MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“The mutant Jubilee generates pyrotechnic energy blasts that she calls fireworks, capable of blinding enemies or causing serious damage.”
When Kitty Pryde was added to the X-Men line-up, one of the more unlikely pairings on the team was between her and the gruff loner Wolverine. It was a particularly humanizing dynamic for Logan, and one that went over quite well with the fanbase. When it came time to move Kitty on in her story and haver her forge out on her own, the writers were faced with the the dilemma of losing that humanizing element for Wolverine, and decided that the best thing to do was give him a new teenage girl to pal around with. It’s been a wash-rinse-repeat cycle of that pretty much ever since, but the first character in said cycle was today’s focus, Jubilation Lee, aka Jubilee.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Jubilee is figure 5 in the Caliban Series of Marvel Legends. She’s pretty much in a permanent face-off with Gambit for the best deserving of “most appropriate for a ’90s-centric line-up). This is Jubilee’s second Legends release, and in the space of five years no-less; the last one was the Build-A-Figure for the first post-Infinite Series X-Men assortment, which was a TRU-exclusive and also really hard to find. On top of that, she was sort of a compromised mix of classic and modern, which didn’t really suit itself to a proper ’90s Jubilee. This one, on the other hand, is unabashed about which incarnation of the character it’s meant to be. The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 32 points of articulation. Jubilee is built on a body that’s definitely inspired by the Spider-Girl base, but I don’t know that they have any actual parts in common, as Jubilee’s sculpt is decidedly character-specific. I like it for the most part, but after several slam-dunk sculpts this time around, I will admit to being slightly underwhelmed with Jubilee’s finished product. The body’s fine, and features solid work on the clothing elements. The head, or should I say heads, because there’s two of them, is a respectable effort, but both seem a little…bland? Expressionless? I like the bubble gum blowing head, but I really wish one of these two sculpts had a grin or something. The dour expression doesn’t feel right to me. Also, call me crazy, but the clear glasses seem wrong to me; I know that’s how they’d look in real life, but I always think of them as being more opaque. And the fact that they’re glued in place on the standard head seems kind of criminal, since more often than not she had the glasses up on her forehead. The biggest issue, I feel, isn’t with the head or the body, but rather how they connect. Neither head sits all the way down on the peg, and while it doesn’t look terrible from the front, it looks downright awful from the back. On the plus side, Jubilee’s paint work is appropriately bright, colorful, eye-catching, and obnoxious. I wouldn’t want that any other way. In addition to the extra head, Jubilee is packed with the largest piece of Caliban, his torso. That’s it. No effects pieces or anything, which feels like a missed opportunity.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I really wanted to build the last Jubilee, but was never given the chance to. When a single release was announced, I was definitely on board. In hand? I think Jubilee might be my biggest disappointment in the set. It’s not entirely Hasbro’s fault. For all her flaws, this isn’t a terrible figure, but it’s a compromised one. And, as the first proper ’90s Jubilee figure ever, it had a lot riding on it for me. And in that regard, it ultimately came up just a little bit short.