Figure Reviews

Marvel Legends Retro High Evolutionary review

High Evolutionary is a rare character as a semi-prominent Marvel villain — who even headlined his own event — that didn’t get a Toy Biz Marvel Legends figure.

It’s taken a while, but Hasbro remedies that with its first Marvel Legends High Evolutionary as part of the Retro Fantastic Four wave. I was pulling for Wizard and Trapster as the wave villains, but High Evolutionary and Psycho Man are solid options too.

We’re a few characters shy of the Evolutionary War, but at least we’ve got the main villain. Let’s see if this figure is the next step in the Marvel Legends line.

Package:  High Evolutionary gets the nice cartoon style drawing in the front and back with the massive bubble showing off the figure and his lack of accessories. This bubble was designed to accommodate The Thing, but without accessories other figures look barebones in comparison since they’re not filling out the package space as much.

I wanted a bit more from the bio since High Evolutionary is a character that isn’t exactly well-known to the non-diehard Marvel fans.

marvel legends high evolutionary review -package bio

Likeness:  Hasbro did a really nice job on the sculpt itself although it’s a little frustrating that they chose a more modern design for a figure in the Retro line. The older version of High Evolutionary has more color and seems a bit broader in stature.

marvel legends high evolutionary review - wide shot

This version is sleeker and has a more intricate belt design. As a chatty character who loves pontificating, High Evolutionary probably should have had an open mouth or gritted teeth sculpt. And it would have broken up the red/pink from his eyes down to his chest.

The head sculpt packs a lot of good detail with the various paneling of his helmet right down to his metal mohawk. Surprisingly he wasn’t created in the 80s. It’s also surprising that Hasbro went for this design since it’s more complex than the older one, which did allow for some part reuse — namely the gauntlets.

marvel legends high evolutionary review - mohawk detail

I always dig the subtle costume elements like how the studs on the outfit form an H. And while I would have preferred a more basic belt (to provide a color break), this more intricate one is captured very well. Finally, Hasbro didn’t skimp on the lining for his inner armor.

marvel legends high evolutionary review - head and armor detail

There’s a weird mold line that almost looks like a crack in the collar down to the left breastplate. This seems to be a common error though and was consistent on every figure I’ve seen on shelves.


Scale:  High Evolutionary is listed as 6’2″ though he seems shorter and definitely too scrawny — remember he’s supposed to be in a suit of armor. Hasbro has fixed that long running problem with latter Iron Man figures, but this feels like a step back.

marvel legends high evolutionary review - scale with thor and johnny storm

He’s also been known to change his size growing large enough to battle Galactus so it’s not so much inaccurate that he’s this height, but he could still stand being fuller.

marvel legends high evolutionary review - facing thor and johnny storm

Paint:  High Evolutionary’s colors seem to shift depending on who’s coloring him. Sometimes his clothing is red and other times it’s hot pink. Hasbro seemed to try a compromise with a reddish pink. It’s OK though it’s not helped with the color choice for the armored sections.

From the various reference pictures, I checked out it seems like his armor has been colored more of a white/silver combination and less blue/silver like the figure. It makes one of the more visually striking characters look a little dull.  This is a tough one though as it’s a combination that’s more open to interpretation than Hasbro just botching it.


marvel legends high evolutionary review - ready for battle

Articulation:  High Evolutionary isn’t much of a brawler. In most comics I’ve seen him in, he’s more of a ‘dispatch his goons against various heroes’ and shoot energy blasts from a safe distance.

marvel legends high evolutionary review - vs thor

If he needs too, High Evolutionary can throw down and this figure is able to use both his attack styles with the default right fist and outstretched left hand.

marvel legends high evolutionary review - facing off with hercules and captain america

My figure’s right arm bicep is loose and spins too easily. It needed to be a bit tighter.

marvel legends high evolutionary review - vs fantastic four


High Evolutionary has:

  • neck
  • ball-jointed shoulders
  • bicep
  • elbow
  • wrist
  • wrist hinge
  • torso
  • waist
  • hip
  • thigh
  • knee
  • shin
  • ankle

marvel legends high evolutionary review - towering over the fantastic four

Accessories:  There’s no Build-A-Figure piece in this Retro set, but unlike his wave mates, High Evolutionary doesn’t have a slew of accessories to balance that out to any degree.

marvel legends high evolutionary review -accessories

All he comes with are swappable matching hands with an open right hand and a left fist.

Worth it?  High Evolutionary’s standard price is $22.99. He’s already hurt by the lack of a BAF piece and his pitiful accessory count is another big blow.

I know he’s got a lot of new sculpting, but Hasbro was doing all-new sculpted figures at the $20 price point and including a generous amount of accessories. The value isn’t great for him and he’s definitely a figure worth waiting on a sale.

I got him for $15 apiece, which feels like a more reasonable price.

marvel legends high evolutionary review - arms up

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Outfit and scale aside, this is a nice addition to the villain ranks of the Marvel Universe. There’s some nice detail and he is a unique character in the lineup.

marvel legends high evolutionary review - arms spread

Where to get it?  High Evolutionary is still pretty easy to track down. He’s available on Amazon at $18.99, Target for $19.49 and Entertainment Earth.