#2684: Black Cat

BLACK CAT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Black Cat is the most confident, cunning burglar the world has ever seen! Donning a black costume and mask, heiress Felicia Hardy changes into her Super Hero persona and prowls the streets with Spider-Man at her side.”

A definite fixture of Spider-Man’s supporting cast (thought not truly consistently a rogue), Black Cat has had her fair share of toys over the years.  Perhaps it’s the striking visual that helps, but it could also be that she’s probably Spidey’s most notable female rogue…that is, when she’s being a rogue.  She’s gotten more prominent in the toys as she’s grown more prominent in the comics.  While she had just one figure during the Toy Biz 5 inch days, and just one more when they moved to 6 inch, Hasbro’s now coming in on their third time doing the character since they relaunched Legends in 2014.  Not a bad set up for her, now is it?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Cat is part of the Spider-centric Retro Collection sub-line of Marvel Legends.  At this point, Hasbro doesn’t really seem to be focussing on assortments for this style, so much as just dropping new figures one at a time when they feel like it.  Black Cat was, subsequently, her own solo release.  Black Cat has had a few looks over the years, and she pretty much gets a different one every time she gets a new figure.  This one in particular goes for her early ’90s variant on her classic look, which was also the design used for her appearance in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.  That’s proved a major influence on most of these Retro Collection figures, so it’s a sensible choice.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  The vast majority of this figure’s parts come from the Skyline Sirens version of the character from 2014.  That one was built on the Moonstone base body, and generally did a decent job of capturing Black Cat’s usual figure.  It’s not quite as well articulated as more recent bodies, however, which can be a bit of an issue when it comes to posing.  My figure in particular wound up being rather bow-legged.  Since this version of the costume doesn’t have the fur collar, the figure swaps out the upper torso for the basic Moonstone body piece.  She also borrows the calm head from the Dark Phoenix figure, as well as the studded collar from the Hellfire Club Black Queen figure.  She’s really going for that evil Jean Grey vibe, I guess?  The head sits a touch low on the neck, but overall it’s a nice selection of parts, and adds up to a decent recreation of the design they’re going for.  It’s amazing what you can do with nothing but re-used parts, huh?  The paint work on this figure is overall pretty basic and straight forward.  I do like how crisp and clean the detailing on the face and mask is, and the very slight accenting on the fur works quite well to showcase the sculpt.  It certainly looks a bit better than the blue from the earlier figure.  Black Cat is packed with the same whip as the Sirens figure (albeit in different colors), and a recolored version of Goose, this time as a…black…cat.  Actually having a cat’s more of a Catwoman thing than a Black Cat thing, but she’s already copying DC’s homework, so let’s just roll with it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was fortunate enough to actually get the Skyline Sirens Black Cat at retail, but a lot of people weren’t, which meant a lot of people’s only viable Black Cat was the Kingpin Series one.  It’s not a terrible figure, but it’s not a classic Black Cat by any stretch.  With the real push for that ’90s Spider-Man vibe, a redo of some sort felt pretty essential, and here she is.  She’s a decent figure.  Nothing amazing, or definitive, but a solid take on the character, and another somewhat unique costume for this scale.  At least this one’s a bit easier to get.

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.

#2683: Stilt-Man

STILT-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Wilbur Day was a mild-mannered scientist – until he stole the plans for a hydraulic ramming device which he soon used to invent his battle-suit. As Stilt Man, Wilbur has fought against the likes of Spider-Man, Captain America and even Thor himself!”

Oh man, first I get to look at Frog-Man, and now I’m looking at Stilt-Man?  I’ll take that particular win for sure!  Obscure, far reach characters are definitely my bread and butter when it comes to the likes of Marvel Legends, but are usually isolated from each other in differing assortments.  Getting multiples at the same time is definitely pretty sweet.  Stilt-Man’s pretty old school Marvel himself, first appearing in 1965’s Daredevil #8, and hanging around as a recurring foe for a number of prominent Marvel heroes, up until someone decided it was a good idea to have Punisher shoot him in the head shortly after Civil War.  Fortunately, comic book death is rarely permanent, and he was brought back during Dan Slott’s run on Spider-Man, in order to start antagonizing Marvel’s heroes anew.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Stilt-Man is the titular Build-A-Figure for the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends.  Believe it or not, this *isn’t* his first time as a toy; he got a Minimate back in 2010.  But, it’s been over a decade, and he’s never had a Legend before, so here we are now.  In his standard configuration (I’ll touch on that in just a moment), the figure stands 11 3/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Obviously, the great majority of his movement is on the upper body of the figure, which is pretty much articulated the way any basic body has been for a while in this line.  He lacks some of the newer articulation layouts, such as the butterfly shoulders, but it’s a reasonable selection for the character.  The stilt legs aren’t particularly mobile, since they’re not really supposed to be, but he does at least get universal joints on the the ankles, which is useful for keeping him standing.  On my figure, the hips are a little loose, and this is something I imagine will only get worse with the stilts attached.  I’m probably going to pick up an extra torso as a precaution, but ultimately it’s not the end of the world.  Even with slightly looser hips, he’s still fairly stable.  Stilt-Man’s an all-new sculpt, which is honestly a little bit surprising, but certainly not unwelcome.  At the very least, it means he’s got the pinless design for the elbow joints, which helps to keep him looking rather sleek.  In general, the sculpt just does a very nice job of capturing his classic design.  Of course, there’s certainly a bit of room to say “hey, I sure wish my Stilt-Man figure was taller.”  Well, fear not, because by simply popping off the feet on his stilt-legs, you can make the legs completely modular.  Every new section adds another 6 inches to the figure’s height.  So, with enough Hand Ninjas (or, at least, just they’re BaF parts), you can make a Stilt-Man that’s as tall as you want.  You want a 12′ Stilt-Man to really accent your foyer?  Go for it you absolutely crazy person!  That’s pretty dope, right?*  Stilt-Man’s paint is pretty basic.  He’s largely just molded in silver plastic, with the paint being confined to his head.  Basic, but also low room for error, so it works out.  Despite being a Build-A-Figure, Stilt-Man is actually quite well accessorized.  He’s got two sets of hands in gripping and fists, a gun (re-used from Yon-Rogg), a briefcase full of money, and a stand.  It pretty much covers everything you could ever want from a Stilt-Man, which is certainly quite impressive.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been all about Stilt-Man ever since he cameoed on the Iron Man cartoon in the ’90s, and I’ve pretty much wanted a toy of him since.  I loved the Minimate when he was released, but I’ve kind of moved away from ‘mates overall.  I definitely wanted a Legends figure, and the confirmation of this guy early last year was definitely dope.  The final figure is very nicely implemented.  The core figure’s awesome on his own, and the extras just push him to the next level.  I’m also really excited by the modular nature of those stilts, and I’ve made it my mission to get this guy as tall as possible, though I’m playing the waiting game so that I don’t have to buy myself an army of Hand Ninjas to get there.

After a year full of a lot of middling or mixed assortments, this set is surprisingly strong and consistent.  The Spider-Verse figures are definitely the star attractions, and Gwen’s my favorite out of that set.  On the other side is Prowler, who isn’t quite as impressive, but isn’t at all bad either.  Miles and Peter are a great use of new parts for very specific designs, and will definitely be the break away figures for most people, I think.  The comics side is no slouch either, though.  The Hand Ninja’s not one of my favorite designs, but the figure’s well-done, and Frog-Man and Stilt-Man are top tier figures of those goofy characters I oh so love.  This is genuinely one of Hasbro’s best assortments of Marvel Legends.

*The Minimate had a similar set-up, but required purchasing an additional Stilt-Man and Iron Man for every set of stilts you wanted, which made it a little more difficult to do than the Legends set-up.

#2682: Frog-Man

FROG-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Eugene Patilio suits up as Frog-Man in a misguided attempt to restore his family’s good name.”

FROG-MAN!?! They made a Frog-Man!?!  …Okay, can I really be that surprised at this point?  Probably not.  I don’t know.  Everything is skewed these days, and the current state of Legends is such that making previously unthought of characters no longer seems so unthought of.  Where was I?  Frog-Man.  Right. So, for those of you who aren’t so familiar with Frog-Man (which I’m going to assume is most people, because he’s Frog-Man), he’s actually a little bit of a legacy character.  His father, Vincent, was the Daredevil villain Leap-Frog, and after he gave up on the whole super villain thing, Eugene took over his gear, and took up as a would-be hero, now using Frog-Man, after Leap-Frog was deemed too goofy.  Eugene has mostly stuck to the background of the Marvel universe, but turns up every now and then, including most recently as one of Tony Stark’s allies in the newest Iron Man series.  And hey, now he’s got a toy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Frog-Man is figure 6 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends, and he’s the second of the comics-based figures in the set.  He’s this assortment’s resident odd-ball figure, picking up from last year’s inclusion of White Rabbit (a character Frog-Man’s got a little bit of history with, so there’s that).  The figure is 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  Frog-Man’s construction is largely made-up of re-use, specifically of the Doc Ock body from 2018.  It’s a good body, and one that so far hadn’t seen any sort of re-use, so it’s still rather unique.  It also matches up quite well with Frog-Man’s design in the comics, which makes it quite a sensible choice for re-use.  The only slight downside is that it means he’s still got visible pins on his elbows and knees, but they’re at least comparatively smaller than some of the others.  In order to switch him from Ock to Frog-Man, this guy gets a new head, feet, and an add-on piece for the back pack.  The head’s definitely the most distinctive part, and it’s pretty nicely implemented, with clear differentiating for the mask and what we can see of the underlying head.  The head under the mask is perhaps a touch intense, I think, for Frog-Man, but it’s a minor thing, and I really like how the mask looks.  The feet give him not only his flippers, but also the springs on the heels that give the suit its jumping abilities.  He’s quite stable on these feet, which makes him quite easy to pose.  The back pack is useful in covering up the one character-specific remnant of the Ock sculpt, the ports for his arms on his back.  It plugs into the top ports to keep it secure, and otherwise works out pretty well for the look.  Frog-Man’s paint work is largely pretty basic.  Most of the colors are molded plastic, but what paint is there is pretty cleanly applied.  I do like the pattern on the darker sections; it helps sell the goofy comics design even further.  Frog-Man doesn’t seem like a character who lends himself to accessories, but he does still get two sets of hands, in both fists and open gesture poses, so that’s pretty cool.  He also gets the left arm, extra hand, and gun for the Stilt-Man Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Frog-Man’s one of those characters so minor that I know him more from his reputation of being minor than from actually reading his comics appearances.  I’ve definitely read a few of his appearances, and I have this sort of soft spot for the guy, even without that really direct connection. I was not expecting him at all before he was officially shown off, and I didn’t pay him too much attention in light of the rest of the set.  After getting them in hand, though, he really works for me, just because I didn’t expect him, so I just got to enjoy him for being the cool, goofy toy that he is.  And boy is he cool and goofy.  And boy do I love him.

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

#2681: The Hand Ninja

THE HAND NINJA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Skilled in martial arts and espionage, the ninjas of The Hand are a force to be reckoned with.”

Remember how Ethan didn’t really care for the Red Ninjas?  Think that’s gonna come up again?  It’s a pretty safe bet.  First introduced in the pages of Daredevil #174 in 1981 by Frank Miller, the Hand were an ancient order of…well, pretty generic ninjas really.  They share a lot of common ground with the Red Ninjas, serving as a force of rather generic ninjas mostly just there to give the bad guys some minions.  They’ve kind of become the go to ninja foes for the Marvel Universe, and showed up in the second season of Daredevil on Netflix, as well as seasons of other shows that I’d prefer to not acknowledge the existence of at this juncture.  They’re…well, there just kind of generic ninjas, but people seem to have gotten really attached to them.  They’ve shown up twice before as Marvel Legends, but it’s been a little while, so the latest series has given us an update.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Hand Ninja is figure 5 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends, and is the first of the the three comics-based figures in the line-up.  He’s sort of a loose attachment to the overall Spider-Man theme of the line-up, falling a bit more into the Daredevil side, but DD stuff usually goes with Spidey anyway, so I guess it works.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  At first glance, the Hand Ninja looked like an all-new mold, but the visible pins on the elbows and knees got me to do a little bit of detective work, and confirm that his arms come from Mordo and the legs (up to the ankle, anyway) come from that same assortment’s Doctor Strange.  Not the worst choice for re-used parts, I suppose, though it’s a shame they couldn’t get reworked like Gwen and Prowler’s re-used parts to bring them up to speed with the new releases.  He still gets a new head, torso, pelvis, and feet, as well as add-ons for his bandolier/sheath and belt/skirt.  These new parts implement some of the newer articulation standards, such as butterfly joints at the shoulders, and the newer balljoint/crunch combo for the torso.  They work pretty well in terms of posing, and I was happy to see that the skirt didn’t impact the posability on the legs too much.  In terms of the newly sculpted parts, I do find that there are some areas where the parts don’t quite fit together as well as I’d like.  The head definitely sits a little too high on the neck, and the bandolier is rather loose and ill-fitted to the torso.  It’s a weird enough fit that I had to double check a few times to see if it was a re-use.  I don’t think it is, but whatever the case, it’s definitely a bit loose.  For the most part, however, the sculpt looks pretty decent, and is a respectable sort of all-encompassing take on the various Hand Ninja looks from over the years, leaning more towards the more basic end of things.  The paint work on the Hand Ninja is a lot of reds, as expected.  They mesh together well, and he’s even got those eerie milky grey/green eyes that we tend to see on Hand Ninjas, which is a nifty enough design.  The Hand Ninja is packed with two sets of hands (gripping and open gesture), a sword, and two Kama.  Aside from having nowhere to keep the Kama when not holding them, it’s a pretty cool set-up.  And, most importantly, the Hand Ninja includes the Stilt-Legs to Stilt-Man, as well as a stand for said legs.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hand Ninjas don’t, as a rule, thrill me, much like the Red Ninjas.  I don’t tend to like them so much as a story telling device, as I often find them to be kind of bland and boring (ie: most of the of their Netflix appearances).  That being said, they can make a good toy, with the first Hand Ninja Minimate being a pretty stand out piece.  I’ve not picked up any of their earlier Hasbro figures, but I did have the Articulated Icons Basic Red, which was a good stand-in.  Did I need this guy?  No.  But then I saw that he came with Stilt-Man’s Stilt-Legs, and I kind of was locked in.  Ultimately, after being disappointed by the Red Ninja, I was pleasantly surprised by this release.  He’s got his flaws, but I like the overall appearance of the figure.  I don’t see myself army building him, or anything, but he’s perfectly acceptable on his own.

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

#2680: Dark Trooper

DARK TROOPER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“It is a period of Civil War. The Rebel Alliance struggles to free the galaxy from the clutches of the evil Galactic Empire. Discovering that Imperial forces have begun developing a new type of stormtrooper, the Rebels call on mercenary Kyle Katarn. His mission: seek out and destroy the secret Imperial project called Dark Trooper. Known as phase III, this most powerful of the Dark Troopers is actually a figure known as General Mohc. Practically unstoppable, he represents the greatest threat to the success of the Rebel Alliance.”

Kenner’s Expanded Universe sub-set covered a few different EU tales, giving them each at minimum a pair of figures.  Though previously unexplored in the toys, that included some video game coverage, in the form of two figures based on the video game Dark Forces.  The first of those was the game’s protagonist, Kyle Katarn.  The second was today’s focus, the Dark Trooper, a concept that’s certainly moving up in the world, thanks to a proper canon appearance in the second season of The Mandalorian.  But, let’s jump to those humble beginnings, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Dark Trooper is the final single carded figure in the Expanded Universe sub-line of Kenner’s Power of the Force II.  He’s the other of the two later release figures I mentioned in last week’s Spacetrooper review.  Also of note is the fact that the Dark Trooper was the only of the nine single release figures not to be shown off on the cross sell on any of the packaging, for whatever reason.  The figure stands 4 1/4 inches tall (the second tallest in the set) and he has 6 points of articulation.  He’s definitely one of the stiffer figures included in this line-up, only further highlighted after looking at the Spacetrooper last week, with his extra movement and all.  Given the bulked up design of this particular look, the slightly more restricted set-up isn’t totally shocking however.  This mold was new to this figure, but would later be re-used in its entirety for the Fan’s Choice rerelease in 2007, likely due to the combination of rarity and popularity of this particular release.  It’s an interesting sculpt, because it feels more dated than the rest of the assortment, but that’s actually because he’s going for a recreation of the game model, which means he really should be that bulked up and geometric.  Hard to take the ’90s out of a ’90s design,  I suppose.  There’s a fair deal of detail work going into this guy, which does a lot to make him a bit of a step up from a straight recreation of the game look.  I also appreciated that the jet pack is actually a separate piece, with full detailing on the figure beneath it.  In terms of paint work, the Dark Trooper’s actually got a bit more going on than it seems on the surface.  All of the silver is painted, rather than molded, and there are actually two distinct shades between the outer armor and the mechanics.  The Dark Trooper includes a rather goofy looking heavy blaster lifted straight from the game, as well as yet another fold out display.  This one’s definitely one of the most clever, being based on the game’s HUD, allowing you to simulate an in-game set up.  That’s pretty nifty!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Dark Trooper was a figure that was almost not mine, and was almost the cause of a real tussle between me and Max….okay, not really.  But, when we were pulling the figures out when they came in, he had called dibs on the Sentinel, and then also set this one to the side…only I didn’t realize he’d set this one to the side with the intent to buy it himself, so I grabbed it with the rest of my set and innocently sent him a shot of the whole set after I’d opened them and set them all up.  Then there was much discussion between the two of us, at which point Max very graciously let me keep the Trooper, because he’s nice like that.  It’s nice to have the whole set-up of these guys after all these years, and the Dark Trooper is certainly nifty, especially after their TV appearance!

 

#2679: Sabretooth

SABRETOOTH

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Although Sabretooth is usually one of the X-Men’s most fearsome foes, in this different reality, he is in fact an X-Man, fighting for peace alongside his former adversaries. And although he still possesses his savage strength and animal-like instincts, he also shares those traits via an empathic link with his feral companion, Wild Child who channels those primitive instincts, keeping rage in check.”

Following up on last week’s renewed coverage of the Toy Biz “Age of Apocalypse” figures after, like, a five year break, I’m taking a look at yet another figure who hasn’t yet been graced with an update from Hasbro*…coupled with someone who has!  Yes, it’s another pair of formerly villainous characters who found heroic traits during the crossover, Sabreooth and Wild Child!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sabretooth was released in the 12th series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was all AoA-based.  This was the fourth version of Sabretooth we’d gotten, though unlike Magneto, all of Victor’s figures had been uniquely different each other.  Sabretooth had one of the more drastically different designs for the cross-over, as this one removed him even more from the furry, more ferally-inspired costumes he’d had previously, in favor of one of he more Magneto inspired costumes the X-Men were sporting.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  This guy’s articulation was pretty interesting, because it’s just a sort of odd assortment.  Like, he adds swivels on the legs, which were actually new for this guy, I think.  Not sure exactly *why* they did that, as they’re not really essential for the character, but they were certainly appreciated.  Oddly, however, he’s only got a single elbow joint, just on the right arm.  The left is without.  Not sure why.  Whatever the case, he was by far the most articulated Sabretooth, after the last three figures were all missing some key movement of some sort.  In terms of height, he wasn’t much larger, but this guy was certainly wider than the prior Sabretooths, making him fit with the overall bulked up aesthetic for the figures in the line at this point.  As I’ve noted with the others from the set, it was certainly fitting, given that the crossover was happening at the height of the ’90s “X-Treme” trends, meaning that all of the characters wound up looking like Apocalypse was mandating some pretty heavy steroid use in this new reality.  It works out okay for Sabretooth in particular, since he has generally stuck with his bulk-up after the fact.  The sculpt here does wind up looking a touch awkward, but you can’t say they didn’t follow the stylings of the art. The ponytail is a separate piece that pegs in, so you can reorient it however you’d like when posing him.  My only real complaint would be how ferocious the facial expression is, given that Victor was generally a little friendlier in the cross over.  Sabretooth’s paint work is pretty basic, but also pretty clean, and again, pretty consistent with the art.  Sabretooth’s main accessory is his partner in crime Wild Child, who is depicted here as an unarticulated figurine.  He’s perhaps a touch on the small side for proper scaling, but otherwise not bad.  Also included is a chain to connect him to Sabretooth’s arm, as seen in the series.  It works pretty well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Sabretooth was the first AoA figure I got, and the only one I had when they were new.  He was a birthday present from my great aunt Nelda.  I was used to getting some weird gifts from the extended family, so this one was surprisingly on the mark for her.  It would not surprise me to find out that she had enlisted the help of my Grandmother, who was always pretty up to date on what I liked.  It was actually the first Sabretooth I had for my collection, and it was a few years before I found out that this one wasn’t supposed to be a bad guy.  It was also a little while before I had even the slightest clue who Wild Child was supposed to be.  This is a goofy, very tied to its time pair, but they actually aren’t bad figures looking back on them.

*Notably, while we haven’t gotten a Hasbro Legends update for AoA Sabretooth, he was one of the two figures from the crossover during the Toy Biz days.  Not that I’d call that one a worthy fit for the rest of the new set, but, it does still put him ahead of poor Magneto.

#2678: Prowler

PROWLER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Equipped with an armored suit and gadget-filled wrist gauntlets, Marvel’s Prowler pursues his enemies under the cover of darkness.”

The Prowler is a relatively early Spider-Man villain, appearing in 1969, and also an early entry in two of Marvel’s favorite things to do with villains: reforming and replacing.  Hobie Brown was the original Prowler, and was ultimately not so bad a guy, eventually becoming one of Spidey’s allies after retiring from his villainous past.  However, the Prowler identity didn’t end with Hobie, and he wound with a few successors as the years went on.  The one that stuck the best wasn’t even truly a successor, but a full-on reboot, when the Ultimate universe’s version of the Prowler was revealed to be Miles Morales’ Uncle Aaron.  This development served as the basis for the character’s appearance in Into the Spider-Verse, which boosted the identity into more of the public consciousness, and has helped to further cement Aaron as the Prowler.  And now he’s got a Legends release to help with that.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Prowler is figure four in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends, and is the final Spider-Verse themed figure this time around.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Prowler’s construction follows in Gwen’s footsteps, re-using some of the older base body parts, albeit with a twist.  He’s officially Bucky Cap adjacent, using the pelvis and hips from that body, as well as the related, but altered torso from Dr. Strange, as well as the similarly related but altered upper arms from Shatterstar.  As we saw on Gwen’s legs, the Shatterstar arms have been tweaked to remove the visible pins around the elbows.  The pattern of the wrinkles on the sleeves is the same, however, so they’re using at the very least the same CAD files.  In addition to the re-used and tweaked parts, Prowler gets a healthy amount of new pieces as well, including the head, forearms, hands, legs, and add-ons for the cape and belt.  The end result is a little bulkier in terms of build than Prowler was in the film.  However, he was still definitely bulkier than Peter or Miles in the movie, so it’s not terribly far off.  He does also inherit some of the issues of the re-used parts, most notably the iffy shoulder and elbow movement from the Shatterstar arms.  The new cape piece also doesn’t *quite* peg in correctly, causing it to pop free a lot, and making it a little bit of a pain when posing.  That said, the posability on the new parts, especially the legs, is really smooth, and there’s a very nice range.  The paint work on this guy is pretty decent.  Fairly straight forward in terms of the color work and such, but it looks pretty slick, and matches well with his movie appearance.  The biggest let-down for me on this guy is definitely the accessories, or more accurately the lack of them.  He’s got the right arm and an extra hand for Stilt-Man, and a briefcase with money in it, also for Stilt-Man, since Prowler’s hands are too big for the handle.  There are no extra parts for Prowler himself, which is a bummer, because I was at least hoping for an extra unmasked Uncle Aaron head, if not also some extra hands.  As it stands, he definitely feels the lightest of this assortment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Prowler’s always been one of those characters that I don’t mind owning as a toy, but I also don’t feel an undying need to own.  While I liked him well enough in the movie, he was undoubtedly lower on my list than the various Spiders.  So, I wasn’t quite as pumped for this particular release.  Of course, that ended working to his benefit, I think, because I didn’t have much in the way of expectations.  He’s not the star of the assortment, and I do wish he’d gotten a few more accessories, but he does manage to get the look down pretty well, and I do quite like the new parts.  Overall, not a bad release.

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.

#2677: Peter B. Parker

PETER B. PARKER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Peter B. Parker mentors Miles Morales, an all-new Spider-Man, to understand the importance of power and responsibility.”

Up until Into the Spider-Verse, Spider-Man movies always had Peter Parker as their lead, and typically a younger version of Peter at that.  Even the comics version of “Spider-Verse” had the mainstream Peter Parker as its central Spider-Man.  So, it was a bit of a shift when the movie’s version of Peter was aged up and moved into the role of mentor for Miles.  It ended up working very well, of course, and gave us a Peter that was consistent with prior incarnations, while still offering up something audiences hadn’t really seen before.  It also gave us a Peter with a lot of kind of goody and distinctive variants on his usual Spidey costume, which are really just ripe for toy treatment, aren’t they?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Peter B. Parker is figure 3 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends, the third of the four Spider-Verse figures included.  Like Miles, Peter has several notable looks over the course of the film.  This figure goes for his appearance when he first encounters Miles.  It’s definitely distinctive, and matches Miles in terms of theme, even if it doesn’t quite match up in terms of actual interaction.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  In terms of posability, Peter’s a little more stiffer than Miles and Gwen.  There’s still a good range, but the joints can be a bit tight, and the rather thin limbs can make them a little tricky to get posed.  Also, on my figure, the neck keeps wanting to come out of the torso.  Ultimately, I think this will loosen up over time, but it’s definitely tricky right out of the gate.  And, like Miles, he’s got a little trouble standing, so it takes some more careful posing to get it done.  Peter’s sculpt is all-new (though, as with Miles, I wouldn’t be shocked to see some of these parts get used for a more fully suited Peter down the line), and it’s a pretty great recreation of his animation model from the movie.  The head really nails the disheveled appearance of Peter in the movie, and I love the sort of out of it smile he’s got.  Even the sweat pants and the mismatched shoes look great, and really sell that hastily assembled appearance.  The paint work on this guy is pretty well rendered.  The basic color work is largely handled via molded plastic, but the paint application that is there is pretty clean.  There’s a lot of detailing going on on the face (though I did notice a bit of variation from figure to figure on the stubble), which matches up pretty well with the movie, and they’ve even included smaller details like all of the buttons on his jacket.  I’m still iffy on the total lack of paint for the weblines on what we can see of his costume, but it does mean he matches Spider-Ham.  Additionally, since he’s not supposed to go with the comics style figures, per se, the change isn’t as drastic as it was on, say, 6-Arm Spider-Man.  In terms of accessories, Peter makes out probably the best of the three Spiders, with a second head with the mask on the top of his head, plus three sets of hands (ungloved, and gloved in fists and thwipping), and his fast food beverage.  The lack of a fully masked head lends credence to a full-suited version coming later, and I do like the beanie style look they’ve given him here, as well as the fact that he’s got a slightly changed up facial expression.  They’ve changed up the neck joint, however, making the ball for this one much smaller than usual, meaning it’s a different construction even from Miles.  Not entirely sure why they moved away from the standardizing for these two figures, but hopefully it’s a) just a fluke and b) any further variants of these two characters will at least remain internally consistent.  The hands are a decent mix, with the ungloved ones in particular being designed for use with the drink, which is itself my personal favorite of the accessories included.  In addition to his own accessories, Peter also gets the head for the Build-A-Figure Stilt-Man.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Schlubby Peter is one of the movie’s most distinctive visuals, right next to “What’s Up Danger?” Miles, so he was definitely a design I was wanting to see in some form, especially when the more basic lines completely left it out.  I was definitely down for his inclusion in Legends, and he was another figure I was really looking forward to.  Ultimately, I do wish his posing wasn’t quite as stiff, but beyond that he’s pretty awesome, and definitely a figure I’m glad I have.

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.

#2676: Gwen Stacy

GWEN STACY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Intelligent and quick-witted, Gwen Stacy has a sharp sense of humor and is a natural leader.”

While Into the Spider-Verse was a rather loose adaptation of the Spider-Verse crossover in terms of most of its elements, one piece it did lift essentially wholesale was the super-heroic version of Gwen Stacy, affectionately known as “Spider-Gwen,” whose role and background are effectively the same for the purposes of the story.  Admittedly, she’s a pretty great concept, so it’s hard to blame them for keeping her more or less the same.  And, as part of the film’s main trio of protagonists, it’s also hard to blame them for pushing her when it comes to the toys.  She’s no stranger to Legends at this point, but one more certainly can’t hurt, can it?  However, we’re not *just* talking about Gwen here, are we?  No, of course not, because Gwen doesn’t actually come packed on her own!  Following the lead of the Hot Toys figure (I guess; is it still following the lead if your product beats the “lead” by, like, a year?), Gwen gets packed in with fellow Spider, Spider-Ham, another character not too terribly changed for the movie.  What a pair they are!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gwen and Spider-Ham collectively represent figure 2 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends, and are the second piece of the four figure Spider-Verse tie-in for the line.  Though both characters are included, this is definitely being billed as a Gwen figure with a Spider-Ham pack-in, and less as a proper two-pack.  As such, Gwen is a more proper figure, standing 5 3/4 inches tall and sporting 29 points of articulation.  She’s in her main costumed look from the movie, since she’s got less looks than Miles, and this is the one that she spends most of her time in anyway.  Structurally, this figure winds up having a lot in in common with the last two Spider-Gwens.  Unlike Miles, for whom the straight repaint from the two pack was pretty far off the mark, Gwen’s design falls a little more in line with the traditional base bodies for the line, so the re-use is a little more excusable.  That doesn’t mean she’s all re-use, though, as the head, upper torso, hood, and lower legs are all new pieces, with the aim of making her that much more film accurate.  Additionally, her legs have been modified to remove the visible pins on either side of the knee, brining her in line with the rest of the modern sculpts.  It’s minor, but much appreciated.  The head and hood are separate pieces, but not as easily separated from each other as earlier versions.  The hood hangs a touch closer to the masked head than it does in the film, but the general appearance works pretty well, and fits the overall clean aesthetic.  The new upper torso slims and streamlines the figure a bit further, again bringing her more in line with that animated look.  It’s pretty basic, but it gets the job done.  The new legs give Gwen her ballerina shoes from the film, one of the more notable design changes from the source material.  I also found that these new feet made the figure a little more stable when standing, which I definitely appreciated.  Gwen’s paintwork is pretty basic, and does suffer from a few spots of fuzziness.  It is, however, a notable improvement on the prior Gwen figure, and just generally pretty good overall.  It is lacking the pattern on the black sections, but given they’re black, this detail isn’t too obviously missing.  Gwen gets an extra unmasked head, a hood pulled down, and two pairs of hands in both fists and thwipping poses.  The unmasked head is actually my preferred of the two heads included, and is a very spot-on recreation of Gwen’s design from the movie, with a solidly rendered paint job to boot.  I was very happy about both sets of hands being included, since the last Gwen only got one of each style.  Gwen is also packed with the torso for the Stilt-Man Build-A-Figure, and, of course, Spider-Ham.

Spider-Ham himself is more figurine than figure.  He’s 2 1/2 inches tall and has a single point of articulation, that being a ball joint at his neck. He is otherwise limited to the hands on his hips pose he’s sculpted into.  Given the build and size of the character, this isn’t the worst thing, because it at least allows him to keep his look alright aesthetically.  One of the biggest issues with the single release Spider-Ham was that, worse than his lack of general movement was how badly worked in the articulation was into the sculpt.  At least in this case, he’s just not mobile from the start.  This results in the sculpt being fairly film accurate, and it also results in a figure that’s better scaled to his compatriots.  And sure, he’s got sculpted webbing again, but it’s at least recessed instead of raised, making it easier to fix the lack of painted lines this time if you were so inclined.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m a big fan of the Spider-Gwen design, and I appreciated the changes they made for the animated version.  I’ve actually looked at the two pack version a few times, and been quite tempted by it, but it’s quick jumps in price and lack of a properly updated unmasked head held me back.  I was quite pleased to see her shown off with the rest of the set, though I’ll admit I didn’t give her quite as much thought as some of the others in the set, given her general similarities to the prior figures.  In hand, I really like how this figure turned out, and she’s actually my favorite of the Spider-Verse set.  Plus, this gives me another shot at Spider-Ham, whose single release greatly disappointed me.  Sure, this one isn’t his own standalone thing, but that also means I didn’t end up dropping full price for him either, which certainly makes him a lot easier to enjoy.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with these figures 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.

#2675: Miles Morales

MILES MORALES

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A Brooklyn native and just 13 years old, Miles Morales is a Spider-Man unlike any we’ve ever seen before.”

Released in late 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a pretty big success, both financially and critically, being perhaps Sony’s best translation of the Spider-Man mythos to the big screen.  It helped a lot that it was the first Spider-Man movie not to retread on more or less the same story we’ve seen many times before, in part due to the fact that this film’s focus wasn’t on Peter Parker, but was instead centered on Miles Morales, who had as of that point not gotten any sort of cinematic treatment.  Due to the film being produced outside of Marvel, and therefore being subject to some slightly different licensing, the toy tie-ins at the time were rather on the light side.  We got some basic figures, and one pack of re-decoed Legends that weren’t even really movie accurate.  Demand for something more faithful was definitely there, however, and now, 2 1/2 years after the fact, the movie’s starting to get some proper toy love.  I’m kicking things off today with the movie’s main character, Miles Morales!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Miles is figure 1 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s the first Spider-themed assortment of this year, and four of its six figures (seven if you count the Build-A-Figure) are based on Into the Spider-Verse.  Miles has a handful of looks over the course of the film, but this figure is based on his look from the “What’s Up Danger?” sequence, where Miles first suits up before the film’s big climactic battle.  It was the look used for a lot of the advertising, and in the teaser trailer, and it’s also part of what is probably the film’s signature moment.  Plus, it’s just a cool look.  So, that all adds up to it being a very nice choice for Spider-Verse Miles’ first proper figure.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme for this guy goes for Hasbro’s general “less is more” sort of feeling they’ve been aiming for as of late, where there are less joints, but they wind up with an overall greater range of motion that makes the figure easier to pose, but also doesn’t hurt the aesthetics quite as much.  Miles is an all-new sculpt, so there’s no parts shared with any of his prior figures.  After the last “Spider-Verse” figure was just a strict, and quite frankly rather inaccurate, repaint of the comic style Miles, a totally unique sculpt is certainly called for.  It’s a pretty good match for the animation film from the movie, with one notable, but fairly excusable exception.  As with all of the other merchandized versions of this design, Miles’ shoes aren’t the Nikes he was sporting in the movie, but rather a more generic sort of sneaker.  Obviously, the additional licensing fee isn’t really going to be worth it for a figure on this scale, so it’s a sensible choice.  They’re a little less sneaker, and a little more boot looking on this figure, but ultimately, they get the idea across.  Otherwise, the sculpt is quite faithful, down to the really scrawny nature of the limbs.  In the case of the legs, this does make him a little more difficult to keep standing, but not impossibly so.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these parts, notably that masked head and the torso, show up on a fully-suited Miles at some point down the line.  Miles’ paint work is generally pretty basic.  A lot of the colors are molded plastic (aided by the separate construction of a lot of the pieces), but there’s some base color work in a few spots.  There’s some fuzziness on the edges of the red parts, and one of the fisted hands on mine has a spot of missing paint, but generally he doesn’t look too bad.  Miles has a decent selection of parts, including an alternate unmasked head and two sets of hands (fists and thwipping).  The head’s a close match to his animated appearance, though the hair does seem just a touch short for proper accuracy.  Also, each of the heads gets its own ball joint, rather than there just being one in the neck, as is the usual way of handling things.  It swaps just fine, but it does mean there’s no chance of swapping this head onto other bodies.  The hands are useful, but I still lament the fact that we aren’t getting the open gesture hands with Spider-Men anymore; it would really go well with this particular design for replicating the skyscraper scene.  Alas, I’ll just have to make do with the two sets we got.  Miles also gets the shoulder gear from the Build-A-Figure Stilt-Man.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really enjoyed Into the Spider-Verse and was quite disappointed by the lackluster tie-ins at the time.  We’ve been slowly seeing some proper stuff show up, with both Hot Toys and MAFEX getting in on the game, but they’re on the higher end, which sort of puts off the idea of getting the whole team of spiders from the movie.  Legends was definitely my preferred medium, and I was pretty excited when Hasbro announced these figures.  Miles getting this design first really works for me, and it makes for a very impressive and distinctive looking figure, and certainly one of the coolest Miles figures out there.

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.