SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Marvel Legends Icons
Daredevil, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Dark Phoenix

Marvel Icons Nightcrawler action figure from Hasbro

I've always liked the Marvel Legends Icons series of sorta sixth scale figures, first produced by Toybiz, and then carried on by Hasbro when they assumed the Marvel mantle.

But 2008 was not their year.  The last release was in very late 07, with Silver Surfer and Johnny Storm...and then nothing. While other figures were shown at various shows and conventions, they weren't making it to the shelf.

Thankfully, that's changed, at least for the moment, with the release of four more in the series. We'd seen these quite awhile back, so there's no surprise in terms of selection - just that they finally made it out!

The wave consists of Daredevil, Dark Phoenix, Colossus and Nightcrawler. There's a variant regular Phoenix, as well as a variant Daredevil in a red/yellow suit, but these may show up evenly packed in the cases as the wave continues, so which is truly the regular and which is the variant is sort of up to you.

I picked up the full set of four at Toys R Us for $20 each, and they had two sets on the shelf. If you were following me on Twitter, you would have gotten that haul update from me right from the store pegs.

Packaging - ***
Even though it's been more than a year since the last release, these are coming out in the style packaging. The plastic 'box' works well in terms of shelf wear, and it does show off the figure, but the attempt at posing them in the interior tray tends to just mess up their knees and elbows, since the limbs are often not put in the right place to begin with.
Marvel Icons Colossus action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons Daredevil action figure from HasbroMarvel Icons Dark Phoenix action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons Colossus action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons Nightcrawler action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons Colossus action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons Nightcrawler action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons Dark Phoenix action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons Daredevil action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons Colossus action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons Dark Phoenix action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons Nightcrawler action figure from Hasbro
Marvel Icons action figures from Hasbro

Sculpting - Daredevil, Colossus, Nightcrawler ***1/2; Phoenix ***
If you're a fan of the line, then these will fit your expectations pretty well. The detail work on all four is actually quite good, and the sharpness of the facial sculpts on DD and Nightcrawler really gives the figures the leg up. There isn't as much detail work in the face on Colossus, but there shouldn't be - he's slightly smoother, cleaner sculpt works with the metallic appearance they are going for.

Phoenix isn't quite as good though, with a bit of the tootsie roll syndrome happening in her hair, and a fairly basic face. She's pretty, but the weird flying hair doesn't do it for me, and it's quite a bit thicker on her right side than her left because of it, which just looks odd to me. Her other issue that brings her down a bit from the rest is the extremely skinny long legs, and the generally anorexic look all around. Her limbs are almost insect-like - not a particularly attractive trait.

The hand sculpts are well designed for the particular character. Daredevil has one hand that can hold his weapon, while the other is done up in a solid fist. Colossus also has one fist, and a threatening gesture hand. Phoenix has two feminine gesturing hands, and Nightcrawler has his funky three fingered mitts. His are also articulated, making them even more poseable.

The height varies on these, with Colossus standing the tallest at about 13", Nightcrawler at 12", Phoenix at about 12 1/4", and DD the shortest at 11 1/2".

Paint - **1/2
It's important to keep in mind that these are only $20. Even though they are large figures, and very solid, they are still just $20, so some amount of paint slop is to be expected.

None of what's here is a major issue, but rather a number of minor ones. There's a few issues that are more aesthetic than quality as well.

The quality issues are most noticeable around the face. On Daredevil, the face paint is up on the edge of the cowl, and the silver face paint on Colossus edges up on his hair. Dark Phoenix has a good work on the eyes and lips, and the wash on her hair helps hide some of the thickness of the strands. However, the gold is a bit gloppy, and isn't as consistent in it's coverage as it should be.

They've used a black wash/mix with the red on Colossus, and they've added black to the blue skin of Nightcrawler, the red suit of DD, and even the red sections of Nightcrawler's outfit. This is one of those issues of taste, and my taste is that it's a bit too much.

It's not all bad though, and areas like the eyes and lips of all of them, the blue highlights in Nightcrawler's hair, and the yellow and black kneepads on Colossus look terrific.

Articulation - Colossus, Daredevil, Nightcrawler **1/2; Dark Phoenix **
The score here should be higher - much higher. These have all the joints they really need, they just don't work as well as they should - a common problem for this line, even when Toybiz had it.

I am happy with the ball jointed necks on all four. They have a good range of movement, and even the hair on Phoenix does not interfere too much.

The ball jointed shoulders and hips aren't as successful. The shoulders on Colossus work well, and they work okay on Daredevil and Phoenix. But they were practically immovable on Nightcrawler, and his arms were forced to stay at weird angles. I had to heat them up with very hot water, pull the arms off the ball, and then use needle nose pliers to turn them enough to allow the arms to move down toward the torso. Once I did, he looked good, but they still wouldn't move freely.

This was an issue with the hips on all four. The legs turn on the thigh side of the ball, but the post/pin joint at the torso won't turn. The legs will move in the one direction that the ball is already in - outward and inward to the side on all four - but I wasn't able to get any of them to turn, even with the needle nose pliers, without tearing up the surface. What good is getting them to work if you scratch them all up?

The other joints worked much better. All but Colossus have double pin elbows (he has less mobile single pin versions), and all four have double pin knees. These are a little weak on Phoenix, making it tough for her to stand at times (and resulting in her slightly lower score), but generally worked fine on the others.

The wrists are pin/post, with a pretty good range of movement, which was particularly useful on Phoenix and Colossus. The ankles are this same sort of joint, which meant they could turn inward and outward slightly, depending on how you turned the joint.

There's an ab crunch joint as well as a cut waist, and both helped make up for some of the issues with the hips, at least allowing the torso to be turned at an angle to the legs.

Nightcrawler actually sports more articulation than the others, having his two fingers and two toes articulated on both hands and feet. He also has that cool bendy tail which works well, and stays attached to the body even in extreme poses. Had he not had so many issues with the shoulders and hips, he would have easily scored another full star in this category.

Accessories - Daredevil *1/2; Colossus, Phoenix, Nightcrawler Bupkis
Unfortunately, accessories have never been the strong suit of this line, with a few exceptions.

Only Daredevil comes with anything this time around, his specially designed weapon that can be many things. Here, it's in its Nunchaku form. The plastic handles are a little warped, but the real rope between them looks great, and you should be able to get some decent poses with it, even if he can only hold it in one hand.

Fun Factor - ***
These could have easily score higher in this category, since they could be excellent toys. Unfortunately, the issue holding them back from another half to full star is the wonky articulation.

Value - ***1/2
How many sixth scale figures are out there for $20 these days? Yea, not many. And there are others - like the Batman figures done by Mattel - that have far less articulation and cost more. This is about the same price tag we saw back in 2007, and with prices of much smaller figures hitting ten bucks and more, you can't complain here.

Things To Watch Out For
Not much. I looked closely at the two of each, and the paint work was very consistent. However, the interior tray can cause a lot of stress on the knees and elbows if the figure isn't put in correctly. If you can, avoid any where the joints are bent at odd angles in the package.

Overall - Colossus, Nightcrawler, Daredevil ***; Phoenix **1/2
At twenty bucks a piece, I'm not going to complain too much. In fact, the low price helps minimize the effects of issues with the paint in particular, and somewhat with the lack of accessories.

But the annoying articulation ends up being more than I can allow for, no matter what price. If the joints simply worked they way they were designed to, these figures would have scored MUCH higher, particularly the three men. With some work on the joints, and a bit of frustration, you'll get them into a pose you like, but it's way more work than it should be considering how many joints they have.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Daredevil, Colossus, Nightcrawler ***1/2; Phoenix ***
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - Colossus, Daredevil, Nightcrawler **1/2; Phoenix **
Accessories - Daredevil *1/2; Colossus, Phoenix, Nightcrawler Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***1/2
Overall - Colossus, Nightcrawler, Daredevil ***; Phoenix **1/2

Where to Buy -
I found these first at the local Toys R Us, where they were $20 each. Online options include:

- Entertainment Earth has a case of four for $110.

- Cornerstore Comics has the singles for $30 each.

Related Links -
I've reviewed a number of the earlier releases:

- it's been awhile, but the last pair was Silver Surfer and the Human Torch.

- prior to that, there was Magneto and Cyclops.

- then there was Doom and Punisher.

- Ghost Rider (with his bike) is perhaps the best that's been produced in the series.

- Others include Thor, Venom, Spider-man and Beast, and Wolverine.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS!


Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.6

Share this review with others! 
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit

Marvel Icons Colossus action figure from Hasbro



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2008, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com