Thursday, May 8, 2014

Toy Review – Marvel Legends Infinite Series Electro from Hasbro

I didn’t buy this figure until after I saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like Jamie Foxx in the role and I wanted to see if maybe the character was still cool. The character was handled very well and Foxx was, indeed, terrible. As I noted in my review of the movie.

Me and Lil’ Troublemaker stopped by Target on the way home from the movie and I went ahead and picked up this guy and the Amazing Spider-Man figure, as well as a Spidey versus Electro LEGO set for Lil’ Troublemaker. I had all of the other figures from the ML Spider-Man set and finishing that Ultimate Green Goblin was just too enticing, despite the fact that it’s just a Hulk figure in Goblin drag.

I think the only other time Electro has been offered in the Marvel Legends line was in a Sinister Six box set back when Toy Biz was still making the line. I didn’t buy that because I didn’t want anybody in the set badly enough. Plus, it bugged me that Black Cat was part of the set, as I don’t think she was ever part of the Sinister Six.

I don’t have a particular attachment to Electro. He’s a fine villain and I do have fond memories of Spidey battling him on the old 70s cartoon, but he’s no Doc Ock or Green Goblin. The traditional Marvel Universe version is visually… noticeable… but that’s about it. The Ultimate version is definitely a step up, and that’s the one the filmmakers went with for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. That’s fine by me because as much as Jamie Foxx might be awful it made for a very cool looking action figure. As a matter of fact, that was the first thing I thought when I saw Electro’s character design – that regardless of how Foxx was it would be a good toy.
FIRST GLANCE

I dig the contrasting colors here. The blue of Electro himself against the black of his containment suit is a great look. This looks like a good toy. You know me – I’m a sucker for translucent parts. And not only does this guy have translucent parts, he has extra parts. He’s visually striking and he has a bunch of accessories. So far he’s a totally win. Let’s just hope none of his limbs break off.
PACKAGING

There’s one thing that I haven’t mentioned about these nifty new boxes that I claim to like so much – it’s actually kind of a pain to get the tray that holds the figure out. It’s a plastic tray that sits in a cardboard tray and because of the shape of the box it takes a little effort to slide them out the side. Now, I could certainly just rip the box open. I should, given that I just throw the box in the trash anyway. But something about the effort that went into designing this appealing, resealable box makes me not want to just tear it apart.
Not even a mention of Electro’s real name on the box. Weird.
LOOKS

First let me go ahead and address the fact that neither of the head sculpts bears even a slight resemblance to Jamie Foxx. My guess is that Hasbro didn’t want to pay likeness rights for a guy that basically has a light bulb for a head. Normally I might take issue with that, but in this instance I’m just going to be glad I don’t have to be reminded of Foxx any more than is absolutely necessary. 
 
The main head – the one without the electric eyes – is translucent blue with some paint detail. I am thankful for the paint detail. I recognize that we are lucky to have gotten it. There’s some black for the collar and the power level circuit on the right temple. The eyes are a sort of iridescent white. So I guess they’re still electric, they’re just not powered up.
The figure’s body is the containment suit from the movie. Well, the best rendition of the suit that Hasbro could do with the resources they had. Like the Winter Soldier figure, there are a few details that were added in post-production that didn’t make it onto the figure. The most noticeable being the missing lightning bolt on the left arm:
It was there in the movie (probably on both arms, but I didn’t notice the right), so I’m guessing it was added digitally. I thought it was a cheesy but neat touch.

Side Note: I have referred to Electro’s black suit as a containment suit here and in my movie review. I don’t know if that’s actually what it’s called. It just makes sense to me that that’s what it is. It was never really explained in the movie.

The sculpted detail of the suit does mostly match what’s in the movie. To me the most important part of the profile were the nodules stuck to Electro’s body at Ravencroft. They added a weirdness to the character’s look that helped get across his powers (because his glowing, blue, see-through body wasn’t enough). They got the ones on his back, shoulders, and abdomen, but in the movie he had a couple on his chest as well. Those are probably just more things that were added in post. As-is the figure still looks cool. The suit has a ton of detail. Lots of seams and textures that work well to blend with the points of articulation.
I didn’t get a good look at Electro’s footwear in the movie, but here it looks like he has pro wrestling-style kickpads. It’s different but kind of cool. The only issue is that because of that the ankle joints don’t really work.

The suit is mostly black, but there are a few subtle paint apps. The kneepads and collar are a very dark metallic grey. I would like to have seen this color used in a few more spots – the elbow pads and the flex points on the hips would have been nice. Even the seams. But the point isn’t so much the suit as it is the entirely un-subtle electrical paint job on the shoulders and forearms. These apps look great. It’s funny because almost the exact same technique was used on the old Toxic Crusaders toys and I hated it on those. It was supposed to be splashes of toxic nastiness, but to me it just messed up a cool figure design. That all goes back to my dislike of “battle damage” and dirt deco on my figures.

Side Note: This dislike does not extend to vehicles.

But the deco looks great on Electro. It’s a great mix of brilliant white and blue and does a great job of mimicking the luminescence of his skin reflecting off of the suit. I especially like how it spatters out at the edges. The coloring on his forearms doesn’t quite make sense when you have the gloved fists on, but I don’t care.
ACCESSORIES

Electro comes with an extra head, an extra pair of hands, and one of Ultimate Green Goblin’s arms, which I forgot to include in the picture because I had already put the figure together. You’ll notice that the packaging pictures are on a different background. That’s because me and Lil’ Troublemaker were staying up late upstairs and I didn’t want to take the time to take pictures in my office. I did, however, run downstairs and grab the rest of the Goblin so we could put him together.

The alternate head is basically the same as the regular head except for the molded effects around the eyes. These look great and are painted the same white. As cool as those eyes look, I wish the face had an enraged expression. That neutral look doesn’t make any sense for a near-deity (named Sparkles) that is displaying the extent of his powers. Electro was a very angry bad guy. That was the point. And it should have been expressed in this face.
The hands look awesome. They do look fairly angry – for hands, I mean – and the electrical bolt effects are cool. I suppose they could have been a little longer like some of the Emperor Palpatine figures from the Star Wars line, but they look cool.

The head and hands swap out very easily and stay put.
FUN
Thanks to a ton of meaningful articulation, the swappable parts, and a cool design this figure is a lot of fun to play with.

All of the joints work nicely except for those ankles. They’re the same design as all of the new Marvel Legends, but because of the kickpads (or whatever) hanging down the feet barely pivot. This makes the nice double-jointed knees a good bit less useful than they should be. You can still achieve some decent poses, but it’s a shame that what should have been a great range of movement has been limited.

The arms are very impressive because despite the nodules on the shoulders you can still do a lot with them. The elbow pivots are nice and deep and the shoulders have a very good range. 
 
The head works like all superhero action figure heads should. It’s a damn shame that Mattel didn’t figure this joint out for its DC Universe Classics line, which featured a huge number of characters that should have been able to pose in a flying position. Sadly, they never made a Superman that can fly as well as this Electro. Or Captain America. Or any other Marvel Legend figure.

OVERALL

This is a very good Electro. Even if – like me – you thought Jamie Foxx was terrible in the movie, it’s still a passable Ultimate Electro. And the bottom line is that it’s just a cool figure. 
 
4 out of 5

You should have no problem finding this figure at Target or Toys R Us. It’s one of four figures from the current Infinite series that are always on the pegs. These are currently on sale at Target for $17.99 and marked up ridiculously high at Toys R Us to $22.99. That is obviously fucking absurd.

I recommend you order one from Amazon and make Needless Things a little money:




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