#2310: Super Skrull

SUPER SKRULL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Super Skrull may have been ever so slightly undercut as a FF foe by yesterday’s review of the greatest comic book villain of all time Doctor Doom, but let’s not let him get too down here.  I mean, he’s a pretty solid antithesis of the team, being a guy who can match them all ability for ability. After DC’s Amazo proved the concept of combining all the heroes’ powers into one could work, the FF followed suit with Kl’rt, a Skrull warrior imbued with…the combined powers of the FF.  Look, it’s all pretty straight-forward.  Despite being specifically tailored to the FF, Super Skrull was sort of batted around the general Marvel universe following a few defeats from his initial foes, and has even had a few turns as a reluctant ally to our heroes.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Super Skrull is the titular build-a-figure for the newest FF-themed series of Marvel Legends.  Kl’rt has actually never had a proper Legends release before, but he did get a 6-inch figure out of Toy Biz’s Fantastic Four Classics, which they dropped right before losing the license.  Hasbro subsequently re-issued that figure in a two-pack, but intended as a more generic Skrull army builder, rather than a true figure of the original Super Skrull.  Whatever the case, this figure is certainly a welcome addition to the current line-up.  He stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Super Skrull, rather interestingly for a Build-A-Figure, is built on the Hyperion body, which is typically a single-carded piece.  He gets his own head (two of them, in fact), upper torso, and arms to help differentiate him.  The two heads give us two different moods for Kl’rt; one somber, and one mad and cackling.  I like the cackling myself, but both are solid pieces, and internally consistent to boot.  The new upper torso not only gives Kl’rt his proper Skrull shoulder pads, but also replaces the usual upper torso, thereby eliminating the weird torso shelf that is the standard Hyperion body’s one major flaw.  The new arms replicate Super Skrull’s typical “using all the powers at once” appearance, although with a slightly different than usual application. Rather than going for the symmetrical stretched out, flaming Thing arms and transparent legs, this figure gives us one flaming Thing arm (courtesy of a clip-on effects piece), and one stretched out invisible arm.  They’re pretty awesome pieces with just one downside.  Though a spare set of standard arms is included, the design of the left powered-up arm doesn’t allow it to be removed from the torso after initial assembly, which is why my Kl’rt keeps the Thing arm no matter what.  I don’t think I would ever display him without the powered-up parts, but it’s annoying not to have the option.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this figure by buying all of the figures needed to complete him.  Hands up, who’s surprised?  Honestly, though, I wasn’t sure about another set of the FF, but upon seeing this guy as the Build-A-Figure, I was pretty well sold on the assortment.  I never got the old Toy Biz figure, but always wanted one, so another chance at the character is much appreciated.  I’m annoyed by the inability to change the arms back and forth as you should be able to, but even without the standard arms, this figure’s pretty darn cool.

This assortment is a pretty balanced one.  While I can easily say that Doom is my favorite (and Reed’s my least favorite), the grouping on the assortment as a whole is pretty tight.  There are definite positives to the whole assortment, and they make for a really solid set of figures.

#2309: Doctor Doom

DOCTOR DOOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Victor Von Doom uses his incredible intelligence and mystical abilities to oppose the Fantastic Four.”

On this Valentine’s Day, I’m examining the truest love of all: the love of hating one’s enemies and watching them unquestionably defeated by circumstances that you and you alone control.  A love that Victor Von Doom, greatest villain in all of comics, has been striving for since his introduction in 1962.  But that curse-ed Richards just keeps preventing him from attaining it.  How dare he?  Alas, Doom will just have to settle for the love of having the best action figure in the latest assortment of FF-themed Marvel Legends.  It’s the small victories that keep you going.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Doctor Doom is figure 1 in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends, a great example of Hasbro knowing to lead with their best foot forward.  Alongside the Thing, Doom is one of the double-packs for this assortment, again an example of Hasbro knowing what’s up here.  While Victor Von Doom returned to Legends last year as a Walgreens exclusive, it was under his Infamous Iron Man moniker, and as cool as that figure was, he wasn’t classic Doctor Doom.  We haven’t gotten one of those since 2012, and even that one was a re-used mold from ’08.  The need for a proper update, especially in light of the FF getting classic-inspired updates in the Walgreens line-up.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.   Doom gets an all-new sculpt from head to toe, and it’s one of Hasbro’s most impressive sculpts, pretty much in their entire time on the license.  It takes the classic Doom design and effectively just translates it to how it would look if manufactured in real life.  The armor has rivets, seams, and leather straps and clasps, and under the main plates, you can clearly make out a chain mail under suit.  Even under the skirt of the tunic, the armor remains fully detailed, even though there’s absolutely no reason for it to be.  The tunic is appropriately detailed in its own way, with a distinct fabric texturing sculpted in to differentiate it from the armored segments.  At first glance, I felt the skirt of the tunic was too long, but after messing with the figure a bit, I’m actually quite happy with the length, and also pleasantly surprised by how posable the hips remain even with it in place.  On the back of the torso, there are jet thrusters, as have become customary for Doom figures.  He’s also got a very nicely detailed belt, with a fully working holster.  There are two different heads included with the figure.  He comes wearing the more modern design of his mask (seen in the shot with Wilson), but also includes a more Jack Kirby-inspired head.  Both are beautiful pieces in their own right, but the Kirby head is my favorite by far.  Doom’s paintwork is pretty solid.  While a lot of the colors are just molded, there are never the less plenty of spots where paint *could* have been missed but wasn’t, especially with those straps on the sides of the armor plates, which again continue up under the tunic.  Truly impressive.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Doom also includes his signature Luger, plus two sets of hands (fists, and a trigger finger/open gesture combo).  He also includes the leg of Super Skrull.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Doctor Doom is my favorite comics villain ever, and frequently a favorite of mine when it comes to action figures.  Since completing the Walgreens FF, I’ve been patiently waiting for this guy.  As soon as he was shown off, I knew he’d be my favorite in the set, and in hand he absolutely lives up to my expectations, and makes for the perfect counterpart to my FF.  This figure is clearly a labor of love for Hasbro and I’m very glad to have him.

I picked up Doom from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2307: Invisible Woman

INVISIBLE WOMAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Sue Storm has the ability to bend light, making herself and others invisible.”

Let’s officially bookend these modern FF Legends reviews with the Invisible Woman, the character that started this renewed lease on Legends life for the team back in 2016 when Hasbro first unveiled her at one of the con presentations.  Hasbro launching with Sue was something of a promise to long-time collectors that they were really going to finish the team, by kicking things off with the most frequently neglected member of the core group.  With this latest set, Hasbro seems to be sticking with that promise, releasing the whole team in one go this time, and not making the same mistakes that Toy Biz made over and over again.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Invisible Woman is figure 3 in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends.  Like the rest of her team from this assortment, Sue is sporting her latest costume from the comics, thereby completing this set of the team.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  This Sue shares most of her parts with the last Sue, which seems respectable enough.  The Phoenix body is a good fit for Sue’s usual build, and a solid base body in general, so there are no complaints there.  She also uses the same face as the last figure, but gets a new hair piece, as well as new feet to match the more stylized soles of the rest of the team.  I was a pretty big fan of the prior Sue figure’s head sculpt, and I wasn’t so sure about this one at first, but in person I find myself really liking the new hairstyle, and even preferring its more dynamic nature to the previous sculpt.  It also looks really nice swapped onto that old body, for those interested.  The feet are okay; not as goofy looking as Reed’s, but I’m not the biggest fan of the wedges.  I liked the prior figure’s flat feet.  They don’t look bad, though.  The paintwork on Sue matches well with the rest of the team, but something about it looks better on this particular body than the others.  I don’t know if the design of this body just lends itself better to the costume layout or what, but I just like the costume even more here.  Not having that belt broken by a waist joint probably helps.  The prior figure didn’t get anything in the way of effects pieces to demonstrate her powers, but this one gets an all-new force shield piece, which clips over her right hand.  I quite like it, and it’s also compatible with the Walgreens figure, for those curious.  In addition to the shield,this figure includes the torso of the Super Skrull Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure didn’t do much for me when she was announced.  I really like the Walgreens figure, and didn’t see much room for improvement, and honestly felt the changes made the figure look worse.  In-hand, it’s a totally different story.  That new head sculpt is really great, the effects piece is one of Hasbro’s coolest, and even the costume works better here than on the others, making Sue my favorite of the FF members from this particular set.  I think a lot of people might pass her up for being so similar to her prior figure when compared to her teammates, but she’s surprisingly good.

I picked up Sue from my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

 

#2306: Human Torch

HUMAN TORCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Johnny Storm can transform his body into incredibly hot plasma, control fire, and fly.”

Since there have been figures of the Fantastic Four, there have been some concerns about how best to adapt some of their power sets.  The most common source of difficulty for toy makers is with the team’s resident hot-head Johnny, whose flame-on abilities mean that he has two distinct appearances: flamed on and flamed off.  Unlike other members of the family, his on/off can’t quite as easily be replicated with a selection of extra parts; he kind of warrants two separate figures.  It’s rare that a line gets a chance to do both, so most just stick will fully flamed-on (though we do get the occasional mid-way design).  His last Legends figure was fully powered-on, but Hasbro decided to be kind this time and give us a full powered-down Johnny, something we’ve never actually gotten in Legends form.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Human Torch is figure four in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends.  Like the other members of the core team, he’s sporting his newest costume, something that the flamed-off nature of the figure allows to be fully displayed.  It does mean he’s not going to match the Walgreens set, of course, but that does kind of go without saying doesn’t it?  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  In contrast to the rest of this assortment, Johnny is *not* primarily a parts re-use of his prior figure.  While that figure was build on the Bucky Cap body (something I was never terribly happy with), this guy instead moves over to the 2099 body.  While my preferred choice is still the body they’re using for Reed (since he and Johnny have been typically depicted as about the same build), I do think that this one is a slightly better choice for Johnny, and I can understand Hasbro wanting the two characters two be on different bodies.  Johnny gets a new head and feet to complete his slightly more unique look.  The head I wasn’t so sure about when it was shown off, but I actually like it a lot more than I’d expected to in person.  It still looks a little off from some angles, but posed correctly, it looks pretty solid.  The new feet are similar to Reed’s, but the style works a bit better for this particular base body, making them look a lot less goofy.  The paint work on Johnny is fairly similar to that of Reed, which is sensible, what with the uniformed bit and all.  It’s well-applied and the color work is pretty bold and striking.  Johnny is packed with a spare set of hands, re-used from the previous Human Torch, which along with the effects pieces from the Infinity War Scarlet Witch, makes for a nice smaller demonstration of Johnny’s flame abilities.  He also includes both left arms for Super Skrull.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Human Torch was my least favorite piece of the last FF set, partially because of his fully flamed-on nature, and partially because of his choice of body.  This figure addressing both of those issues was certainly a point in his favor.  That said, the prototype didn’t really wow me, so I wasn’t sure.  In hand, I like him a lot more than I’d expected to, and I think he turned out quite nicely.

Johnny was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2305: Mr. Fantastic

MR. FANTASTIC

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Reed Richards is a brilliant scientist with the ability to stretch his body into any shape.”

The insufferable genius archetype isn’t typically one that ends up on the super-team proper, especially when it comes to ’60s super teams.  Characters like Professor X, Niles Caulder, and Will Magnus typically serving to dispatch their teams from the side-lines.  Reed Richards, on the other hand, was a full-fledged member of his team, in contrast to the norms.  However, when said team got side-lined for a bit, he sort of found himself pushed into those sidelines for a bit.  At least he’s finally getting to return to the action!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Fantastic is figure 2 in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends.  Like Ben (and the rest of the team, for that matter), Reed is seen here in his current get-up from the comics.  Though not quite as evident on Ben, the main hook of these new costume designs is the reversed palette of the usual costume.  It’s a fairly striking look, recalling the Byrne-era costumes, which are a personal favorite of mine.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Just like with Ben, most of this figure’s parts are shared with the Walgreens release.  The core body from that figure is nice and balanced, and it’s honestly a little surprising that this is only our second time seeing it used.  It’s still a really good fit for Reed’s usual build from the comics.  In addition to the old parts, he also gets a new head and feet.  While I really liked the new parts on the Thing, I’m a little less immediately impressed by these.  I don’t hate the bearded look for Reed, and I definitely like that he’s got the same face beneath it as the clean shaven Walgreens figure, but something about the hair just doesn’t look right to me.  It’s accurate to the art, but it just feels like something was lost in translation.  I’m also not really big on the feet; they go for a more sculpted, almost sneaker-like appearance, which is again something that looks okay on the page, but seems off in three dimensions.  The paintwork on this figure is pretty much on par with his previous figure, albeit with the expected changes in the color scheme to match his all-new look.  This Reed doesn’t get the fully stretched arms of the prior figure (though the arms still pop out at the shoulders to facilitate swapping out, if you’re so inclined), but he does get a set of alternate stretched out hands, which are…well, they’re certainly something.  I don’t know, I guess I’d probably like them more if they had all of the glove detailing of the standard hands.  They’re something different, at least.  He also includes one of Super Skrull’s legs.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mr. Fantastic is one of the more different releases of the main four from this set, and I was expecting to get a little bit more out of him because of that.  I really liked the Walgreens version, so I hoped he’d be up to the same quality.  Ultimately, I don’t like this figure quite as much as I’d expected to, and I think he’s my least favorite of the new four.  Still, he’s not a bad figure, just not quite as good as the previous one.

I got Reed courtesy my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2304: The Thing

THE THING

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Bombarded by cosmic rays, Ben Grimm develops thick, orange skin and superhuman strength.”

In 2017 and 2018, the Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends component gave us our first Fantastic Four Legends in a long time.  It was a slow build, one member at a time way of building the team, but it was nevertheless quite a rewarding experience for the FF fans who were able to play the waiting game.  However, the downside of the whole thing was that by the time they released the final member of the team, it was kinda hard to track down the preceding three, and I know that put some people off of the whole venture.  Still, it was a very well received set of figures, and proved that there was still a market for some FF figure love, so one of our first assortments right out of the gate for 2020 is a proper Legends assortment devoted to the FF.  I’m kicking things off with the last of the four to be added to the Walgreens set, the ever-lovin’, blue-eyed Thing!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Thing is figure 5 in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends, which is our first FF-themed series of Legends since Hasbro’s own Ronan Series back in 2008.  To say they’ve improved their process since then is something of an understatement.  All of the FF members in this assortment are based on their current costume designs from Slott and Pichelli’s recent relaunch of the book.  For Ben, it’s not as drastic a change; mostly he’s just got that more prominent belt.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  For the most part, he’s re-using parts from the last Thing, which was a brand-new sculpt at the time.  They *are* the same guy, and it makes sense that Hasbro wants to get another use out of the mold.  I’m certain this won’t be the last time we’ll see it either.  It was a great sculpt the first time around, and it remains a great sculpt now.  He gets an all-new head sculpt, and I actually think I might prefer this one to the two from last time.  It’s got that extra prominent brow that they were both missing.  It also maintains that slightly calmer look for Ben, which is my preferred look for him.  Whatever the case, it’s a very strong sculpt.  He also gets a brand new belt piece.  Though it’s a separate piece, it’s not designed to be removable and won’t be coming off without damaging it.  That said, it would be easy enough to take off permanently, if you really don’t like it.  The paintwork on this figure marks another notable change in the figure, as Hasbro’s way of accenting Ben’s rocky features is a little different.  On the previous figure, they more or less outlined the rocky elements, darkening the recesses, while here they instead highlight the higher points with a lighter shade.  It’s not a bad look (though I wouldn’t mind if the coverage were a *bit* more extensive), but the downside to this change in styling is that you can’t swap the heads between the two releases, meaning you can’t put this head on a more classic Ben.  Alas.  The prior Thing release had his own selection of accessories, with a spare head and an extra set of hands.  This figure gets nothing for himself, but does include the two heads meant for the Super Skrull Build-A-Figure, so it’s not the worst trade-off.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up all of the Walgreens releases, so I didn’t *need* the main four from this assortment.  That said, I’m a big FF fan, and if nothing else, I want to support the prospect of more FF-centric assortments.  If that means getting a few variants of the main team, so be it.  It helps that I really liked Ben the first time around, and that the changes made here are subtle enough that he still works as a standard Ben, while still being prominent to give me something “new.”  It’s also nice that Hasbro’s giving the fans that couldn’t get the Walgreens set another chance at the core team.

I picked up The Thing from my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1886: Mr. Fantastic & Dr. Doom

MR. FANTASTIC & DR. DOOM

MARVEL MINIMATES

The Marvel Minimates Best Of assortments frequently paired off classic Marvel characters and their greatest foes, but what happens when the foe is actually the foe to a whole team?  You compromise, I guess.  At least in the case of the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards does have the slightly more personal connection to long-time foe (and greatest villain of all time) Dr. Doom, so he was the one who got the slot.  Good for him!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom were part of the second Best of Marvel Minimates series, which hit stores in early 2013.

MR. FANTASTIC

Second only to The Thing in terms of number of Minimates, this particular Mr. Fantastic was his sixth time in this particular style.  He’s sporting his classic black and blue gear, based on his look from earlier in his career. Curiously, there are, to date, no other members of the team with uniforms to match this one.  Not even the Ben from Series 1 of the Best Of line. This is something of an odd development.  In his most standard configuration, Reed is built on the basic Minimate body and uses just one add-on piece, for his hair.  It’s the Frank Wemple piece, which saw a lot of use right around this time.  It’s definitely well-chosen for Reed. Of course, since Reed’s powers make for a pretty versatile look, the figure has multiple other configurations.  DST experimented a bit with TRU Series 6’s Stretch-Attack Mr. Fantastic, which gave us a stretched out base piece to swap out for the lower legs.  This figure includes that extra, along with several new ones to match.  There’s an extended neck and stretched out arms, which can be mixed and matched into all sorts of different configurations.  Perhaps my favorite part is that the open hand on the right arm is perfectly sized to grip a standard Minimate torso.  Reed’s paintwork is fairly clean, and the color choices are bold.  He’s more colorful than his TRU Series 8 counterpart, but the blue isn’t quite as deep as the original Reed figure.  He’s somewhere between them.  I already chronicled the extra stretchy parts, but Reed also includes a standard display stand, if you want to be silly and not display him with that sweet stretched out base piece.

DR. DOOM

Victor Von Doom actually has his nemesis beaten in number of Minimates available, with eight releases under his belt.  This one was the seventh, and actually came out in rather close proximity to the Marvel vs. Capcom version, which it is quite similar to.  Most of the similarity between the two Dooms is in their sculpted parts.  Doom uses add-ons for his cloak, belt/skirt, gloves, and boots, as well as non-standard upper-arm pieces.  All of these were used on the prior figure.  They work decently, though the cloak runs into the same problem that prior Dooms have run into, with limitations being placed on his mobility.  It also makes him quite top heavy. And, in conjunction with all of the other sculpted parts, it generally creates a figure that’s not great for much other than standing.  The main change-up between the two Dooms is paint.  While the MvC release was in more game accurate colors and featured metallic armor, this one goes for a more print-styled flat color scheme.  It works well enough, and it’s definitely a more unique take on the character, compared to what we tend to see.  I think it helps the detailing on his faceplate stand out better, but leaves the arms and legs looking slightly bland.  Doom is packed with three accessories: a pistol, and alternate head with Doombot detailing, and a clear display stand.  I really like the Doombot head.  It’s a quite fun touch, and seems to especially work well without the cloak over top, thereby making the figure a good deal more playable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed these two back when they were new, from my regular Minimate haunt, Cosmic Comix.  Reed is a solid figure, marred not by anything about this figure himself, but rather by the lack of any other members to match him.  Ben’s an easy enough fix if you just want to swap out the pelvis, and Johnny’s just really a head swap, but there’s no matching Sue, and that’s a little sad.  So soon after the MvC version, this Dr. Doom felt a little redundant, and ultimately inherits all of that figure’s flaws without any time to have fixed them.  That said, the Doombot head does quite a bit to salvage this guy.  Overall, he’s a decent offering.

#1848: The Thing

THE THING

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“An impressive, boulder-like exterior grants the Thing exceptional strength and durability in even the rockiest of battles”

They did it!  Look at that, they totally did it!  They finished the FF!  It’s a Christmas Miracle! …but it’s only just now November, so it’s, like, a pre-Thanksgiving Miracle?  That just doesn’t seem to have quite the same ring to it. 

The Fantastic Four and Marvel Legends have a rather storied history.  The team was rather infamously incomplete in the main line for the entirety of Toy Biz’s run, and even with the aid of boxed sets and other such things, over the years, getting the whole team in one cohesive style hasn’t been all that easy.  So, when Hasbro announced they’d be releasing the latest versions of the team, one at a time, at Walgreens, I was excited, but decidedly skeptical.  I also had to go in more or less blind, since at the time of Sue’s release, we’d only seen a prototype for Johnny, who is easily the least impressive of the set.  Reed came along and was awesome, which reignited hopes, but there was a lot riding on this final piece of the set, Benjamin J. Grimm, the ever-lovin’-blue-eyed Thing!  Does he deliver?  Well, to paraphrase the man himself, it’s reviewin’ time!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Thing is the tenth Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends release, and the sixth in their Fantastic Four sub-set.  He started arriving on store shelves last month, and will hopefully be arriving in serious numbers over the next few months.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  As we’d all pretty much expected (especially when he was slotted at the very end of the release schedule), Ben is sporting an entirely new sculpt.  His rather unique build and the rocky structure of said build means Ben’s usually the one with the all-new sculpt.  In the past, it’s also tended to translate to him being the figure with the most behind the times construction.  This time, however, it seems Hasbro has been taking note of what does and doesn’t work when it comes to Legendsizing larger scaled characters.  Ben’s mobility is surprisingly good for a figure of his size.  His elbows end up rather limited, which is a bit of a bummer, but on the flipside, the knees have a ton more movement than I’d expected from this figure.  This figure manages to do a pretty solid job of walking the fine line of articulation vs. aesthetic.  Speaking of aesthetic, there was much discussion before this figure was unveiled as to which version of the character we’d be seeing.  There was definitely a campaign to get a more Kirby-inspired version of the character, but the final release opts for something that’s more an amalgamation of his more recent appearances.  While I would love a more Kirby-faithful figure at some point down the line, the amalgamated, less artist specific nature of this one means he fits right in with the rest of the team, and consistency of style in FF line-ups has long been one of the biggest issues I’ve had with them.  It helps that the design they’ve gone for works really really well, and that the sculpt is just filled to the brim with sweet, rock monster goodness.  There are two different heads included.  They aren’t much different from each other, but give Ben some slight variety in expression.  The head he comes wearing has an angrier, teeth-baring appearance, while the second head is decidedly more reserved.  While both are solid sculpts, I definitely find myself more drawn to the calmer head, because for some reason Ben having regular teeth just really weirds me out.  Maybe it’s just flashing me back to the old Roger Corman flick.  The paintwork on Ben could have been really basic.  They could have just molded him in orange plastic, and left it at that.  Instead, Hasbro actually put in the effort to do the accent work on Ben’s rocky hide, and the figure is all the better for it, with the intricacies of his craggly being deftly highlighted.  In addition to the second head, Ben is also sporting two sets of hands in both fists and open gesture.  They allow for a nice variety of additional poses.  With two heads, four hands, and one of the largest single-release sculpts we’ve gotten since the Legends re-branding, Ben’s packaging ends up pretty darn jam-packed, and pretty darn hefty.  It’s honestly a little bit astounding that he’s the same retail as the other three.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ben’s my favorite member of the FF, so I was a little bummed out that I’d have to wait to the very end to get him.  He’s had an okay stock of figures in the past, but none of them ever seemed to quite stand-up to the test of time, or even the figures from the very same assortments.  I will admit, I was a little worried about how this guy would turn out.  Prototype shots of him surfaced at Toy Fair, and I didn’t hate them, but he wasn’t wowing me as much as I’d hoped.  Then the in-package shots hit, and the whole story changed.  In-hand?  I love this figure.  I love, love, love this figure.  Have I mentioned that I love this figure?  Because I do.  I really, really do.  I love this figure, and I love my whole FF line-up that goes with him.  This is just the best, and I sincerely doubt this FF display is ever going to be topped.  Now, can I please have a new Dr. Doom to go with them?

#1847: Silver Surfer

SILVER SURFER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A metallic-skinned humanoid from the planet Zenn-La, the Silver Surfer gets his name from his shimmering appearance and iconic hovering surfboard.”

Introduced during the legendary “Galactus Trilogy” that ran through issues 48, 49, and 50 of the original Fantastic Four run, Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer, took on something of a life of his own, as quite a popular hero in his own right.  He found himself teamed with Dr. Strange, Namor, and the Hulk to form the surprisingly under-known Defenders (no relation to the Netflix series of the same name), and proved a pivotal figure in quite a number of Marvel’s great big cosmic epics.  Nevertheless, he’s still inescapably linked to the team whose book spawned him.  In fact, it’s extraordinarily rare that the FF makes a toy appearance without this guy in tow, and their latest, much heralded return to Marvel Legends was no exception, though we sure did have quite a wait to get him.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Silver Surfer is the ninth Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends figure, and the fifth in their Fantastic Four sub-line that’s been running since early 2017.  He was originally supposed to start showing up at Walgreens this past spring/early this summer, but they seem to have run into a few issues with distribution over the last year, meaning he’s really just started showing up in substantial numbers within the last month, almost in tandem with the Thing figure that was supposed to be his follow-up.  Though Surfer was an early addition to Legends during both Toy Biz and Hasbro’s tenures, we haven’t seen a new one since 2007, and that one was somewhat middling, even when it was new.  His absence has certainly been felt as we’ve added more cosmic figures to the line.  This figure stands a little under 6 1/4 inches tall and has 34 points of articulation. He’s built on the Sunfire/2099 base-body, and I’m of two minds about this.  While the general build and the presence of those very nice butterfly joints at the shoulders make for a figure that’s impressive internally, the use of the 2099 body also means that Norrin’s a little smaller than I generally think of him being when compared to the rest of the line.  As it is now, he’s a smidge shorter than the Human Torch (who was on the Bucky Cap body), which just seems wrong.  Of course, that could be more connected to my increasing frustration with the choice of the Bucky Cap body for Johnny…I’ll get past it.  The simple fact of the matter is that this is really the best body Hasbro had on hand for the Surfer right now, and I certainly don’t hate it.  I’m just mildly perplexed, that’s all.  Surfer gets a new headsculpt, and aims to really set right the problem that both prior Legends Surfers had: tiny heads.  This one is certainly much more properly sized for the body it’s been placed on, and captures his usual stoic expression quite nicely.  The paint is pretty what you expect from Silver Surfer: a lot of silver.  Just a standard metallic silver, though; no fancy chroming or anything, though I imagine that wouldn’t hold up too well with all of the articulation.  It’s just a straight silver, with no accents or anything, which, after seeing how the Toy Biz figure turned out, was probably for the best.  Silver Surfer is packed with a healthy assortment of extras.  He’s got three sets of hands in fists, flat-handed, and open gesture poses, adding a much appreciated variety of character to the figure.  He also includes his titular surf board, which is a decent piece.  It goes back to the foot-peg method of connecting, which may not be as fancy as the magnets from the Toy Biz one, but I think it ultimately looks a bit better in the end.  Lastly, he includes a pair of energy effects pieces.  They’re the same swirly ones we’ve seen a number of times over, but this time they’re clear yellow and all sparkly.  Yay?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had a few near misses on finding this guy, which was more than a little frustrating.  Fortunately, I was able to find him without much trouble (in fact, I was even able to score a second one for my dad).  He’s not without his little quirks, but by-and-large, he’s a solid offering, and certainly the best Legends version of the character to date.

#1685: Invisible Woman

INVISIBLE WOMAN

MARVEL SUPER HEROES (TOY BIZ)

“The Invisible Woman loves to vanish into thin air! She can also use her amazing power to turn other people and things invisible too! The Invisible Woman can also create invisible force balls and discs that she can mentally throw at enemies. She can levitate herself and others out of harms way with this invisible force in the blink of an eye. Super-villains know that what they can’t see can hurt them when they have to fight the Invisible Woman! Use her invisible catapult launcher to spring her into action.”

The Fantastic Four seem to be in a better spot all the time.  After a few years of essentially not existing over at Marvel, this year, they’ll be making their triumphant return to the comics pages.  Yay for them!  They’ve also been absent from the toy aisles for a little while, but Marvel Legends are offering up some new figures.  There are also plenty of older offerings, one of which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Invisible Woman was released in Series 3 of Toy Biz’s Marvel Super Heroes line, and was then re-issued in Series 5 of the same line.  There were two slight variations on the figure, one featuring a color-changing feature, and one not.  This one is from the second group.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and she has (or had, anyway) 9 points of articulation.  The joints, particularly the neck joint, are on the fragile side, so mine has been repaired at the neck joint, rendering it motionless.  This figure’s sculpt was re-used wholesale for the Hall of Fame release, reviewed here.  It’s a dated sculpt, to be sure, and definitely looks clunky compared to later releases.  It’s got its charm, though, and it certainly fits in with the rest of the line, especially the other FF figures from Series 3.  The paint work is the main difference between this figure and that one.  Since she lacks the color-change feature, she’s not all washed out, which is a plus.  The application is pretty clean, and the palette matches pretty well with how she looked during the Byrne run.  Like the other figure, this one includes her weird Tron-disk, frisbee-thingy.  Still don’t know what that’s supposed to be.  She also includes a clear launch-pad stand, re-used from X-Force‘s Cannonball.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was my first Sue Storm figure, purchased from KB Toys back in the day, when she was still relatively new.  It was either her or the Fantastic Four Series 2 version, and that one was all clear, so I opted for the one I could actually see.  She’s a dated figure, and has been surpassed by later versions, but she’s still special.