I've got quite a backlog of toys that came out this summer while I was busy with work. One such release was the latest Comic
Con exclusive for the Marvel Legends line. This year, the exclusive set was a five pack of characters from the Thunderbolts
comics. The set includes a modern version of Luke Cage, Ghost, Crossbones, Moonstone and Satana. The Thunderbolts roster
has long been a wish list of figures for Marvel Legends collectors. But for a team generally comprised of lessor known
characters, many of whom are villains, not many have found their way into the regular toy line. But a box set at the
San Diego Comic Convention is a perfect opportunity to give fans what they want and produce characters that may not sell well
Packaging - 7/10Hasbro designed the box for the Thunderbolts box set to resemble the high rise tower that serves as one of the bases of operation for the Thunderbolts teams over the years. The rounded front panel can be opened to reveal a large window showing off the five figures in the set. The back of the box has a large image of the five characters with the tower in the background. I really like the creativity of the design. But in practice, it has several major short comings. The first one is that for a set that was intended to be sold to convention goers, this thing is huge. At just under twenty five inches tall and ten inches wide, I would definitely not want to have to haul this thing around a convention floor all day or haul it back home. The second issue is that despite looking nice, the packaging has a distinct lack of information about the characters on the box. They didn't even bother to list the names of the five characters. And when you are dealing with characters that most people aren't likely to know, that would be very helpful information to have.
Sculpting - 7/10Both Moonstone and Satana are fairly simple in terms of sculpting. Satana has a new cape with a huge collar but otherwise both use a standard female body. That's not terribly impressive, but neither really seems to need much else. Ghost seems to have a new body and head. There is a fair amount of detail for a figure that was intended to be cast in clear plastic. (clear plastic doesn't show detail well.) Crossbones is almost exactly like the Crossbones from the Ares Series of figures except for the addition of some straps at the top of the boots. As with the previous version of Crossbones, the forearm joints don't line up well. The last of the five figures is my favorite of the set, Luke Cage. He uses the same basic male body as Hyperion from the Hit Monkey Series but with new forearms, boots and belt. I am not familiar with Cage's Thunderbolt's appearance, but the figure looks good and the boots and gauntlets add a bit of visual interest to the character.
Paint - 7/10The paint work for Luke Cage, Crossbones and Ghost are all excellent. For Luke Cage, there is a considerable amount of detail work on the gauntlets and boots. I also like the use of matte finish on the shirt compared to the glossy finish of the rest of the figure. Crossbones also has some very nice detail work that helps to bring out the detail of sculpt. Ghost has some detail work for the breathing devices on his face, but it is the subtle use of paint to shade the costume details but still allow them to be semi transparent that makes the figures really stand out. The paint work for the two female figures is not as impressive. The faces for both is well done, but the rest of the figures is extremely simplistic. Satana also has the biggest quality issue of the set with her cape. The edges of her cape are sculpted to have the back folded over. So those sections are painted black. But the lines are not very clean. Satana also suffers from the fact that she has so much surface monochromatic surface area. The plain black of her outfit I could live with. But the flesh colored area of her torso looks very artificial.
Articulation - 8/10There are no real surprises in terms of articulation. Luke Cage and Ghost have a full 34 points of articulation:
Accessories - 5/10There are two accessories included with the set, a spare head for Ghost and a huge gatling gun for Crossbones. Not being a reader of the Thunderbolts comics, I don't really know how important the second heard for Ghost is. I must say that I do like the looks of the spare head more. At first glance, the gatling gun is impressive as well. But in truth, at eight and an half inches long, it looks kind of silly even in the hands of a large figure such as Crossbones. And despite the large size, the body of the gun is not very detailed compared with other Marvel Legends accessories in the past.
Value - 8/10The original price for the Thunderbolts set at the convention or from Hasbro was $90. That is a lot of money to drop for a single set. But given that the current retail price of a single Marvel Legends figure is pushing $20 as it is, that is not a bad price for a set of five figures. The fact that at least four of the figures are new characters for the line is a nice bonus as well.
Happy Hunting:The Thunderbolts set was a convention exclusive at San Diego Comic Convention this year. It was also available briefly from Hasbro's web site, which is where I was able to eventually order my set. But as the set as now been removed from their site, I assume that it will not be offered again. So that leaves the secondary market.