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2016 Marvel Legends: This is what a Heyday looks like


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Today I bought Niko from Walmart. With this Dr. Strange wave I thought I'd give myself a break from all of this constant Hasbro goodness and "only" buy the Cumberbatch Strange, give my wallet a bit of a rest. Well, they didn't have Strange there but they did have Niko. I have no comics with her in it, I don't know anything about her, I had zero plans on buying her, but darned if she didn't look incredible in hand. Yep, I picked her up, and out of package she is just as good. Looking at her, I'm thinking this figure is a microcosm of the whole Hasbro ML line.

 

When Hasbro took this line over, things were rough. I don't have to name specific figures, we all know who Hasbro's early duds were and the issues they had. But those issues have been slowly worked out. They made changes, learned from mistakes, improved. That's what you want to see and Hasbro has certainly done it. How much so? Well, I don't know if I want to say Hasbro has perfected the 6" retail action figure, but surely they must be close. I don't know of anybody who can keep their wobbly Iceman standing for too long and if I tried hard I can think of a couple of other issues that pop up here and there. But the good is far outweighing the bad here. For me it was when the Mandroid wave hit. Ever since then, this line has had my attention. They just seem to have a formula that works. And by "formula" I don't mean they use the Bucky Cap mold a lot (though they do) I mean they have a real handle on articulation, sculpt, and paint and they apply it to just about every figure they do. This makes for a uniformity that I like a lot. And being a Toy Biz fan, I have to say that this uniformity is something that they lacked. Mostly because they were really pioneering the 6" retail action figure and they were trying new things and seeing what worked and what didn't. And that's fine. But Hasbro seems to be in a rhythm that TB never got to.

 

Their stable of bucks is growing when other toy companies are content to rest on two or three that were good 10 years ago. Bucky Cap, Hyperion, Grim Reaper are all great bucks. But they're expanding still with their Spidey buck, new boy buck and and a couple of all new standard male bucks that are incoming. That's not even mentioning their stock of female bucks (and as much of a TB fan as I am, there are just so few female TB figures that I could actually keep after Hasbro did their versions.) They're not resting on "good enough".

 

Character selection. Their line ups are so deep, it's almost mind blowing. They're tackling classic characters in classic looks, classic characters in new looks, all new characters just starting out, and figures for all the latest movies. That's depth, boys and girls. Last year fanboys swore up and down that you wouldn't see Hasbro do X-Men or Fantastic Four because of movie license red tape. "Maybe one or two snuck into a wave here and there", they said (hey, I said that too). One year later we have an X-Men wave that everyone loves with at least one more on the way, and Fantastic Four on deck. Hasbro put me in my place and I love it! Classic Daredevil, Wolverine, Spider-Man ("pizza" or "Ultimate"? Take your pick!). Sam Wilson Cap, Miles Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen. RDJ Iron Man, Scar Jo Black Widow, Chadwick Boseman Black Panther. They're doing figures for every fan!

 

Niko is a C list character at the very best. There is no chance she is recognized by the casual toy fan or the mythical kid consumer base (and make no mistake, that is a mythical base). I can name one other 6 inch retail figure producer that wouldn't dream of making this figure. Despite that, not only did Hasbro make her, they made her a figure that I would probably give an A+ with a majority of her being new sculpted parts to the point that I don't know how they plan to reuse them, she may very well be a one-off. Again, I don't know who she is, but she looks great, and is a good action figure. And that's what Hasbro seems to be all about these days. Looks like a Heyday to me.

 

Do you agree?

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Ya, Hasbro is really hitting some home runs lately. Back in 2006, when we were getting those first waves of terrible figures they produced, if you would have told me that I would eventually be replacing many of my much-loved Toybiz figures in my collection with Hasbro's ML figures (especially figures like Deadpool and Face-Off Cap), I would have called you crazy, but it's happening and happening at a very fast pace as of late.

 

It's been getting kinda crazy lately from a financial standpoint, but I'm not going to complain. They're making some great stuff, and I say keep them coming! I can't wait for the next X-Men wave.

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It's actually spelled as "Nico" (just thought I'd point out) and I'll admit I'm a huge fan of the series she's from and the thought of her or any of the Runaways getting made as a Marvel Legend was practically a pipe dream of mine. Admittedly, I think the reason they felt like it was fine to include Nico in the Doctor Strange lineup is because in the comics, she was actually one of likely candidates for the title of Sorcerer Supreme at the time when Strange renounced his status/title.

 

Honestly, with Nico being made now (since she's more or less the defacto team leader), I seriously hope they make the rest of the Runaways team since she feels lonely at the moment. The original team's story is basically that of a bunch of teenagers that suddenly learned that their parents were actually supervillains, which in turn led to them rebelling against them thus turning them into "runaways". The characters are great with some really nice blend of civilian and superheroic designs that I'd absolutely love to see in ML figure form. I mean later on, literally one of the team members is the second son of Ultron and the other is a female Super Skrull, haha!

 

I'd seriously recommend reading up on the first 3 hardcover volumes by the original author. Those first 3 volumes were probably some the best superhero comics I've had the pleasure of reading. :)

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I agree that Hasbro doing great things with the line, I'm glad I stuck with them all these years. I also agree they are not perfect they still cut corners and get some details wrong but it's hard to fault them when a lot of other lines do the same thing also the corner cutting leads to us getting a new buck down the line so sometimes it's worth it. Character selection is another area they are exceeding like Yojoe mentioned they are doing figures for everybody, when I started collecting MLs I never thought we would get a line dedicated to Captain America but here we are(if they were to give me one dedicated to Daredevil I wouldn't complain either). The only gripe I have is the frequency in which they sometimes they come out, barely letting my wallet breathe.

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I don't believe there is any other mass retail line that is as good as Marvel Legends has been going back to the relaunch of Marvel Legends (was that the Mandroid wave?). And I would love to see the Runaways complete for the same reasons ronriii mentioned. They seem to have a mission of replacing the Toybiz fan favorite characters with their own superior version.

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I don't believe there is any other mass retail line that is as good as Marvel Legends has been going back to the relaunch of Marvel Legends

 

Probably not. If you're talking 6" mass retail, the only other contenders, I believe are DC Multiverse and Hasbro's own SW Black Series and it's not even close.

 

Black Series started off strong and though there are some good ones, I don't think they're doing the definitive stuff that the fans were hoping for. It appears to be the same Star Wars toy formula of "don't give them the 'perfect' version so that we can sell the same guy again and again making him incrementally better each time". As for DC Multiverse, I don't know if that can even be in the same conversation. Hasbro is doing things with ML articulation and character selection that Mattel seems to have no interest in even attempting.

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Only thing I wish that ML would do more often is provide us some decent selection of MCU villains. I know it's an issue of barely being able to reuse sculpts but it's a real shame when you get really cool designs like Yellowjacket that's just ripe for figure-making yet there's none in sight.

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And let's face it, 2017 is shaping up pretty well thus far. According to the reveal today we're getting Death's Head II for crying out loud! Now if they do the decent thing and give us a Death's Head I within the next 12 months, I shall officially declare it the year of Marvel Legends! :)

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I find it funny that for some reason Hasbro will give fans a fan favorite in the 6" Legends Line but won't in the 4" Legends nice and vice versa. DH2 is the perfect example. They gave us a 4" Deaths Head two years ago and 6" collectors complained, now they give us a 6" Deaths Head 2 but not a 4" one.

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I agree yojoe...out of all the stuff I'm currently collecting, the Marvel Legends figures are the most enjoyable. They're the total package; cool heroes and villains, an enjoyable size, great sculpting details, awesome articulation, and an incredible selection of characters, from the most prominent and popular, to the most obscure forgotten or unknown ones. They even include the cool BAF addition that makes it even more fun. It's just unheard of in this day and age. And something I really enjoy is the scale of each figure...real thought is put into the body-type of each individual character, so that even when they use a buck-body, it makes perfect sense for the character and is never obvious. Hasbro has truly done an amazing job of taking a handful of sculpts and molds and utilized them to such a creative extent that you can't always identify which parts are being used necessarily...

 

And speaking of the respective scales of different figures, a little over a month ago I had the good fortune of snagging the recent Rogue, and not long after I found a Thundra on deep discount at a Tuesday Mornings store, and I truly expected these to be very similar figures, sharing perhaps most of the same mold with a few minor tweaks. Not only do they use different bodies, but Thundra is almost a whole three-fourths of an inch taller and more muscular than Rogue. It's little touches like that which I enjoy so much, when a toy company puts that much effort into an action figure line, when they could have used a buck female body and called it good. Oh, and one more thing...I also love the notion that they pay equal attention to movie-based figures as well...I enjoy them as much if not moreso than the comic-based figures, but both iterations are so much fun to collect.

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Seriously, I have a Death's Head figure (3.75") already & now a Death's Head II figure (6") coming soon. This is truly the line (in either scale) where anyone is a possibility.

 

Side note:

 

The last few wrestling video games I bought (haven't gotten one since something like 2008) that had good create-a-wrestler features, I would always make 3 guys that were the biggest possible. Always had the names Death's Head, Death's Head II & Death's Head III. Nicknames were Devastator, Bruticus & Predaking. So this is just awesome for me.

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I also love the notion that they pay equal attention to movie-based figures as well...I enjoy them as much if not moreso than the comic-based figures, but both iterations are so much fun to collect.

 

Agreed. They've struck a great balance between movie and comic-based figures.

 

As far as figures we have and figures we don't, I had to leave that out when writing my first post. That's wish list stuff, we all have them and that's fine. Anyone can say, "Yeah this line is great but it's still not perfect because I haven't gotten my ______________ yet". I want first appearance Storm but if I never see her, that won't change my thoughts about the line as a whole. But I hope you all get the figure you want eventually.

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Oh there's this ginormous wish list that I have, there's a lot of them that Hasbro won't probably get around to making, but that doesn't stop me from collecting this line, what I did is that I started honing my customizing skills to see if I get around to making the characters that I want. Another thing I like to add about this line if the occasional accessory that either can turn a figure into a new character or a represent a specific moment in the character's history like including the hands and head for Spider Carnage in the recent Spider-Man figure or the Wolf head with Onslaught wave Cap. It's a nice little detail that gives the line extra points.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Speaking of wanted figures...and you guys might think I'm silly, but...I wish they'd do a Punisher 2099 figure. I know it was a "flash-in-the-pan" character, but I always loved the look and design of a Punisher from the future.

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Speaking of wanted figures...and you guys might think I'm silly, but...I wish they'd do a Punisher 2099 figure. I know it was a "flash-in-the-pan" character, but I always loved the look and design of a Punisher from the future.

 

That's something I wouldn't mind, I remember being a kid in the 90s seeing the 2099 designs and thinking they looked "so cool", still do actually. I love my Spider-Man 2099 figure wouldn't mind a Punisher 2099, Ghost Rider 2099 and even a Hulk 2099 to go with it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Agree.

 

I've been a megafan of ML since day one, and the line has never been as good as it is right now.

 

That's crazy when you think about how good a lot of the old ToyBiz figures were, and how terrible Hasbro's early work was, and how ML practically disappeared for a while.

But I look at it now and it's amazing in character selection, aesthetics, articulation and sheer volume.

Sometimes the quality can be really crappy, with floppy soft plastic, but then another one will come out really solid.

 

Nico is a fantastic exceptional figure of a real d-lister, but I love that Hasbro are bringing out new modern characters (loved the Avengers Arena stuff). And she comes alongside a really nice Enchantress, who is about as classic an Avengers villain as you can get.

 

Yeah, there's a lot of repaints and reuse, and I do miss a lot of the dedicated unique sculpts that ToyBiz did, and how ToyBiz was so dedicated to advancing articulation with a lot of experimentation that sometimes worked, sometimes didn't, but even holy, untouchable figures like the 'McFarlane' Spider-man are getting replaced by Hasbro's Pizza Spidey, and for good reason.

 

I only worry about how fast and how much is coming out. Can the market support so many MLs?

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