#3123: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“His adamantium claws slash through steel. His mutant healing ability mends even the worst wounds. He’s Wolverine, the best at what he does – and what he does best is fight evil Mutants!”

Did you know that the scientific name for wolverine means “glutton”? That’s your fun FiQ fact for this tiger-stripe Wolverine review!

The 1990s X-Men cartoon never got a direct tie-in line of toys at the time of its release, instead making do with a comic-based line with similar enough figures to pass.  In the almost thirty years since, we’ve still not gotten any direct tie-ins, but, hey, times change.  Mondo had initially dipped a toe in the waters with a 1/6 Wolverine, but before that one made its way to market, Hasbro jumped straight on in with a whole line of 6-inch figures with a more direct basis.  Kicking things off is the character that’s unquestionably the center of the cartoon, and the basis of the fun FiQ fact, Wolverine!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is the first figure in Hasbro’s X-Men: The Animated Series sub-line of Marvel Legends.  While there have been figures based on the same basic designs in the past, these figures are more directly patterned on the animation models from the show.  To further highlight this fact, the figure is even packaged in a box that is made to look like a VHS tape, much like the ones put out for the show back in the ’90s.  It’s honestly a pretty nifty set-up, and a rather clever way of getting into the plastic-free packaging for the line.  I open everything anyway, but I’m actually going to keep these ones, because I like them that much.  The figure stands just under 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Largely, this figure makes use of the line’s standard Tiger Stripe Wolverine figure’s sculpt, which certainly makes a lot of sense.  In order to keep him more animation styled, he gets two new heads, a slightly tweaked set of shoulder pads, and new hands.  The two new heads are both solid recreations of the slightly wider design of the cartoon mask, and the two heads give him the option of calm and angry expressions.  I really dig the option, as well as the new look.  I was always a bit iffy on the prior Tiger Stripe Wolverine head, so I see this one as quite an improvement.  The shoulder pads are about the same, just slightly thinner.  The new hands get fancy new claws, which are a bit larger and more shaped than prior versions.  They were a little warped out of the package, but otherwise I really like them.  Wolverine’s paint work is laid out to replicate the cel-shading of the cartoon, something that it does surprisingly well.  I was a little worried that it was gonna look odd from certain angles, but it’s more versatile than I’d expected.  Wolverine is packed with a spare set of gripping hands without the claws, as well as a picture frame with a picture of Scott and Jean in it, as seen in the show, and also a metric ton of memes.  The picture is even removable from the frame, so you can swap in your own photos, for further meme-ing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

X-Men: The Animated Series was incredibly formative for me as a kid, and has remained one of my favorites from my youth.  I was very tempted by the Mondo figure when it was shown off, but I wasn’t sure about dropping that kind of money.  These ones are much more my speed.  I have plenty of Wolverines, but this one does enough different to make him feel really worthwhile.  Thus far, I’m in for at least all the team members from this line, if not a few others as they crop up.

3065 The Fall of the Wolf:

HE LEFT WOLVERINE LEGALLY

THE UNCANNY SUPER MASTER [DTD NORFOLK]

When I woke up, the FIQ spy shouted, “I’m leaving, but he did not help.” Is the war still going on? I’m cooking to learn to say Valentine’s Day – have you ever seen Superstar Dennis?

SAME PICTURE

Isolation of the law. Wolkite appeared here in 1995 under the supervision of Uncanny Master, and DTD claims to be the sole sponsor of Norfolk. This could be a mistake. After all, shoes do not hurt us. You do not want to overdo it with seeds. Two Wolverine lawyers are on the board. This type is called leopard skin.  The picture is about 6 inches tall and has 6 labels. In general, this is a good group, but it can also be difficult. I’m not sure right now. The same meat is used somehow. Enough but not dangerous. Surprisingly, you are adorned. Oh, this guy is amazing. Everything is stuck, the teeth are white and the leaves are dancing. Children are fools.  To accentuate Wolverine’s dress, she wore a color that matched her body. It has a unique base and all the color settings are not very good. Unlike leopards, it is Christmas powder. The design should be simple. If you believe me, you are the worst in the country. Isolation of the law. Wolverine has no weapons. Some have large arms but do not feel comfortable.

HALF OF MY DIRECTIONS

How many things did I need in the early 90’s and more? The Akami family spent the summer in a 99.9 cm Strando store. If you take a picture, you have to try it yourself.

Peace be upon you, you have reached the end of the download. Good luck! The pain is excruciating. Happy 1st April new week, so we are out …

There are several ways to deal with eggs in April. Today I read a little introduction. Click here for a simple offer.

#3005: Wolverine, Callisto, Jason Wyngarde, Omega Red, & Cyber

WOLVERINE, CALLISTO, JASON WYNGARDE, OMEGA RED, & CYBER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Wow, it’s been, like, weeks, plural even, since I reviewed any Marvel Legends.  That’s crazy.  I mean, technically, I haven’t reviewed any of them since last year.  Can you believe that?  I’m honestly still sort of wrapping my head around it after two months of un-filtered Legends reviews.  Well, there’s still more to be reviewed, so I’d best ease myself back in.  Today’s review fulfills the component of being both a Legends review *and* a post-Christmas review, so it’s the perfect choice!  The last couple of years running, Amazon has gotten a larger boxed Legends-exclusive nearer to the holiday season, and 2021 followed suit, with a five-pack of figures, all (sort of) Wolverine-themed.  And that’s the set I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Wolverine, Callisto, Jason Wyngarde, Omega Red, and Cyber make up the Amazon-exclusive Wolverine 5-pack of Marvel Legends.  Well, it started out as an Amazon-exclusive, anyway.  It didn’t stay that way for much time at all, though, and is already available through a number of other retailers, including my sponsors over at All Time Toys, if you’re feeling inclined to pick a set up.

WOLVERINE

It’s difficult to do a Wolverine-themed set and not include a Wolverine, so Hasbro opted to do that.  I suppose that’s a reasonable stance for them to take.  We’ve had no shortage of Wolverines in the line, especially recently, so a lot of the major looks have already been covered.  In an effort to be a little bit different, Hasbro’s gone with a look that appears to be at least a little bit inspired by the cover of X-Men #251, which features a beaten Wolverine in his brown costume, sans shirt, cowl, and gloves.  It’s an interesting twist on his usual design, and has a fairly distinctive visual to it, so it’s not a bad choice.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the same core body they’ve been using since the Juggernaut Series, which is especially fitting in this figure’s case, since it’s meant to be the same costume as that one and all.  He gets two new head sculpts, both of them unmasked.  As of yet, the unmasked Wolverine heads for modern-era Legends have all felt a little bit lacking, so there was definitely a big push to get some ones that worked a bit better to translate that crazy hair into three dimensions.  These two give us both crazy and slightly more neutral expressions, and are easily the best unmasked Wolverines that Hasbro has produced.  I myself really like the calmer expression, but they’re both quite impressive in how they capture that more ’80s style look for Logan.  Otherwise, Wolverine is using re-used parts, and doing pretty well with that.  The paint work on this guy is pretty strong, as making him shirtless gives him all that body hair to contend with.  Fun stuff, right?  It actually works pretty well, and doesn’t look as goofy as painted hair can, so kudos to Hasbro on that.  The heads get some pretty solid work, with the calmer expression actually getting some bruising and cuts.  It stops it from being a totally standard head, which is a slight bummer, but at the same time, it does look really cool.  Hopefully, they’ll just repack this head with a more standard paint app later down the line, for a best of both worlds sort of set-up.  In addition to the two varieties of head mentioned above, this figure is also packed with hands both with and without the claws.  No X-crucifix, but I can see why Hasbro might want to forego packing such a thing in.

CALLISTO

This set is, ostensibly, supposed to be Wolverine-themed, being Logan versus a bunch of his foes.  Two figures in, we’re already kind of loosing that.  Callisto was introduced alongside the rest of the Morlocks, a group of sewer-dwelling mutants, in X-Men #169, as an attempt to have a few more mutants who weren’t quite as physically pristine as a lot of the X-Men were.  While she and the other Morlocks have certainly been involved with Wolverine by virtue of being in the X-Men universe and all, it’s not like there’s any sort of particularly close ties there.  That being said, she’s been without any toy treatment up until this point, so an excuse to finally release her in some form isn’t unwarranted.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  For the most part, Callisto is really just an excuse to get another use out of the Mohawk Storm parts.  Everything but the head and hands are shared with that figure.  It’s really not a bad bit of re-use; the two designs are quite similar, and given Storm and Callisto’s history, I suppose it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing in the world for them to share a taste in fashion.  Callisto’s new head sculpt is perhaps a little more conventionally good looking than Callisto was classically portrayed, but it’s in line with her more modern incarnations, and it’s not a bad sculpt.  The detailing on the scarring and the eye patch is pretty decent, and I do like that they’ve gotten at least a little bit of her usual scowl going on there.  Her paint work is generally pretty straight forward.  There’s not a ton of work going into it, since there’s a lot of molded color work, but the work on the head is well-handled, and the application is overall clean and fairly consistent.  I’m not big on how the painted edge of her torn shirt looks, but it was unlikely that they were going to sculpt a new lower torso just for Callisto.  As it stands, it looks alright.  Callisto is packed with two sets of hands, one gripping, the other in fists, as well as two different knives.

JASON WYNGARDE

Remember this being a Wolverine-themed set?  Hasbro doesn’t seem to so much, because the third figure, much like the second, is kind of not fitting that mold.  Appearing during “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” Jason Wyngarde is key to Jean’s descent into madness and her eventual dark turn.  Late in the story, he is revealed to be former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member Mastermind in disguise, leaving the Wyngarde identity largely discarded, though it does get dusted off from time to time.  Wyngarde has little to no actual interaction with Wolverine, since it’s Jean he’s attempting to seduce and Cyclops he’s in more direct conflict with.  Perhaps he’s here because he and Wolverine both sparred with Cyclops for Jean’s affections?  Or perhaps because they both share a love of unique facial hair?  I don’t know, and I won’t complain, because I really like the Wyngarde persona, so I’m down for whatever needs to be done to get it in figure form.  Well, within reason.  Like, you know, this.  This is actually about as far as I’d go, really.  So, it worked out, all things considered.  No real moral compromises or anything.  You know what?  I’m proud of us.  We knew where to draw the line.  Great.  Back in the land of actually reviewing this figure on this here toy review site, the figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Wyngarde is largely using parts from the two male members of the Hellfire Club set released last year.  Since he’s of similar build and also wore the same basic attire as Shaw and Pierce, it’s a sensible and in fact an expected choice.  This is the first time I’ve gotten to mess with the body, but it’s a pretty decent piece of work, and matches up well with how the characters are depicted in the comics.  Wyngarde’s head sculpt does a good job of capturing Byrne’s design for the character, while also translating that into the more standard Legends styling.  He’s suitably smarmy, while also still looking suave enough to understand part of how Jean might be swayed by him.  Wyngarde’s color palette is an interesting choice, since he’s patterned not on this “Dark Phoenix” appearance, but rather on his more recent All New All Different X-Men appearance.  It’s a minor change, and it’s not a bad color scheme, it’s just odd that they went for something other than literally the one appearance everyone knows him from.  Wyngarde is packed with an alternate Mastermind head.  It’s an impressive piece, though one that’s a little out of place without a body to match.  I’m sure it should be easy enough to rig something up, though.

OMEGA RED

Okay, now we’re actually getting to something properly Wolverine-related.  How about that?  Omega Red has had the Legends treatment rather recently, and is mostly just here in this set because that particular release has gotten rather pricey on the aftermarket these days.  This figure, like that one, stands about 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Omega Red is using the same parts selection as his Sauron Series release.  That was quite a nice figure, and by extension so is his one.  The molds have held up pretty well, and they still suit the character quite nicely.  I really do like those butterfly joints a lot.  The color work marks a notable change-up.  The colors are even brighter than they were the last time, with more brilliant whites and reds, as well as a few changed out colors on certain parts of the costume.  Overall, I like the new color scheme more than the old, though I will admit that I miss the cool omega symbols on the backs of the hands.  Otherwise, he’s got more of a ’90s animation feel than the last release, and I really dig that.  Like the last release, this one gets the two sets of tendrils, and also adds in a second head sculpt, with a screaming expression, which gives him some more posing options.

CYBER

Certainly the most obscure of the figures included here, Cyber is also the one that’s really the most sensible, as he’s actually only got the ties to Wolverine, and not the rest of the X-Men, so he’d be kind of out of place in a main assortment.  The figure stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Cyber makes use of the Colossus body, which is honestly a kind of criminally under-used base body.  He makes use of a combination of parts from both Colossuses, as well as Death’s Head, in order to have the most basic selection of parts possible.  He also gets a new head, as well as forearms and hands in order to complete his look.  It’s a very basic look, but that’s true to the character, so I guess Hasbro got it right there.  He’s big and imposing, which is pretty cool.  Cyber’s paint work is actually surprisingly involved, given how basic the design is.  There’s some accenting going on for the blue sections, which helps them to look a lot better than they would if they were just flat blue plastic.  I can dig it.  There are no accessories included for Cyber, though I’m not entirely sure what exactly you could give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this whole set as a Christmas gift from my parents this year.  It’s one of those sets that’s kind of a hard sell, if I’m honest.  It’s not that any of the figures are bad, but really that they don’t seem to make for much of a cohesive package.  I myself really just view this as a very expensive way to finally own a Jason Wyngarde figure.  A very nice Jason Wyngarde, mind you, and one I’m very happy to have.  The others are all nice figures on their own, but ones I might have just as well skipped if I’d been given the option.  They’ll all suit my collection well when divied up to go into various different sections, though, so I can’t really complain too much.

#2730: Wolverine – House of X

WOLVERINE — HOUSE OF X

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With adamantium claws unleashed, Wolverine is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for freedom for all mutants.”

Last year’s main X-Men-theme per Marvel Legends was very event-based, specifically centering on 1995’s “Age of Apocalypse” event.  For the first X-themed assortment of this year, Hasbro is once again going event-based, but this time around is something far more recent, this time being 2019’s “House of X”, the event which served as the launching point for the Jonathan Hickman-driven current era of X-Men.  A lot of the team’s biggest names were central to both that event and what’s followed in the on-going books, making this a nice way of refreshing some of the X-Men’s heaviest hitters.  You don’t get much heavier hitter than Wolverine, I guess, making him a pretty solid starting point if I do say so myself.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is part of the Tri-Sentinel Series of Marvel Legends, and is officially branded as “House of X,” much like the rest of the assortment.  He’s the only non-numbered figure in the set, as the only figure not to include a Build-A-Figure part.  He’s sporting his current costume design, first showcased in the event.  It’s an update on his brown costume, with a little bit of the Black/Grey X-Force layout worked in.  It’s not a bad look for the character, and really checks a lot of the classic Wolverine boxes.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s built on the modern Wolverine base first introduced in the Juggernaut Series.  He uses the more utilitarian gloves and boots from X-Force Wolverine, which are good match for what he’s sporting in the comics these days.  He’s also got a new head sculpt, and an add-on for his belt, both of which are pretty decent pieces.  The head in particular I quite like, as it’s got him actually cracking a smile, which is a nice change of pace for a Wolverine figure.  I also like that the mask is differently shaped than other Wolverine figures, and that they’ve included all of the seams and such on the cowl that help to “modernize” this design.  Wolverine’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  He follows the established color scheme from the comics well, and there’s no notable slop or bleed over, so that’s good.  I do like that they actually went to the trouble of differentiating the browns on the main costume vs the accessories.  The arm hair detailing on the arms is about the same as other recent Wolverines, which works from a consistency stand point if nothing else. Wolverine is the lightest figure in the assortment on the accessory front, due largely to the lack of a Build-A-Figure part.  He does at least get an extra head, based on his time as “War” in the future sequences of “Powers of X.”  The main difference is the presence of a beard.  Very different.  It’s a decent extra, I suppose, although the likelihood of getting the other three horsemen seems slim, giving this particular piece limited applications.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The whole House of X thing just sort of happened around me, I guess.  I read it, and I was familiar with the whole concept, and I’ve stuck with the comics since then.  The designs are generally pretty decent, and Wolverine’s a good, fairly standard Wolverine.  The figure doesn’t really do anything new, but he’s not bad, either, and certainly has more reason to exist than some of the other recent Wolverines.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2693: Weapon X

WEAPON X

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

Wrapping up the radical changes that occurred to the many X-Men characters within the “Age of Apocalypse” storyline, we have Wolverine, who has such radical changes as “not called Wolverine” and “has one less hand.”  Okay, the hand thing’s a bit more radical, I suppose.  Not that it really impacted anything about who he was as a character, of course.  But it did at least give him a new look to make a toy out of, and Toy Biz was always down for that, weren’t they?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Weapon X was the final figure in the AoA Series of X-Men.  He was the requisite Wolverine variant for the set, which is sensible, I suppose.  The figure stands 4 1/4 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  Well, sort of 8 points, I guess.  The sculpting on the hair is such that the neck joint can’t move at all, but on the flip side, when he’s got one of his attachments for the stump in place, it gives him an extra joint there.  So it kind of works out, I guess.  As I addressed during my review of Patch back during the “Day of the Wolverines”, the Weapon X mold was retooled into that particular figure, though it’s worth noting that most of the parts are still technically unique between the two figures, thanks to a handful of minor changes to each of them.  It’s…not the worst thing ever?  It does slightly trend away from the ever increasing size of Wolverines at this point in the line, so I suppose that’s nice, though he’s forever stuck in this sort of mid-lunge-hunch posture, which really can’t be good for his back, adamantium spine or not.   His arms are also kind of weirdly outstretched, and I don’t even know what’s going on with his neck.  It’s weird to say the least.  Logan’s costume for the crossover isn’t a terribly involved one, and the paint is likewise not terribly involved.  Everything is rather basic.  The blue is a bit brighter than it should be, I suppose, and he’s missing the yellow, but the application is at least pretty clean, I guess.  Weapon X was packed with a handful (heh) of attachments for his stump, of varying quality.  The claws make sense, of course, being all story relevant and everything.  The hook is kinda goofy, and the missile launcher just made no damn sense.  I’ve only got the claws anyway, so I guess it doesn’t really matter too much at the end of the day.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I only got Sabretooth when these were new, and by the time I was starting to track them down after the fact, I was pretty well overloaded on Wolverines, so this one never really jumped out at me.  My brother Christian was always a little more of a Wolverine fan than I, so he actually got this one as a kid, from our local comic shop Cosmic Comix, I believe.  When he got around to not wanting most of his figures anymore, this was one of the ones I happily assimilated into my collection, mostly because it meant I didn’t actually have to put time or money into getting one of my own.  He’s alright, I guess, but I again confront the fact that this just isn’t that interesting of a design, and doesn’t really make for a terribly fun toy.

#2619: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Weapon X infused Wolverine with adamantium to make him a powerful mutant with superhuman healing ability.”

Hugh Jackman’s turn as Wolverine was one of the constants of Fox’s X-Men movies, appearing in all but one of the films (Dark Phoenix, for those curious), and just generally being as much of a pop culture icon as the character’s comics incarnation.  He’s been no stranger to action figures, since he’s, you know, Wolverine and all.  The fall out between Fox and Disney meant we went a good gap of time between releases, of course, but he’s back in full force, with three different variants in Hasbro’s Legends assortment devoted to the movies.  I’m looking at the one standard release in the bunch today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is the last of the three standard release single-packed figures in the X-Men Movie sub-line of Marvel Legends, following Domino and Mystique.  It’s an interesting selection of characters to say the least.  This Wolverine is based on his jacketed appearance, which is certainly a distinct look for the character.  That said, they’ve opted to specifically base him on Origins: Wolverine, which seems like a slightly odd choice.  I mean, the look doesn’t shift much between the films, but it feels weird to specifically base him on a far less regarded film.  Could be worse, I suppose.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme on this guy is pretty impressive.  The butterfly joints on the shoulders add some nice extra posability to him, and the ball joint on the neck is great for adding a bit more expression to the figure when posing.  Wolverine’s sculpt is another all-new offering (although the legs are shared with the Amazon-exclusive Wolverine variant).  The body sculpt does a good job of capturing Jackman’s build from the movies, as well as translating all of the textures and layers of his clothing.  This guy includes two different head sculpts, giving us differing expressions.  The one he comes wearing is an intense, screaming head, which is kind of a weak offering.  The expression’s certainly got an intensity to it, but it ends up looking goofy, and the Jackman likeness really isn’t there.  The second head is a more neutral expression, and this one is definitely the stronger of the two.  The Jackman likeness isn’t spot on, but it’s still close enough for recognizability.  The paint work on this guy is a bit of a mixed bag.  The head works out well enough, and the weathering on the pants isn’t *terrible*, but it’s not great either.  The wear on the jacket isn’t really that great.  It just kind of looks like a bird pooped on him to be honest.  Not exactly the most imposing look.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, he also includes hands with both claws and without.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m still recovering a bit from some serious Wolverine exhaustion from last year, so this guy being the first of the movie figures shown off didn’t exactly thrill me.  I mean, he looked cool and all, but he’s Wolverine.  I have a lot of Wolverine.  He benefits from the fact that I got the rest of the set first, so as to cushion the whole “it’s another Wolverine” bit.  He’s a pretty solid figure on his own, and I look forward to having more figures to go with him.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2603: Battle Damaged Thing & Gajin Wolverine II

BATTLE-SCARRED THING & GAJIN WOLVERINE II

MARVEL MINIMATES

The trouble with a four member team, at least when it came to Minimates and their early three two-pack per assortment structure, is that you end up with extra slots.  In the case of the Fantastic Four, there have been a number of different approaches to filling those extra slots.  In the case of their first entry into the line, the approach was hard-lining the heavy hitter mash-ups.  More Thing!  More Wolverine!  Yes!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Battle-Scarred Thing and Gajin Wolverine II are the last set from the Fantastic Four-themed eighth series of Marvel Minimates.  Battle-Scarred Thing remained exclusive to this assortment (for his own good, really), while Wolverine was re-packed with a standard Spider-Man for Target.

THING

Battle-Scarred Thing is actually interesting, in that he’s Minimates’ first real stab at a figure based on a specific comics appearance.  He was patterned on the Thing’s torn up appearance following a run-in with Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374, which I guess is meant to really give Wolverine an excuse to be in this set.  It doesn’t really work out quite so well.  This was the fourth version of Thing we’d gotten, and he follows the “Clobberin’ Time” model of putting Ben in one of his actual uniforms.  He’s built on the standard C3 body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s the same as the more basic Thing from this assortment, with the same head piece, chest block, and bulked up hands.  The powerhouse piece is still fine, but I really don’t like that head piece.  Fortunately, this would mark its last use.  The paint work changes things up here, obviously to give Ben his costume change.  I do find it interesting how he has a standard looking musculature on the uniform, despite the standard one from this set not getting any musculature at all.  Also, thanks to this costume being a post-Byrne one, it’s got white boots, so it doesn’t really match the rest of the team from this same assortment.  And that’s not even getting started on the blue sections being actually blue, rather than the black they should properly be.  Thing’s face gets adjusted detailing to include the scarring he got from Wolverine.  It doesn’t help the already less than stellar Thing head from the regular version in this set.  What does help that face, however, is the full helmet that this guy includes as an accessory, replicating the one he wore in the comics after getting injured.  It’s actually a pretty cool piece, and it’s nice that they gave him an accessory, and even a unique one at that.

WOLVERINE

This Wolverine’s official name is “Gajin Wolverine II”, which is quite the monicker.  “What happened to Gajin Wolverine I?” you might ask?  He was a summer con exclusive in 2004, and he’s honestly only very minorly different from this guy.  “Why Gajin?” you may follow up?  I guess it’s in reference to his first solo series, where he was in Japan, and referred to as “Gajin” fairly regularly.  It’s a very specific reference for something that would far more simply be summed up with the name “Brown Costume Wolverine”, but here we are.  Also, it’s worth noting that, while the Thing in this set is very specifically patterned on an issue where he has a run-in with Wolverine, in said issue, Wolverine was sporting his tiger stripe costume, not the brown one presented here.  Oh well.  Structurally, this guy’s *mostly* the same as the GSXM Wolvie.  The only change up is that instead of having the long feet under his boot pieces, he’s got the C3 feet, which means there’s a gap between the two of them at the front.  He doesn’t have the peg hole in his head, because they weren’t quite standard yet, and the older mask piece meant it wasn’t required.   The paint work on this guy’s overall not bad.  There’s one small gaffe with the secondary color on his mask being brown instead of orange, but beyond that the colors work well, and the detailing on both the face and the torso is pretty much straight out of Miller’s illustrations from the miniseries.  He was certainly one of the most detailed ‘mates at the time, and rather starkly contrasts with his assortment mates.  Wolverine had no accessories, as neither extra hands nor hair pieces had become standard quite yet.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This whole series got passed on by me, but even before that, this one wasn’t really high on my radar.  The appeal of such an extraneous re-pops of heavy hitters was kind of low for me.  When I finally got around to picking up this series from All Time last year, I still hesitated on these two, but they were there, and I figured “why not?”  Wolverine’s actually pretty solid, even by later standards.  The Thing, on the other hand, was iffy when he was new, and has not been helped by time.

#2559: Wolverine – Battle Ravaged

WOLVERINE — BATTLE RAVAGED

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Since long before he joined the X-Men, Wolverine has been squaring off against opponents in all types of battles, from silent ambushes to brawls. His mutant healing factor allows Wolverine to recover from wounds and injuries at a rate much faster than normal, letting him take greater risks when in combat. Fighting is in this man’s nature, but Wolverine must always take care to hold his berserker fury in check and keep his animal nature from taking control.”

And here we are, making it to a full-on seven years here with the site.  How about that?  This takes dedication…or insanity.  I’ve certainly got one of those two things.  Speaking of a strange mix of dedication and insanity, this year, one of my favorite days of reviewing was the “Day of the Wolverines,” where I took a look at 18 of Toy Biz’s 5-inch Wolverine figures.  During that day, I noted that I was skipping the ones I’d actually had as a kid, which meant skipping out on 1995’s Wolverines entirely, since that was the year I got into collecting the line, and I already owned all of that year’s variants.  Since the Day of, I’ve been filling in some of the Wolverines from that year, and today I get to the final, and honestly most important one: Battle Ravaged Wolverine!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Battle Ravaged Wolverine was released in the Invasion Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, the eleventh series of the line.  Truth be told, it’s probably my favorite series of the line, for reasons I’ll get to in the relevant section.  The concept on this guy is pretty straight forward: take the basic Tiger Stripe Wolverine design, and just tear it to shreds, as if in battle.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  While I didn’t look at this figure proper during the Day of the Wolverines, I did look at his sculpt, which was re-used in the 1997 “Greatest Archenemies” set.  As I noted in that review, it’s a sculpt I actually quite like.  It’s a little on the large side for a Wolverine, but the build actually works pretty well, and the battle damage is quite well implemented throughout the figure.  There’s a great intensity to the sculpt on this guy, and I just really dig it.  The paintwork is really the main differing thing here, as it gives him a more classic color scheme than the later release.  It works a lot better, and just results in a nicer overall figure than the later release.  There’s actually another repaint of this guy, released as part of 1996’s KB Toys-exclusive Overpower line.  It tweaks the coloring on the claws so that they’re now bone claws, and also makes the shoulders silver….for some reason.  I guess they really needed to keep that silver paint quotient up.  The original release and all subsequent re-uses of the mold had a “Berserker Rage Action” action feature, which slashes the arms downward when you push the lever on his back.  The original release also featured a set of doors, which you could use the action feature to “split” and knock down.  It’s very basic, but a cool extra piece of scenery.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember how I said that the Invasion Series is probably my favorite?  There’s a good reason for that.  I got into toys in late 1995, and because of that, the Invasion Series was the one on shelves when I started collecting.  That’s why Havok and Erik the Red were my first two X-Men action figures, and that’s why this particular Wolverine was my very first Wolverine…well, *a* Battle Ravaged Wolverine was my first Wolverine.  This one’s a replacement, because my original went missing at some point along the way.  Whatever the case, I have a real nostalgic appreciation for this figure, and he’s definitely very high up on my list of favorite Wolverines.

#2552: Wolverine Fang

WOLVERINE FANG

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“The adamantium-clawed Wolverine is the best there is at what he does – no matter what the venue! And, dressed in the guise of the Shi’ar Imperial Guardsman known as Fang, he intends to prove it – by doing battle with intergalactic evil on a cosmic scale!”

Wolverine’s had more than a few costume changes over the years, beginning with a somewhat unintentional change to his mask when Gil Kane drew up the cover to GSXM #1.  That one definitely stuck.  The ones that would follow had varying degrees of success.  Neither Dave Cockrum nor John Byrne was ever much for the tiger stripe design, and both attempted their own replacements.  Byrne’s was the brown costume, a rather successful alternate look for the character, which clung to the roots of the tiger stripe design.  Cockrum’s, introduced just before he left the book in issue #107, was more drastically different, and decidedly not quite as successful.  During a battle with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, Logan’s costume is destroyed, and he has to quickly find a replacement, which he does by taking down the Guard’s own resident feral guy, Timber Wolf Fang, and stealing his threads.  It’s a unique look, to be sure, and when Toy Biz was looking for excuses for more Wolverine figures (before just deciding to start making stuff up), it proved worthy enough for inclusion as a toy.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine Fang was the Wolverine variant for the “Mutant Genesis” series, the tenth series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  It’s rather amusing that he didn’t arrive until two series after the Phoenix Saga, given that’s where the costume showed up in the comics.  However, not being in Fox’s animated adaptation of the story probably didn’t make it the most sensible inclusion there.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  While this figure was an all-new mold when he was released, the following year saw it repurposed as Savage Land Wolverine, a figure I looked at during the Day of the Wolverines.  As I noted when I reviewed that figure, this is probably the best Wolverine sculpt to come out of this line.  Certainly one of my favorites, and definitely the closest we ever saw to anything really approaching Cockrum’s style for this line.  The paint work on the figure is pretty decent, albeit pretty basic and straightforward.  It’s certainly very brown, which is pretty accurate.  Wolverine’s accessories are the same as Savage Land Wolverine, so the weapons tree of blades from Spy Wolverine and the two additional blades.  It’s a little bit overkill, what with him already having the claws, coupled with him only actually having one hand to actually grip things with.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Fang Wolverine was not a figure I personally had growing up, but he was my Dad’s Wolverine for his collection, and I rather fondly remember when he got that figure.  When I went on my first real dive back into Toy Biz Marvel the summer after my Freshman year of college, this guy was one of the very first figures I picked up.  Toy Biz figures were being cleared out at frankly insane prices on Amazon at the time, and that’s how I got him, along with a nice little thank you note post-it from the seller, which honestly made my day at the time.  This figure’s really strong, and remains a favorite.  I’d really love to see him updated for Legends.

#2525: New Wolverine & Phoenix

NEW WOLVERINE & PHOENIX

MARVEL MINIMATES

In 2000, the X-Men hit the big screen in their first live action film, and found themselves a whole new audience that they hadn’t yet enthralled through comics, cartoons, toys, or video games.  To try and bring this new audience back into the original source material, comics scribe Grant Morrison was given the reigns to the franchise, re-envisioning it into something a little more in-line with what people had seen on the screen.  For the most part, the similarities translated to “putting the whole team in black leather.”  It did garner a lot of attention, though, and set the stage for the next decade or so of the comics.  So, I guess it kind of worked.  Of course, on the flip side, it made the team slightly less toy-worthy, so there’s a lot less coverage from that angle.  There were some Minimates, though!  Let’s look at those, shall we?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

New Wolverine and Phoenix were released in Series 6 of the Marvel Minimates line, which hit shelves in Jul 2004….just in time for New X-Men to wrap and for the characters to all get new, slightly more classically-inspired costumes on the pages of Astonishing X-Men.  Isn’t it always the way?  Both of these guys were also available in a TRU-exclusive four pack with Xavier and Magneto the following year, and Wolverine also showed up in the 10-Piece gift pack and then got a new (far more hideous) face and was re-packaged in the Dark Tide boxed set.  Not bad for an abandoned look.

NEW WOLVERINE

Our fifth Wolverine from the line, and honestly the first sign of how over-popped the character would become, this was our second Wolverine in as many series for 2004.  At least this one had the whole team line-up thing going for him, and wasn’t just another civilian variant, although he certainly still skirts that line.  He’s built on the standard long-footed body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Wolverine got three new add-on pieces, in addition to re-using the clawed hands from the last four variants of the character.  The new pieces entailed his hair, jacket, and belt.  All three of these parts would see a lot of use as the line progressed…and that’s honestly kind of sad.  The jacket and belt aren’t too bad, I suppose.  They’re rather basic pieces.  Of course, they were also less used than the hair, which was really the prime offender.  It’s the weakest of these early Wolverine hair sculpts, in terms of shaping and level of detail, and yet it still got used five times over the course of the line.  This far removed from its use, I still don’t miss it, but I guess I’m not quite as actively against it as I was.  The paint work on Wolverine’s not bad.  His face is really the best Wolverine we’d gotten at this point, and there’s a lot of detailing going on throughout the body, especially on the torso.  Also, rather than going for a stark black, the uniform is a very dark grey, which doesn’t look bad.

PHOENIX

Dubbed Phoenix, presumably so as not to double up on “Jean Grey” so early in the line, this figure is jus kind of not what I wanted, largely because she’s, you know, not actually Phoenix.  Made worse by the fact that we wouldn’t get an actual proper Phoenix for another five years.  So, that was great, right?  This marked Jean’s second time as a Minimate, and her second time with some very modern, ultimately not very Jean Grey-looking design.  She uses the same core body as Logan, of course, as well as sharing his belt.  Sensible, what with it being a uniform and all.  She also got a new hair piece and jacket.  The jacket suffers from the same issue as all of these early jackets, being boxy, and bulking up a figure that probably shouldn’t be quite so bulked up.  The hair is a perfectly fine piece, but like Wolverine’s hair above, it’s one that’s seven subsequent uses kind of made us all tired of it, especially given how many supposedly unique characters it was used for.  For Jean, it actually wasn’t too bad.  Jean’s paint work is pretty decent again.  It’s mostly basic stuff, but I do like that they actually got the pattern to her shirt under her jacket.  Also, thanks to using the same color of grey throughout, you can remove the jacket piece and it actually doesn’t look too bad!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never been much for the New X-Men costumes overall, and I already had both of these characters, so I was in no rush to pick up this set when released.  I really only got them because I got the four-pack release, and I wanted Magneto and Xavier.  These two were along for the ride.  They’re okay, but ultimately, the parts seen here are some of the parts that almost spelled the end of the line after getting re-used too much, so my opinion’s a little bit colored.  They could definitely be worse, though.