#3015: Shadowcat



“After being captured by Sabretooth, Katherine Pryde becomes the youngest member of the X-Men and trains to become the team’s ghost assassin.”

While generally one of the team’s more peaceful and friendly members in the mainstream universe, Kitty Pryde of the “Age of Apocalypse” universe is a far harder-edged character, as today’s figure’s bio hints at above.  She was one of a number of characters to become more edgy and extreme in this altered universe, but perhaps the sharpest turn, at least of the character’s that still remained “good”-aligned.  She’s previously been one of the characters untouched by toy treatment, but that changed with the most recent assortment.


Shadowcat is figure 4 in the Colossus Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s obviously the first AoA-version of the character, but also the fourth Legends release for Kitty, the third under the Hasbro banner.  The figure stands a little under 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  At first glance, she appears to be an all-new sculpt, but her legs and feet are actually a rather clever re-use of Lady Deathstrike’s legs.  Apart from those pieces, she’s all-new, though.  Generally, it’s a pretty good sculpt.  The proportions on the body are well-balanced, and the details are sharp and clean.  The head has been a point of contention since the figure was shown off.  Much like last year’s Invisible Woman, the face has some definitely odd qualities to it, especially given how the expression works out.  Ultimately, much like Sue, this is a sculpt that looks a lot better in person than it did in the prototype shots.  It’s still a little wonky, but from proper angles, it’s actually not a bad sculpt at all.  The color work on Kitty is pretty strong.  The paint application is cleanly handled, and I really like how the metallic blue of her costume turned out.  Shadowcat is packed with two sets of hands, one set of fists and one of open gesture, as well as two pairs of gauntlets, one set with the claws extended, and the other without.  She also gets the torso and pelvis of the Colossus Build-A-Figure, which is by far the largest piece, offsetting that she’s the smallest of the individual figures.


Kitty is a character that certainly ranks highly for my selection of favorite X-Men, and while the AoA interpretation isn’t really much like the character I like, I can still appreciate the distinctly divergent take on the character for the purposes of the story.  I also do kind of dig the changed up design, so I was certainly happy to see her crop up here.  The face is a little weird, but the figure is otherwise quite well-rendered, and it’s always cool to get a design we haven’t seen in toy form before.

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

#1048: Kitty Pryde




“With her ability to elude attacks by making herself intangible, Katherine “Kitty” Pryde is a master of defense.”

Remember yesterday when I said that Kitty Pryde hasn’t had much luck with action figures?  Well, that changes today, with my review of the latest attempt at a Kitty Pryde figure.  Full disclosure: I really like this figure.


KittyPrydeHas2Kitty Pryde is figure — in the Juggernaut series of Marvel Legends.  This marks Kitty’s second Legend, following the travesty we looked at yesterday.  This Kitty figure is based on her more recent appearances from after the time Magneto retrieved her from the giant space bullet she had to bond herself with to save the world from ancient alien mutants…it’s a long story.  The look isn’t much different from her Astonishing look, and I quite like it. It’s definitely a strong choice.  The figure is about 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Kitty is built on the same basic body as Phoenix, which I’m definitely okay with.  She gets unique pieces for her head, upper torso, and forearms, as well as an add-on piece for her belt.  She also has flat-soled feet, which I much prefer to the high-heels on Phoenix.  All of the new pieces exhibit very clean sculpting, and fit together seamlessly with the basic pieces.  I particularly like the head.  It’s easily one of Hasbro’s best female sculpts, and it manages to make Kitty look neither too old nor too young, which is a definite improvement over prior attempts.  Now, my figure does have some fairly KittyPrydeHas3present mold lines, especially at the chin, which is a bit annoying.  However, since her head is molded in the correct colored plastic, it’s actually a pretty easy fix, so it doesn’t mar the figure.  The paint on Kitty is pretty decent overall, though there are a few minor issues, with some uncovered spots, and one or two issues of bleed over.  On the plus side, the color scheme on this figure is much better than the Toy Biz figure, which just makes her a more exciting figure all around.  A good yellow can be hard to find, but this one is definitely right.  Kitty includes her pet dragon Lockheed, who can securely sit on her shoulder, as well as the left arm of Juggernaut.  She also includes (or is supposed to, anyway…) the head of Onslaught.  Apparently, the only way that Hasbro was allowed to release a proper Onslaught head for their Red Onslaught B-a-F was to pack it in with an X-Men figure in a completely unrelated set.  Kitty gets the honor of being that figure for…reasons.  I’m not really sure why.


I got Kitty from a nearby Walgreens (actually the same one where I got Jean, just a week later). Kitty was the fourth of the new figures I found, and she was a somewhat bittersweet moment.  While I was excited to find her, I quickly noticed that some dipstick had swapped out the Onslaught head for an ASM2 Electro head. I bought her anyway, in part because I wanted the figure more than the piece, and in part because I didn’t want anyone else to get stuck with the mucked up figure.  However, just to prove that most people don’t suck, my Dad picked up another Kitty figure later to get me the Onslaught head, and I was also contacted by my friend Cindy Woods, who offered me the piece that came with her figure.  So, now I have a complete Kitty figure!  Yay!  Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from Kitty when the series first started hitting, but she may well be my favorite figure in the set!


#1047: Kitty Pryde




Kitty Pryde is really a marker for change in the X-Men comics. She was the first new mutant to be added to the team following the All-New, All-Different change-up, and represents perhaps the only hopeful note to come out of the Dark Phienix Saga. Almost as soon as she joined, she became a focus point for the series. She’s also noteworthy for being one those rare instances of a comic character who was allowed to grow up, as her quest to become a full-fledged X-Man was one of her major story points. And, above all, she’s pretty consistently a fun character. Unfortunately, she’s had some rotten luck with action figures (if you don’t believe me just look at the last Kitty I reviewed). Toy Biz tried their hand at making her twice, with mixed results. I’ll be looking at that second attempt today.


KittyTB2Kitty Pryde was released in the Walmart-Exclusive Giant-Man series of Toy Biz’s run with Marvel Legends. She was based on Kitty’s then current Astonishing X-Men design. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and has 38 points of articulation. For the most part she’s the same figure as the Jessica Alba Invisible Woman that I reviewed a few months ago. That’s not great, because that body had some major issues, including, but not limited to: incredibly obvious joints, an impossibly small waist, and super fragile arms and legs. It’s not a particularly strong body. What’s worse, the details on the body don’t quite line-up with Kitty’s Astonishing design. It’s a weird body choice all around. I’m not really sure why they went with it, but I’m not Toy Biz. I’m also not out of business, so I think that I won this one! Kitty got a new head sculpt, which is okay, but hardly one of Toy Biz’s best.  Like Hasbro’s smaller attempt, she feels a bit old for Kitty, and the total lack of ears weirds me out a bit. Also, her hair is pretty much completely wrong for this interpretation of Kitty, being all around too long and just too bushy. Were it not supposed to be this specific Kitty, that would be fine, but it stands out here. The paint work on Kitty is probably some of the weakest on any of the Toy Biz Legends.  The face is alright, but the eyebrows are slightly off from the sculpt, which throws her whole look off. Also, the color scheme of the costume is totally off. In the comics, her costume was black and a warm shade of yellow. Here, it’s a dark grey/pale yellow combo that looks incredibly boring and drab. It’s not a fun look, and means she’ll tend to get lost in a group. Kitty included her pet dragon Lockheed, as well as the upper torso and head of Giant-Man.


I didn’t find this figure at retail, due to the all-around difficultness of finding this series at Walmart. My dad bought her for me from a reasonably priced eBay auction. At the time, I was really excited to get this figure. I mean, she was my first Kitty Pryde figure, and I’ve always loved the character. That being said, I very quickly found the flaws in this figure, and she’s never been one of my favorites. She’s probably one of the older Legends most in need of an update.


#0352: Days of Future Past Minimates



Minimates! Oh, how I’ve missed you. It’s been almost 30 reviews since I last looked at a set of Minimates, and almost 50 since I last looked at any Marvel Minimates. I’m not sure how I let that happen. I guess I was just buying too much other stuff. So, here’s a set based on one of the best known X-Men stories of all time!


This set was released as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, just this summer. It’s based on the “Days of Future Past” story that ran through X-Men #141-142. The set was released to coincide with the movie adaptation of that story, released this past summer.


It wouldn’t be a proper X-Men set without Wolverine, now would it? Wolverine is, as the figure’s name notes, based on the version of the character from the bad future presented in DOFP. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this version of Wolverine in Minimate form, as it was also a variant all the way back in Marvel Minimates Series 13. However, a few things necessitate a re-do of this particular look: 1) The style of Minimates has changes since then, 2) This figure actually represents what wolverine looks like in the actual issue, while that one was based on the slightly different look from the cover, and 3) the old figure just isn’t very good. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the basic Minimate body, with a set of clawed hands and additional pieces for his hair, coat, belt and the pouch on his leg. All of these pieces are re-use. The hair and hands have been used on a handful of previous Wolverines. Thecoat is from the Street Fight Wolverine from Series 52. The belt is a generic piece used several times before, and the pouch has been used before, but I don’t know where. Aside from the coat being a touch long for the one Wolverine was sporting in the story, all these pieces are spot on, and they do a great job translating the look to the Minimate form. For the most part, the paint on Wolverine is relatively basic, but it’s pretty good. There are a few areas on the coat and around the boot lines where the lines are a little sloppy, but otherwise it looks pretty great. The face and torso also have some very nice detail line work, which give the figures some pretty good dimension. Future Wolverine includes a clear display stand. 


Okay, so right off the bat, I have a slight bone to pick with DST: In DOFP, Kitty isn’t Kitty Pryde, she’s Kate Pryde. It’s a small but important difference. That being said, I suppose for marketing purposes, it makes sense to call her Kitty. Anyway, she’s the main character of the comic version of the story, so it’s good to see her included here. She is, of course based on the future version of Kitty from the story. In her default setup, she’s meant to replicate Kate’s look from the cover of X-Men #141. Kate stands about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. She’s built on the standard Minimate body, with additional pieces for her hair, collar, and coat. Like Wolverine, all of the pieces are re-use. The hair is from the Shadowcat Minimate from Series 31, the coat is from the Series 46 Peter Parker, and the collar is just a generic collar piece. These pieces make for a decent approximation of Kate’s cover look, which is good. The coat has a small hole on the right shoulder where Peter’s book bag originally attached, but it’s forgivable since it’s re-use. The paint on Kate is basic, but clean. The jacket, pants and shoes are all solid colors, but at least she doesn’t have any slop. The facial expression is a near perfect recreation of her face from the cover, so that’s great. Kitty includes a clear display stand, a spare hairpiece (re-used from Series 43’s Aunt May), and extra arms and legs. By removing the coat and replacing the arms and legs, you can recreate Kate’s prison camp look, which is the look she actually has in the story itself. It’s a masterfully done extra look and it’s absolutely spot on to what she looked like in the story.


Mystique is the only “current” figure in the set. She’s a great choice, seeing as she operates as the main antagonist in all of the present day sequences, plus she was in dire need of an update. Mystique is in her classic costume, which is the one she was wearing in DOFP, so that’s cool. Mystique is about 2 ½ inches in height and features 14 points of articulation. Like the others, she features the standard Minimate body as her starting point, with add-ons for her hair and skirt. The hair is re-used from the “Curse of the Mutants” Vampire Jubilee and the skirt is from the Series 38 Elektra. These are both very nicely sculpted pieces, and they work great for Mystique. Mystique’s paint is very well done. Everyhing is clean and sharp, and the line work brilliantly translates Mystique from the page to the Minimate. There are even ties on her sides going from the front to the back of her dress! Mystique includes a clear display stand and two extra heads: one Senator Kelly and one half-Kelly/half-Mystique (both of which make use of the hair previously seen on the Lost in Space Minimates Doctor Smith). The heads are a great idea. The half-and-half head makes for a perfect illustration of Mystique’s abilities and with the addition of a spare suit body, the Kelly head allows you to make your own Senator Kelly, another character pivotal to the story. (For reference, I used the body of a Series 43 J Jonah Jameson, which I have several of thanks to SHIELD Agent army building.)


This particular Sentinel could work equally as a current day and future Sentinel, but the box says “Future” so that’s what I’m going with. The Sentinels are the antagonists of the future sequences, so the inclusion of one here is perfect. I just wish it were available outside of this four pack because I’d love to have a few of them. The Sentinel is based on the classic Sentinel design, as was seen in DOFP. The figure is a little over 2 ½ inches tall and features 12 points of articulation. The height puts him way out of scale with the rest of the set, but that’s just a thing we’ll have to live with. The Sentinel is built using the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for the helmet, hands, torso extender, and feet. The helmet first saw use on the Marvel vs Capcom 3 Sentinel, the hands are from the TRU exclusive Annihilus, the torso extender has seen a few uses, and the boots are from the TRU exclusive Box. All of these pieces add up to the best looking Sentinel the line has offered yet. The paint on the Sentinel seems particularly good. All of the details are very shard and clean, and the shades of purple and pink are just right, which was something I always found off about the previous Sentinels. The Sentinel includes an alternate battle-damaged head, an orange flight base, and a clear display stand.


Since I did not attend San Diego Comic Con, this set was picked up from my very favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. When Diamond first announced they were planning on doing a set based on the story, I was pretty excited, and this set really lives up to my expectations. Mystique and the Sentinel are easily my default versions of those characters now, and Wolverine and Kate are fun variants. Throw in the fact that I can build my very own Senator Kelly, who I never though in a million years we’d get, and I’m as happy as I could be with this set.

#0180: Kitty Pryde



When Hasbro took over the Marvel license, it was no surprise when they launched Marvel Universe, a 3 ¾ inch scale line of figures. 3 ¾ inch is Hasbro’s bread and butter, what with their long runs on both GI Joe and Star Wars. Marvel Universe has officially been replaced by Avengers Infinite, but it had a pretty decent run. Most of my Marvel Universe collection was Avengers-related, but for some odd reason, all of my Marvel Universe reviews have been X-Men figures. Guess the randomized list has a preference for those crazy mutants! Today’s review continues that with the team’s #1 girl who walks through walls, Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat, aka Ariel, aka Sprite, aka holy crap, why the heck can’t these people just stick with a name?


Kitty was released as part of the 8th series of Marvel Universe. She’s based on John Cassidy’s redesign of the character from his and Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men. She stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and has 21 points of articulation. When Marvel Universe started out, there was one female body to go around, and that’s the one they put Kitty on. While it I still think that the female buck was the best of the initial base bodies, that ain’t saying much. The proportions aren’t terrible, but arms and legs do seem a bit stubby, the neck is most certainly too long, and she has an odd bow-legged stance. The base body is also too big for Kitty, who is generally depicted as being a fairly small person, even as an adult. The head isn’t the worst thing ever, but it’s nothing to write home about. She looks like a woman in her 40s, not her 20s as she should be, and the hair just looks strange overall. Perhaps Hasbro was attempting to recreate Kitty Pryde: The Later Years, after she and Colossus have settled down. One can only hope we’ll eventually see the complimentary Colossus with a receding hairline and beer gut (Oh, wait, he’s Russian. Is a vodka gut a thing?).  The paint work is even worse than the sculpting, with lots of fuzzy lines, and parts of the uniform that don’t match up right from piece to piece. Kitty includes a stand with her name on it and her pet dragon Lockheed, who may well be the best part of the figure.


If I recall correctly, Kitty was part of the large selection of Marvel Universe figures I picked up while Target was running a “buy-one-get-one-free” special. She’s not a particularly good figure, but she’s better than some of the earlier Marvel Universe offerings, so that’s good I suppose. Also, it’s not like there are a wide range of Kitty Pryde figures from which to choose, so if you want a figure of this fairly essential X-Woman, this is one of the few options available.