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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Speed Demon, Beetle, Jack O'Lantern, Morbius
Marvel Legends Absorbing Man Wave action figures Part 1

Hasbro
Date Published: 2016-02-24
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.25 out of 4

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Marvel Legends Beetle figure by Hasbro

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Introduction

It's been a few months since I came across any Marvel Legends, but this line falls under the category "when it rains, it pours". There are two full waves hitting stores right now - one for Captain America, one for Spider-man.  I've found all but one of the Spidey wave, but have a few more to go with Cap.  Since there are 7 figures in each wave plus a BAF, I'll be breaking them up into smaller sets for review.

I'm starting tonight with the first half of the Spider-Man 2 series that includes the Absorbing Man Build-A-Figure. Along with the BAF, this wave consists of Morbius, Jack O'Lantern, Speed Demon, Beetle (all reviewed tonight), Reilly Spider-Man, Venom, and Spider-Gwen. These are hitting stores like Target, Meijer, and Toys R Us right now, and will run you around $20 each depending on the retailer and any potential sales.

It's worth noting that the four I'm covering tonight are actually two themed sets.  Morbius and Jack are considered "Villains of the Night", while Speed Demon and the Beetle are "Superior Foes of Spider-Man".

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Marvel Legends Morbius figure by Hasbro

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Packaging - ***1/2
The package is collector friendly, a real rarity for a mass market toy like this, even one focused on collectors.  What that means is simple: you can remove the figure and accessories from the package without any real damage, allowing you to return the contents for storage or sale later.

The package is also quite attractive, showing off the figures and accessories nicely.  They've redesigned the BAF sticker slightly, and there's some reasonable information on the back, including which figure comes with which BAF piece.

I docked them a half star this time because several of the figures, but particularly Beetle and Jack, came with bent knees thanks to being poorly positioned in the inner tray. With the thin joints some of these figures have, it's imperative that they get placed properly or the trays are designed for a cleaner fit.

Marvel Legends Morbius figure by Hasbro

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Sculpting - ***1/2
I'm digging the sculpts on all four of these, but my favorite is Morbius. That's because there's more detail in the face and hair, with the wrinkles and snarling expression giving him so much personality. Add in some terrific clawed hands on the beefier base body, and you have a great looking rendition of the character.

Speed Demon has a pretty standard body sculpt for an ML, but the wry, goofy expression is terrific. Beetle is fairly basic as well, but the veined wings look great, and she pulls off the skinny limbs better than most female ML's.  The costume can look a little weird, thanks to where the torso joint cuts off the outfit.  It makes it appear as though she's wearing an industrial strength sports bra rather than a one piece costume, but it's a minor nit.

Marvel Legends Morbius figure by Hasbro

Jack O'Lantern was actually my favorite in the package. I love the translucent orange flames, and the gangly body fits the usual Scarecrow wannabe look. Out of the package, I thought the legs were too thin, and the softer plastic they are using may end up an issue for him, particularly in warmer climates.  He could also use a bit more texture on the pumpkin skin, a detail that would have put him over the top. He does sport some great detail work on his costume and belt, with lots of little sculpted textures and extras.

Remember, these are a 6" scale, and the three males are all about 6 3/8", with Beetle coming in at 6". These also sport some of the softer plastic in the limbs that's become more prevalent with ML's, and I'm not a huge fan of its use.

Marvel Legends Jack O'Lantern figure by Hasbro

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Paint - ****
The paint work on these four is surprisingly clean, even under the harsh eye of the macro lens.

Lines are sharp, details are clean, and even tiny areas like the eyes on Beetle or the teeth on Speed Demon, are crisp and sharp.  Considering the scale and the price, it's pretty impressive.

Marvel Legends Beetle figure by Hasbro

It's also nice to see the use of translucent plastic for the flames on Jack and the wings of Beetle.  The color is just about right in both cases, and it adds quite a bit to the look of the figures.

Don't get me wrong - there's still a spot or two where things could be better. For example, the teeth on Morbius could be sharper and less poorly defined. But overall I'm pretty impressed with these four, especially considering the price point.

Marvel Legends Speed Demon figure by Hasbro

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Articulation - Beetle, Speed Demon, Morbius ***; Jack **1/2
My one big issue with these four is around the articulation, or at least the quality of the plastic used for the joints.

Morbius and Speed Demon are thicker and sturdier, but I still found the knees on Speed to be a little too soft.  While the arm and torso articulation is very good with a terrific range of movement, the hips on Speed Demon were also more restricted than I'd like. Running poses are possible, but they aren't quite as fluid and natural as they should be.

Morbius is a bit better, but that's because basic fighting stances work great with the usual ML body. The rocker ankles are decent on all four, but didn't seem to have quite the range of movement of past releases. This is only an issue in deeper stances, of course.

The wobbly, thin knees on Jack O'Lantern caused him to get the wobbly score as well.  In the package he was my favorite of the set, but once he was free, the issues with the warped knees and soft legs became much more apparent.  The large head also restricts most of the neck articulation, a big loss when you're trying to get the perfect pose.

Beetle has articulated wings as well, and the joint at the body allows them to fold in and out, while the joint on each piece allows for specific posing. While she also has fairly thin legs, I had little trouble getting her to maintain standing poses with the wings spread.

The biggest issue in this category is around the shoulders on Jack and Morbius.  Both are VERY tight, very tough to move in and out. They are ratchet joints, which means they click into place, making them even tighter than normal.  Because there is a cut joint on the bicep and the arms are fairly soft, there isn't much leverage you can apply to push the shoulders up and down. I suggest using some hot water and a pair of needle nose pliers to get the kind of leverage you'll need, at least the first time. Once you work the joint back and forth a couple times, you should be good to go.

Marvel Legends Speed Demon figure by Hasbro

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Accessories - Beetle **1/2; Morbius ***; Speed Demon, Jack ****
Each figure comes with some part (or parts) to the Absorbing Man BAF.  A figure that only has that gets the usual average **1/2 score.  For Beetle, that's the case, but I suppose you can also make the argument that her wings are 'accessories'. I can't imaging displaying her without them, but it's your call.  They do come as a separate piece, and snap into her back.

Morbius also has the winged cape, but unlike Beetle and her wings, he has two versions.  He comes wearing the version designed for the arms wide pose, but there is a second lowered version included.  These pop on and off his back easily thanks to a single post.

Speed Demon and Jack do much better, getting a nice set of extras to go with their BAF piece.  Speed Demon has a second set of hands, sculpted in a open, flat pose, perfect for some running stances.  He is also wearing fists, and the hands swap easily enough.

Even better, he comes with the head of Silvermane on a remote control car!  The head is removable (as is the flag), and you could even use it with a character like Chameleon. The wheels don't turn on the car, but the adjustable head looks great. It's a very cool extra, and fits in with the overall theme of the last couple waves.

Jack O'Lantern has three extras, all of them very nicely done.  He has a small pumpkin bomb of course, and he can carry this in either hand.  There's also his Quidditch broom, for those times he wants to really, really terrorize Hogwarts.  He can actually fit on this broom too, thanks to the articulation of the figure, but you'll need to figure out a stand that can work with a flying pose.

Finally, he has a sickle. Both it and the broom have chunky, clunky looking handles that aren't really necessary. The sickle is a little over sized and cartoony, but just getting this many extras is a huge plus.

Marvel Legends Jack O'Lantern figure by Hasbro

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Marvel Legends Beetle figure by Hasbro

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
Thanks to a nice assortment of extras and decent articulation, these figures are a lot of fun. I wish the joints worked a smidge better, but overall any kid would love them - and any collector will spend hours finding the perfect pose.

Marvel Legends Speed Demon figure by Hasbro

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Value - Beetle, Morbius **1/2; Speed Demon, Jack O'Lantern ***
The price on these remains around $20, although you can save a few bucks depending on the store.  That's pretty much the going rate for 6" scaled collector themed figures these days, and with the addition of the cool accessories with Speed Demon and Jack, their score goes up as well.

Marvel Legends Jack O'Lantern figure by Hasbro

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Things to Watch Out For -
You may find, as I did, that the shoulders on some of these are VERY tight.  Use some hot water and a pair of needle nose pliers to work them free and avoid damage.

Also, looking for those whose legs are aligned in the tray properly will help avoid problems with the knees, particularly with Jack O'Lantern and Beetle.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm not loving the softer plastic, and the shoulders can be a bit tricky to free up on Morbius and Jack. But overall the Marvel Legends series continues to deliver, and the sculpts and paint work on these four really stands out.  It also helps that the BAF is a stand out (more on that in the review of the second half of this wave), and there's some excellent accessories this time around.

In fact, all these great ML waves make me miss the DCUC figures all that much more.  Yea, I know we have Icons, but I can't wander in to the local Target and get those, a big plus with the old DCUC...and with Marvel Legends. There's a thrill to finding a new wave on the pegs that you just can't replace with the online experience, and the larger Multiverse figures aren't quite doing it for me...yet.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - Beetle, Speed Demon, Morbius ***; Jack **1/2
Accessories - Beetle **1/2; Morbius ***; Speed Demon, Jack ****
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - Beetle, Morbius **1/2; Speed Demon, Jack O'Lantern ***
Overall - ***1/2

Marvel Legends Speed Demon, Beetle, Jack O'Lantern, Morbius figures by Hasbro

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has the set of 7 for just $142.

- has the set of seven for $155 or the case of 8 for $160. The case has either an extra Venom or Spidey, your choice.

- Entertainment Earth has the set of eight (an extra Spider-Man or an extra Venom) for $160 and free shipping.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Recent Marvel Legends reviews include the terrific Hulbuster  BAF, the Blizzard, Vision, Valkyrie, War Machine, Thundra, Doctor Strange, and Iron Man.

I let the BAF's build up for awhile last year, and covered a whole bunch at once in this review. Prior to that, I covered the Rhino wave, including Kraven, Chameleon, Misty Knight and Ghost Rider and Scarlet Spider, Superior Venom and White Tiger,  the Ant-Man wave in part 1 with Giant Man, Bull Dozer and Grim Reaper, and part 2 with Ant-man, Wasp, and Tiger Shark. and the Avengers (Thanos) wave, in part 1 with Hulk, Hellcat, and Iron Man MK43, and part 2 with Captain America, Batroc and Spider-Woman. Before that is the 'Hobgoblin' series which I've started with part 1 here, and the 'Allfather' wave, including Captain Marvel, Sentry and Thor and Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Machine Man and Iron Fist. I also checked out the Toys R Us exclusive three pack of Coulson, Fury and Maria Hill from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

There's a lot more reviews than that, and you should also hit the Search Reviews page, to find them. Also, there's likely to be more applicable reviews done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Marvel Legends Morbius figure by Hasbro

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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