Marvel Legends Series Giant Man Series

Group photo
Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a group of toy executives. These executives had a hit toy line and one evening they went out to celebrate their success. Being that they weren't oil executives, the best they could afford was to go to the local comedy club/bar. After a few hours and many, MANY rounds of drinks, they were discussing the all of the annoying fan boys who complained about them on the internet. As they continued to drink, they came up with a plan to get back at those fan boys. Knowing that the only thing fans hate more than not getting the figures they want produced was having them made and then not being able to find them. So they decided to make a whole wave full of figures that the fans had been begging for and making them all exclusives. And even better, they decided to include another Build-a-figure only this time they would break it up into almost twice as many pieces. It was at this point where they realized that they had a problem. Where would they ever find a store evil enough to help them put their plan into action? Suddenly the light bulb went off and the Wal-mart exclusive wave of Marvel Legends was born. Now I don't know if this story is true, but after months of waiting and a week of calls and trips to the local stores, the Wal-mart exclusive Giant Man series figures are standing on my desk.

Packaging - 8/10

The Giant Man series figures come in the standard Marvel Legends packaging, a thin card completely enclosed in a plastic case. The included comic book is used as a backdrop for the figure and accessories. A large sticker on the front of the bubble serves to both show off the build-a-figure concept and hide the actual piece. The back of the cards have a character profile and a chart of their abilities as well as photos of all of the figures in the series: Thor, Ant Man, Warbird, Kitty Pryde, Sentry, Captain Britain, Havok and Age of Apocalypse versions of Sabertooth and Wolverine. I'm rather surprised that there is no mention of these being exclusives on the package, but at least there isn't a big yellow smiley face on them. Other than that, they only downside is they don't really explain how you get all of the ten pieces need to complete Giant Man when there are only nine characters in the series.

Sculpting - Captain Britain & Havok 6/10, Sentry, Weapon X & Ant Man 7/10, others 8/10

When it was announced that there was going to be a series of exclusives, I was expecting a series of nothing but simple repaints. And the final figures do reuse bodies from existing figures in several case. But the results are much better than I had expected. Captain Britain and Havok are the weakest figures of the series. Havok isn't really that bad. But a guy is a plain black body suit isn't all that exciting. The bands on his head are thicker than they should be and the scowl makes him look like a villain. Captain Britain uses the Black Panther body with a new head, fists and lower legs. The body is too bulky though. It works all right when complimented by a cape or something else to match its width. Here it just looks like Captain Britain is on steroids. Sentry uses the same body to better effect. Adding a cape and his large belt de-emphasize the size of the body. The attachment of the cape isn't very impressive. There is no transition from the body to the cape. They just stuck the cape on and rounded the top to try to follow the curve of the shoulders. Sentry also has a variant head sculpt available. Instead of the clean shaven look, the variant has much longer hair and a beard. The way that the hair is sculpted, blowing back slightly, compliments the look of the cape perfectly. Weapon X, a.k.a. Age of Apocalypse Wolverine is the other figure with a variant. Both figures share the same body, arms and legs which represent the character well. The regular figure has a normal Wolverine head and a stump of a left hand. The variant has Weapon X's burnt face and his claws extended through his left hand. Ant Man is another character design without a lot of sculpted details. He does have the two small gas containers on the front of his belt, though they are mounted a bit lower. The head sculpt captures the look of the character fairly well. Sabertooth seems to be a completely new sculpt and turned out well. He is another bulky character but this sculpt carries the muscle mass well. He is also the first Marvel Legends figure I've seen with fingers that are a realistic length. The one thing I do not understand is why his gauntlets don't match. Neither really matches the artwork in the comic which I could understand, but they don't match each other either. Thor is another new sculpt, and one that has been long awaited for by fans. The figure itself turned out well. The missing disks from the first ML Thor have been added. The chest looks much better as well. It does not balloon out the way the first figure did. But the figure does have a very noticeable problem: the cape. They seem to have been going for a more extreme blowing cape but took it too far. It billows out near the shoulders before back in just above the waist making it look like the god of thunder has a humpback. And even from the front, the cavity created by the cape is visible around the arms. Warbird a.k.a. Ms Marvel is very similar to the other recent female ML figures. She has a new upper torso that eliminates the underneath her bust. The hair is sculpted as a separate piece which requires it to be thicker than it should be. Kitty Pryde is a completely new sculpt. She is slightly smaller than the other female figures which works well since she is supposed to be younger. It is nice to see that they sculpted all the details and stitching for her costume. I don't understand why they gave her platform shoes.

Paint - Warbird 7/10, others 8/10

The paint work has not been a strong suit for the Marvel Legends line but the Giant Man series seem to be a huge step in the right direction. All of the figures have simpler, clean paint application with very little sloppiness or stray marks. There are a few paint washes on Sabertooth, Weapon X and Captain Britain, but they are much more subdued than previous figures. The lines on Captain Britain in particular could have been a nightmare, but they all turned out well. They are neat and straight. There are a few areas that could use some tweaks. Warbird's hair is extremely glossy. Healthy shiny hair is one thing. This looks like she dunked her head in shellac. The color tone of the plastic on Kitty Pryde is an issue too. Her body is cast in yellow plastic and the gray areas are painted. But the yellow plastic lacks the vibrant color of paint, a fact the becomes very obvious when looking at the painted belt. But little thins aside, I'm very pleased with these. However, I would still take a look at the figures before buying them if you have the chance. While mine turned out well, there are always exceptions.

Articulation - 8/10

If you are familiar with the Marvel Legends line at all, you should know what to expect here. Ant Man has the traditional ML articulations:
  • rotating and hinged neck
  • rotating and hinged shoulders
  • rotating biceps
  • double jointed, hinged elbows
  • rotating wrists
  • hinged wrists
  • hinged fingers
  • Hinged torso
  • rotating waist
  • rotating and hinged hips
  • rotating thighs
  • double jointed, hinged knees
  • rotating shins
  • hinged and swiveling ankles
  • and hinged toes
By my count, that is thirty eight points of articulation. (The package claims just thirty four points of articulation. I believe the difference comes from counting the hips and shoulders as just one point each despite the fact that they provide the motion of two separate joints.) Captain Britain and Havok add two more shoulder joints that allow the arms to swing forward and back slightly. Warbird also has an extra pair of shoulder joints, but hers allow the arms to swing up towards the neck. Both Sentry figures then take that another step farthur with individually hinged fingers. Sabertooth gives up the extra shoulder joints, the ankle swivels and the double jointed elbows but adds a rotating ponytail for a total of forty one points of articulation. Weapon X has the standard leg and arm articulation plus the extra shoulder joints. But of course, with no left hand, there is no wrist or finger articulation there. The mid-torso hinge has been replaced with a sliding joint that can rotate 360 degrees and slide forward and back, It lessens the gap that the hinge joint often cause and offers an even greater range of motion. Thor is the least articulated of the male figures. He has most of the standard articulation but makes do with only single jointed elbows. He also does not have hinged fingers on his right hand. But anyone who has tried to get the first Thor figure to securely hold his hammer will realize that that is a welcome change. Kitty Pryde has all the same articulation as Ant Man, plus another rotating joint in the upper chest. But it offers almost no movement. The joints are generally pretty tight. Weapon X is the only figure that is giving me any trouble as the ankles don't seen quite stiff enough to support the weight of the figure. But the Giant Man wave also make more use of ratcheting joints for the torso hinges. I think it is unnecessary. I have not had problems with the torso hinges with past ML figures and the ratchet joints don't offer the same fluid range of motions.

Accessories - Sentry & Capt. Britain 3/10, Ant Man 7/10, Kitty & Thor 8/10, others 4/10

Kitty Pryde, Thor and Ant Man are the only figures with traditional accessories. Thor of course, has to have his hammer Mjolnir. It is smaller than the first Thor's hammer but well scaled to the figure. IT also marks the return of the sculpted inscription which we haven't seen since the Avengers box set in the nineties. Ant Man has a removable helmet which fits very snugly. I wouldn't suggest removing it often as it will probably start to rub the paint off the figure's head. It would have been nice if they had included the miniature Ant Man figure from the Avengers box set, especially since they have already reused it as an accessory with the Goliath chase figure. Kitty Pryde comes with the coolest accessory, her pet dragon Lockheed. They even included a small clip that allows it to perch on her arm. Actually it is a good thing they did. Lockheed can't stand on his own.

Of course all of the figures come with a comic as well. And the selection of issues for this series is pretty good.

  • Thor - Thor No. 351
  • Captain Britain - Excalibur No. 1
  • Sentry - New Avengers No. 3
  • Ant Man - Marvel Premiere No. 47
  • Sabertooth - Astonishing X-men No. 2
  • Weapon X - Weapon X No. 1
  • Warbird - Avengers Annual No. 10
  • Kitty Pryde - Astonishing X-men No. 4
  • Havok - X-men No. 97
Captain Britain and Sentry seem to have been selected based solely for their covers. Captain Britain makes only passing appearances in his comic. But Sentry's role is limited to a single panel, a one page splash page. When dealing with characters that fans may not be familiar with, they really need to pick better issues. The only other comment I have is regarding the comic that comes with Warbird. It is a good story centered around Warbird, but I was expecting to see her in action as Warbird.

Build-A-Figure - Giant Man

Giant Man is a character that has been begging for the Build-a-figure treatment since the concept was started. The Giant Man figure from the 5 inch scale Avengers box set made a reasonable stand-in. It even warranted a repaint to get an off model Goliath figure. But here we have a real Marvel Legends scaled, fully articulated figure that is on model. With forty six points of articulation, he can be posed as well as any Marvel Legends figure. The use of ratcheting joints helps the figure to support the extra weight. The only real draw back is putting him together. Unlike previous BAF's that were composed of six or seven pieces, you need ten pieces to build Giant Man. If you are having trouble with the math, there's a good reason for it. There are ten pieces needed to complete Giant Man but only nine characters in the series. You have to buy either version of Sentry, both versions of Weapon X and the other seven figures to complete the good Doctor Pym. Fortunately the variants are easier to come by than with previous waves, but this does make it even harder and much more expensive to be able to make use of the build-a-figure feature.

Value - Havok 5/10, Thor & Sabertooth 7/10, others 6/10 (Add another point if you are buying them all)

Retail price for these figures at most Wal-mart stores is just under $8. That is a decent price for a well articulated figure plus a comic. (Heck, the cover price on a comic alone these days is $3.) The character selection for the Giant Man wave also means that there should be something here for every Marvel fan. The biggest drawback to the value of this series is the need to buy so many figures to complete the Giant Man build-a-figure. It's particularly annoying that you have to buy two versions of Weapon X rather than choosing your favorite.

Happy Hunting:

If you haven't caught on yet, the Giant Man wave of Marvel Legends figures is exclusive to Wal-mart in the United States. That was a scary proposition considering the spotty distribution that the Marvel Legends line has had at Wal-mart in the past. The good news is that Wally World seems to have ordered quite a few of these figures. Most stores have been receiving a pallet display with not only the Giant Man series of figures, but the new Face Off two packs, the new box sets and the Marvel Masterpiece statuettes. And the stores that haven't gotten the pallets have end cap displays with even more figures. Of course with people buying ten figures at a time, a lot of inventory can disappear quickly. And unfortunately, the distribution does have some hiccups. I ended up driving to a store 30+ miles away to get my figures since the local stores have yet to receive them. They also haven't bothered to put them up on the Wal-mart website. That may change. But for the patient or those who don't want to support Wal-mart, they will be available in Canada. Many websites are accepting preorders on imported cases. But they aren't expected to ship until July.

Kitty & Capt. Britain MOC

Havok & Ms Marvel MOC

Thor & Sabertooth MOC

Sentry MOC

Weapon X MOC

Ant Man MOC

Thor with comic

Havok with comic Ant Man with comic

Weapon X with comic Weapon X variant with comic

Sentry with comic Sentry variant with comic

Captain Britain with comic Sabertooth with comic

Warbird with comic

Kitty Pryde with comic

Thor front and back Thor with old Thor Mjolnir Havok front and back Havok with Cyclops Havok on fashion Sentry both Sentry heads Warbird front and back Warbird vs Rogue Captain Britain front and back Captain Britain flying Weapon X front and back Weapon X heads Weapon X regular figure Weapon X variant Sabertooth front and back Sabertooth poised to strike both Marvel Legends Sabertooths Ant Man unmasked Ant man front Ant Man with helmet on Kitty Pryde front Kitty with Colossus Kitty phasing with lockheed lockheed with New Mutants verison Giant Man parts Giant Man with Ant Man Giant Mans, Ant Men and Goliath Giant Man back Build a figures Classic Avengers New Avengers Wolverines