Happy Friday everyone! Welcome back to another Action Figure review from Dan's ToyBox. Today we're going to be looking at the Marvel Legends Wakanda Forever retro style Black Panther action figure. This is part of the Attuma Build a Figure wave and has the potential to be a decent addition to any comic inspired Legends display shelf.
As the king of Wakanda, T'Challa is also heir to the mantle and power of the Black Panther. T'Challa, alone, is an exceptionally intelligent and gifted man. When enhanced by the powers of the Heart Shaped Herb, which links the Black Panther to the panther god Bast, he gains peak human strength, speed, endurance, agility, and stamina. He also develops superhumanly acute senses, and reflexes. These, coupled with his genius intellect, formidable hand to hand combat skills, acrobatic training, and tracking abilities, along with his vibranium enhanced costume combine to make the Black Panther one of the most dangerous men alive. The Black Panther first prowled the pages of comic books in Fantastic Four #52, released in April 1966. The character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Long-time readers know the standards that Dan's ToyBox uses to review each figure. For those of you that may be newer readers, we look at the figure's Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability before giving it an overall rating of zero to five toyboxes. So, without further wait, let's jump into our latest review.
The comic costume Black Panther comes with... one pair of fists, one pair of clawed open style hands and Attuma's BAF left leg. I suppose you could count the cape as well because it's removable... but in this case, no I won't as it's part of this costume style. The open hands are a bit confounding, to be honest because they really can't grip anything and basically make him look arthritic. Why not just make them fully open, with the claws extended in a slashing style? I'm not going to lie; this is disappointing and definitely not worth the price. No grade for accessories.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
Insofar as the new Marvel Legends Black Panther is concerned, the sculpting and design looks terrific. I was a fan of this costume in the comic books for a long time, with the short, half-cape design. However, in the comics, the suit was given shade and definition so that you could make out the good design elements in it. This figure is not given that treatment. Yes, the gloves and boots are a lighter gray, with the seam lines throughout and the eyes are painted silver but... the eyes are the ONLY paint applications. The gray parts are separate molds and there isn't even a wash over them to give the lines depth. The rest of the body is a solid black mass of plastic. Granted, yes, the sculpted detail is done very well and the use of the Vulcan body mold, moving forward, is a good choice, but this figure lacks any kind of depth. What makes it worse is that the arms, head, and legs are a matte black, while his chest and torso are glossy! For a figure that is as simple as Black Panther, in terms of design, this feels cheap to me. The entire body should be uniform... either gloss or matte black everywhere and really, why not add some blue shading under or along musculature lines to break the figure up a bit? Hasbro has put out a number of very well painted, cleanly detailed figures in the past, there's really no reason they couldn't have put a bit of extra effort into this one... maybe a bit of paint on the belt buckle, claws, or cape would have made a difference. Even the painted eyes are difficult to see if you're not holding the figure at the proper angle. I really, really want to like how this looks much more than I do, but it feels... unfinished... is the best word. No grade for appearance.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
The new Vulcan body mold is already showing itself to be a bit of an improvement over the old Sunfire and Bucky Cap molds in terms of versatility. However, that certainly doesn't mean it isn't without issues. Starting at the top... his head is on the ball hinge, which does increase upward and downward looking range. The collar on the cape is soft enough that it doesn't cause a terrible problem with him looking up, which is nice. The ball on the hinge doesn't allow for a great degree of "attitude" but you can tilt his head a bit and, of course, the head turns side to side very easy. I get excited when I see good butterfly joints and good sculpting to hide the lips and ledges. What bothers me is when the joints are limited in motion. I was watching Anthony's Customs review this figure on YouTube and he discussed the excessive length of the shoulder peg, which is what actually limits the movement at the butterfly joint. I have yet to pop an arm off and trim the peg down (don't know if I will) but if I do, I'll let you all know if it helps. The shoulder will fully rotate though, even with the cape on, and the arms raise out to better than a T pose. The bicep swivel is nothing new and works just fine and the pin less double-jointed elbows bend in far enough to touch Panther's head. The wrists on both sets of hands hinge easy and swivel. The diaphragm crunch works great going forward and allows for a deep forward crunch. Tilting back, however, looks awful as there is a ridiculous looking "ledge" at his upper abs. He doesn't even have the traditional "pregnant" look, more like a built-in tray for his dinner to sit on. Just bad sculpt work. The belt is a floating piece which doesn't hinder his waist swivel but does help hide the odd cut from the swivel. The splits are ok, but once again, placement of the peg/joints hinders the distance. There is no drop down at the hip either, which also prevents him from kicking forward very high and he cannot kick back at all. The double-jointed knees are also pin less and can bend in far enough to bring his heel to his back. The upper thigh and boot cuts work good enough, and the ankle hinge and pivot do their jobs. While I do have some concerns with the functionality, you can get this figure into some decent poses which make for good photography. His articulation is good enough for an A-.
The Marvel Legends Attuma BAF Wave: Black Panther action figure retails at $24.99 and that is what I paid for mine. It's awfully tough for me to say this figure is worth the price because we get bagged with so few accessories and, honestly, with the minimal (read eyes only) paint apps, it's difficult to justify paying $25 for a sculpted piece of near solid black plastic. This had the potential, I think, to be a great figure but instead feels lazy to me. Better paint apps would have made me feel it's worth the price. Sorry, no grade for affordability here.
Overall, while I have my share of gripes about the figure, I've definitely seen much worse. For what it's supposed to represent, the figure does an admirable job, but it's just not quite good enough, especially since there are other Legend Black Panthers that are much closer to the source material. This isn't a horrible figure, but it's not a "run right out and grab" figure either. To that end, I'll give the Marvel Legends Attuma BAF Black Panther an overall grade of:
3 out of 5 Toyboxes
There we have it, folks! Thank you, as always, for spending your valuable time hanging out in Dan's ToyBox! Until our next review... GEEK OUT!!!!