In all my years of toy collecting I’ve never managed to fully assemble one of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Build-A-Figure sets. I’ve also never recorded a Toy Time video without a beard. First time for everything, I suppose.
The six inch Marvel Legends line (the smaller Marvel Universe line has recently been rebranded under Legends as well) is a series that generally consists of seven or eight figures that loosely fall under a common theme. Each figure in the set is packaged with a piece of a larger figure. The idea is to purchase each figure and assemble the larger character from the legs, arms and torsos you collect along the way.
I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve piled seven of these figures into my shopping cart with the intention of collecting the whole set. I must have done it a dozen times with the Guardians of the Galaxy set back in 2014. The problem was, at $19.99 per figure, dropping $140 at once was so hard, and there was always that one figure I didn’t like (looking at you, Guardians of the Galaxy Iron Man.)
And so I’ve collected body parts. Groot’s leg. My Misty Knight figure came with Rhino’s torso, which is sitting in the drawer next to me wishing it had arms, legs and a head.
What changed? Bobbi Morse.
I’ve been following Mockingbird around since the West Coast Avengers days, back when she and Hawkeye were inseparable, except for that time she was forced to marry a cowboy ghost who she later murdered. It’s complicated.
I’ve been craving this figure since it was first revealed, and every time I hit the toy store and she wasn’t there I felt a little sad.
The rest of the figures in the Red Skull Build-A-Figure set simply fell into place behind her.
Captain America takes the lead in the line, packed with villains in his rogues gallery, on-again, off-again friends and one love interest. He’s good enough for a traditional Cap, I suppose, though he comes with a pair of arm straps that just sort of hang off his chest. I’ve already lost one.
The straps would be a sticking point, but Hasbro also included this:
Yes, for a brief period in the ‘90s, Captain America was a werewolf. I am not kidding.
And so an okay Captain America toy suddenly becomes the best thing ever. Moving on.
When Captain America throws his mighty shield, this guy picks it up and throws it right back.
Possessing the power of photographic reflexes, the Taskmaster can recreate any movement he sees, kind of like that girl from season two of Heroes, only he’s been around a lot longer and actually does interesting things. He’s trained mercenaries, Avengers, orcs to zone—he does a lot of training.
Also he has a thing for skull faces. The figures comes with two of them.
Between Taskmaster and the Red Skull, that’s three skull faces in this series.
When last I paid any attention to Demolition Man he was a big goof in a Wolverine mask going by D-Man. He followed around Steve Rogers when he quit being Captain America for a bit and took on the persona of The Captain.
Since then he’s been an Avenger, was thought dead but was ironically frozen in a glacier instead, lived as an Inuit, went insane, joined the U.S. military, ate some pie, joined Wonder Man’s Revengers, became the new Scourge of the Underworld and was shot and killed by Sharon Carter.
In the Secret Wars storyline he was resurrected by a sorcerer who thought “D-Man” was “Demon.” Then he died again.
Now he’s back as a partner to Sam Wilson’s Captain America.
Whatever. He has a nice gun.
Speaking of being shot and killed by Sharon Carter . . .
I like Steve Rogers comic book love interest, but this figure? Were I still picking and choosing, I would not have chosen it. She’s got the same black numbers stamped on her leg as Mockingbird, guns molded into her holsters, and her feet just don’t work. Pretty sure I broke one of them getting her into the pose in the group shot.
This set has some excellent faces. This is not one of them. The sculpt is fine, but it all comes together poorly. Sorry, Sharon.
Want a good face? Check this guy out:
As a member of the villainous Serpent Society, Burchell “Cottonmouth” Clemens has weird taste in color combinations and an even weirder taste in human heads. He can unhinge is bionic jaws, opening his mouth to over a foot wide. Then he stuffs it with Cotton, I guess.
Hasbro missed an opportunity here. Cottonmouth should have come with a horrible open-mouth alt head. Instead, he gets no accessories at all.
The final figure in the line also comes with not much in the way of accessories, not that he needs them.
Did you know David “Whirlwind” Cannon is a mutant? I did not. I figured his armor gave him the ability to spin very fast and hurl pokey things. Nope. Learn something new every day.
His saw blades might be silly (if he can spin that fast, anything would be deadly), I kind of love this figure. It’s the eyes. The way that, even though the helmet doesn’t come off, they still oook as if there’s a face under there. I appreciate that sort of thing.
Which leads us to the main event.
Each of the seven figures in the set comes packaged with delicious Red Skull parts. Two legs, two arms, a torso, a back plate and a combo of shoulder pads and red head. Together they form . . .
Technically this is Red Onslaught, but the series packaging calls him Red Skull. Close enough.
For those of you who missed the comics (the between the previous two rebirths), I shall quote Wikipedia. “A clone of Red Skull stole the brain of the deceased Professor X and grafted part of Xavier’s brain to his own, giving him Professor X’s powers.”
So why does he look like Onslaught, who was an amalgam of all Magneto and all of the anger and pent-up frustration Charles Xavier had accumulated in his life? I don’t know. I guess Magneto was involved in the storyline, so they did a thing and whatever.
Doesn’t really matter. Onslaught looked cool. Red Skull Onslaught looks cool with a shriveled cherry on top.
Putting together my first Build-A-Figure was easy, but required a ton of force, especially the head. The first couple of times I assembled Herr Onslaught I didn’t quite get the legs in, or an arm wasn’t quite in there. Once I stopped worrying about hurting it the whole process went a lot smoother. At this point I can field strip and reassemble this guy in under 30 seconds.
I understand the Marvel Legends line a bit more now that I’ve completed a Build-A-Figure and played around with the various characters. I’ve been looking at each figure individually, weighing their strengths and weaknesses. Gather them together in battle with a deadly menace looming over them and suddenly the little flaws don’t matter as much.
Of course this means now I have to look into picking up the pieces of past Build-A-Figures I missed. Dammit, I’m going to have to buy Guardians of the Galaxy Iron Man, aren’t I?