#2655: Batman Earth -32

BATMAN EARTH -32

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

In DC’s Dark Multiverse, on Earth -32, the green light of will has twisted an angry Bruce Wayne into something very dark and sinister. After the murder of his parents in Crime Alley, young Bruce is gifted with a Green Lantern ring, which allows him to fly and to generate deadly hard-light energy constructs. With no Alfred Pennyworth to guide him, he soon swallows his fear and pain and lets the void that remains corrupt him and the ring, unleashing a wave of darkness across his world, and now ours, as The Dawnbreaker.”

There’s no denying that McFarlane’s DC output for the last year has been rather Batman-centric.  So Batman centric that the storyline they’ve been most faithfully focusing on has been “Dark Knights: Metal”, a story that focusses in on “what if all of the non-Batman characters were also Batman?”  One of the Batman-ed characters is Green Lantern, and, to be honest, the Green Lantern/Batman mash-up isn’t actually a new concept.  It’s something DC’s been flirting with for a while in differing capacities, and this is just the most recent version, I guess.  It could be worse, really.  Anyway, it got a toy, and Green Lantern and action figure are two things that are rather up my alley, so here I am.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman of Earth -32 is part of the first proper “Dark Knights: Metal”-themed assortment of DC Multiverse figures.  Where it falls in the actually numbering scheme is something that’s lost on me, but I do know it hit right at the end of 2020, for what it’s worth.  This and The Grim Knight are the lighter packed figures in the line-up, at just one of each per case.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 39 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is similar to the Superman and Nightwing figures.  It’s definitely more restricted on the neck, torso, and hips.  The neck’s due to the costume design, which is understandable, but the torso and hips is just down to poor implementation.  For the most part, though, it’s a decent layout.  The sculpt is an all-new piece, based on  Jason Fabok’s art from the cover of Batman The Dawnbreaker #1, which is certainly the most distinctive piece of art for the character.  It also has the unintended bonus of making him fit in pretty well with the DC Essentials figures from DC Collectibles, since those are based on Fabok’s artwork too.  Of course, it being a McFarlane product, there’s a certain level of McFarlane-izing going on.  In this figure’s case it means he’s a little bit lankier than the illustration, and falls into the same territory as a lot of McFarlane’s DC figures of adding a lot of piping and other smaller costume details that aren’t present in the source material.  It makes him a little busier than the comics design.  It’s not as bad here as on more simplified designs like Superman and Nightwing, but I still do wonder why they feel the need to keep busying everything up.  Also, for some reason, the GL-logo is different from every piece of artwork I was able to find of the character.  It’s missing the circle around the actual lantern.  I don’t dislike it, but it’s another case of change for the sake of change.  One area that they got down pretty spot-on is the head sculpt.  It’s got the lopsided sneer that the character frequently sports, which is a rather distinctive appearance.  Dawnbreaker’s paint work is fairly decent.  It’s an interesting mix of differing greens.  There are some nice differences in sheen, and I definitely dig the metallic greens.  Dawnbreaker includes a construct shaped like some eldritch abomination bat/octopus thing, a flight stand, and a collector’s card.  The construct’s a lot of fun, but I do wish it were a little more secure on the figure’s arm.  Still, it’s a cool visual, as is using the flight stand to allow him to hover off the ground.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My initial experience with McFarlane’s DC figures wasn’t super impressive or confidence inspiring, so I haven’t really been following them since.  However, I knew I’d have a hard time saying no to this figure when it was shown off, and sure enough, when I saw it in person, I was game.  It’s a design that feels really up McFarlane’s alley, and they did a pretty decent job of capturing it in toy form.  There are some definite flaws, but in general, this figure works out better than previous offeringsm and I’m much happier this time.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2654: Venompool

VENOMPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Alright, I guess I might as well get to reviewing the thing I’ve been literally building up to.  Yes, it’s the veritable merchandising gold mine that is “Venompool.”  A pretty straight forward mash up of Venom and Deadpool, Venompool’s not exactly an original concept, since we’ve been seeing variants on the basic idea since 2010.  Heck, we’ve even gotten another take on the concept in Marvel Legends previously, when they did the “Back in Black” design.  But, the particular version that’s been getting all the love in the last couple of years is not any of the plethora of comics-based designs, but rather the version that appeared in Marvel’s Contest of Champions mobile game, which is this hulking brute that I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Venompool is the eponymous Build-A-Figure for the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends, built from parts included with 5 of the 6 figures included.  As noted above, he comes from Contest of Champions, and is the first Legends figure to explicitly based on a design from that game.  He’s also the third figure based on this particular design, following the Pop and the Hot Toys.  Like with Miles last week, I’m not super big on this design as a whole.  It feels less symbiote-y and more like a monstrous version of Deadpool.  And boy is he monstrous.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  In terms of mobility, he’s pretty restricted, given his rather bulky build.  He can get some okay poses, of course, and covers pretty much everything you’d expect from a character of this size.  He’s also not too hard to keep standing. He’s an all-new sculpt, which gives me a frightening sort of feeling like Hasbro’s going to try and get some sort of a variant release out of him, just to double down on the mold.  It’s an accurate recreation of the game’s design, and there’s certainly a lot of detail going on there.  They’ve somewhat followed in the steps of the movie design and given him a lot of texturing on his costume, which does at least keep things somewhat visually interesting.  It was a touch disappointing that the chain links on his wrist and ankle bands were solid to the bands, and not separate, but I guess the line had to be drawn somewhere.  The paint work on this guy is pretty good.  It gets all the important details down, and application is all pretty clean.  Venompool is notably well accessorized for a Build-A-Figure, getting two sets of hands (open and gripping), two swords, and a removable pair of sheaths for his back.  The sheaths are a little tricky to get in place, and not the most secure.  I’m not sure why they didn’t just do a peg to connect them, but maybe there’s a very important reason that I’m missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t big on the Venomized stuff, and I’ve been suffering from some serious Deadpool fatigue the last few months.  So, this guy, not really for me.  Still, I decided I may as well build him, just to see what all the fuss was about.  He’s a decently put together figure, but there’s just nothing that really grabs me.  The design is so-so, and I have no real spot for him in my collection.  Ultimately, this really isn’t one I see myself hanging onto.

This assortment is one that I was iffy on from the beginning.  Only Phage really jumped out at me from the start.  But, I went into it with an open mind, because the last Venom assortment wound up impressing me a lot more than I’d expected it to.  This one just really didn’t change my mind.  I like Phage, and Carnage is cool.  Even Ghost-Spider is at least a neat visual.  The rest of the assortment left me cold, and even the presentation didn’t really sell it.  It’s notably a small set, and ultimately feels more cobbled together from left-overs than other recent assortments.  Without so much connective tissue, the assortment relies more heavily on the individual figures, and they’re all fine from a technical stand point, but are largely “meh” from a design standpoint.  I’m probably the outlier on this one, though.

#2653: Venom

VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Failed reporter Eddie Brock is hijacked by an alien entity that takes a liking to Earth and decides to protect it.”

There’s been a Venom solo film in the works since at least as far back as Spider-Man 3, back when it would have been starring Topher Grace, and then again during the Amazing Spider-Man era, but it finally came to fruition in 2018.  It was far from high art, and wasn’t much of a critical success, but it was enough of financial success to justify a sequel, which should be released this year.  The film was in a dubious spot in terms of merchandising in 2018, but at this point things are a little more comfortable between Marvel and Sony, and we’re finally getting a proper movie version of the character now.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Venom is technically part of the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends, in that he ships in the same case.  However, he has no number, doesn’t list “Venompool Series” at the top of his box, and shows none of the other figures in the set on the back.  Furthermore, none of the other figures in the set show him either.  One has to wonder if he was originally intended for some sort of solo release, ala the Fan Channel figures, and wound up slotted into an assortment at the last minute.  The figure stands 7 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme on this figure is a heavy re-work for a Marvel figure, following the lead of other lines like Lightning Collection.  It’s a pretty good set-up, and works particularly well for a larger character like Venom.  His sculpt is an all-new offering, and not a bad one at that.  It gets the general proportions of the character down pretty nicely, making him tall and pretty bulked up, without quite going to the absurd cartoonish levels of some of the larger Venom figures out there.  There’s also quite a bit of detail work going into the figure; rather than just being smooth, he’s got texturing all throughout the body, helping him to look rather slimy and gross, which certainly feels appropriate.  It also sets him apart from the more comic-based figures in this assortment from a stylistic stand point.  He gets two different heads, one with tongue and one without.  He comes wearing the one with the tongue, and that one’s the stronger of the two.  Both of them are fairly accurate to the film design, which is the main aim.  My biggest issue is that it’s really hard, on my figure at least, to swap the heads; it required heating the joint, and even then it was a real chore.  The paint work on him is generally pretty basic, since the vast majority of it’s just molded black plastic.  He does get the painted elements on the heads, of course, as well as some white detailing on the shoulders and forearms, but as the movie Venom lacks the usual symbol, he’s otherwise unembellished.  In addition to the extra head, Venom also includes two sets of hands, one open, and one in fists.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t interested in Venom at all when it was released in theaters, so I skipped the theatrical run, and only caught it at home much later.  It didn’t really do much for me, and I wasn’t really missing getting toys.  When this guy was shown off, I was about as interested in him as I was the movie that spawned him.  In hand, I’ll admit he’s a lot better than I was expecting.  I’m not much for the film design overall, but I’ll certainly join in with all the other people that want to see this retooled into something more comic-inspired.  I’d definitely be down for that.

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

#2652: Batman

BATMAN

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

The initial assortment of DC C3 Construction hit in the summer of 2004, and they were really focused on actually selling it as a line of construction sets that also included some Minimates.  In their second year in 2005, they tried that again, albeit with a smaller assortment this time.  Following that assortment, they kind of gave up even trying to pretend about what they were doing, and transitioned the line to a much more compact, lower price point selection of “Mini Flyers”, small vehicles that were a very thin excuse to put out the Minimates effectively on their own, only, you know, not.  Even through this end, they stuck to their heavy focus on Batman characters, including variants of the main man himself.  I’m looking at one of those variants today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman was released in April 2005 in the very originally named “Batman Mini Flyer” set, one of the six Mini Flyer sets that made up the final assortment of the DC C3 Construction line.  By this point, they were only packing a single Minimate with each set, so as to keep the price down, so Batman was all by his lonesome.  He was a comic-based figure, specifically drawn from his ’70s era appearances, as denoted by his predominately blue color scheme.  He’s built on the standard ‘mate body with C3 feet.  Still no standard peg holes for the heads, so he’s got a solid noggin piece.  He’s got add-ons for his mask, cape, belt, and gloves.  The mask, cape, and belt are the same ones used on the Dark Knight Batman included with the larger Batmobile set, but the gloves are new pieces for…reasons?  There were four standard Batmen in the C3 line, and every one of them used a different set of glove pieces, and I couldn’t for the life of me begin to tell you why.  These ones do at least put the arm spikes on the back of the gloves, where they’re supposed to be but tend not to be.  So, that makes them cool, I guess.  Also, these parts are not rubbery like last week’s Robin, so that’s another marked improvement.  Batman’s paint was generally pretty basic, and definitely not as involved as Robin.  Given the classic inspiration, that’s somewhat sensible, but not doing the shading on the front of the mask does feel like a missed opportunity.  I do like the slightly different expression on the face under the mask, though; it’s a nice change-up from the usual neutral expressions.  This Batman didn’t get any accessories, but there was the Mini Flyer, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Mini Flyer’s are really where this line lost me, so I missed out on picking all of them but one when they were at retail.  Batman wasn’t that one, but he was a figure I was always interested to have.  Thankfully for me, he came in with the larger Minimate collection that showed up at All Time last year, and here we are.  Ultimately, I think DCD’s later classic Batman was slightly better, but this one’s still got his own charm to him.

#2650: Ghost Spider – Maximum Venom

GHOST-SPIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When the Venom symbiote attaches to Gwen Stacy, she gains extreme new powers as Ghost-Spider.”

Remember everything I mentioned about Miles yesterday?  Yep, that pretty much all applies to today’s figure, except that now it’s about Ghost-Spider, aka Gwen Stacy going by her latest supranym.  Can we also, for a moment, bring up that Miles just gets his name on the box, but Gwen gets an up-to-the-minute super hero identity?  That seems unfair to at least one of them.  Not sure which, if I’m entirely honest, but it’s one of them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ghost-Spider is figure 5 in the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends, and is the final figure in the set to contribute to the Build-A-Figure.  Like Miles, it’s our third Spider-Gwen, but the first not to be standard issue.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  As with Miles, Gwen uses the same body as prior version of the character, but with a few new parts to properly Venomize her.  In her case, it’s a new head, upper torso, forearms, hands, and feet, as well as a new jacket overlay piece.  While Miles’ new parts were all very texture heavy and didn’t really mesh well with the old parts, Gwen’s are actually a bit more sleek and clean, meaning they line-up a bit better.  Aside from the tongue being a bit clumsy and hard to pose around, it’s actually a pretty cool looking design.  It’s more cohesive, and less of a direct take-off from the standard Spider-Gwen design, making it feel a lot more in line with the classic symbiote Spider-Man design, while still respecting the more character-specific elements of Gwen’s appearance.  Even the tongue’s not a terrible idea, just one that’s a little harder to do in toy form.  If it was posable in some fashion, I feel like it would be a bit better, but there are of course drawbacks to that approach as well.  The paint work on Gwen is also a bit more intriguing than on Miles.  It’s certainly got a better visual contrast to it, making it pop a bit more.  Application is pretty clean for the most part, although there’s a bit of slop around the edges of the hood.  Nothing terrible, but it could be cleaner.  Gwen is without accessories of her own, which is again a shame.  Certainly there was some extra they could have thrown in here?  She does at least get the torso and swords for Venompool, which is by far the largest section of the Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted yesterday, I’m not big on the Venomized figures.  That being said, Gwen’s design is a little more appealing to me, so I was slightly more interested.  In hand, I do quite like the figure. The tongue’s still weird, but the design translates well, and generally feels less lazy than Miles.  I’m glad I got this figure, and I’ll make space for her with my other Symbiotes.

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

#2649: Miles Morales – Maximum Venom

MILES MORALES — MAXIMUM VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When the Venom symbiote attaches to Miles Morales, he gains extreme new powers.”

Season 3 of Marvel’s latest Spider-Man cartoon was dedicated to an overarching theme: “Maximum Vemom.”  Essentially, the symbiotes got proper Oprah treatment and were just handed out to everyone in the studio audience super hero community.  While Peter Parker is classically the Spider-Man with symbiote experience, this time around Miles got in on the action, getting his own Venomized appearance in the process.  Marvel Legends doesn’t tend to cover the cartoons, but they’ve made a little bit of an exception here, with a few Venomized figures to help fill out this Venom assortment, and Miles is included among them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Miles Morales is figure 4 in the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends.  He marks our third variant of Miles under the modern banner, though this one’s certainly less all-purpose than the last two.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Miles is largely built out of the same parts as the prior, more standard Miles, using the smaller male base body.  He does get a new head, arms, hands, and feet to grant him that more venomous appearance.  They add a fair bit more detail and texturing, which is cool on its own, but does make him feel generally less cohesive when compared to the pre-existing parts.  Honestly, the way the jaw ends up looking more beak-like and the feet end up looking a touch on the large side, the whole figure kind of screams “chicken” to my eyes, but maybe that’s just me.  Whatever the case, he’s not a very imposing looking figure by my count, nor do I feel he really does all that great a job of translating Miles into a more symbiote-inspired appearance.  He winds up looking like someone got Miles’ regular design a bit wet.  He’s just…droopy.  At the very least, the core body’s a good one, so he’s at least a solid figure from a just playing around with him sense.  In terms of paint work, he follows the general Miles color scheme, albeit with some more metallic finish on the black sections. It’s not terrible, but the whole thing does sort of contribute to the overall runny feeling of the design.  Miles includes no accessories of his own, which is a real shame.  He does include the left arm and alternate hand to the Venompool Build-A-Figure, however.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The venomized designs aren’t really my thing, so I had no interest to speak of in this figure.  In hand, I still don’t have much interest in it.  The base body is good, so he’s at least some fun to mess with, but otherwise he really does nothing for me, other than give me an opportunity to reflect on how good the standard Miles figure still is.  I guess that’s not the worst thing, but it doesn’t speak well to a figure if the best thing it does is remind you of how much you like a figure you already owned previously.

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

#2648: Phage

PHAGE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The Phage symbiote gives its host the ability to forge incredibly dangerous bladed weapons to attack its victims.”

Hey, do you guys remember Lasher?  Or perhaps Scream?  Because that saves me a lot of trouble and explaining if so.  Or, you could just follow the links I dropped in there.  That would also save me some explaining.  Look, the long and short of it is that Lasher and Scream, the spin-offs of a spin-off of a spin-off, were actually from a whole group of spin-offs, created in the comics by the Life Foundation.  It was five symbiote crew, and we’ve just gotten another member of said crew, my boy Phage here, who I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Phage is figure 3 in the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends.  He’s the third Life Foundation Symbiote, and definitely the most obscure of the characters included in this line-up.  Phage has had one prior figure, back in the Toy Biz days, but that one was…well, let’s be diplomatic and say it wasn’t very comic book faithful.  This one, on the other hand, aims for a slightly more faithful appearance.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Phage is built on the Bucky Cap body, which was just vacated by Carnage, thereby meaning it doesn’t suffer from any overuse in this assortment.  He’s also the first of the Life Foundation Symbiotes to use it, so again, there’s the diversity factor there.  He gets a new head, forearms, shins, and hands, and an add-on piece for his back piece.  It’s all pretty straight forward stuff, and matches with how they’ve handled the various symbiotes in this line previously, while still being different enough to stand out.  It fits pretty well with how Phage was depicted in the comics in the ’90s, and is just generally pretty decent looking.  In terms of coloring, Phage was somewhat similar to Scream in the comics, with them both being largely yellow.  Phage, however, was usually depicted as being slightly darker, and a touch redder in hue.  This figure replicates that pretty decently overall, and that, coupled with black accenting in contrast with the brown on Scream, means he’s not too similar to her in color scheme.  Phage is packed with an alternate arm piece, replicating the blade that Phage would usually use.  It’s a shame it’s just the one, but it’s cool never the less.  Phage also includes both legs to the Venompool Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got a soft spot for the Life Foundation Symbiotes, and after getting Lasher and Scream, I was definitely looking forward to getting more of them.  Phage was definitely my most wanted figure from this assortment because of that.  Phage is a fairly by the numbers figure, but it works, and he definitely looks cool with the other two.  Now, can we get Riot and Agony?  And possibly a deluxe Hybrid?

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

#2647: Carnage

CARNAGE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Twisted criminal Cletus Kasady sows chaos in the streets as the bloodthirsty villain Carnage.”

Another film amongst the planned films for release this year is a sequel to 2018’s Venom, which will, in addition to bringing back the title character, be bringing in Venom’s best-known spin-off, Carnage.  In honor of the whole thing, much like we saw in 2018, we’re getting a whole assortment of Symbiote-themed Marvel Legends.  Headlining the assortment are both Venom and Carnage, and I’ll be taking a look at the latter figure today, because, hey, you can never have enough Carnages right?  I mean, I can’t.  Or can I?  Question for another time, I suppose, because here’s a new one right now!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Carnage is figure 2 in the Venompool Series of Marvel Legends. Carnage was one of two double-packs in this assortment, just like he was the last time there was a Venom assortment.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  While this Carnage is, in many ways, a classic Carnage, unlike the last release, he’s not actually mostly a re-issue of an older figure.  Instead, he’s head-to-toe an all-new sculpt.  It seems to be at least a little bit patterned on the 2099 body, at least in terms of build and articulation scheme.  How ever, in contrast the smooth and more or less featureless base body, this one is very Carnage-specific.  It goes back more to the Toy Biz style of handling the character, actually sculpting in the more flowy details of the symbiote as texture, rather than just leaving them as painted details the way the last few figures have.  It looks really nice, and adds a nice, visual pop to the appearance of the figure.  I don’t dislike the painted appearance of the earlier figure, and I think it has its own place in the collection, but there’s no denying that this looks really, really good.  The only part I’m not really up on is how the back tendrils turned out; they just feel a little too built up at the base for my taste, turning them into more of a backpack thing.  Fortunately, the piece can be removed, and you can even replace it with the tendril piece from the two earlier figures if you so choose.  The paint work on this guy goes hand-in-hand with the sculpt, and does a great job of making all that texturing really work.  The red’s back to the flatter shade used for the first figure, rather than the metallics of the last one.  I think I like the flatter shade just a bit more, so I’m really okay with that.  The one slight downside here is the accessory compliment.  He loses the Kassady head and extra hand attachments from the last one, and gets an alternate “Absolute Carnage” inspired head in their place. It’s a fine piece, but not one I see myself putting to much use.  He also includes the head for the Build-A-Figure Venompool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was quite happy with the first Hasbro Carnage and didn’t feel like I needed an upgrade.  I was then very happy with the upgrade to the figure that I didn’t feel I needed an upgrade for, and in fact felt that the upgrade himself was without need for upgrade.  I should honestly have expected Hasbro to prove me wrong again, I guess.  When this figure was shown, I wasn’t sure I *needed* him, but picked him up in-hand, because at this point, why not.  He’s awesome, and just the best Carnage out there, really.  I’m glad I picked him up, and he’s a highlight of this set for me.

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

#2646: Morbius

MORBIUS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Michael Morbius, the living vampire, prowls the night tortured by his life-sustaining thirst.”

Originally slated for last year, and now (hopefully) on the slate for this year, alongside a lot of other displaced films, is Sony’s Morbius.  It follows the lead of Venom in spinning a Spider-Foe off into his own exclusively Sony-produced solo flick, but this time around, the ties to the actual Spider-Man films are more tangible, if Michael Keaton’s appearance as Adrian Toomes in the trailers is anything to go by.  As of yet, there’s not direct merchandise tie-ins for the film, but Morbius’ comics counterpart is getting another appearance in Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, so I guess that *sorta* counts?  Hey, it means less Jared Leto to deal with, right?  Silver lining?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Morbius is the first figure in the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends, the Venom-themed assortment for this year.  Well, it’s technically for this year, although it actually started showing up in October/November of last year, because to hell with the schedules, it was 2020.  Things were just gonna happen when they happened and we weren’t gonna stop them. Morbius being in a Venom assortment is iffy at best, and he’s certainly the figure with the least reason to be here, but he’s not horribly far removed, at least thematically.  While the last Legends Morbius was very definitely based on his classic ’70s appearance, this one is instead based on his design from his solo series in 1992.  It’s…certainly different.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s based on the Spider-UK body, albeit with a lot of new parts, including a new head, torso, pelvis, and hands, as well as add-ons for the cape and wrist bands.  The ’92 design is a very stylized one, and this figure is himself very stylized in turn.  There’s a lot of detailing going into his outfit, and all of its various straps and such.  It’s certainly visually interesting if nothing else.  The head’s a pretty extreme piece, with the hair flowing back dynamically, and the face shows off his fangs in a screaming expression.  The cape piece matches this dynamic set up, with a notable flair to it, though it honestly never really looks natural to my eye.  In terms of paint work, he’s accurate to the ’90s color scheme, which means he kind of ends up looking a bit washed out, especially when compared to his prior incarnation.  I also find that the face really could use some sort of accenting or something.  As is, he seems really devoid of any detail there. At the very least, some extra shadowing around the eyes would help.  Morbius lacks any accessories of his own, but does include the right arm and alternate hand for this assortment’s Build-A-Figure, Venompool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was initially skeptical about the first Hasbro Morbius, but that figure wound up being one of my favorites out of his particular series, so there’s precedent for me being wrong about Morbius figures.  I kept that in mind when I was likewise skeptical about this one.  Unfortunately, unlike the last figure, this one winds up leaving me feeling rather cold, not unlike one of those not-living Vampires that Morbius isn’t one of.  This particular design just doesn’t fell as clean or bold as the last one, and generally doesn’t do anything for me.

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

#2643: Han Solo – Endor

HAN SOLO — ENDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Han Solo volunteered to lead the mission to destroy teh new Death Star’s shield generator. He and his strike team landed on the forest moon of Endor, where they encountered Scout Troopers and Ewoks.”

While Luke and Leia got drastically re-designed looks for Return of the Jedi, Han wound up with an appearance that was generally pretty re-tread-y of his first movie attire.  It doesn’t make for thrillingly different figures, and that’s probably why when we do get Jedi-inspired Hans, they’re almost always from the Endor segment, which does at least throw a trench coat over his main look, just to mix things up a bit, I suppose.  That’s the look that finally got him in on the RotJ bandwagon for The Black Series, and that’s the figure I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo (Endor) is another piece of the second assortment of the relaunched Star Wars: The Black Series.  He joins the similarly themed Luke and Leia figures from the same set, and is figure #5 in the RotJ sub-set.  Like the last two, he was also available in the “Heroes of Endor” boxed set earlier last year.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, a lot of this figure is shared with the Bespin Han figure from 2018.  I was overall pretty fond of that figure and his sculpt, so you’d think the re-use wouldn’t bug me…but it kinda does.  Mostly, it’s because they keep some of the stuff I didn’t like about it, and don’t really fix the handful of issues that were present.  The head proper is very similar to the last piece, but to my eyes it looks like the jaw’s a touch more prominent on this one.  I don’t know if that’s intentional or just mold variation, but it doesn’t really help the issues of the prior figure looking kind of narrow-shouldered for Han.  Nor does the new hair sculpt, which is just generally a bit poofier than the prior piece, again making the head look larger compared to the shoulders.  Additionally, the jacket piece has been swapped for a vest, which doesn’t have the same high-sitting collar as the jacket, which makes the neck look longer and thinner, which just makes the head look larger and thereby makes the shoulders look again smaller by comparison.  He also gets a new set of arms, which wind up looking rather on the scrawny side themselves; given how thin they are, but yet how baggy the sleeves are, Han must really not have any muscle mass to speak of under those sleeves.  The whole thing is topped off with the trench coat, which is a cloth piece to match Luke and Leia’s ponchos.  Trouble is, the coat just exacerbates the issues with the body, honestly, because it’s clearly tailored for a figure *slightly* bigger than this one.  This results in it dragging at his feet and hanging down over his hands, making it look not unlike Han is a small child who has stolen his father’s coat.  It’s not a very imposing or impressive look, and ultimately just adds to his gooniness.  It honestly looks a bit better when placed on the Bespin Han, if I’m honest. Of course, even then, the jacket is also missing the pockets on either side, and the pattern generally seems a bit too dark for what Han wears in the movie, so it’s always a bit of a compromise.  Even Han’s paintwork ends up a little rougher than previous entries, with some rather sloppy application on the shirt and belt, even going down to the strap for the holster.  The face also feels like it has a bit too much color going into it, making it look like Han is a bit flushed.  Han’s only accessory is his usual blaster pistol.  It’s the same piece as the Empire version, but this time with the proper color scheme.  It’s too bad they couldn’t also give him a few of the detonators or something, just to make the package a little more exciting.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Han’s Endor look has never been one of my favorites.  Even in the films, after the coolness of the Bespin look, this one seemed like a bit of a step down, at least to me.  It doesn’t help that it always seems to have rotten luck with figures.  This figure is, unfortunately, not an exception, either.  There’s no real smoking gun as to why this figure doesn’t work compared to the other two; it’s just a lot of small stuff that ultimately adds up to a figure that’s just not so great.  It’s a shame, because this one feels like one that could have really shined, but it’s instead the weakest in its respective series.  Oh well.  At least it’s another Han Solo for people to buy.

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