Review by Optimal III
Anniversaries are alive and well, and they happen as time passes. If anyone cares to remember. Fortunately, people still care, about Marvel Legends and X-Men: The Animated Series. Marvel Legends isn't the first Marvel toyline, but it's the biggest and longest running, beginning back in 2002 at Toy Biz before eventually being handed off to Hasbro.
X-Men: The Animated Series also isn't the first run at doing an X-Men cartoon (look up "Pryde of the X-Men" on YouTube, you'll be glad you did). But it was the first ongoing show, and to this day, is still the most loved & popular version of the X-Men outside of the actual comics.
Hasbro did all kinds of things to celebrate 20 years of Marvel Legends. But more specifically, they did something particular for the 30th anniversary XTAS.
To commemorate the occasion, Hasbro announced a new wave of six X-Men figures exclusively available through Hasbro Pulse, with three things special about these releases.
First, these were to be the first Marvel Legends figures in plastic-free packaging, because Hasbro is trying to go green where possible.
Second, these figures are packaged in VHS-style boxes, a nifty callback to the 90's.
Third, and in the same vein as the retro packaging, these figures have cel-shaded deco.
If I remember correctly, Wolverine here was the first figure released. And why not? Undeniably, he is the most popular X-Men character of all time.
For those who don't know, Wolverine is a mutant, a human born with genetic mutations. His powers include super-human strength, agility, speed, hearing, and smell. But his greatest ability is his healing factor. It allows him to recover almost instantly from any injury or sickness. Which allowed him to survive a gruesome experiment carried out by the secret government organization he worked for at the time, Weapon X. They fused his skeleton with a rare alloy called adamantium. The substance being virtually indestructible, this makes his bones unbreakable.
Crazy as that sounds, it got crazier after he woke up from the operation. Because that's when he realized he had 12-inch long claws hidden in his forearms, that extend out through the back of his hands. Which means he can cut, gouge, slice, stab or otherwise ruin anyone & anything if he can get close enough to them.
All of that combined with his vicious attitude, memory loss, and lifetimes of training as a perfect soldier & fighter make him the best at what he does. And what he does isn't very nice. But he's got a heart of gold and fights the good fight as a member of the X-Men.
And this figure does a good job of capturing that attitude and the playability he needs to show it. Ball joints for hips and shoulders, double-jointed elbows and knees, bicep, waist, & thigh swivels, hinge/tilt ankles, swivel/tilt wrists, ab crunch, butterfly joints between the shoulders & chest, and a ball joint for his head sitting on top of a neck hinge.
Nothing is loose, and maybe some joints are overly tight, but he can do what you want and what he should. Maybe over time, some of the stiff joints will even break in, in a good way.
Wolverine's yellow & blue costume here is the one he's worn the longest, and it's what he rocked in the cartoon. The cel-shading isn't insane, but it's a nice touch. More so, I'm impressed by the sculpting & definition all over his body. I'm meh on the moving shoulder covers. I guess that's the only way they could include them without impeding articulation, so they're fine.
I do think some high points were lost when Marvel Legends went from Toy Biz to Hasbro. But overall, I think Hasbro has maintained a greater consistency, overall quality, and especially scale. Wolverine here looks like 5'3" next to Colossus who's supposed to be 7'5".
It'd be nice if the claws were harder, so you couldn't bend them out of shape. But that's probably a safety hazard for kids. As is, they're just soft enough that it's easy to fix them if they do get bent out of shape.
Accessories are where this figure is a mixed bag for me. The alternate head with a calm face is nice. And the alternate hands, closed fists and gripping hands, are to be expected. But why are the closed fists so dark? And why aren't there any claw covers on any of them? You'd think someone would have caught both of these things before the toy was released.
I already lost one of the closed fists, but it doesn't matter to me. I won't be using any of these alternate hands again.
Speaking of losing things, be careful when opening the box. Plastic-free packaging means Hasbro now puts any accessories they can't attach to the figure, or slot into the cardboard background you see behind the figure, into a paper bag that looks like packing material. Check everything before you throw something away.
I used my paper bag for this. I don't know when, where, or why. But there's a scene from the first season where Wolverine is looking at a picture of Jean Grey. In a moment of rage, he cuts up the part with Cyclops in it. It's the first part of that scene especially that's become an internet meme. I think Mondo was the first company to capture this in toy form, but points to Hasbro for doing it too.
This is my first Marvel Legends Wolverine figure. So, I can't really say if it's better than any of what must be dozens of other Wolverine figures put out under the ML banner. What I can say is this is the one to get if you grew up with the X-Men animated series or are a fan of nifty decos and packaging. $25+ is kind of up there for the 6-inch scale, but it's way cheaper than a lot of alternatives, and good for what you get.
|Posted 19 March, 2023 - 10:28 by Optimal III|