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Hasbro: X-Men Marvel Legends Apocalypse Series Sabretooth and Psylocke

Since we had the chance to get our grubby mitts on a set of the new Marvel Legends Apocalypse series, you knew this would be the theme for the week around here, right? Lots and lots of mutants – NEW mutants even, but not those New Mutants, just new figures of mutants, but cool mutants all the same. We looked at Wolverine yesterday, because well, he is Wolverine, but we will be doubling up the next few days so we can be timely with our looks. So, are you ready to take a gander a Sabretooth and Psylocke? Of course you are!

Man, I have been aching for good updates for both of these characters for a long time. I mean, maybe not quite as much as I have been wanting a new classic Colossus and blue Beast, but these two have been sitting at or new my X-Men updates top ten for a while now. As I said in the video, this is my preferred version of Sabretooth and we have not gotten a crack at this look since the Toy Biz days in ML, so it feels like a long time coming at this point. I actually really enjoy both of the iconic looks for Psylocke (this ninja look, and the armored version) so with the old TB figure being what it is for this one, again, she is another welcomed addition. Overall, I find both of these figures to be pretty good. They are not exceptional like Wolverine and a couple of other from the wave, but they are certainly not bad. Let’s take a look.

SABRETOOTH

I mean, you really cannot release a tiger stripe Wolverine figure without having this corresponding Sabretooth to go with him right? Heck, Sabes and Betsy have a history together, so the makeup of this assortment is really well composed if you ask me, and getting the three of them together makes a lot of “connective” sense. Like I said, this the my preferred look for ol’ Vic, and overall, this figure turned out nice. I know Robo has a few more beefs with it than I do, but while I realize it is not perfect, this is a great looking figure and I am happy to upgrade my mutant baddies with this entry. Now, how about a new Toad, eh?

Anyway, most of you already likely own most of this figure. Yes, Sabretooth is built on the Hyperion/Gladiator/Venom body that has been used several times in the past. So, instantly, your mileage is going to vary on you existing opinion of that base. Personally, I find it to be fairly appropriate for Sabes, but at the same time, it is not my favorite base. It is big, obviously, so that is in line with Sabretooth’s stature, but it would have been neat to get a new torso for him with increased articulation (like butterfly joints) to match Logan. I *think* Omega Red has a new upper body like that, so that would have been nice to get here. That said, the new spikey elbows are appreciated and I really like the detail in the fur, so that those two points help to tie the look together. The paint applications are also to be commended and I don’t have a quibble about any of them.

The highlight of the figure, though, is most certainly the head sculpt, and I really love it. Yeah, the head might sit just a bit high on the neck, but the details and expression are just perfect for Sabretooth. Sure, the argument could be made for a second head with a more neutral look, especially in light of the fact that he does not have any accessories, but if I could only pick one, it would be the one we got. He is savage, intimidating, and PISSED, so you know he is coming for that little runt, and epic battle scenes are imminent for your Marvel Legends display. 

Overall, despite not having the best base body, I rather like this new and improved Sabretooth, and it is my favorite figure of the character to this point, passing the Toy Biz First Appearance version. The figure poses relatively well, and standing on the shelf, where it will spend 99% of the time, it looks really, really nice. I am very pumped for a new CLASSIC Magneto, Toad, Mystique, Pyro, etc. so we can get that Brotherhood built in this modern figure style. Sabretooth is not the best figure in wave, but he is certainly not the worst, and I am glad to have him now.

PSYLOCKE

Now we have come to it, and I am pretty positive that Psylocke is, and will continue to be, the most controversial and talked about figure in this assortment. Frankly, it is not unwarranted either, and it will be due to the merits of the figure itself, but also due to some of the stylistic choices that were made during development. Look, I know there is a school of thought that states evaluation should be based on things that can be evaluated objectively, like paint lines or range of movement in a joint, but reviews are subjective at their foundation, so preference is going to figure into this, and you are completely free to feel differently about them.

So, Betsy has two pretty iconic looks: her armored form, and this ninja look. Honestly, I like both of them a lot and I want figures of both of them. They are both essential in Betsy’s personality dichotomy, and there are definitely multiple team displays that can use both. So, even though we have never seen the armored look in ML, I have still been pretty pumped to get this new ninja version because the previous entry from the Toy Biz days did not… hold up well over time. However, with that comes some expectations, be they opinions or no, and while I might have sold myself a little too far as to what this figure should be, before knowing what is was going to be, iconography is important, and simply put, that might be the biggest miss for this figure for me. It is simply not what I would consider to be an iconic ninja Psylocke. 

That is not meant to be harsh, because from straight figure perspective, this is pretty good, but it just feels “off” to me due to some stylistic choices. Honestly, what I wanted/needed from this figure was for it to look like it walked right off of the cover of that famous X-Men #1 comic as drawn by Jim Lee. That is really it. This figure got part of the way there: the costume is correct, the weapons and accessories are great, and articulation facilitates Betsy’s crazy ninja moves, but there are a couple things, most notably the choices with the likeness and the body type miss the mark for me. The latter is more forgivable, and I am not overly fussed about it, but this this Psylocke is not, well, thick enough. 

I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but this version of Psylocke to me, due to her powers and skills, and the way Lee drew her needs to be much more muscular with a larger build. This body, while well sculpted and articulated, is pretty darned waifish, and while right for some, it doesn’t really do it for me for Betsy.  I know they are stepping away from it a bit, but I with Hasbro would have used the Jim Lee Rogue base instead, because that is pretty much all I would have needed here. Yeah, I might be getting picky with this, but I am not afraid to call out a non-preferred body type if it happened to say, Mr. Fantastic (fortunately it did not), so I feel like I needed to pipe in here. The figure does not look bad or function poorly, it is just not built as I would have expected or preferred.

Of course, that is built on the pretense that this should be a representation of Psylocke directly from that early 90s era, which weighs even more on the likeness issue I am about to address. Now, I have heard and seen that this specific look and build for Betsy might be more representative of a post-House of M/somewhere in there look. If that is the case, then this might be 100% accurate. However, and this might sound a bit weak, C’MON. I mean… this is one of those instances where it is really hard to get the old noodle wrapped around the justification for doing anything other than that iconic look that fits into a very important team that a LOT of people are trying to build. I just do not see why that would be the case.

So, the likeness does not look bad at all to me, it just does not look like Psylocke. I really appreciate that she looks appropriately Asian, but the shape of the face, and styling and color of the hair don’t complete the look I was anticipating. The face should have a stronger jawline and higher cheek bones, and the hair should be purple. PURPLE. I tell you, I would probably forgive the face shape if the hair color was changed. Again, if they were going for another era look for this figure, okay, but that hair is iconic and I REALLY miss it here, I am not going to lie. Maybe this will be like Mysterio and there will be a running change to purple later, but if not, I think a lot of light purple paint is going to be bought up in anticipation of this figure. It is an easy fix, but an unfortunate oversight/decision to be sure.

This puts me in a spot where I think the figure looks nice and it is a pretty close approximation to what I need it to be, but it is not exact. It would be peachy keen if we could get an alternate “more Jim Lee” head included with a different figure down the road, but I am not going to hold my breath on that one. I have heard some people call out that the Silk head might actually work better (sorry, mine is packed away at the moment), so that could be an option as well. Regardless, this certainly qualifies as an upgrade of the TB version for me, and it will be joining my ever-growing Blue and Gold team display. Good looking figure, that missed by *that* much.

Thanks for stopping by – I will be back tomorrow for a look another pair from the awesome new Apocalypse series.

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