#2895: Marvel’s Katy

MARVEL’S KATY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Katy, Shang-Chi’s oldest friend, is free-spirited and fiercely loyal.”

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hit theatres two weeks ago today, after a few delays, as with all of the Marvel slate right now.  The tie-ins all hit back in the spring, closer to the film’s original release date, but, hey, at least they hit in the same year.  For the Legends side of things, there were four figures in the main assortment, with one additional one as an exclusive off on its own.  Said exclusive is Katy…sorry, *Marvel’s* Katy, Shang-Chi’s best friend, portrayed in the film by Awkwafina.  Katy serves as the film’s everyman, experiencing the weirdness in much the same way as the audience.  She also serves as a nice subversion of the usual Hollywood trope that all Asians know kung-fu, since she’s the one character in the main cast without any real fighting experience.  She’s also just pretty entertaining, so I’m all about it.  Anyway, here’s her figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Katy is a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends release, meant to coincide with the main tie-ins contained in the Mr. Hyde Series.  She started showing up at Targets right around the same time as the main assortment, and actually seemed to show up in pretty decent numbers, at least from my experience.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation.  The articulation on Katy is notably restricted by both the skirt and her longer hair, as well as the general design of the sleeves.  In general, she’s just not a super agile figure.  Of course, she’s not a super agile character either, so I suppose it sort of works out.  This figure presents Katy in her attire from the film’s climactic battle sequence.  It’s a get-up that’s not quite in line with what she wears for most of the film’s run time, but it’s also not just basic civilian attire, and it means she matches up with Shang-Chi and Xialing’s figures, since they’re also in the final battle attire.  Generally, it makes a lot of sense, and I totally see Hasbro’s angle here.  It’s a decent sculpt.  Maybe not as optimized for posability as it could be, but the likeness on the head’s probably the best of the four from the movie, and the detail work on the outfit’s texturing is really strong.  The paint work on Katy is pretty decent.  It’s mostly pretty basic, but there’s some rather impressive detailing on the collar and belt, matching the floral pattern from the movie.  Katy is packed with a bow, a quiver, a separate arrow, plus two combined arrows meant for filling the quiver, plus, best of all, Morris, the crew’s little animal guide to the supernatural spirit world.  There’s probably one other character who might have made more sense to pack with Morris, but that character was far less likely to get a figure, so Katy’s not a bad second choice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with the other Shang-Chi figures, not knowing much about the characters when the toys actually hit made Katy sort of a weird sell.  Since she was an exclusive, and as such didn’t just fall into my lap the way the others did, I wasn’t quite as quick to pick her up.  That said, Target wound up putting her on a rather deep clearance rather quickly, which meant she was under $7, and there’s not really any Legends I’d pass at that price.  She didn’t do much for me prior to the film, but after the fact, I was very glad I picked her up.  She’s a decent enough piece, and fits nicely with the rest of the movie figures.

#2894: Melina Vostokoff & Red Guardian

MELINA VOSTOKOFF & RED GUARDIAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“After decades of service, Melina Vostokoff distanced herself from the Red Room. But when Natasha Romanoff returns, Melina and Red Guardian must decide where their allegiance lies.”

After a year of delays, Black Widow finally got its release this past July.  It’s still not been entirely smooth sailing, but it did at least clear the slate to let the other movies get released.  The tie-in component for the movie was, unfortunately, too far along when the pandemic hit in 2020 to hold it back, so they shipped to stores more than a year before release, resulting in them being essentially gone by the time the movie actually hit.  Hasbro did at least hold off one piece of merch until after the film’s release, a two-pack of Melina Vostokoff and Alexei Shostakov (aka the Red Guardian), Natasha’s surrogate parents from the film.  I’m taking a look at that pack today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Melina and Red Guardian are a standalone two-pack Marvel Legends release, designed to tie-in with the movie.  If prior offerings are anything to go by, they were probably meant to be the home media tie-in, hitting some time last fall, but they were able to be pushed back.  Whatever the case, they started hitting retail within the last month or so, and seem to be generally sticking to the specialty channels at the moment.

MELINA VOSTOKOFF

Known in the comics as Iron Maiden, Melina Vostokoff is actually an antagonist of Natasha, and, much like Red Guardian, classically more of a contemporary in terms of age and experience.  For the film, she is given a maternal role, and refitted into a far less antagonistic character, which generally works out pretty well.  Melina was the one major character absent from the tie-in wave of figures last year, so her inclusion here is somewhat expected and very much justified.  In terms of design, she’s been given her all-white suit from the film’s climax, which allows her to match up with the rest of the crew, certainly making it a good choice.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Melina shares most of her parts with the two Widow figures from last year.  Given that she’s explicitly wearing the same gear as Natasha in the final sequence, as well as the fact that the builds between the actresses aren’t too far removed, it’s a sensible choice of re-use.  It’s aided by the fact that the body was a solid piece the first time around, and the second time around, so the third time makes sense too.  She gets an all-new head sculpt, which sports a rather solid likeness of Rachel Weisz, and meshes well with the pre-existing parts.  The torso is also modified slightly, as sort of a merging of the two prior pieces.  She keeps the basic detailing of the deluxe Widow, but gets the back pack from the single release.  Lastly, she ditches the Widow stingers, in the name of screen accuracy, since Melina doesn’t have them.  Her paint work is overall fairly decent.  The head uses the face printing, which turned out well.  The rest of the body relies fairly heavily on molded colors, but it works well.  There are some slight change-ups from the deluxe Widow’s color scheme.  Generally, it seems to make her more accurate, though I do miss the extra painted detail on the belt buckle.  Melina is packed with three sets of hands (in fists, loose grip, and tight grip), dual Markovs, two batons, and a grappling hook.  The hands and guns are shared with deluxe Widow, and the batons come from the single release (albeit with better paint this time), while the grappling hook appears to be an all-new piece.  Not a bad set-up, all things considered.

RED GUARDIAN

Red Guardian was included in the standard tie-in line-up last year, but his figure was notably not as screen accurate as the others, making a second go at him a worthy venture.  He’s seen here in his fully kitted out gear from the movie (something he didn’t have all of the last time around).  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  He’s still a little bit on the small side, but at this point, I can be a little more forgiving, since I already dealt with that last year.  From the neck down, he’s the same as the Red Guardian from the main assortment.  The body was the best part of the earlier release, and wasn’t too terribly out of whack, so it’s re-use makes sense here.  To top it off, he gets an all-new head sculpt, this time sporting the helmet that was so notably absent from the first figure.  It’s a very nice piece, and works well with the body.  It designed to work like the more recent MCU Caps, where the helmet and face are separate parts, to aid in giving it proper depth.  Guardian’s new head also gives him the proper, fuller beard that he had in the movie, further aiding in the likeness’s effectiveness.  Red Guardian’s paint work has also been tweaked a bit from the prior version.  He’s got more silver this time around, as well as some extra detailing in a few spots on the costume.  Additionally, the light grey is now closer to white, which is more in line with how it looks in the movie.  In general, it does feel like a sharper appearance, and one that matches the movie just a bit better.  Red Guardian is packed with an alternate unmasked head, which, like the masked one, has a better likeness of Alexi’s disheveled appearance.  He also gets a set of alternate hands without the gloves, plus a miniature Red Guardian action figure like the one used in the movie’s prison break scene, and the same shield as last time, albeit in a darker color scheme this time around.  It’s not a bad selection, and I’m really glad the alternate head is there.  The shield’s kind of extraneous, since he doesn’t actually have it in the movie, and now we have two of them, but far be it from me to complain about extra stuff, especially when it doesn’t feel like anything important got cut.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was glad to finally get to see Black Widow after such a long wait, and I enjoyed it as a fairly by the numbers action film.  It didn’t break any molds, it didn’t change the world, but it was a good time.  Natasha’s family were definitely my favorite part of the movie, so I was eager to get the full line-up.  Melina makes a good addition to the team we already have, and Red Guardian fixes the figure we already got in such a way that prior version is kind of unneeded at this point, I guess.  Definitely a very fun two-pack.

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

#2893: Quicksilver

QUICKSILVER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Quicksilver’s ultra-high-speed capabilities are a major asset to the Avengers in the fight against Ultron.”

While the first Avengers film hit during a period of time when Marvel Legends were dead, so they had to rely on an exclusive run to get the team out in 6-inch scale (and they didn’t even get out the whole team, anyway).  By the time of its sequel, Age of UltronLegends was finally getting its footing back, but still wasn’t quite strong enough to support the entire extended line-up of the team as seen in the film.  Three members of the team wound up at mass retail, with an Amazon-exclusive boxed set to fill out the rest of the original core six.  That left the three new additions to the team, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Quicksilver, out of the line-up.  Scarlet Witch and Vision were both able to get toy coverage out of their later appearances, but that didn’t work out quite so well for poor Pietro, who, you know, died in Age of Ultron and all.  We went through two special anniversary lines with no love for Pietro, but a third one would have just been ridiculous, I suppose, so here he is, after six whole years, finally in Legends form!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Quicksilver is part of the 10 piece “Infinity Saga” sub-set of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line.  He’s one of the five standard sized single release figures, and one of four of those to be an actual wide release (because of course we can’t release a Captain America that’s not a Walmart exclusive, right?).  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The range of motion on the joints is all pretty solid, especially on that neck joint.  I do wish the knee joints broke up the sculpt a little bit less when posed, but it’s far from the worst we’ve seen.  I also do dig the full transition to pinless joints here on the elbows and knees.  Quicksilver has an all-new sculpt based on his attire from the film’s final battle, which is a sensible choice, since that’s his most distinctive look, and the one that matches with most of the rest of the team (we still don’t have an AoU Scarlet Witch, so he doesn’t match her at all, of course).  The sculpt is an impressive piece of work.  The head doesn’t quite have a perfect likeness of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, but it’s certainly got a resemblance.  Likewise, the body seems like it might be perhaps a slight bit too small for his build in the film, but it’s again not too far off, and there’s some really amazing texture work going on in the clothing.  Quicksilver’s paint work is pretty basic stuff for the most part.  The head gets the best work, with the face printing to give him a lifelike quality, and some solid accenting on the hair, for his proper eurotrash dye-job appearance.  The rest of the work is rather on the basic side, but it works for what it is.  Quicksilver is packed with two sets of hands, in fists and an open gesture, plus the head, torso, and arm of an Ultron drone.  It sure would be nice to get a full Ultron drone one of these days, but this is certainly a start, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Quicksilver, specifically the Age of Ultron version of the character, was one of Jess’s favorite Marvel characters.  She really, really liked him, and she was really upset when he died.  I think I may still have the marks from her hitting in the theater, in fact.  She was also really upset that he didn’t get the same toy love as the other characters.  This figure was shown off just a few weeks before she died, and she was very excited.  It had been my plan to get her one of her own when they were released, but that didn’t happen.  It’s a shame that she just missed him.  I think she would have been very happy with the end result.  I myself am pretty happy with him, and with the extra meaning he brings along with him.

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

#2867: Hulk

HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Bruce Banner smashes anything in sight as the gamma-powered Hulk!”

Square Enix’s Avengers game really wasn’t the smash they were hoping for, now was it?  The game was off to a rocky start pretty much from the word go, but it certainly wasn’t helped by its intended release being interrupted by a pandemic.  There were a number of planned tie-ins, including some stuff in the Legends range, but somewhat weirdly, we got quite an eclectic selection of characters in that area.  The main line gave us two versions each of Cap and Iron Man, as well as Ms Marvel and Abomination.  The only other notable character released was the Hulk, who was not only not a main line release, but also wasn’t even a standard version of the character.  It’s weird my guys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk (who is officially just named “Hulk” on the package, but is referred to as “Outback Hulk” by pretty much every one whenever he’s referenced) was a GameStop-exclusive Marvel Legends release.  He was under the Gamerverse banner, and sold at the deluxe price point.  He was released in mid-2020, in an attempt to loosely tie-in with the game, and he’s based on one of Hulk’s alternate skins from the game, itself patterned loosely on his look during “House of M.”  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  This figure is largely built on the body introduced with the Endgame Hulk Build-A-Figure, which is a decent starting point for a slightly more realistically proportioned Hulk figure.  Also, with only one prior use, it’s understandable that Hasbro might want some more mileage out of it.  The only slight snag, at least on my figure, is that the arms are very prone to popping out of their sockets, due to the Build-A-Figure origins.  I actually found it to be a more frequent occurrence with this release than with BaF proper.  Ultimately, it’s a minor side issue, though.  Hulk gets a new head, depicting the game’s longer haired and bearded take on the character.  It’s a different look to be sure.  There are actually two different heads, each with its own expression.  One’s more calm, and the other is baring his teeth, ’cause he’s angry, I suppose.  The heads do seem maybe a touch too large for the body, but they’re otherwise decent enough sculpts.  Hulk also has a new set of add-on pieces for his wrists.  They’re meant to be the tattered remains of his shirt, thematically looking like wraps on his forearms, I suppose.  They’re a little light on the detailing to really sell them for what they are, but I do like how they change up the overall look of the core figure a bit more.  In terms of paint, this Hulk is a little different from the usual, being grey, and also having the somewhat tribal detailing painted on his face and torso.  Again, it helps to change up the usual look, and is at least a somewhat different take on the character.  The actual application’s not a bad set-up.  It’s nothing crazy, but it works.  Hulk is packed with two different sets of hands, one in fists, the other in open gesture.  This gives him two full sets of the combo pair we saw on the original release of the mold.  I do like when they update it to give us the full sets.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Nothing about this particular release really spoke to me when he was shown off, and he certainly wasn’t worth the hassle of going through GameStop to get him, so I held off on him.  Honestly, I kinda forgot he even existed, really.  However, one of them got traded into All Time a couple of months ago, and he’s gotten quite cheap, so I figured it was a decent enough time to pick him up.  Ultimately, there’s not a lot going on here that you can’t get elsewhere, and he’s not exactly a standard Hulk anyway, so his exact purpose is sort of weird.  I don’t dislike the figure, but I’m hard pressed to figure out what I’m gonna do with him now that I own him.

#2866: She-Hulk

SHE-HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Jennifer Walters mutates into She-Hulk, a massive, muscled green hero with boundless strength and the will to do good.”

Introduced in 1980, She-Hulk is notable for having Stan Lee involved in her creation, quite a while after he was contributing to the Marvel day-to-day stuff.  She was originally created, as many distaff counterparts are, in order to secure a copyright so that no one else could.  In true Marvel fashion, though, she became much more than that, and came into a fanbase all her own, divorced from her cousin Bruce’s base almost entirely.  With a Disney+ series on the horizon, she’s ramping up with the merchandising, including getting yet another Legends release quite recently.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

She-Hulk is a stand-alone Fan Chanel-exclusive Marvel Legends release, much like the run of them we got at the end of 2019.  She’s in the standard style packaging, just without the Build-A-Figure part.  This figure’s definitely most inspired by the character’s earlier appearances, while she was still in her “Savage She-Hulk” days, hence the more mainline Hulk-esque tattered clothes.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  She’s built from the same bank of parts as the Super Skrull Series Hulk, which is sensible enough.  It was an all-new sculpt, and I can definitely understand Hasbro wanting to get some more mileage out of it.  It’s not a pitch-perfect match for any of the specifically She-Hulk looks, but it’s close enough to work.  It’s also just a very nice sculpt, so I’m not gonna knock seeing it another time.  She’s got a new head sculpt, which is notably calmer and more composed, in keeping with the majority of She-Hulk’s appearances over the years.  It’s not bad, though it does feel maybe a little bit bland for my taste, at least when compared to the previous sculpt, which was very dynamic.  Fortunately, if you preferred that sculpt, it’s also included here, so you’re free to swap them out as you please.  In addition to the extra head, the other change-up for this figure is the color scheme.  She shifts from the greyer tones of her more recent Hulk appearance, to a more classic green-skinned look.  It gives her a little more pop, and I quite like the overall tone of it.  To fit the overall bolder coloring of the green, her tattered shirt switches to a proper white (in place of the off-white of the original), and the pants are now black (instead of bluish grey).  She ends up losing a few of the smaller details, like the weathering on the pants, and the gamma scarring, but overall it’s a nice classic design.  She-Hulk is packed with two sets of hands, in fists and open gesture, same as the prior release.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I quite liked the Hulk release of this mold, but it was, admittedly, not my preferred version of the character.  I was definitely hoping for the proper green, and that’s what we got here.  I think the mold works really nicely in these new colors, so I’m down for that.  The new head’s still not my go-to look for the character, and I’m eternally holding out for that more proper John Byrne She-Hulk, but until then, I do rather like this one.  It’s a step in the right direction.

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

#2865: Ursa Major

URSA MAJOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Who’s Ursa Major?”, you may ask.  He’s a big bear.  He’s Russian.  You’re pretty much caught up.  What, was that not good enough?  ….Alright.  Ursa Major was introduced in 1981, created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.  He was a member of the Soviet Super Soldiers, who would later be renamed “The Winter Guard,” and he was a mutant with the ability to transform into a very large anthropomorphic bear. Much like Sasquatch is “Hulk but more Candian,” Ursa Major is kinda “Hulk but more Russian.”  He’s never been a major character, but he does have the distinction of being one of the few members of the Guard who’s actually been the same person the whole time, rather than being just a code name with a rotating roster like the rest of them.  He also had a small cameo in Black Widow, although not as a bear.  Still, things are moving up, right?  And now he’s got an action figure.  Hard to beat that, really.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ursa Major is the titular Build-A-Figure for the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s really an Iron Man series, and Ursa’s not really an Iron Man character, but the Winter Guard are a little more all-purpose, and seeing as Iron Man loaned a few characters to Black Widow last year, she’s again loaning one back, so to speak.  At the very least, he pairs off nicely with the Darkstar also included in this assortment.  The figure stands about 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  His articulation is surprisingly good given the size and bulk of this particular piece.  The mid-torso joint in particular really gives him some solid range.  I was also pleased by how stable on his feet the figure wound up being.  Also rather surprising is that this figure’s construction is all new.  I had expected that he would be making use of at least some of Sasquatch’s parts, given their similar builds and generally hairy nature, but there aren’t any parts in common here.  Ultimately, it’s the right call, since Ursa, being a bear, should really look a little different, and would you look at that, he does.  For being a sculpt of effectively just a bear, they do a pretty solid job of giving him a little bit of character.  Some of the anthropomorphized features are definitely present in the core body, but he’s still more beastial than Sasquatch and his brood.  While I’m not always big on super dynamic or intense expressions, the one they’ve given Ursa really works, as the roaring look helps with giving him that extra touch of character and uniqueness.  Ursa’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  It’s not a ton of variety, but there’s some rather nice accent work, especially on the torso.  The only real downside is the shift in shades between the torso and the limbs, but it’s not as bad in person as it is in the photos.  Ursa doesn’t get any accessories, but, really, what is there to give him?  He’s a big bear.  That’s his thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was in for the whole set of figures as soon as they were shown off, so Ursa himself never got to really be much of a selling point, or anything.  That said, I certainly wasn’t unhappy about getting the chance to assemble him.  If there’s a word that best describes him overall, it’s “surprising.”  I just wasn’t really expecting to like him quite as much as I do, but he sure is quite a lot of fun, and it’s nice to have a little Winter Guard display now.

I really liked this assortment a lot, as a whole.  The last few sets of Legends have been fine, but not really the most thrilling across the board.  This one’s a pretty consistently exciting set.  Ursa’s a surprise hit, as I mentioned.  Modular Iron Man and Ultron are fantastic versions of two of my favorite looks.  Iron Heart is a really solid set of new tooling for a new character for the line.  Darkstar and Guardsman are somewhat by the numbers, but still strong new figures.  Stealth and Hologram Iron Man aren’t the most essential variants, and they’re just simple repaints, but they’re still pretty fun too.  A strong set from start to finish.

#2864: Ultron

ULTRON

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Robot. Maniacal genius. Science experiment gone wrong. Ultron is the supreme weapon of mass destruction and a mortal threat to the Avengers— and all humankind.”

Ultron is no stranger to action figures, and that extended to even before he was the title antagonist in a multi-billion dollar movie.  That being said, it’s been a bit of up and down in terms of quality of those figures.  Ultron’s classic comics design is pretty, well, classic, but it’s had a difficult time actually making it into proper toy form.  While we’ve managed to finally get it in Minimates, Marvel Universe, and Marvel Select form, Marvel Legends has just sort of been batting around a true classic Ultron figure, many times coming close (though also starting off pretty darn far…), but never quite being there.  Things are finally about to change!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultron is the final single-packed figure in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s an Iron Man-themed assortment, and while Ultron wasn’t classically an Iron Man villain, the adjustment to the character in the MCU, plus some shifts in more recent story telling have made him a decent fit for such a theme.  It’s also not the first time he’s been lumped in with such a set, since he was also included in the Iron Man 3 tie-in assortment.  So, there’s certainly precedent.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Facilitating the proper classic design means an all-new sculpt, rather than saddling him with yet another re-used body.  In terms of articulation, this Ultron’s layout is quite similar to that of the MU release, but with a few improvements allowed by the upscaling and the decade’s worth of advancement since that figure’s release.  He gets an improved range of motion on the limbs in particular, and is just generally pretty mobile.  There are also some definite improvements to how the movement is worked in as well, since he gets the pinless construction for the arms and legs.  Also, the shoulder pauldrons are much like those on the recent Classified Joes, so they can easily move out of the way for posing the shoulders, while also avoiding popping off too easily, which was a problem with the MU version.  The actual quality of the sculpt is pretty impressive as well.  He’s quite similar in styling to the MU figure, but again a bit more refined.  Things like the antenna aren’t as clunky, and the detailing of the body is really sleek.  In general, they just really get that classic Ultron feel, and it’s by far Hasbro’s best version, if perhaps even the best version of him in figure form in general.  It’s so clean, slick, sharp, and just efficiently laid out.  Boy is this a nice sculpt.  The paint work is generally rather basic on this guy, but it is worth noting that he’s fully painted, rather than being molded in silver plastic.  This makes him look quite a bit better, and really keeps with that slick appearance.  Otherwise, the only change-up is the red for the eyes, and black for his mouth.  He just gets a solid color on the mouth, rather than getting the crackling detailing of the last few figures.  Seems like a letdown, right?  Not quite.  Rather than painting that detail, Hasbro elected to actually make it a separate sculpted element.  It makes it a bit more dynamic.  In addition to the effect piece, he’s also got five different hands (two fists, two gripping, and a left open gesture), and the right arm to Ursa Major.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ultron was the first figure from this set to be shown off, and him being a villain and all, I initially thought he’d be in that series.  His absence from that line-up bummed me out, but then I found out he was instead part of this much cooler line-up (not that I minded the villains line-up; they just didn’t excite me quite as much).  He’s got some solid competition, but he was still the very first figure I opened when I got my set, and he’s probably my favorite figure in-hand.  He’s the Ultron I’ve been waiting for, and any future versions will be hard-pressed to beat this one.  We’ve certainly come a long way from the Toy Biz days.

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

#2863: Hologram Iron Man

HOLOGRAM IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Ever the innovator, Tony Stark takes flight in holographic form, a computer-generated avatar and an enduring force for good.”

Back during the Iron Man 2 tie-in line, there were a *lot* of Iron Man armor repaints, many of them under the heading of “concept”.  One of them was a re-deco of the Mark VI armor in a translucent blue with white detailing, pattered on a holographic representation of the armor from the film.  It was a pretty cool looking figure, and I even reviewed on this very site, quite early into my run.  Apparently, Hasbro was pretty big on the idea, too, since they’ve decided to bring it back around for the larger scale with Legends.  How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hologram Iron Man is figure 6 in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the third and final Iron Man variant in the assortment.  It’s technically an all-comics assortment, but I don’t believe that this particular design has actually been used specifically in the comics.  It just seems to be more of a conceptual thing, just like the earlier one.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is using the molds of the Civil War Mark 46.  It’s not the same as the Mark VI used before, but we don’t really have a properly upgraded Mark VI mold available right now.  This one’s got a fairly similar, and is, quite honestly, one of Hasbro’s best movie Iron Man molds.  I’ve always been quite a fan, and it has a good distinctive look that works for the single color molding this figure calls for.  The figure is obviously molded in all blue plastic, which gives it that holographic look, but to enhance that, there’s some white detailing, which is honestly more involved than I’d expected.  I really like it, and it gives him a lot of pop.  The figure was packed with two sets of hands, in fists and repulsor, plus two effects pieces.  The repulsor hands predate the move to get rid of the full wrist joints, so these have the full range of motion, which makes me very happy.  Also included is the head of the Ursa Major Build-A-Figure.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

At three Iron Man variants, this set does feel a little Iron Man heavy, and I think this guy might just be one too many.  If one needs to go, he certainly feels the most extraneous.  That said, I had the smaller version of this because he looked cool.  I have this one for the same reason.  It’s a cool concept that makes for a cool toy.  I definitely dig that.  He’s nothing if not a fun toy, which does at least give him more merit than some of the more boring and drab variants that have been forced on us more recently.

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

#2860: Ironheart

IRONHEART

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A certified super-genius, Riri Williams turns a dorm room project into a high-tech, high-flying suit of armor— and becomes a force for good.”

Though Tony Stark may maintain that he and the Iron Man armor are always one and the same, that hasn’t stopped him from handing off the armor to others, from time to time.  The latest in that bunch of people is Riri Williams, an MIT student who built her own suit of armor, and got Tony’s attention.  So, when he got knocked into a coma in Civil War II, she was granted the mantle, at least for a little bit, and ultimately came into her own, assuming the identity of “Ironheart.”  And now, she’s also got herself an action figure.  That’s the biggest victory, really.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ironheart is figure 4 in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  Given the Iron Man theme of the set, she’s a natural choice.  Also, this marks Hasbro’s first time making an Ironheart, though they were beaten to the actual first figure by Minimates, who did her in 2018.  Still, this is pretty notable, so I’m not gonna fault them too much.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation.  Following the trend set by Lady Jaye in the Classified line, Ironheart’s articulation is notable for featuring double joints on the elbows.  It works super well, and feels really smooth when in motion.  In general, her articulation scheme gives her a really wide range of motion, which makes for a pretty enjoyable time when it comes to posing her.  Additionally, she’s got the pinless construction on both the elbows and the knees, which helps keep that sleek feel going.  Ironheart’s sculpt is all-new, patterned on Stefano Caselli’s design for her first cleaned up armor design.  It’s very clean and polished, which I really like, and it’s a rather accurate recreation of the design as it’s seen in the comics.  It certainly pairs off well with the more streamlined Invincible Iron Man figure from a few years back, though it honestly even improves upon how that figure was implemented, in terms of both look and functionality.  Her paintwork is generally pretty straightforward, as most Legends are.  It’s very shiny and slick, which is appropriate, and the application’s all pretty cleanly applied.  In terms of accessories, Riri is pretty well off, getting an alternate unmasked head (patterned on her later look while piloting the armor), two sets of hands in fists and repulsor poses, two new repulsor effects, two new smoke effects, and the leg of Ursa Major.  I’m a little bummed that the repulsor hands are back to fixed wrists after the Modular armor had the proper joints, but otherwise I’m very happy with the selection here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not a Bendis fan in the slightest, so I wasn’t reading Iron Man when Riri was introduced.  I caught her once she moved over to the Champions, and I generally enjoyed her there.  I can’t say she’s a must have character for me, but she’s got a pretty kick ass design, and it’s always nice to add a little more diversity to the shelf.  On top of that, she’s just a very nice toy.  Genuinely very fun.  I can definitely get behind that.

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

#2859: Darkstar

DARKSTAR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Drafted as a Soviet operative on a nefarious mission, Laynia Petrovna eventually broke free from the system and began to use her super-secret skills to her own ends.”

Marvel’s Russian super-powered characters have gotten a little bit of focus recently, thanks in no small part to Black Widow’s recent turn in the spotlight.  Not quite up to bat on that front, at least yet, however, is Laynia Petrovna, also known as Darkstar.  Darkstar was a member of the Soviet Winter Guard, but after being sent to recover Natasha, she instead wound up defecting herself, joining up with Widow’s current super team, The Champions.  The Champions wound up rather short-lived, and Darkstar wound up kind of in the background of the Marvel universe.  Not the best spot for getting toys, but she’s finally crossed that line, and had her own official Marvel Legend.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darkstar is figure 3 in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  The set is generally Iron Man-themed, which isn’t really that much of a fit for Darkstar, but I guess she’s not entirely out of place.  I do think it’s a little amusing that, after Widow borrowed a few of Iron Man’s related characters for her assortment, Iron Man in turn has gotten a character that would make sense in a Widow assortment.  Not that I’m complaining about any of it, mind you. Darkstar has had a few designs over the years, but this figure goes with her second one.  It’s not her Champions one, so I’m predisposed to not like it, but it’s also the one that got used in X-Men: The Animated Series, so I’m also predisposed to like it.  What a conundrum.  In all honestly, it’s probably the cleanest and boldest of her designs, so I can get the choice.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Darkstar is built on the Phoenix body, which is honestly a good match for how she’s usually depicted in terms of build.  Her head is an all-new piece, and it does a pretty respectable job of capturing how she’s usually drawn in the comics, as well as differentiating the body from the rest of the characters built on it.  I like the slightly different way that the hair hangs over her left shoulder; it’s a small touch, but it gives her a little extra character.  In terms of color work, Darkstar is pretty straightforward.  The black and yellow makes for a nice contrast, and she’s got quite a bold appearance to her.  The application is all pretty clean, and in general she looks quite nice.  Darkstar includes three sets of hands, in fists, gripping, and open gesture, as well as the torso to the Ursa Major Build-A-Figure.  It’s a little odd that she doesn’t get any energy effects or anything, but I do like getting the full assortment of hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Darkstar is one of those characters I wasn’t sure I’d ever see in figure form, though admitedly, it seemed more and more promising as the line progressed.  She’s a solid deep cut sort of character, and I’m always down for having more characters to fill in more of those slightly obscure teams.  I suppose it might be too much to ask for her Champions costume, though?  Yeah, probably.  Well, this one is nice too.

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