#2558: Rogue & Pyro

ROGUE & PYRO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Unpredictable circumstances force Rogue and Pyro away from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and into the light.”

After the original team had disbanded and otherwise moved onto other things, in the ’80s, recurring Claremont villain Mystique put together her own version of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.  The line-up debuted in the present day section of the classic “Days of Future Past” story line, and was made up of a mostly new selection of characters, including Pyro.  The team made a handful of appearances there after, and later that same year added Rogue to their roster.  While Pyro would become one of the team’s longer lasting members, Rogue was fairly quickly adopted into the X-Men, and has become one of that team’s most prominent members.  And, now, here they both are!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Rogue and Pyro are a two-pack release for Marvel Legends, and started hitting in the last month or so, though they aren’t officially slated for release until around November.  Character-wise, they’re a perfectly sensible pairing, but unlike some of the other recent two-packs, they aren’t really in compatible costumes.  I’m not complaining too much, of course.

ROGUE

Rogue’s first Legends release since the Juggernaut Series, way back in 2016.  This one gives us her X-Men: Legacy costume.  It’s not the look people were expecting, but it’s at least a new one for the line, rather than just jumping right back into another redo of the ’90s costume.  This release is also notable because this very version of Rogue was *supposed* to join the line in 2013, but when the Puck Series was re-routed to specialty retailers only, she was dropped from the line-up.  Her head actually wound up getting re-used on Sharon Carter back in 2016, but the figure proper was just waiting in the wings until Hasbro pulled it out for re-use here.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Though the design for this figure has been sitting around since 2013, it’s worth noting that the final figure doesn’t actually use any of the parts from the original prototype.  Rather than make use of the original concepts rather dated selection of pieces, the retail version uses the Phoenix body’s upper torso and arms, in conjunction with Ms. Marvel’s scarf, and a whole selection of new pieces.  Aside from a slightly restricted range of motion on the elbows, the Phoenix body is a good starting point, and actually allows for a more faithful rendition of Rogue’s costume.  The new pieces fit well, and further the body’s generally well-balanced proportions.  The new head isn’t too far removed from the original prototype, but has been slightly refined to better fit with the more modern stylings of the line at this point, giving her a slight smile in her expression, and a little more flow to the hair.  The new legs are noteworthy for making use of Hasbro’s new contained pins set-up, which makes them look a lot nicer and more seamless, and also seems to have made the general construction of them just a little more solid.  I also found the posing to be a little smoother, and the tolerancing to be slightly more apt for keeping her standing.  The figure’s paint work is overall fairly decent.  It’s all pretty basic work, but it gets the job done.  There’s a touch of slop on her skirt, however, that appears to really be it.  Rogue is packed with an alternate head with a slightly more intense, teeth-baring expression, as well as hands in both fists and open palm poses.

PYRO

Pyro got in on the Legends game relatively early, back in Toy Biz’s Bring on the Bad Guys assortment, but hasn’t gotten a follow-up figure since then, meaning it’s been 14 years without a single update.  Admittedly, he’s not a character with a lot of looks to produce, but that old figure was a bit dated looking even when he was new.  We saw Rogue at Toy Fair this year, but we didn’t know about Pyro until late in the summer, when the pair were officially shown off.  In contrast to Rogue’s late ’00s design, Pyro’s in his classic attire, and is definitely the more timeless figure of the pair.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Pyro is built on the 2099 body, with new head(s), forearms, and torso overlay.  The 2099 body feels like a good match for Pyro’s usual build, and the articulation scheme is good, so it’s a solid choice.  There are two heads featured here, both rather similar, apart from the expression.  The first is a rather neutral expression, while the second has Pyro cracking a grin.  Both are solid recreations of his design from the comics, right down to that goofy hair he’s usually drawn with.  I like that they both have him sporting a slightly more jovial expression, in contrast to the rather angry appearance that the Toy Biz Legend went with.  This seems more suited to the character.  I also like the smaller touches, such as the texture of the cloth of his mask stretching over his ears.  The overlay piece does a good job of capturing Pyro’s usual gear, and the tubes for his flamethrower are long enough to not impede posability, and also sturdy enough to not risk breaking.  In general, it’s also just a cleaner looking rendition of it than what we got with the Toy Biz version.  Pyro’s paint work is, like Rogue, more on the basic side, but generally pretty clean.  My figure has a touch of missing paint on the top of his right boot, but is otherwise pretty sharp.  He’s certainly an eye-catching figure.  In addition to the extra head, Pyro is packed with two standard flame effects pieces to go on the hands.  It’s a little tricky to get them on there with the flamethrower attachments, and they’re clearly not *meant* for this figure, so something more tailored would have been nice, but these are far from the worst thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never had much attachment to the Legacy Rogue design, and had no real drive to get the original release even before it was cancelled.  With the Lee version already on-hand, I wasn’t missing this one, but I do quite like how she turned out, even if she’s not going to be my standard Rogue.  The old TB Pyro, as goofy as he was, was still one I quite liked at the time, and he’s a character I’ve always enjoyed.  I was glad to see him get an update, and his design is quite well translated here.  All in all, this is a set I kind of slept on, and I actually didn’t realize quite how much I enjoyed it until I sat down to write this review.

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

#2557: Domino

DOMINO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

 

“With the mutant power to manipulate probabilities, the odds are always in Domino’s favor.”

Luck?  That’s her power?  Pretty sure luck’s not a super power.  I mean, what could luck as a power possibly do for you?  I mean, what’s gonna happen, is a character that’s B-list at best get a mass-release single-packaged figure from a movie where the title character and the arguable deuteragonist wound up in a two-pack and as a store exclusive respectively?  Wait, that’s…that’s exactly what happened.  Maybe luck’s a pretty good super power…which is my roundabout way of saying “let’s look at this Domino” figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Domino is a single-release in the X-Men movie sub-line of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  She’s one of three standard release single figures in the line-up so far, the other two being Mystique and Wolverine, both of whom seem much further up the list than Domino, who completes the main Deadpool trio whose other two pieces are currently not quite as readily available.  What a weird set-up, right?  Hey, I’m really not going to complain too much myself.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme is really solid here.  It’s not terribly far removed from prior Legends female base bodies, but the range on the joints is generally a lot better, and they’re very well toleranced, meaning she keeps the poses without too much trouble.  She also stands pretty well, which is always a plus in my book.  The sculpt is an all-new affair, patterned on Domino’s main action-oriented appearance in Deadpool 2.  She’s got two different head sculpts,  one standard and one with goggles.  Both have a pretty solid likeness of Zazie Beetz, but I personally find the one with the goggles has just a touch more personality to it, and is subsequently my preferred of the two.  The body sculpt is fairly realistic and well-balanced in terms of proportions, and the detail work is nice and sharp.  Her costume details all look to be fairly spot on, and the articulation is well integrated.  In terms of paint work, I find Domino has a bit of a leg up on Cable, whose paint was a little uneven.  Here it’s pretty strong from start to finish, with clean work on both faces, as well as all of the important details being covered on her costume.  In particular, I really like the hair, which has been molded in a semi-translucent plastic and then been given some accent work on top of that.  It really helps to prevent the usual unnatural thickness that occurs with fuller hair styles, and allows light to pass through in a quasi-realistic way.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Domino includes two sets of hands (gripping and fists), two MAC 10s, and a pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When Domino’s look was first shown off back before the movie’s release, I was a little iffy on some of the design choices they’d made, as I felt there were definitely some shortcuts taken that made her less of a comic-accurate creation than Deadpool himself had been in the prior film.  Because of this, I wasn’t sure what I’d think of this take on the character.  Then I saw the movie, and I was really impressed with Beetz’s take on the character, and she was ultimately one of my favorite aspects of the final product.  I was definitely happy to see her show up among the earliest X-Men movie stuff, and I’m even happier that the figure’s as solid a final product as it is.

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

#2555: Mysterio

MYSTERIO

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“A cloud of smoke heralds the arrival of the villainous mastermind who uses the art of illusion against Spider-Man — Marvel’s Mysterio!”

Man, remember when the Lizard Series Mysterio was so easy to get and not stupid expensive and really illusive?  No?  Oh, that’s right, because that was never really the case.  From the moment he was released, that figure was always the first one pulled from any case and remained well above regular retail pricing for pretty much his entire shelf life, if you can really call it that.  I eventually got one, but it certainly wasn’t easy.  Since it was so darn hard to get him, it’s probably not a huge surprise that Hasbro’s already got a repaint of him out, just two years later.  I’m taking a look at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mysterio is his own standalone release for the Retro Collection sub-line of Marvel Legends, released to coincide with the recent Spider-Man-themed assortment.  Given how popular the last release was, singling him out was definitely the right call.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s *almost* identical to the prior comics Mysterio.  It was a pretty decent sculpt, and also a largely unique sculpt, so seeing Hasbro get some more mileage out of it makes sense.  It certainly looks impressive.  I’m still not overly fond of quite how the cape/helmet piece attaches, but I’ve had time to make my piece with that.  The only change to this figure’s sculpt is one that’s not evident at an outward glance: the head under the dome, which on the original figure was a skull/tentacle-illusion thing, has now been replaced by a sort of holographic Quentin Beck head (a repurposed Multiple Man head, for those that are curious).  I can dig both ideas, but I think I personally prefer the Beck head.  Beyond the un-helmeted head, the major change-up for this release is the paint work, which is, simply put, just a lot better this time around.  The helmet is now mostly opaque, allowing it to more properly capture the classic Mysterio look, and the jumpsuit’s impressive quilted sculpt is now much better showcased by the more intense accent work going on it.  Also, the gloves, boots, and clasps on the cape are all gold instead of light green, which is a slightly later look for the character but one that I think works better in toy form, as they add some extra pop to the figure.  Additionally, this figure avoids the clashing plastic colors of the last release, which again help him to just look a bit cleaner. Mysterio includes the two effects pieces for his feet, which are essentially the same between the two releases.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After the difficulty of getting the last release, this one was, comparatively, much easier to acquire.  I wasn’t sure I was even going to get him at first, but I really liked the new look in person, and I definitely wanted that Beck head.  Ultimately, both figures have their merits, but this release is definitely the superior offering, and I’m glad to have it.

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

#2554: Iron Man 2020

IRON MAN 2020

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Arno Stark wields powerful weapons and a superior armor suit as Iron Man 2020.”

2020’s been such an onslaught of a year, it needs to have its own dedicated Iron Man.  Simply having the standard just wasn’t enough.  Introduced in 1984, Arno Stark was the distant first cousin of Tony, and was from a far off future, that none of us dared to even think of.  Man, remember when 2020 was far off and it couldn’t hurt us? Those were the days.  Arno, rather unsurprisingly, got a bit of a revival this year, this time as Tony’s previously unmentioned half brother, who takes over the Iron Man identity for a bit.  He also got an action figure, again rather unsurprisingly, although this one’s based on his classic design.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man 2020 is a Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends release, and was the first for this year.  He was shown off at Toy Fair, and started arrived in late spring/early summer.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He uses the 80th Anniversary Iron Man figure as his starting point, which, given the similarities between the armors, and the general quality of the body, is a very sensible choice on Hasbro’s part.  He gets a new head and belt, as well as an all-new overlay for his chest piece.  It translates to a figure that does a pretty solid job of replicating the character’s comic appearance.  The head’s not too far removed from the standard classic Iron Man in design, but it does mix things up by making the faceplate a separate (albeit unremovable) piece, allowing for at least a glimpse at Arno’s eyes.  It’s a goofy look, but also an entirely accurate look for Iron Man 2020, who is admittedly pretty goofy looking.  With the overlay piece, I was definitely a little bit worried that it might be too free floating, but it actually stays in place pretty well, thanks to seating in place over the original sculpt’s unibeam.  The figure’s paintwork is pretty similar to the prior release as well, with the obvious changes for the new design elements, as well as the newly visible eyes.  Also, for some reason, they’ve molded the unibeam in a transparent yellow, a cool touch that will literally never be seen, since it’s completely covered by the overlay piece.  I shouldn’t even know it’s there, but somehow I do.  Iron Man 2020 includes the same two sets of hands as the 80th release, as well as the standard repulsor effects for his hands, and an all-new (well, at the time of the release, anyway) set of blast effects for his boot thrusters, which can work as single boosts, clipped into a supporting stand for each side, or all be joined together into one stand.  Sadly, there’s no unmasked head, so we don’t get to see Arno’s fabulous Snidley Whiplash mustache, but I guess he’s still got an okay selection of extras.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never really clicked much with the whole Iron Man 2020 thing, which is probably why I didn’t snag either of his previous figures, despite actively collecting both of the lines he was included in at the time of release.  Honestly, I wasn’t in much of a hurry to get this figure either, but I managed to find him on a quick stop-off for some other supplies at Walgreens, and he looked nice enough in person to be worth it.  Of course, I still couldn’t get excited enough to review him all that quickly, which is why it took my like five months to get this thing up here.  Hey, at least I got it up before the end of the year, right?

#2541: Spider-Man

SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“Bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker now possesses all the arachnid’s attributes­­—he’s the Amazing Spider-Man!”

Long-running, ever-improving lines have a pretty much unending need to keep updating those core characters, lest they fall behind and look out of place with the latest releases.  Also, core versions of main characters have a tendency to get really pricey the further you get away from their initial release.  In 2015, Hasbro produced a standard Spider-Man update for their newly rebranded Marvel Legends line.  Dubbed “Pizza Spidey” by the fans (due to the slice of pizza he included as an accessory), he was the gold standard for Spider-Man figures for five years.  But, even with two separate releases a couple of years apart, he remained fairly tricky to acquire for a decent price on the after market.  Faced with the prospect of needing to do another re-issue, Hasbro instead has decided to re-invent the wheel and set a new gold standard for Spider-Men.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Man is the final figure in the latest round of Marvel Legends Retro Collection figures.  He’s been by far the most in-demand of the whole assortment, so one might be forgiven for not even realizing he’s supposed to be shipping with the rest of the set.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  That makes him Hasbro’s most articulated standard Spider-Man (6-Arm does slightly edge him out, by virtue of his, uh, six arms), by a few points.  But simply having a high count doesn’t mean anything if the posability’s not there, so how’s the actual range of motion?  Not bad.  His articulation design takes a page out of Hasbro’s Classified Series and Lightning Collection figures, and gives Spidey a ball joint/ab-crunch combo on his torso, as well as a set of drop hips.  All of this is in addition to the highly articulated arms and legs from the 2099 mold, as well as an incorporating of that mold’s very useful butterfly shoulders.  About the only joint I’m not super jazzed by is the neck joint, which isn’t terrible, but also isn’t quite as posable as I’d hoped.  I’d really like to have seen the Classified-style neck joint crop up here.  Also, another slight tick against the figure is one less about him personally, and more about the overall planning of the line.  Hasbro just introduced the pinless double joints on a couple of their figures, which is something that would have finally fixed the issue of Spidey’s inner arms always having those jarring red pins sticking out.  Sadly, this figure just missed the boat on those, and still has the issue.  It would have really pushed the whole “new gold standard” just a bit further if Hasbro had managed to get that new styling on this figure as well.  The actual sculpted details are pretty basic.  He’s still using a lot of the 2099 mold, but with the new torso and head, which match pretty well to that build.  It makes him more of a John Romita Sr-style Spidey, which is exactly what a number of fans (my self included) were hoping to see.  On the color work, aside from the somewhat annoying peg issue I already discussed, this figure does also have a few issues with bleed over on the transitions from red to blue.  Fortunately, they’re pretty minor, and he does look pretty solid overall.  They definitely got the classic color scheme down well.  Spidey is packed with a second head, with slightly squintier eyes (pushing the Romita look a little more), as well as two sets of hands, one in fists, and the other in thwipping pose.  No open gesture hands or pizza does knock him down slightly in my eyes, but this isn’t a bad set-up.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was a really big fan of Pizza Spidey…like a really big fan.  So the prospect of replacing him was iffy for me.  Sure, he looked cool, and all, but could he really be that much better?  Is he really cool?  Absolutely!  Is he a great standard Spider-Man?  Yeah!  Is he a better standard Spidey than Pizza Spidey?  Honestly, no.  They both bring cool stuff to the table.  The posabilty is better on this guy for sure, and I dig the Romita look, but the streamlining on the accessories and the fact that he still hasn’t fixed the elbow issues makes him feel like more of lateral move than anything.

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

#2540: Green Goblin

GREEN GOBLIN

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“One of the few who knows that Spider-Man is really Peter Parker, the Green Goblin is perhaps the web-slinger’s greatest foe.”

Every good hero’s gotta have their nemesis.  Sometimes you gotta have multiple nemeses, in succession, just in case people get tired of the last one.  That seems to be Spider-Man’s deal.  Perhaps his biggest contender for that nemesis title, however, is Norman Osborne, the Green Goblin…except for when he’s Iron Patriot…or the Goblin King… or Red Goblin…look, he jumps around a bit.  Green Goblin’s really where he’s at his best, though.  Subsequently, most of his toys are of that persona.  So, let’s jump into the latest version of it, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Goblin is the fifth figure in the recent Spider-Man-themed Marvel Legends Retro Collection assortment.  This is main stream Green Goblin’s second figure under Hasbro’s current Legends run; the first was in the Sandman Series back in 2017.  While that one went for a more modern interpretation of the character’s design, this one instead opts for a much more classic appearance, akin to what Toy Biz did with their Legends Green Goblin, as well as more cleanly tying into the loose Animated Series feel of this line-up.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Most of this figure’s sculpt is shared with the Sandman Series version.  That one was a pretty solid offering when it was released, and it still holds up pretty well, so I’ve got no real complaints there.  He does get a new head sculpt, which aims for that more classic mask design.  While I appreciated the prior figure for trying something a little bit different, this is ultimately the styling I was far more interested in for the character.  It’s got that really clean, somewhat cartoony classic appearance, but still has a lot of sharp detailing going on, resulting in a really strong head sculpt.  Goblin also gets a new collar piece, which, while a far more minor addition that the new head, is still a nice piece, and helps to really complete the look just a little bit more.  My only wish is that is was actually secured in place some how.  Another area where this figure really changes things up is the paint.  The last two Legends Goblins have been really subdued in their color schemes, and that’s really been my main complaint for both of them.  This one just goes for full-on crazy bright colors, and I am just all about it.  My only complaint is that the pupils placement on the eyes does seem slightly off from where it should be, but that’s somewhat minor.  Goblin is packed with the same glider and pumpkin bomb as the Sandman Series figure, but also gets an unmasked Norman head to swap out for the mask.  It’s a more calm and collected Norman, which makes it perfect for popping on one of the suited bodies, if you want a more civilian Norman to plague your Marvel Universe.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The old Toy Biz Legends figure is one of their best, and the first Hasbro attempt took a different enough take on him that it wasn’t really a replacement.  I’ve been waiting for a slightly more proper replacement since, and this one ends up being a bit more up my alley.  The classic head’s awesome, and even more awesome is the classic color scheme, which I’ve been waiting 14 years to get.  I’m glad to finally have him!

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

#2537: Peter Parker

PETER PARKER

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“Peter Parker is the college student & photo-journalist who is secretly the Amazing Spider-Man!”

The civilian identities of super heroes don’t tend to be the most toyetic things, so they don’t tend to actually get toys, unless their alter ego is really well-known.  Fortunately for ol’ Peter Parker, Spider-Man is kind of up there on the list of well-known super heroes.  So, since all the way back in 1974, Peter’s been privy to the toy scene.  For the majority of the Legends run, Peter’s inclusion has been more through extra unmasked head sculpts, but now we’ve finally gotten a proper full Peter Parker figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Peter Parker is the fourth figure in the recent Spider-Man-themed assortment of the Marvel Legends Retro Collection.  Unlike the three prior figures I’ve looked at from the assortment so far, Peter actually has a direct comparison in the ’90s Toy Biz line that this set is meant to be a throw back to, which featured a standard Peter Parker figure as part of its Series 2 line-up.  That said, this figure still calls attention to the fact that these are comic figures that happen to line-up with a few animated elements by virtue of pretty much not looking like the cartoon’s version of Peter in the slightest.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Peter’s sculpt is technically mostly re-used, but will end up being new to most collectors, due to the Stan Lee figure that he’s patterned on not really showing up in most places yet.  Honestly, it’s a pretty clever idea having the two share parts, given their usual similar build and the fact that Stan was pretty vocal about seeing Peter as something of an author avatar.   But I can get more into that if I ever get the Stan figure.  Let’s focus on Peter.  In addition to using the new windbreaker jacket from Stan, he also uses Spider-Punk’s sneakers, as well as a new head and hands.  The hands are pretty basic in their own right, mostly just getting tweaked posing so that they can hold his camera accessory.  The head is…well, it’s an attempt at something, but I’m not certain it worked. They’re clearly going for a heavily Ditko-inspired head, which isn’t a terrible idea in its own right, since it’s a surprisingly rare thing to see.  What I’m not so big on are the permanently attached glasses.  They’re thick, goofy, and totally opaque, which really plays up the cartoony side of the figure.  If there were at least the same head sans glasses included, it wouldn’t bug me nearly as much, but it feels very limiting this way.  The paint work on this guy is probably the most basic in the set.  It’s a lot of neutral colors.  They look fine, but I was a little bummed by the stark white shoes; the ’90s figure had actual colors, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing those crop up again here.  Also, they’ve painted the eyes under the glasses, which seems a bit silly, given that no one’s ever going to see them.  In terms of extras, Peter’s got the camera I mentioned above, as well as an alternate spider-sense head, which is certainly an improvement on the standard head, but still falls into that slightly limiting category.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was quite fond of the old Toy Biz Peter Parker figure, and he’s definitely one of the best civilian figures out there.  The prospect of an update was definitely okay by me.  The final figure’s certainly not bad, and I can’t really directly fault anything about the figure.  It’s just a few minor things that hold him back.  That said, throwing on the previous unmasked Spider-Man head actually looks pretty solid.

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

#2536: Electro

ELECTRO

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“As the villain Electro, Max Dillon wields full control over electricity in his never-ending quest to defeat Spider-Man!”

When Marvel was putting together Spider-Man: The Animated Series in the ’90s, James Cameron was still signed on to put together a live action theatrical film.  He had chosen Electro and Sandman as the villains of the piece, and they were subsequently left out of the cartoon, so as to avoid any brand confusion or competing versions of characters (it’s something that Marvel gave up on pretty quickly, but that DC still holds onto fervently to this day), but as the show got well into its run, it became clear that Cameron’s film wasn’t going to materialize.  Sandman never got to make the transition over to the show since they’d already worked in Hydro-Man to replace him), but Electro did manage to make it over, albeit re-imagined as the Red Skull’s son.  That late into the cartoon, the toyline wasn’t quite as strictly tied to the animation, so Electro never got released on that classic packaging, but, well, here he is now?  Sort of?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Electro is the third figure from the recent Spider-Man-themed assortment of the Marvel Legends Retro Collection.  He’s also the third not to have a ’90s counterpart he’s recreating, but at least in his case, there actually was an Electro figure in the line, just after they had changed the packaging.  This marks Electro’s third time getting the Legends treatment, the second under Hasbro’s tenure.  The last one was a more modern-inspired take on the character, while this one goes strictly classic.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The last Electro figure was built on the Pizza Spidey, and I thought that worked pretty well for the character.  Hasbro seems to have felt rather differently, so he’s been moved all the way up to the Spider-UK body for this release.  It seems kind of bulky for how I usually think of Electro, but he’s a character who’s fluctuated greatly in size from artist to artist, so this one feels valid too.  Ultimately, I don’t actually dislike it as much as I initially thought I would, and it’s not like the UK body is a bad one by any stretch of the imagination.  Electro re-uses the classic-style head from the previous release, which is honestly just sensible, since it’s not like Hasbro was ever going to do a better classic Electro head.  This one’s just pitch-perfect for the character, and even manages to somehow not look completely ridiculous on this bulked up body.  He also gets a new set of forearms, which add his little electric bolts from the tops of his gloves, completing that classic look.  Electro’s paint work is pretty standard.  It’s very classic, and very bold.  It changes from the slightly metallic shades of the prior figure to just strict yellow and green, and also differentiates the head sculpt by actually painting in the eyes this time around.   On the accessories front, this figure amends the one major flaw of the last Electro by including hands with and without the electric effects.  I’m glad to see them learning.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was very lucky to actually get ahold of the Space Knight Venom Electro, and I was pretty happy with that release, but I figured this guy was coming sooner than later, especially as Hasbro filled in that Sinister 6 line-up.  Personally, I wasn’t terribly excited for him, since, as I noted, I was pretty happy with the prior release.  I also wasn’t big on the base body choice on the prototype.  But, I’m not really turning away any Legends right now, so I bought him along with the rest of the set.  Honestly, he’s better than I’d expected him to be, and it’s really a toss-up as to which version I prefer.  They’re both very nice.

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

#2535: Gwen Stacy

GWEN STACY

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“A bright student with a keen scientific mind, Gwen Stacy is girlfriend to Peter Parker.”

Hasbro’s Retro Collection sub-line of Marvel Legends is loosely meant to replicate the Toy Biz toys of the ’90s, which typically means aping at least a little bit of what the ’90s cartoons were doing.  Today’s figure, however, kind of spits in the face of that whole thing, since by the time Toy Biz was making Marvel figures, Gwen Stacy was about two decades deceased, and Peter had been with Mary Jane Watson for about half of that time.  That, and the fact that Gwen was just a civilian with no costume or anything, meant that Gwen was absent from the Toy Biz Spider-Man line*.  Hasbro has, nevertheless, decided to include her in their latest round of Retro-inspired figures, and I’m not really going to fight them on any of it at this point.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gwen Stacy is the second figure in the recent Spider-Man-themed Marvel Legends Retro Collection assortment, which just started hitting retail in the last month or so.  She marks the second of the two figures I’ve looked at so far that don’t actually really fit in the packaging style the line is emulating, but, honestly, that’s become something of a running theme with these figures.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Gwen uses the Phoenix body as a starting point, but is mostly made up of new parts, with only the legs and hands ultimately being re-used.  Everything else is new to this figure, and that’s probably for the best.  Gwen is seen here in her attire from “The Night Gwen Stacy Died,” a suitable choice for her, given it not only captures the spirit of the character well, but is also a pretty slick look, and by far her most memorable design.  The sculpt does a pretty solid job of capturing her design from the comics, and just generally making her look as one might expect Gwen to look.  There’s some really nice texture work on her sweater, and both her jacket and hair get a nice bit of dynamic flow to them, which helps keep her from looking too static.  The head sits a touch high on the neck for my taste, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing a different set of hands used (I’m getting a little tired of that splayed oped hand), but the sculpt is overall a good translation of her design into three dimensions.  Gwen’s paintwork is overall pretty solidly handled.  It’s clean, and it gets the job done.  I think I might have liked her jacket to maybe be a slightly brighter shade, just to give her a little bit more pop, but the application is all pretty clean, and she doesn’t look bad in the slightest.  In terms of accessories, Gwen gets a handful of items that all seem…misplaced?  The big one that caused a tiny bit of controversy was the Mary Jane head sculpt.  Some people misread it as Hasbro saying that Peter’s love interests are interchangeable, and were rather miffed at the thought of putting MJ in an outfit that is so clearly linked to Gwen.  Of course, I see it more along the lines of Mystique‘s Lilandra head, or Skullbuster’s Reese head, where they *can* be used on the body they’re included with, but are more meant to give collectors a head that can go on another body, effectively giving them two figures in one.  I myself like how the MJ looks on Jessica Jones’ body, albeit with a hand-swap as well.  Also included are a rolled up copy of the Daily Bugle, which feels more like a J Jonah Jameson bit than a Gwen one, a binder (which is admittedly the one inoffensive piece here), and a Midtown High School yearbook, which long-time Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott pointed out makes no sense for either Gwen or MJ, since neither of them actually went to Midtown High.  Odd choice.  Still, props to Hasbro for trying *something* I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Gwen’s one of those figures that I wasn’t sitting there desperately waiting to get or anything, but that I was happy enough to see turn up in the line.  She’s a solid addition to the ever growing roster of civilian supporting cast members, and definitely a key character that deserves some proper toy coverage.  Her accessories are maybe a little odd-ball, but they don’t detract from the core figure, and I’m pretty happy to at least get the MJ head as an option, given I never got the two-pack version back in the day.

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

*Gwen did eventually get the Toy Biz treatment in their Silver Age line, one of their many one-off lines distributed through specialty retailers, so she wasn’t entirely left out of the fun.

#2534: Daredevil

DAREDEVIL

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“Although he is blind, Matt Murdock possesses superhuman senses and courage as the superhero Daredevil.”

You know, it almost feels wrong to discuss a new Marvel Legends Daredevil without also talking about a new season of the show, but, alas, the show tapped out with three seasons, and this is my fourth Daredevil.  There are possibly some talks about working the cast into the MCU, though, so maybe by the time I get to the next Legends release, I’ll have more to talk about.  Otherwise, I’ll just be forced to get all meta again, and that gets old real quick.  So far from Legends, we’ve gotten several prominent costume designs for the character, but there was one notable exception that we were all that some of us were…I was waiting for: Armored Daredevil!  And look at that, he’s finally here!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Daredevil is part of the new Spider-Man-themed Retro Collection assortment of Marvel Legends.  The assortment has packaging that’s meant to patterned on that of the old Toy Biz Spider-Man line.  Interestingly, this version of DD wasn’t actually featured in that line.  He was, however, released in the Marvel Super Heroes line that proceeded it, which served as the packaging inspiration for the first two Retro Collection sets.  What am I getting at?  Well, it couldn’t possibly be that I’m angry that Hasbro took so long getting us this figure and that he clearly should have been released back at the beginning of the line…because that would be ridiculous.  Right?  Right.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall he has 30 points of articulation.  While the last three Daredevils have been built on the Bucky Cap body from the same bank of parts, this figure changes things up by giving him a head to toe new sculpt.  I honestly wasn’t expecting that to be the case, but I certainly can’t say I’m upset by it.  It means that, for the first time ever on an Armored Daredevil figure, all of the armored elements of his costume are actually raised sculpted elements, which really makes the whole design just a bit more impactful, and certainly adds an air of sleekness and cleanness to it.  The build of the body beneath these elements isn’t too far removed from the Bucky Cap build, so it reads as more or less the same guy, but it’s slightly more refined this time, resulting in a more balanced, more natural look than the Bucky Cap figures have.  The actual construction of the body is also a touch sturdier, which I’m definitely down for.  Daredevil’s paint work is generally pretty impressive, with the metallic red in particular looking really slick.  There’s some slight bleed-over on the torso section on my figure, but it’s fortunately not too terribly obvious.  Certainly better than some of Hasbro’s previous attempts.  Daredevil’s accessories include two sets of hands in fists and gripping poses, two styles for his wrist guards, one with the batons attached and one without (improving from the permanently attached baton sculpt of the smaller-scale figure), the billy clubs in silver, and an all-new unmasked Matt Murdock head, which really benefits from not just being a repainted Hawkeye head.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite the fact that I’ve got plenty of DD figures already, this was definitely the figure I was most anticipating from this assortment.  Honestly, I’ve been hoping for this design pretty much since we got the updates to red and yellow, and counter to what my remarks early in the review might have hinted, I’m glad that Hasbro waited until they had really stepped up their game sculpting wise on the line to add this costume to the mix.  He’s very well served by the all-new sculpt, and I would put him on par with the Marvel Now Moon Knight in terms of how much a dedicated sculpt can do to really make a design like this amazing.  I think people are kind of sleeping on this figure right now, which is a shame, because he’s really fantastic.

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