Marvel Legends Series 5
Silver Surfer, Red Skull, Mr. Fantastic
Coheteboy is here with the first of a two part review of
the new Marvel Legends series 5. Folks have been really anticipating
these, so let's get right to it...
The fun just never slows down when it comes to the Marvel Legends. Hot off the trail of Series IV, the X-Men Legends box set, and the Urban Legends box set, SERIES V began hitting the pegs of Wal-Mart stores across America. Instead of the usual four figures plus one chase figure, we are given six figures and one chase figure.
The entire line consists of: Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four; Silver Surfer, Nick Fury, Sabretooth, X-Men's Colossus, Captain America's rival Red Skull, and the movie version of Blade. But wait a minute... where IS Blade? Word is that there is a delay on this particular figure so we'll be reviewing him a little later. Keep in mind though that Red Skull is the series chase figure and might prove a little difficult to find right away.
Because of how incredibly awesome these figures are, I couldn't possibly review all the Marvel Legends figures (minus Blade) all at once. So I'll be discussing three of them today, three of them in a follow up review, and Blade another time. So let's get going!
Packaging - ***1/2
I was about to be really generous and give it a perfect score, but something stopped me. The clamshell is really great but I found that the bubble still dings pretty easy without a lot of pressure. Regardless, this is still a great way to keep figures in good condition. The card back continues to provide the "Power Grid" giving fans some statistics about the character.
As always, the comic book serves as a backdrop behind the toy. It worked since series 1 and still works today. And guess what... none of my toys were stuck in with twisties! Could have been a change in production specifically for Wal-Mart but I'm not entirely sure.
*** 1/2; Red Skull ***
Whaa?? No perfect scores for any of them? That's right, though three and a half stars is still nothing to laugh at. Silver Surfer comes pretty close to being a perfect 4, but there's something about his head that looks a little off. It's not entirely bad but it feels a little more squat than I was expecting. Overall, Surfer is still top notch.
Mr. Fantastic is a decent figure with a pretty good sculpt, but he too is a little off. Not sure how to describe it but Richards here just looks like he's waiting for a kiss from the Invisible Woman! He's got a sleasy look about him that doesn't sit well with me. Perhaps he's just sculpted too thin? Well, decide for yourself. It's a pretty good sculpt.
I feel pretty generous today so I'm giving Red Skull three stars. The head sculpt I felt was rad enough by itself. It's the rest of the body that needs some work. The arms are incredibly plain with the shoulders not even fitting right with the body. The legs and boots all belong to the movie Daredevil figure from Series III so that's a tad disappointing. This might be an articulation issue as well because this figure is the most plain of them all.
Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops are supposedly just as good as previous Marvel Legends so you'll know what to expect. Silver Surfer could have been all one color but it was great that there are different tones such as blue and gray over the entire figure, finished off with a sparkly finish. This figure came out much better than I was expecting. Of course it would be interesting to see this figure made with metallic plastic like TC-14 from Star Wars.
Mr. Fantastic is pretty well done overall. Just make sure you take a good look at the Fantastic Four logo on his chest. I've seen a few with scratches on them so be careful. The face is painted pretty well from what I have observed and shouldn't be too big of a problem with most fans. Again, I wanted to point out that shading was added to the mostly blue outfit. I'm really impressed with the attempt at making these figures cooler than they would be if they were painted by another toy company.
Red Skull is unfortunately the plainest one of the bunch but I partially owe that to the plain sculpt. Red's skull is a nice bloody red and the details on his jacket are nicely applied actually. There's just not much more to it than that. Everything was clean but the effort appeared to be smaller than on the rest.
Articulation - ****; Red Skull **
Ignoring Red Skull for a moment, WOW WOW WOW. This is exactly what hooked me to these figures to begin with. You can really PLAY WITH THEM. Make sick jokes all you want, these are what toys are meant to be like. Mr Fantastic has a fantastic 38 points of articulation while the Silver Surfer boasts a big 39. I don't think I need to really get into details about what's articulated and what's not with numbers like that. I have one complaint about Mr. Fantastic's articulation and it's that he's a bit on the loose side. It could be my figure, but I felt that he was a bit more difficult to pose even without the heavy bendie hands. Overall though, not bad.
But poor poor Red Skull. Sure he's an evil piece of trash, but that doesn't mean he should be limited to only 18 points of cheap articulation! :::sigh::: Villains are meant to have the most dynamic poses but Red Skull won't be able to do much against Captain America here. He has regular head movement from side to side, cut shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knee, calves, heels, and toes. Pretty pathetic isn't he? No ball jointed shoulders, no ability to look up or down, no squatting stances, no nothing at all. Poor Red Skull.
Accessories - *** 1/2, Red Skull ***
Not everyone here had the same amount of articulation but I felt that every figure had the right kinds of accessories to give them all pretty close to perfect scores.
Let's start with Mr. Fantastic's fantastic accessories shall we? Depending on how you look at it, he either has three accessories or five. No matter what though, it's way cool. The leader of the Fantastic Four comes with two sets of hands; two are regular hands with articulated fingers and two are bendie attachments. The right hand is a gigantic hand with bendie fingers. The left is clenched into a fist of a hammer, also a bit bendie. The final accessory is better than any base... it's the Fantasticar! While this won't be able to fit more than one member of the Fantastic Four, it's still a very cool add-in. The paint and detail of the controls are also just perfect. Oh, and if you want to drive him up the wall, you can since the car is wall mountable.
Silver Surfer comes with his galactic surfboard/base and his pal Howard the Duck. Howard has three points of articulation but mine can't stand very well on his own. No biggie though. Now to the awesome accesssory of the surfboard. The center portion of the board is magnetic and with the small magnets on the bottom of Silver Surfer's feet, he's able to stand incredibly well on top! Magnets have been a true best friend to toy fans all over the world and it works awesome right here. I couldn't imagine how this would have worked if you required pegs. It doesn't end there! The board is attached to an articulated arm allowing you to tilt and turn any which way. Of course you'll have to balance the Silver Surfer up top to keep it that way, but that's all in the fun. The base connected to the board is wall mountable as well.
Compared to the other two figures with their own modes of transportation, Red Skull isn't as lucky. This villain can't even get his own base... for it's a direct repaint of Captain America's base sans American Flag. Not that I mind too much for it looks good enough, but the base was constructed for a figure with plenty of articulation to stand upon it. Red Skull has very few so a good match it is not. Tossing the base aside you'll find the removable hat, which is always welcome and a small pistol that can be placed in his holster. The score for Red Skull would be higher if the base and figure had a better fit.
And as all Marvel Legends figures, a comic book is included.
Value - ****
Paying only $6.88 at Wal-Mart for these figures, it's an awesome deal, even for the not-so-cool Red Skull. But he is a chase figure so I'm happy to find him for retail at least!
Overall - Silver Surfer ****; Mr. Fantastic *** 1/2; Red Skull ***
I wish I could give all three of these figures a perfect score but unfortunately this time I can't. I give Silver Surfer four stars simply because this is the absolute best job they've done on this character EVER. Sure I made a few remarks about his head being a little off but it is so miniscule of a flaw that it doesn't hurt the end result. Magnets on his surfboard and feet! Simply awesome.
Mr. Fantastic is almost there, but with the size of his interchangeable bendie hands, he's not able to really do much with them. Except drag them on the floor as he walks. I think if this figure had a little more weight to it, it would be a tad better. I know he's an old thin guy but he seems smaller than necessary.
Red Skull, I still recommend despite his flaws... if you can find him. The head sculpt is nicely done and he still looks pretty decent. Improvements are definitely needed but it's better than Toad from series 1 at least!
Where to Buy -
Wal-Mart picked up the order first without the Blade figure so this is the best place for these currently. Toys'R'Us and Target will most likely follow suit in another month.
Figures from the collection of