#1763: Gladiator

GLADIATOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The leader of the Imperial Guard, Gladiator shoots heat beams from his eyes and commands his forces with formidable strength.”

Artist Dave Cockrum, who helped to re-launch the X-Men in their All-New, All-Different incarnation that would pretty much shape the franchise going forward, found his first prominent comics work in the pages of Legion of Super Heroes.  He frequently let some of his Legion work seep into X-Men, and perhaps the most obvious instance of this was the creation of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, a full-fledged homage to the Legion.  The team’s resident Superman/Superboy stand-in was the Gladiator, who is also the only member of the team who ever seems to get any action figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gladiator is figure 3 in the Apocalypse Series of Marvel Legends.  Previously, he was released as part of 2013’s SDCC-exclusive “Thanos Imperative” boxed-set.  He’s the fourth of the figures in the set to get a wider release, following Star-Lord, Medusa, and Black Bolt.  There are some slight tweaks to this release, which I’ll touch on when I get to the paint section. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Gladiator is built on the Hyperion body, a sensible choice, given their shared status as Superman knock-offs.  His head sculpt and cape are both unique to him.  The head is decent enough.  It’s well scaled to the body, and has some solid detail work, especially on the mohawk.  It’s got a slight case of scowly-Hasbro-face, but it doesn’t bug me nearly as much on Gladiator as it does some of the others.  My only real complaint is that it sits just a touch too high on the neck, but the proper pose hides that well enough.  The cape is actually one of Hasbro’s finest, truth be told.  It sits well on the figure, doesn’t move about too much, and it has a flow that is somewhat dramatic without being too limiting.  The SDCC Gladiator made use of a lot of metallic paints, which are perfectly reasonable choices generally, but for a character like Gladiator, they seemed to needlessly muddy his design.  This new figure instead goes for a flatter and brighter selection of colors, which makes the figure pop a little bit more, especially when placed with the rest of the very colorful set he’s a part of.  If I have one minor nitpick, I’d say I’m a little bummed that this Gladiator is once again without pupils.  While it’s not inaccurate for the character, they would have made this a more decidedly classic take on the character.  Gladiator has no character-specific accessories (I’m not really sure what you could give him), but he does include the head of Apocalypse.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back when the Thanos Imperative set was released, I actually tried to get one, because I quite liked a number of the characters included.   Gladiator was high on that list, and I was always a little bit bummed I’d missed him.  So, I was actually pretty happy to see him get a re-release.  This guy ended up being a birthday gift from my Super Awesome Fiancee.  While he’s not a perfect figure, and I’ll be glad when the start working the Hyperion body out, there’s a lot I like about this figure.  Now, can I please get more of the Imperial Guard?  Gladiator needs his team!

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#1763: Magneto

MAGNETO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Living up to his namesake, Magneto is a master manipulator of magnetism, controlling and using its energy to defeat his enemies.”

Debuting alongside the team in X-Men #1, Magneto has been by far the most enduring of the X-Men’s foes…or allies…or teammates…or whatever he is this week.  He’s a popular choice for toys as well.  While he doesn’t quite rival Wolverine, he’s certainly giving Cyclops a run for his money.  Sadly, in the realm of Marvel Legends, he’s always seemed to come up short.  His very first Legends release was a hastily re-tooled Iron Man that didn’t quite work right.  This was followed by quite a lengthy waiting period for another, in 2014, which was not only an extremely illusive Toys R Us exclusive, it also wasn’t very good.  That leads us to today’s figure, the beacon of hope that maybe, just maybe, a Legends Magneto might not suck.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto–sorry, Marvel’s Magneto is figure 2 in the Apocalypse Series of Marvel Legends.  Like Colossus before him, Magneto’s source design is a point of contention for some of the fanbase.  A lot of fans were hoping for another stab at his classic togs, but Hasbro has instead opted for a more modern appearance, based on his relatively recent design from the All-New, All-Different re-launch in 2015.  I was myself angling for another classic figure, but I can somewhat understand Hasbro not wanting to release that costume again right away, since it’s only been a few years since the last attempt.  What’s more, this particular design is actually not a bad look for old Magnus, and given Hasbro’s recent track record with the likes of Namor and Taskmaster, it likely serves as a trial run for them to get everything in order for a more proper variant down the line.  Magneto stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The figure is built on the Spider-UK body, a fact I’m quite pleased about.  As soon as I saw that figure, I was hoping Hasbro would have it ear-marked for Magneto, so I’m happy to see they were on the same wavelength.  He gets a new head, forearms, and boots, as well as an add-on for his cape.  The head features the helmet as a separate, non-removable piece, as has become the norm for these guys.  The helmet follows the more streamlined nature of the helmet, which first cropped up in the X-Men: First Class design in 2011.  It sits quite well on his head (which is a surprisingly big win for a 6-inch Magneto figure; none of the others have really gotten that part down), and the underlying face perfectly captures Magneto’s noble streak.  The forearms and boots both capture those little raised ridges that Magneto seems to be really into, as well as meshing well with the existing body.  The cape gave me some pause when I first took the figure out of the box, because it wouldn’t sit flat and seemed oddly malformed.  Upon closer inspection, I realized that the shoulder pads were separate pieces, designed to slide *under* the cape, and one of them had accidentally popped over.  If you look closely at the prototype on the figure’s package you can see that not even Hasbro caught this mix-up.  Once everything’s laying properly, the cape is actually pretty darn awesome, and quite fitting for the character.  If there’s a slight downside to this figure, it’s his paint work.  It’s not *terrible* but the application is noticeably sloppier than on a lot of Hasbro’s other recent releases.  The red paint in particular seems to have some real issues with going on too thinly, leaving the underlying black plastic exposed.  The worst of it’s at the front of the helmet and on his thighs; beyond those points, it’s actually pretty passable overall.  Magneto makes out pretty well in terms of accessories.  He’s got an extra head, sans-helmet, displaying his beautiful Jim Lee-era locks.  While the helmeted head is still my favorite of the two, there’s no denying the quality of this one.  He also includes two different sets of hands.  He’s got basic black fists, as well as open gesture ones that have been molded in translucent purple.  There are some electricity effects to match.  Honestly, I’m a little surprised we didn’t see that swirly effects piece another time, since that’s what Polaris got, but I guess Hasbro was reading the room and sensing that piece’s over-use.  Lastly, Magneto includes the right arm of the Build-A-Figure Apocalypse.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m always down for a good Magneto figure, which is why it’s always been so disappointing that he’s never been privy to a good Legends release.  I still searched everywhere for the last one, even despite it’s lower quality, but never could find him, and certainly wasn’t paying a mark-up for him.  So, when this guy was announced, I was pretty excited, even if he’s not quite the version I wanted.  In hand, he’s got some minor flaws, but I’m overall happy with this figure, and glad I finally have a Magneto for my X-Men shelf.

#1762: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Razor-sharp claws and an incredible accelerated healing ability make Wolverine a nearly unstoppable threat.”

Did you know that the scientific name for the wolverine is “Gulo Gulo”?  That’s your fun FiQ fact of the day…or at least of this particular tiger-stripe Wolverine review.  Listen, I’ve got a small handful of running gags on this site, and if I don’t keep up with them, the universe might end.  Or my reviews might be slightly less fun to write.  It could really go either way.

So, it’s that wonderful time of year.  That one time each year where we get an X-Men-themed series of Marvel Legends.  And there was much rejoicing (yaaaay…).  There is, of course, a Wolverine figure in this assortment, surprising pretty much no one, but given how good the last few Wolverines I’ve gotten from Hasbro were, this one’s got a lot of traction from my end.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is figure 1 in the Apocalypse Series of Marvel Legends, which is the third wide-release X-Men assortment since the Infinite Series relaunch.  The first assortment gave us Wolverine in his brown costume, an important look for the character, but perhaps not quite his definitive look.  After going a bit off the wall last year with an Old Man Logan release, Hasbro’s going back to the basics this year, and finally giving us an update to Logan’s yellow and blue, tiger-stripe number.  While it hasn’t been quite as long since we’ve seen this one as it had for the brown one, it’s still been a decade since the last release.  We also got a preview of this particular figure a little earlier this year, in the form of the 12-inch Legends Wolverine, who got me quite pumped for this guy.  This figure stands just under 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  This guy shares more than a few parts with the Brown Costumed version from 2016, but does still get his fair share of new pieces.  This includes a new head and belt, shoulderpads, and arms that are, at the very least, slightly retooled.  All of the new pieces are very similar to the ones we saw on the 12-inch figure, which makes a lot of sense, what with them being the same costume and all.  The new head definitely took some getting used to at first; I was quite a fan of the brown costume’s head sculpt, and was a little worried about this one’s ears being a little too close to the head.  In person, I actually quite like how they look, and I’m very happy with the slight differences in the masks between the two costumes.  It helps that this new head also sits a little further down on the neck peg, alleviating one of my complaints about the prior figure.  The “new” arms have been changed up to add a little more detail, specifically of the arm-hair variety (since Wolverine is a hairy dude), but also to allow for the attachment of the shoulderpads.  Like the new head, the shoulderpads help to cover up the slightly disconnected shoulders of the base body, thereby removing another of my issues with the last figure.  If I have one small complaint, it’s to do with the belt, which is sporting the “X” logo.  I’ve never been much of a fan of that particular look (I like the more basic buckle), but it’s accurate, and I can’t fault them for giving us a new piece.  The paint on this figure is largely very similar to that of the 12-inch figure, albeit with a slightly oranger color for the yellow.  This matches with the Cyclops figure from the last series, so it makes sense, and it’s certainly nice looking.  Wolverine is packed with a pair of non-clawed hands, as well as the two arm tubes for the Build-A-Figure Apocalypse.  It’s a shame we’re not getting an unmasked head for each Wolverine, but this is, at the very least, an improvement over Old Man Logan.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Juggernaut Series Wolverine was one of my favorite figures to come out of that series, and has been my go-to since its release.  I was initially unsure if this variant would be able to live up to those standards.  When I picked up the 12-inch release a few months back, I started getting a bit more excited to see how Hasbro could do translating that into the smaller scale.  I’m happy to say they’ve done a pretty spot-on job of shrinking that figure down, and they’ve created my favorite Legends Wolverine to date.

Wolverine was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in purchasing other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1758: Captain America & Crossbones

CAPTAIN AMERICA & CROSSBONES

MARVEL LEGENDS — MARVEL STUDIOS: THE FIRST TEN YEARS

Although the Avengers survive a strike by Crossbones on Lagos, dozens of civilians are killed in the altercation. As a result, the team is presented with the Sokovia Accords – an agreement designed to keep the heroes in check – and must individually choose which side of the law they stand with.”

Like Guardians of the GalaxyCaptain America: Civil War was fortunate to come late enough in the MCU game that Hasbro was finally comfortable actually doing a pretty decent line-up of tie-in Legends.  However, while it got greater coverage than prior entries, it also had a far larger roster of characters in need of figures.  While Hasbro did their best to include everyone they could (and then to follow up and fill some of the gaps using Infinity War), the heroes really ate up all of the slots.  If nothing else, this Marvel Studios anthology line has really been about the bad guys.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cap and Crossbones are entry 9 in the Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line of Marvel Legends.  Both figures are based on the characters as they appear in Civil War‘s opening battle.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

America’s first super soldier, Captain America must decide if he stands by his government in the aftermath of a disastrous strike on Lagos, Nigeria.”

Now, before we get to the new hotness, let’s review the old busted.  Okay, perhaps “busted” isn’t a completely fair assessment of things here.  While Cap wasn’t without a figure from Civil War (he got two, in fact; helps to have your name in the title), there’s no denying that the figure we received had some issues. This one is meant to amend….some of those issues.  I’ll get to that.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Pretty standard stuff there.  Now, the good news is that Cap has received not one, but two different new head sculpts.  He’s got both helmeted and un-helmeted.  Both heads are very good sculpts.  The helmeted head has a decent likeness of Evans (or at least what you can see of him), and via its use of a separate piece for the helmet, has a great sense of depth to his look that prior MCU Caps have not.  The un-helmeted head edges out the other one just a bit, in no small part due to the absolutely spot-on likeness of Chris Evans.  After years of “close but not quite,” this guy gets it down nearly perfect.  Alright, I’ve raved about the good.  Ready for the bad?  You know those two amazing head sculpts that Hasbro produced, that can finally replace the two sub-par ones we’d been dealing with since Winter Soldier?  Well, they went and slapped them on the slight variation of that body from Age of Ultron.  I was already frustrated by its re-use for the original Civil War release, given the inaccuracies of the costume details, as well as the somewhat scrawny nature of the limbs.  It’s made even more egregious by the fact that Hasbro created an entirely unique mold for the Infinity War Cap, which is, canonically, wearing the same uniform as this figure.  With a handful of new pieces, that mold would have made for a far more accurate body for this figure.  Instead, for the third time, we get a Civil War Captain America whose costume is just incorrect.  That’s a real shame.  On the plus side, he does get new paint to match those new parts.  The body isn’t far removed from the prior release, but both heads are now sporting the face-print tech, which makes a world of difference in terms of making him look like a real person.  In addition to the new unmasked head, Cap also has his shield, which is another new sculpt.  I like this one better than prior releases, though I can’t really say it’s too noticeably different.

CROSSBONES

“A Hydra agent and former double-agent at SHIELD, Crossbones makes it his mission to take out Captain America, no matter the loss of life at stake.”

And here we have the new hotness.  Crossbones may not be in Civil War for super long, but he had a very important roll to play, and, more importantly when it comes to toys, he had a pretty sweet design.  At the time of the movie’s release, he got a Minimate and one of those Microverse figures, but that was all.  Obviously, that means this figure is a very welcome addition.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Unlike his pack-mate, his sculpt is completely new.  It’s quite an impressive piece of work, with lots of separately sculpted pieces that just give the whole figure a ton of depth.  I love the helmet, especially the way they’ve handled the eyes; they’re a separate piece from the actual mask, so it looks like there’s really a whole face under there.  The vest and his “fighting fists” are likewise separate pieces, although in this case they’re removable.  The vest isn’t really meant to be removed, though, so the underlying torso’s a little off.  The figure’s legs also end up looking a little bit wonky, but that’s about the only complaint I can come up with, and even that’s a rather minor one.  Crossbones’ paintwork is fairly decent.  A lot of it’s very subtle, with just some slight variations of black and dark brown.  The white parts stand out quite well, though, and I love how the eyes turned out.  Crossbones is packed with an extra un-masked head, depicting his scarred visage from the film.  It’s actually a little bit toned down from the movie, but close enough to get the point across.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cap and Crossbones are actually the last of these figures that I got, though they were still picked up for me by my Super Awesome Fiancee.  They arrived at her work about a week after the others.  This set was second on my list, after Ronan.  Crossbones was just a really cool design that I really wanted a good figure of, and I was hopeful that the second try at the Civil War Cap would be much better.  Crossbones lives up to my expectations, no denying that.  Cap?  Well, like the last several MCU Caps I’ve gotten from Hasbro, he’s frustrating.  Sure, the new heads are awesome, but saddling him with the same old body is super weak, and prevents him from being the definitive Cap I was really hoping for.  I guess there’s always Avengers 4

#1757: Ronan

RONAN

MARVEL LEGENDS — MARVEL STUDIOS: THE FIRST TEN YEARS

An avid loyalist to the Kree whose family was killed by the Kree-Nova War, Ronan agrees to a partnership with Thanos in order to take down the Nova Corps on Xandar once and for all.

Sent on a mission by Thanos to recover the mystical entity known as the Orb, Ronan discovers that the target he seeks is in fact an all-powerful Infinity Stone.  Ronan uses the stone to destroy the Nova Corps’s fleet, but is ultimately destroyed by his own greed when the Guardians of the Galaxy take the Orb back and use it to entirely obliterate him.”

I *almost* posted the Thor review today.  How foolish I was.  It’s okay, I’m looking at another tall, hammer-wielding dude from space, Ronan the Accuser!

The first Guardians had decent Legends coverage, but with quite a sizeable cast, there were more than a few notable missing players.  The Vol. 2 figures got us Yondu and Nebula, but the team’s main antagonist wasn’t quite so lucky.  Fortunately, he got in on this anniversary business.  Lucky him!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ronan is entry 6 in the Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line of Hasbro’s main Marvel Legends line. Like Red Skull, he’s one of the three standard single-release offerings (Mark VII Iron Man is the last of the three).  Ronan stands 7 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  The figure is sporting an all-new sculpt, patterned on Ronan’s design from the movie.  The sculpt, not unlike Ronan’s design from the movie, is not without its quirks.  The biggest of these “quirks” is to do with his head piece and shoulder pads.  They are done here as one single piece, connected to the top of his head.  This has the unintended side effect of giving Ronan a very strange appearance should you decide to move his head, as his shoulder pads will be traveling with it.  It’s a very odd choice, but in the defense of this figure, it seems to be firmly rooted in the actual costume design, since Lee Pace wasn’t moving his head much in the movie either.  At least this way he still technically has all of his motion unencumbered, right?  Apart from that, the sculpt is actually pretty strong.  The texture work on his costume is nothing short of astonishing, capturing all of the various textures of his costume from the movie.  It also captures his rather imposing build, which means he looks appropriately menacing next to the rest of the Guardians.  If I had one other complaint about this figure’s sculpt, I’d say it’s the way the mid-torso joint’s been worked into the sculpt.  It’s a little bit obvious and slightly cumbersome.  The other articulation is worked in fine, though, so I can’t complain.  Ronan’s paintwork is overall pretty decent.  Not quite a subtly handled as some of the other recent MCU figures, but a bit of a step-up from the original Guardians offerings.  His eyes are really purple, signifying that this is a post-stone-powered Ronan, which makes him the best for fighting all of your Guardians.  Ronan is packed with his hammer, suitable for accusatory purposes.  It matches up with Ronan’s powered-up eyes, featuring the power stone mounted on one side.  It’s a shame yesterday’s Red Skull didn’t come with the Tesseract, since we could have assembled a bunch of the stone.  Oh well.  Ronan himself feels a little bit on the light side, with just the one extra, but I don’t know what else he could have gotten.  I suppose his larger size makes up for it a bit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always had a soft spot for Ronan, so I was a little bummed when he was left out of the assortment for the first movie (it didn’t help that I had missed out on the comic-based Ronan Legend from a few years prior).  Needless to say, I was delighted when he was announced to be part of this line, and was definitely at the top of my list.  Fortunately, Super Awesome Fiancee had my back, and grabbed him for me from my work.  Ronan may not be a perfect figure, but he’s a very good one, and one I’m very, very happy to finally have in my collection.

#1756: Red Skull

RED SKULL

MARVEL LEGENDS — MARVEL STUDIOS: THE FIRST TEN YEARS

Obsessed with the power of the Tesseract, Johann Schmidt teams up with Dr. Arnim Zola to create a super-charged arms force that will change the fate of World War II…and the world.

Hydra leader Johann Schmidt creates Tesseract-powered weapons to destroy American cities, but doesn’t anticipate interference from newly-dubbed hero, Captain America.  In their first meeting, Schmidt removes his mask to reveal crimson skin, a signature that has earned him the name ‘Red Skull.'”

The MCU has run through an interesting period when it comes to tie-in toys.  Iron Man kicked things off with some Legends-esqe figures, which were a decent hit with the fanbase.  By the time of IM2, Hasbro was in the midst of their push for 3 3/4 inch figures, so it, and all of the movies up to Captain America: Winter Soldier would be in that smaller scale, with only a few choice offerings at the larger scale.  The recent shift has been completely to the Legends scale, but thanks to the rapid pace at which the MCU films hit, there are more than a few prominent characters missing from the line-up.  In honor of the MCU’s tenth anniversary, Hasbro’s put together a special sub-line of Marvel Legends, devoted to celebrating those prior films.  I’m kicking things off today with a look at one of the most prominent missing villains, the Red Skull!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Red Skull is entry 2 in the Marvel Legends — Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line of figures.  He’s one of the three standard single-packed figures in the line-up, alongside the Mark VII Iron Man and Ronan the Accuser.  This figure gives us Red Skull in his more basic Hydra uniform, as he’s seen inside the Hydra base during several sequences of the film (there’s also a long-coated variant, which was offered at SDCC this year). Perhaps not his coolest look, but there’s a good reason for this choice.  He stands 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  He’s sporting a brand-new sculpt, which is a pretty solid recreation of Skull’s look from the movie.  The head has a teeth-gritting expression, which is always a nice throw-back to the Skull’s earlier comics design.  Thanks to it being released 7 years after the fact, it’s also able to be far more accurate to the film’s Skull face than it would have at the time of the movie, so hey, bonus!  The body captures his uniform pretty well, though the articulation is perhaps not as worked into the sculpt as I might like. It’s especially noticeable at the mid torso joint; I feel an ab-crunch might have worked a little better there.  That said, it’s hardly the worst implementation of articulation I’ve seen.  He’s still got decent mobility, and the sculpt isn’t too terribly broken because of it.  The paintwork on this guy is pretty usual fare for an MCU release.  It’s pretty cleanly applied, and matches well to the movie.  The head actually gets some pretty subtle accent work all throughout, so that it’s not just a big chunk of bright red plastic with some eyes.  Speaking of eyes, the ones on this figure are using the printed technique, which doesn’t have quite the same impact here that it does on more human looking figures, but it does still make at least some difference.  Remember up at the top, when I said there was a good reason for this figure’s costume choice?  Well, the accessories are where that comes into play.  Skull doesn’t get anything character specific, but he does get three extra heads, a tactical harness, a Hydra gun, and an extra hand, allowing him to be turned into a few different configurations of the Hydra Soldier.  Sure, the uniforms aren’t quite an exact match, but they’re close enough to work in a pinch, and it’s really the thought that counts.  As an added bonus, if you’ve got any of the Black Series FO Officer bodies laying around, with a tiny bit of modification, they work pretty well for quickly building an army.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Red Skull was purchased for me by my Super Awesome Fiancee.  She got a few of the Marvel Studios sets in at her work, and was kind enough to grab them for me.  First Avenger was my favorite of the Phase 1 films, so I was always rather saddened that it seemed to draw the short straw when it came to toys.  I’m glad that Hasbro’s been able to go back and retroactively amend that.  Red Skull isn’t a perfect figure, but I’d say he’s a fair bit better than he would have been had he been released at the time of the movie.  The added Hydra Soldiers pieces are just icing on the cake.  Now I’m resisting the urge to buy multiples…

#1745: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

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

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

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

1719: Spider-Man Noir

SPIDER-MAN NOIR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Reluctant hero Spider-Man Noir battles bad guys and mob bosses alike in 1930’s New York City.”

Remember earlier in the week when I was talking about the gift that was Spider-Verse?  Well, this isn’t quite that.  I mean, yeah, Spider-Man Noir was part of “Spider-Verse,” but he predates the event, and had a pretty loyal fanbase before it.  Like the 2099 venture, the Noir line of comics was an venture by Marvel that’s mostly just remembered for its take on Spider-Man.  Noir has had three action figures, and I’m looking at the most recent of those today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Man Noir is part of the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends.  Despite being kind of divergent from the usual design, he’s technically the headlining figure, being the resident Peter Parker Spider-Man.  There are a few different versions of Spider-Man Noir out there, but this one’s based on his original comics design, which I’d hazard is his best.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Despite his more unique design, Noir is actually largely made of re-used parts.  He’s built on the AIM/Ghost Rider body, with the trench coat from the Punisher/Red Skull body.  The torso has been tweaked to give him a new collar, and he’s also got a new belt add-on.  The overall body is a little bit of a frankenstein effort, but there’s no denying that it’s an improvement on the previous trenchcoat body.  At least this guy can put his arms all the way down.  Noir also gets a new head sculpt to top things off, which is a pretty impressive translation of the character’s distinctive mask and goggles.  As far as paint goes, Noir is understandably monochromatic.  He’s largely just a lot of black, with some minor changes in finish and the exact darkness here and there.  Noir is packed with a pair of pistols.  They’re the sci-fi looking guns from the AIM figure, which doesn’t seem quite right for a character like Noir, but I guess they work in a pinch.  I know Hasbro’s recently decided to move away from more realistic firearms, and Noir’s the first one to really be negatively impacted by it.  Noir also includes one of the Lizard’s arms.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After grabbing the last four from All Time, I was a little too late to get this guy from them, so I had to resort to my usual sleuthing to find him.  I ended up coming across him at the FYE at the mall where Super Awesome Girlfriend was working until recently.  Noir’s a cool character with a cool look, and I’m glad to finally have a figure of the guy.

#1718: Prowler

PROWLER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Plagued by memories of his youth and desperate to prove his worth, Prowler turns to a life of crime.”

Hey look!  It’s Spawn!  Okay, so Prowler actually predates Spawn.  In fact, Prowler showed up during Todd McFarlane’s run on Spider-Man, just before he left Marvel…to create Spawn.  Guess the guy liked Prowler.  Unlike his McFarlane-owned reskin, Prowler hasn’t been particularly privy to action figures.  He got one in the ’90s, likely due to his resemblance to Spawn.  Then nothing for 25 years, and now he’s finally gotten his second action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Prowler is part of the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends.  Interestingly enough, this is the *second* Hobie Brown figure in this particular assortment, since that’s who’s under the Spider-Punk mask as well.  Who would have thought we’d get a Spider-Man assortment with twice as many Hobie Browns as Peter Parkers.  Certainly not I.  Prowler is seen here in his classic attire, which is what he’s worn for most of his career (barring a quick change-up for his solo series a few years back).  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Prowler is built on the Spider-UK body, making him the second non-Spider-Man to make use of it.  It works well enough, though Prowler’s build has fluctuated a fair bit over the years.  He gets a new head and hands, as well as new add-on pieces for the cartridges around his wrists and ankles.  The new pieces are all pretty fun, and pretty good matches for the character’s design as well.  To complete is look, he borrows the cape from Moon Knight.  While it’s a nice cape, and not a bad match for what Prowler usually wears, the piece doesn’t quite sit right on the body.  As a result, the collar ends up being rather floaty.  Not the end of the world, but a minor annoyance.  Prowler’s paintwork is pretty decent stuff.  His usual colorscheme is done well, and manages to not look too silly.  The photos make it look like his purples don’t match very well, but this isn’t the case in person.  There *are* two different purples in play, but the difference is matte vs. metallic, rather than two actually different shades.  Prowler has no character-specific accessories, which is a shame, since an unmasked head would have been cool.  Oh well.  He does at the very least include a piece for Lizard, specifically his leg.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s Spider-Woman, I wasn’t certain I needed a Prowler figure, but I wanted a Lizard, so I got him.  It was an easier purchase, since he’s at least a new character.  Ultimately, he’s a serviceable figure, if not without his flaws.  Still, even if you don’t know anything about the character, I think this figure is rather fun.

Prowler was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’d like one of your own, he’s currently still in-stock through their website, or you’re looking for something else, check out the great items available through their eBay Store.

#1717: Spider-Woman

SPIDER-WOMAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Spider-Woman uses heightened senses and powerful venom blasts to strike down any enemies of justice!”

Okay, took a break from Legends for some patriotic appreciation, but now I’m back over in the Legends corner.  Still looking st the Spider-Man stuff, specifically his distaff counterpart, Spider-Woman!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Woman is part of the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s the second main universe Jessica Drew we’ve gotten during Hasbro’s tenure.  She’s wearing her newest costume, introduced following Spider-Verse.  It’s a more real world design, no doubt put together for easy movie translation.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  She’s built on the Phoenix body, with a new head, torso, and pelvis.  The new pieces change up the body pretty suitably, resulting in a fairly nice looking translation of the design.  The head is definitely the nicest piece.  It takes a page out of Mockingbird’s book, and gives her removable glasses.  While it’s not super needed for this particular figure, it has the added benefit of giving an unmasked head to those who already have the classic Spider-Woman from a few years back.  The removable glasses actually work a bit better here, leaving almost no visible connection points when removed.  The paintwork on Spider-Woman is quite sharp, and very cleanly applied.  The face in particular is really nice looking, especially with the glasses in place.  If there’s one downside on this figure, it’s her general lack of extras.  She’s got the torso of Lizard, which is pretty sizable, to be fair, but she’s got nothing character specific.  A web line or some extra hands would be nice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I don’t have any particular attachment to this Spider-Woman design, so I wasn’t really itching for a figure of it.  However, I’m really wanting to build Lizard, and this figure looked nice enough.  I ended up grabbing her from All Time Toys, which also helped.

Speaking of All Time Toys, they still have this figure in stock on their website, if you want one of your own.  Or, if your looking for something else, check out their eBay store for tons of other cool stuff.