#2411: Black Widow

BLACK WIDOW

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Natasha Romanoff reunites with a group of spies from her past to stop a lethal force.”

Oh boy, a second new thing!  …Yeah, okay, I mentioned it yesterday, so I guess you guys kind of new this was coming.  So, after years of waiting, we’re finally getting a Black Widow solo film…you know, six months after we were supposed to.  To be fair, that feels about right for the track record of getting the solo film out so far.  A smooth journey never really was part of the process.  There are some things that you can’t really put a stop to, even if you move a movie’s release date.  In Widow‘s case, it’s all the tie-ins.  While the movie won’t be out for another six months, all the toys are starting to show up now anyway.  Oh darn, new toys.  What am I gonna do?  Write some reviews, probably.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

While there is a specific Black Widow-themed assortment of Marvel Legends that is hitting some places right now, this particular version of Widow is a solo-offering hitting alongside them, and is set up at the deluxe range price point like Archangel and the reissues of the Build-A-Figures.  While the standard release will be giving us Natasha in her more typical black attire, this release is based on the all-white number we’ve seen her in for a lot of the promotional material.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Widow is an all-new sculpt (albeit one that has a large overlap with the standard release in terms of pieces), not relying on prior figures.  That’s good, because much like Cap’s Winter Solider figure got milked just a bit too much, so did Nat’s.  And, while the Infinity War version was a nice figure, the differences in costume design definitely warranted an all-new approach.  It’s the best MCU Natasha sculpt we’ve gotten, and I say this as someone who was quite a fan of both of the prior sculpts.  Something about this particular figure really seems to get down Scarlet Johansen’s build in a way that previous releases didn’t.  In particular, the last two figures were both a little bit skinny for Johansen, at least for any of the movies past IM2.  This slightly more solid build feels like a much better match, and makes for a sturdier figure as well.  The head also has our best Johansen likeness from Hasbro to date.  They’ve been steadily improving with each Widow they’ve done, and it seems to have really paid off here.  The paint work on this figure is fairly basic.  The head’s got the face printing, so that’s quite lifelike, but the body feels a little more devoid of anything.  I feel like a little more accenting would have gone a long way; the all-white nature of the body means that a lot of the really nice sculpted details are a little more easily lost.  Perhaps the standard release will be better in this regard.  As it stands, this version is certainly passable.  What sets this figure apart from the standard release even more than just the color of her suit is her accessory selection, which helps to justify that deluxe price-point.  Widow is packed with three sets of hands (in fists, gripping, and trigger finger), two Markovs (thanks again to Tim for the gun ID), a pair of hooked weapons, seven different effects pieces covering all manner of explosions, gunfire, and her widow’s stingers, and a dynamic display stand.  It’s an impressive selection, and a far cry from the days when Widow couldn’t even get a single pistol of her own.  Now she’s got stuff to spare, and I can definitely see this set being picked up by a lot of people just for the accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The story of how I got Widow here is pretty much the same as yesterday’s Probe Droid: All Time got her in right as I was hitting the peak of my “I haven’t bought anything new to review in a while” phase.  I was definitely planning to get this figure, but didn’t know what to expect.  She’s a lot of fun, both just as a figure, and as an excuse to get a lot of cool accessories.  I’m actually kind of glad I got her divorced from the standard release, because it lets me look at the two Widows on their own merits a bit more.  I think the core figure to this one might have gotten the short end of the stick otherwise.

As noted above, Widow was purchased 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.

#2398: Eel

EEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Powered by strong electrical currents, Eel uses bursts of electricity to shock his enemies into defeat.”

Oh man, I’m writing another Serpent Society review.  How the heck do I right a good intro to a Serpent Society review?  Let’s check my last one…I went with a B-52s parody.  Great.  Yeah, that’ll go over real well here.  With Eel.  What am I gonna do?  “Eel if you want to, Eel around the world?”  It just doesn’t have the same flair, the same charm.  At this point, I’m really just stalling.  Onto the freaking figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Eel was part of the Abomination Series of Marvel Legends, which was the third assortment meant to tie-in with Civil War.  Of course, Eel himself wasn’t one of the direct tie-ins.  In fact, he’s got probably the loosest tie of them all, since his only real tie is that he was part of the Serpent Society, which Cap fought from time to time.  Eel himself wasn’t originally a Cap villain, though, and in fact started off fighting Daredevil.  No matter who he’s fighting, he’s not exactly a huge threat.  Also?  Not a serpent, but I guess the society’s numbers were low.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Eel is one of those characters who earned his spot in Legends through sheer cost-out purposes, because there’s literally not a single new piece on him.  He’s the Bucky Cap body, with Blizzard’s head, and the electricity effect hands from Electro.  Honestly, all of those parts are pretty good, and they’re also pretty accurate, so it’s hard to complain about Hasbro going for the re-use here.  If it works, go for it.  That gives the paint the job of the heavy lifting.  It does fine.  Nothing amazing or super exciting, but he’s accurate to the source material, and he looks suitably distinct from the other figures that use these parts.  Eel’s accessories are a little on the lighter side, but he’s not totally without.  He gets a spare set of normal hands (which, for the record, Electro did not, so he’s a step up there), and the torso of the Abomination Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in my review of the Cap from this set, I was in between jobs when this series hit, and I didn’t really have the funds to throw at the whole set.  Eel being as minor a character as he was, and with me not having picked up Cottonmouth, the other Serpent Society figure released that year, I ended up passing, and I can’t say I really regretted it.  But, when Rock Python was released, I realized I had two of the four Serpent Society figures available, and the other two had just been traded into All Time loose, so it felt like the right time to pick them up, lest they suddenly jump in price while I wasn’t looking.  Eel doesn’t offer much new or different, but he’s still a solid figure, and I’d probably rank him as my second favorite of the Society members we’ve gotten so far.

I purchased Eel from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2369: Secret War Captain America

SECRET WAR CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Recruited by Nick Fury for an undercover mission, Captain America serves SHIELD in the pursuit of justice.”

Comics like to re-use names.  Take, for instance, this figure, and the story he’s sourced from.  Is “Secret War Captain America” from Secret Wars, Marvel’s cross-company event designed to help sell action figures?  Or perhaps Secret Wars II, its sequel?  Or how about Secret Wars, the 2015 cross-company event designed to help sell that comics were still a relevant thing and these crossovers were still totally worth doing and you should really buy them all?  It’s a resounding “no” to all three.  No, he’s from Secret War, a Brian Michael Bendis-written event from 2003, which, despite its name, is completely and totally unrelated to the three other events I listed.  Oh, Bendis.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Secret War Captain America was part of the Abomination Series of Marvel Legends, which was the last of the three Cap-themed Civil War tie-in assortments released in 2016.  Hasbro was eager to get as much mileage as possible out of the new Cap pieces they’d tooled up for the Reaper body, and also needed a third Cap variant, so this guy got the nod, being based on Gabriele Dell’Otto’s stealth uniform Cap from the previously mentioned event series.  Cap’s costume from this series is apparently a favorite for toy companies, since its had both a Legends and a Minimates release, while none of the other heroes costumes have graced toy form.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  As I noted above, this guy was built on the Reaper body, specifically the one with all the Cap-specific parts that was first used for the Cap-Wolf figure.  That means he’s got the flared boots and gloves.  He also re-uses the head from the RoML Ultimate Captain America, since it lacks the 3D head wings of Cap-Wolf’s standard head.  Also, doesn’t have that same horrible, hideous face, so that’s a plus.  He does get one new piece, an add-on for his belt, which appears to be fairly accurate to the source material.  Of all the things to spring for new tooling on, this one seems a little odd, but to be fair, it’s really the only new piece he needed.  The main changes are made via the paint, which really gets the stealthier colors of the design down. He’s still got the trappings of your standard Captain America color scheme, but toned way down to allow for something slightly stealthier…even if it’s not like he’s really actually hiding who he is.  Whatever the case, it looks cool.  Cap is packed with the same shield as all of the post-Reaper Caps, and also includes the throwing effect for the shield, which I reviewed with the 80th Cap, but was debuted with this particular figure.  As I noted in that review, it’s a fun extra piece, and definitely added some pop to what could have been a drab release.  Cap was also packed with the right arm of the Abomination Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

At the time that this assortment hit in 2016, I was kinda between jobs, so I didn’t really have the funds to go all-in on it (nor did the line-up or the Build-A-Figure really inspire me to do so), meaning I only picked up the figures I really, really wanted.  Cap didn’t quite make it on that list, and I just never saw him in person again by the time I had the money to spend on him.  Fortunately, All Time managed to get a few of them in as part of a trade, and so I was able to grab one for my Cap collection.  He’s not a standard version of the character, but the stealth look is a cool one, and he was certainly an improvement on the Cap Wolf figure.

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

#2345: Goliath

GOLIATH (w/ ANT-MAN & WASP)

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

“Hank Pym started small. After shrinking his way to worldwide renown as the super-heroic Ant-Man, founding member of the mighty Avengers, he ascended to even greater glory in the guise of Giant-Man. Now, as Goliath, he continues to prove that size matters: His greatest asset is his big brain and knack for invention! Due to years of exposure to the size-altering properties of Pym Particles, Goliath can increase in stature at will and to a maximum height of 100 feet of shrink to the size of an ant. He grows by drawing additional mass froman extra-dimensional source, to which it returns when he reverts to normal. Goliath can shrink an entire laboratory or an array of firearms to the size of a microchip when not in use. The various compartments of his uniform straps contain a wide variety of miniaturized equipment.”

Toy Biz’s run on Marvel Legends was full of a lot of rather frustrating choices on their part, all in the name of trying to foster some sort of after market value for their figures.  It was…well, it wasn’t the best time to be a collector, but it was a really good time for scalpers.  Yay?  One of their ideas was chase figures, figures that were not advertised on the back of the package and were shipped in very low numbers, and were just short of including a note on the front that said “scalp me.”  The concept only ended up lasting for two assortments, Series 4 and Series 5.  I’ve looked at Red Skull, the chase for Series 5, but now I’m looking at the figure that officially launched it, Goliath!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

As noted in the intro, Goliath was the chase figure for Series 4 of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends, and was subsequently the one figure in the assortment not listed on the back of the packaging.  He’s officially supposed to be based on Hank’s first Goliath costume, but, well, there’s some caveats to that, which I’ll touch on in a bit. The figure stands 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation.  That’s a pretty low count for a Legends release, and there’s a good reason for that: he’s not a Legends sculpt.  Instead, he was a wholesale repaint of the Giant-Man figure from their classic Avengers boxed set from the ’90s.  Now, you may recall from my (astoundingly short) review of that figure, that I was pretty fond of the sculpt.  It’s honestly one of he nicest sculpts to come out of their 5-inch days.  That being said, it didn’t really fit all that well stylistically with the Legends Toy Biz was putting out at this time.  I mean, he’ll look okay with the Iron Man and Cap, but beyond that he’s gonna be out of place.  Additionally, the sculpted details of the costume are pretty specific to Giant-Man’s costume, but those don’t line-up with the Goliath costume they opted to go for.  He shouldn’t have the antenna or the circle, and he should have goggles, and a completely different belt.  We wound up getting a couple of more accurate renditions of this costume once Hasbro took over, but for this one, Toy Biz was clearly wanting a cheap extra figure to produce and went with the “close enough” philosophy.  The paint work kind of rolls with the differences of the sculpt, and pretty much makes no attempt to hide them, because, honestly, it’s not like there’s much that can be done.  It’s a pretty nifty color scheme, and I certainly dig the metallic blue used on the body suit.  In order to distract a bit from the re-used mold and the lack of a base sculpt, Goliath was packed with repaints of the Ant-Man and Wasp figures from the same boxed set as Giant-Man.  They work a little better with the Legends aesthetic, though they’re not super-poseable or anything.  The new coat of paint does look nice, though.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite the somewhat lazy creation, I always wanted this guy when he was new.  Perhaps because I was giving into the very forces that Toy Biz was counting on, or perhaps because I just always liked this Goliath costume.  Whatever the case, I didn’t get one, because the after market for him was stupid expensive for a good long while.  Then the people paying the stupid money for him actually took a closer looked at him, realized how lazy a creation he was, and two much better versions of the costume were released, and now this guy can be had for a much more reasonable sum.  He ended up traded into All Time about a year and a half ago, allowing me to finally add him to my collection.  He’s not anything to write home about, but I can love him for what he is.

#2337: Cosmic Ghost Rider

COSMIC GHOST RIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Supernatural powers transform Frank Castle from a force of retribution into an eternal Spirit of Vengeance.”

Ghost Rider is a character who is very influenced by current trends.  It makes sense, since he began his life in the ’70s as an attempt to cash in on motorcycle stunt acts like Evel Knievel.  In the ’90s he became a leather-clad ’90s biker, in the early ’00s he had something of an identity crisis, because stunt cyclist and bad-ass biker were apparently just too different, and then in 2013 he became a street racer because the Fast and the Furious movies were inexplicably still a thing.  While that version of the character is still running around as the main version, we’ve gotten another update.  In the wake of Marvel’s recent trend of cosmic epics and the cosmically-themed characters that populate them, now we’ve got a Cosmic Ghost Rider.  He’s Ghost Rider, he’s a herald of Galactus, and he’s Frank Castle.  Are we sure this guy isn’t another Summers brother, sporting a symbiote, and possibly from the future?  Because that would really check off all of the boxes.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cosmic Ghost Rider is the second figure in the latest “Legendary Riders” assortment of Marvel Legends, shipping alongside yesterday’s Squirrel Girl figure.  As with the Blaze Ghost Rider that was released in the first assortment, he’s a character who makes far more sense in this particular line-up than quite a few of the figures we’ve actually gotten, what with him being rather dependent on his ride and all.  But we’ll get to that in a minute, because right now I’m talking about the main man himself.  No, not Lobo; this is the other space-faring biker with a lot of attitude and slightly outdated ’90s-isms!  Don’t confuse them!  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Compared to some of Hasbro’s more recent efforts, Cosmic Ghost Rider does feel a little on the restricted side in terms of posing.  He can manage sitting on his bike alright, so at least it’s not impacting the main look, but I found the range to be a fair bit less than I’d been expecting.  Some of that’s definitely to do with the design, however.  Cosmic Ghost Rider has one of those sort of nebulous designs (befitting his kind of ’90s throwback nature, really), where the details change-up from artist to artist.  Hasbro’s opted to use this to their advantage a little bit, allowing for a tiny bit of parts re-use.  He gets the hands, legs, and feet of the Red Onslaught Taskmaster, which are suitably sci-fi-armor-y for the character’s needs.  The legs are also the most practically poseable portion of the figure, for what it’s worth.  The rest of the sculpt is all-new, and it’s decent, but…I don’t know, it’s not quite wowing me the way I’d been hoping it would.  Nothing is outright bad or anything.  In fact there are a lot of cool elements, especially with all the little texturing littered throughout the suit.  The head is also pretty cool looking, with the helmet being removable so that you can pose the head within it.  That said, the neck joint essentially just being a cut-joint is a bit disappointing, and the post the head sits on is a little more visible than I’d like from some angles.  Despite the figure’s rather large shoulder pads, the hips still seem comparatively rather large.  It doesn’t seem to jibe with the overall look they’re going for, and ends up making him look a lot less intimidating than you’d hope.  His paintwork is at least a suitable match for the books, with his basic color scheme nicely rendered, and even a pretty solid attempt at all of his cosmic detailing as well.  Being a version of Frank Castle, Cosmic Ghost Rider would of course be totally naked without at least a few guns, so he gets two distinct space guns, each with a distinct flame effect.  And being a version of Ghost Rider, he would be totally naked without a chain, so he gets one of those too!

In addition to the guns and chain, Cosmic Ghost Ride also includes his Cosmic Ghost Ride.  It’s pretty much just a space motorcycle, because what else is this guy gonna ride?  Certainly not the scooter!  Of course, now I kinda want Ghost Rider all themed around riding that scooter.  He could even have a flaming scarf!  Now that would be a scarf to make Kamen Rider jealous!  …where was I?  Not Ghost Vespa Rider?  Well, that’s a letdown.  Darn.  Why’d I do that to myself?  So, how about this cosmic bike?  Well, it’s about 5 inches tall by 9 inches long, and unlike most of the vehicles so far in this line, it doesn’t actually have any moving parts, unless you count the tiny bit of movement on the hover stand, but I feel like that’s stretching things a bit.  Honestly, this thing’s got more in common with the Black Series Speeder Bike than it does the other Marvel vehicles, which I guess is appropriate.  There’s a little bit of assembly right out of the box to get the front “wheel” put together with its effects pieces inside.  The fully assembled product is certainly something of a centerpiece, and does a pretty respectable job of boiling down all the common design elements of the various illustrations of this thing into one concise product.  I appreciate the spots to store the guns, and how well they hold them in place; that’s a cool touch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Full disclosure: I’ve never really gotten Cosmic Ghost Rider.  Since his introduction, everyone’s been crazy about the guy, but to me he feels like a left over idea from the mid-90s, and not in a particularly good way.  He’s the sort of thing you expect to see lots of ball-point-pen drawings of on the lined paper of some kid’s spiral bound notebook in class.  So I’m not really all about him, and I’ll admit that’s probably colored my opinion of this set just a little bit.  Ultimately, if you like the concept, this might hold your interest more than me.  In my case?  Well, it’ll look fine on the shelf, where I’ll only passingly glance at it from time to time and remember its shame.  And also remember that this set somehow ended up far easier to acquire than the WW2 Cap set.  For shame!

Cosmic Ghost Rider was purchased from my friends All Time Toys, where he is currently in stock here.  Don’t let my apathy scare you off, though, I just like ruining people’s good time.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2336: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With super squirrel powers and help from her three squirrel friends, the astonishing Doreen Green battles the baddest baddies in the universe!”

When she originally appeared in 1991, I don’t think anyone expected that Squirrel Girl would become a character that had *multiple* action figures, but here in 2020, we live in a world where that’s totally a thing.  Not only is Squirrel Girl a Marvel Legend, but she’s even based on her solo comic series…because again, that’s totally thing.  I guess in a comics world where Deadpool tops a lot of people’s lists, another irreverent hero isn’t the worst thing to be, allowing for the previously incredibly niche Doreen Green to find a nice little audience.  Hey, if it gets me a Squirrel Girl figure, I won’t complain.  Okay, I’m gonna complain a little, but there’s more context to it than that.  Let’s just jump into the review.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Squirrel Girl is a little difficult to slot into one of Hasbro’s already established sub-sets of Legends assortment themes, so for this release they opted to bump up her accessory component a bit and place her in the fifth assortment of the “Legendary Riders” sub-line.  This release opts for Doreen’s redesigned costume from her 2014 solo series, and, if I’m honest, that did take the wind out of my sails ever so slightly on this figure.  I don’t *hate* the design, mind you, but I can’t really say it’s my favorite, and being a fan of the character largely from her time with the Great Lakes Avengers, I was sort of hoping for that look.  That said, this look has had a fair bit of coverage, and it’s current, making it a wise choice from a marketing standpoint.  That won’t stop me from hoping we get the other costume down the line, though.  The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Squirrel Girl uses the Spider-Girl body as a starting point, but ultimately only ends up using the lower arms and mid legs from that figure.  Everything else is new, and for the most part pretty nicely rendered.  The multi-part costume looks sufficiently like real clothes, and the tail is actually sculpted in such a way that it doesn’t make her impossible to stand on her own, which is certainly a plus.  I’m not sure why the opted to give her two open gesture hands when she’s meant for a vehicle, but at least they aren’t fists, so you can at least fake that she’s holding those handle bars.  The head is the part of the figure I take the most issue with.  In part, this is due to the head having to adhere to the modern design, meaning it gets the headband with the ears, which I’m not big on.  Beyond that, though, she also runs into some issues of trying to adapt a cartoony design into a realistic figure.  They’ve tried to replicate one of her goofier expressions into a real-world look, and the end result is…well, it’s weird looking.  Max described it as looking “like she just smelled a fart” and I can’t really argue with that assessment.  It’s not the worst thing, but it’s just odd looking.  I think something a little tamer, or perhaps even a head that just actually went a little cartoonier would make for a better final product.  The paintwork on Squirrel Girl is pretty solid.  They make the shades of brown and grey that make up most of her look not totally drab and boring, and the application is all nice and clean.  There’s also some pretty decent accenting going on, which we don’t tend to see much of these days.  I can certainly appreciate that.

Squirrel Girl has a multitude of extras, the biggest being her scooter, which lets her fit that whole “Riders” theme of the line.  Like Black Widow and Deadpool, it’s not an item by which she’s really defined, and is more an excuse to fit her into this assortment.  That said, it’s not completely out of the ordinary for the character, so it’s not the worst thing.  It’s 4 inches tall by 5 inches deep, and it’s got working wheels.  Sculpturally, it’s the same as the scooter that was included with Deadpool last year, just with a basket added to the front to hide the DP symbol that was on the front.  It was a pretty solid sculpt the first time around, and it is still cool here.  I do have to chuckle a little bit to myself about looking back on that old review, where I noted that DP scooter had less re-use potential than Widow’s bike, given that the scooter has been used twice now, and the bike hasn’t.  Oh well.  This is honestly the better vehicle sculpt.  This iteration of the scooter keeps its removable horn for the handlebar, which is a fun little piece.  Also included in this set are three different squirrels.  Presumably, the one with with bow is supposed be Tippy Toe (though she should be grey for true accuracy), and the other two are Monkey Joe and Mr. Lieberman, though which is which is really your call.  The three can all fit into the basket on the front of the scooter, though depending on your configuration of them, it can be a little snug.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been of mixed emotions about this set since it was shown off, and I’m still of mixed emotions after getting it in hand.  With that said, the final product is better than I’d expected it to be, even after looking at it in package.  This Squirrel Girl may not be exactly the one I wanted, and I may not be jumping up and down for joy at getting it, but it is better than nothing.  I’m still holding out hope for her other costume down the line (since they can re-use a number of this figure’s new parts), but until then, I suppose this one is fine.

Squirrel Girl was purchased from my friends All Time Toys, where she is currently in stock here If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

 

#2335: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS

Tonight’s drunk review is brought to you by watching Paprika, the acid dream trip of an anime movie, you can only view this movie while extremely inebriated. AND ETHAN HAS PROMISED ME THAT HE WON’T EDIT THIS POST, EVEN TO MAKE IT READABLE. If he edits this review before it publishes then he won’t be getting any action figures for a month. I’m not drunk enough for this limp noodle asparagus. Apparently I don’t write “coherent enough reviews”, well I’ll show ya coherent!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This is some Iron Man from some Hasbro Marvel Legends line. Oh! Oh! I got it! He’s unpainted robot Iron Man before he does the red/gold color scheme from the 365th Marvel Legends line. Just kidding, I pulled that out of my derrière. I’m really craving Jade Hibachi now, that cheap hibachi place across the street from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. I miss them… 😦

Look at that Punisher though! FRANKIE!!!! MY GUN TOTTING CINNAMON ROLL!!!! He’s got his murder face on–GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHH! And look, he’s right next to the Iron Punishmenter. Then there’s robo Iron Man next to acid green Spidey. Then there’s jacked up white space football Spidey. And the crew is rounded off with horse rancher Wolverine, who retires to a horse farm after losing Jean for the 34th time. If you can’t see the picture I’m talking about, it’s I’m assuming all the figures from the line all…lined up. Pffft.

Anyways, Im going off the books. Is there every really a script for these reviews, at least the ones that I write? This robot looking Iron Man, loo i know they all look like robits, but this one especially with the cold grey color scheme, has like 54 points of articulation. He’s about the size of my hand, about some 6 inches and some change.

This review is painful and it doesn’t help.  No, that’s the Egg. Anyways, this figure is a repaint of some other Iron Man figure, which is why i get to review him. Apparently, it’s a repaint of Invincible Iron Man. Did he have a better looking butt though? I don’t like his spine, it’s weird and makes me uncomfortable. Like dude, seriously, put that spiny boi away. No one wants to see that! I don’t know how I feel about this figure. He doesn’t have a distinguishable mouth. WHERE DOES HE BREATHE?!?!?!? Anyways, this boi is painted grey, like steel metal grey that reminds you of cold heartless metal. Yes, metal can have heart, just look at the Iron Giant. This Iron Man is a cool grey with subtle vibrant (those words don’t really go together do they?) blue that outlines and accents things, like his face and spine. Maybe that’s why I don’t like his spine, because it’s all bumpy and super detailed. The blue accenting while cool in some places looks really sloppy in others, like spray paint without the drip lines and super blotches. Maybe the blue is supposed to be like spray paint, which in that case it looks convincing, but if not it makes the figure look sloppy. Also my nails are really long and are making typing kinda hard. This Iron Man’s butt is kinda disappointing, like leagues under America’s Butt, though the plastic does look like he’s got dimples on his metal cheeks. Male action figure butts are always disappointing and flat. Like female figures and statues have nice bubble butts, but most males look like deflated flabby balloons and it makes me sad. This Iron Man’s spine has more definition than his butt does.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This isn’t my favorite Iron Man. I don’t actually know if I do have a favorite one, but this one would definitely be at the bottom of the list. He looks too much like a cold heartless robot that Ultron could take over and use to kill people. I like the color combo of blue and grey, but the blue on this figure looks sloppy and incomplete in some places. His spine really creeps me out and i don’t know why exactly. Overall, this isn’t one of my favorite figures. I can’t remember where Ethan got this figure, but I’m like 98% sure that it wasn’t from Walmart or Toy-R-Us [it was from my friends at All Time Toys –Ethan]. The former he doesn’t shop much in and the later died a slow agonizing death, but not as slow as K-Mart, gods bless their journeys’ to the afterlife. And now I’m just typing even more nonsense so that the review doesn’t stop on a six hundred and six after sixty word count. That’s the mark of the devil, and while I’m not super religious, our roommate has had the worst luck and I want to be cautious!

There, I’m done. Your regular review reading program will come back tomorrow–don’t worry!

#2334: Colossus & Juggernaut

COLOSSUS & JUGGERNAUT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“1976 Saw the release of X-Men 102, with its iconic cover featuring the mighty Colossus and unstoppable Juggernaut locked in combat, setting the stage for a rivalry that would shake the Marvel universe For decades.”

Do you ever feel like your intro’s been stolen right out from under you by Hasbro’s own copy writers?  Just me?  Yeah, I guess that might be a more exclusively me sort of an issue.  Well, you know, 1976 did see the release of X-Men 102…which, uhh, had this here iconic cover, and it–ah, it’s just not the same.  Look, you guys know the song and dance here.  I’m just gonna get right to reviewing the action figures.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Colossus and Juggernaut are the second of the two comic-based “80 Years of Marvel” Legends two-packs (the other being Wolverine and Hulk).  As with that one, it pairs one BaF-sized figure with one smaller one, although smaller is certainly a relative term in this case.  As the text above notes, the two are themed around their X-Men #102 appearance, though the individual figures do more or less adhere to the line’s already established style.

COLOSSUS

A mutant with the ability to transform his body into metal, Peter Rasputin left his farm community to join the X-Men and fight for good.”

Colossus was a fairly early addition to Legends in the Toy Biz days, appearing just five series into the line.  That figure was one of the line’s best, and replacing him was certainly a daunting task.  When Hasbro finally got around to releasing a Piotr figure of their own, they opted for a more modern appearance that wasn’t actually a direct replacement, but we all kind of knew a proper classic version would come around eventually.  It took three years, but here he is!  The figure stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  This guy makes moderate use of the parts from the previous Colossus figure, namely the head, arms, and pelvis.  The torso, wrist bands, belt, legs, and feet are new to this guy.  The new parts are all very nicely handled, and I like the extensive selection of character-specific elements.  The old parts I’m admittedly slightly iffy on.  I liked the previous figure a lot, but he was from three years ago, and even in that time they’ve really made some strides forward, so things like the range of motion on the arms is a little disappointing.  Also, I understand Hasbro opting to re-use the clean shaven head from the last figure, but for me it just doesn’t quite feel right for a ’70s/’80s Colossus.  Were this, say, the Jim Lee design, it would be fine, but he lacks that particular flair of character that Cockrum and Byrne drew him with.  It’s not a bad sculpt at all, but slightly misses the mark for me.  Colossus’s paintwork is clean, bright, and bold, which is honestly a first for a Legends Colossus, since both the Toy Biz one and Hasbro’s prior figure went for a much murkier palette.  I like this look, and it reminds me a bit of the Marvel Select figure, which isn’t a bad thing.  Colossus is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, and one in an open pose.  They match the hands included with the previous figure, but instead of one of each, now we get matching pairs.

JUGGERNAUT

Cain Marko possesses superhuman strength and extreme durability that allows him to rampage through any situation as an unstoppable juggernaut of force.”

Juggernaut’s last time in Legends wasn’t long before Colossus’s, since he was the Build-A-Figure for the prior year and all.  I reviewed that one back when it was new, and I liked it a fair bit then.  Of course, the trouble with Build-A-Figures is that sometimes one or two of the figures that include their pieces are hard to get, making completing them quite tricky, so Hasbro’s seen fit to do a slight redux of that release for this two-pack.  Like that one, this figure stands 9 1/2 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  The sculpt is almost exactly the same.  The helmet is ever so slightly different, being a little smoother in texture than the first one.  He also ditches the original figure’s belt in order to be more accurate to the older Juggernaut appearances.  Further changing things up is the paintwork, which trades in the more strictly brown colors of the last figure for a much redder palette, which is again a far more classic look.  He also ditches the pupilled eyes from the last year for straight white ones, with sort of a shaded effect over the eyes for a slightly more dramatic appearance.  It’s probably the one change I don’t feel is an outright improvement, but it’s not a bad look either.  While the original Juggernaut was a Build-A-Figure, and therefore didn’t get any accessories, this guy actually gets quite an assortment.  There’s an extra unmasked head, a torn up helmet piece to go with it, and a spare set of open hands to trade out for the BaF’s closed fists.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Classic Colossus has been on my list since the more modern one hit three years ago, so he served as the major selling point for me on this particular set, with Juggernaut more or less just being along for the ride.  That said, I definitely dig the two of them being paired together, since it really calls back to their scenes together in Pryde of the X-Men, which remains a defining X-Men entry for me.  In hand, Colossus is okay, but has his definite flaws.  Juggernaut on the other hand takes the already pretty awesome Build-A-Figure and just builds more awesome into it, making this a truly fantastic version of the character.

I got this pair from my friends All Time Toys, where they are currently in stock here If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2333: Jean Grey, Cyclops, & Wolverine

JEAN GREY, CYCLOPS, & WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Love triangles are far from uncommon in serialized fiction, with a good deal of narratives being built around at least one.  The X-Men have been host to a fair number of them, but I don’t think any of them will ever beat out the Jean Grey/Cyclops/Wolverine triad…which is kind of amusing, because it was originally only a minor plot line, mostly meant as a way to give Logan a little character development, while also strengthening Scott and Jean’s relationship and solidifying them as the definitive couple.  Then Wolverine’s popularity went through the roof, Jean died and came back a few times, and Scott became the X-writers’ favorite punching bag, and now they’ve got some sort of vague polyamorous relationship going on?  Listen, the X-books are being written by Hickman, and he hasn’t deigned that they make any sort of sense yet, so we’ll all just have to sit back and wait for him to tell us whether or not we understand anything that’s going on, alright?  While we’re waiting for that, let’s flash back to the ’90s, when things were simpler, and we just had your basic love triangle between a newly married couple and their surly 100-year-old friend.  The basics!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Wolverine were released late last year as a Fan Channel-exclusive Marvel Legends three-pack.  Like the Havok and Polaris pack, they are loosely built into the “80 Years of Marvel” celebration, and also like that pack, the box is all themed around the trading cards of the ’90s.  It’s a cool design, but as with most of my figures, these things could ship in plastic baggies for all I care–actually no, I do care!  Paper bags!  Let’s be a little more environmentally conscious!  Until then, I guess a throwback to the ’90s trading cards is alright.  What was I doing?  Grand standing?  No, wait–action figure review! Yeah, let’s go with that!

JEAN GREY

“Jean Grey is an incredibly powerful mutant with the psychic powers of telepathy and telekinesis.”

After being Marvel Girl, then Phoenix, then Dark Phoenix, then dead, then not dead anymore, Jean decided to ditch the whole supramyn concept and go with her regular-ass name.  Seems fair, honestly.  It does make marketing her a little tricky, though, since everyone else is using these really sweet code names and she’s just regular-old “Jean.”  Whatever the case this particular regular old Jean is an important one, because she finally completes the core ’90s X-Men line-up (though we still need a proper Colossus)…well, for most fans, anyway.  Some people were fortunate enough to have found the Rocket Raccoon Series Jean, which had this same costume, but to call that release “hard to find” would be something of an understatement.  Plus, that was just before Legends really got the formula down, so an update is not unprecedented.  So, here Jean is in all her head-band-wearing, Jim Lee-designed-glory.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  She’s built on a variant of the same body that Phoenix was built on, but with a new upper torso and thighs.  She also re-uses the bracers and belt from the previous ’90s Jean, which seems pretty sensible.  She does not re-use the head from that figure, instead getting not one, but two new ones.  She gets one that’s a direct recreation of the last one, being the more comics-accurate hairdo (seen with Wilson on the right there), but also gets an X-Men: The Animated Series accurate head with her slightly tweaked headgear from the show.  That’s actually a first for toys, and I’m genuinely thrilled that I can now have a cartoon accurate roster.  Jean’s paintwork is mostly pretty basic, though I will say that there’s a little bit of slop on the blue portions of the costume on mine, and I had to check a few samples to get the best one.  Hasbro was definitely having a more lax QC day on this figure.  Jean doesn’t get any accessories beyond the extra head…well, I mean, unless you want to count the next two figures, which would be somewhat valid.

CYCLOPS

Scott Summers can fire optic blasts so powerful that they can only be harnessed by a special ruby-quartz visor.”

Cyclops has already gotten his modern-Legends-take-on-the-’90s-design due, with a pretty darn cool figure, I might add. However, in a similar fashion to the Jean situation above, said figure was never amazingly easy to find, and he’s kind of an essential piece to a ’90s X-Men set-up.  However, Hasbro didn’t want to just do a straight re-issue, so they’ve given us a figure that works to fill in the roster for fans that missed the first figure, while still having something to offer for fans who already have him.  What’d they do to change things up: bomber jacket.  Yeah, Scott was prone to wearing a jacket over his costume in the ’90s (especially on the cartoon), so that’s what this guy replicates.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  He uses the same starting point as his predecessor, the Bucky Cap body, and also gets the same head and collection of straps as the previous, minus the wrist straps.  He then gets the jacket from Old Man Logan and the arms from Punisher.  The jacket works better with the straps than I’d expected it to, and while I’m still not sure it’s 100% perfect, it’s decent.  I do wish the arms had a better range of motion, but that’s really the only thing.  The other thing that this guy changes up quite a bit is the paint.  While the last one went more for the Capcom colors for the costume, this one leans more heavily on those animated colors, so there’s a darker blue and a brighter yellow.  I wasn’t sure about the change at first, but I kinda like it in person.  The only downside is that now I want an un-jacketed version to match this and a jacketed one to match the prior.  Oh darn.  Cyclops is packed with two extra heads, one depicting his ’90s sunglasses, and the second his ’70s/’80s, allowing for some nice options on the civilian front.  He also includes a second left hand in a standard fist, for those that don’t like the optic blast hand.

WOLVERINE

“The mutant known as Wolverine possesses razor-sharp Adamantium claws and the ability to heal virtually any wound.”

Did you know that Wolverines have an average lifespan between 7 and 12 years in the wild?  That’s your fun FiQ fact for this tiger-stripe Wolverine review!  Wolverine is *definitely* no stranger to the toy world, the Legends world, or even the modern-Legends-take-on-the-’90s-design world.  We got his brown costume twice, and so now I guess it was time to even things out with the tiger-stripe design, especially since, even at two-to-a-case, the last release had really disappeared.  This one acts as something of a smaller-scale companion to the 12-inch Legends Wolverine.  I loved the heck out of that figure, so the prospects of it translating to the smaller line were definitely a plus for me.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s the same as the Apocalypse Series Wolverine, which makes sense, that being a very ’90s Wolverine and all.  It’s also just a really solid sculpt, and Hasbro can hardly be faulted for getting a little more mileage out of it.  The paint work changes up in a fashion quite similar to how it worked on Cyclops.  In fact, the shades of yellow and blue appear to be identical.  I don’t like the dark blue quite as much, but the yellow’s not bad.  Wolverine gets the best accessory selection of the set, with two extra heads, a pulled down mask, and an alternate set of hands with bone claws.  The two extra heads replicate the ones included with the larger figure, so there’s an unmasked head and an angry battle-damaged head.  I really like that battle-damaged head, and I’m glad we got it at the smaller scale.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was fortunate enough to get both Wolverine and Cyclops’ original releases at retail pricing, but Jean pre-dates me getting back into Legends collecting, and honestly I probably wouldn’t have found one anyway.  As I got more and more of the ’90s team, the lack of a Jean was more and more of an issue.  I was hoping for at least a re-issue, but when Hasbro announced an all-new figure, I was definitely happy, even more so when I saw that animated head.  I know a lot of people weren’t thrilled about the prospect of having to re-buy the other two, but I don’t mind so much, and find that both figures have something to offer even if you’ve got those previous releases.  All in all, this is a great set and I’m glad we got it.  Now I can finally stop using Phoenix in my X-Men display!

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

#2324: Demogoblin

DEMOGOBLIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Boy do the Spider-Man foes have some confusing legacies.  Following the death of Norman Osborn, and by extension the Green Goblin, the Goblin role in Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery fractured.  While the Green Goblin identity remained in play, we were also introduced to the mysterious Hobgoblin, a variant on the legacy role.  Hobgoblin himself became a legacy character, actually fairly early into his life.  The fourth man to take on the name was Jason Macendale, who had previously been the original Jack O’Lantern.  Macendale would end up gaining demonic powers from the demon N’astirh during the Inferno cross-over, and those demonic traits would eventually be separated from him and made into their own character, the Demogoblin.  Confused?  Yeah, me too.  Look, he’s got a toy, and I’m gonna review it.  Let’s get to that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Demogoblin is the build-a-figure for the first Spider-Man-themed series of Marvel Legends for 2020.  He had previously been shown off as a single-carded figure for the Lizard Series back in 2018, but was replaced by Lasher in the assortment proper.  He’s been rumored for every Spider assortment since, finally showing up here.  I know a lot of people are happy to finally have him.  Demogoblin has had one prior figure in this scale, as part of Hasbro’s early Spider-Man Origins line, but that was a rather hasty repaint of Hobgoblin, making this his first proper figure.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Given the common lineage, this figure does end up re-using a fair number of parts from the Space Venom Hobgoblin, itself a variant of the Bucky Cap mold.  Demo reuses the torso, arms, boots, and cape from that figure, as well as getting the standard Bucky Cap legs in place of the scaly ones Hobgoblin was sporting.  It’s all topped off with a new head, forearms, hands, and webgear for the torso.  While Hobgoblin did include a demonic Macendale head as an extra, this one goes even further with the demonic appearance, incorporating more inhuman features, and a far more tattered hood.  I really like it, and it’s an improvement on the prior piece in pretty much every way.   The rest of the new parts similarly continue that trend of improvement, and he makes for quite a dynamic looking figure.  The paintwork matches the usual Demogoblin color scheme.  Everything is cleanly applied and does its job.  This figure is one that probably would have benefited from maybe a wash or something to help really play up that demonic side, but I suppose there’s a lot of room for error when you spread something like that across multiple build-a-figure parts, so maybe it’s for the best that they didn’t attempt it.  Demogoblin gets an all-new glider, which is distinct from both Hob and Green Goblin, and even features a flight stand (borrowed from The Black Series), which is the sort of trend I’d love to see continue with such things.  It also helps to make him feel a little more worthy of that build-a-figure slot.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not personally that invested in Demogoblin as a character, but after he was displaced (admittedly for a character I wanted more, so no complaints there) I understood why people were anxious to see him turn up elsewhere.  Like a lot of recent BaFs, completing my Demogoblin was really just a side-effect of getting all of the figures in the set, and not really my main focus.  He did turn out really nicely, though.

This assortment is probably the most balanced Spidey assortment I’ve encountered as of late.  While I’d rank the Velocity Suit as the weakest entry, I actually have some trouble picking a favorite, not because they aren’t good, but because I like several figures in the line-up quite a bit.  I think all of the figures in this set stand out nicely on their own, and I quite enjoyed this line-up of figures.