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  • Writer's pictureMephitsu

Review: Marvel Legends MJ from Spider-Man: No Way Home

Updated: Dec 15, 2023



“If You Expect Disappointment, Then You Can Never Really Get Disappointed”


The 2021 release of Spider-Man: No Way Home was shrouded in a lot of secrecy ahead of its release due to the number of returning characters that appeared in the movie as cameos, or as key characters. This meant that Hasbro was most likely a little restricted by the Marvel Legends figures it could get on shelves to coincide with the December release. That amounted to figures of Doctor Strange, J. Jonah Jameson, and a trio of Spider-Man figures, all pretty much as seen in the trailers. Following the movie, there was a huge clamoring for many more figures from the movie and it has taken a full 2 years to finally bring the next batch of Spider-Man: No Way Home figures to store shelves. 

The Marvel Legends ‘No Way Home’ wave is dedicated to movie figures and goes down a similar track as the Across the Spiderverse releases by packing the figures onto blister cards and doing away with a build-a-figure option. The cards themselves are beautiful featuring a deep blue Spider-Suit-inspired backing overlaid with a bright gold panel that acts as the backing colour for the figure in its blister as well as depicting scenes from No Way Home with the three Peter Parkers. The movie logo sits above the blister while the Marvel Legends logo as well as the character name sits bottom left. Round the back is a repeat of the image of the three Peters, expanded now to show them on the scaffold of the Statue of Liberty and headed by the movie logo as though it were a movie poster. The standard Marvel Legends principle of a short character overview is then listed to the left of the card back. The decision to card this wave does mean there is no way of opening the figures without damaging the packaging in some way.

MJ - like Matt Murdock - is an interesting choice for the wave. Not so much in terms of her importance as a character but in the reality of choosing a casually dressed teenager figure vs the other two currently unreleased villains of Lizard and Electro who would certainly have been vying for a slot. This is the second MJ figure in the Marvel Legends MCU series, and this No Way Home version does borrow the legs from the first release. On top of these, we have a new torso piece recreating her striped jumper from No Way Home with its baggy sleeves. The main body of this sweater is a rubberised jacket over a white vest torso - and its cast in the base purple colour with white stripes painted on top. Proportions and scaling are good, with MJ standing a touch smaller than the Tom Holland Spider-Man. 

The head is a new sculpt and is much improved versus the original 2019 release. The likeness to actor Zendaya is faultless considering the scale and price point, enhanced with the face print tech across the eyes and mouth. The individual hair piece, cast in brown, features braids and hanging strands around the ears with the majority of the hair's length sculpted into a ponytail around the back. Most Marvel Legends hair pieces are left in a single tone, but MJ features a touch of additional lighter brown dry brushing to enhance the look.

Articulation is 16 points in total a reduced amount versus standard figures. The legs remain pinned having come from an older figure, while the arms are pinless. The articulation supports general posing and you can swap out the hand options from a pair of included fists to a second pair of outstretched hands to create some different gestures or to work with the sole included accessory. 

In quite a clever move, the key plot device of the movie - the Macchina di Kadavus - is included with MJ rather than with Spider-Man. This is the box that becomes a plot point in the movie and this is executed as a cast grey box with cut-out shapes around a further central bronze box to recreate the inner workings. The outer casing is then applied with a further metal paint app to give a metallic green sheen. The box can then be carried or held by MJ using the outstretched hands - while these cannot grip the box, they are shaped to cradle it or to slip into the gaps and hold it in place.

MJ presents a welcome addition to the wave, even instead of the other characters that might have been, providing us with some added background character options for display alongside the various Spider-Man variants. The head sculpt is an impressive improvement on the previous release, and the outfit is updated sufficiently - albeit with some reuse - to what MJ wears in the movie. The accessory is a lot of fun and can be used with MJ or with the existing Doctor Strange, Peter Parker, or in a wider diorama display. Sadly, the lack of a BAF does take away some incentive to purchase all six figures, and MJ, along with Matt Murdock, may suffer as a result of this - hanging around on the pegs while the more desirable key characters of Spider-Man (x3) become harder to find.





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About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...

 

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