Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Hulkblustery Day: Marvel Legends Hulkbuster Wave
My wife and I were out and about, late one night, when I ran across the WHOLE batch of the current Marvel Legends with the build-a-figure of the Hulkbuster armor!
You best believe I been lookin' forward to Hulkbuster.
So yeah, I bought them all on the spot. Screw toy hunting. Above all, I did NOT wana miss the Hulkbuster armor! I only wish it didn't come with so many figures I'm unfamiliar with...
You wana go over each one in turn? With me? DO YA?! WELL COME ON!
First one is The Vision, with Hulkbuster Crotch. Vision showed up in the recent Avengers: Age of Ultron movie, so I'm a little more familiar with him, now. Previously, I only knew him from the Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon. One way or another, I like him, and I'll probably be keeping this until a better one comes along.
He uses the current ML basic male buck that got me back into Marvel Legends again. No more disc hips with the pins going vertically into the pelvis! Yay! Are you as excited as I am? Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? Eh, I'll point it out in one of the later figures.
He's a nice figure, but he's got no molded detail - it's all painted on. It's painted NICELY, though! All shiny. Well, save for his shins. Dunno why those got a different green paint, but it doesn't bother me much.
My only complaint is that the cape is too long, and you have to adjust him and compensate for the cape, in a standing position. It is removable, though.
At any rate: He's a good, basic Vision for a guy who has never had any version of him.
Next is "Marvel NOW!" Iron Man. I've been trying to figure out if "Marvel NOW!" was some new universe, or just a reboot of some heroes (like the "Heroes Reborn" thing in the 90's) or simply a specific storyline within the normal universe. No idea. Point is: This is how Iron Man looks in "Marvel NOW!", which is to say: A repainted MK IV from Iron Man 2.
I'm pretty sure it's the MK IV, anyway. There's the MK III, next to it. The black one has the more squared biceps of the IV, so that's probably it. Anyway, the only difference is color and some red dots on the arms and legs. It's slick!
My only problems are the articulation and the shoulders. For one: The mold is an older one, so it still uses the disc hips with the vertical pegs in the pelvis (I was talkin' about that above). I've explained it before, but I should really do a video sometime: Basically, with the peg going vertically into the pelvis, you have to turn the ball-hip to get the legs to move forward or to the side. Want a wide stance? Well, work the legs into that position. OKAY, now you need him to bring his leg forward? TWIST THE LEG AGAIN. You know how toys SHOULD work? Move leg forward, or move leg to the side. No work, no twisting. That simple. You shouldn't have to work your toys unless you're buying the fancy stuff, like S.H. Figuarts.
The other problem is those stupid shoulder pads. Rather than just molding the shoulder and shoulder armor as one unit, they mold an arm, a plain shoulder joint, then a piece of armor to cover it, attached at the top of the shoulder. It falls off all the time, and as you can see above, it sticks out and looks awkward in certain action poses. The shoulder armor doesn't need to be separate! Just make it all one piece!
I took 'em off and he looks fine. In fact, I think I prefer the look.
Hey, it's Dr. Strange! I know nothing about him, other than this is a look that I am entirely unfamiliar with. That's fine, though, 'cause I always thought his classic look was goofy as hell.
...on the other hand, this costume is almost a little too plain, for me. Seems like what he'd wear while in his lounge, sipping herbal tea and munching on some shrooms. I dunno what these magic dudes do.
On yet another hand: His old costume looks like fancy pajamas, so I still prefer this slightly boring one.
Strange comes with some magical bursts - which I love. They're reused from Scarlet Witch and work perfectly here. In fact, you could use Scarlet Witch's in tandem with his, if you want:
Also: With the hands in the "spell casting" position, he looks like he's doing that thing anime people do when they're surprised or being knocked off into the distance.
I'M KIDDING, of course we all know those are the DEVIL HORNS.
Alright! Another guy...I'm not familiar with. Great.
This is Blizzard! He literally hasn't had a figure since the 90's. I'm sorry, if you're a fan of Blizzard, I guess. Don't be too sad! He's actually quite nice. The paint is clean and shiny, he's using the current awesome ML body, and he's got that great classic Spandex Suit of Power (since he gets his ice abilities from the skin-tight-no-room-for-technology suit).
I get that the build-a-figure parts usually leave no room for accessories, but they should plan out figures a little better! For instance: Don't use this guy, if all he can come with is giant Hulkbuster parts. Put him in a wave with a smaller BAF, so he can get some ice accessories!
Also, if you won't give him any accessories, prompting me to use my own: give him some open hands! At least allow him to hold things! I know you didn't give him anything, Hasbro, but it doesn't mean I won't!
Regardless of the lack of ice stuff, I still find myself drawn to the figure. I had assumed I would be getting rid of him, but...I like him! Maybe it's the 90's nostalgia, since I remember him from the old Iron Man animated toyline and liked the looks of him back then, too.
Next is----ah geeze, do I not know ANY of these people?!
So this is Valkyrie, from Thor's comics. She is a...well, she's a Valkyrie named "Valkyrie." Clever! Apparently she's the best of the Valkyries? From the description on Wikipedia, I gathered that she's pretty much Asgardian beefcake like the rest of the warriors on Asgard. Nearly indestructible, super strong, etc. She also has Valkyrie powers, which means she can sense when you're gona die and send you to Valhalla, if she wants.
Also, for Marvel Legends, Hasbro recently decided to make Asgardians GIGANTIC. Not that I'm complaining. Why wouldn't they be big?
Yay, she gets an accessory! It's a sword, too, which means I'm a happy sword-wielding camper. I found out it's the "Dragonfang", which is a cool sword, I guess.
Valkyrie isn't a bad figure, but Hasbro hasn't made a new large female buck yet, so she's stuck with some older vertical-disc-hips and weirdly short arms. Her arms don't always look short, though - just in some poses. It's not a huge deal, but they definitely are shorter than they should be, considering her leg length.
I think I'll keep her, though I kinda like the previous one a little better. On the other hand, this one seems to say "ASGARD" a bit more than the last one, due to this one's size, and the hardened warrior stare she's got goin' on.
Here we have.....OH COME ON! All I wanted was a Hulkbuster armor! You can't give me more characters I know? FINE. Research time.
This is Thundra! She's from an alternate future timeline where men and women have a big 'ol war. The women start genetically altering their warriors to gain an upper hand in the war, eventually making their own nation of Femizonia. Yes. Look it up yourself.
Anyway, Thundra came to our timeline to beat up The Thing, 'cause I guess he was the strongest male warrior in our time and...I dunno, strength equals dumb? Supposedly big, strong, and dumb goes together, so I guess it makes sense that big muscle women of the future would build a time machine to go back and beat up men. I mean, honestly, I can't say I wouldn't do the same. Thundra can apparently go toe-to-toe with freakin' Hulk! If I were that strong AND in possession of a time machine, I'd probably go back and beat the shit out of dinosaurs or something.
Thundra sports sleek thunderbolts on her tights and a general body-builder getup. From what I researched, it looks like she hasn't really bothered to change her getup throughout the years. Hell, even her daughter wears nearly the same thing! And her daughter is the product of Thundra and The Hulk, by the way. I know what you're thinking, and no, it wasn't the result of world-shattering sex - Thundra just stole some of his DNA. I guess the world will be destroyed in some other way!
Thundra gets an accessory, too! (Sorry Blizzard, this gets worse and worse for you). It's a chain with a small ball on the end, which is nice, 'cause usually powerhouse characters like this get a freakin' wrecking ball. Even with tremendous strength, a wrecking ball will still be slower than what Thundra is holding. She can probably whip that thing around so fast that it'll disintegrate your head.
She's not a bad figure, though she still has those annoying hips, since she shares parts with Valkyrie (making her arms look short as well). I actually would love this figure, if it weren't for the hair! The hair is the only thing holding her back: It's SUPER hard plastic! No give. You can't turn her head AT ALL. If they had just made her hair rubbery, it would have solved some of the problem!
Still, I may keep her. I ended up becoming endeared to her ridiculous storyline, what with all the time travel and want-fight-strong-people (even though she's not stupid in the slightest, apparently).
AH, FINALLY! Someone I know! This may be the only guy of the batch that I would have bought, if I didn't want the Hulkbuster armor.
This is War Machine as he appeared in Age of Ultron. It's the same mold as the Iron Patriot, from Iron Man 3 (I think). I thought it would sport the same annoying hips, but low and behold: They're just ball joints! They work great, and you don't have to fiddle with them at all. I love it.
I love War Machine, and used him regularly when I was a kid. Over the years I've tried to find new versions, but they've actually been kinda rare until the recent movies. I bought the old Toybiz Marvel Legends War Machine, but true to Toybiz standards, the leg broke off. Plus, he was just chunky and weird looking, to be honest. I would have gotten the chase-repaint of Toybiz's modular armor Iron Man (painted in War Machine colors) but I had never found it.
Cut to the first Iron Man movie and you've got the first figure on the left: Just a repaint with some shoulder guns added. Iron Man 2 brought the love, though! Look at the second figure! Masterpiece. I highly suggest tracking it down - it came with a ton of hands and some alternate parts.
...of course, that is a bit of a problem for this new War Machine. He just doesn't seem armed enough, and this new one doesn't come with any hands! I want some repulsor-blasting hands!
Plus, I miss the arm guns on the second one, man. I think these might be guns? I know parts pop up on War Machine's new armor, so these could be the sections that pop up, but nothin' beats those big 'ol guns on the second version's arms. Granted: If you're going to improve on technology, you'd expect it to get smaller, so I assume his shoulder cannon and arm cannons are stronger. Just doesn't look as impressive.
The shoulder cannon can be mounted on either side, and then swung around to be where you like. I kinda like it on the left, swung to the right. I like the over-and-under look for the barrel of the cannon.
His articulation is great! You can bend him back enough at the chest and neck to get a nice flying pose.
And finally: A Don Cheadle face! It looks good, too! Unmistakable as Don Cheadle.
I REALLY like this accessory, 'cause I like Don Cheadle as War Machine. It makes for a great War Machine all around, but it's also Don Cheadle as War Machine! Score!
My only complaints are the lack of hands, and the fact that they're still doing separate shoulder armor - HOWEVER - the armor is rubbery and firmly attached to the shoulder! They will NOT pop off, though they'll still look a little ugly in certain poses. Really though, all I ask is that there are no parts that freakin' pop off while you're posing him, so the rubbery, firmly attached shoulder pieces are MUCH better.
This guy is great, and I'd totally pick him up if you don't plan on getting anything else from this wave.
Alright folks, time for the main event!
OH MAN. Seriously. Totally worth it.
The armor pops together solidly and STAYS together. The legs and arms are heavy, and the main body a bit lighter (the chest being two halves that you put together). Somehow this makes the figure balanced, though the wide feet and ball jointed ankles really helps. There's barely any danger of him falling over - he'll take any stance you give him, just about. The amount of range in the ankles is really what does it!
The best part is the articulation, though. You'll never want to put him down! You can see that the range in the neck is crazy - he can look up, down, ALL AROUND.
If I could ask one thing from it, I'd ask for double jointed elbows. The elbows are the only part of this beast that feels a little restricted, but everything is so amazing that you probably won't notice. I just would have liked to get some better reeling-back-for-a-punch poses out of him.
Otherwise, in terms of size: I think he's correct! The fight in the movie is all over the place, but it looked like the Hulkbuster armor was a bit taller than Hulk, so this looks like it checks out. If anything, I'd say the armor looks a tad larger than it should? Honestly, I couldn't say for sure, and I don't much care. Way too awesome.
Now, of course: Each Marvel Legend figure goes for TWENTY bucks, so you can tell how expensive this guy was. If Marvel Legends are your thing, then you've probably already got this. If not: It's really hard to suggest getting this at those prices. Still: That's what they go for nowadays, and this is the only way to get Hulkbuster Iron Man, save for buying him on Ebay and getting lucky with a seller that is selling this guy for what he's worth and not the amount that the figures add to him.
Regardless: He's an amazing friggin' figure, and you won't feel so bad once you get him together. I won't hesitate to say that he's the best Build-a-figure in a loooong time, considering that most BAFs are tiny, in comparison. You really feel like the old days of giant build-a-figures are back, if only for a moment. It really helps that he's not only giant, but well articulated and hefty.
If you get the chance and have the cash: I'd seriously consider it.