For many years now I’ve been collecting “Marvel Universe” figures which are in the 3 3/4 inch scale (G.I. Joe-sized). The quality of them (or lack there of) is frustrating sometimes but once I commited to collecting the line I set out to build the most complete Marvel Universe I could. That meant buying just about every figure Hasbro put out, even characters I don’t really care for. As a result I have over 200 of them now
Along with Marvel Universe Hasbro has concurrently been releasing “Marvel Legends” figures in the 6 inch scale. My brother Doug collects them and has an impressive collection that rivals my 3 3/4 assortment. The larger scale allows for more detail but I’ve always found the majority of Marvel Legends to be kinda ugly due to too many joints and lackluster sculpts. To my dismay that has changed. The 6″ figures produced by Hasbro in the past two or three years have had excellent sculpts, great paint jobs, and build-a-figure accessories that allow you to build a bonus figure if collect an entire wave. It gets my vote for most improved toy line and so I’ve found myself envious of Doug’s newest purchases more and more often of late.
At the tail end of 2014 I caved and decided to pick up one or two Legends for myself. At first it was just going to be must-have characters that I didn’t already have in the smaller scale, like Agent Venom and Machine Man, but I quickly broke my own rule by buying Black Cat, Hawkeye, and Captain America. Then came a slew of spider-men and now my Legends collection has grown to 25 figures in a little more than a year and it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, after seeing the upcoming releases revealed at last weekend’s Toy Fair expo, I think my collection may double this year. That sucks for my wallet because Legends are twice as expense as Universe figures but worst of all is I’m still buying the smaller figures too, I just bought three new ones last week. Somehow Hasbro has duped me into collecting Marvel toys in two different scales. Damn them.
My most recent Marvel Legends purchase was Cottonmouth last week. Now this guy would not be considered a must-have in most collections but random D-list villains like him are one of the things I love most about the Marvel Universe. I’m thrilled every time one of them gets action figured for the first time. As an 8-year old I would’ve lost my mind if you’d told me I’d one day own figures of Boomerang, Tiger Shark , Swarm, and the entire Wrecking Crew.
Cottonmouth is primarily a Captain America villain having first appeared in issue 310 of the star-spangled Avenger’s solo book in 1985. That was the year Doug and I started collecting comics. Any character we encountered in the formative years of our collecting left a lasting impression on us (I can not wait for the upcoming Speed Demon figure; Amazing Spider-Man issue 281 represent!). I realize Cottonmouth is pretty goofy looking in his purple onesie and snake hood but its the kind of goofy that’s awesome in a way that only comics can convey.
This figure is pretty simple looking because that’s all it needs to be. Just look at how accurate it is to the comic art. The body Hasbro used is the standard Legends “bulky” body and I think it’s appropriate for the character. The head sculpt is brand new and it’s a great one. It has a ton of personality. I love the evil sneer. The scaly texture on the hood is cool too. I wouldn’t change anything about this head but it would’ve been nice if Hasbro had included an extra head with an elongated jaw. Cottonmouth’s super power is basically that he can open his mouth really wide and swallow you and that’s kind of hard to recreate with this smiling face.
This is a great figure but truthfully the best thing about it is that it leads me to believe that Hasbro might produce more members of his team, the Serpent Society. Puff Adder, Sidewinder, Diamondback, Death Adder! They’d all be so cool. I’d even be stoked for an Anaconda and she was always my least favourite. 8 out of 10.