Action Figure Review
Marvel Toys Legendary
Heroes:  Series One 

By: Matt of Steel

Part 1 of 3
"The first of a three part trilogy of reviews focusing on the Legendary Heroes Pitt Series."

 The legendary line that was called Marvel Legends changed the toy industry in a big way. Detailed sculpting, excellent paint applications, appropriate accessories, and a high level of articulation were all features of high end 12 inch collectable markets.   But Toybiz found a way to get those features into a 6 inch scaled mass market line of toys that were priced under $10 a pop.  Well the company that was Toybiz is now going by the name Marvel Toys.  Let's see how their first attempt outside of the Marvel Universe fared.


Figure #1 of 6
From: Top Cow's Cyberforce

Who is this guy?
Orphaned in his youth, Robert Bearclaw was raised by the Shaman of his tribe and taught through ritual how to enter another plane of existence, allowing, among other things, for visions of the past, present, and future.  Robert's life was changed forever when captured by the evil Cyberdata Corporation whose experiments bonded Robert's body with cybernetic implants based on alien technology, giving rise to the hero known as RIPCLAW.  Now Robert's innate ability to assume animalistic attributes at will, coupled with the alien cybernetic replacements of his hands, which he can now transform into razor sharp claws, are a force to be reckoned with.  After breaking free of the yoke of Cyberdata's control, Robert jointed the ragtag group of heroes known as Cyberforce where Robert's fierce beliefs are put to the test in life or death struggle to protect the human race.


If you had experience with the Marvel Legends lines then you'll recognize the sculpting level.  Textures added to different pieces so that you get the sense that items are made out of different materials when they are not.  The leather straps have one texture while his skin has another while his clothing has a whole different one. 
The details are quite good, good enough that if the figure was unpainted you could still pick out the details of his design.  Not on the same level as a Four Horsemen sculpt but a darn close second place. 

Score: 4.5 out of 5 


Paint Application:
Paint is a difficult beast.  Getting paint to stick to plastic and stay there in the joints is a huge hurdle to over come.  But these guys know what they are doing.  Casting different parts in the color of what the joint needs is a nice way around paint rub but a little paint goes a long way.  The paint here is rather good compared to the mass market levels that are out there.  There are some problems though.  The paint on his shoulders chipped away so there is a gap in his "tattoo" thing he has going on.  There is some slop along the lines.  Most noticeable around his claws and where his legs meet his boots.  This wouldn't have been so bad as some of the either missing or badly done washes.  A paint wash is meant to add shadowing to sculpted on items much like an inker gives depth to an artist's pencils.  Some details like his belt and some areas on his arms that seem robotic could have done well with a wash to help those details pop.  His lower arm leather straps though look like they attempted a wash with cheap water colors and it looks kind of horrible. 

Score: 3.5 out of 5 

When people think of Marvel Legends they think of articulation.  Well they thought of it before this company lost the license.  To be reminded of where Hasbro seems to have neutered the Legends line you look here.  Forty three points of articulation on this guy without breaking a sweat.  Compare that to the mid twenties that Hasbro gets their line or the high teens that Four Horsemen gets theirs (or the pathetic low teens of DC Direct).  He is not as flexible as say a Spider-man figure but he can pull off many cool poses.  His four fingers (not his thumbs) are individually articulated which is a welcome addition as they are the focal point of the character.  His crazy "man ponytail" is actually on a peg that can rotate, but the rest of his long hair hinders his neck movements a little.  He can turn his head but not in a full range like a person could.  Nearly perfect joints that don't hinder the sculpt ... this (Hasbro pay attention, this will be on the quiz) is how you articulate an ACTION figure in the modern times. 

Score: 4.5 out of 5 

Well technically none.  But he does come with the left arm of the build a figure Pitt.  This guy doesn't really have accessories for his character and he doesn't need a stand to stay up so this isn't a huge issue.  But I can see that soon people will tire of the build a figure gimmick.  They would rather pay less for a single figure and have the option of purchasing the large figure separately.  I'm sure there are plenty of people who would have spent $30 on a Pitt with Timmy and who would have gone on to pick up the characters from the set at a reduced price of around $6 a piece. 

Customizing Options:
This guy has a few options, but he is by no means a "go to" fodder piece with the amount of detail he is sporting.  With an arm and head swap he could be turned into a number of figures.  His ponytail could be stolen to give a female figure a more dynamic hairstyle.  His hands are very very unique.  There are options but they'll take some work. 

Who is he?

SuperPatriot was once Johnny Armstrong, a soldier in World War II.  He was captured by the enemy and used as a guinea pig for scientific experiments, which gave him superhuman powers.  He destroyed the enemy's base, donned an American flag-styled costume and defended the world against evil as SuperPatriot.  After a savage attack by one of his foes, his body was taken by Cyberdata, a corporation of underground scientists who transformed him into a powerful cyborg.  He continues to use his powers to save the world.

The sculpt of this guy is excellent.  Details are smooth and not overdone.  You could go crazy on a guy like this and make him very wired and cybernetic overall but that would have made his overall sculpt too busy and the details would get lost.  Less truly is more in this case and he has enough eyecandy for you to look at without getting bored.  His pouches are look like they are working and his arms have that nice "colossus-like" banding to them.  The unmasked variant's face looks a little creepy but is done well. The few clothing elements he does have are wrinkled appropriately.  No detail is out of place except... his non gun arm hand.  The fingers are oddly very skinny and longer than they should be and have no detailing to them.  They just look out of place and odd. 

Score: 4.9 out of 5 




Paint Application:
The best paint job will elevate a poor sculpt much like excellent dialogue will elevate a bad story in a movie.  Many action figures can live or die based on paint alone.  This figure takes a nearly perfect sculpt and adds a paint app that brings it to so-so figure level.  Now the flag designs on his shoulder pads and crotch are done very well.  There is no bleed and the lines are crisp and even.  Other than that, the rest of his design is just... boring.  Half of his features are cybernetic and they are almost boring to look at.  Next to no wash has been done and all the features almost blend together.  Nowhere near as impressive as the promo shots looked (see the masked variant's pic below to see what I mean)  For taking an impressive sculpt and making it a next to boring figure... I score appropriately.

Score: 2.5 out of 5 



The loss of articulated fingers as well as one arm that is just a gun brings his overall articulation down to just 32 points.  Low for this line but amazing for most lines.  The joints work well and there is even some joints on his shoulder pads so he can lift his arms up.  Unfortunately the lifting motion of his arms have been neutered to only a down and slightly above down position.  His hair does spin like Ripclaw's so you can give him some dynamic poses. 
Score: 4.5 out of 5 

El Zilco.  Well ok, for one thing he does have a ginormous gun arm so why does he need a handgun?  And I guess you can count Pitt's arm.

Customizing Options:

His head could make an interesting Deadshot or Deathstroke or other masked dude with eyeholes. 
His more robotic features can be used for Metallo or Ultron or etc.  The best option for you is to grab both variants and make a super S
uper Patriot
with swappable gun arms with normal arms and a
removable mask.  Now that would be awesome. 


Who is she?

New York City Police Detective Sara Pezzini is the reluctant bearer of the Witchblade, an ancient and mysterious mystical gauntlet that has bonded itself to her.  Only one woman in a generation is chosen to bear the enigmatic weapon, but at a great cost, Sara must resist the gauntlet's all-consuming thirst for battle all the while solving the city's strangest crimes, many of which invariably seem to lead back to the witchblade.

Of the entire set of seven (including the build a figure) characters of this set, ol' Witchblade here is the most popular by far.  First off, she is a hot strong female character that most fan boys like (and can get their girlfriends to like).  Secondly, she was co-created by Marc Silvestri and Michael Turner who are among the biggest names in comic's history.  And third, she is currently the only one of the bunch to make the leap out of comics as she has had a live action TV series, an anime movie, and there is even talks of a live action movie. 

Hey it's Psylocke!  Seriously though this sculpt has a whole lot of similarities to that Series 14 Marvel Legends gal.  Same hips, same articulation, same hands, same torso, there is even a flight stand hole in her back.  Reguardless, these guys made her first so they are perfectly fine in reuse.  The additions they made look good.  Asymetrical armor designs work great on her.  Her gauntlet has some excellent details with jewels added.  Her hair looks good even though it needed to be made out of a much more flexible material so that it didn't affect the head's movement so much.  Oddly, her right shoulder pad item is made of very very flexible material so I know they can do it. 
Score: 4.5 out of 5




  Paint Application:
The paint is done well, if only it wasn't the wrong color.  Almost every image I've ever seen of Witchblade (including on the packaging of this very figure) is a silver metal armor.  For whatever reason they have gone with bronzed or golden.  Other than the color confusion this is some nice painting.  The washes are done well so that there is a nice metallic shine and shadowing effect.  The jewels in her gauntlet are made glossy bright red so they stick out well.  Her face is great and a close match to her comic counterpart.  The only odd thing is the areas of armor that was painted on without having sculpting looks like she got a weird tattoo, no extensions to the armor.  Still good over all.
Score: 4.5 out of 5 

Well she has the same as many of Marvel legend's females.  I understand the fragile nature of the female build in this scale prevents a lot but I think they can figure out how to give them individual finger articulation.  Or at least add some cut joints along her arms.  32 points is still a lot, but most of that is in her legs and torso.  She can't even pull off the trademark "showing off the Witchblade to the camera" pose due to how little she can position her arms.  So while she can strike some good poses from the waist down, that's not where most of it needs to be for a dynamic pose that requires standing up.  And of course, the limited head movement due to her inflexible hair that I mentioned earlier. 
Score: 4.0 out of 5 

Hmmm... nothing.  Nothing except the massive torso and tiny head of Pitt.  As always the female of the series gets the largest of the build pieces to keep the weight ratio even through out. 

Customizing Options:
Well you can always mod her into a better Witchblade.  Easily done by repainting her armor to the appropriate silver tone.  Anything else will make you remove her armor which can be a long process.  So there are some options but she is too detailed for them to be easy.



While the quality seem to have gone down since the last Toybiz line, it is still much better than the Hasbro Marvel Legends line.  Great sculpting, well above average articulation, and well done paint apps.  Figures this good could get people interested in these characters.  When a toy can make new fans... you've got something good.

-------Final Score Summary-------
Ripclaw: 4.2 out of 5
SuperPatriot: 3.9 out of 5
Witchblade: 4.3 out of 5

Check back soon for Part 2 of this review...

--November 11th 2007