We’ve been seeing mention of the Thunderbolts on the back of Marvel Legends card art since the first series Toy Biz released a decade ago, and now, thanks to Hasbro’s SDCC exclusive five-pack, we finally get one incarnation of the team realized in plastic. The Thunderbolts set delivers a great variety of characters… many of them filling long standing fan requests, and a few I never even dreamed we’d see in Marvel Legends.
Luke Cage gets a modern update, and the figure is fantastic. Making perfect use of the Hyperion/ Sentry body, Cage is incredibly poseable and appropriately big and bulky. His new portrait is very good, with a tough and determined expression and his current bald head/ goatee styling (still sad to see that old afro go). The rest of the new parts are most the arm, leg and waist armor Cage wears, and they are all realized perfectly well. Sturdy, cool looking and extremely playable, this is the Luke Cage we’ve all been waiting for.
We’ve known we would see a Moonstone figure since she was first revealed over a year ago, but having her in hand finally is very exciting. Moonstone and Satana are the first Marvel Legends women to feature the new body type, which is stunning. The setup of this new body is similar to the Bucky Cap and Hyperion bodies, with a very sturdy and well sculpted frame and plenty of articulation. There’s a wonderful range of motion to the new ab joint, and the new t-bar hips with the upper thigh swivel provide lots of very stable posing options. And the sculpt looks gorgeous– anyone who felt the previous female Legends body was too skinny will love this new design, which sports a lot more definition in the musculature and doesn’t shy away from the curves of these characters.
Moonstone looks amazing, with a beautiful new portrait and a clean, crisp design on her costume. The use of pearlized white plastic adds a sense of texture to her outfit, and offsets the gold details nicely. I’m impressed by how unique Judith Chambers (Satana) wound up in comparison, considering the shared body of the two figures. But the demonic anti-hero gets just enough new features– from her sinister expression to her cape and spellcaster hands– to feel very individual.
Rounding out the set are two more reformed super villains, Ghost and Crossbones. Crossbones is a welcome addition– he’s a recast of the impossible to find Wal-Mart exclusive figure from the Ares Series, but with a new Thunderbolts-appropriate deco. The figure is the same otherwise, and I think the cartoony Hulkling body proportions work well for Brock Lumlow. His masked face still looks plenty mean, and he towers over even a big dude like Cage, making him seem worthy to wield his colossal machine gun accessory (courtesy of an old GI Joe Sigma Six mold). While there’s no drastic changes in Crossbones’ overall design, slight color changes, a Thunderbolts insignia and some new boot cuffs make him look unique compared to the previously released version.
Rounding out the set is Ghost, probably the most novel figure of the set. The spindly phantom is cast predominantly in translucent plastic, giving him an appropriately ghostly appearance. Very clever parts reuse from the Legends Bucky mash with lots of newly sculpted details to make a figure that looks incredibly cool, and retains a crazy range of articulation. There’s so much you can do with this guy… he’s far and away the most fun figure to play with in this whole set. Add to his poseability his alternate head, with a different design for his robotic mask, and Ghost is a total winner.
Hasbro has another home run with this years’ Legends exclusive. While I’m still unsure how the larger size and higher price tag of this set will affect its sales, it’s a very cool set, and the Marvel team at Hasbro made the most of building a satisfying team inside this one box. Paying less than $100 for five all-new figures– all exclusive to this set– is a more than reasonable value… and when the toys are as good as these Thunderbolts, they should earn a place in any Marvel Legends collection.
Thanks to Hasbro for giving us the opportunity to get an early look at the amazing Marvel Legends Thunderbolts set!