I have a lot of Marvel Legends figures. I don't have every Marvel Legends figures released over the years. But I do have more than
one for every day of the year. But that certainly won't stop me from adding more to the collection. And Hasbro is happy to oblige
with the second series of figures under the new Marvel Legends Infinite banner. This time it is a Spider-man themed series which
includes six figures that have been released so far: Superior Spider-man, Amazing Spider-man, Carnage, Electro from the coming
Amazing Spider-man movie, Black Cat and the Beetle. Later shipments are slated to include Toxin, Spider-girl and Boomerang in
place of Carnage, Black Cat and Beetle respectively. But with the six figures released thus far, you will have all the pieces necessary
to complete the Green Goblin Build A Figure. And I'm impatient. So lets get on to the review.
Packaging -electro 9/10, Amazing & Superior Spidey 8/10, others 6/10The packaging for the Green Goblin series figures is very similar to that of the Mandroid Series figures, but with a more Spidey appropriate red and black color scheme. The figures are clearly displayed in the box. And the glossy images of the figure on a matte black background on the back of the packaging is a very sharp look. For the movie figures, I love it. It is reminiscent of a movie poster. But for the other, comic inspired figures, I find myself wanting more color. I really liked all of the comic images used on the Marvel Legends cards from the last few years. More annoying though is Hasbro's continued practice of sharing a single name/package for two different figures even when only one is shipping. At least the Spawn of Symbiotes package gives the name of the two figures, neither Black Cat nor Beetle even get a direct mention on their cards. And there is no explanation of where Toxin, Spider-Girl and Boomerang are since they are not actually shipping yet. I still cannot figure out why Hasbro thinks that this practice is a good idea.
Sculpting - Beetle 8/10, Carnage & Superior Spidey 6/10, others 7/10A lot of work went into the sculpting of most of the figures in this series. The one exception is Superior Spider-man who appears to have a generic male body with a new Spider-man head. While I would like to see every figure get a brand new mold, I understand that that is not feasible without raising the price even more. And there isn't that much more to add to the figure. Carnage also uses a generic male body, but they added new hands, forearms and lower legs which have tendrils coming off of them. He also has a new head sculpt with a huge jaw. I like the addition of the tendrils. But I wish that they had retained the textured body of previous Carnage figures as well. Black Cat seems to reuse the same torso and upper legs as Moonstone from the Thunderbolts set with a new upper body, lower legs and forearms. The combination of the slightly thicker body and the fur trim gives her quite a curvy, voluptuous appearance. As for the remaining three figures, I must admit that I don't really know how well they have turned out. In the case of Beetle, I just am not that familiar with the character. It seems to be fairly close to the reference images I have been able to find. And it certainly is an ambitious figure since there is little hope of being able to recycle any of the parts. The one complaint I would have is that if the wings are removed, the back of the figure seems a bit naked since very little of the armor wraps all the way around. (But again, that may be an issue with the character design, not the sculpt. Both Electro and the Amazing Spider-man are suppose to be based on the second Amazing Spider-man movie, which as of the time that I'm writing this, hasn't been released. From the few promo images I have seen, they look accurate. I will also say that if this is how the new costume for Spidey looks in the second movie, it will be a considerable step closer to the classic Spider-man design. I didn't even realize that it was suppose to be the movie design until I opened it and recognized the texture on the blue areas of the costume.
Paint - Beetle 5/10, Black Cat 9/10 Electro 8/10, Amazing Spidey 6/10, others 7/10Hands down, the best looking paint work of this series is on Black Cat. At a glance, there doesn't look like much paint work on her. But the flesh tones look great as do the details on the face. But it's the shading on the fur trim and hair that take this figure to the next level. It's subtle, but makes that sculpted detail pop. Electro also has a few nice painted details such as the collar and the hardware on his head. But I'm not completely sold on the blue paint on the forearms and shoulders. It appears to be meant to be a lighting effect, a reflected glow from his head and hands. But it doesn't really look like reflected light. My opinion could change when I see the movie though. The paint work on Superior Spider-man is fairly simple and unambitious, but turned out well. By contrast, the Amazing Spider-man 2 Spidey is much more ambitious and detailed, but has more problems with smudges and stray paint marks. It's nothing serious. And from anything further than an arm's length away, it looks good. But close up, the issues are easy to see. The black streaks on Carnage turned out surprisingly well. It breaks up the lines of the generic body almost like camouflage. But the fact that it doesn't continue onto any of the tendrils or the hands is an oversight that is hard to overlook. Finally there is Beetle, who has a lot of painted area is still lacking. The silver for the armor has some evident quality control issues. The figure would also benefit greatly from a greater amount of contrast between the red and silver areas and some shading on the lines of the red areas of the costume. As it stands, the figure looks quite plain, especially from behind.
Articulation - 8/10All of the male figures have basically the same articulation:
Accessories - Black Cat & Beetle 7/10, others 6/10I generally don't expect much in terms of accessories from Marvel Legends figures if they are not essential to the character. And with the exception of Beetle's wings, none of the other figures really need an accessory. But they all have at least something. Beetle has a removeable backpack/wings. They fit snugly, hide the plain looking back of the figure and add an additional pop of color from the front. Black Cat has a whip with three prong grappling claw. It looks nice even if it is completely impractical as designed. (too short to make a useful grappling hook and too dangerous to use as a whip) Carnage has a backpack with extra tendrils. It can take a bit of work to position them to look good. (A little heat to soften them up and then cold water to set them it place works quite well.) But they are flexible enough to give you several options for how you want to position them. Both Spider-man figures come with a second set of hands positioned in the traditional web slinging pose. (I am a bit curious as to why the Amazing Spider-man 2 Spidey doesn't have the pinky fingers fully extended.) Electro comes with a second head which has electricity coming from the corners of his eyes and a pair of fists. The fists would be nice, except that they are black which then makes the blue paint on the forearms out of place.
Build A Figure - Green GoblinThe Build A Figure for this series is the Green Goblin from the Ultimate Spider-man universe. The figure is a Hulk body and legs with new arms, feet and head. Using the Hulk body as a base may be a bit of overkill. The Ultimate Green Goblin was large. But I don't recall him being this large. And the Hulk torso and pants are a bit plain compared with the style of the arms and head sculpt. You also get three translucent flame accessories that clip onto the figure's arms and back. They are a great addition as the added color and detail go a long way to set this figure apart from the many Hulk figures that have been produced. One minor complaint that I do have is the way that the parts are split up. Since Beetle, Carnage and Black Cat will all eventually have an alternative figure that shares the same BAF part, if you buy the entire series you will end up with one and a half Goblins. That's certainly better than not having enough parts. But I would still rather come out without the extra parts.
Value - Superior Spidey 6/10, others 7/10The retail price for the Marvel Legends Infinite figures has increase to $20 each compared to the $15 that Marvel Legends figures used to sell for. The price creep is unfortunate. But Toys R Us was already selling ML figures for that price before the switch to the Infinite line. So that takes a bit of the bite out of the increase. If not for the Build a Figure, I might have passed on Superior Spider-man simply because I have so many Spider-man variations already and this design is not that different from some of the other Spideys I already have. But fans of the Superior Spider-man story arc may feel differently. The other five figures are all great figures and either new versions of the character for the Marvel Legends line or worthy updates to the old versions. I was on the fence about whether Carnage was that much better that the previous Carnage figures I already have for a while. But the tendrils and wide open mouth have won me over.
Happy Hunting:The Marvel Legends Infinite Green Goblin series has been shipping since the beginning of the year, but not in great numbers. So all of them have been fairly scarce until recently. Black Cat and Carnage still seem to be harder to find despite the fact that all of the figures except the two Spideys are one per case. But even they are starting to show up a little more often. I have seen both on multiple occasions in the last two weeks. But there could be a significant wrinkle in the availability. As of the day that I am writing this, I had my first sighting of Boomerang in person and have seen Spider-girl and Toxin showing up online. If they start replacing Beetle, Carnage and Black Cat in the cases these figures may never have a chance to meet demand. On the other hand, if we are fortunate, they could give scalpers and resellers something new and "rare" to chase so they can stop buying up Black Cat and Carnage. In the mean time, the figures seem to be stocked in limited quantities at both Toys R Us and Target stores. They are also popping up on both chains' web stores. It also seems like Walmart will be carrying them, but they seem to be in very short supply there. You may also want to keep an eye on Hasbro's web store as well if you are not able to find them locally.
As I have already mentioned, as of the day that I'm writing this the alternative figures are starting to show up as well. I found a Boomerang figure at Target today and they are starting to show up online as well. So just when you think the hunt is over, new game rears its head.