Wednesday, March 11, 2015

REVIEW: Marvel Legends Ms. Marvel

Marvel Legends Infinity 3-Pack
Today we're taking a look at our first Marvel Legends figure in the form of Ms. Marvel. This particular version comes from the Target-exclusive Marvel Legends Infinity pack, which also features the Ultimate Captain America and Radioactive Man. And don't worry, True Believers, we'll be looking at those two later down the line. But for now, let's begin with Ms. Marvel.

Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel has been the name of a number of characters in the Marvel Universe but this version is the Carol Danvers iteration, sporting her ''newer'' black and gold costume. Interestingly, Ms. Danvers' latest alter-ego, Captain Marvel, has recently been released in the Legends line, although we've no sign of Warbird or Binary. 


Anyway, onto the Review!
Sculpt-wise, the figure is impressive overall. I'm assuming (as this is my first Legends figure) that this is the standard female buck or figure and, generally, it's very good. The proportions are suitably comicbooki-ish without being too stylized or exaggerated and there's a nice, clean look to everything. - barring a few slightly awkward compromises to accommodate the articulation (more on that in a moment.)
The head sculpt - being what I assume is one of the few unique/bespoke parts on the figure - is strong, with a lifelike look and an expressive face. Different head poses almost seem to evoke a different expression, which is a nice touch and the hair - although it can inhibit movement somewhat - ''rests'' nicely on her shoulders when the head is re-positioned.
As I mentioned above, the body proportions are pretty good - if a little comicbook. They work nicely though and replicate her strong-yet-sleek look well.
The other major bespoke piece is her sash, which sits at her waist. It can be a little awkward at times getting it to look natural and I'd have liked to display the knot more at her hip/side than just below her navel. The ''movement'' of the piece can also look a little odd in more static poses but short of adding some kind of articulation to the piece there's no way Hasbro could have really made this work in all poses.
Articulation is, on the whole, excellent, but there are a few minor issues. Comparing her to the other figures in the pack, it appears Hasbro has adopted the same ''work to the sculpt'' attitude to the rigging as they use with the Marvel Universe line, so there's a little bit of variation between figures. Part of me finds that annoying but it's also good to see the designers working to the sculpt's strengths and not adding joints simply because they ''had to.''
From the top, we have a ball-joint and hinged neck, ball-joint shoulders, single-jointed upper arms, two swivel joints in the bicep (one at the shoulder, one at the elbow) a single-jointed elbow (note that Captain America and Radioactive man have double-joints here), twist and tilt wrist joints, a ball torso joint (although no waist twist), hips with both rotation and single joints, cut-thigh rotate joints, double-jointed knees (at the thigh and calf) and single-jointed feet with rocker joints. As a result, the figure is not only very pose-able but also - thanks to the rocker joint ankles - very stable on her feet.
Or even foot.
Sitting options are also impressive.
It's just a shame there's no base or stand (or better yet, a flight stand) as she can pull-off some amazing poses and it would be great to be able to hold them in a more definite fashion. Above is the closest I could get to a ''flying'' pose (she's just about to take off, OK?) but I wish I had some way of displaying her mid-flight.
If there's one area of disappointment, it's the paint app. Whilst the close-up detail on her face is cleanly done, there are a few areas that really could do with some attention. Annoyingly her chest logo, for example, has a spot ''dug'' out of it and the glove of her left bicep is very badly applied and it looks like the paint was rubbed off her muscle sculpt during handling/packing.
I guess I was just unlucky and, as ever, if you find more than one of these figure packs, it's probably a good idea to compare paint apps before you buy.

Final Thoughts
I resisted the Marvel Legends line for the longest time. To me they just appeared to be scaled-up versions of the Marvel Universe figures but at twice the price. But when I saw the Target-exclusive 3-pack on clearance (down to $25 from the usual $50) I figured I'd give the line a try. Really, at $8 a figure, I couldn't go wrong. And I'm happy to say my expectations were exceeded. But we're jumping ahead there, so let's turn our focus to Ms. Marvel.

Ms. Marvel is a great-looking figure. The sculpt is nicely detailed (at least for an iconic comicbook superheroine-style figure) with a particularly excellent head sculpt. The face detail is nice and the hair has a good, lifelike flow to it. It's good to see Hasbro doing a female figure head sculpt that doesn't look just like a guy with long hair and lipstick.

Sure, the articulation can ''break'' the figure's lines a little. I've never been overly keen on the cut-thigh joints and here they look very clumsy. For some reason the ''resting'' position of the thigh and the groin don't tally and, as a result, there's a bit of a clunkiness to it all. And you could say the same about the bicep/shoulder pieces but there's always a trade off between form and function and I'm fine with this compromise if it means we get a good level of articulation.

It's a real shame I couldn't capture some of her flying poses or more elaborate stances, are the figure looks great and allows you to do some really neat stances. I love the ankle rockers and they give her an amazing level of stability. I just wish I had a stand to help support them.

And yes, the paint app is a little variable but this is a minor point and you may well find a figure with a perfect app.

Overall, a great-looking, super-pose-able figure that certainly has me excited about Hasbro's figures again. It may be heresy but I'd love to see a GI Joe Legends line at this scale and with this level of articulation. But even if that never happsn, I'm certainly going to be picking up more from the Marvel Legends line-up.

A great example of Hasbro doing it right. Highly recommended even at full price.

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