BLACK PANTHER — WAKANDA FOREVER
MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
The success of the first Black Panther film understandably fast-tracked the turnaround on a sequel, but with both Infinity War and Endgame locked-in on the schedule, there was a slight wait before we could get right to it. Things were further delayed by the pandemic in 2020, right when the movie was set to begin production. Plans were further thrown into chaos later that same year with the passing of Chadwick Boseman, leaving the film without its star. The film was hastily reworked to remove Chadwick’s role, with the rest of his ensemble cast taking up as much of the reins as possible. Who would be taking over the titular mantle was a heavily discussed topic, and the actual identity of this new Panther was kept secret before the film’s release. In the end, the person to inherit the role was T’Challa’s sister Shuri, who is truly the most natural choice for the part, especially given her history of taking over the part in the comics. In order to preserve the film’s secret, merchandise of Shuri in her Panther suit was held off until after the movie’s release. This included the Marvel Legends figure, which is just making its way out now.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Black Panther is a single-release Marvel Legends figure, meant to tie-in with the rest of the Wakanda Forever assortment, while also standing on her own. She’s sold in a box that matches the others, but is billed only as “Black Panther” and also gets no bio, suggesting they were working extra hard to keep this one a secret, even once the figure got out there. The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation. The articulation scheme is up to the more modernized standards for the line; she’s got double joints for the elbows and knees, which are using the pinless construction. She also gets a decent ball-joint for the neck. The range isn’t quite there on some of the joints, mostly around the middle of the figure, and the elbows have a tendency to stick a little bit on one end or the other. Panther’s sculpt is an all-new one. It does a respectable job of capturing her costume design as seen in the film…I mean, at least as far as I can tell from the limited screen shots are available for the look; some times that super secrecy really works against them, huh? It’s a visually interesting design, with a lot of sharp detailing, and plenty of texturing. The build seems a decent match for Letitia Wright, though she’s notably taller than the prior Shuri figure, which doesn’t quite track with her actual height. Technically, she should be a fair bit shorter than both figures. Maybe the heart shaped herb just makes her taller? I’m willing to buy that, I guess. The paint work on this figure is pretty on the mark; the gold accents go where they’re supposed to, and they look pretty sharp. Shuri is pretty light on the accessories front, with only two sets of hands, in fists and open claw. They’re cool and all, but her not getting an unmasked head, or even any of her blaster attachments for the wrists. Presumably, the secrecy of the design and more than likely far quicker turnaround time resulted in less extras. It’s a shame, but at least she got the bare minimum? Also, an all-new sculpt, so there’s that.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The main assortment of Wakanda Forever figures was a lot of rehash, so I didn’t pick up much of that set. The absence of Shuri from that line-up didn’t really help matters, as it was honestly one of the few designs I really felt the desire to own. The separate release was appreciated, and not really a surprise, I suppose. Even so, I was a bit on the fence with this figure, just because my collecting habits are shifting a bit. Max was having none of this, however, and decided to put an end to my hemming and hawing over this figure by just going ahead and paying for one for me in advance. How dare he? How absolutely dare? Aside from a lack of accessories, she’s a rather nice figure, and one I’m certainly glad to have in my collection.
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.