MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“With sticky hands, a sharp tail, and piercing yellow eyes, the trouble-making mutant Nightcrawler scales walls and teleports from place to place.”
When the X-Men were rebooted for the first time, all the way back in the pages of Giant-Size X-Men #1 in 1975, they were granted a much more colorful and diverse cast of characters. While a few of them were grabbed from prior appearances in the Marvel Universe, it was up to artist Dave Cockrum to create three of the team’s most distinctive members, Storm, Colossus, and Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler had the notoriety of being a character Cockrum had in his mind for quite some time before getting the X-Men assignment, and he in fact came quite close to starring in a Legion of Superheroes-spin-off called The Outsiders before Cockrum moved from DC to Marvel. In the pages of X-Men, however, he found new life, and would become quite a popular member of the team…popular enough to star in a spin-off book, in fact. Whatever the case, Nightcrawler’s a prominent enough character that his complete absence so far from Hasbro’s re-launch of Legends has been one of the biggest notable missing figures. Fortunately, that changed.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Nightcrawler is figure 5 from the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends. He’s more proper X-Men-themed than the rest of the figures so far in the line-up, but his Age of Apocalypse counterpart did serve on the cover ops X-Force at one point. This Nightcrawler marks only the second time the character’s gotten the Legends treatment, with the first being back in the Toy Biz days, an insane 14 years ago. That’s quite a bit of a gap between releases. This one goes for Nightcrawler’s classic costume design, which has probably the best staying power of any of Cockrum’s designs; it’s just a really strong, clean look, which is probably why he never stays away from it for very long. The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall (as Nightcrawler should) and has 33 points of articulation. Nightcrawler uses the Pizza Spidey body as a starting point, sharing his arms and legs with all of the figures that use it as a base body. He gets a new torso, pelvis, hips, hands, and feet, plus three brand-new heads in order to complete the look. The torso gives Kurt his classic red unitard-looking thing, with proper etched lines and everything. Additionally, it, coupled with the pelvis and hips, gradually reduces the height of Nightcrawler, removing about 1/4 of an inch when compared to other figures on the body. The pelvis also includes his tail, which, though it may be a static piece, is sculpted in such a way that it looks nice in both basic and dynamic poses. As minor a piece as they may be, I was impressed to see that the new hips so greatly improve the range of motion on the legs, allowing the figure to get into more of the deep stances that Nightcrawler’s typically seen in. Nightcrawler is classically depicted as a rather expressive character, which generally puts his figures in a bit of a bind; what expression do you go with? This figure throws the question out the window and just goes for the three most popular options. The head he comes wearing is a fairly standard, rather stoic lookin head, which is nice and versatile. The second head goes more for classic scary monster Nightcrawler (complete with extra shading on the face), while the third (and my favorite of the three) plays far more into Kurt’s more jovial nature from the comics, giving him a teeth-baring grin. While any one of these heads would have been awesome on their own, getting all three is fantastic. Nightcrawler’s paintwork is pretty basic, but it’s bright, it’s clean, and it’s striking, which is really everything you want from such a figure. In addition to the previously mentioned extra heads. Nightcrawler is packed with his cutlass (criminally missing from the Toy Biz figure) and an extra right gripping hand with which to hold it, as well as the left arm to the Wendigo Build-A-Figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I anxiously awaited the Toy Biz Legends Nightcrawler’s release back in the day…and pretty much started waiting for this one as soon as I got that one. Okay, that’s not entirely true; that figure wasn’t bad for the time, but I always had some issues with him. I’ve been waiting to see another go at him pretty much since we started getting X-Men Legends again. The prototype for this figure looked mighty nice, but boy-oh-boy did it not fully sell just how good this figure would be. Perhaps I’ll be proven wrong later, but as it stands right now, this is my Legend of the year. He’s a fantastic update, and an incredibly faithful recreation of the character, with a bunch of fun extras to boot. Hasbro brought their A-game on this one, and I couldn’t be happier.
I picked up Nightcrawler from All Time Toys. He’s one of the double-packs this time around, so he’s actually still in stock. Buy him; buy him now. If you’re looking for other Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.