Hasbro Marvel Legends Sandman Series review

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Hasbro's decision to change scales for the various Marvel movie lines meant that Marvel Legends fans were out of luck when merchandise for the Spider-man 3 movie arrived in stores. But after several months of waiting, their patience was finally rewarded with another series of Marvel Legends figures based on all three Spider-man movies. The set of eight figures covers includes Spider-man in both his regular and black costume and Mary Jane as well as the five villains: Green Goblin, Doc Ock, New Goblin, Venom and Sandman. And if you collect all eight figures, you can assemble a larger Sandman figure. The question now is if a series of figures, half of which are recycled from Toy Biz's previous lines, can prove to be worth the wait.

Packaging - 9/10

The packaging is identical to the previous series of Marvel Legends figures from Hasbro except for the lack of the Marvel Legends logo at the top of the bubble. Graphically the series fits in well with existing Spider-man 3 figures well as well since they broke from the earth tone color scheme used on other Marvel Legends series in favor of blues and blacks. At times they actually fit in too well as I have repeatedly overlooked them in stores when they become mixed in with multiple other series of figures from the latest Spider-man movie. The card backs follow the regular Marvel Legends design with the majority of the space used to display all of the figures in the series and the Sandman build a figure. Overall the packaging is attractive and fairly sturdy. Though the J hooks could use better reinforcement as they are already bent on several of my figures despite the fact that they were never even hung in a store.

Sculpting - Venom, Doc Ock & Spider-man (red) 7/10, Spider-man (black), Green Goblin 6/10, Mary Jane & New Goblin 5/10 Sandman 4/10

The sculpting for these figures is a mixed bag and appears to include a good deal of reused sculpts from previous Toy Biz figures. The regular Spider-man, Doc Ock and Green Goblin all appear to be reused from previous releases with minor changes. Though the changes that were made were some rather odd choices. To start with, the Green Goblin figure is identical to the Super posable version I have from the first movie. But they eliminated the removable helmet, likely by using another existing head sculpt. The same is true of Doc Ock. The sculpt seems to be the same as the Doc Ock with Bendable Tentacles from the second movie, but with a different head. Unfortunately the new head is not an improvement. It is a bit too thin, which combined with the shirtless chest gives the face a very long appearance. I can't really say for certain that the regular Spider-man figure is a reused mold, but given the number of existing sculpts they would have had to use and the level of articulation, I strongly suspect it is. It is a nice sculpt in terms of the amount of detail. But it is a bit too large to fit in with the other figures. It is particularly silly that the regular Spider-man is bulkier than his black suited counterpart since the symbiote is suppose to make him stronger. The black suited version of Spider-man has a nice level of detail. But the articulation leaves significant gaps between the hips and thighs as well as a smaller gap between the arm and chest at the shoulders when the arms are down at his side. And despite being usable for several different poses, the open pose of the right hand doesn't look very natural. Overall though, it does seem to be better scaled to go with the other figures. Of the four completely new figures, Venom is my favorite. Considering the way they used the special effects in the movie, it would have been fairly easy for the sculpter to go overboard and create another figure like the bare legged, duck billed Venom from the original Spider-man Classics line. They did go for a more extreme look for the jaw which actually extends all the way up to just behind the eyes, and of course the usual over sized tongue. But otherwise Venom is just a larger, slightly musclebound version of Spidey with claws. The New Goblin figure is alright in terms of getting the design right. But I'm not very happy with the final sculpt. The costume for the torso and arms seems to be too form fitting, almost like spandex. And by contrast, the pants seem overly loose and baggy. I've heard a lot of people express their disappointment with the Mary Jane figure. But I don't think it is a particularly bad sculpt. The cheeks are too pronounced. But otherwise it is a good likeness. The sun dress from the end of the second movie wasn't a particularly good choice for a figure since it looks a bit dull without the damage from the final scenes. Meanwhile, her hair looks disheveled like it did at the end of the movie. Last and in this case least is Sandman. The likeness isn't very good, not terrible, but not very recognizable as Thomas Haden Church. I was also quite disappointed that the figure wasn't bulkier. It could just be the result of looking smaller compared to the sand arms, but the torso seems pretty thin. And it certainly doesn't seem right that Sandman is actually shorter than the regular Spider-man figure.

Paint - Venom & the Goblins 6/10, Spider-man (black) & Sandman 5/10, Doc Ock 4/10, Spider-man (red) & Mary Jane 3/10

While Hasbro didn't knock my socks off with their efforts on the sculpting for the figures, the paint work is down right sorry. Venom, Green Goblin and the New Goblin are the only ones that turned out well. And that has more to do with the lack of effort on Hasbro's part than the other way around. Green Goblin just has the eyes, mouth and a few details on his arms and legs painted. The New Goblin has a bit more paint work including some small details. And while it isn't accurate to the movie, I do like the green color for the shoulder pads. Venom is the only figure of the three with webbing where the webbing is applied neatly. The more subdued gray color used for Venom is a better choice than the silver used on both Spider-man figures. Speaking of them, the webbing on the black costume version is a bit sloppy while the regular version's webbing is down right atrocious. The paint work on Sandman is pretty good, perhaps the best of the eight in terms of quality. But the mismatched tones on the arms verses the elbow joints really stands out as well as the pale face and lack of paint work below his belt. Lastly there is Mary Jane. Sloppiness isn't an issue with her. But the decision not to paint the pattern on her dress results in the figure looking like she is wearing a potato sack.

Articulation - Spider-man (red) 10/10, Green Goblin 8/10, Venom, New Goblin & Mary Jane 7/10, Sandman & Spider-man (black) 6/10, Doc Ock 4/10

The Articulation for these figures varies quite a bit depending on when they were initially produced. Unfortunately it isn't the newer figures which have the better articulation. It's not that the articulation has gotten that bad. Both Venom and the New Goblin still have thirty points of articulation:
  • ball jointed neck
  • rotating and hinged shoulders
  • rotating biceps
  • double hinged elbows
  • rotating and hinged wrists
  • ball jointed torso
  • hinged and rotating hips
  • rotating thighs
  • double hinged knees
  • hinged and swiveling ankles
That is less than there usually was on the Toy Biz figures, but the lose of movement isn't that bad. Sandman has almost the same articulation, but they gave him a new design for his hips. It does a nice job of minimizing the affect on the sculpt, but the movement is limited. The sculpted pant legs also makes it difficult to adjust the feet to allow him to stand with his feet flat. At twenty four points of articulation, Mary Jane's articulation is a bit more limited but still has a reasonable range of motion. Both the regular Spider-man and Green Goblin are well articulated with fifty and forty points of articulation respectively. At twenty seven points of articulation, black costume Spider-man is quite a bit more limited. The neck is probably the worst part. But it would be nice if the right hand could be adjusted too. Finally there is Doc Ock who still retains all of the articulation of the earlier version of the figure. But in a move which I consider to be almost completely unacceptable, they left the wire core out of half of Octavious' tentacles. This means that the two tentacles with the extended graspers can do little but lay on the ground. On a more positive note. The quality of the articulation for all of the figures seems to be very good. There were no problems with loose or frozen joints.

Accessories - Goblins 7/10, Mary Jane 6/10, Spider-man (black) & Doc Ock 2/10, others 0/10

Both Goblin figures come with their gliders while the New Goblin also comes with a sword. Green Goblin's glider is identical to that of the earlier figure, but the paint work is not as nice. The paint on the New Goblin's glider is somewhat limited as well. Unfortunately neither come with stands for their gliders. I probably wouldn't have cared as much if not for the fact that I have the original Green Goblin and his stand to remind me of what is missing. Mary Jane comes with a display stand and a two by four plank. The stand isn't really necessary and a bit bland. The inclusion of the plank is a nice touch as well even if I don't think too many people will have their figures going toe to toe with many villain figures. Doc Ock comes with a cheap pair of sun glasses and no means to keep them on his face. The black costume version of Spider-man comes with a spray of webbing that is suppose to plug into his right palm. It doesn't fit well if at all. (You can jam it into the peg hole if you use enough force.) But after you permanently position the figure's hand in an awkward position and drill a hole into the palm of his hand, the least you could do is make sure the accessory actually fits into that hole. Neither Venom nor the other Spider-man figure really need any accessories. But Sandman is the type of character that is practically begging for some interchangeable parts. At the very least he should have come with a pair of regular arms. Not having them there is almost enough to make me consider giving a negative score.

Build-A-Figure - Sandman

Spider-man 3 featured Sandman taking on quite a variety of forms and even becoming a towering monster of sand. That makes him a natural for the build a figure format. But instead of a towering monster, what we got was a Sandman that is just barely larger than the regular figure and looks like he just had a grenade explode inside of him. The figure does have a fairly elaborate sculpt compared to the other figures. The paint work is better too. But the articulation is VERY limited. Technically, the legs rotate at each of the connections between the individual pieces. But they really look silly in any position but the default one. So what you ar left with are double jointed shoulders and an ball jointed neck. That doesn't give you many options for poses. The best use for the figure seems to be to use it with the smaller Super Hero Showdown figures where his size looks more impressive.

Value - Venom & New Goblin 6/10, Sandman 4/10, others 5/10

Like the regular Marvel Legends figures under Hasbro, the Spider-man figures will cost you $10 each at most stores. Considering that this is you best if not only chance to get figures from the third Spider-man movie that are in scale with the previous figures. And in the case of the black suit Spider-man, Venom and the New Goblin, they're pretty good figures though not great. Having passed up the Mary Jane figure that was produced as a part of the first series of figures for the original movie, I was pleased to add her to the collection as well. As for the others, Doc Ock, Green Goblin and the regular Spider-man are decent figures even if they are inferior to their original releases. If you missed them the first time around or have since lost them, they make a good alternative to tracking down the originals on the secondary market. Sandman is the only one of the series that falls far enough below the standards of what has come before that I would prefer to spend the time and a few dollars more to track down the Sandman from Toy Biz's Spider-man line instead. Unfortunately, even the Sandman Build a Figure doesn't do much to justify the price of these figures. It is just too small and the articulation is too limited to justify even buying one extra figure to complete it.

Happy Hunting:

The Spider-man Movie series of Marvel Legends figures has been out for a while now, since October or so. I have seen them at both Walmart and Target stores. But they never shipped in great numbers to either around here. I ordered my set from Hasbro Toy Shop.com. While I wouldn't recommend them due to their poor service, (it took them a month to fill my order and had numerous errors in doing so) by ordering when they had a promotional code available saved me a considerable amount of money on these figures.

Spider-man (red) MOC

Goblins MOC

Doc Ock & Mary Jane MOC

Sandman & Venom MOC

Black Suit Spider-man MOC

Spider-man front and back

Black suit Spider-man front and back

Venom front and back

New Goblin front and back Sandman front and back Mary Jane front and back Doc Ock front and back Green Goblin front and back Spider-man close up Spider-man streatching 1 Spider-man streatching 2 movie Spider-man figures both Spider-man figures webbing accessory Spider-man with webbing Black suit Spider-man close up Venom close up Venom profile Venom: supermodel Venom figures New Goblin close up New Goblin accessories New Goblin with sword sword stored When Harry met Spidey Mary Jane close up MJ with Peter Mary Jane's accessories Mary Jane with 2x4 Doc Ock close up Doc Ock with glasses Dock Ock Doc Ock figures Green Goblin close up Green Goblin with glider Both Green Goblins Both gliders Sandman close up Sandman vs Spidey 1 Sandman vs Spidey 2 Sandman BAF Sandman BAF articulation? Sandman BAF with Superhero Showdown figure Sandman figures Sandman BAF parts