#3252: Beast

BEAST

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Dr. Henry McCoy, the gentle giant of the X-Men, uses his mutant physicality and genius mind for the betterment of humans and mutants alike.”

Back in 2019, Marvel Legends was taking its first real stabs towards completing the core ’90s X-Men line-up for the first time.  We got a Beast back then as part of the Caliban Series, and he and the Jubilee from the same series were legitimately always impossible to find.  There was a grey Beast variant later to alleviate the issue a little, but it definitely wasn’t the same thing.  As we add more to that ’90s line-up, a proper re-release of some sort kind of feels more and more inevitable.  And here it is, being all not evitable.  So, now we’re getting another go at the ’90s Beast.  On the plus side, this one’s aiming to not just get the prior one back out there, but also make it even better in the process.  Does it do it?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Beast is his own Fan Channel-exclusive single-offering for Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  He’s under the Retro Collection banner, with a fun throwback card inspired by the early ’90s Toy Biz stuff.  This is the second time Beast’s been done under this banner, following the Grey Beast from 2020.  This one is, of course, more true to what Toy Biz actually put out back then.  He’s also not at the same price-point as prior versions, being in the mid-tier price between standards and deluxes, first done with Iron Spider.  This allows him to go just a little bit heavier on the accessories, and also keep his size and original core parts, which all feels like a win to me.  This Beast is, of course, very much a Jim Lee ’90s Beast in terms of design, fitting in with a lot of the other focus as of late, and loosely fitting with the VHS packaged figures, though without the specific cel shading set-up.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  For the most part, this figure shares his sculpt with 2019’s Caliban Series Beast, which is exactly what we all expected, and is really just the aim of the figure.  It’s a solid piece of work, and a base that’s only gotten four uses at this point, so it’s not at all a bad choice.  He does get an all-new head sculpt, courtesy of Paul Harding, which gives us a far more calm and collected Hank McCoy than the first sculpt.  I was always kind of iffy on that one’s screaming look, so I definitely appreciate this one; it’s still perhaps a touch serious for my personal preference, but that also distinguishes it more from the Grey Beast head, as well as sticking pretty close to the original Toy Biz figure.  Beast’s color work is similar to the Caliban release, but ever so slightly changed up; the main blue is a ever so slightly lighter in shade, and the accenting is much subtler than before.  I liked the prior one for the time, but this coloring definitely is an improvement.  The biggest change-up for this release is the accessory selection.  He’s been moved to a higher price point, and to justify that, he gets not only the two sets of hands from the original release, but also the original release’s head, a cloth lab coat, Grey Beast’s glasses, and two different beakers with different color liquids in them.  It’s a great selection of extras, and I especially love the “X-Gene” label on the pink beaker.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was overall happy with the first release of this mold back in 2019, but in the years since, I’ve really grown to dislike him being saddled with the one head sculpt that he got.  Add in that he was so hard to find, and didn’t quite fit with more recent releases, and it all comes together as a definite need for some sort of update.  I honestly wasn’t expecting something this involved, honestly, but I really can’t knock it.  This figure takes the 2019 figure and just makes it emphatically better in ever sense.  He’s finally a Legends Beast that I don’t feel is some sort of compromise!

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

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