It’s taken nearly two years since Hasbro announced the relaunch of the 6″ Marvel Legends toy line, but the day superhero toy collectors have been yearning for finally arrived in late January. It feels just like the old days to me, because I went out hunting every day for the two weeks after a new Marvel Legends series showed up at retail, found absolutely nothing, and got pissed and bought a full case online. I’ll be reviewing every figure in the wave over the next 8 days, and you can find all those reviews in the Toy Reviews Index. I’m starting off my series of reviews with a character so new, people started calling foul as soon as she was announced as a “Legend”. Hope Summers is the alleged “Mutant Messiah”, said to save mutantkind from extinction. Who are her parents? Is she some sort of reincarnation of Jean Grey? Will she be the next host for the cosmic Phoenix entity? No one knows the answers to those questions. But what I do know is that the Hope Summers Marvel Legends toy is one kickass female action figure and a stupendous start to the new Marvel Legends line…
First off, I want to dispel the notion that Hope Summers doesn’t belong in this line. If you’ve read Marvel Comics at all in the last five years, you probably know who Hope Summers is. The first mutant baby born after “M-Day”, Cable took Hope into the far-future and raised her as his own, training her in survival skills for the day when she’d return to the present and save mutantkind. Hope was the crux of such huge X-Men events as “Messiah Complex”, “Messiah War”, and “Second Coming”–and she will be the impetus for the huge “Avengers vs. X-Men” storyline this summer. So while Hope may be a newer character, she is indisputably a crucial character who is very deserving of being included in a line called “Marvel Legends”. With Hope being such a focal point of so many current stories, it certainly seems apropos to me for her to be included in the inaugural series of new Marvel Legends action figures. That said, let’s talk about the figure itself.
To say that most Marvel Legends female figures over the years have been unattractive would be an understatement. Toybiz had a tough time getting feminine faces right, and Hasbro had quite a learning curve as well. Marvel Legends Psylocke was anything but a hottie, and Emma Frost may have been the most dog-faced female figure since POTF2 Leia. There have been a few exceptions like She-Hulk and the con-exclusive Shanna the She-Devil, but I always worry about the final product whenever a new female is announced for production. Thankfully, Hope Summers just may have the most attractive female headsculpt ever in the Marvel Legends line. Her face looks youthful, determined, and soft all at the same time. The paint on her face has been expertly applied and the results are gorgeous. As far as how good of a representation of the character this figure is, well–I opened my “Generation Hope” comic book, looked at this figure, looked at the comic again, and was amazed by what I consider to be a perfect likeness captured in the sculpted form. Simply outstanding.
With the return of Marvel Legends comes the return of Hasbro’s most ambitious efforts at articulation. Hope has an exceptional 24 points of articulation including ball-jointed head, ball-jointed upper-torso, ball-jointed shoulders, double-jointed elbows, swivel forearms, double-jointed wrists, ball-jointed hips, swivel thighs, double-jointed knees, and double-jointed ankles. The articulation looks great and doesn’t interfere with Hope’s appearance at all, and I had no problem getting her into absolutely any pose that I wanted to.
The proof that Hope was raised as Cable’s daughter is that she has a Big Fucking Gun. Hope includes two accessories: a removable cloak and the aforementioned BFG. The gun is so enormous that it requires both hands to wield. Luckily, Hasbro has us covered–Hope’s right hand has a trigger finger sculpted that fits perfectly over the trigger of the gun, and her left hand can hold the front handle of the gun perfectly. It sounds like such a simple thing, but so many companies don’t plan ahead and end up with figures that can’t wield their weapons properly.
Like every aspect of this figure, the paintwork on Hope is excellent all-around. Hasbro chose a slightly-metallic green paint for most of Hope’s costume, and it looks phenomenal. A flat yellow is used as a secondary color, making Hope’s costume reminiscent of the colors of the Phoenix (which I’m sure is the intention). There’s the tiniest amount of green paint bleeding onto yellow paint and vice versa, but the spots are so minor I can easily overlook them. There’s a terrific use of paint washing on Hope’s cloak, as well as the bandages on her arms and legs.
Hope has a couple of bonus items that come with her related to Series 1’s Build-A-Figure, Terrax. Hope has what may be the two most important pieces of the BAF: his head and his iconic giant axe. I’ll talk about these pieces in-depth when I review Terrax, but it’s good to see that unlike Mattel, Hasbro still actually includes the weapon for its build-a-figure after showing it off to collectors. In addition, Hope comes with a unique fold-out piece of paper with a “Tale of Terrax” featuring Galactus on one side (instructing collectors on what comic they can read to continue the story), and a checklist/diagram for how to build Terrax on the reverse side. It’s no replacement for the full comic books that Hasbro Marvel Legends included, but it adds an air of important to the BAF and it’s still worlds better than the awful “collectible comic shots” Marvel Universe figures are including in 2012.
Finally, the generic packaging blurb. I’ll be brief: I love the 2012 Marvel Legends packaging. It’s bright, vibrant, and character-specific. The huge artwork on the front and back of the card depicting the character you’re buying is engaging and a real treat to look at, and it’s a shame you have to utterly destroy the packaging to get at the figure inside. The only thing I’d like to see improved is slightly more text about the characters on the cardbacks, but in general this is some of the prettiest packaging on the market today and it absolutely blows the Marvel Universe 4″ line’s packaging away.
Her right leg came severely warped out of the package from the way she was posed in the bubble. I’ve heard this was a problem for other collectors as well. My wife boiled and straightened her leg in under five minutes and completely fixed the figure, but I much prefer my figures be proper straight from the bubble. I review figures based on the unaltered product, which is why all my photos show her with the warped leg. It’s easily fixable, but I wanted to note the problem here so no one is surprised by it.
Hope is something of a gun master, so I would’ve liked it if she would have come with an extra two pistols, similar to the ones Steve Rogers came with.
No ankle rocker articulation. Hope can balance well and strike a pose without any troubles without them, but I want them and they should be standard articulation on this line. (The only figure in the series with ankle rockers is Terrax, by the way.)
Hope Summers is part of Hasbro’s 2012 Marvel Legends Series 1. She’s packed at one-per-case, so she may be hard to find. As of writing, these figures have only been sighted at retail at Toys R Us, where they retail for $17.99 + tax. Though they don’t have the figures yet, the Target computers have Marvel Legends Series 1 priced at $14.99, and Wal-Mart’s at $15.xx. As far as online options go, there are ample possibilities:
Ebay is always a great option for looking for deals on new-release action figures, as ebay tends to have listings for figures literally the day they turn up in any store. Click here to check out the current ebay listings for Marvel Legends Hope Summers!
Amazon has Hope Summers in-stock right now from various sellers, but prices and availability change rapidly on Amazon so you’ll need to click through for the current specifics.
BigBadToyStore stocks virtually every Marvel product Hasbro releases each year, and have cases of 8 containing all of Marvel Legends Series 1 for $124.99 as well as Hope Summers available for $19.99 individually.
Overall: Hope Summers may not be the most beloved or well-known comic book heroine in the world right now, but she is one hell of female action figure. The paints chosen for this figure are fantastic and for the most part applied perfectly, the accessories she has make complete sense and greatly enhance the figure, and she has ample articulation to kick some ass with or without the Phoenix entity. All that and she’s good-looking, too! Hope Summers Marvel Legends is an all-around superb action figure, and earns my highest possible recommendation. Unless you don’t like or don’t know this character, there’s absolutely no reason any modern Marvel fan should pass on this figure.