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Hasbro: Marvel Legends Sauron Series Wolverine, Bishop, Omega Red, and Sauron

Yeah, this new series is being touted as the second “Deadpool” Marvel Legends series of the year, and while the first half of our look did feature all DP characters, one could argue that this is just as much an X-Men wave, too. Yes, the crossover is undeniable, but when you see a series that features Wolverine (Laura), Bishop, and longtime X-Villains Omega Red and Sauron, as an X-Fan, you have to give Hasbro a tip of the cap for increasing the amount of mutants we are seeing each year in the line.

I had a lot of fun with the first three figures from this assortment, but as an ardent ML collector, THIS is where the big payoffs are for adding and updating essential Marvel characters in the collection. Sure, Lady DP is a great add, but I already have my needed standard Deadpool, so getting essential update to Bishop and Omega Red, and FINALLY landing Sauron in the line is pretty major, if you ask me. Oh, and getting the blue and yellow Wolverine costume for Laura is great, too. It is funny, the first half of this review showed me that fun figures can happen and are always welcome in ML, but this set further proves my mantra that modern updates of characters with past figures are just as important and getting new guys in the line. Seriously. Hasbro is so on in their game right now, and we, and the characters we love, are really benefitting. 

Since we have four figures to look at here, I want to get right to the point, so let’s check out Wolverine, Bishop, Omega Red, and SAURON!

WOLVERINE

I talked about how Deadpool has been getting a lot of ML love as of late, but if you have been paying attention, Laura Kinney is doing pretty well, too. In the Sasquatch series we got her in her X-Force outfit, and while that silver and black is always slick, I am a big fan of this classic Logan Wolverine costume tribute. As gaudy as it is, there something about that blue and yellow that just sings, and is what pops in the old brainpan when you think of the X-Men. Plus, this new figure offers a couple of, ahem, POINTS, that were left off the last figure.

Much of this figure is built off of the slim female body that we have seen several time by now, and used as recently as this same wave with Lady Deadpool. This works fine for Laura’s build, though it took me a minute to adjust because I still think of her as being shorter than she actually is now, but I blame Logan for that. The required costume embellishments have been covered here, too, so her belt and boots are new (pretty sure) and are not just implied via paint. The new boot facilitate Laura actually getting her foot claws this time around, something that was missing before, and both these and her standard two-pronged claws. The only bummer about the body itself is that I have some yellow paint bleed and slop in a few places, and when that is up against dark blue, it stand out a lot, so I am bit bummed about it.

The real highlight of this figure, though, is the interchangeable head offering, and both the masked and unmasked heads are both excellent. The masked head obviously does the job in paying tribute to the Logan Wolverine, and while I am generally not a huge fan of windswept hair, it actually works well here. The unmasked head is the polar opposite of that in that the hair is hanging as perfectly straight and unruffled as can be. The face looks like Laura, and the sculpt is very nice, but this head, like the unmasked Silk head that came before it, can work well for a generic unmasked head as well, so there are certainly some options here.

BISHOP

Here we go! Bishop, along with the next figure below, is one of my favorite figures in this wave. Let me tell you guys something, getting updated versions of characters in Marvel Legends, especially those who have not been in the line for OVER A DECADE is a GOOD thing. First, many new collectors need to get in on these guys, too, so don’t hold it against people if they were not all in since the Toy Biz Spider-Man Classics like some of us. Also, guys, you gotta realize this: we are in the GOLDEN AGE of Marvel Legends. These figures have NEVER been better overall, and as a general rule, update versions of figures we have had in the past are almost ALWAYS improvements under this modern banner. Hasbro is KILLING IT right now. Bishop here, along with Omega Red, are shining examples of this.

There is not denying that Bishop has been a stalwart of the ML collection for a lot of us for a long time. While I like the old TB figure overall (aside from it being difficult to stand/balance/pose), I find this new figure to be an improvement in every way. He is still nice and tall, so the base body is appropriate for my tastes, and this one has good balance and range of movement in his joints, so posing is not an issue at all. The head sculpt and likeness are more accurate this time around and while I love the details in the face, the hair is where it is at with this one. This figure has an appropriate full-on mullet (the TB version, at least the one with hair, was more just long hair combed back) that looks horribly great, and even though he has a full party in the back, the neck articulation is not hindered much at all.

Bishop also has his ridiculously large gun that fits into an even more ridiculously large holster that he wears over his left shoulder. That is fine since he uses it, but shooting a gun isn’t his mutant power, so this figure comes up a bit short in showing that off. However, his hands are easily removable, and if you replace one or both with the purple hands from the recent Magneto figure, you can get a bit of a look at his concussive energy powers. I think the swap works well, so I will be keeping on the shelf the swap that is in some of these pictures.

OMEGA RED

I really do love the new Bishop figure, but Omega Red is my runaway favorite figure from this series. I am not even a maniac fan of the character (he is fine), but this Russian alumnus of the Weapon X program is pretty much Marvel Legends perfection and he has one of the best ML head sculpts to date. IIRC, Omega Red shows up in one of the longer cuts of the new Deadpool movie, so his inclusion certainly works here, but 90s X-Fans will be pumped for this update because he looks fantastic and ushers in a much better large upper body base than the Hyperion buck we have been seeing for several years now.

So, needless to say, Arkady is a big dude and now he is a big dude with butterfly shoulder joints so he can move around really well. I certainly cannot complain about the new base bodies we have been getting for ML as of late, because they have all be great, but the bigger dudes needed an update badly, and this new torso is going to work well for a lot of future figures. As unique a Omega Red’s costume is, it can be build on top of a pretty blank base with the “suspenders” overly, new forearms, and shins, so this figure accomplishes a lot by still adding to the ML library. Of course, the defining part of Omega Red are his Weapon X-installed tendrils, and you get four of them here, two short and two long. Now, I know they really come out during a fight, but I think I like the shorter ones better for the regular display. The longer versions are nice enough, and made of flexible plastic, but this is the ONE spot where Toy Biz still wins, as these would have been more dynamic with bendy wires.

Really though, the best part of this figure is the head sculpt and it is definitely one of the best in the entire ML line. Yes, it captures the likeness well, but the details are so crisp and precise. The little metal pieces on the cheeks have a lot of detail for being so small and the expression was taken right out of my head when I picture OR. The hair looks great, too, and while I always thought of the style to be more old Japanese than Russian, it is definitely unique in the Marvel display, so as if Omega Red didn’t have enough going for him already, he has rad 90s comic Russian gangster hair. Some guys have all the luck.

SAURON

And now we come to it, the payoff for collecting all of these individual figures. The Build-a-Figure of Sauron (called Dr. Karl Lykos on the package) is so overdue in ML it is not even funny, and now that he is here, I have to say, he is pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good. This figure has a LOT going for it in terms of sculpt and just plain “need” it factor, but as a figure, it is pretty “fidgety.” To be technical. I don’t want to dip down after all of this build up to getting Sauron, but I do wish the joints were a bit more solid and he could pose more naturally without having to adjust every little thing that falls out of place. Granted there was going to be some of this with weight of those wings no matter what, but those some wings have very shallow pegs at the “elbows” so they tend to come apart easier than I would like. So, I am not trying to be overly picky here, but I think the construction of the figure will irritate some people, so I am putting it out there. For me, once you have him in a neutral standing pose, or a flight pose (which I will be doing in my display) he really does look great.

As I said, the sculpt is the major strength of this figure and every single centimeter of him is covered in some kind of sculpted detail. The head looks GREAT, especially with the mouth open in a “screeching” look, and all of the  scales on his hide make the such an interesting base. I am not sure if some of these parts will get to be used in the future, but if so, they will continue to look great. The leathery wings are also cool and those details are enhanced by a lot of nice airbrushing paint effects to help transition from the dark greens to the lights. The loin cloth is probably my least favorite thing about the sculpt because it is not exactly how I would have pictured it on the figure, but there is no denying that it is intricate and visually interesting.

I know I bemoaned some of the articulation above, but that is due to the fact that this is a big and HEAVY figure, so some of the joints struggle to carry that weight, but all of the joints do have a pretty extensive range of movement. This is most apparent in the lower articulation point of the neck and tail and while the slots can be a bit too visible in some poses, the range on both of those pieces is a lot more than I expected. So yes, I find that Sauron is a bit of mixed bag overall, but I still really do like him, and I am more than relieved to finally have him in my collection. He will look great amongst the rest of the X-Men baddies, no matter what.

What a weird and eclectic series! We have gotten a ton of Deadpool this year, and the Casual version might be my favorite one yet. The real highlights of this wave for me are Omega Red and Bishop, so it is fun to see that X-Men corner of the collection continue to expand with modern ML. Don’t sleep on this series, and head on over to Dorkside to get all locked in!

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