#1836: SP//dr

SP//dr

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Yo Shinji, get in the robot!  Your dad loves you, get in the robot!”

What, you weren’t expecting me to start this Marvel Legends review with a quote from Neon Genesis Evangelion?  Well…too bad?  It’s my site, I do what I want, which in this case means I’m gonna quote Evangelion for the purposes of drawing comparisons between the plugsuits from Evangelion and Peni Parker’s mecha suit, SP//dr, who just so happens to be the latest Spider-themed Build-A-Figure, who just so happens to be the figure I’m reviewing today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SP//dr is the Build-A-Figure for the second 2018 Spider-Man-themed series of Marvel Legends, another entry in the every-growing Spider-Verse line-up in Legends form.  The figure stands 9 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  The mech is a touch under-scaled to go properly with the standard Legends figure.  It’s probably about 3/4ths the size it should be as is.  That being said, it still reads as suitably larger than the other figures, and its not as underscored as *some* Build-A-Figures we’ve gotten over the years.  I find its size to be reasonable enough.  The articulation on this figure is just a touch imbalanced.  The movement on the legs and torso is really great, with a lot of range and mobility.  The arms are something of a different story, with the shoulders being just a slight step-up from straight cut joints, and the elbows just being single-jointed.  It’s not enough to ruin the figure, but it does make posing it a little bit frustrating.  The figure is sporting an all-new sculpt, which I’d imagine will be staying largely unique.  It’s definitely a strong one.  The details are clean and sharp, and its quite faithful to the suit’s design from the comics.  The actual suit lends itself rather nicely to toy form, though that’s hardly surprising from a take-off of Evangelion.  I’m always happy to see Hasbro do something that relies on technical detailing, as it really plays to their strengths.  SP//dr’s paintwork is fairly decent.  It’s bright and eye-catching.  The application could stand to be a little cleaner, though, as some of the red sections miss their mark by a fair bit.  It’s definitely a piece-by-piece thing, though, as some of the parts for mine are a lot better than others.  SP//dr includes no accessories, but as a Build-A-Figure, that’s perfectly acceptable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I like SP//dr well enough as a character, though I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to build this one when it was first shown off.  Of course, that’s really just because I was lying to myself, because seriously, in what world was I *not* going to want this figure.  It’s a Spider-Man-themed fighting robot.  That’s totally up my alley.  It’s a figure that’s not without of flaws, but the overall product outweighs the cons, and makes for quite a fun toy.  I’d love to get VEN#m and Daredevil to go with it, but that might be ever so slightly reaching, I guess.

There’s a lot of re-treading in the SP//dr Series, but with SP//dr and Ock as my last features in the reviews, that re-treading starts to make a lot of sense.  I had a long wait for this set, so there was a lot of anticipation and a lot riding on them.  I have to say, the individual figures impressed me a bit less this time around, with my favorite of those being Daredevil, a figure that’s really not that different from the last two Daredevils.  Maybe I’m just really a Daredevil fan.  Nevertheless, the set does sort of come into its own when fully assembled, and I think SP//dr makes the whole thing worth it.

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#1835: Doc Ock

DOC OCK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Otto Octavious gears up with 4 mechanical tentacle appendages as the evil genius Doc Ock.”

Okay, I just really feel the need to start this review by pointing out, for the sake of posterity, that every single instance of Otto Octavious’ super-villainous name on the packaging of this figure simply refers to him as “Doc Ock”…which, uh, well, it isn’t actually his name.  It’s the nickname he got from Spider-Man, who I suppose I should be exclusively referring to as “Spidey” henceforth.  Was there some sort of Ock-related re-branding that I haven’t been privy to, where he dropped the proper form of his name.  Or does he just feel that “Doc Ock” better instills fear?  Who knows for sure?  Well, Hasbro, I guess, but they aren’t returning my phone calls.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Doc Ock is the figure 1 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  Okay, that’s kind of a lie; he doesn’t get a number like the other six figures, since he doesn’t actually contribute to the Build-A-Figure.  But, he’s the first figure pictured in the line-up, so I’m giving it to him.  This is Ock’s first proper Legends figure since back during the Toy Biz days (though Otto’s gotten one in the mean time, under the guise of Superior Spider-Man, or “SpOck” as I assume he’d be called now).  That figure was one of TB’s stronger offerings during their tenure, and Hasbro undoubtedly wanted to put off following up on it until they were sure they could properly contend.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation.  He’s a head-to-toe new sculpt, and I’m doubtful we’re going to see much of this one re-used, unless Hasbro’s planning to do a bunch of Ock variants.  The sculpt is definitely a top-notch effort, rivaling Toy Biz’s attempt from all those years back.  I think I still prefer that old head sculpt, but I otherwise prefer the movement and build of this guy, and it’s not like this one’s got a bad head sculpt at all.  Like the Toy Biz version, the goggles are a separate piece, with a fully detailed set of eyes beneath them, but they remain non-removable.  The tentacles are a sore point for a number of collectors, and I understand why.  The static nature of the actual tentacle sections is definitely frustrating, making the posablity and playablity of the figure somewhat restricted.  I prefer the general design of these to the more organic designs of the Toy Biz figure, but I can’t help but wish for an Ock with a set of classically-inspired and properly-jointed appendages.  Or at least a couple of cut joints…just something to add some extra variety to the poses of them.  As it stands, there are two different configurations of arm, which you can swap around for some slight versatility.  It’s better than nothing, I guess. Ock’s paintwork is fairly straight-forward.  It’s clean, it’s bright, it’s attractive.  It could use a bit more accent work, I suppose, but it definitely works as-is.  Ock includes no additional accessories or Build-A-Figure piece, but given the size of the included appendages, as well as the all-new sculpt, Ock doesn’t feel light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Doc Ock’s Toy Biz figure was one I enjoyed immensely back when I was collecting that line, but when I got out of Legends, because I’m not a *huge* Doc Ock figure, I foolishly parted with him.  I’ve been regretting it since.  So, I was happy to see Hasbro finally step-up to the plate and offer one of their own.  He’s not without those flaws, and I will eternally hope for better appendages down the line, but he’s still a very, very strong take on the character, and I’m happy to have another Spider-rogue on the modern Legends shelf.

I purchased Doc Ock from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying him or other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1834: Cloak & Dagger

CLOAK & DAGGER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A hooded vigilante in the war on drug crimes, Tyrone Johnson uses powers of darkness as Cloak.

Tandy Bowen channels her unrivaled possession of Lightforce into signature light dagger weapons, earning herself the name Dagger.”

Created in 1982 as to face off against Spider-Man (albeit in sort of an anti-heroic fashion), Cloak and Dagger were, from their very inception, intended for a spin-off-driven future.  It sort of didn’t quite work out so much that way for them, but they have nevertheless retained a cult-classic status, which proved enough for them to get a TV show last year.  Time will tell if this is what escalates them beyond cult status.  In the mean time, they’ve both just been added to the ranks of Marvel Legends.  Today, I’ll be looking at their Marvel Legends debut.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cloak and Dagger are figures 3 and 4 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  This marks the characters’ debut in this style, though their second figures from Hasbro, who also offered them in their Marvel Universe line. 

CLOAK

Cloak stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Has the articulation is, of course, slightly different than “uses the articulation”, which thanks to the titular cloak, Tyrone doesn’t really do.  Though he’s built on the Reaper body, it really amounts to little more than elaborate cloak-hanger.  He does get a different set of hands than we usually see on this body; they’re outstretched in an open gesture.  You aren’t going to see them much, but at least this way they’re a bit different.  The previously mentioned cloak is an all-new piece.  While articulation-restricting, it’s quite a nicely sculpted piece, and it hangs well on the Reaper base body.  Its nice to see that Hasbro’s gotten over their trend of bad capes, though it’s a little bit unfortunate that this is the only option he have for displaying him.  Cloak gets a new head as well.  It’s clearly a later-in-his-career version of Cloak, as denoted by the goatee.  Its an interesting choice, but not one that really makes for much of a difference in the character’s depiction.  The hood of the cloak is fixed to the head, separate from the main cloak, as has become Hasbro’s standard for such designs.  The paintwork/color work on Cloak is subtle, but pretty impressive.  The cloak and his arms are molded in a semi-translucent plastic, which gives him something of an etherial quality, which definitely works well for the character.  Though he doesn’t get any character-specific extras, Cloak does include the head to SP//dr.

DAGGER

The light to Cloak’s dark, Dagger stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Dagger is built on the mid-sized female base body, a good fit for how the character is usually depicted.  Like Elektra, she’s saddled with slightly more restricted elbows, but they aren’t quite as terrible for Dagger.  Dagger’s one new piece is her head-sculpt, which is a really nice piece.  The hair in particular really turned out well.  It flows well with the body, its got a natural hang, and the detailing is nice and sharp.  The rest of the work is dene via paint, and even then, she’s really pretty basic.  The majority of the work is, again, on the head, specifically the hair, which gets some solid accenting, which helps it look more realistic and provides more depth to the sculpt.  Dagger is packed with an effects piece, simulating her throwing her light daggers.  It clips onto her wrist, and generally looks pretty cool.  I’m always down for effects pieces.  She also includes the torso of SP//dr, which is the largest and most important piece, so she’s got that going for her.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t really have a huge attachment to Cloak and Dagger, but I do think the two of them have a rather striking design going on, and they make for fun figures.  Also, I really wanted to build SP//dr, so they have that going for them as well.  There’s not a whole lot new going on with either of these, but that’s kind of reasonable given their designs, and the execution is solid.

I purchased Cloak and Dagger from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying these two or other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1833: Elektra

ELEKTRA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Shaken by the death of her father, Elektra uses her exceptional skills in the martial arts to become an expert assassin.”

Daredevil has had a string of ill-fated love interests, but the most marketable of them (for a while, anyway) was Elektra.  Introduced by Frank Miller during his defining run on the book, she was initially meant to have a closed story…but comics characters rarely get that, and as such she’s been back many, many times since her original exit.  Unfortunately, at least recently, in pop culture, she’s kind of a marker of a bad Daredevil story, with two poorly-executed movies and a comparatively disappointing storyline on the otherwise impressive Daredevil show on Netflix.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Elektra is figure 3 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  Elektra has quite a pedigree when it comes to Legends, being the first female figure to grace the line, way back in Series 4.  She got one more release during the Toy Biz years, and another under Hasbro’s tenure, but it’s been quite a few years.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Elektra uses the mid-sized Phoenix body, a reasonable enough choice for the character.  The one major downside is its lack of mobility on the elbows.  This his been fixed on more recent single-elbowed figures, such as Psylocke, but Elektra is back to the old model, which rather limits her posing options…at least in the elbow area. The rest of the posing is decent enough.  Elektra gets a new head and hands, as well as an add-on piece for her skirt.  The head is easily the most attractive take on Elektra we’ve gotten in Legends form, though perhaps that’s not saying much.  It is, nevertheless, a nice piece of work, and I particularly like the slight bit of flow to the hair.  The hands are sculpted to work with the sais, especially the right hand, which even has the proper form.  The skirt add-on is probably the weakest part; it’s not badly sculpted in its own right, but it doesn’t contour to the body in the same way that other such pieces have, leaving it to hang somewhat awkwardly in most poses.  The paintwork on Elektra is pretty decently handled.  The base work is clean, and she’s got some accent work on the red sections, which keeps them from being too flat.  Elektra is packed with a pair of sais, one of which got incredibly mangled by the packaging, as well as one of the legs to the Build-A-Figure SP//dr.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Elektra has never been a favorite character of mine, and as a result this is the first of her Legends releases that I’ve actually picked up.  Mostly, I got her because I wanted the Build-A-Figure, but I did think she paired off pretty well with the Daredevil from this assortment.  This is actually my second Elektra.  The first one lost a foot while coming out of the package, and while I was just planning to make due, Max from All Time was kind enough to give me his Elektra, so now I have an un-hobbled one.

Both of the Elektras currently in my collection came to me from my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re interested in buying her or other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1832: Daredevil

DAREDEVIL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Martial arts master Matt Murdock suits up in black to fight the villains of Hell’s Kitchen as Daredevil.”

Last weekend, Netflix dropped the third season of Daredevil, the unquestionable tentpole of their Marvel shows (especially now that there are two less of them).  Hasbro’s actually pretty good with their timing, and have managed to get us a comic Daredevil Legend timed for each season, with Season 3 being no exception.  We’ve gotten horn-head in his classic red, as well as his first appearance yellow and red.  This time, we get a more modern take on the character.  Let’s see how he turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Daredevil is figure 6 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second time DD’s been part of a Spider-themed assortment in the current iteration, though there’s some speculation that he was originally slated for a second Marvel Knights assortment that got dropped.  He’s sporting his latest costume, clearly inspired by the show’s Season 1 (and season 3, I guess) attire.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, most of this figure is the same as the last two figures.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap base, with the standard DD head, belt, and holster.  It was a winning combination when it was introduced on the Hobgoblin Series DD in 2015, and it’s still a winning combination three years later.  But, to keep him from just being a straight re-hash (and to keep him in line with the new design), Matt also gets a new set of wrapped hands, wraps for his forearms, and a pair of combat boots with laces.  The new pieces are a lot of fun, and add some really nifty extra detailing to an otherwise basic figure.  Daredevil’s paintwork is pretty slick and striking.  The all-black bodysuit looks good on this base body, and also works really well with the head.  The hands and boots get some very nice accent work, to help bring out their heightened sculpted details.  In terms of accessories, this new Daredevil makes out pretty well.  At first glance, it looks like he’s got the same billy club as always, but this one’s actually different.  The two halves don’t connect to each other, but rather to a dynamic zipline piece which goes between them, and makes for a nice selection of mid-action poses.  And, if you’re looking for a Devil who’s more into straight-up fisticuffs, this figure also includes a pair of wrapped fists, which match up with the standard hands.  Lastly, he comes with the usual BaF piece, specifically the right arm of SP//dr.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Hobgoblin Daredevil is one of my favorite figures from the modern Legends offerings.  As such, I wasn’t sure I needed him in another color variation.  Then I saw this guy in-hand, and I was immediately impressed, because Hasbro didn’t take the easy way out and do a simple re-hash.  Compared to the House of M Spidey, with his lack of new parts or any real accessories, Daredevil instead gives us not only a new selection of sculpted parts for the figure, but also a nice selection of accessories that are great not only for this figure, but also for prior Daredevils.  As such, this figure is quite possibly my favorite figure in this set.

I purchased Daredevil from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying him or other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1831: Scarlet Spider

SCARLET SPIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The product of a failed Spider-Man cloning project, Kaine is an unstable villain who dons the suit of Scarlet Spider.”

….I think some wires may have been crossed on that bio.  Yes, Kaine is a failed clone, and yes he started as a villain, but he was firmly in the hero court by the time he adopted the Scarlet Spider title.  It was Ben Reilly who was the “villainous” Scarlet Spider after his recent resurrection.  So…there you have it.  I truly don’t envy the person who writes these bios, by the way.  Not only do they have to wade through all of these similarly named characters with similarly named backstories, but then there’s jackasses like me on the internet just tearing their work to shreds.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Scarlet Spider is figure 2 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second time we’ve seen Kaine as Scarlet Spider in the Legends line-up; the first one was at the tail-end of the Return of Marvel Legends line, and is notable for being the final Spider-variant to be built on the old Bullseye body, meaning he was actually fairly quickly outmoded by the introduction of the Pizza Spidey and 2099 bodies.  Given his prominence in Spider-Verse and Clone Conspiracy, a re-do was very definitely warranted.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Kaine uses the 2099 body, which gives him a slightly different build than the guy he’s a supposedly a clone of.  Of course, the two builds really aren’t all that divergent, and Kaine is traditionally depicted as being a little sturdier than Peter, so it’s a reasonable choice for the character.  Scarlet Spider gets a new head and hands to complete his look.  The head’s kind of fun, being more on the expressive side.  They could have easily re-used a prior Spidey head, but I appreciate that they created a proper one for him.  The new hands include his “Sting of Kaine” stingers, and I was happy to find that, unlike the alternate Iron Man hands we’ve been getting, they still retain all of the standard wrist articulation.  Kaine’s paint work is fairly clean, and nicely details the two-toned nature of his costume.  Kaine is packed with an alternate head, hands, and the left arm of SP//dr.  The head is re-used from Cosmic Spidey, and depicts Kaine during his his Carrion-virus-degeneration from Clone Conspiracy.  It’s a bit more story-specific than I’d like, but I guess this was the best way for Hasbro to get some re-use out of it. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While Ben Reilly’s always going to be my Scarlet Spider of choice, Kaine’s prominence during Dan Slott’s run on Spider-Man gave me an appreciation for the character, and I’d been hoping he’d get a re-do.  This figure’s a pretty strong one.  It might have been nice to get a new head-sculpt, rather than the re-use, but the standard figure is definitely well-handled.  Now, how about a classic Kaine?  Anyone?

I purchased Scarlet Spider from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1830: Spider-Man – House of M

SPIDER-MAN — HOUSE OF M

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Quick on his feet and agile as they come, Peter Parker becomes the wrestling sensation known as Spider-Man.”

Ah, “House of M”, the second in an insanely long line of mid-00s-era events that were designed to “shake the world to its core and break the internet in half.”  Boy was that a greeeeaaat time.  My distaste for most things that Brian Michael Bendis is involved in has been no secret on this site, and “House of M” is certainly high on the list of things that have earned said distaste.  But alternate universe stories are prime choices for variants of main characters, and “House of M” has some decent ones, including everyone’s favorite web-slinger Spider-Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

House of M Spider-Man is figure 7 in the SP//dr Series, the second Spider-themed series (I guess third if you count the Venom set) of the 2018 Marvel Legends.  He’s the resident Spider-Man variant of the assortment.  This is the second time we’ve seen the House of M design in this scale; the last one was during Toy Biz’s final year with the license, and was part of their more action-feature-prone Spider-Man line.  This one is his first proper Legends release.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  You remember when I reviewed Pizza Spidey way back when?  Cool.  Well, this figure uses the exact same sculpt as that one.  No surprises there, since the designs really aren’t that far removed from each other, and they’re supposed to be the same guy.  Sensible re-use is sensible re-use.  The main breaking point between the two is the paint.  It’s still not crazy different, since the designs are still quite similar, but it nevertheless captures the slight differences in the costume design.  I gotta say, I actually like the red/blue used on this figure a little more than the basic Spidey, for what its worth.  House of M Spidey includes a web-line piece (which I hope to see become a standard inclusion going forward), and the left leg of the SP//dr Build-A-Figure.  That’s it.  No extra hands.  No unmasked head.  Nothing special.  This late in the game, we shouldn’t be getting any Spidey built on this body without the extra hands.  That’s kinda lame.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, dislike of “House of M” aside, I do kinda like this variation of the standard look, and I was certainly interested when he was first shown off.  The web-line in particular had me interested, since we haven’t gotten anything like that yet for the modern Legends.  The final figure gives me mixed emotions.  Just the base figure is actually surprisingly strong, but the lack of any sort of extras really, really hurts him here. I’m not sure why Hasbro opted to cut those extra hands just for this one variant is beyond me.

I purchased House of M Spidey from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.