#2015: Ronin

RONIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Clint Barton is a master sharpshooter and skilled martial artist who fights alongside the Avengers.”

For my second official Endgame-centered review, let’s talk about something I loathed in the comics: Ronin.  Ronin is, as his generic name may suggest, a really generic concept.  The identity appeared during the first arc of New Avengers, and there was this whole mystery that led to a kind of forgettable reveal.  Then, the recently un-deceased Clint Barton was looking for a new identity, settling on “Ronin” because, hey, they’d just spent all this time hyping this super generic concept up, so they might as well not abandon it quite yet.  So, Clint spent four years as Ronin, mostly for the sake of annoying fans who were upset he was killed in the first place by further delaying his return to the identity we all knew he’d be taking back.  You may have gleaned I was amongst those annoyed fans.  It’s okay, I’ve moved past it.  I’ve totally let the fact that they saddled Hawkeye with this dumb, lazy, super generic identity for four years slide.  Seriously, I’m very chill about it.  For the sake of the movies, Clint’s move to the identity seems to have a more direct narrative reasoning, so odds are good it won’t turn out as lame as it was in the original source material.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ronin is figure 1 in the first series of Endgame-themed Marvel Legends, and is the second of three direct tie-in figures for this assortment.  Given Hawkeye’s absence from the last film and its associated tie-ins, putting Clint front and center this time was definitely a smart move, though I do have to laugh a little bit about him having more figures than anyone else coming out of the gate.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation, although that articulation is somewhat restricted, especially ab crunch and waist swivel, thanks to how the figure is constructed.  He’s sporting a brand-new sculpt, based on his new gear from the movie.  The design is fairly faithful to the comics look, albeit slightly filtered through the MCU stylings, and with a definite cross purpose of easy conversion to a more proper Hawkeye appearance.  The sculpt is a pretty solid offering.  There’s a lot of nice, small detail work, and quite a bit of texturing, which makes him a very visually interesting figure.  Everything is also quite sharp, continuing the trend we’ve been seeing on most MCU figures as of late.  The head doesn’t officially have a Jeremy Renner likeness, but you can actually make out a decent likeness on what we can see of the eyes and brow.  The add-ons for the hood and jacket are a little bit overly bulky, with the hood in particular looking rather goofy in most poses.  On the plus side, said hood is easily removed, resulting in a better overall looking figure.  The jacket can also be removed, though it’s not quite as easily done.  In fact, I thought it wasn’t meant to be removed at all at first, but the fully detailed torso beneath it begs to differ.  Fortunately, I was able to get it off without horribly mangling it.  Underneath, there’s a respectably well-detailed version of what we’ve seen of his underlying garment.  It’s a little softer on the details than the rest of the sculpt, and his head sits somewhat high on the neck, but I imagine it’ll look nice with the unmasked Hawkeye from the Target set.  Ronin’s paintwork is largely relegated to just gold accents on black plastic, but it does it well, and he looks pretty sharp.  His eyes are also pretty nicely painted, and make use of the printing technique, which works pretty well here.  After the rather lightly-packed Cap, Ronin is a definite step-up.  There’s still no unmasked head (which has been a regular complaint online), but at least there’s one available that’s compatible with this body.  What’s more, there’s plenty of other stuff to make up for it.  He includes two differently-sized swords, a sheath to store them in (with an adjustable strap to allow for use both with and without the jacket), and an alternate hand with throwing stars attached.  He also includes our first piece of the Armored Thanos Build-A-Figure, his left arm, sporting the Infinity Gauntlet.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Legends hasn’t been overly kind to Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton, and his exit from the MCU during the years when the figures were really picking up hasn’t helped matters.  Fortunately, he’s back in a strong fashion with this figure.  While I’m not the biggest fan of the Ronin concept, I do like how it translated to the film, and subsequently to the toy.  After a slight misstep with Cap, this figure puts the assortment on more solid footing.

I picked up Ronin from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s currently in-stock at their store, here. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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