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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Captain America, Mockingbird, Whirlwind, Cottonmouth
Marvel Legends Red Skull wave action figures

Hasbro
Date Published: 2016-94-01
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Marvel Legends Captain America action figure by Hasbro

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Introduction

Once upon a time, it looked like the Marvel Legends line of action figures was dying. The sale of Toybiz to Hasbro didn't help, but interest in the line seemed to wane as well, prompting fans to assume it was only a matter of time...and those assumptions were oh so wrong.

Hasbro managed to re-invigorate the line, and the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave all the properties new life. A rising tide lifts all keels, and even when the films and toy line shared little in common, the interest in all things Marvel buoyed the sale of pretty obscure characters. It helps that Hasbro has been smart about the character selection and creating links between the series and the MCU, tenuous as some might be.

With Civil War right around the corner, Hasbro has two Captain America themed Marvel Legends lines on the peg, or showing up very soon at your local stores. A third wave is scheduled for later in the year, and there are plenty of other Marvel Legends figures on the docket, making it clear that the series is stronger than ever.

I'm starting with the Red Skull (Red Onslaught) BAF wave of Cap figures tonight, looking at the first half - Cap himself, Whirlwind, Cottonmouth, and Mockingbird.  If I manage to not call her 'mockingjay' at some point in the review, I'll count that as a win.  The rest of the wave includes Demolition Man aka Scourge, Taskmaster, Sharon Carter, and the BAF, Red Skull aka Red Onslaught. These figures are popping up at Target, Toys R Us, and Meijer stores for around $20 each right now.

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

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Packaging - ****
Once again we have the usual collector friendly mass market packaging they've been using for the last couple years.  There's no twisty ties, no rubber bands, and this time around I didn't have any trouble with warped knees or elbows thanks to improper placement in the plastic trays. They've updated the typeface and style as well, giving it a little cleaner look.  On the back is some basic personalization, and they have a key to show which figure has which BAF piece.

Marvel Legends Captain America action figure by Hasbro

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Sculpting - ***1/2
Let's start with the gorilla in the room - or more accurately, wolf.  Cap is a great figure, largely because the character and suit style fits this buff ML base body, really, really well. It's a perfect mesh between a particular character design and a buck, something that happens with less consistency than collectors would like.  The sculpt details on the suit are great, especially the large block A on the forehead, and the larger wings on the sides of the head.  Some folks will miss the textures - this is a very smooth hero - but overall the body detailing and proportions are great.

He comes with his standard, square jawed head sculpt, designed in a way that seems to match up with the artwork from the Cap-Wolf story arc.  That makes complete sense, since the figure includes a second werewolf portrait clearly from that run. Yes, Captain America was once turned into a werewolf. And no, that's not a spoiler for Civil War.

The wolf head sculpt might be a bit silly, but it does match the comic art quite well and the proportions are good. Swapping is relatively easy, and while I have a couple minor nits - the A should have been sculpted, like on the regular portrait, and there's a weird mold line around the snout - the overall look is still kitchy cool. Cap stands just north of 6 1/2" tall.

BTW, Cap also comes with a pair of straps for his shoulders, designed to make it look a bit more realistic when the shield is on his back. These are technically accessories, and I'll cover them in more depth in that section.

Whirlwind is sort of a poor man's Flash, a super fast villain who has battled Cap in the comics, as well as lent aid to Red Skull. The costume has altered a little over the years, but maintained key elements, like the funky helmet.  He always reminds me of Robby the Robot. They've done a nice job sculpting the armor, and the proportions are decent.  He comes in at about 6 3/4" tall.

Mockingbird is a nice example of a B list character that has crossover appeal between the current MCU and the silver age comics. Obviously, this ML version is based on her more modern comics stylings, but she has been featured on the tv series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and was pretty popular with fans of the show. Here she's wearing her black and white duds, with some nice sculpted details, like the buttons and boot straps. With the more toned down bust line, the skinny limbs aren't quite as much of a factor, and overall proportions look a little more reasonable. The head sculpt is very pretty, although the hair could use a little more detailing. The hands are sculpted to hold the baton(s), and she stands great on her own at about 6" tall.

Finally, there's Cottonmouth. He's using the bulkier base legs, and there's no real new sculpting from the neck down. Any costume details are done using paint, but he does have some great looking clawed hands that fit the character's personality and look.The grinning head sculpt has the most personality out of these four, and the snakeskin texture on the cowl is a very much appreciated and needed detail that sets him apart in a crowd. He comes in a just under 7" tall, and is the biggest of these four.

Marvel Legends Captain America action figure by HasbroMarvel Legends Captain America action figure by Hasbro

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Paint - Mockingbird **; Whirldwind ***; Cap, Cottonmouth ***1/2
While the overall paint quality on the recent Marvel Legends figures I've picked up has been quite good, there is an issue with the occasional one off.

Mockingbird is one such beast.  There is quite a bit of slop on the black, particularly on the buttons and edges, and even her cool translucent yellow glasses are showing serious problems with the white edging. Her eyes are pointing in different directions, there's several stray marks, and overall she's a big step backward for the line.

Whirlwind isn't quite as bad, but does have a fair amount of slop on the body, particularly around the rib cage. The lighter metallic green is fairly consistent in coverage, but it also tends to be in lots of places it shouldn't be.

Both Cap and Cottonmouth are quite good, with much cleaner lines and edges and little slop between colors. Cottonmouth could use slightly sharper edges on the 'fangs' of the cowl, but it's a minor nit, and the work on his eyes and teeth is quite good considering the small scale.

Marvel Legends Whirlwind action figure by Hasbro

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Articulation - Mockingbird ***; Cottonmouth, Whirlwind ***1/2; Cap ****
If Marvel Legends figures are anything, they are highly articulated. These all use fairly standard base bodies, and thus don't provide much in the way of surprises in this category.

Cap poses quite well, as does Whirlwind. Getting natural stances was easy, and the majority of the joints work cleanly.  They are all tight, and they are all very well made. The large helmet on Whirlwind restricts the neck articulation of course, but otherwise he's quite posable.

Cottonmouth doesn't have anything to create extreme restrictions, but the older base body is a little less fluid. It's a really minor nit though, and kids playing with these will have no trouble getting him to stand, and getting him to stay that way.

The thinner, more gangly female body sported by Mockingbird has all the joints it needs, but the engineering and design have never allowed it to be as fluid and dynamic as its male counterpart.  I didn't have any trouble getting her to stand in reasonable poses though, and the only joint really constricted is the neck, thanks to the long tootsie roll hair.

All of these four have rocker ankles, and all four work well.  This joint has become my new favorite, right after a great ball jointed neck.

Marvel Legends Mockingbird action figure by Hasbro

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Accessories - Cottonmouth **1/2; Mockingbird, Whirlwind ***; Cap ****
Cottonmouth only comes with the Red Skull BAF piece, garnering him the basic score here.

Mockingbird adds in the two piece baton. She can use it as a single, seamless weapon, or split it into two smaller clubs, one for each hand. It's a little on the thick side, giving it that toy-ish appearance we all hate, but it does fit nicely in either hand sculpt.

Whirlwind might not appear to have any accessories, both both of his wrist 'blades', are removable, making them extras.

Cap does the best, with two swappable hands (a flat, salute pose right, and a finger pointing left with such an enormous finger, you'd swear it was one of those foam hands), that extra wolf portrait I already discussed, his trademark shield, and two shoulder straps.

The shield looks great, and is very clean and undamaged. It snaps on either wrist with a folding clip on the back, or can attach to his back with a post.  Hasbro decided to include two shoulder straps that can be used when he has the shield on his back, creating a more 'realistic' look I suppose. The only problem - they don't stay in place to save your life.  With the shield, without the shield, it doesn't matter, they drop off the shoulders at the slightest touch.  I was hoping the shield could hold them in place, but no such luck. That's why you'll only see them in the very last photo, and while I know the shield should be on his back for it to make sense, I also wanted at least one photo where the clip on the inside of the shield was visible.

Marvel Legends Cottonmouth action figure by Hasbro

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Marvel Legends Whirlwind action figure by Hasbro

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Fun Factor - ****
These really are fun figures, even if they have a few hinky details here and there.  Adult fans can introduce kids who love the Marvel Cinematic Universe to some of the more wacky and offbeat characters through these toys, and add some great heroes and villains to their play time.

Marvel Legends Mockingbird action figure by Hasbro

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Value - Cap ***; the rest **1/2
Cap gets extra points here because he has that extra head, silly as it might be.  Getting a nice assortment of extras at the same price point is a sure way to boost your Value score.

Marvel Legends Captain America action figure by Hasbro

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Things to Watch Out For -
Other than the two things you should always watch for with ML figures (get the best paint you can on the peg, and take care freeing up the joints), you should be good to go.

Marvel Legends Cottonmouth action figure by Hasbro

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Overall - Mockingbird ***; the rest ***1/2
There's no doubt that the overall quality of the Marvel Legends figures has greatly increased over the last couple years, but paint issues can still arise. Poor Mockingbird is the poster child for such problems this time around, but I'm hopeful that it's not going to be a regular or on going issue.

The other three characters are all well done, each having their own strengths and weaknesses. This is one of those rare times where my favorite is actually the main character, Cap, thanks to the marriage of his costume with the base body design, along with the inclusion of the silly wolf head. This is a Cap variant that everyone will ask you about!

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - Mockingbird **; Whirlwind ***; Cap, Cottonmouth ***1/2
Articulation - Mockingbird ***; Cottonmouth, Whirlwind ***1/2; Cap ****
Accessories - Cottonmouth **1/2; Mockingbird, Whirlwind ***; Cap ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - Cap ***, the rest **1/2
Overall - Mockingbird ***; the rest ***1/2

Marvel Legends Captain America, Mockingbird, Cottonmouth, Whirlwind action figure by Hasbro

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Where to Buy 
Your best bet is to stake out the Marvel pegs at Target or Toys R Us (or Meijer, if you have them) by your house. Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has the wave of eight figures for $170.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I just wrapped up my look at the most recent ML Spider-Man wave, including Absorbing Man, Ben Reilly, Spider-Gwen, and Venom in one half, and Speed Demon, Beetle, Jack O'Lantern, and Morbius in the other. 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.

Discussion:
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Marvel Legends Captain America 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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