Who would have ever thought that we would be getting a figure like Arnim Zola as soon as Wave Two in the Return of Marvel Legends? It makes you wonder if Hasbro actually reads the collector forums. I honestly didn’t know much about him before he was announced for this line-up. He was featured in Captain America: The First Avenger, but he certainly didn’t look like this figure in that Marvel movie. I did read about him after the announcement though. He has actually been around since the late seventies. Arnim Zola has no superpowers, but he is a scientific genius specializing in genetics and cloning. He is not only capable of creating exact clone copies of his “clients”, he has also created monsters which are conditioned to do his bidding. Arnim Zola constructed a specially modified body which has no head. Arnim Zola’s face is located, via holographic projection, on his chest, and atop his shoulders is an ESP Box, a psychotronic device which he uses to exert his control over his monster creations. The Box can also be used as an offensive weapon in a limited way. Whenever his body is damaged, or utterly destroyed, Arnim Zola is able to send his personality to another one stored elsewhere, which gives himself a form of immortality. He has been an adversary of Captain America and the Avengers.
I have collected Marvel Legends since the Toy Biz days when they began, so I have come to associate a Build-a-Figure or a Collect and Connect figure with being overly large. When Hasbro took over the Marvel license they changed the recipe for the BaF to be more an extra figure and not necessarily a large one. The Arnim Zola Build-a-Figure is not a big figure, but it is an outstanding figure though. Even though this figure only has two different colors of paint on it, it still stands out. He is molded in orange and purple with painted gold highlights. They have really put some effort into the details on this figure though. The ESP device where his “head” should be is accurately detailed, the “neck” that supports the ESP device is very detailed. The folds in his shirt, gloves, and boots are very well done. Even the “Prod” device he holds in his hand is very detailed. But the feature that really makes this figure stand out is the holographic display on his chest and Arnim Zola’s face behind it. It is an awesome effect. I think it would have been nice if the face for the Red Skull variation would have been made to be interchangeable though. Some kind of snap-on where you could swap between the two would have been better.
Zola comes in at right around 6 and a half inches tall, so he is slightly out of scale at the 5′ 10″ the Marvel Wiki lists him at. That is such a marginal difference though, that it doesn’t bother me as much as Thunderball and Piledriver’s height do. He has a decent amount of articulation too. He has a pinned ball-joint “head”, hinged shoulders, Hasbro’s hinged elbows which are hidden under the folds of the sleeves and hinged swivel wrists. He has a cut waist, hinged hips with the upper thigh cut, double-pinned knees, a cut at the top of the boots and hinged rocker ankles. That’s 18 points of articulation, by my count. Not bad!
I still haven’t decided if I’m going to buy the additional figures needed to build the Red skull version of Arnim Zola. I have an extra Captain America from the case, so I would still need another Drax, Fantomex and Dark Wolverine to complete him. I can use the part from The mask-on variant of Daken, if I can ever find one. I just don’t know if I can justify a second Drax and Fantomex. I’m not a customizer, so I really have no use for a second of either of those. Besides, you have already read how I feel about Fantomex. definitely don’t need a second one of him. I may just bid on the parts from those two on e-Bay at some point. I tried swapping out the parts I have on the Red Skull chest. It was pretty hard to remove the parts from the original Zola chest after I had put him together the first time. I think I’d rather have a complete Red Skull version to display with my variants.
Hopefully, we will start to see restocks on this wave soon at the retail level. I’m still missing “Big Time” Spider-Man and “Masked” Dark Wolverine. The shelves are seriously bare in my neck of the woods and have been for a long while though. I hope you liked reading my thoughts on Wave Two of The Return of Marvel Legends the Arnim Zola Series. If you have any suggestions or things you would like to see in future articles, let me know. I’m here, eagerly awaiting news on Wave Three…
I like to thank the awesome folks at Enchanted Toy Chest again for supplying most of the figures for these reviews.