Marvel Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Maverick by Hasbro

It was a working weekend for me, and a brutal one at that, so while everyone else is dreading Monday’s arrival, I was looking forward to it. Because it’s Marvel Monday and that means I get to pour myself a little libation and tear into another Marvel Legends action figure! Plus, I’m closing in on the last couple of figures in the Strong Guy Wave and that means soon I get to cobble together another Build-A-Figure, which is always a happy occasion. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of the 90’s. I tend to see it as the garish, extreme bastard that killed my 80’s. But it was an undeniably great decade for comics and an especially exceptional when it came to the X-Men. Maverick debuted in 1992 in X-Men (V2) #5 with a bitchin Jim Lee cover that practically shreds the eyeballs. A mercenary with a heartbreaking past, Maverick sure grew on me.

And he’s without a doubt one of the more distinctive looking characters in this wave, and certainly one of the ones I was most looking forward to! Maverick fills out the tray nicely and there’s even room in there for another one of Strong Guy’s colossal arms.

Even if you have no real affinity for Maverick, you have to admit that his armor is fab, and Hasbro did a fantastic job rendering it here in six-inches of articulated plastic. He’s got silver armor running up his legs to just above his knees, with segmented section below the knees, but not much going on for protection in the upper legs and groin. Maybe not a problem for someone who can absorb concussive force, which I would assume includes getting kicked in the gonads. You get a silver plate in front of his belt, and the segmented silver armor continues up to his torso and arms. Reinforcing the torso and arms is some beautiful gold plate for his upper body, shoulders, and gauntlets. The gold plastic has a little bit of that swirly effect you sometimes see, but it’s better quality than some of the gold plastic Hasbro has used in the past. Indeed, I think it looks great. Maverick has a brown shoulder strap over his armor, a brown pouch on his left hip, and a functional holster on his right hip. On his back, he wears a booster pack to amplify the energy he absorbs, complete with flexible tubing running from the top into Maverick’s mask. Hot damn, this guy looks great!

The excellent head sculpt falls right in line with the rest of the figure. The mask features his intimidating black markings and crimson red eye lenses. It wraps around the back of his head, while leaving his mouth and chin exposed below, and his coif of hair spilling out up through the top. The paint on the mask is super sharp and has a beautiful sheen to it. Maverick also includes a golden oxygen mask, which can in theory be worn over the mouth, but mine doesn’t want to stay put to well, so I’m content to leave it down.

The holster in on Maverick’s right hip holds a beefy looking pistol, no doubt loaded with adamantium bullets. It’s got quite a distinctive look with a large muzzle and a forward grip protruding from under the receiver.

He also comes with his more iconic weapon, with the squared off muzzle and dual magazines.  Both weapons are cast in silver-gray plastic and feature some nice attention to detail in the sculpt. He also sports both left and right gun-toting hands so he can dual wield. Alas, there’s nowhere to store this one.

For an assortment that’s been all over the place, Maverick is a welcome addition to the Strong Guy Wave, and another Mutant to cross off my Marvel Legends list. With lots of new sculpting and an eye-catching deco, this guy is certainly a  top contender for my favorite figure in this wave. Next week I’ll check out the final packaged figure, and maybe I can squeeze in the Build-A-Figure as well!

Marvel Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Deadpool by Hasbro

ARE YOU SICK OF DEADPOOL YET??? That’s a question Hasbro seems to be screaming at us these days with every few waves of Marvel Legends. But, I guess someone had to take over for the crazy number of variant releases of Iron Mans and Captain Americas that we used to get. We’ve already seen one version of Poolsy in his so-called X-Men outfit and now we’re getting him in the more traditional (and less on the nose) look with the blue and yellow deco. It may not be as cool as Pirate Deadpool or as wacky as Underpants Deadpool, but I was actually happy to see this one get released. What can I say? I’m part of the problem! At least I never bought that Rainbow Deadpool 5-pack. And I’ve seen that clearanced down to like ten bucks.

Hey, you got your Deadpool in my X-Men wave! Yup, this assortment feels like Hasbro didn’t have anywhere to go with some of these Deadpool figures so they stuffed them into what could have been a full X-Men wave. But hey, they could have just as easily made it a full Deadpool wave too, so count your blessings, you Deadpool haters! Anyway, there’s nothing new to say about the packaging, so let’s press on.

As you might expect, El-Poolio here is kit-bashed from a bunch of past Deadpools. The body appears to be borrowed from the Wade we got a couple years back in the Sasquatch Wave, which was also used for the above cited X-Men Deadpool. And that’s not a bad thing, because it sees a return of those wonderful lateral crunches in the shoulders and the extra set of swivels in the lower legs. In terms of articulation, this body is just a wonder to play around with and even has a pretty nice balance. Also borrowed from that earlier Deadpool are the wrist and ankle cuffs, now repainted yellow to match the new deco. And speaking do deco, I simply adore the colors that Mr. Pool is showcasing here. The bulk of the suit is blue, but has some nice yellow piping and it looks sharp!

The belt and shoulder harness is borrowed from the Deadpool Corps Deluxe Riders Deadpool, which was in turn borrowed from the 2012 X-Force Deadpool. Yeah, I’m amazed that Hasbro is still digging that deep for parts and accessories. The panoply of pouches are brown, while the chest and shoulder straps are now yellow. He’s got a red X-logo in the center of the harness and his patented Pool-emblem on the lower belt buckle. It looks good on the figure, but the belt rides a little high, because the 2012 figure was a lot shorter. The last splash of yellow on the suit comes from his choker collar and the areas around his eyes on the mask. Roll it all together and this is a beautiful suit.

Because this figure borrowed the harness and scabbards, it’s only natural that the twin katanas are recycled too. Each hilt has been repainted with blue grips and a yellow tsuba to accessorize with the costume. Deadpool doesn’t like to be laughed at by the fashionistas. The blades are cast in that weird almost transparent white plastic, which I will likely wind up coloring in silver with a Sharpie or Gundam marker. All in all, these are some of the best swords we’ve seen with Deadpool, and I’m always happy to see them again. The only thing I don’t like about them is the way the tips of the blades peek through the scabbards. And while Pool only comes with a set of trigger hands, they hold the swords quite well.

In addition to his cutlery, Deadpool also comes with a pair of guns, both of which are cast in pale silver-gray plastic. The pistol has a bit of a sci-fi vibe going for it, but it’s not too crazy. Sadly, there’s no holster on his belt for him to carry it, although I suppose you could just tuck it in there.

The second is this decent sized assault rifle, which again is a little bit out there in its design, but still looks like it could be a credible real-world weapon, I suppose. I’m fairly sure we’ve seen these guns somewhere before, but I can’t readily place them. And as much as I love you guys, I’m not going to go picking through 300 or so Legends weapons to find matches!

Another Deadpool or no, I think this is a great looking figure. Normally, I’d say that if you’re sick of Deadpool just don’t buy him. But if you take that advice you’ll have a headless Strong Guy in your display, so I guess you’re kind of stuck. And maybe that’s a legit complaint about all these Deadpoolses we’ve been getting. Then again, having to buy a figure you don’t really want every now and then is one of the pitfalls of Build-A-Figures. That’s why Hasbro does it! Personally, I’m OK if we take a break from Deadpool himself for a little while, but there are still some associated characters I’d like to see hit the pegs. Once again, Hasbro, where the hell is my T-Ray?

Marvel Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Black Tom by Hasbro

For anyone who dropped me a line during my absence last week to see if I was face down on the bathroom floor onto a busted bottle of Jameson, your concern was genuinely moving. But fear not, my current Jameson bottle is very much in tact, and I am working may through a triple-pour as we speak. Work last week was another double quarter-pounder of bullshit with extra pickles and I had to eat every last bite before I could go on vacation this week. But hey… VACATION! Last time I tossed out that word I was taking a vacation from posting content because of too much work. Now it means I’m actually off work and I can work on some content! In all seriousness though, this place is obviously still in a state of flux as I try to work things out and get back onto track. One way or another it’ll happen. I find myself thinking back to the early days of FFZ when I rarely tapped out a review in a sober state and it’s possible that all I need to do is drink more. As for today… it’s another beautiful Marvel Monday, I’m home in my JimJams, and I’m ready to open up some new Marvel Legends. Let’s keep things going with the Strong Guy Wave and a look at Black Tom Cassidy!

HOLY SHIT, HASBRO MADE A BLACK TOM FIGURE!!! I don’t know why I’m surprised at anything Hasbro gives us in Marvel Legends these days, but maybe this is more a state of general happiness than surprise, because Tom Cassidy has been on my short list for a little while. The Strong Guy Wave has been something of an X-Men/Deadpool split, but Black Tom strides the line and fits in both sides quite nicely. Sure, the character has had a history that goes back with the X-Men well before Deadpool was ever inked onto a page, but he’s also appeared in a number of Deadpool books too, so this assortment feels like a perfect opportunity to get him into the mix. Oddly there’s no bold X-Men logo on the top or front panel, nor is there a Deadpool logo, but rather just the generic Marvel logo. And I care not, as this package is about to get shredded.

Tom Cassidy has been around almost as long as I have, but he was definitely an established character by the time I was old enough to start getting my peanut-butter smudged fingers onto my first Marvel Comics. I’m pretty sure I first met him as a result of a big score at the downtown used book shop where I bought most of my funnybooks. They had a whole box of ripped covers that they were letting kids pick through, so long as you actually bought some comics. I remember trying to ride home on my bike was a challenge, because I was laden down with so many floppies. The freebies were in gnarly shape, but I didn’t care, and two of them were issues of Uncanny X-Men involving an adventure in Cassidy Keep! Brother to Banshee, and someone that I’ve found to be a fairly sympathetic villain, I’ve been anxiously waiting for Hasbro to give Tom Cassidy the Marvel Legends treatment. And they did a damn fine job too! Built on a primarily black buck, Tom has a sculpted high collar, which dips in the front to form a point at the middle of his chest. Also, his boots and gauntlets are sculpted to flare at the edges. The result is a very distinct looking costume which is achieved through a nice balance of paint and new sculpt. His emblem is painted in red across his chest, with minimal bleed through, and he has a tight fitting red belt. Every bit of this costume looks great, but I especially love the black and red deco. It just looks so snappy!

What a portrait! I shouldn’t be surprised as Hasbro rarely flubs head sculpts in this line, but I like that they took the extra time to pack Tom’s noggin with personality. He sports a sharply detailed face with a dastardly grin and some fantastic sculpted hair, which includes bushy eyebrows, mustache, and goatee. The paint for the hair and the eyes is sharp and on point. This is just an all-around great looking portrait, which captures the character beautifully.

Black Tom’s articulation features all the great points I expect out of Marvel Legend‘s plastic dudes. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double-hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and yes there are additional swivels hidden at the tops of his boots. He has an ab-crunch hinge, a swivel in the waist, and his neck is both hinged and ball jointed. He’s loads of fun to play around with!

Tom comes with one accessory, and it is indeed his shillelagh, a knotted wooden fighting stick that he can use to channel the blasts of his mutant ability. It’s got a pretty bitchin’ stylized skull sculpted onto the end of it. Either hand is sculpted to hold it pretty well. And while I’m not usually one to ask for effect parts, I feel like one of them would have been a welcome inclusion here. But I’m sure I can fish something out of the accessory bin that will suit him.

Hot damn, it’s good to be back and opening toys again!  And I gotta say this one really tickled my jumblies. I’m always down for another X-Men baddie, but Black Tom here really pounds on that nostalgia button. His appearances are not the most prolific of the X-Men foes, but it’s always a real treat for me when he pops up. Deep down inside, I probably never doubted that Marvel Legends would get around to him eventually. Hell, I don’t think this line is going to stop until every last Marvel character has been pressed into plastic. But it kind of odd that we got a Tom Cassidy release before Banshee. And while we’re on the subject, I’ll happily take Syren as well. And since this is at least a partial Deadpool wave… where is T-Ray for crying out loud??? This would have been a perfect assortment to toss him into.

Marvel Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Warpath and Sunspot by Hasbro

Well hey there, Toyhounds! After taking a week off from Toy Bloggery, I’m back in full force with a brand new Marvel Monday! And since I took the last Marvel Monday off, today I’m doubling up on some X-Force Action with a look at two Mutants from the Strong Guy Wave… Let’s check out Warpath and Sunspot!

If you’re keeping track at home, I already dipped my toe into this Wave way back when I checked out Pirate Deadpool! I’ve got nothing new to say about the packaging, except that you get the mighty X-Force logo emblazoned on the front of each window box. To my surprise, I was actually able to find this pair at my local Target… and on clearance!!! Let’s start with Sunspot!

A Mutant with a sunny disposition and money to burn, Sunspot breaks into the Marvel Legends lineup looking absolutely fab! The buck features a combination of paint and colored plastic to make up the mostly red and blue suit, with some added black for the gauntlets. The deco looks great and the paint lines are pretty clean. You do get some unpainted pins rearing their ugly heads, with red ones on the interiors of the elbows and blue ones on the interiors of the knees. These don’t really bother me, but I know it sticks in some peoples’ collective craws. Overall, I think this deco looks fantastic!

And if that’s not enough, the costume does introduce a splash of added color and original sculpted parts in the form of raised yellow striping on the sides of his boots, yellow bangles on his wrists, and a yellow collar with the X-emblem stamped onto it in red. Damn, this is a cool looking suit!

And Roberto’s portrait is no slouch either! Cast in black plastic, the ebony head sculpt is illuminated only by the bright red mask and his white pupil-less eyes. It makes for a really cool effect. The mask is augmented by a pair of sculpted ties that fly off the back of his head down toward his back. The portrait is rounded out by black energy effects protruding from behind his back to simulate the corona effect of his awesome powers.

There are no surprises here when it comes to articulation, although Sunspot does feature the extra swivel cuts down in the lower legs that we see every now and then. Those are always welcome! He also comes with a pair of effect parts, which we have most certainly seen a few times before, but now they’re cast in a very cool looking black plastic. These hook onto the wrists and blend nicely with the effect parts coming off of his back. OK, let’s turn our attention to Warpath!

If you were with me a few Marvel Mondays back, you may remember that I was ultimately a bit disappointed with Thunderbird and I was hoping that his brother Warpath would turn out better. And for the most part, he did! Built on a larger and more powerful buck, Warpath features a similar costume to Thunderbird’s, and the same beautiful red and blue colors we just saw on Sunspot. His top is short-sleeved, allowing him to show off his mighty guns!

Once again, the colors are crisp and the paint lines are clean. While the fringe on the tops of Thunderbird’s boots annoyed me to no end for their habit of sliding down to his ankles, I’m happy to report that Warpath’s are sculpted in place and stay put! Why couldn’t you have done that the first time, Hasbro? On the other hand, Warpath features some large shoulder pads with matching fringe, and these have a habit of popping off when you try to raise his arms too high. So, it’s really one of those “two steps forward, one step back” scenarios. At least the shoulder pads look pretty bitchin’ when they are staying put. Warpath’s costume is rounded out by a red belt with sculpted pouches running around it, and gold bracers on his wrists.

I absolutely love the portrait here. Proudstar sports a stoic expression, with a firmly downturned mouth, a strong nose, and some chiseled lines in his face. His red domino mask is part of the sculpt, framing his two pupil-less eyes. He has a sculpted red headband, which is mostly obscured by his black coif that cascades down each side of his face. The hair is sculpted so as to add a lot of depth and dimension to the portrait, even to the point where you can make out part of his ears buried in there where the hair parts at his shoulders. The head sculpt is rounded out with a white sculpted feather protruding from the back, behind his right ear. Really, my only complaint here is the bit of mold flashing that’s evident on his chin.

As with Sunstorm, there’s no surprises to be found in the articulation. Warpath sports all the usual points and the joints are solid, making him fun to play with. At least until I knock his shoulder pads off with his arms. Sadly, there are no accessories here, and I think it’s a major bummer that Hasbro did not include his fighting knives. And as if that omission wasn’t bad enough, they actually included a pair of accessory holding hands to swap out with his fists. Seriously, Hasbro? Hands to hold the knives, but no knives to hold? Are you just trolling me on this one? Egads.

Sunstorm and Warpath are two excellent new additions to my X-Men shelf and all in all I have few complaints. I’m always torn on whether I prefer this gorgeous red and blue over the blue and yellow when it comes to my Mutant costume colors. More than anything, these costumes remind me of the good old days of collecting the Toy Biz figures, and these really capture all that magic only with the added articulation and excellent head sculpts. Sunspot is pretty much perfect, but I still have to hammer home the point of how ridiculous it is that we couldn’t have had some knives with Warpath. Hell, even the 4-inch Marvel Universe release got some cutlery. I’ll have to dig through my totes of accessories and see if I can accommodate him.

Marvel Legends: Storm and Thunderbird by Hasbro

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.

Marvel Legends: Rogue and Pyro by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday and Thanksgiving week to boot! Obviously, I’m thankful to Hasbro for giving us so many amazing Marvel Legends figures, even if this line is becoming almost impossible to keep up with! Today I’m digging into one of the recent two-packs with Rogue and Pyro! So allow me to pour myself a tall glass of Jameson’s patented holiday cheer and let’s get to it!

The packaging here is just lovely, and it makes me sad that I don’t have the room to keep these boxes. You get some wonderful character art on the side panels and the back, and a big window in the front that lets you get a good look at the stuffing inside. It’s a fairly compact box, and that coupled with the number of extras, makes it look like a well-rounded package of goodies! Where to begin? Well as Rogue would say… it’s ladies first, sugah!

Cards on the table, I was really hoping the next Legends Rogue we got was her Savage Lands look, but I think deep down inside, I knew better. Instead we get one of her more modern costumes, which I think is… OK. It’s not my favorite look for her, but she’s done a lot worse over the years. And to be fair, this figure is so well executed, that it’s hard for me not to get behind the choice to go with this look. Particularly clever is the way the belt piece is sculpted to include the short skirt, making it look like it’s all part of the torso, when it’s just a nicely done fake out. With the exception of some sculpted boot tops around the knees, the rest of the costume gets by with white trim painted onto the rather striking green buck. Yeah, the coloring here is just gorgeous and despite the fact that some of those white paint lines could have been sharper, the color combo is what really sells this figure to me. A sculpted white scarf cascades down Rogue’s back to complete the ensemble. Maybe they overdid it a bit with the X-branding on this costume design, but heck, I don’t mind.

Since I’m squeezing two figures in today, I’m not going to run down all the articulation points. Besides, there’s nothing new here. The only thing really worth mentioning is that the skirt does inhibit her range of motion in the hips just a tad. I will also point out that Rogue comes with two pairs of hands: Fists, and those sort of spell-slinging, psychic power type hands.

The portrait is solid enough, but there’s something about it that keeps it from being great, and it’s just hard to put my figure on what exactly that is. The paint is pretty sharp, and she’s got a cute expression going on between her smirk and her eyes, but I vastly prefer the portrait from that classic Jim Lee figure. The hair sculpt here isn’t one of Hasbro’s best either. It looks a little more like putty than hair, and the white is kind of splotchy. I do, however, dig the ponytail. I don’t know, maybe I’m being too hard on this one. She does come with an alternate head, so how’s that one?

Well, I’m not entirely sure what expression they were going for here. At some angles it looks like anger, in others it just looks like she’s showing off her pearly whites. Come to think of it, it’s actually a bit saucy! In terms of the face, I’d say this is a lateral move over the other regular head. It’s not better, not worse, just another option. They did re-sculpt the hair to give it a more dynamic look, but it doesn’t help the complaints I had about it on the previous portrait.

I like this figure well enough. It’s a cool look for Rogue, and I think the fact that I nitpicked her a bit just goes to show you what a great line Legends is, and how expectations run high. I have no doubt that there are collectors out there for whom this is the Rogue they were waiting for, and that’s what makes the prolific nature of this line so great. And make no mistake, I am by no means unhappy about adding this one to my collection.

No offense to Rogue, but they could have bundled anyone with Pyro and I still would have bought this set. Once the onslaught of X-Men (no pun intended) starting hitting Legends, I kept hoping that Pyro would be in the next wave, and then the next, and so on. I’m kind of surprised that he wasn’t a regular release, but either way I ain’t complaining because this is an outstanding figure. Pyro’s flame retardant suit is almost entirely painted onto the bright and beautiful yellow plastic of the buck. We get a deep maroon for the boots, and a muted orange-tan for the upper sleeves and torso. The paint lines are crisp and everything about the coloring here is just gorgeous.

Pyro’s flamethrower rig is molded as part of the shoulders and chest piece, which fits around his neck and rests on his shoulders. It’s all cast in soft maroon plastic to match the color of the boots, and there’s a big yellow diamond painted on the chest. There’s some sculpted detail in the backpack, and the two flexible hoses snake their way down his arms and attach to the cuffs on his wrists with the nozzles positioned under his wrists. The hoses work well and are flexible enough so as not to impede the range of movement in his arms. And speaking of articulation, Pyro’s got it in all the usual places, and even includes those extra swivels down in his lower legs.

The standard head sculpt makes for a great portrait, with his orange mask sculpted as well as painted on. His prominent and expressive brow frames his bug-like red eyes, and the part in the mask advertises his sharp nose, jutting chin, and wide, beaming grin. The shock of blonde hair juts upward, like a flame on a match. This is just another one of those Legends portraits that oozes personality, and really brings the character to life.

As with Rogue, Pyro comes with an alternate head, which simply features a different expression. Here, Pyro’s grin blooms into a full on kinda yellow toothy, psychotic grin. I’m just going to go ahead and characterize these heads as Before He Sets You on Fire, and After He Sets You on Fire. It’s a close call as to which one I’ll use most for display, but right now I’m leaning toward the second one.

Pyro comes with two fire effect parts, and here’s the only part about the figure that leaves me disappointed. These effect parts are meant to fit around the fists, but even if I didn’t recognize them as recycled parts, it’s easy to tell that they were clearly not designed for this figure. They don’t work well with the nozzles and tend to fall off pretty easily. I really wish Hasbro could have given us something that did work with those nozzles, like a jet stream of flame. Yeah, I realize that we got TWO extra portraits in this box, so maybe asking for brand new effect parts is a lot, but even still, these effect parts just don’t work that well.

No doubt, this is a solid set of figures. I like the Rogue well enough, but I didn’t feel like my collection was incomplete without her. She’s a decent figure, but she isn’t going to replace the bomber jacketed Jim Lee version on my main X-Men shelf. And so, she’ll be relegated to that “other versions” shelf, which is constantly in danger of getting taken down to make room for other figures. Pyro on the other hand, was the “must have” in this box, and despite a swing and a miss with the flame effects, the figure itself is a homerun. He’ll be taking up a place of honor on my Brotherhood shelf. Either way, this box was a welcome pick up, and now I can go back to trying to hunt down the Storm/Thunderbird two-pack.

Marvel Legends: Hellfire Club Boxed Set by Hasbro, Part 2

On the last Marvel Monday, I ran over my word and picture count while gushing over the first two figures in the Hellfire Club Exclusive boxed set, so today I’m back to wrap things up with a look at the ladies: Emma Frost, Jean Grey and, thanks to a head-swap, Selene Gallio! But before hitting the figures, let’s have a look at one last bonus in the packaging…

I mentioned this last time, but neglected to show it. Probably because I didn’t want to make anyone else feel bad, but my set came with a handwritten invitation to join The Hellfire Club. This beautiful document was neatly folded into an envelope with a facsimile wax seal (it’s only printed) and tucked into the reverse of the portrait that covers the tray. Look at that! It’s signed by all four of The Inner Circle. I haven’t replied yet, but I plan on accepting. I am, however, a little apprehensive about the initiation. OK, on with the figures!

Emma Frost once again graces the Marvel Legends line! We last saw her as a Walgreens Exclusive in her black Dark Reign outfit. Here she’s the White Queen, donning a more traditional outfit and looking damn fine. Her costume is dominated by a flowing white cape with sculpted fur shoulders and a shimmering blue stone clasp securing it around her neck. The cape affords her a bit of modesty, as underneath it she’s wearing her underwear and a white corset, along with a pair of thigh high high-heeled boots, and gloves, which go all the way past her elbows. We sure didn’t have any action figures like this when I was a kid! Hell, we didn’t even get a Slave Leia until Power of the Force 2.

The bulk of the sculpted detail in this costume went into her corset and they did a very nice job on it indeed! It actually looks like it’s sculpted separately from the figure, as the bottom half hangs down and there’s a clear delineation between the top of the corset and the top of her chest. You also get some sculpted stitching and lacing running up the front, as well as defined edges. It’s a very nice piece of work as opposed to having just painted it onto the figure. The top edges of the gloves also have sculpted borders and I’m surprised at how well the figure stands, despite having high-heels. All aspects of the white costume look bright and clean and pop nicely against her skin.

I’ve spent some time trying to decide whether this portrait is the same sculpt as the alternate head that came with Walgreens Emma Frost, and I’m pretty sure that it is. The hair looks identical and the facial structure the same. The reason it’s tough to tell is because the paint here is so much better. In fact, it’s shocking how much better it is over a figure that was released only about a year ago. This portrait includes her straight hair that hangs just above her shoulders and some very sharp paint on her lips, eyes, and eye shadow. My figure has a slight speck under her right eye, which I do not believe is intentional, but it does look like a tiny mole, so I don’t have a problem with it.

The articulation here is everything I expect from the Legends ladies, which means we get rotating hinges in the elbows as opposed to double-hinges and bicep swivels. I’ve been hoping that Hasbro would start promoting equal articulation for the gals by now, but I doubt that’s ever going to happen. Otherwise, the arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and hinged pegs for the hands. Emma has an optional pair of fists as well. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles. There may be rockers in those ankles, but I can’t get them to budge. The neck is both hinged and ball jointed. I’m really happy to have this figure in my collection, since the Dark Reign version, while a nice figure and a worthy stand in, wasn’t iconic to me. Moving on to Jean Grey!

Oh my! Corrupted Jean Grey may by another reason why these figures were an online exclusive, because I really couldn’t see kinky Jean Grey hanging on a peg in the aisles at Target or Walmart. [Then again, I have since been reminded that the Black Queen served as a Toys R Us Exclusive in Hasbro’s previous Legends line a little while ago.] Although it would have been a good opportunity for a Build-A-Torture Rack accessory! If you were with me last time, you know that Shaw and Pierce were straight repaints of the same body from the neck down, and that’s largely the case with Emma and Jean here, as we go from White Queen to Black Queen. However, Hasbro did use a few accessories to distinguish these gals. The most obvious change is in the capes, which are completely different. Jean’s is a little shorter and is sculpted with a rather dramatic wind-blown look. She also has a sculpted rose, which looks like it’s meant to serve as a clasp. Less dramatic, but no less outrageous is her spiked collar! Everything else on the body itself is identical and I think this outfit looks fantastic in either black or white.

The portrait appears to be entirely new and I like it a lot. Jean has her hair up in a bit of a bun to show off that spike collar, and she’s got some red eye shadow to match the color of her hair. As with Emma, the paint applications on the face are crisp and clear and look fantastic.

While Emma came up light on the accessories, Jean comes with a whip and a third pair of hands, so that she can hold it. Yup! Just in case the outfit didn’t drive home the BDSM theme here! The whip is recycled from the Black Cat figure (from the Ultimate Green Goblin Wave), meaning it has that kind of goofy claw on the end of it. Not that I would tell Jean it looks goofy, because I imagine that it hurts a lot.

And that brings us to Selene Gallio, which is simply an optional head for the Jean Grey figure. It’s really cool that Hasbro tossed this one in as an extra and I think the portrait has a lot of character, but it feels a little more like a caricature when compared to the Emma and Jean head. Maybe that’s just because they were going for a specific expression here. She’s got purple eye shadow to match her purple lip gloss and as with the other ladies, the paint is executed flawlessly here. It’s a shame that this body isn’t available as a single packaged figure, because I sure wouldn’t mind having another to display as Selene, but between the two, I’ll likely keep the Jean head on the figure for display. For the record, it actually works pretty well on the Dark Reign Emma Frost body, and since this will be my go-to Emma Frost for Legends, that’s a pretty good option. And while we’re on the subject, you can swap the two Walgreens Frost heads with this Emma, but the skin tone doesn’t match. But with this beautiful noggin, why would you want to?

Wow, what a great set! This box went for $79.99 on Hasbro Pulse, which puts it at $20 a figure. Not bad, even with all the recycling, as the packaging adds a lot to the value here, and as I’m sure I’ve said numerous times, there was no way these figures were going to get a regular retail release. Sure, I have no doubt that adult collectors drive this line, but they don’t carry that “Adult Collectible” moniker and are still considered toys. Kids were probably not going to be too keen on a pair of dudes in 18th Century dress, and I doubt the parents would be up for getting the kids Emma Frost in her undies and Dominatrix Jean Grey. I was glad to see this one stuck around on the site a little while, at least long enough for me to order one with no trouble. Obviously, it has since sold out and seems to be selling for around double on Ebay, although it’s possible to find the individual figures listed there as well.

Marvel Legends: Hellfire Club Boxed Set by Hasbro, Part 1

As I may have mentioned last week, I’m stepping away from doing consecutive reviews of particular Marvel Legends waves in order to get to some multipacks, exclusives, and older figures. That’ll probably be the case through to the end of the year, but who knows? Maybe I’ll work at least one more complete wave and Build-A-Figure in before the end of the year. For now, I’m kicking this madness off on this glorious Marvel Monday with a look at the Exclusive Hellfire Club 4-Figure set that was released through Hasbro’s online Pulse store! The set includes The Inner Circle of The Club: Sebastian Shaw, Donald Pierce, Jean Gray (or Selene Gallio if you prefer), and Emma Frost. I originally planned to check out the whole set today, but I ran a little long, so instead we’ll look at the packaging along with Shaw and Pierce, and some accessories, and next week we’ll check out the ladies.

Hasbro has been well known for their elaborate Marvel Legends boxed sets, many of which released as San Diego Comic Con Exclusives. But with no Comic Cons happening, they’ve been seeking other routes for these impressive sets. I think this one was referred to as a PulseCon Exclusive, but whatever the case, it became available to Premium Members of Hasbro Pulse first and then to everyone else later. Now, I have had some terrible experience with Pulse this year. Most of what I pre-order shows up through Amazon Prime first and cheaper, so I wind up cancelling the Pulse pre-orders. I’ve also been shut out on a lot of pre-orders because they sell out so fast. Well, this time I was able to get in and get out without too much bother, but it has since sold out. The packaging here may be their best yet, as it not only relies on a special box, but also multiple cool components of presentation. On the outside, it cuts all the class of the prestigious and exclusive club that it represents. There’s an embossed iron gate on the front to keep the riff-raff out and an impressive gold and crimson foil H-seal in the middle. The back panel of the box features framed portraits of the figures inside.

Break the velcro seal and the front opens to reveal an illustrated portrait of the Inner Circle and it is a magnificent piece of art! The back of this card has an envelope that contains a facsimile letter. The obverse sides of the flaps have portraits of each of the four characters, and finally we get to the tray of figures, presented with a backdrop showing the luxury of the Hellfire Club’s parlor. I’ve managed to pick up nearly all of the modern Legends SDCC Exclusive sets, and none has really come close to how polished the presentation is here. Hasbro just put a ton of love into this one and it shows. So, let’s dig in and we’ll start out with a look at Sebastian Shaw!

Don’t judge me, but I sure do dig me some fancy 18th Century formalwear. Seriously, if it were socially acceptable to dress like this today, I’d be down for it! I’d also go by the name Martin Chuzzlewit and carry a silk hanky and a tin of snuff around with me. And who would have thought we’d get a beautiful example of this historic wardrobe with a Marvel Legends figure! Sebastian’s sculpted apparel includes a navy blue gentleman’s jacket with vest, all sculpted in soft plastic as one piece, with the sleeves sculpted onto the arms. The sculpt is great, the vest isn’t too bulky even if the arms are, and the jacket includes a stylish tail that extends down the backs of the legs. The vest is red with a textured pattern, and the jacket includes brass painted buttons and a flared collar. The jacket sleeves have exposed ruffles that would make Jon Pertwee proud. Superb! His gray culottes end just above his calves to expose his white socks (no doubt silk!) and his buckled shoes. Considering how limited the uses for this body must be, it’s nice to see Hasbro put so much work into it. It’s the perfect outfit for sitting in overstuffed chairs by the fire, sipping brandy, and discussing how you’re going to exert your wealth and power to control the world government.

Hasbro also did an admirable job on Mr. Shaw’s portrait, complete with a vintage-style ponytail, tied with a ribbon, impressive mutton chops, and a devastating widow’s peak. High arched eyebrows and a broad, smug grin, completes the head sculpt nicely. As has often been the case with the Legends villains, this likeness is just brimming with personality. Shaw has an affable face, and those are the villains that you have to watch out for!

Despite his stuffy outfit, Pierce still enjoys all the usual points of articulation I expect out of my Legends dudes. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinged knees, swivels in the thighs and the tops of the socks, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double-hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs in the wrists. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge buried up inside that coat, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. What a great figure! You might say that its so nice, Hasbro used it twice! In the same boxed set!

Donald Pierce is a straight repaint of Shaw from the neck down. And while it may seem rather cheeky to recycle a whole body in the same set, I honestly don’t mind it here. This costume is so well done and in fairness it works just fine for both characters. It probably doesn’t hurt that since both figures are brand new to me, it doesn’t feel as much like a rehash. I’m not even sure if that makes sense or it’s just that HasBRO kool-ade that I coif working its magic. Now, I will say that I wish Hasbro had added some tiny bit of sculpting trickery to set them apart, like maybe change up the cravat. But I’m still OK with what we got. Pierce’s outfit is decked out in more earthy tones with a brown jacket and slightly green culottes, while his vest is a green. He has the same cravat as his colleague as well as the same shoes.

And once again we see a portrait just brimming with personality. The facial features are wonderfully detailed, the eyes are a striking blue and he has a broad and somewhat imposing smile. While Shaw came across as more congenial to me, Pierce looks to be hiding malice, and not really hiding it too well. The articulation is obviously identical to what we saw with Shaw, but before moving wrapping this up for the day, we can check out some of the gents’ accessories.

For starters, you get a pair of fists, which can be used for either Shaw or Pierce, but I’m going to go ahead and give those to Shaw, because Pierce comes with his very own and very specific replacement cyborg hands! And might I say that there’s nothing quite as cool looking as a bloke in fancy dress sporting a pair of cybernetic meat hooks. The right hand is sculpted as a gun-holding hand and the other is kind of a graspy hand. But wait? Gun holding hand? Guns??? Yup, let’s check out the guns!

These both look familiar, so I’m pretty sure we’ve seen them before and both are very sci-fi designs. No doubt these are the best technology money can buy! The pistol works best with Pierce’s Cyborg hand and Shaw can hold the rifle quite well. Are they shining examples of 6-inch scale weaponry? Nah, not really. They’re cast in black plastic with no paint applications and the sculpts are a little soft. But I’m never going to complain about getting some extra guns in with my action figures.

You also get the Hellfire Book, which is a really cool little sculpt. It’s molded so that it’s perpetually open so that the members can peruse it’s page. The binding has a nice leather-like texture to it and there’s raised letterings sculpted into it. The front cover also bears the Hellfire H-insignia. Yup, the same one that’s on the front of this boxed set. Inside the book there are some charts and squiggly lines to denote text. I’ve been a book collector nearly all my life, so I can really appreciate getting such a cool little book in this scale. Sure Boss Fight Studios has done it better and in a much smaller scale, but this little plastic tome is still really neat.

And finally, you get both Wolverine’s mask and Magneto’s helmet as trophies. These are beautiful little accessories, and I wish there was a little shelf above that fireplace on the backdrop where you could display them. I don’t have anything else to say about these pieces, except that they’re welcome bonuses. And with that, I’m going to break for today. I’m also going to reserve any final judgements on this set until next Monday when I review the other two figures, but so far I’m digging this set more than most of the recent Legends Comic Con Exclusives. In my mind, exclusives should be comprised of figures that were never likely to make it to the toy aisles, and I think that fits these two fancy gents to a tee. Sure, Hasbro has amazed me with the obscurity or downright bizarre nature of some of the characters they’ve sent to the pegs at my local Walmart or Target, but I think these fellows would have been pushing it. Come on back next Monday and we’ll wrap it up with a look at Emma and Jean… and Selene!

Marvel Legends (Sugar Man Wave): Dark Beast and Sugar Man Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

Well, it was a bit of a reach but I managed to get through an entire wave of double-features! And that brings me to the final packaged figure in this Age of Apocalypse themed assortment… Dark Beast! So let’s have a look at him and then we’ll put together the Suger Man Build-A-Figure and put this awesome assortment to bed!

Here’s one final shot of the packaging with that wonderful David Nakayama character art on the side panels. Dark Beast is a big boi and so despite Sugar Man being made up of an unprecedented number of pieces, Beast still doesn’t come with a BAF part. He does, however come with Sugar Man’s hammer. OK, I guess that’s kind of a BAF part.

Beast is probably my favorite alternate-timeline character from Age of Apocalypse. Missing out on Xavier’s kind teachings, he lives up to his name by leading horrific experiments in the name of Apocalypse! He’s almost the complete opposite of the McCoy we all know and love, possessing all of his intelligence and none of his ethics and nobility, and that makes him all the more terrifying to me. If you were expecting a straight repaint of the Beast body from the Caliban Wave, prepare to be a little surprised, as this figure represents Beast after he got rejuvenated by Mr. Sinister and given some new legs. So the pelvis and the legs down to the swivel cut below the knees are segmented cybernetic legs and the rest of the body is borrowed from the previous Beast. You even get the extra hands too! The coloring is all around fantastic. Beast’s body is dark gray with a black wash to bring out some of that wonderfully sculpted hair and texture. Meanwhile the legs have a deep metallic blue sheen.

The other dramatic difference here is the new head sculpt, which is both awesome and bad-ass. He looks to be every bit of the bastard that he is. Complete with a sadistic grin, and a coif that would make Logan proud! He also has braided bands on his hair and some rings in his pointed ears, which frame his face and make him look a lot more savage. This head sculpt alone has rocketed Dark Beast up to my favorite figure in this wave. Sorry, Weapon-X and Jean, you guy shave been overthrown. At least you got to bask in the glory of being my favorites for a week.

Despite some new parts in the legs, the articulation here is identical to the previous Beast, so I won’t go into details, other than to point out that with the shoulder crunches and the hinges in the feet, he’s one of the most articulated figures we’ve seen in Legends since the Toy Biz days. He’s just loads of fun to play around with and the extra fist and flat hand-stand hand add a lot of possibilities. And with all seven of the packaged figures out of the way, that brings us to this guy…

That’s it. That’s the review. They should have sent a poet, because I have no words… but I’ll try. It’s no secret that I love the Build-A-Figures, and there have been some truly spectacular ones going all the way back to Terrax. But they don’t often get character designs this imaginative to work with. I honestly don’t know what’s more impressive, the amazing work that Hasbro put into Sugar Man, or the fact that he exists at all. If you ever had cause to doubt that Hasbro was committed to this line… like if the 10,000 figures a year they release (minor exaggeration) isn’t enough proof, something like this should do it. Sugar Man is horrible, twisted, and almost certainly too demented-looking to grace the modern Big Box toy aisles. And yet here he is! In terms of construction, this is the most complex and atypical BAF we’ve seen in the modern line. As such it reminds me a lot of Toy BIz’s M.O.D.O.K. BAF. Sure, I could take this opportunity to ponder on why we got Sugar Man before M.O.D.O.K., but then I don’t want to question any aspect that went into the decision to make this guy. In terms of pure weirdness, if you’re going to top Sugar Man, Hasbro, you have to do an Egg Fu BAF. YOU HAVE TO!!!

Sugar Man’s hunched body is mostly obscured by his giant head. Indeed, from the front he just looks like a giant head on legs. The legs are puny by comparison, and while they’re fully articulated in every normal way, I didn’t find a lot of that articulation too value added. I was able to tweak them to help him stand, but that was about it. Other than his blue trousers, the only other element to his costume is a black belt and black suspenders. The belt has some crude silver buckles, and there are some colorful novelty buttons sculpted onto the right suspender. There’s also a loop for him to store his hammer. It’s tough to get it in and out of there, but I still think it’s a nice touch. Sugar Man’s four arms feature four unique hands. One is pointing, one is grasping, one is balled into a fist, and one is designed to hold the hammer. Each of these connect to the torso with rotating hinges, allowing for all the usual articulation in each appendage.

As for the portrait? I mean holy hell what can I say about this nightmare? His giant mouth is lined with jagged teeth and comes equipped with a lewd tongue that snakes out and looks absolutely disgusting. He’s got a broad nose, bushy eyebrows, two squinting red eyes and a bushy tuft of hair on the top. Hasbro did an absolutely fantastic job modeling this nasty piece of work in 3D plastic.

As already mentioned, Sugar Man comes with his Hammer, which is a Mjolnir looking implement with SUGAR sculpted into one side. He can hold it well in his lower right hand, but the bicep swivel isn’t up to the task of supporting its weight so it tends to flop if I don’t have the arm positioned right.

Wow, this wave was a treat and a half. Hasbro introduced some great new characters as well as alternate versions of some we got before. It’s been a while since I purchased an entire wave of Marvel Legends in one shot instead of hunting them down individually, but that’s exactly what I did here. I was just really eager to get my hands on all of these figures and put together the BAF, so it was nice to not have to hunt for a change. And this is the last regular Legends figures that I’m going to feature on Marvel Monday for a little while. Rather than dig into another wave, I’m going to check out some boxed sets and exclusives for the next few weeks.

Marvel Legends (Sugar Man Wave): Sunfire and X-Man by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday and I’m continuing my cruise through the Age of Apocalypse themed Sugar Man Wave of Marvel Legends. I’ve been taking this assortment in pairs and today brings us to the fifth and sixth figures: Sunfire and X-Man! I had a crazy work schedule this weekend and I’m really pressed for time. Can I hammer out a brief double review today and still do these figures justice? Yes, I believe I can!

Here’s a quick look at the boys in their packaging and take note that each one comes with a pair of arms for Sugar Man, because he’s a four-arm-having sonovabitch! I’ll also once again point out that David Nakayama is doing the spine art for this wave. I’ve been a big fan of his work ever since I discovered his cover work for Zenescope Comics, and it’s awesome to see him contributing art for Marvel Legends! Let’s dig in! And I’m going to start things off with Sunfire!

We last saw Sunfire about three years ago as part of the Warlock Wave. That was a great figure and I am a huge fan of his classic costume. But here we have alternate reality Sunfire after having gone nuclear to halt Apocalypse’s attack on Japan. It bought some time to evacuate and left him in horrific shape, but boy does it make for a cool look. And you know what else is cool? Translucent figures!!! Yeah, I love me some translucent plastic and Sunfire is made of it from head to toe. I think this is more or less the same body used for the previous figure, albeit with different hands. At least it maintains the lateral crunches in the shoulders. The body is cast in a lovely clear yellow plastic with some orange highlights and black accents to make up the details of the suit. He has some flame effects sculpted into his forearms, while his right hand is balled up into a fist and his left looks like it’s about to unleash some major power. Absolutely awesome!

The head sculpt, if you can call it that, is a mask nestled in a mantle of fire. The mask itself is white with the red circle in the center representing the Land of the Rising Sun. The two slits for eyes bleed forth in red-orange flame, making him look like an avenging spirit. The sculpted flame around the mask has a bit more orange to it than the rest of the body and it just looks amazing.

The articulation is pretty much identical to what we saw in the previous release. I think this body is borrowed from one of the Spider-Man releases. In addition to the previously mentioned shoulder crunches, the arms also feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows and knees, swivels in the biceps, waist, thighs, and lower legs, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. Needless to say he’s as much fun to play with as he is good looking! Moving on to X-Man!

As expected, this figure is based off of his appearance in his self-titled book from the Age of Apocalypse and that’s a very good thing, because I can’t stand what Marvel has done with Nate’s design in recent years. Here we get the classic Jim Lee X-Men colors of yellow and blue only with an emphasis on the blue. The yellow is relegated to trim and some abbreviated striping, as well as his belt. It all looks fantastic and that yellow really pops beautifully against the blue.

Nate features a short jacket, which tapers at the waist and features some serious lapels! It’s molded as a soft plastic vest with the sleeves sculpted as part of the arms. You get some additional new sculpting at his collar and the belt is a separate piece fitted snug around his waist. Take away the shoulder crunches, and X-Man features the exact same articulation as Sunfire.

Hasbro did a beautiful job with this portrait, but that should come as no surprise since they really nailed Cable both times they’ve done him. Nate has a grim expression as a beautiful effect part explodes from his left eye. His shock of brown and white hair parts in the middle and frames his face around the eyes. Simply superb!

Both of today’s figures are fairly simple, with some flourishes of brilliance. For Sunfire, it’s a cross between the lovely translucent plastic and the amazing head sculpt that wins me over. As for X-Man? Well, a snazzy jacket, bitchin eye, and that wonderful one-two punch of yellow and blue carries that figure beautifully. This pair are two more great additions to what has turned out to be a super fun wave of figures. And I’ve still got one more to open, so next Monday we’ll have a look at Dark Beast and then we’ll build the Sugar Man Build-A-Figure!