Marvel Legends is… inevitable.
I love Toy Biz. The legacy the company as a whole, and the action figure lines that were created by the amazing talent that made up the company are nothing short of legendary. Which is appropriate since, despite the amazing 5-inch Marvel line, the Lord of the Rings collection, and others, MARVEL LEGENDS is the flagship line that really changed everything from a modern day action figure perspective. That legacy lives on today in many ways apart from just the name of a line.
However, we are here today to chat about Marvel Legends (duh!), and consider how we need to bring balance to the plastic universe. The TB Marvel Legends line (via Spider-Man Classics), along with World of Springfield, is what is really responsible for bringing me back into the fold in terms of being an action figure collector. I had such a blast collecting all of those figures that, despite their flaws, never ceased to amaze me. For the time, the sculpting, articulation, and Build-a-Figure concept had many of us in a frenzy that still lives on to this day. It makes for some fond memories, that is for sure.
However, despite all that, I would be a fool and liar to say that we were not currently living in the current golden age of Marvel Legends. Because we totally are. What Hasbro is doing now, via a combination of their own innovations and the lessons learned from the Toy Biz run, is giving us the best Marvel figures of all time, and I am so glad to be a part of this amazing run, even though my wallet is screaming in constant pain. Seriously though, I cannot believe what we are currently getting out of the line – I am in awe.
So, much like our pal Thanos, progress is inevitable, and while I will always hold the Toy Biz ML run in very high regard, we must continue to move forward. Hasbro has done a lot in recent years to thin out the Toy Biz representation on my ML shelf. While it can be sad to take down an old stand-by in lieu of a newer and usually overall better offering, I still want the best Marvel Legends figures I can get, and as of now, those are coming from Hasbro. Thus, I try not to let nostalgia cloud my judgment when a new figure of an iconic character comes around.
With that, I have put together a two-part article about which Toy Biz Marvel Legends need to be “snapped” next. These are characters or versions of characters that Toy Biz gave us that Hasbro has not yet gotten around to re-doing in the modern ML line. They have covered off a TON of them at this point with more announced and speculated on the way. Because of that, this list gets easier to manage each release, and not having to include guys like Loki, Colossus, and classic Thor is a great thing.
Eventually, if the Hasbro run continues and they keep the Marvel license for the foreseeable future, getting those standouts done will be even more of an inevitability. But, for the sake of lists, here are five (plus a BaF) that I feel they should expedite.
Yes, Sam Wilson, and this particular version of him show us on a LOT of my lists. However, I am not apologetic about it because an update is so sorely needed. I really cannot believe we not seen this version of Falcon soar back into a Hasbro assortment yet, but here we are. If you have seen Endgame, you know that there is no better time to get us a new Falcon, because Sam is gonna get even bigger than he already is, and fast. This would be a perfect figure to find its way into an assortment to support that new Disney+ show featuring the Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Six months ago, I am not sure if the Leader would have made a top list for me yet for Hasbro do-overs, but ever since that new classic Hulk debuted at Toy Fair, I NEED more bad guys for him to SMASH!!! I prefer the tall-headed classic look of the Leader, and despite the excellent portrait on the TB version, the rest of the figure fell very short, even by those times. So, I have never really owned a great ML Leader figure, and I think now is the time. With so many character seeing their iconic updates happening now, getting into more Hulk stuff would be greatly appreciated.
POWER MAN (CLASSIC)
Sweet Christmas, do I need a Cage update. Yes, we have gotten a couple of cracks at Cage under the Hasbro banner, but they have all been modern or TV versions of the character. I need a new swingin’ 70s take, complete with chain belt, Afro, tiara, and a hand that does not gross me out with weird individual finger articulation. I love Power Man and Iron Fist (who needs an update of his own) so much that the TB figure is one of the few still standing on my shelf, but I desperately want an upgrade, so let’s have it.
I am still kind of in shock that, despite Spider-Man having his own subset of Legends, and fact that the Vulture was the featured villain in Homecoming, we still don’t have a new classic take old man Adrian. Like Power Man, the Fearsome Foes Vulture still stands on my shelf, but I want a new version with all of the modern sensibilities and abilities, including being able to stand well without support. The iconic Spider-Man rogues list is getting shorter and shorter each year, and while Scorpion and Hydro Man are getting their day in the sun soon, Vulture needs his shot, too.
Honestly, I cannot think of a more perfect figure and character to end this first installment with than Mortimer. Wow! Can you believe he was actually a part of the first Toy Biz Marvel Legends assortment? And Wow! Can you believe he has not been heard from ever since? Those of us who have been around for the long haul know the story around that initial figure and how it wasn’t even meant for ML when it was created because ML was not a thing at the time, but since we are getting so many AMAZING X-Men characters in ML now, it is time for Toad to shine. Past time, actually.
BUILD A FIGURE: MOJO
Haha, I am not even a big fan of Mojo, but in terms of all of the TB BaFs that have not yet seen an update, he is arguably one of the most needed. Because, you know MODOK will never be on list like this because he is PERFECT. That said, the old Mojo figure is highly detailed and very appropriately disgusting, but he is way undersized. I realize that current Hasbro ML BaFs are not huge, but I think they can still do much to improve on several facets at this point, including the overall size. Again, X-Men are hot and are in fair play again, so I expect big things for them in ML in the next 18 months. Mojo should be a part of that.
Okay, so that is it for PART I. I will, obviously, be back for PART II, likely next week. I was with TB ML for the entire run, and still have wonderful nostalgia for that time and the figures that were released. However, as you can see, our Archive pictures are so OLD at this point, (and some we don’t even have anymore) that that point alone should be enough to get new updates for these dudes. So, let’s have it. Be back next week and we will list off some more figures to “snap” off of our shelves.