#2518: Professor X & Magneto

PROFESSOR X & MAGNETO

MARVEL MINIMATES

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.

PROFESSOR X

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.

MAGNETO

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.

#2517: Retro Batman

RETRO BATMAN

BATMAM: MASK OF THE PHANTASM (KENNER)

I’ve looked at a surprisingly small amount of Kenner’s Animated Batman tie-in product.  I’ve certainly looked at a chunk of the DCC follow-ups, and even a handful of Mattel’s JLU-era stuff, but I’m averaging about a single Kenner animated figure a year right now.  Well, I’m aiming to mix things up a bit.  In tandem with my looks back at the other toys of my childhood with X-Men and Power of the Force, let’s throw a little bit of Batman into the mix, shall we?  And what better place to start than with a variant of the main guy himself, hailing from one of my absolute favorite pieces of the Animated Verse, and one of my favorite DC-related things in general, Mask of the Phantasm.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Retro Batman is one handful of Batman variants that were released in 1994 as part of Kenner’s Batman: Mask of the Phantasm tie-in line.  Unlike most of those other variants, which were mostly made up by the minds at Kenner, this one was actually in the film, depicting Batman as he’s seen in the flashbacks (it also showed up during some of the flashbacks in the episode “Robin’s Reckoning”, which is a good companion piece to the film in general).  He’s not terribly far-removed from the standard Batman design, and in retrospect is kind of a merging of the BTASTNBA, and JLU designs all into one.  The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  He keeps the standard Kenner 5 points, and also has a swivel on his right forearm to assist with his action feature.  It won’t really hold many poses, but it does add a slight bit more of variation to the posing.  His sculpt is fairly typical of this era of figure from Kenner.  He’s not a pitch-perfect match for the animation models, but he’s pretty close, and fits consistently with the styling of the other figures in the line.  The sculpt is clean, and hits all the important notes, and he’s pretty darn sturdy.  As was the way at this point, his cape is cloth.  Again, not super accurate, but it works for their purposes, and it certainly helps with the playability.  His paint work is pretty cleanly handled overall, though Kenner for some reason opted to make the body suit a sort of bluish silver, rather than the typical grey.  It’s not super far removed, and it reads the same way as the standard colors.  I honestly don’t mind it, but it’s still a weird choice.  Batman’s accessory selection here is…interesting to say the least.  He’s got a battle spear and a sort of a gun looking thing?  I don’t know exactly what they’re supposed to be, nor do they really line-up with anything from the movie or the episodes where this look appears.  But, they certainly feel toyetic.  The spear is meant to be placed in his right hand, allowing it to be spun using the wheel mechanism in his arm and back.  It’s odd, but harmless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While the majority of my Animated stuff is actually from when I was a kid, this one is not.  I always wanted him, but just never managed to find one.  Fortunately, one came into All Time a couple of weeks ago, new, sealed, and in pretty much pristine condition, so it was almost like getting it when it was brand new.  He’s a fun variant of Batman, and also a sensible variant of Batman, and those two didn’t tend to cross-over in this line too much, so I gotta say he really works for me.

#2516: Moon Knight

MOON KNIGHT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A vision in an Egyptian temple leads Marc Spector to don a shroud and become the crime-fighting hero, Moon Knight.”

Well, I gotta admit, this was sooner than I’d expected.  I…uhhh…thought I had more time.  You know, to really prepare, and build up the energy.  Do a whole thing.  Play up the crowd.  But, you know what, here goes:

It’s MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON KNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, there’s a new Moon Knight, and I’m right here reviewing it.  Reviewing all those lame Deadpool figures early in the week paid off, didn’t it?  You know it did! ….Okay, maybe I’m being a little mean to the Deadpool figures.  It’s not their fault they aren’t Moon Knight.  Aw, what do I care, I’m reviewing a Moon Knight!  Let’s do it!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Moon Knight is the latest Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends release, following up on this year’s first offering of Iron Man 2020, who I’m just now remembering I haven’t actually gotten around to reviewing.  2020’s been a roller coaster of a year, but it’s not so much of a roller coaster of a figure.  It’s also not Moon Knight, which is really a point against any figure that’s not Moon Knight.  Or ’90s Havok, but he’s a whole other thing.  This is our second Moon Knight Legend in the last few years, following up on the Marvel Now!-costumed one that was in the Homecoming tie-in assortment.  He’s sporting his classic attire this time around, which I’m definitely down for.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  While the last Legends Moon Knight made use of his own unique body, this one opts for building off of the 2099 body.  I’m a little iffy on this body, as I find it’s not always well integrated with its new, more character specific pieces.  I could definitely see an argument for it also being a touch on the small side for Marc.  I think a lot of people were kind of expecting him to show up on the Spider-UK body.  That being said, the 2099 body means he gets the butterfly shoulders, which are a definite plus.  In addition to re-using the cape, hands, and underlying head of the 2017 Moon Knight, this guy also gets a healthy helping of new parts, including a new hood, forearms, shins, and belt.  It all amounts to a figure that looks quite different from his mold ‘mates, and in fact quite different from the prior Moon Knight figure.  I was particularly impressed with the new hood sculpt, which adds some extra detailing to what we got on the last figure, blending with the cape even better.  I also really dig the clean sculpting on the arm and leg bracers, which help to break up what could otherwise be a pretty basic costume set-up.  The only slight complaint I have on the construction side is that the cape is actually just a touch too long for the 2099 body.  It’s not terribly off, and is really only an issue when he’s standing straight up, but it is slightly annoying.  Moon Knight’s paint work is surprisingly intricate given how little variation of coloring there is in this design.  The slightly metallic coloring on the bracers and belt definitely does a nice job setting them apart, and I really love the slight shading they’ve done around the eyes and on the bottom of the hood.  I wish there there a little more shading on the cape, but what’s there works, and it’s honestly better that it being too heavy.  Perhaps my favorite thing about the coloring is the all-white mask.  I really dig this look for Moon Knight, and while I was a little iffy about how it worked out on the Mezco figure, it ends up working out really well here.  But, if you don’t care for the all-white set-up, have no fear: Hasbro was kind enough to include a second head with a black mask, giving you the choice.  It’s amazing that the $20 Legend can do this, but the $90 Mezco can’t.  In addition to the second head, this guy gets two large moonerangs, three of the smaller ones, an actual proper staff (the one notable omission from the prior figure), and two spare gripping hands.  As with the previous release, the standard fisted hands on this guy have slots to hold the smaller moonerangs, which is cool.  The only thing I’m not big on here is the alternate hands; for some reason, rather than using the gripping hands from the last Moon Knight, which match the fists in terms of detailing, they just used a basic pair, which aren’t even gloved hands.  They also aren’t quite the right size for his accessories, which can make holding things troublesome for him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After the very lengthy search that surrounded getting the last Legends Moon Knight, and the serious trouble I’ve been having getting the other Walgreens exclusives as of late, I was actually kind of dreading this release a little bit.  I pre-ordered him through Walgreens’ website, which didn’t actually end up helping, because they cancelled my order with no warning.  It’s okay, though, because I’d actually found him about two weeks earlier when I swung by my local Walgreens for a couple of essentials, and found this guy there before even knowing he was actually out.  So, that was pretty easy, I guess.  In sort of a similar fashion to Iron Man, I had picked up Mezco’s One:12 offering because I wanted a more classic Moon Knight, and then Hasbro went ahead and rather quickly gave me one in Legends style.  And, again, I feel like this one kind of ends up doing the job a little bit better.  He’s just about everything I’d want out of a Moon Knight figure.  He’s really good.

#2515: Strong Guy

STRONG GUY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Okay, let’s get way better with this Marvel Legends game, you guys.  Yes, the last three days haven’t been the line’s best form, but it’s okay, because it’s all worth it.  Today, you see, we get to the final piece of this assortment, or perhaps pieces, I suppose.  Yes, it’s time to take a look at the Build-A-Figure, one Guido Carosella, better known as Strong Guy, the heavy of X-Factor’s second line-up!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Strong Guy is, as you can probably piece together, the Build-A-Figure for the Strong Guy Series of Marvel Legends.  He actually stands out a little bit from the line-up that builds him, since they’re a X-Force/Deadpool mix, and he’s not really in either of those categories.  Presumably, they just wanted to make sure he had a slot to go into, what with the one proper X-Men assortment being AoA-themed this year.  This marks Strong Guy’s introduction into the Legends format, and his third figure total, following the 5-inch figure and the Minimate (which was itself released just in the last year).  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Strong Guy is sporting an all-new sculpt, which is appropriate, since it’s pretty tricky for someone of his unique stature to share parts with other characters.  Given his larger build, the articulation works quite well, with a solid range of motion, and some great stability, even with his wonky proportions.  I quite enjoyed the old Toy Biz 5-inch sculpt when I took a look at it earlier in the year, and I remarked that it was honestly one of the nicer ones.  This one?  It blows that offering out of the water.  The costume details are nice and sharp, and the head sculpt is one of the most character-filled expressions that we’ve gotten.  Hasbro has been really stepping up their game on the face sculpts in the last year, and Strong Guy just pushes that even further.  Perhaps the only slight down fall of this figure, if you can truly even call that, comes with the color work.  Hasbro’s been stepping up this area more recently, so the fact that Strong Guy is mostly reliant on molded colors, and has minimal accenting does make him feel just a touch unfinished in some areas.  At the very least, a few more details on his jacket would have gone a long way.  That being said, the application is pretty decent, and the basic work still puts him on par with the most of the line.  It’s certainly a step up from where things were when Hasbro first relaunched the line.  Strong Guy doesn’t get any accessories, but given the sheer size of the figure and how he’s a completely new sculpt, that’s honestly totally fair.  Plus, I can’t really think of much he’d need, anyway.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I dig Strong Guy.  I dig Strong Guy a lot.  Ever since we got our first taste of X-Factor with Multiple Man back in 2018, I’ve been looking forward to getting this guy in some form or another, and with the Havok and Polaris figures further filling out the line-up, was even higher on my list.  As soon as this guy was shown off, I was totally on-board, no matter what figures I had to buy to get him…which may have been for the best, but I’ll get to that in a second.  Strong Guy’s an awesome figure, and I’m really glad to have him.  He looks fantastic with the rest of his team.

This assortment is a definite mix of highs and lows.  Strong Guy’s a fantastic Build-A-Figure, and a front runner for my favorite BaF of the year.  It’s really just Crimson Dynamo he has to contend with.  The figures that build him range from surprisingly good to downright abysmal.  Maverick is on the high end of that spectrum for me, but Black Tom, Warpath, and Sunspot all make for a serviceable middle-ground figure.  The Deadpool variants, however, are really treading on thin ice now, and neither one offered here is anything approaching needed.  And Shiklah is garbage, and you can’t convince me otherwise.

#2514: Deadpool

DEADPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Just got the suit back from the dry cleaners. I hear blue and gold is the new red?”

Okay, yep, there’s another Deadpool.  Still gotta review the other Deadpool.  It’s okay, there’s just this one more review, and then I get to review something I actually care about.  Come on, Ethan, you can do this!  I believe in you, me!

What good would a Deadpool wave be with only a single Deadpool variant?  That would be downright preposterous, wouldn’t it?  Well, we covered the zanier side of things with Pirate Deadpool, so let’s have a look at something that’s a bit less out there, and a bit more…umm…what’s a more exciting word for bland?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Deadpool is technically figure 1 in the Strong Guy Series of Marvel Legends, but I’m over here looking at him last.  Why?  Because I kept putting him off, that’s why.  And, I guess I can’t keep doing that?  Yeah, okay, I’ll stop stalling.  I swear.  Look at me: quitting stalling.  For realsies.  Totes quitting.  Stop the madness!  So, what we have here is Deadpool in one of his X-Men uniforms.  It’s not the first one we’ve gotten.  It’s not even the first figure of this particular design, which cropped up as a variant in Hasbro’s 2008 fan choice two-packs.  The figure that I’m putting off reviewing is 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s a mash-up of prior Deadpools, using the Juggernaut Series head, the 2099 body and the wrist, neck, and ankle bands of the Sasquatch Series figure, and the harness from the Corps set.  It’s fine, and it gets the job done.  Everything is about as accurate as it should be.  He’s got the same issue as the last, slightly more comical X-Men costume Deadpool figure, which is that the Juggernaut Series head doesn’t quite sit properly on the neck of the 2099 body.  It just sits a bit too high and doesn’t look right in most poses.  Additionally, the harness was originally sculpted for the old Bullseye body, so it sits a little off kilter on the torso.  The whole assembly just ends up looking a little poorly conceived.  In terms of paint, this guy’s main appeal, for lack of a better, blander word, is his changed up color scheme.  Instead of his usual red and black, he’s blue and yellow.  It’s very blue and yellow, so I guess that’s good?  Application’s clean, so there’s that, I guess.  Deadpool is packed with two sword, a handgun, a shotgun, and the head to the Strong Guy Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have any interest in this costume the first time it got a Legends figure, and I can’t really say my opinion on it changed by the time of the second go-round.  This costume’s never been one that’s excited me all that much, and I’m really starting to feel some hardcore apathy to all of the Deadpool variants we’ve been getting as of late.  I wasn’t much for Pirate Deadpool, but at least he tried something different.  This one’s just so…meh…

Blandness aside, thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2513: Shiklah

SHIKLAH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Shiklah is the shape-shifting superhuman Queen of the Undead and former Mrs. Deadpool.”

Oh goody, today I get to review Shiklah.  She’s my faaaaaaavorite.  Ever since that time that…ummm…she did that very memorable…thing?  And then that other thing happened?  Wasn’t that great?  ….Okay, real talk, I’ve been fooling you this whole time.  Not only do I not remember either of those memorable things I mentioned, but Shiklah is also *not* my favorite.  I know, you’re shocked.  I’m very convincing with this ruse, right?  Okay, let’s just get to the damn review.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shiklah is figure 3 in the Strong Guy Series of Marvel Legends, and she falls squarely into the Deadpool portion of the assortment.  Woooooooo.  Deadpool-theme.  It’s automatically wacky and zany and off the wall and they don’t even have to try, right?  Well, that seems to have been the prevailing theory on this one.  The figure’s 6 inches tall and she’s got 27 points of articulation.  Shiklah is using the Lady Deadpool body, and it’s not really the greatest.  From the (admittedly brief amount of) research I did, the body seems rather skinny for how she’s usually depicted, so it’s not great standpoint.  Also, her joints are kind of warped, and she’s got the really high-heeled feet, culminating in a figure that can not stand.  At all.  The effort I had to put into getting her to stay standing for the few photos I have here was insane, and I couldn’t even actually keep her up for all of them, which is why she’s just on the ground for one, and totally absent from another.  Really frustrating and poorly made are the best terms to describe her, really.  She gets a new head, which is fine, but seem large on this body, and she’s got floating add-ons for her necklace and belt, which don’t really stay in place, so hey, there’s more frustration to look forward to.  Her cape is a “cloth” piece, in the same vein as Storm’s.  I use the quotations because I struggle to really call this material cloth.  It’s effectively just paper when you get down to it.  It doesn’t hang well, it doesn’t pose well, and it’s not going to hold up well over time in the slightest.  There’s no pose where it doesn’t look dumb, apart I guess from when she’s laying flat on her face.  How fortunate, then, that that’s the only pose she can actually pull off long-term.  Shiklah’s paint work is, at least, fairly inoffensive.  It does its job, and seems to match the comics alright.  It’s quite purple.  There are no glaring issues, which I suppose is a piece of mercy given the rest of the figure.  Shiklah includes two accessories, neither of which is actually hers.  The main one is Jeff, Gwenpool’s pet land shark.  He’s just an unarticulated figurine, but he’s a fun little piece, and certainly an enjoyable addition to the Gwenpool figure.  He’s got a nice little jaunty walking pose that’s fairly versatile, and he interacts well with Gwen.  There’s a bit of obvious flashing and join lines that are a little bit annoying, but they don’t ruin the figure.  The other extra is Strong Guy’s arm, for those that want that (which is, like, 90% of the people buying this thing).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I do not care about Shiklah.  She’s far outside of the period of time when I still enjoyed Deadpool, and she just doesn’t seem like she’s got much going on.  Honestly, it doesn’t even seem like Hasbro cares about Shiklah, given Jeff was actually shown off before she was, and is in front of her on both the side illustration and the product image on the back of the box.  I was originally planning to be more jokey with this review, and have Jeff as the main figure and Shiklah as the accessory.  Then, in the course of getting my photos, I realized how actually phoned-in and terrible the figure is, and I felt the need to actually talk about her.  I loathe this figure.  Do you know how bad a figure has to be for me to loathe it?  I’ve bough Mattel figures that I didn’t loathe!  But boy do I loathe this one.  I loathe it so much that I’m getting rid of it.  Not selling: getting rid of.  At least Jeff and the Strong Guy arm justify the cost for me, but you can tell that Hasbro just needed a space filler for this set and didn’t feel like they should put out another Gwenpool just yet.

Not so mixed feelings aside, thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2512: Pirate Deadpool

PIRATE DEADPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“It’s a pirate’s life for Deadpool with plenty of adventure. Oh, and doubloons. So many doubloons.”

Remember how I mentioned that the latest round of Marvel Legends was half-X-Force/half-Deadpool?  Well, I already covered the X-Force, so I guess I might as well get these Deadpools out of the way.  We’re firmly going for the “isn’t he so wacky and goofy and off the wall in the most predictably meme-esque way possible” side of Deadpool with today’s figure, Pirate Deadpool.  Why is he a pirate?  Oh boy he’s wacky, that’s why.  Yeah…just go with it, guys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Pirate Deadpool is figure 7 in the Strong Guy Series line-up of Marvel Legends.  He’s the first of two Deadpool variants in this assortment, and definitely the wackier of the two.  He’s based on Deadpool’s appearance on the cover of issue 14 of his mid-00s solo series, which is a thing, I guess.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  This Deadpool is based on the Bucky Cap body, which is fair I guess, since about half of them are.  He gets a new head, torso, left forearm, and add-ons for his cape and the skirt of his jacket.  The new parts are mostly pretty decent, but for some reason, he loses out on the movement mid-torso for the new piece, which is rather limiting.  The skirt piece is also a little softer in terms of detailing than I’d prefer, especially around the two (frustratingly non-removable) pistols.  It’s also really thick, and rather restrictive.  I do rather like the new head, though.  The hat’s permanently attached, which ultimately works out better for scaling, and he’s got a slightly goofier expression going on, which works pretty well for the character.  All in all, the parts amount to a pretty respectable recreation of the illustration from the cover.  His paint work follows the trend of all of the post-Juggernaut Series Deadpools, so he’s got that much brighter red as a base color.  It’s certainly eye-catching.  The paint work is all pretty decent, with the application mostly being pretty clean.  There’s a little slop around the bandana on his head, but it’s otherwise not so bad.  Pirate Deadpool is packed with an appropriately pirate-y cutlass and flintlock, and…a katana?  I mean, I get that he’s Deadpool and all, but boy does that katana stick out as being weirdly off theme for this release.  He’s also got the left leg for Strong Guy, which isn’t very pirate-y, but I’m less likely to complain about that one.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t really want a Pirate Deadpool when there wasn’t a confirmation of a Pirate Deadpool, and once there was, I still didn’t really want one.  I did, however, want a Strong Guy, which required buying a Pirate Deadpool.  Yeah, get used to this concept.  There’s going to be a bit of that this week.  Just as a heads up, on that one.  In-hand, I guess he’s not terrible.  If you want a Pirate Deadpool, this one’s not bad.  I just don’t really want one…

Mixed feelings aside, thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2511: Chewbacca

CHEWBACCA

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“As Han Solo’s partner, Chewbacca the Wookiee (or Chewie, as Solo calls him) distinguished himself as a talented pilot, starship mechanic and smuggler. After being rescued from Imperial slavers by Solo, Chewbacca pledged a life debt to the rogue pilot and followed him to several different planets as their relationship grew and the two became close friends and partners. When Solo acquired the light freighter Millennium Falcon, he and Chewbacca began their career as intergalactic smugglers. Chewbacca’s reputation as a brawler gave him a distinct advantage in shady business negotiations, and it was he who initiated the deal to transport Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker from Tatooine to Alderaan.”

Okay, so here’s something of an odd thing that slipped through the cracks of my review schedule: somehow, in all of the Power of the Force reviews I’ve written here on the site, I’ve managed to leave one single figure from the initial assortment un-reviewed for far longer than I realized. I speak of today’s entry, the line’s first take on Chewbacca, who has thus far escaped my reviewing focus.  Not to worry, dear reader, I’ve got him all set for today, so lets take a look at this crazy monkey man who really isn’t a monkey man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Chewbacca was, as noted in the intro, part of Kenner’s first 1995 assortment for their revamped Power of the Force line.  He joined standard versions of Luke, Han, Leia, R2, C-3PO, Obi-Wan, Vader, Lando, the Stormtrooper, and Boba Fett in bringing Star Wars back to toy shelves for the first time in over a decade.  This would mark Chewy’s second time getting a 3 3/4-scale figure, following his old vintage release, placing him in the same category as Vader, the Stormtrooper, and Boba Fett.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation…technically.  There’s a neck joint there, but best of luck really getting any sort of motion out of it.  This guy got an all-new sculpt, which would serve as the basis for Chewy’s Shadows of the Empire figure as well. Chewbacca’s vintage sculpt was definitely on the scrawny side of things and…well, this one definitely goes for the other end of the spectrum.  Way on the other end of the spectrum.  This guy’s like two of the vintage guy.  Chewy may have been bigger than the other characters, but he wasn’t a body builder like this one.  He falls into a similar category to Vader, who was likewise a little on the small side for his vintage release, and then ballooned way up for his ’95 figure.  It’s downright goofy looking, and ends up making Chewy look a lot more simian than he did in the films, especially with that less shaggy, more carefully groomed appearance he’s got.  At the very least, the texturing on the fur isn’t too bad, though the bandolier isn’t quite so lucky; it looks stretched to fit Chewy’s new bulk, and ends up missing out on some of the better detail work of later versions.  The major details are there, but not much beyond that.  Chewbacca’s paintwork is fairly decent, perhaps the best of the initial batch, in fact.  He actually gets some nice accenting on his fur to give it its proper variations in color, a definite step up from the vintage counterpart.  Chewbacca was packed with both his usual bowcaster and also a more generic and definitely very ’90s gun, just in case one wasn’t enough for him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Part of the reason Chewbacca got overlooked for review is because he kind of got overlooked in my collection, too.  As I mentioned in my Bounty Hunter Chewbacca review, that was my standard, and quite frankly, my go-to Chewbacca as a kid.  I didn’t actually have a basic Chewy; he was one of the figures that was in the batch of figures my Grandmother had for me and my cousin at her house.  It meant I got to play with one, but it wasn’t ultimately mine.  When the figures got split up between us, Chewy went with my cousin, and I never thought much about it, having moved onto better Chewbaccas.  When filling in my collection, I actually forgot about this figure, until managing to find one loose a couple of Christmases ago while on vacation.  I then forgot I had that figure and hadn’t actually reviewed it until I took it down off the shelf for the photo that ended my recent C-3PO review, at which point I got him onto the schedule as soon as I could.  And, here we are.  He’s not great, or anything.  He’s goofy and not very accurate, but also not as fun as the Bounty Hunter Chewy, so he’s just sort of here.

#2510: Archangel II

ARCHANGEL II

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“As the high-flying Angel, Warren Worthington III was one of the original members of the X-Men. Years later, Worthington’s real wings were dissected, replaced with razor sharp wings of steel, and he was transformed into Archangel, one of the four Horsemen of Apocalypse. Now, having fought against the conditioning that tainted and turned him into a living weapon, Archangel has embraced his humanity and strives to regain the purity that once surrounded him.”

The Toy Biz X-Men line came out of the gate pretty strong, marking off a good chunk of the core X-Men.  By a few years into the line, they were steadily supplying updates to those core characters.  While characters such as Wolverine or Cyclops were central to the then-running cartoon, and therefore higher on list for updates, Warren Worthington III, aka Archangel only had a guest-starring role on the show.  It was still enough to justify another figure, and so here we are!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Archangel II was released in the Invasion Series of X-Men, the eleventh assortment of the line.  Archangel was included in the initial cases of the series, but was replaced in later cases by the previously-reviewed Erik the Red, making this version of Archangel ultimately the rarer figure.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Archangel II debuted an all-new sculpt, one that would prove a favorite of Toy Biz over the years.  Though I haven’t actually managed to review any of the later uses (something that kind of baffles me, honestly), it was used *a lot* over the years.  This is where is kicked off, though, so that’s pretty cool.  It’s an okay sculpt, but what’s somewhat interesting is that it doesn’t really feel like it works as well for Archangel as it did for the later figures it was used for, despite being sculpted specifically for this guy.  The build seems perhaps a touch bulky for Warren, but ultimately, it’s the head that seems the most off.  It’s also rather bulky, and I’m not sure exactly what that facial expression is, but it seems a bit unpleasant.  The new wings were actually pretty decent.  They were certainly more sizable than the Series 1 version, and the detail work is a little more in depth.  The softer material used for them make it a little easier to keep him standing, which is definitely a plus.  The paint work on Archangel is pretty decent.  It covers all of the basics of his hideous colorscheme from the time period, and the application is all pretty strong.  Mine’s taken a little bit of a beating, but that’s kind of the usual for these guys.  Archangel didn’t include any accessories, but he did get a wing-flapping action feature.  It’s super goofy, but I enjoy it and all its hokiness.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, so consulting my records shows that I *have* talked about Ageless Heroes here on the site, back when I reviewed Bespin Luke.  I got a good chunk of 5-inch Marvel figures that way, and Archangel was amongst that grouping of figures.  He was one of those figures that was kind of rare when he was new and I was getting into collecting.  I recall seeing him on the back of the packaging for a few of my figures, so when I found him at Ageless Heroes, I was pretty excited.  Ultimately, he’s maybe not the best Archangel, but I still appreciate him for what he is.

 

#2509: Warpath

WARPATH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A powerful mutant with superhuman strength and speed, Warpath is a formidable warrior with a proud and noble heart.”

One thing that seems to accompany the mutant gene in the Marvel universe is a propensity to breed like rabbits.  Everybody and their brother seems to have…a brother.  Okay, poor choice of words.  But, the point still stands, that a whole lot of the merry mutants have siblings, frequently with similar, or even identical, power sets.  I guess it’s a pretty easy way for the writers to “bring back” a character that can’t really be brought back.  Such was the case James Proudstar, brother to John Proudstar, the original Thunderbird and early addition to the X-Men’s casualty list.  James cropped up first under the same title as his brother, before jumping into his own identity as Warpath, whose wound up with a good deal more staying power than his brother.  That’s probably why he’s got so many more figures.  Well, here’s one more.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Warpath is figure 6 in the Strong Guy Series of Marvel Legends.  Unlike a lot of this assortment, this isn’t Warpath’s first time as a Legend; he got two separate figures back during the two-pack days of Hasbro, covering two of his later X-Force costumes.  This one, however, goes back to his start with X-Force, and gives him that proper Liefeldian design.  Shoulder pads and pouches!  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Warpath is built on the body introduced with Omega Red back in 2018.  It’s honestly surprising it took this long for the body to crop back up, because it’s a really solid big guy type of body, with a really good articulation scheme.  It’s certainly a welcome improvement to the Hyperion body, or even that weird Hulkling take-off the prior Warpaths made use of.  Warpath gets a new head, hands, forearms, shins, and add-ons for his shoulder pads, wrist bracers, and belt.  The head seems perhaps a touch on the large side, if I’m honest.  Not terribly so, but in line with Hasbro’s usual difficulties getting the proportions just right on some of the larger characters.  Sizing aside, though, it’s a really nice sculpt, definitely befitting James’s usual depictions.  The forearms clean up the Omega Red-specific elements of the prior mold, paving the way for easier use for other characters, while the shins not only add another point of articulation, but also add in Warpath’s fringed boots.  The shoulder pads do a variation of the Omega Red ones, pegging into place on the shoulders.  It keeps them secure, while still allowing for removal, if that’s your thing.  The bracers and belt wrap things up with some fairly standard issue parts, which work out pretty well.  His paint work is pretty basic, but also pretty appropriate.  They did tone down his colors ever so slightly from how they were initially depicted in the comics, but it definitely still works, and probably even works a bit better, since he ends up a little less garish.  Warpath’s accessory complement is…odd?  He’s got a second pair of hands for gripping, but nothing to grip.  I don’t mind the extra hands at all, but I’m not used to seeing them without accessories to interact with.  Perhaps he was supposed to have some knives or something?  He also gets the left leg of Strong Guy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Warpath’s not a character I’ve ever had any sort of major attachment to, due mostly to never really following any of the stories he was a part of.  Subsequently, I’ve also not really collected many of his figures, apart from having his first Toy Biz offering.  That said, he’s got a pretty distinctive design, so I was down to see his classic look get some Legends love, especially with most of the team already here.  He’s a pretty strong figure.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.