Galactus wasn't really the first build-a-figure in the Marvel Legends line. From Series 3 through Series 8, several figures came with a battle-damaged piece of a Sentinel as their display base. Granted, there was no building, and no real figure, but we were still assembling a complete Sentinel.
Created by noted anthropologist Bolivar Trask, the first Sentinels were lumbering, semi-humanoid robots tasked with the apprehension or elimination of mutants. Although Trask's principal field of expertise was anthropology, he also demonstrated considerable talent in the areas of biophysics, cybernetics and robotics. When his young son, Lawrence, developed precognitive abilities, Trask embarked on a privately funded anthropological study of the rapidly increasing, worldwide emergence of genetically empowered individuals. He became convinced that these mutants, the first of a newly evolving race, would use their powers to dominate the world and enslave mankind. Drawing on his considerable fortune, Trask hired a large team of cyberneticists, roboticists and engineers to realize his designs for the ultimate solution to what he perceived as a global dilemma.
Sentinels are something of an omnipresent threat in the Marvel Universe. Though designed to hunt mutants, they've been known to attack anyone and anything in their time. They're currently providing a stoic backdrop for the big "House of M" crossover, but they've been important in lots of stories over the years.
Like most of the Marvel Legends, this isn't the first time we've gotten a figure of a Sentinel. The first was barely a figure, more of a vehicle/playset, while the second - in the Water Wars line - was good, but little larger than the other characters. None of the previous attempts were nearly as good as this.
The Sentinel comes in six pieces: arms, head/chest, hips/torso and legs. The pieces snap together tightly, but once they're together, don't expect to take them apart again with breaking something - if you want to give your Sentinel battle-damage, there's no making repairs.
Making even Galactus look undersized, the Sentinel is 16" tall. Of course, it helps that he doesn't have any crazy head-wings. ToyBiz didn't skimp on the articulation at all, giving this death machine 32 points: neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, fingers and thumbs, chest, waist, hips, knees, ankles and toes.
There's not a substantial range of motion in the ankles, so don't expect to get your Sentinel into a lot of breakdancing poses. Of course, since they usally just lumber about like Frankenstein or fly via their boot-jets, that works out well for him. The articulation from the knees up is great, and all the major joints are ratcheted, so his metal tentacles can actually hold other figures aloft without pulling him down. On the plus side, those big doofy feet make him less likely to take a tumble.
Some folks have complained that the ML10 Sentinel doesn't match with the previous bases,
but that's no big deal - Sentinels have some in tons of sizes and shapes over the years, so the notion that every single one we get has to look the same is ridiculous. This is a Mark II Sentinel, which is good: that's the version most people think of, since they've been around longest. That, and the original ones were really stupid-looking, and only about 9' tall.
The Sentinel really looks like a robot that's been assembled in a factory, as it should. Its outer shell has various metal textures, and underneath are "muscles" built of tubing and wires. The head is classic Sentinel, from the big metal frown to the ski-cap ridge that runs all the way around at brow level.
Modern Sentinels range from human-sized to building-sized (not counting Cassandra Nova's advanced breed, which exist in the span between itsy-bitsy and frickin' huge), and this particular model works out to be about two stories tall. Of course, that's if you want to have him fight your Marvel Legends - maybe he's hunting Minimate mutants, at which point he'd be three times bigger.
It's great getting a big character like this in an appropriate size. Stores are reluctant to carry larger items because of the shelf space they take up, so we never would have seen a fully assembled Sentinel in his own box. Yes, to build him, you'll probably have to buy at least one figure you don't want, but consider the price of that purchase the price of the Sentinel.
You can't go wrong with a giant mutant-hunting robot, even if the design isn't exactly the same as the bases we got before. The final product is still great, and will give your heroes something truly menacing to battle.
Deadlier machine: Marvel Sentinel or Matrix Sentinel? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.