This review is long overdue. I've had these figures sitting on a shelf for over four months now waiting for this review.
I found for of the six figures from wave 6 of Toy Biz's Marvel Legends line at the beginning of the summer and had hoped to find
the other two, Phoenix and Deadpool, before doing this review. But since series 8 is due to start hitting the US shortly, I
guess I had better not wait any longer. So I'll be covering four of the figures from series six (Juggernaut, Wolverine in his
brown costume, Cable and the Movie version of the Punisher) as well as one of the past chase figures, Red Skull.
Packaging - 8/10I must say, I really do like the packaging that Toy Biz has been using for the Marvel Legends line. Each figure comes encased in a large clamshell style package that covers not only the figure, but the entire card as well. The card backs have images of the figures from the series as well as a statistics profile and written description of each character. It should be noted though that for some reason, Phoenix is not pictured on the card back. It may have been Toy Biz's intention to make both versions of her chase figures so they left her of the card. The front of each card is fairly plain but with good reason. Each figure comes with a comic book with the character on the cover that serves the purpose of the usual graphics on a blister card. The result is quite effective. But there is one major draw back to the Marvel Legends packaging, you need a small hardware store to get them open. Well, that might be stretching it, but you will need a sharp instrument of some sort in order to open the plastic and then a small wire cutter for all of the twist ties wouldn't be a bad idea either. It should also be noted that while the packaging for these figures is quite sturdy, the "J" hook at the top of the plastic that is used to hang the figure on the pegs many not be up to the task of supporting the weight of some of these figures. I have seen an ever increasing number of Marvel Legends figures sitting around on shelves in stores when their J hook was bent or broken off completely. Given the weight of figures like Juggernaut, that isn't too surprising, but it may also be the result of people damaging the packages in the stores.
Sculpting - Wolverine 8/10, Punisher, Red Skull & Cable 6/10, Juggernaut 7/10The sculpting on all of these figures is pretty good, but most are off in one aspect or another. Wolverine is the best of the lot and one of the best Wolverine figures produced. (And that's saying a lot since there are a lot of Wolverine figures out there!) The proportions are right. He is approximately in scale with the other figures. The only serious problem the figure suffers from is the same one that plagues all mass market versions of the runt, floppy claws. But realistically, there is no feasible way to make the claws stiff without them posing a serious safety hazard so it is a compromise we will just have to live with. Juggernaut has all of the important traits you would expect. He's huge and bulky. But he seems to be done in a style that I'm not as familiar with. The arms in particular seem to be too long. If he could straighten out his fingers, they would reach almost down to his ankles. The sheer girth of his limbs also makes the hinge joints for the knees and elbows much more of a distraction. Punisher is a decent body sculpt, but the facial likeness is a hair off. I think the cheeks need to be a little more pronounced. But what really hurts the figure's score is the inability of the hand sculpts to properly hold any of his weapons. Cable is a character I know very little about. I recognize the figure as the character, but that is about it. So I tried search Google for images of him and realized that the character has been drawn radically different depending upon the artist. The figure has all of the important traits of the character, but doesn't seem to match very well with any one version of the character. Red Skull is a reasonable attempt given that the figure is comprised of mostly reused parts and has to be PC enough to be acceptable on store shelves. The Red Skull figure seems to be a reused body, though I don't recognize which one that would be. The coat for the upper body is soft vinyl over the existing body with new arms. The final result is close, but not quite right. It almost seems as if Red Skull is missing some of the embellishments. The head sculpt turned out very well though and is the only part of the figure which is up to par with the other Marvel Legends figures.
Paint - Red Skull & Cable 3/10, Punisher 4/10, Wolverine 5/10, Juggernaut 8/10I have seen a lot of people complaining about the quality of the paint applications on Marvel Legends figures, but apart from one series 3 Wolverine figure whose paint wash looked more like a truck tire track across his chest, I've never had much of a problem with them until now. The paint work on these figures range from great to positively amateur. Cable and Red Skull both turned out quite poorly. The paint applications are just sloppy to an extent I haven't seen in years. Much like the sculpting, Red Skull's head actually came out quite well, but the detail work, especially the gold, is horrendous. The lines are all sloppy. They managed to get as much gold paint smeared around the buttons on the coat and buckles on his boats as what actually got on the appropriate areas. Cable is just as big a mess if not more so. The most obvious shortcoming on him is the black lines on the multitude of pouches. There isn't a single pouch on my figure where they managed to paint a consistent line. Most of them seem to have been painted with a sponge based on the number of yellow spots showing through. That or else they were running out of paint and were trying to conserve it. There are also large globs of yellow paint around Cable's ankles while much of the joint itself remains tan. They didn't paint the sides of one of his pouches so it is still blue. And they goofed with the airbrush on the back of his neck. He has flesh toned pint sprayed down his spine going all the way down to the point of his shoulder blades. Movie Punisher isn't much better but is saved in no small part by having the majority of his short comings covered by the fabric coat. There is some sloppiness n the neck of my figure but otherwise the paint on the head is well executed. The only other paint work that shows on the figure while the coat is on is the silver strip on the toes of the boots, the skull logo on the chest and the flesh toned paint on the hands. The skull fortunately came out almost perfectly. The paint on the hands is a bit thick, but otherwise the other two areas came out reasonably well. But then you take the coat off and get to the arms. There is a lot of black paint from the shirt on the arms and flesh paint on the shirt. They also made a mistake in painting the ends of the sleeves by painting the bottom tan rather than continuing the black all the way down to the arm itself. Wolverine actually came out better than the score might indicate. There are several splotches of paint on the figure's shoulders and abs and the edges around where his claws come out of his hands aren't as clean as they should be, but the figure still maintains a decent overall appearance. Juggernaut is tops in this category. There are a couple of minor marks on his back, but otherwise the paint is clean and well done. Even the gold brush effects to simulate scraped metal on the neck plate, arm bands and knuckle armor came out well.
Articulation - Red Skull 4/10, others 9/10Red Skull clocks in at twenty one points of articulation. Wolverine has thirty eight. Cable has forty. Punisher has thirty eight. Juggernaut has forty one points of articulation. I'll run down Wolverine's joints since he has all of the basic Marvel Legends articulation.
Accessories - Cable 4/10, Wolverine, Punisher & Juggernaut 6/10, Red Skull 5/10Cable comes with two accessories: a huge set of removable shoulder pads and a hover bike/cannon. The shoulder pads look good and fit well. The bike/cannon is another story. As a bike, seating the figure is ackward at best. The handlebars are too far apart for the figure to hold onto both at the same time and can't hold them very well anyway due to the lever on the front of each. Cable also includes the same base as the Silver Surfer figure which can support the weight of the bike and figure, barely. The bike can also be turned upside down and held over the figure's shoulder as a cannon, but again the handlebars are extremely ackward for the figure to hold.
Red Skull has three accessories: a pistol, his hat and a base upon which to display the figure. The hat fits the head well but isn't snug enough to stay on if the figure is moved much. The pistol can be stored snugly in the holster or loosely in Red's right hand. But since the figure is incapable of realistically aiming the pistol it is probably best left holstered. Red Skull's base is the same as the one included with Captain America, but without the American flag of course. But the pegs are too large for his feet and the figure lacks sufficient articulation to be able to be posed on the base anyway.
Wolverine comes with the same base as Elektra, with a semi posable figure added. The figure (the father of Wolverine's one time bride to be if I'm not mistaken) comes with a removable sword which Wolverine can also hold. It isn't an overly impressive accessory, but it is a great reuse of existing parts and perfectly appropriate to the character. That is well worth a slightly above average score.
Juggernaut comes with just two accessories: his helmet and a display base. The helmet fits well and quite securely using two tabs on either side. Plus the mouth and eye holes are cut out so that the figure's head can be seen inside. The display base was a good idea, but doesn't work well with the figure. The base is reused from the series one Hulk figure with a address plate and mangled bars added to make it represent the entrance to the Xavier Institute. As I said, it is a neat idea and actually well done, but the sheer size of Juggernaut dwarfs it.
The Punisher comes with exactly what you would expect: weapons, lots of weapons. Well, actually it only comes with four weapons, a fabric trench coat and a stand for the figure. The coat seems to be the same as the one that came with the Movie Blade figure, or at least based on it as it also has the hole in the back for Blade's sword. But for the Punisher, they sewed on a couple of knives and ammo belts. The four weapons are a pistol, assault rifle, bazooka, and long range rifle. The pistol can be stored in the holster on his right hip or held in his right hand. The assault rifle can also be held and posed nicely. Sadly the same cannot be said of the bazooka or long range rifle. Neither can be held well since their handles are too thick for the hands. Due to their size and soft plastic used for safety, both rifles' barrels are proned to warping. The Punisher's base one of the simple circular bases used in the Spider-man Sinister Six set with the white Punisher skull logo painted on it and two foot pegs.
In addition to those accessories listed above, each figure also comes with a comic book featuring the character.
Value - Red Skull 3/10, Cable 5/10, others 7/10Retail on the Marvel legends figures is generally between $8 and $9 each. Finding Punisher or Wolverine should be no challenge at that price, but Cable, Juggernaut and especially Red Skull are going to be a different story. If you end up paying secondary market or scalper prices for any of these figures, especially Red Skull, their value is going to drop significantly.
Happy Hunting:And here is the real challenge, finding the figures. As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, these figures were released early in the summer. They are still showing up at some stores, but most have already moved on to series seven and now series eight is starting to ship. Red Skull in particular is going to be almost impossible to find at retail since it was a chase figure from several series back. (Chase figures are only shipped in a select few cases but exactly how rare they are is rarely disclosed.) I managed to find him this summer when Walmart received a special shipment of Marvel Legends figures that included many of the chase figures.