I spent way too much time trying to track these damn things down.
Of course with Hasbro and Marvel Legends, you never really get an exact release date. However, most chatter indicated that these would hit stores around November 1st. Of course, when they started showing up at Walgreens a few weeks prior to that date, my collector sickness kicked in. I struck out searching through so many Walgreens for what are essentially repaints of figures I already own! I don’t even want to think of how much gas I wasted hopping stores all over Pennsylvania. Eventually, I resorted to having a collector friend send me the ones that they found. Naturally, as soon as those packages were in the mail I came upon the entire set locally. I swear the universe punishes me for being impatient because this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME!
You’d think I’d learn a lesson from this. Hah, don’t be silly!
Let’s get right into our first figure in the Marvel Legends Vintage series: Black Widow. Widow is a great one to start with, because unlike every other character in this wave, she hasn’t had a comic based toy in quite some time. We’d have to go all the way back to the 2010 Toys R Us exclusive box sets where she was packed with Winter Soldier. Unfortunately, I don’t have that Natalia anymore, but I can assure you that sculpt doesn’t hold up.
While the new body is great and works well with the old cuffs and belt, I just can’t get one thought out of my head. “Why is Mary Jane cosplaying as Black Widow?”
Yes, they reused the Mary Jane head from the Spider-Man two-pack earlier this year. Overall, I’m fine with reuse in Marvel Legends. They are generally smart about it, and strive to sculpt new parts as needed. Head reuse for different characters is where I draw the line. In this six figure wave, there is not a single piece of new tooling. There also isn’t a build-a-figure, but the figures are still being priced the same as other Marvel Legends. What I’m saying is that they could have thrown us a bone with a new Black Widow head.
The head choice feels like one of those old Wizard Magazine casting calls, where they’d pick an actor to play a comic character strictly because they have the same color hair. Hair can be dyed. Nicole Kidman was a terrible choice for Jean Grey, Wizard! Not that we’ve had a great Jean Grey in movies yet, either. The Widow head DOES work surprisingly well on the Mary Jane figure, in case you want one without freckles. Some people like the extra head that came with Phoenix, but I think it sits a little too high on the neck for my liking.
Would I recommend Hasbro Marvel Legends Vintage Series Black Widow?
With the upcoming rider release she probably isn’t essential, and the rider will come with two unique heads. I like her well enough, but I’d be lying if I couldn’t admit that the head is jarring. Would the head bother me as much if the Mary Jane release earlier this year had never happened, and this was my first exposure to this sculpt? I’m not sure. I feel like Black Widow’s facial structure is a little thinner. This face sculpt is a bit too full for me to unquestionably call it “Black Widow.”
For $20, however, it’s a solid release and she has that great vintage-inspired card.
If you are looking to find her, they’ve been pretty plentiful in stores like Toys R Us and Walgreens. Also Amazon gets them in on occasion, and if you are looking to buy the set then check Entertainment Earth.