#3194: U.S. Agent

U.S. AGENT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Originally appointed by the US Government to replace Steve Rogers as Captain America, U.S. Agent John Walker must balance his moral compass against his duty to his country.”

When you need a Captain America-esque guy, but you need him to do un-Captain America-esque things, there’s one guy to call: John F. Walker, the U.S. Agent!  Beginning as the Captain America antagonist Super Patriot, John was tapped as the new Cap when Steve gave up the title during a falling out with the US government.  Obviously, Steve was always going to come back, and when he did, his uniform from his interim time as “The Captain” was handed over to Walker, who repurposed it as U.S. Agent.  He’s since become the go-to character for when you need someone who’s on the right side of the law, but maybe not morally there, albeit not in a totally villainous sense.  And, he got a great focus in the MCU in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  All of that’s given him some leverage for a cool new comics-based figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

U.S. Agent is figure 6 in the Controller Series of Marvel Legends.  His presence in the series allows for all three of the main heavy hitter Avengers to have some sort of presence, without there being an actual Steve Rogers Cap variant needed.  This marks U.S. Agent’s third time in Legends form, and his second comics-based release, following the prior Hasbro version from way back in the Return of Marvel Legends days.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  U.S. Agent is built on the Reaper body, along with its Cap-specific parts courtesy of the Cap-Wolf release.  The Reaper body is perhaps just a touch small for how Walker is usually portrayed, but it’s not too far off, and I get the want for internal consistencies with the standard Cap.  He gets a brand-new head sculpt.  After years of Hasbro going a bit too gruff with Steve before finally getting it right, they dial back in on that gruffness for Walker.  The head’s maybe just a touch too large for the body, I think, but it’s otherwise a pretty good fit for the character.  U.S. Agent’s paint work is generally pretty decent.  Not quite as impressive as Speedball, but still better than previous fare.  The face gets a decent amount of accenting, and the detailing on the uniform is nice and crisp.  U.S. Agent is packed with his shield, two sets of hands (fists and a gripping/open gesture combo), and the arm for the Controller Build-A-Figure.  If there’s one thing I’d have liked to see, it’s an alternate Steve head to let this figure double as The Captain, but that’s far from an essential piece.  As it stands, he works well for John.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since getting a few goes at a good update to a classic Cap, and finally getting a really definitive one in the 20th Anniversary release, I’ve definitely been jonesing for a good U.S. Agent.  The prior one just wasn’t cutting it, so this one was certainly welcome.  As with Speedball, I expected this one to be a rather by-the-numbers release, though unlike Speedball, U.S. Agent winds up being truer to that expectation.  He’s not anything crazy, but he’s honestly just what he needs to be.

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.

#3193: Speedball

SPEEDBALL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When Robbie Baldwin is exposed to an extra-dimensional energy source, he becomes Speedball, able to project a kinetic energy field allowing him to bounce like a super-powered rubber ball!”

Introduced in 1988, Speedball was one of Marvel’s active attempts at recapturing the success of Spider-Man through another young hero, going so far as to include Steve Ditko in the character’s creation, just for that extra push. Though he ultimately didn’t meet their expectations, he did find some notoriety as a member of the New Warriors when that book was launched just a few years later.  He’d go on to become a defining member for the team throughout its many iterations, right up until they got totally discarded in order for big shocks in Civil War, at which point we got sad emo boy Robbie becoming the ultimate edgelord Penance…yeah, it’s not great.  But it’s okay, because he’s back to being Speedball, and now he’s even got an action figure, which I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Speedball is figure 4 in the Controller Series of Marvel Legends, which is ostensibly an Avengers assortment.  He’s the fourth member of the founding New Warriors in the line, following Night Thrasher, Firestar, and Nova.  Fingers crossed for a Justice figure in short order!  This is Speedball’s first figure, though Robbie did get a Minimate as Penance.  But I don’t wanna talk about it.  You can’t make me.  ….Anyway, the figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Speedball is built on the 2099 base body, which is a more than respectable choice for the character.  The build’s a pretty good match, and the articulation scheme, especially with those butterfly joints on the shoulders, makes for a lot of fun posing.  It’s a solid basic body choice for a guy with a pretty basic costume set-up.  It’s only real downside is that we still have the expose pins on the elbows and knees, but it’s going to take a little bit for such things to completely disappear from the line.  Speedball gets an all-new head sculpt, and it’s very definitely the star piece of the figure.  The hair has a wonderful dynamic flow, giving it that crazy flop that was so signature to the character’s look.  Gambit *wishes* his hair was this chaotic.  The face has a nice warm and friendly expression that feels right for a fun-loving guy like Robbie, and the goggles, which are separate pieces, top of the look pitch perfectly.  Speedball’s color work surprised me in its quality.  Not only is the base application all clean and sharp, they also handle his distinctive patterning on his gloves, belt, and boots quite well, without missing any noticeable spots or cutting anything too keep it simpler.  His face and hair also get a far bit more accenting than we’ve typically seen on the Hasbro Legends, which really just gives the whole thing a really polished feel.  If I have one complaint about this figure, it’s that he doesn’t get any accessories of his own.  A recoloring of the Havok/Polaris effects with his multicolored kinetic energy would have worked decently in a pinch, I feel.  That said, it’s not the end of the world, I suppose.  Ultimately, he’s packed with the torso for the Controller, which is the largest piece, so the box is far from empty feeling.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was seven, I bought an issue of Wizard magazine because it had a feature on the upcoming Avengers: United They Stand cartoon, and I wanted to know everything I could about it.  Said issue also included a free preview copy of the latest iteration of the New Warriors at the time, which of course had Speedball front and center.  I’d not encountered him previously, and while I wouldn’t actually read most of his early New Warriors appearances until much later, the character’s distinctive visual always stuck with me.  I hated what they did with him in Civil War, and was always bummed that his only Minimate was as Penance.  So, this figure?  I was fairly excited.  He looked like a cool by-the-numbers figure.  In hand, that’s not what he is, because, despite the base body build, he’s not just a by-the-numbers figure.  He’s got a lot of care put into him, and he’s so much fun.  He’s simple, but he’s thus far my favorite Legend of the year.  And there was a Havok and a classic Cap this year, so that’s pretty high praise by me.

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

#3192: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Tony Stark resolves to get back to basics, donning a new stripped-down Iron Man armor inspired by his most classic designs.”

Oh boy, are you guys ready for some more Marvel Legends?  I sure hope you are, because apparently the only settings on Hasbro’s release schedule for these are nothing at all and everything at once.  It’s…it’s a lot.  With no Avengers movies out or upcoming in the next year, the Avengers portion of the line is shifting over to purely comics based, which is where the most recent assortment sets its sights. The resident heavy hitter for this round is an Iron Man, who I’m gonna be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is the non-numbered figure for the Controller Series of Marvel Legends. He’s based on Alex Ross’s updated Iron Man armor, which is his current set-up in the comics.  It’s a fairly nice merging of modern aesthetics with his classic design elements, offering a look that’s both unique, but still reads as a standard Iron Man.  Definitely a solid choice for the line-up.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  This Iron Man’s articulation scheme is probably the best we’ve gotten on a Legends Iron Man.  The 80th body and its spin-offs certainly weren’t bad from a movement perspective, but his figure takes a lot of the things that Hasbro’s learned from other lines and implements them for Marvel.  In particular, the neck is a mix of two ball joints and a universal, resulting in a ton of range we don’t usually see.  And, it’s all worked in really well from an aesthetic standpoint, making it doubly successful.  His sculpt is an all-new affair, of course.  It’s a really nice recreation of the armor as we’ve seen it on the page.  The depth of detail is also quite impressive, in part because it’s handled with so many separate pieces that are all assembled.  The only part I’m not super crazy about is the shoulder armor, which is a softer piece that goes over; when posing, it can be slightly restricting, and I worry about warping it by leaving the arms up for too long.  Beyond that, though, it’s a really strong sculpt.  His color work isn’t terrible, but it’s probably the figure’s weakest aspect.  The reds and golds are largely molded, rather than painted.  For the red, it means its not metallic; not the end of the world, but it doesn’t quite have that same pop.  For the gold, it means he’s got the swirls going on.  On my figure they’re rather prominent on the faceplate, which can be a tad distracting.  The actual paint application is all at least pretty clean, though, and I do like how the whites really stand out from the rest of the armor.  Iron Man is packed with two sets of hands (repulsor blasts and fists), and the two-part blast and smoke effects that were first included with Ironheart.  The replusor hands get the full wrist articulation, which I’m very happy about, and I’m also happy to see the Ironheart effects turn back up, as they’re honestly pretty cool.  It’s a shame that there’s not an unmasked Tony head, but there are at least options available.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With classic Iron Man and Modular Iron Man checked off, there’s not a ton left on my Iron Man checklist, but I’ll admit that I’ve liked this look since it was first shown off and was on-board for its inevitable Legends release.  When this one was announced, I was definitely planning to grab it, but didn’t think much beyond that.  It’s actually a pretty awesome figure.  He’s not my standard armor or anything, but it’s just hard to deny that this is a really, really good Iron Man figure.

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.

#3178: Nova

NOVA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Chosen by the last surviving member of an elite intergalactic defense force, Richard Rider ascends from humble origins to continue the battle as Nova.”

Remember all that stuff yesterday’s intro had to say about Nova and his background both in the comics and in the real world?  Cool, that’s super handy, because it makes this intro way easier.  I mean, apart from me not really having much unique or exciting to say.  Oh no.  I’ve become my own worst enemy.  I’ve…I’ve written myself out of a job.  Well, a hobby, I guess.  And I can just go meta for a few sentences until I make it to the review proper.  So, in the end, it doesn’t even matter.  Or perhaps something less emo than that.  I mean, we’re talking about Nova here; let’s try to be at least a little bit cheery, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nova is a Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends release, who dropped last year…theoretically.  He was the second in Walgreens’ 2021 line-up of cosmically-themed characters, following on the tails of their “The Fallen One” Silver Surfer variant.  This marked Richard Rider’s third time in Legends form, after the figure I looked at yesterday, and the one from the first Guardians tie-in assortment in 2014.  While the 2014 release brought him up to more modern standards in figure-making, it also did so in his modern costume.  This figure instead updates the classic costume from the first release to the current level.  I like that.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Nova is built on the Bucky Cap body at his core, though he winds up with a lot of new parts.  The head and upper torso are the obviously new parts, but the pelvis and shins are also new.  The new parts are pretty nicely handled.  The head is two pieces, with the helmet and underlying head being two separate pieces, which adds some extra depth to the design.  The new upper torso adds his shoulder pads, which are separate from the core torso, allowing for them to move with the arms for more optimal posing.  The new pelvis and shins don’t really do a lot different, but they add a little bit of variety to the mold just before it got dropped.  So, there’s that.  The color work on Nova is a pretty straight updating of the first Legend.  This time around, the gold’s a bit brighter and the blue’s a bit deeper, which makes for a far better contrast.  The paint work is all pretty crisp, which I certainly like.  Not so big on the molded gold plastic with all the swirls, though, especially since it means there’s quite a line right on the front of his helmet.  Nova is packed with two sets of hands, in fists and flat poses, plus fellow Nova Corps member Qubit, who’s really just a helmet with a flight stand.  It’s accurate to the comics, of course, where he’s “a synthorganic being of the Manufactured Harmonites.”  That’s a totally normal sentence, I suppose.  He’s a cool extra, and follows the trend started by The Phlish’s inclusion with Sam Nova.  I like it, and I’d like to see more of it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I like Nova a fair bit, especially his classic look.  His first Legend was kind of weak, but he tided me over.  The modern version was better, but not my preferred version.  This one was the one I was waiting for.  And boy was there a lot of waiting, because I never found one at Walgreens.  When Quasaar got offered up to Fan Channels, I was hoping Nova would follow, but no such luck yet.  Thankfully, one was traded into All Time, so I still got my shot at him.  He’s a solid update, and pretty much exactly what I wanted.  Calling this one a win.

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

#3177: Nova

NOVA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“It was pure chance that granted Richard Rider his fragment of the cosmic power known as the Nova Force. He was just some smart-​aleck kid from Queens, dreaming the same other big dreams as everyone else. The closest he’d ever been to being a superhero was seeing the Avengers’ Quinjet once in a while. Since the day he felt that first rush of power, he’s traveled the universe and battled against and alongside some of the most powerful creatures in the known universe. He has turned back the aggression of entire star empires, and become the last survivor of an annihilated culture. His power enhanced by the absorption of the entire Nova Force and the Xandorian Worldmind, he serves now as a final bulwark against perhaps the greatest threat our universe has ever faced.”

Well, that’s quite a thorough selection of bio-text up there.  I guess…I guess I don’t really need to get into it too much, then.  Well, I suppose I could discuss the out-of-universe stuff, then.  The success of Spider-Man in 1962 was somewhat unexpected.  For the decades that followed, Marvel was kind of always trying to craft that next Spider-Man.  Admittedly, it’s kind of hard to purposefully create an equivalent for a character that didn’t really originate with that purpose in mind.  A decade after Spider-Man’s creation, they tried this with Nova, an admittedly noble attempt at aping Spidey’s success, right down to him being a reimagining of a pet character that Marv Wolfman had made up for a fanzine, mirroring Stan Lee’s own fostering of Spidey before he actually made it to publish.  Though they gave it an honest try, but he ultimately didn’t take off, and he fell into obscurity until the early ’90s when he was added to the cast of the New Warriors.  Nova got his first Legends release, which was his second figure overall, early in Hasbro’s run, and I’m taking a look at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nova was released in 2009 as part of the Nemesis Series of Marvel Legends.  The Nemesis Series, which wound up being the last assortment of Hasbro’s first run of Marvel Legends, had a turbulent path to release.  Originally, it was supposed to be a mass-release assortment, slated to hit in 2008, but there were production issues associated with it, and a bunch of planned exclusive assortments got pushed up first.  The line-up got tweaked and shifted around several times, and then it looked like it was cancelled entirely, but then, at the end of 2009, the set just started showing up at Walmarts, apparently as an exclusive, effectively pushed out to wrap up the line before the full switch to Marvel Universe occurred.  It was a mess.  Nova was based on his classic design, which was amusing at the time, since he’d just gotten a new look in the comics.  This is still my preferred, so I never really minded.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation.  Nova was built on the modified base-body version of the Bullseye body, first seen with Havok.  It was a good piece when it first dropped, and even in 2009 it was still holding up okay.  I mean, it was still in use for another 6 years after this, so clearly it still had a little bit of mileage left.  It’s a little goofy by today’s standards, especially given how the articulation has been worked into the overall sculpt.  His only new piece on this release was his head sculpt.  It matches well with the style of the base body, and doesn’t do a bad job of adapting the helmet design from the comics.  For proper accuracy, he probably should have a few other unique pieces, but it was the best we could hope for at the time.  The figure’s paint work isn’t great, really.  The big issue is the “gold,” which is really dull, far too dark, and just generally doesn’t pop the way it should.  In general, it’s just a super drab figure, just across the board.  Nova’s only extra was the leg to the Nemesis Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This assortment wound up hitting at the same time as the Walmart-exclusive 10th Series of DC Universe Classics.  At the time, my Dad was scouting out the DCUC figures for me and my brother, and he happened upon a few of the figures from this set, so he started scouting out those as well.  He and I wound up finding this one together, while on a run for some Christmas decorations.  He’s not a great figure, but I was happy to have him at the time, and I appreciate the story behind it.

#3170: Jean Grey

JEAN GREY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Possessing near-limitless psychic potential, Jean Grey is Charles Xavier’s first student, and could someday become the greatest psychic on earth, and beyond.”

At the beginning of the month, I continued my look into Hasbro’s X-Men: The Animated Series-inspired sub-line of Marvel Legends with a look at the updated version of Storm, who got reviewed all on her lonesome because I didn’t really need another Mr. Sinister, and the figure that I ordered alongside hadn’t shipped out yet.  Well, as luck would have it, I got that other figure, and I’m going to be looking at it today!  Which figure is it?  Why, it’s Jean Grey!  Yes, founding member of the X-Men, and central piece to a bunch of the show’s storylines, to say nothing of her spot in the show’s main love triangle, Jean is finally getting her due in the line, especially given that she didn’t really even get her due in the line that was running when the show was on the air.  It’s just overdue, really.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jean Grey is the fifth figure in the X-Men: The Animated Series sub-line of Marvel Legends.  Unlike the last two rounds, Jean was shown off on her own, which has been the trend since.  It was a little odd at the time, since it kind of felt like Cyclops would be her natural pairing figure, but as of yet we’re still waiting on him to be added to the line.  Oh well.  Guess I’ll just make do.  This is the third time we’ve gotten a ’90s-based Jean Grey in Legends, with all three of them being under the Hasbro banner, and the most recent one being under this same incarnation of Legends, even.  As with the rest of the line, she ships in a VHS-inspired box, and I’m continuing to love these, guys.  They just look so fun and nostalgic.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, this Jean Grey is the same as the last ’90s Jean Grey, making use of all of the same parts.  For the most part, that’s okay.  The body in particular gets the point across, and there are a lot of really solid unique pieces just for this design.  The only real issue is that the hands don’t have the proper sculpting for how the gauntlets looked in animation, but that’s quite minor.  The heads are…well, they’re a bit of a different story.  While they’re certainly not bad, especially from a comics perspective, they don’t quite match up with the animation models as well.  Wolverine and Storm both got new heads, and even Jubilee got a slightly better alternate head that was a little more accurate.  I’d have really liked to see them throw us a more animation accurate Jean head.  Honestly, they could have even done that and cut the extra head with the longer hair, since she only had that look in the final season of the show, and by that point, the model was already far different.  As it stands, the ponytail head is workable, but it’s not quite as good as it could be.  The paint work for Jean is cel-shaded, like the rest of them in the line.  There are some fuzzy edges, but it’s generally a good set-up, and I prefer the brighter palette of this release to the prior one.  Jean is packed with two sets of hands (open gesture and fists), as well as the two heads.  Again, this feels a bit lacking for the animation angle.  An extra head with her psychic effect, or even a Cerebro piece would have been really cool.  As it stands, it just really feels like bare minimum, especially with no new sculpting on the main figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was really excited about Jean initially.  Excited enough to actually get me to go back and order the Storm, who I had skipped at that point.  That said, getting her in hand, I’m a little letdown.  The complete lack of any new parts, and the barebones nature of the accessories is rather upsetting, especially after Wolverine kicked us off with such a good set-up of new parts and extras.  I’m worried that this line is already kind of losing its focus of animation accuracy, a mere five figures in.  I hope that’s not the case.  Perhaps Morph will change the tide of things a little bit.  As it stands, I do like the Jean more than the three pack release, and I’m glad that there’s another version of her available.

#3163: Bonebreaker

BONEBREAKER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The villainous cyborg known only as Bonebreaker desires nothing more than the chance to wreak havoc. Employing his robotic abilities first as a mercenary and then as a member of the nefarious Reavers, Bonebreaker leaves a trail of destruction wherever his travels lead him!”

Back in 2019, Hasbro knocked out their first member of the cybernetically-enhanced X-Men foes the Reavers with Skullbuster, an admittedly soft opening for the line-up.  But, that’s what you get when you really don’t have the name recognition to justify much new tooling right out of the gate.  We also got the team’s two different leaders, Donald Pierce and Lady Deathstrike, though the actual ranks are still rather small.  And hey, now we’re getting arguably the most quickly recognizable member of the group, by nature of being half-man-half-tank.  Let’s check out Bonebreaker!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bonebreaker is the Build-A-Figure for the titular series of Marvel Legends, assembled from the parts included with six of the seven figures in the assortment.  This is Bonebreaker’s second time in figure form, following up on the original Toy Biz one.  Hey, it’s better than all of the rest of his team, so that certainly counts for something.  The figure is about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation, as well as a moving cannon and back-flap on the tank portion of the figure.  The proper articulation is confined to the upper half, which is making use of the upper portion of the Spider-UK body.  He also gets the bands from Captain Marvel, as well as a new head, overlay for the web gear and collar piece, and, of course, the tank half.  The new pieces are actually pretty impressive.  The head’s got a ton of character, between both the hair style and the crazy look on his face.  I especially like the hinged sunglasses, which add a lot of options for the character’s expressions.  The tank section is generally pretty solid as well.  The detailing is sharp and well-handled technically, and I really dig the dings and scratches.  The assembly is also pretty solid, considering how its got to be disassembled for the purposes of the Build-A-Figure set-up.  Bonebreaker’s color work is on the drab side, as expected, but there’s a lot going on, which keeps it interesting.  Bonebreaker is packed with two sets of hands (fists and gripping), as well as an assault rifle.  It covers everything he could need, and then some, so that’s a plus.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back in the ’90s, I remember seeing Bonebreaker’s original figure everywhere, which sort of wound up deterring me from actually getting it, until I finally broke back in 2019 and finally got him.  Over the years, I’ve grown to like Bonebreaker a little bit more, and I was certainly intrigued by the prospect of him in Legends form, and this Build-A-Figure release looked pretty awesome when it was shown off.  In-hand, he turned out really well.  Clearly, a lot of fun was had with this one.  I’d love to see them tackle more of the Reavers to fill things out a bit, because they did really well with this one.

This assortment is really oddball, and generally pretty obscure, but boy do I like it.  Obviously, Havok’s the main star for me, because it’s Havok, and he’s great.  That said, Maggot and Bonebreaker are both really well handled figures of low-tier characters, who are just a ton of fun.  Darwin, Siryn, and Sabretooth are all rather by the numbers, but they do what they need to, and they do it well.  And you don’t even need to buy the Wolverine variant to finish the set!  Oh, right, there’s also Vulcan.  I mean, I guess he’s alright.

#3162: Sabretooth

SABRETOOTH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With keen senses, a mutant healing factor, and zero moral restraint, Sabretooth is a dark reflection of his archnemesis, the mutant hero Wolverine.”

I fully intended to begin today’s review of a Sabretooth figure by bringing up the fact that he didn’t actually start out as an X-Men or Wolverine antagonist, and was instead an Iron Fist villain, but in doing some back-reading of old reviews in preparation, I have discovered that I’ve actually mentioned that fact in almost all of my Sabretooth reviews here on the site.  I…I should probably double check old intros a little more often, shouldn’t I?  Eh, I probably won’t.  Look forward to hearing about the Iron Fist thing in my next Sabretooth review, after I’ve completely forgotten the lesson I learned in this one’s intro.  Just try to pretend its new and exciting information when you hear it then.  And give me a break, because I’ll be older and more tired by that point.  Just keep me comfortable, is what I’m getting at here.  Man, this intro’s getting really meta and really bleak, really fast.  Well, onto the toy, I guess.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sabretooth is figure 6 in the Bonebreaker Series of Marvel Legends, and is the final figure needed to assemble the Bonebreaker Build-A-Figure.  There’s also a Wolverine variant, but I’ve honestly got enough Wolverine variants, so I passed on that one.  This Sabretooth is based on his first appearance costume…more or less.  It marks the first time Hasbro’s done the design, and its second time in Legends form, following the Toy Biz Face Off release.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  While the last two standard universe Sabretooths have been based on the Hyperion body, this one is on the slightly slimmer Reaper body.  It makes sense, since the earlier Sabretooth design was always depicted as being a little slimmer anyway.  It’s also a body that’s not super over-used, so that’s a plus.  The figure gets a new head, forearms, shins, hands, and feet, as well as an add-on for his fur collar.  The new parts mesh well with the old, and the whole thing’s a rather cohesive looking take on the original design.  The head in particular is quite nice; rather than the more frequent screaming expression, he’s got Creed’s evil grin, which is frequently overlooked for such figures.  The figure’s paint work is generally pretty decently handled.  He does have a bit of a departure from the proper 1st Appearance look, with fingerless gloves and…toe-less boots?  They don’t appear to be based on any particular version of the costume, but I do kinda dig how they look.  Sabretooth has no accessories of his own, but he includes three separate pieces for Bonebreaker, all meant to connect to the lower tank-portion of the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was very happy with the Jim Lee style Sabretooth from the Apocalypse Series, so I didn’t need another.  That said, I get the desire to update this look, since it’s been a while since it got toy coverage.  This one turned out pretty well.  He’s not going to be my go-to Sabretooth or anything, but he’s certainly a cool figure.

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.

#3161: Darwin

DARWIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“True to his name, Darwin has the power to adapt against any threat, be it searing volcanic heat or the cold vacuum of space!”

Hey, remember when I was talking about retcons?  And, more specifically, the retcon that introduced Vulcan, the third Summers brother?  And, how terribly handled it was?  Well, for the sake of argument, how about a retcon character that I actually don’t hate, who is in fact from that exact same story?  Yes, today, I’m talking about Armando Munoz, aka Darwin, one of the other three members of Vulcan’s ill-fated team, and the only other one to survive to the present day.  Darwin has the ability to adapt to the threats around him, and has generally been a pretty low-key sort of character, whose unique (and actually decently defined) abilities and lack of connection to pre-existing characters make for a far less obtrusive inclusion within X-history, even if it was added after the fact.  And, he’s even gotten to be in a movie, which was pretty cool.  And now, he’s got a Marvel Legend.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darwin is figure 5 in the Bonebreaker Series of Marvel Legends.  He fits well with the overall oddball-theme of the assortment, as well as having the added benefit of being in the same assortment as his former teammate Vulcan, which I suppose is a pretty nice little tie.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Darwin is built on the Pizza Spidey body, which is a reasonable choice for the character, who is usually portrayed as being more on the slender side.   He gets a new head, belt, and hands, which capture his look respectably well.  The new head is suitably alien in its appearance, matching the character’s earlier appearances, as well as the costume choice that they’ve gone with, which is his original “Deadly Genesis” design.  He winds up looking a little bit like John Lithgow, if I’m honest, which I don’t really hate.  The paint work on Darwin matches up with his comics design; I really dig the purple, and the skin tone is appropriately pale and washed out.  I like the slight accenting on the head, in order to bring out more of the sculpted details.  Darwin is packed with two sets of hands (open gesture and fists), as well as half of the tank treads for the Bonebreaker Build-A-Figure.  It might have been nice to get a few parts showing off his adaptive skills, but this figure is pretty clearly the assortment’s low-cost figure, so I get why they stuck with what we got.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first exposure to Darwin was actually in X-Men: First Class, where I quite liked him, despite his relatively small role.  I haven’t been actively following him in the comics, but I’ve always enjoyed the stories I’ve read with him, and, like I mentioned in the intro, I find his retcon status to be far less frustrating than Vulcan’s, so I just generally like him more.  While I didn’t *need* a figure of him, it’s one I can appreciate, and, for as basic as this one is, he’s honestly pretty fun.

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.

#3160: Maggott

MAGGOTT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Maggott’s mutant power is his two giant slugs, Eanie and Meanie, that serve as his digestive system.”

At the height of the their popularity in the ’90s, the X-Men were in desperate need of new characters to fill up the many, many books that were being published.  You can’t just fill every roster with Wolverine, right?  As they progressed, the characters seemed to be trying to top each other in terms of both weirdness and general X-Tremeness.  Things had gotten pretty absurd by 1997, which is when we got today’s character, Maggott, frequently touted as one of the strangest X-Men.  He was crazy, and ridiculous, and honestly kind of awesome.  So, of course, he had to be killed in a horrible fashion once the ’00s came along, to prove that we were far more serious.  Super serious you guys.  But it’s okay, because none of the X-Men stay dead anymore, so he’s back!  Yeah!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Maggott is figure four in the Bonebreaker Series of Marvel Legends.  This is Maggott’s first action figure release, though he was actually slated for one back in the ’90s, as part of a cancelled follow-up assortment to Toy Biz’s “Missile Flyers” theme.  Crazy it took this long, but here we finally are.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Maggott’s sculpt is an all-new affair, patterned on his primary design from the ’90s, in all of its crazy ’90s-ness.  The sculpt does a pretty great job of capturing the essence of his ’90s appearances, while still filtering it through to something that could fit in a bit better with the overall stylings of the other figures in the line.  If I have one complaint, it’s that the head seems perhaps a touch too large, but beyond that, I think it really works.  I especially appreciate the extra texture work on the jacket, as well as the more jovial expression on the face.  The color work on Maggot matches well with his in-book color scheme.  It was pretty gaudy, even for the time, but they’ve kept it true, and haven’t dulled it down, as tends to happen with such designs.  The paint application is all generally clean and well-handled, and there’s no notable slop or bleed over.  Maggott is packed with his two maggots, Eanie and Meanie, which can be placed on him (though they don’t really secure or anything), as well as the head and weapon for the Bonebreaker Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The cancelled Toy Biz figure was my introduction to the character, but since then, I’ve always had this sort of built-up need to own a Maggott figure.  And, up until now, there’s not been one, which is kind of a bummer.  When this guy was teased, and then confirmed, I was actually pretty excited.  Sure, he’s not Havok, but he was still quite high on my list.  He’s a fun, rather unique figure, and, after 20 years, I’m just glad to finally have a Maggott in my collection.

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.