COLOSSUS & NIGHTCRAWLER
The X-Men line-up presented in Giant Size X-Men #1 undoubtedly gave us some of the more memorable X-Men. Obviously, there’s the likes of Storm and Wolverine (even if he did appear elsewhere first), but it also gave us both Colossus and Nightcrawler. While they may not be quite as big as some of the others (and poor Colossus has been woefully overlooked when it comes to the cartoons), they’re still pretty popular with the fanbase at large. They also happen to be two of my favorite X-Men, so packing them together is pretty awesome!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Colossus and Nightcrawler are part of Series 68 of the Marvel Minimates line, which is based around GSXM #1. Both figures are based on their Dave Cockrum-designed looks, but it’s worth noting that these two stuck with these particular looks for a good long while.
Colossus has had a few different ‘mates over the years. That being said, this is the first one to directly retread on previous territory, being a pretty straight re-do of the GSXM boxed set version (the alt look for the Series 47 version came pretty close, but was actually based on his slightly tweaked ‘90s look). The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, and as such stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Colossus features add-on pieces for his hair, wrist bands, torso cover/belt, and boots. The hair and gauntlets were both used on the 47 Colossus; they worked well there and they work well here. The torso piece and boots are both new to this ‘mate. It’s interesting: after getting several attempts at handling the torso piece a “better” way than the GSXM set’s version, they just went back to essentially the same style. I’m certainly not complaining! I do like the subtle hints of musculature on the chest piece, which make him seem larger than the others, but prevents him from looking puffy. I’m not 100% sold on the boots. Something about the knee pads seems off to me. There’s certainly been worse, though. Colossus’s paint is very impressively handled. The colors are nice and bold, and he really pops. The line work is very sharp, and the details, the face in particular, are a very good rendition of Cockrum’s Colossus. I was very happy to find out that the actual torso has full detailing, allowing you to display Colossus shirtless, if you so choose (some people like that sort of thing). Colossus’s only accessory is a clear display stand, which feels rather light. Obviously, the parts for an un-armored Piotr would make him essentially a second figure, but the fastball special hand should have been included at the very least. Oh well.
Amazingly enough, this is only the third time we’ve gotten Nightcrawler (and the third time we’ve gotten this exact costume too, no less). I thought the Excalibur set version had him pretty well covered, but it’s been over five years since that one was released, so another version feels warranted. Nightcrawler has unique hands and feet, as well as sculpted add-ons for his hair, shoulder pads, and tail. The tail remains the same piece used on both prior Nightcrawlers (and his dad Azazel), but everything else is new to this figure. Personally, I prefer the Wolverine-style shoulder pads from the last Nightcrawler to the ones featured here (I like the neck to be left unencumbered as much as possible), but they’re a decent enough piece, I suppose. The hair, hands, and feet are all improvements over what we’ve gotten before (the hands especially, since the prior hands are huge) and are just well sculpted all around. The ears could maybe stand to be a little more pronounced, but that’s the only real negative I’ve got. Nightcrawler’s paintwork is pretty good, but not without its issues. The basics are all pretty good. The color palette is bright and bold, and the colors accent each other well. His basic head has a frightening expression we haven’t yet seen on a Nightcrawler ‘mate. It’s a good rendition of the earlier, scarier NIghtcrawler, and it makes this figure a little more specific to those appearances (thus giving the figure a bit more reason to exist). Unfortunately, the application of a lot of the paint, especially the red, is a little uneven. The red detailing on the edges of the gloves and boots is far too thin, resulting in an obvious line where the underlying colors switch from white to black. That, coupled with the fact that the glove trim stops abruptly for the inner half of the arm, makes him look a little unfinished. Nightcrawler includes an extra head with a more jovial expression (my preferred of the two faces), a cutlass (finally!), a “bamf” stand, and a clear display stand. All of these are pretty cool, except the “bamf” stand, which is more than a little frustrating, since the peg is too small for either foot, and it also requires him to stand with both feet together, a rather un-Nightcrawler stance.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Though I missed out on the GSXM set, I wasn’t missing either of these characters, having picked up their subsequent releases. Colossus was a pleasant surprise. There was something missing from the ‘mates since the GSXM version, which I think has been found again with this guy. He’s the perfect embodiment of the character. I don’t see him being replaced any time soon. Nightcrawler is a more mixed figure than Colossus. I’ve never really cared for the original ‘mate, but the Excalibur version was pretty solid. This one adds some nice stuff (the extra head, the new hands and feet, and the cutlass), but also takes a few hits (the paint, the effects base, and, if I’m being really picky, the shoulder pads). The good outweighs the bad, but he could still be a bit better.