Wednesday, April 29, 2015

REVIEW: Marvel Legends Radioactive Man

A Target-Exclusive!
Radioactive Man is the final figure in the Target-exclusive 3-figure set. We've already taken a look at pack-mates Ms. Marvel and Captain America and today it's the turn of the set's only villain* to get the That Figures Review treatment. So how does he fare?

* Although to be fair, he did have a brief spell as a hero...

Up and At Them!
This version of the character is based on the appearance of Chen Lu, the original Radioactive Man, who made his debut in 1963. His look was designed by Jack Kirby and, as such, it's pretty innovative (after all, Kirby was never really one for just sticking people in skintight lycra) although by today's standards his little mini-dress may appear a little weird. Personally I dig it, though and as far as I'm concerned Kirby's designs are pretty much the Gold Standard.
It's a pretty good rendition of the look, overall, although I'm not entirely sure the shoulder straps are quite right. But whoever designed the figure did a good job translating him from page to plastic and if you're familiar with Radioactive Man then you'll certainly recognize him (and if you're not, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was some kind of Drax the Destroyer variant, as he does bare a striking resemblance to the Guardians of the Galaxies character and I'm sure some of these parts were shared between the two...)
I really like the bulkiness of the sculpt. The comicbook character is portrayed as something of a giant and the figure certainly captures that. And the look is topped off (or should that be ''bottomed off?'') with a great pair of none-more-Sixties fold-topped boots. As I've mentioned many times, I'm a big Silver Age fan so I'm certainly pleased to see the Classic Aesthetic used here.
The head sculpt is particularly good. There's a nice, mean expression to him and the proportions are nicely done. Again, thought, he does look like Stealth Mode Drax.
Speaking of ''Stealth Mode,'' as you can see he's cast from a clear green plastic. As a fan of Microman/Micronaut toys, you can see why I like this so much, even if - or perhaps because - it exposes the ''inner workings'' of his articulation set-up (which we'll come back to in a moment.)
The majority of the parts are unpainted, which is fine, as it fits with his transparent/glow theme but where paint is used, it's done well. There's a glow-in-the-dark star on his chest and his eyes have a ''reverse light pipe'' effect, complete with bags, that really set-off his eyes in an expressive manner.
Articulation is good, although not quite up there with the Classic Spider-Man we saw last week. The neck tilt is particularly expressive and you can get some great ''powering up/releasing energy'' poses from it at either extreme, especially when used in conjunction with his tilting fists. The hip articulation is slightly limited due to the skirt of his robe but you can still pose him in some nice ''planted feet'' power poses, as you can see above. He has double-joints at both the elbow and knee and the rocker ankles are great, as they make an already sturdy figure even more solid on his feet.
With that said, a stand would be nice (especially as Radioactive Man is capable of flight) and it's a shame they couldn't spring to some nuclear energy blasts to attach to his fists (or indeed, swap-able hands.) But these are really very minor points and do little to lessen the figure's overall impact.

Final Thoughts
There's really very little wrong with Radioactive Man. It could be argued that the clear green plastic makes him a little flat looking (due to the lack of any additional paint) and it ''looks weird'' because it exposes his joints or that he's missing a few accessories to really put him over the edge. And if you're not a fan of Silver Age characters - or indeed the design of the character - you'll probably not really get what the fuss is about.

But personally I'm really impressed with this figure. I have to admit he's not a character I'm overly familiar with (despite my love of classic characters) and maybe the semi-transparent plastic is clouding my judgement (me being the #1 Sucker for clear plastic toys) but I'm really very impressed with what's here.

Is he a character I'd pick up as a single-carded/boxed figure? I'm not really sure. But as a ''bonus'' figure packed alongside Ms. Marvel and Captain America then he's most definitely a toy I'm very happy to own. Indeed, whilst I don't really have a great connection to the character, the figure is a great-looking piece of design. I love the radioactive green plastic and the mini-dress - for all it's weirdness - is a fantastic bit of Sixties comicbookery.

Add to this a great sculpt and highly pose-able articulation rig and the results are a superb-looking, eye-catching figure that will look great battling your Thor or Captain America figures (even if the latter is from the wrong universe in this set.)

Overall, a great addition to an already great 3-figure pack. If you can track it down at a decent price then grab it, as you won't be disappointed.

Image Gallery


  1. I agree that it's a fine fine toy. I had no interest in it until I had to buy it to get Ms Marvel, and now I kinda love it. First use of Glow in the Dark on a Marvel Legend too.

    1. I think if I was more familiar with the character I'd be even more excited but even so, it's still a great figure. It's funny how sometimes the A-Listers get shortchanged in the toy department, yet you'll find an occasional gem-of-an-unknown...!

  2. Replies
    1. Part of me is tempted to move my 6'' figures to the shelf with the window behind it, just so I can see him illuminated by the sun!


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