#2888: King Shark

KING SHARK

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

One of the absolute best parts of The Suicide Squad is Nanaue, aka King Shark.  King Shark has had a rather recurrent history with the team in the comics, but was left out of the first film in favor of Killer Croc, due to director David Ayer not wanting to rely as heavily on CGI for the character.  Given how the rest of the movie worked out, that was an odd line to draw, but whatever.  King Shark was in the second film, and he was awesome, and everyone agrees.  Great that we can all be on the same page about something.  Given his relative size, he’s been split up and made into a Build-A-Figure…but is also being sold as a single through Walmart, because why not?  Todd’s gotta Todd.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

King Shark is the Build-A-Figure for the Suicide Squad-tie-in line-up for DC Multiverse, split accross the four single figures included.  As I mentioned above, the same sculpt is also available pre-assembled and with a few accessories (and a different pair of shorts) as a Walmart-exclusive.  I’m just as happy to not have to deal with Walmart, so here’s the main line version.  The figure stands 9 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  After giving McFarlane some credit yesterday on the articulation front, I’m going to have to give them a hard time again, because oh boy is the articulation on this figure’s lower half just an absolute mess.  There are full universal-style hip joints under the shorts, but due to the thick rubber of said shorts, they are completely motionless, which seems like a silly design choice.  Of course, even if the hips were free to move, the knees would still be locked.  Again, there are full joints, but for some reason, there is a sculpted “lock” on each joint, which prevents them from getting much range.  You can flex them ever so slightly, but that’s it.  The ankles and toes are fully articulated, though, which is super useful, what with nothing else on the legs being mobile or anything.  Thanks McFarlane.  At least the upper half isn’t so bad.  The arms and neck get decent mobility given the design, and he’s even got an articulated jaw, which doesn’t look terrible.  The general quality of the sculpt is pretty nice.  It matches well with the model seen in the film, which is itself a really good design for King Shark.  He’s got that perfect balance of menace and cuteness, just like in the film.  He’s also quite sizeable, as he should be, and there’s some serious heft to the figure.  In terms of paint work, he’s honestly pretty good.  The skin does a nice job of subtly shifting between the two shades, without too much in the way of slop, and the smaller details of his face are pretty decently rendered as well.  Even the pants get a touch of accenting to bring out the sculpted pattern, which is pretty cool.  King Shark is really an accessory himself, and while the single has a stand, a card, and some limbs to chew on, the standard release doesn’t get anything extra.  Given the sheer size, though, it’s not really an issue, plus, he is, again, essentially an accessory himself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy was my primary want from this set, from the word go.  I’ve always had something of a soft spot for the character, ever since the Total Justice days, and his recent appearances in Harley Quinn and the lead-up to The Suicide Squad got me very much on board with owning this figure.  After seeing the movie, that resolve only increased, and I was very excited to crack them all open and assemble this guy.  The leg articulation set-up sucks.  There’s no way around that.  I know there are modifications that can be done to fix it, but, unlike, say, Bloodsport, where the mods help but aren’t necessary, this feels more like fixing things that should have just worked out of the box.  All that said, the figure does look really nice, and the upper half is at least decent in the articulation department.  Even with the flaws, he’s still the second best part of this set.

All in all, I was expecting to be happy with this set, but I wasn’t expecting to like all of the individual figures quite as much as I did.  Polka Dot Man is the definite star for me, with King Shark right behind him.  Peacemaker and Harley are both really solid figures, too, and, much like in the movie, Bloodsport is the real surprise, as a figure I had no investment into, but that I actually came around to liking quite a bit.  The most damning thing about this set is the lack of a Ratcatcher II to complete the core team, since she’s really the heart of the film, and my favorite character to boot.  Hopefully, McFarlane will find a way to add her to the set.

#2865: Ursa Major

URSA MAJOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Who’s Ursa Major?”, you may ask.  He’s a big bear.  He’s Russian.  You’re pretty much caught up.  What, was that not good enough?  ….Alright.  Ursa Major was introduced in 1981, created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.  He was a member of the Soviet Super Soldiers, who would later be renamed “The Winter Guard,” and he was a mutant with the ability to transform into a very large anthropomorphic bear. Much like Sasquatch is “Hulk but more Candian,” Ursa Major is kinda “Hulk but more Russian.”  He’s never been a major character, but he does have the distinction of being one of the few members of the Guard who’s actually been the same person the whole time, rather than being just a code name with a rotating roster like the rest of them.  He also had a small cameo in Black Widow, although not as a bear.  Still, things are moving up, right?  And now he’s got an action figure.  Hard to beat that, really.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ursa Major is the titular Build-A-Figure for the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s really an Iron Man series, and Ursa’s not really an Iron Man character, but the Winter Guard are a little more all-purpose, and seeing as Iron Man loaned a few characters to Black Widow last year, she’s again loaning one back, so to speak.  At the very least, he pairs off nicely with the Darkstar also included in this assortment.  The figure stands about 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  His articulation is surprisingly good given the size and bulk of this particular piece.  The mid-torso joint in particular really gives him some solid range.  I was also pleased by how stable on his feet the figure wound up being.  Also rather surprising is that this figure’s construction is all new.  I had expected that he would be making use of at least some of Sasquatch’s parts, given their similar builds and generally hairy nature, but there aren’t any parts in common here.  Ultimately, it’s the right call, since Ursa, being a bear, should really look a little different, and would you look at that, he does.  For being a sculpt of effectively just a bear, they do a pretty solid job of giving him a little bit of character.  Some of the anthropomorphized features are definitely present in the core body, but he’s still more beastial than Sasquatch and his brood.  While I’m not always big on super dynamic or intense expressions, the one they’ve given Ursa really works, as the roaring look helps with giving him that extra touch of character and uniqueness.  Ursa’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  It’s not a ton of variety, but there’s some rather nice accent work, especially on the torso.  The only real downside is the shift in shades between the torso and the limbs, but it’s not as bad in person as it is in the photos.  Ursa doesn’t get any accessories, but, really, what is there to give him?  He’s a big bear.  That’s his thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was in for the whole set of figures as soon as they were shown off, so Ursa himself never got to really be much of a selling point, or anything.  That said, I certainly wasn’t unhappy about getting the chance to assemble him.  If there’s a word that best describes him overall, it’s “surprising.”  I just wasn’t really expecting to like him quite as much as I do, but he sure is quite a lot of fun, and it’s nice to have a little Winter Guard display now.

I really liked this assortment a lot, as a whole.  The last few sets of Legends have been fine, but not really the most thrilling across the board.  This one’s a pretty consistently exciting set.  Ursa’s a surprise hit, as I mentioned.  Modular Iron Man and Ultron are fantastic versions of two of my favorite looks.  Iron Heart is a really solid set of new tooling for a new character for the line.  Darkstar and Guardsman are somewhat by the numbers, but still strong new figures.  Stealth and Hologram Iron Man aren’t the most essential variants, and they’re just simple repaints, but they’re still pretty fun too.  A strong set from start to finish.

#2839: Xemnu

XEMNU

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Xemnu the Titan is a character with an intriguing back story.  Part of a batch of monsters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby before they birthed the Marvel Universe as we know it with the Fantastic Four, Xemnu first appeared in 1960 under the name of The Living Hulk, since the Hulk we all know and love wasn’t yet a thing and all.  Much like other pre-Silver Age Marvel Monsters Fin Fang Foom and Groot, Xemnu found himself worked into Marvel’s super hero fare after they took off, battling a number of Marvel heroes, most notably the one who took his original name.  Xemnu has yet to quite gain the following of either Foom or Groot, but perhaps his day has just yet to come.  Whatever the case, he’s finally getting a little bit of toy love in the form of Hasbro’s latest Build-A-Figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Xemnu is the Build-A-Figure for the self-titled series of Marvel Legends.  He fits the assortment’s all-villain theme, being, well, a villain and all.  He’s based on the character’s post-Silver Age design, which is sensible, since it’s his most prevalent.  The figure stands 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  A lot of Xemnu’s sculpt is shared with the other big furry guys, Sasquatch and Wendigo, which seems like a pretty reasonable selection of parts re-use, since, I mean, he’s another big furry guy.  How many ways can you really change that up, right?  He gets a new head, mid-torso, hands, and feet, all in the effort of changing him up and making him more true to Xemnu’s comics appearances.  The new pieces do a pretty respectable job of meshing with the old, as well as capturing Xemnu’s truly goofy design elements.  They make it work, and the level of detail is impressive, especially on slightly smaller things, such as the interiors of his palms.  Definitely something that could have been left out, but adds something more to the figure now that it’s there.  Xemnu follows rather closely in the footsteps of the Wendigo in terms of paint work, since he’s got a pretty similar color palette.  The blue hue on the white is maybe a little strong in some spots, but generally looks okay, and the extra boldness doesn’t look quite as weird once you factor in the alien angle of the character.  Again, the interior of the palms actually gets a little bit of paint, which is cool, and those piercing red eyes certainly do add some pop to the design.  Overall, just a pretty decent paint set-up, especially after a lot of the others in the set were a little lighter on the paint apps.  Xemnu isn’t packed with any accessories, but that’s fairly acceptable, since he’s really an accessory himself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Xemnu is one of those characters I’ve been aware of for a while, but not one I’ve ever had much direct interaction with personally. So, I wasn’t really in the market for any toys of him.  When this guy was shown off for this set, I was initially a little letdown, because I just wasn’t really drawn in by him.  I honestly wasn’t even 100% sure I was going to even try to complete him, though that was a short lived hill for me.  Once I got him in hand, though, I actually found myself really liking him.  He’s goofy and silly, but he works, and he’s more fun than I’d expected.

In general, that’s kind of a good description of this set as a whole.  Going in, the only one I really was invested in was the Red Skull.  He still wound up being my favorite, but I also really enjoyed a lot of the others.  Deathstrike was a definite surprise all-new offering, and Dormammu, the Scientist Supreme, and Arcade may be a little bit by the numbers, but they still turned out really nicely.  Sure, Dr. Doom is a wonky choice of design, and the Hood does nothing for me, but all-in-all, I liked this set a lot more than I’d expected to.

#2795: Mr. Hyde

MR. HYDE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

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

#2739: Tri-Sentinel

TRI-SENTINEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The Sentinels, a recurring X-Men foe since their introduction in the ’60s, continue this trend as foes into the “House of X” story line, where they and the humans present the primary faction warring against the titular team of mutants.  As the story jumps around, we see the Sentinels in a variety of forms, as their designs advance.  During the sequences set 90 years in the future, amongst the Sentinel forces are a new form of the Tri-Sentinel, dubbed the Theta Sentinels.  Despite their quite minor role, they nevertheless serve as the inspiration for the newest X-themed Build-A-Figure for Marvel Legends, which I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Theta Sentinel, or “Tri-Sentinel” as it’s been dubbed by Hasbro on the packaging, is the Build-A-Figure for the Tri-Sentinel Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s based on the Theta Sentinel design as seen in the future sequences of “Powers of X”, tying it in with the rest of the assortment…sort of.  I mean, most of them are present day designs, and it’s from the future.  I guess Wolverine goes with it?  Maybe that was the main reason for him getting the extra head?  That would actually make sense.  Good form on Hasbro, I guess.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  There was discussion when this figure was unveiled (well, after the resounding “wait, what is that?” reaction) about it making use of parts from the SP//dr Build-A-Figure, but it actually doesn’t share any parts with that release at all.  Instead, it’s an all-new sculpt, based directly on the art from the book.  It’s not a bad piece.  It captures the design from the series pretty closely, and it’s fairly clean.  The detailing does feel a little soft in a few spots, especially on the core body, but it’s not terrible.  The articulation is also pretty solid, allowing for a rather wide range of motion, without too much impact on the sculpt.  The only real issue is with the way the heads connect to the torso.  Firstly, the sculpting doesn’t allow for a ton of range at the base of the heads, and secondly, they just really don’t want to stay in place.  That middle head in particular just keeps wanting to pop out of place on mine.  I think the socket for the joint is just a little too shallow for it to properly seat.  On top of that, it’s pretty hard to get the heads in there in the first place, due to the tight, cluttered placement, and how small the necks are relative to the heads.  It wasn’t a very pleasant experience putting it together, really, especially for my hands.  The paint work on the Tri-Sentinel is pretty basic, and follows the usual Sentinel set-up.  A few different purples, and some silver and grey.  There’s a lot of metallics in the finish, which does look pretty good.  The application’s generally pretty clean.  There are some slightly fuzzy edges, but for the most part it’s pretty good.  This figure gets no addition accessories, but as a Build-A-Figure, that’s not really a point against him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Theta Sentinel is a really minor player, enough that I had literally no clue who the Build-A-Figure was supposed to be when Hasbro announced this set.  I had to actually look it up, and even that didn’t exactly give me a lot to go on, especially given how minor the Theta Sentinels were.  Getting this figure wasn’t much of a driving factor behind getting the set or anything, so I just, sort of, completed it.  It’s an alright figure.  The posability on the body is nice, but the heads are frustrating, and having no attachment to the character leaves me in an odd spot with it.  It feels like there were probably better choices for this slot, but I guess they tried to make the best of what it was.

I find this whole assortment to sort of illicit almost a non-response from me.  I’ve been keeping current with the current X-books, but “House of X” itself wasn’t much for me.  Ultimately, this set’s kind of middling, I guess.  Moira and Jean are two long term wants, that turned out decent, if perhaps not quite as good as I’d hoped.  Wolverine and Cyclops are both solid, if perhaps slightly redundant, variants of core characters and a lot of fun.  Xavier and Magneto aren’t really designs I care for, nor do the figures really do a lot to win me over.  The pleasant surprise for me was definitely Omega Sentinel, who I had knowledge of going in, but who makes for a pretty fun little figure.  Overall, it’s a set I like well enough, but I don’t know if it’s much to write home about.

#2683: Stilt-Man

STILT-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Wilbur Day was a mild-mannered scientist – until he stole the plans for a hydraulic ramming device which he soon used to invent his battle-suit. As Stilt Man, Wilbur has fought against the likes of Spider-Man, Captain America and even Thor himself!”

Oh man, first I get to look at Frog-Man, and now I’m looking at Stilt-Man?  I’ll take that particular win for sure!  Obscure, far reach characters are definitely my bread and butter when it comes to the likes of Marvel Legends, but are usually isolated from each other in differing assortments.  Getting multiples at the same time is definitely pretty sweet.  Stilt-Man’s pretty old school Marvel himself, first appearing in 1965’s Daredevil #8, and hanging around as a recurring foe for a number of prominent Marvel heroes, up until someone decided it was a good idea to have Punisher shoot him in the head shortly after Civil War.  Fortunately, comic book death is rarely permanent, and he was brought back during Dan Slott’s run on Spider-Man, in order to start antagonizing Marvel’s heroes anew.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Stilt-Man is the titular Build-A-Figure for the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends.  Believe it or not, this *isn’t* his first time as a toy; he got a Minimate back in 2010.  But, it’s been over a decade, and he’s never had a Legend before, so here we are now.  In his standard configuration (I’ll touch on that in just a moment), the figure stands 11 3/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Obviously, the great majority of his movement is on the upper body of the figure, which is pretty much articulated the way any basic body has been for a while in this line.  He lacks some of the newer articulation layouts, such as the butterfly shoulders, but it’s a reasonable selection for the character.  The stilt legs aren’t particularly mobile, since they’re not really supposed to be, but he does at least get universal joints on the the ankles, which is useful for keeping him standing.  On my figure, the hips are a little loose, and this is something I imagine will only get worse with the stilts attached.  I’m probably going to pick up an extra torso as a precaution, but ultimately it’s not the end of the world.  Even with slightly looser hips, he’s still fairly stable.  Stilt-Man’s an all-new sculpt, which is honestly a little bit surprising, but certainly not unwelcome.  At the very least, it means he’s got the pinless design for the elbow joints, which helps to keep him looking rather sleek.  In general, the sculpt just does a very nice job of capturing his classic design.  Of course, there’s certainly a bit of room to say “hey, I sure wish my Stilt-Man figure was taller.”  Well, fear not, because by simply popping off the feet on his stilt-legs, you can make the legs completely modular.  Every new section adds another 6 inches to the figure’s height.  So, with enough Hand Ninjas (or, at least, just they’re BaF parts), you can make a Stilt-Man that’s as tall as you want.  You want a 12′ Stilt-Man to really accent your foyer?  Go for it you absolutely crazy person!  That’s pretty dope, right?*  Stilt-Man’s paint is pretty basic.  He’s largely just molded in silver plastic, with the paint being confined to his head.  Basic, but also low room for error, so it works out.  Despite being a Build-A-Figure, Stilt-Man is actually quite well accessorized.  He’s got two sets of hands in gripping and fists, a gun (re-used from Yon-Rogg), a briefcase full of money, and a stand.  It pretty much covers everything you could ever want from a Stilt-Man, which is certainly quite impressive.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been all about Stilt-Man ever since he cameoed on the Iron Man cartoon in the ’90s, and I’ve pretty much wanted a toy of him since.  I loved the Minimate when he was released, but I’ve kind of moved away from ‘mates overall.  I definitely wanted a Legends figure, and the confirmation of this guy early last year was definitely dope.  The final figure is very nicely implemented.  The core figure’s awesome on his own, and the extras just push him to the next level.  I’m also really excited by the modular nature of those stilts, and I’ve made it my mission to get this guy as tall as possible, though I’m playing the waiting game so that I don’t have to buy myself an army of Hand Ninjas to get there.

After a year full of a lot of middling or mixed assortments, this set is surprisingly strong and consistent.  The Spider-Verse figures are definitely the star attractions, and Gwen’s my favorite out of that set.  On the other side is Prowler, who isn’t quite as impressive, but isn’t at all bad either.  Miles and Peter are a great use of new parts for very specific designs, and will definitely be the break away figures for most people, I think.  The comics side is no slouch either, though.  The Hand Ninja’s not one of my favorite designs, but the figure’s well-done, and Frog-Man and Stilt-Man are top tier figures of those goofy characters I oh so love.  This is genuinely one of Hasbro’s best assortments of Marvel Legends.

*The Minimate had a similar set-up, but required purchasing an additional Stilt-Man and Iron Man for every set of stilts you wanted, which made it a little more difficult to do than the Legends set-up.

#2654: Venompool

VENOMPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Alright, I guess I might as well get to reviewing the thing I’ve been literally building up to.  Yes, it’s the veritable merchandising gold mine that is “Venompool.”  A pretty straight forward mash up of Venom and Deadpool, Venompool’s not exactly an original concept, since we’ve been seeing variants on the basic idea since 2010.  Heck, we’ve even gotten another take on the concept in Marvel Legends previously, when they did the “Back in Black” design.  But, the particular version that’s been getting all the love in the last couple of years is not any of the plethora of comics-based designs, but rather the version that appeared in Marvel’s Contest of Champions mobile game, which is this hulking brute that I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Venompool is the eponymous Build-A-Figure for the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends, built from parts included with 5 of the 6 figures included.  As noted above, he comes from Contest of Champions, and is the first Legends figure to explicitly based on a design from that game.  He’s also the third figure based on this particular design, following the Pop and the Hot Toys.  Like with Miles last week, I’m not super big on this design as a whole.  It feels less symbiote-y and more like a monstrous version of Deadpool.  And boy is he monstrous.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  In terms of mobility, he’s pretty restricted, given his rather bulky build.  He can get some okay poses, of course, and covers pretty much everything you’d expect from a character of this size.  He’s also not too hard to keep standing. He’s an all-new sculpt, which gives me a frightening sort of feeling like Hasbro’s going to try and get some sort of a variant release out of him, just to double down on the mold.  It’s an accurate recreation of the game’s design, and there’s certainly a lot of detail going on there.  They’ve somewhat followed in the steps of the movie design and given him a lot of texturing on his costume, which does at least keep things somewhat visually interesting.  It was a touch disappointing that the chain links on his wrist and ankle bands were solid to the bands, and not separate, but I guess the line had to be drawn somewhere.  The paint work on this guy is pretty good.  It gets all the important details down, and application is all pretty clean.  Venompool is notably well accessorized for a Build-A-Figure, getting two sets of hands (open and gripping), two swords, and a removable pair of sheaths for his back.  The sheaths are a little tricky to get in place, and not the most secure.  I’m not sure why they didn’t just do a peg to connect them, but maybe there’s a very important reason that I’m missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t big on the Venomized stuff, and I’ve been suffering from some serious Deadpool fatigue the last few months.  So, this guy, not really for me.  Still, I decided I may as well build him, just to see what all the fuss was about.  He’s a decently put together figure, but there’s just nothing that really grabs me.  The design is so-so, and I have no real spot for him in my collection.  Ultimately, this really isn’t one I see myself hanging onto.

This assortment is one that I was iffy on from the beginning.  Only Phage really jumped out at me from the start.  But, I went into it with an open mind, because the last Venom assortment wound up impressing me a lot more than I’d expected it to.  This one just really didn’t change my mind.  I like Phage, and Carnage is cool.  Even Ghost-Spider is at least a neat visual.  The rest of the assortment left me cold, and even the presentation didn’t really sell it.  It’s notably a small set, and ultimately feels more cobbled together from left-overs than other recent assortments.  Without so much connective tissue, the assortment relies more heavily on the individual figures, and they’re all fine from a technical stand point, but are largely “meh” from a design standpoint.  I’m probably the outlier on this one, though.

#2599: Joe Fixit

JOE FIXIT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

In my review of the most recent Marvel Legends Grey Hulk (which was *a year* ago; boy how time flies), I discussed the printing process issues that led to Hulk’s coloring being changed from its intended grey into the traditional green that the character’s become so tied to.  In the ‘80s, thanks to improvements in the comics printing process, the Grey Hulk was brought back by writer Peter David, who established that he was a separate entity from Banner and Green Hulk, expanding on his less beastly characterization in Hulk #1 to create a unique personality, and attaching to him a name, “Joe Fixit.”  Fixit was not the brute that Green Hulk was , but was instead a morally ambiguous Las Vegas enforcer.  It was certainly different, and it’s become a fan favorite incarnation of the character.  Fixit serves as an alternate appearance for the Hulk in Square Enix’s Avengers game, which serves as a solid reason to give him the Legends treatment.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Joe Fixit is the Build-A-Figure for the second Avengers-themed Marvel Legends assortment of 2020, and serves as a nice bridging of the comics and game aspects of the assortment, seeing as he’s a figure that technically counts for both.  Fixit’s never actually gotten a proper Legends release before, but did get a release in the Toy Biz days as part of their short-lived Hulk Classics line.  The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Fixit is an all-new sculpt, something that was a little surprising to me, as I’d expected him to at least borrow a few parts from Kingpin.  I guess Hasbro decided that just wouldn’t do.  It would have probably made the figure a little shorter, which I can see being the main issue.  There are a couple of different Fixit designs to go with, but this figure opts for the full suit and hat appearance, which is also what the game is using.  It results in a figure that’s a bit more restricted on the posability side of things, but ultimately not terrible for what he needs to do.  It’s a pretty decent sculpt, and certainly gets the size of him down.  I do like some of the little touches, such as only one of his suit jack buttons being done.  I’m not super crazy about the tie and collar, which are free-floating pieces, and have a tendency to pop up during posing.  That can get a bit frustrating.  Also, my figure’s jacket has a few imperfections, two on the front and one on the back.  They’re all minor, but still a little annoying.  In terms of paint, he’s pretty straight forward, with most of the work  being molded plastic.  The skin tone is a little bit greener than I’d like; it would have been cool if had matched the last Grey Hulk.  It’s still plenty grey, though, so it’s not the end of the world.  I just prefer some consistency.  I do quite like the pattern on his tie; it could have just as easily been a straight red, but Hasbro went the extra mile here, and it helps.  Fixit’s an accessory himself, and subsequently gets no accessories of his own.  After getting extras with a few recent BaFs, it’s a shame we could’t get maybe an extra head without the hat, but given Hasbro’s track record, I have to wonder if there might be another Fixit in the works down the line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I’ve personally never had a notable attachment to Fixit as a character, he’s nevertheless a cool concept, and the kind of thing I don’t mind having a figure of.  I was a fan of the old Toy Biz figure, so getting an update was certainly on the list.  Ultimately, this guy’s okay.  Nothing special or amazing, but certainly nothing bad.  If you don’t have the Toy Biz one, or just really want an update, this one’s solid.

In contrast to the rather middling nature of the first Gamerverse Avengers assortment, and also the unfortunately middling nature of the last small batch of figures from it, this assortment actually is a pretty strong one.  Sure, Cap and Iron Man are a bit unnecessary, but both offer something a little more exciting than the prior Gamerverse releases.  Fixit is a serviceable Build-A-Figure, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  The real gem of this assortment is the comics side, which is pretty much all win.  Kang, Jocasta, and an updated Falcon have all been on my list for a while, and they’re some of my favorite Legends from the last year.  Thunderstrike may not be my personal cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad figure at all, and he’s another character that definitely needed to be added to the line.  Definitely a strong line-up here.

#2515: Strong Guy

STRONG GUY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Okay, let’s get way better with this Marvel Legends game, you guys.  Yes, the last three days haven’t been the line’s best form, but it’s okay, because it’s all worth it.  Today, you see, we get to the final piece of this assortment, or perhaps pieces, I suppose.  Yes, it’s time to take a look at the Build-A-Figure, one Guido Carosella, better known as Strong Guy, the heavy of X-Factor’s second line-up!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Strong Guy is, as you can probably piece together, the Build-A-Figure for the Strong Guy Series of Marvel Legends.  He actually stands out a little bit from the line-up that builds him, since they’re a X-Force/Deadpool mix, and he’s not really in either of those categories.  Presumably, they just wanted to make sure he had a slot to go into, what with the one proper X-Men assortment being AoA-themed this year.  This marks Strong Guy’s introduction into the Legends format, and his third figure total, following the 5-inch figure and the Minimate (which was itself released just in the last year).  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Strong Guy is sporting an all-new sculpt, which is appropriate, since it’s pretty tricky for someone of his unique stature to share parts with other characters.  Given his larger build, the articulation works quite well, with a solid range of motion, and some great stability, even with his wonky proportions.  I quite enjoyed the old Toy Biz 5-inch sculpt when I took a look at it earlier in the year, and I remarked that it was honestly one of the nicer ones.  This one?  It blows that offering out of the water.  The costume details are nice and sharp, and the head sculpt is one of the most character-filled expressions that we’ve gotten.  Hasbro has been really stepping up their game on the face sculpts in the last year, and Strong Guy just pushes that even further.  Perhaps the only slight down fall of this figure, if you can truly even call that, comes with the color work.  Hasbro’s been stepping up this area more recently, so the fact that Strong Guy is mostly reliant on molded colors, and has minimal accenting does make him feel just a touch unfinished in some areas.  At the very least, a few more details on his jacket would have gone a long way.  That being said, the application is pretty decent, and the basic work still puts him on par with the most of the line.  It’s certainly a step up from where things were when Hasbro first relaunched the line.  Strong Guy doesn’t get any accessories, but given the sheer size of the figure and how he’s a completely new sculpt, that’s honestly totally fair.  Plus, I can’t really think of much he’d need, anyway.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I dig Strong Guy.  I dig Strong Guy a lot.  Ever since we got our first taste of X-Factor with Multiple Man back in 2018, I’ve been looking forward to getting this guy in some form or another, and with the Havok and Polaris figures further filling out the line-up, was even higher on my list.  As soon as this guy was shown off, I was totally on-board, no matter what figures I had to buy to get him…which may have been for the best, but I’ll get to that in a second.  Strong Guy’s an awesome figure, and I’m really glad to have him.  He looks fantastic with the rest of his team.

This assortment is a definite mix of highs and lows.  Strong Guy’s a fantastic Build-A-Figure, and a front runner for my favorite BaF of the year.  It’s really just Crimson Dynamo he has to contend with.  The figures that build him range from surprisingly good to downright abysmal.  Maverick is on the high end of that spectrum for me, but Black Tom, Warpath, and Sunspot all make for a serviceable middle-ground figure.  The Deadpool variants, however, are really treading on thin ice now, and neither one offered here is anything approaching needed.  And Shiklah is garbage, and you can’t convince me otherwise.

#2473: Sugar Man

SUGAR MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Mixed in with a lot of re-imaginings of prior characters, Age of Apocalypse did also have a few honest to gosh new characters, wholly original to this reimagined universe.  Included in that grouping is today’s focus, Sugar Man, a character that even 25 years later still has no main universe counterpart.  In fact, he’s more or less his own main universe counterpart, since he was one of the four character’s to travel into the 616 following AoA’s wrap-up, and spent a good 20 years cropping up in the background of various X-Men stories.  He’s also really gross.  Yuck.  Well, let’s review him, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sugar Man is the Build-A-Figure for the predictably titled “Sugar Man Series” of Marvel Legends.  Given his monstrous size and odd proportions, he’s a rather natural choice.  While this is his first Legend, it’s not actually his first figure, if you can believe it.  He managed to get a figure from Toy Biz’s 5-inch line back in the day.  The figure’s 6 1/2 inches tall, and just about as wide, and he’s got 38 points of articulation.  Though he’s got plenty of joints, he’s not exactly the most exceedingly mobile figure in the Legends line-up.  In the figure’s defense, however, a lot of the limits are imposed by the character’s design, and he’s certainly a dramatic improvement over the old ’90s figure.  Sugar Man’s sporting an all-new sculpt, which isn’t really that surprising, because really, who would he share parts with? It’s definitely an impressive sculpt, and a really hefty one, too.  The detailing is all nice and crisp, and there’s a great dynamic flair to him with the facial expression and his flailing tongue.  He is truly hideous, and I can’t really say I’d want him any other way.  Hideous is kind of Sugar Man’s game.  There’s also just a lot going on with this sculpt, from the unique gesturing on each of the hands, to the novelty buttons lining his suspenders.  Someone certainly had fun with this one.  In terms of paint, Sugar Man does a pretty solid job of translating the quite frankly rather messy color jobs the character was usually sporting in the comics into something that looks alright on a mass produced figure.  There’s a fair bit going on here, just like with the sculpt, with a fair amount of accenting, especially on the head/torso.  Sugar Man is packed with his hammer, complete with “SUGAR” inscribed on one side.  He can either hold it or keep it stored on his belt, though it’s a little tricky to get it in there, given his general shaping.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with a lot of AoA stuff, I can’t really say that Sugar Man was a character I was dying to have in figure form.  Heck, I don’t even have the old one.  However, he did certainly look pretty impressive, and I was already planning to grab the whole assortment, so here we are.  He’s certainly one of the most unique BaFs we’ve gotten, I’ll give him that, and he fills out the rest of the assortment well.

This is definitely one of the most focused assortments of this line we’ve gotten, what with the very defined theme and all.  My favorite is definitely Morph, who’s quite basic, but just such a clean translation of his comics design.  X-Man’s another high ranking one for me, with Jean not too far behind.  Sunfire was certainly better than I’d expected, and I guess Dark Beast isn’t too bad either.  I can kind of take or leave Weapon X and Wild Child, but I definitely knew that much going in.