#1979: Mystique

MYSTIQUE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

An expert of duplication – and duplicity – Mystique uses powers of shape-shifting to assume others’ identities and complete covert missions.”

Though considered an X-Men character by pretty much every metric, Mystique’s first appearance came in the pages of Ms. Marvel (which was, at the time, being helmed by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, the then-current writer and just-departed artist of X-Men).  She wouldn’t run into the X-Men until 1981’s “Days of Future Past” story, which had her forming  a new iteration of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.  Since then, she’s been pretty well interweaved with the team and all their exploits, and has become one of the franchise’s most bankable characters.  Despite all of this, she’s actually not the most prevalent character when it comes to toys.  She’s got a few, but not as many as you might expect.  I’ll be looking at the latest of those today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mystique is the second offering in the latest Walgreens-exclusive theme of Marvel Legends, which appears to be all about the ladies of X-Men, since she follows Magik and precedes Emma Frost.  She’s the third Legends release of Mystique, following Hasbro’s first go back in 2012.  Of course, that was a modern take on the character.  Our last classic Mystique was back during the Toy Biz days, a whopping 14 years ago.  And that figure wasn’t even good *for the time*, to say nothing of how it looks now.  To say an update was needed is something of an understatement.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  She’s built on the Phoenix body, which is a decent enough choice for Mystique.  Certainly better than either of the last two figures.  Mystique gets a new head sculpt, as well as an add-on piece for her skirt.  Both of these pieces are nicely rendered, with the head in particular being a really solid piece of character work.  The paintwork on Mystique is pretty standard fare at this point, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing.  It’s cleanly applied, nice and bold, and eye-catching.  The standard straight white works better than the attempts at shading we’ve gotten over the years.  There’s also some quite nicely handled and very subtle accent work on her hair, which I can definitely appreciate.  Mystique is packed with two styles of gun: a handgun and the futuristic tommy gun from Chameleon.  Both are molded in gold plastic and fit nicely in her hands.  She is also packed with two extra heads.  The first is a re-use of Rogue‘s, but painted up to be in mid transformation.  It works well on this figure to show off her shapeshifting, or, if you have the Rogue figure already, it also makes for a nifty reveal figure.  The second head is a toy debut for a major X-Men player.  Yes, it’s leader of the Shi’ar Empire, and the once-love-interest of Charles Xavier, Lilandra.  Kind of an interesting choice for a Mystique figure, but it sure does look nice on the recent Silver Sable body.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I actually had that truly terrible Toy Biz Mystique back in the day…for about 30 seconds, before she promptly sprung apart at the mid-section in an irreparable fashion.  So, no Mystique for my collection.  This one was a very welcome addition, and she’s a very nice figure, and I’m also really digging the extra Lilandra head, because how cool is it to finally have a Lilandra?

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#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.

#0352: Days of Future Past Minimates

FUTURE WOLVERINE, FUTURE KITTY PRYDE, MYSTIQUE & FUTURE SENTINEL

MARVEL MINIMATES

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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!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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.

FUTURE WOLVERINE

DOFP3It 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. DOFP7

FUTURE KITTY PRYDE

DOFP4Okay, 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

DOFP5Mystique 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.)

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FUTURE SENTINEL

DOFP6This 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.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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.

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