#3020: Black Widow

BLACK WIDOW

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Extensive training in the Red Room made Natasha Romanoff into a warrior with few peers.”

Okay, so, I gotta be honest, putting that specific bio on this specific version of Black Widow is, admittedly, a little bit humorous.  I mean, yeah, she has trouble making friends, and it’s relevant to the movie that was being released around the time of this figure’s release, but, umm, the figure’s sort of in her specifically Avengers-branded attire.  From when she was with the Avengers.  Long enough to have specifically branded attire.  Which would make them…her peers?  I don’t mean to keep throwing wrenches into the Hasbro bios here, but, you know, I’m just throwing that out there.  Okay, enough bio-reviewing, onto the figure reviewing.  Would you guess I’m looking at a Black Widow figure today?  I know, pretty crazy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Widow was a Walmart-exclusive Marvel Legends release, initially showing up in the summer of 2020 to coincide with the original planned release date for Black Widow.  As with most Walmart-exclusives, it was not super easy to find, and this wasn’t aided by the whole pandemic thing.  Ultimately, she would up being offered up again through Entertainment Earth, and by extension through a good number of Fan Channel locations.  This version of Widow is sporting her grey jumpsuit and Avengers-branded bomber jacket from the early ’90s.  Notably, this same design was also the one used by her very first action figure, back during the Toy Biz 5-inch days, and it also showed up once prior as the variant color scheme for the Widow from the Legends two-packs in 2010.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her sculpt is a mix of old and new.  The bulk of the body is the Phoenix mold, with the upper arms and jacket overlay from Rogue.  She gets a new head, upper torso (which was subsequently re-used on Firestar), and add-ons for her bracelets and belt.  It’s a good mix of parts, which does a pretty spot-on job of capturing this particular version of Widow.  In particular, I really like how the head sculpt turned out.  The hair really captures the look and feel really well, right down to the one lock in front of her right eye.  It’s honestly one of Hasbro’s nicest female heads, and certainly my favorite of the Widow sculpts they’ve done.  The paint work on this figure is pretty decent.  The bulk of the color work is via molded plastic colors, but the work on the two spiders is sharp, and the face and hair are particularly dynamic and lively looking.  She’s even got the Avengers insignia on both shoulders of the jacket, which is super cool.  Black Widow is packed with two sets of hands (fists and open gesture), three different sets of bracelets (standard, blast effect, and smoke), a jetpack piece, and two rocket effects for the jetpack.  It’s a really great selection of extras.  About the only other thing I could think of to really seal the deal might be an alternate set of unjacketed arms, but that’s really a minor complaint, given the other awesome stuff included.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got a nostalgic spot for this design, what with the old Toy Biz figure and all, so I was very excited when this figure was shown off, and immediately less so when it was confirmed as a Walmart exclusive.  I then had no luck locating one at retail, and kind of figured that was it.  Thankfully she got the second release, and I got a second chance at getting her.  I’m glad I did, because she’s a fantastic figure, and honestly my favorite Widow figure from Hasbro.  Just a really strong release all around, and I’m glad it’s getting a wider distribution.

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.

#3019: Tigra

TIGRA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Fast feline reflexes and a prehensile tail make Marvel’s Tigra a dazzling force to be reckoned with.”

How are you guys holding up with all these Marvel Legends reviews?  Ready for something slightly different?  Well, umm, the Legends aren’t going anywhere…just yet.  But, Marvel’s Merry Mutants have had their time to shine, so why not take a quick focus shift over to the Avengers side of things.  Today, we go for a more obscure selection, Greer Nelson, aka Tigra.  Greer, in her original super persona “The Cat,” is notable for being part of Marvel’s initiative to create super hero comics that would be more aimed at female readers, and would also feature at least one female creator per book.  The Cat actually had two, with Marie Severin handling the art duties and Linda Fite taking on the writing duties.  The series was sadly short-lived (as were its compatriots Night Nurse and Shanna The She-Devil), lasting only four issues before being cancelled due to low sales.  Greer was revamped in 1974, now as Tigra, under Marvel’s monsters banner.  Following that, she made her way to the Avengers, notably serving as a founding member and long-term fixture of their West Coast spin-off.  She’s not been a stranger to action figures, though it’s been a little while.  She’s gotten one more, courtesy of Hasbro, which I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tigra is the most recent release in the Retro Collection sub-branding of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  She follows up closely on the Hercules figure, and is likewise a Fan Channel-exclusive one-off release.  She slipped in right at the end of last year.  This marks Tigra’s second time as a Legends release, following up on Hasbro’s own release of her from the Nemesis Series, way back in 2009.  The line’s certainly come a long way since then.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation.  The last Legends Tigra was saddled with the articulation typical of the line’s worst era, which was a real shame.  Thankfully, this time around she’s hitting during perhaps the line’s best era from an articulation standpoint.  She’s got a really impressive range of motion, as well as double joints on both the elbows and knees.  The elbows and knees are also using the pinless construction, allowing for a much better appearance aesthetically.  Tigra is sporting an all-new sculpt, and a pretty strong one at that.  There are two head sculpts included here, one more feral and dynamic, and one more calm and human.  Both are impressive, but I definitely find myself more drawn to the dynamic sculpt.  The body sculpt is clean, with a balanced set of proportions, matching up with her usual depictions in the comics.  There’s some great attention to detail, notably there are even little tufts of fur at a few key points, which really sells the whole cat lady thing pretty effectively.  The color work on this release is a vast improvement on the last one.  Tigra is supposed to be orange…you know, like a tiger.  The first one was really more of a pale orange/yellow, but this one is the more appropriate vibrant shade.  The paint work on her is clean, sharp, and well applied, making for quite an eye catching look.  Tigra is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, and the other in a claw-bearing pose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

A combination of an early love of West Coast Avengers, as well as being one of the few people on the planet to actually like United They Stand has given me quite an appreciation of Tigra as a character.  I went out and spent a rather high amount (at the time, anyway) for the last one, and I was always disappointed by how lackluster it wound up being.  This one is a much, much better release, and I’m really glad to have gotten a figure that seems to really give the character her due after all this time.

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.

#3000: Captain America – Infinity War

CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HOT TOYS)

In a turn of events that I suppose is all rather fitting, today, the last day of 2021, also marks my 3000th review here at the site.  Pretty crazy, huh?  I never really foresaw myself making it quite this far, and yet, here I am.  3000 is a very big number, and a bigger number than the the total quantity of figures I had in my collection when I started this thing.  Moreover, I’ve made it all the way to the end of 2021, a journey that I would very much be underselling with the description “turbulent.”  A lot’s happened, and it has not been easy.  But I’m here.  And I’ve got a thing to review.  And I suppose that’s the most important thing in the moment.  So, let’s jump back to 2018, back to the throws of Avengers: Infinity War, specifically Captain America and his rather disheveled look from his own rather turbulent year.  Fitting, I suppose.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is part of the Infinity War tie-in component of Hot Toys’ Movie Masterpiece Series, where he’s figure MMS 481, which made him the sixth of the IW tie-in figures.  The figure arrived not too long after the film’s release, hitting in the fall of 2018.  There were two releases of him, a standard and a “Movie Promo Edition” which was a Sideshow-exclusive in the US.  The difference between the two comes down to a few accessories; the figure proper remains the same.  This Cap is based on his Nomad appearance from the film, which is of course the only look he actually has in Infinity War, so I guess that makes sense.  The figure stands about 12 1/2 inches tall and he has over 30 points of articulation.

While most Caps these days include multiple heads, this release only has the one.  It makes some degree of sense, since he doesn’t have the helmeted look in the film, so I suppose he only needs the one head.  It’s only the one facial expression, but that’s not uncommon for unmasked heads from Hot Toys.  This one does live up to Hot Toys’ usual penchant for very lifelike sculpts.  It sports a pretty spot-on likeness of Evans in the film, at least facially.  The hair is perhaps a little bit too orderly for proper film accuracy, but it’s not too far off, and it’s certainly closer than either Hasbro or Bandai’s attempts were.  It avoids the seam at the sides of the head that the Endgame release had, but trades it out for a rather noticeable join at the back of the head where the longer hair attaches.  It’s still not the worst thing, but at this price point, you do hope for a little better.  At the very least, the paint work topping it all off is really good, up to Hot Toys’ typical standards for face paint, with a very lifelike quality to the whole thing.

In Infinity War, Cap is, at least canonically, supposed to still be wearing the suit he had in Civil War, having had not time on the run between films to swap out.  In actuality, there are a few changes to the suit beyond just the expected wear and tear of being on the run, but they’re generally minor.  In terms of how the suit works on the figure, it’s pretty similar to the Endgame figure, being two main parts, with a lot of layers attached.  As with that figure, this one’s belt sets perhaps a little low, but it’s otherwise a well-tailored outfit that works well with the underlying body of the figure and captures the look of the outfit seen in the film quite nicely.

The underlying base body appears to be the same one used for Endgame Cap, which was a good fit for Evans’ build for the character, as well as doing a good job of balancing aesthetics and functionality.  As with that figure, the movement of the base body is somewhat impeded by the nature of the suit design, which does have some notable restrictions at the hips and shoulders.  Still, there’s plenty of movement to be had, and he can get some pretty solid range on most of the joints.

When it comes to accessories, Cap gets quite a few, including:

  • 8 hands
  • 2 Wakandan shields
  • Outrider corpse
  • Corvus Glaive’s Spear
  • Proxima Midnight’s staff
  • Display stand

The hands include a pair of fists, a pair of gripping, a pair of relaxed gesture, and a right pointing/left open gesture combo.  They give all the important needs for posing and working with the included accessories, and also do a good job of capturing the look of his gloves from the movie.  They’re a little tricky to swap out, but not impossibly so.  The two Wakandan shields are designed for specifically right and left sides, and are able to be fully collapsed or extended, which is certainly nice engineering.  The display stand is the same style as we saw on the Endgame figure.  I dig the hexagonal shape.  And that’s all of the standard release stuff.  The exclusive also adds a fallen Outrider corpse piece to sit atop the stand (along with a printed piece which looks like dirt ground), as well as both Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight’s weapons.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on the standard release of this guy when he came into All Time.  I mean, not really missed out, I suppose, since he was in stock, and I just dragged my feet on him, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to jump back into Hot Toys.  Once the Endgame release truly broke me on that, I regretted passing on this guy, so he went on my list of figures I was definitely planning to snag should they get traded in.  As luck would have it, this guy wound up getting traded in within about a week of me getting the Endgame version, which was a solid thematic thing.  He’s the best version of this design available to be sure, and he’s honestly the version of Cap that most reflected my personal mind state as I navigated the last year. A little broken, a little lost, and his resolve a little shaken.  But he’s still him deep down.  A fitting send off to the year.

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.

#2971: Thor

THOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Armed with Stormbreaker and Mjolnir, the son of Odin steps onto the battlefield to face Thanos one final time.”

Happy Thor’s Day, everyone!  Man, it’s been too long since I’ve gotten to use that one.  I blame my own poor forward planning when it comes to review schedules.  But I totally remembered this time, so a-ha!  Though Avengers Endgame got a lot of coverage in Marvel Legends, the nature of a good chunk of the designs either being downplayed for the Quantum Suits, or kept completely secret until the film’s release, like Thor here, meant that there were still a number of designs still left out in the cold.  Thor effectively has three main looks during the film.  His pre time-skip look, which we got with the Infinity War stuff, his post-time-skip “the Dude” look, which we got as a Build-A-Figure in 2019, and his final battle attire, which we’ve just gotten now!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is the last single-release standard figure for the Infinity Saga sub-line of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  He’s one of three items in the sub-line based on Endgame, which is the movie with the heaviest coverage here.  The figure stands about 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  After years of the MCU Thor’s being almost comedically larger than the rest of the figures, it seems they’ve begun to slightly down-size him, ever so slightly, for more proper scaling.  So, this Thor is actually a little smaller than prior versions, but that’s actually more accurate to Hemsworth’s relative height to everyone else.  In terms of articulation scheme, this figure more or less sticks to what the Infinity War versions of him had, albeit slightly more restricted by his added bulk.  He does get the pinless construction on his elbow and knee joints, however, which is pretty cool.  Thor’s sculpt is all-new; the arms look similar to the IW ones, but, as noted previously, they don’t have exposed pins on the elbows, so they’re new too.  It’s a pretty solid sculpt overall.  Since it’s being released two years after the film, it doesn’t have to worry about odd preliminary design details that got changed, meaning it matches up pretty well with the design seen in the finished movie.  The head sports a respectable likeness of Chris Hemsworth, which, much like the Bro Thor, I think is aided a bit by the more distinctive features of the more disheveled appearance.  I quite like the detailing on the braided beard, and they’ve done alright with capturing the more scraggly-looking hair.  The body gets the slightly heftier build down pretty good, and the texturing and small detail work on the outfit’s all rather nice.  The paint work on Thor is generally pretty basic.  Most of the outfit and such is just molded colors, with more of the intricate work on the head.  The head ends up doing the same thing that the three-pack Infinity War version did, going for a more “powered up” appearance.  While I’m not opposed to the general concept, or even how it turned out on the figure, it’s a little bit limiting of a choice for the only included head.  Maybe at least throw us an extra head with standard eyes?  Like I said, it does at least still look pretty cool, so I can’t entirely fault it.  Thor is packed with both of his hammers, done up in clear blue to somewhat match his powered-up look, as well as two sets of hands (gripping and open gesture), and two lightning effect pieces.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was honestly a bit surprised when we got the full-on Bro Thor before this one back when the Endgame product was first hitting, and even more surprised by the complete and utter lack of this figure in any of the immediate follow-up.  I was at the very least expecting some sort of multi-pack with the big three in their final battle attire or something.  Honestly, I wasn’t expecting a single release on him, but I can’t say I was disappointed by the choice.  Thor’s a pretty solid figure.  He’s a bit late to the party, perhaps, but that means we only have to contend with just the one of him from the start.  It’s certainly nice to get another final battle figure.

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.

#2938: Falcon

FALCON

AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)

“As the Falcon, Sam Wilson became the dedicated defender of Harlem. Pledging to protect the innocent, Wilson used a falcon as inspiration when inventing high-powered armor – extendable robotic wings for swift aerial maneuvers and soaring flights, razor-sharp claws from wrist, and battle boots with retractable steel talons and missiles. He fights crime and shares a telepathic link with his trusty falcon, Redwing. As one of Earth’s mightiest heroes, he is always ready to answer the call, ‘Avengers Assemble!'”

Even before getting his big on-screen focus in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Falcon’s always been pretty fortunate when it came to the smaller-scale tie-in stuff.  He’s been included in every major Marvel scale and style when it comes to toys, and when it came to 1999’s Avengers: United They Stand cartoon, he got the important role of being the team’s newest member, and in many ways the audience surrogate as the team makes their way through the larger Marvel universe.  I’m looking at his figure from that line today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon was part of the second assortment of Toy Biz’s Avengers: United They Stand tie-in line.  This was only Falcon’s second figure from Toy Biz, but it was his fourth overall, following his Mego and Secret Wars figures. The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  He continues the trend of improved articulation on these guys, which was really great.  Falcon’s design for the show was a much more armored up design, much like the rest of the cast.  He did keep more of the broad stroke elements of his classic design than the others, and this design differed from the rest in that it actually even made a transition to the comics, at least for a short while.  Some parts of it are a little clunky, but it’s generally one of the better looks from the show, and I’ve always had a real soft spot for this one.  The sculpt does a very nice job of replicating his animation design, keeping him rather clean looking.  The armored parts actually use some separately sculpted pieces, which gives him a nice depth to his design.  His wings are also split between upper and lower arms, allowing for more posability, making a notable improvement over the Secret Wars figure, and even putting him above Toy Biz’s own Marvel’s Gold release.  Falcon’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  It’s largely just basic color work, but it was pretty clean, and the accenting on the armored parts is pretty cool.  Falcon was packed with his pet falcon and sidekick Red Wing.  Redwing had a magnetic connection on the front of his harness which could connect to Falcon’s corresponding magnet on his right arm, and would launch a pair of missiles from his back pack.  There were a lot of gimmicky accessories in this line, and this one certainly had a gimmick, but it was at least not terribly disruptive, and it meant we got a proper Redwing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Falcon and Tigra were the first figures I got from this line when it dropped.  While they weren’t quite at the top of my list, they were both still pretty high (really only Wonder Man and Vision topped them).  The show and this toy both served to really solidify Falcon as a character I really, really liked, and he’s remained one of my favorites to this day.  This figure is still a lot of fun, and remains my favorite version of the character.  And there have been some really good Falcon figures, so that’s saying something.

#2934: Captain Marvel & Rescue Armor

CAPTAIN MARVEL & RESCUE ARMOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Hasbro did their best on giving us the most thorough line-ups possible when it come to the Infinity War and Endgame casts, but given the sheer size, there were of course a few that wound up slipping through the cracks.  The purpose of the Infinity Saga line seems to be equal parts getting figures out that were missed, and fixing ones that weren’t quite right the first time around.  Today’s focus goes for a bit of both, as well as serving as a nice representation of some of the film’s own internal representation of the franchise’s female heroes during the big climactic battle, all rolled into one package.  So, without further ado, and before I rack up too many pissed off commenters, let’s look at Captain Marvel and Rescue!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Captain Marvel and the Rescue Armor are the first of the two-pack portion of the 10-piece Infinity Saga sub-set of Marvel Legends.  This particular pairing is an Amazon-exclusive.  This set is one of three items from the line to be based on Endgame, which does seem like a lot, but, of course, it’s a rather jam-packed movie, isn’t it?

CAPTAIN MARVEL

Captain Marvel uses her incredible powers to battle evil in the ultimate fight for the fate of the universe.”

Given that she had gotten her own assortment devoted to her, and that all the promo material showed her in a costume that was largely unchanged from her solo film appearance, it really wasn’t a shock that we didn’t get a proper Endgame Captain Marvel at the time of the film’s release.  That said, the inverted color scheme on the costume, as well as her fancy new hair style were both changes I really liked to her look, and ones I was hopeful to see in toy form at some point.  Here we are at some point.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, she’s largely the same figure as the one from her solo outing.  It’s generally a pretty solid starting point, it’s not terribly far off from Larson’s build when she’s playing the character, and the broad strokes details line-up with her suit from the film.  Some of the smaller details aren’t *quite* right, but given how brief this look’s appearance is, and how small those details are, they don’t generally feel too out of place.  My figure does wind up with one notable QC issue, which is that she’s got two left forearms.  Just my luck.  Regardless of QC issues, Carol gets a new head, as well as a new sash piece add-on.  The new head is a very nice piece, and definitely has Hasbro’s best Brie Larson likeness to date.  It’s a marked improvement on the solo film figures, and is just generally a pretty good match.  The sash is a pretty basic piece, but does a lot to change up the sculpt just a bit more.  The biggest change-up is the paint, which is sporting her inverted color scheme from the movie.  I find this to be a lot more appealing, and more classically “Captain Marvel” like, so I’m definitely a fan.  I also kind of dig the change to the flat colors vs metallic.  It’s not a huge shift, but I think it works.  Carol is packed with three different sets of hands (fists, flat, and relaxed) and Stark’s nanotech version of the gauntlet, this time just meant for holding.

RESCUE ARMOR

“Outfitted with repulsors and a unibeam, Pepper’s Rescue suit is ready to step into battle against Thanos.”

Pepper Potts in her Rescue armor was notably *not* absent from the Legends tie-ins for Endgame when it was released, but, similar to the War Machine from that same assortment, getting her out that close to the film’s release resulted in some inaccuracies and some stripping of more film relevant accessories.  This release serves to address some of that.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  At her core, this figure’s sculpt is the same as the one from the main line release.  It wasn’t a bad sculpt at all, so re-using it feels like a pretty good call.  I liked it the first time, and I still like it now.  The first set of changes are in the form of paint.  The standard release wasn’t far off, but there were some small tweaks to the final film design, which have been reflected here.  The overall color scheme has also been toned down slightly, which looks a bit truer to what we see on screen.  The biggest changes are in the form of accessories.  She still gets both versions of the back-pack, but now she also gets two additional head sculpts, one with the face plate up, and the other with the helmet entirely removed, as well as some extra attachments for the open back pack to showcase her nano gear a little more, and also a pair of blast effects.  It’s a shame we didn’t get any extra hands mixed in with all of that, but I’m not going to be too greedy on this one.  The new parts add a lot to a figure that I already really liked.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Today’s review is a significant one for me, on two counts.  Today would have been mine and Jess’s second wedding anniversary.  It is also the first one I’m spending without her.  Jess’s encouragement of my collecting was a prominent piece of our relationship, and it was something that she maintained up to the end.  When this set dropped online, I was pretty excited, and made mention of it to her.  Then things got serious, and my mind moved onto more important matters, and I wasn’t really thinking about toys.  After Jess’s passing, I discovered that she had ordered this set for me, the very day I’d mentioned it to her.  And so, three months after her passing, its arrival marked my final gift from her.  It’s something of a bittersweet moment.  It’s a set I very much wanted, and one I’m very happy to have.  Jess absolutely adored the moment with the female heroes assembling in the film, so this set was already bound to remind me of her.  She was always so thoughtful and caring, even in her darkest moments.  And because of that, she gave me this one last gift.  But I know that it’s the last one.  And I wish it weren’t.  And I wish I could tell her how much it means to me.  But I can’t.  All I can do is take solace in the fact that she loved me, and she knew I loved her too, and that was why she worked so hard to take care of me, even after the fact.  So, now I have one last testament to just how Super Awesome of a Wife she really was.  Thank you for everything, Jess.

#2933: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Armed with Wakandan Gauntlets, Steve Rogers steps forward to defend the world from the impossible threat of Thanos and his minions.”

Okay, I’m gonna level with you guys: you better like Marvel Legends reviews.  Hasbro’s been really switching it into turbo with the line, and though they’ve been *trying* to space it out, that hasn’t so much worked out.  The result is a metric ton of them all dropping at once.  So, it’s gonna be at least a month of Legends around these parts.  I hope I can cling to my sanity.  Let’s kick things off by jumping back into Hasbro’s Infinity Saga sub-line, which is yet another throw-back to the first decade of the MCU.  It’s covering films from the beginning of the saga, up through Endgame, filling in some holes in a few of the line-ups, as well as offering some updates to figures that weren’t quite there the first time around.  Today’s figure, Captain America from Infinity War, falls into the latter category.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is the second of the 10 figures in the Infinity Saga sub-line of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  He’s one of five single-packed standard figures, and also one of the three exclusives in the line-up.  Yes, once again Cap is a Walmart-exclusive.  I’m going to do my best not to harp on that too much, but it continues to feel like really terrible planning for overall line performance to have one of your central pieces always wind up as an exclusive to a chain that’s really bad at handling exclusives.  Moving on.  Cap is based on his Nomad appearance from Infinity War, a design that has been done in Legends once before, but not in a particularly accurate fashion.  This one aims to fix those issues and go a little more screen accurate.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s a bit of a mix of old and new articulation styles, due to the nature of his construction.  His arms are using the pinless construction, which looks quite nice, and they’ve reworked how the bicep cuts work to make them a little more pleasant to look at when posing.  The rest of the movement more or less remains the same as it was on the first version.  A lot of that is due to most of the parts being shared between the two figures.  The head and arms are new, but everything else is re-use.  It’s sensible, since most of the old figure was pretty decent; don’t fix what’s not broken and all that.  The biggest issue with the prior Cap was the inaccuracy on the head, which this one fixes, more or less.  The hair and beard are far closer to their on-screen looks this time, which is a definite improvement.  I don’t know that the likeness is quite as spot-on as, say, the Endgame figure, but it’s certainly not un-Evans-like.  There’s a second head sculpt included, this one more expressive than the first.  It’s not a bad face sculpt, but I’m not sure the hair works as well.  He looks like he’s got some very serious helmet hair going on.  The new arms not only improve the aesthetics of the articulation, they also fix the issue of the last figure only having the one glove.  Now he’s nice and symmetrical.  In general, the new sculpt is a resounding success.  If things seem to be going too smoothly, that’s because they are.  The sculpt is great, but as with pretty much every IW Cap, there’s always a trade off.  In this case, it’s that the paint ends up making his uniform much brighter and cleaner than it should be.  The colors were one thing that the first figure did alright on, so the move to something brighter feels like an odd misstep.  It’s not terrible, but it’s definitely off.  The paint on the heads is at least up to the usual standards, so that’s good.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, he also gets two sets of hands (gripping and fists, both gloved this time), as well as two of the Wakandan shields.  The shields aren’t a matched pair; one is open and the other closed.  It would be nice to get two sets of each version, especially given the extra price on this round of releases.  At least they actually gave us two this time, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure fills me with mixed feelings.  I wanted an improvement on the last release, and that’s what I got, but there are once again trade offs, and I do really feel like if you’re going to force us to buy the same figure twice, you could at least go the extra mile by throwing in more accessories.  Just to spruce him up a little bit.  And that’s all without getting into the Walmart exclusive thing, which continues to be a rather stupid move on someone’s part.  Not entirely sure whose, but someone’s.  All that said, I was at least able to get mine without any major issues (apart from the one delay that pretty much everyone got), and in-hand, I do really, really like this figure.  It’s a shame we couldn’t just get him this way from the start, but then I suppose we wouldn’t appreciate this one as much.

#2931: Hawkeye

HAWKEYE

AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)

Clint Barton is the heroic marksman known as Hawkeye. A master acrobat and hand-to-hand combatant, Barton has honed his bow-and-arrow skills to near superhuman accuracy. Drawing the high-tech weapon from his back, and locking it with chest piece, this ace archer utilizes his custom-built arsenal of arrows, and laser sighting to trounce all evil powers. As one of Earth’s mightiest heroes he answers the call, ‘Avengers Assemble!'”

At the end of next month Hawkeye premiers on Disney+, finally giving Jeremy Renner’s live action version of the character a proper focus after being purely an ensemble player for five films.  Hawkeye’s got a pretty rich comics history to draw from, so it’s great to see them finally take a little more note of Clint Barton.  As a quintessential Avenger, he’s almost always included in Avengers projects, of course, including 1999’s Avengers: United They Stand, where he served as one of the show’s focal characters.  Since he was a team member not named “Scarlet Witch” he got a toy out of it, which I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hawkeye was part of the second assortment of the United They Stand tie-in line from Toy Biz.  It was, as noted before, a purely clerical division, as they all shipped at the same time.  This marked Hawkeye’s third figure from Toy Biz, and would be one of four released during their tenure with the property.  The figure was somewhat oddly on the taller side, standing a little over 5 1/2 inches tall and sporting 10 points of articulation.  Hawkeye was a slight step down from the rest of the line on the movement front.  The legs are up to the same base level as others (though the hips are a bit more restricted by the costume design), but his arms don’t get elbow joints.  His right is already bent, and has a bicep cut joint to add some extra movement.  Maybe they though elbow joints would make the arms too weak to hold the bow properly?  Hawkeye’s sculpt was an all-new one, based on his much maligned design from the show.  Generally, I didn’t hate any of the looks the way other people did, and I don’t really hate Hawkeye’s look either, but I will say he’s probably the weakest of the main team in terms of design.  I’m very much a classic Hawkeye fan, so I hesitate when it comes to anything that doesn’t have at least the old mask design.  Also, the armor looks a little goofier on him than the others.  All that said, it fits the general aesthetic they built with the show, and I don’t hate it.  The figure’s sculpt is a reasonable match for his design as seen in the show.  Like the others, he’s been slightly tweaked in terms of stylizing in order to fit better with the rest of Toy Biz’s Marvel output at the time.  The one notable thing here is that his head was clearly sculpted based on the initial design for Hawkeye (seen in most of the show’s promotional material), which had a headband, rather than the proper mask.  Fortunately, it was an easy enough thing to change convincingly with just some paint.  Speaking of paint, his was generally okay.  Nothing amazing or anything, but he follows the show’s look pretty well, and there were no glaring issues.  Mine has taken a little bit of wear over the years, but not too much.  Hawkeye was packed with his bow, which is absolutely huge, by the way, as well as six different styles of arrows.  I’ve only got two of them left from my stock, but they’re pretty cool, and even had metal at the ends so that you could use the magnet in Hawkeye’s right hand to draw them back and fire them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hawkeye was nearer the end of my purchases for the line, I believe.  He was never quite as hard to find as the others.  He was one of the few I actually found in the store myself, as opposed to having someone else just get it for me.  I already had the Iron Man Hawkeye, which was really always my go-to version, even after getting this one, so this guy really just tended to be auxiliary.  He’s not bad, all things considered, but he’s probably one of the weaker ones from this particular set.

#2924: Vision

VISION

AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)

“Created by Ultron, Vision was part of a plan to conquer the Avengers. His transparent skin lights up when passing ghost-like through objects. Vision knew Ultron was evil, and helped the Avengers defeat him. He proved invaluable and was asked to join the team. Proud of the symbol he bears as one of Earth’s mightiest, this hero answers the call, ‘Avengers Assemble!'”

Remember a time, way back when, when Vision *wasn’t* a household name?  It was a dark, strange time, you guys.  People, like, didn’t know him, or care about him, and they looked at you weird when you explained his backstory to them.  Brain patterns are a thing, Tim!  Don’t ruin this for me!  But nowadays, Vision’s cool!  That’s where things should be!  Let’s review a figure of him, just to celebrate it!  This has probably been too many exclamation points!  Now I can’t stop, though!  To the review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Vision was released in the first assortment of Toy Biz’s Avengers: United They Stand tie-in line. In a crazy turn of events, this was the fourth freaking Vision figure from Toy Biz.  Somebody there really liked this guy.  The figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  Vision’s articulation scheme is generally pretty decent for the era.  The hips could maybe stand to have slightly better range, but he’s otherwise got a great range.  Vision’s sculpt was all-new, and remained unique to him.  He’s based on the character’s look in the show, just like the rest of the line.  Vision’s design for the show was generally one of the more faithful ones, at least in broad strokes terms.  It takes his classic design and sort of techs it up a little bit for something sightly more robotic.  All things considered, it’s not much of a departure from how the MCU would adapt him later, albeit with a slightly different end aesthetic.  The sculpt does quite a nice job of capturing the animation model, and making it fit with the rest of the line.  The cape piece is cloth, but it’s actually quite nicely handled.  There’s a proper hem on the sides and everything.  That’s commitment to quality, right there.  Toy Biz knew, you guys.  They knew this guy was gonna take off.  And good for them.  Vision’s color work went a just a touch lighter than his on-screen model, but it’s generally a bright and eye catching look.  The slight metallics are cool, as are the transparent parts, which are that way to facilitate the light-up feature (unfortunatley no longer working on my figure).  Vision was packed with one of Ultron’s drones from the show’s opening episode.  It can be hooked up to Vision to also light-up, and even has articulated arms. It’s definitely one of the best of these gimmicky extras.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Vision was one of my most wanted figures from this set when they were released, and was also one of my favorite parts of the show as a whole.  They were scarce at their first drop, so he wound up as the third figure I got from the line, but I did finally get one, and he was my first 5-inch figure of the character.  That was definitely significant, which was cool.  He’s still one of my favorites, and he honestly holds up pretty darn well.

#2917: Wasp

WASP

AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)

With Avengers: United They Stand’s shifted focus on the team’s lower tier characters (for the time, anyway) placing Ant-Man as the show’s central character, it also made for some great extra focus on Hank’s long time partner in fighting crime, Janet Van Dyne, aka the Wasp.  Though she’s always been pretty central to the team in the comics, UTS marked the first time she got any real time in the spotlight with the general populace. And, it got her a third action figure, so that’s pretty cool.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wasp was part of Series 1 of Toy Biz’s Avengers: United They Stand tie-in line, which hit shelves at the same time as Series 2 in the back half of 1999.  The figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and she has 16 points of articulation. Wasp isn’t quite as well articulated as Ant-Man (admittedly the best articulated of this particular line), but she’s still better than most figures of the era.  The only thing that really holds her back are those dreaded v-hips, but that was something we’d still be dealing with for another several years. She also benefits from separately articulated wings, as well as a moving “stinger” piece, which is unfortunately missing from mine. Wasp’s sculpt was an all-new, totally unique piece, based on her design from the show, albeit in that slightly tweaked style that we saw with Ant-Man.  Her design from the show was certainly an overhaul of how she tended to look in the comics, but it’s also a far cry from her worst look over the years.  It’s certainly a more armored look, but it was the end of the ‘90s.  This is just how we dressed then, guys.  The sculpt captures the design well enough, and makes it work in the context of Toy Biz’s wider Marvel line at the time.  Probably the weirdest part of the sculpt are the arms, which are a touch too short, comparatively.  Otherwise, it does look pretty solid.  She has two different heads for the purposes of helmeted and unhelmeted looks.  Both sculpts are nicely rendered, and they swap out pretty easily.  Wasp’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  It’s all base work, but it’s cleanly applied, and it’s a little more involved than just a straight recreation of the show’s color scheme.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Wasp was also packed with a small missile launching drone.  It’s a goofy, rather extraneous piece, and that’s probably part of why I have no clue where the one that came with my figure has wound up.  Honestly, the extra head is enough to make it feel worth it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Ant-Man, Wasp was one of the last figures I got from this line, since my dad had the first one we found. So, she was on that list of the final three figures I gave to my Grandmother, and she picked this one up for me the week after I got Ant-Man.  I was again pretty excited, and she’s another one that I still really like all these years later.