Last week I wrapped up another wave of Legends with a look at the Strong Guy Build-A-Figure, which means I’m free to do whatever I want on Marvel Mondays until I commit to starting a new Wave. I also opened up this Polaris and Havok set to snap a picture of them with Strong Guy, so I decided I’d go ahead and take a proper look at them this week! And since I missed uploading content last Wednesday, it seems only fair to deliver on two figures today.
It feels like forever ago since I picked up this set. I don’t think it was an exclusive to any retailer, but I can’t remember where I got it. It’s part of that crop of 80th Anniversary releases and features a nice, colorful box that shows off the figures wonderfully. If I had space to save packaging, I surely would have kept this one, but I don’t and so I shredded it like a madman to get at the figures inside. Both of these characters have already been released in Legends, but I was still excited to get them in their proper 90’s blue-and-yellow X-Men regalia! Let’s start with Havok!
Holy Hell! What a difference the costume makes! We last saw Havok way back in the 2016 Warlock Wave, which featured his somewhat bland and more modern look. That was a relatively cheap and easy figure that got by mostly with a painted buck, whereas this 90’s version required a lot more effort and every bit of that shows. A cursory survey leads me to believe that some of this uses parts from the body of the previous Havok, only now it’s been painted up in that glorious royal blue. Of course, the jacket sculpt is new, as are the arms with the rolled up sleeves. This figure also borrows the yellow bands from Scott Summers for the thighs and tops of the boots. I’ve found that these stay in place slightly better than the previous figures, but friction can do only so much, and I found them sliding down during posing.
The jacket is absolutely fantastic, with the sculpted teeth and oversized ring pull of the zipper, the padded shoulders, the beefy lapels, and the quilted interior of the popped collar. Likewise, the colors are superb. While the black jacket should subdue the blue and yellow of the costume, the added yellow on the zipper, and faded blue wash on the shoulders and interior collar more than make up for it. Plus you get some yellow piping on his belt, the red and yellow X-logo on the left chest of the jacket, and the yellow insignia on his chest peeking out as well. Everything about this costume screams excitement and color and it’s everything that was missing from the look of the previous figure. No doubt about it, Hasbro really hammered this one home!
Even the portrait sculpt here is a huge improvement. I’m such a huge fan of this sort of cowl, with the top cut out to produce a plume of hair and the cut contours around the face. To be fair, the paint could have been a little sharper on my figure, but there’s nothing tragic here.
Havok comes with the same energy disks as the previous figure, only this time they are cast in yellow plastic. Hasbro sure gets their mileage out of these accessories, as they recycle them a lot. Still, it makes sense to use the same ones for the same character. And overall I do like these as effect parts, even if the clips don’t always support them well and they sometimes wind up just dangling on the arms.
Obviously, everyone is going to have their own favorite look for a character, and I won’t fault anyone who prefers the simple black suit, but even if I didn’t prefer this gorgeous 90’s costume, I’d still have to admit it makes for a more stunning action figure. OK, let’s move on to the other half of the set and check out Polaris!
As with Havok, we last saw Polaris in that same 2016 Warlock Wave where we got her in her more modern green and caped costume. Now unlike Havok, I actually liked that look for her quite a bit. Especially the Scarlet Witch style headpiece. Both that figure and this one get by mostly with a painted costume, but I thought the green costume was at least interesting and creative. So do I prefer this one? Yup! You betcha!
At a glance, I’m seeing what I think are a lot of recycled parts from the previous Polaris, with the notable difference being the upper body that now includes straight, pointed shoulder pads, a high collar, and that oversized ring zipper pull that seemed to be all the rage with some of these X-Men. Otherwise, the outfit also includes cuffs for the ankles and wrists, and a belt, all of which are separately sculpted and worn by the figure. And of course, you get that beautiful one-two punch of royal blue and vibrant yellow, along with a little red for the X-logo on her tunic. I love it!
This Polaris may be a product of the 90’s, but the portrait screams 80’s to me. If you want hair bigger than that, you’d have to look to a certain Inhuman. Sure, Polaris’ coif looks like radioactive ramen noodles, but I ain’t hating it. The detail in the squiggly sculpt is very well done and boy that neon green adds a lot of pop to what is already a pleasing color palate. It’s also sculpted to hang just a bit above the shoulders so as not to inhibit her neck articulation too badly. Yeah, the rest of the portrait is excellent too. Polaris is a real cutie with lips and eyebrows to match the green in her hair.
It takes balls to reuse these effect parts as many times as Hasbro does. It takes bigger balls to reuse them for different versions of the same characters. But it takes ULTIMATE balls to reissues them again for the same two characters, TWICE IN THE SAME SET! This time they’re cast in a different shade of green from the last time Polaris had these. I joke, but they’re fine.
While I’m definitely late to the game in opening and reviewing these 80th Anniversary Sets, I’m very happy to finally be getting around to them. These have been some of Hasbro’s best work in a line that is already quite impressive on any given day, and this Polaris and Havok pair up is dripping with everything I love about Legends these days. It’s a bittersweet thing that my modern Legends collection has grown to the point where it’s not feasible for me to display all of the hundreds of figures at once, so I’m looking at using just a couple shelves to rotate figures in and out, maybe once a month. I only bring that up now, because I’m pretty sure one of those shelves is going to be populated by the 90’s Jim Lee X-Men figures, sparing this pair from being put away in one of the Totes.