BLACK WIDOW & MOTORCYCLE
MARVEL LEGENDS: LEGENDARY RIDERS (HASBRO)
“A sleek agent with the wheels to match, Natasha Romanov cruises into action as Black Widow.”
When it comes to collector-based lines, vehicles can be something of an issue. Heck, just in general these days vehicles can be an issue. Toy makers have enough of a hard time keeping the prices of the basic figures down, without throwing these massive hunks of plastic into it. Unfortunately, there are some characters who sort of need a vehicle in order to be totally relevant. Ghost Rider’s at the top of that list, what with “rider” being in the name and all. And yet, how many motorcycle-less Ghost Rider’s do we have? Too many. Why am I talking about Ghost Rider in a Black Widow review, you may ask? It’s quite simple: Hasbro’s giving vehicles a try in Marvel Legends, and the first series is Ghost Rider and Black Widow. In needed an intro to discuss the topic of necessary vehicles, and that makes way more sense for Ghost Rider than it does Black Widow. But, since I don’t *actually* have Ghost Rider, it’s Black Widow who gets the intro. Isn’t she special?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
She’s gone seven years with no comic-based Legends, but then, just like that, Natasha’s back in, with two of ‘em, right back to back. Well, okay, a couple of months apart. But, for someone who’s not Iron Man, that’s actually pretty impressive. The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation. Where the last Widow Legend was undeniably a classic ‘70s Widow, this figure takes a decidedly more modern approach. A lot of elements of this figure’s design have been taken from Chris Samnee’s version of the character from her 2016 solo series. It’s been made a little more generalized to a basic modern Widow (she doesn’t have the shoulder holster, and her collar is more pronounced), but the overall feel is very much the same, right down to the shorter hair style. As a fan of Samnee’s work, I’m very happy with the design choice. As far as the sculpt goes, the hands are the same as the prior Widow. Aside from that, this one’s all-new. I like the detailing on the catsuit a lot. The wrinkles and the piping on the sides really sells it as an actual item of clothing, rather than just glorified paint. I also like the new widow’s stingers; the more geometric nature sells the modern design sensibilities in contrast to the Vintage figure. I have two slight complaints. The first is the seam that runs down the center of her neck, which looks rather strange. The second is the belt, which is purely paint. It’s rather obvious that it’s just painted on, and it looks slightly goofy. I’d hazard a guess that it was painted on to preserve the re-useablilty of this sculpt. Aside from the belt, the paint’s pretty light, actually. Her head has decent work on the face, and the wash helps bring out the detail in her hair. Beyond that, there really isn’t any paint, but the figure’s not really hurt by that. Despite her trigger finger-ed hands, Black Widow includes no guns. What she *does* have is an extra head. It’s the same face, but the hair is longer, allowing for a less Samnee-specific look. Well, that is, if you put it on this figure. But mine never went on this figure. Instead, it went straight on the Vintage Widow, thereby making the already great Vintage Widow even better.
THE VEHICLE ITSELF
Okay, so Black Widow’s hardly defined by having a motorcycle. That does make the inclusion of this cycle a bit strange. That said, it’s not unheard of for Widow to be seen riding around on a motorcycle, and she’s even on one on Samnee’s cover of Black Widow #1, so it makes a degree of sense in context. There are certainly worse characters to choose to give this motorcycle to. The motorcycle is 7 1/2 inches long by 4 1/4 inches tall, and has working wheels and even has suspension on the back wheel. It doesn’t look like this bike is modeled directly on the one from Black Widow #1, but I’d guess that, like with the jumpsuit body, this mold has been designed with re-purposing in mind. I’ve been a little spoiled by Bandai’s Cyclone and McFarlane’s Chopper, but this bike’s actually not half bad. The tires are actually rubber, and there’s a working kickstand, and a decent amount of detail work. It’s a bit unsightly on the left side, with all the screws and everything, and it’s perhaps a little wide for Widow to sit on properly, but by and large, I’m pleased with it. If nothing else, it’s a decent display piece to go next to her, right?
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Despite Ghost Rider being the more obvious choice for this line-up, I actually didn’t have much interest in him. I mean, I’m super happy he got released, especially for the people that really wanted him, but I’m pretty happy with my Rhino Series figure on the old Toy Biz bike. Widow, on the other hand, was the one I was really looking forward to. I was kind of thinking she would be pretty easy to find, but that didn’t prove to be the case. I stopped at three TRUs, all of them chock full of Ghost Riders, with no Widow in sight. I eventually got her at Walmart, which made me feel a little dirty, but hey, I gave TRU their shot. Being totally honest, the bike doesn’t do a whole lot for me. It’s not bad, but I really didn’t get this set for the bike. So, Widow really just ended up being an extra expensive figure. Fortunately, I really like her, and thanks to the extra head that’s now on my Vintage figure, it’s like I got two figures instead off just one.