Thanks to real life intruding into my hobby time, I've fallen way behind in my reviews. So I'm going to try the next
couple of reviews short as I attempt to catch up. First up is series fourteen of Toy Biz's Marvel Legends line, the Mojo
Packaging - 8/10By now every figure fan should be fairly familiar with clamshell packaging and there are no great surprises here. The only thing that I will point out is that the issue of the excessive weight of larger figures causing the plastic to warp from previous waves isn't an issue here since there are no extremely large figures or accessories.
Sculpting - Falcon 5/10 (variant 6/10), Baron Zemo 6/10 (variant 5/10), Longshot 7/10, Psylocke, Luke Cage, Iron Man 8/10The sculpting for this series is really hit or miss. The strange thing is that the figures I would have expected to turn out poorly are some of the best. First Appearance Iron Man is a design that just shouldn't translate well into a highly articulated figure. But Toy Biz pulled it off well. The biggest disappointment is the use of a half helmet/face plate which looks out of place when the face plate is removed. Psylocke turned out surprisingly well given Toy Biz's track record with female figures. Her biggest drawback is the disproportionally large hips. But her sash does a fairly effective job of hiding them. Luke Cage has all of the bulk you would expect of the character, there are just a few details that need refinement. The cuffs on the boots are too large while the wrist bands are too small. And the squared off links of the chain belt make it look rather fake and undermines the effort of creating a separate piece for the belt. Longshot lacks a lot of costume detail, but seems to be fairly accurate to the comic that was included. The fact that the left hand has a set of blades permanently attached to it means that posing options are slightly more limited. Baron Zemo would be a very nice figure but the transitions for the articulation didn't turn out as well as they should. The lower sleeves are much thicker than the upper portion of the sleeves. And his waist is so thin that even a super model would suggest that he eat something. I prefer the regular figure with the masked head over the unmasked version as the added width of the mask and the crown works better with the wide fur collar. Finally there is Falcon. For some reason they altered the figure from the prototype to reduce the amount of chest that is exposed. But the real issue with the figure is his arms. The shoulders stick out from the body like two drumsticks glued onto either side. And in general, they seem a bit too long and lanky. The arms are less noticeable on the variant version thanks to the use of much longer wings. But the variant version also still has the sculpted details on the torso from the regular version.
Paint - Iron Man, Psylocke & Longshot 7/10 Others 5/10One of the areas where the quality has dipped for series fourteen is the paint work. I was fairly fortunate with my figures, especially since they were bought sight unseen online. But there are issues. The biggest problem is mismatched paint at the joints. Falcon has a lot of issues with this since the joints at the shoulders and neck are not painted resulting in big patches of red where it should be flesh toned. Luke Cage is better, but the paint on the wrist joints is prone to chipping off and there are several stray paint marks on his face. Baron Zemo has a very heavy paint wash which can be inconsistent in spots. And the flesh toned paint is pretty sloppy around the edges. Longshot turned out quite well as did Psylocke. Though the edges for her outfit are not as sharp as they could be. Iron Man is my favorite of the series. There is a simple wash applied to many of the joints which keeps the figure from looking too monochromatic. Unfortunately the wash tends to get broken up over some of the joints. And then there is my gold variant figure which has a large fingerprint on the chest where the figure was handled improperly at the factory.
Articulation - 8/10All of the male figures are listed on the packages as having 34 to 36 points of articulation. But that is counting the shoulder and hip joints as single joints where I would consider them to be two joints each. Psylocke is listed as having 30 points of articulation, but again that is counting the hips and shoulders as single joints. Overall, there are not too many surprises in terms of the articulation. But there are two issues to watch out for. The first is that the plastic used for the connections in the joints on several of the figures is much softer than usual. This is particularly true of Longshot. His knees are so prone to warping that getting the figure to stand is extremely difficult, keeping him standing is probably out of the question. The second issue is the switch to ratcheting joints for the shoulders for Iron Man. They are so tight that the plastic will break before the arm moves. Though this didn't seem to be an issue with the gold version.
Accessories - Falcon 6/10, Psylocke 4/10, others 5/10Each figure comes with two basic accessories, a comic book and a background display. The display is comprised of a small black plastic stand and a scene printed on the front of the cardboard backer card. It's nice that Toy Biz is making some attempt to replace the lost display bases. But the backgrounds are too large to use with each figure but too small to us with more than one figure at a time. The comics are still here. And it is a nice selection this time around.
Build-A-Figure - MojoThe build-a-figure for this series is Mojo, the Jabba the Hut like creature from the X-men comics. Overall, he's a great choice for a build-a-figure. He's too large to really be sold as an individual figure. But even as a build-a-fgure, he is still a bit undersized. The figure has 26 points of articulation including the legs and fully articulated arms. But the range of motion for the legs of his platform are very limited. But they can at least support the weight of the figure or you can rest the figure on the clear plastic supports on the bottom of the platform. The sculpting is nice, capturing the look of a spineless blob with out getting to graphic. But the paint can be troublesome. Since the three pieces of Mojo's body come with different figures, the paint wash applied to each piece doesn't necessarily match up well. Having two each of Mojo's head section and belly, I did find there was a noticeable difference between the pieces.
Value - Psylocke 8/10, Luke Cage & Iron Man 7/10, Longshot 4/10, others 6/10 (add a point if completing Mojo)As the Marvel Legends line gets to more and more obscure characters, it is hard for the characters to have as much mass appeal. Add in the quality control issues with the paint and articulation and this isn't Toy Biz's strongest offering. But with several figures that have been high on many fans' want lists such as Baron Zemo and Iron Man in his original armor, series fourteen does offer several worthy additions any collection.
Happy Hunting:Boy am I behind in my reviews. Series fourteen came out in the fall of 2006. While they were plentiful at some stores in the fall, the change in the license for Marvel toys at the end of the year means that they have disappeared from most stores. I purchased my set plus the three variants from Toys R Us.com. They still have all of the regular figures available, but of course the variants are long gone. If you want a brick and mortar alternative, try a Toys R Us, Kmart or KB Toys store. The trick will be to find a store that had them in stock but that didn't bother to clear out their inventory at the end of the holiday season.