Marvel Legends 2013 Black Panther Review (Rocket Raccoon Series)

I would love to start off this review recounting my decades of love for the Marvel comic books featuring the Black Panther, but, well… I’ve always been pretty ambivalent toward T’Challa. I’ve read all of his first appearances in the classic stories, but he’s just never struck a chord with me. That said, for the second time he’s been released in a series of Marvel Legends figures with a Build-A-Figure that I want, which means I just purchased my second Marvel Legends Black Panther figure–from the 2013 Marvel Legends Wave 5 Rocket Raccoon Series…

2013 Marvel Legends Black Panther Wave 5 Action Figure Hasbro
The Right:

Based off the introduction, you might think that I don’t care for this Marvel Legends 2013 Black Panther figure, but that’s actually completely wrong. I think that the Black Panther is a little flat/boring as a character, but this is still a great Black Panther action figure.

While I was surprised to see Hasbro announce another Marvel Legends Black Panther figure, the difference between this one and the Toybiz Marvel Legends series 9 Black Panther is like night and day. While that old Black Panther is heavily based off of the 1990’s Marvel Knights Black Panther appearance, this new Black Panther is classic all the way.

Marvel Legends Black Panther Comparison Toybiz vs. Hasbro 2013Whereas the Toybiz Marvel Legends Black Panther has smaller proportions and less articulation than the modern figures put out by Hasbro, the new Black Panther figure is perfectly proportioned to fit in seamlessly with the current line. There’s no cape, necklace or golden claws on this Marvel Legends Black Panther–it’s the slimmed down, classical look that’s been around for the better part of a century.

Marvel Legends Wave 5 2013 Series 2 Black Panther Figure Rocket Raccoon SeriesThe articulation on the Rocket Raccon Series Marvel Legends Black Panther is absolutely everything I look for in an action figure of this scale: ball-hinge neck, ball-hinge elbows, swivel biceps, double-jointed elbows, swivel-hinge wrists, upper torso ab crunch, swivel waist, ball-jointed hips, swivel thighs, double-jointed knees, swivel calves, and swivel ankles with ankle rockers.

Marvel Legends Black Panther 2013 Figure Stalks in the JungleAll of Black Panther’s body parts have a tremendous range of motion, and there’s really nothing in the sculpt to get in the way and block articulation anywhere on T’Challa. Black Panther’s head can look up and down and all around without restriction, and the ankle rockers allow you to get Black Panther standing stably in most whatever pose you want to put him in.

Marvel Legends 2013 Black Panther vs. Klaw Action FiguresYou might be anticipating this 2013 Marvel Legends Black Panther being almost entirely black, but Hasbro actually put a ton of effort into making the deco on this figure really pop. Most of ML Black Panther is molded in black, but there are varying amounts of blue-grey paint wash on different parts of the Black Panther’s body, while his boots and gloves are painted blue-grey with perfectly applied straight black stripes on them. The result is that the figure looks fantastic, with loads more depth on him than I had expected.

Both of Marvel Legends T’Challa’s hands are molded in a grasping or slashing pose, with his fingers spread like claws. It’s really the perfect pose for the Black Panther Marvel Legends figure to take on to look like he’s preparing to stalk an enemy or attack.

Rocket Raccoon Build-A-Figure Arms with Black Panther Action FigureAs Black Panther is easily the most obscure heroic character in Marvel Legends Wave 5 (The Wrecker is obviously the most obscure overall), Hasbro wisely chose to make Black Panther one of the three figures that include the parts necessary to build the Rocket Raccoon Build-A-Figure. So unless a lot of people want to have Rocket Raccoon bodies without arms, there’s little chance we need to worry about Black Panthers gathering dust on the shelves at retail.

Marvel Legends Black Panther CardbackThe Wrong:

I wish that Hasbro would find a way to plug the hole on this particular mold’s back when it’s used for a character that doesn’t have wings or a backpack, such as the Black Panther. It really damages the overall appearance of the figure from behind, although it’s not as jarring as it would be if Black Panther’s back wasn’t already all black.

Marvel Legends 2013 Series 2 Black Panther Figure BackIn addition, I really wish Hasbro would consider implementing alternate hands sometime in the near future for the Marvel Legends line. While I really like the slashing, clawed hands on the Black Panther Marvel Legends figure, it would be nice if I could switch out fists on him.

2013 Marvel Legends Black Panther Series 2 Figure Packaged Rocket Raccoon Wave“Where Can I Buy It?!”

Black Panther is shipping at one-per-case in the Marvel Legends 2013 Series 2 cases just now reaching online retailers. I got my whole case from BigBadToyStore, but you can easily pick up Black Panther on eBay for as cheap as 17 bucks now.

Overall: The classic Black Panther may have a simple design, but this Marvel Legends Wave 5 Black Panther figure is basic done right. Superb articulation, paint application perfection, and great sculpting. The method of paint deco that Hasbro chose for the 2013 Marvel Legends Black Panther action figure is pure genius, and I’m grateful for the bonus Rocket Raccoon Build-A-Figure pieces. I doubt I’ll ever be a fan of Black Panther the character, but this Black Panther Marvel Legends figure is a worthy addition to my Hasbro Marvel Legends collection.



Marvel Legends 2013 Black Panther Review (Rocket Raccoon Series) — 5 Comments

  1. It’s obvious you don’t know too much about Black Panther if you think he’s flat and boring character. This is one of the greatest comic book characters with one of the richest and coolest stories in comic book history. But you can be excuse for your lack of knowledge and ignorance and bias towards the character, whoever you are.

    • With all due respect to your opinions, Fred, I’m not obligated to like any character. I respect Black Panther as a character, but to me, he’s dull. I also happen to like Gambit, a character that I know as many people despise as like. It’s just personal preference, and not a slight to T’Challa.

      And if I wasn’t ridiculously well-versed in Marvel Comics, I wouldn’t care enough to run a Marvel website. I’ve read hundreds of comic books with T’Challa over the years, from his earliest appearances in Fantastic Four and Avengers to his classic Avengers appearances to his Marvel Knights series to his sister Shuri’s appearances as the Black Panther and his marriage to Storm to his New Avengers appearances. And while there’s plenty written about him and some great stories have been told, I still think T’Challa is boring. Sorry.

      • Oh you’re definitely entitled to your opinion as I am, I was just making my own point. Yeah i’m not a fan of Gambit myself, but he’s cool to see on the big screen. I’m not even a Gambit fan but I think they could have did a better job with him in ‘Wolverine’, they did alright with him, but I think they could have done better. I’ll say this, I do think Black Panther is the kind of character that can translate better in a movie than a comic book. Now imagine that character, a highly advanced society like Wakanda being translated to the big screen. Like Asrgard I think Wakanda would look amazing on the big screen. But hey the character ain’t your cup of tea, to each his own. However I think on the big screen visually with a good director and great cast, it can be a whole different story.

      • @Dabid:well done, sir. Nice review. Outstanding. I applaud your objectivity. The figure is excellent. The base/buck it’s on is excellent,so that’s half the battle won. The paint is most impressive and was the most noticeable aspect to me when I got mine. They did something I thought impossible with a 3-D object that is often conveyed in comic book artwork;The black form silhouetted by bluish or navy/midnight blue aura.
        Even if the character was boring to me(he isn’t) this figure is magnificent work!
        I couldn’t agree with you more on all aspects of the figure’s review. Under “the Wrong”, in addition to having alternate hands,I would say that an alternate unmasked T’Challa head is mandatory! Plus classic short cape and satchel.

        IMHO: There aren’t any boring characters. Boring stories by boring writers, maybe..? Marvel’s Black Panther is interesting just on a pop cultural basis alone. He’s the first non-stereotypical Black Superhero in American comics.
        Created in1966.
        (The Falcon,created in 1969 is the first non-stereotypical Black-American superhero in American comics)
        T’Challa is an African king and cultural icon. Given the tumultuous times of 60’s in which he was created with the same appellation as a controversial militant civil rights group, the fact that the character exists at all is intriguing.–as is that there’s a toy of him. It’s still rare to see a superhero of color these days and most rare to see one in the toy aisles. My toy shelves are lined with a sea of White faces amongst the robots aliens and monsters. Are yours? I barely read comics. It’s all about toys. In 2005 I jumped back in for New Avengers and Black Panther. Spider-Man joined the Avengers and T’challa’s father defeated Cap. The latter was virtually unacceptable for some. Critics thought that Hudlin’s(Black Panther’s writer) “politics” seemed too political in a politically correct time.
        Now I’m back to just toys again. Art is subjective,so I don’t expect you to be excited with info,you’ve no doubt, heard before. No boring characters is my superpower!

  2. “Whereas the Toybiz Marvel Legends Black Panther has smaller proportions and less articulation than the modern figures put out by Hasbro”

    The Toybiz one has all the articulation that the Hasbro one has (even if the ankles are done differently) PLUS he’s got toe joints, an extra swivel joint in each shoulder/chest area, and he’s got individually articulated fingers.

    You’re right about smaller proportions, but I don’t know where you got “less articulation” from.