#1883: Mysterio

MYSTERIO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A master of illusion, Mysterio seeks universal fame as a cloaked villain with an unmistakable helmet.”

FINALLY!!!!!! …Sorry, was that too much?  I can get carried away some times.  It’s just…this guy was really hard to get, and I…ah, this is the wrong section for all of this.  Sorry!

So, Mysterio.  Former-movie-special-effects-technician-turned-supervillain, with perhaps one of the most distinctive design in comics.  And, of course, soon to be played by Jake Gyllenhaal on the big screen in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home.  Pretty cool guy all around.  No stranger to action figures, but being a decently well-known foe of Marvel’s best known hero will do that for you.  Now I’m going to review his latest figure right here and right now.  Let’s get right to that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mysterio is figure 6 in the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends.  He is, by far, the most demanded and hardest to find in the set, in part because he’s sort of an army builder (he frequently makes duplicates of himself to fool Spidey), in part because there was a distinctive change to the figure half way through production, and also just because he’s never had a figure that was quite this good.  This is out first officially Legends branded Mysterio, though Toy Biz put out a Legends compatible figure in their Spider-Man: Classics days.  That figure, like many from the line, was marred by a half-formed action feature, and, as an non-Spidey figure, was also rather hard to find.  It was definitely time for a replacement.  This figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  I’m pretty sure Mysterio is sporting an almost entirely unique sculpt.  His hands look to be from other figures, but otherwise he’s all-new.  Obviously, the cape/helmet, and the gloves and boots were always going to be new pieces, but I really have to commend Hasbro for going the fully sculpted route on his body.  They really could have phoned it in here and just painted the grid pattern on a basic body, but they didn’t and the figure looks so much better for it.  I really dig the cuffs to his gloves as well; those are slightly tricky to make work in three-dimensions, but they look quite nice here.  The one slightly off part of the sculpt is the helmet/cape combo.  It’s a nice enough sculpt, but making it all one piece feels slightly off to me, and the way it pegs into his back has it popping off more frequently than I’d like.  And then there’s the topic of the underlying head.  Hasbro was somewhat secretive about what was going to be under the fishbowl at first.  I myself was hoping for another go at a Quentin Beck head (which we sort of saw on the Toy Biz figure), or maybe even some sort of blank head, just to leave a silhouette under the helmet.  Hasbro opted for something more out there, meant to be another illusion created by Mysterio.  It’s a skull with a tentacle running through it, which is certainly…different.  It’s an interesting sculpt, but the helmet ended up being a lot more transparent than most of us had expected, which, coupled with the dark green plastic of the initial release’s head, left a lot of fans unhappy with the end result.  Fortunately, Hasbro was able to change the figure mid-run, so later shipments had the head molded in white instead of green, which works a little better.  I think I might have just preferred for the whole dome to just be a solid piece myself, but this works better than I’d expected.  The paint work on Mysterio is fairly straight-forward stuff, being mostly basic color work.  There’s a little bit of accenting on the gloves, which is cool, and I definitely like the metallic green paint.  I’m not thrilled by the slight change in the color of plastic from the hips to the legs, though it’s not quite as bad in-person.  Mysterio is packed with a pair of effects pieces, which clip onto his feet, making it appear that things are emanating from the ground beneath him.  It’s a fun effect, and really tops off the whole look of the figure, since Mysterio is so often seen with his feet obscured like this.  He’s also packed with the left leg of Lizard, meaning I can finally complete that guy!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s been a long road to getting this figure.  This was the first full series of Marvel Legends that All Time Toys got in, and I just missed the boat on getting Mysterio from them the first time around.  The assortment hasn’t been particularly plentiful at mass retail around these parts either, so six months after getting the rest of the assortment, I didn’t really expect to get this guy.  But, you see, I have these wonderful sponsors who own a toy store, so they were finally able to get ahold of another case of this series, and the Mysterio format was set aside for me.  Yay!  After waiting so long for him, this figure certainly has a lot to live up to.  Does he?  More or less.  There are some definite flaws here, which sort of impact his playability, but for the most part I’m happy with him.

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

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#1882: Gwenpool

GWENPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A self-made hero from the so-called real world, Gwenpool possesses unrivaled knowledge of the comic book universe.”

The original Gwen Stacy may have been dead for 45 years, but that hasn’t stopped all sorts of variants of her from popping up.  The most prominent of late is, of course, Spider-Gwen, who made her debut during 2014’s Spider-Verse event. The success of Spider-Gwen led to a series of Gwen Stacy-themed variant covers for the Marvel line, leading to the creation of the Deadpool/Gwen Stacy amalgam “Gwenpool.”  Gwenpool has been starring in a string of self-titled books since, and just recently joined up with the relaunched West Coast Avengers.  Oh, and she also has a Marvel Legend.  Yay!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gwenpool is figure 1 in the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends, which was our first Spidey-themed assortment of the year.  The figure stands just under 6 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  She’s built on the Spider-Girl body, which is sensible enough, given that’s the same body Hasbro used for Spider-Gwen.  It lends some consistency to the Gwen Stacy-take-off characters.  Gwenpool actually gets a fair quantity of new pieces to set her apart from all the other Spider-Girl builds.  There’s a new head, upper torso, forearms, shins, and feet, as well as add-ons for her belts and backpack.  The parts all mesh well with the base body, and do a pretty respectable job of melding Gwenpool’s typically cartoony style with the established stylings of modern Legends.  I really appreciate the little details that Hasbro has peppered throughout the sculpt, such as the piping on her socks under her shin guards.  I also really like the implementation of the new ankle articulation (like we saw previously on Moon Knight and Spider-Punk).  So, I guess, what I’m really getting at here, is that I quite like Gwenpool’s lower legs.  Just go with it.  The rest of the details are quite fun in their own right.  Her facial expression is a nice big smile that feels very true to the character as established in the comics.  I also really enjoy her penguin-shaped back pack.  Gwenpool’s paintwork is clean and appropriately pink-heavy.  Nothing particularly notable, but it works to get the job done.  Gwen includes a nice selection extra accessories, including an extra head (with tongue out for proper selfie etiquette), her phone (which can be nicely stashed in her utility belt), a pair of katanas, and three sets of hands (in heart-shaped, phone-holding/peace sign, and standard gripping poses).  It adds up to a rather expressive figure.  She is also packed with the tail of the Build-A-Figure Lizard.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got no particular attachment to Gwenpool, so I didn’t rush out to buy her.  Sure, she came with a piece for Lizard, who I definitely wanted to build, but there was one other figure preventing me from completing him, so Gwen stuck nearer to the bottom of my want list.  When I was finally able to get ahold of that other figure (who I’ll be reviewing tomorrow…spoilers), Gwen was along for the ride, because, dammit, I was finishing that Lizard figure.  I may have only bought her for the Build-A-Figure piece, but Gwenpool is a fairly strong figure in her own right.

I got Gwen here from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying Marvel Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1870: A.I.M. Scientist & Trooper

A.I.M. SCIENTIST & A.I.M. TROOPER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A.I.M., or Advanced Idea Mechanics, is a scientific organization bent on designing the technology that can take over the world.  Combined with the brute force of the Shock Trooper, the A.I.M. scientists innovate international design in the pursuit of world domination.”

Though in many ways the Legends brand was revitalized from the time Hasbro slapped “Infinite Series” on the box, there was still a little bit of a learning curve in those earlier days of the line.  In particular, swap figures, something they’d introduced during the Return of Marvel Legends era, which replaced one figure in early assortments with another for refreshment cases, still persisted throughout Infinite Series’ first year (and the shared names would continue for a few more after that).  One of the earliest Infinite Series offerings, the Captain America-themed Mandroid Series, was perhaps most affected.  Though both versions of the Agents of Hydra (Red Skull and a Hydra Agent) and the Soldiers of A.I.M. (Zemo and an A.I.M. Soldier) shipped side by side in early cases, the revision cases that hit a few months later strangely chose to repack only the non-army builder versions, leaving the army builders with a rather hefty after market value.  Hasbro first tackled this issue with the TRU exclusive “Agents of Hydra” two-pack from last year, which offered up one of the two army builders.  It was initially scarce, due to TRU’s spotty distribution, but with them out of the way, it’s actually become quite easy to get.  Hasbro has wisely chosen to follow that set up with a complimentary A.I.M. two-pack.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Soldiers of A.I.M. two-pack is an Entertainment Earth “exclusive” (meaning it’s available to all of the retail establishments that order through EE).  EE has picked up most of the former TRU-exclusives (including unsold stock of the Hydra pack), so It’s not hard to imagine this pair were originally slated for a TRU release.

A.I.M. SCIENTIST

Pairing off with the Hydra Agent from the other pack is the A.I.M. Scientist.  He’s more or less a reissue of the A.I.M. Soldier from the Mandroid series.  That being said, there the Hydra Agent’s differences were really limited to just the accessories, the Scientist’s changes go a little further.  Basic construction is the same.  He stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  He uses the jumpsuit-ed body from the original, which works just as well now as it did the first time.  The only notable tweak is that his head seems to sit a little lower on the neck, which is a definite improvement.  Of course, it’s possible that my original was just slightly mis-molded.  The paint work has had some changes as well.  He’s the same basic yellow as the last one (so they’ll match up fine for army builders), but his visor and gloves are now black, and the “skirt” of his belt piece is molded yellow rather than painted, so it actually matches this time.  While I was initially a little bummed by the switch to black for the visor, I actually find myself preferring how it looks overall.  Now, let’s talk about the fun stuff: the accessories!  Now, it’s worth noting that this set’s accessories are a lot less figure specific than the Hydra set’s were, so I’ve tried to group them as best I could.  Like the prior release, this figure includes a bandolier, a large blaster, and a small blaster.  These are all the same as before (apart from a little extra detailing on the bandolier), and are still fun additions.  I particularly like “A.I.M.” being printed on the sides of the guns.  He also includes a shoulder harness molded in brown, and a second head (repainted from Paladin).  The head could just as easily go with the other figure (especially since it was on the other body in its original release, but I think it really works here, in a Bill, Agent of A.I.M. sort of way.

A.I.M. TROOPER

The second figure is sort of a counterpart to the Hydra Enforcer, dubbed a Shock Trooper by the back of the packaging.  He’s not your standard A.I.M. guy, that’s for sure.  He too is complete re-use, but is a rather crafty selection of parts.  He’s built on Paladin’s body (which was itself re-worked from Blade, who was in turn re-worked from ASM2 Electro), with Scourge’s head thrown on it (sort of pairing off with the Taskmaster head from the Hydra set), all done up in A.I.M.’s signature black and yellow.  A new coat of paint makes these parts look surprisingly new.  And while he’s still got a very distinct look about him, he also lends himself far more to being a troop builder than I felt the Enforcer did.  This guy comes packed with a knife and pistol, done up in colors to match him, as well as one of Deadpools rifles, again colored to match.  For variety’s sake, the Trooper also includes another shoulder harness (this time in a grey/blue), Deathlok’s backpack in yellow, and another standard issue A.I.M. beekeeper’s mask.  The last piece looks a little goofy on this guy, but I appreciate the option to further A.I.M.-ize him, and I even more appreciate the ability to make my prior A.I.M. Soldiers properly match up with this new set.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I actually found an A.I.M. Soldier, there wasn’t as much of a dire need to get this set as there was with the Hydra pack, so when they were shown off, I knew I’d want one, but I was kind of ambivalent to the whole thing.  Then I saw it in person, and my mind changed.  And then I opened it up and my mind changed even more.  The Hydra set may have been more essential to me, but this one’s more fun.  The improvements to the standard A.I.M. guy are enough to make him the superior offering when compared to the original release, and I find myself really, really liking the Trooper, far more than I did the Enforcer, and far more than I’d expected to.  Hasbro’s inventiveness is really well showcased here.

I grabbed this pair from my friends at All Time Toys.  As of this writing, this pack is still in-stock, so if you’re interested in this, or any other Marvel Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1869: Wasp

WASP

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

Despite being a character for whom “constantly changing look” is a defining trait, poor Janet Van Dyne’s figures all seem to gravitate between the same two costumes.  Either she’s in first appearance mode, or she’s wearing the dreaded black and gold number.  There’s no in-betweens.  Well, not until now, at least!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wasp is the fourth figure from the second series of the Marvel Legends Vintage sub-line.  Like yesterday’s Vision figure, she switches things up and gives us a predominately new offering.  Rather than one of the two Wasp costumes we have oh-so-many of already, this figure instead gives us one of Jan’s Perez-designed costumes from his run during the late ‘90s/early ‘00s.  It’s not just some random choice on Hasbro’s part, either, because this is the exact same costume that was supposed to serve as one of the two variants for Toy Biz’s first Legends Wasp back in the day.  It never went to full production, leaving a very small handful of samples out there, and thereby making it one of the rarest Legends pieces (alongside the admittedly less-demanded silver shirted Luke Cage).  So this figure’s more than a decade in the making.  All I can say is “finally!”  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 33 points of articulation.  From the neck down, this figure’s sculpt is the same as the prior figure.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Wasp’s head is a different one, though it’s not a new one.  It’s actually a rather clever re-use, borrowed from the Sasquatch Series’ Domino figure.  Since her head was done up with a very unique paint scheme, it looks quite a bit different here, and matches up well with Jan’s style at the time of this costume to boot.  Wasp’s paintwork is clean and bold, which are my favorite things in a Legends paint job.  The white is slightly pearlescent, which gives it a nice, polished look, and I definitely this new color scheme for the wings.  Far more appealing than the ones on the last figure, that’s for sure.  Wasp is packed with a miniature version of her husband Hank in his Ant-Man form.  It’s a piece we’ve seen a good number of times before, but it continues to be a solid inclusion, and makes a lot of sense here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ever since being let-down by Toy Biz’s standard release Wasp, I’ve been waiting for this look, never to have it arrive.  She and Ant-Man ended up being the first of these figures we actually saw, and I knew immediately that I’d definitely be tracking her down.  She popped up at the same time as Vision, which certainly made me happy, as I was able to get my two top wants in one fell swoop.  I was content with the last Wasp figure from Hasbro, but hoped for more.  I’m happy to finally be able to replace that black and gold monstrosity, let me tell you.  Now, is it too much to ask for her asymmetrical, jazzercise-looking white and blue number from the ‘80s? 

#1868: Vision

VISION

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“The Vision is an android who mimics virtually every organic function of a human being, including independent thought!”

In a stark change from the last two days, it’s actually been a little while since I’ve looked at a Vision figure.  The last one was his movie-inspired Legends figure from Infinity War, and that was all the way back in April.  Given how much I like Vision, I think it’s time to change that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Vision is another figure from Series 2 of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Vintage line, he marks the assortment’s turn into decidedly “new” territory.  We’ve had three Visions in the main Legends line since the Infinite Series-switch-over, but they’ve all been later costume designs, and all of them have had some issues plaguing them.  This one returns him back to his classic roots, for the first time in a decade.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  The three prior Visions were all built on the Bucky Cap body, but this one changes that up, moving him to the 2099 body.  Like Silver Surfer, I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this.  I understand the desire to move away from the Bucky Cap, and I was never super attached to it for Vision anyway.  That said, I tend to see Vision as having a larger stature.  In a perfect world, I’d like to see him built on the Spider-UK body.  All that said, I don’t mind this one.  He appears to use the same head sculpt as the Hulkbuster Series Vision, though with less molding issues this time around.  He actually gets a brand-new piece for his cape; that actually surprised me, but it was really necessity to do this the right way.  It’s very similar to the Marvel Universe cape, which I rather liked, and it’s very appropriate for a classic Vision.  Prior Visions have really fallen down when it comes to paint work.  This one, on the other hand, truly excels in this area.  The application is very clean, and the metallic green is really, really slick looking.  Something about the cleaner nature of the paint actually makes the head sculpt look a lot better than it did the first time around.  Vision’s one accessory is the head from the first Hasbro Legends Ultron, calling back to a frequent state for Ultron, especially in Vision’s earliest appearances.  It’s a nice accessory, although I really would have liked to get an extra pair of hands in an open gesture.  Or at least just one of them, so that he can match the illustration on his packaging.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As a big Vision fan, I’m always in the market for a good figure of him.  Unfortunately, Hasbro’s last three attempts each seemed to just miss the mark.  When this guy was shown off, he quickly climbed to the top of my list (alongside figure I’ll be looking at tomorrow).  There are still some minor issues (I’m really going to need to find him some more expressive hands), but I gotta say, I really, really like this guy.  Definitely the best version of the character on the market.

#1867: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“With the sleekness of the jungle cat whose name he bears, T’Challa — King of Wakanda — stalks both the concrete city and the underground of the Veldt”

At the beginning of this year, in conjunction with the release of his movie, Walmart offered up an exclusive variant of Black Panther.  It was kind of a curious offering, being a fully powered-up, energy-effect ridden version of a costume we hadn’t yet received a standard release of.  And, unlike most instances of such variants, there was no confirmation of a standard version anywhere in the pipeline.  That is, until Panther’s name cropped up on the list of rumored Series 2 Vintage figures.  Since we’d *just* gotten a re-release of the classic Panther, could this possibly be the missing All New, All Different Panther?  Why yes, yes it could!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther is the second figure in Series 2 of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Vintage sub-line.  He uses the aforementioned “All New, All Different” design, which is a pretty solid one.  It takes the classic Panther look and just sort of streamlines it.  I’m still partial to the classic look, but I can see the appeal of this one.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He uses the same basic construction as the Walmart-exclusive release, with a few minor change-ups.  He’s still built on the Spider-UK body, which I still like a lot for T’Challa.  He has the same streamlined head sculpt and necklace add-on.  He swaps out the last figure’s Rocket Raccoon Series Panther hands for the Civil War Panther hands.  I’m not entirely sure why Hasbro keeps switching back and forth between them, but there’s at least some variety.  He also adds a basic belt piece (borrowed from Prowler), to break things up, I guess?  Hey, I can’t complain about an extra piece.  The main selling point here is, of course, the paint.  Since the last one had all the pink tron-lines, this one goes fully powered down.  Though, rather than the straight black I think we’d all been expecting, he’s actually an iridescent dark blue, which works quite well, and ends up a bit more striking than if he’d just been pure black.  Panther gets the same accessory set-up as the powered-up version, minus the extra head (not really a big loss, there): a spare set of hands, and two energy pieces for the hands, this time in an etherial white.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After being pleasantly surprised by the Powered Up Panther, I was somewhat intrigued by this release.  When he showed up alongside Scarlet Spider at Super Awesome Fiancee’s store, she was kind enough to pick him up for me.  Ultimately, he hasn’t displaced my classic Panther on the shelf, and doesn’t quite have the pop of the prior figure, but he’s still entertaining in his own right.

#1866: Scarlet Spider

SCARLET SPIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“The clone of Peter Parker left New York and wandered the country returning years later calling himself Ben Reilly.  He became the superhero known as the Scarlet Spider!”

It wasn’t all that long ago that I was reviewing a Legends Scarlet Spider, but I assure you, this one’s totally different and distinct from that one.  Now, of course, you might recall that I reviewed *another* Legends Scarlet Spider a few years ago.  Well, I assure you, this one’s…more or less the same as that one.  But that one has a super hefty aftermarket price, so hey, re-release time, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Scarlet Spider headlines the second series of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Vintage line.  For the second round of figures, Hasbro’s really taken the Black Widow thread to heart, and tried to give us more than straight re-issues of prior figures…well, except for this guy.  This Scarlet Spider is by design supposed to be very similar to the Rhino Series figure from 2015.  Apart from one small change, the sculpt is the same between the two figures.  That means he’s 6 1/4 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation, and is build on the Pizza Spidey body.  I was very happy with this sculpt the first time around, and I still really like it three years later.  The small change has to do with his web-shooters, which are now the more rounded capsules we saw with Spider-Girl and Black Widow.  They’re a bit more accurate than the more squared off versions we saw before (which were usually more associated with Ben’s Spider-Man costume).  Apart from that, the biggest changes between the two figures are in the paint department.  His blue hoodie has remained more or less the same, but his red body suit is now far less orange, and his eyes no longer have the black outline.  The brown of his accent pieces is also more of a tan this tome around.  Honestly, I don’t know which version I prefer.  They’re certainly different, but neither really jumps out as “better.”  This release of Scarlet Spider drops the Rhino heads from the last release, obviously, but also loses the open gesture hands from the last one, which I was a little saddened by, especially with the reds not matching.  On the plus side, he does get an unmasked Ben Reilly head, which we’ve not gotten before.  Sure, it’s just a repaint of the unmasked Peter Parker from the Spidey/MJ two-pack, but given how scarce that set was, it’s new to me. Also, he’s a clone, so I guess re-use makes sense.  That’s probably the better rationale, isn’t it?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t initially planning to get this figure.  I’m happy with the prior release, and while I did like this one’s unmasked appearance, I wasn’t sure that would really warrant the purchase.  But, Super Awesome Fiancee’s store got him in, and she sent me a picture, and I liked how he looked in person, so I kind of caved.  There’s not a lot of new going on here, and I don’t really see this guy replacing the prior release, but I do like the extra head, and I think he’s distinct enough to be worth my time.  And, for someone who missed the first release, he’ll be awesome, which is really the main point.

#1860: Iron Man – Mark VII

IRON MAN — MARK VII

MARVEL LEGENDS — MARVEL STUDIOS: THE FIRST TEN YEARS

“Equipped with a mighty Vibranium arc reactor and enhanced flight capacities, the Mark VII is a Fully-Loaded Rapid Deployment suit built for heavy combat.”

Despite the movie’s immense financial success, the tie-in action figures for Avengers were rather understated.  The poor sales of toys for Captain America and Thor, as well as the general lingering of Iron Man 2’s later assortments, meant that retailers weren’t really jumping all-in for line-ups featuring many of those same characters.  Mass retail only wanted smaller-assortment, smaller-scale figures, but Hasbro was able to sell Walmart on an exclusive run of Legends scale figures for the movie.  Of course, this exclusive run meant there were some cutbacks, such as everyone’s favorite armored avenger being stuck with a re-pack of his Mark VI armor from Iron Man 2, rather than the Mark VII armor that more appropriately fit the line-up.  Fortunately, Hasbro took the tenth anniversary of the MCU to amend this issue.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Mark VII Iron Man is entry 3 in Hasbro’s Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line of Marvel Legends.  He is the final of the three single-packed offerings from the line, following the previously reviewed Red Skull and Ronan the Accuser.  This is, of course, Tony’s Mark VII armor, which he sports during the proper assemblage of the Avengers during the film’s big climactic battle.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 37 points of articulation.  Not only does this figure have the most articulation of any of the movie Iron Men, it’s also implemented in the most workable fashion here, meaning that the Mark VII is hands down the most posable MCU incarnation of Iron Man in the Legends line-up.  Though it takes a little bit of cheating, you can also get his signature three-point landing out of this figure, which ended up being one of its selling points for me.  What’s more, you can even move all of the flaps on his back, and his head can almost look straight up.  We saw a lot of improvements in this direction fro both the Mark 46 and Mark 50 releases, but this guy really seems to take everything they’ve learned and even further build on that.  Obviously, with all of this improved articulation, you kind of need an all-new sculpt, and this one’s a very good one.  Thanks to a much-delayed release, Hasbro was able to actually make the figure as faithful to the film as possible, and they’ve generally succeeded.  There are still a few little details here and there, but he’s very, very close.  The biggest plus for me is that, unlike the IM2/IM3 armors, this one is actually properly scaled with the rest of the MCU Legends, and can conceivably be an actual guy in a suit of armor.  The paint work for the Mark VII is solid, and again, one of the strongest entries we’ve seen for an MCU Tony.  The metallic red plastic works very well, being neither too bright or too dark, and the rest of the application is pretty clean.  There’s a slight scuff on my figure’s right leg, but he’s otherwise pretty good.  The Mark VII is packed with a second set of hands, this time in the repulser blast pose (which, sadly, continue the tend of not having the same articulation as the fists), as well as the now-standard blast-effect pieces, this time in a transparent yellow.  I was a little saddened that there was no unmasked head this time, which is about the only major complaint I can lobby against this figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My disappointment with the Mark 50, combined with my prioritizing of the other figures in the Marvel Studios set, meant that I passed this figure up a great many times.  I guess I just didn’t think too much of him.  It was actually Super Awesome Fiancee who brought him home for me from her work, at which point I was able to re-examine him in-hand, and realize I’d been totally wrong about this guy.  There’s a lot to like here.  He’s the best MCU Iron Man on the market, and the easiest one to find at that.  I whole-heartedly recommend him!

#1853: Spider-Man

SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS GAMERVERSE (HASBRO)

“Now a seasoned Super Hero, Peter Parker has been busy keeping crime off the streets as Spider-Man.  Just as he’s ready to focus on life as Peter, a new villain threatens New York City.  Faced with overwhelming odds and higher stakes, Spider-Man must rise up and be greater.”

I had originally planned to continue the Star Wars thing today, but with the passing of comics-legend Stan Lee yesterday afternoon, I’ve decided to shift focus for the purposes of today’s entry.  I never met Stan Lee, but for 23 of my 26 years, he managed to influence every day of my life, be it directly through his introductory segments during the Marvel Action Hour in the ‘90s and his numerous cameos in all of the Marvel films since, or indirectly through the universe he helped to create, and all the characters he created to populate it, and all of the important messages that he would use them to tell.  The man influenced the lives of a great many people he never even met, and taught a lot of us how to be the best versions of ourselves, while at the same time reminding us that nobody’s perfect, and that’s okay too.  Stan had great power, and he did his very best to use it responsibly.  The creation Stan was always the proudest of was Spider-Man, and so I feel it’s only fitting that in his honor, I take a look at a Spider-Man figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Man is the inaugural release in the Marvel Legends Gamerverse line, which, as you may have gathered from the name, is a line devoted to the current crop of Marvel video games.  Spidey here is based on his appearance in the recent PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game, which hit just a few months ago.  The figure was initially supposed to hit closer to the game, then was pushed back to December, and then was moved up again.  The important thing is that he actually made it out.  So, yay.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s built entirely from re-used parts, but Hasbro’s got a substantial enough library that it’s a reasonable way of handling certain figures, this one included.  He’s built on the 2099 body, and makes use of the head from Spider-UK.  Interestingly, this means we have a Peter Parker figure that’s not built from any Peter Parker parts.  The end result is a figure that actually has something of a John Romita Sr-styling to him (I’d love to see this same combo done up in a classic deco), which definitely works for the game’s version of our favorite wall-crawler.  The paintwork for this figure is, of course, its main selling point, since that’s what truly signifies it as a video game Spidey.  The design is nice and distinctive, and the paint is crisply applied and a solid match for the in-game appearance, all while still maintaining the currently running Legends aesthetic. Spidey is packed with two different sets of hands in thwipping poses and fists, as well as a two of the new webline piece we first saw with the House of M Spidey.  It’s a nice selection of extras, especially in light of some of the recent Spidey variants lacking the extra hands and such.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve liked the PS4 Spidey design since it was first shown off, and was definitely hoping for a figure of some sort, so when this guy was announced, I knew I’d want to get one.  Super Awesome Fiancee was nice enough to pre-order him for me through her store, which proved an especially helpful move, since this guy’s proved rather scarce since his release.  Despite being made up totally of re-used parts, this is one of my favorite Spider-Men of recent years.  He’s just an entertaining figure all-around, and a good fit for today’s theme.

Excelsior!

#1849: Archangel

ARCHANGEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Forever racked with internal conflict and dark urges, Archangel nonetheless strives to be a hero, saving the world from grim forces of evil with the aid of his impressive metallic wings.”

Back when Hasbro was first dipping their toes in the “what if Marvel Legends didn’t have to suck?” pool, I will admit, I was somewhat skeptical.  I bought exactly one of the Return of Marvel Legends era figures new, because I was totally, seriously committed to keeping to the Marvel Universe scale, you guys!  Yeah… that worked out well for me.  Though it certainly reignited interest in the line with the fans, ROML was less of a smash success with retailers, in part due to late joiners like me.  That resulted in the last two assortments at retail, the Rocket Raccoon Series and the Hit Monkey Series, to be rather under-ordered, and by extension a little on the rare side, especially now that people are looking to go back and fill in the collection.  One of the most expensive figures from the Hit Monkey Series was fan-favorite Archangel, a pretty important piece of that Jim Lee X-Men line-up that Hasbro’s really been pushing.  Fortunately, for those of us that missed out on him, Hasbro just put out a fancy new reissue!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Archangel is a standalone release, the first figure in Hasbro’s go at deluxe releases for the Marvel Legends line.  He was originally slated for a December release, but started showing up at various establishments a few weeks ago.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 40 points of articulation.  Like the prior release, this Archangel is built on the Bucky Cap body, with an additional plug-in piece for his wings.  The base body is a good fit for Warren, just like it was the first time, so no complaints there, and they’ve even swapped out the slightly mismatched boot feet from the original with the more aesthetically matched feet from Carnage.  The add-on wings are definitely an imposing and very impressive addition to the figure.  These are definitely a far-cry from the oddly-shaped, strangely bird-like thing we got on Toy Biz’s first 6-inch Warren.  The one real downside to them is that they do make the figure rather top-heavy, so he can be a little difficult to keep standing if you don’t get the wings and the legs positioned just right relative to each other.  Of course, this is something that’s kind of an issue with literally every Archangel figure (seriously, I had a hell of a time getting my old Toy Biz 5-inch figure to stand for this review’s comparison shot), so I’m willing to give Hasbro the slightest bit of a pass on this one.  Archangel also makes use of the same head as the last figure (and by extension, the X-Force Boxed set version), depicting his usual cowled look.  I’m not sure it’s aged terribly well; it’s definitely suffering from some primo Hasbro-scowl.  Fortunately, if you don’t like that head, there are three, count ‘em three, more to chose from.  The two fully unmasked heads, depicting both Warren’s more angelic and more demonic sides, are quite smartly re-used from last year’s Adam Warlock figure.  They’re surprisingly close matches for Warren’s unmasked appearances from the ‘90s (the angelic head especially), so that’s a good catch on Hasbro’s part.  And, if your problem with the standard head is that it doesn’t cover *enough* of his head, then Hasbro’s got you covered there, too!  A repainted Blizzard/Eel head serves to depict Warren’s Death-mask from his earliest appearances as Apocalypse’s horseman.  It’s not as ingenious a re-use as the other two, but it works better than I’d expected it to.  The original Archangel’s paintwork was heavier on the metallics, which made some of the details of his costume blend together a bit more than they should have.  This new figure goes for something more on par with the very first Toy Biz figure from back in the day, which is very ‘90s, and makes the details stand out from each other much better.  In addition to all those extra heads I mentioned up above, this Archangel also comes with an extra piece that’s not actually for him, but is instead for the recent Apocalypse Build-A-Figure.  Its a clamping hand, which swaps out for the standard right hand.  Its a pretty classic way of showing off his shape-shifting powers, and I definitely appreciate being given the extra option here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as I noted above, I totally missed out on the original release Archangel, and I wasn’t about to pay his usual going rate.  But, my X-Men display has been becoming more and more complete, so Warren’s absence was more and more noticeable.  This re-release was definitely something I was very excited for, and I’m very happy with how he turned out.  I love all of the new display options, and I’m quite happy to be able to recreate the old Archangel II figure from back in the day, since that’s long been my favorite look for the character. 

Like most of my recent Legends purchases, I got Archangel from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying Marvel Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.