- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Infinite Series action figures offer young and old collectors roughly 6-inch-tall, detailed versions of their favorite characters culled from superhero comics and movie universes.

Its latest collection pays tribute to the Guardians of the Galaxy with representatives from director James Gunn’s new live-action film and a few surprises from the team’s sequential-art origins.

The line-up includes cosmic comic book versions of Nova and Iron Man along with cinematic versions of Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon and Drax, a warrior looking like he was plucked from the silver screen.

Figure profile (paraphrased from Marvel Comics biographies): As the legend goes, Drax become so enraged when he lost his family to the Ronan the Accuser that he went on an unstoppable binge of vengeance until caught by the Nova Corps. He possesses superhuman strength and a healing factor making him strong enough to face any threat. Drax agreed to join Star Lord and Gamora to become part of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Accessories: Played by WWE wrestler Dave (Batista) Bautista, this grumpy goliath might have been confused with the Hulk in the movie, so designers changed his emerald skin tone origins to more of a camouflage greyish-green.

The shirtless action figure perfectly captures the result, accentuating his raised red tattoos on his arms, face and torso while adding a head sculpt that looks close enough to the bald-headed actor.

Drax wields a pair of long knives and his black-buckled boots have sheathes on each to store the blades when he is not skewering the enemy.

The figure gets a generous 20 points of articulation (including two pins for elbow and knee joints, ball neck, shoulders and thigh joints, ankle pins and wrist joints to name a few) making him a poseable powerhouse.

Of course, the Marvel Legends line is also well-known for its Build-A-Figure initiative offering a piece of a usually larger figure in each character’s package, assembled once the owner buys all of the set.

In this case, Drax contains the lower torso of the Guardian Groot, a tall tree-like humanoid looking a bit like a much more compact version of an Ent from the Lord of the Rings films.

Price: $19.99.

Read all about it: Marvel Comics’ 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy monthly series offers the source material for the team starring in the new movie.

The most affordable way to appreciate those adventures is through the Marvel’s Digital Comic Shop where dozens of issues are available to read on computers or mobile devices for a reasonable price.

For example, grab the first six issues for a mere $3.99 compiled in “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 1: Legacy.” Or, dive into the latest monthly Guardians book online with the virtual trade paperback “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 1: Cosmic Avengers” ($10.99) compiling the first four issues of the 2013 series.

What’s it worth: Hasbro has more than adequately picked up the Marvel Legends mantle from defunct Toy Biz since 2007. Although I missed the old days of a comic book inserted in the figure’s package, the company has continued to refine the sculpting and articulation process to deliver some great action figures. Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer is no exception. For pop culture connoisseurs who can afford him, they will consider the brute a must have addition to their collection.



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