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Mr. Fantastic

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

It seem rather contrary, but Reed Richards isn't very toyetic. Miiiiiisssstttterrr Faaaannnnntttaaaasssstttiiiiiic Sure, the stretching and changing into any shape is cool, but how do you make a toy that can do all that stuff? Telescoping pieces, Stretch Armstrong-style rubber... nothing really works. But if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

If Reed Richards isn't the smartest man on the planet, he's at least in the top five. We'll probably never know for sure since even he hasn't been able to come up with a means for testing exactly how smart he is. His intelligence is enhanced by an imagination that is second to none, and a mental flexibility that allows him to see his way around problems that to others are insurmountable. As with the other members of the Fantastic Four, this mental quality is reflected in his powers. His body is unlike any substance known to human science, able to stretch inconceivable distances without harm. He flexes his body into shapes limited only by his imagination, flattening out to the thickness of a single molecule to slip through miniscule cracks, or ballooning out into a massive crash pad to save others from a dangerous fall.

For the newest ML Reed, Hasbro switched things up. Rather than make a plain figure and try to stretch it out, they went with a pre-stretched version. It's an interesting choice, very bold, but it's been tried before. Does it really work any better here than on the previous efforts?

stretch At first glance, this is a lot like what ToyBiz did for the Reed accessory that came with Raging Thing, but that was just a hollow bendable piece with an armature inside - good for wrapping around a figure, but not so good for the playability otherwise. The ML5 Mr. Fantastic had replaceable hands, but no other body parts. The best movie version had inserts to stretch him out, which was a grand idea but left him looking a bit piecemeal.

By making the figure stretched from the outset, Hasbro has avoided all those problems. The figure is solid, so it doesn't limply flop around; nice, normal face the entire body shows evidence of stretching, not just one isolated part; and since the bodyparts are all complete, rather than assembled, the lines look more natural. He really looks like a human body that has been drawn out to an incredible length, something most of the other figures have missed.

well, at least the undersized Thing serves a purpose If you compare Reed's head to the other figures in this line, it's a bit too large - but that's probably a conscious decision to keep it from looking undersized on this giant body. The figure has balljointed ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and neck, a swivel waist and a hinged torso. His arms and abdomen are bendy, though obviously you can get more pliability out of the thin arms than the thick trunk. Since he stands 11¼" tall, he comes in two pieces in the package; you have to plug him together at the waist.

Mr. Fantastic's piece of the series' Build-A-Figure is... less than impressive. Sure, he's a tall, thin figure, but the piece he comes with is - wait for it - a hammer. Yes, the BAF's accessory. drop the hammer Wow, impressive. Honestly, that couldn't have been tossed in with anything else? Ronan's going to be a nice figure, but Hasbro really could have split him among six figures instead of eight.

This is a really cool new version of Mr. Fantastic. The "stretched out" look is going to turn a lot of people off, but that's their loss. This isn't someting we've seen a lot of before, but it's a good effort and delivers us a unique toy. Sure, there's no way to turn this into a "normal" Reed, but that's okay: if you have the ML6 FF box set, that Reed is wearing the same dark blue and white costume, so they can double for each other.


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