#2431: Crimson Dynamo



Hey, remember how I mentioned Black Widow needing to borrow some foes from Iron Man?  Well, she did it again.  It’s okay, there’s more connective tissue this time.  When it comes to Iron Man foes, it’s a bit tricky for them to really stick.  I mean, how do you manage to become the arch enemy of a guy who’s actually just his own arch enemy?  The spot’s pretty much permanently taken!  There have, nevertheless, been a few characters that have hung on for a bit, including one of his two Soviet counterparts, the Crimson Dynamo.  Dynamo’s a pretty early addition to Stark’s rogue’s gallery, and the original Dynamo is definitely interwoven with Black Widow, who was still a villain at the time.  Of course, there’s been twelve different people in the armor since then…yeah, there are a lot of Crimson Dynamos.  It makes getting decent toys a little tricky, because, honestly, where do you start?  Well, let’s start here, I guess.


Crimson Dynamo is the Build-A-Figure for the titular Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends.  This is Dynamo’s first time as an official Legends release.  He was originally slated to be part of Toy Biz’s Series 13 “Bring on the Bad Guys” line-up, but was dropped before they went to prototype.  The Valentin Shatalov did get a 6-inch release in the Iron Man: Armored Avenger line that ran briefly after Iron Man 2, but proper Legends was on hiatus at the time.  Now we’ve actually got one.  I know.  It’s a pretty big deal.  There have been 13 different Dynamos over the years, so there are plenty of designs to choose from.  Hasbro opted for the Gennady Gravilov version of the character, which was introduced in the early ’00s Epic Comics miniseries based on the character.  While it doesn’t quite have the staying power of Dmitri Bukharin’s more classic armor, it’s honestly not a bad design at all, and it’s at least one that got a little bit of dedicated focus in the miniseries.  It’s also a slightly more natural fit for a Build-A-Figure.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  There’s a little bit of re-use here: he’s got the legs from the Iron Monger/Mandroid Build-A-Figure.  While not a perfect match for the armor design in the comics, they’re close enough to work, and flow pretty well with the rest of the sculpt stylistically.  The design of the articulation scheme is also really great, so I can’t fault Hasbro for wanting to use them again.  The rest of the sculpt is all-new, and it’s quite impressive at that.  It translates the comics design quite nicely into three dimensions, and there’s a lot of really fun little detail work mixed in.  The slight cracking on various pieces of the armor, the texturing on the upper armor, and the rivets all throughout really give this thing a lived-in appearance.  It’s not a sleek, top-of-the-line Stark design; this thing is built for functionality over appearance.  I was also impressed by how well they worked in the articulation.  I liked the Mandroid a fair bit, but it was a little restricted in its movement, at least on its top half.  This guy, on the other hand, is surprisingly poseable.  He’s also incredibly stable, which I’m all about.  The paintwork on Dynamo is mostly pretty basic.  A lot of the color work is just molded colors.  It’s all pretty clean, and replicates the comic colors well enough.  I really like the clear plastic for the vials on his wrists; it adds some dimension to the figure.  There aren’t any accessories for Dynamo himself, but given the size of this guy, that’s pretty easily excused.


I really like Crimson Dynamo.  I’d go so far as to say he’s probably my favorite Iron Man foe (although I also quite like Titanium Man).  Perhaps my biggest problem with Iron Man 2 was not getting a proper Crimson Dynamo out of it.  I’ve been waiting for a good Dynamo in Legends form for a while, and I was definitely happy to see him crop up here.  Yeah, I still really want the Dmitri Bukharin armor at some point, but this is a really good design, too, and this figure is an early contender for my favorite Build-A-Figure this year.  He’s really solid, and I really like him.

With the movie being pushed back, I think this assortment is one that people might overlook, and that’s actually kind of too bad.  Crimson Dynamo is the definite star for me, and building him was honestly enough to get me on board, but upon completing the set, I find myself enjoying pretty much the whole thing.  The movie figures are all really solid (even if Red Guardian’s not quite screen-accurate), Winter Soldier’s a fantastic solo release, and Crossbones is a good clean update of a pretty important character.  Only Spymaster’s really a drag, and even then, he’s not a *terrible* figure.  I expected very little from this set, but I’m actually really happy with the final product.

#2430: Spymaster



“An undercover operative skilled in sabotage, Spymaster possesses superb fighting capabilities.”

Remember what I was saying yesterday about Widow’s supporting characters not being quite so developed?  Well, we’re back to that.  Switching over from Captain America, we now move to Black Widow’s Iron Man ties, taking a look at Spymaster, a character whose ties to Widow are pretty much limited to “they both fought Iron Man.”  And they’re spies, I guess, but honestly, that’s practically the same as saying “they both fought Iron Man;” guy fought a lot of spies.  Spymaster’s primary claim to fame is his role in the “Armor Wars” storyline, where he was responsible for giving Tony’s designs to Justin Hammer.  Beyond that, there’s not a lot to this guy.  Well, now he’s got a Legends figure.


Spymaster is figure 6 in the Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the final single-packed figure in the assortment.  I know, I’m as disappointed as you that this is what we’re wrapping up with.  Talk about going out with a whimper.  It’s okay, the Build-A-Figure’s tomorrow; he’ll make up for it.  This guy stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, and boy is this thing showing the wear on the mold.  The gaps between the torso and the shoulders are really getting pronounced, to the point that I initially thought my figure might be misassembled.  I’m thinking this thing is hitting its end of life really fast here.  It’s still not a terrible base, of course, and build-wise it fits Spymaster just fine.  He gets two new pieces, for his head and his belt.  In both cases, I was genuinely surprised.  The belt can at least be chalked up to there not really being a piece that properly matches, but I fully expected the head to be another re-use of the Blizzard mold, since it’s just a masked head.  The fact that they went to the trouble of sculpting in the mask’s details, and actually changing the very structure of the mask and how it lays on the face is a very nice touch that I think pretty much everyone is going to miss.  Spymaster’s paintwork is decent enough.  It’s a little sloppy at the changeovers, but not terribly so, and the color scheme is at least pretty bright and eye catching (which, admittedly, doesn’t seem quite right for a guy who’s a spy, but what do I know?  I’ve never stolen Tony Stark’s designs, now have I?).  Spymaster is packed with a recolor of Yon-Rogg’s gun (the same one Crossbones used), as well as the right leg to the Crimson Dynamo figure.  Let’s be real here: that’s what everyone’s gonna buy this guy for.


Spymaster’s a character I was “meh” on back when he got a Minimate, so the Legend likewise doesn’t exactly spark me into a verbal frenzy.  He’s a pretty by-the-numbers figure of a pretty by-the-numbers character, though the fact that his mold isn’t in the best shape hinders him even a bit further.  I was impressed by how much new work went into this guy, really, and on that front he’s a little bit better than I’d expected him to be.

Spymaster was purchased 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.

#2429: Crossbones



“Crossbones makes it his mission to take out Captain America, no matter the loss of life at stake.”

Though Black Widow’s cast of supporting characters isn’t quite as widely developed as some of Marvel’s other heroes, she’s spent enough time around both Cap and Iron Man that slotting in some of their characters into her tie-in assortment’s really not the worst fit.  Take, for example, Crossbones, whose bio even mentions his Cap connection.  That said, her time in Cap’s book during Brubaker’s run, as well as both of their turns in the MCU has given them enough connective tissue that Crossbones’ appearance here doesn’t feel all that forced.


Crossbones if figure 5 in the Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends.  This is Crossbones’ third time getting a comic-based Legends release, all three of them coming in under the Hasbro banner.  The first two, however, were exclusives, making them both rather tricky to get a hold of, even when they were new.  They were also built on the Hulkling body, so they looked more than a little outdated.  This one opts for a more classic take on the character, pulled straight from his ’80s appearances.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he’s got 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Hyperion body, which I was a little skeptical about, especially since he’s still using the old “pectoral shelf” torso piece.  His design, especially the coloring, does manage to hide it better than most uses of the body, so it’s not terrible.  I may end up throwing Nuke’s tactical vest on him to hide it, though.  He gets a new head and lower legs, as well as new add-ons for his belt/holsters and his wrist pouches.  They all fit well with the body, with the head in particular sitting better on the body than a lot of the ones that have been designed for it.  It’s a fairly nice, fairly basic assortment of parts.  The boots are actually really detailed, and I was a little surprised that they didn’t just leave him with the standard feet for this body.  I’m hardly complaining.  His paintwork is pretty basic as well.  It’s fairly clean overall, though the nose detail on mine is slightly crooked.  Crossbones is packed with two of Cable’s Barrel Break-inspired guns, as well as two of Yon-Rogg’s more sci-fi-y pistols, which look a little more normal sized in Crossbones’ hands.  He also includes the right arm to the Crimson Dynamo Build-A-Figure.


Crossbones is definitely a formula figure.  He’s a stock body with a few new parts, and stock accessories.  The thing is, this isn’t really an issue for a character like Crossbones, especially a classic Crossbones, so he’s honestly a pretty great way to fill out the assortment without going too crazy on the tooling budget.  I don’t think he’s going to be topping anyone’s list, or anything, but he’s a solid stock figure, and a great addition to the Cap Rogues Gallery.

Crossbones was purchased 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.

#2428: Winter Soldier



“Winter Soldier is a fierce combatant and an asset in battle, no matter which team he fights for.”

Alright, let’s jump back into these Marvel Legends reviews, shall we?  Like most movie assortments, the Black Widow tie-in is split between film-based figures, and some appropriately-themed comic-based figures.  I’ve looked at all of the movie figures, so now I’ll be jumping into the comics guys.  The first of the bunch is the one that’s probably got the best ties to Widow, the Winter Soldier, Natasha’s love interest in the comics for the last few years.  We’ve gotten a few movie-styled takes on the character, but it’s been a good long while since a comics version came along.  Let’s have a look, shall we?


Winter Soldier is figure 4 in the Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s our second comic-based Winter Soldier Legends figure, following up on Hasbro’s two-pack release way back in 2010.  That’s a long wait, but that old release was honestly pretty strong, so any follow-up had a lot to live up to.  The figure stands just over 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The sizing is the one issue I really have with this figure.  At his current height, he’s a little taller than the 80th Cap figure, which doesn’t seem quite right, since Bucky’s typically depicted as a little smaller than Steve.  It’s not a terrible size difference, but it gets a bit nuts if you compare him to anyone built on the Bucky Cap body.  He just seems a touch too large overall.  It’s admittedly minor, however, and I’m used to seeing the flip side occurring more frequently.  Sizing aside, Winter Soldier is a pretty sensible mix of old and new pieces.  He uses the pelvis and legs from the Netflix Punisher, and the right arm from tactical Killmonger, along with a new head, torso, and left arm.  The overall design is based on Winter Soldier’s earliest comic appearances, which is really when he was at his most distinct.  He’s got the long-haired appearance, which is typically how he’s best remembered.  He does slightly amalgamate a few later design elements in, such as the pouches on the front of his harness, which showed up during Brubaker’s Winter Soldier solo series (who’s design inspired the very impressive Select figure).  I like them more than the initial holster design, though, so I’m not really bugged by it.  What I *am* a little bugged by is the permanently sculpted-in gun that resides in Bucky’s hip holster.  It’s something that every use of this mold has, but it’s no less frustrating here.  Bucky’s paint work is mostly pretty basic stuff.  I’d have liked to see him get more detailing on the various add-on bits; a lot of stuff just gets left an un-painted brown, which doesn’t look quite right.  Nothing super pivotal is missed, though, so I don’t hate it; I just think it could be a little better.  To match the updated harness design, he also gets the slightly more ornate red/white/blue star insignia on his metal arm, signifying this as a post reformation-Bucky, so he’s firmly on the hero side, I guess.  Winter Soldier is packed with an M4 with a grenade launcher and a Colt 1911 (rather American guns; he *is* a post-working for the Russians Bucky, so I guess it makes sense.  Shout out again to Tim for the gun ID here), plus the head to the Crimson Dynamo Build-A-Figure.  It would have been nice to get an alternate short-haired head to mix up the display a bit, but he doesn’t feel *too* light.


Winter Soldier is definitely the single-release figure I wanted the most from this set.  I missed out on the two-pack version, mostly due to not really being up on the character at the time.  Since then, I’ve definitely picked up an appreciation, so I was down for this guy.  He’s not perfect, and I definitely wish he were just a touch smaller, but he’s still very high on my list for this assortment, and there’s no denying he looks very nice next to that 80th Cap.  He’s a very fun figure.

Winter Soldier was purchased 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.

#2427: Trevor Fitzroy



“An evil criminal from the future, Trevor Fitzroy used his power to create portals through time to elude the authorities of his native era by escaping into the past. Now trapped in our century, he uses his mutant abilities and futuristic battlesuit to fulfill his every lethal wish – and to attempt the destruction of his arch-enemy Bishop!”

You didn’t think I was just going to walk away from 5-inch X-Men, did you?  Okay, actually, that would be pretty sensible.  I reviewed 19 of them all in one day, just over a week ago, and that’s like a 30% increase in the number of them reviewed for the site as a whole in the 6 1/2 years I’ve been running it.  I think I technically met my yearly quota already.  Well, in actuality, all the Day of the Wolverines really did was reignite my desire to review these guys, although perhaps not in quite as crazy a fashion.  So, I’m picking up where I left off and diving into the world of ’90s X-Men with a character that exists purely within that world and pretty much nowhere else, Trevor Fitzroy!


Trevor Fitzroy was released in Series 6 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, and was quite renowned for being a notorious peg warmer for the assortment.  Even at peak ’90s, nobody really wanted this guy.  Poor Trevor.  Despite general lack of interest in the character, there were two variants of Fiztroy produced, one as part of an FAO Schwarz-exclusive four pack (which traded out his blue for purple), and the other in a KB Toys-exclusive two-pack with the previously-reviewed Maverick, which is actually featured in the picture at the bottom of this review.  Whichever version of Fitzroy you get, the figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  His sculpt was unique to him, and it’s honestly not a bad one.  He definitely reflects the trend of these figures bulking up as the line progressed, but this one looked okay.  He’s exaggerated, but not too insanely so.  The head’s got a decent bit of character to it, as well, and they were finally starting to really get a grip on translating some of those radical ’90s hair styles into plastic by this point.  His paintwork is decent enough; nothing amazing or anything to write home about, but it gets the basics down.  The standard release had a yellow stripe down the middle, while the two-pack version swaps it out for gold.  In general, the two pack version isn’t quite as nicely painted, I found.  Fitzroy is packed with some clip-op armor which, if I’m being totally honest here, was more than a little disappointing.  It pretty much won’t say on the figure at all.


I didn’t have a Fitzroy growing up, but boy do I recall seeing Fitzroy…everywhere.  He was just all over the place.  That’s probably why I never bothered to get one, honestly.  Well, that, and his two episodes of X-Men: The Animated Series not being terribly impressive.  After getting Maverick all by his lonesome a few years ago, I tracked down the standard Fitzroy loose, and then discovered that the two-pack one was different, at which point I lost my drive for completion because it meant buying another Fitzroy.  However, when All Time got in their mega Wolverine collection, this pack was in there (because of the small diecast Wolverine included), and it was honestly easier than going through the trouble of getting Fitzroy by himself.  Fitzroy is perhaps not the most thrilling figure, but he’s better than I expected him to be, so I can’t really knock him all that much.

#2424: Taskmaster



“Taskmaster is armed with the ability to mimic an enemy’s every move.”

As the MCU has evolved, so have the foes that its heroes face.  While Phase 1 is generally regarded as having well-crafted villains on the whole (we’ll overlook Whiplash), Phase 2 is generally agreed to have had some pretty lackluster ones.  Phase 3 again introduced some slightly more interesting ones, and the post Phase 3-slate will hopefully keep the trend going.  They’ve certainly grabbed a solid starting point for their first film out of the gate, going with classic Avengers foe Taskmaster as an opponent for Black Widow in her solo film.  It’s a solid match-up, and if nothing else it looks like it’s going to lead to some pretty fun fight scenes.


Taskmaster is the one figure in the Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends not to get a number, due to being the one figure in the set to not include a piece of Dynamo.  He’s also the double-pack for this assortment, which might seem a little odd given it’s Widow’s movie and all, but she’s got the two separate figure releases, so it ultimately balances out.  Taskmaster has had a couple of somewhat divergent costume designs in the comics, and fans are a little split on which one is really the proper Taskmaster look.  For the film, it looks like they’ve somewhat split the difference, resulting in a design that’s actually a pretty solid hybrid of the character’s various looks.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation.   Taskmaster is sporting an all-new sculpt, based on his film design, and it’s a pretty impressive one at that.  There are a lot of layers in play here, making it look like it’s actually a bunch of armor assembled on a real person.  The detailing is all pretty sharply handled, and everything seems to line-up pretty closely to what we’ve seen of Taskmaster from the trailers.  The proportions are all nicely balanced, and Hasbro is again getting that articulation worked in as naturally as possible, all while trying to maintain that heightened poseablility we’ve gotten so used to.  The paintwork on Taskmaster is decent, if maybe not quite as impressive as it could be.  The base level stuff is all pretty good, but instead of a black bodysuit with blue armor plating, the bulk of the figure is just straight molded in a very dark blue.  It gets the same general effect, but it ends up not looking quite as sharp as the on-screen design.  Obviously, this is still a far cry from when the AoU figures lost most of their detailing on their backs, but it’s still not quite perfect.  Though Taskmaster is without a Build-A-Figure piece, he’s certainly not lacking in accessories.  He’s got three sets of hands (in fists, gripping, and panther claws), a bow, arrow, sword, and shield.  About the only thing I could really say he’s missing is an alternate head with the hood pulled down, but ultimately this is a pretty impressive assortment of extras.


I’m definitely down for a good take on Taskmaster, and I’ve been pretty excited for this guy since he showed up in the concept art for the movie.  Hasbro definitely knows there’s a lot of interest in him, because they’ve definitely put there best foot forward on this release.  Dropping the BaF part in favor of more weaponry was definitely the right call, and it results in a figure that’s really the star of the movie figures in this line-up.

Taskmaster was purchased 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.

#2423: Red Guardian



“Alexei Shostakov is a super soldier and spy who has lived a lifetime of triumph during the Cold War.”

Imitators of Captain America are no rare thing, in pretty much any incarnation of the Marvel universe.  In the span of the next year, we’ll have two of them introduced into the MCU.  The first is today’s subject, Alexei Shostakov, better known as the Red Guardian, the Soviet Union’s answer to Cap, and, at least in the comics, anyway, the ex-husband of Natasha Romanov.  I don’t think that’s quite going to be their relation in the movie, but only time will tell.  Whatever the case, Stranger Things alum David Harbour has been cast in the part for the film, presumably so that when you say “that comic book movie where David Harbour’s red,” nobody thinks of Hellboy anymore.


Red Guardian is figure 3 in the Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends, and the second-to-last of the movie-based figures.  This is our second Red Guardian Legend, following the comics-based one from the Civil War tie-ins.  He’s theoretically based on the main design for the character from Black Widow, but…well, there’s a bit to that.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  In contrast to yesterday’s Yelena figure, which was too tall, this guy’s really not tall enough, given that David Harbour’s height of 6’3″ should actually make this figure roughly an inch taller than the two Widows, placing him more into Thor territory (since their actors are actually the same height, and all).  As it stands, he’s just about an average height, which does seem a little bit on the small side.  At the very least, his sculpt does seem to have the appropriate bulk to it, so there’s at least that.  What it doesn’t have, however, are two somewhat important things: Alexi’s somewhat disheveled appearance, and his uniform’s helmet.  In circumstances I can only assume are rather similar to what happened with the Infinity War Captain America, where Hasbro was working from early concept art for the character, rather than the final film’s appearance.  The end result is a figure that looks suitably like David Harbour in a Red Guardian costume, but doesn’t seem to be quite so accurate to the proper character as seen on screen.  Maybe there’s a flashback sequence where Alexei is a little more pulled together, but my money’s on that not being the case.  It’s honestly too bad, because it’s a good sculpt, and makes for a very playable figure.  The Harbour likeness is a strong one, too, and I like the general look of the design.  I will say that his paint work is probably the weakest out of this particular assortment, at least on my figure.  There are a few spots where it looks like the coverage wasn’t as consistent as it should be, and my figure is missing some noticeable paint for his beard at the bottom of his chin.  Red Guardian includes his shield and the left arm of Crimson Dynamo.  The lack of an extra head really stands out here, because he’s otherwise quite light compared to the rest of the assortment.


I was pretty much prepped to be a little letdown by this figure.  It happened with IW Cap, and this feels pretty much the same.  The thing is, he’s honestly a good figure, and it’s a shame that a lot of people are probably going to miss that because he’s inaccurate.  I don’t know if Hasbro will be going back for a more proper version later down the line, but I can at least appreciate this guy for what he is until such a time that there may be a better one.

This guy was purchased 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.

#2422: Yelena Belova



“A product of the Red Room’s ruthless training program, Yelena Belova is a fiery assassin.”

Though initially a name purely associated with Natasha Romanov, in 1999 it was revealed that “Black Widow” was actually a title used by Russia’s top assassin, who, following Natasha’s defection to the US, was Yelena Belova.  Yelena made her debut as an antagonist to Natasha, and has gone back and forth over the years.  For her MCU debut, she appears to be coming in on more friendly terms.  Of course, we won’t really know for sure until October now, so I guess we’ll just have to wait on that.  Well, might as well review the figure, I guess.


Yelena Belova is figure 2 in the Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends, and the second of the MCU-based figures from the set.  It’s also our first Legends Yelena under Hasbro’s tenure, though we did get one previously waaaaay back in the Toy Biz days.  To say there have been advances since then is a bit of an understatement.  Yelena is sporting what appears to be her primary design from the film, an all-white suit similar to the one we’ve seen Natasha in, topped by a vest that looks suspiciously like the one Natasha had during Infinity War.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  The height seems a bit much, because while Florence Pugh is taller than Scarlet Johannsen, it’s only by an inch, and given that this figure has flats, while Natasha is wearing heels, the height difference shouldn’t quite work out the way it does.  In terms of articulation, she tries out a slightly different articulation scheme, at least for the neck, which is a little more similar to how Black Series has been doing it recently.  I didn’t find the joint on mine to be quite as useful, however, and the neck ends up looking a bit longer than it should because of it.  Points for effort, though.  The sculpt on Yelena is a pretty solid one.  The likeness is respectably close to Pugh; perhaps a little thinner than in real life, but not by much.  The body sculpt is fairly realistically proportioned.  Interestingly, they’ve opted to sculpt the vest right onto the torso, instead of a removable one like on IW Widow, but I think the end result looks a little bit better.  Her paintwork is all pretty respectable.  She’s got the face printing, which looks better here than on Natasha.  The inclusion of the vest also helps break up her coloring a bit better than the all-white Natasha, making for a slightly more aesthetically pleasing figure to my eyes.  Yelena is packed with two sets of hands (fists and gripping), plus two more Markovs (though only one can be holstered this time; the other side has permanently sheathed knives instead), and the torso and shoulder pads to Crimson Dynamo.


Classically, I’ve never had much attachment to Yelena as a character, so I didn’t really have much of an opinion about her introduction to the films (I was honestly fine with IW Widow serving as a nod and leaving it at that), but I did like the look of the figure.  In-hand, she’s quite nice, and a good match for Natasha.

Yelena was purchased 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.

#2421: Black Widow



Natasha Romanoff reunites with a group of spies from her past to stop a lethal force.”

Hey, remember when I reviewed that one stray Black Widow figure last week?  Good, because if I’m honest, I only barely do.  It’s been like three weeks my time, so it’s but a distant memory.  Black Widow?  Now there’s a name I haven’t heard in quite some time.  Despite the film’s delay to October, all of the toys were set to arrive just before everything went nuts, meaning they’re all out there and ready to go for a movie that’s now six months out. Hey, who am I to knock new toys, though?  I’m kicking these reviews off with another figure of the title character herself, the Black Widow!


Black Widow is figure 1 in the Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends, which is the dedicated Black Widow-tie-in assortment.  She’s the first of the four movie-based figures in the main line-up (there’s also the previously reviewed deluxe Widow, which is its own stand alone release).  The deluxe release gave us Natasha in her all-white number from a lot of the promotional material, while this one gives us her in her more standard color scheme.  I’m actually quite a fan of this particular design, as it’s really the closest that the MCU Widow has gotten to her classic ’70s costume from the comics.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  A lot of what’s here is shared with the deluxe release, as I assumed would be the case when I reviewed that figure.  It’s sensible, as it looks like the two designs are rather similar.  This figure gets a new upper torso piece, which changes out the webgear she’s sporting on her shoulders.  Now there’s a spot for her to stow her batons on her back, something I was happy to see after said feature was absent from her Infinity War release.  Beyond that, it’s the same sculpt I looked at before, which is fine by me, because it was a really good sculpt.  The paintwork on this release is overall an improvement on the deluxe’s.  The color scheme of the costume allows for more of the sculpted details to be properly accented, and is just generally a slightly more engaging design.  The only slight down turn is on the face, which doesn’t quite have the same lifelike quality to it that the deluxe release did.  I’m probably going to end up swapping those two heads for my display.  Though not packing quite the same impressive haul as the deluxe figure, this release of Widow still includes two sets of hands (fists and gripping), her dual Markovs, batons, and the left leg to the Crimson Dynamo Build-A-Figure.


With things starting to head back into the beginnings of the path to normality, the floodgates have kind of opened up on toy distribution again, so I didn’t have quite as much of a wait for the full assortment of Widow figures as I’d thought I might.  Having quite liked the deluxe release, I was more invested in this one.  Though the face paint was a slight let-down, the figure is otherwise really solid, and definitely the best MCU Widow to date.  Even with the film pushed back, this figure is definitely worth getting a hold of.

Widow was purchased 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.

#2420: Daredevil & Bullseye



Though Daredevil and his supporting cast of players were removed and set out on their own for the purposes of Marvel Minimates very first assortment, when it came time to launch into their second year, old horn-head found himself once again grouped with the Spider-Man cast, accenting two straight Spidey-themed sets.  This time, he paired off with pretty much his last major foe not to be covered in the first series, Bullseye, and got two additional variants of himself, all of which I’ll be taking a look at today.


Battle Damaged Daredevil and Bullseye were the final standard set in the specialty line-up for Series 4 of Marvel Minimates, with the variant DD swapping out for the standard in the one-per-case variant set.  As is the case with most of these earlier ‘mates, Battle Damaged DD and Bullseye were also available through the Target/Walmart packs, and were each available (albeit separately from each other) through Toys R Us’ larger boxed sets as well.  Unmasked Daredevil was only available in the Series 4 line-up, which is just really the best for everybody, I think.


Well, Spidey got in on this whole “Battle Damage” trend, so I guess DD wanted to be a part of it.  Given how much of beating Matt’s prone to taking on his usual exploits, it’s honestly not the worst choice for him.  The approach to creating this figure is much the same as the Spidey, starting with the standard version of the character and dropping some additional damaged details on top of it.  In that regard, this guy uses the same construction as the Series 1 release, with add-ons for his mask and belt.  As with that release, I feel these pieces still hold up, and they were definitely great at the time.  The paint’s where the changes occur.  Under it all, the very basic core details from the Red DD are all still there, but now there’s been a lot of scuffs and scratches added throughout, and a couple of exposed bits of skin are showing through.  Under his mask, we get a similar face to the other two DDs, but his expression has now changed, into something a bit more severe.  It’s a nice little change-up from the norm.  He may be a little battered, but Matt’s still rocking his two billy clubs, once again in all-red.


Bullseye was shown off a few times along the year one ‘mates, but didn’t quite make the cut, so we knew he was coming in some fashion.  This guy was also definitely a little swept up in the whole 2003 movie craze, but it’s not like Bullseye’s a really oddball character or anything like that.  His construction is pretty similar to his opponent, with add-ons for his mask and belt.  Both of these were new to Bullseye, and both would remain unique to him.  The mask was the first time we got visible eyes beneath a separate mask piece, and it handles them quite well.  The belt’s a pretty solid and pretty standard piece, so I’m a little surprised it wasn’t re-used, and honestly I might be wrong on that.  The paint on this guy is again pretty basic, but shows some of their trend towards higher levels of detailing.  When first shown, Bullseye was in a color scheme much closer to his modern comics appearance, but by time of release, the bulk of him is a much friendlier blue.  Not sure why the change, but it matches his classic appearances, so I guess that’s fine.  Bullseye is the master of turning anything into a weapon, so there are a lot of accessory options there, but this guy just goes for a single small knife.  Honestly, it’s not the end of the world, considering that the Legend didn’t even get that much.


Man, did you think that Unmasked Spider-Man was a lazy excuse for a whole figure?  Well, feast your eyes on Unmasked Daredevil.  Literally, he’s the Series 1 Daredevil with Peter Parker’s hair/glasses.  You had to buy a second Bullseye in order to get a thing you stood a good chance of just doing on your own with parts you already had on hand.  What’s more, it’s not even all that great an unmasked figure, because, with the glasses and all, about the same amount of the face is visible.  Boy was this a weak, weak variant.  In a world where people pointed to the sanctity of preserving the rarity of the variants, I point to this guy and say “how do you preserve that?”, considering that an unmasked option literally became a standard for DDs after this.  I’m not a fan of this guy.


I had Damaged DD and Bullseye when they were new, but over the years lost most of their pieces.  I recall liking them well enough at the time, and I can confirm I still think they’re pretty worthwhile.  Damaged DD in particular is a unique offering and does actually try to do something new and interesting.  Unmasked DD I didn’t have when he was new, in part because I wasn’t getting the variants, but also because even when they were still new, I felt he was a waste of space.  And now I have one and I still kinda feel like he’s a waste of space.  But I own him, so I guess he won in the end, now didn’t he?

All three of these specific ‘mates are new to me, and were purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  They’ve still got a lot of that Minimate collection, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.