When I asked readers who they wanted to see reviewed first from the new Marvel Legends Guardians of the Galaxy Wave 2 Series that’s begun shipping from online retailers, I was expecting a landslide of votes for Adam Warlock and Nebula. But nope–the masses have spoken, and they want to hear about one of the more controversial (for some reason) BAF choices in quite some time. You have to buy six of the seven figures in GOTG Wave 2 to get her, but the Marvel Legends Mantis Build-A-Figure is very much worth it…
Many fans don’t feel Mantis is “big” enough to be a BAF, and that a larger character like Death’s Head II or Ex Nihilo would have been more appropriate. The inherent problem with that is, of course, that neither of those figures is built on a Build-A-Figure body mold.
The mold for either of those characters would have to be completely redone at great expense to facilitate splitting that character up, and such a decision for a D-List character would frankly make zero sense.
Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with Mantis as the Build-A-Figure of this Guardians of the Galaxy series, however. The figure required a huge amount of new, unique tooling that’s extremely expensive for Hasbro to produce, and being the BAF allowed Mantis to be budgeted in with all of the new parts needed to make her outstanding.
And make no mistake: this Marvel Legends Mantis figure is definitely outstanding. The head sculpt’s shape and proportions look downright perfect, with her piercing black eyes and antennae making her one of the most unique females we’ve seen in a while.
Mantis’ body is every bit as nice as her face–the lines and ridges and folds on her costume look great and add tons of visual appeal to the figure. While the front of her costume looks simple, the textures and details on the sides and back of the Mantis BAF are really exquisite.
Hasbro used a combination of a matte dark green paint and a shiny metallic green paint for the different areas of Mantis’s costume, and the contrast makes for a very attractive looking action figure. The mix of black and green in her hair is also quite snazzy.
Mantis’s right hand is in a pointing gesture position and her left hand is left neutral. This works very well for the character, as it would make zero sense for her to have a closed fist or karate chop hand or anything like that, yet the pointing hand is still available for “action” poses.
And on the subject of poses: while Mantis is the member of the Guardians of the Galaxy who least needs to be super-articulated, that doesn’t mean Hasbro wasn’t going to implement the beloved ML super-articulation on her! In fact, her articulation is actually a bit better than most Hasbro females!
The Build-A-Figure has ball-hinge neck/elbows/wrists; swivel biceps/thighs/boots; hinged ankles with rockers; double-hinged knees and ball-jointed upper torso/hips. The swivel biceps made my day, as that’s a point that Hasbro regularly skips on their female figures.
I couldn’t even think of an accessory I’d want for Mantis–the hand choices for her are perfect, and there’s no alternate head that I’d want to display her with.
Mantis’ skirt is tightly attached to her waist, she can stand up stably with no issues, her paint applications are all near and clean… really, I’ve got nothing to complain about, so I guess I’ll just shut up now.
Overall: I had a moral dilemma about whether to give this Mantis Marvel Legends a perfect grade or not, and ultimately I decided in favor of it. While I’d like a swivel waist and double-jointed elbows, Mantis is a character that simply doesn’t need that kind of flexibility. The sculpt and paint deco on the Mantis BAF are both out of this world fantastic, and the super-articulation that is present is more than she needs, honestly. She may not be the biggest Build-A-Figure in the land, but Mantis is a tremendous, well-done action figure.