#2056: Hawkeye & Black Widow

HAWKEYE & BLACK WIDOW

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

From the ranks of SHIELD to the growing team of Avengers, Black Widow and Hawkeye put their expert training to use as they suit up to defend their world and universe from intergalactic threats.”

There sure was a lot of pre-movie hype built around the Avengers’ Quantum Suits in Endgame, and then…well, let’s just say they aren’t overly present for much of the film.  But, I suppose they did get that grand entrance, and they were certainly an intriguing new design.  They’re also a decent way of getting out a fair number of the main characters out with as much shared tooling as possible.  I’ve looked at one Legends offering of the Quantum Suit (worn by Captain America), and now I’m following it up with fellow founding Avengers Hawkeye and Black Widow!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hawkeye and Widow are a Target-exclusive two-pack of Marvel Legends, and started arriving at shelves right around the film’s release date.

HAWKEYE

After quite an absence from the toy realm, Clint Barton has been pretty well-served by the initial Endgame product, with a whole two Legends figures, right out of the gate.  No body else got that!  Well, okay, Cap’s almost getting that, since the Walmart-exclusive is already hitting, just over a month after the first figure, but let’s not sully Hawkeye’s good fortune.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  This guy is mostly made up of re-used parts, being identical to the Quantum Suit Cap from the neck down.  It’s really not a surprise, especially given the slightly more averaged proportions of the body.  It’s also supposed to be the same suit on everybody, so I guess it’s a sensible choice.  Hawkeye gets a brand-new head sculpt, sporting Clint’s radical new hair, or at least an approximation of it.  It’s also got probably the best Renner likeness we’ve seen from Hasbro (although Super Awesome Fiancee says he does have enough of a “dad” look to really be Hawkeye), and is generally a nice offering.  It has the added benefit of looking pretty nice on the Ronin body, should you want his look from most of the movie.  The paint on Hawkeye is about what you’d expect.  The head sports the face-printing tech, which looks nice and lifelike, and the body is an exact match for the paint on the Cap figure.  Hawkeye is packed with his bow, re-used from his first Avengers figure.  Befitting the “lots of characters from the same shared tooling”, he also includes two alternate heads, for Iron Man and Ant-Man.  They’re re-used from the IW Thanos and the Cull Obsidian series figures respectively.  Not at all accurate, but hey, that hasn’t stopped these figures before.

BLACK WIDOW

Widow was represented in the Infinity War toys, but thus far has had a much sparser selection for Endgame, with this being her only planned figure from Hasbro, at least so far.  I wouldn’t be shocked if that changes going forward, though.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation.  Widow’s sporting an all-new sculpt.  It’s a solid match for the male version of the suit, and it’s in fact a little better, at least from a proportions stand-point.  The head is sporting a very nice likeness of Scarlet Johansen, which, again, I’d say is the best version of her likeness we’ve gotten from Hasbro.  It’s also sized well to fit on the Infinity War Widow body, if you want her non-Quantum-Suited.  The paint on Widow matches pretty decently with Hawkeye’s, so it’s another very strong offering.  I especially like that they got that little bit of blonde at the end of her ponytail.  Widow is packed with her twin batons (re-used from the Infinity War release), as well as an extra head and pistol so she can be used as Nebula (both re-used from the Mantis Series figure).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was a little scarce around the movie’s release, what with the hype and whatnot.  I was searching for a little while without much luck, and kind of gave up, honestly.  Then the power went out a few weeks ago, and we had to run out for dinner and some supplies, and I just happened to wander past the toy aisle and, boom, there they were.  While having the quantum suits doesn’t mean as much to me, I’m definitely glad to have the new heads for Nat and Clint.

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#2036: Spider-Man & Kraven

SPIDER-MAN & KRAVEN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Unwittingly bonded with an alien symbiote, Spider-Man has the enhanced strength and abilities he needs to take on his deadly enemy, Kraven the Hunter.”

The last time I reviewed a Kraven figure, I remarked that long-running lines require a somewhat cyclical nature.  Well, uhh, I’m now reviewing a re-release of Kraven from that very line…so, hey, here we are.  Guess we’ve already come back around to him, haven’t we?  I, of course, already had the previous Kraven, but one more certainly couldn’t hurt too much.  Nor could one more of the Spider-Man he’s packed with!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Spider-Man and Kraven are a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, clearly patterned after the much-loved “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline.  The set started hitting shelves just a few weeks ago, and will hopefully be showing up in plentiful quantities throughout the summer.  Both figures are tweaks of prior figures that have packed up a sizable aftermarket price.

SPIDER-MAN

Spider-Man’s black costume (or at least a cloth copy of it) was central to “Last Hunt,” and is enough of a fan favorite that a re-release of his Sandman Series figure definitely makes sense.  The basic figure is essentially identical.  Same base body and head, and for the most part, the same paint scheme.  The symbol is ever so slightly different, with the head being a little wider.  It’s minor enough that you’d only notice the change with both releases side by side.  The main change-up is the accessories.  They were kind of the let-down of the original release, but this one amends that.  He loses the open gesture hands of the original, but exchanges them for the missing web-pose hands that were sorely missing the last time.  He also gains an alternate unmasked head, which is a re-paint of the unmasked head from the Spidey/MJ pack, now featuring some battle-damage.  Of course, since I still don’t have that, I’m just building a continuing collection of non-standard Parker heads.

KRAVEN

Kraven’s been absent from Legends longer than Spidey’s black costume.  His Rhino Series release was four years ago now, and just predates a lot of collectors getting into the re-launched line, meaning he still goes for a bit of a premium.  His re-release is definitely the main driving force of this set.  Where Spider-Man was a fairly straight re-issue, Kraven is actually quite different from his prior release.  Where that one was his most recent appearance, this one is a classic Kraven.  He gets a new head, right hand, and belt, and swaps out the boots of the last release for more streamlined parts.  The head is by far the best piece; the crazed expression is a perfect recreation of Mike Zeck’s Kraven from “Last Hunt,” and it’s a marked improvement over the more generic sculpt of the last release.  Another marked improvement?  The paint.  It’s sharper, bolder, and just generally better detailed than the last release.  Hasbro’s definitely gotten a lot better at this part of the figures.  Kraven includes the same spear as the prior release, and also adds in a hunting rifle, which is a pretty classic Kraven sort of piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I have both of the original releases, when this set was originally announced I didn’t know if I’d be picking it up.  The images of the new Kraven head definitely did a lot to sell me on him, but the Spider-Man didn’t look to have much new to offer.  I was out looking for the Endgame Hawkeye and Widow (who I still haven’t found), and came across this set, and upon seeing the unmasked head and webshooter hands was definitely sold.  Both figures included are improvements over their original releases, and I don’t regret grabbing this one at all.

#2010: Senate Commandos

SENATE COMMANDO CAPTAIN & SENATE COMMANDO

STAR WARS: CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“A Senate Commando captain and his elite commando team confront suspicious arrivals to the Senate building. The captain and troopers rush to the platform where Cad Bane has landed without permission. They are prepared for a fight if necessary, but are taken by surprise when Bane springs his trap.”

In the break in movies between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens, the Star Wars franchise didn’t go on hiatus as it had between Jedi and Phantom Menace.  Instead, it was kept going by a multimedia affair, the two most obvious being, of course, the toys, and the animated series Clone Wars.  Clone Wars took a lot of concepts, designs, and characters from the prequels and put them to new use.  Or, honestly, just put them to use period.  One such example were the Senate Guards, precursors to the Imperial Royal Guard.  In the movies, they didn’t do much more than stand in the background of scenes and remind you that one day they’d be putting on all red attire and serving the forces of evil.  The show, on the other hand, reworked them into the Senate Commandos, and even gave them a few focus episodes.  They made their way into the toyline, of course, but they aren’t among the easiest items to track down.  I managed to snag a set, though, and I’m reviewing it today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Released as a Target-exclusive two-pack in 2010, the Senate Commandos paired off with a complimentary Cad Bane and IG-86 two-pack, both based on the first season episode “Hostage Crisis,” which was one of the focus episodes for the commandos.  While the other pack was straight re-releases, both figures in this pairing were only available here.  Following the 2010/2011 re-branding of the Clone Wars line, these figures were part of the “Galactic Battle Game” concept that Hasbro was attempting to introduce into the line.  To facilitate this, the set includes two stands, a card with stats for each character, and a die chance cube with various symbols on it, presumably meant for use in playing the game.

SENATE COMMANDO CAPTAIN

First up, the ranking officer, the Senate Commando Captain.  Though un-named here, if he is indeed meant to be the commanding officer from “Hostage Crisis”, that would make him the ill-fated Captain Jayfon.  Yes, he had a name, because this is Star Wars.  Everyone has a name, just ask Elan Sleazbaggeno.  I suppose Jayfon should count himself lucky that he wasn’t named “Guardo” or something.  Anyway, this figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation.  He’s based on the streamlined design of the guards from the show.  Because of the more limited nature of the animation early in the run, the Guards could not keep their usual flowing cloaks.  For the sake of making things easier, their distinctive helmets and color-scheme were moved onto the standard Clone Trooper model.  The figure follows suit, being built on the basic Clone Trooper body from the line.  Fortunately, that’s one of the best molds the line produced, meaning this guy’s already starting ahead.    The forearms, legs, and pelvis are from the original base Clone Trooper, and the upper torso is from Rex, allowing for use of the smaller neck-peg for their heads.  The upper arms first showed up on Captain Argus in 2009, and since it’s supposed to be the same armor, they were sensibly re-used here.  It’s all topped off with a new head, which is a definite improvement to the removable helmet on the Argus figure.  It’s accurate to the source material, and sits nicely on the body.  For the most part, Jayfon is just molded in the appropriate shade of blue (which, it should be noted, is a different shade than was used for Argus; this one is technically more accurate), with black accent work.  As the captain, though, he needs some appropriate denotation, which the white accenting provides.  It’s more extensive than what we saw on Argus, though this is true to the show in both characters’ cases.  Whatever the case, it adds a very nice little pop to the figure.  Jayfon is packed with a small Clone-style blaster rifle.

SENATE COMMANDO

Okay, the Captain may have had a name, but the basic grunts really didn’t get them.  I guess this guy’s just an army builder. Crazy concept.  Like Jayfon, he stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation.  For the most part, his construction is the same as the Captain’s, but he does get a unique head, this time with the shorter head-fin that the basic grunts sported.  It’s not a huge difference, but it’s true to the show and it makes it even easier to differentiate the two.  His paintwork is also a bit simpler, as he drops the white accent work.  It means he doesn’t pop as much as the Captain, but that’s appropriate for a rank and file trooper.  Lastly, the Commado swaps out the small blaster for a larger clone-style rifle, which is certainly nice for variety’s sake.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though not impossibly hard to find when released, the fact that this set shipped alongside a total re-pack set, and the two figures contained there-in never got re-issues meant that it never hung around anywhere for very long.  I was, rather foolishly, trying to convince myself I didn’t need to keep collecting Clone Wars figures at the time, and passed on them the one time I saw them.  I’ve regretted it ever since, especially after their price got pretty high on the after market.  Fortunately, I was able to get one when a very large collection of Star Wars figures was traded in to All Time Toys.  They still weren’t cheap, but they were a much better deal than they would have been elsewhere.  I really do like this set a lot.  The Captain’s the real star, but the basic commando is no slouch either.  It’s really criminal that the standard commando never got a single carded re-release, because I’d really love to have a whole squad.  Alas, that’s not financial feasible at the moment.

As noted above, I grabbed this set from my friends at All Time Toys.  While they only got one of these in, there was a whole lot more in that collection, and they can be found on their website and their eBay storefront.

#1995: Captain Marvel – Starforce

CAPTAIN MARVEL — STAR FORCE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Using her intensive training from her days in the Air Force, Carol Danvers boldly leads an intergalactic fleet as Captain Marvel.”

Well, I gave one MCU-based Captain their due.  Why not jump on over to another?  Captain Marvel continues to perform very well at the box office, and will, without a doubt, follow in Black Panther’s footsteps, remaining in theaters even as its MCU successor Endgame arrives.  I looked at the movie’s main assortment of Marvel Legends right before the film hit theaters, but there was one figure I hadn’t managed to snag yet at that time, a variant of the main character that I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Starforce Captain Marvel is a Target-exclusive Legends release.  She was impeccably timed, showing up at most stores within a week before or after the film’s release.  She was also a successful step forward in Target getting their exclusives up on their webstore, meaning she’s been a reasonably easy experience for most of the fans that wanted one.  As the name denotes, she’s based on Carol’s Starforce colors from the film.  The figure is a rather logical repaint of the standard Captain Marvel figure, meaning she stands the same height and has the same articulation.  While the sculpt is not a 100% perfect replica of her look from the movie, it’s still a good, solid offering, and its reuse here is kind of expected.  It’s decked out in a new color scheme, and, I have to say, I think this color set does the sculpt a lot of favors.  Obviously I’m not knocking her usual colors, but there’s something about this look that feels more dynamic and has more of a pop to it.  It makes the figure look pretty sufficiently different from the main release.  Carol gets the same masked/unmasked head selection as the standard release.  The helmeted head is understandably different, so as to match her uniform.  The unmasked head is also different, but in a much subtler, more than likely unintentional sense.  It still doesn’t look a whole lot like Brie Larson, but I’m warming up to it.  Following a trend that Hasbro’s been really getting into lately, this Carol figure isn’t *just* a Carol figure.  She also gets an extra head, hands, scarf, and rifle, allowing her to be turned into fellow Starforce member Minn-Erva.  Minn-Erva played a decently-sized role in the film, so it’s certainly nice to see her crop up, and it’s also a fantastic way of getting us an extra character out a necessary variant of the main character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After rather easily acquiring the main assortment through All Time Toys, this figure was slightly more illusive (though mostly because I resisted doing the easier thing of just ordering one online), but I was able to find her within a week of seeing the movie.  I’m glad I did, because I really liked the Starforce design (probably owing a lot to my history as a Green Lantern fan), and it especially translates well to toy form.  Not only is the standard Carol figure really cool, but the ability to turn her into Minn-Erva makes this an essential part of the collection.  Hopefully she continues to be easy to acquire.

#1894: Princess Leia – Bespin Escape

PRINCESS LEIA — BESPIN ESCAPE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire. With her quick-thinking and inspired leadership, Leia ranks among the the galaxy’s great heroes.”

For a number of reasons, December has a tendency to put me in a rather Star Wars-y sort of mood.  Be it the fact that three of the last four films have hit this month, or how I tend to make watching the Original Trilogy an annual occurrence, or perhaps just the fact that I have a tendency to get a lot of Star Wars stuff around the holiday season, whatever the case, I’m certainly in a Star Wars-y mood today.  So, in a vaguely holiday spirit, I’m taking a look at this Leia figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia — Bespin Escape is a Target-exclusive entry in The Black Series.  She first started showing up intermittently in the early fall, but seems to have been arriving in full force in the last couple of weeks.  This version of Leia is an oft-overlooked variant from the climax of Empire, during her, Lando, and Chewie’s chase to re-claim the frozen Han Solo.  It’s really just a dressing down of her main Hoth gear that she wears for the majority of the film.  It’s the similarity between those two that generally causes this one to be overlooked.  Nevertheless, its presence during a fairly important section of the film makes it a reasonable choice for a figure, especially an exclusive one.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her scaling matches perfectly with the ANH figure, which is a nice bit of internal consistency that we don’t always see in this line.  Her sculpt is totally new, but hasn’t remained unique to her, thanks to the almost concurrent release of the proper Hoth Leia.  Regardless of origin and uniqueness, it’s a strong sculpt.  The head sculpt has the strongest Carrie Fisher likeness we’ve seen to date for this line (or any of the smaller ones, for that matter), and they’ve even nicely translated her hair braids.  I imagine this head will be seeing a re-use at some point for a Bespin Gown variant, or at least I sure hope it will.  Mine has an unfortunate error on her left ear, with a small chunk missing out of the lobe, but it’s fortunately not super noticeable.  The jumpsuit’s sculpt is nice and crisply detailed, and looks appropriately like a garment she’s been running around in for a substantial amount of time.  The paintwork on Leia is largely pretty basic; the jumpsuit’s just molded white plastic, and they’ve let the sculpt do all the lifting.  This is one of those times I don’t mind the lack of accenting, as accenting on white can go very badly very quickly.  She does get the printed face; she’s the first Leia to get this treatment, and it works very well for her.  I especially like how they handled the hairline, which is a frequent slip-up on such figures.  Leia is somewhat sparsely packed, with just a stolen Stormtrooper blaster alongside her.  It’s scene-accurate, of course, but something else would have maybe added some extra excitement.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Leia sort of just started showing up, without too much fanfare.  I wasn’t initially sure I was going to grab her, what with the Hoth Leia on the horizon.  However, I was at Target looking for something else, which I was unable to find, and when I came across Leia.  Determined not to let the trip be a waste and impressed by how the figure looked in person, I was swayed into getting her.  She’s a decent enough figure, but I will curious to see how she performs once the Hoth Leia is more readily available.  She’s really the sort of figure that is really aimed at the more hardcore collector.  Which, of course, is me.  So, hey, how about that.

#1859: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

DC SUPER HEROES (MEGO)

Back in the day, Mego were the first company to really offer up substantial action figure product for either the Marvel or DC super heroes.  Sure, Ideal Toys had briefly touched on them for their Captain Action line, but that was more as an augment to an established thing, not their own thing outright.  Mego gave them the treatment they deserved, and because of that, they’ve both become tentpole properties within the toy market.  Of course, now that Mego is back around, DC and Marvel are both tied up with a multitude of other manufacturers.  DC in particular has been getting consistent Mego-style coverage from Figures Toy Company, but there was still some room in the market for the the over 12” and under 18” market.  It’s a pretty specific niche, but Mego was there, offering up a rather classic selection of DC characters, including, for the first time ever as an official Mego product, Green Lantern!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern is part of the second series of Mego’s DC Super Heroes line, alongside Superman, Batgirl, and Poison Ivy.  Hal is sporting his classic ‘70s appearance, which is the correct era for a genuine vintage GL, had Mego released one back in the day.  The figure stands 14 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  All of these figures appear to be patterned after the body of the Mego-designed and Denys Fisher-released “Power Action” Superman figure from the late ‘70s.  It’s a respectable starting point.  It’s similar to the standard Mego body, but with slightly tweaked proportions, giving it a generally more heroic stature, which works nicely for the likes of the DC Super Heroes.  It’s also got some extra articulation in the knees, which is fun.  GL gets an all-new head sculpt, which is actually quite nice and surprisingly detailed.  I’d love to see it shrunk down for an 8-inch body.  GL also gets a unique right hand, sporting his lantern ring, as has become the standard practice for such figures.  His costume is a three piece affair, made up a spandex jumpsuit and a pair of plastic boots.  The body suit is fairly well tailored to the body; I appreciate the use of different materials stitched together, rather than just silk-screening.  It makes it look a lot cleaner.  Hal’s paintwork is mostly confined to the head, which is nicely applied, sharp, and sporting some quite subtle accent work.  GL is packed with his power battery, which is another fairly standard thing for him.  He can’t really hold it, but it’s nicely sculpted, so there’s that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I passed on the first series of DC Super Heroes due to not really having an undying need for any of the characters offered.  Of course, Green Lantern’s my boy, so when he was shown off for Series 2, I knew I’d be tracking one down.  Okay…well, maybe not personally, because it was actually my dad that tracked him down for me.  He’s goofy, he’s really big, and he’s kinda awesome.  I don’t know if I’ll be really investing in this whole line, but I’m certainly very happy with GL.

#1855: Gamorrean Guard

GAMORREAN GUARD

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Burly, pig-like brutes who favoured axes and other primitive weapons, Gamorreans were often used as muscle by Hutt and other underworld kingpins. Jabba the Hutt employed a gang of intimidating Gamorreans to guard his palace on Tatooine.”

One of the things that makes it so easy to get really, really invested in Star Wars is all of the interestingly designed and individually maintained creatures that serve as little more than set-dressing, especially for the Original Trilogy, where each of them had to be crafted through intense prosthesis or advanced puppetry.  Sometimes, it was even a combination of the two, as was the case for today’s focus, the Gamorrean Guard.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Gamorrean Guard is kind of the Star Wars: The Black Series counterpart to the Archangel I reviewed last week.  He’s the first figure in a sub-set of deluxe offerings for the line.  He’s already been followed by Molloch from Solo (who I’m all but positive will be available at a Target near you for many, many years to come) and will be followed up again by General Grievous some time next year.  The Guard is a Target-exclusive, but it doesn’t look like the others in the line will be.  Time will tell.  The Guard is, of course, based on its appearance from Return of the Jedi.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation, which includes a posable jaw.  I appreciate that Hasbro is continuing to work that feature into the more inhuman figures.  The Guard is actually surprisingly mobile, given his design; Hasbro’s put a lot of effort into giving him the most sensible and efficient articulation possible.  His unique design also warrants a unique sculpt, and, like all of the more out-there aliens we’ve gotten from this line, it’s quite a good sculpt.  Hasbro’s clearly had some fun with this one, and there’s just a ton of detailing worked it, from the slight texturing of the skin to the un-even patch-work stitching of his leather vest.  Elements such as the armored plates on the shoulders, the straps on his torso, and his helmet are separate parts, giving the sculpt a nice sense of depth, and allowing for each of those parts to have all of its proper detailing.  The loin cloth is made from faux-fur, which is a fairly traditional way of handling this part of the design in toy form.  I’m always a little skeptical about the mixed media offerings on Black Series figures, but Hasbro definitely made the right choice here; the fur just wouldn’t have looked right any other way.  The Guard’s paintwork is fairly standard faire for the line at this point, which is to say it’s nicely rendered, and suitably subtle.  It’s not going to knock anyone’s socks off, but it certainly gets the job done.  The Gamorrean Guard is packed with two axes and a staff, as seen wielded by different Guards throughout the Palace sequences of the film, thereby allowing for a bit of army building, if that’s your prerogative.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Guard had, initially anyway, proved rather illusive for a good number of collectors.  He showed up on Target’s site several months back, and people were able to place pre-orders, but those took their sweet time getting out there, and the figures took even longer to make it to store shelves.  I found one a couple of months ago, but I opted to spend the money on something else at the time, and when I made it back, he was long gone.  Fortunately, I lucked into a fresh case of them a couple of weeks ago, while I was out and about with Super Awesome Fiancee.  I like this figure overall.  The Guard was never a particular favorite of mine, but he does translate well to the Black Series style.  I’m cautiously approaching the rest of this “deluxe” line, though.  The Guard feels a little light for the heightened price, and Moloch even more-so.  I worry that Hasbro’s going to price themselves out of this line before they get a chance to really explore the style.

#1846: Everett Ross & Erik Killmonger

EVERETT ROSS & ERIK KILLMONGER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“While Everette Ross is assigned to escort T’Challa to American soil, Erik Killmonger threatens the security of the Wakandan borders from which T’Challa hails.”

Despite having to share a year with the merchandising juggernaut that was Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther actually seems to have made out alright in terms of toys.  In fact, counting what we saw this year at SDCC, Panther may very well have the most complete selection of Legends figures of any of the MCU films, which is no small feat.  Today, I’m looking at our first taste of the continuing Panther offerings, Panther ally Everett Ross and Panther foe Erik Killmonger!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Everett and Erik are another Target-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, which hit alongside yesterday’s Falcon and Winter Soldier pairing.  Like that one, this set originally began its life as a Toys R Us-exclusive, before finding itself without a home over the summer.  Fortunately, Target was able to step-in and make sure these two still made it to us.

EVERETT ROSS

First debuting in Civil War (well, in the MCU, anyway), Everett gets his toy intro here, thanks to his rather substantially larger role in Black Panther.  Martin Freeman’s no stranger to toys, with multiple plastic versions of his turns as both Arthur Dent and Bilbo Baggins, but I don’t know that any of them have been quite up to this quality.  Everett is 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation, and is built primarily out of the suit body first introduced with Agent Coulson.  It’s fitting, as Ross is something of a late-game replacement for Coulson, and also just another guy in a suit.  It’s a perfectly reasonable starting point.  The body’s not without its flaws, but they’re not so bad that they break the figure or anything.  It’s all topped off with a brand-new head sculpt, which does a great job of capturing Freeman’s bemused and bewildered smirk.  Guy’s got a lot of character in his face, and it’s all perfectly present here.  In terms of paintwork, Ross is mostly pretty standard fare.  His suit is various shades of grey, which, not terribly exciting, is at leas clean, and accurate to the source material.  His head gets a printed face, and it’s definitely another success, resulting in quite a lifelike looking figure.  Everett is packed with a handgun, which is actually, like, a real gun, and not some sort of sci-fi contraption.  Crazy!

ERIK KILLMONGER

Amusingly enough, our first double-packed character from Black Panther isn’t the title character at all, but instead his main antagonist, Erik Killmonger.  Killmonger was, of course, in the main Legends assortment for the film, in this very outfit, even.  Tim was kind enough to review that one for me, but I knew this one was coming, so I decided to hold out.  Boy am I sure glad I did.  Like his predecessor, he stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, he’s completely identical to the prior release, barring one thing: the unmasked head.  The standard, masked head is, of course still included as well, but now you’ve got the option to also showcase Michael B. Jordan’s floppy hair!  Can you imagine how cruel the world would be without that as an option?  I certainly can’t.  It’s an excellent piece, with a spot-on Jordan likeness, and, unlike the equivalent T’Challa head, it actually sits properly on the body, so he won’t look super goofy with it on.  In addition to the extra head, another major change to this release is the paint.  The standard release Killmonger was somewhat lacking on the paint front, leaving an impressively detailed sculpt looking a little bit barren.  This offering fixes some of that, adding back in a lot of the gold detailing that was missing from the prior release.  Unfortunately, he exchanges it for the leopard print patterning of the last figure, which I’m a little sad to see missing this time around.  Given the darker coloring of the main suit, it’s not the end of the world, though, and it’s overall a net gain in terms of appearance.  Killmonger is packed with the same pair of blades as his regular-release counterpart, as well as an extra set of hands just for holding them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Falcon and Winter Soldier, I initially passed on this set.  And then, I passed on it a second time, because I really only had the funds for one pack, and I went for the other one.  But, as luck would have it, when I made my way back to that same Target, there was still one set left, so yay for me!  I don’t think this set quite has the “wow” factor of Falcon and Winter Soldier, but both figures are very solid offerings, especially if, like me, you skipped the standard Killmonger release.

#1845: Falcon & Winter Soldier

FALCON & WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Trained by different armies, but equally prepared to defend their allies from any threat, Winter Soldier and Falcon stand their ground to protect the Earth from other worldly adversaries.”

There were a *lot* of characters in Infinity War, so its not a huge shock that even several months later, there’s still a pretty healthy helping of action figures streaming out of the Hasbro toy machine.  While there were plenty of MCU characters granted their very first figures over the course of all of this, today’s set actually concerns two who we’ve seen before, The Cap’s bestest pals, Falcon and Winter Soldier.  Since their last figures were both exclusives that not everyone could find, Hasbro decided to re-issue them in…an exclusive set that not everyone can find.  You win some, you lose some.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Falcon and Winter Soldier ended up as a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, alongside Black Panther’s Everett Ross and Killmonger.  The sets were shown off early in the year and initially theorized to be Toys R Us-exclusives, but we all know how that turned out.  Both figures are based on their Infinity War appearances…in theory, at least.

FALCON

Falcon’s look from Civil War to Infinity War didn’t change much, and, much like the Minimate, this figure reflects that, really being quite similar to the previous release.  He stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  His sculpt appears to be identical to that last figure.  The head may possibly be new, but the body is definitely the same.  While not perfect, the previous sculpt was certainly passable, and its re-use is certainly more acceptable than, say, that same Cap body that Hasbro keeps giving us.  The main difference between these two releases is the paint, but oh boy what a difference does it make.  The Civil War figure was somewhat lacking on a few of the smaller applications, which gave him this almost unfinished vibe.  This figure, on the other hand, adds back in a lot of the smaller details, and just overall gives the figure a better finish, making him look comparatively much more complete.  The figure includes the same wing pack as the last release, so the wings are still not posable.  He also lacks the deployed version of Redwing, but that’s acceptable, given Redwing doesn’t factor into the movie.  Also still missing are his guns, but at this point that’s no surprise, and it has to be some sort of a licensing issue.

WINTER SOLDIER

I haven’t actually reviewed a Winter Soldier Legends since, well, Winter Soldier.  He had a Civil War release, but that one just never spoke to me for whatever reason.  By extension, this guy ended up as the main draw of the set for me.  While Falcon’s design was fairly unchanged from Civil War to Infinity War, Bucky actually had a number of changes implemented, resulting in a design that’s actually a little closer to the comics incarnation of the character in design.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s a mix of old and new parts, with the same head and arm as the Civil War figure, and the boots from the WS/AoU/Civil War Cap, with everything else being new to this release.  The head actually has an amazing likeness of Sebastian Stan, far better than the prior release might have made clear.  The only real trouble is that it’s clearly Bucky circa Winter Soldier, not the scruffier, recuperating-in-Wakanda-for-a-year of Bucky Infinity War.  That said, it’s an issue that bugs me far less here than it did on Cap.  From the neck down, he’s actually quite accurate, and marks some improvements in movement from the WS variant of the character.  I particularly like all of the small detail work on the stitching on his torso; it adds to the realism.  Bucky’s paintwork is definitely one of the figure’s strongest suits.  The work on the body is reasonable in its own right, though not necessarily anything particularly stand-out.  The head, however, uses the face printing, and it’s one of the best instances of it I’ve seen, certainly rivaling the likes of Hot Toys in the realism department.  Bucky is packed with two different rifles.  The first is the same goofy dead-fish-looking thing that the WS release got, but this time in gold.  I hate it just as much this time as I did the first time around.  Fortunately, this figure also includes the assault rifle from the Netflix Punisher, which is a far more sensible piece, and will be the one my figure will be keeping.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw these figures once at an out of the way Target, and passed on them at the time, reasoning that Falcon wasn’t all that different from the one I had, and I’d be perfectly content to just keep my first Winter Soldier.  I also figured I might see them later, at a more local location.  Well, then I didn’t, so when I happened upon that same Target again, I was more easily swayed.  I knew Bucky would be the star of the set for me, and I was correct on that front.  While he may not be 100% accurate to the film, he’s still the best version of the character to date, and an all-around fun figure.  I didn’t expect much out of Falcon, having already picked up the CW release.  This one makes just a few subtle changes, and yet still ends up feeling almost like an entirely new figure, and he’s a lot better than I’d expected him to be.

#1791: Norm Peterson

NORM PETERSON

CHEERS (MEGO)

NOOOOOOOOORM!!!”

—Everyone but Norm

And now it’s time for another sort of oddball appearance for this site: Cheers.  A show about a bunch of Boston-natives hanging out in a bar may not seem like the most natural fit for an action figure line, but “doesn’t seem like a natural fit for an action figure line” made up most of Mego’s business back in the day, and their relaunched selves seem to be dialing into a lot of those same philosophies.  In that respect, Cheers feels pretty well at home with Mego’s modern offerings.  They’ve decided to launch their little Cheers line not with Sam or Diane, but instead with the bar’s most frequent patron, announced by name every time he enters, Hillary Norman Peterson!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Norm is one of the 11 single-packed figures in the first wave of Mego’s TV Classics line-up.  He’s going to be followed by Cliff and Woody in subsequent waves.  As of right now, all of the new Mego offerings are available exclusively through Target.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  He’s built on a slightly different body than the previously reviewed Fonzie.  This body features a different, more rounded piece for the torso, befitting Norm’s paunchier physique.  In vintage times, this body was used for the likes of Boss Hogg and the Penguin, and it’s a pretty decent fit for Norm.  While Fonzie was built on a tweaked body with a slightly studier built to it, Norm’s body seems to be closer to its vintage counterpart, meaning he’s a little looser on some of those joints.  I’m not 100% sure if he’s still using the band construction, but if he is, I’ll be curious to see how well he holds up over time.  Norm has a brand new head sculpt, which is sporting a pretty spot-on likeness of George Wendt.  I think this is one of the best likenesses in the first assortment, and it’s definitely a step-up from the classic figures.  The detail work, especially on the hair, is quite sharp, which is impressive on a rotocast item.  Additionally, the paint is quite cleanly applied and gives him quite a lifelike quality.  Norm is seen here in his standard post-work attire of a suit and tie.  It’s decently tailored for the style, and like Fonzie, he uses velcro in place of snaps, so they should hold up a bit better.  Under the jacket is a fully sleeved shirt, which is a nice change from the vintage Mego style.  The tie, rather than being a fully separate piece, like we saw on the DST Captain America and Daredevil, is actually affixed at the front of the shirt, and the band is just a part of the shirt, so it separates at the velcro just the same.  This is definitely a far better way of handling such a design.  Norm is packed with what is hands down the best possible accessory for the character, a mug of beer.  It’s actually quite a nicely handled piece, and the mug even has the Cheers logo engraved on one side, which is certainly a nifty touch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting the review sample Fonzie from Mego, I was definitely been interested in looking at a few more of these figures.  I’ve just recently been on a binge watch of Cheers, so Norm was at the top of my want list from the first set.  I’m the slightest bit let down that his body doesn’t have the same level of improvements as the standard body, but apart from that, I really like this figure.  The likeness is awesome, and the beer is a really nice touch.  I very much look forward to the rest of the Cheers offerings from this line, and I’m hopeful we might even get to see Frasier or Wings figures as well down the line.