#2861: Morph – Age of Apocalypse

MORPH — AGE OF APOCALYPSE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

Toy Biz’s tie-in to the big X-books crossover “Age of Apocalypse” in 1996 was a pretty quick, almost slapdash sort of a thing.  A single assortment, one and done, with no real follow-up.  They covered some of the heaviest hitters from the set, but with a story so widespread, there were certainly some gaps.  Toy Biz wound up filling in the line-up a little bit in the ensuing years via a handful of one-off and oddball releases, including a mail away offer to get our boy Morph out to people.  I mean, really, how can you not have Morph, right?  It would just be wrong.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Morph was offered up as an exclusive through ToyFare Magazine #22, first made available to order in June of 1999, and shipping out later that year.  He was the fifth post-line addition to the AoA line-up, following Gambit, Rogue, Nemesis, Blink, and X-Man.  He wound up being the last addition, actually, which seems both fitting and also downright unreasonable.  I mean, sure, he’s a great character to end the line-up on, but also how could you wait so long to do him?  How could you do that, now defunct toy company?  I demand answers!  Okay, maybe not so much.  The figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  As with all of these mail aways, he was constructed from as few new parts as possible, which was effectively none.  He uses the body of the AoA Magneto, with the modified torso piece from the Battle Brigade release, which adds in the neck articulation.  In place of either of the Magneto heads, Morph instead gets the standard head from the Spider-Man line’s Chameleon.  It’s all topped off with a cloth cape, which is affixed to the back of the torso, which is also really prone to fraying at the edges.  In general, it’s a selection of parts that gets a lot of the specifics of his design down, but misses the broader design elements of the character.  Like, the head is bald, lacks a nose and ears, and has wider eyes, which is all accurate, but he’s also really angry and mean looking, and very square jawed, which isn’t so much.  Likewise, the body gets some of the costume details down, but then it’s also way too bulked up for him.  Given that he’s a shape shifter, you can make it work, but he does feel a little bit like he’s missing the forest for the trees.  Generally speaking, the paint’s not too bad for a Toy Biz release of the era.  All of the important details are there, and he matches Morph’s design from the books.  He’s perhaps a touch too bright, but I don’t mind that so much.  Some of the application is a little sloppy, but not terribly so.  That said, I did have a weird issue with the one in all the pictures here, which is that the cape sat up against his boot in the package, and now he’s got a weird pattern on that boot.  Morph included no accessories, but honestly, what is there to give him?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure is the reason I know that AoA Morph exists.  Well, not specifically this figure; this figure is a replacement I picked up last year, when a sealed one got traded into All Time.  My original’s not quite as photogenic these days (like I said, that cape likes to fray), but he was given to me by a family friend, who had ordered him specifically for me back in the day.  It was how I found out about the character, and a few years later, it was why I picked up the first trade of Exiles, because he was on the cover.  Subsequently, I’ve become quite a fan of the character.  This figure may not be the best version, but it was better than nothing, and I certainly have a soft spot for him.

 

#2693: Weapon X

WEAPON X

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

Wrapping up the radical changes that occurred to the many X-Men characters within the “Age of Apocalypse” storyline, we have Wolverine, who has such radical changes as “not called Wolverine” and “has one less hand.”  Okay, the hand thing’s a bit more radical, I suppose.  Not that it really impacted anything about who he was as a character, of course.  But it did at least give him a new look to make a toy out of, and Toy Biz was always down for that, weren’t they?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Weapon X was the final figure in the AoA Series of X-Men.  He was the requisite Wolverine variant for the set, which is sensible, I suppose.  The figure stands 4 1/4 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  Well, sort of 8 points, I guess.  The sculpting on the hair is such that the neck joint can’t move at all, but on the flip side, when he’s got one of his attachments for the stump in place, it gives him an extra joint there.  So it kind of works out, I guess.  As I addressed during my review of Patch back during the “Day of the Wolverines”, the Weapon X mold was retooled into that particular figure, though it’s worth noting that most of the parts are still technically unique between the two figures, thanks to a handful of minor changes to each of them.  It’s…not the worst thing ever?  It does slightly trend away from the ever increasing size of Wolverines at this point in the line, so I suppose that’s nice, though he’s forever stuck in this sort of mid-lunge-hunch posture, which really can’t be good for his back, adamantium spine or not.   His arms are also kind of weirdly outstretched, and I don’t even know what’s going on with his neck.  It’s weird to say the least.  Logan’s costume for the crossover isn’t a terribly involved one, and the paint is likewise not terribly involved.  Everything is rather basic.  The blue is a bit brighter than it should be, I suppose, and he’s missing the yellow, but the application is at least pretty clean, I guess.  Weapon X was packed with a handful (heh) of attachments for his stump, of varying quality.  The claws make sense, of course, being all story relevant and everything.  The hook is kinda goofy, and the missile launcher just made no damn sense.  I’ve only got the claws anyway, so I guess it doesn’t really matter too much at the end of the day.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I only got Sabretooth when these were new, and by the time I was starting to track them down after the fact, I was pretty well overloaded on Wolverines, so this one never really jumped out at me.  My brother Christian was always a little more of a Wolverine fan than I, so he actually got this one as a kid, from our local comic shop Cosmic Comix, I believe.  When he got around to not wanting most of his figures anymore, this was one of the ones I happily assimilated into my collection, mostly because it meant I didn’t actually have to put time or money into getting one of my own.  He’s alright, I guess, but I again confront the fact that this just isn’t that interesting of a design, and doesn’t really make for a terribly fun toy.

#2686: Apocalypse

APOCALYPSE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Apocalypse is the ruler of America. New York City is now Apocalypse Island, and all humans are sentenced to slavery! Only the most powerful mutants survive to reign alongside the high lord En Sabah Nur! Those who oppose him, like Magneto and his X-Men must live in hiding, under the constant threat of being caught – or surrender. This is not some bleak view of the future – this is now… the Age of Apocalypse.”

Hey, look at that, two AoA Apocalypse figures within the same month.  That’s pretty nifty.  It’s almost like I…planned it.  Yeah, sure, that’s why I delayed reviewing the Legends figure for so long.  Just for this awkward tie in here.  Yep.  That’s totally it.  Let’s go with that.  Onto the review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Apocalypse is another figure from the twelfth series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was totally inspired by the “Age of Apocalypse” event that was just wrapping up in the comics at the time.  He’s really the most obvious figure out of the set, what with the event being named after him and all.  It marked his third figure in the line, though this one was something of a departure from the prior releases.  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  He gained extra movement at the forearms on both of his arms, but notably lost the movement at the neck, for some reason.  He and Magneto were both very anti-neck movement, I guess.  Apocalypse’s AoA design was in some ways a bit less built up than his mainstream look, but was more built up in others.  Whatever the case, it was different, and required an all-new sculpt.  It’s alright, but not quite as strong as either of the prior two Apocalypses.  His proportions are really wonky, especially on the arms, which make up about 50% of the figure’s mass.  He’s also a bit lighter on detailing than other Apocalypse figures, in part due to how the design works out.  The hands can be popped at the forearms (hence the extra joints there), but they definitely have some trouble staying in place.  Likewise, the cape and collar are separate from the main body, but have trouble really staying attached, since there’s nothing to really hold them there.  So, they just kind of jostle around a lot.  Not a ton of fun to play with, really.  The paint work on Apocalypse is pretty straight forward, and not bad overall.  The only part I’m really iffy about is the metallic purple, used on the head, hands, and part of the boots.  It’s not a terrible color, but it does kind of clash with the other colors on the figure.  Apocalypse was packed with an extra buzzsaw arm attachment, which can swap with either of his standard arms, as well as an imprisoned Shadow King, which is actually a pretty cool little extra.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As a kid, Apocalypse I was my Apocalypse, and I never really cared enough about the character to feel the need to own another version.  So, I didn’t.  This guy wound up being a more recent addition to the collection.  I picked him up along with a batch of other sealed Toy Biz figures a couple of years ago from Collector’s Corner, who were running a sale on them at the time.  He’s remained sealed since then, and I really only opened him for the review (which is the case with a handful of my more recent Toy Biz acquisitions), meaning he’s largely removed from any real nostalgia or anything.  He’s not a terribly impressive figure, to be honest, and lacks a lot of the toyetic qualities that made the prior two figures fun.

#2679: Sabretooth

SABRETOOTH

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Although Sabretooth is usually one of the X-Men’s most fearsome foes, in this different reality, he is in fact an X-Man, fighting for peace alongside his former adversaries. And although he still possesses his savage strength and animal-like instincts, he also shares those traits via an empathic link with his feral companion, Wild Child who channels those primitive instincts, keeping rage in check.”

Following up on last week’s renewed coverage of the Toy Biz “Age of Apocalypse” figures after, like, a five year break, I’m taking a look at yet another figure who hasn’t yet been graced with an update from Hasbro*…coupled with someone who has!  Yes, it’s another pair of formerly villainous characters who found heroic traits during the crossover, Sabreooth and Wild Child!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sabretooth was released in the 12th series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was all AoA-based.  This was the fourth version of Sabretooth we’d gotten, though unlike Magneto, all of Victor’s figures had been uniquely different each other.  Sabretooth had one of the more drastically different designs for the cross-over, as this one removed him even more from the furry, more ferally-inspired costumes he’d had previously, in favor of one of he more Magneto inspired costumes the X-Men were sporting.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  This guy’s articulation was pretty interesting, because it’s just a sort of odd assortment.  Like, he adds swivels on the legs, which were actually new for this guy, I think.  Not sure exactly *why* they did that, as they’re not really essential for the character, but they were certainly appreciated.  Oddly, however, he’s only got a single elbow joint, just on the right arm.  The left is without.  Not sure why.  Whatever the case, he was by far the most articulated Sabretooth, after the last three figures were all missing some key movement of some sort.  In terms of height, he wasn’t much larger, but this guy was certainly wider than the prior Sabretooths, making him fit with the overall bulked up aesthetic for the figures in the line at this point.  As I’ve noted with the others from the set, it was certainly fitting, given that the crossover was happening at the height of the ’90s “X-Treme” trends, meaning that all of the characters wound up looking like Apocalypse was mandating some pretty heavy steroid use in this new reality.  It works out okay for Sabretooth in particular, since he has generally stuck with his bulk-up after the fact.  The sculpt here does wind up looking a touch awkward, but you can’t say they didn’t follow the stylings of the art. The ponytail is a separate piece that pegs in, so you can reorient it however you’d like when posing him.  My only real complaint would be how ferocious the facial expression is, given that Victor was generally a little friendlier in the cross over.  Sabretooth’s paint work is pretty basic, but also pretty clean, and again, pretty consistent with the art.  Sabretooth’s main accessory is his partner in crime Wild Child, who is depicted here as an unarticulated figurine.  He’s perhaps a touch on the small side for proper scaling, but otherwise not bad.  Also included is a chain to connect him to Sabretooth’s arm, as seen in the series.  It works pretty well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Sabretooth was the first AoA figure I got, and the only one I had when they were new.  He was a birthday present from my great aunt Nelda.  I was used to getting some weird gifts from the extended family, so this one was surprisingly on the mark for her.  It would not surprise me to find out that she had enlisted the help of my Grandmother, who was always pretty up to date on what I liked.  It was actually the first Sabretooth I had for my collection, and it was a few years before I found out that this one wasn’t supposed to be a bad guy.  It was also a little while before I had even the slightest clue who Wild Child was supposed to be.  This is a goofy, very tied to its time pair, but they actually aren’t bad figures looking back on them.

*Notably, while we haven’t gotten a Hasbro Legends update for AoA Sabretooth, he was one of the two figures from the crossover during the Toy Biz days.  Not that I’d call that one a worthy fit for the rest of the new set, but, it does still put him ahead of poor Magneto.

#2674: Apocalypse

APOCALYPSE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Apocalypse launches an offensive against humankind in pursuit of a world where mutants rule—and only the strong survive.”

Hey, do you ever just forget to review something for a while, and then get kind of awkward about how long you’ve been forgetting to review it, and then just sort of wonder if you should even review it at all, and then have a convenient hole in the schedule and figure why not?  Or is that just a me thing?  It’s probably just a me thing.  So, um, last year was the 25th anniversary of “Age of Apocalypse”, which I was discussing just over the weekend.  Hasbro did some Legends to tie-in, and I’ve so far looked at all but one of those figures, so I’m finally wrapping things up here today, with a look at the crossover’s titular antagonist, Apocalypse.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Apocalypse was his own stand-alone release last year, as a Deluxe-sized Marvel Legends offering.  He marked a slight change for the Build-A-Figure-sized figures that have shown up previously at this price point, being a totally new figure, rather than a slight tweak on a prior BAF.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  His starting point is the same as the last Legends Apocalypse at his core, which is sensible, since they’re the same guy and all.  He gets a new set of heads, new boots, and new add-ons for his collar, shoulder pads, wrist guards, and cape.  You’ll note that I said “set of heads”; yes, this guy actually gets two new heads in place of the single head the last guy got.  They’re both different expressions from the BAF, with one a calm and menacing head, and the other a mad cackling laugh.  Of the two, I definitely prefer the laughing head, because it’s just got a lot of character to it, but both are certainly impressive.  The boot pieces are a little more basic than the more armored appearance of the last one, but maintain accuracy to the source material for what it’s worth.  The new add-on pieces are all pretty cool looking, but I did find that the shoulder pads and cape have a real tendency to pop out of place more frequently then I’d like.  Additionally, the wrist guards cut down a lot on the range of motion for the elbow joints, which does limit what you can do posing him.  Still, there’s no denying that they got the overall look down.  In terms of color work, a lot of Apocalypse is molded plastic, which cuts down on the paint apps.  They use a lot of metallic plastic which works out nicely, and the painted details that are present are all pretty cleanly handled.  He’s rather bright and eye-catching, which I’m always down for in an action figure.  Apocalypse is packed with a extra left hand with an open grip, and a skull (presumably human), which he can hold all menacing like.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I, like a good number of people, was a little surprised when it was Sugar Man, not Apocalypse, who was serving as the BAF in the AoA assortment, but it clicked into place when this standalone showed up.  Honestly, it took a little bit of the urgency out of getting the figure for me personally.  I don’t *dislike* Apocalypse, but I can’t say he’s my favorite, and this in particular isn’t my go-to look for the character.  As his own release, he does benefit from the extra accessories, so that’s certainly cool, but the overall figure is just a bit…anti-climactic?  I guess maybe that’s why it took me five months to actually review him, huh?

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

#2672: Magneto

MAGNETO

X-MEN: AGE OF APOCALYPSE (TOY BIZ)

“In a different world the X-Men were founded by Erik Lehnsherr, better known as Magneto, the master of magnetism. Although the team roster has changed slightly, their quest for peace between human and mutants remains unchanged. A drive instilled in Magneto by a man he once called a dear friend – the late Professor Charles Xavier.”

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of mega X-Men cross-over, “Age of Apocalypse”, but this year marks the 25th anniversary of the tie-in toys for “Age of Apocalypse.”  You tell me: which of those is the cooler thing?  Yes, I know most people would say the actual cross over, but this is a toy site, so, you know, bear with me?  Yes, in 1996, we got a small assortment of figures based on a story that was just wrapping up in the pages of all of the X-books at the time.  I already looked at Cyclops several years ago, but I’m diving into the rest of that set, starting things off with the alternate realities X-Men founder and leader, Magneto!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto is part of the twelfth series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was, as noted above, entirely based on “Age of Apocalypse.”  He marked Magneto’s fourth time in the line, but all of the others were just his main design.  This one is…slightly different?  Magneto’s design in the the series is admittedly one of the least changed, but it’s still different from what we’d gotten previously.  The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  He gets waist articulation, which is cool, but loses his neck movement, I guess because of the hair?  They gave other characters with long hair neck movement (including the Cyclops in this very series), but perhaps it was something about the style?  Compared to his last three figures in the line, this Magneto was definitely bulked up, fitting with the general bulking up trend of the line.  Additionally, Magneto was notably pretty darn swoll in the comics at this point, so it’s not like the figure is inaccurate.  In fact, he’s quite a faithful recreation, with the head doing quite a nice job of capturing the general style of the comics, and the various pieces of the costume being quite nicely defined.  The cape is a separate removable piece, and it has quite a dynamic flow going on with it, which gives him a nice bit of flair.  In terms of paint work, Magneto is pretty basic for the most part.  The application’s generally pretty cleanly handled.  The use of the metallic on the upper purple armored bits is pretty cool, and an early use of such color work for the line.  It also mixes better with the flat purple parts than you might think, and works in an armor vs cloth sort of way.  Magneto is packed with a removable helmet (a feature making its return here from the first figure), and a big hand…thing.  Presumably, it’s some sort of manifestation of his powers, perhaps referencing the scrap metal armor Magneto assembles for himself while fighting Apocalypse?  It’s pretty cool regardless, and certainly makes more sense than just giving him a random gun like the last figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Magneto’s definitely one of my favorite designs to come out of AoA, similarities to his standard design and all.  It was one I was really into as a kid, and while I missed this guy when he was still new, I actually got him not too terribly long after the fact, thanks to a loose collection of Marvel figures that came into Cosmic Comix in the early 00s.  Magneto was one of a handful of figures I grabbed from it, though at the time he was missing his cape and effect piece.  Thankfully, I was recently able to acquire both pieces from a collection that came through All Time, making this guy totally complete after almost two decades.  He’s a fun figure, and probably one of the most unassuming from this particular assortment.  I’d sure love to get a Legends update on this design!

#2473: Sugar Man

SUGAR MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Mixed in with a lot of re-imaginings of prior characters, Age of Apocalypse did also have a few honest to gosh new characters, wholly original to this reimagined universe.  Included in that grouping is today’s focus, Sugar Man, a character that even 25 years later still has no main universe counterpart.  In fact, he’s more or less his own main universe counterpart, since he was one of the four character’s to travel into the 616 following AoA’s wrap-up, and spent a good 20 years cropping up in the background of various X-Men stories.  He’s also really gross.  Yuck.  Well, let’s review him, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sugar Man is the Build-A-Figure for the predictably titled “Sugar Man Series” of Marvel Legends.  Given his monstrous size and odd proportions, he’s a rather natural choice.  While this is his first Legend, it’s not actually his first figure, if you can believe it.  He managed to get a figure from Toy Biz’s 5-inch line back in the day.  The figure’s 6 1/2 inches tall, and just about as wide, and he’s got 38 points of articulation.  Though he’s got plenty of joints, he’s not exactly the most exceedingly mobile figure in the Legends line-up.  In the figure’s defense, however, a lot of the limits are imposed by the character’s design, and he’s certainly a dramatic improvement over the old ’90s figure.  Sugar Man’s sporting an all-new sculpt, which isn’t really that surprising, because really, who would he share parts with? It’s definitely an impressive sculpt, and a really hefty one, too.  The detailing is all nice and crisp, and there’s a great dynamic flair to him with the facial expression and his flailing tongue.  He is truly hideous, and I can’t really say I’d want him any other way.  Hideous is kind of Sugar Man’s game.  There’s also just a lot going on with this sculpt, from the unique gesturing on each of the hands, to the novelty buttons lining his suspenders.  Someone certainly had fun with this one.  In terms of paint, Sugar Man does a pretty solid job of translating the quite frankly rather messy color jobs the character was usually sporting in the comics into something that looks alright on a mass produced figure.  There’s a fair bit going on here, just like with the sculpt, with a fair amount of accenting, especially on the head/torso.  Sugar Man is packed with his hammer, complete with “SUGAR” inscribed on one side.  He can either hold it or keep it stored on his belt, though it’s a little tricky to get it in there, given his general shaping.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with a lot of AoA stuff, I can’t really say that Sugar Man was a character I was dying to have in figure form.  Heck, I don’t even have the old one.  However, he did certainly look pretty impressive, and I was already planning to grab the whole assortment, so here we are.  He’s certainly one of the most unique BaFs we’ve gotten, I’ll give him that, and he fills out the rest of the assortment well.

This is definitely one of the most focused assortments of this line we’ve gotten, what with the very defined theme and all.  My favorite is definitely Morph, who’s quite basic, but just such a clean translation of his comics design.  X-Man’s another high ranking one for me, with Jean not too far behind.  Sunfire was certainly better than I’d expected, and I guess Dark Beast isn’t too bad either.  I can kind of take or leave Weapon X and Wild Child, but I definitely knew that much going in.

#2472: Dark Beast

DARK BEAST

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Dr. Henry McCoy constantly experiments on himself to enhance his superhuman powers.”

Within the AoA universe, there were a handful of characters who swapped over to the other team in terms of morality and good vs evil alignments.  Many former villains found themselves as reluctant heroes, but on the flipside, a few previously heroic characters became very much not so.  One of the most notable was Hank McCoy, known as Dark Beast in this new continuity.  Where the other was a kind-hearted, good-natured man who contrasted with his supranym, the AoA version was just downright evil.  He also wound up as one of the four characters to be “saved” from the AoA universe when it reverted back to the standard 616, taking him from a crossover villain to a full X-Men villain proper.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dark Beast is the final single-packed figure in the Sugar Man Series of Marvel Legends, and our first proper antagonist in the line-up.  It’s the first Legends Dark Beast, but not the first ever figure, as he was released as a Minimate and as an under-articulated 6-inch figure by Toy Biz back in the day.  The figure stands 7 1/2 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  The torso, arms, and feet are all shared with the Caliban Series Beast from last year, which was pretty much expected from the word go, what with them technically being the same character and all.  I do have to say, it actually works a little more to this particular figure’s advantage, since Dark Beast is typically depicted as being a far more towering figure, making the extra height less of an issue here than it was with the standard release.  To fully set him apart, Dark Beast gets a new head, pelvis, and legs.  The new head replicates the further mutated appearance of McCoy from the story, with his much wilder hair, and an evil grin cracking across his face.  For the hair, there was a lot of variance in the comics as to its actual shape.  This one opts for something closer to the wacky Wolverine hair side of things, which I think ultimately helps him read a little quicker as Beast, so it works for me.  I do quite like the facial expression, and it furthers my hope to see a calmer head for the standard Beast at some point.  The new legs give Hank his funky banded metal capris he was sporting throughout the event.  They’re very ’90s.  They’re very goofy.  But, they’re also very accurate, so, hey, good job Hasbro.  Another thing that had some room for interpretation in the books was Dark Beast’s coloring.  When he initially appeared, he was very clearly grey, presumably to show he had stayed his initial furry color in this universe, but as he appeared more often, he shifted more to a darker blue shade.  This figure kind of splits the difference on that front, going for a rather dark grey with a hint of blue to it.  It’s really the best possible choice, and looks good on the figure.  His actual paint application is all pretty clean and solid, and there’s more going on with it than you might realize at first glance.  Dark Beast is packed with the same two sets of hands as his normal universe counterpart, as well as Sugar Man’s Hammer, which is meant to go with the Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Dark Beast is an interesting concept to be sure, as well as a good excuse for Hasbro to get another use out of that mold they debuted last year, so he was definitely not a surprise addition to this line-up, nor is it a huge shock that he’s the hottest figure in the set in terms of demand.  With all that said, while I can certainly appreciate this is a well-made figure, I don’t personally find him to be quite as fun as some of the others in the set.  He’s fine, but that’s about where I leave it.

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

#2471: Morph

MORPH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A natural mimic, Kevin Sydney transforms himself into any shape at will.”

Okay, it’s fine guys.  We got through Weapon X and Wild Child.  Now, we get to the good stuff.  Yeah, now we get to the best part of Age of Apocalypse: Morph!  After obscure ’60s X-foe Changeling was re-imagined as Morph in order to have a sacrificial lamb in X-Men: The Animated Series‘s pilot episode, he was then further re-imagined in 1995’s line-wide reboot with Age of Apocalypse.  Admittedly, he was so far re-imagined that he was practically a new character, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t an *awesome* practically new character.  In fact, he was so awesome that Marvel even wound up creating an almost identical version of the character to star in Exiles, meaning today’s figure is kind of a two-fer.  Yay!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Morph is figure 6 in the Sugar Man Series of Marvel Legends, and is notable for being the only of the single releases to actually be a new character for Legends.  While we’ve gotten two prior AoA Morphs, they were a Minimate and a 5-inch Toy Biz figure.  So, this is kind of notable, in that regard.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Morph’s built on the 2099 base body.  In the series, his shape-shifting meant that his physique was somewhat variable, but this base is a pretty solid middle ground for his usual default.  He gets a new head, forearms, and boots, as well as a new add-on for his cape (which I wouldn’t be too shocked to see show up on the inevitable AoA Magneto).  The new parts are all pretty clean and cartoony, which is certainly appropriate for the character.  I especially like the head, because, as simple as it is, it really just hits all the proper notes.  I love the wide eyes and the slight smirk.  It’s definitely a “less is more” situation.  The new gloves and boots are surprisingly detailed for what they are, but unlike the equivalent pieces for the Bucky Cap body, they aren’t riddled with too much over texturing so as to clash with the rest of the pieces.  The cape’s an okay sculpt, but is just a touch floaty for my taste.  It’s not quite as bad as some of the earlier Hasbro capes, but it does hinder his playability just a touch.  His paint work is, like his sculpt, rather on the clean and basic side.  For the most part, I’m a fan, even of the outlining of the mouth and brow.  The only thing I’m not quite as big on is how dark the primary blue on the body suit is.  If it were just a touch brighter, I think the figure would really pop.  Morph doesn’t get any accessories of his own, which I suppose isn’t as much of a surprise given how light the rest of the set has been.  That said, it might have been nice to get a few different shape-shifting attachments.  He does get another leg for Sugar Man, though, so at least it’s not a total loss.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as you may have gathered from the intro, I rather like AoA Morph.  I mean, I rather like Morph in general, in all of his many forms, but this is AoA Morph we’re talking about here, so I should maintain the focus.  I had the Toy Biz AoA Morph as a kid, and I’ve been waiting for an update since we got Blink.  This guy was at the top of my list for this set as soon as it was shown off, and he’s, unsurprisingly, my favorite figure from the set.  Sure there are a few things that might make the figure perfect, but he’s still a really, really solid figure.

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

#2470: Weapon X

WEAPON X

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Armed with adamantium claws and superhuman healing abilities, Weapon X joins the battle against Apocalypse.”

And we’re jumping back into the Age of Apocalypse fray.  We last left off with a figure that didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm, and we’re picking up with…another one of those.  Yeah, it’s a Wolverine episode, guys.  Oh, wait, I’m sorry…Age of Apocalypse…it’s a Weapon X episode, guys.  While others around him got new backgrounds and personalities, Logan more or less remained the same in AoA, apart from not being “Wolverine” and being down a hand.  Not that either of those ended up making much of a difference.  I guess it helps justify the toy, though.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Weapon X is figure 5 in the Sugar Man Series, which seems surprisingly late in the number scheme for a Wolverine, but, well, I guess he’s not a Wolverine, is he?  By the way, if you guys think that joke’s going away, you’re sadly mistaken.  That joke’s here to stay, unlike the Wolverine name…or Logan’s hand…or self-respect.  This marks the third time as Legends figure for AoA Logan, but given that the last one was during the Toy Biz days, an update feels like a good call.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Like most Logans these days, he’s built on the body from the Juggernaut Series Wolverine, with the cleaned up shins from Weapon X and a new head and forearms.  Essentially, it’s just a pretty straight update on the old figure in terms of part re-use, since that one was also built on its era’s brown costume body.  The new head’s definitely the star attraction here.  Logan’s hair got crazier and crazier as we got further into the ’90s, and in AoA it was at almost peak craziness.  That’s translated here, as this guy’s got one hell of a mane on him.  It puts all other Wolverine hair to shame, really.  How much hair gel do you think he has to use to get that all to stay in place?  I bet it’s a lot.  Like, obscene amounts.  And in a post-apocalyptic setting no less.  The intensity of the hair is matched only by the intensity of his facial expression.  This guy’s definitely feeling a need to show all of those teeth he’s got, in just the most intense way possible.  On the new forearms front, the right one’s not too different from previous releases, but the left of course gives us Logan’s stump, albeit with his claws extended from it.  The paint work on this guy is generally pretty decent.  The basics are all pretty sharp and clean, and they’ve done a respectable job handling the stubble and his arm hair.  He’s also got his signature forehead tattoos, which beg the question of how exactly does Logan manage to get tattoos?  Seems like too much thought for a ’90s comic, I suppose.  Weapon X is packed with a spare stump without the claws extended, thereby allowing for his appearance from earlier in the story, as well as one of Sugar Man’s legs.  It’s too bad we couldn’t also get an alternate burned head to fully replicate all of the looks from the two Toy Biz offerings.  That would have helped to up this figure’s appeal a little bit.

THE ME HALF OF EQUATION

I owned the Toy Biz Weapon X.  I sold the Toy Biz Weapon X (well, okay, not the burned head variant).  I didn’t really miss the Toy Biz Weapon X.  I can’t say I really felt the need for a new and improved version either.  But, I was getting the rest of the set, and I’m kind of doing this completist thing with the line, so I guess I wasn’t missing him, was I?  He’s fine.  Better than I expected, honestly.  It’s just that the AoA version of Logan isn’t really as exciting as other characters.  But, it’s not like we were going to ever get this assortment without him, so I guess it could be worse.

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