#2244: Grey Hulk

GREY HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS: VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“Accidentally exposed to gamma radiation, scientist Bruce Banner gains super strength, stamina, and invulnerability…at the cost of his genius!  Dubbed “Hulk,” Banner first transforms only at night before realizing that it’s actually his anger that gives him his super abilities.”

Did you know that the Hulk is only green-skinned because of poor quality print techniques?  If you’re at all familiar with common place comics trivia, then you probably did.  Congratulations, you don’t need me anymore.  But I’m not writing reviews for you, so ah-ha, I’m gonna keep writing anyway.  You can’t stop me!  …Where was I?  Grey Hulk.  Right.  So, Hulk was originally grey, but the comics printing techniques of the ’60s being what they were, getting a consistent grey was very hard to attain, and the end result was a main character that shifted colors multiple times throughout his first appearance.  To avoid further issue, he was made green.  Well, at least until printing techniques improved enough to bring Grey Hulk back  in the ’80s.  Yay, second life for Grey Hulk!  And now he’s an easy action figure variant, hence the coverage here today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grey Hulk is a standalone “80 Years of Marvel” Marvel Legends release, originally intended to be con exclusive (the counterpart to the Retro carded Green Hulk from SDCC), but ultimately re-purposed as another Fan Channel exclusive.  This marks our third Legends Grey Hulk, and the first one since the Fin Fang Foom Series in ’08.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  He uses the same body as the other 80 Years of Marvel Hulk, which isn’t really much of a surprise, since Hasbro generally likes to get some mileage out of a new sculpt.  It helps that it’s a really strong body, and I liked it a lot the first time I looked at it.  This one gets an all-new head, though, since Grey Hulk never sported the lengthy ’70s locks of the prior release, and also tended to have a far more pronounced brow than later incarnations.  It doesn’t make for a very pretty looking figure, but I guess that’s appropriate for someone belted by gamma rays.  Ain’t he unglamorous?  Glamorous or not, it’s certainly a sharp sculpt, and well-suited to the body.  He includes the same torn shirt piece as the prior figure, which is the same set-up as before; it’s not super securely held in place or anything, but looks decent, and can be easily taken off if it’s not your speed.  In my review of the last Hulk, I remarked that his paintwork was surprisingly nuanced.  This figure is a step up even from that.  The skin tone still has some subtle variation to it, but he also gets some very impressive work on his pants, which have that proper broken-in denim appearance to them.  Hulk is armed with a crushed pipe, a fact that package proudly proclaims.  It’s admittedly a pretty fun piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When he was still rumored for a con-exclusive release, I didn’t pay this guy much mind, and I certainly wasn’t planning to jump through any hoops to get him.  When he made the shift to Fan Channel, and therefore became far easier to acquire, I was a much easier mark.  I went in with no real expectations, since he was never going to be my primary Hulk, but he’s honestly a pretty fun figure, and does some cool stuff that the prior release didn’t.

I picked up this guy from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2211: Punisher

PUNISHER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Frank Castle takes to the streets and delivers brutal vigilante justice as The Punisher.”

I haven’t reviewed a Punisher figure in over a year, which on one hand seems a little weird, but on the other hand is surprisingly frequent for a character I owned exactly one figure of for the first 20 years of my collecting.  Classically, I wasn’t much of a fan of the character.  It wasn’t until he was introduced in Netflix’s Daredevil show that I truly started to appreciate the character. Since then, I’ve gotten quite a few more Punishers, including today’s offering, another Marvel Legends release.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Punisher is another Fan Channel-exclusive Marvel Legends release.  Interestingly, it’s one of two Frank Castles to be included in the Fan Channel line-up of figures, the other being the Punisher War Machine. This one goes for a more gritty, urban look for the character.  Not being super familiar with the character’s comic exploits, I don’t know if it’s a reference to a specific look, or just a slightly more real-world adaptation of his usual design.  It’s a cool look whatever it is.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  While the previous Fan Channel figure have been pretty straight re-decos, Punisher mixes things up a little bit, not by being a new figure, but rather by being a mix of a number of prior figures.  He uses the torso and legs of the Netfilx Punisher, the arms from Scourge, the heads from the Walgreens Punisher, and the vest from the RoML Ultimate Captain America.  It all adds up to a fairly tactical looking take on Frank, especially depending on which head you opt to go with.  I personally feel that if you ditch the vest and give him the head with the headband, he looks a bit like he’s going for a Solid Snake cosplay, which I have no issues with at all.  The paintwork for this guy is rather involved, with camo on the pants, and a rather distressed skull on the torso.  The two heads also get two very different paint schemes.  The slicked back hair head gets skull-styled face paint to match the torso, which is fun, while the headband head gets some serious bags under his eyes, and some pretty intense scruff, making it look like he’s been going for a while.  Of the two I prefer the headband myself, but I love having two diverse options.  In addition to having the two different heads, Punisher is also packed with an assault rifle, a handgun, and a sniper rifle.  All of them are re-used, but they’re pretty nice, and he actually has an easier time holding his weapons than a lot of prior figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In a similar fashion to yesterday’s Wolverine, I wasn’t really sure I needed to get this figure when he was first shown off.  The other Fan Channel figures are a little more on the exciting side, and this guy also had the misfortune of arriving alongside Havok, who definitely got most of the attention.  That being said, I did still like the concept on this guy, and the exectution’s definitely a lot of fun.  I’ve still got a soft spot for that spandex look, but there’s no denying that this is a cool look for Frank.

I picked up this guy from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2210: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Wolverine is a nearly indestructible mutant with a gruff attitude and the formidable skills to back it up.”

There have been no shortage of Wolverine action figures, even when just looking through the narrow lens of Marvel Legends.  In the last year, there have been six separate Legends Wolverines (with a seventh right around the corner).  That places him second only to Spider-Man for Legends releases, which is really quite a bit.  I’d say there’s a little bit of Wolverine overload going on for a good portion of the fanbase, and I definitely include myself in that grouping.  But hey, it’s okay, this one has a new hat!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine was officially the first of the Fan Channel exclusive Marvel Legends, though exactly what order they actually hit in is a little bit fluid.  He was the first one to be shown off, though.  After a number of different costumed variants throughout the year, this one goes for a civilian Wolverine, rocking the jeans and the wifebeater.  But also that hat.  The hat is very important.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  From the neck down, this figure is the same as the Legendary Riders release from last year (which I never picked up), itself a retooling of the Old Man Logan (which I *did* pick up).  It’s really not a bad body, and this particular release is really crisp on the texturing of the shirt and pants, which looks really good.  My figure does have a slight molding issue on his torso, so there’s a little bit of plastic missing at the collar of his shirt.  It’s fairly minor, and confined just to mine, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.  The body’s not the main focus of this release, though.  No, no, we gotta talk about what really matters: the new hat! Yes, Logan’s sporting a cowboy hat, an item he’s frequently seen sporting in the comics, but has largely been absent from his action figure coverage.  It is admittedly a pretty distinctive look, and the head that it’s permanently affixed to isn’t a half bad unmasked Logan either.  I actually really dig the grin; it’s a nice change of pace from the usual growls, screams, and grimaces we get for the character, and yet this is still very true to Logan, especially the more relaxed civilian take we’ve got going here.  Wolverine’s paintwork is fairly decently handled.  He swaps out the white shirt from the Riders release for black, which I think actually looks pretty cool.  Beyond that, it’s fairly standard stuff.  Wolverine is packed with an extra head (the same as the head from the Madripor Wolverine, but without the weird eye stuff), a set of gripping hands without the claws, and the Muramasa blade.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wolverine overload is a thing that’s been plaguing my Legends collecting since Toy Biz first added him to the line in Series 3, and it was the primary reason I didn’t buy the Riders release last year.  With Madripor and X-Force, I almost waffled on this one too, but I like the civilian look enough that he felt worth it.  Ultimately, I do quite like this figure, and I think he’s the best of the 2019 Wolverines.  Sure, he’s another Wolverine, but at least he’s a decent figure in his own right, and I didn’t have to pay for the motorcycle to get this one.

I picked up this Wolverine from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s currently in stock here.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2209: Agent Anti-Venom

AGENT ANTI-VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“After exposure to the Anti-Venom Serum, Flash Thompson becomes the newest incarnation of the anti-hero.”

Back at the beginning of the Infinite Series relaunch of Legends, when Walgreens was dipping their foot in the waters of being a toy-buying destination, their first trial-run exclusive was Agent Venom, a figure that Hasbro had had rattling around their con displays for a little while.  He proved a successful venture, for Walgreens and Hasbro at least, but perhaps a little bit less so for fans, as he never really hit anywhere in truly huge numbers, and Walgreens was still not quite as numerous at the time as it is now.  This, coupled with the general fan-favorite nature of the character, made him slightly pricey on the after market.  Hasbro, ever in the game of trying to give collectors a fair shot at hard to find Legends took advantage of the re-branding of Flash Thompson under the Anti-Venom name from a few years ago, along with a need for some easy parts re-use figures, and has given us another Agent Venom, albeit of the inverted variety.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Agent Anti-Venom is another Fan Channel single Marvel Legends release, much like the Big Time Spider-Man I looked at a few weeks ago.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is identical to the standard Agent Venom from back in 2014.  From a design standpoint, this makes sense, since the looks are just color swaps of each other in the comics.  However, from a toy standpoint, there are some issues that come with this re-use, namely that the underlying body was outdated when the first Agent Venom came out.  The five years since then have only made that more apparent, as a handful of similarly built and far more up-to-date bodies have come into use.  Of course, that would have required some pretty substantial retooling of the Agent Venom-specific parts, which would have then defeated Hasbro’s whole purpose of releasing figures that don’t need any new parts.  I will say that this release has far less rubbery plastic than the first one, which does make him feel better overall.  Additionally, the new paint apps are a lot cleaner in terms of application than the last time around, making for a much slicker looking figure, and showcasing the great strides Hasbro has made in terms of paint since the Infinite Series days.  Agent Anti-Venom is packed with a pair of glocks and a pair of MP5s, as well as the back piece that can hold his weapons for him.  I still feel like he should have 6 guns instead of 4, but at least I was prepared for it this time.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was fortunate enough to get the original Agent Venom release, but a lot of people weren’t, so I wasn’t surprised when this guy was listed amongst the Fan Channel figures.  While I do wish they’d been able to change out the underlying body, I won’t deny that the changes in production quality on this figure do a lot to make him even better than his predecessor, and he’s still a lot of fun.

This guy was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and it’s currently available from their store, here. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2208: Deadpool & Hit-Monkey

DEADPOOL & HIT-MONKEY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The most bodacious team-up this side of Miami: Deadpool & Hit-Monkey make being an internationally feared assassin look easy.”

There’s no denying that Deadpool has popularity and recognition behind him, which makes him an easy pick when it comes to merchandise.  It also makes him useful leverage for getting retailers to support other items, meaning that for every time that we get the likes of yesterday’s Havok and Polaris, we also get the likes of today’s offering, a Deadpool-centric two-pack, pairing him off with one of Marvel’s many attempts at spinning other goofy characters out of Deadpool, Hit-Monkey.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Deadpool and Hit-Monkey are the other half of the Fan Channel-exclusive assortment of Marvel Legends that contained Havok and Polaris, also bearing the “80 Years of Marvel” branding, and clearly meant to capture a more modern piece of Marvel history, though if it’s a reference to a specific comics occurrence, I will admit I’m not familiar with it.

DEADPOOL

There have been quite a few Deadpools in the last two years of Legends, but this one does manage to actually be a little more distinctive, mostly by being in something other than a variation of his standard costume.  This one embraces the vague Miami: Vice theme of the set by sticking Wade in an all-white suit, which is admittedly a pretty striking look for the character.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Wade makes use of the newly re-worked suit body that we got with Nick Fury, which is a pretty decent upgrade on the prior body, and now scales a little bit better with Bucky Cap-sized heads like Deadpool.  Topping off the body, he’s got a selection of three different heads: fully masked, fully unmasked (both from the Juggernaut Series Deadpool), and half-masked.  They make for a nice variety of options, and it’s good to see Hasbro really taking advantage of that bank of existing parts for stuff like this.  Deadpool’s paintwork is pretty straight forward and clean, and keeps with the striking nature of the design.  The reds are very bright, keeping with the Sasquatch and Sauron assortment coloring, which I’m okay with, even if they don’t quite match the Deadpool Corps release from earlier this year.  The unmasked head actually gets pupils this time, and while I myself prefer the prior deco, I do like getting a change-up here.  Deadpool is packed with a solid selection of accessories, which includes two katanas (same as prior DPs), a pink zebra-patterned handgun, a guitar (re-used from Spider-UK, and in a funky Madcap color scheme), headphones (re-used from Star-Lord), a Captain America shield with Deadpool’s face painted on it, and a re-worked RC Silvermane with Headpool in Silvermane’s place.  There’s no new parts in here, but that doesn’t change how impressive it is to get this many extras.

HIT-MONKEY

Not long after Hit-Monkey’s debut in the comics, he found himself chosen as one of Hasbro’s smaller-scale BaFs from the tail end of the pre-Infinite Series Legends.  As with everything from that period, distribution was spotty, making completing him either woefully easy or near impossible, and crafting quite an odd after market.  Whatever the case, I suppose Hasbro felt they should give fans another chance at the character, so here he is.  The figure stands just shy of 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  His sculpt is the same as it was the first time around, which is reasonable enough.  Hit-Monkey’s really only had that one look.  The sculpt is a little bit more stylized than Legends tend to be these days, but for a character like this, that’s honestly not a bad thing.  Given the alternative being the rather bland and off looking Spider-Ham we got last year, I’m more for this.  The figure changes things up from the last release by swapping the color of his suit from black to white, and the tie from blue to red, all in order to match the Deadpool.  Again, no clue if Hit-Monkey’s ever looked like this, but it works out alright for him.  Hit-Monkey includes the same accessories as the first time around: a pair of pistols and a pair of submachine guns.  Not quite as impressive as Deadpool, but two sets of guns is still pretty good.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wanted Havok and Polaris, and this set just sort of came along with them, I suppose.  I wasn’t exactly expecting much of anything from either of them, and that probably worked out in their favor, because it allowed me to really approach them with fresh eyes, and just enjoy them for what they are.  What they are is pretty fun.  It’s a cool look for Deadpool, a second chance at Hit-Monkey, and a boatload of really fun extras between them.

This set was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2173: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Genius industrialist and inventor Tony Stark creates a suit of armor for himself, powered by the arc reactor in his chest, becoming the hero, Iron Man.”

When I opened up my last 6-inch-scaled Classic Iron Man review of the year, back in February, I remarked that a re-do of Tony’s classic armor hadn’t crossed Hasbro’s list for Marvel Legends just yet.  Well…I was wrong as you can see.  A week later, they unveiled the figure I’m looking at today, which just makes me look good and foolish, doesn’t it?  Well, if looking good and foolish means that I get a cool new Iron Man figure, I guess I won’t complain so much about it.  Best not to look a gift horse in the mouth and all that.  So, hey, let’s look at this here Iron Man, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is the second of the two single-packed “80 Years of Marvel” Legends figures. Like Thor, he’s available at mass retail and ships in a case all to himself.  He’s based on Tony’s classic armor, which is the one he wore for the better part of 20 years, making it a natural choice for a celebration of Marvel’s history.  It’s a look that’s never too far from the line.  Toy Biz, of course, kicked off the line with their take on it, which was kind of the gold standard for a while.  Hasbro themselves have tackled this design before, with a two-pack release in ’07, and then a repaint of that sculpt in ’13.  Both of those sculpts are definitely products of their times, though, and another go seems appropriate.  This figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Iron Man is an all-new sculpt, and oh boy is it a nice one.  This one takes the general larger size of the original Toy Biz figure, and gives it the slightly better proportions of the first Hasbro attempt, and the end result is something that looks a fair bit more human, but also still looks like it could conceivably house a human being.  It’s also our first comics Iron Man in a bit that’s not completely dwarfed by all of the Captain America figures Hasbro’s offering.  While there’s a bit of a theme to the trinity of Avengers released here being based on the art of Alex Ross, Iron Man takes a bit of a deviation, at least in regards to how he is straight out of the box.  The head he comes wearing doesn’t actually follow Ross’s take (which is itself a bit of a deviation from usual illustrations), and instead goes for a more standard “classic” Iron Man head, representing his helmet post horns and rivets, going for that nice, sleek 70s style.  I’d hasten to say it’s the best rendition of this helmet we’ve gotten on an action figure.  There’s a second helmeted head, which is more directly based on Ross’s illustrations, which draw a little more inspiration from the time when Tony added a nose to the helmet in the mid-70s, all because Stan Lee made some one off remark about some of the art coming back.  While I certainly appreciate the aim to more closely capture the Ross art, and I like Ross’s work on the page, I don’t really know that the helmet translates all that well into an action figure.  Iron Man’s paintwork continues the trend we saw with Thor and Cap, where it’s a little more subdued in its coloring than other figures from the main line.  It’s a little less noticeable with Iron Man, since metallic colors aren’t too out of the ordinary for him, even on a classic-inspired figure.  It certainly looks clean and sleek, which is always what you want with this particular design.  Iron Man is packed with one more head, this time unmasked.  It again follows the Ross stylings, which means that it’s a Tony Stark that’s heavily modeled on Timothy Dalton.  Honestly, it’s something of a Legends tradition, so I’m all about it.  It’s technically a little large to properly fit within the helmeted head, but I don’t mind too much, because it’s really just so nice.  Iron Man is also packed with two sets of hands in fists and repulser hand poses, as well as two repulser effects pieces, which take a page out of the Siege playbook and can be broken down into three separate pieces each.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I love me some classic Iron Man, and I really wanted a solid version for my Legends shelf, enough so that I was willing to go outside of Legends for the Mezco version.  As it turns out, that one was more of a place holder for this guy.  I honestly didn’t expect Hasbro to turn him around so quickly, but I’m really glad they did.  I dug the Mezco version for what it was, I dug the Toy Biz version for being as cool as it was for the time, but this is my definitive Iron Man.  There’s just so much I like about this figure, and he’s got to be one of Hasbro’s most cleanly put together sculpts.  I hope we can at least see a Stealth variant, because I love this sculpt so much.  Definitely the highlight of the three 80th singles, and that’s coming from someone who loved Cap and Thor a lot as well.

I picked up Iron Man from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2172: Thor

THOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Back in the early days of Marvel Legends, Thor figures weren’t the most common things to crop up.  He did manage to get two figures over the course of the Toy Biz days, but the early run of Hasbro only added one more, due to him being dead for a while at the time.  Since the return of Legends, his figures have been more of the modern persuasion; our last classic Thor was 12 years ago.  Fortunately, Hasbro’s paying tribute to a lot of classic designs, courtesy of their celebration of Marvel’s 80th anniversary, and Thor got in on some of that classic love.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is one of the two widely released single-packed “80 Years of Marvel” Legends figures, shipped in solid cases of himself.  As noted above, this Thor is the classic version of the character, and is designed to match up with the Walmart-Exclusive Cap from earlier this year, being loosely patterned on Alex Ross’s illustrations of the main trio of Avengers.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Thor is sporting an all-new sculpt, and it’s a sculpt that, more than anything Hasbro has done in this line, feels like it’s specifically designed to replace the Toy Biz Giant Man Series Thor, which was the pinnacle of Toy Biz Thors.  It makes sense, I suppose, since for most collectors, that’s the figure this one’s going to be directly competing with anyway, given just how long it’s been since our last classic Thor.  Whatever the case, this sculpt is very, very nice.  It’s clean, and bold, and captures the appropriate aesthetic of the classic comics design, while still managing to work in some smaller details on the costume to help sell it as an actual cloth costume, and not just something that’s painted on.  In particular, I really like the seam running down the center of his tunic, as well as the wrinkles in his tights on his legs.  Those add some nice realism to the figure.  Unlike every comic Thor since the ROML release, this one doesn’t feel oversized when compared to his compatriots.  He’s still got some bulk on him, but he’s not inhuman in scale.  Thor’s got a sculpted cape, which Hasbro’s gone with a dynamic flow for.  It continues the pleasant trend of Hasbro turning in some really solid capes; it’s got enough pose to it to be fun with action poses, but not enough to look too weird when he’s just standing at attention.  It’s also not too overly heavy, so he can stand alright on his own.  Thor’s paintwork is very similar in styling to the Cap figure, as you might well expect.  Application is clean and crisp, and all of the important details are covered, but it’s worth noting that the colors are ever so slightly subdued when compared to other “classic” figures.  It’s certainly not a bad look, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hasbro had a more classically hued re-release in mind somewhere down the line.  Thor is packed with Mjolnir, which like its user is an all-new, far less ridiculously sized sculpt.  The length of the handle surprised me at first, because I’ve become accustomed to the longer handles we’ve been getting, but this actually works pretty well, and I love how “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” looks on the face of it. In addition to the hammer, Thor also has two different left hands, one in a fist and one in open gesture.  It’s definitely a lighter selection than I’d expected based on the other two he pairs with and his higher price point, but I suppose it’s the sizing that’s supposed to make up for that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As beautiful as he was, I never found the old Walmart Thor, nor was I much of a fan of the version that preceded it.  My Legends Thor was the armored one from the Blob Series, until he was replaced by the Marvel Now variant a few years ago.  I liked that figure a lot, but he wasn’t a classic Thor, and my Avengers have been skewing more and more classic all the time.  This figure finally makes classic Thor readily available again, and I have to say, he’s a very nicely rendered version.  Definitely the nicest Legends Thor out there, possibly just the best Thor figure you can get.  I do wish he wasn’t so light on accessories, but that’s the only thing I can hold against him.

I picked up Thor from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2165: Hulk vs. Wolverine

HULK VS. WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

First debuting on the final page of The Incredible Hulk 180, and then making his proper first appearance in the following issue, Wolverine was designed from the very beginning with the intent of spinning him out of the Hulk’s series, though the decision to join him up with the X-Men would come a bit later.  Though Wolverine and the Hulk have largely become separate entities entirely, they still do have the occasional run-in as a throw-back, and their first battle has definitely become one of Marvel’s most memorable moments.  Fitting then that Hasbro would commemorate the meeting in their “80 years of Marvel” sub-line of Marvel Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk and Wolverine are one of the two comic-based “80 Years” two-packs, each of which pairs off one smaller figure with one Build-A-Figure sized figure.  The two figures here are more or less patterned on their appearnces in Hulk #181, albeit filtered through the line’s already established style.  Interestingly, while this is hardly our first time getting a first appearance Wolverine, this *is* the first time he’s been packed with a Hulk.  Kinda crazy.

HULK

“Powered by gamma radiation, the incredible, rage-filled Hulk smashes his way through any challenge and clobbers any enemy.”

While we’ve had a decent number of Legends Hulks in recent years, but they’ve mostly been movie-based.  Overlooking 2015’s Indestructible Hulk (which was a repainted movie figure), our last proper comics Hulk was the Ed McGuinness Hulk from the fan’s choice packs in 2010.  It’s about time for some updating.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  This Hulk uses a newly-implemented body, which has already technically seen use on two exclusive Hulks, but was designed for this figure.  Given the various larger bodies we’ve gotten for some recent Build-a-Figures, I was expecting to see some sort of reuse, but I’m not unhappy to get the new body, especially since it gives Hulk butterfly shoulders, something you don’t usually see on larger figures, and definitely a huge plus when it comes to posing.  The general design of this figure’s sculpt is very reminiscent of Hulk’s ’70s design aesthetic, rather than more recent roided out takes on the character.  The figure includes a torn up shirt as an add-on; while he didn’t sport this while fighting Wolverine, it was a common place item for him to be wearing.  It’s held in place only by gravity and perhaps the back of his head, depending on how you have him posed, meaning that it’s also very easily removed if it’s not your speed.  The paint on Hulk is fairly nuanced in its application, with the skin in particular showing some really solid work on the accenting.  There’s a slightly lighter green hue which shows itself throughout all of the exposed skin.  Hulk is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, one in open gesture.

WOLVERINE

“A super-powered agent of the Canadian government, the Wolverine is a skilled fighter with razor sharp claws and a fierce temper.”

In his first appearance, Wolverine was sporting a wildly different mask than the one he would have for the rest of his career.  He was meant to keep it, but Gil Kane accidentally changed it for the cover of Giant-Size X-Men #1, and interior artist Dave Cockrum decided he liked it enough to keep as the character’s permanent look, thereby making this particular design more of a novelty then anything.  It’s gotten one Legends release before, courtesy of Toy Biz’s Face Off sub-line, but it was due for an update.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. This Wolverine is built on the same upgraded body as he last few, with a new head and shoulderpads to more properly capture the earlier design.  They’re sufficiently different enough from the normal pieces to make him stand out as his own variant, which is always a good thing.  For his color scheme, Wolverine very closely matches the brighter colors of his initial appearance, again giving him a nice standout appearance from other Wolverine figures, especially the tiger-stripe Wolverine.  The figure is packed with hands with and without his claws, which weren’t 100% retractable at the time of his first appearance, but are still a nice extra to have.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With all the announcements for the 80 Years sub-line floating about, this one got a little buried for me.  I knew it was coming, but I never really had the chance to focus in on it.  Its arrival was also jammed in alongside several other Legends releases, but I was happy enough to get it.  The Hulk is the definite star here, and will serve as the definitive version of the character for most collectors, myself included.  They really brought their A-game for him.  Wolverine’s more of a place holder to justify the larger set, but I can’t complain about getting him, nor can I say he’s not a good figure.  He’s formula, but it’s a good formula.

I grabbed this pair from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2140: Captain America & Peggy Carter

CAPTAIN AMERICA & PEGGY CARTER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

When it comes to the MCU, I’m a very big Captain America fan.  His solo outings are all highly ranked among my favorites, with The First Avenger and Winter Soldier being two of my very favorite amongst the line.  I have a particular soft spot for TFA, which helped to remind me just how much I liked the character, and is my go-to MCU film for re-watching.  The fact that the Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line only gave us Red Skull left me really feeling the lack not just of one of Cap’s coolest looks, but also of one of the MCU’s most important characters.  Fortunately, the 80 Years of Marvel line is swooping in and offering up both of those very things, in one convenient package.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cap and Peggy are one of the two exclusive 80 Years of Marvel two-packs (the other being Iron Man and Iron Spider from Infinity War), and they are available via Amazon.  While I’m still iffy on how many of these things are being handed off as exclusives, at least this one is relatively easy to acquire.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Driven to help out his country during World War II, Steve Rogers enlists in the military as part of Project Rebirth. After he impresses the scientist in charge of the project, Steve is injected with Super Soldier Serum, increasing his strength and physique. He becomes the patriotic hero Captain America, fighting for freedom throughout the world.”

Before he became a full-fledged costumed hero, but after he’d given up being a patriotic monkey, Steve throws togething this distinctive number to go and rescue the POWs from the Hydra camp, in perhaps my favorite sequence of the movie.  Hasbro wasn’t doing dedicated Legends for the movies when The First Avenger hit, so obviously there was no chance for a Rescue Cap there, but even worse, they didn’t even include one in their smaller-scale line.  To get this look previously, you either had to settle for the Minimate or shell out the big bucks for the Hot Toys version.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Cap is sporting an all-new sculpt, though it’s one that’s already been earmarked for re-use for the upcoming Legendary Riders WWII Cap figure.  It’s clearly been designed for accuracy to this particular look first and foremost, however.  After a number of MCU Cap figures that were a little bit scrawny, this one does a respectable job of looking the part.  The neck is a touch longer than I’d like, and some of the details on the uniform are softer than other recent offerings, but by and large, it’s a solid sculpt, and does the design justice.  Cap includes two different heads, which are slightly difficult to differentiate at first glance.  The one he comes wearing is a more straight-forward un-helmeted head, which has Evans with his pre-Winter Soldier hair.  It’s a decent likeness, though again softer than some recent sculpts.  As an added bonus, it’s the first Evans head to be compatible with the Quantum Suit body, which I was certainly happy about.  The second head has a far more compact hairstyle, meant to fit under the included helmet.  While they could have probably gotten away with just including a separate head with the helmet permanently attached, this way he can carry the empty helmet when using the non-helmet haired head.  I can certainly appreciate that.  Cap’s paintwork is all pretty standard.  The basics are all covered, and he’s using the face printing technique, which works pretty well here.  He’s packed with his original shield, a pistol, and a knife.  Both the pistol and the knife can be stashed on the figure, while the shield pretty much always goes on the arm.  Also included is the unpainted version of his standard shield.  It’s just a repaint of the Studios shield mold, meaning it has the star at the center, which isn’t technically accurate, but it’s close enough for such a relatively minor extra, and I’m honestly just happy to see it turn up at all.

PEGGY CARTER

A British agent with the Strategic Scientific Reserve, Peggy Carter is a capable soldier and strategist. She is part of Project Rebirth, which developed the Super Soldier Serum that was injected into Steve Rogers. When Project Rebirth ends, Peggy continues to assist Steve as he becomes the world’s first superhero, Captain America.”

The lack of a proper Peggy Carter figure has been one of the most glaring problems for just about every MCU-based line (barring Minimates, which was previously the only way to get Peggy).  Heck, we got a figure of the MCU version of *Sharon* Carter before Peggy.  Do you know how crazy that is?  It’s mega crazy, let me tell you.  It’s about time she finally got her due, with a figure based on her primary appearance from The First Avenger.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation.  While she has the expected issues of restricted hip articulation thanks to the skirt, beyond that she’s actually surprisingly well articulated.  The waist joint in particular has some really solid range, effectively negating the lack of any mid-torso joint.  Definitely a good example of tailoring the articulation to the design.  Peggy’s sporting an all-new sculpt, and one I don’t imagine we’ll be seeing again soon (unless Hasbro feels like giving us a TV show Peggy, which I certainly wouldn’t mind).  It’s another strong offering, working the articulation in well, while still getting down a pretty realistic set of proportions and properly adapting the details of the uniform.  While the head’s not a spot-on Hayley Atwell likeness, it’s strong enough to sell who this is meant to be, and it’s about on par with the Evans likeness on Cap.  Peggy’s paintwork is decent for the most part.  The face paint is a bit messy on mine, and there was some excess glue from the hair, but boy do I love that the got the seams on the backs of her legs.  That’s a really cool touch!  Peggy includes a Thompson machine gun, or at least I’m saying that she does.  It’s packed next to Cap in the packaging, but Peggy clearly is meant to hold something, and does use a Thompson in the film, so I’m counting it as hers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I love The First Avenger.  I love Rescue Cap.  I love Peggy.  There was no way I wasn’t buying this set as soon as I got the chance.  That made it slightly distressing when we went so long without any release information on this set.  It was one of the first 80 Years offerings shown off, but ended up as one of the last to be placed.  It kind of worked out in my favor, though, since the announcement that it would be at Amazon came alongside it being in-stock at Amazon, meaning I had it two days after it was officially solicited.  That was very nice.  This set isn’t without flaws.  Cap’s sculpt is a little softer than I’d like, and Peggy’s face paint is iffy, but honestly I’m just beyond thrilled to finally have both of them in my collection.

#2139: Luis & Ghost

X-CON LUIS & GHOST

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

After the monumental undertaking and twists and turns and misfortune of getting the first Ant-Man film to the screen, its sequel Ant-Man & The Wasp had a comparatively much easier time.  Perhaps because of that, the film seems to have faded into the background a little quicker than its predecessor.  Of course, there’s also a good chance that it was due to it being right in the middle of a run of six films in two years, and the fact that it was honestly the least overarching-MCU-plot relevant of those six.  I will admit that while I enjoyed it in theaters, I honestly haven’t given it a whole lot of thought since then.  So, I guess it’s Marvel Legends‘ job to come along and remind me, with today’s pairing of Luis and Ghost!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Luis and Ghost make up the final movie-based pairing from the basic two-pack assortment of the 80 Years of Marvel sub-line of Marvel Legends.  As noted above, they are based on Ant-Man & The Wasp, and round out the versions of the title characters released alongside the movie last year.

GHOST

“Ava Starr gained the ability to become intangible after a quantum accident.  She began working for SHIELD at a young age, under the codename Ghost.  Years later, she realizes she is slowly dying and makes plans to harness the energy of the Quantum Realm, putting her into direct conflict with Hank Pym, Hope Van Dyne, and Scott Lang.”

In the comics, Ghost is a mysterious enigma wrapped in a question, and is more or less agreed to be male.  For the film, Ghost was made definitively female and given an actual backstory, which works far better for an antagonist you’re hinging the movie on.  It also made her a far more interesting character than the first film’s primary antagonist, which was certainly a plus.  She was really the main thing I was sad to miss when the initial product for the film hit, so she was a very strong choice for this pairing.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Ghost is an all-new sculpt, based on her design from the movie.  Though her backstory may have changed, the movie’s costume design for Ghost is actually not a bad adaptation, merging the two main designs from the comics into one fairly pleasing design.  The figure translates that design pretty well, with reasonable proportions and some really solid texture work.  She’s not quite as posable as I might like, but she’s certainly not bad.  Ghost’s paintwork is fairly monochromatic, but it works for the character, and it’s overall fairly well-rendered.  The figure also includes a spare unmasked head and a pulled-down hood, for the look she sports for most of the film’s back-half.

X-CON LUIS

“The best friend of Scott Lang, also known as Ant-Man, Luis is a fast-talking, wise-cracking former thief.  After he, Scott, and two of their other friends are hired to help Hank Pym steal his own technology, the group bands together to form their own company, X-Con Security Consultants.”

Created for the first film, Luis’s inclusion was met with near unanimous praise, and led to introduction in the comics just a few months later.  Unsurprisingly, he was given an even larger role for the sequel, which has him participating in Scott’s security consultancy firm that the film had adapted from the comics.  Given how popular the character is, it’s not a huge shock that he found a spot here, even if he’s not super toyetic.  The figure stands a little over 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Luis is built on the Coulson body, with a new head, right hand, feet, and jacket.  The head’s a decent likeness of Michael Peña; it’s not spot-on, but it definitely captures the spirit of the character.  The new jacket is interesting, because it’s actually the first closed up suit jacket we’ve gotten, and despite being new to the figure, his X-Con tag isn’t scultped in place.  The new feet give Luis a pair of slightly less formal shoes, which I guess is a nice touch, though it’s definitely something I wouldn’t have missed if they’d skipped it.  The new parts are all well and good, but end up suffering a bit due to the Coulson body, which is too skinny and a bit too tall for Luis, which makes the head in particular stand out, since it was clearly meant for a more properly proportioned body.  Luis’ paintwork is fairly decent, but I think the face print doesn’t quite work as well for him as it does for others.  Luis is packed with some fun accessories, even if they aren’t necessarily just for him.  He’s got the shrunken down Pym building (complete with handle and wheels), and the ant that Hope and Hank swap for Scott.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kind of like the film it’s based on, this set definitely took a bit of a back seat to the rest of the 80 Years offerings.  I was certainly excited to see Ghost get a figure, and the idea of getting Luis certainly has a degree of novelty to it.  That being said, the execution of Luis doesn’t really work out as well as you might hope.  He’s not bad, but he’s certainly one of the weaker Legends of late.  Ghost is a pretty solid figure in her own right, but it’s tough to say if it’s really worth buying the set just for her.  If you like the film and you like the characters, this isn’t a bad set, but I don’t see it grabbing a lot of casual fans.

Luis and Ghost came from my sponsors at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.