Marvel Legends Icons

Marvel Legends have been one of the most successful Marvel action figure lines of all time, hitting series 14 very soon.  Great sculpts, lots of articulation, and good pricing have been the secret to their success.

It's no wonder then that Toybiz decided to try to translate that success into a 12" line.  Called Marvel Legends Icons, these figures upsize the most legendary of Marvel characters.  The first assortment includes Wolverine, Iron Man and Captain America, with a planned second assortment of Venom, Hulk and Spider-man.

Like their smaller counterparts, there are variants.  However, it appears these variants are much easier to come by.  The Iron Man has a gold and yellow suit version, and both Wolverine and Cap come in masked and unmasked versions.  Originally, the masked versions were to be the common with the unmasked a little (but not a lot) harder to find.  However, when they cut the assortment from 6 to a case to 4 to a case, things ended up confused, and right now it's easier to find the unmasked versions.  That should be corrected as the shipments continue.

These are hitting Toys R Us and many online dealers right now.  Expect to pay around $17 each.

Packaging - ***
If the packaging reminds you of the old Marvel Studios stuff, you're not alone.  Only it's much cheaper, with cardboard for a top and bottom.  It has the same general design though, and shows off the figure well while keeping it safe and sound.

It's not collector friendly though, and you'll have to tear things up a bit to get it all apart.  There's a fair share of twisties, but this isn't particularly surprising for a figure that's intended for the mass market shelves.

Sculpting - ***1/2
While you might have expected that these would be simple two ups of the previously released versions, that's not the case, at least for Wolverine.  He's a new sculpt, although his style and expression is very similar to the series 12 release

There's much more texture and detail in this larger scale, particularly in the uniform.  At times it can be a bit over done, but it does differentiate the figure from the smaller versions nicely.

These are also all solid figures, no rotocast. This sets them apart from the 12" rotocast versions of Marvel characters that are in the $10 range.

The scale is good, with Wolverine standing at 11 inches tall.  That makes him shorter than the others in the current release, and it's nice to see Toybiz trying to maintain some sense of scale with the larger figures as well.  I'm sure neither Hulk or Venom will end up at the size they really need to in this scale, but you can bet they'll be pretty damn close.

The head sculpt sports a gritted teeth expression, generally not one of my favorites, but here they did a nice job of not over doing it, and looking pissed without looking pained.

My only big complaint with the sculpt is the hands.  The articulation and sculpted fingers don't work well together at all, and the wonky thumbs don't look good no matter what you do.  I'll pick on this again in the articulation section, since it's a combination of both issues that cause them to look so bizarre.

Paint - ***
Most of the paint application is well done, with solid quality.  Details like the eyes, teeth and hairy arms are done with precision and accuracy.  Colors are consistent, and there is very good cutting between colors.

There's a heavy wash over the suit however, and I deducted predominately for its overuse.  Washes can bring out detail and imply dirt, but here it's just too much, particularly in this large scale.  It ended up everywhere, including his teeth, poor guy.

Articulation - ***1/2
If you like Marvel Legends type articulation, you're going to love these.  If you don't, do yourself a big favor and steer clear.

Wolverine has the usual pin joint that allows for forward and backward movement, along with turning side to side.  There's no tilting here like there would be with a true ball joint, but it's a decent compromise.

He does have ball jointed shoulders and hips, just like the usual ML.  If you don't like the look of the hips on the 6" line, you won't like them any better when the get upscaled.  However, I think they work terrific, and are extremely sturdy.

There's also the usual double jointed shoulders and knees, a cut waist, a clicking chest joint, cut joints at the top of the boots, pin ankles and half foot, and even the nifty swivel foot.  That's the joint at the very bottom of the leg that allows the foot to turn into our away from the line of the leg.  That makes all that leg articulation a whole lot more useful, since you can get him to stand in deep poses.

The pin/peg wrists work well, although mine are a little loose, and the fingers of the left hand are individually articulated.  Those on the right are not, but have a single pin through them that they can move around.

The wonky sculpt of the thumbs and fingers doesn't work well with the odd articulation though, leaving you with some mighty goofy looking hands, no matter what you try.

Accessories - **1/2
Judging by the photos, you might think this was a bupkis, but it's not.  There's the included comic book, only this time they did a great job.  It's a 'history of an icon' book, with back story, cover art, and interior art that chronicles the character's history.  It's much nicer than the usual reprint comic, and they really went above and beyond in producing it.

However, that's the only accessory, hence the fairly low score.  Nice as it is, all by itself it can't carry this category.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Kids will enjoy playing with these for all the reasons they enjoy the 6" line.  They'll need to get a few characters to really enjoy them, but they can go along with the cheaper rotocast 10 - 12" Toybiz figures for now until the series gets fleshed out a little more.

Value - ***1/2
At $16 or $17 these are an excellent value.  That should be no surprise, since the same is true of the 6" line, but had these been $20 - $25 (the going rate for cheaper 12" figures these days), the score would have really suffered.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not much.  Obviously, keep an eye on the paint work to get the best you can, but Toybiz product is usually pretty consistent one way or the other.

Overall - ***1/2
This line has some tremendous potential, if they can convince kids that this scale is cool.  The quality is much better than the terribly over priced Marvel Studios 12" figures, and will hopefully last through the change over from Toybiz to Hasbro.

Score Recap
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy - 
Right now your best bet is Toys R Us, or one of these online choices:

- CornerStoreComics has some of series 1 in stock for $17 each, and pre-orders up for series 2.

- Amazing Toyz has some of the variants in stock at $20 each.

Related Links:
There's plenty of past 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, along with my review of the Monsters boxed set

- The previous Sentinel BAF was guest reviewed, along with some of the Face Offs.

- then there's the various series reviews, including my review of series 13 Green Goblin, 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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