Marvel Legends 12
Bishop, Maestro, Sasquatch,
Wolverine, X-23 and Iron Fist

Marvel Legends continue to roll along, and provide collectors with some of the best versions of their favorite characters.  Oh, these figures aren't perfect, and some find the uber-articulation annoying rather than exciting, but there's no doubt the line is a hit.

The 12th series is now out, called the "Apocalypse" series.  And why is it called that? Because this set continues the tradition started with waves 9 and 10, and includes one piece with each of the six figures that you can use to build the full scale Apocalypse figure.

The six figures in the wave are Bishop, Wolverine, Iron Fist, Maestro, Sasquatch, and X-23.  Not exactly the A-list, but many of these are fan favorites, and it should be no surprise that the least interesting in concept usually ends up the most interesting in execution.

There are variants of course, with a screaming head Iron Fist, a bald version of Bishop, a white Sasquatch, a slightly different color for X-23, and an unmasked version of Wolverine.  You'd assume there's something for Maestro too, but I haven't heard about it yet. You can find these guys at Wal-marts, Toys R Us and Target stores for $7 - $8 each, or you can hit one of the online options I have listed below.

Packaging -  ***
Nothing new here - clamshells, with decent insert cards.  There's actually character specific info on the back of each, which gets them some additional brownie points.

Sculpt - Sasquatch, Maestro, Wolverine ***1/2; X-23, Bishop, Iron Fist ***
All of the sculpting here is above average for mass market release toys, but some of these really stand out.

Every time a set of figures is first previewed on line, you always make assumptions on which one will be your favorite.  This series was no different for me, and like usual, the one I thought would be my favorite, wasn't.

Instead, Sasquatch really turned out great.  There's a ton of detail in the hair on his overall body, and the work on the teeth and face is really impressive.  The hand and feet look terrific, and the individual sculpted positions of the fingers work great with the articulation.  He stands excellent on his own in tons of positions, and in general the sculpt and articulation mesh well.

Maestro sports a ton of detail as well, especially on his body.  The beard flows realistically, and the stern expression is serious but not painful.  He stands well too, although not quite as well as Sasquatch.  He is kind of flat, from front to back, which was a little visually jarring at first, but he's grown on me with some time.

The other four all have highlights and lowlights to their sculpts.  Bishop has a ton of detail, and the articulation and sculpt work well together.  But he's got a stubby look, with an overdeveloped body for his height.  He comes off looking like Gimli's cousin.

Iron Fist fits in nicely with other ML figures in this style, like Deadpool, Daredevil or Spider-man.  The sculpted hands are a little too specific to exact martial arts moves, and I'm not a big fan of the ballet slippers, but fans of the character will probably be pleased.

X-23 is not a fan favorite, and there was much debate over her inclusion.  Of course, it always helps to have at least one female figure in the series, and they did a much better job on her than some recent releases, like Mystique or Scarlet Witch.

The extendable blades in her feet work well, and she can stand with them out or tucked in.  The hair sculpt is straight, with no silly wild movement sculpted in, and while the claws are soft, they hold position pretty well.

Of the entire set, the biggest surprise is Wolverine.  I mean, just how many versions of this guy do we need?  But this one was easily the most photogenic of the bunch, with a terrific sculpt.  There's just the right amount of detail, and he doesn't have the over-done physique of Bishop.  He's also done in a smaller scale, more appropriate to the character.  Some folks aren't going to like the smaller size though, and you may find that it detracts from your opinion of this figure.  For me, it's just about right, and one of my favorite sculpts of this character so far.

Paint - Sasquatch, Wolverine ***1/2; Bishop, Maestro, Iron Fist, X-23 ***
The paint application is above mass market standards, but not quite up to specialty shop standards.  However, considering the price, you're getting some really good work here.

Some of the figures go a little overboard on the wash, like Maestro or Bishop.  There's some sloppy work between colors, and occasionally the finish or texture isn't quite consistent.

But there's much more positive than negative.  The small detail paint work is great, and while some of the wash is too much, other areas - like Maestro's beard - are just right.

Sasquatch even has a different finish on his tongue and eyes, more glossy, giving them a wet look.  While there aren't a lot of other small details on his paint job, his is one of the best overall.

Wolverine also has an exceptional paint job, sporting some small detail apps on his face and arms that are quite impressive.  I like how they did the hair on the arms with paint, rather than sculpt, and they pulled it off pretty well in this scale.

X-23 is less exciting, paint-wise, but still quite good.  The silver on her blades is a little inconsistent, and some of the small details aren't as clear, but overall she's still above average.

Articulation - Sasquatch, Wolverine ***1/2; X-23, Bishop, Iron Fist ***; Maestro **1/2
There's never any shortage of articulation on a Marvel Legends figure.  In fact, too much articulation has become a complaint from some collectors of the line.

One of the issues with all this articulation is weak pin joints.  On many figures I've gotten figures with bad pins, that hold the limbs at odd angles, or break too easily.  In this set, Maestro was the only one with some pin problems, especially at the knees.  With the large amount of bulk from the waist up, it did cause him some trouble staying standing.

None of these figures have true ball jointed necks.  Instead, they have pin joints at the base that allows the head to move forward and backward, and turn.  There's no real side to side tilt movement though.  Maestro has this joint, but it's pretty much turned into a cut joint by the beard.  He also has the funky ML shoulder joints, with the special torso attachments that give the arms some greater movement out from the body.  The ball jointed shoulders work well, along with pin elbows, double jointed knees, ball jointed waist and hips, pin and peg wrists, pin and swivel ankles, pin fingers (all move together) and pin half foot.

Sasquatch has all that articulation, plus double jointed elbows instead of single pin.  His ankle articulation is a little restricted by the fur, but his neck articulation works great even with the long hair.  His chest joint also has a greater range of movement, allowing him to hunch forward.  Unlike Maestro, each of his fingers are individually articulated at the single pin.

Iron Fist is much like his predecessors in the ML line, including the double jointed shoulders that have articulation on both sides of the ball PLUS the torso attachment that allows additional movement away from the body.  His fingers are like Maestro's hinged with a single pin for all to move together.  His ankles lack the swivel joint that allows them to move in and out, but he does have cut joints on both arms and legs at the line of his costume.

X-23 has the closest to a ball jointed neck of the bunch, but the hair restricts it quite a bit.  She also had the cut joints at the forearms and calves, along with the swivel joint at the bottom of the ankle.  However, she doesn't have pin joints for the fingers or the half foot.  The half foot was lost when the pin joint was added to allow you to bring out the blades from the bottom of her shoes.

Wolverine doesn't have the additional torso joint at the shoulders, or the cut joints on the forearms, but does have the cut joints at the top of the boots, and articulated fingers.  Again, his fingers all move as one on a single pin.  He has all the rest of the standard ML articulation, including double jointed elbows and knees and half foot.

Finally, there's Bishop.  His neck joint allows you to position his hair on either side of the gun sling in back, so that posing is not restricted.  H has the standard double jointed shoulders withouth the torso extenders, and even the individual finger articulation (which really works well with the two guns), but lacks double jointed elbows.  Due to the meatiness of his arms, they went with a single pin elbow.

Accessories - ****
Here's the thing - most of these figures don't have much in the way of accessories.  But they do have one thing in common - the pieces to build Apocalypse.

The 'build a figure' (or BAF) concept is certainly not new, and it's not even unique this year.  Other companies like Palisades and Mezco have used it recently with solid success.

But Toybiz has taken this concept to a whole new dimension with the three BAF's they've done so far - Sentinel, Galactus, and now Apocalypse.  These figures are better than any of the 6" characters, with excellent articulation, great sculpts, and bang up paint jobs.  I've never recommended that you buy a figure just for the accessories before, but you really should consider it just to get the 'Pocky.  I have a complete review of him up over at Movie Poop Shoot.

I was so excited about putting him together, that you'll notice in the photos of X-23 there is no shot of the torso piece that accompanies her.  Why?  Because she was the last one I opened up, and I got so caught up in snapping together Apocalypse that I forgot to shoot the photo first!

There is one small problem.  Maestro and Sasquatch come with the two arms.  However, Sasquatch has the large bendy tube that attaches from the arm to the body - Maestro does not.  It doesn't appear to be a simple issue of someone on the production line not getting enough sleep and just forgetting it, since I'm not sure where in the tray it would even fit.

Toybiz figured out the omission though, and are stepping up and doing the right thing.  Just give them a call at 1-800-728-2018, and let them know your Maestro is missing the connector.  They'll ship you one free of charge.  Very classy, and great customer service!

Each figure also comes with a comic book, which is a nice touch but nothing spectacular.

Iron Fist has a couple flaming bolts that he can hold as well, and Maestro comes with his helmet.  It fits pretty well, and looks great.

Finally, Bishop has two guns, both of which fit nicely in their holsters, one on his hip and one on his back.  They also fit well in his hands, thanks to a pin/hole arrangement on his palm and the grip.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Kids will love these figures.  They aren't going to be recognizable to them, but the character designs are cool enough that it won't make much difference.  X-23 might not make much of a hit, but characters like Sasquatch, Maestro and Bishop are just too cool visually not to be fun.

Some of the articulation might get frustrating for little kids.  I know my son gets a frustrated with Maestro, because he tends to topple over so easily.  But in general, these will be loved by any kid looking for new superheroes to add to the arsenal.

Value - ***1/2
I picked these up for under $7 each at Target, and that's a hella bargain.  After just getting molested over the DC Superheroes at $10 each, these were a welcome relief.  You may end up paying closer to $8 or even $9 depending on the retailer of course.

Things to watch out for - 
If you're a variant hunter, you'll want to keep an eye out for the Wolverine, Bishop and Iron Fist.  And of course, always pick out the best paint possible, since the quality of the ops tends to vary across the run with ML.

Overall -  Sasquatch, Wolverine ***1/2; X-23, Maestro, Iron Fist, Bishop ***
I hadn't expected Sasquatch and Wolverine to be my favorites of this bunch.  In fact, I hadn't really expected to like any of them all that much, and picked up the full set just to complete an Apocalypse.  He is fantastic by the way, and I have a complete review of him up over at MPS today.

But those two figures turned out so good, and so photogenic, that they are now in my scale comparison pile for future reviews.  Don't be surprised when you see them again, especially Wolverine.

There are a lot more photos here, so be sure to check them all out.  You may find that while you thought that Apocalypse was the big draw here, that some of the smaller figures in this series are well worth adding to the display shelf as well. 

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - Sasquatch, Maestro, Wolverine ***1/2; X-23, Bishop, Iron Fist ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - Sasquatch, Wolverine ***1/2; X-23, Bishop, Iron Fist ***; Maestro **1/2
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***1/2
Overall - Sasquatch, Wolverine ***1/2; X-23, Maestro, Iron Fist, Bishop ***

Where to Buy -
I picked these up at Target for under $7.  Online options include:

- Amazing Toyz has pre-orders up for $10 each, or $60 for the set of six.

- OMGToys has pre-orders for series 12 at $10 each, or $59 for the set.

- CornerStoreComics has sold out of some of these, but still has a few individuals for $10 each.

- Yikes Comics has some of the individuals for $13 - $15 each, or the variants at $30.

Related Links:
I've had plenty of Marvel Legends reviews:

- there's the guest review of the Fearsome Foes of Spider-man boxed set, Urban Legends box set, X-men Legends boxed set, and the Fantastic Four boxed set

- The previous Sentinel BAF was guest reviewed.

- then there's the various series reviews, including series 9 (including Galactus), series 8 Captain Marvel and Doc Ock, series 7 Vision, series 6 Juggernaut, Wolverine and Deadpool, series 5 Blade, Nick Fury, Sabertooth and Colossus, along with series 5 Red Skull, Silver Surfer and Mr. Fantastic, series 4 Goliath, Punisher, Beast, Gambit, and Elektra, series 3 Daredevil and then the rest of the series, series 2 Thing and Namor, and finally, from three and a half years ago, the series 1 review,  


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour