MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
The world of toys is full of figures of the fantastical creations that we all love, but it is a much rarer occasion that we actually see the focus shift to the creators of said creations. Not entirely out of the question, of course. Quentin Tarrantino’s gotten a few figures from his movies (even the ones where he doesn’t explicitly appear on screen), and James Cameron joined his Colonial Marines from Aliens in NECA’s line from the movie. Even George Lucas has gotten a few toys. Today, our sites are set firmly on the world of comics, with the most publicly known comic creator of all time, Stanley “Stan Lee” Leiber, father of the modern Marvel empire!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Stan Lee is his own stand alone Marvel Legends release, packaged in a similar fashion to last year’s “80 Years of Marvel” sub-line. He’s not Stan’s first time as a toy, with a prior SDCC-exclusive Legend and a somewhat baffling Masters of the Universe Classics figure preceding him. This figure was originally designed to be a Build-A-Figure across a handful of MCU-based two-packs (which included Ross/Killmonger and Bucky/Falcon; we even saw some early production samples of the Ross/Killmonger set that still included the legs), but that was ultimately scrapped for this single release. Honestly, that was probably the better call. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. Stan is built on the suit body, specifically the Bruce Banner version of it, with the unbuttoned shirt. He gets a new set of arms and jacket, as well as a new head, of course. Most of the body wound up getting re-used for the Peter Parker figure, which actually beat this guy to market in a lot of places. It’s a decent parts share idea, since not only was Stan pretty open about Peter being his author avatar, but also the last Legends Stan doubled as a Peter figure, so there’s precedent. Stan’s new head sculpt is pretty much the spitting image of the real thing…albeit perhaps a little younger than the intended source material. Technically according to the box, he’s supposed to based on Stan’s cameo appearance in The Avengers, but he ultimately looks like he’s a little more based on Stan circa the ’90s/early ’00s. Ultimately, it’s still during a very visible period of time for Stan, and it even works a little more for me, since it means he ends up looking more like his appearances in the lead-ins for The Marvel Action Hour. The point is, it’s a good sculpt, and does a great job of capturing Stan’s signature smile. The official decision to base him on The Avengers seemed a touch limiting anyway. Stan’s paint work is overall pretty monochromatic, and appropriately real world. He uses the face printing, which works well here, and adds some nice weight and depth to the face sculpt. The hair gets some accenting as well, which makes it again more in line with a slightly younger Stan, given how dark it is. Stan’s accessory selection is…well, it’s something. It’s definitely the least straight forward bit of everything about the figure. He’s got a Captain America shield with his signature on it, which is cool, I guess, but kind of a weird piece. Like, why has he signed it? Also, there’s the added oddity of only including a single Marvel-related prop and having it be something from a character Stan *didn’t* create. Were there at least a few other pieces (say a Mjolnir, or an Iron Man gauntlet), it’d be less weird. As is, it’s…strange. Also included is a small brown rectangle, which is supposed to be the box of chess pieces from The Avengers. It’s really scene specific, and honestly doesn’t have much behind it. it’s just another reminder of the supposed source for the figure, and not a great one at that.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When this figure was originally rumored as a BaF, I was not super thrilled, not because I didn’t want him, but because completing him felt like it would be a daunting task. When he was cancelled, I was sad we weren’t getting him, but relieved I wouldn’t have to worry about completing him. I was further relieved when he was confirmed for this single release. It’s been a bit of a wait to get him, and the accessories are a little weird, but the core figure’s pretty great, and he looks awesome on the shelf with all of his creations. Now, can we please mend some bridges to get a Jack Kirby figure to go with 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.