Marvel Legends have had a series of ups and downs in the recent past. With the packaging changed and no inclusion of a collectible comic book and a price hike that’s almost double from when they offered such things I find it amazing that the action figure line is still thriving. Let’s be honest – the entire line has seen some better days – the recent offers of the BAFs are not that exciting. The Odin BAF was very disappointing and the Ultron BAF was underwhelming as well. The Groot BAF was surprisingly awesome – even if most of the figures featured in the series was not very desirable. I didn’t even bother with the Iron Monger or Mandroid. They aren’t terrible but they weren’t all that impressive either. Should I even bother getting into the Hobgoblin (that should never had been a BAF in the first place)?
The most recent series, though, have made most of my collector friend’s ears perk up. It started with the Rhino that came with the Spider-Man series – a BAF that rivaled the previous “best figure” from Marvel Select. The Rhino even came with a change-o-head – a modern and a classic (I’m so partial toward the classic I don’t even bother with the modern) and while it’s far from a useful accessory it’s still nice to see Marvel offer choices.
The Hulkbuster Iron Man series was the first Marvel Legends line that I actively sought out in a long time! The promise of a substantial and humongous Hulkbuster figure proved too much for me to stay away. Most of the figures weren’t appealing – although they were very nice – I was only interested in Thundra, Valkrie and the good Doctor. I had to barter, promise and even threaten (not really but it sounds good) to acquire the rest of the pieces to complete this huge behemoth! It’s a fantastic figure – certainly worth picking up if you can get a good price but this one gets pretty pricey! There are some minor tweaks I would have loved to make – especially the flat red paint – but it’s not enough to make this figure any less desirable.
Now, onto the newest BAF, the Absorbing Man! This is the latest Spider-Man ML series to line the pegs and it features some fantastic figures – never mind one of the better Absorbing Man figures ever made! As it compares to the figures before it – let’s visit it one by one – The Absorbing Man from the Hulk Transformations line is a great figure – where the BAF trumps it is in size – and size only – because the sculpt, paint and accessory (the size of the wrecking ball he comes with) is all pretty great.
The Hulk Classics Absorbing Man figure is very rare, very cool and extremely expensive on the secondary market. It’s also one of the cooler figures ever made of the guy! All except the size it might’ve taken the top spot. The scale really doesn’t knock it off the top of the list though – but another figure like this on card or in package and the Hulk Classics Absorbing Man might be knocked off the peak.
The Marvel Legends Absorbing Man from the Hulk line is a decent figure – all but the made model head they chose. He just looks too handsome! Can you imagine this villain getting into a fight and screaming “Not the face – hit me anywhere but the face!” Not to mention the size of the ball and chain is on the small side.
The Absorbing Man also comes with a change-o-head – one without a transforming look – and it is great but I am sticking with this one… unless I can find another body without paying a premium. It also has an extra arm (normal) and another (transforming into wood). Totally worth the pick up if you have the chance! The only thing I’d change is ball and chain to have a loose chain rather than a sculpted, solid chain.
Let’s just begin with the MU line that had both its ups and downs this year. I have really warmed up to this line – more than I should, probably – mainly due to the vast amount of different figures they have. Here are the positives from 2011:
The Best: From the Avengers Boxed Set, including an amazing looking first appearance Hulk, to the classic, rarer and more unknown characters produced like The Constrictor and Skaar. Marvel and Hasbro released some of the better variants this year related to the Hulk Universe, like the First Appearance Wolverine and, like I mentioned before, the Avengers Boxed Set. I know I’ve mentioned that twice already – but it’s THAT good! Not to mention, the Avengers set has become pretty hard to find these days. We also have one of my favorite repaints of the year – the Compound Hulk. Yes, it’s based off of a terrible story – but let’s face it – the re-paint is just hilarious and spectacular! We were also able to complete complete our classic Defenders displays with the long over due release of Dr. Strange! (yes, I have it but have not posted it – you would not believe how much I have to post – it’s just about finding the time to do it all!) Also getting an Absorbing Man – complete with fully transformed metal variant – gives the MU line one of the best years for figures we’ve had in a long time!
The Worst: That’s not to say that everything was peaches and cream with the line this year… starting with the Avengers Base variant. Everything about that figure was excellent – everything but the price. It’s amazing to watch the TRU exclusive yo-yo in price the way it did. First they were asking $19.99 – but not even a month later the figures went on sale for a much more reasonable $12.99. Once the sale ended the price went back to $19.99 for a bit – then lowered again to $16.99. Basically, these figures were not selling. Collectors may have bought them, like myself, but obviously they weren’t popular enough to keep the price up. Speaking of variants too – the Skaar “name plate” variant is the weakest excuse for a variant to date.
All in all – not too shabby – the MU line has way more positives than it does negatives this year – so kudos to them!
Hulk Classics Absorbing Man
This is one of the most sought after figures from any Hulk line… ever! It’s not even a Hulk figure – and even more-so – it’s the Absorbing Man! Who is actually, for all intents and purposes, a Thor villain. But – this figure is WAY better than any Absorbing Man before OR after – and one of the best parts – the thing that puts it over the top, the thing that no one has even tried to do again (but SHOULD) is the interchangeable arms. One is steel, one looks like iron – but the third is the ultimate – a Hulk arm! Although – that hasn’t happened in the comics. I am not 100% sure – but I think the Absorbing Man can only take on properties of inanimate substances.
You can’t see this in the photos – but this figure (which easily sells for a hundred +) that I found in a LCS – just sitting on the shelf! This figure is actually complete – but off the card. I put it together with some glue and tape and it looks fantastic! Just like it was before someone haphazardly took it out of the package! I’m not sure if I asked this before – is anyone out there who collects keep the figures in the package like I do? I know a few collectors out there, like JG and Sean, they take these little plastic treasures out of the blister cards – but I love them the way they look inside the package!
By the way, has anyone seen Toy Story 3 yet? Freakin’ movie is fantastic!
This is a great villan that has appeared in both Spider-man and the Hulk. I thought this was a bad choice for the movie to choose this villan. And to make it Banner’s father was even worse. In the comic book – the Absorbing Man is not Banner’s father.