Yesterday I started off my Marvel Legends Series 2 Reviews with one of the most high-profile entries in the new Marvel Legends line, Future Foundation Spider-Man, and today I’m moving on to one of the most obscure choices: the modern re-imagining of Drax the Destroyer. Drax is a character who’s been dead for several years after being featured in the low-selling (but beloved) Guardians of the Galaxy series, a part of the now-abandoned cosmic section of the Marvel Universe, and is best known for temporarily managing to kill Thanos, a much more popular character who still doesn’t have his own Marvel Legends figure. To say that Drax’s inclusion in the second series of Marvel Legends is strange would be an understatement. While an incredible action figure can sometimes make people take notice of a previously unfamiliar character, I don’t think this figure is quite at the level where Drax’s popularity is going to ignite because of it…
I never thought I’d be reviewing a Drax the Destroyer figure, and I certainly didn’t foresee that I’d be reviewing two of them within a year of each other. The Marvel Universe 4″ Drax I reviewed in last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy team set was one of my surprise favorite Marvel Universe figures last year, so I was intrigued by the possibilities when he was announced for Marvel Legends Series 2. One of the aspects of the Marvel Universe line that makes it so endearing to me is the ridiculously wide hemisphere of characters it releases, so I’m pleased and impressed to see Marvel Legends taking a page out of the Marvel Universe playbook and releasing a relatively obscure character.
Drax’s all-new head sculpt makes him look more like a hardass killer than he does a superhero, but given his character I doubt Drax would argue with that assessment. Drax also has a sculpted knife strapped onto his forearm, which adds to the depiction of Drax as a deadly warrior.
The paints used on Drax are all neat and clean, and I couldn’t find any slop or uneven lines on him anywhere to complain about. The tattoos add a lot of intricacy and color to what would otherwise be a very drab figure. I’m not overly thrilled with the paint wash used on his upper-body, although some might really like that it makes Drax’s skin appear darker and more realistic than that of his Marvel Universe figure.
While not quite up to the level of Future Foundation Spider-Man, Drax still features the Marvel Legends signature abundance of articulation. Drax has 26 points,including a ball-jointed head, hinge neck, ball-jointed shoulders, swivel biceps, double-jointed elbows, swivel forearms, upper torso ab crunch, swivel waist, ball-jointed hips, swivel thighs, double-jointed knees, and double-jointed ankles.
Like his Marvel Universe counterpart, Marvel Legends Drax includes two weapons: a pair of lethal-looking twin knives that can be stored in the holsters on the back of his belt. Drax’s hands have been sculpted to hold the knives tightly and securely, and I had no problems at all posing Drax slaughtering alien menaces and supervillains with them.
Drax also has a couple of bonus items that come with him related to Series 2′s Build-A-Figure, Arnim Zola. Drax contains the left leg piece of Arnim Zola. I’ll talk about these pieces in-depth when I review Arnim Zola.. In addition, Drax comes with a unique fold-out piece of paper with a “Tale of Arnim Zola” featuring Deadpool on one side (instructing collectors on what comic they can read to continue the story), and a checklist/diagram for how to build Arnim Zola on the reverse side. I actually rather enjoyed the recap of the Deadpool & Bob (Agent of Hydra) vs. Arnim Zola storyline, and I wouldn’t mind hunting down the particular issue summarized on the insert, as it’s wackiness is about at the level that I most enjoy. These inserts are no replacement for the full comic books that Hasbro Marvel Legends included, but they add an air of importance to the BAF and are 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, as characters like Drax are obscure enough that anyone who doesn’t read some of the lowest-selling Marvel comics may legitimately have no idea who he is. 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.
The biggest and most obnoxious fault with this Drax figure is his belt. Like the Marvel Universe Drax, the belt is a separate add-on to the figure’s mold. Unlike the Marvel Universe Drax, the engineering for the belt has been done exceptionally poorly. The waist on Drax has been sculpted with a groove for the belt to rest in and be kept in place, but the belt itself was sculpted too large and cannot be forced into the groove by any means. As a result, the belt flops freaking everywhere every time I pick Drax up, and forcing it down onto his waist only succeeds for a few moments. My obsession compulsion cannot deal with this, though I really did try.
Another thing making my OCD-sense tingle is the overall looseness of the joints on Drax. Whereas my Series 1 figures all had tight, well-produced joints, Drax feels like a string doll or something. His head is so loose it’s like a bobblehead, his upper torso ab crunch is constantly rattling back and forth, and his legs sway back and forth by themselves whenever I pick him up. The high quality of the joints that I’ve had throughout the rest of the revived Marvel Legends so far isn’t present in Drax at all.
As far as the body choice itself goes, this Drax is much narrower and less muscular than the Marvel Universe figure. I actually really liked the ‘roided-out appearance of the Marvel Universe figure, so I’m disappointed to see this Drax looking so much less buff and powerful.
Finally, Drax doesn’t have the ankle rockers that some of the other figures in Marvel Legends Series 2 have. This is a legitimate problem here in spite of his double-jointed ankles. His boots are so restricted by the sculpting on Drax’s pants that they can barely be moved much at all, and it makes getting Drax into any kind of dynamic pose a lot harder than it should be.
Drax is part of Hasbro’s 2012 Marvel Legends Series 2, where he’s packed at one-per-case. 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 Drax the Destroyer!
Amazon has Drax 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 2 for $124.99 as well as Drax available for $19.99 individually.
Overall: Drax is one of the first major letdowns for me in the 2012 Marvel Legends line. While he’s an odd selection for the line, I don’t really mind that since he opens the doors for Rocket Raccoon later on (I hope, I hope). What I can’t get past is that this 6″ figure has pretty much been shown up by his 4″ Marvel Universe counterpart. I liked the body mold used on that Drax a lot more, the paint color appealed more to me, and his joints and belt didn’t flop around uncontrollably. This Marvel Legends Drax is by no means a bad figure, but he’s certainly below average compared to some of the smash hits in the line like Hope Summers and Steve Rogers Super-Soldier. If you really like the modern Drax then this figure is a worthwhile purchase, but with no other Guardians of the Galaxy released or even a Thanos for Drax to fight against, this figure is one of the first in the revived Marvel Legends that you can pass on without missing out on much.