#2594: Thunderstrike

THUNDERSTRIKE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Kevin Masterson follows in the noble footsteps of his idol Thor—because the world still needs heroes.”

After Walt Simonson’s run on Thor cemented the concept of someone other than the God of Thunder himself (or Don Blake, his usual alter ego) being able to wield the power of Mjolnir, passing the hammer onto other wielders became a recurring feature.  Not terribly long after Simonson’s run ended, Eric Masterson was introduced as a supporting player in Thor.  He was then promoted from supporting player to alter ego for Thor, then just to being Thor proper for a time, and then eventually was given his own, separate identity as Thunderstrike.  Eric’s story ultimately ended with his demise, and eventually his hammer was passed onto his son, Kevin, who took up the identity for himself.  Thunderstrike’s an intriguing alternate to Thor, and makes for a good figure to fill that “Thor” slot in an assortment, which is just what he’s doing here.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thunderstrike is the fourth figure in the Joe Fixit Series of Marvel Legends, and also the final of the comics-based figures in the assortment.  This marks Thunderstrike’s first time getting the Legends treatment, although Hasbro’s done him before in their 3.75″ line.  In stark contrast to the name attached to the bio, this Thunderstrike is very definitely Eric’s version of the character, not his son Kevin.  Clearly somebody didn’t double check the wiki there.  It’s perfectly alright, however, because Eric is certainly the more logical choice for inclusion, given he’s the one everyone thinks of when they hear the name.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Thunderstrike makes use of a surprising amount of new parts.  At first glance I’d expected him to be fairly heavy on the re-use, but on the final product the only re-used parts are the arms (which are from the 80th Thor), and the vest (which is from Rage, a parts share that existed in the smaller line as well).  Everything else is new.  It crafts a pretty spot-on recreation of the character’s design from the comics, for what that’s worth.  It’s…not the greatest design, but it’s certainly very indicative of the time it hails from, so I guess there’s that.  The ball joint for the mid torso certainly works out well, and looks better aesthetically as well.  The head’s got a rather dynamic flair to it, with a quite intense facial expression.  It’s different, and I do like the change up, but it’s also a touch limiting when it comes to posing him.  At least it’s pretty well suited to the character.  Thunderstrike’s paint work is pretty basic stuff.  The application’s clean, but the brown sections could certainly use some sort of accenting.  As it stands, some of the details get a little bit lost.  Thunderstrike is packed with his hammer of the same name, as well as two different left hands (the same two included with Thor), and the head to Joe Fixit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Thunderstrike is a character that’s kind always been just outside of my area of interest.  I’ve got nothing against him, but I’ve also got no real attachment to him (hence why I never grabbed his smaller figure, even after seeing it on clearance all over the place).  His inclusion in this set was kind of a middling moment for me, but I can’t say it’s a waste of a space or anything.  He’s at the very least a pretty solid figure, and another rather classic character for the line-up.

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

#2593: Kang

KANG

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Born in the 31st-century, Kang employs time travel and hyper-sophisticated technology to conquer all of time.”

Perhaps the Avengers greatest foe (and certainly their most *numerous* foe, at least in terms of identities), Kang the Conqueror has been a thorn in the team’s side since their first year as a team, first appearing in issue #8 of the series, which was coincidentally, two months prior to the appearance of Immortus, his future incarnation, and 11 months after the appearance of Rama-Tut, his past incarnation.  Also 41 years prior to the appearance of Iron Lad, his even past-er incarnation…time travel’s messy.  Though a prominent fixture in the team’s history, he’s never been the most marketable of their enemies, so he’s also not had the most toy coverage.  He’s still done better than Jocasta, of course, with at least one notable release in every major style of Marvel figure.  He’s been in the Legends game once before, and now he’s gotten back into it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kang is the third figure in the Joe Fixit Series of Marvel Legends, and is also the third of the four comics-based figures included in the line-up.  As I touched on in the intro, Kang has been included in Legends once before, during Hasbro’s first run with the brand in 2008.  That figure was actually just a re-release of the super rare Fantastic Four Classics Kang Toy Biz put out right before handing over the reigns, but the 2008 version ended up being a really rare exclusive in his own right, making neither version very easy to track down for the average collector (or me, for that matter).  It’s also a mold that’s 14 years old at this point, so it was in need of a replacement.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Though the articulation count is a bit on the lower side, the range of motion on the joints follows the recent trends of being much improved compared to older figures.  The most impressive joint is definitely the ball-jointed waist, which gives him a lot of possible tweaking to his posing.  It’s a lot of fun to mess with.  Kang is sporting an all-new sculpt, and a quite nice one at that.  It’s undeniably a classic Kang design, and there’s a ton of detail work going on, from the way the tunic “hangs” on the body, to all of the piping and folds on his very, very tall boots.  The head manages to capture Kang’s rather goofy headgear in such a way that’s not totally ridiculous, which is certainly a plus, while also capturing Kang’s stern expression.  It definitely works well.  The paint work on Kang is pretty straight forward stuff.  It’s mostly just base application, and that application’s all pretty cleanly handled.  The color palette is appropriately vibrant, and works well for the character.  Lack of vibrance has actually been a recurring issue on prior Kang figured, so I’m glad it worked out here.  In addition to getting a whole brand new sculpt, Kang’s also got quite a nice selection of extras, including five different hands (R and L fists, R and L open gesture, and L grip), a large futuristic blaster rifle, and the left leg to the Joe Fixit Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kang’s definitely high on my list of favorite Avengers villains, and I’ve been wanting him in Legends form for a long time.  The last version was never easily found, and as such I never got one.  I’ve been waiting for this one for a while, and I was very pleased to see him crop up in this assortment.  On top of that, he’s really just a top-notch figure.  Everything about him just works very well.  Finally, this Avengers foe has really gotten his toy due!

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

#2592: Jocasta

JOCASTA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Jocasta’s superhuman force fields and electromagnetic beams make her a valuable ally of the Avengers.”

After creating his “son”, The Vision, Avengers foe Ultron set his sights on creating himself a bride.  Being the melodramatic and rather twisted so and so he is, he opted to use the mind of his “mother” Janet Van Dyne, aka The Wasp, for his robot mate.  He dubbed his creation “Jocasta” in reference to Oedipus, and the obvious Oedipal complex that Ultron possessed in reference to his creator Hank Pym.  Jan was able to keep her brain in her own body of course, leaving Jocasta a lifeless husk…at first.  Eight issues after her first appearance, however, she reactivated, with her own personality, one which, like Vision before her, led her to rebel against her creator.  She went on to play a supporting role in the Avengers books for the next couple of decades, tending to hover in the background of most stories.  Recently, she’s actually been getting a bit more focus, with a pretty central role in Dan Slott’s run on Iron Man in particular.  She’s been without a single action figure for the first 43 years of her existence, but, lucky her, that’s just changed!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jocasta is the second figure in the Joe Fixit Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s another comics-based figure, of course, and is, as noted above, the very first Jocasta figure we’ve ever gotten (something Hasbro very proudly announced when they showed her off).  Jocasta’s look has been fairly consistent over the years, but this figure goes for the most classic aspects of the character.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Jocasta is built on the Moonstone body, which is one of the oldest bases still in Hasbro’s parts library (only Bucky Cap and Hyperion are older).  Compared to more recent additions to the line, it’s a bit limited in terms of posability and range of motion, as well as having slightly wonkier proportions compared to newer stuff.  In terms of build, it’s not exactly a pitch perfect match for Jocasta, so why exactly it was chosen for this figure is kind of up in the air.  It’s not bad, but I’d personally have preferred to see the use something more recent.  I guess they don’t want too many figures in a short span of time being built on the Phoenix body, though.  To help liven things up, she gets a new head, torso, pelvis, and an add-on for the thigh “garter.”  The new parts are pretty decently handled, with the head in particular being a solid recreation of her classic comics design.  The torso’s an improvement on the standard Moonstone parts, but is somewhat hampered bu having to deal with the older arms and legs.  In terms of paint, Jocasta’s a lot of silver, which is accurate, of course.  They’ve at least actually given her a two-toned set up, which keeps things somewhat interesting.  The darker color’s molded, while the lighter is painted.  It works pretty well.  Jocasta is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, and one in open gesture, as well as the torso of the Joe Fixit Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Jocasta and Machine Man are one of my favorite little obscure odd-ball pairings, and have been for some time.  Back in the Toy Biz Legends days, I assembled my own custom Machine Man (which I mentioned when I reviewed Hasbro’s take on him), and I had the parts picked out for a Jocasta, though I never did get around to finishing her.  Ever since getting Aaron in an official capacity, I’ve been hoping for a Jocasta to go along with him, and that’s only increased as her role in the comics has grown.  While the base body choice is still questionable, she’s certainly a serviceable figure, and at this point I’m just happy to have her in any sort of figure form at all!

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

#2591: Falcon

FALCON

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Sam Wilson soars through the skies dispensing justice and restoring faith in humanity.”

Introduced in 1969’s Captain America #117, Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, has the notoriety of being the first African American super hero in mainstream comics.  Since his introduction, he’s been an on and off fixture of the Marvel Universe, and he’s become especially prominent in the last few years, thanks in no small part to Anthony Mackie’s portrayal of the character in the MCU.  It’s been a little bit of time since we got a proper comics Falcon in figure form from Hasbro, but they’re coming back in for the save on the latest round of Marvel Legends, with a figure I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon is the first figure from the Joe Fixit Series of Marvel Legends, which is the second of this year’s Avengers-themed assortments.  He’s one of the four comics-based figures in the assortment, and marks our first comic Falcon since back in the Toy Biz days in 2006.  That release had classic and modern (at the time) variants available, where as this one goes for Sam’s design from around the Brubaker era of the comics.  It’s become a go-to for his costume in various merchandising outlets, and is certainly far less dated than a lot of his costume designs, so it’s certainly a solid choice.  The figure is 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Falcon is built on the 2099 body, a strong starting point for the character given his usual build in the comics, and a good core body in general.  He also re-uses the recent comic-style Vulture wings from earlier this year.  There’s also a new set of arms to allow for proper connection of said wings, as well as a new head and feet.  The Vulture wings are still that wonky “fully detailed on one side, not at all on the other” set-up, but that’s at least less of an issue with Falcon’s adjusted color scheme.  The newly sculpted parts meld really well with the old, and are just generally impressive pieces.  The head feels right for Sam in terms of expression and features, and the new arms and feet certainly go beyond the bare minimum detailing for the design.  They certainly didn’t have to do the fully sculpted ridges on his gauntlets or the tread on the boots, but they did and it adds that extra flair to the design to help differentiate him from other uses of the body.  Additionally, these new arms use the pinless construction, further the figure’s sleekness.  Falcon’s paint work is rather straight forward.  It’s all just basic application, but it’s cleanly done, and the translucent plastic for the wings is certainly pretty cool, and, as noted in the sculpt segment, helps to hide the one-sided-ness of the wing sculpts a bit more.  Falcon is packed with two sets of hands (fists and flat) and the left leg to the build-a-figure Joe Fixit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Toy Biz Falcon was a figure I really liked back in the day, but he’s also one of their figures that hasn’t aged quite so well, so I’ve been eager for a proper comics update for a little while.  This guy was high on my list for this assortment to be sure.  I’m very happy with the final product, and I’m happy to have a decent Falcon for my comics shelf again.  Of course, I certainly wouldn’t say no to using some of these parts for a classic Falcon down the road, if Hasbro feels so inclined.

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

#2500: Hawkeye

HAWKEYE

AVENGERS (HOT TOYS)

Wow, can you believe I’ve written 2500 of these reviews?  I mean, you probably can.  The numbers are right there, at the top of the reviews and all.  I’ve given total accountability here.  So, you know, you shouldn’t be surprised.  I mean, I am, but it’s my site; I’m allowed.  Well, 2500 feels like a monumental enough review for me to dig out another of my higher-end figures, so why not chip away a little more at my rather impressive Hot Toys Avengers collection.  I’ve looked at a good chunk of the first film’s line-up, but today I’m taking another step towards completion with Hawkeye!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hawkeye was released as part of Hot Toys’ core Movie Masterpiece Series, numbered at 172.  He’s the third of the Avengers-branded figures, following Nick Fury and the quick re-hash Iron Man Mk VI.  Given that he’s really the most basic of the core team, it’s not a huge shock.  He wound up as one of the first to actually make it to release as well, getting to collectors in the fall of 2012.  The figure stands 11 3/4 inches tall and he has over 30 points of articulation.

Hot Toys usually puts their star work into the actor’s portraits on the head sculpts, and they’ve turned in some really impressive likenesses.  Hawkeye’s not a bad effort, but he’s not one of their best either.  There’s definitely a lot of Jeremy Renner in there, but it’s not quite as spot on as their work tends to be.  I think it’s the eyes that really throw things off, because putting the sunglasses on helps the likeness a bit.  I think they might be a touch too close together.  Later Hawkeyes from HT would get the Renner likeness down just a bit better, but this one wasn’t a terrible attempt by any means.  The paint work is still up to the usual HT standards, meaning he’s really damn lifelike.

As is the usual set-up, Hawkeye’s costume is a mixed-media affair.  The actual suit is a tailored piece, made from a number of layered pieces.  It works out pretty well, but ultimately isn’t quite as slick as some of the other suits they’ve done.  There’s a lot more in the way of faux zippers and straps, and it just looks slightly more cosplay than usual for HT.  For me, the biggest hang up, though, is the front of the tunic.  The two sides of it are meant to hook onto the brim of his pants, in order to hold things a bit tighter, but can be removed to allow for slightly better posability.  The trouble is that the hooks just don’t really hold very well, so it just tends to pop loose a lot.  The boots are solid sculpted pieces, which is fairly normal for the line, but not the most posable choice.  Still, they do look pretty nice.  Hawkeye’s got his quiver, which is a plastic piece, and even has the rotating arrangement of arrow heads at the base like in the film.  Connecting the quiver to the rest of the costume proved a bit of a challenge for HT, so they ended up including two options.  The first is a small plastic clip, which connects to the back of the quiver and slots into the center of his back, leaving a more seamless join.  This is technically more film accurate, but ultimately isn’t as secure, and tends to droop over time.  The second option’s a cloth strap.  It’s pretty basic, but it works, even if it’s not quite as film accurate.

Hawkeye’s underlying body is one of the muscle bodies.  Given the exposed arms, this makes sense from an aesthetic standpoint, but is sadly a little limiting from a posing stand point, given the lessened range on the elbows and shoulders.  It makes getting decent archery poses out of this figure a little tricky.  You can definitely still manage some good ones, but there’s a lot more careful posing involved.  Otherwise, it’s a well proportioned body for the character, so I can at least get behind that.

Hawkeye’s accessory complement is definitely an impressive one, especially given his lower price-point at the time of his release.  He gets:

  • 6 hands
  • 2 bows
  • 16 arrows
  • 11 specialized arrow heads
  • Sunglasses
  • Display stand

The hands come in relaxed and gripping on the right side, and relaxed, pointing, and two different arrow-drawing hands for the left.  The only downside to the hands is that the standard arrow-draw hand has the fingers all molded as one solid piece, requiring some slight modifying if you want him properly holding the arrow.  The two bows are effectively the same, with one difference: one has a string and the other doesn’t.  This allows for the unstrung one to make use of the joints on the mold, allowing it to be collapsed like in the movie.  The arrows are all without heads, allowing the specialized ones to be swapped out in the movie.  The one real downside to them, though, is that you have to manually feed them into the quiver, which is a real pain, and hard to get just right.  The sunglasses are, of course, an artifact of promotional images, since he doesn’t actually wear them in the film, but it’s still cool to get them, and they look pretty snazzy.  The stand is another basic oval stand, but it’s at least consistent with the rest of the Avengers figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It was Hawkeye that swayed me into actually getting on board with the HT Avengers line-up, but it wasn’t when he was solicited.  No, it was instead when he sold out on Sideshow’s site, and I realized that if I really wanted these figures, I would need to jump on them early.  Fortunately, I was able to jump on the waitlist for this guy and get him without too much trouble.  Ultimately, he’s not as impressive as other HT figures.  I do still like him a lot, though, and he does go well with the rest of the set, so he’s certainly got that going for him.

#2498: Captain America – Final Battle Edition

CAPTAIN AMERICA — FINAL BATTLE EDITION

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

Bandai Japan’s S.H. Figuarts is a toyline that I’ve looked at a handful of times previously on the site, but the very vast majority of the items I’ve looked at from the line have been, rather predictably, I suppose, based on Japanese properties (well, excepting of course Freddie and K-2, but they were sort of stand outs).  They’ve been dabbling in plenty of American properties over the years, but up until now, I’ve been totally content to stick with the domestic options on those.  As of late, they’ve been really getting into the MCU side of things, with Infinity War and Endgame both getting a noticeable focus.  Today, I’m taking a look at their latest take on Captain America, specifically in his Endgame attire.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Final Battle Edition Captain America started showing most places in the last month or so, right alongside the similarly Final Battle-themed Iron Man from the movie.  This marks our second Endgame Cap in the Figuarts line; the first one hit closer to the film’s theatrical release, and featured a much more paired down accessory selection, largely to avoid spoilers and the like.  Even as a basic release, it sold out pretty quickly, so Bandai was fairly quick to get another version out there.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s on the taller side of the Figuarts spectrum (due to Chris Evans being generally a pretty tall guy), but he’s still going to be a little small to scale with Legends.  Obviously, that’s kind of expected.  This release of Endgame Cap appears to be using the same core sculpt as the prior release.  The articulation is a little bit on the obvious side, falling back in line with what I’m used to from Figurarts.  There’s a pretty amazing range of motion, though some of the joints on mine, particularly his left elbow, are a little looser than I’d like.  I do wish the tolerance were just a touch better there.  As with any Figuarts sculpt, it’s definitely got a little bit of a stylization to it, to bring him in line with the rest of the figures.  It works pretty well for Cap, though, and gives him even more heroic proportions than usual. It also looks astoundingly svelte when compared to the Hasbro version, which was itself a bit beefy, I suppose.  It’s not a bad match for Evans’ build in the film, though, albeit in a slightly caricaturized way.  It does manage to get the costume details down a bit more accurately, I think, than the Legends release.  There are three separate heads included with this figure: masked with calm expression, masked with battle expression, and fully unmasked (which also gets its own separate neck post, since there’s a little bit of the helmet visible on the standard neck).  Of the three, I the neutral masked is probably the weakest.  The likeness just isn’t quite there, and he looks a little void of personality.  I really like the other two heads, though.  The intense expression is great for battle poses, and the unmasked head has a pretty fantastic Evans likeness on it.  The paint work on this figure marks a difference from the original release, which gave us a slightly more pristine Cap.  This one takes the “Final Battle” title and runs with it a bit, so he’s got a bit of grime and dirt.  It’s not enough to make him look “damaged”, but it gives him a little extra flavor.  All three heads have printed faces, which look a little wonky from up close, but great at a distance.  The gold color used on the hair of the unmasked head looks a little weird, but after having him in hand for a bit, I don’t actually hate it.  The major selling point of this guy is his accessory complement.  In addition to the three heads mentioned above, Cap also includes five pairs of hands (fists, relaxed, hammer gripping, flat, and with the shield strap in hand), his shield in both regular and broken forms, with interchangeable straps to go along, and Mjolnir with interchangeable energy effects.  The hands offer up some fun posing variety, and the flat palmed ones even have a tab to allow the corresponding strap with hanger on it to be attached, letting Cap actually hold his shield by its edge.  The shield’s straps also allow for use on either arm, one-handed hold, or mounting on his back, again really giving posing options.  Both shields are great pieces, and it’s awesome to finally have the destroyed one in toy form.  Mjolnir practically steals the show here, though, as the swap out panels with the energy effects are pretty amazingly dynamic for posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t typically jump into the Figuarts realm for stuff that has other 6-inch lines, but I’ve been kicking myself for passing up the chance to grab the AoU Cap at a good price, and I was a little bummed when I missed the first release on Endgame Cap.  Fortunately, the updated version came along, and he’s even better, so it works out well.  When All Time got these figures in stock, I came very close to grabbing this guy right away, but ultimately held off.  However, Super Awesome Wife was nice enough to work with Jason to get me one for my birthday, and I really couldn’t be happier.  He’s a really fun figure, and goes great with the rest of my ever-growing Captain America collection.

If you’d like a Cap of your own (or the Iron Man that goes with him, perhaps), he’s still in-stock at AllTimeToys.com. And, if you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2443: Iron Man

IRON MAN — GAMERVERSE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Tony Stark developed his cutting-edge Iron Man armor and helped found the Avengers to protect the world against catastrophic threats.”

As the MCU moves away from the two of them, the Marvel Legends line has to find new ways to keep new variants of heavy hitters like Iron Man and Captain America coming out.  Fortunately, the two of them are still pretty pivotal to the upcoming Avengers game from Square Enix, thereby guaranteeing the two of them another couple of easy-sell variants.  I took a look at the Captain America yesterday, and I’ll be following that up with the Iron Man figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is the second of the three game-inspired single-packed figures in the Abomination Series of Marvel Legends.  He was actually the first of these figures we saw, before we knew there’d be a full assortment of figures to go with him, back in the fall of last year. He’s again based on the character’s standard design from the game.  While Cap’s design took quite a few more artistic liberties with its implementation, the Iron Man design by and large sticks pretty close to the MCU Iron Man playbook.  It’s a little more streamlined most places, except for some reason the helmet, which is where the majority of the changes happen.  The figure stands just over 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  The movement on this guy is a little stiff, even for an Iron Man figure, with the shoulders in particular being rather difficult to work with.  Also, the decision to give him a torso crunch, instead of the ball-jointed style we’ve gotten with the last several movie Iron Men is rather baffling, especially given that the design has a clear spot for such a joint to be included, but Hasbro still opted for a far more limiting method.  He does at least get to keep the full wrist joints on his arms this time, so it’s not all bad decisions.  This Iron Man is sporting an all-new sculpt, which looks to be fairly faithful to the game.  It’s not bad, and is about on par with the various MCU sculpts in terms of quality and feel.  While I thought Cap’s design translated pretty nicely to toy form, I don’t think that’s quite true with Iron Man, or at the very least his helmet.  It looks fine in the game animation I’ve seen, but I really don’t care for it in toy form.  I think it’s how closely it contours to his face; that visible nose really seems odd for Iron Man, and it ends up making him look fairly alien, which I don’t think was the intended feel.  Other than that, though, the body on this figure does look pretty cool, and the detailing is all pretty sharp.  The paint work is pretty standard Iron Man fare.  The red is molded in that sort of swirly metallic plastic, and everything else is painted.  The application’s pretty clean overall, but there are a few spots of bleed over here and there.  The arc reactor uses the printing technique we’ve been seeing on the faces to give it some more variation, which looks pretty decent overall.  Iron Man is packed with two sets of hands (one in fists, the other in repulser blast pose), two effects pieces, and the left leg to the Abomination Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this figure was first shown off, I really didn’t have much interest.  We’d just gotten the Mark 85, with is really everything I want in a real-world Iron Man figure, and it looked like this guy might be another one-off release like Spider-Man was, so I was content to pass.  Once he was part of a full assortment, the story changed a bit.  Ultimately, I wasn’t expecting much out of this figure, and that’s for the best.  He’s not bad, but I think the 85 or even the Tenth Anniversary Mk VII are stronger modern Iron Men than this one.  He’s kind of a middling figure for me.

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

#2442: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA — GAMERVERSE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Injected with an experimental Super-Soldier Serum, Steve Rogers has the peak potential of strength, endurance, and dexterity.”

Alright, I took a bit of a break for the weekend, but let’s jump right back in to Marvel Legends, shall we?  I looked at the comics-based half of the most recent Avengers set last week, so now I’m jumping into the video-game-based segment, all of which hail from Square Enix’s Avengers game, originally due out this May, but recently delayed until September.  I’m kicking things off with the game’s altered take on Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is the first of the three Gamerverse-specific figures in the Abomination Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s based on Cap’s standard design from the game.  All of the core team designs have been fairly highly criticized, and Cap’s probably got the worst of it, with the general consensus being that it looks a little bit low-rent cosplay for a Cap design, especially in contrast to the MCU’s far better recieved “real world” adaptations of his classic comics get-up.  I don’t hate it quite as much as others, but I definitely have my qualms with a few of the design choices.  Still, it’s not the worst choice for toy coverage.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Cap’s sporting a brand-new sculpt to replicate the game design.  It’s a pretty spot-on recreation of the models we’ve seen so far, for better or for worse.  It honestly benefits a bit from being seen in three dimensions, as the depth to the various parts of the costume is a little better viewed this way.  Some of the iffier design choices, such as the larger head wings, also look a little less odd here.  His face does seem maybe a touch square, and his hands seem a little small by my metrics, but I do generally like the look of this figure, and Hasbro certainly took advantage of the extra costume details to help keep the sculpt interesting.  The paintwork on this guy is pretty decent, with a little bit of a caveat.  There’s nothing wrong with it from a technical standpoint.  The application is all pretty clean, and they even used the face printing to make him a little more lifelike.  He’s an accurate recreation of the colors from the game.  There in lies the problem.  While the design looks better on the figure from a sculpting standpoint, the colors don’t translate so well.  They’re really just too muted, and I’m not super crazy about some of the color placement.  In particular, I think he’d look better if the white on the shoulders and the blue on the biceps were swapped, and if he had more red overall on the costume.  As it stands, he looks a bit more like an adaptation of Cap’s Secret War costume, rather than his more classic gear.  Cap is a bit light on the accessories front, with just his shield.  It’s an all-new sculpt, representing the slightly tweaked design from the game.  While it’s not a bad design in its own right, it doesn’t stay on his arm very securely, which is a little frustrating, but it does at least plug into his back without any trouble.  Not giving Cap one of the BaF parts is okay, but it’s a shame he didn’t at least get some extra hands or maybe an unmasked head to help fill out the package a little bit more.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I wasn’t immediately won over by this design, I don’t think it’s the worst thing ever, and I’m a sucker for a decent Captain America, so I was certainly interested in this guy from the get-go.  He wasn’t as high on my list as, say Mar-Vell, but I was a little excited.  Ultimately, he’s not going to win everyone over, but I do think he makes for a really solid Captain America figure, and I think he’s going to look pretty cool alongside Hasbro’s new G.I. Joe line.

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

#2296: Thor

THOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The Thor abides.  Sorry, was that too goofy?  I couldn’t use my usual “Happy Thor’s Day” gag for this one, so I was trying something else out.  I won’t let it happen again.

In a film with a lot of closely guarded secrets and spoilers, Thor’s transformation during Endgame’s five year time jump is arguably a fairly minor one, but it was nevertheless one of the most closely guarded elements of the film, with nary a hint of its existence present anywhere in the marketing.  We were led to believe that Thor would spend the three hour film continuing his Ragnarok look.  This made the depths of his depression and the toll it took on him all the more surprising when it occurred on-screen, in many ways far more properly capturing the feel of what it’s like in real life when someone you care about similarly deals with a serious case of clinical depression.  But, lest we get too serious here, it also let Chris Hemsworth continue to be a bit of a goofball.  It proved a pretty popular incarnation of the character with audiences, and there’s been some sizable demand for him in toy form.  Perfect time a Marvel Legend.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is the Build-A-Figure for the third Endgame-themed assortment of Marvel Legends from last year.  Officially, he’s just titled “Thor”, rather than the more commonly accepted “Bro Thor,” since it appears the second Pop is the first official use of that name.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  He’s sporting a brand-new sculpt, seeing as we haven’t gotten a chubby guy in sweats out of the line previously.  The figure represents Thor at his most Dude-liest, with pajama pants and bathrobe.  Not exactly what you would think of for adventuring garb, but it’s what Thor wears during the film’s big time heist nevertheless.  The sculpt does a solid job of capturing Thor’s dressed down appearance, with some really nice detailing on the various parts of his attire, such as fully detailed crocs, and some very effective layering on his sweats and robe.  He’s also got what’s probably the best Hemsworth likeness we’ve gotten so far; admittedly, there’s more character details to help sell the appearance this time around, with all the hair and the bushy beard.  It’s even further helped on the second included head, which also adds his sunglasses to the mix.  Whatever the case, it’s still my favorite Hemsworth Thor head we’ve gotten so far.  The paintwork on Thor is decently handled; for the most part, it’s just large swathes of color, but he does get the face printing, as well as the plaid pattern on the pants, which keeps things pretty interesting.  Though an accessory himself, Thor makes out alright on the extras front, with the previously mentioned extra head, a second left hand with the time gizmo Tony invented, and an all-new sculpt for Stormbreaker.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

He’s a Build-A-Figure, and I just spent a week reviewing the figures that built him, so where I got this figure seems pretty self-explantory.  When the first round of Endgame product was so Quantum Suit heavy, I was assuming our first LegendsThor would be an inaccurate team suit figure, like in other toy lines.  The complete lack of Thor in the first two assortments did give me hope that we’d see at least a proper final battle Thor.  Getting full-on Bro Thor was a pleasant surprise, and the final figure is the definite highlight of the assortment that builds him.  I’m now hopeful for that final battle look to round things out.

This assortment of Legends was certainly more singularly focused than some from last year, with all of the figures being movie-inspired, rather than our usual mix of figures.  Thor’s the definite star overall, with Iron Man being the standout of the singles.  Heimdall is certainly a welcome addition to the line, and a solid figure to boot, and even Valkyrie and Iron Patriot are valid re-dos of the characters.  Vision doesn’t offer much to people who already have the two-pack, but then not everyone does, so a re-issue is acceptable, if not incredibly exciting.  Cap is unfortunately a slightly out of date figure, and just not really the version of the character that should have been in this assortment.  As a whole, it’s a focused, if not incredibly exciting assortment.

#2295: Iron Patriot

IRON PATRIOT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Proud and powerful, the Iron Patriot is heavily armed, high-tech, and ready for battle.”

So, here’s the thing about Endgame, and specifically about its armored characters: the armor we see them wearing on the screen isn’t what the actors are actually wearing during the shoot.  Don Cheadle isn’t wearing the latest War Machine armor, he’s running around the set in a pair of sweats with motion capture markers.  When it comes to making toys of these specific designs, Hasbro has to work from the design sheets of what’s supposed to be on screen.  If things change between those sheets and the final film, you get inaccurate products.  Take, for instance, last summer’s Endgame War Machine.  An awesome figure, held back by only one small thing: it was the wrong colors.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Patriot is the final single-carded figure for the Thor Series of Marvel Legends.  The figure is technically covering the same ground as the Endgame War Machine, but as noted above, that figure was working from early designs.  Though never called Iron Patriot in the film, the figure nevertheless uses the name again; one has to wonder if Rhodey was using the monicker during the time jump to try and re-inspire the public again after Steve Rogers stopped being Cap for a bit. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  We’ve seen some of this sculpt before when it was War Machine, but not as much of it as you might think.  The two figures share the same head, shoulders, upper arms, hands, waist, and shins; the torso, forearms, and feet are completely new, and the upper legs have been re-worked to accommodate the missile attachments.  The new parts mesh pretty well with the old, and he’s got a pretty similar feel to that figure in terms of build and posability.  I really liked the War Machine figure, so I can’t complain about seeing those parts again.  With the exception of the torso piece and feet, which aim to make the figure a tad more film accurate, the primary purpose of the new pieces are to more fully kit out the armor.  The first War Machine had a few weapons out, but this version’s got pretty much everything deployed.  With the exception of the forearm cannons, everything can be removed, so that he can be a more paired down version of the armor.  The paintwork is more colorful than War Machine, obviously, and requires more apps.  That said, he does end up missing out on a number of spots of colors he should have.  The most evident missing parts are some of the silver elements.  They’re not horribly obvious, and he’s doesn’t look *unfinished*, but I don’t feel he looks quite as clean a figure as the War Machine.  The metallic blue is cool, though.  In addition to all of the weapon attachments, Iron Patriot also includes not one, but two heads for the Build-A-Figure Thor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was pretty happy with the War Machine figure, inaccurate to the source material though it may be, so I didn’t feel like I needed a fixed version.  That said, I certainly wasn’t going to turn it down, since I liked the previous figure quite a bit, and I also liked the first Iron Patriot a lot.  Ultimately, I do like this figure, though I’m not sure I like him quite as much as I expected to.  He’s cool, but I think I’ll stick with the standard War Machine colors.

As with the vast majority of my Legends these days, I picked up Iron Patriot from my friends over at All Time Toys.  If your looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.