#3230: Nimrod

NIMROD

X-FORCE (TOY BIZ)

“The most dangerous Sentinel of a dark future timeline, the robot known as Nimrod has returned to the present to achieve his prime directive — the eradication of all mutants! With an arsenal of weapons and a virtually indestructible body, there’s little anyone can do to stop him… even the X-Men!”

Where would we be without our dangerous Sentinels from a dark future timeline?  In a much worse place, I assure you.  I mean, without Nimrod, we wouldn’t have Bastion, or all of the Orchis subplots from Hickman’s X-Men.  Could you imagine a world without those things?  Because I can.  And…actually I wouldn’t mind it so much.  But I guess I’d miss Nimrod a little bit.  But, fortunately, he does exist.  So, you know, here we are.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nimrod was released in Series 6 of Toy Biz’s X-Force line.  This marked his very first time as a figure, and would more or less remain his only version for a surprisingly long time.  Unfortunately, due to an issue of timing, they wound up going with a very modern and up to the moment look that Nimrod was sporting in the X-Force comics at the time, which was a rather divergent look that didn’t stick.  But, I guess it’s better than nothing?  Sure, let’s go with that.  The figure stands a little under 5 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Nimrod wasn’t particularly posable, with no neck or elbow movement, as well as greatly restricted movement on his shoulders and knees.  Not really a ton you can do with it all, but it’s kind of something you have to deal with on any version of Nimrod.  He’s just clunky.  The figure’s also rather on the small side for Nimrod, who’s classically a pretty sizable guy.  He’s chunkier than other figures, but not actually any larger, which does make him seem…less than imposing.  The figure does an alright job of capturing the design from the comics, for better or for worse.  It’s not as sleek a design as the usual, but there’s at least some cool tech detailing.  Nimrod’s colorscheme is largely red, which isn’t the usual, but it’s again accurate.  All of the red is molded, with painted yellow and black accenting.  Nimrod was originally packed with a missile for his wrist cannon, which my figure is missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Nimrod wasn’t really much on radar as a kid, largely due to him not actually looking like the character in anything I knew him from.  I wound up getting him much later, during one of my 5-inch Marvel sprees in the summer of 2017.  He’s not really the figure anyone wanted.  He’s not bad, though.  Just limited by the source material he came from.  It’s just a shame they didn’t at least do him in the more classic Nimrod colors at some point, just to sort of do that half step.  But, nowadays, we’ve got the Legends release, so I guess it all worked out.

#3225: Stryfe

STRYFE

X-FORCE (TOY BIZ)

“Stryfe is the mysterious evil mutant who could be Cable’s brother – or perhaps even Cable himself! No one knows the truth about this fearsome warrior, and anyone who came close to finding out learned never to do it again! Styfe’s armor is not only shatter-proof, it’s packed with amazing weapons systems. But his most dangerous weapon is his energy mace – with just a touch it can destroy a skyscraper.”

Ah, Stryfe.  He’s so ’90s, it’s painful.  Definition of try-hard.  Just way too much going on.  Ooooh, what if he’s Cable?  Or what if he’s a clone?  And what if he looks like Wolverine, but with more Wolverine stuff shoved on his face?  But he’s also in a full suit of armor?  And he’s maybe a telepath?  And there’s a random “y” in his name, in place of the proper vowel?  See what I mean?  Too much going on.  He’s just so hard to follow.  At least he had a short run of action figures, I guess.  Well, here’s the first one of those.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Stryfe was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Force line.  He was one of two outright villains in the first assortment, the other being the wonderfully named “Forearm.”  Gotta love that one.  The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation, as well as a flip-up helmet.  The figure’s sculpt was all-new.  Apart from the head, which was re-used for one of the X-Men boxed sets later down the line, it was a sculpt that remained unique.  I looked at the slightly miniaturized version of the sculpt when it was in the Steel Mutants line-up, and I wasn’t particularly enamored by it at the time.  I’m still not really enamored by it here.  He’s scrawny, strangely shaped, and still largely devoid of detailing.  The flip-up helmet is an interesting concept, but it just winds up looking really strange.  It’s just so flat, and the underlying head just winds up looking silly.  The cape piece is removable, and….well, it connects at a very unfortunate spot, right in the middle of the butt.  Yes, this figure has a butthole.  Why connect it there?  Doesn’t it just feel like it’s asking for trouble?  The paint work on this figure is very basic.  Lots of silver.  All very flat.  It’s alright.  Stryfe was packed with his weirdly shaped mace, which is just about as goofy as he is.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t like Stryfe.  I’ve never liked Stryfe.  This figure’s always looked lame, and I stand by that.  I bought him because I want all of them, and he was cheap because I bought him loose.  He’s not great.  He’s really not.  He’s a try-hard, and that comes through on the figure, too.  I guess it could be worse.  It could be Ahab.  But that’s not a lot to clear, really.

#3220: Warpath

WARPATH

X-FORCE (TOY BIZ)

“He’s super-strong and super loyal! He’s the Native American known as Warpath! The X-Force team loves him for his rock-steady calm in even the most dangerous situations. Because he’s so big and so strong, Evil Mutants often attack him first, thinking that “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”. But in Warpath’s case, it’s the Evil Mutants who fall!”

The X-Men were really big in the ’90s, and the best way to capitalize on that is spin-offs!  Previous X-book The New Mutants was made more x-friendly with its own x-themed title, X-Force, and, with X-Force itself becoming a pretty big deal, it got its own spin-off of Toy Biz’s own X-Men toyline.  They got right to work filling in the team’s roster, in an assortment that, in a form of dramatic irony, didn’t actually feature any of the New Mutants members who had transferred over.  It did, however, feature Warpath, brother to X-Man proper Thunderbird, getting a figure years before his brother did.  How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Warpath was released in the first series of Toy Biz’s X-Force toyline.  He was one of three actual team members in the set.  The X-Force line was a bit slower on getting out actual team members than the X-Men line, but then again, the actual book was far more focused on side characters most of the time too.  The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Warpath lacks elbows and knees, which were still kind of phasing in and out at this point.  Presumably, the lack of them here was somehow linked to his slightly larger stature.  Not much larger, mind you; he’s actually surprisingly small for Warpath, who is classically a quite large and imposing guy, especially in the ’90s.  The sculpt is also kind of soft in terms of detailing, and sort of pre-posed, but also really stiff?  It’s an odd mix.  His muscles are also just kind of odd lumps.  I mean, aside from the very definite presence of feet, he’s not a bad match for a Liefeld drawing.  Perhaps not in terms of actual look, but certainly in terms of vibe.  The paint work on the figure is honestly not bad.  It’s bright and colorful, and the application is pretty sharp and clean.  Warpath is packed with…a red bazooka?  Not really sure why.  Not exactly true to the character, but, well, there it is.  He also featured a “Thunder Punch Action,” which just means his arms swing opposite directions when he’s twisted at the waist.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is another one of those figures that I looked at a lot growing up, but never actually wound up buying until I was an adult.  I snagged him sealed in the summer of 2017, alongside a bunch of other ’90s Toy Biz stuff.  He’s…not a terribly impressive figure.  I mean, he’s not awful either, I guess, but that’s not exactly a lot to write home about.

#2904: X-Force Cannonball & Shatterstar

X-FORCE CANNONBALL & SHATTERSTAR

MARVEL MINIMATES

Marvel Minimates have always paid very close attention to ‘90s Marvel, specifically the X-Men side of things. In 2010, we even got a small subset of Liefeld-inspired X-Force Minimates, which included Liefeld-favorite Cannonball and Liefeld-creation Shatterstar!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cannonball and Shatterstar were released in the ninth TRU-exclusive series of Marvel Minimates, which hit at the tail end of 2010.

X-FORCE CANNONBALL

Not Cannonball’s first or last time as a Minimate, this particular take on the former New Mutant gives us his first Liefeld design, which, despite my usual distaste for things Liefeld, is actually one of the better takes on Cannonball.  Cannonball is built with four add-on pieces, for his hair/goggles, coat, and gloves. The gloves are just standard flared gloves (DC flared gloves, though; not Captain America flared gloves), but do their job well enough. The hair piece and jacket are both new, and do a reasonable job of capturing Sam’s in-book appearance. The hair could perhaps stand to be a little sharper in terms of detailing, but the coat definitely turned out well.  The paint on Cannonball is reasonable overall, but some of the application is rather sloppy. The boots on my figure are particularly messy. This assortment falls during the stretch of time where the plastic quality on Minimates took a bit of a dive. They aren’t hit by the worst of it, but you can sort of see the difference in the coloring of the skin-tone on the head, and how the paint takes to the plastic (detail lines here are generally a bit duller).  In terms of accessories, Cannonball’s only got one, but it’s a good one. He’s got a blast effect piece that plugs into the bottom of his torso in place of his legs, depicting how he is usually drawn when using his powers.

X-FORCE SHATTERSTAR

This figure marked Shatterstar’s debut as a Minimate, appropriately in his debut costume from the pages of New Mutants #99. Shatterstar is a character with a history of truly hideous costumes. This one is hardly an exception.  Shatterstar has add-on pieces for his hair/headgear, shoulderpad/scarf, belt, and gloves. The gloves are the same ones used on Cannonball, but beyond that, all of the other add-ons were new to Shatterstar.  They’re decent enough recreations of his gear from the comics, goofy as they may be. Shatterstar also has the poofy sleeved upper arms that first showed up on the Series 29 90s Storm. I’ve never been overly fond of these pieces, given how far they stick out from the chest block. Just the standard arms might have worked better, especially on a figure that’s already as bulked up as this one.  Shatterstar’s paint is rather similar to Cannonball’s. There’s some serious slop on the changeover from white to black on the legs. He’s also plagued by the same issues of plastic quality. The skintone’s a sickly color, and the white has always been a little bit yellowed. Just an overall messy piece of work.  Shatterstar is packed with a pair of his signature twin-bladed swords. They’re decent enough on their own merits (apart from some slight warping from the packaging), but the choice of hands for him means he has some serious trouble properly holding them. Getting them into his hands can take some serious effort.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This pack marked a rather easy to acquire purchase for me back when they were new, surprisingly.  I wound up finding them on a last minute stop at TRU during the holiday season, when I wasn’t actually expecting to find anything.  Cannonball is an overall decent rendition of the character, slightly held back by a few quality issues.  Shatterstar is a flawed figure, in both design and execution. Had the execution been there, I think he still would have been fine, but he had the misfortune of being released during one of the roughest periods of quality control, so he ends up really middle of the road. Not awful, but not so great either.

 

#2509: Warpath

WARPATH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A powerful mutant with superhuman strength and speed, Warpath is a formidable warrior with a proud and noble heart.”

One thing that seems to accompany the mutant gene in the Marvel universe is a propensity to breed like rabbits.  Everybody and their brother seems to have…a brother.  Okay, poor choice of words.  But, the point still stands, that a whole lot of the merry mutants have siblings, frequently with similar, or even identical, power sets.  I guess it’s a pretty easy way for the writers to “bring back” a character that can’t really be brought back.  Such was the case James Proudstar, brother to John Proudstar, the original Thunderbird and early addition to the X-Men’s casualty list.  James cropped up first under the same title as his brother, before jumping into his own identity as Warpath, whose wound up with a good deal more staying power than his brother.  That’s probably why he’s got so many more figures.  Well, here’s one more.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Warpath is figure 6 in the Strong Guy Series of Marvel Legends.  Unlike a lot of this assortment, this isn’t Warpath’s first time as a Legend; he got two separate figures back during the two-pack days of Hasbro, covering two of his later X-Force costumes.  This one, however, goes back to his start with X-Force, and gives him that proper Liefeldian design.  Shoulder pads and pouches!  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Warpath is built on the body introduced with Omega Red back in 2018.  It’s honestly surprising it took this long for the body to crop back up, because it’s a really solid big guy type of body, with a really good articulation scheme.  It’s certainly a welcome improvement to the Hyperion body, or even that weird Hulkling take-off the prior Warpaths made use of.  Warpath gets a new head, hands, forearms, shins, and add-ons for his shoulder pads, wrist bracers, and belt.  The head seems perhaps a touch on the large side, if I’m honest.  Not terribly so, but in line with Hasbro’s usual difficulties getting the proportions just right on some of the larger characters.  Sizing aside, though, it’s a really nice sculpt, definitely befitting James’s usual depictions.  The forearms clean up the Omega Red-specific elements of the prior mold, paving the way for easier use for other characters, while the shins not only add another point of articulation, but also add in Warpath’s fringed boots.  The shoulder pads do a variation of the Omega Red ones, pegging into place on the shoulders.  It keeps them secure, while still allowing for removal, if that’s your thing.  The bracers and belt wrap things up with some fairly standard issue parts, which work out pretty well.  His paint work is pretty basic, but also pretty appropriate.  They did tone down his colors ever so slightly from how they were initially depicted in the comics, but it definitely still works, and probably even works a bit better, since he ends up a little less garish.  Warpath’s accessory complement is…odd?  He’s got a second pair of hands for gripping, but nothing to grip.  I don’t mind the extra hands at all, but I’m not used to seeing them without accessories to interact with.  Perhaps he was supposed to have some knives or something?  He also gets the left leg of Strong Guy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Warpath’s not a character I’ve ever had any sort of major attachment to, due mostly to never really following any of the stories he was a part of.  Subsequently, I’ve also not really collected many of his figures, apart from having his first Toy Biz offering.  That said, he’s got a pretty distinctive design, so I was down to see his classic look get some Legends love, especially with most of the team already here.  He’s a pretty strong figure.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy 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.

#2508: Sunspot

SUNSPOT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“In his solar form, Sunspot possesses the supreme power and cosmic durability of a supernova.”

Anyone know of a good way to start a Sunspot review?  I don’t.  I mean, apart from this rather meta thing we’ve got going on here.  I guess this works in a pinch.  Gonna be honest, I don’t have much to say about Sunspot as a character.  He’s never done a whole lot for me.  He’s just sort of there.  Now I’ve got him in Marvel Legends form, and he’s just sort of here.  And now, so is this review, I suppose.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sunspot is figure 5 in the Strong Guy Series of Marvel Legends.  After some tangential ties, Sunspot is the first figure to really embrace the X-Force theme, what with being a proper member of the team and all.  Sunspot’s wearing his Greg Capullo-designed costume, which is probably the best of his ’90s looks, in addition to also being the one used in the old Toy Biz days.  Technically, it doesn’t quite match with the other X-Force members we’ve gotten, what with them being in their Liefeld costumes, but the Toy Biz figures did the same thing, and it’s honestly not terribly far removed.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Sunspot is based on the Bucky Cap body, albeit with a lot more new parts than your might expect.  He’s got a new head, torso, pelvis, and lower legs.  It keeps him at the same basic build as the standard body, but refreshes a few of the parts that were starting to show some degradation on Spymaster, which I’d count as a definite plus.  The new parts are all pretty solidly handled, but I do have one minor complaint: as cool as the energy effect on his back is, it’s a shame it’s not removable.  It ends up being slightly limiting when it comes to posing the figure.  Other than that, he’s a pretty solid translation of the design, and is a good pair off with his old TB figure.  The paintwork on him is generally pretty solid, and he is nothing if not an eye-catching figure.  The bright red and blue really makes him stand out from the pack on the shelf.  Sunspot is packed with two of those orby effects pieces that we all have far too many of, but now in a solid black.  He also includes <most of> the torso for Strong Guy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As the intro may have clued you in, I’m not really that huge into Sunspot.  Couldn’t really tell you why.  I like the other New Mutants well enough, but he’s never stuck out to me.  I did have his 5-inch figure back in the day, and he’s a cool one, but ultimately there’s not much to draw me in on this guy.  That being said, I can appreciate filling in the X-Force team a bit more, and there’s no denying that this guy has a vibrant design.  I also dig the minor updates to the Bucky Cap mold to keep it still going.  Overall, not a bad figure.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy 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.

#2256: Deadpool

DEADPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

Boy howdy am I running out of compelling ways to start Deadpool-themed reviews.  To say he’s overdone may be something of an understatement.  There’s *only* been three figures of him this year for Marvel Legends though, so I guess that represents Hasbro backing things off a little bit.  Lucky us.  I’ve managed to pick up all of them so far, so why stop now, I guess.  So, here’s one more Deadpool.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Deadpool is a standalone Marvel Legends release, done up in the retro style cardback packaging.  Like the Grey Hulk I reviewed earlier this month, he was originally slated to be a con-exclusive release, before being moved to the fan channel.  This Deadpool is designed to be an earlier in his career Deadpool, specifically patterned after the ’90s Toy Biz figure whose packaging this one mimics.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation. Sculpturally, he’s essentially identical to the classic Deadpool figure released in the Sasquatch Series last year.  The only difference between the two is that this one adds a second strap of pouches to the left leg so as to better mimic the old figure.  He’s using the 2099 body, which is a solid starting point, especially for a character like Deadpool.  He then has add-ons for his webgear/belt, the pouches on his legs, and his neck, wrist, and ankle straps.  He’s also got the classic Deadpool head, which fits the body a lot better than the Juggernaut Series one did for the X-uniform Deadpool.  Ultimately, it results in a pretty solid figure, especially if you missed the Classic Deadpool like me.  The figure’s paint mixes things up a little bit as well.  This is in part to more closely match the old toy, so things like the belt and torso gear have been left red like on that figure.  However, they’ve also changed the black parts of the costume to a dark metallic blue, which is honestly a pretty cool look, and really feels like it hearkens back to those early ’90s appearances of the character.  The application is all very clean, and the colors really pop off of each other.  Deadpool is actually pretty decently accessorized for a vintage-packed release, with two swords, two small machine guns, a pistol, and a larger assault rifle.  Given that the Classic Deadpool only included the swords, that’s actually kind of surprising, and I’m definitely glad they went the extra mile.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Much like Hulk, when this was still planned for a con release, I paid very little attention to it.  I passed on the Sasquatch Series release numerous times, and this one, while certainly a neat look, didn’t feel any more essential than that one.  The shift to Fan Channel meant that he more or less arrived in my lap, and going in with no expectations, he’s another figure I ended up liking quite a bit.  Honestly, that’s kind of been the case with all of this year’s Deadpool figures, so maybe I should just stop complaining about them.

#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.