This is the Human Torch from the Wal-Mart exclusive Marvel Legends Build-a-Figure Ares Series released in 2008. Each figure came with a piece that could build Ares, the god of war, as he was drawn in Mighty Avengers. But that’s another review for another day! Today is about Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch. Appearing in 1961 alongside The Thing (reviewed earlier), the Human Torch is a staple of Marvel Comics. Part of Marvel’s first family, brother to Sue Storm, brother-in-law to Reed Richards, and pain-in-the-ass to Ben Grimm, this hot-headed, high-flying playboy is everything that moms and dads the world over don’t want their daughters to bring home to dinner.
I’ll be honest, this is a fantastic figure! The sculpt uses the same as the first Johnny Storm figure that was part of the Ronan the Accuser Build-a-Figure wave, only this time he’s sporting a waay better head-sculpt. The body-sculpt in itself is a really spot-on figure; sculptor Paul Harding did a fantastic job with the initial sculpt. It is a good, standard medium-sized buck. His hands are also on the small side, a bit too delicate for my tastes. I’m not fond of the waist, where the ball hips attach, as it looks like he is wearing some really loose or long-hipped pants. It makes posing the figure difficult. The Ares Torch vs the Ronan Torch has a way, way, way better head sculpt. They dropped the whacked-out flame hair for something much more subtle and palatable.
Articulation is pretty good. We have hinged ankles, double knees, thigh swivels, ball hips, swivel waist, hinged abs, ball shoulders, swivel biceps, double elbows, wrist swivels, hinged wrists, hinged neck, and a swivel head. Everything that goes into making this figure standard. We’ve seen this articulation so many times that there isn’t much to say about it. This figure would really be home run with some ankle rockers. It’s my hope that some customizer, aka 3rd party, can come up with new feet that have ankle rockers for this figure. That would really cool and if they could match the Jolly Rancher orange, bonus.
This figure is molded in Jolly Rancher orange. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Jolly Ranchers, they are clear candies that you can buy — just a little rectangle of slightly flavored, clear sugar. Yes, clear. You can see right through them. Early on in Marvel Legends, back in the Toy Biz days, the term Jolly Rancher was being used to describe figures that were molded in clear, colorful plastics. You all might remember Jolly Rancher Vision from Series in 2004? Human Torch is molded in clear plastics, Jolly Rancher style, almost. It looks as though there are some parts that aren’t quite clear, but milky or dusty. I’m not certain if that was a sad attempt at a dry brush or bad manufacturing. No matter, it still turned out well.
As mentioned, this is the best Human Torch figure to date. It’s an impressive sculpt and is decently articulated. It’s fun to play with, has a good vanilla pose, and fits well with any Fantastic Four figure collection.
Mr. Torch is still available on Amazon.com.
You can discuss this figure further on the Fwoosh forums.