Thursday, October 28, 2021

Marvel Legends What If ...? Wave (Watcher BAF)

Though unfamiliar with the Disney+ show, Marvel What If...?, I knew I'd be getting this Marvel Legends wave upon first solicitation. I've since enjoyed the first season, but my initial enthusiasm for these unfamiliar Marvel character mash-ups was based solely on their fantastic designs. Check out the video:

Aside from some small nitpicks, I was not disappointed with any of these figures. Zombie Captain America may be the standout, but Captain Carter seems to also be a fan favorite among the action figure community. And Doctor Strange Supreme just makes a fine stand-in for Doctor Strange, in spite of the character's alternate reality in the What If ...? animated series. The same goes for Zombie Hunter Spider-Man- without the cloak, he's just a good, albeit grungy, Spider-Man. Below, some of the other Marvel Legends that make an appearance in the video: Far From Home Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Star-Lord, Doctor Strange, Infinity Gauntlet Thanos, and Ragnarok Thor...

Pictured below, The Watcher BAF with my Marvel Legends Fantastic Four, Obsidian Surfer, and my old ToyBiz Cosmic Power Galactus. You won't get a great deal of extreme poses with this BAF, but that's not typical of the character anyway. I didn't buy the recent HasLab oversized Sentinel or Galactus due to their prohibitive cost, and wish they would just release some simpler, large figures for a lower price to complement the Marvel Legends line.

This was truly a great Marvel Legends wave, largely full of characters I didn't know I wanted a figure of. I did enjoy What if ...?, Loki, and WandaVision recently on Disney+, however, but it helped that I'd watched most of the MCU films off the last ten years. And while this isn't a "classic" Watcher figure, the character has been rendered differently often enough in the comics that it works for me. There has been speculation the Hasbro will release a more vintage styled Watcher like Marvel Select has, but I like this modern update. Recommended! 

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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Marvel Legends Spider-Man (Far From Home Upgraded Suit)

While I've yet to see Spider-Man: Far From Home, I couldn't resist this upgraded suit Spider-Man with actor Tom Holland's head. While the classic blue and red outfit is my jam, Spider-Man in black and red looks good, and there are plenty of classic elements to the outfit.

 This new Spider-Man shares the same head as the Iron Spider from the Avengers Infinity War 2-pk, a much improved Tom Holland unmasked head update from the Spider-Man Homecoming 2-pk. Like the Iron Spider, this is the second version of the upgraded suit- while it's more screen accurate in many ways, Hasbro unfortunately left out the fantastic fabric texture in the black areas of his outfit. That said, he's a great looking action figure with really good articulation, including butterfly joints at the shoulders.

Below, Stan Lee gives advice to Tom Holland on the role of Spider-Man -Excelsior! 

Hasbro really nailed the physique and proportions of this Spider-Man, and I liked the included translucent webline. Some wallcrawling hands would have been nice, but I do like having grip hands to hold that webline...

Below, Spider-Man battles another MCU Marvel Legends figure that has been redesigned, my Avengers Endgame Thanos BAF- I picked him up on the secondary market to avoid buying the entire wave, and we've seen at least one more release of him in a 2-pk since...

And finally, upgraded Spider-Man with another black and red Spidey, my ToyBiz Marvel Legends 1st Appearance Spider-Man. Released in 2005 as part of the Sentinel BAF wave, this was the Marvel Legends Spider-Man to have, with double-jointed limbs, articulated hands, and webbing. While a lot of collectors bemoan the absence of painted weblines on this new Spider-Man, I feel Marvel Legends have come a long way.

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Monday, October 18, 2021

MOTU Origins Battlefield Warriors Battle Armor He-Man & Battle Cat

It was a long time looking, but I finally got ahold of the new Target exclusive Battlefield Warriors Battle Armor He-Man and Battle Cat last weekend. Based on the current, plentiful stock of the recent Rise of Evil 2-pk no one could get ahold of initially, I think we'll see more of these in the wild. Regardless, it's a fantastic set  I hope you find soon- check out the video:

While it's mildly annoying having to cough up for what is basically the same figure as the recent Deluxe Battle Armor He-Man, and our second Battle Cat, the vac-metal armor and full power sword are nice upgrades, and I like the slightly more vibrant Battle Cat. We also get a base that matches the new Castle Grayskull with a couple small gargoyles to help build out your MOTU Origins display-  the vehicles in this line have all come with nice flight bases, as well. But the update I like most on this set was the windswept hair/pen mouth on the additional head, modeled after the original He-Man portrait. We got a similar treatment on the Deluxe Battle Armor He-Man, which used the newer character portrait. I may buck the trend among collectors in my approval of the updated He-Man portrait, which could be the reason for the retro He-Man and Skeletor face sculpts showing up more frequently in new releases.

Below, Battlefield Wariors Battle Armor He-Man and 
Battle Cat with my Battle Armor Skeletor and Panthor ...

And finally, Battlefield Warriors He-Man & Battle Cat with some of the other Heroic Warriors guarding my MOTU Origins Castle Grayskull: She-Ra, Roboto, and Zodac of Wave 3, Stratos, Ram Man, Teela, Man-at-Arms, and of course, Temple of Darkness Sorceress who lives there...

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Saturday, October 9, 2021

Marvel Legends Retro 3.75" Stealth Iron Man, Storm, and Vision

 I've been slowly building a collection of these Marvel Legends Retro 3.75" figures for the past year or so, acquiring Vision, Storm, and Stealth Iron Man recently on GameStop's website at a decent price. I've only enjoyed these on card so far, a big part of their appeal with the great artwork and throwback styling. Below, the 3.75" Retro figure with their 6" Marvel Legends counterparts, Vision, Storm, and Stealth Iron Man.

I'm a big fan of Vision, so I was happy to get him in particular, but it was nice to get another X-Men character with Storm, in her classic outfit nonetheless. I had the 3.75" Classic Iron Man, but quite fond of his Stealth mode, and have collected some blue Iron Man figures over the years.It's Ironic I sold off most of my 3.75" Marvel Universe figures only to start collecting these, but as a kid raised on 5-point Star Wars figures, there's a nostalgia engrained  into my soul. They also remind me of Hasbro's Marvel Secret Wars figures, which were larger, but simple in articulation, colorful, and simple.Good ingredients for a fun toy. Recommended! 

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Marvel Select Immortal Hulk

I bit the bullet a little late on the Marvel Select Immortal Hulk, but he's a huge Hulk action figure, which I have a hard time passing by, the character a childhood favorite of mine. The Mego World's Greatest Superheroes 8" Hulk was one of my favorite childhood toys, usurped by their 12" release in the years following. And when CBS debuted the TV series in 1977, starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, we were hooked. Check out the video:

The unexpected additional mecha head sculpt was a welcome accessory to this Marvel Select. Mecha Hulk is a concept that has been floating in and out of comics and action figures for years, this alternate head appearing to have been influenced by Cosmic Hulk. According to Marvel Fandom, this robotic construct was a misguided experiment by two MIT students, awoken with disastrous results by exposure to the power cosmic from the Eternals' Uni-Mind.

There have obviously been many comparisons weighed within the action figure community between this Marvel Select Immortal Hulk and Hasbro's 80th Anniversary Hulk. While Immortal Hulk has size over Hasbro's Hulk, the Marvel Legends Hulk has slightly better articulation. I really like the torn shirt accessory included with the Legends Hulk, and his clenched teeth that can be neutral or enraged depending on his setting. The Select has really good articulation however, the alternate mecha head sculpt is fantastic, and the torn pants at the knees really set him apart. Both are great figures I'd recommend to any Hulk fan.

Marvel Select Vs. Marvel Legends! Below, Marvel Select Immortal Hulk and Marvel Legends 80th Anniversary Hulk face off with my Marvel Select Thanos and Marvel Legends Infinity Gauntlet Thanos...

Of course, I had to throw in a shot of Immortal Hulk with my new Marvel Legends She-Hulk ...

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Monday, October 4, 2021

Marvel Legends She Hulk and Tigra

 I was surprised to see the Marvel Legends Retro carded Tigra on GameStop's website, but there and then decided to finally commit to the new She-Hulk and enjoy free shipping. These ladies are unique and colorful action figures that I felt might make a great pairing...

Tigra was initially introduced as The Cat, but revamped to the more familiar super-powered, part animal character we know now in Giant-Sized Creatures #1,1974. I had little or no experience with the character until backtracking that issue, also featuring Werewolf by Night, on Marvel Unlimited. Below, Tigra with Shuri from a 2018 Black Panther 2-pk with Klaw...

I'm unsure if this is a new buck for Tigra's tiny frame, but it has small areas of fur texture sculpted on the shoulders, forearms, and above the knee. This is unfortunately concealed by the painted stripes, but interesting to think about who may fit that body, perhaps Wolfsbane/Rahne Sinclair of the X-Men? That character probably would not fit the intricate sculpt details of Tigra's bikini, though. Amazing detail throughout this surprising little figure. Also, her tail seems to be meant to swivel, if begrudgingly on my sample.

Tigra has pinless limbs, and a decent level of articulation, the elbows of particular note. Not a lot abdominal crunch, but I was able to get her to do some things. Below, Tigra spars with Thundra...

While we have Thundra out, we might as well compare her with She-Hulk, as they are both larger female buck. Thundra could have benefitted from a more substantial base body, but I have held onto her...

I was reluctant to pick up this repaint of She-Hulk as she is the same figure it seems we just bought- it has been 20 months, but that happens more as Hasbro pushes out Marvel Legends figures with ever-increasing frequency. This gray version of Shulkie was part of the Super Skrull Wave that included the classic Doctor Doom that have also repainted in more comic-inspired colors.

It's great to finally have a green She-Hulk that's easy to acquire, and has an appropriately muscle build befitting of the character. While the neutral head sculpt is fine, I would have preferred more of a John Byrne Sensational She-Hulk hair style, like we got in the recent X-Factor Polaris figure. I predict we will get another She-Hulk in the Marvel Legends. I personally loved her FF outfit (we need a box set of that team with Miss Thing), but a more traditional Fantastic Four look or some variant of her purple and white outfit, are certainly on the table. Below, She-Hulk with my Marvel 80th Anniversary Classic Hulk...

She-Hulk may be one of the Marvel characters that actually could take on Mr. Hyde ...!

And finally, Tigra and She-Hulk with some of the other heroic females in my Marvel Legends collection: Angela, Captain Marvel, Ironheart, Black Widow, and Dazzler...

These are two nice figures I'd recommend to any action figure collector- I paid a couple bucks less retail for Tigra on GameStop's website than BBTS is asking, and got free shipping for buying She-Hulk for $19.99. The recent price increases on Legends are annoying, but I will say again that they are nearer to import quality than in the past. Hasbro sees people paying fifty to one hundred dollars for single figures by companies like Storm Collectibles, Mezco, Medicom, and Mafex, and they want some of that action.

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