Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Marvel Legends Dazzler

Dazzler was a slow burn for me, from the 2017 X-Men Series "Classic" version, up to the latest 2019 Retro Series, appealing to the younger '90s kids with it's ToyBiz-inspired, X-Men cardback. The latter is somewhat a stand-in for the Marvel Legends Rogue I never picked up, wearing the same jacket and belt of that figure- even a sporty headband! Rogue's secondary market price has ballooned, but Dazzler in her '90s gear will do fine. Check out the video:

I can't say enough good things about these two, though the 2017 classic version on roller skates with feathered '70s hair and disco outfit is probably the more original/unique action figure- we don't often get one on roller skates. That said, the Retro Series Dazzler scratches an itch for me personally. Of note: Dazzler was originally commissioned as a cross-promotion between Marvel Comics and Casablanca Records, who had struck gold previously with the rock group Kiss. While this project fizzled, Dazzler first appeared in Uncanny X-Men # 130 (1980), and went on to be published under her own title from '81-'85, and the X-Men in the years following, before disappearing for most of the next two decades. Read more about Dazzler at Comic Vine!

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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Marvel Legends Deathlok & Cable

I picked these figures up in March of 2018, not quite a year after getting back into Marvel Legends, and am finally getting around to photographing them, not for lack of enthusiasm regarding, but rather lack of time. While Cable is a longtime favorite character, Deathlok did not disappoint, and I enjoyed him every bit as much.

First appearing in Astonishing Tales #25 in 1974, the Deathlok identity has been employed by several Marvel characters, including a mostly cyborg Steve Rogers in X-Factor #231. And his likeness to British metal band Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie is undeniable! Hasbro revealed recently that Deathlok will be rereleased in his Uncanny X-Force black & gray, but I prefer this classic color scheme. I feel like Deathlok was a greatly underappreciated figure upon his release over a year ago, but is certainly on of the best figures from this Deadpool wave- his sculpt and deco are fantastic, regardless of the character's standing in the Marvel hierarchy.

Below, Deathlok with my Marvel Legends Colossus, a modern version that wasn't favored by a lot of collectors, but I liked very much. I'm unsure these two characters had much crossover in the Marvel Universe, but the figures have a lot of aesthetic similarities I couldn't ignore...

Hasbro certainly captured the Rob Liefeld/'90s aesthetic with this Cable figure- the bulk of his shoulder harness hampers his articulation somewhat, but I feel like this is the classic X-Force version I'd been waiting for. He's armed to the teeth as well! I appreciate the inclusion of a peg for stowing his rifle onto the back of his harness and holster for his shotgun, but an additional left trigger hand would have been nice

Below, Cable with my Marvel Legends Hope Summers- I loved the Messiah War story arc from a few years back! Hasbro was bringing 6" Marvel Legends back around the time they produced this Hope figure, and while I love the sculpt/paint, the articulation leaves a lot to be desired and she doesn't hold her rifle well at all.

Below, Cable and Deathlok with their wave mate, and possibly best Deadpool action figure Hasbro has produced, the 1st Appearance Deadpool- no, he didn't include an arsenal of firearms that we associate with the character, but his articulation, deco, and sculpt are top notch. Recommended!

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Marvel Legends Jubilee (X-Men Wave)

The recent Marvel Legends X-Men wave was roundly praised for it's strong roster in spite of their individual shortcomings in the eyes of some, and Jubilee was one of the most anticipated. I preordered Beast and Forge right out of the gate, and have been sitting on them only for a lack of time due to moving house and career obligations. There seems to be less interest in the Caliban BAF, for myself included in spite of having read about the character in Uncanny X-Men and X-Factor. That said, we get Weapon X, Gambit, Jubilee, Forge, and the Beast figure we've waited on for a long time all in one wave.

Jubilee came with no effects accessories, but at this point nearly every Legends collector has one of these "magic bubble" rings. The arm clasp is far too large for Jubilee's wrists, but you can manage for a photo at the right angle. Apart from her elbows being limited to a right angle, she has otherwise useful articulation- her lollipop neck is problematic, but is at least partially diminished by her collar. Boot tops and shorts disguise the swivel joints perfectly. The boots, shorts, torso, and perhaps forearms all appear to be new tooling to my eyes. She looks fantastic!

While we were shorted on effects accessories for Jubilee, we did get a spectacular second portrait blowing bubble gum and extra shades that make this a really unique and fun action figure. I actually received two extra pairs of shades, and maybe you did as well, perhaps Hasbro's assumption one of these painfully tiny pieces would be immediately lost. Regardless, these are particularly useful accessories that are apropos of Jubilee's youthful pluck. Wonderful!

Above, Jubilation with her X-Men teammate Wolverine
and below Nico Minoru, fellow A-Force member...

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Marvel Legends Avengers War Machine

I knew at the moment solicitations for this figure was announced that he would be mine, and patience paid off months later when I had him for under twenty bucks, shipped. He is a beautiful piece, even if somewhat limited in articulation, due to his girth. Vertical articulation on the shoulder cannon would have made it more useful, but I do like the ankle pivots, and his neck/head and hips aren't bad. Hinged wrists & double-jointed knees help in posing him as well.

The sculptural detail and mecha/metallic finish combined with the robot bulk of this figure makes him a standout, his arm cannons exaggerating his already hulking stance. Paint is spare, ultimately contributing to his realistic aesthetic. The touch of glowing red around the eyes is fantastic!

My 2013 Marvel Legends Iron Man 3 Series Iron Patriot has a superiorly articulated shoulder cannon, truth be told, but he seems downright anemic next to War Machine. I somehow have no other War Machine figures to compare this one to, but am confident all the previous versions would fare no better next to this...

And finally, War Machine next to my Marvel Legends Ragnarok Gladiator Hulk, Starforce Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange. That Gladiator Hulk got me back into Legends in 2017, after which I collected more than I had years prior by far. It's been said before, Hasbro has been killin' it the last few years, with no end in sight. I have several collected I've yet to photograph, and a couple of the new 80th Anniversary figures on the way, so expect to see more here on the Super-DuperToyBox!

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