#0535: Thanos

THANOS

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Hey, man, remember back in 2012 when Thanos showed up at the end of Avengers and nobody knew who he was (well, nobody who didn’t go in with a preexisting knowledge of the character). When I saw it, a guy in front of me totally went “Hey, look, it’s Hellboy!” and his friend was all like “No, you idiot, that’s Darkseid!” and I just sat back and laughed quietly to myself. Well, now a lot more people know who he is! Okay, a few more people. I checked with Super Awesome Girlfriend, and she recognized him, but couldn’t name him. Don’t know where that places the guy. Look, the point is that he’s sort of becoming a big deal, and he’s gonna be important in the next few years. So, perfect time for him to get a Marvel Legend!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ThanosML2Thanos here was the Build-A-Figure for the second series of Hasbro’s Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Interestingly enough, this is actually the very first figure of Thanos ever in the whole of Marvel Legends. For a line this long-running and all-encompassing, that’s a little surprising. The figure is about 7 ½ inches in height and he features 30 points of articulation. Before I delve too much into the figure, I should point out that the left calf on my figure is turned the wrong way around in all the pictures. This is apparently a rather common occurrence with this figure. It’s a super easy fix; all you have to do is spin it the right way around. I just didn’t notice until after. Sorry everybody! In a rare move, Thanos is head-to-toe a brand-new sculpt. He’s presented here in his latest look, which debuted during the Infinity cross-over event. It’s not a bad look, and it maintains a lot of the classic Thanos sensibilities. The only real downside is that it means he doesn’t get the Infinity Gauntlet. The sculpt is really solid work. The head is my favorite piece, by far. It’s a perfect translation of the character’s comic book appearance to three dimensions. The texturing on the skin is great and the head gear is sharply detailed. I know not everyone likes the grin, but for me it’s the perfect expression for the character. He is the “Mad Titan” after all, so an insane grin doesn’t seem too far-fetched. The body is appropriately structured to maintain Thanos’ solid, boxy look, without ending up too hulkingly huge. There’s also a fair bit of detailing present on the armor. He’s got plenty of etching and layering, all of which looks really great. If I had one complaint, it would probably be that the collar, as a separate piece, has a tendency to pop out of place a lot. Thanos’ paintwork is generally pretty solid. Once again, the head ends up being the best part. There’s a lot of variation in the purple on the face, the eyes have a great amount of depth, and the head gear is nice and clean. The rest of the body maintains the overall clean nature of the paint, with little, if any, slop or bleed over.  As a Build-A-Figure, Thanos himself is an accessory, so he doesn’t get any of his own, but given the level of quality present in the sculpt, that’s easily forgiven.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Thanos is the culmination of getting the entire second series of figures from the line from Amazon and Big Bad Toy Store. He was a big piece (heh!) of me getting the whole line-up of figures, so there was a lot riding on him to be a good figure. I’m happy to say that he’s far and away the best part of this series, and he’s definitely one of the best Build-A-Figure’s Marvel Legends has ever seen. Hasbro really knocked it out of the park on this one!

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#0534: Hulk

HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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One of the breakout hits of the first Avengers movies was very definitely the Hulk. After his two movies were met with a rather cold reception, a lot of people moved away from the character, including both of the actors who played his alter ego, Bruce Banner. But then Avengers brought us Mark Ruffalo, who thoroughly (his words) “Ruffal-ized the Hulk,” and he became a “smashing” success. It’s no shock that Marvel has decided to give Ruffalo’s Hulk a prominent role in this year’s sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron. And it’s also no shock that Hasbro’s merchandising the crap out of him. So, let’s look at the only one of the Hulk figures I’ve picked up so far!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HulkAoU2Hulk is the 6th and final figure in Series 2 of The Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He’s also the third of the three Age of Ultron-based figures in Series 2. The figure stands about 8 inches in height, with 31 points of articulation. For Age of Ultron, Hulk has ditched the usual “tattered remains of Banner’s pants” look in favor of more of a stretchy pants look. For a guy that triples in size on a regular basis, that seems like a pretty sound move. Initially, it seemed like AoU Hulk would be an excuse for Hasbro to re-use a lot of pieces from the Hulk they released for the first Avengers movie (ala Iron Man and Captain America). However, the final figure ends up only having a few pieces in common with his predecessor. The arms, right hand, calves, and feet are from the 2012 figure, meaning this guy gets an all-new head, upper and lower torso, hips, thighs, knees, and left hand. The old pieces are definitely a good starting point. The feet are probably the best, and they actually look like real feet, so that’s a plus. The calves work, though the fact that the pants are just painted on rather than sculpted is a little off-putting. The arms are decent, but the aesthetics are ruined a bit by the elbow joints. The right hand is a pretty good sculpt, aside from the palm not going quite deep enough. For the new parts, the head is really where the best work shows up. It manages to be a pretty good translation of the Ruffalo Hulk, and there’s plenty of texture work. The torso is decently proportioned and well-built aesthetically, but it’s rather devoid of texture, which is a shame. The legs, however, are not devoid of said texture, and end up actually looking pretty great because of it. The left hand has been done to mirror the right, which is all well and good, but I kind of wish they’d kept the open hand for variety’s sake. Hulk relies on a lot of properly colored plastic, but he does still get a few spots of paint. The head exhibits most of the paintwork, and is overall very clean looking. Hair and eyebrows are clean, and the eyes don’t look too wonky. There’s also a little bit of red striping on the legs, and the bottoms of the pant legs, which, while not super thrilling, are at least well-handled. The fact that all of the exposed skin is just straight green, with no accents is a little bland, and only exacerbated by the more simple sculpting of the torso. Hulk’s lone accessory is the right arm of Thanos, but given the sheer size of the figure, the fact that he even gets that is rather impressive!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, yeah, Hulk was another figure in the Big Bad Toys Store order. Like several others in the series, I didn’t really feel drawn to this guy. Mostly, I just bought him for the Thanos piece. Hulk’s certainly a big figure, which does help him seem worth the current going rate of a Marvel Legend, but the paint and sculpt aren’t really anything exciting. All-in-all, he’s a well-executed figure, and he’s a nice addition to the series, and that’s more than can be said about some figures on the market these days. Plus, there is that Thanos piece. Never under estimate the Thanos piece!

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#0533: Hellcat – Fierce Fighters

HELLCAT – FIERCE FIGHTERS

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Alright, now we get to the real winners. Here’s where we get into the figures that really test how well you know your stuff (wait, Batroc didn’t already test that?). Here’s where we get the figures we all assumed wouldn’t ever happen (again: Batroc?). I’m referring, of course, to Hellcat. “Who’s Hellcat?” you say, “Is she the demon fighting pet cat of fan-favorite Hellboy?” No, she’s actually Patsy Walker, a character who first showed up in the 40s as the star of a teen humor/romance comic. In the 70s, she was reformatted into a costumed hero and added to the roster of the Avengers. Then she joined the Defenders, whom she stuck with for a while. After that, she died for a while and stuff, but that was, unsurprisingly, temporary. Nowadays, she’s working as a private investigator for She-Hulk. And she also has an action figure! Yay! Let’s look at it!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hellcat2Hellcat is yet another figure from the second series of The Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. She has the title “Fierce Fighters,” which she shares with Spider-Woman, though she’s still listed as Hellcat on the back of the box. The figure is roughly 6 inches tall, with 27 points of articulation. Hellcat appears to be a real exercise in how far Hasbro can get with nothing but re-used parts. She uses the female body introduced with last year’s Storm, with the feet from the Spider-Girl body, hands from Black Cat, and a sash from Iron Fist, all topped off with a brand-new head sculpt. Of the three existing female base bodies, I think the Storm body may be my least favorite. It’s certainly not a bad sculpt, and it’s nice that there’s a middle ground between Spider-Girl and Moonstone. However, something about the lower torso/pelvis piece doesn’t look quite right to me (it also feels hollow, which is just… odd). On the plus side, Hellcat has the sash that hides the waist piece a bit, which looks a bit better. Aside from that one part, the Storm body is actually quite well sculpted, with lots of clean, even pieces, and a very balanced set of proportions. The hands from Black Cat mean that she has the proper claws, but the Spider-Girl feet unfortunately mean that she doesn’t get the appropriate clawed feet, which is a tad disappointing. At the very least, they did make sure to give her flat feet instead of heels. That makes the lack of claws a little less annoying. Hellcat’s all-new head sculpt is definitely the highlight of the figure, translating the character’s cowl-ed look pretty much perfectly. All the lines of the mask are nice and sharp, and the underlying face is also quite nicely sculpted. The hair attaches as a separate piece, glued in place, and, while it’s not a perfect transition from hair to head, it still looks pretty decent. Okay, let’s talk about the paint here. From the knees up, the paint work is pretty much perfect. The line work is generally pretty clean, and there’s some nice, subtle accent work on the yellow body suit. The face, which has the most detail work, is cleanly handled, and the eyes are even properly placed, something that Hasbro’s had a little trouble with. So, what’s the issue? Well, below the knee, the figure’s calves are molded in dark blue, to match the color of the feet. This means that the top portion of the calves had to be painted yellow to match the rest of the leg. Unfortunately, light over dark doesn’t really work out with paint, so the blue of the plastic bleeds through the paint pretty badly. I’m not sure why Hasbro didn’t just mold the calves in yellow and paint the blue over that, like they did on the figure’s arms. It would have produced a far better end result. Hellcat includes a billyclub (shared with the Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series’ Daredevil) and the head and left arm of Thanos, which were also included with Spider-Woman. Since Hellcat’s never actually used a weapon, the billyclub is an odd-choice, but I guess Hasbro was trying to add some value to the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like just about every other figure in this particular series, Hellcat came from Big Bad Toy Store. However, there was no apathy towards Hellcat like there was with the others. Hellcat is a figure I was very much looking forward to. This is the first Hellcat ever, and I’ve definitely been waiting for that! The final figure isn’t perfect, but she’s far from bad, or even mediocre. She’s a really good figure with one or two minor drawbacks. And if getting a Hellcat means there are a few drawbacks, I think I can live with that!

*Want a Hellcat figure of your own?  She’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check her out!

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#0532: Iron Man – Mark 43

IRON MAN – MARK 43

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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When it comes to casting comic book characters for the big screen, it can be difficult to find someone who can properly convey such an important, larger than life character. Often times, things end up toned down, causing a less entertaining end result. Occasionally, those casting directors strike gold, and end up finding someone who is irreplaceably brilliant in a role. That’s what happened with Robert Downey Jr in the role of Tony Stark. That guy is just totally spot on! He’ll be reprising the role for the fifth time in this summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is, of course, getting its fair share of action figures. So, let’s have a look at a figure of RDJ as Iron Man, shall we? (I need to work on my segues a bit…)

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IM43bIron Man is a part of Series 2 of Hasbro’s Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He’s the second of three figures in this particular series to be directly from Age of Ultron (following Sunday’s Captain America). From the looks of things, Iron Man will have at least three different looks over the course of the film. This figure is based on the first of those, the Mark 43, which appears to be just a re-decoed version of the Mark 42. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and sports 31 points of articulation. Sculpturally, the Mark 43 is 100% identical to the Mark 42 released in the Iron Man 3 tie-in line. Luckily for you, dear reader, I don’t own the Mark 42, making this one all-new to me! It’s a pretty good sculpt; it looks accurate to the film design, it has pretty good internal proportions, and it’s at least a little bit feasible that there’s a person inside of this armor. The legs could probably stand to be a little thicker, as they seem just a tad thin currently, but that’s minor. The details of the armor are all pretty well handled, and everything seems to line up with where it would be on the “real” armor. One issue of note has to do with movement related to the shoulder pads; if the arms are in an upward position for any decent length of time, the shoulder pads get a little bit warped. Previous Hasbro figures with such a design have usually had articulated shoulder pads in order to prevent such issues, so it’s possible that said joints are just stuck on mine (which is a whole other issue). Paint is one of this figure’s key areas, what with it being a re-paint and all. Fortunately, the Mark 43 ends up with a generally well-handled paintjob. The colors all seem right, and everything is applied to the right areas. Some of the gold areas are a little fuzzy around the edges, but they are generally pretty good. The only real issue I encountered on my figure was a bit of paint rub on his right thigh, where some of the gold rubbed off. It’s a minor issue, but one to keep an eye on if you find them in-store. Another thing that separates the Mark 43 from the 42 is the accessory complement. In addition to the requisite Build-A-Figure piece (Thanos’ left leg, in this case), the Mark 43 also includes an extra head with the faceplate up, revealing Tony’s face. It’s a well-sculpted, well-painted piece, and it actually manages to get a pretty decent RDJ likeness. It’s a really great piece to have, especially given how often IM is presented this way in the movies, and it’s even backwards compatible to the Mark 42 figure!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, if you’ve read the Cap and Spider-Woman reviews, it really shouldn’t be too hard to figure out where the Mark 43 came from. Mostly, I just wanted this figure for the Thanos piece, but I was interested in the figure at least a little bit. I didn’t actually have a proper Movie-style IM in this scale, and I will admit to liking the 43 design a fair bit. The 42 wasn’t bad, but the colors didn’t jibe with me. Reversing them for the 43 really makes it work. Add in that the figure is actually pretty well executed and the inclusion of that pretty sweet flipped-up faceplate head, and you’ve got a figure that is quite a lot of fun. And he also comes with that Thanos piece!

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#0531: Spider-Woman – Fierce Fighters

SPIDER-WOMAN – FIERCE FIGHTERS

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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When any male comicbook character reaches a certain level of popularity, there inevitable comes the female counterpart. The reasoning for such characters is really just a shrewd business move. See, if Marvel is publishing Spider-Man, and he’s really popular, it’s totally fair game for a completely different company to come along and claim Spider-Woman. In fact, the cartoon studio Filmation almost did, before Marvel stepped in and created a Spider-Woman of their own, just as quick as they could. Now, what’s interesting about Spider-Woman is that she actually doesn’t have anything at all to do with Spider-Man. She just has a vaguely similar power set. Also, a super complicated backstory. It’s easier just to not get into that. Anyway, she’s had more than a few figures over the years, including one in the most recent series of Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Let’s have a look at that one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SpiderWoman2Spider-Woman is another figure in Hasbro’s Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. She shares the name “Fierce Fighters” with Hellcat, though they’re both in initial case shipments, so they aren’t technically swap figures. What’s interesting is that both characters are actually listed by their individual names on the back of the box, which I do believe is a first. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and sports 28 points of articulation. As there are two main versions of Spider-Woman, it’s important to note that this figure represents Jessica Drew, who is both the first and the current person to bear the name. She’s only really had the one costume, though initially her hair was contained by the mask. This figure opts for the more common hair out look. As far as the sculpt goes, Spider-Woman makes use of the Moonstone body, with a unique head, bicep pieces, and funky pose hands (previously used on Satanna). The Moonstone body is one of Hasbro’s better sculpted bodies. I don’t personally like it quite as much as the Spider-Girl body, but it’s serviceable. The biggest issue with it is that the waist is really flat, which makes the figure look odd when viewed from the side. A lot of the figures that have used this body have had some sort of belt or something to mask this issue, but Spider-Woman doesn’t, so it’s just kind of there. The hands are sort of pseudo “web-shooting” hands, though they are a little different. They’re decently sculpted, but they seem to be just a bit on the large side. The biceps aren’t much different from the Moonstone arms; they’ve just been retooled to accommodate Spider-Woman’s web-wings. The head is easily the shining point of the sculpt; it’s very attractively sculpted, with lots of nice fine detail work. The hair is a little restricting to the neck movement, but the quality of the sculpt makes up for it. Spider-Woman marks the first figure I’ve looked at from this particular series of Legends who hasn’t disappointed me when it comes to paint. She’s not anything amazingly spectacular, but the colors are nice and bold, the application is even, lines are sharp, and there’s minimal bleed over. There’s even a little bit of darker airbrushing on yellow parts of the costume to help bring out the sculpt, which manages to look pretty good, especially for yellow. Spider-Woman includes two sets of web-wings, in both extended and folded layouts, as well as the head and left arm of Thanos. While the new web-wings are certainly better than the thick rubber pieces on the ToyBiz version, they’re still a bit of a pain to deal with. They figure ends up working a lot better with them removed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Spider-Woman was purchased from online retailer Big Bad Toy Store, along with the rest of this particular series. While I had a pretty decent interest in the other figures in the series, I wasn’t really expecting much of anything out of this figure. I’m happy to say I am pleasantly surprised by the final figure. She’s got one of the best female head sculpts I’ve ever seen, she’s got pretty good paint, and she’s on one of Hasbro’s better bodies. This figure is just a whole lot of fun!

*Want a Spider-Woman figure of your own?  She’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check her out!

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#0530: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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We haven’t yet begun this year’s summer movie season, but it is fast approaching. The movie I’m most anticipating is May’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which looks set to be a fantastic ride. Hasbro’s been steadily pumping out product in anticipation for the movie. Their 6-inch line started off with an assortment of exclusively comics based figures in Series 1, but Series 2 brings a few of the movie’s main players into the game (though still not freaking ULTRON!!! Sorry, I’m a bit impatient…) in true Legends style. First off, I’ll be taking a look at everyone’s favorite sentinel of liberty, Iron Patriot…no, sorry, Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CapAoU2Captain America is part of Series 2 of Hasbro’s Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He’s one of three movie based figures in this particular series. The figure stands just over 6 inches tall, with 32 points of articulation. The figure is, of course, based upon Cap’s look from Age of Ultron, which appears to be a melding of the two costumes he had in The Winter Soldier. It feels like the closest we’ve gotten to the classic Cap design in the movies, so I’m a fan. If you feel like you’ve seen this figure before, that’s because you pretty much have, at least from a sculptural standpoint. Cap gets a new upper and lower torso, but other than that he’s a pretty straight re-use of the STRIKE Suit figure from the Winter Soldier line. This certainly isn’t a bad thing since a) the costume in the movie looks to use a lot of the same tailoring as the STRIKE suit, and b) the STRIKE suit figure had a pretty tremendous sculpt. All the texturing and fine details are still there and they still look really great. Also, it’s minor, but the belt has been glued in place on this figure, so it doesn’t rattle around like it did on the STRIKE suit Cap. The new torso matches up very well with the other parts, in style, size and texture, and it’s even a touch longer than the previous one, giving Cap some much needed additional height. Unfortunately, the paint is where the figure takes just a bit of a dip. From a general standpoint, it’s certainly passable, and better than that seen on Batroc the Leaper yesterday. However, it’s not quite up to the same level as STRIKE suit Cap, which makes the issues more noticeable. The colors are actually pretty well chosen, and he’s certainly more exciting to look at than CapAoU4the much more drab appearance of the last Cap. The biggest issue at play here is bleed over. Pretty much all of the base color work exhibits some form of it, which is really annoying. Also, the white on his lower torso isn’t consistent, letting the underlying blue plastic show through in a couple of spots. And to top it all off, the right eye on my figure is painted just off center, which makes Cap look just a tiny bit cross-eyed. Cap has pretty much the same accessory load out as the STRIKE figure: unmasked head, saluting hand, pointing hand, shield, and Thanos’ leg (subbing in for the Mandroid’s leg). The head, hands, and shield are all pretty much the same as the previous release. The head seems to have paint that’s just a touch better, and the shield is in the more traditional colors (which makes it look less over-sized, for some reason).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cap was purchased, along with the rest of Series 2, from Big Bad Toy Store. For the most part, I got him because I was getting the rest of the series, but I will admit to digging the new costume design. I definitely like the more traditional color scheme. The STRIKE suit Cap was one of Hasbro’s best Cap figures. This figure, making use of a lot of the same pieces, does pretty well. However, it’s really held back by the paint work. The level of detail just isn’t there this time, which is disappointing. Not enough to ruin the figure, but certainly enough to hold it back from being as great as it could have been. This figure should have overtaken the last movie Cap with ease, but instead the choice between the two comes down to personal preference of costume design. And that’s too bad.

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#0529: Batroc

BATROC

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Alright, before I get too far into the review, I want to set something straight. The name on the box of the figure I am reviewing today is “Batroc.” I’m not usually one to get too stuck on accuracy and such, but that’s just all wrong. This guy’s name is Batroc the Leaper; no more, no less. Without “the Leaper” he’s just some silly mustachioed French guy. With it, he’s some sill mustachioed French guy who leaps. It’s an important difference. Hasbro, who just seem to be firing on all cylinders when it comes to character selection, have seen fit to include Batroc the Leaper in their current round of Marvel Legends. As a good Batroc the Leaper fan, I very obviously had to pick him up!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batroc2Batroc the Leaper is part of the second series of Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Batroc the Leaper was originally shown as one of the figures set to be released before Marvel Legends was refitted into Infinite Series, but when his series never made it to stores, most assumed he wasn’t going to see the light of day. Fortunately, Hasbro seems dead-set on not letting any sculpts go to waste, so Batroc the Leaper found himself a home. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he features 32 points of articulation. Batroc the Leaper is based upon the character’s classic design. He’s had a few other looks over the years, but none of them have really stuck around, so this was a good choice. As far as sculpting, Batroc the Leaper is a pretty formulaic approach. He uses the Bucky Cap body with a brand-new head. The Bucky Cap body is as good as always, and I’m happy to see Hasbro putting it to use where it’s appropriate. The head sculpt is one of Hasbro’s best Legends efforts to date. It’s got plenty of detail, and the features and expression are incredibly unique to the character. Some of Hasbro’s more recent Legends faces have suffered from strikingly similar features, but that’s not an issue here. Batroc the Leaper’s head sculpt is very definitely Batroc Batroc3the Leaper’s and no one else’s. Plus, get a load of that mustache! Lest you start fearing that Hasbro’s just gotten too good at this for their own… good, fear not, the figure is brought down from perfection by the paint. The paint isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen, but it’s really rough. The edges of the transitions from gold to purple are pretty fuzzy, the black line work, while clean, is worn off in several areas, the beard has flecks of skin tone showing through, and the white of the eyes and teeth is just missing in several places. Also, while the colors are generally pretty good, the small bit of purple on the front of the lower torso doesn’t match the purple everywhere else on the figure.  Batroc the Leaper’s only accessory is the Build-A-Figure piece, which, in this case, is the torso of Thanos. Yay?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I preordered Batroc the Leaper through Amazon and, shockingly for an Amazon preorder, he actually arrived when I was expecting him to. Go figure. I’ve been anxiously awaiting Batroc the Leaper ever since the first prototype was shown a ways back, so I’m happy that he finally found his way to a release. The figure is hampered a bit by the paint apps, but the sculpt is strong enough that the figure isn’t a loss. Still, it would really be nice if Hasbro could work to improve the QC on paint apps. But, I can honestly say I never thought I’d be seeing Batroc the Leaper as a retail released figure, so I’m ecstatic to even have him.

*Want a Batroc figure of your own?  You Should!  He’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check him out!

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