#2791: Havok

HAVOK

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

In the Series 3 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, the original line-up included a Havok figure, who, like US Agent and Adam Warlock later would be, was cut from the line-up due to the slow-roll of scaling back how many figures were in each assortment.  Unlike those two, however, Havok was scrapped before getting to the prototyping stage, so the only thing we saw of him was an illustration of his head alongside the others in the assortment on the card backs for that set.  While Havok would of course make his way into the line proper several years later as part of the Invasion Series, that was after he had changed over to his X-Factor team uniform.  His classic attire would go un-produced for another six years, when it would finally make its way into toy form as an exclusive through ToyFare magazine.  I’ll be looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Havok was offered up as an exclusive mail-away figure in ToyFare #16, officially going up for order at the end of 1998, and arriving to collectors in early 1999.  Though clearly designed to accent Toy Biz’s ongoing X-Men line, the only branding on his fairly simple white box was his own name and the ToyFare logo.  Honestly, it was a bit surprising that he got anything at all, as earlier figures had just been in plain white boxes.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has an impressive 16 points of articulation.  Havok is based on the body of the Spider-Man line’s Daredevil, one of Toy Biz’s very best bodies from their 5-inch days, not only on a sculpt front, but especially on an articulation front.  It also was a fairly blank canvas, which made it a decent starting point for Havok.  There are some remnant details for the glove, boot, and belt lines, but given that he’s all black, they’re easy enough to look past.  Havok’s head sculpt is borrowed from Black Bolt, but with the tuning fork on the head removed and replaced with Havok’s usual head gear.  That head gear does have a tendency to come loose if you’re not careful, and the actual head’s eye holes on the mask don’t line up with Havok’s, but it’s generally an okay set-up, and certainly good given the standards for prior exclusives up to this point.  Havok’s paint work is fairly basic, but follows the design well.  It does have to contend with the sculpt not matching with the paint on the head, but it could be worse.  It hits the right notes, and that’s what’s important.  Havok included no accessories, but I’m honestly not sure what he could have gotten.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s again a Havok figure’s fault for a huge chunk of my collecting.  I know; you’re all terribly surprised.  I already had the main line Havok by this point, but when this guy was announced as an exclusive and I read about it on my main source for toy news, one Raving Toy Maniac, I was all about getting him, which meant buying my first issue of this weird ToyFare thing.  Upon reading this weird ToyFare thing, I was pretty well hooked, and got myself a subscription, which I hung onto until rather close to the end of the magazine’s publication.  It undoubtedly was responsible for me being as up-to-date with toys as I was at the time, and got me buying plenty of things I would have otherwise not even known had existed.  Havok himself is a pretty nice little figure.  Sure, he’s mostly repaint, but he’s a good repaint, and probably one of the stronger 5-inch Marvel exclusives from ToyFare.

#2786: Dani Moonstar

DANI MOONSTAR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Part of a group of young mutants, Dani Moonstar has the ability to conjure illusions based on her enemy’s deepest fears.”

Debuting in 1982, the New Mutants were an attempt to go back to the “troubled youngsters” angle of the original X-Men pitch, which had been since lost in the main book.  Included in the team’s five-member founding line-up was Dani Moonstar, who initially went by the alias of “Psyche”, before switching over to “Mirage”, and then ultimately just going by her own name, because if you’ve got a name as cool as “Dani Moonstar” maybe you don’t need to try to make it cooler.  Dani was ultimately written out of the book before it’s conclusion (though she was at least lucky enough not to be killed on her way out, which was more than could be said for poor Cypher and Karma), and that meant she wasn’t folded into X-Force, so she didn’t take off quite the same way that Canonball, Sunspot, and Wolfsbane.  However, she’s still got some things going for her, such as a Marvel Legends figure.  How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dani Moonstar was released in late 2019/early 2020, as part of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  She was initially a Walgreens-exclusive figure, and followed in the store’s trend of getting female X-characters as their exclusives.  Earlier this year, she was offered up for a fan channel release as well, making her generally more accessible.  Yay!  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  She’s built on the Phoenix body, with newly sculpted parts for her head, forearms, and boots.  Dani is based on her mid-00s team suit design, from after they’d relaunched the New Mutants in light of most of them not being dead anymore.  It’s an update on their original black and yellow costumes, in turn based on the original X-Men designs.  It’s a pretty basic design, but not a bad one from a team stand-point.  Technically, there should be a few more character specific elements for it to be properly customized to Dani’s look from the comics, but there’s a decent reason it’s not: because this figure’s designed to be more than just Dani.  She includes two extra heads, as well as two extra sets of hands, which allow her to be displayed as her team-mates Karma and Wolfsbane, also in their mid-00s team suits.  The heads are pretty nice pieces themselves, and the overall appearance works out way more convincingly than, say, the Lilandra head included with Mystique, so there’s more out of the box value here.  In terms of paint work, the figure’s overall pretty basic. The work on the suit is nice and clean, and the individual heads all feel sufficiently distinct from each other in terms of how they handle the palette and themes of the characters.  In addition to the whole extra set of head and hands for the two separate characters, Dani does also get a couple of accessories of her own, namely a bow and a single arrow, which both appear to be new pieces, as near as I can tell.  She has a little trouble holding the arrow, but it’s still a good look overall.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m generally not a huge New Mutants fan (though I’m all about Cypher and Warlock), so I wasn’t in a hurry to get this particular release.  That was probably for the best, because it was never all that numerous around these parts.  I think I saw it once, while driving between locations for work, and I just wasn’t feeling it enough to grab it at the time.  That being said, when she was just at All Time, and I was already grabbing a handful of other figures that came in that day, Dani was harder to pass up.  She’s a decent figure, if perhaps not quite as impressive as more uniquely designed figures.  Still, it’s a cool concept, and her being a 3-in-1 is certainly a nifty prospect.

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

#2749: Polaris

POLARIS

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Lorna Dane, a long-time friend to the X-Men, is the mutant known as Polaris! Able to manipulate the forces of magnetism, she has learned to utilize her powers in various ways, such as creating force fields and firing pure bolts of magnetic energy! As a member of the government sanctioned X-Factor Team, Polaris will not hesitate to use her powerful mutant abilities to help the X-Men whenever she is needed!”

“Long-time friend” kind of down plays that whole period in the ’60s when she was an actual member of the team.  Or that period in the ’80s when she was an actual member of the team.  Heck, you can’t even use the “maybe they were trying to keep it in line with the cartoon” excuse, because, there too, she was an actual member of the team.  What I’m getting at here is a simple question: why does this unnamed Toy Biz copy writer have a personal vendetta against Lorna Dane?  Is it because of all the times she’s been brainwashed and crazy?  Because you’re going to have to rule out, like, 90% of the X-Men, if that’s your thing.  I will not stand for this slander libel against Lorna.  It’s unreasonable, I tell you!  I’m so mad, I’m gonna review this action figure.  I know, that’s so out of character for me.  See?  See how mad I am?  It’s your move, person that wrote the packaging text on a figure from 25 years ago for a toy company that’s been defunct for over a decade…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Polaris was released in the “Flashback Series” of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which hit shelves in 1996, and was the 15th assortment in the line.  It was that year’s requisite repaint series, which they’d gotten somewhat attached to, I suppose.  Polaris marked the third member of the ’90s X-Factor team added, and would be the last one added to the mainstream line.  She’s ostensibly in her ’90s team attire, but I’ll get a bit more into that in a moment.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation.  Since it was a repaint series, Polaris is, unsurprisingly, a repaint, specifically of the Series 6 Rogue figure.  It’s not a terrible sculpt, I suppose, but it was a little outdated by this point, making her a little stiffer than other figures from the same year.  And, while the overall design of the character matches up alright with the sculpt if you squint, it’s not a super close match, and ends up amalgamates a few of her different X-Facter looks.  It’s seems to be closes to the sleeveless w/ headband look she had slightly later in the run, but adds a jacket to the mix (since Rogue’s was sculpted in place), and somewhat awkwardly recreates a few of her costume design elements by ignoring or reinterpreting the actual sculpted Rogue elements.  This is largely done by the paint work, which does the heavy lifting to make Rogue look like Polaris.  Honestly, it does a pretty respectable job, and while it looks like she’s a repaint, she’s at least distinctly different enough to not look totally out of place if both figures are on the shelf.  Polaris was packed with a removable belt, and a weird translucent green gun thing…I suppose to make up for Rogue’s general lack of the obligatory unnecessary gun?  She also keeps Rogue’s “Power Upper Punch” action feature, which is a little out of place with Lorna, but it’s a part of the sculpt, so it stays.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had Havok in my X-Men collection from the very beginning, so I couldn’t very well not have Polaris to go with him, right?  I got her back when she was new, and if I’m recalling correctly, I believe she was given to me by my parents, alongside the second of the two X-Men carrying cases I had as a kid.  I actually got her before Rogue, if I recall correctly, which made her stand out a bit more in my collection at the time.  She’s perhaps not the most exciting or inventive figure in the line, but she’s not a bad figure either, and that places her into the half of the “Flashback” assortment that wasn’t totally pointless.  Good for her.

#2742: Archangel

ARCHANGEL

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Rich playboy Warren Worthington III was the X-Men’s Angel until the day that he was captured and transformed into one of the horsemen of Apocalypse. A darker reflection of his previous self, Archangel now possessed wings made of metal – wings that he could barely control, wings that fired paralyzing “feathers” at friends as well as enemies. Constantly battling his dark side, Archangel longed to regain the goodness that he once stood for. Recently finding kinship with the X-Men’s Psylocke, Archangel has come to terms with his transformation, and has started to rebuild the life he thought he had lost forever!”

Though only a recurring guest star in the show the line was loosely attempting to tie into, Archangel was treated alright by Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  He was in the initial assortment (which, admittedly, predated the show, so, you know…), and got a follow up just a few years into the line, in the Invasion Series.  Thanks to a rather notable costume change, which also made it’s way into the show, he got a third time up to bat, this time with a more radically different figure, which I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Archangel was released in the “Battle Brigade” Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was the 14th series of the line.  Unlike the last time around, Archangel stayed with this assortment through it’s whole run (although he, like the rest of the line-up, did get a color variant later into the run).  He’s sporting his white and blue costume, which had first appeared under Neal Adams’ tenure in the comics, and had been revived following Warren’s drive to distance himself further from Apocalypse’s influence.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  The figure is predominantly a re-use of the mold from Archangel II, sensible from a consistency stand point, I suppose.  I still think it’s a little bulky for Warren, and it’s still got the sculpted wrist bands from the prior costume, which this one just sort of pretends aren’t there.  Prototype shots had this guy reusing the entire sculpt, including the head, but the final product got a new head sculpt.  It would become one of Toy Biz’s favorites, with quite a few re-uses as the progressed.  It’s quite a lot thinner, and also really pouty, which was honestly pretty appropriate for Warren circa this era.  It does seem perhaps a touch small for the body, but it’s not awful, and I generally like this one more than the prior head sculpt.  The paint work on this one does its best to change the sculpt over to the changed costume, while ignoring the previously mentioned sculpted wrist bands.  It’s not terrible, but it’s kind of on the sloppy side, especially on the legs.  Definitely could be cleaner.  This Archangel had no accessories, but he retained the prior figure’s wing-flapping action feature, which is nifty enough.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Growing up, my go-to Archangel was the first one, but my Dad had this one, back when we were sort of sharing the collection a bit.  A few years later, I actually got one of my own, courtesy of a 5-inch Marvel collection that came through Cosmic Comix.  He was my favorite Archangel of the 5-inch run, but wound up getting lost in a box of other figures that got misplaced for about a decade or so.  In the mean time, I wound up getting a replacement at a con, but I was lucky enough to find that whole box of figures not long after, and, boom, now I have two.  Yay?  Yay.

#2739: Tri-Sentinel

TRI-SENTINEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The Sentinels, a recurring X-Men foe since their introduction in the ’60s, continue this trend as foes into the “House of X” story line, where they and the humans present the primary faction warring against the titular team of mutants.  As the story jumps around, we see the Sentinels in a variety of forms, as their designs advance.  During the sequences set 90 years in the future, amongst the Sentinel forces are a new form of the Tri-Sentinel, dubbed the Theta Sentinels.  Despite their quite minor role, they nevertheless serve as the inspiration for the newest X-themed Build-A-Figure for Marvel Legends, which I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Theta Sentinel, or “Tri-Sentinel” as it’s been dubbed by Hasbro on the packaging, is the Build-A-Figure for the Tri-Sentinel Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s based on the Theta Sentinel design as seen in the future sequences of “Powers of X”, tying it in with the rest of the assortment…sort of.  I mean, most of them are present day designs, and it’s from the future.  I guess Wolverine goes with it?  Maybe that was the main reason for him getting the extra head?  That would actually make sense.  Good form on Hasbro, I guess.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  There was discussion when this figure was unveiled (well, after the resounding “wait, what is that?” reaction) about it making use of parts from the SP//dr Build-A-Figure, but it actually doesn’t share any parts with that release at all.  Instead, it’s an all-new sculpt, based directly on the art from the book.  It’s not a bad piece.  It captures the design from the series pretty closely, and it’s fairly clean.  The detailing does feel a little soft in a few spots, especially on the core body, but it’s not terrible.  The articulation is also pretty solid, allowing for a rather wide range of motion, without too much impact on the sculpt.  The only real issue is with the way the heads connect to the torso.  Firstly, the sculpting doesn’t allow for a ton of range at the base of the heads, and secondly, they just really don’t want to stay in place.  That middle head in particular just keeps wanting to pop out of place on mine.  I think the socket for the joint is just a little too shallow for it to properly seat.  On top of that, it’s pretty hard to get the heads in there in the first place, due to the tight, cluttered placement, and how small the necks are relative to the heads.  It wasn’t a very pleasant experience putting it together, really, especially for my hands.  The paint work on the Tri-Sentinel is pretty basic, and follows the usual Sentinel set-up.  A few different purples, and some silver and grey.  There’s a lot of metallics in the finish, which does look pretty good.  The application’s generally pretty clean.  There are some slightly fuzzy edges, but for the most part it’s pretty good.  This figure gets no addition accessories, but as a Build-A-Figure, that’s not really a point against him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Theta Sentinel is a really minor player, enough that I had literally no clue who the Build-A-Figure was supposed to be when Hasbro announced this set.  I had to actually look it up, and even that didn’t exactly give me a lot to go on, especially given how minor the Theta Sentinels were.  Getting this figure wasn’t much of a driving factor behind getting the set or anything, so I just, sort of, completed it.  It’s an alright figure.  The posability on the body is nice, but the heads are frustrating, and having no attachment to the character leaves me in an odd spot with it.  It feels like there were probably better choices for this slot, but I guess they tried to make the best of what it was.

I find this whole assortment to sort of illicit almost a non-response from me.  I’ve been keeping current with the current X-books, but “House of X” itself wasn’t much for me.  Ultimately, this set’s kind of middling, I guess.  Moira and Jean are two long term wants, that turned out decent, if perhaps not quite as good as I’d hoped.  Wolverine and Cyclops are both solid, if perhaps slightly redundant, variants of core characters and a lot of fun.  Xavier and Magneto aren’t really designs I care for, nor do the figures really do a lot to win me over.  The pleasant surprise for me was definitely Omega Sentinel, who I had knowledge of going in, but who makes for a pretty fun little figure.  Overall, it’s a set I like well enough, but I don’t know if it’s much to write home about.

#2738: Cyclops – House of X

CYCLOPS — HOUSE OF X

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Cyclops assembles a team of mutants to destroy the Mother Mold and vanquish the Sentinel threat.”

After using him as something of a cross between a punching bag and a patsy for all things wrong with the X-books at the time, the original 616 version of Cyclops was ultimately killed off in a rather unceremonious fashion during what would ultimately prove a somewhat forgettable cross over.  Fortunately, someone over at Marvel realized that wasn’t the best treatment for the first X-Man, and he was resurrected, and subsequently given a central, and far more on-brand for the character, role in the X-Men’s latest revamp, sporting a classically-inspired design to match.  Now that design’s got a figure, which seems about right to me.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cyclops is figure 6 in the Tri-Sentinel Series of Marvel Legends, and is the final of the single-packed figures in the set.  He’s sporting Scott’s newest design, first introduced in “House of X”, and continuing into the main X-books.  It’s a merging of a handful of his prior designs, drawing a lot from the body of his Now! design, but with a more classically-inspired visor design, and the gauntlet set-up on the arms, much like his second Astonishing costume.  It’s a good design for the character, keeping a lot of the better elements of more recent looks, and merging them all into something that flows well together, and keeping that classic flair.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, like all of the other modern-era Cyclops figures.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess.  He also makes use of the cowled head from the Dark Phoenix two-pack version, which is a good, clean sculpt, marred only by the fact that the visor is ever so slightly misplaced on my copy, leaving a bit of a gap in the sculpt on the left side of the visor.  It’s fairly minor, and not terribly noticeable in person, but it still could be a bit better.  Cyclops also gets a new set of arms, and a new belt piece.  The arms add his gauntlets, as well as upgrading the elbows to the new pin-less design.  The new belt is, at first glance, very similar to the Now! figure, but it’s got a far greater depth of detail, and makes for a much stronger final product.  Cyclops’s paint work is fairly decent.  The blues go well together, and the whole thing looks pretty slick.  The line work has a little bit of slop, and there’s less clean application on the visor, but on the whole, it looks pretty good.  Cyclops is packed with an alternate head and attachable optic blast, repurposed from the X-Factor Cyclops figure.  It’s nice to see those parts turn up again, because I really liked them the first time around.  He’s also packed with the left arm of the Tri-Sentinel Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m a sucker for a halfway decent Cyclops figure, so I was on-board for this guy from the word go.  There’s not a ton new or unique to him, but he works well within the formula of the line, resulting in a solid and clean figure.  Honestly, he’s my personal favorite from this particular line-up, though I guess being a Cyclops does give him a slight advantage on that front.

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

#2737: Magneto – House of X

MAGNETO — HOUSE OF X

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Magneto forges an unlikely partnership with Xavier in pursuit of a lofty common goal: the protection of all mutants.”

The counterpart to Charles Xavier’s peaceful co-existence philosophy since the very beginning has been the more militant Magneto.  Magneto, however, is a character defined by his tendency to switch sides as his morals check in and out.  Recently, they’ve been checked in more often than not, and he’s spent most of the last decade as an ally of the team, with “House of X” later retconning him as a secret ally the whole time, throwing out all pretense entirely.  At the same time, the comics have become big on going for this whole monochromatic set-up for his costume, because I guess that’s clever.  Or something.  Legends already gave us an all-black Magneto, so I guess it was only a matter of time before we got an all-white one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto is figure 6 in the Tri-Sentinel Series of Marvel Legends, and is, like the rest of the set, based on the character’s appearance in “House of X” and the ongoing titles that followed.  It’s not terribly far removed from the character’s handful of Marvel Now! looks, being Magneto’s classic costume set up with a new palette dropped on it.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Like the other two current gen comic Magnetos, this guy’s based on the Spider-UK base body, which continues to be a good base for the character.  He re-uses the cape add-on piece from the 3-pack Magneto, along with an all-new head, forearms, and belt.  The head’s got the separate pieces for the helmet and underlying head, much like the last two releases.  It’s quite similar to, but still distinct from, the calm head from the 3-pack.  It feels like it didn’t need to be new to me, but Hasbro presumably felt differently.  The helmet’s nice, but there’s definitely something a little bit off about the underlying face.  It looks rather goofy, and maybe not as stern as they were aiming for.  The new arms and belt help to bring the figure’s design more in line with the comics appearance, and do their job pretty well.  I was a little disappointed that they didn’t take advantage of retooling the forearms to remove the exposed pins, as they have on a few other recent revisions, but it’s possible it didn’t cost out.  Other than that, the figure’s sculpt is pretty much just business as usual.  In terms of paint, this guy embraces the monochromatic nature of the modern Magneto design, so there’s not a ton of variance going on.  There are some silvers and blacks thrown in for accenting, and they aren’t bad.  The application’s also pretty sharp, which is a plus.  He does ditch some of the ribbing on the sides of his costume, but at least he doesn’t ditch everything wholesale like Xavier did.  Magneto is packed with three sets of hands, open gesture, gripping, and fists.  It’s a nice assortment, and nice to get all the variety.  Additionally, he’s packed with all three of the Tri-Sentinel Build-A-Figure’s heads.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Magneto’s classic color scheme is really hard to top for me, so I tend to be resistant to current trends of going all black or all white.  The all white look in particular tends to strike me as being just sort of odd for the character.  So, with that said, I wasn’t really feeling this guy when he was announced.  And, if I’m entirely honest, I don’t know how much I’m feeling this guy in-hand.  The 2019 release is just hard to top, and this one’s got the issue of that wonky face to deal with.  It’s not bad, I suppose, just a little uninspired feeling at the end of the day.

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

#2735: Elektra

ELEKTRA

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Seeking to put her past behind her, the ninja warrior known as Elektra found kinship during her time spend with the X-Men’s Wolverine. Along with Wolverine’s help, she began a new chapter in her life devoted to righting the wrongs of her past. Now facing her future as a hero, Elektra relies on the lessons she has learned and her twin ninja sais to overcome the evil force that would sway her from her path!”

Man, doesn’t that bio seem like a rather convoluted and forced way to justify putting Elektra into an X-Men toyline?  I mean, when you think Elektra, don’t you think “X-Men”?  Certainly there are no other areas of the Marvel universe that she’s got any closer ties to at all.  Clearly, Wolverine is Elektra’s closest connection from the Marvel universe who has also had a definitive run featuring Frank Miller on the creative duties.  No one else would have a more sensible place in the bio at all.  Uh huh.  Well, uh, let’s look at this totally naturally placed Elektra figure, then, I guess.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Elektra was released in the “Classic Light-Up Weapons” Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, released in mid-1996.  Now, I’m going to go in hard contrast to my intro up there and say that Elektra’s a pretty wonky choice of a character for an X-Men assortment.  Why in the world?  Well, I’ll sort of get to that in a moment.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall and she has 9 points of articulation.  If you feel like you’ve seen this sculpt before, that’s because you have.  I reviewed it once before, back when it was Psylocke, from this same assortment.  While the other figures in the line-up all got paint variants that were the same character, for some reason, Psylocke’s alternate colors were used to make her an entirely new, entirely unrelated character instead.  I guess that Elektra and Psylocke have vaguely similar designs, but it’s really hard to say it’s not a stretch.  The paint serves as the main change up, here, of course, with the costume switching from blue to red, her hair from purple to black, and her skin tone shifting ever so slightly.  It looks more like Elektra than it did before, I suppose, but it’s not like it’s spot on, or anything.  Elektra is packed with the same accessories as Psylocke was, a katana and the light-up psychic knife.  They’re definitely more Psylocke than they are Elektra, and it means she lacks the sais her bio quite blatantly mentions, but I suppose it could be worse.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Elektra’s presence in this line-up has always perplexed me.  This figure was my first real knowledge of the character, and lead to me being rather confused about who exactly she was, given that, you know, she’s not an X-Men character, but she was in an X-Men assortment just the same.  I’m not really sure what possessed Toy Biz to do Elektra this way, but I guess it got her a figure, and it was her first time as a toy and all, so it was better than nothing.  I ultimately wound up getting this figure from All Time a few years back, after putting off getting her for a while, just because of the weirdness of the figure.  She’s really just exactly what she is, which is a Psylocke repaint.  And I guess that’s not the worst thing, but it’s just…weird.

#2734: Moira MacTaggert

MOIRA MACTAGGERT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Through the course of many lives and deaths, Moira MacTaggert pursues justice for all mutants.”

Introduced by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum in X-Men #96, Dr. Moira MacTaggert would serve as a rather prominent supporting character in the X-Men universe until well into the ’90s.  She was a notable human character amongst the book’s largely mutant cast, and even more notably, a human who not only didn’t hate mutants, but was actively seeking to help them….that was, until “House of X” went and revealed that Moira wasn’t a human at all, but was instead a mutant with the ability to reincarnate and relive her life over and over, but exactly in such a fashion that her mutant nature was undetectable through all usual means of detection so as to not openly violate the four decades of history of the character being, you know, not a mutant.  Look, I have feelings about this whole thing, and they’re definitely mixed.  But, I mean, it means that Moira is prominent again, and it means she got an action figure, and isn’t that what matters the most?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Moira is figure 4 in the Tri-Sentinel Series of Marvel Legends.  Like the others in the set, she’s based on “House of X”, specifically on Moira’s look from her current life/timeline.  While I personally would prefer her jumpsuited look from the ’70s, I guess this one’s okay too.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Fortunately, her articulation’s more useful than yesterday’s Jean Grey, which is a definite plus.  Moira’s largely built out of the same bank of parts as last year’s Gwen Stacy figure, but with a new head and coat piece, as well as the Peggy Carter shoes again.  The shoes at least make more sense here, and it’s possible their use here is why they showed up on Jean as well.  The re-used parts work well for the look they’re aiming for, and the new head and jacket likewise match up pretty well for the character.  The default head is sporting glasses, which are a thing that Moira had occasionally, though they again aren’t necessarily out of place for the character.  They’re also well-rendered, especially for the scale, and the really look quite nice.  The jacket piece sits just a touch high on the shoulders, but is other wise a nicely sculpted piece. They’ve even sculpted the pens in her pocket.  Moira’s color work is a bit more subdued than the usual Legends figure, but it matches the source material, and it’s again pretty solid for the character.  The paint work is pretty basic, but it hits all the right marks and the application is pretty clean and sharp.  In terms of accessories, Moira’s pretty well packed.  She gets a spare head, arms, hands, and a neckerchief piece, allowing for a rather different second look for the character, based on her less scientific attire from the miniseries.  It’s not my bag personally, but getting an extra look’s really not a bad thing.  Moira also includes a scientific textbook of some sort, as well as the left leg of the Tri-Sentinel Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Moira’s pretty rooted into the ’70s-’80s X-Men run, as well as the ’90s cartoon, which are really my main sources of X-Men, so I definitely like the character, but the concept of getting her as a toy seemed rather unlikely, given her typically less action oriented role in the franchise.  Personally, I’m not much of a fan of the move to make Moira a mutant, as I feel it removes some of what’s special about the character, but at least her increased roll gave Hasbro a good excuse to make a figure of her.  It’s honestly a pretty solid figure, and one of the bigger draws to this set for me.  I’ll still keep holding out for a ’70s version, but given how slim the chances of getting that one are, I can at least make due with this one.

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

#2733: Jean Grey – House of X

JEAN GREY — HOUSE OF X

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Jean Grey leads her fellow mutants to the island sanctuary of Krakoa in a bid to declare sovereignty from humankind.”

After sticking with their matching gear for their first 38 comic appearances, the X-Men finally got their own customized looks courtesy of artist Werner Roth in Uncanny X-Men #39.  While some of the designs (mainly Angel’s really) would be rather quickly ditched, a few of them really stuck in there, and influenced the main looks for the characters going forward.  This was most evident with both Cyclops and Jean Grey, whose main designs, no matter what they may be, have a tendency to call back pretty heavily to these earlier designs.  Jean’s Marvel Girl costume actually got a fair bit of play, even going forward, managing to even get a reappearance during “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” and has once again resurfaced as Jean’s primary design in the new ongoing run of the title.  I have…mixed feelings about that last part, but I do like the design well enough that I won’t complain too much about it getting Legends treatment as a result of its new prominence.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jean Grey is figure 3 in the Tri-Sentinel Series of Marvel Legends.  While technically “House of X”-based like the rest of this assortment, this particular figure is a little more multi-purpose, what with the re-used design and all.  This is the second time that this particular design’s been made as a Legends release, following Hasbro’s kind of janky version from that two-pack very early in their run from the license.  This one aims to be less janky.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  In terms of mobility, Jean’s a rather restricted figure by modern standards.  The hair rather predictably blocks a bit of the neck movement, but on top of that, the skirt piece is rather thick and leaves no real movement on the hips, and the way the ball-jointed waist has been sculpted means it doesn’t get much of range either.  In general, it’s not ideal, and makes it tricky to get her to do much other than stand there.  Of course, she struggles with standing a bit, too, so maybe that’s not her strong suit, either.  Movement may not really be there, but does the figure at least look good?  Yeah, for the most part.  She uses the Phoenix body as a loose starting point, which is sensible, and also uses the flared glove forearms from Kitty Pryde.  She also uses the feet from Peggy Carter, which was an odd choice, since it’s clearly got sculpted shoes, and Jean’s clearly wearing boots.  It’s not like there aren’t heeled feet without the shoe line sculpted, so I’m confused by the choice.  Other than that, Jean’s got a new head, torso, and skirt piece.  They may not allow for a ton of movement, but they do certainly look nice, with nice, balanced proportions, and some quite impressive smaller detail work on the folds and wrinkles on the clothes.  The paint work on Jean is pretty simple, largely relying on molded colors and slightly more complex assembly of pieces.  The paint that’s actually there is all pretty cleanly handled, with no slop or bleed over to speak of.  The colors are on the bright side, which generally works, although it does make the purely painted distinction between the boots and the legs a little less noticeable than it should be.  That’s a very minor complaint, of course.  Jean is packed with two sets of hands, one set in fists, and the other in open gesture, as well as a small Krakoa plant.  The plant’s cool, but she does have a little bit of trouble holding it, since neither set of hands is really designed for it.  Also included is the right leg to the Tri-Sentinel Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is a pretty classic design, and one that’s toy coverage has classically been less than stellar, so I’ve been hoping for a more proper Legends release.  When this set was first hinted at by Hasbro, I was hoping this figure would be in the line-up, and I was quite happy when that proved to be true.  The final figure’s not quite as strong as I was hoping, mostly due to that restricted motion.  That said, she’s at the very least a nice looking figure, which is more than could be said for the last Legends version.

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