#2868: Multiple Man

MULTIPLE MAN

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

The ‘90s X-spin-off teams that weren’t X-Force all had to sort of find their footing within the already established lines that Toy Biz was putting out, which meant that some of them were fewer and further between.  The line up to Peter David’s X-Factor run was definitely a slow build, as they sort of trickled out of the main X-Men line.  The likes of Strong Guy, Havok, and Polaris all found spots, but Jaime Maddrox was, I guess, a step too far for the main line at the time.  Good thing we had the exclusives game to rely on, huh?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Multiple Man was the mail away offer in ToyFare Magazine #4, offered up in December of 1997, and shipping out in early 1998.  Though ostensibly part of the X-Men line still running from Toy Biz at the time, his box had no such branding, or any branding at all.  It was just an all-white shipper, with him bagged up inside.  They hadn’t gotten very fancy yet at this point.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  He got extra joints at the ankles!  Good for him, I suppose.  Multiple Man was built on the body of Octo-Spider-Man, which was one of Toy Biz’s favorites to repaint.  It’s a pretty decent slender build body, and it fits usual depictions of the character, so it works well for him.  His head is re-used from Silver Surfer, and, apart from being perhaps a little devoid of character, it works perfectly alright for his full cowled look.  It does have a slightly weird fit on the body, but generally it works okay.  The rest of the magic is done with paint.  Much like the Polaris figure, Multiple Man’s paint work gives him a weird amalgam of his various costume designs over the years.  It was blue and yellow to match the rest of X-Factor, and it also had the x-symbol on the head, but the overall detailing on the main suit more matches up with his original costume design.  Ultimately, this is a case where I think the amalgamated approach may really work better, since it just feels like a classic Multiple Man.  It’s sort of a greatest hits set-up.  He’s unfortunately missing out on his usual overcoat of the era; surely a cloth one wouldn’t have messed up their margins too badly?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was exactly a year behind on getting a Multiple Man new, so I had to wait a few years.  He still wound up as one of my earlier additions when I started actually get them.  I remember seeing him in the same glass case that held the Wonder Man I was always looking at, but my first one actually came out of a $5 bin of loose figures, which was a real steal at the time.  I also picked up a second one, quite recently, when it got traded into All Time, because it really never hurts to have more Multiple Men.  He’s a simple figure, but I really liked him when I got him, and he’s a surprisingly effective figure.

#2867: Hulk

HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Bruce Banner smashes anything in sight as the gamma-powered Hulk!”

Square Enix’s Avengers game really wasn’t the smash they were hoping for, now was it?  The game was off to a rocky start pretty much from the word go, but it certainly wasn’t helped by its intended release being interrupted by a pandemic.  There were a number of planned tie-ins, including some stuff in the Legends range, but somewhat weirdly, we got quite an eclectic selection of characters in that area.  The main line gave us two versions each of Cap and Iron Man, as well as Ms Marvel and Abomination.  The only other notable character released was the Hulk, who was not only not a main line release, but also wasn’t even a standard version of the character.  It’s weird my guys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk (who is officially just named “Hulk” on the package, but is referred to as “Outback Hulk” by pretty much every one whenever he’s referenced) was a GameStop-exclusive Marvel Legends release.  He was under the Gamerverse banner, and sold at the deluxe price point.  He was released in mid-2020, in an attempt to loosely tie-in with the game, and he’s based on one of Hulk’s alternate skins from the game, itself patterned loosely on his look during “House of M.”  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  This figure is largely built on the body introduced with the Endgame Hulk Build-A-Figure, which is a decent starting point for a slightly more realistically proportioned Hulk figure.  Also, with only one prior use, it’s understandable that Hasbro might want some more mileage out of it.  The only slight snag, at least on my figure, is that the arms are very prone to popping out of their sockets, due to the Build-A-Figure origins.  I actually found it to be a more frequent occurrence with this release than with BaF proper.  Ultimately, it’s a minor side issue, though.  Hulk gets a new head, depicting the game’s longer haired and bearded take on the character.  It’s a different look to be sure.  There are actually two different heads, each with its own expression.  One’s more calm, and the other is baring his teeth, ’cause he’s angry, I suppose.  The heads do seem maybe a touch too large for the body, but they’re otherwise decent enough sculpts.  Hulk also has a new set of add-on pieces for his wrists.  They’re meant to be the tattered remains of his shirt, thematically looking like wraps on his forearms, I suppose.  They’re a little light on the detailing to really sell them for what they are, but I do like how they change up the overall look of the core figure a bit more.  In terms of paint, this Hulk is a little different from the usual, being grey, and also having the somewhat tribal detailing painted on his face and torso.  Again, it helps to change up the usual look, and is at least a somewhat different take on the character.  The actual application’s not a bad set-up.  It’s nothing crazy, but it works.  Hulk is packed with two different sets of hands, one in fists, the other in open gesture.  This gives him two full sets of the combo pair we saw on the original release of the mold.  I do like when they update it to give us the full sets.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Nothing about this particular release really spoke to me when he was shown off, and he certainly wasn’t worth the hassle of going through GameStop to get him, so I held off on him.  Honestly, I kinda forgot he even existed, really.  However, one of them got traded into All Time a couple of months ago, and he’s gotten quite cheap, so I figured it was a decent enough time to pick him up.  Ultimately, there’s not a lot going on here that you can’t get elsewhere, and he’s not exactly a standard Hulk anyway, so his exact purpose is sort of weird.  I don’t dislike the figure, but I’m hard pressed to figure out what I’m gonna do with him now that I own him.

#2866: She-Hulk

SHE-HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Jennifer Walters mutates into She-Hulk, a massive, muscled green hero with boundless strength and the will to do good.”

Introduced in 1980, She-Hulk is notable for having Stan Lee involved in her creation, quite a while after he was contributing to the Marvel day-to-day stuff.  She was originally created, as many distaff counterparts are, in order to secure a copyright so that no one else could.  In true Marvel fashion, though, she became much more than that, and came into a fanbase all her own, divorced from her cousin Bruce’s base almost entirely.  With a Disney+ series on the horizon, she’s ramping up with the merchandising, including getting yet another Legends release quite recently.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

She-Hulk is a stand-alone Fan Chanel-exclusive Marvel Legends release, much like the run of them we got at the end of 2019.  She’s in the standard style packaging, just without the Build-A-Figure part.  This figure’s definitely most inspired by the character’s earlier appearances, while she was still in her “Savage She-Hulk” days, hence the more mainline Hulk-esque tattered clothes.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  She’s built from the same bank of parts as the Super Skrull Series Hulk, which is sensible enough.  It was an all-new sculpt, and I can definitely understand Hasbro wanting to get some more mileage out of it.  It’s not a pitch-perfect match for any of the specifically She-Hulk looks, but it’s close enough to work.  It’s also just a very nice sculpt, so I’m not gonna knock seeing it another time.  She’s got a new head sculpt, which is notably calmer and more composed, in keeping with the majority of She-Hulk’s appearances over the years.  It’s not bad, though it does feel maybe a little bit bland for my taste, at least when compared to the previous sculpt, which was very dynamic.  Fortunately, if you preferred that sculpt, it’s also included here, so you’re free to swap them out as you please.  In addition to the extra head, the other change-up for this figure is the color scheme.  She shifts from the greyer tones of her more recent Hulk appearance, to a more classic green-skinned look.  It gives her a little more pop, and I quite like the overall tone of it.  To fit the overall bolder coloring of the green, her tattered shirt switches to a proper white (in place of the off-white of the original), and the pants are now black (instead of bluish grey).  She ends up losing a few of the smaller details, like the weathering on the pants, and the gamma scarring, but overall it’s a nice classic design.  She-Hulk is packed with two sets of hands, in fists and open gesture, same as the prior release.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I quite liked the Hulk release of this mold, but it was, admittedly, not my preferred version of the character.  I was definitely hoping for the proper green, and that’s what we got here.  I think the mold works really nicely in these new colors, so I’m down for that.  The new head’s still not my go-to look for the character, and I’m eternally holding out for that more proper John Byrne She-Hulk, but until then, I do rather like this one.  It’s a step in the right direction.

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.

#2865: Ursa Major

URSA MAJOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Who’s Ursa Major?”, you may ask.  He’s a big bear.  He’s Russian.  You’re pretty much caught up.  What, was that not good enough?  ….Alright.  Ursa Major was introduced in 1981, created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.  He was a member of the Soviet Super Soldiers, who would later be renamed “The Winter Guard,” and he was a mutant with the ability to transform into a very large anthropomorphic bear. Much like Sasquatch is “Hulk but more Candian,” Ursa Major is kinda “Hulk but more Russian.”  He’s never been a major character, but he does have the distinction of being one of the few members of the Guard who’s actually been the same person the whole time, rather than being just a code name with a rotating roster like the rest of them.  He also had a small cameo in Black Widow, although not as a bear.  Still, things are moving up, right?  And now he’s got an action figure.  Hard to beat that, really.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ursa Major is the titular Build-A-Figure for the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s really an Iron Man series, and Ursa’s not really an Iron Man character, but the Winter Guard are a little more all-purpose, and seeing as Iron Man loaned a few characters to Black Widow last year, she’s again loaning one back, so to speak.  At the very least, he pairs off nicely with the Darkstar also included in this assortment.  The figure stands about 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  His articulation is surprisingly good given the size and bulk of this particular piece.  The mid-torso joint in particular really gives him some solid range.  I was also pleased by how stable on his feet the figure wound up being.  Also rather surprising is that this figure’s construction is all new.  I had expected that he would be making use of at least some of Sasquatch’s parts, given their similar builds and generally hairy nature, but there aren’t any parts in common here.  Ultimately, it’s the right call, since Ursa, being a bear, should really look a little different, and would you look at that, he does.  For being a sculpt of effectively just a bear, they do a pretty solid job of giving him a little bit of character.  Some of the anthropomorphized features are definitely present in the core body, but he’s still more beastial than Sasquatch and his brood.  While I’m not always big on super dynamic or intense expressions, the one they’ve given Ursa really works, as the roaring look helps with giving him that extra touch of character and uniqueness.  Ursa’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  It’s not a ton of variety, but there’s some rather nice accent work, especially on the torso.  The only real downside is the shift in shades between the torso and the limbs, but it’s not as bad in person as it is in the photos.  Ursa doesn’t get any accessories, but, really, what is there to give him?  He’s a big bear.  That’s his thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was in for the whole set of figures as soon as they were shown off, so Ursa himself never got to really be much of a selling point, or anything.  That said, I certainly wasn’t unhappy about getting the chance to assemble him.  If there’s a word that best describes him overall, it’s “surprising.”  I just wasn’t really expecting to like him quite as much as I do, but he sure is quite a lot of fun, and it’s nice to have a little Winter Guard display now.

I really liked this assortment a lot, as a whole.  The last few sets of Legends have been fine, but not really the most thrilling across the board.  This one’s a pretty consistently exciting set.  Ursa’s a surprise hit, as I mentioned.  Modular Iron Man and Ultron are fantastic versions of two of my favorite looks.  Iron Heart is a really solid set of new tooling for a new character for the line.  Darkstar and Guardsman are somewhat by the numbers, but still strong new figures.  Stealth and Hologram Iron Man aren’t the most essential variants, and they’re just simple repaints, but they’re still pretty fun too.  A strong set from start to finish.

#2864: Ultron

ULTRON

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Robot. Maniacal genius. Science experiment gone wrong. Ultron is the supreme weapon of mass destruction and a mortal threat to the Avengers— and all humankind.”

Ultron is no stranger to action figures, and that extended to even before he was the title antagonist in a multi-billion dollar movie.  That being said, it’s been a bit of up and down in terms of quality of those figures.  Ultron’s classic comics design is pretty, well, classic, but it’s had a difficult time actually making it into proper toy form.  While we’ve managed to finally get it in Minimates, Marvel Universe, and Marvel Select form, Marvel Legends has just sort of been batting around a true classic Ultron figure, many times coming close (though also starting off pretty darn far…), but never quite being there.  Things are finally about to change!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultron is the final single-packed figure in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s an Iron Man-themed assortment, and while Ultron wasn’t classically an Iron Man villain, the adjustment to the character in the MCU, plus some shifts in more recent story telling have made him a decent fit for such a theme.  It’s also not the first time he’s been lumped in with such a set, since he was also included in the Iron Man 3 tie-in assortment.  So, there’s certainly precedent.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Facilitating the proper classic design means an all-new sculpt, rather than saddling him with yet another re-used body.  In terms of articulation, this Ultron’s layout is quite similar to that of the MU release, but with a few improvements allowed by the upscaling and the decade’s worth of advancement since that figure’s release.  He gets an improved range of motion on the limbs in particular, and is just generally pretty mobile.  There are also some definite improvements to how the movement is worked in as well, since he gets the pinless construction for the arms and legs.  Also, the shoulder pauldrons are much like those on the recent Classified Joes, so they can easily move out of the way for posing the shoulders, while also avoiding popping off too easily, which was a problem with the MU version.  The actual quality of the sculpt is pretty impressive as well.  He’s quite similar in styling to the MU figure, but again a bit more refined.  Things like the antenna aren’t as clunky, and the detailing of the body is really sleek.  In general, they just really get that classic Ultron feel, and it’s by far Hasbro’s best version, if perhaps even the best version of him in figure form in general.  It’s so clean, slick, sharp, and just efficiently laid out.  Boy is this a nice sculpt.  The paint work is generally rather basic on this guy, but it is worth noting that he’s fully painted, rather than being molded in silver plastic.  This makes him look quite a bit better, and really keeps with that slick appearance.  Otherwise, the only change-up is the red for the eyes, and black for his mouth.  He just gets a solid color on the mouth, rather than getting the crackling detailing of the last few figures.  Seems like a letdown, right?  Not quite.  Rather than painting that detail, Hasbro elected to actually make it a separate sculpted element.  It makes it a bit more dynamic.  In addition to the effect piece, he’s also got five different hands (two fists, two gripping, and a left open gesture), and the right arm to Ursa Major.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ultron was the first figure from this set to be shown off, and him being a villain and all, I initially thought he’d be in that series.  His absence from that line-up bummed me out, but then I found out he was instead part of this much cooler line-up (not that I minded the villains line-up; they just didn’t excite me quite as much).  He’s got some solid competition, but he was still the very first figure I opened when I got my set, and he’s probably my favorite figure in-hand.  He’s the Ultron I’ve been waiting for, and any future versions will be hard-pressed to beat this one.  We’ve certainly come a long way from the Toy Biz days.

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.

#2863: Hologram Iron Man

HOLOGRAM IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Ever the innovator, Tony Stark takes flight in holographic form, a computer-generated avatar and an enduring force for good.”

Back during the Iron Man 2 tie-in line, there were a *lot* of Iron Man armor repaints, many of them under the heading of “concept”.  One of them was a re-deco of the Mark VI armor in a translucent blue with white detailing, pattered on a holographic representation of the armor from the film.  It was a pretty cool looking figure, and I even reviewed on this very site, quite early into my run.  Apparently, Hasbro was pretty big on the idea, too, since they’ve decided to bring it back around for the larger scale with Legends.  How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hologram Iron Man is figure 6 in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the third and final Iron Man variant in the assortment.  It’s technically an all-comics assortment, but I don’t believe that this particular design has actually been used specifically in the comics.  It just seems to be more of a conceptual thing, just like the earlier one.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is using the molds of the Civil War Mark 46.  It’s not the same as the Mark VI used before, but we don’t really have a properly upgraded Mark VI mold available right now.  This one’s got a fairly similar, and is, quite honestly, one of Hasbro’s best movie Iron Man molds.  I’ve always been quite a fan, and it has a good distinctive look that works for the single color molding this figure calls for.  The figure is obviously molded in all blue plastic, which gives it that holographic look, but to enhance that, there’s some white detailing, which is honestly more involved than I’d expected.  I really like it, and it gives him a lot of pop.  The figure was packed with two sets of hands, in fists and repulsor, plus two effects pieces.  The repulsor hands predate the move to get rid of the full wrist joints, so these have the full range of motion, which makes me very happy.  Also included is the head of the Ursa Major Build-A-Figure.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

At three Iron Man variants, this set does feel a little Iron Man heavy, and I think this guy might just be one too many.  If one needs to go, he certainly feels the most extraneous.  That said, I had the smaller version of this because he looked cool.  I have this one for the same reason.  It’s a cool concept that makes for a cool toy.  I definitely dig that.  He’s nothing if not a fun toy, which does at least give him more merit than some of the more boring and drab variants that have been forced on us more recently.

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.

#2862: Jabba’s Dancers

RYSTALL, GREEATA, & LYN ME

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Deep within the dimly lit halls of Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine, the musical combo, the Max Rebo Band, entertains some of the galaxy’s most notorious smugglers, mercenaries, and bounty hunters. Besides offering great music, the multispecies band has three of the galaxy’s best back-up singers and dancers. Greeata, a Rodian who is also a capable kloo horn player, joined the band at the same time as its lead singer, Sy Snootles. Rystáll, an exotic near-human raised by a pair of Ortolan musicians, was a slave under the crime lord Xizor until Lando Calrissian won her by defeating the lord in a sabacc tournament. Lando freed her and Rystáll’s travels eventually brought her to Tatooine. The third singer is a Twi’lek named Lyn Me, recognized by her people as the greatest dancer out of all the Twi’lek clans. Together the trio of singers/dancers helped the band secure a lucrative, extended contract playing in Jabba’s court until a visit from the Jedi Luke Skywalker cause the Hutt’s criminal empire to come crashing down.”

As I discussed last week, in its second year, the “Cinema Scenes” Power of the Force II sub-line shifted from purely scene-accurate recreations to a way to get out three figures that otherwise might not see release.  In light of the release of the Original Trilogy’s special editions in theaters, Kenner added a handful of the newly added characters to the line.  Included in that second year were Rystall, Greeata, and Lyn Me, three dancers from the extended musical number in Jabba’s Palace from Return of the Jedi‘s special edition release.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

“Jabba’s Dancers” was one of the Cinema Scenes sets added to Power of the Force in 1998.  It was one of two Jedi-themed sets from that year, and the only explicitly special edition-based set in the line.  Like the rest of the line, this set featured a display base for the three figures, though for some reason, this one places all three of them at the far end, which makes them look quite off balance.

RYSTALL

Rystáll Sant, as is her full name, is a human-Theelin hybrid.  What’s a Theelin?  Apparently a race that got a fair bit of use in animation, it would seem.  How about that?  Anyway, Rystáll stands 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 6 points of articulation.  Her sculpt is more on the pre-posed side, since she’s in the midst of a dance, though it’s admittedly a more reserved sort of a dance.  Mostly, it’s just the shoulders that really have that sort of strut to them.  It’s not ideal for a lot of variety in actual posing, but it looks decent enough when compared to the shot of her from the film.  In general, it’s a pretty nice sculpt.  It’s fairly basic, but all of the important details are present.  She also stands alright on her own, which is always a plus.  Her paint work is also rather basic.  There’s some slight shifting of colors from piece to piece, which is a little distracting, but otherwise, things work.

GREEATA

Greeata Jendowanian is a female Rodian (aka the race of Greedos), who’s fairly distinctive, so that’s going for her.  Yay, more Rodians.  The figure is the same height as Rystáll, and keeps effectively the same articulation scheme.  Her legs are a touch more restricted, thanks to that skirt piece, but overall, you get okay poses out of her.  She’s also posed mid-dance, and it’s again very much carried in the shoulders.  In her case, the posing winds up making her a little more off-balance, so she tends to topple quite a bit.  But, if you can keep her standing, she does look pretty nice.  The detail work on the texturing of the skin in particular is quite impressive.  Greeta’s paint work is slightly more involved, but generally works out a little better than Rystáll’s.  There are no drastic shifts in color between pieces, and there are a few spots of accenting that work quite nicely.

LYN ME

Not to be confused with Oola, Lyn Me is the *other* Twi’lek dancer from Jabba’s palace.  See, she’s not green, she’s white.  But, you know, actually white.  Chalky white.  Alabaster.  Real pale.  That’s her.  Apparently, she’s an even better dancer than Oola?  That feels a bit ret-con-y to me, but that’s kind of Lyn Me in a nutshell.  Lyn Me is yet another unique sculpt.  Like the others, she’s also in a dance pose, though hers is a little more intense than the other two.  Not incredibly so, but she’s still a little more pre-posed.  It works out okay, though, and I think makes her look a bit more interesting on her own than the other two.  Generally, it’s a pretty nice sculpt, and probably the best of the three included here.  Her paintwork is decent enough, though some of her black wrappings are a little messy on the application front.  Overall, though, not a terrible piece of work.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this pack up from All Time at the same time as the Cantina Aliens set last summer.  I wasn’t quite as immediately familiar with this set, at least as a kid.  I became aware of it later, but I don’t really remember seeing like I did the others.  Whatever the case, I picked it up mostly for completion’s sake, but I do ultimately like the three of them a fair bit, even if they are Special Edition characters.  They add some nice variety to the Jabba’s palace display, and there really are worse things.

#2861: Morph – Age of Apocalypse

MORPH — AGE OF APOCALYPSE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

Toy Biz’s tie-in to the big X-books crossover “Age of Apocalypse” in 1996 was a pretty quick, almost slapdash sort of a thing.  A single assortment, one and done, with no real follow-up.  They covered some of the heaviest hitters from the set, but with a story so widespread, there were certainly some gaps.  Toy Biz wound up filling in the line-up a little bit in the ensuing years via a handful of one-off and oddball releases, including a mail away offer to get our boy Morph out to people.  I mean, really, how can you not have Morph, right?  It would just be wrong.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Morph was offered up as an exclusive through ToyFare Magazine #22, first made available to order in June of 1999, and shipping out later that year.  He was the fifth post-line addition to the AoA line-up, following Gambit, Rogue, Nemesis, Blink, and X-Man.  He wound up being the last addition, actually, which seems both fitting and also downright unreasonable.  I mean, sure, he’s a great character to end the line-up on, but also how could you wait so long to do him?  How could you do that, now defunct toy company?  I demand answers!  Okay, maybe not so much.  The figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  As with all of these mail aways, he was constructed from as few new parts as possible, which was effectively none.  He uses the body of the AoA Magneto, with the modified torso piece from the Battle Brigade release, which adds in the neck articulation.  In place of either of the Magneto heads, Morph instead gets the standard head from the Spider-Man line’s Chameleon.  It’s all topped off with a cloth cape, which is affixed to the back of the torso, which is also really prone to fraying at the edges.  In general, it’s a selection of parts that gets a lot of the specifics of his design down, but misses the broader design elements of the character.  Like, the head is bald, lacks a nose and ears, and has wider eyes, which is all accurate, but he’s also really angry and mean looking, and very square jawed, which isn’t so much.  Likewise, the body gets some of the costume details down, but then it’s also way too bulked up for him.  Given that he’s a shape shifter, you can make it work, but he does feel a little bit like he’s missing the forest for the trees.  Generally speaking, the paint’s not too bad for a Toy Biz release of the era.  All of the important details are there, and he matches Morph’s design from the books.  He’s perhaps a touch too bright, but I don’t mind that so much.  Some of the application is a little sloppy, but not terribly so.  That said, I did have a weird issue with the one in all the pictures here, which is that the cape sat up against his boot in the package, and now he’s got a weird pattern on that boot.  Morph included no accessories, but honestly, what is there to give him?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure is the reason I know that AoA Morph exists.  Well, not specifically this figure; this figure is a replacement I picked up last year, when a sealed one got traded into All Time.  My original’s not quite as photogenic these days (like I said, that cape likes to fray), but he was given to me by a family friend, who had ordered him specifically for me back in the day.  It was how I found out about the character, and a few years later, it was why I picked up the first trade of Exiles, because he was on the cover.  Subsequently, I’ve become quite a fan of the character.  This figure may not be the best version, but it was better than nothing, and I certainly have a soft spot for him.

 

#2860: Ironheart

IRONHEART

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A certified super-genius, Riri Williams turns a dorm room project into a high-tech, high-flying suit of armor— and becomes a force for good.”

Though Tony Stark may maintain that he and the Iron Man armor are always one and the same, that hasn’t stopped him from handing off the armor to others, from time to time.  The latest in that bunch of people is Riri Williams, an MIT student who built her own suit of armor, and got Tony’s attention.  So, when he got knocked into a coma in Civil War II, she was granted the mantle, at least for a little bit, and ultimately came into her own, assuming the identity of “Ironheart.”  And now, she’s also got herself an action figure.  That’s the biggest victory, really.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ironheart is figure 4 in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  Given the Iron Man theme of the set, she’s a natural choice.  Also, this marks Hasbro’s first time making an Ironheart, though they were beaten to the actual first figure by Minimates, who did her in 2018.  Still, this is pretty notable, so I’m not gonna fault them too much.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation.  Following the trend set by Lady Jaye in the Classified line, Ironheart’s articulation is notable for featuring double joints on the elbows.  It works super well, and feels really smooth when in motion.  In general, her articulation scheme gives her a really wide range of motion, which makes for a pretty enjoyable time when it comes to posing her.  Additionally, she’s got the pinless construction on both the elbows and the knees, which helps keep that sleek feel going.  Ironheart’s sculpt is all-new, patterned on Stefano Caselli’s design for her first cleaned up armor design.  It’s very clean and polished, which I really like, and it’s a rather accurate recreation of the design as it’s seen in the comics.  It certainly pairs off well with the more streamlined Invincible Iron Man figure from a few years back, though it honestly even improves upon how that figure was implemented, in terms of both look and functionality.  Her paintwork is generally pretty straightforward, as most Legends are.  It’s very shiny and slick, which is appropriate, and the application’s all pretty cleanly applied.  In terms of accessories, Riri is pretty well off, getting an alternate unmasked head (patterned on her later look while piloting the armor), two sets of hands in fists and repulsor poses, two new repulsor effects, two new smoke effects, and the leg of Ursa Major.  I’m a little bummed that the repulsor hands are back to fixed wrists after the Modular armor had the proper joints, but otherwise I’m very happy with the selection here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not a Bendis fan in the slightest, so I wasn’t reading Iron Man when Riri was introduced.  I caught her once she moved over to the Champions, and I generally enjoyed her there.  I can’t say she’s a must have character for me, but she’s got a pretty kick ass design, and it’s always nice to add a little more diversity to the shelf.  On top of that, she’s just a very nice toy.  Genuinely very fun.  I can definitely get behind that.

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.

#2859: Darkstar

DARKSTAR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Drafted as a Soviet operative on a nefarious mission, Laynia Petrovna eventually broke free from the system and began to use her super-secret skills to her own ends.”

Marvel’s Russian super-powered characters have gotten a little bit of focus recently, thanks in no small part to Black Widow’s recent turn in the spotlight.  Not quite up to bat on that front, at least yet, however, is Laynia Petrovna, also known as Darkstar.  Darkstar was a member of the Soviet Winter Guard, but after being sent to recover Natasha, she instead wound up defecting herself, joining up with Widow’s current super team, The Champions.  The Champions wound up rather short-lived, and Darkstar wound up kind of in the background of the Marvel universe.  Not the best spot for getting toys, but she’s finally crossed that line, and had her own official Marvel Legend.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darkstar is figure 3 in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  The set is generally Iron Man-themed, which isn’t really that much of a fit for Darkstar, but I guess she’s not entirely out of place.  I do think it’s a little amusing that, after Widow borrowed a few of Iron Man’s related characters for her assortment, Iron Man in turn has gotten a character that would make sense in a Widow assortment.  Not that I’m complaining about any of it, mind you. Darkstar has had a few designs over the years, but this figure goes with her second one.  It’s not her Champions one, so I’m predisposed to not like it, but it’s also the one that got used in X-Men: The Animated Series, so I’m also predisposed to like it.  What a conundrum.  In all honestly, it’s probably the cleanest and boldest of her designs, so I can get the choice.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Darkstar is built on the Phoenix body, which is honestly a good match for how she’s usually depicted in terms of build.  Her head is an all-new piece, and it does a pretty respectable job of capturing how she’s usually drawn in the comics, as well as differentiating the body from the rest of the characters built on it.  I like the slightly different way that the hair hangs over her left shoulder; it’s a small touch, but it gives her a little extra character.  In terms of color work, Darkstar is pretty straightforward.  The black and yellow makes for a nice contrast, and she’s got quite a bold appearance to her.  The application is all pretty clean, and in general she looks quite nice.  Darkstar includes three sets of hands, in fists, gripping, and open gesture, as well as the torso to the Ursa Major Build-A-Figure.  It’s a little odd that she doesn’t get any energy effects or anything, but I do like getting the full assortment of hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Darkstar is one of those characters I wasn’t sure I’d ever see in figure form, though admitedly, it seemed more and more promising as the line progressed.  She’s a solid deep cut sort of character, and I’m always down for having more characters to fill in more of those slightly obscure teams.  I suppose it might be too much to ask for her Champions costume, though?  Yeah, probably.  Well, this one is nice too.

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.