MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
Hey, remember how I mentioned Black Widow needing to borrow some foes from Iron Man? Well, she did it again. It’s okay, there’s more connective tissue this time. When it comes to Iron Man foes, it’s a bit tricky for them to really stick. I mean, how do you manage to become the arch enemy of a guy who’s actually just his own arch enemy? The spot’s pretty much permanently taken! There have, nevertheless, been a few characters that have hung on for a bit, including one of his two Soviet counterparts, the Crimson Dynamo. Dynamo’s a pretty early addition to Stark’s rogue’s gallery, and the original Dynamo is definitely interwoven with Black Widow, who was still a villain at the time. Of course, there’s been twelve different people in the armor since then…yeah, there are a lot of Crimson Dynamos. It makes getting decent toys a little tricky, because, honestly, where do you start? Well, let’s start here, I guess.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Crimson Dynamo is the Build-A-Figure for the titular Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends. This is Dynamo’s first time as an official Legends release. He was originally slated to be part of Toy Biz’s Series 13 “Bring on the Bad Guys” line-up, but was dropped before they went to prototype. The Valentin Shatalov did get a 6-inch release in the Iron Man: Armored Avenger line that ran briefly after Iron Man 2, but proper Legends was on hiatus at the time. Now we’ve actually got one. I know. It’s a pretty big deal. There have been 13 different Dynamos over the years, so there are plenty of designs to choose from. Hasbro opted for the Gennady Gravilov version of the character, which was introduced in the early ’00s Epic Comics miniseries based on the character. While it doesn’t quite have the staying power of Dmitri Bukharin’s more classic armor, it’s honestly not a bad design at all, and it’s at least one that got a little bit of dedicated focus in the miniseries. It’s also a slightly more natural fit for a Build-A-Figure. The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. There’s a little bit of re-use here: he’s got the legs from the Iron Monger/Mandroid Build-A-Figure. While not a perfect match for the armor design in the comics, they’re close enough to work, and flow pretty well with the rest of the sculpt stylistically. The design of the articulation scheme is also really great, so I can’t fault Hasbro for wanting to use them again. The rest of the sculpt is all-new, and it’s quite impressive at that. It translates the comics design quite nicely into three dimensions, and there’s a lot of really fun little detail work mixed in. The slight cracking on various pieces of the armor, the texturing on the upper armor, and the rivets all throughout really give this thing a lived-in appearance. It’s not a sleek, top-of-the-line Stark design; this thing is built for functionality over appearance. I was also impressed by how well they worked in the articulation. I liked the Mandroid a fair bit, but it was a little restricted in its movement, at least on its top half. This guy, on the other hand, is surprisingly poseable. He’s also incredibly stable, which I’m all about. The paintwork on Dynamo is mostly pretty basic. A lot of the color work is just molded colors. It’s all pretty clean, and replicates the comic colors well enough. I really like the clear plastic for the vials on his wrists; it adds some dimension to the figure. There aren’t any accessories for Dynamo himself, but given the size of this guy, that’s pretty easily excused.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I really like Crimson Dynamo. I’d go so far as to say he’s probably my favorite Iron Man foe (although I also quite like Titanium Man). Perhaps my biggest problem with Iron Man 2 was not getting a proper Crimson Dynamo out of it. I’ve been waiting for a good Dynamo in Legends form for a while, and I was definitely happy to see him crop up here. Yeah, I still really want the Dmitri Bukharin armor at some point, but this is a really good design, too, and this figure is an early contender for my favorite Build-A-Figure this year. He’s really solid, and I really like him.
With the movie being pushed back, I think this assortment is one that people might overlook, and that’s actually kind of too bad. Crimson Dynamo is the definite star for me, and building him was honestly enough to get me on board, but upon completing the set, I find myself enjoying pretty much the whole thing. The movie figures are all really solid (even if Red Guardian’s not quite screen-accurate), Winter Soldier’s a fantastic solo release, and Crossbones is a good clean update of a pretty important character. Only Spymaster’s really a drag, and even then, he’s not a *terrible* figure. I expected very little from this set, but I’m actually really happy with the final product.