It's been a while since I did a review, but with a whole weekend off, it seems like a good time to knock out a couple of reviews. So first up
is the Sandman series of Marvel Legends Infinite figures. This series gives us a new version of Spidey's black suit, two new alternate Spider-man
characters in the form of Spidey-UK and Spider-Man 2099, Ms. Marvel, and three villains: Shocker, Jackal and Green Goblin. And when you collect
the entire series, you get a new version of long time Spidey villain, Sandman.
Packaging - Spider-UK & Spider-Man 2099 4/10, others 6/10Another round of Marvel Legends Infinite figures with the same packaging. In general, that's not a bad thing. The design is attractive. And the packaging is collector friendly. But as I have mentioned repeatedly in the past, the multilingual packaging means that there no room for detailed character information. That's not a problem for Green Goblin or black suited Spidey. But most of the rest of the characters are either fairly obscure or just very recent additions to the Marvel Universe. So it wouldn't be unreasonable for the casual fan to not know who Jackal or this version of Ms. Marvel are.
Sculpting - Green Goblin & Jackal 8/10, Ms. Marvel 6/10 Others 7/10This series of figures relies on a lot of reused molds/parts. But it is done so well that I really don't care. Goblin of course is almost a straight reuse of the mold used for both Hobgoblin and Gargoyle last year. But that's to be expected. And the sculpt is so well done, I would be annoyed if we didn't get a Green Goblin repaint. Black suit Spider-man and Spider-UK are both reused molds. But neither character has any costume details that need new sculpting so that's fine. They did at least give Spider-man 2099 new forearms with sculpted blades. And both he and Spider-UK share a larger, more muscular body than black suited Spidey. So that helps as well. They gave Shocker some new knee pads and new gloves/gauntlets as well as a new head sculpt. And again, those little changes are enough that the figures appear to be unique. Ms. Marvel is a decent sculpt. But I would really like to see a bit more detail added to the sculpting for her outfit. The ends of her sleeves and the tops of her boots are just painted on instead of being sculpted. They did at least sculpt the bracelet on her left arm. That was a nice touch. Finally there is Jackal. This is the character's first figure since the 90's and they went all out for him. His body is covered in sculpted fur. He's got some vicious looking claws on both his hands and feet. And overall, he just looks more like a beast than one of Spidey's usual villains in a bodysuit.
Paint - 8/10Across the board, the paint work on all of my figures is well thought out and executed. They are still mass-market figures, so the paint work isn't perfect. But the issues are minor and none of the figures look sloppy. I would like to see a little more work on Ms Marvel to make up for her lack of sculpted costume detail. But I'm not going to hold that against her figure twice.
Articulation - black suit Spider-man 8/10, others 9/10The usual impressive level of articulation is back for the Sandman series figures. The basic male body has the following articulation:
Accessories - Ms Marvel 6/10, Goblin 5/10, BS Spider-Man & Shocker 3/10, others 0/10This series of figures is pretty light when it comes to accessories. Ms Marvel comes with a pair of extra forearms to show off her powers. They are a nice addition and the best accessories of any figure in the series. But they are also very tame, bordering on underwhelming compared to some of the spare limbs we used to see with some of the past Mr. Fantastic figures or the Super Skrull. Though this may be for the best for a figure that is targeted more towards collectors than kids as these fit in better on a display shelf. Green Goblin comes with his glider and a pumpkin bomb. (He also has a removable handbag as well. But I'm not counting that as an accessory.) The pumpkin bomb looks nice since it is painted. But the glider is fairly generic. There's no paint work, not much sculpted detail and from below it looks very hollow. And it continues to go downhill from here. Black suited Spider-man comes with a spare set of hands. The extra wall crawling hands in addition to the closed fists are nice. But when all the other recent Spider-Man figures have had at least three sets of hands, this still feels like we're getting short changed. Finally there is Shocker who has the same energy blast effects that we have seen with multiple figures last year. Even beyond the fact that they have been reused so many times, these energy effects don't really match Shocker's powers in my opinion. So they are going directly into spare parts storage. Then you have Jackal, Spider-UK and Spider-man 2099, none of whom have any accessories.
Build A Figure - SandmanThe Build a Figure for this series should look a bit familiar. Sandman is the same body and legs as the Absorbing Man BAF from last year as well as the Sandman figure from the Raft SDCC box set from last year. But unlike the box set version, this one is painted in Sandman's traditional colors and the arms are sculpted in their sand forms. And if you buy all of the figures from this series, you get a spare head and two replacement hands sculpted as a hammer and spiked ball to make sure that Spider-man isn't going to walk away from this fight without feeling it in the morning. Other than the fact that it still seems a bit too tall, this is easily the best Sandman figure I've seen so far.
Value - BS Spider-Man 7/10 others 8/10The Sandman series has some great additions to the Marvel Legends line, both in terms of the quality of the figures and for adding some fairly obscure characters that may never be represented in plastic form for years if at all. If there is any low point in the series it is black suit Spider-Man. He's the only figure with a notable quality control issue and he isn't technically necessary in order to complete the Sandman BAF.
Happy Hunting:The Sandman Series of figures began showing up through online retailers early this year. But they have been slow to filter into brick and mortar stores in most areas. I have seen them locally. But even now, they are not common. And with a new series of figures for the Spider-Man Homecoming movie about to hit stores, if you want to add these figures to your collection (and you do) it would be best to do so before it's too late.