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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Nick Fury, Black Panther, Red Guardian
Marvel Legends action figures - Giant Man wave

Hasbro
Date Published: 2016-05-25
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Marvel Legends Red Guardian action figure

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Introduction

Do you know there's already been at least 8 Build-A-Figure (or diorama, or prop replica, or something) themed releases this year? A couple years ago, it looked like the concept might be cycling down, but clearly it's back and back with a vengeance.

The latest is from Hasbro's Marvel Legends series of course, and is part of their newest Captain America themed wave.  This wave includes only 6 figures, not the 8 we've seen from the past couple waves. There's three that are movie related - Black Panther (reviewed tonight), Captain America, and the new Iron Man MK 46.  There are also three comic based releases in Nick Fury, Red Guardian (both reviewed tonight), and Nuke.  I'm hitting up three tonight, and I'll hit the other three, along with the Giant Man BAF, very soon.

These are currently shipping to most mass market retailers, and will run you the usual Jackson each.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Marvel Legends Nick Fury action figure

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Packaging - ****
As you'd expect, the packaging remains the same. These are a nice combination of peg hanger and box, and are completely collector friendly. You can simply open the package from the side, slide out the figure and accessories, and return everything safe and sound at a later date. While slimy douche bags - and you know who you are - will exploit this feature to steal from stores (and collectors) by swapping in older figures and returning them, I have to say that I appreciate the effort by Hasbro.

Marvel Legends Red Guardian action figure

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Sculpting - Red ***1/2; Black Panther, Nick Fury ****
All three of these have excellent sculpts that align with other Marvel Legends releases, but give them their own distinct look.

Black Panther is going to be the hot commodity this time around, thanks to his screen time in Civil War. He comes in his tight suit of course, and there's a ton of texture and detail work.  I love the look of the masked face, but as a bonus, there's an additional unmasked portrait. It's a pretty damn good match to the actor as well, making this a must have for any MCU fan AND any general Captain America fan.

Red Guardian, the Russian version of Cap, isn't quite as exciting, but he's still a solid release. He's on the larger body, similar to Cap, and includes some nice work on the boots and gloves.  There's not a lot to distinguish him from the neck down, but the square jaw and determine look give him his own personality.

Marvel Legends Nick Fury action figure

While Black Panther will be the figure everyone wants, don't over look Nick Fury.  While he might be a comic version, it's a classic comic version, and there's a lot here to sell you on this release. He comes with three portraits, including one wearing the helmet, and all three are nicely sculpted with plenty of small detail. My favorite is the one he comes wearing, with the eye patch and lightly sculpted five o'clock shadow, but the second H.A.T.E. agent head (Dirk Anger) with the translucent eye piece looks great as well. The helmet is a smart addition, and you might find yourself picking up an additional Fury figure or two just to put the helmet on and have them backing up Nick.

Of course, these are a 6" scale, and all three stand slightly north of that number, between 6 and 6 1/2" tall, scaled nicely to each other and other figures in the series.

Marvel Legends Nick Fury action figure

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Paint - Red, Nick ***; Black Panther ***1/2
The paint work on the Red Guardian and Nick Fury could be a smidge better, and there's some obvious issues, even in hand. For example, the hair line on Nick is pretty poorly painted, with his longest lock done in skin tone. There's a fair amount of slop around the eye patch, but the work on the suit and belts is quite a bit better. Red has a similar slop problem along the white/red edge on his plume, and I'm not completely sold on the rather inconsistent shadowing on the body suit.

Black Panther fairs quite a bit better, thanks to some nice work on the silver highlights of the suit. This is particularly true on the mask, where the white eyes and silver lines look great, but the work on the unmasked face is quite clean as well.

Marvel Legends Black Panther action figure

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Articulation - Red, Black Panther ***1/2; Nick ****
These are Marvel Legends figures after all, so you expect great things in this category. One of the real improvements here is a better quality, less rubbery plastic, something that makes all three figures seem more substantial and easier to work with.

None of the joints were stuck or difficult to use, and all have a terrific range of movement. The ball joints on the necks, particularly with Nick and Panther, seem to have more mobility than usual, allowing for deeper torso bends. The rocker ankles all work great as well, and the overall combination of joints and mobility make for some very posable, very playable figures.

Marvel Legends Red Guardian action figure

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Accessories - Red ***; Black Panther ***1/2; Nick Fury ****
Here's an area where most recent releases in this $20 category have been coming up short, but not so here.

Red Guardian is a little light, but I can cut him some slack. He starts at the usual **1/2 because he has his piece of the BAF, and goes up a half star on top of that thanks to the inclusion of his shield.  It has both a post and a clip to attach to his wrist, but here's where I had the one and only problem with these three figures - the post seems glued tight with the clip against the shield. I couldn't move it, so using the clip was out of the question. The post works well enough, thanks to the great arm and wrist articulation, but it's still a bummer.

Black Panther also has his BAF piece as well as one accessory, but this one accessory is the excellent additional head sculpt with the movie accurate portrait.  The heads swap easily, and make for a great look either way. Regular readers know how much I love getting additional head sculpts like this.

Then there's Nick, who comes with his small pistol that he can hold in his sculpted right hand or slip into the holster on his belt.  It's a little plain, and a little soft, but it's important that he has at least one gun he can hold (the one on the front of his chest is not removable). He also adds in not one but the two additional head sculpts that I already mentioned, both with nice paint and detail.  Again, these heads swap easily, and the inclusion of the helmet just might make you buy an extra figure or two.

Marvel Legends Black Panther action figure

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Fun Factor - ****
Thanks to the sturdy plastic, smooth joints, and great articulation, these are excellent toys.  Since Black Panther was such a hit in Civil War, I expect kids and collectors alike to scoop up the figure, but you shouldn't ignore Nick and Red Guardian, as both will make excellent additions to the sandbox or display.

Marvel Legends Red Guardian action figure

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Value - Red, Black Panther **1/2; Nick Fury ***
These guys are the usual $20 each, but with two additional portraits, Nick gets an extra boost in value.

Marvel Legends Nick Fury action figure

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing! These figures are sturdy, well made toys, and the quality of plastic appears to have improved this year. No worries here!

Marvel Legends Black Panther action figure

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Overall - Red Guardian, Black Panther ***1/2; Nick Fury ****
All three of these are excellent examples of Marvel Legends at their best.  Coming from both the movie and comic universes, they sport great sculpts, articulation, and accessories.  I wish the paint work was a little better, but even that's a minor nit overall.

I didn't have very high expectations for Red Guardian, but he will make a nice opponent on your shelf to a comic based Cap.  I assumed Black Panther would be great and a must have, and he turned out to be both.  He's going to fly off the shelf too, thanks to the excellent presentation in the film. But it was Nick Fury that took me by surprise, thanks to the perfect choice of buck, great accessories, and general bad ass attitude. He's well worth picking up, and my favorite of these three.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - Red ***1/2; Black Panther, Nick Fury ****
Paint - Red, Nick ***; Black Panther ***1/2
Articulation - Red, Black Panther ***1/2; Nick Fury ****
Accessories - Red ***; Black Panther ***1/2; Nick Fury ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - Red, Black Panther **1/2; Nick Fury ***
Overall -Red, Black Panther ***1/2; Nick Fury ****

Marvel Legends Nick Fury, Black Panther, Red Guardian action figure

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Where to Buy 
These are showing up at stores like Target and Toys R Us right now, and will run around $20 each. Online options include these site sponsors:

- carries most Marvel Legends figures for around $18 - $20 each.

- Entertainment Earth has the case of eight for $170.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
My most recent Marvel Legends review covered Red Skull (BAF), Taskmaster, Sharon Carter, and Demolition Man. The other half of that wave included Captain America, Mockingbird, Whirlwind, and Cottonmouth.

I also have 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 Marvel Legends 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 Black Panther action figure

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

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