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Best of/ Worst of Marvel Legends


Hogun
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As 2021 is coming to a close. It is time to announce your picks for the best and worst of in Marvel Legends of the year. My pick for best Marvel Legend of 2021 is Xu Wenwu. I got Hong Kong representation with Leung Chiu-Wai and I love the composite character of The Mandarin and Fu Manchu. It introduces a new dynamic to the Marvel mythos. Sure he is not screen accurate and they could have done something cool with the arms, but I am just super excited to own a Leung Chiu-Wai figure in my collection. On the opposite end of the spectrum for the worst Marvel Legend of the year, I have Web-Man. I have a huge hatred for this character because he received a Marvel Legend before me and my friends. If it is a figure I bought. Ironically, I would put Death Dealer. I wish they had given him regular fists and an actual dagger.

My favorite deluxe figure of 2021 is Kro because he is the only one I picked up this year and because Vulture is just a repaint. I love the large amount of sculpt and paint Hasbro brought to this figure. It makes up for the lanky arms and annoying  tentacles. My favorite figure from a subset is the Marvel Legends Infinity Saga Thor. This is the best Thor figure produced by Hasbro. In terms of accessories and headsculpt. My favorite box set of the year is Thanos and Iron Man MK85. These were 2 figures whose original versions I missed out on. I am super glad we got a 2-pack with an updated release with a load of new accessories. Including head sculpts that look exactly like Robert Downey Jr. The worst box set this year easily goes to that Wolverine box set. They could have easily given us a Wolverine retro wave. But no. If we wanted even one of those 5 figures. We would have to buy the entire pack filled with a Wolverine that looks like it was pulled from Hasbro's rear end just to get the character we wanted. 

The best exclusive goes to the Wal-Mart exclusive Infinity Saga Captain America. Because I prefer my Cap with a beard and thank Hasbro for re-releasing him with new arms and 2 new shields. The worst exclusive is ironically enough the Wal-Mart exclusive Ajak. I had John Walker Cap here, but the Ajak figure is a hell of a lot worse. The proportions are not that of her actress and the face looks like E.T. Salma Hayek hating the figure seals the deal for me as the worst exclusive.

My favorite wave is the Disney+ wave. As much as I hate the BAF being Sam's wings. It really is a good wave. With heavy hitters like Scarlet Witch and Baron Zemo and ensemble dark horses like Bucky, Loki and Captain America.

My worst wave and from an unbiased opinion here because I am completing the BAF is the Eternals wave. First of all, do not fault Hasbro for giving us a small BAF. When the whole wave is full of 100% newly sculpted movie figures. Expect an average sized BAF. My problem with this wave is the generic costume designs resulting in all of the figures basically sharing the same points of articulation. Similar tooling but 100% new molds. Not exactly Hasbro's fault, but at least they gave each character an additional set of fists. Minus Sprite for some reason. Also, I wish the faces were better. I will just wait for my local Wal-Mart to put them on clearance before completing my wave or wait until boxing day to swoop in and buy them.

The best BAF in 2021 is The Watcher. I want that BAF, but because the only figure I am interested in is Sylvie. I have not built him yet. The worst BAF of the year easily goes to Gilgamesh. But again, this is not entirely Hasbro's fault. He could have been a regular carded figure or in a 2-pack with Thena.

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My list ( subject to an update if one pops in my mind after posting this)

Best Legend: Retro Hercules. Just an overall epic representation 

Worst Legend: Druig. This kid is a creep and I’ve hated him since his first reveal

Best Deluxe: does Surtur count? Surprisingly great articulation and the paint apps are off the charts. If he doesn’t count then : M.O.D.O.K. Had been waiting for an update pd version and Hasbro killed it. I see he on clearance almost everywhere now but he is still a marvel.

Best Subset figure: John Walker Captain America. Very underrated figure and underused character in his show. I get time restraints but his truncated origin did not do the US Agent justice.

Best Box Set: TIE: Stane / Iron Monger & Iron Man Thanos. Stane set was a long time coming and the face print is outstanding. Monger could kill someone for real and is an engineering marvel. IM/ Thanos is just beautiful. Finally got Downey Jr’s face right and even though this was the 4th time I bought Thanos, this is his definitive version.

Worst Box Set: Wolverine Amazon Set. Not that the figures were terrible. Just that I had zero interest. I kept the shirtless Logan (?!?? ) and sold off the rest. Buyers remorse

Best Exclusives: Walmart’s IW Cap. Great sculpt, great update ( while not ‘dirty’, my Cap is much darker in person so it looks better than promo pics where it seemed too light). Soo glad he got updated

Worst Exclusive: Target’s Marvel’s Katy. Terrible figure. Terrible character. So so movie. I still can’t believe I got 1 per customered for this atrocity!!

Best Wave: 1st Disney + wave. Love how every show (at the time) got some love. And great figures all.

Worst wave: The Eternals. Easily the worst wave I’ve ever seen. Boring (take your pic) Designs, faces, characters.. this is the movie that broke my families perfect record for catching all MCU movies in theatres. Nobody cared

Best BAF: Ursa Major. A Marvel Legends Bear. nuff said.

Worst BAF: Gilgamesh. For all the reason that the Eternals is the worst wave, this guy is the worst BAF to top it off. Then add that I’ve no idea who the actor is and the lack of appeal for this IP IN GENERAL. F*** off Eternals

Some Honorable Mentions: since I’ve picked my winners and losers here are a few Legends that made 2021 so awesome:

Classic Ultron, Tigra, MCU Captain Marvel ( red suit), EndGame Fat Thor, QUICKSILVER, Classic Guardsmen, Happy Hogan, Firestar, Quasar, Retro FF, Retro Sub Line.. keep them coming!!

Thank you Hasbro for making amazing figures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I would rather not dwell too much on the worst of the year, other than the obligatory shoutouts to The Hood and Sue Storm's botched facelift. I don't want to get anymore negative than that, knowing that we all have different expectations, desires, tolerances, etc. for these figures, and also my genuine belief that Hasbro tries to produce good figures every time.

Big picture, I think this year was really strong year for classic comic villains. I mean, the fact that we got a Bring On the Bad Guys wave was really, really cool. The highlights for me are Red Skull and Dormammu, just because these are characters I've wanted for a while, but the Lady Deathstrike and Scientist Supreme were both great looking, as was the BAF Xemnu. 

Classic Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet in snapping position was a big win, as was the other great deluxe figure M.O.D.O.K., who was even better than I hoped he would be. Other amazing villains this year are the new retro carded Sandman, the retro FF Psycho-Man, the delightfully wonderful Frogman, and, of course, Ultron. 

The best BAF, however, is Stiltman. I love how Hasbro packed his leg extensions with army-builder Hand ninjas. That's so brilliant. I've got three extensions on him so far, but I might need some more ninjas to make him even taller. After all, somebody's gotta look my Galactus in the eye when he arrives!

For the heroes, Hercules and Tigra are the best by wide margins. These two are great, beatiful sculpts, tons of personality, gorgeous to behold. Wish every figure was as good as these two. I really wish I could be more affectionate toward the retro Fantastic Four, since those are my favorite characters, but every one of the figures has a nitpicky issue that bothers me. Perhaps that's my own expectations, though, which is why I don't want to spend any time taljing about the worst figures. 

Also need to shoutout Firestar, because she's adorable. 

Overall Top 10 from 2021

  1. Hercules
  2. Ultron
  3. Tigra
  4. M.O.D.O.K.
  5. Stiltman
  6. Thanos
  7. Red Skull
  8. Psycho-Man
  9. Frogman
  10. Sandman

 

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Best Legend:  Surtur.  No question here, the height, the articulation, the glorious magma and lava sculpt, the paint, and the semi-translucent parts.  All of them make for the absolute best figure I've seen Hasbro produce in a long time.  Not to mention that everything's new on him!

Worst Legend: One of the Eternals figures, don't really know or care which one I'd put here.  

Best Deluxe: Comic Thanos. I'd have put Surtur here, but he's my top for the year so I'll let Thanos shine a little.  He was easily the front runner for me for the first half of the year as best overall figure with his sculpt and paint alone, plus the fact that he represents a classic look that was a long time coming.  

Best Subset figure: Not sure.

Best Box Set: Children of Thanos.  I guess, I never got it, and don't really plan to, but the re-sculpting for Cull Obsidian was nice so I'll let that be the deciding factor.  

Worst Box Set: Wolverine Amazon Set. Not a bad boxset, and I even had it pre-ordered for a bit.  But the fact that it's five figures for the price of six, plus the fact that I really only could see myself getting this for Wyngarde and Callisto kind of brought me back to my senses to cancel it.  Haven't regretted it yet.

Best Exclusive:  Nova.  No way will I hold Walgreens usual antics against this figure.  An excellent classic figure with very good articulation that was a long time coming.  Plus the Qubit pack in really put it over the top for me, I'll take anything from the 06-10 Marvel Cosmic by DnA that I can.  

Worst Exclusive: Target’s Marvel’s Katy.  Thought about picking an Eternals wave character and then remembered this one.  From the get go she was a boring looking figure with clearly and severely limited articulation.  Thinking that maybe the movie would change my opinion I tried to give her one more chance and I absolutely couldn't stand the character.  

Best Wave: Villains wave, followed by Iron Man.  This was a close one Ursa Major was better than Xemnu for me, but the selection in that Villains wave was just so fun and really appealed to the classic comic collector in me.  I'm really hoping we get some follow ups to this one because a villains assortment every year, or even every other or couple of years would be a fun way to shake things up again.  I mean checking off Red Skull, Dormammu, Lady Deathstrike, and Arcade all in one wave was great.  And Xemnu isn't too shabby himself, fits nice with the other Annihilation Conquest figures.  

Worst wave: The Eternals.  Stores in my area always seem to be really far behind the curve, especially lately.  But this was one that came in on time, and got stuffed in a corner of the toy aisle in Walmart on a half height shelf, and pretty much everything that was there day one is there today, weeks and weeks later.  So add to that my own dislike of the boring designs, hindered articulation, and the lack of power accessories and you have a pretty clear case for this one.    

Best BAF: Ursa Major.  I mean, he's a bear, and those paint apps are excellent.  

Worst BAF: Gilgamesh or Theta/Tri-Sentinel.  In both cases the BAF was just so boring for me that it couldn't possibly have convinced me to buy the wave.  

My General Top Ten and Honorable Mentions

  1. Surtur
  2. Nova
  3. Classic Thanos
  4. Ultron
  5. Morlun
  6. Modular Armor Iron Man
  7. Scarlet Witch (Wandavision)
  8. Quicksilver (MCU)
  9. Dormammu
  10. Red Skull

Honorable Mentions

  1. Sandman
  2. Tigra
  3. Spider-verse Miles
  4. Ursa Major
  5. Firestar
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