Hasbro is really getting confusing with their Marvel Legends line. Hasbro Legends 1 and Hasbro Legends 2 were easy enough to figure out, but while we were waiting fo Hasbro Legends 3 to come out, they dropped two extra series on us. How do count them? Hasbro Legends 2.5? Hasbro Legends Not-Quite-3-Yet? Yeah, the company refers to the HL series by their Build-A-Figures, but fans don't. Insanity!
It was more than an overdose of cosmic radiation that turned adventurer and pilot Benjamin Grimm into the monster known as the Thing. On the day he piloted the fateful spaceship flight that ended with
his mutation, he was twisted up inside with fear, anger and jealousy. After the crash, every bit of ugliness he held inside came boiling to the surface, turning his skin into the scaly, rock-like hide that has come to be famous the world over. Since then, he's turned his hideous metamorphosis into an asset, using his strength and resistance to damage and overcome some of the greatest threats the world has ever faced. As he has become ever more the hero, letting go of his anger, his appearance too has changed. Now, when the world looks upon the Thing, they do not see a monster - they see a savior.
We've had no shortage of Thing figures before, from the ML2 original and the trenchcoat refresh, through
the box set re-release (and another re-release of that), to the movie versions and two series of FF Classics... we had plenty, even if you don't count the ML11 eyesore. Even worse, they've all been the same version.
True, Ben hasn't gone through as many costume changes as, say, Spider-Man has, but there's still more you can do with the big guy than "bumpy orange rocks and blue trunks." Sadly, that's what Hasbro's given us here. Is he worth yet another rehash?
The sculpt on this figure is darn impressive. Most of the previous ML Things have had the look of cracked concrete, while this one really captures the "pile of rocks" asthetic. His little blue pants are actually textured to look like cloth, which is a first. The rough rocks suggest anatomy, but are never symmetrical. They even sculpted the bottoms of his feet! Hotcha!
Ben's head is well-designed, too - he has the thick, heavy brow over his eyes, and his lower jaw is crushingly massive.
Honestly, this may be the best facial sculpt a Thing figure has ever had. To keep him moving, Ben has hinged toes, ankles, knees, individual fingers, wrists and elbows, balljointed hips, shoulders and neck, and a swivel waist. The construction on the neck joint is surprisingly useful, allowing his head to turn on a horizontal plane rather than trying to fake its way through an angle - usually figures with a hunch like Thing's won't pay that much attention.
Hasbro Legends Thing only has one flaw, but it's a doozy:
he's the wrong size. I don't know what out-dated Handbook of the Marvel Universe Hasbro is working from, but the Thing hasn't been only 6' tall in about 30 years. The back of the card lists his height at 6' and the figure stands an even 6⅛" tall, but that's too damn small. Ask your girlfriend: you gotta have at least 7" to have a Thing worth talking about. The paint is bright orange, which isn't exactly comic-accurate, either; he's too bright. He needs a bit more yellow, and just a hint of brown.
HLFF (or whatever we're calling this particular set of toys)
is a Build-A-Figure series, which means if you buy all eight figures you can build a ninth. Ronan the Accuser. Thing has Ronan's head, which makes the figure look like he ripped it off the guy's shoulders in a fight. The head is wearing a separate mask/hood combo, which can be easily removed.
The Thing is a massive disappointment. Not like First Appearance Thing, which was a let-down for all the stuff it did wrong. No, this Thing is depressing for everything is gets right. Killer sculpt, plentiful useful articulation, decent paint apps... everything about this Thing is good... except for the size. If Hasbro hadn't screwed that up so badly, this may well have been the best Thing figure ever released, the one to have. But at 6" tall, he's only the best Thing in a 5" scale, and that's not good enough. Next time, Hasbro? Don't let the quality control guys fall asleep on the job when it comes time to size the figures.