MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Fiery and hot-headed, the Human Torch can burn through just about any adversity with a smile.”
What a shock! Four days into–wait a second, I feel like I just did this. This is the Retro Collection Human Torch review, right? I mean, the name’s the same, and the bio’s the same…but the figure’s different? I’m sure this won’t get confusing at all. There’s always this sort of dilemma when it comes to Human Torch on how exactly to handle his figures. He’s got the two rather distinct looks, but it’s tricky to justify doing an extra of just one member of the team every time you do them. The last two times Hasbro tackled the FF, they took two different approaches, with a fully flamed-on for the classic suits, and a powered-down for the modern. This latest round gets the fancy treatment, though, with both versions in play for the same line-up. That’s crazy!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Human Torch is a Pulse-Exclusive Retro Collection release, timed to coincide with the FF-themed assortment of Marvel Legends. Like the others, he’s patterned not only on Toy Biz’s ’90s toy line, but also on the Byrne-era design for the character, specifically his non-flamed-on look. This marks the first time since the 10-inch Toy Biz line that this design’s gotten the fully powered-down treatment, and the only time there’s been one that matches with a full set of the other three. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation. As with the flamed-on release, he’s on the ANAD 2099 body, and re-uses the head from the Super Skrull Series Johnny. I’m iffy on the head, less for why I was the first time, when it looked a little malformed. It looks better here, so I think there may have just been some mold issues the first time around. What bugs me on this particular release is that the hair is just plainly wrong for any version of this costume. This fits neither Byrne’s depiction, nor the animation model. The face would have been fine with a new hair piece, I think, but re-using the whole thing comes off as a bit lazy. Otherwise, the parts selection isn’t terrible. The body has become the standard for Johnny, and I don’t mind that too much. The paint work matches pretty closely to both Reed and Sue, so there’s some good consistency there. The head is again a little better this time around than the Super Skrull release had been, so that’s a nice improvement. The flame effect hands even actually paint the gloved parts white, which looks a little nicer than just the straight orange from last time. Human Torch includes a spare set of hands in fists, as well as the swirly flame effects for the arms, and the shoulder flames from the other Torch release, which actually sit a little more securely this time.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed by this figure when he was first shown off. The fact that he was exclusive was annoying enough, because I do really like having a flamed-of Johnny, but I was also really bummed about the re-used head. I still ordered him, though, because these are my favorite FF costumes, and I wasn’t going to miss out on actually having a Johnny that matched. In-hand, I gotta say, I’m pleasantly surprised by this figure. I’d still have preferred a new head, but I can appreciate this one for what it is. And boy, do they all look really good together.