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Heroes for Hire

Spider-Man Legends
by yo go re

While reviewing Series 1 of the Spider-Man Marvel Legends, we questioned whether Hasbro really still needed to do the whole "swap figure" thing. Now, in Series 2, we have to question whether Hasbro is messing with us. Two figures - Misty Knight and Ghost Rider - are sold under the name "Heroes for Hire" but come with different BAF pieces. Meanwhile, White Tiger, who's sold by herself, comes with the same BAF piece as Misty. The heck?!

Investigating evil and protecting the city, these heroes give evil no place to hide!

When you think of the Heroes for Hire, you naturally think of Power Man and Iron Fist. But there have been several different incarnations of the team (because it's use the name or lose the rights), and apparently one of them involved Ghost Rider. Who knew! Well, Hasbro, apparently.

This Ghost Rider is Johnny Blaze, since the superior Ghost Rider, Danny Ketch, was looking like this at the time. There was never any real explanation given for why Johnny, who had finally gotten free of his Ghost Rider powers, suddenly had them back or why he now looked exactly like Danny - as well as having Danny's extra abilities, like the Hellfire chain and the Penance Stare (other than that being a more interesting version of the character).

We probably should have predicted this figure was coming. It uses the same mold as the AIM Trooper and Star-Lord, and the Marvel Universe figures did the same thing. [Upon further inspection, we did predict this figure, in the AIM alt tags --ed.] The last time we got a Johnny Blaze, he was small and skinny. This one is bulkier, but maybe a little too tall; they were already giving him new arms, so some shorter boots would have been good too. The body does a good job of re-creating his costume, with its button-up chest flap and new tall collar. There's also a new belt and a chain around his chest, because again, copying the '90s Ghost Rider is always the best choice.

He does get a new head, which is pretty cool. It, like the new neck, is molded entirely in translucent orange plastic. There's a little bit of white paint on the front of the skull, while the eye sockets are painted solid orange with bright orange eye-dots in the center. The neck is sculpted to look like vertebrae, and it has just as many flames as the head.

The articulation is the same as the other uses of this mold: swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, swivel waist, hinged torso, swivel/hinge wrists, double elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a balljointed head. Since he has a bare skull, rather than a face, he's also got a hinged jaw. Make him sing along to your favorite songs! The white outline on his chest does "break" a bit if you bend his chest all the way back, but were you really planning to do that?

It's kind of weird that this Ghost Rider figure is in a Spider-Man series, but that's the choice Hasbro made, and so he comes with a piece of the Rhino Build-A-Figure. He gets the left leg, which again, is not the same piece that Misty Knight has. Because reasons.

Neither Ghost Rider nor Misty Knight have much to do with Spider-Man, but it's not like there's some kind of generic, all-encompassing toyline where unaffiliated Marvel characters like them could be sold, right? Right. But we've always said the name on the box matters less than the figure inside, and these are every bit as good as you've come to expect from Marvel Legends.

-- 09/14/15

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