#1768: Psylocke

PSYLOCKE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Betsy Braddock adopts the identity Psylocke, combining mastery of the martial arts with enhanced abilities in telekinesis and telepathy.”

I have reviewed a surprising amount of Psylocke figures for this site.  I mean, more than one would suffice really, but this one will mark the fifth.  How about that?  Interestingly, one of the few Psylocke figures in my collection I *haven’t* yet reviewed is her first Marvel Legends figure.  It’s interesting; she was part of one of my favorite assortments from that line, and is genuinely one of the better female figures Toy Biz released.  Despite all that, she’s never been a favorite of mine, or anyone’s for that matter.  Since the license transferred over to Hasbro, there’s only been one Psylocke figure under the Legends banner, and that was in an SDCC-exclusive pack from 2012.  Fortunately, Hasbro’s offering another take on the character, which I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Psylocke is the seventh and final figure in the Apocalypse Series of Marvel Legends.  Like her very first Legends release, this one is based on Psylocke’s Jim Lee-designed, post body swap appearance.  While I myself am partial to Betsy’s armored look from the ’80s, there’s no denying that this particular look is the definitive Psylocke, so Hasbro’s choice was certainly a sensible one.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Psylocke marks the debut of a new female base body.  A slight surprise, given a lot of people were just expecting her to be on the Moonstone body, which seems like a decent match for Lee’s take on Betsy.  This new body is comparatively a little slimmer, but as a trade off seems to have a better overall range of motion on the joints, and is perhaps a more realistic portrayal of Psylocke than Lee’s.  In particular, I quite like the elbow, which, though only single joints, can get a surprisingly deep bend to them.  Psylocke’s character-specific parts are her head and sash, both of which are decent, but not without flaw.  The head is certainly a respectable offering, but it’s a touch on the generic side.  Also, her hair is parted the opposite direction of the how Psylocke’s usually goes, which is a little odd.  Was this head perhaps initially meant for someone else?  Likewise, the sash is an alright piece, but isn’t really sculpted to flow with the contours of the body the was prior pieces have.  As such, it’s just a very floaty piece, and never really stays in place.  Psylocke’s paint was another area of contention amongst the fan base, though my personal figure wasn’t affected.  Early shipments of this figure had black hair in place of her proper purple locks, which is a pretty major issue.  Fortunately, it seems Hasbro was right on top of it, and Betsy’s correct hair color has been applied for more recent figures.  Beyond the hair snafu, the rest of the paint is actually pretty decent.  The metallic blue used for her costume is definitely a lot of fun, and the overall application is very clean.  Psylocke is packed with a psychic effect that clips onto her face, one of her psychic knives for her left hand, and a psychic Katana with removable psychic energy effects.  It’s all a bit psychic, really.  She also includes the left leg of the Build-A-Figure Apocalypse, which is the final piece to that particular figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never been super, super into Psylocke, but she was prominent in the ’90s, and I was certainly happy to have another go at the character.  In a series full of some serious hits, Psylocke is, admittedly, one of the weaker figures, at least for me.  She’s certainly not a bad figure, and a definite improvement on her Toy Biz variant.  In another assortment, she might have stood out better.  Still, I’m happy to add her to my collection, and I like her more in person than I’d have expected to.

Psylocke was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in purchasing other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

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#1627: Psylocke

PSYLOCKE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“A master of martial arts, Psylocke is also one of the most powerful telepaths on Earth! Focusing her mental power, Psylocke can create what she calls her “psychic knife”. Using this weapon, Psylocke is able to incapacitate her opponents without any physical injury! As beautiful as she is powerful, Psylocke is a key member of the X-Men team!”

Today’s review subject is brought to you in part by Tim, who ran through about five potential review subjects, before we both agreed to a Psylocke figure.  Sometimes that’s just how things work here at the FiQ offices (okay, it’s not so much an office as it is the Jeep Cherokee that we both happened to be riding in at the time).  So, without further ado, here’s Psylocke.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Psylocke was part of the “Light-Up Weapons” Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men toyline.  This was Psylocke’s first action figure, and is based on her Jim Lee-inspired post-mind swap look.  While it’s not my personal favorite, it’s the look that she was sporting for a decade or so and it’s how most people know her.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall and she has 9 points of artiuculation.  As with all of the figures in this particular assortment, she looses movement in her arms in order to facilitate the light-up feature, so her posablity is a bit down.  She’s also got the dreaded v-hips, so sitting isn’t much of an option.  Essentially, she’s only good for a basic standing pose.  ….Which is odd when you take into account the sculpt’s decision to give her very dynamically flowing hair.  That just ends up looking weird, like she’s standing sideways in a wind tunnel or something.  I mean, the rest of the sculpt is decent enough, though, and for all of her restricted posing, the figure has a natural sort of posture to her, so she doesn’t look too unreal.  The paintwork on her is alright, but has some notable flaws.  The straps on her arms and legs are really showing some slop, which is a bit frustrating.  Also, the coloring of her hair is a bit off, since it shouldn’t really be so much a straight purple color as a black with purple dye.  Psylocke was packed with her psychic knife (which is the basis of her light-up feature), as well as a more standard katana.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Psylocke is a recent addition to my collection.  I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot recently.  I swear, I had a lot of these figures growing up, I just happen to be reviewing the more recent ones.  Anyway, I picked her up back in December from Time Warp Toys, during Ellicott City’s Midnight Madness event.  She’s an alright figure, but, admittedly, not one of the stronger Toy Biz X-Men or even one of the stronger figures just in this series alone.

#0648: Strike Force Storm & Avalanche

STORM – STRIKE FORCE & AVALANCHE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Storm&Avalanche1

Man, I’ve sure gotten a lot of new stuff lately. So much that certain things have gotten pushed to the side, sometimes for a lot longer than I intended. Case in point, Marvel Minimates Series 60. I’ve had them for two whole months, and I’ve still only reviewed half of the series. Sorry everybody! In an effort to fix that, I’ll be taking a look at Storm and Avalanche today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of Series 60 of Marvel Minimates, which was designed as an X-Men vs the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants set-up. As an added bonus, three of the four X-Men included an extra head to let them double as a second character.

STORM – STRIKE FORCE (PLUS PSYLOCKE)

Storm&Avalanche2Storm’s definitely one of the better known X-Men, so it’s no surprise to see her show up for another turn in the Minimate form. Like the rest of the X-Men in this particular series, Storm is presented here in her Strike Force uniform from the 90s. Like Wolverine before her, she didn’t wear it for very long, but she did wear it long enough to make it a valid variant. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Storm has sculpted parts for her hair, gloves, and the two sets of straps on her legs. Everything is re-use, but this is an example of just how well it can work. The uniform pieces are the same as the rest of this series’ X-Men, and the hair is a traditionally male hairpiece, first used in the Platoon boxed set for Pvt Gator Lerner. Storm’s paintwork is decent, if not without issue. Storm&Avalanche3The colors are nice and bold and the detail lines are nice and sharp, so that’s good. She also has my personal favorite Storm face we’ve seen so far. That said, she still shares the same thin yellow paint on the shoulders and missing bit of red on the belt buckle with the rest of this set’s X-Men. It’s not really surprising, but it is a little annoying. Storm gets two distinctive sets of accessories: those for Storm and those for the alt character Psylocke. Storm includes a pair of electricity attachments and a flight stand, allowing for a nice representation of her abilities. Psylocke gets her extra head, which features a hairpiece first seen on the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 line’s Jill Valentine, as well as a Psi-Knife attachment and a basic clear display stand.

AVALANCHE

Storm&Avalanche4Avalanche is a longstanding member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but he always seems to get overlooked. He’s gotten a few toys before (but no Minimates), but he always seems to fade into the background. My only real exposure to the guy was on X-Men: Evolution, where he was merged with Rictor and played as something of an anti-villain, who was conflicted about being a bad guy. That was a cool take on the character, but the comics have always just played him as a rather generic thug. But, he’s important to the team, so here he is. The figure has 7 sculpted parts, for his helmet, chest piece, gloves, belt, and boots. All of these are parts we’ve seen before, but they’re all pretty good matches for the character’s design from the comics. The torso is just a basic powerhouse piece painted to match his armor, which is a little bit Storm&Avalanche5jarring next to the more highly sculpted parts elsewhere, but it looks okay in person. Avalanche’s paintwork is pretty decently handled. The colors are nice and bold, and the detail lines are pretty sharp. His face is a more extreme expression than a lot of others, which is nice to see for a change. Under his chest armor, there’s a fully detailed torso, with a big ol A on his chest, which makes for a neat alt look. For Accessories, Avalanche includes two chunks of road, which are a lot of fun, as well as a set of shoulder pads, should you want to display the giant A look, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was part of the full series 60 set I got via Big Bad Toy Store. Storm/Psylocke doesn’t really represent a standard look for either character, but it’s a well-made figure, and it offers those who missed out on the first Jim Lee Psylocke another chance at the character. Avalanche is an important, if somewhat overlooked and underdeveloped part of the Brotherhood. He’s necessary to round out the team, and he’s a pretty well made figure to boot. This set is probably my least favorite of the four sets available, but it’s not a bad set by any means.

#0238: Gambit & Psylocke

PSYLOCKE & GAMBIT

MARVEL MINIMATES

Gambit&Psylock

When in doubt, I always turn to Minimates. I find the reviews to generally be a bit easier to write and I can be a little more enthusiastic about them, so they make for better writing in general (at least I sure hope so…). Today marks another Marvel Minimates review. This time around, I’m pulling from the great big world of X-Men with loveable rogue (who is coincidentally loved by Rogue) Gambit, and psychic fighter Psylocke!

THE FIGURES THMSELVES

Psylocke and Gambit were released in series 28 of Marvel Minimates. Originally, this was meant to be series 26 and it would have served as a loose tie-in to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but it was pushed back to 28 when Diamond picked up the license to do Minimates directly from the movie.

PSYLOCKE

Psylocke is built on the basic Minimate body, which, means she stands about 2 ½ inches tall and she has 14 points of articulation. She’s based on Psylocke’s Jim Lee designed look from the early 90s, right around the time that she became Japanese (just go with it). She features two sculpted add-ons: a hair piece and a sash. The hair was originally sculpted for one of the BSG Starbucks, but it was actually released on Psylocke first. The sash may be a re-use, but I don’t know for sure. The paint work is pretty good overall, no slop or bleed over to speak of. One issue is the face seems a bit too narrow, like the paint mask wasn’t applied properly. Psylocke includes a katana, previously seen with Blade, and a “psy knife” which slips over her hand peg.

GAMBIT

Like Psylocke, Gambit is also built on the basic Minimate body. He’s based on Gambit’s default look through much of the 80s and 90s, which is the look most people associate with the character. The figure features a brand new trench coat piece, an all-new hair/headband piece, and a set of new boots. Lots of new stuff.  I do kind of wish that the bib wasn’t a part of the coat, but it looks pretty good. I do love how well they captured Gambit’s mop of unruly hair. The paint work is passable. There’s a bit of slop on the hands, and his face seems a tad too high on the head, but the torso detailing and the pink squares on the legs look great. Gambit included two spate hands with different charged cards and his fighting staff.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is another set of Minimates I picked up from Cosmic Comix when it was first released. I had eagerly been awaiting series 28, especially after taking part in and winning several prizes in a contest to guess this and series 25’s lineups. This isn’t my favorite version of Psylocke, but it’s not too bad, and Gambit is a character I’ve had an attachment to ever since the 90s animated series.

#0024: Betsy Braddock

BETSY BRADDOCK

MARVEL MINIMATES

Today, we’re looking at another Minimate.  Once again, this one if from the extensive Marvel line.  The character in question is Betsy Braddock, sister to Captain Britain, and future X-Man(well X-Woman) Psylocke.

For those of you unaware of who Betsy is:  She’s a telepathic mutant.  There, you’re caught up.  Okay, actually there’s a lot more, but I’ll cover all that on the next Psylocke Minimate…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Betsy is depicted here in her first “Psylocke” outfit.  She’s obviously meant to be a mid-80s Psylocke, from before she started joining in on the fighting.   She’s built on the basic Minimate body, so she stands about 2 inches tall, and has 14 points of articulation.  She has sculpted hair, though I do believe it is reused from an earlier ‘mate, and a set of unique upper arms to depict the poofy sleeves of her early look.  She’s painted in mostly variations of purple and pink.  She’s a fairly decent interpretation of the character, though she does end up looking a bit dull.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Not much to report here.  This is admittedly my favorite look for Psylocke, but it’s not like there’s a large number of them to choose from.  I guess I like that this one kinda treads the line between her other two most prominent looks, not too covered up(the armored look) and not too skimpy(whatever the hell that was that Jim Lee put her in).  So, yeah…