Legendary Comic Book Heroes
Conan and Wrarrl

Toybiz manufactured Marvel action figures for many, many years.  They weren't always fantastic, but they did do a wonderful job putting out a terrific character selection.

And then came Marvel Legends, a line that altered the industry in many ways.  Toybiz produced some terrific characters again, and they managed to make articulation junkies happy the world over.

But everything changes, and the Marvel license went to Hasbro.  Toybiz stopped existing as a legal name, and became Marvel Toys.  And of course, the irony was lost on no one that a company called Marvel Toys couldn't make Marvel toys.

But the brains behind the Marvel Legends series were working at Marvel Toys, and they decided to move into a different comic book market - the independent comics.  This isn't a new idea, or the first time that smaller press comics are getting their own action figures.  But this is the first time that they'll get produced in such a way that they'll be highly articulated, and relatively consistent in style and scale across the entire line.  As you might imagine, fans are very happy.

The first series has hit in some Wal-marts around Denver, but they haven't been released elsewhere yet.  But the first two pack HAS hit regular retail, and contains the classic Conan and Myrarrl.

Now, you might thing that Marvel Toys IS making a Marvel toy here, since Marvel did a very long run of Conan comics.  In fact, Wrarrl was created as the Devourer of Souls during the Marvel run.  But this version is based on the newer Conan comics out of Dark Horse, not Marvel.

The first series will be hitting over the next month or so I suspect, and will include Ripclaw, Judge Dredd, Superpatriot, Madman, Savage Dragon and Witchblade.  Buy them all and make Pitt, the build a figure!  There's also a second two pack that should be hitting based on the Body Bags comic.

I found these guys at Meijers, and the 'twin pack' was $15. I haven't heard of anyone finding the Body Bags set yet, or the regular series, but I'm betting they won't be too far behind.

Packaging - ***
If you're looking for collector friendly packaging, this isn't it.  You'll have to destroy it to get them out, and there's a fair share of annoying twisty ties.  They also aren't going to store or display too easy if you're a MOCer.

But the graphics are excellent, and the die cut backer is very eye catching.  The back also sports some nice text on the Conan story, and shows both the Pitt series and Monkey Man series of upcoming Legendary Comic Book Heroes.

Sculpting - Wrarrl ****; Conan ***1/2
These rank up there with some of the best Marvel work of the past.  The sculpts look excellent, matching up with the source material quite well, and looking great on the shelf.

The plastic used on on both figures is high quality, and stiff.  They should withstand play quite well, and for collectors, there's very little chance for tearing pins.

Conan has a stern, dangerous expression, but doesn't look goofy or silly.  He's ready to battle, and the sharp line of the jaw and high cheekbones give him the perfect look.

The hair has nice detail work, as does the overall musculature of the body. Areas like the belt, sheaths, and furs are excellent, with wonderful small detail work all around.

The fur cape that Conan wears isn't removable, but most folks would want to leave it in place even if that was possible.  The fur, claws and tail look amazing, especially for a mass market toy.

But as good as Conan is, Wrarrl is even better. While Conan's hands are both sculpted to hold the accessories, Wrarrl has one open fist, and one gesturing hand.  These work well for tons of poses.

The hidden head sculpt under the mask looks just like the comics.  It's a bit of a pin head, due to the fact that it needs to look right in the helmet.  I can live with that though, since most of the time I'll display him covered up.

Several of his clothing pieces are not easily removable, but are actually separate pieces.  For example, the shoulder armor and cape are excellent sculpts, with lots of battle damage and wear, and if you pop off the head, you can actually remove it.  Again, I don't think you'd want to, but it is possible.

The sheath is actually attached to a separate floating belt, and while you can't remove it easily, you can position it to look just the way you want.

Let's not forget the terrific helmet either.  It's made from fairly soft plastic, but it seems to hold it's sculpt quite well, and I doubt that the horns will wilt over time unless you live in a very hot climate.

These two are scaled to six inches, with Conan standing about 6 1/2 inches tall and the much larger Devourer of Souls standing 7 1/4 inches tall without the helmet, 8" with.  They'll fit in fine with previous Marvel Legends or other six inch action figure lines. 

Paint - Wrarrl ****; Conan ***1/2
There's some great paint work here - and there's some unpainted plastic as well.

It will be interesting to see how folks react to the unpainted flesh and hair on Conan for example.  I don't have an issue with it, because the finish is fairly flat (there's only a slight gloss to it), and there's some use of dark colors to add some depth.  All the small areas are painted, and there's some amazing work on areas like the belt and pelt cape.  The small details, like his eyes and lips, are extremely clean and neat.  Conan has a little slop on the silver and brass areas, but it's very minor.

Wrarrl is again even more impressive.  They've managed to do battle damage on the armor that actually looks realistic, as though there are cut marks digging deeper into the metal.  The eyes and mouth are done in a bright red, that actually looks like it is glowing from within.  While his dark body has less small detail work than Conan, the weathering alone was enough to blow me away.

Articulation - Wrarrl ****; Conan ***1/2
Can you sense a pattern here?

The articulation on both is quite good, and most joint junkies will be satisfied.  I had a few things I would have preferred with Conan, but Wrarrl is excellent all around.

Both stand great on their own in a ton of poses, and the joints are generally tight and well made.  No soft pegs here, and they've gone with some clicky joints similar to some of the recent Hasbro Marvel Legends.

The necks on both of them are pin jointed, similar to the Toybiz Marvel Legends.  They tilt forward and backward, and turn, but don't tilt side to side.  The joint works well for Wrarrl, but the long hair on Conan restricts it quite a bit.

Both have ball jointed shoulders, which work great, and are clicky joints.  There are joints on both sides of the ball, and with the double jointed elbows, the arms have a decent range of movement.  I couldn't really get the arms quite as far across the chest as I'd like, especially with Conan where double handed sword poses would have been nice, but it's still pretty good.

Conan has cut forearms and pin wrists, while Wrarrl has the pin/post wrists that allow them to turn and move forward and back.

Both have ball jointed hips, and like the shoulders, there's a joint on both sides of the ball.  They're tighter than some of the old ML figures, and the double jointed knees and pin/rocker ankles are all tight as well.  That means they can both take a ton of stances, and hold them for long periods of time.

Rounding out the articulation is a cut wrists, pin chest, and pin joint at the half foot.  A ball jointed neck would be the only real improvement, and the rest of the joints work well without interfering too much in the appearance.

Accessories - ***1/2
The two figures have a nice assortment of stuff, although I know folks will miss the comic book that used to come with Marvel Legends.  It never meant much to me, but I'm betting some collectors will complain that they didn't carry the tradition over to these two packs.

Conan has his sword and double bladed axe.  The knife you see on his belt is sculpted as part of the belt and not removable, and the pelt he wears on his back is not removable either.  It's glued in place, although with a knife and a little patience you could get it off.

The sword is made from soft plastic (these are toys after all), but it still holds its shape pretty well.  The sculpt is particularly good on the hilt, and the scale and size work well.

The axe is even more impressive, with an excellent sculpt and some great details, such as the pock marking on the blades.  It fits nicely in both hands, and the chain is made from actual metal!

Wrarrl comes with a sword as well that fits nicely in the sheath.  He also has a large red worm that fits inside his man-purse, and sticks out from under the cover.  Speaking of the man-purse, it's removable as well, but with it he has that whole Jack Bauer thing going on.

Finally, his helmet is removable, and looks great with the large horns on either side.  There's more of the great paint details on the helmet, with extremely realistic damage and wear.

Value - ***1/2
Most mass market heroes are running $8 - $10 these days, and many of those are in the smaller 5" scale.  These are in the 6" scale, have terrific articulation, solid accessories, and great quality.  They are easily worth the $7.50 each and more.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Kids may not have any clue who these guys are, and that can sometimes be a serious issue.  But these two guys are simply so cool looking that they'll want to know who they are as soon as they seem them.  The articulation and accessories, along with the high quality plastic, make them some really fun toys.

Things to Watch Out For - 
I didn't see any issues here to be concerned about.  Of course, you'll want to look at the paint when you pick yours out, but I think the quality will be consistently good enough that you shouldn't have too much trouble.

Overall - Wrarrl ****; Conan ***1/2
If this is an indication of how well done the Legendary Comic Book Heroes series is going to be, then sign me up.  I'm not even much of a fan of either of these characters, but I'm really impressed by how they turned out.

I'll be interested to see if the same folks complaining about the lack of paint on the Hasbro Marvel Legends will have similar issues here.  As I've said before, I don't have a huge problem with it if it looks good - if it doesn't, then I have an issue.

My only real complaint is how the sculpted Conan is too hunched.  The head can't really move back on the neck because of the hair, and the only way to get a reasonable pose out of him is to use the chest joint to keep the torso as straight as possible.

Wrarrl turned out to be the big surprise for me, largely because I wasn't expecting it to be any thing all that exciting.  But once I had him out and played around with him awhile, I grew to really love the ugly bastard.  He's a great villain, and will look terrific with other 6" scale characters.

The first series should be hitting stores in the next month or two, and I'm now really looking forward to them.  It looks like the folks at Marvel Toys have managed to produce another line that will make both collectors AND kids happy.

I've shot a LOT of photos of these two guys, so you're going to run out of text long before you run out of photos.  That should be some indication of just how much fun I had with them!

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

Where to Buy -
So far, the only brick and mortar store that I know of that have gotten these in is Meijers.  Online options include:

- CornerStoreComics has the set up for pre-order at $17.

- Amazing Toyz has them up for pre-order at $17 as well.

- for the UK readers, Forbidden Planet has the two pack on order for 15 pounds.

Related Links -
Since these are the first of the Legendary Comic Book Heroes, I don't have any other reviews yet.  But I'll be covering pretty much the entire series, so check back!


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour