Stan Lee was released in the 6 inch Marvel Legends line in 2020. A figure of Stan Lee had been rumoured as far back as 2018 as a BAF. Stan's sad death in November 2018 likely delayed the plans and it wasn't until the Summer of 2020 when the figure finally got its release onto store shelves. It was now a single figure release in special signed "Excelsior!" packaging. Stan's figure was based on his cameo in Avengers (2012) and comes complete with the chessboard from the film - as well as a signed Captain America shield.
The packaging for Stan Lee draws much from the recent First Ten Years and 80th Anniversary sets than the standard Legends line. The box is squared off and uses a black pattern design as the backdrop - invoking the look of the pop art dotted artwork that we often see for Marvel characters. The Legends series sits top right, while the bottom of the box simply carries the Marvel logo - under this, where we would traditionally find the character name, in a silver box is Stan Lee's name.
The silver theme continues in a single border around the figure window and a replica Stan Lee signature across the window. To either side spine is the word "Excelsior" and this is also finished off with Stan's signature. These two panels are highly reflective and look superb when lit correctly.
The back of the box also follows a similar format to the First Ten Years / 80th Anniversary. We have a shot of the figure against a blurred backdrop recreating the scene where he is playing hess and commenting on the recent events at the end of Avengers. To the side of this is a movie poster, and underneath a brief piece of text to add context.
"Inspired by Stan Lee's cameo as a skeptical chess player in Marvel's The Avengers"
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
Stan is a fantastic likeness, including his grin and trademark moustache. The head uses face print technology to really bring out the likeness to Stan from 2012 and this includes shading around the mouth and eyes to add realism. The eyes are painted, but are behind a set of sunglasses. These are well shaped but the frames are perhaps a tad to thick - but to be expected at this scale. The eyes are just visible behind the translucent lenses.
The body is a good match to the beige shirt and blue jacket Stan's wears in the Avengers cameo scene. These are cast in their base colour with the buttons on the shirt painted. The trousers are a re-use from the original Coulson figure and subsequent suited figures since. This isn't a bad thing as they work fine with the outfit. The only issue is that when you line up the thigh swivel to the lines of the trousers, this does turn the feet inward - so you either have to live with offset trouser seams, or inward turned feet when Stan is standing neutrally.
Stan's first accessory is the chessboard he was playing on in the Avengers. This is the board when folded and is made up of a slab of plastic with some chess board size squares etched into the top. The only other detail are the gold hinges one one side which are the only paint apps.
The board can be snuck under Stan's arm - but it does little else.
The other accessory has nothing to do with The Avengers or his cameo, and is more fan service with the inclusion of Captain America's shield - now emblazoned with Stan's signature. This is a re-use of the recent Cap shields from Civil War onwards with the two looped straps on the back. it slots up and onto either arm, but to keep the signature orientated it has to be held quite straight.
Of course Stan Lee did not create Captain America, and the shield inclusion is likely more one of convenience as a piece Hasbro could recreate easily for the set. It would have been a nice tribute, if they wanted to go down this route, with other parts such as a Spider-Man web slinging hand (as often posed by Lee) or an Iron-Man gauntlet hand and forearm.
Stan comes with a remarkable amount of articulation, with the full range of 19 points of articulation included. This is more down to the body going on for use in a Spider-Man release than specifically designed for the Stan Lee figure.
Head : ball joint pivot neck
Body : T-Joint chest, rotating waist
Arms : ball joint shoulder, bicep swivel, double joint elbows, wrist pivots
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rockers
The ball joint neck is very mobile, but the large pivot does pose some aesthetic issues.
The arms and legs are fully moveable, with no armour or capes or cloaks to impede Stan. He could do any range of action poses if you wish. We played around with a few of his photo poses such as the Spider-Man web slinging - and as mentioned above, including a web slinging hand would have been awesome.
All the joints are tight and secure and work fine. The only issue is back to the turned in feet and standing Stan will require the thighs to be swivelled out and a bit of forward lean on the torso.
The Marvel Legends Stan Lee figure is a wonderful tribute, and is well executed in terms of sculpt, paint and articulation. The packaging is well thought out too and makes for a great display item if you choose to leave Stan sealed in the box.
The issues in the set are really just those legs, which don't quite line up to the sculpt of the trousers without turning the feet inward unnaturally and this has a knock on effect to the stability. I also query the accessories in terms of context to the movie this cameo figure is based on - or indeed their context to Stan.
I wonder if Hasbro will leave it as that for Stan Lee, or will we have further Stan Lee cameo figures to look forward to. I wouldn't be opposed to that and would love to see future Barber Stan from Ragnarok, Mail Man (Tony Stank) from Civil War or WW2 Veteran Stan from Age of Ultron.
I score the Stan Lee Marvel Legends figure 4 out of 5.
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...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, marvel, legends, avengers, assemble, stan lee, excelsior, cameo