When I bought Marvel Legends the first time around, I wasn’t always happy with their experimental articulation. I like having a lot, but my definition of a lot is basically what Mattel uses with MOTU Classics (I would like to see ball-jointed wrists in that line though). I don’t really need jointed toes or fingers, I never cared for those embedded shoulder joints, etc.
For my Iron Men, I’m really happy with most of the articulation. I’d like to see better ankle articulation, (they are ball-jointed, but I want the rocker ankles that were promised at SDCC), a swivel waist, and for the figure’s design to be more compatible with the hips (let’s just say it’s a good thing Iron Man doesn’t have anywhere he needs to sit down).
Those three nitpicks aside, Iron Man is really impressive! Below the waist, he sports ball-ankles, double hinge knees, thigh swivels, and ball-jointed hips. The thigh swivels are ingeniously hidden between the red lower thigh and gold upper thigh, but what I really appreciated was the two circles on his hips – they’re articulated too and can swivel up and out of the way so they don’t block poses. Pretty cool.
Above the missing waist joint, you’ve got some nice articulation in the arms with ball shoulders and wrists, bicep swivels, and double hinge elbows. These are tremendously useful for posing, the only pose I haven’t been able to get him into that I wanted was him firing both repulsors side-by-side, but with his fist hand, he can’t really do that anyway (some extra hands would be nice, Hasbro).
The last two joints are what really sold me though. Normally, I prefer an ab crunch to a ball-jointed torso, but Iron Man has such great range that I have no complaints this time around. He’s got great forward and back movement and it’s tremendously useful in flying poses. The same can be said for the neck joint as well. I was downright gleeful when I found out how far the figure could look up. The ball-joint in the neck has such great range that IM can look straight up while standing, or, more to the point, he can look forward while being parallel to the ground. The ball torso adds to the pose, but the neck does a great job on its own.
Finally, I also scored my first Terrax piece! There’s not much notable here other than to point that I now am a proud owner of two Terrax left legs. Though I will point out that the leg has the ankle articulation that I want incorporated into every figure ever. It still features a ball-joint, but with the peg going into the foot instead of the other way around. The peg goes into the foot piece as if it were a shoe and the range is incredible. It’s similar to what Mattel tried with DCUC16 Robin, but y’know without weakass thin plastic. I have this same joint on a few of my MUs and I think Joe/Renegades Scarlett sports it as well.
I also got a little slip of paper detailing Terrax’s run-in with Dazzler. I don’t know much about Terrax and as I inevitably build him (let’s face facts here folks) it will be get to the get the paperwork and learn more about him.
Overall, after picking up Thor & Iron Man (and a few others…), I think it’s safe to pronounce that Marvel Legends is back. These figures are nothing like Hasbro’s first stab at the license a few years ago. The original sculpts are solid, the articulation useful with no stuck joints, the paint has been good on the two cases I’ve seen so far, and the whole line just looks really good – back from the edge and flush with potential. These are toys I’m happy to own, happy to build a BAF I know nothing about instead of having to buy figures I wasn’t happy with to get a BAF that was more about the character for me than the final toy. Those days feel like a long time ago after seeing this wave. I had a good chuckle at the new packaging, there isn’t much fanfare in this hobby and the little “The Return of Marvel Legends!” sticker amused me, but it belongs there. And the proof will be in the pudding, because there’s going to be a Terrax review here at IAT before you know it.
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