I’m completing my series of Marvel Legends Series 1 Reviews this week, and first up on base is a villain that’s going to leave many mainstream fans scratching their heads: Klaw. Klaw is the most “basic” figure in Marvel Legends Series 1, due to his highly-classic design. There’s really not a whole lot to Klaw’s appearance: he’s a regular-sized guy in bright colors with a freaked-out robot looking face and a sonic-gun arm. His costume is about as simplistic as it gets, which means Hasbro would need to hit all of those characteristics perfectly to make this an exciting figure. Hasbro gave a good effort at all of Klaw’s attributes, but the final product falls short of being anything exceptional.
If you asked me who my top 500 characters I wanted released in the new Marvel Legends line were, Klaw wouldn’t even be on the list. He’s one of the more classic Marvel villains, but despite being inexorably tied to the Black Panther’s origin. For those who don’t know Klaw, here’s the deal with him: Basically, Ulysses Klaw was a scientist who found a way to use vibranium to convert sound into matter. He massacred Black Panther’s father and people to try to take the vibranium from them, but T-Challa blew off his arm in retaliation. One defeat by the Fantastic Four later, and Klaw experimented on himself to become living sound with the intention of kicking all kinds of ass. Unfortunately, even with that power boost Klaw has mostly been inconsequential over the years and failed to acconplish much of anything important. Even so, he’s a villain with a rich history, a former member of the Masters of Evil, and hundreds of appearances (and defeats) over the years, so Klaw is certainly deserving of a Marvel Legends figure despite my personal tastes.
Klaw is a very classic supervillain that collectors have been requesting for years, even if he hasn’t exactly been the coolest or most successful villain ever. Hasbro finally immortalized him in plastic for Marvel Universe in 2009, and now he’s hit the big-time with his first and certainly only Marvel Legends figure. Klaw isn’t a character that appeals to me, but I commend Hasbro on including an obscure, C-List villain like him in this series. It’s a real vote of confidence by Hasbro that they’re willing to include such a low-popularity, hardcore fan-only character in a series meant to test the viability of the Marvel Legends revival.
Like all Marvel Legends figures in this series, Klaw has a surplus of points of articulation. In total, Klaw is sculpted with 26 points of articulation: a ball-jointed head, hinge neck, upper-torso ab-crunch, ball-jointed shoulders, swivel biceps, double-jointed elbows, double-jointed wrist, swivel waist, ball-jointed hips, double-jointed knees, swivel thighs, and double-jointed ankles. Because Klaw doesn’t have any “costume” pieces like Ghost Rider or Terrax, his articulation is totally-uninhibitted and can be fully-utilized without any problems. This is the ultimate for Klaw–this character can do everything you’d ever want him to with the poseability that’s been built-in here.
Klaw is a being made out of living sound, so it’s only fitting that his paint scheme is loud and colorful. Klaw has been realized in all of his garish glory thanks to the Hasbro paint team, and the bright colors they’ve selected are spot-on. The sonic-arm gun is a stark contrast to the rest of Klaw, as it has a gritty, realistic, metal-like paint deco. This works out great, as the color contrast draws attention to the sonic-arm gun and vice versa.
Klaw has a couple of bonus items that come with him related to Series 1′s Build-A-Figure, Terrax. Klaw includes the right leg of the Terrax Build-A-Figure. I talked about Terrax in-depth already over in my Terrax review. In addition, Klaw comes with a unique fold-out piece of paper with a “Tale of Terrax” featuring another classic villain–Dr. Doom–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.
Klaw came out of the package with both legs horribly warped from the dynamic posing Hasbro is using for Marvel Legends. Hope Summers had one leg that was decently warped, but the warping on Klaw is painfully obvious and looks awful. Hope was fixed by boiling her and resetting her leg, but I haven’t had a chance to try this on Klaw yet. Regardless, I grade figures based on how they come out of the package, and Klaw looks terrible out of the package because of the warping and can barely stand up. I hate dynamic posing as it tends to warp limbs and loosen joints, and I’m not at all pleased to see Hasbro using it for this line. It’s unnecessarily harmful to the figures inside, and when I’m paying $15-$20 for an action figure I’d prefer it not be damaged by its own packaging.
In addition, I’m totally perplexed as to why Klaw’s sonic-gun arm is shaped the way it is. I’ve always seen it depicted as having a circular shape, but in this instance it looks like a smooshed oval instead. It doesn’t look like this in any of the prototypes, so I don’t know if it’s messed up because of poor sculpting, poor quality-control, or what. But considering the sonic gun-arm is Klaw’s absolute defining aesthetic feature, this is a huge problem and greatly diminishes the overall appearance of the figure. Also, because it’s not circular, I find myself wanting to rotate the gun, but there’s no articulation point at the end of the gun, rendering that desire moot.
Finally, while they’re not terrible by any stretch, Klaw has the weakest paint applications of any figure I received in my Series 1 case. There are minor stray lines and paint slop in a lot of conspicuous places on the figure, most notably his face. He looks fine in the photos and from a distance, but up-close the flaws are very apparent. Considering the gorgeous paint apps quality on figures in this series like Hope Summers, Klaw is just not up to snuff.
“Where Can I Buy It!?”
Klaw is part of Hasbro’s 2012 Marvel Legends Series 1. He’s packed at one-per-case, but seems to be less popular than the other figures in the assortment. As of writing, these figures have only been sighted at retail at Toys R Us, where they retail for $17.99 + tax.
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 Klaw!
Amazon has Klaw 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 Klaw available for $17.99 individually.
Overall: Klaw is not a character I ever cared about having a figure of—ever—but I can say without bias that this is a decent representation of him. The paint colors chosen for Klaw are spot-on accurate, loud, and bright; while his signature sonic-gun arm is exceptionally well-painted and much better than Terrax’s cosmic axe (unfortunately). On the flipside, the sonic-gun arm is misshapen either purposely or by poor quality-control–I’m not sure which, though I suspect the latter. Hasbro quality-control really needs to get their act together, because the dynamic posing they’re approving for this line is damaging figures that are meant as expensive toys for collectors. This is the figure from Series 1 that had the most quality-control issues by far, and unfortunately they hinder his defining characteristic (the sonic-gun arm) and his ability to stand up stably and naturally. I really do appreciate that Hasbro is showing right off the bat their willingness to take chances with this line by including characters like Klaw, but it’s not going to help sales or please fans if the quality-control on said characters is half-assed. In my eyes, Klaw is the worst figure in Marvel Legends Series 1 because of these QC issues and the only one in the set to earn a grade that’s merely average. Klaw is only recommended if you want his Terrax Build-A-Figure part or if you’re a true fan of the character. Otherwise, he’s the weakest figure of this series and simply not anything worth getting excited about.