#2228: X-Force Deathlok

X-FORCE DEATHLOK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The X-Force joins forces with a rogue Deathlok unit to face an army of Deathlok cyborgs.”

Hasbro’s Fan Channel exclusives for Legends began as a few one-off figures and quickly evolved into what essentially is a series of its own, just split up into single releases.  The defining element amongst them is relying heavily on parts re-use, which has certainly led to some eclectic choices.  Who would have thought that we would one day be able to say you could choose between three different Marvel Legends Deathlok figures?  Certainly not me, but hey, here we are.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

X-Force Deathlok is one of the later announcements for the Fan Channel-exclusive Legends releases, and is probably the most odd-ball and out there.  Others were either heavy hitter characters or tweaks of difficult to acquire figures from earlier in the line.  Deathlok is neither of those, being c-list at best, and with a figure released just over a year ago that’s hardly difficult to come by.  Whatever the case, he got another figure.  I guess it’s that X-Force tie; it makes everything easier to sell.  Whatever the case, this figure is based on “Deathlok Prime” from Rick Remender’s run on X-Force, who is apparently a distinct-ish character from previous Deathloks.  How about that?  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is about 99% identical to the previous Deathlok.  The only change between the two is a slight re-working on the upper torso to change the flag on the original to the X-logo seen here.  Beyond that, the two figures are the same.  Honestly, that’s not a bad thing, because it was a great sculpt then, and it’s still a great sculpt now.  The paint marks the real change-ups for this figure.  He goes from the slightly more colorful classic Deathlok to the standard stealthy X-Force colors, but also improves a some of the apps on the exposed skin of the face, giving him a more proper zombified appearance.  Deathlok gets the same two guns as his prior release, pretty much the same in deco, apart from the ammo belt becoming a translucent yellow.  He also gets the shotgun-style rifle from Bishop, which is a solid addition to his arsenal.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really liked the first release of the mold, and I do dig the X-Force sub-set we’ve been getting throughout the last year.  I like having another chance to appreciate this guy, and he’s honestly pretty fun, even if there’s not a lot new going on with him.

Deathlok came from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2152: Boom-Boom

BOOM-BOOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Tabitha Smith, alias Boom-Boom, manipulates energy to create explosive time bombs that she can detonate at any moment.”

Tik tik boom.  On the sliding scale of X-characters, Boom-Boom is what you get when you meet halfway between Dazzler and Jubilee.  Introduced in the pages of Secret Wars II of all things, she’s sort of been batted around the X-verse a bit, and even got a decent role out of Warren Ellis’ Nextwave.  Her height of prominence was during the ’90s, when she was hanging around X-Force.  But even when paired off with the most toyetic property of the early ’90s, she was one of the notable missing pieces of Toy Biz’s ’90s lines.  Her first action figure would come much later, courtesy of Marvel Minimates.  Now she’s finally gotten a follow-up to that, in Legends form.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boom-Boom is figure 3 in the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  She follows Cannonball’s lead and goes for her Liefeld-designed number from X-Force #1, meaning we’re up to four of the founding members in their proper debut costumes.  Not bad for a line-up that’s a little past their prime.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Tabitha’s construction should look fairly familiar, since I actually looked at the majority of it not long ago when I looked at Dazzler.  She gets a new head, boot and glove cuffs, and leg strap, as well as swapping out the jacketed arms for the standard ones.  The closeness of the two figures in build really says more about the source material than it does Hasbro, of course, as it’s ultimately pretty accurate for them to look this similar.  ’80s/’90s X-Men designs were not the most wholly unique.  Boom-Boom’s main head does the same thing as the alternate Jubilee head did, and has Boomer blowing a bubble of gum.  It’s still a cool idea and seems less likely to break than Jubilee’s, but it’s slightly odd to have gotten this exact same gimmick back-to-back with another X-assortment.  She also includes a head without the bubble, for a slightly more standard appearance; unlike Jubilee, both heads have the glasses permanently affixed.  Boom-Boom’s colors are appropriately garish and gawdy for the design; brown and pink, what a combo, right?  I do like the accenting on her hair; I really appreciate this becoming a standard thing on the characters with fairer hair.  Boom-Boom is packed with a second left hand with an energy effect attached, as well as a piece to be held in her right.  Also included is the other leg to the Wendigo Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got no real attachment to Boom-Boom as a character, at least in her classic form.  I liked her well enough in Nextwave and when she showed up on X-Men: Evolution, but this particular design isn’t so much my thing.  Of course, Liefeld’s stuff in general isn’t usually my thing, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying both the Shatterstar and Cable figures based on his designs.  Boom-Boom’s not quite as visually stunning as either of those figures, but she’s also less compromised than the Cannonball figure I looked at yesterday.  Honestly, I liked her more than I’d expected to.

Boom-Boom came to my collection from 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.

#2151: Cannonball

CANNONBALL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Samuel Guthrie creates a powerful forcefield to fly at superhuman speeds as a leader of the New Mutants known as Cannonball.”

Cannonball is actually a pretty solid success story for a “late run” X-character.  Introduced in the pages of New Mutants as one of the team’s founding members, he was one of the few to stick with the team for its original run and well into its rebranding as X-Force.  He was eventually promoted into the main X-Men team for a bit, and has even had a go at being an Avenger for a span of time.  How about that?  Though not the most prevalent character in action figure form, he tends to get at least one figure for every stylistic iteration of Marvel toys, and he’s found himself included in the latest round of X-themed Marvel Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cannonball is figure 2 in the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  He fits well with the running undercurrent of an X-Force theme in this particular assortment, especially since he’s in his ’90s X-Force costume.  Said ’90s costume is probably the design most evocative of the character, so it’s a good choice.  It’s also the same design that inspired his last Legends figure, some 12 years ago, so it’s got that whole direct replacement thing going for it.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation.  While not super low, that articulation count is a lot lower than most Legends figures.  And why might that be?  Well, as you may have noticed from the photos, Sam doesn’t actually have a lower half.  In the comics, Sam’s ability is usually showcased by sort of a rocket boost effect that consumes his lower half.  It’s a dynamic way of illustrating the level of force behind his abilities.  It’s also something that his figures beyond his Minimates have never really tackled, instead giving us Sam in his powered down state.  This figure instead goes for a fully-powered look.  I’m of mixed feelings on this choice.  While I like to have effects pieces, and the rocket boost is certainly a signature appearance for Cannonball, the choice to release him with only the blast effect and no actual legs severely limits what can be done with this figure.  Additionally, the blast effect is pointed straight up, unlike the Minimates piece, which was angled, thereby making it look like he was flying towards something.  This just makes it look like Sam is angrily propelling himself straight upward, which doesn’t really work all that well, dynamically.  His upper half is fairly decent, I suppose.  He uses the arms from Shatterstar, in conjunction with a new head, torso, and jacket.  The teeth-gritting expression is appropriately Liefeldian, and the new parts create a solid recreation of his costume from the comics.  The upper torso is also removable from the blast effect, if you want to try and give him a set of legs that they didn’t include.  The paintwork on the figure is decent enough; it’s pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the line.  The linework is clean and all of the important elements are there.  The variation from red to yellow on the blast is pretty cool too.  Cannonball has no accessories of his own (which really just further emphasizes that whole lack of legs issue), but does include a leg of the Build-A-Figure Wendigo (again emphasizing his own missing legs).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m actually still quite fond of the first Legends Cannonball, so this one was already going to have a rough time of clearing that bar, but the confirmation that he wasn’t going to include legs just further put me off.  I’m still all-in on Legends so I was planning to buy him anyway, but I was sure hoping to be surprised by the figure in-hand.  The figure still fills me with mixed emotions.  The upper half is decent, and I don’t hate that he has the effect piece, but it’s really, really limiting, and questionably implemented.  There were definitely better ways of handling this.

Cannonball was purchased from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2150: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Wolverine joins the militant group of super beings known as the X-Force, using his powerful adamantium claws to slash down opposition.”

You know, it’s been like a whole week since I reviewed Marvel Legends, and I’m really starting to miss those little scamps.  It’s a shame I don’t have a plethora of them on-hand still in need of review.  What’s that?  Oh, I’m being informed that I do indeed have a plethora of them on-hand to review.  In fact, they’re coming in so fast that I’ve acquired another series just in the time it’s taken me to write this intro.  Didn’t even buy them, they just materialized right beside me.  Weird.  Well, guess I gotta do another week of Legends reviews.  How ever will I cope?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is figure 1 in the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends, our third X-themed series of the year.  He’s in the spot of requisite Wolverine variant for the line-up.  Wolverine is sporting his garb from his time leading the covert ops version of X-Force.  We’ve gotten this design once before as a Legend, but he was an exclusive and built on an out-dated body.  This figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation. This Wolverine follows the tried and true method of building a Wolverine figure these days, starting with the updated Brown Costume Wolverine body.  He actually has more new parts than you might expect at first glance.  The head, forearms, hands, belt, and boots are all new.  The head is the most similar to prior parts, but gets some added stitching on the cowl to further distinguish him from the older designs.  The boots and gloves follow the updated stylings from the comics, with all the straps and such.  Most impressively, this figure gets a new style of claws; rather than the more classically-inspired rounded points we’ve been getting, these follow the more extreme, wider blade style that we saw start showing up more in the ’90s and onward.  While I’m still a classic man myself, I do certainly appreciate them doing something different with them.  Wolverine’s paintwork is much more reserved than others, which I guess fits that whole covert ops thing, doesn’t it?  The grey and black is actually pretty striking, and the application is nice and clean.  I like that they went with grey over silver, as it just reads a bit better I feel (and also matches the other two X-Force figures we’ve gotten, I suppose).  Wolverine has no accessories for himself, but is packed with the head to the Wendigo Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This Wolverine isn’t one I have a ton of attachment to, so I don’t know that I would have picked him up on his own, but there’s that whole Build-A-Figure bit he’s got going for him, so here we are.  Honestly, he’s nicer than I would have expected, and reinforces that this body can make (most) Wolverine designs work.

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.

#1694: Domino

DOMINO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Domino creates her own luck with a subconscious ability to predict the success of any given action.”

In the ’90s, there was this quiet sort of trend amongst new X-Men characters, where they took the basic power set of a prior character, but added “carries a lot of guns” to them, and there they were.  Domino was amongst that crop of characters, taking the luck-based gimmick of Longshot, and…adding guns.  The luck bit tends to get pushed to the side, but that’s seeming to change, with her new solo series and appearance in Deadpool 2.  She’s also gotten another Marvel Legends release along the way.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Domino is figure 3 in the Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s definitely based on a more recent incarnation of the character, though I’m not really familiar enough with her history to pinpoint exactly which costume this one is wearing.  I’m thinking this is meant to be the costume she wore during her run with Wolverine’s X-Force?  Whatever the case, it’s a fairly decent summation of her various looks over the years, and has the benefit of not looking anywhere near as terrible as some of them.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Domino shares quite a few pieces with 2016’s Mockingbird figure.  She gets a new head, hands, and a slightly tweaked torso that removes some buttons.  Mockingbird’s sculpt was a pretty good one, and although it’s got some more specific details than others, they don’t stand out so much as to make the re-use to exceedingly obvious.  Also helping in keeping the two unique from each other are the shoulder harness and belt add-on pieces, which fit Domino’s more prepared nature.  It adds up to a solid looking sculpt that the average onlooker probably wouldn’t realize had any re-use.  Her paintwork is appropriately stark and contrast-y.  The mostly black and white thing translates quite well here, and the few bits of silver we get break it up pretty well.  The application is all nice and sharp.  The prior Domino Legends figure got pretty standard guns.  This one goes slightly more unique, but not at the same time.  The two guns included with this figure are the actually scaled down from the pair included with the 12-inch Legends Deadpool figures, and as an added bonus, the smaller of those two guns is actually based on Hasbro’s own Nerf Vortex Diatron (thanks to our in-house Nerf-expert Tim for spotting that one).  In addition to the guns, Domino also includes the right arm of Sasquatch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Had the TRU that I purchased Deathlok from had a Domino in-stock, I would have likely gotten her instead of X-23.  But they didn’t, so I didn’t.  Given how much I liked the X-23 figure, that was probably for the best.  Nevertheless, it did spark in me a moderate desire to grab a Domino figure.  I ended up taking advantage of a Barnes & Noble coupon I had to get her for a pretty good deal.  Though I’m not overly familiar with her (I say as a man who owns three action figures of the character), I do quite like this figure.  She’s a lot of fun!

*Want a Domino figure of your own?  She’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check her out!

#1693: X-Force Deadpool

X-FORCE DEADPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Need someone to do the dirty work? Great news: that’s his favorite kind of work.”

This spring has been jam-packed when it comes to big blockbusters.  Wedged in-between event-film-10-years-in-the-making that was Infinity War and the decidedly-smaller-scale-but-base-breaking Solo, was the somewhat quieter, more laid back Deadpool 2.  I was apparently one of the few people on the planet not terribly thrilled by the first one, so I wasn’t expecting much from the sequel, but I actually rather liked it.  As a Fox-produced film, it’s got no direct merchandise from Hasbro, but it did get an assortment of loosely themed Marvel Legends.  There were two variants of the title character included, and I’ll be looking at one of those today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

X-Force Deadpool is numerically the first figure in the Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends.  A quite similar figure was released earlier, as an exclusive to HasCon 2017.  While the main figures are similar, they are not identical, and the accessory complements are completely different.  Both figures are based on Deadpool’s more monochromatic look from the pages of Uncanny X-Force, which is coincidentally quite similar to how Wade looks after taking a fair bit of damage in the final act of Deadpool 2.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. On the outside, the figure’s doesn’t seem all that different from the one released two years ago in the Juggernaut Series, but he’s actually more different than you might think.  They share the same base body (the Bucky Cap), and the same head.  They also share the same shoulder harness and thigh holster.  Beyond that, he gets a new belt, wristbands, and ankle bands.  They succeed in making the figure moderately different, and by extension, more accurate to the original source material than a simple recolor would have been.  Even the paint masking is a bit different, and not just a simple palette swap.  The shaping of the black sections of his costume are actually the inverses of the last figure’s, which is another point in the accuracy column.  Sadly, Deadpool’s accessories have been stepped way back from both the HasCon offering of this costume and the prior standard release.  Still, he does get the swords, the rail gun, and the pistol (both painted in a fun blue color that makes them look vaguely Nerf-ish), and he also comes with the head of Sasquatch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had no real intent to pick up this figure.  I have the standard colors version from 2016, and I figured that was good enough.  Then I ended up with every other figure from the set, and I saw DP2, and I found myself kind of wanting this figure.  Sadly, by that point he’d sold out pretty much everywhere.  I eventually found him on Amazon for base retail, and here we are.  He’s a surprisingly enjoyable figure, and I’m happy I tracked him down.

#1530: Avalanche

AVALANCHE

X-FORCE (TOY BIZ)

“A mutant with the ability to control earth and rock, Avalanche’s powers earned him a place in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants! Now operating largely on his own, or in the company of his allies, the Blob and Pyro, Avalanche strikes not so much out of hatred for normal humans, but from a desire to make a profit!”

Back in the ‘90s, the X-Men were super hot, and by, extension, the various X-Men spin-offs were super hot.  X-Force, the spawn of everyone’s favorite artist Rob Liefeld, was inexplicably successful, but only the actual team seemed to get real notoriety.  The villains were mostly forgettable, however, so for the toyline Toy Biz borrowed a few classic X-Men baddies, including today’s focus character, Avalanche!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Avalanche was released in Series 5 of Toy Biz’s X-Force toyline.  He was the second of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants figures featured in this particular line, following Pyro.  Seeing how the two of them were a semi-recurrent pair on X-Men: The Animated Series, it was a pretty sensible inclusion, I suppose.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  He got extra disk joints on his hips, which I guess was kind of nice.  It does seem a little bit odd that Avalanche of all people got extra special articulation, but I’m not gonna fight it.  HIs sculpt was all new to this particular figure, and it was fairly decent for the era.  The proportions are a little exaggerated, obviously, but given that he was in the X-Force line, it’s actually fairly balanced.  There articulation could perhaps be worked in a bit better, but it’s not awful.  The details of the costume are pretty clean, and I do like the intensity of the expression on what we can see of his face.  It’s a bit of a shame that his helmet is permanently affixed, since he had it off rather frequently on the cartoon, but it looks good, and that’s ultimately the most important thing.  Avalanche’s paintwork is fairly standard, mostly silver and blue.  It looks decent enough, though it’s perhaps not the most thrilling color scheme.  Avalanche was originally packed with an “Exploding Rock Platform” which demonstrated his powers via action feature.  My figure was purchased loose, however, so he doesn’t include this piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Avalanche is a rather recent addition to my ‘90s Marvel collection, picked up over the summer from Yesterday’s Fun.  They had a number of old X-Men figures, and this was one I kept meaning to grab, but never got around to.  He’s a pretty decent figure of a character I admittedly don’t have a ton of attachment to.  Nevertheless, I’m happy to have him, and he brings me one step closer to completing this collection.

#1267: Shatterstar

SHATTERSTAR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Armed with superhuman physical and mental abilities, Shatterstar conquers his enemies with strength and certainty.”

Can you get more ‘90s than Shatterstar?  Created by Rob Liefeld?  Check.  Name made up of two unrelated “kewl” words?  Check.  Weird head gear?  Check.  A single eye tattoo?  Check.  A hairstyle that no human who ever lived has had?  Check.  Shoulder pads and pouches?  Check and check.  All this dude needs is a leather jacket, a giant gun, and a can of Surge, and he’ll check off the whole list.  As a paragon of all things ‘90s, he was a pretty popular guy back in the day, and got a whole three action figures from Toy Biz’s ‘90s X-Force line.  However, since then, he’s sort of fallen down (well, aside from a pair of Minimates).  With that being said, there’s been a slight resurgence of some of the ‘90s stuff, leading to Shatterstar being fortunate enough to get a figure courtesy of Hasbro’s latest set of Marvel Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shatterstar is figure 2 in the Warlock Series of Marvel Legends, taking the X-Force slot established by Stryfe and Cable in the last two series.  This is the first time he’s had a Legends figure, which actually seems a little surprising, given his popularity in the ‘90s.  In terms of design, he more or less goes back to the original Liefeld look.  I know there was a contingent that was hoping for his more recent X-Factor look (I myself was sort of pulling for that look), but if Shatterstar’s only going to get one Marvel Legend (which seems rather likely), you kind of *have* to do the ridiculous ‘90s monstrosity.  On the plus side, they really did make it suck a lot less than it could have.  I think that’s partly to do with them actually drawing the main influence from the Marvel: Avengers Alliance design for him, which is a nice, cleaned up version of his original design.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, specifically the Doctor Strange variation of it, which works nicely to replicate his poofy shirt.  Also aiding in the poofy shirt bit are the new arms, which are built similarly to the normal ones, but with lots of wrinkles.  I do wish his arms could sit a bit closer to the arms, but that’s a minor complaint.  He’s also got the flared glove pieces, which are bulkier than the ones seen on Zemo and Boomerang.  The lower half is mostly the basic pieces, with add-ons for the belt and thigh pouches (which are kind of a necessity), and a pair of brand new boots (which Super Awesome Girlfriend has classified as “fabulous”).  He’s topped off with an all-new head and an add-on for his scarf/halfcape/shoulderpad.  The single shoulder pad has always perplexed me.  It would make sense if he favored one arm over the other in sword fighting, but he’s pretty much always dual wielded, so, what’s the deal?  To Hasbro’s credit, the shoulder pad sports some pretty sweet detailing, so good on them for that.  The head sculpt is commendable in its ability to faithful recreate Shatterstar’s goof hair and headgear without getting too laughably bad.  They’ve gone for a calmer facial expression than Liefeld would have given him, but it’s actually one that better fits the persona Shatterstar took on after Liefeld left the book.  Shatterstar’s paint work is really solid.  The basic color work is ask nice and clean, with only minor coverage issues on the legs.  The brown bits have all been given a bit of a wash to accent the details, which once again shows how nice a Hasbro sculpt can look with the tiniest bit of extra accent work.  It’s worth noting that Hasbro did tweak Shatterstar’s colors a little bit, making the gloves and scarf a light grey instead of the straight white they were in the comics.  It’s only a minor change, and honestly, it helps to break up the colors a bit more than they otherwise would be.  Shatterstar was packed with a pair of swords; since Liefeld could never make up his mind about whether Shatterstar’s swords were two bladed or just one single blade, Hasbro’s been nice enough to give us one of each.  Aside from possibly benefiting from a little bit of paint, the swords are pretty cool, and Shatterstar has an easy time holding them.  The figure also includes the right arm of Warlock, who is shaping up to be pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I know I’m hyper-critical of the ‘90s, but I do have an appreciation for Shatterstar as a character.  When he was announced, I was actually pretty excited, especially after how well the Juggernaut Series Cable turned out.  Shatterstar was nearer the end of my discoveries of this set; I found him at the slightly further away Target near me, which had just put out a case, albeit one that was already missing Cyclops.  While I’d still like to see the X-Factor version at some point, this guy, like Cable before him, is a lot better than I’d expected.  Once again, the Rob Liefeld character is one of the stronger figures in the series.  How do they keep doing that?

*Want a Shatterstar figure of your own?  He’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check him out!

#1195: Cannonball & Domino

CANNONBALL & DOMINO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

cannonballdomino1

Hasbro’s early days with the Marvel license were an odd time.  Truth be told, they didn’t really come into their own with the product until somewhere around Iron Man 2, which was a good three years into their run with the license.  Until then, there were some weird experiments, intermixed with just sort of copying a lot of Toy Biz’s stuff, mostly when it came to Marvel Legends.  The first two series of their Legends were almost entirely chosen and designed by Toy Biz, which gave them a bit of time to figure out some of their own stuff for the half-formed Series 3 assortment.  The first two series hit in early 2007, and the third wouldn’t hit until almost the end of the year.  Hasbro filled the gap between two and three with a handful of exclusives.  Today, I look at Cannonball and Domino, one of those exclusives.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cannonball and Domino were a Walmart-exclusive two-pack.  They were released alongside the similarly exclusive Cable and Marvel Girl two-pack in the summer of 2007, as only the third round of Walmart-exclusive Marvel Legends.  Both characters were at something of a low-point in terms of relevance, but and were actually the first X-Force alumni outside of Cable and Deadpool to join the line.

CANNONBALL

cannonballdomino3Sam Guthrie is one of the more successful characters from his era of comics.  Cannonball started out as a member of the New Mutants and not only make it all the way through that series’ run, heal also transferred into its follow-up X-Force, and then moved onto the main X-Men team, where he was a pretty prominent character for a while.  He fell back into obscurity for a bit, but was recently brought on as one of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers, which seems to have gone pretty well for him.  This figure is loosely based on his first X-Force design (loosely due to the necessities of parts re-use, which I’ll touch on in a sec).  He stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation.  That’s a lot of movement, but, as you can see, it’s sort of at the cost of the sculpt.  The sculpt, it should be noted, originally hails from Toy Biz’s Johhny Blaze version of Ghost Rider.  It was heralded as a great sculpt at the time, but it’s sort of specifically tailored to Blaze, since it’s skeletally skinny.  It’s not that Cannonball hasn’t frequently been depicted as rail thin (because he was for most of his early career), but this seems a bit extreme even for him.  It probably doesn’t help that when he was with the X-Force he was usually depicted as only being a little smaller than Cable.  The point is, this figure makes Sam look more than a little emaciated.  For what it’s worth, the costume details do match up surprisingly well with his X-Force togs, and there’s a lot of really fun detail sculpted into this figure.  I can get why they wanted to re-use the parts, it’s just a bit questionable, that’s all.  As far as new pieces go, Sam got a new head, which captures his slender mug pretty well, as well as a weird dicky sort of piece that slips over GR’s exposed neck and shoulders.  They do their job well enough, and also fit pretty well with the body (though the neck is a bit jarringly smooth).  One last thing about the sculpt: Sam is a testament to why you should avoid soft rubber on action figures.  There’s rubber for the upper torso, and while mine has held up okay (only two very small tears), I’ve seen others that weren’t so fortunate. The paintwork on Cannonball is decent enough.  It takes his color scheme from the comics and translates it into something a bit more consumable by the human eye.  The application is mostly pretty clean but there’s some slop here and there, especially on the white piping of the jumpsuit.  Cannonball included no accessories.

DOMINO

cannonballdomino2Domino’s not a character I really have that much affinity for, so I don’t know a whole lot about her.  She’s got luck-based powers, but it was the ‘90s so that translated to “carries a gun.”  Everything seemed to translate to “carries a gun” in the ‘90s.  Domino’s had her fair share of looks over the years (mostly because no one can make up their minds about how to draw her), and this figure seems to be based on her look from the early ‘00s.  She stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and has 33 points of articulation.  Despite all that articulation, she still can’t sit, thanks to being built on a body from Toy Biz’s period of useless hip joints.  Bleh.  She uses the body of the X-Treme Rogue from TB’s 2006 X-Men line.  It’s actually a pretty good match for the art I’ve been able to find of Domino in this costume.  The proportions are still quite on the wonky side, and don’t get me started on whatever the heck’s going on with the torso (she moves at the boobs and the abdomen?  That’s odd), but Toy Biz certainly produced worse, and Hasbro put out worse the same year as this figure’s release.  So, this isn’t awful.  The head and hands were unique to this figure.  The head is a pretty decent, no-nonsense head, and looks like the later interpretations of Domino.  The hands are sculpted to hold her guns, which is a nice thing to see on a character whose whole thing is having guns.  Domino also got a new add-on piece for her belt, which is fixed with a holster for each leg.  The holsters would probably limit hip movement, but the actual hip joints beat them to it, so not a huge loss, I guess.  Domino’s paintwork is alright.  There’s some really strong work on the head, but the jumpsuit exhibits a lot of slop, in very obvious places.  Domino was packed with a pair of pistols (I seem to have misplaced one of mine…)

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these figures were released, my dad was after the Marvel Girl from the other set.  When he finally found them, our local Walmart was already clearancing them, so he went ahead and grabbed this set as well, on the off chance that I might want it.  As luck would have it, I was still into collecting action figures that particular day, so I did want this set!  Who would have guessed?  Despite not knowing a whole lot about him, I’ve always had a soft spot for Cannonball, and this figure was no exception.  I can point to all the figure’s flaws, but I still really like him.  Domino?  She’s just sort of there.  She’s not a bad figure, but I just feel nothing about her, so she just came along for the ride.  Of course, now that I actually have a Cable, she’s not quite as out of place, so that’s good!

cannonballdomino4

#0769: Cable & Stryfe

CABLE VS STRYFE

X-MEN: STEEL MUTANTS

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The X-Men were so popular in the 90s that they not only had two books of their own, but also a whopping three spin-off titles. Two of those, Excalibur and X-Factor, had been launched in the 80s, and the other, X-Force, was a rebranding of the New Mutants in order to make them more “extreme.” This included adding Cable, a dude who’s mutant power was apparently being a big dude with a gun, aka being the personification of 90s comics. Cable had a twin/clone, called Stryfe. Let’s look at some figures of those two today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released in the second series of Toy Biz’s X-Men: Steel Mutants line, because apparently the X-Men just weren’t 90s enough.

CABLE

CableStryfe2Oh man, here’s Cable. Why’s he called Cable? God only knows. Maybe he used to work for Comcast. That would certainly explain his surly nature. The figure stands 2 ½ inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation. Cable had quite a few figures in the 5 inch X-Force line, and this one uses Series 2’s Rapid Rocket Firing Cable as sort of a reference point. I don’t know if it’s based on a specific look, but it does present a slightly more subdued look for the character than usual. He doesn’t even have shoulder pads! His sculpt is generally pretty well handled. He’s got a good amount of detail, and his build does set him apart from the other figures in the line. Plus, I do dig that assymetry. His pose is pretty straight forward, with no real outlandish poising or anything, and he’s decently balanced, so there are no issues with getting him to stand. Cable’s paint is pretty much on par with the rest of the Steel Mutants. There’s a fair degree of bleed over around the edges, but he doesn’t look atrocious. The colors are pretty well chosen, and he looks pretty sharp.

STRYFE

CableStryfe3Yes, you read that name right. He’s named Stryfe. And it’s spelled with a “y.” Because 90s. Strule also stands roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has those same 4 points of articulation. Stryfe is presented here in full 90s glory. Check out that head gear. Seriously, that helmet looks like Liefeld deliberately set out to out-Wolverine Wolverine. I suppose they succeeded in that effort. Doesn’t make it look any less stupid, but more power to him. He appears to be inspired by the Stryfe figure in the 5-inch line, though he’s lost most of that figure’s interesting armor detailing, which has the unintended side effect of drawing more attention to just how goofy the main design of the character is. It doesn’t help matters that his sculpt is just markedly inferior to that of his pack mate. Cable is nicely sized, full of detail, and not in a super goofy pose. Stryfe is the opposite of those things. The size is particularly egregious, since he’s a clone of Cable, and should therefore be about the same size. That coupled with the long monkey arms, the strange lunging pose of the legs, and the ill-fitting cape makes for a really rough looking figure. The paint doesn’t really do him any favors either. He’s mostly a somewhat drab silver, which only further highlights the blandness of the sculpt. It is, at the very least, clean, which I suppose is a plus.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This pair was purchased for me from Yesterday’s Fun, alongside the previously reviewed Cyclops and Mr. Sinister set, courtesy of my Super Awesome Girlfriend. Unlike the other set, I never had either of these guys growing up. In fact, this set represents the first, and to date only, Stryfe figure in my collection. So, there’s that. Cable is a pretty solid figure, but Stryfe is easily one of the weakest figures this line had to offer, resulting in an oddly balanced set.