#1840: Creature From the Black Lagoon & The Wolf Man

BLACK AND WHITE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON & THE WOLF MAN

UNIVERSAL MONSTERS MINIMATES

It’s Halloween, and I’m desperately trying to avoid opening yet another Halloween review with “Ooooo!  Aaaaah!  Scary!” lest I become some sort of cartoonish caricature of myself.  I have to hold to what little remains of my dignity, right?

On three of the five Halloweens for which I’ve written a review, I’ve focused on Diamond Select Toys’ ill-fated Universal Monsters Minimates.  It was a bold line, certainly well-received by the Minimates fanbase, but unfortunately hurdled by DST’s attempt to keep it a seasonal offering, thereby sentencing it to disappear from the public radar for about eight months out of every year.  Today, I’m setting my sights back on the first of the line’s three-year run, with a double offering of both The Wolf Man and The Creature From The Black Lagoon.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Each year of Universal Monsters Minimates focused on two entries in the Universal Monsters catalogue.  2010, the debut year, chose Universal’s two most prominent in-house properties.  Specialty stores got two boxed sets, one based on each movie, while Toys R Us got an assortment of four two-packs.  Three of the packs were just re-packs of the boxed sets, with the fourth set being the TRU-exclusive re-colors of the main monsters in black and white.  That’s the set I’m looking at today.

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON

The Creature from the Black Lagoon was originally released by Universal pictures in 3D in 1954. Before the days of high definition color movies, the cinematographer and lighting crew had to work much harder to convey emotion and detail in their subjects. This paint variation attempts to pay homage to those past masters.”

I have a confession to make: I’ve never made it all the way through the original Creature movie.  I’ve tried, but it just never grabbed me the same way as the others.  I did, however, love Del Toro’s throw-back to it in The Shape of Water, so maybe I just needed a take with a little bit romancing?  The Gill-Man’s rather distinctive design made him one of the more complicated translations to Minimate form.  He’s built on the usual body, but gets new hands and feet, as well as a head piece and a chest cap.  Its success in capturing the design from the film is kind of mixed.  There’s no denying that a lot of effort was put into these parts, and the detail work is definitely top-notch.  In fact, I’d say the hands, feet, and even the torso cap, do their job pretty well.  The biggest failing, really, is the head piece.  If they were willing to do fully molded pieces, I think the Creature was definitely a design that should have gotten one.  In the movie, its all one slick piece; here it looks like he’s wearing some really goofy headgear.  The paintwork is respectable.  Obviously, it’s monochromatic, but that’s kinda the point.  The subtle detailing of his scales on his arms and legs works surprisingly well, and his face is as decent a rendition as we could have hoped fore.  The one slight drag is how dull the black detail lines are; these sets were produced during one of the worst periods of time for QC on Minimates, and while this pairing mostly escapes unscathed, this is the one lingering sign.

THE WOLF MAN

The Wolf Man was originally released by Universal pictures in 1941 and was actually the second Wolfman picture they released. Before the days of high definition color movies, the cinematographer and lighting crew had to work much harder to convey emotion and detail in their subjects. This paint variation attempts to pay homage to those past masters.”

Man, there was some serious copy-pasting going on for those bios, wasn’t there?  I guess after writing three bios each for these guys, even DST was at a bit of a loss for words.  I’m more familiar with The Wolf Man than I am Creature.  It’s still not my favorite of the Universal stable, but I can at least appreciate it for what it is, and I do like the main Wolf Man design.  His slightly more humanoid appearance does lend itself slightly better to the Minimate style.  He still gets a unique set of hands and feet, as well as a full-mask cover for his head.  The hands and feet are respectable pieces, and have seen plenty of subsequent re-use. The head-piece…less so.  While they didn’t give Gill-Man his own head, Larry Talbot apparently warranted one, despite the fact that a hair-piece seems it would be far more appropriate here, since there’s a clear distinction between hair and face.  What’s more, the choice of a slip-cover mask instead of a fully-sculpted head is another baffling one, as none of the three versions of the Wolf Man available has anything but a blank head beneath it.  So many questions, and no real answers.  The paintwork on Larry is okay for the most part.  The details on the body look fine enough, though that shirt seems a fair bit on the light side for what we see on-screen.  The face/hair also doesn’t feel quite right; a number of people have commented that he gives off more of a Teen Wolf-vibe than a Wolf Man one.  He’s packed with Larry’s wolf-headed cane, and while I’m hardly one to complain about extra pieces, I’m not certain what he’s supposed to do with it without any sort of alternate Larry pieces.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was excited by the prospect of Universal Monsters Minimates when they were first shown off, but I’ll admit that after waiting the better part of a year for the actual product, and then finding out that the first two offerings were both films lower on my list of wants, my general interest cooled a bit.  It didn’t help that both boxed sets included unnecessary variants of the main monsters, and the civilians weren’t much to write home about.  So, I ultimately only picked up this one set, as it allowed me the opportunity to get the main monsters without any of the excess.  Neither of these two is really winning material.  The sets that followed definitely out-paced these greatly, but I think the line as a whole was always kind of stunted by the soft opening assortment and the long wait to see if anything better came of it.

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#1839: VF-1S

VF-1S

ROBOTECH: REACTION FIGURES (SUPER 7)

This site could always do with a little more Robotech.  I didn’t know that until just recently, but now that I do, I’m working to fix that unfair dearth of Robotech reviews post-haste.  Post-haste, I tell you!  Of course, since a lot of Robotech/Macross stuff is imported, I’m at a slight disadvantage for quantity.  Fortunately, every so often, a domestic company will take a stab at it, with the most recent attempt being from Super 7, as part of their reclamation of the ReAction branding.  Surprising no one who’s familiar with my prior Robotech reviews, I picked up the Roy Fokker’s veritech, the VF-1S.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The VF-1S is one of the six figures in the first series of Super 7’s Robotech: ReAction Figures line, and is inspired by the appearance Roy’s Veritech in the original Macross, more or less.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Obviously, this whole scaling thing is being handled rather loosely, since the VF-1S would have to be quite a few times larger to properly scale with other ReAction lines.  But then these guys couldn’t be at the same very affordable price, which sort of defeats the whole point, doesn’t it?  The VF-1S shares a good number of his pieces with the other three VFs in this assortment; specifically, they’re all identical from the neck down.  This is true to the show, though, so it’s really just a sensible re-use on the part of Super 7.  It’s a decent sculpt, a bit more squat than the look from the show, which helps it to be a bit more in keeping with the ReAction aesthetic.  There’s still plenty of detail work all throughout, and the details are appropriately clean and machined looking.  He gets a unique head piece, which matches up with the body in terms of style, and also guarantees him a unique design from the others.  The VF-1S’s paintwork is fairly cleanly applied, and consistent with his on-screen appearance. He’s obviously had less wear-and-tear than the last 1S I looked at.  There are a few fuzzy paint masks here and there (the edges of the feet are the most obvious), but for the given scale, it’s passable.  His Skull Leader emblem is particularly well-handled, and helps to pull him slightly above the others in terms of detailing.  The 1S is packed with his standard-issue rifle, which he can hold in either of his hands, or mount on his right arm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember when I reviewed Mekaneck?  Well, I picked up the VF-1S at the same time.  In fact, it was the 1S that caught my attention, as I’ve had the hankering to pick up something Robotech-related ever since I reviewed the 0S several months back.  I love the 1S design, so I was a pretty easy mark for this guy.  I’m really, really pleased with how this figure turned out.  Sure, he’s not in the same league as one the high end Veritechs, but he’s still a lot of fun, and I really want to pick up a whole set to go with him now.

As with Mekanek, I bought the VF-1S from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1838: Action Jackson

ACTION JACKSON

ACTION JACKSON (MEGO)

How about a little history lesson?  So, after pioneering the whole action figure thing in 1964, Hasbro ran into a bit of troublesome territory after the fallout of the Vietnam War changed the public perception on war and the military.  Their up to that point very military-driven line was now out of vogue, necessitating a change.  In 1970, they introduced Adventure Team, an pulpy-action-adventure-inspired toyline that would breath another six years of life into the line.  Around the same time, Mego was looking to get into the newly-established action figure world, and aimed just a bit shorter than Hasbro’s market.  4 inches shorter, to be exact.  Action Jackson offered a cheaper alternative to what G.I. Joe was doing, a base figure for whom you could purchase sets of accessories, at a scale 4 inches smaller.  Unfortunately, Action Jackson was largely a commercial failure, but in a much more fortunate turn of fate, it was Mego’s desire to make use of the Action Jackson body molds that lead to the creation of their World’s Greatest Super Heroes line, and their eventual path to being one of the biggest toy companies in the market for the better part of the decade.  Now that Mego’s returned to store shelves, they’ve paid homage to the little guy that started it all, giving us a brand new Action Jackson.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Action Jackson is another of the 11 single-packed figures from Mego’s first wave of their TV Classics line-up, though he doesn’t quite as much fit that descriptor.  I guess he’s just sort of along for the ride.  I’m not complaining if you aren’t.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He uses the same re-tooling of the Type 2 body that Fonzie was using, which is quite amusing to the toy nerd in me, since the original Jacksons were all on the Type 1 body.  Jackson uses a re-tooling of the original clean-shaven caucasian Jackson head, which was the most common variant originally.  This newer version is a much cleaner and polished sculpt than the original, thus allowing for Jackson to look more at home with his compatriots.  The paintwork is on-par with the Fonz, though I don’t think it’s quite as strong as Norm’s was.  Still, it’s certainly a passable piece of work.  Jackson’s costume is made up of four different pieces.  He’s got his jumpsuit, his belt, and his boots.  They’re more-or-less the same pieces as the vintage counterpart, slightly tweaked to better fit the Type 2-style body, and to remove the metal snaps and replace them with velcro.  The original Action Jackson was sold sans accessories, in order to encourage buyers to get one of the accessory sets, but the new Jackson is packed with a handgun, which, thanks to the newer-syle hands, he can still hold halfway decently.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There were the remnants of an Action Jackson amongst my dad’s Megos I played with growing up, which introduced me to the concept fairly early on.  However, being born 20 years after they were on store shelves, find a vintage one was never really an easy prospect.  I will admit that I when Mego sent me a review sample, I was secretly hoping it would be Jackson.  Since that wasn’t the case, I tracked one down from a near by Target a few weeks back.  Like the other two, he’s a solid, fun figure, and I’m quite glad to have him.  Now, here’s hoping for the other two head variants down the line!

#1837: Abe Sapien

ABE SAPIEN

HELLBOY (MEZCO)

Man, I’ve gone almost the whole month of October without looking at anything all that spooky.  That in and of itself seems pretty spooky, right?  No?  Okay, fair enough.  Anyway, within the spirit of the month, I guess I’ll look at something from the more paranormal side of things, with another visit to the world of Hellboy, a series that blends so many of my personal interests.  Today, I’m looking at my favorite character from the Hellboy-verse, Abraham Sapien!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Abe Sapien was released as part of the first series of Mezo’s movie-based Hellboy line.  There were two different Abes available, one standard release (shirtless), and one Previews-Exclusive release.  Today’s review focuses on the exclusive release, which allowed for (more or less) a fully-suited up Abe.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  He has the same articulation as the Kroenen figure I looked at a few years back, which means he has the same pluses and minuses as that figure.  Overall, it’s standard for the time, but there remain a few odd-ball joints that subsequent lines from Mezco would re-work or drop entirely.  Some of these joints, the mid-foot cut joints in particular, were a little fragile and prone to breakage, as was the case with one of my Abe’s feet.  Fortunately, it’s one of the less essential joints, so gluing the foot back together hasn’t robbed him of all that much.  Abe’s sculpt was shared between the two variants, and then re-tooled for the battle-damaged figure from Series 1.5 and the main Abe from Hellboy 2.  It’s a pretty solid sculpt overall.  It’s filtered a bit through the lens of Mezco’s more stylized sensibilities, so he’s a little ganglier, and a little more angular than he was in the movie.  There are two heads included with the figure.  Since this Abe is meant to be the fully kitted-out Abe, he comes wearing his goggled head, which is accompanied by the two pieces of his rebreather system.  The rebreather can easily removed by popping off the head, allowing the head to be displayed without it, if that’s your prerogative. By virtue of being a straight re-paint, he lacks the gloves and shoes that Abe should technically have in this set-up, but I suppose we can all just imagine that he’s decided to forego those pieces for the day. The paint is, of course, imperative here, since it separates him from the standard release.  The first Hellboy figures were a bit more reserved in coloring than later counterparts.  Abe in particular seems to have been toned down a fair bit from his on-screen appearance.  His blues are more murky, which makes him a little less eye catching.  I do like the shiny finish they’ve given him, but beyond that, he does sort of run together a bit more than I’d like.  Of course, he’s still far from terrible.  Abe is packed with a second head, sans the goggles, and also included a belt, but mine seems to have gone missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I came into the first Hellboy movie with no familiarity of the source material, so I didn’t know what to expect.  Retailers didn’t either, so the figures weren’t the easiest to track down.  I never found the basic Abe, but I was fortunate enough to get this one through a friend who worked at Diamond.  He’s a decent figure, but perhaps not as strong as the Kroenen figure I looked at before.  Admitedly, my opinion may be slightly colored, since there are a greater number of Abes on the market to choose from.  Still, you could do a lot worse than this one.

#1836: SP//dr

SP//dr

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Yo Shinji, get in the robot!  Your dad loves you, get in the robot!”

What, you weren’t expecting me to start this Marvel Legends review with a quote from Neon Genesis Evangelion?  Well…too bad?  It’s my site, I do what I want, which in this case means I’m gonna quote Evangelion for the purposes of drawing comparisons between the plugsuits from Evangelion and Peni Parker’s mecha suit, SP//dr, who just so happens to be the latest Spider-themed Build-A-Figure, who just so happens to be the figure I’m reviewing today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SP//dr is the Build-A-Figure for the second 2018 Spider-Man-themed series of Marvel Legends, another entry in the every-growing Spider-Verse line-up in Legends form.  The figure stands 9 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  The mech is a touch under-scaled to go properly with the standard Legends figure.  It’s probably about 3/4ths the size it should be as is.  That being said, it still reads as suitably larger than the other figures, and its not as underscored as *some* Build-A-Figures we’ve gotten over the years.  I find its size to be reasonable enough.  The articulation on this figure is just a touch imbalanced.  The movement on the legs and torso is really great, with a lot of range and mobility.  The arms are something of a different story, with the shoulders being just a slight step-up from straight cut joints, and the elbows just being single-jointed.  It’s not enough to ruin the figure, but it does make posing it a little bit frustrating.  The figure is sporting an all-new sculpt, which I’d imagine will be staying largely unique.  It’s definitely a strong one.  The details are clean and sharp, and its quite faithful to the suit’s design from the comics.  The actual suit lends itself rather nicely to toy form, though that’s hardly surprising from a take-off of Evangelion.  I’m always happy to see Hasbro do something that relies on technical detailing, as it really plays to their strengths.  SP//dr’s paintwork is fairly decent.  It’s bright and eye-catching.  The application could stand to be a little cleaner, though, as some of the red sections miss their mark by a fair bit.  It’s definitely a piece-by-piece thing, though, as some of the parts for mine are a lot better than others.  SP//dr includes no accessories, but as a Build-A-Figure, that’s perfectly acceptable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I like SP//dr well enough as a character, though I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to build this one when it was first shown off.  Of course, that’s really just because I was lying to myself, because seriously, in what world was I *not* going to want this figure.  It’s a Spider-Man-themed fighting robot.  That’s totally up my alley.  It’s a figure that’s not without of flaws, but the overall product outweighs the cons, and makes for quite a fun toy.  I’d love to get VEN#m and Daredevil to go with it, but that might be ever so slightly reaching, I guess.

There’s a lot of re-treading in the SP//dr Series, but with SP//dr and Ock as my last features in the reviews, that re-treading starts to make a lot of sense.  I had a long wait for this set, so there was a lot of anticipation and a lot riding on them.  I have to say, the individual figures impressed me a bit less this time around, with my favorite of those being Daredevil, a figure that’s really not that different from the last two Daredevils.  Maybe I’m just really a Daredevil fan.  Nevertheless, the set does sort of come into its own when fully assembled, and I think SP//dr makes the whole thing worth it.

#1835: Doc Ock

DOC OCK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Otto Octavious gears up with 4 mechanical tentacle appendages as the evil genius Doc Ock.”

Okay, I just really feel the need to start this review by pointing out, for the sake of posterity, that every single instance of Otto Octavious’ super-villainous name on the packaging of this figure simply refers to him as “Doc Ock”…which, uh, well, it isn’t actually his name.  It’s the nickname he got from Spider-Man, who I suppose I should be exclusively referring to as “Spidey” henceforth.  Was there some sort of Ock-related re-branding that I haven’t been privy to, where he dropped the proper form of his name.  Or does he just feel that “Doc Ock” better instills fear?  Who knows for sure?  Well, Hasbro, I guess, but they aren’t returning my phone calls.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Doc Ock is the figure 1 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  Okay, that’s kind of a lie; he doesn’t get a number like the other six figures, since he doesn’t actually contribute to the Build-A-Figure.  But, he’s the first figure pictured in the line-up, so I’m giving it to him.  This is Ock’s first proper Legends figure since back during the Toy Biz days (though Otto’s gotten one in the mean time, under the guise of Superior Spider-Man, or “SpOck” as I assume he’d be called now).  That figure was one of TB’s stronger offerings during their tenure, and Hasbro undoubtedly wanted to put off following up on it until they were sure they could properly contend.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation.  He’s a head-to-toe new sculpt, and I’m doubtful we’re going to see much of this one re-used, unless Hasbro’s planning to do a bunch of Ock variants.  The sculpt is definitely a top-notch effort, rivaling Toy Biz’s attempt from all those years back.  I think I still prefer that old head sculpt, but I otherwise prefer the movement and build of this guy, and it’s not like this one’s got a bad head sculpt at all.  Like the Toy Biz version, the goggles are a separate piece, with a fully detailed set of eyes beneath them, but they remain non-removable.  The tentacles are a sore point for a number of collectors, and I understand why.  The static nature of the actual tentacle sections is definitely frustrating, making the posablity and playablity of the figure somewhat restricted.  I prefer the general design of these to the more organic designs of the Toy Biz figure, but I can’t help but wish for an Ock with a set of classically-inspired and properly-jointed appendages.  Or at least a couple of cut joints…just something to add some extra variety to the poses of them.  As it stands, there are two different configurations of arm, which you can swap around for some slight versatility.  It’s better than nothing, I guess. Ock’s paintwork is fairly straight-forward.  It’s clean, it’s bright, it’s attractive.  It could use a bit more accent work, I suppose, but it definitely works as-is.  Ock includes no additional accessories or Build-A-Figure piece, but given the size of the included appendages, as well as the all-new sculpt, Ock doesn’t feel light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Doc Ock’s Toy Biz figure was one I enjoyed immensely back when I was collecting that line, but when I got out of Legends, because I’m not a *huge* Doc Ock figure, I foolishly parted with him.  I’ve been regretting it since.  So, I was happy to see Hasbro finally step-up to the plate and offer one of their own.  He’s not without those flaws, and I will eternally hope for better appendages down the line, but he’s still a very, very strong take on the character, and I’m happy to have another Spider-rogue on the modern Legends shelf.

I purchased Doc Ock from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying him or other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1834: Cloak & Dagger

CLOAK & DAGGER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A hooded vigilante in the war on drug crimes, Tyrone Johnson uses powers of darkness as Cloak.

Tandy Bowen channels her unrivaled possession of Lightforce into signature light dagger weapons, earning herself the name Dagger.”

Created in 1982 as to face off against Spider-Man (albeit in sort of an anti-heroic fashion), Cloak and Dagger were, from their very inception, intended for a spin-off-driven future.  It sort of didn’t quite work out so much that way for them, but they have nevertheless retained a cult-classic status, which proved enough for them to get a TV show last year.  Time will tell if this is what escalates them beyond cult status.  In the mean time, they’ve both just been added to the ranks of Marvel Legends.  Today, I’ll be looking at their Marvel Legends debut.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cloak and Dagger are figures 3 and 4 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  This marks the characters’ debut in this style, though their second figures from Hasbro, who also offered them in their Marvel Universe line. 

CLOAK

Cloak stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Has the articulation is, of course, slightly different than “uses the articulation”, which thanks to the titular cloak, Tyrone doesn’t really do.  Though he’s built on the Reaper body, it really amounts to little more than elaborate cloak-hanger.  He does get a different set of hands than we usually see on this body; they’re outstretched in an open gesture.  You aren’t going to see them much, but at least this way they’re a bit different.  The previously mentioned cloak is an all-new piece.  While articulation-restricting, it’s quite a nicely sculpted piece, and it hangs well on the Reaper base body.  Its nice to see that Hasbro’s gotten over their trend of bad capes, though it’s a little bit unfortunate that this is the only option he have for displaying him.  Cloak gets a new head as well.  It’s clearly a later-in-his-career version of Cloak, as denoted by the goatee.  Its an interesting choice, but not one that really makes for much of a difference in the character’s depiction.  The hood of the cloak is fixed to the head, separate from the main cloak, as has become Hasbro’s standard for such designs.  The paintwork/color work on Cloak is subtle, but pretty impressive.  The cloak and his arms are molded in a semi-translucent plastic, which gives him something of an etherial quality, which definitely works well for the character.  Though he doesn’t get any character-specific extras, Cloak does include the head to SP//dr.

DAGGER

The light to Cloak’s dark, Dagger stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Dagger is built on the mid-sized female base body, a good fit for how the character is usually depicted.  Like Elektra, she’s saddled with slightly more restricted elbows, but they aren’t quite as terrible for Dagger.  Dagger’s one new piece is her head-sculpt, which is a really nice piece.  The hair in particular really turned out well.  It flows well with the body, its got a natural hang, and the detailing is nice and sharp.  The rest of the work is dene via paint, and even then, she’s really pretty basic.  The majority of the work is, again, on the head, specifically the hair, which gets some solid accenting, which helps it look more realistic and provides more depth to the sculpt.  Dagger is packed with an effects piece, simulating her throwing her light daggers.  It clips onto her wrist, and generally looks pretty cool.  I’m always down for effects pieces.  She also includes the torso of SP//dr, which is the largest and most important piece, so she’s got that going for her.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t really have a huge attachment to Cloak and Dagger, but I do think the two of them have a rather striking design going on, and they make for fun figures.  Also, I really wanted to build SP//dr, so they have that going for them as well.  There’s not a whole lot new going on with either of these, but that’s kind of reasonable given their designs, and the execution is solid.

I purchased Cloak and Dagger from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying these two or other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1833: Elektra

ELEKTRA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Shaken by the death of her father, Elektra uses her exceptional skills in the martial arts to become an expert assassin.”

Daredevil has had a string of ill-fated love interests, but the most marketable of them (for a while, anyway) was Elektra.  Introduced by Frank Miller during his defining run on the book, she was initially meant to have a closed story…but comics characters rarely get that, and as such she’s been back many, many times since her original exit.  Unfortunately, at least recently, in pop culture, she’s kind of a marker of a bad Daredevil story, with two poorly-executed movies and a comparatively disappointing storyline on the otherwise impressive Daredevil show on Netflix.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Elektra is figure 3 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  Elektra has quite a pedigree when it comes to Legends, being the first female figure to grace the line, way back in Series 4.  She got one more release during the Toy Biz years, and another under Hasbro’s tenure, but it’s been quite a few years.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Elektra uses the mid-sized Phoenix body, a reasonable enough choice for the character.  The one major downside is its lack of mobility on the elbows.  This his been fixed on more recent single-elbowed figures, such as Psylocke, but Elektra is back to the old model, which rather limits her posing options…at least in the elbow area. The rest of the posing is decent enough.  Elektra gets a new head and hands, as well as an add-on piece for her skirt.  The head is easily the most attractive take on Elektra we’ve gotten in Legends form, though perhaps that’s not saying much.  It is, nevertheless, a nice piece of work, and I particularly like the slight bit of flow to the hair.  The hands are sculpted to work with the sais, especially the right hand, which even has the proper form.  The skirt add-on is probably the weakest part; it’s not badly sculpted in its own right, but it doesn’t contour to the body in the same way that other such pieces have, leaving it to hang somewhat awkwardly in most poses.  The paintwork on Elektra is pretty decently handled.  The base work is clean, and she’s got some accent work on the red sections, which keeps them from being too flat.  Elektra is packed with a pair of sais, one of which got incredibly mangled by the packaging, as well as one of the legs to the Build-A-Figure SP//dr.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Elektra has never been a favorite character of mine, and as a result this is the first of her Legends releases that I’ve actually picked up.  Mostly, I got her because I wanted the Build-A-Figure, but I did think she paired off pretty well with the Daredevil from this assortment.  This is actually my second Elektra.  The first one lost a foot while coming out of the package, and while I was just planning to make due, Max from All Time was kind enough to give me his Elektra, so now I have an un-hobbled one.

Both of the Elektras currently in my collection came to me from my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re interested in buying her or other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1832: Daredevil

DAREDEVIL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Martial arts master Matt Murdock suits up in black to fight the villains of Hell’s Kitchen as Daredevil.”

Last weekend, Netflix dropped the third season of Daredevil, the unquestionable tentpole of their Marvel shows (especially now that there are two less of them).  Hasbro’s actually pretty good with their timing, and have managed to get us a comic Daredevil Legend timed for each season, with Season 3 being no exception.  We’ve gotten horn-head in his classic red, as well as his first appearance yellow and red.  This time, we get a more modern take on the character.  Let’s see how he turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Daredevil is figure 6 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second time DD’s been part of a Spider-themed assortment in the current iteration, though there’s some speculation that he was originally slated for a second Marvel Knights assortment that got dropped.  He’s sporting his latest costume, clearly inspired by the show’s Season 1 (and season 3, I guess) attire.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, most of this figure is the same as the last two figures.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap base, with the standard DD head, belt, and holster.  It was a winning combination when it was introduced on the Hobgoblin Series DD in 2015, and it’s still a winning combination three years later.  But, to keep him from just being a straight re-hash (and to keep him in line with the new design), Matt also gets a new set of wrapped hands, wraps for his forearms, and a pair of combat boots with laces.  The new pieces are a lot of fun, and add some really nifty extra detailing to an otherwise basic figure.  Daredevil’s paintwork is pretty slick and striking.  The all-black bodysuit looks good on this base body, and also works really well with the head.  The hands and boots get some very nice accent work, to help bring out their heightened sculpted details.  In terms of accessories, this new Daredevil makes out pretty well.  At first glance, it looks like he’s got the same billy club as always, but this one’s actually different.  The two halves don’t connect to each other, but rather to a dynamic zipline piece which goes between them, and makes for a nice selection of mid-action poses.  And, if you’re looking for a Devil who’s more into straight-up fisticuffs, this figure also includes a pair of wrapped fists, which match up with the standard hands.  Lastly, he comes with the usual BaF piece, specifically the right arm of SP//dr.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Hobgoblin Daredevil is one of my favorite figures from the modern Legends offerings.  As such, I wasn’t sure I needed him in another color variation.  Then I saw this guy in-hand, and I was immediately impressed, because Hasbro didn’t take the easy way out and do a simple re-hash.  Compared to the House of M Spidey, with his lack of new parts or any real accessories, Daredevil instead gives us not only a new selection of sculpted parts for the figure, but also a nice selection of accessories that are great not only for this figure, but also for prior Daredevils.  As such, this figure is quite possibly my favorite figure in this set.

I purchased Daredevil from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying him or other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1831: Scarlet Spider

SCARLET SPIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The product of a failed Spider-Man cloning project, Kaine is an unstable villain who dons the suit of Scarlet Spider.”

….I think some wires may have been crossed on that bio.  Yes, Kaine is a failed clone, and yes he started as a villain, but he was firmly in the hero court by the time he adopted the Scarlet Spider title.  It was Ben Reilly who was the “villainous” Scarlet Spider after his recent resurrection.  So…there you have it.  I truly don’t envy the person who writes these bios, by the way.  Not only do they have to wade through all of these similarly named characters with similarly named backstories, but then there’s jackasses like me on the internet just tearing their work to shreds.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Scarlet Spider is figure 2 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second time we’ve seen Kaine as Scarlet Spider in the Legends line-up; the first one was at the tail-end of the Return of Marvel Legends line, and is notable for being the final Spider-variant to be built on the old Bullseye body, meaning he was actually fairly quickly outmoded by the introduction of the Pizza Spidey and 2099 bodies.  Given his prominence in Spider-Verse and Clone Conspiracy, a re-do was very definitely warranted.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Kaine uses the 2099 body, which gives him a slightly different build than the guy he’s a supposedly a clone of.  Of course, the two builds really aren’t all that divergent, and Kaine is traditionally depicted as being a little sturdier than Peter, so it’s a reasonable choice for the character.  Scarlet Spider gets a new head and hands to complete his look.  The head’s kind of fun, being more on the expressive side.  They could have easily re-used a prior Spidey head, but I appreciate that they created a proper one for him.  The new hands include his “Sting of Kaine” stingers, and I was happy to find that, unlike the alternate Iron Man hands we’ve been getting, they still retain all of the standard wrist articulation.  Kaine’s paint work is fairly clean, and nicely details the two-toned nature of his costume.  Kaine is packed with an alternate head, hands, and the left arm of SP//dr.  The head is re-used from Cosmic Spidey, and depicts Kaine during his his Carrion-virus-degeneration from Clone Conspiracy.  It’s a bit more story-specific than I’d like, but I guess this was the best way for Hasbro to get some re-use out of it. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While Ben Reilly’s always going to be my Scarlet Spider of choice, Kaine’s prominence during Dan Slott’s run on Spider-Man gave me an appreciation for the character, and I’d been hoping he’d get a re-do.  This figure’s a pretty strong one.  It might have been nice to get a new head-sculpt, rather than the re-use, but the standard figure is definitely well-handled.  Now, how about a classic Kaine?  Anyone?

I purchased Scarlet Spider from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.