#1467: Rogue



“The genetic abilities of the young drifter known as Rogue are both a blessing and a curse. The young mutant has the power to absorb the memories and powers of others through the slightest touch, but because she has no control over this talent, she must keep even those she cares for at a distance. She first met Wolverine when he saved her from an attacking angry mob and feels a special kinship with him because she once used her powers to absorb his mutant healing factor and memories in order to save her life. As a result, she understands why the mysterious loner has such a troubled soul.”

For 2000’s X-Men movie, Rogue was somewhat refitted into a focal point character, through whom the audience could be more easily introduced to the titular team of mutants.  Since it’s not a role the character had previously filled, she was refitted with some traits from the last two characters to fill this role, Kitty Pryde and Jubilee, which ended up making her a little less Rogue-like.  Still, she got to be a very central figure in on of the franchise’s most visible offerings, so it’s hardly the worst thing ever, right?  And she got toys out of the deal, which is always a win in my book.


Rogue was released in Series 2 of Toy Biz’s X-Men: The Movie tie-in line of figures.  The first two series of the line were actually released simultaneously, something Toy Biz did with a few lines at the time.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Most of that articulation is rendered essentially inert, thanks to some very low range of motion.  The neck has the hair to contend with, the cuffs of the jeans restrict the feet, and the hips are v-hips that are so shallow they barely even count as v-hips.  Essentially, she’s good for standing, and that’s about it.  Oh, and she can also wave her arms around.  That’s fun!  The sculpt was an all-new venture, and it’s decent enough for the time, I guess.  The body seems a little skinny for Anna Paquin, and the head doesn’t really look all that much like her, but it’s decent enough from a purely aesthetic standpoint.  She looks like an actual person, which is always a good thing.  The paint work is passable, if maybe a little basic for a figure that’s supposedly based on a real person.  There’s at least some fun detailing on her blouse and undershirt.  She’s got a streak of white in her hair, showing that she’s supposed to be from the end of the movie.  It’s only in the final film ever so briefly, and even the prototype didn’t have it, but one can certainly understand why Toy Biz would want Rogue to have at least one recognizable trait.  Rouge included an overcoat and scarf, both cloth, which completed her look from the film.  They were both rather over-sized and goofy, but better than nothing, I suppose.


After rushing out to get Cyclops and Jean Grey when they were first released, I patiently waited for my 8th birthday to get the rest of the line.  Rogue was near the top of my list, but she and Toad were both short-packed, meaning they weren’t found for my actual birthday.  However, I did get a little money, which I immediately took to the nearest Toys R Us, where I found both Rogue and Toad in one fell swoop.  Nifty! Rogue is perhaps not the most thrilling figure, but she’s a pretty solid standard civilian, and you don’t get many of those.


#1318: Logan



“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.


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 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.

#0127: Jean Grey




In the 90s, the 5 inch scaled ruled to toy aisle, due in no small part to ToyBiz’s gargantuan line of Marvel toys, specifically those based on the 90s mega-giant X-Men.  It looked like that was where we’d be staying for a while.  But then, the X-Men movie was released in 2000, and they were released in… 6 inch scale?  It wasn’t the first time we’d seen such a scale, but it certainly wasn’t prevalent.  Coupled with ToyBiz’s continued release of other 5 inch product, it looked like this might just be a blip on the radar.

If you’ve followed the action figure industry in recent years, you would know that the 6 inch scale was far from a blip on the radar.  It went on to become the ruling scale on the market for over ten years, which was impressive.  And a lot of its owed to the X-Men Movie line making a bold jump.  Today’s review is a two-fer, looking at both versions of Jean Grey from the line.


Jean was released as part of the first series of the X-Men Movie Series.  She stands about 6 inches tall and has 10 points of articulation.  I feel it necessary to point out that only about 6 of those points are really useful, and even then it’s iffy, thanks to the odd cut joints and strange pose of the figure.   Anyway, the sculpt is a bit of a mixed bag.  Sculpturally, the only difference between the two figures is the hair style.  The original release had it down, the second had it up in a ponytail.   They both look fine, though the ponytail look is more accurate to the character’s appearance in the movie.  The facial sculpt is actually a pretty decent approximation of Famke Janssen.  The body’s where things start to fall apart.  It has some really nice details on the suit, with some great work on the zippers and folds and such, but the proportions of the underlying body are just weird.  The arms are too long, the waist is too thin, and her legs are in this odd sideways crouch sort of thing.  All in all, just very strange.  The paint on these two is pretty good for the time.  I think I like the work on the first release a bit more, as it looks a bit cleaner.  There is one notable change between the two on the paint front.  The second release has a black t-shirt painted on under the uniform.  Apparently, this was the main reason for the second release, as there were some complaints from a few concerned parents about the pulled down zippers and total lack of any kind of covering on the two female characters in uniform.  Honestly, it’s a perfectly reasonable point to make, and it’s actually a bit odd that they had their uniforms zipped so far down, given that Jean has hers zipped up just like her male compatriots in the film proper.  Both Jeans included an incredibly creepy mutated Senator Kelly as there only accessory.


The first version of Jean was my second figure from the movie line.  She, along with Professor X were purchased for me by my Nana as an end of school gift.  Yeah, I had the option to get anyone in the line, and I bought a girl and a guy in a wheelchair.  I was a strange kid.  Anyway, I held onto that one for a while, and remember the controversy and subsequent rerelease of Jean, now with t-shirt and appropriate hair style.  I was happy with my first release version, and thanks to the reissue thing, it was actually quite rare.

Then, I came home one day to find that my dog had gotten into my room and pretty much destroyed my Jean figure.  The first release was fairly difficult to find at that point, so I had to settle for the reissue.  Fortunately, a few months ago, my comic book store got in a large selection of older figures loose, and the first release Jean was amongst them, allowing me to once again have the figure!