Friday, 30 August 2013

Jean Grey (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Jean Grey
When it comes to beauty and sex appeal, I personally think Jean Grey got them both and that I could rank her as my number one favourite woman of Marvel. She is tall and skinny with the right curves around her body. Not that I think the rest of these women aren't sketched as beautifully as her like most we've seen in the comics, I guess her personality plus her long red hair also played a role in the making of an ideal woman. But as I tried to hold and look at this new Marvel Legends figure, I don't feel the Jean Grey inside of it. She seems like she's walking on a thin line between a fully grown woman and an average tween.

She is part of the Rocket Racoon BAF Wave and comes with Rocket Racoon's tail and body (without the arms). With the blue and orange colour scheme, this figure is the exact rendition of Jim Lee's Jean Grey and the one from the 90's Uncanny X-men Animated Series. We may or may not see the two running changes of this action figure but I really don't care as long as this version finally appeared.

Nothing special about the overall paint application other than having a nail polish that matches her long wavy hair,... and let's not forget Jean's lovely pair of green eyes, which are also incorporated on this figure.

While there is nothing really to complain about the paint, the body mold used on Jean doesn't really go well with her head. It seems like the head is kinda big to be on top of this skinny and almost anorexic body type which is, by the way, used by Hasbro on almost all their female figures. More worse, the right hand (or shall we call it the mind control hand) is slightly on the larger scale.

The only thing I liked about the sculpt are the ones over her hair. Also, the pockets at the side of her legs made this Jean Grey a little comic book accurate at least. The arm bracers are made of a softer plastic material that can be plied, moved and rotated, which helps with the articulation as well as belt with the big X logo around her non-articulated waist is also made of the same material, which is not glued to her body.

Like most female Marvel Legends with this type of body mold, the articulation is more likely the same. Apparently, her head movement is hindered by the enormous length and stiffness of her hair. Shoulder movements are also unable to move to its full potential because of these shoulder pads right around it. Jean Grey's elbows and wrists are single-hinged that can flex and rotate. She got diaphragm swivel that lets her look and turn to the sides. Y-jointed hips, upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, hinged ankles with the ankle pivot.

Having her stand close to the Marvel Legends Hope Summers, they're almost of the same size with the same features; standing about 6 inches tall. As far as recommendation goes, she can be a great addition having her in the mix with some Toy Biz ML Classic X-men and so it would be advisable to get her.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Hawkeye - Modern (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Hawkeye
Anyone who take a quick glance at the Modern Hawkeye would start referring it to the 6-inch Avengers Hawkeye, which was released by Hasbro a year ago for the movie. Who doesn't? Baring some resemblance of Renner's features, you can easily fall under the impression that this is a reuse of the head sculpt but... it is not and it is completely different when compared to the movie version. For me, I got no issue with it but if we're talking about being comic book-bound, I say Hasbro should have sculpted the head more differently that could at least come near to its comic book counterpart.

The Marvel Legends Modern Hawkeye is part of the Rocket Racoon Wave but doesn't come with a Build-A-Figure piece. So that being said, you're not obliged to buy him to complete Rocket Racoon. Moreover, you get two options whether to get this Modern Hawkeye or the variant which is the Classic Avengers Hawkeye. Whichever Hawkeye you wanna get, they both look fantastic.

The body mold being used here is the Bucky Cap mold, which Hasbro has been utilizing over and over. Marvel Legends Archangel has the same type of body mold as for this figure. It may not be a huge deal for me because the fact is- it is all expertly sculpted and well proportioned, and always neat looking. Other than his body mold, the utility belt and the quiver straps looked finely detailed with a little bit of texture in it.

This action figure doesn't have much of paint shading or variation, or whatever. Across his chest and abs, and around his boots are streaks of purple painted over this solid black uniform while his belts and straps stand out from the gray paint applied over its much softer plastic material.

Although Hasbro did quite an improvement on his quiver; learning from the Avengers Movie Hawkeye, but still hasn't given us just one single arrow to hold for his other hand. Without an arrow, this Hawkeye figure just doesn't hit the mark. However, I like that Hasbro reuse the modern bow from his predecessor. What's more amazing is that the sculpt on the fletchings and the entire quiver itself is much appealing to look at now.

The articulation of this figure is probably going to be a repeat of those action figures I've reviews with the Bucky Cap mold, but here are all of them. Ball-hinged neck that lets his head move up, down and rotate to each sides. Ball-hinged shoulders, rotation around the biceps and wrists, double-jointed elbows and hinges on the wrists to flex it up or down. Ab crunch and waist swivel are incorporated around the torso. T-joints inside the hips to have Hawkeye's legs move forward and back. Upper-thing swivel, double jointed knees, mid-calf swivel, ankle hinges and ankle pivot are going steady with this figure.

The Modern Hawkeye stands about 6.1 inches tall and he's a great addition to your Modern Avengers display. He may look like the one from the movie but you will see that the shape of his head is much leaner and elongated than that of Jeremy Renner's, And so, it's not really gonna affect how we want to present a strictly comic book style of Avengers.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Luke Cage - Thunderbolts (Marvel Legends: SDCC Exclusive)

Marvel Legends Luke Cage SDCC 2013
If you had been to the San Diego Comic Con 2013, you've probably seen these Marvel Legends Thunderbolts action figures around, which are exclusive only in that event. It comes with this big Thunderbolt-themed box that has 5 members of the Thunderbolts namely, Crossbones, Moonstone, Ghost, Judith Chambers and, of course, this one here, Luke Cage! Luckily, I found a good price of this figure on eBay... and yeah, I am one of those unfortunate guys who didn't have the right budget and moment to be able to attend the SDCC this year. So, ...gotta settle hunting them online.

Having a body mold of the Marvel Legends Hit Monkey Series Hyperion, Luke Cage stands about 6.9 inches tall. It is an above average-sized action figure and I am glad to see this new body mold as I start thinking about those guys with "above average" body types like maybe... Wonder Man or Avalanche... or Sandman, but there are only two figures I've seen so far that got this body mold, and the picture at the bottom proves that it's totally different from the rest of the body molds you've seen.

The overall paint application on this figure is not that mind-blowing nor something beyond the basics. Like most Marvel Legends, these solid colours just beams right into your eyes too flat and obvious. However, these Thunderbolts logo on both Cage's shoulders are painted/printed with balance and precision over his dimpling deltoids which kinda amazes me. In addition, Cage has a couple of these "metallic" arm guards, which is painted with a non-shiny type of gray colour as well as those around his legs. If you look closely around each elbows, you can see a bit of black paint crossing the elbow-line and it looked as though, if you take off the arm guards, Luke Cage is wearing a long black hoister gloves, which is... I don't know, weird!

Despite having a head, which is kinda bit oversized, I like the head sculpt of this figure; rendering a stern and a "serious-business" look on the character as he should be. He sort of got this The Rock-type of single eyebrow raise, which is pretty cool... I got no issue with it. All the lumps, dimples and cuts around his muscles are very well-balanced, and amazingly well-sculpted. The only gripe I had with this figure is the width of his crotch; I think the crotch should be wide enough so it doesn't look like he is pooping something inside his pants.

Articulation-wise, this figure has a decent amount of joints and swivels. The neck is ball-hinged that can move way high and way low, and can rotate 360. Ball-hinged shoulders that allows Cage to raise his arms to the front and back, and to the sides. He got swivel to the biceps, double-jointed elbows that doesn't perform to a full extent because of these arm guards, and ball-hinged on the wrists. This figure has a ratcheting ab crunch and waist swivel on his torso. Hasbro incorporated the T-joints, which allows this figure to kick to the front and to the sides. Going further, he got upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, calf swivel, hinged ankles that moves up and down, and ankle pivots.

For the sake of including him with the rest of the members of the Avengers or New Avengers, and especially the Thunderbolts, I definitely would advice anyone to get him. Not only he is a SDCC exclusive (if you're into collecting "exclusive" figures), but also it's a Luke Cage that has a much modern look with a completely different Marvel Legends body mold; something that is new and unique though rather not entirely unique.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Iron Monger (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Iron Monger
After all those random visits at Target and Wal-Mart (in Canada), I finally completed the Build-A-Figure Iron Monger along with getting those figures like Bleeding Edge, Ultron and others that carried Monger's BAF parts with them. I could have bought the last three parts/figures at BBTS, which they released three months before it finally showed up in the store, but I just don't wanna pay for shipping for these figures. I mean, you can easily find Hasbro Marvel Legends at your nearest supermarkets and shopping centres, so why go all through that expenses?

Taking a glance at this figure, I thought it is very cool looking but then again, Hasbro continually gave us Build-A-Figures that are shorter than those Toy Biz ones. In fact, it's even getting smaller and shorter for every Wave! But for me, as long as Hasbro keep showing improvements (though sometimes screwing things up) with creating and designing their action figures, I guess I'll be fine even with all their growth-deficient BAF's.

Like the Hasbro ML Ultron, Iron Monger primarily gets its colour from the plastic it's made of while this is being covered with a glossy outer layer that made this figure shine and shimmer. In addition to its gloss, this figure has some tiny dust-like glitters scattered across its armour that (although seem unnoticeable) adds a sort of metallic look on Monger. Still, you can see some of these swirls and twirls on its plastic but not as bad and obvious as that of Ultron.

In reference to the comic books, the rendition of this Iron Monger is phenomenally accurate. Given with extra bits of aesthetic features, Monger maintains its classic look; the rectangular arc reactor, the visor, and the all-blue armour. They added some muscle folds around its torso, a big charging port at its back, and lines and grids for a much fancier look. Also, I really like that they added a pair of these cable wires on each of its arms but with that antennae on its shoulder, I don't think if it's necessary to add that albeit rather can be permanently removed with customization.

Although I wasn't able to successfully make Monger do a "flying pose", like the Marvel Select Rhino, Monger can stand in one foot and execute a beautiful "charging pose" without the help of a clear stand. Despite its wider girth, this Marvel Legends figure has, probably, an average score in poseability, which isn't bad.

Monger has that ball and socket neck that lets his head turn 360 degrees, lean side to side and gaze down but hardly look upwards because of this collar around its neck. With its diaphragm joint, it is still achievable to get Monger to look up as well as other torso movements. Monger got ball-jointed shoulders that, if it wasn't for these stiff shoulder guards, may have get it to raise its arm all the way up. It has bicep swivel, ball-hinged elbows that lets it flex and swivel right at the elbow line and a couple of these wrist twists. The legs can kick forward and back, and at the sides. It has double-jointed knees, ball-hinged ankles that turns side to side while slightly hindered by the armour around its legs. Thankfully, its ankle pivots functions properly.

Standing at around 7.6 inches tall, it is in perfect scale with any standard Hasbro or Toy Biz Marvel Legends you'd like to throw beside it. Versus the Hulkbuster, Iron Monger is undeniably much leaner and shorter... as it should be though. Having read some positive reviews about this Build-A-Figure, no doubt this figure is a must-have for every Legends collector.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ultron (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Ultron
When this Marvel Legends Iron Man Wave came out, I am one of those few people who became restless as to why we got an Ultron figure instead of a Mandarin if this Wave is actually a tie-in with those Iron Man/Avengers movies. Honestly, I didn't expect Ultron to come out nor even realize its significance. Now after Avengers: Age of Ultron got announced at the SDCC 2013 event, I don't know if Hasbro already knew about this bad robot but, apparently, they released this action figure couple of months before the event. Whether this is planned or just coincidence by Hasbro, none of us, geeks expect that Ultron would be the main villain in the next instalment.

There are a lot of speculations flying around about this new Avengers movie opening in the year 2015, but a confirmed fact states that Tony Stark will be Ultron's creator (instead of Hank Pym a.k.a. Ant-Man). I think this will be our first time to see J.A.R.V.I.S. (voiced by Paul Bettany) going haywire as he/it will slowly turn into one of the Avengers' toughest foes, ...but this is just my own speculation. I'm not so sure what is really going on behind those curtains, but I think this could be possible.

And so... yeah, we finally got a 6-inch scale Ultron figure for our Marvel Legends collection. Looking at this figure, I can't say I am disappointed nor too happy with it. I still think the sculpt and the paint detail of the Marvel Select Ultron is quite unmatched when it goes up against all the Legends ones. While the MS Ultron holds a more classic look, this Hasbro ML Ultron has that modernistic and a bit of Iron Man-esque look in it.

Ultron gets its colour from this gray plastic that is being used to create this figure. If you look closely, you can see some swirls and twirls around Ultron's smooth and glossy body. There are some colour shading around this figure but it is really not that of a huge deal.

I am not too impressed with the sculpt, however, I like that they added these shoulder guards, that bony spine going down its back and the ala-Colossus type of skin; making it looked bad ass. This modern day Ultron may have more features than the Select version but some of these features are out of proportion. The feet are way too big and tall as well as that clenched fist in its right arm.

The poseability on this figure though is better than the Select version, however, this Marvel Legends figure is not among those other figures in this toyline with great amount of articulation. With a head that moves all the way up and ball-hinged shoulders, you can easily take this Ultron on a flight mode. In addition, Ultron got double-jointed elbows, wrists that can rotate and bend, also, the torso can rotate and bend. It got ball-hinged hips, upper-thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, ankles that can rotate and bend but no pivot.

If you're into customizing action figures, I am sure it is going to be easy for you to paint this guy with all gray and do some colour shading to cover this swirly-twirly thing going around its plastic. Unless Hasbro intended to have an Ultron that looks like a caramel-coated candy, then, really, I'm not feeling this one and they need to realize that it actually doesn't look nice. I wouldn't I say "I recommend" this figure but rather say get him to complete your Iron Monger Build-A-Figure or get him for your Avengers collection.