Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#30: Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America The Winter Soldier - Black Widow

If I could choose only one figure from the Winter Soldier, it would have been Black Widow. Hasbro obnoxiously didn't make a six inch Widow figure for the Avengers line, so demand for this figure was already pretty high. Naturally, Hasbro's case assortments included only one Widow figure per case. It's unfortunate that the "female action figures don't sell" mindset is still very much in effect, especially when that figure includes a key component for a build a figure. Not surprisingly, I had quite a time getting my hands on this figure without paying ridiculous gray market prices. I saw them at the toy show for 60 dollars, which is about how much it was selling for on Amazon, whereas Ebay going prices were in the slightly more reasonable 50 dollar area. Buying online was otherwise out of the question because every site that had a single listing for Widow was out of stock, and I didn't want to buy a whole case. Hasbrotoyshop.com finally added a "coming soon" listing, so I religiously checked it, waiting for it to come in stock. Early one morning, Black Widow was finally in stock! I added the figure to my shopping cart, but on the final step of checkout I was greeted with this screen:

 After that, the figure would alternate between showing as out of stock and in stock for the next few minutes. Each time I tried to order one, I was greeted with the same message right before getting to the final step of checkout. I e-mailed customer service, but they couldn't help, saying that it might be re-stocked at some unknown point in the future. I also had Black Widow saved to my Amazon wish list, which I began obsessively keeping an eye on, checking several times a day to check for price variations. It was normally around 60 bucks but would occasionally go up or down a little, then one day, it showed as being normal retail price. By the time I got to the product page, it had gone back up to scalper pricing. Having a good feeling about it and some time to kill, I added the Winter Soldier figure to my cart, as it was currently in stock at retail price, so that if (when) I was able to get Black Widow for retail price, I'd be able to get free shipping. The figure showed as retail price a few times, but went back up before I could get an order through. Eventually, after much reloading and cursing, my order went through, so I was able to get Black Widow without paying a ridiculous markup. I felt like pinching myself to make sure I wasn't sleeping.

Having gone through all that, it is a relief that it's a good figure. It looks good, and the facial likeness is decent enough. I think she looks a little squinty, almost as if she's smelling something unpleasant. The costume is well detailed, with differing textures, and what little paint there is on the figure is in good order. There are a couple quirks of articulation. Since she has thinner arms than her male line mates, Black Widow doesn't have a bicep swivel and double hinged elbows, instead getting swivel-hinge elbows. So her arms don't bend as far. But really, my only complaint about the figure is her lack of accessories. She gets an extra head, modeled after her appearance in The Avengers, and two sets of hands, one open, and with trigger fingers extended for holding guns. But she doesn't include guns. Okay, she does, but they are sculpted into the holsters and are non-removable. This is Loki's doing, I know it.

I have seen reports that future assortments will include two Black Widow figures per case, so that may be a good sign for the near future for anybody who has been unable to get their hands on this figure. Hopefully your local stores restock more often than mine!

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