Super-Articulate: The Marvel Legends Alpha Flight Boxed Set
They first appeared as antagonists. They came back as tentative allies. And they were the SECOND team spun off from X-Men into an ongoing series (New Mutants was first). They are Alpha Flight, and they finally came together in Marvel Legends form with the release of the Amazon exclusive boxed set.
Alphans got some figural representation in the ‘90s in the old Toy Biz line. In a series of two-packs, you got Vindicator, Snowbird, Northstar, Aurora, Sasquatch, and Puck. Guardian was a ToyFair exclusive. But no Shaman or Marinna. Flash-forward to Marvel Legends. We’ve gotten two versions of Guardian and Sasquatch; the most recent depictions were the Sasquatch BAF in the Deadpool assortment and the Guardian from this year’s Wendigo assortment. There was also a Puck BAF in an incredibly hard-to-find Wolverine assortment from several years back. But finally, five unmade-as-Legends Alphans and Puck get their new due in this set.
Let’s start with this. I love Alpha Flight. This boxed set was my favorite figure thing of 2019. The fact that all of these characters can congregate on a shelf in Legends form is a big deal to me. (Note to Hasbro: Marinna, Talisman, and a Box BAF soon, please.) I think that they did a great job overall, and I’m glad this exists.
Individual figures, then:
Vindicator: I’m going to start with a minor knock, first. I wish that the red used on Vindicator and the red used on Guardian matched up. Apart from that, this is a really solid job. Great work on the head, goggles, and ponytail. Color quibble aside, the paint op is good and the figure stands easily despite what could be a weight imbalance from the head. It’s pretty striking and looks cool next to Guardian.
Snowbird: Speaking of overcoming a weight imbalance from the head . . . Snowbird has a mass of well-defined blonde hair and that headpiece to contend with, but the figure still stands well. Nice work on the cape and the somewhat shiny finish. The only bummer is that there weren’t any included “transformation animals.”
Puck: I think this is an improvement over the original BAF. The face is great; it looks just like John Byrne’s original art. I discovered that I could pose him in a handstand, too, which is great. If you’re not aware, the character was frequently depicted like that or in mid-roll. I dig it.
Shaman: Welcome to figurehood, Michael Twoyoungmen. Again, this is pretty great. A completely accurate version of the original look of the character. I realize it’s the job of the sculpting team to capture a character’s likenesses, but I’m particularly impressed overall with this set. They really nailed the look in each individual case.
Aurora: I saw one Aurora online that had an off-center eye paint application. Mine is fine, although this is a small plastic flaw on the figure’s right cheek. That aside, it’s another strong entry. The black and white pops on both Jeanne-Marie and her twin. And yes, the hair is excellent.
Northstar: The OG Alphan and later X-Man looks quite here. I think that the face is about as good as Puck’s in terms of catching that Byrne flair. Like Aurora, solid coloration on the black and white.
The best feature of the group, for me, is when they’re assembled together. For purposes of the team photo, I used the original ML Sasquatch as opposed to the BAF (mainly because I like that this Walter looks a lot like the cover of #10 from the original series. I did, however, use the new Guardian.
What do you think, readers? I thought this box was a great addition to the line and I wouldn’t object to seeing more boxed sets used to fill out teams (the New Warriors would be a great candidate; also 80s/90s Avengers like Monica Rambeau as Captain Marvel, Quasar, Sersi, etc.) Thanks for reading!