#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.

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#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)

MagnetoII1

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.

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.

#0357: Young Magneto & Mystique

YOUNG MAGNETO & MYSTIQUE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Magneto&Mystique1 I realize as I write this review that I have made nary a mention of X-Men: Days of Future Past on this site. I guess that’s what happens when there is minimal merchandising for a movie. Well, there’s no time like the present. Simply put, Days of Future Past was the X-Men movie I’ve been waiting for since the very first X-Men movie was announced. It handled the characters brilliantly and had one of the best emotional through lines I’ve ever seen in a super hero movie. It was a very, very good movie. When it was first announced that the roles of Charles Xavier and Magneto were going to be recast for X-Men: First Class, I was hesitant. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen set the bar pretty high. However, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender did an exceptional job filling those shoes. Fassbender in particular has become one of my favorite parts of the franchise, thanks to his wonderful performance as the younger Magneto. Today, I’ll be looking at the Minimates of Fassbender’s Magneto and Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Young Magneto and Mystique were released as a two-pack in Series 58 of Marvel Minimates. Originally, Young Magneto was supposed to be packed with old Xavier and Mystique was supposed to be packed with old Magneto, but Diamond changed the pairings at the last minute. I find that this pairing makes more sense, as Magneto and Mystique’s conflict in the 70s is a major point in the film.

YOUNG MAGNETO

Magneto&Mystique2Magneto, as far as the movie goes, is actually the more minor character in this set. He still has a pretty substantial role, but he kind of takes a back seat to Charles and Raven during the movie’s climax. This is the second time we’ve seen Fassbender’s Magneto in Minimate form; the first was in the TRU exclusive series based on First Class. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he features 14 points of articulation. Obviously, he’s based on Magneto from the 70s timeline, but more specifically he’s based on Magneto’s fully costumed look from the second half of the movie. It’s a slightly toned down version of the costume we saw him wearing at the end of First Class, and I think it’s one of the better costume designs we’ve seen in an X-Men movie. The figure makes use of the traditional Minimate body, with add-ons for his half-cape thing and his helmet. Both of these are new pieces, and they both look pretty good. I wish the helmet was just a tad smaller, but it looks pretty good, and it’s a pretty great replica of the helmet seen in the movie. I’m not sure what movie-verse Magneto’s obsession with half-capes is (he sports one in both timelines) but they’ve done a good job translating this one to the Minimate form. The figure’s paint work is all pretty great. Nothing is too sloppy and there’s no bleed over to speak of. The detail lines on the head, torso, and legs all look nice and sharp, and the head bears a pretty decent Fassbender likeness. Magneto includes an alternate hairpiece, a flight stand, and a clear display stand. Like the helmet, I feel the hair is just a bit too large, but it isn’t monumentally off.

MYSTIQUE

Magneto&Mystique3Mystique is arguably the lead character of Days of Future Past. She’s very definitely the most important character. It was nice to see her get some serious screen time, especially after she was essentially a bit player in the first three movies. Like Fassbender’s Magneto, this is the second time we’ve gotten Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique in the Minimate form. And, as an added bonus, she works pretty well as a Rebecca Romijn Mystique too! The figure is about 2 ½ inches in height and she sports 14 points of articulation. Mystique’s pretty much just got the blue-scaly-naked look, so that’s the one they went with. Mystique is built on the usual Minimate body with the addition of a hairpiece. The piece is brand new to the figure, and it looks to be a pretty spot on recreation of Mystique’s hair in the movie. It has some very nice detail work, so that’s good. The rest of Mystique’s look is done with paint, so a good paint job is key. Fortunately, Diamond has delivered on that front. While it’s hard to mess up straight blue, they’ve also done a tremendous amount of detail work, all of which has turned out really well. What impresses me most are the eyes, which have way more detail than you’d expect at this scale. Mystique’s sole accessory is a clear display stand. It’s a bit of a letdown after the comic DOFP set did such a great job conveying Mystique’s powers with the accessories. A Trask head on par with the Senator Kelly head from that set really would have put this two pack over the bar.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was purchased from my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix. I must admit I was a little underwhelmed by the Days of Future Past Minimates when I first saw them. Still, I enjoyed the movie, and they were still Minimates. Plus, I certainly wasn’t going to pass up a figure of the 70s Magneto design. I’m glad I decided to pick this set up, because these two are truly impressive. Mystique is a long needed figure, and Magneto may very well be one of my favorite Minimates.