#3078: Psylocke, Nimrod, & Fantomex

PSYLOCKE, NIMROD, & FANTOMEX

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

I wasn’t lying last week about spacing out my Legends reviews.  It’s what I have to do to get by these days, during this crazy drought… Look, they got me hooked on getting new stuff like every other day, and then all of the sudden it was just gone, and I’m not entirely sure what to do with myself anymore.  Thankfully, I still have a few things from last year I never got around to, so it’s like this extra little pocket of surprise snacks for later.  Or something like that.  At the beginning of the year, I looked at an Amazon-exclusive boxed set from 2021.  Now, I guess I’ll jump way back in time, to the far back year of 2020, when their exclusive was an X-Force-themed set.  You know, for reasons.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Psylocke, Nimrod, and Fantomex were released as an Amazon-exclusive Marvel Legends boxed set at the tail end of 2020.  The set was then offered up as a wider Fan Channel release in the back half of 2021.  It wasn’t quite as fast a turn around as the Wolverine boxed set, but it was still a fairly quick one.

PSYLOCKE

Because we couldn’t very well have a Legends boxed set without some dead weight, here’s Psylocke.  Okay, that’s not fair.  Psylocke’s not really the dead weight here, I suppose.  I mean, she’s actually got a unique design, and it’s not like the prior release was exactly easy to come by.  This marks Psylocke’s third time as a Hasbro Legends release, and fourth release in Legends form overall.  It’s also the first to deviate from the “bathing suit” costume design, and I’m okay with that.  This new one is based on her later Uncanny X-Force designs, which keeps a few elements from the more classic look, while also making her look a little more tactical and more battle-ready.  Honestly, I think this is honestly a slightly better look overall.  The figure stands just shy of 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her sculpt is almost entirely a re-use of the last Psylocke figure.  While I was a touch critical on that one, since she was meant to be a more directly Lee-inspired figure, on this particular design, I actually think the mold works out pretty well.  The only thing to be changed up for this release is her sash piece, which is now tighter fitting and sports an “X” insignia sculpted on the front.  It’s a subtle, but notable improvement over the prior piece, and I like it a lot more.  Beyond the new sash, all of the differences for this figure are paint-based.  It’s a pretty solidly handled application.  The costume’s details are nice and clean, and they’ve actually improved on the hair paint from the prior release a whole lot.  Psylocke includes the same accessories as the last release: a psychic effect, a katana, and a psychic knife, all molded in translucent pink, but now with a little extra purple detailing.  In addition, she also gets a spare left hand, in a grippilng pose, so she can now hold her sword with both hands.

NIMROD

There’s an unquestionable selling point of this set, and it’s Nimrod.  Introduced in 1985, Nimrod is a future Sentinel from the averted “Days of Future Past” timeline, who finds his way to the present day 616 universe.  He’s been a recurring foe in the X-books since then, with a recent resurgence in relevance during the “of X” stuff that’s been going on in the X-books the last few years.  This marks Nimrod’s third ever figure, and his first time as a Legend.  The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  If there’s one drawback to Nimrod, it’s his movement.  It’s not really the figure’s fault, since the design itself is pretty limiting.  Notably, the neck joint is only there for swapping the heads, and doesn’t really work for actual posing.  Additionally, the range on the shoulders and elbows is rather restricted.  Beyond that, though, he’s decently posable, given the design.  Nimrod is an all-new sculpt, and is an amalgam of a few of his designs, taking elements from his earliest appearances, as well as his more recent look.  It’s not a clean match for anything in particular, but it captures the overall essence of the character well.  It’s a very clean and sleek design, and I definitely dig it.  There are two different head sculpts included, which are actually different, albeit in rather minor ways.  The pink-faced version is more classically inspired, while the silver-faced one follows his “of X” look a little more closely.  They’re internally consistent, and both have a very similar vibe, while still being different enough to justify including the separate pieces.  Nimrod’s paint work is generally more on the basic side, but it’s clean, fairly solid on the application front, and matches well with his usual color scheme.  Nimrod is packed with two sets of hands, one open, one closed, as well as two blast effects, and a removable set of wings to match up with the newer style head.

FANTOMEX

Remember before, when I was talking about dead weight?  Well, here we are, back at that point.  Behold, Fantomex.  Introduced during Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, Fantomex is an X-themed pastiche of Italian comic character Diabolik, a masked master thief.  The name Fantomex is itself patterned on the French character “Fantomas,” whom Diabolik himself was also patterned on.  Fantomex has been one of those oddball characters floating around the Marvel universe and popping in and out as X-Men stories deem they need him.  He was part of X-Force for a while, and it was that era which netted him two prior action figures, one of them being his first Legends treatment, back during the Return of Marvel Legends line.  It’s been a decade since that figure’s release, so an update’s not an unreasonable prospect.  The trouble this figure runs into is how much “updating” was actually done.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, with US Agent’s flared gloves, Nick Fury’s trenchcoat (amusingly, the exact same coat piece used on the first Fantomex), Cyclops’ boot cuffs, and an all-new head and belt.  The real trouble that this figure’s assembly runs into isn’t so much that it’s a bad stock of parts, but more that most of the parts are kind of on their way out, and, in fact, most of them are just as old as the prior figure.  The Bucky Cap body was introduced in that very same series, even, the flared gloves are from one series later, and the coat is even older.  The new parts are perfectly fine additions, though not drastically different themselves.  So, generally, yes he’s made from new parts, but he doesn’t feel particularly different.  Adding to that is the deco choice, which is identical to the last one, despite there being two different Fantomex decos available, both of which are arguably more demanded than this one.  This one’s not a terrible look, mind you, and the application is solidly handled.  It just feels like a little bit of a missed opportunity.  Fantomex is packed with two guns, which are similar to, but different from the prior figure’s guns, as well as the blast and smoke effects from War Machine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was interested in Nimrod when he was first shown off, but bundling him with two extra figures, and then making the whole thing an exclusive kind of backburnered the whole thing for me.  When it made its way to a wider release, it became easier for me to snag through work, and therefore more appealing, though still on the backburner a bit, as you can tell from the lateness of this review.  Nimrod’s a very fun figure, and I like that he can pull double duty as modern and classic.  It helps add to the set’s pull.  I didn’t think much of Psylocke at first, but after getting her in hand, I like her a lot more than I thought I would, and honestly like her more than the standard Lee version.  Fantomex is a character I only have a passing interest in, and this particular figure does very little for me.  He’s just sort of there.  But, hey, two out of three ain’t bad.

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

#3074: Stealth Suit Captain Carter

STEALTH SUIT CAPTAIN CARTER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Captain Carter’s secret stealth mission sets her on a collision course with new enemies.”

Man, the Marvel Legends reviews sure are spacing out a lot more than they were a few months ago.  Weird, huh?  I finally actually have the time to go back and, you know, catch up on some of the items I missed at the end of last year, when I was drowning in Legends.  With the benefit of a breather, I can better appreciate items like today’s focus, Stealth Suit Captain Carter.  I took a look at the standard Captain Carter towards the end of last year, and I really liked it, so it stands to reason that another one, now in cool Winter Solider-inspired stealth colors, is probably gonna resonate well with me.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Stealth Suit Captain Carter is a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends release, which hit stores in late November of last year.  While the first figure was based on Carter’s design from the premier episode of the show, this one is based on the season finale, which sees the Watcher pull Peggy from her timeline’s version of the opening scene of Captain America: Winter Soldier.  It’s not a drastically different look, but it’s a cool one, especially when paralleled to Steve’s look.  The figure stands just shy of 6 1/2 inches tall and she has 31 points of articulation.  This figure’s sculpt is identical to the standard Captain Carter.  I really liked that sculpt a lot, so I can certainly see the appeal of getting it a second time.  Since her costume is largely unchanged in the show, it makes a degree of sense.  The only issue is with the hair, as in the show Peggy had a slightly more modernized style, while this one still has her ’40s hair.  It’s not a major difference, all things considered, so I can kind of let it slide, especially given the whole “quick repaint” set-up for this one.  The paint work is where the changes occur for this figure.  The head is essentially identical, but the uniform captures the more monochromatic design of this outfit.  The application’s okay, though not as consistent as other releases.  It’s a little better than the standard release, though that may be largely due to there being less actual paint to apply.  Peggy is packed with the same shield as the standard release, but now in the updated colors to match her uniform.  There’s nothing else, which does feel a little light, especially given that the standard release included a BaF piece as well.  That said, I’m not entirely sure what else there is to include with her.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I do dig this whole look quite a bit, but I was content with the standard release, especially if it meant I didn’t have to track down an exclusive.  That said, Max found one out in the wild, and, while initially grabbing it for himself, decided he felt it more appropriate for me to have her, given my general Captain America love an all.  She’s not quite screen accurate, but she’s still quite a lot of fun, especially given how strong of a starting point she’s got to work from.

#3064: Falcon

FALCON

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Alongside his companion Redwing, the Falcon flies wherever he’s needed!”

A year ago, we were in the midst of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier‘s six-episode run, and we hadn’t yet gotten to see Sam Wilson claim the mantle of Captain America, at least in live action.  Instead, he was still hanging onto his identity as the Falcon, a role he’s existed in since 1969.  As the Falcon, Sam’s actually been pretty fortunate in the world of toys, with a rather consistent coverage.  He does have a slight tendency to go a little while between releases, but not so much now that he’s one of Marvel’s bigger names.  With the MCU focus for the character shifting to his Captain America role, there’s still some room for the comics version to hang onto his Falcon roots.  Hasbro did an updated Legends release late in 2020, but they’re coming back around for another pass, this time with a slightly tweaked look.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon joins Tuesday’s Vision as the next figure in a four-figure set of vaguely Disney+ inspired Retro Collection figures for Marvel Legends.  As with Vision, he’s within the loosely structured set, but ships in a solid case on his own, and is thus far a Fan Channel-exclusive.  This is Falcon’s second Hasbro Legends release, and his third Legends figure overall.  The last figure gave us Falcon in his Brubaker and Epting-era outfit.  This one is the same 2011-era outfit worn by the Marvel Universe release; it’s a modern outfit that splits the difference between the modern and classic designs, and it’s honestly a pretty strong look.  I tend to like the exposed arms look a little bit more, so it works for me.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  From a structurally standpoint, this figure is identical to the last Legends Falcon.  Apart from a few minor quibbles about smaller details, notably the fact that the wings are still one-sided with their sculpted details, and that the gauntlets of that mold aren’t quite a match for this design’s longer gloves, it’s a very nicely rendered sculpt, and one I still really, really like.  To mix things up, Falcon gets a new color deco, matching to the updated costume design.  There’s some sloppy edges on a few of the change-overs, notably on the hair line, but it’s overall a pretty solid application.  Falcon includes two different sets of hands, the same ones included with the last release, but in white this time.  Notably *not* included is his sidekick Redwing, who is not only mentioned in the bio, but also specifically listed as one of the accessories on the product description page on Hasbro Pulse.  Presumably, someone didn’t get the memo that there wasn’t already a Redwing sculpt in this scale.  Alas, I’ll just have to dig out the Toy Biz version.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really liked the last Legends Falcon, so I was content with that one.  That said, he’s rather modern in design, and I always hope for at least the option for a classic Falcon deco.  This one’s not quite a classic design, but it’s a nice middle ground, and I like how the new deco looks on the base body.  I still hold out hope for a proper classic version down the road, but I rather like this one in the mean time.

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.

#3062: Vision

VISION

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Behold the Vision! Stripped of his memories and rebuilt in spectral white, will the vision prove friend or foe to his fellow Avengers?”

Alright, I took a firm week and some change off from reviewing Marvel Legends, but I can really only space them out so far before they start piling up again.  In an effort to avoid that, how about one of those today?  Would that be cool?  A little over a year ago, WandaVision was wrapping up its 9-episode run, and doing a pretty fantastic job of elevating Wanda and Vision even further in the public eye.  Elevated enough for variants and spin-offs, even!  Amongst the many ideas from the comics the show rolled into its runtime was the all-white version of the Vision, originally introduced in “VisionQuest” in the comics.  It’s a look the character wound up sporting in the comics for quite some time, and one with only moderate toy coverage.  In an effort to make up for that, Hasbro’s done another release of him for Legends, which I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Vision is the first in a four-figure set of vaguely Disney+ inspired Retro Collection figures from Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line.  He was shown off alongside variants of Wanda, Falcon, and Loki, though they aren’t a proper assortment, but rather four single release figures that are all just arriving around the same time.  All four are Fan Channel exclusive releases, as well as being slight updates on previously released figures.  This marks Vision’s second figure under the Retro heading, after his standard colors got a release back in 2018.  It also marks the third time Hasbro’s done white Vision, and the second comic-inspired version.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  This Vision’s whole aim is to be a minor re-working of the white Vision from the 2015 three-pack release.  As such, he’s re-using all the parts from that one.  It puts him back on the Bucky Cap body, after the last Retro figure moved him over to the 2099 body.  Honestly, I think Vision makes more sense on the Bucky Cap, but I look forward to seeing him moved over to one of the newer bases moving forward.  He uses the same basic head as all but one of the comic Visions; it’s a rather standard and straight-forward stern looking bald head.  He also re-uses the bare feet from the last white Vision release, which is cool.  Unfortunately, he’s still using that old cape piece as well; it’s better on this design than for any of the other figures that got stuck with it, but boy did I not miss this piece.  It’s just awkward and hard to work with.  Where the three-pack release went for a semi-transparent look, this time around, he’s solid colors.  I liked the transparent look, but I gotta admit, the opaque set-up really works out well.  There’s some slight change-up on the different parts of the costume, with some off-whites to mix things up.  Generally, it works out better than the black lines used to break up the details on the three-pack release.  Another nice change-up from the three-pack?  Extra hands!  The prior release was stuck with just fists, which I’m not crazy about for Vision, but this one gets a set of open gesture ones as well, which really add to the options when it comes to posing him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t initially intend to grab this figure.  I’ve got the last release, and this one didn’t look terribly different in the prototype shots.  Then I saw him in hand, and I liked him a whole lot more than I’d expected to.  There’s not really much new here, but there’s a lot of small improvements that add up to a generally more pleasing figure, at least for me.  He feels like a definite upgrade.  Now, can I please get his post-Crossing costume?  I’ve been waiting oh so patiently.

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.

#3055: Sleepwalker

SLEEPWALKER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The Sleepwalker is the guardian of the Mindscape, apprehending beings that invade the sleeping minds of humans.”

In contrast to other characters, Doctor Strange isn’t quite enough to anchor a whole series of figures himself.  No, he needs to fall back on some support.  Remember how the Guardians of the Galaxy needed Iron Man?  And then how Black Panther needed Iron Man? And then when Shang-Chi needed Iron Man?  So, did they pair Strange up with another Iron Man?  No, don’t be ridiculous.  Clearly, Hasbro needs more star power.  Star power that only Sleepwalker can deliver.  You don’t know Sleepwalker, you say?  Okay, you know what, yeah, that’s fair.  I mean, I know Sleepwalker, and even I’m not entirely convinced I actually know Sleepwalker from moment to moment.  But, um, there’s this figure.  So, that’s cool.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sleepwalker is figure 6 in the Rintrah Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the second of two comics based figures, the other being D’Spayre, who I opted not to grab.  This marks Sleepwalker’s very first figure, which is a pretty big deal.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Sleepwalker is built on the Bucky Cap body, a base that is officially on its last legs, with its replacement already on the way.  I guess it’s nice to still take it our every so often and make it feel special…you know, before it…uhh…goes to that special farm upstate?  Sleepwalker has had a build that’s fluctuated a bit over the years, sometimes very large, and sometimes very skinny.  This mold splits the difference, which is probably the best call.  Sleepwalker gets a new head, forearms, shins, and add-ons for the belt and the wraps on the thigh.  He also re-uses the cape from Hobgoblin.  The whole thing is a pretty solid set-up.  I particularly like the head sculpt; that alien quality really sells it.  Sleepwalker’s color work is pretty simple for the most part, with the vast majority of the colors being molded.  Really, the only paint is on the head, and that works pretty nicely.  Otherwise, he’s fairly bright and eye-catching, in proper early ’90s fashion.  Sleepwalker is packed with two sets of hands (fists and open gesture), and the right leg of the Rintrah Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Sleepwalker is exactly the kind of quirky one-off character I love seeing show up in these line-ups, so he was actually at the top of my list for this particular set.  The figure is ultimately a rather by the numbers affair, but that’s exactly what he needs to be, and he winds up being a really fun figure.  Honestly, I’m just psyched to have a Sleepwalker figure at all.

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.

#3054: Master Mordo

MASTER MORDO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Mordo has gone rogue since leaving Kamar-Taj, hunting other sorcerers for breaking the laws of reality, and is never far off the trail of Doctor Strange.”

In addition to some new faces, and some guest-starring faces, Doctor Strange: Into the Multiverse of Madness also has some faces that were in the last movie.  And the rest of the people attached to those faces, I suppose.  One of the returning person and face combos is Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Karl Mordo, though the face is now sporting a beard, so it looks a little different, I guess.  But, the face is still Mordo, and so’s the rest of him.  Well…mostly.  I’ll get to that.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Master Mordo is figure 3 in the Rintrah Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the second-to-last of the movie figures, with the final one being the second of the two Strange variants.  Mordo’s getting his second Legends release here, since he was the only non-Stephen Strange figure to get a movie offering the first time around.  This one’s obviously based on his appearance in the sequel, which looks to be taking him a little closer to his comics roots, with longer hair, a beard, and some slightly more ornate robes.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Mordo’s posablility is okay.  It matches up more or less with Wong and Strange.  There’s some restriction at the shoulders, and the hair obviously has an effect on the neck joint, but he’s not bad at all.  The sculpt on this figure is largely new, though not entirely so.  The legs and feet are borrowed from the Vol 2 Star-Lord.  Not sure as to how accurate that’ll be to the final film, but they’re generally pretty hidden, and the details are vague enough that they don’t look super out of place.  The only downside is the visible pins at the knees, but, again, that’s pretty well hidden.  The rest of the sculpt is all-new, and it’s pretty good at that.  The head has a really strong likeness of Ejiofor, improving on the passable likeness of the last one.  The body sculpt exhibits a good selection of texturing and depth, which makes him quite visually interesting, and is a good use of the general space of the sculpt.  Mordo’s paint work is generally pretty solid as well.  The head now gets the printing on the face, which aids the sculpt a good bit more than the last one, and the clothing gets a lot of smaller details, which help to accent the sculpted elements nicely.  Mordo is packed with three sets of hands (fists, gripping, and open gesture), the Staff of the Living Tribunal (rather than the generic staff the last figure erroneously included), a crossbow, and the right arm to the Rintrah Build-A-Figure.  Oddly, the hands seem to have slightly different peg sizes, resulting in some of them fitting loosely after swapping them around.  It’s minor, but it’s annoying.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mordo was my favorite part of the first film, and by extension my favorite of the figures from that set.  I’m looking forward to seeing him reappear, and likewise I was looking forward to the updated figure, so this one was on my shortlist from this line up.  He’s not without his flaws, namely the shoulder movement and the issue with the hand pegs.  That said, I still really like how this one turned out, and I’m even more excited about seeing his role in the upcoming film.

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.

#3053: America Chavez

AMERICA CHAVEZ

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“America Chavez is a young girl from another universe, being hunted for her power – the unique ability to open doorways into the Multiverse.”

In addition to the returning cast of the first Doctor Strange, as well as few other returning characters from elsewhere in the MCU, Into the Multiverse of Madness is also serving to introduce America Chavez into the MCU.  America is a relatively new character, only just first appearing in 2011 in the comics.  She found her footing relatively quickly, however, and has at this point been a member of no less than four Avengers spin-off teams.  Her move to the big screen certainly makes sense, especially given the undercurrent of building an MCU version of the Young Avengers.  And, courtesy of her film appearance, she also gets to make her first appearance as an action figure.  Dope.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

America Chavez is figure 2 in the Rintrah Series of Marvel Legends, and is the second of the movie-based figures in the set.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  The articulation on this figure is a little bit disappointing, if I’m honest.  The legs are fine, and have an alright range of motion, but the arms, especially the elbows, are really restricted, with less than 90 degrees of bend.  She’s also rather restricted at the neck, courtesy of the hair, and the mid torso joint.  In general, she’s just not getting a ton of poses beyond basic standing, and maybe some slightly wider stances.  Notably, she can’t do the fist in hand pose seen on the back of the box, which is a pretty distinctive pose for the character.  Not being able to recreate that is a pretty big issue.  America’s sculpt is an all-new one.  Issues with mobility aside, it’s not bad.  She’s sporting what looks to be her main attire from the film.  It’s just civilian clothes, but that’s pretty much America’s usual attire in the comics anyway.  I do miss the star on the shirt, but the overall look is definitely solid.  The head has what looks to be a pretty decent likeness of actress Xochitl Gomez.  She sports the same self-assured smile that the picture on the box is sporting, which seems pretty character appropriate.  The paint work on the figure is generally straight forward.  The face printing works respectably well, and the detailing on the jacket is definitely the strongest part of the work.  The wear and tear on the printed details is pretty spot-on, and again character appropriate.  America is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, and the other in a relaxed position, and the torso for the Rintrah Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was a pretty faithful reader of Young Avengers, so that was how I came across America as a character.  Given she was in with a bunch of characters I already knew, I wasn’t sure about her at first, but she certainly grew on me.  I’m excited to see how she pans out in the MCU, and it’s great that she finally got a figure.  This one’s certainly not perfect, and I really wish she had better articulation, but she’s still a nice enough looking figure.  I do hope we get a proper comics version, but until then, this one works pretty well.

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.

#3052: Wong

WONG

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Wong takes over for The Ancient One as Sorcerer Supreme and leader of Kamar-Taj, teaching a new era of sorcerers to protect our reality from mystical threats.”

The next cinematic installment of the MCU, Doctor Strange: Into the Multiverse of Madness, hits theaters this summer.  In preparation, Hasbro’s got its usual Legends tie-in, a split of movie figures and loosely related comics offerings.  One of the prime offerings from the movie portion of the set is a character that’s far overdue in toy form at this point, Wong, who finally gets his figure due after five film appearances, with an impending sixth.  Let’s see how that turned out, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wong is figure 1 in the Rintrah Series of Marvel Legends.  Numerically, he’s the first, though the box lists him after the standard Doctor Strange, who’s without Build-A-Figure part or corresponding number.  Wong’s had a rather evolving look over the course of his film appearances, with his general design growing a little bit more ornate each time.  The newest Doctor Strange marks a far more colorful and eye-catching design for him, which honestly makes for the best option for a figure.  Guess waiting for this look wasn’t the worst overall call.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  His articulation, and in fact his general construction from a larger standpoint, are similar to the No Way Home Strange figure.  It’s a good set-up for a robed character, so it makes sense to keep the general layout.  He loses the double knees, but it’s a universal joint instead, and given the longer robes, it’s not really much lost mobility.  Wong’s sculpt is an all-new offering.  It’s a pretty solid set-up.  The head sports a respectable likeness of Benedict Wong in the role.  The face is definitely there, at least from most angles.  Not entirely sure about the hair, but that’s the element that he changes most frequently, so it’s not as major an issue.  The body sculpt is a pretty decent one, with a lot of sharp detailing on the more ornate sections of his garb.  The less ornate parts do seem slightly soft for what they should be, and the neck is probably a touch long and skinny for Wong, but it overall works.  Wong’s color work is surprisingly bright given his prior looks.  It’s pretty basic application, without a ton of real accenting.  The colors are a little sloppy around the edges, especially on the yellows, but he does still get the face printing, which is at least pretty fun.  Wong is packed with two gesturing hands, two spell-casting effects hands, a gripping hand, a sword (which I assume is something plot relevant to the new movie), and the left arm of the Rintrah Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been hoping for a Wong figure since the first Doctor Strange, and it’s only been a more noticeable omission with each successive film appearance he’s gotten.  I’m glad he finally got a figure here, and I think it’s probably his best look yet, so it worked out.  The figure’s not perfect, but he’s still a strong offering, and he’s a solid addition to the existing cast.

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.

#3045: Shocker

SHOCKER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Shocker’s vibro-units allow him to blast through solid metal, or hurl long-range vibrational punches! But they’ve yet to help him defeat his eternal nemesis, the amazing Spider-Man!”

Some of Spider-Man’s rogues are memorable because of how menacing they are, or how close they come to actually defeating the wall-crawler in battle.  On the other hand, some of them are memorable based more on the ineffectiveness.  Such is the case with the Shocker, peroneal punching bag of the Marvel universe.  He’s such a punching bag that the fact that She-Hulk *didn’t* beat him up to get information out of him is a memorable change.  Such a punching bag that his first entry in the 6-inch scale was not as his own figure, but rather as an action feature-based pack-in with a Spider-Man, which saw him permanently stuck in one of Spidey’s web-traps.  Such a punching bag, that even his own bio doesn’t give him any respect.  That’s cold, man.  But, there’s hope on the horizon, because all of this has actually made him memorable and worthwhile in his own right, meaning he’s getting a double-dip on the Legends treatment.  That’s not so bad, I suppose.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shocker is the last of the three villains in the latest Spidey-themed Retro assortment of Marvel Legends.  It’s his second time as a Legends release, following the one from the Sandman Series in 2017.  While that one was in his at the time current gear from Superior Foes of Spider-Man, this one instead goes back to the very beginning, for a proper classic Shocker, fitting with the retro-theme of the release.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  While he’s got the elbow joints that Shocker so frequently loses (complete with the pinless construction that Hasbro’s been rolling out with their new sculpts), he does loose the standard wrist movement, in favor of a swivel joint further up the forearm.  While it ultimately results in less mobility at the wrists, it’s for the sake of keeping the gauntlets one piece, which is true to the original design.  And, honestly, with those gauntlets on, he’s unlikely to be able to really move his wrists anyway, so it’s not like it’s unrealistic.  Shocker is sporting an all-new sculpt, which serves his design a little more justice than the Bucky Cap body of the previous version.  It beefs him up a little bit, as you’d expect for a guy in a big padded suit, and it just generally does a really nice job of capturing the character’s classic look.  All of the quilting is properly sculpted, and I like how he’s even got extra detailing on the non-quilted parts, especially evident when comparing the head sculpts from the two releases.  I do somewhat miss the bewildered expression of the last one, but I don’t know that it would fit quite as well for this release.  Shocker’s color work is alright, though nothing particularly spectacular.  The base work is there, and the colors work well for the character.  The sculpt could really benefit from any sort of accenting on the quilted sections, as they do sort of get lost in the big patches of yellow here.  I may wind up giving this guy the same treatment as Six-Arm Spidey, just to help him pop a bit more.  Shocker is packed with two sets of hands, one set with fists, the other with relaxed hands.  They swap at the forearm joint, which keeps things clean.  I like the attention to more options on these figures.  He also includes the same effects pieces as the last one.  I still don’t think they really work for his powerset, but I won’t complain about getting extra stuff.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really liked the last Shocker.  Like, a lot more than I’d expected, really.  But he wasn’t a classic Shocker, so another felt like it kind of needed to happen at some point.  This guy is really great.  Getting an all-new sculpt for him is really great, and the end result is a lot of fun.  He’s going to make it really difficult for me to pick a Shocker for the shelf, because I do still really love the old one, but this one’s just so good.

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.

#3044: Ben Reilly Spider-Man

BEN REILLY SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“After years of self-imposed exile, Spider-Man is back! Now calling himself Ben Reilly, and sporting a brand-new costume and web-shooters, the Wall-Crawler returns to fight crime!”

In the midst of the monster of a cross-over that was “The Clone Saga”, there was a big shocking twist, revealing that Ben Reilly, the clone of Peter Parker, with whom the audience had just become re-acquainted, wasn’t a clone at all, but was the original Peter, and, by extension, the Peter the audience had been following for 20 years, was actually a clone.  With this (obviously temporary) revelation, our Peter stepped down from the role of Spider-Man, leaving it to Ben, who would take over the Spider-titles for a year, up until the ultimate conclusion of the Clone Saga, which saw Ben’s demise.  But, of course, no one stays dead in comics, and so Ben came back.  He re-adopted the Spider-Man title quite recently, making it the perfect time to revisit his time as Spidey in figure form.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ben Reilly Spider-Man is s the last of the three Spidey variants in the latest Spidey-themed Retro assortment of Marvel Legends. He’s the second version of the Ben Reilly Spidey in the Legends line-up, following up on the one from the Absorbing Man Series in 2016.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  He marks the third figure on the updated Retro Spidey body, following regular Spidey and the Symbiote costume.  This one uses all of the main retro body parts, as well as the exterior web shooters previously used with Scarlet Spider and the last Ben Reilly Spidey.  It’s a pretty by the numbers construction, which does about what you expect.  If I’m honest, it doesn’t work quite as well here.  The head sculpt and build on this figure are very much a Romita Spidey, and that doesn’t quite so much fit with the Bagley design.  He just feels too bulky for how Ben was usually depicted, at least to my eyes.  That said, it still makes for a decently assembled figure, even if it’s not one that’s quite as ripped from the pages as the others.  Ben’s paint work is generally pretty decently handled.  It brightens up the colors compared to the last one, which is different.  I’m not entirely sold on the colors, especially the blue, which does feel a touch too bright and also means this figure isn’t quite able to match the Spider-Carnage pieces from the last one, despite the larger build making more sense for that particular design.  Speaking of extras, this Spidey gets the full run of extra hands again, which is always nice to see.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really like the Ben Reilly Spider-Man design, and I really like it as an action figure.  That said, I was pretty happy with the last Legends release, and he’s definitely a solid instance for me of the Pizza Spidey really working in the appropriate context.  So, I was iffy on this one, but I still really like the design, so I grabbed it anyway.  I don’t like it quite as much as a standard Ben Reilly Spidey, but I do like it as a way to display the Spider-Carnage parts, even if the blues don’t quite match.  And, I’m glad there’s another Ben Reilly Spidey available to those that couldn’t get the last one.

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.