Sunday, 23 February 2014

Beetle (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Beetle
I'm not too familiar with the Beetle- like I don't even know this guy exists in the comic books, but here's what I think about him. If I take a Kamen Rider and a Mark 33 Iron Man, shove them both inside a can,  and add a ton of nasty stuff, it would probably result to this guy! He is one of Spider-Man's "deadliest foes" and from the looks of him, I think he is a lot cooler to be a superhero than a super-villain. From what I heard, this is the more modern version of the Beetle, or shall we call him the Ultimate Beetle. I'm a little surprised Hasbro went with him instead of a more prominent character but... you know, it's always nice to have something or someone new to come around.

If only I weren't in too much rush on getting all these figures while they were still on the shelf, I could have gotten a better Beetle action figure without the paint defect. Mine has these scuff marks at the chest, which I am bummed about. But anyways, I like how the silver and red colour scheme, which blended perfectly on Beetle. If you look closely, you can see that he got multiple eyes sticking together on each side which I think is wicked. It would have been better if Hasbro added some line work to put more detail on his face.

But what I really liked about is the sculpting. It just seem like a new body mold with all these bumps protruding all over his suit and with the antennae and arm guns that made him appear more menacing. What's quite surprising is that his hands got only four fingers, not common to your average Marvel Legends hand, let alone his big feet that only got two toes on each.

The Beetle comes with just one accessory and that's his butterfly-like wings that you can latch it on a peg hole at his back. These wings have shades of green underneath it that is fading as it move outward to the edges. Just having this accessory made him twice cooler than him without it. One can only imagine how awesome this figure could be if the wings are retractable just like that of an insect.

This figure is not as articulated as it looks. Beetle is missing mid-calf rotations, and bending his spine to the back is limited. However, he can still execute a decent flying pose! His neck is on a ball-joint that lets him look straight up. His arms got ball-hinged shoulders, double-jointed elbows and hinged-wrists that flex and rotate. Like I said, his ab crunch is useless but has a nice forward movement. He has waist swivel and T-joints at the hips. His legs got rotation at the upper-thighs, double-jointed knees and hinged-ankles that moves up and down and pivots to the sides.

The Ultimate Beetle is part of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Wave by Hasbro Marvel Legends and I would say this may be an easy pass since this character is not as a big deal of a character as guys like the Lizard or the Green Goblin. I probably would still recommend this figure to someone who needs to collect all Spidey's enemies or who's just a huge fan of the comic books.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Hydra Agent (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Hydra Agent
If Hasbro is going for a 6-inch Marvel Legends-style Iron Fist, I'd suggest they would start with the Hydra Agent. The colours and the sculpting are there! Customizers would be eager to re-sculpt the head and remove his straps and belt just to have some fun making him into the Iron Fist. But I'm not gonna talk about customizing and all that stuff because right now I'd like to discuss and review the Marvel Legends Infinite Series Hydra Agent which also comes with one of Mandroid's Build-A-Figure pieces. This figure is a lot better than the Hydra Agent we had a long time ago from the Brood Queen BAF Wave. But while this may be an improvement, it's still not immune to scrutiny.

A more common issue with Marvel Legends paint application is that certain colours are not consistently toned with one to the other. If you compare the Hydra Agent's gloves and boots to his removable belt and straps, you can see a more brighter tone of yellow on the belt-strap than on the gloves-boots. This has also been the problem with the ML Cyclops. Also, there are no colour shading or whatsoever going on. It is purely just bright and solid colours closely depicting the one from the comics.

Although this type of body mold has been constantly and abusively reused, I'm still not bored just looking at how great it is sculpted. From the its size and proportions to the masculature of the figure, this one goes perfectly with a Hydra Agent. He got these red bulging eyes looking like it is about to burst open.  His trigger finger can hold both his accessory well pretty much the same with that of the ML Bucky Cap.

Speaking of accessories, Hydra Agent probably has the best set of weapons in this series. Like what they did on Red Skull, our Hydra Agent also have weapons that match his feature. We got an assault rifle and a sniper gun painted mostly with a lighter and a darker type of green that may seem odd (in the real world sense) but never horrendous at all. The assault rifle however, has this big yellow "Hydra symbol" painted over the top of this part here which suppose to... I don't know, it's a weird looking rifle! The sniper gun reminds me of a Chitauri weapon that I saw in the Avengers movie, which I got no complains with. Both of his weapons look fancy and nice, but I like the sculpt and feature of the sniper gun better than the other one.

If you've been collecting The Return of Marvel Legends (Hasbro) for more than a year now then you should already be familiar with the articulation of this body mold. Hasbro may have used a different type of mold to promote novelty or variety but then this is the only one for this character that would best fit the way he should look. And so the Hydra Agent has a ball-jointed neck, ball-hinged shoulders, swivel to the bicep, double-jointed elbow and hinged-wrists which I think most of you already know how it works. He got an ab crunch, waist swivel, T-jointed hips, upper-thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, mid-calf swivel, hinged-ankles with the ankle rockers.

Surely, there are a lot of collectors out there getting as much as Hydra Agents as they could in the hopes of building an army of these guys, and I really do hope Hasbro will continually release and put them out there for retailers. I tell you, "army building" is a more pain in the ass than completing a Build-A-Figure, not to mention the price that you're going to pay once they fall into the hands of scalpers. Hydra Agent's height is all but the same as your ML Hawkeye and ML Cyclops. This highly in-demand figure is highly recommendable.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Electro: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Electro (Spider-Man 2)
I was completely shocked when I first heard that Jamie Foxx would be Electro and then I asked, "does that mean that he is going to wear the yellow and green spandex?" But thankfully, no- him being on that goofy spandex would be utterly awkward. I'm glad the film maker decide to go with the Ultimate Electro or at least something like that version, which perfectly fits for him. But in terms of tying the Spider-Man 2 movie to Hasbro's Marvel Legends, they could have at least given collectors and people like me who grew up reading earlier Spider-Man comic books a classic Electro running change. That would have been awesome. Although I'm not too familiar with this new version of Electro, but I still dig it.

The most beaming highlight of this figure is his accessories. Having no weapon or any kind of wieldable object, Hasbro made up for it by adding more interchangeable parts, which this company doesn't normally do but I'm glad they made this decision! Electro got interchangeable heads; the original head, which is your Electro head on default mode and the other head that looked much like the original but got this electricity creeping out from his eyes.

Another interchangeable parts he got are the hands. You can switch his hands from these normal fisting hands to these ala-Sith Lord looking hands with electricity surging from his fingertips. The hands are made with this semi-translucent blue plastic with a bit of paint wash to make it sort of "glowing". But the more I look at it, the more I think of those Ents with their "root-like fingers" in The Lord of the Rings. But don't get me wrong, they're very well done!

Like I said, I'm not too familiar of this version of Electro, let alone the movie hasn't been released just yet. So I can't really tell you if this figure got that rendition of the character from the comic or from the movie. One thing that is obvious though is that the face didn't have much resemblance to Jamie Foxx. It looked to me like Iceman! Also, one thing that caught my attention is the texturing somewhere around the torso that looked a lot like he burned his own suit from giving off electricity. Electro has these bolts sticking like barnacles on his shoulders and some at the back. So if I come to think of it and compare this new Electro with the classic Electro, I must say that the new one is pretty intimidating and got some serious attitude.

I am not quite impressed with the paint job of this figure. I presume they just basically painted the entire body with black and applied this baby blue wash over his arms, shoulders, and chest to make it look sophisticated but it is not. They painted these things sticking around Electro's head clean and straight with a glossier black. And I actually don't have any more to say about the paint details on this guy.

The articulation though is gorgeous. It got the same type of articulation as the ML Black Panther. His shoulder movement can be of a problem due to these "barnacles" over his shoulders. Electro got a head that can rotate 360 and moves up and down thanks to this ball and socket joint at the neck. He got ball-hinged shoulders, swivel to biceps and wrists, and double-jointed elbows. His torso got an ab crunch with some decent range and a waist swivel. He got this T-jointed hip, which is my favourite! Swivel to the upper-thighs, double-jointed knees, swivel to the boot cut, pivoting hinged ankles are also incorporated.

As much as I love the yellow and green Electro, I still think this new Electro deserves to be in your collection. He got the touch of modernity and real-world vibe into him, and so I can't complain why everyone in the film industry deviated from the classic. Again, this is a well-scaled Marvel Legends action figure standing at 6.3 inches tall. If you're trying to complete the Ultimate Green Goblin figure, then might as well as get him for the Build-A-Figure piece.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Red Skull (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Red Skull (Infinite Series)
He may not be your ideal valentino but this Red Skull action figure looked a lot handsome than the ones released by Toy Biz. While still looking so damn menacing and horrifying, what's even more horrifying is the fact that he got this freaking red gun! I know it looks stupid but I mean, that's scary right there! You can easily see that Hasbro used the ML Nick Fury or the ML Punisher mold, which made me a little disappointed but then grateful that I finally got a Red Skull in my collection. He is part of the Mandroid Build-A-Figure Wave or the Captain America Infinite Series Wave, which is a recent release by Marvel Legends Hasbro.

Let's get on with the paint apps. The black and gray paint ruling over Red Skull's body makes this figure elegant with a  dose of badassery. And with only his big head painted in red (because he is the Red Skull), your eyeballs may never stray and bother to look at the paint works on other areas. But then it's really very obvious that there is nothing really much to look at other than these solid colours with no shading or whatsoever. The only thing Hasbro added are these Hydra symbols on both his shoulders. However, the head has some great paint details with a black wash that gives accent to his infamous facial feature.

As far as the sculpt of the figure goes, almost everything is basically a Marvel Legends Punisher body mold but the added holster partially hidden underneath his coat and his left hand which may be used only for holding the Tesseract. Then again, the head is what makes this figure impressive with a sculpt (along with paint job) that almost captured the Hugo Weaving Red Skull; an actor who I think is perfect for the role.

What feels kinda strange to me are Red Skull's weapons. Probably the idea here is that- since Captain America fashions his weapon by matching it with that of his features,... and so why can't it be with Red Skull? Good thinking Hasbro! This red gun surely does look as intimidating as his face, does it? Fortunately, we got two holsters to hide and conceal this red hot smoking mama!! One under his coat and the other one at side of the leg. However, the other gun- "the space gun" as I call it, doesn't have its home. And then you also got this "Red Skull-theme" on the other gun, which I believe totally not necessary.

The Tesseract is probably the only good accessory that he comes with. I love how this little cube is made of this almost translucent type of blue plastic that seem to glow when directed to light. Having Red Skull holding the Tesseract can be a little tricky; you just need to find that perfect center of gravity for it to stay in place without falling.

The articulation on this figure is as frustrating as that of the ML Punisher. With his trench coat literally engulfing his body, it is hard to pull off some dynamic poses not to mention his lack of ankle pivots, which makes it a lot worse. But Red Skull got a good head-neck articulation as well as a diaphragm swivel that got a decent range. He got ball-hinged shoulders and swivel at the biceps that is hard to manage. He got double-jointed shoulders and hinges at the wrists that flex and rotate. Red Skull doesn't have my favourite T-jointed hips but he got double-jointed knees and hinges at the ankles.

Maybe the only issue that the Marvel Legends Infinite Series Red Skull has is the articulation... and oh that ridiculous gun that he got. Hasbro could have used a different body mold for this figure but I can't think of any body mold that might work with this figure other than this one. Perhaps it's time for Hasbro to create a newer one. This figure stands at 6.3 inches tall and if you're hoping to get a better looking Red Skull, I'd suggest this version here over any other.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Spider-Man: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Marvel Legends)

Now here's a Spider-Man figure that can work both as a comic book-based Spider-Man and a movie-based Spider-Man. The "spider-logo" is your only clue to know that this is based from the 2nd instalment of the movie but everything else is all classic. Nothing beats the classic! I'm sure a number of Spidey-fans would agree with me on that. I guess that's one of the highlights this Spider-Man has besides his amazing sculpt and paint work and a huge amount of articulation.

Marvel Legends Spider-Man: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Again, the packaging is collector-friendly like the ones on Infinite Series Captain America line. What I would suggest for Hasbro though is to make the packaging square and simple to help itself stand at the base. Make the front window part simply flat and not shaped like a magnifying lens. Not that I have no love for art and style but with packaging; it only requires practicality.

The overall paint work on this figure is simply amazing! You might see a bit of smudges, paint wears and bleeds between the red and blue but it's forgivable because of the tone of colours they used on this figure. The colours looked more like a darker blue and a lighter type of crimson to be exact, and the tones are just even from every area. I'd say this Spider-Man is more comic book accurate than being a movie-based action figure.

Hasbro executed all of Spidey's feature perfectly. All thumbs up in approval to his lanky body, the lines sculpted along his suit and a more visible spider-logo at the center of his chest. Now when I say "more visible", I mean to say that it is painted, sculpted and shaped a lot better than the other spider-logos I've seen. Furthermore, I am very pleased that they added some textures over these blue areas which made Spidey a little more sophisticated.

For accessories, the ML Amazing Spider-Man only comes with a pair of "web-shooting" hands. Though this may scream for more extras and accessories, I am still satisfied that at least Hasbro gave us one of Spidey's signature hand-moves. And of course, he comes with Ultimate Green Goblin's arm which I am hoping to complete and review very soon.

Note: web is not part of the figure.

The poseability on this figure just blew me away. Even my Play Arts Kai figures could not match the amount of pose this figure can execute. Be it slinging while shooting a web or crouching while shooting a web, it's not impossible to get him to pose those.

Spider-Man got shoulder pivots... or shoulder blade hinges as I call them that allows a more extensive range of motion and you don't often see this on a Marvel Legends figure. His head can rotate 360, and aims far up and down. His arms got ball-hinged shoulders, double-jointed elbows and hinged wrists that flex and rotate. His torso got ab crunch, waist swivel and my favourite T-jointed hips. Moving now to his legs, Spidey got rotation at the upper-thigh, double-jointed knees, swivel at the mid-calf and hinged ankles that flex and pivots.

This Marvel Legends figure stands at 6.1 inches tall and the scale might be a little on the short side but that doesn't really bother me. I think if you're looking for just a standard 6-inch Spider-Man figure that would go with the rest of your collection, I suggest to pick up this one over any previous Spider-Man figures that have been released. Highly recommendable!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Captain America - Marvel Now (Marvel Legends)

Captain America gets a new brighter and perkier look! Just look at him wearing the red, white and blue suit like crazy that it's almost visible from outer space. I bet the Chitauris are looking at it from there trembling in anxiety but seriously, my impression of this Cap is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the things here worked while some don't, and I think you already know the things that I don't find working. Still I'm glad Hasbro released this version of Cap that could ultimately open the door for Marvel Now action figures, and I tell you I got nothing but excitement.

Marvel Legends NOW Captain America

I like this new Marvel Legends packaging. Reusable, recyclable and displayable, and you don't have to go through that trouble of untying those twisty ties. It is almost as collector-friendly as those S.H.Figuarts type of packaging. One thing I don't like about it though is this bulge at the entire front which make this package hard to stand and I guess the only way to display this figure with its package is to hang it on a wall.

As you can see inside this package, Cap comes with no interchangeable hands. He doesn't even come with weapons other than his shield unlike what we got from previous Marvel Legends Captain America figures. And for my own record, this is the 5th Captain America I had after the Ultimate Captain America from last year; so I didn't really expect that I got a lot of these shield-wielding heroes in my collection. Also, he comes with a Build-A-Figure piece, Mandroid's head which we will soon get to complete by the end of March.

I always tend to praise figures with simplistic yet effective paint application like that of a Masters of the Universe figure or the Figma Link- a good example, but this figure seem to cross my spectrum. Too red and too blue. Let alone this reflective finish that made him terribly bright. I can't say the same with the shield though; the gloss is perfect! But this figure made me wish he has the same tone of colours as the Marvel Legends Ultimate Cap.

The sculpt on this Cap is above average and probably better than the ML U.S. Agent. The only issue this guy has is his peanut-sized head. Otherwise, Hasbro had done a great job with the detail around his body especially that honeycomb type of pattern on Cap's chest which really captured the Marvel Now version of him. The line work over his gloves, boots, belt and suit made him almost believable with a touch of modernity.

The best part is the articulation. He has that the same amount of joints and the same type of articulation as that of Black Panther and Hawkeye. It features all the articulation you needed to get him into a dozen of dynamic pose.

His head can turn 360 as well as move up and down. He's got a very good ab crunch and waist swivel to his torso. Each arm got a ball-hinged shoulder, bicep swivel, double-jointed elbow and a wrist that flexes and rotates. Most importantly, Cap is able to kick his legs up with his T-jointed hip and his upper-thigh can rotate. He got double-jointed knees, rotation at the boot cut and ankle rockers.

Even with some issue over the choice or tone of paint, I still quite like this figure. Maybe it's the sculpt and articulation that overshadowed his flaws. ML Marvel Now Captain America stands at 6.3 inches tall and here you can see that he's definitely smaller to the Ultimate Cap. I probably don't need another Captain America figure but maybe to add something new to my Avengers display, I'll switch between these two Caps. Of course if you're a big fan, you can display all your collection of Captain America figures.