I’m going to start my second wave of the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends reviews with my most anticipated figure in the wave: Mantis, the build-a-figure. What impresses me most about the Guardians of the Galaxy lineup this year is that Hasbro actually completed the entire the entire team in two waves, and within the same year. Come August we’ll also have the villain of the film, so short of Sean Gunn (and I’m not opposed to this, huge Kirk Gleason fan) we’ll have a complete cast for once!
In comparison, we still don’t have a complete Avengers team from any one movie. That’s correct, the staple team of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is STILL incomplete. It took two to three years to finally get Falcon, and on top of that Vision has yet to be made. It’s fine though. The Avengers are boring and probably my least favorite part of this whole Disney-Marvel cinematic universe experiences. That’s why I appreciate Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, because it mostly stays clear of the overarching Infinity War story line. Similar to the X-Files, I enjoy the self-contained stories while skimming over the main story line.
Even if she had to be a build-a-figure, I’m impressed Hasbro got Mantis out while the movie was still in theaters. She’s a completely unique sculpt and a new character. Nebula or Ronan were not afforded the same luxury the first time around, but I think it’s fair to say the Marvel Legends line was in a different place back then. In order to build her you will need to buy every character in the wave except for Death’s Head II. The breakdown is as follows:
Rocket Racoon – Torso
Adam Warlock – Head
Gamora – Right Leg
Nebula – Left Leg
Star-Lord – Right Arm
Ex-Nihilo – Left Arm
Mantis’ sculpt is gorgeous but it’s the paints the really bring the character to life. Her outfit is painted over in a beautiful pearlescent green. The paint applications are very clean, even down the rivets on the sides of her pants. The only place I have a tiny bit of paint slop is around her eyes. Which is a bit of a shame, but it’s very tiny and only noticeable at certain angles. The head comes with Adam Warlock, so when these start hitting stores more regularly I may attempt to secure a better painted Mantis head in addition to another Adam.
Regardless of some very slight paint mess I think they captured her personality in the face perfectly. It also helps that they appear to be using a softer plastic for the hair, which makes it so much easier to move her head around. Both Mantis and Gamora really benefit from this change.
The only complaint I have here is that while I love the Hasbro female body, I think it may be time to look into double jointed elbows. I’ve really felt the limitations of their elbow articulation in this wave. And that may be just because it’s such a female heavy lineup. It would be great if Hasbro could explore this for future waves. I don’t feel the need to harp over it because they aren’t just staying stagnant with their engineering like Mattel. For example, the improvements to long hair is fantastic. I’d just like to maybe see better elbow range explored in the future.
If you are into the movie then I think Mantis is a must-have. She’s a gorgeous figure, and it amazes me how much the quality of Hasbro movie product has improved in the last couple years. They really are taking it to the next level. Especially for $20 mass-retail action figures. I suppose the only thing that really stinks if you are a movie figure collector is that you have to get another Star-Lord and a couple of comic figures to complete her. That doesn’t bother me since I buy everything, but I can see the annoyance.
Hopefully these figures see official release soon. There seems to be some kind of street date on the official release, but they are out there if you look around or are willing to pay a little extra.