PROFESSOR X & MAGNETO
After their first year had wrapped, there was a bit of a gap in Marvel Minimates releases, as DST mapped out the direction the line would take. When they returned, there was a pretty heavy lean into the classic X-Men set-up, with the previously reviewed Giant Size X-Men set and one other exclusive, which is today’s focus, Professor X and Magneto!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Professor X and Magneto hit in January of 2004, and are notable for being the first Marvel Minimates exclusive to come out of Action Figure Xpress, who would serve as a major supporter of the line for the next decade of the line. The two would then subsequently see re-issue in one of TRU’s four-packs the following year, alongside the Nex X-Men Wolverine and Jean. Both would also get slight paint tweaks for one more additional release each in 2006. Xavier’s suit was made blue and released at Target alongside Dark Phoenix. Magneto got a new face and was released in the infamous Dark Tide boxed set that clogged up retailers everywhere for quite a bit.
Before we had our fancy hover chairs and what not, this was the Xavier that had to hang around in everyone’s collection for a good long stretch of time. Patterned on the character’s earliest appearances, Xavier is a ‘mate that could have been pretty basic, but actually has more going on than you might realize at first glance. The core ‘mate is totally vanilla, albeit long-footed vanilla. He gets the basic amount of detailing you’d expect from this era of ‘mate. If I have one complaint, it’s that his ears are printed a little too close to his face. That’s a problem that would be with most of the line’s bald characters, even to current day. It’s the accessories that really spice this guy up, since he’s got Cerebro, his wheelchair, and a blanket to cover his legs…or he would if that last piece wasn’t missing from mine. I don’t know when it went missing, but it sure did. Drat. Well, the other two pieces are still cool, and the wheelchair in particular is a really solid, really fun piece.
Charles Xavier’s sometimes nemesis/sometimes friend made for a pretty logical pairing, and makes for this set’s more outwardly exciting release. He’s constructed on the standard long-footed body, with add-ons for his helmet and cape. Both sculpted pieces are somewhat on the basic side, but they both do a really nice job of summing up the character’s classic design. The paint work helps in that effort as well, as there’s actually a surprising level of detail going into this guy. The torso not only got the costume details, but also some underlying musculature as well, making him look less flabby than the X-Men he was fighting. Under the helmet, there’s a nice evil grin, which works perfectly for the character. Sadly, extra hairpieces weren’t quite a thing, so it’s stuck hiding somewhat beneath the helmet. In fact, Magneto doesn’t get any accessories at all, which feels light these days, but wasn’t really much of a surprise when he was new.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
These guys hit before I was really making many online purchases for myself, so I missed out on the initial release. I actually ended up snagging the TRU 4-Pack versions a few years later, courtesy of All Time Toys, way back before I had any sort of official partnership with them. See, even when I try to review something from before I was getting everything from All Time, I still review stuff from All Time! Both of these guys were pretty solid offerings of the characters, especially for this early in the line. It’s not terribly surprising that they remained the primary versions for as long as they did.