#1578: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“T’Challa wears a glowing suit made of Vibranium technology as the warrior hero Black Panther!”

Hey, hey, guess what was released in theaters today!  Yes, Black Panther finally made its way to the big screen!  In honor of T’Challa’s big debut, why not have a look at another of the many toy offerings surrounding the film’s release?  For today’s review, I’m going to be looking at another variant of T’Challa himself, once again based on his comic-book origins.  Let’s have a look at how he turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther is a Walmart-exclusive Marvel Legends release, just like the last comic Panther.  While he’s not officially tied to any particular series of the line, he started hitting right around the same time as the Okoye Series.  Thanks to Walmart’s weird distribution style, he actually ended up arriving at a lot of stores less than a month after the last Black Panther-exclusive.  Hopefully, this doesn’t lead to issues of shelf warming for either of them.  The last Panther opted for a very classic take on the character but this figure goes for his most recent redesign from the “All-New, All-Different” relaunch.  It’s generally not terribly far removed from his other looks, but there are some minor tweaks.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The last two comic Panthers were built on the Bucky Cap body.  This figure mixes things up a bit, moving T’Challa to the Spider-UK body.  This means he’s also the first non-Spider-Man on the body, which I suppose is pretty cool.  It’s a nice base body to be sure, and I think it’s quite a good fit for Panther.  I’m not sure which base body I prefer for him, honestly.  Of course, his more recent design has also been drawn with a generally more stocky appearance, so I think this might be a case pf both bodies being totally valid choices.  The figure gets a new head, as well as the hands from the Rocket Raccoon Series Panther, and an add-on piece for his necklace.  The head is a pretty solid piece, and a decent translation of artist Brian Stelfreeze’s more streamlined take on Panther’s mask.  While the swept back ears take a little bit of getting used to, it certainly makes for a distinctive figure.  The hands fit well on the figure, and in fact look a bit better scaled to this particular body.  I was admittedly a little surprised by the return to these hands after they were left off of the last comic Panther, but they’re still decent pieces.  The necklace I can kind of take or leave.  It looks fine, but it’s a bit too loose fitting for my taste.  As far as paint goes, this guy’s a bit different from prior Panther figures.  Recently in the comics, T’Challa’s begun to experiment with tactical applications of Vibranium’s energy output, resulting in this glowing look when his suit is fully activated.  There’s a bit of a Tron-lines thing going on all throughout the figure.  He’s very pink (Does that make him the Pink Panther?  Only Inspector Clouseau can know for sure). The line work is all pretty clean, and it certainly helps him to pop a bit on the shelf.  Panther includes an extra head without the pink details, as well as a spare set of hands in fists, and two energy effect parts.  The hands and energy parts are definitely fun, but the head baffles me a bit.  It’s just the same head without the extra detailing.  When placed on the body, it looks kind of out of place, and it’s too large to look right on the last Panther body.  I would have much rather have gotten an unmasked T’Challa. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I initially found this figure while still finishing the Okoye Series.  I passed on him at the time, since I had just gotten the other two Black Panther figures, and wasn’t 100% sure I liked the look of this one.  After finishing the first set, I saw this guy again, and I decided I liked him enough to pick him up.  While he’s still not my go-to version of the character (that’s still the last exclusive figure), there’s no denying that this figure is sill pretty fun.  I’m glad I went back on my initial decision.

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