It’s been a pretty uneventful holiday weekend for Marvel Toy News (so much so that the most exciting thing I’ve posted is this photo of a Spider-Man Pizza Hut box on social media). But now, let’s celebrate Memorial Day with a review of a fallen hero (of a sort) getting his first-ever action figure from Hasbro this spring: the 6″ Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Ex Nihilo figure from the Mantis Series! He may have never appeared in a GOTG comic book, but he’s a nice addition to the line nonetheless…
That said, the gardener Ex Nihilo (no, not that kind of gardener) is probably the most recognizable character that Hickman created during his tenure on Avengers, and a character many (well, maybe not many) modern comic book readers are anticipating (probably).
How’s the Ex Nihilo Marvel Legends figure fare? Let’s see…
For those who don’t know him: yes, Ex Nihilo is gold. That’s not a costume–it’s his “skin”. The shade of gold he was depicted in varied based on who was coloring the character, but he always seemed like a quasi-shiny gold and not a super-metallic gold.
As such, I think Hasbro made a picture-perfect choice with the gold paint on Guardians of the Galaxy Legends Ex Nihilo. The paint isn’t too flat and dull, nor is it metallic chrome like C-3PO. It’s just right. Thumbs up.
Paint isn’t the only thing Hasbro nailed with this figure, though: the sculpt and articulation are every bit as on-target.
Depending on how you pose him, you can interpret Ex Nihilo’s facial expression in a number of ways (just like the character). It definitely looks like a malevolent sneer to me most of the time, but occasionally there’s a spot of mirth to it. This is a really interesting head sculpt to look at, and I dig it.
The bare feet, gold skin, alien asymmetrical head and clawed hands definitely give Ex Nihilo the feel of a character that’s on another level from humans. I was ambivalent toward the character design in the comics, but he looks terrific as a toy.
Articulation-wise, Ex Nihilo is Marvel Legends at its best, as the character has no hair or add-on clothes to get in the way of his flexibility. Ankle rockers; head with wide range of motion; swivel calves/biceps/thighs/waist; ab crunch; double-jointed knees and ankles… the gang’s all here and the super-articulation doesn’t have a hitch.
However: it’s not. The size, sculpt, paint, and articulation on ML Ex Nihilo are all basically perfection. Really, the only thing I can think of to gripe about is the lack of accessories (besides a Mantis Build-A-Figure arm), but this is a character that I’m not sure what I’d even want for accessories for.
Short of creating some all-new super-cool energy effects (which was not going to happen), there’s really no accessories (or anything else, for that matter) that I think would make this action figure better.
Overall: I’m not exactly blown away by this Hasbro Ex Nihilo figure, but I really can’t find anything particularly wrong with it either. Hasbro made excellent decisions with the paint colors and hands selected for this figure, the articulation is superb and has a great range of motion, and the new head sculpt is top-notch. Frankly, I love this 6″ Marvel Legends Ex Nihilo action figure more than I like the character himself. A great toy of a character many collectors probably won’t care about.