PSYLOCKE, NIMROD, & FANTOMEX
MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
I wasn’t lying last week about spacing out my Legends reviews. It’s what I have to do to get by these days, during this crazy drought… Look, they got me hooked on getting new stuff like every other day, and then all of the sudden it was just gone, and I’m not entirely sure what to do with myself anymore. Thankfully, I still have a few things from last year I never got around to, so it’s like this extra little pocket of surprise snacks for later. Or something like that. At the beginning of the year, I looked at an Amazon-exclusive boxed set from 2021. Now, I guess I’ll jump way back in time, to the far back year of 2020, when their exclusive was an X-Force-themed set. You know, for reasons.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Psylocke, Nimrod, and Fantomex were released as an Amazon-exclusive Marvel Legends boxed set at the tail end of 2020. The set was then offered up as a wider Fan Channel release in the back half of 2021. It wasn’t quite as fast a turn around as the Wolverine boxed set, but it was still a fairly quick one.
Because we couldn’t very well have a Legends boxed set without some dead weight, here’s Psylocke. Okay, that’s not fair. Psylocke’s not really the dead weight here, I suppose. I mean, she’s actually got a unique design, and it’s not like the prior release was exactly easy to come by. This marks Psylocke’s third time as a Hasbro Legends release, and fourth release in Legends form overall. It’s also the first to deviate from the “bathing suit” costume design, and I’m okay with that. This new one is based on her later Uncanny X-Force designs, which keeps a few elements from the more classic look, while also making her look a little more tactical and more battle-ready. Honestly, I think this is honestly a slightly better look overall. The figure stands just shy of 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation. Her sculpt is almost entirely a re-use of the last Psylocke figure. While I was a touch critical on that one, since she was meant to be a more directly Lee-inspired figure, on this particular design, I actually think the mold works out pretty well. The only thing to be changed up for this release is her sash piece, which is now tighter fitting and sports an “X” insignia sculpted on the front. It’s a subtle, but notable improvement over the prior piece, and I like it a lot more. Beyond the new sash, all of the differences for this figure are paint-based. It’s a pretty solidly handled application. The costume’s details are nice and clean, and they’ve actually improved on the hair paint from the prior release a whole lot. Psylocke includes the same accessories as the last release: a psychic effect, a katana, and a psychic knife, all molded in translucent pink, but now with a little extra purple detailing. In addition, she also gets a spare left hand, in a grippilng pose, so she can now hold her sword with both hands.
There’s an unquestionable selling point of this set, and it’s Nimrod. Introduced in 1985, Nimrod is a future Sentinel from the averted “Days of Future Past” timeline, who finds his way to the present day 616 universe. He’s been a recurring foe in the X-books since then, with a recent resurgence in relevance during the “of X” stuff that’s been going on in the X-books the last few years. This marks Nimrod’s third ever figure, and his first time as a Legend. The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation. If there’s one drawback to Nimrod, it’s his movement. It’s not really the figure’s fault, since the design itself is pretty limiting. Notably, the neck joint is only there for swapping the heads, and doesn’t really work for actual posing. Additionally, the range on the shoulders and elbows is rather restricted. Beyond that, though, he’s decently posable, given the design. Nimrod is an all-new sculpt, and is an amalgam of a few of his designs, taking elements from his earliest appearances, as well as his more recent look. It’s not a clean match for anything in particular, but it captures the overall essence of the character well. It’s a very clean and sleek design, and I definitely dig it. There are two different head sculpts included, which are actually different, albeit in rather minor ways. The pink-faced version is more classically inspired, while the silver-faced one follows his “of X” look a little more closely. They’re internally consistent, and both have a very similar vibe, while still being different enough to justify including the separate pieces. Nimrod’s paint work is generally more on the basic side, but it’s clean, fairly solid on the application front, and matches well with his usual color scheme. Nimrod is packed with two sets of hands, one open, one closed, as well as two blast effects, and a removable set of wings to match up with the newer style head.
Remember before, when I was talking about dead weight? Well, here we are, back at that point. Behold, Fantomex. Introduced during Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, Fantomex is an X-themed pastiche of Italian comic character Diabolik, a masked master thief. The name Fantomex is itself patterned on the French character “Fantomas,” whom Diabolik himself was also patterned on. Fantomex has been one of those oddball characters floating around the Marvel universe and popping in and out as X-Men stories deem they need him. He was part of X-Force for a while, and it was that era which netted him two prior action figures, one of them being his first Legends treatment, back during the Return of Marvel Legends line. It’s been a decade since that figure’s release, so an update’s not an unreasonable prospect. The trouble this figure runs into is how much “updating” was actually done. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, with US Agent’s flared gloves, Nick Fury’s trenchcoat (amusingly, the exact same coat piece used on the first Fantomex), Cyclops’ boot cuffs, and an all-new head and belt. The real trouble that this figure’s assembly runs into isn’t so much that it’s a bad stock of parts, but more that most of the parts are kind of on their way out, and, in fact, most of them are just as old as the prior figure. The Bucky Cap body was introduced in that very same series, even, the flared gloves are from one series later, and the coat is even older. The new parts are perfectly fine additions, though not drastically different themselves. So, generally, yes he’s made from new parts, but he doesn’t feel particularly different. Adding to that is the deco choice, which is identical to the last one, despite there being two different Fantomex decos available, both of which are arguably more demanded than this one. This one’s not a terrible look, mind you, and the application is solidly handled. It just feels like a little bit of a missed opportunity. Fantomex is packed with two guns, which are similar to, but different from the prior figure’s guns, as well as the blast and smoke effects from War Machine.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was interested in Nimrod when he was first shown off, but bundling him with two extra figures, and then making the whole thing an exclusive kind of backburnered the whole thing for me. When it made its way to a wider release, it became easier for me to snag through work, and therefore more appealing, though still on the backburner a bit, as you can tell from the lateness of this review. Nimrod’s a very fun figure, and I like that he can pull double duty as modern and classic. It helps add to the set’s pull. I didn’t think much of Psylocke at first, but after getting her in hand, I like her a lot more than I thought I would, and honestly like her more than the standard Lee version. Fantomex is a character I only have a passing interest in, and this particular figure does very little for me. He’s just sort of there. But, hey, two out of three ain’t bad.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this set to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.