AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON MARVEL LEGENDS
By Jarrett Kruse
The flood of MARVEL LEGENDS continues with the newest wave of 6-inch figure goodness and its only April! What a year 2015 is turning out to be for Action Figure Junkies. And the HULKBUSTER wave has not even hit yet. That is when the craziness will really begin and any BAF pieces are most definitely sure to go missing from your local toy store after being returned for one reason or another. So, this wave features three of the starting lineup from the upcoming AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON film and I am most definitely impressed with about four of the six figures in the wave. I am definitely a fan of the awesome Build-A-Figure in this wave as it is THANOS and matches the character we saw on screen last year in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY quite well. Lets dive in and see what each figure in the THANOS wave brings to the table and if they are worth your hard earned dollar.
BATROC THE LEAPER
I know what you are thinking guys, BATROC THE LEAPER as a MARVEL LEGENDS figure? Did people even realize that the classic 60's created character was in last year's awesome CAPTAIN AMERICAN: THE WINTER SOLDIER film in the action packed opening scene? The French Foreign Legion mercenary Georges Batroc is finally here in glorious six-inch form and I am happy to report that this is one very cool sleeper of a figure. BATROC specializes in the La Boxe Francaise also known as savate, a French form of kickboxing. Known for his aerial tactics, THE LEAPER is one tough cookie and has taken on a slew of seasoned MARVEL U members. The figure has the solid number of points of articulation that we have come to expect in the ML line and it is most needed for BATROC considering his background of taking to the air. If ever their was a need to get a figure stand for poses, it is most definitely with the purchase of BATROC. The dark yellow and purple look terrific on the piece and the Wolverine-esque mask looks pretty dope along with his curly-q mustache. All in all, this is an awesome entry into the LEGENDS canon and I hope it paves the way for more future B-list MARVEL characters.
IRON MAN MARK 43
So you think there are too many IRON MAN figures flooding the market? ABSOLUTELY NOT! What I love about the IRON MAN figures in the LEGENDS series is that when they saw Mark 43, there are literall 42 other versions of Tony Stark's armor out there! I still am trying to track down some of the Concept Series figures from the first IRON MAN movie that was the framework for the AVENGERS films. The figure looks great with the AGE OF ULTRON armor is pretty sweet and is very screen accurate making for a great entry into the wave. I like this armor better more than the IRON MAN LEGENDS figure that has the reverse color scheme where there is more gold than red. This is just the opposite which is cool by me. It has a very modern and sleek feel to it with an alternate head that has a peek at Stark's goateed mug. The swivels on the figure lend itself to posing because IRON MAN always looks cool with his hands bent with his repulsor blasters going. All in all, a solid entry for a character that has definitely had its share of overexposure the last few years.
The movie HULK that was brought to the screen in 2012's THE AVENGERS was definitely my favorite and I expect big things from him effects wise in the upcoming sequel. HASBRO goes all out with this new iteration of the big guy and he is practically busting out of the package he is so big. The figure has some real weight to it and is easily worth the $19.99 to $21.99 retail price tag. Big green looks like he just leaped off the screen and there is not a whole lot to complain about or analyze. Sometimes bigger is definitely better and I like the way HULK is scaled in comparison to the rest of the wave of figures. He is not too big or too small that will leave fans complaining. Sure he is definitely smaller than the upcoming MARVEL Select movie Hulk but that is fine because we expect that line to be monsters. I especially like the expressive facial sculpt and the solid paint job that has almost a light forest green as Banner's monster's skin tone. The legs are also especially well done with the mysterious red lines on them that we have seen for the movie. I am not sure if these lines are Stark-tech to control the Hulk's anger or what but it is a nice addition to his minimalistic costume.
FIERCE FIGHTERS: SPIDER-WOMAN
As per my review last night of the new Spider-Man wave of Legends, I have never been a big fan of SPIDER-WOMAN. However, if I had to pick a SPIDER-WOMAN to own, it would most definitely be this classic version that brings me back to the 70's and 80's. The added bonus here is that SPIDER-WOMAN comes with the BAF pieces of THANOS including his head and left arm. SPIDER-WOMAN comes with the red and yellow costume that is easily the most popular in the history of the character. I have always liked the costume on her but the paint job on this beautiful babe is sub-par at best. And that seems to be a characteristic of most of the female legends. Maybe it is all the busty curves and lanky angles on the female form but HASBRO does not seem to be able to really nail the babealiciousness of SPIDER-WOMAN when it comes to the details. I like the web wings that she comes with and I also appreciate the added bonus of having web gauntlets for her wrist. Still, the chippy paint job is difficult to ignore but from a distance the figure is a Monet, that is to say beautiful. It is when you get closer that you start to see its flaws.
FIERCE FIGHTERS: HELLCAT
HELLCAT is another odd pick to be added to a MARVEL LEGENDS wave but Junkies are always happy to get their hands on second tier characters that have never gotten their due in figure form. Created by Ruth Atkinson, HELLCAT aka Patsy Walker made her debut in teen romantic stories in the 40's. It was not until 1976 that HELLCAT was integrated into the MARVEL Universe and became a member of the AVENGERS and DEFENDERS. Truthfully I do not not know an enormous amount about the background of the character but I do know that she will be featured in the upcoming JESSICA JONES series on NETFLIX later this year. The paint job is clearly better than the aforementioned SPIDER-WOMAN making HELLCAT the female winner in the wave. I like the head sculpt a lot and imagine that we will see a lot of CATWOMAN customs in the near future because of her feline-esque appearance. The yellow and purple make her a perfect foil to pose against BATROC THE LEAPER and she even comes with a sweet extended billy club to put in her hands. All in all, I actually like this entry a lot but did not expect to at all. Well done.
For some reason, HASBRO does not have the rights to the likeness of actor Chris Evans and that is really the only detractor on this new version of CAPTAIN AMERICA. This is not going to be a peg warmer of a CAP, no, no. This is a sweet new entry with an excellent redesign of CAP's star-spangled suit that we will see in the upcoming AVENGERS mega sequel. With the mask on you cannot really tell who it is so that is fine but the extra head without the mask just looks like a generic blonde soldier and is completely unnecessary in my opinion. The Vibranium shield looks great and is the ultimate accessory for the leader of the AVENGERS. There is also an extra set of hands with brown half gloves that are a welcome addition for leadership poses. The real winner here is the subtle color adjustments to CAP's suit. They added some more red on the arms and chest and it just looks better than the first movie. The blue is not overwhelming like it can be on some SPIDER-MAN figures and I am really loving this addition to my collection. A definite winner here that is sure to fly under the radar with some more casual collectors. I am telling you now, pick this CAP up!
The BUILD-A-FIGURE THANOS is pretty epic! I just put this bad boy together and I have to say that I am very impressed. It is most definitely worth getting five of the six figures in this wave to build this mega-figure. He stands about the size of the above HULK and looks closest to the THANOS we saw in last year's GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. The shoulder cowl thing is difficult to snap into place even with holes for it because that particular piece is a little too bendy for my taste. Still, the overall scope of the BAF is ambitious and this THANOS is a must have for any serious Legends Junkie.