MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Professor Charles Xavier, better known as Professor X, is a highly gifted telepath and scientific genius who develops the Cerebro device to aid in the ability to control and manipulate psionic abilities.”
Professor X is a character that doesn’t seem outwardly like he’d make for a lot of really good action figures, but he sure does have quite a few. I guess naming the team after yourself is a good way to make yourself essential to a line-up. It helps that toy companies have actually gotten pretty decent at squeezing some cool concepts out of his figures. Despite their usual knack for adding interesting touches to their figures, the original Toy Biz Marvel Legends Xavier, is one of his less thrilling toy entries, not doing much to move past his “bald guy in a suit sitting in a wheelchair.” He was also released 14 years ago, so it seems like a good time for an update, especially with all these X-Men Legends we’ve been getting lately! Fortunately, Hasbro was more than happy to deliver that update.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Professor X is the second figure in the third series of the Legendary Riders sub-line of Marvel Legends. The “rider” tag seems like a *little* bit more of a stretch for Xavier, but becomes more sensible when you take into account that Hasbro’s gone with the ’90s hoverchair version of the character. The actual basic figure on his own stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. He’s built on the basic suited body, which is a sensible choice for Xavier, what with him tending to be a guy in a suit and all. I’ll admit, I’m still hoping to see his tactical jumpsuit from the ’90s, but there’s no denying this is the more distinctive look, and it’s a lot of re-use, which I’m sure Hasbro was fond of. Xavier has a new head and hands, both of which are well tailored to the body. The head’s perhaps a little more on the cartoony side than I was expecting, especially given the general Jim Lee-inspired nature of this figure and the others he’s meant to go with. With that said, after getting him in hand, I don’t mind the appearance so much, though I can understand why it’s not for everyone. I do really like the new hands, though, and they’re just pure classic Xavier poses. Xavier’s suit is green, a new color for this mold, with a stylish blue and black striped tie, just like he used to sport on the animated series. But enough about the main figure. Though he may be the title item, he’s not the main selling point here. No, that would be his hoverchair. Introduced in the ’90s as a more hi-tech replacement for the wheelchair in which he’d spent three decades, the hoverchair was really only at the forefront of the comics during the ’90s. Of course, the X-Men were at the height of their popularity, and they got a cartoon, meaning the chair is the go-to look for Xavier for a whole bunch of fans. It’s also got a little bit of that “one that got away” thing going for it; Toy Biz’s Xavier was originally supposed to have its own version, but it was cut from the release when they decided to offer Galactus as a Build-A-Figure. In the 14 years since, we’ve been patiently waiting to finally see it show up in this scale. Hasbro previously offered up this design at a smaller scale as part of their Marvel Universe line, but since he was offered as a standard figure, the chair was rather downsized and compressed. This time, a focus has been placed on making the chair as accurately proportioned as possible. It’s split down the middle in the package, but assembles easily enough, and stays together once assembled. The sculpt is cleanly defined, with a nice, mechanized fixture appearance on the outside, and a nice stitched-leather looking interior. Additionally, the armrests slide open, in a similar fashion to the old TB 5-inch figure, giving us a view of a pair of hidden consoles. In order to simulate his hovering, the chair has a little exhaust effect piece that plugs into the bottom, keeping it stably held aloft. Xavier slides into the chair without much fuss, and can be easily removed, so you’ve got your options. The figure and the chair is a pretty impressive package already, but this set also includes a few more extras. There’s always a threat of Xavier’s legs getting cold in a big metal chair like this, so to fight off that cold, he’s got himself a blanket. It’s something that always accompanied the chair in the comics, and in this case it slips over Xavier’s legs to help hold him in place when in the chair. Also included is Xavier’s Cerebro helmet, along with a clip-on effect piece for added dynamics. Lastly, following the “accent another figure” trend that Hasbro’s gotten so into recently, there’s also a head included for Xavier’s long-time foe, Amahl Farouk, better known as the Shadow King. It’s designed to fit the body of the recent Kingpin BaF, and it’s a pretty pitch-perfect fit. It captures his design well, and I really dig those removable glasses. I do sort of wish I had an extra Kingpin figure now, though.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve been waiting for this figure for 14 years. I still have the TB figure, but only because I bought him to finish my Galactus. He’s never stayed up on the shelf, and he certainly hasn’t had a spot with all the Hasbro figures. I’ve always been partial to the hoverchair look, and I was definitely looking to see it done proper justice. I’m happy to say this release undeniably does it that justice. He’ll be a nice centerpiece for the ever growing ’90s X-Men figures to be sure. Throw in a pretty sweet Shadow King head, and you’ve got another winning set.
Like yesterday’s Deadpool, this set was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys. He’s currently out of stock, but they’ll be getting him back in soon. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.