After a brief Thanksgiving hiatus, I’m back for another Marvel Monday! I ended last Monday’s review lamenting that I couldn’t find the Storm/Thunderbird set, and wouldn’t you know it, I not only found it, but got a decent Black Friday deal on it too! So as long as we’re still in an X-Men kinda vibe, let’s go ahead and check this one out!
The packaging features the same design as the Rogue/Pyro set from last week, and that’s not a bad thing. The box is pretty compact and gives you a great look at the figures inside, while also providing some sumptuous character art on the back and side panels. There’s a bunch of goodies on the tray, but they are all for Storm! You get nothing, Thunderbird!!! I’d love to keep these boxes, but I need the space for figures, so as usual I’m just going to tear it up. And once again, it’s ladies first! Actually, scratch that… let me get Thunderbird out of the way…
So, I really wanted to like this figure. He has some good stuff going for him. For starters, I really dig the design of his costume and Hasbro did a nice job bringing it to life in plastic. The red and blue look absolutely gorgeous together, and while the bulk of the costume is achieved through the paint, there is a good amount of newly sculpted bits as well. You get sculpted red fringe pieces for the sleeves and the tops of his boots. The sleeves work fine, however, the boot pieces are held on by friction and we all know how well that works. They are constantly sliding down around his ankles. And the fact that they’re located right on a swivel means that I probably won’t try to glue them. The rest of the sculpted pieces are his belt and wrist cuffs, all of which are cast in gold plastic. These look fine and don’t create any issues.
The head sculpt is certainly solid. Hasbro did a great job with the facial features and I always love when the mask is part of the sculpt and not just painted on. The hair is sculpted to fall over the head band a bit, and his hair has a dynamic look as it blows a bit off to the side. The paintwork on the head, however, is pretty spotty. The flesh tone of the face bleeds through the mask, there’s some black spots on the head band, and the paint lines between the hair and the head band are rough. There’s even a huge splotch of red paint on his hair. I don’t know that any of these paint issues by themselves would ruin the figure for me, but when I add them to the list, things aren’t looking good for Thunderbird.
Unfortunately, the spotty quality of paint application isn’t confined to the head. Of course, the figure uses a blue buck painted red, and while there thankfully isn’t a lot of bleed through showing on the red on the front of the figure, the back has quite a bit. And while I’m griping about the paint, some of those lines could have been neater. And, yes, the inner pins on the knees aren’t painted to match the red areas. Granted, I don’t complain about that on the Spider-Man figures, so I won’t hold it against Thunderbird. But, added to the paint and the boot fringe, is everything about the arms. They look kind of awkward when hanging at his sides, and the elbow hinges on my figure are all sorts of soft and gummy. Ultimately, I plan on getting him into a halfway decent pose and then leaving him on the shelf. He’s just no fun at all. Thankfully, we can now move on to the star of this box!
We’ve had a couple of Storms in modern Legends already, and I’m ashamed to say that I have yet to open or review any of them. Although in fairness, one of those is retro-carded and I may never open her. But here we get the classic, original costume, and a figure that I’m sure a lot of collectors were happy to finally see revealed. I know I was! Storm comes out of the box with her more dynamic look, but for starters, I’ve swapped her out to something more neutral. And oh boy, what a fantastic figure! Every aspect of her costume is sculpted onto the figure, from her thigh-high boots with the oval cut-outs at the tops. to her revealing top with the ring holding the two pieces together in the center of her midriff, and the arm bracers. The distinctive cape is sculpted as a separate piece and fits snugly around her neck. I really dig the high gloss finish on the black costume bits, which contrasts nicely with the more matte finish of her brown skin. And while the yellow paint lines for the border on the cape could have been sharper, it’s not terrible.
You get two portraits with the figure, the first is the more neutral expression and it is quite lovely. The paint on her lips and pupil-less eyes is pretty sharp and the headpiece is sculpted separately from the face giving little gaps and making it look more convincing as something that’s actually being worn by the figure. The copious coif of white hair offers a bit of space around the neck, so as not to impede articulation too much.
The second portrait is part of her more dynamic look, and wow is this a great addition to the box. Her expression has turned from calm to stormy, and I don’t need a meteorologist to tell me that bad weather is coming! In addition to the expression, her hair is now wild all around her head, as the imaginary winds begin whipping up to a frenzy.
In addition to the extra head, you also get a more dynamic cape, depicting her all powered up and raining on The Brotherhood’s parade. And if that’s not enough, you also get three sets of hands, which include fists and the female spell/power hands that we’ve seen many times over. So how about the third pair?
These are the lightning shooting hands that are on the figure in the box and they look great! I can’t overstate how cool it is that Hasbro included the alternate parts to really transform this figure from a normal stance to full-on power wielding poses. It makes me wish that this figure was single-packed so I could get a second one and display her both ways. Who knows? Maybe these sets will turn up on clearance, but I doubt it.
I really wish I liked Thunderbird more, because he’s the only thing holding this release back from being a total homerun of a set. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have him on my shelf, especially when I can display him next to this Rogue and a few more of the Classic X-Men, but he’s just got a few too many annoyances to make him a great figure. On the flipside, Storm is just about perfect. Indeed, if I were to nitpick anything on her, it would be the style of elbow hinges they used, which I’m not all that fond of. But even that can’t hold this back from being an absolutely fantastic release. Who knows? Maybe I will get around to opening that Retro-Carded one someday, but now I’m doubly excited to swing back around and open up the mohawk-version as well.