One of the best aspects of Hasbro’s approach to the Marvel Legends line is nothings off the table. I wouldn’t have imagined a Vance Astro Marvel Legends figure was even a possibility five years ago. Now with the strength of the Guardians of the Galaxy brand and Hasbro’s release strategy, we’re on our way to having three Guardians teams.
It’s fitting of the original team that Hasbro started off with Vance. He was part of the acclaimed Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning run as well so he won’t be isolated in a Guardians comic display waiting on the rest of his teammates. Plus, he just looks cool.
Packaging: It’s been a couple of years since we’ve gotten the Guardians packaging so it was nice to see the purple accent box. If nothing else it’s nice to break up from the red and blue that typically dominate Marvel Legends packaging.
Vance doubles up with Darkhawk in an oddly titled Masters of the Mind subtitle. These never matter to me outside of ensuring the bio is entirely too generic. In the case of those characters that likely impacts their impulse buy status for moms and dads who’ve never heard of them.
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Likeness: Another reason Vance was an easy choice of the classic team is his relatively simple outfit. He’s a blank body that stands out from a paintjob as opposed to any sculpted parts. That’s absolutely a sound strategy from Hasbro. It fleshes out a team roster while allowing more wave resources to go to figures that require more tooling dollars.
Vance is just about how I envisioned with maybe the possible exception of being a little too broad. That’s more a subjective thing based on whoever is drawing him, but I consider Vance a bit slighter. He’s got a neutral expression, which works although he’s a rare character where an open mouthed look would work well.
Scale: Vance is scaled to fit in nicely with the existing Guardians team. But when Star-Lord is the only human of the bunch, scale is pretty relative.
Paint: Since Vance looks kind of plain, Hasbro spiced him up a bit with its patented pearlescent paint job. The blue and white combination is always a nice clash, but it looks striking with the paint effect. Like you might expect by this point, the blue and white paint blend wasn’t perfect for a mass market release.
There’s some smearing and paint rubs at the shoulder joints in addition to the blue plastic lining showing through along the sides. Vance’s Guardians’ logo came out nice and the paint around the eyes was solid.
Articulation: You can’t beat the Marvel Legends articulation formula for fun action figures. There’s nothing I could come up with posing-wise, I couldn’t accomplish with Vance. And the body is balanced so well at this point they can hit running poses without needing a stand.
Vance’s neck doesn’t have the same range of motion of most Marvel Legends, which is odd since he doesn’t have the natural restrictive elements like long hair. The joints are nice and tight ensuring for strong poses as well as the need for extra care when moving joints especially to protect the paint.
- ball-jointed shoulders
- elbow (double-jointed)
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Vance comes with the legendary shield of his favorite hero, Captain America. This is the standard Cap shield most recently seen with the Red Skull Onslaught wave version. It fits snugly on either of Vance’s forearms, which is a plus over the Cap figure.
Additionally, Vance has the left leg of the Build-A-Figure Titus figure.
Worth it? Despite the line being relatively fresh on shelves, I was able to get Vance for $16. The Marvel Legends line always feels like a reasonable price point at $20. Getting a figure for anything cheaper is a big win.
I’m betting Vance is going to be one of those figures we see reach clearance-like prices by Christmas. The risk in waiting of course is it could eventually be tougher for Hasbro to sell these B-list characters to retailers.
Rating: 8 out of 10
The paint issues were expected, but I’m glad to have another member of the Guardians. He’s not the flashiest member of this wave, but he makes for a solid addition to the cosmic ranks.
Where to get it? Toys R Us is where I got Vance, but I’ve seen remnants of this wave at Targets. I’ve also seen reports of the wave popping up at Walgreens so the options are plentiful. You can always grab him on Amazon.com.
You can check out the Sector 9 backdrop at www.extreme-sets.com.