It's been several months since I reviewed Hasbro's first series of Marvel Legends figures. While some of that delay was
due to the figures taking quite a while to show up locally, a hectic summer didn't help either. But since Hasbro seems
to have several more waves of Marvel Legends style figures due to be released any time now, I suppose it is now or never for
series two, the Blob series. There are a total of eight figures in the series this time: She-Hulk, Thor, Ultimate Wolverine,
Yellow Jacket, Xorn, Quicksilver, and Jean Grey and Juggernaut from the X3 movie. I'll also toss the San Diego Comic Con
exclusive version of She-Hulk in her Fantastic Four uniform since I haven't been able to find any of the regular variant
figures for this series.
Packaging - 9/10Hasbro's redesign for the packaging for the Marvel Legends is fairly attractive and makes good use of a variety of images from Marvel Comics representing different styles for the character or substituting movie images for Jean Grey and Juggernaut. The cards are quite a bit larger than they need to be for most of the normal sized characters. But it does provide plenty of room for the larger characters such as Thor though. The back of the cards has a brief description of the character as well as their vital statistics. But the majority of the space is used to show off the other figures in the series and the Blob build a figure. I'd prefer that they devoted more of the space to the figure you are buying and increase the print size, but this will work.
The Comic Con exclusive version of She-hulk comes in a completely different type of packaging. To start with, the figure is packaged in a plain white box with a black and white drawing of the She-Hulk and her name printed on it and little else. I'm a bit confused as to why they bothered with this. Usually this is done to disguise which ones are variant figures until after you open them at a convention. But as far as I know, there was no variant for this figure. So I'm not sure why they bothered. Once you open the outer box, the figure is still packaged in another window box. The box uses the same style graphics as the regular Marvel Legends figures, but adapted to work with the window box design. The box has a slim panel on the front that can be opened up to reveal more of the figure as well as several comic book images of She-Hulk. Even with the panel closed, you can clearly see most of the figure and her accessories for dressing as a lawyer. The back of the box shows prototype images of She-Hulk both in her business suit and F4 costume. There is also a fairly long description of the character and statistics about her. Overall the packaging for the exclusive version is actually a bit nicer than the carded design.
Sculpting - She-Hulk, Juggernaut & Thor 6/10, others 4/10For most of the male figures, most of the effort seems to have been put into the head sculpts. Yellowjacket and Quicksilver have decent head sculpts. (I can't say that they are perfectly accurate. But with comic book based characters, their appearance can change dramatically depending on the artist anyway.) But the rest of their bodies need some refinement. The muscle structure seems too pronounced and angular. The kneecaps in particular look more like armored pads than a human's knee. Both Wolverine and Quicksilver also have their necks permanently bent forward. It would work fine for Quicksilver in running poses, but he can't really stand up straight unless you bend his torso backward as far as possible. Wolverine has more detail and texturing on his body. But his head sculpt is a bit too extreme. The basic design is okay, but the wrinkles and lines in his face make it look like he is either much older than he should be, or his face is melting off ala Raiders of the Lost Ark. And then to top it off, all three are at least slightly bow legged, Wolverine extremely so.
Xorn on the other hand is either knock kneed or my figure had the legs reversed. Xorn has a lot more detail to his sculpt. It does seem like there should be more detail for the chest under his jacket though. And while the head sculpt is a nice likeness of Magneto, it was purposely made small to fit in the Xorn helmet which makes the figure look like a pinhead. (BTW, if you don't understand why Xorn has Magneto's face under his helmet, read up on his somewhat convoluted history over at Wikipedia.org.)
Thor has a fairly impressive sculpt in terms of the individual parts, but they just don't seem to work well together in my opinion. Head sculpt looks great. But the hair keeps the figure from looking forward unless you remove the cape. They attempted to disguise the backs of the elbows by continuing the bicep area down past the joint in the back. But the gap left between the two parts makes it look like his skin is hanging off of his body.
She-Hulk shares another weakness with Thor, scale. Both figures are suppose to be tall, but both figures stand almost a full head above Quicksilver when their statistics on their cards say they should only be a slightly taller. Of course scale has never been a strong suit of the Marvel Legends line. So exaggerating the height difference might not have been a bad idea. Other than the scale, She-Hulk turned out well. The costume has a fair amount of detail considering how small it is. And at the same time they did a nice job of not making the figure look muscle-bound. I'm sure some will still dislike the fact that the joints still break up the sculpt somewhat. But it is a Marvel Legends figure after all. The Fantastic Four version uses the same sculpt but with a different head. Unfortunately that means that some of the sculpted detail such as the gloves and the shoes are still present when they shouldn't be. The head is also a bit larger which makes the figure look more like it is a figure of normal height in a larger scale rather than looking like a very tall 6" scale figure. I do however think it looks great.
Juggernaut looks less like a representation of the Movie and more like a comic book version of the movie design. The muscles seem to have been bulked up considerably. The costume details seem to be reproduced well, although the proportions are off. The straps on the chest and arms are too thin. I like the face, though the nose could be slightly smaller.
Jean Grey was a bit of a surprise. I was expecting to really hate this figure, especially since I didn't care for the costume design in the movie to start with. The figure turned out better than I expected. But it doesn't capture the look of the costume well. The basic design is there. But it appears very one dimensional, like a one piece dress where the movie costume had several layers. The head sculpt has the basic features right, but exaggerated to the point where it doesn't really look like Famke Janssen. The hair is another problem. It is sculpted as a separate piece and then attached to the head. But as usual when it is done this way, the hair was made much to thick.
Paint - Thor 7/10, Wolverine & Juggernaut 6/10, Jean Grey 4/10, others 5/10The paint applications on most of the figures in series two are fairly simple compared to what Toy Biz used to do. That has both its good and bad points. With fewer applications, there is less chance for mistakes. But it is also possible to over simplify. Quicksilver for example, uses flesh colored plastic for the head. But the plastic is a little off in color. And with no variation in the color, the figure ends up looking a bit like an albino. They did go a step further with the regular She-Hulk figure by applying a light green wash to her hair. But when you compare it to the plain dark green of the Comic Con version, I think the dark green is better. Like Quicksilver, Wolverine could use some color for his face. But with his side burns and beard, his face is a much smaller area and as such less noticeable. Jean Grey also lacks skin tone. But what I'm really disappointed about with her is the rather bland nature of the color and lack of different tones and finishes used for her outfit. The yellow for Xorn's jacket is also slightly muted compared to the painted yellow areas. Ironically, he has the best color for his skin tone despite the fact that most of it is hidden behind his mask. Juggernaut has the same lack of skin tone. But the painted chest and arm hair does a nice job of distracting from it. They even airbrushed his head to create the look of a shaved head. Thor is the best figure of the series in terms of paint work. That is mostly the result of the design of the costume. But they did do some extra work such as the paint wash on Thor's hair. Still, the God of Thunder could use a tan.
There are also suppose to be three variant figures available at some point. Jean Grey's variant has her in her Dark Phoenix state from the end of X3. Quicksilver's variant is his green costume from early on. And Yellowjacket is suppose to be available with a shinier paint finish. (Sorry, I have no idea why that would make any sense.) Unfortunately, the variants don't seem to be shipping to stores here in the US.
Articulation - Quicksilver & Yellowjacket 7/10, Thor 5/10, others 6/10Quicksilver has the most articulation of the eight figures:
Accessories - FF She-Hulk 10/10, Thor 8/10, Xorn & Juggernaut 4/10, others 0/10For the most part, the Marvel Legends figures since Hasbro took over haven't had much in terms of accessories since the comic books and display stands have been dropped. Xorn and Juggernaut both come with removable helmets which is nice. Both look pretty good and fit well. Thor has his hammer Mjolnir of course. He also has a battle axe as well as a removable cape. While the cape is removable and make it easier to both balance the figure and adjust his neck, he looks much better with it on. Mjolnir is sculpted with a lot of detail and can even be held by its wrist strap for flying poses. The battle axe isn't as nice. The plastic is too pliable for a weapon of this size and it lacks sufficient paint work. The result is a weapon that could just as easily have come with any knock off barbarian figure.
The Fantastic Four version of She-Hulk is a different story of course. She comes with a variety of accessories to change the figure from her super hero persona into a lawyer. The figure comes with a pair of ungloved hands, a pair of shoes complete with high heel shoes, a pair of glasses, a cloth skirt and suit jacket and an attache case. I was skeptical about the use of real cloth for the jacket and skirt. Getting such items to turn out well at this scale is quite difficult. But these did in fact turn out well. It covers almost her entire Fantastic Four outfit except for the collar. And that makes a nice stand in for a shirt collar. I do have to admit that it seems unlikely that a 6'7" woman that weighs 650 lbs. would wear high heel shoes. But beyond that, the only thing I dislike are the eyeglasses which do not fit securely and therefore are prone to falling off and getting lost. The attache case is the last of her accessories and just as impressive as the others. Her left hand is sculpted so that she can carry it. And it even opens up and has room to store items inside. While I haven't exactly been clamoring for the chance to add a giant green lawyer to my action figure shelf, the fact that her accessories are enough to create a completely different version of the character is impressive.
Build-A-Figure - BlobThe build a figure for this wave is Fred Dukes, a.k.a. Blob. Blob has been around in Marvel Comic since the very early days of the X-men. Although, as far as I can tell, his entire career as a comic book villain has been little more than decades worth of getting beaten by one team of super heroes after another. And while he may not be as impressive as some of the early build a figures such as Galactus, he is a pretty good choice for a figure that would be too large to sell individually. The sculpt for Blob is fairly impressive, if a bit over done. From the images I've seen of Blob over the years, he has generally been shown with thick arms and legs. But I haven't seen any examples of him drawn with so many folds of fat on his legs. Nor should he stand a full head taller than She-Hulk. The shoulder and hip joints stick out quite a bit as well. That is due in part to the fact that they don't match up to the sculpting of the limbs and partially due to the large gaps between the joints and the limbs. Unlike the rest of the figures in the series, Hasbro didn't leave Blob's skin unpainted which was a wise choice. In terms of articulation, the twenty-six points of articulation packed onto his huge frame are impressive in terms of numbers. But as is often the case with bulky characters, the range of motion is limited. You also need to use some caution as the shoulders can be popped loose from the body fairly easily. Questions about its accuracy to the Official Guidebook to the Marvel Universe aside, Blob is an impressive figure. But having him broken up amongst eight figures instead of six as was usually the case under Toy Biz does seem like an unjustified annoyance.
Value - FF She-Hulk 9/10, Thor 7/10, She-Hulk 6/10, Juggernaut & Xorn 5/10,
The transfer of the Marvel Legends line from toy Biz to Hasbro brought with it a price increase of $1 to $2 depending upon the
store. When you then consider that it also came with a decrease in articulation, paint applications and the lose of the comic
books and display stands, it is hard to feel as good about the new $10 price tag. The figures that turn out well are still
a decent value. But those who already pick and choose the figures they buy are likely to be quite a bit pickier. If you
are patient, they do tend to go on sale once in a while which may knock up to 25% off of the price.