#2786: Dani Moonstar

DANI MOONSTAR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Part of a group of young mutants, Dani Moonstar has the ability to conjure illusions based on her enemy’s deepest fears.”

Debuting in 1982, the New Mutants were an attempt to go back to the “troubled youngsters” angle of the original X-Men pitch, which had been since lost in the main book.  Included in the team’s five-member founding line-up was Dani Moonstar, who initially went by the alias of “Psyche”, before switching over to “Mirage”, and then ultimately just going by her own name, because if you’ve got a name as cool as “Dani Moonstar” maybe you don’t need to try to make it cooler.  Dani was ultimately written out of the book before it’s conclusion (though she was at least lucky enough not to be killed on her way out, which was more than could be said for poor Cypher and Karma), and that meant she wasn’t folded into X-Force, so she didn’t take off quite the same way that Canonball, Sunspot, and Wolfsbane.  However, she’s still got some things going for her, such as a Marvel Legends figure.  How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dani Moonstar was released in late 2019/early 2020, as part of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  She was initially a Walgreens-exclusive figure, and followed in the store’s trend of getting female X-characters as their exclusives.  Earlier this year, she was offered up for a fan channel release as well, making her generally more accessible.  Yay!  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  She’s built on the Phoenix body, with newly sculpted parts for her head, forearms, and boots.  Dani is based on her mid-00s team suit design, from after they’d relaunched the New Mutants in light of most of them not being dead anymore.  It’s an update on their original black and yellow costumes, in turn based on the original X-Men designs.  It’s a pretty basic design, but not a bad one from a team stand-point.  Technically, there should be a few more character specific elements for it to be properly customized to Dani’s look from the comics, but there’s a decent reason it’s not: because this figure’s designed to be more than just Dani.  She includes two extra heads, as well as two extra sets of hands, which allow her to be displayed as her team-mates Karma and Wolfsbane, also in their mid-00s team suits.  The heads are pretty nice pieces themselves, and the overall appearance works out way more convincingly than, say, the Lilandra head included with Mystique, so there’s more out of the box value here.  In terms of paint work, the figure’s overall pretty basic. The work on the suit is nice and clean, and the individual heads all feel sufficiently distinct from each other in terms of how they handle the palette and themes of the characters.  In addition to the whole extra set of head and hands for the two separate characters, Dani does also get a couple of accessories of her own, namely a bow and a single arrow, which both appear to be new pieces, as near as I can tell.  She has a little trouble holding the arrow, but it’s still a good look overall.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m generally not a huge New Mutants fan (though I’m all about Cypher and Warlock), so I wasn’t in a hurry to get this particular release.  That was probably for the best, because it was never all that numerous around these parts.  I think I saw it once, while driving between locations for work, and I just wasn’t feeling it enough to grab it at the time.  That being said, when she was just at All Time, and I was already grabbing a handful of other figures that came in that day, Dani was harder to pass up.  She’s a decent figure, if perhaps not quite as impressive as more uniquely designed figures.  Still, it’s a cool concept, and her being a 3-in-1 is certainly a nifty prospect.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#1271: Warlock

WARLOCK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

At last!  Self is complete!  Alright!  Now self can interact with all of self’s self friends, in awesome plastic form!  And now self will stop with self’s weird verbal tic, because self finds it hard to keep it up long term.

So, if the weird verbal tic didn’t make any sense to you, then you probably don’t know Warlock.  He’s a member of the Technarchy, an alien race of techno-organic beings.  He’s the son of The Magnus, the Technarch ruler.  He’s primarily a member of the X-Men spin-off team the New Mutants.  He was also the focus of the two-part opener of Season 5 of X-Men: The Animated Series, which is really how I know him.  He’s not the most prevalent character in terms of action figures, but he’s gotten a few.  And now he’s got a Marvel Legend.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Warlock is the Build-A-Figure for—big leap here—the Warlock Series of Marvel Legends, which is the second X-Men-themed series since the X-Men were brought back to the main retail line.  The figure stands about 9 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Warlock is 100% new sculpt, which is, admittedly, the only way I can really see him being handled.  There’s also not really a lot of re-use potential here, which is a little surprising for a character like Warlock in this day and age.  Of course, I’m hardly going to complain about that.  Warlock’s a character who’s design is always in flux, even just from panel to panel.  This figure seems to take a good deal of his inspiration from Art Adams’ version of Warlock seen on the cover of New Mutants Special Edition #1, with a few tweaks to make him a little more polished and symmetrical.  The sculpt on this figure is really impressive; there’s just a ton of detail work, just everywhere.  Clearly, whoever sculpted this figure had a ton of fun with it and it results in a very strong figure.  What I really like about it is how complicated it is, while still maintaining a degree of cleanness to everything.  The head is my favorite bit; like with the Cyclops figure, when I look at this sculpt, I just see Warlock pretty much exactly how I think of him in my head.  There are some minor issues with the sculp. The most notable are the tubes that run from the arms to the back; they’re just a bit on the short side, which means they pop out of place with just about any sort of posing.  Given the alienness of the design, it’s not actually that big a deal, and a few collectors have had pretty good results just gluing both sides to the arms, thus preserving the both the silhouette and articulation.  Warlock figures tend to go with a black/yellow color scheme, but this one actually does things a bit different.  He’s molded in black, with a gold wash.  It’s actually surprisingly effective in replicating how Warlock tends to be depicted in the comics.  There’s some variance from piece to piece, since there’s no real way to get them all in sequence or something, but it’s done with enough overall consistency that he doesn’t look too patchwork.  Most BAFs don’t get any extras, but Warlock actually gets one: a buzz saw attachment to swap out for his right hand.  It’s pretty cool, and a nice way of showing off his shapeshifting abilities.  There’s a part of me that was really hoping for a swappable Cypher to replicate the old Warlock figure’s removable mask feature, but maybe we’ll get a Cypher proper down the line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Growing up, I had both parts of “The Phalanx Covenant” recorded on VHS.  They’re actually two of my favorite episodes The Animated Series, and they cemented in me a love of Warlock (the old Toy Biz figure was one of my favorites back in the day).  I was super stoked when this guy was confirmed for this series’ Build-A-Figure, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting his release.  This is easily the best Build-A-Figure since the Toy Biz days, and hands down the best Warlock figure in existence.  Putting this figure together was a ton of fun, and I’m just really hyped to have him!

#0204: New Mutants Magik & Warlock

NEW MUTANTS MAGIK & WARLOCK

MARVEL MINIMATES

Warlock&MagikWarlock&MagikAlt

Marvel! Minimates! Marvel! Minimates! Marvel Minimates! Yep, another Marvel Minimates review today. This time around, I’ll be taking a look at two of the New Mutants (well, technically three), an offshoot of the X-Men. The characters are Magik (or, “New Mutants Magik,” because branding) and a combo figure of Warlock and Cypher. If you’d like to know a little bit more about them, check out Magik’s backstory here, and Warlock and Cypher’s here.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was released as part of the 9th Toys R Us exclusive series of Marvel Minimates, and was released to coincide with Diamond’s New Mutants boxed set.

NEW MUTANTS MAGIK

Magik was one of the more prominent members of the team, and ended up being one of the few to move to the X-Men proper. She’s depicted here in her New Mutants uniform, so she fits in with the others. Magik is built on the standard Minimate body, which means she sports 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall. She has a sculpted hairpiece and a shoulder pad. Both pieces are new to this figure and look spot on to her comicbook counterpart. The shoulder pad is a bit loose, but it looks good when it sits properly. She also features gloved right hand, which is a re-use. The paint work is a bit mixed. The detail lines are nice and clean, and I quite like her sly expression, but the base paint is a bit sloppy. Magik has two accessories: a fiery sword and a stand that replicates her teleportation abilities. They are both new pieces, and they are great additions to the figure.

WARLOCK

Now, the figure that is actually two figures in one. This figure not only represents shape-shifter Warlock, but also the team’s resident brainiac Cypher. It’s a nice idea, given the closeness of the characters and the fact that Cypher might not be the most exciting figure on his own.  Warlock/Cypher is built on the basic body, just like Magik. He features five newly sculpted add-ons: head/mask, gun arm, claw arm, torso, and left foot. Warlock had an always changing look in the comics, but these seem to do the job well enough. He also features a torso extender, which is reused from a modern Battlestar Galactica Cylon. The paint is similar to Magik, in that the detail lines are nice and clean, but some of the more base paint is a bit fuzzy around the edges. Still, the detail work is impressive, especially at this scale. Warlock includes a hairpiece, hands and feet to allow you to display the figure as Cypher, which is a really cool option.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set is actually one of the few TRU exclusives I didn’t have any trouble tracking down. Just found it in my local store one day. If I recall correctly, I was even asked what Minimates were by the woman standing behind me in line, which was cool. I really like this set, especially because it features my three favorite members of the New Mutants, especially Warlock. In a sad twist of fate, Warlock is actually one of the few Minimates I’ve ever lost, misplaced somewhere between my dorm room and home. I ended up having to get a replacement (for quite a mark-up) from Amazon. But, it was definitely worth it. I really like this set, even more than the boxed set it was meant to augment.