Saturday, 29 March 2014

Ultimate Green Goblin (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Ultimate Green Goblin (BAF)
Taking every bit of the Ultimate Green Goblin pieces and putting them all together is not only rewarding but it's also quite a relief knowing that we're finally back to the good ol' Marvel Legends "BIG build-a-figures". Not that I hate those little ones we had a year ago, but getting three of them consecutively- Hit Monkey, Rocket Raccoon and then Puck was distressing me quite a bit. Now having this figure to be quite frank with you, is like meh... with a question mark on my forehead. I presume fans of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series would be wanting this but me?- I'm not a huge fan of what it seemed like an Abomination look-alike or a Green Goblin hulking out!

Speaking of which, some of you may be familiar with this body mold. This is a retool of the Wal-Mart Exclusive 6-inch Avengers movie Hulk (also by Hasbro). I wish I have that figure so I can show you a comparison between the two but unfortunately you may have to resort through Google. The Marvel Legends Ultimate Green Goblin Build-A-Figure Wave or the Infinite Amazing Spider-Man Series had a pretty good set of figures. My favourite of all is Carnage, and then we got a new female body mold with Black Cat and a highly articulated Spider-Man. I got nothing bad to say about this Series.

The Ultimate Green Goblin is not the typical masked villain we know who carries pumpkin bombs and rides a glider. He has the power to control or conjure flame (pyrokinesis) and thus this flame effects he comes with. Aesthetically, the design of these accessories are impressive; almost glowing with its translucent orangey plastic sculpted to follow the contours of his arms and back. And it's removable, so you can either have him wear it or not however you want.

But without Goblin's visually dynamic flame effects, he is but a figure painted flatly with green in most parts and blue all throughout the pants. Nothing really astonishing with the paint job. However, I like the darker tone of green used on him. The bony structures sprouting out from his arms, shoulders and the big horns on his head along with the ones under his chin are painted in dirty white, which I think is a good choice by Hasbro! But the major issue for me is how they did not even bother painting the fingernails or claws with the same type of paint they used on the bony thingies... and I don't understand why.

Although I'm not too sure if this is the right body mold for an Ultimate Green Goblin figure but the sculpting is nicely done. The neck and the torso all the way down to the legs and ankles are completely unchanged and unaltered; showing what's obviously from the Avengers Hulk figure. Parts like the arms (except for the hands) and the feet are just being re-sculpted and not considered something "new" like his head and his clawing hands.

I think the main selling point for me here is the head sculpt and secondly, these bony thingies which kinda reminds me of Doomsday. He got this reptilian look on him with his dragon-like ears and these little bumps lining on top of his head... and of course the horns! In fact, he's more like a crossbreed between a dragon and a human to me. Moreover, both his arms as well as his feet are slightly textured; making up for his lack of paint detail.

The poseability on this big guy is certainly not the worst nor the best either. To some extent, you need to remove the accessories for you to get Ultimate Green Goblin execute some desired poses or it's just gonna fall off. His shoulders can be raised at to some degree apparently because of these "exo-bones" that's affecting it. The way the back is hunched limits his head from moving up but it has a good rotation. He got double-jointed elbows and hinged-wrists that rotate and flex. No waist swivel but got a diaphragm swivel which is a decent substitute. Ball-hinged hips (which I'm not a fan of), swivel to the upper-thighs, double-jointed knees and ankle pivots are incorporated.

Overall, I think this is a decent figure. As much as I want a build-a-figure Rhino or a classic Lizard but looking at the Ultimate Green Goblin as a figure makes me want to wish I've read the comics. He got a good size- standing at about 8 inches tall and just looked bigger, more muscular and intimidating than the Marvel Legends Terrax and Iron Monger. Sometimes I get the feeling that maybe using the Avengers Hulk body mold is kind of becoming it less comic book accurate. But who cares, it's an awesome figure that some fans and action figure collectors will probably get.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Superior Spider-Man (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Superior Spider-Man
Despite having probably the coolest looking alternate Spidey suit, the story of the Superior Spider-Man is one of those bizarre tales that makes readers and fans restless and puzzled. As most of you probably know, this is Otto Octavius a.k.a. Doctor Octopus inside Spider-Man's body. An interesting turn of event that made this goggle-wearing straight-banged squarehead become the web-slinging hero by hijacking the consciousness of Peter Parker (poor Peter). I'd like to compare this to something like a demonic possession but driven by Otto's ambition to outperform Peter and become the best Spider-Man that the world will ever see.

And then you have an action figure of Superior Spider-Man that is part of the Marvel Legends Infinite Spider-Man Series or the Ultimate Green Goblin Wave as others have called it because of the Build-A-Figure pieces that comes with the figures.

The body mold on this figure in my opinion is the most ideal body mold for a Spider-Man, and it's almost the same body mold as with the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Movie Spider-Man which I've already reviewed a month ago. The amount of musculature in his runner-type of body is sculpted perfectly. The size of his legs and arms are relatively proportionate to his torso. And like the Amazing Spider-Man, the eyes are sculpted with some minor protrusion and carvings that are shaping it. One thing that's interesting though is the sculpt on his hands- it's like he's doing the "thumbs up" with these pimple-like bumps on his fingertips. Otherwise, I see no screw-ups on this figure.

The colour scheme is composed primarily of red and black that strongly reminds me of Miles Morales Spider-Man. The only difference are the eyes in which he got a maroon coloured lenses instead of white. He got a huge Spider-logo over his chest; accurately rendering Superior Spider-Man from the comics.

For accessories, he comes with a pair of hands doing Spidey's web-shooting signature move, which I think Hasbro should consistently do with all their figures in the future- giving them interchangeable parts. The only gripes I have with this figure is the other hand (the thumbs-up hand), which could have been better if they make it real easy and simple... something like a clenched fist hands maybe?

The articulation is basically the same as with our Amazing Spider-Man. There's not a lot of differences. Superior Spider-Man got the scapular joints that let his arms hyperextend towards the middle of his chest and his back. He's got ball-jointed neck that allows him to aim straight up and down, and rotate at any direction. The torso got abdominal flexion, waist rotation and T-joints at the hips. Arms got hinged-shoulders, bicep rotation, double-jointed elbows and wrist rotation and flexion. Ankle pivots are also incorporated along with the swivel at the upper-thighs and double-jointed knees.

If you're big at collecting Spider-Man figures, I suggest that you'll grab the Superior Spider-Man at any Wal-Mart or Toys R Us and these stores never run out of this particular figure unlike the ML Carnage or ML Black Cat based from what I've experienced. Standing at about 6 inches tall, he is as tall as the Amazing Spider-Man. This figure is definitely one of Marvel Legends' finest.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Captain America: Captain America- The Winter Soldier (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Movie Captain America
With great amount of details and articulation, this action figure is easy to market just by having someone look at it. The fun part is... speaking its actual name/brand- "hi, let me introduce you to my Hasbro Marvel Legends Infinite Series Mandroid Build-A-Figure Wave Captain America: The Winter Soldier Movie Captain America!" It seems easy when you're just reading it but this meter-stick-long name is quite a mouthful. Released after the Marvel Now Captain America and his batch, the 2nd batch of this Wave, in which this version of Captain America is from, is the only batch with figures that are bound directly to the movie. Anytime soon, I'll be getting the Scarlett Johansson Black Widow and the movie Winter Soldier figure, which would ultimately have me complete my Mandroid BAF figure.

As far as the figure goes, I got nothing to say to it but praises! The only Hasbro Marvel Legends figure so far (in my opinion) that is painted and sculpted intricately while maintaining the decent amount of poseability it's known for. This movie Captain America features a little "shield-wielding" gimmick along with an ample amount of interchangeables- something that Hasbro could have done a long time ago. I will discuss about it further as I start with the paint/sculpt down to the articulation.

There is so much attention to the details. One thing I like about it mainly is the texturing. You can also see some smooth and glossy areas but it's his mesh-type of textured plastic that makes him visually dynamic. The silver star and stripes sculpted across his chest stands out because of the minor protrusion. And the neat sculpt on the belt as well as these geometric features over his suit makes him more stunning.

Hasbro Marvel Legends could sometimes deliver bad paint application but this figure is done well. It is not as detailed as with your Marvel Select figures but Cap is painted without any scratches and wears at least. He got these red streaks that run along at the side of his thighs and has the brown gloves and boots that he wears in the movie. You can also find some prints over his shoulders that says "Rogers" with the American flag. His blue suit suppose to look darker and more toned down if it wasn't for the lighting but again we see a simplistic type of paint work on this ML figure.

The new feature with the shield definitely made him 10% more impressive. Unlike the Marvel Now Cap or the Ultimate Captain America in which the shield just clips on to the wrist, this shield can actually be worn and strapped around his arm. How it works is that you pull one of his hands off, take the arm way under the straps and plug back the hand to secure the shield in place. It is really simple. Aside from his fisting hands, he comes with two different types of hands- one is the judo chopping or the saluting hand and the other one is the pointing hand or the nose mining hand as others jokingly calls it. And he also comes with an unmasked Steve Rogers head that looked nowhere near to the actor but still a well sculpted nice-looking head/face.

While sporting a much newer body mold, the articulation on this figure is comparable to that of the ML Marvel Black Panther or the ML Modern Hawkeye. He got a ball-joint at the neck that lets his head move up and down and rotate. He got ball-hinged shoulders, swivel to the bicep, double-jointed shoulders, and hinged wrists that rotate and flex. He got a nice ab crunch with a beautiful range of movement as well as rotation at the waist and a T-jointed hip. To his legs, he got rotation at the upper-thighs, double-jointed knees, rotation at the boot cut, ankle hinges and ankle pivot.

Size-compared to the ML Marvel Now Captain America, they stand almost the same. However, movie Cap's newly styled shield looks a lot bigger than his predecessor. Inspired by Col. Steve Rogers Captain America based off from the comics which also came out as an action figure in the Terrax Build-A-Figure, this new Cap can be used as a replacement for that comic-version that I just mentioned. Although people might prefer red, white and blue Captain America, but this figure is just as good as the standard.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Carnage (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Carnage
Out of all the action figures I got from the Spider-Man Infinite Series, this Carnage here is my most favourite... and the hardest to find. He may not be as poseable as the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man that came with him on this wave but the thing about this Carnage figure is that he is insanely fun to look at and I like how all these tendrils are sort of sprouting over his symbiote body. As complex and dirty looking as Carnage is, I never thought putting order would make him strikingly stunning. The simple paint application with the added parts just worked!

At first glance, it doesn't seem like this figure is a re-tooled Bucky Cap or Black Panther body mold but damn right it is. I don't mind having this being used even for more than a dozen times as long as we get some great figures from it. Whoever designed or engineered this body mold is a genius, but hopefully Hasbro would continue to develop all their figures until it's close to perfection.

Just an important note- the tendrils are not bendable like a wire that I wish they could have been. They are made of soft pliable plastic material that are sculpted into his "skin". Good thing is that it doesn't get in the way once you pose the figure. Besides the tendrils, the head and the forearms are the other two body parts that are foreign. Everything else (shoulders, torso, hips & legs) are Black Panther's. Carnage's claws are sculpted as to what Carnage claws should be- long and dagger-like, but the main highlight with the sculpt is his nasty looking head which greatly represents the villain.

Like I said, even without any colour shading the paint work is outstanding. Given that this black squiggly is all but random, it's still done properly without any smudges or any paint defects. I like the paint detail on the head as much as I like its sculpt. He got his jaws open with the inside of the mouth painted with a darker pink tone. One minor complain I have with the paint though is that they should have not left his hands/claws red and dead on details. Extending the squiggly-thingies into his hands would have been nice to look at.

Carnage does not come with any weapons. However like the Marvel Legends Beetle, he got an accessory that you can plug through this peg hole at his back; making it look as though it's part with him... but it's not wings this time. They are another tendrils but are longer and more elaborate. Though having just one accessory may make someone feel unsatisfied, it's still cool because it looked pretty and nice. But sooner I'll probably get bummed about it because Hasbro could have at least gave us some melee weapons that can be plugged and kinda popping out from Carnage's hands. That would have been badass!

Although there are a few changes that Hasbro made with the parts on this well renowned body mold, the articulation wasn't very much affected. In fact, there are no changes at all. This action figure still has double-jointed elbows and wrists that rotate and flex. The head is on a ball-joint. He got an ab crunch, waist rotation, T-jointed hip, double-jointed knees, mid-calf rotation and hinged ankles that pivot just like the many figures we've seen that uses this mold.

The Marvel Legends Infinite Series Carnage figure completely mops out the Toy Biz Carnage from the Spider-Man Classics line. Quite frankly, this is a better version even with the lack of paint detail and accessories. This action figure is totally a must-grab even for those who are not big into collecting Spider-Man stuff. There's nothing about it that will make you regret.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Baron Zemo (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Baron Zemo
The character of the Modern Baron Zemo always strikes me as someone similar to DC's Deathstroke but more reserved; using most of his cunning intellect. Still, his ability to use both a gun and a sword makes him more dangerous than someone like the Red Skull. I first got introduced to this character way before I knew about the Winter Soldier and thought he is Cap's ultimate adversary. Hopefully, we'll see him soon enough in probably Captain America 3 or 4 or whatever. I am pleased that Hasbro Marvel Legends decided to create a much improved look of Baron Zemo from the recent comics. This figure surpassed the Classic Baron Zemo from the Mojo BAF Series by capturing a more accurate face sculpt and utilizing the Bucky Cap or the Black Panther body mold.

And so... again with this body mold! There is nothing out of normal other than his gloves and boots which are taken from the ML U.S. Agent. Zemo may look a little heftier than the usual because of that belt and holsters but the size of his body is the same as with our Black Panther. The head is sculpted perfectly with the lines actually grooved and painted along his face with the headgear sculpted over it.

Now for the paint work- the three dominant colours are violet, yellow and magenta with the violet having a darker tone (which I like); covering almost 3/4 of his body. The area across his chest where the violet and the magenta meet are perfectly divided without any bleeds while the paint on his headgear look rather gold-like than a yellow. The only issue I have however are his arms near to the cuffs. I feel like Hasbro forgot to cover this area and didn't bother fixing it, but it is not a deal breaker. Overall, the paint work is fantastic.

Before I get into Zemo's weapons, I would like to talk about the accessories he is wearing. Again, we see some great amount of sculpt but less paint detail here- this time it's on the belt, loin cloth, and the straps and holsters (with the "Z") around his shoulders. The guns are actually glued or molded into the holsters, which give us that illusion that he got two extra guns and I think this is just lame! Hasbro could have at least gave us some storage for his gun but what he got is only for his sword.

Now for the weapons, Zemo has his nice looking "knight's sword" (I think that's what it looks like) and this cheetah-inspired pistol which I believe shows his fondness for swordplay and exotic items. They could have used a much simpler or more generic looking pistol but I guess this paint work or design is fine. My only complain though is the location of the sheath for his sword. I wish it's placed on his back- near his shoulder and not at the hip where keeping the sword there could limit the articulation.

Perhaps the only way to maximize the articulation on his abs and hips is to remove the sword. I've been posting a lot of Marvel Legends figures with this type of body mold and so I'd assume the articulation should already be familiar to you. His head can rotate and aim at almost every angle. Zemo got double-jointed elbows that are hindered by these wide cuffs covering the forearm. At the hips and legs, he got the T-joint, rotation to the upper-thighs, double-jointed knees, hinges to the ankles with the ankle pivot.

The Modern Baron Zemo stands about the same height as your Marvel Now Captain America which also came from this series. With a much better look, I highly recommend the Hasbro version over the Toy Biz one. A Classic variant Baron Zemo may be a good thing to have but I'm all fine with just one.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Black Cat (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends Black Cat
For two years of collecting these Marvel Legends figures, I've never actually appreciated Hasbro with what they are doing with the female characters. Two years I keep seeing the same ugly female body mold (if you know what I'm talking about), not until I saw this babe here. Damn, she made my day! This is how curves and cleavages should be done. The perfect shape that may get all the boys go wild.

Black Cat is actually not the first one who came with this body mold. At SDCC 2013, Hasbro introduced this new mold with the Marvel Legends Exclusive Moonstone which I don't have at the moment. A size comparison between her would have been great for this review but nonetheless, I'm super stoked about this figure.

I think this mold should be the standard for women figures with athletic body types. The muscles are not too lean nor too bulging It's just average with more emphasis on her boobs and bum cheeks. The face is just beautiful and more comic book accurate! Her eyes, nose and lips are in perfect symmetry and proportion. Moreover, her hair looks amazing with lots of sculpting details that kind of reminds me of the Marvel Legends Jean Grey figure. The sculpt on the furs are also done properly enhanced by the paint which I'm going to talk next.

If you've been collecting Legends figures for a long time, then I think you already know that Hasbro is not quite good at paint application, but the Black Cat begs to differ. I love how they used a glossy type of black paint over her suit which is reflective and would probably look like this in the movie if ever they'll introduce the character. There are no paint details on the boots and gloves per se but the furs around the edges got some streaks of blue wash or dry brushing as well as the ones near her cleavage. From her cleavage to her face are flesh tones that are applied evenly with her black choker standing out. Also, over her snowy white hair is another blue dry brushing; showing the waves around it.

Black Cat comes with no interchangeable parts but has this menacing bullwhip that got claws at the tip. The accessory actually made her 30% sexier but unfortunately there is no articulation that could give you more options for poseability. It would have been better if they embedded her whip with a bendy wire but they didn't and it's fixed to this "coiling-effect", which is to me looked like she has a stylized back scratcher than a whip.

The articulation on this figure is a little different but better than the ML Emma Frost and the ML Jean Grey, and actually better than those previous women figures that we had from Hasbro. However, the articulation on this new body mold is still not perfect. There are no hinges to the wrists nor swivel to the biceps that would have made a more pronounced claw attack, and there are no rotations at the boot cuts. Black Cat's head cannot move down and up due to her thick gorgeous hair... and that's considerable; got no issue with that. But she got a diaphragm swivel as a substitute that allows her to look side to side and bend front to back and side to side. She got ball-hinged shoulders, single-jointed elbows that flex and rotate, and wrists that only have rotation. Her hips are on a T-joint (which is good). She double-jointed knees and hinged ankles that flex with the ankle rockers that maybe help her stand.

Speaking of "stand", Black Cat is one of those figures on high heels that requires a base stand support. Without it, she's just too unmanageable (naughty kitty)! With her heels, she is at 6.2 inches which is ideal for her height. She is a little shorter than Emma Frost but her girths are bigger and more appealing (sorry Emma). I'm excited that Hasbro Marvel Legends gave us this new mold and a new Black Cat (of course), because with it I can see that they will use it hopefully on Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman or the Classic Rogue if they'll make one.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

AIM Soldier (Marvel Legends)

Marvel Legends AIM Soldier
AIM Soldiers, if they were real, seeing them might probably creep me out. These mad scientists turned soldiers are in fact even creepier than those little ET's in that movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind or those minions from Despicable Me. They have this mysterious feel in them and diabolic at the same time. With this release, I'd say Hasbro made a smart move of including the AIM Soldier in the Captain America Infinite Series because I believe it's about time that we get a 6-inch action figure Marvel Legends AIM Soldier! And without further adieu, lets check this guy out.

Paint-wise, I see no smudges nor bleeds or anything out than usual on mine. It's hard to screw up a mostly yellow paint job, I suppose but there is no paint shading or any kind of variety whatsoever on this figure. Hasbro Marvel Legends don't usually excel in this department and I already accepted them for their lacking. However, what really bothered me is they didn't even give any distinctive colours to the buttons over his chest. This is complete laziness on their part. Because they're all painted one and the same, it's hard to realize that it's there. But I do like how a silvery type of paint applied to this window around his mask and the line work they did around the belt.

I think the sculpt on this figure is what saves him from his weak paint application. Most of the areas are being textured, and the folds and creases around his suit are sculpted dramatically. Also, I find these pointy toes that this guy have very unique and comic-accurate I guess, but no one could argue with me on the head sculpt, which perfectly resembles the feature of an AIM Soldier.

Just like the Hydra Agent, the AIM Soldier also has two different guns; one's big and the other one is small. One is a rifle and the other one is a handgun! The rifle to me looks more like a modified high-powered machine gun that Bumblebee may be interested of using, but the handgun is just way too fancy looking. At first, I don't even know what it is not until I realized that this crossbreed between a TV remote and a miniature Battleship is actually the AIM Soldier's handgun. I'm just wowed by it!

Just by looking at this picture alone, this figure obviously doesn't have a more extensive head and neck movement due to the size of his head/mask and the collar around his neck. His head can move up and down a bit but it can rotate a full 360 degrees. The AIM Soldier has ball-hinged shoulders, swivels to the bicep, double-jointed elbows and hinged wrists. He got an ab crunch and waist swivel to his torso, and my favourite T-jointed hips. Moving on, he got upper thigh swivel, double-jointed knees and hinged ankles that flex and pivot. Unfortunately, this guy doesn't have swivels to the boot cuts which could have get him to an even more dynamic pose.

There is no question that this figure is a must get figure especially if you're planning to build an army of these weird looking guys to gang up the Avengers. This figure stands at about 6.4 inches tall and is in good scale with the rest of your Marvel Legends. Everyone's trying to buy three or four or more of these just to "army-build" them, same with the Hydra Agent and that's why right now I got a hard time completing my own army of AIM Soldiers. Hopefully, Hasbro won't halt on the production.