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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Ben Reilly, Spider-Gwen, Venom, Absorbing Man
Marvel Legends Action Figures

Hasbro
Date Published: 2016-03-28
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 4 out of 4

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Absorbing Man Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

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Introduction

A few weeks ago, I checked out the first four figures in the latest wave of Spider-Man Marvel Legends - Beetle, Speed Demon, Morbius, and Jack O'Lantern. These figures make up the first half of the Absorbing Man BAF wave, and tonight I'm cleaning up the last four: Ben Reilly Spider-man, Venom, Spider-Gwen, and the big BAF himself, Absorbing Man.

These are popping up pretty readily at Target around here, and I know Toys R Us and Meijer stores have been getting them as well. Expect to pay around $20 each, unless someone is having a sale.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Ben Reilly Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

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Packaging - ****
These come in the now standard collector friendly packages, which can be opened from the side, the tray and figure slid out, and everything removed without damage. Everything can be returned later for storage or sale.  I don't know if Hasbro will continue this concept, thanks to far too many morons swapping in other figures and returning them, but it will be nice while it lasts.

The package also sports a reasonable amount of character personalization, and shows which figure in the wave has which BAF part. To have a complete Absorbing Man with all his accessories, you need all seven figures.

Ben Reilly Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

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Sculpting - ***1/2
These four characters all came out great, with lots of detail and sharp designs.

Venom took the longest to find, and that's probably because he has the Absorbing Man's head - heads, actually.  The figure with the head of the BAF seems to invariably be the last one I find.  This Venom has two head sculpts, with the regular one looking reasonably good, and the tongue swinging, salivating version looking even better.  The body is weird though, but it just might be me. The standard ML they chose seems so...old school.  It reminds me of the Toybiz days, rather than the more modern ML buff figures, but as I said, that might just be me.  He comes in at about 7" tall.

Then there's the Reilly Spider-Man, better known as the Scarlet Spider. He had several different costume designs, this being one of the latter versions. At one point, Ben ends up bonded with Carnage, becoming Spider-Carnage, and they've included an extra head and hands to get both looks. Both head sculpts look good, with reasonable proportions (and yes, anytime Carnage or Venom get mixed up in your stuff, your head gets all over sized and freaky). While they're using a fairly standard highly articulated ML body for the base, and one we've seen on Spider-Man before, they do a nice job adjusting it to this specific character. He stands about 6" tall.

Ben Reilly Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figure by HasbroBen Reilly Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

Then there's the lovely Spider-Gwen. This is Gwen Stacey of course, but from an alternate Earth, where she was bitten by the spider, not Peter, and took on the persona and abilities.  Again, they've included two head sculpts, one masked and one uncovered. Both look great, although the expression on the unmasked version is on the blank side.  The detailing is nice though, and I've seen the head used on the new iZombie Liv Moore figure with great results.  The ML tiny female body has all the same problems it's had in the past, with wonky looking shoulders and gangly limbs, but it works reasonable well with a fully costumed character like her. She comes in at about 5 3/4" tall.

Finally, there's the Absorbing Man himself, another terrific BAF. While he doesn't have the sheer magnitude of the old school BAF's, coming in at just 8" tall, it's still quite a bit of bulk for this particular character.  The multiple arms are sculpted in a state of partial absorption, as is the second head sculpt.  The one head sculpt is far superior to the standard, which has a bit of a weird expression and elongated skull.  Switch to the second head, and you'll be much happier.

Spider-Gwen Marvel Legends action figure by HasbroSpider-Gwen Marvel Legend action figures by Hasbro

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Paint - ***1/2
The paint work is generally clean on all four figures, certainly above average for a Marvel Legends release. Cut lines are generally clean, with very little blur or over spray, and almost no bleed between colors.  Some of the smaller details could be a bit cleaner, but considering the price point, the quality is solid.

Venom Marvel Legend action figures by HasbroVenom Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

There are a few blips here and there, like a stray black mark on one of the Carnage eyes, or some less than stellar work on the eyes of the standard Absorbing Man head. But taken across all four figures and all eight head sculpts, the work is well above average.  Highlights are the eyes on the second Absorbing Man head, as well as the bloody drool on the lips of Venom.

Absorbing Man Marvel Legends action figure by HasbroAbsorbing Man Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

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Articulation - ****
The standard ML bodies at work here all have excellent articulation, with a great range of movement in a multitude of joints.  Hands and heads swap easily, and posing is a breeze.  You can get a relatively fluid look for a figure in this scale, and all the joints are tight and solid.

I did have a little trouble with the knees on Gwen and the elbows on Ben, thanks to the poor placement of the figures in the plastic tray.  When they go with these thinner bodies, it's critical that they get them properly set in the tray to avoid bending and warping. I was able to work with them once they were out, and a little hot water/cold water treatment went a long way, but long term damage could occur if they are left in the package bent at weird angles.

Ben Reilly Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

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Accessories - ****
Everyone has at least one piece for the Absorbing Man - some have multiple.  On top of that, everyone has that best of the best accessories: an extra portrait.

I already discussed each of the additional heads, but suffice to say that they add a tremendous amount to this category.  Along with the extra head, Gwen comes with a folded down hood, a nice touch that wasn't necessary but shows Hasbro wasn't cheaping out. She could have used one extra right hand, so that she isn't permanently stuck throwing the goat, but it's a minor nit.

Venom has the terrific extra head with extended tongue, as well as an extra set of fists.  The hands swap easily as well.

Ben Reilly Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

Spider-Man goes nuts, with not just the extra Carnage head and set of hands, but two sets of additional hands just for Ben.  In all, he has a set of fists, a set of web shooting, and a set of fingertip gripping hands that all swap easily and cleanly.

Even Absorbing Man has lots of extras, perhaps the most of any BAF ever.  He has the two head sculpts, as well as two sets of arms.  One left is normal, one left is absorbing concrete, one right is absorbing steel, and one right is absorbing what I think is supposed to be brick...the arms swap easily as well.  And since that's not enough, they also throw in a giant ball and chain he can hold with either right hand. While this accessory is a re-use from an earlier figure, it's still a nice addition.

Venom Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

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Spider-Gwen Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

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Fun Factor - ****
These are great toys, with plenty of useful articulation and lots of great play value. Collectors and kids alike will have plenty of fun adding them to the Marvel Universe battling it out in their backyard - or display.

Ben Reilly Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

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Value - ***1/2
Twenty bucks is pretty much the going rate these days for 6" collector themed action figures, but considering the volume of extras you're getting with all four of these, they deserve at least another star in this category.

Absorbing Man Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

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Things to Watch Out For -
I didn't have any issues, but you'll still want to watch for the best paint operations you can find on the peg.  While this latest wave seems pretty solid across the board, you never know when an exception can slip out.

Venom Marvel Legends action figure by Hasbro

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Overall - ****
While there's a slip here and there on the paint, and I'm not quite sure I'm digging the choice of body they went with for Venom, the overall quality of these four deserve top marks.  They've maintained the terrific articulation and play value, while upping the ante on the number of accessories, making these a better value.  While some of these might not be characters everyone is familiar with, they are all well worth getting to know and adding to the collection.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ****

Ben Reilly Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, Absorbing Man, Venom Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro

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Where to Buy 
These are showing up in pretty big numbers at mass market retailers like Target, Toys R Us, and Meijers, where they will run you around $20. You can always search ebay if you're not finding them in your area.

Related Links -
I covered the first half of this wave just a couple weeks ago. Prior 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.

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Spider-Gwen Marvel Legends action 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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