Figure Friday: Marvel Legends X-Men, NECA’s Batarang, Monstarz’s Ghost Mini Statue

Another fortnight has passed and it’s once again time for Figure Friday. For this installment I’ve got some brand NEW stuff that’s just hitting the pegs right now. Let’s take a look.

Marvel Legends X-Men

The Marvel Legends toy line has been around a staggering nineteen yearsand I’ve been collecting figures from that line off and on that entire time. There was a brief period of not-good-ness that occurred when the line switched from Toy Biz to Hasbro in 2006 but other than that the line has been pretty consistent.

Articulation and accuracy have always been the strong points of the line with their multiple points of poseabilty becoming the gold standard for the US toy industry. I make that distinction because imports from Asia have consistently blown domestic toys out of the water since long before Marvel Legends existed.

Adult collectors back in the the day were often heard lamenting “(BLANK) would be great if they had Marvel Legends-style articulation.” You could drop in DC, Star Wars, Transformers into the blank and be met with nods of agreement from whatever group of collectors you were speaking to. Eventually, all of the properties I mentioned followed suit and released their own super articulated toys with varying degrees of success.

The main thing that got me on board was having a Spider-Man figure that could actually DO Spider-Man poses.

Pizza Spidey!

This week I picked up a couple of the new Marvel Legends X-Men figures which are based on Jonathan Hickman’s current X-Men run. One of the nice things about advances in technology is that figures are now able to be produced in a fraction of the time when compared to twenty years ago. The Wolverine and Cyclops I picked up only just graced the comics pages in their current form just over a year ago.

The figures are pretty great, but more than a little familiar which I’ll address in a moment. Wolverine is perfectly in scale with the rest of the line (read: he’s short) and comes with an alternate head. Cyclops also comes with a swappable head and an attachable optic blast effect which, despite looking like a large, Jolly Rancher, is pretty cool.

However, these aren’t entirely new figures. When at my friend’s comic shop this week I took note of a Marvel Legends X-Force Wolverine in his grey and black costume and I noted that aside from the figure’s heads and belt it shared the same exact body as my newer Wolverine. After some quick googling I discover that the new Cyclops had the same body and heads as the X-Factor version that was released last year but with new gloves and boots swapped in.

This doesn’t make them bad figures, just repaints, which I’m fine with. The Transformers line is at any given time 50 to 60% repaints and it’s a pretty common practice for any toy line. While it may have become quicker to produce figures, tooling the plastic molds can still be pretty costly so it makes sense to get the most use out of them as possible.

Batman ‘89 Batarang by NECA

This was too cool to pass up and it’s now one of the cornerstones of my “adult toy collecting is really just childhood wish fulfillment” argument. Luckily for me, I had a friend spot one of these and pick one up for me and they’re an absolute steal at only $15 a pop.

What NECA has done is produce a 1:1 scale replica of Keaton’s Batarang from the 1989 Batman movie AND it folds up! Presumably so it can be attached to a utility belt that they’ve yet to announce. It comes complete with an injection molded plastic stand of somewhat dubious quality. It seems more like something you’d use to transport seedlings home from your local greenhouse than a proper stand. But for $15? I don’t care about the stand in the slightest.

This Batarang will make a fine addition to your nerd armory along side your lightsabers, Captain America’s shield, Thor’s hammer and so on.

Monstarz Ghost Papa Emeritus I Limited Edition Mini Statue

I love the band Ghost….they’re like a KISS that doesn’t suck. (Editor’s Note: We’ll be having HR talk to you about dissing KISS).

Since I’m nearing the end of this column, I’ll spare you the long explanation of the lore surrounding the band and cut right to the chase by saying that like KISS they’re possessed of an image that is infinitely marketable but they haven’t quite crossed over into the realm of offering branded caskets or Caribbean cruises just yet. To date you can buy masks made in the images of their various lead singers (wink, wink) and the Nameless Ghouls that make up the band, t-shirts, pins, action figures, and the mini statue I just preordered.

Even though this is the second statue in the series personally, I’m hoping that this is more indicative of the style of future releases. Now I just have to figure out the proper placement for this thing…

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