Marvel Gallery: X-23 as Wolverine (SDCC Exclusive) by Diamond Select

It feels like forever since I reviewed a statue here. That’s probably because I’ve been cutting waaaay back on buying these things as my available display space becomes more and more tight. I don’t have a problem with putting action figures away, because I can always take them out and play around with them, but if you can’t display a statue, then what’s the point of buying it, eh? And since there’s a nice sense of balance to beginning and ending the week with Marvel content… let’s check out Diamond Select’s new Marvel Gallery release of X-23 as Wolverine.

I’ve been an avid fan of both the Marvel and DC Gallery lines, even way back when they were part of the Femme Fatale’s line. These are roughly 9-inch scale PVC budget pieces, which seldom disappoint. As always, the statue comes in a collector friendly window box, with windows on the front, top, and side panels to let in plenty of light. The figure itself comes suspended between two plastic trays and displays fairly well in the box.

Diamond produced two versions of this statue, the regular retail features Ms. Kinney wearing her mask, whereas this unmaksed PX Previews Exclusive was available at San Diego Comic Con and afterwards at select retailers. The box itself denotes that it is an exclusive along with the addition of the “Unmasked” call-out at the bottom. There’s also a piece of silver tape over the top flap stating this release is limited to 4,000. Not exactly a strict limitation, but I presume it’s at least less than the production quantity of the masked retail version. There’s no assembly required here, so let’s get her out and see how she turned out! And just to put cards on the table, I’m not a fan of this book, but I sure do love the way X-23 looks in the Wolverine costume!

Diamond has been all over the place with the poses for this series lately. Sometimes you get something exciting and dynamic, other times you get something more reserved. X-23 here certainly leans toward that later with what I would consider to be very museum-style composition. Ms. Kinney stands with her right hip thrust to the side, her right arm down by her side, her left arm held up at the elbow, and both hands balled into fists and popping her her claws. The skin-tight suit shows her shapely form from all angles beautifully, and every bit of detail in the suit is incorporated into the sculpt. That last bit is a big deal for me, as with the fairly low price point of this line, I would have expected them to squeak by with just paint lines to make up the bulk of the costume. Other details include the belt, complete with signature “X” belt buckle, and the flared tops to her boots.

Budget statues tend to succeed or fail based on the quality of the paint applications, and I’m happy to say that the paint work on this piece is overwhelmingly good. The yellow is bright and vibrant, and the blue is deep with a beautiful high-gloss metallic finish. The belt is painted matte brown with a gold frame for the belt buckle and a black “X” on a red field. The paint lines for the costume itself are all pretty sharp. There are just a few very minor areas where slight improvements could be made. Indeed, the biggest flaw on my statue’s costume is a little blue showing through on the yellow trim at the top of her left boot, and even that isn’t so bad.

The portrait here is solid, but maybe a bit unremarkable. Ms. Kinney is certainly pretty and she’s sporting a serene expression with just a hint of a smirk, like she’s about to dive into some action. I think the expression works OK with the very reserved nature of the figure’s pose, but I tend to expect a little more emotion out of X-23. The hair also looks pretty tame from the front, although it does fan out at the back, which is about as much energy as the composition here is putting out. The paint on the facial features is overall solid, but there’s an area on her top lip that could have been sharper.

I really dig the base they designed for her. It’s basically a sloping black oval with a raised “X.” The “X” features a gold border around translucent red plastic, which would look particularly nice when displayed on a light up platform. There are also a couple of scratches etched across the “X.” Oddly enough, Diamond continues to call these “PVC Dioramas” on the boxes, and while every now and then they do something that could be called a diorama base, most of the ones I’ve picked up lately are more stylized stands like this one. There’s nothing diorama-like about it, but I suspect the label is a way to get around licensing and what Diamond is allowed and not allowed to do. I can’t think of any other reason for it.

In the end, I really like how this piece turned out. Granted, it’s not the most exciting of poses, but then it wasn’t meant to be, so I think a lot of the appeal here will come down to personal taste in that regard. I do like some energy in my statues, but at the same time I find that more classic poses like this one are easier to display with other releases. They take up less space and usually look great together. I debated hard over whether to go for the masked or unmasked when I set about to pre-ordering and I ultimately went with the unmasked Exclusive, because I figured the regular release would be more readily available later on down the road should I decide to get both. Besides, at $45 the Exclusive was only five bucks more. Either way, it’s pretty cool to be able to get a statue like this for under $50, especially when they turn out this good.

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Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Wolverine by Hasbro

After an abbreviated week due to epic storm complications, I’m back and ready to return FFZ to regular operations with Marvel Monday, and today I’m checking out the final figure in the Marvel Legends Warlock Wave with Wolverine! I’ve been on this wave for what seems like forever and Irma has already cost me enough time, so let’s just jump right in and check him out!

The package is beat to hell, but here’s one instance where it wasn’t from shipping. This figure has been kicking around this place for a while and got hastily packed away with a bunch of other stuff before the storm. It’s OK, I don’t save these boxes anyway. And yes, the package says Wolverine, but this figure will be better known to fans as Old Man Logan. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a decade since this version of the character debuted in what was a truly memorable comic. It’s also sad to see how far Marvel has fallen since then. I can’t imagine them putting out a book as amazingly creative and well-written these days. Ah, but let’s pretend to be this Logan living in a hellish future and look back on happier times.

And here he is in all his geriatric glory. He comes out of the package with his claws popped, but they are the same removable type that we saw with the last Wolverine release, so you can recreate Logan’s refusal to use them by just pulling them out. The fact that they leave behind holes in his knuckles isn’t ideal, but at least we have the option. Just be sure to put those claws in a safe place if you take them out, because I’ve almost lost one already! As far as the buck goes, this looks all new to me and I love how short and stocky it is. Logan sports his retired civvies in the form of brown trousers and a red shirt with a sculpted button collar.

The bomber jacket is the usual “vest with arms sculpted to look like sleeves” trick and it looks great on the figure. The fur-lined collar has some nice texturing and the zipper tracks are neatly painted. Even the belt buckle is beautifully detailed and painted with a nice gold finish. It may not be the most striking costume around, but Hasbro did a wonderful job recreating it in a buck that I doubt will ever get much re-use.

And just check out that head sculpt! I love the crotchety expression and all the little wrinkles and age lines sculpted into his face. This portrait is just packed with detail and oozes character. The gray mutton chops look great, as do the very expressive eyebrows. You can practically hear him yelling at the Hulk Gang to get off his lawn.

This Logan may be old, but he’s still nimble, as evidenced in the articulation. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at the thighs, and double hinges at the knees. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel at the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

If I were a betting man, I would have bet against ever getting this figure. The sculpting required for the buck seems like a dead end, and we all know how Hasbro needs to weigh each new sculpt against possible recycling down the road. It’s also a version of the character that was more or less promoted in a Fox Film and not tied to the usual MCU. The last time Hasbro promoted one of the non-Disney Marvel films was Amazing Spider-Man 2 and I got the feeling that the wave didn’t do so well for them. Nevertheless, here he is and Hasbro did a beautiful job with him.

And opening Old Man Logan last places a very tasty cherry on the top of what was an amazing assortment of figures. Sure, I could have come up with a bunch of better characters for the BAF, but I’m certain that there are New Mutants fans out there who are happy to have Warlock, and I’m not going to begrudge them that. All I can say is, keep these X-Men themed Waves coming, Hasbro, because you’re absolutely killing it with them! Next week, I’m going to take a brief detour from Legends figures to check out another one of Diamond Select’s Marvel Gallery statues and then I’ll start digging into another Legends Wave on the following Monday!

Marvel Legends (Juggernaut Wave): Wolverine by Hasbro

It’s time to start a brand new wave of Marvel Legends and I had several to choose from in my backlog. In the interest of being current for once, I’ve decided to skip ahead to the X-Men Wave featuring the Juggernaut Build-A-Figure. Aw, who am I kidding? Being current has nothing to do with it. I just couldn’t wait to start opening these! Looks like the Civil War Giant Man Wave will have to wait, and who knows when I’ll get to look at that Rhino Wave. Ah, X-Men… but where to begin? Considering this is perhaps the finest wave of Legends to date, there was no wrong answer. In the end, I decided to start with Wolverine because he’s the best at what he does!

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While the Marvel Legends packaging is always attractive and collector friendly, I’ve never really been motivated to keep any of it until now. A combination of spiffy matching yellow coordination and some kick ass character art on the side panels make these look like something special. Together, these just don’t feel like a normal wave of Legends. With a never-ending flood of Iron Mans, Captain Americas, and Spider-Mans, it’s crazy to think that this is only the second time we’ve seen Logan in Legends since it’s return. And the previous release was part of that now impossible to find Jubilee Wave.

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Wolverine comes in his oh-so-classic brown suit, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I should also point out straightaway how relieved I am that Hasbro didn’t recycle the Dark Wolverine body from a while back. This one suits Logan well, features the lovely pointed flares on the tops of his boots, a solid yellow and brown painted deco, and classic wide red belt. When it comes to the comics, this is The Wolverine that scratches my itch. The only disappointing thing here is that he doesn’t have any claws!

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Just kidding! Of course, you get a pair of regular fists and some snikt hands. Did we even need the fists? I can see maybe mixing them up at some point with one fist and one clawed hand held up, but even that’s stretching it. Wolvy needs his claws and while I love to have options, I doubt the fists are going to get much use, other than for fist-bumping Spider-Man. The claws are especially nice and not overly bendy or prone to warping. Although since many of my Legends figures get cycled into Totes now and again, I’m thinking I’ll put the fists on him for that so the claws don’t get all bent up or broken during Logan’s down time.

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The portrait here is fairly solid. I think the mask portion looks great, especially the expressive eyes. He truly looks like he’s sick of your shit, bub. The unmasked part of the face is a little on the soft side. It reminds me a bit of some of the softer Captain America sculpts. Not bad, but I think that part could have been better. Oh, I suppose I could complain that there isn’t an unmasked portrait. After all, the Jubilee Wave came with one, but then that figure goes for well over $100 now! In fairness, I think Hasbro could have tossed it in here, but I’m not going to hold that against what is otherwise a fantastic classical figure of a character that was long overdue for an appointment with my Marvel shelf.

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The articulation here is top notch. You get all the regular points that we’re used to seeing in Legends. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs and again down int he boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. The torso features a swivel at the waist and an ab-crunch hinge. The neck has both a ball joint and a hinge. The big addition are those wonderful shoulder crunches that we see crop up from time to time and they make a big difference! I’ll note that the upper elbow hinge on my figure’s right arm has a bit of a pull to it where the pin connects. It’s not too bad, but I might still pick up a replacement.

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This figure hits the spot on every conceivable level. It was well past time we got Logan in the Legends line again (and with actual distribution this time!) especially since it seems like a handful of the A-list heroes have been getting more than their share of figures. Given the current state of The X-Men over at Marvel, it’s kind of odd to see this wave hit now, but you won’t hear me complaining about it.  This release is as simple and classic as it gets and I have a feeling he’s a pretty good indicator of the figures I’ll be opening over the next bunch of weeks!

Marvel Legends Wave 2: Dark Wolverine by Hasbro

With four figures behind us, we’re over the hump of this Marvel Legends week, but we still have three more packaged figures to go, plus the BAF, so let’s keep pressing on. Today’s figure is none other than Logan’s son, Daken, who served under the guise of Dark Wolverine as part of Norman Osborne’s Avengers. Daken is yet another one of the variants in this wave, with the figure being available in masked and unmasked versions. I was hoping for the unmasked, and that’s exactly what I got… cool!

The figure is packaged as “Dark Wolverine” and features a nice piece of character art in the upper left hand corner. This is among my favorite card art used for this line so far. Daken fills out the bubble fairly nicely along with the help of his BAF piece, in this case Arnim’s left arm.
The head sculpt is the only thing really different between the variants of this figure. One has the Wolverine Mask on and the other has it off allowing Daken to let his mohawky freak flag fly. I think its possible they could have tuned down the mohawk just a little bit, but apart from that this is an excellent head sculpt. I’m particularly happy with the way Hasbro included a separate sculpted mask to hang around his neck. Its something I totally didn’t expect and just the kind of nice extra touch I love and expect when paying $18 for an action figure.
Besides the mask, there isn’t a lot of original tooling on this figure outside of a standard buck. His vest is sculpted around the shoulders, and I like the way his boots flare out at his calves. Naturally, his bone claws are sculpted in the deployed position and look great. Daken does have a separately sculpted belt that hangs around his waist. The rest of the costume is executed with paintwork and looks good and the painted tattoo on his left arm is sharp.
Dark Wolverine features the same articulation we’ve been seeing in the male figures, with a couple of nice surprises that we haven’t seen yet. The neck is ball jointed with the additional hinge. His arms feature ball jointed shoulders, swivels in the wrists and biceps, and double hinged elbows. His legs feature ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs and calves, and double hinged knees. His ankles are hinged and also have an additional rocker hinge to keep his feet flat in wide stances. He also has hinges in the middle of his feet! Those of you collecting Marvel Legends back in the Toy Biz days will no doubt remember these. I’m still on the fence over whether I like them or not. I never really saw them as crucial and they do require the feet to be larger than usual. Daken’s torso swivels at the waist and he has the usual ab crunch hinge.
Overall, I’m very happy with the way this figure turned out, and doubly happy that I was able to get the unmasked version in my case. I probably won’t be hunting down the masked version, although I’d say its a pretty good bet Hasbro will be reusing a repainted version the masked version as a regular Wolverine release down the road, so I’ll be happy to pick it up when they do that. I think its awesome that Hasbro is going for some of the Dark Avengers so soon in the line, as it allows collectors who have been buying these figures since the Toy Biz days a break from having to see the same characters over and over again.

Tomorrow, we’ll keep the X-Men ball rolling with Fantomex!

Marvel Universe: Wolverine and Jean Grey by Hasbro

So, I picked up a case of Marvel Universe figures the other day. Actually, I pre-ordered them last year and they finally came in. I just got tired of hunting for some of these figures and even though it netted me doubles of Classic Cap and Modern Thor, I think it was still worthwhile. It also netted me that shitty looking, and yet oh so desireable Phasing Vision, which I promptly put up on Ebay so I could get the proper one. Today, we’re going to kick off looking at some of the figures in this case with two of the assortment’s X-Men, Wolverine and Jean Grey.


It’s the same old MU packaging we’ve been seeing for a while. This pair are still part of the Norman Osborne reign with the HAMMER insignia, as opposed to the SHIELD insignia on the older and now the current packages. The character artwork on the cards is as awesome as ever and the figures are really displayed well in the bubbles.


Wolverine is a decent looking figure, and pretty much exactly what I expected. His classic costume is well executed, mostly via paint apps and with a sculpted belt buckle and separate straps for his legs. There’s a wee bit of slop here and there around the blue and yellow borders, but I’ve definitely seen worse. Wolverine’s claws are produced in soft plastic, so as not to break easily. The real shining point of this figure, though, is the head sculpt, which Hasbro really nailed. I doubt we’re going to see a better one in this scale any time soon. The only thing I’m not crazy about here is the really weird sculpt of his neck and shoulders. It’s always been a bit weird on Hasbro’s modern GI Joes, but it’s really off putting here when you view the figure from the side.


And then there’s Jean Grey. From the neck down, I’m pretty happy with how she turned out. She uses the basic female body for the line with some sculpted detail to make up her shoulder pads, belt buckle, and arm bracers. The yellow and blue look good and overall the paint apps aren’t at all bad. From the neck up is a little bit of a different story. It’s hard for me to put a finger on exactly what’s wrong with her head sculpt. On the one hand it looks too small and the face is a tad wild eyed and generic. I also think they should have gone a different route with her hair sculpt. Between the hair and the shoulder pads it looks like she’s hunching really awkwardly. I’ve seen a lot of hatred for this figure among collectors circles, and while I can certainly see where it all comes from, I can’t say that I really hate her. Did the character deserve better? Yeah, most definitely. What we wound up with is just kind of average and awkward.

Both figures come with the Top Secret packet containing her file card and and secret document. They also both include figure stands, which is always a welcome treat. Wolverine doesn’t come with any other accessories, but Jean Grey comes with a little ball of energy that can fit over her hand.

All in all this is a decent pair of figures, but neither one really blew me away, which is disappointing because I’m usually a pretty easy sell on X-Men figures. Wolverine edges out Jean as my favorite of the pair, but I can’t summon up the hatred that some people seem to have over Jean Grey. I’m certainly not sorry I added them to my collection.

Marvel: X-Men Origins Wolverine Comic Series Deadpool by Hasbro

Holy crap. This Deadpool figure is easily the coolest surprise I got this Christmas. I guess I’ve been gassing on about Deadpool a lot since I’ve been reading Deadpool Corps, and that’s got me going back and re-reading the original ’97 run of the Deadpool comics. I guess, a buddy of mine took it as a hint and sent me this figure and I am in love with it and totally blown away by its very existence, since I’d never seen it before. I think it’s amazingly ironic that a movie that completely butchered the Deadpool character just happened to spawn an action figure line that gave us this awesome guy under the comic series sub-line. And to think that whenever anyone mentioned the Wolverine Origins Deadpool figure, I was just thinking of the horrible movie version.

Ah, the X-Men Origins Wolverine cardback. It’s the same artwork of Hugh Jackman as Logan snarling at you on every generic card, complete with the unnecessarily long movie title, and practically screaming, “BUY THIS FIGURE, BUB!” About the only thing I can say good about this movie was that it was better than Elektra. If you think that’s really a compliment than you should know that I once spent a three hour flight opting to stare at the seat in front of me than watch the in-flight showing of Elektra. But now I can say something else better about the Wolverine movie… it gave me this figure, almost as an apology for fucking up Deadpool so badly in the film. It’s also worth noting that the back panel has one of the lamest possible bios for Deadpool that could possibly written. If i were writing that bio, I would most definitely have mentioned the time when Deadpool sucker punched 16-year-old Kitty Pryde right in the stomach. [Volume 1, Ish 27, I believe. -FF] Now, that’s classic Deadpool. Fortunately, everything on display under the bubble is pure love.


After ripping open the package, and thoroughly destroying it so that I can pretend this is indeed a Marvel Universe Deadpool and that I never actually owned a figure in any way associated with the Wolverine movie, it’s easy to see that Deadpool is indeed glorious. Deadpool is one hundred percent compatible with the Marvel Universe figures, as he uses a very similar body type. The paint apps are immaculate, which is more than I can say for a lot of the MU figures. Deadpool’s belt and harness are a separate piece of soft plastic and includes two scabbards for his swords. It would have been nice if it were easily removable to offer up some more display options, but I can’t see any easy way to remove it without disassembling the figure.

Articulation includes a ball jointed neck. His arms feature ball jointed shoulders and elbows and swivels in the wrists. His legs have ball jointed hips, double hinged knees and swivels in the ankles. His torso features the swivel/ab crunch that is common in most of Hasbro’s MU and GI JOE figures.


Deadpool comes with a nice array of weapons. He has two ninja swords, both of which fit in the scabbards criss-crossing his back. He has an automatic pistol that fits in his holster, and he’s got a si that you can tuck into his belt. He’s also got a folded-stock AK-47. Alas, there is no figure stand included.

It’s amazing to me that Hasbro hasn’t repacked this figure into a Marvel Universe card. What’s even more amazing is that when I called my friend to thank him profusely for such an awesome gift, he just shrugged it off and said that the figure cost next to nothing. So, why is it that I can’t get a MU Bullseye figure for under $35, but Deadpool here can be had on the cheap? What’s that all about?