#2737: Magneto – House of X

MAGNETO — HOUSE OF X

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Magneto forges an unlikely partnership with Xavier in pursuit of a lofty common goal: the protection of all mutants.”

The counterpart to Charles Xavier’s peaceful co-existence philosophy since the very beginning has been the more militant Magneto.  Magneto, however, is a character defined by his tendency to switch sides as his morals check in and out.  Recently, they’ve been checked in more often than not, and he’s spent most of the last decade as an ally of the team, with “House of X” later retconning him as a secret ally the whole time, throwing out all pretense entirely.  At the same time, the comics have become big on going for this whole monochromatic set-up for his costume, because I guess that’s clever.  Or something.  Legends already gave us an all-black Magneto, so I guess it was only a matter of time before we got an all-white one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto is figure 6 in the Tri-Sentinel Series of Marvel Legends, and is, like the rest of the set, based on the character’s appearance in “House of X” and the ongoing titles that followed.  It’s not terribly far removed from the character’s handful of Marvel Now! looks, being Magneto’s classic costume set up with a new palette dropped on it.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Like the other two current gen comic Magnetos, this guy’s based on the Spider-UK base body, which continues to be a good base for the character.  He re-uses the cape add-on piece from the 3-pack Magneto, along with an all-new head, forearms, and belt.  The head’s got the separate pieces for the helmet and underlying head, much like the last two releases.  It’s quite similar to, but still distinct from, the calm head from the 3-pack.  It feels like it didn’t need to be new to me, but Hasbro presumably felt differently.  The helmet’s nice, but there’s definitely something a little bit off about the underlying face.  It looks rather goofy, and maybe not as stern as they were aiming for.  The new arms and belt help to bring the figure’s design more in line with the comics appearance, and do their job pretty well.  I was a little disappointed that they didn’t take advantage of retooling the forearms to remove the exposed pins, as they have on a few other recent revisions, but it’s possible it didn’t cost out.  Other than that, the figure’s sculpt is pretty much just business as usual.  In terms of paint, this guy embraces the monochromatic nature of the modern Magneto design, so there’s not a ton of variance going on.  There are some silvers and blacks thrown in for accenting, and they aren’t bad.  The application’s also pretty sharp, which is a plus.  He does ditch some of the ribbing on the sides of his costume, but at least he doesn’t ditch everything wholesale like Xavier did.  Magneto is packed with three sets of hands, open gesture, gripping, and fists.  It’s a nice assortment, and nice to get all the variety.  Additionally, he’s packed with all three of the Tri-Sentinel Build-A-Figure’s heads.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Magneto’s classic color scheme is really hard to top for me, so I tend to be resistant to current trends of going all black or all white.  The all white look in particular tends to strike me as being just sort of odd for the character.  So, with that said, I wasn’t really feeling this guy when he was announced.  And, if I’m entirely honest, I don’t know how much I’m feeling this guy in-hand.  The 2019 release is just hard to top, and this one’s got the issue of that wonky face to deal with.  It’s not bad, I suppose, just a little uninspired feeling at the end of the day.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for 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!

#2618: Magneto & Professor X

MAGNETO & PROFESSOR X

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Magneto and Professor X clash in a struggle that will impact the future of all mankind.”

This year, the X-Men movie franchise turned 20.  It may have been easy to miss, what with the world falling apart and time being an illusion for most of the year.  Also, the movie franchise having died a kind of whimpering death in the last two years.  That may have somewhat contributed.  With Fox purchased by Disney, and all of the rights for the movies back under the main Marvel branding again, we’re finally getting to see proper merchandising (outside of Minimates) for the first time since…gosh…Origins?  Yikes, that’s a sad one to leave off on.  Hasbro’s got a whole sub-set of figures devoted to the films, picking and choosing a bit from the whole of the franchise.  They’ve tried to stick with some of the broadest characters at the start, opting for characters who stuck it out the whole time, and really, whose broader than Magneto and Professor X, whose turbulent relationship has formed the back bone of most of the films?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Magneto and Professor X are one of the pair of two-packs in the X-Men Movie sub-line of Marvel Legends.  Unlike the rest of the stuff we’ve gotten, where there’s been a single movie focus, these two are meant to cover multiple films, and indeed multiple actors.  It gets…well, it gets a little wonky, but it’s best to bring it up in the figure’s respective sections.

MAGNETO

As Ian McKellen, Magneto was decently served by prior X-Men movie toys, getting coverage from both the first film and X2, but as Michael Fassbender, he’s only gotten Minimates up until now.  This figure is actually pretty targeted in terms of design, at least at his core, being based on Magneto’s fully geared up appearance from the ’70s portion of Days of Future Past.  It’s not just a good look, it’s arguably Magneto’s best look in the movies, and one of my favorite designs spawned from the whole of the X-films.  It’s also very toy friendly, so that’s always a good starting point.  The figure is 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  The articulation on this guy is a little bit stiff compared to other recent Legends figures, notably in the shoulder and elbow area.  It’s not terrible, but I did have a little difficulty getting him into some poses.  The sculpt on this guy is all new, and makes use of the new “pinless” style joints for the elbows and knees, which certainly do make it look more cohesive.  Generally, I quite like how this sculpt turned out.  The costume is well-crafted, and replicates the various layers and textures of the costume from the movie, and translates them pretty well into plastic form.  The actual build on the body under said costume isn’t quite as spot-on.  The body’s generally just a bit bulkier than Fassbender in Days, which makes the arms look a little bit stubbier than they should.  The head also sits a touch higher on the neck than it should, as well, which requires some more careful posing to not look goofy.  All that’s pretty minor, though.  My biggest issue with the figure lies with the primary, helmeted Fassbender head.  The helmet’s great, and the Fassbender likeness on the head beneath it’s not bad either, but for some reason, they opted to give him a weird teeth baring expression, which doesn’t really feel right for Fassbender’s take on the character.  It’s not terrible, but it’s not quite what I want.  In terms of paint, the figure’s actually pretty solid.  There’s not a ton going on, but what’s there is a good replication of the film design.  Magneto includes two sets of hands in open in closed poses, as well as an alternate un-helmeted head.  The second head is a nice piece, with a strong Fassbender likeness, and a much calmer expression.  I kind of wish the helmeted head matched, and I’m tempted to try and find extras of the two heads to kitbash my own.  This set’s big claim to fame when Hasbro showed it off at Toy Fair this year was its ability to double as multiple versions of the two characters, across their multiple actors.  To facilitate this, there are also two Ian McKellen heads included, one helmeted and one not.  And, would you look at that?  They both have the same expression, unlike the Fassbender heads.  Why couldn’t they just keep that consistency across the board?  In general, the McKellen heads are a bit of a cheat, of course, since he never wore anything remotely like Fassbender’s costume in the movies.  That said, what he did wear is rather easy to approximate on your own, so just getting the heads is still a nice touch.

PROFESSOR X

Much like the McKellen/Fassbender split on figures above, Patrick Stewart’s Xavier got some toy coverage early on in the X-Men movie run, but James McAvoy’s take wasn’t quite so lucky.  Unlike Magneto, this figure’s a far less targeted offering when it comes to the design.  In fact, it’s…well, it’s a bit of a mess.  I’ll get into the “why” in a moment.  The figure is 6 1/4 inches tall standing (obviously less sitting, of course) and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Coulson-style suit body, with a new jacket piece that’s got the vest underneath.  There are also two heads included, one of McAvoy and one of Stewart.  Both likenesses are pretty strong, so I’ve definitely got to give Hasbro credit on that.  McAvoy’s is bald, indicating that this figure is supposed to be post Apocalypse version of him.  The blue suit set up of the figure supports that, and is also sensible given that it’s the same style of suit that Stewart’s version of the character typically wore.  It’s a little weird from the perspective of it meaning that he doesn’t at all match the Magneto he’s packed with, but if we’re going for iconic looks, I guess this makes more sense.  The new jacket/vest piece is pretty nice, and is actually sculpted to allow a more proper seated position as well, which is a nice touch.  In terms of paint work, he’s again pretty basic, but also pretty good.  Both heads look pretty life like, and I can certainly get behind them.  Okay, now let’s tackle the rough stuff: the accessories.  So, remember how I mentioned the whole thing about this being a post-Apocalypse McAvoy?  Or even a movies 1-3 Stewart?  You know what completely wrecks that set-up?  The chair.  Stewart has the same chair in the first three movies, and the same chair is used by McAvoy in First Class and Days of Future Past, and then again at the tail end of Apocalypse when he’s got the fully classic Xavier look again.  That’s not the chair included here.  Instead, we get a more generic wheel chair, which is in fact shared with the Old Man version of Charles from the Logan two-pack.  Logan is the only time that Stewart’s Xavier used such a chair, and he’s obviously not in the full suit and tie.  McAvoy’s Xavier uses such a chair in the climax of Days, but he’s wearing a tweed jacket and sweater, and is also still sporting the hair and beard.  So, this chair matches nothing about the figure.  I also found it interesting that, while the Magneto gets four different heads, Xavier only gets the two.  If we got a McAvoy head with the hair and beard, we could at least sort of approximate Xavier from the climax of Days (which would also help him match Magneto), thereby making the chair less inaccurate.  Generally, the lack of McAvoy heads covering his evolving hair styles from the films kind of takes the wind out of the sails of this whole “cross movie” thing this set was sold on.  At least the chair is a nice chair, I guess, even if it’s inaccurate.  He also gets a selection of extra hands, which do make for some good posing options.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set is by far the piece I was most looking forward to out of all of the X-Men movie stuff.  Days‘ take on Magneto is, as noted above, a favorite of mine, and I’ve been wanting a proper figure of it for a while.  This one’s not without his flaws, and I’m definitely not big on that helmeted facial expression, but the overall figure is still pretty cool, and certainly better than not having him at all.  The McKellen heads aren’t really meant for this body, but they do look really cool, and make for an easier time building your own.  Xavier’s shakier than Magneto for sure.  The core body’s fine, and both heads are pretty nice, but that chair’s just wrong, and the fact that he doesn’t line-up with the Magneto at all in terms of looks makes the whole two-pack aspect of this pair seem slightly forced.  Still, it’s not a bad pair, and there’s certainly a lot more good than bad in this set.  Overall, it’s still my favorite piece out of the bunch, so I can’t really complain.

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

#2518: Professor X & Magneto

PROFESSOR X & MAGNETO

MARVEL MINIMATES

After their first year had wrapped, there was a bit of a gap in Marvel Minimates releases, as DST mapped out the direction the line would take.  When they returned, there was a pretty heavy lean into the classic X-Men set-up, with the previously reviewed Giant Size X-Men set and one other exclusive, which is today’s focus, Professor X and Magneto!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Professor X and Magneto hit in January of 2004, and are notable for being the first Marvel Minimates exclusive to come out of Action Figure Xpress, who would serve as a major supporter of the line for the next decade of the line.  The two would then subsequently see re-issue in one of TRU’s four-packs the following year, alongside the Nex X-Men Wolverine and Jean.  Both would also get slight paint tweaks for one more additional release each in 2006.  Xavier’s suit was made blue and released at Target alongside Dark Phoenix.  Magneto got a new face and was released in the infamous Dark Tide boxed set that clogged up retailers everywhere for quite a bit.

PROFESSOR X

Before we had our fancy hover chairs and what not, this was the Xavier that had to hang around in everyone’s collection for a good long stretch of time.  Patterned on the character’s earliest appearances, Xavier is a ‘mate that could have been pretty basic, but actually has more going on than you might realize at first glance.  The core ‘mate is totally vanilla, albeit long-footed vanilla.  He gets the basic amount of detailing you’d expect from this era of ‘mate.  If I have one complaint, it’s that his ears are printed a little too close to his face.  That’s a problem that would be with most of the line’s bald characters, even to current day. It’s the accessories that really spice this guy up, since he’s got Cerebro, his wheelchair, and a blanket to cover his legs…or he would if that last piece wasn’t missing from mine.  I don’t know when it went missing, but it sure did.  Drat.  Well, the other two pieces are still cool, and the wheelchair in particular is a really solid, really fun piece.

MAGNETO

Charles Xavier’s sometimes nemesis/sometimes friend made for a pretty logical pairing, and makes for this set’s more outwardly exciting release.  He’s constructed on the standard long-footed body, with add-ons for his helmet and cape.  Both sculpted pieces are somewhat on the basic side, but they both do a really nice job of summing up the character’s classic design.  The paint work helps in that effort as well, as there’s actually a surprising level of detail going into this guy.  The torso not only got the costume details, but also some underlying musculature as well, making him look less flabby than the X-Men he was fighting.  Under the helmet, there’s a nice evil grin, which works perfectly for the character.  Sadly, extra hairpieces weren’t quite a thing, so it’s stuck hiding somewhat beneath the helmet.  In fact, Magneto doesn’t get any accessories at all, which feels light these days, but wasn’t really much of a surprise when he was new.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These guys hit before I was really making many online purchases for myself, so I missed out on the initial release.  I actually ended up snagging the TRU 4-Pack versions a few years later, courtesy of All Time Toys, way back before I had any sort of official partnership with them.  See, even when I try to review something from before I was getting everything from All Time, I still review stuff from All Time!  Both of these guys were pretty solid offerings of the characters, especially for this early in the line.  It’s not terribly surprising that they remained the primary versions for as long as they did.

#2091: Family Matters

MAGNETO, QUICKSILVER, & SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The parentage of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch has been quite a storytelling merry-go-round.  Originally just a pair of mutant siblings born to unnamed parents, they were eventually revealed to be the children of a Gypsy couple.  That couple then revealed they were actually the twins’ adoptive parents, and their real parents were the Golden Age heroes the Whizzer and Miss America.  That story stuck for a little bit, before the best known twist occurred, and X-Men foe Magneto was revealed to be their father.  That’s the story that stuck…well apart from a few years back when Marvel toyed with removing their connection to Magneto in the midst of their troubles with getting the X-characters’ media rights back from Fox.  It would seem they’ve decided to role back that decision, at least as far as other media is concerned.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Magneto, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch make up the “Family Matters” boxed set, an Amazon-exclusive Marvel Legends offering, coinciding with the “80 Years of Marvel” celebration.  The set was put up for order a few months ago, and just started shipping out two weeks ago.

MAGNETO

The biggest name in the set, and certainly the one with the most action figure coverage, Magneto actually has gotten two Legends releases since the line relaunched in the new packaging style.  The first was using old parts, and the second, while a solid figure, put Mags in a more recent, less classically-inspired costume.  This one goes for about as classic as you can get for Magneto, placing him with his early ’80s/’90s red and purple design.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Like the last figure, this Magneto is built on the Spider-UK body, which is honestly a fantastic choice for the character.  Beyond the base body, there actually aren’t any parts shared between the two figures.  This one gets a new set of forearms and boots, plus add-ons for his cape and belt, and is topped off with two brand-new head sculpts.  The forearms and boots fit right in with the pre-existing Spider-UK tooling, and give him all of the proper details he should have.  The cape is definitely one of Hasbro’s best, as it pretty much pitch-perfectly captures the way his cape is often drawn in the comics.  I really love how it sits over the shoulders.  The belt’s a pretty darn basic piece, but it works well enough for what it’s supposed to be doing.  The two heads are fairly similar, with the helmets in particular being the same sculpt.  I can appreciate that from a consistency stand-point.  Beneath the helmets is where the difference lies.  There’s a calmer, friendlier head, and an angrier, more power-crazed head.  Both are really nice, and work for the diverging takes on the character.  The helmet sits a little higher than I’d prefer on the calm head, but it’s not awful, and I don’t know which one will end up as my default.  Magneto’s paintwork is a definite step-up from the last figure.  It’s bright and eye-catching, and the application’s all very clean.  I really dig the glossy finish on the helmet, and the mix of metallic and flat finish on the purple sections.  Also, I dig that they used the same red and purple on this guy that they did for Onslaught, allowing for another head-swap option.  Magneto is packed with two pairs of hands (fists and open gesture), as well as a pair of energy effect pieces molded in a flecked purple plastic.

QUICKSILVER

Pietro Maximoff is the member of family who’s been absent from Legends for the longest period of time.  His first, and only, release was way back when Hasbro first took over in 2007, with no updates since then.  As the least prominent of the three, it’s not a huge shock, though it was a little surprising that he didn’t get any coverage around Age of Ultron.  Whatever the case, he’s here now, based on his classic blue and white attire.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Quicksilver is built on the ANAD 2099 body, which isn’t necessarily ideal.  I mean, it’s okay in theory, but not quite in practice.  I like this body’s posability, and general build, but the narrower shoulders compared to other bodies make scaling on the head a much more delicate art, and they just missed it with this guy.  His head’s just a tad too large for the body, which results in Quicksilver looking rather cartoony and goofy, at least in most poses.  Placed on something like the Bucky Cap body, it actually looks okay, so I wonder if they originally intended to build him that way.  I do like the head on its own; it captures that arrogance that only Pietro Maximoff can pull off, and the hair’s been translated in a pretty realistic, not super crazy fashion.  Quicksilver’s paint ends up as the weakest in the set, though that’s largely just my figure.  The base work is fine, and I particularly dig the slightly pearlescent finish on the boots and gloves.  However, my figure’s got some pretty serious slop on the lightning detailing on his front.  It’s pretty distracting, and hopefully this isn’t a widespread issue.  Pietro is packed with two pairs of hands in fists and flat-handed poses.

SCARLET WITCH

Wanda’s gotten some pretty good toy coverage recently, no doubt because of her breakaway success in the movies.  We haven’t gotten a comics-based release of her since the Allfather Series in 2015, and I actually liked that figure a lot.  Apart from some minor issues, I really wouldn’t have expected another release.  The theme of the set kind of begs for her inclusion, though, and a more modern variant wouln’t really fit with the other two.  Hasbro took advantage of this opportunity to give us a proper ’80s Scarlet Witch, rather than the slightly amalgamated design we got last time.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  The majority of the body, as well as the cape of this figure are the same parts used on the Maidens of Might release (though I erroneously referred to them as Moonstone and Emma Frost parts the first time I reviewed them), which is fine, since they were pretty good the first time around.  She swaps out the heeled feet for flat soled ones, fixing my main complaint about that figure, and also swaps out the forearms for Kitty Pryde‘s flared gloves.  It’s all topped off with a brand-new head, which is not only an immense improvement on the old Toy Biz monstrosity, it’s also one of the most attractive female heads that Hasbro’s produced for this line.  The details on the head are crisp and numerous, and I really like how they’ve worked in all of the layers between the hair, headpiece, and face.  Wanda’s paintwork is pretty solid.  At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it compared to the prior figure, since the two shades of the costume look rather close, and I didn’t know how the metallics would work out.  In person, I actually think it looks really nice, and I prefer it to the straight red and pink from before.  Additionally, there’s a lot of very nice small detail work on the face, especially on the eyes, just further accenting the already very strong sculpt.  Wanda is packed with the two energy effect pieces introduced with the Infinity War Scarlet Witch, which have the advantage of not being super over-used yet.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been waiting for a classic Magneto pretty much since the line relaunched, and as much as I liked last year’s figure, I knew I wanted this one as soon as he was shown off.  The other two were really just along for the ride when I jumped on the preorder as soon as it went up.  I sort of forgot about them, if I’m honest, and after dropping a lot of money on two new series of figures two weekends ago, the last thing I thought I needed was more Legends. Then I got notification that these shipped, and boom, three more.  Magneto’s awesome, no doubt.  Definitely the definitive take on the figure, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets singled out for his own release later down the line.  Quicksilver is the real weak link of the set for me.  The body choice doesn’t work, and the paint issues just make things worse.  He’s not awful, but he could be better.  The real surprise for me is the one figure in the set I didn’t think I needed at all: Scarlet Witch.  Not only is she just an unquestionably superior figure to the last comics release, she’s also just my favorite part of the set, no doubt.

#1907: Magneto

MAGNETO

X-MEN: DELUXE EDITION (TOY BIZ)

“After his interment in a concentration camp, Erik Lehnsherr realized that the only way mutants could survive would be to dominate mankind. Turning his complete control of magnetism to his newfound cause, Lehnsherr became the mutant terorrist Magneto, determined to win freedom from oppression for his fellow mutants, no matter what the cost. His mad dream has only been kept in check thanks to the ever-vigilant actions of the X-Men!”

For Day 6 of the Post Christmas reviews, I’m keeping that 10-inch Marvel thing going.  After a more broad Marvel Universe look with Nick Fury, I’m heading over to the ’90s commercial juggernaut that was X-Men.  Today’s focus is on the X-Men’s very first baddie, Magneto.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto was released in the second “Deluxe Edition” series of the X-Men line, which preceded the larger Marvel Universe line by a couple of years.  The figure stands 10 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation.  For whatever reason, he doesn’t have a joint on his right elbow.  Left one’s still there, and the smaller counterpart figure has both of them, but this guy doesn’t.  I have no clue why, and I don’t know if anyone really does, but there it is.  The figure is patterned on the Magneto II figure from the 5-inch line, though, as with a number of these figures, the larger version allows for a much better formed sculpt.  In particular, he has less of the odd pin-headed nature that the smaller figure possessed, which makes the figure much more appealing.  The arms are still a touch stubby, but that’s a minor complaint.  Overall, though, it’s a really strong classic Magneto sculpt, unmarred by the action features that sort of held back the smaller figure.  Even his paintwork is a fair bit better.  The colors are brighter, the application is cleaner, and the use of molded flesh tone instead of painted makes him look far more lifelike.  Magneto was packed with a blaster pistol, because that was just how you did with these figures in the ’90s.  Hey, at least it wasn’t a wooden gun, right?  That would just break his mind right in two.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Magneto never got a reissue in any of the later lines, unlike a lot of the others, and as one of the more prominent characters released, he never really hung around all that much.  As such, I don’t believe I ever saw one in person.  Like Fury, this figure was a stocking stuffer from my parents.  I actually really like him, and I think he’s one of the line’s nicest offerings.  Its kind of a shame he didn’t get any reissues.

#1763: Magneto

MAGNETO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Living up to his namesake, Magneto is a master manipulator of magnetism, controlling and using its energy to defeat his enemies.”

Debuting alongside the team in X-Men #1, Magneto has been by far the most enduring of the X-Men’s foes…or allies…or teammates…or whatever he is this week.  He’s a popular choice for toys as well.  While he doesn’t quite rival Wolverine, he’s certainly giving Cyclops a run for his money.  Sadly, in the realm of Marvel Legends, he’s always seemed to come up short.  His very first Legends release was a hastily re-tooled Iron Man that didn’t quite work right.  This was followed by quite a lengthy waiting period for another, in 2014, which was not only an extremely illusive Toys R Us exclusive, it also wasn’t very good.  That leads us to today’s figure, the beacon of hope that maybe, just maybe, a Legends Magneto might not suck.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto–sorry, Marvel’s Magneto is figure 2 in the Apocalypse Series of Marvel Legends.  Like Colossus before him, Magneto’s source design is a point of contention for some of the fanbase.  A lot of fans were hoping for another stab at his classic togs, but Hasbro has instead opted for a more modern appearance, based on his relatively recent design from the All-New, All-Different re-launch in 2015.  I was myself angling for another classic figure, but I can somewhat understand Hasbro not wanting to release that costume again right away, since it’s only been a few years since the last attempt.  What’s more, this particular design is actually not a bad look for old Magnus, and given Hasbro’s recent track record with the likes of Namor and Taskmaster, it likely serves as a trial run for them to get everything in order for a more proper variant down the line.  Magneto stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The figure is built on the Spider-UK body, a fact I’m quite pleased about.  As soon as I saw that figure, I was hoping Hasbro would have it ear-marked for Magneto, so I’m happy to see they were on the same wavelength.  He gets a new head, forearms, and boots, as well as an add-on for his cape.  The head features the helmet as a separate, non-removable piece, as has become the norm for these guys.  The helmet follows the more streamlined nature of the helmet, which first cropped up in the X-Men: First Class design in 2011.  It sits quite well on his head (which is a surprisingly big win for a 6-inch Magneto figure; none of the others have really gotten that part down), and the underlying face perfectly captures Magneto’s noble streak.  The forearms and boots both capture those little raised ridges that Magneto seems to be really into, as well as meshing well with the existing body.  The cape gave me some pause when I first took the figure out of the box, because it wouldn’t sit flat and seemed oddly malformed.  Upon closer inspection, I realized that the shoulder pads were separate pieces, designed to slide *under* the cape, and one of them had accidentally popped over.  If you look closely at the prototype on the figure’s package you can see that not even Hasbro caught this mix-up.  Once everything’s laying properly, the cape is actually pretty darn awesome, and quite fitting for the character.  If there’s a slight downside to this figure, it’s his paint work.  It’s not *terrible* but the application is noticeably sloppier than on a lot of Hasbro’s other recent releases.  The red paint in particular seems to have some real issues with going on too thinly, leaving the underlying black plastic exposed.  The worst of it’s at the front of the helmet and on his thighs; beyond those points, it’s actually pretty passable overall.  Magneto makes out pretty well in terms of accessories.  He’s got an extra head, sans-helmet, displaying his beautiful Jim Lee-era locks.  While the helmeted head is still my favorite of the two, there’s no denying the quality of this one.  He also includes two different sets of hands.  He’s got basic black fists, as well as open gesture ones that have been molded in translucent purple.  There are some electricity effects to match.  Honestly, I’m a little surprised we didn’t see that swirly effects piece another time, since that’s what Polaris got, but I guess Hasbro was reading the room and sensing that piece’s over-use.  Lastly, Magneto includes the right arm of the Build-A-Figure Apocalypse.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m always down for a good Magneto figure, which is why it’s always been so disappointing that he’s never been privy to a good Legends release.  I still searched everywhere for the last one, even despite it’s lower quality, but never could find him, and certainly wasn’t paying a mark-up for him.  So, when this guy was announced, I was pretty excited, even if he’s not quite the version I wanted.  In hand, he’s got some minor flaws, but I’m overall happy with this figure, and glad I finally have a Magneto for my X-Men shelf.

#1705: Magneto

MAGNETO

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“The evil mutant master of magnetism, Magneto is the arch-enemy of the X-Men. With his magnetic power, Magneto’s magnetic force can pull even the heaviest objects to him, throw them miles away, or cause them to shatter with sudden explosiveness. Magneto plans to enslave mankind and mercilessly rule Earth with the other evil mutants. But first he must destroy the X-Men, the super hero mutants who are mankind’s defenders.”

Magneto’s first action figure came from Mattel’s Secret Wars line.  Though sold as a villain, the story was an early adopter of the heroic turn for the character.  By the time of his second figure, he’d run the whole gamut of villain to hero and back again.  It’s a little odd to see the character referred to simply as an evil mutant, but that’s where he landed when the team came into all of their notoriety, I suppose.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, as one of three villains presented therein.  Magneto had gone through a few different costumes by this point, but returned to his classic design just in time for this figure’s release.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Magneto’s sculpt was an all-new offering, and it remained unique to this figure all throughout Toy Biz’s tenure with the license.  Magneto sports perhaps the finest sculpt in the whole first series.  His proportions are notably less goofy and his posture far less stilted than other figures from this assortment.  He’s not painfully scrawny like Cyclops was, and he can actually manage some decent poses, unlike Storm.  His helmet was removable, and while that made it more than a little bit oversized, and just a touch goofy looking, it does mean we were treated to the fully detailed un-helmeted head beneath it, which does a very nice job of capturing Magneto’s usual stern but well-meaning expression.  Despite the big emphasis on the whole “evil” bit in the bio, that’s not quite what was presented by the figure here, and he ends up very true to the character in that regard.  Though later figures in the line would go the sculpted cape route, this one got a cloth piece, keeping with the vaguely Super Powers-esque aesthetic that these early Toy Biz offerings had.  Like the bulkier helmet, it’s a bit dated looking and slightly goofy, but it’s not bad for what it is.  Magneto’s paintwork is pretty straight forward stuff.  The red parts are all molded plastic, and everything else is painted.  Application is mostly pretty clean; there’s some slight slop on the boots and gloves, but it’s very minor.  In addition to the removable helmet and cape, this guy came with three pieces of “metal debris,” which, via magnets in his torso and hands, could be attached to the figure, thus simulating his powers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have two of this guy, and it’s all my dad’s fault.  Well, not directly, I suppose.  When I was just getting into collecting, my dad and I were doing a lot of tandem buying, where we’d both get something.  On one of our trips, he got this figure, and I really liked it, but I never ended up finding another at retail.  A few years later, I found this guy (along with Nightcrawler) at a flea market, sans helmet and cape.  Despite the missing pieces, that was certainly good enough for me, at least at the time.  In recent years, I become slightly more picky about such things, so I ended up tracking down a second one, via my friends at Yesterday’s Fun, and this one had the missing pieces.  This remains my favorite Magneto figure, and I’m happy to have a more complete release.

#0777: Combat Elite

COMBAT ELITE

HALO 3 (MCFARLANE)

EliteMags1

When I think Halo, my mind tends to immediately jump to the Spartans, who are the protagonists of <most> of the games in the series. The main character, Master Chief, is one of them, and the default settings for players in multiplayer games always have the player as a Spartan. They tend to get pushed to the forefront. With the exception of the three ODST reviews, all of my Halo reviews so far have looked at the Spartans. But, what good are a bunch of armored heroes without a foe to face off against? My personal favorites of those foes are the Covenant Elite, who make for the best direct parallel to the Spartans. So, let’s have a look at one of them, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

EliteMags2This particular Combat Elite was released as part of a Team Slayer two-pack in McFarlane Toys’ Halo 3 line. He was originally packed with a Blue Mk VI Spartan. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation. In the games, the Elite are noticeably larger than the already massive Spartans, but that’s not quite the case with this particular figure, at least when compared to the Spartans I have from Reach, 4, and 5. To be fair to McFarlane, the scale is noticeably smaller on the Spartans from 3, so this figure would probably look a lot more menacing with them. As is, he’s not terrible, truth be told; he’s about the same height as the average newer Spartan, and he’s a bit bulkier, so it works. Just don’t put him next to, say, Jorge. He looks even better with the ODSTs! As far as sculpt goes, he’s got the same basic sculpt as all the Halo 3 Combat Elites. It’s perhaps not as fantastic as some of the more recent stuff, but it’s still no slouch. The armored parts are very clean, sharp, and mechanically detailed, and the underlying areas are covered with tons of fantastic texturing. I’d say he looks like he stepped right out of the game, but I think he might even be better than the game in terms of detail. I will say the wrists look really skinny, especially in comparison to the rest of him, but that’s my only real complaint. Paint is kind of important on a lot of these figures, since it’s the one thing that sets them apart. This Elite’s color scheme is a nice red/purple combo, which looks really sharp. And it’s not just solid red, solid purple either. No, there’s a lot of great variation in the color coded areas, which adds a nice level of depth to the figure. Plus, he’s got some great wash work to help accentuate the sculpt, which does its job well. I also love the glossy finish on the armored parts; it gives him some nice pop. The Elite’s one accessory is a standard plasma rifle, which is admirably sculpted, and sits well in his hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Combat Elite was the last piece of my Halo buying spree from this past summer. I actually got him at the same time as the recently reviewed Rookie figure. After getting that many Spartans and ODSTs, I figured I needed at least one of the Elite. So, I was looking at the various options, and this guy caught my eye. I like the color scheme, because it makes him look kinda like Magneto, so that’s kind of become his name, for me at least. I’m glad I picked this guy up, because he’s a lot of fun!

EliteMags3

#0601: Magneto II

MAGNETO II

X-MEN (TOYBIZ)

The 90s, as wacky as they may have been, are still a rather important decade to me. Obviously, being born in that decade does it some favors, but many of my formative action figure collecting years occurred during that decade as well. Growing up, my favorite toy company was very definitely ToyBiz, who were just killing it with their huge selection of Marvel toys. The line that pulled me in was X-Men, which also happened to be their biggest line. And what kind of an X-Men line would it be without a few versions of their very first foe, Magneto?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MagnetoII2Magneto (or Magneto II, as he’s officially known) was part of the third series of ToyBiz’s X-Men line. He was the second version of the character to show up in the line, which, you have to admit, is pretty impressive for someone who wasn’t Wolverine. The figure stands roughly 5 inches tall and features 9 points of articulation. The 90s X-Men definitely had a style to it when it came to the figures’ sculpts. Some of them have aged pretty well, some haven’t. Magneto is one of the latter. He’s not too bad, but he definitely has some odd spots. The arms are rather stubby, and the torso is quite short as well. He also has a strange assortment of muscles on his torso. I think they’re meant to represent muscles that exist on actual people, but they seem to have missed the mark. At the very least, they’ve managed to translate his costume pretty well to three dimensions. The figure has a weird action feature, even for the 90s. He has a (rather obtrusive, I might add) lever on his back, which, when pulled, is supposed to activate a sparking effect in the transparent square on the front of the chest. It’s worn out on my figure, which is actually a rather common occurrence. Magneto originally included a cape, to aid in masking the action feature, but, as you can see, my figure no longer has his. The paintwork on Magneto is fairly straightforward. He’s got some pretty basic color work, which is all pretty clean.  There is some bleed over on some of the edges, but nothing too major. He’s lacking in pupils; I’m not sure if that’s purposefully that way, but it seems a little weird. Magneto originally included a blaster, because…I really don’t know. Mine doesn’t have that either, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

EDIT 12/25/20 – I have located both the cape and the gun for my figure, so now he’s complete.  Yay!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

For as many of these figures as I owned growing up, this Magneto wasn’t one of them. I ended up finding this guy in a bin of loose figures at this past Balticon. Not quite as great a find as Shatterstar, but, for a dollar, I really can’t complain. I still prefer the first version of the character, but this one’s not bad.