Marvel Legends

Wonder where my review of Marvel Legends has been?  Okay, so I don't review EVERY toy out there - thank goodness for guest reviewers!  Today we have a great guest review of the Marvel Legends series 1.  Take it away, Colin!

Colin here again. Today I'm reviewing the long awaited Marvel Legends line from Toy Biz. The first assortment consists of Captain America, The Toad, The Hulk, and two versions of Iron Man. One Iron Man is in the classic yellow/red suit of the eighties while the other is based on an older suit that was designed by Steve Ditko.The only differences between the two suits of armor are the color(gold rather than yellow) and the mask. The gold version is a variant and is a bit harder to find.

Packaging- **
I am not impressed with the packaging.  It is a large plastic bubble in the vein of the Spider-Man Classics Line.  The characters are featured prominently and the display bases are very visible.  The figure and the base are in front of a reprint comic featuring the character.  Art on the actual card front is minimal due to the comic.  The card has the series on the upper right corner.  On a sticker on the bubble is the Marvel Legends logo as well as the character name and the number of articulation points.  The backs fare a little better with a brief bio of the character and pictures of the figures in the series. 

These are the most accurate representations of superhero characters that you will find. Between Toy Biz and DC Direct, we live in a golden age of comic based toys.  Some of the sculpts look a bit odd but that is because there is so much articulation.  The only places that I think look odd are Hulk's head and Iron Man's hands.  Hulk's hands are fully extended but are supposed to have hinged finger articulation in future versions (a proposed running change).  The original was to have wires in the fingers to allow them to hold a pose but that was scrapped due to kidlet safety.  I plan to add that to my Hulk as soon as time permits.  Iron Man's hands look great unless you want them to do anything besides fire repulsor rays.  Even the Toad, who was originally part of the Mutant Evolution of X set is well sculpted although not as well articulated as the others. The odd thing about Toad is that he has a toad sculpted into his left hand. It is not removable. 

The paint is very hit or miss.  I had to look through several Captain Americas, none of which were perfect.  The most noticeable problem that I saw was on the stomach.  Most of the ones that I saw did not have smooth paint there.  You should also check the face for paint specks.  The other paint apps, including on the shield seemed fine on all that I saw.  On Iron Man, check the chest repulsor.  Some of the ones that I saw had small globs of paint there.  All of the Hulks that I saw were fine as was the single Toad.

Yowza! This is the category in which this line really shines.  While the sculpting easily matches the better pieces from DC Direct, this is where Toy Biz blows DCD out of the water.  These are the figures that I wanted throughout my youth.  These range from 10 points(Toad) to better than 30(Cap and Iron Man).  These have more than 10 times the articulation of some DC Direct figures for less than half the price! The poses that the more articulated characters will hold are practically endless. Hulk and Iron Man have extra shoulder joints that allow for a greater range of motion on the arms but look odd if seen from behind while the arms are swung forward.  While I have seen people complain on message boards, I consider this a very minor cost for this kind of articulation. Be careful with Toad.  A cut joint on the right arm broke as I was posing it not 2 minutes after opening it.  I glued the arm back in place, thus reducing his points of articulation by 1.

There are two categories of accessories here.  One is the display base.  The other is the character specific article.  The display bases are very detailed and quite large and heavy considering the cost of the figure.  I don't really consider these as a part of the figure as they are not necessary for display.  All of them except for Toad's are wall mountable.  Toad's is a recycled base from Man-Spider in the Classic Spider-Man line. It even still has Man-Spider's footprint on it.  Iron Man's is a Stark Industries satellite; Cap's is a wall and tank; Hulk's is a broken wall.  There are only two accessories between the four figures discounting the bases.  Captain America's shield and Iron Man's mask.  Cap's shield is perfect.  It has a clip so that it is held snugly on his wrist.  There are elastic straps on the back of the shield so that Captain America can carry the shield on his back.  The clip folds out of the way when the shield is worn this way.  Iron Man's mask fits very well.  Underneath is Tony Stark's face.  Both of these accessories are well made and appropriate.

These are a great value!  I paied $6.99 at Toys R Us.  At that price and when compared to other figures out now, that's a great price.  It's amazing that these can cost $7 while much smaller figures(i.e. Star Wars, Batman, Zoids) can cost as much or more and use fewer molds and give you less plastic.  Some stores charge upwards of $9 or $10.  Take away a star or two as you approach the ten dollar mark although even that is chump change when compared to DC Direct figures(especially the deluxe and boxed sets).

This is the way that toys ought to be made.  The level of sculpting and articulation have met the high level of quality set by the Classic Spider-Man line. If you like superhero toys at all, buy these figures!  They are a very nice addition to the 6" scale  selection of figures that are all the rage now. This is a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  While these figures are not perfect, their very minor flaws are not enough to detract from the line as a whole. Personally, I think that the variant Iron Man hurts the line.  He's a good figure but limited variants tend to really frustrate the casual collector who doesn't want to or can't shell out big bucks for the limited figure to round out the set as was the case with the yellow Daredevil and will probably be the case with Dr. Doom  in Marvel Legends series 2.  It is rumored that there will be two versions of Doom, the real Doom and a Doombot with the real Doom being the variant.  Unlike Iron Man, you are not supposed to know which you have until you open the figure and remove the mask.

Where to Buy
I found mine at Toys R Us for $6.99 although I have heard that some TRU stores are charging $8.79.  Target stores are supposed to have them as well. I have not heard of K-Mart or Wal-Mart stores having them yet.

Figure from the collection of Colin Gill.

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