Over the course of the last month, I’ve talked about the highs of Marvel Legends Wave 6 (Black Panther and The Wrecker) and the lows of the set (like Jim Lee Jean Grey) in my series of Marvel Legends 2013 figure reviews. So it seems pretty fitting that I end the series of reviews with the figure from the set that’s the most in the middle of the road as neither especially good nor particularly bad. Though he’s not the version most collectors wanted to see first, it’s the Marvel NOW! Marvel Legends Hawkeye figure!
I’m certain some readers are going to want to slap me for this, but I think Hasbro made the right decision releasing this Modern Hawkeye Marvel Legends figure now and leaving the Classic Hawkeye Marvel Legends figure for perhaps-never-gonna-happen “running changes” revision cases.
The Hawkeye ongoing comic book series is one of the hottest titles going at Marvel Comics right now, and it’s pretty nifty that fans can own an action figure of Hawkeye that looks (mostly) the way he does in his current series. We already have a classic Marvel Legends Hawkeye from Toybiz and a great Marvel Select Classic Hawkeye, so I’m content to pose this Marvel Legends Modern Hawkeye until Hasbro can find a home for its new Hawkeye Classic Marvel Legends figure in 2014-2015 (Avengers: Age of Ultron Marvel Legends in 2015? Could be.).
It’s actually for the best that I ended up reviewing the new 6″ Marvel Legends Hawkeye figure last, as it’s taken quite a while for this figure to grow on me. He seemed a bit plain at first, but the more I’ve had him on my desk and posed him while writing, the more I’ve grown to like him.
My wife saw him and commented that she thought he really looked like Jeremy Renner–I can’t see that likeness at all myself, but he definitely bears a strong enough resemblance to the comic book Clint Barton for me to see.
Articulation is top-notch on this Marvel Legends 2013 Hawkeye action figure, just as it should be for a finesse-based archer figure. Hawkeye comes packing the following points of articulaton: ball-hinge neck, ball-hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-jointed elbows, swivel-hinge wrists, upper torso ab crunch, swivel waist, ball-hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-jointed knees, swivel calves and the much-loved ankle rockers (or “Vonner ankles”, if you will).
Marvel NOW Hawkeye isn’t the most articulated Marvel Legends figure ever, but with the copious amounts of flexibility he has, he can still do pretty much whatever your hearts desires.
I whined and griped up a storm about how much the Marvel Legends Jean Grey (Jim Lee) figure’s floppy, loose belt drove me insane, so I was a mite concerned that might be an issue with Hawkeye as well. It isn’t–Hawkeye’s belt stays tightly and firmly in place, with no wobbliness whatsoever. I don’t know why Hasbro can’t seem to master the art of manufacturing the right size belt for Marvel Legends female figures, but it isn’t a problem for the Modern Hawkeye at all.
Marvel Legends Wave 5 Hawkeye comes with two accessories: a bow and a quiver backpack. Recognize the bow? You should–it first came out last year with the Avengers Marvel Legends movie Hawkeye figure. It was nicely sculpted and detailed last year, and it still is. The bow string is made of a flexible plastic so that Clint can pull back on it, which is always fun. Of course, it would be more fun if Hawkeye came with a loose arrow to go with the bow as well…
[Mid-Review Rant: Toy regulations in the United States have created the restrictions that an action figure cannot come with both a toy bow and a toy arrow, so there’s no way I can fairly penalize Hasbro for not breaking the law. That said, I think the limitation on not being able to sell an action figure with a separate bow and arrow is really, really stupid. It’s unthinkable that toy companies can still make thin, spring-fired missiles that action figures can blast, but not an arrow that couldn’t possibly be shot by Hawkeye’s plastic bow. I’m not counting this against Hawkeye, I’m just saying–stupid.]
Hawkeye’s quiver of arrows is wonderfully detailed, and I love all of the sculpting on the arrows in the quiver. This is a marked improvement over the quiver that came with the Marvel Legends Avengers Movie Hawkeye figure in 2012, and I’m extremely grateful that Hasbro was gracious enough to add paint deco to the quiver and the arrows.
Hasbro selected the Marvel Legends Bucky Captain America figure mold for use on this modern Hawkeye figure, which I don’t particularly find to be an appropriate choice. Clint Barton is not some super-buff bodybuilder type, and it seems a little awkward to me that he can match muscles with Captain freaking America. As with the Bucky Captain America figure that this mold comes from, the plastic feels very cheap/rubbery to me as well.
For whatever reason, Hasbro opted to use a shiny, almost metallic purple paint for the purple portions of Hawkeye’s costume. I don’t particularly care for this choice, as I never got the feeling from any Marvel comic book that Hawkeye was dressed up in shiny clothes. The only part of Hawkeye’s attire that I would have used shiny purple paint on is Hawkeye’s glasses–and Hasbro inexplicably used a flat purple paint on those instead.
Finally, no matter how much I struggled with the 2013 Marvel Legends Hawkeye’s quiver full of arrows, I couldn’t get the backpack to plug into Hawkeye’s back through his harness. There’s a hole in the harness that’s obviously intended for the peg on the quiver to go through, but it wasn’t happening for me. I had to force the harness straps out of the way on Marvel Legends Hawkeye’s back and plug the quiver directly into his back. It’s not a deal breaker, but it does make the harness stretch and look slightly odd when the quiver is plugged in.
Marvel Legends Wave 5 Hawkeye (Modern) is shipping at one-per-case to online stores and comic book stores now. I haven’t heard of any physical brick and mortar stores receiving the set as of yet, but you can get Modern Hawkeye for about $23 shipped online as of writing. The running change Marvel Legends Classic Hawkeye variant is not scheduled to be released in 2013 at all at this time, but that could change. Stay tuned.
Overall: While I’m in love with the Marvel NOW Hawkeye comic book, I’m not quite as impressed by the Marvel Legends Wave 5 Hawkeye (Modern) figure. Hasbro did a pretty nice job with the head sculpt and costume design on this 6″ Modern Hawkeye action figure, but I’m not overly fond of the bulky body mold chosen for the figure or the shiny purple paint Hasbro picked. The articulation on Hawkeye is everything I could have hoped for, however, and I love the detailed bow and quiver that come with Modern Hawkeye. He’s not perfect or the most exciting Marvel Legends action figure released this year, but the 2013 Marvel Legends Modern Hawkeye figure is a solid release that earns a recommendation.