#2542: Cliffjumper




The Bumblebee movie did a lot to actually get me invested in Transformers movies (and honestly Transformers as a whole).  While the film proper has a pretty streamlined core cast of characters, and we still got a lot of very G1-sequel designs, and a couple a really cool smaller roles for some fan favorites.  I’m a pretty big Cliffjumper fan, and I’ve always been really fascinated by his reputation as a Bumblebee repaint, so seeing him pop up with a small but important role was really nifty.  Him getting a figure out of it?  Even better.


Cliffjumper is figure 64 in Hasbro’s Transformers Studio Series line.  He’s a Deluxe Class offering, hitting in the same assortment as RotF Soundwave, Topspin, and refreshes of jet Shatter and Jeep Bumblebee.  He’s also the seventh Bumblebee-based figure to join the line.  In his robot mode, the figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 16 workable points of articulation.  At his core, Cliffjumper is based on the same body as Jeep Bumblebee.  Given the similarities between the film models for the  two of them, it’s not a huge shock, nor is it a bad idea on Hasbro’s part.   It certainly helps that Jeep Bumblebee was a really good figure in his own right, so I really don’t mind seeing those parts again.  He gets a health helping of new parts to differentiate him, the most obvious being the head, of course, which is a good match for his film model.  He also gets a new chest plate, as well as some other tweaked exterior panels.  These are largely to accommodate his new alt model.  Rather than a Jeep or Beetle, Cliff turns into a Cybertronian car of some sort.  We don’t actually see Cliff in his alt mode in the film, so he’s actually using Bumblebee’s from the opening scene.  Given the similarities between their robot modes, the two presumably share a Cybertronian mode in-universe, and this is a good way of getting both the mode and the character in the line.  I’m curious if we’ll see it re-decoed into Bee as well.  Whatever the case, it’s a pretty decent transformation, and like Bumblebee, it’s not too fiddly.   Cliffjumper is packed with the same blaster attachment as Bumblebee, which works out pretty well for him.


The oddity that is my ability to fixate on small things I want toys or meant that I pretty much wanted a Cliffjumper as soon as seeing his scene in the film.  I wasn’t really expecting a quick turnaround or anything, and I didn’t really get one, so that’s good.  It’s nice to actually have him in figure form.  Sure, he’s not  exactly innovative or anything, but he’s fun, and I’m glad to have him fill out the cast.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2541: Spider-Man



“Bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker now possesses all the arachnid’s attributes­­—he’s the Amazing Spider-Man!”

Long-running, ever-improving lines have a pretty much unending need to keep updating those core characters, lest they fall behind and look out of place with the latest releases.  Also, core versions of main characters have a tendency to get really pricey the further you get away from their initial release.  In 2015, Hasbro produced a standard Spider-Man update for their newly rebranded Marvel Legends line.  Dubbed “Pizza Spidey” by the fans (due to the slice of pizza he included as an accessory), he was the gold standard for Spider-Man figures for five years.  But, even with two separate releases a couple of years apart, he remained fairly tricky to acquire for a decent price on the after market.  Faced with the prospect of needing to do another re-issue, Hasbro instead has decided to re-invent the wheel and set a new gold standard for Spider-Men.


Spider-Man is the final figure in the latest round of Marvel Legends Retro Collection figures.  He’s been by far the most in-demand of the whole assortment, so one might be forgiven for not even realizing he’s supposed to be shipping with the rest of the set.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  That makes him Hasbro’s most articulated standard Spider-Man (6-Arm does slightly edge him out, by virtue of his, uh, six arms), by a few points.  But simply having a high count doesn’t mean anything if the posability’s not there, so how’s the actual range of motion?  Not bad.  His articulation design takes a page out of Hasbro’s Classified Series and Lightning Collection figures, and gives Spidey a ball joint/ab-crunch combo on his torso, as well as a set of drop hips.  All of this is in addition to the highly articulated arms and legs from the 2099 mold, as well as an incorporating of that mold’s very useful butterfly shoulders.  About the only joint I’m not super jazzed by is the neck joint, which isn’t terrible, but also isn’t quite as posable as I’d hoped.  I’d really like to have seen the Classified-style neck joint crop up here.  Also, another slight tick against the figure is one less about him personally, and more about the overall planning of the line.  Hasbro just introduced the pinless double joints on a couple of their figures, which is something that would have finally fixed the issue of Spidey’s inner arms always having those jarring red pins sticking out.  Sadly, this figure just missed the boat on those, and still has the issue.  It would have really pushed the whole “new gold standard” just a bit further if Hasbro had managed to get that new styling on this figure as well.  The actual sculpted details are pretty basic.  He’s still using a lot of the 2099 mold, but with the new torso and head, which match pretty well to that build.  It makes him more of a John Romita Sr-style Spidey, which is exactly what a number of fans (my self included) were hoping to see.  On the color work, aside from the somewhat annoying peg issue I already discussed, this figure does also have a few issues with bleed over on the transitions from red to blue.  Fortunately, they’re pretty minor, and he does look pretty solid overall.  They definitely got the classic color scheme down well.  Spidey is packed with a second head, with slightly squintier eyes (pushing the Romita look a little more), as well as two sets of hands, one in fists, and the other in thwipping pose.  No open gesture hands or pizza does knock him down slightly in my eyes, but this isn’t a bad set-up.


I was a really big fan of Pizza Spidey…like a really big fan.  So the prospect of replacing him was iffy for me.  Sure, he looked cool, and all, but could he really be that much better?  Is he really cool?  Absolutely!  Is he a great standard Spider-Man?  Yeah!  Is he a better standard Spidey than Pizza Spidey?  Honestly, no.  They both bring cool stuff to the table.  The posabilty is better on this guy for sure, and I dig the Romita look, but the streamlining on the accessories and the fact that he still hasn’t fixed the elbow issues makes him feel like more of lateral move than anything.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2540: Green Goblin



“One of the few who knows that Spider-Man is really Peter Parker, the Green Goblin is perhaps the web-slinger’s greatest foe.”

Every good hero’s gotta have their nemesis.  Sometimes you gotta have multiple nemeses, in succession, just in case people get tired of the last one.  That seems to be Spider-Man’s deal.  Perhaps his biggest contender for that nemesis title, however, is Norman Osborne, the Green Goblin…except for when he’s Iron Patriot…or the Goblin King… or Red Goblin…look, he jumps around a bit.  Green Goblin’s really where he’s at his best, though.  Subsequently, most of his toys are of that persona.  So, let’s jump into the latest version of it, shall we?


Green Goblin is the fifth figure in the recent Spider-Man-themed Marvel Legends Retro Collection assortment.  This is main stream Green Goblin’s second figure under Hasbro’s current Legends run; the first was in the Sandman Series back in 2017.  While that one went for a more modern interpretation of the character’s design, this one instead opts for a much more classic appearance, akin to what Toy Biz did with their Legends Green Goblin, as well as more cleanly tying into the loose Animated Series feel of this line-up.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Most of this figure’s sculpt is shared with the Sandman Series version.  That one was a pretty solid offering when it was released, and it still holds up pretty well, so I’ve got no real complaints there.  He does get a new head sculpt, which aims for that more classic mask design.  While I appreciated the prior figure for trying something a little bit different, this is ultimately the styling I was far more interested in for the character.  It’s got that really clean, somewhat cartoony classic appearance, but still has a lot of sharp detailing going on, resulting in a really strong head sculpt.  Goblin also gets a new collar piece, which, while a far more minor addition that the new head, is still a nice piece, and helps to really complete the look just a little bit more.  My only wish is that is was actually secured in place some how.  Another area where this figure really changes things up is the paint.  The last two Legends Goblins have been really subdued in their color schemes, and that’s really been my main complaint for both of them.  This one just goes for full-on crazy bright colors, and I am just all about it.  My only complaint is that the pupils placement on the eyes does seem slightly off from where it should be, but that’s somewhat minor.  Goblin is packed with the same glider and pumpkin bomb as the Sandman Series figure, but also gets an unmasked Norman head to swap out for the mask.  It’s a more calm and collected Norman, which makes it perfect for popping on one of the suited bodies, if you want a more civilian Norman to plague your Marvel Universe.


The old Toy Biz Legends figure is one of their best, and the first Hasbro attempt took a different enough take on him that it wasn’t really a replacement.  I’ve been waiting for a slightly more proper replacement since, and this one ends up being a bit more up my alley.  The classic head’s awesome, and even more awesome is the classic color scheme, which I’ve been waiting 14 years to get.  I’m glad to finally have him!

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2539: Grey Hulk & Rhino



Last week, I took my first glance into the hopeless abyss Series 7 of Marvel Minimates, an assortment that’s not generally looked at as one of the line’s best, largely due to its overall lack of actual new stuff for the line.  This issue is really at its worst with today’s offering, which in notable for offering absolutely nothing new, a first for a specialty assortment offering for the line.  So, without further ado, let’s try not get too bored as we look at Grey Hulk and Rhino.


Grey Hulk and Rhino were released together for Series 7 of Marvel Minimates.  Previously, both figures had been the “hidden” figures in TRU’s Hulk/DD and Spider-Man 5-packs respectively in 2003.  Grey Hulk was also packed with Ultimate Spider-Man for an SDCC-exclusive pack, also in 2003.  Rhino, for his part, was also paired off with Captain America for the Target/Walmart packs.  What I’m getting at is that these guys were hard *not* to get.


Grey Hulk (or “Franken Goblin” as Super Awesome Wife has decided he’s called in our house) is a fairly standard Hulk variant, and a pretty simple one at that.  He’s pretty much the same set up as the regular Hulk, being the standard long-footed body with a hair piece.  His hair piece is notably a different one than the standard.  This one attempts to go for Hulk’s earlier hair style, where it was all just on the top of his head and he had the more prominent brow.  It doesn’t quite work out as well as they’d hoped, and ultimately just ends up bulking up his head, making his body look even more puny by comparison, just further pushing the main issue that plagued the first release.  The paint work on this guy is again pretty similar to the original, with a but of a color swap, of course.  He also gets a slightly different facial expression, and one that I kind of like a little bit more than the standard’s.  It’s a shame it didn’t get ported over to green.


Rhino is an interesting character to pair off with Hulk.  It’s not that the two have never fought, because they have, but it’s infrequent, since Rhino’s typically a Spidey villain and all.  It’s also perhaps not the most exciting color pairing either, since both of these guys are mostly grey.  That certainly can’t help with the overall meh feeling on the set.  Rhino was another pretty basic ‘mate.  He’s the standard body with an extra piece for his helmet.  The helmet’s actually pretty nice, and does a solid job of capturing Rhino’s look.  Like Hulk, Rhino looks a little scrawny without the add-ons to bulk him up, but it was the style early in the line.  Rhino’s paint work was pretty detailed, with musculature on his torso, and even some slight detailing of his “hide” on the legs.  That’s a cool touch.


Remember how I said you had to try *not* to get these guys?  Yeah, well, I somehow managed to not actually get them for 16 years after they were release.  I know, I’m a bit shocked too.  Like I was mentioning in my Chameleon/Spidey review, I think I just got a little put off by most of this assortment at the time, and just never had the drive to track them down after the fact.  Ultimately, I snagged them from All Time last fall.  They aren’t that bad, but they also aren’t that exciting, and getting them as many times as we did didn’t help things.

#2538: Joker



My last Kenner Batman: The Animated Series review had me taking a look at one of the line’s patented wacky variants.  Variants were kind of central to the line’s success, covering not just Batman and Robin, but also some of their antagonists.  As I touched on in prior reviews, not all of the variants Kenner rolled out were “wacky”.  Some of them were actually quite sensible, including today’s focus, a pretty solid variant of the Joker!


This Joker figure, known in the collector’s community as “Machine Gun Joker” because of the big machine gun accessory he included, was released in Series 2 of Kenner’s Adventures of Batman and Robin line in 1997.  He was Kenner’s fourth animated style Joker, following the basic, jetpack, and pogo stick variants.  He’s a completely show accurate figure, since Joker sported the coat and hat from time to time.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation…provided the head hasn’t snapped off at the neck joint like mine has, thereby removing a point of articulation.  It’s okay, years of therapy have managed to get me through the loss.  This version of Joker sported an all-new sculpt, not re-using the parts from the prior variants.  It’s probably the best old school style Joker sculpt that Kenner did, for what its worth, being a fair bit more on model than the earlier versions, and just generally having cleaner detailing and a more solid overall construction.  In terms of paintwork, he’s again a bit of a step-up, correcting the issues with the bluish skin, as well as just generally getting the colors closer to their on-screen counterpart.  The application is basic, but pretty clean, and just some of Kenner’s best work, again.  Joker was packed with the machine gun I mentioned earlier in the review, as well as a bundle of TNT, complete with Joker’s face on it.  Both pieces are a touch oversized compared to the figure, but for the time, pretty straight forward, and unhampered by the gimmicks, which was pretty darn cool.


Machine Gun Joker has the distinction of being my first Joker action figure, picked up when he was brand new, on a trip to the store with my Dad.  If I recall correctly, I specifically went in looking for a Joker, since I didn’t have one, and this one was the most straight-forward Joker available at the time.  He stuck as my primary Joker figure for most of my childhood, and I’ve definitely got an attachment to it.  Honestly, I was pretty happy to find he’s just such a good figure when going back for the review.  He remains one of my favorite Joker figures.

#2537: Peter Parker



“Peter Parker is the college student & photo-journalist who is secretly the Amazing Spider-Man!”

The civilian identities of super heroes don’t tend to be the most toyetic things, so they don’t tend to actually get toys, unless their alter ego is really well-known.  Fortunately for ol’ Peter Parker, Spider-Man is kind of up there on the list of well-known super heroes.  So, since all the way back in 1974, Peter’s been privy to the toy scene.  For the majority of the Legends run, Peter’s inclusion has been more through extra unmasked head sculpts, but now we’ve finally gotten a proper full Peter Parker figure!


Peter Parker is the fourth figure in the recent Spider-Man-themed assortment of the Marvel Legends Retro Collection.  Unlike the three prior figures I’ve looked at from the assortment so far, Peter actually has a direct comparison in the ’90s Toy Biz line that this set is meant to be a throw back to, which featured a standard Peter Parker figure as part of its Series 2 line-up.  That said, this figure still calls attention to the fact that these are comic figures that happen to line-up with a few animated elements by virtue of pretty much not looking like the cartoon’s version of Peter in the slightest.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Peter’s sculpt is technically mostly re-used, but will end up being new to most collectors, due to the Stan Lee figure that he’s patterned on not really showing up in most places yet.  Honestly, it’s a pretty clever idea having the two share parts, given their usual similar build and the fact that Stan was pretty vocal about seeing Peter as something of an author avatar.   But I can get more into that if I ever get the Stan figure.  Let’s focus on Peter.  In addition to using the new windbreaker jacket from Stan, he also uses Spider-Punk’s sneakers, as well as a new head and hands.  The hands are pretty basic in their own right, mostly just getting tweaked posing so that they can hold his camera accessory.  The head is…well, it’s an attempt at something, but I’m not certain it worked. They’re clearly going for a heavily Ditko-inspired head, which isn’t a terrible idea in its own right, since it’s a surprisingly rare thing to see.  What I’m not so big on are the permanently attached glasses.  They’re thick, goofy, and totally opaque, which really plays up the cartoony side of the figure.  If there were at least the same head sans glasses included, it wouldn’t bug me nearly as much, but it feels very limiting this way.  The paint work on this guy is probably the most basic in the set.  It’s a lot of neutral colors.  They look fine, but I was a little bummed by the stark white shoes; the ’90s figure had actual colors, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing those crop up again here.  Also, they’ve painted the eyes under the glasses, which seems a bit silly, given that no one’s ever going to see them.  In terms of extras, Peter’s got the camera I mentioned above, as well as an alternate spider-sense head, which is certainly an improvement on the standard head, but still falls into that slightly limiting category.


I was quite fond of the old Toy Biz Peter Parker figure, and he’s definitely one of the best civilian figures out there.  The prospect of an update was definitely okay by me.  The final figure’s certainly not bad, and I can’t really directly fault anything about the figure.  It’s just a few minor things that hold him back.  That said, throwing on the previous unmasked Spider-Man head actually looks pretty solid.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2536: Electro



“As the villain Electro, Max Dillon wields full control over electricity in his never-ending quest to defeat Spider-Man!”

When Marvel was putting together Spider-Man: The Animated Series in the ’90s, James Cameron was still signed on to put together a live action theatrical film.  He had chosen Electro and Sandman as the villains of the piece, and they were subsequently left out of the cartoon, so as to avoid any brand confusion or competing versions of characters (it’s something that Marvel gave up on pretty quickly, but that DC still holds onto fervently to this day), but as the show got well into its run, it became clear that Cameron’s film wasn’t going to materialize.  Sandman never got to make the transition over to the show since they’d already worked in Hydro-Man to replace him), but Electro did manage to make it over, albeit re-imagined as the Red Skull’s son.  That late into the cartoon, the toyline wasn’t quite as strictly tied to the animation, so Electro never got released on that classic packaging, but, well, here he is now?  Sort of?


Electro is the third figure from the recent Spider-Man-themed assortment of the Marvel Legends Retro Collection.  He’s also the third not to have a ’90s counterpart he’s recreating, but at least in his case, there actually was an Electro figure in the line, just after they had changed the packaging.  This marks Electro’s third time getting the Legends treatment, the second under Hasbro’s tenure.  The last one was a more modern-inspired take on the character, while this one goes strictly classic.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The last Electro figure was built on the Pizza Spidey, and I thought that worked pretty well for the character.  Hasbro seems to have felt rather differently, so he’s been moved all the way up to the Spider-UK body for this release.  It seems kind of bulky for how I usually think of Electro, but he’s a character who’s fluctuated greatly in size from artist to artist, so this one feels valid too.  Ultimately, I don’t actually dislike it as much as I initially thought I would, and it’s not like the UK body is a bad one by any stretch of the imagination.  Electro re-uses the classic-style head from the previous release, which is honestly just sensible, since it’s not like Hasbro was ever going to do a better classic Electro head.  This one’s just pitch-perfect for the character, and even manages to somehow not look completely ridiculous on this bulked up body.  He also gets a new set of forearms, which add his little electric bolts from the tops of his gloves, completing that classic look.  Electro’s paint work is pretty standard.  It’s very classic, and very bold.  It changes from the slightly metallic shades of the prior figure to just strict yellow and green, and also differentiates the head sculpt by actually painting in the eyes this time around.   On the accessories front, this figure amends the one major flaw of the last Electro by including hands with and without the electric effects.  I’m glad to see them learning.


I was very lucky to actually get ahold of the Space Knight Venom Electro, and I was pretty happy with that release, but I figured this guy was coming sooner than later, especially as Hasbro filled in that Sinister 6 line-up.  Personally, I wasn’t terribly excited for him, since, as I noted, I was pretty happy with the prior release.  I also wasn’t big on the base body choice on the prototype.  But, I’m not really turning away any Legends right now, so I bought him along with the rest of the set.  Honestly, he’s better than I’d expected him to be, and it’s really a toss-up as to which version I prefer.  They’re both very nice.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2535: Gwen Stacy



“A bright student with a keen scientific mind, Gwen Stacy is girlfriend to Peter Parker.”

Hasbro’s Retro Collection sub-line of Marvel Legends is loosely meant to replicate the Toy Biz toys of the ’90s, which typically means aping at least a little bit of what the ’90s cartoons were doing.  Today’s figure, however, kind of spits in the face of that whole thing, since by the time Toy Biz was making Marvel figures, Gwen Stacy was about two decades deceased, and Peter had been with Mary Jane Watson for about half of that time.  That, and the fact that Gwen was just a civilian with no costume or anything, meant that Gwen was absent from the Toy Biz Spider-Man line*.  Hasbro has, nevertheless, decided to include her in their latest round of Retro-inspired figures, and I’m not really going to fight them on any of it at this point.


Gwen Stacy is the second figure in the recent Spider-Man-themed Marvel Legends Retro Collection assortment, which just started hitting retail in the last month or so.  She marks the second of the two figures I’ve looked at so far that don’t actually really fit in the packaging style the line is emulating, but, honestly, that’s become something of a running theme with these figures.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Gwen uses the Phoenix body as a starting point, but is mostly made up of new parts, with only the legs and hands ultimately being re-used.  Everything else is new to this figure, and that’s probably for the best.  Gwen is seen here in her attire from “The Night Gwen Stacy Died,” a suitable choice for her, given it not only captures the spirit of the character well, but is also a pretty slick look, and by far her most memorable design.  The sculpt does a pretty solid job of capturing her design from the comics, and just generally making her look as one might expect Gwen to look.  There’s some really nice texture work on her sweater, and both her jacket and hair get a nice bit of dynamic flow to them, which helps keep her from looking too static.  The head sits a touch high on the neck for my taste, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing a different set of hands used (I’m getting a little tired of that splayed oped hand), but the sculpt is overall a good translation of her design into three dimensions.  Gwen’s paintwork is overall pretty solidly handled.  It’s clean, and it gets the job done.  I think I might have liked her jacket to maybe be a slightly brighter shade, just to give her a little bit more pop, but the application is all pretty clean, and she doesn’t look bad in the slightest.  In terms of accessories, Gwen gets a handful of items that all seem…misplaced?  The big one that caused a tiny bit of controversy was the Mary Jane head sculpt.  Some people misread it as Hasbro saying that Peter’s love interests are interchangeable, and were rather miffed at the thought of putting MJ in an outfit that is so clearly linked to Gwen.  Of course, I see it more along the lines of Mystique‘s Lilandra head, or Skullbuster’s Reese head, where they *can* be used on the body they’re included with, but are more meant to give collectors a head that can go on another body, effectively giving them two figures in one.  I myself like how the MJ looks on Jessica Jones’ body, albeit with a hand-swap as well.  Also included are a rolled up copy of the Daily Bugle, which feels more like a J Jonah Jameson bit than a Gwen one, a binder (which is admittedly the one inoffensive piece here), and a Midtown High School yearbook, which long-time Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott pointed out makes no sense for either Gwen or MJ, since neither of them actually went to Midtown High.  Odd choice.  Still, props to Hasbro for trying *something* I guess.


Gwen’s one of those figures that I wasn’t sitting there desperately waiting to get or anything, but that I was happy enough to see turn up in the line.  She’s a solid addition to the ever growing roster of civilian supporting cast members, and definitely a key character that deserves some proper toy coverage.  Her accessories are maybe a little odd-ball, but they don’t detract from the core figure, and I’m pretty happy to at least get the MJ head as an option, given I never got the two-pack version back in the day.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

*Gwen did eventually get the Toy Biz treatment in their Silver Age line, one of their many one-off lines distributed through specialty retailers, so she wasn’t entirely left out of the fun.

#2534: Daredevil



“Although he is blind, Matt Murdock possesses superhuman senses and courage as the superhero Daredevil.”

You know, it almost feels wrong to discuss a new Marvel Legends Daredevil without also talking about a new season of the show, but, alas, the show tapped out with three seasons, and this is my fourth Daredevil.  There are possibly some talks about working the cast into the MCU, though, so maybe by the time I get to the next Legends release, I’ll have more to talk about.  Otherwise, I’ll just be forced to get all meta again, and that gets old real quick.  So far from Legends, we’ve gotten several prominent costume designs for the character, but there was one notable exception that we were all that some of us were…I was waiting for: Armored Daredevil!  And look at that, he’s finally here!


Daredevil is part of the new Spider-Man-themed Retro Collection assortment of Marvel Legends.  The assortment has packaging that’s meant to patterned on that of the old Toy Biz Spider-Man line.  Interestingly, this version of DD wasn’t actually featured in that line.  He was, however, released in the Marvel Super Heroes line that proceeded it, which served as the packaging inspiration for the first two Retro Collection sets.  What am I getting at?  Well, it couldn’t possibly be that I’m angry that Hasbro took so long getting us this figure and that he clearly should have been released back at the beginning of the line…because that would be ridiculous.  Right?  Right.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall he has 30 points of articulation.  While the last three Daredevils have been built on the Bucky Cap body from the same bank of parts, this figure changes things up by giving him a head to toe new sculpt.  I honestly wasn’t expecting that to be the case, but I certainly can’t say I’m upset by it.  It means that, for the first time ever on an Armored Daredevil figure, all of the armored elements of his costume are actually raised sculpted elements, which really makes the whole design just a bit more impactful, and certainly adds an air of sleekness and cleanness to it.  The build of the body beneath these elements isn’t too far removed from the Bucky Cap build, so it reads as more or less the same guy, but it’s slightly more refined this time, resulting in a more balanced, more natural look than the Bucky Cap figures have.  The actual construction of the body is also a touch sturdier, which I’m definitely down for.  Daredevil’s paint work is generally pretty impressive, with the metallic red in particular looking really slick.  There’s some slight bleed-over on the torso section on my figure, but it’s fortunately not too terribly obvious.  Certainly better than some of Hasbro’s previous attempts.  Daredevil’s accessories include two sets of hands in fists and gripping poses, two styles for his wrist guards, one with the batons attached and one without (improving from the permanently attached baton sculpt of the smaller-scale figure), the billy clubs in silver, and an all-new unmasked Matt Murdock head, which really benefits from not just being a repainted Hawkeye head.


Despite the fact that I’ve got plenty of DD figures already, this was definitely the figure I was most anticipating from this assortment.  Honestly, I’ve been hoping for this design pretty much since we got the updates to red and yellow, and counter to what my remarks early in the review might have hinted, I’m glad that Hasbro waited until they had really stepped up their game sculpting wise on the line to add this costume to the mix.  He’s very well served by the all-new sculpt, and I would put him on par with the Marvel Now Moon Knight in terms of how much a dedicated sculpt can do to really make a design like this amazing.  I think people are kind of sleeping on this figure right now, which is a shame, because he’s really fantastic.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2533: Punisher with Motorcycle



“Frank Castle rides through the night dispensing brutal vigilante justice.”

Hasbro’s “Legendary Riders” subset of Marvel Legends releases is something of a dubious offering.  It’s a really obvious choice on the outset (much like it was when Toy Biz decided to devote an entire assortment to it during their run with the line), since there are a number of memorable rides in the Marvel Universe.  Unfortunately, said rides I think are more prominent in all of our heads than they are on the page, which is why, just like with Toy Biz’s assortment, Hasbro’s had to start…stretching things a bit, to cover the fact that they effectively launched a whole new line to have a good excuse to release a Ghost Rider with a motorcycle.  Admittedly, some of their figure with vehicle pairings are slightly better than others, while others seem to take a stance of “if we add the word ‘ride’ somewhere in the bio, it’ll all work out.”  Today’s review is kind of from the latter category.


Punisher heads up the sixth assortment of the Legendary Riders sub-line of Legends, as the only actually new offering contained there-in (he’s packed alongside a re-pack of Squirrel Girl, who initially shipped alongside Cosmic Ghost Rider, who, fun fact, is another variant of Frank Castle.  How about that?).  It follows the trend so far of even numbered assortments only being half new, which seems to have worked out okay so far.  We’ve gotten all manner of Punisher looks in the last couple of years, so there’s been a little bit of re-treading, but fortunately it’s not without some decent spacing.  This guy’s largely inspired by Frank’s look from Garth Ennis’s run on the book, when he opted to angle more into a real-world take on the character.  We haven’t seen this style in figure form since the Nemesis Series in 2008, so it’s fair for it to be getting an update.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  For the most part, Frank re-uses parts from the Netflix Luke Cage figure, which is a pretty decent bulked up civilian base.  It does seem perhaps slightly large for Frank, but not baselessly so.  He has been on the Reaper body, after all.  He gets a new head and arms, which are all pretty solid pieces.  Technically, there are two heads, with differing expressions, as well as levels of damage to him.  Personally, I like the gruffer, taped up look, but they both work well.  The new arms are using Hasbro’s new internal construction technique for the pins, which help keep things looking a little cleaner.  It’s all topped off by a re-use of the shoulder strap piece we’ve seen a few times now, which works well with the design.  Frank’s paint work is all pretty basic stuff, but certainly not bad looking.  Everything is nice and clean, and gets the job done.  Frank’s accessories are the coolest part of all of this.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, he also gets a pretty sweet viking helmet (safety first), a sawed off shotgun, an uzi, a TEC-9, a machete, and a baseball bat.  Not a bad selection of weaponry there.

Also included, of course, is the motorcycle that justifies the “riders” portion of the set.  Now, when I think of Punisher and vehicles, I tend to think more of a van sort of thing, but that’s not very cost effective at this scale, so he gets a bike.  It’s a chopper-style bike, which seems appropriate for Frank.  I can’t say I’m familiar enough with this particular incarnation of the character to know if there’s any specific reference for this particular bike, but it looks cool, so I can’t really fight that.  It looks like the majority of the sculpt is shared with the bike from the Riders Wolverine set, but not having personally handled that set, I can’t say with absolute certainty.  At the very least, there are a few cosmetic changes, including the handle bars, which keep the two bikes unique enough that they don’t look like straight re-use.  Re-used or not, the sculpt is a very impressive one, and it looks like a relatively real vehicle.  There’s some really strong detail work going on here, and my favorite little bit by far is the license plate on the rear of the vehicle.  It’s just really well done, and it sells the realism of the whole thing so nicely.  About the only thing I’d liked to have seen that isn’t included is some weapon storage, which feels like the sort of thing that Frank would really want on whatever vehicle he ended up using.


Remember when I didn’t really like Punisher and didn’t tend to buy toys of him?  Those were the days, huh?  The turnaround time on this set felt really quick, so I didn’t really have much time to process that it was coming, or really form any thoughts about it ahead of time, so I more or less opened it up blind.  I wasn’t expecting much, but ultimately, I got a pretty fun set that feels worth while enough to justify its existence.  After being left kind of cold by both offerings in the last assortment, I’m happier with this one, and I don’t feel quite as negative about the overall prospects of the sub-line.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for hooking me up with this set to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.