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Hasbro: Marvel Legends Pulsecon Hellfire Club Box Set Review

Tonight on Masterpiece Theater…

I have to admit, this year’s upheaval of the entire SDCC paradigm resulted in a far far…far easier time getting Hasbro’s exclusives than I can remember in any year past. With their pandemic-induced Pulsecon release of previously planned SDCC exclusives, things were a little different. No in-person pickups meant that online purchases were the only game in town. Whether that had anything do to with the ease of acquisition or not, I was able to get everything I wanted this year without resorting to ebay.

It’s unprecedented and unrecognizable.

The Hellfire Club was the first thing I went after, not wanting to risk loading up my cart with everything and then ending up with nothing. It seems that those who made singular orders ended up getting their sets shipped out first, while those who made multiple orders had to wait for multiple fulfillment. So this has led to some panic. Also, the set went up for a March-release Preorder as soon as it sold out of it’s Pulsecon stock, so that is also weird.

Hopefully everyone who wants this set ends up acquiring it.

Now on to the figures.

The Hellfire Club is an odd thing. It’s a handful of people in Victorian clothing and/or underwear, basically. They’re mainstay X-men villains, but they’re not Magneto Sabretooth, Juggernaut or Apocalypse. They’re dudes in puffy shirts and women in underwear. Despite the fact that these are some dangerous people, they don’t have “retail fun and games” written all over them. I don’t make the rules, I just sit back and laugh at them.

So that all means that putting these in some kind of exclusive box set makes sense, even though exclusives are a tool of the devil and the worst thing that humanity has come up with outside of “politics.” Like most things in actionfigureland, it’s a pathway to neurosis.

This boxset is four figures, but with two bodies, so if you’re the type to complain about reuse then this is probably making your brow twitch. But in this case the reuse makes sense, even though Emma is probably scoffing. You know she scoffs a lot. Her scoffing muscles are probably more toned than her sweet sweet ass. Gratuitous ass shot coming soon.

Let’s talk about the packaging first, since it’s a deluxe style presentation. You get a gated outer box that opens up to an illustration of the four of them, underneath that being the figures themselves. On the sides you get a brief description, and then you get an envelope with an invitation to join the Hellfire Club. That’s a pretty neat touch. Under the figures you get another illustration showing off a room in their club with fireplace, mantle and so forth. It makes a nice background for your figures.

Since there’s just two bodies to talk about, let’s tackle the guys first.

Sebastian Shaw and Donald Pierce are longstanding Hellfire Club members with long and varied histories with the X-men. They share the same brand new body. I have long ago lost track of Legends parts, but I’m pretty sure everything here is new. Mainly because we don’t have anybody named Lord Autumnbottom in the line yet, so Captain Ruffles and his friends Percy Puffins should be new. And by gum do I like the diversity that these two figures add to the overall Legends oeuvre. There are a lot of spandex-clad people, and quite a bit of armored and otherwise people, and there are some regular jacket and pants and so forth, but these guys definitely give off a specific aura. This is not demure couture. These guys are about to get Dickensian on your ass and there’s not a thing you can do about it. One of them is about to slap Oliver Twist right in the mouth, and the other is about to complain about that horrible Ebeneezer Scrooge again. These men have buckles on their shoes and they don’t give a flying ringworm what you think about that.

The arms and the legs get a pretty good range of motion. The elbows get some nice “stroking their own chin motion” (yes, I said chin you depraved blackguard) while the legs do what you need for their legs to do. There are calf-swivels and a good range of lateral spread, so all in all there’s a lot of motion here.

The one area that is obviously impeded is the torso, since the shirt/jacket is an overlay. Now there is a bit of wiggle room underneath all that, so you do get some backward and forward crunching, but he’s not going to be doing a hearty bow when the ladies enter the room without getting some hip motion in there. And again, due to the nature of the clothing they’ve got going on here, that’s ok. All in all, I like them a lot. They’re fun to play with, or just to have them lounging around. I would like to get a shirtless version of Sebastian Shaw at some point, just because he really likes to take his shirt off before he starts pounding X-men.

The women also share a body with differing capes. Trying to take pictures of them is, in a word, argllkawjdbpibiahbp;iwbiwdb, mainly because of those heels. Of course, in this instance, the heels are a necessity for verisimilitude, so I’m not complaining about their inclusion, but for every time I set the male figure down and took a picture, each of the female figures took two or three times as long. Twist, set, nope she’s teetering, twist the foot, now the leg, arch her back, lean her forward, nope nope nope she’s tottering.

As you can see, I eventually got them to stand for their pictures, but hooboy do I remember why I hate taking pictures of beheeled women. I don’t keep displays, so I don’t ever have to worry about trying to keep them permanently standing, so this will be the last time I have to worry about such things. But man…those heels.

These bodies are no doubt not completely new. The torso has been seen before, and most of the rest is familiar, so the guys made up the bulk of the new body tooling. After several Emmas of varying costumes and quality, I was wondering if we’d ever get an actual good version of her White Queen persona. This one seems about as good as it gets. And it’s just a bonus that Selene gets to piggyback off of her more successful teammate. Selene comes with a Jean head, but I’m leaving her as Selene and not Jean, know what I mean?

Despite the cape-coffins inhibiting their arm articulation, the ladies are fairly well-articulated, and without their capes the arms do a great job. The arms are single-jointed, so you only get around 90 degrees of bend there, but at least they can both do some good gesturing. They both come with those splayed female hands, so if you’re tired of those hands then you’re not going to be in luck. Again, like the guys, their torso are somewhat inhibited by their corsets, but you still get swivel and a bit of crunch.

There you go: booty.

Outside of the packaging and figures, there’s a nice array of accessories. For the guys there’s a set of fists a set of cybernetic hands and two sets of gesturing/grasping hands. They’re all interchangeable, but the cybernetic hands obviously go with Pierce.

For the ladies, Emma gets a pair of fists and a pair of gesturing hands, and Selene gets fists, gesturers and a pair of grabby hands, so she can hold her whip. Saucy!

There are two blasters, a Hellfire Club book, Wolverine’s mask, Magneto’s helmet, a whip and an alternate (and previously mentioned) jean head for Selene.

So overall, this is an excellent set of an as-of-now slightly incomplete Hellfire club. The figures all turned out great, and for me at least was actually easy to obtain. I’m calling this one a success.