#1898: Hulk

HULK

THE AVENGERS (HASBRO)

“The world seen through the eyes of the Hulk is distorted with rage, a haze of violence like a bad dream. Trapped within the mighty frame of the Hulk, Bruce Banner is barely able to maintain control. And yet, the Hulk is a hero. His immense strength is always turned to the protection of the weak, and the defense of justice. For while the Hulk may be rage incarnate, it is rage that is always properly directed against those hoping to cause harm.”

He’s a Hulk.  Smash.  Uhhhh…..that’s all I got.  So, here’s this Hulk figure?  Yeah, here’s this Hulk figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk is the third Walmart-exclusive 6-inch-scale Avengers figure I’ve looked at on the site.  He is, of course, based on Hulk’s somewhat updated, Ruffl-ized design of the Hulk from The Avengers.  It’s not like it’s far removed from the standard classic Hulk design, but he was decidedly more human looking for this appearance, and it shows through on this figure.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Hulk’s sculpt was brand new to him at the time.  It has subsequently seen re-use for both the Ultimate Green Goblin Build-A-Figure (which I have not reviewed), and the Age of Ultron Hulk (which I have reviewed). Unlike Cap and Thor, this figure is widely divergent from Hulk’s smaller-scale counterpart, which, honestly, is for the best, because the basic Avengers Hulk kind of sucked.  This figure’s sculpt, on the other hand, really doesn’t suck.  The proportions are more exaggerated than the movie’s were, but it makes for a good visual for the figure.  In addition, his skin has this really nice texture work to it that I like a lot more than the much more basic, much less interesting replacement pieces we saw for Age of Ultron.  I also really like the two different hand poses this guy is sporting; I’m always down for more than just the two-fisted combo.  Hulk’s paintwork is fairly subdued, especially when compared to the other two figures I’ve looked at, but it’s accurate enough, and it looks pretty hecking decent.  Hulk included no character specific accessories, but he did have the re-purposed Heroscape-styled display stand that was packed with all of these guys.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember how I got Thor and Cap?  Yeah, same deal for Hulk.  I think of all three, he has always been the one I’ve been most interested in finding, just due to how underwhelmed I was by his Age of Ultron variant.  This one’s a lot better than that one, and, like the other two, ends up being a surprisingly good figure for his time.

Hulk came from my friends over at All Time Toys.  He’s one of many 6-inch Marvel figures in their back catalog of figures, which can be viewed at both their website and their eBay store.

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#1897: Thor

THOR

THE AVENGERS (HASBRO)

“It is occasionally intolerable to be forced to live and work alongside humans with their short lifespan and petty troubles — but Thor has grown to have a deep affection for the people of Earth.  In the Avengers, he is gratified to have found a group of peers.  These are warriors with whom a man can be proud to serve. Thor is glad to fight alongside mighty creatures like the Hulk and noble men such as Captain America.”

Happy Thor’s Day everyone!  Despite some pretty intense audience support, Thor frequently seems to be the hardest sell of the main Avengers when it comes to toys.  Neither of his headlined toyline’s have done particularly well at retail.  But, by virtue of being a rather important member of the team, he does still warrant his token spot, which is a good thing for all of those fans, myself included, who would hate to see him left off the roster.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is another figure from the six-figure Walmart-exclusive larger-scale line of Avengers figures, which hit shelves not too long after the movie in 2012.  For the line based on Thor’s own solo film, Walmart had also offered up a 6-inch figure, which featured a brand-new sculpt, but also featured Thor’s helmet, which he wore for less that five minutes of the first film’s screen time, permanently attached to the head.  Not exactly the most indicative of the MCU take on the character.  This figure is really just a quick fix to that one; he’s exactly the same, but with a new head.  He stands 7 inches tall (this is the figure that would start the trend of MCU Thors being rather on the tall side) and he has 27 points of articulation.  The sculpt is a decent enough piece of work, though it shows its age a bit more than the Cap figure from yesterday, likely because the majority of it is a year older, and Hasbro was improving rapidly at this point.  It’s mostly the articulation that shows the age, especially the hips, which are difficult enough to pose that he’ll essentially just be standing.  The detail work on the sculpt is all pretty sharp, and mostly pretty accurate to the films.  His proportions are idealized slightly, but not terribly unbalanced.  The head, as the new piece, was the main focus. The head and hair are separate pieces, and the head is sporting one of Hasbro’s best Hemsworth likenesses.  The hair, which is decidedly based on the first Thor, rather than Avengers, isn’t quite up to the same snuff as the face.  It’s decent, but feels just a bit…full?  I’m not 100% sure how to describe it, but it’s certainly a bit off.  Thor’s paintwork is pretty solid work.  Application is clean, the palette is a good match for the movie, and he isn’t missing any notable details.  Accent work is minimal, but the sculpt does the heavy lifting here.  Thor is packed with Mjolnir, as well as a stackable display base patterned on the Heroscape tiles.  My figure only has the hammer, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Thor at the same time as Cap.  It was actually Cap that I’d noticed first, with Thor being the follow up.  This really wasn’t a figure I had much want for at the time of his release, and I’ve tended to prefer some of Thor’s later looks in the movies.  But, with the Mark VII already in my collection, and Cap soon to be, I was hardly going to just pass this guy up.  He’s not perfect, and he certainly shows the learning process Hasbro was going through at the time, but he still sports the best Hemsworth likeness Hasbro’s produced to date.

Like yesterday’s Captain America, Thor came from my friends over at All Time Toys.  He’s one of many 6-inch Marvel figures in their back catalog of figures, which can be viewed at both their website and their eBay store.

#1896: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

THE AVENGERS (HASBRO)

“As a soldier in World War II, Captain America fought for the safety and honor of his entire nation.  Now, as the leader of the Avengers, he fights to protect the entire world.  Villains great and small wield earth-shattering power without hesitation.  Only the original super-soldier and his team of awesome heroes stand between those ruthless individuals and the devastation of the planet.”

2012’s The Avengers was a big success for the MCU, but came at an odd time for Hasbro’s Marvel toys.  The 6-inch scale had all but died out, mostly replaced by their 3 3/4 inch offerings.  However, the poor sales of the Captain America and Thor toys the preceding year meant even those offerings were decidedly modest.  For both prior films, as well as Iron Man 2, Walmart had offered up a smaller assortment of Legends-styled figures, and continued this trend at an even larger scale offering five of the team’s six members*.  Today, I’m looking at the team’s leader, Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is one of the six figure line-up from the Walmart-exclusive Avengers 6-inch Movie Series.  He is, of course, based on his somewhat derided costume from the first Avengers movie. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall (the tallest of the MCU Caps in this scale) and he has 29 points of articulation.  The articulation is handled slightly differently than more modern releases; Hasbro was still figuring some of these things out.  The hips are definitely the weakest part and make him a little difficult to pose.  He also could do with some actual wrist joints, but given what we were getting not long before, this is pretty good.  Cap’s sculpt is unique at this scale, though it shares a rather similar construction with the smaller line’s version of the same costume.  They’re definitely divergent sculpts, though; the articulation is cut differently, and this figure, as a later offering, catches some of the design changes that appeared between the concept art and the final costume.  It’s still not a pitch-perfect match for the on-screen counterpart, but it’s very close.  The texture work on Cap’s uniform is definitely top-notch.  It’s sharply defined and nicely contrasts the various different materials that make up his costume.  Hasbro definitely took advantage of the larger scale of this figure to really go all out with the detailing.  It doesn’t so much extend to the likeness on the face, though.  It’s rather on the generic side, so it’s not like it looks un-like Evans, but it’s definitely not on the same level as the two Evans likenesses we got this year.  Cap’s paintwork is pretty straight forward and clean.  He’s got the slightly brighter colors of this particular costume down pretty well, though the reds may perhaps be a touch brighter than they should be.  The application is all clean and consistent.  Technically, that last stripe of white on his back should be blue to match the rest of the costume, but it’s an easily missed detail, and far from holds the figure back.  Cap was packed with his mighty shield, as per usual.  It’s actually a unique mold, not used since for the MCU Caps.  It’s a little bit on the small side, but it does have advantage of having extending straps, allowing for placement on his back.  It’s that one detail that I miss most from the later releases, and I was happy to see it here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was still very much on the fence about the whole 6-inch Marvel endeavor when these figures arrived in stores.  This, coupled with their relative scarcity, meant that I skipped this set in its entirety.  After getting the Tenth Anniversary Mark VII Iron Man, I was a little bummed not to have any other figures to go with him.  Fortunately, as luck would have it, All Time Toys got in a collection with several of them in it, so I was able to assemble the team pretty quickly.  Cap’s a surprisingly nice figure, and really showcases a turning point for Hasbro’s Marvel offerings.  He’s a precursor for all of the amazing MCU figures we’ve gotten in the years since, and even 6 years after his release, he holds up pretty darn well.

*Widow was left out of the line-up to free up a slot for Loki.  There was much frustration with this choice at the time.  However, she would finally get a figure two years later as part of the Mandroid Series, and has been granted a Legends release for both of the Avengers sequels.

#1860: Iron Man – Mark VII

IRON MAN — MARK VII

MARVEL LEGENDS — MARVEL STUDIOS: THE FIRST TEN YEARS

“Equipped with a mighty Vibranium arc reactor and enhanced flight capacities, the Mark VII is a Fully-Loaded Rapid Deployment suit built for heavy combat.”

Despite the movie’s immense financial success, the tie-in action figures for Avengers were rather understated.  The poor sales of toys for Captain America and Thor, as well as the general lingering of Iron Man 2’s later assortments, meant that retailers weren’t really jumping all-in for line-ups featuring many of those same characters.  Mass retail only wanted smaller-assortment, smaller-scale figures, but Hasbro was able to sell Walmart on an exclusive run of Legends scale figures for the movie.  Of course, this exclusive run meant there were some cutbacks, such as everyone’s favorite armored avenger being stuck with a re-pack of his Mark VI armor from Iron Man 2, rather than the Mark VII armor that more appropriately fit the line-up.  Fortunately, Hasbro took the tenth anniversary of the MCU to amend this issue.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Mark VII Iron Man is entry 3 in Hasbro’s Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line of Marvel Legends.  He is the final of the three single-packed offerings from the line, following the previously reviewed Red Skull and Ronan the Accuser.  This is, of course, Tony’s Mark VII armor, which he sports during the proper assemblage of the Avengers during the film’s big climactic battle.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 37 points of articulation.  Not only does this figure have the most articulation of any of the movie Iron Men, it’s also implemented in the most workable fashion here, meaning that the Mark VII is hands down the most posable MCU incarnation of Iron Man in the Legends line-up.  Though it takes a little bit of cheating, you can also get his signature three-point landing out of this figure, which ended up being one of its selling points for me.  What’s more, you can even move all of the flaps on his back, and his head can almost look straight up.  We saw a lot of improvements in this direction fro both the Mark 46 and Mark 50 releases, but this guy really seems to take everything they’ve learned and even further build on that.  Obviously, with all of this improved articulation, you kind of need an all-new sculpt, and this one’s a very good one.  Thanks to a much-delayed release, Hasbro was able to actually make the figure as faithful to the film as possible, and they’ve generally succeeded.  There are still a few little details here and there, but he’s very, very close.  The biggest plus for me is that, unlike the IM2/IM3 armors, this one is actually properly scaled with the rest of the MCU Legends, and can conceivably be an actual guy in a suit of armor.  The paint work for the Mark VII is solid, and again, one of the strongest entries we’ve seen for an MCU Tony.  The metallic red plastic works very well, being neither too bright or too dark, and the rest of the application is pretty clean.  There’s a slight scuff on my figure’s right leg, but he’s otherwise pretty good.  The Mark VII is packed with a second set of hands, this time in the repulser blast pose (which, sadly, continue the tend of not having the same articulation as the fists), as well as the now-standard blast-effect pieces, this time in a transparent yellow.  I was a little saddened that there was no unmasked head this time, which is about the only major complaint I can lobby against this figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My disappointment with the Mark 50, combined with my prioritizing of the other figures in the Marvel Studios set, meant that I passed this figure up a great many times.  I guess I just didn’t think too much of him.  It was actually Super Awesome Fiancee who brought him home for me from her work, at which point I was able to re-examine him in-hand, and realize I’d been totally wrong about this guy.  There’s a lot to like here.  He’s the best MCU Iron Man on the market, and the easiest one to find at that.  I whole-heartedly recommend him!

#1823: Wonder Man

WONDER MAN

AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)

“Simon Williams became Wonder Man as a result of scientific experiments that bombarded his body with tonic energy. Now his eyes glow with power and he possesses superhuman strength, speed and durability. Originally an enemy of the Avengers, Wonder Man soon realized he had been manipulated into attacking the team and now he uses his amazing powers as a full-fledged Avenger. Wearing his Avengers symbol ring, this mighty hero will always heed the call, “Avengers Assemble!””

After the success of X-Men: The Animated Series, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and the Iron Man and Fantastic Four segments of the Marvel Action Hour, in 1999, Marvel tried their luck again, with a cartoon based on The Avengers.  Titled Avengers: United They Stand, the show placed its focus on the typically more supporting Avengers, rather than the likes of Cap, Thor, and Iron Man.  Also, unlike prior Marvel cartoons, it leaned heavily on selling the toys, leading to some…interesting design choices.  It wasn’t incredibly well-received with the fanbase, and only ended up lasting a single, 13-episode season.  But, like I said, it was definitely designed to sell toys, so it got a pretty decent run of those.  Today, I’m looking at my favorite member of the team from the show, Wonder Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The initial assortment of Avengers: United They Stand figures were spilt into two series.  Wonder Man was officially part of the second, but they were all released at the same time, so it didn’t really matter in the end.  Anyway, Wonder Man was a big guy on the show, and that’s reflected with this figure, who stood just shy of 6 inches tall and had 9 points of articulation.  Wonder Man’s movement is an interesting mix.  He’s got ball-joints hips, and hinged ankles, which weren’t standard issue at the time, giving him a leg (heh) up, but due to his two separate action features, the arms are limited just to cut joints at the shoulders, and rather restricted ones at that.  On the plus side, his sculpt was actually a pretty good one.  The only other figure I’ve looked at from this line, Ultron, took some liberties with the show’s design (to the figure’s benefit, in Toy Biz’s defense), but Wonder Man follows the trend of the rest of the line, crafting a fairly show accurate figure.  He still departs from the show design a little bit, just so he can fit in a little bit better with some of Toy Biz’s other figures from the time, but you can definitely see where the inspiration for the figure came from.  He’s definitely a stylized figure, but I feel it works pretty well.  The head in particular really seems to get down the character’s personality quite well.  Wonder Man’s paint work is actually pretty impressive.  Not only is the base application very clean, but he’s also got some nice variation in the finish on areas such as the boots, and some very well-rendered accenting on his legs, arms, and face.  They even included the distinctive red reflection on his sunglasses!  Mine’s taken a little bit of beating, of course, but has certainly held up better than other figures from the same era.  Winder Man was packed with a life-sized version of his Avengers ring from the cartoon (not entirely sure why, but there it was), and nothing else.  It makes him one of the lightest packed figures from the line, but he’s also the largest, so I guess it works out.  He does have the two action features previously mentioned.  The first is a light-up feature, which lights up his hands and sunglasses.  Why?  Not a clue.  I’d say it was related to his ionic abilities, but those are usually purple, and these light-up red.  The second is a punching feature on his right arm.  It’s rather basic; push down the lever on his back, and the arm swings up.  Again, I have to ask “why?”  Certainly there were better, less-articulation-restricting features to work in?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I am an unabashed lover of United They Stand.  I vividly remember awaiting its premiere, and, of course, its accompanying toys.  I wanted the whole line-up, and made detailed lists of the exact order I’d be buying them in.  Wonder Man was at the very top of the list; my absolute most wanted figure in the set.  Unfortunately, United They Stand marked the first time I really ran into troubles with distribution and scarcity on such a line, so I kind of had to take the figures in the order my dad was able to find them for me.  Wonder Man ended up as the fourth figure I added to my collection, procured for me by my dad after he stopped at lord knows how many stores on his way home from work.  This guy remained a favorite of mine for quite a while.  Ultimately, he’s not without his flaws. Most of them are related to those shoulders, and just how locked in place they are.  That said, I still kinda love this figure, and I still kinda love the show he’s from.

#1750: Agent Phil Coulson

AGENT PHIL COULSON

AVENGERS (HOT TOYS)

So, about this monumental reviews business, you know, where I do the “deluxe” reviews of the high-end stuff?  When I started them, I was doing them every 50 reviews, which was far too frequent, so I bumped that up to every 100.  Well, right around the night before I had to write #1500, I decided 100 had gotten to be too frequent as well.  And so, as I noted in review #1600, I’m now doing them every 250.  Isn’t that nice?  For me it is.  Alright, let’s get back into the swing of things!

<beat>

Wow, it’s been another 250 reviews?  Who could have forseen this coming?  Well, at this point, me, because I know I’m not stopping any time soon.  In honor of another 250 under my belt, let’s have a look at another one of my high-end Hot Toys figures, shall we?  Slowly but surely, I’m making my way through the crown jewel of said Hot Toys collection: namely, my Avengers figures.  Today, I continue that, taking a look at one of my personal favorites, Agent Phil Coulson!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Coulson was released as part of Hot Toys’ main Movie Masterpiece Series, where he was figure 189.  While most of the Avengers figures stuck together in their numbering, Coulson was a later solicitation, so he’s smack dab between Catwoman from The Dark Knight Rises and the Scar Predator from Alien vs Predator.  What an assortment.  Coulson is meant to be based on his appearance in Avengers specifically, but he can just as easily work for his appearances in Iron ManThor, or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., making him quite a versatile figure.  The figure stands 11 3/4 inches tall and has over 30 points of articulation.

Really, the key piece to a figure like this, is the head sculpt, since without it, he’s just a generic suit.  Fortunately, Coulson got one of the best head sculpts to come out of the Avengers sub-set of figures.  There’s absolutely no denying who this guy is meant to be; he’s the spitting image of Clark Gregg.  But, of course, it’s not just about the likeness; it’s also about how lifelike the figure looks.  Some of the other Avengers figures were a little lighter on the texturing and the like, but fortunately that’s not the case with Coulson, who really does look like he stepped right after the movie.  His paintwork is up to the usual Hot Toys standard, which only furthers the lifelike nature of the sculpt.

Coulson’s sporting his standard-issue government agent black suit, with a dress shirt and a tie to go with it.  While not the most spectacularly tailored suit Hot Toys ever put out, it’s certainly a marked improvement over the likes of the Two-Face figure from just a few years prior.  I think my biggest complaint isn’t the suit itself, but actually the tie, which is a little bit on the short side, resulting in a somewhat goofy look.  In addition, his suit doesn’t have any buttons for closing it, so there’s no option to hide the shortness of the tie, at least not in any sort fixed fashion.  Still, that’s a rather minor issue.  On the opposite end of things, there are his shoes.  They’re fully sculpted feet, as is the usual Hot Toys fashion, and they’re just really, really nice looking.  Finally, there are the little touches that bring the whole thing together, which includes his Level 7 access badge and his wrist watch, both of which are quite a bit of fun.

Coulson’s accessories are a fun selection of movie specific extras.  He includes:

  • 5 hands
  • sunglasses
  • earpiece
  • cellphone
  • walkie talkie
  • handgun
  • Destroyer gun
  • filefolder
  • Captain America trading cards
  • Display stand

He has a pair of relaxed hands, a pair of gripped hands, and a hand specifically designed for holding either the file folder or the trading cards.

The sunglasses sit well on the face, in a decent enough fashion that you might not realize they were a separate piece at first glance.  I also appreciate that they’re actually semi-transparent, as they should be.  Similarly, the earpiece fits snugly into the right ear, and looks like it belongs there.  The cellphone and walkie talkie give him another two communication options, if that’s what you’re looking for.

The handgun’s a pretty nice piece as well.  It’s got a moving slide and a removable clip, which makes it fun to mess with.

The prize piece is definitely the Destroyer gun, Coulson’s signature weapon from his final moments in Avengers.  It’s well-scaled, a solid recreation of the design from the movie, and it even lights up! …or at least it did.  In the 5 years since I got it, the batteries in mine seem to have gone up.  Oh well.

The file folder and cards are both paper goods.  The folder is a little bit of a let down, since there’s noting inside of it, and it doesn’t open like a real folder, but it’s still a nice little bonus.  The cards are definitely a lot of fun, and I’m glad they weren’t over looked.

Lastly, there’s the display stand.  It’s just a basic oval stand, with the Avengers logo and Coulson’s name printed on the placard.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Coulson was the figure I was most excited for from this whole subset.  It was the strong hinting at his release from Hot Toys that actually got me on-board for the whole Avengers set-up, since it was, at the time, the only way to get a Coulson figure to go with the rest of the team.  Though he’s just a fairly average guy, the figure’s definitely one of Hot Toys’ stronger efforts, and it’s the cool accessories that give him that extra edge.

#1671: Cull Obsidian

CULL OBSIDIAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Though in many ways calling back to the classic Infinity Gauntlet, Avengers: Infinity War did offer a few newer concepts as well.  Included amongst those new concepts were the members of the Black Order, Thanos’s generals from the Infinity event.  In the comics, the name of the big bruiser was “Black Dwarf,” but for the purposes of the movie, he’s Cull Obsidian…in theory.  His name’s never spoken on-screen.  I suppose he could get named in a deleted scene or something.  He still managed to get a figure out the deal, which I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cull Obsidian is the eponymous Build-A-Figure for the Cull Obsidian Series, the second Infinity War-themed series of Marvel Legends.  Though not as unquestionably perfect as Thanos was in the first series, he’s still a pretty solid choice, being one of the few other “large” character designs in the film.  I suppose they could have gone for the new Hulkbuster armor, but I’d much rather get a new character out of things.  Cull is the second member of the Black Order we’ve gotten in Legends form, following the Thanos Series’ Proxima Midnight figure.  The figure stands 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Cull’s figure is sporting an all-new sculpt, based on his design from the film…in theory.  For whatever reason, despite the other three members of the team maintaining the same basic design for pretty much the entirety of the pre-production process, Cull Obsidian’s design went through some pretty major changes on the way to the final film.  Unfortunately, since action figures have a somewhat lengthy production process, this means this Cull Obsidian figure ended up based on an out of date design.  He’s a bit more savage, and less armored than his film counterpart, and ends up looking a little more like his comics counterpart (though even that’s not a perfect match).  It’s not Hasbro’s fault that design changed, though, so I guess the best that can be done is to just look at the sculpt on its own merits.  I have to admit, it’s actually pretty solid.  The head’s my favorite part, being the part that ends up the most accurate, but also the part that sports the sharpest detail work.  The rest of the sculpt is also pretty nicely detailed, though the arms and legs are noticeably softer on the details than the head and torso.  The articulation would probably be worked in a little smoother, especially on the arms and the mid-torso joint.  Nevertheless, it’s a sculpt that’s quite impressive as a whole.  The paintwork on Cull is pretty decent as well.  There’s some nice, subtle accent work on the skin of the head and torso. Sadly, this doesn’t continue beyond those sections.  I mean, it’s not horribly jarring, but it’s slightly frustrating.  Though he’s a Build-A-Figure, and therefore an accessory himself, Cull does still get an extra.  It’s his hammer…in theory.  You know how Cull’s design changed?  Yep, well that extends to the hammer as well.  It’s more of a pickaxe sort of a thing in the final film, and asymmetrical in design.  Here, it’s a perfectly symmetrical, very squared-off hammer.  Also, he can only hold it in his left hand, despite being a righty in the film.  Odd.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cull isn’t a majorly prominent character in Infinity War, but I liked him well enough in the film that I was looking forward to this figure.  Additionally, I was actively interested in 5 of the 6 figures it took to complete him.  Wasn’t much of a stretch to get him completed, really.  Despite his not being accurate to his final film design, I do actually like this figure quite a bit, and I think he’s a more exciting Build-A-Figure than the Thanos that preceded him.  It’s just a shame he’s not screen-accurate, since a second chance at him seems rather unlikely.

Cull Obsidian was assembled by purchasing this whole set of figures from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  You can visit them in person on Main Street in Ellicott City, MD, or you can view their sizable online catalogue via their online store or their eBay store front!

#1668: Thor

THOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

When the state of the universe is thrown into chaos, Thor sets out to protect Earth and beyond.”

You can’t honestly be that surprised, can you?  I’m looking at the latest set of Infinity War-themed Marvel Legends and it’s a Thursday.  *Of course* I’m looking at the newest Thor figure!  What choice do I have?  None.  I had no choice at all.  Sorry, Tony, it was the only way.  Wait, wrong moment…uhhh, let’s just look at this here Thor figure, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is the second of two Infinity War-themed single releases from the Cull Obsidian Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second IW-based Thor Legends release, following the one from the three-pack with Rocket and Groot.  That one was the early film look, while this one’s his design from the film’s climax.  It’s more in line with the same basic design he’s been sporting from the beginning, but with the shorter hair, of course.  As a major focal point of the film, and the only major character to truly have multiple distinctive designs, a second figure for Thor makes a lot of sense.  As with his triple-packed compatriot, this Thor figure stands 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  The two figures share a fair number of pieces (fitting, since it’s the same base design of the same guy from the same film), with the hands and lower half being identical, and the upper body being ever so slightly tweaked to allow for the cape.  The head is similar to the last one, but missing the eye-patch, of course.  I thought it might be the same sculpt that was used for the Ragnarok figure, but there’s actually a sculpted scar over the eye, so it’s at least slightly changed.  He also gets new arms, featuring his sleeves of armor, as well as the previously mentioned cape.  The new pieces match well with the film design, as well as the pre-existing parts, and make for a rather solid looking figure.  The paintwork is overall very strong work, and an improvement over the three-pack.  He lacks any of the electric effects that plagued that figure (which is a bit ironic, since they’d actually make far more sense here than on that figure), and instead gets a lot more texture work, especially on the boots, which look nice and weathered.  My only complaint has to do with the head. It’s still well-crafted, but something about it is just very un-Hemsworth.  I don’t really know who it looks like, but it’s not Chris. Thor is packed with his new weapon Stormbreaker, the main selling point of this guy.  It’s incredibly well-detailed, and even features a removable lightning effect. I know it wouldn’t be strictly movie accurate, but I wish they’d included a non-powered up eye-patch Head here too, since we didn’t get one.  Instead, we just get another piece, specifically the left arm, of Cull Obsidian.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t really sold on this guy initially.  I definitely liked the three-pack variant better, and this guy felt a little extraneous.  Upon getting him in hand, I’m sort of torn. He’s a lot better than I’d expected, and fixes some of the other figure’s flaws, but I just don’t like that head quite as much.  Fortunately, they’re easily swapped, allowing me my perfect Thor.

Thor was purchased from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  You can visit them in person on Main Street in Ellicott City, MD, or you can view their sizable online catalogue via their online store or their eBay store front!

#1667: Black Widow

BLACK WIDOW

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“An agent of espionage and expert in hand-to-hand combat, Black Widow is trained to take out any enemy of justice.”

Despite some bad luck initially when it comes to action figures (being the only main team member from the 6-inch line for the first Avengers, being available only in an online-exclusive boxed set for AoU, etc.), things are starting to look up for Natasha Romanov.  In less than a year, she’s had a whopping three Marvel Legends, as well as being included in all three styles of the Infinity War product.  I’ve looked at the basic line’s take on her, and today I’m following that up with the Legends release!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Widow is part of the Cull Obsidian Series of Marvel Legends.  Outside of the Build-A-Figure, she’s one of two Infinity War-based figures in the assortment.  She’s got the same look as the basic figure, which is reasonable, since it’s also Widow’s only look in the film and all.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Despite the last two MCU Widows using the same mold, this one is all-new.  I really liked the basic figure’s sculpt, and wasn’t sure how this one would fare when compared, but oh boy is this one just an all-around improvement.  The head is pretty solid.  I think the basic figure might have the better overall likeness (I’m getting a bit of a Charlize Theron vibe from this one), but this is definitely the more lifelike of the two.  The proportions of the body are nicely balanced, the details of the costume are crisp, and there’s a ton of texturing all throughout.  The vest is a little bit bulky, but there’s a good reason for that; it’s a separate overlay piece.  Pop off the head, and there’s a fully detailed torso underneath, showcasing Widow’s standard body sculpt.  Apparently she just threw a vest over her prior outfit.  That’s a cool detail.  Widow’s paintwork is pretty solid stuff too, matching up with the sculpt in quality.  She’s got the new face print tech, which looks nice and lifelike, and appears to be improving for every figure they use it on.  The body suit has a lot of subtle variations of blacks and greys, stepping up what we saw on the last two Widow releases and keeping her visually interesting.  Widow is packed with two pairs of hands (fists and gripping), her twin batons (which can snap together into one staff), and a pair of tasers to store in her holsters.  I wish the batons could be stowed on her back like in the movie, but beyond that it’s a pretty good assortment of extras.  She also includes the torso of Cull Obsidian, by far the largest piece of him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure had a high bar to clear, since the basic line’s version of her was quite good.  I was expecting to get more milage out of that release before this one came along, but not so much.  This is a very strong figure, perhaps one of Hasbro’s strongest MCU figures, and certainly the best figure of Widow out there.  Now, I’m hoping we get a slight tweak on this one for a proper red-haired variant.

Black Widow was purchased from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  You can visit them in person on Main Street in Ellicott City, MD, or you can view their sizable online catalogue via their online store or their eBay store front!

#1654: Thanos

THANOS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe. But this… does put a smile on my face.”

Thanos has arrived.  Maintaining my non-spoilery stance on discussing Infinity War, I will say this much:  it’s Thanos’s movie.  The other’s may reside in it, they may all have their moment, but the film as a whole undeniably belongs to the Mad Titan.  Josh Brolin, the Russo brothers,  Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely did the character a lot of justice, and he’s finally more than just a shallow, looming threat.  Also, he’s a Marvel Legend!  How ’bout that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thanos is the Build-A-Figure for the first Infinity War-themed series of Marvel Legends.  He’s undeniably the best choice for the slot, and it’s nice to finally get the MCU version of the character in Legends form.  He’s using Thanos’s casual look from the film, which I know kind of upset some people, since it’s not the armored look we’ve been seeing over the last several years.  That said, it’s unquestionably his main look from the movie, and in light of that, it would have been silly to do a different look.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Thanos is certainly a big one, towering over even the above-average Proxima Midnight.  It’s certainly appropriate to the movie, though.  He sports an all-new sculpt, patterned after the movie design.  It’s pretty decent.  The expression on the head is a little goofy; I get what they were going for with the slight smile, but he ends up looking more like he’s a bit gassy than content with his killing spree.  It’s far from awful, though, and the detail work on the wrinkles in his face is absolutely top-notch. The proportions of the body are pretty good, though his neck seems a little stubby.  Once again, the detailing and texture work is exceptional, especially in his tunic, and what’s left of his armor.  The gauntlet is sharply detailed, and matches up very nicely with the depictions of it on-screen.  One rather frustrating thing I noticed about Thanos when compared to earlier BaFs is how easily he pops back apart after assembly.  This is especially an issue with the arms, which frequently pop out during normal posing.  Obviously, this is a bit of a tricky area in terms of figures that don’t come pre-assembled, but Hasbro’s done better in the past.  Hopefully Thanos is just an aberration on that front.  Color-wise, Thanos isn’t the most thrilling figure, since his movie design is mostly dulled out variations of purple.  The figure captures the look pretty well.  It’s a lot of unpainted plastic, but what paint is there is mostly applied in a clean manner.  There’s a bit of slop on the edges of the Infinity Stones, but it’s pretty minor.  Thanos, being a Build-A-Figure, is an accessory himself, so he doesn’t include any of his own.  For the most part, he doesn’t feel too lacking, but I do think this figure would have really benefited from an extra head with a different expression, just to cover all of our bases.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, I put this guy together from the pieces included with all the figures in this series.  Going in, I think completing him was my main goal, but as I picked up the individual figures and as I slowly assembled Thanos, I started appreciating the individual figures a bit more.  I mean, this guy’s certainly not bad, and I’m happy to have finished him, but ultimately, he’s sort of middling.