It's April, and in just a few short weeks fans of Marvel's Cinematic Universe will be packing theaters for the next big outting of the Avengers
franchise: Infinity War. But while the movie is still a few weeks away, Hasbro is already lining store shelves with toys. And for collectors,
they have also released a new series of Marvel Legends figures themed around the movie and the Avengers in general. From the movie, the series
includes new versions of Captain America, Iron Man and Spider-Man or Iron Spider as he is called on the packaging. It also includes one
of the movie's new villains: Proxima Midnight. And for comic book fans, they also included comic inspired versions of Songbird, Taskmaster and
King Cobra. (called Serpent Society on the packaging) And as a cherry on top, the Build A Figure for the series is the long awaited movie version
Packaging - 8/10The usual design for the Marvel Legends line is back once more. And as I have stated in many past reviews, I really like this design, especially for figures based on the movies. The black background and colorful logos remind me a lot of movie title cards flashing across the screen in a dark theater. I even have to give Hasbro credit on the character descriptions on the back. They are still extrememly short in order to have room to reprint them in four languages. But at least they all give some useful character information or at least enough character information that I was able to easily find information about the characters I didn't already know online with relative ease.
Sculpting - Iron Man 5/10, Songbird, Serpent Society & Captain America 7/10, others 9/10This series has four completely new figures in the form or the four figures based on the Infinity War movie: Iron Man, Captain America, Iron Spider and Proxima Midnight. All four are loaded with detail. And both Iron Spider and Proxima Midnight look like they have turned out great. Of course, I haven't seen the movie yet and having been ignoring most of the trailers. The Captain America figure looks great for the most part. But the head sculpt is not a great likeness. The worst of the four, and the worst of the entire series for me is the Iron Man figure. The Iron Man figure has plenty of detail, but something about the figure just feels a bit flat to me and the sculpting doesn't seem to be as sharp as it is on the other three movie figures. For the remaining three comic based figures, Hasbro did a great job of dressing up existing molds to create the additional figures. Serpent Society a.k.a. King Kobra uses the newer Green Goblin body with a few new pieces for trim. In general it looks good. But the fit of the cape and hood are not that great. Songbird dresses up a generic body with a new belt and shoulder pads and a set of armored forearms. I'm not familiar with the character but the figure seems like it matches the character design well. Finally we get to Taskmaster. And Hasbro has created a great looking, classic style Taskmaster.
Paint - Serpent Society & Iron Man 5/10, Taskmaster 8/10, others 7/10For mass market figures, all of these figures turned out reasonably well. My favorite figure of the series is Taskmaster. Hasbro made some really smart choices for this figure. They put plenty of effort into the areas that needed it most, the skull. And while the rest of the figure doesn't have a lot of paint work, the combination of different plastic colors along with a few well place paint apps for details like the belt buckles make the figure look like a lot more effort went into it than actually did. By contrast, King Cobra aka Serpent Society lacks any of that detail work and looks very plain as a result. Iron Man has a fair amount of detail work. But the red plastic used for the figure is a problem for me. It doesn't have the right finish or sheen to look like metal which makes it obvious that this is a toy. And then to make things worse, the plastic used for the legs from the thighs down doesn't actually match the rest of the figure. Iron Spider has a lot of small details of his costume painted, particularly all the gold trim. But it still feels like something should have been done on the areas where the costume is just plain red. And since one of the main areas where this is an issue is his head, it becomes fairly noticable. The remaining three figures all turned out well. But none of them have enough paint work to be a real standout.
Articulation - 9/10The articulation for these figures is more of the same when it comes to Marvel Legends figures. The males each have around thirty five points of articulation which gives them a great range of motion. I didn't find any stuck or overly loose joints on any of the figures either. Though I was disappointed to find out that one of the sets of hands included with Iron Man do not include the usual wrist joint hinge. They will still rotate on the end of the arms, but they are stuck permanently bent back inorder to fire his palm mounted repulsers. Considering how many versions of these hands we have seen in the past that could do that pose without sacrificing the articulation, it's confusing that they couldn't include it with these.
Accessories - Iron Man 3/10, Captain America & Songbird 5/10, Proxima & Taskmaster 6/10, others 0/10This series isn't very heavy on the accessories. Two of the seven figures (Iron Spider and Cobra King) don't come with any at all. Iron Man just has one extra set of hands plus the same blast effects that they have been including with almost every Iron Man figure over the last year. That's particularly disappointing with that figure since he doesn't come with any Build A Figure pieces either. Taskmaster comes with a sword, a shield and a pistol, all of them reused from previous figures. But at least they are there. Proxima Midnight comes with a rather intricately sculpted spear/lance. But as I know nothing of the character and haven't seen the movie, I don't know enough to even evaluate her accessory. Captain America comes with a spare set of fists and his new shield. The shield looks nice. But I was really hoping to also get a retracted version that would clip to his forearms. Finally there is Songbird who comes with a fairly large energy effect that plugs into her back. It does a decent job of representing her manifested powers. And I was surprised that the figure can still stand while it is connected to her back. But it is still a big, flat, unpainted lump of plastic. If it doubled as a flight stand for the figure, that would have been cool. But as it is, I just want to see more evidence of effort being put into the figure.
Build A Figure - ThanosHe is finally here. After years of brief appearances in film after film, the man who has been pulling the strings behind the MCU for so many years finally joins the rest of my MCU based Marvel Legends figures... and he's kind of a let down. It isn't a bad figure, but he has a bit of an unfinished look to him. We have spent years and multiple films seeing him floating obinously in his throne in full armor. But here, almost all of that armor is missing. And you are left with just a big purple guy in a fancy shirt. Sure he is big enough to stand toe to toe with the Hulk. But this figure looks nothing like the tyrant who wants to kill half the Universe of the comics. So while I'm pleased to finally have a MCU based Thanos, he certainly won't be overshadowing the comic based Thanos Build a Figure from a few years ago or its recent reissue as a Walmart exclusive or the Marvel Select version.
Value - Iron Man 5/10, others 8/10The average retail price for a Marvel Legends figure is $20. And given the complexity and quality of these figures, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable price. And with Infinity War coming to theaters soon and the series including figures of four fairly important characters from the film as well as the build a figure, this is going to be a hard series to pass up for any fan of the Marvel movies. If you did want to pass on any of them, then Iron Man is easily the one to skip. He is the weakest Infinity War based figure in the series in my opinion. He also doesn't come with any Build A Figure part, so you can still complete Thanos. And finally, he is the only figure packed two per case. So there should be plenty of them to go around over the long term. As for the three comic based figures, I would really like to know who it is at Hasbro who has been steadily sneaking Serpent Society figures into the line over the last few years including King Cobra now. But to me, the inclusion of more obscure characters and Hasbro's willingness to put as much effort into a character that most people have never heard of as they do for the main cast of their summer blockbuster is one of the things I like the most about this line.
Happy Hunting:The Infinity War merchandise hit stores at the beginning of March. That includes this series of figures. But at least in my area, they were bought up and disappeared almost immediately. And I have yet to see much for restocks. I was able to find about half of the series locally and then had to order the remaining figures from Hasbro Toy Shop. The series is also available from the usual online sites as well.