#1964: Nick Fury

NICK FURY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

In the years following the Cold War, Nick Fury wrestles with his sense of purpose within SHIELD.  When Nick crosses paths with Captain Marvel, they become Earth’s only hope of stopping a Skull invasion.”

Digital de-aging for movies sure has come a long way in the last few years.  It feels like just yesterday that it turned out really odd and rubbery versions of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen for the opening scene of the equally odd and rubbery X-Men 3, but now it’s advanced enough that we can have a major character de-aged for the whole runtime of a film, as is the case for Samuel L Jackson in the upcoming Captain Marvel.  And he doesn’t even look half bad!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nick Fury is first officially numbered figure in the Kree Sentry Series of Marvel Legends (since the basic Captain Marvel didn’t include a BaF piece), and is based upon his ’90s-era appearance from the film.  It would appear that SHIELD’s standard of dress hasn’t changed all that much since the ’90s, as he’s wearing the same Men in Black get-up we’ve been seeing since Iron Man.  Of course, that’s kind of a new look for Fury, who tends to aim more for the trench coats and the like.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. Despite how things may look at first glance, Fury is *not* just a new head on the Coulson body.  He makes use of some parts from it, to be sure, but the torso and legs are definitely new.  Similar to the originals, but new nevertheless.  They actually work a lot better with the pre-existing parts, and result in a figure with much better overall proportions.  Were it not for the loosened tie, I’d say I’d expect this body to be the new standard, though pulling back the jacket also reveals a shoulder holster that would make that a little difficult as well.  The holster’s definitely a fun touch, though, and even makes me a little sad that there isn’t a spare set of arms without the jacket sleeves.  Still, it’s cool that they through that little touch in there.  There’s also a new head, which sports the best Jackson likeness we’ve gotten from Hasbro’s Fury figures, which is kind of funny given it’s non-standard nature.  The paintwork on Fury is okay, apart from one notable exception, that being the collar-line of his shirt.  The paint mask is way too high, so the white bleeds onto his actual neck, which looks weird.  Other than that, he’s okay, I guess, though not terribly exciting perhaps.  Fury is packed with a fairly standard handgun, as well as Carol’s cat Goose in a possibly spoilerific-state, and the right arm of the Kree Sentry.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, this is a figure I was a little bit dreading when it was first shown off, since it looked like he was just going to be on that same suited body we keep getting.  Upon getting him in hand and realizing he was mostly new, I was a lot happier with this guy.  The weird paint mask thing is still a little annoying, and it’s a shame he couldn’t have come with a ’90s Coulson head to go on the old boxed set figure, but I ended up liking this guy quite a bit.

Nick was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s still available here.  And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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#1963: Captain Marvel

CAPTAIN MARVEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes, Captain Marvel, when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.”

Hey, did you guys know there’s going to be a Captain Marvel movie released at the end of this week?  It kicks off our Marvel movie season for the year, and is notable for being Marvel’s first female-led solo film.  Pretty cool, huh?  Yep.  That’s all I got to say about that.

As with all the MCU films as of late, we’re getting a whole assortment of Marvel Legends to go alongside it, which I’ll be reviewing this week.  I’m starting with the title character, Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel herself!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Marvel is part of the Kree Sentry Series of Marvel Legends, and is one of two Captain Marvels in the line-up (well, three if you count Genis).  This one is the more standard take on the character, based on Carol’s updated costume from when she took over the Captain-ship back in 2012.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  She’s sporting an all-new sculpt, based on her design from the movie.  The general sculpt is decent enough; the detail work is pretty sharp and features some solid recreation of the costume from the movie.  The build on the body is a little thinner than Larson, but it’s not terribly far off; certainly closer than some sculpts we’ve seen.  Captain Marvel has two heads included.  The one she’s wearing in the packaging is the helmeted version.  It’s a decent recreation of what we’ve seen from the trailers so far, though it’s hard to tell how much she’ll be wearing it in the movie.  If it’s anything like the comics, probably not much.  She’s not going to be wearing it much on my shelf either, since, like the comics, it’s not a design I’m all that into.  But, it’s nice that it was included.  There’s also the unmasked head, which is an okay piece, but I don’t think it’s got a spot-on Larson likeness.  I think the hair lies a little close to the face, and makes it look a little wider than it should.  She also got a rather bland expression, though this can be hidden a little by changing up the pose.  The paint work on Captain Marvel is pretty decent.  I dig the metallic colors on the uniform, and the printed face works okay despite the issues with the sculpt.  In addition to the two heads, Captain Marvel includes two sets of hands in fists and flat-handed poses.  The flat hands seem almost comically flattened, but they’re workable, and it’s certainly better than not having the options at all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been keeping up with the MCU Legends pretty much as they’ve been hitting, so I wasn’t planning to skip Carol, obviously.  Honestly, this figure’s a “I’m getting the rest of the set anyway” sort of purchase.  She’s not a perfect figure, and I think she may be the weak point of this particular set.  That being said, she’s still a pretty decent offering, and if you just want a basic Captain Marvel, you could do a lot worse.

Captain Marvel was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and she’s still available here.  And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#0871: Captain Marvel & New Thor

CAPTAIN MARVEL & NEW THOR

MARVEL MINIMATES

ThorCapMarvel1

Change is kind of a constant thing in comics. However, as quickly as things change, they’ll just as quickly revert right back, because status quo trumps just about everything. Seriously, for all the times a popular character has been replaced by another iteration, you can probably keep count of the ones that actually stuck on one hand. So, today, let’s look at two new(ish) incarnations of classic Marvel characters, Captain Marvel and Thor. One of them’s likely to be one of the few changes that sticks, while the other’s probably only got until Chris Hemsworth’s Thor graces the big screen next year.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Captain Marvel and Thor are part of Series 64 of the main Marvel Minimates line. This is one of the two sets only available in the specialty assortment of figures. While Carol and the new Thor don’t have a ton of history together, they are both Avengers, so the pairing certainly makes more sense than Howard and Dazzler. Plus, how often do you get two female characters in one set? That’s pretty cool.

CAPTAIN MARVEL

ThorCapMarvel2Captain Marvel is a title that Marvel has passed around a lot over the years, mostly because none of the characters really hit it big and Marvel was reeeally determined not to let the name lapse. Carol Danvers spent a large portion of her career as Ms. Marvel, and after managing to hold her own series under that title, Marvel finally realized that easiest way to keep the Captain Marvel name going would be to give Carol a much deserved promotion. She’s actually been Captain Marvel for a while now, so it seems like this one’s gonna stick. Carol’s had pretty much the same look during her entire tenure as the Captain, so that’s the look here. The figure is the standard 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. She uses the basic body, with add-on pieces for the hair and sash. Both pieces are new to this figure and they do a pretty good job of capturing her in-comic look. The hair’s peg is a little long, so it sits just a bit high, but other than that, it looks okay. The paint on Captain Marvel is pretty decent overall. The only real issue is that the dark blue is the base color, so the red and gold are just a touch murky in a few spots. Other than that, the colors look pretty smooth, and everything’s nice and clean. For accessories, the good Captain includes her helmet (which she only seems to wear very occasionally), as well as a flight stand and a standard clear display stand.

NEW THOR

ThorCapMarvel3New Thor seems like an odd idea. While the concept of someone else wielding Mjolnir certainly isn’t new, and New Thor hit right in the midst of change-ups to other popular characters, it was weird to see another person called “Thor” since it’s not a title, it’s his actual name. However, the character seems to have been pretty well-executed, and I’ve especially loved her in Mark Waid’s run on Avengers. While she’s sure to be a temporary replacement, she’s certainly a fun take on the character. Thor makes use of four add-ons for her helmet/hair, cape, gauntlet, and belt/skirt. The cape is re-used from the MvC Thor (which is certainly appropriate), but the rest of her add-ons are new. The helmet is a pretty awesome piece, with some really cool detailing, and the skirt and gauntlet are pretty cool too. Thor’s paint is nice and sharp, and has some nice, bold work. Under the mask is a nice depiction of Jane Foster’s sickly appearance, with a nice, stern look to it. Thor is a bit light on the accessories, but she has what’s important: her hammer Mjolnir and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I wasn’t quite as excited for this set as I was Dazzler and Howard, I do really like both of the character designs included. Captain Marvel is a long time coming, and she turned out very nicely. Definitely worth the wait. And Thor is a solid ‘mate of a pretty cool design, and a very good choice for this set.

#0484: Captain Marvel

CAPTAIN MARVEL – MAIDENS OF MIGHT

MARVEL LEGENDS

So, Hasbro’s finally gotten around to releasing some of their merchandise for the upcoming summer-blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it’s… not quite what I expected. So far, there are four possible scales to collect: 2 ½-inch, 3 ¾-inch, 6-inch, and 10-inch. Curiously absent from every line-up is the titular antagonist, Ultron, which is a bit of a bummer. The 6-inch line actually isn’t getting any proper movie figures until Series 2, meaning the first series is made up of comic-based figures who tie-in at least a little with the movie (although some ties are looser than others…), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Still no Ultron, though…. Anyway, I’ll be taking a look at the line’s take on the current Captain Marvel. She’s not in the movie, but she’s been a recurring member of the Avengers since the 70s, so she’s run into Ultron once or twice.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Marvel is part of the first series of the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. She’s listed under the name “Maidens of Might,” a title she shares with Scarlet Witch. I can’t say it’s the best name; in fact it kinda feels like it’s down playing both characters. Carol’s a colonel in the air force for God’s sake! “Maiden” seems just a tad below her, especially when the character only recently got away from being saddled with Ms. Marvel. Ultimately, it’s a minor issue, but still. The figure is about 6 inches tall and she features 27 points of articulation. This is Carol’s second Marvel Legends Infinite Series figure, and her third ML figure overall. However, it’s the first figure to depict Carol as Captain Marvel, the title she inherited a few years ago. From the neck down, Captain Marvel’s sculpt is a re-use of the Moonstone body. It’s one Hasbro’s best base body’s and it’s very nicely sculpted and pretty well proportioned (odd abdominal cut aside). It’s also the same body used for the three-pack Ms. Marvel, so it’s good for consistency’s sake. The figure features a new head and an add-on for her sash, which is different from the one on Ms. Marvel. The default head depicts Captain Marvel sans helmet with windswept hair. Windswept hair doesn’t always work, but with the shorter hair it actually looks okay. The paint on Captain Marvel is decent, if maybe not perfect. The biggest issue is the face. My figure has a chunk of her left eyebrow missing, and her eyes are a little wonky. Other than that, the line work is nice and clean, and the colors are pretty great matches for those in the comics. Captain Marvel includes an extra helmeted head, an energy blast attachment, and the head, cape, and axe of Future Thor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Machine Man, Captain Marvel was purchased for me by my Dad, from Walmart of all places. I think Captain Marvel’s probably the figure I overlooked the most, and that’s too bad, because she’s a really good figure. The new costume is pretty great, and it’s awesome to see it get a figure.

#0023: Photon

PHOTON

MARVEL MINIMATES

Today’s review is another Minimates item.  This time the figure comes from the Marvel Minimates line.  It’s a Minimate of Photon.  I know what you’re thinking: “Who’s Photon?”  Allow me to provide an answer! Photon, aka Monica Rambeau, actually started her career under the name Captain Marvel.  She was the second (well, technically third if you count Billy Batson, now known as SHAZAM!, but Marvel Comics would prefer you didn’t) character to use the name.  She was introduced in the 80s, and was somewhat prominent for a while, joining and even leading the Avengers for a short period.  However, the character was depowered in the early 90s and fell into obscurity for a bit, until writer Warren Ellis brought her back in his series Nextwave.  Recently, she’s had a slight resurgence, but nothing major, mostly owing to the fact that she can’t seem to hold on to a code name for very long.  Anyway, she was also in 80s cross over series Secret Wars which is why the figure I’m reviewing got made in the first place.  Yeah…I know way too much about Photon.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Photon was released as part of the Toys R Us exclusive Secret Wars boxed set.  Like the Captain America set I reviewed earlier, the set was decided by an online poll.  Guess who I voted for.  Photon is depicted in her debut costume.  She’s built on the basic Minimate body, so she stands a little over 2 inches tall.  She has 12 points of articulation, 2 less than usual for a Minimate, due to her sculpted boots.  She has sculpted hair, boots, and cape.  They’re all handled well.  The design is nice and clean, which is fitting for her character.  The black/white contrast really helps to make her stand out on the shelf.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, you’ll notice that I mentioned that she’s part of a 4-pack, but I’m not reviewing the others from the set.  That’s because I don’t own them.  Photon was the only character I really wanted from the set, but that’s actually not why I don’t have the others.  I’ve bought a whole set for one figure in the past, so I probably would have again if I’d been given the chance.  But…I wasn’t.  Yeah, my Toys R Us has never carried the fan poll Minimate sets, and this set predates tru.com carrying said sets, so I was never able to find this figure.  Apparently, this was a common problem with this set, given its fairly high value on ebay now.  So, still really wanting a Photon figure (The only Photon figure ever, mind you) I tracked down Photon loose, for probably a little too much money.