Monday, April 3, 2017

Phantom Troublemaker’s Most Wanted Marvel Legends

By Phantom Troublemaker

Let me start off by saying that most of what I’ve written here today is highly improbable. If you want a list of likely future Marvel Legends full of more popular and recognizable characters, go and check out The Fwoosh or something.

This list doubles as a collection of some of my favorite Marvel Comics characters. Many of them were immortalized in Toy Biz’s prolific pre-Marvel Legends toy line. I had a staggering number of those figures and sold them all off at one point or another to pay for car repairs or some such thing. That was always the bad side of being a young toy collector – if normal retail wages couldn’t pay for an unexpected expense, toys had to go. Over the years I sold off entire collections of Ninja Turtles, X-Men, McFarlane figures, Star Wars, and other things that I can’t even remember until I find an internet article about them and realize that I once owned them.

But that’s a whole other post. Or series of posts.

Today I want to lay out some dream waves – or box sets – of Marvel Legends that I’d love to own and would buy in second. For full price, even.

Hasbro has maneuvered the Legends line back into territory I’m comfortable with for the most part. Lately there have been just enough new characters or variations I want to keep me interested and for the most part I’ve been able to pass on lame repaints like Blizzard and Tiger Shark and Eel.

Since Christmas, the closest I’ve come to eBaying a figure that I only bought for the build-a-figure piece is Cyclops from the current X-Men wave. It’s actually a good figure, but isn’t my favorite look for Scott Summers. I like the Astonishing X-Men Cyclops, even with his janky hips. This new 90s Scott is much more aesthetically pleasing, but his many belts all fall out of place all the time. If I were going to keep him, I’d have to put spots of glue all over so that wouldn’t happen. And I don’t like him enough for that.

The other factor in my renewed enthusiasm for Hasbro’s Marvel line is that I’ve been able to buy the majority of the figures I’ve picked up over the last six months or more for anywhere from five to fourteen dollars less than MSRP. I don’t like paying twenty bucks for these (though I will for a favorite character that is well done), but six? That’s fantastic.

I know that makes me a shitty collector that isn’t supporting the line “the right way”, but that’s the only way I’m going to keep collecting it. If it dies because of that, oh well. The ones I’m getting 0on the cheap are ones that I absolutely would not pay twenty bucks for, so it’s clearance or no sale at all.

But if Hasbro were to adopt the slate of releases that I am about to describe I would gladly shell out twenty bucks apiece for each and every one. Some are whole waves, some are single figures that I’d like to see included in future assortments. Most of them seem very unlikely to me, while a few I think are actually inevitable. I’ll start with one of those.

Silver Surfer w/ Dawn Greenwood – Okay, well, partially inevitable. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll see a new Surfer sooner than later. Hasbro loves repaints and that’s all this would be, but with a new head sculpt. What I don’t know is what kind of color I want. I know vac metal is out of the question for a Marvel Legend. I think the sparkly, whirly metallic plastic they have used for some figures might be cool in silver. A silver version of the plastic used for the Star Wars Black C-3P0 might look cool, too. Too much of that other stuff could look cheap.

Here’s where I diverge with Hasbro’s likely plans – I would want a box set that includes Dawn Greenwood, Norrin’s companion from the current run of the comic. Dan Slott and the Allreds have been doing a fantastic job with this book and I want figures of the heroes. Maybe even just expand the box set and include the next guy…

Howard the Duck – We need a new Howard. Heck, If it were up to me we’d get two new Howards – an MCU version and a comic book duck based on Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones’ recently wrapped comic. It was one of my favorite reads every month and definitely one of the top five books I was buying from Marvel.
Maybe one of only five, now that I think about it…

And while I’m laying out Phantom’s Dream Box, let’s go ahead and throw in Howard’s Skrull buddy, Tara Tam, and a figure of Lea Thompson. Because that actually happened.

Modern Spider-Woman – Speaking of excellent comics that have been tragically cancelled, Dennis Hopeless’ Spider-Woman was great. Buy the trades. I personally guarantee them.

We got a Jessica Drew Spider-Woman a couple of years ago, but she deserves an update in her new costume. I think it’s an awesome design and would translate well to action figure form. It would be great if we could get a motorcycle, too, but I don’t expect much of that sort of thing from Hasbro nowadays. A baby Gerry accessory would be cool, but since she never takes him out on her adventures, isn’t necessary. Although a "baby belly" torso attachment would be hilarious.

If I was getting really crazy this, too, would be a box set that included Roger (Porcupine) and Ben Urich.

Gwenpool – I don’t frequent message boards and comment sections about comic books (aside from the occasional visit to Bleeding Cool to remind myself how truly awful people can be even when politics and religion aren’t involved), so I have no clue how people feel about Gwenpool.

I assume she’s relatively popular because her book hasn’t been canceled (yet). As I’ve mentioned in many of my Previews posts, I think the book is hilarious. I like the character and the design, so of course I want a figure. I’d buy a box set of Gwen and her MODOK buddies – Batroc, Mega Tony, The Terrible Eye, and ghost Cecil – but that isn’t gonna happen. As is, I think there’s a decent chance Hasbro will release Gwenpool as part of a Spider-Man wave. Hopefully with an alternate, unmasked head.

X-Factor Box Set – Peter David’s X-Factor is the best. Whether it’s the 90s book, the run where they were private investigators, or the last book where Gambit led the team(!) and they worked for a corporation. I’ve loved them all.

While I would plunk down money for box sets of every David-created iteration of the team, if I had to pick just one it would be the 90s version. That’s the book that really made me a fan of Peter David’s work and of these characters.

One comic book gimmick that I like that seems specific to the X-books in the Marvel universe is team costumes. And Hasbro sucks at both teams and team costumes. That’s another reason I want the 90s X-Factor team as a box set and not as a wave. Or parts of waves. The set would consist of Val Cooper, Havok, Polaris, Wolfsbane, Multiple Man, and Strong Guy. Lila Cheney and an updated blue costume Quicksilver would be neat, but not necessary since they don’t wear the uniforms. I know Val doesn’t, either, but she’s too important to leave out. Plus it’s a great opportunity to release a woman who is a key part of X-Men history.

Cyber – File this one under “never gonna happen”, but I have a major soft spot for this guy, as he was created by two of my favorites – Peter David and Sam Kieth. He was originally introduced as a mysterious figure from Logan’s past (back when such a thing was still a novelty) and ended up feuding with X-Factor and pretty much every other mutant. The thing I like about Silas Burr (Cyber’s real name) is he’s a dick. He’s just a bad, bad guy. With a cyborg body.

Cyber first appeared in Marvel Comics Presents, which everyone was reading at the time thanks to Barry Windsor-Smith’s recently concluded Weapon X story. Which brings me to…

Weapon X – I was never happy with Toy Biz’s Weapon X figure and never even bought one. I thought the shorts looked stupid, the claws were bad, and Toy Biz’s janky articulation was at its jankiest.

It’s definitely time for Hasbro to revisit this iconic version of Wolverine, but with very specific features. I’d want an exposed Logan head with long, crazy Wolverine hair and an insane facial expression, but also a helmeted head. BUT the head would pop out of the helmet so that you could have the helmet by itself. Putting the helmet over Logan’s hair wouldn’t work, so this would need to be separate pieces.

Obviously Hasbro isn’t releasing a naked Logan and I certainly don’t need that, but he’d be wearing trunks. No shorts. Weapon X in shorts looks idiotic every time they do it. Even dumber than Doomsday. Sculpted body hair is also a must. Painted on won’t do the trick.

Finally, I’d want two sets of hands – one set with claws and the other set in sort of an agonized pose with no claws.

Modern Magneto – I’m not even sure what I mean by this, as Erik has had quite a few costumes over the past decade. I just want a good Magneto figure that looks up to date. Alternate unmasked head is a must. I like the look from Cullen Bunn’s comic a couple of years ago quite a bit.

The Reavers – As you know if you read my review of Logan, the Reavers are my favorite X-Men villains and I was none too pleased with their portrayal in that otherwise excellent film. Guys with robot hands do not the Reavers make.

I need Skullbuster with his Terminator Endoskeleton body and robot skull head. And while we’re at it, I’ll take Cylla, too (the female Skullbuster that replaced the original).

I need Pretty Boy, maybe with just a robot arm exposed, or a vest over a robot torso.
Cole and Reese would be nice, just to round things out.

We could also use an updated Lady Deathstrike. Badly. But I have a feeling we might see that without attachment to the Reavers. She’s closely tied to Wolverine, and he’s kind of a big deal.

And most of all I need Bonebreaker with a friggin’ tank for legs.

Donald Pierce is kind of tough. He was the leader of the Reavers for a while and is a huge part of their story, but he also has a really, really stupid costume:

I don’t want a figure of that.

The New Mutants – We’ve already got Warlock, so I have to believe that there are plans for more. Hasbro teased Dani Moonstar a few years ago and never delivered. I’d be okay with spreading her, a new Cannonball, Sunspot, Magik, Darkchylde, Rahne (with the already-produced Wolfsbane head as an alternate), Cypher, and Magma out over a few waves.

Yes – Magik and Darkchylde are both Illyana Rasputin, but I need both versions. And newer versions. And the one from the SDCC box set that you couldn’t get. She’s one of my favorite mutants – I’d buy ‘em all. Heck, release an Illyana box set and I’d buy it.

With a New Mutants movie supposedly in the works and FOX and Marvel supposedly on better terms, it’s entirely possible we’ll see some of these figures happen. I can’t imagine they put out Warlock (freaking Warlock!) without having plans for more New Mutants.

There are other New Mutants I’d like to see, but I think they’d fit better in X-Force.

And that’s a post for another day. There are many, many other characters and variations I’d like to see – like modern versions of Dazzler and Rogue – but this feels like more than enough wishful thinking for now.

If you enjoy Marvel Legends, cyborg toys, or Needless Things, you might enjoy


  1. Your best bet of any of these getting made would probably be Cyber. Hasbro could make him without much new tooling and he just seems like a character they would throw into a line to fill space. (e.g. Tigershark)

    I would really like to know what determines precedence of characters to be made though. I mean, does Hasbro not clearly see what is going to sit around in stores for months???

    Like you said, I too have been able to snag the majority of characters of every line for less than $20. In fact I haven't spent more than $20 for a ML in about a year, and I have 95% of the retail Hasbro ones since BAF Green Goblin. You just have to be patient and smart about collecting.

    One of the better things about these new Hasbro legends is not only their improved durability (trade-off to super-duper articulation), but is their distribution. Sure, all of the nervous nerds/scalpers buy the first shipment at the local Target, TRU, etc., but if you just wait like a month, you will eventually find them in those stores again, in rural Wal-Marts, and even within an occasional flash sale at Walgreens.

    I mean does it really matter if I am the FIRST one to have it? I also do not get why auctions go to the $200's for loose figures straight from China for a figure you will be able to get at Walgreen's in a few months. (e.g. Exclusive Namor)

    Then again, I like to think of myself as an experienced collector who still wants an included comic book and stand for $9. I am guessing people just do not really know any better about how common these newer figures are.

    BTW, love your panel at Joelanta. :D

    1. Ah, Marvel Legends. The hassle that keeps on giving. Glad you enjoyed the Joelanta panel!