#2003: Professor X

PROFESSOR X

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.

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#1997: Xavier & Shaw

XAVIER & SHAW

MARVEL MINIMATES

After the critical failures of X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the X-Men franchise was looking for a fresh start.  They found it in X-Men: First Class, which returned the X-Men to their original decade of the ’60s.  It was something of an unexpected hit, truth be told, so it’s merchandising was almost non-existent.  Fortunately, Minimates were there to save the day, with an assortment of TRU-exclusive two-packs.  Today, I’ll be looking at one of the film’s two leading men, Charles Xavier, alongside the film’s main antagonist, Sebastian Shaw.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Xavier and Shaw were part of the TRU-exclusive X-Men: First Class assortment of Marvel Minimates, released to coincide with the movie’s release in 2011.

XAVIER

James McAvoy had some serious shoes to fill when he took over the part of Xavier from Patrick Stewart, but he did it quite masterfully, creating a different, but still very much the same person, take on the character.  This figure opts for his flightsuit look, which is a solid choice since it a) is by far his most exciting look from the movie, and b) matches the rest of the team released in this assortment.  Xavier uses the basic body, with add-ons for his hair and his belt.  The hair is borrowed from DC Series 7’s Nightwing.  It’s not quite an exact match for the look Xavier’s sporting in the movie, but it’s close enough, and it’s a good enough piece that I’m really not going to complain about seeing it re-used.  The belt’s just a basic piece, with no detailing, used dozens of other times.  Nothing to write home about, but it gets the job down.  Xavier’s paintwork is definitely top-notch.  The likeness on the face is a very good match for McAvoy, and the detailing on the jumpsuit is just tremendous.  All of the small details and stitching are included, just s they should be.  The back of the figure is slightly less detailed than the rest, but he’s at least not totally void of detail like some less fortunate ‘mates have been.  They’ve even painted his neck yellow, differentiating his uniform from Magneto’s, just as it was in the movie.  Xavier included no accessories. A Cerebro helmet would have been nice, but this assortment’s completely re-used nature ruled that out.

SHAW

Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw was a slightly different take on the character, combining elements of Shaw’s comics counterpart with later X-foe Mr. Sinister.  The end result is a more calculating, far less hand-to-hand combat sort of a character, who was quite entertaining to watch.  Shaw uses add-ons for his hair and jacket/shirt piece.  The hair is re-used from Back to the Future Part II‘s Biff Tannen.  It’s not a perfect match for Shaw, and definitely not as close as the piece chosen for Xavier.  That said, it’s the best piece they had on hand at the time, and it’s serviceable.  The jacket is from 24‘s Tony Almeida, and is a well sculpted piece that fits the style Shaw was sporting throughout the movie.  Shaw’s paint work is not quite as complex as Xavier’s.  For the most part, it’s just the face that matters, and I gotta say, this guy doesn’t look all that much like Kevin Bacon.  I think he’s one of those people whose likeness is very dependent on his nose.  Without it, he’s very hard to convey.  Shaw also includes no accessories.  The helmet’s about the only thing I could think of to give him, and that got (rather sensibly) packed in with Magneto.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though lacking in accessories, Xavier is an otherwise very fun figure, and once again goes to show just how far you can get without needing any new parts.  Shaw’s an important part of the movie.  That said, he’s never quite as “battle-ready” as some of the others, which translates to another “guy in a suit” Minimate, and not a particularly notable one at that.

#1657: Professor X

PROFESSOR X

MARVEL MINIMATES

Charles Xavier started with a dream, to locate young mutants and enroll them in a school using his ancestral mansion home as a base to train them to use their powers for humanity’s benefit. Prior to his forming the X-Men, Charles encountered the alien scout Lucifer in the Himalayas. To prevent interference in his race’s planned invasion of Earth, Lucifer dropped a massive stone block on Charles, crippling his legs leaving him confined to a wheelchair.”

Though not necessarily the most toyetic character out there, Professor Charles Xavier has had quite a high number of figures.  And more of them than you might expect are totally true to his comic origins.  Seriously, there’s only three figures out there that come up with some wacky excuse to let him not be in a wheel chair.  Today’s figure isn’t even one of those!  (If you’re curious, I’ve actually reviewed all three, here, here, and here).

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Professor X was part of Series 37 of Marvel Minimates.  He was originally packed with X-Force Warpath, who was an odd ball choice.  Of course, they did actually have a common theme between them; they both helped complete (or mostly complete) a particular team line-up.  In Xavier’s case, it was the ‘90s X-Men, which had been a running team for a little while at this point.   It was the third Xavier in the line, but the first to use his fancy ‘90s hover chair look.  He uses the standard ‘mate body, so he’s *theoretically* got the same height of 2 1/4 inches and 14 points of articulation as others built on the body, but that kind of is affected by the use of the chair.  The big focus here is the chair.  It was an all-new piece, and to date, this is the only time its been used.  It’s a pretty awesome piece, at least on it’s own.  It’s got a ton of detailing, especially on the inner lining, and both the arm rests also flip open to show off various gadgets.  On its own, it’s great.  The issue it faces is when you actually put Xavier into it.  It’s still not awful, but keeping the whole thing properly assembled without his legs popping the hatch open is quite a chore.  But, if you get it just right, it’s pretty nifty.  The actual figure re-uses the suit jacket/vest/tie combo that first cropped up on Justin Hammer.  It’s a little on the bulky side, but it gets the job done, I suppose.  Fortunately, if you’re not a fan of the jacket, you can remove it, and underneath is Xavier’s field jacketed look he frequently sported in the ‘90s.  It’s a fun extra, and adds a nice extra layer to the figure, and gives us a prominent look that hasn’t been done anywhere else.  Xavier includes a Cerebro helmet, which is pretty cool (even if it means he has a peg hole in his head), as well as a blanket to go over the top of his legs, and a stand to connect to his chair.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed the two pack this guy was included in back when it was new.  At the time, my brother Christian was putting together an X-Force set, so Warpath went to him, and I kept Xavier.  He’s pretty decent, though I have to say, I’ve never found him quite as exciting as I’d hoped.

#0392: Professor X

PROFESSOR X

MARVEL 10-INCH (TOYBIZ)

Frickin’ Professor X! Dude just keeps showing up on the list of figures to review! I swear I’m not doing this on purpose. Anyway, when Toybiz had the Marvel license in the 90s (when Marvel was at the height of their 90s comic boom), they were milking the license for all they could. They had huge success with their 5-inch figures, and they decided to use the same molds, sized up, to create a line of 10-inch figures. Through use of a number of set parts, they were able to create a lot of characters at a low price. However, this meant some characters had to be tweaked to find their way into the line. Professor X was one such character.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Professor X was part of the KB exclusive line of 10-inch figures. The line never really had any wave or series structure; figures were just sort of stocked wherever they showed up. Professor X is about 10 inches tall, and he features 9 points of articulation, which was pretty much standard for the line. Obviously, due to the constraints of the line, he’s not a typical Professor X. He’s decidedly more toy-etic. The design’s not totally made up, though; it’s similar to the look he had during the 90s “Fatal Atrractions” story, minus the goofy headgear. The figure makes use of an up-scaled version of the body of Tony Stark from the Iron Man line, with a larger version of the same Professor X head used on the regular and astral projection variants of the character. The body is a pretty decent sculpt, even if it is in the goofy “techno underwear.” The head is rotocast (meaning it’s hollow), which ends up doing the sculpt some serious favors. It just looks a lot cleaner and sharper. Professor X’s paint work is pretty good, especially for the time. The body had a few spots where there is some bleed over, but it’s mostly good. The eyes and eyebrows are surprisingly clean, and they look very nice. Professor X included a recolored version of the helmet included with Weapon X Wolverine, presumably as a stand in for Cerebro.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t actually have a whole lot of memories about this one. I think my Dad got it for me, but other than that, it’s kind of a blank. It’s a nice enough figure, and it’s certainly a unique way of handling the limited tooling options available. The 10-Inch line really did a lot to boost Toybiz’s creativity!

#0387: Professor X

PROFESSOR X

X-MEN

I feel like I’ve been writing a lot of X-Men reviews recently. In particular, I feel like I’ve been reviewing a lot of figures of their founder, Professor Charles Xavier. I think I own most of the figures of this character, which is a decent number, but he seems to have shown up more than characters like Cyclops and Wolverine, who I have literally dozens of. Perhaps my Xavier figures are influencing me a bit… ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD… wait, sorry, that’s not right. Anyway, today I’ll be looking at Xavier’s very first action figure, which didn’t see release until almost 30 years into his career. Guess there wasn’t a huge market for a bald guy in a wheelchair.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Professor X was released as part of the fourth series of Toybiz’s X-Men line. The figure is about 4 inches in height (due to his seated nature) and he features 8 points of articulation (thanks to the hinged arm-rests on the chair). Xavier is depicted here in his then-current look from the early 90s, which depicts him in his hover chair instead of the traditional wheelchair. It’s admittedly a more toy-etic look, and it was the look he had at the time, so it’s not a bad choice. The figure’s sculpt was previously used for the X-Men Hall of Fame 10-pack, but that was more of a display item, and Xavier was permanently affixed to the stand, making this release a necessity. It’s a pretty good sculpt overall. It’s in keeping with the work of the time, which is good. The right hand is sculpted to hold something, but I’m not sure what it would be, so that’s annoying. Also, the front of his chair has an odd latchkey piece, which I assume was used to affix the original Xavier to the stand. It would have been nice for it to have been removed for this release. Oh well. Xavier’s paint is pretty good for the time. Everything is pretty clean, but some of the details, like the eyes aren’t quite as sharp as they could be. Xavier included no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Xavier was a later addition to my X-Men collection. I got into the line after the figure’s release, and he never saw a re-release like others. I remember my Dad getting one for himself in the early days of ebay, as a part of a lot. I got the other figures and he got Xavier, which honestly didn’t bug me. Professor X wasn’t really in on the action, so I didn’t feel like I needed one. Several years later, I got Xavier along with a bunch of other figures from a friend who was getting rid of his old toys. I was glad to finally have the figure, and he’s been a pretty cool part of my collection since. The figure actually snapped in half at the waist thanks to a fall from the shelf during the minor earthquake we got here on the east coast a few years ago!

#0364: Charles Xavier & Bone Claws Wolverine

CHARLES XAVIER & BONE CLAWS WOLVERINE

MARVEL MINIMATES

That’s right, I’m squeezing in one more Minimates review before the big One Year stuff tomorrow. Have to boost those Minimate numbers! Once again we dive into the world of Marvel’s Merry Mutants with another set based on this year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, a film that really brought the X-Men back to where they should be, in my opinion. Today, it’s another set of characters from the film’s 70s timeline: Charles Xavier & Wolverine!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Charlse Xavier and Bone Claws Wolverine are a two-pack from the 58th series of Marvel Minimates. The series is based on the film version of Days of Future Past, so these two hail from the movie.

CHARLES XAVIER

In Days of Future Past’s 1970s timeline, Charles Xavier has yet to become the man we all know as Professor X. He was on his way at the end of First Class, but it seems he got lost along the way. Charles’s return to his cause is a key part of the movie, and Charles essentially serves as the movies main protagonist, so his inclusion here is essential. This figure is based on the young Charles, who is probably the more important of the two, story-wise. Charles is about 2 ½ inches tall (standing) and he features 14 points of articulation. The figure is based on Charles’s look from around the mid-point of the film, right as he starts to return to being the man we’re all used to seeing. What’s key is that it’s a look he has both while walking around and in the chair, which makes the figure a bit more versatile. The figure was built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for his hair and jacket. The hair is re-used from the Thor movie Civilian Thor, but the jacket appears to be a new piece. Both pieces look good. The hair isn’t spot-on for Xavier in the movie, but it’s not far off. The paint on Xavier is pretty good overall. Some of the colors seem a bit off, most notably the hair, which seems too red, and the coat which just seems too light. The likeness on the face also seems to be a bit off, which is a shame, because the First Class Xavier nailed it. On the plus side, everything is clean, and the details on the funky 70s shirt are really awesome. Xavier includes his wheelchair and a clear display stand. The wheelchair is the key accessory; it most clearly shows Xavier’s return to his proper path when he goes back to the chair. So, it’s pretty important to get it right. It’s an all new sculpt and it’s a spectacular recreation of the chair from the movie, so kudos to DST.

BONE CLAWS WOLVERINE

In the film version of Days of Future Past, Wolverine takes Kitty Pryde’s place as the X-Man sent back in time to prevent the bad future. This places him in the lead role for the first half an hour or so of the film, but once Wolverine tracks down Xavier, he takes a back seat to the rest of the cast, and he’s even mostly absent from the climactic battle. Still, he’s an important character, and he’s freaking Wolverine, so it’s no surprise to see him here. Wolverine is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s based on Wolverine’s look from the 70s timeline. As the figure’s title denotes, one of the changes with past Wolverine is the presence of his “bone claws.” Wolverine makes use of the basic Minimate body, with sculpted parts for his hair, jacket and hands. The hair and hands are re-use from the Series 52 Wolverine, which is sensible, seeing as that was the last movie Wolverine. The jacket is new to this figure, and it looks like a pretty great match to his jacket from the movie. The paint work on Wolverine is great apart from one small issue. He had a bit of stuck paint on his left knee joint, which ended up leaving a patch of unpainted plastic on the knee. It’s only noticeable if you have the knee in deeper poses, so it isn’t too bad. Apart from that, the Jackman likeness is the best one we’ve seen so far, and the work on the shirt and belt is incredible. Wolverine includes a spare torso, arms, and hands, as well as a clear display stand. The spare pieces depict Wolverine shirtless (because why not) and they feature some great detail work, right down to the bullet wounds Logan receives right after arriving in the 70s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was able to get Magneto and Mystique from my local comicbook store, they had sold out of this set. Fortunately, I was able to get a set from the always awesome Luke’s Toy Store. Admittedly, this is a set I wasn’t really thrilled by at first. Charles seemed kind of boring, and I didn’t feel I needed yet another Wolverine. After seeing the movie, my opinion changed, and seeing packaged shots of the set completely pushed me over the edge. While it’s not as good a set as Magneto and Mystique, it’s still a pretty solid set of Minimates. Xavier’s worth it for the chair alone, and Wolverine is the best movie version of the character yet!

#0259: Professor X – Space Rider

PROFESSOR X

X-MEN SPACE RIDERS

SpaceX1

X-Men. In Space! Yeah, I know, it’s a really highbrow concept. It was the late 90s, what do you want? Besides, the X-Men have actually spent a fair bit of time in space, so outfitting them with Space gear isn’t the worst possible idea, now is it? Plus, it totally gives the toymakers another excuse to re-release all the main X-Men that people just love buying. How could it go wrong? It couldn’t, it just couldn’t. Fool proof plan here. So, let’s just take a look at the Professor X from this line up, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SpaceX2Professor X was released as part of the first, and only, series of X-Men Space Riders. The line was an off-shoot of the main X-Men line, much the same way the Savage Land line was. The figures were released as boxed items, along with some sizeable accessories. Space Riser Professor X stands about 5 inches tall and features 7 points of articulation. As far as I can tell, the Professor got a whole new sculpt for this line. They didn’t even reuse the same head like they did on the last one! The sculpt is a bit strange in a few areas, most notably the strange way his legs connect to his torso. One thing I do really like is the hydraulics on his legs, as they make for a good explanation to how exactly Charles is up and walking around. The right hand is sculpted around a bit of metal to aid in the figure’s interface with his vehicle, so it ends up looking a little bit on the odd side. The paint work is basic, but for the most part it’s cleanly applied, with very few issues of slop or bleed over. Professor X features a removable helmet, which fits nicely and looks super cool, and a “Space Sled,” which includes two missiles and at one point had a light up feature. The sled is an interesting piece, and interlocks with the sleds included with the rest of the series to form one big space ship. Thrilling!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Professor X was purchased from my local comic book store just a few weeks ago. The owner had just gotten in a selection of older action figures, and had them all sitting on a table for $5.99 a piece. I had never gotten any of the Space Riders back in the day, apart from a Cyclops I got loose, but I was always fascinated by the figures. So, for $6, I figured it was worth the purchase. Professor X is a little dated compared to more recent figures, but I can’t help but look at this figure and think “Man, that looks cool!”

#0244: Professor X – Astral Projection

PROFESSOR X – ASTRAL PROJECTION

X-MEN

ProfXAstral

Professor X is typically a guy in a wheel chair, typically wearing a fairly average suit and tie. As such, he might not seem like the most toyetic character. However, he’s actually gotten quite a fair share of action figures over the years, of many different varieties. Today, I’ll be looking at one of the more out there versions.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Professor X was a part of the “Mutant Armor” Series of the Toybiz X-Men line. He stands about 5 inches tall and features 8 points of articulation. The figure is based on the look Xavier would sometimes sport when having one of his “battles of the mind.” None of the pieces are original to this figure. The head comes from the previous Professor X figure. The body is an interesting story. Originally, it was meant to be released as US Agent in the third series of Toybiz’s Iron Man line, before the figure was cut from the lineup (Ironically, the figure did eventually see an unsanctioned release overseas). Then, the mold was retooled slightly to be used as Living Laser in the fifth series of Iron Man. This series ended up cancelled entirely, and the mold was once again in limbo. Finally, Toybiz got it out with this figure. Oh boy. Honestly, it’s not even the greatest sculpt. On both of the previous figures to use the body, the head was the main draw. The body’s a bit pudgy, and the torso just looks weird. On the plus side, the figure is molded in some pretty sweet translucent red plastic, which always makes a figure better. He has minimal paintwork, but what’s there is pretty solid overall. The eyebrows seem a bit bold, but maybe Professor X just pictures himself with big bushy eyebrows. The figure included a two piece snap on chest plate, a two piece belt, shin armor, a lightning bolt, and a launching disc shield.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Professor X was yet another purchase from the Balticon dealer’s room. Hey, they had $3 X-Men figures, and I’m weak, what can I say? In the 90s, when these figures were still new, finding old releases was virtually impossible, so getting the more basic Professor X was a no go. So, my dad had this figure as his default Professor X for his X-Men shelf. I never had one of my own, but I was always fascinated with the figure. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I was thrilled to get this guy. I know I was a little rough on the body sculpt, but this figure really is just a lot of fun.