#2350: Storm & Logan

STORM & LOGAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

Back in January, I delved into the time capsule of the earliest assortments of Marvel Minimates, and their choice to use the Ultimate universe’s versions of Marvel’s merry mutants over their mainstream counterparts.  Some of the characters weren’t too heavily changed, while some of them were.  Today’s set pairs both sides of that coin, with Storm (a character whose backstory and characterization were both fairly divergent from 616) and Wolverine (a character so unchanged from his mainstream counterpart that no one really noticed that the one included in this particular set *isn’t* actually the Ultimate incarnation).

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were paired up for the specialty Series 3 assortment of Marvel Minimates, and they would both also be included in the TRU 5-pack and 4-pack that corresponded to the assortment.  They were split up and matched with their opposite numbers in the Wolverine/Sabretooth set for the Canadian release, and then Logan found his way into one more stray two-pack for Walmart and Target.

STORM

Storm’s Ultimate incarnation may have been different in terms of character, but in terms of design, she really wasn’t that far removed.  I could see regular Storm wearing this at some point in the ’90s.  The figure is built on the pre-c3 ‘mate body, with long feet and all.  She had four add-on pieces for her hair, necklace, and boots.  The necklace is shared with her assortment-mate Jean Grey, and the hairpiece was re-used twice more (for Emma Frost and She-Hulk).  The boots remained unique to this release, though, and use the older style slipping over the standard feet style of design.  Like the others in these early assortments, the general style on these parts is rather basic, though she’s certainly one of the most built-up ‘mates of the earliest releases.  It’s a little odd for Storm to be one of the largest characters, but that’s really just how the trappings of the early line work out.  Storm’s paintwork is actually pretty good for the early figures.  It’s still more on the basic line, but there’s a fair bit going on, with the coolest bit by far being the wraps on her arms.  That said, she does miss out on actually getting the sculpted earrings painted; at least they got her ears, though.

LOGAN

The standard Ultimate version of Wolverine was packed with Sabretooth (and Cyclops), but you can’t have just one lone Wolverine, can you?  Of course not.  As I touched on in the intro, he’s actually the one figure in this assortment who wasn’t from the Ultimate universe, instead being just a regular civilian version of the original Logan, as denoted by the hair’s distinctive shaping and his lack of goatee.  He too uses the standard old body, but with a set of the old-style claw hands as well as an add-on for the hair.  This is probably my favorite Wolverine hair piece the line produced, which makes it rather a shame that this was the only time it was used (though it was shown on prototype shots for the DOFP Wolverine, before being replaced with the New X-Men Wolverine piece). The rest of the figure is handled via paint, and it ends up working out alright.  The face is a rather unique expression for Logan, but one that works in the context of the earlier ‘mates, and the detailing on the jacket is actually pretty impressive.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned in my Wolverine and Sabretooth review, the only Series 3 set I picked up when these were new was Cyclops and Jean.  I got this one along with a handful of other older sets from Luke’s Toy Store back during one of their sales.  I’ve always wanted this pair, so I was glad to finally get them.  Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from them, but they’re both pretty solid ‘mates, even by more modern standards.

#2345: Goliath

GOLIATH (w/ ANT-MAN & WASP)

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

“Hank Pym started small. After shrinking his way to worldwide renown as the super-heroic Ant-Man, founding member of the mighty Avengers, he ascended to even greater glory in the guise of Giant-Man. Now, as Goliath, he continues to prove that size matters: His greatest asset is his big brain and knack for invention! Due to years of exposure to the size-altering properties of Pym Particles, Goliath can increase in stature at will and to a maximum height of 100 feet of shrink to the size of an ant. He grows by drawing additional mass froman extra-dimensional source, to which it returns when he reverts to normal. Goliath can shrink an entire laboratory or an array of firearms to the size of a microchip when not in use. The various compartments of his uniform straps contain a wide variety of miniaturized equipment.”

Toy Biz’s run on Marvel Legends was full of a lot of rather frustrating choices on their part, all in the name of trying to foster some sort of after market value for their figures.  It was…well, it wasn’t the best time to be a collector, but it was a really good time for scalpers.  Yay?  One of their ideas was chase figures, figures that were not advertised on the back of the package and were shipped in very low numbers, and were just short of including a note on the front that said “scalp me.”  The concept only ended up lasting for two assortments, Series 4 and Series 5.  I’ve looked at Red Skull, the chase for Series 5, but now I’m looking at the figure that officially launched it, Goliath!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

As noted in the intro, Goliath was the chase figure for Series 4 of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends, and was subsequently the one figure in the assortment not listed on the back of the packaging.  He’s officially supposed to be based on Hank’s first Goliath costume, but, well, there’s some caveats to that, which I’ll touch on in a bit. The figure stands 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation.  That’s a pretty low count for a Legends release, and there’s a good reason for that: he’s not a Legends sculpt.  Instead, he was a wholesale repaint of the Giant-Man figure from their classic Avengers boxed set from the ’90s.  Now, you may recall from my (astoundingly short) review of that figure, that I was pretty fond of the sculpt.  It’s honestly one of he nicest sculpts to come out of their 5-inch days.  That being said, it didn’t really fit all that well stylistically with the Legends Toy Biz was putting out at this time.  I mean, he’ll look okay with the Iron Man and Cap, but beyond that he’s gonna be out of place.  Additionally, the sculpted details of the costume are pretty specific to Giant-Man’s costume, but those don’t line-up with the Goliath costume they opted to go for.  He shouldn’t have the antenna or the circle, and he should have goggles, and a completely different belt.  We wound up getting a couple of more accurate renditions of this costume once Hasbro took over, but for this one, Toy Biz was clearly wanting a cheap extra figure to produce and went with the “close enough” philosophy.  The paint work kind of rolls with the differences of the sculpt, and pretty much makes no attempt to hide them, because, honestly, it’s not like there’s much that can be done.  It’s a pretty nifty color scheme, and I certainly dig the metallic blue used on the body suit.  In order to distract a bit from the re-used mold and the lack of a base sculpt, Goliath was packed with repaints of the Ant-Man and Wasp figures from the same boxed set as Giant-Man.  They work a little better with the Legends aesthetic, though they’re not super-poseable or anything.  The new coat of paint does look nice, though.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite the somewhat lazy creation, I always wanted this guy when he was new.  Perhaps because I was giving into the very forces that Toy Biz was counting on, or perhaps because I just always liked this Goliath costume.  Whatever the case, I didn’t get one, because the after market for him was stupid expensive for a good long while.  Then the people paying the stupid money for him actually took a closer looked at him, realized how lazy a creation he was, and two much better versions of the costume were released, and now this guy can be had for a much more reasonable sum.  He ended up traded into All Time about a year and a half ago, allowing me to finally add him to my collection.  He’s not anything to write home about, but I can love him for what he is.

#2337: Cosmic Ghost Rider

COSMIC GHOST RIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Supernatural powers transform Frank Castle from a force of retribution into an eternal Spirit of Vengeance.”

Ghost Rider is a character who is very influenced by current trends.  It makes sense, since he began his life in the ’70s as an attempt to cash in on motorcycle stunt acts like Evel Knievel.  In the ’90s he became a leather-clad ’90s biker, in the early ’00s he had something of an identity crisis, because stunt cyclist and bad-ass biker were apparently just too different, and then in 2013 he became a street racer because the Fast and the Furious movies were inexplicably still a thing.  While that version of the character is still running around as the main version, we’ve gotten another update.  In the wake of Marvel’s recent trend of cosmic epics and the cosmically-themed characters that populate them, now we’ve got a Cosmic Ghost Rider.  He’s Ghost Rider, he’s a herald of Galactus, and he’s Frank Castle.  Are we sure this guy isn’t another Summers brother, sporting a symbiote, and possibly from the future?  Because that would really check off all of the boxes.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cosmic Ghost Rider is the second figure in the latest “Legendary Riders” assortment of Marvel Legends, shipping alongside yesterday’s Squirrel Girl figure.  As with the Blaze Ghost Rider that was released in the first assortment, he’s a character who makes far more sense in this particular line-up than quite a few of the figures we’ve actually gotten, what with him being rather dependent on his ride and all.  But we’ll get to that in a minute, because right now I’m talking about the main man himself.  No, not Lobo; this is the other space-faring biker with a lot of attitude and slightly outdated ’90s-isms!  Don’t confuse them!  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Compared to some of Hasbro’s more recent efforts, Cosmic Ghost Rider does feel a little on the restricted side in terms of posing.  He can manage sitting on his bike alright, so at least it’s not impacting the main look, but I found the range to be a fair bit less than I’d been expecting.  Some of that’s definitely to do with the design, however.  Cosmic Ghost Rider has one of those sort of nebulous designs (befitting his kind of ’90s throwback nature, really), where the details change-up from artist to artist.  Hasbro’s opted to use this to their advantage a little bit, allowing for a tiny bit of parts re-use.  He gets the hands, legs, and feet of the Red Onslaught Taskmaster, which are suitably sci-fi-armor-y for the character’s needs.  The legs are also the most practically poseable portion of the figure, for what it’s worth.  The rest of the sculpt is all-new, and it’s decent, but…I don’t know, it’s not quite wowing me the way I’d been hoping it would.  Nothing is outright bad or anything.  In fact there are a lot of cool elements, especially with all the little texturing littered throughout the suit.  The head is also pretty cool looking, with the helmet being removable so that you can pose the head within it.  That said, the neck joint essentially just being a cut-joint is a bit disappointing, and the post the head sits on is a little more visible than I’d like from some angles.  Despite the figure’s rather large shoulder pads, the hips still seem comparatively rather large.  It doesn’t seem to jibe with the overall look they’re going for, and ends up making him look a lot less intimidating than you’d hope.  His paintwork is at least a suitable match for the books, with his basic color scheme nicely rendered, and even a pretty solid attempt at all of his cosmic detailing as well.  Being a version of Frank Castle, Cosmic Ghost Rider would of course be totally naked without at least a few guns, so he gets two distinct space guns, each with a distinct flame effect.  And being a version of Ghost Rider, he would be totally naked without a chain, so he gets one of those too!

In addition to the guns and chain, Cosmic Ghost Ride also includes his Cosmic Ghost Ride.  It’s pretty much just a space motorcycle, because what else is this guy gonna ride?  Certainly not the scooter!  Of course, now I kinda want Ghost Rider all themed around riding that scooter.  He could even have a flaming scarf!  Now that would be a scarf to make Kamen Rider jealous!  …where was I?  Not Ghost Vespa Rider?  Well, that’s a letdown.  Darn.  Why’d I do that to myself?  So, how about this cosmic bike?  Well, it’s about 5 inches tall by 9 inches long, and unlike most of the vehicles so far in this line, it doesn’t actually have any moving parts, unless you count the tiny bit of movement on the hover stand, but I feel like that’s stretching things a bit.  Honestly, this thing’s got more in common with the Black Series Speeder Bike than it does the other Marvel vehicles, which I guess is appropriate.  There’s a little bit of assembly right out of the box to get the front “wheel” put together with its effects pieces inside.  The fully assembled product is certainly something of a centerpiece, and does a pretty respectable job of boiling down all the common design elements of the various illustrations of this thing into one concise product.  I appreciate the spots to store the guns, and how well they hold them in place; that’s a cool touch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Full disclosure: I’ve never really gotten Cosmic Ghost Rider.  Since his introduction, everyone’s been crazy about the guy, but to me he feels like a left over idea from the mid-90s, and not in a particularly good way.  He’s the sort of thing you expect to see lots of ball-point-pen drawings of on the lined paper of some kid’s spiral bound notebook in class.  So I’m not really all about him, and I’ll admit that’s probably colored my opinion of this set just a little bit.  Ultimately, if you like the concept, this might hold your interest more than me.  In my case?  Well, it’ll look fine on the shelf, where I’ll only passingly glance at it from time to time and remember its shame.  And also remember that this set somehow ended up far easier to acquire than the WW2 Cap set.  For shame!

Cosmic Ghost Rider was purchased from my friends All Time Toys, where he is currently in stock here.  Don’t let my apathy scare you off, though, I just like ruining people’s good time.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2336: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With super squirrel powers and help from her three squirrel friends, the astonishing Doreen Green battles the baddest baddies in the universe!”

When she originally appeared in 1991, I don’t think anyone expected that Squirrel Girl would become a character that had *multiple* action figures, but here in 2020, we live in a world where that’s totally a thing.  Not only is Squirrel Girl a Marvel Legend, but she’s even based on her solo comic series…because again, that’s totally thing.  I guess in a comics world where Deadpool tops a lot of people’s lists, another irreverent hero isn’t the worst thing to be, allowing for the previously incredibly niche Doreen Green to find a nice little audience.  Hey, if it gets me a Squirrel Girl figure, I won’t complain.  Okay, I’m gonna complain a little, but there’s more context to it than that.  Let’s just jump into the review.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Squirrel Girl is a little difficult to slot into one of Hasbro’s already established sub-sets of Legends assortment themes, so for this release they opted to bump up her accessory component a bit and place her in the fifth assortment of the “Legendary Riders” sub-line.  This release opts for Doreen’s redesigned costume from her 2014 solo series, and, if I’m honest, that did take the wind out of my sails ever so slightly on this figure.  I don’t *hate* the design, mind you, but I can’t really say it’s my favorite, and being a fan of the character largely from her time with the Great Lakes Avengers, I was sort of hoping for that look.  That said, this look has had a fair bit of coverage, and it’s current, making it a wise choice from a marketing standpoint.  That won’t stop me from hoping we get the other costume down the line, though.  The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Squirrel Girl uses the Spider-Girl body as a starting point, but ultimately only ends up using the lower arms and mid legs from that figure.  Everything else is new, and for the most part pretty nicely rendered.  The multi-part costume looks sufficiently like real clothes, and the tail is actually sculpted in such a way that it doesn’t make her impossible to stand on her own, which is certainly a plus.  I’m not sure why the opted to give her two open gesture hands when she’s meant for a vehicle, but at least they aren’t fists, so you can at least fake that she’s holding those handle bars.  The head is the part of the figure I take the most issue with.  In part, this is due to the head having to adhere to the modern design, meaning it gets the headband with the ears, which I’m not big on.  Beyond that, though, she also runs into some issues of trying to adapt a cartoony design into a realistic figure.  They’ve tried to replicate one of her goofier expressions into a real-world look, and the end result is…well, it’s weird looking.  Max described it as looking “like she just smelled a fart” and I can’t really argue with that assessment.  It’s not the worst thing, but it’s just odd looking.  I think something a little tamer, or perhaps even a head that just actually went a little cartoonier would make for a better final product.  The paintwork on Squirrel Girl is pretty solid.  They make the shades of brown and grey that make up most of her look not totally drab and boring, and the application is all nice and clean.  There’s also some pretty decent accenting going on, which we don’t tend to see much of these days.  I can certainly appreciate that.

Squirrel Girl has a multitude of extras, the biggest being her scooter, which lets her fit that whole “Riders” theme of the line.  Like Black Widow and Deadpool, it’s not an item by which she’s really defined, and is more an excuse to fit her into this assortment.  That said, it’s not completely out of the ordinary for the character, so it’s not the worst thing.  It’s 4 inches tall by 5 inches deep, and it’s got working wheels.  Sculpturally, it’s the same as the scooter that was included with Deadpool last year, just with a basket added to the front to hide the DP symbol that was on the front.  It was a pretty solid sculpt the first time around, and it is still cool here.  I do have to chuckle a little bit to myself about looking back on that old review, where I noted that DP scooter had less re-use potential than Widow’s bike, given that the scooter has been used twice now, and the bike hasn’t.  Oh well.  This is honestly the better vehicle sculpt.  This iteration of the scooter keeps its removable horn for the handlebar, which is a fun little piece.  Also included in this set are three different squirrels.  Presumably, the one with with bow is supposed be Tippy Toe (though she should be grey for true accuracy), and the other two are Monkey Joe and Mr. Lieberman, though which is which is really your call.  The three can all fit into the basket on the front of the scooter, though depending on your configuration of them, it can be a little snug.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been of mixed emotions about this set since it was shown off, and I’m still of mixed emotions after getting it in hand.  With that said, the final product is better than I’d expected it to be, even after looking at it in package.  This Squirrel Girl may not be exactly the one I wanted, and I may not be jumping up and down for joy at getting it, but it is better than nothing.  I’m still holding out hope for her other costume down the line (since they can re-use a number of this figure’s new parts), but until then, I suppose this one is fine.

Squirrel Girl was purchased from my friends All Time Toys, where she is currently in stock here If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

 

#2335: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS

Tonight’s drunk review is brought to you by watching Paprika, the acid dream trip of an anime movie, you can only view this movie while extremely inebriated. AND ETHAN HAS PROMISED ME THAT HE WON’T EDIT THIS POST, EVEN TO MAKE IT READABLE. If he edits this review before it publishes then he won’t be getting any action figures for a month. I’m not drunk enough for this limp noodle asparagus. Apparently I don’t write “coherent enough reviews”, well I’ll show ya coherent!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This is some Iron Man from some Hasbro Marvel Legends line. Oh! Oh! I got it! He’s unpainted robot Iron Man before he does the red/gold color scheme from the 365th Marvel Legends line. Just kidding, I pulled that out of my derrière. I’m really craving Jade Hibachi now, that cheap hibachi place across the street from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. I miss them… 😦

Look at that Punisher though! FRANKIE!!!! MY GUN TOTTING CINNAMON ROLL!!!! He’s got his murder face on–GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHH! And look, he’s right next to the Iron Punishmenter. Then there’s robo Iron Man next to acid green Spidey. Then there’s jacked up white space football Spidey. And the crew is rounded off with horse rancher Wolverine, who retires to a horse farm after losing Jean for the 34th time. If you can’t see the picture I’m talking about, it’s I’m assuming all the figures from the line all…lined up. Pffft.

Anyways, Im going off the books. Is there every really a script for these reviews, at least the ones that I write? This robot looking Iron Man, loo i know they all look like robits, but this one especially with the cold grey color scheme, has like 54 points of articulation. He’s about the size of my hand, about some 6 inches and some change.

This review is painful and it doesn’t help.  No, that’s the Egg. Anyways, this figure is a repaint of some other Iron Man figure, which is why i get to review him. Apparently, it’s a repaint of Invincible Iron Man. Did he have a better looking butt though? I don’t like his spine, it’s weird and makes me uncomfortable. Like dude, seriously, put that spiny boi away. No one wants to see that! I don’t know how I feel about this figure. He doesn’t have a distinguishable mouth. WHERE DOES HE BREATHE?!?!?!? Anyways, this boi is painted grey, like steel metal grey that reminds you of cold heartless metal. Yes, metal can have heart, just look at the Iron Giant. This Iron Man is a cool grey with subtle vibrant (those words don’t really go together do they?) blue that outlines and accents things, like his face and spine. Maybe that’s why I don’t like his spine, because it’s all bumpy and super detailed. The blue accenting while cool in some places looks really sloppy in others, like spray paint without the drip lines and super blotches. Maybe the blue is supposed to be like spray paint, which in that case it looks convincing, but if not it makes the figure look sloppy. Also my nails are really long and are making typing kinda hard. This Iron Man’s butt is kinda disappointing, like leagues under America’s Butt, though the plastic does look like he’s got dimples on his metal cheeks. Male action figure butts are always disappointing and flat. Like female figures and statues have nice bubble butts, but most males look like deflated flabby balloons and it makes me sad. This Iron Man’s spine has more definition than his butt does.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This isn’t my favorite Iron Man. I don’t actually know if I do have a favorite one, but this one would definitely be at the bottom of the list. He looks too much like a cold heartless robot that Ultron could take over and use to kill people. I like the color combo of blue and grey, but the blue on this figure looks sloppy and incomplete in some places. His spine really creeps me out and i don’t know why exactly. Overall, this isn’t one of my favorite figures. I can’t remember where Ethan got this figure, but I’m like 98% sure that it wasn’t from Walmart or Toy-R-Us [it was from my friends at All Time Toys –Ethan]. The former he doesn’t shop much in and the later died a slow agonizing death, but not as slow as K-Mart, gods bless their journeys’ to the afterlife. And now I’m just typing even more nonsense so that the review doesn’t stop on a six hundred and six after sixty word count. That’s the mark of the devil, and while I’m not super religious, our roommate has had the worst luck and I want to be cautious!

There, I’m done. Your regular review reading program will come back tomorrow–don’t worry!

#2334: Colossus & Juggernaut

COLOSSUS & JUGGERNAUT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“1976 Saw the release of X-Men 102, with its iconic cover featuring the mighty Colossus and unstoppable Juggernaut locked in combat, setting the stage for a rivalry that would shake the Marvel universe For decades.”

Do you ever feel like your intro’s been stolen right out from under you by Hasbro’s own copy writers?  Just me?  Yeah, I guess that might be a more exclusively me sort of an issue.  Well, you know, 1976 did see the release of X-Men 102…which, uhh, had this here iconic cover, and it–ah, it’s just not the same.  Look, you guys know the song and dance here.  I’m just gonna get right to reviewing the action figures.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Colossus and Juggernaut are the second of the two comic-based “80 Years of Marvel” Legends two-packs (the other being Wolverine and Hulk).  As with that one, it pairs one BaF-sized figure with one smaller one, although smaller is certainly a relative term in this case.  As the text above notes, the two are themed around their X-Men #102 appearance, though the individual figures do more or less adhere to the line’s already established style.

COLOSSUS

A mutant with the ability to transform his body into metal, Peter Rasputin left his farm community to join the X-Men and fight for good.”

Colossus was a fairly early addition to Legends in the Toy Biz days, appearing just five series into the line.  That figure was one of the line’s best, and replacing him was certainly a daunting task.  When Hasbro finally got around to releasing a Piotr figure of their own, they opted for a more modern appearance that wasn’t actually a direct replacement, but we all kind of knew a proper classic version would come around eventually.  It took three years, but here he is!  The figure stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  This guy makes moderate use of the parts from the previous Colossus figure, namely the head, arms, and pelvis.  The torso, wrist bands, belt, legs, and feet are new to this guy.  The new parts are all very nicely handled, and I like the extensive selection of character-specific elements.  The old parts I’m admittedly slightly iffy on.  I liked the previous figure a lot, but he was from three years ago, and even in that time they’ve really made some strides forward, so things like the range of motion on the arms is a little disappointing.  Also, I understand Hasbro opting to re-use the clean shaven head from the last figure, but for me it just doesn’t quite feel right for a ’70s/’80s Colossus.  Were this, say, the Jim Lee design, it would be fine, but he lacks that particular flair of character that Cockrum and Byrne drew him with.  It’s not a bad sculpt at all, but slightly misses the mark for me.  Colossus’s paintwork is clean, bright, and bold, which is honestly a first for a Legends Colossus, since both the Toy Biz one and Hasbro’s prior figure went for a much murkier palette.  I like this look, and it reminds me a bit of the Marvel Select figure, which isn’t a bad thing.  Colossus is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, and one in an open pose.  They match the hands included with the previous figure, but instead of one of each, now we get matching pairs.

JUGGERNAUT

Cain Marko possesses superhuman strength and extreme durability that allows him to rampage through any situation as an unstoppable juggernaut of force.”

Juggernaut’s last time in Legends wasn’t long before Colossus’s, since he was the Build-A-Figure for the prior year and all.  I reviewed that one back when it was new, and I liked it a fair bit then.  Of course, the trouble with Build-A-Figures is that sometimes one or two of the figures that include their pieces are hard to get, making completing them quite tricky, so Hasbro’s seen fit to do a slight redux of that release for this two-pack.  Like that one, this figure stands 9 1/2 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  The sculpt is almost exactly the same.  The helmet is ever so slightly different, being a little smoother in texture than the first one.  He also ditches the original figure’s belt in order to be more accurate to the older Juggernaut appearances.  Further changing things up is the paintwork, which trades in the more strictly brown colors of the last figure for a much redder palette, which is again a far more classic look.  He also ditches the pupilled eyes from the last year for straight white ones, with sort of a shaded effect over the eyes for a slightly more dramatic appearance.  It’s probably the one change I don’t feel is an outright improvement, but it’s not a bad look either.  While the original Juggernaut was a Build-A-Figure, and therefore didn’t get any accessories, this guy actually gets quite an assortment.  There’s an extra unmasked head, a torn up helmet piece to go with it, and a spare set of open hands to trade out for the BaF’s closed fists.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Classic Colossus has been on my list since the more modern one hit three years ago, so he served as the major selling point for me on this particular set, with Juggernaut more or less just being along for the ride.  That said, I definitely dig the two of them being paired together, since it really calls back to their scenes together in Pryde of the X-Men, which remains a defining X-Men entry for me.  In hand, Colossus is okay, but has his definite flaws.  Juggernaut on the other hand takes the already pretty awesome Build-A-Figure and just builds more awesome into it, making this a truly fantastic version of the character.

I got this pair from my friends All Time Toys, where they are currently in stock here If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2333: Jean Grey, Cyclops, & Wolverine

JEAN GREY, CYCLOPS, & WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Love triangles are far from uncommon in serialized fiction, with a good deal of narratives being built around at least one.  The X-Men have been host to a fair number of them, but I don’t think any of them will ever beat out the Jean Grey/Cyclops/Wolverine triad…which is kind of amusing, because it was originally only a minor plot line, mostly meant as a way to give Logan a little character development, while also strengthening Scott and Jean’s relationship and solidifying them as the definitive couple.  Then Wolverine’s popularity went through the roof, Jean died and came back a few times, and Scott became the X-writers’ favorite punching bag, and now they’ve got some sort of vague polyamorous relationship going on?  Listen, the X-books are being written by Hickman, and he hasn’t deigned that they make any sort of sense yet, so we’ll all just have to sit back and wait for him to tell us whether or not we understand anything that’s going on, alright?  While we’re waiting for that, let’s flash back to the ’90s, when things were simpler, and we just had your basic love triangle between a newly married couple and their surly 100-year-old friend.  The basics!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Wolverine were released late last year as a Fan Channel-exclusive Marvel Legends three-pack.  Like the Havok and Polaris pack, they are loosely built into the “80 Years of Marvel” celebration, and also like that pack, the box is all themed around the trading cards of the ’90s.  It’s a cool design, but as with most of my figures, these things could ship in plastic baggies for all I care–actually no, I do care!  Paper bags!  Let’s be a little more environmentally conscious!  Until then, I guess a throwback to the ’90s trading cards is alright.  What was I doing?  Grand standing?  No, wait–action figure review! Yeah, let’s go with that!

JEAN GREY

“Jean Grey is an incredibly powerful mutant with the psychic powers of telepathy and telekinesis.”

After being Marvel Girl, then Phoenix, then Dark Phoenix, then dead, then not dead anymore, Jean decided to ditch the whole supramyn concept and go with her regular-ass name.  Seems fair, honestly.  It does make marketing her a little tricky, though, since everyone else is using these really sweet code names and she’s just regular-old “Jean.”  Whatever the case this particular regular old Jean is an important one, because she finally completes the core ’90s X-Men line-up (though we still need a proper Colossus)…well, for most fans, anyway.  Some people were fortunate enough to have found the Rocket Raccoon Series Jean, which had this same costume, but to call that release “hard to find” would be something of an understatement.  Plus, that was just before Legends really got the formula down, so an update is not unprecedented.  So, here Jean is in all her head-band-wearing, Jim Lee-designed-glory.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  She’s built on a variant of the same body that Phoenix was built on, but with a new upper torso and thighs.  She also re-uses the bracers and belt from the previous ’90s Jean, which seems pretty sensible.  She does not re-use the head from that figure, instead getting not one, but two new ones.  She gets one that’s a direct recreation of the last one, being the more comics-accurate hairdo (seen with Wilson on the right there), but also gets an X-Men: The Animated Series accurate head with her slightly tweaked headgear from the show.  That’s actually a first for toys, and I’m genuinely thrilled that I can now have a cartoon accurate roster.  Jean’s paintwork is mostly pretty basic, though I will say that there’s a little bit of slop on the blue portions of the costume on mine, and I had to check a few samples to get the best one.  Hasbro was definitely having a more lax QC day on this figure.  Jean doesn’t get any accessories beyond the extra head…well, I mean, unless you want to count the next two figures, which would be somewhat valid.

CYCLOPS

Scott Summers can fire optic blasts so powerful that they can only be harnessed by a special ruby-quartz visor.”

Cyclops has already gotten his modern-Legends-take-on-the-’90s-design due, with a pretty darn cool figure, I might add. However, in a similar fashion to the Jean situation above, said figure was never amazingly easy to find, and he’s kind of an essential piece to a ’90s X-Men set-up.  However, Hasbro didn’t want to just do a straight re-issue, so they’ve given us a figure that works to fill in the roster for fans that missed the first figure, while still having something to offer for fans who already have him.  What’d they do to change things up: bomber jacket.  Yeah, Scott was prone to wearing a jacket over his costume in the ’90s (especially on the cartoon), so that’s what this guy replicates.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  He uses the same starting point as his predecessor, the Bucky Cap body, and also gets the same head and collection of straps as the previous, minus the wrist straps.  He then gets the jacket from Old Man Logan and the arms from Punisher.  The jacket works better with the straps than I’d expected it to, and while I’m still not sure it’s 100% perfect, it’s decent.  I do wish the arms had a better range of motion, but that’s really the only thing.  The other thing that this guy changes up quite a bit is the paint.  While the last one went more for the Capcom colors for the costume, this one leans more heavily on those animated colors, so there’s a darker blue and a brighter yellow.  I wasn’t sure about the change at first, but I kinda like it in person.  The only downside is that now I want an un-jacketed version to match this and a jacketed one to match the prior.  Oh darn.  Cyclops is packed with two extra heads, one depicting his ’90s sunglasses, and the second his ’70s/’80s, allowing for some nice options on the civilian front.  He also includes a second left hand in a standard fist, for those that don’t like the optic blast hand.

WOLVERINE

“The mutant known as Wolverine possesses razor-sharp Adamantium claws and the ability to heal virtually any wound.”

Did you know that Wolverines have an average lifespan between 7 and 12 years in the wild?  That’s your fun FiQ fact for this tiger-stripe Wolverine review!  Wolverine is *definitely* no stranger to the toy world, the Legends world, or even the modern-Legends-take-on-the-’90s-design world.  We got his brown costume twice, and so now I guess it was time to even things out with the tiger-stripe design, especially since, even at two-to-a-case, the last release had really disappeared.  This one acts as something of a smaller-scale companion to the 12-inch Legends Wolverine.  I loved the heck out of that figure, so the prospects of it translating to the smaller line were definitely a plus for me.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s the same as the Apocalypse Series Wolverine, which makes sense, that being a very ’90s Wolverine and all.  It’s also just a really solid sculpt, and Hasbro can hardly be faulted for getting a little more mileage out of it.  The paint work changes up in a fashion quite similar to how it worked on Cyclops.  In fact, the shades of yellow and blue appear to be identical.  I don’t like the dark blue quite as much, but the yellow’s not bad.  Wolverine gets the best accessory selection of the set, with two extra heads, a pulled down mask, and an alternate set of hands with bone claws.  The two extra heads replicate the ones included with the larger figure, so there’s an unmasked head and an angry battle-damaged head.  I really like that battle-damaged head, and I’m glad we got it at the smaller scale.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was fortunate enough to get both Wolverine and Cyclops’ original releases at retail pricing, but Jean pre-dates me getting back into Legends collecting, and honestly I probably wouldn’t have found one anyway.  As I got more and more of the ’90s team, the lack of a Jean was more and more of an issue.  I was hoping for at least a re-issue, but when Hasbro announced an all-new figure, I was definitely happy, even more so when I saw that animated head.  I know a lot of people weren’t thrilled about the prospect of having to re-buy the other two, but I don’t mind so much, and find that both figures have something to offer even if you’ve got those previous releases.  All in all, this is a great set and I’m glad we got it.  Now I can finally stop using Phoenix in my X-Men display!

I picked this trio up from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2328: Moon Knight

MOON KNIGHT

ONE:12 COLLECTIVE (MEZCO)

I am nothing if not a creature habit, which in this case means not only am I going to steal the joke I used in yesterday’s review, but I’m also going to steal the joke I use in every review of Moon Knight.  Why? Because I’m reviewing MOOOOOOOOOOOOON KNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT, that’s why.  See, it’s Moon Knight, and, uh, I have to do that.  Only way to be sure.  Moon Knight’s had a bit of a hiatus on the action figure love since he somehow managed to get two separate figures from Hasbro in the same year back in 2017.  With a show on the horizon, I imagine prospects will be changing, but in the mean time we get to hold ourselves over with a little something courtesy of Mezco, who have just added Mr. Spector to their One:12 Collective line.  Is the figure unabashedly awesome?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Moon Knight is an early 2020 release for the One:12 Collective line.  He was first hinted at during last year’s Toy Fair and was supposed to arrive late last year, but got pushed back a few times.  He’s here now, though, which is all that really matters.  There are two versions of Moon Knight available.  The one in this review is the standard regular retail version, but there was also a con-exclusive “Crescent Edition” released last year, which gave us a slightly more modern version of the costume.  The standard release gives us Mezco’s take on Marc’s classic all-white attire.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he’s got over 30 points of articulation.

Like most One:12 figures, Moon Knight gets two different head sculpts, though unlike a lot of the ones I’ve looked at, they’re actually quite a bit different from each other.  The one he comes wearing is definitely the standard.  It’s sporting his usual full face mask, and rather than the usual comics mask that’s devoid of all detail, this one puts a lot of effort into making it look like a real, fully cloth mask.  There’s some stitching up at the top, and plenty of wrinkles and folds within the brow, to help showcase an intense expression beneath the mask.  Unlike most renditions of Moon Knight in plastic (including the Crescent Edition variant of this very figure), the fully masked head is all white like the rest of the suit, instead of the usual black.  It’s a different look than I’m used to, and I’m not sure if I prefer it to the black mask, but a little variety is far from the worst thing.   In order to prevent the eyes from getting lost in all of that white, they’ve been tinted blue, which actually makes for quite a striking appearance.  The second head gives us a partially unmasked version of Marc, with the mask pulled up off of his face.  It’s certainly a unique appearance, and the unmasked face bears a resemblance to Tobias Menzies, at least to my eye.  Hey, it means he looks like a real person, which I certainly count as a plus.  I also really dig the rough and ragged appearance he’s sporting there.  Very classic Marc.  The two heads included here do offer up a nice variety, but I do sort of wish we’d gotten the basic head in black as well, just for the extra options.  Still these two are nice.

Moon Knight is built on the mid-sized male body, which is a respectable choice for him given his usual depictions in the comics.  As is the usual case for this line, it’s a mixed-media set-up, perhaps even more so than some of the others I’ve looked at.  His construction is really most similar to the Ascending Knight Batman, with the costume primarily being a spandex jumpsuit, but with a bunch of rubberized sections designed to make it look like he’s wearing segmented body armor, but also laid out in such a way that the armor looks like it could be dynamic lighting on a more basic jumpsuit.  Like Batman, the moon crescent symbol is a plastic piece, which plugs into the torso and helps to keep the whole suit in place.  The boots, belt, and gauntlets are also sculpted plastic pieces, which follow the stylings of the suit for a slightly more armored and modernized take on the character’s classic design.  They look pretty solid, but I do wish there were a slightly better range of motion on the figure’s ankles.  The cloak is a two-piece affair, with the hood(s) being hard plastic, and the cape part being cloth.  There are two options on the hood; one up and one down.  They both are tailored more to one of the two heads, but can work with either.  The cape itself is probably my least favorite part of the costume.  I just don’t care for the pleather exterior, and I feel like it’s not going to hold up over time.  Also, I’m not really big on the idea of Moon Knight’s cape being a leather like material.  It makes sense for Batman, but given Moon Knight’s desert based origins, leather doesn’t really jibe with the general aesthetic in my mind.

Moon Knight has one of the best accessory compliments of the One:12 line-up.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head and hood, he also includes four sets of hands (fists, gripping, open, and holding moon discs), a staff, nunchucks, a bladed nunchuck, a large moon blade, a display stand, and a contraption for displaying his cape dynamically.  I do have to laugh a little to myself that Hasbro gave us the smaller moon discs as separate pieces, but Mezco had to mold them to a set of hands.  Otherwise, it’s quite a nice selection of extras, and really sells the more deluxe nature of this particular figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Unlike a lot of the One:12 items I’ve picked up, I did no waffling on this particular figure.  I knew I wanted him from the start, and I stuck right to it, from the time he was shown off to the time he arrived in hand.  I gotta say, Moon Knight’s the sort of figure that really benefits from this style of figure, because there’s a lot of room to mess with the core of the design and have fun with it.  And someone definitely had fun on this figure.  I’d be hard pressed to say this figure would do much for someone who’s only a moderate fan of the character, but if you love Moon Knight, this guy’s worth your time.

I got this guy from my friends All Time Toys, where he is currently in stock here If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2324: Demogoblin

DEMOGOBLIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Boy do the Spider-Man foes have some confusing legacies.  Following the death of Norman Osborn, and by extension the Green Goblin, the Goblin role in Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery fractured.  While the Green Goblin identity remained in play, we were also introduced to the mysterious Hobgoblin, a variant on the legacy role.  Hobgoblin himself became a legacy character, actually fairly early into his life.  The fourth man to take on the name was Jason Macendale, who had previously been the original Jack O’Lantern.  Macendale would end up gaining demonic powers from the demon N’astirh during the Inferno cross-over, and those demonic traits would eventually be separated from him and made into their own character, the Demogoblin.  Confused?  Yeah, me too.  Look, he’s got a toy, and I’m gonna review it.  Let’s get to that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Demogoblin is the build-a-figure for the first Spider-Man-themed series of Marvel Legends for 2020.  He had previously been shown off as a single-carded figure for the Lizard Series back in 2018, but was replaced by Lasher in the assortment proper.  He’s been rumored for every Spider assortment since, finally showing up here.  I know a lot of people are happy to finally have him.  Demogoblin has had one prior figure in this scale, as part of Hasbro’s early Spider-Man Origins line, but that was a rather hasty repaint of Hobgoblin, making this his first proper figure.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Given the common lineage, this figure does end up re-using a fair number of parts from the Space Venom Hobgoblin, itself a variant of the Bucky Cap mold.  Demo reuses the torso, arms, boots, and cape from that figure, as well as getting the standard Bucky Cap legs in place of the scaly ones Hobgoblin was sporting.  It’s all topped off with a new head, forearms, hands, and webgear for the torso.  While Hobgoblin did include a demonic Macendale head as an extra, this one goes even further with the demonic appearance, incorporating more inhuman features, and a far more tattered hood.  I really like it, and it’s an improvement on the prior piece in pretty much every way.   The rest of the new parts similarly continue that trend of improvement, and he makes for quite a dynamic looking figure.  The paintwork matches the usual Demogoblin color scheme.  Everything is cleanly applied and does its job.  This figure is one that probably would have benefited from maybe a wash or something to help really play up that demonic side, but I suppose there’s a lot of room for error when you spread something like that across multiple build-a-figure parts, so maybe it’s for the best that they didn’t attempt it.  Demogoblin gets an all-new glider, which is distinct from both Hob and Green Goblin, and even features a flight stand (borrowed from The Black Series), which is the sort of trend I’d love to see continue with such things.  It also helps to make him feel a little more worthy of that build-a-figure slot.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not personally that invested in Demogoblin as a character, but after he was displaced (admittedly for a character I wanted more, so no complaints there) I understood why people were anxious to see him turn up elsewhere.  Like a lot of recent BaFs, completing my Demogoblin was really just a side-effect of getting all of the figures in the set, and not really my main focus.  He did turn out really nicely, though.

This assortment is probably the most balanced Spidey assortment I’ve encountered as of late.  While I’d rank the Velocity Suit as the weakest entry, I actually have some trouble picking a favorite, not because they aren’t good, but because I like several figures in the line-up quite a bit.  I think all of the figures in this set stand out nicely on their own, and I quite enjoyed this line-up of figures.

#2323: Vulture

VULTURE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Adrian Toomes uses a specialized flying suit to soar through the skies as The Vulture.”

Hasbro has been really working at wrapping up a lot of iconic Marvel team line-ups.  In the Spider-Man department, they’ve had their sights set on a fully updated recreation of the original Sinister Six.  We’re still not *quite* there, but at least we now have all six members in generally classic costumes and from the same universe, thanks to a proper update of classic foe the Vulture.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Vulture is the final single figure in the Demogoblin Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s actually our third Legends Vulture under Hasbro’s tenure, following the movie and ultimate incarnations of the character, but this is the first proper classic old-man Toomes since back in the Toy Biz days.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Like the last comic-inspired release, this guy is built on the Pizza Spidey body, with a new set of arms, a new head, and an add-on piece for his collar.  The head is impressive, because while it’s definitely a new sculpt, replicating Adrian’s aged appearance, it’s got the same exact expression and likeness as the ultimate head (…which, *technically* isn’t Toomes, but the package still identified him as Toomes, so…).  It’s also a good match for how he tends to look in the comics.  The new arms come in tandem with a new set of wings, which plug into the shoulders and forearms.  They’re really great…from the front.  Yeah, they’re really only presentable from one side, which makes them look weird if you catch them from the other direction.  I’m not quite sure why Hasbro opted to handle this way.  It’s not the end of the world, but it is annoying.  It also continues to the paint, where one side gets a nice gradient and the other is just unpainted plastic.  Not hugely surprising, but again a little let down.  The rest of the paint is pretty solid, though.  Rather than paint lines all over the body suit (which has the potential to look sloppy and a little goofy), they’ve done them at key points more as accents.  I wasn’t sure about it at first, but in person I think it really works.  They also did a solid job again with capturing the old man look on the head; he’s even got liver spots!  Vulture is packed with a second head sporting some head gear.  Technically, this should make the second head Blackie Drago, but the face still seems to be Toomes.  Not sure if someone at Hasbro just missed that it’s supposed to be a different guy or what the deal is.  Still it’s a pretty cool piece, and gets us closer to a proper Drago than anything else has.  Vulture is also packed with the head of Demogoblin, which I’ll be looking at alongside the rest of the figure tomorrow.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Ultimate Vulture figure was a perfectly serviceable figure, but as we got more proper classic incarnations of the old Spidey foes, he looked more and more out of place, so this update was very much appreciated.  I’m not the world’s biggest Vulture fan, but I like a lot about this figure, and I think he does a fine job of giving us that classic appearance.

I picked up Vulture from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.