Marvel Legends - Arnim Zola Wave
Spider-Man, Captain America and Fantomex

Fantomex Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro

Earlier this week, I started my DC vs Marvel, Hasbro vs Mattel, DCUC vs ML showdown by looking at the first half of DC Universe Classics wave 20. Tonight I'm following up with a look at the first half of Marvel Legends series 2 (after the 'return') which I prefer to think of as the Zola wave.

That's because along with the eight regular figures, there's the pieces to build Arnim Zola. Hey, he's not a huge BaF, but he's a BaF nonetheless.

You only need six figures out of the seven to put him together - Captain America (covered tonight), Fantomex (covered tonight), Wrecking Ball, Dark Wolverine, Drax, and Madame Masque. I'll be covering the latter four very soon.

The seventh figure is Big Time Spider-Man, and he actually comes in two varieties. The black and white version I'm covering tonight, and a green version that's the 'standard' release, called the Big Time Spider-Man. I'll explain more about the black and white version of Spidey here in just a minute.

Wrecking Ball also has a variant of sorts, since it's really a team, not a single character. I'm looking at Piledriver tonight, but Thunderball is also out there.

If that's not enough, there's two versions of the 'Madame' as well - Hydra (the variant) and Masque.

That's three variants for the wave, something that DCUC has tended away from in more recent series.

These are popping up online of course, but you can also find them at stores like Toys R Us and Meijers. Be prepared for some potential sticker shock though - they cost me $20 each at my local TRU.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Captain America Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro
Fantomex Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro
Fantomex Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro
Captain America Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro
Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro
Captain America Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro
Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro
Fantomex Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro
Captain America Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro

Packaging - ***1/2
The relaunch of the Marvel Legends has very personalized packaging, with great graphics of each character on the front of the diecut cardback. It is possible, with some dedication, to remove the bubble in such a way as to avoid damaging the cardback and still be able to remove the figure, which is a plus for the MOCers. It's more work than I would put in, but your opinion may differ.

The back of the package also shows the complete 'regular' wave (not variants), and which Zola part comes with which one, key for those looking to build the extra figure.

Sculpting - Captain America, Spider-Man ***1/2; Fantomex ***
All these figures are in that usual 6 1/4" range, and fit in well scale-wise with other Marvel Legends.

There's not a ton of sculpting on Spidey - he's largely a blank body. The paint adds most of the costume details, but the web shooting left hand looks good, as does the sculpted mask.

Cap's body has far more detail work, with plenty of wrinkling, folding and texture. While the boots and gloves are pretty standard for an ML, I still like the look, scale and style. His hands are designed to hold the accessories, and he stands fine on his own, just like Spidey.

The majority of his detail work is in the belt and attached extras. There's pouches all around to go along with the canteen, holster and sheath. Scale is pretty good, considering the slightly oversized nature of the gun and knife.

Finally, there's Fantomex, and his detail work falls somewhere in between Spidey and Cap. His long coat has some texture to it, although overall most of the costume is less detailed. He does have a great belt with pouches and holsters though, hidden behind that coat.

My only real complaint with Fannie is his small feet and spindly ankles. They seem out of proportion to the rest of his body, and made posing him slightly more difficult than the others.

Paint - Spider-Man, Fantomex ***1/2; Captain America ***
If you like white with black stripes, two of these figures are definitely for you. First, there's Fantomex, complete with very bright white costume and long coat. Black striping, gloves and boots contrast nicely, and the cut edges are fairly clean and neat. That's tough to do with such starkly different colors, but the work here is better than average for a mass market release.

Big Time Spider-Man is so named because the suit is from the limited run of comics under the title 'Big Time', from back in 2010. In this series, Peter develops a suit with wave bending properties that pretty much lets him be invisible. It has green lights, and when viewed through certain lens looks like the version in this wave.

But I'm reviewing the variant, in the black and white costume. Also called the Future Foundation Spider-Man, based on his costume when he joined up with the Future Foundation. The group was formed by Reed Richards to solve the world's problems, and wore some nifty new outfits, too.

While Spidey has had a black and white costume before - duh - this time around the white is the predominate color, with black for striping and details. I gotta say it's a damn cool look, and the paint job is extremely well done here. There's an edge to the black here and there that's a little sloppy, but it's fairly minor and overshadowed the the cool design.

Cap isn't quite as clean as the other two - there's more blips of paint here and there, with some sloppy edges and weak coverage.  There's some gloppiness to the bright blue, and the wings on the cowl show some serious issues.

On the plus side, I do like the higher gloss finish over the majority of the figure, contrasting with the natural matte finish on the exposed face.

Articulation - ***1/2
While the overall score in tis category is the same for both DCUC and ML's for me, I have to say that the DCUC edge these out by just a smidge.

The neck joint on the average ML is a little different - while it operates much like a ball joint, it's not a true ball. There is a disc and post, much like many elbow or hip joints. This means it can tilt forward and back, but side to side tilting is more restricted than with a true ball.

The ball shoulders and hips (pin/disc style) work great, and there are cut biceps and thighs to go along. All three of these have double pin elbows and knees, pin wrist and ankles (actually pin/disc ankles on Fannie), cut waists and ab-crunches. Spider-Man has the additional shoulder articulation that allows the arms to swing in tighter across the body as well.

For the most part, the articulation is tight and solid. There were a few pins - mostly ankles and knees - that felt a little weak, but it was a minor issue.

I'm not a huge fan of these ball jointed hips, because it is very difficult to get natural, flowing stances out of them. It's possible, but it takes quite a bit more effort than with the unique hinge hips that we see on the DCUC line.

Accessories - Captain America ***1/2; Fantomex ***; Spider-Man Bupkis
Spidey doesn't get jack - no BAF part, and nothing extra outside of that. He's a cool variant, but I still think that at $20, he needs something extra.

However, the other two do much better. Fantomex comes with his two guns, which fit in his hands well for posing, or in his holsters for storage.

Cap also has a gun, and it fits in hand or holster equally well. He also has a large knife, and that slips into the sheath on his hip. Finally, there's the trademark round shield, complete with a hook and post on the back. This allows it to be attached to either his wrist OR his back, giving you more display options.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
The slightly wonky articulation is a bit frustrating, especially for kids who are going to want these to stand and stay standing with a minimum of effort. There were also a few joints, especially the knees, that felt a little weak, more important for these as toys than collectibles.

Still, they are better action figures than 90% of what we are currently seeing on the pegs at the local stores, and the Cap is particularly good for kids that enjoyed the movie and are looking for more versions of the character.

Value - **
I paid $20 each for these guys at Toys R Us, and that's just too damn much, especially if you're getting the complete set to put together Zola.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
Hasbro has done a nice job relaunching the series, keeping the style and feel of the original. The cost is a bit of an issue, but I really like the unusual Spidey variant in this set of three. Even the Cap is a nice update, and while Fantomex is not a character I have any interest in, the white/black outfit is a standout.

All that being said, I have to admit that as of now, I'm liking the DC Universe Classics a bit more than the Marvel Legends - we'll see how this turns out overall after I cover the remainder of these waves.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting -  Captain America, Spider-Man ***1/2; Fantomex ***
Paint - Spider-Man, Fantomex ***1/2; Captain America ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Captain America ***1/2; Fantomex ***; Spider-Man Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Your first best is the local Toys R Us, Target or Meijers store, where these run $16 - $20, depending on the retailer. I found them at Toys R Us myself, and they were a whopping $20 each. Online options include:

- Entertainment Earth has the set of  for $125.

- Big Bad Toy Store has the set of 7 for $120.

Related Links -
Other Marvel Legends reviews include:

- I recently covered the Terrax BAF wave, in part 1 and part 2.

- prior to that, the last series I remember reviewing was the Red Hulk set, in part 1 and part 2.

- Then there was the last wave of 'icons', the larger scale Legends.

- before that, there was the Foom/Hulk wave, broken into one review here and another here.

- I never did look at the third wave of Hasbro ML's, but I did cover wave 2 and series 1, first at MROTW and then at QSE.

- you’ll want to check out my review of the other four figures.

- Hasbro released several of the 12″ Marvel Legends Icons, including Punisher and Doom, and my favorite, Thor.

And if you still pine for the days Toybiz -

- in the 12″ Icons line, there’s Spider-man and Beast, Wolverine and Venom.

- The Face Offs series 1 (with Hulk/Leader in one review and the other two sets in another) and series 2 both had guest 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, along with my review of the Monsters boxed set.

- The previous Sentinel BAF was guest reviewed.

- prior to that there was Wal-mart series, series 13, series 12, 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.

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Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figures by Hasbro

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

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