Marvel Legends Hit Monkey Series

Hit Monkey BAF action figure by Hasbro

2013 does not look like a good year for the Build A Figure or Collect N Connect toy. Very little is scheduled, making me consider the possibility that for the first year in several, the Best BAF won't be a Poppies category.

There is at least one though - Hit Monkey. He came out earlier this year as part of the latest Marvel Legends wave, but unlike past BAF's, he wasn't spread across the entire wave. Instead, his little body parts were included with only three figures, and those three figures were actually two potential variants.

To build Hit Monkey, you need to pick up one each of either of the Hulkettes, the Warriors of the Mind, and the Conquering Heroes. I'm looking at the red She Hulk (Hulkettes), Hyperion (Conquering Heroes), and Protector (Warriors of the Mind) along with Hit Monkey himself tonight.

These will run you around $16 at most mass market retailers right now, although finding any of the figures necessary to build the monkey assassin can be tricky. That means you'll spend almost $50 to build the monkey, although you'll end up with three more action figurs for your trouble as well. Other figures in the wave include Wolverine, Arch Angel, and Captain America. These figures do NOT include Hit Monkey parts.

Packaging - ***
It's the usual Marvel Legends packaging, with the same style of text and graphics. I like the photos of both variants on the package, but they aren't named - if you don't know this is the Protector, you'll have to look it up.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Protector action figure by Hasbro
Protector action figure by Hasbro
Protector action figure by Hasbro
Hyperion action figure by Hasbro
Red She Hulk Hulkettes action figure by Hasbro
Hit Monkey BAF action figure by Hasbro
Hyperion action figure by Hasbro
Red She Hulk Hulkettes action figure by Hasbro
Hit Monkey BAF action figure by Hasbro
Hyperion action figure by Hasbro
Red She Hulk Hulkettes action figure by Hasbro
Hit Monkey BAF action figure by Hasbro

Sculpting - Hit Monkey ***1/2; Protector, She Hulk ***; Hyperion **
Easily the best aspect of the BAF is his sculpt. He's a great looking little guy, with lots of nice sculpt detail in the face. Even with the weird, small monkey paw feet, he stands great on his own - I know, I was surprised by that one.

He is small too - only a few inches tall, itty bitty for a BAF. The other figures come in around the normal for a Marvel Legend, with the Protector at about 6 1/4".

The She Hulk is reasonable for a female figure, and at least she doesn't suffer from stick arms and legs. The face is quite pretty, and there's some good detail in the hair, although the large size and weight make it an issue overall.

The Protector doesn't jump out at you in this category, but he's a decent enough job overall. The articulation and sculpt work well together, certainly better than they do for either the She Hulk or Hyperion.

Hyperion is the disappointment in this category. There's some weird mold lines on the face, and as I already mentioned, the sculpt hinders the articulation more than it should. There's something clumsy and obtuse about his design that I simply do not like.

Sadly, his cape isn't helping. The top section, which can be removed (but which then leaves a large hole exposed on his back), is not properly sized or fitted. This poor fit is obvious at just about every angle, and is one more visual issue with an already dopey looking figure. The weird elbows, oddly posed left hand, and heavy cape all hinder his overall appearance.

Paint - Hit Monkey ***; Hyperion, She Hulk, Protector **1/2
None of the paint jobs are outstanding, but none of them are bottom of the barrel, either.

There's some over spray and bleed with some of the more distinct colors, like the black and white on the Protector. The eyes on Hyperion are wonky, and the cut line at his neck and costume is poorly done. She Hulk has some mediocre cut lines as well, along with some inconsistencies in the main color.

Oddly enough, Hit Monkey is the smallest but does the best in this category as well. While there's still some sloppy edges, especially around the face and teeth, the general overall quality of his paint work tops the other three. I particularly like the use of the glossy black for the hands and feet (gloves for both), which contrasts nicely with the more matte black suit.

Articulation - Protector ***1/2; She Hulk , Hyperion **1/2; Hit Monkey Bupkis
Overall, I'm not a happy camper with this wave of figures, and this is one of the big problem areas.

The only stand out is the Protector, who has all the usual Marvel Legends articulation, and it all works just as you'd expect. You can get some very natural poses, considering the style, and the joints are tight enough to hold deeper stances.

Sadly, this same style of articulation does not work as well with She Hulk or Hyperion. She Hulk has that big, heavy hair of course, which limits you quite a bit when it comes to posing, but her joints also seem clumsy. Same thing for Hyperion, who has very similar joints to Protector, but who is unable to take any pose remotely as good.

Hit Monkey is the real disaster however. The posts for the arms are simply too thin and too short. It's a real effort to pop the arms on, and once in place, they aren't going to stay. A stiff breeze will knock them off, and every time I tried to adjust his pose even slightly, they were on the floor again. This figure could have been great, but this one issue is major enough - he has to stay together, after all - to suck the fun right out of him.

Accessories - Protector, She Hulk, Hit Monkey ***; Hyperion **
Hyperion gets the short stick here, coming with just the Hit Monkey parts. While the top section of his cape is removable, I'm not counting this.

She Hulk gets the Hit Monkey pieces as well as her huge, deadly sword. The blade is well made, and very solid. No wilting here, and it looks fantastic in her hands.

The Protector does even better, getting his own Hit Monkey parts (including the critical head), as well as two guns that fit perfectly in his hands or the holsters.

The big surprise is Hit Monkey himself. As a BAF, he's an accessory, but he gets his own accessories too! There's four guns, enough to allow him to pack quite the punch. It gives you some nice display options, and the weapons are large enough to use with some of the other Marvel Legends characters.

Fun Factor - Protector ***; Hyperion, She Hulk **1/2; Hit Monkey *
The Protector is a pretty average Marvel Legend figure, making him a good action figure but not a great one. Everything is a solid B, but nothing really stands out.

Hyperion isn't as much fun, largely because his articulation is poorly designed. Add in the dopey cape, and kids will be less inclined to play with him.

She Hulk is a reasonable action figure too, but most kids will find the character uninteresting unless they've read the comics. To most of them, the Hulk is green, not red, and the female version should be green too. Getting them interested in the red incarnation is going to be tough.

And then there's Hit Monkey, a big hot mess of bad. No kid is going to spend any time with an action figure that has the arms dropping off every time they touch it. Even collectors will find their patience taxed to the breaking point.

Value - **1/2
While I have my issues with these, the price is at least in line with the other recent releases. It's not a great deal, but at least it's an average deal.

Things to Watch Out For -
Other than going after the best paint you can, you should be fine.

Overall - Protector ***; She Hulk **1/2; Hyperion **; Hit Monkey *1/2
There are really only two reasons to buy these three regular figures - a) because you want to build Hit Monkey or b) because you're a crazed OCD fan that belongs on a bad reality TV show where they try to cure you of you're obsession. While B certainly applies to me, A is my main driving force.

That's what makes the Hit Monkey figure such an overall disappointment. I hunted down these three figures and spent nearly $50 on them just so I could get Hit Monkey - and I can't keep him assembled for 10 seconds.

Hopefully you'll have better luck than I with those puny shoulder pegs. If you do, the sculpt, paint and accessories add up to make him a much nicer figure.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Hit Monkey ***1/2; Protector, She Hulk ***; Hyperion **
Paint - Hit Monkey ***; Hyperion, She Hulk, Protector **1/2
Articulation - Protector ***1/2; She Hulk, Hyperion **1/2; Hit Monkey Bupkis
Accessories - Protector, She Hulk, Hit Monkey ***; Hyperion **
Fun Factor - Protector ***; Hyperion, She Hulk **1/2; Hit Monkey *
Value - **1/2
Overall - Protector ***; She Hulk **1/2; Hyperion **; Hit Monkey *1/2

Where to Buy -
Your best bet is to hit the local mass market store, like Meijer or Toys R Us.

Related Links -
When it comes to Marvel Legends, I like this year's Iron Man figures (so far) much better.

Before that, it had been awhile since I had a wave of Marvel Legends to review...all the way back to the Arnim Zola series for me. You can see part 3 of that wave here, along with Part 2 and Part 1. Before that, I 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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Protector action figure by Hasbro

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

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