#2678: Prowler

PROWLER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Equipped with an armored suit and gadget-filled wrist gauntlets, Marvel’s Prowler pursues his enemies under the cover of darkness.”

The Prowler is a relatively early Spider-Man villain, appearing in 1969, and also an early entry in two of Marvel’s favorite things to do with villains: reforming and replacing.  Hobie Brown was the original Prowler, and was ultimately not so bad a guy, eventually becoming one of Spidey’s allies after retiring from his villainous past.  However, the Prowler identity didn’t end with Hobie, and he wound with a few successors as the years went on.  The one that stuck the best wasn’t even truly a successor, but a full-on reboot, when the Ultimate universe’s version of the Prowler was revealed to be Miles Morales’ Uncle Aaron.  This development served as the basis for the character’s appearance in Into the Spider-Verse, which boosted the identity into more of the public consciousness, and has helped to further cement Aaron as the Prowler.  And now he’s got a Legends release to help with that.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Prowler is figure four in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends, and is the final Spider-Verse themed figure this time around.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Prowler’s construction follows in Gwen’s footsteps, re-using some of the older base body parts, albeit with a twist.  He’s officially Bucky Cap adjacent, using the pelvis and hips from that body, as well as the related, but altered torso from Dr. Strange, as well as the similarly related but altered upper arms from Shatterstar.  As we saw on Gwen’s legs, the Shatterstar arms have been tweaked to remove the visible pins around the elbows.  The pattern of the wrinkles on the sleeves is the same, however, so they’re using at the very least the same CAD files.  In addition to the re-used and tweaked parts, Prowler gets a healthy amount of new pieces as well, including the head, forearms, hands, legs, and add-ons for the cape and belt.  The end result is a little bulkier in terms of build than Prowler was in the film.  However, he was still definitely bulkier than Peter or Miles in the movie, so it’s not terribly far off.  He does also inherit some of the issues of the re-used parts, most notably the iffy shoulder and elbow movement from the Shatterstar arms.  The new cape piece also doesn’t *quite* peg in correctly, causing it to pop free a lot, and making it a little bit of a pain when posing.  That said, the posability on the new parts, especially the legs, is really smooth, and there’s a very nice range.  The paint work on this guy is pretty decent.  Fairly straight forward in terms of the color work and such, but it looks pretty slick, and matches well with his movie appearance.  The biggest let-down for me on this guy is definitely the accessories, or more accurately the lack of them.  He’s got the right arm and an extra hand for Stilt-Man, and a briefcase with money in it, also for Stilt-Man, since Prowler’s hands are too big for the handle.  There are no extra parts for Prowler himself, which is a bummer, because I was at least hoping for an extra unmasked Uncle Aaron head, if not also some extra hands.  As it stands, he definitely feels the lightest of this assortment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Prowler’s always been one of those characters that I don’t mind owning as a toy, but I also don’t feel an undying need to own.  While I liked him well enough in the movie, he was undoubtedly lower on my list than the various Spiders.  So, I wasn’t quite as pumped for this particular release.  Of course, that ended working to his benefit, I think, because I didn’t have much in the way of expectations.  He’s not the star of the assortment, and I do wish he’d gotten a few more accessories, but he does manage to get the look down pretty well, and I do quite like the new parts.  Overall, not a bad release.

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

#2677: Peter B. Parker

PETER B. PARKER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Peter B. Parker mentors Miles Morales, an all-new Spider-Man, to understand the importance of power and responsibility.”

Up until Into the Spider-Verse, Spider-Man movies always had Peter Parker as their lead, and typically a younger version of Peter at that.  Even the comics version of “Spider-Verse” had the mainstream Peter Parker as its central Spider-Man.  So, it was a bit of a shift when the movie’s version of Peter was aged up and moved into the role of mentor for Miles.  It ended up working very well, of course, and gave us a Peter that was consistent with prior incarnations, while still offering up something audiences hadn’t really seen before.  It also gave us a Peter with a lot of kind of goody and distinctive variants on his usual Spidey costume, which are really just ripe for toy treatment, aren’t they?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Peter B. Parker is figure 3 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends, the third of the four Spider-Verse figures included.  Like Miles, Peter has several notable looks over the course of the film.  This figure goes for his appearance when he first encounters Miles.  It’s definitely distinctive, and matches Miles in terms of theme, even if it doesn’t quite match up in terms of actual interaction.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  In terms of posability, Peter’s a little more stiffer than Miles and Gwen.  There’s still a good range, but the joints can be a bit tight, and the rather thin limbs can make them a little tricky to get posed.  Also, on my figure, the neck keeps wanting to come out of the torso.  Ultimately, I think this will loosen up over time, but it’s definitely tricky right out of the gate.  And, like Miles, he’s got a little trouble standing, so it takes some more careful posing to get it done.  Peter’s sculpt is all-new (though, as with Miles, I wouldn’t be shocked to see some of these parts get used for a more fully suited Peter down the line), and it’s a pretty great recreation of his animation model from the movie.  The head really nails the disheveled appearance of Peter in the movie, and I love the sort of out of it smile he’s got.  Even the sweat pants and the mismatched shoes look great, and really sell that hastily assembled appearance.  The paint work on this guy is pretty well rendered.  The basic color work is largely handled via molded plastic, but the paint application that is there is pretty clean.  There’s a lot of detailing going on on the face (though I did notice a bit of variation from figure to figure on the stubble), which matches up pretty well with the movie, and they’ve even included smaller details like all of the buttons on his jacket.  I’m still iffy on the total lack of paint for the weblines on what we can see of his costume, but it does mean he matches Spider-Ham.  Additionally, since he’s not supposed to go with the comics style figures, per se, the change isn’t as drastic as it was on, say, 6-Arm Spider-Man.  In terms of accessories, Peter makes out probably the best of the three Spiders, with a second head with the mask on the top of his head, plus three sets of hands (ungloved, and gloved in fists and thwipping), and his fast food beverage.  The lack of a fully masked head lends credence to a full-suited version coming later, and I do like the beanie style look they’ve given him here, as well as the fact that he’s got a slightly changed up facial expression.  They’ve changed up the neck joint, however, making the ball for this one much smaller than usual, meaning it’s a different construction even from Miles.  Not entirely sure why they moved away from the standardizing for these two figures, but hopefully it’s a) just a fluke and b) any further variants of these two characters will at least remain internally consistent.  The hands are a decent mix, with the ungloved ones in particular being designed for use with the drink, which is itself my personal favorite of the accessories included.  In addition to his own accessories, Peter also gets the head for the Build-A-Figure Stilt-Man.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Schlubby Peter is one of the movie’s most distinctive visuals, right next to “What’s Up Danger?” Miles, so he was definitely a design I was wanting to see in some form, especially when the more basic lines completely left it out.  I was definitely down for his inclusion in Legends, and he was another figure I was really looking forward to.  Ultimately, I do wish his posing wasn’t quite as stiff, but beyond that he’s pretty awesome, and definitely a figure I’m glad I have.

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

#2676: Gwen Stacy

GWEN STACY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Intelligent and quick-witted, Gwen Stacy has a sharp sense of humor and is a natural leader.”

While Into the Spider-Verse was a rather loose adaptation of the Spider-Verse crossover in terms of most of its elements, one piece it did lift essentially wholesale was the super-heroic version of Gwen Stacy, affectionately known as “Spider-Gwen,” whose role and background are effectively the same for the purposes of the story.  Admittedly, she’s a pretty great concept, so it’s hard to blame them for keeping her more or less the same.  And, as part of the film’s main trio of protagonists, it’s also hard to blame them for pushing her when it comes to the toys.  She’s no stranger to Legends at this point, but one more certainly can’t hurt, can it?  However, we’re not *just* talking about Gwen here, are we?  No, of course not, because Gwen doesn’t actually come packed on her own!  Following the lead of the Hot Toys figure (I guess; is it still following the lead if your product beats the “lead” by, like, a year?), Gwen gets packed in with fellow Spider, Spider-Ham, another character not too terribly changed for the movie.  What a pair they are!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gwen and Spider-Ham collectively represent figure 2 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends, and are the second piece of the four figure Spider-Verse tie-in for the line.  Though both characters are included, this is definitely being billed as a Gwen figure with a Spider-Ham pack-in, and less as a proper two-pack.  As such, Gwen is a more proper figure, standing 5 3/4 inches tall and sporting 29 points of articulation.  She’s in her main costumed look from the movie, since she’s got less looks than Miles, and this is the one that she spends most of her time in anyway.  Structurally, this figure winds up having a lot in in common with the last two Spider-Gwens.  Unlike Miles, for whom the straight repaint from the two pack was pretty far off the mark, Gwen’s design falls a little more in line with the traditional base bodies for the line, so the re-use is a little more excusable.  That doesn’t mean she’s all re-use, though, as the head, upper torso, hood, and lower legs are all new pieces, with the aim of making her that much more film accurate.  Additionally, her legs have been modified to remove the visible pins on either side of the knee, brining her in line with the rest of the modern sculpts.  It’s minor, but much appreciated.  The head and hood are separate pieces, but not as easily separated from each other as earlier versions.  The hood hangs a touch closer to the masked head than it does in the film, but the general appearance works pretty well, and fits the overall clean aesthetic.  The new upper torso slims and streamlines the figure a bit further, again bringing her more in line with that animated look.  It’s pretty basic, but it gets the job done.  The new legs give Gwen her ballerina shoes from the film, one of the more notable design changes from the source material.  I also found that these new feet made the figure a little more stable when standing, which I definitely appreciated.  Gwen’s paintwork is pretty basic, and does suffer from a few spots of fuzziness.  It is, however, a notable improvement on the prior Gwen figure, and just generally pretty good overall.  It is lacking the pattern on the black sections, but given they’re black, this detail isn’t too obviously missing.  Gwen gets an extra unmasked head, a hood pulled down, and two pairs of hands in both fists and thwipping poses.  The unmasked head is actually my preferred of the two heads included, and is a very spot-on recreation of Gwen’s design from the movie, with a solidly rendered paint job to boot.  I was very happy about both sets of hands being included, since the last Gwen only got one of each style.  Gwen is also packed with the torso for the Stilt-Man Build-A-Figure, and, of course, Spider-Ham.

Spider-Ham himself is more figurine than figure.  He’s 2 1/2 inches tall and has a single point of articulation, that being a ball joint at his neck. He is otherwise limited to the hands on his hips pose he’s sculpted into.  Given the build and size of the character, this isn’t the worst thing, because it at least allows him to keep his look alright aesthetically.  One of the biggest issues with the single release Spider-Ham was that, worse than his lack of general movement was how badly worked in the articulation was into the sculpt.  At least in this case, he’s just not mobile from the start.  This results in the sculpt being fairly film accurate, and it also results in a figure that’s better scaled to his compatriots.  And sure, he’s got sculpted webbing again, but it’s at least recessed instead of raised, making it easier to fix the lack of painted lines this time if you were so inclined.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m a big fan of the Spider-Gwen design, and I appreciated the changes they made for the animated version.  I’ve actually looked at the two pack version a few times, and been quite tempted by it, but it’s quick jumps in price and lack of a properly updated unmasked head held me back.  I was quite pleased to see her shown off with the rest of the set, though I’ll admit I didn’t give her quite as much thought as some of the others in the set, given her general similarities to the prior figures.  In hand, I really like how this figure turned out, and she’s actually my favorite of the Spider-Verse set.  Plus, this gives me another shot at Spider-Ham, whose single release greatly disappointed me.  Sure, this one isn’t his own standalone thing, but that also means I didn’t end up dropping full price for him either, which certainly makes him a lot easier to enjoy.

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

#2675: Miles Morales

MILES MORALES

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A Brooklyn native and just 13 years old, Miles Morales is a Spider-Man unlike any we’ve ever seen before.”

Released in late 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a pretty big success, both financially and critically, being perhaps Sony’s best translation of the Spider-Man mythos to the big screen.  It helped a lot that it was the first Spider-Man movie not to retread on more or less the same story we’ve seen many times before, in part due to the fact that this film’s focus wasn’t on Peter Parker, but was instead centered on Miles Morales, who had as of that point not gotten any sort of cinematic treatment.  Due to the film being produced outside of Marvel, and therefore being subject to some slightly different licensing, the toy tie-ins at the time were rather on the light side.  We got some basic figures, and one pack of re-decoed Legends that weren’t even really movie accurate.  Demand for something more faithful was definitely there, however, and now, 2 1/2 years after the fact, the movie’s starting to get some proper toy love.  I’m kicking things off today with the movie’s main character, Miles Morales!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Miles is figure 1 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s the first Spider-themed assortment of this year, and four of its six figures (seven if you count the Build-A-Figure) are based on Into the Spider-Verse.  Miles has a handful of looks over the course of the film, but this figure is based on his look from the “What’s Up Danger?” sequence, where Miles first suits up before the film’s big climactic battle.  It was the look used for a lot of the advertising, and in the teaser trailer, and it’s also part of what is probably the film’s signature moment.  Plus, it’s just a cool look.  So, that all adds up to it being a very nice choice for Spider-Verse Miles’ first proper figure.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme for this guy goes for Hasbro’s general “less is more” sort of feeling they’ve been aiming for as of late, where there are less joints, but they wind up with an overall greater range of motion that makes the figure easier to pose, but also doesn’t hurt the aesthetics quite as much.  Miles is an all-new sculpt, so there’s no parts shared with any of his prior figures.  After the last “Spider-Verse” figure was just a strict, and quite frankly rather inaccurate, repaint of the comic style Miles, a totally unique sculpt is certainly called for.  It’s a pretty good match for the animation film from the movie, with one notable, but fairly excusable exception.  As with all of the other merchandized versions of this design, Miles’ shoes aren’t the Nikes he was sporting in the movie, but rather a more generic sort of sneaker.  Obviously, the additional licensing fee isn’t really going to be worth it for a figure on this scale, so it’s a sensible choice.  They’re a little less sneaker, and a little more boot looking on this figure, but ultimately, they get the idea across.  Otherwise, the sculpt is quite faithful, down to the really scrawny nature of the limbs.  In the case of the legs, this does make him a little more difficult to keep standing, but not impossibly so.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these parts, notably that masked head and the torso, show up on a fully-suited Miles at some point down the line.  Miles’ paint work is generally pretty basic.  A lot of the colors are molded plastic (aided by the separate construction of a lot of the pieces), but there’s some base color work in a few spots.  There’s some fuzziness on the edges of the red parts, and one of the fisted hands on mine has a spot of missing paint, but generally he doesn’t look too bad.  Miles has a decent selection of parts, including an alternate unmasked head and two sets of hands (fists and thwipping).  The head’s a close match to his animated appearance, though the hair does seem just a touch short for proper accuracy.  Also, each of the heads gets its own ball joint, rather than there just being one in the neck, as is the usual way of handling things.  It swaps just fine, but it does mean there’s no chance of swapping this head onto other bodies.  The hands are useful, but I still lament the fact that we aren’t getting the open gesture hands with Spider-Men anymore; it would really go well with this particular design for replicating the skyscraper scene.  Alas, I’ll just have to make do with the two sets we got.  Miles also gets the shoulder gear from the Build-A-Figure Stilt-Man.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really enjoyed Into the Spider-Verse and was quite disappointed by the lackluster tie-ins at the time.  We’ve been slowly seeing some proper stuff show up, with both Hot Toys and MAFEX getting in on the game, but they’re on the higher end, which sort of puts off the idea of getting the whole team of spiders from the movie.  Legends was definitely my preferred medium, and I was pretty excited when Hasbro announced these figures.  Miles getting this design first really works for me, and it makes for a very impressive and distinctive looking figure, and certainly one of the coolest Miles figures out there.

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