It's the end of March and spring is officially here. But being from the midwest, the traditional signs of spring are still a ways off. But in the
meantime, for Marvel Legends fans it means that Hasbro has new series of figures ready to hit shelves. This spring we are being treated to three new
series of figuresfor Infinity War, Spider-Man and Deadpool. And if that isn't enough to fill your shelves and drain your wallet, they also have the
two motorcycle and rider box sets hitting stores at the same time. Since I'm still waiting for some of the other figures to arrive locally, I thought
I would start to dive in by checking out the Black Widow and Ghost Rider motorcycle/rider sets.
Packaging - Ghost Rider 7/10, Black Widow 5/10Hasbro retained the same basic packaging design for these motorcycle sets as they have been using for the rest of the Marvel Legends Infinite figures and simply expanded them to accomodate the motorcycles. That's great if you are a MIB collector since it keeps a nice, consistent look across the line. But the fact that this design wasn't made specifically for this purpose is fairly obvious as well. The width of the boxes had to be set to accomodate the fairly long chopper that Ghost Rider comes with. But even then, the box is too narrow so the handle bars had to be removed. But then when you get to Black Widow whose motorcycle isn't nearly as long, the figure and cycle have a hard time filling the space. That problem carries over to the back as well. Despite having several times more physical space on the packaging, Hasbro did nothing to use that space. That just feels like a wasted opportunity.
Sculpting - Ghost Rider 8/10, Black Widow 5/10The Ghost Rider figure that is included in the set is the same as the one released in Rhino series, but this time it doesn't come with a chain wrapped around his chest. I liked the figure the first time around and it's still a great figure. I do wish it offered a bit more variety and that it still had the chain. But it still puts the Black Widow figure to shame. Her outfit doesn't have a great deal of detail to begin with. But the figure doesn't bother with a sculpted belt, opting to paint it on instead. Her wrist mounted stingers have minimal sculpting. And her head rides really high on her neck making the neck look extremely long. It's not a horible figure. But it is the worst Black Widow figure that I have seen from Hasbro in this line.
Paint - Ghost Rider 8/10, Black Widow 6/10The paint work for both figures is relatively simple and well executed. For Ghost Rider, this time around they painted the skull in a much more realistic manner. The previous version had a fairly light paint application so it remained partially translucent along with the flames. This time around, the skull has a very solid look which I really like. Black Widow has a competent paint scheme, but lacks effort. Her figure has no washes or highlights. Even the belt which they opted to just paint instead of sculpting is nothing more than simple cold circles and the widow's hourglass sybol where the buckle should be. The result is a figure that is just a bit dull.
Articulation - 9/10We've seen these figures before and there's no surprises for the articulation. It is worth noting though that getting a figure to sit properly on a motorcycle and look natural doing so is not an easy feat. But both figures do so well thanks to their thrity plus points of articulation.
Accessories - Black Widow 5/10, Ghost Rider 8/10Obviously the main accessory for both of these sets are the included motorcycle. For Black Widow, they included a street style bike done in grey with red highlights. She also comes with an alternate head giving you the option of either long or short red hair. The optional head is a nice idea. But I would have rather had an option for a blonde head so that we could have a second Black Widow instead of just Natasha. As it is, the long hair head is somewhat pointless since the hair makes it difficult for the figure to look up while positioned on the motorcycle. But her motorcycle is excellent. It is well sculpted. It has workign steering and suspension. I can't say that I felt much need for a motorcycle for my Black Widow figures. But since Hasbro decided to go ahead and make one, I'm glad they did a good job with it. I would probably be singing the praises of Black Widow's bike even longer if not for the fact that Ghost Rider's chopper blows it away. It is similarly well sculpted. Actually, since the chopper design is not as concerned with being streamlined as Widow's street bike. And the chopper has what would be a great feature, almost all of the flame effects and the skull windscreen are removeable to leave you with an almost normal chopper. It still has the transluscent yellow tires and for some odd reason, there is one flame effect on the top of the rear fender which doesn't seem to be removeable for some reason. It's a great idea. And if it worked as well as I would like, I would have been thrilled. But as I said, one of the flame effects isn't removable. And the effects that are removable don't attach securely which was really disappointing. (If you aren't planning on displaying the bike without the flames, I would suggest leaving the clear rubber bands that it comes packaged with.) And if the bike isn't enough, Ghost Rider also comes with a flaming chain whip as well.
Value - Ghost Rider 7/10, Black Widow 4/10The motorcycle sets sell for $40 each. So you are basically paying full price for the figure and an additional $20 for the motorcycle. With the Black Widow set, that price gets you a somewhat disappointing Black Widow figure to add to the small army of other, superior Black Widow figures I already own and the motorcycle. But I don't really consider a motorcycle to be all that essential to her character. So it is certainly something I can live without. But a motorcycle IS essential for Ghost Rider. After all, without the bike, he can't really be a Rider can he? And this set gives you a really nice Ghost Rider figure and a great bike for him. But it is almost the same figure as I already bought and the loose flame effects on the bike are surprisingly disappointing.
Happy Hunting:The motorcycle sets started to hit stores at the beginning of March. I picked up my set at Toys R Us, but obviously that was before the liquidation sale. I have also seen the sets show up at several local Walmart stores. I would assume that they will arrive at Target stores eventually as well. They are also showing up at a lot of online stores as well. So if you strike out locally or are just impatient, you might want to check out Big Bad Toy Store, Entertainment Earth or your favorite online store.