MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
In the early ’80s, it occurred to Chris Claremont that the X-Men were generally pretty attractive and normal-looking for a bunch of so-called “mutants,” so he introduced the Morlocks (named after the creatures from HG Wells’ The Time Machine), a band of sewer-dwelling mutants whose mutations weren’t as presentable as the more heroic X-Men. One of the more prominent Morlocks, Caliban, actually wasn’t originally intended to be one of them and even predated their 1983 appearance by two years. He’s subsequently served as an ongoing recurring character in the background of various X-Men stories, and has in his tenure been part of the X-Men, X-Factor, X-Force, and has even been one of Apocalypse’s Horsemen on two separate occasions. Despite being around for a good long while, he’s not been graced with an abundance of figures, with a single figure during Toy Biz’s 5-inch run. That’s finally changed, though!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Caliban is the Build-A-Figure for the latest X-themed series of Marvel Legends. In keeping with the ’90s theme of the line-up, he’s based on his design during his time as the Horseman Death for Apocalypse. Yeah, now we’ve got two of the Four Horsemen, and their both the same role…bleh. Of all of Caliban’s designs, this one’s really the easiest to sell as a toy, which is probably why both of his toys, released two decades apart, are sporting this same design. The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Caliban makes use of a number of parts from last year’s Apocalypse, specifically the arms and upper legs. The rest is new, with the head and hands in particular being the most character specific. They’re nicely crafted parts, and provide some nice expressiveness. The screaming expression on the face in particular seems very well-suited to this incarnation of the character. The other parts I can definitely see having been designed with future re-use for other bulked up characters. The new torso actually makes him a little bigger than Apocalypse, for what it’s worth. The most impressive bits of Caliban’s paintwork are definitely the head and hands, which do a nice job of keeping Caliban’s exposed skin from being just a stark white. The head even uses some slight printing around the eyes for a more subtle transition between colors. The paint on his uniform is a bit more straightforward. There’s a bit more slop here than on the single offerings, but I definitely dig the pearlescent white. Caliban includes no accessories, but then again, he’s kind of an accessory himself.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve never had much of an affinity for Caliban. He sort of falls right into the gap of my X-Men fandom, since I’m really big on the ’70s stuff, then dip out, and then come back into things for the Animated Series era. Caliban’s not really part of either of those things, nor is he a design that I really feel like I *need* to have. Ultimately, this figure is a pretty serviceable one, and while I don’t think he’s going to be BaF of the year, he’s still a decent offering. Maybe he’ll open the doors to some more Morlocks.
Despite a less than thrilling Build-A-Figure, I was very happy with this assortment as a whole. Gambit steals the show for me, but Beast, Blink, and Weapon X are all respectably cool offerings, Forge and Skullbuster are decent figures of characters I didn’t *need* to have, and Jubilee is at least an improvement on the really hard to find BaF. This continues the trend of X-waves just being really solid complete sets. If you’re interested in getting a set of your own, five of the seven single figures are still in-stock at All Time Toys’ webstore. And, as always, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out All Time’s website and their eBay storefront.