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Bluesparrow Reviews ML 10 – Part 1 of 3

Since your friendly neighborhood Fwoosh staff is too cheap to pony up for the first cases of Marvel Legends 10 to hit the Americas, we’re doing what we do best – relying on the kindness of the others. Stepping up to the plate is Fwoosher bluesparrow. Back in June, blue provided us with an early glimpse at the Super Hero Showdown Ghost Rider. Now he’s branching out with full-on reviews. In part one of his ML 10 reviews, he’ll cover Cyclops, Omega Red, First Appearance Spider-Man, and Mr. Sinister. Read on!

Cyclops

Click to view full size imageCyclops action figure from the tenth series of Toybiz’s Marvel Legends line. Wearing probably his most iconic costume.

Sculpt
Good. The figure reuses one of my favorite torso sculpts in Toybiz’s repertoire, this is its third appearance in the line following ML2 Namor and ML5 Nick Fury. However I’m basing this review on the new pieces made for this figure, which is everything below the knees, below the elbows, and the head. The face sculpt isn’t terribly popular but I think it’s fine, it’s distinctive and the sour expression is faithful to the character. The gloves are very nicely detailed and realistic looking. The boots however suffer from some poor planning. It’s apparant from the prototype photographs that the lower calves of the figure were meant to be longer, but at some point they must have realized they were making the figure altogether too tall, and shortened them. The sum result of this is that the boot cuffs, already rather big, became overwhelming. It makes the figure look a bit squat, but if you look closely he’s rather well-proportioned.

Paint
Okay. Here we run into problems. A lot has been mentioned about the black wash used on the figure’s torso, but in person that looks fine. The real problem with the paint scheme is the wash used on the gloves and boots. It’s meant to look them look filthy and it does. Cyclops looks like he’s been swimming through a sewer. The applications overall are decent, though hardly perfect. No major flaws though.

Articulation
Good. I count 30, but I suppose if you want to get technical it could go up to as high as 34 because of the style of the shoulders and hips. They’re ball joints, but not true ball joints imo, they’re a combination of a hinge on a swivel. it essentially gets the same motion and could be considered 2 points of articulation per joint, but I consider it one. Cyclops has: a limited ball neck, ball shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinge elbows, forearm swivel cuts along the glove line, wrist hinges, knuckle hinges, waist swivel, ball hips, mid-thigh swivel cuts, double hinge knees, mid-calf cut under the bootcuffs, hinge ankles, hinge toes. Standard as Toybiz gets.

Accessories
Good. Comes with a piece of the Build-A-Figure Sentinel and a flying stand. The flying stand is a nice touch, but unneccessary. As with all MLs he comes with a comic book.

Overall
Pretty good. Not exactly the pinnacle of the action figure art, Cyclops is a solid figure, executed well. Not perfect, not the ideal Cyclops we could ever want, but the best one we’ve seen to date.

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Omega Red

Click to view full size imageOmega Red action figure from the tenth series of Toybiz’s Marvel Legends line.

Sculpt
Very good. Another reuse of an older body, with some slight alterations. This time it’s the base of ML5’s Sabretooth, also previously used in the Venom figure in the Sinister Six boxet. The alterations involve new lower legs and knees, new forearms and elbows, new head. The sum total of the changes make the figure immensely taller than either that Venom or Sabretooth, and standing together they don’t really look like the same base body on first glance. The heighth difference however is entirely in the new lower legs, which are massive. The face sculpt is impressive, and he fits in well with Wolverine, Cable, Deadpool, and the rest of the newer, edgier X-characters. He seems the least sophisticated sculpt of ML10, and would have been right at home in any wave from 5-7. Among the generally excellent new sculpts of the past few waves he seems a bit of a throwback. His harness and shoulderpads aren’t sculpted on, it’s a loose piece that goes over him, and is pegged at the front.

Paint
Average. The poorest paint application and design of the wave. It’s really a simple figure, and the paint design combined with the less sophisticated style of sculpting are less Toybiz of 2005 than Toybiz of 2003.

Articulation
Excellent. This figure is the most obviously an "action" figure of the wave – he’s not meant to stand on a shelf. Designed for plenty of play, he’s a dream to pose. His articulation is: neck hinge & swivel, pony tail swivel cut, stupid armpit hinges, ball shoulders, bicep swivel, double hinged elbows, hinged wrists, hinged knuckles, ab hinge, waist swivel, ball hips, hip swivels below the ball joints, double-hinged knees, mid-calf swivel cut, hinge ankles, and swivel based tentacles that are bendy.

Accessories
Good. He comes with a piece of the Sentinel, a flying stand, and his tentacles. As with all MLs he comes with a comic book.

Overall
Very good. Just a fun figure, his size and scult make him a menacing enemy for the traditionally enemy poor Marvel Legends line, and this makes up for his lack of sophistication.

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First Appearance Spider-Man

Click to view full size imageSpider-Man action figure from the tenth series of Toybiz’s Marvel Legends line. He’s designed to look like the character did in his first appearance, an occasional subset of the Marvel Legends line, previously represented by a First Appearance Hulk in series nine.

Sculpt
Very good. This figure’s not getting a fair break due to the ubiquity of the character in the sister line to ML, Spider-Man Classics, through which 12-15 spider-man figures are produced annually. Which is a shame, because this really is probably the best one in terms of sculpting. The sculpted folds in the cloth, the mask, etc. One thing I’m not fond of are his fingers, which are really skinny and simple.

Paint
Okay. Losing points just because it’s a simple paint scheme, and uses Toybiz’s old tricks. To get the web design on the costume, Toybiz usually carves them into the sculpt, and uses a black wash to fill them in. This generally works but tends to be sloppy, with some muddy black wash getting onto the red squares where they’re not supposed to be. Luckily Toybiz resisted their usual habit of putting a strange wash on the black portions of the costume, and it looks very nice and stylish.

Articulation
Very good. McFarlane Spidey he’s not. But just about any non-action feature Spider-man Toybiz makes will be uber-articulated, so we’re treated to the same here. He has a neck hinge/swivel. stupid armpit hinges, ball shoulders, bicep swivels, double-hinged elbows, mid-forearm swivel cuts, wrist hinges, seperate fingers articulated at the knuckle, ab hinge, waist swivel, ball hips, thigh swivel under the ball, double-hinged knees, mid-calf swivel cuts, ankle inges, toe hinges. I count 39 POA but depending on how generous you are it may go to 41-43.

Accessories

Very good. In addition to coming with a vital piece of the BAF Sentinel, Spidey comes with a flying stand, which he gets a lot of use out of, and is dearly useful. He also comes with cloth underarm webwings that, while comic-accurate, are poorly designed and are more an eyesore than anything else. I removed it straight away. Also, as with all MLs, he comes with a comic book.

Overall
Excellent. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. There’s been a few definitive Spider-Man artists over the years, including the already made McFarlane version, but this Steve Ditko one is the first, and my favorite. I like the black instead of blue on the costume, the slightly creepy eye design, and the overall litheness of the design. He’s my new definitive Spider-man, even the beloved McFarlane Spidey goes into the box.

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Mr. Sinister

Click to view full size imageMr. Sinister action figure from Toybiz’s Marvel Legends series ten.

Sculpt
Excellent. The best-sculpted figure of the wave, and possibly the best of the entire line to date. He’s a bit taller than he should be, but he lists shape-shifting among his powers, and there’s just so much personality in every millimeter of him. It’s not surprising to learn that this figure was sculpted by the same artist who made the sublime Black Panther figure. Like them, this figure is dynamic even in a vanilla pose.

Paint
Excellent. A lot was said that this figure lost it’s metallic armor sheen between the prototype stage and production, but on my figure at least that’s not the case. There’s some paint wear already on the red diamond on the front of his armor, but that’s mostly my fault I think.

Articulation
Very good. Nothing fancy here, mostly standard. There’s a giant flaw in the choice of articulation however, that keeps this figure from being perfect: a mid-forearm cut. There’s plenty of room along the glove line to do it. This oversight severely limits his arm poseability. In any case, here’s what he has: neck hinge/swivel, good armpit hinges(the bullseye front/back kind, not the awful Deadpool up/down one), ball shoulders, bicep swivels, double-hinged elbows, wrist hinge, individual fingers articulated at the knuckle, ab hinge, waist swivel, ball hips, thigh swivel at the balljoint, double-hinged knees, mid-calf swivel cuts, ankle hinges, toe hinges. I put the POA count at 37, but it could be up to 41 based on how you count them.

Accessories
Good. As with all ML10, Mr Sinister comes with a piece of a Sentinel and a flying stand. Being so tall however, he doesn’t need one, and looks silly using it. And as with all MLs, he comes with a comic book featuring him. He comes with a stringy cape pegged at the back of his neck, and it looks good and hangs well.

Overall
Excellent. The best Marvel Legends to date? If not, he’s pretty damned close. Best ML of series 10? Definitely. Going in, he was my least-wanted figure of the wave, and now I can’t get enough of the guy. A case of a figure making me a fan of the character.

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About bluesparrow
bluesparrow joined the Fwoosh back in March of this year, and is closing in on that oh-so-special one thousandth post. Being generally bored and spending so much time online talking about toys, he created Neon Batman (with Sword-Slashing action!) – a repository for his thoughts on toys, collecting, the industry, etc. Stop by his site for more pictures of ML 10 and more.

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