Yelena Belova 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 Taskmaster. 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.
Yelena is packed in the usual Marvel Legends packaging with the scooped sides and top hanging tab. The artwork used on the Black Widow MCU figures is very reminiscent of Cold War Soviet Propaganda with lots of white, black and red themes. This can be seen in the side illustrations of Yelena - although with her white and green outfit it is less impactful than what we saw on Red Guardian.
The back of the box carries a very short piece about Yelena, with no significant spoilers which is the norm for MCU figures released ahead of the movie. We also get a checklist for the Crimson Dynamo BAF.
"A product of the Red Room's ruthless training program, Yelena Belova is a fiery assassin"
Yelena is a little side lined in the window thanks to the enormous Crimson Dynamo torso packed along side her. Her accessories are packed around her head and shoulders.
Paint & Sculpt 5/5
I must admit Yelena was the figure I was least excited for in the Widow movie figures, she looked quite "odd" in some of the promo images and I didn't quite see how the flak jacket worked with the jumpsuit, and couldn't see much of a likeness or even photo realism printing in the face.
How wrong was I....
In hand Yelena is a fantastic head sculpt, with a great likeness to actor Florence Pugh down to the shaping of her chin and the look of her dark green eyes. The hair is well done with sculpted cross braids - but it has been left as one colour. I think it also a separate piece, although the fit is very good. This may open up the option for a further Yelena figure in the future with perhaps her hair down as we see in some of the screen shots and in the trailer.
The jumpsuit is cast in a white plastic and is well proportioned for Yelena, this is not just a repainted Widow body. The wrist singers are there, and painted grey, as is the belt with its classic Widow symbol belt buckle. These lead down to some thigh straps, the right one linking in to a holster for one of the guns - the other to a holster full of knives. This second one is a cast piece, the knives are not removable.
Paint is crisp, with the white in particular very crisp and bright.
The figure is one of the first to use the new concealed elbow joints. This means the peg holes are no longer visible on the elbows with the joint only becoming visible at the back as the elbow is bent. This looks much better, particularly on the slimmer female arms.
It has not been used on the legs with the peg holes still visible at the knees.
Yelan is armed with two identical hand guns. Both are cast in black plastic with no other paint apps.
They fit into the hands, but the grip is quite loose and unlike a lot of my Legends figures Yelena has been dropping these at the slightest touch. When not in use, one of them fits in the right thigh holster. The left is sadly filled with knives and cannot be used.
To facilitate the guns, Yelena comes with two hands with trigger fingers that can slot into the trigger of the guns. She comes with the right one fitted, a matching left one is in the box.
If you aren't using her with the guns and want to go with a fighting stance the opposite hands are a pair of clenched fists.
Yelena is a fully articulated figure with a total of 16 points of articulation. This is usual form for a female body with the elbows - in their new concealed joint format - still being a single joint with a rotation
Head : ball joint neck
Body : torso ball joint
Arms : ball joint shoulder, concealed single joint rotating elbow, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rockers.
These new elbows bend really well to 90 degrees and well past. They do have a little issue in terms of straightening up fully as the piece that hides the ball of the elbow provides a block as the arm straightens fully.
Unusually for a modern Legends, the head is a simple ball joint with no pivot in place on the neck to facilitate further movement. The neck is slim enough that this doesn't matter too much.
The legs allow the figure to kneel, sit and most poses in between. All the joints are a tight fit and Yelena stands perfectly in a number of poses.
I have been pleasantly surprised with the Marvel Legends Yelena Belova figure, and my expectations wholly exceeded now she is in hand.
The promo images and what you see in the box does not do the figure justice and she is a very well sculpted and well painted figure with great likeness to the onscreen actor.
The new elbow joints work well and do improve the look of the slimmer female upper arms. Accessories do the job, but a second holster for the other hand gun would have been nice.
In summary Yelena Belova is an excellent release and if you are on the fence about getting her to sit alongside Taskmaster, Widow and Red Guardian - then don't. I score her a 5 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, Hasbro, Black Widow, MCU, Movie, Yelena, Belova, Red Room, Crimson Dynamo