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Marvel Universe – Black Panther

{mosimage}I received the new Marvel Universe Black Panther in the mail recently. I’ve been looking forward to seeing these on the pegs, so I could make a decision on this line when I see them in person. I really wanted to like the previous foray into 3.75" figures, Superhero Showdown. But the flimsy, fragile figures we got never set well with me.

I’m happy to say, if Black Panther is any indication, that this line is *lightyears* beyond Superhero Showdown. The first thing that hit me is that the packaging is more eyecatching. It fits in with the Star Wars and Joe figure packaging, with a nice bubble to show of the figure and nice graphics to draw the eye. Opening him up, there aren’t any clear bands or twisties to hold the figure in, just like Joes. It didn’t take long to have him out and start playing with him.

Black Panther comes packaged with a long staff with a blade at one end. The staff is made of good sturdy plastic. This sucker isn’t going to wilt and look like he’s holding a wet noodle. BP has one hand sculpted to hold the staff and it fits in very well. He should have no problems keeping a hold on his staff.

In addition to the staff, included in the package is the secret folder of the Fury Files. It’s meant to look like a manila folder and it does. Inside are 3 items. One is a code that you can enter at I don’t see anywhere on the site to enter the code right now, though, so I’m not sure what it unlocks. The next item is like a superhuman registration card. One side is a painting of BP, the other side has his real name, code name, powers, etc. The last piece is an offical document from Tony Stark to Jack Kooning, SecDef. It states that BP and Wakanda need the full support of SHIELD.


Ok, on to Black Panther himself. First off, the figure is molded in black, so there isn’t a spot of paint on him other than the white for his eyes. So unfortunately I don’t have any indication on how paint apps are going to be, but the eyes look good. No slop or any problems there. This figure is solidly constructed. No arms popping off when you just look at him. No worries that something is going to break. Besides the one hand molded to hold the staff, the other is molded in a claw shape, ready to rip some bad guy open. The bottom of his feet are even sculpted and have a track/running shoe type look that is really nice. His hands/gloves and boots have the ribbed type texture of a classic Black Panther.

Articulation wise, he’s done well but lacking a bit. He has a ball joined head with a good range of movement. his shoulders are a ball joint at the shoulder, like current Joes or SW figs. At his elbow, he has a ball joint. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the range of movement that most Joes have now. It falls short of making a full 90 degree angle. Cut wrists round out the arms. One problem I have with him is that his arms just will not come down to his sides. The main reason is the sculpt of his chest and upper arms won’t allow that movement down to the side. BP has a cut waist, but I think he could have benefited from the mid-torso joint that many Joes are sporting. At his hips, he has the same kind of ball joint that Joes currently have. It’s more of a post from the hip that fits into a whole in the leg. He has the thicker crotch of earlier Joes, so he can’t raise his legs up to a 90 degree angle at the hip. Black Panther has ball jointed knees similar to the 5" movie spidey figures. I think he would have benefited from double knees like Joes for a better range of movement. His knees suffer like his elbows and fall short of a 90 degree angle. What they can do, though, is allow a bit of a swivel that Joes lack in the legs. He can *almost* cross his legs, but because he can’t hit that 90 degree angle it doesn’t quite work. Ball jointed ankles round out the figure. They have a good range of movement and no problems.


Overall, I like this figure a lot. He can’t quite get into ML like poses, but what poses he can get into are cool. I think the size of the figure lends itself to more fiddling and playing with, though. He’s good hand candy like most Joes are. Plus he can face off against those Joes. I can imagine him sparring with Snake-Eyes and fighting against Cobra forces. I think the whole Fury Files aspect also adds to the play value and intrigue. You get a feel like what I get from the Joe file cards, and I like it. I can only hope that somewhere down the line we can start getting vehicles and playsets to go with these figures.

My ranking: a solid 8 out of 10.

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