There is a flood of Marvel Legends Infinite figures hitting shelves right now. I recently reviewed the Ultron series of figures which featured a
number of movie based figures. But for comic fans, there is also another series showing up which features seven new comic based figures: Blizzard,
Vision, Dr. Strange, Thundra, Valkyrie, War Machine and a Marvel Now version of Iron Man. And if you collect all of the figures in the series, you
can build a new version of Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor. I'm always up for an opportunity to expand the population of my Marvel Legends shelf. So
let's check out the newest additions.
Packaging - Blizzard & Marvel Now Iron Man 7/10, others 5/10The Hulkbuster series once again uses the same multilingual packaging as all the recent releases. It is attractive and relatively collector friendly. (Though that can be used to nefarious purposes when people remove the Build A Figure parts and return the figures to stores.) There's not much to the packaging to connect the figures to the comics on which they are based which is unfortunate. The back of each package has a large image of the figure or of two figures for Dr. Strange, Vision, Thundra and Valkyrie who all share their packaging with another figure as well as information about the Hulkbuster Build A Figure and which pieces are included with which figure. There is also the usual brief description of the character(s). Unfortunately the descriptions are fairly worthless for most of the characters. Only Blizzard and Iron Man's really tell you anything about the character or what version the figure is based upon.
Sculpting - Blizzard & Vision 6/10, Dr. Strange & Thundra 7/10, Valkyrie 8/10, War Machine & Iron Man 9/10Hasbro did an impressive job with this series producing six figures with minimal new sculpting. Both Vision and Blizzard use generic bodies with no sculpted details. But neither really needs any for their costumes. Thundra has a new head sculpt and a belt. Doctor Strange has a new set of textured forearms for the gloves and a piece to create the tail of his coat. The sculpted details add a bit of depth, but there is still a lot of details that are missing. Valkyrie has the armor circles on her torso and around her neck sculpted on as well as. War Machine is the exact same sculpt as the James Rhodes figure from the Iron Monger line. The Marvel Now Iron Man figure seems very similar to previous Iron Man figures but it is not one that I recognize. Overall the figures look decent, but I suspect that they selected figures that could be made with minimal sculpting so that they could go all out on the Build A Figure.
Paint - Blizzard & Vision 6/10, War Machine 8/10, others 7/10The paint work for all seven figures is neatly executed and looks good. But they are a bit simple, particularly on the bodies. They put a bit more effort into painting the heads and hair for Doctor Strange, Valkyrie and Thundra. And they look great. But they make the simpilier looking bodies look a bit cartoony. War Machine is a little bit better as they added a few decals with lettering to the figure. They are a small touch, but make a big difference.
Articulation - Valkyrie & Thundra 9/10, others 10/10All five of the male figures have they usual thirty-four points of articulation that we have come to expect with Marvel Legends figures. Valkyrie and Thundra have almost the same articulation, but lack the waist joints and double hinged elbows. Instead they have a single hinge combined with a rotating joint for the elbows. That may be a small concession, but it does mean that they can't bend their arms beyond ninty degrees, which is somewhat limiting. The quality control presents no issues on the figures either. There's no loose or floppy joints. I didn't have to work any joints free. And despite it currently being the middle of summer, none of the material is showing any signs of bending or warping.
Accessories - Doctor Strange 4/10, Valkyrie, Thundra, War Machine & Vision 6/10, others 0/10Iron Man and Blizzard both come with no accessories. They don't really need them I suppose. But it would have been nice to include something. Doctor Strange has two pieces of mystical energy which were recycled from Scarlett Witch from the Allfather series. They were a bit silly then, and still are with Doctor Strange. But at least his larger hands give you a few options for how to get the figure to hold them. Vision comes with a yellow version of the same cape as Grim Reaper from the Ultron series. Here the length is perfect for it to extend out slightly behind the figure, but still just touch the ground to give the figure extra support. Valkyrie has a sword and Thundra comes with a ball and chain weapon. Both weapons look decent thanks to a little paint work. And both figures can weild their weapons in their hands without issues. Finally there is War Machine who comes with a spare head which is sculpted with his mask raised and hisface revealed. It looks nice and does give you alternative look for the figure and it's a decent likiness.
Build A Figure - HulkbusterThe Build A Figure for this series is a new version of Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor based on the designs from Age of Ultron. And as soon as you pick up one of the packages with either of the legs and felt that heft, you knew this was going to be a big figure. Measuring about nine and a half inches tall onced assembled, he is big. (Though one size reference I did find online claimed that the movie Hulkbuster armor was supposed to be eleven feet tall. If that's true, the figure is still too small.) But he is big enough to look intimidating even when standing toe to toe with the recent movie Hulk figure. The design is definitely from the movie, but it isn't a spot on representation. (Though the armor goes through some changes in those scenes, so I could be comparing it to the wrong reference images or the design may have just changed for the movie.) It has a lot of paint work, but it still looks to clean and simple to be based off of the live action movie. It could really use some paint wash to dirty it up a bit. It is fully articulated which is impressive. And by keeping most of the mass in the legs, it is surprisingly stable even in action poses. Ultimately it is a great toy and a reasonable stand in for the movie style Hulkbuster. But if you are a stictler for detail and accuracy, this version isn't likely to satisfy you.
Value - Vision 7/10, others 8/10As usual with Marvel Legends figures, the prices are going to vary depending upon where you get them. I ordered a case online and ended up paying $20 per figure, but I also had to buy one extra figure. That's a bit of a hassel, but a fair price in the end. And all of these figures are nice additions to the collection, expanding it and filling in holes rather than yet another Captain America figure who is barely discernable from three others released in the last year. I questioned the need for another Valykrie figure after just a few years, but this one is such a substantial change over the 2011 version, that it seems completely justified now. The only odd choice in my eyes was including a comic version of Vision instead of one based on his appearance in Age of Ultron. He's not a bad figure, but Iwould have preferred a movie version.
Happy Hunting:The Hulkbuster Series of figures is starting to show up now. But it seems to have been distributed to specialty stores first. I received my order from Big Bad Toy Store.com a few weeks ago. They should be showing up at regular retail stores any time. Though, with three series of Marvel Legends figures all being released in a single month, and stores still having quite a few of the older figures in stock, distribution for this series could prove to be pretty spotty at brick and motar locations.