Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut Except Maybe All These Marvel Legends X-Men Figures [Review]
It's been a long time since the Marvel Legends toy line has dabbled with the likes of the X-Men. There have been a few lines here and there, but the frequency of Avengers and Spider-Man series has drowned out the past efforts rather loudly. This most recent wave of figures bodes well for the future of X-Men at Hasbro though. The last time we saw the X-Men, it was a smaller set with a Build-a-Jubilee available only at Toys 'R Us. This wave is available everywhere, and it's huge.
I don't just mean there are a lot of figures --- there are eight in total --- I mean it's physically massive. That's thanks in part to the Build-a-Figure being Juggernaut, who is among the biggest BAFs offered in the line. Still, eight figures is about as big as a collections in the Marvel Legends line get, but it's hard to be disappointed when the roster is as strong as this one.
In a set full of winners, '90s Rogue here is in the top percentile. As the first figure in the new wave to have been shown off close to a year ago, we've been waiting the longest for the southern belle out of all these X-Men, and the wait has been worth it. For the most part anyway. This is a really great sculpt that perfectly captures the power-stealing mutant as she was as a member of the X-Men's Blue Team. The flowing hair, the bandana, the jacket and the gold and green suit all look tremendous. She's even got an alternate non-gloved hand to swap out so you can pose her potentially stealing the abilities of your other Marvel Legends.
Where Rogue loses some points however is in the boots, which have some construction issues to allow for the figure to bend at the knees. The upper portion of the boot is split at the green seam and the portion that covers her knee. Though it does give her some better movement range, it looks rather awkward on display and takes away from the overall design. It makes it look like the figure isn't constructed correctly, which isn't a visual I think Hasbro was aiming for. Otherwise it's a fantastic figure that will go down as one of Hasbro's best.
Kitty Pryde is a definitive fan-favorite character, but her power set doesn't really translate to action figure form all that well. Could she have some translucent elements? Maybe, but then she starts to look like she's an invisible or ice character, and that's not really close at all. If you make her out of see-through parts, you also lose out on getting her in the more traditional X-Men uniform, which is already something a number of the X-Men have basically abandoned. There are few characters still running around in the yellow and blue/black. Kitty's version of that outfit is actually interesting, too, so it's good to see it rendered in full for this figure.
The sculpt is very nice, which is something hard to pull off when a figure is so relatively barebones. The fewer costume elements, the harder it is to hide imperfections and articulation. Kitty's figure is a clean sculpt though, and as long as you have the little Lockheed nearby, there's little guessing as to who she is supposed to be. If there's one downside to this toy, it's that Kitty doesn't have many toyetic elements to make her stand out from a crowd.
Speaking of translucent characters, Iceman returns to the fold with a new figure that is all about his frozen essence. The light blue body cast is highlighted with some darker blue elements to call out certain areas, but for the most part Bobby Drake is about as icy as it gets. It's hard to strike a balance with this kind of mold, as if it's too clear, that's not really authentic to the character, but if the figure isn't translucent enough, it ruins the visual that he's made of ice. Hasbro's done rather well with this Iceman, though I'm not all that jazzed about the extreme articulation he's been given.
For whatever reason, Iceman is built on the Spider-Man body type, which gives him an incredible amount of flexibility in posing. But Bobby Drake is no Peter Parker when it comes to being nimble. Perhaps it was more to give him a thin body versus something like Captain America, since Bobby isn't exactly swole either, but the loose hips on this skinny body to give him some trouble standing upright. The rest of the sculpt is great though, and the jagged ice flourishes give the otherwise standard body some needed personality.
Hasbro has been teasing the world with its Phoenix Jean Grey for years. Originally a white version of the Phoenix was supposed to come as a variant in one of Hasbro's earlier waves, and even made an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con. Until this Juggernaut wave however, Phoenix was not to be seen anywhere. Instead of just dropping the white Phoenix on us all these years later, Hasbro retooled Jean just a bit, and delivered the more classic Phoenix incarnation in this wave.
To say the wait has been worth it would be a great overstatement, but this isn't a bad figure. Jean's massive mane is sculpted well, and the new body mold gives her some imposing height. The paint app is solid, and the green and gold hues really pop against the rest of the figures in this set. That's no tall order given that Rogue also has a similar palette.
Unfortunately, Jean still falls prey to Hasbro's bad heel problem. Even though Jean is in wedge boots, they still offer the same lack of support as many of the previous heeled female figures. The ankles and legs are also too thin to keep her standing straight. You've almost got to pose her in a strange stance just to keep her upright. If you have a posing stand, that's probably your best bet, but Hasbro doesn't offer those, so most of us will be left to put her in awkward positions.
Havok rules. This figure is about as perfect as you can get for the Summers brother that is slightly less cool than Scott. The only issue I have with this figure is the bland head sculpt, which is so plain, they may has well change his name to Generik. You take the mask and its silver embellishments away, and that head is virtually indistinguishable from any square-jawed male in the Hasbro line. We have so many of these stoic faces, it's starting to wear a little thin. At least some of the other characters in this wave have slightly different variations on this form. Havok's is so straightforward and non-emotive that it takes away from the overall piece.
Given that he includes to great new power accessories (which also appear with the recent Wonder Man figure), it would have been the perfect opportunity to put a shouting or screaming portrait on there. Sadly, that's not the case. Still, the paint app is sharp --- the blue symbol on his chest pops just perfectly --- and the rest of the body build is on point. Even with that head, this Havok is one of the best figure interpretations we've seen for the character.
Cable hasn't had a Legends figure since the Toy Biz days, and that figure is over a decade old. Hasbro's finally put its spin on the character in this wave, and the results are impressive. This Cable might actually be the best figure in this set from a sculpt standpoint, as there's a great amount of detail, and fantastic portrait, and just the right amount of bulk to the build. Of all the Cable figures we've seen over the years --- including those outside Toy Biz and Hasbro Legends lines --- this one comes away as the most impressive of the bunch. Seriously, this figure looks straight out of Ed McGuinness' X-Sanction work.
The guns included are okay, but they fit awkwardly into Cable's hands. This figure is all about the sculpt though. It can't rely too much on previous molding as Cable's body is so drastically different from any number of other characters in the Marvel Universe, let alone the Legends line. Hasbro hasn't skimped though, and there's a great amount of detail and tooling that gives Nathan Summers the perfect aesthetic. The only thing that would have made this figure better would have been a slightly more metallic paint for his techno-organic elements.
There have been many Wolverines in the Legends line, be it Hasbro or Toy Biz, but none have been as good as this new brown Wolverine. Arguably the best costume the character has ever worn, it's rarely been seen in figure form. For all the Wolverine's Hasbro has released already, the only one to get the brown suit has been Daken, and he's not even a real Wolverine anyway. Yeah, I said it. To be fair, that Daken was a solid toy. This Wolverine is too, and it's all thanks to those sweet individual claws.
We're long past the days of the blobbed trifecta of adamantium that used to pass for Wolverine's claws, and Hasbro's individual claws go a long way in making what could have just been "yet another Wolverine" into a great iteration of the character. The articulation in the shoulders gives him great range of motion too, allowing you to get some of those classic Wolverine poses. The inclusion of non-popped claw hands is a nice touch, though if you've got a Wolverine toy, you're most likely rocking the popped claws look. What's more, his size is perfect compared to the rest of the line, and he doesn't feel too short or stocky. It's great all around.
Deadpool is part of the line, but he's the only figure in the bunch that doesn't include a part of the Juggernaut to build. Instead, he comes with a full arsenal of swords, guns, bazookas, and tacos. He also comes with an unmasked headsculpt that shows of Wade Wilson's grimy mug and all his glistening yellowed teeth. The figure itself is top notch, which is a running theme with this wave. It's been a few years since Hasbro's taken on the X-Men and that time has clearly been spent waiting to unleash a complete line with quality as exceptional as this one.
Unlike Cable, all of Deadpool's weapons fit well in his hands, and even the taco (why not a chimichanga?) can be inserted with little effort. You could of course opt to put the taco in a holster, as you do. No matter what, the range of accessories gives you plenty of options for posing and for storage. Everything has a place on Deadpool, so you won't have to leave any guns in the box.
Articulation is strong, and you can get Deadpool into some acrobatic poses if you want. He does have the best agility in the Marvel Universe, after all. The masked head looks good, but that unmasked Wade is a great sculpt. There's just enough detail in the decay to give him that decidedly gross flesh, but it's not grotesque. He's also smiling, which is an automatic plus in my book. Expressive head sculpts are always better than tight-lipped ones, and this one is no exception.
All the figures in this wave culminate in one thing: the creation of the unstoppable Juggernaut. There have been many build-a-figures included in the Legends series, but few have the impressive sculpt, stature and gravitas of the Juggernaut. I mean, look at this thing. It's a work of art. The only BAF character that has come close to such perfection was the Hulkbuster from last year. Others have been good, but none of them so wonderfully nailed every bit of the X-Men's most indestructible foe.
The arms and legs are like tree trunks, and his body is like that of a Sherman tank. Despite that size, there's some strong articulation. Juggernaut won't be able to get all Spider-Man-y with his poses, but you can definitely get him into some good battle stances. I wish one of his hands were open so he could be grabbing one of the X-Men, but two big fists are better than one. That's the kind of math the Juggernaut understands.
The head sculpt is on point, and despite not being able to take the helmet off, you can see Cain Marko's bulbous head beneath it. The wear and tear shows he's been in a tussle or two, but the crazed stare and gritting teeth show he's ready for another round. I'd say more BAFs should be like the Juggernaut, but then figures like this wouldn't be special any more.
The Marvel Legends X-Men - Juggernaut Build-a-Figure Series is available now for ~$20 each. These figures were provided by Hasbro for review.