The belated reviewing continues with the seventh installment of Toy Biz's Marvel Legends line, plus two stragglers from
series six. This wave includes six figures plus a seventh chase, figure reissue. The regular line up includes Ghost Rider,
Hawkeye, Silver Centurion Iron Man, Wolverine as Weapon X, Vision and Apocalypse. Goliath, the chase figure from series
four returns as the chase figure once again for series seven. Deadpool and Phoenix were actually the short pack figures
from series six. (They weren't included in my review of series six, mostly because I couldn't find them.)
Packaging - 8/10The packaging for Toy Biz's Marvel Legends figures isn't very elaborate, but it is attractive, durable and highlights the individual character well. And really, what more can you want? Each figure comes in a plastic, "clam shell" package that completely encloses both the figure and card. The figures themselves are displayed in fairly standard bubble along with their accessories. The comic or poster book that is included with each figure provides the graphics for the front of the card. The back of each card includes a profile of the character and photos of the other figures. I have seen some problems with the plastic for the clam shells not being strong enough to support the weight of larger figures like Apocalypse when hung on a peg for long periods of time. I don't know if this is a problem for Apocalypse or not since he never stayed on the pegs around here long enough to find out, but collectors who like to hang their figures from the wall MOC should consider giving him a little extra support.
Sculpting - Goliath 2/10, Apocalypse & Hawkeye 4/10, Phoenix & Vision 6/10, Iron Man, Deadpool & Wolverine 8/10, Ghost Rider 9/10,With half a dozen series of Marvel Legends under their belt already not to mention another ten waves of Spider-man Classics figures, Toy Biz has really learned to produce some amazing looking figures. While a few of the figures have minor problems, there isn't a single figure in the series that I would consider passing on. Deadpool came out extremely well. Particularly nice is the way that the belt, straps and holsters help to distract from the breaks in the sculpt caused by the articulation. Phoenix is Toy Biz's second shot at a Marvel Legends style female body and a significant improvement over the earlier Elektra body. Most notably, the hips have been vastly improved and the awkward mid-thigh joint that gave the old body type the appearance of severely broken legs is mercifully gone. The neck still needs refinement; the head sits too high on it. But that is a fairly minor complaint. Goliath is an older figure that Toy Biz reused. Considering that the sculpt is actually that of the Giant Man figure from the Avengers box set from all the way back to when Toy Biz was still working in a smaller scale, it actually holds up very well. What doesn't work so well are the modifications Toy Biz failed to make in order to turn Giant Man into Goliath. The figure still has the antenna from the Giant Man costume and lacks the goggles of the Goliath costume. The chest emblem is wrong as well since it still has the circle in the middle from Giant Man. The belt is off model as well, but with the other more obvious problems, the belt is easily overlooked. It isn't a bad figure per say, it just isn't a very good rendition of Goliath. Iron Man and Ghost Rider are both extremely well done overall but with minor problems. Iron Man's collar is a bit too large compared to the illustrations in the included comic. Ghost Rider looks great, but is a little "over exposed" at the neck and chest. The jacket should be completely buttoned/ zipped up. Apocalypse is a bit of a mixed bag. The sculpt itself is quite well done, but the design seems out of character for Apocalypse. It is either too short or too bulky. Granted, Apocalypse is capable of changing his shape at will, and I believe that there was a time when he was drawn this way, but I am used to seeing Apocalypse shown as being tall, with a medium to heavy build and a bit of a pin head. This version is taller than average, but not really tall enough. His arms and legs are far too thick, almost Hulk-like and his head is about 33% larger than it should be. Hawkeye is another nice sculpt but my figure at least suffers from a serious case of bow legged ness. He looks like he just rode across America on a horse with a limp. It is a shame, since other wise it is a very nice sculpt. Both Wolverine and Vision are both nice sculpts. I do think Vision could have used just a little more bulk in his upper torso which seems slightly undersized compared to his shoulders. His cape is very well executed as a separate piece of soft plastic. It is sculpted with a nice balanced pose, neither too static nor dynamic.
Paint -Goliath & Phoenix 4/10, Wolverine, Ghost Rider & Vision 5/10, Iron Man, Apocalypse & Hawkeye 7/10, Deadpool 9/10,This is one area that has been a bane to many Marvel Legends fans, sub par paint applications. Personally, I have not found it to be a serious problem but even I have run across a few train wrecks, including a Wolverine that looked like it had a tire track across his chest. But these figures turned out quite well. Deadpool in particular is almost perfect. Apocalypse and Hawkeye both have a few stray paint marks but they aren't very noticeable. Iron Man's armor turned out very well. The red areas have a nice gloss finish that almost gives it the look of vac-metal. There is also a black wash over the red armor which does help to highlight the sculpt's details but gives the entire figure a dirty appearance. The line between Stark's face and the side of the helmet is also not quite perfect which makes it look like his head is melting in the helmet. Ghost Rider relies very heavily on washes which can be hit or miss. In general, my figure turned out well though I think the face turned out a little too dark and the white on his right elbow is a little too thick. But I would suggest comparing figures before picking this figure up. Wolverine has a few minor problems. They didn't manage to paint the entire plug hole on either hand. The hands themselves also have a dark wash to give them a 'dirty' look which I find unnecessary. The Vision and Phoenix both have problems with the yellow paint not covering the green plastic perfectly resulting in small dark spots along edges. Iím also dissatisfied with the three black lines on Vision's chest. They are too dark compared to the rest of the paint and overpower the rest of the paint. Phoenix also has some problems matching the yellow tones between the various parts of the arms and legs due to some parts being cast in yellow plastic while others are just painted. And once again, Goliath gets the short end of the stick in another area. The stripes on Goliath's costume are a mess. The parts of the stripes that are sculpted on turned out fine, but the areas that had to be 'free handed' are somewhat sloppy. There are some problems with bleed through of the blue color of the plastic on some of the stripes. Worse yet, the yellow use on Goliath's upper arms doesn't match the paint used everywhere else.
Articulation - Goliath 4/10, others 9/10One of the big selling points with this line from the start has been the incredible amount of articulation that Toy Biz has managed to pack into the figures. Except for Goliath, every figure features at least thirty points of articulation. The basic articulation for a Marvel Legends figure is as follows:
Accessories - Apocalypse & Wolverine 3/10, Phoenix, Vision & Iron Man 5/10, Goliath 7/10, Ghost Rider 9/10, Deadpool & Hawkeye 10/10Phoenix has the two standard accessories, a base and a comic book. The base is the phoenix energy in its flaming bird form. The base is molded in yellow plastic with reddish orange paint tinting the edges. I wish it had been cast in a more translucent plastic to create a better fiery effect. The base does have the advantage of being either free standing or wall mountable. The bottom can fold back to connect to the wall. One of the nicest things about these figures is that the comics that were included with each figure were a great choice. For Phoenix, the comic is The All-New, All-Different X-men #101 which is the introduction of Jean Grey as the Phoenix. She isn't featured heavily in the book, but it is her origin story.
Deadpool is one figure that is armed and dangerous. He has no less than ten accessories plus his comic. His arsenal includes two machine guns, a pistol, two sais, and two katanas. All of the weapons are fully painted to look good and can be stored in on of the included holsters (or on the back of the sword sheaths in the case of the machine guns. There is a second, unmasked head included to allow you to show off your hamburger head DP. The heads are connected with a simple ball and socket joint so that switching heads should be easy, but I would advise caution so that the neck doesn't break. The last two accessories are actually another figure, Doop. (Sorry, I can't comment on the little green guy as I know nothing about him or her or it, whatever the case maybe.) Finally there is the display stand. But rather than the usual decorative base, Deadpool has a clear plastic base designed to support a figure in the air. The base is adjustable at two spots and can still be mounted to the wall as well. The comic included is Deadpool #4 featuring Deadpool fighting the Hulk. It is another good choice as it includes a nice little introduction to Deadpool.
Hawkeye is series VII's accessory hog with a whopping eleven plus his comic. Obviously, any good archer needs to have a bow (unless they happen to be a DC figure) Hawkeye's bow is a fairly elaborate recurve bow with what appears to be a composite handle and laser sight. It is a great looking piece and the figure can hold it fairly well in his left hand, but it actually seems a little too elaborate for Hawkeye. I could see a character like Kraven using this type of bow, but I always thought of Hawkeye as using a more traditional wooden bow. Perhaps I'm just woefully behind the times. Since his bow would be fairly useless without arrows, Hawkeye has six of them, each with a different arrowhead. There is a normal arrow, one with a gem (diamond?) tip, one with a spiked ball, a high tech one, one with three gold orbs (smoke bombs?) and finally one with Ant-Man riding it! They all look great, but the coolest thing is that they are actually notched so that they can really be fired, though weakly, from Hawkeye's bow! Since Hawkeye only has two hands, he needs a place to store all of those arrows, so Toy Biz included his quiver as well. The quiver is a more modern backpack style as opposed to the old fashion round one. It is removable and can hold five of the six arrows. The Ant-Man arrow is too large to fit properly. Besides, it would look strange to have AM shoved in the quiver any way. There are also three arrows permanently glued into the quiver as well. Hawkeye's base is a hover-bike on which he can ride. While the figure can ride the bike, it has to be posed fairly awkwardly to do so. There is also a small rock base and adjustable support to which to mount the bike. Hawkeye's comic is Avengers #223 which has Hawkeye and Ant-Man joining forces to stop the Taskmaster. This is a great issue to include as it is Hawkeye-centric but still explains the presence of the Ant-Man arrow with the figure.
Vision is the lightest figure when it comes to accessories with just one and the comic. His accessory is the same clear plastic base that came with Deadpool. There is a hole in Vision's lower back that the base plugs into to support the figure. Vision's comic is Avengers #135 which tells the story of Vision's origin.
Apocalypse has the standard two accessories as well. His base is a 'stone' circle with a scarab like symbol on it as well as four soft rubber pillars. The base looks great, but is far too small to actually hold the figure. But that's alright since the figure can stand easily without assistance. The comic included is X Factor #25 which features the original X-men in the form of X Factor battling Apocalypse and his four horsemen, including their former teammate Warren as the Angel of Death.
Ghost Rider comes with the best base/accessory of the line so far, his motorcycle. The motorcycle looks great, complete with translucent flames behind wheels and gas tank. The wheels not only turn freely, but they have real rubber tires! The windscreen can be removed from the front of the bike to be used as a shield for the figure. There is no comic included, instead a poster book with roughly a dozen different images of Ghost Rider in his various incarnations. I would much rather see a comic included as it was with the previous GR figure. But what really amuses me is that there aren't any images that are recognizable as this version of Ghost Rider.
Iron Man has two accessories, his rocket pack and face plate, and a comic. The rocket pack is an interesting substitute for a display base and has a basis in the comics but I find it to be overly large and clunky. Iron Man's face plate is removable as with the previous IM figure. However, this one is made of soft rubbery plastic. The comic for Silver Centurion Iron Man is Iron Man #200 which marks the introduction of the new armor, another great choice.
Wolverine comes with two accessories, a spare head and a poster book in place of a comic. The accessories are two battery packs that plug into his waist on either side and then to holes at the base of his claws. They don't attach too securely though. The packs tend to pop off the waist easily, especially if the hips are moved. The connection at the wrists is better. A small plastic insert at the end of each tube plugs into the wrists. But that piece of plastic is so small that one of them on my figure broke immediately. It's of little importance as the hose is the same size as the hole and plugs right in. The alternate head is Logan unmasked. While a decent sculpt, the paint makes the unmasked head seem too clean, especially compared to the hands. Wolverine's base is an experimentation chamber that can hook up to the figure. It looks nice, but is far too small. Wolverine doesn't even fit inside. Wolverine doesn't have a comic. Instead he comes with the same poster book as the X-men box set. It is really sad that they couldn't even bother to come up with a new poster book. (It should be noted that the later shipments have a different, Weapon X based cover for his poster book, but I believe it still contains the same images inside.)
Goliath comes with two accessories and a comic, but those accessories happen to be other figures and one of them even has an accessory of its own. Goliath comes with the small Ant-Man and Wasp figures from the same Avengers box set as the Giant man figure he is based on. Each of them is about 2.5" tall with articulated hips, knees, shoulders and neck. The accessory I mentioned is Ant-Man's helmet which is removable. These are six year old figures, so of course the sculpting is a little rougher than what we are used to seeing now but still reasonable, and the fact that they add two more figures to your Avengers roster is certain to make them popular with fans of the title. Goliath's comic is Avengers #28. Once again Toy Biz made a great choice as this issue shows Goliath's origin and includes both Wasp (though not prominently nor in costume) and Hawkeye.
Value - Goliath 4/10, Wolverine 5/10, Deadpool 9/10, others 8/10Retail on the Marvel legends figures is generally between $8 and $9 each at most discount stores but can run up to $12 each at online stores, more for the short pack and chase figures. For under $10 most of these are a great buy. Goliath falls flat here though because you're not so much getting a Goliath figure as a mispainted Giant-Man figure. And for a few bucks more you could just get one of the Avengers box sets off of Ebay to get a figure with the proper paint scheme. Why the mediocre score for Wolverine, well after the really nice versions of Wolverine with better accessories we've gotten in past waves, $8 seems like a bit much to spend just to get a version of him in his undies.
Happy Hunting:Oh to be able to say that these figures are well stocked and available everywhere. But as anyone who has gone hunting for these figures knows, that just isn't the case. Sadly, online trading or the secondary market is probably your only option for Phoenix and Deadpool as series VI doesn't seem to be shipping anywhere anymore. Most stores have been carrying the line up though the Christmas season including Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us etc... so wave VII should be a little easier to find. But post holiday resets have made the already poor distribution even worse. And now that series VIII has begun to ship, these are becoming even harder to track down. Locally Target seems to be carrying the line but seems to have skipped this wave. Wal-Mart is your best bet as they have still been getting in fresh cases of series VII. There are quite a few online options but I would strongly suggest comparing prices before clicking on any "add to cart" buttons.