#2590: Storm & Thunderbird

STORM & THUNDERBIRD

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Weather changer Ororo Monroe and noble Apache warrior John Proudstar wield their mutant powers for good.”

Giant-Size X-Men #1 is one of the most distinctive covers in the history of comics, but that hasn’t always made getting all of the characters featured *on* said cover all that easy.  Typically, the X-Men’s second incarnation has had to rely on special releases to truly fill in their ranks.  In the case of Marvel Legends, we’ve been working on the line-up since 2003.  It’s…it’s been a long road.  Hasbro steered more toward completing the ’90s line-up more recently, but with that one more or less complete, they’ve moved back around to the better  earlier incarnation of the team. Right now, we’ve got a new two-pack featuring one of the team’s most prominent fixtures…and Thunderbird.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Storm and Thunderbird are a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, which just started hitting back in October.  It was initially pretty scarce (thanks in part to its instantaneous sell-out online), but appears to have picked up in volume in the last few weeks.  Hopefully they remain that way for a bit.

STORM

First Appearance Storm is surprisingly illusive as a Legends figure.  She was never done during the Toy Biz days, and was eventually shown off during Hasbro’s Fan Choice Poll in 2007, where she lost (rather criminally, if I do say so myself) to the AoA version of Sunfire (who managed to also get an update before poor Storm even got one single release, furthering the criminality).  She’s been the most notably absent figure from the classic X-Men line-up, and there was definitely a lot of built up demand….and then they went and made her an exclusive.  Goody.  She was shown off at Toy Fair this year by herself, before being confirmed for this here multipack.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her articulation is quite well implemented, with most of the joints (the elbows in particular) having a better range of motion than typically expected from such pieces.  The knees use the new pin-less design for their construction, which helps to give the whole thing a sleeker feel.  Storm’s sculpt is all-new, and it’s quite a nice piece.  She’s not quite a pitch-perfect Cockrum recreation, but she certainly captures the classic Storm feel.  The costume details, many of which could have just been painted on, are all actually sculpted elements, and the proportions are certainly well balanced.  The head and cape pieces are both sculpted with a dynamic flow to them, with a teeth-gritting expression, and a sweeping nature to both her hair and her cape, indicating that she’s right in the midst of using her powers.  It works really well.  The paint work works out okay for the most part, but there’s a lot of ups and downs.  The core figure’s paint is really strong, and I really dig the glossy finish on the black parts of the costume.  The cape is where the issues arise, mostly having to do with that yellow border.  It’s just really sloppily applied, on both of the capes.  Did I say “both”?  That’s right.  In addition to the more dynamic head and cape, Storm also gets extras of both for a more calm, just lounging around the X-Mansion look, as well as three sets of hands (in fists, open, and lightning effects).  Quite a nice selection of extras there.

THUNDERBIRD

The cover of GSXM #1 has five of the most prominent X-Men in the franchise…and Thunderbird.  Thunderbird’s primary contribution to the team is really just that he died, and he actually managed to stay that way, which I guess is pretty notable.  He tends to get one figure in every major scale eventually, and now he can add Legends to his list.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Thunderbird is largely built from parts re-use, making use of the Reaper body as his starting point.  It’s a decent enough match for Thunderbird build wise, as he’s always been depicted as a little bulkier than most of his team mates, but not quite the same size as his brother James.  It also matches his usually more balanced proportions pretty well.  He gets a new head, as well as add-ons for his sleeves, wrist guards, belt, and boot tops. The add-ons sit alright on the body, but the fringe pieces for the boots and shoulders do require a little bit of proper positioning to get them to stay in place.  The head is a nice piece on its own, but it sits a bit too high on the body, which looks really wonky.  Thunderbird’s paint work is pretty decent.  It’s brighter than the colors on Warpath, which seems more appropriate.  Thunderbird is packed with no accessories, which is a pretty stark contrast compared to his pack-mate Storm.  Not even some extra hands, guys?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was one of the fans who voted for Storm in the poll back in the day, so I was definitely waiting on this figure.  It’s been a long wait.  I was super thrilled when she was unveiled this year, but immediately less so when she was announced as a Target exclusive.  When she sold out in pre-order, I was definitely bummed, but I kept routinely checking the page, and happened to catch them in stock not too long after release.  All-in-all, pretty painless, I suppose.  Storm’s awesome, and by far my favorite release of the character.  I’m particularly thrilled to have y “Pryde of the X-Men” line-up complete.  Thunderbird is fine.  That’s the best I can muster, really.  He feels far more phoned in than Storm, and certainly feels like a late addition to the set-up.  He could be worse.  Now, can we get a proper update for Banshee so that we can complete the GSXM team?

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