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.


  1. Oh, yeah, that pose is one of the seven archetypal comic poses from the noh-kyogen theater style. Its usage in modern anime goes back to Tsuribaka Nisshi, a very long-running fishing manga.


    Nah, I'm fulla shit. I have no idea where that pose comes from.

    Oh and I know exactly what you mean by those vertical hip joints. They are awful. One of the reasons I've never collected Marvel Legends figures.

    Also your Steven Universe obsession is showing-eth.

    1. ...you seriously had me going there, for a sec. Especially since that actually is a fishing manga. I give you a slow clap, sir. Well done! Well done indeed.

      Anyway: YES. Those hips are also why I haven't been collecting MLs for a long time, until recently. I'm so glad they finally decided to get rid of those ridiculous things. For the most part. Now they just need to destroy the molds.

      My Steven Universe obsession would show SO MUCH if they would just make some toys! However, at the rate Jazwares is going, they'd probably end up getting the license. Bleh.

  2. Marvel Now was a big not-relaunch a bit back. Basically, no changes to the universe beyond every other Marvel event, but they shuffled around the writers and reset everyone's numbering to one.

    Transparent marketing gimmick, but it gave us Hickman on the Avengers and Gillen on Iron Man, so it came out alright in my book.

    (What's going on right now is that Marvel blew up the multiverse and Doom is God over what remains. Comics!)

    1. AAAHHH, I see! So it's like that time they rewound Spider-Man's comics back to 1 and retold his origin in a later date.

      And Doom is a GOD NOW?! I didn't know I was writing these! Where's my check?

  3. Fire! It's been a while! Good to see you buddy. How ya been?

    Is Doom gonna go trap a bunch of X-Men so he can get Arcade to apologize for slightly disrespecting him. (How did that actually happen? And then it actually worked? And then didn't feel ridiculous when I read it?)

    1. Fire's been laying low for awhile, but then Ruby was like "Corbin, I ain't got no fire!" and then Corbin had, like, ONE match left, and there you go. I'ma go rest in the reactor.

      All things are possible with Dr. Doom! He's a God now, apparently! And I recently read an article that mentioned Arcade's current exploits, where he kidnaped a bunch of teen heroes and forced them into one of his Murderworlds as a sort of reality television event and FUGGIN' MURDERED ONE OF THEM AT THE START JUST TO MAKE A POINT.

      ...still, Arcade has a TALL popularity mountain to climb. I mean, when Doom hands you heroes knowing full well that you WILL lose, then you better put on your climbing gear and start scaling the Aggro Crag of Suck. Apparently offing teenagers will get you up there pretty quick?

  4. Well that is a big hefty beautiful beast! Also, I will never own it. There's only one figure in this set I'd probably buy. Can you guess who it is?

    First of all, it's not War Machine. Sorry man, I know you feel the love for him, but he looks pretty boring. There's only so much you can do with War Machine, and it's all in the guns. Less guns = less interesting when it comes to War Machine, at least to me. He can't fight a war with a little gun on his back! He needs to look like a one man army. This is Minor Skirmish Machine. Battle Machine if I'm being generous. That is a nice Don Cheadle face, though.

    It's not Iron Man either. The problem with the Iron Man movies is that the market has been FLOODED with all so many Iron Man variations it's like I don't even see them in the stores anymore. I think I might have an Iron Man blind spot now. I wouldn't know if I even missed a great one, because I wouldn't have noticed it.

    It's not Doctor Strange, though I do like this figure. I'll always think of his old-school blue and yellow crazy high collar costume as the default Dr. Strange, but I agree that this version, while a little boring, is something that someone would actually wear. And I am digging those magic effects! I love the way they attach to the figure! It's like the attachments aren't even there, they just blend in so well! And did you get the black off his face? He looks pretty good.

    It's not Valkyrie. I suppose I would have thought about it and used her with my MOTUC figures, but you had to go and point out the short arms and now I can't un-see it. I do like the fierce face though.

    It's not Thundra. It would have been, but you pointed out the short arms! Though, I can see them in some of Valkyrie's pictures, I can't see them in any of Thundra's. I trust your judgement though.

    We're getting closer. Did you guess correctly?

    That Vision figure is pretty sweet. I actually like the red hands the best. Don't know why. The red on his hands a face is just such a vibrant shade that really pops against the green. I love how shiny he is too, but man, those shins are weird. I suppose you could just say it's the way his costume looks, but now that you've pointed it out, that's an odd shade compared to the rest of the figure.

    So, did you guess? Did you guess?

    I am loving Blizzard! Ok, so it's lame that he comes with absolutely NO accessories (and those clenched fists), but he poses like a dream! Sure all the poses you gave him are pouting or crying, but they look great! Even sitting there with his legs crossed and head on his fists, he looks amazing. Hilarious, but also amazing. And I'm a real fan of this shininess that some of the figures have been getting. It looks really good on Blizzard.

    And I couldn't leave without some praise for the "Cost an arm and a leg for this leg. Wasn't worth it, cuz I'm still out an arm." joke. I don't know if it was borrowed from anything, but that joke has been looping in my head since I first read it. High five, dude. Monocle high five to the moon.

    1. Guessing your favorite was tough, but I did settle on Blizzard, mostly because the others didn't seem to line up with your interests. Vision was my second guess.

      - YEAH YEAH, I get it! I think my love for Don Cheadle's specific War Machine is what's making me love the figure. I don't disagree with you, though: It REALLY needs more guns. If I were a kid, I think I'd be less happy with it (and finding more things to attach to him) but as an adult, I just like having a representation of the movie War Machine.

      - I hear you, on Iron Man. I've skipped pretty much all his figures since the first movie stuff. Most of them would have been like this one, though, so I don't really regret it. I'm hoping they're going to continue to use the hips on War Machine, 'cause that'll go a LONG way toward making me interested again.

      - Oh yeah, I DID get the black off Strange's face! It's not perfect, but I forgot about it when I took the pictures 'cause you can't see it, so I guess I was successful! Anyway, the magic effects are certainly a must, here. They look great and he doesn't have to suffer like poor Blizzard. The suit is probably a thing a lot of fans might have a problem with, since I don't think there has been a good Dr. Strange figure, yet.

      - Honestly, the short arms on Valkyrie aren't so bad, in person. Alright, so it's still awkward, but moving her around makes them less noticeable. It's the hips that I don't like!

      - See? You pose them right and it hides the short arms! But yes, the arms are the same on Thundra. Honestly she would have been much better in my eyes if it wasn't for the hair - that's the killer. You can't turn her head, so her poses become VERY restricted. I'm just surprised they didn't go the rubbery hair route.

      - The shins really are the strangest part. It's not like it's the plastic, either, 'cause his arms should be similar and they're shiny! One way or another, he serves as a good representation of Vision, for me, though I kinda wish it had been a movie version.

      - Blizzard really is a great figure! He would be the winner if he had just come with SOMETHING! As it is, if you like how he poses, then you'll like anyone with that body! Machine Man has it, and so does Vision, so they could pull off the same stuff. It's a great friggin' body, and a reason to get back into Marvel Legends. They've finally hit a strong point! Blizzard is certainly exemplary, though, because of the paint job. With some ice accessories, he would be perfect. I get that he has to have the build-a-figure part, but for anyone who doesn't want to build Hulkbuster, then you've just got wasted space. Everyone else came with something, (except Iron Man) and I believe they should, but I don't think Blizzard should have been the one to miss out.

      Man, ya never know what the most popular jokes will be! I didn't take it from anything; I just said it because he was sitting there and I wanted him to say something funny. Glad it worked, 'cause I didn't put that much thought into it!

    2. And even the understanding that Blizzard doesn't come with anything because he needs the BaF piece is a little confusing when you figure he could have been packed with Hulkbuster's tiny head and given something else.

      Ah well. Looks like it's ice beams in my mind again...

    3. "Ice Beams in my Mind" sounds like a great band name.