#2229: Punisher War Machine

PUNISHER WAR MACHINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“After the fall of War Machine, Frank Castle acquires the highly-weaponized armor and makes it his own.”

Hey, that’s actually a pretty succinct summation of the character in that bio.  Good for Hasbro!  Punisher War Machine is a pretty straight forward concept: you put Frank Castle in the War Machine armor, and boom, there it is.  It’s not like you need a ton of explanation, and quite frankly, it was one of the less out there change-ups to the Punisher status quo.  Guy’s been a freaking Frankenstien; this is nothing.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  It’s not “nothing,” it’s actually a pretty great marketing opportunity, as well as a pretty easy variant for toy makers.  On the high end, we’ve got a Hot Toys version on the way, and on the low end we’ve also got the Legends treatment.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Punisher War Machine is another Fan Channel-exclusive Marvel Legends offering, and is in fact the second version of Frank Castle to be offered in this assortment of figures.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  After getting a few new pieces, even though they may have been minor, this Punisher returns to the straight repaint style for the line-up.  He’s a straight repaint of the surprisingly under-utilized Mk003 War Machine mold from Civil War.  Previously, the mold only got released in a Target-exclusive two-pack, which is a bit surprising given that it was all-new at the time.  The armor isn’t a perfect match for the armor Frank grabbed in the comics; that one was more patterned on the design from IM2, with maybe a bit of AoU thrown in.  I’d guess that it came down to mold availability; the IM2 molds are probably hard to access at this point, and I doubt if anyone really wants a fourth release of the Mk002 mold.  This one is close enough, and honestly one of Hasbro’s best WM molds, at least prior to the Endgame release.  There’s a little bit of limitation to what you can do with the articulation, and the guns, baton, and cannon don’t stay in place quite as securely as I’d like.  Also, he’s from before they got on board with standardizing neck pegs, so his joint’s too small to work with any of the Frank Castle heads (the one I shot for this review is just resting in place).   Overall, though, he’s a very workable figure.  It’s definitely the  slickest War Machine sculpt Hasbro’s produced, and it holds up well even a few years later.  The paintwork on this figure is, of course, where all of the actual changes are.  He’s not terribly far removed from the standard War Machine layout, but gets Frank’s usual skull insignia on the front, plus a few other skulls littered throughout the armor as a kill count.  He also has a little more wear and tear represented than the prior release, showing how hard on the armor Frank’s been.  The only real complaint I have is that they’ve left the helmet pretty much alone, when it should really be sporting a white skull motif on the face plate.  It does undersell the Punisher bit a little.  This figure has the same accessories as the last release of the mold, so he gets a fully engaged version of the baton and an extra set of hands in gripping poses.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like I said in my review of the Endgame War Machine, I never picked up the Civil War figure, and I was always a little regretful of that.  So, I was pretty happy when I found out that this figure would be using the mold, thereby allowing me to add it to my collection.  I’m not the world’s biggest Punisher fan or the world’s biggest War Machine fan, but I can appreciate a lot about this figure.  Ultimately, I’m pretty happy with him.

Punisher War Machine was purchased from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  If your looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2228: X-Force Deathlok

X-FORCE DEATHLOK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The X-Force joins forces with a rogue Deathlok unit to face an army of Deathlok cyborgs.”

Hasbro’s Fan Channel exclusives for Legends began as a few one-off figures and quickly evolved into what essentially is a series of its own, just split up into single releases.  The defining element amongst them is relying heavily on parts re-use, which has certainly led to some eclectic choices.  Who would have thought that we would one day be able to say you could choose between three different Marvel Legends Deathlok figures?  Certainly not me, but hey, here we are.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

X-Force Deathlok is one of the later announcements for the Fan Channel-exclusive Legends releases, and is probably the most odd-ball and out there.  Others were either heavy hitter characters or tweaks of difficult to acquire figures from earlier in the line.  Deathlok is neither of those, being c-list at best, and with a figure released just over a year ago that’s hardly difficult to come by.  Whatever the case, he got another figure.  I guess it’s that X-Force tie; it makes everything easier to sell.  Whatever the case, this figure is based on “Deathlok Prime” from Rick Remender’s run on X-Force, who is apparently a distinct-ish character from previous Deathloks.  How about that?  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is about 99% identical to the previous Deathlok.  The only change between the two is a slight re-working on the upper torso to change the flag on the original to the X-logo seen here.  Beyond that, the two figures are the same.  Honestly, that’s not a bad thing, because it was a great sculpt then, and it’s still a great sculpt now.  The paint marks the real change-ups for this figure.  He goes from the slightly more colorful classic Deathlok to the standard stealthy X-Force colors, but also improves a some of the apps on the exposed skin of the face, giving him a more proper zombified appearance.  Deathlok gets the same two guns as his prior release, pretty much the same in deco, apart from the ammo belt becoming a translucent yellow.  He also gets the shotgun-style rifle from Bishop, which is a solid addition to his arsenal.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really liked the first release of the mold, and I do dig the X-Force sub-set we’ve been getting throughout the last year.  I like having another chance to appreciate this guy, and he’s honestly pretty fun, even if there’s not a lot new going on with him.

Deathlok came from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2174: Big Time Spider-Man

BIG TIME SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“After losing his spider-sense, Peter Parker builds new Spider-Armor to protect himself.”

So….like….that bio doesn’t really have anything at all to do with the figure the box contains, but hey, let’s not dwell, right?  Though only a moderate fan, I became a regular reader of the book with issue #648, which was the beginning of Dan Slott’s 250-odd issue run.  I’ve been a fan of Slott’s since his work on She-Hulk, and that was enough to get me on-board.  Slott’s first story line was “Big Time,” which began Peter Parker’s time with Horizon Labs, injecting all sorts of new tech-based stuff into the book.  That translated to quite a few new suits for Spidey, the first of which was his Tron-esque stealth suit, a distinctive design for the character.  It’s cropped up on a number of figures before, including a Legends figure that we all prefer not to talk about.  But now it’s also a Legends figure that we can all be okay with talking about!  Yay!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Big Time Spider-Man is our second “Fan Channel” Marvel Legends release.  Essentially, the “Fan Channel” releases are an assortment of figures largely constructed out of re-used parts, all offered up one at a time only through non-big-box stores (although Amazon is also carrying them).  The set was kicked off by a Wolverine variant, with Spidey following his lead.  As I touched on in the intro, this figure is Spidey’s first suit from “Big Time,” which has been offered up as a Legends figure one time before, but that particular was on the receiving end of all sorts of really messy issues, resulting in a rather disappointing release.  This one moves the design to the Pizza Spidey body, which has become the new gold-standard for Spider-Men.  Structurally, this figure is identical to the Black Costume Spidey also built on this body.  It’s sensible, given that the two designs really aren’t far removed from each other.  There’s no real call for new parts, and this way you know it’s all going to be pretty solid.  The main distinguishing factor is of course the paint.  Firstly, as you may note, he’s green, meaning that the suit is in its camo mode.  There were other chromatic settings as well, but green is always the one we get as a toy.  You’ll hear no complaints about that from me.  Since the lines are technically meant to be glowing, the prior release attempted to do sort of a painted haze, which unfortunately backfired horrifically.  For this one, Hasbro has wisely chosen to play it safe, and just gone for a straight flat green color.  It’s a striking appearance, as this design should be.  Big Time Spidey is accessorized with the full complement of extra hands for this body, as well as a webline piece.  It’s nice to see the hands return fully here, given the absence of the full set from all of the Pizza-based figures in the last year, and it gives me hope that Hasbro realizes how silly it is to not include them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I love this design, like a whole lot.  It’s quite possibly my favorite Spider-Man costume ever.  So, I’m all about it in toy form…well, except for that previous Legends figure.  That thing was so hideous that I just couldn’t ever bring myself to own it, which made me kinda sad, honestly.  Since the introduction of the Pizza Spidey body, I’ve been hoping to see an updated version, and I was thrilled to see him show up here.  There’s not really much new to this figure, but he’s still a ton of fun, and a good showcase of what you can do with a solid selection of re-used parts and a good paint job.

Big Time Spidey came from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.