#1845: Falcon & Winter Soldier

FALCON & WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

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

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

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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

FALCON

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

WINTER SOLDIER

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

Advertisements

#1822: Black Panther & Ebony Maw

BLACK PANTHER & EBONY MAW

MARVEL MINIMATES

“Hear me, and rejoice. You are about to die at the hand of the children of Thanos. Be thankful, that your meaningless lives are now contributed to the balance…”

It’s black on black in today’s set, as Black Panther faces off against Ebony Maw!  Prepare to imagine a world where these two characters actually met…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Black Panther and Ebony Maw are part of the second assortment of the Infinity War-themed Marvel Minimates.  These two were supposed to be the Toys R Us exclusive set for this round but…well, we all know how that one went, right?  The set actually still has its TRU-exclusive sticker, presumably because it was too late in the process to get it removed before it started shipping to specialty stores.

BLACK PANTHER

Black Panther has been no stranger to Minimates.  Heck, this is his fourth just this year alone. Since Panther’s IW design was the same as his suit from his solo outing, this figure uses that same design, and is quite similar to the basic Panther from those tie-ins.  He’s built on the usual body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Like his solo counterpart,  he’s got an add-on for his mask, as well as Cheetah’s clawed hands.  The paint on Panther is pretty solid work, and again, virtually identical to the last one.  The biggest difference between the two is what’s under the mask.  We’ve gotten yet another Chadwick Boseman likeness, this time with a much angrier expression than we saw even on the more energetic powered-up Panther.  I guess he’s taking things more seriously with it being the end of the world and all.  For accessories, Panther is packed with an extra hair piece to display his unmasked look, as well as the standard clear display stand.

EBONY MAW

As the member of the Black Order with by far the most dialogue and the most focus, Ebony Maw certainly stood out.  However, for whatever reason, it was Proxima Midnight who got all of the initial focus in the toy realm.  Fortunately, at least in the case of the Minimates, Maw wasn’t too far behind.  Ebony Maw is almost a completely vanilla ‘mate.  The only thing that mixes him up a bit is his skirt piece, which is a new offering.  It works well enough, adding the extra tails to his torso, while avoiding bulking him up too much.  I’m not for overly building up a ‘mate if you don’t have to, but I do feel Maw is missing…something.  Maybe a sculpted collar?  Certainly a hair piece of some sort.  His hair may have been thinning in the film, but it certainly wasn’t close-cropped, and it doesn’t look right being relegated purely to painted detailing.  I think something along the lines of Morgue’s hair piece would have really helped this figure out.  Maw’s paintwork is certainly his strongest suit.  The face is definitely the best part; it’s a pretty perfect recreation of his features from the movie.  The fact that he already lacked a nose probably helped.  The details on his uniform seem perhaps a touch bright for my eyes, but they are at least cleanly applied, and quite extensive.  Ebony Maw’s only accessory is a clear display stand.  It might have been nice to get some of those funky glass daggers or an energy effect of some kind, especially since he’s already light on the sculpted pieces as it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There’s no denying that this Black Panther feels more than a little bit redundant. There were two costumed versions of T’Challa in his own line, both of which are still quite readily available.  This one does attempt to be a little bit different, but not by much.  If you didn’t get any of the Black Panther movie Minimates, then I suppose this one’s a nice addition.  If you did?  Well, you’re really just here for the other half of the set.  As I noted with Corvus, the Black Order are really the only “new” part of the Infinity War assortments, which places some extra weight on them.  Unfortunately, I think Maw is another design that doesn’t translate all that well to the aesthetic, making this ‘mate somewhat middle of the road in terms of quality, and unlike Corvus, he doesn’t have a stronger pack ‘mate to carry him.

#1804: Hulkbuster & Corvus Glaive

 

HULKBUSTER & CORVUS GLAIVE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Hulkbuster and Corvus Glaive would both make for pretty sick band names, wouldn’t they?  Sorry, no pithy intro here; that’s really all I got…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hulkbuster and Corvus Glaive are part of the second assortment of Infinity War-themed Marvel Minimates.  They’re the second of the two sets shared between specialty and Walgreens (and were originally supposed to be offered at Toys R Us).  It’s kind of an odd pairing, since I don’t know that these two ever interacted, but they were at least both part of the big final battle, so there’s that.

HULKBUSTER

What is a Hulkbuster with no Hulk to bust?  Well, if we’re going by Infinity War rules, it’s a pretty decent Hulk stand-in, actually.  Who’d have guessed?  Yes, after the slight misdirect all of the merchandise gave us by including the almost entirely absent Hulk in the early assortments of just about every tie-in, we finally got some follow-up with the Hulkbuster, Banner’s far more prominent look.  This is our seventh time getting some variation of the Hulkbuster in Minimate form, and in fact our second time seeing Banner in the suit.  The Hulkbuster armor uses 11 add-on pieces.  Since the ‘buster’s design has had an overhaul since we last saw it in Age of Ultron, it gets a number of new parts.  In fact the only parts shared between this figure and that one are the hands and the torso extender (well, and the basic Minimate body, but that’s kind of a given).  The torso and feet are brand new parts, and he also uses standard power-house pieces for his upper arms and legs, as well as a blank slip cover mask for the helmet.  The new pieces are great; they really add some bulk to the figure, and are filled with tons of great little details from the screen.  The power-house pieces work well in conjunction with these new parts, adding some decent bulk to largely unseen areas that don’t need quite as much extra detail.  The mask…I’m not sure about the mask.  It’s hardly the first time we’ve seen an Iron Man helmet handled this way (in fact, Infinity War‘s own Mark 50 uses the same basic style), but it does make the figure look a little off when placed next to the AoU variant.  Of course, this one also loses that one’s neck seam, and actually has a posable head, so you win some and you lose some.  The Hulkbuster’s paint is pretty decent.  The red and gold are a little brighter than prior Iron Men, and therefore a little more eye-catching.  The last Hulkbuster was far more reliant on sculpted elements to carry things, but this one is more willing to fall back on painted detail lines, which I do think helps him look a little sharper, and more defined.  Under the mask is a Bruce Banner face; It doesn’t dethrone the Ragnarok version as the definitive likeness, but at least it’s actually the right person in the armor.  Unlike prior ‘bustersthis one doesn’t feature any sort of detailing on the torso, but since Bruce isn’t wearing another suit of armor like Tony, I guess there wouldn’t be much to detail.  A dirty t-shirt maybe?  Yeah, I think DST can be forgiven for leaving it blank. The figure includes two accessories.  The first is a spare hair piece, allowing for an unhelmeted Banner to be displayed.  The piece looks familiar, so I think it might be a re-use, but it’s curiously not the same piece from the Ragnarok set.  The Hulkbuster also includes a standard clear display stand, for all your clear displaying needs.

CORVUS GLAIVE

Perhaps the least developed of the Black Order, Glaive’s main character trait seems to be “gets knocked down a lot.”  Nevertheless, the guy’s still got a really cool name, and a pretty solid design, so I like him.  Plus, it’s not like you can only make part of the Black Order and not the rest.  Right, Hasbro? Corvus is built using three add-on pieces on the standard body.  He’s got his headgear/ears, shoulder decoration, and loincloth/belt.  All three of these pieces are new to this figure, and they’re pretty decently sculpted, if perhaps a bit soft in some spots.  The torso piece seems to get the worst of the softness, and I’d say it at least partly is due to lack of reference material. The rest of the detailing is handled via paint, and it’s overall pretty decent work.  It’s perhaps not the most thrilling color palette, but the detail lines are all pretty sharp.  I think his face is the weakest part of the figure.  Corvus’s face is thin, angular, and very pointy, which are all the things a Minimate’s head is *not*, so his face ends up looking a bit nondescript.  He just looks like a fairly average guy who’d generally prefer not to hear about his co-worker’s vacation.  Doesn’t exactly ooze intimidation. Corvus is, unsurprisingly, packed with his glaive. It’s a solid recreation of the design from the movie, and he can hold it well enough, for a Minimate weapon, anyway.  He also includes a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since Walgreens was kind of slow getting this assortment out, I grabbed these from Cosmic Comix when they came in.  The AoU Hulkbuster was kind of the star of those tie-in waves, so this one has some big shoes to fill.  While the differences in design and approach make it difficult to outright compare the two, I feel that this one is still a pretty admirable addition to the collection. The Black Order are actually the only “new” offerings from the Infinity War assortments, so in that way Corvus is sort of this set’s draw.  However, his design isn’t particularly minimate-friendly, and the end result is a kind of bland offering.  Not terrible, but just sort of “meh.”

#1773: Captain America & Falcon

CAPTAIN AMERICA & FALCON

MARVEL MINIMATES

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

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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

CAPTAIN AMERICA

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

FALCON

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

#1745: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A Sleek suit design and technological upgrades let Tony Stark gear up as the Armored Avenger, Iron Man.”

I thought I was more or less done with the Infinity War-themed Marvel Legends, barring any late-game releases (which I’ve no doubt there will be), but no, no there was one more figure, that’s just been sitting there.  Waiting.  Watching.  Other “w” words as well…

Anyway, I’ve looked at most of the film’s major players, but there was one very prominent one missing, namely Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.  In a further effort to work my way through that pile of figures awaiting review, I’ll be looking at Stark’s latest Legends release today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is the final figure in the Thanos Series of Marvel Legends, the first Infinity War-themed assortment of the year.  He’s also the last of the four specifically movie-based figures in the line-up.  And, most importantly, he’s the only figure in the set that isn’t needed to built the Thanos figure, which is why everyone was skipping him.  Tony’s wearing his Mark 50 armor from the film, which is also his *only* armor for the film, so I guess it’s a sensible choice, now isn’t it?  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  His construction is very similar to the Mark 46 figure from the Giant Man series, but there are no actual pieces shared between the two.  This guy is an all-new sculpt, which does an okay job of capturing the Bleeding Edge armor’s design from the movie.  It’s not a spot-on recreation; it’s definitely not quite as sleek as the design in the movie.  There are far more pronounced ridges and connecting points, bringing its overall design closer to the Mark 46.  This is likely a symptom of Hasbro working from earlier designs to get the figure out before the movie.  Ultimately, it’s close enough that you know which armor it’s supposed to be, and it’s nowhere near as off as either Captain America or Cull Obsidian.  Fortunately, it’s got some pretty great proportions, and the articulation is also worked in pretty well.  Iron Man’s paintwork is decent and certainly eye-catching, but like the sculpt, it’s not 100% accurate.  The main culprit is the red.  It should really be a deeper, more metallic color than it is.  That being said, the color they’ve used is still nice to look at, so I’m not going to complain too much.  What I will complain about?  Just the figure’s single greatest failing: his accessories.  In the movie, Tony’s using this armor to create all sorts of nano-tech-based weaponry and tools.  What does this figure get?  An extra set of hands and the same blast effects pieces they’ve been using since the 46.  No extra attachments, no unmasked head, no build-a-figure piece.  The extra hands don’t even have hinges on the wrists.  That’s really weak.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I passed on this figure quite a few times at retail.  After seeing the movie, I was really impressed by the armor.  I had some Cosmic Cash to spend at Cosmic Comix, so I ended up grabbing him from them.  And then he sat on my shelf for three months.  I know, bad Ethan.  I’ll be honest, I actually kept forgetting I hadn’t reviewed him, since I’d already looked at the basic figure.  The only real difference between the two is posability, and that’s a little sad.  He’s a figure that could have been a lot of fun–well, okay, he’s still a fair bit of fun, but he could have been a lot more fun than he is.  As it stands, he definitely feels phoned in.

#1730: Rocket Raccoon & Groot

ROCKET RACCOON &  GROOT

MARVEL MINIMATES

To wrap up this three-day Infinity War thing I’ve got going here, I’ve got one more set of Minimates to look at.  Ever.  Well, no, not ever.  I still have a ton of Minimates to review.  There’s over 1000 of those suckers in my collection.  No, just the last set from this little sub-set…or something.  Anyway, I’ve looked at the more Avengers-themed guys, now I’m going into full cross-over mode, with a pair of Guardians.  Let’s have a look at yet another Rocket Raccoon and Groot!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Rocket Raccoon and Groot were originally supposed to be the Toys R Us-exclusive set for the first Infinity War assortment of Marvel Minimates.  Then they went out of business and messed that all up.  But, before they went out of business, this set and it’s accompanying series were moved over to specialty.  What’s intriguing about this particular pairing is that, while it’s totally a natural choice to pack just the two of them together, thanks to use of micro-figures and such, it’s actually the first time we’ve gotten a straight Rocket & Groot two-pack.

ROCKET RACCOON

After being relegated to being an unarticulated pack-in for his first two releases, we finally got a proper Rocket Raccoon Minimate in Series 71 for Guardians Vol. 2.  At first glance, this figure might seem like a straight re-release of that one, but he’s actually a little bit different.  He’s still about 2 inches tall and has a reduced 8 points of articulation.  He uses the same head, shortened arms, and belt/tail piece.  He gets a new set of legs, more divergent from the standard Minimate legs than the last ones, and also swaps out the normal Minimate torso of the last one for the comparatively smaller torso from NBX’s Sally.  Both of these are minor changes, easily missed by a quick glance at the figure, but they result in a figure that actually looks a fair bit better than the last release.  Rocket’s paintwork is not that much different than the Series 71 release.  It’s mostly just amended to fit the newer pieces.  Rocket is packed with a rather large rifle (the same one included with all of the other IW Rockets), which is kind of comically huge (larger than the Legends version, even), and pretty much impossible for Rocket to hold.

GROOT

Groot has a much more divergent design in Infinity War than his pack-mate, so he is fittingly a more unique figure.  He uses the standard body as a starting point, but really only keeps the arms and pelvis.  The head is a unique piece, which replicates Groot’s noggin pretty well.  Likewise, the hands and feet are new, and do a respectable job of translating Groot’s tree-like appendages.  He also uses the smaller torso that we saw on Rocket, and swaps out the usual legs for another set of arms.  This results in an overall quite slender look, which helps to differentiate him pretty well from the original Groot.  His paintwork is pretty standard for this character.  Lots of brown, and some decent work on the detail lines.  I do appreciate that the arms and legs have different detailing from each other.  Groot is packed with a clear display stand…and that’s it.  Shame we couldn’t get his portable game or anything.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this set at the same time as Spider-Man and Hulk, via Cosmic Comix.  I wasn’t totally sold on this set at first, but after realizing how much better the changes to Rocket made the figure, and already being sold on Groot, I decided to grab it.  Is it the most thrilling set of all time?  Probably not, but it’s a pretty essential version of Groot, and it’s by far the best version of Rocket we’ve gotten.

#1729: Iron-Spider & Hulk

IRON-SPIDER & HULK

MARVEL MINIMATES

I’m just gonna keep on rolling with this Avengers: Infinity War thing that I got started yesterday, taking a look at another of Diamond Select’s Minimate offerings from the film.  This time around, we’re back to the two-packs, and we’re also looking at two of the film’s heaviest hitters, Spider-Man and the Hulk!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Iron-Spider and Hulk are–or were, I suppose is the better term– the shared two-pack between Walgreens and Toys R Us.  Of course, thanks to TRU’s untimely demise, they’re instead available everywhere, just like the Iron Man and Thanos pack.  As far as pairing goes, they’re not really the most natural choice, but at least Peter and Banner interact with each other at *some* point, even if it’s not in these particular forms.

IRON-SPIDER

Peter’s new suit for Infinity War was technically introduced in Homecoming, but doesn’t see any action until Peter winds up in space with Tony and Dr. Strange.  It’s name and Stark-designed nature tie it to the red and gold suit that Peter was wearing for “Civil War” in the comics, but its actual design seems to have more in common with Peter’s more recent Parker Industries-designed armor.  This was more than likely due to them not really wanting two red and gold armored guys flying across the screen doing battle with Thanos.  The figure uses the standard ‘mate body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He gets an additional harness piece, replicating his extra spider-limbs, which also grants him an extra four points of articulation, thanks to the balljoint at the base of each leg.  The piece is new to this figure (since they can’t re-use the comic ones; they only have three legs), and works decently enough.  Sure, it bulks up the neck and waist a bit, and a dedicated torso sculpt would have possibly looked a bit better, but then you’d lack the option of displaying him sans legs, which would be annoying.  Iron Spider’s paintwork is quite cleanly applied.  Not quite as shiny as I might have expected, but still decent looking.  The details are all crisp and well defined, and he replicates the film design rather nicely.  Iron Spider is packed with an extra unmasked head and hair for the Peter Parker look.  It’s sporting a pretty spot-on Tom Holland likeness.  More Spider-Men should include the unmasked head option.

HULK

Hulk plays a very, very minor role in Infinity War, being dispatched rather quickly in the film’s opening minutes, and then not really coming around.  So, the fact that he got such a prominent spot here is a little bit baffling, but the amount of Hulk merch out there for this movie suggests that licensees weren’t really told about his small part up front.  Hulk’s construction is pretty much the same construction as several prior Hulk’s.  The only notable change is that this one’s using the hair from Tomb Raider‘s Roth.  Not really sure why, can’t say it’s a favorite, and it ends up just looking kind of goofy, but I suppose worse things have happened.   Hulk’s paintwork is rather on the basic side; his skintone is entirely molded plastic, which is a change from the prior MCU Hulks.  Beyond that, there’s some paint for his pants, and touch of grey on the sides of his temples, because Hulk’s starting to get distinguished in his old age.  He’s also looking a lot more Ruffalo-like than prior Hulks.  Obviously, there’s a lot of Ruffalo in the CG model for Hulk, but this seems to veer far too close to the Bruce Banner side of things.  He doesn’t even look all that angry; he looks more like he’s trying to calculate how much to tip his waiter.  Hulk’s only extra is a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed these guys from Cosmic Comix when they got the TRU-reject assortment.  I mostly bought this set for Spider-Man, and for that, I’m pretty pleased.  He’s a solid addition to our MCU Spideys, and a solid figure all-around.  Hulk, on the other hand, is really just an odd offering.  Not only his he nonessential, he’s also one of the weakest versions of the Hulk that DST has put out.  I’m not sure what happened with this guy.

#1671: Cull Obsidian

CULL OBSIDIAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Though in many ways calling back to the classic Infinity Gauntlet, Avengers: Infinity War did offer a few newer concepts as well.  Included amongst those new concepts were the members of the Black Order, Thanos’s generals from the Infinity event.  In the comics, the name of the big bruiser was “Black Dwarf,” but for the purposes of the movie, he’s Cull Obsidian…in theory.  His name’s never spoken on-screen.  I suppose he could get named in a deleted scene or something.  He still managed to get a figure out the deal, which I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cull Obsidian is the eponymous Build-A-Figure for the Cull Obsidian Series, the second Infinity War-themed series of Marvel Legends.  Though not as unquestionably perfect as Thanos was in the first series, he’s still a pretty solid choice, being one of the few other “large” character designs in the film.  I suppose they could have gone for the new Hulkbuster armor, but I’d much rather get a new character out of things.  Cull is the second member of the Black Order we’ve gotten in Legends form, following the Thanos Series’ Proxima Midnight figure.  The figure stands 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Cull’s figure is sporting an all-new sculpt, based on his design from the film…in theory.  For whatever reason, despite the other three members of the team maintaining the same basic design for pretty much the entirety of the pre-production process, Cull Obsidian’s design went through some pretty major changes on the way to the final film.  Unfortunately, since action figures have a somewhat lengthy production process, this means this Cull Obsidian figure ended up based on an out of date design.  He’s a bit more savage, and less armored than his film counterpart, and ends up looking a little more like his comics counterpart (though even that’s not a perfect match).  It’s not Hasbro’s fault that design changed, though, so I guess the best that can be done is to just look at the sculpt on its own merits.  I have to admit, it’s actually pretty solid.  The head’s my favorite part, being the part that ends up the most accurate, but also the part that sports the sharpest detail work.  The rest of the sculpt is also pretty nicely detailed, though the arms and legs are noticeably softer on the details than the head and torso.  The articulation would probably be worked in a little smoother, especially on the arms and the mid-torso joint.  Nevertheless, it’s a sculpt that’s quite impressive as a whole.  The paintwork on Cull is pretty decent as well.  There’s some nice, subtle accent work on the skin of the head and torso. Sadly, this doesn’t continue beyond those sections.  I mean, it’s not horribly jarring, but it’s slightly frustrating.  Though he’s a Build-A-Figure, and therefore an accessory himself, Cull does still get an extra.  It’s his hammer…in theory.  You know how Cull’s design changed?  Yep, well that extends to the hammer as well.  It’s more of a pickaxe sort of a thing in the final film, and asymmetrical in design.  Here, it’s a perfectly symmetrical, very squared-off hammer.  Also, he can only hold it in his left hand, despite being a righty in the film.  Odd.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cull isn’t a majorly prominent character in Infinity War, but I liked him well enough in the film that I was looking forward to this figure.  Additionally, I was actively interested in 5 of the 6 figures it took to complete him.  Wasn’t much of a stretch to get him completed, really.  Despite his not being accurate to his final film design, I do actually like this figure quite a bit, and I think he’s a more exciting Build-A-Figure than the Thanos that preceded him.  It’s just a shame he’s not screen-accurate, since a second chance at him seems rather unlikely.

Cull Obsidian was assembled by purchasing this whole set of figures from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  You can visit them in person on Main Street in Ellicott City, MD, or you can view their sizable online catalogue via their online store or their eBay store front!

#1668: Thor

THOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

When the state of the universe is thrown into chaos, Thor sets out to protect Earth and beyond.”

You can’t honestly be that surprised, can you?  I’m looking at the latest set of Infinity War-themed Marvel Legends and it’s a Thursday.  *Of course* I’m looking at the newest Thor figure!  What choice do I have?  None.  I had no choice at all.  Sorry, Tony, it was the only way.  Wait, wrong moment…uhhh, let’s just look at this here Thor figure, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is the second of two Infinity War-themed single releases from the Cull Obsidian Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second IW-based Thor Legends release, following the one from the three-pack with Rocket and Groot.  That one was the early film look, while this one’s his design from the film’s climax.  It’s more in line with the same basic design he’s been sporting from the beginning, but with the shorter hair, of course.  As a major focal point of the film, and the only major character to truly have multiple distinctive designs, a second figure for Thor makes a lot of sense.  As with his triple-packed compatriot, this Thor figure stands 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  The two figures share a fair number of pieces (fitting, since it’s the same base design of the same guy from the same film), with the hands and lower half being identical, and the upper body being ever so slightly tweaked to allow for the cape.  The head is similar to the last one, but missing the eye-patch, of course.  I thought it might be the same sculpt that was used for the Ragnarok figure, but there’s actually a sculpted scar over the eye, so it’s at least slightly changed.  He also gets new arms, featuring his sleeves of armor, as well as the previously mentioned cape.  The new pieces match well with the film design, as well as the pre-existing parts, and make for a rather solid looking figure.  The paintwork is overall very strong work, and an improvement over the three-pack.  He lacks any of the electric effects that plagued that figure (which is a bit ironic, since they’d actually make far more sense here than on that figure), and instead gets a lot more texture work, especially on the boots, which look nice and weathered.  My only complaint has to do with the head. It’s still well-crafted, but something about it is just very un-Hemsworth.  I don’t really know who it looks like, but it’s not Chris. Thor is packed with his new weapon Stormbreaker, the main selling point of this guy.  It’s incredibly well-detailed, and even features a removable lightning effect. I know it wouldn’t be strictly movie accurate, but I wish they’d included a non-powered up eye-patch Head here too, since we didn’t get one.  Instead, we just get another piece, specifically the left arm, of Cull Obsidian.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t really sold on this guy initially.  I definitely liked the three-pack variant better, and this guy felt a little extraneous.  Upon getting him in hand, I’m sort of torn. He’s a lot better than I’d expected, and fixes some of the other figure’s flaws, but I just don’t like that head quite as much.  Fortunately, they’re easily swapped, allowing me my perfect Thor.

Thor was purchased from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  You can visit them in person on Main Street in Ellicott City, MD, or you can view their sizable online catalogue via their online store or their eBay store front!

#1667: Black Widow

BLACK WIDOW

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“An agent of espionage and expert in hand-to-hand combat, Black Widow is trained to take out any enemy of justice.”

Despite some bad luck initially when it comes to action figures (being the only main team member from the 6-inch line for the first Avengers, being available only in an online-exclusive boxed set for AoU, etc.), things are starting to look up for Natasha Romanov.  In less than a year, she’s had a whopping three Marvel Legends, as well as being included in all three styles of the Infinity War product.  I’ve looked at the basic line’s take on her, and today I’m following that up with the Legends release!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Widow is part of the Cull Obsidian Series of Marvel Legends.  Outside of the Build-A-Figure, she’s one of two Infinity War-based figures in the assortment.  She’s got the same look as the basic figure, which is reasonable, since it’s also Widow’s only look in the film and all.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Despite the last two MCU Widows using the same mold, this one is all-new.  I really liked the basic figure’s sculpt, and wasn’t sure how this one would fare when compared, but oh boy is this one just an all-around improvement.  The head is pretty solid.  I think the basic figure might have the better overall likeness (I’m getting a bit of a Charlize Theron vibe from this one), but this is definitely the more lifelike of the two.  The proportions of the body are nicely balanced, the details of the costume are crisp, and there’s a ton of texturing all throughout.  The vest is a little bit bulky, but there’s a good reason for that; it’s a separate overlay piece.  Pop off the head, and there’s a fully detailed torso underneath, showcasing Widow’s standard body sculpt.  Apparently she just threw a vest over her prior outfit.  That’s a cool detail.  Widow’s paintwork is pretty solid stuff too, matching up with the sculpt in quality.  She’s got the new face print tech, which looks nice and lifelike, and appears to be improving for every figure they use it on.  The body suit has a lot of subtle variations of blacks and greys, stepping up what we saw on the last two Widow releases and keeping her visually interesting.  Widow is packed with two pairs of hands (fists and gripping), her twin batons (which can snap together into one staff), and a pair of tasers to store in her holsters.  I wish the batons could be stowed on her back like in the movie, but beyond that it’s a pretty good assortment of extras.  She also includes the torso of Cull Obsidian, by far the largest piece of him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure had a high bar to clear, since the basic line’s version of her was quite good.  I was expecting to get more milage out of that release before this one came along, but not so much.  This is a very strong figure, perhaps one of Hasbro’s strongest MCU figures, and certainly the best figure of Widow out there.  Now, I’m hoping we get a slight tweak on this one for a proper red-haired variant.

Black Widow was purchased from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  You can visit them in person on Main Street in Ellicott City, MD, or you can view their sizable online catalogue via their online store or their eBay store front!