MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“As King of Wakanda, T’Chaka assumes the Black Panther identity and with it, the responsibility to protect the sacred metal, vibranium, and the honored history of his kingdom.”
Despite being a legacy character, whose whole gimmick is a title that’s been passed down for centuries, when it comes to Black Panther merch, T’Challa seems to get all of the love (Avengers BC Panther’s Minimate release not withstanding). But it’s okay, because we’re finally getting to see T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, in his sick ’90s-era Panther get-up! How about that?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
T’Chaka is figure 5 in the M’Baku Series of Marvel Legends. He’s our third Black Panther variant in the assortment, but obviously the most unique of the three. Though we see T’Chaka at several different parts of his life, this figure depicts him in his prime, fully suited up, as we see him in Black Panther’s opening scene. If you’re gonna make a T’Chaka figure, this is the most obvious choice for his look. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. T’Chaka employs a fair bit of re-use, with the torso, arms, hands, and feet all hailing from the Civil War Panther figure. However, if you look closely at the costume in the movie, you’ll notice that the two actually did share the costume, meaning this re-use is not only acceptable, it’s totally warranted. T’Chaka gets a brand-new head sculpt, sporting his slightly changed mask, as well as a new set of legs to show off T’Chaka’s looser fitting pants. It was the ’90s; everyone was sporting baggy pants. It’s all topped off with an add-on piece replicating the kente cloth that T’Chaka has draped over his shoulder. It’s one of the most distinctive features of the design, and helps to further this figure from the Civil War Panther. It’s a little on the bulky side, but not terrible, and it’s also removable, so you can create a more tactical T’Chaka, should you be so inclined. T’Chaka’s paintwork is pretty solid stuff. The accents on the costume have changed from gold to silver, which nicely sells that it’s a different person under the mask in a very subtle fashion. The color work on the kente cloth is quite impressively handled, and surprisingly clean and orderly. I was definitely expecting more slop. T’Chaka includes no accessories of his own, beyond the piece for M’Baku. It’s a shame we couldn’t get an unmasked head for him (or, if they wanted to be really generous, two), especially given the parts re-use.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
From the moment I saw it on the screen, I kinda wanted a figure of this design. Obviously, he didn’t get a Legend in the first round, and when he didn’t even show up as a Minimate, I was kind of expecting not to see him, at least not in an affordable format (my days of buying Hot Toys are kind of behind me). When he cropped up alongside the rest of this assortment, I was thrilled. I wish he had some accessories, but otherwise I’m very happy with this figure.