The Marvel Legends line has long been a personal favorite of mine. But as of late, finding new Marvel Legends figures
at retail has been a lost cause in my area. To their credit, Hasbro continues to create new Marvel Legends figures,
albeit at a much slower rate than they used to. Their latest series brings us a mix of half a dozen characters including
one of the most requested X-men figure (Jean Grey in her Jim Lee style outfit) continues to fill out the Wrecking Crew
team with Wrecker and begins to introduce characters from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie with a Rocket Raccoon
Build A Figure. The line may not be as hot as it once was. But if Hasbro can continue to fill out the roster of characters
for collectors with charcaters that have been overlooked in the past and new characters, they will continue to have my interest.
Packaging - Crowbar 3/10, others 8/10The packaging design for the Rocket Raccoon series is the same as the Epic Heroes and Hit Monkey series. It is colorful and makes great use of comic images of the characters. So in general I really like it. But it is unfortunate that Hasbro hasn't taken the opportunity to correct a few of the issues that the design has. The first is the use of shared packaging. Wrecker is not listed as Wrecker on the packaging. Instead his card is listed as "Marvel's Wrecking Crew" and shows both Wrecker and Bulldozer on both the front and back. There's just one problem with that... Hasbro didn't actually produce Bulldozer. So once again they are advertising a figure that isn't available. But beyond that, the card should really include more information about the characters, particularly since they are dealing with a few obscure characters. I would consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about the Marvel Universe. But even I don't know what the story behind Scarlet Spider is and only know the bare minimum about Wrecker and Rocket Raccoon. There is plenty of space on the card backs, they could at least direct people to Marvel's web site for more character info. The thin material used for the card stock is prone to damage. I ordered my set online, so the figures shouldn't have ever been subject to any shelf wear, but Black Panther's card arrived with a bent hook at the top of the card and the blister for Scarlet Spider was already starting to separate from the card.
Sculpting - Wrecker 9/10, Hawkeye 8/10, others 6/10Hasbro included a mix of characters with a minimal amount of sculpting along with a couple of completely new, more ambitious sculpts. The simpliest of the five is Scarlet Spider who has a generic male body with the Big Time/FF Spider-Man head. It isn't very detailed, but looks decent for an adult version of Spider-man. Black Panther is another fairly plain body with a new head and hands. The body is a different mold, one which has more texture to it. I would like to have seen more of the costume details brought out in the sculpt such as the cuffs of the gloves. But what is here is more than serviceable. The same body is also used for Hawkeye. But by adding a detailed belt and shoulder straps and of course a different head, the two figures can be standing next to each other and it still isn't obvious that they are twins from the neck down. Jean Grey, or more specifically, Jean in this outfit is a figure I have seen requested by fans for years. So it was good to see that this is one of the two figures where they put in quite a bit of effort on the sculpt. And from the neck down, it turned out well. But the neck and head sculpt don't fair as well. Her neck is really long. And the face angles down to the chin giving her face a very sharp appearance. This has probably been an issue with other recent female Marvel Legends figures. But Jean's hair is sculpted in such a way to make the neck and chin much more visible. Finally there is the mountain of plastic that is Wrecker. He is huge. The other figures don't even come up past his shoulders. They actually made him far too tall. According to the profiles on Marvel's website, he is suppose to be just a few inches taller than Black Panther and an inch shorter than the 6'4" Scarlet Spider. His sculpt appears to be completely new and fairly detailed.
Paint - Jean Grey & Scarlet Spider 6/10, others 8/10The paint work for all of the figures in this series turned out well. I don't cherry picked the best looking figures when I buy them, so I'm used to having at least a few minor stray marks or quality control issues. And that is the case with Jean Grey. Most of the paint work looks great. But they didn't quite get the paint for the lipstick lined up correctly. And the edges of the mask along the face are a bit off. The issues are very minor, but they are in a very importnt and visible position. Scarlet Spider doesn't have any noticable QC issues. But so much of the costume is just a single shade of red that the figure looks a bit dull. Both Hawkeye and Wrecker just have all around solid paint applications. They aren't overly detailed. But where there is detail work such as on Hawkeye's belt and shoulder straps, it looks great. The most impressive figure of the five to me is actually Black Panther. They managed to recreate costume details such as the boots and gloves quite efectively with paint even though there was no sculpted detail to guide them. And the blue shading that they applied across the front of the figure turned out quite well. When I look at Black Panther and Scarlet Spider figures together, Black Panther looks much better and much more interesting. And that is all thanks to the paint work.
Articulation - 8/10Black Panther and Hawkeye have thirty four points of articulation:
Accessories - Hawkeye 5/10, Wrecker 7/10, Others 0/10Jean Grey, Black Panther and Scarlet Spider don't come with any accessories. Hawkeye has his bow and a quiver that attaches to his back. The bow is quite detailed, but could use some paint. The quiver does have a painted band at the top as well as having the fletching for the arrows painted. Wrecker comes with his crow bar. It would have been quite easy for Hasbro to just make a simple, monochrome crow bar accessory. But they sculpted a bunch of detail into it and painted it. The final product turned out great.
Build A Figure - Rocket Raccoon 9/10The Build A Figure for this series is Rocket Raccoon, one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy and soon to be star of one of the upcoming Marvel movies. He is not a character I know much about. Actually, all I know about him is what I included in the first sentence. Rocket Raccoon is actually the best figure in the series in terms of the sculpting. They even managed to get fourteen points of articulation into the tiny figure and gave him an assualt rifle. Even better, due to his small size, the parts to build Rocket are packaged with just three of the five figures in the series: Jean Grey, Wrecker and Black Panther. I really like that when Hasbro is leaving parts out of some of the figures in recent series, they have put the parts in with the figures that should be of the most interest to collectors. So if you don't want yet another version of Spider-man or already have Hawkeye from the Avengers line, you can skip either one and still complete the Build A Figure.
Value - Scarlet Spider 6/10, others 8/10Marvel Legends figures should sell for $15 at retail, if you can find them at regular retail outlets. Jean Grey, Black Panther, Hawkeye and Wrecker all turned out to be great figures, even at that price. But to be honest, recent Marvel Legends figures have not been as impressive as the figures used to be. It isn't to the point that I have considered drpping the line. But I realized after I had finally ordered these figures that I have been ignoring them for weeks, if not months from online stores selling them for $20 each. It was only when I was able to get them for that $15 price tag that I was willing to pull the trigger. And even at that price, I don't know I would bother buying Scarlet Spider if I wasn't already buying the other four.
Happy Hunting:The Rocket Raccoon Series has been available for quite some time. They have been available from online retailers for a while. I finally ordered a set when they showed up on Hasbro's web site. They are still listed there as of when I wrote this, though Jean Grey is not in stock. Big Bad Toy Store (BBTS.com) has the series available as well, but only as a case.