#2133: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“As World War II unfolds, and super-powered beings emerge across the world, the patriotic hero Captain America is revealed, ushering in a new age of Marvels.”

It seems like not too long ago, in a review of another Captain America figure no less, I discussed the ramifications of making a good figure into a store exclusive.  Really, when your get down to it, it’s not really about being exclusive to any store at all, but more one store in particular, who seems to be getting a lot of exclusives at the moment, and doesn’t have the greatest history of backing toy exclusives.  The store, of course, it Walmart, who for some inexplicable reason have managed to net their second Captain America exclusive of the year in a year when Captain America hype is about as high as its ever been.  Seems like poor planning if you ask me, but no one did, so I guess I’ll stop rambling about it.  How about I ramble about something I’m a little more qualified to ramble on about: actual toy reviews!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is part of the Marvel: 80 Years sub-line of Marvel Legends.  The 80 Years line is effectively just taking the place of last years Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years line, but with comic figures thrown into the mix as well.  Alongside Iron Man and Thor, Cap is part of a trio of figures inspired by the work of famed comics painter Alex Ross.  While those two are standard releases showing up pretty much everywhere, he’s only at Walmart.  Since there’s no markings of him being an exclusive, there are rumors that he may be offered up to other retailers at a later time, but as of right now they’re just unfounded rumors.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  The last couple of comic-based Caps were based on the Reaper body, and this figure is at the very least Reaper adjacent.  He shares his forearms, legs beneath the hips, and his belt with the Red Onslaught Cap (and by extension Red Guardian and Secret War Cap).  Those are the good parts of the Reaper body, so that’s all well and good.  He then gets a new head, torso, upper arms, pelvis, and hips, which make him look sufficiently new.  After years of the thug face (which hit critical mass with the Red Onslaught Cap), we finally get a new set of features for the comic book Steve Rogers.  There’s some definite Ross-influence occurring here, and that’s certainly a plus, since it plays true to the classic version of the character.  It’s a nice sculpt, and more than just the face, I also really like the texturing and stitching on his mask.  The new torso and shoulders give us a detail we haven’t seen on Cap since the early Hasbro days: sculpted scale-mail.  The lack of the scales was one of the major prevailing complaints about the RO Cap (well, after that hideous head), and Hasbro had even addressed it somewhat with the paint change-up on the Vintage reissue of the figure, but this time around they’ve gone all out and actually sculpted them properly.  As someone who runs hot and cold on the scales, I have to say, they really add a lot to this figure, as goes that three dimensional star.  There’s just a lot of pop.  Cap’s paintwork continues the Ross inspiration, going for a slightly darker palette than we usually see for a comics Cap.  It’s not a bad look, but I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing a repaint in slightly brighter colors.  As it is, there’s plenty of very strong work on this figure, and I definitely dig the metallic accents on the scales.  Cap is packed with two sets of hands, his trusty shield, a throwing effect with hand attached, and a second head.  The usual gripping hands are included here, but in addition, we *finally* get some fists for a Reaper-based release, which was majorly overdue, and is low-key one of my favorite things about this guy.  The shield is the same one Hasbro’s been using for a few years for the comic figures.  It’s a little undersized, and the star is off-center on mine, but it’s a serviceable piece.  It can be mounted on the throwing effect, which is the same one first introduced on the Secret War Cap, and is definitely a fun extra.  The second head gives Cap a slightly more stern expression.  I’m not certain if it’s based on a specific take on the character, but I don’t like it quite as much as the standard.  I honestly would have preferred an unmasked head, but I can see this one getting some play if you’re really jonesing for a John Walker Cap.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since being disappointed by the Red Onslaught Cap, I’ve been waiting for Hasbro to do a more proper Classic Cap, and when this figure was shown off at Toy Fair, I was psyched.  I was less psyched when he was confirmed as a Walmart-exclusive.  While this one ended up being much easier for me to find than the Endgame version, it was still a little bit of a hassle tracking him down, and I can foresee him being one that a chunk of people miss.  Hopefully Hasbro will have another release of this mold in their back pocket for those who can’t track him down.  In the meantime, this is the best comic-styled Cap we’ve ever gotten, and I really dig him.

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#2132: Chopper (C1-10P)

CHOPPER (C1-10P)

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Chopper is the resident droid of the Ghost, assisting the crew in everything from ship maintenance to combat, even though he doesn’t always want to. After many years of repairs and patch jobs, Chopper has a beat-up, worn look that sometimes matches his cranky personality.”

No Star Wars story is really complete without a stubborn droid or two.  And while most of the main-series uses R2 and 3PO for that role, there are occasionally times where they’re not available, due to continuity stuff.  Rebels was one of those times (well, apart from a cameo appearance early on), so we got an all-new droid, C1-10P, better known as Chopper.  Chopper takes the usual stubborn droid traits and amps them up to 11, which has made him quite the fan-favorite.  With that in mind, the only thing that’s truly surprising about him getting a Black Series figure is how long it took for him to finally make it into the line-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Chopper is figure 84 in the Black Series line-up, part of the most recent assortment of figures, where he shares the Rebels spotlight with the Ezra figure from yesterday and the astromech spotlight with BT-1.  The figure stands roughly 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation, which is pretty darn impressive by astromech standards.  As a droid, Chopper is the member of the Ghost crew who required the least changes to make him workable in a more realistic line, so he actually stays pretty close to the show’s design for him.  Many of the recent Star Wars offerings have made use of Ralph McQuarrie’s design work for the original film, and Rebels had that in spades.  Chopper himself makes use of a lot of elements from McQuarrie’s R2 design, being more squat and utilitarian than the final R2 design.  This makes Chopper more divergent from the other on-screen astromechs, which honestly isn’t that out of place given his characterization.  The figure follows the lead of the main Black Series R2 and his various attachments.  However, unlike R2, who had lots of clip-on parts, most of Chopper’s parts are internal and can fold out.  By far the most impressive example of this is the arms on the head, which are completely articulated and fold back into the head totally flat.  It’s actually so convincing that I myself almost missed them when opening my figure.  There’s another arm at the front, which is pretty cool too, if slightly more simplistic in its implementation.  Chopper’s paintwork is true to this design on the show, so he’s plenty colorful, and all of the small details are there. Of course, Chopper’s hardly a brand-new model, so the figure is sporting a fair bit of muck and grime, which is handled via the same technique they’ve been using on the faces recently.  In addition to everything packed into the main figure, Chopper’s got a few add-on parts as well.  His third leg can be swapped out for a rocket booster, which also includes a rocket blast effect piece to keep him elevated.  He’s also got an extra left leg, which is paired with his right, so as to allow him to match, as seen in “The Forgotten Droid.”

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I was already picking Ezra, it wasn’t too hard to convince myself to pick up Chopper too.  Honestly, he’s probably the strongest figure in this line-up.  The fold up arms are fun, and his animation-true design is a very clean look.  It’s a nice change-up from the more formulaic figures of the line.  He’s just a lot of fun, and I’m happy to have added him to the collection.

Chopper was purchased from All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Star Wars, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2131: Ezra Bridger

EZRA BRIDGER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Growing up, Ezra learned to trust no one and to rely on his street smarts – and subconcious Force abilities – to survive. This all changes with his introduction to the crew of the Ghost, a small band of rebels fighting back against the Empire. Ezra comes to believe in their cause, and sees that he can help change the galaxy for the better.”

Cartoons have been a part of the Star Wars universe since the mid-point of the much maligned Holiday Special, and they’ve been a part of the toyline since Droids and Ewoks, but it wasn’t until 2003’s The Clone Wars that we really faced the dilemma of how to handle animation-based figures in terms of integrating them with the rest of the line.  Clone Wars set the precedent of “why not both?” and that’s pretty much been the standard since.  The cast of Star Wars: Rebels were initially  only released in their animation accurate forms, but Hasbro has subsequently worked them into The Black Series one by one.  The latest is the character that’s ostensibly the main character of the show, Ezra Bridger.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ezra Bridger is figure 86 in the Black Series line-up and is part of the latest assortment of figures.  He’s packed alongside fellow Ghost crew-member Chopper, plus Obi-Wan, and Aphra and her companion droids.   The figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Ezra’s based on his Season 1/2 appearance, though like the prior animation figures, it’s a real-world take on his design.  I find that his translation to a real-world look was slightly more successful than Kanan, though I’d say it’s partially due to Ezra being younger, and therefore being slightly more excusable with an ever so slightly cartoony appearance.  I feel like his eyes could stand to be just a touch lower on the head, but beyond that, he’s fairly realistic, and his sculpt handles things nicely.  His articulation is fairly well integrated and for the most part has a solid range, but it’s worth noting that his hips are rather on the restricted side, due to the belt straps and their placement.  It’s not awful, and it’s not like we haven’t seen issues like this before in the line, but it’s a shame there’s not an easy fix for it.  Ezra’s paintwork is all pretty decent.  It’s mostly just base color work, but it gets it all down correctly and none of the sculpted details have been overlooked.  He also uses the printed face technique, which works pretty well for this particular figure.  Ezra is packed with his unique lightsaber, as well as his stolen Imperial Cadet helmet, which sits surprisingly well on his head.  Not a ton of extras, but its one more than the usual single lightsaber we get with Jedi characters, so I’m certainly not going to knock it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ezra is a good example of my herd mentality when it comes to collecting.  On his own, I’m not certain I would have bought him, but he came out alongside the Obi-Wan figure I knew I wanted and the Doctor Aphra figures I was picking up for Super Awesome Fiancee, and I figured that, since I already have most of the Rebels crew anyway, I might as well grab him, too.  Honestly, he’s a pretty solid figure, and I’m glad I picked him up.

I grabbed Ezra from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Star Wars, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2130: Darth Maul

DARTH MAUL

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES ARCHIVE (HASBRO)

“The evil Sith apprentice Darth Maul engages in a fierce lightsaber duel with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

Star Wars: The Black Series‘ debut line-up was an interesting assortment.  Though everything included was instantly recognizable and a distinctive Star Wars element, everything was sort of adjacent to top tier.  The Luke included wasn’t his main look from any of the movies, the trooper included wasn’t a standard Stormtrooper, and the Sith lord included wasn’t Darth Vader.  It was Hasbro’s bid at trying out the line without potentially sacrificing any truly pivotal figures to possible early-line production issues.  Given the slightly more middling line-up, the first series was a much smaller run compared to later in the line, and some of its figures became quite tricky to track down as the line progressed.  In order to give new fans a chance to catch up, Hasbro instituted a new sub-line, dubbed “Archive” as an easy way to re-pop in-demand figures from older assortments.  While the first series was completely focussed on the Original Trilogy, the second line-up adds in some of the Prequel characters, including by far the most marketable character to come out of the Prequels, Darth Maul!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darth Maul is one of the four figures in the second Archive line-up, and the second of the original Black Series figures to be featured (the third to get a re-release, counting the 35th R2; only the Sandtrooper remains without a reissue).  Rather fittingly, this assortment arrived at roughly the same time as the latest series of the main line, so Maul and Obi-Wan hit shelves together.  Maul stands just under 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Compared to more recent releases, Maul’s articulation is slightly more rudimentary, and a little less fluid; essentially it’s just the Legends articulation of 2013 applied to another line.  It’s most noticeable on the neck joint, as that’s an area where the two lines have most clearly diverged.  At the very least he has the ball-jointed torso to mix things up, which ends up being a pretty major saving grace of the figure’s articulation.  That said, it’s entirely workable even in its current state, and honestly a little better than some of the mid-line figures that would follow it.  Maul’s sculpt was always really the star offering of the initial line-up, being a solid recreation of his on-screen appearance with well-integrated articulation, and a decent level of detailing.  While it’s not all quite as sharp, it’s still a solid selection of work.  Maul’s paintwork isn’t too involved for the most part, with the body just being variants of matte and shiny black.  The real star work is on the face, and it’s also the only place where there’s a change from the original release, since he uses the new face printing for his eyes.  It’s not a super noticeable difference, but it helps him fit in better with the more recent figures.  The original pitch for the line was as close to one-and-done as possible, and Maul’s accessories were designed with that in mind.  He’s got an extra head with robes attached, his binoculars, and his double-bladed lightsaber, which has removable blades and can be split in the movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like a fool, I passed on the original release of Maul when the first assortment was out, because I was trying to stick to the “no prequels” rule, which I hadn’t yet abandoned.  By the time I’d rethought it, he had jumped considerably in price, and so I had to play the waiting game.  While the Archive line-ups so far haven’t been for me, Maul was on my list as soon as his name was floated for the line.  He’s definitely a strong figure, and probably one of the best from early in the line.  He also pairs really nicely with Obi-Wan, which is a huge plus.

Maul was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Star Wars, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2129: Peter Venkman

PETER VENKMAN

REAL GHOSTBUSTERS RETRO ACTION HEROES (MATTEL)

You all knew this was coming eventually.  I’ve been building to this review since #0123, when I reviewed Ray Stanz, the first of the Real Ghostbusters Retro Action Heroes, and slowly working my way through the four man crew.  There was a bit of a curve ball back in June when I reviewed a Retro Action Heroes release that wasn’t one of the main four, but I’m finally circling back around, coming to the end, and taking a look at Dr. Peter Venkman!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Venkman is the final of the four ‘busters included in the mass release assortment of Real Ghostbusters Retro Action Heroes, released by Mattel in 2011.  Venkman was the most fortunate of the ‘busters when it came to this line, with not one, but three whole figures, thanks to a SDCC release, plus a variant of said release.  This is just the standard version though, which is sporting his unique jumpsuit from the cartoon.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  Like the other three, Venkman was built on Mattel’s in-house take on the Mego-style body, which has its plusses and its minuses.  The most important thing is that it matches the rest of the crew.  Venkman gets a new head sculpt and, if I’m totally honest, it’s really the weakest of the heads from this line-up.  It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly more off-model based on the animation than the rest of them were.  It’s also a fair bit softer than the others.  Due to the SDCC-exclusive with which he shared his head being released prior to the main line, it’s likely this one was produced first, which might explain why it isn’t quite as spot-on.  Venkman has a cloth jumpsuit, which is the same one seen on prior three, just in the appropriate colors.  There’s also a pair of rubber boots, and his proton pack and neutrino wand.  The proton pack is, as always, definitely the highlight of these figures. Venkman’s color scheme isn’t quite as bright and exciting as the other three, but it’s still fairly eye-catching, and the paint work does its part to sell it, which I can certainly appreciate.  Perhaps the largest drawback to this figure is the accessory complement.  While the rest of the figures all got one extra gadget in addition to the proton pack, Venkman is lacking.  It feels like something of a missed opportunity if you ask me.  While we did get Slimer later down the line, including him here would have been a solid choice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though he’s the last of them I’ve reviewed, Venkman was actually the first of these figures I picked up.  I found him by himself at my local TRU, and he was cool enough to sell me on the rest of the line-up.  While he’s the weakest of the four main figures, he’s actually a great starter figure, since he was pretty easy to find and had the most basic extras, so it was all upward from here.

#2128: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS VINGTAGE (HASBRO)

“Wolverine is the X-Men’s greatest fighter! A master of all forms of hand-to-hand combat, Wolverine also has a fearsome secret weapon – razor sharp retractable adamantium claws that can slice through anything.”

What’s an X-Men assortment without a Wolverine variant?  Statistically, not made.  They’re quite the hard sell.  For that reason, Wolverine gets toy love for just about every costume change, no matter how minor, no matter how restrained.  Case in point, today’s offering.  It’s Wolverine in his “Madripor” costume, an all-black number he picked up right around the time of his ongoing solo series starting up in 1988.  He wore it for a few of his world travelling adventures, before ditching it after less than a year.  Not exactly stuck in the minds of fans, but it’s only had one toy before, and it goes with Silver Samurai, so how about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is the final figure in the X-Men-themed third series of the Marvel Legends Vintage line, where he fills the required Wolverine slot.  Though the Madripor costume was featured back during the Toy Biz days, it was much later in the line, and under a bunch of goofy armor, meaning he’s not quite a direct counterpart for any of those earlier figures.  Nevertheless, he gets the retro styled card, which honestly suits him better than the standard packaging might.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the re-engineered brown costume body, since that’s our new standard for Wolverine.  It’s a solid choice given the simple spandex nature of the costume.  He gets a new head and shins (which give us clean shins without the usual Wolverine boots for a change), plus the wrist bands from Union Jack (which are a very tight fit here) and the belt from Brown Wolverine. The new head goes for a screaming expression, which works well enough, and is honestly a nice change up from the slightly more reserved Wolverines we’ve gotten recently.  The rest of the parts a pretty standard issue, which works well enough.  The rest of the figure is sold by the paint, or at least what there is of it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the body suit is actually a slightly off-black, with the “boots” being a more straight black.  It’s subtle, but I like it.  What I’m not as crazy about is the face, or more specifically the eyes.  In Hasbro’s defense, the weird fishnet look is accurate to the comics…it’s just really goofy, and the lack of extra head means you’re stuck with it.  Wolverine is packed with a spare set of gripping hands and a katana.  But it’s not just any katana, it’s actually the Black Blade, which figured into the Madrior story and was wielded by Wolverine in this costume.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got no attachment to this Wolverine at all, nor do I find it to be a particularly exciting variant.  However, I was grabbing the rest of the set and felt bad about just skipping one figure, meaning he was along for the ride.  I can’t really say that he swayed my opinion on the design or anything, but it’s not like he’s a bad figure, and he’s certainly a nice accent piece for the Silver Samurai.

I picked up this Wolverine from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2127: Silver Samurai

SILVER SAMURAI

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“The Silver Samurai has but one goal in life: to become the leader of the Japanese underworld! Trained in the martial arts and wielding a massive katana through which he can channel mutant energy, this honorless samurai has often come close to achieving his desire – if not for the interference of Wolverine and the X-Men!”

When you get down to it, it’s kind of amusing how many Wolverine foes began their careers not only not fighting Wolverine, but not even fighting the X-Men at all.  Much like he acquired his arch enemy Sabretooth from Iron Fist, today’s focus, Silver Samurai, first appeared in the pages of Daredevil.  After bouncing around the Marvel Universe for a bit, he would eventually be folded into the X-Men franchise, and found himself on multiple occasions paired off against Wolverine, and would even serve as the primary antagonist in 2013’s The Wolverine…albeit in a slightly convoluted sense.  Whatever the case, he’s just gotten a Legends release, which I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Silver Samurai is the second the last figure in the third series of Marvel Legends Vintage figures.  This is Silver Samurai’s first time as a Legend, making him the only all-new character in this assortment.  He is, of course, the classic Kenuchi Harada version of the character, the same one to be released in the old Toy Biz line.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Samurai is an all-new sculpt, which is quite the impressive feat for a line that was previously completely recycled parts.  What’s more, I don’t really foresee much parts reuse from this particular assortment of parts. Not exactly a lot of samurai in the Marvel universe.  What really impressed me was the lack of add-on bits; everything is actually fixed in place or just part of the main sculpt, meaning he’s not as floppy as some earlier built up Legends. Silver Samurai isn’t without a few QC issues, mostly to do with flashing, especially on his helmet.  On my figure I actually had to do a little bit of clean up around the eyes, as his left eye was almost completely covered.  It’s an easy enough clean-up, but still a little frustrating that I had to do it at all.  Paint work on this guy is minimal.  There’s really just the rising sun and the eyes.  His logo is a little messy, but not awful.  The rest of it’s molded plastic, which can be a slightly iffy prospect with silver, but it works out better than I’d expected here.  Samurai is packed with two swords, which can be sheathed on his belt.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Admittedly, I don’t have a big connection to Silver Samurai as a character, since he’s only in a single episode of the ’90s cartoon and doesn’t really figure into the periods of the X-Men comics I followed.  That said, he’s certainly got a distinctive appearance and I can appreciate his importance in the line-up. I didn’t know what to expect from him, but he’s actually a pretty solid figure.

I picked up Silver Samurai from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2126: Storm

STORM

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“Storm has the amazing mutant power to control weather! With a quick mental command, Storm can create anything from a simple summer shower to a raging hurricane. By raising her arms she can command the winds to carry her anywhere.”

Last year, when I looked at the last Marvel Legends Storm, I noted that she had been surprisingly scarce in the line for a character of her stature.  Her one figure during the Toy Biz days was decent enough for the time, but since then she’s only had two more figures, both of them sporting her mohawk-ed look.  Things are picking up for her, though, since she’s gotten yet another figure, just a year after the last one!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Storm is another figure from the third series of Marvel Legends Vintage figures.  The whole assortment is heavy on the 90s X-Men, and as such Storm is sporting her classic ’90s togs, which have never actually gotten proper Legends treatment.  Interestingly, this costume choice means that she’s not 100% a recreation of a Toy Biz release, since while the original Storm figure was later re-decoed into white, the carded release being simulated here was only available in black or silver.  It’s still closer than Dazzler, though, so I guess she gets a pass.  Also, after all this waiting, I think people might have gotten slightly annoyed if the ’90s Storm Hasbro produced wasn’t the proper white costume.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Storm’s loose starting point is the mid-sized female body introduced appropriately enough with the TRU exclusive Storm from 2014, from which this figure borrows her legs and feet.  She also uses the same open gesture hands we saw on the Dazzler figure.  On top of that, she gets a new head, torso, pelvis, and arms.  The pieces are nice and clean, and I really appreciate the moving away from the straight skin-tight spandex look of the other figures in the line.  The head goes for the calm serenity take on the character, which fits the ’90s version especially well, and is a nice contrast to the grin on the mohawk-ed version.  The hair has a slight dynamism to it which is great for weather-controlling poses, but still works with more basic standing poses.  If I have one complaint about the figure, it’s the cape.  It’s just a thin piece of cloth, and it comes out of the package with some noticeable creases, which aren’t really going to come out, nor does it really hang very realistically.  The paintwork on the figure is pretty solid, with clean work on the uniform, and even a nice wash on her hair to keep it from being too flat.  Storm is packed with a pair of lightning effects, the same ones included with the last release.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The mohawk-ed Storm was a nice place holder, but she was never really going to be my standard Storm, so this figure’s announcement was certainly nice news for me.  She’s one of the more difficult figures to acquire in the set, due largely to the whole “completing the 90s X-Men” thing, but she’s honestly pretty darn worth it.  Sure, the cape’s not great, but everything else about the figure is really nice.  Now, about that ’70s Storm…

I picked up Storm from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2125: Iceman

ICEMAN

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“Iceman has the mutant ability to turn himself into a being of living ice. Once he does that, he can create almost anything he wants: ice slides, ice weapons, ice shields, not to mention icicles and snowballs.”

Of the original X-Men, Iceman is probably the one with the most raw potential, power-wise.  As a way of keeping him in check, he’s also the one saddled with the most regressive personality, a permanent goof-off who never quite advanced forward the way the other four members did.  Rather tellingly, when the time-displaced versions of the original five were introduced, the two Icemen were virtually identical, and most of his storyline revolved around confronting some long-theorized ideas about his sexuality, rather than the “what did I become?” plot that faced the other four.  Bobby is just very consistent, I suppose.  So consistent that he’s really only got a handful of looks, which can be tricky when it comes to action figures.  While it means that figures can often play double or triple duty in era-specific displays, it also means that he can go a while between updated figures.  Fortunately, he didn’t have to wait too long this time.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iceman is part of the X-themed third assortment of Hasbro’s Vintage sub-set of the Marvel Legends brand.  He follows Cyclops’ trend of being a direct homage to a vintage Toy Biz figure, specifically the first Iceman figure, released in Series 2 of Toy Biz’s line.  This pretty much means he covers Iceman’s look post-snowman and pre-ice armor, which is a period of about 25 years.  Not a bad stretch of coverage.  It’s also a look that has been done before in the scale, with both his original Toy Biz Legends release and the ANAD boxed set release covering the same ground.  Both of those figures, it should be noted, had some definite issues, meaning another go at the design is far from a bad thing.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Iceman is built on the 2099 body, in contrast to his last figure being built on the skinnier Pizza Spidey body.  It’s honestly a better fit for the character, especially the version they’re going for.  He gets a new head, as well as an add-on piece for the belt.  Unlike a lot of the heads we’ve gotten for the 2099 body, I actually think this one is pretty well scaled to the body, and doesn’t sit too high on the neck.  I quite like the slight grin on his face, as well as the blocky construction of his features.  The belt isn’t designed to be removable, which is a slight point against him, since the belt’s presence in his ice form was very much dependent on the artist.  I think making it more easily removed would have added more to the figure, but it’s not the end of the world as is.  Iceman’s pant is minimal, with the only details being the whites of his eyes, and the x-logo on the belt.  There’s still some interesting colorwork going on with the molded plastic, which is a slightly translucent affair.  It’s more opaque than the last figure, and lacks the blue tint, which honestly makes it look more like actual ice.  It’s worth noting that there’s a fair bit of variance between copies of this Iceman’s coloring, with some being darker and some lighter, likely dependent on when in the run they were produced.  Additionally, nearly ever figure has a seam running down the face, but the exact placement and how contrasting it is with the plastic around it is variable.  Iceman is packed with an ice sled stand, simulating the one his original Toy Biz figure included.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was more or less content with the Juggernaut Series Iceman.  He’s not a perfect figure, but I liked him for what he was, and he’s been filling that spot in my X-Men set-up since I got him.  This one’s announcement didn’t exactly blow my mind, especially given the figures he was shown alongside.  Even when I picked up my set, I wasn’t really sure about the figure.  After taking him out and playing with him a bit, I’m pleasantly surprised by this figure.  He’s not going to be my favorite in the set or anything, but he’s certainly our best Legends Iceman, and he’ll go well with the rest of the ’90s line-up.

I picked up Iceman from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2124: Dazzler

DAZZLER

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“Dazzler uses sonic vibrations and impressive speed to take down her enemies.  Though she can channel sonic energy in many forms, her preferred method of sonic battle is through the power of music.”

Before they were shoving the likes of Deadpool and Squirrel-Girl into everything under the sun, Marvel’s first real go at pushing a character was Dazzler.  She was supposed to be a whole cross-platform phenomenon, with a solo comic being joined by music, videos, and even real performances by “Dazzler.”  For a number of reasons, the project never took off, and Marvel was left with a character they’d put a lot of work into and nowhere to put her.  So, Chris Claremont and John Byrne introduced her in the pages of X-Men, during the “Dark Phoenix Saga.”  By the time she was actually added to the team line-up, disco was officially the thing that things were said to be “deader than,” so Dazzler was reworked with an ’80s jazzercize bend.  It was this version of the character that was used in both the failed cartoon pilot “Pryde of the X-Men”, as well as the ’90s arcade game, meaning this version was burned pretty firmly into the heads of a whole decade of X-Fans.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dazzler is part of the X-Men-themed third series of the Marvel Legends Vintage line.  Unlike yesterday’s Cyclops, this Dazzler has no direct equivalent from the Toy Biz days, as their only Dazzler figure was based on her prior costume, and wasn’t even part of the X-Men line to boot.  In fact, the only prior toy of this particular costume design was the Minimate.  It is, of course, her second time as a Legends figure in general, though, since her disco attire was released as part of the Warlock Series in 2017.  The figure is just over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation. There’s a fair bit of re-use going on here. Her base body is Phoenix’s (which was also the basis of the first Dazzler), and she also gets the upper arms, jacket, belt, and cuffs from Rogue (since it was actually Dazzler that originated the bomber jacket over spandex look).  If you want to get technical, the gloves weren’t usually worn with the jacket, but its not entirely without precedent for them to be there, and I really don’t mind it myself. The figure is topped off with a new head sculpt, which does a respectable job of capturing Dazzler’s general look from this era.  The paintwork on the figure isn’t bad, especially when compared to the Cyclops.  The blue is perhaps a little flat (either metallics or a brighter shade would have been cool), but the application is nicely handled and all of the proper details are there.  Dazzler is packed with two of the Scarlet Witch hex pieces, this time in a translucent pink with sparkly flecks in them.  While it’s not quite as fun as the multi-colored piece from the last Dazzler, they’re still pretty decent additions.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first introduction to Dazzler was via “Pryde of the X-Men”, which I had a VHS copy of in the ’90s.  The fact that her only figure at the time was based on her disco look always bummed me out a little bit (though I’ve since gained an appreciation for that design as well).  When Disco Dazzler was again picked for the Legends release, I was fine with it, and I really did enjoy the figure, but something always felt a little bit off.  This figure just feels right to me.  I look forward to getting a proper Longshot update to go alongside her (as well as a classic Storm to round out my “Pryde” cast).

I picked up Dazzler from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.