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Review of Marvel Legends Build-A-Figures
Ultron, Hobgoblin, Rhino, Thanos, Allfather

Hasbro
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Introduction

If you were wondering if Hasbro was done with Marvel Legends and the Build-A-Figure concept, I'd say that wondering should be put to rest...at least for 2015. They've already released 5 waves and several boxed sets and exclusives, with more on the schedule for the back half of the year. I've been trying to keep up, but it hasn't been easy.

One area where I've fallen behind is the BAF's themselves, those figures you build with the various parts you get as extras with each regular release figure. Toybiz originated the term Build-A-Figure (but not the concept) with the start of Marvel Legends back in the day, and Hasbro maintained it when they bought them up.

So tonight I'm hitting you up with a true Battle of the BAF's, my look at a whopping five figures at once. The Allfather came with the first Marvel wave this year, and was followed by Thanos in the Avengers wave, Hobgoblin in the first Spider-Man wave, Ultron with the Ant-Man wave, and most recently, Rhino with the second Spider-Man wave. If you're looking to check out those actual waves, I've included links to all my reviews in the Related Links section at the end of this review.

Pricing on these guys is a little weird, since you don't buy them by themselves, but rather spend $20 each on 6 different figures (usually) to get the parts to build them. Spending $120 just to get one figure is not good...but those buying the waves of ML figures anyway are getting what amounts to a free figure (kinda, sorta), and a much better deal.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Packaging - ****
This is one of two slightly weird categories for a BAF.  Since these come in the packages as accessories to the other figures, the Package score is the same. But it's not really THEIR package. I said it was slightly weird.

The packs are collector friendly, an oddity (and a positive one in my opinion) for a mass market toy.  They are also nicely personalized to each figure, and include a run down of the other characters in the wave and which BAF piece comes with which one, making your hunt a little easier.

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Sculpting - ****
Sculpts are uniformly excellent with the BAF releases this year. Lots of small detail work, and while these guys aren't the gargantuan releases of yore (check out someone like Galactus if you want to see what a REAL BAF looks like), they are all generally in the 8 - 9" range.

The smallest of the bunch is potentially my favorite - Hobgoblin. This guy came with the first Amazing Spider-man set of Marvel Legends this year, and he has a fantastic head sculpt.  I love the over sized rectangular teeth and pointy ears, and the costume has more than enough texture and detail. He stands great on his own, the hands are sculpted to work with the accessories, and the design of the sculpt and articulation marries the two perfectly. He's a little shorter than the rest, coming in at just 6 1/2", but makes up for it in sheer cool.

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

My least favorite of the bunch is the least detailed, at least in terms of his costume.  Thanos has a great head sculpt, again sporting a maniacal grin, but the free floating shoulder armor is large and very plain.  Actually, any of the 'gold' areas - belt, shoulder armor, cuffs on boots and gloves - are quite plain, with little texture or detail. There's better work on the rest of the costume, but the darker color of those areas tends to hide it from the eye.  He comes in at 7 1/2 inches tall.

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

In between these two are the other three.  Ultron has a lot of great sculpting detail in his mechanical body, and there's just the right texture to give the impression of steel.  His expression works well, and the grasping hands can be used to create plenty of menacing poses.  He stands fine on his own as well, and comes in at a formidable 8 inches tall.

Allfather has not one but two head sculpts. Both look great, one with a helmet, and one without. The eye patch switches eyes, which I find amusing. It's sort of like a soap opera version of telegraphing which one is the evil twin...

While they both look great, I will say the detailing on the beard on the helmeted version is weaker. The strands are pretty heavy and thick, and I much prefer the flowing locks and longer beard on the bare head.

The armored body looks great, and again, there's plenty textural detailing to differentiate materials and flesh. The hands are designed to hold the weapons, but it can be a bit tricky, as the plastic is quite hard, making it tough to get them in place, and the shaft of the staff fairly thick. He's almost identical in height to Thanos, at least with the helmet on, where he stands 7 1/2" tall.

NOTE: I realize these are two different versions of Allfather, hence the eye patch joke. And yes, Hasbro deserves kudos for finding a way to produce two versions with the least number of re-used parts. Not being a big fan, I didn't know the second version was Thor - thanks to readers for that.

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

Finally, there's Rhino.  Like Allfather, he has a second head sculpt. And if you thought Thanos or Hobgoblin looked insane, wait til you see Rhino!  The regular head sculpt is merely grumpy, but the second head sculpt has a roaring mouth and bulging eyes that put Morty Feldman to shame. I also like that the two heads have the different style of mask and cowl, a nice nod to the different comic looks.

He has a great hide sculpt, with rough rhino skin surface over his entire body. He stands about 8 inches tall if you pose him straight up, and does so quite easily in even deep stances on those big feet.

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Paint - Allfather, Rhino, Thanos ***; Ultron, Hobgoblin ****
Sadly, the paint work is all over the place on some of these.

Rhino looked great at first blush, with a nifty wash and dry brushing used to get the most out of the craggy skin. But on closer inspection, there were some issues with both faces.  The white eyes are a smidge sloppy, and worse, the roaring face (my preferred sculpt) has both wonky iris' and slop from the gums and tongue all over the teeth.

Allfather might only have one eye - two if you count both heads - but its staring off in some weird direction with both portraits. The work on the beard with the helmeted version is clumpy and weak as well, creating additional issues for that sculpt.

Things get better with Thanos, with some nice work on the deep lines of the face and rough looking teeth. The eyes could still be improved, and there appears to be a chunk of dirt on his face, but overall he's a slight step up from the other two.

Utron and Hobgoblin are the winners in this category.  The silver metallic look on Ultron really pops, and the bright colors and translucent flames on Hobgoblin make him stand out nicely on the shelf.  Add in the nice work on his teeth and eyes, and you have my clear favorite.

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Articulation - Thanos, Allfather ***; Rhino, Hobgoblin, Ultron ***1/2
These all have Marvel Legend level articulation - lots of ball, hinge and pin joints to make the joint junkie happy.

The best for posing was Rhino, Hobgoblin and Ultron, where the sculpted body and various joints worked well together and yet maintained an appropriate aesthetic. All three can take fairly realistic, flowing stances, and the joints were tight but free.

I did have a minor issue with Rhino, however. His legs and arms - especially his legs - tend to pop off when you're working with him.  They pop right back on of course, but it's still a bit frustrating.

Allfather had a similar issue with his legs, but it wasn't quite as annoying.  The longer skirt, single pin elbows, and long beard made several of the joints less useful than usual, but you can still get some reasonable stock stances.

Thanos has something weird going on with his legs.  The upper body, neck and arms all posed well, just as you'd expect from any Marvel Legends figure. But the legs were wonky, not moving in the ways I expected.  Getting deeper stances was difficult, as was getting a good flow or body line in even basic poses.

Everyone had tight joints however, and I didn't have any fear of breakage or damage as I was working with them.

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Accessories - Thanos, Ultron Bupkis; Rhino ***1/2; Hobgoblin, Allfather ****
This is another odd ball category for a BAF. Generally speaking, a BAF is an accessory, and therefore doesn't have accessories. However there are exceptions, and those are always extra special.

In this situation, Thanos and Ultron have nothing extra. That's no huge surprise, and in this instance, won't effect their overall score in a negative way, at least not for me.

Rhino does quite a bit better with just one additional accessory because it's such a damn cool extra accessory - a whole 'nother head! I mentioned this second portrait in the Sculpt and Paint sections, but it's a huge boost to his score here as well. The heads swap easily enough, and unlike some of his appendages, don't fall off when handling or posing him.

Hobgoblin does great, with four extras.  There's the cool wings/pack for his back, which goes on as part of the overall assembly process. Then there's his flaming sword, complete with translucent burning blade.  Of course, he doesn't always have the sword drawn, so they give you a second hilt that inserts into the pack, to keep the look consistent.  Finally, he comes with a translucent pumpkin bomb, burning a bright orange flame. That would be a ton of extras for just a regular Marvel Legends figure, let alone a BAF.

The Allfather is crazy mad in this category. If I could go more than 4 stars, I would. Like Rhino, he has two head sculpts, which I went over in detail in the earlier sections. These swap easily, and to go with them he has two cloaks, a second left arm, and two different weapons.

If you want to be super accurate with the proper looks, I believe the bare head should go with the axe, bare left arm, and red cape. The blue cape, armored arm and helmeted head, along with the staff, is the other 'correct' look...I think.  Not being a huge fan of the character, it all looks good to me.  You can swap around the arms, capes, weapons, and heads, and even add in parts from other figures to create some pretty unique looks. 

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
While I had some minor issues with the articulation on a couple of these, overall they are a ton of fun.  These are really the best action figures on the mass market pegs right now, combining great sculpts with excellent articulation and cool character choices. I wish every movie license got a 6" action figure treatment this good.

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Value - **1/2
As I said earlier, value is a weird concept here.  If you were buying the regular Marvel Legends figures anyway, getting the extra figure is a great deal...if you only want the BAF, you end up paying a ton of cash for it, and get stuck with 6 figures you don't want.  It's going to vary a great deal on your situation, which is why I'm giving them my average score here. Regular readers now an average value score has no up or down effect on my personal Overall, which is fair considering the situation.

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not much.  There's a couple smaller joints on Hobgoblin that you should take some care with, at least when first freeing them up, but overall these figures are well made and can withstand normal play and posing.

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Overall - Thanos, Allfather, Rhino ***1/2; Ultron, Hobgoblin ****
The winner of the Battle of the BAF's is a tough call. It's going to depend on which is your favorite character, which is your favorite design, and then how well each has been executed.

The two best executions here are Hobgoblin and Ultron.  I bet a lot of folks will love Rhino, because he is such a sweet design and the roaring head makes him look totally mental, but I was annoyed by the legs dropping off and the paint really needed to improve to hit the top spot.

Thanos and Allfather are good...just not as good as these other three.  If you're a huge fan of either character you'll still be happy, but the overall execution on both was just a hair below the bar set by Ultron and Hobgoblin.

So who is the winner?  Well, I have to admit to liking the Hobgoblin character a bit more than this modern Ultron.  This is partly due to the extra accessories - you can't argue with all the cool extras he has - but a large part is simply that I love the design and look. Obviously, your mileage will vary.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - Allfather, Rhino, Thanos ***; Ultron, Hobgoblin ****
Articulation - Thanos, Allfather ***; Rhino, Hobgoblin, Ultron ***1/2
Accessories - Thanos, Ultron Bupkis; Rhino ***1/2; Hobgoblin, Allfather ****
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - Thanos, Allfather, Rhino ***1/2; Ultron, Hobgoblin ****

Marvel Legends Build A Figures by Hasbro

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Where to Buy 
I've seen most of the waves of figures necessary to build these five figures still in stores, including Target, Toys R Us and Meijers. They will run you around $18 - $20 a figure, with 6 figures normally necessary to complete a character.  You can also search ebay for the individual parts, since some folks break them down for you.  As a matter of fact, if you need an extra Rhino torso, let me know - I have one sitting right here!

Related Links -
I've covered dozens and dozens of Marvel Legends figures over the years, so I'm not going to run through the entire list here. But this year I've already 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.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

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

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