#1836: SP//dr

SP//dr

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Yo Shinji, get in the robot!  Your dad loves you, get in the robot!”

What, you weren’t expecting me to start this Marvel Legends review with a quote from Neon Genesis Evangelion?  Well…too bad?  It’s my site, I do what I want, which in this case means I’m gonna quote Evangelion for the purposes of drawing comparisons between the plugsuits from Evangelion and Peni Parker’s mecha suit, SP//dr, who just so happens to be the latest Spider-themed Build-A-Figure, who just so happens to be the figure I’m reviewing today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SP//dr is the Build-A-Figure for the second 2018 Spider-Man-themed series of Marvel Legends, another entry in the every-growing Spider-Verse line-up in Legends form.  The figure stands 9 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  The mech is a touch under-scaled to go properly with the standard Legends figure.  It’s probably about 3/4ths the size it should be as is.  That being said, it still reads as suitably larger than the other figures, and its not as underscored as *some* Build-A-Figures we’ve gotten over the years.  I find its size to be reasonable enough.  The articulation on this figure is just a touch imbalanced.  The movement on the legs and torso is really great, with a lot of range and mobility.  The arms are something of a different story, with the shoulders being just a slight step-up from straight cut joints, and the elbows just being single-jointed.  It’s not enough to ruin the figure, but it does make posing it a little bit frustrating.  The figure is sporting an all-new sculpt, which I’d imagine will be staying largely unique.  It’s definitely a strong one.  The details are clean and sharp, and its quite faithful to the suit’s design from the comics.  The actual suit lends itself rather nicely to toy form, though that’s hardly surprising from a take-off of Evangelion.  I’m always happy to see Hasbro do something that relies on technical detailing, as it really plays to their strengths.  SP//dr’s paintwork is fairly decent.  It’s bright and eye-catching.  The application could stand to be a little cleaner, though, as some of the red sections miss their mark by a fair bit.  It’s definitely a piece-by-piece thing, though, as some of the parts for mine are a lot better than others.  SP//dr includes no accessories, but as a Build-A-Figure, that’s perfectly acceptable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I like SP//dr well enough as a character, though I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to build this one when it was first shown off.  Of course, that’s really just because I was lying to myself, because seriously, in what world was I *not* going to want this figure.  It’s a Spider-Man-themed fighting robot.  That’s totally up my alley.  It’s a figure that’s not without of flaws, but the overall product outweighs the cons, and makes for quite a fun toy.  I’d love to get VEN#m and Daredevil to go with it, but that might be ever so slightly reaching, I guess.

There’s a lot of re-treading in the SP//dr Series, but with SP//dr and Ock as my last features in the reviews, that re-treading starts to make a lot of sense.  I had a long wait for this set, so there was a lot of anticipation and a lot riding on them.  I have to say, the individual figures impressed me a bit less this time around, with my favorite of those being Daredevil, a figure that’s really not that different from the last two Daredevils.  Maybe I’m just really a Daredevil fan.  Nevertheless, the set does sort of come into its own when fully assembled, and I think SP//dr makes the whole thing worth it.

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#1803: Sauron

SAURON

MARVEL LEGENDS

Despite being a classic foe of one of Marvel’s biggest super hero teams, Sauron is pretty sparse in the world of toys.  He’s had three to date, and one of those wasn’t even technically a figure of him.  I’ve actually already looked at two of those three, just in the last year, in fact, and I’ll be looking at the newest addition today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sauron—or should I say Dr. Karl Lykos (Marvel’s Sauron), as he is fully named on the box—is the Build-A-Figure for the second Deadpool-themed series of Marvel Legends.  I don’t know that Sauron and Deadpool have aver had any notable interactions, but if it gets me a Sauron figure, I’m certainly not going to complain.  The figure is 7 1/2 inches tall with a 12 inch wing-span, and he has 33 points of articulation.  There’s a lot of very unique types of articulation, especially within the torso, where a combination of ball-joints gives him a very wide range of very smooth movement.  He’s also got an articulated jaw, just like the old 5-inch figure.  Sauron is sporting an all-new sculpt, and what a beauty it is.  There’s amazing texture work all throughout it, detailing his craggly reptilian skin quite nicely.  He’s quite accurate to what we tend to see of Sauron in the comics, but it’s got this nice real-life feel to him as well.  It’s the kind of detail work that really calls back to when Toy Biz was doing figures like Man-Thing, and that’s a definite plus.  It’s great to see that Hasbro can pull off this sort of work when they put the effort in.  But of course, even the best sculpt can be marred by a sub-par paint job.  Fortunately for Sauron, he gets one of Hasbro’s best offerings in this arena.  His skin features some quite subtle highlight work, which helps to keep him from looking too bland with all those large patches of the same color.  The paint also properly lines up with all of the sculpted details, including the various pouches on his belt, and all of his teeth.  No missed applications here, which is always quite nice to see.  His wings are molded in a partially translucent plastic, giving them the proper stretched skin appearance.  There’s quite a nice fade-in front he solid green to the translucent, which helps to really sell it all as one thing.  Sauron has no accessories, but given the size of the sculpt including the wings and such, it’s definitely acceptable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Being only a moderate fan of Deadpool, I wasn’t really sold on this whole second series of figures, but as soon as Sauron was shown off, I knew I wanted to build him somehow.  Fortunately, Max from All Time was really only interested in the Deadpool figures, so we were able to split a set, and I got myself a Sauron.  And boy am I glad I did, because he’s easily one of the best things Hasbro’s every offered from their Legends line.  He’s really, really well done, and a fantastic offering for a character that’s not likely to see another release any time soon.

#1789: Monster Venom

MONSTER VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Venom’s a character that’s had a number of divergent design styles over the years.  When he first appeared, he was a slightly bigger than average, but not particularly huge character.  Like with Peter Parker, the symbiote didn’t initially do much to alter Eddie Brock’s physique at all.  However, as art styles changed over the course of the ‘90s, Venom became more and more extreme.  His proportions relative to Spider-Man became much more exaggerated, as he became an imposing figure rivaling the likes of the Hulk (who had, admittedly, undergone a bulk-up of his own over the years).  Hasbro’s standard take on Venom does its best to be a moderate take on the character, but ultimately airs more on the smaller side.  We haven’t seen a truly monstrous Venom at his most absurd in quite some time, if ever.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Monster Venom is the Build-A-Figure for the new Venom-themed assortment of Marvel Legends.  He’s patterned not on an Eddie Brock version of Venom, but instead on Mac Gargan’s time in the symbiote from a few years back.  He looks to be based on Mike Deodato’s version from Thunderbolts, as he lacks the actual “eyes” that most artists gave Mac.  Of course, this allows him to keep the more classic Venom eyes, which I’m more of a fan of anyway.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Monster Venom’s nature as a Build-A-Figure allows him to not only be a much more massive figure than a single release, but also, by virtue of having his cost spread out across an entire assortment, allows for him to a completely unique mold.  And what a mold it is!  If you felt that the standard Venom was a touch too simplistic, or basic, or just not dynamic enough, hoo boy is this the figure for you.  The head takes the tongue-flicking head from the last Venom release, and dials that up to 11, with a practically unhinged jaw, a wildly moving tongue, and everyone of his teeth out for the whole world to see.  The body is covered in veins, just all over the place, to insane levels.  On any other character, this would look ridiculous, but on Venom it’s nothing short of amazing.  He’s got tendrils coming from his back and shoulders, and thanks to the unique sculpt, they don’t have to be one piece that plugs into a single port like on the smaller figures, allowing them to be worked in much more smoothly.  And then there’s the general build of the figure.  He’s absolutely huge, easily living up to the “Monster” part of his name.  On top of that, though, his articulation’s not nearly as restricted as you’d expect it to be.  In fact, there are a number of deep poses he can get into that his smaller counterpart struggles with.  They definitely stepped up their articulation game here.  Even Monster Venom’s coloring is a step-up from the standard version; rather than the straight black and white of the basic Venom, Monster Venom is done up in this sick metallic purple.  It gives him a seriously alien vibe, and definitely is a good match for more recent depictions of the character.  He also gets the slightly tweaked logo that Gargan’s Venom sported, which gives him a more unique appearance from the main Venom, but is still close enough for the casual observer to recognize.  Monster Venom has no accessories, but given his size and status as a Build-A-Figure, that’s not a surprise, or a let-down.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the figures from this assortment were initially shown off, the name “Monster Venom” started floating around for the Build-A-Figure, but exactly what that name meant was a little unclear, so I had no idea if I’d be getting this one or not.  Of course, as soon as he was shown off, I was incredibly impressed, and knew right away I wanted one.  Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys (from whom you can still order 5 of the 6 figures in this series) I was able to get a full set put together and get myself a Monster Venom assembled.

This assortment is kind of an interesting experience.  Going in, I was only interested in the Build-A-Figure and two of the six figures required to build it.  I wasn’t even sure I’d be completing this figure, but All Time got them in, and I’m an easy mark.  Spider-Ham, the figure I most wanted, is the set’s biggest disappointment for me.  Scream, my other big want, is decent, but nothing to write home about.  Poison and Typhoid Mary, on the other hand, far exceeded my expectations, with Poison in particular being my favorite of the bunch.  And, above all, I just can’t help but enjoy this set as a whole.  They go well together.

#1769: Apocalypse

APOCALYPSE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Huzzah!  Another Series of Marvel Legends is complete, which means it’s time for another Build-A-Figure!  The X-Men have their fair share of exciting foes, but due to the sheer size of the main team’s membership, those foes can get left out, which has kind of been the case with Hasbro’s X-themed Marvel Legends so far.  The Juggernaut Series just had it’s build-a-figure, and last year’s Warlock Series didn’t have any villains at all.  Fortunately, this year’s assortment amends that issue, giving us two single-release villain, and a villainous Build-A-Figure, Apocalypse, who I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Apocalypse is the Build-A-Figure for the Apocalypse Series of Marvel Legends.  I know, huge shock.  This is the third mass-retail X-Men series of Marvel Legends since the Infinite Series relaunch.  This marks Apocalypse’s third time as a Legend and his second time as a Build-A-Figure (though the last one was much larger).  He’s clearly a more classically inspired Apocalypse, although he’s still got a little bit of a modern twist in how some of the details have been carried out.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Apocalypse is a brand-new sculpt, though given how he’s assembled, He was definitely built with future re-use in mind.  There’s a new base body, with add-ons for the collar, wristbands, shoulder pads , and belt.  He’s also got more unique pieces for his head, hands, and feet.  The overall construction is definitely top-notch, and he’s a great example of the character work Hasbro’s capable of doing even with pieces on a basic body.  The head in particular is a very good replication of the character’s look from the late ’80s/early ’90s, which is about as definitive as you can get for Apocalypse.  If I have one complaint, it’s the tubes that run from his belt to his arms; they’re really long, and they pop out of place a lot.  Of course, they’re totally removable if you don’t like them, and as far as the extra length, I’d say it’s likely Hasbro trying to correct the issues present on Warlock.  In that respect, I have to commend them; at the very least, they’re really trying.  When initially shown off, Apocalypse was sporting a slightly more modern-inspired color scheme, but Hasbro changed that along the line, giving us the more classic appearance we see here.  I personally am very happy for that change, as I think his colors are very striking, especially that slick metallic blue.  Apocalypse includes no accessories, since he’s essentially an accessory himself.  Fear not, though, he’s actually getting an alternate hand attachment, packed in with the upcoming Archangel deluxe release!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I’m at best a moderate fan of Apocalypse (which is why I’ve never owned one of his Legends figures before), I do think he has a pretty slick look, and when this figure was shown off, I was pretty impressed.  As luck would have it, I was also really interested in all of the figures it took to build him, so here he is.  He hasn’t topped Warlock as my favorite Build-A-Figure (I’m doubtful anyone will for at least quite some time), but he’s certainly giving Juggernaut a serious run for his money.  All-in-all, this was a very strong assortment of figures.

#1697: Sasquatch

SASQUATCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Huzzah!  Another Build-A-Figure is complete.  And, like last year’s Titus, this one was sort of by accident.  It’s not that I *don’t* like Sasquatch, and I certainly know more about him than I did the cyborg Tony the Tiger, but Deadpool-themed assortment with an Alpha Flight-themed Build-A-Figure doesn’t immediately jump out at me.  However, here we are, so I might as well review this thing.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sasquatch is the Build-A-Figure for the somewhat predictably named Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends, which is also the first of 2018’s two Deadpool-centric series.  His connection to Deadpool’s tenuous at best, but they *are* both Canadian, so I guess there’s that.  I’d also point out that this and the next assortment feel more like extensions of the X-Men subline more than anything, and that’s definitely a theme Sasquatch fits right into.  This is Sasquatch’s second time as a Marvel Legend; the last one was back during the Toy Biz days, when it was still cost effective to do such a large figure as a single-packed figure, rather than splitting him up.  This figure stands 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Despite some claims to the contrary, he’s an all-new sculpt.  Nothing on him is shared with last year’s Man-Thing BaF.  They may share some common ancestry somewhere along the way, but the final products aren’t the same at all.  Sasquatch’s sculpt is definitely bulkier than his last figure, and overall does a pretty great job of capturing a non-artist specific version of the character.  I quite like the calmer facial expression they’ve gone with here; it’s a nice change of pace from what we’ve seen in the past.  One thing I did notice about Sasquatch that I’ve been seeing crop up with more recent BaFs is how easily he pops back apart.  I don’t want quite go back to the days of no disassembly that we had going for a little while there, but my Sasquatch has a tendency to fall apart during fairly routine posing, which is more than a little annoying.  Sasquatch’s paint work is decent, but it runs into a problem we’ve seen before on BaFs like this.  What are meant to be subtle changes in the shading of his fur are made less subtle by the slight variations from piece to piece clashing on the fully assembled product.  It’s not terrible, but you can definitely see some rather jarring jumps on my figure.  With that said, I do prefer this to a shadingless lump of orange.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, like I mentioned it the intro, I really didn’t mean to finish this guy.  I got Deathlok and X-23 back in February, and I kind of thought that was the end of it.  Then I got Cable because I like the animated series, and I thought I might regret missing out on him.  Then I got Domino and Paladin because of coupon deals.  And then, all of the sudden, I had this headless Sasquatch sitting on my desk, and that seemed a little silly, so X-Force Deadpool was purchased and here we are.  This whole assortment is something of a sleeper hit for me.  I expected nothing from it, but I’m honestly pretty happy with it as a whole, and there are some definite pleasant surprises, Sasquatch included.

#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!

#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.

#1564: Okoye

OKOYE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Remember on Wednesday, when I reviewed Nakia?  And I mentioned not knowing a whole lot about the character?  Well, that goes double for today’s subject, Okoye.  I know she’s played by Danai Gurira from The Walking Dead….and that’s really about it.  And, of course, as the Build-A-Figure, there’s no packaging bio for me to fall back on.  A quick glance at her very short Marvel Wiki entry tells me she’s another of T’Challa’s body guards, so there’s that.  Now she’s got a figure, and I’m reviewing it here today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Okoye (not “Okay” as my spellcheck keeps insisting) is, as noted above, the Build-A-Figure for the recent Black Panther-themed series of Marvel Legends.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Construction-wise, this figure is very similar to the Nakia figure, which is sensible given their similar employment.  It’s worth noting, though, that she has a completely unique sculpt, which I will admit was rather a surprise to me.  I had really expected some shared parts here, but I’m glad Hasbro went for screen accurate over economical.  I was a little disappointed to find that Okoye’s articulation was a bit more restricted than Nakia, especially at the elbows.  That said, she’s still very posable.  It just makes getting her spear in both hands a little more difficult.  Fortunately, her sculpt is just as strong as Nakia’s, delivering a very detail-filled sculpt that really looks like what we’ve seen of Okoye from the promos.  Her head has a pretty solid likeness of Gurira, which I think is a lot stronger than any of McFarlane’s attempts with their Michonne figures.  You can really tell who this is supposed to be.  I also like that they’ve given her a stern and serious expression that still manages to avoid having her look too much like a mannequin.  I think the paint plays a big part in that too.  Okoye has the face printing again, and she’s by far the best example I’ve seen.  There’s also some really sharp work on her head tattoos.  The rest of the body is also pretty decent, though I do wish there were some sort of accent work on her wrist bracers; they look a little goofy with just the straight gold plastic.  Build-A-Figures being accessories themselves, they don’t tend to be too heavy on extras.  Okoye does include her spear, though, which is certainly a plus, and essentially puts her on par with the rest of the assortment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I don’t really know Okoye, I wasn’t initially sure I was going to complete this Build-A-Figure.  Of course, before I knew it, I’d ended up with all but two of her pieces.  Tim offered me his Killmonger piece, and I found Panther in fairly short order, so there we go.  As with Nakia, it’s a figure I wasn’t really expecting anything from, but one I’m actually rather happy with.  And, for those of you keeping track at home, this is the second Build-A-Figure of a character I don’t know that Hasbro has managed to get me to complete.  I think I’m just too easy a target at this point.

#1439: Mantis

MANTIS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Of all the things I loved about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (and that’s quite a long list), perhaps my favorite part of the movie was its new addition to the team, Mantis.  I’ve liked Mantis since her earliest appearances, so I was excited to see her move to the big screen, and the movie delivered a version of the character that was just so inherently likable.  I look forward to seeing more of her in future installments.  In the mean time, I’ve got a Marvel Legend version of her to occupy my time.  Let’s see how that turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mantis is the eponymous Build-A-Figure from the Mantis Series of Marvel Legends.  I know there was a lot of discussion about why she was chosen to be the Build-A-Figure instead of one of the more sizable figures in the set like Ex Nihilo or Death’s Head II.  Would *you* have gone out of your way to complete either of those figures?  Me either.  And that’s sort of the point, isn’t it?  I mean, here I am, and I’ve bought the whole set, so Hasbro succeeded in their main venture, which is selling all the figures.  More power to them.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and she has 32 points of articulation.  Mantis is, of course, based on her design from the film, which is a nicely crafted merging of all of her main looks from over the years.  The figure’s sporting an all-new sculpt, and it’s…it’s just amazing.  I mean, maybe not quite the same level as Gamora, but very close, certainly.  The head sports a beautiful likeness of Pom Klementieff as Mantis, and it’s one of the best head sculpts Hasbro’s ever put out.  It’s made from three different pieces, used for the hair, the face, and the eyes.  Yes, the eyes are a separate piece; they look the slightest bit off when you look really closely at them, but from a normal distance, they add a ton of depth and level to the figure.  The rest of the figure is very sharply detailed; there’s a ton of texture and folds and such in the clothing.  If I have one complaint about the sculpt, I’d say that her shoulders a perhaps a touch too broad.  That’s really minor, though.  Mantis’s paintwork is solid work all around.  It’s clean, and the colors look quite nice.  I particularly dig that metallic green they’ve used.  There’s a little bit of slop around the edges of her eyes, but that’s really about it.  Mantis, as an accessory herself, includes no accessories of her own.  Honestly, I can’t think of much they could have included with her, so I can’t say it’s a huge deal.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, I got Mantis by buying all six of the contributing figures in this series, which I found all at once at Toys R Us.  Mantis was my number one want from this set.  I’ll admit to being a little miffed at first that she was made the Build-A-Figure, but aside from one figure, all of the contributing figures were ones I wanted anyway.  Not a big loss on my part there.  Gamora may be the best figure in the series, but Mantis is hands down my favorite figure in the assortment.  Would life have been easier if she’d been a single-packed release?  Maybe, but I’d much rather have gotten her as a Build-A-Figure with a dedicated sculpt than have not gotten her at all or having gotten her in some compromised form.  At the end of the day, I couldn’t be happier with this figure.

#1411: Vulture

VULTURE (w/ WINGS)

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A nefarious villain with his eyes set on ultimate technological dominance, Vulture suits up in an enhanced suit that makes him nearly unstoppable.”

For me, one of the greatest highlights of Spider-Man: Homecoming was its portrayal of classic Spidey foe Vulture.  While I’ve always been okay with the character in the comics, he’s never really grabbed me.  Homecoming’s more conflicted take on the character gave him some real gravitas, which made him almost as relatable as Peter.  It also didn’t hurt that he got one of my favorite redesigns of the MCU, which means he made for a pretty darn awesome toy.  And now I have that pretty darn awesome toy, so I’m gonna review it.  Alright!  We made it to the finish line!  I’ve completed Vulture!  Yeah!  Let’s do this!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Vulture is both a single release figure and the Build-A-Figure of the “Vulture Series” of Marvel Legends.  How’s that work?  Well, Adrian himself is sold on his own, and it’s his wings that are parted out to the rest of the figures in the assortment.  Normally, I review single releases and BAFs separate from one another, but it seemed a little silly to stretch this over two days, so I’m looking the complete Vulture in one go!  The basic figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The wings add 10 points of articulation and a 15 inch wingspan to that mix (plus spinning turbines to boot!).  The sculpt is all-new, and it’s definitely amongst Hasbro’s best.  I was a bit disappointed with the smaller scale Vulture figure, which was off-model and lacked a lot of detail work.  That’s definitely not the case here.  Not only is he a pretty much spot-on recreation of Vulture’s on-screen design, but he’s also got a ton of awesome detail work all throughout his outfit.  I particularly dig the head sculpt, which uses a multiple part assembly to replicate his visor and visible illuminated eyes, which is a super cool look (and one of the things I was most disappointed to see missing from the smaller figure).  By virtue of the whole Build-A-Wing concept, this Vulture’s wing pack is a nice change from the smaller figure, being both properly scaled to the actual figure and actually articulated.  I will say, they feel a tad thin, and a little under-detailed, and I feel the joints are a bit obtrusive, but I think they’re pretty decent overall.  Vulture’s paint work is pretty decently handled overall.  The colors actually match up with the movie this time, and the application is all sharp, with very little slop or bleed over.  A little more accent work would probably help to make him pop a little more, but it’s still pretty decent as-is.  The basic Vulture figure is packed with the mid-section of the wing pack, as well as a clear stand to help keep him steady once the wings are completed.  It’s too bad he didn’t include the handheld controls from the movie, but it’s possible they were working from an in-progress design for the character in that respect.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Oh boy, this guy.  I actually got the basic Vulture figure at the same time as Beetle, meaning he was one of the first two figures I got from the series.  He’s just been sitting on my desk waiting for his wings since July.  When I finally got all of the figures to assemble him, I was pretty excited, because it meant I could finally review him.  Completed, he’s one of my favorite figures in this series.  And given that this series contains two slam-dunk versions of characters who have been on my wish list for a while, that’s quite a compliment to how well this figure turned out.