As long as I am going back to the Marvel Legends line to review the Jubilee Series, I guess it would be a good time to cover
a couple of the other Marvel Legends exclusives that have popped up this fall. Walgreens has made a big push this fall to
intice toy collectors with a number of exclusives including a Marvel Legends figure: Agent Venom. Not to be outdone,
Target has their own exclusive, a three pack of Marvel Legends figures which features Ms. Marvel, Captain America and
Radioactive Man. (The Marvel version, not Ranieer Wolfcastle's character from the Simpsons) What is nice is that both of these
exclusives include a figure that was previously slated for release and then cancelled. So Hasbro managed to make the
retailers happy with an exclusive product while hopefully making fans happy by getting out figures that we thought we were
going to miss.
Packaging - 8/10Both Agent Venom and the 3 Pack use the newer Marvel Legends Infinite box design. In the case of Agent Venom, they actualy just copied the design from the Green Goblin series and changed the name and the photo on the back. But it still has the photos of the Goblin Build A Figure and the figures from that series on the bottom of the back panel. The Target 3 Pack's packaging had to be altered a bit of course. But they just ditched the flap at the top, made it wide enough to accomodate three figures and tossed in a window in the top panel, probably just to use up the space. But I like that they didn't change much. That means for MIB collectors, the 3 Pack should fit in with the rest of the Marvel Legends Infinite figures without a problem. I really do like the look of the ML Infinite packaging. But I still think that the bold looking fonts and logo designs used and the plain black background are reminescent of movie credits which was great for movie related series. I would like to see them try to create a more colorful version to use with comic based line.
Sculpting - Captain America 7/10, Agent Venom 10/10, others 8/10The sculpting for all four figures is quite well done. Captain America reuses most of the parts from the Ultimate Captain America figure from the Hit Monkey Series. They just removed the vest and holster from his right leg and added the shoulder straps. It's a nice looking Captain America, though I would prefer one with sculpted winds on the helmet. But it is hard to get too excited considering I already own quite a few great Captain America figures already, including one VERY similar to this one. The same could also be said for Ms. Marvel. Hasbro's version is a basic female body with a sash added and a new head sculpt. The Hasbro version does integrate the articulation better and is not as bow legged as the Toy Biz Ms. Marvel. Rounding out the box set trio is Radioactive Man. He uses the same body as Hyperion from the Hit Monkey series with a wrap added around his waist. A fully sculpted shirt would have been nice. But this gets the job done and still looks good. Finally we come to Agent Venom who stands in stark contrast with the other three in that there was a lot of sculpting work that went into his figure. He appears to be based on the Ultimate Captain America body. But he has brand new body armor, boots and hands. The armor and new parts are a bit chaotic, but that is appropriate for Venom.
Paint - Ms. Marvel & Agent Venom 5/10, others 7/10The paint work on all four figures is about what we've come to expect from a Marvel Legends figure, or most mass market figures for that matter. There are some minor quality issues, but nothing too serious. For Radioactive Man, the biggest drawback is that the paint for his tank top couldstand to be a little thicker and darker to set it apart from the translucent "skin." There is a lot more detail work on Captain America, but with the exception of a little sloppiness on the belt buckles, it all turned out well. Agent Venom has the white portions of his armor painted. The paint gets a bit thin in a few parts, allowing the black to bleed through. Ms. Marvel has issues with her skin tones. The section of her legs at the top where they connect to her hips are molded in flesh tone plastic. But the color doesn't match the flesh tone paint used on the rest of her legs and arms. And there is just enough of a gap at the joint in the thighs that the unpainted black at the top of the leg is slightly visible.
Articulation - 8/10The articulation for the three male figures is the usual Marvel Legends articulation:
Accessories - Captain America & Agent Venom 8/10, others 0/10Neither Ms. Marvel nor Radioactive Man have any accessories, nor do those characters need any. Captain America comes with his shield of course, as well as an extra, unmasked head. This version comes with a clip to attach the shield to his wrist. The clip can also fold flat against the shield, extending a peg that can be used to attach the shield to his back. Agent Venom doesn't have accessories as nice as Captain America's shield. So he makes it up for that difference in quality with quantity. First he has a set of black symbiote tendrils that can attach to his back. Each of the four tendrils is capable of holding a gun. And speaking of guns, Agent Venom comes with four. He has a small machine gun, two matching pistols and a third pistol with what appears to be a laser sight attached to the bottom of the barrel. It's nice that he can hold all of those guns. But it would be even better if he had a means of storing them when not in use.
Value - Agent Venom 10/10, 3 Pack 3/10 for each character you don't already ownAgent Venom is sold as a single figure. He should cost $20 to $23 depending upon the particular store where you find him. I was quite fortunate in that I found him very early on and on sale so I only had to pay $15. That is a terrific price for a well made and very cool looking figure.
Things are a bit more difficult when it comes to the 3 Pack. As a long time collector, I already have a Ms. Marvel figure and a small army of Captain America figures. While the 3 pack version is better. It isn't such an improvement that I would have felt the need to buy it to replace the Toy Biz version if it wasn't in this 3 Pack. So I ended up paying the $50 price tag almost exclusively for Radioactive Man. He's a nice figure, but not that nice. But if you happen to be new to collecting and don't have any of the three figures, then getting three full Marvel Legends figures for $50 is a pretty good deal.
Happy Hunting:As I wrote in the introduction, the Jubilee series from my last review and these figures are all exclusives to various stores. But where as finding all of the Jubilee figures turned out to be an unaccomplishable task, finding both Agent Venom and the 3 Pack proved to be quite simple. Agent Venom is exclusive to Walgreens. The 3 Pack is exclusive to Target. I had no trouble finding both in stores. But if that isn't the case, both companies have the figures available through their web sites as well. (Hey Toys R Us, take note! If both of these companies can figure out how to handle exclusives, maybe the largest toy store should be capable of at least as much.)