Taskmaster was released in March 2020 as part of the Black Widow Movie MCU wave of Marvel Legends figures. The wave included other MCU figures of Black Widow, Red Guardian and Yelena Belova. There were also comic book figures of The Winter Soldier, Crossbones and Spymaster. The overall build-a-figure (BAF) was Crimson Dynamo, also comic book based.
After seeing the very striking designs used on the Red Guardian and Yelena Belova - with the Cold War era illustrations and colour schemes - it is disappointing in a way to see Taskmaster in a more traditional design box. It still carries the Black Widow movie logo over the character name - but the side art has reverted to a more standard image of Taskmaster on a white backdrop.
Another image is used on the back with Taskmaster in a more dynamic action pose and to the side of this a very brief piece of text that stays away from any spoilers.
"Taskmaster is armed with the ability to mimic an enemy's every move."
The same BAF checklist is used as we saw on the other figures with a breakdown of the Crimson Dynamo parts. There is no BAF part with Taskmaster
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
Taskmaster is sculpted with his hood up, so while the mask underneath is impressive it is difficult to get a clearer look at the full design and sculpt. The face section we can see has glossy black lenses for the eyes and a silver metallic colouring for the rest with sculpted nose and mouth which does - in a way - start to give the look of a skull.
The hood is not removable sadly, while it is an individual piece it is either glued or plugged into the head and I am not sure what damage separating it would do. I fully expect a second release for Taskmaster after the movie releases, with hood down.
The outfit is a very modern tactical armour with chest panels, shoulder and wrist protection and a tactical belt with holster (none working). The body is cast in a dark blue, with the orange and metallic blue painted over the top. The paint work is very neat with crisp lines between the corresponding colours. The only error on my figure was a small speck of silver that had dripped onto one arm.
Whatever you think of the onscreen design, it seems Hasbro have got it spot on this time round with a well proportioned and striking looking figure that is very different from the darker muted villains, quite often garbed in in green, we've seen to date.
It is clear when you open up Taskmaster why a BAF was not included. The inner tray is absolutely overflowing with accessories.
We start with a pair of fisted hands that come fitted to the figure. These allow Taskmaster hand to hand combat posing. And if fists aren't your thing, then the second pair of hands are a set of claws. These are a direct reuse from the Erik Killmonger Black Panther figure, now cast in blue plastic rather than black.
We also have a third set of hands to use on Taskmaster, a set of gripping hand which are required to wield his weaponry. All of the hands pop in and out without issue.
The first weapon we have for Taskmaster is his compound bow, and a solitary arrow. I though the bow may be one of Hawkeye's, but it appears to be a new design. The bow is cast in grey with painted orange ends to the bow. Hasbro are sticking with the fixed "string" in a thicker plastic. The arrow is also cast in grey, but has no paint apps. It is also a little bit warped at the head.
The bow fits into either hand, with the right hand more suited to drawing the arrow - which matches what we see on screen. The right hand has a trigger finger (it may be a reuse from somewhere) and you can just about slot the arrow into the gap between trigger finger and hand for a firing pose.
There is no quiver, or practical storage for the single arrow.
Taskmaster then has some melee weaponry int he shape of his shield and a sword. The shield is quite small, smaller than I expected. This seems to be the case on screen vs Red Guardians shield, but I think Hasbro might have gone too small. It is cast in grey with the three spokes painted in orange.
The Shield uses the clip/handle design we've seen on Red Guardian and on very early Captain America figures. With the handle out, Taskmaster can hold the shield in either hand. Or you can swap to the clip and clip it onto either wrist - this makes for better posing as the shield is flat to the arm and in a more natural position.
The sword is the final accessory, cast again in black plastic with an orange painted edge to the blade - and sadly on mine some orange paint splashed where it shouldn't be. The sword fits again into ether hand, but the grip is quite loose and it can slip out too easily if you dont straighten it up fully in the palm. While I am not complaining over the amount of accessories and hand options, a final extra hand to grip the sword tightly would have been appreciated.
Taskmaster has a total of 19 points of articulation.
The head is the most restricted of the joint due to the hood piece, while the head can turn it does squash the hood as you turn and gets harder the further you turn it round. Any up and down motion is lost as the hood holds the head in the same horizontal position - and if you do force the head to look down, this opens up a big gap at the back as the hood rises off the shoulder piece.
Arms are very mobile thanks to full articulation, and little blockage. The shoulder panels withdraw into the chest as the arms raise and the elbows bend back on themselves for some great fighting poses with any of the weapons - including bow drawing.
The legs too have full motion, with Taskmaster able to kneel and sit. There are some dynamic poses available in normal circumstances - and stick this guy on a flight stand and the possibilities open up even more.
All the joints are stiff, ratcheted as needed and Taskmaster stands perfectly well on his own.
There is very little to complain about with Taskmaster. He has a great sculpt, good paint job, excellent articulation and a very comprehensive array of accessories.
A lot will boil down to how much you like the design for the MCU Taskmaster, and the only real gripe beyond this is the hood section. It would have been nice to have had an option similar to Ghost with both hood up and down options.
It is a pity for boxed collectors that Hasbro veered away from the designs used on the other figures and Taskmaster is a little out of place with the other boxes from the line.
I score the MCU Taskmaster a very high 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, black widow, taskmaster, hasbro, crimson dynamo baf wave