Your Home for Toy News and Action Figure Discussion!

Hasbro: Marvel Legends Riders Black Widow and Ghost Rider

When you have an action figure line that is at the top of its game, even with a storied 15 year history, you often look for new, cool, and exciting ways to keep everything fresh. Well, for Marvel Legends, the latest way to keep things moving, is literally a way to keep Marvel Legends moving – by adding “rides” to the mix! For this first, of what I hope to be an ongoing, series that means giving our old pals Ghost Rider and Black Widow two slick new motorcycles, and I can assure, especially for the former, these wheels are essential pieces to our ML collections.

Now, for those of us who have been collecting Legends since the beginning, we know this is the fourth real iteration of the line (this modern run was preceded by the old Spider-Man Classics, Toy Biz Marvel Legends, and Hasbro’s original ML run), and while this is the first time we have seen bikes or rides for this incarnation, vehicles have made their way into ML in the past. Heck, the eleventh series in the Toy Biz run was solely dedicated to the “Legendary Riders,” but much like my overall take on the current state of Legends, these rides are pretty much instantly the best the storied line has ever seen. I am so taken by the Hell Cycle, in fact, that I don’t recall a time in recent memory when I had so much fun even just taking pictures of a piece.

I do, of course, also like getting another bite at the apple in terms of character variations for the included figures, and Ghost Rider, Widow, and the upcoming Wolverine/Logan all merit such releases. In fact, for these first two, it has taken multiple releases and parts swapping from several places, but these figures finally finish off what I needed to make for my “pretty much perfect” iconic versions of GR and Widow, while still giving me some viable variants, too. I am also good with the price point on these, and it falls basically on the high end of “reasonable,” so for an overall concept, with some creative continuation, this series could and SHOULD be a lot of fun. Sure, opinions will be divided within and between releases, but when have we NOT know that to happen? Let’s take a look.

BLACK WIDOW & MOTORCYCLE

I am starting with Widow because for this feature, I am saving the best for last. Yeah, I said it, not like there was any air of mystery about it. However, do not mistake Natasha being up first as a labeling of this not being a good release, because it totally is, just not as essential as Ghost Rider. However, Nat does have a long history of using motorbikes as a means of transportation (and if you go see Marvel Universe: LIVE!, you will find most of the MU does as well), and Hasbro has done a nice job in giving us a modern Black Widow figure with a modern bike to match.

Widow’s cycle is a sports bike and the black, red, and dark metal colorings, along with her emblazoned logo on the side, match her theme well. So, you can look at this and say it is totally a BW motorcycle, but at the same time, the sculpting and overall design are put together in such a way that this can be easily repurposed for another character. It makes sense, and guys like Captain America, Hawkeye, or a myriad of others can make use of these wheels. The details are nice, and you can see the sculpting highlights in the engine portions and handle bars, so you can tell this bike is built for speed, and Nat can probably run down departing jets on it.

The bike does have some functionality to it as well, and that is mostly in the form of the front end movement, moving wheels, and a functional kickstand. The wheels turn, which is pretty much all you would ask for, and I like that the tires are actually made of a rubbery material, it definitely adds to the effect. I do wish front tire turned more fluidly, but that is terribly minor, and it might just be mine. The kickstand is essential for posing the bike with Nat, so I am glad it works, but honestly, if I had one legitimate nitpick with this set, it is that I wish the stand worked better than it does. It needs to be a bit longer and maybe a bit wider to provide reliable and stable support for the bike + Widow. Right now, you kind of have to finagle everything just so so it will stand, and it wish it just worked better.

For Widow herself, this is a nice modern representation of the character, and as I said, gives me the last piece I need to make an iconic classic Natasha. This new figure is not perfect, and I wish the faces were painted a bit better, and the belt was actually sculpted instead of simply being painted on, but that is not a step outside the norm for Legends. This figure has a medium build with some nice costume fold lines and the modern silver bracers on the wrists. The figure DOES have two trigger fingers, but unfortunately, there are no modern pistols included here, and that is a shame. For me, the modern BW works best with the short hair head, so that is perfect because I need that other one for my classic Widow…

…which can be made by combining the long hair head from this set with the Vintage series body. I wish the front zipper was there like the modern body, but overall, I finally have a classic Black Widow in this modern Legends line that I am pretty happy with, all things being equal. This new head really captures that classic Widow hairdo that I have been missing with the previous Hasbro releases, so I am set now. Plus, since this is my preferred version of BW, I am glad this head has the strongest paint. So, considering I get to complete two very viable Black Widow figures thanks to this set, I find the asking price worth it, and the bike is a really fun inclusion.

GHOST RIDER & HELL CYCLE

Okay, so with the Widow set, at least for me, it was more about the figure, but with this one, it is all about the bike, and maaaaaaaaan, this bike is hella rad. I mean, I really like, and was, until this release, content to use that old Toy Biz series 7 Hell Cycle, but now, I have literally traded that one in for a shiny new model. This bike has a lot going for it, and despite the bad ass flames, like the Widow bike, this one was built to be repurposed (I think we have already seen that with the Logan preview), but in doing so, it gives you lots of display options just a the Hell Cycle. Let’s face it, Ghost Rider is arguably the Marvel character most in need of having his vehicle, and now, he is cruising (and seeking vengeance) in style.

This bike is much more of a classic motorcycle at its foundation than the one that comes with Widow, and that fits the Hell Cycle very well. All of the flames (save for the one on the wheel well of the back tire) are removable, as is the skull piece on the front, so as you can see, once stripped down, this bike is likely to get a of, ahem, miles, in this new Riders line. BUT, for now, there is not a single good reason as to why you should remove those flames because this baby looks awesome with all of them firmly attached. They are all cast in a translucent plastic, and the clear material, coupled with the gradual color change, makes for a very convincing flame effect. The soft tires cast in yellow helps to complete the effect, and while opinions will likely be decided on the color choice, I dig it.

Personally, I thought I would be displaying this without the skull piece on the front, but I have to say, it has really grown on me, so it is going to stay. Besides, the Hell Cycle doesn’t need no stinkin’ headlight. Also, unlike the BW bike, the kickstand/stabilizer does a great job of balancing the bike, even with GR dynamically posed. Finally, the color motif for this is exclusively appropriate to the included GR figure. That is to say, with the blue accents, the single release GR in the black costume doesn’t really go here, but that is okay, because now you can have two GR’s on display, and if you have that old TB bike, you can still use that one, too.

Unlike Widow, the included figure with this set is an almost complete repaint. I mean, it is a repaint of one of the best ML figures ever, but aside from the accessory, you are not getting anything sculpturally new here. Now, THAT SAID, once again, this figure looks great, and I have absolutely no bones about buying it twice. First and foremost, the blue Johnny Blaze costume might be even more well-known and preferred than the black, so I certainly consider this to be classic. Now, I DO wish the blue was brighter and more contrasting to the black look, but this still looks really nice. The head has a significant change in paint as well, and I have to say, the paint on this one is a lot more detailed with a nice black wash applied to bring out the details. The thing about that though, is that I think THIS head looks better on the black costume body, and that head looks better on this blue body. The grittiness goes better with the black, and the brighter flames of the old one matches the bike. Your milage will vary with that, but check out the pics, I know I am keeping this permanent look.

Finally, GR come with his chain off, enflamed, and ready for swinging. I know a lot of people have been split on this one, too, but I think it is dynamic and fits the character really well. Frankly, this figure would take a big hit from me if this piece was not included, because GR looks so dynamic shining it on the bike. It just completes the overall aesthetic for the Spirit of Vengeance.

Dudes! These Rider sets are so rad, I love them both, and I highly recommend them. I am sure my enthusiasm is likely not matched by all, but even if you think the Widow set is pass-worthy, the GR set is NOT. It is essential, plain and simple. You are in luck if you want them, you can still get your order in at BBTS and Dorkside. If you cannot wait, they are available from Amazon HERE and HERE right now.

2 thoughts on “Hasbro: Marvel Legends Riders Black Widow and Ghost Rider

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *