#3011: Magneto

MAGNETO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Magneto casts off his anti-human sentiments and carries on Xavier’s dream of peaceful coexistence, thereby founding the X-Men.”

2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the X-Men crossover “Age of Apocalypse” and 2021 marked the 25th anniversary of the tie-in toys for that crossover.  What’s the significance of 2022?  It’s the 25th anniversary of the toys being a year old, I guess.  That’s gotta count for something, right?  Well, I’m gonna make it count for something, because in my case, it counts for reviewing another round of AoA-themed Legends.  That’s pretty cool, all things considered.  Throughout the history of the X-Men, Magneto has flirted with the idea of not being such a bad guy, even aiding, or in some cases outright joining the team.  It rarely lasts, but AoA posited that, were Magneto to see his friend Xavier murdered at a young age, that might just be the thing to make him an objectively good character.  So, in the AoA universe, Magneto is an unquestionable force of good, founder and leader of the X-Men, and the most prominent force in the fight against the objectively evil Apocalypse.  As such, he’s a pretty perfect choice for headlining the second assortment of AoA Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto is part of the Colossus Series of Marvel Legends.  He is the only figure in the set not to include a piece of the Build-A-Figure, and is likewise this assortment’s double pack, which is honestly pretty sensible.  This is the fourth time the AoA version of Magneto’s gotten a figure, following the original Toy Biz 5-inch figure, the Minimate, and the 3 3/4-inch Hasbro version.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  As with the last few Magnetos, he’s based on the Spider-UK body, which is a good fit for the character, so I’m pretty happy to see it continue to be in use for the character.  In terms of design, Magneto’s AoA look wasn’t a drastic change from his mainstream look, so there’s a lot of room for parts re-use.  That being said, the only part (aside from the base body), that’s shared with the standard Magneto is the belt.  He also shares his forearms and boots with the modern Magneto, which are generally pretty good matches for the updated designs from the AoA books.  He gets a few new parts as well, namely an all-new cape/shoulder pad piece, as well as two new heads.  The cape does seem a little tame for how the AoA Magneto’s cape was usually depicted, but it’s still a pretty nice piece, which at least keeps the figure well-balanced.  The new heads give him helmeted and un-helmeted looks.  The un-helmeted is certainly the stronger of the two.  The facial features are a bit more defined, and the hair turned out quite well.  The helmeted head’s not terrible, but the helmet seems a touch on the small side, and I do feel like there’s a missed opportunity in not doing the blacked-out face under the helmet, as he was frequently depicted in the books.  Magneto’s paint work is generally pretty decent.  It’s straight forward, and really rather minimal, but it does what it needs to for the most part.  There’s a little bit of misalignment on one of the eyebrows one un-helmeted head, but it generally looks pretty good.  The only odd part is the decision to leave off the purple trunks. Later illustrations of the character dropped them, but the actual cross-over itself always showed him having them.  Magneto is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, the other in open gesture, as well as two electricity effects.  Not a ton of stuff, but it covers the basics.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

AoA Magneto is really one of my favorite parts of the whole AoA thing, something I brought up when I reviewed the Toy Biz figure, itself my favorite of the Toy Biz AoA figures.  I’ve definitely been hoping for an update in Legends form for quite some time.  I was bummed when he wasn’t included with the first assortment, but his absence felt like it really confirmed a second assortment, since how can you not do this guy?  I was happy to be right.  Ultimately, there are some elements of the figure that could stand to be a little stronger, but he’s generally still a pretty solid take on the character, and I’m glad we got the update.

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.

#3005: Wolverine, Callisto, Jason Wyngarde, Omega Red, & Cyber

WOLVERINE, CALLISTO, JASON WYNGARDE, OMEGA RED, & CYBER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Wow, it’s been, like, weeks, plural even, since I reviewed any Marvel Legends.  That’s crazy.  I mean, technically, I haven’t reviewed any of them since last year.  Can you believe that?  I’m honestly still sort of wrapping my head around it after two months of un-filtered Legends reviews.  Well, there’s still more to be reviewed, so I’d best ease myself back in.  Today’s review fulfills the component of being both a Legends review *and* a post-Christmas review, so it’s the perfect choice!  The last couple of years running, Amazon has gotten a larger boxed Legends-exclusive nearer to the holiday season, and 2021 followed suit, with a five-pack of figures, all (sort of) Wolverine-themed.  And that’s the set I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Wolverine, Callisto, Jason Wyngarde, Omega Red, and Cyber make up the Amazon-exclusive Wolverine 5-pack of Marvel Legends.  Well, it started out as an Amazon-exclusive, anyway.  It didn’t stay that way for much time at all, though, and is already available through a number of other retailers, including my sponsors over at All Time Toys, if you’re feeling inclined to pick a set up.

WOLVERINE

It’s difficult to do a Wolverine-themed set and not include a Wolverine, so Hasbro opted to do that.  I suppose that’s a reasonable stance for them to take.  We’ve had no shortage of Wolverines in the line, especially recently, so a lot of the major looks have already been covered.  In an effort to be a little bit different, Hasbro’s gone with a look that appears to be at least a little bit inspired by the cover of X-Men #251, which features a beaten Wolverine in his brown costume, sans shirt, cowl, and gloves.  It’s an interesting twist on his usual design, and has a fairly distinctive visual to it, so it’s not a bad choice.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the same core body they’ve been using since the Juggernaut Series, which is especially fitting in this figure’s case, since it’s meant to be the same costume as that one and all.  He gets two new head sculpts, both of them unmasked.  As of yet, the unmasked Wolverine heads for modern-era Legends have all felt a little bit lacking, so there was definitely a big push to get some ones that worked a bit better to translate that crazy hair into three dimensions.  These two give us both crazy and slightly more neutral expressions, and are easily the best unmasked Wolverines that Hasbro has produced.  I myself really like the calmer expression, but they’re both quite impressive in how they capture that more ’80s style look for Logan.  Otherwise, Wolverine is using re-used parts, and doing pretty well with that.  The paint work on this guy is pretty strong, as making him shirtless gives him all that body hair to contend with.  Fun stuff, right?  It actually works pretty well, and doesn’t look as goofy as painted hair can, so kudos to Hasbro on that.  The heads get some pretty solid work, with the calmer expression actually getting some bruising and cuts.  It stops it from being a totally standard head, which is a slight bummer, but at the same time, it does look really cool.  Hopefully, they’ll just repack this head with a more standard paint app later down the line, for a best of both worlds sort of set-up.  In addition to the two varieties of head mentioned above, this figure is also packed with hands both with and without the claws.  No X-crucifix, but I can see why Hasbro might want to forego packing such a thing in.

CALLISTO

This set is, ostensibly, supposed to be Wolverine-themed, being Logan versus a bunch of his foes.  Two figures in, we’re already kind of loosing that.  Callisto was introduced alongside the rest of the Morlocks, a group of sewer-dwelling mutants, in X-Men #169, as an attempt to have a few more mutants who weren’t quite as physically pristine as a lot of the X-Men were.  While she and the other Morlocks have certainly been involved with Wolverine by virtue of being in the X-Men universe and all, it’s not like there’s any sort of particularly close ties there.  That being said, she’s been without any toy treatment up until this point, so an excuse to finally release her in some form isn’t unwarranted.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  For the most part, Callisto is really just an excuse to get another use out of the Mohawk Storm parts.  Everything but the head and hands are shared with that figure.  It’s really not a bad bit of re-use; the two designs are quite similar, and given Storm and Callisto’s history, I suppose it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing in the world for them to share a taste in fashion.  Callisto’s new head sculpt is perhaps a little more conventionally good looking than Callisto was classically portrayed, but it’s in line with her more modern incarnations, and it’s not a bad sculpt.  The detailing on the scarring and the eye patch is pretty decent, and I do like that they’ve gotten at least a little bit of her usual scowl going on there.  Her paint work is generally pretty straight forward.  There’s not a ton of work going into it, since there’s a lot of molded color work, but the work on the head is well-handled, and the application is overall clean and fairly consistent.  I’m not big on how the painted edge of her torn shirt looks, but it was unlikely that they were going to sculpt a new lower torso just for Callisto.  As it stands, it looks alright.  Callisto is packed with two sets of hands, one gripping, the other in fists, as well as two different knives.

JASON WYNGARDE

Remember this being a Wolverine-themed set?  Hasbro doesn’t seem to so much, because the third figure, much like the second, is kind of not fitting that mold.  Appearing during “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” Jason Wyngarde is key to Jean’s descent into madness and her eventual dark turn.  Late in the story, he is revealed to be former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member Mastermind in disguise, leaving the Wyngarde identity largely discarded, though it does get dusted off from time to time.  Wyngarde has little to no actual interaction with Wolverine, since it’s Jean he’s attempting to seduce and Cyclops he’s in more direct conflict with.  Perhaps he’s here because he and Wolverine both sparred with Cyclops for Jean’s affections?  Or perhaps because they both share a love of unique facial hair?  I don’t know, and I won’t complain, because I really like the Wyngarde persona, so I’m down for whatever needs to be done to get it in figure form.  Well, within reason.  Like, you know, this.  This is actually about as far as I’d go, really.  So, it worked out, all things considered.  No real moral compromises or anything.  You know what?  I’m proud of us.  We knew where to draw the line.  Great.  Back in the land of actually reviewing this figure on this here toy review site, the figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Wyngarde is largely using parts from the two male members of the Hellfire Club set released last year.  Since he’s of similar build and also wore the same basic attire as Shaw and Pierce, it’s a sensible and in fact an expected choice.  This is the first time I’ve gotten to mess with the body, but it’s a pretty decent piece of work, and matches up well with how the characters are depicted in the comics.  Wyngarde’s head sculpt does a good job of capturing Byrne’s design for the character, while also translating that into the more standard Legends styling.  He’s suitably smarmy, while also still looking suave enough to understand part of how Jean might be swayed by him.  Wyngarde’s color palette is an interesting choice, since he’s patterned not on this “Dark Phoenix” appearance, but rather on his more recent All New All Different X-Men appearance.  It’s a minor change, and it’s not a bad color scheme, it’s just odd that they went for something other than literally the one appearance everyone knows him from.  Wyngarde is packed with an alternate Mastermind head.  It’s an impressive piece, though one that’s a little out of place without a body to match.  I’m sure it should be easy enough to rig something up, though.

OMEGA RED

Okay, now we’re actually getting to something properly Wolverine-related.  How about that?  Omega Red has had the Legends treatment rather recently, and is mostly just here in this set because that particular release has gotten rather pricey on the aftermarket these days.  This figure, like that one, stands about 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Omega Red is using the same parts selection as his Sauron Series release.  That was quite a nice figure, and by extension so is his one.  The molds have held up pretty well, and they still suit the character quite nicely.  I really do like those butterfly joints a lot.  The color work marks a notable change-up.  The colors are even brighter than they were the last time, with more brilliant whites and reds, as well as a few changed out colors on certain parts of the costume.  Overall, I like the new color scheme more than the old, though I will admit that I miss the cool omega symbols on the backs of the hands.  Otherwise, he’s got more of a ’90s animation feel than the last release, and I really dig that.  Like the last release, this one gets the two sets of tendrils, and also adds in a second head sculpt, with a screaming expression, which gives him some more posing options.

CYBER

Certainly the most obscure of the figures included here, Cyber is also the one that’s really the most sensible, as he’s actually only got the ties to Wolverine, and not the rest of the X-Men, so he’d be kind of out of place in a main assortment.  The figure stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Cyber makes use of the Colossus body, which is honestly a kind of criminally under-used base body.  He makes use of a combination of parts from both Colossuses, as well as Death’s Head, in order to have the most basic selection of parts possible.  He also gets a new head, as well as forearms and hands in order to complete his look.  It’s a very basic look, but that’s true to the character, so I guess Hasbro got it right there.  He’s big and imposing, which is pretty cool.  Cyber’s paint work is actually surprisingly involved, given how basic the design is.  There’s some accenting going on for the blue sections, which helps them to look a lot better than they would if they were just flat blue plastic.  I can dig it.  There are no accessories included for Cyber, though I’m not entirely sure what exactly you could give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this whole set as a Christmas gift from my parents this year.  It’s one of those sets that’s kind of a hard sell, if I’m honest.  It’s not that any of the figures are bad, but really that they don’t seem to make for much of a cohesive package.  I myself really just view this as a very expensive way to finally own a Jason Wyngarde figure.  A very nice Jason Wyngarde, mind you, and one I’m very happy to have.  The others are all nice figures on their own, but ones I might have just as well skipped if I’d been given the option.  They’ll all suit my collection well when divied up to go into various different sections, though, so I can’t really complain too much.

#3000: Captain America – Infinity War

CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HOT TOYS)

In a turn of events that I suppose is all rather fitting, today, the last day of 2021, also marks my 3000th review here at the site.  Pretty crazy, huh?  I never really foresaw myself making it quite this far, and yet, here I am.  3000 is a very big number, and a bigger number than the the total quantity of figures I had in my collection when I started this thing.  Moreover, I’ve made it all the way to the end of 2021, a journey that I would very much be underselling with the description “turbulent.”  A lot’s happened, and it has not been easy.  But I’m here.  And I’ve got a thing to review.  And I suppose that’s the most important thing in the moment.  So, let’s jump back to 2018, back to the throws of Avengers: Infinity War, specifically Captain America and his rather disheveled look from his own rather turbulent year.  Fitting, I suppose.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is part of the Infinity War tie-in component of Hot Toys’ Movie Masterpiece Series, where he’s figure MMS 481, which made him the sixth of the IW tie-in figures.  The figure arrived not too long after the film’s release, hitting in the fall of 2018.  There were two releases of him, a standard and a “Movie Promo Edition” which was a Sideshow-exclusive in the US.  The difference between the two comes down to a few accessories; the figure proper remains the same.  This Cap is based on his Nomad appearance from the film, which is of course the only look he actually has in Infinity War, so I guess that makes sense.  The figure stands about 12 1/2 inches tall and he has over 30 points of articulation.

While most Caps these days include multiple heads, this release only has the one.  It makes some degree of sense, since he doesn’t have the helmeted look in the film, so I suppose he only needs the one head.  It’s only the one facial expression, but that’s not uncommon for unmasked heads from Hot Toys.  This one does live up to Hot Toys’ usual penchant for very lifelike sculpts.  It sports a pretty spot-on likeness of Evans in the film, at least facially.  The hair is perhaps a little bit too orderly for proper film accuracy, but it’s not too far off, and it’s certainly closer than either Hasbro or Bandai’s attempts were.  It avoids the seam at the sides of the head that the Endgame release had, but trades it out for a rather noticeable join at the back of the head where the longer hair attaches.  It’s still not the worst thing, but at this price point, you do hope for a little better.  At the very least, the paint work topping it all off is really good, up to Hot Toys’ typical standards for face paint, with a very lifelike quality to the whole thing.

In Infinity War, Cap is, at least canonically, supposed to still be wearing the suit he had in Civil War, having had not time on the run between films to swap out.  In actuality, there are a few changes to the suit beyond just the expected wear and tear of being on the run, but they’re generally minor.  In terms of how the suit works on the figure, it’s pretty similar to the Endgame figure, being two main parts, with a lot of layers attached.  As with that figure, this one’s belt sets perhaps a little low, but it’s otherwise a well-tailored outfit that works well with the underlying body of the figure and captures the look of the outfit seen in the film quite nicely.

The underlying base body appears to be the same one used for Endgame Cap, which was a good fit for Evans’ build for the character, as well as doing a good job of balancing aesthetics and functionality.  As with that figure, the movement of the base body is somewhat impeded by the nature of the suit design, which does have some notable restrictions at the hips and shoulders.  Still, there’s plenty of movement to be had, and he can get some pretty solid range on most of the joints.

When it comes to accessories, Cap gets quite a few, including:

  • 8 hands
  • 2 Wakandan shields
  • Outrider corpse
  • Corvus Glaive’s Spear
  • Proxima Midnight’s staff
  • Display stand

The hands include a pair of fists, a pair of gripping, a pair of relaxed gesture, and a right pointing/left open gesture combo.  They give all the important needs for posing and working with the included accessories, and also do a good job of capturing the look of his gloves from the movie.  They’re a little tricky to swap out, but not impossibly so.  The two Wakandan shields are designed for specifically right and left sides, and are able to be fully collapsed or extended, which is certainly nice engineering.  The display stand is the same style as we saw on the Endgame figure.  I dig the hexagonal shape.  And that’s all of the standard release stuff.  The exclusive also adds a fallen Outrider corpse piece to sit atop the stand (along with a printed piece which looks like dirt ground), as well as both Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight’s weapons.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on the standard release of this guy when he came into All Time.  I mean, not really missed out, I suppose, since he was in stock, and I just dragged my feet on him, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to jump back into Hot Toys.  Once the Endgame release truly broke me on that, I regretted passing on this guy, so he went on my list of figures I was definitely planning to snag should they get traded in.  As luck would have it, this guy wound up getting traded in within about a week of me getting the Endgame version, which was a solid thematic thing.  He’s the best version of this design available to be sure, and he’s honestly the version of Cap that most reflected my personal mind state as I navigated the last year. A little broken, a little lost, and his resolve a little shaken.  But he’s still him deep down.  A fitting send off to the year.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2997: High Evolutionary

HIGH EVOLUTIONARY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With a highly advanced intelligence and a cybernetic exoskeleton, the High Evolutionary challenges the Fantastic Four.”

First appearing in the pages of Thor, Herbert Edgar Wyndham, aka the Higher Evolutionary, is kind of one of those grander scope sort of villains.  He’s not really straight-forward evil, but more invested in a larger advancement of humanity and life as a whole.  Some times these goals put him at odds with our heroes, some times less so.  And, more often than not, he’s really just off on his own.  Interestingly, despite what the bio says outright and the presence of the figure in the assortment may suggest, he’s only had fleeting contact with the FF, and very rarely as an adversary for the team.  But, if it gets me a High Evolutionary, it gets me a High Evolutionary.  I won’t be picky.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The High Evolutionary is the final figure in the FF-themed Retro Collection assortment of Marvel Legends.  This marks his very first time in action figure form, which is pretty darn cool.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  High Evolutionary’s movement scheme is pretty standard for the line.  He’s a little bit on the restricted side, especially on the torso and hips, but given the character’s tendency to mostly just stand around menacingly, it honestly isn’t too bad.  He’s also got the pinless construction on the elbows and knees, which continues to be a nice upgrade for all of the figures that have it.  High Evolutionary’s sculpt is an all-new piece, and it’s honestly got a lot going on.  It’s clearly classically inspired at its base, but uses some of the more modern interpretations of the character to add a little bit more detailing, especially on the face.  It makes for a figure that’s a little more visually stimulating than he might be if he were just a straight classic look.  Generally, I quite like it.  The figure’s color work is almost entirely reliant on molded plastic, which is all metallic and swirly.  I’d prefer that the maroon sections were maybe a touch darker, but otherwise it looks pretty solid.  He’s got minor paint work for a few of the smaller accents, which works out pretty well.  They’re cleanly applied and they get the job done.  The High Evolutionary is packed with two sets of hands, one set in fists and the other in open gesture.  It’s not a ton, but he is a completely new sculpt, and I’m not really sure what else there is to give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My primary knowledge of this guy came from his one episode of X-Men: The Animated Series.  He’s a weird guy, but he’s got a cool look, and it’s definitely been one I’ve wanted for a while in toy form.  His inclusion in this particular assortment may be a little weird, but I’m honestly just glad to have gotten him, and it’s especially nice that Hasbro really put the effort into making as much of a one-off as possible.

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.

#2996: Psycho-Man

PSYCHO-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Highly intelligent, Psycho-Man uses advanced technology to manipulate emotions and threaten the Fantastic Four.”

And we’re back to the Marvel Legends.  We’re staying on the FF path for the next two days, resuming today with Psycho-Man, a Stan Lee and Jack Kirby creation the title’s fifth Annual.  He appeared only a few times in the ’60s, before his connection to the Microverse was used to tie the Micronauts into the mainstream Marvel universe in the ’80s.  His connection back to the FF was brought back around during John Byrne’s run on the book, who used the character to, amongst other things, get Sue to accept that she was a bit old to be going by “Invisible Girl” and that she was also the team’s strongest member.  Good story for her, though perhaps not an astounding showcase for Psycho-Man himself.  He does have a pretty killer look, though, and that always makes for a good figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Psycho-Man is part of the FF-themed Retro Collection assortment of Marvel Legends.  He fits in pretty perfectly, since his only other figure was during Toy Biz’s original FF line, which these figures are homaging.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and sports 28 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is actually quite impressive given his overall bulk.  The use of ball joints at the neck and mid-torso really give him a nice range, as do the double joints at the elbows and knees.  He’s also using the pinless construction again, which looks nice and sleek.  Psycho-Man’s sculpt is a completely new offering, and it’s a pretty nice one at that.  It’s definitely going more for the Byrne take on Psycho-Man, which is fitting with the theme, and also just the better take on the character, I feel.  It’s a clean, sleek, and very technically impressive.  He’s only got the one set of hands, which has become a rarity these days.  They’re a decent combo as well, at least in terms of posing options and the like.  Psycho-Man’s paint work is pretty straight forward, with the colors being largely reliant on molded plastic.  It all works very well, and I really love the metallic green.  He’s packed with only one accessory: his Control Box, the thing that allows him to control other people’s emotions.  It’s a rather basic piece, but still a rather fun one.  At least he got something, and this does work quit well with his right hand pose, allowing it to be carried under his arm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though Psycho-Man’s not really a prominent player in much of anything, I do rather fondly remember his one appearance on the FF cartoon, as well as the figure from the toy line that accompanied, which did get a good amount of use by me on the basis of him just being a pretty great chunky bad-guy toy.  I wasn’t really sure we’d ever see an update on that one, but I sure am glad we did.  This figure is just a pretty solid offering from start to finish, and I can’t imagine there being a better take on the character in figure form.

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.

#2993: Human Torch

HUMAN TORCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Fiery and hot-headed, the Human Torch can burn through just about any adversity with a smile.”

What a shock!  Four days into–wait a second, I feel like I just did this.  This is the Retro Collection Human Torch review, right?  I mean, the name’s the same, and the bio’s the same…but the figure’s different?  I’m sure this won’t get confusing at all.  There’s always this sort of dilemma when it comes to Human Torch on how exactly to handle his figures.  He’s got the two rather distinct looks, but it’s tricky to justify doing an extra of just one member of the team every time you do them.  The last two times Hasbro tackled the FF, they took two different approaches, with a fully flamed-on for the classic suits, and a powered-down for the modern.  This latest round gets the fancy treatment, though, with both versions in play for the same line-up.  That’s crazy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Human Torch is a Pulse-Exclusive Retro Collection release, timed to coincide with the FF-themed assortment of Marvel Legends.  Like the others, he’s patterned not only on Toy Biz’s ’90s toy line, but also on the Byrne-era design for the character, specifically his non-flamed-on look.  This marks the first time since the 10-inch Toy Biz line that this design’s gotten the fully powered-down treatment, and the only time there’s been one that matches with a full set of the other three.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  As with the flamed-on release, he’s on the ANAD 2099 body, and re-uses the head from the Super Skrull Series Johnny.  I’m iffy on the head, less for why I was the first time, when it looked a little malformed.  It looks better here, so I think there may have just been some mold issues the first time around.  What bugs me on this particular release is that the hair is just plainly wrong for any version of this costume.  This fits neither Byrne’s depiction, nor the animation model.  The face would have been fine with a new hair piece, I think, but re-using the whole thing comes off as a bit lazy.  Otherwise, the parts selection isn’t terrible.  The body has become the standard for Johnny, and I don’t mind that too much.  The paint work matches pretty closely to both Reed and Sue, so there’s some good consistency there.  The head is again a little better this time around than the Super Skrull release had been, so that’s a nice improvement.  The flame effect hands even actually paint the gloved parts white, which looks a little nicer than just the straight orange from last time.  Human Torch includes a spare set of hands in fists, as well as the swirly flame effects for the arms, and the shoulder flames from the other Torch release, which actually sit a little more securely this time.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed by this figure when he was first shown off.  The fact that he was exclusive was annoying enough, because I do really like having a flamed-of Johnny, but I was also really bummed about the re-used head.  I still ordered him, though, because these are my favorite FF costumes, and I wasn’t going to miss out on actually having a Johnny that matched.  In-hand, I gotta say, I’m pleasantly surprised by this figure.  I’d still have preferred a new head, but I can appreciate this one for what it is.  And boy, do they all look really good together.

#2992: Human Torch

HUMAN TORCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Fiery and hot-headed, the Human Torch can burn through just about any adversity with a smile.”

What a shock!  Four days into Fantastic Four reviews, I’m reviewing, would you believe it, the fourth member of the team?  Crazy how that works.  I mean, nobody let Toy Biz know.  They don’t tend to go for that sort of thing.  Or, you know, that whole “still being in business” sort of thing, I suppose.  Since taking over the license, Hasbro has been pretty good about doing the FF in proper batches of all four team members, and this latest round is no exception.  So, let’s look at that fourth member, the Human Torch, in his all flame-on-y form!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Human Torch is another figure from the FF-themed Retro Collection assortment of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  While the last three are definitively in their Byrne-era costumes, Torch is a little more multi-purpose, as he’s in fully flamed-on form.  Stylistically, he still follows how Byrne illustrated him, but he can also work with other variants of the FF, especially since there are no specific costume details visible.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, he follows the lead of the Super Skrull Series Torch, who moved Johnny over to the ANAD 2099 body, which does generally feel like a better fit for the character than the Bucky Cap had been.  He gets the head, hands, and forearms from the Walgreens release, which are certainly the best parts of that one.  He also gets the flames add-on for the shoulders, though it’s been tweaked to remove the back peg.  This unfortunately makes it a lot trickier to keep the piece in place, which is definitely the most frustrating thing about this figure.  In general, the sculpt’s not bad, but I will say he’s the one that feels the most far-removed from a proper classic illustration.  The paint work does at least do its part to help with that classic look.  He’s largely relying on the translucent plastic he cast in to sell the effect, but they’ve also painted on the scorch line effects commonly used in the comics to show that he’s fully ablaze.  It works surprisingly well in three dimensions.  He’s packed with a spare set of standard fists, as well as two flame effects.  The effects are a bit tricky to use, given there are already sculpted flames on the forearms, but I’m glad they at least threw in something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Johnny is always tricky to handle in toy form, going all the way back to Mego.  Of the Walgreens figures, he was definitely the weakest, and the Super Skrull release was better, but still not quite there.  I was a little iffy on this one going back to fully flamed-on, but it did work out better than I’d expected.  All things considered, this one is pretty good, and has the added benefit of being able to serve multiple purposes within the display.  It’s not a huge shock he’s usually the first to sell out.

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.

#2991: The Thing

THE THING

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With his nearly indestructible body and incredible strength and stamina, the Thing possesses the ability to crush evil.”

Benjamin J Grimm tends to get simplified down to just dumb muscle, but he’s actually quite a nuanced character, perhaps the most nuanced of the core team.  He’s quite literally the rock that grounds the team, as well as the most practically-minded member of the team, making him the perfect counterpoint to Reed’s lofty theoretical concepts.  And, in case you couldn’t tell, he’s also my favorite member of the team.  So, I’m always happy to see him get more proper appreciation.  I’m also happy to see him get solid toy coverage, which is, admittedly, rather frequent.  That works out, I guess!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Thing is part of the FF-themed assortment of the Retro Collection sub-line of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  As with the rest of the team, he’s patterned on his old ’90s Toy Biz figure, in terms of both the packaging and the figure packed within it.  That means that, like the others, he’s wearing his Byrne-era costume, specifically the more classic speedo-wearing look.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  He’s largely the same as the last two Thing figures, which is understandable.  It’s a really good starting point, and I’m sure Hasbro would like to get as much traction out of it as possible.  Three years later, it still remains a very strong sculpt, and it’s still the best version of the Thing out there, so you’ll hear no notable complaints from me.  This time around, he gets two new head sculpts, as well as a new set of hips to actually give him the short-shorts look.  I didn’t hate the briefs look for the last two figures, but it would have definitely been out of place for this design in particular.  The two new heads cover two different expressions, one angry and teeth gritting, and one more calm.  Both sculpts take some rather clear inspiration from the character’s second season animation model from the ’90s cartoon, which I am totally on board with.  It’s a little sharper on the edges to fit with the pre-existing body sculpt, but it really works.  The angry expression is really great from every angle.  The calm one is a little dopey looking in some angles, but even so I kind of find myself a little more drawn to it, just do to my own want to always have a not as angry option for any given Ben Grimm figure.  Ben’s paint on this release more follows how the Super Skrull Series version did things, providing some highlights to a few areas of the sculpt.  I don’t know that it works out quite as well on this particular release.  In some spots, especially the feet, it feels a little bit slap dash.  It’s ultimately not terribly noticeable in person, but it stands out a bit more in the photos than I’d prefer.  It could certainly be worse, but I find myself almost wishing they’d foregone the accenting entirely, to really capture that ’90s figure feel a bit more.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Ben gets two sets of hands, one in fists and the other in open gesture.  In contrast to the other figures, Ben and his accessories literally take up every available spot in the blister, so he definitely doesn’t feel like he’s lacking anything.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Any good FF set needs a good Ben Grimm for me, and I’m especially attached to that ’90s animated look.  The fact that this guy is not only in the Byrne costume, but also leans more heavily into the actual animation style is pretty much exactly what I need.  The accent paint’s a bit wonky, but certainly not enough to ruin the figure at all, and the sculpt still really shines.  I’d love to see a variant in the tank top gear, but I can wait on that.  This one is more than enough to hold me over until then.

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.

#2990: Mr. Fantastic

MR. FANTASTIC

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“As Mr. Fantastic, Reed Richards utilizes his scientific brilliance and pliable form to make a difference in the world.”

In contrast to what Reed’s bio may say above, when the Fantastic Four first debuted, Stan Lee intended for them to have no direct impact on the world around them.  In particular, Reed’s inventions and jumps forward would be mostly self-contained within the team’s own adventures, and not so much affecting the world around him.  This was the status quo for some time, but slowly it was shed, to the point that Reed became a major architect for advancement within the Marvel universe, as kind of a touch stone for the other heroes.  What’s all of this got to do with the toy?  Not a ton, but I was running out of ways to start FF reviews, so here you go.  Let’s look at this new Reed Richards figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Fantastic is part of the FF-themed assortment of the Retro Collection sub-line of Marvel Legends.  Like Sue, he’s based on his ’90s figure, to match with the packaging style, which places him in his John Byrne-designed costume.  He’s also a separate throwback to his Toy Biz Legends boxed-set counterpart, making him a two-fer.  Nifty!  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Like Sue, Reed is making use of the same basic construction as his Walgreens counterpart.  This time around he keeps the same head sculpt, since it’s just a pretty solid classic Reed sculpt.  He swaps out the standard arms from the last figure for a pair of suit jacket arms, as well as an all-new lab coat piece, allowing him to do the lab look like the Toy Biz ML figure had, which is a fun touch.  And, thanks to the way the Mr. Fantastic body is constructed, they jacket is easily swapped around to the other Reed figures, so it’s got even more use to it.  Reed’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  He matches Sue in terms of coloration, and the application is generally pretty cleanly handled.  The streaks in his hair now use the printing technique, rather than straight paint, which makes them a little subtler, and generally just a bit nicer looking.  Reed is packed with a standard set of arms done up to match his uniform for that non-coated look, as well as the stretched out hands from the Super Skrull Series release, for just a little bit of stretch-y look.  Compared to Sue, this feels a little less light, and it’s a nice selection of extras.  I would have loved to get the fully stretched out arms too, but at this point it’s sort of a running gag that the Legends versions of this costume don’t ever get both normal and stretched out arms ever.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have a definite soft spot for the Toy Biz Legends version of this guy, so it was a high bar to clear.  The inclusion of the lab coat certainly helped him on that front, as did not really changing too much from the Walgreens version, since that was also just a very good figure.  Reed’s a figure that maybe gets a little lost in the shuffle of this whole assortment, but he’s no less a cool figure, and he’s my favorite Legends Reed to date, as well as a worthy update to two of my favorite Reed figures in general.

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.

#2989: Invisible Woman

INVISIBLE WOMAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“After receiving superpowers, Sue Storm Richards co-founds the Fantastic Four and emerges as the single-most powerful member of the group.”

Is it weird that it’s become so passé to review Fantastic Four Marvel Legends these days?  I mean, it was the astronomically huge deal back in 2017 when the Walgreens-exclusive Sue kicked off that line, and now they’re sort of a yearly thing.  I mean, I’m certainly not complaining.  I love the FF, and my truest love of them comes from the ’90s cartoon and its corresponding toy line, which served to really introduce me to the team.  I get very nostalgic, and Hasbro’s really gaming to tap into my era of nostalgia these days, I suppose.  They’ve been doing the retro-card thing for a bit, and the FF is finally getting in on it.  I’m thrilled you guys.  Thrilled.  So, let’s kick this off with our latest version of Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Invisible Woman is part of the FF-themed Retro Collection assortment of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  They’re all patterned on the packaging for Toy Biz’s own Fantastic Four line from the ’90s, which makes them a little more removed from the other Retro Collection figures, apart from the Fan Channel Dr. Doom from last year, who officially debuted the packaging style.  To match the style of the package, Sue is wearing her John Byne-designed costume from the ’80s/’90s.  These are by far my favorite costumes for the team, so I’m pretty psyched to see them show up.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Like the last two Sue figures, she’s built on the Phoenix body.  It’s a good match for how Sue is usually depicted, and is just generally a pretty nice body, so it makes sense to use it again here.  The main change up is that she gets a new head sculpt.  It’s based on earlier in Byrne’s run/the cartoon run, which makes sense, since it’s a far less dated appearance than the mullet.  It’s…well, okay, it’s better than I’d expected.  I’ll say that from the start.  When the first pictures were shown off, it looked pretty bad.  In hand, it looks a lot less bad.  I don’t know that I’d venture into calling it good, but it’s less bad.  It’s not the hair; that actually works well.  It’s definitely the face, which just has to be viewed from exactly the right angle to really work, and it’s very hard to find that sweet spot.  There have been some pretty great customs that have swapped out one of the other two Sue faces under the hair, and it honestly looks pretty good, so I might be trying that myself.  Sue’s paint work is generally pretty good.  Rather basic, as you’d expect, but the application’s pretty clean.  As is usually the case with the Byrne costumes, they’ve gone for a darker blue, rather than an almost black like Byrne intended, but that’s just the name of the game at this point.  I actually quite like the color, so I’m really okay with it.  Sue is packed with two sets of hands, as well as the invisible shield effect we saw on the last release.  As with most Retro releases, it’s a little lighter than the standard, but it’s not terrible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Did I mention that these costumes are my favorites for the team?  I don’t know if I’ve brought that up enough yet.  Well, they are, and I’ve been wanting a good set of them since the FF came back into modern Legends.  I was elated by the announcement of this set, and I’ve been eager to get them since.  Sue wound up being the first one I got, since she got traded into All Time loose a couple of weeks before the wholesale stock arrived.  I’m kind of glad it worked out that way, because it allowed me to appreciate her on her own before the rest of them arrived, which was to her benefit.  She’s the weakest figure in the set, there’s no doubt of that, but that’s less because she’s a bad figure, and more because she just doesn’t quite stick the landing the way the others do.  I’m still very happy to have her, and I still think she’s a good figure.  Sue’s certainly had worse.

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.