#2465: X-Man



Nate Grey travels between dimensions armed with astonishing psychic powers.”

Though initially self-contained, there were a few parts of Age of Apocalypse that stuck around after the event had wrapped.  On the more prominent side of things was X-Man, the story’s reimagining of Cable.  While Nathan Summers was the son of Scott Summers and Jean Grey’s clone Madelyn Pryor who was sent to the future and then sent back into the past, Nate Grey was an artificiality conceived child, created by Mister Sinister, using the biological material of Cyclops and Jean Grey, and concocted as an ultimate weapon to be used against Apocalypse.  He also kinda looks like a member of a boy band, because, hey, it was the mid-90s.  After the destruction of the AoA universe, Nate was one of four characters who managed to make it into the main 616 universe, and had his own ongoing series for a bit, until he faded out of fashion when Marvel realized that it was already hard enough to justify keeping one overly-90s-sterotype son of Scott and Jean around, and they might as well keep the one they’d invested more time in.  He’s not been nearly as privy to toys as his mainstream counterpart, but fortunately he was on the shortlist for AoA Legends, meaning I get to talk about him today!


X-Man is figure 2 in the Sugar Man Series of Marvel Legends, which, as noted yesterday, is all AoA-themed.  This marks X-Man’s first time as a Legend and second figure overall, with his first coming in during Toy Biz’s rather ironically named “Most Wanted” line from back in the day.  Nate wound up with quite a few different looks, mostly centering around the same basic concept, but this figure plays it safe and just goes with his main appearance from the event.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  X-Man is built on the Bucky Cap body, a sensible choice given how he was usually depicted in terms of build.  Like most Bucky Cap builds these days, very little of the final figure *actually* comes from the Bucky Cap body.  Only his legs are shared, and even then, his knees are new parts, so that he can get those funky knee pads.  This guy’s effectively an all-new figure, when you get down to it, and I’d say Hasbro’s aiming to slowly ween us off this mold.  Much like yesterday’s Jean Grey, I think there’s a lot of really solid detailing going on, especially on the figure’s jacket.  Following in the steps of the ‘90s Cable from 2018, the head sculpt here has a permanently attached energy effect on his left eye, showcasing his telekinetic powers in action.  It’s a really cool, very dynamic look.  I do sort of wish there were an extra head without the effect included, but this is one of those instances where I don’t mind this being the only option too terribly much.  On the paint front, I was a little disappointed to discover just how messy the application was on my particular figure.  There’s a lot of bleed over from the yellow into the blue, and my figure exhibits two spots, one on his right bicep, and one on his right calf, where there’s just stray yellow paint.  I haven’t seen anything like this from Hasbro in a bit, so hopefully its confined to my figure.  X-Man doesn’t get any accessories for himself (something that will prove to be a common trend in this assortment), but he does get one set of Sugar Man’s arms.


I’ve always had something of a soft spot for X-Man.  I had his Toy Biz figure back in the day, and followed his solo series well after everyone else stopped thinking he was cool.  I’ve been low key hoping for him to get Legends treatment for a while now, and I was definitely happy to see him crop up here.  Issues with paint aside, I’m very happy with this figure, and he ranks pretty highly within his assortment for me.

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.

#1695: Cable



A powerful mercenary, Cable uses telekinetic abilities and combat expertise to get the job done.”

I started off my last Cable review by making fun of his box-bio’s hefty simplification of the character’s complex backstory.  For this one, I’m willing to cut Hasbro a little slack, since the character was presented in a much more simplified form in Deadpool 2, his appearance in which is one of the primary reasons he got this figure in the first place. Despite his lessened presence in the franchise in recent years, he gotten no less than two separate Marvel Legends releases in two years.  I’ve already looked at the first, and now I’m looking at the second.


Cable is figure 3 in the Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends, joining Deadpool and Domino in the loose DP2 theme of the assortment. He’s based on a more classic look than the last Cable.  It’s a costume that was prominent on a few covers in the ’90s (though less so the actual interiors; that’s just how ’90s comics do), notably the cover to X-Force #1. It was also the look Cable was sporting on his first action figure, and in the X-Men cartoon.  It’s about as quintessential as you get for Cable looks.  The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Like his predecessor, this Cable figure is built on the Hyperion body, though the actual pieces shared between the two are pretty minimal.  For the most part, this guy uses the Nuke variant of the body (so, he’s got the cargo pants and combat boots), but he gets a new head and arms (which are all distinct from the prior Cable figure, it should be noted), as well as an overlay piece for his shoulderpads/belt/suspenders, and another for his collar.  The head is the star part here, of course, and it manages to capture the spirit of Liefeld’s illustrations without really getting into the drawbacks behind them.  I particularly like how they’ve captured his glowing eye; that’s a nice touch.  The overlay piece is a little loose for my tastes, but it looks nice, and it means that Cable’s finally got shoulderpads!  Yay!  Cable’s paintwork is a good match for the palette that goes with this design, and the application, though sparse, is all clean.  Cable, being all about the guns, naturally includes three of them.  The biggest of them is an original design, and looks exactly like the sort of thing Cable would be brandishing on a cover in the ’90s.  There are also two smaller guns, which, fun fact, are both scaled-down Nerf guns.  The larger of the two is the Doomlands Vagabond, while the smaller is based on the Barrel Break.  They’re both nice gun designs, and they fit the style of the character quite well.  Thanks to our resident Nerf-expert Tim for helping identify the exact models!  I certainly hope this trend of scaling down Nerf guns continues.


I had a moderate interest in this figure.  I’m not the world’s biggest Cable fan or anything, but the fact that this is the design from the cartoon really gave me a reason to track him down.  Of course, he’s the most demanded in the set by far, so I missed him several times.  I eventually found him at Cosmic Comix, who got a case in a few weeks ago.  He’s a goofy figure to be sure, but that’s sort of the point.  I love him for what he is, though.

#1050: Cable




A lifelong soldier, Cable perfected his fighting prowess when a technological virus suppressed his natural psychic abilities

Wow, that’s definitely a streamlined version of Cable’s background. I guess “son of Cyclops and the clone of Jean Grey who was kidnapped, sent to the future, contracted a deadly made up disease, was raised by his father and the non-clone Jean Grey’s consciousnesses transported into two unrelated bodies in the future, who came back in time to just after he was originally kidnapped, and who may or may not actually be a clone” was just too much for the non-comics-reading fans. It might scare them away! Despite his complicated backstory, he’s a pretty straightforward ’90s anti-hero. He’s had a number of figures throughout his career (most of them are from the ’90s), but it’s been a few years. Fortunately, Hasbro’s seen fit to give him a brand new figure!


CableHas2Cable is figure 7 in the Juggernaut series of Marvel Legends. This is Cable’s fourth time as a Legend (counting the paint variant from Series 6). The last one was way back in 2007, as part of a Walmart exclusive two-pack, so this one’s long overdue. He’s based on his Ed McGuinness-designed look from Avengers: X-Sanction. It’s a bit of an oddball choice, but it is the book that brought Cable back following his death during “Second Coming.” It’s not a bad look (even if it lacks shoulder pads…), and it fits pretty well with the rest of the series of figures. The figure is a little over 7 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. Of note with the articulation is the inclusion of a ball joint for his mid-torso movement. It’s a lot more poseable than the usual hinge joint, which adds a lot to the playability of the figure. Cable reuses most of Nuke’s legs (he gets a new set of shins), as well as the right arm of the basic Hyperion body. The rest of the figure’s sculpt is new to him. It’s actually very nicely handled. The armor has lots of fun little details (including bullet damage, which is an impressive thing to see on a mass-produced figure), and a ton of great texture work. While this design was exclusively drawn by McGuinness, the sculpt sticks more with the basic style of the line, which makes Cable a bit more versatile than he might be otherwise. The paintwork on Cable isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty solid. Bleed over and slop is minimal, and the colors definitely fit the design. I do wish that the bullet damage were actually painted, but that’s minor. Cable includes two big sci-fi guns. The larger of the two has a removable ammo belt, and is in general my preferred of the pair. Cable also includes the pelvis of Juggernaut.


I picked up Cable at the same time as Wolverine. I wasn’t sure if I was going to pick this guy up initially (Cable’s hardly one of my favorite characters), but I kinda wanted to finish Juggernaut. I’m actually really glad I picked him up, because he’s a surprisingly awesome figure. How’d they manage to make a Rob Liefeld character into such a cool figure?


#0769: Cable & Stryfe




The X-Men were so popular in the 90s that they not only had two books of their own, but also a whopping three spin-off titles. Two of those, Excalibur and X-Factor, had been launched in the 80s, and the other, X-Force, was a rebranding of the New Mutants in order to make them more “extreme.” This included adding Cable, a dude who’s mutant power was apparently being a big dude with a gun, aka being the personification of 90s comics. Cable had a twin/clone, called Stryfe. Let’s look at some figures of those two today!


This pair was released in the second series of Toy Biz’s X-Men: Steel Mutants line, because apparently the X-Men just weren’t 90s enough.


CableStryfe2Oh man, here’s Cable. Why’s he called Cable? God only knows. Maybe he used to work for Comcast. That would certainly explain his surly nature. The figure stands 2 ½ inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation. Cable had quite a few figures in the 5 inch X-Force line, and this one uses Series 2’s Rapid Rocket Firing Cable as sort of a reference point. I don’t know if it’s based on a specific look, but it does present a slightly more subdued look for the character than usual. He doesn’t even have shoulder pads! His sculpt is generally pretty well handled. He’s got a good amount of detail, and his build does set him apart from the other figures in the line. Plus, I do dig that assymetry. His pose is pretty straight forward, with no real outlandish poising or anything, and he’s decently balanced, so there are no issues with getting him to stand. Cable’s paint is pretty much on par with the rest of the Steel Mutants. There’s a fair degree of bleed over around the edges, but he doesn’t look atrocious. The colors are pretty well chosen, and he looks pretty sharp.


CableStryfe3Yes, you read that name right. He’s named Stryfe. And it’s spelled with a “y.” Because 90s. Strule also stands roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has those same 4 points of articulation. Stryfe is presented here in full 90s glory. Check out that head gear. Seriously, that helmet looks like Liefeld deliberately set out to out-Wolverine Wolverine. I suppose they succeeded in that effort. Doesn’t make it look any less stupid, but more power to him. He appears to be inspired by the Stryfe figure in the 5-inch line, though he’s lost most of that figure’s interesting armor detailing, which has the unintended side effect of drawing more attention to just how goofy the main design of the character is. It doesn’t help matters that his sculpt is just markedly inferior to that of his pack mate. Cable is nicely sized, full of detail, and not in a super goofy pose. Stryfe is the opposite of those things. The size is particularly egregious, since he’s a clone of Cable, and should therefore be about the same size. That coupled with the long monkey arms, the strange lunging pose of the legs, and the ill-fitting cape makes for a really rough looking figure. The paint doesn’t really do him any favors either. He’s mostly a somewhat drab silver, which only further highlights the blandness of the sculpt. It is, at the very least, clean, which I suppose is a plus.


This pair was purchased for me from Yesterday’s Fun, alongside the previously reviewed Cyclops and Mr. Sinister set, courtesy of my Super Awesome Girlfriend. Unlike the other set, I never had either of these guys growing up. In fact, this set represents the first, and to date only, Stryfe figure in my collection. So, there’s that. Cable is a pretty solid figure, but Stryfe is easily one of the weakest figures this line had to offer, resulting in an oddly balanced set.