#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.

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#2173: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Genius industrialist and inventor Tony Stark creates a suit of armor for himself, powered by the arc reactor in his chest, becoming the hero, Iron Man.”

When I opened up my last 6-inch-scaled Classic Iron Man review of the year, back in February, I remarked that a re-do of Tony’s classic armor hadn’t crossed Hasbro’s list for Marvel Legends just yet.  Well…I was wrong as you can see.  A week later, they unveiled the figure I’m looking at today, which just makes me look good and foolish, doesn’t it?  Well, if looking good and foolish means that I get a cool new Iron Man figure, I guess I won’t complain so much about it.  Best not to look a gift horse in the mouth and all that.  So, hey, let’s look at this here Iron Man, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is the second of the two single-packed “80 Years of Marvel” Legends figures. Like Thor, he’s available at mass retail and ships in a case all to himself.  He’s based on Tony’s classic armor, which is the one he wore for the better part of 20 years, making it a natural choice for a celebration of Marvel’s history.  It’s a look that’s never too far from the line.  Toy Biz, of course, kicked off the line with their take on it, which was kind of the gold standard for a while.  Hasbro themselves have tackled this design before, with a two-pack release in ’07, and then a repaint of that sculpt in ’13.  Both of those sculpts are definitely products of their times, though, and another go seems appropriate.  This figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Iron Man is an all-new sculpt, and oh boy is it a nice one.  This one takes the general larger size of the original Toy Biz figure, and gives it the slightly better proportions of the first Hasbro attempt, and the end result is something that looks a fair bit more human, but also still looks like it could conceivably house a human being.  It’s also our first comics Iron Man in a bit that’s not completely dwarfed by all of the Captain America figures Hasbro’s offering.  While there’s a bit of a theme to the trinity of Avengers released here being based on the art of Alex Ross, Iron Man takes a bit of a deviation, at least in regards to how he is straight out of the box.  The head he comes wearing doesn’t actually follow Ross’s take (which is itself a bit of a deviation from usual illustrations), and instead goes for a more standard “classic” Iron Man head, representing his helmet post horns and rivets, going for that nice, sleek 70s style.  I’d hasten to say it’s the best rendition of this helmet we’ve gotten on an action figure.  There’s a second helmeted head, which is more directly based on Ross’s illustrations, which draw a little more inspiration from the time when Tony added a nose to the helmet in the mid-70s, all because Stan Lee made some one off remark about some of the art coming back.  While I certainly appreciate the aim to more closely capture the Ross art, and I like Ross’s work on the page, I don’t really know that the helmet translates all that well into an action figure.  Iron Man’s paintwork continues the trend we saw with Thor and Cap, where it’s a little more subdued in its coloring than other figures from the main line.  It’s a little less noticeable with Iron Man, since metallic colors aren’t too out of the ordinary for him, even on a classic-inspired figure.  It certainly looks clean and sleek, which is always what you want with this particular design.  Iron Man is packed with one more head, this time unmasked.  It again follows the Ross stylings, which means that it’s a Tony Stark that’s heavily modeled on Timothy Dalton.  Honestly, it’s something of a Legends tradition, so I’m all about it.  It’s technically a little large to properly fit within the helmeted head, but I don’t mind too much, because it’s really just so nice.  Iron Man is also packed with two sets of hands in fists and repulser hand poses, as well as two repulser effects pieces, which take a page out of the Siege playbook and can be broken down into three separate pieces each.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I love me some classic Iron Man, and I really wanted a solid version for my Legends shelf, enough so that I was willing to go outside of Legends for the Mezco version.  As it turns out, that one was more of a place holder for this guy.  I honestly didn’t expect Hasbro to turn him around so quickly, but I’m really glad they did.  I dug the Mezco version for what it was, I dug the Toy Biz version for being as cool as it was for the time, but this is my definitive Iron Man.  There’s just so much I like about this figure, and he’s got to be one of Hasbro’s most cleanly put together sculpts.  I hope we can at least see a Stealth variant, because I love this sculpt so much.  Definitely the highlight of the three 80th singles, and that’s coming from someone who loved Cap and Thor a lot as well.

I picked up Iron Man 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.

#2172: Thor

THOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Back in the early days of Marvel Legends, Thor figures weren’t the most common things to crop up.  He did manage to get two figures over the course of the Toy Biz days, but the early run of Hasbro only added one more, due to him being dead for a while at the time.  Since the return of Legends, his figures have been more of the modern persuasion; our last classic Thor was 12 years ago.  Fortunately, Hasbro’s paying tribute to a lot of classic designs, courtesy of their celebration of Marvel’s 80th anniversary, and Thor got in on some of that classic love.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is one of the two widely released single-packed “80 Years of Marvel” Legends figures, shipped in solid cases of himself.  As noted above, this Thor is the classic version of the character, and is designed to match up with the Walmart-Exclusive Cap from earlier this year, being loosely patterned on Alex Ross’s illustrations of the main trio of Avengers.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Thor is sporting an all-new sculpt, and it’s a sculpt that, more than anything Hasbro has done in this line, feels like it’s specifically designed to replace the Toy Biz Giant Man Series Thor, which was the pinnacle of Toy Biz Thors.  It makes sense, I suppose, since for most collectors, that’s the figure this one’s going to be directly competing with anyway, given just how long it’s been since our last classic Thor.  Whatever the case, this sculpt is very, very nice.  It’s clean, and bold, and captures the appropriate aesthetic of the classic comics design, while still managing to work in some smaller details on the costume to help sell it as an actual cloth costume, and not just something that’s painted on.  In particular, I really like the seam running down the center of his tunic, as well as the wrinkles in his tights on his legs.  Those add some nice realism to the figure.  Unlike every comic Thor since the ROML release, this one doesn’t feel oversized when compared to his compatriots.  He’s still got some bulk on him, but he’s not inhuman in scale.  Thor’s got a sculpted cape, which Hasbro’s gone with a dynamic flow for.  It continues the pleasant trend of Hasbro turning in some really solid capes; it’s got enough pose to it to be fun with action poses, but not enough to look too weird when he’s just standing at attention.  It’s also not too overly heavy, so he can stand alright on his own.  Thor’s paintwork is very similar in styling to the Cap figure, as you might well expect.  Application is clean and crisp, and all of the important details are covered, but it’s worth noting that the colors are ever so slightly subdued when compared to other “classic” figures.  It’s certainly not a bad look, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hasbro had a more classically hued re-release in mind somewhere down the line.  Thor is packed with Mjolnir, which like its user is an all-new, far less ridiculously sized sculpt.  The length of the handle surprised me at first, because I’ve become accustomed to the longer handles we’ve been getting, but this actually works pretty well, and I love how “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” looks on the face of it. In addition to the hammer, Thor also has two different left hands, one in a fist and one in open gesture.  It’s definitely a lighter selection than I’d expected based on the other two he pairs with and his higher price point, but I suppose it’s the sizing that’s supposed to make up for that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As beautiful as he was, I never found the old Walmart Thor, nor was I much of a fan of the version that preceded it.  My Legends Thor was the armored one from the Blob Series, until he was replaced by the Marvel Now variant a few years ago.  I liked that figure a lot, but he wasn’t a classic Thor, and my Avengers have been skewing more and more classic all the time.  This figure finally makes classic Thor readily available again, and I have to say, he’s a very nicely rendered version.  Definitely the nicest Legends Thor out there, possibly just the best Thor figure you can get.  I do wish he wasn’t so light on accessories, but that’s the only thing I can hold against him.

I picked up Thor 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.

#2166: Cyclops

CYCLOPS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“He has protected Earth against it, now, Cyclops wields the Power of The Phoenix Force!”

There was a time, believe it or not, when Marvel Legends wasn’t the toy power house it is now.  In fact, the Infinite Series re-branding of the line came about because retailers had no interest in carrying Marvel Legends in its then-current state.  In 2013, Hasbro dipped their feet into the waters of comic assortments that tied in with the movies out in theatres.  While the Iron Man 3 tie-in was able to get its six figures out, the assortment meant to tie-in with The Wolverine wouldn’t prove quite so lucky.  Despite the figures starting to go into production, mass retail interest was too small to support the line.  Ultimately, the line-up was reduced from six to four and distributed via Diamond Distributors, making it one of the rarest Legends assortments ever (really rivaled only by the Toys R Us-exclusive X-Men assortment from the following year).  Today, I’m looking at the Cyclops from that line-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cyclops was released in the fall of 2013, in the aforementioned Wolverine assortment of Marvel Legends, which would end up being the final set of figures released in the Return of Marvel Legends-style packaging.  The bio may have clued you in to the fact that Cyclops was originally one half of a pair of swap figures, the other half being the cancelled Phoenix Force Cyclops figure.  This Cyclops represented his most current design at the time of its release, based on the Chris Bachallo reworking of his Astonishing X-Men design.  It stuck around for a fair chunk of time, making it a solid choice for toy treatment.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Cyclops is built on the Bucky Cap body.  Though not all that groundbreaking now, what with five other Cyclops on this exact body, this figure is notable for being the very first figure to place Cyclops on this base body.  He gets a new head and left hand; the head would see re-use on the ANAD Cyclops from the following year, and the hand’s been re-used on all but one Cyclops since.  They’re both pretty nice pieces, and I can dig the head’s slightly older look for Scott than other releases. He also avoids the dreaded Hasbro face, which is always a plus with these early run figures.  Cyclops’ paintwork is a bit of a mess; Hasbro hadn’t yet made their strides to correct that.  It’s not *awful*, but there’s some noticeably slop around the edges of his visor.  Additionally, some of the yellow application is a bit inconsistent, which makes for a slightly sub-par appearance.  Like I said, it’s not awful, but it’s not as good as some more recent figures.  Cyclops had no accessories for himself, but was originally packed with the arms for the Build-A-Figure Puck.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was still not fully invested in Legends when this line-up dropped, and I was certainly not into it enough to bother tracking down hard to find figures.  By the time I was back into Legends full time, he was rather pricey on the aftermarket.  He’s been on the back burner for me, especially with so many different options for Cyclops at the moment.  That said, when one got traded into All Time Toys loose a couple of months back, I seized my opportunity and picked him up for a reasonable price.  Compared to the figures that would come later, he’s perhaps not as technically impressive, but I definitely dig him for what he is, and I’m always happy to add another Cyclops to my collection.

#2165: Hulk vs. Wolverine

HULK VS. WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

First debuting on the final page of The Incredible Hulk 180, and then making his proper first appearance in the following issue, Wolverine was designed from the very beginning with the intent of spinning him out of the Hulk’s series, though the decision to join him up with the X-Men would come a bit later.  Though Wolverine and the Hulk have largely become separate entities entirely, they still do have the occasional run-in as a throw-back, and their first battle has definitely become one of Marvel’s most memorable moments.  Fitting then that Hasbro would commemorate the meeting in their “80 years of Marvel” sub-line of Marvel Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk and Wolverine are one of the two comic-based “80 Years” two-packs, each of which pairs off one smaller figure with one Build-A-Figure sized figure.  The two figures here are more or less patterned on their appearnces in Hulk #181, albeit filtered through the line’s already established style.  Interestingly, while this is hardly our first time getting a first appearance Wolverine, this *is* the first time he’s been packed with a Hulk.  Kinda crazy.

HULK

“Powered by gamma radiation, the incredible, rage-filled Hulk smashes his way through any challenge and clobbers any enemy.”

While we’ve had a decent number of Legends Hulks in recent years, but they’ve mostly been movie-based.  Overlooking 2015’s Indestructible Hulk (which was a repainted movie figure), our last proper comics Hulk was the Ed McGuinness Hulk from the fan’s choice packs in 2010.  It’s about time for some updating.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  This Hulk uses a newly-implemented body, which has already technically seen use on two exclusive Hulks, but was designed for this figure.  Given the various larger bodies we’ve gotten for some recent Build-a-Figures, I was expecting to see some sort of reuse, but I’m not unhappy to get the new body, especially since it gives Hulk butterfly shoulders, something you don’t usually see on larger figures, and definitely a huge plus when it comes to posing.  The general design of this figure’s sculpt is very reminiscent of Hulk’s ’70s design aesthetic, rather than more recent roided out takes on the character.  The figure includes a torn up shirt as an add-on; while he didn’t sport this while fighting Wolverine, it was a common place item for him to be wearing.  It’s held in place only by gravity and perhaps the back of his head, depending on how you have him posed, meaning that it’s also very easily removed if it’s not your speed.  The paint on Hulk is fairly nuanced in its application, with the skin in particular showing some really solid work on the accenting.  There’s a slightly lighter green hue which shows itself throughout all of the exposed skin.  Hulk is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, one in open gesture.

WOLVERINE

“A super-powered agent of the Canadian government, the Wolverine is a skilled fighter with razor sharp claws and a fierce temper.”

In his first appearance, Wolverine was sporting a wildly different mask than the one he would have for the rest of his career.  He was meant to keep it, but Gil Kane accidentally changed it for the cover of Giant-Size X-Men #1, and interior artist Dave Cockrum decided he liked it enough to keep as the character’s permanent look, thereby making this particular design more of a novelty then anything.  It’s gotten one Legends release before, courtesy of Toy Biz’s Face Off sub-line, but it was due for an update.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. This Wolverine is built on the same upgraded body as he last few, with a new head and shoulderpads to more properly capture the earlier design.  They’re sufficiently different enough from the normal pieces to make him stand out as his own variant, which is always a good thing.  For his color scheme, Wolverine very closely matches the brighter colors of his initial appearance, again giving him a nice standout appearance from other Wolverine figures, especially the tiger-stripe Wolverine.  The figure is packed with hands with and without his claws, which weren’t 100% retractable at the time of his first appearance, but are still a nice extra to have.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With all the announcements for the 80 Years sub-line floating about, this one got a little buried for me.  I knew it was coming, but I never really had the chance to focus in on it.  Its arrival was also jammed in alongside several other Legends releases, but I was happy enough to get it.  The Hulk is the definite star here, and will serve as the definitive version of the character for most collectors, myself included.  They really brought their A-game for him.  Wolverine’s more of a place holder to justify the larger set, but I can’t complain about getting him, nor can I say he’s not a good figure.  He’s formula, but it’s a good formula.

I grabbed this pair 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.

#2156: Wendigo

WENDIGO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Based on a centuries old legend, the Wendigo was introduced into the Marvel Universe in the pages of The Incredible Hulk in 1973, and is a concept that has rattled around the background of the ‘verse pretty much the whole time since.  Though not incredibly prominent in its own right, it’s been on the periphery of a number of important events, including the introduction of a certain pint-sized, blade-wielding Canadian.  Being closely related with two of Marvel’s heavy hitters has translated to a decent number of toys for the character, including today’s offering!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Wendigo is the Build-A-Figure for the, you guessed it, Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the Wendigo’s second time as a Legends release; the first was during Hasbro’s earlier tenure with the line, and was a single-packed figure rather than a Build-A-Figure.  Being an earlier Hasbro release, the quality wasn’t quite there, but he was admittedly part of Hasbro’s best assortment pre-relaunch, so he wasn’t terrible for his time.  The figure stands 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  The Wendigo shares a good portion of its pieces with last year’s Sasquatch Build-A-Figure, which is a pretty sensible choice of parts re-use.  The Wendigo has been portrayed a number of different ways over the years, so matching it to Sasquatch ends up working out alright, given the slightly more modern take on the character.  He has a new head, right hand, pelvis (w/ tail), and feet.  The new pieces mix well with the old, and to the un-informed you might not even realize he was mostly a re-used figure, given how well the two sets of pieces mix.  Wendio’s paintwork is a pretty decent selection of accent work, which is good because otherwise he’d just be straight white.  The blue accents can always be a tricky prospect, but they actually don’t look all that bad on this figure, and I also really like how they’ve handled the work on the face.  Definitely some of the better paintwork Hasbro’s put out recently, and that’s actually saying something given how much they’ve improved in recent months.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Completing the Wendigo figure sort of just happened as a side effect of buying all of the figures that added up to him, and less out of specifically wanting to build him.  Like, I wasn’t turned off by the prospect of getting a Wendigo, but he wasn’t high on my list.  He’s honestly a pretty good figure, truth be told, and timing him to arrive right around the Wolverine and Hulk 2-pack was smart on Hasbro’s part.

As a whole, this line-up of Legends figures was a slow burn for me.  I got Nightcrawler, the only figure I absolutely had to have, a couple of weeks before the others, and genuinely toyed with whether I needed the rest of the line-up at all, before ultimately picking them up.  None of the other figures are must-haves for me, and after Nightcrawler, the one I likely would have been the most excited for (Cannonball) was also the one that feels the most truncated and un-finished.  The others are all pretty solid figures, truth be told, and without any pre-conceived notions or expectations, they’re actually all pretty strong figures.

#2155: Mr. Sinister

MISTER SINISTER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

A scientific genius with evil intentions, Nathaniel Essex genetically alters his human form to become the shape-shifting telepath known as Mister Sinister.”

When the X-Men were in need of a new big bad and Apocalypse wasn’t quite ready for the task, we got Mister Sinister!  Okay, yes, that’s quite an over-simplification of the character, but, like so many X-Men characters of his time period, there wasn’t much to over simplify for a good chunk of his time in the spotlight.  He lived and breathed “mysterious”, and we wouldn’t get the origin presented above until a decade after his creation.  Still, he’s been an on-again-off-again major foe of the X-Men, and he’s got a pretty darn striking design, so it’s only fair he get some action figure love every now and again.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mister Sinister is figure 6 in the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends, and is the final figure in the line-up, as this assortment is slightly smaller than the usual.  This figure marks Sinister’s second time as a Legends figure, following his old Toy Biz figure from 2005.  That one was considered pretty top-notch at the time, and held up pretty decently, but even brand-new it was pretty hard to find.  Plus, Hasbro’s got this streak going with updating the more popular figures from the old line, so it just makes sense.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Sinister is an all-new sculpt, though he appears to be at the very least patterned on the Hyperion body, which is a good move size-wise.  It gives Sinister an imposing stature without making him too large in comparison to the X-Men.  He’s actually a touch shorter than the Toy Biz figure, which feels more appropriate for the character, especially given the fact that the X-Men he’s designed to go with are all a touch larger.  It’s definitely a strong sculpt, and I’m particularly a fan of the head sculpt.  That toothy grin’s just great for Sinister, and is surprisingly a look we’ve not seen before in action figure form.  Additionally, his cape is handled much better than prior versions; it’s neither a mess of free-floating straps, nor a solid chunk of plastic, which is a refreshing change of pace.  The paintwork on Mister Sinister is clean and quite sleek.  I will never not like that metallic blue that Hasbro’s so fond of, and I definitely like the high-gloss finish.  Sinister doesn’t have any accessories for himself, but he does include the right arm of the Wendigo Build-A-Figure.  And, honestly, of all the figures who have come with the dismembered bits of other figures, Sinister’s probably the one who it actually makes a little bit of sense for.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I’m not actually the biggest fan of Sinister.  I had the old Legends figure for a while, but didn’t actually hold onto him, and wasn’t particularly eager to replace him with a new version.  While this figure was the hot figure in the line-up for a lot of collectors, I was far more excited by yesterday’s Nightcrawler, leaving this guy as a bit of an also-ran for me.  Still, once I actually got ahold of him, I have to say I think he made for a solid figure.  Maybe not quite as good as everyone’s been raving, but I’m a touch biased on that point.

Mister Sinister 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.

#2154: Nightcrawler

NIGHTCRAWLER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With sticky hands, a sharp tail, and piercing yellow eyes, the trouble-making mutant Nightcrawler scales walls and teleports from place to place.”

When the X-Men were rebooted for the first time, all the way back in the pages of Giant-Size X-Men #1 in 1975, they were granted a much more colorful and diverse cast of characters.  While a few of them were grabbed from prior appearances in the Marvel Universe, it was up to artist Dave Cockrum to create three of the team’s most distinctive members, Storm, Colossus, and Nightcrawler.  Nightcrawler had the notoriety of being a character Cockrum had in his mind for quite some time before getting the X-Men assignment, and he in fact came quite close to starring in a Legion of Superheroes-spin-off called The Outsiders before Cockrum moved from DC to Marvel.  In the pages of X-Men, however, he found new life, and would become quite a popular member of the team…popular enough to star in a spin-off book, in fact.  Whatever the case, Nightcrawler’s a prominent enough character that his complete absence so far from Hasbro’s re-launch of Legends has been one of the biggest notable missing figures.  Fortunately, that changed.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightcrawler is figure 5 from the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s more proper X-Men-themed than the rest of the figures so far in the line-up, but his Age of Apocalypse counterpart did serve on the cover ops X-Force at one point.  This Nightcrawler marks only the second time the character’s gotten the Legends treatment, with the first being back in the Toy Biz days, an insane 14 years ago.  That’s quite a bit of a gap between releases.  This one goes for Nightcrawler’s classic costume design, which has probably the best staying power of any of Cockrum’s designs; it’s just a really strong, clean look, which is probably why he never stays away from it for very long.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall (as Nightcrawler should) and has 33 points of articulation.  Nightcrawler uses the Pizza Spidey body as a starting point, sharing his arms and legs with all of the figures that use it as a base body.  He gets a new torso, pelvis, hips, hands, and feet, plus three brand-new heads in order to complete the look.  The torso gives Kurt his classic red unitard-looking thing, with proper etched lines and everything.  Additionally, it, coupled with the pelvis and hips, gradually reduces the height of Nightcrawler, removing about 1/4 of an inch when compared to other figures on the body.  The pelvis also includes his tail, which, though it may be a static piece, is sculpted in such a way that it looks nice in both basic and dynamic poses.  As minor a piece as they may be, I was impressed to see that the new hips so greatly improve the range of motion on the legs, allowing the figure to get into more of the deep stances that Nightcrawler’s typically seen in.  Nightcrawler is classically depicted as a rather expressive character, which generally puts his figures in a bit of a bind; what expression do you go with?  This figure throws the question out the window and just goes for the three most popular options.  The head he comes wearing is a fairly standard, rather stoic lookin head, which is nice and versatile.  The second head goes more for classic scary monster Nightcrawler (complete with extra shading on the face), while the third (and my favorite of the three) plays far more into Kurt’s more jovial nature from the comics, giving him a teeth-baring grin.  While any one of these heads would have been awesome on their own, getting all three is fantastic.  Nightcrawler’s paintwork is pretty basic, but it’s bright, it’s clean, and it’s striking, which is really everything you want from such a figure.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra heads.  Nightcrawler is packed with his cutlass (criminally missing from the Toy Biz figure) and an extra right gripping hand with which to hold it, as well as the left arm to the Wendigo Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I anxiously awaited the Toy Biz Legends Nightcrawler’s release back in the day…and pretty much started waiting for this one as soon as I got that one.  Okay, that’s not entirely true; that figure wasn’t bad for the time, but I always had some issues with him.  I’ve been waiting to see another go at him pretty much since we started getting X-Men Legends again.  The prototype for this figure looked mighty nice, but boy-oh-boy did it not fully sell just how good this figure would be.  Perhaps I’ll be proven wrong later, but as it stands right now, this is my Legend of the year.  He’s a fantastic update, and an incredibly faithful recreation of the character, with a bunch of fun extras to boot.  Hasbro brought their A-game on this one, and I couldn’t be happier.

I picked up Nightcrawler from All Time Toys.  He’s one of the double-packs this time around, so he’s actually still in stock.  Buy him; buy him now.  If you’re looking for other Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

 

#2153: Guardian

GUARDIAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Donning the maple leaf symbol of his home, James Hudson suits up in advanced battle armor and protects the Earth as Guardian.”

Last year, we started our Alpha Flight team in Marvel Legends (again) with a Sasquatch Build-A-Figure, who’s been spending his time since then looking mighty lonely on the shelf.  Seems like a good time to give him some buddies don’t you think?  Well, Hasbro thought so too, which is why they’re just dropping the whole Alpha Flight in one fell swoop in an Amazon-exclusive boxed set later this year.  However, while they were still entertaining the notion of releasing the members one at a time, they added the team’s leader, James Hudson Maple Leaf Man Captain Canada Vindicator Guardian to their latest X-themed line-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Guardian is figure 4 in the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second time he’s been released in Legends form, but…well, the less said about his debut figure, the better.  This figure is sporting James’ classic costume, which is really the only one anyone’s interested in.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Guardian is built on the Spider-UK body, which has been topped with a brand-new head.  Given the quite simplistic nature of his design, placing him on this body, which has plenty of nice costume details, and keeps him from being too bland.  The new head fits the body pretty well, and does a respectable job of capturing how James is usually depicted.  The rest of the figure is really sold by paint, and as luck would have it, his paint’s actually pretty nifty.  Since James’s costume was a technically-enhanced suit, they’ve opted to give it sort of a metallic finish, but still keep the overall bright nature of the design.  It translates to quite a pleasant looking figure, and the actual application is all pretty clean too!  If there’s one slight down to this figure, it’s the lack of any real accessories.  It’s really just the figure and the torso of the Wendigo.  It’s a shame we couldn’t get an alternate unmasked head or something.  That said, it’s not out of the norm for a Guardian figure to be without accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though I don’t have a ton to say about Guardian, I was actually pretty happy to see him turn up in this line-up, and in fact think he’s a pretty darn solid figure.  There’s not a ton going on, but there really doesn’t need to be to get Guardian done correctly.  And he’s certainly far better than the last attempt.

#2152: Boom-Boom

BOOM-BOOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Tabitha Smith, alias Boom-Boom, manipulates energy to create explosive time bombs that she can detonate at any moment.”

Tik tik boom.  On the sliding scale of X-characters, Boom-Boom is what you get when you meet halfway between Dazzler and Jubilee.  Introduced in the pages of Secret Wars II of all things, she’s sort of been batted around the X-verse a bit, and even got a decent role out of Warren Ellis’ Nextwave.  Her height of prominence was during the ’90s, when she was hanging around X-Force.  But even when paired off with the most toyetic property of the early ’90s, she was one of the notable missing pieces of Toy Biz’s ’90s lines.  Her first action figure would come much later, courtesy of Marvel Minimates.  Now she’s finally gotten a follow-up to that, in Legends form.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boom-Boom is figure 3 in the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  She follows Cannonball’s lead and goes for her Liefeld-designed number from X-Force #1, meaning we’re up to four of the founding members in their proper debut costumes.  Not bad for a line-up that’s a little past their prime.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Tabitha’s construction should look fairly familiar, since I actually looked at the majority of it not long ago when I looked at Dazzler.  She gets a new head, boot and glove cuffs, and leg strap, as well as swapping out the jacketed arms for the standard ones.  The closeness of the two figures in build really says more about the source material than it does Hasbro, of course, as it’s ultimately pretty accurate for them to look this similar.  ’80s/’90s X-Men designs were not the most wholly unique.  Boom-Boom’s main head does the same thing as the alternate Jubilee head did, and has Boomer blowing a bubble of gum.  It’s still a cool idea and seems less likely to break than Jubilee’s, but it’s slightly odd to have gotten this exact same gimmick back-to-back with another X-assortment.  She also includes a head without the bubble, for a slightly more standard appearance; unlike Jubilee, both heads have the glasses permanently affixed.  Boom-Boom’s colors are appropriately garish and gawdy for the design; brown and pink, what a combo, right?  I do like the accenting on her hair; I really appreciate this becoming a standard thing on the characters with fairer hair.  Boom-Boom is packed with a second left hand with an energy effect attached, as well as a piece to be held in her right.  Also included is the other leg to the Wendigo Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got no real attachment to Boom-Boom as a character, at least in her classic form.  I liked her well enough in Nextwave and when she showed up on X-Men: Evolution, but this particular design isn’t so much my thing.  Of course, Liefeld’s stuff in general isn’t usually my thing, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying both the Shatterstar and Cable figures based on his designs.  Boom-Boom’s not quite as visually stunning as either of those figures, but she’s also less compromised than the Cannonball figure I looked at yesterday.  Honestly, I liked her more than I’d expected to.

Boom-Boom came to my collection from 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.