Today we bring you a guest review for Hasbro's 2012 Marvel Legends wave 1 Constrictor, Iron Man and Klaw figures by John Harmon from Mint Condition Customs. You can check out hi-res images for the figures below in our GALLERY!
Iím doing something different this time with the review. I want to get through the entire first wave of the new Marvel Legends, and to do so Iím going to do review a few figures at a time. Donít worry, I wonít skimp on any details, I just felt like consolidating. Unfortunately, Iíve only been able to find variant cases of the figures, so my Iron Man figure here is the blue stealth variant. The sculpt is the exact same though, so so the review should help you regardless of which version you find. So, are the new Marvel Legends figures worth all the hype?
Keep reading to find out!
PACKAGING- I LOVE the new Marvel Legends packaging. Seriously, itís really great. All the logos and names are big and get your attention, and I love the card art in the upper left corner. I really dig the comic book style fonts they use (even if Iíve got some of these same fonts on my computer that I use on my own comics, haha), and I love how everything is placed in the package. The figure can easily be seen, as well as the build-a-figure piece.
There does seem to be quite a lot of extra room in there though, which some might consider a waste of resources and I kind of agree. But I think they were trying to go for a standard size of packaging that could fit any figure they made, and thatís understandable. Constrictorís package is longer than the others (did I really just say that???), due to the bulkiness of Terraxís torso.
The card backing is excellent as well. Thereís a huge drawing of the character (and it seems that itís all new art as well), with photos of the other figures in the wave at the bottom, letting you know which figures you need to buy to complete Terrax, as well as which figure comes with which piece. I do wish there was more of a bio though, like the old Marvel Legends. Thereís only a small snippet explaining the character, and to casual fans it wonít help them really know who the characters are.
The packaging is also almost completely collector friendly. There are 3 flaps taped down to the back that you can lift easily. The blister is glued at the top to the card back, as well as a flap on the bottom on the inside. Itís perforated though, so itís easy to cut. I managed to get the figure out of the tray without any noticeable damage to the package, so if you try you can take the figure out and play with it, and place it back inside for display or storage if you wish. I always like collector friendly packaging, but itís understandable that a wide retail release like this wouldnít have it, at least not on a blister carded figure.
PACKAGING SCORE Ė 4 / 5
SCULPT - CONSTRICTOR: Constrictorís body is the same used for Moonknight and a few other characters. Itís fairly basic in that there are almost no sculpted clothing details on the figure, but it works for the right character. In this case Constrictor wears a skin tight suit, so itís perfect. You can see a sculpted belt that shouldnít be there, but I guess it was unavoidable since they were reusing a body type.
The only new parts that I can tell are his forearms and his head. The forearms are very appropriate, and the gauntlets that house his whips look very nice. The whips themselves look nice as well, with several lines separating different sections. The head sculpt is fantastic. Itís incredibly expressive and seems perfect for the character. Itís very diabolical. Heís got this white grin that shows off all of his teeth, including fangs!
All the wrinkles and dimples in his face are great for the expression. I love that his expression isnít symmetrical either. His bottom left eyelid is raised higher than his right, almost as if heís so taken over with pure maniacal joy he can barely contain it. I love that attention to detail.
IRON MAN: Iron Manís sculpt is based on the armor from the Extremis storyline. The figure captures that perfectly. From what I can tell, itís all brand new, and looks great. Many will compare this figureís sculpt to the armor in the movies, but technically that armor was based on the Extremis armor so itís only natural that this one resembles it.
As always with recent Iron Man figures, thereís lots of great sculpted detail. Tons of lines and sections and rivets. The only gripe here is in regards to the size. Iron Man is short. Not only is he short, but heís very lean. In order for anyone to fit inside that thing, they would have to be nearly emaciated. This is almost as big as Tony should be, so the armor should bulk him up. It just seems weird.
KLAW: Klaw has a very basic body. Itís the same body used for Silver Surfer in the Ronan the Accuser wave. Thereís lots of sculpted muscular detail, but itís not too much or too little. It seems right for the character.
The only new pieces are his head and his right ďforearmĒ. I put that in quotes, because itís not technically an arm so much as it is his sonic emitter. The sculpt for it is fantastic. Thereís a ton of detail that add to the industrial feel of such a device. Iím no super villain engineer, so I donít know the specifics of what goes into making a sonic emitter, butÖyeah, that looks about right.
His head sculpt is very expressive as well. I appreciate the sculpted lines on his cowl, and the wrinkles created from his angry expression. He has an open mouth, and Iím not sure what that is inside his mouth, but it looks good. Itís definitely not teeth. I donít know if itís a mouth guard, or some kind of speaker or what, but it adds to the character and thatís good.
SCULPT SCORE -
CONSTRICTOR: 4 / 5
IRON MAN: 3 / 5
KLAW: 3.5 / 5
PAINT - CONSTRICTOR: Constrictor is mostly case in the approrpriate colors of that very dark blue, but it does look very clean. The parts that are painted look great. Thereís a very small amount of bleeding where the orange hits the blue on some parts, but almost not noticeable. Once again, the head sculpt shines. The paint is excellent on the head, especially the face. Usually on an open mouthed toothy expression like this there will be bleeding on the teeth, but not here. Surprisingly, all the teeth are painted perfectly and the look great.
IRON MAN: Even though Iíve never been a fan of the stealth Iron Man repaints, this one is very well done. The eyes, chest piece, and palms of his hands are painted red, and everything else is painted in one of two shades of blue. The entire figure has a metallic sheen to it that seems very necessary for an Iron Man figure.
All the pieces are case in the dark blue color, and the lighter blue has been painted on for accenting. The light blue is perfect for breaking up all that dark blue and is the perfect shade. I donít know if an aesthetically pleasing paint job is really necessary for stealth, but it looks great.
KLAW: Klaw hardly has any paint at all. The sonic emitter has some nice metallic weathering detail, and the head looks very nice with some crisp clean lines. With the exception of his purple ďtrunksĒ, his body is unpainted and it looks very obvious.
Some kind of shading or a wash would have been nice to help make the figure not look so plain, but they didnít do that. The one part that is painted, the aforementioned trunks, are not done well. They painted the purple first and put the black zig-zag lines over it, but itís not even. You can see in several areas where the zig-zag lines werenít aligned right there is some bleeding. You can either see the red of the body underneath, or the purple of his trunks depending on where youíre looking. It took me a while to notice it, but once I did it really detracted from the figure.
PAINT SCORE -
CONSTRICTOR: 4 / 5
IRON MAN: 4 / 5
KLAW: 2 / 5
ARTICULATION - CONSTRICTOR: Constrictor has some really nice articulation. Heís got a ball jointed neck, pectoral hinges, ball jointed shoulders, bicep rotators, double elbows, a cut at the forearms, ab crunch, waist swivel, ball jointed hips, double knees, a cut on the shins, and swivel hinged ankles.
All the joints work really nice, and Iím actually a big fan of those pectoral hinges that allow for some very dramatic and more realistic poses. The only problem I have with his articulation is his hips. Hasbro uses two kinds of ball jointed hips, and they seem to favor the kind that I donít like. The first kind is where the pegs go in straight. Nice and parallel with say, the surface a figure stands on. The other kind, the kind that is used in this and so many other figures, has the pegs go into the pelvis at a 45 degree angle.
This means that in order to lift the legs up, you have to turn the hip around first and then pivot it up. It can be very frustrating, and itís all around counter intuitive.
IRON MAN: Iron Manís got some perfect articulation for flying poses. His head can fully look up, and his mid torso ab crunch has got a really great range of motion that allows him to lean forward, back, or side-to-side very well. His shoulder armor isnít removable either. Itís on a hinge that allows it to move with the shoulders, but wonít ever pop off, so no worries about that.
He has some nice hip joints that work well and donít detract from the sculpt. The only problem is his pelvic area is sculpted in such a way that it limits the movement. Itís a good thing Tony doesnít have to sit down in that armor. The coolest part about his articulation is his hip discs. Those discs are on a pivot so you can flip them up and get them out of the way when posing his legs in a wide stance. I was worried about those in package, so itís nice that Hasbro thought of that. I think thatís very cool.
KLAW: Klawís body has almost the same amount of articulation as Constrictor, minus the pectoral hinges. Everything on him works well, except he has the same hips as Constrictor that make posing kind of frustrating. His left hand has a hinged wrist though, that helps in posing and looks good with various stances.
ACCESSORIES Ė The only accessories any of these figures have are pieces to build Terrax. Admittedly those are nice pack-ins, but not technically character specific accessories, and if youíre not looking to build Terrax then those pieces are worthless (except maybe to sell them on eBay to get some of your money back). Still, they are extras, so itís worth something. Iím not even sure what could have been given to either Klaw or Constrictor, but maybe some blast effects or a flight stand would have been really nice with Iron Man.
ACCESSORIES SCORE -
CONSTRICTOR: 2 / 5
IRON MAN: 2 / 5
KLAW: 2 / 5
FUN Ė These figures are a lot of fun, even if youíre not familiar with the characters. The articulation of Constrictor and Klaw make for some nice dramatic posing that in and of itself can be very fun. Of course the casual fan would likely skip on these two.
Iron Man would probably be the most popular with the kids out of these three, but maybe itís the over saturation of Iron Man figures lately, but I find him less fun than Constrictor. I didnít even know who he was before seeing the prototype of him back when, but after getting him in hand and playing with him I think heís my favorite of these three.
FUN SCORE -
CONSTRICTOR: 4 / 5
IRON MAN: 3 / 5
KLAW: 3.5 / 5
OVERALL Ė Itís great to see Marvel Legends back on the pegs. Itís been too long not having them, and Hasbro has done a great job on the release of the new series. Thereís some strong figures here and you can tell that particularly in the expressive head sculpts.
They could really do with getting some new basic bodies, or at least updating the current ones. Get rid of those hip joints that have angled pegs for one thing. That just restricts articulation, and thatís not good. Adding some more accessories would be nice too. Marvel Legends set the bar for 6 inch action figures back in 2002, and Iíd like to see Hasbro continue that tradition.
Theyíre always surprising people with how much detail and accessories they include with their smaller figures like G.I. Joe. Iíd love for Hasbro to surprise people just as much with Marvel Legends.
These are a huge improvement in every category over Hasbroís original attempt at Marvel Legends a few years ago, but as the old saying goes, thereís always room for improvement. Stay tuned, because Iím going to be reviewing the rest of the figures from wave one later in the week!