There are a lot of Marvel Legends Infinite figures coming down the pipeline for this year. We were already treated to two series
at the beginning of the year with both the Allfather and Hobgoblin series. And hot on their heels and to coincide with the second
Avengers movie, Age of Ultron, the third series of Marvel Legends figures has been hitting shelves for the last month or more.
In addition, the first of several box sets, this one being a Toys R Us exclusive has also hit shelves with a trio of Shield's
biggest names: Nick Fury, Maria Hill and Agent Coulson. So now that I finally took the time to go see the movie, it's time to
also check out the toys. (For those that are even slower than I was about seeing Age of Ultron but are still sensative about
potential spoilers, never fear. There is nothing in this review or about these figures that should be a spoiler of any importance
beyond that fact that the Hulk seems to have finally found a pair of pants that can hold up to his transformations.)
Packaging - Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America & Shield set 7/10, others 4/10The packaging for the Thanos wave remains unchanged from the Hobgoblin and Allfather series earlier in the year, including the change to a multi-ligual design. That works fine for the three movie based figures and the Shield set. I have always felt that this design is more fitting for a movie license than a comic baed one. And since we are dealling with three of the core Avengers, it isn't like there is any real need for character bios on the box to explain who the characters are. The descriptions would be a bit more useful for Coulson and Maria Hill, but both have extremely generic write ups that tell you next to nothing about the characters. The same can be said for Hellcat, Spider-woman and Batroc. Spider-woman has been a fairly prominent character in the comics since the revival of the Avengers a decade ago. But if you aren't a comic fan, you might want an explaination as to why there is a Spider-Woman figure in both the Hobgoblin and Thanos series which will be on store shelves at the same time. You might also wonder why they share a name when they clearly are two different women. Still, that is small potatoes compared to Batroc and Hellcat, both of whom are so obscure that even after a decade of reading Marvel comics, I was only recently introduced to either of them. And I only know who Batroc is thanks to people explaining his comic history after he showed up in the second Captain America movie. Both of these characters could really have used a bio on the back of their packages.
Sculpting - Hulk 3/10, Hellcat, Batroc & Spider-Woman 5/10, Fury & Iron Man 7/10, Others 8/10The two new characters in the Shield box set and fortunately they are some of the best figures in either the set or the Thanos series. Both Maria Hill and Agent Coulson turned out extremely well. Their faces are a bit too pronounced. They look decent from the front, but from the side the face seems to stick out too far. Captain America has the same arms and legs as the Winter Soldier version, but with a new torso. It looks good and matches the movie design from what I can tell. So I'm not going to complain about the reused parts. Iron Man and his Mark 43 armor turned out almost as well. The details are right. But the shape is just a bit off. There are a number of places where the armor should have a more angular shape instead of being contoured to match the shape of the body. Nick Fury is the same figure we have seen repeatedly since 2009. It's not a bad sculpt, but it could use an update since Fury's costume has changed over the years. Batroc, Hellcat and Spider-woman all have fairly generic bodies but a new head. (Technically Spider-woman has unique upper arms with slots to connect the webbing.) That's fine for Hellcat and Spider-woman. Neither of their costume designs have any details that should have been sculpted. The same isn't true for Batroc. The seams/ridges are sculpted for his skullcap, but only painted on everywhere else. I can understand why Batroc may not have justified a unique body sculpt. Finally there is the Hulk. This verion sports a new pair of pants to match those worn by the green guy in the movie. Unfortunately the figure is a bit of a disappointment in every other regard. The head is too large compared to the movie designs. The body is completely lacking in texture. There are also large seams sticking out from the center of the shoulder joints. The bulk of the body and arms also means that the figure can't even put his arms all the way down to his sides. That is a shame. While I have the Hulk from the first Avengers movie which I think is a better figure, it would have been nice if this figure would have surpassed it since not as many fans have that figure.
Paint - Coulson 7/10, others 8/10The paint work for all of my figures is exceptionally well done. There are a few extremely minor issues such as a tiny amount of clumping around Batroc's nose. But the only issue that I would say is really noticable is a tiny stray bit of paint along the front of Coulson's hairline. My figure has a little brown paint on his skin and an equal area of exposed fleash tone plastic on the hair. It is a small issue. But it is in just the right position to stick out as much as possible.
Articulation - Spider-woman 9/10, others 10/10By this point I probably don't have to keep explaining that Marvel Legends figures have a lot of articulation. Taking Batroc who has a generic male body as an example, you have thirty four points of articulation:
Accessories - Captain America & Coulson 8/10, Spider-woman, Iron Man & N. Fury 6/10, Hellcat 4/10, others 0/10These figures don't come with much for accessories. But those that they do come with are quite nice. Captain America has a spare, unmasked head, his shield and a pair of extra hands. The likeness for the unmasked head doesn't strike me as being that great. His shield is a repaint of the version that came with the "Winter Soldier" movie Capt. It is a great display piece since it has real straps on the back. But it isn't as functional as the previous versions since it can't be stored on the figure's back and doesn't aattach very securely to the arm. Agent Coulson comes with a alternate head (with sun glasses) and the phase 2 weapon he used in the first Avengers movie. The alt. head is a nice touch. And the gun is a great addition given how important that scene was both in the Avenger's movie and to Coulson's role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from that point out. Better still, the figure's hands are actually positioned properly to hold it. Iron Man comes with an alternate head which has the face mask up revealing a decent likeness of Robert Downey Jr. It is a small addition, but given how much time he spends with his face exposed in the movie, a very welcome one. Spider-woman has an alternative set of underarm webbing. The figure comes with extended webbing that fills the area under her arms and to her body when the arms are lifted perpendicular to the body. The alternate set allows you to put the arms down and replicates the look of the webbing folding/bunching up between her arms and body. It would be nice if they could have figured out a way to replicate her webbing realistically. But given how badly that turned out when Toy Biz tried it on their version of Spider-woman, I'm fine with them erring on the side of caution here. Finally there is Hellcat and Nick Fury. Fury has the same pair of pistols that this figure has always included since they fit in the included holsters. Hellcat comes with a black version of Daredevil's staff/billy clubs. I know very little about the character so I don't know if she actually uses something like this. (She hasn't in any of her appearances in the latest She-Hulk comics.) And the figure isn't designed with them in mind. Only one hand can hold them and there's no means to store them. So they seem like a fairly worthless addition to me. The other three figures: Maria Hill, Batroc and Hulk have no accessories. But none of them really need anything either.
Build A Figure - ThanosThe Build A Figure for this series is the movie version of Thanos. It is great to finally fill that hole in the Marvel Legends version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Marvel Universe in general. This is definitely a character that fans have been waiting for for a long time. Unfortunately I don't think this version was worth the wait. The sculpting is well done in general. He looks good and the design seems accurate, for what little screen time Thanos has had in the movies. But the fact that the figure is smiling really bugs me. A sneer or snarl would have been perfectly fitting. A smile just seems out of place on that face and for this character. I also don't like the color scheme for this version. In the comics, Thanos wears blue with gold trim. Here they went with a very dark purple with gold accessories. But the high gloss finish of the purple just doesn't seem like it works well with the matte finish of the accessories. If they has gone with a metallic gold finish or vac-metal, I think it would hve been a much better match. The final straw though was that Thanos is broken down into five sets of pieces. Both Hellcat and Spider-woman come with the same parts, the head and the left arm. So if you buy all six figures, they had a perfect opportunity to include the Infinity Gauntlet as an option and to have it coincide with the Gauntlet's reveal in the movies. (Oh, and throw in a non-smiling head for good measure.) To have missed what seems like such a perfect opportunity is almost inexcuseable. Overall, this version of Thanos isn't a bad figure. But I was really hoping for a figure that could replace the Marvel Select Thanos figure I have been using as a stand-in for so many years. This isn't that figure.
Value - Hulk 5/10, others 8/10The Thanos Series figures sell for $20 to $25 depending upon the store. I paid about $24 each for them by ordering them online when they were first released. That's not too bad for one or two figures, but the extra 20% really starts to add up when they are releasing half a dozen series of figures this year. On the positive side. I'm very happy with five of the seven figures in the series. (six plus the Build a Figure) And considering the huge collection of Legends figures I already have, being able to add three completely new characters to the roster is impressive. Even Spider-woman, Captain America and Iron Man who are all just minor upgrades or changes from prior figures turned out well. The only real disappointment in the series is the Hulk. I was really hoping for this figure to be great, to far surpass the version that was a Wal-mart exclusive for the first Avengers movie. But he's not an improvement in anyway. The Shield box set retails for $50. Though they have had it on sale for $40 at times. That's not a bad price for two completely new figures. And you get yet another Nick Fury figure thrown in for good measure.
Happy Hunting:The Shield box set is a Toys R Us exclusive. It should be available both online and in stores. Though it may pay to watch both options. I know that when it was first released, it was available for less online than in stores. The Thanos series figures have been available since March. But they have been very slow to show up in stores, at least in my area. They are finally starting to trickle in as the Guardians of the Galaxy and Allfather series figures have sold.