Marvel Legends (Caliban Wave): Blink by Hasbro

I’m here to try to get Marvel Mondays back on track and this makes two in a row, which is a nice start. I actually began writing this review weeks ago and the original intro is no longer relevant, so let’s just scrap it. Blink is a recent addition to my Marvel Legends pile of shame, and I didn’t feel like digging through the pile for the sake of randomness, so let’s just jump right in and check her out!

It’s an interesting time to be an X-Men fan. The movie rights are now solidified with the MCU. Marvel is shaking up the X-Men comics and it sounds like they’re handing the reigns to Jonathan Hickman. And the X-Men are rapidly catching up to Spider-Man as the new darlings of the Marvel Legends line. There have been more than a few great waves of Marvel’s Mutants hitting the pegs, offering up some great Triple-A classic characters, as well as some of the lower tier ones, like Blink here. I guess it didn’t hurt that Blink appeared in live action X-Men spin-off series, The Gifted, but I can’t say as I watched it.

And here she is out of the box and looking like she just rode cross-country on a Bison. Yeah, before even getting into the figure, I have to mention that Blink came off the tray with her legs warped all to hell. I knew this would be the case before I even opened her. It’s easy to tell by the way she’s packaged, and oh boy is this a pet peeve of mine. Why would you knowingly damage a figure by posing it a certain way in the box? I’m sure I will have some luck straightening out those gams, but I’m not going to do Hasbro the favor of fixing the figure before reviewing it. This shit is just adding more misery to my life. But setting aside her bow-legged-ness, Blink feels a lot like the recent release of Mystique. I don’t think the body is a total reuse, but it’s close enough and when you couple that with the sculpted belt and sash, and the similarities in painted costume, it’s hard to shake that flavor of sameness. I’m not complaining, the figure is definitely faithful to the character design and I appreciate the extra touches like the sculpting on the tops of her buccaneer boots and the studded choker that matches her belt. Plus, the sash on the belt is pretty convincing as the lower extension of her painted dress. Although I do find the way it’s pinched almost the same on the front and back to be a little odd looking. The coloring here is also fine. I like the mauve they used for her skin and the green for the dress, sleeves, and boots. The studs on the belt and choker are also neatly painted.

And I certainly have no complaints regarding the head sculpt. She’s definitely a Mutant hottie, with well defined features, her ears have points, and I love the way they sculpted her hair, giving the portrait a great sense of dimension and character.The markings on her face are sharp, and the thick eye-liner around her squinting yellow eyes looks great. Bravo on the portrait, Hasbro!

Blink comes with three effect parts, all showcasing her teleport capabilities. First up is this portal effect. It’s cast in semi-translucent hot pink plastic and it’s pretty fun to play around with. By now y’all should know that I’m never too enamored with effect parts, especially not the ones that Hasbro tends to churn out, but this one is easy to incorporate onto the shelf for display and I think it truly adds something to the figure.

Next up, you get two teleport spikes, for lack of a better word. She flings these at people and objects to teleport them. There isn’t a lot more to say about them, other than she can hold them in each of her hands.

As I’ve said many times over, Marvel Legends has been great for universe building, and that means getting characters like Blink right alongside heavier hitters like Beast, Jubilee, and Gambit. Maybe she wasn’t all that high up on my list, but she was definitely on it, and I’m happy to be able to cross her off of it. And from sculpt to paint, they did a fine job with her. No, I’m not happy about the warped legs, andI should be able to fix that with a little hot water or a blow dryer, but come on, Hasbro. You’ve been in this game long enough that you shouldn’t be making mistakes like that.

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Marvel Legends (Sauron Wave): Omega Red by Hasbro

Hey, look! I showed up this week! I hope you weren’t waiting long. I’ve decided that if I can only manage one review a week this month (but I am aiming for better!), I’m going to keep the Marvel Legends love going, because that’s the one line where I’m backlogged the most. Although, with everything else piling up these past few weeks, everything is backlogged. So, no random grab this week, instead I’m going straight for the last figure I have to open in the Sauron Wave… Omega Red!

This bastard last graced FFZ back in 2014 when I reviewed the excellent 4-inch Marvel Universe version. It was a great figure, but even back in 2014 it seemed like Universe was getting steamrolled by Legends Now, that line is mostly just a memory that I keep in a box deep down in the bottom of the Toy Closet. Meanwhile, 6-inch Legends has become the dominant scale for true universe building. What a crazy, wonderful time it is to collect Marvel figures! Well, let’s open this asshole up and see if this bigger version is just as good.

Just as good? I’d say even better. Not to rag on the little guy, but I was in love with this figure the moment I got him out of the box. Or probably even before. To be fair, a lot of that comes from the character design, which I’ve always adored. This is every bit of that crazy, colorful, and bigger than life 90’s X-Men crack that I wish I could just inject right into my veins. And oh boy does it work beautifully as an action figure! OK, let’s give Hasbro the credit for executing it so brilliantly. Arkady is built on an appropriately beefy buck, which is a huge improvement over Red’s last Legends appearance. The bulk of the figure is cast in a snappy red plastic, with chalky white on the arms. New sculpting includes the massive knee and shoulder pads, harness, and the gauntlets which house his Carbonadium tendrils. I’ll circle back to those in just a bit. All in all, the costume here is just a nice mix of simple buck enhanced with add-on parts. I particularly dig the texturing in the shoulder armor and chest straps, as well as the painted bands on the canisters. The lick of silver paint on the gauntlets and kneepads looks great, as do the Omega symbols on the backs of his hands.

Hasbro continues to churn out some amazing portraits in Legends, and I tend to think the villains are among the best of the best. And here, Omega Red looks every bit the glorious monster that he is. He sports a frightfully wicked visage with his unsettling grimace and his face twisted into a snarl of rage. His blonde hair cascades down each side of his head and is partly kept in check with his red headband embossed with the Omega symbol. The rest of his coif is divided between spilling down his back and pluming out in a curiously placed ponytail. Arkady has always struck me as one of the more terrifying X-Men villains and this portrait lives up to my fears and expectations.

Omega Red’s tendrils allow for three display options. You can remove them entirely for a completely retracted look. You can put in the short ones, or you can go full-on Carbonadium mayhem with the really long ones. Both sets simply plug into the holes in the gauntlets, and you can use either one for either arm for extra display options.¬† Obviously, the longer tendrils are the most fun. They are cast in an extremely bendy plastic, which makes it easy to wrap them around other figures so Red can leach their energy.

And articulation adds to the fun too, because Omega Red features all those great points of poseability that I’ve come to expect in my Legends action figures. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. You get a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the chest, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

The only reason I can’t come away saying Omega Red is the hands-down best figure in this wave is because Bishop was in here too. And between the two of them, they make up for Hasbro’s rather dubious idea of cramming two novelty Deadpool variants into one assortment. If I were really pressed to pick a favorite, I would probably have to give the nod to Bishop, but there’s no shame in that for Omega Red, because it is really close, and both of them are absolutely fantastic figures. Now, normally I like to do a double feature when I get to the end of a wave and knock off the Build-A-Figure too, but it was a struggle for time just to get this one done, so right now I’m going to pencil the Sauron BAF in for next week. Because, if I get time to squeeze in another review this week, it’ll be something non-Marvel. Otherwise, I’ll see you back here next Monday. Fingers crossed.

Marvel Legends: Mystique by Hasbro

While scheduling the rest of my weeks’ normal content continues to be hit or miss, I have more or less managed to get back on track for Marvel Mondays. This is the one day of the week that I’m trying to preserve at all costs because my Legends backlog is so damn big. And today I have a little more time to invest than the previous two weeks, so I’ve decided to once again throw randomness to the wind and open up Mystique for a little action figure therapy.

The package doesn’t call it out, but Mystique is a Walgreens Exclusive, so she isn’t part of a regular wave and there’s no Build-A-Figure part. Hasbro does manage to make up for that by bundling some extra cool stuff into the box. Also, this is the new style of packaging, which doesn’t look any different, but features the window as a cover to the tray rather than as part of the box. I haven’t had a lot of trouble finding previous Walgreens Exclusives on the shelves, but Mystique turned out to be an exception. I hit a couple local stores before giving up and grabbing her through a third-party retailer. Luckily it only cost me a few dollars more. I had a hunch she’d be worth it, and I was right.

And here she is in what I would certainly consider her most iconic outfit, with her white dress, boots, and gloves, and her skull belt. We last saw Mystique way back in the third wave of modern Legends with her black outfit. I was really fond of that figure at the time, but I don’t think it has aged well, making this one all the more welcome. I do actually have a few minor gripes about this new one, but I’ll get to those in a second. Also, how is it that Hasbro hasn’t started selling figure stands with a connector that will plug into these back holes? With figures like Mystique here, it would make the otherwise useless hole serve a purpose. Anyway…

Most of the costume is achieved with paint, including the boots, gloves, and top of the dress. Original sculpting comes into play with the skull belt, and the front and back of her dress, which hangs down between her legs, and is sculpted as part of the belt. It looks good, and while it can ride up a bit with certain poses, I think it’s pretty convincing at creating the illusion of being all part of the same dress. The white parts of the outfit are nice and bright and they contrast beautifully with her deep blue skin. On the downside there are some sloppy lines, particularly around the tops of the boots. There are also some rough edges around the lower back of her dress and some other parts of the figure. It almost looks like something that was 3D printed and not properly sanded down.

Hasbro rarely disappoints when it comes to their Legends portraits, and Mystique here keeps that trend rolling along nicely. It’s impossible to overstate what an improvement this one is over the Wave 3 head sculpt. Here she sports some wonderfully defined contours to her cheeks and chin, and wears a rather wicked looking smile, which just oozes personality. Her narrow yellow eyes are punctuated by the sharp eyebrows, and her face is framed by the short sculpted hair. The portrait is topped off with a tiny silver skull set in the middle of her hairline. There are two extra heads in the package, but I’ll circle back to those at the end.

Mystique comes with two guns, which aren’t as impressive as the previous figure’s arsenal. And that’s the only time you’ll hear me praise anything about that figure over this one. The first is a gold Luger-like pistol that we’ve seen bundled with figures over and over (and over!) again. It’s also a slightly smaller version of the same pistol design that came with the Wave 3 Mystique. Truth be told, I don’t really mind this gun and I actually dig the design and sculpted detail quite a bit. But because it’s so distinctive, it’s all the more conspicuous when it keeps turning up with different figures. At least I think it’s pretty well suited for Mystique. Also, both her hands are sculpted with trigger fingers to wield it.

Next up, is this monstrosity! It looks like someone blended together elements of a sniper rifle, pump-action shotgun, and a drum-fed machine gun. In other words, it’s bat-shit crazy, but I also kind of like it. I do, however, wish that it wasn’t sculpted in gold plastic. The gold works OK for the pistol, but it just looks too garish for my tastes on this bigger weapon. On the plus side, the drum magazine is detachable and that’s pretty cool. But I’m still probably going to give Wave 3 Mystique’s weapons to this new version.

Mystique’s articulation is exactly what I’ve come to expect from my Legends Ladies. The legs feature ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. There’s a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. As always, I lament Hasbro’s reluctance to put bicep swivels and double hinges in the arms of their femme figures, but even as she is, Mystique is a hell of a lot of fun to play around with.

Swinging back around to those extra heads, the first is Mystique in the middle of transforming into Rogue, and oh boy was this a great choice. It seems to be more or less the same sculpt as the portrait that came with the Rogue figure from the Juggernaut Wave. Besides the partially blue face, the other big paint difference is in the hair.

The other head is that of Majestrix of the Shi’ar Empire, Lilandra Neramani, and this one is a bit more of a poser. I’m going to go ahead and assume that it’s also supposed to be Mystique, but unlike the Rogue head, it’s not depicted in mid transformation, so it looks out of place on Mystique’s body. Collectors seem to be content to re-purpose the recent Silver Sable body for this purpose, and I have to admit it works OK.

If you twisted my arm and made me say something bad about this figure, I guess I’d cry foul at Hasbro giving such an important release to Walgreens as an exclusive. No, these aren’t usually hard to find, but c’mon, this is Mystique! In my book, Iconic versions of A-Listers shouldn’t be exclusives and it’s hard for me to reason against putting her into one of the regular X-Men waves. With that having been said, she is available at a number of online retailers for just a bit over regular retail, so I guess no harm, no foul. Either way, she’s an excellent figure with just a few minor quality control hiccups keeping her from being perfect.

Marvel Legends (Apocalypse Wave): Gladiator by Hasbro

Things are still pretty terrible with me and my family, but today I had a some time to myself and I decided I needed to treat myself to a little fun and since it’s Marvel Monday here I am for a quickie review. This will probably be the only one I get to this week, so thanks for bearing with me. Eventually I’ll get back on track…

Back in 2014, Hasbro released their Thanos Imperative set, an SDCC Exclusive which offered Legends scale versions of Black Bolt, Star Lord, Medusa, Blastaar, and of course Gladiator. I seem to recall it being pretty damn popular back then and the demand was great enough that I wasn’t able to get my hands on it. And now it sells for all the monies, so that was just one of those things I had to let go. Fortunately, that wasn’t the end of the story for some of those figures…

Because Hasbro has been pretty good about eventually getting these kinds of convention exclusive figures out to regular retail, and this boxed retail release of Gladiator as part of the Apocalypse Wave, leaves Blastaar as the only figure in the set that hasn’t been re-released one way or another. As is often the case, there are some changes in the paint, but since I don’t have the previous release, I’ll have to leave it up to you to hunt down some comparison shots. For now, let’s get him opened and check him out…

I don’t share a huge affinity for the character (other than the fact that he did once punch the USS Enterprise), but I do absolutely adore his design. Aesthetically, Gladiator is the epitome of everything I love about classic comic design, and this figure pulls it off pretty well, although I do have some notable nitpicks. The costume itself (minus the cape) is achieved entirely with paintwork and the mix bright red, dark blue, and yellow all conspire to make for an attractive deco. I can’t fault the lack of original sculpting, as the costume doesn’t really need it, but I will say the lines between the red and blue on my figure are really sloppy. It’s most noticeable on the thighs and chest, but really none of those lines are anywhere near as sharp as they could be. By contrast, the chest emblem and the belt are both remarkably crisp.

The cape looks great and includes the high collar and a sculpted tether that goes across the neck and connects with two large medallions. The yellow border shares some of the same rough paint lines as on the figure itself. And while the cape looks good in passive poses, it’s a little cumbersome when playing around with the figure. Part of this is because it’s pretty heavy, and part is because they chose to curl the left corner forward so that it could wrap around the leg. It’s times like this that I wish Hasbro would start experimenting with cloth capes and wires, because this is definitely a figure which could have benefited from it.

While I have nitpicks with the figure itself, the head sculpt is spot on. The details in the face are sharp and his determined expression is perfect. The sculpted hairline accentuates his pointed ears, and the plunging, dominant brow drives home the point that this is not someone you want to mess with unless you’re further up the Cosmic Marvel food chain. They also did a nice job with his magnificent mohawk.

The articulation is exactly what I expect from one of these beefier figures. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, the knees are double hinged, and there are swivels in both the thighs and lower legs. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers, there’s a swivel in the waist, and an ab crunch hinge in the torso. Finally, the neck is both hinged and ball jointed, and it offers a nice range of motion so that he can look up for those flying poses.

And that’s all I got for today’s admittedly abbreviated review. Overall, Gladiator is another solid addition to my Legends shelves. Sure, I wish the paint was sharper in some areas, but the rough lines aren’t enough to ruin the figure for me. Yeah, he’s also a case where I’m really beginning to question whether or not Hasbro should be investing in some softgood capes, but I think that has the potential to go sideways, so maybe I should be careful what I wish for. And now that we have Gladiator in the Legends line, maybe it will break the logjam so we can get some more Shi’ar characters. Come on, Hasbro, Daddy wants a Marvel Legends Deathbird!

Marvel Legends (Sauron Wave): Wolverine (Laura Kinney) by Hasbro

It’s time for another Marvel Monday and today is proof that I probably need to shake the box that holds my unopened Legends figures, because today’s random grab takes us back to the Sauron Wave! And I’m fine with that, as I’m rather excited to get the Sauron BAF assembled. But there was no cheating this week. Honest! So let’s go ahead and have a look at Wolverine!

And this is, of course, Laura Kinney as Wolverine coming hot (well, more like tepid) off the presses of another of Marvel’s sad and pointless gender-swaps. Then again, I’m one of those craaaaaazy people that believes strong female characters can sell books and don’t need to glom on to a male character’s identity to do it. But I will say that of all these recent identity-swaps, I actually didn’t mind this one so much. After all, Laura is one of those great characters that I just mentioned that doesn’t need to bogart Wolverine’s name to sell books. Not something I could say about Jane Foster or Riri Williams. Oh shit, my rant alarm is warning me that I’m getting dangerously close to going off topic, so let’s open this damn figure!

Whatever my feelings on the book, I sure as hell can’t deny that Laura looks amazing in the costume and this figure sells it big time! There isn’t a hell of a lot of new sculpting here from the neck down, as Hasbro lets the paint do the talking when it comes to the costume detail. There are, however, newly sculpted boots, which appear to be layered over the lower legs. It makes them a bit thicker, but not so much that it bothers me. The only other sculpted piece is the brown belt that hangs on her hips and sports the X-logo.

If you read my review of Bishop, than you know how much I love the yellow and blue deco of the 90’s X-Men costumes and those lovely colors are on full display here. The paint lines are pretty sharp, and the only nitpick I have here is the yellow paint on the arms and legs shows up darker than the the yellow paint on the torso because the blue is bleeding through. It’s not as bad as we’ve seen in the past, but still worth mentioning.

The figure comes with two heads, one masked and one unmasked. They’re both solid enough, but I can’t imagine not displaying her with the masked one. I love the classic design of the cowl and the way they sculpted her hair blowing off and to her left. It just looks amazing. Maybe if this figure shows up later on at a discount I’ll pick up a second to display both ways. The unmasked head looks fine on its own, but it’s hard for me to equate both as being the same person. The unmasked head just doesn’t look anything like the exposed part of the face on the masked head. But that’s OK, because I have another use for it…

It looks fantastic on the X-23 figure!

As with past Wolverine figures, the claws are slotted into the knuckles and they are removable, although I’m going to abstain from doing it. I removed one and found it really difficult to get back in. And unlike the X-23 figure from the Sasquatch Wave, this time Ms. Kinney is sporting her toe blades too! Now these blades tend to fall out pretty easily. In fact, I was positive I had lost them at least once.

The articulation here is standard stuff for our Legends ladies. I do like that they got the swivels in the lower legs, despite the sculpted boots. As for the rest, you get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips with double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint under her chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Hasbro has been killing it with the X-Men figures lately, and Ms. Kinney as Wolverine is just another fine example of that. And nope, I don’t need to love the book to appreciate this figure. While the identity swaps are mostly cheap gimmickry, if anyone was going to take over Wolverine’s tiger stripes, it always should have been X-23 and I’m glad to have this figure on my Legends shelves. Besides, she just looks so damn good in those colors!

Marvel Legends (Sauron Wave): Bishop by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday and time for me to reach my hand into the big box of unopened Marvel Legends and randomly pull out a… oh, f’ck it, I just saw Bishop at the top of the box and I’m opening him!

Yup, I’ve been hoping to land Bishop in my random picks for a while now, and frankly I just got tired of waiting. I’ve been hoping that Hasbro would slip in with each new X-Men themed Wave and here we are at the Sauron Wave and there’s Bishop in all his classic Jim Lee costume glory. This is a figure that practically breaks out of the packaging and leaps off the peg. And as big and beefy as Bishop is, they still managed to get one of Sauron’s arms and wings stuffed in there behind him. Not too shabby!

Holy hell, this figure practically makes me giddy with joy. I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s, so I don’t find a lot of nostalgia in the 90’s, but the X-Men of this era scratched a certain itch with me. I was in college, I was on my own, and I was probably looking for something familiar and comfortable and the resurgence of X-Men in both animated and comic book form was that very thing. Not to mention those original Toy Biz figures on those colorful cards! Take all that and now toss in a fantastic new character like Bishop who tapped into some of the that stuff that made the X-Men so cool and it’s no wonder he resonates with me. Even better, just look at how great this figure turned out! It’s a veritable symphony of sculpt and color. Hasbro took an appropriately beefy buck and wrapped some equally beefy web-gear in the form of a waist belt, a shoulder rig, and bicep straps. These are all sculpted with some great detail as well as all the ubiquitous pouches that we have come to expect from our 90’s comic powerhouses. Toss a chunky X-logo offset onto the belt and the trademark neckerchief, and you’ve got goddamn poetry in action figure form.

But it’s equally the coloring on this figure that makes me want to weep tears of joy. The bright blue body suit, coupled with the yellow gear and double stripe, coupled with the red neckerchief and X-logo and you’ve got a deco that sings. I don’t know what it is about these colors that lights up all the pleasure centers of my brain, but it’s been that way ever since my first Toy Biz X-Men figures and that feeling has only grown with age. The blue and yellow in particular just go so well together and they even did a beautiful job printing his shoulder patches. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

And the magic that is this figure doesn’t stop at the neckline, because check out that mug! I’m overall very pleased with the head sculpts Hasbro has been serving up for their modern Legends line, but Bishop’s portrait here even manages to step it up a notch. It is absolutely superb. From the expression to the detail on his facial features to the sculpting in the hair and the perfect paint on his goatee, this is portrait that was crafted with love and reverence for the character. I don’t like to throw around the P-word all that often, but I’m going to do it here. This head sculpt is perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Bishop comes with one accessory and that’s his big honkin’ shotgun-looking weapon. It’s a fairly simple sculpt, appropriately molded in black plastic with a pistol-style grip and a large slide that gives it a distinctive look. Naturally he has a big yellow scabbard behind his left shoulder to store it. He can actually hold it in either hand, as both have sculpted trigger fingers. The only issue I have here is how hard it was for me to get it into either hand, because his fingers are sculpted into a death grip. I know Bishop is an imposing dude, but damn buddy, loosen up them hands so I can get your gun in them! In fairness, it got a lot easier after I’ve had it in and out of the hands a few times.

The articulation here consists of the usual. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with double hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels at the thighs and the tops of the boots, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the chest, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Chances are by now you’re tired of hearing a 46-year-old man verbally jerk off to an action figure, so I’ll go ahead and wrap things up. Bishop is an example of a toy line firing on all cylinders. This figure takes a great character and absolutely does him justice in 6-inches of plastic. The extra sculpting, the amazing portrait, the colors… I don’t think it’s at all possible for me to gaze on this figure without a big dumb happy smile on my face. If you’re at all a fan of the character, or just the 90’s X-Men in general, this one is a must-have for any collection. And most of all, this is why Hasbro’s modern Marvel Legends remains one of my all-time favorite action figure lines.

Marvel Legends (Apocalypse Wave): Magneto by Hasbro

Marvel Monday is here again, and just to show you how far behind on Marvel Legends I truly am, today’s random selection brings me to another Wave that I haven’t ventured into before. It’s another X-Men themed assortment, this time with the one and only Apocalypse as the Build-A-Figure. There are some great characters in this wave and today I’m starting out with the Magneto!

I’ll confess, I haven’t read an X-Men comic in quite a few years. But that’s more a reflection of my general distaste for Marvel’s comics lately and not a specific rebuke toward the X-Men. Not to mention I have a healthy stack of back issues and trades that I can dip into when I need to show the Mutants some lovin. With that having been said, these characters are still near and dear to my heart, and it’s long past time we had Magneto grace the modern¬†Marvel Legends lineup.

I take it this is what Magneto is wearing these days? It’s far from his iconic classic look, but it’s OK. I’ll confess I dig the black and red a lot more than the black and gray short sleeve look. The body here gets by mostly with paint, so you’ve got a black buck with the red striping. The striping is a little hit and miss. It looks great on the torso, but the legs have some sloppiness and bleed-through. It’s by no means terrible, but could be better.

The new sculpted parts include his boots and wrist bracers, as well as the cape, which has a peg for his back, but seems to be just as happy to hang from around his neck. The shoulder armor and bolted cross-strap are a nice nod to his classic look, and the red inner lining of the cape compliments the snappy deco pretty well.

Magneto comes packaged with his helmeted head, which is excellent. The style of the helmet hasn’t changed much, it’s still a form fitting, medieval looking affair at it appears to be sculpted separately from the head and permanently attached, which adds a lot to the depth and realism of the portrait. Erik’s face sculpt is fantastic, and it depicts him with pupil-less eyes.

The alternative head is sans helmet, and definitely falls into the, “It’s so good that I feel bad because I’ll probably never display him with it.” Actually, this is one of cases where if the figure starts turning up cheap, I might buy a second, so I can display him both ways. This head features the same great facial sculpt and some pretty incredible hair.

As for accessories, Magneto comes with two pairs of hands: Regular fists and a pair of translucent purple hands to go with the pair of translucent effect parts. I actually dig the purple hands a lot, even if I’m not really sure that they convey magnetism all that accurately. The same goes for the effect parts, which look more like your standard Force Lightning from Star Wars, rather than magnetic powers. Still, it’s hard to quibble about extras and he does look damn cool wielding them.

There are no surprises here where articulation is concerned. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, the knees are double-hinged, the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers, and there are swivels in the thighs and at the tops of the boots. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double-hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The torso features a waist swivel and an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

I’m sure I’m not being original by saying that I’d rather have had a classic Magneto, but with that token disclaimer out of the way, I really do like this figure a lot. It may not really be my Magneto, but this is a costume design that I can get behind, and there’s just the right amount of new sculpting here to make it work. Toss in a couple of fantastic portraits, and I do believe this will hold me over until we can get Erik in his red and purple duds. Either way, this is a great start to what is sure to be an incredible wave!

Marvel Gallery: Savage Land Rogue by Diamond Select

This week is one of those rare Marvel Mondays where I stray from Marvel Legends and look for some Marvel lovin’ elsewhere. And the only reason I’m doing that is because I’ve had this Marvel Gallery Rogue from Diamond Select sitting around and waiting to be opened for a couple of weeks now. So even though it’s going to put me further behind, we’ll set aside Legends for the day and have a look at this statue instead!

For the unfamiliar, Marvel (and DC!) Gallery grew out of Diamond’s Femme Fatale line of 9-inch scale PVC statues. The name may have changed but the packaging has stayed more or less the same. Rogue comes in a colorful box with windows on the front, side panels, and the top. And for some reason, DST persists on referring to these as Dioramas, which I suspect is some kind of licensing stipulation. Either way, everything is collector friendly and the statue comes nestled between two plastic trays. There’s no assembly required and she comes right out of the box all ready for your shelf.

And… WOW! Rogue stalks the wastes of The Savage Land with her spear at the ready and wearing the remnants of her X-Men costume, which happens to be torn away in all the right places. Yup, the bulk of the body sculpt here is just skin, but DST did a fine job not only with Rogue’s shapely form, but also with the subtle hints of musculature here and there. As for the costume, she features a dainty pair of green boots, a ragged green bikini bottom partially covered with leaves, and the top half of her yellow X-Men outfit with a green shredded undergarment peeking out beneath it. Short green gloves and some yellow wraps on her thigh and bicep beautifully round out this lovely make-shift costume.

They also put in some nice work on the crude dagger, which she wears on her belt. It’s got sculpted wrappings around the hilt and a makeshift brown sheath hooked onto her loose belt.

The composition is a nice mix of museum-style and cheesecake. She has one leg drawn up at the knee, with her left toes resting on the raised rock of the base and in her hands she holds a spear, ready for action. I like the pose a lot, it looks like someone just snapped a shot of her stalking the land in search of her prey. There’s a hint of imminent action, but overall this piece casts aside a strong sense of energy and just lets Rogue’s majestic and sexy form do all the talking.

And that brings me to the portrait, which is strong and overall quite well done. There’s no playful side glance here, Rogue’s gaze is straight on, maybe looking over toward the horizon, and her slightly narrowed eyes and tight lips dominate what is a confident and powerful likeness. Her coif of brown hair casts off to the side slightly, with the iconic white highlights and a green strip tied around her hairline. The sculpted bone necklace is a great touch too!

The paint here is overall pretty good, but it does show a few rough patches. The lines between skin and clothing are not all as crisp as they could be. There are a few areas around her mid-riff where the sculpted lines of the jagged top are flesh colored where they should be green. These are issues that would surely irk a perfectionist, but I think they’re well within the expectations of a budget statue line like this one. The skin tone is quite smooth and warm throughout, although it does have a bit of a glossy sheen to it, which is most noticeable to me on her face. Normally, this is something that bugs me, but hey, it’s pretty damn humid in The Savage Land, and Rogue is probably sweating buckets. On a QC note, my statue has a few scrapes in the flesh paint, the most notable of which is on her right shoulder and is clearly visible in the pictures. In the past, I’ve had some luck cleaning up these sorts of marks out with a magic eraser to smooth out the paint, but I probably won’t bother here and just write it off on dirt from the inhospitable environment.

The base is fairly simple, but it does the job of not only holding up Rogue, but also giving us a slice of her environment. It consists of a lump of pouris brown rock with a shock of vegetation growing out of the side. It looks good and it doesn’t take up too much real estate on the shelf, and those are two of the highest compliments that I can pay to any statue base.

Rogue here is exactly the reason I keep coming back to Diamond’s Gallery statues, despite the fact that I ran out of display room for these four or five statues back. Normally, I pick these up on Amazon after they’ve been released, but I actually pre-ordered this one back when it was first solicited. Sure, it means running the risk of paying more than I have to, but it only took one look at this figure to make me certain I wanted her in my collection. And with a retail of $40, Diamond’s Gallery statues continue to be some of the best values I’ve found in the collectible statue market. Or at least that’s the case now that Kotobukiya has been hiking up the prices on their Bishoujos. Sure, a few minor QC issues are bound to rear their ugly heads, and for that reason, I always recommend picking these up from a comic shop where you can inspect what you’re getting, but even though I got mine sight-unseen, I’m still perfectly pleased with the one I got.

Marvel Legends: Magik by Hasbro

No random review for this week’s Marvel Monday, as I picked up the Walgreen’s Exclusive Magik last week and was so excited that I bumped her to the head of the line. And to truly appreciate how excited I am, you have to realize that I’ve been jonesing after this figure since 2015 when she was released as part of the SDCC Exclusive Book of Vishanti boxed set. I missed the window to buy that set and wasn’t willing to pay what secondary sellers were asking for it. I had basically written her off, but thanks to this unlikely partnership between toy-maker and corner drugstore, I’ve finally got my mitts on this magical minx.

Magik is actually the third figure in that set to get a regular retail release, as we eventually got Brother Voodoo, and Dormammu turned up as a Build-A-Figure. That just left me missing the comic version of Hela and the Astral version of Doctor Strange, and I guess I can live with that. The package features the X-Men logo on the front and a Walgreens Exclusive sticker on the front. And one look at the tray shows that this box is crammed with goodies, so let’s get started!

And here’s Illyana freed from her cardboard and plastic Limbo, and what a great looking figure she is! The costume is comprised of a mix of paintwork and sculpted detail, with the paint making up the sleeves and glove on her right hand, the upper part of her thigh-high stockings, and her shorts. The top is sculpted with some raised lines and a Power Girl-style boob window, the goth boots each feature a brace of straps and buckles, and her left arm and shoulder features her Eldritch armor that appears via the Soulsword. The ensemble is tied together by a wide black belt with silver painted buckle and eyelets. I’ve got to say, both the sculpted detail and paint on this figure is especially sharp. It’s worth noting that there are a few differences between this release and the one packed in the SDCC set. Most notably, the boots were simply painted on the SDCC version, whereas this Magik is borrowing Nico Minoru’s footwear.

The portrait is every bit as impressive as the rest of the figure. Again, the detail is sharp and the paint on the eyes and lips is immaculate. I especially dig the black added to her lipstick. He hair sculpt features a rather pronounced set of bangs with strands of hair falling forward over her shoulders, a third falling back over her left shoulder, and the rest cascading down her back.

And if a great figure wasn’t enough, this tray also comes packed with extras, including two swords and a passel of magic effect parts. The obvious accessory here is The Soulsword and it is indeed a cool piece of magical cutlery. The extended grip allows for two-handed use, and the extremely broad blade is made of translucent yellow plastic with black lines running through it from the hilt.

She also comes with this blue energy sword, which I can’t place from the comics, but that doesn’t make it any less welcome. It’s got an extended silver grip with not much of a guard, giving it a distinct lightsaber-y vibe. The translucent blue blade is thin and straight, and you also get a blue energy effect part to snake around it.

And if you dig that effect part, you’re in luck, because Magik comes with no less than three more! These are all similar blue lightning magic-energy pieces, and if you collect Star Wars figures, you’ll likely find these similar to the Force Lightning pieces that Hasbro sometimes likes to include with the Dark Jedi characters. You get two small ones, which are perfect for her hands, and a longer sleeve, which can go over either arm. I’m not usually a big fan of these pieces, but I’ll confess I’m having some fun with these.

I’m at a total loss for explanation over the red repack of Kitty Pryde’s Lockheed. I thought it might be some reference to the link between Shadowcat and Magik in Limbo or just something I never came across in the comics. Or maybe it just looked magical and Hasbro wanted to get some more use out of that rather particular sculpt. Either way, this little dragon is cast in a translucent red gummy-like plastic and actually features some paint applications, including some gold to bring out his scales and some black for his horns. He’s neat! I dig him!

Finally, Magik also comes with a flaming skull, and it doesn’t take an astute student of Marvel Legends to recognize this as one of Ghost Rider’s noggins. Why the skull? Eh. It’s creepy and magic-y and who’s going to complain about getting a burning red skull as an accessory? And yes, the jaw is also articulated and there’s still a ball socket up in there if you want to use it as a head on one of your other figures.

If you’re like me and you missed out on the SDCC version, than this release of Magik is a real treat. Not to mention that as far as I’m concerned, I think this one is actually the better figure. It was really weighing on me that I missed out on this figure back then, but this is one of those cases where everything worked out for the better. She’s an amazing little figure, with a great inventory of accessories, and a welcome addition to my X-Men Legends!

Marvel Legends (Sasquatch Wave): X-23 by Hasbro

Welcome to another Marvel Monday! I’m used to posting these early in the morning right before I go to work, but now I’m posting them early in the morning right after getting home from work. Yeah, in case you missed the earlier disclaimer, I’ll be working nights on a project that will last until sometime in October and while I hope this will not effect content here, it’s certainly possible. But for now the show must go on and today the Wheel of Legends landed on the Sasquatch Wave for the second week in a row. Let’s check out Laura Kinney… X-23!!!

I have to say, this wave has been pretty great. In fact, there’s only one figure in this assortment that I wasn’t excited to get and I’m saving him for last. Oh, I mean… the totally random Wheel of Legends just hasn’t landed on him yet. Phew. Nice save on my part. Anyway, X-23 comes in a Deadpool branded package, which is a bit odd. In the past, Hasbro has changed up the branding on themed waves, and I’m not sure why they didn’t do that here, but I’m just going to throw the package out so it really doesn’t matter to me. A quick glance tells us there’s nothing in the way of accessories, but to make up for that, she does come with the giant Sasquatch torso Build-A-Figure part.

And here’s X-23 out of the package and the first thing I’ll say is how genuinely surprised I am that they didn’t go for Ms. Kinney in her Wolverine costume. Not that I’m complaining. I’m not a fan of that book, or Marvel’s bizarre insistence on replacing established characters. I am, however, a fan of her in the costume, so I wouldn’t mind getting that figure down the road. But, for now, we get X-23 in her X-Force Spec Ops outfit, which isn’t that far removed from what she’d been wearing before taking on the blue and yellow spandex. This is also fairly similar in design to the 4-inch figure we got a while back in the 2011 Marvel Universe line.

The bulk of the outfit is achieved through paint alone, although she does have some nice sculpted detail on her tall boots, including the straps that run up the sides, each with its own silver painted buckles. She also has a separately sculpted belt with the X-emblem on the buckle. The crop top is synonymous with several of her modern looks, but the gray bits really call out the X-Force look. The paint lines are overall pretty clean with a few minor flubs here and there. Unfortunately, there is a rather unsightly seam running up the side of her exposed midriff. Too bad they couldn’t have concealed this better.

I really dig this head sculpt a lot. It feels maybe a tad big for the body, but that might be because of the copious blowing hair. I’m not always a fan of the windblown look with sculpted hair, but I do like it here and I haven’t found too many poses where it gets in the way or looks out of place. The expression is pure rage with her teeth gritted as if she’s about to plunge her claws into someone, and I’m certainly cool with that. I will admit, I’m not a huge fan of the grey stripe on her mask, but that’s more an issue I have with the costume design than with the actual figure. All in all, really nice work here.

As with previous Wolverine figures, X-23’s claws are simply slotted into her hands, so they can be removed and added to allow for both display options. They’re pretty stiff and not too bendy, which is always a good thing. But what about her other claws?

Yeah, clearly the most obvious misstep here is that she doesn’t have her foot claws. I’m only mentioning it now, but it was the first thing I noticed when I took her out of the package. I hadn’t seen any reviews of this figure and since her feet are obscured by the Deadpool logo, I honestly expected them to be there. Even after I got her out of the package, I was looking in the tray to see if they had fallen out, but nope… she just doesn’t have them. Now, I’m not up on my X-23 funnybooks, so maybe there’s a reason for this in the official canon, but my guess is that Hasbro just didn’t include them on the figure for some inexplicable reason.

The articulation here is pretty good, but I have a few minor complaints. The arms feature those weird rotating shoulder hinges, which just don’t look all that natural. Otherwise, you have the regular rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists. The legs have ball jointed hips, swivels in the thighs and at the tops of the boots, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint under the chest and the neck has both a hinge and ball joint. Ms. Kinney is generally a pretty agile character, so the articulation here isn’t quite up to the task of all I’d like her to be able to do, but as far as the Legends line goes, it’s acceptable.

And so, X-23 takes her place as another really solid figure in a really solid assortment. I wouldn’t mind getting a few repaints out of this one, maybe Hasbro can whip up a striped top variant to take another $20 away from me. Whatever the case, I was happy to see them dig a little deeper here rather than go with a current comic that I’m just not into at all. Then again, I’m sure I’m going to buy the Laura Kinney Wolverine whenever they get around to it anyway. And that leaves just one more figure in this wave before I can build Sasquatch. But next week, I’ll be tossing randomness to the wind and taking a look at one of the Marvel Studio: First Ten Years figures!