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What’s up, Everywookiee! It’s DrunkWooky, continuing my way through the Marvel Legends Fantastic Four Wave 1! It’s been a fun little romp so far with Super Skrull, Doom, and She-Hulk! Today, I’m turning my attention to the original First Family of Marvel, the Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mister Fantastic, Thing, the Fantastic Four!
This review is going to be pretty long. Under each normal review category (packaging, sculpt, paint, articulation, price/value) is a sub-heading for each of the four figures in this article (Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mister Fantastic, and Thing). Go ahead and scroll to the figure you’re msot itnerest in or read the whole darn thing!
One thing is going to become abundantly clear as you read this review. I have a favorite of the four figures and I have a least favorite. My favorite is a very, very well-executed and cool figure. My least favorite is a parade of all the little missteps Hasbro sometimes makes in this line.
The Marvel Legends Fantastic Four Wave 1 is available at these fine e-tailers:
Same old, same old Marvel Legends packaging. Nothing to complain about and a lot to love. Again, the side panels sport fantastic John Tyler Christopher art and the design is a great palette of black and blue. Nice big window to view the contents of each figure, and collector friendly trays to preserve packaging for those out of box collectors. Simply cut the single piece of tape on the side flap, slide the trays out, and you’re into the figure with no tie downs. There were a few taped hands in the bunch, but nothing too terrible.
Thing is a bulky, towering….er…thing. He stands a good inch or so taller than the rest of the bunch and I’d say that’s about right. The whole body is a bumpy, textured, pile of crevices and stony protrusions. Besides that, his belt is sculpted on with a nice embossed “4” dead-center on the shorts. In spite of all the detail, the individual fingers and toes still shine through, and Thing’s furrowed brow and grimacing mouth show.
Of each figure in the Fantastic Four’s original roster, this one is the most interesting when it comes to sculpt. If I had wishes granted, I guess it would be that the cracks of Thing’s rocky hide lined up with the joint holes on his knees and elbows. that would reduce the appearance of those a little. In general, they’re easy to ignore among all the other texture, though.
Mister Fantastic has a pretty simple, yet interesting sculpt. We’re talking about basic male musculature here. When it comes to the head, his beard, facial features, and hair all possess the necessary fine detail to show the older, more experienced Reed Richards.
His Fantastic Four Costume comes complete with these sculpted boots with tread on the bottom. I always appreciate when a figure gets some sort of treatment to the underside of the foot rather than just a flat surface with a peg hole. It’s helpful for photographing kicks, jumps, etc.
The main event, is Fantastic’s elastic hands. The stretched fingers, if you look closely, have tiny little dimples at each digit joint and even a faint outline of his cuticles. These types of details take an otherwise potentially boring and simple costume to an interesting level.
You would think that, seeing as Reed and Johnny wear the same uniform, the sculpt on these figures would be the exact same. That’s not true, though. Whereas Reed is more on the lean, but muscular side, Johnny is favoring more towards the muscular side of things. You can see from the bulk of his muscles throughout the figure that he has a little more mass. Hasbro could have gotten away with simply plopping a different head on the Reed figure, but they didn’t. They created a separate mold for Johnny and it’s greatly appreciated.
The head sculpt is pretty good. Johnny has all the charming dimples, wrinkles and hair you’d expect from Marvel’s pretty boy. He comes off as a bit cartoonish, but I suppose that is to be expected from the Legends’ comic figures. It’s my understanding that the Legends figures are somewhat split between more screen accurate Marvel cinematic figures and more stylized comic figures. Beyond the normal fare, Johnny’s flaming hands are really well done ( quality, not temperature). The flame coils around the wrist are actually separate pieces that slip on and hold on quite nicely. The hands themselves are cast in a semi-translucent orange that really sells the lava-hot fists of fury vibe. As the light hits Johnny’s hands, you can see the individual digits and that’s what I always look for in a good hand sculpt-defined digits.
What I said about Reed’s boots goes ditto for Johnny. Love the added touch of the grip on the bottom!
Then there’s Sue. <sigh> Ok, let’s get this over with. If the intent was to create a dainty, feminine figure: mission failure. That’s because this figure ends up looking so awkward and is damn-near impossible to stand in anything close to what looks like a natural position.
Sue’s rear is strangely shaped, with her hip joint placed in an even stranger position that makes it look like she’s constantly pushing her butt back. Because of the slight size of the whole figure, the seams between each joint are exaggerated and particularly difficult to look at.
Then we get to her head. Her hair is fine, I suppose, if not just a little too perfectly quaffed. I mean, take a look at She-Hulk. She ended up with a badass head of flowing hair that’s messy and intense! Very cool. On the flip side, we have a hairdo that makes Sue look more like a spectator than a participant in the scene. Her face also seems pretty wide at the top and devoid of all the fine detail that Johnny and Reed got treated to above. Pair that with the drastically narrower chin that’s weighed down by those giant pouty lips and the whole thing just looks silly.
Unfortunately, this category isn’t the worst to come for Sue. Hold on to your butts, folks.
The Thing basically has colored highlights on the raised portions of his rocky body, and shadows washed into the crevices. This is all pretty neat and effective and presents an over all quality feel to the figure’s appearance. Thing’s eyes are stern, crisply applied, and dead even. No lazy eye here. To top it off, I found no errant blue paint splatters from his shorts, so that’s all a win.
Reed has some nice salt and pepper temples and beard hair, and a crisp, clean “4” logo on the chest. Actually, all three in the body suits have well-applied, centered, crisp, and unsmudged “4” logos. So, kudos. Reed’s right eye is slightly wonky. It’s lazy-eyed in the most frustratingly minute way. Like, you’ll spend ten minutes staring at it trying to decide whether or not it looks right. If Thing received an A grade for his paint job, Reed gets a B- because of that wonky eye.
Johnny has no smudges, no lazy eye, no errant paint splotches, and generally delivers in all areas of his paint application. Again, the Fantastic Four get-up is simple, but if applied well, it looks great. Johnny’s paint is probably an A to A+.
Then there’s Sue. <sigh>. Sue has both a wonky right eye, and what looks like a vacant, dead eye on the left. I’m not sure where she’s looking (or what she’s looking for), but it’s not straight ahead. Her hair is completely devoid of any shading or highlights or anything interesting on the paint side of things, for that matter. To top it all off, she gets a thick smattering of red/pink lipstick that just completes the Barbie look and just comes off as silly. If I had to say something nice: the “4” symbol is clean…
Thing has a ball and swivel neck joint, with a ball and swivel shoulder, single swivel elbow joint, and a swivel wrist on a rotating peg on each arm. Thing has a ball ab joint, ball hips, double-swivel knees and a rocker joint on each ankle. What’s notable missing from Thing is the second elbow joint, a bicep rotation, and a rotating thigh.
Thing is notably more restricted in his range of motion than the other figures on the team and I suppose that’s to be expected from a pile of rocks. I found no stiff or loose joints, but the range of motion on his ankles did leave a little to be desired balance-wise.
Reed has a ball and swivel neck, ball and swivel shoulders, bisected biceps, double swivel elbows, a hinged wrist on a rotating peg, ab crunch, rotating waist, ball hips, rotating thigh, double swivel knees, and a rocker ankle. All in all he has all the articulation he needs. The only figure with more in this wave would be Johnny with the addition of butterfly pectorals.
Reed’s head produces quite a bit of pivot both up and down.
I found no loose joints or tight joints on Reed.
Johnny gets ditto of everything that Reed has with the addition of butterfly joints on his pecs. That means he can flex in towards the center of his chest with his fists, and reach back behind his back a little. When it comes to poses, Johnny can just about do it all.
Then there’s Sue. <sigh>. So, Sue’s feet are super narrow and so are her legs. This means that even if you manage to find a decent pose, she’s unlikely to be able to stand in that pose.
Sue has a ball and swivel jointed neck that you can barely use because of her massive mop of hair, a ball and swivel shoulder, single-swivel elbow, hinged wrist with a rotating peg, a ball rib joint, ball hips, bisected thigh, double swivel knees, and rocker ankles.
Her ankles were super tight and it seems I could never get her heeled shoes to sit well on the ground. I don’t understand why Sue gets a single elbow joint when the boys get two and her size would amply allow for one.
Sue can basically just stand there with various small leans. Pretty unimpressive for a Marvel Legends figure. Also, that hip joint just looks ghastly. Look at the space between the thigh and the buttock. Yuck.
Besides the Build-A-Figure piece that each figure comes with, here are the accessories each figure comes with.
Dust, a void, desolation, nothing.
Mister Fantastic has stretched-out hands. They don’t do much, but at least they’re well-sculpted.
Johnny gets these awesome translucent orange, burning hands. Mixed with Johnny’s full articulation treatment and these are a blast to pose. For value, maybe hasbro could have included a fiery head, feet, maybe other pieces? But, hey, I’m happy.
<sigh> Sue gets a spilled pile of Elmer’s glue. It sometimes pops onto her fingers, but mostly falls off.
The invisible woman comes with this “invisible” shield. I’m pretty sure I figured out how to connect the shield to her fingers, but you’d never know by how often it fell off her fingers when my heating vent kicked on. It’s fine, but I’m not entirely sure what I’m looking at whenever I see a picture of her holding it. At least if she holds it in front of her it hides all her terribly obvious joints.
Depending on where you buy them, each of these figures retails between $19.99 and $24.99.
For this much plastic, sculpted this nicely, with this beautiful paint job, I say this thing is packing the value even without any accessories or much articulation.
Reed barely gets a value passing grade because he has ample articulation to make him a valuable addition to the team.
Yeah, I’d pay $25 for Johnny. This one’s got it all: the sculpt, the extra articulation, well-applied paint, and even an accessory or two.
Buy Invisible Woman