Category Archives: Marvel Legends

Hasbro Marvel Legends Red Skull Series CAPTAIN AMERICA Figure

Hasbro has, in recent years, really stepped their game up when it comes to their Marvel Legends line, so even though we’ve already gotten several different versions of Captain America it was only a matter of time before they doubled back to him for an update.

Here we have that very figure- a new take on the classic Cap look. While many people tend to cringe whenever a new version of Cap, Iron Man, or Wolverine gets released instead of a new character, I always just cross my fingers and hope that this will finally be the “default” Cap for my shelf ,and dethrone the still gorgeous, if not outdated, ML Series 1 Cap made by Toy Biz so many years ago. Well, here’s hoping.

The package is the now-classic Marvel Legends box. There have been some changes since the last wave, specifically adding the “Legends” logo to the top of the box and moving the theme title at the bottom. Seeing as this is Cap, we get a mostly blue package with some new artwork of Captain America himself along the sides. What I love about it is that when you walk into a toy store you instantly see this wave on the pegs since the blue really stands out from the red used on all the other waves.

Inside the package you get the figure, some accessories, and a Build-A-Figure piece for the “Red Onslaught” figure. Since that last piece of plastic really has nothing to do with Cap, I’m just going to gloss over it, but it will certainly come in handy as the back armor for our big-bad.

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Cap is built on the new “Large” body Hasbro first gave us with Grim Reaper. This body is a HUGE improvement over the past Cap figures Hasbro has done as it’s both taller and bulkier than the previously used bucks. I’ve always had an issue with Hasbro’s Caps due to the lack of size, but this version finally gives us something that is more of a presence on a shelf. I mean, he’s finally taller than Spider-Man, and that’s pretty important.

As far as I can see it’s an almost entirely reused buck with some Rogers-esque additions. The cavalier boots look new to me as do the gloves. Cap also sports a belt piece that, again, I think is unique to this figure. The last new piece is the figure’s head, which, differs from the earlier Cap figures because it not only has a sculpted “A”, but also, FINALLY, we get a Captain America figure that has the classic wings on the sides of the head!

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As many people have pointed out, the head on this figure is a little on the larger side, but to be honest, I don’t really mind it once I have it in hand. The face sculpt is really cool and (to me, at least) has a  Rik Levin/Ron Lim vibe to it. Since it’s a classic Cap and they both drew the book in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I really think it works.

Articulation is as good as it has ever been on Hasbro’s Legends run, which to me means it’s even better than what Toy Biz did so well. I’m not going to go through and list all 30 points of articulation, but I will say that there’s enough here to get Steve into damn near any position you’d need him to be in. Take that however you perverts want.

The paint on Cap is good, but not quite great. There isn’t a lot of it to speak of since Hasbro doesn’t do the whole “highlights and shading” thing Toy Biz loved, but I’ve never really minded that. However, like many people, I do wish we had gotten something in the way  of the chainmail paint app similar to what the original Legends figure had, but I don’t think it’s a “make or break” thing, just a personal preference. My big problem comes from small areas around the figure like the spot around the abs. I just think it was an odd choice for Hasbro to bend the white stripes outward at the top of Steve’s six-pack when they could have just gone straight up with it and made it look a lot cleaner. It would have done a lot to hide the articulation, too.

The area around the elbow bugs me as well, but it’s more of a plastic issue than a paint one. Hasbro painted the bicep but the elbow and lower arm are just cast in an almost-white, meaning that the two pieces of plastic don’t quite match up. Under normal house lights you can’t notice it, so I don’t think it’s a major deal, just a tad bothersome.

Aside from those two minor hiccups, the paint on ‘Ol Man Rogers is pretty tight. The white-on-blue is clean and there isn’t much bleeding. The star on the chest is just painted on, and that can lead to some iffy outcomes, but this time around we got sharp lines and a very well-defined emblem.

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In addition to a solid build and good paints, Cap comes with a good deal of extra pieces and accessories. For starters we have Cap’s trusty shield. This time out is looks like a different shield than we’ve gotten with the previous releases. As opposed to the sculpted details in the older shield, this new one is just a smooth surface with painted circles. I actually like it since it is supposed to be a more comic-accurate version and I’ve always pictured it as smooth. I have heard of some people saying they thought it was too small, but it looks like a good fit to me.

Cap has the ability to either clip the shield on his wrist or mount it on his back. Either way looks good, but I’m a “wield your weapon” kind of guy, so that’s how I’ll be displaying him. What’s coo though is that if you do decide to harness the shield, Cap also comes with plastic shoulder straps so it looks like the shield is actually hanging from his back. While the idea was awesome, the execution fell a little short. The individual plastic pieces don’t clip on, so they just hang on his shoulders, meaning that they don’t hold well and I had a difficult time keeping them in place.

Cap also comes with two alternate hands- a pointing hand and a saluting hand. They just pop in and out easily and gives us some more posing options for the figure. I would have liked a fist hand or two, just for the options, but what we got isn’t bad.

The big thing here, and this is monumental, is the fact that we get an alternate head which is unlike any we’ve gotten with a Cap figure before, and to be honest, one I never thought I would see.

CAP-WOLF! Freakin’ Cap-Wolf, man! I mean, c’mon! I realize that there are plenty of readers scratching their heads over this part, so let me clarify…

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The head is great and has a very detailed sculpt. It looks like it jumped right out of the book and onto our toy shelves. The only thing that sucks here is that we only get the alternate head. I would have loved some extra hands and evens feet to complete the look, but I’ll take whatever Cap-Wolf I can get!

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Considering the large buck, the great sculpts and paint apps, and the outstanding accessories, I’m going to go ahead and say it. Wow, I never thought I’d get to. I HAVE A NEW DEFAULT CAPTAIN AMERICA FIGURE! No, it isn’t perfect, but considering everything that came before in the Legends line, this, to me, looks like Captain America more than any other figure. Now if Hasbro could just give me a Falcon and a decent Red Skull.

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Captain America Legends: The Dream Wave (or, “What I want from Hasbro”)

Marvel Legends. That name has become synonymous with amazing super-hero themed action figures, and if you’re a fan of Marvel you likely have at least one of these 6″ plastic guys in your collection. However, for this fan, there are still some glaring holes in my collection that Hasbro seems to be ignoring.

That is why I’ve decided to throw together my own personal wishlist for my dream wave of Captain America Legends, and just pray that someone who can make things happen takes note. So without further ado…

1. Armored Captain America

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Yes, I know, another Captain America. But, y’see, you can’t have a Cap-themed wave without some form of Cap. It’s a rule. But unlike all the other Cap variations we’ve gotten, that have just been rehashes of his Ultimates duds, we need something new. Enter- Armored Captain America! Cap would require some new tooling- mostly boots, gloves, chest and of course a new head, so I wouldn’t expect him to come with much in the way of accessories, but maybe an extra head so we can either have him as young Steve or old Steve would be cool. Relive the 90s, baby!

2. Falcon

This one has been a mystery to me- why hasn’t Hasbro given us a 6″ Falcon figure yet? The old Toy Biz one is okay, but the engineering improvements that Hasbro has been making sorta put this guy in the “he was cool for the time” column. Give us a classic Falcon, or even a modern Falcon- it doesn’t matter so long as he’s decked out in the classic Red and White. Use the now-classic Black Panther base body and include removable wings- maybe an “extended” set and a “closed” set similar to Spider-Woman, and his trusty pal, Redwing, and man, I am sold!

3. D-Man

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No, I don’t consider the Scourge figure we just got as D-Man. Yes, it says Demolition Man on the box, but I want a more icon version of Dennis Dunphy, and not the brainwashed serial murderer. I’d take his classic “Daredevil meets Wolverine” look set on the large “Cottonmouth” body with both masked and unmasked  “bearded” heads.

4. Diamondback

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Rachael Leighton would fill in the required female figure for the wave, and she would make a great addition to any shelf. Cap’s one-time lady friend would only require a new head for tooling, so Hasbro could consider her a bargain! Bright metallic colors would really make this pink-haired vixen pop! She should come with a “diamond throwing” effect that I will likely never use but I would still like to see. And please, Hasbro, no heels.

5. Viper

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Another Classic Cap villain would make a great addition to the line-up. What’s great about Viper is that his outfit hasn’t really changed at all in 40 years, thought that’s partly due to him being dead for 30 of them. His bright green costume would set him apart from the rest of the wave, so from a visual stand-point he’s a no-brainer. Give him his blow gun thing and that’s really all this guy would need to look amazing.

6. Machinesmith

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The last figure in my dream wave was something of a toss-up. I wanted someone who screamed “classic”, but also someone who would look different than everyone else in the line-up. It was a tough call, but I finally decided on Machinesmith. Bright yellow! Red hair! What’s not love about this guy? I’d want his “human” form, but include some interchangeable parts like a robotic head, hands, and those cool “extend-arms” that Machine Man came with to really sell the “he’s a freakin’ robot” idea. He could reuse some pieces from the AIM soldier we got a few years back to help complete his unique look.

BAF- The Sleeper

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Oh yeah, this bad boy is a long-time want of mine. His classic Kirbyesque face, huge bulky body, and wacky color scheme would look INCREDIBLE as an action figure, and his size would make sense for a build-a-figure. Slather him in metallic paints and I could die happy.

I really hope someone over at Hasbro is paying attention since this wave would KILL if it were revealed. But the good news is it doesn’t have to stop there! Dream Wave 2 is right on deck, and there’s a mighty Marvel pool of characters to utilize, so who’s to say a wave 3 couldn’t be coming soon?

Why Do Toy Companies Make it Difficult to be a Cap Fan?

I’m currently in the process of redoing my toy room. A fresh coat of paint, a new floor, some more Cap-themed décor- it’s coming along nicely. But as I’m starting to put my toys back onto their shelves (and thus moving things out of the living room and giving my wife less reason to kill me in my sleep) I’m starting to realize a mind-boggling fact- toy companies are making it really tough for little kids to be Captain America fans.

Don’t get me wrong- I absolutely love this age we’re living in right now. It’s a great time to be a fan of the Star Spangled Avenger. You can’t walk into a Walmart or Target without seeing Cap’s face plastered on a sign, a card, or even on a box of cereal. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has helped usher in a whole new excitement behind one of comic books’ greatest characters, and I want for very little now. Ten years ago I was struggling to find even a Cap T-shirt, but today I rolled out my Captain America area rug, took a sip out of my Cap coffee mug, and sat back and though, “Man, this is a Golden Age.”

Yet with all the great merchandise coming out, I can’t help but feel like little kids are getting the shaft. You see, while they can buy a Captain America action figure in pretty much any store in creation, they have nothing for that Steve Rogers toy to do. Toy companies see him as just a small piece of the Avengers pie, meaning that very little time is devoted to Cap himself.

Growing up I was a Spider-Man fan. He was just everywhere, and our options back then were really either Spider-Man or the X-Men (unless you wanted to go DC). There wasn’t a lot of media presence for Marvel at the time, but there were always Spider-Man toys on the shelves, and I was 6, so it seemed like a perfect fit. Flash forward to 25 years later and Spider-Man is still dominating toy aisles.

Ol’ Webhead has a bevy of variations released throughout multiple lines. You can get regular Spidey, Ben Reilly version, Scarlet Spider, Black Costume, Spider-Armor, Iron-Spider, Scuba-Spidey…the list just keeps going. In addition to his many iterations you can also get a plethora of Spider-Man villains for him to fight, because, well, if you have a Spider-Man in his Spider-Buggy driving through the Spider-lair, he’s going to need a super villain to be chasing after, right?

When I was growing up, one of my favorite things about Spider-Man was that every now and then my parents would get me a new bad guy for Peter to beat on. Doc Ock was usually my go-to lead baddie, but it was always so exciting to shake things up and have Rhino break out of jail, or Electro rob a bank. And yeah, Spidey occasionally fought Magneto or Sabertooth, but there was always a special joy that came from recreating a scene I had read in a comic or seen on a cartoon. And when I wanted to go a little wacky I could always throw “Stealth Mission” Spider-Man into his missile launching Web-copter and go for a joy ride. But when things came to Cap…well he always kinda just showed up on occasion to help that little Parker kid out, since he usually never had his own bad guys to fight, or his own vehicles to drive.

That brings us to the crux of my issue. Captain America has 75 years worth of great supporting characters that kids could be playing with right now, and most of them would make awesome toys, so why don’t companies like Hasbro try to garner more interest in them? Everyone uses the argument “Well, Cap fight Nazis, and I doubt K-Mart wants a Nazi on a toy shelf.”, which is very true, but we currently live in a time when Cap no longer fights Nazis. Thanks to the movies he fights Red Skull and his evil HYDRA organization. Not a swastika to be seen. The die-hard Cap fan in me cringes a little when I say this, but I think, from a marketing standpoint, that this was a brilliant play. It should have opened up the door for a 4 year old to have a Red Skull Playskool toy, but I still don’t see any around. Now why is that?

And let’s talk about the variants and vehicles here, because I feel like it’s another place where toy companies just keep missing opportunities. Cap has over a dozen different comic looks, and plenty of room for “out-there” variants, I don’t know why no one is taking advantage of it. What I wouldn’t give to see kids outside today playing in their yards with Artic Mission Cap, driving his red, white and blue snow buggy to catch the villainous Batroc. Again I have to ask- why are toy companies afraid to use Cap the same way they do Iron Man or Spider-Man?

Now keep in mind that this argument is not solely held for Cap’s sake. Hulk, Thor, and Antman all seem to share this issue. They are all just “Iron Man’s backup”. It’s a little upsetting that my kids will never be able to play with “Anti-Venom Armor Captain America” while taking on the Serpent Society, or have Space Thor stopping Loki from stealing the Asgardian Shuttle.

Even jumping beyond little kids, we have Hasbro’s ever-growing Marvel Legends line, which, while finally bringing in some more obscure characters, still leaves a lot to be desired. In this newly released “Captain America Classics” wave, we get a new Cap, Agent 13, two Cap villains (Cottonmouth and Scourge), one Iron Man villain (Whirlwind), one Avengers villain (Taskmaster), and one Avengers B-lister (Mockingbird). For a “Cap-themed” wave, we only really get about half the wave being Cap characters. Yet look at the Spider-Man Legends released at the same time. One Spidey variant, one Spidey…uh…supporting character? (Spider-Gwen) and 5 Spidey villains (Venom, Speed Demon, Beetle, Mad Jack, and Morbius). Now THAT is a themed wave.

At the end of the day I just feel the need to ask again- Why do toy companies make it difficult to be a Cap fan? Right now the only thing a four-year old can do is buy a basic Captain America and either have him help the Avengers or fight the Avengers. Though I suppose the latter is good prep for Civil War.

What do you guys think? Am I completely off here? Let me know.

 

Is There No Ceiling?

I wandered into my local Toys R Us today and nearly squeaked with joy when I saw that they had gotten in another case of the Marvel Legends Captain America movie wave. Sure, they didn’t have Widow, but since I still needed the Winter Soldier I quickly grabbed him off the peg. Unfortunately I then looked up and saw the price.

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$26.99???? This is getting absurd. I almost walked away last year when they went up to $22.99, but this is just too far. Sorry Hasbro, but you just got way too to rich for my blood.

Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America, Red Skull, and Baron Zemo

I’m not much of a reviewer, or a photographer, or a blogger, but I love these new Cap figures so much I just needed to share my thoughts with you. these are popping up in stores nationwide and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them after seeing some pics snapped by various sites, but I can easily say that photos do not do these guys justice. With that having been said, here’s some photos to look at!

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Let’s start with the main man himself, Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. This figure is modeled after his current Marvel NOW! look, and the boys and girls over at Hasbro really went all  out giving us a brand new sculpt for him.

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You can clearly see all the detail in Steve’s new uniform, and I for one appreciate the effort on Hasbro’s part, especially in an age when tooling a new figure is so costly for a company. The scale seems good to me- not too big and not too small, though I suppose your tastes may vary. The only issue I have is when you pair him up with the other Cap offerings that Hasbro has given us as of recent.

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You can see here that while he stands about even with the Ultimate version, the “Super Soldier” figure just towers over him.  I found the Commander Rogers figure to be a bit lanky looking and I think the proportions on the NOW! figure are more accurate to the character, but again, to each his/her own.

The paint apps are okay, most of the lines are clean and neat, and the colors themselves are really vibrant, but I did have some minor issues with the eyes not being even and some smudging on the top of the helmet. These weren’t enough to dissuade me from getting him, but I did see another in the store that looked ghastly, so buyer beware. Also something to note is the lack of shading throughout the figure- likely a cost-saving choice on Hasbro’s part. I don’t think it really hurts the figure all that much as most of Hasbro’s offerings have been light on the paint apps, but it does stand out when placed with the Toy Biz Legends.

Next up we have the great and often-elusive Baron Helmut Zemo.

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Not much to say about Zemo Jr. here, outside of the fact that he’s a great looking piece of plastic. Based on one of the evil Baron’s more modern appearances, this figure is a fantastic addition to the Cap shelf. Nice clean paint throughout the figure, and a great re-use of parts. The accessories are what make this guy stand out, in my opinion. The gun handle has an awesome spotted pattern on it harkening back to the fur collar on Barry Z’s old outfit, and that sword is straight out of the comics. I especially love the little “z” on his gun holsters.

Now on to my personal favorite of the bunch- the Red Skull. It’s so rare that we get an action figure of this guy that I can’t help but make a big deal when one finally pops up, and Hasbro knocked this one out of the park!

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His body is almost entirely reused parts from the 6″ Nick Fury figure from the Cap/Avengers movie line (or the old Ultimate Fury that came in the 2-pack with WW2 Steve) and it’s a good fit here. What really makes this figure a win is that AMAZING head sculpt! In my opinion this is the BEST sculpt Herr Shmidt has ever had and I love Kirby-esque design.

His guns are a little bizarre- one being a red pistol and the other being a…uh…ray gun…thing? I would have preferred a Kirby-esque blaster to go along with the head sculpt, but I’m not gonna be too picky here. Oh, and he comes with that pesky Cosmic Cube he loves so much. Great figure.

Overall I’m excited to finally get some new Cap villains in Hasbro’s line, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future. I plan on heading out next weekend and picking up the Hydra and AIM army builders if I can find them, but until then, here’s some more pictures!

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Marvel Legends Infinite Series CAPTAIN AMERICA found at Target!

Just yesterday I was saying how I wasn’t sure whether or not to spend money on the new Marvel Mashers figures I had been seeing at Toys R Us stores, and today I can safely say that I’m glad I opted not to blow this month’s toy budget on them. Why?
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Yup, that’s why. Hasbro’s rebranded Marvel Legends figures are creeping their way into Target stores across the country, and my store just got a case in!

These guys look AMAZING in-hand and I can’t wait to pop ’em open and play with them! I only got these 3 today, I’ll probably pick up the 2 army builders on my next outing (Hydra Agent and AIM Soldier), but I’ll snap some pics as soon as I rest up from a long night at work.

For those interested, the figures won’t “officially” hit stores until January 5th when Target resets their aisles, but there’s no block at the register if you find them out on the shelf earlier.

Most stores will likely have the cases in the backroom, but if you ask a team member to look it up they should be able to go grab it out of the back if they have it.

The DCPI number is 037 06 2560 for the assortment and they retail for $14.99 each. That should be all the info you need to get yourself these beautiful toys from the stockroom.

Happy hunting!

Marvel Legends…No More!

Hasbro announced at Comic Con this past weekend that the Marvel Legends line would be discontinued. Due to the ever-rising price of these figures (last time I checked they were nearing $25 a piece) my wallet sighed with relief. And then it screamed in pain as I read that Hasbro would be replacing the Legends line with Re-Branded movie tie-ins, such as Captain America Classics. Over the past few years I had been able to pass up on many of the Legends figures Hasbro produced, but with a line-up including Marvel NOW! Cap, Baron Helmut Zemo, an AIM army builder, and a brand-freakin-new RED SKULL, I’m going to have to get my completest self ready to rumble.

Well played, Hasbro. Well played.