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Marvel Legends 2013 Wave 1 Review

The first wave of the 2013 round of Marvel Legends is hitting here and there, so it’s time for Fwoosh to take a look at them and see how these stack up to previous waves. This is the first of a handful of planned “mini-baf” waves featuring a much smaller build-a-figure than we’ve become accustomed to in previous years. The upside is that you don’t have to buy every figure in the wave in order to build the extra figure. Whether or not that’s a good idea will be revealed in how many pegs are warmed.

Fwoosh reviewers Prodigy and Ibentmyman-thing (that’s me, you know) are going to take a look at the figures they have and see if you should be spending your hard-earned money on them.

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First up is Protector, the already-defunct identity of Kree super-soldier Noh-Varr. This figure has me shaking my head at it already due to the poorly planned-out gun hands — reused from Fantomex — that leave him pointing his gun toward the floor. I’m cringing at the thought of these things being used on more and more gun-wielding figures. Try and nip it in the bud now, eh Hasbro?

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Other than that initial snafu, he’s a tidy figure. His minimal paints consisting primarily of black and white without any shading, much like Future Foundation Spidey and the aforementioned Fantomex. It’s not a horrible looking figure, though; it’s on that same Spidey body and it poses well enough. He has some decent gauntlet add-ons and his head’s fine, but there’s nothing about him really jumps out as exceptional. He shares a variant slot with the as yet unreleased Iron Fist, who will be coming on the same body. How you feel about the figure will rest entirely on how you feel about the character himself. For me he’s not too good, not too bad, just middle ground. I prefer his initial costume anyway.

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Next up, Archangel. We’ve seen this general figure before in the SDCC-exclusive X-force set, but here it is for wider release with Archangel’s original pink and blue color scheme. While the SDCC version had chrome wings, this one only has a set of flat grey wings, but it still manages to be a gorgeous figure due to the metallic hot pink used as accent colors. Warren’s transformation into Archangel is one of the cooler-looking things to come out of that period in comics, and the figure itself is a great representation of that time in his life.

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I’m extremely happy they utilized a blank version of the new Bucky Cap body instead of slapping some wings on the Spidey/Protector body because, with this body, Hasbro is proving that going forward and leaving a lot of their old ways behind is the best way to handle the property. I can’t wait until we’ve seen the last of the old bodies.

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His wings have multiple points of articulation which means they can be folded back, stretched out, or wrapped around him. They almost count as a separate character. Not quite, but they outshine the previous XMC Archangel’s wings by a thousandfold.  Archangel can hit pretty much any flying pose you need and he’ll look great hovering above your other X-figures. I’d like to have seen a new set of hands instead of the same old Bucky trigger hands, maybe something like what’s coming on the upcoming Black Panther body, but they’re serviceable enough for what they need to be, and the rest of the figure looks so good that it’s a very minor complaint.

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I really love the direction that Hasbro is going in its female sculpts.  You know, actually having a female figure with some muscle and not just a stick figure?  Yeah, I dig that.  These are supposed to be athletic, in tip-top shape female characters, so why are they always sculpted looking like they’ve never seen a weight room or even a treadmill in their lives?  

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Red She Hulk is the opposite.  She’s built like a woman who works out should be.  Now, granted, her physique is probably due more to gamma rays than to the bench press machine, but you get my point. 

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Her sculpt is really nice and, like I said, her muscle-toned body is very nicely done.  This body can be used for a few other bigger gals in the future.  Lyra will be released as her 50/50 split later this year.  The new hip set up works well with her, but they used 45 degree hips and that makes her a little more difficult to pose, but it’s not a major drawback.  The hip setup and the torso swivel still allow her to get into some really cool poses. 

Her face sculpt is nice, and overall it’s just a really cool figure.  Her one drawback is that her arms are really short, like DCUC female T. rex syndrome arms.  Her fists are too tiny too and her arms and fists could be proportionate to a regular-sized female, but not one her height and size. It’s the one flaw her sculpt has. 

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But it’s not a dealbreaker.  She’s another solid addition to what so far has been an amazing first four waves of the Return of Marvel Legends.

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Ultimate Captain America is up next. He’s on the old Face-off Punisher body spruced up a bit with new gloves, boots and some additions that make it look probably the best it’s looked in a long time. While it was a horrible choice for Drax, it’s serviceable, if not ideal, for Cap here. The large belt and vest give him some needed bulk and even out his proportions a lot. His head is the best part of him, possibly eclipsing the Series 1 Captain America head as my favorite representation of him. If it had a set of wings it might be a winner, but in the Ultimate world, Cap is wing free. NOW also, I guess. Oh well. I like how it looks exactly like a masked version of the unmasked Commander Rogers head, so they’re making an attempt at continuity between all the Steves.

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His shield has a much perkier paint job than the standard Bucky Cap shield, there’s a metallic sheen to the red that stands out.

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While the body is a bit tired, the additions make him worth it for the fodder alone, so if you’re a customizer and Ultimate Cap isn’t your bag, the boots, belt, gloves, vest and head all make the purchase worth it.

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Next up is my favorite of the wave for many reasons. He’s a brand new, never-been-done-before character on a completely new body, he’s the beginning of a team that has had zero representation so far, and it’s done about as well as can be expected. Sweet plastic crack, it’s flavor-country time.

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Hyperion is a perky figure, red and yellow and bold, and just screams “I’m a superhero!” I’m very happy that Hyperion wasn’t made in his drab Supreme Power version (once threatened) or his new black and gold Avengers look. There’s no mistaking this as anything but the Squadron Supreme Hyperion, and it’s about time.

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This newly-sculpted body carries all the strengths of the Bucky Cap body in articulation setup and aesthetics with additional height and thickness, adding a much needed body size to Hasbro’s rapidly expanding arsenal of male and female bodies. He looks nice and powerful. I’ve said before, but I wish they had waited to start the Wrecking Crew on this body as I never needed them crazily large, but what’s done is done. Hopefully this body will be reused plenty down the road. I could make a list.

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The only thing I don’t like is the odd two-piece cape. I’m not sure why it couldn’t all have been one piece. It doesn’t kill the figure; it’s just an odd choice. But I can’t bring myself to complain too much about it, because otherwise this figure is the tons of fun to play with.

I’ve heard some complaints that this Wolverine is too tall and that he doesn’t fit in scale-wise.  I say phooie.  This is the best Wolverine figure ever.  The sculpt, overall look, and the freaking perfect claws blow away any reservations I had about his height.  I can live with Wolvie being 5’8″ or so if he’s made this well.

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Now to me this isn’t the ideal color scheme for him, but I love the Uncanny X-Force run, so he’s more than welcome to sit on the shelf in this uni.  Hasbro managed to make this figure work by combining the old ML 6 Wolvie torso with the new legs and hips of the Bucky Cap figure.  Now, because he uses the Wolvie waist, he still has 45 degree hips, but because of the new upper thigh cut, it’s much more manageable to pose.

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I love the new head sculpt on him and his boots and gauntlets are so well done.  The really killer things are his claws.  They’re absolutely spot-on perfect.  They’re sturdy enough that you don’t pull him out of the package with his claws looking like Magneto got the best of him.  Makes you wonder why it took them over ten Wolvie figures to get the claws right. 

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 If you’re a fan of X-Force or Wolverine, and you didn’t pick up the SDCC box set, this figure is a must get. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

 Logan’s never afraid of heights:

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The surprise of the wave for me is Hit-Monkey. I’m always a fan of quirky characters and usually know who’s who and what’s what, but when Hit-Monkey was announced the first words out of my mental lips were “who?” I wasn’t alone in that respect. Finding out his origins didn’t really improve my opinion of the choice, since he’s a creation of Daniel Way, whose work I’ve never been fond of, to put it lightly. I actively avoid it.

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Add in the fact that it’s an obvious attempt to synch up with the video game, and all I could think of were the tons of characters that should have been made before some minor creation like Hit-Monkey. Of course, characters like Rocket Raccoon and Puck are coming in future waves, so it’s a moot point, but still.

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However, in hand I was able to overlook the shortcomings of his origin and find a pretty cool little toy. He’s remarkably well articulated where they could easily have skimped. I hope that’s a trend for future smaller-type characters. He’s got a lot of personality and the minimalized-yet-effective articulation doesn’t deter him from getting into plenty of monkey-esque poses. If you’re on the fence about trying to complete him, you’d be doing yourself a favor to go ahead and seek out his parts. With just Hyperion, She-Hulk and Protector needed to put him together, at least you don’t have to buy the entire wave.

 Buy from BBTS

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