Nope, there’s no Thing in today’s Two-In-One, but we’ve got two great Marvel Legends up for review nonetheless. Ghost Rider’s review is on the books, so it’s time to take a look at the final figure in the Terrax Wave (though, ironically, it was one of the first I purchased): Constrictor!
Before I kick in to specifics, I have a slight confession about Constrictor. I like the character for a really dumb reason.
When I was a wee tot, Mattel produced the Secret Wars toy line and I was hooked. Yes, they were only 5 POA and had those silly (& awesome) lenticular shields, but I loved Spider-Man as a kid and that line represented my first shot at him in plastic. Now, when I was little, my parents generally bought new figures all year long and held onto them (unbeknowst to me) to ensure that I had one hell of a birthday or Christmas. Secret Wars was one of those lines where I got the majority of them in a big batch.
That first year got me that coveted Spidey, introduced me to Cap, Iron Man, & Kang, enshrined the opinion that Doc Ock is a more important Spidey villain than the Green Goblin, and instilled an appreciation for an armored Doom that neither Toy Biz nor Hasbro has fulfilled in 6″ form.
The second year was a little different. We found black Spidey on the pegs of a Kay-Bee toy store in Springfield and I fell in love with the symbiote costume (my excitement level was sufficient enough that my parents bought him on the spot), Hobgoblin also supplanted the Green Goblin as a preeminent Spidey villain, and (embarrassingly) I somehow came to view Baron Zemo as a Spidey variant. There were some other figures in both waves that I’m not mentioning here, but after that wave – that was it. I had them all.
Or so I thought. What this ambling little deviation is about is that there were more Secret Wars figures. Three more, released only to foreign markets. I wouldn’t have known until years later, surely info delivered via one of the 90s toy magazines, but my little collection of played with, scuffed up, Marvel Secret Wars figures was suddenly incomplete. No Iceman. No Electro. No Constrictor. (a-ha!)
In the years since, Constrictor is still the only figure I’ve never seen (the other two were at a con somewhere, under glass, with a $100+ price tag), but the impression was made. Without having the first clue who he even was, I wanted a Constrictor. So much so, that I’ve bought two in the last year alone…
The sad part is that I’ve really never read a book that featured Constrictor as a credible character. I didn’t even know his back story until recently, when I was prepping for the Marvel Universe review that never happened. It turns out that he’s actually got a really cool back story. The poor guy was a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent sent undercover as a supervillain. They gave him the snake motif, a nifty armored suit, and some sweet electrified prehensile coils. He was all set to bust the criminal underground wide open! Then he kinda sorta had a breakdown and forgot the whole secret agent part and just became a supervillain. Doh. Some more recent comics have portrayed him more as an anti-hero than a two-bit villain and I’m on board with that. Personally, I want to see Gillen on a Constrictor ongoing…
Okay, so yeah, here’s a classic Noisy review. I’ve ended up at the bottom of page one and I haven’t talked about the figure. Sometimes I wonder why folks keep coming here…
Constrictor is built with the minimum of new parts: the head and forearms/hands/coils. This works for the most part, but I hope this isn’t the basic body Hasbro intends to use for the standard spandex characters. One, there’s a frikkin’ belt buckle right in the middle of his costume. Two, this body is notorious because the lower torso and the upper torso don’t line up. It’s not a deal-breaker, but supervillains shouldn’t wear diapers. Continue to Page 2…
26 thoughts on “Marvel Legends 2-in-1
Constrictor Review (Terrax)”
I’ve been a HUGE Constrictor fan ever since he got his butt kicked by Anaconda AND was nearly offed by Scourge while recuperating, only to bounce back later and go on to become a cool semi-bad guy much like Taskmaster has done in recent years. I could swear seeing those European Secret Wars figures on the back of a three-pack around 1985 and wanting them badly. Needless to say, the past year has made up for long decades of waiting for ol’ Constry to get his due.
It’s entirely possible they were on the back of some of the boxes, I’m fuzzy on when I first knew about them. I remember seeing them in a magazine listed as a foreign release though and that being the first time I knew that!
Any good issue suggestions for this wanna-be Constrictor fan?
Sure! Start with Incredible Hulk #212 which is his first appearance. It’s still an inexpensive find for a 1977 comic. Then you have his team-ups with Sabretooth in Power Man/Iron Fist #78 & 82, the Anaconda/Scourge close shaves in Captain America #310 & 311, his crucial origin story in Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1989 series) #36, and a great arc where he joins the Thing, Iron Man, and Nighthawk to take on Arcade in The Thing (2006 series) #1-3. In addition, Constrictor was a supporting cast member in Avengers: The Initiative, so I recommend that series as a whole. Also, his Wikipedia entry lists most of the other books he’s been in which I haven’t read yet.
That second Power Man/Iron Fist appearance is in #84 instead of #82. My bad. He is on the cover!
And he is also in issue #66! These three issues of Power Man/Iron Fist (66, 78, 84) are usually more expensive than Incredible Hulk #212 because they are the second, third, and fourth appearances of the more popular character, Sabretooth.
I echo the Avengers: The Initiative recommendation; it and the The Thing appearances are really awesome. It was great to see the arc they took the character through, from Sabertooth’s forgotten partner to part of the Initiative. Hated how they ended it though especially since he’s kind of dropped off the face of the earth again. There’s some issue of Marvel Comics Presents or something that addresses him and Sabertooth’s old partnership that I really enjoyed though I’m going to have to dig up which issue/title it was specifically
How’s this as a testament to your great memory?
The Heroes Gift Set with Cap, Black Spidey, & Daredevil did feature the European figures on the back of the packaging!
I knew it! Memory works in mysterious ways. I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night but I can easily recall anything toy related. The wonders of colorful plastic.
i must say, the love of secret wars is certainly a love i understand… baron zemo was hands down my favorite figure back in the day, just bewcause he was so not-he-man, and magneto was a close second. when a freak accident took zemo from my grasp, magneto rose and filled the role of primary character in the old dayravenverse. even today, he features prominently in my play time. great line there.
as for constrictor himself, man, that fig looks great. i do agree, bendy coils that unplugged from the sockets would have made the fig a whole other level, but i suspect this is as good as we’re getting, and that’s still pretty damned good.
Yeah, just a little bit of measuring against the ideal there, but a great figure. Ideally, we’d clean up a few of the weird sculpting bits like the blocked off knees and diaper too…
But yeah, Zemo! Or weird purple King Spider-Man from another dimension. It’s funny how I had both him and Kang, but my perceptions of them have changed into my really enjoying Kang and never getting much behind Zemo…
NoisyDvL5 wrote: “Sometimes I wonder why folks keep coming here… ”
We keep coming back for the great photos and humor and the backgroud you give us on each figure in your reviews, that’s why!
😳 Thanks, Jim! I just try to write what I’d want to read, which is strangely sometimes less about the specific sculpt or scale… I make for an odd toy reviewer.
Yeah, usually rambling of the nature you describe irritates the living piss out of me (see: any article at aicn). Unlike those, dvl, your intro was interesting and brought back some of my own SW memories, or lack thereof: I didn’t really get into hero comics until the ealy 90s and later found that I’d originally had some of the SW characters when I was kid. I had the tower playset, iron man, cap, doom, mags, spider-man and wolverine and, save for sm, really had no idea who they were at the time.
Some guy did a tutorial on how to easilly adapt the coils from a spawn Creech figure to make bendy tentacles for constrictor. I bought one for cheap on eBay and plan to upgrade my ‘strictor (and do something similar with ML10 omega red).
LOL It’s all about the segues??
One of my all-time favorite toys from my childhood is the Doom Roller! I was with my Grandman and Aunt at a store here called “Mr. C’s”. The store was within walking distance and sold primarily discounted house building materials (windows, sinks, blinds), but they had a toy section. It was always discounted leftovers, sometimes broken stuff, but it was cheap. I always liked going there because the low prices usually ensured that I got to take something home. So many good toys came from there: the M.A.S.K. Rhino, the Swamp Thing Line, Vehicle Voltron, etc. It was there that I got the Doom Roller – except that I had no idea what it was at the time.
Some folks always lament the old days of walking into a store and finding something new, unannounced – and that’s cool, but I miss the days of cool toys with no backstory too. I mean, I know we can just ignore it, but some of the coolest toys were toys that we immediately repurposed because we had no idea what they were originally intended for and had no real way of finding out.
And thanks for the tip on Creech! I’ll have to check that and see if I can manage the upgrade. I love Constrictor, but that would put him over the top.
yep, if there is a key accessory that comes with another figure, the customizers will jump on it and make the “missing” figure happen. When Omega Red hit, his coils went into a number of Constrictor customs. Same for the Sentinel coils.
and yeah, I’m another fan for whatever unsane reason. I do feel slightly cheated now, seeing the MU get the yellow “laser/energy coils”, while the “classic” look is stuck with the plain “metal” coils. and is it me, or were they transplanted/retconned into Adamantium at one point?
Now we just need Stiltman and Machine Man/X-51….
Being a latecomer to the Constrictor party, I can’t tell a retcon from the original, but I know that he’s had adamantium and vibranium coils. I don’t know if I would’ve preferred metal or yellow now that I think about it. Yellow is kinda cool…
I’m up for Stiltman and Machine Man!
I keep coming back cause you give honest reviews that aren’t tainted by goodie bags that show up at your door every month. If the figure is great, you say so and give reasons why even if you have a slight bias, as with Constrictor here. If its junk, you oblige us with the same what, whys and biases.
Other than here and M. Crawford, I don’t read any other reviews. On your word and his, I’ve bought figures that I had 0 intention on purchasing and found the review to be quite spot on.
So thanks and nice review…had the same opinion about Constructor as well.
We do get some goodie bags from the smaller companies, but I try to stay objective (I really can’t contain my Glyos/SMC/OSM love though…). There was some DCUCs last year that were just awful, the sculpt was questionable, the articulation was extra limited and they stillgot glowing sample reviews. That really made an impact on me to hopefully never do that…
And thanks for the kind words. Hopefully, I don’t make you spend too much money. 🙂
“Secret Warts Doctor Doom”
I think I enjoy your reviews because of the rambling style, rather than in spite of it. There’s a bit more of a connection between the toy and the reviewer and the audience that way.
Traditionally I’m a bit of a DC snob when it comes to comics and don’t really collect anything Marvel related, but the toy fan bit of me is deeply impressed by the ML figs – impressed, and jealous that I rarely feel that way about DC’s product. Which I have to import. Even though my local ASDA is full of Marvel toys. Grr. Sorry, went off on a bit of a tangent there…
AHEM. Well, let me just go take care of that… Thank you!
I’m right there with you on the DCUCs vs MLs. I love the basic sculpt/articulation for the DCUCs (save the rocker ankles and sometimes limited necks). I buy my DCUCs mostly out of being a comics reader – Mattel gives the characters decent enough figures for the most part, but Hasbro can get me to buy Terrax (my knowledge of him is limited to the six little inserts from the figures). I don’t know if (and Dayraven will surely chime in with certainty) that Mattel does a good enough job to get a “Marvel Snob” to buy some of the lesser known DC characters.
i don’t consider myself a marvel snob is the truest sense though… MAYBE in the comics, though i try to keep pretty versed on the batverse at least, but in toys, i go where the cool is. i’m a mercurial bitch that way. and mattel definitely wins from time to time. hell, in the last week, i admitted, happily, to buying kobra and magog, and trying to complete stripe… that doesn’t tell you something? honestly, i’d have been all over that swamp thing too, had the reports not come in SO QUICKLY about how fragile the skin was. i seriously sat there on comic con day and pondered that one, cuz i love swamp thing. to yeah, mattel lures me to the dc table every so often.
I’m glad you mentioned the molded belt. I’ve read several reviews for this figure that don’t even make mention of this aspect. It’s like, “Am I the only one who can see that they reused a crotch piece that has a friggin’ belt molded onto it?!?!” They didn’t have any other pieces they could have used for that?
I also noticed the forearms not quite lining up with the rest of the arms. If you position his arms so that heis palms are facing up, they line up decently, but it really limits posability when the arms only look good in one position.
The face I’m not crazy on, not because it’s not awesome (it is, even if it makes the body and its painted-on orange sections look even worse by comparison), but because it’s so weirdly demonic (if I didn’t know better, I’d think he was some kind of vampire). The best Constrictor story I’ve ever ready was in Avengers: Initiative, and he was presented in a much more sympathetic light there (though now I want a Diamondback figure to go with him) that seeing such a purely evil figure of the character looks wrong to me.
The lateral shoulders have never bothered me with their look, and the range of motion is so awesome I get ticked when they’re not included. They really add a lot of expressiveness to many poses. Wolverine looks even more badass when he can have his arms drawn back further, ready to pounce.
My review goes like this:
I hate the Bullseye body. It is not suited for a generic superhero and shouldn’t be as widely used as it is…it is much too thin. The best use of this body (besides Bullseye) has been the Red Hulk wave Black Spiderman.
While the DCUC buck is reused way more than it ever should be, at least it looks great. Take Constrictor’s head, pop it on a DCUC buck and you can see how much nicer it looks.
My review starts and ends with that. Hasbro needs to phase this body out of production, or at least produce a different body that doesn’t leave a bunch of scrawny super-types running around.
I….don’t get that last picture
I was made mention in a previous review that Noisy hadn’t found a Ghost Rider yet, so Terrax had no arms, and therefore the villains were out-numbered and overpowered by the heroes (there was a shot of an armless Terrax flanked by Constrictor and Klaw, with one of them saying “Wait until Noisy finds a blue Ghost Rider!” as all of the hero figures from this wave advance on them). Now that all of the figures are present in that picture, Terrax has been completed and can help even the odds.
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