Though typically an endless parade of Men either of the Iron and Spider variety, Marvel Legends has been surprisingly pretty good to Black Panther over the years, with several great looking iterations representing the character’s slight costume variations over his long in-universe history, though in the post Toy Biz era many of the plastic T’Challas to hit the market have been costly and/or hard to find exclusives, including the figure from his star making turn in Captain America: Civil War. There’s nothing like a big budget solo outing to get reference quality figures of a character on shelves though (unless you’re Ant Man), and Hasbro’s brought the goods when it comes to Black Panther, anchored, or course, by a dedicated new series of timely, affordable and widely available Marvel Legends led by the King of Wakanda himself, who we’re here to take a look at today.
Hasbro’s newest 6” scale T’Challa comes with what has become the industry standard as far as accessories go, 2 heads (masked and unmasked), 4 hands (a set of fists and a pair with claws bared) and the head of this series’ build-a-figure, Okoye, portrayed by The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira. I’ve seen the likeness praised elsewhere but I’m not seeing it myself, though maybe after having actually viewed the film (Opening night IMAX tickets already pre-ordered, baby) I’ll feel differently. Similarly, the included extra head meant to represent Chadwick Boseman is wildly inaccurate (it looks more like The Weeknd), leaving fans to initially wonder if Marvel had failed to obtain the actor’s likeness rights. They hadn’t, Mezco and Hot Toys have since officially unveiled fully licensed and thoroughly excellent Boseman sculpts, so we’ll just have to chalk this one up to a snafu in Hasbro’s still young 3D printing technology.
Befitting the character’s sleek and stealthy solo redesign this is a much more agile looking and Spider-Man-esque Panther than in Civil War, and I gotta say I’m not in love with it, preferring the more heavily armored look of T’Challa’s film debut, and I’m definitely lot feeling the mask’s feline features, missing the smoothed over and almost knight-like coldness of the previous visage. This is still a very good sculpt though, with all the little tribal details of the screen worn uniform lovingly etched in even at this scale. Articulation is next level too, though the Revoltech/Figuarts inspired dearth of joints here inherits those series’ biggest flaws, namely, it being difficult to achieve a “relaxed” or “museum” pose. But he’ll be able to do just about anything else you could imagine, with double joints in the knees and elbows, a super deep ab crunch, ball joints at the top and bottom of the neck and, most importantly, butterfly shoulders for highly fluid and accurate stalking and pouncing.
The paint can’t quite keep up with the sculpt and articulation though, with the black and silver that widely make up BP’s color scheme applied just a tad sloppier than I’d hope. The paint on the unmasked face is immaculate though, right up there with Hasbro’s museum quality work on the recent Thor: Ragnarok Loki. Again, I don’t know who the hell this guy’s supposed to be, it definitely ain’t Boseman, but his face sure is painted nicely. The Okoye head is similarly clean and free of errors though not quite on the same level as T’Challa.
So another Marvel blockbuster is in theaters and another series of Marvel Legends is on shelves, and with the recently leaked photos of 6” scale versions of Tony Stark and Peter Parker’s fancy new suits, and the “Nomad” version of Captain America from the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, the trend doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon. Hasbro continues to outdo themselves in this new renaissance of mass market 1/12th scale figures, and the Black Panther series is no different. Whether you’re a long time comic fan, stoked to see Wakanda take center stage on film, or main T’Challa in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (*raises hand*), this figure will fulfill all of your badass Black Panther needs.