X-MEN MOVIE SERIES (TOYBIZ)
In the 90s, the 5 inch scaled ruled to toy aisle, due in no small part to ToyBiz’s gargantuan line of Marvel toys, specifically those based on the 90s mega-giant X-Men. It looked like that was where we’d be staying for a while. But then, the X-Men movie was released in 2000, and they were released in… 6 inch scale? It wasn’t the first time we’d seen such a scale, but it certainly wasn’t prevalent. Coupled with ToyBiz’s continued release of other 5 inch product, it looked like this might just be a blip on the radar.
If you’ve followed the action figure industry in recent years, you would know that the 6 inch scale was far from a blip on the radar. It went on to become the ruling scale on the market for over ten years, which was impressive. And a lot of its owed to the X-Men Movie line making a bold jump. Today’s review is a two-fer, looking at both versions of Jean Grey from the line.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Jean was released as part of the first series of the X-Men Movie Series. She stands about 6 inches tall and has 10 points of articulation. I feel it necessary to point out that only about 6 of those points are really useful, and even then it’s iffy, thanks to the odd cut joints and strange pose of the figure. Anyway, the sculpt is a bit of a mixed bag. Sculpturally, the only difference between the two figures is the hair style. The original release had it down, the second had it up in a ponytail. They both look fine, though the ponytail look is more accurate to the character’s appearance in the movie. The facial sculpt is actually a pretty decent approximation of Famke Janssen. The body’s where things start to fall apart. It has some really nice details on the suit, with some great work on the zippers and folds and such, but the proportions of the underlying body are just weird. The arms are too long, the waist is too thin, and her legs are in this odd sideways crouch sort of thing. All in all, just very strange. The paint on these two is pretty good for the time. I think I like the work on the first release a bit more, as it looks a bit cleaner. There is one notable change between the two on the paint front. The second release has a black t-shirt painted on under the uniform. Apparently, this was the main reason for the second release, as there were some complaints from a few concerned parents about the pulled down zippers and total lack of any kind of covering on the two female characters in uniform. Honestly, it’s a perfectly reasonable point to make, and it’s actually a bit odd that they had their uniforms zipped so far down, given that Jean has hers zipped up just like her male compatriots in the film proper. Both Jeans included an incredibly creepy mutated Senator Kelly as there only accessory.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The first version of Jean was my second figure from the movie line. She, along with Professor X were purchased for me by my Nana as an end of school gift. Yeah, I had the option to get anyone in the line, and I bought a girl and a guy in a wheelchair. I was a strange kid. Anyway, I held onto that one for a while, and remember the controversy and subsequent rerelease of Jean, now with t-shirt and appropriate hair style. I was happy with my first release version, and thanks to the reissue thing, it was actually quite rare.
Then, I came home one day to find that my dog had gotten into my room and pretty much destroyed my Jean figure. The first release was fairly difficult to find at that point, so I had to settle for the reissue. Fortunately, a few months ago, my comic book store got in a large selection of older figures loose, and the first release Jean was amongst them, allowing me to once again have the figure!
Thank you for such a great post! I loved these figures growing up. I had ponytail Jean first because “party” Jean was unavailable in my area and I didn’t get her until I found her once on eBay.
There’s a third Jean as well, Toy Biz released a “zipped up” version of both Jean and Storm and those figures are even harder to find.
Thanks for reading! Wow, I had no idea about the “zipped up” releases at all. Guess I stopped paying attention after the first round of fixes. I chalk it up to being 8…