Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Toy Review – Marvel Legends X-Men Series Kitty Pryde, Rogue, & Wolverine from Hasbro


I’ve been giving twelfth scale mass market figures a hard time lately. I think they deserve it. Twenty bucks apiece for what we’re getting from the average Marvel Legends or DC Multiverse release is not a good value. Especially when you compare those figures to what Star Wars fans are getting from the 6” Black Series (although I understand the quality is dropping there, as well).

However, on the rare occasion that you can find some Marvel Legends for a few bucks less than twenty, they might be worth it. Especially if they’re my beloved X-Men.

After the positive experience I had with Cable from this series, I was a little more open to the rest of the figures. I definitely wanted to see them in person, though Rogue was the only one I was willing to pay full price for since she was the only character I was missing.
And then a crazy thing happened.

I’ve talked before about how every once in a while I’ll have a toy intuition that will urge me to stop by a specific store, and I’ll end up scoring something really cool. This time around I had a strong feeling that I needed to visit a Toys R Us on the same side of town as my day job. I don’t go there often because it’s out of my way, but I was off the next day and wasn’t in a hurry.

Not only did they have the entire wave of X-Men (minus Deadpool), all of their Marvel and DC figures were 20% off, a very rare deal for the giraffe.

Side Note: I did end up getting the other three. Stay tuned.

Additional Side Note: I saw Deadpool at GameStop weeks ago for $21.99. He looks great and I’d love to have him, but I already own two Deadpools that I’m happy with. I am not spending twenty bucks on a third. I haven’t seen one for regular price at all.

FIRST GLANCE

They all looked great in person. Yeah, there was the standard reuse of parts, but these were serious upgrades over the Havok, Phoenix, and Kitty I had at home. I wasn’t so sure about Wolverine and Iceman. My toy budget would only cover three at the time, so I picked Rogue, Wolverine, and Kitty. Rogue was the must-have, they only had one Wolvie and his prices were (and still are) sky-high online, and Kitty was the biggest upgrade from the remainders. I decided I could wait for the rest or possibly not get them at all. These are the kinds of choices I’ve been making lately. I am trying to be more responsible. It’s not even as much about the money as it is sticking to my standards. Although it’s totally about money, too.

PACKAGING

These are the standard Marvel Legends boxes. I like them. They look distinctive, they switch up the interior colors between waves to keep them fresh, and they are, most importantly, easy to open. And for the most part you can put the figures right back in without damaging the packaging if you wish.

This X-Men wave has yellow interiors. It draws the eye and marks them as different from the older Civil War and Spider-Man waves that have been clogging the pegs for the past several months. Of course, there are other Civil War and Spider-Man waves that I’ve barely even seen yet and those are red and blue, as well. Just this morning at Walmart I found every figure from the Giant-Man wave for the first time, except for Black Panther – the only one I want.

Oh. Uh, anyway – I like this box design.

ROGUE

Let’s start with the must-have.


The head sculpt is fantastic. Rogue’s hair and stupid headband both have just enough suggested movement to look good without looking “EXTREME” like a 90s toy. The white in her hair looks very natural and doesn’t look like a painted add-on like it has on some other Rogue figures. The face sculpt doesn’t bring to mind a particular artists’ work, but does look like Anna Marie. And I am SO GLAD she isn’t yelling or anything. As good as the sculpt is, the paint is what’s blowing me away. Hasbro has a sketchy history with paint apps on female figures, but Rogue’s face is perfect. This is the one part of the figure that feels like a $20 (or even more) toy.

I would have preferred a different Rogue, but I understand that this is her most popular look with people that are not me. Not only is it a Jim Lee design, it’s the one from the 90s X-Men cartoon that even people who aren’t fans are familiar with. One of the reasons I would have chosen this:


Or this:


Is that we wouldn’t have ended up with unsightly shoulder holes like these:




Otherwise there’s a lot to admire about this figure, which is essentially a blank female base with some clever bits stuck on here and there. The upper arms are obviously newly sculpted pieces, as nobody else has the ridiculous pushed-up jacket sleeves that this Rogue has. The glove and boot tops, belt, and jacket are all extra pieces that create the illusion of a costume. And do it fairly well.

The jacket has a great sculpt – aside from the too-big shoulder holes – and looks natural on the figure. I’m impressed with how well it fits and how it just looks right.


The boot tops are two separate pieces that you push into place. They don’t necessarily stay put, but if you really wanted to you could put a dab of super glue in the right spots to keep them in place. They don’t interfere with the figure’s knee joints – they’re designed this way purely as a cost-saving measure.

The gloves are of the kind we’ve seen on DST and NECA releases. The tops move around to conceal or allow articulation as needed.

The paint is okay. There are some scratches and smudges, but nothing terrible. I like the metallic green they used. It makes the figure pop a lot more than if they had used a flat green.


Fun-wise this is a standard Marvel Legends release. The joints all work well, but the plastic on these figures keeps getting softer and softer (I have a lot to say about Iceman). Rogue is on the more solid side of the plastic issue. One of Hasbro’s best tricks is sculpting big, long hair while maintaining head mobility. Obviously Rogue’s head is slightly limited, but it still moves around more than you’d expect. She also includes a bare hand, which I thought was a great touch. I didn’t expect it and it wasn’t necessary, so kudos to Hasbro for including it. It’s easy to swap out and take off the cuff of the right glove to have a nice “Bad Touch Rogue” look.

WOLVERINE

I’m pretty happy with the older brown costume Wolverine I have, even after putting it side-by-side with this one. Each has its weaknesses. The old one has some fugly joints and the claws are bent up, but the new one can’t squat and is missing Logan’s trademark arm hair. Also, Wolvie’s superhero briefs are not generally this brief.

Aesthetically this figure is much smoother, which sounds weird but is the only way I can describe it. I think I like the shape of the mask more. The sculpt is sharp and the paint is clean. Nothing is where it shouldn’t be.


The claws on Wolverine’s left hand are perfect – straight and nicely spaced.


The claws on the right are goony as fuck. That’s just a fail. The good news is that each of the individual claws can actually be pulled out of the fist and straightened somewhat. I couldn’t get them perfect, but they look better than the warped nutso claws on the older figure. I do prefer the color on that one, though.

While we’re talking about arms and color, couldn’t Hasbro have painted the edges of those gloves just a tiny bit lower so that joint wouldn’t cut into them?


Beyond that nitpick the paint on this figure is excellent. The colors are bright – I haven’t decided yet if they’re too bright or just different from what I think of as Wolvie colors – and the lines are clean. Mine doesn’t have any smudging or scratches.


The boots look great. The shapes are perfect and the black portions are actually sculpted all the way down to the soles.


Wolverine comes with two extra fists with retracted claws. This is something that’s been missing from all other releases and I appreciate it. An unmasked head would have been nice, too. And maybe an open fist and the Muramasa blade.

The figure can’t squat like the old one, but it can sort of hunch over and look pretty good. There are extra hinges on the shoulders that actually blend nicely. The painted-on clothes are kind of lame and the lack of body hair is, too. Overall, though, this is a very slick-looking Wolverine. It doesn’t replace the old one, but it goes on the other side of the shelf.

KITTY PRYDE


There was a time when I thought that old Kitty on the right was great. Funny how things change. That thing is an eyesore, especially when it’s standing right next to our new one, here.

However.

The scaling is better on the old one. This Kitty should have been done on one of the new teen girl bodies. Kitty is 5’6” and Rogue is 5’9”, yet this figure towers over Rogue. It still looks great, but I hate it when figures are out of scale. Especially when a smaller buck was available!


This head sculpt is fantastic. Kitty has a lot of character and uniqueness without making some kind of weird face. I also like the ponytail and the bangs. The look is much more Kitty Pryde than the old figure. Just like Rogue, the paint is perfect.


Aside from the new upper torso, the belt, and the sculpted gloves, the figure is fairly plain. That, to me, is part of the appeal. This is the basic X-Men uniform and it looks like it. There’s not a bunch of extra junk cluttering it up or too many straps or belts or anything. It’s a clean superhero look and I like it. It’s funny – if Hasbro would do more basic costumes, they could get away with reusing more parts and still have great-looking figures. I would buy every one of the New Mutants in this uniform.

For as sleek as the shape of this figure is, it has great articulation. You can achieve all kinds of Kitty-esque poses and the range of motion on the joints is very good. All of the paint is applied nicely and this just looks like Kitty should look. Except way too tall.


The figure includes a little rubber Lockheed. It’s wing and tail are designed to slip around the figure’s neck and head so that it can perch on her shoulder. It works and it stays put and looks great. The older figure had this ridiculous platform that you had to clip onto its wrist and then plug Lockheed into. It looks awful.

OVERALL

Each figure also includes a piece of an all-new Juggernaut build-a-figure. I’ll be reviewing that on its own in the future.

For $15.99 each, these figures are worth it. Fifteen would be more fair, but I don’t feel bad about spending what I did. For twenty? That’s going to be up to you. Rogue is the only one I would have dropped that much on. I’m not saying I’d be happy being stuck with shitty Kitty, but I would have done it. At least she’s the right size.

Each of these worked out to:
4 out of 5

If you want any of these, buy from Amazon and help Needless Things pay the bills!:



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