#2128: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS VINGTAGE (HASBRO)

“Wolverine is the X-Men’s greatest fighter! A master of all forms of hand-to-hand combat, Wolverine also has a fearsome secret weapon – razor sharp retractable adamantium claws that can slice through anything.”

What’s an X-Men assortment without a Wolverine variant?  Statistically, not made.  They’re quite the hard sell.  For that reason, Wolverine gets toy love for just about every costume change, no matter how minor, no matter how restrained.  Case in point, today’s offering.  It’s Wolverine in his “Madripor” costume, an all-black number he picked up right around the time of his ongoing solo series starting up in 1988.  He wore it for a few of his world travelling adventures, before ditching it after less than a year.  Not exactly stuck in the minds of fans, but it’s only had one toy before, and it goes with Silver Samurai, so how about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is the final figure in the X-Men-themed third series of the Marvel Legends Vintage line, where he fills the required Wolverine slot.  Though the Madripor costume was featured back during the Toy Biz days, it was much later in the line, and under a bunch of goofy armor, meaning he’s not quite a direct counterpart for any of those earlier figures.  Nevertheless, he gets the retro styled card, which honestly suits him better than the standard packaging might.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the re-engineered brown costume body, since that’s our new standard for Wolverine.  It’s a solid choice given the simple spandex nature of the costume.  He gets a new head and shins (which give us clean shins without the usual Wolverine boots for a change), plus the wrist bands from Union Jack (which are a very tight fit here) and the belt from Brown Wolverine. The new head goes for a screaming expression, which works well enough, and is honestly a nice change up from the slightly more reserved Wolverines we’ve gotten recently.  The rest of the parts a pretty standard issue, which works well enough.  The rest of the figure is sold by the paint, or at least what there is of it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the body suit is actually a slightly off-black, with the “boots” being a more straight black.  It’s subtle, but I like it.  What I’m not as crazy about is the face, or more specifically the eyes.  In Hasbro’s defense, the weird fishnet look is accurate to the comics…it’s just really goofy, and the lack of extra head means you’re stuck with it.  Wolverine is packed with a spare set of gripping hands and a katana.  But it’s not just any katana, it’s actually the Black Blade, which figured into the Madrior story and was wielded by Wolverine in this costume.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got no attachment to this Wolverine at all, nor do I find it to be a particularly exciting variant.  However, I was grabbing the rest of the set and felt bad about just skipping one figure, meaning he was along for the ride.  I can’t really say that he swayed my opinion on the design or anything, but it’s not like he’s a bad figure, and he’s certainly a nice accent piece for the Silver Samurai.

I picked up this Wolverine from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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#2125: Iceman

ICEMAN

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“Iceman has the mutant ability to turn himself into a being of living ice. Once he does that, he can create almost anything he wants: ice slides, ice weapons, ice shields, not to mention icicles and snowballs.”

Of the original X-Men, Iceman is probably the one with the most raw potential, power-wise.  As a way of keeping him in check, he’s also the one saddled with the most regressive personality, a permanent goof-off who never quite advanced forward the way the other four members did.  Rather tellingly, when the time-displaced versions of the original five were introduced, the two Icemen were virtually identical, and most of his storyline revolved around confronting some long-theorized ideas about his sexuality, rather than the “what did I become?” plot that faced the other four.  Bobby is just very consistent, I suppose.  So consistent that he’s really only got a handful of looks, which can be tricky when it comes to action figures.  While it means that figures can often play double or triple duty in era-specific displays, it also means that he can go a while between updated figures.  Fortunately, he didn’t have to wait too long this time.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iceman is part of the X-themed third assortment of Hasbro’s Vintage sub-set of the Marvel Legends brand.  He follows Cyclops’ trend of being a direct homage to a vintage Toy Biz figure, specifically the first Iceman figure, released in Series 2 of Toy Biz’s line.  This pretty much means he covers Iceman’s look post-snowman and pre-ice armor, which is a period of about 25 years.  Not a bad stretch of coverage.  It’s also a look that has been done before in the scale, with both his original Toy Biz Legends release and the ANAD boxed set release covering the same ground.  Both of those figures, it should be noted, had some definite issues, meaning another go at the design is far from a bad thing.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Iceman is built on the 2099 body, in contrast to his last figure being built on the skinnier Pizza Spidey body.  It’s honestly a better fit for the character, especially the version they’re going for.  He gets a new head, as well as an add-on piece for the belt.  Unlike a lot of the heads we’ve gotten for the 2099 body, I actually think this one is pretty well scaled to the body, and doesn’t sit too high on the neck.  I quite like the slight grin on his face, as well as the blocky construction of his features.  The belt isn’t designed to be removable, which is a slight point against him, since the belt’s presence in his ice form was very much dependent on the artist.  I think making it more easily removed would have added more to the figure, but it’s not the end of the world as is.  Iceman’s pant is minimal, with the only details being the whites of his eyes, and the x-logo on the belt.  There’s still some interesting colorwork going on with the molded plastic, which is a slightly translucent affair.  It’s more opaque than the last figure, and lacks the blue tint, which honestly makes it look more like actual ice.  It’s worth noting that there’s a fair bit of variance between copies of this Iceman’s coloring, with some being darker and some lighter, likely dependent on when in the run they were produced.  Additionally, nearly ever figure has a seam running down the face, but the exact placement and how contrasting it is with the plastic around it is variable.  Iceman is packed with an ice sled stand, simulating the one his original Toy Biz figure included.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was more or less content with the Juggernaut Series Iceman.  He’s not a perfect figure, but I liked him for what he was, and he’s been filling that spot in my X-Men set-up since I got him.  This one’s announcement didn’t exactly blow my mind, especially given the figures he was shown alongside.  Even when I picked up my set, I wasn’t really sure about the figure.  After taking him out and playing with him a bit, I’m pleasantly surprised by this figure.  He’s not going to be my favorite in the set or anything, but he’s certainly our best Legends Iceman, and he’ll go well with the rest of the ’90s line-up.

I picked up Iceman from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2124: Dazzler

DAZZLER

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“Dazzler uses sonic vibrations and impressive speed to take down her enemies.  Though she can channel sonic energy in many forms, her preferred method of sonic battle is through the power of music.”

Before they were shoving the likes of Deadpool and Squirrel-Girl into everything under the sun, Marvel’s first real go at pushing a character was Dazzler.  She was supposed to be a whole cross-platform phenomenon, with a solo comic being joined by music, videos, and even real performances by “Dazzler.”  For a number of reasons, the project never took off, and Marvel was left with a character they’d put a lot of work into and nowhere to put her.  So, Chris Claremont and John Byrne introduced her in the pages of X-Men, during the “Dark Phoenix Saga.”  By the time she was actually added to the team line-up, disco was officially the thing that things were said to be “deader than,” so Dazzler was reworked with an ’80s jazzercize bend.  It was this version of the character that was used in both the failed cartoon pilot “Pryde of the X-Men”, as well as the ’90s arcade game, meaning this version was burned pretty firmly into the heads of a whole decade of X-Fans.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dazzler is part of the X-Men-themed third series of the Marvel Legends Vintage line.  Unlike yesterday’s Cyclops, this Dazzler has no direct equivalent from the Toy Biz days, as their only Dazzler figure was based on her prior costume, and wasn’t even part of the X-Men line to boot.  In fact, the only prior toy of this particular costume design was the Minimate.  It is, of course, her second time as a Legends figure in general, though, since her disco attire was released as part of the Warlock Series in 2017.  The figure is just over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation. There’s a fair bit of re-use going on here. Her base body is Phoenix’s (which was also the basis of the first Dazzler), and she also gets the upper arms, jacket, belt, and cuffs from Rogue (since it was actually Dazzler that originated the bomber jacket over spandex look).  If you want to get technical, the gloves weren’t usually worn with the jacket, but its not entirely without precedent for them to be there, and I really don’t mind it myself. The figure is topped off with a new head sculpt, which does a respectable job of capturing Dazzler’s general look from this era.  The paintwork on the figure isn’t bad, especially when compared to the Cyclops.  The blue is perhaps a little flat (either metallics or a brighter shade would have been cool), but the application is nicely handled and all of the proper details are there.  Dazzler is packed with two of the Scarlet Witch hex pieces, this time in a translucent pink with sparkly flecks in them.  While it’s not quite as fun as the multi-colored piece from the last Dazzler, they’re still pretty decent additions.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first introduction to Dazzler was via “Pryde of the X-Men”, which I had a VHS copy of in the ’90s.  The fact that her only figure at the time was based on her disco look always bummed me out a little bit (though I’ve since gained an appreciation for that design as well).  When Disco Dazzler was again picked for the Legends release, I was fine with it, and I really did enjoy the figure, but something always felt a little bit off.  This figure just feels right to me.  I look forward to getting a proper Longshot update to go alongside her (as well as a classic Storm to round out my “Pryde” cast).

I picked up Dazzler from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2123: Cyclops

CYCLOPS

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“Cyclops has mutant-energy optic blasts so powerful that they can smash through solid steel.  He can make the beams so small that they can pass through a key hole without touching the sides, or so wide they can cover space the size of a football field.”

Okay, so I want to start this review off by giving mad props to Hasbro for going back to the original Toy Biz packaging for that bio up there.  Only true Toy Biz package text can fully capture the insanity that was Toy Biz package text.  I love the idea that there’s this need to quality Cyclops powers with such specific circumstances, as if someone heard he could smash solid steel and said “that’s all well and good, but how is he at getting through key holes without touching the sides?  What of all of the football field-sized spaced that we need covered?”  It just goes to show, no matter how much you do for them, people always want more.  It’s okay Scott, I can sympathize.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cyclops is the first figure in the third assortment of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Vintage line-up.  While the last two have covered the full Marvel Universe, this round is exclusively X-themed, and *most* of the figures contained are direct call-backs to Toy Biz’s old 5-inch X-Men line.  Additionally, building off of what we saw last time, all of the figures in this round are new offerings, rather than slight tweaks of prior figures.  Cyclops is patterned on his very first figure, which was sporting his second X-Factor uniform.  He spent a decent amount of time in it, and its presence on his original release has certainly given it a lot of prominence in toy collectors’ minds.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  As with every Cyclops in since the Puck Series figure, this one is built on the Bucky Cap body, which I still like for the character, even if it is getting a little older.  Perhaps the most shocking thing about this figure is how many new parts he’s got.  The prior two Vintage line ups had a sum total of two new pieces between them (Wolverine’s mask and Vision’s cape, for those keeping track), instead being largely a venue for figures that could be built from re-used parts.  That aspect has been discarded for this assortment, and Cyclops gets two new head sculpts, a pair of new forearms, new shins, and even new feet if you can believe it.  I had fully expected to see a lot more parts re-use on this guy.  While the angry head was obviously new (and very fun for dynamic posing, I might add), the calm head I had thought might just be the same one seen on the Two-Pack Cyclops, but this one adds two energy effects to either side of the of his visor, which is kind of a fun callback to the old figure’s light-up feature.  There’s a part of me that sort of wishes the effect were removable, but I’ve honestly got enough other Legends Cyclopses that I can dig this one being different.  The slightly raised cuffs to the gloves I had honestly expected to be overlooked, or just replaced by flared gloves (that’s what the TB Legends version did), but what shocked me the most were the new boots.  I was very much expecting to see the same buccaneer boots we’ve seen countless times before.  These, however, are without all of the crazy texturing of the prior boots, meaning they better fit the usual depictions for this costume.  What’s more, the feet, the last hold out of those boots, the textured feet that have been on damn near every Bucky Cap figure, have been replaced by new smooth pieces.  I anticipate these will be low key turning up on some of the upcoming figures on the body.  The point is, there’s a lot that didn’t *need* to be done on this figure that still was, and that’s mighty cool.  Perhaps the only downside to this figure is the paint work.  It’s not awful, but it’s not as good as some of Hasbro’s more recent offerings.  There’s some noticeable slop on the change overs from blue to white, plus a few spots that are just outright missing paint.  My figure also has a weird brown spot at the top of his right boot, of which I really don’t know the origin.  Cyclops’s accessories are his extra head, plus an attachable optic beam for it, which I definitely dig.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The original blue and white Cyclops was my first Cyclops figure, so I’ve definitely got a sentimental streak for this particular design.  When Hasbro showed him off, and announced he would be in vintage style packaging to boot, I was instantly sold.  The paint work is a bit iffy, but I really like all of the new parts distributed throughout, and the effects pieces are a lot fun.  I look forward to seeing these parts crop up on future Cyclopses.

I picked up Cyclops from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2114: Cyclops II

CYCLOPS II

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“The man called Cyclops possesses the uncanny mutant ability to fire beams of devastating energy from his eyes. These optic blasts are so powerful that they can only be effectively harnessed by a special ruby-quartz visor designed by Professor X. Over the years, Cyclops has grown from a sullen, withdrawn loner into the cool, confident, capable leader of the X-Men’s Blue Strike Force!”

While Wolverine got on the multiple figures bandwagon as soon as Toy Biz’s X-Men line had multiple series by which to deliver multiple figures, it took other characters a little longer to get there.  The villains got on the repeats a little quicker, but the first non-Wolverine duplicate from the main team was the X-Men’s leader man, Cyclops, who would end up getting a pretty major overhaul for his second figure, appropriately named “Cyclops II.”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cyclops II was released in Series 5 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  He was then subsequently re-released in 1995 as part of the cartoon-driven “Classics” assortment.  The figure seen here is officially the classics release, but the core figure is identical between the two.  Cyclops was sporting his Jim Lee costume, which was brand-new at the time, having replaced the previous X-Factor costume (which was used for the first figure, as well as his talking counterpart) right on top of said costume getting a toy.  It was about as timely as you could get, really.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation.  When I reviewed the 10-inch figure whose sculpt was based on this one, I noted that the larger figure had more articulation.  Due to the built-in action feature, this Cyclops lacks neck articulation, which is certainly a little bit restricting.  Additionally, the figure’s proportions are also thrown off by the batter compartment needed to power said light-up feature.  This means the torso’s really big, making the arms in particular look comparatively pretty small.  It also means this is a Cyclops that suffers from the opposite problem of the prior figure, being rather on the bulky side for a guy whose nickname is “slim.”  Proportions aside, there’s still some decent sculpted work on this figure.  The head is a respectable translation of his look from the comics, with some nice detail work on the hair in particular.  The pouches and straps mixed throughout the sculpt are also quite nicely detailed, which I’m sure was really a big hit with all the pouch and strap aficionados in ’93.  A shame there weren’t also some shoulder pads, right?  Cylcops’ paintwork was rather on the basic side, but solid stuff nevertheless.  The original release of this figure came packed with a backpack and a gun, which are, of course, the obvious accessories for Cyclops.  However, for the re-release, he was instead given Comcast’s hover platform, because, again, really the obvious choice, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While this figure was out when I started collecting, the rerelease hadn’t quite hit, so it was X-Factor Cyclops that had the honor of being my first Cyclops figure.  This guy came a little bit later, as a gift from a family friend who was well aware of how much I loved X-Men.  He quickly transitioned to being my main Cyclops, at least for a little bit.  He would eventually be outpaced by other Cyclops figures, and was amongst 23 of my X-Men figures that got boxed up and buried in the garage during my high school years, and would remain there until the summer after I finished college, when I finally unearthed them.  He’s not my first Cyclops, he’s not my best Cyclops, but he’s an important Cyclops, and I still enjoy the corny little guy.

#2108: Senate Hearing Tony Stark & Mark I Iron Man

SENATE HEARING TONY STARK & MARK I IRON MAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

Though the first Iron Man got a pretty solid coverage of Minimates, by the time of Iron Man 2, the brand had moved to new heights and reached new audiences, and was just much larger in general.  The IM2 assortments had to pull double-duty, covering not only Iron Man 2, but also playing some slight catch-up on the first film for new fans.  Today’s set follows that, giving us new versions of the suited Tony Stark and his original Mark I armor.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released in the first TRU-tie-in assortment of Marvel Minimates for Iron Man 2, alongside the more outwardly new Black Widow and Mark II pairing.

SENATE HEARING TONY STARK

Tony’s irreverent performance at the Senate hearing was heavily featured in the trailers leading up to IM2’s release.  As such, the appearance of his attire from that scene in this line wasn’t a huge shock.  Tony uses add-ons for his hair, jacket, and tie.  All three of these were re-used.  The hair is from the first film’s Tony, which is a good fit.  The jacket is from the “World of the Psychic” Peter Venkman; this was its first re-use, but it’s gone on to become a very common-place item.  Lastly, there’s the tie, re-purposed from the Spirit boxed set.  Again, the first re-use of many.  The willingness to use these new pieces, especially the sculpted tie, adds some quality to the figure that might have otherwise been missing.  The paintwork on Tony is pretty decent.  The big, goony grin on his face is certainly unique, and adds an extra bit of character to this particular figure.  There’s some impressive work on the pelvis piece, as well, delivering details that weren’t commonplace at the time.  They’re certainly appreciated here.  Perhaps the only other thing I’d have liked to see would be proper detailing under the tie on the torso, but that’s a minor flaw.  Tony included no accessories.  I can’t say I can think of what could have been included, though, so I can’t really hold it against him.

MARK I IRON MAN

The Mark I armor was one of the first Iron Man assortment’s real gems (really, only rivaled by Iron Monger), and he was also extraordinarily heavy on essentially one-off parts, so a re-release was warranted.  Like the first Mark I, he uses sculped add-ons for his helmet, chest plate, upper arm and leg armor, gauntlets, and boots.  The pieces are some of the finest sculpting from the line, especially from the period in which they appeared.  They were great the first time around, and this figure is the same.  The paint on the armor this time is somewhat changed.  It’s less silver and more of a gunmetal grey, with more wear and tear.  It loses some of the other colors, which is a shame, but it overall feels a lot more accurate, and differentiates the figure more than you might think.  What differentiates the figure most, however, isn’t what’s on the surface, but rather what’s under it.  The original Mark I gave us a pretty awesome captive Tony.  Through use of a spare hair piece, hands, and jacket, this one loosely replicates Tony’s entrance at the beginning of IM2, giving us Tony in a tux.  Sure, he was wearing it under the Mark IV in the movie, but this is still really cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found these new, and I was definitely more interested in the other exclusive two pack at the time, but there’s no denying that this one is a lot better than anyone expected.  Senate Hearing Tony’s not an essential figure by any means.  He certainly could have been drab and boring, had DST just phoned him in.  Fortunately, they didn’t, resulting in a pretty nifty little ‘mate.  This Mark I could have been a simple retread of the original release, but he gets a lot of added value from the alternate look.

#2102: Hulk

HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

After a poignant absence in Infinity War and Endgame‘s opening act, Hulk makes kind of an understated reappearance after Endgame’s five-year time jump, having progressed from simple-minded brute to a hybrid of Banner’s brains and Hulk’s brawn at some point in the gap.  It gave the character a decidedly different arc for the film, and though fans had guessed at the change happening, it was still a pretty well-kept secret as a whole.  The Professor Hulk merch proper took a little while to make its way out, but he’s showing up in full force now, most notably as the central Build-A-Figure of the latest assortment of Marvel Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk is the Build-A-Figure for the second assortment of Endgame-themed Marvel Legends.  There are a number of looks to choose from for Professor Hulk, but Hasbro’s opted to go with the one that stays closest to comfort for Hulk: shirtless with tattered pants.  He looks this way when he goes back to the battle of New York, so it’s accurate to the film, but it doesn’t feel quite as true to this particular iteration of the character.  Personally, I’d have liked to see his cardigan-sporting look from early in the film, but his jumpsuit from the end of the movie would have been cool too.  This one is fine, but seems like an off choice given what Hasbro *didn’t* do with the figure.  I’ll get to that in a moment.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  After doing an awkward sort of rework to the Avengers sculpt for Age of Ultron, and then doing an all-new sculpt for Ragnarok, this Hulk gets another all-new sculpt.  It’s the most balanced and realistic Hulk sculpt we’ve gotten to date.  The proportions are solid, the limbs hang naturally, and the articulation is well worked-in and has a solid range given the general sizing of him.  There are two different heads included for this guy.  The main one is a more neutral expression, which works well enough, since it lacks that usual Hulk intensity.  The likeness on the face is actually a pretty decent match for the CGI Ruffalo, but the hair does seem to be a slight bit off; it lacks a lot of Ruffalo’s distinctive waviness.  Hulk’s second head has a smirk.  What’s interesting is that, even though a grin of some sort should feel more proper for this version of the character, but for whatever reason, he seems to be back to the Avengers facial model, while still sporting the Endgame hair.  It’s an odd combo, and honestly it would have been better if they’d just gone full-on first movie styling for the second head, since that would do a bit to justify the costume choice for the figure.  Hulk’s paintwork is pretty solidly handled.  The chest hair detailing is pretty well done, as is the printed face detailing.  I’m also glad to see they included the greying at the temples like he’s got going on in the film.  Hulk’s only extra is that second head I mentioned, but it’s more than most BaFs get, so there’s no complaints from me.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always been a fan of the Professor Hulk concept, and I was very happy to see it turn up in the film.  I figured we’d be seeing him pop up in this spot, so the only thing that really surprised me about the announcement was the costume choice.  I wish they’d gone with a different look, and I’m holding out for some sort of follow-up release, but purely as a figure, this guy is pretty nice.

Unlike some recent assortments where the line-ups were more centralized in quality, there’s a wider spread on these guys.  Loki and Rock Python are definitely some of the weaker Legends releases as of late, but on the flip side, War Machine, Rescue, and Union Jack are some of my favorite recent releases and are just solid figures all around.  Through in some solid middle-ground figures with Beta Ray Bill and Shuri, and there’s certainly enough good in the assortment to outweigh the bad.

#2099: Union Jack

UNION JACK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Union Jack is a British operative, spy, and master of hand-to-hand combat embroiled in the world of European politics.”

If America’s got Captain America, certainly some of the other countries would have their own nationalistic equivalents, right?  Of course they would.  As it so happens, Britain’s actually got two; the more parallel-y named Captain Britain is a less direct counterpart.  That role more goes to Union Jack.  Created retroactively in the ’70s, despite his common placement among the Invaders, Captain America’s WW2-era team, Union Jack is a rare WWI-based hero.  The original Jack, Lord James Montgomery Falsworth would eventually pass the mantle onto his son Brian.  Following Brian’s untimely demise, Falsworth trained another protegee, Joseph Chapman, who has been in the role since the ’80s.  Union Jack’s got a pretty distinctive design, so he’s no stranger to action figures.  I’ll be looking at his latest today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Union Jack is figure 4 in the Hulk Series of Marvel Legends.  This is Jack’s second time as a Legend; the first was also a Hasbro release, and was also part of a series that built a Hulk figure.  However, he was from a darker period in Hasbro’s run, and is at this point over a decade old, so an update seems more than fair.  The basics of the Union Jack uniform have remained more or less the same throughout all three incarnations (apart from a period of time when Chapman was sporting a Captain Britain-looking costume), but this figure is clearly most inspired by Chapman’s ever so slightly modernized gear.  In a pinch, though, it works as any of them.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Though the original prototype was built on the 2099 body, the final product has switched him to the Bucky Cap base.  Personally, I don’t mind this so much, as I like the general aesthetics a little more on this body, but it’s too bad he missed on the extra shoulder joints.  He gets a new head, plus add-ons for the belt and wrist/ankle straps.  I really dig the new head; it really does a great job of selling that there’s a full face underneath of the mask.  I also really like the piping around the eyeholes and running down the sides.  Union Jack’s design is pretty dependent on the paint not sucking, and fortunately the figure fares pretty well in that regard.  The whites could maybe be a little more solid, but otherwise the application is all quite clean.  They also got the patterning of the Union Jack correct, which is more than can be said about the previous figure.  Union Jack is packed with a revolver and a knife, both of which are re-used parts.  In the case of the revolver, this is a little sad, as it means that Jack doesn’t get his signature Webley, and instead gets something more generic.  It serves alright in a pinch, but it’ll bug me until the end of time.  Also included is the right arm of the Hulk Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always loved Union Jack’s design, and as such I’ve always made it a point to track him down when he gets a toy.  I was very happy to see him pop back up, and I’m thrilled to be able to finally retire the older figure, who was seriously starting to show his age.  Union Jack is a rather by the numbers figure, but that doesn’t at all hinder him, and he’s definitely vying for the spot of my favorite in this line-up.

I purchased Union Jack from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  If your looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2098: Rock Python

ROCK PYTHON

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A mercenary working out of Africa, M’Gula adopts the name Rock Python and joins the slithering villain enterprise known as Serpent Society.”

We were at a beach.  Everybody had matching towels.  Someone went under a dock, and there they saw a rock.  But it wasn’t a rock.  I was a Roooooock Python!  Rock Python! Rock Python!  Rock Python!  Rock Python!  …Too much of a stretch?

So, Rock Python.  Who’s Rock Python?  Well, he’s a member of the Serpent Society…and his name is close enough to Rock Lobster that I went the parody lyrics route…and…that’s all I got.  He’s got this toy.  I’m gonna review this toy.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rock Python is officially figure 3 in the Hulk Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the first comic figure in the line-up, and our latest addition to the Serpent Society themed figures that have been running through the various Avengers assortments since the Red Onslaught Series.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Rock Python is built on the Reaper base body, which seems like a reasonable enough choice given his usual build in comics depictions.  I’ll admit I’m seeing to see its flaws more and more every time it gets reused, and this figure again showcases the utter insanity of there still not being actual fists assigned to this mold, but it’s solid enough for a character such as Rock Python.  He’s got a new head and belt pieces, which fit the body well enough.  They’re both fairly basic, straight forward designs.  Not a lot going on, but they translate the source material well.  The paintwork on Rock Python is pretty straight forward.  He’s very blue, but that’s accurate, and the application is all pretty cleanly handled.  Rock Python includes no accessories of his own (not really sure what you would give him, truth be told), but he still has the left arm of the Build-A-Figure Hulk.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, so as you may have gathered from the review, I have no connection to Rock Python.  Honestly, I don’t have much connection to the Serpent Society as a whole, apart from thinking that King Cobra was the best figure in his assortment last year.  Unlike King Cobra, Python doesn’t really do much to add any excitement to the design.  There’s nothing wrong with this figure, but there’s not much super endearing about him either.  He’s just kind of here, and I think he’s one of the weaker Legends we’ve gotten recently.

I purchased Rock Python from my sponsors over at All Time Toys, and he’s still in stock here.  If your looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2097: Shuri

SHURI

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The mastermind behind some of Wakanda’s most advanced technology, Shuri designs and distributes Vibranium-powered gear to Wakanda’s greatest warriors and allies.”

As far as Marvel Legends coverage goes, last year’s Black Panther is possibly one of the most fortunate films in the entirety of the MCU.  It got two dedicated assortments (one of which was purely movie figures, which pretty much never happens these days), and there was really only one major character missing from those two sets.  Said character is T’Challa’s sister, Shuri.  She was included in the basic Black Panther line at the time of the movie’s release, but now she’s finally getting her proper Legends due courtesy of Endgame.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shuri is figure 3 in the Hulk Series of Marvel Legends, and she’s the final single-carded movie character this time around.  She’s officially branded as an Endgame figure, but thanks to her re-using her battle gear from Black Panther during Endgame’s final battle, she’ll fit in just fine with either collection.  The figure stands (or at least attempts stand) 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her sculpt is brand new, and it’s an immense improvement over the basic figure sculpt, but does have one major issue for me: she can’t stand.  Okay, that’s not entirely true; she can stand…for a bit, and then she’s pretty much guaranteed to fall over.  She did so numerous times for every single photo that accompanies this review.  Not a ton of fun for me, let me tell you.  On the plus side, the actual sculpting on the sculpt is pretty impressive.  The head’s the best part, with a very strong likeness of Letitia Wright, even getting her proper hair style, which the basic figure didn’t do so well on.  Her costume elements are very sharply defined and appear to be accurate to the film(s), and the build of the body they’re on is a much better match for Wright’s rather skinny frame than the prior figure.  The skirt piece is a free-floating add-on, and while I’m not super jazzed by that style of implementation, it’s still a rather nice piece, and doesn’t impact her mobility too much.  Her paintwork is pretty solidly handled; like a lot of the Panther stuff, it’s not the most eye-catching or flamboyant selection of colors, but it’s accurate and lifelike, and she looks pretty cool.  Shuri is packed with her panther-styled gauntlets, which are a slightly different piece from the basic ones, but still very cool.  She also includes the left leg of the Hulk BaF.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure’s been a long time coming.  I’d thoroughly expected to see her in the second Black Panther assortment, and was quite surprised by her absence.  Upon seeing her turn up with the same costume at the end of Endgame, suddenly things made a lot more sense, so I was less shocked when she turned up here.  The stability thing is a major annoyance, but beyond that there’s quite a bit I like about this figure, and at this point, I’m just happy I can finally retire the basic figure from my Legends shelf.

I purchased Shuri from my sponsors over at All Time Toys, alongside the rest of this series.  Amazingly, she’s still in stock here.  If your looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.