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Toy Biz – Marvel Legends Mar-Vell


I love Captain Marvel, both the Whiz/DC comics version and the Marvel version. I don’t know what it is about the character, but there is something really captivating about him. Marvel’s Mar-vell is a fantastic piece of history. A cosmic character introduced into the 616 Marvel Universe in the late ’60s Mar-Vell was an instant hit (for me, not at the time, I was born later). The comic was a brilliant cosmic, outer-space, science-fiction piece. During the ’70s, the “earth-human alien sent to walk among us turned hero” was a fantastic read. My first intro to Marv was the Jim Starlin era, and, as we all know, Starlin was pretty cosmic and trippy back then. When they decided to kill him off in the graphic novel in the ’80s, it was one of those “holy shit” moments that was hard to let go. Marv is one of those fantastic characters whose life started at the end of the ’60s, and came to an abrupt end too soon. There have been a number of attempts to bring him back, but really each attempt seems false and often forced. He’s a great mort and needs to stay that way.

Mar-vell was part of the Marvel Legends Series 15 – M.O.D.O.K. series that graced our displays in 2006. The figure uses an interpretation of the Bullseye base and has its pluses. The best part about the figure is everything but the head, the forearms and hands, and shins and feet. Other than that, the figure is solid. I don’t know the back story behind the forearms, hands, shins and feet if they were done by Hasbro or Toy Biz or were just lazy parts swapping. Whatever it was they really came out sloppy. The forearms lack pop and pizzazz and the hands suck. The fist hand looks like the factory munched it through a meat grinder, and the open-palm “slappy” hand just looks… odd. The shins seem short and the sculpt sucks. And the feet? Well it looks like Bozo dropped by the Marvel Universe for a visit and passed out clown shoes. The head sculpt isn’t great. It is small and just… not what we’d come to expect from Toy Biz. It’s horrible. God, that felt good to get out of my system.

The rest of the figure uses the standard Bullseye parts and looks sharp. With some new forearms and shins, this could be a good figure. Say, using the new Scarlett Spider/Future Foundation Spidey part there. And a new head sculpt. But that won’t correct the one most glaring fault.

My main complaint about this figure is the choice of base (see? no use of the term buck, Enforcer) is just too small. I know that using this base attempts to capture the lithe comic style of Gil Kane and Jim Starlin, but it just doesn’t work for me. Mar-Vell was a Kree Captain, he was one of the fiercest warriors in the empire. He was their equivalent of Captain America, he was their super soldier and he deserves a better base than that one he got. I get that it made is easier to make a Genis-Vell figure from the same sculpt, and it was a sculpt lying around, but I want Mar-Vell to be big and beefy, soldier like. Not skinny marathon runner type.

That said, this figure is standard fare for Marvel Legends of the time. The articulation is as follows:

  • hinged toes
  • rocker ankles
  • hinged ankles
  • shin swivels
  • double knees
  • ball hips
  • swivel waist
  • hinged ab
  • rocker shoulders
  • ball shoulders
  • swivel biceps
  • double elbows
  • swivel forearms
  • hinged wrists
  • articulated fingers
  • hinged neck
  • swivel head

The paint is limited but OK. I actually like the red molding of the figure; it really looks spot-on. There isn’t a lot of paint work here, mainly in the head and that’s OK. Again, with a killer head sculpt the paint might have been aces. I’m not even certain there is a wash or any drybrushing on the body of the figure.

Mar-Vell never really won me over. I was disappointed with the figure from the start; the aforementioned faults with the limbs, the choice of base, and the headsculpt really killed this figure for me. It was a downer. He stands in my Avengers display, but that’s as much love as he’ll get from me. I really hope that they revisit Marv, preferably on a larger build than the Black Panther base, something that looks a little more like a Captain America build.

You can still pick this figure up on:


And you can discuss this figure further on the Fwoosh