Some Christmas (and Boxing Day) acquisitions!
Marvel Legends Archangel is the first of Hasbro's new "deluxe" offering. As best as I can figure, "deluxe" is being used to mean "too expensive to be costed into a regular wave", though in Archangel's case I think it might be phrased more simply as "wouldn't fit in a regular box". At any rate, he winds up being $10 more than a standard Legends figure here in Canada. Surprisingly, he actually feels like he's worth it. The wings are huge, and he also comes with four different choices of head (standard Archangel headsock, Horseman of Death mask, unmasked normal Warren and unmasked crazy Warren) and an extra part for the Apocalypse build-a-figure (a huge claw that replaces his right hand*). It actually does feel like 1/3 more than the standard Legends figure gets, and if future "deluxe" releases are this jam-packed I think it'll be a pretty successful sub-line. I'm not sure that any others have actually been announced just yet, though. It's not my favourite look for Warren (that would be the blue-skin, feathered-wings look from the late 90s), but it's definitely the definitive one and I'm glad that Hasbro went all-out instead of pinching pennies to try and fit him into a standard wave.
*When the Apocalypse wave came out and fans were griping that he didn't have any shapeshifted weapon-arms, I really didn't see the need for it. But now that I've got this? I totally get it, and I doubt the normal hand will be going back on any time soon.
Marvel Legends X-23 was an impulse buy on Amazon when she hit around 1/3 of retail on Boxing Day. I actually did think about buying a figure of the character this year, but they released this look and her Wolverine look in short order and I wasn't sure which one I liked better, so I wound up not buying either. But the huge discount was enough to bring me around on this one, and (aside from awful paint QC that took a few minutes of delicate work to fix) I'm glad that I did! The black and grey outfit is very eye-catching in person, the head sculpt is really convincingly pissed off in a way that none of the male Wolverine sculpts have ever quite managed, and the detail-heavy boots really help her stand out.
Marvel Legends Malekith is a figure that caught my eye from the get-go, but they release so many new Legends every month that I try not to pick up figures of any characters I'm not familiar with. Things get expensive really quick if I do. And aside from that truly awful Thor movie and one random X-Force annual, I don't think I've seen Malekith in anything. But when he hit 1/4 regular price I figured, why the hell not? He's got a mental design, with a whole "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" thing going on, a psycho grin and a giant freaking sword. What's not to love? Well, unfortunately the answer to that is "his costume overlays". If you raise his arms above the shoulder it makes his shoulder pads and necklace move all over the place, and his skirt is rigid enough that it starts to look silly if you have his legs in anything but a conventional standing pose, and if you leave him in those poses long enough it'll deform the skirt so that it no longer falls naturally when he's standing. That makes him less fun than I'd expected, but still more than worth the $8ish I paid.
The Black Series Praetorian Guard, on the other hand...less so. He wound up being $7.something and even then he feels like a bit of a rip-off. He's got terrible articulation -- arms with almost no elbow range, and legs restricted by an even bigger, bulkier skirt than Malekith's. My copy also manages to have paint smears in random places in spite of the figure having no paint apps of any significance. I'm continuously disappointed by any Star Wars figures I end up buying, and I don't understand how the Black Series can be so consistently mediocre when the same company produces and sells vastly superior Marvel figures. I know they can probably justify sinking more money into R&D work when they're sculpting new bodies on the Marvel side of things, where they can convincingly repaint and retool the same dozen or so bodies time and time again since superheroes all basically have the same physique. But you'd think that the lessons that the Marvel team learns would be applied to the Star Wars stuff. But clearly not.