MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“One of the original X-Men, Hank McCoy is a Genius whose mutant ability gives him a furry, blue, beast-like appearance.”
Okay, I need to address something real quick: Hank McCoy’s furry, blue appearance is *not* from his mutant ability. It’s from an experimental serum he drank that was supposed to enhance his powers. It unlocked a potential for a beast-like appearance from his genes, but his mutant ability doesn’t make him blue and furry inherently. This has been today’s lesson of “why the bio’s wrong,” I’ve been your lecturer, Ethan Wilson. Okay, so now I should probably review the actual figure, and not the blurb on the back of his box. This is “The Figure in Question” not “The Bio in Question.” Onto the figure!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Beast is officially figure 1 in the Caliban Series of Marvel Legends (since Gambit didn’t have a BaF piece, and therefore doesn’t technically have a number). Beast is getting his fifth Legends release, though this one’s the first since the original Toy Biz figure to be sporting his typical blue and furry ape-man appearance, with the interim figures being, in order, a movie figure, a cat-faced figure, and a human figure. This one draws more direct inspiration from Jim Lee’s Beast, which means he fits with the rest of this assortment (and the general ’90s theme that Hasbro’s been pushing for the X-Men). The figure stands 7 1/2 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation. Beast’s height has been the cause of some frustration amongst the fanbase, since even at his biggest in the ’90s, he was still officially listed as under 6-feet. That being said, very few artists ever really stuck to that, making this figure’s height a rather similar dilemma to last year’s Thing figure. Ultimately, I don’t see myself ever having him standing upright next to the rest of the team, so it’s kind of a non-issue, but your mileage may vary. I should note that he’s more or less the same height as the original TB figure, for what it’s worth. Despite his larger size, Beast is actually one of the best articulated of the modern Legends, which I count as a definite plus for an acrobatic character. The sculpt is an all-new one, and it’s actually pretty darn good. It’s bulky, but not too bulky (which has been a problem with prior Beast figures), and the fur detailing is pretty realistically rendered. The head is very much Lee-inspired, and with a rather intense expression. It’s not a bad sculpt, though I’m generally partial to calmer interpretations of the character. Still, I like it well enough. Beast’s color work is actually pretty decent. The base blue is nice and bright, and a good match for the comics appearance. He’s actually got some solid accent work going on, which adds a nice bit of variety to his furry appearance. Beast is packed with two pairs of hands, which help with his various acrobatic poses. In particular, there’s a flat hand for his left hand, which, with some very careful balancing, lets him hold himself aloft with one arm. Beast also includes the head of the BaF Caliban.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Since I’m not much of a fan of most other interpretations of Beast, I’ve been making use of that old Beast figure for a good long while. I’ve been hoping for an update, though, if I’m totally honest, I was really hoping for more of a Perez-style Beast. Of course, with all of the ’90s X-Men stuff we’ve been getting recently, this guy makes a bit more sense, and certainly fits in a little better. While I’m not super sold on the facial expression, I’m overall quite happy with this figure as a whole. I’m also really hoping that the fact that he got an all-new sculpt means we’ll be seeing a variety of other Beasts in the near future.
Beast came to me from my friends at All Time Toys. He’s already sold out, but he should be coming back into stock soon. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.