Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: Marvel Universe Team Packs - Inhumans

I have been waiting for a Black Bolt for a long time now. Been wanting him just about since I heard the Marvel Universe line announced. As soon as the Inhumans team pack was announced, I thought “how can they screw me out of my Blackagar Boltagon?” Surprisingly, they didn’t. Now he’s available as part of the Inhumans team pack, along with Karnak and Medusa. Keep reading to find out how this team turned out. 

The packaging for the Marvel Universe team packs continues to be solid. You get a nice window packaged box with a decent sized image of the characters as they appear in the comics. MODOK (in his Kollector persona) is hanging around on the back demanding more of your money. If Hasbro keeps cranking out three packs with three new characters, MODOK will get his way.


Kick it off with Karnak. For team pack purposes, he is known (in toy form) as “Marvel’s Karnak” so you don’t get him confused. Hi-yo! For those unfamiliar, Karnak is the Inhuman’s resident priest, philosopher and martial arts master.

The sculpt on Karnak is nice. His egg-shaped melon looks just like I remember him in the pages of Marvel. His mask looks like it was stolen from Hal Jordan, and the bands on his hands don’t do anything to detract from his Lantern-like similarities. The waist band/loin cloth works well as a separate piece and leaves plenty of room for leg movement.

Karnak comes through on the flexibility scale, which is important for any martial arts master. It doesn’t do any good to have a karate master with five points of articulation. This is the Marvel Universe standard, so there’s not a lot else to say. He moves.


Next up is Marvel’s Medusa. Marvel Universe is still a line severely low on female figures, so seeing another female here is good. She’s based more on the modern version than the 60s Jack Kirby style. I can deal with that.

As you would expect, the main thing that pops out about Medusa is her hair. And wow, is there plenty of it. All the way to the ground, as it turns out. While the hair is fairly well sculpted, I just can’t help but think of Tetsuo’s arm. One of the plusses about those long locks is that it makes for a bit of a tripod for standing the figure up. The paint job is pretty solid. There’s a nice mask on the face, a good purple unitard, and some nice metallic pinkish-purple gloves. My particular figure has a little purple up on her elbow, but paint problems are nothing new in the Marvel Universe line, sadly. Her hands are posed in a way that's either good for casting spells or for surrendering, depending on the situation. 

The articulation on the female Marvel Universe figures has never seemed quite as good as their male counterparts. Medusa is no different. The hair sculpt weighs the head down as well as obstructing movement, so the head doesn’t move a whole lot. The other problem is the hips. It’s funny, they look articulated, but they don’t move much at all, so they may as well be static. It really limits what you can make Medusa do, pose-wise, which is disappointing.

Black Bolt

Last, but far from least, is Black Bolt. Now I can finally get rid of that Modern Age Black Bolt I’ve been hanging on to for years. This guy is what I think of when I think of the Inhumans, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally get him in the Marvel Universe line.

The sculpt is actually quite good for a more or less generic male figure (sculpt-wise). The horn on his mask turned out well, and the face sculpt is solid. Glad they didn’t give him an open mouth, or we’d all be dead. The wings are attached via bands at the biceps. For the most part, this device works pretty well. The silver highlights on the outfit look nice. My Black Bolt is missing a little bit of paint under his right eye, but again, quality control issues are far from news on a Marvel Universe figure.

Mr. Boltagan features full articulation, and he has the sculpt to use it. Unlike some figures, Black Bolt can actually look up/look forward while he’s flying. Definitely a plus. The bands that attach the wings allow for a good range of motion for the arms, and still look solid in a number of poses. Like Medusa, his hips don’t move much, but on this figure I don’t really need them to, so I’m willing to overlook it.

Overall, the Inhumans team pack presents you with three all-new figures for less than you would pay for three carded figures. Sadly, this is the exception rather than the rule. Given that, I say the Inhumans are definitely worth picking up. These are starting to show up at e-tailers, although I haven’t heard anything about them showing up at brick and mortar stores yet. Me, I’d probably pay the $27 just for Black Bolt, but sometimes I’m a sucker like that.