Nick, Nuke & Red Guardian: The Latest Marvel Legends

By bill - May 13, 2016

Captain-America-ML-Ser-2-feHasbro’s second series of Civil War Marvel Legends features three all new comic book-inspired characters to the long-running toy line.

In addition to the really great Captain America, Iron-Man and Black Panther movie figures– as well as the Giant Man Build-A-Figure– the latest wave of Marvel Legends also includes a trio of classic comic characters, including Nick Fury, Nuke and Red Guardian.  The latter two choices are obscure enough that they’re somewhat surprising addition to the Legends collection, and even Nick Fury feels unexpected, since his figure is based on the classic Jim Steranko version of the character, retired years ago in the comics universe for Nick’s newer, Samuel L Jackson look.  While their appearance in the Legends line is surprising, when it comes to these three figures it’s a fairly pleasant one.

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All three of these figures feature new headsculpts and accessories, employed along with repaints of the basic buck bodies Hasbro has developed.  Red Guardian utilizes the Grim Reaper/ Captain America body, to replicate his simple and iconic red and white costume, which is accentuated with his fin-topped mask and a shield emblazoned with a silvery star.  I never had much of an attachment to this Soviet super hero, but comics enthusiasts will likely be happy that Hasbro opted to use his classic design, even if he feels a bit boring as a result.

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Nuke is a far better creation, featuring some great new sculpts for his legs, belt and vest, all blended perfectly on the big, bulky Hyperion body.  This gives the villain an imposing size and heft, and the paramilitary aesthetic of the newly sculpted pieces is very true to the character.  I can already see many of these parts being repurposed for a new, more proportional version of Crossbones somewhere down the line, and even if Hasbro doesn’t make that figure a reality, countless customizers surely will.

The Nuke figure is topped off with not one but two great, interchangeable headsculpts.  His iconic flag face tattoo and fiercely angry grimace give Nuke lots of personality, and include the second bald, battle damaged head– which reveals some of his cybernetic augmentations– is a fun added feature.  My only issue with this figure is his unfortunate choice of weapon.  Rather than include a realistic rifle as Nuke uses in the comics, he gets a newly repainted Hydra gun, which looks far too sci-fi for the figure’s military style.

Rounding out the latest comic Legends is a new Nick Fury, and as a long-time fan of Steranko’s pop art superspy, I’m very happy to see him return to the toy aisle.  The last Nick Fury we saw was in the limited release Toys R Us two-packs over half a decade ago, so even if he rarely makes comic book appearances, this guy feels long overdue.  The new Nick is depicted in his classic SHIELD jumpsuit, with an all new belt and shoulder strap, cast in dark plastic and painted white to offer a great weathered effect that makes the SHIELD leader look appropriately battle worn.

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I like the new headsculpt, complete with the ever-present eye patch, grey temples and five o’clock shadow.  This feels like the Secret Warriors era Nick Fury to me, as he appeared in the early oughts in a number of Marvel comics.  It’s a good look, and the entire figure makes for a great update to this classic hero.  In addition to his signature needle gun, Fury also includes two really cool alternate heads.  The first is a SHIELD helmet, making the new fury a perfect army builder to grow your SHIELD forces.  The second is Dirk Anger, renegade SHIELD agent, who looks great on both this body or swapped onto the Demolition Man figure released during the first wave of Civil War Legends.

Overall, I find my tastes gravitating to the unique sculpts and richer, more textured aesthetic of Hasbro’s movie themed Marvel Legends, but highly detailed figures like Nuke and clever twists on classic characters such as the new Nick Fury remind me that Hasbro still has lots of creative ways to keep their comic-inspired Marvel Legends going strong for years to come.

Civil War Marvel Legends Series 2 are available now.  You can order your set through our friends at Mike’s Comics N Stuff– Click Here.

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