#2091: Family Matters

MAGNETO, QUICKSILVER, & SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The parentage of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch has been quite a storytelling merry-go-round.  Originally just a pair of mutant siblings born to unnamed parents, they were eventually revealed to be the children of a Gypsy couple.  That couple then revealed they were actually the twins’ adoptive parents, and their real parents were the Golden Age heroes the Whizzer and Miss America.  That story stuck for a little bit, before the best known twist occurred, and X-Men foe Magneto was revealed to be their father.  That’s the story that stuck…well apart from a few years back when Marvel toyed with removing their connection to Magneto in the midst of their troubles with getting the X-characters’ media rights back from Fox.  It would seem they’ve decided to role back that decision, at least as far as other media is concerned.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Magneto, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch make up the “Family Matters” boxed set, an Amazon-exclusive Marvel Legends offering, coinciding with the “80 Years of Marvel” celebration.  The set was put up for order a few months ago, and just started shipping out two weeks ago.

MAGNETO

The biggest name in the set, and certainly the one with the most action figure coverage, Magneto actually has gotten two Legends releases since the line relaunched in the new packaging style.  The first was using old parts, and the second, while a solid figure, put Mags in a more recent, less classically-inspired costume.  This one goes for about as classic as you can get for Magneto, placing him with his early ’80s/’90s red and purple design.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Like the last figure, this Magneto is built on the Spider-UK body, which is honestly a fantastic choice for the character.  Beyond the base body, there actually aren’t any parts shared between the two figures.  This one gets a new set of forearms and boots, plus add-ons for his cape and belt, and is topped off with two brand-new head sculpts.  The forearms and boots fit right in with the pre-existing Spider-UK tooling, and give him all of the proper details he should have.  The cape is definitely one of Hasbro’s best, as it pretty much pitch-perfectly captures the way his cape is often drawn in the comics.  I really love how it sits over the shoulders.  The belt’s a pretty darn basic piece, but it works well enough for what it’s supposed to be doing.  The two heads are fairly similar, with the helmets in particular being the same sculpt.  I can appreciate that from a consistency stand-point.  Beneath the helmets is where the difference lies.  There’s a calmer, friendlier head, and an angrier, more power-crazed head.  Both are really nice, and work for the diverging takes on the character.  The helmet sits a little higher than I’d prefer on the calm head, but it’s not awful, and I don’t know which one will end up as my default.  Magneto’s paintwork is a definite step-up from the last figure.  It’s bright and eye-catching, and the application’s all very clean.  I really dig the glossy finish on the helmet, and the mix of metallic and flat finish on the purple sections.  Also, I dig that they used the same red and purple on this guy that they did for Onslaught, allowing for another head-swap option.  Magneto is packed with two pairs of hands (fists and open gesture), as well as a pair of energy effect pieces molded in a flecked purple plastic.

QUICKSILVER

Pietro Maximoff is the member of family who’s been absent from Legends for the longest period of time.  His first, and only, release was way back when Hasbro first took over in 2007, with no updates since then.  As the least prominent of the three, it’s not a huge shock, though it was a little surprising that he didn’t get any coverage around Age of Ultron.  Whatever the case, he’s here now, based on his classic blue and white attire.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Quicksilver is built on the ANAD 2099 body, which isn’t necessarily ideal.  I mean, it’s okay in theory, but not quite in practice.  I like this body’s posability, and general build, but the narrower shoulders compared to other bodies make scaling on the head a much more delicate art, and they just missed it with this guy.  His head’s just a tad too large for the body, which results in Quicksilver looking rather cartoony and goofy, at least in most poses.  Placed on something like the Bucky Cap body, it actually looks okay, so I wonder if they originally intended to build him that way.  I do like the head on its own; it captures that arrogance that only Pietro Maximoff can pull off, and the hair’s been translated in a pretty realistic, not super crazy fashion.  Quicksilver’s paint ends up as the weakest in the set, though that’s largely just my figure.  The base work is fine, and I particularly dig the slightly pearlescent finish on the boots and gloves.  However, my figure’s got some pretty serious slop on the lightning detailing on his front.  It’s pretty distracting, and hopefully this isn’t a widespread issue.  Pietro is packed with two pairs of hands in fists and flat-handed poses.

SCARLET WITCH

Wanda’s gotten some pretty good toy coverage recently, no doubt because of her breakaway success in the movies.  We haven’t gotten a comics-based release of her since the Allfather Series in 2015, and I actually liked that figure a lot.  Apart from some minor issues, I really wouldn’t have expected another release.  The theme of the set kind of begs for her inclusion, though, and a more modern variant wouln’t really fit with the other two.  Hasbro took advantage of this opportunity to give us a proper ’80s Scarlet Witch, rather than the slightly amalgamated design we got last time.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  The majority of the body, as well as the cape of this figure are the same parts used on the Maidens of Might release (though I erroneously referred to them as Moonstone and Emma Frost parts the first time I reviewed them), which is fine, since they were pretty good the first time around.  She swaps out the heeled feet for flat soled ones, fixing my main complaint about that figure, and also swaps out the forearms for Kitty Pryde‘s flared gloves.  It’s all topped off with a brand-new head, which is not only an immense improvement on the old Toy Biz monstrosity, it’s also one of the most attractive female heads that Hasbro’s produced for this line.  The details on the head are crisp and numerous, and I really like how they’ve worked in all of the layers between the hair, headpiece, and face.  Wanda’s paintwork is pretty solid.  At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it compared to the prior figure, since the two shades of the costume look rather close, and I didn’t know how the metallics would work out.  In person, I actually think it looks really nice, and I prefer it to the straight red and pink from before.  Additionally, there’s a lot of very nice small detail work on the face, especially on the eyes, just further accenting the already very strong sculpt.  Wanda is packed with the two energy effect pieces introduced with the Infinity War Scarlet Witch, which have the advantage of not being super over-used yet.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been waiting for a classic Magneto pretty much since the line relaunched, and as much as I liked last year’s figure, I knew I wanted this one as soon as he was shown off.  The other two were really just along for the ride when I jumped on the preorder as soon as it went up.  I sort of forgot about them, if I’m honest, and after dropping a lot of money on two new series of figures two weekends ago, the last thing I thought I needed was more Legends. Then I got notification that these shipped, and boom, three more.  Magneto’s awesome, no doubt.  Definitely the definitive take on the figure, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets singled out for his own release later down the line.  Quicksilver is the real weak link of the set for me.  The body choice doesn’t work, and the paint issues just make things worse.  He’s not awful, but he could be better.  The real surprise for me is the one figure in the set I didn’t think I needed at all: Scarlet Witch.  Not only is she just an unquestionably superior figure to the last comics release, she’s also just my favorite part of the set, no doubt.

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#0954: Vitruvian Hacks Pt 2

ATHENIAN WARRIOR, UNDERWORLD WARRIOR, AMAZON WARRIOR, COLUBRIDA GUARD, STONEFIST, & SKELETON WARRIOR

VITRUVIAN H.A.C.K.S.

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Some things are worth the wait. On the list of things I would classify as “worth the wait” are Boss Fight Studios’ Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. line. In mid-2014, they ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to cover the startup costs for the line. Unfortunately, a few production snags cropped up, causing a number of delays for the line, and pushing the estimated release date back about a year. The first wave of figures (reviewed here) made its way to backers back in March, with the promise that the subsequent three waves would be arriving shortly. Those waves are making their way out to Kickstarter backers now. Today, I’ll be looking at a random assortment of those figures: the Athenian Warrior, Underworld Warrior, Amazon Warrior, Colubrida Guard, Stonefist, and Skeleton Warrior.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

BossHacksP2PackagingOkay, let’s break this down. These figures are all from the first series of Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. The Athenian Warrior and Underworld Warrior are from Wave 2, and the Amazon Warrior, Colubrida Guard, and Stonefist are from Wave 4. The Skeleton Warrior is a special extra figure, given to backers to make up for the delay in production on the figures. With the exception of the skeleton, all of these figures were stretch-goals from the Kickstarter campaign.

ATHENIAN WARRIOR – DEFENDER OF ATHENS

BossHacksP2cIn my last Boss Fight review, I made it a point to give each of the army builder characters an actual name. So, what the heck, why not continue the trend? I’m gonna call this guy Burt. Burt’s an Athenian Warrior, which would technically make him an enemy of Lenny the Spartan Warrior from Wave 1. However, the backstory of the line has the forces joining together to fight the Gorgon army. So, they’re all buddies now! The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation. Burt uses the same basic male body we saw on the Spartan and Cursed Spartan from Wave 1. Burt uses the bald, bearless head (same as the Cursed Spartan), which works pretty decently. He has new armor pieces, which are different from the Spartan pieces, but similar enough that they believably share a common ancestry. The Athenian armor is much more ornate than the utilitarian Spartan armor, and it has a BossHacksP2llot of really great little details, and even a spot on his back to store a sword or spear. There’s also far more texturing this time, which adds some more depth to the design. The main Athenian helmet is similar to the Spartan design, but the Mohawk is going the opposite direction, and it is once again a bit more ornate. There’s also a second helmet, which is far more simplistic and sleek, and offers a bit of variety, should you want to army build. The paint on Burt is decent, but probably the weakest of the figures I’ve gotten. The colors are all pretty vibrant, and there’s lots of really cool detail work. The main issue with my figure is the eyes, which are just off enough to make him look slightly weird. Burt includes a sword, spear, shield, sheath, a spare set of hands, and a display stand.

UNDERWORLD WARRIOR – HADES ARMY

BossHacksP2eAfter covering the real world armies of Athens and Sparta, Boss Fight decided to also get into some of the armies of some of the gods. Hades, god of the Underworld, apparently decided he wanted to get in on the fight with the Gorgons and created his own Underworld-dwelling army. Iggy here (props to Super Awesome Girlfriend for the name) is a member of said army. Now, you might have noticed some similarities to Wave 1’s Cursed Spartan. This is actually intentional. According to the backstory presented on the package, Iggy started his life as a Cursed Spartan, who was imbued with additional powers by Hades, in exchange for his service. BossHacksP2iStructurally, this figure is identical to the Cursed Spartan. I loved that figure’s sculpt, and I still love it here. To change things up, Iggy gets a new paint job, which adds a molten rock motif. The detailing is simple, but quite effective. The bright orange and yellow is surprisingly convincing as cracking molten rock. Iggy includes two swords (long and short), a sheath, a spear, a shield, an extra pair of hands, and a display stand.

AMAZON WARRIOR – ARES ARMY

BossHacksP2dAmazon’s are a pretty common occurrence in mythology and fiction in general, so it’s not a huge shock to see the concept appear in this line.  Apparently, they’re working for Ares. I mean, I guess that works. Not the God I would have placed them with, but I can’t really complain. The Amazon (who I’ve decided to name Linda) stands just shy of 4 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation. This marks the first time we’ve seen the full female body, legs and all. It feels pretty comparable to the male body, though it’s worth noting that the ankle articulation is a different design. It’s similar to some of Hasbro’s more recent Marvel Legends articulation. I honestly can’t say which layout I prefer. Linda has a new head, which has BossHacksP2jshort hair. It works pretty well, and it looks convincingly tough. The Amazonian armor is fairly similar to the Spartan armor in terms of design. The figure re-uses the Spartan Warrior’s helmet, as well as the Coral Gorgon’s chest armor and wrist bracers. She gets a new skirt piece and shin guards, which are rather similar to the Spartan pieces. The skirt has a small loop, which can hold one of her weapons. The paint on Linda is pretty impressive. The armor more or less matches up with the Spartan colors, though the gold appears to be a little brighter. The tribal tattoos on the arms and legs are quite nicely detailed, and add an awesome uniqueness to the design, and they even continue onto her shoulders, under the armor. Linda includes long and short swords, a spear, a shield (which is by far my favorite shield design in the set), a spare set of hands, and a display stand.

COLUBRIDA GUARD – GORGON HORDE

BossHacksP2bRemember how the Underworld Warrior was pretty much a straight re-use of the Cursed Spartan? Well, the Colubrida Guard is structurally the same as Wave 1’s Coral Gorgon. Once again, there’s a good explanation: the Colubrida Guard are the lieutenants of the Gorgon army, and are supposed to be similar to the other Gorgons in design. The main difference between the two figures is the paint. The Colubrida Guard trades in the more subdued red of the Coral Gorgon for a near neon-orange shade. Seriously, this thing practically glows! It’s a fantastic shade, BossHacksP2mand it makes the figure pop right to the front of any set up. Contrasting the immensely bright coloring of the actual Gorgon, the armor has been changed from gold to an almost black shade of metallic grey. The Colubrida Guard includes two swords, a sheath, a shield, extra hands, and a display stand. The swords and sheath are done up to match the Cursed Spartan, indicating that the Guards have been stealing their weapons from Medusa’s victims. That’s a pretty awesome touch!

STONEFIST –GORGON HUNTER

BossHacksP2nHere’s one figure I don’t have to name, because he’s already got one! He’s STONEFIST! THE GORGON HUNTER! This dude’s a badass, let me tell you. He’s an Athenian Warrior who came face to face with Medusa and survived the ordeal but slicing out his own eyes. This resulted in his left arm being turned to unbreakable stone and also gave him super-human senses. This guy’s pretty much the Greek Myth version of Daredevil. Stonefist is the same as the Athenian Warrior in terms of construction, though he only gets the less ornate helmet. Also, worth noting: my figure ended up with two left shoulders. It’s a rather minor difference, and not enough to ruin the figure, but it’s slightly noticeable. Stonefist’s color scheme has been tweaked ever so slightly from the basic Athenian look. Obviously, BossHacksP2kthere’s the “stone fist,” which is achieved by painting his left arm up like one of the Cursed Spartans. He’s also fairly pale, and has noticeable scaring over his eyes. The color scheme of his armor has also been changed a bit: they’ve added a bit of blue, which, when interacting with the red, makes him look a little like a super hero. The gold is all slightly tarnished, and he’s done a bit of tweaking to his helmet, adding some graffiti to the front, sort of like a WWII fighter plane. Stonefist includes three swords (one of each type we’ve seen so far), a spear, a sheath, a shield (same design as the Athenian’s, but with the eyes scratched out. Nice touch), extra hands, and a display stand.

SKELETON WARRIOR – PINK

BossHacksP2fLast up, it’s the figure I wasn’t expecting, the Skeleton Warrior. Not to be confused with the Skeleton Warriors (danananuhnuuuu)!  So, Freleng here is just a basic skeleton, but he’s been done in pink. Why he’s pink is anyone’s guess; maybe he’s made of bubble gum. The figure is about 4 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation (including BossHacksp2han articulated jaw!). The sculpt of the figure is a fairly realistic take on a skeleton, and it’s appropriately sized to fit within the basic male body. The parts aren’t quite cross compatible, but I imagine you could do some swapping with minor customization. Freleng includes a basic display stand, done up in the same shade of pink as him. He also has a set of 6 clear add-on pieces. Two of them attach to the feet and are used to secure him to the stand. The other four can be attached to the arms and legs, to allow him to wear the armor off of one of the basic male bodies. Undead army FTW!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Amazon and Underworld Warrior were the remaining two figures from my Kickstarter pledge, but I actually got the other three main release figures via Boss Fight’s online store. As cool as the Wave 1 figures were, these were the ones I was really looking forward to. My favorite of the bunch is probably Stonefist, just because I really like the concept. The Amazon is no slouch, though. The Colubrida Guard and Underworld Warrior aren’t much different from the Coral Gorgon and the Cursed Spartan, but the changes make both figures a bit more exciting. The Athenian isn’t super exciting, but I think a lot of that has to do with how similar he is to Stonefist. The real surprise star for me, though, is the Skeleton. He’s just the freebie figure, but he’s surprisingly mobile, and just a whole lot of fun to mess with. All-in-all, this is yet another fantastic set of figures. I can’t wait to get more from Boss Fight!

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