MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
Aha! I bet you didn’t expect to see me reviewing figures again? Well as it turns out, I just so happen to fill in a very specific void in Ethan’s action figure collection. That void’s name is Erik. Isn’t that a name that just inspires terror? Erik. That definitely ranks near the top of the list for imposing comic book character names: Bloodwulf, Violator, Slayback, and now Erik. What’s that? I mean, yeah, he’s got a last name too, but “Killmonger” isn’t in the least bit scary and makes him sound like an office temp, so let’s stick with Erik. Now, is Erik’s figure any good? Let’s have a look.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Erik is part of the 2018 Black Panther wave of Marvel Legends, just in time for the movie in February. Now, full honesty, I have next to no idea who Erik is in the context of the comics aside from an antagonist to T’challa, but what I do know is that I’m digging the leopard print in his suited-up look from the trailers. Rather disappointingly, this pattern doesn’t show up all that well on the figure. It’s definitely there, or at least an attempt at it, but it’s just too dark, especially on the helmet. Based on the trailers, it also seems like the patterns on his legs should be gold but they are purely sculptural with no paint. Overall, I feel like the gold in his costume is just too sparse and where it is is too dark. His helmet gets the worst of it as it kind of looks like they gave it one or two passes with a dry brush and left it at that. The gold bits on his hips also suffer from a little bit of bleed. The collar is actually a separate piece of plastic laid into the torso. It’s not detachable or loose, but it’s worth noting that is isn’t paint and therefore has a bit of a different look to the rest of the gold on Erik. There’s a lot of sculpted detail all over the figure, the extent of which makes me think he is completely new tooling but if I’m wrong I’m sure Ethan will chime in with a parenthetical. The quality of the sculpt definitely helps mitigate some of the shortcomings of the paint but doesn’t fully make up for them. The tribal-looking dotted line pattern reaches every single major piece of the figure and even some minor ones like the backs of the knees and hunching shoulders, so that’s pretty impressive. Going in the opposite direction as the paint, the head has by far the most sculpted detail. I can’t tell if the symbols on the sides of his head are meant to mean something but it does look a little like someone face-rolled an emoji keyboard and wound up with diamond ring, airplane, Notre Dame cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower. Maybe Erik has a special friend back in Paris? Why not? I’m not above baseless speculation. What’s even better about the sculpt is that it works very well in conjunction with the articulation, all 32 points of it. For a character like Erik, who, let’s face it, is functionally identical to Black Panther, poseability is pretty important and the figure delivers on that. In particular, I appreciate the inclusion of the hunching shoulders which are often reserved for Spider-Man figures. They allow for more dramatic poses, most notably any kind of leaping or lunging poses to which the figure is very well suited. In addition, thanks to Erik’s included accessories, those lunging leaping attacks can be made with either clawing hands or grasping hands so he can equip some slightly more traditional weapons. From what I can see in promo material, the short spear thing looks spot on, aside from mine being a little warped in the package. The sword is close but the one in the trailers and posters has more of a pointed tip rather than being rounded. There’s also some blade detail that’s missing from the toy, but it’s possible, and in fact quite likely that Hasbro had to come up with the tooling based on early pre-production images that don’t quite match the final cut, so I’m not mad about it. Erik also comes with the left leg to the Build-A-Figure, Okoye, but I guess there’s nothing saying he couldn’t just swing it around like some sort of weird club if you really wanted.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve been kind of weirdly hyped about the Black Panther movie coming out. The titular character was easily one of my favorite parts of Captain America: Civil War, so getting a whole movie about him is just fine by me. Now, why didn’t I get a Panther figure? I actually wasn’t as big a fan of the design of the panther costume from the new figures as I was with the Civil War look. The “golden leopard” look, however, I found quite striking in both the trailer and the figure. Interestingly enough, Erik is my first and, currently, only Marvel Legends figure in my collection but I’d say he’s definitely a good one to start with, disappointing paint aside. Maybe if I’m feeling crafty I’ll see about gilding him up myself one day.