#2244: Grey Hulk

GREY HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS: VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“Accidentally exposed to gamma radiation, scientist Bruce Banner gains super strength, stamina, and invulnerability…at the cost of his genius!  Dubbed “Hulk,” Banner first transforms only at night before realizing that it’s actually his anger that gives him his super abilities.”

Did you know that the Hulk is only green-skinned because of poor quality print techniques?  If you’re at all familiar with common place comics trivia, then you probably did.  Congratulations, you don’t need me anymore.  But I’m not writing reviews for you, so ah-ha, I’m gonna keep writing anyway.  You can’t stop me!  …Where was I?  Grey Hulk.  Right.  So, Hulk was originally grey, but the comics printing techniques of the ’60s being what they were, getting a consistent grey was very hard to attain, and the end result was a main character that shifted colors multiple times throughout his first appearance.  To avoid further issue, he was made green.  Well, at least until printing techniques improved enough to bring Grey Hulk back  in the ’80s.  Yay, second life for Grey Hulk!  And now he’s an easy action figure variant, hence the coverage here today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grey Hulk is a standalone “80 Years of Marvel” Marvel Legends release, originally intended to be con exclusive (the counterpart to the Retro carded Green Hulk from SDCC), but ultimately re-purposed as another Fan Channel exclusive.  This marks our third Legends Grey Hulk, and the first one since the Fin Fang Foom Series in ’08.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  He uses the same body as the other 80 Years of Marvel Hulk, which isn’t really much of a surprise, since Hasbro generally likes to get some mileage out of a new sculpt.  It helps that it’s a really strong body, and I liked it a lot the first time I looked at it.  This one gets an all-new head, though, since Grey Hulk never sported the lengthy ’70s locks of the prior release, and also tended to have a far more pronounced brow than later incarnations.  It doesn’t make for a very pretty looking figure, but I guess that’s appropriate for someone belted by gamma rays.  Ain’t he unglamorous?  Glamorous or not, it’s certainly a sharp sculpt, and well-suited to the body.  He includes the same torn shirt piece as the prior figure, which is the same set-up as before; it’s not super securely held in place or anything, but looks decent, and can be easily taken off if it’s not your speed.  In my review of the last Hulk, I remarked that his paintwork was surprisingly nuanced.  This figure is a step up even from that.  The skin tone still has some subtle variation to it, but he also gets some very impressive work on his pants, which have that proper broken-in denim appearance to them.  Hulk is armed with a crushed pipe, a fact that package proudly proclaims.  It’s admittedly a pretty fun piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When he was still rumored for a con-exclusive release, I didn’t pay this guy much mind, and I certainly wasn’t planning to jump through any hoops to get him.  When he made the shift to Fan Channel, and therefore became far easier to acquire, I was a much easier mark.  I went in with no real expectations, since he was never going to be my primary Hulk, but he’s honestly a pretty fun figure, and does some cool stuff that the prior release didn’t.

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

#2234: Bullseye

BULLSEYE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A former soldier with perfect aim, Bullseye never misses his mark. From the early days of his career as a costumed criminal, the ruthless assassin has set his sights most often on a single target – Daredevil, the Man Without Fear. Any object – be it pencil, playing card or paper clip – becomes a deadly weapon in the skilled hands of the man who could be the world’s greatest assassin!”

Daredevil has a wonky history with villains.  His most prominent foe, the Kingpin, wasn’t even his villain to start with.  On the flipside, a lot of foes originally introduced in his book would end up getting grabbed by other heroes in the Marvel universe.  He just doesn’t get true claim to anything!  Well, he actually does get full claim to today’s entry, Bullseye, who first appeared in Daredevil’s book in ’76, and has remained attached to the character ever since.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bullseye was released in the 9th Series of Marvel Legends from Toy Biz, a series notable for being the first ever Build-A-Figure centered series of Legends.  Bullseye was one of the two figures in the line-up to get a variant release as well.  The standard release was sporting a pouty closed mouth look, while his variant had a mad grin.  It was…an odd choice, especially given the more drastically different variant from the same series.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 48 points of articulation.  That’s a very high count of articulation, and includes individually articulated fingers.  Toy Biz was definitely articulation mad at this point.  Bullseye was the first figure to use his mold, but he would be far from the last; Toy Biz quickly retooled it into a base body, and it was still in use by Hasbro as late as 2015’s Allfather Series Iron Fist. A decade of use isn’t a bad run.  While it wound up looking rather dated by the end of its run, it was one of Toy Biz’s stronger sculpts…at least the base body, anyway.  The Bullseye-specific parts were a little more of a mixed bag.  The boots and gloves are pretty solid sculpts, but the head on both versions of the figure ended up being too large to properly scale with the rest of the body.  The prototype shots looked fine, so it was clearly some sort of error that cropped up during production.  It’s a shame, because he ends up looking a little goofier than intended because of it.  The two versions of Bullseye had divergent paint schemes, which both had their pluses and minuses.  The standard is a more strict white and black scheme, with just a little bit of accenting to make some parts pop.  However, they slightly messed up the gloves, Leaving the top stripe black instead of white, despite how it’s sculpted.  The variant fixed this issue, but swap out the white and black for a light grey and a gunmetal grey, which, while not a *terrible* look, isn’t nearly as striking as the standard scheme.  Unfortunately, due to the size of the included BaF parts for this line-up, the individual figures went without any figure-specific extras.  He included the left leg of Galactus, as well as a reprinted copy of Daredevil #132, Bullseye’s first appearance.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Both versions of Bullseye were a little tricky to get at first.  I got the standard first, courtesy of finding an untouched case of figures at the local KB Toys.  I was all content to just have that version, but in a bit of luck a few months later happened to find a whole pile of both Series 9 variants hidden at my nearby Walmart.  I like both figures for different reasons, but

#2229: Punisher War Machine

PUNISHER WAR MACHINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“After the fall of War Machine, Frank Castle acquires the highly-weaponized armor and makes it his own.”

Hey, that’s actually a pretty succinct summation of the character in that bio.  Good for Hasbro!  Punisher War Machine is a pretty straight forward concept: you put Frank Castle in the War Machine armor, and boom, there it is.  It’s not like you need a ton of explanation, and quite frankly, it was one of the less out there change-ups to the Punisher status quo.  Guy’s been a freaking Frankenstien; this is nothing.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  It’s not “nothing,” it’s actually a pretty great marketing opportunity, as well as a pretty easy variant for toy makers.  On the high end, we’ve got a Hot Toys version on the way, and on the low end we’ve also got the Legends treatment.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Punisher War Machine is another Fan Channel-exclusive Marvel Legends offering, and is in fact the second version of Frank Castle to be offered in this assortment of figures.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  After getting a few new pieces, even though they may have been minor, this Punisher returns to the straight repaint style for the line-up.  He’s a straight repaint of the surprisingly under-utilized Mk003 War Machine mold from Civil War.  Previously, the mold only got released in a Target-exclusive two-pack, which is a bit surprising given that it was all-new at the time.  The armor isn’t a perfect match for the armor Frank grabbed in the comics; that one was more patterned on the design from IM2, with maybe a bit of AoU thrown in.  I’d guess that it came down to mold availability; the IM2 molds are probably hard to access at this point, and I doubt if anyone really wants a fourth release of the Mk002 mold.  This one is close enough, and honestly one of Hasbro’s best WM molds, at least prior to the Endgame release.  There’s a little bit of limitation to what you can do with the articulation, and the guns, baton, and cannon don’t stay in place quite as securely as I’d like.  Also, he’s from before they got on board with standardizing neck pegs, so his joint’s too small to work with any of the Frank Castle heads (the one I shot for this review is just resting in place).   Overall, though, he’s a very workable figure.  It’s definitely the  slickest War Machine sculpt Hasbro’s produced, and it holds up well even a few years later.  The paintwork on this figure is, of course, where all of the actual changes are.  He’s not terribly far removed from the standard War Machine layout, but gets Frank’s usual skull insignia on the front, plus a few other skulls littered throughout the armor as a kill count.  He also has a little more wear and tear represented than the prior release, showing how hard on the armor Frank’s been.  The only real complaint I have is that they’ve left the helmet pretty much alone, when it should really be sporting a white skull motif on the face plate.  It does undersell the Punisher bit a little.  This figure has the same accessories as the last release of the mold, so he gets a fully engaged version of the baton and an extra set of hands in gripping poses.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like I said in my review of the Endgame War Machine, I never picked up the Civil War figure, and I was always a little regretful of that.  So, I was pretty happy when I found out that this figure would be using the mold, thereby allowing me to add it to my collection.  I’m not the world’s biggest Punisher fan or the world’s biggest War Machine fan, but I can appreciate a lot about this figure.  Ultimately, I’m pretty happy with him.

Punisher War Machine was purchased from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  If your looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2228: X-Force Deathlok

X-FORCE DEATHLOK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The X-Force joins forces with a rogue Deathlok unit to face an army of Deathlok cyborgs.”

Hasbro’s Fan Channel exclusives for Legends began as a few one-off figures and quickly evolved into what essentially is a series of its own, just split up into single releases.  The defining element amongst them is relying heavily on parts re-use, which has certainly led to some eclectic choices.  Who would have thought that we would one day be able to say you could choose between three different Marvel Legends Deathlok figures?  Certainly not me, but hey, here we are.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

X-Force Deathlok is one of the later announcements for the Fan Channel-exclusive Legends releases, and is probably the most odd-ball and out there.  Others were either heavy hitter characters or tweaks of difficult to acquire figures from earlier in the line.  Deathlok is neither of those, being c-list at best, and with a figure released just over a year ago that’s hardly difficult to come by.  Whatever the case, he got another figure.  I guess it’s that X-Force tie; it makes everything easier to sell.  Whatever the case, this figure is based on “Deathlok Prime” from Rick Remender’s run on X-Force, who is apparently a distinct-ish character from previous Deathloks.  How about that?  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is about 99% identical to the previous Deathlok.  The only change between the two is a slight re-working on the upper torso to change the flag on the original to the X-logo seen here.  Beyond that, the two figures are the same.  Honestly, that’s not a bad thing, because it was a great sculpt then, and it’s still a great sculpt now.  The paint marks the real change-ups for this figure.  He goes from the slightly more colorful classic Deathlok to the standard stealthy X-Force colors, but also improves a some of the apps on the exposed skin of the face, giving him a more proper zombified appearance.  Deathlok gets the same two guns as his prior release, pretty much the same in deco, apart from the ammo belt becoming a translucent yellow.  He also gets the shotgun-style rifle from Bishop, which is a solid addition to his arsenal.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really liked the first release of the mold, and I do dig the X-Force sub-set we’ve been getting throughout the last year.  I like having another chance to appreciate this guy, and he’s honestly pretty fun, even if there’s not a lot new going on with him.

Deathlok came from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2211: Punisher

PUNISHER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Frank Castle takes to the streets and delivers brutal vigilante justice as The Punisher.”

I haven’t reviewed a Punisher figure in over a year, which on one hand seems a little weird, but on the other hand is surprisingly frequent for a character I owned exactly one figure of for the first 20 years of my collecting.  Classically, I wasn’t much of a fan of the character.  It wasn’t until he was introduced in Netflix’s Daredevil show that I truly started to appreciate the character. Since then, I’ve gotten quite a few more Punishers, including today’s offering, another Marvel Legends release.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Punisher is another Fan Channel-exclusive Marvel Legends release.  Interestingly, it’s one of two Frank Castles to be included in the Fan Channel line-up of figures, the other being the Punisher War Machine. This one goes for a more gritty, urban look for the character.  Not being super familiar with the character’s comic exploits, I don’t know if it’s a reference to a specific look, or just a slightly more real-world adaptation of his usual design.  It’s a cool look whatever it is.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  While the previous Fan Channel figure have been pretty straight re-decos, Punisher mixes things up a little bit, not by being a new figure, but rather by being a mix of a number of prior figures.  He uses the torso and legs of the Netfilx Punisher, the arms from Scourge, the heads from the Walgreens Punisher, and the vest from the RoML Ultimate Captain America.  It all adds up to a fairly tactical looking take on Frank, especially depending on which head you opt to go with.  I personally feel that if you ditch the vest and give him the head with the headband, he looks a bit like he’s going for a Solid Snake cosplay, which I have no issues with at all.  The paintwork for this guy is rather involved, with camo on the pants, and a rather distressed skull on the torso.  The two heads also get two very different paint schemes.  The slicked back hair head gets skull-styled face paint to match the torso, which is fun, while the headband head gets some serious bags under his eyes, and some pretty intense scruff, making it look like he’s been going for a while.  Of the two I prefer the headband myself, but I love having two diverse options.  In addition to having the two different heads, Punisher is also packed with an assault rifle, a handgun, and a sniper rifle.  All of them are re-used, but they’re pretty nice, and he actually has an easier time holding his weapons than a lot of prior figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In a similar fashion to yesterday’s Wolverine, I wasn’t really sure I needed to get this figure when he was first shown off.  The other Fan Channel figures are a little more on the exciting side, and this guy also had the misfortune of arriving alongside Havok, who definitely got most of the attention.  That being said, I did still like the concept on this guy, and the exectution’s definitely a lot of fun.  I’ve still got a soft spot for that spandex look, but there’s no denying that this is a cool look for Frank.

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

#2210: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Wolverine is a nearly indestructible mutant with a gruff attitude and the formidable skills to back it up.”

There have been no shortage of Wolverine action figures, even when just looking through the narrow lens of Marvel Legends.  In the last year, there have been six separate Legends Wolverines (with a seventh right around the corner).  That places him second only to Spider-Man for Legends releases, which is really quite a bit.  I’d say there’s a little bit of Wolverine overload going on for a good portion of the fanbase, and I definitely include myself in that grouping.  But hey, it’s okay, this one has a new hat!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine was officially the first of the Fan Channel exclusive Marvel Legends, though exactly what order they actually hit in is a little bit fluid.  He was the first one to be shown off, though.  After a number of different costumed variants throughout the year, this one goes for a civilian Wolverine, rocking the jeans and the wifebeater.  But also that hat.  The hat is very important.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  From the neck down, this figure is the same as the Legendary Riders release from last year (which I never picked up), itself a retooling of the Old Man Logan (which I *did* pick up).  It’s really not a bad body, and this particular release is really crisp on the texturing of the shirt and pants, which looks really good.  My figure does have a slight molding issue on his torso, so there’s a little bit of plastic missing at the collar of his shirt.  It’s fairly minor, and confined just to mine, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.  The body’s not the main focus of this release, though.  No, no, we gotta talk about what really matters: the new hat! Yes, Logan’s sporting a cowboy hat, an item he’s frequently seen sporting in the comics, but has largely been absent from his action figure coverage.  It is admittedly a pretty distinctive look, and the head that it’s permanently affixed to isn’t a half bad unmasked Logan either.  I actually really dig the grin; it’s a nice change of pace from the usual growls, screams, and grimaces we get for the character, and yet this is still very true to Logan, especially the more relaxed civilian take we’ve got going here.  Wolverine’s paintwork is fairly decently handled.  He swaps out the white shirt from the Riders release for black, which I think actually looks pretty cool.  Beyond that, it’s fairly standard stuff.  Wolverine is packed with an extra head (the same as the head from the Madripor Wolverine, but without the weird eye stuff), a set of gripping hands without the claws, and the Muramasa blade.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wolverine overload is a thing that’s been plaguing my Legends collecting since Toy Biz first added him to the line in Series 3, and it was the primary reason I didn’t buy the Riders release last year.  With Madripor and X-Force, I almost waffled on this one too, but I like the civilian look enough that he felt worth it.  Ultimately, I do quite like this figure, and I think he’s the best of the 2019 Wolverines.  Sure, he’s another Wolverine, but at least he’s a decent figure in his own right, and I didn’t have to pay for the motorcycle to get this one.

I picked up this Wolverine from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s currently in stock here.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2209: Agent Anti-Venom

AGENT ANTI-VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“After exposure to the Anti-Venom Serum, Flash Thompson becomes the newest incarnation of the anti-hero.”

Back at the beginning of the Infinite Series relaunch of Legends, when Walgreens was dipping their foot in the waters of being a toy-buying destination, their first trial-run exclusive was Agent Venom, a figure that Hasbro had had rattling around their con displays for a little while.  He proved a successful venture, for Walgreens and Hasbro at least, but perhaps a little bit less so for fans, as he never really hit anywhere in truly huge numbers, and Walgreens was still not quite as numerous at the time as it is now.  This, coupled with the general fan-favorite nature of the character, made him slightly pricey on the after market.  Hasbro, ever in the game of trying to give collectors a fair shot at hard to find Legends took advantage of the re-branding of Flash Thompson under the Anti-Venom name from a few years ago, along with a need for some easy parts re-use figures, and has given us another Agent Venom, albeit of the inverted variety.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Agent Anti-Venom is another Fan Channel single Marvel Legends release, much like the Big Time Spider-Man I looked at a few weeks ago.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is identical to the standard Agent Venom from back in 2014.  From a design standpoint, this makes sense, since the looks are just color swaps of each other in the comics.  However, from a toy standpoint, there are some issues that come with this re-use, namely that the underlying body was outdated when the first Agent Venom came out.  The five years since then have only made that more apparent, as a handful of similarly built and far more up-to-date bodies have come into use.  Of course, that would have required some pretty substantial retooling of the Agent Venom-specific parts, which would have then defeated Hasbro’s whole purpose of releasing figures that don’t need any new parts.  I will say that this release has far less rubbery plastic than the first one, which does make him feel better overall.  Additionally, the new paint apps are a lot cleaner in terms of application than the last time around, making for a much slicker looking figure, and showcasing the great strides Hasbro has made in terms of paint since the Infinite Series days.  Agent Anti-Venom is packed with a pair of glocks and a pair of MP5s, as well as the back piece that can hold his weapons for him.  I still feel like he should have 6 guns instead of 4, but at least I was prepared for it this time.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was fortunate enough to get the original Agent Venom release, but a lot of people weren’t, so I wasn’t surprised when this guy was listed amongst the Fan Channel figures.  While I do wish they’d been able to change out the underlying body, I won’t deny that the changes in production quality on this figure do a lot to make him even better than his predecessor, and he’s still a lot of fun.

This guy was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and it’s currently available from their store, here. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2208: Deadpool & Hit-Monkey

DEADPOOL & HIT-MONKEY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The most bodacious team-up this side of Miami: Deadpool & Hit-Monkey make being an internationally feared assassin look easy.”

There’s no denying that Deadpool has popularity and recognition behind him, which makes him an easy pick when it comes to merchandise.  It also makes him useful leverage for getting retailers to support other items, meaning that for every time that we get the likes of yesterday’s Havok and Polaris, we also get the likes of today’s offering, a Deadpool-centric two-pack, pairing him off with one of Marvel’s many attempts at spinning other goofy characters out of Deadpool, Hit-Monkey.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Deadpool and Hit-Monkey are the other half of the Fan Channel-exclusive assortment of Marvel Legends that contained Havok and Polaris, also bearing the “80 Years of Marvel” branding, and clearly meant to capture a more modern piece of Marvel history, though if it’s a reference to a specific comics occurrence, I will admit I’m not familiar with it.

DEADPOOL

There have been quite a few Deadpools in the last two years of Legends, but this one does manage to actually be a little more distinctive, mostly by being in something other than a variation of his standard costume.  This one embraces the vague Miami: Vice theme of the set by sticking Wade in an all-white suit, which is admittedly a pretty striking look for the character.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Wade makes use of the newly re-worked suit body that we got with Nick Fury, which is a pretty decent upgrade on the prior body, and now scales a little bit better with Bucky Cap-sized heads like Deadpool.  Topping off the body, he’s got a selection of three different heads: fully masked, fully unmasked (both from the Juggernaut Series Deadpool), and half-masked.  They make for a nice variety of options, and it’s good to see Hasbro really taking advantage of that bank of existing parts for stuff like this.  Deadpool’s paintwork is pretty straight forward and clean, and keeps with the striking nature of the design.  The reds are very bright, keeping with the Sasquatch and Sauron assortment coloring, which I’m okay with, even if they don’t quite match the Deadpool Corps release from earlier this year.  The unmasked head actually gets pupils this time, and while I myself prefer the prior deco, I do like getting a change-up here.  Deadpool is packed with a solid selection of accessories, which includes two katanas (same as prior DPs), a pink zebra-patterned handgun, a guitar (re-used from Spider-UK, and in a funky Madcap color scheme), headphones (re-used from Star-Lord), a Captain America shield with Deadpool’s face painted on it, and a re-worked RC Silvermane with Headpool in Silvermane’s place.  There’s no new parts in here, but that doesn’t change how impressive it is to get this many extras.

HIT-MONKEY

Not long after Hit-Monkey’s debut in the comics, he found himself chosen as one of Hasbro’s smaller-scale BaFs from the tail end of the pre-Infinite Series Legends.  As with everything from that period, distribution was spotty, making completing him either woefully easy or near impossible, and crafting quite an odd after market.  Whatever the case, I suppose Hasbro felt they should give fans another chance at the character, so here he is.  The figure stands just shy of 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  His sculpt is the same as it was the first time around, which is reasonable enough.  Hit-Monkey’s really only had that one look.  The sculpt is a little bit more stylized than Legends tend to be these days, but for a character like this, that’s honestly not a bad thing.  Given the alternative being the rather bland and off looking Spider-Ham we got last year, I’m more for this.  The figure changes things up from the last release by swapping the color of his suit from black to white, and the tie from blue to red, all in order to match the Deadpool.  Again, no clue if Hit-Monkey’s ever looked like this, but it works out alright for him.  Hit-Monkey includes the same accessories as the first time around: a pair of pistols and a pair of submachine guns.  Not quite as impressive as Deadpool, but two sets of guns is still pretty good.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wanted Havok and Polaris, and this set just sort of came along with them, I suppose.  I wasn’t exactly expecting much of anything from either of them, and that probably worked out in their favor, because it allowed me to really approach them with fresh eyes, and just enjoy them for what they are.  What they are is pretty fun.  It’s a cool look for Deadpool, a second chance at Hit-Monkey, and a boatload of really fun extras between them.

This set was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2207: Havok & Polaris

HAVOK & POLARIS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Originally launched in 1986 as a way to re-unite the original founding five members of the X-Men, X-Factor found itself in a slightly tricky spot when it was decided to fold the founding five back into the main X-team in 1991.  With the X-books at the height of their popularity, Marvel wasn’t looking to just drop one of them entirely, meaning they would need a new roster of characters, but a selection of characters that were not going to be at all claimed by the two main X-books.  This new X-Factor was a government sanctioned team of mutants made up largely of second-string X-Men characters who had been rattling around in the background of the main book for most of the ’80s.  Taking Cyclops and Jean Grey’s role as the romantically-involved core of the team were Cyclops’ brother Havok and his on-again-off-again love interest Polaris, both of whom were recovering from a few bouts of “brainwashed and evil.”  The series would prove quite successful in elevating all of the characters included within, Havok and Polaris among them.  And, with most of the founding ’90s X-Men covered, now Marvel Legends is moving onto X-Factor.  Nice!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Havok and Polaris are one of two Fan Channel-exclusive two-packs of Marvel Legends, loosely built into Hasbro’s celebration of 80 years of Marvel.  This particular set’s packaging is noted as a throwback to the trading cards of the ’90s, which is admittedly a pretty fun, pretty vibrant idea.  I still don’t care what these figures arrive in as long as the toys themselves are good, but I can appreciate Hasbro honoring some of Marvel’s past exploits, and these are certainly a good pair of figures to tie-in with the trading card craze of the ’90s.  Okay, enough about the cardboard that carries these things, onto the figures!

HAVOK

“Alex Summers is an Alpha level mutant with the power to absorb cosmic energy and convert it to plasma.”

I hope you guys are appreciating the calm nature I have maintained up until this point in the review.  Truly I am a master of my own emotions because HOLY CRAP THEY MADE IT THEY ACTUALLY MADE IT THEY MADE A MARVEL LEGENDS HAVOK IN HIS 90S COSTUME AND NOW I HAVE IT AND ITS MINE AND NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT FROM ME…well, I made it pretty far, I guess.  So, as the above shouting on my part may have cued you in, this would be Havok, wearing his attire from the ’90s X-Factor series, or at least a version of it.  The initial X-Factor costumes were designed to play well with the main team costumes from Lee’s X-Men book, but were not quite an exact match, and they also tended to change a little from issue to issue.  Havok’s design seen here is from around the time of the X-Tinction Agenda cross-over, which is when they added the yellow leg-straps to his design.  Given the whole cross-marketing synergy thing of the ’90s, it’s this version of the design that got used for the old Toy Biz figure, appeared on the cartoon, and generally gets picked up if their doing a ’90s Havok anywhere else, so it’s really the one everyone knows.  This is Havok’s third time as a Legend, though he’s never gotten one in this costume.  In fact, this is only the third time we’ve gotten a toy of this costume (there will also be a fourth later this year).  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Like the last Havok and also the Lee-style Cyclops, this figure is built on the Bucky Cap body, which is a sensible enough choice for Alex.  He gets a boatload of new pieces, though, with a new head and arms, plus add-ons for the jacket and belt.  The new pieces are all pretty fantastic, with the jacket and arms in particular really standing out to me, because they just capture that feel of the old 5-inch figure, right down to the overly defined forearms.  I also really like how the jacket clips shut at the front, but can be opened to allow for better use of his mid-torso joint.  I have exactly two complaints about the sculpt, both minor, and only one of them actually new.  The forearms, as nice as they are, do seem to connect a little oddly to the fists.  It feels like there should be a cuff piece there to join them, and that would actually be more accurate to the source material.  Of course, if you’re like me and you have that Madripor Wolverine with his ill-fitting glove cuffs, I would point out that they fit pretty much perfectly on this figure, and greatly improve his already awesome appearance.  My other complaint is kind of a hold over from a prior figure.  Havok re-uses the leg straps from Cyclops, which is sensible from a consistency standpoint, but also means that he’s got the same troubles with them staying in place that figure did.  That said, I’m used to them now, and there are possible fixes, such as gluing them in place, which could help.  Havok’s paintwork is actually quite impressive.  For the most part, it’s fairly basic work all throughout, but there’s some really strong work on the jacket, which does a nice fade from blue to black.  It’s subtle and it really works.  Havok is packed with a pair of effects pieces, which are the same as the ones from his last figure, but in yellow this time.

POLARIS

“Like her father Magneto, Lorna Dane has the mutant ability to control magnetism.”

Okay, so I promise to keep myself a little more reserved on this part.  It’s just Polaris, and much as I love Polaris, she’s not quite a ’90s Havok.  Polaris has had a slightly less fortunate time with action figures over the years, with her first two action figures both being repaints of Rogue figures.  She did get a dedicated Legends release in the Warlock Series, but that one was met with a lot of in-fighting about the costume choice, and ended up hanging around a lot of places, which put a serious question mark on this costume’s release.  Also, unlike Havok, Polaris’ X-Factor design didn’t quite follow the same structured look, so there are more options to choose from.  Hasbro opted to go with her first one for this release, which it’s worth noting is also the one that was on the cartoon, making it a pretty sensible choice.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  She uses the same base body as the last Polaris (yay for internal consistency), but gets a new head, torso, and upper arms, as well as add-ons for her wrist and boot cuffs.  The new parts mesh well with the old, and the torso and arms in particular exhibit a good range of motion, improving upon the standard pieces for his body.  The hair manages to capture the dynamic flow of the illustrations, while not being too restrictive to the movement or weighing her head down too much either.  Polaris’ paint work is nice and vibrant, and in particular I love that bright green they’ve chosen for the hair.  The dullness of the last one was one of my few complaints, and this one ends up looking a lot nice.  Polaris is packed with two sets of hands in open and closed poses, as well as the same effects pieces included with Havok, but this time in green.  I do wish they had come up with some more effects options, especially for two differently powered characters in the same pack, but this has admittedly been an issue since their solo-releases.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Oh boy, was this set a big deal for me.  Frequent readers of the site are no doubt aware that I’m a *pretty* big Havok fan, to the point where I literally own every figure of him (plus six copies of his ’90s figure just on its own).  I’ve been waiting for this particular Havok since before there were any Legends Havok figures at all, and in fact even made my own back in 2005.  I didn’t realize how long I’d be waiting for an official release.  Polaris is somewhat along for the ride, but I was certainly happy to get her too. These two are great releases, and Havok is probably my favorite Legends figure to date.  I’ve been saying that a lot recently, but he’s really good.

These two came from my friends at All Time Toys, who knew enough enough about my Havok craze to give me the heads up on its release.  Yay for me!  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2174: Big Time Spider-Man

BIG TIME SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“After losing his spider-sense, Peter Parker builds new Spider-Armor to protect himself.”

So….like….that bio doesn’t really have anything at all to do with the figure the box contains, but hey, let’s not dwell, right?  Though only a moderate fan, I became a regular reader of the book with issue #648, which was the beginning of Dan Slott’s 250-odd issue run.  I’ve been a fan of Slott’s since his work on She-Hulk, and that was enough to get me on-board.  Slott’s first story line was “Big Time,” which began Peter Parker’s time with Horizon Labs, injecting all sorts of new tech-based stuff into the book.  That translated to quite a few new suits for Spidey, the first of which was his Tron-esque stealth suit, a distinctive design for the character.  It’s cropped up on a number of figures before, including a Legends figure that we all prefer not to talk about.  But now it’s also a Legends figure that we can all be okay with talking about!  Yay!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Big Time Spider-Man is our second “Fan Channel” Marvel Legends release.  Essentially, the “Fan Channel” releases are an assortment of figures largely constructed out of re-used parts, all offered up one at a time only through non-big-box stores (although Amazon is also carrying them).  The set was kicked off by a Wolverine variant, with Spidey following his lead.  As I touched on in the intro, this figure is Spidey’s first suit from “Big Time,” which has been offered up as a Legends figure one time before, but that particular was on the receiving end of all sorts of really messy issues, resulting in a rather disappointing release.  This one moves the design to the Pizza Spidey body, which has become the new gold-standard for Spider-Men.  Structurally, this figure is identical to the Black Costume Spidey also built on this body.  It’s sensible, given that the two designs really aren’t far removed from each other.  There’s no real call for new parts, and this way you know it’s all going to be pretty solid.  The main distinguishing factor is of course the paint.  Firstly, as you may note, he’s green, meaning that the suit is in its camo mode.  There were other chromatic settings as well, but green is always the one we get as a toy.  You’ll hear no complaints about that from me.  Since the lines are technically meant to be glowing, the prior release attempted to do sort of a painted haze, which unfortunately backfired horrifically.  For this one, Hasbro has wisely chosen to play it safe, and just gone for a straight flat green color.  It’s a striking appearance, as this design should be.  Big Time Spidey is accessorized with the full complement of extra hands for this body, as well as a webline piece.  It’s nice to see the hands return fully here, given the absence of the full set from all of the Pizza-based figures in the last year, and it gives me hope that Hasbro realizes how silly it is to not include them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I love this design, like a whole lot.  It’s quite possibly my favorite Spider-Man costume ever.  So, I’m all about it in toy form…well, except for that previous Legends figure.  That thing was so hideous that I just couldn’t ever bring myself to own it, which made me kinda sad, honestly.  Since the introduction of the Pizza Spidey body, I’ve been hoping to see an updated version, and I was thrilled to see him show up here.  There’s not really much new to this figure, but he’s still a ton of fun, and a good showcase of what you can do with a solid selection of re-used parts and a good paint job.

Big Time Spidey came from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.