STREET FIGHT WOLVERINE & SHINGEN YASHIDA
In a line-up that was actually pretty focused and on-point, there was one pack from the tie-in assortment for 2013’s The Wolverine that just seemed…non-essential? Redundant? I don’t know exactly. Though a far cry from the over saturation of the Wolverine: Origins days, today’s pairing of Street Fight Wolverine and Shingen Yashida is a reminder that not every set needs the title character and not every character in the film was strong enough to warrant their own ‘mate.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These two were part of Marvel Minimates Series 52’s The Wolverine tie-in, as well as being the carried over set in the TRU assortment…for…reasons? I don’t know why this set was carried over, but, well, I think I might be getting ahead of myself.
STREET FIGHT WOLVERINE
Here’s a design that is a definite “points for effort” on the part of the costume designers. In the original miniseries on which The Wolverine was based, Logan spent most of his time in his then-current brown costume. The film’s never put Wolverine in anything remotely close to any of his proper costumes, preferring to more often stick him in his civilian gear. For the climactic battle of The Wolverine, they actually tried to put him into something that recalled his distinctive brown costume, without actually being a “costume.” So, we get a jacket that kind of mimics the patterns of his uniform. Not a terrible choice, though perhaps a little too subtle if you ask me. Wolverine uses add-ons for his hair and jacket, as well as having a set of clawed hands. The hair and hands are shared with his fellow Wolverines from the movie, but the jacket was actually an all-new piece to this particular figure. In an assortment with a lot of re-used parts, this one being new was a little bit surprising. Regardless, it’s a pretty nice piece, and its understandably seen some subsequent re-use since its introduction here. Wolverine’s paintwork is okay, but not super eye-catching, since it’s just a lot of brown. We get a more intense facial expression here, which is actually pretty nice, albeit more limited in application than the suited version. There’s a lot of nice detail work under the jacket, which is always good to see. He’s also got some detailing on the knees, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it’s meant to be. Wolverine is packed with a set of normal hands, alternate bare arms for a look sans-jacket, and a clear display stand.
Ah, yes, Shingen Yashida. Who could forget Shingen Yashida? Me. I could. Because I totally had to look this guy up to figure out which guy he was. For clarification, Shingen is Mariko’s father, played by veteran actor Hiroyuki Sanada in perhaps one of the least forgiving roles in the movie. The most distinctive thing the character does is suit up in Samurai armor and try to kill Logan. So, naturally, DST decided to release him in a business suit. Yeah… Anyway, Shingen has three add-on pieces for his hair, jacket, and tie. All three pieces are re-used. The hair is from Civilian Thor, the jacket from “World of the Psychic” Peter Venkman, and the tie from The Spirit. The suit and tie are perfectly fine generic pieces, but the hair is just flat out wrong for Shingen, whose hair is nowhere near this length or style in the movie. I understand the need to re-use parts, but certainly there was a more accurate piece available. The paint on Shingen is alright, but far from thrilling, since he’s mostly shades of grey. The face has an okay likeness of Hiroyuki Sanada, but not so much of Sanada *as* Shingen, since he’s got facial hair, which Shingen very definitely doesn’t have in the movie. This only further adds to the confusion of who the heck this guy is supposed to be. Shingen is packed with a katana and a clear display stand. The sword, it should be noted, is only used by Shingen during his battle with Wolverine, when he’s wearing the armor, and therefore makes little sense with this version of the character.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Wolverine’s an okay figure, but there’s not much that sets him apart from the plethora of other Wolverine variants we’ve gotten. Shingen is at best a minor character in The Wolverine, and is really only notable because of the scene where he armors up. This figure’s choice not to use that design robs him of pretty much all play value and recognizability, and makes the figure a real wasted slot in this assortment. And, to add insult to injury, he was the only non-Wolverine character to be shared between specialty and TRU, so he was freaking everywhere, just rubbing in how pointless he really was. I do not like this figure.