#2128: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS VINGTAGE (HASBRO)

“Wolverine is the X-Men’s greatest fighter! A master of all forms of hand-to-hand combat, Wolverine also has a fearsome secret weapon – razor sharp retractable adamantium claws that can slice through anything.”

What’s an X-Men assortment without a Wolverine variant?  Statistically, not made.  They’re quite the hard sell.  For that reason, Wolverine gets toy love for just about every costume change, no matter how minor, no matter how restrained.  Case in point, today’s offering.  It’s Wolverine in his “Madripor” costume, an all-black number he picked up right around the time of his ongoing solo series starting up in 1988.  He wore it for a few of his world travelling adventures, before ditching it after less than a year.  Not exactly stuck in the minds of fans, but it’s only had one toy before, and it goes with Silver Samurai, so how about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is the final figure in the X-Men-themed third series of the Marvel Legends Vintage line, where he fills the required Wolverine slot.  Though the Madripor costume was featured back during the Toy Biz days, it was much later in the line, and under a bunch of goofy armor, meaning he’s not quite a direct counterpart for any of those earlier figures.  Nevertheless, he gets the retro styled card, which honestly suits him better than the standard packaging might.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the re-engineered brown costume body, since that’s our new standard for Wolverine.  It’s a solid choice given the simple spandex nature of the costume.  He gets a new head and shins (which give us clean shins without the usual Wolverine boots for a change), plus the wrist bands from Union Jack (which are a very tight fit here) and the belt from Brown Wolverine. The new head goes for a screaming expression, which works well enough, and is honestly a nice change up from the slightly more reserved Wolverines we’ve gotten recently.  The rest of the parts a pretty standard issue, which works well enough.  The rest of the figure is sold by the paint, or at least what there is of it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the body suit is actually a slightly off-black, with the “boots” being a more straight black.  It’s subtle, but I like it.  What I’m not as crazy about is the face, or more specifically the eyes.  In Hasbro’s defense, the weird fishnet look is accurate to the comics…it’s just really goofy, and the lack of extra head means you’re stuck with it.  Wolverine is packed with a spare set of gripping hands and a katana.  But it’s not just any katana, it’s actually the Black Blade, which figured into the Madrior story and was wielded by Wolverine in this costume.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got no attachment to this Wolverine at all, nor do I find it to be a particularly exciting variant.  However, I was grabbing the rest of the set and felt bad about just skipping one figure, meaning he was along for the ride.  I can’t really say that he swayed my opinion on the design or anything, but it’s not like he’s a bad figure, and he’s certainly a nice accent piece for the Silver Samurai.

I picked up this Wolverine from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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#2073: Robot Wolverine

ROBOT WOLVERINE (ALBERT)

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Created by the villainous Reavers to be an exact duplicate of the X-Man Wolverine, Albert gained real feelings in an electrical accident. Now constantly rebuilding himself out of whatever materials he can find, Albert scours the world for his heroic doppelganger – but whether to befriend him or to harm him, even he is not sure!”

Desperate for a steady stream of Wolverine variants to keep their line running, but not quite ready to just start outright making them up (that would come later), Toy Biz delved into the X-Men villains roster, and pulled out te robotic Wolverine duplicate Albert.  Never a majorly prominent character in the mythos, Albert would ultimately serve as an inspiration for Logan‘s antagonist X-24, whatever your take on that may be.  His only figure still remains that original Toy Biz figure, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Robot Wolverine was released in Series 6 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line and was the sixth Wolverine variant to grace the line (a fact that the packaging proudly proclaimed).  The figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall (continuing the trend of Toy Biz’s Wolverine figures steadily climbing in height as the line progressed) and he has 7 points of articulation.  He lacks elbow articulation often seen on these figures because…reasons?  The figure’s sculpt was an all-new offering, based on the character’s rebuilt appearance following his time locked up in police impound, which is fair, since otherwise he’d just be a slightly off-looking brown-costumed Wolverine.  It’s admittedly an interesting design, with something of a post-apocalyptic Mad Max vibe to it.  It’s certainly a different sort of look for the line.  There are some pretty neat little touches mixed throughout, and I particularly like the handcuffs stitched onto his torso.  It’s a goofy little touch which is totally accurate to the source material, and shows off Toy Biz usual commitment to the material nicely.  The rest of the sculpt matches the usual Toy Biz style of the time, which I suppose is pretty okay from a consistency standpoint.  The figure’s sculpt is accented by a solid paintjob.  While it’s perhaps not the most exciting or eye-catching colorscheme, it’s accurate to how he looked in the comics, and there’s no shortage of detail work, with most of the sculpted details getting proper paint as well.  He’s the sort of figure that could have possibly benefited from a wash, but that really wasn’t Toy Biz’s speed at the time.  Albert was packed with a spare set of arms, with a more robotic appearance and claws attached.  They swap out for the standard via the figure’s action feature.  Squeeze his legs and his arms spring out of their sockets, and then you can install the new ones.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Albert *just* predates me getting into the line, and was late enough that he wasn’t one of the ones resurfacing right as I got into things, so I didn’t have him growing up.  In fact, he’s quite a recent addition to my collection.  I had to see Endgame at a slightly out of the way theater, and while killing a little time before the movie, my dad found a comic book store, Beyond Comics, to check out.  They had a rather nice selection of ’90s Marvel stuff.  What caught my eye wasn’t actually this figure, but was instead the Invasion Series Havok, who I will literally buy every time I see him.  However, I felt a little silly having my only purchase be a figure I already own five of, so I scoured the racks for another figure I didn’t have.  Albert was the winner of that particular lottery.  He’s actually not a bad figure, and is unique among Wolverine variants for being not a Wolverine variant at all.

#2042: Weapon X

WEAPON X

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The Weapon X program experiments on humans and mutants alike, including Wolverine, who undergoes a brutal process that bonds Adamantium to his skeleton.”

An X-Men line-up is just no good without a Wolverine variant, right?  Even if he’s not actually named Wolverine on the box (well, not the front, anyway; he gets a name drop on the back).  Today’s figure goes back to a rather tried and true Wolverine variation, the Weapon X experiment look.  First appearing in the pages of Marvel Comics Presents in the early ’90s, Logan’s cyber-punk looking gear has been a mainstay of toyline’s ever since Toy Biz’s ’90s X-Men.  And now Hasbro’s brought it back into the Legends fold.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Weapon X is figure 2 in the Caliban Series line-up of Marvel Legends, where he fills the slot of required Wolverine variant.  This marks the second time that this design has seen Legends treatment, following Toy Biz’s offering back in 2004.  The figure stands just under 6 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  He follows the trend of rebuilding past Wolverine figures on the 2016 Brown Costume body.  He uses that base, in conjunction with a new head, shins, feet, and an assortment of add-on pieces for all of the gear that’s stuck to him.  As far as base bodies go, it’s really had to do better than this one, especially for Logan, so it’s a solid starting point to be sure.  The standard head has his weird visored helmet sculpted in place, and is a rather impressive piece of work.  The actual head’s detailing is a little on the soft side, but the helmet is definitely top-notch.  The new add-on parts give us all the tubes and gear from the comic, attached at his wrists and waist.  They’re intertwined with his limbs, and not designed for easy removal, but if you’re determined, they’ll come off (I was not particularly determined).  He’s also got a harness on his torso, again not really designed with removal in mind.  They’re all nice and sharply detailed, and the tubes are flexible enough to not really impede his movement, but not so frail as to break if you aren’t careful.  Perhaps the crowning achievement of this figure is the paint, or more specifically, the painted body hair.  That takes commitment and dedication, let me tell you.  Beyond that, he kind of looks a bit bland, but that’s true to form.  Weapon X is packed with an extra un-helmeted head and the leg of the BaF Caliban.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I run hot and cold with this particular Wolverine design.  I had the 5-inch figure as a kid, and always enjoyed that, but I harbored something of a resentment towards the original Legends release, given the abnormally high-pack out numbers of it compared to the likes of Vision and Hawkeye from the same assortment, and the fact that I ended up seeing that damned figure hanging everywhere, taunting me for several months at that time.  Ultimately, though, this is a design that makes for a good toy, and Hasbro translated it well here.  He’s not going to be my go-to Wolverine by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s a good deal of fun.

Weapon X came from All Time Toys, and he’s currently in-stock at their store, here. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1892: Wolverine II

WOLVERINE II

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“His super-sharp adamantium claws can slash through steel. His mutant healing ability can mend even the worst wounds in minutes. He’s Wolverine, the best at what he does and what he does best is fight Evil Mutants! With his keen senses of sight, smell and hearing, and his frighteningly fierce fighting style, enemies claim Wolverine is more animal than mutant. But his fellow X-Men know that he’s the best friend they have, especially when the going gets deadly dangerous!”

Did you know that wolverines use snow as refrigerators to keep their food fresh?  That’s your fun FiQ fact for today…’s Tiger Stripe Wolverine review.  You guys thought I was going to forget about the running gag, didn’t you?  Well, I didn’t!  Okay, let’s just take a look at the figure, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine, or “Wolverine II” as he is referred to on all of the packaging, is part of the second series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line. The first series had used Wolverine’s then-current brown costume, but Logan had reverted back to an approximation of his classic look not too long after that figure’s release, so Toy Biz followed suit with this figure.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  Wolverine’s sculpt was new to him, and would serve as the basis for a number of figures that would follow, including when it was up-scaled for the 10-inch Deluxe Edition figure (reviewed here).  While the smaller scale doesn’t quite serve the sculpt quite as well as the larger, but all of the basics are still there, and it’s still a pretty strong offering for the character.  He’s a little on the tall side for a proper Logan, but that was the trend of the time, and he’s certainly not as bad as some of the figures that would follow.  The primary differences between this figure and the larger one are to do with his claws and the raised lever on his back to allow for an “action feature” when spinning his torso.  The claws are an interesting choice.  They’re spring loaded, but since there’s no locking mechanism, they just pop right back into place.  Also, they’re stubby and curved, and the spring feature makes his forearms really boxy, so I’m not really sure it’s worth the tradeoff.  Wolverine’s paintwork is decent enough.  Fairly basic, and not without some slop, especially around the edges of the blue parts of the costume.  The black details also seem to extend a bit further into the rest of the costume than they traditionally do in the comics, but that’s rather minor.  Wolverine was packed with a gun, because, when you get down to it, isn’t that really Wolverine’s defining trait?  Having a gun?  Well, not my Wolverine, because his gun is missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, this figure was *not* my first Wolverine.  That would be the Battle-Ravaged Wolverine from the Invasion Series, which was the current figure of Wolverine when I got into collecting.  The trouble with that figure, as cool as it is, arose when I got the Black Bird, which the larger Battle-Ravaged figure couldn’t actually fit inside of, meaning I really needed a smaller figure.  Around the time I got my Black Bird, my parents were in the process of buying a new house, and my dad was going back and forth many days getting things ready to move in.  I accompanied on many of those trips, Black Bird in tow, with only my Series 1 Cyclops in it, since he was the only one who actually fit.  On one of those days, my dad had to go and pick up carpet from the mall, where there was also a KB Toys.  In exchange for accompanying, my Dad bought me this guy (he also bought himself a Ch’od figure, because him also getting a figure was part of the ritual) to go with my Black Bird.  He stuck with me for the whole move in process at the new house.  Is he the best Wolverine ever?  Maybe not, but I do still really like him.

#1797: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Laura Kinney uses assassin training paired with powerful claws to take down anyone who makes the mistake of crossing her.”

X-Men fans have had it pretty good this year when it comes to Marvel Legends.  In years prior, we’ve been lucky to get a single X-based assortment, but this year we got not only a proper X-Men assortment, but two heavily X-Men-packed Deadpool assortments as well.  It’s looking like those floodgates are finally opening!  The second Deadpool assortment is even more X-Men heavy than the first, even including usual X-Men staple Wolverine.  Sure, it’s not Logan, but is that really the point?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is figure 4 in the Sauron Series of Marvel Legends.  As with her presence in the first series, Laura’s connection to Deadpool is tenuous at best, but she definitely feels more at home in this assortment than in the last one.  As noted by her name, this figure of Laura represents her look from after the death of the mainstream Logan, when she officially took over the mantle.  It’s a more current look than the last figure, and is definitely a prominent design, well worth the inclusion in the line.  As I noted in my X-23 review, it rivals the X-Force costume in definitiveness.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  She’s constructed from a lot of the same pieces as the X-23 figure.  She uses the Spider-Girl body, and the clawed hands from X-23.  She has a new head, boots, and belt add-on, replicating her Wolverine costume nicely.  Like the X-23 figure, Wolverine’s head is sculpted in a rather dynamic fashion with wind-swept hair and all.  It looks quite good; there’s a lot of room for error with this sort of look with the hair, but Hasbro’s two-for-two on Laura’s head sculpts.  The head’s expression is calmer than the X-23 one, representing Laura’s increased maturity at the time of taking over the Wolverine mantle.  The new boots have the usual Wolverine shaping, and include her foot claws, which had been left off of the last figure.  They can easily be removed as well, if you’re like me, and think the foot claws are kind of dumb.  Off to the cup of random accessories they go!  Wolverine’s paintwork is bright and bold, and pretty cleanly applied for the most part.  It’s quite a striking look.  Wolverine is packed with an alternate unmasked head.  This one’s much more reserved, both in expression and the hair styling, which is decidedly not dynamic.  Also included is the left arm of the Sauron Build-A-Figure, who I’ll be reviewing at the end of the week.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was pleasantly surprised by last series’ X-23, so I wasn’t sure what to think of this one.  I wasn’t really looking to have one figure of Laura, let alone two, but I do rather like this design.  And, more importantly, I wanted Sauron, so there was that.  While she didn’t catch me off guard the same way the X-23 figure did, but I do still quite like Wolverine.  She’s certainly a fun figure.

I picked up Laura from my friends over at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1762: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Razor-sharp claws and an incredible accelerated healing ability make Wolverine a nearly unstoppable threat.”

Did you know that the scientific name for the wolverine is “Gulo Gulo”?  That’s your fun FiQ fact of the day…or at least of this particular tiger-stripe Wolverine review.  Listen, I’ve got a small handful of running gags on this site, and if I don’t keep up with them, the universe might end.  Or my reviews might be slightly less fun to write.  It could really go either way.

So, it’s that wonderful time of year.  That one time each year where we get an X-Men-themed series of Marvel Legends.  And there was much rejoicing (yaaaay…).  There is, of course, a Wolverine figure in this assortment, surprising pretty much no one, but given how good the last few Wolverines I’ve gotten from Hasbro were, this one’s got a lot of traction from my end.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is figure 1 in the Apocalypse Series of Marvel Legends, which is the third wide-release X-Men assortment since the Infinite Series relaunch.  The first assortment gave us Wolverine in his brown costume, an important look for the character, but perhaps not quite his definitive look.  After going a bit off the wall last year with an Old Man Logan release, Hasbro’s going back to the basics this year, and finally giving us an update to Logan’s yellow and blue, tiger-stripe number.  While it hasn’t been quite as long since we’ve seen this one as it had for the brown one, it’s still been a decade since the last release.  We also got a preview of this particular figure a little earlier this year, in the form of the 12-inch Legends Wolverine, who got me quite pumped for this guy.  This figure stands just under 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  This guy shares more than a few parts with the Brown Costumed version from 2016, but does still get his fair share of new pieces.  This includes a new head and belt, shoulderpads, and arms that are, at the very least, slightly retooled.  All of the new pieces are very similar to the ones we saw on the 12-inch figure, which makes a lot of sense, what with them being the same costume and all.  The new head definitely took some getting used to at first; I was quite a fan of the brown costume’s head sculpt, and was a little worried about this one’s ears being a little too close to the head.  In person, I actually quite like how they look, and I’m very happy with the slight differences in the masks between the two costumes.  It helps that this new head also sits a little further down on the neck peg, alleviating one of my complaints about the prior figure.  The “new” arms have been changed up to add a little more detail, specifically of the arm-hair variety (since Wolverine is a hairy dude), but also to allow for the attachment of the shoulderpads.  Like the new head, the shoulderpads help to cover up the slightly disconnected shoulders of the base body, thereby removing another of my issues with the last figure.  If I have one small complaint, it’s to do with the belt, which is sporting the “X” logo.  I’ve never been much of a fan of that particular look (I like the more basic buckle), but it’s accurate, and I can’t fault them for giving us a new piece.  The paint on this figure is largely very similar to that of the 12-inch figure, albeit with a slightly oranger color for the yellow.  This matches with the Cyclops figure from the last series, so it makes sense, and it’s certainly nice looking.  Wolverine is packed with a pair of non-clawed hands, as well as the two arm tubes for the Build-A-Figure Apocalypse.  It’s a shame we’re not getting an unmasked head for each Wolverine, but this is, at the very least, an improvement over Old Man Logan.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Juggernaut Series Wolverine was one of my favorite figures to come out of that series, and has been my go-to since its release.  I was initially unsure if this variant would be able to live up to those standards.  When I picked up the 12-inch release a few months back, I started getting a bit more excited to see how Hasbro could do translating that into the smaller scale.  I’m happy to say they’ve done a pretty spot-on job of shrinking that figure down, and they’ve created my favorite Legends Wolverine to date.

Wolverine was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s currently available here.  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.

#1720: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“When it comes to fighting Evil Mutants, the X-Men know there’s no one better than Wolverine! With his razor-sharp adamantium claws, his lightning-quick reflexes and his unmatched combat experience, Wolverine can outfight anyone! Thanks to his super-fast mutant healing ability, in just a few short hours he’s totally healthy and ready for action again, no matter how serious his wounds!”

Would you believe there was a time when a Wolverine figure was an exciting and new thing?  I know, that’s a bit hard to grasp.  But, until Mattel’s Secret Wars line, there were no Wolverine figures at all.  And that one wasn’t even all that good!  He’d have to wait until 1992 for a second go, courtesy of Toy Biz’s then-newly-launched X-Men line.  He would be the first of very, very many.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine was released in Series 1 of the X-Men line.  He was actually unique amongst the 5-inch X-Men figures for being in Wolverine’s brown costume.  It was still his current look when these figures hit (which is more than could be said for a number of his Series 1 compatriots), but it was quickly replaced by the returning tiger-stripe design, which would be the main focus for a good decade.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall (making it one of Toy Biz’s few offerings to truly stick to Wolverine’s proper stature) and he has 7 points of articulation.  His sculpt was new to him, and remained unique for all of Toy Biz’s run.  It’s a pretty decent one for the time.  While it doesn’t quite eclipse the likes of Magneto and Nightcrawler, it’s still really quite good.  The build of the body is probably the strongest aspect; Wolverine figures tend to overlook his distinctive stature, so this one getting it down so well is certainly notable.  The head’s not quite as strong.  This was really the first time that Logan’s hair was translated into three dimensions, so they were still sorting it all out.  It ends up looking a little goofy and sort of impossible, but it’s not terrible.  Wolverine’s paintwork is reasonable, though not anything outstanding.  The base colors are all pretty decent recreations of the comics look, and he’s rather eye-catching.  There’s some unevenness with the lines in a few spots, especially on the torso.  Wolverine was packed with his mask, which works surprisingly well for the scale, as well as a katana.  He was also the first Wolverine to feature the popping claw action, which allowed him to simulate Wolverine’s signature “snikt” move.  It robs his arms of any elbow movement, and the claws are required to be rather small to facilitate.  That said, it works reasonably well, and is certainly fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was too young to get Wolverine new, and he wasn’t one that was prone to showing up later on.  Fortunately, Cosmic Comix had me covered there, and I got this guy not too long after getting into collecting.  He’s actually not a bad figure, and despite the sort of odd removable mask, it was one of the better Wolverines from the line.

#1609: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS – 12-INCH (HASBRO)

Did you know that wolverines are also known as “quickhatch”?  That’s your fun FiQ fact for the day!  Sorry, the last time I looked at a tiger-stripe Wolverine, I went with this gag, so I’m doing it again.  Aren’t I so clever?

Wolverine hasn’t ever had a true break from Marvel Legends, but he was certainly less of a focus for a few years (being dead might have contributed to that).  But, things seem to be normalizing a bit, and he’s finally re-appearing with fairly regular frequency.  Good for him?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is a 2018 release for the 12-inch Marvel Legends line.  He’s done up in Wolverine’s classic blue and yellow tiger-stripe costume, which actually doesn’t have a Legends release in the scale (since the Toy Biz Icons figure was in his Astonishing costume), so it’s a pleasant choice.  It’s also worth noting that it predates the release of the same design in the regular Legends scale for this iteration of Legends, though that’ll be amended later this year.  The figure stands just shy of 12 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  Wolverine is rocking an all-new sculpt, albeit one that is at least a little bit inspired by the smaller scale brown costume Wolverine.  It’s pretty solid overall.  The texture work on his arms, his boots, and his gloves is very impressive, and while the proportions aren’t exactly lifelike, they do match up pretty well with how Logan is usually depicted.  While I like the head sculpt overall (especially the sheer amount of character in the small section of his face we can see), I do feel that the ears of his mask are shaped a little bit oddly.  It’s possible this was caused by some slight warping from the packaging.  Whatever the case, it’s not awful, and it certainly doesn’t ruin the figure.  Interestingly, despite how most figures in this line have been handled, Wolverine’s design is actually unchanged from his comics appearance.  That’s certainly a bold move.  The paint continues this, presenting his costume in all it’s bright, primary colored glory.  It actually works really well with the sculpt, and it’s applied quite nicely.  I particularly like the accent work on the yellow, which helps to prevent it from looking too bland and void of detail.  Wolverine includes an unmasked head and pulled back mask, a set of un-clawed hands, and an extra head and shoulder pads depicting battle damage.  My favorite parts are definitely the damaged bits, as they make for quite a dynamic look for the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wolverine was a gift from Super Awesome Girlfriend, picked up from the GameStop where she works.  They had gotten this guy in, and I expressed a slight interest, which, as we all know, is really all it takes for her to buy me something.  He adds to my ever-growing 12-Inch Marvel Legends collection, and he continues the trend of them being very, very cool figures.  This is definitely one of the best Wolverines out there.

#1336: Astonishing Wolverine

ASTONISHING WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

“Little is known about the man known as Logan whose past remains shrouded in mystery. The feral warrior, code-named Wolverine, possesses genetically endowed animal-keen senses of smell, sight, and hearing, as well as a mutant healing factor that can mend almost any wound. His deadliest weapons are his razor-sharp claws and skeleton both made of unbreakable metal alloy called Adamantium. However, with these abilities comes a curse, a bezerker rage that he must forever struggle to control. Now Logan must contain the beast raging within while he battles to protect a world that fears and hates him.”

Though my opinion of it has waned in recent years, at the time of its release, Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men was a serious breath of fresh air.  I was never much impressed by Morrison’s “let’s put everyone in black leather and completely disregard prior character interpretation” New X-Men run that immediately preceded it, so taking the X-Men a bit more back to basics was pretty cool.  I also really liked John Cassidy’s art for the series, as well as his returning of several of the cast to more classically inspired costumes.  While most of the team eventually made it into toy form, it took quite a while.  Unsurprisingly, the first team member to make it into plastic was Wolverine, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Astonishing Wolverine was released in the 12th Series of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends, also known as the “Apocalypse Series.”  It was the fourth Wolverine in the line, and was at the time his current look. There were both masked and unmasked versions of this guy; the one I’m looking at today is the masked version, obviously.  This figure also served as the inspiration for the larger Marvel Legends Icons version of the character, although he was slightly tweaked to offer an alternate version of this costume.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall (it’s one of the first times they actually got his scale right) and he has 40 points of articulation.  In terms of sculpt, this figure was all-new, and he’s based on Cassidy’s work from the comics, albeit somewhat loosely, since Cassidy’s style doesn’t quite lend itself to super-articulated action figures.  The head’s definitely the best work; there’s a lot of smaller detail work that looks really nice, without being too over-done like a lot of Legends Wolverines.  The rest of the body was good for the time, but doesn’t as much hold up to scrutiny these days.  Once again, there’s a lot detail work that’s really nice on the stitching and the piping.  However, he’s really, really scrawny, which removes some of his intimidation factor.  It’s the worst in the legs, where the precedence clearly went to the joints, resulting in an almost skeletal set of limbs.  And of course, they split the belt in two for the waist articulation.  Why did they do that?  Beats me.  Seems it would have made a lot more sense to go either above or below.  Worst case scenario, you could do the joint where it is currently and have the belt be an add-on.  But splitting it right down the middle just seems lazy to me, like the base body was already sculpted and they added the details later without taking placement into account.  On the plus side of things, he’s probably got the best claws we got on a TB ML Wolverine; they’re well-shaped, unlikely to break off, and resistant to heavy warping.  In terms of paint work, the figure’s decent enough.  The base colors match up pretty well with what was being used on the comics, and most of the application is fairly clean.  The only part that’s a little odd is the arm hair, which really just looks like a bunch of brown tally marks that someone’s drawn on him.  Wolverine included no accessories of his own, but he did come packed with one of the legs of Apocalypse.  So, that’s cool, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy was a Christmas present from my friend Charlie.  He and I shared a love of Marvel Legends, and in particular, we were both on the lookout for the perfect Wolverine.  So, when this series hit, he made sure that I got this guy, which was very nice of him (I repaid the favor a year later when I made sure he got a completed Mojo Build-A-Figure).  He’s definitely got some flaws, but I really do think he was Toy Biz’s best take on Wolverine, and the best Legends version  of the character until Hasbro’s recent Brown Costume figure.  It’s honestly a little surprising that TB never retooled him into a more conventional Wolverine.

#1318: Logan

LOGAN

X-MEN: THE MOVIE (TOY BIZ)

“Logan is a loner by nature and a hunter by trade.  Dressed in civilian gear of jeans, leather jacket, and flannel shirt, no one would ever know this ordinary looking man possesses the untamed savagery of a wild beast combined with the battle-skills of an international secret agent.  His power to heal virtually any wound in minutes combined with his superhumanly keen animal senses and razor sharp adamantium claws and skeleton make him the perfect fighting machine called Wolverine”

Who wrote this bio?  And did they have any idea who the character was going in?  Or what figure this bio would be going with?  I enjoy that the bio describes a completely different set of civilian clothes than this figure is actually wearing, but I think my favorite part may be “battle-skills of an international secret agent.”  That’s one specific descriptor, let me tell you.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Logan was released in Series 3* of Toy Biz’s X-Men: The Movie line, which tied in with (big surprise here) 2000’s X-Men film.  The figure stands a whopping 7 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  The X-Men: The Movie figures were already pretty out of scale at the time of their release (being Toy Biz’s very first 6-inch figures), but Wolverine takes this to ridiculous levels, being about an inch out of scale with even the figures from his own line.  He’s larger than Sabertooth for pete’s sake!  Why is he so freaking huge?  Because of re-use, that’s why.  He’s built on the body of the Power Slam WCW Wrestlers Hak figure.  The WCW stuff was always much larger than the Marvel stuff Toy Biz did, and Hak was even pretty sizable for his own line.  I’m not entirely sure why Toy Biz opted to re-use this particular body.  I guess they felt they just had to have another Wolverine in there?  Completely divorced from the line that spawned him, I guess Logan’s sculpt isn’t terrible.  He got a new set of lower arms and feet, and what appears to be the Series 1 Wolverine head sculpt scaled up.  The pieces all mesh okay together.  The head definitely resembles Jackman as Wolverine, though it’s not quite as good as later figures would be.  The build seems rather on the bulky side for Wolverine as seen in the movies, and his proportions in some spots look like he’s trying to smuggle meat in his clothes or something. You’ll note that my figure is missing three of his claws; this isn’t by design, they just fell off, because this figure had some of the most easy to tear claws of any Wolverine figure.  In addition to the sculpted parts, Logan also has a cloth jacket.  It’s kind of thick and oddly shaped, and makes him look even puffier than he already was.  Paint on this guy was okay, but nothing tremendously exciting.  The colors are well chosen, and the jeans in particular have some nice accent work.  This Logan is from post movie release, so he’s after Toy Biz started adding the goofy painted on sideburns to all the movie Wolverines in an effort to make them more accurate.  It looks really goofy.  Super goofy.  Crazy goofy.  The figure was packed with a small dog tag that isn’t even remotely close to proper scale.  He’s also got the “action feature” which I think is supposed to swing his arms back and forth when the torso is turned, but it never looks like anything more than panicked flailing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Series 3 X-Men: The Movie figures were rather hard to come by at first, even Logan.  He was one of the last ones I got, courtesy of my parents, who bought him for me while they were on a weekend trip to the beach.  I know I really wanted one at the time, but boy is this figure odd in retrospect.  Not only does he feel rather redundant (he was the fourth civilian version of the character in the line), but he’s also just laden with strange design choices.

*Though this series was dubbed “Series 3” by Toy Biz, it was effectively Series 2 of the line, as the first 2 series were released simultaneously in order to have all of the main characters on shelves for the film’s release.