Hasbro Marvel Legends series 2
Yellowjacket, Quicksilver, Thor and X3 Jean Gray

After months and months of not seeing squat, all the while knowing that Hasbro's second wave of Marvel Legends was out...just not well distributed, I finally found a full set this last week. If you read my review of the first four over at QSE last night, you'll have already read my rant about Hasbro screwing up on distribution, one of the major problems Toybiz had with the line. I won't drag through it again, but suffice to say that was one of the big improvements with series 1 (even, fast distribution) but that's clearly no longer the case.

Rumors are flying right now that series 3 may be cancelled. Some online stores are reporting it, some retail computers are hinting at it, and let's face it - as badly as series 1 seemed to do combined with the craptastic distribution of series 2, it's a distinct possibility. Still, I haven't heard any official confirmation quite yet.

This second series consisted of eight figures, and of course a Build A Figure (BAF). Over at QSE, I reviewed the X3 Juggernaut, She Hulk, Ultimate Wolverine and Xorn. Tonight I'll be checking out the Thor, X3 Jean, Quicksilver and Yellowjacket, with some more overall info on the Blob as well.

These guys are running ten bucks right now, and I picked up my set at Target. That's probably your best bet right now, as they seem to be putting them out across the country.

Packaging - ***1/2
Not everyone is a big fan of the new packaging, and I can see why. It does tend to be oversized and wasteful, and the odd shape makes it tough for MOCers to display or store. Still, the design is almost as sturdy as a clamshell, yet you can get it open without cutting off a finger. I also like the graphic design quite a bit, and there's plenty of character specific personalization for a mass market package.

Sculpting - Thor ***1/2; Quicksilver, Yellowjacket ***; Jean **1/2
Once again, I think the sculpts are actually quite good, with perhaps the exception of Jean. However, weak paint work (covered in the next section) often makes it difficult to figure that out.

Thor is the easy winner. There's lots of detail here, including the hair, beard and chest armor, along with a cool fur effect for the top of the cape. The sculpt and articulation work together pretty well, although the hair does completely restrict the neck joint. The hands are sculpted to hold the accessories, and he stands just great on his own in a number of poses. The helmet is not removable, but the stern expression behind it is easy to see and appreciate. Thor is fairly tall as well, standing about 7 1/4" at the top of the helmet, or pretty close in size to She Hulk.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Jean. Famke is not the most beautiful actress in the world, but she doesn't look like Sea Biscuit either. The long face is further stretched visually by the long hair, which flows well but lacks some of the detail of Thor's locks. The body sculpt isn't too bad, and I like the hand poses, particularly the unique right hand. But you can't deny that Jean was hit with the ugly stick more than once, and is unfortunately another failed X3 attempt. She stands just under 6 inches tall.

In the middle are Yellowjacket and Quicksilver, which is appropriate since both use the same body. This is a body you'll recognize from past figures, that stands about 6" tall and has the funky double hinged shoulder joints. They also have the neck post that juts out toward the front, giving them a bit of a permanent turtle look.

I find Quicksilver's hands fairly useless and unappealing, and with the way they are articulated, it even looks like he's missing his index finger at first glance. But Yellowjacket gets a nice fist on the right and a gesture on the left, both of which work just fine with the character.

Neither head sculpt is too extreme, and actually seem to have the exact same half smirk on their lips. These sculpts are passable, but nothing to get too worked up over.

Paint - Thor, Yellowjacket ***; Quicksilver **1/2; Jean *1/2
Unfortunately, the paint doesn't hold up the sculpts for the most part, although Thor isn't too bad.

He even has some wash used on the hair and beard to bring out the details, and some of the molded colors, like the boots or cape, don't look too bad. There's no slop on him either, but that's partly due to having so few ops, and having most pieces cast in the desired color.

This casting hurts him a bit, making him less realistic and more toyish. It's particularly true of the skin tone, but blue is another color that doesn't fair too well in that scenario. I don't know why it seems more obvious with blue, but it certainly does.

That's Quicksilver's big problem too. The lack of any wash or highlighting makes the blue plastic body seem cheap and toy-like. There's very little slop here, and the lightening on the suit is fairly clean and neat, along with his eyes and hair. Still, the pale plasticy skin tone and bright blue body detract from what could otherwise be a solid figure.

Yellowjacket doesn't have a ton of paint ops either, but the yellow plastic doesn't come off looking as poor in person as the blue. What few actual paint ops there are look clean, and the little wasp on his chest is nicely done.

Jean is a huge disappointment, largely for one reason and one reason alone - those eyebrows! After seeing Juggernaut and Jean, I'm convinced they contracted the eyebrow painting to a company of drunken monkeys suffering from Parkinson's. Whereas Jugg's were too thick and large, Jean's are tiny little pencil lines, similar to the type women used to draw back in after plucking out the one's God gave them. They're not even straight or even, or reasonably realistic in appearance. And while eyebrows might not seem like much of a deal when you have them, when you're painting them on you find out just how critical they are to the whole look of your face.

She lacks any real wash in her hair as well, and while the cast plastic body looks decent, there's too much consistency between the dark red hair and the only slightly lighter colored body. This is definitely not a paint job that's going to sell you this figure.

Articulation - Yellowjacket, Quicksilver ***1/2; Thor ***; Jean **1/2
If you read my review of the other four, you'll know I had some complaints about getting some of the figures into any kind of reasonable pose, even with all the articulation. I'm happy to report that I didn't have those same issues with these four.

It's also important to note that the joints are all sturdy, and that the plastic is definitely harder and of a greater quality than most of the Toybiz lines. The odds of breaking any joints or having any weak pins is pretty small.

As I mentioned earlier, both Yellowjacket and Quicksilver share the same body.  This is also the most articulated body of the bunch.  They both have the pin neck joints that allow both turning and forward/backward movement, along with the ball jointed shoulders that have a joint on both sides of the ball.  There's also the funky shoulder that allows the arms to turn in toward the chest.

Add in double jointed elbows and knees, pin wrists, cut forearms and calves, a clicky chest and cut waist, pin and rocker ankles, half foot pin, and ball jointed hips, and you can see that these have all the articulation of the old ML's.  Quicksilver even throws in a pin joint for the fingers, although they all move as one and not individually.

Thor has fewer joints and less range of movement, but they do incorporate into the sculpt a little better.  The neck joint is there, but the hair makes it completely immobile.  The ball jointed shoulders are only jointed at the torso, but the elbows are pin and post, so that they turn 360 degrees, removing part of the need for the joint on the other side of the shoulder ball.

He also has double jointed knees, the clicky chest, cut waist, ball jointed hips, pin and post wrists and pin ankles.  The pin ankles really only turn though, much like a cut joint, due to the sculpt.

Jean also has a very restricted neck, and the same style ball jointed shoulders and pin/peg elbows.  She has pin and post wrists, a cut waist, and a chest joint (but not the clicky type).  The skirt hides the ball jointed hips, double jointed knees and pin ankles.  While she has quite a bit of articulation, her slightly sculpted pose in the torso, clothes and legs make it slightly less useful than usual.

Accessories - Thor ***; Yellowjacket, Quicksilver, Jean **
The eight pieces of the Blob are obviously the accessories here, and while the Blob is very nice once assembled, these accessories are only useful if you spend the whole eighty bucks. For anyone else, you end up with a worthless piece of plastic. This balances off their value as a true accessory, although Thor gets himself a boost.

You see, Thor actually comes with a couple accessories as well. The hammer and axe both look terrific and fit nicely in his sculpted hands. These, added with the Blob piece, give him a slightly better than average score, even at the higher price point.

If you do buy all the figures to assemble the Blob, you'll be happy with him. He has a cut neck, ball jointed shoulders and hips, and pin elbows, pin/post wrists, single pin fingers, pin half foot and a pin ankle.  The paint is a little weak in some areas, like the hair line, but the sculpt is excellent and he's clearly better than any of the other figures in the entire wave. Still, he's mighty small compared to the old Toybiz BAF's at only 8 1/2". I've included a photo of him with the Sentinal at the end of the review - my, how times have changed.

Fun Factor - Thor ***1/2; Yellowjacket, Quicksilver, Jean ***
While these might not have all the qualities of a perfect pop culture collectible, they still are pretty damn good toys, and make other lines like the movie lines look sad by comparison. The six inch scale coupled with the good articulation makes these a whole lot of fun, although most of these characters are more geared toward the older set.

Value - Thor **1/2; Yellowjacket, Quicksilver, Jean *1/2
These are running ten bucks at Target, which is an easy $2 - $3 overpriced. You're getting a basic six inch figure for this price, along with one piece of the BAF. The value goes up a half star if you're actually buying the full set to assemble the BAF, but if you aren't dropping the whopping eighty bucks, then those BAF pieces are pretty much useless.

One could also argue that there's enough re-use here already - like the body of Quicksilver and Yellowjacket - to bring down this price point a bit. Considering what you can get for ten bucks from a company like Mcfarlane, or even what Hasbro themselves sells at that price point (i.e. 8" Sigma 6), it's hard to believe the justification here.

Thor does better in this category, with a more average score, because he does include the hammer and axe. I'd still expect that level of accessories at $8 as well, but at least it offsets some of the higher cost.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Of course, it's a good idea to watch the paint if you can. I saw quite a bit of variance across the few I did see, which is surprising for a mass market toy. Usually the number and complexity of the paint ops are fewer, but the paint that is there is usually quite consistent in quality.

Overall - Thor ***; Yellowjacket, Quicksilver **1/2; Jean **
This wave has one thing very much in common with the first series of figures from Hasbro - the best figure in the entire set is the BAF. Unfortunately, you have to spend some serious bucks to get him.

The only figure out of this full set of eight that really stands out for me is Thor. He'll fit in great with past waves and really does look good on the shelf, even with the inferior paint job.

As I mentioned in the other review, Xorn was also a pleasant surprise, but he's clearly best when displayed wearing his helmet.

The two attempts at the X3 line were clear failures this time around. Both Jean and Juggernaut are the bottom of the barrel, and unless you're a huge fan of the movie, these are best left on the pegs.

The others all fall in the middle - nothing outstanding, and nothing God awful. For characters like Yellowjacket, that's probably not too big of a problem since you aren't going to end up with 20 versions of him anyway. But for characters like Wolverine, it means he'll probably end up warming pegs. That is if he ever hits pegs in any sort of quantity.

The comparisons of these figures to Toybiz's work is inevitable. I think the sculpts are just as good in most cases, making that category a wash. I think the quality of the plastic has made the articulation work even better most of the time, although there's still a few stinkers in this wave, so that category goes to Hasbro for me. But both paint and accessories go to Toybiz, who did a much better job giving us nifty goodies with the figures (including exceptional BAF's), and providing paint detail that made the figures far more attractive. So at this point, two waves in, Toybiz still has the edge over Hasbro. They'll keep it too, until Hasbro steps up in both accessories and paint, or give up on the 6" line entirely.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt -  Thor ***1/2; Quicksilver, Yellowjacket ***; Jean **1/2
Paint - Thor, Yellowjacket ***; Quicksilver **1/2; Jean *1/2
Articulation - Thor, Yellowjacket, Quicksiler ***; Jean **1/2
Accessories - Thor ***; Yellowjacket, Quicksilver, Jean **
Fun Factor - Thor ***1/2; Yellowjacket, Quicksilver, Jean ***
Value -  Thor **1/2; Yellowjacket, Quicksilver, Jean *1/2
Overall - Thor ***; Yellowjacket, Quicksilver **1/2; Jean **

Where to Buy -
Hit the local Target right now, and I assume Toys R Us will be getting them in eventually. Maybe. Someday.

Related Links -
I’ve had more than a few ML reviews:

- Let’s start with the reviews of series 1, first at MROTW and then here at QSE.

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

- Hasbro has also 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.

- then there’s the various series reviews, including the 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.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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