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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Introducing Hasbro's newest innovation: the Build-A-Figure without a series!

The freak product of intense scientific experimentation, the living computer MODOK now sits atop a vast empire of criminal co-conspirators bent on world domination.

Really? I thought he sat atop a little golden rocket chair. Due to this figure's size and shape, and the needs for a slim profile on store shelves, he's sold in a windowless box, 12½" wide, 9" tall, and only 2¾" deep, with art and photos all around but no actual view of the figure within. Open it up, and he's entirely unassembled inside - the front and back of his chair/harness, his limbs, his hair, his rocket boost... it's all just laid out nicely in a tray for you to put together.

This MODOK is even MODOKier than ToyBiz's MODOK: the 2006 figure was very vertical, with tight-fitting head armor and distinct shoulders; this one is wider and squarer, with the sides of the head-frame sloping out to include the arms. His chair is detailed with Jack Kirby-style details - nothing too technological, just lots of graphic shapes sculpted on the surface. And then right up by the top are an interlocking group of hexagons, signifying his connection to AIM.

There's a joystick controller emerging from the left side of the chair. It's mounted on a balljoint, so it can move all around, and the figure includes a left hand molded to hold it. There's also an alternate right fist, so MODOK isn't just waving his jazz hands around. The arms appear to be armored, almost like something Doctor Doom would wear, and the hands swap out at the wrists easily. They have swivel/hinges at all three joints: shoulders, elbows, wrists. The legs plugged onto big balljoints at the hip, then have swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. Why bother with the knees, though? All his legs do is dangle all day, he doesn't walk, what benefit does full articulation there provide?

One advantage this MODOK has over any that's come before is the inclusion of alternate faces. Because of the way the figure is assembled, you can take the giant face out of the head and trade it for the other one. Both heads have pink skin - no creepy gray - and the rough, lumpy bone structure, but one head is just giving a big frown, and the other has his mouth open to angrily yell. Thanks to the way the figure is constructed, the face blocks just slide into place smoothly. Heck, thanks to the way the figure is constructed, Hasbro could make new, modular pieces to create different looks for him: the gray skin, a bald head, beady little eyes, etc.

We mentioned a rocket boost, because MODOK can't just be sitting on the ground. Well, he can, but he wouldn't want to. The blast is two pieces (the base coming from Professor X), and though it plugs into his chair's exhaust with a massive balljoint, it doesn't actually function like a balljoint: he can't dip and sway all over the place, all he does is swivel around.

Was MODOK meant to be a Build-A-Figure? No idea, but it's entirely possible. He's big, he's gross, he's sold in nine pieces... sounds like a wayward BAF to us! Whatever the story, the toy is awesome and improves over the old ToyBiz one, and this is an interesting new way to get larger figures out without forcing us to buy a bunch of filler.

-- 06/07/21

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