Every year, we hold this Marvel Legends Top Ten list vote, and every year, I struggle with it. I am sure I am not the only one, and while there are many factors that contribute to this difficulty, my one safety net for easy picks has been lifted for the first time in YEARS. Yep, I cannot even remember the last time I put together one of these lists and NO Fantastic Four members were on it.
I know what you are going to say, I should be dancing in the streets over the fact that my favorite comic team FINALLY has legitimately good Legends figures, and that my favorite Marvel character, the Thing, is likely the best of figure of 2018. But, while I do want lots and lots and lots of variations on Ben Grimm and the rest of the team in ML, the urgency is suddenly gone. I have a great F4 in ML now, and I am very happy with the figures overall. So, while that is a good thing 99.99% of the time, when I have to compile a list like this, my old standards have finally evaporated, and I have to come up with some new names to add to my most-wanted list.
Again, that is mostly a good thing. Trust me, I know that I am dealing with a first world toy problem all in my own head here, but my struggle with this list isn’t just because the Fantastic Four are absent, but also because ML is so damned good right now. But how can that be a problem? Wouldn’t ML being so good be a positive thing when one is wishing for most-wanted characters? Yes, of course it is a good thing, but at the same time, I don’t treat this exercise like a willy-nilly, “just give me what I want right now” list, though, I kind of wish I did. ML is not only turning out amazing figures right now, but as a line, it is also crossing off so many essential additions in terms of characters to the line, both as first-timers, and for needed re-dos.
So, of course, the mind-numbing state of “analysis paralysis” sets in when trying to come up with “perfect” picks for this list, even though I realize no such thing exists. I sit here trying to remember everything that is already announced (a task in and of itself these days!), what has been directly and/or indirectly hinted at, and then try to hedge against characters that seem like givens so as not to “waste” a slot. I make this entirely too difficult on myself, and I don’t practice what I preach because I would tell anyone else to just “pick what you want to see and go with it.” Hypocritical to be sure, but I have been at this for so long, this is where I am currently in terms of mindset, and I know that I am not alone, and others struggle with this seemingly simple and fun task.
So, here I am, trying to remember what all is going to be released in the next several months (thank The Maker we have a nice reference guide for that), also, characters like Jim Lee Storm, who was STRONGLY hinted at during SDCC, and actually culling down my pure wish list picks so that I have some representation, but without getting carried away. Oh, and I want to (mostly) stay away from really obvious choices, too, so I am stacking the deck against myself pretty heavily, especially since I will likely NEVER be completely happy with any list I put together. But, I just spent 600 words working out my neurosis over this, so I think it is past time for the proverbial rubber to hit the road.
So, here is my list. I am going to make myself submit it as is because I have spent too much time thinking about it already, and I need to free up the synapse space for something less insane at this point. I am just as big of a fan of getting new and improved re-dos of characters as much as I am getting characters for the first time in the line, so my list is a mix of that. I also tend to avoid MCU versions in these lists because those generally have an advantage already in terms of likelihood of release. See how much I am overthinking this?
Anyway, without any further yammer, here is my Marvel Legends Top Ten list for 2018, in no particular order. If you are like me and struggle with this, I wish you the best, maybe we need to start a support group. Yeeeeeeeesh.
After the Thing, Colossus is my favorite Marvel character, so if I was going to have someone take over for my “this is not leaving the list until it is made spot,” for simply selfish reasons, it would be Piotr. So, this is purely wish list territory because, I know we have gotten a Colossus figure fairly recently (with a cool bearded head, but poor costume), and we still seems really likely for another version soon. Let’s face it, the “Jim Lee” X-Men team is happening really fast in ML, and while I certainly do NOT consider Colossus’s classic costume to be interchangeable with his Lee version (take a look at them, they are actually quite different), I am going with his original, GSX costume as my most wanted. Sure, I will be quite happy to get that inevitable Lee costume, but I want a perfect CLASSIC Colossus in ML, too.
Angelica Jones has been on my most wanted list for a long time, and I really hoping she is getting close to a release now. Legally classified as a mutant, her steps to release have been a bit tricky over the last several years, but with the Disney/Fox deal set to officially close next month, I am hoping that will ease up the complications and we can get her in the line. Her costume design is just great, and getting a clear path to the Amazing Friends is something I really want to see. I know I am not alone on that, either.
So, here is an odd one, to be sure. Yes, we TECHNICALLY did get Colleen in ML just this past summer in the SDCC set. However, that was the Netflix version of the character, not the comic. I am sure that release made a lot of people happy, but man, I have had Misty Knight waiting on my shelf for YEARS for Colleen. The wait has been excruciating, especially since I convinced myself that the figure was “right around the corner” after Misty came to the line. C’mon Dwight, we need the Daughters in our lives. It has never been done, and now is the time.
Poor Sam Wilson. Sure, it is ridiculous to feel too badly for the character since, you know, he has been playing a strong supporting role in the MCU the past few years, and he has gotten some nice ML (and other offerings) figures based off of that appearance. But man, I want a CLASSIC comic Falcon, and maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, we have never gotten one. I am sorry, but that old Toy Biz ML 14 (I think) Falcon is one of my most disliked Legends figures ever due to the insanely wonky body. Even if that wasn’t the case, though, it is time for a new classic Sam. It has been years and another company ago by now, and I want to celebrate his time as his own character, not just a new iteration of Cap.
This is one pick that has been on my lists ever since the old Toy Biz days, so even if I could make the argument that the time is right for him, simply for being past due, with the awesome classic Namor now on our shelves, it really is a great time to get this dude. In my opinion, he has one of the most interesting and underrated looks of any villain in the MU, and since he has been around since 1964, he has pretty much been a foe to most of the Marvel heroes over that time. I love the classic blue and yellow/orange color combination and costume design, so that will do nicely for a figure, and hey friends, anything for more classic Jack Kirby in ML.
It is time. Longtime characters in need of ML updates in Gambit and Beast are coming, and Kurt needs his due as well. I get it, some people in decision-making roles at Marvel might feel that the old Toy Biz figure still holds up, and that is fine, but we need a new Nightcrawler with modern ML sensibilities. Personally, I was never a fan of the giant chin on that old figure (even though the body and most of the articulation was pretty nice), and it has been over a decade now since it was released, so a re-up of such an important character is in order, both for new collectors who never got the old one, and for those of us still at it, but ready for an improvement. Plus, after Beast, he is about the only other character I need to have toe articulation, and since they are bringing it with Hank… might as well here, too.
Yes, we are STILL having this conversation. Shang Chi is still NOT on the Marvel Legends roster in any capacity. The crappy thing is that he has missed my list several times due to other priorities or the fact that I was CERTAIN he was going to be announced at any time, but I am not going to be fooled for the 100th time. Not this time, friends, I have finally learned. WE NEED A SHANG CHI IN MARVEL LEGENDS. Period. Get. It. Done. It looks as though Disney is going to fast track a Shang Chi movie for his introduction to the MCU (good on them!) so the timing could not be better here. Let’s get a classic comic version as a primer before the inevitable movie version.
More so than just about any other character on this list that has never had an ML figure, I cannot believe that Psycho Man is still in that dubious population. Yes, yes, the whole Fantastic Four legal drama could have played into that in recent years, but great googily-moogily, let’s get rolling now, shall we? The dust should be settling on all of that legal stuff, so what other excuse do you need for us to have one of the most unique-looking and long-standing villains to Marvel’s First Family do you need? None. Nothing. Nada. Psycho Man needs an ML figure post-haste, and an introduction to MCU for that matter as well.
Another ML Top Ten, another year of Crystal being on this list representing not only herself, but also the rest of the Inhumans Royal Family not named Black Bolt or Medusa. I know I bemoaned not being able to rely on some easy past picks to pad out this list, but Crystal is still here, running strong. I was POSITIVE at least she would have been released when the Inhumans show was on TV and I could move on to Gorgon, or Triton, or Karnak, but then… well, not. So, Crystal is on this list, and she ain’t goin’ nowhere until she gets her ML. This team will, hopefully, eventually, make for a very eye-catching group, so let’s get going now. The Inhumans were dangerously close to becoming my new Fantastic Four in terms of Top Ten demands, so let’s please check at least one off before my list becomes overrun.
Of course. I mean, how could I not? My favorite Marvel team now has GREAT representation in ML, so their best villain (and the best villain in the MU, period) needs the same treatment. I get it, this choice goes against a lot of my logic I sorted out in the opening of this article, but, it’s frigging DOCTOR DOOM. Yes, his old Hasbro ML figure isn’t terrible, and YES, he seems more likely than anyone on this list to be “right around the corner,” but I need the best Marvel villain of all time updated in the best Marvel action figure line of all time, with all of those modern line niceties. Yes, I want the floodgates to open for the F4 corner of the universe in ML, but let’s take care of business first.
Yeah, this old dog is not playing ANY new tricks right now. Lockjaw is still the number one most needed Build-a-Figure in Marvel Legends, and it is getting a bit tired to sing the same song every year. Now, I know what SOME of you might be thinking, it is time to let up since Mezco will likely be making a Lockjaw in their One:12 Collective line, but I am not jumping that gun just yet. Sure, I have no reason to believe that figure will NOT be released, and YES, it does look great, and YES, it will likely be able to stand in amongst our ML figures, but it is not without its challenges. For one, I think that release is going to be hard to get due to insane popularity, so many are likely going to be left out in the cold, and it will also carry a pretty high price tag, so some people might not even try. Regardless, worthy Marvel characters deserve their spot in the ML proper line, and Lockjaw is most certainly worthy.
So, this is my list. Your will look different, but that is the point, right? I know, I made this a lot harder on myself than it needed to be, and frankly, I can understand if working this out in an article feels self-indulgent. I mean, I worked it out in my head, but I just have a feeling (hope?) that I am not alone in my struggle to compile a Marvel Legends Top Ten list, so if this can be helpful for others to get past their own neurosis or struggles with this kind of thing, then that is cool. Marvel Legends is better now than it ever has been, so there is no better time for longtime holdouts to finally get their figural due, and those that require updates, now is the time as well. I will be interested to see how the vote tally plays out, but I am pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good with my own list.
Oh, and if you care, here is my requisite honorable mention list, because I just cannot help myself…
- POWER MAN [CLASSIC]
- MR. SINISTER