasbro did the two-packs, and that one was pretty hard to come by. I ended up finding this figure sort of by accident. Super Awesome Girlfriend and I were on our way home from taking the cat to the vet, and I made a wrong turn, and the next closest place to turn around was the Walgreens parking lot. I figured I might as well run in and check their stock, and sure enough, Natasha was one of the two Marvel Legends Vintage figures they had on the shelf. And, as luck would have it, they were even running a sale on Legends that week! Hooray for me! Like yesterday’s Panther figure, there’s not anything particularly revolutionary about this figure, but she’s still a really strong addition to the line, and I’m happy to add her to the shelf!