MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Its body a towering, technological marvel, the Sentinel scans the world for its quarry, a searching light emanating from its chest, its glowing eyes a warning… and a threat. Programmed with only one objective, to destroy all mutant life on Earth, the Sentinel will not hesitate, will not falter, and will never ever stop hunting.”
Man, past-Ethan really needs to stop anticipating future-Ethan needing a pick-me-up…
From an early stage of this site, I’ve been versed in supporting action figures not just from an end-of-the-process side, but also from a more preemptive side as well. I’ve backed my fair share of KickStarters, but those are typically smaller upstarts. It’s a bit different when the biggest toy company in the world gets in on it. But, that’s exactly what Hasbro did in 2018, when they launched HasLab, where larger scale items that might not otherwise get made could be backed directly by the fans who wanted them. Last summer, they added their very first Marvel project to this initiative in the form of the giant purple mutant-hunting robots, the Sentinels. Shocking very few of my readers, I’m sure, I got in on this gravy train before the end of the campaign last year. We’ve had a bit of a wait, but the Sentinel started arriving in collectors’ hands in the last few weeks, and I’m taking a look at mine today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Sentinel was a the inaugural Marvel Legends HasLab project, launched in July of 2020, and ending August 30th. The initial goal was a rather modest 6,000 backers, but the campaign wound up as an unprecedented success, reaching 365% of its needed backers by its end. It entered production shortly after, and began shipping out in September of this year. The figure stands 26 1/2 inches tall and he has an astoundingly high 72 points of articulation, 40 of which come just from the hands, which have articulation at every one of knuckles. The rest of the movement isn’t quite as involved, but he’s got a solid range of motion considering how big and chunky he is. One point of concern once the figures started arriving and getting reviewed was the tolerancing on the knee joints. There was some concern that they were too loose out of the box, and weren’t offering enough tension to keep the figure standing. In hand, the issue isn’t as bad as it seemed initially, at least when it comes to my figure. While the knees aren’t super tight, and they would likely benefit from the presence of some ratchets (curiously absent, given that the elbows have them), I found it quite easy to get the figure into that sweet spot to keep him standing. He’s stable enough to stay standing on my rather thick carpeted floor for over 2 hours without any other support, so I consider that a win. The Sentinels have had an evolving look over the years, but this one is specifically patterned on the design used for House/Powers of X. It matches with the set of X-Men we just got at the start of the year, and is also a fairly nice update on the classic Sentinel design, which honestly makes for a strong translation to toy form. There’s a lot more design work to put into the larger surface area of the figure, but it’s not enough to overcomplicate him too much. The sculpt is, of course, a wholly unique offering, since there’s not really any prior releases to borrow from. The engineering is rather impressive, with most of the armor plates being actual separate parts assembled over a core body, since it’s something that’s actually possible to do at this scale. It results in the figure having a lot of depth and sharp detailing, which really helps sell the robot nature of the design. In terms of color work the very segmented construction of the Sentinel allows for a lot of the heavy lifting to be done with molded plastic, but that doesn’t stop him from still having quite a lot of actual paint work as well. It’s generally all pretty good, with no real issues of slop or bleed over. There’s quite a bit of smaller detailing that can be easy to miss, as well, with some separate coloring on the wires beneath some of the plating, and even painting on the smaller rivets holding the armor in place. There’s a lot going on beyond just the surface level, just like with the sculpt. The Sentinel also features a light-up effect, which runs on three AAA batteries. Pressing the core on the figure’s torso lights up both the core and the eyes of the figure. There are three different colors which can be activated by pressing the button additional times, and it turns itself off after 30 seconds. It’s rather bright, and works fairly well. The additional colors add some nice variety when it comes to display, although it’s too bad there’s no way to keep the lights on for a longer period.
As massive and impressive as the Sentinel proper is, there are still quite a few extras included with him. The most basic of the accessories is the tendril, classically used for capturing mutants more easily. It’s about 18 inches long, and it’s bendy, so you can wrap it around smaller figures. It’s able to be plugged into the palm of either hand. Initially, we were just getting the one, but given the success of the campaign, Hasbro added a second one with no additional charge, so now he can capture two mutants at the same time. Double the mutant capturing power! There were four stretch goals for the campaign, three of which got us extra parts for the core figure. The first tier gave us an extra head to turn this figure into Master Mold, a frequently used, more advanced Sentinel that can manufacture other Sentinels. Typically, he’s a lot larger than the average Sentinel, which this head sort of meets halfway by being larger than the standard head. It’s not a perfect remedy, but it’s not terrible either, and it’s not like a properly scaled Master Mold was really in the cards. He’d effectively have to be the size of a person. At least this way we have some sort of representation. The second tier was yet another alternate head, this time a battle-damaged variant of the standard, and with an alternate right hand to match. The Sentinels are constantly being torn apart by the mutants they hunt down, so these are pretty awesome extras, and they can even be used as the parts to another fallen Sentinel for the purposes of display. The fourth tier added one last alternate head, this time around the Tri-Sentinel, the merging of three Sentinels created by Loki during the “Acts of Vengence” story line in the ’90s. Like Master Mold, it’s a bit of a compromise, since a proper Tri-Sentinel should have additional limbs as well, but again, it’s better to get some sort of representation here than none at all.
In addition to the parts for the Sentinel proper, there were two more extras in the form of two whole additional standard-sized figures. From the very beginning, the Sentinel was going to be packed with Bastion, the humanoid Master Mold/Nimrod hybrid introduced during “Operation: Zero Tolerance.” Bastion is based on his more recent appearances, matching up more with the Sentinel, I suppose. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Bastion is based on the Spider-UK body, with a new head and torso parts. The new parts mesh well with the old and do a solid job of capturing Bastion’s creepy hybrid appearance. His paint work is generally pretty decent, though I did find a little more slop here than on the main Sentinel. Bastion actually gets an accessory of his own, an alternate head that allows for him to serve as a generic Prime Sentinel, one of Bastion’s rank and file human/sentinel hybrids. Big flex putting an army builder in with a $350 figure, but I guess the bigger figure’s an army builder too, so it makes some sense. It helps that it’s a pretty nice head in its own right.
The other figure included follows in the footsteps of the extra head included with Bastion. If you’re going to have a generic male Prime Sentinel, it’s nice to have a female one as well. The female Prime Sentinel was added as the third tier stretch goal. She’s about 6 1/4 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation. She has a mix of a few different base body parts, as well as an all-new head and upper torso. Since it was the ’90s, the female Prime Sentinels had to have specific details that still allowed for them to show off the feminine traits even more hard core, so she’s got slightly different torso armor, and her hair is exposed at the top of her head. Ultimately, she looks more like a female Bastion, with the white hair and everything. It’s not a bad look, but it’s funny how different they are. Her paint work is a little bit better than Bastion’s, at least on mine, which means there aren’t any real issues to report. The Prime Sentinel got no additional accessories, but honestly, at this point, can you really complain?
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve been in love with the Sentinel design since I got my very first Toy Biz Sentinel back in the day. I very excitedly collected all of the Toy Biz Legends fallen Sentinel bases, and then very excitedly built the actual Toy Biz Legends Build-A-Figure. But I’ve always longed for something more to proper scale. When this figure was shown off, it didn’t take much for me to decide to back him. So, I jumped on board last August, and then I began my patient wait for him to arrive. I knew he was going to be big and impressive, but it’s honestly something that pictures just don’t do justice. Seeing him in person and actually getting to mess with him has been so much fun. And now I’ve got to work out just what the hell I’m gonna actually do with him.
While I obviously got this guy directly through Hasbro, I’d still like to give a shout out to my sponsors at All Time Toys, who allowed me use of the back room photo tent so that I could actually get proper pictures of this guy for the review. That was an absolute godsend. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.