Marvel Universe Collecting – Black Widow

Hi world! It had been a very busy month, but I’ve managed to think of a topic to blog about, and here I present to you the latest showcase from my awesome toy collection: The 4″ releases thus far of Marvel Universe’s Black Widow.

Black Widows assemble! We have six Black Widows here.
(From left)
(1) Black Widow from the Marvel Universe line (Series 2 #011)
(2) Black Widow from the Marvel Universe Avengers with stand line
(3) Black Widow from The Avengers line #14
(4) Black Widow from Avengers Assemble
(5) Black Widow from Avengers: Age of Ultron
(6) Black Widow from Marvel Gamerverse line

In the Marvel comics, Natalia Romanova was a Soviet spy who was trained from young in the skills of espionage, assassination, marksmanship and the martial arts, brainwashed and indoctrinated in the Communist system, going by the codename “Black Widow”. However, after a couple of missions in the United States she decides to defect and work for S.H.I.E.L.D. Black Widow also goes by the name “Natasha” which is an informal version of “Natalia”.

Another Black Widow with a different appearance was released as part of the “MU Avengers with stand” line. She shares the same head (and the same buck) as Psylocke, and a couple of Jean Grey variants.

Yep, it’s the same head and buck.
From left: Black Widow, Psylocke, Dark Phoenix, Jean Grey (X-Factor), Marvel Girl (X-Men First Class)

MCU’s Black Widow was released as part of “The Avengers” line. For “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, the same figure was re-released, this time she’s given blue highlights as per her appearance in the movie. In the movies the Black Widow’s real name is Natalia Alianovna “Natasha” Romanoff, which is somewhat inconsistent with the Russian family name system of using the feminine form “Romanova” for girls.

This is Black Widow’s appearance in the animated series “Avengers Assemble”. It is a reuse of MCU Black Widow catsuit buck, with a new head and belt.

And this Black Widow was released as part of the recent Marvel Gamerverse line, she is an almost complete reuse of MCU Black Widow buck, except for her head, which is a repaint of Gamora’s head. Amazingly, Black Widow’s hairstyle looks just like that in the “Marvel Vs. Capcom” game.

Comparison between Marvel Gamerverse Black Widow and Gamora. It’s such a clever re-use that it makes you think whether Gamora’s head sculpt was designed with Black Widow in mind.

We have a special appearance by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents Maria Hill and Sharon Carter (aka Agent 13). I am showcasing them here as they somewhat share the MCU Black Widow catsuit buck. Maria Hill is a repaint of the Black Widow buck with a new head, while Sharon Carter uses Black Widow’s legs and belt together with a new torso and head.

Black Widows in action.

Heck, let’s just add Maria Hill and Sharon Carter to the mix. Femmes Fatale in action.

A couple more worthy mentions:

This is the cancelled Iron Man 2 three-pack box set of Iron Man, War Machine, and Black Widow. Had this been released it would have been the first MCU Black Widow figure. The reason for the box set’s cancellation was never announced, but somehow it managed to went on sale in the UK.

IM2widow2Close-up comparison between “Iron Man 2” Black Widow and “The Avengers” Black Widow. Picture from someone’s collection as posted on ToyArk forum here.

Two other Marvel Universe Black Widow variants also exist:

On the right is the “Short red hair variant” Black Widow, compared with the regular release on the left.

BlackWidowVariantMOCThis is the “Blonde variant” Black Widow, and is thought to be Yelena Belova, a more recent character who also used the “Black Widow” name.

Based on the posts in ToyArk Forums, both of the above Black Widow variants were prototypes created when Hasbro considered releasing variant figures, but any such plans were cancelled. Instead, these prototypes were given to Hasbro employees, and subsequently some were sold to collectors. They are among the rarest MU figures, fetching exorbitant prices online if they were ever on sale.

Picture of Iron Man 2 Undercover Assault Box Set from
Pictures of Marvel Universe Black Widow variants from posts on ToyArk Forum.

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