Last weekend was a good one for Marvel Legends fans, with six new figures debuting at two different cons! And it’s not over yet, with a few more 2019 figures to be officially revealed at Lucca Comics & Games convention this week! But while we wait, it’s time for me to dig back into my deep cache of this year’s Hasbro figures that I haven’t reviewed yet, and today I’m reviewing one of the biggest (literally and metaphorically speaking) figures of the year: the Marvel Legends Sauron Build-A-Figure is selling for $60+ on the aftermarket–is he worth it?
One of the Marvel villains that I had just about given up hope on ever owning a super-articulated figure of was the classic X-Men pterodactyl-man, Sauron. X-Men fans had been begging for a Marvel Legends Sauron figure to deaf ears for around a decade and a half, so things seemed pretty bleak for Karl Lykos.
But at New York Toy Fair 2018 in February, Hasbro shocked the world by revealing that the Deadpool Legends Wave 2 Build-A-Figure was in fact a character only loosely associated with Deadpool himself: Sauron!
A major factor that’s always figured into our not getting a Sauron figure is the fact that he requires a lot of engineering and tooling that isn’t exactly easily reusable for many characters in the Marvel Universe. But Hasbro cleverly realized this year that while much of Sauron does have to be unique to this BAF, they could find a way to cost him out by sharing a lot of his base body figure with the Lizard Build-A-Figure released early in the year!
While you might worry that sharing the tooling for Sauron would lead to some compromises in the sculpt, it turns out that that’s not really the case. Every part of Sauron looks natural–looks right–to me. If I didn’t have the preexisting knowledge that he shares some Lizard tooling, it would probably never even occur to me he wasn’t a 100% new mold. Perfect reuse of parts!
Although collectors don’t technically pay anything for the Build-A-Figure parts included with the various figures in a wave, let’s be real here: plenty of us (including me!) buy a lot of figures that we otherwise would not because of needing parts for a desirable BAF. And so, even though its cost is (sort of) “free”, we expect a lot from a BAF. And in the case of Sauron, we are getting a lot–this figure is huge!
Along with being just as bulky as the Lizard BAF was, from wingtip to wingtip, Sauron is over 15″ wide! The wings can be folded or unfolded in order to enable various poses, and look sensational utilizing translucent plastic with paint over it. The textured webbing on the wings also looks lovely.
And speaking of texture: there’s not a spot on Sauron’s body that isn’t covered in sculpting detail. From the webbing of the wings to the scales on his limbs and body, it’s very clear that this is an inhuman creature that’s got “skin” much different from our own.
To me, the single most important point of articulation on this entire figure is the hinged jaw. Having Sauron’s beak be fully-closed, half-open or fully-open completely changes the personality and feel of this figure from intimidating to fearsome to downright vicious.
The other articulated part of this figure that really stands out to me is the tail. With both a swivel and a hinge, it can be rotated and positioned in a variety of ways, which helps to keep it out of the way. And unlike the Lizard’s tail, this one is firmly connected to my figure and isn’t going to fall off without a fight.
Given the enormity of this figure, you might work that Hasbro might cut costs by half-assing the deco. But as it turns out, that’s not true. The wings have a beautiful gradient of greens on them, there’s several paint colors on the pouches and rope on Sauron’s loincloth, and the paint fade from Sauron’s head to his beak is gorgeous. Parts of his limbs could probably use a bit more deco, but otherwise this is a terrific-looking figure.
Just about the only thing that I have some trepidations about with this Marvel Legends Sauron Build-A-Figure is the future integrity of the ball-jointed chest.Because of the sheer weight of the upper body (what with the wings and all), the ball-joint on mind is already feeling a bit wobbly. I’m very concerned that over-time, it’s gonna become like a bobble-head, so be cognizant of that when you pose this (dinosaur) guy.
Overall: The Deadpool Legends Sauron Build-A-Figure is a huge win for both Hasbro and Marvel Legends collectors. There’s a couple nitpicks I have about this figure (the limbs could use a bit of paint deco, the upper body ball-joint may weaken over time), but by-and-large, this is one of the most impressive BAFs that Hasbro has ever done. If you’re an X-Men fan, you’ve likely been waiting a long time for this pterodactyl-man figure–and you won’t be disappointed with him. Wonderful work, and almost impossible to improve upon.
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