#2804: Zodac

ZODAC

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGINS (MATTEL)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Cosmic Enforcer!”

Action figures are like potato chips: you can’t have just one.  Or maybe that’s just me.  But only with action figures.  Because I’m actually not that big on potato chips…so I don’t even tend to have the one.  But I do have a lot of action figures.  So, there’s that.  What was the point of all this?  Oh, right, I’m looking at another Masters of the Universe Origins figure.  That’s pretty nifty.  And even niftier, it’s a character I haven’t looked at before, because I don’t actually own him in any other form.  Yes, it’s MotU‘s own resident Cosmic Enforcer (who is no longer “Evil”), Zodac!  Zodac’s actually one of the franchise’s original characters, debuting in the original line-up, and originally being billed as an “Evil Cosmic Enforcer,” so as to keep the numbers equal between both sides.  Outside media generally stuck to a neutral alignment for the character, though, and as the line progressed, “Evil” was removed from his packaging, helping to cement his status as not-a-bad-guy.  Let’s have a look at this not-a-bad-guy.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zodac is another figure from Wave 3 of Masters of the Universe Origins, right alongside yesterday’s Roboto.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is effectively the same as Roboto’s, though he gets the extra movement on his right wrist joint.  Like his original figure, Zodac is largely built from shared parts. He’s got the Beast Man torso (because he’s got a lot of back hair, I guess), and the reptilian forearms and boots, as well as the standard upper-arms, upper-legs, and waist.  It’s all topped off with a new head and armor piece.  They do a respectable job of recreating his original, as goofy and silly as it’s supposed to be.  Since his torso is a different set-up, he winds up a little sturdier than Roboto, so he’s less prone to wobbling.  Zodac has a little more in the way of paint than Roboto, but it’s still pretty well applied, on my figure at least.  There’s a slight discrepancy on the painted flesh of the face compared to the molded plastic body, but that’s been an issue with Zodac pretty much since day one.  It’s also not as bad in person as it looks in the photos.  Zodac is packed with his blaster, or, as Tim would like me to point out, his L-shaped mace, seeing as it looks more like that than it does a gun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was sold on Roboto as soon as he was announced, I wasn’t really planning to pick up Zodac.  However, Max got his earlier, and I got to mess around with it, which was enough to convince me I kind of wanted one of my own.  He’s a fun little figure, and a nice change of pace for my collection at this point.  Here’s to hoping me might get a Zodak redeco at some point!

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2803: Roboto

ROBOTO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGINS (MATTEL)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Heroic Mechanical Warrior!”

When last I looked at anything Masters of the Universe, I mentioned not yet having any experience with the latest iteration of the line.  Well, hey, that’s changed…just in time for there to be another two for me to keep track of.  Yay?  Well, in the mean time, I guess I’ll look at the one I got.  Launched in the hell-hole of a year that was 2020, Masters of the Universe Origins was designed as a look back at the early days of the line, effectively updating the original vintage line but with more articulation.  So, you know, like Classics, but…umm…not Classics, I guess?  Anyway, my first entry into this new line is one of my favorite characters from the franchise, Roboto!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roboto is part of the third wave of Masters of the Universe Origins, which started hitting shelves earlier this year.  It showed up at Walmarts and Targets a bit earlier, but has been making its way to other retailers in the last month or so.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation, as well as a moving jaw piece.  The articulation on these new figures is pretty much the best the brand’s ever seen, even improving a little bit on the Classics movement.  Much like his vintage figure, Roboto shares his legs with the Trap-Jaw figure from the line, but everything else is new.  He’s definitely following in the vintage figure’s footsteps in terms of design.  It’s a very clean, rather retro look.  It’s a little bit less goofy in this incarnation, but not so much so that he doesn’t feel like Roboto, who should always be at least a little goofy.  The way that they’ve kept the general proportions of the vintage figures, while still giving them the ability to, you know, stand up straight, also emphasizes that almost Bruce Timm-esque top-heavy nature of the designs.  I certainly don’t mind that.  The only slight downside to the construction of the figure is that, due to the interchangeable nature of the bodies on these figures, his waist joint is a little on the rickety side.  Not like he’s going to break or anything, but he does wobble a little bit.  Roboto doesn’t have a ton of paint, largely relying on molded colors from the plastic, but they’re pretty bright and bold.  The paint that’s there is cleanly applied, and follows the vintage design well.  As is typical for the character, Roboto is packed with three arm attachments for the right arm, blaster, axe, and claw.  He also has his usual action feature; turning the torso moves the gears in the chest and moves his jaw up and down.  It’s basic, but fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Roboto is the first Origins figure to really catch my eye (since they appear to be dragging their feet on Mechanek), so I was definitely down for him from the word go.  He’s a very nicely done figure, and just a lot of fun.  Generally, I’m not so much into the vintage style MotU figures, but for the characters I like, this is a nice style, and I’m sure it’s great for more involved MotU fans.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2801: Flash Gordon

FLASH GORDON

DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH (NECA)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Out of the sky, his rockets ignite.  Jets into battle faster than light.  Flash Gordon is the legendary swashbuckler of space travel.  This intergalactic adventurer is known throughout the galaxy as the one man to battle the evil Ming — and come out the hero!  Flash alone understands the twisted mind of this wicked tyrant — and leads the Defenders’ war against him to save Earth from extinction.”

Preceding The Phantom by two years, Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon was introduced as a competitor to Buck Rogers, but wound up becoming an institution all his own, arguably becoming even bigger than Buck Rogers himself (in fact, when they produced the first Buck Rogers film serial in 1939, they even cast Buster Crabbe, who had famously played Flash three years earlier, in the lead role).  In fact, Gordon’s prominence extended even to Defenders of the Earth, where elements from his series and franchise formed much of the back bone of the cartoon’s plot, making him very much the central figure.  He’s been no stranger to figures over the years, but that doesn’t make getting one more any less cool.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Flash Gordon is figure 02 in the first series of NECA’s Defenders of the Earth line (making him quite literally the central figure in the first set).  Like the Phantom, he’s based on his appearance in the cartoon, but again through that slightly different lens of the NECA release.  While Phantom’s design remained more or less consistent, Flash’s was a much more fluid appearance.  His show design tried to go for something that summed up those elements into one piece, while also streamlining a bit for the purposes of easier animating.  The end result’s a fairly decent, somewhat regal, but still functional design, that feels very true to the character.  The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is the same as Phantom’s, by virtue of them using the same core body.  As with Phantom, it’s a good enough fit for Flash, matching alright with his usual depictions.  He adds a few more new parts to the mix, with a new head and shoulders, as well as an add-on for his collar, and a waist cap with a slightly adjusted belt.  The head’s definitely my favorite part of the figure; despite being based on the cartoon character, NECA has opted to also inject quite a bit of actor Buster Crabbe’s likeness into the face, which makes it look even more like that classic Flash Gordon to me.  In general, Flash’s sculpt offers just a bit more in the way of detailing than the Phantom, and it really works.  Flash’s paint work is about on par with the Phantom for the most part, though perhaps a little better.  He’s still got the issue with the paint flaking on the joints on the wrists and ankles, but at least both of his boots match in finish.  I do quite like the slightly metallic finish on the jumpsuit, and the red and gold mesh well together.  There’s a touch of bleed over between the colors, and my figure’s got a small scratch on his forehead, but overall it looks okay.  Flash is packed with a slightly larger array of accessories than the Phantom, with five hands (pair of fists, pair of gripping, and a left trigger hand), a laser gun (same as the one included with Phantom), a sword, and two different effects pieces.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In contrast to the Phantom, I’ve been a fan of Flash Gordon since a rather early age, courtesy of having my dad’s copies of the film serials to watch (on Laser Disc, if you can believe it).  I’ve had a number of toys over the years, but I’m always down for another cool one.  Of all the figures shown off for this set, Flash was certainly the one I was most looking forward to, and I have to say, he’s also my favorite figure in-hand as well.  He’s still got some slight QC issues, but they don’t seem quite so bad on him, compared to Phantom.  He’s a very fun figure, and I’m certainly glad to have gotten one for 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 and their eBay storefront.

#2800: The Phantom

THE PHANTOM

DEFENDERS OF EARTH (NECA)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Lord of the jungle, the hero who stalks, the beast call him brother, the ghost who walks!  The Phantom is the possessor of the strongest and most unique powers on Earth.  He draws upon the ancient secrets and supernatural strengths of his roots in the Deep Woods.  The Phantom’s ‘flashes’ of raw animal power are invaluable in the Defenders’ conquest of evil Ming and his ruthless robot army.”

First appearing in 1936, Lee Falk’s The Phantom is a costumed hero that actually predates Superman and the introduction of the super hero proper in 1938, which is something of a surprise to a lot of people.  The Phantom was a pulp hero, but something of a transitional one, as he helped to move the whole genre more into the direction that Superman would take things two years later.  Definitely a prominent role in the history of modern storytelling, right?  It’s a shame he’s never been able to find his footing with modern audiences.  The character got a less than stellarly received film starring Billy Zane in 1996, as well as some movie serials in the ’40s. Most relevantly for the purposes of this review, however, was his appearance alongside other King Features properties in 1986’s Defenders of the Earth, a 65-episode cartoon, which serves as the basis for NECA’s new line of figures.  I’m kicking things off with the Ghost Who Walks today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Phantom is figure 01 in the first series of NECA’s Defenders of the Earth line.  He’s based on his design from the Defenders of the Earth cartoon, albeit through the lens of something slightly more typical for a modern NECA figure, rather than something purely cartoon accurate.  For the cartoon, Phantom’s appearance was fairly close to his original design, just minus the striped shorts he tended to have previously.  The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  He’s quite posable for a NECA release, even one of the more recent ones.  The joints are definitely on the stiffer side, but it means he has an easier time holding a pose.  Structurally, Phantom is making use of the core body from NECA’s earlier DC figures from their AvP comic packs.  Of course, given how hard to get those were, these might as well be all-new molds.  It’s a rather bulked up, and kind of an almost ridiculous, body, definitely not the more realistic proportions we see from NECA.  It works well enough for the Phantom, though, especially given his more basic design.  He’s been given an all-new head sculpt, which does quite a nice job of capturing his cowled and domino-masked appearance.  He also gets a new waist piece with his distinctive skull-buckled belt, and a new set of forearms sporting some detailing on the wrists of his sleeves.  It’s a small touch, but a very nice one.  In terms of paint, Phantom is really good…in theory.  In practice, he’s mostly good, but there are some rather notable issues in terms of production.  On the positive side, there’s some really great work on the face, with subtle work on his stubble.  There’s also some nicely handled shading on the body suit, keeping it from being too much of the same color for one large stretch.  Unfortunately, there are two issues that plague pretty much the whole production run.  Firstly, for some reason, his two boots are a differing finish; the left is glossy, and the right is matte.  Secondly, they opted to mold the wrist and ankle joints in purple, and paint them to match the hands and feet.  Unfortunately, the paint shears off after the first posing, leaving them rather obviously a different color.  In terms of accessories, the Phantom is packed with three alternate right hands (standard fist, trigger grip, and fist with a hole for the ring effect), a laser gun (the show replaced his more usual real world firearms with one of these), three different energy effects (two for the gun, and one for his ring hand), and Zuffy, the small little alien that accompanied the Defenders’ children.  Zuffy gets hit pretty hard by the QC issues as well, with incredibly sloppy paint on the face, and a rather obvious and major crack in the mold on the right side of his chin.  I didn’t buy it for Zuffy, but that’s still really annoying.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In terms of pulp heroes, my experience with the Phantom is rather minor.  I largely knew him from him getting a Captain Action costume, and a little bit from having seen the movie on TV as a kid.  So, I don’t have a huge attachment to him.  That said, I do really like the design, and there’s no denying that he’s a prominent character, worthy of some cool toy treatment.  When NECA unveiled these figures, I was certainly interested, so I snagged the whole first set.  Phantom himself is okay, but he’s held back by those rather frustrating QC issues.  I hope NECA can get those sorted out on future releases.  Still, even with those issues, he’s the best Phantom figure out there.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2799: Captain Piett

CAPTAIN PIETT

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Following Admiral Ozzel’s fatal mistake during the assault on Hoth, Darth Vader promoted Captain Piett to the station of Admiral. Piett remained in command of Vader’s Executor until its destruction during the Battle of Endor.”

The Empire’s most visible and most marketable troops are certainly the Stormtroopers, but they aren’t the ones that get to make all of the decisions.  That’s left to the far less marketable Imperial Officers.  During the vintage toyline, Kenner didn’t actually make any named officers, giving us just one generic one to cover things.  When it came time to fill things in for Power of the Force II, they rectified that by actually doing a few of the named officers.  This included one Firmus Piett, the longest lived ranking Imperial in the films, serving as Admiral over both Empire and Jedi.  But we’re not talking about that.  No, we’re going before that, when he was just a Captain.  For reasons.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Piett was added to Power of the Force in 1998.  Though he’s billed as a Captain, it’s notable that the bio describes his whole career path in the film, and we also never got an Ozzel, so he might as well just be an Admiral.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s quite similar to the Tarkin figure.  It makes sense, what with them being in the same uniform, and having a rather similar build.  It’s notable that they’re still totally unique from each other, though; no shared parts at all, even the ones that are almost identical.  It’s a reasonable enough sculpt.  Like Tarkin, he’s a little bulked up, but not nearly as much as earlier figures in the line.  The head doesn’t really look much like Kenneth Colley, who played Piett in the film.  Colley has some rather distinctly harsh lines on his face, and they aren’t really here.  He’s also got a much stronger jawline than he should.  Ultimately, he just looks much more generic. Not enough that I think the intent was for him to initially be a generic guy, but enough that he’s not immediately recognizable as Piett.  The paint work is pretty standard, matching up with the other Imperial Officers from the line, and generally being pretty cleanly applied.  Piett is packed with the same small blaster as Tarkin and Motti, as well as a baton (for all that baton stuff he does), and a Freeze Frame of Piett on the Executor…from when he’s an Admiral...

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Piett’s a character I always had a little bit of a soft spot for, since it’s hard not to feel bad for the guy the way he winds up in his position.  I mean, he’s still a bad guy, like, through and through, but still.  Despite that, however, I never actually had this guy as a kid, nor did any of my cousins.  It’s probably because he’s not a super distinctive figure, I guess.  He’s not bad, mind you, and actually works pretty well as a rank and file Imperial.  So, if you want maybe a few of him, that’s maybe not the worst thing.

#2797: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO (HASBRO)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“The shield for Freedom and Liberty, Captain America is the star-spangled avenger with super solider abilities!”

When Super 7 and Funko revived the vintage Kenner style back in 2013, they leaned pretty hard into it, and a handful of other companies joined in, giving the style as a whole something of a revival.  While it’s died down somewhat in the eight years since, in the last couple of years, Hasbro, who actually own the rights to the Kenner name and other assets, got in on it too.  They started with some reissues of the original Star Wars figures, along with one new figure for each assortment.  At the end of last year, they expanded the set-up to include Marvel…despite the fact that Kenner never actually made any Marvel figures.  Ah, let’s not get stuck on that.  The line began as an exclusive to Hasbro Pulse, but is finally getting a wider release.  I’m taking a look at the Captain America today, just to try the line out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is part of the first mass release assortment of Marvel Legends Retro (a name that is shared with the 6″ figures in retro packaging as well, once again showcasing Hasbro’s perverse love of giving the same name to a bunch of very different products, seemingly to only cause confusion for the retailers and consumers), and is also re-packed in the second assortment as well.  Before that, he was one of the figures in the Pulse-exclusive launch, although the package on that one was slightly different to denote the earlier release.  While I don’t usually talk about packaging here, I do think this one warrants it, because it’s actually a very attractive package.  Each character gets their own completely unique set of graphics, and they’re just very eye-catching.  I have two notable complaints, though.  Firstly, the lack of cross-sell on the back makes it difficult to track who’s in the line, and secondly, they aren’t really designed for any sort of resealability.  I know that would violate the Kenner homage slightly, but it did really give me a dilemma about opening Cap.  But, of course, what good am I as a reviewer if I don’t open my toys?  The sacrifices I make, right?  (Ultimately, I ended up cutting it open at the bottom, so I can slide the inner tray in and out without it being too obvious it’s open)  Once you’ve destroyed the beautiful work of art that houses the figure, you’ll find that he stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  He’s got the usual Kenner 5POA, plus swivels at the wrists, which is kind of nifty, I suppose.  The extra wrist joints are more there because the gloves need to be separate pieces (as do the boots, though they aren’t articulated) due to the construction of the figures in the line.  A number of them are built from a base body, which Cap makes use of.  It’s a rather basic hero build, and it works perfectly fine for the figures we’ve gotten so far.  The boots are shared with Cyclops, but the head and gloves are unique to Cap at this time.  They’re decent enough pieces, though not exactly heavy on detailing.  Despite the lack of said detailing, it’s worth noting that they don’t really fall into the classic Kenner stylings either.  He occupies something of a middle ground, placing him more on par with Hasbro’s more recent 5POA Star Wars figures than Kenner’s.  It’s not a bad look, mind you, but it just further pushes the question of what the heck the audience for these figures is supposed to be.  Cap’s paint work is fairly basic, but that’s to be expected.  There’s a little bit of slop on some of the transitions, but for the most part, it works pretty well.  Cap gets one accessory: his shield.  It’s a bit on the smaller side, but that’s kind of expected, I suppose, given the scale and style.  What I found kind of weird is that, even though there’s a peg hole on his back, there’s no peg on the shield, so it can’t be attached that way.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these figures showed up on Pulse, I was intrigued, but not enough to actually go to the trouble of ordering them, especially with the two-pack set-up they had going on.  Once they went to mass retail, and All Time was able to get them in, I happily snagged Cap here just to try things out.  Ultimately, I’m a bit baffled by this figure.  He’s not bad.  Like, I honestly quite like him.  But, at the same time, there’s a lot of questions as to why?  If you’re going to go for a retro Marvel line, why not go with Secret Wars or even Toy Biz stylings?  Or, if you want to stick to Kenner, why not do a Super Powers-inspired set of Marvel figures?  That’d be pretty cool, wouldn’t it?  But putting them at 3 3/4 and then not even fully committing to the vintage Kenner stylings for that is a weird choice.  I really want to like this line, but I don’t really see it having major legs going forward.  But, I guess we’ll just see how it goes.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2796: M.O.D.O.K.

M.O.D.O.K.

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“The freak product of intense scientific experimentation, the living computer M.O.D.O.K. now sits atop a vast empire of criminal co-conspirators bent on world domination.”

About three weeks ago, Hulu dropped Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., an animated sitcom starring Patton Oswalt as the titular character, which re-envisions the character as the head of a dysfunctional family, because it’s an adult animation comedy, and we don’t really have another mold to poor those into yet.  Slight jests aside, I binged the show when it dropped and I rather enjoyed it, and all of its deep-reach Marvel in-jokes.  M.O.D.O.K. himself is finally getting into a greater spotlight, after being just on the fringe for several years.  And, no doubt in an effort to tie in with the show, he’s just gotten a Legends update courtesy of Hasbro.  How kind of them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

M.O.D.O.K. is a single one-off release for Marvel Legends.  He’s kinda like a deluxe figure, but even more so.  He’s like a super deluxe.  Or a two-pack that’s secretly just one figure, only it’s not even a secret.  He’s at the two-pack price point is the main thing I’m getting at here.  This is our second M.O.D.O.K. Legends figure, following Toy Biz’s version from way back in their final assortment.  That one was very good for its time, and holds up pretty well, but it’s been 15 years, and that one’s hard to get these days.  This one’s kinda like a Build-A-Figure whose parts are all sold in one box, because you’ve actually got to put him together after taking him out of the box.  When fully assembled with blast and everything, the figure stands 8 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  M.O.D.O.K.’s articulation is impressive for what he is, which is floating head with arms and legs sticking out of it.  The movement on the limbs has a good range, and there’s even some slight posability to the blast effect base, as well as the control stick on the left side.  The base does lean a little bit to one side on my figure, but not terribly so, and he still stays fairly stable.  M.O.D.O.K.’s sculpt is, predictably, an all-new affair.  It’s quite impressive from a technical standpoint.  There are a lot of clean technical work on the body, and he’s got two different faceplates to swap out, one calm, one expressive, both of which really capture his ugly visage. The only downside is that you pretty much have to fully disassemble his body to swap the faces out, which is a little involved.  Of course, it means they don’t fall out too easily, so that’s a plus.  The paint work on this guy is quite good.  A lot of molded colors, of course, but there’s some really nice, quite subtle accenting on the gold sections, as well as some very nice work on the faces, giving them a nice lifelike quality.  In addition to the swappable face plates, M.O.D.O.K. also features two sets of hands, one in open gesture, and the other a fist/gripping combo.  It’s not a ton, but he’s a fairly sizable figure on his own, and his assembly literally fills the entirety of the box he comes in.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Toy Biz M.O.D.O.K. was from the era when my brother and I were splitting the BaFs depending on who wanted them more, so he wound up with that one.  At the time I didn’t really mind, because I was so-so on M.O.D.O.K. at the time.  Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate the character a little more, but that old BaF was kinda pricey, so I just didn’t worry about it.  This guy offered a much easier acquisition, which ultimately worked out far better for me.  He’s really just an improvement on the original in every way, and I think a very solid addition to the line.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2795: Mr. Hyde

MR. HYDE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

So, you know how I was talking about the lack of staying power behind the various Shang-Chi supporting players?  Well, that’s kind of coming to a head here, because for the assortment that is arguably supposed to be a Shang-Chi assortment, rather than getting a Shang-Chi related Build-A-Figure, we instead get Mr. Hyde.  Mr. Hyde isn’t actually the character from Robert Luis Stevenson’s literary tale, but is rather Calvin Zabo, someone who just models himself after Stevenson’s character.  He began as a Thor villain, but did the usual Marvel thing of getting passed around a bit, ultimately rattling around in the background of the Marvel universe for a while.  He also appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan, which was pretty cool.  Be it in comics, or in other medium, I don’t know that he’s ever directly interacted with Shang-Chi, but his multi-purpose appeal does help somewhat there.  Maybe they’ll run into each other some time in the future.  But now he’s finally got an action figure, so that’s cool.  Let’s have a look at it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Hyde is the Build-A-Figure for the latest set of Marvel Legends, which was designed to be a tie-in with Shang-Chi, but, again, direct ties are limited here.  The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Design wise, he’s a slightly more modern Hyde, based on his look from his stint in Thunderbolts, as well as his look from the Avengers Alliance game.  It’s a fairly evergreen design, and kind of ties him more into those literary roots.  He’s got quite a number of parts in common with the Joe Fixit figure, which was somewhat anticipated when that figure was shown off.  It’s a big guy in a suit, so it makes sense.  He uses the lower half and arms from that figure, with his own head, hands, and torso.  The new pieces do a good job of converting him into the intended design, and the head and hands in particular are quite expressive.  I also really dig the little touches, such as the suspenders beneath his coat and vest, in a spot where no one’s ever really going to see them.  The paint work on Mr. Hyde is generally pretty straight forward.  The greens are mostly just molded, but it’s a good shade that matches well with his usual coloring.  The work on the hands and head is pretty impressive, with some subtle work on the accenting to give him that slightly hairier appearance.  It helps with making him look even more monstrous.  I’m not quite sure about the eyes; the pupils seem maybe a little too large?  I don’t know, I typically don’t think of him having the pupils at all, so it’s all weird territory for me.  Not that it’s inaccurate, mind you, just not my personal preferred look.  Though he’s a Build-A-Figure, and accessories aren’t standard for them, Mr. Hyde is nonetheless armed with his cane, which is cool, because he’d feel a bit incomplete without it, honestly.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My familiarity with Mr. Hyde largely stems from his time with the Thunderbolts, which was also the same run that gave me a big appreciation for Boomerang, so I was definitely down for this figure.  I was kind of expecting him after Kingpin and Fixit gave us bulked up suit bodies, and he’s a welcome addition to the line.  The figure’s pretty fun.  I do kind of wish he had the blanked out eyes, or maybe they could have done two different heads, for extra options like on a few of the other recent BaFs.  Whatever the case, he’s still a solid offering as-is.

This assortment was a weird experience for me, due to the whole bit of not actually knowing much about it going in.  Hyde as the Build-A-Figure definitely helped to sell me on grabbing the whole set, which was ultimately for the best, because there are some nice figures included within.  It’s hard to say how the set’s going to do in the longer run, because the movie figures are still a bit of a mystery with only the one trailer to go on.  In terms of ranking, the non-movie ones did more for me at this junction.  Civil Warrior was definitely my personal favorite, with Tony and Hyde being close behind.  Xialing was my favorite of the movie figures, though Wenwu was pretty solid too.  Shang-Chi is okay, but that killer comic version from last year’s hard to top.  Death Dealer’s the only one in the set I didn’t really get much out of.  Perhaps the movie will change my opinion on that.

#2794: Tony Stark – A.I.

TONY STARK — A.I.

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“After a tragic battle, Tony Stark lives on in digital form as a hologram at the helm of a high-powered robotic suit of armor.”

It’s time to bring back Tony Stark to life!  …yuck, okay, sorry guys, I can’t let that grammatical monstrosity stand.  It’s just…wrong.  Sure is a good thing that it’s only here on my website, and no one’s spent serious money on placing it on a billboard or something.  That would be super embarrassing.  Moving on.  So, following his body going comatose, Tony Stark’s consciousness continued on as an A.I. for a bit, mostly serving as an assistant to Riri Williams’ Iron Heart, but occasionally “suiting up” on his own and occupying a more classic Iron Man armor.  One of things is more inherently toy-etic than the other, which is why we’re looking at an armored up A.I. Tony figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tony Stark (A.I.) is figure 6 in the Mr. Hyde Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the second non-Shang-Chi figure in the line-up, and the last single-packed figure in the set.  While Iron Man classically doesn’t have much to do with Shang-Chi, he *is* the Mandarin’s usual nemesis, so there’s at least a little bit of a tie there.  Certainly more of one than there was for Civil Warrior, and honestly, it’s more sensible than the other Iron Men we’ve gotten shoved into unrelated movie assortments.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  From a structural stand-point, this guy’s mostly a parts re-use from the 80th Iron Man, which is fairly sensible, given that the A.I. occupied a replica of Tony’s classic armor.  It’s honestly the best sculpt Hasbro’s produced for an Iron Man, and the definitive take on the classic armor, so it’s a solid choice.  Right out of the box, he’s not sporting the helmeted head, since they want to show off the hologram set-up.  So, he’s got an all-new unmasked head, designed to replicate the slightly more modern Tony that the A.I. was patterned after.  It’s a nice piece, and is quite distinctly different from other unmasked Tonys.  It’s not really my brand of Tony, personally, but it’s accurate to the source material.  He’s also got the standard classic helmeted head from the 80th figure, which was certainly the best head from that set.  The major change-up for this release is color scheme.  While the 80th figure was going for more of an Alex Ross-inspired, darker colored and metallic scheme, this one is done in flat colors.  It gives us a nice, more comic-styled red and yellow color scheme.  There’s a slightly more modernized aspect to it, with the blue for the eyes, mouth, and arc reactor, but otherwise, it feels very classic 70s.  I really like the new color scheme, and it does the sculpt a lot of justice.  In addition to having the two heads I mentioned previously, Tony also includes the two sets of hands from the 80th release, as well as a pair of repulser effects, done up in blue to match the holo head.  Also included is the right leg of the Mr. Hyde Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As much as I loved the three 80th Avengers (and believe me, I did love them), the one thing I did notice about all three was how subdued the colors were.  I’ve been hoping to see some slightly more classically colored repaints.  Iron Man’s a good proof of concept on that, without being a straight re-release.  The colors really pop on this figure, and add a new life to him.  I genuinely don’t know which of the two I prefer, and that’s kind of a dilemma for me…

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2793: Civil Warrior

CIVIL WARRIOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“In an alternate Earth ravaged by civil war, Captain America assumes the mantle of Civil Warrior.”

If there’s one thing alternate realities have taught us, it’s that Cap’s side winning Civil War always results in him getting some sick-ass armor.  This just furthers that his side was the morally correct one the whole time, because how could you NOT want the sick-ass armor?  In the mobile game, Contest of Champions, Cap actually gives himself a whole new identity upon dawning his armor, the Civil Warrior.  He may fight, but he’s gonna do it very civilly, I guess. And he’s also gonna get a Marvel Legend, because that’s just how he do.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Civil Warrior is figure 5 in the Mr. Hyde Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s one of the two non-Shang-Chi based figures in the assortment, as well as being the only figure in the set under the “Gamerverse” branding.  He definitely feels like something of an odd man out in this assortment, since he’s got no real ties to anything else thematically.  He’s kind of like the Black Bolt and Sub Mariner figures from the Okoye Series in that respect, I guess.  And just like those two figures, I’m not going to complain too much about getting him.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, Civil Warrior is almost identical to the Hydra Supreme figure from 2019.  It’s sensible, since the two designs are just the same apart from colors.  It’s also nice because it was a really nice sculpt to begin with, and I’m happy to see it show up again.  The only change-up to this release is that he reverts back to Taskmaster‘s gripping style hands, instead of the Iron Man hands.  I’m not entirely sure why they made the change, but it’s kind of a lateral move, I suppose.  The largest change-up for this figure is, of course, the color scheme, which is now a more traditionally Captain America-y color scheme, as opposed to the prior Hydra colors.  It’s pretty straight forward, but it looks really nice, and honestly I think it works even better with the sculpt than the Hydra colors did.  The other notable change-up for the figure comes in the form of the shield.  Since Civil Warrior has a more traditional style Cap shield than Hydra Cap, the piece included here reflects that.  It’s an all-new piece, which was admittedly a little bit surprising.  It’s quite a nice piece, and the detailing on the arc reactor is cool.  The shield’s still got the peg for mounting on the figure’s back, but there’s no corresponding spot for it on the figure, which is a little odd.  Also included with this figure is the head to the Mr. Hyde Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In my review of Hydra Supreme, I ended by saying I hoped we might get this recolor of the sculpt.  It took a little bit longer than I’d expected, but that doesn’t make it less cool that we finally got him.  I really liked the Hydra Supreme figure when he hit, but this one does him even better.  The traditional colors really work, and he’s just a lot of fun.  As simple as he is, he’s honestly my favorite figure in the set, because he just does what he does really well.

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 and their eBay storefront.