It doesn’t happen every year, but this winter we’ve been lucky enough for some stores to start receiving the first wave of 2017 Marvel Legends figures before the new year even rolls around! And since I’ve been so blessed as to track down every figure in the wave early, I’d be remiss if I didn’t devote some time to a review of the Build-A-Figure before the holidays. And so, though he isn’t the first Marvel Legends Sandman figure ever, the Sandman Build-A-Figure is definitely the best…
Well, it turns out I was totally correct on both points–but even so, I’m blown away by the sheer quality of Hasbro’s efforts!
As expected, the Marvel Legends Spider-Man Sandman figure comes with a color version of the Flint Marko head that was in sand-form at SDCC. The head isn’t quite as intimidating without the “blanked-out” sand eyes, but a normal Flint Marko head was a must for this figure to feel complete.
But hey–that doesn’t mean Hasbro couldn’t have some fun with a crazy alternate battle-damaged Sandman head, right?! And so, we got this totally effed up interchangeable head where the entire left side of Sandman’s face has been blown off, leaving a crater of sand behind. Sick!
Along with a giant sand fist and a giant grabbing sand hand, we also get a sand hammer and a sand mace! All four weapons have intricately sculpted detailing and sand textures on them, and look downright phenomenal. This is some of Hasbro’s best work in the Marvel Legends line, in my opinion.
The rest of this figure is a straight repaint of the Absorbing Man Build-A-Figure from the start of 2016. That’s not a bad thing, though–I genuinely think that the legs and scale of this figure look way better for Flint Marko than they ever did for Crusher Creel.
The paint deco on this figure is outstanding, with the sand looking sensational and the stripes on Sandman’s shirts applied excellently. The gradient from color to sand on the battle-damaged head looks especially neat.
The articulation on this figure is solid, with a ball-jointed head; ball-hinge shoulders/hips/”hands”; swivel waist; upper torso ab crunch; double-hinge knees and ankle rockers. The elbows aren’t double-jointed, but in this instance I think that’s actually a wise decision due to the weight of the sand appendages.
The Sandman BAF features the same floppy belt syndrome that’s been driving me insane on numerous figures all year, wherein it’s dang near impossible to get his belt to stay put when moving the figure around.
In addition, some of the articulation on the figure is a bit annoying. He can’t look straight upwards, and the range of motion of the ankles is severely limited by the pants. Because Sandman is so top-heavy, not having complete control to position the ankles can be problematic in getting him to stand.
And speaking of top-heavy: some normal-sized or neutral arms would have been a great addition to this figure–not just for looks, but for practicality. The oversized, heavy sand arms on this figure are going to quickly loosen the overall strength of the arm (and perhaps leg) joints. I’m worried about how loose the joints on these figures will be a year down the road.
Overall: While I’ve got my usual nitpicks that hold this figure back from the “A+” I’d like to give it, make no mistake: the Hasbro Marvel Legends Sandman Build-A-Figure is an excellent BAF and an overall fantastic addition to the line. The battle-damaged head looks pretty rad, and the sculpting on the sand arms is simply amazing. At this point, I see no reason for Hasbro to ever produce another Sandman–this is as close to perfection as we’re ever likely to get.