#2938: Falcon

FALCON

AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)

“As the Falcon, Sam Wilson became the dedicated defender of Harlem. Pledging to protect the innocent, Wilson used a falcon as inspiration when inventing high-powered armor – extendable robotic wings for swift aerial maneuvers and soaring flights, razor-sharp claws from wrist, and battle boots with retractable steel talons and missiles. He fights crime and shares a telepathic link with his trusty falcon, Redwing. As one of Earth’s mightiest heroes, he is always ready to answer the call, ‘Avengers Assemble!'”

Even before getting his big on-screen focus in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Falcon’s always been pretty fortunate when it came to the smaller-scale tie-in stuff.  He’s been included in every major Marvel scale and style when it comes to toys, and when it came to 1999’s Avengers: United They Stand cartoon, he got the important role of being the team’s newest member, and in many ways the audience surrogate as the team makes their way through the larger Marvel universe.  I’m looking at his figure from that line today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon was part of the second assortment of Toy Biz’s Avengers: United They Stand tie-in line.  This was only Falcon’s second figure from Toy Biz, but it was his fourth overall, following his Mego and Secret Wars figures. The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  He continues the trend of improved articulation on these guys, which was really great.  Falcon’s design for the show was a much more armored up design, much like the rest of the cast.  He did keep more of the broad stroke elements of his classic design than the others, and this design differed from the rest in that it actually even made a transition to the comics, at least for a short while.  Some parts of it are a little clunky, but it’s generally one of the better looks from the show, and I’ve always had a real soft spot for this one.  The sculpt does a very nice job of replicating his animation design, keeping him rather clean looking.  The armored parts actually use some separately sculpted pieces, which gives him a nice depth to his design.  His wings are also split between upper and lower arms, allowing for more posability, making a notable improvement over the Secret Wars figure, and even putting him above Toy Biz’s own Marvel’s Gold release.  Falcon’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  It’s largely just basic color work, but it was pretty clean, and the accenting on the armored parts is pretty cool.  Falcon was packed with his pet falcon and sidekick Red Wing.  Redwing had a magnetic connection on the front of his harness which could connect to Falcon’s corresponding magnet on his right arm, and would launch a pair of missiles from his back pack.  There were a lot of gimmicky accessories in this line, and this one certainly had a gimmick, but it was at least not terribly disruptive, and it meant we got a proper Redwing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Falcon and Tigra were the first figures I got from this line when it dropped.  While they weren’t quite at the top of my list, they were both still pretty high (really only Wonder Man and Vision topped them).  The show and this toy both served to really solidify Falcon as a character I really, really liked, and he’s remained one of my favorites to this day.  This figure is still a lot of fun, and remains my favorite version of the character.  And there have been some really good Falcon figures, so that’s saying something.

#2829: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Donning a brand new suit and wings from Wakanda, Sam Wilson proudly takes on the mantle, ready to unite people as the world’s new Captain America.”

When Steve passed the shield to Sam in Avengers Endgame, Sam’s taking up the Captain America mantle seemed pretty inevitable, but The Falcon and the Winter Soldier devoted a lot of its time to showing that even when something is the inevitable or even most common sense outcome, that doesn’t mean that the journey there is always the easiest.  Much like Steve, Sam’s own hesitance at accepting the role, coupled with outside factors believing him wrong for the role based on superficial factors, are ultimately the very reasons that Sam is the right choice for the part, and the show pulls double duty of convincing both Sam and the audience watching that there’s really no other choice for the new Captain America.  And, if he’s going to be the new Captain America, then he damn well better get a cool new action figure while he’s at it, right?  Right.  So, let’s look at that, huh?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Following in the footsteps of Homecoming‘s Vulture, Captain America is both the final single release in the Disney+ series of Marvel Legends and its Build-A-Figure, by virtue of his wings being parted out amongst the other figures, while the core figure himself is sold by himself.  This allows the wings to be far more intricate in their design than they might otherwise have been, while also giving people the option of just getting that main Cap look, which Sam does, admittedly have for quite a bit of his screen time.  The wings are certainly less key a piece for him than his Falcon design, or even really that prior Vulture figure, so I think it was a pretty wise choice.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation in his single-packed form, with an additional 6 points courtesy of the wings when he’s fully assembled.  His articulation scheme is pretty well balanced.  The wings can be a little floppy in certain poses, but they hold up alright, and the core body is on par with the rest of this line-up’s articulation.  Sam’s got an all-new sculpt based on his final episode design from the show, and let me take a moment here to once again discuss how strong many of the costume choices have been for these shows.  Much like Wanda’s Scarlet Witch design, Sam’s Captain America uniform is a quite faithful adaptation of his Cap suit from the comics.  I was quite a fan of that design in 2D, and I think it translated amazingly well to live action.  Rather fittingly, it’s also translated quite nicely into toy form.  The costume details match up quite nicely with those seen on the screen, and the head sports Hasbro’s best Anthony Mackie sculpt so far (which is saying something, because the prior Legends version was pretty good to begin with).  Most impressively, this time around the goggles are actually a separate piece, with a slight translucent feature to them, so you can ever so slightly see his eyes peeking out from beneath them.  If I have one complaint, it’s that he does still seem maybe a little too thin for Mackie’s build in the show.  That said, it’s not quite as bad as the prior figure, and on top of that, Mackie has also slimmed down a bit as his appearances have progressed, so it’s not terrible.  He still looks pretty good.  Generally speaking, his paint work is decent.  It’s not quite as sharp as some more recent MCU offerings, I think partially owing to just how much is going on with it, and there’s a few spots of bleed over and slop around the edges, but for the most part it looks okay.  I was certainly glad that they actually put the proper color change ups on the wings.  The core Cap figure is packed with the collapsed version of his wing pack, as well as his shield (which is distinctly different from Steve’s, as it should be).  I was a little letdown that he didn’t get any alternate hands, since he’s just got the open gesture ones.  They aren’t as limiting as just fists, or something, but I do still wish we’d gotten at least one more set, just to have the option.  The Build-A-Figure parts add in the whole extended wing pack, of course, which swaps out for the collapsed piece.  It also gives him the upgraded version of Redwing (which I really love that we got), who has his own flight attachment on the pack, and a stand to held support him when he’s got the full wing pack on.  While the core figure is perhaps lacking a touch, the full BaF treatment definitely makes him feel more complete.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There was debate after Endgame about whether Sam should really be the next Cap.  As a longtime classic Cap fan, I’ve always felt he was the always the logical choice, so I was definitely there for it.  I really enjoyed seeing his journey to claiming the mantle, and I absolutely loved seeing his full Cap look in action, so I was definitely down for getting it in figure form.  I think the whole Build-A-Figure set-up worked pretty well for him, and the resulting figure is the best MCU version of Sam we’ve gotten so far, certainly worthy of the quality of the show.

I am, at this time, going to again get into some post-Jess stuff here, so another fair warning.  The MCU Falcon in Legends form definitely has some strong ties to Jess for me, because Winter Soldier was the first movie we saw in the theater together, not long after we started dating, and she also put a very large amount of effort into making sure that I got the first Legends MCU Falcon for Christmas the year it was released.  The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was also the last thing that the two of us got to watch start to finish together.  So, there’s already a fair bit of meaningful attachment to this guy.  But this whole set of figures gets an extra final little push, courtesy of some incredible generosity on the part of Jason over at All Time Toys.  Throughout all of Jess’s treatments and struggles, and our personal battles, Jason and the rest of the team at All Time Toys have been nothing short of amazing, doing whatever they could.  In the case of this particular round of figures, on the day Jess passed, Jason showed up at my house with this set in tow.  It’s a not small gesture, and it gave me something to focus myself on in the days immediately following losing Jess, which was an invaluable resource for getting myself back on my feet.  I was already poised to really like this set of figures, but now it’s a very special symbol of both the wonderful times I had with Jess and of the people who have been supporting me through these trying times.

#2591: Falcon

FALCON

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

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

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

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

#1845: Falcon & Winter Soldier

FALCON & WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Trained by different armies, but equally prepared to defend their allies from any threat, Winter Soldier and Falcon stand their ground to protect the Earth from other worldly adversaries.”

There were a *lot* of characters in Infinity War, so its not a huge shock that even several months later, there’s still a pretty healthy helping of action figures streaming out of the Hasbro toy machine.  While there were plenty of MCU characters granted their very first figures over the course of all of this, today’s set actually concerns two who we’ve seen before, The Cap’s bestest pals, Falcon and Winter Soldier.  Since their last figures were both exclusives that not everyone could find, Hasbro decided to re-issue them in…an exclusive set that not everyone can find.  You win some, you lose some.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Falcon and Winter Soldier ended up as a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, alongside Black Panther’s Everett Ross and Killmonger.  The sets were shown off early in the year and initially theorized to be Toys R Us-exclusives, but we all know how that turned out.  Both figures are based on their Infinity War appearances…in theory, at least.

FALCON

Falcon’s look from Civil War to Infinity War didn’t change much, and, much like the Minimate, this figure reflects that, really being quite similar to the previous release.  He stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  His sculpt appears to be identical to that last figure.  The head may possibly be new, but the body is definitely the same.  While not perfect, the previous sculpt was certainly passable, and its re-use is certainly more acceptable than, say, that same Cap body that Hasbro keeps giving us.  The main difference between these two releases is the paint, but oh boy what a difference does it make.  The Civil War figure was somewhat lacking on a few of the smaller applications, which gave him this almost unfinished vibe.  This figure, on the other hand, adds back in a lot of the smaller details, and just overall gives the figure a better finish, making him look comparatively much more complete.  The figure includes the same wing pack as the last release, so the wings are still not posable.  He also lacks the deployed version of Redwing, but that’s acceptable, given Redwing doesn’t factor into the movie.  Also still missing are his guns, but at this point that’s no surprise, and it has to be some sort of a licensing issue.

WINTER SOLDIER

I haven’t actually reviewed a Winter Soldier Legends since, well, Winter Soldier.  He had a Civil War release, but that one just never spoke to me for whatever reason.  By extension, this guy ended up as the main draw of the set for me.  While Falcon’s design was fairly unchanged from Civil War to Infinity War, Bucky actually had a number of changes implemented, resulting in a design that’s actually a little closer to the comics incarnation of the character in design.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s a mix of old and new parts, with the same head and arm as the Civil War figure, and the boots from the WS/AoU/Civil War Cap, with everything else being new to this release.  The head actually has an amazing likeness of Sebastian Stan, far better than the prior release might have made clear.  The only real trouble is that it’s clearly Bucky circa Winter Soldier, not the scruffier, recuperating-in-Wakanda-for-a-year of Bucky Infinity War.  That said, it’s an issue that bugs me far less here than it did on Cap.  From the neck down, he’s actually quite accurate, and marks some improvements in movement from the WS variant of the character.  I particularly like all of the small detail work on the stitching on his torso; it adds to the realism.  Bucky’s paintwork is definitely one of the figure’s strongest suits.  The work on the body is reasonable in its own right, though not necessarily anything particularly stand-out.  The head, however, uses the face printing, and it’s one of the best instances of it I’ve seen, certainly rivaling the likes of Hot Toys in the realism department.  Bucky is packed with two different rifles.  The first is the same goofy dead-fish-looking thing that the WS release got, but this time in gold.  I hate it just as much this time as I did the first time around.  Fortunately, this figure also includes the assault rifle from the Netflix Punisher, which is a far more sensible piece, and will be the one my figure will be keeping.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw these figures once at an out of the way Target, and passed on them at the time, reasoning that Falcon wasn’t all that different from the one I had, and I’d be perfectly content to just keep my first Winter Soldier.  I also figured I might see them later, at a more local location.  Well, then I didn’t, so when I happened upon that same Target again, I was more easily swayed.  I knew Bucky would be the star of the set for me, and I was correct on that front.  While he may not be 100% accurate to the film, he’s still the best version of the character to date, and an all-around fun figure.  I didn’t expect much out of Falcon, having already picked up the CW release.  This one makes just a few subtle changes, and yet still ends up feeling almost like an entirely new figure, and he’s a lot better than I’d expected him to be.

#1773: Captain America & Falcon

CAPTAIN AMERICA & FALCON

MARVEL MINIMATES

Infinity War saw a lot of familiar faces returning, and by extension so have the accompanying toys.  The Minimates have been split into two main assortments, and by far the most noticeable absence from the first one was the Star-Spangled Man himself, Captain America.  Fortunately, he’s headlining the second assortment, alongside his frequent partner in crime, the Falcon!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cap and Falcon are part of the second assortment of Infinity War-themed Marvel Minimates.  They’re one of the two sets shared between specialty and Walgreens (and were originally supposed to be offered at Toys R Us).

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Captain America’s got quite a different look this time around, owing a lot to his appearance during his days as Nomad in the comics.  Given the similar thematic elements between the storylines, it’s a well-chosen look, and it aids in filling us in on how things have gone for him since he abandoned the shield at the end of Civil War. Cap’s construction is very similar to his Civil War figures, which is sensible, since it’s the same costume and all.  He uses the shield harness, gloves, and belt from that set-up, and swaps out Ego’s hair for the usual close-cropped fare.  The end result makes for a pretty solid approximation of his design from the movie. Sure, the shape of the buckles on the harness isn’t movie accurate (they should be circular), but that’s an exceedingly minor change that DST is forgiven for overlooking.  In terms of paint, Cap is pretty well-off.  The face is sporting a pretty decent likeness of the bearded Chris Evans, and the rest of the details on the uniform and such are very crisp, and all of the important details are there.  The intent from his missing star insignia is clearly defined, as are all of his pockets and such on his uniform.  It’s a shame his uniform isn’t showing the small rips and tears like in the movie, but that’s another small detail. Cap is packed with an extra set of hands, featuring his replacement Wakandan shields.  They’re a bit on the small side, and it’s kind of difficult to tell the difference between them and the standard hands.  That said, they’re new pieces, and they’re certainly better than nothing.  He also includes the usual clear display stand.

FALCON

Unlike Cap, Falcon’s look for Infinity War is largely unchanged from his prior appearance in Civil War.  However, the Civil War release was exclusive to Toys R Us, so it’s sensible that DST would want to give buyers another chance at the character.  Falcon is built from the same collection of pieces as his Civil War figure (reviewed here).  They worked very well the first time around, and they continue to work here.  As it’s the same costume in-movie, it would be silly for DST to try and recreate these pieces wholesale.  Falcon’s paintwork is also rather similar to his last figure, but there are a few minor differences.  His facial expression has changed slightly, closing his mouth, but still keeping his angrier appearance.  The colors of the costume have also been subdued a bit, which actually brings him a bit more inline with how he appears onscreen, since the Civil War release was using an earlier color scheme.  Sadly, Falcon takes a little bit of hit in the accessories department.  He’s got his flight stand and gets both of his twin guns (as opposed to the single one from last time), but loses the Redwing drone.  It doesn’t get any play in Infinity War, but it’s still a little sad to see him with less extras than before.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cap’s the undeniable selling point of this set, and he’s a very strong entry.  After getting a lot of very similar looks in the first round of Infinity War ‘mates, this distinctly different looking Cap is definitely a breath of fresh air, and a fun figure in general.  How much you like this FALCON figure is going to be very connected to whether you got the last one.  He’s still a solid release, no doubt, but he doesn’t have much new to offer.

#1574: Falcon

FALCON

MARVEL’S GOLD (TOY BIZ)

You know, there’s a surprising backlog of Falcon action figures.  Though the general public didn’t know him until his appearance in The Winter Soldier in 2014, he’s still made an appearance in just about every prominent style of Marvel figures.  Under Toy Biz’s reign, he appeared not once, but twice as 5-inch figure.  His second of those figures is the one I’ll be looking at today.  And awaaaaaay we go!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon was one of the 11 figures in Toy Biz’s specialty store-exclusive  Marvel’s Gold line.  Falcon was one of the later figures in the line-up.  The big deal with this particular figure was his return to the classic design, since the prior Falcon figure was based on his design from the short-lived Avengers: United They Stand show.  The figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation.  He was built on the same body as the Spider-Man line’s Daredevil.  This was definitely one of Toy Biz’s best bodies, and it’s a shame they didn’t start using it earlier into the Marvel’s Gold run, as I think Moon Knight would have been much better had they used this base.  Regardless, I’m glad it was used here.  Also re-used are Falcon’s wings, which also come from the Spider-Man line, specifically from Vulture.  They’re a bit more metallic and stylized than Falcon’s usually are, but they get the job done.   At this point in the line, Toy Biz had moved past the pure re-use that was going on at the start, so Falcon got a “new” head sculpt.  I say “new” because it’s technically re-used from the Famous Covers Falcon, albeit shrunk down a bit.  That was one of the best FC sculpts, and it still looks great shrunk down for this figure, especially given the higher depth of detail allowed.  Perhaps the only disappointing part of the sculpt is the fringe at the edge of his legs.  They’re essentially just a sticker, and it’s really lazy and obvious.  I think he would have looked better if those had just been left off.  The paint on Falcon is respectable, but not without its issues.  The basic colors work well, and the accenting on the reds looks pretty solid.  That being said, the actual application is rather messy, especially on the edges of the vest.  Falcon is packed with his trusty sidekick Redwing, as well as a glove with a perch for Redwing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Falcon was a rather recent acquisition, picked up from the NJ-based House of Fun this past November.  It’s a figure I’ve wanted for a little while, so I was glad to find him.  He’s definitely one of the best offerings Toy Biz had from this particular line, and he’s just one of the better Falcon figures out there in general.

#1367: Falcon

THE FALCON

MARVEL SUPER HEROES: SECRET WARS (MATTEL)

“Transported to a strange planet by a force from beyond the universe, earth’s deadliest villains try to destroy the Marvel Super Heroes – as they fight the Secret Wars through the use of secret messages!”

Before Toy Biz came along and gave us just about every single Marvel character under the sun in the ‘90s, there was a very eclectic selection of Marvel characters available in toy format.  Major characters went completely figureless for years.  And yet, in the chaos of pre-Toy Biz Marvel stuff, somehow The Falcon, a relatively minor character until very recently, wound up with not one, but two whole figures.  I’ll be looking at the second of those, courtesy of Mattel’s Secret Wars line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon was released in the second series of Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars, alongside the previously reviewed Daredevil, Black Costume Spider-Man, and Baron Zemo.  As with DD and Zemo, Falcon is another character in the line who wasn’t present in the maxi-series at all.  Not sure why they went with so many non-series stars, but if it gets me a Falcon figure, I won’t complain.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation, counting the wings.  He’s built on the same basic body as most of the line, at least for the torso and legs, anyway.  His arms are from Captain America, and his head was an all-new sculpt.  The head is sort of iffy.  I think part of the problem is that he’s the only Secret Wars figure to incorporate hair, and Mattel clearly wasn’t up to hair in terms of sculpting prowess.  He’s also rather wide, and somewhat nondescript.  The standard torso’s been tweaked slightly to allow for the attachment of his wings.  The wings don’t really follow the usual layout for Falcon; his wings have classically been attached to his arms, but these are purely attached to his back, sticking straight out like Angel or Hawkman’s wings.  I find it doesn’t look as cool as his traditional look, but doing them the right way wouldn’t have really been possible given the constraints of the base body.  The paint on Falcon is about on par with the rest of the line, which is to say it’s passable, but far from stellar.  The colors sort of run together, I find, and for whatever reason his shoes are the same color as his skin.  He’s also missing any detailing on the eyes, which comes across as incredibly cheap and lazy in my opinion.  Also, like all of the other figures I’ve looked at, this guy’s exhibiting some rather noticeable paint wear, a symptom of the lower quality paint that was used.  The worst of it’s the missing spot on the nose, which is a little frustrating, but far from horrible.  He was originally packed with his sidekick Redwing, as well as one of the goofy lenticular shields.  Mine has neither, but I can’t really say I’m hurting for either piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Falcon is a figure that’s eluded me for quite some time.  Cosmic Comix got one in about a decade ago, which I wanted to get, but decided to come back for later.  Sadly, he was gone when I got back, and not long after I discovered that he’s actually one of the rarer releases from the line.  I was able to finally track him down, courtesy of Heywood Comics in Asheville, NC.  He’s not in perfect condition, but he’s decent enough that I’m happy with him.  The figure’s not one of Mattel’s stronger offerings, but I can’t say he’s out of place with this line.  He could be worse.

#1213: Falcon

FALCON

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

falconml1

I’ve been a Falcon fan for quite some time, and while that’s really easy nowadays when you can walk into just about any store and have your pick of *multiple* Sam Wilson figures, that was hardly the case a decade ago.  That being said, even as a minor character, Sam’s actually been pretty lucky when it comes to action figures, finding his way into the relatively compressed line-ups of Mego’s World’s Greatest Superheroes and Mattel’s Marvel Superheroes: Secret Wars, as well as getting five different figures during Toy Biz’s tenure with the Marvel license.  Today, I’ll be looking at Toy Biz’s last stab at the character, courtesy of Marvel Legends!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

falconml2Falcon was released in Series 14 of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends, which was their penultimate series for the line.  There were two versions of Falcon available: classic and modern.  The one seen here is the more common classic version, based on Falcon’s second costume.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and has 40 points of articulation.  Falcon was built on the body from the first ML Iron Fist, which is an interesting choice to say the least.  While the Iron Fist body looked great in the prototype stage, it suffered from some real issues on the final figure, and a lot of that was passed on to Falcon.  The biggest issue is the shoulders, which jut way too far out.  Also, the under the shoulder joint fails to go all the way into the torso, leaving his arms forever slightly out to the side.  He looks like his arms are connected to his torso by a weird tube thing.  In addition to the arms, the exposed portion of the torso looks more like a grill rack than an actual person’s pecs, which makes Falcon look rather frightening.  Beyond that?  I guess the rest of the sculpt is decent enough.  The body was a lot less gangly than a lot of the TB Legends so that’s good, and the legs are actually not badly done (well, apart from those crazy nonexistent muscles).  In addition to the Iron Fist pieces, Falcon got a new head, forearms, hands, and feet, as well as slightly tweaked upper arms and shins.  The head’s always been one of my favorites from this era of Legends; it just really seems to capture the character well, and just has a nice heroic quality about it in general.  The hands are probably some of the most convincing hands TB ever put on one of their Legends, but also serve to showcase just how stupid the finger articulation was most of the time; what good does that joint do the figure?  The forearms and biceps have the wings attached.  The segmentation of the design allows for much more natural posing than was exhibited in the MU Falcon, and the wings are quite nicely detailed, with each feather being carefully defined and textured.  In terms of paint, Falcon is about what you’d expect from a TB-era Legends figure; lots of washes and airbrushing that vernally looked much better on the prototype than on the mass produced figure.  For some reason, all of the joint pins have been done in bright red plastic.  In the case of the elbows and gloves, this means there’s paint somewhat sloppily thrown over them to cover this up, but for the discs in the shoulders and the neck, this means a bright red stripe running across his skin.  Also, this figure seems to be exhibiting an issue similar to the Young Avengers Patriot figure where the pieces molded in white are slowly soaking up the color from the much darker joint pins, which is a slightly disturbing thing to see.  Both versions of Falcon were also plagued by a mix-up in the assemble process, causing the paint on the pelvises to actually correspond with the other version of the figure.  Amusingly, a similar issue showed up on the prototypes, only it was the forearms/hands that were mixed up that time.  Falcon included his trusty bird sidekick Redwing, who can be plugged into Sam’s back, as well as the lower torso of Series 14’s BaF Mojo.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Series 14 is one of the few series of Legends where I wanted every figure in the line-up, and Falcon here was no exception.  While I actually got most of this particular series for Christmas the year they were released, I didn’t get Falcon as a gift.  I ended up getting him from Cosmic Comix, who were getting a pretty steady stream of Legends at that point.  The figure hasn’t aged very well at all, but I was very happy with him back in the day.  I’d love to see Hasbro redo this guy at some point.

#1186: Falcon & Tigra

FALCON & TIGRA

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Following yesterday’s lead, today I’ll be looking at another set of figures from the latest comic-based series of Marvel Minimates, which is heavy on the classic Avengers theme this time around.  Today’s set gives us another take on one of my favorite parts of the Captain America mythos, Falcon, as well as recurring Avenger and all-around under-appreciated character Tigra.  Yes, that’s right, they packed the bird person and the cat person together.  Clever DST.  Clever.  Onto the figures!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Falcon and Tigra are both part of Series 69 of Marvel Minimates, officially dubbed the “Most Wanted” series.  These two are something of an odd pairing for their main universe counterparts (aside from the cat and canary gags), but it’s worth nothing that the two were sort of an item in the 1999 Avengers: United They Stand cartoon, for what that’s worth.  It’s worth a lot to me, but probably not much to others, since I think I’m like one of two people in existence who even remembers that show.

FALCON

falcontigra2Man, remember when it was a really big deal when Falcon finally got his first ‘mate in Series 54?  In less than three years, he’s gone from no Minimates to a whopping 6 of them!  Not bad!  So far, most of Falcon’s ‘mates have skewed more modern, but this one goes back to his early days.  Well, not his earliest days, with all the green and yellow and the total lack of wings.  No, this would be Falcon’s second costume, which is the one that set the tone for all costumes to follow.  Falcon stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has the usual 14 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s the same as his Series 54 counterpart.  Same hair, same wings.  He’s the same person, so that makes sense.  Plus, the parts were a good fit the first time, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  The main difference here is the paintwork, which I have to say, is really well handled.  All of the important details of his classic costume have been translated very nicely into the Minimate form, and the details are all nice and sharp.  They’ve managed to choose the least tacky red/white combo available, which is certainly a good thing, and I really like the nice, friendly smile on his face.  Falcon’s always been characterized as a pretty easy-going guy, so I’m happy we got a more jovial expression for him (and in general, really.  Minimates can sometimes get a little on the stern side).  There are a few spots that could probably stand to be a little cleaner (the hands in particular are rather uneven), but the paint is by and large very good, and better than most of Falcon’s previous ‘mates.  Falcon is packed with his sidekick Redwing, a flight stand, and a clear display stand.

TIGRA

falcontigra4Falcon may be raking in all the Minimates these days, but Tigra here makes her Minimate debut with this figure.  Poor Tigra doesn’t seem to get much respect these days.  It’s a shame, because she’s an awesome character when written the right way, but almost none of the current crop of writers seem to be able to do that, so she’s either reduced to simple sex appeal or just shoved off to the side and totally ignored.  Perhaps she’ll make her way into the movies and get some respect there.  In the meantime, she’s got this pretty sick Minimate!  She makes use of Dazzler’s hair and Cheetah’s claws and tail (they went waaaaaay back for those parts!).  It makes for a pretty good match for Tigra’s usual depictions, showing that some times, re-use really is the best way to go.  The paintwork on Tigra is downright amazing if you ask me.  She’s one of those rare ‘mates that’s completely painted, which always looks better if you ask me.  The orange really makes her pop and the sharpness of the linework, especially on her stripes is just great.  Her facial expression is a much more intense one than Falcon’s, but it’s well-rendered and works quite well for the character.  Tigra’s only accessory is a clear display stand, but I can’t really think of any accessories she’s incomplete without, so it’s enough to make me happy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s Black Knight and Enchantress, these two were a Christmas gift from my parents.  Black Knight may be my favorite figure from this series, but boy do these two give him a solid run for his money (if this were the first Falcon ‘mate, he’d have definitely come out on top).  Tigra is a fantastic new addition to the Avengers line-up, and Falcon is a more than welcome replacement for the Series 54 version.  Another winning set to be sure.

#1171: Falcon

MARVEL’S FALCON

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES (HASBRO)

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It’s day 5 of the post-Christmas reviews, and today I’m jumping back to my biggest collecting passion, super heroes, specifically of the Marvel variety.

Back when Captain America: The Winter Soldier was released, I was quite put out by Falcon’s absence from Hasbro’s small selection of Marvel Legends based on the film.  I picked up the smaller 3 3/4-inch figure and DST’s larger Marvel Select figure, but neither of them quite filled that Marvel Legends void.  Fortunately, Falcon reappeared in last summer’s Civil War, which finally netted him a Legends figure, albeit one that was…slightly difficult to acquire.  But I have it now, and that’s what matters! Onto the review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

falconcw2Falcon was released as a Walmart-exclusive entry in Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Series.  He started hitting over the summer, but as with just about any Walmart exclusive item, there’s a great level of variance in terms of when they start showing up most places.  When he was initially announced, Falcon was paired with Winter Soldier, presumably in a two-pack, but it when they actually showed up in stores, they were single-packed, just like a normal Legends release.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  He’s based on Falcon’s slightly refined Civil War design.  More or less. The actual costume details are a pretty decent match for the film design, with one or two slightly off details.  The biggest issue is the shoulder pads, which should stand out a bit more, but that’s rather minor.  Really, the inaccuracies come into play with the body underneath of the costume.  Anthony Mackie is a pretty bulked up guy, but this figure is rather on the scrawny side, especially when it comes to the arms.  Those things are tiny!  The legs are also rather shapeless, which looks a little odd.  All-in-all, he really could do with more classically “heroic” proportions.  As it stands, he seems less than intimidating.  On the plus side, the head sculpt sports a very nice Anthony Mackie likeness.  It’s easily the best Mackie likeness of the figures I’ve looked at so far.  Falcon’s paintwork is okay, though definitely on the more basic side of things.  The basic colors are all good matches for the source material and what’s there is pretty clean.  That being said, he’s missing some of the smaller details (such as the gold trim on his goggles), and lacks any sort of accent work, which makes him look a little unfinished.  The grey section in particular just feels rather doughy without any work to bring out the sculpted textures.  I’m also a little let down by the opaque goggles, but after getting them three times prior, they aren’t that much of a surprise.  At least they look good.  Falcon includes his flight pack and removable wings, as well as his sidekick Redwing in both collapsed and expanded forms.  The wings aren’t posable, but they have a slight curve, which makes them a bit more appealing than the Select version.  Redwing is cool, but a flight stand would have been invaluable for him.  What’s most notable about the accessories is what’s not there.  Once again, he’s missing his two guns, despite his hands clearly being sculpted to hold them.  I have to wonder if it’s a weird licensing thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I heard this guy was hitting, I searched every Walmart I could, with no luck.  Store after store had just Winter Soldier, with no Falcon in sight.  I eventually gave up looking, but not before lamenting to Super Awesome Girlfriend how bummed I was to be missing out on Falcon.  On Christmas morning, she eagerly handed me a gift, which I quickly IDed as being a Legends figure based on the packaging shape (it’s hard to pull one over on me; I have these things memorized), but I just assumed it was any of the numerous other, easier to find Legends I didn’t yet have.  But nope, it was this guy.  As it turns out, when I mentioned being bummed, she immediately started looking for him online, and found one for a reasonable price.  Yay!  Now I have him!  Could he be better?  Most assuredly.  Compared to the likes of Scarlet Witch and Black Panther, he feels a bit rudimentary.  Am I still happy to have him?  Without a doubt.  There may be better Falcon figures in the future, but until then, you could do a lot worse than this guy.

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