#1977: Rogue & Colossus



The X-Men are a team with distinctive eras.  The late ’80s, just preceding the Jim Lee-designed re-launch of the ’90s, was known as the Outback-era, when the team find themselves in the Australian Outback.  It was during this era that Rogue really came into her own on the team, and Colossus found himself a more prominent figure than before.  How fitting that the pair would make their way into Marvel Minimates‘ Outback-inspired Series 47.


This pairing was part of the aforementioned Series 47 of Marvel Minimates, which arrived at retail in late October of 2012.


“Unable to touch others, Anna Marie saw her mutant ability to absorb memories, powers and life energy as a curse. But after fighting the X-Men as part of the evil Brotherhood, she later sought them out to ask for help and eventually joined the team.”

Rogue has been a prominent member of the team since Marvel Minimates‘ launch, so she had found her way into the line-up four times before this figure’s release.  This one stands out as distinctly different than the others, calling back to before yellow became a prominent color in her palette.  The figure makes use of one add-on piece for her hair, which was new to this figure.  It’s a nice piece, definitely capturing her ’80s ‘do well.  The squared-off nature of the style actually lends itself quite naturally to the blocky stylings of the Minimate base body.  Beyond that, she’s just a basic ‘mate body, which suits the design.  The figure’s paintwork is clean, and eye-catching.  The metallic green pairs well with the black, and the detail line-work is all sharp and captures her look from the comics well.  Rogue is packed with a flight stand, simulating the powers she got after accidentally drained Ms. Marvel.  We’re still one assortment out from the display stands becoming a standard inclusion.


“Piotr Rasputin’s ability to turn his body into organic steel makes him super-strong, nearly indestructible, and able to throw objects a great distance at great speed. When the object is his teammate Wolverine, this maneuver is known as a “fastball special.””

This release marked Colossus’s fourth time as a Minimate, though his first in 33 series, making his re-release quite warranted.  This figure also pulls double-duty, filling a Colossus-shaped hole in both the Outback line-up of this wave, and the Jim Lee looks of Series 34.  He comes packaged in his Lee-designed look, which is really just a minor rework of his original design. Colossus uses add-ons for his hair, torso cap, torso extender, hands, and boots.  All of these were new to this particular figure, and for the most part, they’re pretty decent offerings.  The new hair isn’t that far removed from the prior piece, but is sharper in its detailing and shaping.  The new gauntlets and boots match up well with the design, and fit nicely to the body.  The only slightly troublesome piece is the torso.  In an effort to bulk him up, they’ve made it a whole cap, rather than just focussing on his tunic like prior figures.  The end result makes him look a little bit pudgy, though it’s far from terrible. Colossus’s paint is solid work.  It’s bright and eye-catching, and the detail lines, especially for his metal skin, looks really sharp.  There’s some slop on his torso piece, but otherwise its pretty cleanly done. To facilitate the double-duty being pulled by this figure, he includes a plethora of swap-out add-ons, including a new torso cap, gauntlets, boot cuffs, and standard hands and feet.  It all swaps out to create Colossus’s less covering ’80s look.  He also includes two extra right hands, designed to allow either version of Colossus to perform his signature “Fastball Special” with this wave’s Wolverine, as well as a clear display stand to help keep the two balanced.


I was pretty excited for this whole line-up at the time of its release, though this particular set was a little lower on the totem pole than its compatriots.  This Rogue is somewhat removed from the version that most people would consider definitive, but the figure is still a well-put-together ‘mate.  Colossus’s main look may be slightly flawed, but the ability to get a second look out of the figure makes him a strong, and necessary figure.

#1941: Colossus



“The strongest of the X-Men, Colossus has the awesome mutant ability to turn his body into living steel! When he is in his living steel form, Colossus can lift as many as forty cars at once. His steel body is so hard that not even a bomb blast can hurt him! Normally Colossus is a quiet and gentle man, but when an evil mutant attacks, Colossus can be as fearsome a foe as any X-Man!”

Okay, so, umm, I was doing this thing where I was trying to work through Toy Biz’s X-Men line series by series.  And I was doing pretty good.  And then I was double checking things and realized I jumped the gun going to Series 2, so I have to do just the tiniest bit of back-tracking and take a look at the team’s resident metal bruiser, Colossus!


Colossus is the final figure in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  At the time of this figure’s release, Piotr had been on the team pretty consistently since his introduction in the ’70s, so he was a natural choice for the line-up.  He’s seen here in his classic costume, which he had just returned to at the time of the figure’s release.  The figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  All of the figures in the set were originally designed with the lessened articulation, but most of them had it upgraded by the time they hit stores.  Colossus, for whatever reason, was one of two exceptions to this rule.  His sculpt is definitely scrawnier than later Colossi, but honestly he’s not that bad, especially in comparison to the rest of the assortment.  He’s actually a lot more proportionately balanced than most of them, so he looks pretty decent.  He’s rather pre-posed, in order facilitate his action feature.  What is this amazing action feature, you ask?  Well, there’s this lever on his back, and when you pull it down, his arms lift upward, in a weight-lifting sort of action.  I don’t know that it’s really worth the investment the figure gives it, but it’s not the worst.  The paintwork on Colossus is clean and bright.  It’s pretty basic, but it works.  Colossus is packed with a large weight, in order to help sell that weight lifting feature.  It’s a little tricky to keep him standing with it, but it’s doable.


Colossus was not part of my collection growing up.  He was, however, part of my brother’s collection.  And as of late, my brother’s been purging a lot of his old figures, and Colossus was the only one I was missing, so, hey, that worked out pretty alright.  There have been better Colossus figures, but as far as 5-inch figures go, he actually still brings quite a bit to the table.

#1814: Colossus



“Born Peter Rasputin and raised on a Siberian farm, Colossus’ humble roots could not have revealed the life he would one day lead! Recruited by Professor X, Colossus left his home to begin a new life of danger and adventure alongside Wolverine and the X-Men! A powerful mutant, Colossus can transform his body into living metal, giving him a physical strength and invulnerability matched by few! But with all his power, Peter Rasputin is an artist at heart, and resorts to using his mutant gifts only when they are needed in the service of his fellow X-Men.”

Colossus is undoubtedly one of the coolest members of the X-Men, and has been a prominent one at that, but for whatever reason, he always seems to draw the short stick when it comes to media adaptations.  Well, at least the Deadpool movies have helped there, right?


Colossus was released in the “Battle Brigade” series, the 14th series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  It would mark Colossus’ second figure in the line, following his appearance in Series 1.  That figure was more classically inspired, while this one aims more for the super exaggerated, rather imposing Colossus that’s become all the rage since the ‘90s, meaning he fits in a little better with the line’s post Series 10 direction.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  While he lacks elbow movement, he does instead get a much wider range of motion on his shoulders, as well as cut joints on his wrists, which seems like a decent enough trade off to me.  Colossus’ sculpt was all-new, and it’s certainly…something.  I’m not entirely sure what.  He’s definitely large.  He’s definitely imposing.  But he seems a little wide for Colossus, at least by my eye.  There are, of course, a number of different interpretations of the character, but I can’t say this really matches up with any of the ones I’m really familiar with.  Something about the facial expression seems very un-Colossus-like to me.  I don’t dislike it, but he feels a little off.  Also, can we address that his hands are bigger than his waist?  That’s definitely a new issue for Colossus, who had traditionally been pretty thick in the trunk.  This…like I said, this is off.  (quoth Super Awesome Fiancee: “He’s a Dorito”).  The one area of the figure that’s decidedly not odd is the paint, which is actually pretty respectable…or at least it was before foolish child Ethan took him and played with him, thereby messing up a lot of the silver.  Why would I do that?  That’s so irresponsible!  Colossus was packed with an assortment of clip-on armor, which I don’t feel he’d have much use for, but hey, there it is.


Colossus didn’t begin as my figure.  He was actually my Dad’s, purchased alongside the Archangel from this same assortment, in one of the earliest memories I have of us getting figures right from the case.  When my Dad got the Collector Editions Giant-Sized X-Men set, he upgraded to that Colossus, and I got this one.  Admittedly, not the best of the Colossuses to be offered by Toy Biz in this era, but he has his own sort of awkward charm.

#1270: Marvel’s Colossus



“Colossus transforms his body into armored steel to become a nearly indestructible force in combat.”

Does he really turn into steel?  That doesn’t seem right.  Sorry, critiquing the bio again.  Gotta stop with that; it only leads to madness. Today, I’ll be continuing my look at the latest X-Men-themed series of Marvel Legends, with a look at everyone’s favorite metal skinned Russian, Piotr Rasputin, aka Colossus!


Colossus is figure 1 in the Warlock Series of Marvel Legends.  This is Colossus’s third time as a Legends release, but the last one was an X3 figure, meaning there’s only one prior comic Colossus, who was released a whopping 14 years ago.  Needless to say, an update was long overdue.  Colossus is presented here in his costume from the Utopia era of X-Men, which is…well it’s hardly anyone’s first choice.  Hasbro’s released a handful of characters from this era (last series’ Kitty Pryde figure is one, technically), so it’s not like he won’t fit in, but it’s also not one of his more more memorable designs, and looks a tad more generic than some of the others.  The thing that really bugs me about it is the black chevron on the torso.  Why is it there?  As it stands, it really just looks like an arrow pointing to his crotch, which is just odd.  Without that, I think it’d be a lot better.  It’s worth noting that this is the design that got used for Avengers Alliance, which seems to be a major influence on Hasbro’s costume choices.  There’s also a good chance that we’re seeing something of a trial run with this figure, and that a more classic Colossus will show up in short order.  The figure stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Colossus is debuting a new base body, which looks to be a replacement for the Wrecking Crew body in terms of scaling.  It’s about at the mid-point between Hyperion and Terrax.  It’s a pretty decent sculpt, with a nice, solid foundation.  It feels a little lightweight to me, but it’s certainly a step-up from the bodies on either side of it.  I look forward to seeing what else it might be used for.  Colossus gets character specific arms and boots, as well as an all-new head.  The arms are really nice, and I quite like the posing on the hands.  The bracers are separate pieces, so clearly Hasbro’s made it easy to swap them out should these arms be used for one of the other Colossus designs.  The boots are a decent enough recreation of the comic design, but for me the best part of them is how flat the bottoms are; this guy is really sturdy on his feet once you get them posed the right way.  The basic head is an okay piece on it’s own, but it sits a little high on the neck for my taste.  Some people have modded it so that the socket for the neck peg is a little further in, and it definitely improves the overall appearance, but it’s a slight bummer that he isn’t quite correct right out of the box.  Fortunately, there’s also a second head included.  This one is based on Piotr’s bearded look from Extraordinary X-Men, which is suitably unique.  The beard’s a good look for him, and the head sits a lot better on the neck.  This will definitely be my go-to for this figure.  The paint on Colossus is pretty solid overall. The best work is definitely on the metallic skin, which is not only clean, but also gets some great accent work.  The costume is a bit more prone to slop here and there, though nothing too bad.  It’s nice and bright, which is good.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Colossus also includes not one, but two pieces of the Build-A-Figure Warlock.  One of them is his head, which means there are three heads in the packaging.  It doesn’t quite top the last Venom figure with his four heads in one package, but still.


As I noted in my Polaris review, I called upon the help of my parents to track down the Warlock Series.  While I found a second Polaris, I’ve actually yet to see Piotr at retail, as he’s easily the set’s second most popular after Cyclops.  So, this guy got mailed to me (along with a few other awesome figures that’ll be showing up here in short order).  The Toy Biz Colossus was easily one of my favorite TB Legends, so this guy had a high bar to clear in that respect.  When the figure was first shown, I was a bit letdown by the costume choice, but I think that actually works in his favor.  With the new costume and the bearded head, this Colossus is suitably different from the last one, which means he not so much a replacement as he is just a brand new figure.  That’s sort of forced me to weigh him on his own merits.  He’s definitely a fun figure, and probably my second favorite single release in this series.  I look forward to the eventual classic version down the line, but am content with this one for as long as I need to be.

#1259: Colossus



Hey, remember when I reviewed those knock-off Lego mini figures last week?  Well, how about one more?  Last week’s mini figures were based on Game of Thrones, which is a property that Lego doesn’t, and never plans to, hold the license for.  Today’s focus, is a slightly different story, hailing from the Marvel side of things.  Of course, it’s still a character that doesn’t yet have an official Lego figure, which is why I’m reviewing a less legitimate version.  Without further ado, here’s that merry metal mutant, Colossus!


As noted in the intro, this guy’s an unofficial product.  As such, he’s not strictly part of any series or assortment.  Also, unlike the prior BootLegos, he’s not part of a larger set that I can find.  The figure’s about 3 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation (though, there’s not really much movement in the neck, thanks to the hair).  If the height didn’t already cue you in, he’s patterned on the “Big Fig” body that was first introduced for the Avengers mover version of the Hulk.  While Colossus is usually depicted a little slimmer than the Hulk, this is actually how the character was depicted in Lego Marvel Superheroes, which gives him an extra sense of officialness, since any legit Colossus seems likely to be built this way.  What I personally find interesting is the fact that this guy’s a wholly original sculpt.  Every other one of these I’ve picked up has uses stock Lego pieces, but this guy’s totally unique.  I’m honestly curious if there’s actually a Colossus in the works from Lego, since it just seems odd for this one figure to be all-new.  If he really is a unique sculpt, he’s a very good forgery.  The sculpt is pretty solidly done, with all of the proper details outlined.  The only real issue I have is the hair, which has actual texture, which just doesn’t seem right for Colossus; it really should just be smooth.  A closer look at the piece makes it look like it might be an upscaled basic spiky hair piece, modified to fit the body.  That would certainly explain the extra details.  As nice as the sculpt work is, the paint does seem to be a slight step down.  red seems a bit deep in shade, and the edges are all pretty sloppy.  There’s also a splotch of red on his right arm, which is super distracting.  Lego’s well-known for their high standards of quality control, so this guy’s lack of said QC kind of shatters the illusion.  I mean, he’s not terrible, but he could be better.


I picked up this guy at the same time as the GoT mini figures.  The vendor had a special deal for three basic mini figures and one Big Fig, which is what I opted to go for.  Colossus is one of my favorite X-Men, so I was hardly going to turn down the chance to get a Lego version of him.  He’s not quite as good as the other three, but he’s still pretty fun!

#1208: Colossus




Wow, it’s been a really long time since I’ve reviewed a Marvel Select figure. <Looks back at reviews>  Holy crap, it’s been 506 reviews since I last looked at a Marvel Select figure.  That’s quite a while.  Well, why not pull something out of the archives, then?  Today, I’ll be jumping over into the world of Marvel’s merry mutants, the X-Men, and looking at one of my personal favorite members of the team, Piotr Rasputin, aka Colossus.


colossusmswilsonColossus is the 75th figure in Diamond Select Toys’ Marvel Select line, released in 2012.  He’s one of only two figures to hit that year, largely due to the focus on a certain team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes who happened to have a movie released that year.  He continued the trend of X-Men based upon the early ‘80s line-up of the team (the other X-Man from 2012, Storm, also followed this trend).  The figure stands almost 9 inches tall (he’s a big guy) and he has 30 points of articulation.  He’s one of the earlier instances of near-Marvel-Legends levels of articulation for a Select figure, and it’s genuinely impressive just how much movement they were able to get into this guy, given his mass.  Colossus sported an all-new sculpt.  It doesn’t appear to be based on any particular artist’s rendition of Piotr, but it does lean a little more modern in terms of design sensibilities than a lot of Colossus figures do.  This is most notable in the face, which lacks the usual rounded features in favor of something more sharp and angular.  While I can’t say it’s my go-to Colossus look, it’s certainly not a bad looking rendition of the character.  The body continues some of the stylization present in the face; earlier renditions of Colossus tended to be more consistent in build, but this guy’s definitely favoring his upper body.  He’s almost sporting Bruce Timm anatomy (though he’s definitely not Bruce Timm styled).  There’s one oddity about the body sculpt, specifically the upper body: the upper portion of his tunic is separate from his actual torso.  While it’s not out of the ordinary for such an element to be a separate piece, the fact that it’s not actual fixed in place in any way is slightly odd.  There’s a fully sculpted torso under there, which leads me to wonder if there was a scrapped variant of this figure sporting his outback costume.  Regardless, you’ll only really notice the separate tunic piece when picking the figure up, and it stays in place well enough.  It also adds an extra dimension to the figure, which is always cool.  In terms of paint, Colossus is very nicely rendered.  The colors are all nice and very vibrant, and everything is very cleanly applied.  There’s a nice subtle accenting to the yellow portion of the tunic, which keeps it from being too plans.  I also quite like the metallic work, especially on the arm bracers.  A lot of the X-Men Select figures included a section of the Danger Room as a display base, and Colossus was no exception.  Well, generally speaking.  He comes with a spike wall, clearly meant to be from the Danger Room, but it’s not exactly a stand, since it doesn’t really support him.  Still, it’s a cool piece, and a nice addition to the armory.


Colossus was my second Marvel Select figure, picked up during Cosmic Comix’s Biggest Sale of the Year in 2012.  I had initially been planning to pick up Ultron during that year’s sale, but I got a subscriber coupon a week prior and got him then.  I still wanted to take advantage of the sale, and I’ve always liked Colossus, so this guy was my next choice.  The old Marvel Legends figure has always been one of my favorites, so this guy had quite a bit to live up to, and I think he did just that.  He’s really just a very fun figure.

#1128: Colossus & Nightcrawler




The X-Men line-up presented in Giant Size X-Men #1 undoubtedly gave us some of the more memorable X-Men.  Obviously, there’s the likes of Storm and Wolverine (even if he did appear elsewhere first), but it also gave us both Colossus and Nightcrawler.  While they may not be quite as big as some of the others (and poor Colossus has been woefully overlooked when it comes to the cartoons), they’re still pretty popular with the fanbase at large.  They also happen to be two of my favorite X-Men, so packing them together is pretty awesome!


Colossus and Nightcrawler are part of Series 68 of the Marvel Minimates line, which is based around GSXM #1.  Both figures are based on their Dave Cockrum-designed looks, but it’s worth noting that these two stuck with these particular looks for a good long while.


nightcrawlercolossus3Colossus has had a few different ‘mates over the years.  That being said, this is the first one to directly retread on previous territory, being a pretty straight re-do of the GSXM boxed set version (the alt look for the Series 47 version came pretty close, but was actually based on his slightly tweaked ‘90s look).  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, and as such stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Colossus features add-on pieces for his hair, wrist bands, torso cover/belt, and boots.  The hair and gauntlets were both used on the 47 Colossus; they worked well there and they work well here.  The torso piece and boots are both new to this ‘mate.  It’s interesting: after getting several attempts at handling the torso piece a “better” way than the GSXM set’s version, they just went back to essentially the same style.  I’m certainly not complaining!  I do like the subtle hints of musculature on the chest piece, which make him seem larger than the others, but prevents him from looking puffy.  I’m not 100% sold on the boots.  Something about the knee pads seems off to me.  There’s certainly been worse, though.  Colossus’s paint is very impressively handled.  The colors are nice and bold, and he really pops.  The line work is very sharp, and the details, the face in particular, are a very good rendition of Cockrum’s Colossus.  I was very happy to find out that the actual torso has full detailing, allowing you to display Colossus shirtless, if you so choose (some people like that sort of thing).  Colossus’s only accessory is a clear display stand, which feels rather light.  Obviously, the parts for an un-armored Piotr would make him essentially a second figure, but the fastball special hand should have been included at the very least.  Oh well.


nightcrawlercolossus2Amazingly enough, this is only the third time we’ve gotten Nightcrawler (and the third time we’ve gotten this exact costume too, no less).  I thought the Excalibur set version had him pretty well covered, but it’s been over five years since that one was released, so another version feels warranted.  Nightcrawler has  unique hands and feet, as well as sculpted add-ons for his hair, shoulder pads, and tail. The tail remains the same piece used on both prior Nightcrawlers (and his dad Azazel), but everything else is new to this figure.  Personally, I prefer the Wolverine-style shoulder pads from the last Nightcrawler to the ones featured here (I like the neck to be left unencumbered as much as possible), but they’re a decent enough piece, I suppose.  The hair, hands, and feet are all improvements over what we’ve gotten before (the hands especially, since the prior hands are huge) and are just well sculpted all around.  The ears could maybe stand to be a little more pronounced, but that’s the only real negative I’ve got.  Nightcrawler’s paintwork is pretty good, but not without its issues.  The basics are all pretty good.  The color palette is bright and bold, and the colors accent each other well.  His basic head has a frightening expression we haven’t yet seen on a Nightcrawler ‘mate.  It’s a good rendition of the earlier, scarier NIghtcrawler, and it makes this figure a little more specific to those appearances (thus giving the figure a bit more reason to exist).  Unfortunately, the application of a lot of the paint, especially the red, is a little uneven.  The red detailing on the edges of the gloves and boots is far too thin, resulting in an obvious line where the underlying colors switch from white to black.  That, coupled with the fact that the glove trim stops abruptly for the inner half of the arm, makes him look a little unfinished.  Nightcrawler includes an extra head with a more jovial expression (my preferred of the two faces), a cutlass (finally!), a “bamf” stand, and a clear display stand.  All of these are pretty cool, except the “bamf” stand, which is more than a little frustrating, since the peg is too small for either foot, and it also requires him to stand with both feet together, a rather un-Nightcrawler stance.


Though I missed out on the GSXM set, I wasn’t missing either of these characters, having picked up their subsequent releases.  Colossus was a pleasant surprise.  There was something missing from the ‘mates since the GSXM version, which I think has been found again with this guy.  He’s the perfect embodiment of the character.  I don’t see him being replaced any time soon.  Nightcrawler is a more mixed figure than Colossus.  I’ve never really cared for the original ‘mate, but the Excalibur version was pretty solid.  This one adds some nice stuff (the extra head, the new hands and feet, and the cutlass), but also takes a few hits (the paint, the effects base, and, if I’m being really picky, the shoulder pads).  The good outweighs the bad, but he could still be a bit better.

#0819: Giant-Size X-Men #1 Boxed Set




In the 1960s, when Marvel Comics was on fire with all sorts of new ideas, the X-Men were created. The team was Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast, and Angel. While the series was a moderate success, it wasn’t as big as other titles of the time, and so the book eventually became solely a reprint series, before ending entirely. But, as anyone who has so much as thought about a Marvel comic in the last 30 years can tell you, that was far from the end of the X-Men. In 1975, the series was relaunched with Giant-Size X-Men #1, which featured an all-new, all-different cast of characters. This new cast proved far more successful than their predecessors, and the series went on to become one of Marvel’s most popular. In the 1990s, the X-Men were no strangers to toys, but most were based on the contemporary designs. To appease older fans, Toy Biz launched a line of special boxed sets, based on more classic incarnations of teams, including the All-New, All-Different X-Men, which I’ll be looking at today!



These six figures were released as one of the three sets in the Marvel Collector Editions line. All six are based on their appearances in Giant-Size X-Men #1.


ANADXMen2Though she’s by far the most well-known of the figures in this set, this was the first time Storm’s original costume had seen plastic form, and only the second sculpt the figure had gotten in the expansive 5-inch scale. The figure stands 5 ¼ inches tall and has 13 points of articulation. Her sculpt is generally pretty good, and certainly much better than the Marvel Girl sculpt from this set’s X-Men #1 companion piece. The head is definitely the nicest piece here, as it captures Cockrum’s take on Storm quite well. The body is decently sculpted, but suffers from a few issues. First off, she seems to lack Storm’s usual imposing stature, which is sadly common with her figures. She’s also got these odd, claw-like hands, which are definitely too big for the rest of her body. To top it all off, she’s nearly impossible to keep standing for very long. I do like the way they’ve handled the cape, though; it’s cloth, but it’s multiple layers, which give it enough weight to keep it from hanging oddly, and it avoids cutting off articulation as well. Her paintwork is pretty much on par with the rest of what Toy Biz was doing at the time. The colors are nice and vibrant, and everything is pretty clean, if perhaps lacking in subtlety. The edge of her collar is missing some yellow in a couple of spots, but other than that, everything looks pretty good.


ANADXMen4This marked the third time Toy Biz made a Colossus figure. They had a bit of a Goldilocks thing going on with them, though. The first one was too small, the second one was too big, but this one was juuuuust right. The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. The decision not to give him any wrist movement is a little baffling, especially since he’s got a built-in way to mask the joints, but the rest of the movement is all pretty good. Colossus is probably my favorite sculpt in the set. He’s not saddled with any real pre-posing, and his proportions don’t get too wonky, apart from his hands being maybe a touch on the large side. The details here, especially on the exposed metal parts of his body are really stand-out, and he just looks really sharp. His head has an expression that’s intense, but not so intense as to make him look villainous. The paint on Colossus is pretty sharp too. He’s got no noticeable slop, and the details on his costume really look great. The red and yellow really just pop on this guy.


ANADXMen3Nightcrawler received probably the best of the initial figures from Toy Biz’s X-Men line, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t room for improvement, especially since the original had sported odd suction cups on his hand and leg. It was also hard to get him into any of Nightcrawler’s distinctive crouching poses, which was the main thing this figure set to fix. The figure is 5 ¼ inches tall and has 16 points of articulation, as well as a bendable tail. If there’s one major issue with this figure, it’s that he’s just too tall. Nightcrawler should really be noticeably shorter than the rest of the team, but were the figure not crouching, he’d be taller than half the figures in the set. That’s kind of off. Aside from that glaring issue, the sculpt is generally pretty passable, though he’s more of an Excalibur-era Alan Davis-styled Nightcrawler than a GSXM Cockrum-styled one. The general quality of the sculpt is definitely nice, and he has some pretty sharp detailing. The shoulder pads are rather obviously separate pieces, which is frustrating, but not the worst thing. Paint is definitely this figure’s strongest suit, and he’s definitely got the strongest paint in the set. The colors of his costume are nice and bold, and everything is very sharp. What’s really cool is that his costume is all matte finish, while his skin/hair is much glossier, making an instant distinction between the two.


ANADXMen5The shortest-lasting (but not shortest-lived) member of the ANAD team was definitely Sunfire, who quit after just one issue. In addition, as he was not new to X-Men the series at the time of Giant-Size X-Men #1, having previously appeared as a “foe,” so he wasn’t even on the cover of that issue. This all ends up making him one of the least-remembered members of this team. Amazingly enough, it wasn’t his first 5-inch figure from Toy Biz (though it was his second of two, so he didn’t get anymore), but it is, to date, the only figure of his classic costume ever made. The figure stands 5 ¼ inches tall and has 16 points of articulation. Sunfire’s sculpt is kind of complicated. There are some really great parts, such as the brilliant texture work on the scaled part of his costume, and a very nice translation of his somewhat goofy-looking mask, but it’s all placed on an almost comically skinny body. Sunfire certainly wasn’t a body-builder, but he wasn’t scrawny either. Then there are his feet, which look to have been sized for the body he should have had, which creates this sort of clown shoe effect. The sculpt isn’t terrible, but it’s also not great either. The paint is good in theory, and decent in practice. The application is pretty solid, and aside from one tiny inaccuracy (having his neckline go all the way up to the mask when it should end just north of the collar bone) it looks pretty good. The only issue is the black wash they’ve used to bring out the details of the scaled parts. It works overall, and is especially good on the arms, but the coverage is inconsistent, and the top of the right leg on my figure is totally missing any painted detail, which sticks out quite a bit.


ANADXMen7Banshee was the other “not new to the series” character, though he had shown up more than once before. He also stuck with the team a bit longer than Sunfire, and hung around as a supporting character even after leaving the team, which resulted in him being a fair bit more memorable than Sunfire (of course, one of them spent the last decade dead, and it wasn’t Sunfire, so maybe popularity isn’t always a great thing). This was his third figure from Toy Biz, but his first to sport his classic green and yellow, which is definitely my favorite of his looks. The figure stands 5 ¼ inches tall and has 16 points of articulation, just like the last two figures. Like Sunfire, his sculpt is a mix of good and bad. The general build isn’t bad, and he isn’t quite as scrawny as Sunfire. However, he’s fairly pre-posed, and the “wings” limit his posability a bit. Also, I get that his main thing is screaming, but I’m not sure how well it turned out on this head sculpt, where he looks like he’s just sort of opening his mouth kind of wide. I feel like an extra, non-screaming head should kind of be a requirement for all Banshee figures, but none of them have ever done such a thing. Banshee’s paint is pretty decently handled; the costume definitely fairs best, with some nice, subtle airbrushing to help highlight some of the sculpted musculature. The head has a passable paintjob, though I feel the colors end up looking a bit too muted.


ANADXMen6Now, here’s a short-lived X-Man. See, cuz he died. Get it? Yeah, you get it. Yes, Thunderbird was officially the first X-Man to die in action, just to prove a point. According to writer Chris Claremont, it was actually a toss-up as to whether it would be him or Wolverine who died during the X-Men’s second mission. Thunderbird got the axe because his powers were more non-descript than the others, and also because he was just a tiny bit on the stereotype side of things, but could you imagine how different X-Men would be without Wolverine? Seeing as he was dead for most of the team’s run, this was actually the first Thunderbird figure ever made, though it wouldn’t be the last. The figure is 5 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. His sculpt is actually pretty good, overall. The head has some very nice detail work, and is probably the most realistic looking of all those in the set. The body is less realistic, with some slightly out-there proportions, but it’s not too bad, overall. The right hand is sculpt to hold something; I don’t know what it was supposed to be, since he included no accessories, and I can’t really think of anything Thunderbird would need to hold, but whatever. The paintwork on this figure is quite nicely done. Everything is nice an clean, and I love the slight accenting on the various parts of the costume.


After getting the other two sets in this line as a kid, I bet you think I got this alongside them, don’t you. Well, you’d be wrong. My dad did have this set, and he even offered to buy me one of my own, at a discounted price, when the now defunct Ageless Heroes Comics was going out of business. I was feeling particularly silly that day and turned the set down, a decision I proceeded to regret for the next 18 years, after the set’s price jumped on the aftermarket. This past November, while attending Philcon, I stopped by the House of Fun, and pulled this set out from underneath several boxes. It was actually less than I would have paid for it back in the day, which made me doubly happy. This is by no means a perfect set, but there are some definite gems within, and I’m happy to have it at last.

#0427: DOFP Wolverine & Colossus



Marvel Minimates has pretty consistently been the flagship of the Minimates brand, but it hasn’t been without its dark periods. Every fan has their own personal preferences, which means that where exactly the low points of the line lie can vary from person to person, but pretty much everyone agrees that Series 12 and 13 are probably the worst the line ever got. It’s no coincidence that immediately after those two series, the line started taking quick strides in innovation. The line looked like it was on its last legs (Series 15, set to be released not long after, is the only specialty assortment in the history of the line to be cancelled), and something had to change. Fortunately, the line did change, and it has continued for almost another 50 series, but man, somewhere there’s an alternate universe where these were the last Minimates we ever saw.


These two were released as part of Series 13 of Marvel Minimates. The series was based around the then current Astonishing X-Men. This is the variant set, which swapped out a “Days of Future Past” styled Wolverine in place of the regular Astonishing one.


Or, as he’s known on the box “DOFP Wolverine.” I mean, I know what that stands for, but you’ve got to imagine that somebody stood there looking at the box wondering what the heck a “Dofp” was. I just recently looked at the new and improved take on this design from earlier this year, which I quite liked. This one is….different. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he features 14 points of articulation. He made use of the standard Minimate body, with the then standard Wolverine claws in place of the normal hands, as well as an add-on piece for the hair. The piece, like every piece in this series, is a re-use, in this case from the Series 6 New Wolverine. What’s interesting is that the box actually shows the figure with the hair from the Series 3 Logan figure, which is a superior piece. Not sure why they made the change. Paint-wise, this is a pretty drab figure. I know the design isn’t the most vibrant to begin with, but there’s just no pop with this figure. The choice to make the jacket painted on robs the figure of a lot of dimension, and the jacket’s detailing is sub-par at best. I’m not exactly sure what the deal is with the face, either. He looks like he’s been… smooshed or something. And that’s not even starting on the whole double chin thing he’s got going. DOFP Wolverine had no accessories.


Colossus’s return to life was an important part of the early Astonishing X-Men, so his place in this series isn’t too surprising. Plus, his history with Wolverine and his decent sized role in the original “Days of Future Past” make this pairing a pretty great one too. Colossus is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s based on Colossus’s look in Astonishing, which is just a slight tweak on his classic design, so it’s a reasonable look. The figure uses the basic body, with an add-on for the hair. The hair is a re-use from the Giant-Size X-Men boxed Set Colossus. It’s a pretty cut and dry case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” so it works nicely for the character. The lack of any other add-ons means that he’s a rather scrawny looking version of the character, which other versions have avoided. Colossus’s paint is at least a bit better than Wolverine. His colors are pretty good, though the red might be a touch too bright for this look. The detail lines are pretty nice, though not as sharp as they could be in a few areas. The choice to put the belt on the torso makes the waist seem too long, but at least it’s nicely rendered. Colossus included no accessories.


I picked up this set from a friend’s local comicbook store during a black Friday sale. I’m pretty sure I got it for slightly less than retail, which is probably a good thing. It was actually the first variant set I was able to track down, which is unfortunate to say the least. All in all, it’s not the worst set ever, but it’s one that’s seriously lacking. It’s fortunate that the line was able to move past this series and become better and more successful.