Saturday, February 11, 2012

Marvel Legends 2012 Ghost Rider & Steve Rogers figure review

When it comes to action figures Toy Biz's Marvel Legends set the bar for the 6" standard we enjoy now. Now produced under Hasbro Marvel Legends enjoys a grand, triumphant return in 2012. It's a little confusing at first because in the upper corner of the card they say "Marvel Universe" and many retailers have them listed under that search. Then again it says "Marvel Legends" at the bottom. You may need to explain this when you call to ask whether they're in stock somewhere.

The card art and design are really sharp. It's almost like they used the artist who did the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 ingame 'comic page' art. Each package is individualized for the character and on the back a quick description and splash page. Normally I don't cover packaging but this was an exception. It's a lot sturdier than the earlier cardstock/bubbles too, folded tabs and tape sealed on the back. You're also told what part of Terrax comes with the figure in a diagram on the side as per the norm.

Sculpting on Steve Rogers and Ghost Rider is top notch. Yes the bodies are partial re-uses. Cap's body is the Nick Fury 2-pack/Face off Punisher and Ghost Rider's is Ronin/Hand Ninja. But you get completely new heads, lower arms, and lower legs. All the bodies in this series are also some of the best ones to come out of Hasbro so there's no worry here.

The detail on GR's armor, skull, and blue flames is great. These figures borrow from the Marvel Universe design as well, their 'clothing' as you would being cast-off. You can unlatch GR's upper attire and heat the belt to get that off too if you wanted. Underneath are base bodies perfect for customizing. Steve's belt could be removed and his webgear, tho glued down, is still separate. Included with each figure is a "Tales of Terrax" pamphlet featuring his interaction with another Marvel character. It's a great little backstory bonus.

Articulation for Ghost Rider is pretty nice. If you have the Hand Ninja you know what to expect. Yes, series 1 here are missing the ankle rockers but Hasbro promised to include them on future assortments. That's really the only thing missing. Everything else is ball jointed or double jointed and works great. GR can't raise his arms straight up but that's because of his shoulder armor design. His skirt is soft plastic and doesn't hinder his legs movement at all.

Steve has some of the best artic/range of movement from the Nick Fury body and can achieve all sorts of aiming positions. His accessories are great as well, two pistols and his shield which can be stored on his back via a flip-down peg (like the smaller movie Caps) or attach to his wrist. Ghost Rider unfortunately has no accessories save for the Terrax part he comes with. I expected his chain but haven't read the current comic this version is based on so perhaps he doesn't use one anymore.

Paint apps are downright amazing this time around. From the fade-to-blue clear flame, the airbrushed blue aura on his armor, down to the hammered look of metal on it, Ghost Rider sports some serious paint work. Steve is also nicely done with dark blue airbrushed highlights, clean red/white decos, and even his hairline is shaded a different color. This marks some serious improvement from the 2-packs released last year. Some people mention Steve's head is a bit large. Not for his body, but compared to other characters heads yes. However the body stands a good head taller than most current ML figures and Cap was always a big boy. You won't even notice.

So what's the verdict? Buy these figures. If you're a fan of Marvel Legends then this is the return you've been waiting for. You get great articulated sculpts, great CLEAN paint apps, and removable parts if you want to customize them later. I'll be reviewing the rest of the figures in daily installments. There's variants of Cap, GR, and Iron Man. Head over to our sponsors Big Bad Toy Store or Past Generation Toys and pick up a set. Thor doesn't come with a piece of Terrax but you'll need Hope, Steve, Klaw, Ghostie, Iron man, and Constrictor to complete him.

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