The Wolverine Legends are finally here! It seems like it has taken forever for them to arrive, especially since they were made to capitalize on a movie that came out last summer. Well, several incarnations and release patterns later, this now Diamond Comics Distributor exclusive series has arrived with updates to four popular characters and one lil’ Canadian that is coming to Legends for the first time ever! To celebrate, we got part of the old band back together and RoboKillah and VeeBee are tag-teaming this series with pixels and platitudes about Wolverine, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Sabretooth and Puck.
No need to delay, let’s get right to it!
We are kicking off with the titular character of the wave! Ah, but you have about a million Wolverine figures by now, don’t you? Of course you do, never has an X-Person been so marketable. My thing with that is as long as the figures continue to improve, I am good with getting updated figures. So, while I have a lot of them, I have been pretty content over the years with my Astonishing X-Men and Toy Biz Marvel Legends series six brown costume versions. 1980s and AXM Mutants are my favorites eras, so aside from a couple of small quibbles, I have been lucking out with getting great figures of my preferred incarnations.
That being said, from an action figure standpoint, I think the Hasbro X-Force Wolverine (of which this is a simple repaint) is the best ever released. Gentle Giant really knocked the functionality out of the park and Logan’s look and proportions are translated more accurately than just about any Wolverine figure ever made. I remember seeing the figure for the first time in person last year at SDCC and being disappointed that it was X-Force instead of a more iconic blue and yellow Wolverine look.
Lucky for me, Hasbro’s affinity for repaints has benefited my own personal selfish needs for a preferred Wolverine figure and while the costume design is very modern, it can easily be fudged into an Astonishing display, which is what I have on the shelf right now. This figure is much more poseable than the previous AXM Wolvie I was using and there is not the matter of that pesky split belt to contend with. I really love the torso and ankle design on this figure and those two joints can go a long way in making a figure fun and expressive.
I would count my love for the hips too, but unfortunately they are pegged at that blasted 45-degree angle so that limits them in a lot of aspects. I really wish Hasbro would stop it already with this, when a figure is designed with this articulation point, it is usually my least favorite part of the figure. Just like in this case, and I am quite positive I am not alone in feeling this way. Hips aside, watch for paint, Wolverine is three to a damned case in this assortment so you should be able to get pick of the litter and this particular figure is painted pretty nicely.
So, if you are a modern, AXM or even a classic Wolverine fan, this figure should make you happy. Sure, it is just a repaint, but I think it is well done and it provides a nice update to a (basically) classic look to a very popular character.
Where do I even begin? I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Cyclops for a long long time. A total bad-ass with a stick up his butt. A straight and narrow fellow except when it comes to telepaths. He’s the superhero you root for, but he also kinda reminds you of your dad when he’s shouting at you for wrecking the car. An accident that wasn’t your fault? Doesn’t matter! You still have a responsibility and duty to avoid things like that, even it is out of your control! Quit yelling at me Cyclops! Ahem …
So, given all that, I’ve always wanted a good representation of Cyclops. One to sit front and center on the shelf, directing all my other X-men figures into battle. And finally, after several attempts by both Toy Biz and Hasbro, we seem to have gotten one. Now I will admit, this isn’t my favorite costume for Cyke. It’s not really close to the top five. But speaking strictly from a toy point of view this is the best figure of Summers so far. The head is pure Cyclops. We’ve all had our hands on the base body so we all know what it can do, but the addition of this head is like chocolate syrup on vanilla ice cream. It just makes it better. Different. Awesome.
Yes, he could be taller. Yes, he could arguably be in a better costume. He has a little paint bleed between the visor and face. The color of the ankle bracers could more closely match the color of the wrist bracers. But the biggest drag on this figure? The C shaped, two extended curved fingers and thumb, looks awkward in any other position, button on the visor pushing hand pose. Which he hasn’t had to do in years. It looks terrible. Granted, it’s better than the one on Hasbro’s first Cyclops, but I still hate it with a passion. BURN IN HELL, C-SHAPED BUTTON-ON-THE-VISOR-PUSHING-HAND POSE!
All in all, this combo of parts and a new paint job could easily give us variations like the Astonishing costume, the old blue and yellow condom head costume, X-factor. I’d even take First Class on this body, maybe (probably) a new torso. Okay, ear muffs would have to be added for some of those, but you get the idea. More Scott Summers!
Here’s one for you: what’s white and blonde and positively crappy all over? The previous Hasbro Emma Frost Legends figure! Yep, that stinker holds the distinction of being my most loathed Hasbro ML figure ever and that is saying something amongst some of the doozies they put out there when they first got the Marvel license. So, when I found out that they were taking another crack at Emma for this wave, I was pretty ecstatic, and I am not even the biggest Emma fan in the world.
Really, making a new Emma figure is win/win for Hasbro. Theoretically, there is no possible way they could have done any worse than the first attempt and when you have a character just as well-known for her chest as her mutant powers, she is going to sell well. But just in case, Hasbro has also released her at one per case, so let the frenzy begin. So overall, and if you could not tell already, this figure is a VAST improvement over the last offering, and you even get the bonus of some Canadian midget body parts along with her.
First the good: the body is overall much better than the emaciation released before, her head sculpt is tons better, the paint used is more patent leather-feeling than before, and it seems as though extra special care was given when sculpting her, um, assets? At the risk of sounding like typical fan boy, this Emma has a nice rack, maybe the best one ever bestowed upon a Marvel figure. Yeah, I said it. I don’t know, you be the judge.
However, while this figure is better than the last, it is still not perfect and even though it is brand new, it feels like it is a generation or so old already. First, it is really too bad that the Moonstone base body was not ready to go when this figure was being created. Emma would have looked so much better with the rounder hips and more curvaceous thighs. This figure is built on the Elektra/Black Widow base so she is super skinny and her legs are a bit twiggish. Also, she has man hands, especially the splayed palm. It is pretty frikkin’ big so I would not recommend putting her in that “I am reading your thoughts, so I am putting my hand up pose.” Finally, I wish the paint on her face was more detailed and that this one did not have a “lazy eye” thing going on. Hasbro has never had the most detailed hand in painting faces, but suffers quite a bit since she should have that sultry look to her. As it stands, she looks a little “caught in the headlights so I am going cross eyed” in this figure. She is also a bit too tall thanks to those heels.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually okay with this figure (well, this one has those wonky eyes), but I don’t have as much of a problem with the base as some people. I already want an update of the update, but I can and will be pretty happy with this version for now. Well, after I send her to Robo so he can repaint her face. He didn’t know that would be happening, but the cat is out of the bag now. So take that old Emma Frost figure and throw it to the moon, toss it in the trash, melt it down in the microwave — just get rid of it. But not before you put her cape on the new figure, it works perfectly.
Sabretooth. Hey, let’s take Wolverine, make him bigger and meaner and a villain. No, not metal claws, more animalistic means his fingernails are his claws. And fangs. And it worked. How the hell does that work? Usually a hero’s antagonist is the opposite, the yin to the hero’s yang. But Sabretooth eventually became Logan’s (or James, if you prefer) most popular arch-enemy just by being Wolverine on steroids. Crazy world.
Creed here is a mixed bag. On the one hand you have a fantastic head and hand sculpt and a great base body. On the other hand you have a recent costume that doesn’t really scream “Sabretooth.” More of a Warpath/Wolverine costume in Sabretooth colors. Not necessarily a bad thing as we’ve had a couple of very nice Sabretooths in the past so having a new version makes for variation in the display. And I do have to say, the figure itself being awesome makes me not mind the costume so much. The look of the costume is definitely not Hasbro’s fault though. It just needs a little something, some flair. Like some fur. But not elbow spikes. Never elbow spikes.
Like I said, the base body is great. We’ve seen it on Hyperion and SDCC Luke Cage but this is the first time we’ve seen it completely clean of any extra bits. Mine has the slight problem of a weak left knee. You can probably tell in some of the pics, it looks like it’s leaning inward a bit. But slightly bent and boom, problem gone. Likewise, paint is pretty clean in most places. There is a slight difference in color at the transition from hip to thigh at the swivel, but that’s a casting issue. The biggest paint offender here is the silver used in the eyes is smeared across the bridge of the nose. Fairly easy fix.
If you’re just starting in this crazy toy game and don’t have a Sabretooth on your shelf, this is a very good start. It’s a nice modern representation. But if you’re more of a classic fan then hunt down the Face-off two pack with Wolverine. Like with Cyclops, a repaint and add-on bits like a fur collar for a Lee era version would be more than welcome. And I’m not even a huge fan of the Lee era.
Well, well, well – Alpha Flight sure is coming together slowly isn’t it? It has only taken us, what? Like 7 years or so to get three members. Don’t forget Canada, eh!?! Hey, I am not going to look a gift hoser in the mouth so, I am just glad to be getting Alpha Flight members in this climate because I have always liked that team. Yeah, we were teased several years ago with North Star and Aurora figures that never saw the light of day, but Guardian and Sasquatch are glad their little pint-sized pal has entered the Legends fray.
Hasbro has been releasing little Build-a-Figures as of late, but Puck is by far the best of that class. His dismembered body comes spread across the Cyclops, Sabertooth and Emma packages, so you will certainly need little miss short-packed to complete him. Wolverine doesn’t suffer anyone’s parts, not even his Canadian brethren. I read some online hate over the figure (imagine that) but really, aside from his head being a *touch* too small, I really like this figure. He is a bit smaller than I thought he would be, but by no means is he out of scale. He looks like the classic Puck and Hasbro did a good job of being faithful to the character.
When I first saw the figure I thought that he would not be able to move well despite being pretty articulated, but I was wrong, this figure actually has a good range of movement, despite having some pretty ugly knees. He can pose in a range of stances from his patented somersault to his patented beer drinking. It is fun to try both! Once assembled, he plays like any other ML figure and that is an improvement (to me) over the more limited Hit Monkey and Rocket Raccoon, though I love them both. So yeah, plunk down for a case of these and get a free little Canadian as a bonus!
Yay for Wolverine! Yay for Marvel Legends! This rather basic assortment actually turned out really nice and you can certainly update your X-Shelf with most of these guys. And keep building up Alpha Flight. Hopefully we will get a chance to get that Rogue that was dropped from the series and maybe that would be perfect for a Legends line to support the Days of Future Past movie hitting next summer. Hmm…