Hasbro Marvel Legends Epic Heroes Series review

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Wow, it's been three years since I wrote a Marvel Legends review! In my defense, it's been a pretty slow three years. Hasbro's 3.75" Marvel Universe line has pretty much replaced the original Marvel Legends line on store pegs. But this year Hasbro made an effort to revive the line. In addition to a line of 6" figures for the Avengers and Amazing Spider-man movies, they have also released several regular lines of Marvel Legends figures. I didn't bother reviewing the previous figures due to a lack of time and because they had warming pegs for quite some time by the time I bought them. But the latest series has been quite slow in showing up in stores, so for once I may be able to publish the review while it is still relevant. (In the mean time, if you want to see some pictures of what I skipped, jump to the bottom of the page.

Packaging - 9/10

The 2012 relaunch of the Marvel Legends line brings with it a redesign for the packaging. The thick card stock and rounded blisters are gone, replaced with a more traditional blister card. The top of each card has unique artwork for the character while the line's logo is moved to an insert at the bottom of the bubble. There are also images of the other figures in the series along the right edge of the card, but they aren't really visible behind the figure and accessories. The back of the card has another large image of the character and photos of the other figures in the series at the bottom. The design is very attractive, and I love the use of actual comic art for each character. There are just a few issues. The first is that the cards are fairly thin and easily bent/damaged. Even the set that I received directly from Hasbro's web store which have never seen a store peg have a fair amount of bent edges, corners and misc. dings and dents. Since I'm not a MOC collector, it isn't a big issue to me, but it probably will annoy collectors who want pristine cards. Issue two is that while they have unique art for each character, the variant figures have to share a card with the figure they replace in the variant assortments and don't even get their names on the packaging. But that isn't ever explained. So Punisher and Mystique have either Blade or Moonstar sharing the card on front and the back with no explanation of why or even who they are. There is also no indication that there are variant versions of Deadpool or Dr. Doom available. It probably isn't a big issue for core fans. But these will show up on regular retail shelves sooner or later. So it would be nice if there was enough information on the cards so that the average consumer would be able to figure out what figures are actually available. (Or better yet, so a store employee could look at the card and know what is available.) The last issue is that the packages don't really have any useful character information. Punisher and Mystique don't even have their names on the packaging! I don't need a full biography, but characters like Moonstar and U.S. Agent are not exactly household names. So some character info on them would be useful. Figures like Deadpool in his gray outfit or the white variant of Dr. Doom could certainly use some explanation. Even Iron Man could use an explanation about where this design came from. There is certainly room for it on the cards. There is already a brief blurb on the back, it just doesn't really contain any useful information.

Sculpting - Deadpool 6/10, Punisher 8/10, others 7/10

Hasbro managed to put this series together on the cheap. Almost every figure is recycled from other recent figures. Dr. Doom is the same as the version from the Fantastic Four series. But somehow they managed to get significantly more texturing and detail onto the figure this time. I don't know how that could be. I seriously doubt that they made a new tool of the mold as that would defeat the point of recycling the old sculpt. Deadpool is a straight repaint from the last series of Marvel Legends 2 Packs. Punisher is a new head on the Nick Fury figures from the Elektra Series 2 packs. Mystique reuses the Black Widow body from the last series of 2 packs. U.S. Agent is the same body as the Captain America figure from the Terrax wave of figures with a different head, boots and glove cuffs. So the neo classic version of Iron Man is the only figure that appears to be mostly new. Fortunately the sculpts are all pretty good and the reuses don't stand out too much. (Actually, it took me a while to realize why Mystique seemed so familiar.) The only one that I have any real qualms about is Deadpool. The body that they used for him is fairly simple with clean lines. But the head, belts, holster and boots are significantly more detailed. But all in all, it is a decent series of figures.

Paint - Iron Man 4/10, Deadpool 7/10, others 8/10

The paint work on most of these figures is very nice. I'm particularly happy with Dr. Doom. The silver is much better than it was on the Fantastic Four series figure. The difference is almost enough to make rebuying the figure worthwhile. Both Iron Man and Deadpool suffer a little from the fact that the pins holding their joints together and exposed portions of their joints aren't painted so they don't match the rest of the figures. It isn't that noticeable on Deadpool. But it really stands out on Iron Man, especially on his wrists as the exposed portion of the joints is yellow while everything around it is red with a metallic finish. That is just sloppy. The also didn't match the paint colors for the shoulder armor or perhaps just didn't apply enough coats of paint, but they don't match the red in the rest of the figure. It's unfortunate that they put the most effort into the sculpt of this figure and then blew it with the paint.

Articulation - Doom 6/10, others 8/10

U.S. Agent has a total of 34 points or articulation:
  • rotating and hinged neck
  • rotating and hinged shoulders
  • rotating biceps
  • double hinged elbows
  • rotating and hinged wrists
  • hinged torso
  • rotating waist
  • hinged and rotating hips
  • rotating thighs
  • double hinged knees
  • rotating calves
  • hinged and swiveling ankles
Iron Man has just a single ball joint for the neck but otherwise is the same. Of course, the large armor on his lower legs renders most of that articulation useless. Deadpool and Punisher have the more standard Hasbro level of articulation. The lower leg joint is gone as is the side swivel for the ankles. The ankles do still have two joints that help make up for the missing calf swivels, though in a very unnatural manner. But Deadpool also has the additional shoulder joints that allow the arms to be swiveled forward or back behind the body. Due to Doctor Doom's armor, his elbows and knees are limited to single joints. The armor, cape and tunic also restrict the range of motion for the rest of the articulation. Mystique lacks a waist joint or bicep joints and only has single jointed elbows. Overall, the articulation on all of these figures is just what you've come to expect from the Marvel Legends line.

Accessories - Iron Man 2/10, Deadpool 8/10, others 7/10

This is the first series of Marvel Legends figures in a very long time to do away with the Build A Figure concept. That is an unfortunate loss. But it does mean that Hasbro had a bit more flexibility to add other accessories. To start with, each figure comes with a display base. Each display base is made up of three hexagon shaped sections connected in a crescent shape. They are nice and will do a good job of stabilizing most figures. It is also nice that on their own, a single display base is not so large as to waste a lot of shelf space. But it you do want to use multiple bases, they can both be interconnected and stacked! These are the most versatile display bases I have seen, which make the fact that Hasbro seems to be including them with all of their six inch figures now pretty cool.

Iron Man only has one accessory, the display base. I like the display bases, but Iron Man really doesn't need one. Doctor Doom comes with a removable cape, removable mask, a pistol that fits in the holster on his hip and the display base. U.S. Agent comes with the base, a knife, a pistol and his shield. The shield is the same as the one that came with the Bucky Cap. and Steve Rogers from the first two series of 2012 Marvel Legends figures. It has a clip to attach to his wrist or a peg to connect it to his back. I was kind of hoping to see the shield from the Avengers Movie Captain America which has actual straps on the back. But this one is capable of the same this and attaches easier and more securely. Deadpool comes with the base, two swords, scabbards for the swords, a pistol and an assault rifle with a grenade laucher, The swords have the handles painted, so they look great. And everything except the rifle can be stored on the figure. Punisher and Mystique share a lot of the same accessories. In addition to the bases, each comes with the same sniper rifle, assault rifle and sub machine gun. They both have unique pistols and Punisher has a shotgun as well. There are a lot of guns included with this series of figures, so many that any one of them tends to be a bit underwhelming. But given the characters in the assortment, an arsenal of firearms is perfectly appropriate.

Value - Dr Doom 5/10, Punisher 6/10 others 7/10

The price tag on 6" Marvel figures has been creeping up steadily. These days the price tag at most discout retailers is going to be $15 each. And if you go to the likes of Toys R Us, you could be paying up to $20 each for these. At those prices, buying Dr. Doom make very little sense if you have the previous version even with the minor improvements. Punisher is a nice figure, but not that different from previous Punisher figures. The same is mostly true of Deadpool. But the grey, X-Force uniform is going to be a selling point to a lot of fans. (It's too bad that all of his teammates in their X-Force uniforms have been variants or convention exclusives.) Mystique is a nice figure and the first figure of the modern version of Mystique that we have gotten in the Marvel Legends line, the same can be said of Iron Man. U.S. Agent is a nice figure and has the benefit of being the only character in the series to not have a Marvel Legends figure already.

Happy Hunting:

The Epic Heroes series has been quite slow to show up in stores. A lot of that is due to stores still having refresher cases with Terrax and Arnim Zola series figures. I have seen the Epic Heroes figures at a couple of Walmart stores here in Wisconsin. But these figures came from Hasbro's web store. The are also available from Big Bad Toy Store.

Iron Man MOC Iron Man card back

Dr. Doom MOC Dr. Doom card back

U.S. Agent MOC U.S. Agent card back

Deadpool MOC Deadpool card back

Punisher MOC Punisher card back

Mystique MOC Mystique card back

Mystique front and back

Mystique close up Mystique accessories Mystique, Mystique and Black Widow Dr. Doom front and back Dr. Doom close up Dr. Doom Accessories Dr. Doom holster 1 Dr. Doom holster 2 Epic Heroes vs Fantastic Four Dr. Doom face comparison Dr. Doom figures Deadpool front and back Deadpool close up Deadpool accessories Deadpools swords Deadpool holster Deadpools U.S. Agent front and back U.S. Agent close up U.S. Agent accessories U.S. Agent shield U.S. Agent with Captain America figures Iron Man front and back Iron Man close up Iron Man Accessories Iron Man figures Punisher front and back Punisher close up Punisher accessories Punisher and Nick Fury Punisher figures diaplay bases stacked 1 display bases stacked 2 diaplay bases Iron Man Movie line figures
Iron Man Movie line: War Machine, Crimson Dynamo, Hulk Buster, Titanium Man
Marvel Legends 2011 two packs
Marvel Legends 2011 Two Packs: Hulk/Valkyrie, Winter Soldier/Black Widow, Warpath/Deadpool
2012 series 1
Marvel Legends, Terrax Series
2012 series 2
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