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Puff Adder

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

When does he change his name to "Diddy Adder"?

Puff Adder possesses the mutant ability to increase his size and mass to an unknown extent. He generally increases his mass to about 2.5 times normal, increasing his height by about a third, but can only maintain his increased size for approximately 15 minutes at a time.

Puff Adder is one of the Serpent Society members who joined as part of Viper's infiltration/coup attempt, but considering how many of those folks have stuck around, either the coup 100% worked, just without Viper sticking around, or the Squad is a lot more forgiving than you'd expect a bunch of villains to be.

Puff Adder is the Build-A-Figure for Marvel Legends Series 9. Or Avengers Legends Series 1? God, I hope it's not Avengers Legends Series 1, we'd have to rename all these files and fix all these links. That would suck. Anyway, buy all of them except Extremis Iron Man, and you can put together this big bad snake.

It's been a while since we've had a "paint only" BAF - the only thing that separates Puff Adder from Caliban is plastic color and a 100-micron-thick coat of pigment. That's not a slam against Puff Adder, by the way; his costume is all about the colors and pattern, not extra pieces. And if this sculpt was good enough for one mutant who was bigger than he's supposed to be, it's good enough for another. The figures stands about 8⅛" tall, big enough to loom over even the biggest of plain human characters, and muscular enough to look good doing it.

He actually could use a little more paint. He's done in multiple shades of green, as he should be, but the criss-crossing pattern on his chest, gloves, and boots can be tought to make out - like, you can tell it's there, but you can't tell what shape it's supposed to be. Outlining it would have helped a ton. There's more blue in all the greens than his art in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition would suggest there should be, but who said he's not allowed to change his style over the years? The important thing is we get three different shades. They could have even used that same dark one for outlines.

Speaking of unpredictable colors, the head is new. The comics have been inconsistent on whether Gordon Fraley is white or black, sometimes even on sequential pages! The toy opts for the latter, though it would certainly have been interesting if they'd given us two versions in two colors. The cute little snake cowl he wears is a separate, non-removable piece that just allows him to peek out; if he weren't a villain, it would be adorable. AIM designed his suit, and it has the ability to shoot acidic gas from near his mouth, but sometimes he can do it without the suit, too? He's a minor enough villain that nobody pays attention to him, is what we're saying. One time it called him "Willard" instead of "Gordo."

The articulation is the usual: head, neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, torso, waist, hips, thighs, knees, shins, and ankles. The bicep swivels on both arms were very stuck, and felt like the plastic was threatening to shear if I forced them. It's been a long time since Marvel Legends presented a problem like this! A night in the freezer seems to have freed them up slightly, though they do still feel a bit more gummy then usual.

Puff Adder has no real accessories, just your choice of fists or open hands. Since the only thing they really could have given him is some sort of cloud of smoke to spit, that's hardly something we miss. The hinge in the left open hand goes back and forth, the hinge in the right open hand goes up and down.

This series had a couple of real clunkers in the mix, but also a few impressive standouts. Puff Adder isn't a major Marvel character, but he's never had a toy before and this existing BAF body suits him perfectly. Only thing we'd change (knowing that the shoulders sticking isn't going to be an endemic problem) would be outlines on the costume's pattern, but this is still more toy than the character deserved. Who will be next from the Serpent Society!

Molecule Man | Baron Von Strucker | Yelena Belova | Wonder Man | Orb | Captain America

-- 06/22/23

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