#0828: Spider-Man 2099

SPIDERMAN 2099

SPIDER-MAN (TOYBIZ)

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The 90s was definitely an interesting time for comics. Marvel was pretty much slapping their brands on whatever ideas they could to see what stuck. From this came Marvel 2099, a bunch of books set in the year 2099. Generally speaking, they tended to be 90s insanity at its finest, so most of them have been (thankfully) forgotten. The only one who really stuck was Spider-Man 2099, probably because a) his series didn’t totally suck and b) his costume was super cool. I think that second bit is the lion’s share of what made him last. The design also made him a natural fit for action figures. I’ve looked at his two most recent figures, but let’s look at his first action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spidey2099bSpider-Man 2099 was released in Series 7 of Toy Biz’s 90s Spider-Man line. The figure is just over 5 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation. Structurally, he uses one of Toy Biz’s favorite 5 inch bodies, which was first introduced with the Octo-Spider-Man from Series 6. It’s a decent enough sculpt, with fairly balanced proportions. My biggest issue with this base body, which was the scrawny forearms, is not an issue with this particular figure, as he has a new set of forearms/hands, specially sculpted to reflect 2099’s clawed hands. These new pieces actually seem a touch on the large side for the body, though not to insane levels. 2099’s cape was handled via a cloth piece, which attached to the figure at the neck and wrists. It’s much more solid than it was in the comics, and it actually looks a bit better if you unhook it from the wrists. There were actually two different color variations available for this figure: dark and light blue. Mine is the lighter one, but the difference is fairly minor. The red detailing is handled via paint, and it’s applied pretty nicely. The red is a touch inconsistent, but it’s not bad. 2099 is packed with a big giant fiery axe (which came in both red and white variations), and a big giant gun thing. He’s never used either of those things, but it was the 90s, so…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

2099 isn’t one of the figures I had growing up, but he was one who always fascinated me. I ended up finding him at the last Shoreleave, from the same dealer who sold me Punisher, as well as a number of other 5-inch figures at Balticon. They really like me. Anyway, he was a little bit pricey, so I was going to hold off. However, Super Awesome Girlfriend was there, and was having none of that, so she bought him for me. One of these days, she’ll stop doing that. He’s a fun little figure, and definitely worth the purchase.

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#0775: The Punisher

PUNISHER

SPIDER-MAN (TOY BIZ)

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The Punisher. This guy. He’s the quintessential anti-hero. He was the 90s stereotype fifteen years early. He was introduced as a Spider-Man foe in the late 70s, and he seemed to amass a fairly sizeable fan base overnight. Sure, he was never an A-lister, but people knew the guy. He’s had a whole three movies (though only two were actually released theatrically), and he’s set to play a pivotal role in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil show. If you find Marvel related apparel, there’s like a 99% chance this guy (or his logo) will be there. Plus, he’s one of the few Marvel characters who has ever been allowed to age at a rate vaguely resembling real life. Also, I don’t really like the guy. Wait, what? Yeah, you read that right: I don’t like the Punisher. I mean, I don’t hate him, but I’ve just never seen the appeal. I did love the Punisher parody “Big Shot” for the 90s Tick cartoon, so there’s that. So, umm, let’s look at a Punisher figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Punisher2The Punisher was released in Series 5 of Toy Biz’s Spider-Man line, which was based on the 90s cartoon. He’s actually the third Punisher figure they released, which doesn’t seem that odd until you realize that, at this point they had only released one single Captain America figure. Hey, it was the 90s. The figure is 5 ¼ inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. While he hails from an animated series-based toyline, he’s actually not based on the animated design (which removed a lot of the black from his costume in order to make animating him a bit easier), but rather his more standard comics look. His sculpt still takes a few key points from the anima aged look, especially the facial features, but also his general build as well. His proportions are fairly standard for the time, being rather exaggerated, though not as severely as other figures. The arms seem to get the worst of it. They’re pretty long, and those biceps are huge. Guess that’s what happens when you lug around a bunch of huge guns all the time! Beyond the proportions, the sculpt actually has some neat touches. The face definitely conveys Punisher’s less than pleasant disposition pretty well. He’s also got some cool straps and pouches, like proper 90s guy should. Punisher’s paint is the real Punisher3breaking point from the animated look; they’ve just gone for the classic black and white scheme. The paint is pretty sharply handled, and the black and white look really great together. One oddity is his five o’clock shadow, which is conveyed here as just a solid patch of grey on his lower face. To be fair, this is accurate to the cartoon, so there’s that. Punisher actually has a pretty neat assortment of accessories. While he doesn’t have a normal gun, he does have a giant missile launcher (and this was BEFORE Hasbro got the license!) with two different projectiles. He also has a headset, a shoulder holster, a knife (which fits into his leg sheath), and a pin with his logo on it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is the one, single Punisher figure in my entire collection of over 3000 pieces. That’s a position that used to belong to the more cartoon-accurate repaint of this figure from one of the boxed sets, but I ended up giving that figure to a friend of mine who was a Punisher fan a few years back. I’m nice like that. I may not be a fan of the character, but I did like that figure. So, when I found this guy at a dealer’s table at this past Shoreleave, I went for it. I really love this guy. He’s kind of goofy, but in the best possible way.

#0771: Glow in the Dark Alien

ALIEN – GLOW-IN-THE-DARK

ALIENS MINIMATES

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Long before Minimates, the frightening titular character of ALIEN found its way to toy shelves in the form of the legendary 18-inch Alien figure, courtesy of Kenner Toys. The figure was quickly pulled from shelves, no doubt due to the nightmares it caused for many an unsuspecting child, and has become one of the bigger grails of toy-collecting. Now, 35 years later, DST pays tribute to that figure with this San Diego Comic Con exclusive!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BigChapGiD2As noted in the intro, the Alien was released at this year’s SDCC, as part of the greater Aliens Minimates line.  I don’t often talk packaging, but I will here.  For many figures, the package is just the way to transport the figure from the store to the costumer in a nice, flashy way. However, this figure’s packaging is actually a pretty important piece of the figure. The basic layout of the packaging is more or less the same as the single packaging for the Aliens vs Marines Army Dump case, but it’s been done up with graphics meant to replicate the original 18-inch Alien’s box. It features that bright ‘70s blue, the old Kenner ALIEN logo, and an assortment of screen shots from the film. The Big Chap’s a little crowed in there, but the box does a great job of giving a nod to that which came before.  While most of the Xenomorphs we’ve seen so far have taken inspiration from the second film’s design for the creature, this one, like the 35th Anniversary Boxed Set, takes influence from the creature’s very first appearance in 1979’s ALIEN. It’s not leaps and bounds of differences from the later design, but it’s enough that even moderate fans of the films could probably discern between the two.  Like his second film-based brethren, the Big Chap has sculpted add-ons for his head, hands, tail and feet. All of these parts but the head are the same ones used for all of the other aliens. Those parts were good on all of the others, and they continue to be good here. The only minor nit is that the hand should technically be different to be accurate to the Big Chap design, since these use the Aliens three-fingered design, rather than the ALIEN six-fingered design. However, at this scale, that’s a minor issue. The head was initially used on the 35th Anniversary set Alien, and it does a very nice job of replicating the movie’s domed look. While the 35th Anniversary version had the dome glued in place, this version leaves the part loose, so that you can remove it to better see the cool skull design below. It means that the dome doesn’t always stay in place the best, but that feels like a reasonable enough trade-off.  The figure’s paintwork is where his main draw comes into play. The BigChapGiDPack1main detailing of the body is similar to the previous aliens, but the silver is a bit brighter, which certainly sets him apart. The other main draw is the paint on the skull under the dome, which is glow-in-the-dark, as the name of the figure indicates. It requires a bit of “charging” under a light source, but once that’s done, it makes for a pretty eerie effect. The figure’s only accessory is a clear display stand. However, as with all of the prior aliens, the number of sculpted pieces more than makes up for the lack of extras.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Frequent readers of the site will recall that I did not attend SDCC, so I clearly didn’t pick this guy up there.  No, I actually ordered him from Luke’s Toy Store after the event.  I was actually pretty excited for this figure; the Aliens Minimates in general are a pretty exciting thing, but I liked the whole tribute bit.  This figure isn’t exactly new or anything, but it’s a fun variant of an already great figure.

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#0769: Cable & Stryfe

CABLE VS STRYFE

X-MEN: STEEL MUTANTS

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The X-Men were so popular in the 90s that they not only had two books of their own, but also a whopping three spin-off titles. Two of those, Excalibur and X-Factor, had been launched in the 80s, and the other, X-Force, was a rebranding of the New Mutants in order to make them more “extreme.” This included adding Cable, a dude who’s mutant power was apparently being a big dude with a gun, aka being the personification of 90s comics. Cable had a twin/clone, called Stryfe. Let’s look at some figures of those two today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released in the second series of Toy Biz’s X-Men: Steel Mutants line, because apparently the X-Men just weren’t 90s enough.

CABLE

CableStryfe2Oh man, here’s Cable. Why’s he called Cable? God only knows. Maybe he used to work for Comcast. That would certainly explain his surly nature. The figure stands 2 ½ inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation. Cable had quite a few figures in the 5 inch X-Force line, and this one uses Series 2’s Rapid Rocket Firing Cable as sort of a reference point. I don’t know if it’s based on a specific look, but it does present a slightly more subdued look for the character than usual. He doesn’t even have shoulder pads! His sculpt is generally pretty well handled. He’s got a good amount of detail, and his build does set him apart from the other figures in the line. Plus, I do dig that assymetry. His pose is pretty straight forward, with no real outlandish poising or anything, and he’s decently balanced, so there are no issues with getting him to stand. Cable’s paint is pretty much on par with the rest of the Steel Mutants. There’s a fair degree of bleed over around the edges, but he doesn’t look atrocious. The colors are pretty well chosen, and he looks pretty sharp.

STRYFE

CableStryfe3Yes, you read that name right. He’s named Stryfe. And it’s spelled with a “y.” Because 90s. Strule also stands roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has those same 4 points of articulation. Stryfe is presented here in full 90s glory. Check out that head gear. Seriously, that helmet looks like Liefeld deliberately set out to out-Wolverine Wolverine. I suppose they succeeded in that effort. Doesn’t make it look any less stupid, but more power to him. He appears to be inspired by the Stryfe figure in the 5-inch line, though he’s lost most of that figure’s interesting armor detailing, which has the unintended side effect of drawing more attention to just how goofy the main design of the character is. It doesn’t help matters that his sculpt is just markedly inferior to that of his pack mate. Cable is nicely sized, full of detail, and not in a super goofy pose. Stryfe is the opposite of those things. The size is particularly egregious, since he’s a clone of Cable, and should therefore be about the same size. That coupled with the long monkey arms, the strange lunging pose of the legs, and the ill-fitting cape makes for a really rough looking figure. The paint doesn’t really do him any favors either. He’s mostly a somewhat drab silver, which only further highlights the blandness of the sculpt. It is, at the very least, clean, which I suppose is a plus.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This pair was purchased for me from Yesterday’s Fun, alongside the previously reviewed Cyclops and Mr. Sinister set, courtesy of my Super Awesome Girlfriend. Unlike the other set, I never had either of these guys growing up. In fact, this set represents the first, and to date only, Stryfe figure in my collection. So, there’s that. Cable is a pretty solid figure, but Stryfe is easily one of the weakest figures this line had to offer, resulting in an oddly balanced set.

#0768: Captain Cold

CAPTAIN COLD

THE FLASH (DC COLLECTIBLES)

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Well, CW’s The Flash successfully made its way all the way through its first season and is now halfway through its second. It’s not a perfect show (few shows are), but it’s been a lot of fun, just all throughout. The series’ cast of regular characters have a lot to do with that, but they don’t do it all on their own; they get by with a little help from their… guest stars, who, more often than not, are playing members of the Flash’s oh so awesome rogues gallery. One of the most prominent, most recurring of those rogues is Captain Cold, who’s proved to be quite the popular character. He’s even getting an expanded role on the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow spin-off. So, what better to celebrate that than an awesome action figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CapCold2Captain Cold was released earlier this year as figure 02 in DC Collectibles’ The Flash line. He follows the Flash, and precedes his frequent partner in crime, Heatwave. The figures stands about 6 ¾ inches tall (he’s just a little taller than Flash) and has 30 points of articulation. The range of motion on the joints is a little restricted, but I found Cold to be easier to pose than Flash, so that’s good. Captain Cold is based on his most frequent appearance from the show, which is his fur-lined blue parka look. It’s a pretty nice callback to his comics design, while still being reasonably practical in a real world setting. This figure’s sculpt is all-new, and it’s pretty reasonably handled, though it isn’t without its drawbacks. The articulation is mostly worked in well, but the ankle joints are a little rough, and his feet almost look like they belong on another figure. Also, there’s no way that this guy can get his arms close enough to his chest for a two-handed hold on his gun, so you’ll just have to pick one side or another. The hood is probably my least favorite aspect of the figure. It’s permanently up, for one thing. You can sort of pull it back behind his head, but it’ll want to go back into place. I feel the figure might have been helped by a separate hood piece that could be swapped for one that was folded down. Plus, the fur lining looks more like a poor CGI rendering of a fur lining than the real thing. The rest of the sculpt is actually pretty good. The texturing on the clothing is very nicely handled, and there’s a fully detailed shirt under the coat. The head gives us a pretty spot-on likeness of Cold’s actor, Wentworth Miller. He doesn’t quite have Miller’s intense stare, but I think that’s more a result of the goggles. Cold’s paintwork isn’t the most exciting paint ever, but it’s quite nicely done. Everything’s pretty clean, and there’s lots of nice accent work for the sculpt’s finer details. Captain Cold is packed with his trusty cold gun, as well as two pairs of hands (gripping and fists).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I actually wasn’t sure I was going to get Captain Cold when he was announced, and even less sure after not being wowed by The Flash figure DCC put out, but I really found myself liking the character on the show a whole lot. So, when he showed up at my local comic book store, I happily picked him up. I’m glad I stuck with the line. Cold still isn’t a perfect figure, but he’s a definite step up from Flash, and shows that the line is definitely going in the right direction. I can’t wait to see who else we get!

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#0757: Thor & Malekith

THOR & MALEKITH

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Phase two of the Marvel movies was, generally, pretty well-received amongst fans. That said, it seems that there’s no real common consensus as to which of the sequel films offered therein was the best and which was the worst. It seems like everybody’s got one they really like and one they really don’t like. For me, the one I didn’t like was Thor: The Dark World. Okay, that’s not fair. I did actually like the movie, but I didn’t like it anywhere near as much as I’d hoped. When the movie was good, it was really good, but when it was bad, it really pulled me out. And don’t get me started on the mounted turrets in Asgard! Anyway, most of my major issues with the film lied with the main antagonist Malekith, who I just found dreadfully boring, which isn’t exactly what you want from the guy stepping in to replace Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Anyway, I generally passed on toys of Malekith, but I did end up with one, unsurprisingly coming from the Marvel Minimates based on the film. So, let’s look at him and his pack-mate Thor.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Thor and Malekith were released in Series 53 of the Marvel Minimates line, which was based on Thor: The Dark World.

THOR

ThorMal2You can’t have a set of toys based on a Thor movie and not have Thor, so here he is! Hemsworth’s Thor has stayed pretty consistent looking throughout the Marvel films, but his design did take a slight jump towards his modern comic look starting with The Dark World (and, by nature of him having almost the same design, AoU). This figure is based upon his look in TDW, specifically his full-sleeved look from a lot of the fight scenes. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation (down from the usual 14, thanks to the boots). Structually, Thor uses the basic Minimate body, with six add-on pieces for his hair, chest/cape, wristbands, and boots. These pieces all originated here, though they were all later used on the Series 61 AoU Thor. They do a pretty good job of summing up his look from the film and have a lot of nice detail work. Thor’s paint work is generally pretty nicely handled; the base colors are applied fairly cleanly, and the detail work is nice and sharp. The face doesn’t really scream Hemsworth, and he definitely looks a bit too old, but, overall, he seems pretty cool. Thor includes Mjolnir and a clear display stand.

MALEKITH

ThorMal3Zzzzzzzzzzzz…….Oh, sorry! Must’ve dozed off for a sec there. Malekith does that to me sometimes. *Ahem* Well, here’s Malekith. Look at him. There he is. So, he’s built on the usual body, with add-ons for his helmet/hair, hands, and torso/cape. These parts are all pretty well-sculpt, and are accurate to the source material. The hands are shared with the Dark Elves, which is reasonable, since he is their leader. All in all, he looks like the guy from the movie, so that’s good. His paintwork is mostly blacks and off-whites, which are done reasonably enough. The level of detail on the legs is actually pretty fantastic, so you can see that DST was definitely putting in the effort on this guy. The basic head depicts Malekith with the right half of his face all scarred up, as it is in the second half of the film, which is a somewhat interesting look. He doesn’t really look a whole lot like Christopher Eccleston, but he doesn’t not look like Eccleston either. Also, the eyes aren’t accurate to the movie, where they’re mostly black. Malekith is packed with a spare, unscarred head, which matches the regular look, as well as a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Unlike most Marvel Minimates, where I rush out to get them on the day they’re released, I actually skipped this pair for a good long while, mostly due to my disinterest in Malekith. This pack ended up being one of the items in the grab bags I got from Luke’s Toy Store during their 6th Anniversary sale. It’s still not a set I would be inclined to pick up on my own, especially since the AoU Thor is similar to this one, but it’s at least a quality made set.

#0756: Cyclops & Mr. Sinister

CYCLOPS VS MR. SINISTER

X-MEN: STEEL MUTANTS

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Last month, I took a look at one of Toy Biz’s many experiments with the Marvel license from the 90s, ­X-Men: Steel Mutants. They were a line of small scale versions of the X-Men, which featured a heavy dose of die-cast metal parts, hence the “Steel” part of the name. Toy Biz actually offered a pretty good selection of the X-Men in this line, including not one, but two versions of founding member Cyclops. Today, we’ll be looking at one of those, along with his pack-mate Mr. Sinister.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cyclops and Mr. Sinister were released in the second series of X-Men: Steel Mutants. Like all the others in the line, they work both as comic and cartoon versions of the characters.

CYCLOPS

SinisterCyclops2This is the second of the two Cyclopses released in this line. While Wolverine got three totally different looks for his three figures, Cyclops just gets a new pose. As opposed to the straight standing look, this one’s got a bit of a running start sort of a thing going. I guess that’s new and exciting. The figure stands roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 4 points of articulation. Cyclops’s head and arms are plastic, and the torso and legs are metal, like all the other figures in the line. He uses the same head, torso, and left arm as the first Cyclops, along with a new right arm and legs, showing off that deep lunging thing he’s got going on. His sculpt, like that of the first Cyclops, is really a scaling down of the 5 inch Cyclops II figure. That was Toy Biz’s standard Cyclops, and it was a pretty good summation of the character, so it works. The torso’s a bit on the large side for Scott, but hey, it was the 90s, everybody was juicing. All in all, the figure’s pretty well detailed, and not terrible on the proportions, for the time at least. Cyclops’s deep stance makes him a little bit more difficult to keep standing than, say, Gambit, but not as much as you might think. Toy Biz clearly put a lot of effort into making sure these guys were properly balanced, which is good on their part. Cyclops’s paint work is decent for the scale, though there’s some noticeable slop on the changes from yellow to blue, which is slightly annoying. But, smaller details, such as the “X”s on his belt and chest harness are surprisingly clean, and the figure as a whole looks pretty good when viewed from a far.

MR. SINISTER

SinisterCyclops3Mr. Sinister is a pretty natural choice for this line, given his prominence in the cartoon, and he certainly makes sense packed with Cyclops, since they interacted a lot in both the comics and the cartoon. And, unlike Cyclops, this figure doesn’t feel redundant to anyone who had the first series of the line. Sinister was a new sculpt for the Steel Mutants line, though he was more or less just a scaled down version of the 5 inch Sinister from the main line, with the articulation scheme changed. Like that figure, this one feels a little on the small side for Sinister, who was usually depicted as being at least a little bigger than the average person. Aside from that, though, he does a pretty good job of capturing the character’s design. The cape is a separate, removable piece, made from plastic. It clips around the figure’s neck, and doesn’t quite sit right, but it’s close enough not to look too off at this scale. As far as paint goes, Sinister’s mostly painted in the same shade of dark blue, which seems to be a little thickly applied. The rest of the paint is pretty good, though he’s totally lacking Sinister’s usual facial hair. The prototype shows him sporting a full goatee, which is still not correct. Maybe the factory could only do goatee or clean shaven, with no in between? I suppose this would be the preferable choice in that case. There was actually a later single release of this figure that had the goatee, but never one with the character’s actual beard.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cyclops and Sinister were purchased for me by Super Awesome Girlfriend, when we visited Yesterday’s Fun this past summer. She recognized them as being from the same line as Gambit and Bishop and insisted on buying them for me. I actually had the later single releases of both of these figures, though I can’t say I know where they ended up. All in all, these are another fun little addition, and I’m happy to have them!

#0738: Hulkbuster

HULKBUSTER

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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If you’ve been keeping up with the last week of reviews, the focus of today’s review being the Hulkbuster really shouldn’t come as much of a shock to you.

So, umm, yeah. Hulkbuster! Whoooooo! That’s…well, not really new or different, or anything. Not that that’s a bad thing! Just, everybody and there mother’s been doing Hulkbuster figures recently (gee, I can’t imagine why…), so I’ve kinda run out of things to say about the armor. Let’s just get to the freaking review already!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HulkbusterML2The Hulkbuster armor is the build-a-figure for the (appropriately named) “Hulkbuster Series” of the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series line. This marks the second time that the Hulkbuster’s made into the Marvel Legends line, but it’s the first one in quite a while. He’s based on the design from Avengers: Age of Ultron, so he goes with that subset of Legends figures, though he also fits in just fine with the comic-based legends. The figure is 9 ¼ inches tall and has 31 points of articulation, which is pretty darn impressive for a figure this bulky. He also weighs a metric ton. No lightweight build-a-figure this time! Hulkbuster gets an all-new sculpt, and while it’s not Hot Toys level of detailing, it’s pretty great. Everything is nice and symmetrical, and they’ve done a pretty decent job of balancing the aesthetic of the sculpt with range of motion on the joints. As far as accuracy to what’s on the screen, he’s a little bit off. Not a lot, but enough to make it noticeable. In general, it seems Hasbro opted to give HulkbusterML4the suit a slightly more “heroic” build, broadening the shoulders, shrinking the head a bit, and lengthening the arms and legs. All minor nudges, but the end result is a bit different. Of course, it also ends up being something that looks more at home with the rest of the figures in this series, so I can see why they might tweak him. If there’s one area on this figure that has room for improvement, it’s the paint. Now, let me follow that up by saying that this figure’s paint is by no means bad. In fact, it’s actually pretty good for Hasbro. What’s there is bold and cleanly applied. It’s a good looking figure. However, the color palate is much too bright to be movie accurate (especially noticeable when this figure is placed next to the Mark 43) and the sculpt would very much benefit from a paintjob that does a better job of accentuating it. As is, it’s solid work, but with a better paint job it could be fantastic work.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Yeah, so, umm, see that build-a-figure part up there? Wanna take a guess as to how I got mine? As soon as this guy was shown off, I knew I wanted one. None of the other Hulkbuster stuff really excited me, but this one did. The final figure may have its flaws, but, like I said, this is still a really solid figure. Both metaphorically and physically. Seriously, in event of my house getting broken into, forget the baseball bat, I’m grabbing this guy!

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#0737: Blizzard

BLIZZARD

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Remember how I talked about Hasbro refusing to let a Marvel Legends prototype go unused? Well, guess what? Yep, today’s another of those figures! This one’s kind of special though, because he rounds out the famed “Jubilee Series” from before Legends’ switch to the Infinite Series branding. Last year’s TRU exclusive X-Men series got us the Jubilee Build-A-Figure, the holiday season Avengers three-pack gave us Radioactive Man, the Thanos series brought us Batroc, and the Ultron series threw in Tiger Shark, leaving just poor old Blizzard out in the cold. Fortunately, that didn’t last long, and now we’ve officially gotten every figure from the most impossible series of Marvel Legends ever thought up.*

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Blizzard2Blizzard (or “Marvel’s Blizzard” as he’s listed on the box) is the last single-release figure in the Hulkbuster series of the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures. It’s interesting to note that he’s one of three figures in the series to get his own name on the box, which is a tad surprising, given that he’s freaking Blizzard. Not exactly a name that’s gonna get people lining up, but hey, I don’t mind. I’m just happy to have the figure! Blizzard stands about 6 ¼ inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, which is a good fit, and he gets an all-new head sculpt. It’s not really anything groundbreaking, but it’s a pretty great sculpt of a dude in a full face mask. So, that’s cool. Most of what makes this figure Blizzard is paintwork, which is actually pretty great. They’ve gone with the design of the more recent Donny Gill version of the character. It’s not my favorite of the two looks, but it’s certainly not bad. This could have been a pretty bland paintjob, but Hasbro opted to make the blue metallic and the white pearlescent, which makes him look pretty darn spiffy! Also, it’s a minor thing, but it’s really great to see that they successfully matched the painted and molded plastic colors, so the figure doesn’t clash. A lot of figures don’t get that down, so I’m really happy this one did. Blizzard gets no character-specific accessories, which is a bit of a letdown, but he does get the upper torso of the Hulkbuster, so that kind of makes up for it!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Blizzard is a figure I’ve been waiting for pretty much since he was originally announced. After getting the other three figures from the set, I was anxious to get him to finish up the group. He ended up being one of the four figures from this series I found at Walgreens, which was pretty cool. While I still think Valkyrie is the best figure in the series, I think I’d give this guy second best. He may not do much new, but he’s a pretty solid figure, and he’s got a fair bit of novelty to him.

*Seriously, can we address the Batman-level gambit that Hasbro played here? They legit showed off an entire series of villains who are at best C-list, with a Build-A-Figure of a has-been X-Man from the ‘90s (and a GIRL, no less). No big names, no special gimmicks. There was no way a retailer was gonna touch that line-up. But they showed it off at Toy Fair anyway, and built up all this pent-up fan demand for these literal nobodies, allowing them to slot every single one of those figures into a later assortment. The final scenario is literally the only case that any of these guys would have ever seen release. That’s damned impressive.

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#0736: War Machine

WAR MACHINE

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Recently, Hasbro’s been putting a lot of effort into making sure that no Marvel Legends prototype gets left behind, so a decent percentage of just about every new series of the line in the last year has been made up of figures we’ve seen in some capacity before. Most of the time, these figures are comic-based figures who take advantage of movie popularity to get their sales, but today’s figure bucks that trend, actually being a movie-based figure who was salvaged from the scrap heap. So, let’s have a look at War Machine, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WarMachine2War Machine is the second to last figure in the Hulkbuster Series of the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures. He also has the notoriety of being the only movie-based figure in a series with a movie-based Build-A-Figure, which has caused some people a bit of frustration. This figure was originally supposed to be a part of the third series of the Iron Man 3 Marvel Legends, but that series ended up cancelled. He was meant to be based on the concept drawings for the pre-Iron Patriot War Machine 2.0 armor, but now he gets to be based on the actual armor design from Age of Ultron. Yes, it’s the same design, but now it’s more official, right? The figure stands roughly 6 ¼ inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation (counting the shoulder pads and the mounted gun). Sculpturally, this figure is an almost 100% re-use of the Iron Man 3 Marvel Legends Col. James Rhodes/Iron Patriot figure. Literally the only difference between the two sculpts is the left hand, which was open on the Iron Patriot figure, but is closed here. However, this is one of those cases where re-use is not only warranted, but pretty much necessary for the appropriate look. They’re supposed to be the same armor in-universe. It helps that the Iron Patriot sculpt was a pretty good one, too. The fine detail work is just great, it’s super accurate to the source material, and he has decent proportions to boot. The only real downside to this guy is the mounted gun, which doesn’t get the full mobility of the film version, resulting in it being stuck in a somewhat hard to work with pose. It’s workable, but a little frustrating. The main difference on this guy is that paint job. The Iron Patriot figure was (obviously) in more patriotic colors. This figure returns Rhodey to his more traditional black and grey color scheme for which he’s what he’s more known. It’s not the most exciting color selection of all time, but it’s accurate. Plus, he still has all the small writing and insignias that were seen on Iron Patriot, which is definitely nice to see. Another big difference between this guy and his predecessor is his accessory compliment. In addition to the requisite Hulkbuster piece, War Machine also gets an alternate head with his faceplate up, revealing a pretty decent Don Cheadle likeness.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I definitely got this guy for the Hulkbuster piece. There’s no two ways about that. When he was initially announced for the IM3 Legends line-up, I was definitely going to pass. I like the armor design and all, but I find the Iron Patriot color-scheme much more exciting, so that was the figure for me. But, then he got moved to this set and I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. Honestly, he’s a pretty great figure. He’s the same great sculpt, plus he gets that cool new head sculpt, which really makes him work. I don’t regret getting this guy.

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