With another new Marvel movie on the horizon, Hasbro has again turned to the cinematic oeuvre to provide the inspiration for its latest Marvel Legends series. Fortunately this year, the options at the cinema are more expansive than another batch of Avengers in various shapes and forms, and we've got a new Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor to look forward to watching. It's the former that inspires the first new action figure wave of 2017, and Hasbro's improved sculpting since the last film makes this collection of galactic heroes something special.

 

Photography by Luke Brown, Townsquare Media

 

Star-Lord may be one of the big attractions of the movie, but here he's not quite the best and brightest of the bunch. That's only because Yondu and Angela are such strong figures, but we'll get to them in a minute. Over the past year or so, Hasbro has gotten much better at actor likenesses, and this is a really great mass-market Chris Pratt toy. The face is a bit serious, and I wish it captured more of the charming Star-Lord we all know and love, but it's still a good Pratt.

The alternate portrait gives us the more standard Star-Lord mask, though that slightly messy haircut is still popping out of the top. This Star-Lord may not have Kris Anka abs, but he is still as dashing a rogue as you could want from a toy. There's great detail elsewhere too, including the sharp "tailoring" on the Ravager jacket, and in the fit of his slacks. The only real knock here is that the gun handles are a bit too big for how small his hands are, but you can still make it work.

Star-Lord is also the only figure in the set that doesn't come with a piece of Titus. Not sure why, but at least if you only want Star-Lord you won't have an awkward lone limb hanging around.

 

Photography by Luke Brown, Townsquare Media

 

Sam Alexander gets some much deserved love this wave too, giving the most recent bearer of the Nova name a proper action figure. The teen boy body buck comes in handy here, keeping Sam looking fit and handsome without exaggerating his size and stature compared to the rest of the Marvel Legends. I would have loved for Nova to come with a set of alternate hands for flying, but as it stands all you get is the base figure and a little Phlish to accompany Sam wherever he goes.

The sculpted design of his costume is dang near perfect, and the metallic paints really do make the dark blue and gold of the Nova uniform pop against one another. The more dulled red on the helmet does look a bit off as a result, but that's also how it's supposed to be, so I can't complain too much. This is just a fantastic figure of a great character, with very few issues.

 

Photography by Luke Brown, Townsquare Media

 

Since coming to the Marvel Universe, Angela has clearly been a fan-favorite. I mean, she did win the Marvel Legends Fan's Choice after all. That's why we're staring at her in this figure line today, instead of looking back at old McFarlane Toys versions from the '90s. I won't bog down this review with much chatter about the complicated nature of Angela's arrival at Marvel, but I will say that one good thing to come of it is certainly this action figure.

Hasbro knocked Angela out of the park, and captured her in spectacular detail. Why she needed to keep the same basic costume she was given 20 years ago remains a mystery, but you must admit that the sculpting team gave its all in making sure every last element was nailed down perfectly. Though her hair can be a hindrance in moving her head around, that flowing mane is something I wish we saw more of in the Marvel Legends line. Hasbro has been doing a nice job with female haircuts, but none have felt quite as dynamic as Angela's, and it make this figure stand out that much more.

 

Photography by Luke Brown, Townsquare Media

 

Drax is a nice figure for anyone that missed the last Drax that shipped with the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends from the first film. There's very little noticeably different with this new version save for the more expressive head sculpt and slightly revamped paint application. I get that there isn't really a whole lot that has changed with Drax's design in the movies, but this reuse of the same figure feels just a tiny bit disappointing given how long it's been since we've gotten a movie Drax.

The articulation is nice, and the tattoo work remains expertly detailed. It's still a rather droll figure when compared to the rest of the hits in this collection.

 

Photography by Luke Brown, Townsquare Media

 

Darkhawk may have lost the fan vote to Angela, but someone at Hasbro cared enough to make sure this '90s hero got his chance anyway. A fan vote was probably the only way Darkhawk was ever going to get a Marvel Legend, so it's a good thing someone wasn't going to let a little thing like Angela winning get in the way of a little New Warriors action.

Jokes aside, this is a solid Darkhawk toy. The base body is on point, and that deep blue pearlescent paint app does make him feel otherworldly. I'm not all that crazy about wings, and I wish they weren't permanently attached. It takes a bit of the strength of the silhouette away having them constantly jutting out, but I also understand that you can't have a figure this articulated and give him clip-on wing accessories. Otherwise though, all seven of Darkhawk's remaining fans are going to be very happy with this Legend.

 

Photography by Luke Brown, Townsquare Media

 

Before today, I never really cared about Yondu. He was an okay character in the movie, and my knowledge of him from the comics was so limited that I just had no real impression. Hasbro's managed to make him memorable with just one toy this year, and just one series into the year, Yondu is already in contention for the best Marvel Legend of 2017.

First, both of the head sculpts feature a very strong Michael Rooker likeness. While the grinning one is how he'll appear on shelves, the version with the raised fin is the one that helps make this collectible so special. The whistling face is the exact kind of expression that is so wholly unique to a character that you love to see a toy-maker implement in a figure. Plus, you can couple it with his floating arrow --- complete with red attack trail --- to make it look like Yondu is actually using his powers. Hasbro hit just about every checkbox on what makes a great figure with Yondu, and the rest of the year's offerings have their work cut out for them to be this good.

 

Photography by Luke Brown, Townsquare Media

 

Sadly, for every Yondu, there's probably going to be a Vance Astro to even the scales a bit. I get that Vance, aka Major Victory, is a key Guardians of the Galaxy member. I also understand that there are a lot of fans of his particular era and team, and that they've been left on the hook for a quality figure for years. That doesn't make this figure any more interesting. The body build is solid, and the articulation is good, but there's nothing remarkable about Major Victory to make him worthwhile to anybody other than diehard fans.

His bland face doesn't help matters, though the obvious inclusion of Captain America's shield does make this toy a bit better than if Vance had just been offered by himself --- say like Spider-UK was in the previous Spider-Man Legends wave. Completionists will be thrilled, but Vance could have been left out and we'd be no worse for wear.

 

Photography by Luke Brown, Townsquare Media

 

Titus is your classic good guy gone bad, but he's got such a cool design that you can't help but be impressed. Who are we to tell a one-eyed giant tiger with a massive cannon for an arm that he's not the baddest dude in the room? Sam Alexander has way more guts than us, that's for sure. It's a shame that there aren't going to be very many people at major retail that can appreciate just how great this Titus figure is, as I know Nova isn't exactly a household name... yet. Titus is another strong build-a-figure, and he'd probably be even more impressive if we hadn't just gotten that dope new Sandman.

There's solid articulation, and the massive paw and big cannon give a nice bit of contrast compared to many of the other BAFs that have relied mostly on more traditional appendages. It's all about that portrait though, which captures the fearsome face of Titus very well. That pinkish detail around his cybernetic eye is on point, and the fur sculpting on the rest of his face completes the head sculpt wonderfully.

This is the first of a few Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 waves hitting stores this year. Both will have a decent mix of cinematic and comic characters, though some of the deep cuts in the comic realm may be lost on some more casual fans. While I appreciate the variety of roster choices Hasbro has made this time around, don't be surprised if you see a lot of Vance Astro and Darkhawk sticking around long after this waves' other figures have sold out. Still, all of the figures came out fantastically, and this wave has me looking forward to the next batch to complete my Guardians roster.

 

 

The Marvel Legends Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 Titus Build-a-Figure wave is available now for ~$20 each. These figures were provided by Hasbro for review.