#2614: Dr. Doom

DR DOOM

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“Victor Von Doom is bent on complete world domination. As Doctor Doom, he applies unlimited resources to square off against his arch nemeses, the Fantastic Four!”

A few times on this site, I’ve discussed Victor Von Doom, who under the monicker of Doctor Doom, is the truly the greatest villain in comics.  He’s well-rounded, intriguing, knows how to monologue, and is just thoroughly evil, through and through.  He’s also a fantastic choice for an action figure, but thanks to the wonkiness surrounding the rights on both he and his greatest foes the Fantastic Four, he was rather absent from such things for a few years.  He returned to Marvel Legends in style earlier this year with a really strong figure as part of a wider FF assortment this year.  But, that apparently wasn’t enough for Doom.  No, he needed to outdo the cursed FF in raw numbers, so he snuck in a second figure, as part of Hasbro’s ongoing Retro Collection initiative.  I’m taking a look at that figure today!

THE FIGRUE ITSELF

Dr. Doom is a standalone Retro Collection offering for Marvel Legends, no doubt as a pre-cursor to a proper FF assortment.  Like Deadpool and Grey Hulk last year, he comes in a white shipper that goes around the retro-style card, suggesting he was at one point intended for some sort of convention release.  Given how those two were dropped even without a global pandemic going on, though, it’s also possible that Hasbro just planned him as a Fan Channel offering from the start.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s pretty much identical to the standard release Doom from early this year.  It was a pretty spot-on sculpt, and my favorite by far from that assortment, so I’m certainly not complaining.  He ditches the more modern of the two head sculpts, sticking only with the more retro one (my favorite of the two anyway), and also adds a soft goods collar to the mix to change things up just a little bit.  Also aiding in changing things up a bit is the new paint scheme.  The standard release had a more subdued palette, more in keeping with modern appearances.  This one pumps up the saturation and makes him a much brighter figure, more in line with the old ‘90s figure, which this one is of course looking to emulate.  It really works, and while I certainly didn’t dislike the prior colors, I do really think that this scheme gives the figure an extra pop, and gives him some new life.  It really works for me.  The other change-up for this guy is the accessory selection.  Obviously, he drops the head and the Build-A-Figure piece, and keeps the alternate hands and the pistol.  He gains a pair of books (using the same mold as was included with the Retro Beast figure), the Ultimate Nullifier, two magic effects, and two blast effects (which can be used on the jets on his back).   It’s a pretty killer accessories set-up.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was really happy with the prior Doom figure, and I didn’t really see myself as being in the market for another one this quickly.  When this one was shown off, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go for him.  Upon seeing him in person, though, I really couldn’t turn him down.  The changes made to this figure are really strong, and make him a sufficiently unique variation of the character.  Now I’m going to have a really hard time choosing between the two variants…

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

#2603: Battle Damaged Thing & Gajin Wolverine II

BATTLE-SCARRED THING & GAJIN WOLVERINE II

MARVEL MINIMATES

The trouble with a four member team, at least when it came to Minimates and their early three two-pack per assortment structure, is that you end up with extra slots.  In the case of the Fantastic Four, there have been a number of different approaches to filling those extra slots.  In the case of their first entry into the line, the approach was hard-lining the heavy hitter mash-ups.  More Thing!  More Wolverine!  Yes!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Battle-Scarred Thing and Gajin Wolverine II are the last set from the Fantastic Four-themed eighth series of Marvel Minimates.  Battle-Scarred Thing remained exclusive to this assortment (for his own good, really), while Wolverine was re-packed with a standard Spider-Man for Target.

THING

Battle-Scarred Thing is actually interesting, in that he’s Minimates’ first real stab at a figure based on a specific comics appearance.  He was patterned on the Thing’s torn up appearance following a run-in with Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374, which I guess is meant to really give Wolverine an excuse to be in this set.  It doesn’t really work out quite so well.  This was the fourth version of Thing we’d gotten, and he follows the “Clobberin’ Time” model of putting Ben in one of his actual uniforms.  He’s built on the standard C3 body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s the same as the more basic Thing from this assortment, with the same head piece, chest block, and bulked up hands.  The powerhouse piece is still fine, but I really don’t like that head piece.  Fortunately, this would mark its last use.  The paint work changes things up here, obviously to give Ben his costume change.  I do find it interesting how he has a standard looking musculature on the uniform, despite the standard one from this set not getting any musculature at all.  Also, thanks to this costume being a post-Byrne one, it’s got white boots, so it doesn’t really match the rest of the team from this same assortment.  And that’s not even getting started on the blue sections being actually blue, rather than the black they should properly be.  Thing’s face gets adjusted detailing to include the scarring he got from Wolverine.  It doesn’t help the already less than stellar Thing head from the regular version in this set.  What does help that face, however, is the full helmet that this guy includes as an accessory, replicating the one he wore in the comics after getting injured.  It’s actually a pretty cool piece, and it’s nice that they gave him an accessory, and even a unique one at that.

WOLVERINE

This Wolverine’s official name is “Gajin Wolverine II”, which is quite the monicker.  “What happened to Gajin Wolverine I?” you might ask?  He was a summer con exclusive in 2004, and he’s honestly only very minorly different from this guy.  “Why Gajin?” you may follow up?  I guess it’s in reference to his first solo series, where he was in Japan, and referred to as “Gajin” fairly regularly.  It’s a very specific reference for something that would far more simply be summed up with the name “Brown Costume Wolverine”, but here we are.  Also, it’s worth noting that, while the Thing in this set is very specifically patterned on an issue where he has a run-in with Wolverine, in said issue, Wolverine was sporting his tiger stripe costume, not the brown one presented here.  Oh well.  Structurally, this guy’s *mostly* the same as the GSXM Wolvie.  The only change up is that instead of having the long feet under his boot pieces, he’s got the C3 feet, which means there’s a gap between the two of them at the front.  He doesn’t have the peg hole in his head, because they weren’t quite standard yet, and the older mask piece meant it wasn’t required.   The paint work on this guy’s overall not bad.  There’s one small gaffe with the secondary color on his mask being brown instead of orange, but beyond that the colors work well, and the detailing on both the face and the torso is pretty much straight out of Miller’s illustrations from the miniseries.  He was certainly one of the most detailed ‘mates at the time, and rather starkly contrasts with his assortment mates.  Wolverine had no accessories, as neither extra hands nor hair pieces had become standard quite yet.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This whole series got passed on by me, but even before that, this one wasn’t really high on my radar.  The appeal of such an extraneous re-pops of heavy hitters was kind of low for me.  When I finally got around to picking up this series from All Time last year, I still hesitated on these two, but they were there, and I figured “why not?”  Wolverine’s actually pretty solid, even by later standards.  The Thing, on the other hand, was iffy when he was new, and has not been helped by time.

#2596: Susan Richards, Invisible Woman, & Powerhouse Thing

SUSAN RICHARDS, INVISIBLE WOMAN & POWERHOUSE THING

MARVEL MINIMATES

You can’t just do *half* of the Fantastic Four…well, I mean, if you’re Toy Biz, I guess you can.  In fact, you can do it way more times than you ever fairly should be able to.  Just constantly stringing people along forever…Sorry, I was having flashbacks.  Look, we’re not talking about Toy Biz here, we’re talking about Diamond Select.  And they would never leave us high and dry like that, with an incomplete team, just two members shy of completion…apart from that one time that they did exactly that with their Aliens line…look, this isn’t about Aliens, it’s about the Fantastic Four, and finishing up that line-up, which we’re totally doing right here, right now, with no further distractions!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Susan Richards and Powerhouse Thing were released in Series 8 of the main Marvel Minimates line, and then again at Target in 2005 and 2006.  Standard Sue was the heavy packed version, with a full Invisible Woman swapping in for her in the variant set.

SUSAN RICHARDS/INVISIBLE WOMAN

Sue made her Minimates debut in style.  While her brother Johnny was stuck being flamed on all the time, she gets to be regular most of the time.  Lucky her.  Like her assortment-mates, Sue is built on the standard C3-style ‘mate body, peg hole on the head and all, so she’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  She uses the same glove pieces as Reed, as well as a new hair piece, clearly based on a ’60s Sue ‘do.  It’s a rather basic piece, but it gets the job done, and thanks to the peg it stays in place better than Reed’s.  I’m still iffy on the bulked up glove pieces, and exactly what their purpose is, but I’ll try to move on.  In terms of paint, the standard version fairs a bit better than Reed, thanks to having consistent coloring for the all of the costume details, as well as getting some actual torso detailing.  The variant is molded in all clear plastic, keeping the detail lines, and going for a slightly translucent blue for the black sections of the costume.  It’s a cool look, and you can easily mix and match the two for a powering up effect.  Both versions are packed with a shield piece, similar to Captain America’s.  And, thanks to those bulked up gloves, the shield has to sit over her elbow joint, which is a bit annoying.

THING

Thing gets his third go at a Minimate here, thanks to being the only team member available for a while, and yet still kind of needing to be included in the assortment proper.  So, here he is.  2005 marked a notable change-up for the line’s construction, adding in a few more bulked up parts for slightly larger characters, hence the “powerhouse” title for this version of Thing.  He uses the same bulked up hands as before, as well as making the first use of the original powerhouse chest piece, and an all-new head piece.  The powerhouse piece is pretty basic, and not nearly as involved as later bulk up parts.  This kind of helps to keep him more on the basic side, in keeping with the rest of the assortment.  The only part I don’t really care for his the head piece.  It’s really just different from the prior piece for the sake of being different, and that’s not really a good reason to change it.  It’s just not as good as the older piece, and even DST knew it, since this piece didn’t get used beyond this series.  In terms of paint, he’s not terribly far removed from the Series 5 version.  He’s got the proper team shorts this time, which is good, but I don’t like the the new face. It just doesn’t match that classic Thing feel.  Fortunately, the oranges match, so a re-work is possible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in the last set of these I looked at, despite being very excited for this set of ‘mates, I didn’t buy them new, and I didn’t really jump too quickly into tracking them down after the fact either.  I blame the Thing; he’s just so ugly.  I snagged these guys at the same time as Reed and Johnny, just to round out the team.  They’re not bad, but they’re definitely dated, and kind of from a weird middle spot for the line.

#2469: Thing & Dr. Doom(s)

THING & DR. DOOM

MARVEL MINIMATES

While the first year of Marvel Minimates certainly gave us an impressive spread of Marvel characters, there were some very notable areas of the universe left completely untouched.  This included Marvel’s own first family, the Fantastic Four, who, like Captain America signaling the first of the the Avengers, were first inducted into the line via Series 5, with the group’s most marketable single member The Thing facing off against their greatest foe Dr. Doom!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Thing and Dr. Doom marked wrapped up the line-up for Marvel Minimates Series 5, also taking the variant slot for this particular assortment.  The standard pack had Thing vs a fully-armored Doom, while the variant swapped out Doom for an unmasked version.

THING

For his debut ‘mate, Ben gets a fairly classic Thing design.  He’s orange, he’s rocky, and he’s wearing blue shorts.  Sure, the shorts aren’t quite standard FF-issue, but they’re close enough for a single release.  He’s built on the standard long-footed body, of course, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Like Venom, Hulk, and Juggernaut, Ben’s a large character who’s not very large.  That said, with the head piece and the sculpted “Thing Fists”, he actually makes out the best of the bunch in terms of relative scaling.  He’s got cartoonish proportions, of course, but he doesn’t feel quite as scrawny as the others.  It helps that the sculpting is really good on the new parts.  It also helps that the paint does an incredibly impressive job of conveying Ben’s rocky skin, and the painted features end up matching pretty darn well to the sculpted rocks on the head and hands.  The only slight nit I have with the paint is that the face is just a touch too high on the head, which means that it doesn’t *quite* interact correctly with the head piece.

DR. DOOM

Marvel’s greatest villain was a pretty natural choice for inclusion here, but his variant ultimately falls into the same level of “this wouldn’t be a separate figure”-ness that Unmasked Daredevil had.  Whichever version you look at, he’s got the same two sculpted add-ons, one for his cloak, and the other for his belt/skirt.  The cloak is actually kind of nice, and concise.  It’s maybe not the greatest for posing, but I find it less obtrusive than the versions that followed.  The skirt piece doesn’t work quite as well, being really flat and without flow.  Even with the much more streamlined philosophy of the earlier ‘mates, it seems a bit lacking.  The paint on everything but the head is identical between the two releases.  It does okay for the most part.  The armored detailing on the arms and legs is definitely the best work.  Comparatively, the tunic feels kind of devoid of detail, but again, that’s owing a lot to the early style.  The standard Doom gets his mask, which is nicely detailed, and matches up with the rest of the armor’s details.  It’s limited to just having details where the hood reveals it, which isn’t surprising, but does mean displaying him without the cape doesn’t really work.  For the variant, we get to see Victor Von Doom’s scarred face.  It’s a more minor scarring than some depictions, but it’s still there.  Unlike the masked head, this one has detail that goes all around, even under the hood, which is actually pretty darn cool.  It just would have made much more sense to include the extra head with the standard release, is all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is another one of those sets that I had as a kid, but I lost most of the parts to over the years.  I was pretty rough on these early guys.  Of course, I only had the standard Doom, so I was able to go back and get both versions when I tracked them back down again.  Thing’s not a bad little version of the character, especially within the confines of the early line.  Doom isn’t quite as cleanly interpreted here, but I think he works well-enough, and while he has some trade-offs, so would all of his eventual follow-ups.  They wrap up Marvel Minimates‘ first oddball assortment pretty nicely.

#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.