2016 has barely arrived, but Hasbro is kicking off the new year right: with this year’s first wave of Spider-Man Marvel Legends 2016 figures already available online and beginning to show up in some retail stores! This is one of the best series of Legends ever, in my opinion, so I’m planning on reviewing every figure in the wave in due time. But where to begin? Well, how about with the most “classic” Spider-Man villain in the series: Morbius! Is this the definitive action figure of The Living Vampire…? Read on…
Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in 1971, Morbius is the most famous original vampire character that Marvel has ever created (sorry, Jubilee), and a quasi-villain who has stood the test of time and recurred in the Spider-Man comic books for nearly 45 years now. So thumbs up to Hasbro for checking off a major villain whose release as a true Marvel Legends action figure is long past due.
I love the head sculpt on this Michael Morbius figure. I’ve been feeling pretty bored with the standard closed-mouth portraits we’ve been getting on most Hasbro Marvel Legends figures, but this Morbius head sculpt is anything but boring.
The mouth-open sculpt is ambiguous enough that Morbius could be screaming out in vengeance or agony, be overcome with a hunger for blood, scaring a villain into submission, having an argument about what kind of pizza to get, or tons of other options. It’s a great dynamic expression, and one of my favorites on recent Hasbro Marvel figures.
The paintwork on Morbius is simple, yet clean and well-applied. When a figure is predominantly black, there’s always concerns about the potential for paint-bleed to throw off the figure’s aesthetic. Thankfully, that’s not really an issue here. Everything from the black fingernails to the red eyes with black circles around them has been painted masterfully. Visually, this figure looks terrific.
Morbius comes with a grand total of four accessories, and all of them are good ones. Two of the accessories are the morphed arms of the Absorbing Man Build-A-Figure, which happen to be the best part of the Absorbing Man. Technically you could skip buying Morbius and still complete the Marvel Legends Absorbing Man BAF, but you’d really be missing out by not owning the awesome transformed arms.
The other two extras Morbius comes with are two interchangeable versions of his cape. In the packaging, he comes with the “spread” version of his cape where his arms are up and he’s giving his classic “Ooga Booga!” pose (or flying, I suppose). I like being able to put the Morbius Marvel Legends 2016 figure into this pose, but I’d be irritated if this was his only cape and he had to be stuck like this permanently.
Luckily, there’s a second “casual” cape included as well! Like the other cape, this one is red on the front and black on the back. It accentuates the details of Morbius’s black costume well, and also complements his pointy red collar.
On a sidenote, I can’t remember seeing this collar before on a Hasbro action figure. Could this bit of tooling be reused for the classic Iron Fist figure in this year’s Marvel Legends Doctor Strange series? Hmmmm…
As far as articulation goes, Morbius is absolutely golden. Every point of articulation you’d ever want from an action figure of the living vampire is present and accounted for: ankle rockers for stability, upper torso ab crunch and swivel waist, double-jointed knees and elbows, ball-hinge wrists, shoulders and hips, and so on.
There is very little that you might want to do with this figure that you can’t accomplish with the articulation present. Well, assuming your figure stays intact, anyway. Which brings me to my one issue with an otherwise perfect Hasbro action figure…
I have one problem with this Morbius Marvel Legends figure, but it’s a huge one: quality control. All of the black plastic used on this figure–including Morbius’s joints–feels incredibly cheap and rubbery, which is a repeating problem on certain 6″ Marvel Legends figures. Consequently, both of my Morbius’ legs are loose and floppy, which was a problem when I was briefly taking photos with him.
The reason I say that I was “briefly” taking photos has to do with my biggest issue with my 6″ Morbius: that his left bicep was more than a little floppy–it was basically wobbling all over the place at the slightest touch or even just blowing on it. I couldn’t get his left arm to stay in place for even a handful of seconds for some of the photos I was trying to take, which made the images for this review a bit of a struggle to put together.
I’m hoping that this ripping plastic is an isolated incident and not a widespread problem that many collectors are going to have with ML Morbius, but I’ve owned enough Marvel Legends action figures to know that at the very least, most folks will be burdened with the flimsy, rubbery black plastic on this figure, which makes it my one beef overall in this review.
Overall: Not only is Morbius my first Marvel Legends review of 2016, but if not for his quality control issues he’d be my first “A+” review of the year as well. As it is, this is a downright excellent action figure of everyone’s favorite Living Vampire… he just comes up about one arm short of perfection. Hopefully the quality concerns with this figure aren’t widespread, because this figure is too outstanding to be ruined by something like QC. While I suspect the black plastic will at the least be rubbery for most folks, but regardless, this is the definitive Morbius figure. If you ever want a Marvel Legends Morbius 6″ figure, this is the one to own.