#2016: Ebony Maw

EBONY MAW

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The dangerous assassin Ebony Maw puts his powers of persuasion to sinister use in the service of the evil Thanos.”

It’s kind of funny that the first member of the Black Order we see in Infinity War is the last one to get a figure, isn’t it?  Yes, despite his fairly prominent role as Thanos’ top hype-man, Ebony Maw was displaced by fellow Order member Proxima Midnight when it came to the initial toys.  In defense of the toy makers, Proxima does some like a more conventionally easy sell, what with Maw’s general non-action stance.  The important thing is that we have him now, and it only took a year (hey, that’s better than Red Skull, Ronan, and Crossbones).  So, was he worth the wait?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ebony Maw is figure 2 in the first series of Endgame-themed Marvel Legends.  Hasbro switched to referring to these assortments by the name of the figure you’re building, and I generally follow their lead, but seeing as this is our third “Thanos Series” since the relaunch, I have to be slightly more specific.  Despite his presence alongside Endgame products, Maw is officially an Infinity War figure, barring any surprise appearances during Endgame.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I wouldn’t know.  The figure stands 7 1/2 inches tall (retroactively making Corvus seem a little small compared to the rest of the team) and has 31 points of articulation.  Ebony Maw is sporting an all-new sculpt, because really, what could you possibly get away with re-using.  Well, I mean, I guess you could try, but it wouldn’t turn out very well.  This figure’s sculpt, on the other hand, turned out swimmingly.  Like Corvus, he benefits from having a year to get all the details right, and, while he’s not quite as smoothly articulated as Corvus, Ebony’s articulation is a marked improvement on Proxima’s.  The detailing on Ebony is crisp, and very spot-on.  The texturing on his sleeves and pants is really solid work, and that head sculpt is absolutely the spitting image of Maw’s Squidward-like visage.  His hands are suitably expressive, and I especially like the gesture of the left hand, which feels like a perfect match for the character’s personality.  Like all of the Black Order, Ebony Maw’s color scheme isn’t the most thrilling, but the figure replicates it nicely enough.  For me, the most impressive part of the paint is the subtle texturing of his exposed skin, giving him a properly lifelike, if perhaps alien, appearance.  Perhaps the only drag to Maw is what comes packed with him.  He has Thanos’ left leg, but nothing of his own.  A few effects pieces with the glass daggers, or even some alternate hand poses would have been really cool.  At least with his larger size, the packaging doesn’t feel as empty as it did with Cap.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was always fairly certain we’d be seeing Ebony in Legends, but I’ll admit I was getting slightly concerned as we moved away from the Infinity War product.  Once he was slotted into this assortment, it felt like it took no time at all to get him.  While I was initially distracted by getting the two Endgame figures, getting to finally complete the Black Order was a very nice feeling, and Ebony may well be the best figure in the set (I still *really* like Corvus, though.  I might be a little biased on that one).

I grabbed Ebony May from All Time Toys, and he’s currently in-stock at their store, here. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1822: Black Panther & Ebony Maw

BLACK PANTHER & EBONY MAW

MARVEL MINIMATES

“Hear me, and rejoice. You are about to die at the hand of the children of Thanos. Be thankful, that your meaningless lives are now contributed to the balance…”

It’s black on black in today’s set, as Black Panther faces off against Ebony Maw!  Prepare to imagine a world where these two characters actually met…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Black Panther and Ebony Maw are part of the second assortment of the Infinity War-themed Marvel Minimates.  These two were supposed to be the Toys R Us exclusive set for this round but…well, we all know how that one went, right?  The set actually still has its TRU-exclusive sticker, presumably because it was too late in the process to get it removed before it started shipping to specialty stores.

BLACK PANTHER

Black Panther has been no stranger to Minimates.  Heck, this is his fourth just this year alone. Since Panther’s IW design was the same as his suit from his solo outing, this figure uses that same design, and is quite similar to the basic Panther from those tie-ins.  He’s built on the usual body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Like his solo counterpart,  he’s got an add-on for his mask, as well as Cheetah’s clawed hands.  The paint on Panther is pretty solid work, and again, virtually identical to the last one.  The biggest difference between the two is what’s under the mask.  We’ve gotten yet another Chadwick Boseman likeness, this time with a much angrier expression than we saw even on the more energetic powered-up Panther.  I guess he’s taking things more seriously with it being the end of the world and all.  For accessories, Panther is packed with an extra hair piece to display his unmasked look, as well as the standard clear display stand.

EBONY MAW

As the member of the Black Order with by far the most dialogue and the most focus, Ebony Maw certainly stood out.  However, for whatever reason, it was Proxima Midnight who got all of the initial focus in the toy realm.  Fortunately, at least in the case of the Minimates, Maw wasn’t too far behind.  Ebony Maw is almost a completely vanilla ‘mate.  The only thing that mixes him up a bit is his skirt piece, which is a new offering.  It works well enough, adding the extra tails to his torso, while avoiding bulking him up too much.  I’m not for overly building up a ‘mate if you don’t have to, but I do feel Maw is missing…something.  Maybe a sculpted collar?  Certainly a hair piece of some sort.  His hair may have been thinning in the film, but it certainly wasn’t close-cropped, and it doesn’t look right being relegated purely to painted detailing.  I think something along the lines of Morgue’s hair piece would have really helped this figure out.  Maw’s paintwork is certainly his strongest suit.  The face is definitely the best part; it’s a pretty perfect recreation of his features from the movie.  The fact that he already lacked a nose probably helped.  The details on his uniform seem perhaps a touch bright for my eyes, but they are at least cleanly applied, and quite extensive.  Ebony Maw’s only accessory is a clear display stand.  It might have been nice to get some of those funky glass daggers or an energy effect of some kind, especially since he’s already light on the sculpted pieces as it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There’s no denying that this Black Panther feels more than a little bit redundant. There were two costumed versions of T’Challa in his own line, both of which are still quite readily available.  This one does attempt to be a little bit different, but not by much.  If you didn’t get any of the Black Panther movie Minimates, then I suppose this one’s a nice addition.  If you did?  Well, you’re really just here for the other half of the set.  As I noted with Corvus, the Black Order are really the only “new” part of the Infinity War assortments, which places some extra weight on them.  Unfortunately, I think Maw is another design that doesn’t translate all that well to the aesthetic, making this ‘mate somewhat middle of the road in terms of quality, and unlike Corvus, he doesn’t have a stronger pack ‘mate to carry him.