Toys / Comics to Toys / Marvel Legends

Luke Cage

By Big Bear
April 23, 2007 - 09:01

All hail the people's champ!!!  Originally created by Archie Goodwin and John Romita Sr., the man known formerly as Carl Lucas became a walking icon for the black community in the year when he was introduced as Luke Cage, Hero for Hire in the first issue of his very own comic book in 1972. At that time he was only one of a handful of Black (African-American), super heroes.  He was a complete soloist under the moniker, Power Man, before he joined forced with Iron Fist in issue # 48.  Before that time, Marvel only had the Black Panther, who was an African prince and an Avenger, and the Falcon, was known strictly for being a partner of Captain America.  Luke Cage, however, stood on his two feet and made his own rules.   Now with his resurgence in popularity and his exploits in the New Avengers, Toy Biz decided to make an action figure out of this comic book icon.


At first I hated the idea of a retro Luke Cage, as I was hoping for a modern version as he appears in comic books today.  However, my mind was quickly changed as I found this version is top notch and came out looking great.  Nostalgia was well re-created when they put together this figure. When you look at Luke Cage and think of the old-school version of this hero, what's not to love?  This Luke Cage action figure is almost a perfect replica of the look he had on the cover of  issue # 1 of his own comic book.  John Romita Senior would be proud.


As stated, the sculpt is an amazing replica of the cover of issue number # 1 of his original comic book series.  This version of Luke Cage is a product of the 1970's, so we find him as he was dressed in his "Power Man" garb from his "Hero for Hire" days.  From his metal head band down to his yellow shirt à la Studio 54, his sculpt is a great replica of his original design.  He is muscular, tough looking, and has a face ful of all the angst one feels if they had to live one the run.  He even has his classic steel chain belt sculpted around his waist.  The only flaw in the sculpt is in the left hand.  While the Right hand is sculpted into a fully formed fist, the left is a straight palm and extended fingers.  The outer parts of the pin on which the fingers are individually hinged to the hand make his hand to look large and deformed.  Thankfully, that is the only thing that takes away from the sculpt of this action figure.  Until there is a modern version of Luke made, this one will do.


The paint is a problem on this figure.  While the costume design is hard not mess up, with a yellow shirt and black pants, it is the body paint that is faulty.  The application are uneven as his face is much darker in hue than his chest area.  Also the way the paint was applied on the hands of Luke Cage are atrocious.  There are at least two different types of brown used and in some places it looks as if it is over lapping the yellow from his shirt.  Even the ball joint in his neck is of a two-tone color and takes away from the basic look of the figure.


The scale of Luke Cage is one department they hit right on the head.  Look is a tall figure by Marvel Legends standards.  Taller than most of his Avengers counterparts outside of  Thor, Luke Cage stands tall in this department as a good sized imposing figure.


Luke Cage is very stable.  His legs are strong and sturdy.  One you pose him, he is not moving.  Nothing wobbly or weak on this action figure so getting him into a great action stance will not be a problem.  Although there is actually a peg hole under his feet, he has no need for any stand to keep him standing up.


Luke Cage is very moveable and aside from his straight fingers on the left hand, the articulation looks smooth and unobtrusive.  The right hand, as stated, is a solid fist, yet he has double wrist articulation for bending and rotating his fist.  He has a ball jointed neck, thighs, and shoulders.   Luke's thighs move freely and do not need to be rotated at the thigh area just to get him to move forward or to make a kicking motion.  There are the standard double pin joints for the elbow and knee areas.  The top of the boots rotates, and his ankles have a hinge which allows for free all-around motion in his foot area. Rotations at the biceps and a swivel for his toes round this figure.  He is listed as having 32 points of movement and who can argue?  Posing will not be one of the problems with Luke Cage


Toy Biz does well in this category.  I normally test my figures with falls from tables to see how they measure up and Luke Cage is built to withstand a few falls and scrapes.  He is a very solid figure that should have no problem standing the test of time.


Luke Cage comes with three accessories.  He has the left side of Mojo's legs, a diorama of his original arch-enemy, Willis Stryker, and a copy of Luke Cage, Hero For Hire # 1.  In comparison to other toy companies, Toy Biz has always been good at giving the consumer more their money.  This figure is no exception.


This is the typical Clam-shell design for Toy Biz's Marvel Legends brand. Don't expect to pen this package without use of a knife or a pair of scissors.  While colorful, it is not a fantastic look. The best feature is that there is a card which has on the basic a brief  bio of the figure that you are purchasing with a power meter so that one can caught the abilities of each comic book character in the series.


When I bought his figure, it was at a discounted price of $6.64 before tax.  The standard price was $8.99.  Some figures from this line can still be found selling anywhere from $5.00 to $9.00 each.


Recently, shops such as Toys R us and Kay Bee still have them for sale. They can also be found at various toyshop sites on the internet.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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