#1878: Gambit

GAMBIT

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Gambit has the mutant ability to take the energy of any object and put it to his own use. That use usually means turning the object into a deadly weapon. Gambit is a martial arts expert with a lightning-fast karate kick. When battling multiple attackers, Gambit relies on his Techno Battle Staff for additional assault power.”

As someone whose primary introduction to the X-Men came from their ’90s cartoon, I have an almost unhealthy appreciation for their resident Cajun sleazeball, one Remy LaBeau, aka Gambit.  I am, of course, not at all alone in this, which has helped to keep him relatively high on the action figure count.  Today, I’m jumping back to the beginning, and taking a look at his very first figure (more or less).

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gambit was initially released in the second series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  Following the success of the cartoon, he was subsequently re-released in the “Classics” assortment a few years later.  The figure reviewed here is technically the later release, though the only actual difference between the two is the accessory selection.  This figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Gambit’s sculpt is fairly typical of an early Toy Biz figure, meaning he’s a little more rudimentary than later offerings would be.  He’s slightly scrawny, and the details are a little softer.  This is definitely a kinder, friendlier looking Gambit than you usually see.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s definitely different than other Gambits.  His trench coat seems to have thrown Toy Biz for a bit of a loop, as well.  Rather than sculpting it onto him, they opted for a removable piece…mostly, anyway.  The bulk of the jacket is just a thin plastic get-up, not unlike the capes from the old Kenner Star Wars figures.  It’s not terribly sturdy, and isn’t really the sort of thing we ever saw again from them.  It looks alright, but certainly limits his playability when in place.  What’s slightly odd is the decision to make the collar of this jacket a sculpted element, which is part of the figure’s torso.  This means it’s always there, even when the coat is off of the figure.  Why not just leave the collar as part of the coat?  Who knows.  Well, someone at Toy Biz probably knew, I guess.  Gambit’s paintwork is alright.  It’s pretty basic, and gets the general gist of the character down.  There’s a lot of pink, which is really the most important thing when you get right down to it.  It does get a handful of details wrong, though, such as keeping the sleeves of the shirt pink (rather than matching with the pants as they did in the comics), and the pink squares on the sides of his legs are a different pattern than usually seen.  The original release of Gambit included his staff, while the re-release included the bandolier and knives (presumably meant to stand in for his playing cards) from Longshot.  Gambit has an action feature, a kicking action, which is an interesting choice for the character.  It’s also not implemented incredibly well, because it’s default state is actually with the leg extended, meaning the latch is in a constant state of strain when he’s in a basic standing pose.  The end result is a figure that you will commonly find with his leg forever stuck at a 90 degree angle.  Fortunately, this isn’t the case with my figure, but I’ve seen my fair share of figures that weren’t so lucky.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t recall exactly where I got Gambit, but I know I was with my parents, and it was very early into my collecting because it was before we moved into the house that they’ve been in since I was four.  So, somewhere in late ’95?  Anyway, despite how harsh I may have been on this figure in the actual review segment, it’s worth noting that this remains my very favorite Gambit figure to date, and just one of my favorite X-Men figures in general.

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#1864: Forge

FORGE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Forge is the X-Men’s brilliant high-tech weapons inventor. Not only can he custom design a deadly arsenal in almost no time… he’s ready to jump straight into action and use it! In fact Forge is such a fierce fighter that when he straps on his weapons and activates his amazing bionic leg, he becomes a one-man army!”

The ‘90s X-Men line was the most expansive selection of the characters ever put to plastic, offering up main, supporting, and minor characters from all throughout the franchise’s history.  It definitely took a heavy lean towards the ‘90s, of course, and paramount to the line’s early days was getting collectors a complete line-up of the X-Men of the X-Men #1 era.  Included amongst that line-up was relatively new addition (at the time) Forge!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Forge was released in Series 2 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, and was sporting his strike-team uniformed look, which is, by far, Forge’s most prominent design.  Also, his current design at the time, so it made a lot of sense.  Apart from some repaints of this same figure, this would be the only Forge figure we’d get from Toy Biz, so, hey, they better have made it count.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Sculpt-wise, Forge is fairly typical of the early line figures.  He’s definitely got a more refined sculpt than a lot of his Series 1 counterparts, but compared to later-run figures from Toy Biz, he’s definitely on the scrawny side.  Though, for a character like Forge, the scrawnier nature isn’t too terrible, especially if your a fan of the tech-geek take on the character seen in the likes of X-Men: Evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men.  Some of the details, especially the pouches and his boots, are far more simplistic than they’d be on more current offerings, but on the plus side, the details on the head sculpt are actually pretty sharp.  Forge’s gun is molded into his hand. Ostensibly, it’s to aid with the figure’s quick-draw action feature, though I can’t say I understand why it had to actually be molded in place for that.  It ends up rather restricting what you can do with the figure.  The paintwork on Forge is about par for the course on this line.  Application’s clean and fairly basic, and the colors are bright.  I quite like the clear molded plastic for his artificial arm and leg; it’s a nice touch.  Like a number of the early Toy Biz figures, there were two minor paint variants on Forge, concerning the color of his holster.  The initial figures were brown, but it was changed mid-production to yellow, which is the one seen here.  Yay?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Forge a few years back, during my first resurgence of 5-inch X-Men collecting, just after my freshmen year of college.  I ended up finding him loose from Yesterday’s fun.  Forge has never been a particular favorite of mine, and the figure doesn’t really do much to change that, being more or less middle of the road, but he’s certainly passable.

#1849: Archangel

ARCHANGEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Forever racked with internal conflict and dark urges, Archangel nonetheless strives to be a hero, saving the world from grim forces of evil with the aid of his impressive metallic wings.”

Back when Hasbro was first dipping their toes in the “what if Marvel Legends didn’t have to suck?” pool, I will admit, I was somewhat skeptical.  I bought exactly one of the Return of Marvel Legends era figures new, because I was totally, seriously committed to keeping to the Marvel Universe scale, you guys!  Yeah… that worked out well for me.  Though it certainly reignited interest in the line with the fans, ROML was less of a smash success with retailers, in part due to late joiners like me.  That resulted in the last two assortments at retail, the Rocket Raccoon Series and the Hit Monkey Series, to be rather under-ordered, and by extension a little on the rare side, especially now that people are looking to go back and fill in the collection.  One of the most expensive figures from the Hit Monkey Series was fan-favorite Archangel, a pretty important piece of that Jim Lee X-Men line-up that Hasbro’s really been pushing.  Fortunately, for those of us that missed out on him, Hasbro just put out a fancy new reissue!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Archangel is a standalone release, the first figure in Hasbro’s go at deluxe releases for the Marvel Legends line.  He was originally slated for a December release, but started showing up at various establishments a few weeks ago.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 40 points of articulation.  Like the prior release, this Archangel is built on the Bucky Cap body, with an additional plug-in piece for his wings.  The base body is a good fit for Warren, just like it was the first time, so no complaints there, and they’ve even swapped out the slightly mismatched boot feet from the original with the more aesthetically matched feet from Carnage.  The add-on wings are definitely an imposing and very impressive addition to the figure.  These are definitely a far-cry from the oddly-shaped, strangely bird-like thing we got on Toy Biz’s first 6-inch Warren.  The one real downside to them is that they do make the figure rather top-heavy, so he can be a little difficult to keep standing if you don’t get the wings and the legs positioned just right relative to each other.  Of course, this is something that’s kind of an issue with literally every Archangel figure (seriously, I had a hell of a time getting my old Toy Biz 5-inch figure to stand for this review’s comparison shot), so I’m willing to give Hasbro the slightest bit of a pass on this one.  Archangel also makes use of the same head as the last figure (and by extension, the X-Force Boxed set version), depicting his usual cowled look.  I’m not sure it’s aged terribly well; it’s definitely suffering from some primo Hasbro-scowl.  Fortunately, if you don’t like that head, there are three, count ‘em three, more to chose from.  The two fully unmasked heads, depicting both Warren’s more angelic and more demonic sides, are quite smartly re-used from last year’s Adam Warlock figure.  They’re surprisingly close matches for Warren’s unmasked appearances from the ‘90s (the angelic head especially), so that’s a good catch on Hasbro’s part.  And, if your problem with the standard head is that it doesn’t cover *enough* of his head, then Hasbro’s got you covered there, too!  A repainted Blizzard/Eel head serves to depict Warren’s Death-mask from his earliest appearances as Apocalypse’s horseman.  It’s not as ingenious a re-use as the other two, but it works better than I’d expected it to.  The original Archangel’s paintwork was heavier on the metallics, which made some of the details of his costume blend together a bit more than they should have.  This new figure goes for something more on par with the very first Toy Biz figure from back in the day, which is very ‘90s, and makes the details stand out from each other much better.  In addition to all those extra heads I mentioned up above, this Archangel also comes with an extra piece that’s not actually for him, but is instead for the recent Apocalypse Build-A-Figure.  Its a clamping hand, which swaps out for the standard right hand.  Its a pretty classic way of showing off his shape-shifting powers, and I definitely appreciate being given the extra option here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as I noted above, I totally missed out on the original release Archangel, and I wasn’t about to pay his usual going rate.  But, my X-Men display has been becoming more and more complete, so Warren’s absence was more and more noticeable.  This re-release was definitely something I was very excited for, and I’m very happy with how he turned out.  I love all of the new display options, and I’m quite happy to be able to recreate the old Archangel II figure from back in the day, since that’s long been my favorite look for the character. 

Like most of my recent Legends purchases, I got Archangel from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying Marvel Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1814: Colossus

COLOSSUS

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Born Peter Rasputin and raised on a Siberian farm, Colossus’ humble roots could not have revealed the life he would one day lead! Recruited by Professor X, Colossus left his home to begin a new life of danger and adventure alongside Wolverine and the X-Men! A powerful mutant, Colossus can transform his body into living metal, giving him a physical strength and invulnerability matched by few! But with all his power, Peter Rasputin is an artist at heart, and resorts to using his mutant gifts only when they are needed in the service of his fellow X-Men.”

Colossus is undoubtedly one of the coolest members of the X-Men, and has been a prominent one at that, but for whatever reason, he always seems to draw the short stick when it comes to media adaptations.  Well, at least the Deadpool movies have helped there, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Colossus was released in the “Battle Brigade” series, the 14th series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  It would mark Colossus’ second figure in the line, following his appearance in Series 1.  That figure was more classically inspired, while this one aims more for the super exaggerated, rather imposing Colossus that’s become all the rage since the ‘90s, meaning he fits in a little better with the line’s post Series 10 direction.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  While he lacks elbow movement, he does instead get a much wider range of motion on his shoulders, as well as cut joints on his wrists, which seems like a decent enough trade off to me.  Colossus’ sculpt was all-new, and it’s certainly…something.  I’m not entirely sure what.  He’s definitely large.  He’s definitely imposing.  But he seems a little wide for Colossus, at least by my eye.  There are, of course, a number of different interpretations of the character, but I can’t say this really matches up with any of the ones I’m really familiar with.  Something about the facial expression seems very un-Colossus-like to me.  I don’t dislike it, but he feels a little off.  Also, can we address that his hands are bigger than his waist?  That’s definitely a new issue for Colossus, who had traditionally been pretty thick in the trunk.  This…like I said, this is off.  (quoth Super Awesome Fiancee: “He’s a Dorito”).  The one area of the figure that’s decidedly not odd is the paint, which is actually pretty respectable…or at least it was before foolish child Ethan took him and played with him, thereby messing up a lot of the silver.  Why would I do that?  That’s so irresponsible!  Colossus was packed with an assortment of clip-on armor, which I don’t feel he’d have much use for, but hey, there it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Colossus didn’t begin as my figure.  He was actually my Dad’s, purchased alongside the Archangel from this same assortment, in one of the earliest memories I have of us getting figures right from the case.  When my Dad got the Collector Editions Giant-Sized X-Men set, he upgraded to that Colossus, and I got this one.  Admittedly, not the best of the Colossuses to be offered by Toy Biz in this era, but he has his own sort of awkward charm.

#1801: Omega Red

OMEGA RED

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A former Russian crime lord and agent, Arkady Rossovich is used in the Weapon X project, combining mutant abilities with weaponized cybernetic appendages.”

With the already sparse selection of X-themed Marvel Legends the last few years, it was hard enough to get members of the team proper, without even touching on their villainous foes.  Because of this, we’ve had a whole team of mutants all ganging up on poor Juggernaut for two years now.  Fortunately, this year’s been something of a godsend in that respect, with four X-baddies all coming in rather quick succession.  Today, I look at possibly the most minor, and certainly the most Russsian of the bunch, the Drago to Wolverine’s Rocky, Omega Red!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Omega Red is figure 1 in the Sauron Series of Marvel Legends.  While he’s never had any really close ties to Deadpool, they’re both products of the Weapon X program, and have been grouped together from time to time (including rather humorously in Hulk Vs Wolverine).  This is Red’s second time as a Legend; his first was back in 2005, during the Toy Biz days.  That one was pretty well regarded for the time, but almost 15 years later, it’s reasonable to give him an update.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  While you might have been expecting him to be on the Hyperion body, he’s actually sporting an all-new base.  Size-wise, it’s a mid-point between the Hyperion and Colossus bodies, which seems a good fit for Red.  The coolest thing by far about this new base, though, are the butterfly joints for the shoulders.  These show up for Spidey and Wolverine, and it’s nice to see a larger character getting them as well.  Here’s hoping we get to see this body re-used again soon.  Omega Red includes more character-specific parts for his head, fore arms, and hands, as well as add-ons for his shoulderpads/belt, and knee pads.  The head is a rather perfect recreation of the over the top nonsense that is the classic Omega Red design.  Just look at that hair!  It’s so wacky, and so Omega Red.  The detailing is some of the best we’ve seen from Hasbro, and I really dig the angry-teeth-gritting expression.  His hands and forearms offer up his more armored attachments, and the hands are nice and expressive.  The shoulder pads mark a slight change for how Hasbro does things; rather than just hovering in place like prior figures, they actually have pegs that plug into the shoulders.  They’re still easily removable, but stay in place on the shoulder better than, say, Cyclops’ straps.  His paint work is bold, clean, and quite striking.  I dig the bright red quite a bit, and I much prefer the cleaner white on this figure to the murky grey-ish hue of the prior figure.  Red is packed with two different sets of his tentacles: one pair in a retracted fashion, the other in a more dynamic fashion, tailor-made for some action poses.  They swap out fairly easily, and seem pretty sturdy, so they hopefully won’t be drooping too much over time.  He’s also packed with the left leg of the Sauron Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always had something of a soft spot for Omega Red as a character, but less of a soft spot for any of his figures.  They just always seem…off somehow.  But when I saw this one, I was definitely impressed, more so than I have been on prior figures.  There are a lot of strong figures in this assortment, but of the singles, I think Omega Red is the strongest.  The new base body is very well designed, and his character specific parts are just so nicely tailored to both the body and the character.  And he looks absolutely fantastic facing off against the brand-new tiger stripe Wolverine!

Omega Red was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in purchasing other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1799: Bishop

BISHOP

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“On the advice of his grandmother, Alpha-mutant Bishop seeks out the X-Men and uses energy conversion and concussive blasts to join the ranks of his heroes of legend.”

There was this recurring trend amongst the newly introduced X-characters of the ‘90s, where they’d take the powerset of a previous character from the franchise, slap a nonsensical name on them, and add “carries a large gun” to their description and bam, new character.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s look at today’s focus, Bishop.  Power set similar to ‘80s X-baddie Sebastian Shaw, but channeled largely through having a gun, and his name is a common place word that has nothing to do with anything about him.  Oh, and he was also from the future, just to throw more fuel on that ‘90s fire.  Of course, he does at the very least predate some of the ‘90s worst X-characters, so that means a good chunk of people out there are still pretty nostalgic about the guy, so hey, toys!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bishop is figure 6 in the Sauron Series of Marvel Legends, a series that is supposedly Deadpool-themed.  Bishop’s really stretching that connection, and largely gets his spot here thanks to his connection to Cable, rather than Deadpool himself.  But who am I to complain about that?  This is Bishop’s second time as a Legend; the last was during the Toy Biz days.  I think it’s been long enough for a re-do.  Like that figure, Bishop is seen here in his garb from the ‘90s.  Sure, it’s dated as heck, and he’s had other, more reserved looks, but honestly, if you’re gonna do Bishop, you might as well do him right.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Bishop is built on the Hyperion body.  It’s not a terrible choice for him; Bishop’s frequently depicted as around the same size as Cable, who was also on this body.  He’s also got that swanky neckerchief piece, which covers up the slightly odd shape of the upper torso, thereby removing my only real issue with this base.  In addition to the neckerchief, he also gets a brand new head, shoulder harness, belt, rolled up sleeves, and glove cuffs.  The head is definitely my favorite piece.  It’s spot-on for the character, horribly dated ‘90s hair and all.  The face is definitely giving me a Terry Crews vibe, which makes me a little sad he ended up playing Bedlam instead.  Of course, this could all be stemming from the Brooklyn 99 binge-watch I’m currently going through, so who knows.  The various add-on pieces make Bishop suitably different from the rest of the figures built on this body.  I will say, I’m really starting to wish Hasbro would actually glue some of these add-ons down.  His sleeves in particular pop out of place constantly.  It’s ultimately a minor complaint, though.  Bishop’s paintwork is bright, colorful, and clean, which are all my favorite things in a Legends paint job.  He definitely has some presence on the shelf.  Bishop is packed with a large shotgun and the right arm of the Build-A-Figure Sauron.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Bishop’s a character I run hot and cold with.  The character was a prominent feature in some of my least favorite episodes of The Animated Series, so I have sort of this lingering dislike of him in that respect.  That being said, he’s also in some episodes I didn’t hate, and I’ve got this whole ‘90s X-Men display going, so I didn’t really want to miss him, especially after getting that awesome Cable from the last series.  Once in-hand shots started appearing, I knew I’d be tracking him down.  He’s quite a good figure, and I think he’s a marked improvement over the old Toy Biz one.  There’s definitely a nice polish to this guy, and he looks fantastic alongside the rest of the team.

Bishop was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in purchasing other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1797: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

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

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

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

#1782: Juggernaut

JUGGERNAUT

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Incredibly strong, virtually invulnerable, and with a body almost bursting with evil mutant power, Juggernaut is the ultimate mutant battering ram. Juggernaut is unstoppable… he can smash his way through anything, even a mountain! His skin is so tough not even Archangel’s paralyzing darts can penetrate it. The only way to defeat him is to tear off his helmet and knock him out… something that, thanks to his battering ram-like fists, is almost impossible!”

He’s the Juggernaut, biscuits!  What, isn’t that the quote?  No?  Eh, close enough.  Hey look, it’s another Toy Biz Juggernaut figure.  Been a while since I’ve looked at one of those, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Juggernaut was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  He’s the final of the three villains offered this first time around.  He uses Juggernaut’s main design, which was, at this time, still the his only real look, so I guess that makes sense.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation.  Alongside Colossus, he was one of two figures in this assortment not to get the mid-limb joints added before going to production.  The end result, especially when combined with the design of his helmet, which removes any opportunity for neck movement, is a figure that’s rather on the stiff side.  He’s also somewhat on the small side.  Sure, he’s a little bulkier than the other figures in the series, but not much taller, so he doesn’t quite cast the imposing silhouette that later Juggernaut figures would possess.  Size and posability aside, his sculpt is actually a decent enough piece of work, at least internally.  Goofy?  Absolutely.  But, compared to others in the set, he’s on par, and there are certainly some fun smaller details, such as the little rivets at the base of the helmet.  That’s a nice extra little touch.  Juggernaut’s paintwork is pretty standard stuff, being variations of brown, or dark orange at least.  He’s a little pale, and the contrast between the shades of his costume is a little low key, but overall it’s pretty clean application.  Juggernaut’s not usually one for accessories, but Toy Biz felt the need to give him *something* so he gets…uhh…I guess it’s a battering ram?  Because I guess he needed extra battering power?  Perhaps he was a little too “stoppable” as was.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Juggernaut is another one of those figures that I don’t quite so clearly remember the acquisition of.  Shot in the dark says he was a KB Toys purchase, because that’s where most of these came from.  He’s been with me for a good long while is the point.  Sure, he’s not the best Juggernaut from Toy Biz, but he matches the rest of the earlier figures, and he’s certainly got his own charm.

#1769: Apocalypse

APOCALYPSE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Huzzah!  Another Series of Marvel Legends is complete, which means it’s time for another Build-A-Figure!  The X-Men have their fair share of exciting foes, but due to the sheer size of the main team’s membership, those foes can get left out, which has kind of been the case with Hasbro’s X-themed Marvel Legends so far.  The Juggernaut Series just had it’s build-a-figure, and last year’s Warlock Series didn’t have any villains at all.  Fortunately, this year’s assortment amends that issue, giving us two single-release villain, and a villainous Build-A-Figure, Apocalypse, who I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Apocalypse is the Build-A-Figure for the Apocalypse Series of Marvel Legends.  I know, huge shock.  This is the third mass-retail X-Men series of Marvel Legends since the Infinite Series relaunch.  This marks Apocalypse’s third time as a Legend and his second time as a Build-A-Figure (though the last one was much larger).  He’s clearly a more classically inspired Apocalypse, although he’s still got a little bit of a modern twist in how some of the details have been carried out.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Apocalypse is a brand-new sculpt, though given how he’s assembled, He was definitely built with future re-use in mind.  There’s a new base body, with add-ons for the collar, wristbands, shoulder pads , and belt.  He’s also got more unique pieces for his head, hands, and feet.  The overall construction is definitely top-notch, and he’s a great example of the character work Hasbro’s capable of doing even with pieces on a basic body.  The head in particular is a very good replication of the character’s look from the late ’80s/early ’90s, which is about as definitive as you can get for Apocalypse.  If I have one complaint, it’s the tubes that run from his belt to his arms; they’re really long, and they pop out of place a lot.  Of course, they’re totally removable if you don’t like them, and as far as the extra length, I’d say it’s likely Hasbro trying to correct the issues present on Warlock.  In that respect, I have to commend them; at the very least, they’re really trying.  When initially shown off, Apocalypse was sporting a slightly more modern-inspired color scheme, but Hasbro changed that along the line, giving us the more classic appearance we see here.  I personally am very happy for that change, as I think his colors are very striking, especially that slick metallic blue.  Apocalypse includes no accessories, since he’s essentially an accessory himself.  Fear not, though, he’s actually getting an alternate hand attachment, packed in with the upcoming Archangel deluxe release!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I’m at best a moderate fan of Apocalypse (which is why I’ve never owned one of his Legends figures before), I do think he has a pretty slick look, and when this figure was shown off, I was pretty impressed.  As luck would have it, I was also really interested in all of the figures it took to build him, so here he is.  He hasn’t topped Warlock as my favorite Build-A-Figure (I’m doubtful anyone will for at least quite some time), but he’s certainly giving Juggernaut a serious run for his money.  All-in-all, this was a very strong assortment of figures.

#1768: Psylocke

PSYLOCKE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Betsy Braddock adopts the identity Psylocke, combining mastery of the martial arts with enhanced abilities in telekinesis and telepathy.”

I have reviewed a surprising amount of Psylocke figures for this site.  I mean, more than one would suffice really, but this one will mark the fifth.  How about that?  Interestingly, one of the few Psylocke figures in my collection I *haven’t* yet reviewed is her first Marvel Legends figure.  It’s interesting; she was part of one of my favorite assortments from that line, and is genuinely one of the better female figures Toy Biz released.  Despite all that, she’s never been a favorite of mine, or anyone’s for that matter.  Since the license transferred over to Hasbro, there’s only been one Psylocke figure under the Legends banner, and that was in an SDCC-exclusive pack from 2012.  Fortunately, Hasbro’s offering another take on the character, which I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Psylocke is the seventh and final figure in the Apocalypse Series of Marvel Legends.  Like her very first Legends release, this one is based on Psylocke’s Jim Lee-designed, post body swap appearance.  While I myself am partial to Betsy’s armored look from the ’80s, there’s no denying that this particular look is the definitive Psylocke, so Hasbro’s choice was certainly a sensible one.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Psylocke marks the debut of a new female base body.  A slight surprise, given a lot of people were just expecting her to be on the Moonstone body, which seems like a decent match for Lee’s take on Betsy.  This new body is comparatively a little slimmer, but as a trade off seems to have a better overall range of motion on the joints, and is perhaps a more realistic portrayal of Psylocke than Lee’s.  In particular, I quite like the elbow, which, though only single joints, can get a surprisingly deep bend to them.  Psylocke’s character-specific parts are her head and sash, both of which are decent, but not without flaw.  The head is certainly a respectable offering, but it’s a touch on the generic side.  Also, her hair is parted the opposite direction of the how Psylocke’s usually goes, which is a little odd.  Was this head perhaps initially meant for someone else?  Likewise, the sash is an alright piece, but isn’t really sculpted to flow with the contours of the body the was prior pieces have.  As such, it’s just a very floaty piece, and never really stays in place.  Psylocke’s paint was another area of contention amongst the fan base, though my personal figure wasn’t affected.  Early shipments of this figure had black hair in place of her proper purple locks, which is a pretty major issue.  Fortunately, it seems Hasbro was right on top of it, and Betsy’s correct hair color has been applied for more recent figures.  Beyond the hair snafu, the rest of the paint is actually pretty decent.  The metallic blue used for her costume is definitely a lot of fun, and the overall application is very clean.  Psylocke is packed with a psychic effect that clips onto her face, one of her psychic knives for her left hand, and a psychic Katana with removable psychic energy effects.  It’s all a bit psychic, really.  She also includes the left leg of the Build-A-Figure Apocalypse, which is the final piece to that particular figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never been super, super into Psylocke, but she was prominent in the ’90s, and I was certainly happy to have another go at the character.  In a series full of some serious hits, Psylocke is, admittedly, one of the weaker figures, at least for me.  She’s certainly not a bad figure, and a definite improvement on her Toy Biz variant.  In another assortment, she might have stood out better.  Still, I’m happy to add her to my collection, and I like her more in person than I’d have expected to.

Psylocke was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in purchasing other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.