Marvel Select

Marvel Select The Wolverine Review

Marvel Select
The Wolverine
6 Inch Scale
By Diamond Select Toys
$21.99

I did not have big expectations for this summer’s The Wolverine, but I was pleasantly surprised by the film. Marvel Comics and their movie adaptations are one of my many loves, but the first Wolverine spinoff was garbage. Along with Elektra and both of the Ghost Riders, it is one of the few Marvel features that I have not owned or really even seen all the way through. Without even the spark of so-bad-their-good enjoyability, they cannot hold my interest.However, Hugh Jackman owns the role of Wolverine, and even the lesser X-films have benefited from his performances. And in The Wolverine, I believe he gives his best performance as the character yet.

2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine had a decent 3 ¾” toyline, with movie and comic versions of important X-characters. This time around, Hasbro’s figure line consisted of five comic based figures with basic swivel articulation. Three of the figures were Wolverine variations. They have also shown off a 6” Wolverine Legends assortment of comic based figures, but it still is not available, and will be a Previews exclusive series. Marvel Select has released a Wolverine which seems to be the only true action figure based on the film. Continue reading

todmachead

Marvel Select
Venom
7 Inch Scale
By Diamond/Marvel Select
$23.99

Hello and salutations true believers! Batced here, as one of Infinite Hollywood’s newest contributors. I’ve been a long time reader of the site and have been an even longer fan of all things pertaining to pop culture, even previously maintaining a blog covering such subjects. Kicking things off, we’ll take a look at the newest product from Marvel Select: the man they call VENOM.

The vigilante known as Venom is actually a symbiotic being consisting of the human reporter Eddie Brock and a fluid, intelligent organism from outer space who feeds on his adrenaline, granting him all the powers of Spider-Man. When they first found each other, both held grudges against the hero, wreaking havoc in his life but Venom later became a hero on his own, protecting the innocent and helping to stop several other symbiotic beings that had split off from himself. At one point, Venom bonded with a second symbiote, causing him to grow additional arms and heads, as well as driving him mad. Both Brock and the symbiote have since bonded with other partners.

The bio from the back of the package is pretty clear from the get-go as to who this is supposed to be. It is not the Anti-Venom, or Ultimate Venom. Nor is it Flash Thompson or Mac Gargan, but good old Eddie Brock in all of his goopy glory.

batmanvenom

Now, I didn’t start reading comics seriously until I was in middle school – and before then I was mostly into the stable at DC Comics – but even then I knew that Marvel put out some of the better cartoons of the day (with the obvious exception of Batman: The Animated Series) and the best by leaps and bounds was the Spider-Man animated series. Although storylines were changed and altered for the timeframe of the cartoon, it proved itself – like relative series’ based on the X-Men, Hulk, and Iron Man – to be just as literary as its source material.

As such, while the show did a version of the ‘Secret Wars’ mini-series from the 80s that saw Peter first gain the symbiotic costume (issue #8 for those playing the home game,) within the timeline of the show, Peter and the viewers were first introduced to the alien costume in the episodes of the same name much earlier and under different circumstances. This didn’t change the eventual outcome, which saw Brock ruined by Peter Parker and swearing revenge in a church only to be bonded to the symbiote after Peter shed it from his body. I do believe that Sam Raimi used this origin begrudgingly in Spider-Man 3 as well, although I also do believe not a lot of people want to be reminded of that particular entry in the Raimi series.

Continue reading


Wesitron checks in with a look at the new Amazing Spider-Man movie figure from Marvel Select and Diamond Select Toys.


The Thing
7 Inch Scale
By: Marvel Select
$15.00

This is a review I’ve been sitting on for a while. I love the Thing. Ben Grimm is one of those characters that I’m constantly picking up in various forms. When Marvel Select announced a Grimm, I wasn’t sure if he’d be able to stand up to my Thunder Launcher Thing as one of the best versions of the character. However, I soon realized that this Thing was perhaps the biggest version of the character released in a long time and at an affordable price, too. In that sense, he became a must buy.

The Thing’s mutated physiology grants him tremendous superhuman strength and durability, the levels varying with his different forms. There have been periods where Ben could assume human form at will; however, these situations seldom last long. He also has enhanced stamina and lung capacity, and increased resistance to sensory and temperature extremes. His reflexes are above-average by human standards despite his immense mass, and he retains a reasonable level of agility and dexterity.

But if you’re not a collector of the Marvel Select line, is this one Thing you should pass up? How good is his articulation? Is this finally the definitive Thing figure that we’ve been waiting for? We’ll answer those questions and more, inside.

Packaging:
The package is pretty standard for Marvel Select, although exactly how identical to previous packages I couldn’t say right offhand. It’s definitely similar in style, but it’s been a while since I’ve had any MS. Regardless, the similar style bubble card will go well with your previous collection if you’re a MOC kind of guy.


The back has a little info on Ben and shows off the other upcoming figures. I also want that giant Abomination figure, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I think part of the problem is, I’m not 100% sold on the Marvel Select Hulks, and since I’m not as enamored with Hulk as I am Thing, it’s not an instant buy… But I digress.


There’s a fair amount of Thing artwork on the exterior and even some on the interior. Some of the inner artwork is sort of wasted, as you can only really see it when you rip the package open. However I definitely give points for effort and it wasn’t too hard to open this package. However it loses some points for having about 6 twist ties that were a bit of a pain.

Sculpt & Paint:
This is an impressive sculpt. One of the things that Marvel Select has finally started to embrace is doing larger scale characters so that this toy line can be compatible with Marvel Legends. Thing here in my mind is a bit too big for Marvel Legends, but if you’re one of those guys who likes your Thing HUGE as sometimes depicted in artwork, he’s perfect.


The face is a little small for my tastes as well, but he doesn’t look at bad as the MS Hulk. That figure seemed downright pinheaded to me. There is a great expression etched across his face and plenty of stone and chisel to give ol’ Blue Eyes his patented good looks. There’s a nice black wash over the orange stone that gives it one of it’s most realistic stone visages. As much as I love Thunder Launcher Thing, this guy has even better detailing than him.


The size is what’s really impressive. It’s hard to get a grasp on just how huge this dude is until you have him in hand. He’s heavy too. Not only is this guy tall, but he’s wide. His fists are gigantic. This is one of the most imposing figures released in recent years.


Ben definitely looks like he could unleash a clobbering on just about anybody. If anything, the sculpt is perhaps a bit one note, but it does portray the character well. I think even harsh critics would be generally impressed with this figure. Again, a lot of that has to do with sheer size. This guy would be less impressive if he was 3 inches smaller all around.

Articulation:
This guy has been worked over pretty hard online for his articulation. Part of that seems to be based on the face that Marvel Legends were able to pack in so much articulation in their toy line. Marvel Select has never been able to compete, even though they have a fair amount of articulation in their figures.


The articulation is definitely lacking if you’re comparing him to one of Toy Biz’s old Things. However, I don’t think that necessarily makes him a bad figure. The Thing is sort of a big giant block of rock. This figure has ball jointed shoulders, a ball joint neck, ball jointed legs which more or less end up like a v-crotch, as well as hinged ankles, elbows, knees and swivel wrists. He’s not going to win any awards for articulation, but for Ben Grimm he’s not bad.


My one real complaint in the articulation would be that one elbow has a deep hinge with a cut out in the rock allowing him to get pretty much a full 90 degree bend. His other? It has a signifigantly smaller cut in the hinge, allowing him less of a bend. I’m not really sure why that is.


He also looks like he might have upper bicep swivels, but they weren’t added. It’s hard to say if they were originally intended or not. His design could be a bit confusing. Still, even missing a few swivels and some limitations on his actual articulation… I think he’s passable.

Accessories:
Marvel Select is sort of random with their accessories. Sometimes a figure will have several and sometimes they’ll have next to nothing. Ben Grimm falls into the latter category.


He was actually announced as coming with a strange little round hoverboard-like stand. Instead he comes with this lump of metal. Historically Marvel Select has included some sort of diorama type piece, but this isn’t really in that same realm.


It does have a two sided paper background which you can stick in it. Novel idea, but one I never cared for in the Legends line either.


Of course, even if you love the idea… It’s not exactly useful for this figure. It barely comes up to the rim of his pants. Hardly what I’d call a decent background display.


It works okay with Marvel Universe Thing, though, should you decide to use it there.

Value:
This guy retails for $15-$18 depending on where you pick him up at. I actually found him a few months back for $13! Pretty incredible when you get him in hand. The average DCUC figure which has far less sculpting and nowhere near this kind of size, runs $15. That makes this a pretty good deal. He’s big, he’s bulky, and while he may not be the best articulated figure around, he’s a damn good Ben Grimm figure.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to get this guy, nor would I pay much north of $18 for him. But if you’re a fan of a bigger figures, like I am, then this guy is very nice. You could even squeeze him into other collections, like TMNT as a General Traag, or MOTUC as giant rock beast. He’s that big and impressive.


Score Recap:
Packaging: 8
Sculpting: 8
Paint: 8
Articulation: 6
Accessories: Techno-Crap Background
Value: 8
Overall: 8 out of 10


At the end of the day, I can’t score this guy any less than an 8. Even though he’s not super poseable, he works well for the character. He’s not really in scale with much else in my view, but he still works well as a giant badass rock man. That’s what Ben Grimm is, right? So how can this not be a good figure? Especially for the price and the size and girth that you’re getting for that value. If you’re a Thing fan, you owe it to yourself to have this guy in your collection. However if you’re just looking to own the definitive Thing… I’m not certain he’s been released yet.

Moon Knight Week continues with a look at the Marvel Legends version of Marc Spector. It’s Moon Knight Marvel Legends style! This is a figure that I spent a fair amount of time trying to track down but did eventually find at a Toys R Us. I’ve kept him on card for several years now but I’m busting him free of his plastic prison for you! See how special Moon Knight week is?

This figure came out a short while after the Marvel Select version of the Moon Knight came out. It’s one of the few times that a Marvel Legends version came after a Marvel Select version. Marvel Select has a nasty habit of putting out a version shortly after a Legends version. Regardless, this figure fits in well with all 6 inch lines. So how does he match up with the Marvel Select version and is he the definitive Moon Knight? Read on Moon-a-maniacs.

Packaging:
No matter what you think of Marvel Legends (Many fans believe it’s the greatest toy line, like ever) you have to agree that the packages are pretty lame. Don’t get me wrong, they’re perfectly serviceable and keep the figure safe but they aren’t attractive in the least. They’re a very ugly packaging that surely failed to attract Moms, Dads and Kids at mass market.

If I was tasked with the job of designing a package that did everything right but did it in the most bland way possible, this would be it. It is a basic clamshell with twist ties. It all works well enough and Moon Knight’s cape is shoved through the back of the inner shell. Unlike a lot of figures though, his cape comes out easily. Inside is a comic, the figure, accessories and dio stand. The back of the package works as a piece of a diorama backdrop and it also has Moon Knight’s brief bio and stats. That I do approve of.

Articulation:
This is where I differ from most people, but this figure has too much articulation. I’m one of the few who believe that a lot of Marvel Legends just had too much in the way of joints and this figure is a shining example of that. Using the “Bullseye” body, so named because it started with Bullseye, this figure features like 9 million points of articulation.

Let’s see if I can even count it all, ball jointed head, ball shoulders, these weird should in shoulder joints, swivel below the shoulder, double hinge joint elbows, swivel wrist, FOUR count em four jointed fingers on each hand, ab crunch, swivel waist, ball legs, swivel thigh, double hinge joint knees, swivel ankle, rocker ankles, and hinged upper toe area.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy lots of articulation, but it’s just overkill. In trying to pose this guy I find myself struggling a bit because so many joints are moving at once. I think Moon Knight should be articulated well. He needs to be able to move, but some of these joints are a bit overkill.

That said, if there is a pose you want to put this guy in, he can do it. I really like the articulated fingers and that’s a really nice touch here. While I think he might have too much articulation, it doesn’t really interfere with the sculpt too much and that’s a real positive. Plus he can stand up straight which makes him superior to the bow legged Marvel Select version.

Sculpt:
Although this guy is a reuse of the Bullseye body he has plenty of new sculpted parts. Head, boots, hands, belt. It makes for a very impressive Marc Spector look. You’d be hard pressed to ask for much more out of a Moony figure. There is no sculpting of ridges, details or veins like the Marvel Select version but I actually think it looks better that way.

The boots, gloves and belt look as good if not better than the Marvel Select version. In fact I slightly prefer them. The one area of sculpting that this guy really suffers though is the chest. Because this body was used for another figure there is a deep pectoral gap. This causes the crescent moon placement on his chest to be off center. At first I thought this was just on my figure, but no, it’s on every figure.

Toy Biz really should have modified the mold to have a raised moon on his chest to cover up the middle. It would have taken this figure to a whole other level. When it comes to the chest, the Marvel Select one wins. As far as the rest of the paint goes, it’s pretty minimal but it’s effective.

He doesn’t have a wash which is odd for a Marvel Legend, but he is cast in a bit of shiny plastic. He’s a dark gun metal color and the variant is shiny silver. Why not a white version of the figure? Beats the hell out of me. As much as Marvel Legends loved to wash their figures, you’d think a white one with a paint wash would be a no brainer.


A tale of two Moon Knights.

The head sculpt is really nice and I prefer it to the Marvel Select version, however the cape obscures most of it. Without his cape this guy looks EXACTLY like Zen the Intergalactic Ninja. Speaking of the cape, that’s the biggest downfall of this guy.

Although the cape is a nice sculpt, it forces him to always be hunched over. Moon Knight does hunch over a lot, like Batman, but the figure is constantly forced to look that way and you can’t fix it. I actually prefer the sculpt of the cape to the other version but the hunching issue really hurts it. It’s also got a hole in the back for those weird Marvel Legends action stands which I’m also not a huge fan of.

I give Toy Biz credit for not just reusing Doctor Doom’s cape or a similar one… But I did a quick swap of him with Doom’s cape and he actually looks WAY better with the Doom style cape. I see what Toy Biz was going for, but it ultimately failed. Moon Knight seems a bit more like the crypt keeper than anything with that cape on.

Accessories:
Although he could never live up to the awesome Khonshu statue that the Marvel Select version gave us, he does come with some nifty stuff. First he comes with his staff which was missing from the Select version. It’s nothing to write home about, but bo staff’s never are (Sorry Donatello!).

He also includes a pair of nunchucks which he’s been known to use. They fit nicely on his back with a handy little rubber holder. They are a bit big, but still nice. He doesn’t come with any throwing Moon discs though. However the Marvel Select versions fit just fine in his hand if you have both.

The Marvel Legends Moon Knight also includes a comic, which is always nice. Unfortunately it’s a pretty average comic that not only ends with “To Be Continued…” but shows very little of Moon Knight himself. It’s an old Team Up issue with Spider-man that doesn’t really give you any indication of what Moon Knight is about. In fact if this comic was all the Moon Knight you knew, you’d completely feel he was a Batman ripoff. Why was the Marvel Legends comic selection so often shitty?

As I mentioned before the back of the package is a dio backdrop and it’s a nice look into the Moon cave and the Moonwing, as it were. There is a little stand for that as well as a piece of Modok, since this is part of the Build-A-Figre Modok wave. It’s an uninteresting piece of a odd character so I’m not going to review it. Modok being a prime example of Toy Biz wasting articulation. Still all these accessories are nice.

Additional Notes:
For Marvel Legends collectors this is a great figure. For other collectors he’s certainly worthwhile. I may use a few of these guys for custom figures before it’s all said and done. As much as I’d love to say this is the “perfect” Moon Knight figure, it just misses the mark.

Value:
I think I paid about $13 for this guy originally. I know that people have said ML retailed for less than $10 but I know I paid more for him at Toys R Us. He goes for around $15-20 on the secondary market now and he’s worth that if you’re a fan of the character.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 5
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 10
Accessories – Bo Staff, Nunchucks, Comic, BAF Part, Dio Backdrop
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10

Despite all the articulation, I’m knocking a bit off on him because the articulation doesn’t bring him above his glaring problems. The misplaced Moon is a real bummer and the cape more or less relegates him to a handful of convincing poses. If you jerry-rig a different cape for him out of an old Doom cape or maybe a Taskmaster cape, then do something with his moon sigil he’d be about perfect.


MOON KNIGHT!

This is still a really great figure and if you had to choose between the ML or the MS versions, I’d probably point you in the direction of this one. It’s a close call, but he has more potential, even if it’s squandered.

If you enjoyed this article please click the little “share” button below and then the Digg icon and DIGG this it! Be sure to be back here tomorrow at 11PM. Same Moon Time, Same Moon Channel for more MOON KNIGHT WEEK!