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Marvel Legends Guardians
of the Galaxy Nova Review

And we get to celebrate his return with a kickass new figure to boot. Unlike the first Nova, the modern figure gets plenty of newly sculpted pieces. I’m not sure what’s reused, my ML-eye is not as a good as my DCUC-eye, but Nova could feasibly reuse the lower torso and arms. The rest, though, is undeniably new. Some costume details like the belt and the gold decorations on the boots and gauntlets are done with add-on pieces that blend in well. The head and torso are entirely new to capture the details of Nova’s more recent armored up look.

I love al the new parts. Combined with the metallic blue plastic and the gold add-ons, the overall figure looks fantastic. I had thought the extra detailing on the torso might clash with the lack of it on the arms and legs, but it all works together. The only odd area on the sculpt is the hinged shoulder armor. It thankfully allows for better range on the shoulders, but it’s difficult to tuck away in a standard pose. I like it, I’d just like it better if it were a little more seamless.

One thing I did love was that the face and helmet are two separate pieces. This skips the issue of slop on the open part of the face, but moreover creates genuine depth for the helmet. It’s nicely done. Thankfully, the emblem on the helmet is smaller and better detailed this time around – though the one on my Nova is unfortunately slightly off center.

The articulation features just about every area I want on a six-inch feature. The ball-jointed neck has fantastic range along with ball-joints in the shoulders, wrists, hips and inverted ankles. The knees and elbows are double-hinged, the ML ab crunch is present, and we’ve got swivels at the biceps, waist, and thighs. I would like a little more range on the hips, but that’s me reaching for a nitpick. He can get into tons of great poses; I couldn’t track down my flight stand for pics, but Nova has enough great articulation to make good use of one. I’ve been playing with him in various flight poses in-between paragraphs for this review.

The paint work is what makes this figure different and better than its predecessor. While that figure featured dried mustard plastic in place of the gold or bright yellow, clashing paint. This figure works much harder to match everything up. There is still a noticeable different between the painted gold areas and the molded gold areas, but it’s not nearly as jarring as before or as it can be on other similar gold decorated figures. Everything being done in a pearlescent shade definitely helps it match up. I more feel like I have to point out that it doesn’t quite match, rather than care that it doesn’t quite match.

Nova included just one accessory, the arm of Groot. I am so conflicted on this BAF. I want a Groot. Everyone should want a Groot. But I have Groot options. The one area where I’ve indulged with Hot Toys purchases is Cinematic Marvel. And, Hot Toys has already teased all five of the movie Guardians. Meanwhile, Hasbro has already brought all five Guardians to mass retail with the very wave featuring this Nova.

Now, kinda feel like I have to see the movie first – because if I don’t love that, I won’t want to spend the $1000+ a HT set will cost. But, I still feel the pull of a 6” ML set now. It feels wrong to not assemble Groot! I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I haven’t found the MLs yet (Nova was a lone leftover at Target, sad day), but I may cave when I do find them. I may find that I do really want to wait for HT. It’s going to be a tough decision.

Overall, Hasbro has been doing much better by me this last year – US Agent, Zemo, Black Cat, and now Nova. The newly sculpted pieces are top notch and the deco decisions this time around are so much better that I can’t even quantify it. He looks fantastic. The articulation is solid (even if I’m not a fan of the flip-up shoulder pads, they work!) too which just brings it home. This is the Nova figure Nova fans deserve, if fans could deserve anything. I can only hope Hasbro continues to impress with future figures as they have with their recent crop (and, hey, making a few more of my Most Wanted wouldn’t hurt either…).

For all our Marvel Reviews, check out our Review Index.

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21 comments to Marvel Legends Guardians
of the Galaxy Nova Review

  • Black Arbor

    Good review, but you have two copies of your first paragraph up. 😀

  • Brainlock

    Not a big fan of the ChrisCross redesign of Nova (or QUASAR!), but the coloring on this one does stand out better to me than the drab, darker colors of the previous Nova. Maybe if that one had this color scheme, he would come off better?

    and hey, Rich also had an animated figure from one of the recent Spider-Man cartoons a year or so ago (Spectacular? open box “deluxe” figure). I finally picked one up on clearance for $7. Other than the articulation, he looks better than the previous ML Nova, as well.

    as far as parts go, this may be an all new sculpt? I was going to question the lower half, but the lower legs/boots and ankles are definitely new and the foot stamp has “2014” n it, as well. A reuse would have the original mold dating.
    (and yes, I have a list of redesigns/do-overs they need to get to instead of IronWolvieCap #938!)

    Honestly, I’m thinking about repainting my spare red, for a modern “Kid Nova” custom. One has gold spatter in random spots, so…?
    (I bought a GotG case from HTS when they first hit, then lucked into the other locals passing on Nova for both StarLords (and Rocket and Gamora)! LOL I keep wondering if it was the guy who runs the St Charles Toy Show? as he does live in the area.)
    (btw, that was RONAN from the ML F4 BAF you missed. Ronin was the green/black Hand ninja 2pk redeco with Clint head. yeah, I got lucky in finishing mine, thanks to that line being one of the first “split cases” Hasbro did. oy.
    AND that TB War Machine was re-using the ML s1 Iron Man body, which Magneto also shared in s3!
    and speaking of Iron Man, wtF is up with that hideous armor in this wave?? UGH! yeah, yeah, it’s the “Marvel Now! space armor” update he was in GotG with, but still….maybe the black/gold that got a Masher?)

    and happyjoy: first reports of TRU Stryfe w/Jubilee head hit tonight. yay. >_>

  • I’ve been waiting since 1980 for Jack of Hearts. Still waiting.

    I thought this figure was scarce since I can’t seem to luck upon it in my area, (the O.C.) which isn’t a great place for brick and mortar finds to begin with.

    I like the classic 70’s look better but this one is nicer than the previous version instead of sculpting. Except for the fact that his armor makes him look more a New 52 Nova than anything else out there. LOL. 🙂

    • Oh! Low blow! lol I’m really a costume change junkie. I admit it. Bring on the Electric Supes, Iron Man Armors, Symbiotes, Etc.!! With Nova here it felt good too; in context with what was happening around him.

      Even in the New52, the costumes are the easiest part to accept. Superman being married is a lot more important to me than if he’s wearing underwear. 😀

  • Jester

    This might be my favourite costume of any comic-book character ever.

  • Paul

    I don’t know much about he Marvel Cosmic stuff. I always kept to the more earth-based comics for some reason. What’s the difference between the SDCC Star-Lord and the Star Lord released in this wave? Is SDCC a comic version vs this Chris Pratt version?

    • orionpax636

      SDCC Star-Lord is a more comic based version.


      He has a more overtly militaristic costume (based off the AIM soldier base, I think). Pratt’s Star-Lord looks a little more casual with only the mask resembling the comic, but from the trailers I think they get uniforms that more closely resemble Star-Lord’s comic costume in burgundy.

      • Brainlock

        yep, everyone who saw the AIM Scientist chest immediately knew that comic StarLord was likely near with the GotG movie coming. (LESS THAN A MONTH!) Too bad he’s a con exclusive most of us will never see. I mean, we’ve been promised several single figures out of the last couple SDC ML sets and we’re still waiting for those and more announced figures to show up at retail. At least the Jubilee BAF (UGH) is starting to hit with Stryfe, who was first “officially” announced in …2012? or was it back in 2011?

  • orionpax636

    From what I’m hearing, finding a lone Nova at Target is never a bad day. Supposedly he’s this wave’s Black Widow, though the whole wave wipes out pretty much everywhere around here. Groot is a lovely figure though, and I like the loveable design from the movie. Drax is another highlight from the wave if you can find one with a straight painted gaze.

    I think the hinged shoulder pads are okay this time out, much better than with Neo-Classic’s (I’ve been considering hacking those off and just gluing them in place). I’ll confess, my biggest interaction with the Intergalactic Everyman was his time with the New Warriors, when Mark Bagley gave him a killer mullet.

    • dayraven

      nova as a cosmic character i find only kind of interesting… nova as part of a new warriors boxed set, THAT i would not be able to resist. i know, it’s dumb, but it’s true.

    • Brainlock

      case packout:
      2x StarLord, Iron Man
      1x Rocket, Gamora, Nova, Drax

      so yeah, Nova and Gamora are the two “hot” picks with Rocket a close third.
      then again, as I said above, I managed to miss most of the first case at retail here last week, but they left Nova behind? then the other day, a StarLord in a damaged box is suddenly on the peg with the remaining three from before = return!
      (maybe that’s why I’m feeling crappy now? they pulled it out, ripping the box tab, coughed on it, then closed it back up. it looked like a dropped case and hasty pack/pull out at first, but now that I think about it…?)

  • Nova and Iron Man are the two figures from this line I’d be okay with never getting. Nove never did anything for me as a character, and I think that’s one of the fugliest Iron Man armors ever made (and we still can’t get the damn black and gold armor, which predates the space armor by half a year). I’d be happier with comic versions of the Guardians, but I’ll take what I can get.

    I really want to assemble Groot, so I’ll probably either have to break down and get IM and Nova at some point, or get their parts solo off of eBay or something. Of course, it’s not like I’m in any real danger of finding them in stores. I think every Target in my area got one case, which have almost all long sold out (I could probably find a Star Lord and an Iron Man if I needed to). TRU got a decently sized Guardians section, but no Legends. Not even a spot for them.

  • Mikey


    For Captain Britain love.

  • J. Lee

    Looking for this guy and yes I would love a new warriors set classic team with Justice, Speedball, Namorita(fleshtone), Firestar, Night Thrasher, Rage, and Silhouette.

    Man I dig this more I see him. Seen the GotG legends once then poof.

    On Captain Britian yes a new is nice thing to see. Had the old and was okay. Hmm excalibur team set? Like to see Meggan, blue suit Shadowcat, new Nightcrawler and hmm, man forget who else was in the team.

    Yeah easy to please.

    • Mikey

      Rachel Phoenix made up the core team of 5

    • Brainlock

      classic green one-piece suit or later white bra/pants suit for Namorita? I’d like both.

      and a big SECOND! to both teams, as well as classic X-Force! (blue Sam, Boomer, Sunspot, Shatterstar, among others like that DANI we’re still waiting on!)

  • J. Lee

    Classic green, with a swap ponytail and short hair heads.

  • Speedball

    I have been waiting my whole life for a Speedball action figure. If they released a new warriors set with Speedball, Night Thrasher, Justice, Firestar, Namorita and Nova… I would probably have a heart attack. PLEASE Marvel!??

  • Jester

    Reading through this review again, it occurs to me that the eccentricities of Rogue’s headsculpt give her the profile of a Brian Froud character.