#0642: Beetle -Deadliest Foes

BEETLE – DEADLIEST FOES

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

Beetle1

There are very few lines of which I would consider myself a “completist.” Off the top of my head, I believe the only two I’ve really stuck with are NECA’s Aliens and SMC’s Weaponeers of Monkaa. There was a time, back during ToyBiz’s run on Marvel Legends that I gave owning every figure in the line some thought, but I ultimately decided against it, due mostly to the unevenness of figure quality. When Hasbro took over, I backed down even more, and almost quit the line entirely. When they re-launched under the Infinite Series handle, I went back to cherry-picking, but the quality of the figures has been rapidly increasing, leading to me getting figures I normally wouldn’t. Take, for instance, Beetle, the subject of today’s review. Now, I generally like Beetle as a character, so it’s odd for me to say that he wasn’t a figure I’d normally buy. I’ll get to the why of that in a bit.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Beetle2Beetle was part of the first series of Amazing Spider-Man 2 Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Officially, he’s not actually called Beetle, he’s called Deadliest Foes, a name he shares with Boomerang, who was his swap figure in this line. While they are swap figures, they don’t actually share anything but the Build-A-Figure piece. Beetle is roughly 6 ½ inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Beetle’s had a few looks over the years, of varying styles. This figure is based on his Ultimate universe design, which is my least favorite of all the Beetle designs. It’s the one used in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon show, so I guess it makes a little sense, but it definitely turned me off the figure. Beetle features a sculpt that is unique to him (though a fair bit of it will be re-used for a comic-style Ultron later this year). It’s a well detailed sculpt, and it does a nice job of replicating Mark Bagley’s design of the character from the comic. While there are lots of details and bits, the sculpt still maintains certain sleekness, which is definitely cool. The wings and backpack are a separate piece, which clips into place and stays there nicely. The paintwork on the figure is okay, but, for me, it’s flawed from the start. See, the Ultimate Beetle is silver and red, in contrast to the green and purple scheme of EVERY OTHER BEETLE DESIGN EVER. So, yeah, I don’t really care for the color scheme. Aside from that, the paint is decent enough. There’s a bit of slop here and there, but it’s generally pretty clean. Beetle’s only accessory is the leg to the series Build-A-Figure Ultimate Green Goblin. So, now I’ve got two of those. Cool?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Beetle was yet another contribution to my collection courtesy of my Super Awesome Girlfriend. Apparently, she was walking through Walgreens and saw this guy and thought I’d like him. Amazingly enough, I hadn’t actually broken down and gotten him yet! While I’m not the biggest fan of the design he’s based on, the figure is actually a lot of fun. I’m really glad I got him!

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#0413: Black Cat – Skyline Sirens

BLACK CAT – SKYLINE SIRENS

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

So, more Marvel Legends. Alright! Hasbro’s been putting a lot of effort into getting the line running successfully again. Over the summer, they did several series of figures that sorta tied in with this year’s Marvel movies. One of those lines was done to cash in on Amazing Spider-Man 2, and I’ll be looking at Black Cat (essentially Spider-Man’s version of Catwoman) from that series. Like Carnage, she was a figure that eluded me for a while, but I was finally able to track one down.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Cat is part of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Marvel Legends Infinite Series, officially released under the name “Skyline Sirens.” She was replaced in later shipments by the other Skyline Sirens figure, Spider-Girl, which led to some scarcity for a while. Fortunately, it seems Hasbro has started shipping out Black Cat again. Black Cat is a little over 6 inches tall and she sports 29 points of articulation. I’m not incredibly well versed in the looks of Black Cat over the years, but this figure seems to be based on the “classic” design of the character. It’s a look not seen on her previous figures, but it’s what I think of when I think of the character. Anyway, the figure makes use of Hasbro’s new larger female base body, originally used on Moonstone in the Thunderbolts boxed set. It’s not a bad body, though it’s not quite as well-proportioned as the slightly more modest body used for Spider-Girl. The biggest issue is that the lower torso, which looks fine from the front, but is oddly flat from the side. They’ve also elected to give her high-heeled shoes, which are annoying, especially when trying to get her to stand. You really have to question the practicality of a cat burglar wearing high heels. The Cat has a unique head, upper torso, lower arms, hands, and lower legs. They’re all pretty solid sculpts, especially the head. Hasbro’s recent trend of female figures that actually have attractive head sculpts is a very refreshing change for Marvel Legends. Like so many other Hasbro figures, the paint is where things get iffy. However, to their credit, this figure’s problems aren’t with sloppy lines or bleed over. Everything is actually pretty clean. The real issue is the blue was that’s been done on the white areas. It’s just too heavy, especially on her hair, which ends up looking like some wacky dye job. Black Cat includes a whip (which is honestly more Catwoman’s speed, but whatever) as well as the requisite Ultimate Green Goblin piece (the torso, if anyone’s curious).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found Black Cat at the same K-Mart where I picked up Carnage and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates. Ha ha! I successfully vanquished my arch-nemesis The Scalper! Take that vile villain! …*ahem* Anyway, I’m glad to finally have the figure. While she doesn’t wow me quite as much as Spider-Girl did, but she’s still a really strong figure. Let’s hope Hasbro can continue with their upward trend.

#0412: Carnage – Spawn of Symbiotes

CARNAGE – SPAWN OF SYMBIOTES

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

There have been quite a few Minimates reviews as of late on this site, as well as a surprising number of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reviews. So, now for something slightly different. The next couple of days are going to be Marvel Legends related. Fun fun fun.

Today, I’ll be looking at Carnage, a figure that eluded me for a while and led me to go off on one of my angry rants. Fortunately, today’s review is rather free from ranting. ….Yay!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Carnage was released as part of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Marvel Legends Infinite Series. His official name within the context of the series is “Spawn of Symbiotes,” a name he shared with Toxin, who replaced Carnage in later shipments of the series. It seems Hasbro has flipped back again, resulting in a plentiful supply of Carnage once more. Carnage is about 6 ¼ inches tall and he features 32 points of articulation. This figure depicts Carnage as he’s best known: bright red and covered in tendrils. The figure makes use of the current standard mid-sized body Hasbro’s been using, which first cropped up on their Bucky Cap figure from a few years ago. There are a few minor issues with it (I’m still a bit weirded out by the veins right at the start of the shoulders), but overall it’s a pretty great base body, and it’s a definite improvement on the ones we’ve seen in years past. The figure’s lower arms and legs have been tweaked to allow for the attachment of Carnage’s trademark tendrils. The transition from limb to tendril could be a bit smoother, but it’s not so jarring as to ruin the figure. As far as new pieces, Carnage gets an all new head and hands, as well as another tendril attachment which plugs into his back. The head is a fantastic piece, and it really captures Carnage well. The hands are just basic spikey, clawed hands, but they do that well. The tendril piece is alright, but it seems to have been slightly malformed by the package, so it’s always hanging in his face. Carnage’s paint is a lot cleaner than a lot of recent Hasbro figures, but I feel it’s also not quite as interesting. It’s not bad, but it seems just a touch too simple. Previous Carnage figures benefited from the symbiote’s texture being sculpted, which is less of an option in this day and age. Still, the black details could be a little more interesting. Carnage, or rather, Spawn of Symbiote is packed with the head and, uh… back flames (?) of the series Build-A-Figure Ultimate Green Goblin.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After much searching and a run in with my sworn nemesis, The Scalper!, I finally was able to track down Carnage at a K-Mart in a town I was visiting while my mom and brother were doing a run (Incidentally, it’s the same K-Mart where I got my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates). I’ve only ever been a moderate fan of Carnage, but for whatever reason, this figure just really appeals to me. He’s a solid design, and a pretty solid execution. I just wish he’d been a little easier to find.

#0376: Superior Spider-Man

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINTE SERIES

Alright, well it looks like the horror stuff is taking a break for a little while. So, why not return to what I know best: Super Heroes! And if we’re going with Super Heroes, why not go with Marvel, cuz they’re kind of on top right now! And if you’re going with Marvel, why not one of their top characters of all-time, Spider-Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superior Spider-Man was released as part of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Marvel Legends Infinite Series. For next year, Hasbro should really look into shortening the ML names a bit. They’re a bit long-winded. Anyway, Superior Spider-Man is one of the mainstay figures from this series, which means that unlike the previously reviewed Spider-Girl and Boomerang, he’s not a replacement, nor was he replaced by another figure. The figure is about 6 inches tall and he sports 32 points of articulation. As the name denotes, he’s based on the “Superior” version of Spider-Man, which was he looked like when Dr. Octopus took over his mind. Specifically, he’s based on the second Superior costume, which itself was based on Alex Ross’s proposed design for the first Spider-Man movie. As far as I can tell, Spidey’s a new sculpt. I feel like I’ve seen the body before, but I can’t quite place it. At the very least, the head and hands are new. The body sculpt is pretty good. It’s nicely proportioned and well-articulated, which is always a good combination. The head and hands are obviously a bit more character-specific, and they are both handled very nicely. The head is simple, but right on the mark, which can be tricky with some Spider-Man figures. The basic hands are just in a loose gripping pose, which isn’t too bad, I suppose. The figure’s paint isn’t really up to the sculpt. It’s not a huge surprise on a Hasbro offering, but it’s still a shame. The figure has a fair bit of slop and fuzzy lines, and even a few spots of uneven paint. The worst of it is his web pattern, which is not as straight as it should be. Still, viewed as a whole, the paint doesn’t look terrible, so it could be worse. Spidey included a spare set of hands in the trademark Spidey pose, as well as the right leg of Ultimate Green Goblin, the Build-A-Figure for this series. I don’t really want this particular BAF, but somehow I keep ending up with pieces of him…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This particular Spider-Man was a gift from my Super Awesome Girlfriend, who just keeps up living to the name. While visiting her for the weekend, I had seen the figure and decided not to get it due to not having the money. She came up to visit me three weeks later with this figure in tow. She’s really too supportive of my insane hobby! The figure isn’t without issues, but it’s really a fun figure, and it’s one of the better Spider-Men to see release in recent years!

#0227: Boomerang – Deadliest Foes

BOOMERANG – DEADLIEST FOES

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

Boomerang

I’m almost done with my recent round of Marvel Legends reviews. One more to go, and then I’ll be jumping back to the usual retrospective reviews. This one doesn’t come from Captain America: The Winter Soldier set, but its sister Spider-Man line. It’s based on Boomerang, one of Spider-Man’s lesser known foes, and one of my personal favorites. For more on Boomerang, head here. Let’s take a look at the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boomerang is a part of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Officially, he’s referred to as “Deadliest Foes,” and is shipping in the second wave of the series, as a replacement for the initially shipped Beetle figure. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and features 32 points of articulation. He’s based on Boomerang’s more recent redesign from his stint as a member of the Thunderbolts, and most recently his starring role in Superior Foes of Spider-Man. I know there’s been some contention over the decision to use the redesign instead of his classic design, but I actually am happy with the choice. The new design is actually quite striking. The figure is built on the basic male body, that same one used for Baron Zemo, flared boots and gloves and all. Interestingly, the prototype on the box features painted on boots and gloves. I think I like the final product more. The base body is quite a nice starting point, and the head sculpt is also a solid piece of work. I’m not 100% in favor of the gritted teeth look, but it’s not terrible, and it doesn’t look as bad as other attempts at such an expression. And it does add a lot of character to the figure. In what seems to be a running theme for all of my Hasbro reviews, a great sculpt is let down by bad paint. It’s less an issue with slop/bleed over and more an issue with consistency of application. The white areas of the paint seem to need another coat, and the head paint seems exceedingly…gloppy. It’s almost like they dabbed the paint on. Really weird looking, and certainly disappointing. The figure includes a “backpack,” four boomerangs of two different sizes which can be stored in the backpack, and the left leg of Ultimate Green Goblin, the series’ Build-A-Figure.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Boomerang on Amazon, once his price had stabilized to essentially retail. The figure leaves me feeling very mixed. I’m glad to have a Boomerang figure, and it’s a great sculpt, but the paint leaves quite a bit to be desired. I really want to support Hasbro in their attempts to do good with this line, and they do really seem to be trying, but the paint apps on this figure and the Mandroid are really, really bad. It holds both figures back from being as good as they should be, and I’m certain it’ll end up turning people off of the line, especially with the ever increasing price-point.

#0214: Spider-Girl – Skyline Siren

SPIDER-GIRL – SKYLINE SIREN

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

Spider-Girl

Sometimes you buy a figure because it’s a character you love, or like, or at least decently interested in. Other times you buy a figure because it’s in a set with others you want or because it includes that final Build-A-Figure piece you’ve been looking for. On rare occasions, you buy a figure because it’s just that darn cool. Today’s figure is in the last category.

Don’t get me wrong, It’s not that I’m completely unaware of the most recent person to call herself Spider-Girl. In fact, I’ve even read a few of her comicbook appearances. She’s a perfectly entertaining character. Normally, I’d write a Backstory for a figure like this, but given my own lack of knowledge about the character, you might just be better googling her. Anyway, let’s take a look at why I bought the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Girl was released as part of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Marvel Legends Infinite Series. She is labeled “Skyline Sirens” on the package, and appeared in the second wave of the series, as a replacement for the initial Black Cat figure. The figure stands a little under 6 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. The body sculpt looks to be a 6-inch scaled version of the basic female body used for the Marvel Universe versions of Wasp and Scarlet Witch, but I’m not certain. I’m also not sure whether it’s been used on any previous figures. Regardless, it’s easily one of the best female body sculpts I’ve seen. The proportions aren’t 100% realistic, but they still look pretty good, and it doesn’t seem to have the short-armed problem present on the MU body. The figure is topped off with an awesome headsculpt, which is truly a beautiful piece of work. Female headsculpts tend to either look too man-ish or totally void of personality, but neither is an issue here. The paintwork is not quite as outstanding as the sculpt. She has some fuzzy lines in a few spots on her logo, and there are a few spots where the paint missed covering up some of the dark red plastic her head was molded in. It’s nothing too terrible, but I do wish it were a little cleaner. Spider-Girl’s only accessory is the torso of the Ultimate Green Goblin, this series’ Build-A-Figure. I’ve got no interest in completing this one, so I guess I’ll just have a spare torso laying around. Yay.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In an increasingly rare circumstance, I actually found Spider-Girl at my local Target, and marked down to $17.99 at that! The figure ended up being a spur of the moment purchase, which is something I don’t tend to do anymore. However, this figure exceeded my expectations, and presented me with an outstandingly fun figure. Generally, a good female figure is still only as good as an average male figure in terms of quality, but Spider-Girl is one of the most fun action figures I’ve gotten in quite some time!

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