#1305: Captain America – Addendum

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

-ADDENDUM-

Since Hasbro relaunched Marvel Legends, I’ve been consistently displeased with the heads on their Steve Rogers figures.  When the line was relaunched, all of the unmasked males suffered from what I call “Hasbro-Face”: they would have a deep scowl and incredibly squared-off features, and just generally look more like the titular character from The Goon than the superhero characters they were supposed to be replicating.  As the line has progressed, the Hasbro-Face has slowly died out, with the exception of Steve Rogers.  I guess Hasbro wants to keep all of the versions of him consistent, but it means I haven’t truly been happy with a Legends Captain America since Toy Biz.

In today’s review of Captain America, I noted that a major contributing factor to my finally acquiring him was seeing an image online of a mod for the figure.  This mod replaced the stock figure’s atrocious head with that of the very first ML Cap figure, which, in my opinion, is still the best Cap head ever.  The biggest hoop in performing this mod is getting the first TB Cap.  I have my old one, but I really didn’t want to put that one under the knife (or drill, as the case may be).  Fortunately, I was able to find a loose one sans accessories for $5, which is really the main thing that sparked this whole project (ironically, I actually paid a dollar more for my “junk” Cap than I did my original).

Perhaps the most difficult part of this whole project was just getting the TB Cap’s head off the body.  Toy Biz heads weren’t really designed for easy removal like their Hasbro brethren, so you’re pretty much going to have to use the boil-and-pop method, and even then, it took me a few rounds to finally get it popped off the joint.

As you can clearly see from the photo, the socket on the TB Cap’s head is maybe an eighth the size of the åHasbro figure’s ball-joint.  In order to get it to fit, it needed some significant plastic removal.  The best tool for such a project is really a dremel; I didn’t have one handy, so I just made do with a basic power drill, starting with a drill bit just a little larger than the socket and slowly working my way to larger bits, until it was a good fit.  I actually went the slightest bit too large on the socket, but that’s an easy fix.  All you need is to put little bit of super glue in the socket, do a few turns while on the joint, and then take the head off and let it dry for a few minutes.  This gives the socket a little more texture, which helps the head stay put on the joint.

Throw in the shoulder harness from the Target 3-pack Cap to replace the wonky straps from the original figure, and I’m pretty happy with this figure.  The head/body paint matches up surprisingly well (any differences are virtually invisible to the naked eye).  The smaller head is scaled much better with the body, and it even makes the body look a little less chunky (I think the chunkiness I was seeing was actually an optical illusion).  And, best of all, he cost me less than the retail of your average Legends release to put together.  Now I have a Legends Captain America I can be proud of! Added bonus: with the left over parts I can put together a pretty sweet Cap Wolf!

#1305: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Steve Rogers is a soldier with superhuman strength and an indestructible shield!”

Generally speaking, I’m a pretty big supporter of Hasbro these days.  They run two of my favorite lines and generally do things that I support.  They get a lot of hate, and I think a lot of it’s undeserved.  With all that said, about a decade ago, I was NOT much of a Hasbro fan, due to a lot of very silly decisions on their part, both with the end of their DC license and the early days of their Marvel license.  While they’ve improved leaps and bounds, they do still have the occasional slip-up.  Today, I’m looking at one such slip-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is the first figure in the Red Onslaught Series of Marvel Legends, which was the first of the three vaguely Captain America: Civil War-themed series released last year.  I looked at a handful of figures from the series back when they were still new, but never got around to this guy, mostly for the aforementioned “slip-up” reasons.  This figure is, or is at least intended to be, an updated classic Captain America, which was a nice thought, given that the last actual classic Cap before this one was the Face Off version from Toy Biz.  He stands a little over 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Cap is built on the Reaper body, which most of us had figured would be the case as soon as the Reaper body showed up.  I’m not sure it’s the best base for the character; it seems a little chunky for him.  That being said, it’s certainly an improvement on the body that was previously being used for Cap, so that’s a plus.  Cap got unique pieces for his head, forearms, shoulder straps, belt, and boots (the forearms, belt, and boots would later be re-used for Red Guardian).  The majority of the pieces are decent work, and they fit well on the body.  He really, really could have used at least one fist, but that’s minor. The first major nit I have with the figure is the straps on the shoulders; previous pieces have always been done as a single harness piece, but for some reason this time Hasbro opted to go with two separate pieces.  The issue is that they don’t have anything to connect to, nor do they have the tension that would be brought by connecting to each other, so the end result is that they’re pretty much impossible to keep in place.  They just fall right off the arms.  Just getting the one photo with them was a nightmare.  The second major nit, and the primary reason I held off on getting this figure for so long is the head sculpt.  I’ve never been happy with the Hasbro Legends take on Steve Rogers, and this figure really exhibits the worst of that, even more so than prior figures.  His head looks thuggish and angry, and just all-around ugly, which is hardly how I think of Cap.  He takes the squared off, scowlly “Hasbro Face” that I so despise and dials it up to 11.  On top of that, the head is super, super wide, like it’s been stepped on or something, and is in general just way too large for this body.  It’s almost like they scaled it to the Hyperion.  I wish I had something nice to say about this head, but I really, really hate it.  The paint on this guy is okay, but hardly Hasbro’s best.  It’s a bit weird stepping back a year to just before they started really making the strides in paint quality.  He’s okay, but there’s some noticeable slop, especially on the white sections.  Ironically, the head gets probably the best work, but it’s not enough to save it.  Cap is packed with his mighty shield (which is the same mold used for Taskmaster, Red Guardian, and Vance), a pair of gripping hands, a left hand that’s pointing, a right hands that flat, an extra Cap Wolf head (which is probably the coolest included piece, and at least gives the figure *some* value), and the back-thingy of Red Onslaught.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw this figure a ton of times over the course of the last year, but, despite being rather excited when he was initially announced, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay full retail for this guy.  A few things happened that finally got me to buy him.  First of all, Hasbro’s eBay shop marked the figure down to $8.99, which for those of you playing at home is less than half of the original retail price.  On top of that, I came across an image of a mod for the figure (which I’ll be posting about later today), which finally convinced me he was worth owning.  The basic figure is certainly disappointing.  That head is just terrible, and the shoulder straps are beyond annoying.  However, the base body is pretty decent, and at lest he’s got the extra Cap Wolf to make him more worthwhile.

#1294: Marvel’s Moon Knight

MARVEL’S MOON KNIGHT

MARVEL LEGENDS — 3.75 (HASBRO)

“A vision in an Egyptian temple leads Marc Spector to don a silver shroud and become the crime-fighting hero, Moon Knight.”

Moon Knight is one of the many Marvel heroes who began his career as an antagonist.  First created as a foe for Werewolf By Night, Moon Knight proved popular enough with readers to earn his own title, and in the process has become arguably better known than the character he was created to fight.  He was a fairly basic costumed vigilante to start with (he frequently found himself used as off-Batman); his only notable twist was that he had two secret identities, a wealthy playboy and a cab driver, neither of which was actually his original identity.  Which, for those keeping track, is a whopping four identities.  Eventually, it was decided that all these identities were actually due to Marc possessing a multiple personality disorder (which may or may not have been caused by the Egyptian God Khonshu’s influence on him).  You see, Marc isn’t pretending to be Moon Knight, or Steven Grant, or Jake Lockley; he *is* those people.  They’re all still very similar to Marc at their core, but each uniquely different in abilities, temperament, etc.  He’s definitely a fun character when handled right.  Above all, though?  He looks cool, and that makes for a good toy.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Moon Knight was released in the first 2017 series of the smaller-scale Marvel Legends line.  It’s sort of an oddball assortment of characters, but that’s honestly the best chance of getting made that Moon Knight ever gets.  The figure stands a little over 4 inches tall and he has 19 points of articulation.  Moon Knight is sporting his most recent costume; it’s got a lot in common with earlier Moon Knight designs, but with the usual streamlining we see on so much these days.  There are also crescents.  A lot of crescents.  Because the moon.  I’m generally a fan of this look, and I certainly like it more than some heroes’ modern designs.  He’s built on the most recent male base body, with a unique head, forearms, and shins, as well as an add-on piece for his cape and chest armor.  The base body is a good fit for Moon Knight.  It’s actually a first, I think; his base bodies have tended to be a little off on prior figures.  The new pieces are all pretty solid.  I wasn’t crazy about the head sculpt at first, but as I’ve had the chance to mess around with the figure and see it from different angles, it’s really grown on me.  It should be noted that it really looks best when viewed somewhat from above, rather than the upward facing angle most of the promo shots show it in.  The hood and cape both have a really awesome knitted texture going on, which helps to keep the figure from getting too monotonous, while still managing to not look overdone like some texturing at this scale can.  Moon Knight’s paint work is pretty straight forward black and white for the most part.  The application is all pretty clean; there’s some slop here and there, but nothing unacceptable for the scale.  I do like the presence of both flat and pearlescent white; it helps to differentiate between the armored bits and the cloth bits.  Moon Knight includes no accessories, which is a real letdown given the amount of money these things retail for.  At least give him his staff!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

March was a pretty hard month for me in terms of purchases, so I swore I wasn’t buying any figures for the entirety of April.  Remember how I said I swore I wasn’t buying any figures in April?  Well, it turns out my friends and family are all big fans of loophole abuse.  Tim and Jill came down for a visit in mid-April, and I spotted this guy while we were out and about.  I looked at him, but ultimately put him back.  Of course, Tim saw me empty handed and demanded I show him where the figure was and then proceeded to buy it for me.  Because they’re all a bunch of no good enablers, that’s why.  One of these day’s I’ll pay them all back.  Literally.  Like, with money.  Or other goods.

I wasn’t initially sure about this figure, given that he was being released in such close proximity to his larger scale figure in there main ML line, but the timing of the releases worked out so that he hit right as I was really wanting a Moon Knight figure.  It’s for the best really, because if they’d been released at the same time, I’d have skipped this guy, and that’d be a real shame, because he’s actually really cool.  Here’s hoping the large figure’s even better!

#1292: Titus

MARVEL’S TITUS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

And now for the thrilling conclusion to the “characters Ethan knows next to nothing about” trilogy!

So, hey, yeah, it’s Titus.  He’s the…uhhh…well, he’s that guy that….ummm….he’s owned by Marvel?  Okay, in actuality, he’s a former member of the Nova Corps, who  served alongside Sam Alexander’s father.  He’s served as an antagonist in Sam’s Nova series.  He’s not a super prominent character, but he’s got a tie to one of the figures in this particular series, and he’s made a few appearances in animation.  They could certainly go more obscure.  I mean, not *much* obscure, but it’s possible.  Onto the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Titus is the Build-A-Figure for the first GotG-themed series of Marvel Legends for 2017, which has, unsurprisingly, been dubbed the Titus Series.  Titus is based on his post-Nova-Corps look, which is kind of his most prominent look, so that makes sense.  The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  He’s built on the body introduced with the Space Venom figure.  It’s been slightly altered to remove a number of the character-specific elements (presumably to make it easier to use on more figures in the future).  It’s also got a number of new pieces, for the head, right arm, and left hand.  The new pieces integrate well-enough with the old…well, I mean, as much as a tiger head and a big gun/cannon can be integrated with a human-proportioned body.  The level of detail in the pieces is really nice; the head is a ton of great texture work, and a nice, intense expression.  I wish the jaw were articulated, but that’s about the only gripe.  The gun arm is super goofy, and really boxy, but it’s also a pretty much perfect recreation of the comics design, and also a lot of fun.  In terms of paint, Titus is fairly basic, but really sharp looking.  The best work is definitely on the head, which actually sports some pretty solid accent work to help bring out the smaller details.  In regards to the rest of the body, there’s some slight slop, but it’s mostly pretty good.   I really like the shade of gold they’ve used here; it’s essentially the same one used on Sam Nova, which I liked there as well.  Titus has no accessories of his own.  Several of the other recent BAFs have had extra stuff, which has been cool, but it’s not like it’s expected, since he, himself, is really just an accessory.  Plus, what extras would you even give him?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, yeah, Titus.  Like I said, I’m not really familiar with him, so completing the figure was far from the top of my list.  I was fully intending to get rid of the pieces.  But then I got Darkhawk and Angela, and all of the sudden he was complete.  Didn’t mean to do that.  In my defense, I personally only bought one single figure that went towards to completing him.  Even then I wasn’t totally sure I’d keep him.  However, after assembling him, I gotta say, he’s a surprisingly fun figure.  For a character I’ve got no attachment to, I’m really happy with this figure.  This is how you do a figure of a character most people don’t know.

#1291: Marvel’s Angela

MARVEL’S ANGELA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A master of hand-to-hand combat, Angela is known throughout the galaxy for her battle prowess.”

On the next installment of figures of characters Ethan knows next to nothing about…

Back in the early ‘90s, a group of poplar comic book artists, headed by Todd McFarlane, left Marvel Comics over issues of creative control and maintaining the rights to the characters they created.  They founded Image Comics.  Each artist was given their own free reign to do as they liked with the characters they created, and would each maintain the rights to their own creations.  What does this all have to do with Angela?  Well, Angela was born out of Todd McFarlane’s series Spawn.  Todd started delegating the creation of the actual comic pretty quickly, passing the reigns to a number of writers.  Among them was one Neil Gaiman, who wrote Spawn #9, which introduced the character of Angela, a co-creation of Gaiman and McFarlane (who was still handling the art duties).  Gaiman was initially told he would retain creator rights for Angela (as well as the other two characters created for the issue), but McFarlane later tried to back out, claiming Angela was the result of a “work for hire” contract (a tactic virtually identical to that used by Marvel to deny McFarlane rights to characters he’d created. Way to go, Todd).  Gaiman took the case to court, and was eventually granted full ownership of Angela, whom he promptly sold to Marvel.  Marvel integrated her into the main universe as a side-effect of Age of Ultron’s mucking with the timeline.  Now she’s apparently the sister of Thor and has also joined up with the Guardians of the Galaxy.  Yay?  Anyway, she got a Marvel Legend, so here it is.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Angela is figure 4 in the Titus Series of Marvel Legends and is the final single figure in the set to be reviewed on the site.  She’s another figure with the “Marvel’s” bit in front of her name, but this is one time I think it’s totally justified.  They paid good money for her, might as well let people know.  She’s based on her Joe Quesada-designed look that she got when she was introduced at Marvel, which seems like a pretty sensible choice, especially since it’s the look she had with the Guardians, and she’s in a Guardians-themed series.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Angela is built on an all-new body.  I would imagine we’ll be seeing some of it again pretty soon, as it looks like the upcoming Lady Sif figure is built on the same base.  Beyond that, it’s not really going to be getting much use as a base body, since most of it’s got pretty character specific elements.  It’s a decent enough body.  The build isn’t too much on the impossible side, at least as far as comic book characters go.  She does seem rather leggy, but that’s not entirely off when you’re dealing with the Asgardians.  The character-specific elements are decent enough, though some of the armor (especially the shoulder pads and the one weird elbow thing) is rather restrictive of the articulation.  The head’s actually pretty nice; the face is fairly attractive and fits well with the other Asgardians in terms of basic features, while the hair has a nice, lively flow to it, which makes it look like she’s doing more than just standing there (but it also doesn’t go too overboard, a la the Ultimate Spider-Woman figure).  There are add-ons for the belt/loincloth and the…uhhh, scarf?  Straps?  Neck belt?  Leash?  I don’t know what that thing around her neck is, but it’s a separate piece.  It also kind of sits weird.  It’s not really the fault of the figure, but I’m not really a fan of the loincloth’s design.  Why is it only at the back?  Is it supposed to be some sort of butt cape?  I don’t know.  I really feel it would look much better if it were also present at the front.  As it is, she looks sort of half dressed.  I mean, I know she’s already somewhat on the scantily clad side of the spectrum, but that one bit just looks…unfinished.  It’s accurate to the comic and everything, so Hasbro’s not to blame, but it bugs me.  The piece also has some difficulty sitting properly, which seems to be a trend amongst her add-ons.  Angela’s paintwork is generally pretty solid, so that’s good.  The colors are all pretty vibrant, and all of the application is nice and clean.  There’s no real accent work to speak of, but it actually doesn’t seem that odd here.  Most of her artwork has her looking pretty clean, so this is consistent with that.  Angela is packed with a sword and a pair of axes.  The sword on mine is malformed into that weird wavy shape, but I actually kinda like it.  The axes are kind of goofy, but accurate to the comics, so that’s what that is.  She also includes the right leg of the Build-A-Figure Titus.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I didn’t plan on getting Angela.  I don’t really have any attachment to Angela, like, at all.  Even less than Darkhawk, who I also wasn’t gonna get.  But I did get him.  Remember in Wednesday’s review, where I mentioned that whole barter system, doing IT work for action figures thing?  Well, while Super Awesome Girlfriend’s mom was in town a few weeks ago, we were all at a Books-A-Million, and SAGF’s mom was buying her some books.  Since I’d done quite a bit of IT work for her, she asked if I wanted another action figure.  This was one of two Marvel Legends in the store that I didn’t already own, and Titus was exactly one piece away from completion.  So, home with me she came.  She’s not a bad figure at all.  Were I a fan of the character, I’d probably be really happy with her.  As it is?  I’m still not totally sold on the design, and there are a handful of minor issues with the figure.  But, she’s overall pretty fun.  So, now I own *two* Angela figures.  Yippee.

#1288: Darkhawk – Masters of Mind

DARKHAWK — MASTERS OF MIND

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With incredible powers of both body and mind, these heroes prepare for any intergalactic mission.”

Yes, today, we’re looking at yet another Marvel Legends figure.  Like I said last week, I picked up three whole series of these guys last month, and I have to fit them in somewhere!

Today’s figure is Darkhawk.  Who is Darkhawk?  Well, uh….with incredible powers of both body and mind, he prepares for any intergalactic mission, I can tell you that much!  Okay, so I don’t really know a whole lot about Darkhawk.  I know he was popular in the ‘90s, and he was a member of the New Warriors, and that his main gimmick was that he was a kid who could transplant his mind into a space warrior…thing. I know he also looks cool, which is always a good thing in the action figure world.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darkhawk is figure 5 in the Titus Series of Marvel Legends, which is the first of the two GotG-themed assortments this year.  He’s officially titled “Masters of Mind,” a name he shares with the previously-reviewed Vance Astro figure. This is Darkhawk’s first time as a Legend.  However, he was actually taken to the control art stage by Toy Biz back before the license passed to Hasbro, so he’s been a long time coming.  Darkhawk is based on his modern, more streamlined appearance.  This was a point of contention for some fans, who wanted a more classic look.  As someone who’s not super familiar with the character, I kind of prefer this look, myself, but I understand the frustration.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation (counting his articulated shoulder pads).  This guy is based on the Bucky Cap body, but you’d be forgiven for not noticing.  He has a new head, torso, pelvis, arms, and feet (as well as a belt that he stole from Daredevil).  That all adds up to a figure that might as well be a completely unique sculpt.  I appreciate how modular the Bucky Cap body has become.  The new pieces fit really well with the existing stuff, and in also improve upon some of the minor issues I have with the Bucky Cap base.  The head is a really cool, angular design, which looks good and sharp.  The torso and feet actually do a lot to bring this body in line with the 2099 and Spider-UK bodies, which is much appreciated, and easy to overlook.  The arms are my only area of complaint on this guy.  The actual arms themselves are fine, it’s more the extra bits that are the issue.  For one thing, the claw on his right arm looks and feels nice like wires sticking out of his gauntlet than an actual claw set up.  More pressing, however, are the wings.  They’re split between the upper and lower arms, in a similar fashion to the Toy Biz Falcon figure.  It worked okay there, but it isn’t exactly the most ideal here.  Ultimately, the way they’re sculpted, they don’t really look natural in any pose.   I mean, it’s not terrible, but it’s also not great.  On the plus side, the paintwork on Darkhawk is pretty top notch.  He’s got that cool metallic blue thing going on, which looks pretty nifty, as does the nicely contrasting  silver and flat red/orange.  The application is all pretty clean too, which is a definite plus.  Darkhawk includes no character-specific extras, but he does include the head of Titus.  Tiger head!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t initially plan on getting this guy.  After picking up the other four, I was pretty well done with this series.  I saw him once or twice in person, and he looked cool, but I don’t know the character.  Of course, then Super Awesome Girlfriend came in.  We were out picking up a printer, and while carrying said printer (which, it should be noted, was the second largest printer the store sold, putting it just under the size at which it qualifies for them to carry it out to the car for you…), I walked knee first into one of those cement pillars they have outside of most retail establishments.  Ouch, right?  Super Awesome Girlfriend felt bad, so she bought me this guy from Walmart.  He’s pretty cool, truth be told.  I may not know him all that well, but he sure does make for a cool toy!

#1287: Miles Morales – Ultimate Spider-Men

MILES MORALES — ULTIMATE SPIDER-MEN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With amazing agility and wall-crawling skills, these young web-slingers take down the bad guys!”

Hey, remember waaaaaay back when I was reviewing Marvel Legends?  It’s been, like, days.  Plural.  I think I might be going into withdrawal.  Could be serious.  Near as I can tell, the only surefire way of avoiding that withdrawal is to review some Marvel Legends.  Oh darn.

Today’s figure hails from Marvel’s Ultimate Universe (or at least he did.  It’s sort of complicated).  I’ve only briefly touched on the concept before, but in a nutshell, it was launched in the early 2000s as a more grounded, more accessible line of comics, geared towards newer readers.  After a few years, the universe was suffering from a lot of the same continuity lock-out as the main universe, thereby robbing it of its main hook.  To try and salvage some things, Marvel repurposed the ‘verse, and started using it to try out some more daring story telling.  For instance, in the main universe, killing Peter Parker and replacing him would never stick, but in the Ultimate ‘verse, they were able to do just that.  Following the death of the Ultimate Peter Parker, readers were introduced to his replacement Miles Morales.  Miles was a serious breakout for the Ultimate line, and actually kept it afloat for several years, before he was eventually moved to the main universe.  By virtue of bearing the title “Spider-Man,” Miles has gotten an assortment of figures, one of which I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Miles was released as part of the illusive Space Venom Series of Marvel Legends, under the title “Ultimate Spider-Men,” which he shares with the ultimate version of Peter.  This is Miles’ second time in this particular style; the first was released as a Walmart-exclusive figure in conjunction with the release of the first Amazing Spider-Man.  That figure was built on a very out of date, very ill-suited body, and was generally not well-regarded with the fans, on top of being nearly impossible to find.  This new one’s better on at least one of those counts.  The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Miles is built on the same base body we saw on the Sam Alexander Nova figure (it actually debuted here, though).  It’s a good, solid base.  Aside from the lack of butterfly joints at the shoulders,  and the addition of cut joints on the shins, it’s very similar to the Pizza Spidey body, which is certainly a plus.  The masked head (which is shared with the Peter figure as well) is also pretty similar to the Pizza Spidey head, though there are some key differences that help bring it more in line with the usual depictions of the ultimate masks.  I really dig the slightly wider eyes; it adds variety.  Miles also sports an unmasked head (putting him ahead of the main universe version of Peter in that respect).  It’s a really nice sculpt, and really manages to capture Miles’ in-comics look without getting too bogged down in any one artist’s style.  The level of detail, especially on the hair, is top-notch, and he’s got a nice, friendly expression that suits Miles really well.  The paintwork on Miles is generally pretty good.  The web pattern is sharp and evenly placed. Some of the reds on the rest of the body are a little thin, and there’s some slight slop here and there, but for the most part it looks pretty good.  The unmasked head is even better, with clean application all-around, even on the eyes!  In addition to the extra unmasked head, Miles also includes three pairs of hands (in fists, open gesture, and web-firing poses), as well as the right arm of the Build-A-Figure Space Venom.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I’ve noted in a few prior reviews, I didn’t have much luck finding this particular series at retail.  While that was a bummer all-around, the one figure I really, really wanted was Miles here, since I really needed him for my Avengers/Champions line-up.  While on a trip up to see Super Awesome Girlfriend’s dad, I stopped by the local Walmart, and they just so happened to have the remnants of this particular series.  I was initially only planning to get a Miles for my Dad, but Super Awesome Girlfriend insisted on going back and grabbing the second Miles for me.  Because that’s just what she does.  This is definitely a solid addition to the line, and a figure worthy of Miles’ awesomeness from the comics.  He really makes for a fun toy!  Now, if I can just get around to finishing Space Venom…

#1283: Green Goblin

GREEN GOBLIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A cackling menace aided by advanced technology, Green Goblin seeks to destroy Spider-Man in the pursuit of ultimate power.”

Wow, I sure do seem to be writing about Green Goblin a lot lately.  Of course, to be totally fair, this is the first proper review I’ve written since September of 2015, so I guess he was somewhat overdue.  Despite being perhaps the most recognizable Spider-Man foe, when it comes to toys, GG almost always ends up playing second fiddle to his successor Hobgoblin.  Of course, now it’s a pretty easy tell to figure out when we’ll see a Green Goblin figure, since he almost always follows the release of a classic Hobgoblin.  When Hobby showed up in the Space Venom Series of Marvel Legends last year, it was really only a matter of time before the original Goblin got a shot.  As a matter of fact, it was only a single series later that he was added, which is a pretty quick turnaround.  It’s almost like Hasbro had this planned from the beginning…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Goblin is figure 1 in the Sandman Series of Marvel Legends.  Finally, Goblin comes first…ignoring that this is the sixth series of this particular iteration of Marvel Legends, of course.  Goblin is no stranger to Legends, with two figures during the Toy Biz era, and a build-a-figure from Hasbro back in 2014.  That being said, the last Goblin was the Ultimate Universe version of the character (bleh), so this is the first “classic” Goblin since the Bring On the Bad Guys version from 2006.  Admittedly, that figure still holds up as one of Toy Biz’s best offerings, so the need for a replacement was a bit lower than some of the other redos as of late.  But, eleven years is still a pretty long time in collecting years, and it’s safe to say there are a lot of people collecting now that weren’t in 2006, so the new one is far from extraneous.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  From the neck down, he’s mostly the same figure as the Space Venom Hobgoblin, which is sensible, since the suits are very similar.  The only difference is the belt, which has been swapped out for Daredevil’s.  The body’s got an interesting lineage.  It’s technically a variant of the Bucky Cap body, by way of using the Doctor Strange body as a starting point.  However, since that figure had a unique torso, and this figure swaps out the arms and legs for new pieces, the only actually shared piece between this figure and Bucky Cap is the pelvis.  Funny how that works out.  The arms and legs are solid additions to the body, and add a lot of texture and flair.  The opt for the modern, more pronounced take on Goblin’s scale-mail, which is perfectly fine, since it helps differentiate him from the Toy Biz version a bit more.  I’m curious to see how these parts looked on Hobgoblin (I’ve still yet to see him or the majority of the rest of the Space Venom Series anywhere), as they work really well for Norman’s Green Goblin, who I generally think of as being a bit scrawnier than any of the the Hobgoblins (well, barring Phil Urich).  The satchel is a separate piece, which can be removed.  It’s not affixed in anyway, which is rather annoying, as it moves around a bit too much for my liking.  Still, it’s not a terrible piece.  The one new piece on this guy is his head sculpt.  Like the scales on the arms and legs, the head goes with a more modern take on GG’s design.  The face is more angular and caricature-ized, and he has the tassels on his cap that were added in the early ’00s.  By and large, the figure looks the be at least somewhat modeled on Norman’s Goblin King appearance from the end of Superior Spider-Man.  As much as I love the old Toy Biz figure, one issue I had with it was the subdued nature of the paint.  This figure does a little better, I guess.  He could still stand to be a little brighter in my opinion, but seeing as he’s a more modern incarnation, it’s not too off.  I do wish the eyes were a little less out to the sides, but they look pretty good from just about every angle but dead-on.  GG is packed with one of his pumpkin bombs, as well as his trusty Goblin Glider.  The glider is rather on the small side, and also pretty flat, but as I noted in my last Friday Addendum, Goblin Gliders are almost always a little bit off.  Green Goblin is also packed with not one, but two heads for the Build-A-Figure Sandman.  While they were throwing those extra heads in there, I sort of was hoping he might get an unmasked head of his own, but I guess they felt four heads in one pack would be obscene.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was able to grab most of this series at Walgreens during their Marvel Legends sale, Goblin was not amongst the selection of figures they had.  It would appear he’s this series’ in-demand figure.  Goblin came to me courtesy of my parents.  Amusingly enough, they picked him up from the K-Mart 15 minutes from where I live, but they were on their way home, so he made the 10-hour journey back, just to be mailed all the way back to me.  I will admit, this figure had a pretty high bar to clear, since the TB version is still one of my favorites.  Unlike some of the other recent replacement Legends, I don’t know that he’s truly displaced the prior figure as my go-to, but a lot of that is due to his slightly different execution.  I’m still more of a classic Goblin fan, but for a modern take, this one’s pretty solid. 

#1282: Spider-Man 2099 — Multiverse Spider-Men

SPIDER-MAN 2099 — MULIVERSE SPIDER-MEN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

EDIT: I know, it’s Alien Day, and I didn’t review anything Aliens-related.  That’s because I’ve reviewed almost every Alien and Aliens figure in my collection, and have nothing new.  Next year, maybe I’ll remember to save something.

“Across time and space, these web-slinging wall crawlers take on the bad guys and fight for universal justice.”

Spider-Man 2099 is undoubtedly the break-out star of the whole 2099 venture from the ‘90s, which is probably why he’s the only 2099 character who’s still even remotely relevant.  Since 2013, Miguel’s been stranded in the current-day Marvel universe, which has given him even more of an excuse to remain relevant, which is probably a good thing for him.  Miguel’s no stranger to action figures; it’s not exactly hard to sell buyers on a Spider-Man variant with a kick-ass design.  He got a Marvel Legend back in 2014, but since then, he’s gotten a costume change, which means he just *has* to have a new figure, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Man 2099 is figure 2 in the Sandman Series of Marvel Legends.  His official name is “Multiverse Spider-Men,” a name he shares with the previously reviewed Spider-UK.  This guy is based on 2099’s latest costume design, which he got with the launch of his “All-New, All-Different” title.  It’s not a bad look, but I’ve still got a soft spot for the old one.  I feel like this one’s too short on blue.  Regardless, it’s his new main design, so it’s only fair it see action figure form.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  The last 2099 was built on the Pizza Spidey body, which was fine for a classic version of the character, but these day’s Miguel’s looking a bit more robust, so this figure debuted an all-new base body.  Thanks to the weird distribution of this series, I’ve already reviewed, via Sunfire.  I liked it there and I like it here.  I’m really happy to have a middle ground between Bucky Cap and Pizza Spidey, and this new base is a great balance of sculpting and movement.  Those shoulder joints are absolutely fantastic, and feel more sturdy than the Pizza Spidey joints, which always give me pause.  In a lot of ways, this body feels like the true successor to the old Bullseye body, and that’s a definite compliment.  2099 gets a unique head, forearms, and feet, all of which are great fits for the body.  The head in particular is really nice; it’s a very clean, sharp sculpt, and I really appreciate how well you can make out Miguel’s face under the mask.  That’s some really great detailing.  The forearms are decent enough, though the spikes are a little on the soft side.  The feet being unique is a bit strange if I’m hones.  They’re not really that different than the ones on Sunfire, just with some extra etched-in details.  I’m certainly not complaining.  The paint on 2099 is pretty good, though not without some minor issues.  There’s a little bit of bleed over here and there, and the white paint on his legs seems a bit prone to chipping.  On the plus side, the metallic red they’ve used looks really, really slick, rivaling the last figure’s metallic blue in terms of coolness factor.  2099 includes no accessories of his own.  Some extra hands showing off his talons would have been cool, or even an unmasked head, but he was technically an all-new sculpt, so I guess it’s excusable.  Oh well.  He does, however, include the right arm of the Sandman BAF.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Spider-Man 2099 from an out of the way Walgreens, at the same time as the last three figures.  That $12.99 sale really made buying these guys easy.  I will admit, I wasn’t initially sold on this guy.  I’m at best a moderate 2099 fan, and I was really happy with the Hobgoblin Series figure.  Upon seeing this guy in person, I had a hard time saying no.  This may not be my go-to 2099 design, but this figure is super, super fun.  Despite not being super familiar with this iteration of the character, I find myself picking this guy up and reposing him a whole lot, which is really the gold-standard for an action figure.  This guy was another pleasant surprise in a series pretty much constructed out of pleasant surprises.

#1281: Marvel’s Jackal

MARVEL’S  JACKAL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Sharp claws, pointed ears, and super speed turn Miles Warren into the Super Villain known as Jackal.”

Wow, talk about tip of the iceberg.  I mean, sure, those are all words that describe Jackal, but oh boy is he way more complicated than this one sentence bio makes him out to be.  The average person probably isn’t super familiar with Jackal, but he’s actually a pretty integral character in the Spider-mythos.  He’s the creator of both Ben Reilly and Kaine Parker (both Scarlet Spiders) and a major driving force in the infamous “Clone Saga,” but he’s also responsible for the introduction of the Punisher, and has been a major part of several big Spider-themed cross-overs, including “Spider-Island” (my personal favorite Spider-Man story in recent years) and the just finished “Clone Conspiracy.”  Despite all of this, up until recently he’s only had one single action figure, and it was just a crappy repaint at that.  Fortunately, he was among the figures chosen for the most recent Spider-Man-themed series of Marvel Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jackal is figure 6 in the Sandman Series of Marvel Legends.  There are a few different versions of Jackal out there to choose from in terms of design.  This figure more or less goes with the classic guy in a furry suit look, though he looks to take more specific influence from Stefano Caselli’s rendition of him during “Spider-Island.”  It’s a versatile look, fitting in with a large number if different eras, so it’s a good choice.  Plus, you just can’t beat the classics.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Jackal is 100% a new sculpt.  He also appears to be remaining a unique sculpt, at least for the time being, which is a little surprising for a character like Jackal.  I personally was expecting him to get re-purposed as a Perez-styled Beast, but Hasbro themselves have ruled that one out on the basis of him being too small.  Perhaps we’ll be seeing Werewolf By Night and Vermin in upcoming assortments.  So, how is this all-new sculpt?  Actually pretty awesome.  The texturing on the fur parts is really nicely rendered, and the different spots even have the fur hanging different ways. Even lesser-detailed the shorts have some  decent work on the folds and such.  The proportions on the figure The figure’s build feels rather similar to the Spider-UK body, though he’s a bit broader in the shoulders.  The neck is a tad skinny, and the head sits a little oddly on it, but a good crouching pose is enough to hide those issues.  Atop that neck is a pretty fantastic head sculpt, sporting a sharp maniacal grin, and those goofy, pointy ears.  Jackal’s paintwork is pretty solid work; for the most part, it’s just molded green, but he’s also got a little bit of brown accent work, which makes the fur look a bit more believable.  The rest of the work is all pretty clean, continuing the trend of the last few series of Marvel Legends.  Jackal includes no character specific accessories.  To be fair, I’m not really sure what you could give him, and he is an all new sculpt.  Maybe an alternate unmasked Miles head might have been cool? He does come with the right leg of Sandman, which is decent enough for what it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first introduction to Jackal was via that first action figure of his, included in the big-box store-exclusive Maximum Clonage set.  I knew nothing about him, and that figure didn’t do much to enamor him to me.  I’ve long since parted with that figure (rather foolishly, it would seem, given the aftermarket value of the set).  In the mean time, a subscription of Dan Slott’s run on Spider-Man has given me a much greater appreciation for ol’ Miles Warren, so when this figure was announced, I was actually pretty excited.  The final figure is definitely a strong entry in the line.  Solid sculpt, fun design, and great execution.  The Jackal has finally been given his due!  Now, how about a “Clone Conspiracy” Jackal?